Disclaimer: Don't own and never will.
AN: This is a miniature spin off/sequel (of sorts) to the excellent fanfiction Nullius In Verba by FlightfootKeyseeker/Keyseeker on AO3, in which akumatised victims remain as akumas instead of being purified. They challenged us to write more for this and…well you get the idea… This is set sometime before the epilogue to that excellent story.
Aurore blinked as she stepped out of the warehouse. After so many days, weeks, even months maybe of being trapped and only allowed out to cause havoc and destruction…Well it felt strange to be stepping out into the open like this. Seeing the wide open world without someone controlling her. Without Hawkmoth turning her into some kind of puppet.
In front of her, she could see crowds of people nervously looking at her. Looking at them all. She could feel the trepidation, the nervousness, the hope in the air. It was all…so much. (Although the heavy police presence was…unsettling maybe? She wasn't sure exactly. It felt like they were waiting for her to go rogue and start attacking people?)
When Ladybug and Chat Noir and Lady Wifi had come to the warehouse and had restored their memories…it had been surreal. In all honesty, she had expected their crazy plan to fail. That their little rebellion would fall and Lady Wifi and Bubbler would never be allowed out again, or even killed. But against the odds, they had succeeded.
She looked at her hands, half expecting to see human hands and not the long white gloves of Stormy Weather. Or at least, half hoping to. When Ladybug had restored their memories…well a part of her had expected, (or at least hoped,) that the rest of her would be restored.
"It's okay," Ladybug said in a gently encouraging voice and Aurore instinctively winced. Princess Fragrance was eagerly staring up at the sky with a joyful expression on her face. Then again, Princess Fragrance was ALWAYS cheerful, or so it seemed. Aurore had no idea why. Maybe it was a part of her personality.
She could hear an uneasy muttering through the crowd. They were nervous and who could blame them? Before her akumatisation, SHE had been scared of akumas. Who wouldn't be?
"People of Paris, I am proud to announce that Hawkmoth has been defeated and our heroes have been victorious." Mayor Bourgeois announced from a rapidly placed podium. Several cameras went off and Aurore noticed a slight look of distaste on Ladybug's face. Aurore didn't blame her. This felt like a circus act. A show for the public instead of a more private reveal. (Also, why were these idiots using flashing cameras!? It was broad daylight after all!) "Please do not be alarmed by the Akumas that you are now seeing. I have been reassured that they are indeed safe and no longer under the control of Hawkmoth."
Aurore was sorely tempted to freeze him in ice.
Behind her, she could feel Vanisher hiding behind her. That didn't surprise her really. Vanisher was always the shy one in the warehouse. In fact, they hadn't even known she was there until she picked up food and she introduced herself. And although it was kind of pointless hiding behind someone, Aurore could understand the feeling.
Ladybug stepped forward with her head held high. Unlike Mayor Bourgeios. She felt more genuine and a lot less sleazy.
"People of Paris. I know that you want to see your loved ones completely restored. I know that you have missed friends and family alike because of what Hawkmoth has done. Akumas have terrorised our streets." She paused and swallowed. "The people standing before you are no longer under the control of Hawkmoth, but…" She paused and swallowed once more. "Hawkmoth did something to his akumas, forcing them to remain in their akumatised bodies. Chat Noir and I are working to reverse this, but for now, I ask that you treat them as ordinary citizens of Paris. They were not responsible for their actions under Hawkmoth's control."
"Friends and family members of akumas please come forward through the gates to your left and right," Mayor Bourgeios said, nervously twiddling his fingers. "I am sure that you will all want to embrace your long lost family members."
The first person to step forward was a tall girl with long black hair with a purple streak in it. The crowd seemed to hold it's collective breath as she stepped forward.
"Juleka!" Princess Fragrance exclaimed, her face lighting up with joy as she spotted her. The two girls ran towards one another and kissed, leaving nobody in any doubt as to the nature of their relationship.
She felt Vanisher clip her arm as she ran past her to hug a slightly fat policeman and a short redheaded woman beside her. For a moment, they didn't seem to realise what was happening, before hugging the invisible girl. It was…cute.
Aurore looked around. Friends and family were all stepping forward to embrace their loved ones. Animan was surrounded by family members. Two excited little girls, an older girl, a woman and Lady Wifi were all surrounding him.
Huh, turns out that they were related after all.
She gave Lady Wifi a small wave and Lady Wifi waved back.
She looked away. As nice as it was to see that her friend had been reunited with her family, it didn't change the fact that Aurore's own hadn't shown up. In fact, nobody Aurore knew had shown up. Not for her. No doubt her parents were busy with work or…well something else.
She wasn't unique in that regard at least. Pixelator was standing alone, eagerly smiling at the crowds and Mr Pigeon was too entranced by the pigeons that were surrounding him to notice. She had a feeling that those two were…oddities and content to be alone. Or in the case of Pixelator, simply adored the attention.
She scanned the crowds once more. There was still no sign of anyone she knew. Her friends and family…surely her parents would have come. Should have come. She was a fifteen year old girl after all and the only one without any family here. Surely that would stand out more? It wasn't like her akumatisation was some kind of secret after all. She was, after all, a pretty powerful akuma. (She felt an odd sort of pride in that. Controlling the weather was a pretty cool power after all.)
Aurore snapped her head around so fast it practically gave her whiplash.
Standing there with an apprehensive look on her face was Mireille Caquet. Her hands were twisting nervously and for a moment, Aurore was speechless. Why, out of all the people Aurore knew, was Mireille here? They weren't close. In fact, the two of them had barely bothered with one another. Not enemies exactly, but not friends either.
"Aurore…" she began tenatively, reaching her hand out towards Aurore. Aurore flinched back almost instinctively and Mireille stopped.
"You're…not afraid of me? Even after everything I did to you" Aurore asked and Mireille smiled gently at her.
"No…I…" She paused and looked away briefly. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry you got akumatised because of me."
Aurore stood there with a slight feeling of shock and disbelief. Mireille had thought that SHE was responsible for Aurore's akumatisation? And here she was APOLOGISING!? It was…absurd. Mireille was simply more popular. If anyone was responsible for Aurore's akumatisation, it was Aurore herself. She was hardly the best example of how to handle defeat.
For a moment, Aurore stood there, uncertain as to how to react. In the faint echoes of her memories as an akuma, she could remember chasing and focusing on Mireille a lot. Too much really. Much too much. The details were a bit on the hazy side, but her focus on Mireille really stood out. No wonder Mireille was so upset. And yet...
Yet here she was. Facing her fears and actually seeking forgiveness for something that wasn't even her fault, to a girl she barely knew.
No wonder she was the winner. She deserved it. (Aurore's more cynical side said that it was probably a PR stunt, but Aurore ignored it. It wasn't like anyone else was here for her.)
Aurore stepped forward and hugged Mireille and the other girl briefly stiffened before returning the hug.
"It's okay. You weren't responsible for me being akumatised," Aurore said quietly in Mireille's ear.
"It's not your fault," Aurore said again and Mireille hugged her tighter.