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Akuma's Shadow

Chapter Text

Place your hand on mine.
Untie your mind.
Let your bloated brain balloon and float away.
Wet the end of the thread.
Thimble upon your index

Plagg snapped his fingers, and another grassy knoll appeared in front of him. With a flick of a wrist, the fields became spotted with colored patches of flowers. Various shrubs and bushes erupted from the ground. The angel took a step back, frowned, and decided that his new creation was missing an important detail. Plagg paced for a moment as he tried to decide what the perfect addition should be.

“Of course!” Plagg exclaimed, though he meant to keep it to himself. After he shrugged off the slight embarrassment, the green-eyed creator began to work on his next piece.

As Plagg waved his hands, the air seemed harden and mold to his will. He closed his eyes and continued to imagine a beautiful animal to roam these hills. The creature in his mind had a sleek body with silky fur and a long tail. Their paws would have claws for hunting smaller animals (which Plagg realized he had to create after this), and an expressive face with pointy ears. Plagg finished the details in his mind and opened his eyes. His gaze was met with glowing eyes, brighter than his own.

“Mrrrrow?” the animal purred quizzically. Plagg became giddy with excitement. He looked over his masterpiece on the ground and created a dozen more in it’s likeness, along with various simple creatures for them to eat.

Proud that he had completed his landscape, Plagg then searched the horizon. He hoped that his mentor had seen him create both the grassy hills and the new creatures. When he saw The Miraculous Scientist’s figure with their back turned, Plagg immediately felt a pang of discontent.

Set the needle on its path,
Bobbing up and down and past.
Tears and seams all turn to one
With every stitch and each spool spun.

Plagg let out a sigh as he watched his teacher work. The Miraculous Scientist worked with such grace that they made Plagg look like a bumbling child. Not only had The Scientist created Plagg, they made many other angels as well to assist them in the development of this new realm.

Among the angels, Plagg was convinced that he was one of the most talented. Though some angels perceived this as unconstituted arrogance, many agreed with him. Plagg’s creations tended to be some of the most magnificent. He received many compliments from the other angels, but never from his mentor.

Feed the line through its eye.
Draw it from the other side.
Pull the strand to satisfy.
The need to compose.
The genetic map.
The scientific gap.
The detailed blueprints.
Swept under carpets.

After watching The Scientist finish their village full of bipedal creatures, Plagg returned to his hills. He watched as his creatures chased each other in the grass. Plagg let out another sigh before he felt a hand on his shoulder.

“Wow,” a voice said, “Is this your latest project?” Plagg looked back and gazed into bluebell eyes. Tikki smiled while admiring his work. She walked over to one of his animals and picked it up. “They’re so pretty! What do you call them?”

Plagg grinned as he walked over to Tikki. “You know, I hadn’t really thought about it. Do you have any ideas?”

“Hmm, let me think. They seem strong-willed, so their name has to convey that, but not to the point that it drives the other angels away from them. Fox? No, too sharp. Wolf? Agh, no. Too gruff,” she muttered, stroking the creature’s head. “What about cat?”

“Cat.” Plagg repeated. He realized how well the name fit his animal. “Yeah, cat. I like that.” The cat hopped out of Tikki’s arms with a mrph and joined the others.

All we did was thread the eye
Of the silver splinter.
We simply planted the seed
And nursed it through winter.

Tikki continued to watch the cats run and play, pointing out their amusing actions to Plagg. Even though he nodded along with her, his mind was in a different place. Before Tikki had walked over to him in the hills, Plagg was ready to give up. The Scientist never gives any input on his creations, good or bad. It drives Plagg crazy. All he wants is some confirmation about his fantastic abilities from his mentor.

When Tikki appeared earlier, his mood changed. The way that she had immediately admired his project calmed his nerves. She genuinely cared about his work. Plagg looked over at her again. Her dark hair was starting to come loose from underneath her red cloak. The more that Tikki laughed with him, the farther away his worries drifted. Plagg was starting to see the good that he had.

Tikki spun with a look on her face that told Plagg that she had something that she wanted to say, but her expression quickly changed.

“All of the other angels are gathered in the middle of The Scientist’s village,” she sighed. “I suppose we should wander over there and see what they need us for.” Plagg nodded and started moving towards the crowd.

The rest is up to you
To do with what you'll do.

As the two angels got closer to the rest of their kind, they started to hear hushed muttering amongst the group. They seemed just as confused as Plagg and Tikki were. The Miraculous Scientist had never called for a meeting like this before.

“Do you have any clue why we’re here?”
“What could The Scientist want from us?”
“Did we do something wrong?”
“Are they upset with us?”

Sensing her nervous energy, Plagg reached down and grabbed Tikki’s hand. He felt her relax slightly, but she still seemed tense. Plagg tried to mask his own anxiety so it wouldn’t transfer to her.

The Scientist finally emerged from a large house from the center of the town. Their face remained expressionless, as usual. This only fueled the angels’ growing discomfort. The Scientist moved to face the crowd, almost as if their feet never touched the ground. Their gown flowed with every movement as though it were made of liquid. The crowd became hushed as The Scientist stood in front of the angels.

“Thank you for gathering with me,” the being started. “I have seen all of your collective creations and am content with them.” Plagg felt his hand squeezed by Tikki, but that was more comforting than his mentor’s words. He could feel the frustration beginning to manifest again.

“I have decided my duty here is done,” The Scientist continued in a voice that was both too loud and too quiet. “You no longer need my instruction. The world is yours.”

To learn and love and laugh
Until the cycle circles back
I'll just separate, weigh anchor, disengage
Divide and disappear. And see you in the mirror.

Even after The Miraculous Scientist had long returned to their house, the crowd in the village square remained silent. None of the angels knew what they should be feeling. Plagg and Tikki turned to face one another, speechless.

Plagg couldn’t help but feel betrayed by his own teacher.

I'm a slave to the night.
A slave to your eyes.

Chapter Text

What a splendid mess {they’ve} made of this
{The Miraculous} Scientist and {their} Genesis
{They} overlooked my gift and benefit

“I still can’t believe that they did that. They literally just up and left. We didn’t get any acknowledgment for anything!” Plagg fumed. “‘The world is yours’ they said. What is that supposed to mean? We can do whatever we want? This is ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.”

As Plagg continued to pace in the living room of his small house, Tikki sat in a chair and listened intently. One of the cats had become attached to her and sat in her lap.

It had been a few days since The Miraculous Scientist had retreated into their home. They have yet to leave their house and the angels weren’t quite sure what to think. Someone of the angels would enter their house to try and converse with The Scientist, but they never gave more than a couple of words in return.

“They never thanked us! They never thanked me! We did so much work for them and then-” Plagg glanced over at Tikki, the cat’s eyes wide in her lap. “Oh no, I did it again didn’t I. I was rambling again.” Tikki nodded.

She's the only who knows what I could’ve done

“It’s okay to be upset,” Tikki comforted. “I think it’s a little weird that The Scientist retired the way that they did, too. They must have had some sort of reason as to why they chose to act like that.” She sets the cat on the ground and stands up. “They may not have acknowledged us, but they did trust us enough to let us have free reign over the land. Now we have the chance to create things that we want and live how we like!”

Plagg sighed. Though he didn’t want to admit it, he knew Tikki had a point.

I must be patient
They will realize what I know inside
I was meant to lead this world to greater things
It's my destiny

None of the other angels seemed to be in the same amount of distress as Plagg, nor did they pay any attention to how he felt. Any time he brought it up to anyone (other than Tikki), they just waved it off; as if what he was saying made no sense. Every time this happened, Plagg grew more irritated.

As Plagg was pacing and thinking still, his mind wandered to these interactions again and he started feeling ready to rant and rave again. He opened his mouth to say something to Tikki when his eyes met hers. All the anger and frustration he had been feeling, the contempt, all the negative energy just…

Melted.

Everything seems to fade when I see her face
The sky and trees all blur every time I look at her!
Nobody understood me 'til her eyes fixed upon me
My puzzle life's complete, now that I found the missing piece!

For whatever reason, Plagg hadn’t realized how much of a support system he had in Tikki until this point. She was the only person that had even listened to a little bit to his complaints. She had no reason to be standing here with Plagg in his little hut. Yet here Tikki was, comforting him and genuinely hearing what he had to say. Warmth rushed to Plagg’s cheeks. He tried to hide it, but he was pretty sure his efforts were worthless. He took a few steps toward Tikki and tried to gather his thoughts.

“Tikki I… I can’t thank you enough. You’ve been listening to me this entire time when no one else has even tried. I’m probably annoying you with all of this rambling, you really do-”

Tikki cut him off with a laugh. In no way was it meant to be hurtful or snarky. In fact, her laugh echoed with a warmth that caught Plagg off guard.

“Do you really think that I would’ve stuck around if I didn’t care about what you had to say?”

Don't you worry, boy
It's a waste of time
Place your hand on mine, untie your mind
We'll just float away into the day
You're not the only one who thinks they're falling in love

Tikki’s comment caught Plagg off-guard. What was she saying? She cares about him? His face must have reflected his confusion since Tikki chuckled again. She took a step closer to him and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Plagg, there are so many other things that I could be doing right now. I could be helping the other angels perfect our world. I could be making other creatures to complement your cats that you’ve made. But you know what I’ve done? I have been by your side, listening to your struggle.” Tikki paused, almost as if she were trying to brace herself.

“I have been here, listening to what you have to say because that is what is important to me. You are my priority.”

With that last sentence, Plagg’s heart stopped. He was Tikki’s priority. He was someone’s priority. Tikki was there with him by her own volition. Plagg had no idea what to say to her now that she had opened up to him.

“Tikki I-”

She cut Plagg off again with a lifted finger. “I’m not done yet,”

You must be patient
They will realize what I see inside
You were meant to lead this world to greater things
It's your destiny

Tikki’s grip on Plagg’s shoulder tightened slightly. She started talking in a softer tone but maintained eye contact with Plagg.

“I think you should try to slow down a bit. Ever since The Miraculous Scientist left a few days ago, you’ve been talking a mile a minute. I can tell your mind is working even faster than that. Just take a breath. Please.”

Go figure, Tikki was right again. If anyone else had told him those same words, Plagg would have thought that they were just trying to get him to stop talking. He knew that Tikki was genuinely looking out for him, and the emotion behind her words comforted him. He took in a deep breath and nodded at her.

Tikki looked at him for a moment, then smiled. She dropped her hand from Plagg’s shoulder and returned to her seat. The cat (which had been glowering at the pair of angels from the corner of the room) happily hopped back into her lap. Plagg smirked at the critter and crouched down to its level to pet it. He noticed how content the cat was to just be comfortable with life.
Maybe, Plagg thought, I should be more like that. Be thankful for what I have.

Oh, you're the meaning!
{Tikki}, please listen, I'd like to explain
I should have told you sooner, it's been gnawing at my brain
My mind's in knots, it's got me lost
Please help me through the maze
Cause you're the key, the lock turning
The breaking of these chains!

Plagg’s mind was still flooded with thoughts of the Miraculous Scientist and what he should be doing, but Plagg felt something else too. Some kind of spark from when he first looked at Tikki. He was still next to her petting the cat for a few minutes when he realized that he still hadn’t said anything since Tikki asked him to slow down. He felt blood rush into his face again.

“Tikki, I care a lot about you too.” Plagg blurted.

When he realized he had said something, Plagg looked up to find Tikki looking right at him. Her face was as red as he felt like his was.

“I… I really do. You’ve been here for me when no one else has been. You’ve been my support system for the last few days and I really appreciate it, and I want you to know that if the situation was flipped, if our roles swapped that I’d be right there for you t-”

“You’re talking too much.” Tikki cut him off yet again. Before Plagg could say anything more, she leaned forward and kissed him.

Everything seems to fade when I see his face
The sun and stars turn dim, every time I look at him!
Nobody understood me 'til his eyes fixed upon me
My puzzle life's complete, now that I found the missing piece!

When Tikki kissed him, Plagg felt everything stop. He wasn’t thinking about the other angels. He wasn’t thinking about the Miraculous Scientist. The only thing that he knew was Tikki was here, and here he was home. Their kiss felt both like an eternity and a mere second. Neither one wanted to pull away from each other, but Tikki had forgotten about the cat in her lap. It’s meow startled the pair, interrupting them. They both chuckled, beaming at each other.

“Are you going to be okay now? Do you feel a little better?” Tikki asked. Plagg nodded in response. “Okay. As much as I don’t want to leave, I have to go work on some of my projects now.” She stood up and started to head outside. When Tikki got to the door, she stopped for a second before turning to look behind her.

“Plagg, if you start feeling out of place,” Tikki started. “I’ll still be here for you. Don’t forget that, okay?”

“Of course. I promise I won’t forget.” Plagg told her. He meant it. Tikki had shown him that there was more to himself than he had previously thought. Because of that, he had an inspiration for his next creation.

Dream with your eyes closed
Try and pluck the pearls from your bones
Dream with your eyes closed
Try and pluck the pearls from your bones