So this is a new story with Lila salt, but less on the what makes it work and more on the "She gets what she deserves!" part. This will only have a few short chapters I'll post over the next few days (Hopefully) but I hope ya'll like it anyway. Also, yes Adrinette included as well as some light Marichat.=^-^=
Ch. 1 - Black Cat Crossing
When Adrien entered the classroom he could almost sense the tension. He saw Lila had returned from her latest 'charity' thing and was crying. He knew it was probably crap, but what harm was she doing? That's what he was thinking until he noticed Alya's irritated back glance, and then a very somber Marinette sitting in the back. His stomach suddenly did a summersault as his mind pieced together the signs. As he sat down beside the Italian girl, he felt a tap on his shoulder. A simple side glance told him Nino was passing him a note. Ms. Bustier hadn't arrived yet, so it must be something if he felt it was better to write it down. The blond slid a little away from Lila as he quietly read the note while Alya and a few other girls comforted her. Only a minute later was he turning to Nino in absolute shock. "Seriously?" He whispered hoping the idle chatter and crocodile sobbing kept ears away from he and Nino.
"Yeah, dude, it happened right after I walked in."
Adrien turned back to the explanatory note to reread it. If he was understanding it right then Lila apparently tried her hand at designing, and showed Marinette only for her to ball it up and throw it in the trash right in front of the whole class. If he didn't know any better then he'd probably be comforting Lila too, but he knew better. Marinette would never do anything like that! He couldn't think of anyone more kind and caring than Marinette, and if Ladybug were in the running, it would probably be a tie. Adrien turned back to Nino. "So you heard the whole thing?"
Nino gave a nod. "Alya told me Lila was really looking forward to asking Marinette what she thought."
Adrien hid the eye roll he followed up with before turning to the girl. She was really eating up the attention the other girls were giving her. A few minutes later Ms. Bustier entered to start class and the girls dispersed. Lila didn't wait very long before latching onto him. Why were girls always so clingy? He'd been having problems with clingy girls for years, especially Chloe, but Lila felt different. It was all he could do to not shake her off immediately. He'd been taught to always be a gentleman so he endured, but it was harder to do when he felt so much anger boiling in his gut. He knew she'd done something to make that happen.
The entire class kept away from Marinette even after changing rooms. This had to be what Lila wanted. She'd been after Marinette in earnest ever since the framing incident. Before that, it was her covering her lies that Marinette tried to disprove. Ever since then, it was usually made up stuff to one up Marinette, or make her feel left out. They both knew she was lying so no real harm there, but this one? It was planned out. It had to be. All he had to do was talk to Marinette, and he'd be able to figure out exactly what happened. If only the rest of the class thought about that.
Marinette dragged her feet out of the science lab long after the rest of the class left. Adrien was able to snag her right out the door. "A-Adrien?" She wondered at his sudden appearance.
"Sorry to sneak up on you, but could you tell me what happened?" He asked with a slightly hushed tone. The last thing he wanted was a classmate to hear, and then get mad when Marinette's story contradicted what they thought. The young designer was pensive. Her eyes turned away from him quickly at the mention. "It's okay Marinette. I know you wouldn't do something like that even to Lila. You're way too kindhearted, so it must've been something, right?" He side stepped to get into her line of vision while placing a hand on her shoulder. The gesture was supposed to be comforting, but she jumped for some reason. "Sorry, but... Please?"
Marinette took a good look around before letting out a defeated sigh. At least she was already aware Adrien knew about Lila. "What everyone saw this morning? It was half of what really happened."
Adrien raised a curious brow. He'd already had a feeling. Lila must've orchestrated it somehow. "So you really did throw her design away?"
Marinette's eyes started to water. "It wasn't her design..." Her voice was warbling as she reached up a hand to cut the tear forming in her eye. "I-It was mine... from yesterday. I drew it in the library after school..."
"So... she took it? Why didn't you tell someone?"
Marinette shook her head. "What would that have solved?" She countered as she took a breath. "Besides, I didn't know it was her until this morning. I had gone to get a book for our reading assignment, and when I came back to the table, I saw my sketch book on the floor. There wasn't anyone around to ask, and that sketch was a rough draft anyway." She wiped away another tear. "A-anyway, when she approached me this morning, asking 'What I thought about it' I didn't realize she was claiming it as hers. I thought she was rubbing the missing design in my face while pretending to give it back." Marinette practically spat as her breathing grew uneven. "I said it didn't matter and I already drew a better one, and then A-Alya yelled at me, and everyone else, a-and and..."
Adrien wrapped his arms around her as she broke down into tears. "I understand, Marinette, it's okay."
"N-no its not!" The designer cried with her head on his shoulder. Her emotional state couldn't even register that it was Adrien she was crying on. "I-I didn't e-e-even know what w-was going o-on!"
Adrien let out a sigh as he felt her arms around him. She was right. This wasn't okay. It never was okay to begin with. What was he even thinking? At least she didn't set Marinette up for a crime again? Sure, he was grateful, but was this any better!? Blind siding her, and giving her zero time to defend herself? Taking the strong front she tried to put on, and using it against her? Adrien decided to take this out of the hall and guided her to the empty classroom next door. He sat her down next him and continued to let her get her tears out. This was the first time Lila's antics had brought the young designer to tears, and that was only a testament to how strong Marinette was. How long had she been holding these tears in? "She set you up, I understand." He consoled while rubbing circles on her back.
"B-but you-" He pulled her away so he could look her in the eye. Hers were red and tearstained, but she didn't look away.
"Marinette, I believe you. I know Lila set you up, because I know you're not that kind of person. I know she is the kind of person who would lie to get her way."
"R-really?" She asked back sounding so unsure.
How could she be unsure about what he's telling her? He already told her before that he knew Lila lies. "Of course, Mari, and Lila shouldn't be allowed to get away with hurting you like this."
Marinette wiped a tear. "But you said before... You said trying to call her out on her lies wouldn't do anything."
Adrien inwardly cursed as he was reminded of his terrible advice. Sure, calling Lila out in the beginning wouldn't have really done anything, but the lies directed at Marinette? How could he expect her to just take it without defending herself? "I-I..." He was terrible friend... "I know." He finally started with a sigh. "And I know it was bad advice. I never imagined Lila's lies would get so out of hand."
"I suppose you were pretty new to school, huh?" Marinette mused with a forced smile that only made him feel worse.
"I was a total noob." He admitted as his pocket rang. He looked at his phone to see a message from his driver. "Ah... He's waiting outside for me..." He looked up to see Marinette wiping her face while still holding her forced smile.
"Don't keep him waiting, Adrien, I don't want you getting in trouble for my sake."
Adrien furrowed his brow. "But I don't want to just leave you-" He reached a hand back to her but she blocked it with her own.
"It's okay now, Adrien, really. Just the fact that you listened and believe me? It's enough, so go. I need to get going too." She grabbed her bag up and slid out of the desk. "Thank you, Adrien." She looked so happy when she said that, it was like a punch in the gut.
He could see what she hid under that forced smile. He understood what it felt like to be alone sure, but how much worse could it feel being alone while surrounded with people? He watched her walk down the hall through the windows while still nursing the gut punch her gratitude gave him. "I haven't done anything to deserve your thanks, Marinette... But I will." He resolved as he grabbed his bag again. He was going to make it his personal mission to keep Lila's lies away from Marinette. He'd tried to get Lila away the nice way as 'friends' but it was painfully obvious that didn't work more than once. If he wanted to keep her safe, he'd have to be more hands on.
When he returned back to school, it was right at the start of an Akuma attack. He didn't really know why the man was covered in pasta, or why he was fighting with a spoon instead of a fork, but ladybug was already on the scene with a plan. It took a surprising amount of time for the plan to really kick in, but when it did they had him without a fuss. The Akuma turned out to be, unsurprisingly, in the spoon and the pasta coated streets of Paris were cleaned with the Miraculous Ladybug Cure. "I don't get how he could be upset about that sauce, it was great." Chat mused as Ladybug held up her fist.
"Well, someone disagreed. Pound it." She responded with a smile. "I'll take care of him this time."
"Are you okay, Ladybug? Your eyes look a bit red." Chat pointed out since this was the first good look he'd gotten of her since the fight started.
"Oh uh, I just didn't get much sleep last night. Nothing major." She covered with a strangely familiar forced smile. "Oh well... I'll take care of patrol tonight then, Milady. Get some rest. We can't have Ladybug get exhausted or who would save Paris?"
She smiled at him. "I know a certain black cat who could give me a run for my money." She countered before gesturing to his ring. "Now hurry up. You only have two paw pads left."
"You need to be careful, kid." Plagg suddenly warned as the young model came out of the bathroom.
He was just about to start his solo patrol. "What? I think I can handle a solo patrol, Plagg." He defended.
"That's not what I mean. I'm talking about your emotions."
"My emotions?" Adrien parroted.
"Yeah, about Marinette."
Adrien instantly blushed. "We're just friends, Plagg."
Plagg smirked. "Never said you weren't. What I'm trying to warn you about though, is anger. You were getting pretty hot under the collar when you heard about what that Lila girl did. That's what's dangerous."
Adrien rolled his eyes. "Like I'm not supposed to be mad when a friend is being targeted like that?"
Plagg crossed his arms. "Not if you're Chat Noir. I'm serious kid, anger is dangerous for my holders. The deeper the anger the more powerful my destruction can get. If you don't cool your head, we're gonna have some serious problems."
Adrien raised a brow though he looked irritated instead of curious. "So I can't be angry for Marinette?"
Plagg nodded but not before a sly smirk crossed his lips. "Yeah, but don't get me wrong. I understand what you're feeling. Lots of my holders have had a similar problem." He admitted with a wry tone.
"So? What did they do? You can't stop me from being angry at Lila. I'm going to do everything I can to protect Marinette from her from now on."
"Oh I'm not saying you can't, I'm just warning you it can have consequences... unless..." He trailed off and Adrien crossed his arms.
"Unless?" He repeated in order to get Plagg to continue.
"Well, unless we directed that anger into something else. I special sort of outlet just for my holders." The two of them looked at each other as if having a silent conversation for a few seconds.
"Well?" Adrien finally asked. "Get to the point Plagg, I know this is for cheese."
Plagg grinned. "Oh you know me too well, kid. Yes, I'll be needing a bit more cheese to make this work. This special outlet of mine will take the most dangerous emotions my holder feels, like anger and hate, and launch them back on the source. It's indirect so you don't have to do anything to make it happen. I just have to use some energy to activate the power, which is where the extra cheese comes in."
The blond thought about it for a moment. "So... what do you mean indirect, and what exactly does it do?"
Plagg gave him a Cheshire grin. "Well I'm not admitting to anything, but you ever wonder where people got the idea that a black cat crossing their path was a bad omen?" Adrien couldn't help the little smile that rose to his lips. He may have had a little inkling of guilt, but he had far more anger for the liar. Lila didn't deserve the high road, not any more.
And so it starts. I have some weird stuff and not so weird stuff in store for Lila. Will she learn her lesson? Of course not, but its the consequences ya'll want anyway! I'm just about done with the ending for this one at the moment. Also, if you have any funny (non-lethal) bad luck you'd like to read in this fic I may decide to include it. Just leave it and anything else you want to say in a review! Please and thank you for your time.=^-^=