posted: 04.23.20
word count: 784
prompt: alternate timeline

I'm... not overly fond of this work. There are a lot of moments I am really proud of, but overall eh. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Marinette's heart felt heavy when she looked at Adrien. He always looked so happy when to see her, almost like she was the sunshine and he had been in the dark all his life. Marinette thought that was ridiculous because it was Adrien who was Marinette's sunshine. He was always, so happy, so sweet, so innocent, so cheerful, and his light was contagious, it made everything in life brighter. Marinette hated the thought of breaking his heart. And now she had no choice but to do so.

Your relationship is bad for the Agreste brand.

Either end your relationship, or Adrien will be removed from school.

He'll never see you or his friends again.

Gabriel was his father and he wanted her to break up with him.

The words caught in her throat as she spoke them, we aren't right for each other. It's too much pressure. I can't love you. They felt like acid coming up her throat and lingered like a bad smell as she watched Adrien process her stuttered words.

And then something inside of her snapped, something inside of Marinette that she didn't know existed. It was like she had been hanging on to her sanity by the smallest, thinnest, weakest thread in her sewing bag, and the look on Adrien's face, the absolutely devasted expression, the desperateness in his tone as he pleaded, no, we love each other, don't do this you can't do this I love you, something inside of her broke and she went from feeling sad and despondent, from feeling helpless to wondering just how everything spun so far out of their control?

Gabriel was his father and he wanted her to break up with him? Marinette was bad for Adrien's image? She was a bad influence on him? Since when was happiness a bad influence? Why was that something so hard for Gabriel to accept? Adrien had been miserable with that restless schedule, from school to clubs to tutoring to photoshoots to fittings to fashion shows to events to more tutoring to you can't go out because I said so and it had been unfair! Then, just as soon as Marinette had him, as soon as Adrien finally saw her and loved her and wanted her, this man, this complete asshole of a man, this giant dick bag of a man wanted them to break up? And he wanted Marinette to be the one responsible? After she had spent so much time planning and plotting and gathering her courage? After the last month of pure, unadulterated bliss she and Adrien have had? After knowing what it was like to be his and he hers and it be real? After seeing Adrien smile at her like she was the sun, she was supposed to let him go back to that darkness? After making friends with half a school full of kids, he wanted to send his son back to loneliness? All Adrien has ever wanted was true, genuine love, and as many friends as he could get. And now, she had to choose between letting him keep that happiness, or letting him keep her. In the end, it was a matter of hurting him and hurting him more.

And hurting herself in the process.

No. No. She was Marinette Dupain-Cheng, she was freaking Ladybug. She would be damned if she let the likes of Gabriel Agreste, no matter how many fashion empires he ran and how many careers he ruined, ever take away Adrien's happiness, especially if his happiness was hers.

Marinette never noticed the butterfly attach itself to her hair ribbon, and neither did Adrien. She only felt the thrill of everything falling back into place, of control being grasped firmly in her hands again, the coolness falling down her back. She felt Adrien's hands in hers. She heard Hawkmoth's voice in her mind and even more, something else clicked into place. Of course, it did. She was freaking Ladybug. If anyone was going to connect the dots, it was going to be her.

Don't worry, Adrien.

I'm not leaving you anymore.

The look on his face was shocked. She couldn't tell if that was a good thing or not, if it was the pleasant surprise of her undoing the breakup, or if it was the disappointment of her giving in to darkness. Whatever it was, Marinette didn't have time to soothe him. Black Widow did not have time to soothe him.

No, she had a moth to squash beneath the heel of her shiny black boots. Let him try to destroy her sunshine again.