Marinette stood in front of the mirror smoothing her blazer, picking at loose threads, and adjusting her buns for the dozenth time as a worried crease set over her brows. Her stomach churned into a knot of nerves, but seeing as school, her new school that was, didn’t start for thirty more minutes, she was left to just wait; though waiting only ate at her more, so she fidgeted to pass the time.
She wondered if they would even notice she was gone. It was absurd of her to wonder really. Of course they would notice. She was their friend after all, or so she’d thought. Their ‘every day Ladybug’ as they’d said, but a fat lot of good that did her in the end. When push came to shove, they all turned on her in an instant, so maybe they weren’t even really her friends after all. None of it mattered now anyways. She had a new school, and she would make new friends - ones that didn’t abandon her for a liar.
“Why does your new school get to tell you what to wear?” Tikki asked, floating up from her small purse, and Marinette ripped her gaze away from the mirror, a small smile curling on her lips as they settled on her kwami.
“Because it’s a private school,” she explained, turning and pacing over to retrieve her shoes from the box on her desk. “Everyone wears the same thing
“I like your old clothes better,” Tikki remarked, watching with intrigue as Marinette slipped her feet into her plain, brown boots.
“I can still wear them when I’m not at school. Besides, this isn’t so bad,” she said as if to convince herself.
Truthfully though, she agreed with Tikki. The uniform was drab and ugly, but she supposed it gave her peace of mind. After everything with Lila, she couldn’t go back to her old school. She’d almost gotten akumatized over everything, and if she ever allowed her negative emotions to overcome her then Paris would certainly fall. Letting Hawkmoth akumatize her was a luxury that Marinette couldn’t afford. She always had to be positive, so it was best for her to remove herself from stressful situations even if it meant leaving all of her friends behind. They hadn’t been very friendly to her the past few days anyway ever since Lila came back to school.
“Are you really sure about this, Marinette?” Tikki asked, placing a small hand over Marinette’s folded in her lap. “You’re leaving behind all of your friends. Alya, Nino, Adrien.”
“Well, you didn’t see the looks on their faces, Tikki. They all like Lila better than me, and I can’t really confront her without revealing that I’m Ladybug,” Marinette said, leaning against her fist glumly. “She’s too good at lying. Plus I almost got akumatized, so I think it’s for the best if I go somewhere else. Protecting Paris is more important than some other girl fooling the boy I like. Besides, he’s in love with Kagami anyway, so it never would have worked between us.”
“I’m fine.” She said with a shortness she hadn’t intended, so she took a deep breath and stood up. “Come on. We should go.”
Sabine and Tom were waiting down in the bakery, tending to customers and prepping more croissants when Marinette appeared in the back door. Tom set down his bread peel and scooped her into a tight hug, planting a kiss on her cheek, and Sabine followed suit, holding her close for a long moment.
“I know this is hard for you, sweetie, but you’re gonna make new friends. I just know you will,” she said before letting go. “Good luck.”
“Thanks, Mama, Papa,” Marinette said softly, leaning in to press a kiss to her mother’s cheek before heading out the door. “See you tonight!”
Marinette took a deep breath, nearly glancing over at the school across the street, but catching herself and turning the opposite direction. Squaring her shoulders, she swallowed down the lump in her throat and headed to the subway without looking back.
Things at Francoise-Dupont were pretty typical. Students chatted with their friends as they all shuffled off to class, and no one seemed to notice Marinette’s absence in Mlle. Bustier’s class. She often ran late, so most of her classmates didn’t bat an eye until their teacher entered the room with an unusually sad expression.
“Okay, class, settle down,” She said lacking her usual enthusiasm. “Before we get started, I have some sad news for everyone. Today we will be deciding on a new class representative because Marinette has transferred to a new school.”
The class erupted into shocked chatter, many adorned with equally horrified and confused expressions; even Chloe quirked a brow. Only one student wore a satisfied smirk at the news, and she pressed her lips together to mask her expression as the rest of the class exchanged uneasy looks.
“So she just left without saying good bye?” Alya asked aloud, shifting her gaze to her lock screen, a picture of the two of them smiling together.
“Are you sure, Mlle. Bustier?” Adrien asked, eyebrows knitted together. “That doesn’t seem very like her.”
“I received the news from Principal Damocles this morning. Her paperwork was finalized yesterday afternoon,” Mlle. Bustier said with a nod.
“But I was going to show her my latest scrapbook project,” Rose said, curling her shoulders.
“I wonder why she didn’t tell any of us,” Mylene added, and Alix shifted beside her.
“Maybe you all aren’t really her friends after all,” Lila spoke up from the back once she’d regained her composure. “If she really cared about any of you then she would have told you she was leaving.”
“Maybe there was a reason for her not to say anything. Maybe it happened so suddenly, and she didn’t have time to tell us,” Alya rationalized, shaking her head.
“Or maybe she just doesn’t like you.” Lila shrugged, and Alya’s expression fell. “I know it’s hard to hear, but given the facts, I think that she was just pretending to be your friend. She only wanted the attention which is why she was always being mean to me and questioning me ever since I came here. She couldn’t stand the competition, so she left.”
“Marinette isn’t like that,” Alya slammed her fists on the table, and Lila pursed her lips knowingly, clasping her hands together neatly on the desk.
“It’s also unlike her to leave without saying good-bye, isn’t it?” She said pointedly. “Maybe you all don’t know her as well as you thought you did.”
Several faces in the room fell, and Mlle. Bustier cleared her throat.
“Who would like to volunteer to run for class representative?” She asked though everyone could hear the reluctance in her voice.
Chloe shifted in her seat, puffing her chest out proudly. “Well, seeing as there is a need, I suppose I could reclaim my title that was so rudely stolen from me.”
“Maybe Lila should run,” Nino suggested, and everyone turned around to look at her expectantly.
“Yeah, you would make an awesome class representative,” Nathaniel echoed, and Lila suppressed an eye roll then plastered on a smile.
“I don’t know…my parents travel a lot, so I would hate to be elected and then not be able to fulfill my duties,” She said, curling her shoulders a little.
“I could be your deputy and take care of things while you’re gone,” Alya offered, and a sly grin crept over Lila’s lips that she quickly masked.
“That’s so nice of you, Alya, but are you sure you don’t want to run for representative yourself?” She asked, and Alya shrugged.
“I don’t really have time since I have to run my blog, but I’d be happy to help you out,” She said.
“Well, if it’s what everyone wants, I suppose I could run,” Lila said, turning to face the front once more.
“Wonderful! Thank you, Lila,” Mlle. Bustier said with a relieved sigh, pressing a hand over her heart. “We will vote tomorrow morning.”
Chloe sank down in her seat with a scowl, arms folded over her chest grumpily. Across the aisle, Adrien shook his head with a quiet sigh, glancing back at the empty desk at the behind him before focusing on the lecture, all the while his hands fiddled with a small pink charm in his lap.