"And done. What do you think of the new website LB?" Marinette looked at her computer and refreshed the page. The website was a blob and call site for the teen crime-fighter Marinette, also known as Ladybug.
The teen crime fighting had started back when Marinette was in middle school when she was accidentally called to save a millionaire from his booby trapped vault. Going under the persona of Ladybug, she became a crime fighter, with her parent's permission of course. Shortly after Nino, a boy in Marinette's class, figured her out and volunteered to help her create her gear and maintain her website. And this past summer her identity had been ousted, calling for a drastic update on the blog. Such was the life of a crime fighter.
"So?" Nino asked on the other line of the phone.
"It's perfect Nino, but what's with the ad?"
"What ad," Nino asked, too suspiciously.
"The ad for sidekick wanted."
"It's a request... for a side kick."
"You do realize all the weirdos that could draw in?"
"A partial request from your parents as well as a suggestion from Alya. A publicity stunt she said."
"I think revealing my identity was a enough of a publicity stunt," Marinette complained. Sure it had been an accident when Marinette's best friend/blogger/most avid Ladybug fan Alya ousted her identity. Marinette was not one to hold a grudge over her bestie.
"I honestly think Alya just wants to be your side kick. She was already coming up with her own costume ideas."
"Of course. Just keep me posted if there actually seems to be a good candidate."
"Will do LB. Later."
Marinette watched dreamily from her locker as Adrien Agreste put up a poster for the back to school dance that weekend.
"Are you going to ask him already or just keep staring," Alya asked while coming up behind Marinette, causing her to jump.
"I-I don't know what you mean."
"Girl, you're staring at Adrien, which is nothing new. But it's a new school year, a new you, go ask him already."
"No Alya, I can't."
"Why not? You're Ladybug aren't you?"
"Yeah, who is also Marinette, whom no one, especially Adrien, wouldn't notice if it wasn't for identity being revealed."
"How many times do I have to apologize."
"Enough to know why I need a sidekick?"
"Think of it girl, people love the dynamic duo. It'll be huge. Plus some help when against Hawkmoth and Volpina." Marinette frowned at the thought of her nemesis and his sidekick.
"I'll think about it, doesn't mean I like it."
"What don't you like," Marinette spun-jumped to see Adrien behind her, carrying the posters and painters tape.
"I...um... well," she looked to Alya for help.
"The Ladyblog just put up an ad for a sidekick for Ladybug."
"Cool, have you picked anyone yet?"
"No, I'm going to check when I get home," Marinette spoke quietly, her shoes suddenly interesting.
"Well good luck. I'm sure you'll pick the right partner." Adrien smiled then continued on his way.
"Alya did you hear that?" Marinette grabbed her friend by her outer shirt collar, taking in Adrien's statement.
"Yes girl, I'm standing right behind you."
"He said wants me to pick the right partner. What if Adrien applied? What if he wants to be my partner?"
"Could be possible. He is a fan of Ladybug from what I've seen on the Ladyblog forums."
"Imagine! Me and Adrien! A team!" Marinette spun around in excitement, accidently slamming her locker shut.
"Girl, what am I going to do with you," Alya shook her head in exasperation as she shut her own locker. Marinette giggled as they made their way to class.
"Alright, hit me Nino, who do we got," Marinette sat at her computer, a video screen in the corner with Nino in his room.
"Well, we have Alya."
"Of course. What did she put as qualifications."
"Bestie and still sorry."
Marinette chuckled, "As fun as that sounds, I'll pass unless desperate."
Nino shrugged and continued.
"You have here and kid named Jean Paul who apparently is a street magician."
"Interesting, any draw backs."
"Can't do heights."
Marinette grimaced. Heights was definitely a big part of the teen crime fighting.
"Kim Le Chien, likes to run."
"That could be helpful, who else?"
"Alix Kubel, roller blades."
"Less helpful, next."
Max Kante, video game expert."
"Even less helpful; did you weed through these before I logged on?"
"No, I was in the middle of homework when you called."
"Fair enough, which I need to work on. How about you look through later and send me ones that maybe actually worthwhile."
"Will do, I was almost done with homework anyway. Talk to ya later LB."
"Oh and Nino."
"Can you send me the one from Adrien Agreste. If he submitted one that is?"
"Sure thing. Later LB."
Nino logged off the screen, Marinette settling in her chair before pulling out her history homework.
She was halfway through the history questions when she got a ring from Nino. She opened her phone to find a text.
"No Adrien Agreste. Sorry. :(
"Here is the first person that applied and seems a good choice. He knows fencing, did karate, and knows Chinese. Plus offers his pet cat to be honorary mascot."
"Honorary mascot?" Marinette texted back.
"Might be worth some. Says he has his own costume."
"Any other volunteers?"
"Either too old, too young, underqualified, one hero recruitment for Team Miraculous, an email from Hawkmoth saying 'Curse you Ladybug', and then one from Anti-bug saying 'Begging for a side kick will not get you a boyfriend'."
Marinette scowled at Anti-bug's message.
"Maybe we can let him try then. For publicity. What's his name?"
Marinette waited at the airport for Chat Noir, dressed in her Ladybug attire. A toy manufacturing company in China had been taken over, and the owner had called for Ladybug's assistance.
"He knows what time to be here right?" Marinette called Nino on her wrist communicator that also functioned as a watch.
"Yeah, but while you are waiting, check your bag."
"Marinette opened her side bag, "A yoyo?"
"Which also functions as a grappling hook."
"Nice. Perfume? Tulip scent?"
"Knock out gas."
"A cherry red lipstick."
"Alya said it would look good with your outfit."
"You spend way too much time talking to Alya," Marinette sighed as she put away the items.
"And here he comes." Marinette looked up to see no one approaching.
"I don't see him."
"Did you put a tracker on him."
"Do I have a tracker?"
"Hey," Marinette looked up from her watch to see a blond haired boy that looked bout her age; dressed in black, wearing cat ears as well as a belt for a tail, and a mask to protect his identity.
"Chat Noir I take it," Marinette extended her hand to shake, which he instead brought his hand up to his lips and gave it a kiss.
"Please, call me Marinette. Everyone know it now, so need for formality," Marinette retracted her hand, wiping it against her pant leg.
"Sure. Uh, so where are we going?"
"You ready to board Miss Ladybug," both the teens turned to see the airplane pilot at the door of the plane.
"Ready when you are Drake." Drake gave them a thumbs up as Marinette and Chat Noir went inside the plane.
"Thanks for the lift Drake," Marinette took a seat in the front of the plane, accompanied by Chat who sat beside her.
"No problem, it's the least I can do after you saved my plane."
"No big, everyone could use a refresher course on airplane safety," Marinette sighed, settling into her seat for the ride.
"So um, where are we going exactly?"
"China?! Didn't a toy factory get taken over in China."
"Exactly Chaton," Marinette booped Chat Noir on the nose.
"Cool," Chat scrunched his nose, studying the spot she had touched.
"So, why you want to fight crime?" Marinette asked as she relaxed in her seat, while Chat Noir sat upright.
"Is this an interview?"
"Informally, yes. If you are going to be my partner, I want to know a bit more other than you speak Chinese and can fence."
"Um well, I first found out about you back in middle school. I was homeschooled then so it was fun to read about your daring escapades, fighting for justice when you are the same age as me. Then when Ladywifi_331 ousted your identity, it was cool to know your just a normal kid like me but still doing super hero like things. You are like the equivalent to Spider-Man, just minus the powers." Chat Noir continued to hunch over the more he talked, almost embarrassed by what came out of his mouth.
"So you're a hero fan?"
"A Ladybug fan," Chat practically whispered, but Marinette still heard, choosing to ignore it. Of course a Ladybug fan, everyone who seriously applied was probably a Ladybug fan.
"Well, let's see how this works."
"Ask him about the honorary mascot," came Nino's voice from the watch.
"What was that?" Chat sat straight up.
"Nino, my techie," Marinette showed off the face on her watch for Chat to see a boy their age.
"Chat, Nino. Nino, Chat," Marinette introduced.
"Nino?! I didn't know you worked with Ladybug."
"Have I met you before dude?"
"No, um... I've just seen you at school. We all go to the same school. How funny? I'm going to get some water. You want water? I'll get you water." Faster than Marinette could say "Miraculous Ladybug," Chat bolted from his chair to find water.
"Nino, you scared the sidekick."
"Funny he didn't mention going to your school in the application."
"Maybe he wants to keep his identity hidden."
"Like someone else we know?"
"Shut up," Marinette pause as she heard something from the bag Chat had left under his seat. Marinette picked up the bag and opened it to find a sleepy black cat.
"I think I found the mascot Nino," Marinette picked up the cat, who looked up at her with big green eyes before settling on her lap for another nap.
"Dude that is adorable. Get a picture and send it to me so I can post on the Ladyblog." Marinette did as she was told, clicking send as Chat Noir came back with two bottles of water.
"I see you found Plagg," the boy sat down beside her, offering her the water, which Marinette took.
"He's so cute. He can definitely be the honorary mascot."
"So am I hired?"
"We'll see kitty."
"Ladybug, we're approaching the drop off," Chat Noir took his cat back into his bag.
"Thanks Drake," Marinette picked up two backpacks and gave one to Chat Noir.
"You ever parachuted before?" Marinette asked as she put a helmet on Chat's head, handing him the clip on cat ears from his head.
"No." Marinette put on her own helmet before pressing a button as Chat Noir put on the backpack.
"First time fore everything." The door to the plane opened.
"Come on," Marinette grabbed Chat's hand, which sent a blush up to his ears.
"My Lady?" Marinette winked and pulled him out of the plane with her.
"Are you insane?!"
"Just pull the cord on your right shoulder when I tell you to." Marinette refocused her attention on below and the perimeter the police had established around the toy factory.
"Aim for there," Marinette pointed toward an open area close to the factory.
"How do I aim?" Marinette leaned towards Chat Noir, and adjusted him to match her position.
"Now pull," Chat grabbed onto the cord and yanked it, sending him a little higher than Marinette with his parachute. Marinette was soon to follow, landing neatly on the ground while Chat Noir fell in a tumbled mess.
"My lady, I seem to be tangled in a situation," Marinette rolled her eyes and helped Chat Noir untangle himself as the head of the company and assistant approached them.
"Welcome Ladybug, I am Jie Sui, Mr. Lau's assistant."
"Thank you for contacting us Miss Sui. This is my partner Chat Noir. Can you tell us what happened here?"
"The factory has been taken over, and there are still workers inside."
Mr. Lau whispered something to Jie.
"We also discovered this video before the camera was destroyed."
Jie pulled out her phone to show the two heroes a woman in orange slash at the camera.
"Volpina," Marinette grimaced.
"Volpina? As in Volpina and Hawkmoth? Are here? Taking over a toy factory?" Chat Noir panicked, having read all of Ladybug's escapades against the deranged scientist and his deadly assistant.
"Sorry, he's new." Marinette grabbed Chat by the collar and took him around the building.
Marinette and Chat entered through the ventilation shaft, stealthily dropping onto a pile of crates. From their view, Marinette could see Hawkmoth's henchmen unscrewing the production line, while Hawkmoth watches on from the control booth.
"He looks less scarier in person."
"Creative liberties," Marinette spotted the trapped employees, guarded by a couple of men. "Can you go be a distraction while I free the hostages?"
"I would be an honor My Lady. I am very distracting," he said with a wink before he jumped off the crate towards another direction.
Marinette made her way over to the hostages, waiting until she could hear Chat's voice, "Whoops, looks like I came a little too late for work."
The guards went to investigate, leaving Marinette alone with the hostages, whom she quickly unties.
"Ladybug!" She heard Chat Noir call, barely avoiding Volpina who came flying after her.
"Everyone out now!" Marinette blocked Volpina's move, then made an attack of her own.
"So, got a new sidekick huh?"
"He has a name you know."
"Chat Noir, so he told us. He'd probably a lot cuter without the cat ears." Marinette kicked Volpina into a stack of crates before running.
"Over here. Could use a little help." Marinette took out the yoyo and threw it towards a pipe. It latched on and launched her into the air. She flew straight into the back of one of the henchmen restraining Chat Noir.
"Purfect timing My lady."
"Less puns, more butt kicking."
"Sounds like a plan."
Marinette and Chat Noir attached opposite of each other, working in perfect sync while taking out the goons. All of a sudden, a massive explosion came from the ceiling, revealing Hawkmoth inside a helicopter.
"Come on Volpina, our ride is here." Volpina emerged from where she was, jumping on boxes to make it up to the helicopter. Marinette ran after her, struggling to catch up as the helicopter began to drift out of reach.
"Ladybug!" Marinette turned to see the cable around the production line go taunt as the helicopter pulled it up, leaving Marinette and Chat Noir in the wake of destruction.
"Someone was up late last night," Sabine Dupain-Cheng commented as her daughter came trudging down the stairs.
"Morning Maman," Marinette made her way to the kitchen where she poured herself a bowl of milk and cereal.
"How was China?"
"Hawkmoth got away, and Chat Noir was silent the whole ride back. I'm not sure if he is disappointed in the mission, himself, or me," Marinette groaned as she took a seat.
"Maybe he was just tired."
"Probably," Marinette answered with a mouth full of cereal.
"Maman, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure," Sabine took a chair next to Marinette.
"Well there's this boy at my school. Adrien Agreste. I want to ask him to the back to school dance, but everytime I'm around him, I can't think."
"That sounds more like a statement than a question."
"Maman." Sabine chuckled as she petted her daughter's hair.
"Just be yourself dear, he's a human like you or me. Take some of that Ladybug confidence and ask him."
"You sound just like Alya."
"That's because Alya is a smart girl, when she wants to be," they both giggled.
Marinette stared at the inside of her locker, thinking how she should approach Adrien. The boy was currently standing down the hall, talking to Nino. Now would be the perfect time to ask him.
"I didn't know the inside of your locker could be so fascinating," Marinette jumped, flailing her arms.
"Alya stop sneaking up on me."
"I didn't sneak up on you. I call your name. Like three times. I called for Ladybug once."
"Sorry, just thinking."
"About you know who at a certain you know where." Alya bumped her friend in the hip, her eyes gesturing to where Adrien and Nino where talking.
"Yeah..." Marinette looked into the distance with a dreamy look in her eye, imagining her and Adrien at the dance.
"Well better do it soon because it is almost time for class." Marinette panicked as she looked at her watch. The warning bell rang just as Marinette was about to move. She barely managed to make her way through the stampede to find Adrien and Nino had left where they were once standing.
"Oh no, I'm late."
Marinette made a mad dash for the classroom, running up the stairs two at a time, slipping into the door as it was about to close, jumping onto Nino's desk then to her own, plopping down in her seat before the teacher could turn around and begin the lesson.
"Nice entrance," messaged Alya from her school tablet.
"Not my smoothest one though."
"Someone else begs to differ." Marinette looked around the classroom for "someone else", everyone focusing on the lesson. Nino was wiping off the spot on the desk where Marinette had stepped.
"Adrien please face forward," called the teacher. Marinette perked up to see Adrien quickly swivel in his seat to face the front. Marinette looked to Alya who winked. Marinette was sure she turned fifty shades of red.
"Hey, LB, got a hit on the site. Think I may have found Hawkmoth's lair," Marinette found she got a new message from Nino.
"Great. Think you can get us a ride."
"Already on it. You want to take Chat Noir or try someone else."
"Chat was a pretty good partner. I'll message him."
Marinette opened up the original email Nino had sent to here with Chat's application, hitting reply.
"Hey Chat. Nino found Hawkmoth. Want to come with?" She didn't expect an immediate response.
"You sure LB? I wasn't much help last time."
"You were a big help. Just work on your parachute landings and you'll be golden."
"Will do. Care to give actually instructions before we meet Hawkmoth?"
Marinette received another notification, this time from Nino, which she forwarded to Chat.
"I don't think we'll need a parachute this time."
"Thanks for the ride Mr. Haze," Marinette said as she and Chat Noir checked the equipment on a snow mobile.
"No problem Ladybug. It's the least I could do after you save my dog sled team."
"You know what they say, follow the leader," Marinette shrugged as she climbed onto the snow mobile with Chat Noir behind her.
"How do you know all these people?"
"Been in the business a long time Chaton," Marinette bopped the cat boy's nose then put on her goggles.
"Ready?" Chat Noir snaked an arm around her waist while adjusting his goggles. Once he was done, he gave her a thumbs up before wrapping his other arm around her. Marinette started the vehicle and they were off.
"Next time can I get my own snow mobile?"
"Can you ride?"
"Not really, but it's like riding a motor bike right."
"Something like that. Why, are you not comfortable like this."
If Marinette could see Chat Noir's face, she would have seen how red it was, and not from the raging cold.
"Why do you think Hawkmoth chose an evil lair in the snow?" Chat changed the subject. "There is no logic to keeping a production line in the mountains if the cold is going to damage the system."
"There is no logic to Hawkmoth."
"I'm beginning to see that. Kitten cuddles?" Marinette could feel something warm on her lower back.
"Don't tell me you brought the cat?"
"Plagg is fat and needs to get out more."
"In the freezing cold."
"He has fur."
"I'm beginning to think you have no logic either."
Chat Noir frowned, using one hand to place Plagg back in the bag before resting his head on Marinette's back.
"This is the coordinates," Marinette brought the vehicle to a stop.
"Nino, got any intel on the place," Marinette waited as Chat Noir dismounted the snow mobile as she talked to Nino.
"I hacked into the security system and it looks like no guards posted, but he has sensor beams."
"Where have I heard that one before?"
Ignoring her sarcasm, Nino continued, "And done, now you should be able to see them."
"Thanks." Marinette dismounted the snow mobile and went with Chat to the entrance.
"Just like I said, no logic, he left the door open."
"That was Nino." Marinette stepped inside, avoiding the first trip beam.
"Oh. So avoid the red lights."
"Correct Chaton." Chat stepped over the trip beam.
"Follow my lead." Marinette jumped and maneuvered between the sensors, eventually landing flawlessly at the end of the maze.
Chat nodded and proceeded to try and follow Marinette's movements to the letter, having a couple of close calls. He landed at the end of the maze, nearly falling back onto the last beam when Marinette pulled him forward. She though didn't anticipate how heavy he was, nor did he anticipate how off balance he was when they fell forward, landing on a trip wire and causing an alarm to go off.
Marinette and Chat Noir stood surrounded by Hawkmoth's goons, Volpina filing her nails through her gloves close by.
"Ladybug or should I say Marinette." Hawkmoth approached them.
"Whatever works for you. Makes no difference to me." Hawkmoth growled at the teen's attitude.
"Marinette, my teenage foe, and - I'm sorry, saying Marinette doesn't sound right."
"Then go with Ladybug. Whatever floats your boat."
"LADYBUG! MY TEENAGE FOE ... and who is this?"
"My partner, Chat Noir."
"So you actually did find someone stupid enough to follow you around. Play the sidekick."
A bright orange glow emitted from Volpina's hand as she glared menacingly at Hawkmoth.
"Eh-heh... nothing wrong with sidekicks," Hawkmoth attempted to fix his mistake, but it was too late. Volpina charged at her employer, which Marinette stopped.
"Chat, get Hawkmoth!" Marinette yelled as she followed Volpina to a catwalk.
"On it My lady." Chat was about to go after Hawkmoth when the henchmen pulled out their Tasers, ready to strike should Chat Noir make a move outside their circle.
"My Lady, a little help please?" Marinette dug into her bag between punches, throwing the bottle of perfume.
"Tulip? Interesting choice."
"Chat spray and plug your nose." Chat did as he was told, effectively knocking out the guards.
"Did you see where Hawkmoth went?" asked Chat, ask Hawkmoth was no longer in site.
"Chat! Give me the perfume." Chat tossed the bottle to Marinette, who gave Volpina a quick spray as she held her breath, knocking the villain out.
"Thanks Chat!" Marinette gave Chat a thumbs up as she pocketed the bottle and rejoined him on the group floor.
"No problem My Lady," Chat took her hand in his and pressed a kiss to it, "this cat is always willing to lend a helping paw."
"Well, well, if it isn't my teenage foe and her boyfriend," Hawkmoth approached them, now in elevated open control center.
"Partner." Marinette corrected.
"Whatever, keep telling yourself that." Marinette fumed while Chat blushed behind her.
"What's your plan Hawkmoth?" Marinette stood in a fighting stance, Chat getting ready to fight behind her.
"Watch Ladybug as this state-of-the-art assembly line becomes the ultimate robo-warrior!" The pieces of the production line fell into place, forming a giant robot, with Hawkmoth at the controls.
"That would be totally cool if it wasn't about to kill us," commented Chat.
"Dodge," Marinette pushed Chat out of the way as an arm attempted to crush them. They rolled, with Chat on top, at first surprised, then waggling his eyebrows at her. Marinette frowned and pushed Chat up off of her. Another arm came swinging at them and they ran behind a crate.
"Nino, we're up against a giant robot. Any suggestions?"
"There's a USB port in the watch. Get me inside and I can hack away."
"Sounds like a plan," Marinette smiled at Chat, who returned the grin. The other arm came smashing the boxes they hid behind, forcing the duo to separate. Hawkmoth employed the canons at the robot's disposal, aiming them at Marinette as she slid under the robot's legs.
"Hey Hawky! Don't you think robots are a bit clichéd? Try being original," Hawkmoth turned to find Chat Noir on top of one of the crates in the room. The cat boy stuck out his tongue and leapt onto another crate as Hawkmoth attempted to strike him.
"Original, says the cat boy side kick?"
"I think it's original. Name five cat boy sidekicks you know." Chat jumped again out of the way before Hawkmoth could strike him.
Hawkmoth blinked, trying to come up with examples to Chat Noir's demands. He never got the chance as Marinette came behind, knocking him out of the cockpit.
"Go for it Nino!" Marinette plugged the watch into the control panel.
"May the computer gods bless me," Nino began furiously typing into his computer.
"Ladybug!" Marinette turned just in time to see Volpina jumping into the cockpit. She managed to block the potential blow, much managed to accidental push some levers, causing two arms to extend and grab Hawkmoth and Chat Noir.
"Plagg," the bag holding his cat was about to fall off when Chat Noir caught it.
"Ladybug! Catch Plagg!" Adrien blindly tossed the bag before the arms began swinging him and Hawkmoth around, as Volpina and Marinette fought in the control center. The bag landed inside, pressing some buttons, which caused the canons on the main arms to rocket off into the ceiling of the lair. Henchmen who were now conscious ran around screaming, trying to get their comrades out of the collapsing lair.
Plagg poked his head out of the bag, noticing Volpina's tail flicking around as she fought Marinette. While in passing, Plagg chomped on the tail and held tight.
"What the? Stupid cat." Volpina attempted to move, but Plagg head on form dear life both on the tail and grating on the floor.
"And done," came Nino's voice over the watch. Arms dropped Chat Noir and Hawkmoth, who both scrambled to get out of the way of the collapsing robot.
"Come on Plagg," Marinette grabbed Plagg and the cat bag in her arms as she jumped out of the robot, landing beside Chat Noir.
"Plagg!" Plagg jumped out of Marinette's arms and into Chat Noir's.
"You think you're all that Ladybug, but your not," Hawkmoth groaned from where he and Volpina were both trapped.
"Pound it?" Chat Noir held out a fist, which Marinette pounded with her own.
"I can do this." Marinette repeated in her head as she walked up the school steps. Today was the day, she was going to ask Adrien to the dance. Unless someone else already asked him. Or he asked somebody else. She couldn't do this.
"MARI!" Marinette heard Alya call out to her, rushing to her with her arms full of flowers.
"You'll never believe it! Nino invited me to dance!"
"Really? Congrats Alya!" Marinette hugged her bestie as Nino and Adrien approached, Nino elbowing Adrien in the side.
"You coming too right dude," Nino asked Adrien.
"Yeah. What about you Marinette?"
"Me? Going? to the dance? I, um... yeah." Marinette felt a jolt in the ribs from Alya, who had let her go.
"Would you like to go with me? To the dance?" For Marinette is was nearly impossible to look Adrien in the face as she said it. Oh gosh, she hoped he didn't hate her.
"Yeah, that would be fun," Marinette looked up to see Adrien's face full of sunshine from his smile.
"Great, now we can all go together!" Nino locked Marinette and Adrien under his arms, causing both the teens to blush.
"Alright Nino, Marinette still needs to go to her locker while we go to class." Alya pushed Nino along, leaving Marinette and Adrien in the hall.
"I, um, should book get go. I mean, I should go get my books," Marinette giggled nervously, starting to head to the locker room.
"Right. Wait, what time should I pick you up?"
"Seven. Works for me." Adrien blessed Marinette with another sunshine smile, making her feel elated the rest of the day.