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True Friends

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True Friend’s: Chapter One: Crossed Lines


 

 They say friendship is a gift. It comes and goes. It grows and sometimes it withers like flowers in the cold. And like everything, friendship wasn’t perfect. Lines are crossed, feelings are hurt, and people their separate ways. Never admitting who was wrong or right. Too proud to admit fault or too ashamed with guilt.

Yes friendship is a double edged sword.

Because like it or not someone got hurt.


 

 Paris was not a normal place. It was always busy.

When akuma’s began popping up the city of lights became even more un-normal than before. Yet for all the unpredictability that arose, so did three heroes who helped preserve peace to the city and the people. But, sometimes there are things even heroes cannot prepare for. Things that changed them. Things that hurt them and made them see the things in a much different light. Along with many of the people around them.

And it all started with a simple statement...

Prove it

Two simple words created what some would call battle lines. Ridiculous, but true nonetheless. Appearing online, it sprouted torrents, upon torrents of emails, posts, and comments seemed to divide much of the city. Mostly the youth. Students from neighboring schools.

And at the head of the battlefront were two bloggers from the opposing schools.

Donny Morgans from College Voltaire and Alya Cesaire from Francois Dupont College.

What was once a critic and feature on one post spanned into a war of words. And with the internet egging one side more then the other, it escalated into a full blown war of who was right. Soon subscribers from both sites were leaving comments on each of the opposing blogs. Ranging from childish humor to what could be considered threats and harassment. Though nothing too serious, it didn’t help the situation.


 

And after weeks of back and forth between the two. A call was finally made.

“If LadybugQueen wants to have a war of words, then as a gentleman of entertainment, I’ll be happy to oblige.”, he said, “It seems Ms. LadybugQueen didn’t take fondly of my critic. Though, if she gets this upset, then she’s in the wrong business.”, the profession, novice or professional, wasn’t for those with soft skin. Even the most water downed fluff piece can get some dislikes. And sometimes you had to take it and move on.

“So I would like to formally invite the ‘reporter’ for a little chat on the net. Face to face, of course.”, he said, “If she’s so sure that her stories and her sources are up to snuff, then she’ll have no problem proving her case in front of you. The viewers.”, he pointed out, “Let’s see if the Queen can keep her crown.”, or if she was needing a little kick off her high horse, “I invite anyone to come and show your support for either side.”, and so with that invitation was set and the challenge had been given.

And of course, not even before the day was over, a day was set.


 

 When the day came for the showdown between the two bloggers, there was a surprising big turnout for what was thought to be a online debate. Student’s from College Francois and Voltaire had come to watch and cheer on their respective sides and friends. While they in the bleachers, both Donny and Alya were seated in the middle. With an announcer between them to spectate and provide commentary if necessary.

“This will be a showdown of facts. Both bloggers will be presented with topics and subjects from their blogs. And will have a set time to either prove or discredit the other.”, each given time and turns to show their work and prove which one held more merit over the other. Allowing to used any evidence, fact, or witnesses to prove their point. With the stipulation that they were verified and not made up. Which included sources and credit given. While each person was allowed to bring their own ‘groups’ to watch they could interfere with the actual debate in a way that harassed, intimidated, or sway the results in anyway.

“If someone cannot provide ample proof meeting the requirements of evidence they will intern forfeit the round. And the one with the most points at the end will win.”, the scores would be measured by a one hundred viewer point count. Viewers could move from one side to the other. Showing which side they believed over the other. Each round would start with Fifty viewers a piece. At the end, the winner of the round the blogger with the most viewer votes from all three rounds would be the winner. And the loser would have to not only admit defeat, but apologize before all those watching.

“Now I want a civil debate.”, which meant no trolling, spamming, blocking, or any form of intimidation from both parties and those watching, “That includes members of the audience.”, on both sides of the space being used for event both bloggers had a rather impressive amount of support from friends and fans who came to see the debate.

“Are both contestants ready?”

“Ready to go live!”, Donny smiled straightening his bow tie.

“Let’s do this!”, Alya said with a smirk.

And so the competition began.

“First question goes to Alya, LadybugQueen, of the Ladyblog.”, the announcer said, “Please explain the following questions brought up about your last post involving the band RVER and content surrounding events taking place backstage at their last concert.”, she showed the questions about the article.

“Well as I wrote a close fan of the band had talked about her experience with the band backstage.”, she said. Explaining how she knew of someone close to the band, who told her and her classmates of her experience with the band. And gave her an exclusive interview.

“And how would you confront the questions of the lack of evidence to this story? Including statements and comments from those who claim no such event took place.”

“Well there are people who have their own opinions. Though most of it are just people repeating what the last person says.”, adding it was the usual pick of people who wanted to start a discussion.

“Are you saying that the statements of those at the event are false?”, she asked, “Some of which were from those who worked the event. Including crew, staff, and even other fans who have photos with the singer.”, which were time stamped.

“Well that was only for Rain.”, she said, “I mean he isn’t the only one in the band. So obviously they were speaking of the other three band members.”, still making the story legitimate.

“Donny any comments?”, the announcer turned to Donny who had been quite throw out his opponents explanation. A calm smile on his face.

“A number actually.”, he nodded, “Even if this ‘fan’ was only hanging out with the other three members of the band. I point out that the article as well as the video posted references Rain.”, not just the three members, “Never is the singer not mentioned in the article. In fact his name and presence come up a number of 25 times.”, and he counted and brought the article for all to see on the screen. Rain’s name highlighted showing that he was involved in the story more then the author was trying to persuade.

“If LadybugQueen is suggesting differently, then either she forgot to edit her own article or she left that detail in on purpose.”, both of which would be embarrassing for any writer.

“LadybugQueen a rebuttal?”, she turned to the other blogger.

“Yes.”, she nodded, “While I do see how it could be confusing. My ‘source’ assures me it was just a slip of words.”, that she was so excited by hanging out with the band and sharing her story with her classmates she had forgot that Rain had left.

“Are you implying that your ‘source’ didn’t notice that Rain, the leader of the band and lead singer, wasn’t present?”, the very notion of that sounded odd. Without Rain it wouldn’t exactly be RVER and even so, the singer had a personality that would be missed if not around.

“It was an honest mistake.”, she replied back, “People can get make mistake when retelling a story.”

“How about if they make one up.”, Donny said, “With concern of this ‘close fan’ you quoted for information. Not once are we shown a picture or even a video or shred of evidence that shows this story is even close to what was written.”, showing that unlike the evidence against the story, the article offered nothing other then the words of an unnamed source. While also adding the fact that the story changes as often as it was told.

Some of the commenters watching online began posting in comments concerning the information in the article. Agreeing or alluding to the fact that there wasn’t much evidence to show validity. While also noticing how the story changed.

“So did you bring any proof to the story?”, he looked to the blogger who should or would have smart enough to bring some type of journalistic evidence for her story, “Like a photo.”

“Unfortunately she didn’t have her phone with her.”, meaning she couldn’t take any pictures. And while that was a plausible excuse, many didn’t see it as a strong story.

“Please. Anyone would be taking a dozen photos if they were there.”, it was human nature, “Not even one photo of the band and this so called close ‘fan’. Or how about a backstage pass from the concert.”, something that showed she actually went backstage and were with the band.

“Well no, but...”

“So you expect people to believe this person who have so loyally defended left and right, without any proof?”

“Yes. I mean no.”, she shook her head, “When she went backstage she promised the band not to take pictures. For personal reasons of the band.”

“But, didn’t you just say she didn’t have her phone?”, he reminded, while also emphasizing the fact she had just given up her sources gender, “And if this was about personal reasons like privacy or the wishes of the band, why would you she deliberately tell other people about it and even let it be posted online that she was even with them?”, which defeated the purpose of keeping it secret if she told everyone else.

“I believe you and this ‘fan’ made this story up.”, Donny stated to the shock of the audience and some of the people online.

“No I didn’t.”, she defended.

“Then why can’t you even defend the smallest detail for it?”, he questioned, “All you said is your opinion and nothing even remotely concrete that proves otherwise.”, just trying to make it seem reliable because this trusted sources said so.

“And I’m telling you I didn’t make anything up. My stories are a hundred percent true.”, she folded her arms, “I trust all my sources.”

“And what? You post content and write articles without even fact checking your source.”, even if she or anyone else trusted a specific source it still didn’t make it acceptable when the information was proven faulty.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that the reliability of your posts has drastically been going down.”, mentioning how most of her content offered only words with no content to back it up, “You offer no timeline or even any links to support yourself. Then when someone questions it you get all defensive and try to attack them. Or have your ‘friends’ jump in.”, he pointed out the fact that besides Alya herself commenting on Donny and other commenters essentially ‘attacking’ her and the Ladyblog. Her classmates and many of her own viewers were just as bad. Only adding fuel to a small ember they chose to turn into a forest fire.

“No I don’t. Plus my friends were defending me. Especially when people like you try to attack me, my friends, and my blog.”

“Why? Because me and everyone else actually used our brains and fact check work before posting it?”, he scoffed, “Also drama queen, I never attacked anything. I pride myself on actually looking into stories, so people don’t start spreading gossip.”

“Plus, who died and made you Queen of the blog world? You think because you post on the heroes of Paris that it suddenly makes you the only one who can have an opinion.”, it was becoming a pattern. If someone posted something and she didn’t like it or it went against her own opinion in some way it was instantly commented back.

“Now your being stubborn because people found fault in your functions. Oh, poor you.”, he fined sadness, “Unlike you, who jumps on any story like some overly excited dog, I actually take time to look into all points.”

“So do I.”

“Like this story of a backstage adventure. It’s basically been picked apart at this point.”, considering he had provided ample proof to show, “Even Rain, who you claimed in your own article to be close friends with this ‘fan’, denied the events.”, along with the other band members, “Are you saying they lied too?”, some people online jumped in claiming that Rain wouldn’t lie something like that.

“No.”, she dismissed.

“Even your last stories have been lackluster when it comes to the facts.”, just a bunch of words, “You painted a pretty picture, but it seems you couldn’t quite sell it.”

“LadybugQueen do you have any rebuttal to your opponent?”, all eyes turned to Alya who had become silent in her seat.

“And that’s the end of the first round.”, the announcer said, “Looking to the scores from the beginning of the round.”, as the levels came up it showed a significant change in viewer favorship.

Donny: 62 Alya: 38

Nearly half her audience, her own viewers and fans, had switched over to her opponent's side. Even the comments showed more in Donny’s favor as she countered every point she brought.

“With the current score, Donny has won the first round.”, the announcer stated. While Donny’s section cheered, Alya’s half was than happy with the results.

“We will now take a short intermission. Don’t go anywhere.”, with that they went to break. At that both bloggers were able to return to their respective corners in order to prepare for the next round.

“Babe, breathe, breathe.”, Nino said trying to console his girlfriend who looked rather dejected having lost the first round.

“That was more intense then I thought.”, most of them thought it would just be a short debate about videos and blogs.

“I hate to admit it, but guy lived up to his name.”, truly he was the king of facts.

“There’s still about two more rounds.”

“Just hang in there Al’s, you got this.”, her friends tried to encourage her.

“No. No I don’t.”, Alya stammered a bit.

“Don’t say that.”

“Your just a little nervous. Just take a deep breathe and get him in the next round.”, her boyfriend said.

“I am so roasted. Burnt.”, she groaned, “I can’t go back out there.”, not like this. She barely got through the first round with only a minimal amount of people on her side. By the end of the second round she wouldn’t even see the third round.

“Two minutes!”, someone announced.

“Don’t worry. I’m right here. Everyone is.”, Nino said, “You can do this.”

After a quick pep talk everyone was called back as intermission ended.

“Donny viewers have called into question your last post when you brought on a special guest, Kitsi Inari, for a segment talking about her older brother’s. Including their days at school. Would you like to comment?”

“With much pleasure.”, he smiled, “As many of you know Kitsi is one particular name in Paris. She’s been in the news a number of times. But, the reason I invited her onto my show was because I saw something special about her.”, he brought up, “She even got Rain to make a video appearance. Along with her brother who offered some interesting banter between the two.”, many commented on some of her feats, leaving remarks to the subject.

“And about the comments that the video of Rain himself was, um, doctured in a way.”, the announcer brought up.

“I think it would be really hard to doctor a live video chat.”, Donny pointed, “Plus these so called comments only came about after this little tiff between me and LadybugQueen started. So I’m sure we can all guess where they came from.”, most eyes fell on the Alya and her classmates seated on the opposite bleachers, “I give them credit for standing up for their friend, commending their loyalty, but don’t came looking for a fight when you have no reason.”

“So the comments have no merit?”

“Basically their pretty childish.”, calling him out for reasons of jealousy and being petty or mean, “Is it my fault for doing my job? My blog is based on finding, correcting, as well as defending facts.”, not just one side, “I may give my opinion. But, it’s up to the viewers to make the final call.”, all from the facts their given, “Though there will always be those who wish to go down with their ships.”, or in this case theories.

“Also if anyone is being petty would the Ladyblog. Whose only interaction with Rain is the fact he shut down the very article she claims I was jealous of.”, posting on his own page that dismissed the entire story as false, “Not to mention that song she had looped on her sight had to be taken down for legal reasons.”, there was a murmur in among the people watching and comments on the online chat section.

“LadybugQueen would you care to make a statement?”

“Well there were some technical issues with the last post.”, she said.

“If by technical you mean a ‘cease and desist’ order by the band’s manager.”, Don said.

“It was a misunderstanding.”

“How is ‘you had no permission to post this. Take it down or will sue,’ a misunderstanding?”, he questioned back, “Because it sounds to me like fabricating stories and violating personal boundaries aren’t your only offense.”

“Hold on. I thought this was about your video.”, how was it turning on her?

“You mean the one currently trending faster than your credibility is falling.”, he quipped, “I’ve proven my point. I was literally live when Rain called in and he even answered questions from fans in real time.” , bringing up screen shots of viewers calling in and texting which were all time stamped. No one could fake a live chat, especially with a celebrity.

“It could happen. I mean it would be easy to put on a fake clips and fake comments.”, people online had been caught doing it to goose subscribers and viewer count, “That clip of Rain could have been from anywhere. Plus, Rain has a very busy schedule.”

“Apparently not when it comes to Kitsi.”, adding the close bound the two seemed to share and how they could talk so casually to each other, “Would you be saying the same thing if your ‘close friend’ to the band got Rain to actually appear on your blog?”

“We’ll no, but I’m sure she could.”, if she wanted to, “She just doesn’t want to bother people, especially with their schedules.”

“Well if that isn’t hypocrisy I don’t know what is.”, Don gave a short laugh, “Carefully, LadybugQueen, I don’t think they’ve made censors big enough to cover your nepotism.”

“What’s that’s supposed to mean?”

“It means that your playing favorites.”, he simplified, “If this close friend of yours had actually gotten Rain or anyone famous on your blog you would find no problem with it. But, because someone else did and called you out on it, you found the need to retaliate and slander those who questioned you.”, creating a double standard.

“That is so not true.”, she dismissed.

“We wouldn’t even be on this show if you had admitted your fault and corrected yourself. But, like a stubborn mule you just kicked anyone who said otherwise.”, never once trying to admit she had made a mistake, just blaming those who thought otherwise and being unapologetic, “Then you had your classmates flood my comment section and attack me and my blog because I found actually mistakes in your work.”, for which he had proof, “You even tried to get your own viewers to do your dirty work because you couldn’t handle the facts.”, and instead tried throwing dirt on his work.

“Because you were attacking my blog and my work.”

“There’s no law against giving an opinion. I can discredit each of your blog posts piece by piece myself. But, unlike other people, I gave you more than enough time to make your case and answer the questions yourself. And all you’ve done is throw around names and try to make everyone else who didn’t side with you like their out to get you.”, creating more drama then was even needed or worth at that point.

“I was defending myself and my blog. You and your followers were leaving all sorts of comments.”

“You mean asking questions, like you should have done.”, he pointed back, “Is it their fault if they can find something you missed? Like asking for a date? A time? To clear up something that is completely absent in your own work.”

“Instead of answering them in a calm and simple manner.”, which would save people time and trouble, “You try to make them out as wrong. Blame them for having an opinion and then as a final act you block them from your site because they ‘asked a question’.”

“I was only...they were...”

“Every person, no matter, what will always have people commenting either for or against them. I’ve even gotten bad comments when it comes to my work. But, the difference is I don’t snap at every person who doesn’t agree with me.”, at least not those who make a valid point and don’t come in arguing like children, “Instead I make my case or if I’m wrong I apologize for any misinformation I might have given and correct it.”

“You went on tirade about how everyone is out to make you look bad or hurt this so ‘called’ friend of yours feelings, who you’ve been more than willing to believe every little word of, because everyone is jealous of her or trying to give you a bad rap.”, which again was ridiculous.

“Because that’s what friends do.”, she said, “Unlike you and other people who are constantly attacking her.”

“And there you go again. Making yourself out to be the victim.”, everyone was wrong except those who didn’t agree with her and her friends, “It’s not wrong to want physical proof when you constantly make claims. But, because no one believes them you try to villainize them. Especially when you can’t win an argument.”

“And for someone who claims to follow Ladybug’s example of truth and helping others, you sure have a funny way of showing.”, that was a burn and everyone could feel it.

“Now hold up. Ladybug is my hero. She protects the city and everyone.”, she declared, “My blog keeps record of all their heroics. It allows people to see what great work they do. And also helps the heroes keep in touch with their fans and let them know their safe.”

“Help them? You’ve been making it your personal mission to find out the heroes identities.”, especially Ladybug’s, “Even though she has directly said that she wanted her identity as well as her partners to remain secret.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being curious. Almost everyone wants to know.”, she defended.

“But she doesn’t.”, he said, “Because of your constant snooping you’ve invaded people’s privacy and possibly put targets on young teens, male and female, because you refuse to respect people’s boundaries.”

“Again it’s not wrong to be curious.”

“It is when you put your obsession over everyone else's privacy. Like the time you thought Chloe Bourgeois, the number one cause of akuma’s at your school to date, was Ladybug.”, going as far as to stalk her and snoop in her locker. Which lead to the whole LadyWifi situation.

“How did you know that?”

“A magical thing called talking.”, he just asked around the school and asked students. They were pretty open about it, “But, apparently you missed that because you tried and failed to get photographic proof because you were so sure Ladybug was the mayor’s daughter.”, by using her boyfriend as a distraction, while she took photos of her classmates locker.

“She could have been.”

“Let’s you forget during the first attack on Paris where Ladybug saved her after the akuma, Stoneheart, tossed her clear from the Eiffel Tower.”, a video was shown showing the rescue in progress. Ladybug catching the heiress before she became acquainted with the ground, “That should have been a huge red and black dotted flag there.”, if Ladybug saved Chloe, there was no way she could possibly be the heroine.

“Okay, it was a mistake.”, she could admit that, “But, there was proof that she might have been Ladybug.”, bringing up how she saw her with a yo-yo and polka dotted fabric. Which turned out to be a costume she wore when she...role played as the heroine in her spare time.

“Not only was the proof substantial at best. You still made a decision to violate people’s privacy and claimed because you had a hunch it made it okay.”, then posted about it with little to no proof.

“Again an honest mistake.”, she defended, “Plus what does that have to do with anything?”

“By invading her personal space and right to privacy. By making claims about her without any proof. Or by not even trying to get her opinion, but using her heroics and the heroics of the other heroes as justification of your disrespect of the basic principles of not only reporting, but writing in general.”

“To further prove my point I brought in some witnesses.”, he said as three people appeared on screen, “Each of these people are subscribers to both my blog and the Ladyblog.”

ManyFacesLoveMe: Has logged on

“Hello ManyFacesLoveMe, you participated in the live chat with Rain on my blog correct?”

“Yeah ,it was so amazing! Rain has the most beautiful silver eyes.”, she blushed, “I was so happy I got through.”

“Then can you tell us about your incident on the Ladyblog?”, he asked.

“Oh.”, she looked at Alya for a moment, “I was on the Ladyblog when the story about RVER got posted and I was super excited.”, she admitted, “But, then I started reading people’s comments about how something was wrong. So I emailed the author about it and she told me it was just some people trying make a fuss over nothing.”, and as a fan of the blog she took her at her word, “But, then my friend who was at the concert that night said she saw Rain leaving the concert hall when all this was trying to take place.”, even sending her a picture she had managed to snap of the singer.

“I sent it to the author and was asking her about it.”, not trying to make too much of a fuss, just finding the timing between the photo and the story a bit off, “The next thing I know people are telling me that I’m wrong and I’m trying to make the blog look bad or that my friend made a fake photo for attention.”, which she brushed off at first, until eventually she just got off the blog because of how people were treating a simple question.

DomingoFlamingo: Has logged on

“DomingoFlamingo, you had a similar experience.”

“Close.”, he said, “I asked a simple question about that girl the author was getting all excited about.”, he brought up, “In that interview she said Ladybug saved her life, but when I asked how and when, I got no reply. Seriously when any of the heroes do anything the news covers it.”, especially if it was something heroic, “Chat Noir saved a cat from a tree and you can find tons of videos of it.”, from various people who recorded it, “But this one girl is supposedly saved by Ladybug one time and there’s no proof of it. I mean that’s pretty weird.”, especially being in Paris.

“Well according the blog and it’s author, the girl she interviewed is a close friend of Ladybugs.”, he twisted his fingers together.

“Yeah and I’m the King of Sweden.”, the boy scoffed, “People get saved by Ladybug all the times. All the heroes save people and the city from supervillains all the time. But, this girl is so special because she claimed to be close to Ladybug, but offered no proof to even the fact she was even saved.”, what even was that?

“And did you bring this up?”

“A few times. I just wanted more information and then the next thing I know I get blocked.”, he logged in one day and found he couldn’t.

“You were blocked? Why?”

“Apparently for stalking.”, which was ridiculous, “I just wanted more information or at least some proof to this story. Which apparently in QueenDictators world means I get blocked for what she calls harassment and bullying.”, which prompted the young man to just delete his account and telling some of his friends to do the same, “Even now there’s no proof about it. But, more stories with this Italian girl being posted.”

“Did you try to explain yourself or give your side of the story?”, Donny asked.

“Nope.”, he shook his head, “A couple of my friends tried to email the admin, the so called ‘reporter’, and she refused to even try to answer back.”, which lead to their accounts being blocked.

ChatNoirsFutureWife: Has logged on

“And finally ChatNoirsFutureWife.”, he turned to the last person, “Interesting username.”, he complimented.

“Love you Chat!”, she beamed making a heart with her hands, “I’m a huge fan.”

“So as a avid lover of Chat Noir you must be a big fan of the Ladyblog.”

“Oh I am. I love all those videos and pictures of the heroes saving the day. Especially when Chat Noir comes in like a prince and saves the day. But, in leather instead of armor.”, she giggled, “I’ve been a member since the blog first started.”

“I see. So is it fair to say you still believe in the blog?”, Alya seemed hopeful at this. This girl looked like a real fan of the heroes and her blog. Maybe she wasn’t dead yet.

“Well I do love the blog. But, it does seem rather...hostile now.”, she said rather sadly.

“Care to explain?”

“Well, I don’t want to picky, but recently the people on the blog have been tense.”, especially when all this about videos came up, “I was also disappointed in one of the last posting when the author interviewed this girl, the one whose close to Ladybug, and was talking to her about what I guess was the heroes.”

“And you didn’t like it?”

“Well not really. I mean I guess it’s interesting to learn more about them, but it wasn’t anything really relevant.”, she replied, “Also if they are friends she shouldn’t be telling Ladybug’s personal information.”, especially for strangers online. Even to fans, “Also in the same interview she said Ladybug referred to Chat Noir as her sidekick.”

“Ladybug always says that Chat Noir are partners.”, and would correct anyone who said otherwise, “She would never call him a sidekick and not once did the one giving the interview correct her on it.”

“Good point. Ladybug values all her teammates equally.”, and wouldn’t think less of them in terms of how they work as a team, “And when you brought this up, how did the Ladyblog respond?”

“Well at first nothing happened. I just suggested that maybe she shouldn’t call Chat Noir a common sidekick in Ladybug’s words.”, since he was just as important as the other heroes who protected the city, “Then for some reason I got comments saying I was being biased to Ladybug because I was fanatic who was in love in Chat Noir.”

“Ouch, a bit on the nose. But still harsh.”

“I admit I do have a soft spot for Chat Noir. He’s just so adorable like a real cat.”, only a human, “But, I’m also a fan of the other heroes.”, she just had a preference for one over the others, “There have been people on the blog who always talk about Ladybug and not the other heroes, but I’m being singled out because I thought one girl was being unfair and wrong for putting another person’s information in an interview.”, it was offensive, “I wasn’t trying to bully anyone or even make a big fuss. But, the comments said otherwise and before I knew I was being blocked from most of the chatting logs and blog spaces. I lost entire Chat Noir online collage from my account.”, something she spent weeks making from the photos she got online, “I told the author, but she sided with this girl and didn’t even try to apologize me or even reinstate my account so I could finish my pages.”, they had been completely over run and become old.

“Join the club.”, DoflamingoFlamingo huffed, “Everytime someone questions anything to do with this ‘one girl’ their either flooded with comments calling them bullies or blocked from the site.”

“We’re allowed to make our own opinions.”, ManyFacesLoveMe added.

“But, when we did, we got turned into piranhas!”, ChatNoirsFutureWife commented sadly.

“You mean pariahs.”, Donny seemed to correct.

“It still wasn’t nice.”, just mean, “After I got constantly blocked I had to unsubscribe from the site because I couldn’t update my pages.”, The stress was too much, “But, I did find a group dedicated to Chat Noir. So, it wasn’t so bad.”

“So LadybugQueen, as someone who prides herself on her content and fans, what do you have to say to them? People who used to be your viewers until they were told to leave the blog or had to leave?”, all eyes turned to blogger and admin of the sight.

“Well when users are harassing other members and leaving unreasonable comments it is the discretion of the admins to either block them or provide reasonable punishment for the violation of website rules.”, she said.

“True.”, he would disagree, “But, that only applies when someone has actually broken some kind of rule of the site.”, and from what he and everyone else have been told these three users had to leave not because they did something wrong, but because they were told they did, “From what’s been said the only thing each person did was ask questions. Simple questions they could have been easily answered. Or offered a suggestion because something made them uncomfortable.”, not badly, but still enough to give an opinion, “But, somehow you found it necessary to not only have them blocked, but blocked with no reason other then you believe they had been wrong.”, and that wasn’t fair.

“Well technically they were.”, she said carefully, “One user was continuously commenting about the girl I interviewed. And she found it uncomfortable.”, which was grounds of harassment, “And as her friend, she came to me and asked me to intervene.”

“Actually it wasn’t harassment.”, Donny corrected, “Also these so called harassing comments were only about the nature by which this person was saved.”, when did it happen and how did it happen?, “They’re the basic forms of questions for any story. One’s I’m sure you as a journalist should well understand and could have easily answered.”, since she was the one who did the interview and posted the story, “A simple back check would have sufficed. You could have told the user you would talk to this girl and answer those two simple questions in a respectable time. Instead of having him blocked for questioning that only amounted to 20 texts in a span of a three weeks.”, he pulled them up on screen so everyone could see them. Parts were highlighted to show just common questions and few comments on the subject.

“It also shows that he didn’t ask this girl directly or even reference her in anyway. Instead he made a small blog area within the website and asked ‘Does anyone have any information on when this happened?”, he read off the blog space that had since been taken down, but snapped in a screenshot, “As you can see not only did he not reference this girl once or at all, but he wasn’t the only person who questioned about when this supposed rescue and becoming best friends scenario happened.”

“Thank you.”, the user said with a semi-dramatic sigh, “Seriously guy asks one question and he gets blocked. If the so called reporter actually asks these questions outright I wouldn’t have had too.”

“Fair enough.”, Donny said, “But, a simple answer can fix anything. There was no need to escalate to blocking an account or demeaning them with unchecked claims.”

“Yeah and I don’t appreciate being labeled a bully because I posted one photo.”, it wasn’t her fault if it contradicted someone else's story, “I don’t even know this ‘fan’, but even I wouldn’t be this upset.”

“And I don’t like being called a stalker because I’m one of hundreds of people in Paris who has a crush on Chat Noir.”, who wouldn’t, “Plus people also have crushes on the other heroes. But, most of them didn’t get blocked and their collages showing the brilliance of Chat Noir nearly ruined.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you guys and I’m sorry you got a bit offended.”, she began, “But, I was just doing what was best for my blog. All those comments and questions were making people uncomfortable.”

“Well that’s a joke.”

“You weren’t thinking about anyone, especially not your viewers.”

“You were just trying to make that one girl you keep yapping about happy because you think she’s Ladybug’s best friend.”

“That’s not true.”, she defended.

“Isn’t it? It was only when someone talked about or commented on those interviews you did with did you suddenly go agro on everyone else.”, and made them seem wrong.

“While the rest of us got treated like dirt because you made it seem like we were bullying some poor girl who apparently gets special treatment because she claims to be so special.”

“I was just defending my friend.”

“Yeah, by making everyone else seem like they had some kind of vendetta against her.” he said, “When all we did was ask questions because you didn’t do your job and instead kept trying to make this girl seem like she’s the best thing that ever came to Paris.”

“We didn’t even know this girl. But, you and all your friends treat her like she’s the Queen of the city because she’s traveled and says she knows all these famous people.”, but not everyone was impressed. Most people had commented before on the relevance the girl brought to the sight. Besides a bunch of stories that seemed amazing at first, but when really looked at didn’t seem all to straight.

“I’ve met Chat Noir before.”, the fan said, “He signed my favorite black cat plushie. But, no one makes a big deal about it. What makes this girl so special?”, she even showed a picture of her with Chat Noir that she had framed.

“Just because someone claims to be best friends with a superhero doesn’t mean it’s true. And even if it was you shouldn’t get special treatment for it.”

“I wasn’t giving her special treatment. I trust her.”

“Please you trust anyone if it means getting views on your blog.”, ManyFacesLoveMe said, “Well news flash you're not the only one in this city who posts about the heroes. The only reason you get so much credibility was you were the first blog and because the heroes reference the site.”

“But that doesn’t give you the right to pass your self proclaimed power over anyone else with a different opinion.”, and the other commenters seemed to agree.

“Especially over a picture.”

“Or a question.”

“And for wanting more Chat content. Chat’s are people too!”, the fan exclaimed.

“But, you guys said you were fans of my blog.”, yet now they seemed more hostile.

“Fans who you mistreated because we commented about posts you thought were negative.”

“Just so you can make one person, who you had just met and probably haven’t known long, feel special because apparently she’s your new Goddess.”, Doflamingo-Flamingo commented. And many commenters jumped in on the joke proclaiming the students new religion of worship to the Italian girl.

“We liked your site because you showed the heroes at their best!”, Chat’s fan said, “Not, some random girl going on and on and on and on...about how great she is because she was supposedly saved by Ladybug and the two became best friends because...why?”

“Why?”, the blogger looked rather taken aback.

“I mean yeah what makes her so special that she needs to be treated special?”

“Well she’s best friends with Ladybug. A civilian is best friends with the heroine of Paris.”

Yeah and...?”, they still didn’t get the hype, “Ladybug saves people and protects the city almost every other day.”, that’s what heroes do, “Yet you found all this so amazing you had to talk about her like she’s been the only one saved the heroes.”

“And how do you even know she’s even friends with her?”

“Well because she knows, I mean she’s told me all about how they’ve talked and hung out.”

“Yeah, like how yesterday I shared an ice cream with Hawkmoth on the Eiffel Tower.”, they weren’t buying it.

“Anyone can say they know anyone, but a ‘smart’ person would ask for something. You know proof.”, like pictures or videos. Something concrete.

“I sooner believe that girl who got dropped over the hotel would be friends with the heroes then this bo account girl who can’t even provide one solid piece of evidence to one thing she’s ever said.”, but still expected people to follow her every word and be defended all the same when people actually called her out.

“Speaking of which, is she going to be on your blog again?”, the Chat fan asked Donny.

“Fingers crossed.”, Donny smiled, “You know she’s a bit of a Chat fan herself. In fact she’s made bracelets for all the heroes.”, he brought up.

“I know. I saw the glasses she made for Rain. The one’s designed after Chat Noir.”, she squealed when she saw them, “She even captured his eye color perfectly.”, she gushed.

“See that’s what I mean. I believe the heroes were friends with her or she was close friends with Rain and RVER.”, she actually had proof and merit to her words. Having been seen with not only the heroes, being saved by Kitsune and the other heroes when she fought those two akuma’s. Even celebrities like Rain and Jagged Stone talked well about her, “Why doesn’t the Ladyblog do more stuff on her?”

“Weren’t there videos about her on the blog?”, they could of sworn there were videos talking about her battles with the akuma or being rescued by Kitsune.

“You would be correct.”, Donny answered, “But, after looking through the archives, it would appear the admin found that her special interviews were more popular. And so she moved Kitsi’s down.”, or just plain removed them focusing more on her other stories.

“Seriously? Girl faced three akuma’s. How is that not popular.”, he knew people that watched footage of the incidents with the akuma’s constantly on the blog.

“Why were they taken down?”, all eyes fell on Alya who been getting integrated continuously.

“Well the videos weren’t very popular.”, she tried to explain.

“How? She kicked butt.”, who wouldn’t find something like a civilian combating super villains not popular? Even when she lost it was still something to watch her fighting skills and her stand up to actual supervillains.

“I liked them. Especially the ones when she showed all her cute charms.”, some people had even commented for purchasing a couple or even advice on how she made them.

“I know I loved the bracelet she made for Chat Noir. It was purr-fect~”, she happily.

“So why were they taken down?”

“Well she was...asking for special favors and trying to manipulate people to do things for her.”, Alya commented, much to the surprise of many, including Donny who seemed impressed by the claim.

“So it’s fine for this girl who’s only claim to fame is that a superhero saved her to get special treatment. But, a girl who clearly deserves a medal for facing three akuma’s, helping people, and being dropped off a building can’t.”, something seemed wrong with that.

“I don’t see the problem. I mean how exactly was she misusing her popularity?”, again all eyes turned to Alya. Who began listing a number of instances where Kitsi had asked for special treatment and used her feats to gain attention from others.

“That doesn’t sound like something Kitsi would do.”

“What do you all think?”, as the question was turned over to the viewers the comment section blew up. Many people coming to not only to reply, but to actually defend Kitsi. Many were students from both schools who didn’t seem convinced on the rumors around Kitsi. Many finding them to be nothing but ideal gossip. While others who had barely known her believed she was a noble soul. And hadn’t heard or seen her once use her feats to get special treatment. And even if she did, she would have been warranted to do so.

It looked like the majority of people seemed to side with Kitsi. Claiming all the accusations were nothing but baseless rumors with no proof.

“Looks like we have someone writing in.”, Donny pointed out.

“Yeah. I was actually at the park during that time where she had got a bunch of ice cream from on the vendors.”, he brought up, “She did buy a bunch of ice cream, but it wasn’t all for herself. She purchased it for a group of young school kids who had been visiting the park for a field trip.”, some kids wanted to get ice cream, but a few kids didn’t have enough money. So Kitsi, with permission of the teacher, purchased ice cream for the whole class.

The person even sent in a short clip of Kisi actually buying the ice cream and handing them out to the children. Even the teacher thanked her for her generosity along with the children. People looked in awe at the photos of Kitsi giving ice cream to the happy young children.

“She dove into the fountain where a woman lost her engagement ring.”, the commenter wrote in how Kitsi searched for nearly fifteen minutes before finding the ring a bride-to-be had lost while she had been out. It had slipped off her finger and fallen into the fountain water. Kitsi had retrieved it and even had it cleaned. Officer Roger, who was going to ticket her for the stunt, even thanked her for her selflessness when he got the full story of what happened.

The viewer showed a picture of Kitsi actually emerging from the fountain with the ring in question. Along with another of the relieved and happy bride-to-be hugging Kitsi for saving her ring.

“I saw her carry an old lady after she missed her bus.”, another person wrote in about how Kitsi noticed the old woman looking saddened and took her all the way to the store and even paid for a cab to take her home after helping her shopping.

A photo was pulled up with Kitsi literally carrying the older woman on her back and carrying down the streets of the city. The boards were going crazy with comments. Praising the girl for her modern day heroics of helping others.

“Buying ice cream for kids. Saving rings from fountains. And even carrying old ladies to the market.”, Don read off, “Your right she’s simply the worst. And if you couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic.”, and by the looks of his opponent who looked just as shocked the new pieces of information.

“As you, me, and everyone else can see Kitsi has been nothing, but the definition of a good person.”, he would go so far as to call her a hero. And many had agreed, “And again it seems your facts are half baked at best.”, at this point it seemed Alya had been backed into a corner again. However when it seemed to look bleak someone from the bleachers spoke it. And to suprise, or not, it was Nino who spoke. At first, people were calling that he wasn’t supposed to be speaking out of turn. But, still jumped in to defend his girlfriend. Claiming that people didn’t know Kitsi like they did and even added unneeded fuel of how the other student who resort to violence or lash out at others. And some of their classmates jumped in that they had witnessed it all first hand.

“Would you like to repeat that?”, a voice spoke suddenly. People looked around before suddenly a familiar face appeared on the screen.

“K-Kitsi?”

“Oh please keep going.”, she insisted, “I believe you were all just about finish telling people how I’m a overly aggressive bully, a stalker, no, maybe it was just being a beast was it?”, her maroon eyes narrowed.

“Busted.”, someone whispered.

“...Your here?”

“Well considering all the grief I was being given about not being supportive enough and being basically guilted because I didn’t jump on this bandwagon off a cliff. I thought I tune in and see how the debate was going.”, reluctant as it was, “But, it looks like I was just in time for the dragging portion of the debate.”, and she was not impressed.

“So please continue.”, she blatantly welcomed them to continue their conversation.

“Yes finish your statement.”, Donny added, though uneedly, returning the stage back to Alya.

“Um...LadybugQueen the podium is still yours.”, the announcer said carefully. Even if she wasn’t in the direct line of fire at the moment, even she felt the energy Kitsi was putting out, “I think I’m going to stand back a bit.”, she moved to the left, closer to Donny who had been watching quietly seeing Kitsi was obviously upset and didn’t want to be caught in the crosshairs.

“So continue. Tell everyone what a terrible person I am. Regal them with all the stories you heard. Not the actions you’ve seen.”, her voice was icy, clashing with her fiery temper that radiate through the monitor, “Tell them all about the time I carried all the heavy boxes of new textbooks from the first to the second level of the school because everyone seemed to have forgot we were all supposed to do it together. But, somehow I got stuck carrying several boxes up a flight of stairs because apparently there was one student who couldn’t.”, which meant she needed to be pampered by their classmates.

“Or maybe it was the time half the class forgot their lunch money so I paid for everyone because they wanted to spoil one girl who forgot her lunch at home.”, which came out to over fifty euros and a majority of food she didn’t even eat, “I mean I didn’t get a thank you, but I did get a nice apple to the back of the head.”, she looked at Kim, who sank down under her gaze.

“No, it must be the time when we were at the museum and couple of people were messing around and nearly broke a priceless statue from the Mayan era because they decided it was a smart idea to go racing in a museum.”, and Kitsi had to dive and catch the nearly 70 pound statue and hold it until security came to help lift the statue back on it’s pedestal. While also having to apologize.

“So what is everyone waiting around for? Let’s get this started.”, and she was waiting very patiently for the end.

“And yes Marc did take notes for me. But, not because I forced him or stole his notebook as leverage. My right hand is still healing after being cut. Marc saw this and volunteered to take notes for me.”, him being one of the only people to actually offer her help, “Plus who could hurt Marc of all people?”, he was such a sweet little roll.

“But what about the claims that you were heard threatening people to stay away from him?”, Donny brought up.

“Again taken out of context.”, Kitsi shook her head, “Those guys were the ones picking on Marc. Stealing his notebook and refusing to return it. I told them that if they ever did it again, no one would find their bodies.”, while she detested bullying, she would use it if it meant protecting her friends. It was easy to say they got the message.

“What about using your popularity to make people do stuff for you or give you special treatment?”, he brought up some of the claims against her character.

“What popularity are you talking about? I’m constantly having to deal with rumors made about me, then the actual things I do.”, with no help except the old song and dance of ignoring it or being the bigger person, “And special treatment. I sit in the back of almost all my classes. My locker isn’t even in the same place as the other students. And even when I’m out sick, I can’t get notes from my classmates half the time.”, if that’s popularity then she was the most popular in the school.

“Oh, and by the way, thanks for bringing me my assignments Nath.”, she leered at the red haired artist, who seemed to be trying to hide behind a sign after figuring out he had forgotten to deliver Kitsi’s homework/notes when she was out sick and had put her back, “Though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean it’s not like I don’t have trouble with math or didn’t come to school late in the school year, so asking for help from a classmate should be simple. But wait, I do. And somehow no one has time to help me study for a test I wasn’t even aware of or offer their notes. But, they have time to finish another person’s homework and classwork because she came to school late in the year and apparently can’t catch up to the work.”, her eyes went to Max who shrank down in his seat, “Meanwhile, I myself, sprained my ankle having to make up a team run time because someone magically had a migraine even though she didn’t before and had to sit out because it was unfair. Then I bruised my back after getting slammed by a door and spilling hot chocolate all over my clothes. And lest we forget, I had to do a three person group project all by myself when my partners lied to me, ditched me, made no effort to help, and still wanted credit when they didn't’ even study the basic research.”, and that didn’t even scratch the surface of problems she had to put up with.

“You claim how you’re all defending your friend and all that, but that isn’t even close to what you’re doing. The only reason you even talked to this girl is because she gave you a story. That’s it. You only befriended her because you believed all her amazing stories of travel and being best friends with Ladybug. That’s is the flatline.”, half the time she was practically begging her for another interview and praising the girl about how her blog got so many views.

“Well news flash for you, it’s all lies!”, she practically yelled, “Ladybug never saved her life. She’s never even met her aside from that half-check, ego stroking interview you let be posted on the blog. Do you even know how upset Ladybug was after she saw that?”

“She was upset?”

“Let’s see, she constantly states how much she dislikes lairs. Then she looks on a blog and notices some random girl telling people about how their best friends. I don’t know, does the word livid work?”, because she had more words to use, “I had to talk her not into strangely her ‘so called best friend’. And trust me I’ve regretted it to this day.”, and continues to do.

“But, if it wasn’t true why didn’t she just tell people the story was false?”

“Even if she did, you put the video on the blog without even asking her about the information.”, let alone checking it,, “Regardless if she said something or not, you should have known better not to post it without any proof or without checking with Ladybug first to validate the information.”, that was a critical mistake.

“It wasn’t like I could just call her up.”

“Are you joking? You could have waited until the next akuma attack.”, they happened almost everyday. “Or, here's an idea, you could have acted like a competent reporter and actually asked for proof before believing every word this girl said.”

“That’s what I was saying!”, one of the accounts said, “Finally someone said it.”

“What’s worse is that when people actually did make these points on why it couldn’t have been true, you ignored any instinct to look into their points and instead bought the crocodile tears of a snake salesman and threw dirt on people.”, which included blocking them from the site or playing down the questions of people being mean.

“Even now as people are proving left and right that all these stories aren’t true. With valid proof I might add. You want to sit there and try to avoid even the slightest acknowledgement that you, a so called seeker of the truth, were wrong.”, and that was just insulting, “But, to go so low as to try to use proven rumors as a smoke cloud.”, that wasn’t going to fly. Not anymore, “That doesn’t even scratch the surface of why I’m pissed off at you and them!”, her voice boomed.

“I actually was coming back to the school to call everyone one of you out.”, she was running on pure anger and adrenaline. She didn’t care how it made her look, but she wanted blood. But, on her way to the school she saw it. A butterfly, black, just fluttering around. A part of her assumed it was for her. But, she was quickly proven wrong when she saw it fly into the bakery. Marinette's house. Fear overrode her anger and she ran into the bakery. And without even permission she went upstairs and saw it. The butterfly flying over it’s next victim.

“Marinette was crying her eyes out.”, she had never seen her so hurt before, “She was nearly akumatized because her so called friends chose to believe the words of some attention seeking liar. Over someone who had been nothing been kind and faithful everyone. Many of whom she’s known since elementary.”, when Marinette finally was able to tell her what happened and she ended up in tears in her room. Kitsi saw red. She had never been so angry in her life.

“So don’t you dare sit there and claim how your such a good friend for defending someone who had done nothing but lie, manipulate, and hurt people just to keep up a facade! Not when you so mercilessly and without one shred of sympathy turned your back on someone you dare to call your best friend!”, if the room wasn’t tense before, it was deadly quiet now. Even Donny dared not make a remark.

“Even for all her faults Marinette’s one of the best people I have ever met. Sure we’ve had our ups and downs. What friends haven’t.”, that was life, “But, even if I’ve barely known her as long of anyone of you. I know enough about Marinette to know she’s too good for anyone of you. None of you deserve her friendship and she doesn’t deserve your two-faced attitudes that cause you to believe the utter crap that comes from that witches mouth.”

“So call me a monster. Call me a beast. An animal.”, she dared them, “But, don’t ever for a second think that I would ever turn my back on my friends or the people I care about.”, she challenged anyone to say otherwise, “People like that aren’t even fit to be called scum!”, she exclaimed honestly for all to hear her. To feel her voice resonating to their very soul and forever be burned and branded in the deepest parts of themselves. She could have sworn she even saw tears from some of her classmates.

“You don’t get to cry. You don’t get to feel bad.”, she gritted her teeth, “Not when you just sat there trying to save yourself and your blog. While Marinette, your ‘best friend’, was crying her eyes out after you yelled at her because she was one of the only people trying to stop you from making a fool outta yourself.”

“You want to say how great of a friend you are. You didn’t even go check to make sure Marinette was okay.”, instead leaving her to cry to her eyes out and nearly become Hawkmoths supervillain, “So do not insult me or anyone else by trying to paint yourself as someone who defends her friends when you don’t even know the definition of the word.”

“The only thing you are is a self-serving, opportunistic, hypocritical, nosey enabler who needs to shut her mouth and stop pretending to be anything close to a good friend. Let alone a decent human being.”, she hissed, “So if you want to drag people then fine. Let’s go into the mud.”, because she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

“Donny I’m taking over.”, that wasn’t a question, that was a statement. Pure and simple.

“All yours.”, Donny didn’t argue. He had proven his point and stepped aside to offer Kitsi the floor to face down Alya in the last argument.

“...I guess this will be the final round.”, and things were about to get ugly.

“I’ll start.”, Kitsi began without hesitation, “I’ll make this brief as possible. Just looking at you, let alone talking to you, is ticking me off.”, and she was on screen, “So you want the truth, well here it is for all to see. You’ve been claiming up and down these stories are true and you trust the source. But, in fact none of the stories are true.”, she stated plain and simple.

“First off, Ladybug never saved this girl, let alone knows her enough to even be called a friend.”, she didn’t even like her, “But, since you don’t believe me, I have audio of Ladybug flat out saying that she doesn't know her. Let alone likes her.”, because Ladybug hates liars and would never associate with anyone who would do it so casually and to trick others.

“Second, Jagged Stone never wrote a song for her. She claimed he did after she saved his cat at an airport which caused her to injure her ear.”, she pointed to her own ear for example, “Well guess what, there was no cat. Jagged Stone, who I talked to personally, stated flat out that he’s never owned a cat.”, adding that while he liked cats, he wouldn’t own them as pets because of a bad interaction with one years prior that scratched his hands. Still having the scars, “So there’s no way she could have damaged her ears like that. Which still wouldn’t justify all of you deciding to put Marinette in the back of class.”

“They put her in the back of class?”, of the members of the audience asked.

Kitsi nodded, “Just moved her without asking her first. Even her so called best friend didn’t even offer her seat because she wanted to sit next to her boyfriend.”, the audience gasped. Talking among themselves about the situation, “They didn’t even ask her, but expected her to sit by herself, while everyone else got to choose their own seats.”

“That’s pretty lame.”

“I mean granted I sit in the back, but that’s because the seating was already chosen when I got there.”, so there wasn’t much space, “But, guess who got a special seat because she faked having an ear injury.”

“She faked an ear injury?”

“Of course. Like I proved before she never had a hearing problem because Jagged never had a cat so there was no way she could have gotten injured.”, it was all false, “I also talked to people who've closely worked with planes and even they said that in order to get that kind of injury, let alone from a private plane or commercial, this girl would have had to stuck her head in the turbines.”, the literal engines of the planes, “I also checked security and air traffic charts dating back years and there have been no incidents of anything remotely related to the story she gave.”, she pulled up papers, reports, files dating back at least five years. And no reports showed anything close to Jagged Stone having his cat saved, “Plus when you ask about this so called ‘personal song’ there's not even a track. Even Penny, Jagged Stone’s personal assistant, has no record of the song.”, not that Jagged could make it. The media would scur him for making one lyric about an underage girl for any reason.

“Even if she had an injury like that, that does not give justification to special treat a person by making a person give up their seat without permission of the one who seat was being taken.”, and many people of the audience agreed, “This isn’t even the only ‘affliction’ she claimed to have. She claimed to have arthritis in her hand so she couldn’t participate in most activities in gym. But, brags about how she had taken special fencing lessons and how she has family members who have been champions of various competitions.”, but again there was no proof and even then there were records that showed it couldn’t be true, Not even during her first days in school did she claim this, only when she got called out for her feats of playing with world class ranked players in tennis or being trained by champion swimmers and track runners and even having a family member who created a special form of fencing.”

“There’s a girl named Kagami who goes to our school whose family are world class ranked champions in fencing.”, and none of them even know about this and hold records of those specific dates, “I even have two uncles who hold ranks in those competitions.”, and she could sure check with the committees to prove it and even get the records.”

I checked with the school nurse and even she didn’t even know what I was talking about.”, which included her claims of an ear injury, “Her medical history is blank. She doesn’t have any allergies, injuries, or any kind of disabilities that the school is aware of.”, her parents would have filled out the papers if she did. But, as she suspected, the forms were blank. Other than vaccinations.

“Only when she’s called out she makes up wild excuses before crying like child until people give her sympathy.”, listing a number of instances to the letter of her behavior and how her classmates had jumped in because they failed to even check the stories, but vilify the person calling her out, “She claims to have traveled over the world, but provides no proof. Just some information anyone could pull off the internet.”, which she was positive she did, “She claimed to be friends with movie stars, hollywood directors, musicians, and even members of royal families. When in fact she doesn’t know any of them. Not one person!”, no pictures, numbers, or any evidence to back up her claims. Just stories anyone with a functioning brain cell and common sense should be able to find something fishy with.

“Yet you and those behind you, sit their swearing with all your hearts and souls that she does when she has offered no proof. Not one piece of evidence for anything she’s said or claim.”, but she and everyone else continues to defend her, “Tell me, Ms. Reporter, did you ever once question any of her claims? Ask for any visible evidence to her claims?”, all eyes were on Alya had set stone cold silent in her seat.

She looked like she wanted to speak, opening her mouth slightly, but nothing came out.

“No you didn’t.”, Kitsi answered, “You and everyone else swallowed her fake story and crocodile tears. You blinded yourselves with all those amazing stories that you couldn’t even see what jerks you being or rationalize even the basic form of common sense.”, and then turning against anyone who said differently.

“Even now neither you or them have shown even the smallest form of reaction after being played like a bunch of cheap fiddles.”, she banged her hand against the table to grab their attention, “Which doesn’t even make up for the fact how what jerks you’ve all been acting to not only me, Marinette, but everyone else just to placate a proven liar.”

“We were just...”

“I swear if you say defending a friend as an excuse one more time I’m going to come throw this screen.”, she warned, “And no you weren’t.”, she dismissed, “You weren’t defending anyone. Because what you believed was being a good friend, wasn’t even close. You were defending a story. And bad ones at that.”, believing every little word that came out of her mouth, even if it didn’t make sense, “Then when things got really bad, you let yourself get conned into making others look like villains because apparently everyone is out to get this one girl.”, and if that was the case the whole world was just so unfair because no one can be wrong or just lie for no reason other then beable.

“I admit I got in her face.”, she wouldn’t lie about that, but that because she got into mine first.”, Kitsi never moved first. Assessment was key for anything and running in blind only lead to bad moves.

“She wouldn’t do something like that.”, she defended.

Kitsi didn’t budge. Instead leaning over before returning to view. Without a word she lifted up something, what looked like a compact, and clicked the top of it. It turned out to be a recorder disguised as a compact. A project Kitsi had been working on as part of her accessory line. A bit much, but it came in handy.

“I recorded it. My last run ins with her. ”, she said sadly, having to come to this, “Because as a friend I wanted to make sure Marinette was okay.”, because that’s what friends do. Unlike them, Kitsi took notice of things. So when Marinette seemed more upset, sadder than usual, she decided to actually investigate, “I was so angry.”

“Do you know what level of control I had to use not to go in there and ram that girls head threw the wall?”, she faced akuma’s and people far worse when it came to attitude, “I put up with a lot of things, but I will not put up with anyone who threatens the people I care about.” , and Marinette was on the top of the list, “So tell me, Ms. I defend my friends, what do you think of your special friend right now? How do you justify her not only threatening another student, your classmate, your ‘best friend’, with such malicious vile and intent to not only ruin her life and take her friends anyway? I want you to justify this for me now that you’ve heard what your amazing friend is really like?”

“T-That has to be a fake.”, Alya spoke.

“Wanna repeat that?”, Kitsi challenged.

“That recording has to be a fake. She...she would never say something like that.”, she refuted the offentisity of the recording and how it must have been doctored.

“But, she isn’t wrong.”, it was Marc who spoke up.

“Marc?”, most of his classmate were shocked to see the usually quite student had spoken up. And surprised again to find he was sitting on Donny side with other students from College Voltaire.

“Ever since this girl transferred into the school you guys have been acting pretty well...mean.”, he said, “Half the time your crowded around this girl and following her around. Then you go around spreading everything she said.”, he recounted after to hear them all talking about various stories the girl had said, “Which includes all the gossip she makes up about everyone else.”

“What gossip?”, the students tried to defend. But Marc didn’t back down.

“You picked on Giovanni because she told you all he was insulting her ‘artistic’ skills.”, Marc brought up the sob story the girl had told the students about how she was being picked on, “Giovanni never even spoke one word to her. But, he did comment after she claimed to be connected to Matris Lovern because she was friends with her daughter.”, a famous and influential critic in the art community and art buyer, “Matris doesn’t even have a daughter. She has one son.”

“Wait, she doesn’t have a daughter?”

“Giovanni’s last name is Grayson. Ms. Lavern is his step-mother.”, his father and her had married when Giovanni was around eight. Meeting at a small art show in the states. The two seemed to come together over his artwork and married.

“Marc, why didn’t you tell anyone?”

“How could I? Anyone who tries to say a comment or refute any piece of information get shut down.”, it was basically like be sicked on by a pack of dogs, “Plus Giovanni asked me not to mention it.”, for privacy and personal reasons, “But, that doesn’t change the fact you were all jerks to him. You even messed with his belongings and took advantage of his color blindness.”

“Hold up.”, one of the guest accounts spoke, “Did I hear right? They picked on a kid with color blindness.”

“That is messed up.”

“We didn’t pick on him.”

“You switched the labels on his notebooks.”, the ones he used to organize all his work, “He nearly lost a month's worth of drawings and almost missed the deadlines for his classes because you all thought it would be funny and payback for what you thought he did.”, all because of some rumor, “And none of you even apologized for it.”

“Again, that is messed up.”, what kind of person picked on a blind person. Not fully blind, but still. The chat room lit up with people voicing their disgust the students behavior.

“It’s also wrong that you all listening to rumors about other people and judge them for that.”, a new voice spoke up.

“Odine?”, the red haired stood on the opposite bleacher. Kim seemed the most shocked seeing, who he believed, was on of his closest friends.

“Ever since that girl transferred to the school every day it’s some kind of drama.”, and the majority of time she was the start of it, “Like how she spread a rumor that Kitsi threw a tray at her for no reason at the ice cream parlor.”

“I was at the ice cream shop when this so called incident happen. I was meeting up with Lei to return the jacket he leant me.”, she explained how Kitsi had come along for morale support. Being seated at the booth with the view of Odine’s table, “It was all going pretty well.”, the next thing she knows there’s a rumor going around that Kitsi threw a tray for no reason and caused a scene, “Kitsi never threw anything at anyone. That girl was the one causing problems when she poured ice cream in my swim bag.”, getting hot fudge and caramel all over her swim uniform after she told the girl she didn’t believe any of the rumors she knew the other girl had been spreading. Kitsi was going to retaliate, but Odine had talked her down. However, the owner of the shop saw this, and had told the other girl she had to leave. Not tolerating any kind of harassment in her shop.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”, Kim asked.

“And what would you have done? You and everyone else were acting like she could do no wrong. And it didn’t help you were being upset with me because I was hanging out with Lei.”, she added.

“I wasn’t upset.”, he defended.

“Yes you were. Which is really funny because you missed three of our planned meetups. Including our weekend secret dive practices.”, and folded her arms, “Which still doesn’t make up the fact you took the words of another person instead of asking me up front.”

“If you had told me...”

“What? What would you have done? You didn’t believe me when I told you about the rumors the girl was spreading about me or anyone else. You didn’t even defend me when you thought I was having secret meet-ups with Lei.”, it was embarrassing, “I’ve known you since the first year of school and you chose to believe a baseless rumor over me.” , that was even more hurtful.

“Kitsi was kind to Markov.”, she gave him a choice, “Other girl is bad liar. Very bad.”, the little robots face turned red, “Everyone else believed her and called me a piece of junk. Markov is insulted.”, he scoffed angrily, “But, when Markov told his so called friends, they didn’t believe him. Only words of evil girl.”

“You can’t claim to be defending a friend if your just going to throw everyone else under the bus.”, which a number of people could attest to.

“A show of hands.”, Kitsi began, “If you’ve been threatened personally or had your character questioned by Rossi and we’re refuted without question by her classmates raise your hands.”, Kitsi was the first to raise her hand. And to their surprise a number of people began raising their hands. From Marc, Donny, Markov, Odine, May, Perci, and even more people from both sides raised their hands. Even people online, including those in the chat, commented how they had basically been mobbed into silence.

“Now raise your hand if you made a simple comment or question on the Ladyblog. And afterwards you either dismissed, harassed, bullied, or had your account blocked by either the Cesaire or any one sitting behind her. Especially when it came to the videoes involving one Lila Rossi.”, again a number of people raised their hand and commented in.

“And raise your hand if you’ve ever seen Marinette or believe that she could ever harm anyone.”, no one dared raise their hand. Not one person could remember a time of Marinette doing anything wrong or harming anyone. Many knowing her as the sweet, helpful, and caring girl who would occasionally trip over herself. Most people believed she was a danger to herself comically, not anyone else. But, never denying what a kind and considerate person.

“And how many of you believe she deserved to be unfairly suspended from school without evidence. But, because her ‘classmates’ wouldn’t speak on her behalf.”, again no students raised their raised their hands.

“And yet for one reason or another Rossi has stories of Marinette being ‘two-faced’ and being the only witness to this wrong doing.”, she sneered, “And her ‘friends’ did their duties by believing it and turning their backs on a girl who would give you the shirt off her back and believing Rossi.”, the glares bombarded the group of students who looked down in shame.

“So congratulations you’re all a pack sheep. Baaing to the call a snake in the grass.”, Kitsi tsked in disgust, “So in conclusion, you all suck. And if your the kind of people that turns their back so easily, then in my opinion, Rossi can have you.”, because Marinette deserved better. She deserved better.

“Your not friends. Your fake. Every last one of you didn’t even blink before you jumped ship like rats. You want to pretend to be all loyal and having each others back, when in fact you would abandon them without a moment's waste, while also leeching off their good nature to satisfy your own desire for self preservation.”, she narrowed her eyes, “In other words your all nothing but parasytes.”, and that was her honest opinion. A degrading title befitting the lowest of the low.

“On a final note people have been asking questions, or rather commenting, about some damage in a classroom that resulted from an akumatization.”, she began, “People seemed to believe I bullied some poor student and they were turned into a supervillain.”, something she quietly put up with and ignored for the most part, “It has been one of many rumors I’ve had to deal with. Alone mind you, because apparently I’m not worth the trouble of a fair judgement.”, as if she hadn’t earned it.

“To put it simple, it’s all false.”, plain and simple, “The only people who even know what actually happens are the heroes, two classmates, and a teacher who witnessed the whole thing.”, the other parts were just made up. Gravely made up, “I’ve never bullied anyone.”, and she had people to attest to that.

“Then how do explain my opponents points? About your behavior and how you refused to answer on the subject?”, adding how she would snap at people who would continue to pester her about it or even comment how she hurt some poor innocent person.

“Asking questions is one thing, but being interrogated like that was just insulting.”, she shook her head, “Plus, since this is about facts and proof, I want to know how someone can be vilified so much without any proof of doing anything wrong? If I caused this akumatization then why wasn’t I punished or at least confronted with actual proof on that matter? Plus some random student accuses someone of almost turning them into a super villian, but no one knows who this person is.”, not one person could identify this student or had any idea of who they might be.

“According the LadubugQueens sources, or source at this point, the student was so ‘traumatized’ they transferred schools.”

But Kitsi didn’t look phased, “That’s the thing. In case everyone forget the majority of the students at that school have been akumatized.”, many by the same person and some over the pettiest of reasons, but none of them transferred, “Plus there was no mystery student.”

“Interesting and do you have proof of this?”

Kitsi took a deep breath, “Yes. Because the person who caused all that damage in the room and was nearly akumatized was me.”, the gave a collective gasp.

“Plot Twist.”, Donny said.

“Y-You?”, Alya seemed to stammer.

“I was having a bad day at school. Well maybe a bad week would be a better way to put it.”, she had been putting up with a lot and didn’t have much time to catch her breath before she ended up crying in an empty classroom.

“This is my proof.”, she held up her bandaged hand, “I’ve been telling people that I got injured working on my charms. But, I lied.”, she admitted, “I...I still remember about that day. I was so frustrated. So angry. So hurt.”, she clutched her hand at the memory.

“Before I was akumatized I punched the window.”, cutting her hand in the process, “I think the pain had overridden the transformation and the akuma just left.”, after that she managed to get out of the school and make her way to her brother’s apartment. Where she spent the better half of two days being taken care of by her older brothers. Only to come back to all this.

“And you didn’t tell anyone else about it?”

“I didn’t see a point.”, she shook her head, “Even if I had said something, a part of me, didn’t want to be pitied. I didn’t want to give those who hurt me a pass because they wouldn’t have learned their lesson.”, only when things reached the breaking point would someone notice the pain or the pain of others. And sometimes it didn’t make the pain hurt any less, “To know that I could fight for them, to risk my life for people, my own classmates, and still be abandoned so easily.”, she let a few tears leak out, “Hurt me more than being flung into a wall. Pummeled into the ground. Or falling off a building.”, with scars they would linger with her and on her for time to come, “It’s knowing the people I was once called my friends can easily toss someone away without any remorse.”, without reason or cause. Just because.

There was a silence in the room. Many looking to Kitsi with a sympathetic look as she bore her heart and her pain to those watching and listening. Comments flooded the sites of crying emojis, hearts, and sentiments to what she had to go through. For what many had experienced, but no one could remember.

Even the announcer had teared up herself.

Kitsi exhaled, “I’m just relieved to be able to set the record straight.”, and for someone to listen and take her seriously.

“And as for the rest of you.”, she looked at her classmates who feared another lashing from the girl, fear present in their faces mixed with anticipation.

“Remember this.”, she took a deep breathe, “Everything I’ve ever done. All those fights. I did them for you.”, for the ones she cared about.

“So don’t worry. I’ll never do it again.”, because now she had no reason to.

MiraculousKW9; has log off

After Kitsi left the chat, a bitter tension was left.

“....”

“That was...”, how would they even describe that.

“I know I said I liked drama.”, but that was something even Donny wasn’t expecting. When May told him, mentioned to him, that Kitsi was having trouble at school he didn’t picture anything like this, “I think I’m done for today.”, he said which drew Alya’s attention.

“What?”

“I’m done.”, he repeated. Uncrossing his legs he began to stand up, “There’s no reason to continue.”

“...So your just leaving?”, she sounded surprised.

“And this proves my point.”, Donny began, “That was someone showing genuine emotion and baring her soul for people to see. She doesn’t want people to feel bad for, but she wants people to notice that she has emotions. She was hurt by unchecked gossip that not was not only made against her, but was so easily accepted by her so called ‘friends’ who only added to the situation because they didn’t even try to correct it.”, just let it go on and pretend like it wasn’t hurting her or anyone else.

All attention fell on Alya and her group. Many of which were her classmates who were still shocked by Kitsi’s admission. And most of the audience weren’t happy about what they heard. Comments again flooding in from noticeably upset viewers.

“...I didn’t know.”

“No matter what you did or didn’t know, the fact remains that you still allowed it to happen.”, even if you didn’t start a fire, pouring gasoline to make it grow faster wasn’t helping anyone, “Your her classmate. Who you’ve seen first hand the limits Kitsi will go through to protect not only you, but anyone else.”, he reminded, “But, unlike the heroes and supervillains you give attention to, Kitsi doesn’t have superpowers or a indestructible suit of magic to protect her when she takes a blow.”, meaning when she took damage she felt every bit of it and had to deal with it until the akuma was defeated.

“And you treated her like that. Calling her a monster? A beast? After she put her life on the line for you.”, just to prove a point.

“Tell me, Ceasire, when you were doing your investigation in trying to smear my sources, did you even once take a step back and actually consider the feelings of those you were trying to discredit?”

“Or when you were trying to throw dirt on Kitsi,did you ever try to reach out and talk to her? Instead of trying to restart ugly rumors for which you again brought no proof of.”, just to save her own skin and not like an even bigger tool then she and friends were already proven to be.

“You weren’t thinking about her or anyone else. You just wanted to make everyone else out to be the bad guy and make one girl feel special because you valued pretty words and your ego over the actions of a true friend.”, while being the bad guy, “Even these witnesses brought in have said nothing but kind things about Kitsi and given their side of the story of how you mistreated them.”, something she failed to do, “All you did was ask them did Kitsi do this and nothing else. Not the cause of the effect or even the events leading up.”, just validation that Kitsi did those actions just to prove she did them. And not if she was guilty or innocent.

“In fact a majority of the incidents were caused by you and your group.”, and Kitsi was just cleaning up the mess and aftermath, “Yet, all you’ve done is say what a bad friend Kitsi is. Why? Because she doesn’t brag about all the amazing things she does or want to let you interview her because maybe she just doesn’t want to talk about it.”, or just didn’t want the attention like other people would or believe ridiculous stories of a proven story, “But, who you have been trying to paint as some manipulative person who wants everyone to do everything for her.”, which was proven to be nothing but rumors, “Even your supposedly solid point about her bullying some random student, who turns out doesn’t exist, into nearly being akumatized. When in fact it was her being akumatized because she was being bullied by all of you.”

“Kitsi has done enough that the word ‘bad friend’ shouldn’t even be in anyone’s vocabulary.”

“I could discredit your stories every which way to Sunday, but even I can’t fix your stubborn attitude that allows you to sacrifice common morals just for a story.”, he stood up, “I’ve made my point. So keep posting what you want, for me this whole thing would be nothing more than a hollow victory.”, and francially wasn’t even worth it.

“I’m out too.”, ManyFacesLoveMe me spoke, “You seriously need an attitude adjustment.”, were her finally words before she logged off.

“That was painful to watch. But, I’m going to remember that look on your face.”, DoflamingoFlamingo commented, “Later LadyDictator. Have fun with your new fake goddess and the mindless sheep.”, with that he was gone to.

The Chat Noir fan girl only shook her head, before saying, “The heroes would be so ashamed of you. Ashamed I say!”, she pointed, “Also Chat Noir if your watching follow me!”, she said excitedly before logging off as well. And one by one people in the studio space and on the chat account began to leave. Some passing hard glances to the otherside, while those on the web left emoticons or small statements until finally the last account signed off.

“And...that concludes the debate.”, were the announcers final words before leaving with the rest. Until finally only Alya and her classmates remained in the hollow room.


To Be Continued...


 A/N: This story is linked to my story Fox Tails. Takes place into mid 3rd season and references past episodes. Please enjoy this sweet and salty fic. Until next time.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 


To say that the next day was unusual would be an understatement. From the moment she got out of bed to the moment she was taken to school. Kitsi could feel a shift in her life. And not related to the miraculous for once.

She got dropped off like normal. After waving goodbye to Austin, her driver, who offer her a small smile. For which she returned. She headed into school. Her mind was still rather groggy from the night prior, but she shook it off and managed to get out of bed.

As she walked to her locker she couldn't help noticing people looking at her. At first she wasn't sure they were looking at her, maybe someplace else that Kitsi happened to be in, and continued on. It was only when she saw a couple people pointing and whispering did she quickly figure it out.

'Here we go.', it wasn't like Kitsi was disillusioned or anything. After the fiasco yesterday during the debate, as one-sided as it was, she suspected things were going to be interesting for the remainder of the school year. After logging of the computer after chewing out her classmates, she had focused more of her time on keeping an eye on Marinette.

She debated whether or not she should tell Marinette. It would no doubt upset her more than she already was. She had been through enough and needed to get some rest. And though she wished to stay with her, she was in the hands of her parents. Who would protect her, their daughter, with their lives.

And that lifted a weight off Kitsi' chest.

Hopefully today would just be that.


As lunch time pulled around Kitsi found herself eating alone. While she prompted herself to either eat on the roof or at the bakery, something told her to come to the cafeteria. And at most things seemed to calm. For the moment. Thankfully, students seemed to leave her alone for the moment. Giving her space to at least eat. Though she could feel there eyes on her, she ignored them as she did for most of the day.

"Nothing says lunch like dumplings~", she sighed contently at the spread Andrew had made for her. Still...

Looking at the empty seats around she couldn't feel...empty.

Though she tried to force it away she couldn't help picture people in them. The ghosts of her recent past came to haunt her. And the voices in her ear taking her to a somewhat nostalgic.

Plainfully so.

You made a choice. Don't look back now.

She put herself in this position. She had no regrets.

Picking up a dumpling she popped one into her mouth. Savoring the tangy flavor on the meat and juices that filled her mouth. Food always did calm her down and brighten her day. When she felt sad, her brother's would all bring her a treat to comfort her. On days when she didn't feel well, she was given hot soup to ease her stomach. And at festival Kitsi and her brother's would try to hit as many stands as they could.

"What do you want Bourgeois?", lunch was her only outlet in the day and she kept being interrupted. Why did she had to be interrupted by one of her least favorite people in the city.

"As if you don't know.", she said haughty with her arms folded.

"That's why I asked, 'What do you want?'", because she didn't.

"Adrien's upset.", she said, "And I know you have something to do with it."

"I'm pretty sure upsetting people is your department.", she replied back, biting into her dumpling, "Also I don't see how him being upset is my problem."

"Because I know for a fact he went to the baker girls house where he had a run in with you."

'Kami help me.', she sniffed, "And what? I was volunteering at the bakery. And if you call Marinette, baker girl again, your going to have a date with a bag of flour.", both a warning and a promise. Which she knew was not a joke to play around with. Though it would be a waste of flour.

"The point is you said something to him and now he's all sad.", she said rather dramatically, "What did you say to him?", she demanded.

"First, could you bring down the noise. Your more hammy then the meat in my pork dumplings.", she commented, "Second, yes Adrien came by the bakery and wanted to see Marinette. I told him no. The end.", simple and to the point.

"Like I believe that. I know you said something to him. Why else would he sound so sad when I came to visit him?"

"I have some ideas.", she muttered popping another dumpling in her mouth, "I'm not the boys keeper. He has a bodyguard, go talk to him.", though she wondered if the Gorilla could talk.

"Well unfortunately I have to talk to you. So what did you do to him?"

"Like I said, he wanted to see Marinette and I said no.", was she not speaking clearly enough or was this girl just that stupid, "How many times am I going to have repeat myself?"

"Until you tell me the truth.", Chloe stated, "My Adrikins wouldn't just go to some low class bakery just to visit..."

"Say baker's daughter again. I dare you.", she warned, "And second of all the Dupain-Cheng's have one of the best bakeries in the city. The only thing low class is your attitude, which I'm about to rearrange along with your facial structure if you keep running mouth."

"Are you threatening me?", she gasped.

"No, no.", she denied, "I don't make threats. I make promises.", her voice lowered at that sending a eerie chill down students spins. Many choosing to move away from the altercation so not to become casualties.

"As if. You wouldn't lay a hand on me."

"You think I'm not afraid to touch slime.", she clicked her tongue, "At most I'll need to keep a shot to fend of whatever bile you secrete.", which seemed to leaking on a daily basis, "Also have you met me? I've beaten akuma's way more threatening than you.", and that was on a daily basis. Delusion must run thick in this city if people kept forgetting that little point.

"So have I.", she bragged, "But, that's all in the days work for a super heroine.", she smirked triumphantly.

Kitsi rolled her eyes and popped another dumpling in her mouth, "Are you done? I would like to keep may lunch down.", and her self-glorifying wasn't helping.

"No. Because you still haven't admitted to hurting my Adriken's."

"Admit what? You and him really need to get some self clarification.", or therapy would probably be better. No doubt those two had some baggage. Agreste alone could fill a calendar with amount of issues he had with his father. And she didn't know what shrink would want to touch the hot mess that was Chloe Bourgeois, "Plus it's obvious you're not going to believe anything I said. So why even continue talking to me?", because she wanted this conversation to die already.

"Because you're hiding something.", she declared with the same over valiant tone she had been growing since she came became Queen Bee. Only worse when it mixed with her self-aggrandizing ego as Chloe. Working with her as Queen Bee was one thing, but deal with her as Chloe was mixed bagged. A bag she wanted to put over Chloe's head until she last consciousness, "And as the hero of Paris it is my job to watch over citizens and keep all non-gooders in line."

'Kami strike me down.' she thought with growing frustration.

"And how does that pertain to me exactly?", she raised an eyebrow.

"Well since you asked. Ever since your little tantrum the other day, people's emotions have been all over the place.", she pointed out since the whole mess of a debate, where Kitsi laid into the majority of their classmates, the emotions around Paris seemed to be at a negative high.

"And you think that's my fault?", she felt the need to scoff at that.

"I wouldn't say that.", though Kitsi knew otherwise, "But, there's no doubt after your outburst the number of akuams increased. For someone who wanted to make a point, you sure picked a way to do it.", was she actually scolding her? Chloe was trying to teach her about keeping their cool, "It really shows that need to watch that temper of yours. It's not like Ladybug and me and the other's can keep cleaning up your messes."

A laugh broke through the cafeteria. It starting low and slow. Growing and growing, with each passing second. Many tensed with anxious curiosity, searching for the source. Until they found it in none other then Kitsi. Who had went into a sudden laughing fit. With her lips in a smile, as she bellowed more laughter.

"What's so funny?", Chloe questioned.

"Anata wa orokana gakidesu. Anata wa omoimasu… anata wa darenidemo kōen suru kenri ga arimasu. Oshiete! Omoshiro sugiru!", she continued to laugh, "Oh you are too much Bourgeois. I didn't think you were that...that..."

"What? What are you saying?", between the laughing and the Japanese dialect, not many people could make heads or tails of what Kitsi was actually laughing about.

"I'm laughing at you.", Kitsi stopped laughing enough, wiping an imaginary tear from the corner of her eye.

"Do I look like I'm joking? I am trying having a serious conversation with you.", Chloe stated.

"And like everything, your failing so badly it hurts.", she laughed again. Earning more ire from the heiress.

"You think your so cute, don't you?"

"Brat I'm adorable.", she smirked seeing the heiresses frustration, "While this has been really entertaining for lunch, I've got better things to do.", she snickered a couple of times as she packed up her lunch, "Let's have a serious conversation sometime.", as she finished packing her things away, she prepared to leave the table.

"H-Hey!? We're not done here!", Chloe called after her, "Come back here and answer my questions.", she demanded. But, Kitsi didn't even acknowledge her.

"Give it a rest.", Kitsi didn't look back, "I'm not afraid of you, your dad, or Queen Bee.", it should be plain and simple by now she didn't care, "Your just wasting everyone's time."

"The only one wasting their time is me. I should I have known it would be matter talking to you."

"Well at least we can agree on something.", Kitsi rolled her eyes a bit. Placing her hands on the handle she prepared to leave the cafeteria. Maybe finish her lunch in the library. She should check in on Marinette to make sure she was having lunch too. The girl could be stubborn sometimes.

"Your just too afraid to face me because you know you're all talk."

Kitsi rolled her eyes.

"Guess that's what happens when your all alone."

Kitsi ignored her and pushed the door to open it. She was starting to get a headache.

"Must be so sad having no friends. Unlike me, no one likes you."

"That's what you don't get no one likes you!", Kitsi yelled having gone to the end of her rope with the other. Her voice bringing attention to the them. Many students turned from their lunches to see the commotion.

"As if. Everyone loves me. I'm a superhero.", she stated proudly to be Paris's superhero.

"The only thing you are is a spoiled, loud, bossy, insensitive, pushy, mean, vindictive, and borderline annoying!" she exclaimed, "You're always putting people down, you bully people for no reason, and take some kind sick pleasure in the suffering of individuals that makes me believe you are sociopath!"

"Whoa..."

"There are times I even envy the deaf who don't have to listen to your voice!" she snapped, "In fact because of you almost everyone in this entire room has been transformed into villains with the top priority to literally hurt you. But somehow that doesn't get through that hairspray sealed head of yours!" she wanted to literally drill the words through her skull and into her brain.

"You can't even go one hour, a minute, not even a single second without giving me or someone a migraine. Then you have the nerve to act like you 'did nothing wrong' and that 'everyone loves you'. You are beyond delusional!" she hissed with disgust in her voice, "And now because you've gotten a miraculous you want to act like you deserved to be hailed as some hero. When in fact your just as much a pain as you were before. Except now you've got a hero complex to go with it."

"Having a miraculous doesn't change the fact that you're still the same as you were before. Your pretending that you have, while still looking down on everyone else.", and that wasn't going to fly anymore, "You want to make a fuss about me basically standing up for myself. When you have been the cause of problems since day one. Lying, manipulation, intimidation, theft. All because you think your better than everyone else.", and she wasn't, "And now that you think you're some amazing hero that it erases all the crap you've put people through. Never even apologizing for how you've treated anyone.", and as far as she saw it any apology she actually did give was half hearted at best because she never changed.

"You are a heartless, soulless, emotionless monster to even be considered a human being let alone a superhero." she picked up her bag, "And until you've actually shown me otherwise. You're still the same spoiled, obnoxious brat when I first met you and on the awaiting day when I no longer have to deal with you.", and no miraculous was going to fix that.

"How dare you!?"

"If you think your big enough then come on.", she welcomed the challenged, even from someone so small as her, "Unless you want to run home and call for help that is.", she alluded to the bee miraculous or perhaps her father who cleaned up her messes as well.

"Like I was a miraculous on you.", she folded her arms.

"I think that every time I see Queen Bee.", she returned, drawing gasps from the crowd, "See unlike you I don't need a miraculous to make myself feel good or useful."

"I am useful.", Chloe hissed, "Unlike you, Ladybug trust's me.", why else would she give her a miraculous.

"This coming from the girl who outed her own secret identity because she was jealous her own mom didn't want to take her to New York.", she reminded bluntly, "Your an object of pity at best."

"Hey..I-I'm a great superhero."

"You paralyzed a conductor and put citizens at risk on a speeding train just to make yourself look good. Then got akumatized into Queen Wasp after Ladybug told you to return the miraculous.", she reminded that it was Ladybug and the other heroes that saved the train. Kitsune's feet were still burning after she had to act as a speed bump.

"Well I've proven myself as much of a hero as Ladybug and her sidekicks.", Chloe commented.

"That's another thing. All the heroes are partners. Partners you big headed bee of no humility.", she had told her this multiple times, "Also what have you proven? Sure you've helped here and there as Queen Bee, but as Chloe you're still the same."

"Says you."

"No says facts. Or do I need to bring up a number of instances?", Kitsi said.

"Like what?"

"Like how you were berating Aurora because of her grades and belittling her weather girl position.", leading to her getting akumatized into Stormy Weather again. Which ended with the entire city nearly going into the ice age.

"It was just some harmless critiquing.", she tried to pass off.

"From the girl who gets 'side help' to keep her grades.", she reminded that how Sabrina did most of her work, projects, and the dirty work of her schemes, "You haven't changed Chloe. If anything you're still mildly the same, but use the fact your a 'superhero' to hide from the fact your still a wasp hiding in bee's clothing.", because she was still antagonizing people instead of putting effort into bettering herself. And using the persona of a hero as justification that she is changing.

"How dare you say I haven't changed? You don't know me."

"And you don't know me. Nor do you know anything about what it means to be a superhero because you have no morality whatsoever.", she leered back, "It's always 'Queen Bee did this' or 'Queen Bee did that'. Or look at me I helped save the city from another akuma I caused because people won't bask in my golden glory.", she mocked striking a number of the heiresses signature poses, "While Chloe Bourgeois continues to ride her high horse and refuses to learn from the times she's been rightly knocked into the mud.", never learning a lesson or trying to get a lower horse. Yet she continues to prance around like she's the best thing to happen to the city, "If anything you're a liability. Because no matter how much you boost and brag, you treat being a superhero like some kind of game."

"You were a mistake!", the words reverberated in the cafeteria. Student's looked in shock and Chloe was a gap with horror.

"If you have nothing important to say then you should, as many people often hope, be quite.", and leave her alone. Yet in the moment when she felt a calmness form in her chest, like many times before, a fire would come and pierce her skin.

"Kitsi are you alright?", students came up to check on their fellow student who was rubbing her wrist and forearm where the hot tea had splashed. It happened in an instant. Many seeing the heiress reach for the cup left on Kitsi's table. Before tossing the contents at the owner, who at the last moment blocked the hot liquid with her arm. Splashing the hot contents that steamed of her skin.

"Fine.", she winced a bit, still feeling a bit of a sting from the cooling liquid. With a couple of shakes she removed the access tea. Looking down at her hand she saw remnants of tea still dripping from her fingers. The mixture of voices and laughing overlapping with each other.

'This a special tea mom mother used to make me. Something to show our thanks.'

Taking a step forward, she burst forward. Quickly finding herself deep inside Chloe's space. That the girl barely had time to gasp as blue met striking maroon. The air thickened, becoming hot and thin. As Kitsi's formed that should be off by only a couple of inches, seemed to eclipse Chloe's own.

"Bourgeois.", she spoke in a tone that sent chills down the students spins, "That tea was a gift from someone close to me.", she said, "Apologize."

"Excuse me?"

"I said apologize.", for spilling her tea.

"Me? Apologize? For spilling some chea...", before she could finish her sentence she felt something hit her face. It was quick, but caused her head to snap to the side. Blue eyes widened in shock and as she recoiled back to see what had struck her she found nothing to show she had been struck by any object.

"I'm waiting.", her eyes didn't change, "Apologize."

"I told you I do not apologize. That is ridiculous. Utterly, utterly ridiculous.", she dismissed entirely. But, Kitsi didn't back down, instead she moved forward. Fingers twitching. Students looked on in anticipation at what would surely be Chloe Bourgeois final moment. Some taking out cellphones to record the incident.

"I. Said. Apologize.", she emphasized each word.

"Alright that's enough.", a clapping sound came through and students looked to see Madame Buster coming to break up the fight before it began, "This is no place for a fight."

"Trust me Ms. Bustier this isn't a fight."

"More a funeral.", Kitsi clenched her fist, "I'm going to paint the walls with your face.", she growled.

'Just one good hit should do it.'

"Alright that's enough. Both of you.", she intervened, "Fighting is not the answer.", though many might disagree given the beginning of how this all began. Many even encouraging it. Mostly for Kitsi to deck the heiress.

"Now then let's all just calm down and take a deep breathe.", she suggested.

"I am calm Ms. Bustier.", Chloe seemed to brag, "It's her that needs to take a breather."

"Chloe.", Ms. Bustier scolded silently before turning her attention to Kitsi who was still formed to strike the heiress, "Kitsi please. Take a deep breathe.", she instructed.

"I don't need to breathe.", she said, "I just need five seconds.", she said.

"To calm down?"

"No to put that brat in a coma.", she leered. Students backed away, fearing the worse as Kitsi seemed to be at her boiling, "I hope they have gourmet cooking in the hospital they send you too."

"Kitsi this is not the way. Hurting another student is not going to make you feel better.", though at this moment Kitsi would disagree, "Please just focus on the positive."

'Positive?', she played around with the words in her head. Positive was happy. Happiness was what made her feel good. Marinette made her happy.

Thinking of her classmate something did build in Kitsi's chest. Her heart beat slowed from it's anxious strumming.

Marinette made her happy. Marinette was her friend. Marinette never wanted to see Kitsi lose control. She promised she would never show that type of anger in front of Marinette. Because it made her sad.

'But...'

She isn't here.

Kitsi didn't say another word. Instead she closed her eyes and began to count. Beginning from ten, she slowly began to count down. Each number ticking slowly from her lips.

"3...2...1...", she took a deep breath, "0!"

"Now don't we all...", before the teacher finished her words Kitsi had gotten close to again. Blue eyes widened seeing those sharp yellow eyes glimmering before her. Hands clenched into a fist as she prepared to strike. Chloe made a gasping noise, stumbling back, she lost her footing and soon found herself on the floor.

The entire cafeteria was hushed. No one knew what had happened. Only now seeing the heiress fallen flat on her butt. Eyes wide, as they stared up at Kitsi who loomed over the heiress. Even the teachers, for all accounts, couldn't make heads or tails on what had transpired. Kitsi knelled down so she was eye level.

"See Bourgeois, Queen Bee, whatever you want to call yourself.", she sneered, eyes peering towards paled blue with a yellow illuminating over dark maroon, "For all the power you claim to have. And all the authority you try to place over other. And all the self-promoting glory you give yourself. Your just a larva, thinking no one's going to come and squash you."

"In the hive, Queen's have to fight for the right to the throne. And the other bee's will respectfully die for the Queen to survive.", she explained, "You hesitate. You rely on others to fight your fights. To clean up your messes.", while offering nothing to keep them in line other then empty words, "I'm not a bee, Chloe. And you're definitely no Queen.", because no one's going to move to protect a weak Queen, "If you aren't going to make a move. I suggest you move before someone takes your crown.", she advised with a coldness in her voice that burned the other girls ear, "And if you ever insult Marinette again. Or try to come at me for any reason. I will be the one you'll be dealing with.",with that final message Kitsi stood up. Passing a hard glance at her classmates who froze under the sharp gaze and a disappointed look to Ms. Bustier. The air around her still tense, but calmer as she retrieved her bag.

"Arigato gozaimasu.", she thanked the student for watching her things. The student's parted as Kitsi walked past. Once she was at the door, she seemed to hesitate. And without looking back she left the cafeteria. And after a moment, it seemed finally safe to breathe.


In the locker room...

After leaving the cafeteria, Kitsi had gone to change her shirt. Soiled and wet from the tea. After a quick change she decided to spend the rest of what should had been her lunch trying to remove the stains from the floral shirt.

"Hopefully Andrew can get this out.", or else she would be out a hundred euros. As she continued to try and salvage the top she heard the sound of footsteps. Looking up she saw a familiar pair of blue eyes.

"Kagami?", yes it was the prodigy fencer of the school. A late transfer who had come to enter the fencing school. While the two rarely spoke or saw each other, there was a kind of bond between the two as fellow warriors. She had come to meet her during the time of fencing tryouts which led to her akumatization. One of their more tougher akuma's, she couldn't deny she was a challenge. Observant and seemingly cold.

That was Kagami Tsurugi. A cold and observant fighter.

"I saw the debate.", the fencer said rather bluntly, "I was surprised by your speech.", to say the least. Though maybe surprised was the wrong word. She had only watched it to see how things played out. It was the talk of the school for a full week. Being built up as one of the biggest showdowns. At least in terms of bloggers.

"Domo.", Kitsi replied, though she might not call it a speech. More like a rant of weeks worth of frustration, "Your aren't upset, are you?", while she briefly mentioned her and her family, she didn't know how the fencer stood on the issue.

"I hold no issue with you.", she replied, "You surprised me with your commitment to your friend.", she commented, "Admittedly I had chosen not to get too invested in what was happening with that girl.", she referred to the transfer student and her stories. Even if she didn't show much emotion at times, Kagami was observant. Painfully so, that she could read a person by their body expressions and mannerism. So when this girl came up to her and tried to 'befriend' her, regaling her with stories of her famous relatives being fencing champions back in her home country, she could tell from the jump she was lying. Not from her stories, but by the very fact she could look at her and see she had no signs of being trained in any form of fencing. Evident by her lack of knowledge of the basic tools of the sport.

"I don't much care for those who try to use petty words as a means of success.", it cheapened the worth and hard work of others. And for Kagami it was a disgrace to the very profession for which life was built. You cannot skate through life being carried on the weight of others.

"As I don't care for those who think they can hurt my friends and think they'll see the sun tomorrow.", there was a level someone could put up with. And for Kitsi that line had been crossed a long time ago.

"Your loyalty is something to behold and fear.", she would deny she had a sense of caution when dealing Kitsi. She had heard rumors of the girl and found her interesting. Most of the talk around her consisted of the her feats in standing up against akumas. Having lasted her own against super villains who could had ended her, if their master took it too far.

And though her skill seemed more in hand to hand combat, from observing her during fencing practice that she and a few of her friends would come to support their classmate. She had observed Kitsi watching the practices. With a look Kagami could not place, hidden behind the illusion of half-interest or playful support. There was more to her then chose to let anyone see.

Kagami was curious and cautious. If she was not carefully, she would be burned by the very will of this girl.

Kitsi Inari. A fighter with the will of a sun.

"How is Marinette?", she asked. She had heard, in so few details, that the girl who she considered her rival in some aspects had been suspended from school for a number of incidents people were now considered as rumor.

"She's...coping.", Kitsi said, "After yesterday and these past few weeks she's staying at home to rest up.", she needed it.

"Understandable.", Kagami seemed to understand, "Do you know if she will be returning to school soon?"

"Hard to say.", as far as Kitsi knew her suspension was still activate. Not that she was expecting anything to really change. She still had grievances that hadn't been corrected. Like the incident on the first day of school, "I'm going to visit her after school. Assuming I'm not grounded.", after her parents and Andrew found out about today. She would be lucky if she saw the outside again. Though she had been in trouble for way worse, "Ugh, why didn't a get a hit in when I had the chance."

"You regret not hitting Chloe Bourgeois?"

"I've had so many occasions.", each one a missed opportunity, "If I do get in trouble, it wouldn't be the worse way.", wasteful maybe, but so worth it.

"Again I'm surprised you didn't strike when you did.", she, like many, expected her to have beaten the other into a mess on the floor, "Or would it not have been worth the effort."

"Actually that last time someone 'accidentally' spilled something on me. I broke his nose.", her hand slipped and her book ended up hitting him in the face. One accident of course, "I'm not an overly aggressive person. But, I'm not so passive I'll just stand back and let people throw rocks."

"No one favors the warrior who won't step into the field.", Kagami said, "I would have bet on you to win."

"Well winning is a bit much. I just wanted that brat to shut up.", as most people did.

"I think you may have done that.", that last she saw the girl was still a silently blubbering mess on the floor. Even if Kitsi didn't do anything physical, mentally Chloe looked scared. Although she had peered into the eyes of a monster, "Adrien and her friend were taking her to the nurses office. I trust your doing the same."

"No burns, just irritation.", so nothing to bad, "I keep some cream in my locker.", so she was fine, "I was actually thinking about going to the bakery to lay low."

"Skipping school."

"They know where to find me.", plus it was either there or home. And she wasn't about to drag anyone else into this mess, "I'm pretty sure if I use the roof...", she said and began planning her escape, "Though...maybe just forget it.", she dismissed.

"Planning a new escape?"

"Well not really.", she shook her head, "If I just up and leave it wouldn't look good either way.", might as well face the music, "On the plus side, if I do get suspended I can spend more time with Marinette!", her eyes lit up at the thought. Plus she wasn't so sure she was going to get grounded for something like this, "Gomen. Gomen. I always get spacey sometimes.", she apologized to Kagami, "Want to make an escape plan with me?" , she offered to finish their conversation.

"I was actually just leaving.", Kagami spoke before placing her hand on her shoulder. She leaned in and whispered...

"A warrior should never bite their tongue so hard they lose the will to speak"

With that she departed leaving Kitsi alone.

"So cool.", Whissp commented from inside her hair.

"Sugio.", Kitsi seemed to agree, "I like her."


In the headmaster's office...

As she suspected, Kitsi was called down to the headmaster's office. Escorted by the science teacher. She sat in the chair n front of the desk. Ms. Bustier and Ms. Mendeleev there was as well. No doubt for support.

"Now Ms. Inari, Kitsi, I've called you in here to discuss your...well the incident today in the cafeteria.", he said, "Before we get started I assure you that you aren't in any big trouble. But, the school are worried about this latest situation between you and Chloe."

"With all do respect to you and the staff, the level by which this school helps students is not exactly something to be happy about.", she admitted, "Including myself, a number of students have had some kind of grievance with one student or another and most of the time the methods to handle them are just a band-aid fix."

"Which is?"

"There have been students who have committed bullying, harassment, theft, and even assault.", and that was just on Chloe's record alone, "Recently Marinette had been unfairly suspended for something she didn't do. Couple with the fact that she was being bullied by Lila for weeks. To the point she threatened her verbally on multiple occasions."

"She told you this?"

"She didn't have too.", Kitsi had her suspicions and had confirmed them by following Marinette and monitoring her interactions with the transfer student, "The only reason she didn't talk about it is because this school seems to have this disillusioned bubble of thought that basically tells students to just lay down and hope for the best outcome if they're being bullied. Because there are 'worse people' than the ones hurting them and they don't have to 'stand up for themselves' because apparently people can change."

"It's basically gotten to a point where students are more passive to allow things like this to happen because they don't have the confidence to do anything about it. Or worse they get gas-lighted to think they hold a level of blame for the other person's behavior and that actually retaliating will only make things worse."

"And while this may seem out of line you hold as much fault in this.", she looked at Ms. Bustier with a look of accusation in her eyes.

"Excuse me?", the teacher seemed amiss.

"Whenever a student brings a grievance to you it isn't exactly helpful.", whether it was a disagreement or their being flat out bullied that action was always the same, "Talking things out is not the answer to everything. Especially when it comes to bullying. The reason a person picks on another is because they believe they believe or know this particular person or people won't retaliate. So they have no sense of consequence.", which meant they could do anything and only expect something minimal at best in terms of punishment, "Heck if Chloe was punished for even a fraction of the crimes she's committed almost half the akuma's in the city wouldn't have happened.", because she would have known no one was going to tolerate her behavior and she may have put more of an effort to change. Instead they caved and placated the situation because she threatened them with her father's power.

"Then you have other students who have down right threatened students, assaulted them, and spread baseless rumors about them that either get them in trouble or suspended without even investigating the incident.", for which Kitsi had been on more then few of those ends. Even in her first days at the school. Nothing was ever solved and she ended up having to take action just to keep her reputation.

"Now Kitsi, I understand you are upset. But, blaming your teacher is rather excessive.", the headmaster said.

"But, she isn't wrong.", the science teacher spoke up, "We can't allow students to think they can't be punished. This school would be a free for all.", a lesson shown by how Ms. Mendeleev refused to back down from her students or accept any type of mischief in her class. Being one of the few teachers who actually punished students with actual consequences for their misbehavior. Even Chloe and Lila who were the main troublemakers in her eyes.

"That is a valid point. But, we can't have students becoming upset over every little things. Especially with akuma's about.", they had to make sure everyone was safe.

"Even if you managed to quell the little problems, it doesn't change the fact that they will have emotions.", that was life, "What do you think is worse? A student who gets upset about a test score or a student being bullied and refuses to talk about it?", or who doesn't get help in time and ends up looking to their own means to for help.

"The reason half these akuma's haven't been so bad is because their playing off of small emotions that would disappear over a short period of time.", a couple hours at best, "But, if that student was actually hurting. Emotionally scared or physically hurt, the negativity grows because this person will literally want to inflict the same amount of pain or more to those that hurt them.", not just some one time deal or childish form of payback. Reminding them of the last akuma's the city had to deal with.

"Gray Palette made all his victims blind. Artisassassin made people's emotions flair to the point there was physical violence with people attacking each other. King Shark was going to turn half the city into shark food because someone nearly contaminated the water of the shark tanks with colored dye as a prank, and the Gladiator had turned half of Paris into a Colosseum and had people fight in death matches to protect his girlfriend.", all of them were hurt in a way that would leave emotional scars because they themselves were hurt so badly, "And what's worse is no one got punished. Like defeating the akuma and revealing the problem would fix it, but there was no resolution.", just some ham-fisted lesson and a talk, "They'll still remembered being harassed or bullied. What's happens after that is just a guess.", the only thing that they didn't remember was being akumatized, not the cause. It always lingered.

"Marinette was basically having a panic attack when she was almost akumatized. One of the most positive people in this insane place, was pushed to the point where she was almost a victim.", and even after being a model citizen in terms of character, she was still vilified because of baseless rumors, gas-lighted when she tried to stick up for herself, and on top of that suspended because no one seemed to care about her feelings. Even now when she wasn't in school.

"And you believe this is Ms. Bustiers fault?"

Kitsi sighed a bit, "She allows students, her class, to get away with things no parent, teacher, or sensible person would allow. Even this latest thing with the seat changes was completely the definition of allowing students too much leeway.", she wasn't even there, but even she would be pissed off if she had to move her seat for no reason other than to accommodate someone else, "Like letting them change the seating chart."

"The students voted to move seats.", she explained.

"But, not Marinette. She never got one word in.", she didn't have a choice, even Kitsi didn't get a vote, "But, instead of disciplining the students and acting like a teacher, you allowed not only one of your students to be put in the back by herself. But, you also gas-lighted her, again, that she needs to be a role model for everyone else. As a teacher it is your job to lead by example and make sure students are behaving. Not just respecting each other.", for which she failed to do either of on multiple occasions because she manipulated the situation, "And the only reason the seats were changed was because Lila claimed to have some ear injury after saving a cat. Which has been proven false because Jagged Stone never had a cat and there's nothing in her file that she even had one to begin with.", which included a number of ailments and injuries she claimed, "But, she's given her way because lies and plays on peoples oblivious sympathies.", which in Kitsi's mind made her look more pathetic then the blatant lying.

"No one even checked to see if these lies were true. While everyone else had to bend over backwards for her.", giving her special treatment when she didn't even need it, "Even now, the reason I'm in the office, is because you tried to guilt me making amends with my classmates because they've been acting like a bunch of jerks for weeks.", and that's just asinine.

"I only suggested..."

"No you asked me if I would take a number of classmates their homework.", for which she only asked for Marinette's, "When I respectfully declined to take the others, you continued to press me to accept what I assume is some plan to have everyone talk things out and try to find common ground.", and again that was just wrong, "After everything I've personally had to put up with this class alone should make it clear I want nothing to do with them. Because they pushed me to this point.", yet again she had to be a villain. The antagonist and not the victim.

"I didn't mean...I thought it would be a good idea to have a classmate delivering homework to their fellow classmates.", it had been done before.

"In some instances that's fine.", she's done before herself with little to no complaints, "But, when you factor in who is actually doing the job. You also have to consider why they might not want to.", not just because they don't want to, "And for this reason I have to be in the headmasters officer? Did Nathanael get lectured when he didn't bring me my work?"

"He didn't?"

"Iie.", she shook her head, "When I was out sick no one even visited me from this school.", she didn't find out about her work until she returned and had to ask for an extension. While also being lectured about the responsibility to keep up with her work, "Ever since I've been to this school I've had to deal with baseless rumors, unchecked gossip, and have been put into situations that anyone would classify as assault.", bringing up the incidents where she got pelted with paint at the park because someone made up a rumor she was Hawkmoth of all people, got an apple thrown at her as a form of retaliation, and has been nearly akumatized more than she liked to count, "But, instead of getting help this school and half the staff are all to willing to sweep in under the rug.", and she was sick of it., "Even now, after the incident in the cafeteria when Chloe basically came up to me after I was basically isolated by the very classmates you wanted me to make amends with. I was leaving. But, she and them kept goading me because they wanted a reaction.", and that wasn't fair, "I didn't touch Chloe. Not once. I asked for an apology and she refused.", then somehow fell to the floor and began to cry.

"And lest we forget she spilled tea on me. Hot tea that could have burned me.", that goodness her backpack was on her lap, "That's assault.", because she did it on purpose and there were witnesses to it. But, as many things, it was being swept aside.

"Are you hurt?", the teacher's asked.

"No. Ms. Mendeleev took me to the nurse's office to get treatment.", luckily the tea hadn't seeped through. She had a bit of irritation and now much else. Still it was humiliating and frustrating all the same, "Which has brought us to this point. Because I can't trust anyone in this school to actually do their jobs, I've had to actually bring in the legal system to actually get some justice for not only myself, but other students.", which meant retaining her parents lawyers. Professional lawyers had to come and explain what certified teachers and staff were doing wrong. Reaching into her wallet she pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to the headmasters.

"What's this?"

"This is the number to my parents lawyer. They'll be here tomorrow morning.", they should be on a plane and in the city by tonight.

"L-Lawyers?", he blinked.

"Kitsi this is going too far."

"You think I want to do this? I'm on full damage control as it is in my own personal life. But, if I have to continue to be gas-lighted and deal with the same cookie-cutter, band-aid solutions then this is the only option I have left.", so she called her parents and had their lawyers coming to Paris. Visually explaining the situation, but making it clear they were needed.

"Are you doing this because of Marinette?"

"It's not just Marinette getting suspended or me having to deal with rumors.", it was the base of it, but still not only the reasons she had chosen to do this, "It's the fact this school and most of the staff and students will turn a blind eye to injustice and then gaslight the actual victims in order to placate both sides for the sake of 'calmness'. When in fact they're only enabling the situation to continue and making the situation worse for the actual person being hurt.", and that needed to end, "If it has to come to this then fine. I don't expect anyone to come out clean. I don't expect everyone to be happy.", she didn't expect much, but she would do everything she could to change things. It was hypocritical to preach about not standing up for the greater good, if your constantly getting punished for it.

"If you want to try to turn this on me go ahead. But know that after tomorrow, when my parents lawyers come, everything will be handled through them.", and she would step aside since they most likely won't let her speak, "I am done being the lightning rod and being victimized to placate others. Let someone else have strike.", and see how it feels on the other end, "I've said all I needed to say. If your going to punish me fine. But, I won't apologize for having feelings and choosing not to lay down anymore.", and she definitely wasn't going to be guilted into thinking otherwise.

The teachers were silent. After a moment, the headmaster cleared his throat.

"Er, Ms. Bustier, Ms. Mendeleev, may I please speak to Ms. Inari alone.", he instructed and the two female teachers left to allow the headmaster to speak to Kitsi. Kitsi herself refusing to look at Ms. Bustier, who halted for a moment, before following her fellow instructive out of the office.

"Now Kitsi.", he began, carefully bring her attention to the conversation, "It seems the school has done a disservice to you and many of your fellow classmates. And for that I apologize.", he said, "If the school or staff are not meeting expectations it is within your right to report any issues.", and not feel like it didn't matter, "As the headmaster of this school I put the faith in my staff and instructions to not only teach their students, but provided a safe environment and be able to handle and problems that may arise.", whether it be civilian or akuma, "Though it seemed I, and they, have allowed certain issues to slip through the cracks. And for that I deeply apologize.", to not only Kitsi, but those who believed they had to recourse of justice.

"While I appreciate the apology.", for what it was worth, "I don't need apologizes. What I need is support.", she needed action, "I understand the importance of turning the other cheek. As much as I know when to stand up to people.", and in that moment that's what she did.

"I've heard from Madame Bustier. I like to hear from you.", he gave her the floor to speak, "What happened in the cafeteria?"

Kitsi took a deep breathe and spoke. She told the principal how she had been eating alone. How because of the incident in which Alya had challenged another student to a debate. How she was being cross examined and couldn't back up the information she had been posting on her blog. One thing led to another and Kitsi had been thrown in. Only escalating when they tried to drag her name, again, and how she had chewed them out for their behavior, "I pretty much went off on them. Although some have told me how wrong I was for doing it."

"I didn't want to be a martyr anymore.", not when she had no choice.

"I see.", the principal grew rather silent, "You said you told them about the incident in the classroom a few month's prior."

"Hai.", she nodded, "During that time I was facing some...hard times.", mostly due to rumors, "I got upset and ran to a classroom to compose my feelings.", which ended up nearly being akumatized. Although she wasn't, she still held scars from what happened, "Although people made speculation that it was another student who had been akumatized. And that I was the one that bullied them.", even if there was no proof to the rumor, it didn't stop people from assuming the worst about Kitsi.

"And you didn't."

"Although my emotions might seem extreme at some points. I only ever raise them when I feel I must defend myself or others.", which included people trying to intimidate her or anyone else, "What's worse is that Madame Bustier was one of three people that saw this.", and still offered only hollow words to comfort her.

"She witnessed this.", that was an interesting fact. During that time he remembered the school being evacuated and the heroes coming. But, finding no akuma. After no sightings or damage was done, the heroes announced that everything was fine. Never revealing a victim. Though with the city safe and citizens unharmed nobody paid much attention until the next akuma attack. Though he was curious about what had happened to the classroom since no akuma was found. Wondering who had damaged it. But, over time it was fixed and no one seemed to bat an eye.

But, it seems there was a victim.

"So in the cafeteria..."

"Again I was eating lunch.", she began again, "Next thing I know Chloe comes up to me. Trying to lecture me about my temper and how I had no right to say what I did.", in some aspects she found it funny and even laughed. One thing led to another and then Kitsi found hot tea in her lap before being laughed at. And as soon as she was about to get her hands on Chloe, the teacher stepped in, "It was hurtful and humiliating."

"I'm sorry you had to go though that.", he was both sympathetic and rather upset. Saddened that Kitsi was going through such a hard time for standing up for herself. But, disappointed in the behavior of the staff's inaction, "No student should have to deal with this type of behavior from their own fellow students or inaction from their instructions.", it was embarrassing for not only the school, but themselves as well, "As the headmaster, you have my word that I will be handling this matter and all other matter personally.", he vowed.

"I don't want any major changes or even any special accommodations.", her hand and ankle were pretty much healed at this point. And she had grown accustomed to her desks as well as her locker, "All I want is for some actual enforcement of policy in this school. No more placation or gas-lighting to try and keep things in the gray.", because is was proving not to work, "If a student is doing something wrong then they should be punished accordingly. If there is an issue then there should be proof to their claims or at best an investigation into the incident. Not trying to pacify both ends, but an actual look in the situation and action taken to ensure an unbiased result."

"I also want teachers to look into claims students make without visible proof. Like when medical issues suddenly pop up without reason.", that's what they had records for, to keep track of this stuff, "And if a teacher or staff member hears a rumor that they know could harm the student they need to quickly quell the situation. Or else it's going to grow and become so rooted it can't be fully removed.", like in in grown weed, "Teachers and staff need to step up and be held accountable. If you see someone is hurting or being bullied then step in before it escalates.", like this moment now.

And the headmaster seemed to agree. Giving a single, but understanding.

"You have my word that I will personally look into these situations.", he promised, "Until then I'm sending you home early.", not as a punishment, but rather a reward in a sense.

"Arigato Damocles-sensei.", she smiled before standing up and taking her leave.


It didn't take long for the incident in the cafeteria to reach out into the rest of the schools. Student's had gone to class sharing the news of how Kitsi and Chloe came to blow. Though not physically, the image of Kitsi basically staring Chloe into submission would forever be burned into the minds of all who witnessed it. And student's were careful how they repeated the news, remembering well of Kitsi's dislike for false news. Including gossip that had been changed.

"That was brutal."

"I've never seen someone go off like that.", many had seen people stand up to Chloe, but never to the point of unleashing a verbal beat down on the spoiled girl.

"Chloe kinda deserved it."

"Someone said they saw Chloe crying after she got told off."

"She might have been faking it. She uses those fake tears so much. I bet she's just trying to get sympathy and for people to feel bad for her."

"Chloe talks about people all the time. She was getting a taste of her own medicine." another student said, "If you ask me someone needed to bring her big head of hers back down to earth."

"Chloe can be a major pain. I'm surprised it took this long for someone to go off on her."

"They say they saw her spill hot tea right on Kitsi!", as a petty way to get back at Kitsi.

"If I was Kitsi I so would have punched Bourgeois in the face."

"She hasn't changed one bit!"

"I heard it was all a set up!", by her own classmates because Kitsi called them out.

Talking was non-stop. And it seemed no sympathy was shared for the self-proclaimed heroine of the city. Who had marched in the cafeteria as though she was some messenger of mercy to lecture Kitsi on humility and place blame on her for the akuma attacks. Which, for anyone who knew the heiress, would surely have laughed as Kitsi did, at the very notion she had the right to lecture anyone. Only to be stared down to her knees on the cafeteria floor. As what others saw as an act of unnecessary mercy.

In the courtyard, Ms. Bustier class were seated around the steps. After the incident in the lunchroom students had been told to vacate to other parts of the school to finish their lunch. Many convening in the yard where students were continuously talking about the confrontation. After Kitsi left, Chloe was taken to the nurses office. Seemingly in shock, eyes wet with tears that leaked out. No word had been heard yet about her condition.

Though judging by the talks around the school people weren't exactly sympathetic to the heiresses plight. For many the heiress had gotten what she deserved. No one would mourn for a selfish Queen.

For Ms. Bustier class, they were a mix of emotions. It was hard to place what everyone was feeling. Mostly because no one had talked about what had happened. Especially after the look Kitsi had given them before she left. Like a silent warning that something was to come. And it wasn't good.

Even Alya, who had filmed the confrontation, wasn't looking to sure of the decision. Seeing Kitsi take down Chloe without even a touch would make anyone nervous. Proving that there was more to Kitsi then brute force. As many suspected or perceived that the heiress would cause Kitsi to lash out. Proving she worked with her temper.

Yet in that moment...

"Well I hope you all are proud of yourselves.", the students looked up to see a group of familiar students. Many of whom they had classes or club activities with.

"What was that?"

"That stunt you pulled in the cafeteria.", it was Aurora who had spoken, "How could you do something so mean?"

"What are you talking about? We didn't do anything."

"Like we didn't see you filming the entire time."

"A lot of people were filming.", it happened when things like this happened.

"Yeah, but you started filming just as Chloe was going up to Kitsi's table.", meaning they knew what Chloe had planned on doing or had an idea, "How could you stand by and let that happen?"

"We didn't let it happen.", they defended, "That was just Chloe being Chloe. Plus she and Kitsi are always having tiffs."

"You call what she did a tiff?", it was insulting, "She comes up to her table for no reason, berates Kitsi in front of everyone, and then on top of that threw hot coffee on Kitsi.", who thankfully managed to block it with her arm before it hit her face.

"It was tea."

"Like it matters.", it was still hot and could have burnt her, "Meanwhile, you were all joking about it.", people saw them snickering away. Especially when Chloe seemed to be getting the upper hand over Kitsi. Which was minimal at best. Many students seemed to be sympathizing with Kitsi more then anything. She was the victim in their eyes.

"I hope she's okay.", one student said as many wondered what happened to her after she left. Some even thinking she might have gotten burned by the tea.

"Oh come you guys are being ridiculous.", all eyes fell on Alya who had spoken up, "It was just some stupid argument. Plus you don't even know the whole story. Chloe was just standing up for the class after what Kitsi said about us yesterday."

"Are you joking?", Jean spoke.

"Huh?"

"You expect us to believe thee Chloe was standing up for anyone but herself?", that was laughable.

"It could happen.", the blogger tried to persuade, "I mean after what happened during the debate. Anyone would be upset."

"You mean like Kitsi after you and your class tried to drag her name.", she reminded that the reason that Kitsi did what she did was because of them, "You were calling her a monster."

"What do you call what happened in the cafeteria?"

"Well deserved.", a bit late, but well needed, "Chloe has been a pain in our butts since day one. And ever since she got a miraculous she thinks she's even better then us.", always bragging about Queen Bee and being so close to Ladybug.

"Then she wants to lecture Kitsi of all people of being a hero.", she's saved people without a miraculous and didn't get a fraction of the praise Chloe believed she deserved.

"If you ask me Kitsi was only defending herself.", the other students nodded.

"But...she...made Chloe cry."

"I say fake.", anyone who knew the heiress knew she could use crocodile tears to sway people, "Speaking of fake, where's that friend of yours. Lola?", Aurora question.

"You mean Lila?", she corrected.

"More like Liar.", she corrected back, "Haven't seen her face since the debates. What did she turn tail?"

"Hey back off weather girl.", Alya warned.

"Make me LadyDictator.", she shot back, "It's funny how all her stories were picked apart she decides to not to show up to school.", it was suspicious.

"Maybe she found some hole to hide in.", someone added.

"No way.", Nino spoke up, "If you must know she's in New York traveling with her mom on business."

"Uh huh.", the students didn't seem to buy it.

"It's true. She video chatted with us from on top of the Empire State Building.", the students said rather proudly.

"I bet.", Aurora dismissed, "She's lying."

"She is not.", Alya stated.

"Oh yeah. Prove it.", she said, "If she's off to New York she and you should have no problem proving otherwise. Though given your track record I wouldn't even bother.", she commented. Alya fumed at the other girl.

"Hey lay off her.", Nino said.

"It's not our fault your content sucks now.", she directed at Alya.

"What are you talking about?"

"We're talking about how you and your classmates have been treating Kitsi.", they weren't blind and saw how the other student's had been, in their minds, harassing the other student. Retaliation no doubt for Kitsi chewing them out after they had called her out during what should have been a simple debate on content and fact checking, "You guys are seriously mental."

"What?"

"More like cruel and heartless.", Aurora added, "What you did to her was beyond low."

"It...she..."

"Kitsi was just eating lunch.", many felt bad for her because she had been eating alone. No doubt because her classmates had forced her there. Other students were planning to eat with her, until Chloe had gone and basically went on her tantrums. To the point of spilling hot tea on the poor girl's lap, "You all should be ashamed of yourselves."

"Hold on. How is this on us? Chloe was the one..."

"Oh don't even try to pull that card.", knowing they were going to try and blame it on the heiress, "We all know for a fact you had a hand in that display."

"Plus she's in your class.", meaning they had a responsibility to keep her in check, "Either put a leash on that girl or a muzzle.", either one would work.

"Hey aren't we taking this a bit too far.", Adrien tried to step in.

"Oh get off your soup box Agreste.", the other student's dismissed, "If anything you should learn to control her."

"Huh?"

"She's your childhood friend.", he should more control over her attitude since they basically grew up together.

"Look I know what Chloe did wasn't right. But, getting this upset isn't helping anyone.", especially during times when butterflies come around.

"Well putting up with Bourgeois or anyone from the same class isn't helping any of us.", the other's student's voiced.

"What's that's supposed to mean?"

"It means that were sick of dealing with the drama from this class.", everyday it was always something, "Your class has the most akumatizations and three of the worst students in school."

"Three."

"Chloe Bourgeois. Lila Rossi. And of course you, Alya Cesaire."

"Hold up, I know you did not put me on a list with Chloe of all people.", Alya scoffed.

"If the hypocrisy fits."

"All three of you are lairs, bullies, egomaniacs, self-entitled, and above all else the most nosy people in the entire school.", along with gossipers who almost were in people's ears, "The only difference is how much we actually put up with.", Which had been thinning in the past couple of days.

"I knew reporters were kind of news hounds. But, that was mean."

"And I thought Chloe Bourgeois was bad."

"Whoa, Whoa, I am not as bad as Chloe Bourgeois.", Alya defended.

"Yeah, your worse.", the student's stared pointedly at Alya who shrank back a bit under the gaze.

"Not only did you bully Kitsi after she rightly called you out. You had to humiliate her in front of everyone. Then laughing about and recording it on top of that."

"You're the worst.", they glared at the class.

They expected better from her since she reported on the heroes and usually hung around Marinette. Who, around the school, was one of the sweetest and kindest girls in school. Which only made things more devastating when they found out she had been suspended without cause and that none of her friends even tried to speak up with her. Coupled with the blogger's performance with her classmates days priors. Cemented the growing ire of the other students against the class.

"Well what do you expect, it seems everyone who comes out of that class are turning into jerks."

"Let's go. Before we're targeted next.", the group of students dispersed and left their separate ways. Not wishing or wanting to be near the other students any longer. Though Aurora seemed to stay back.

"Oh and by the way, here's a heads up.", she unfolded her parasol, "Paris will expecting a quick cold shower.", she announced.

"Cold shower?", the students looked at each other.

"I don't see any clouds."

'SPLASH!'

The students let out a number of screams as cold water rained from sky. Soaking the students of the class in a flood of water to much to be just rain.

"WHAT WAS THAT!?", Alya yelled having been soaked.

Looking up the class saw a group of students with large canisters. No doubt used to dump the water on her.

"Direct hit.", the boys gave each other high fives as the courtyard burst into laughter.

"That was payback.", Aurora spoke, "Now you really look washed up. This has been your breaking weather report!", with a turn she walked off, twirling her parasol with a smug and content look on her face. While the rest of the class were taking care of Alya who was still in shock at what just happened.


Tom and Sabine's Bakery...

After deciding to leave school for the day, Kitsi decided to help out at her friends bakery. With her on bed rest, Kitsi had stepped in to lend a helping hand. Business had been on the up. Especially with a number of celebrities who had visited and spoke well of the baked goods. It was only a matter of time before more customers began to show.

Kitsi was up front helping out the customers while Sabine and Tom were in the back preparing the orders.

"Thank you, come again.", Kitsi smiled, "Next please.", there were only a few customers left. And soon they would be closing, "Hello how may I...oh for the love of..."

"H-Hey Kitsi.", Adrien greeted, "I didn't know you were working here.", he said trying to make small talk.

"Mr. and Ms. Dupain-Cheng were short handed. So I volunteered to help them out.", which was why she was at the counter, "How can I help you today?", because he definitely wasn't helping her.

"I wasn't really..."

"If you aren't ready to order please stand aside and look at our wide variety of deserts.", she offered.

"Actually I was hoping we could talk.", he mentioned.

"As you can see the store is a bit busy.", thank Kami for that, "If you have a question please wait until closing.", if was still there. She suspected him to be gone by then. Given his schedule there was no way he could stay.

But, like anything else, the universe loved to prove her wrong.

As closing time came and the last customer was served with a smile and sent on there way. Adrien was still there. Thankfully the owners excused themselves upstairs so they could speak. Trusting Kitsi to lock up.

"Okay what do you want?", Kitsi questions.

"I...just came to...", he paused trying to collect himself, "About what happened in the cafeteria. Don't you think you were a bit harsh to Chloe?"

Kitsi eye ticked a couple of times.

"So you came all this way to make sure I wasn't going to punch Chloe in the throat after poured hot tea on me.", her voice was blunt, "Luckily the tea wasn't too hot to leave burns. Thanks for asking.", her words dripped with sarcasm.

"Sorry. Are you...", but a look for Kitsi told him not to finish his question. "Are you okay? I mean...when you left..."

"Yeah I'm great. Public humiliation does wonders for nerves.", she rolled her eyes, "If you aren't' going to buy anything, please go home.", she instructed, "But please, come again.", when she wasn't there.

"But, I wanted to talk. When you left things got out of control."

"I'm sure.", she didn't look interested, "You've already made it clear whose side your on.", and talking wasn't going to fix it.

"I was just put in a difficult situation.", he tried to explain.

"Well here's a simple situation.", she said, "You can either walk back through the door you came in or you can...no that's it."

"You want me to leave?"

"Oh was I not being clear enough?", she find sadness, "Gomen. Let me make this much more clearer. I know how these things go over your head.", she paused to collect her words, "If you don't get out of my sight in the next ten seconds I'm going to to throw you out and not see where you land.", and she would do it no problem. The boy couldn't be more than a few hundred pounds.

"But..."

"No but's Agreste.", she used his last name, not good, "You made your decision. But, I didn't have much hope for you or them anyway."

"But Kitsi..."

"Nope. I don't want to hear anything from you or say anything to you.", she stated firmly.

"You don't even want to talk to me?"

"Why so you can go blab it to everyone else or try to spin this to make me look bad? Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice shame on you. But, keep trying to fool me and you'll end up in the hospital.", and she hoped for the latter. She really needed something to punch right now.

Adrien gulped.

"I told told you. I repeatedly told you to leave it alone. And what do you do?", the exact opposite and tries to play middle ground, "Why did you even get involved?", especially when he didn't have any information on the matter other than what others were saying.

"I was only trying to help.", he thought he could talk with everyone and smooth things over. He didn't think it would escalate as it did.

"Well you don't have to worry about that happening anymore."

"What does that mean?"

"It means I don't want anything to do with you or anyone else from that school.", she declared, "That includes Marinette. We are done being everyone's lightening rods and wells of self-wanted sympathy.", it was ridiculous and unfair, "In the past weeks alone I had to deal with baseless rumors and harassment. Everyone was so quick to think the worst of Marinette or anyone would didn't buy that lairs snake-oil.", and even now they still didn't understand how wrong they had been.

"Please your just as bad, if not worse than them. You knew for a fact that girl was a liar and was causing trouble. But, you couldn't even grow a spine to call her out when you had the chance.", instead being a jellyfish and not providing any help. Actually she might be giving him too much credit. At least jellyfish could sting people and leave a somewhat fatal burn on their enemies, "You only cared about this girl getting hurt. That she wouldn't change if she was called out."

"So how's that plan working out for you?", how was it on his high ground?

"I didn't...I didn't think things would get this out of hand."

Was that a joke?

"Out of hand? This is by definition a train wreck.", and the casualty count was only getting higher.

"I-I thought she could change."

"People don't change because you ask them. Without any type of reason or punishment for actions people will just say they'll do better. Pretend to have learned their lesson. And then go right back to doing what they do because they know they won't face any consequences.", without some form of karma for bad behavior what was the point of trying to be better. And people will just turn a blind eye because they're so willing to sweep it under the rug and avoid confrontation. Just to keep them comfortable. Meanwhile, the real victims suffer, "And you think I went too far because I gave the pain in the backside, spoiled rotten, egocentric Bourgeois the lashing she's deserved sense day one.", in her mind it wasn't even a fraction of what that brat deserved. Wishing she did at least get a few good hits in.

"I just think that maybe...I mean did you have to do it in public?"

"In pub...", Kitsi puffed her cheeks, her face turning red for a moment, "Are you mental? Tell me did you give Bourgeois or any of your classmates this lecture? Especially since they had the nerve humiliate me in front of the public.", she leered at him.

"Can...I go talk to her?", he asked. Seemingly a bit hopeful that Kitsi would allow him to go speak with Marinette.

"No you cannot.", she said, "I just got her to go to sleep. She needs to rest.", she was tired.

"I just want to make sure she's okay."

"You had plenty of time to do that.", but he threw away each chance to keep on his moral high ground and try to play peacekeeper in what was now classified as a war zone, "Plus you seeing her wouldn't do any good.", not for Marinette, Not for Adrien, and definitely not for Kitsi, "Just go home.", she added.

"Will you at least tell her I came by?", again there was a small flicker of hope in those eyes.

Kitsi just looked at him, "Goodnight Agreste.", was her final words before she went back to finish cleaning up for the night.

Seeing that Kitsi wouldn't and not waiting to catch more of her ire, Adrien sighed sadly and took his leave.


"A bit harsh wasn't she?", Plagg commented from inside Adrien's jacket, "She could have at least offered us some snacks.", especially with all those delicious pastries around.

"No, she's right.", he exhaled, "I wasn't being a good friend. I left Marinette alone and she had to suffer by herself.", a real friend wouldn't do that. He knew that she was right, but he choose the cowards way out. He didn't deserve to see her.

"Cheer up kid. I'm sure by tomorrow everything will be fine.", these things tended to fix themselves the next day.

Adrien only sighed and headed home. He would try to see Marinette tomorrow. But, something in his gut told him this week was just getting started.


To Be Continued...


A/N: Please remember to comment and review.

Next Chapter: Kitsi spends some time with Marinette, advice is given, lines are drawn, and someone may never be coming back.

Next Time: If We All Go Down


 

Chapter Text

 


"So how are we feeling today?", Kitsi asked.

"A lot better really.", Marinette replied. After the incident days prior, her parents had put her on bed rest. Though she knew they wanted her to feel better, she felt guilty leaving them short-handed and making them worry over her. Something they dismissed, wanting only for their daughter to regain her strength and focus on herself.

For Kitsi's part, she had come to visit her. Whether it was a wellness check or to make sure Marinette was actually resting.

"I'm glad. As long as you're not trying to sneak out of bed or overwork yourself.", she was happy.

"Now you sound like my parents.", Marinette commented, "Still thank you for caring so much.", it was nice.

"What are friends for.", Kitsi smiled, "Anyway I stopped by to lend a hand before I went to school.", apparently, someone was coming to pick up a wedding cake and they needed extra hands.

"Speaking of which, how are things? At the school?", she asked carefully. She knew it was a tender subject for both of them. But, she still wanted to know.

Kitsi hummed a bit and gave a light shrug, "It's okay.", she supposed, "I've had to deal with some people, but nothing that couldn't be handled."

"Oh?", she blinked, "I'm sorry to bring it up. It's just after...that. I was just curious. And..."

"You don't have to apologize.", Kitsi said, "You have every right to ask questions.", even if Kitsi didn't think she needed to be bothered with it, "Truth be told I may have said some things - a lot of things. And basically rubbed some people the wrong way.", down to the white meat.

"What happened?", Marinette asked curiously. She had been avoiding the subject for a while, but having heard about the confrontation, she was now needed details.

Kitsi hadn't said much about the incident. Especially in front of Marinette. She worried that it might cause her too much stress and couldn't risk her having another breakdown.

"Well while you were napping after the whole incident with Butterfly for Brains. I sorta went on the blog. The one he was doing against...Alya.", she said.

"Oh?", she listened as Kitsi explained how she basically crashed the live debate and basically took over for Donny after her name was brought into the discussion.

"Besides being called a monster and mindless beast, honestly I didn't stay to see the results.", if she stayed any longer she would have punched Marinette's computer screen.

"Oh, Kitsi.", she frowned.

"It's fine Marinette.", she shook her head, "I'm pretty used to it. I mean, I've been called much worse if you can believe that.", honestly, she expected worse.

"You shouldn't have been called anything like that in the first place.", it was wrong, "Your not a monster or a beast."

"I take it more as a compliment to my strength and ability to sustain myself in combat.", so she didn't worry about it as many might think, "I don't care what people think of me. I'm the one going out there, not them. And if I have to put my fists up, then I'm fine with that too."

Marinette gave a small, yet worried smile. While she had no doubts about Kitsi being able to handle herself. She worried that she was putting too much on herself for the sake of others. She put herself in harm's way almost every day when situations arise. Running into battles with little to no hesitation. Promising to fight. Even if she lost, she vowed to come back.

Kitsi was a fighter.

Marinette admired her. But, also feared for her.

"Just try not to put too much on yourself."

Kitsi just gave a small laugh, "I'll try. But, I make no promises.", even she had her buttons.

"I just don't want you to get in trouble.", especially over things she didn't control, "I just don't want you to gain any unneeded negative emotions."

"I should be asking how you're doing? No butterflies giving you trouble.", she hoped as she peered around.

"No, it's fine. I think these naps really helped.", especially with the tea, her mom made her, "Thank you again. For saving me."

"Anytime.", she gave a small smile, "If you ever need to talk about anything, I'm only a phone call away."

"Same to you.", she smiled back, "Friends?"

"Always.", she bumped her knuckles, "So when do you think you'll be able to come back to school?", she asked carefully bringing up her return to classes. While she couldn't deny she missed hanging out together and seeing her around the school. She also wouldn't deny her contempt of having her back at school. Especially with things the way they were now.

"Well, actually this morning the strangest thing happened.", the school, the headmaster, had called her house this morning. Before my parents could even get a greeting in, the headmaster had been apologizing for having suspended their daughter so suddenly and had welcomed her back.

"Oh did they?", somehow Kitsi wasn't surprised. After the conversation yesterday she was sure the school had caught wind of it. No doubt the headmaster had kept his promise to do an actual investigation. Whether out of common sense or the backlash this would have on the school and the administration. Or more likely he was genuine with his words. She knew he wasn't a bad person. Just made decisions that seemed good at the time. Even his quirky, Owl, persona had grown on her.

"My suspension has been lifted and I can come back when I'm ready.", she said with a slight smile, "What do you think?"

"I pictured more groveling.", lots and lots of groveling, prostrating and apologizing.

"Isn't that a bit much?"

"Marinette.", she began, "As much as I try to make light of certain situations. At this particular moment, I want feet kissing and begs for forgiveness.", groveling was only the beginning, "I'm still fuming that you of all people got suspended.", and nearly had a panic attack from the stress she had been under. And nearly being akumatized was the cherry on top the cluster-mess up.

"I know.", she exhaled, "I was pretty upset about it myself.", disappointed and angry and above all else sad, "I don't know if I'm going to be back at school anytime soon. Is that okay?"

"You take all the time you need.", her health was the only concern and she deserved some rest, "Remember just because you want to fight for other people's smiles. Never forget you're here too.", and her happiness was worth just as much as everyone else's, "Meanwhile, I'll be keeping things straight at school until your ready to come back.", and since they were going to be desk mates she was going to make sure she was just as comfortable, if not more then her old seat.

"And before I forget, you got a letter.", she nearly forgot the other reason she had come, For you."

"A letter? For you?", from who?

"Actually it's a note.", she said, "From Adrien~"

"A-Adrien sent this?", she blinked, "He letter me sent...no I mean. He wrote to me?"

Kitsi chuckled a bit, "Yeah. He asked me to hand deliver it to you.", dropping it off at the bakery before school started. She caught him talking to himself outside the bakery and told him she would take it to Marinette.

"He did?", she looked down at the envelope. The paper was fresh and had a smooth feel to its pink card stalk, "Should I open it?"

"Usually that's what people do when they get mail.", though some situations warrant different levels of approaches, "Don't you want to know what your crush has to say.", though she might have a clue.

"I am curious.', in the past, she would have opened the letter without hesitation, nervousness, but still she would have definitely wanted to see what was inside. Especially if it was written by her crush, "But...", she felt conflicted.

"Like I said take your time.", she didn't have to rush things, "Whatever makes you feel better."

"Anyway, I better get to class before I'm given a tardy.", again, "I'll be back after school with notes and some amenities. If you need anything at all just call me."

"Right, thanks.", Marinette smiled as she watched her friend head down the trap door. Once she was alone again she exhaled.

"What's wrong Marinette?", Tikki asked as she flew out of her hiding place, "Are you feeling sick again?"

"It's not just that. Kitsi has been trying to make sure I don't lift a finger.", in the sense of her doing her responsibilities, "Do you think she's putting to much work on herself?"

"I think Kitsi just wants you to rest.", she did go through a bit of trauma, "She wants what's best for you. Like any friend would."

"I know, but I feel like she's going through too much trouble.", and for her.

"You're her friend Marinette.", and friends always wanted the best for each other.

"Still...", she remembered. When she was in that dark place. Crying, alone in her room she never even noticed the darkness near. And when it looked like it was too late she felt light. A fire over her keeping the darkness back. And when she opened her eyes, there was Kitsi.

'Stay away from her!'

She had thrown herself over her, with a look of a ferocious 'beast'. Glaring fire at the butterfly that had been trying to target them. Target her. And by some miracle, the creature backed off. And even after it had fluttered away, Kitsi remained. Her features calmed a bit but still guarded.

Was she angry? disappointed?

Marinette couldn't quite tell. Until she wrapped her arms around her and whispered...

'You're safe. I'm happy your still here.'

After that, she didn't feel that scared anymore. Waking up in her bed and Kitsi pretty much helping out in the bakery. While she never officially told her what happened, she figured it out. Or rather she found out through her own means as a way to keep Marinette from having to.

"I didn't think we were that close.", for a while, they seemed to have drifted off. But, still finding themselves as friends they continued to come together. Even with their own personal lives, she was just happy she still had someone in her corner.

"Feeling better?", Tikki asked.

"Yeah.", she sighed a bit, feeling more calmer. That was until she found the note on her bed and stared at it, "I forgot about Adrien's note!", she practically fell out of bed.

"There she is.", Tikki gave a small giggle.


At Francis-DuPont College...

"Why is everyone eating lunch in here?", Adrien asked as he came to class to find it full, of well, his classmates. Not that it wasn't weird, but during lunch time.

"We can't go into the cafeteria.", Ivan said.

"Why?", was it closed or something?

"Let me reprise.", Max spoke, "We, this class in general, are basically forbidden from eating there with the other students.", when they attempted to they were met with not so nice a welcome. All the tables had been taken and many of those that were empty had been filled with backpacks, books, or anything to keep any of them from occupying them.

"What? Why?"

"The whole school has turned against us.", at least the majority of the students.

"Huh?"

"According to my numbers, since this morning, the majority of the student body seems to have, as Kim put, turned against us.", excluding them from activities, removing them from clubs, and all out refusing to interact with them. Phasing them out upon noticing them.

"Basically we've been blacklisted.", Alix said biting into her apple.

"Blacklisted?", that did not sound good. In his industry, being blacklisted was what killed careers in an instant.

"It means no one wants to associate with us.", avoiding them like the plague.

"Rose even got snubbed by the scrapping booking club.", Juleka said as her friend was still in shock over the incident. Usually, the group was just as peppy and friendly as Rose. But, they didn't even bat an eye when they refused to eat lunch with one of their own members.

"Snubbed her?", but Rose loved that club. She is...was one of there most energetic and loved members. Always talking about and showing off new projects. She never missed a meeting, "Why would they just do that?"

"They said they didn't want someone with 'friends like us' representing them.", because it clashed with their happy and friendly code of spreading love and joy through colorful art and pictures. And after yesterday and coupled with weeks priors they became suspicious of the bubbly blond.

"Well...at least they did it in a sweet way.", she sniffled holding up the scrapbook they made for her dismissal. Before she quickly teared up again and started crying onto the desk.

"It will be okay Rose.", Juleka tried to comfort her.

"Yeah, there are other clubs in the school.", she could join them.

"May want to rethink that."

"What do you mean?"

"As of this moment, a number of students have systematically removed us from their ranks.", dismissing them point-blank, "Basically ignoring us."

"The soccer team benched Kim."

"Nathaniel got put on artistic probation."

"What's that?", it didn't sound good.

"It means I can't go in the art room outside of class and I have to take a course of the consequences of using art to bully people.", the usually quite team said, remembering what his art teacher had told him and the look of disappointment on his face when he had to punish one of his promising students. Though when he found out about the 'altercation' with the artist from the other school. Nathaniel had no excuse. Especially when it came to light the other artist was legally color blind. Even Marc refused to speak to him.

"So now your all stuck in class?", that didn't seem right.

"We don't have much of a choice.", it was them against half the kids in the school. Even with classmates like Ivan and Kim, they were still the minority in the situation.

"It still not fair. What about Headmaster Damocles?", surely he could talk to the students.

"He's been in the 'Owl Lair' for most of the morning.", no one had seen him, but his secretary said he was 'busy' with some important work. Even calling in teachers during class time to his office.

"If you ask me this is completely ridiculous.", Chloe pipped in, obviously upset and annoyed, "Who do they think they are telling me where I can and can't eat. They should be lucky to have someone of my status eat in their little area.", adding she could be eating at any restaurant in town and served by the finest chefs. Not some common food in a school cafeteria.

"And why aren't you?", many for her classmates wondered why the blond was even doing in class when she usually ate lunch outside of school.

"I can go where I please.", she replied back.

"Then why don't you.", Alix muttered only for the heiress to stick her tongue out childishly at the other.

"Seriously this is so bogus.", Nino scratched his head.

"Maybe we should talk to a teacher.", besides the headmaster, they had authority as well. And could reason with the students and clear things up. As if on cue the door to the classroom opened. Many students expected to see Mme. Bustier cheery face to brighten their days.

However, it wasn't her.

She looked to be age. She had long light brown hair and auburn eyes. Dressed in a dark green dress suit.

"That's not Mme. Bustier.", someone commented.

"Good afternoon students.", the mystery woman greeted, "I'm the substitute teacher for the day.", she explained as she set her bag down on the desk.

"Substitute?", the students looked at each other.

"Where's Ms. Bustier?"

"Your usual teacher will be out for the time being helping the headmaster with a project.", she said, "Until then I will be acting as your teacher until her return to the normal class schedule."

"How long will that be?"

"Unfortunately, that is still being determined.", she said without giving a specific timeline, "For now, I am Mme. Lark.", she introduced herself and writing her name on the board, "And I hope to get to know you each and every one you. So we can have a productive time."

"First, I will be implementing a new seating arrangement.", she announced.

"New seating arrangement?"

"But... , we already have our seats."

"I am unaware.", she said, "However, according to the notes I was given by your usual teacher, there have been some issues from certain individuals.", which involved concentration and class participation, "So as of this moment the seats will be switched in order to fix these problems.", she said and soon began moving students, "When I call your name please move to your new seats.", as she read off names students went to their newly assigned seats.

"Now isn't that better?", she said in a chipper voice. Though the student's seemed less enthusiastic about their new placement. Mostly because they had been placed away from their friends or seated in places where the teacher could see. Nathaniel had been moved closer to the front, along with Kim who was now seated next to Juleka, while Rose had been kept in her seat, but was now seated next to Ivan. And surprisingly Nino had been moved to the back row, while Chloe and Sabrina had been placed on opposite sides, and Adrien was seated where they used to site. Though by himself, "I'm sure you'll all grow comfortable with these new seats."

"Excuse me.", a voice spoke, "This seat is completely unacceptable. Ridiculous. I deserve to be in the front.", Chloe complained that she disliked her new seat and demanded to be either put back in her regular one or at most be moved next to Adrien.

"The seating changes are final. You've been placed in these seats based on your participation and behavior in class.", she explained, "Those who have been moved to the front have been noted to 'drift off' during lessons and away from the lesson.", such as sleeping, drawing, or doing things other than learning.

"But, I work way better sitting next to Sabrina.", she commented.

"You also have been caught sharing answers, talking, and even texting during lessons.", which is why a number of student pairs were separated, "For the time being you will have a new desk mate."

"I certainly will not.", she dismissed, "I'm calling my father right now."

"If you wish to call your parents then are free to do so outside of class. I won't have you disrupt my class for a tantrum.", she said much to the surprise of her students.

"T-Tantrum?", she gasped, "Do you know who I am?"

"If you mean do I know you're the mayor's daughter, then yes I do.", she confirmed, "Or if you're referring to your side activities as Queen B, then again I know.", almost everyone knew.

"And you should."

"But, neither of those things warrant me or anyone to give you special treatment.", she commented, "In my class, you will follow my rules.", she was the teacher and Chloe was the student.

"Well, this isn't your class. It's Madame Bustier.", she retorted, "Will see what my father has to say about this.", she seemed to warn as she pulled out her phone.

"Again you have the right to call your father in the hallway.", she repeated, "You can explain to him why you are disrupting my class. As well as using his office and your title as a 'hero' to not only try to intimidate a teacher. I'm sure his voters and your teammates would enjoy learning about this type of abuse of power.", the classroom was silent. Even Chloe seemed at a loss.

Mrs. Lark had basically threatened to expose the girl's abuse of power for everyone. Showing no fear for Chloe, her father, or even the fact she was Queen Bee.

"I...you...", Chloe sputtered.

"It's your choice, Ms. Bourgeois. If you don't wish to follow my rules, then you can throw the dice and see where the outcome lies.", those were her options, "If you have nothing else to say, then sit down so we can continue with the lesson.", after a moment of silence, the heiress sat in her seat, "Thank you. I hope for no more unnecessary interruptions in my classroom."

Chloe muttered something.

"What was that? Please speak up.", she stared at the girl.

"Y-Yes, Mrs. Lark.", she spoke up.

"That's better.", she hummed a bit, "As your new teacher let me affirm that I am here to teach. Unlike your last instructor, I will not allow disruptive behavior in my class.", she said firmly, "If you refuse to follow the rules or if I catch any time of behavioral disruptions I will send you to the headmaster and have your parents come up to the school.", no exceptions, "That includes no talking during lessons, passing notes, drawing, sleeping, or cell phone use.", adding if they had an emergency they would need to go into the hall, "Is that clear?"

Mrs. Lark gave a rather triumphant smile before returning to the lesson. Student's looked at Chloe who now sat silently at her desk, before looking at each other.

"Now then let's begin our lessons."

"Sumimasen!", Kitsi voiced, "Sorry I'm late. I had an order for a five-tier wedding cake.", she rambled, though paused when she didn't see Mme. Bustier, "Nani? You're not Madame Bustier.", she noted, "Don't tell me I ran into the wrong room again.

"You must be Ms. Inari.", she greeted, "I'm the new substitute teacher. I'll be filling in for Ms. Bustier."

"Oh...Ohayo, Lark-senpai.", she greeted her teacher, "My apologies for being so late. There was a bit of a rush at the bakery...", she explained.

"It's quite alright Ms. Inari.", she said which seemed to confuse the class, "I'm aware you are volunteering time to help with taking care of your sick classmate. I commend you on this.", she said, "You are not in any trouble for a couple of minutes."

"What?!"

"Ms. Bourgeois what have I told you about your outburst in class?", she warned the student, before returning to Kitsi, "I'll excuse this lateness. Please take your seat."

"Hai.", she nodded, "Um...I think there's someone in my seat.", she pointed out seeing Lahiffe was sitting where she sat. And though she wasn't trying to be possessive, she was a bit irked having someone else in her spot.

"We had to make a few sitting changes in class.", the teacher informed, "You'll be sitting in the second right now. With Marinette.", she read from the new seating chart.

Kitsi seemed surprised at this. She was not only getting a closer seat, but she would still be sitting with Marinette. She didn't know whether to jump for joy or dance on the table.

"I see. Thank you.", she gave a smile.

"Hold on just one moment!", Chloe stood up from her new desk, nearly bumping into Ivan along the way, "First, you excuse her from being late and now your giving her a prime desk in the front."

"Are you going to be making a point soon or am I going to have to send you to the principal'S office?", she warned.

Chloe made a grumbled noise before sitting back down. Eyes leering at the new teacher.

"As I was saying I've made a few changes to the seating order until Madame Bustier returns.", she said, "Hopefully there isn't a problem."

"Iie.", closer seat and sitting next to Marinette, should she come back. Kitsi had no complaints. Taking her seat she prepared to for class.

"Alright then let's continue.", Ms. Lark began, "Today we will discussing..."

"Sorry, I'm late!", a voice called out. All eyes turned to Alya who had just come in. Practically bursting through the door, "I had to run home really quick. My apologies Madame...who are you?", she looked at the mystery woman.

"I'm Madame Lark.", she introduced herself, "And you are...Alya Ceasire, if I'm not mistaken."

"Oh um...yes.", she confirmed, "Um, where's Ms. Bustier?", she asked.

"As I've explained she and few other teachers will be out for the time being. So I am taking over her classes until her return.", she informed, "And seeing as you are fifteen minutes late for class. I would ask you to take your seat so we can finish the lesson.", she instructed.

"Right, sorry.", she apologized and prepared to head to her seat. Only to find two things. One of which was that Kitsi was sitting in her seat. The two staring at each other, "Um, what are you doing?"

"Sitting.", obviously.

"Yeah in my seat.", she corrected.

"Ms. Ceasire please take your seat.", Ms. Lark instructed.

"I would. But, someone's in it.", she motioned to Kitsi.

"The seating chart has been changed.", she said briefly, "For the time being you will be in a new seat."

"A new seat?"

"Yes, you will be sitting with Ms. Bourgeois.", she explained.

"Her?!"

"Seriously, Chloe?", she had to sit next to her of all people, "Why can't I sit next to Nino?", her boyfriend.

"Because I said so.", was her reply, "As I said before these seats are to help you focus.", and sitting next to a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend did not help with concentration, "Now please take your seat. We're behind as it is."

"But, this is so not fair.", Alya said obviously still not happy.

"For once she's right.", Chloe voiced, "This is completely ridiculous. I demand to be put back in my regular seat."

Kitsi shook her head.

"Well if you have a problem you can bring it up after class. But, during class time we learn.", and so with not much else to be said everyone took their seats. And judging from how they sat down, the blogger wasn't happy about the seating arrangement.

"As I was saying today we will be learning about the Roman Empire: Rise and Fall.", she said reading from the assignment list and began writing on the board. As the lesson began the atmosphere in the room was less than enthusiastic. Mostly due to the new seating arrangement. Most students seemed uncomfortable. Even though most of them were friends it didn't stop them from peering around to see what their desk mates were doing. Even Chloe, who sat in a held huff, peered to see Sabrina still taking notes. Alya looked back at Nino who caught her gaze and waved at her.

Alya offering a small smile before turning back to the lesson.

"Now then can anyone tell me how Alexander came into power?", the teacher asked, allowing the students the floor. After a couple of seconds, Kitsi hand came up.

"Kitsi."

"I believe it's when he and a few others staged a plan to assassinate the current emperor at the time, his father, so he could succeed the throne.", she answered, "They waited until he left his home and then they each stabbed him until he met his end.", each one taking a stab at the emperor. Sealing his fate with one quick thrust of betrayal. Even his own son participated.

"That is correct.", the teacher nodded, "This is what is known as a Coup d'état.", she explained, "It is the overthrowing as an existing power. Usually when one group allied themselves with outside or inside forces.", as she continued her lesson a few students had begun sending text messages to each other. With their phones on silent, they carefully sent little messages to one another. Some with words of missing or others with complaints about the new teacher and how they missed Ms. Bustier.

Kitsi eye twitched. Just because their phones were on silent, didn't mean the clicking wasn't. And if she could hear it, no doubt the teacher did too. But, Ms. Lark continued to talk and continue with the lesson.

When she turned back the students quickly put their phones and pads away. Seemingly happy with what they had done.

"Remember to take notes. You'll be having a test at the end of the week.", she commented, "Now then I see on the schedule there is something about a...video chat?", she read off the list.

Kitsi silently groaned. Of all the things she wished she didn't have to deal with.

"What exactly is the premise of this video chat?"

"Well, our friend is traveling with her mom in New York.", and she calls them to give updates.

"Does this video chat have anything prevalent to add to the lesson?", the teacher asked.

"Not really.", she shook her head, "But, she always calls us to let us know how she's doing and about New York and all the amazing..."

"If it's not about the current lesson, I'm not letting it waste valuable time to prattle on about her vacation.", the teacher dismissed, "So we will be skipping it."

"Skipping it?"

"Why?"

"Because it offers nothing to the lesson.", she shook her head, "And it wouldn't be fair to disrupt the lesson just for one student to talk about their vacation.", so she was cutting it from the schedule.

Kitsi gave a released sigh at this. She was starting to like this substitute teacher.

"But, we've never missed an update."

"There's always a change to the routine.", whether they liked it or not, "And I'm afraid we don't have enough time to waste on 'story time'.", again she dismissed it.

"But, Mrs. Lark...", the students seemed prepared to argue for the case.

"Not another word.", her ruled was final, "Now let's continue with the lesson."

"This is utterly ridiculous. I refuse to work in these conditions.", Chloe complained.

"Will you put a sock in it.", Kitsi said growing annoyed by the girls constant complaining.

"I don't think I was talking to you."

"If only you couldn't talk at all.", that would be so wonderful.

"That is enough.", Ms. Lark voiced, obviously upset, "Ms. Bourgeois take your seat.", she instructed., "Last warning, either you sit down or face punishment.", her choice, "I will not tolerate any more outbursts in my class."

"You can't do anything to me.", Chloe seemed to dismiss, "You're a substitute. You don't have the authority."

"I have enough authority to send you to the principal's office, just as much as I any other teacher.", and should have done.

"You don't scare me. I could have you fired if I want to."

"Your lack of knowledge of actual authority in the office makes me believe the grades you get.", the teacher quipped back, "Neither you or your father have any bearing on my teaching.", job or otherwise. So she wasn't afraid of her empty threats.

"Y-You..."

"I am your teacher. You are a student. And at this moment you have reached the end of a very short rope.", she pointed to the door, "Out."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me. For you unruly behavior you will spend the rest the time outside of the classroom.", as she refused to teach a child who showed no respect for her or her fellow classmates.

"Are you kicking me out of class?"

"So you can understand.", nice to know, "Since you refuse to learn or follow simple instruction. You can complain in the hall."

"Are you joking? You can't kick me out of class?", her? It was a surprise for the majority of the class. Not many teachers, or people for that matter, stood up to the heiress. Fearing retaliation from her father and his office.

"Mme. Lark I don't think it's this serious. I mean Chloe was just...", Adrien tried to speak on his friend's behalf.

"Mr. Agreste your input is not needed.", she dismissed, "I will not have any addition from the peanut gallery."

"What peanuts?", Kim looked around.

"I mean this is Chloe's issue alone and outside help is not needed.", because it only complicated things, "Now Ms. Bourgeois you can exit the classroom. I'll be sure to let the headmaster know of your behavior and call your parents."

Chloe tensed.

"I will not.", she refused, "I'm staying right where I am."

"You most certainly will not.", Mrs. Lark said, "Ms. Inari please escort Ms. Bourgeois out of the classroom."

"Me?", why her?

"As if I let some uncouth brute..."

"Oh, please finish that sentence.", Kitsi challenged, "Give me a reason to toss you out on that pampered butt of yours.", as if she needed a reason.

"You wouldn't touch me."

"I didn't touch you yesterday. And you still ended on the floor.", so she didn't have to try hard, "Wanna go for a repeat?"

"Are you listening to this? She's threatening me.", Chloe accused.

"Ms. Bourgeois I told you to leave the classroom.", Mrs. Lark repeated, "If you continue to be difficult. Then don't expect others to be just as difficult.", now she would face the consequences.

"I am not being difficult. I'm being singled out for speaking my mind."

"It's not your mind that speaks.", usually, her mouth goes before her brain makes a complete thought, "Will you just leave, please.", it's obvious she was just trying to start a scene and it was getting old.

"I'm not going anywhere.", especially on the word of a substitute teacher on a power trip.

"Then let's put it this way. If you don't apologize for your outbursts and leave my classroom, all students will write a 1000 word essay on the subject of my choice.", she said.

"Psh, like I'm afraid of that.", Chloe folded her arms.

"And for every time I have to tell you to leave, the number goes up by 500 hundred words.", she added causing a stir in the classroom.

"Chloe."

"I'm not apologizing.", she refused.

"1500.", the teacher announced.

"I'm not sitting down.", she said firmly.

"Just apologize.", the student's said trying to get the two girls to swallow their pride and just sit down. Seats weren't worth this.

"2000.", the teacher said, but the heiress wouldn't budge. As time went on the classroom was in a frenzy trying to get the heiress to just apologize. At this point, the number had made it to the 5000-word mark and was growing.

"Well with only five minutes of class left the current word count now is 10,500 words.", the teacher announced as the students grimaced at the final total. Many silently cursing the heiress under their breath. Even Adrien seemed disappointed by the girl's stubbornness, "I hope you all have no plans for tonight. Because as of now, you will all have a 11,000 word essay due at the end of the week.", the announced caused a number of groans to echo in the classroom.

"You call that punishment?", Chloe didn't seem phased.

"We'll see if my other classes share your same sentiments.", Mrs. Lark commented.

"Other classes?", the students seemed confused at this.

"As I said before that if Ms. Bourgeois refused to follow my orders then all my student's would write an essay as a punishment.", and she had more than one class, "I'll be sure they give them your sentiments and the reason why they'll be writing an essay.", which placed square blame of Chloe and Alya's shoulders, "The subject will be on today's lesson. So I hope you all were taking notes in between your texting. For which I'm adding an extra 300 words."

"That's not fair."

"If you all choose to disobey me as a group, then you will be punished as a group.", because they should have all checked the girl before allowing her to get them all in trouble, "Now you will all type me 12,000-word essay on what happens when you allow one bad apple to spoil it for everyone."

"How did it go up?"

"I'm counting until the bell rings.", she said, "And now we are at 12,500. A new record.", she added, "And with the few minutes we have left, know that there will be a double lesson tomorrow to cover what we missed today."

'Ring, Ring'

"And that's the bell.", she announced, "I'll expect your 13,500 papers on my desk by the end of the week. I'll be sending instructions to your parents about the papers. So don't even think about skipping it.", adding that whoever doesn't turn in a completed paper adds another 500 words for everyone else on a new paper topic.

And with that, the class was dismissed.

Kitsi silently watched as the class filed out. Having stood silently to the side while it all played out, she contemplated the whole thing. While she agreed her classmates should have known better to try and pull those kinds of antics with the new teacher. Having the entire class punished seemed excessive without an actual reason. Most of the class was trying to actually get them to apologize.

"Ms. Inari.", the teacher spoke, drawing her attention to the substitute, "I'm excusing you from the essay."

"Nani?", she blinked, "I mean, really?"

"Understandably you weren't present when Ms. Bourgeois was having one of her moments and nearly got the entire classroom in a tizzy.", riling them up over seating changes of all things, "So I'm excusing you from the essay."

"That's great.", no need to suffer for that brat, "But, 13,500 words does seem a bit much.", especially if you've never written that much before.

"I understand it seems a bit daunting. I was planning on an introduction lesson to get the know the students.", then everything fell apart.

"My apologies. This class and students have very, very...mixed forms of communication.", one day they can be individual spots and the next merge into a mass of a hive mind.

"Curiously, what was Ms. Bustiers approach to handling students who misbehaved?", she asked.

"Hard to say.", at least from an outside view, "Whenever student's were having an argument she would pull them or one of them aside. Have them talk it out, give some speech about the high ground and being the moral compass, and things just sort of...diluted.", like oil and water. Which somehow ended in a hug.

"And that solved the problem?"

"If by solved you mean watered it down to the point it just became a sea of algae over the murky waters.", that was the best she could see, "Things tended to just work themselves out.", sometimes. The results varied by case.

"It doesn't sound like things were.", Mrs. Lark said, "After this interaction, it seems some disciplinary actions were overlooked.", starting with how students were allowed free range.

"Well, students can be hard sometimes. Though, even I have to admit this classroom can be frustrating sometimes.", even for the most polished educator, "Still you have my support.", especially if she stood up to Chloe, "And if I not being too bold, maybe just punish Chloe on this one. Her mouth tends to get her butt in more trouble than she can handle. She's mostly harmless if you don't back down.", her mother was a different story.

"I wasn't planning on punishing all my classes. I just wanted to gauge the class and see who I would be teaching for a short time."

"Well, that's good to hear.", especially since there was no paper. And it was rather nice seeing Bourgeois get put in her place by someone not afraid of her empty threats.

"Have a good day Lark-senpai.", she wished her the best.


In the headmaster's office...

"Tinnitus?", the school nurse raised her eyebrow, "What are you speaking about?", when she had been called into the headmaster office she didn't know what to expect. The headmaster of the school in his 'Owl' costume was suspected and accepted. Though being questioned about a students medical condition was another.

"We're just following up on some medical claims a student has brought up.", Ms. Bustier said, "When she returned to school she said she had an ear injury in her ear.", she explained to the nurse.

"I keep a detailed list and record of all the students in the school.", ranging from allergies, disabilities, medications, and so on. As a nurse she had to be prepared for any emergency and know the proper procedure to make sure students and faculty are safe and healthy, "I know at least three students who have hearing problems.", mild causes and the other having a hearing aid. But, Tinnitus. And this student wasn't one of them.

"Did she give you a note from her parents? Or something from her doctor?", usually, those were things needed for a report. If a student had a condition that affected them then she, as the nurse, needed to know so she could do a follow up with the doctor and make sure she had supplies ready should a situation arise.

"Well no.", she admitted, "She claimed she had a hearing problem from an incident and needed to be seated closer to the front.", which she and the class seemed to accommodate and give her a closer seat. Though, looking back it seemed rather rash of her to allow the students to change the seating without checking on the students claim.

"And I'm telling you that that's impossible since I have no record of it.", she stated, "All parents fill out a detailed form of all allergies and disabilities of their child or children before they come to classes.", that way staff is prepared and the school could accommodate students. Which included numbers to special doctors.

"And as far as I know no one has that kind of medical condition.", the nurse said, "I can double check, but I don't think it will turn up anything.", she shook her head, "I can also offer to do a full check of her ears."

"That would seem to help.", the headmaster seemed to agree with the suggestion. If this student did have a hearing affliction it would be best to get a full record, "How soon can you do the exam?"

"Well, first I would need to get in touch with her doctor...", though she didn't have one, "So, for now, I would just need permission from her parents to run the exams and it should only take a couple of hours.", it was a fairly simple procedure.

"Then that's our plan!", the headmaster announced, "I will get in touch with Mr. and Ms. Rossi as soon as possible!"

"Wait, did you say Rossi?", the nurse spoke, "As in Lila Rossi?"

"Yes. Is something wrong?", they noticed the look of the nurse.

"It's just, I remember a few other teachers coming to me about a student by that name.", since it wasn't a common name, she knew only one student with it.

"Other teachers?"

"Well yes.", she nodded, "Mr. Armand D'Argencourt came to me about one of his students having breathing issues after having to sit out a number of times during class.", since a few students had breathing issues like asthma it wasn't too hard to believe this student might be another case, "He then came to because the same student was complaining about a sprained wrist or a sore leg.", which seemed to pop up at the most convenient of times during exams. And she never specifically stated what her condition, if any, she had. Miraculously feeling better towards the end of class.

"Then I had a cafeteria worker come to me because she overheard one of the students was allergic to tomatoes and nuts.", witnessing other students picking them from various food items like salads and even desserts. And again it was the same student.

"And just last week the art teacher, Mr. Ross, came to my office about the chemicals in paint.", because a student claimed she couldn't use any of the supplies for her projects because of some chemical that was in them. When he asked the specific chemical she was allergic to, she gave a confusing answer and seemed to change the subject rather quickly. Which seemed rather suspicious since he had heard students talking about her proclaimed drawing abilities. Having won awards from art competitions in other schools she previously attended. Though he had never seen any form of artwork from her. Even during class.

"Hm, quite strange.", mysterious allergies and medical conditions that seemed to pop up as fast as they disappeared.

"What's more strange is that it's the same student each time.", she's asked for the student a number of times to come to her office should these issues return, but she never came, "I've been meaning to bring it up. But, never got a chance.", yet it was still something still on her radar. No one can have so many medical inconsistencies and have a blank medical information form that contradicts them.

"This is something that needs to be looked into.", while they didn't want to accuse anyone, especially a student, of faking medical conditions. There were too many inconsistencies for one student to have. Especially when they changed so suddenly and quickly, "Thank you for your assistance, Ms. Evelyn."

"Of course Mr...I mean Owl.", she gave a small smile, "If you need any more assistance please let me know.", after taking her leave from the office Ms. Bustier and the headmaster began to speak.

"There is something strange going on.", the headmaster concluded.

"I think you might be right.", Ms. Bustier said sadly, "Perhaps we should try getting in touch with her parents?"

"I have.", but with their schedules, as he was told, it was hard to get one of them to pick up the phone, "I suggest a home visit."

"I'm free after school.", she could stop by the house, "Though I believe there was something about her being away for a week. Something, about a business trip with her mother.", if she remembered correctly.

"We'll still have to get in touch with her parents.", it was important, "I'll leave her a message at home and tell her get back to me as soon as possible.", if she or her husband didn't he would have to try more drastic measures.


In the school locker room, the students were getting ready for gym class.

"Ugh, can you believe that woman?", Chloe fumed, "How dare she think she can speak to me like that?"

"She's definitely not like Ms. Bustier.", not even close.

"She also seemed pretty quick to pick favorites.", referring to how she treated certain students over others.

"It's utterly ridiculous! Ridiculous!", Chloe ranted, "And her punishment. Even more ridiculous."

"And unfair. How does she expect us to write that many words before the end of the week?", they did have lives.

"To fair Chloe, you did kind of challenge her authority.", Adrien commented, "Maybe we can talk to Mme. Lark and she might reconsider the paper.", it was worth a shot.

"Oh please. As if we're taking this paper seriously.", Chloe dismissed, "Like I said she's a substitute. She probably won't even be here tomorrow.", let alone Friday. So there was no point. Though many didn't want to press their luck.

The door to the locker room opened and Kitsi had entered. Passing the group without a word or even acknowledgment.

They watched as Kitsi stood in front of the lockers and after locating a specific one she went to turn the combination and open the lockers. For many, it might not seem like a big deal, but for those who knew the actual locker locations, knew Kitsi didn't have a locker in that particular area. Only when the locker was opened and they could see the pictures on the inside of the locker.

"What do you think you're doing?", Alya questioned.

"I believe it's something called none of your business.", Kitsi said as she continued to go through the locker. Though that didn't stop her prying.

"That isn't your locker.", she scolded the other about going into another person's personal space and messing with her things.

Kitsi rolled her eyes.

"Oh get off your soapbox. If you must know Mari asked to get something out of her locker.", which is why she was 'breaking in'.

"How did you know her combination?", she questioned.

"How do you think?", she told her, "She has my combination too.", that way if one of them was absent or needed something they could easily get it. Looking inside Kitsi quickly located the item in question, "Marinette left one of her sketchbooks in her locker.", taking it out she shut the door with a quick slam and resetting the lock. Adding an extra lock to it.

"What's that for?"

"Added security.", she wasn't having anyone trying to go into Marinette's locker when she wasn't around, "Until Mari-caroon comes back no one is going in or out.", not without her permission and under Kitsi's watchful eyes.

"You can't just lock up her locker like that."

"Well as her friend I'm making sure no one gets any funny ideas.", she eyed the blogger suspiciously, "Plus I already talked to her about it so you can let some of that hot air out of that head yours.", her explanation seemed to calm the waters for the other students. Kitsi was just getting some items for Marinette and even had permission to go into her locker.

"Now if you'll excuse me I have some deliveries to make.", she said.

"What about gym class?"

"I've been excused for the day.", to help out at the bakery, "Shame because I heard we were going to work on the balance beam today."

"You can't just skip class."

"And you can't learn to put a leek in it.", Kitsi retorted, "I already talked to the teacher, just you can save it.", because it didn't matter what she said or thought, "Have fun and remember to stretch.", with that piece of advice, Kitsi headed off.


As free period pulled around Kitsi was seated outside in the hallway. Her phone out and a couple of books under her arm.

"What do you think?", Marinette showed the palettes for Kitsi to look at. She had called to get some opinions on some patterns for new projects.

"I like the blue, but the yellow is just so eye-catching.", Kitsi noted, "Honestly I like them both.", she admitted.

"What about the patterns? Do you think it's too wide? Maybe they should be vertical."

"I think someone is overthinking things. You always come up with the best stuff.", her designs always came out great in the end, "Just take a deep breath.", she instructed with a bit of demonstration, "Oh, and Aurora loved the cake."

"She did.", she seemed happy with this, "That's great! I mean, I'm glad she liked.", she had nearly forgotten she had made it, "Thanks again for delivering it."

"Just think of me as your personal delivery Kit.", she gave a playful salute, "I accept tips in the forms of macaroons, eclairs, or sprinkles."

"Sprinkles?"

"Don't ask.", it was a long and confusing story of events, "Anyway glad to see your Marinette spirit coming back. And guess what. Aurora is having a birthday party this weekend and invited us."

"Really? She invited both of us.", she sounded surprised.

"Of course she invited us.", why wouldn't she, "She wanted to thank you for the cake you made. Plus she's been meaning to hand out invitations.", and she asked Kitsi to ask Marinette if she wanted to come, "You know you are more popular than you know.", lots of students knew Marinette. Just never got a chance to hang out because of how schedules seem to play out.

"Still that was really nice of Aurora.", she would definitely have to give her a present.

"I know right.", she smiled, "We can talk more after school and you can show me more of those patterns."

"Anyway, I'll call you after free period.", she needed to study for science and one of Ms. Mendeleev's famous pop quizzes, "We still on for after school?"

"Definitely. Bye.", with a wave, the video chat was ended. After the call ended Kitsi put her phone away and returned to reading her science book. While it wasn't her best subject, it was her worst. Though with Ms. Mendeleev they never knew what she would be testing on.

As she headed down the hallway she ran into Kagami who looked like she was headed for practice.

"Konichiwa Kagami-san.", she greeted Kagami.

"I was hoping to reach you before you left.", she into her bag she pulled out a card, "Please give my regards to Marinette for a quick return.", she said handing the envelope to Kitsi.

"Domo.", she nodded, "I'll be sure she knows.", she tucked the card into her folder.

"I would have given it to herself. But, seeing as you are her closest friend at the moment it would be better received if given by you.", she said.

"Thanks.", she supposed, "Mari will love all the get well cards. Though I don't want to put too much pressure on her.", she was already returning to her normal, Marinette self.

"I see.", Kagami seemed to understand, "That is good to her. I can tell she has nothing to worry about with you watching her back.", she commented earning a rather prideful smile from Kitsi. Though many would find this flattering, others not so much.

"Um babe, what's with the death glare?", Nino asked, though was pretty sure what his girlfriend had been leering at, "Please don't tell me your going to try anything with Kitsi again?", she was 0 for 2 and going down fast.

"She is up to something.", she knew it, "First she takes the seat next to Marinette."

"Which the teacher gave to her.", and he was sure it was only temporary.

"Then she's going into Marinette's locker and going through it."

"Because Marinette asked her.", adding that even Alya had done that from time to time. Sometimes without even asking Marinette, "Seriously, babe, I love you. But, you are seriously tripping right now.", and it was scaring him.

"I am not.", she knew that Kitsi was hiding something.

"Oh, before I forget. I'm putting together something for Mari. Would you be interested in a slumber party?", Kitsi offered.

"A slumber party?"

"Yeah, you know where you dress in pj's, play games, eat tons of junk and pizza while gossiping.", she explained.

"I know the rules of a slumber party.", she wasn't that socially distant, "I was just a little surprised you're throwing one out of the blue."

"Well, Bourgeois bragging gave me an idea.", somehow, "Marinette needs to be surrounded by positive reinforcement. So I want to invite some close friends to really show her a great time."

"So a slumber party."

"It's perfect. And I can invite some of the girls from Voltaire College."

"Voltaire College?", another school, "Why not the girls from here?"

"Well Aurora's having a birthday party, so I don't want to make people chose.", plus she wanted something small and intimate where focus would be on Mari, "And we both know the reason I refuse to invite the girls from my class."

"I think I understand.", even if she couldn't deny there was a bit of tension in the school, "Some find it hard to concentrate with so much...drama."

Kitsi sighed a bit, "...yeah and not the good kind. I will be so happy when this week is over.", and Marinette comes back, "Plus I've got so many things planned. I've taken notes for all our classes and as a bonus, I've set up a big surprise for her."

"The way you talk about Marinette. It sounds like you two have been close to each other for years."

"Eh? Really?", she blinked a bit, "I mean, Mari and I are friends. And friends know things about each other.", it was natural.

"Clearly."

"I won't say we're perfect. I mean we have had our falling outs and disagreements.", sometimes over the smallest things and end up not speaking for a time before actually making up when they figure out how stupid the argument was in the first place, "But, I would like to think it helps make our bond.", to learn and try to move on, "Because I want to be someone she can depend on!"

"Your loyalty is something to admire."

Kitsi grinned, "Hai!", she blushed.

"Still I wish you good luck in your endeavors to help your friend.", she offered her moral support.

"Arigato Kagami-chan.", she smiled, "But if you change your mind you know how to reach me."

"I'll keep that in mind.", she nodded, "Though if I could offer you some advice, you should probably watch your back.", her blue eyes peered over Kitsi's shoulder where she caught sight of some of Kitsi's classmates who had been staring at them. Especially the blogger who wasn't exactly being stealthy.

"Trust me I'm not worried about them.", that boat had long sunk before it left the harbor, "I have more important things to worry about. Like figuring out vertical and horizontal strips.", because apparently that was on Marinette's mind and she wanted to give her as much support as she could, "Speaking of which I need to call the fabric store and make sure her order went through. You would not believe how hard it is to find wool in the in mid-spring.", guess it wasn't the prime season for sheering.

"Wool?"

"Yeah. I've been trying to pick up some extra hobbies.", charm making was fun, but she wanted to stretch herself out a bit. "Marinette is making more dolls and I needed some extra materials.", so Kitsi volunteered to help her out, "I'm making all the little accessories to go with them.", it was so cute, "Like little pouches and weapons for the akuma's and heroes."

"Patent Pending. All rights reserved.", couldn't forget that, "I think these extra activities are really helping Marinette. Especially with...you know.", she shrugged a bit. But, Kagami understood.

"Still it would be wise to watch your step. Hesitation can lead to even the strongest fault.", she advised.

"Or it can make things more interesting.", especially if one chose to feint a couple of times. With that, the two broke apart. Kagami headed to her practice, while Kitsi continued on her work on her plan and headed in the opposite direction.

Though before Kagami left she made one last stop. Moving within the targeted space she stood before Alya. The other giving her a look of question.

"Your persistence will get the better of you.", the fencer said.

"What's that's supposed to mean?"

"When a fighter grows to confident of his abilities, he risks losing more than his battle.", for graver consequences came from over-confidence, "Your attempts to waiver Kitsi is fruitless. She too much for you to handle."

"I'm not afraid of her.", Alya stated, though seemed to be missing the point.

"What I was saying was the reason you're being so cross with Kitsi isn't so much that she called you and your classmate out.", for their behavior and being overly gullible, "It's the fact that Kitsi is getting closer to Marinette. And you don't like it."

"What makes you think that?"

"It's not hard to see that the reason you keep trying to 'expose' Kitsi is because of the close bond Marinette and Kitsi have formed.", from now being desk friends to lunch friends, and even sharing personal problems and secrets. Something only close friends would do, "You are not bothered by Kitsi going out of her way for Marinette. It's the fact she's showing more concern for her then you and your entire class put together."

"That is so not the reason. I, mean, I don't have any reason."

"I'm not blind.", she said rather blunt, but to the point, "Even though I haven't known people long, even I can see your jealousy."

"J-Jealous? Me?", she sputtered, "I am nowhere near jealous."

"It's plain to see the interactions between Kitsi and Marinette is upsetting you.", and most people could see it. Even though she failed at hiding it.

"What are you talking about?"

"It was highly assumed and noted that you and Marinette were, as some would say, bff's.", like sisters, "But, now people consider Kitsi her new right hand. Given how she's stepped up in defense of her on multiple occasions.", and continues to do so, "Meanwhile, you threw her under the bus the second someone else came along."

"That is not even close to true."

"As far as I've seen it's obvious that you're looking for the smallest detail to fault Kitsi for.", which can be proven by her actions today alone. Of trying to show that Kitsi is 'misusing' her position or is taking advantage of helping Marinette through a difficult time.

"No, I'm not.", again she dismissed, "I'm just suspicious of Kitsi's attitude and what's she's been doing."

"You mean helping out at the bakery. Getting Marinette's assignments so she doesn't fall behind. Finishing projects for her.", basically things a friend would do, "If you aren't going to be truthful with yourself then you should find a new career path.", because at this moment her investigation skills were lacking when it came to actually get the facts straight. Before the blogger could retort Kagami had already started making her leave.

"You might have awoken an even worse beast then you know.", and that was going to be trouble for everyone. As she left, and her words hung fresh, the students could only stare at each other.

"What was that about?"

"Just her trying to be cold and mysterious.", Alya dismissed, "Can you believe what she said? Me, jealous?", she scoffed inoffensively, "Anyway let's hurry before Kitsi get's away."

"Babe I was sort of with you until this moment.", when she actually challenged Kitsi to a fight, "I'm not trying to be, you know un-supportive, but aren't you taking things a bit to far."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean following Kitsi? Spying on her?", it was becoming a bit much, "I'm just worried you're headed towards a very bad situation.", especially if Kitsi found out.

"She's not going to fight me.", Alya dismissed the assumption.

"No, she's going to murder you.", Kim corrected.

"There's a 99.9 percent chance.", Max calculated.

"That she'll lose."

"That and possibly end up in the hospital.", and them by association.

"Maybe we're getting worried over nothing.", and by them, they meant Alya. Who seemed bent on exposing something about Kitsi.

"It isn't nothing.", the blogger dismissed, "Look. I know something not right with her. Plus, she's using the excuse of 'helping Marinette' to get out of class work.", she pointed out.

"What if, you know, she's actually helping Marinette.", it was plausible.

"No one needs that kind of help.", though she seemed to be missing the big picture, "I won't rest until I find out what's she been hiding."

And that's what they were afraid of.


As the school day came to a close and students left the grounds there were a few still lingering on the campus grounds. Mostly those who stayed for clubs and after-school activities. Among those happened to be Kitsi who was talking with a few other students. And by the looks of it things seemed to positive by the laughs and smile of the group.

"So is it true you got to watch Jagged Stones pet crocodile Fang?", one of the students asked.

"Yeah. We sort of ran into each other at the fountain.", she remembered, "He's really a sweet, big guy and Jagged Stone adores him.", and the students seemed interested in the news, "Their like best friends. Though it's pretty obvious since Fang was his first and only pet.", Kitsi mentioned much to the surprise of the other students.

"Really?"

"Yeah. Jagged found him during one of his tours and they've been close ever since.", as the rocker had said it was love at first sight, "He couldn't imagine having any pet other than Fang."

"A crocodile does seem more rock and roll then a cat."

"Well maybe for Jagged. But, lots of celebrities have different pets.", some more then just one and in different varieties, "Like Usa G has a pet rabbit, Easter. Rain has pet 'dogs'. Clara has a Nightingale. And even XY has a pet chameleon."

"Wow, you know a lot about celebrity pets."

"I guess.", Kitsi gave a nervous laugh, "But, Marinette is the one who knows more about a few of them. She's really good friends with a few celebrities herself.", mentioning some of the designs she's done for a few artists. Though sometimes wonder how more people didn't know.

"That's so cool.", the students were amazed by their classmate's accomplishments. Which pleased Kitsi.

"Yeah, Marinette is really creative.", Kitsi commented, "I believe that she will be a great designer in the future.", she added as the other students seemed to agree. But, not all were so happy with her comments. Positive as they were.

Kitsi could feel the stares pointed at her and knew who exactly where they were coming from. At the other side of the courtyard, Alya seemed to be fuming.

'I see you.', Kitsi gave a small, but confident smirk.

"I know Marinette is such an amazing person. It's really sad not having her here.", Kitsi said showing disappointment that Marinette had to be home. And some of her students seemed to share her sentiments. Many not believing that she of all people could be suspended.

"How is she doing?", one of the students asked.

"A lot better. She was really upset from the whole ordeal.", she said, "But, as it turns out she might be coming back to school a lot sooner."

"Really?"

"Yeah. She told me the school was looking into her suspension since there were some inconsistencies.", she said to the confusion of many of the students, "Since most of the case was made on 'hearsay' and no one actually witnessed the incident or had any proof her suspension has been lifted.", so she was free to return.

"That's great."

"I'm sure you must be happy having your best friend back."

"I am.", Kitsi nodded, "It's just not the same without her here.", the other students seemed to understand. It was never really the same when your best friend wasn't around.

"So do you know when she'll be back?"

"Well, she hasn't decided yet. We think she should decide on her own.", and not pressure her and allow her to come back when she was ready. And the other students agreed, "Though she's always asking how things are at school and how everyone is doing.", and everyone seemed flattered that she was thinking about them.

"That's so nice of her.", one student commented.

"It's still weird thinking she got suspended." of all people.

"What did she do?"

"I really didn't press her on the subject.", considering what she had been through, "But, I believe she is innocent.", until proven otherwise.

"Well, she's lucky to have you as a best friend."

Kitsi flushed a bit, "Well yeah we're friends. But, I wouldn't say best friends.", since they had only known each other for a short amount of time. But, she wouldn't deny that she liked the title.

'Marinette's Best Friend'

She wondered if she could make that into a t-shirt.

"I'm really excited for her return.", having so many surprises for her, "I'm even talking with the headmaster about getting my locker next to hers."

"What?", a voice rang out. On cue, Alya had come up. Ignoring the words of her boyfriend and stood up to Kitsi.

"You can't just move into someone else's space.", she voiced.

"I want you to think about what you just said.", just really think, "Plus you shouldn't mind. Especially since it will be better having a close friend nearby.", meaning Kitsi.

"That is such a lame reason and you know it."

"And you would know.", Kitsi retorted, "Plus if you have a problem that's fine. Marinette can just move into the locker next to mine.", there was a spare.

"You are not moving her locker.", Alya stated.

"Oh so your the only one who gets to move people around.", she mentioned, "Now whose being full of herself."

"And your just being ridiculous.", Alya said, "Going into her locker, visiting her house constantly, and even going into her desk. Can you be more suffocating."

"As much as your stubbornness.", which seemed to have no limits, "Is it wrong to want to visit a friend? I figure you wouldn't care since you haven't exactly been worried about her.", Kitsi commented on Alya's lack of concern.

"Oh don't even try to play that card. You are so...so..."

"Pick your words carefully.", she advised.

"I don't know what you're trying to pull. But, you are not fooling me."

"Of course I can't. That shipped has sailed.", commented, "Plus I don't need to waste my time on you.", she commented, "I'm too busy preparing for my friends return.", which she was happily waiting for more than her next chance to punch Hawkmoth in the face.

"Seriously you so obsessive. Your acting like you haven't seen her in forever.", and folded her arms, "Your more of a fanatic then she is."

That seemed to break something.

"See I was going to let you walk away with just a warning.", now she was going to break her teeth, "Seriously, you want to go there with me?"

"Yeah because you are over hyping things way too much."

"You think I'm over-hyping someone? This coming from the girl who didn't even wait until her video camera was cool before she posted a video about some stranger claiming to be friends with Ladybug.", she reminded that it hadn't even been a day before Alya posted that story on her blog, "It's was 'Oh your story brought my blog so many views, can I please get a follow-up?' or 'Do you have any more great stories about Ladybug or the other heroes? My viewers can't get enough!' and especially 'Wow Lila your life is so amazing! I wish I got to travel and met celebrities.'", and it was just going on and on, every day for weeks on end. Like a nail continuously being driven into her brain, but refused to end her suffering.

"Well her stories were very popular. People loved them."

"Did you ever read any of the comments?", apparently not, "Even if the stories brought big numbers, the reasons for those numbers weren't exactly as you thought.", since most of the comments soon reflected people being confused by the relevance of the story on the blog or even criticizing the reason for it being posted in the first place.

"That's not true.", Alya denied.

"Actually it's not too far from the truth.", Kagami spoke, "Most people didn't take the stories as seriously as you or your classmates."

"They didn't?"

"From my understanding, most students found them rather far-fetched.", many making jokes out of the rumors and only listened to see what new tale came from the Italian girl, "They were seen as more jokes."

"Jokes?"

Kagami gave a single nod, "Without any proof to the matter people pretty much figured out she was adding more than she actually knew.", mostly because there were people to actually fact check some of the information she told. Some even countering because they knew people or had been to places and events she mentioned involving her own accomplishments.

"See, no one cared about her or her 'amazing stories'. Because there was nothing amazing about her or the stories because they were nothing but lies.", they just listened for laughs.

"But, you don't know that.", Alya still dismissed, "Just because something doesn't seem right to one person, doesn't make everything not right."

"That doesn't make any sense.", Kitsi shook her head, "Just because you believe something is true, doesn't mean the person next to you has to.", people had opinions. And without any solid proof, they weren't going to change their minds right off the bat, "You never checked any of Rossi's stories. But, told everyone else of how amazing she was."

"Well, she is. She's traveled and met tons of celebrities and accomplished a lot of things for her age."

"And she can't prove any of it.", which was the basis of anything, "Common sense would have someone provide proof when making such claims as meeting royalty or being saved by superheroes.", not be placed on a pedestal for all to be awed by, "She can't even provide any dates, pictures, or anything feasible as actual proof to all the stories she made up."

"We'll your just..."

"What jealous?", she cut in, "Why would I need to be jealous of her. I have my own accomplishments. Ones I did without riding the coattails of others to get.", like some people, "Meanwhile your 'friend' makes up a bunch of stories and claims about herself and you're practically kissing the ground she walks on."

"That is completely untrue.", she denied.

"Oh no?", she shrugged a bit, "You practically drool every time she has a new story. You're always asking her for interviews about how she's close friends with Ladybug. I can't count the number of times you've asked her to set up a face to face with Ladybug."

"Well, who wouldn't want an interview with the heroine of Paris."

"Except for the fact you already did.", she reminded, "Months ago during the time Mr. Harprel was akumatized into the Mime. Marinette set up an interview between you and Ladybug."

"She did?", the students seemed impressed that Marinette actually got Ladybug to do an interview.

Kitsi nodded, "Marinette asked Ladybug if she would talk with Alya for the Ladyblog.", and the two had a one on one interview, "Or did you forget about that?"

"Well...no. I didn't forget. But, Marinette set it up after deleting a really important video."

"Exactly.", that was the point, "Marinette actually felt bad about what she had done.", explaining in her own way how she freaked out because she had deleted something so important to a friend, "She went above and behind and got the Ladybug to give you a one on one interview.", something even most major reporters and journalist couldn't do, "Though that doesn't seem enough because you took the words of a stranger who claimed to be Ladybug's best friend.", and did an entire interview on that and expected people to be impressed.

"Well, she's Ladybug's close friend."

"How? Have you ever seen the two together? Or has Ladybug ever mentioned her once."

"Well no, but..."

"Then you shouldn't assume things about people just because someone claims it.", that opened up to many boxes of worms, "You didn't make any effort to to actually look into rumors concerning your proclaimed favorite hero or your supposed 'best friend'.", the students talked among themselves, "And you make it sound like Marinette owed you for deleting something that was important to you. While easily dismissing Marinette's feelings when she knew something wasn't right about Rossi's stories."

"That's not the point."

"Of course it's the point. It's the tip of the sword you seem to love falling on.", because it kept being brought up and coming to bite her and everyone else in the butt, "The main reason you took that challenge is that you were so sure you could prove all those stories true.", when in fact she had little to no proof, "You didn't even last two rounds.", or one for that matter since Donny pretty much buried her and then Kitsi had to step in because they tried dragging her credibility into the mud. Even then the majority of people had already made the decision that Alya clearly didn't have any evidence to back up anything she had reported on.

"And now that it's all biting you where the sun don't sun, you're taking it out on everyone else.", because she couldn't swallow her pride and admit she was wrong, "For Kami's sake you're more stubborn than Queen Bee.", and that was saying a lot.

"You're just trying to make everyone else look bad.", Alya accused, "Like how you did on that debate."

"Trust me, neither I or anyone else has to do anything to make you look bad.", she was doing that fine herself, "And what do you mean set you up? You took the challenge. Which only proved how low you go just to prove a point that didn't make any sense in the first place.", and it was insulting she was avoiding the actual issue, "And now you're getting upset because, shocker, Marinette has other friends then you claim to be."

"Excuse me?", she leered, "I'm Marinette's best friend."

"Since when? A true friend stands by you through the best and worst time.", because they have enough faith in them that they don't jump the shark at the first sign of blood, "In one day you were fawning over this new girl as if she was the best thing in the world. Believing every word that came out of her mouth. And why? Because apparently, she was best friends with celebrities and superheroes. Never once even asking for one shred of proof to the matter.", but spreading it to everyone else like the plague until almost everyone caught a case, "Then when someone has a reason not to believe the rumors, you accuse them of being mean or petty or jealous because she couldn't prove anything she said. Then cried like a child to get sympathy.", it was annoying, frustrating, and pathetic.

"And while I know Marinette can overthink and sometimes overreact to a certain...a lot of things. I know her enough to know she would never steal, cheat, or harm anyone in any way.", because that wasn't Marinette, "And I offended you think you have the right judge her after half the stunts you pulled.", most of which would be criminal, "And unlike certain people, I'm not going to abandon her because of unfounded gossip and unchecked rumors.", or use her as a scapegoat when problems came up.

"You can be upset with me all you want.", she had pretty much given up on her at this point and accepted things as they were, "But, don't ever question my loyalty to my friends or the people I care about.", or she would come to regret it, "Especially when you and everyone else pretty much abandoned her and common sense for stories that, big surprise, fiction."

"Well, we're getting sick and tired of your attitude."

"And I'm getting tired of you in general.", Kitsi slammed her hands on her hips, "Face the facts. You have no proof, no evidence, and at this point, so far down the river, you should be in the frozen tundra of Antarctica.", down through the hole of the grave, she had been digging, "So besides being an amateur reporter, your also a poor excuse of a friend.", the students gasped. The words were cutting, especially the last one.

"Y-You have no right to say that. I am a great friend!"

"No your an opportunist.", Kitsi corrected, "You only participate in things when you think it has benefits to you. You say how you'll stand up for the truth and morals. But, as you've proven you'll throw it away when an opportunity presents itself. In fact, the only reason you even hung around Lila is that you believed she could get you exclusive interviews for your blogs."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did.", and it was plain to see, "You say I'm being overly sympathetic and coddling Marinette because you think she was overreacting and being petty . But, being her 'best friend' you should already know how Marinette is.", including her emotions and stuck by her. Instead of brushing her off, "You also take advantage of her and her nature to please people."

"No, I don't."

"Yes, you do.", Kitsi countered, "You make a big deal about her being 'too nice' or 'too good', but you'll also scold her if you think she's overreacting."

"Like when?", she challenged.

"Like the incident with the seats.", she brought up, "You assumed because Marinette is usually nice and sometimes a pushover that she would just give up her seat without much problem. When in fact you never asked her if she was okay with it and got upset because she stood up for herself.", because everyone thought Marinette, being a nice person, should be the one to give up her seat.

"And it was for a good reason.", she tried to defend.

"If giving her that seat was so important, why didn't you give up your seat?", she questioned.

"Well, I..."

"You wanted to sit next to your boyfriend. So your wants automatically trumped Marinette's.", Kitsi accused, "And when she didn't want to be moved to the back row, you and everyone else treated her like she slapped you all in the face.", and it wasn't fair, "But, it didn't stop there, did it? You and everyone in class continued to try and vilify her because of baseless rumors."

"Marinette's one of the kindest and selfless people in this school.", possibly in Paris, "She never hesitates to help people.", even those who have basically given up on themselves.

"Like the time she stayed up all night to back a hundred cookies for the soccer teams bake sale.", in order to help the team raise money to buy new equipment.

"We raised over 400 euros.", one of the players remembered how everyone loved the baked treats and how Marinette's parents donated them with no questions asked.

"Or the time she helped make costumes for the dance troupes."

"She stayed up for hours fixing all the dancers tutu's.", Belle remembered how Marinette worked for hours on the dresses and even made them look better.

"She's even gone out of her way to help each and every one of you.", she reminded her class of all the instances Marinette stepped up and helped them in some way. Giving up her own time and even of her own personal belongings to help them and make sure they were happy. Even encouraging them when they lost hope in themselves, "The point I'm making is that Marinette doesn't need a bunch stories to be amazing. She already is. Because she's kind, caring, selfless, and puts others before herself."

"Even after doing all that Mari never once bragged or tried to make herself seem better than anyone else.", because she knew she had a ways to go and wanted to earn people's respect, "She never embellished on stories or used the names of anyone because she respected people enough and valued their friendship and trust.", more than fame or notoriety. Never used any of the people she knew like Jagged Stone, Clara Nightingale, or even Adrien. Never mentioning her connection to them. And she never forgot her friends and always wanted them to be apart of her good luck.

"And how does Marinette get repaid for her selflessness and kindness?", she took a breathe, "She gets put in the back of class without her consent. She gets rumors started about her being a bully. And to top it off accused of theft and suspended without any proof.", plus nearly being akumatized and suffering a panic attack, "And what did her so call 'friends' do? They pretty much threw her under the bus and never once went to go check on her.", and that was on the top of a very long list of why Kitsi was so upset.

"So no you are not a 'good friend' because you have and still chose to believe the words of some lying witch, over someone who has literally bent over backward to help people, is so far from a good friend it's insulting.", she leered, "You turned your back on Marinette without hesitation. You called her petty, jealous, and basically treated her like a pariah because you decided to trust the words of one of the biggest pieces of scum I have ever had the misfortune to know.", she spat, "And why? Because she could give you important stories for your blogs? Introduce you to important celebrates and get exclusive information?", it was the definition of being an opportunist, "And while you claim I'm 'over-hyping' Marinette by listing her accomplishments. You fail to remember that you, your class, and the big mouth herself has been doing the same thing since the same one.", except it was so obvious to be bragging and showing off.

"Between you and her, I don't know which one of you is worse."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Every time someone asked for an autograph or even to meet these 'friends' of hers she always asked for something.", something a person or group had to do for her, "Like doing homework, carrying her things, or even doing work assigned to her.", even personal chores.

"Like when?"

"Like the time she promised Sabrina an autographed poster of RVER. If she did her homework.", she saw the folders she handed off to the girl and heard the conversations they had.

"Or the time she promised Juleka an advanced copy of Jagged Stone's new album if her band, Kitty Section, wrote a song about her.", even going so far as to try and bait Luka with her lies. And to her relief, the blueberry guitarist wasn't as easy to trick as his sister.

"Or how she promised to teach Max some new gaming skills. But, makes up an excuse when the time comes.", but never even showed any interest in the game as far as bragging about her 'skills'.

"She's never fulfilled a single promise.", not one, "But, your so quick to defend her because she's just so 'amazing'."

"What's wrong with that? We think she's amazing and supports her accomplishments."

"No, you think because what you believe is so important then everyone else believes. To the point, you'll violate other people's privacy just to get a story."

"I never..."

"You have and did.", and she wasn't going to let her deny it, "On multiple occasions, you've overstepped people's personal space and right to privacy because your so obsessed with being 'right'."

"Even to the point, you're willing to put people's lives in danger because you think putting a person's personal information in the public eye is more important than a person's right to privacy."

"Like when?"

"How about how you're always trying to unmask the heroes identities.", she brought up.

"They have the right to privacy and to live normal lives. Lives your putting in danger just so you can have something to put on your blog."

"And it's worth the safety of them, their loved ones, anyone they know or care about.", it was all in danger if the wrong people used them, "It's wrong to try and justify this as nothing more then snooping. And the fact you refuse to take a hint is both disrespectful and selfish."

"But, it's not what they want.", and that was the point, "They are heroes. But, they are also human."

"Well people know Chloe is Queen B.", so what was the difference?

"Chloe has money to buy protection. As far as I know, the other heroes could be anyone.", so it was no telling what their personal lives were like. Plus Hawkmoth didn't want the Bee Miraculous or any of the others as much as the earring and ring, "But, that isn't the point. If people knew who they were they could be easily targeted. Hawkmoth could use their loved ones against them."

"How do you know?"

"Hawkmoth has akumatized a baby three times.", she reminded, "But, it isn't just being akumatized. He could have them kidnapped and used to force the other heroes to surrender.", there was no telling the limits he would go to achieve his goal, "You're basing your theory on the fact that the heroes will always wins. But, if innocent lives are in play then it raises the stakes.", because it put peoples lives at risk.

"And I find it interesting that Lila claimed she was such close friends with her. But, Hawkmoth hasn't targeted her."

"Well, he probably doesn't know.", she tried to theorize.

"If people all over the world can see your blog and get information on the heroes. Then of course Hawkmoth can too.", it was obvious he was human, possibly, and no doubt could go onto to the internet and pull information. It wasn't like people knew his identity and the internet allowed complete anonymous to people, "And the fact you post anything and everything about 'them' it would be too easy for him to figure out their weak spots."

"I didn't...", she never thought about.

"That's the problem. You never think of the consequences of your snooping and how it will effect everyone else.", just how many views her blog will get, "You claim to love the heroes and how they save the city. But, you're willing to risk their safety as civilians and everyone else."

"Your an opportunist because you'll use any means to your advantage and won't even consider the consequences until it's too late.", and it needed to stop and should have a long time ago, "So as far I'm concerned you and the lair deserve each other."

"Cause Marinette doesn't deserve someone like you. Because frankly, she can do so much better.", those words echoed through the bloggers head.

"And if we ever have to have a conversation like this again. You're not only going to be eating your words, blogger.", with that Kitsi headed off. Her warning laying out thick on everyone's minds. The other students gave the blogger a small glace before they heading off to their respective clubs.


The next day came in a bit of haze. There had been two akuma's the day prior and one early the next morning. Clearly, Hawkmoth had been busy and trying to step up his game. But, true to code, each akuma had been dealt with and the city was returned to normal.

"Baka Hawkmoth.", Kitsi grumbled as she rotated her shoulder.

"You okay Kit?", Whissp asked.

"Fine.", she replied, "But, Hawkmoth needs a life.", especially if he was sending out so many akuma's and one day. She had things to do, "At least I got an early morning workout."

"Hawkmoth must be taking advantage of the emotions in Paris.", and picking up anyone he could.

"Well, he needs to try harder.", or not at all, "Seriously doesn't he ever sleep?", even with her energy drive, Kitsi still needed to actually sleep and recharge. So during lunch, she came to the roof to catch some well-deserved rest. She a good hour before classes restarted and could get some rest if Hawkmoth would chill.

But, as she cuddled into her bag and prepared to drift off she was awakened by a scream.

"Nani!?", she rubbed her eyes, "That wasn't even five minutes.", she growled.

"An akuma?", Whissp suggested.

"If it is it picked a bad time.", looking around Kitsi moved to the skylight that looked into the school. Down below she found what could be the source of the commotion.

And thankfully or not, it didn't look like Hawkmoth was to blame.


Down in the schoolyard a commotion had broken out among some of the students. It seemed like there was a disagreement about the menu for an up incoming school event. Apparently, a few of the items had been cut because of worries of someone having an allergic reaction. And while it wasn't uncommon, the number of items being cut seemed rather drastic. Which caused even more problems when the group in charge of decorating were confused about what the decorations actually were. The theme had been completely lost on them and no one knew what they were actually decorating.

Which led to the commotion now.

"What is going on with the menu?"

"The menu, what about the decorations.", they clashed with everything.

"Don't blame us, you're the ones who keep changing things.", another group accused.

"What about the menu? We spent weeks putting this together and now we don't even have half of what we had.", because now it had to be redone because much of the food chosen wasn't available. Because apparently someone had an allergy and most of the food could cause a flare-up. Most of the time an alternative plan was made so the students could participate in activities without being singled out or feel left out. And making sure there was medicine on hand and staff were prepared should such a situation happen.

"So they changed the entire menu?", that seemed rather drastic, "What was removed?"

"Apparently anything with tomatoes and nuts.", which were common ingredients, depending on what was being cooked, "So anything that's been cooked or has traces of these ingredients are probably being removed."

"But, that's almost everything on the menu?", which consisted of pasta's, salads, meats, and even special deserts.

"Well, pizza and pasta are obvious because of sauce. And I assume most of the deserts would have some traces of nuts in them from actual nuts or just the ingredients themselves.", which means they would have to be excluded as well.

They would have to call and do a complete change on the order.

"What about the decorations.", the art club spent weeks putting all their time and effort into making special decorations for the dance, "Now we don't even know what the theme is."

As the students argued many people tried to make sense and even calm things down.

Above Kitsi was growing concerned. She couldn't get any sleep with this noise. Grabbing her things Kitsi headed back downstairs before she had something worse to deal with.

"Everyone quiet!", her voice carried through the courtyard causing the students to disperse their arguments. Couldn't she get any peace anywhere in this place without something happening?

"Now what is everyone talking about?", and yet again she was bombarded with people talking over each other, "One at a time.", how many times did she have to go over this? All she wanted was some peace and time to sleep.

"Everyone's arguing because no one knows what is happening with the dance?", one of the students explained.

"What dance?", she knew she didn't pay attention much with school events at times, but she wouldn't forget something like that, "I seriously need to pay attention more."

"All the clubs and classes pulled their money together to book a huge act for a party.", which began a huge argument sense students were expecting one thing or another.

"That's what this is about?", of course, it was.

"It's not just that. No one knows the theme, the location, or even who's going to be playing.", everyone having different opinions as to what was happening. Which caused confusion for other groups.

"Well, when it comes to it's usually the student council heads that make the final decision when dispersing funds.", possibly even matching the funds, at least from the schools she went to there was usually someone who kept track of these things, "Didn't you guys have a meeting about this?"

"All the class reps did and the club presidents and their deputies."

"And what did you decide?", at first, a lot of clubs didn't want to pull money together because they had all been planning different activities and events. But, someone they came to an agreement if it was something everyone could enjoy, "Where is this dance even taking place?", the school would be more than likely.

"At the planetarium.", one student said, "To dance under the stars and planets."

"What, we're going to the Paris Opera House to be entertained by singers and dancers.", Belle said. Stating that the theme was going to be an elegant waltz with a live orchestra.

"No, we're having the dance at the Aquarium.", dancing among the fish with a beach theme, "Forget the waltz, we're doing the hula."

"Fish? I thought we were going to the museum and the botanical gardens?", for a garden party.

"No, it's going to be a rooftop party!", with a live dj and high powered party.

Soon an all-out verbal fight. Various people arguing over the theme of the dance, the location, and even the music.

Kitsi whistled, "Everyone cool it!", she yelled bringing everyone back down, "What are you even talking about?", she had hard five themes at once and she could see where the confusion came from.

"What happened to all the funds we raised throughout the semester?", between all the clubs and groups they should have raised a good amount of money. All to be used to book a great band, decorations, catering, and get a great venue.

"It still wouldn't be enough.", performers had to be booked in advance. Especially ones like Jagged Stone, Clara Nightingale, and RVER took weeks because of their schedules for tours and special appearances, "This money would only cover certain supplies.", some decorations at best, but that didn't cover things like a dance hall, the food, and catering for all the students, and other necessities for the event. This wouldn't even cover the list of acts they had called out.

Which would be in the thousands to play. She should know. Her brother's band required not only booking time, but a deposit to show up and play. Which usually went into the thousands depending on the type of venue and time slot.

"Also a lot of these places need to be reserved in advance.", especially for a large group of students to spend an extended amount of time. Like the museum, the aquarium, even the ice rink time needed to be set aside to accommodate so many people. Which again took weeks to put to plan. Getting permission from the parents, setting up times, chaperones, tickets and passes, and so much other things like insurance in case something got damaged. Which seemed more then likely for a dance with loud music and a large group of students and possibly a live band on the property.

"Who was in charge of all this stuff?", because someone had to have responsibility for this. Students looked around for a moment before falling on Mme. Bustier class. Specifically, Alya who had been in the background, probably also arguing as well, until all eyes fell on her.

"...Oh, you have got to be joking.", but of course, no one was laughing. Her class was in charge of all this commotion. Because of course, they were, "Please tell me you have a reason for all this madness.", because she did not need to deal with this.

"Of course you would have something to do with this.", Aurora eyed Alya non to pleased.

"You got something to say, weather girl?", Alya retorted.

"Bring it, blogger.", she challenged back, "Didn't you all make a big deal that the lair was 'terribly allergic' to tomatoes?", which had most of them picking them out of her salad and getting her lunch so she didn't risk having an outbreak, "And didn't she also say she had a nut allergy when Marinette brought a batch of homemade caramel and praline brownies to class.", which had to be quickly tossed out because the Italian girl got so dramatic about her having a flare-up.

"That was a sad day.", Kitsi remembered all those poor, uneaten brownies. They didn't even have a chance to be eaten. It almost brought a tear to her eyes.

"What does that have to do with anything?", Alya questioned. Not liking what the girl was insinuating.

"It means that every time something happens in this school, your class is usually the culprit.", she stated, "And from the looks of it your classmate claims of being allergic to the most common of things is the reason we're in this position.", because no one else had made any commotion about things like allergies.

"Are you seriously trying to blame Lila for this?", Alya said, obviously upset, "It's not her fault she has allergies."

"It is when our food and supplies are being wasted because one student supposedly has some kind of allergy?", to common ingredients and chemicals found in basic items and food.

"That's so not fair.", many students began talking among themselves of how unfair the new changes were. Why did they have to accommodate one student who many knew was a pathological liar.

"How do we even know she has allergies?", someone questioned.

"Sounds like another one of her lies.", another added.

"Oh come on, you actually think someone would lie about something like that?"

"If it looks like a duck and barks like a dog.", something wasn't right, "I never saw her have one allergy attack or mention being that sick.", not one break out or even showing symptoms. There was only one person in their class they knew with allergies and that was Adrien who had an allergy to feathers. Which wasn't too bad since no one wore feathers and he had an epi-pen if he got a flare up which was usually him having sneezing fits.

"Well, that's because she takes precautions."

"Yeah, when it's convenient for her.", every day it seemed she had another story, a new injury, or some kind of medical condition where she wanted people to pity her and give her special treatment because she couldn't do anything.

"I've never heard of so much trouble be taken for one person with 'supposed' allergies."

"Seriously you guys are getting mad over ice cream and pizza and a few balloons.", it wasn't that serious.

"Not the way you guys talked about it.", acting like they didn't see the class bending over backward to make sure her lunch was just right for her, "You even picked the nuts out of the girl's salad.", not that it mattered since most of the time they were standing around listening to her latest self-insert story.

"It was to make sure she didn't have an allergic reaction."

"Common sense would have her bring a lunch from home.", like a smart person would do if they had allergies and worried about the food causing them to flare up. Not risking it by coming into a cafeteria and having her classmate cater her like she was some kind of princess.

"Didn't she once say she trained with chefs or bakers?", some students brought up another rumor they had heard about the girl.

"She's has cooking skills like she has allergies.", they were none existent.

"You don't know that.", Alya fumed.

"I know a fake when I see one.", Aurora said, "And frankly I don't buy a single word from a liar. Or the friends of a liar at that."

"Why you..."

"Alright, ladies break it up.", Kitsi stepped in, "Clearly we've gone off topic.", and were about to head straight into another fight. Not that she wouldn't mind seeing Ceasire getting smacked around a bit.

"She's right at this rate we're not going to have a dance.", and they all been working too hard for that.

"Something is clearly off.", a student spoke up, "Let's have all class reps and deputies meet after school for an emergency meeting."

So it was agreed that there would be a meeting after school with all the class presidents and vice presidents.


When the meeting finally came all the student's representatives and their deputies had come together to figure out what was going on with the dance. Each on bringing with them a report on what they had done to put the dance together. And for the most part, most classes had done their tasks. Getting decorations together, catering the food, and making sure the word was spread about the event. All that remained was the music and the venue. Which had been given to Mme. Bustier class.

"Okay, so tell us again, why don't we have full confirmation on the band.", because most students were expecting a live band to entertain the dance.

"Because someone 'apparently' had connections to them and could get them no problem.", considering how big and important she made herself out to be. Many assumed she was close to a lot of important people, "So what happened?", many looked to Alya for a reason why people were assuming things that hadn't even been booked.

"I don't know...everything should have been planned out already.", she wanted to sound sure.

"Well, you are the deputy rep.", meaning it was her job to make sure all priorities were together, "It was your classes job to get the venue and book the group."

"We did. I mean I asked Lila..."

"Lila?"

"Yeah. She's friends with a lot of artists.", she listed, "And she said she could defiantly get them to play at the venue."

"Merdi.", the other students looked at each other in exasperation at the girl's name, "We're definitely not getting anyone then."

"What's that's supposed to mean?"

"You think we believe that liar can book big-name groups?", she scoffed at the notion, "The party in a month. We also don't have a venue because you didn't book any place.", which means they couldn't have a party. Had they know what they do now they would have never agreed to this. Student's gave up various trips and events just for this party to happen. So they could raise money and prepare for what was supposed to be a night to remember.

"What she means is that with recent revelations to certain rumors going about the school. There's high doubt about these 'claims' that your classmate made.", another student president simplified.

"Well, it's true.", Alya declared.

"Not from what we've seen."

"Just what was your class doing?", many of the other's in the meeting wondered just what procedures, if any, were being implemented since Mme. Bustier class was lacking to do their tasks.

"Exactly what we were assigned to do.", she replied, "We got a list of great asks to come and perform. And a lot of great venues as well."

"But, you didn't book any of them.", that was the problem, "Did you call their managers? Set up a date? Get a price check? Or get in touch of any of these acts or venues to see if they were available?"

"You also never talked to any of the other classes or fellow representatives about what was happening?", which now left to many missing pieces.

"But, Lila came to all the meetings?", didn't she?

"No, she didn't.", the students said, "She hasn't been to a single meeting.", they had accounts to prove it, "As deputy, you are supposed to keep records when the class rep is falling behind.", and clearly, she had fallen way below the cracks.

"I...I didn't know she hasn't been at the meetings.", she assumed she had always come.

"Well, she didn't.", meaning there was no communication and no one knew about what was happening. Given a number of excuses of why the girl was absent or what was happening on their end.

"How was she even allowed into these meetings?", it was only for class reps., "Wasn't Marinette suppose to be the class presidents."

"Well yeah...but, she didn't exactly think that the party would work out."

"At least when Marinette was the class rep we could have probably gotten a good deal on food and dessert for the event.", her parents were kind and skilled bakers. They would have even donated baked goods just for their daughter. Instead, the task fell to another class to supply food for a number of students, staff, and whoever was going to be at a party.

"Is that still on the table?", someone asked.

"Unfortunately the Dupain-Cheng's schedules are pretty full this month.", with orders set for months, "They won't have any available spots for the next three months from now.", they had asked Kitsi who explained that they were booked.

"We can still have a party.", it wasn't the end of the world, "We can hold it at the Le Grand Paris and Nino could DJ.", which solved both problems. Plus the hotel could provide food.

"We've had dozens of parties at the Le Grand Paris and heard your boyfriend dj-ing.", they were expecting something bigger. All the students were expecting to be wowed and have a great time, "Your 'class rep.' and you promised a super amazing act for a big party.", along with an amazing venue and entertainment. Not the same old, same old.

"At this point, we might have to cancel the whole party.", and spare the other students disappoint and getting their hopes too high.

"Cancel? But, we've been planning this for months.", a lot of students were hoping for this.

"True. But, I don't see how we can have a school party with no venue or entertainment or food or even decorations.", only raising enough funds for smaller items needed since the bigger expenses were claimed to have been paid for.

"And it will be. I'm sure this is just a small oversight.", it happened, "I'll even call her to see where things still stand. It will all be handled."

"Well, you better. This was your classes idea.", the other class reps warned that if they didn't or couldn't fix this the full blame would fall on her class alone, "Now for our next order of business, opening a new communication system.", he noted.


After the meeting, Alya had quickly texted her class for an emergency meeting in the park. So among the tables of the picnic area, her classmates had gathered. The only ones not present were Kitsi, Marinette, and Adrien. Nino had also been absent. Possibly held up.

"And well...besides having no venue or band reserved. The school is on the verge of being canceled.", Alya explained to her classmates about the situation.

"This is bad."

"How can we not have a venue or band?"

"Didn't we book them weeks ago?"

"Well sort of...see after we made the list for the places and the groups I asked Lila if she could pull some strings and get us a great band.", hoping to get a good discount or even getting the places and bands for free given how high up she was.

"And, what did she say?"

"Well, of course, she said yes. Kind of."

" 'Kind of'?"

"Well, she didn't officially say she would. She told me all these great stories about meeting all these famous groups and musical celebrities...", she regaled.

"Stay on topic.", Alix snapped her finger seeing the dreamy state she was about to enter.

"Alya did you call her or not?", her classmates watched the blogger carefully. After the incident with the other class reps and deputies, the students had been scrambling to try and figure out what was going on.

"W-well yes. I mean kind of.", she said in a way that didn't help the situation.

"What is 'kind of' ?", either she did or she didn't.

"I called her cell phone, but she hasn't answered...yet.", getting her voicemail she left a number of messages for her to call her back. Though not disclosing the much about the nature of the calls. Which for her was odd since she usually answered when she called.

"Maybe she's busy?", she always seemed to be up to something when she called them.

"Right. I mean she's on business with her mom.", obviously doing something important, "She would get back in touch with me when she's free."

"Well while she's off on 'business', we need to figure out what to do about this dance situation.", if not, the whole student body was going to come after them of the dance got canceled.

"Maybe we can have it at the Le Grande Paris Hotel.", it was still one of the nicest hotels in the city.

"Can't.", the hotel was booked solid for private functions. Including a wedding, two birthdays, and even an elegant party for invited guest only.

"What about music?"

"Nino could always play and maybe even have Kitty Section entertain the crowd."

"Again we can't.", the ideas were dismissed, "Everyone is expecting a huge act to play. Like Jagged Stone, Clara Nightingale, or RVER.", a famous act.

"I don't think we have the budget for that.", thinking about their funding was rather limited.

"Of course we don't. We were only raising money for...actually what were we raising money for?"

Max spoke, "According to my data we have about 1800 euros saved for miscellaneous.", since they assumed the other two big items were already set.

"I don't think that's enough for any place fancy or amazing.", Mylene frowned a bit.

"It's not. Most places charge that much like a security deposit alone.", which still didn't cover things like security, food, staff, and other additional charges.

"So basically we were screwed from the get-go.", since apparently there was no way they could come up with enough money to get a cool venue or anyone close to a famous musical act they were expecting.

"I think we might be over our heads on this one."

"It's feeling like the debates all over again.", still fresh in their minds.

"Speaking of which, did we ever get any information on all the stories Lila told us?", the class looked at Alya.

"Why are you looking at me?"

"You did have the proof right? That her stories were true."

"Well..."

"Please tell us you had evidence when we went to the debates.", and put their faith and confidence that she would outsmart that bow-tied blogger. Live.

"You told us you had evidence.", actual proof of all the stories they had been told.

"I said I would get evidence.", two totally different things, "I'm sure there is a logical explanation for all of this."

"But, you said you talked to her.", actually spoken and got real information that proved she was telling the truth.

"I did. Over a video chat.", but because she was on the subway she couldn't talk long and she could barely hear her. So it only lasted a few minutes. But, she was assured everything was fine.

"And what did she tell you?"

"Well, New York City is great. She visited the Empire State Building and is really having fun helping her mom..."

"Okay. But, what about what's happening here?", at this point, the class was in crisis mode and she was off having fun in New York. While they were trying to do damage control on every end. And she couldn't even pick up a phone or answer a voicemail. All they were asking for was a picture or video. Something that would and could prove what she said was the truth.

"I'm sure she's going to get back in touch soon. I mean come on, do you think she would leave us hanging like that?"

"Well, she better.", they were in hot water as it was. Between the student's at school and their own home lives, unless something came and cleared all this up. Their social lives were pretty much going down in flames.

"Alix why are you so...I don't know tense today?"

"You do seem rather upset."

"Well I haven't exactly had the best morning.", she muttered, "I don't want to talk about it.", she dismissed, folding her arms.

"Yeah well, it's been a rather tense day."

"Well look on the bright side.", Rose piped up, "At least it couldn't get any worse. There's always a silver lining behind every dark cloud."

"Rose is right.", sure some things had gone bad, but there was always something to come and turn things around.

"Right. I'm sure there's an explanation for all this.", Alya was positive, "I'm going to try calling Lila again. I'll keep you guys posted.", with the meeting and minds seemingly settled the blogger had headed off. Leaving her classmates to converse themselves.

Yet even with their positive thinking. Even the most hopeful thinking can lead to unknown complications.


At College DuPont College...

Fencing practice had just let out. After changing his clothes, Adrien had been lingering in the halls. He had gotten an emergency text from Alya, but hadn't noticed until after practice.

"What is all this about?", nothing good. In the past couple of days, the atmosphere in the school had become tense. Mostly with the tension between Kitsi and Alya. Coming to ahead when Kitsi pretty much called Alya's definition of friendship and her obsession with getting a good story. He had on;y heard about it through rumor. Though he already knew it had gotten worse. He had wished Alya would not try to bait Kitsi. She was way over her head at this point. Especially after what happened when Chloe tried to make a point and was shut down by Kitsi by just staring her down.

If this kept up he didn't know what would happen. He was already exhausted from the back to back akuma attacks. The tension at school wasn't helping.

With a breath, he put his phone away and prepared to head home. He had a Chinese lesson tonight and had a photo shoot to prepare for.

"Adrien.", the teen gave a small jump, but when he turned around he saw Kagami. He didn't even hear her come near. Thankfully Plagg was asleep.

"Oh, hey Kagami.", he greeted his fellow fencer, "Sorry, you kind of snuck up on me.", he admitted.

"You seemed distracted today.", she commented on Adrien's performance, "Having trouble?"

"Not exactly.", he said, "Just tired. Between school, my lessons, and photo shoots. I'm pretty wiped out.", but assured he was okay.

"Clearly you are not.", Kagami didn't buy it, "While I won't push you. Know that you need to get your priorities straight.", she advised.

"My priorities?", he wasn't following.

"Not to make assumptions, but I believe the tension within your class is the true cause of your lack of focus.", she said.

"Well I guess. But, it's not...so bad.", though he didn't sound sure.

"I don't believe that.", she easily dismissed, "As I advised the blogger about her campaign against Kitsi being fruitless. I believe your reluctance to distance yourself from the situation is only making things worse."

"I'm still not following."

"I know that you knew about Rossi being a lair."

"You...did?", he paled a bit.

"It took me a moment. But, by the evidence and that look alone, I can see I was right.", she usually was, "Honestly, I believe you have made more than one error.", other then hesitation.

"I did?"

"You allowed someone to continue bad behavior is just as bad as doing something bad yourself.", she didn't hide her disappointment.

"I just didn't want to make things worse. Exposing her would have made her a target."

"From what I heard that classmate of yours, Marinette, was made a target.", she had spoken to Kitsi and gotten details from her, "Does she not count?"

Adrien froze. He hadn't thought much about Marinette being akumatized. He didn't want to think about one of the most positive people in the class. Someone he cared for. Nearly being akumatized.

Because of him.

"You said that the reason you did not confront this girl because you didn't want to make her an unnecessary target.", which in her eyes didn't make sense, "You even convinced someone, Marinette, to throw away her own morals and allow the girl's behavior to go unchecked.", which unfortunately led them to this point. She was sure that it was Marinette's feelings for Adrien that convinced her to stand to the side. Though love can only do so much when the world seemed stacked against them, "I know that Marinette cares for you. Given her personality, she wanted to respect your wishes as a close...friend."

"I just...it wouldn't have solved anything to confront her.", though his words were like a scratched record and the meaning had long since fallen deaf. Becoming nothing more than a hollow excuse.

"There is no honor for a warrior who does not fight.", only the knowledge that they could have done the right thing, but instead allowed others to get hurt, "By allowing this girl to continue to lie, knowing she was lying, you enabled her behavior.", to grow and become worse. Leaving nothing but sorrow among a body of casualties.

"And now that people know, you harbor blame because you could have spoken up.", but took the passive way out and allowed his fellow students and friends to suffer, "I would have thought you could make better decisions than that.", for her, he had the potential to be a good opponent for her. A rival of sorts. But, allowing one's sense of morality to be blinded by baren senses could only lead to losing and bitter humiliation.

"And frankly, I'm disappointed.", and Adrien couldn't blame her.

"I know.", he finally said, "I've been racking my brain with this. Kitsi pretty much chewed me out about my behavior.", and lack of action in order not to cause a confrontation, "I'm not good with conflict.", never had. Usually, he just stood off while other people handled things. And since it was usually adults, he didn't think it was his place to argue, "I'm trying to do better. Not, just for me. But, for Marinette.", who he let down in so many ways.

"And you think you can earn her forgiveness."

"It's not just her forgiveness.", he admitted, "I want to be someone that she can rely on.", and not just someone who left her alone. Friends didn't do that.

Kagami observed the boy.

"We will see.", walking past him Kagami stopped and whispered, "You're on the right track. Focus on your goal.", she advised before walking off.

Adrien sighed. Sometimes he wondered about Kagami and her coded pieces of advice. Usually, she was so straight forward.

After leaving the school he waited outside for his ride to show up.

"Must be stuck in traffic.", it happened.

"Yo Adrien!", a voice called and Adrien saw Nino running up to him.

"Hey Nino.", he greeted, "What are you doing here?"

"Had to help my mom with some chores.", nothing major, "I was headed to Alya's for some emergency meeting.", he mentioned.

"Right, I got the same text.", he admitted, "Do you know what it is about?"

"Not really. But, my girl sounded serious when she called me.", since he missed the actual meeting, "Anyway want to head over with me?", he offered.

"I would. But, you know my schedule.", not much time for anything.

"Right, seriously. You think your old man would chill and let you have an off day.", Nino seemed to complain.

"Well you know my father...", he gave a dry smile, "Sorry I can't come with. I heard there was some kind of issue today."

"Yeah, it's nothing. Just a disagreement.", at least that's what he heard.

"Speaking of which...", he said carefully, "I heard Alya and Kitsi had a bit of an altercation yesterday. Kagami mentioned it and sounded a bit intense.", to say the least.

"Yeah, it was a bit of a moment. I was sure Kitsi was going to jump Alya.", but it just ended up being more of a stare down.

"Don't you think maybe Alya is taking things a bit too far?", he said carefully, considering she was his best friends girlfriend.

"What do you mean?", Nino seemed to notice the question.

"I mean it seems like Alya has been stressing over her 'disagreement' with Kitsi.", and wasn't helping herself trying to confront her every chance she got, "Confrontation isn't always the best choice. And maybe she should try not...stressing over what Kitsi's does."

"Look, Adrien my dude, I see where you're coming from.", he really did, "But, Alya is just trying to defend herself. I mean you heard what Kitsi said about.", both him and half of Paris.

"But, is this really the right way.", this conversation sounded eerily familiar, "I'm not saying Alya is wrong, but perhaps she needs to just, maybe, not go looking for a fight.", because he was sure if she kept poking Kitsi, she was going to put her in the hospital.

"Alya can handle herself.", he assured.

"I'm not saying she can't.", Alya was a tough person, "But, I think she's letting her emotions get her into situations she doesn't completely understand.", and was going to get in more trouble if she didn't take a step back, "Like when she went on the debate. She had no proof to back up her claims and ended up looking bad in front of the audience."

"Alya was just taken by surprise. It happens.", but he was sure his girl could bounce back.

"All I'm saying is maybe she's gotten over her head.", and was digging herself into a deeper hole, "She's devoting so much attention into trying to prove these stories, that she's driving herself up the wall.", with no exit on any sides.

"Dude it's fine.", his voice sounded frustration, "Just let Alya do her work."

"But, shouldn't we, I don't know help her?", like trying to keep her from doing something worse.

"The best we can do is support her.", he said, "She really wants to defend these stories and her integrity as a reporter."

"No one doubts she's a good reporter.", not many, "She can just get ahead of herself sometimes.", a lot of times.

"Now you're starting to sound like everyone else.", yes, Alya could be intense sometimes, but she was just passionate about her journalism, "Plus no offense, but you have to admit Kitsi overstepped by calling Alya a bad friend."

"I heard...", more or less, "I think people are just...running on emotions.", and not thinking, "Maybe if everyone just talked things out it might clear the air.", maybe not fix anything, but hopefully making things less tense, "Anyway want to head to the bakery?", he suggested.

"The bakery?"

"Yeah. I was hoping to go visit before I headed home. I wanted to visit Marinette.", and maybe actually talking to her.

"You've visited her?", he sounded surprised.

"Well yeah, I mean we haven't talked.", not yet at least, "But, Kitsi said she's been feeling better and might even be coming back to school soon.", he said with excitement in his voice.

"She is?"

"Yeah. Though I don't know when.", but he was just happy she would be back and he would be by her side, "Anyway we can go together if you want. She'll be happy to see both of us coming to visit."

"I...think I'll have to pass.", he declined, much to Adrien's disappointment.

"It's just...I need to go. Alya's probably wondering where I am.", he mentioned how he promised to meet up with her.

"You sure? I mean, if you have things to do I understand.", even though he was sad he couldn't, "Maybe another time.", he said hopefully, "I guess I'll talk to you later."

"Yeah, later.", with that Nino headed off. And once he was out of sight, Adrien headed over to the bakery. Where his friends were hopefully waiting.


To Be Continued...


Next Time: Surprises and Secrets

Chapter Text

 "Marinette are you okay?", Kitsi wasn't as oblivious as people might think. So when she came to check on Marinette, she was a bit surprised to find her sitting on the floor of her bed. Her covers over her head, "Marinette?"

But, she didn't answer.

"Mari? Are you...", she never finished her sentence as she saw it. An akuma fluttering over Marinette. It was by the ceiling. Circling its target from above.

Not taking any chances Kitsi quickly pushed open the latch and sprinted toward Marinette. Jumping in front of her, she made herself a human shield.

"Not today you pest.", she was not going to let Marinette get taken by some wicked bug.

The butterfly continued to flutter over the two. Possibly trying to pick between them. A worried friend and a sad girl. Both perfect targets.

"Where's a can of bug spray and a match when you need it?", Kitsi continued to block the akuma from her friend. Best case scenario it latched onto her and she fought it off. Worse case, it latched onto one of them and succeeded to make them akumatized.

After a stare down between them, the butterfly seemed to take off. Going out the window.

"You better run...fly...", Kitsi shook her head, but continued to shout out the window, "And don't come back!", shutting the window for good measure and dramatics.

"Marinette?", she returned her attention to her friend on the floor, "Mari are you okay?", obviously not if she found an akuma flying over her head.

There was a hesitation in her answer. Which signaled something was wrong.

"Marinette, what's wrong?"

"Am I taking advantage of you?"

"What?"

"Am I...do you think I'm taking too much of your time?", she changed her answer, "You're taking time to help at the bakery, meaning you're waking up earlier to get here and make it to class. You call me all the time to check up on me and even text me about class. Bringing me homework and waiting on me hand and foot.", Kitsi basically became her caretaker. Bringing her food, checking up on her, bringing her homework, she even took over her responsibilities in the bakery.

"I'm worried you're doing so much for me. And I'm just up here laying in bed like some useless log.", and it made her feel guilty.

"Mari you're not a useless log. You're a pretty lotus.", she said, "Also, where is this coming from?"

"Promise you won't get mad."

"Kitsi promise.", the most trusted promise she could make.

"Well...", she took a deep breath, "I might have snuck out of the house today.", it wasn't like she just went down the fire escape. She wanted to stretch her legs and went to do some errands for her parents. A quick stop to the store for some last minute ingredients, "When I came home, I overheard our classmates talking.", especially about Kitsi and how she was treating Marinette. Essentially equating their relationship like something of a master and servant type deal. With Kitsi treating Marinette like she was royalty. Even comparing her to how Chloe treated Sabrina.

"Am I going to have to break someone?", Kitsi had that look in her eye. The look that she was about to get her hands dirty.

"No Kitsi.", she said quickly, "It's just...what if they're right? What if I'm just overreacting and having people take care of me. And being a burden to everyone.", because she couldn't fix her own problems.

"I could say the same thing.", when she put them in the hospital, "Marinette you're not being a burden. You're recovering.", there was a difference.

"But, I'm just stuck in my room. You, Adrien, my parents. You're all doing so much for me.", even people she didn't know were being so nice to her. She couldn't count the number of people that sent her cards and even gifts that Kitsi delivered. Most of which she didn't feel she deserved.

"Because we love you.", that's what people do when they care for someone, "Marinette you need to learn that it's okay to be spoiled now and then. You do so much for people, you and them, sometimes forget you have feelings too.", and having those feelings made her human.

"So...I'm not taking up your time?"

"Marinette you are my friend. I chose to be with you.", not just out of sympathy or pity, "Friends look out for each other. And that includes picking them up when they feel down.", it came with the territory. And Marinette was her territory was to protect.

Marinette smiled a bit.

"You don't have to worry. I'll always have your back.", whether she knew it or not, "And don't listen to people talking.", they were just jealous, "I know! I think I have something that might bring your mood up."

"Really? What?"

"Donny Morgons?"

"Hai", she nodded, "Since the popularity of his blog has been growing, he's added a new segment to his channel."

"Hero Hour."

"Viewers send in their clips of the heroes of Paris.", not only akuma battles, but the heroes around the city helping out citizens, "They showcase everyone.", showing a few clips posted earlier.

"That looks really good.", it was nice that more people were giving coverage for all the heroes.

"It's still in a pilot mood.", but with some time it should take off in no time, "People have already been flooding the channel.", she showed.

"That's great.", she commented, "Donny should be proud. It looks like he works really hard on his content.", and it shows.

"Donny's dream is to be a great entertainer.", he loved being on camera and being able to share information with people. And this new segment could be a big leap for him. And ly or fall, she would support him all the way.


"Good morning everyone.", Mrs. Lark greeted. To say students were surprised, and a bit disappointed, that the substitute was still there was an understatement. Many were expecting Mrs. Bustier to be back at the front and their seats to return to normal. When asked, the teacher replied that their regular teacher was still helping out the headmaster and would return to her regular job on Friday. Though after nearly a week of having a sub, many wondered what type of assignment she was helping him with.

"Now then as you know tomorrow is the due date for your papers. I trust you all have been applying yourselves and will turn in the work that shows it.", she reminded them of the due date.

Looking up from her book Kitsi noted the mood in the class. Throughout the week the atmosphere shifted drastically. It went from tense to random and now seemed to drift in the grey. Even the most positive of people seemed to be losing that extra glow.

'Not my problem.'

Even if she was curious and perhaps a bit worried. She made it a point not to get involved and focus on bigger things that needed her attention. But, even that didn't stop her from catching the run-off of her classmates stupidity. And after the monumental cluster from yesterday, it was a wonder half the student body hadn't been akumatized. Again.

She would do her best to keep people calm as possible. But, as for anything else they were on their own.

"Before we begin, there is a meeting taking place. So all class representatives and their deputies are being dismissed early.", she announced.

"Where are you going?", Alya questioned.

"To the meeting.", obviously.

"I don't think you heard right. The meeting is for class reps. And deputies.", for which Kitsi was neither.

"And you apparently didn't get the memo.", Kitsi added.

"What memo?"

"As of today...", she stood up, "I am the Official Honorary Stutitute Class Representative!", she declared. Alya and the class looked shocked by the announcement.

"O-Official Rep...", Alya blinked, "What does even mean?"

"Since the current representative is out sick and the 'stand-in' is out 'traveling. Kitsi will be acting as your class representative.", since the first two were unavailable, Kitsi was chosen after an emergency vote, "Congratulations.", Ms. Lark gave a simple but encouraging smile.

"How did she get picked as the class rep? We didn't even vote."

"Ironic.", Kitsi muttered of the girls growing list of hypocritical statements, "Well you know how last minute changes can be."

"This was decided by student council as well as your current teacher Ms. Bustier.", who was asked for submission for a stand-in class rep., "It was put to a vote and Kitsi won by a very impressive margin.", since she was the only one out of the two names put forward to take up the position.

"T-That's...that's...", Alya tried to find the right words.

"Completely ridiculous!", Chloe voiced, "She can't be a class rep. She has no leadership skills."

"Well Bourgeois, unlike you and certain people, I have actually been in leadership roles.", she replied, "WIllinging I might add.", she jabbed.

"Like what?", she questioned.

"I was the head of elementary school line where we all walked to school together.", holding hands as we picked up and walked each other home and to school , "Co-captain of the middle school fight club, captain of the all-girls tennis club, and third of my last school's student council as part of the student safety section.", so she had a good resume, "I've been in a lot of clubs and activities in my time. So I know the value of both leadership and teamwork."

"I still say it's ridiculous. As an actual heroine why wasn't I picked for class rep?", she questioned.

"I could make a list.", she shook her head, "And like I said I'm only the temporary one until the real representative comes back. And I'm sure Marinette will agree with this decision, she declared.

"But, Alya is the deputy, shouldn't she take up the role?", Nino asked and most of the class agreed.

"In most cases yes.", Ms. Lark nodded, "However, some of the other students on the council believe that the current deputy requires an extra push in order to finalize projects that have been recently unresolved."

"What does that mean?"

"They believe while Ms. Ceasire is capable of stepping into the role, they feel a new set of eyes will help even things out.", adding they didn't want to put any extra pressure on one student for the work of two, , "Now then, I believe you and your deputy have a lot to discuss.", adding that all class representatives were being dismissed for meetings to discuss the school meeting, "For everyone else please turn to chapter 43 in your textbooks.", it was time for class to begin. Alya and Kitsi left, passing one last glance at each other as they walked out the door.

As they headed down the hall there was a tense silence between the two. For the most part, they kept to themselves and headed to the meeting. However, as the continued to walk down the hall Kitsi heard her phone ping.

Kitsi stopped and opened her phone. It was a link from Donny. Clicking it a video began to load.

"Greetings all!", Donny's voice came over, "This is Donny Morgan's here to deliver a big announcement. A new segment will be added to the blog. Hero Hour!", a segment dedicated to showing the heroics of the heroes throughout the day, "This afternoon will be the official first episode. Where I'll be showcasing footage with this morning fight with the akuma, Etiquette.", an akuma bent on teaching proper etiquette to the people of Paris, "We'll also be viewing the results from our last poll.", which showcased the favorite power moments of the heroes, "And finally we'll be having a special trivia show. Know Your Akuma!", showing a few selections for topics being put on his channel, "If you have any photos, videos, or stories about the heroes of Paris doing what they do best. Post them and show your support!"

"Be sure to stay tuned in for updates and a live showing of the first official episode.", he invited, "Until then this has is Donny with your facts of the day. Keep it real.", with that, the video ended.

"Good job Donny.", Kitsi smiled at her friend's determination to go through with the new segment, "This is going to be amazing.", and she was sure everyone would love it.


"Hero Hour!?", a voice boomed across the room.

Well so much for that thought.

As news of Donny's new segment swept through the internet and blog world, in the real world not everyone seemed excited. One of them is none other than Alya, the creator of the Ladyblog, who took the news rather differently. If by different, being she basically was ranting about it since she got the link. Now she was fuming with her classmates, sans a few faces, about the new development.

"Looks like bowtie is expanding his territory.", Alix commented.

"It's already beginning to trend.", Max noted how news of the addition of the blog had caused quite a bit of talk, "At this rate, it will all over the school and beyond."

"It does look like a lot of people are interested.", Rose commented.

"But, it's a complete rip-off of the Ladyblog.", Alya argued that Donny was basically copying her, "He's basically being a copycat."

Kitsi snorted. Though she didn't look it, she had been listening to the blogger rant about the new segment. Which, in her opinion, was childish, to say the least.

"He can't just make up a new segment about the heroes.", that was her job, "He doesn't even understand the time and work it takes to get those stories."

"Which part would that be?", Kitsi spoke, "Would it be running into a dangerous situation just to see the akuma's powers or posting random stories without backchecking.", both of which had a similar theme. That being its reporter being reckless and not thinking about the consequences.

"I wasn't talking to you.", Alya retorted.

"But, you were talking about my friend.", a bad decision no sane person would make if they didn't want to have teeth, "Seriously, you're getting dramatic because there's another person blogging about the heroes.", did she even know how many people blogged about the heroes in Paris alone.

"But, the Ladyblog was the first.", Alya reminded, arguing the essentially Donny was just doing what she had started, "Even his segment is just copying other blogs."

"Well from what I've been hearing a lot of people are excited about something fresh.", people loved things that were new, "Plus Donny already has a pretty strong reputation in the blog world.", for his unbiased reporting skills and fact-checking.

"It's still not a good enough reason to think he can report on the heroes."

"And you have such a glowing record.", she retorted, "Donny has one of the most trusted blogs on the web. People love his energy.", its what hooked his viewers. "People enjoy and trust their content."

"And the Ladyblog isn't trustworthy?", she seemed to challenge.

"No one's going to argue the lengths you go through to get a story.", as dangerous and stupid as they were at times, "But, as of recent the sense of the blog of trust is split.", and not down the middle. With recent details surfacing, especially after the debate, people's trust in the sense of the blog of quality was declining. Most were concerned over the reporter, Alya, integrity to get her facts straight. Especially, after she was shown to have kicked people off her blog just for acting common questions to someone she claimed to be not only a source for some of the stories. But, her close friend as well.

Not to mention stories of her hypocritical behavior when it came to fact checking and use of proof. And how she treated her friends and subscribers over how she valued her blog. Overall, people simply didn't fully trust her postings.

"I still say he's copying me and my blog.", and she didn't seem to want to change her mind.

"He is not copying you.", that was an overstatement, "Donny decided to make a segment that showed highlights of the heroes.", not just an entire blog dedicated to mostly one. But, all the heroes and what they do for the city. Giving everyone a chance to show their videos and photos.

"It's still copying.", Alya stated, "He's even using clips from the Ladyblog.", she pointed out.

"Again not copying you.", she corrected, "All the clips used were sent in by viewers.", some of which had probably been sent to the Ladyblog before, as well reshared on other sites, "People are allowed to post things on various sights.", the only rule came with credit and content, "Plus when are you the only one allowed to cover the heroes of Paris?"

Alya frowned.

'That's what I thought.'

"You have the Ladyblog. Donny has the Hero Hour.", they just had to co-exist, "You'll just have to deal with it.", and not make a fuss over nothing, "And as his friend I'm going to be supporting him and making sure his blog is one of the best.", whether as a subscriber or endorsers. Maybe even providing some equipment or getting up close footage from the battles.

"I still say it won't last long.", and her friends would support her.

"Will just have to see, won't we.", in the end it came down to what the viewers wanted, "Also, I'll be expecting the budgets for the school dance.", she added of Alya's tasks, "Hopefully, you can manage to gather that information.", she evened out her papers and place it in her folder, "Putting your drama aside, we need to focus on making sure this dance happens."

"And it will.", Alya said quite confidently.

"Well see.", Kitsi sounded doubtful, but continued to talk about how much work needed to be done, "I don't want to disappoint everyone because 'someone' made some promises she couldn't keep."

"I told you it's handled.", Alya reaffirmed.

"I heard what you said.", but the facts shown differently, "We literally only have a few weeks before the dance.", and there was a literal pile of things that needed to be done. Did they think all this stuff was going to magically appear out of thin air?

"We're going to meet after school and figure out how to salvage this.", as best as possible.

"After school?"

"Yes.", she nodded, "I'll be over your house so we can go over the last reports and go through a list of venues.", she pointed out they needed to level down their options, "As the class representatives it's our job to make sure everyone is on the same page.", and there were a lot of pages to go through.

"I know that. It's just...it's not a good time for me.", she tried to explain.

"Then we're going to make time.", she was not doing this chasing game again, "This dance is days away and it's damage control time.", because she was not going to look like a fool because her own class couldn't do one job.

"Seriously you need to chill.", Alya said, "You're taking this position way too seriously."

"Someone in this class has too.", because no one else was, "The majority of these promises make no sense. Who promised a rooftop party with a light up dance floor, and a live DJ? Or a full concert headlined by Jagged Stone? And...", she looked at one of the reports, "A pool filled with chocolate?", who would want that?

'Well, that would be sweet.', but Kitsi had experience when it came to trying to fill a pool with edible liquids. That wasn't water.

"And no one checked on any venue for this?", not to mention there was no report of contact with any of the promised acts, "And put your phone down."

"What? I'm listening.", she said hiding the phone behind her back, "And as I said before I have all this handled."

"Sure it is.", she stood up, "Maybe when you're done obsessing over your blog, you could bring your head back down to earth.", and stop being so dramatic.

"I am not obsessive.", she denied, "As the sites only admin, it's my job to make sure everything is kept up to date."

"Well, you can update your blog later. Right now we need to work on getting this dance together.", and getting the school back to normal, "We will talk more afternoon.", one way or another, "Make sure you take good notes.", with a smirk Kitsi gathered her things and left for her next class. Leaving a glowering blogger leering at her back.

"Ugh, sometimes she can just...", she folded her arms.

"Babe calm down.", Nino said trying to comfort his girlfriend, "You're getting stressed over nothing."

"I am not stressed.", she denied, "Between this dance and this new blog popping up.", not to mention her own blog troubles, "I've had a lot on my mind.", recently her numbers for her post have been less than a thriller. While she got a good number of views they were nothing compared to her old videos. And her subscriber list had gone down over the past couple of days. Even with the high number of akuma attacks, she couldn't get close to the action or even get a word with heroes.

"Well don't worry I here for you babe..", Nino assured.

"Thanks. I can always count on you.", she smiled knowing she had people in her corner, "Still...", she looked at her phone, "I need to do something big for the Ladyblog.", making sure no one could just step in and try to take over.

"What about reporting on another akuma attack?"

"That might not be enough."

"Oh, what about interviewing one of the heroes?", people loved the interviews with the heroes.

"That could be something.", no other sites could get up close to the interview like Alya. She had interviewed all of them, "I can interview the heroes.", the only question is how? It was hard to even get a regular Q&A because the heroes usually left before she even got a chance to pull out her phone.

"It's still a good idea. You could have a live interview.", for people to chat with the heroes.

"Other sites have never done it before."

"Plus the other heroes love the Ladyblog.", having mentioned it as a good source for keeping up with news around Paris, "Not even Donny Morgon's can say that.", besides having a few notable figures on his blog. He never showed any of the heroes.

"Still where am I going to find a hero to interview?"


As lunch pulled around Kitsi decided to eat in the courtyard. She had her tablet on her lap and was making some notes for the dance. She had the bigger items already set. It was just putting everything together. Which was a lot considering what they had to begin with. Which was nothing.

The first meeting was the general meet and greet. The other representatives welcoming Kitsi for her position, as short as it would be. She was given a rundown of the current project and elephant in the room, the school dance. It had become obvious that with the date nearing, a lot of the standards and expectations from the other students were being heavily over exaggerated.

For her part, it was the classes duty to procure a venue for the dance and entertainment as well. And with the expectations looming it was going to be a job. Especially with so many students expecting different things. Including a theme.

Looking at the notes Kitsi couldn't help feel the pressure.

"Something wrong Kit?", Whissp asked. Noting how she seemed uneasy after last classes.

Kitsi sighed a bit, "Just having that feeling again.", the feeling that something wasn't right and there was something about to happen.

"Careful Kit. Your paranoia is showing.", Whissp seemed to joke. But, he knew better than to underestimate his partner's senses.

"It's not paranoia.", for the most part, "It's this dance.", she looked at her notes, "Even when I'm not involved, I become involved because of other people.", basically she was guilty by association. One of the lamiest kinds of crimes you can be guilty of.

"Hey Kitsi?", a voice spoke, causing Whissp to duck back in Kitsi's hair.

"Oh hey Adrien.", she greeted quickly, "What's up?", her relationship with Adrien had, for the most part, become a bit more civil. She was still frustrated with the other for his knowing reluctance to let Rossi lie and convincing Marinette it wasn't worth it to expose her lies. And while it still infuriated her of the boys over pacifism. She gave him credit for coming to visit Marinette and beginning to see the light. Though he hadn't actually seen her, he made the effort to check on her.

Even if it took a reality check to do it.

"Out of any chance have you seen Chloe today?", he asked. Though it was a long shot, Kitsi was someone who seemed to have the same feeling of him when it came to his missing classmates.

"Well I haven't had any migraines today.", so that was a thankful, no, "She's been missing from class since this morning.", though given the fact it was Chloe one would think she would be coming to school to brag about her latest victory.

"I was afraid of that.", truthfully he hadn't seen her since the last akuma attack. After the last akuma was defeated Kitsune had to leave early. Though somehow Chloe had snuck off without returning the bee miraculous to Ladybug. To say Ladybug was upset would be making light of the situation, "I thought she would back at school.", though quickly lost hope of that when he didn't see her.

"Well hopefully she'll be taking a day off.", she didn't need to listen to the heiress boost. She still didn't see why they had to bring her in for the last fight. But, in retrospect, it might just be her frustration talking. They were tired. After so many akuma fights in these last 3 days alone, it was hard not to feel a bit held back.

"Anyway...I heard you're taking over as class representative.", Adrien brought up.

"Technically I'm only the substitute.", she corrected lightly, "I sort of got voted in at the last minute.", she added.

"Still, it's great to have you taking over.", if only for a short time, "The other students must have really good faith in you."

"Well, I don't know about that. But, I'll do my best to live up to expectations.", as high as they might seem, "As long as this dance goes off well, I think I can manage to put up with our class.", especially Ceasire who was starting to tick her off.

"I'm guessing you two aren't getting along?"

"She's still salty about...well, take your pick.", it hadn't really been solid ground for a while now and these past couple of days kept tilting the axis, "As long as we don't argue too much, I think we can get this dance done."

'Ping, Ping'

"I just got a notification.'

"Me too."

It seemed like almost everyone was getting a notification on their phones. At the same time.

Pressing the link a video popped up. Once it began to play who should appear, but the Queen Bee herself.

"Chloe?", Adrien looked shocked. "Why is she blogging?", she should have returned the bee miraculous already.

"That should not be your top question.", Kitsi noted, "Seriously, why is she cosplaying as Queen Bee?"

"I don't think that's a costume.", Adrien frowned a bit. And Kitsi caught it. Looking at him and then to the screen a couple of times.

'She didn't.'

"Evening loyal citizens, it's your one and only Queen Bee!", she announced herself, "Here to bring you an update of my latest victory in protecting Paris."

"Oh for the love of...", she rubbed the side of her head, "Is this the reason she wasn't in class.", to do a live blog. With her miraculous still on.

"I'm being interviewed by my good 'friend', the blogger from the Ladyblog.", the camera panned over to the creator and host of the Ladyblog herself.

"Alya!?"

"Well this just a whole lot worse.", what were those two up to?

"So Chl...Queen Bee, what can you tell us about the latest akuma battle?"

"As Ladybug's best and closest ally, it was no surprise when she called upon me to aid in stopping Hawkmoth latest attempts at taking over the city."

"I'm already over this.", wasn't it bad enough she had to deal with her as Kitsune and Kitsi. It seemed to go one like that. Answering questions by the host that usually seemed to allow Chloe to brag about something or another.

"I can't believe Alya is apart of this."

"In a way, I can.", and that was sad. Thinking back she had noticed how Ladybug seemed less than excited to speak to the reporter. Noticeably avoiding her, even after akuma attacks. Answering questions from other reporters and fans, before zipping off when she even caught sight of the blogger.

Most people hadn't noticed. But, Kitsune had counted it happening more than once. Whenever Ladybug caught sight of the blogger trying to get her attention her expression seemed to sour. Her smile of hope and victory, replaced with what Kitsune could only describe as disappointment with hints dust of anger. It was odd and suspicious.

She chalked it up to exhaustion. With so many akuma attacks happening, all the heroes were tired. And answering reporters was becoming a chore.

"So what do you say to some sites questioning her stance as a true hero?", Alya brought up.

"Utterly ridiculous.", she dismissed, "Ladybug chose me to be her ally because she believes I was the best for the job. And of course who knows better than her.", she was Ladybug, the hope and jewel of Paris, "Unlike 'some' people who think they can just waltz in, I am a professional hero.", and heroes work should be left to real heroes.

"When will it end.", Kitsi groaned, "Also professional? she's only been a hero for three months.", and Kitsune had been there a lot longer. Even Ladybug and Chat Noir were technically veterans when it came to being superheroes.

"Maybe because she was busy holding up a car.", she muttered under her breath. She wasn't going to act like the akuma's had been a cakewalk. With them and the creatures created by Mayura, Hawkmoth's partner, they needed more hands in order to cover all bases. Which meant calling in other heroes like Carapace and Queen Bee. One of which was an actual choice.

"As Ladybug's closet friend she tells me everything.", she bragged, "Unlike other blogs claiming to get the scoop and giving 'facts'."

"Most of the content are just recycled clips. But, you can't really count on a third rate gossip site to post content people want to see.", she gave a flip of her hair.

Kitsi snorted.

"He wouldn't know good content if it came up and stung him. He even passed up a chance to interview yours truly.", and apparently only a fool would do that, "Truth exposor, more like a poser."

"Kitsi?", Adrien could see his friend eye twitch, "Oh boy.", this was not good.


Donny was having a day for sure. He was nearly late to school because of the akuma attack. While it wasn't close to the school, it brought a bit of traffic and a few onlookers who wanted to see the heroes in action. An exciting sight for sure.

Donny himself had a chance to see the newest giant creature that spawned from the villain Mayura. Along with the akuma, Etiquette, battling the heroes of Paris. While Kitsune and Carapace took on the Centaur. Ladybug and Chat Noir battled the akuma.

After the dust had cleared and the heroes stood victorious he managed to get a photo of the heroes together after the battle. And by pure luck Kitsune had given a shout out after spotting him in the crowd. It was amazing. He even got a few words about from the fox heroine, along with a short interview. It was unbelievable and would look perfect for his segment.

Only when he was heading to class did he receive an update on his phone. Someone had posted a link on his blog. With messages telling him to watch it. And when he did, he got an earful. Greeted with the Queen Bee herself, who not only insulting his blog but insulting him as well. And to top it off it was being shown live from the Ladyblog of all places.

A blatant act of mud throwing. Accusing him of using the heroes to build his subpar viewer count. And claiming that he was only copying better sites like the Ladyblog and only spreading common gossip about the heroes.

"Third rate site. Gossip blog.", just who did she think she was?, "I look for the facts. These people just don't know when to quit!", now they were attacking his blog with such remarks and claims. He exposed the truth and only that. He would never make up stories for news or twist the words of others for viewers, "Someone needs to give them a reality check.", he growled.


"Interesting. Someone who prides themselves on getting the truth and exposing those who use lies to spread lies.", nothing he hadn't dealt with before, "Still, a perfect target for my akuma."


The akuma fluttered around the blogger before merging with his bow-tie. Feeling the dark energy coursing through him, a dark mask over his face, as the neon mask illuminated on his face.


"Exposor, I am Hawkmoth.", the supervillain greeted, "You make it your code to uncover the truth and bring real facts to life. But, there are those who would rather see the dirt and spread lies to others. I'm giving you the power to expose anyone you target. Forcing them to reveal their darkest secrets to you and your audience.", allowing them to get the attention they so richly deserve, "Expose those who trampled on your work. Then you'll bring me the miraculous of Ladybug and Chat Noir!"


"Lights! Camera! Let the show begin!", with a wicked grin, Donny was surrounded in a purple mist. When it was cleared he was transformed into Exposer. Looking over his new silvery tuxedo form, he smirked wickedly. With a quick pull on his bow tie, he took a silver, retro style microphone out from his sleeves.

"Let's see who's on schedule.", summoning a virtual screen he scanned through a number of names and quickly made a guest list, "First on my list, Chloe Bourgeois!"

"After I knock her down. The third rate reporter of the Ladyblog will be in the hot seat.", he closed the screens, "I think I'll start with a couple of test appearances.", with that he took off into the city.


Back at the school, the students were still talking about the interview. Many going over the video of Queen Bee slamming Donny's blog. Leaving many confused by what they saw and heard. Igniting conversations of a possible split in the heroes.

While Kitsi was slamming Nino into a locker. It didn't take long for her to find him. After snapping out of her shock, she was out for blood.

"You got ten seconds to explain what the heck your girlfriend was doing.", and she was being generous with the time.

"I didn't know she was doing that.", he thought she was going to try to interview the heroes. Not, Chloe.

"Kitsi put him down.", Adrien pled for his friend to calm down before she seriously hurt Nino.

"Where is that story snoop?", Kitsi questioned releasing the boy back onto the floor.

"I don't know.", he swore he hadn't spoken to her since this morning, "Also 'ow'.", he rubbed his backside as Adrien helped him up.

"Well until I see her face, your body is going to be in a world of pain.", she cracked her knuckles, "That wasn't even news. Plus I got some words for Queen pain in the butt. She has some nerve to pull what she did.", and she was going to make her feel it. Whether as Kitsune or Kitsi.

'Ping Ping!'

"Another notification?"

All the students seemed to get the same notification. Clicking on the play button as the video loaded. It turned out to be a new video posted, under an icon of a retro mic and a bow tie on the next.

"Exposor?", what was that? A new site? No one remembered subscribing to such a site. Yet they all got the same notification. With the video fully loaded it was the mayor of the city, Andre Bourgeois.

"Mister Bourgeois?", as the video played the Mayor began spilling a number of stories about his daughter. But, not just any stories. Embarrassing stories that the heiress would never want to see the light of day. The video switch between him, his wife, and even the butler.

"Chloe still sleeps with a stuffed teddy bear?", a student snickered.

"She has a solid gold toilet?", another student repeated.

"She has a crush on Adrien and already planned their wedding.", which wasn't a secret. But, still rather bold of a thought to think Adrien felt the same way. Students were either gossiping or laughing as the video played.

"Why would Chloe's parents say such things?", and then have it posted. He knew her mother was rather cold, but not her own father. Even the butler cared for Chloe. And she couldn't even get his name right.

"Like I care.", though it was rather funny, "Honestly it serves her right for messing with people.", a taste of her own medicine, "Still...", it was strange how the video was posted. Especially with Chloe's own parents and her butler, revealing embarrassing secrets about her. Well,rapid-fired three. Audrey Bourgeois wasn't one to hold her tongue. But, even she wouldn't do this.

"Enjoying the show?", a voice called out. All eyes turned back to their phones to see a figure appear on the screen.

"Who is he?"

The male smirked as he brought his microphone up to his lips, "This is Exposor coming to you live from the city of lights!", the akuma announced, "If you didn't see my last post with the honorable Mayor Bourgeois and his 'adoring' wife and faithful butler. On the ever delightfully detestable and full of herself Queen Bee. Don't worry a full line up of guests, who are just waiting to spill their secrets just for you. Brought to you by me, the one and only host!", he laughed.

"Exposor?"

'I do not need this today.', one akuma and Centaur maximum. Was that too much to ask for?

"I've got a wide array of videos to keep my adoring fans entertained.", he showed all the interviews he had done throughout the city, "For my next interview I'll be taking to the halls of akuma hotspot Francis Dupont College.", bringing up a picture of the school, "Where I'll be putting the so-called reporter, Alya Ceasire, in through a real rapid-fire session. Can the blogger stand handle the pressure or will she get crushed! Stay tuned and find out!", he laughed as his logo popped back up.

"What did he...!?", suddenly the doors to the school burst open and a figure strutted in. Students and staff gasped and the watched who they guessed to be the akuma.

"Greetings students, faculty, and soon to be victims.", he greeted with a smooth tone, bringing his microphone to his lips, "This is Exposor!"

"Let's start the show!", he announced. Students stood clear as he walked across the courtyard. Many backing away seeing the new akuma, "Now, where is Alya Ceasire?", he looked around trying to spot his target in the crowd, "What? Has someone gotten cold feet?", he laughed, "She's usually front and center. I had a full segment prepared just for her.", for all to witness and watch her crushed over and over.

"If she doesn't want to step up to the mic. Looks like I'll have to improvise.", he grinned, "Now let's bring out our next guest is!", his eyes began scanning the crowd of students before landing on Nino. With a quick jump, he landed right in front of Nino.

"Looks like we have our first volunteer.", shooting a beam upwards a spotlight came over the DJ before he could react. He stiffened.

"So first guest how about an introduction.", he put his mic in front of Nino.

"What up, I'm Nino Lahiffe!", he introduced himself rather excitedly, "Thanks for having me."

"So Nino, tell us about yourself.", the akuma encourages, "Don't skip any details."

"Well let's see, I'm fourteen, a student at Dupont Francis College, and I love music.", he listed off a number of things about him.

"Interesting. You must be a star student.", he commented.

"Yeah, not so much. I'm pretty much sleep during most of my classes. Especially Ms. Mendeleev.", he commented on how boring her classes were, "Her lessons are pretty dry."

"What's wrong with him?", Adrien questioned seeing his friend basically spill his life story like it was nothing.

It had to be the akuma.

"So what can you tell me about your girlfriend Alya?"

"Oh, you mean my main girl. I like her, no joke.", he said, "We do almost everything together."

"How cute.", he chuckled, "I'm sure you must tell each other everything."

"Of course.", he nodded, "Like just last week she stayed up watching this new horror movie that her parents told her not to watch. She was having nightmares so she spent three days sleeping in her older sisters room.", the revelation made a lot of people listening break out in laughter, "She called me every night so she wouldn't be alone.", regaling various conversations they had.

"What is up with him?", Nino would never tell another's person's secrets.

"Also Zombie Prom Night is not a scary movie.", low budget comedy at best, "It must be the akuma's power.", but how was he doing it? As she watched them closely, she noticed the spotlight pouring over Nino.

"The spotlight.", it had to be making him spill all his secrets.

"...We also have this new substitute teacher. Majorly strict. Most of us think she needs to take a chill pill .", he commented.

"Interesting. But, tell us more about your girlfriend.", he insisted they stay focused on Alya.

"He must be after Alya.", that would explain why he went after Nino first. Who knew more about her than her own boyfriend.

"...We got locked in a cage at the zoo.", Nino was regaling how he and Alya got together, "The funny thing was I actually invited another girl to the zoo because I had a crush on her.", he mentioned, "But, it turns out she actually had a crush on..."

"And that's my cue to cut the cord.", Kitsi broke from her spot and ran towards the akuma. As the interview continued she tackled him out of the spotlight. The two landed on the ground and as she predicted Nino seemed to fall out of the gaze.

"W-What happened?", he looked around dazed.

"Your welcome.", however it was short lived as Exposor began another interview with one of the teachers, Ms. Mendeleev. Who was telling the akuma about the students who were failing their class's. Including revealing habits some students exhibited. Like sleeping, snoring, drooling, and even some of the conversations she had caught between students.

"Oh perfect.", moving from Nino she went over to the akuma who was now looking for more guests. She only hoped the school nurse was hiding or it would get really bad. At this rate, the entire school would be in chaos.

"I think it's time to kill your lights.", Kitsi said as she followed after the akuma. As he continued to search the school for more people to interview, Kitsi managed to slide in front of him. Blocking him.

"Oh another guest.", he said excitedly, "Kitsi Inari have you come to be interviewed?"

"Yeah, no. I have this thing about having camera's shoved in my face.", she never really cared for pushy reporters, "Who are you?"

"Exposer!", he announced, "Here to reveal the deepest secrets of Paris. Live for all to see!"

"You can't just force people to tell their secrets."

"Why not? Better come out with the truth before people think they can lie and say anything they want.", so he made the choice easy for them, "And I've got two special seats for that wannabe news hound and big headed bee! Time to see who's the real third rate reporter!"

'Third rate reporter."

"Donny?"

"Exposer is the one and the only host of this show!", now and forever, "So ready for your close-up?"

"Come and find out.", though he might not like what he got. Kitsi rushed forward and the two began engaged in battle. Most of it involved Kitsi trying to avoid the akuma and the spotlight. As long as she wasn't it, she should be fine.

"Someone's a little camera shy.", he noted thrusting his microphone towards her.

"No. I have a problem with people getting into other people's business.", especially trying to get embarrassing stories, "Seriously take a hint!", with a spin on her foot she delivered a spin kick to his side sending him sliding back.

She held back. Even if it was an akuma, it was still Donny. She couldn't hurt him, even if it was for the best.

"Donny please let's talk about this.", she began, "I know you're upset, but this is not the way.", she tried talking some sense into him. Keeping her stance and guard up.

"Of course it is!", he recovered himself, "Nothing sells more than juicy gossip and revealing stories! I will expose them all!", he declared with a wicked laugh.

"Then you leave me no choice.", she would need to hold him here until the others came and got his akuma, "I'm not going to take it easy on you anymore."

"Holding back? True or False?"

"The only truth is that you're going down!", she declared.

"We'll see about that.", he smirked, as Kitsi got in close he used the beam on his mic to momentarily blind her, allowing him to trap her in his spotlight.

"Let's give a warm welcome to our newest guest, Kitsi Inari!", he announced as the camera focuses on her, "I like you, so I'll keep the questions short.", mostly due to them being friends, Exposor found no need to embarrass her too badly.

"For those of you not familiar with my special guest, she is quite a spitfire. Besting a few choice akuma's, unlike myself.", he brought up her fights with Sports Master, Le Gem, Medusight, and a few past akuma's. Though she didn't win, she held her own.

"You've always brought me some good views.", which for him meant more power, "First question, how do you feel about Queen Bee?"

"I...I...", she seemed to struggle to fight the akuma's powers, "My opinions on Queen Bee is that she could use a better sense of humility.", she finally said, taking a breath.

"So she's not a humble-bee?", no surprise.

"Well if you mean she spends the majority of the time trying to impress everyone then, yes.", she admitted, "She tends to lose focus of the objective. Not to mention she constantly tries to take lead and treats the other heroes, sans Ladybug, like sidekicks.", it was frustrating.

"So Queen Bee likes to spread her venom around.", Exposer chuckled, "And do you think it was the right decision to allow her to continue to be a miraculous holder?"

"Honestly...", she held her breathe, "She wouldn't my first choice. Or anyone else's for that matter."

"Fitting words. Not many people with common sense know that a bee, even a self-proclaimed Queen, will always sting first.", and show little remorse for those they hurt, "The results on in. And many people believe that the Queen Bee isn't living up to her own hype.", big surprise.

"Thanks for another great interview.", with a snap the spotlight disappeared and released Kitsi from its power. With a deep breathe she came to her senses.

"D-Donny?", she looked up at the akuma, no her friend, "Why are you doing this?"

"Why to expose the truth.", what else, "And making it more entertaining by letting everyone know their deep secrets!"

"But, that isn't you.", Donny didn't report to hurt people, he did it to help people. He was fair and looked on both sides of the coin, "You report to show facts.", not reveal private information to hurt and humiliate people.

Exposor laughed, "People don't want boring facts and fairness. They want excitement and truth. And the best type of truth is the honest truth.", and now he had the power to make people be truthful, "So I hope you stay tuned. You won't want to miss a second!", with one final laugh he headed off to continue his interviews.

"Donny!", but he was already gone. Kitsi could only watch as he left, "I have to go after him.", she had to transform and get the akuma out of him.

With that in mind, she headed out the front doors. Heading down the steps she got to the front of the school. She needed a place to hide and transform.

"Kitsi?", a voice called. Kitsi looked back just in time to see Adrien running after her.

"Adrien?", what did he want?

"Are you okay?", he asked.

"I'm fine.", for the most part. They barely were able to escape the akuma's powers, "He got me on a sneak attack.", luckily he went easier on her, "I think I'm going to set this next round out."

"Not going to try your luck?", though he didn't show it, he was happy she decided not to fight. While he had no doubt she could hold her own, she couldn't keep running into battle like that.

"I know him. He's my friend.", and she couldn't hurt a friend, "Donny isn't like this.", energetic yes. But, not persistently willing to humiliate people.

"Donny? Donny Morgon's?", so he was the akuma, "Hawkmoth must have gotten to him.", no doubt from what happened earlier.

KItsi nodded, "...Donny is a good person. He didn't deserve the critique he got.", especially in front of other people, "I believe I know who his targets are.", which would be helpful in tracking him down, "I hope the heroes can bring him back to normal.", adding that he should stay out of his spotlight if confronted. It put people under the spell and got them to talk.

With that being said she headed off. She would transform and help defeat the akuma. Before more secrets were revealed and more people got hurt.


After managing to get away from the school, Adrien was now searching for a place to hide and recharge. The akuma was tougher then he gave him credit for. With his powers, people were forced to tell their deepest secrets. Making it hard to get close. And with so many people around him, he would have to fight and protect them at the same time.

"Well this is a scoop!", a voice announced, "Adrien Agreste, I've got you in my sights.", looking back Adrien saw the akuma had found him, "How about a few words for the viewers."

"Uh, I don't think I'm ready...", he inched back. With his powers in mind, Adrien couldn't risk being hit. He could reveal his identity to Hawkmoth.

"No need to be shy.", he activated his powers, "Spotlight!"

"No!", as he prepared to be hit, he instead felt a push. The force was enough to knock him back and onto the ground. he was knocked. When he opened his eyes he saw what had hit him.

"Now then why don't you introduce yourself.", he pointed his microphone to his next victim.

"A-Adrien run.", Natalie struggled. Feeling the power of the akuma overtaking her.

"Natalie!?", he gasped seeing his father's assistant had pushed him out of the way. She sacrificed herself for him.

"Not who I had booked. But, the show must go on!", one way or another, "So ready for your close up?", as if she had a choice.

"Leave her alone!", Adrien ordered.

"I told you to run.", she said still fighting.

"But..."

"No, but's.", she dismissed, "Y-Your father...trusted me...to keep you safe. I...can't...let anything happen to you.", even at the cost of her safety.

It pained Adrien to see her like that. She had taken a hit for him and was now suffering.

"I won't tell you again.", she gritted, "Run!"

With no other choice, Adrien was forced to run away. Leaving Natalie at the mercy of the akuma.

"What a shame.", the akuma clicked, "I wanted to interview the young face of fashion. He attracts some interesting people.", he hit his weapon against his palm lightly, "Honestly you think his father would hire better help. Especially with the individuals that hang around his son.", he noted, only from his memory, "Like that detestable Queen Bee.", he said with disgust, "How does anyone even be around her, let alone friends with her?", he looked to his victim. Taking the microphone he placed it to Natalie, "Your thoughts."

The assistant did not look pleased.

"Well, Ms. Assistant, what does Adrien Agreste see in Chloe Bourgeois?", he questioned.

She gritted, "Adrien...and Chloe have been friends for years.", since they were little, "Though Ms. Bourgeois is not the most contented person to be around. But, Adrien...seems to care for her.", if only because she's the only one his age he had been around.

"Of course. She's a convenient friend.", and one sense of the word, "Mr. Agreste must adore the new friends he's made in school.", he commented.

"Mr. Agreste had...his reservations about Adrien attending public school.", for a variety of reasons, "He...doesn't believe Adrien was ready to experience...school life.", especially interacting with people his father didn't know or trust at that point.

"Normality a bit much for his precious son?", the akuma seemed mildly interested, "It must be hard having his son make so many friends other than Chloe Bourgeois of all people.", adding how managing to keep the girl in check would be a hassle. Especially if her actions affected their reputation.

"Mr. Agreste is quite...critical on who his son interacts with.", encouraging him to make connections with those with influence and goals.

"Keep to your lane.", people of influence tended to flock towards each other, "Guess that's another reason the King didn't want his precious prince to mix with the common ground."

"I guess it was only by chance that he managed to become friends with those of fencing prodigy's, like Kagami Tsurugi.", who was noted to have quite a flame for the young model, "I'm sure his father would be interested to know about his son's admirers.", which were many.

"Mr. Agreste is already aware of this.", Natalie said becoming more tamed under the spotlights influence.

"And how would he know that?", maybe from all the fan mail his son got. Or perhaps he had more detail on his son other than his bodyguard.

"He...", it looked like she struggled for an answer.

'Exposor'

"Having trouble finding your words? Or, are you trying to hide something.", he inquired, "So, Ms. Assistant, how does Mr. Agreste know about his son's friends? How does he decide who gets to be around his son?"

'Exposor I don't believe this is apart of the deal'

"The deal was I get to expose all those who made a fool of me and my blog.", and what better way to hurt someone, then through their friends, "The golden prince happens to be close to the wanna-bee a hero and third rate reporter.", so getting dirt on him would be a major advantage for him, "And I have his father's assistant in the hot seat.", it was too perfect.

'You're wasting your time.', Hawkmoth argued, 'You should be getting the miraculous. Not wasting your time with random citizens.'

"I don't like to be double-crossed Hawkmoth. You'll get your little jewels, as soon as I take some inflated names. Down in flames!", and he wasn't going to lose any opportunity, "What makes people like Bourgeois or Ceasire think they're so amazing? All they do is ride the heroes coattails and leech off other people.", he scoffed, "Especially that no-name harpy from Italy. She throws her name out like it's going out of style. What's so special about Rossi?", he was so tired of the girl popping into his life. Leaving trails of murk wherever to chose to sliver. It was the main reason he and the Ladyblogger were at odds. Because she couldn't accept her best friend and confidant was nothing more than a fraud. He picked her down to the bone, but it wasn't enough. She just had to push him.

"You can't expect anyone to believe your boss would allow someone like her near his son.", was he that blind or just to upon his ivory throne to care.

"Of course he wouldn't.", Natalie responded evenly, "Mr. Agreste isn't a fool. He knows that Ms. Rossi is a pathological liar and only sees his son as a means to climb the social ladder among her peers."

"He does?", he hummed, "Then why does he allow her to post pictures of them together on social media? Is he aware of her claims and her use of his name?", or was it a political move.

"Even though he knows she lies as easily as she breathes, in an endeavor to keep on an on his son. He...procured her services to stay close to him.", she revealed, "In order to gain information on his son and all those who try to get close to him. She provides information on them and gives to Mr. Agreste.", so he could make sure his son's interactions are limited with them.

"Now that is interesting!", he exclaimed, "It was a conspiracy!"

"Oh what a scoop this is!", he laughed, "Now that's what I call hard hitting!", and when the city learns about it. It would crush so many bubbles.

"Exposor!"

The akuma tensed up feeling the link to Hawkmoth intensity.

"This interview is over!", he commanded as he tightened his hold on his champion, "Your focus should be on the heroes. Not random individuals.", and he was wasting time with these random people.

"I was only doing my job.", to expose the dark truths people hide, "And this is a real scoop. A father using one of his own son's classmates as a spy. Sponsoring her deceit and isolating his own son from his classmates. A power play to keep control over his star model.", it was priceless, "And all of Paris will know!", this girl was truly a nobody. And with this everyone would see her for the fraud she was.

"Interesting thought.", Hawkmoth intersected, "But, why expose the secrets of one boy and his father? When you can have an even bigger story to your viewers."

"I'm listening."

"Don't forget the ones who embarrassed have yet to be punished for their crimes.", he reminded, "Instead of just recording and replaying words. Why not do it live.", he suggested, "Let everyone see them for who they really are. Not just by a few onlookers, but all of Paris!"

Exposor's eyes lit up.

"Now that's a plan!", why record and keep their secrets. He could let the whole city see them for who they really are. A permanent hot seat with no interruptions. He would have enough energy that the whole city would be his studio stage. Nowhere to hide or deny anything. Everyone would see and know.

"Good.", he sounded satisfied, "Now I believe you have some guests to book."

"Yes, Hawkmoth.", releasing Natalie from his powers, "Thank you Ms. Assistant you've been a lovely guest. Nothing personal, but you provided me with some ample energy.", with a smirk the akuma took off. Leaving Natalie in the alleyway.

Ring, Ring

"Yes, sir.", she answered her phone.

"Are you okay?"

"For the moment.", she replied, "You picked a persistent akuma this time.", noting how Exposor operated.

"He is overly energetic.", but he was powerful, no doubt, "He was only supposed to go after his targets.", not Natalie or his own son, "You were supposed to be getting Adrien and getting him to safety."

"My apologies.", she said, "I saw Adrien running from the school.", when she caught up to him he had been found by the akuma first, "I reacted as I thought best.", and ended up giving away too much information.

Hawkmoth passed for a moment, "It's irrelevant now.", no one else would know since the akuma hadn't posted it, "Your only focus now is to find Adrien and make sure the heroes are taken care of."

"Of course sir.", she wouldn't fail him.


At the Le Grande Paris Hotel...

Kitsune had arrived at the hotel. Her suspicions were that the akuma would come after Chloe again. When she arrived at the roof, she found the area had been trashed. Equipment tossed over and broken. Along with furniture in pieces. And finally the figure of Chloe sitting on the ground.

"Chloe?", Kitsune went to go check on her classmate. When she looked up to see the fox heroine she seemed less than thrilled.

"Oh it's just you.", she sounded disappointed, "Where's Ladybug?", she looked around hoping to see the heroine of luck.

"It's always nice to see you too.", she rolled her eyes, "Seriously what happened here?", it looked like a storm came through.

"It was that despicable bird.", Chloe fumed, "She crashed the set and completely ruined my hair.", she pointed out her untied hair, "I don't know who ruffled her feathers, but someone got up on the wrong side of their nest."

"Where's your miraculous?", Kitsune questioned.

"Um...", she looked off a bit.

"Chloe.", she stressed her name. Her molten gold gaze burning into the heiress.

"Mayura took it.", she finally admitted. Looking to the side she didn't want to appear distressed of having Pollen snatched from her. She thought she could take her by herself. But, she got distracted by those stupid videos and ended up defeated.

"Seriously.", that was not good, "I've got to tell Ladybug and Chat.", she said preparing to call her teammates.

"No! You can't tell Ladybug about this.", Chloe said grabbing Kitsunes wrist, "If she finds out I lost Pollen, she'll think I'm incompetent.", she sounded desperate.

"Not the issue.", or her problem, "I'm calling them."

"I said you can't.", she repeated, "Ladybug cannot know I lost Pollen. She'll take my miraculous away and I won't be Queen Bee anymore.", if they ever got the miraculous back.

"Is that all you care about?", Kitsune moved the girl's hand off her arm, "Your miraculous was stolen by the enemy and another akuma is on the loose too.", if they didn't do anything Hawkmoth would misuse it for evil. And they couldn't afford to lose anymore miraculous, "This is why Ladybug told you to return it.", not take it for some petty reason, "But, instead you used it to make a fool out an innocent person. Live on the internet", and created another akuma, "And on top of that your only thinking about yourself."

"What else am I supposed to think about? My miraculous was stolen.", it involved her, "Not to mention the nosy akuma made a fool out of me.", posting those rude comments about her with her family, "I should be out there helping Ladybug. Not, stuck talking to the third fiddle."

Kitsune frowned, resisting the urge to bite the heiress, "I might be the third fiddle. But, when it comes done to it I will always be a hero.", it was her responsibility, "That's more than I can say for you.", she turned from the heiress, missing the look she had given. One of hurt and anger. Quickly morphing to sadness and thought.

"I don't have time to argue about this.", she had enough on her plate as it was, "You stay here.", she instructed them to stay in the hotel until the akuma was handled, "If Exposor is still looking for you. It's best you keep off the streets.", she added. Now she had three things to deal with today.


Mayura was racing across the rooftops. After managing to disarm and defeat the bee holder. She had taken her prize.

The bee miraculous.

"Hawkmoth will be please.", with another miraculous in their grasp, it would surely weaken the heroes. Now she would need to get it back to the liar. However, as she made it to the other side of the roof, she suddenly jumped back. Flames crashing down revealing Kitsune as they dispersed.

"Sorry birdie. You're not flying away that easily, Kitsune announced brandishing her flute toward Mayura.

"Kitsune. Come to join the fray?", Mayura unfolded her fan.

"The only thing that's about to be frayed is you.", she announced activating her After Burn, "Hope you don't mind if I singe your feathers."

"I don't have time to play with you.", Mayura brandished her fan, "I've already dealt with too many pains for one day."

"I'm not playing.", she leered, "You've got something that doesn't belong to you.", with her flames charged she launched herself at Mayura. Using her fan she blocked a punch from the fox holder. With the boost of her After Burn, Kitsune quickly got the upper hand and pushed her back.

Recovering she managed to dodge as Kitsune let out a flurry of punches and claw attacks towards her appointment. Either to damage or grab her miraculous. Mayura barely was able to keep her back. When it came to the heroes, Kitsune was one of the most dangerous. Even alone she had skills of a seasoned fighter. And her After Burn gave her a boost.

But, after watching the heroes she knew they were tired. Hawkmoth had been making more akuma's, which left the group little time to rest. And it showed in how they fought. And Kitsune was no exception.

Taking her chance Mayura thrust her fan outwards and as Kitsune dodged with a side step, Mayura used her foot to trip Kitsune and get her unto the ground. Mayura pinning Kitsune with her foot on her chest.

"Give up.", she declared smugly as she pressed her foot on Kitsunes chest.

"You wish birdie.", she peered up at her opponent.

"Why are fighting us?", the evil holder questioned, "It's obvious Chloe doesn't deserve a miraculous.", with the way she abused her power and status. Only to have it stolen when she wasn't prepared.

"And you're just so deserving.", she replied back.

"It will be more useful in Hawkmoth's hands.", she smirked.

"Just like my foot will be useful in your face.", she growled as the comment earned her another press on her chest, "For someone so skinny, you weigh a ton."

"Cocky to the end.", she scoffed, "I think I'll just take your miraculous. Hawkmoth will enjoy having another servant.", she reached down for the pendant.

Sucking in her breathe Kitsune released a burst of fire that sent Mayura scattering back from the heat alone. Once she was free Kitsune took the chance to tackle Mayura to the ground and pinned her.

"Not so fun being on the bottom again, is it?", she was met with a glare, but focused more on her mission. Looking around she grabbed the bee miraculous off Mayura.

Mayura growled at her.

"Like it.", she grinned, "I've been told I'm a real, Spit Fire.", she breathed releasing a small puff of embers, "Fox's always have a trick up their sleeves.", taking the miraculous she placed it in her pouch.

"Looks like I win birdie.", she stated, "Now let's see who you are.", she reached for the brooch.

"You shouldn't look so high and mighty.", opening her hand she released a single feather from her grasp and let it go away, "I sense your frustration. Let your sadness of rejection manifest."

"What are you...?", with a rumble, Kitsune looked to the side to see a Centaur creature manifest.

"Really?", sensing its master's distress, the creature came over to the building. In her distraction, Mayura took her chance. She pushed the heroine off and delivered a kick to the gut. Once on the ground, Mayura got onto her feet and escaped over the building.

"This isn't over yet!", Kitsune called after the villainous, still nursing her stomach.

"You okay Kitsune?", Chat asked as he checked on his teammate. He had spotted the commotion and the Centaur being created. Finding Kitsune on the ground.

"Fine.", save for the pain in her neck, "Were you able to deal with Exposor?"

Chat frowned for a moment, "No, he got away from me."

"What about you?", she noticed something seemed off about her partner, "Are you okay?", even his words seemed automatic.

"Well I managed to get the Bee Miraculous back from Mayura.", she showed the miraculous to her partner, "Unfortunately, she cheated.", and summoned a Centaur creature to save her before she could get the other miraculous, "I hate high heels.", they were so unfair in a fight and hurt like no one knew, "With that akuma making people spill their guts, Mayura has prime targets.", making it harder to keep her down if she could summon another one of those monsters.

"Still you were able to get the miraculous back.", they would get Mayura another time, "Now we just have to worry about the akuma and the Centaur."

'Beep, Beep'

"Anyway I'm about to detransform.", she only had four minutes left, "Get this back to Ladybug.", she handed the miraculous to Chat.

"Count on me.", he nodded.

"Don't I always.", she smirked before using her powers to vanish.


After transforming back, Kitsi took off into the city. Powers or not, she still had a job to do. Yet, all around her, she could see the damage being done. People had been spilling secrets left and right. And for her relief, it was only minor things. Friends admitting to borrowing items without asking, children admitting to their parents about sneaking dessert before dinner, and even students coming clean about cheating on tests. Yet there were the really major things coming to light.

A girl admitting to having a crush on a boy her friend liked. A boy revealing how he forged a letter from his parents so he could skip school. A mother admitting she destroyed her husband's school jersey from his days in high school and then blamed it on the dog. And a teen who admitted to sneaking his friends into movies where he worked.

But, most of the secrets came from her school. Obviously, Donny was after all those who had insulted his blog. No doubt he would be searching for Alya and Chloe. One of which she had left on the roof of the hotel. The other was still up in the wind. There had been nothing on the Ladyblog other than the usual sittings posted by viewers.

"What's the plan Kit?", Whissp asked.

"Well until you refuel, we'll do our best to back-up the other's.", sometimes she wished Caliburr was able to transform her. But, with her miraculous still being fixed, using it was a big risk. So, she was on her own.

As they neared further into the city, the chaos had been growing. The police had been mobilized, the akuma warning sirens were on repeat, and of course, a giant Centaur creature was rampaging through the city. So basically the usual afternoon in Paris.

The blockades would make it hard for her to go any further. So she had to take a short cut. Using the back ways to get around the police. She ended up in one of the shopping districts. It looked to be evacuated. That or people were hiding.

"This looks like a good place to rest.", but she still had to find the akuma.

Suddenly a crash shook her from her thoughts. Looking back she saw something had crashed down onto one of the awnings of a coffee shop. A black mass laying on the ground from the impact.

"Chat Noir?!", Kitsi went to check on her partner.

"I'm fine.", he rubbed his head, "Tough host.", he had been fighting the akuma. Who was surprisingly tough for a blogger.

"Yeah he can be a bit persistent.", but this was just ridiculous. Carefully Kitsi helped him up to his feet. Helping him find his footing.

"Is the kitty growing tired?", Exposor chuckled as he landed in the space, "We're not even on the hard questions."

"I've seemed to have hit a wall.", literally, "Maybe we should cut to a short break."

"Cut and break is right.", Exposor stepped forward, "Hand over your miraculous and save yourself from further embarrassment.", he demanded.

"You okay Neko Kuro?", Kitsi asked as she checked on him.

"Of course. This cat has more than nine lives you know.", he assured, "You should get to a safe place. Once Ladybug and Kitsune get here we'll handle this persistent paparazzi."

Exposor laughed, "How common. The kitty waiting for his master to come and save him.", the akuma mocked, "Seems like the rumors you can't do anything with the real heroes is true. Nothing more than a common sidekick."

"Back off.", Kitsi spoke up.

"Kitsi.", Chat said, "You can't get involved."

"For once he's right. This isn't your fight.", akuma said, "You should run along.", he instructed.

"Not a chance.", powers or not, she wasn't going to let some akuma, friend or not, talk down on her partner like that, "Chat Noir isn't some second string."

"Then why does he have to rely on Ladybug to come and save his leather-clad tail all the time?", he brought up the times where Chat Noir had been beaten in battle, controlled by the enemy, or had been used as bait in most of the battles he fought, "Without the other heroes, he's nothing more than common bait.", which only lead to him being defeated and the other heroes having to save the day.

Kitsi growled.

"Even now he can't even hold his own. Relying on a civilian for help.", how sad.

"It doesn't matter what you think of Chat Noir. If you say anything else I'm going to knock that condescending smirk off your face.", even if he was being controlled, she wouldn't tolerate it, "No matter what you say. Chat Noir is a hero. Everyone is behind him to beat you and Hawkmoth!", she declared that even if he talked down on with a bunch of fake rumors and gossip, it didn't change the fact that people believed in him and the heroes.

"Big words.", the akuma chided, "Since Chat Noir already down in the dirt. Let's throw some more to bury him!", activating his powers, his microphone became energized with the energy he stored from his last interview, "Let's see what Paris really thinks of the 'great' Chat Noir!"

"Reality Impact!", he released the energy in a burst of light, the traveled toward the two. As it neared, Chat forward and used his body to shield Kitsi.

"Chat Noir!?"

"Stay down!", he ordered as he took the impact of the blast. The words and statements crushed down on him. Though it might have seemed like a regular attack of energy, it was deeper than people could see.

"Chat Noir is only the second best hero."

"He doesn't really do much."

"Can't fight with her."

"Hopeless tomcat."

"Second fiddle."

"Failed to help."

"Didn't last."

"She could do better."

"Such a shame."

"Just a joke."

"Can't compete."

"Doesn't love him."

"Just give up."

"I like someone else."

"Such bad luck."

"Isn't serious."

"Cocky."

"You should do better."

"Those horrible puns."

"You weren't raised like this."

"Sidekick."

"You disappoint me."

Each word, each comment, each statement. All of them dug down into him. Piercing him beneath his suit, getting under the skin, and borrowed further.

"Chat Noir? Chat Noir!?", Kitsi called out to him. Feeling the other trembling against her.

"Reality is a pain isn't it?", Exposor spoke, swirling his weapon, "You think everyone just adores you because you save them. Ha! Ladybug saves them. Kitsune fights for them. But, the poor kitty...", he paused, "Is nothing more than a side piece. A small fragment that's no better than a shield to protect the real heroes."

"Though I suppose that position has been filled.", bringing up Carapace and Queen Bee, "You have no place as a hero. So why not just surrender your miraculous and stop wasting everyone's time.", he charged up his mic again for another attack.

"Chat? Chat?", she shook the other trying to get him back to reality. Looking around she tried to find something to use. Reaching into her pockets she pulled out a small ball. Her smoke bombs. As the akuma continued to charge up, she took the bag and tossed all. rained down and exploded. Surround the area in plumes of multi-colored smoke.

Exposor gasped and covered his eyes. Guessing what she was up to, the akuma fired his beam into the mist. When it finally cleared he found not only did his attack miss. But, the two were gone.

"They escape!", he growled.


Using the cover of the smoke bombs Kitsi managed to drag her and Chat Noir to a safe place to hide. After the tirade from the akuma, they waited until it had gotten quiet.

"It looks like the coast is clear.", so they could rest for now, "I didn't think that would work.", now she needed to get more smoke bombs. Looking back she saw Chat Noir sitting against the wall. He was injured.

"You okay Neko Kuro?", she asked, "I'll give Donny this, he's not as lightweight as I thought.", even by the standards of akuma's.

"Anyway we should be safe down here.", even for a short while, "That should give time to recharge. And we can go back out there in..."

"No."

"No?", she blinked, "Right...it's a bit dangerous to go out there blind. We should probably come up with a plan."

"No.", he repeated with a solemn tone, "We can't back out there.", he said, "You're a civilian and will get hurt."

"What about you?", he was a hero he needed to be out there, "Look I know I shouldn't have been out there. I promise I'll stay here and you can go kick the akuma's butt."

But, Chat Noir remained silent.

"Chat Noir? Kitty? What's wrong?", something wasn't right with him. He wasn't acting like himself., "Aren't you going to give some quick-witted joke, banter a bit, and then go stop the akuma?"

"Am I?", he doubted it, "I couldn't even defeat one enemy by myself. I can't beat any enemy without someone coming to save me.", he wasn't strong enough, "I'm too weak."

"No, you're not.", Kitsi denied, "You are strong."

"Am I?", he didn't feel like, "Am I strong when I'm constantly getting rescued. When all I can do is be the bait for enemies or draw fire. I couldn't even protect the city.", he had one job. Make sure the akuma didn't hurt any civilians, "I couldn't even do that right.", instead he had to get rescued by a civilian, "You got hurt because of me.", even when he thinks he is doing good, someone else had to come and fix things. Exposor nearly got his miraculous, until Kitsi used managed to distract him long enough for them to escape.

Now they were trapped underground, the akuma was still loose, and yet again he was useless to anyone.

"They're right. I'm a joke.", and not even a good one.

"You're not a joke.", Kitsi frowned. She had never seen her partner, Chat Noir, so down in the dumps. Even at times when he was sad, he wasn't this somber, "You can't let yourself get taken in by the akuma. He just wants you to feel bad. To make you weak so he can take your miraculous."

But, he had grown silent again. She watched as he brought his hand up. His fingers gripping his ring, his miraculous, "Plagg...Claws In."

"Chat Noir no!", but a green light flashed. Reverting him to his civilian form as he removed the transformation.

"Kid what were thinking!?", a voice scolded.

"Doing what's best for everyone.", he said, "I can't beat the akuma.", and no one believed he could.

"Those were just words.", they only hurt as much as you let them, "They don't matter."

"What matters is you getting back out there and saving the city. Ladybug is up there.", if anything he would go back for Ladybug. His lady. The love of his life. Who he loved with all his heart, soul, and every part of his being, "You two are a team."

"Are we?", again he was doubtful, "She's always hiding secrets from me. She never wants to let me close to her.", even if he wanted to help, "And even when I'm not there, she just brings in some new hero to replace me.", and never consults him on anything, "The truth is, no one needs me.", and that was the only thing he could believe in.

Kitsi frowned. He wasn't listening to her. Was the akuma's powers that strong that it made her partner, made him feel so worthless and gray.

"I probably just end up losing my miraculous anyway. It's better if someone else...if someone better had it.", someone that wasn't him.

"Chat Noir?" a voice made him look up to find Kitsi sitting right in front of him. Her head was lowered, preventing him from seeing her face.

"Kit...?"

His words were silenced by a slap to the face. Even Plagg was shocked by the sudden hit.

"W-What was that for?", he questioned only to receive another slap across the other cheek.

"Hey...", and another, "Stop", and another.

Again and again. Kitsi delivered a number of smacks across the boy's cheeks.

"Are you going to keep moping?", she questioned.

"That still doesn't answer why you keep smacking me across the face.", as he looked for answers he was met with a surprise. Kitsi's eyes were closed.

"You di...hey!?", again she hit him across the face, "Why do you keep doing that?"

"Because if you're going to act like a kicked cat. I'm going to hit you until you snap out of whatever spell the akuma has you under.", because she wasn't going to let him drown himself in self-pity because of an enemy, "What did he do to you?"

"I told you.", he held himself closer, "He made me see what people think of me. What they really see.", not a hero. But a sidekick. A joke that got in the way and had to rely on others to save him.

"How many times am I...", she groaned into her hands, "You aren't a sidekick. People love you. You're their hero."

"Ladybug is the hero.", not him, "She's the only one who can purify the akuma's and fix the city. Without her, what good am I?", just a destructive mess. Causing bad luck wherever he went.

"Kid?", Plagg frowned.

"You can keep telling me how much of a hero you think Chat Noir is. When it's plain to see that anyone can just that. Anyone can wear this ring."

"Anyone can also wear Ladybug's earrings, or Kitsune's pendant, or even Chloe's comb.", they weren't made for just one person, "But, the difference is that wouldn't be the same."

"They wouldn't be you.", they wouldn't be Chat Noir, "You can't let what people think about you decide who you are."

"But, it's true. I'm not as good a hero as Ladybug."

"Because you're not Ladybug!", that was obvious, "Your Chat Noir. Hero of Paris. The Knight in Black Leather. Someone who has protected and fought for this city more times than people can count.", and would jump in to save anyone in need, "What people think doesn't matter."

"When they think I can't do my job they do.", if they thought he wasn't capable, what was the point of trying, "Like I said someone else can defeat the akuma."

"And that someone is you.", she didn't know what the akuma did to him, but she didn't like it, "You can't stay down here forever."

"Why not? No one will miss me.", not even himself.

"What makes you think that?", she questioned, "If this about you being Chat Noir..."

"It's not just that.", he cut in, "It's not just that no one thinks I'm capable as a hero. I found out...not even my father believes in me. He doesn't trust me. He lied."

"Chat..."

"No matter how much I try, no matter what I do, I'm never going to be good enough for anyone.", he just keeps making mistakes and letting people down, "I can't be trusted. I can't be respected. I can't even be loved.", no one wanted him. No one needed him.

Kitsi's hands tightened in her lap.

"I can't do anything for anyone.", so why even continue when all he would do to fail. Suddenly he lifted his ring hang to Kitsi, placing it on her own hand, "Take the black cat miraculous."

"Kid?", the other voice spoke.

"Kitsi, please take care of Plagg and the city.", they both could be a handful, "And please...protect Ladybug.", something he could never do, "You be a great hero."

Better than he could ever be.

Kitsi's hand itched. Though she couldn't see at the moment, she could feel the ring on his finger. His miraculous was literally at her fingertips.

"KId this is insane. You don't need to do this.", the voice continued to try and talk some sense into his partner, "You are seriously not trying to pawn me off like some common piece of jewelry. We talked about before."

'Before?', so this wasn't the first time he thought about giving up his ring. To stop being a hero.

"It's not like I'm giving you to some random stranger. Kitsi is capable of wielding a miraculous.", he said dully, "She'll make a good kitten."

The voice gave an angry groan, "I already told you. No matter who you give me to, it still wouldn't be you!", he stated, "You were chosen to be my partner. Not her or anyone else."

Even if she couldn't see, Kitsi could hear the passion in the other's voice. Anger mixed with sadness and worry.

"You're the only kitten I want. And I won't take anyone else. Even if you had chucked me in the sea that time I would have still found you again."

"I..."

"You aren't going to stop being Chat Noir.", he cut in.

"He or it, or whatever, is right.", Kitsi said, "You are the hero of Paris.", whether he knew it or not people depended on him, "Paris needs Chat Noir. Your partner's need Chat Noir."

"I need you.", she had hoped her words would get through to him. To pull him out of the hole he was putting himself in.

"I...", he hesitated.

Kitsi took a breath, "At least transform back.", she said, "If you're not going to fight, at least get us out of danger.", she would take the miraculous once they were in a safer place.

There was a tense pause between the two.

"Plagg...Claws Out.", he said, with a lackluster transformation. Once he was Chat Noir again he picked up Kitsi and carried them both off. The plan was to find a secure place for him to give up his miraculous to Kitsi.

As they traveled across the rooftops, the two had been ambushed by the akuma. Knocking them to the side, Chat Noir held onto Kitsi close as they tumbled across the roof.

"Look what the cat dragged in.", Exposor laughed, "Thought you could leave without finishing your last interview.", he twirled his weapon, "This is what I get for book second rate guests. They don't bring any good material.", he said with disappointment, "But, why can you expect from a mere sidekick. Always letting people down.", his words pierced Chat Noir. Who still held onto Kitsi. She could feel his pulse. He was in pain.

Maroon eyes looked with sadness at the state of her partner. Until her eyes fell on the akuma. Turning into burning anger.

She had heard enough.

"Chat Noir isn't a sidekick. He isn't second fiddle. Nor is he an overly cocky tomcat.", Kitsi stated, "Chat Noir is a hero!", she declared.

"The opinions of one little fan.", he dismissed.

"The facts of many.", she returned, "Just because someone says something doesn't make it true. And you shouldn't be spreading it around to make others believe it."

"Why not?", he laughed, "There's no doubt the cat is just the shadow to the real hero. Even the other's show more promise. While he just gets in the way.", he pointed out all the times he had failed and was defeated before the battle was over.

Kitsi frowned.

"Without Ladybug he would be nothing.", he stated, "And even without him, there are more, better heroes to replace him.", he pointed out, "He's nothing special. And no one will miss him."

"How..."

"Hm?"

"How dare you say something that?", her voice was a little more than a whisper, "HOW DARE YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT ABOUT HIM!? HOW DARE YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT ABOUT MY FRIEND!?", her voice bellowed. Her anger reverberating with each word, with every letter that left her lips. That both the hero and the akuma looked shocked.

"You...?"

"You think you can just say things like that. Like they're facts. They aren't!", she gritted, "No matter what you or anyone else thinks of him. How he's always making puns even during battles. How he doesn't seem to take things seriously. Flirting or being overly cocky.", she tightened her fists, "Even when he's against the rope and he's being beaten. He puts his all into all his fights. He throws himself in front of people, his comrades. He puts the lives of others before his own.", he would throw his own life away if given the chance, "He protects the city. He protects the people. He protects what he cares for.", even if it means he has to go through the wringer to do it.

"That is why.", she extended her arms out, "I will be his shield!", she would stand in front of Chat Noir.

"You throw your life away?", for him.

"For a friend.", she stared up at him, "I will always give my all!", and that was a fact, "Just like Kuro Neko.", who would sacrifice his own safety for even one citizen.

"Then you'll just have to feel the burn of the hot seat!", charging his attack he struck Kitsi with the same attack he used on Chat Noir prior. The electric shocks filling Kitsi's ears with all the rumors that floated about her.

"Is that...the best you can do?", she breathed.

"?"

"Is that all you can throw at me?", she smirked, "Do you know how many times I've been called a beast? A monster? A freak? And so many other comments.", she had lost count, "How about next time bring you to try bringing some new material.", because she wasn't going to budge. Not by such thin words.

"Exposer forget the girl.", Hawkmoth ordered, "Your target is Chat Noir. Without the other heroes, he's easy to defeat."

"I've grown tired of this back and forth.", the akuma stated, "You've taken up too much air time.", and since she couldn't be beaten by words, he would have to take a more physical approach."

"I've got a better idea.", she smirked, "Surprise!", she threw something towards Exposer. Once it got close the akuma could look on in shock, still stuck charging, before the item exploded in his face. Sending confetti flying and scattering through all around.


After giving him the slip, Chat managed to put some distance between them and the akuma. Landing on a deserted street.

"What was that?", Chat Noir questioned, "I thought you were out of smoke bombs."

"My new Confetti Bomb!", a step up from her smoke bombs she carried with her, "Great for parties, surprising your friends, or blinding an enemy for a quick escape!", sure to be a bang at any event or situation requiring a quick exit, "Looks like it might need some tweaks.", luckily she hadn't used it before.

"Still we managed to get away from Exposor.", for now, "That was really...brave what you did back there.", he commented.

"If this is another speech about giving me a ring, I swear...", she warned.

"It's not.", he assured, "I just...", he paused, "Your really a strong person. Thank you."

"For?"

"For being you.", he said.

Kitsi blinked a couple of times before a small smile settled on her lips.

"Domo.", she hummed, "And thank you."

"For?"

"For being you.", she replied earning a smile from the other.

Looking up the two caught sight of Ladybug fighting the Centaur creature. Swinging around and dodging the attacks with speed and grace. It was like she was flying. Breathtaking and beyond a sight to see.

"Looks like Ladybug's handling the Centaur.", the was one threat down, "Now all she needs is her knight in black leather to save the day.", she looked at Chat Noir who had been staring longingly at his partner.

"Y-You think so?", he stuttered, "What...what if I can't do it?", if he made a mistake. If he wasn't focused and made things worse.

'Not this again.'

"Don't think about the words of others.", held his hand, "Just do what you do best. Save the day.", she smiled.

"I...", suddenly a loud boom drew the two's attention to the fight. The Centaur looked to be getting the upper hand. Grabbing Ladybug as she tried to swing away. Clutching her in its large hands.

"It got her!", that was not good, "You have to do something.", she looked to Chat.

"I...I...", he hesitated. What if he messed up? What if he made things worse. He couldn't fight that thing. He could barely handle one akuma on his own.

"Chat Noir! Help!", Ladybug screamed.

The words echoed through his mind. Those cries for help drowning out the other voices.

Ladybug was in trouble.

Ladybug has called for help.

She called for him!

"Ladybug!", his partner was in trouble. She needed him, "I'm coming M'Lady!", he prepared to rush into action with his weapon drawn.

"Hold on!", Kitsi halted him. Grabbing his tail.

"What are you doing? I have to save Ladybug.", like he was supposed to, "I have to protect her."

"I know that.", that was the first priority above everything, "But you need a plan.", he couldn't go rushing in without coming up with a plan first, "Focus.", she suggested he thinks before he went into battle. If he ran in blindly, fueled by emotion, it would only tip the scales further away from them.

Chat Noir took a deep breath. He needed to think. Calm down and think.

'What would Ladybug do?'

Opening his eyes he scanned the area. Something he could use to help him. At first, nothing stuck out, until he landed on Kitsi. HIs senses began to flicker.

"Kitsi I need your help.", Chat Noir said as he quickly reached into his pockets. He pulled out a small box and presented it to Kitsi.

"What are you doing?", she questioned.

"I know this is last minute, but we could use the backup.", at the moment it was only him and Ladybug. Kitsune was still out of commission, "I'm presenting you with the miraculous of bee. With it, you can become a miraculous hero."

"But...I can't.", she already had a miraculous, "I mean. There's already a bee miraculous holder. Chloe. I mean Queen Bee.", as painful as it was. But, she couldn't accept it. She already had Whissp. He was fully charged and she could transform.

"And that's what Exposor will be expecting.", since Chloe was well known to be a miraculous holder, no doubt the enemy knew her powers. Plus he already had her parents and Sabrina to blurt out the most embarrassing secrets and it tripped her up as a civilian since almost everyone was now laughing at her. And who knows what would happen if she fell under any of his attacks, "Which is why I need someone they won't be expecting.", and someone who could endure his attacks when it came down to it.

"And you want me?"

"I trust you.", he offered the miraculous to Kitsi, "You've proven yourself more than worthy to be a superhero." , and though he wouldn't say anything, Chloe was mostly to blame for the stunt she pulled earlier. And had already lost the miraculous to the enemy, "You helped me. I could use it again."

Kitsi couldn't help feeling touched by the trust her comrades had placed in her civilian self.

"And you're sure about this?"

"Ladybug picks someone that can be a great asset to the team.", Chat said that she used her instincts and trusted herself to pick the right person, "And I believe that's you.", he looked at Kitsi, "So ready to spread your wings and fly into battle?", he gave her a playful wink, but a friendly smile.

"Domo.", she took it. Opening the box a yellow flash came out and floated around before forming into Pollen.

"Greetings my Queen.", Pollen greeted politely.

"Hello.", Kitsi greeted the little kwami, "You're so cute~", she beamed giving Pollen a little tap on the forehead, "Kawaii~"

"I am Pollen, ready to assist you, my Queen.", Pollen said.

"I'm not much of a Queen.", she could never pull off that title, "So I guess I say the magic words.", and she would become a bee superhero.

"As long as it is compliant with a kwami then you may use any phrase you wish.", Pollen said.

"You got this Kit.", Chat encouraged.

Kitsi thought for a moment as she fixed the charm in her hair.

"Pollen, Stripe's On!", she declared.

Pollen was sucked into the miraculous. Activating the powers of the miraculous, Kitsi was engulfed in an intensely bright, golden yellow light.

"Yellow Jacket is on guard!", Yellow Jacket announced, "I look pretty good in gold.", it was like a Kill Bill mixed with Bruce Lee inspiration with the yellow and black vertical stripes.

"Yellow Jacket?"

"I was going for Jet Bee or Sting, but Yellow Jacket rolls off the tongue, no?", and probably wouldn't get her into any legal troubles.

"Alright let's go tame this monster.", Yellow Jacket gave him a thumbs up.

The two headed off. Chat took the lead as Yellow Jacket followed closely. Jumping up to the buildings. They broke off as they scaled up the Centaur creature. Once Yellow was close enough she jumped just as it tried to swat her. Once in the air, she spun her body and delivered a rounding kick to the creature's face. The creature let out a yell of shock and pain, staggering back it released Ladybug who began to fall to the ground.

Before she could take out her yo-yo, she found herself falling not to the hard pavement of the streets below. But, the strong arms of her partner.

"C-Chat Noir?", he looked up at her partner as he brought them safely to the ground.

"You caught me?", she sounded more surprised then she wanted to.

"Always M'lady.", he smiled with the reassurance that in times of danger, or anytime she needed him, her kitty would always be there to pick her up.

Ladybug smiled back.

"It looks like the Centaur beast has bit the dust.", Exposor announced, "But, this fight is far from over. The heroes are on their last legs. Will this be the end?", he laughed.

"Man that guy is really starting to irk me."

"No kidding.", they had to end this.

However, the moment seemed to come to an end when a figure landed in front of them. Dressed in yellow, she gave a couple of stretches.

"Um Chat who is...?, she looked at the person her partner had come with.

"A friend.", he said, "I've brought in a special guest to give our persistent host a real interview he'll never forget."

"M'lady, allow me to introduce Yellow Jacket.", he introduced.

"Greetings!", she saluted, "I'm ready to defend the hive!"

"The Bee Miraculous?", she saw the miraculous in the girl's hair golden hair, "You're not Chloe.", just by her look and energy alone, she could tell that wasn't the original Queen Bee.

"I know she isn't Queen Bee. Chloe was a bit out of touch.", he said, "But, I know she can be a great help to us.", he assured that she would be a good addition.

"Good to have you onboard...", she said, "Um, Chat, you can put me down now.", she pointed out that he was still holding her.

"Oh ah...sorry M'lady.", he apologized before putting her back on her feet.

"So what's the plan?", Yellow asked.

"Yellow Jacket, you and Chat go on the offensive.", distract her long enough to get close to the akumatized item.

"Got it. I'll just hit it with my tempo and...and...?", she felt around and didn't feel her weapon, "Where's my Tempo?", she couldn't find her weapon. How was she supposed to fight without a weapon?

"Maybe you have a different weapon.", it could be she wasn't Queen Bee. Her weapon could be different. Or maybe it was hidden in another place.

Again Yellow Jacket felt around. Until she felt something in her sleeves. Pulling it out she noticed it wasn't a Tempo.

"What is it?"

"It's a dart?", her weapons were darts. More accurately the playing darts used in board games.

"What am I supposed to do with these?", she felt kind of cheated, "The ends aren't even sharp.", pointed, but rather dull, "Guess we this the old fashioned way."

As she threw the dart onto a random car where it managed to stick. After a second the stripes on the body began to beep and disappear. As the last one faded the car exploded with a huge bang.

"Holy nectar, these pack more than a sting.", they were explosives, "We can blow the akuma up!"

"Isn't that a bit overkill?", thinking about it more than did sound a bit cruel. Exposor was still a human being.

"It looks like the darts are all different.", so she could only use a specific one, one time. And it looks like she used one of her explosive ones. Leaving one more.

"So three stripes.", Chat joked.

"Then let's not waste anymore.", it was time to end this interviewers reign once in for all.

Once a plan was settled the three heroes went to confront the akuma.

"And who are you?", the interviewer asked, "Has the Queen Bee changed her stripes?", he commented on seeing the new face among the group. Though it was three on one, it was the one in yellow who stepped up to face the akuma.

"It would seem that the heroes have brought in a new miraculous bee holder.", Hawkmoth commented. Recognizing that this was not Chloe Bourgeois. After he had the miraculous in his grasp, only for it to be retrieved by Kitsune during her fight with Mayura.

"Now do I look like a Queen to you?", the heroine took a fighting stance, "Names Yellow Jacket!", she grinned adjusting her aviator goggles, "I defend the hive!"

"Call yourself whatever you want. I'm still going to expose you and everything about you!", he declared, "Time to shine a spotlight on all your secrets!"

"Let's see about that.", she sprinted toward the akuma. She got a considerable speed boost. A shimmer of gold giving the illusion that she was flying down the block.

"First question wh...?", suddenly she was right over him, her leg high up.

"Pollen Drop-Kick!", bringing her leg down she slammed on the ground as the akuma pushed himself back just before the strike hit. The force leaving a noticeable dent in the foundation.

"You're strong.", the akuma noted, gasping as the heroine burst forward until they were face to face, "WAH!?"

"Stinging Rush!", the akuma quickly scurried back, jumping with his boosted agility as Yellow Jacket released a flurry of kicks. Narrowly dodging the quick strikes.

"She seems like a natural.", there was no doubt with her practice in fighting, it gave Kitsi an extra advantage when it came to combat.

Ladybug and Chat Noir watched as Yellow Jacket kept the akuma on the run. During the last flurry of punches, the akuma had been forced back. Unable to focus on the heroine as she quickly moved around. Making his powers useless since he couldn't get her to look at him long enough to put her under the spell.

"Exposor eliminate that pesky bee!", Hawkmoth ordered.

"It's time for a more hostile approach.", turning the dial he change to a more offensive attack, "Rapid Fire Rounds!", charging up his weapon he fired a number of energy beams off. Yellow Jacket quickly dodged and vaulted out of the lines of fire.

"She's a natural at this.", Chat commented seeing Kitsi in action. The miraculous gave her a boost and allow her to fight even more on par with the akuma.

"Hold still!", the akuma ordered.

"Hold this!", dodging another shot, Yellow Jacket sprinted and jumped and did a mid-air spin kick and managed to knock Exposor back.

The akuma gritted his teeth. Finding his footing, Exposor stared down Yellow Jacket.

"I will not be pushed off the air by some wanna-bee hero!", it was his time! His show!

"You called me a hero.", she smirked, "Your words won't save you from me kicking your butt!"

"But, yours will dig you into an early grave!", charging up his weapon he fired a shot towards her comrades. He would weaken them all with the words of the public, then crush them into the dust. Crossing her arms together Yellow Jacket to the beam head-on. The force pushing her back, her feet inching into the dirt.

"Yellow Jacket!?"

"Stay behind me!", she instructed, "If you get hit by the beam it's game over.".

"By taking the damage?", what would that solve.

"Don't worry.", she assured, "I learned this from a really cool guy. If you're going to go down. Go down for the ones you care about.", no regrets.

"Is this the end of the new heroine? Has the wanna-bee been beaten?", the akuma laughed as he continued his onslaught, "Can it be without your comrades you're unable to beat one akuma."

"I'm not going to let you hurt my friends!", finding her footing, she began to push back against the beam. And one final push she broke the energy beam. Dissolving the words into nothing, but dust in the wind. They had no effect.

"You were pretending to be weak!?", she was just dodging and missing on purpose. Not from lack of experience with her powers. But doing it on purpose.

"Sorry about that. I usually don't try to finish fights too early. You really surprised me.", she smiled a bit as she rotated her shoulders, "Good work.", she gave him a thumbs up.

"...?", he blinked in shock, "But, I had you on the ground.", she should be worn out.

"You did.", she admitted, "I just needed to get close enough to you. Plus with you keeping your spotlight on me, it would be easy to keep your attention.", and expend all his energy on a gamble that he could defeat all of them.

"You were playing me?!", The akuma growled, "I don't like fakes on my channel!"

"Then I think it's time to wrap this interview up.", reaching into her pouch she pulled out a green striped dart. Holding it in her hands she took off towards Exposer.

"This ends now!", he charged his beam. He would finish her off in on final blow!, "This is your first and final interview!", he fired the high impact energy straight towards her. As it neared, Yellow Jacket got as close as she could and dodged. The beam grazing her cheek, before she found her footing and burst forward like a bolt of lightning.

"Tranquilizer!", she threw the dart towards the akuma. The dart taking flight towards its target, spirling around the beam, leaving trails of gold before landing square in akuma's chest. With a pulse it began to take effect, it dispersed and lulled him to sleep. Relaxing the nerves and muscles.

"Sleepy~" the akuma yawned, "Time...for a short...brea...k-em.", he fell back onto the ground.

"She did it!", the citizens cheered seeing the heroine had stopped the interviewer's rampage.

"Now for the akuma.", taking off the bow tie she ripped it in half. Releasing the akuma and allowing Ladybug to purify it.

"Miraculous Ladybug!", with her special move the city was cleaned up from the damage. Though only on a physical level.

"That's a wrap!", for the last time.


In his liar Hawkmoth was furious. He was so close. He had the heroes cornered and on the ground. He even had a miraculous in his possession.

"Soak up the spotlight now heroes. But, soon all your secrets will be revealed and defeats for all to see.", he vowed that one day they would all fall.


After the final butterflies flew around the akuma. The darkness was shed leaving only Donny in its place.

"Ugh.", he groaned rubbing his head, "Someone please turn down the spotlight."

"Pound it!", the three bumped fists on their latest victory.

"Great work.", the two congratulated the newest hero on a job well done.

Donny looked up seeing the three heroes celebrating their newest victory.

"You're...", he was still in such a fog he barely noticed the hero standing with them. But, Yellow Jacket did. Approaching him, she helped him up from the ground.

"Yellow Jacket.", she introduced herself, "Pleasure to meet you."

"Oh! Are you the new hero?", he commented on seeing the new person, hero, in front of him. He quickly began making notes and even taking a couple of pictures with his phone, "WIth that color pattern you almost look like Queen Bee. Except for a bit more...approachable.", noting her energy seemed less stand-offish like the original.

"Merci.", she smiled, "Your quite energetic.", she commented, "It's good to have you back.", she smiled.

As the group began celebrating their victory. A number of reporters had come to interview the group. Especially Yellow Jacket.

"Who is your new teammate?"

"This is Yellow Jacket.", the heroes introduced the heroine to the people. She waved to the people who continued to take pictures of the new heroine.

"Is she replacing Queen Bee?", many seemed curious if she was the new replacement for Queen Bee, who had been active recently. Many assuming it was due to the video she had done earlier. Had caused the other heroes to replace her.

The reporters asked a number of questions. Many focusing on the newest addition with a similar palette as Queen Bee.

Ladybug spoke, "Unfortunately she is only temporary.", stepping in to help against the akuma, "She was a great help today and helped turn the tables on the akuma.", she added.

"It was an honor working with the heroes of Paris.",Yellow Jacket said, "Though my time is short. It was un-bee-livably miraculous to be able to help."

'Beep Beep'

"Looks like our times almost up.", their miraculous were on their last five minutes.

"Let's get Donny home.", they decided to split up. Yellow Jacket and Chat Noir would go recharge while Ladybug. And they would all recharge and regroup.

"Wait Ladybug!", a voice called. The group watched as Alya made her way through the crowd. Guess they should have expected her to come when an akuma was about. Making it just as they were preparing to leave, "I manage to get to you guys before you left.", she sounded out of breath.

She must have been held back by police barricades and ran all the way to find them once the magical cure fixed everything.

"Do you think you have time for a quick interview?", she took out her camera and began filming. Nd by the looks of it Ladybug was none too happy.

"Sorry.", Chat Noir stepped in front of the camera, "M'lady is a bit worn out from today's battle.", and could use some space to catch a breath.

"Well...could I at least get a couple of words about today's battle?", she asked bringing focus to Chat Noir. "What was it like battling Exposor? Many of us were worried the worst.", especially when he had Chat Noir on the ground.

"Sorry, but we need to be focusing on bigger things.", not answering any more questions, "Now it's time for everyone to get some rest."

"Bug out!", Ladybug leaped off with Donny in hand.

"Graceful as always.", Chat sighed with a loving look at his partner, "Looks like it's time for this cat to be on.", extending his baton Cha Noir left off.

"Guess that's my cue.", she had to return the miraculous.

"Hold on. Yellow Jacket.", Alya called before the last of the heroes left.

"Yes miss?", she paused cautiously, "I'm in a bit of a rush."

"Could you answer a couple of questions? I'm sure the citizens of Paris would love to know about the newest miraculous holder."

"As my partners said I'm only a stand-in.", she replied, "I stood in on request.", and probably wouldn't be back.

"So you aren't replacing Queen Bee as a full heroine?", emphasizing that many people assumed she was replacing Chloe.

Yellow shook her head, "Not an option.", she dismissed, "Now if you don't have any more questions I really need to give a comb to a cat.", and she was running out of time.

"But, I have a lot more questions.", and no one would doubt that, "Like...what was it like to work with the heroes? Or why did Ladybug and Chat Noir stay on the sidelines while you fought Exposor?". She listed off a number of questions.

"I'm sure the other heroes will be happy to answer your questions.", but now was not the time, "Though I'm sure you'll hear some much-needed words later.", and very soon.

"Huh?"

"Until next time, stay golden!", with that they took off to the cheers of the people and confusion of one reporter.


At Donny's House...

After Ladybug had dropped off Donny back at home, Yellow Jacket had returned back sometime later. With the permission of Chat, she was able to dawn her stripes once more. She felt odd leaving so suddenly and wanted to make sure Donny was okay. She found him at his computer, no doubt looking over the news of the latest akuma attacks. After getting his attention they convinced on his balcony.

This wasn't the first time she had seen his house. From the outside that is. Never going inside.

"Are you okay?", they asked if he was still feeling upset or hurt from the attack. While akuma victims didn't have memories of their possessions. There was always the lingering that they might still be upset.

"My memories a bit foggy.", other than that he was just tired, "I guess even I can get caught in the pool of butterflies. My apologies for any trouble I might have caused.", even if he couldn't remember much. Though he was sure he would find out before the night was up.

"It's not your fault.", Yellow Jacket assured he wasn't at fault for anything, "You were just having a bad day.", it happens.

"Thank you.", she smiled at the compliment, "Sorry, if we had to leave you for those few minutes.", with her miraculous timing out she needed time to recharge, "You remember Chat Noir."

"Hey there.", he greeted.

"Two heroes in one day?", he must be in luck, "My head was still in such of haze I didn't even notice. I was rescued by two heroes of Paris."

"Anyway, we wanted to get you home and make sure you're okay.", especially after what happened.

"Besides a bruised ego I'm fine.", he said, "I've been getting messages about what happened today. I really caused a bit of a commotion.", and in a tacky silver outfit at that. Though the tie was a nice touch.

"Donny could tell us what happened?", they asked what caused him to become upset.

Donny thought for a moment, "I was having a bit of a bad day and things escalated from there.", which lead to his akumatization.

"Can you tell us a bit more?", it helped to let victims talk things out. It took the stress off and allowed them to vent their problems.

Again Donny thought for a moment, "To be honest, during the last akuma attack before me, I ran into someone.", he said it was after the heroes had left that he bumped into a person he had been having issues with, "We got into a bit of an argument."

"Can you tell us what the argument was about?"

"Just about how I picked her stories apart after pointing out a flaw in her content. She didn't like that I was working on it and blew up at me.", honestly it wasn't even that bad, or wouldn't have been, if she would just let it go, "She also seemed to be making a fuss because she hadn't been able to get 'good' footage of the past akuma fights.", mostly because Ladybug had been taking off before she could get even a question in.

"This sounds familiar.", and not in a good way.

"Then after I announced the new segment I was being accused of copying the Ladyblog.", something he would never do, "She was trying to make a big deal that she got Queen Bee on her blog.", he wouldn't have felt the way he did, if the same 'heroine' didn't outright try to slam his content and blog, "I got upset and you pretty much know what happened yet.", because apparently, he went around the city forcing people to expose their hidden secrets. Not his proudest moment.

"I apologize for any trouble I caused you.", and everyone else. He embarrassed so many people, even his own friends. All because he lost his cool and let the words of other's get to him.

"It's not your fault.", he was just upset and was taken advantage of by Hawkmoth.

"He's right.", Yellow Jacket said, "We all have our bad days. As long as you try your best. You can be better than the you, you were yesterday.", as long as he continued forward and not fall back.

"Are you okay?", the heroes asked.

"Trust me I'm much better. One bad moment won't make me lose my nerve. Tomorrow is a new day and the spotlight will shine again!", he declared with a glimmer in his eyes, "I need to go and get on my blog. Until next time!"

"Good luck!", Yellow waved back as the young returned to his home. The two heroes took off and went to a nearby roof.

"Well, that went better than I thought.", Chat Noir had been rather skeptical letting Kitsi us the bee miraculous to visit a civilian. But, she handled herself in a manner more Kitsi-like. In the end, she talked to Donny and brought his spirits up, "Good job Ki...I mean Yellow."

"Domo.", she smiled back, "Still I think there is still one more thing that needs to be addressed.

"What do you mean?", he looked at her curiously.

"The only person I know who could get under Donny's skin like that.", she sighed, "Alya."

"Alya?", Chat Noir seemed surprised, "...You think she caused his akumatization?"

"The two, well Alya, have been going at it for a few weeks. Mostly because Donny has been debunking a lot of her stories she posted on her blog.", which only aggravated her, "My guess is that she started an argument with him and got Chloe...Queen Bee on her blog for personal reasons.", which caused him to get akumatized.

"She's been doing that a lot.", Chat sighed.

"If you mean starting fights with people, then yes.", she did, "I swear that girl is going to send me to an early grave.", she groaned.

"Maybe I should try and talk to her.", the hero suggested she have some words with her.

"She might listen if it was from Ladybug.", she was her idol after all, "Maybe you should bring it up the next time you see her."

"Might be sooner than you think."

Yellow Jacket looked up to see Ladybug had come swinging in. Landing gracefully on the roof. Unfortunately, she wasn't alone.

"M'Lady?"

"Bourgeois?"

"Chat."

"You!", Chloe took no time to march over to Yellow Jacket, "I knew it. You took Pollen from me.", she accused the new heroine of theft, "Now you're trying to steal my title from me. If you think you're going to be the new Queen Bee. You've got another thing coming.", she warned poking the other female in the chess.

"Excuse you?"

"Chloe calm down.", Ladybug said.

"M-M'Lady what brings you out this time of night?", he asked, trying to remain casual, "If you wanted to see me all you had to do was ask. And I would have come with bells on.", he flicked his own bell for emphasis.

"Chat explain.", Ladybug looked at her partner in question, "During the akuma attack you made it seem like Chloe was unavailable.", and yet she got flagged down and pretty much told that Chat Noir, her own partner, had given the miraculous to some random citizen. Even though Chloe was active.

"Not just that. He disobeyed your orders and given it to some wannabe.", Chloe added unneeded.

"Is this true Chat?", she looked at her partner.

"I'm sorry My lady.", he apologized, "I lied about Chloe being unavailable.". He admitted.

"Why would you do something like that?", especially lie to her.

"Because Mayura actually stole the miraculous from Chloe.", he explained how she had gotten the drop on her and snatched the miraculous, "Kitsune was actually the one to get it back. But, he lost it again after the fight with the akuma.", but it was Kitsi who had managed to find it and keep it away from Mayura and Exposor. Risking her safety and her secrets to keep it and him safe.

"Kitsi?"

"While you were fighting the Centaur creature, I was fighting Exposer.", he was nearly hit and Kitsi jumped in from of him and took the hit.

"Is she okay?", she didn't know a civilian took one of the rapid shots. Unlike the standard power, the one he described did actual damage.

"No.", he assured, "The akuma wouldn't attack her. But, he did try to use her as a bargaining chip.", and when he tried to attack again, Chat had jumped in and shielded her, "I ended up getting hurt.", badly. Dark damage that he was going to remember.

"Are you okay?", she asked worriedly at what happened to her partner.

"Honestly...", he took a breath, "I was in a pretty bad place. I questioned whether or not I was useful as a hero.", he felt worthless, "I couldn't defeat the akuma. And a civilian had gotten hurt because of it."

"Oh, Chat..."

"I'm better.", he admitted, "Kitsi slapped some sense into me.", repeatedly, "I can't let what people might think of me. As long as I keep going, I can always become better.", not only for the city, but for himself.

"I see.", she answered, "And Yellow Jacket...?"

"Right.", Yellow blushed a bit, "Pollen, Stripes Off.", in a flash of light Yellow Jacket returned to Kitsi.

"Ohayo Tanchou.", she waved.

"You?", Ladybug looked surprised, to say the least, "Yellow Jacket?"

"Surprise."

"I cannot believe this!", Chloe piped in, "You let her use my miraculous? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.", she was not happy.

"So you gave Kitsi the bee miraculous?", that definitely was a surprise.

"Gomen.", Kitsi apologized, "I used the miraculous. I asked Chat Noir to help.", she needed to step in. And using the bee miraculous was the only way with two threats about, "I pushed him to let me us it."

"Actually I choose Kitsi. I believed she could be a great help to the team.", Chat explained that he was sure Kitsi was the most plausible person to help. She had potential and was actually friends with the victim.

"If your upset or mad, then be mad at me.", it was his choice and he would take full responsibility for going against his partner's instructions.

Ladybug looked between the two.

"I'm not mad. I'm proud of the both of you.", she said.

"Your not?", Chloe looked shocked.

Ladybug shook her head, "Miraculous are meant to help people and allow the holder to do good in the world.", and bring out their true hero potential, "Chat made the decision to give the miraculous to someone he believed would use it to it's best.", and that was Kitsi.

"Kitsi.", she looked at the other girl, "You stepped up to not only protect the city. But, you also saved someone really important to me.", her partner, "As far as I see, you both made valiant decisions today."

The two eyes lit up a bit.

Kitsi gave a relieved sigh.

"So you think I made the right decision?", Chat's ears perked up.

"You chose right Chaton.", she smiled in approval, "I'm proud of you."

"Now I think it's time to put the bee miraculous away."

Kitsi nodded, "Thanks for working with me Pollen.", Kitsi smiled to the little kwami.

"It was my pleasure, My Queen.", Pollen smiled.

"Actually, Kit would be fine.", Kitsi smiled back, "Ja ne.", removing the miraculous from her hair, Pollen returned into the miraculous. She handed it to Ladybug, "Have a good rest."

"Thank you.", taking the miraculous she put it in her yo-yo.

As the tension began to calm, Kitsi happened to catch Chloe trying to tip-off.

"Oh no, you don't.", Kitsi grabbed Chloe by the collar, "You're not off the hook that easily.", she resisted the urge to pull her back by her ponytail.

"Hey watch the material.", she complained as she released herself, "These clothes were expensive.", adding she would make her pay her laundry bill.

"Kitsi what's wrong?"

Kitsi snorted, "I think you need to have a word with Chloe about interview etiquette."

"I don't know what you're talking about.", Chloe dismissed.

"You were doing an interview on the Ladyblog and made hurtful comments about Donny and his blog.", saying he wasn't good enough to get a real hero on his blog, "That's why he got akumatized.", she wasted her energy showing off, that she wasn't prepared when Mayura got the drop on her.

"Is this true Chloe?", Ladybug stared firmly at the heiress, "Something you failed to mention."

"Did you actually keep your miraculous for a blog interview?"

"Of course not Ladybug.", she denied, "I was just showing my support for you. Plus you have to admit that his blog is a third rate gossip site.", she tried to defend that she was doing it to protect their names as superheroes.

"That still didn't give you the right to trash him as you did.", Chat scolded.

"Like he trashed me. He said horrible things Queen Bee.", she cried.

"No, he didn't. He only said what other people thought.", and that Queen Bee, while she was a hero, didn't always act it, "And you didn't exactly prove them wrong with the stunt you pulled.", if anything it made people more sure that she didn't earn her miraculous.

"Not to mention getting your miraculous stolen.", that was the biggest thing.

Ladybug groaned, massaging the bridge of her nose.

"Chloe, do you remember when I gave you your miraculous? I said that it was to help you grow and become a better person.", to become a heroine and do some good in the city.

"I know right. And I've become an exceptional heroine. Just like you."

"No, you haven't."

"W-What do you mean?"

"I mean while you're growing in battle, in your civilian life you still refuse to change.", still clinging to the same behavior that had gotten her in trouble so many times, "You still talk about people, insult them for no reason, and you've been trying to use your title as 'Queen Bee' as an excuse for your behavior.", she listed, "That's not making progress."

"But, Ladybug..."

"No but's.", she cut in, "I know change takes time. But, it also takes effort.", and by the looks of it, Chloe wasn't putting in any effort, "I'm beginning to think maybe giving making you a superheroine was too quick a judgment."

"No, it wasn't!", Chloe defended, "I can change. I mean...yeah I did do bad by getting another person akumatized and losing my miraculous.", which didn't help her case, "But, I promise you I can do better. I swear.", she pleaded for Ladybug to reconsider.

"You say that.", but she wasn't sure, "I'm not a hundred percent sure that you'll stick to your word. But, I think there's still a chance for you to do better.", a slim one, but hope that Chloe could make a change for the better.

Chloe looked hopeful. Kitsi looked done.

"But, no more akumatizations.", accidents were one thing, but doing something to hurt someone on purpose was crossing the line, Adding she had to focus on protecting the city, and not just trying to make a name for herself, "In the meantime, I think it's best Queen Bee takes a break.", mostly for the stunt she pulled by keeping her miraculous and using it for a petty reason. Then having it stolen by the enemy and trying to keep it hidden.

Well, at least she wasn't being replaced. Not yet, at least.

"I still believe in you, Chloe. And I know you can do better.", Ladybug gave her a hopeful smile. Chloe looked up at her and nodded.

"I promise Ladybug.", she vowed to be better. Not just for the city, but for herself.

"Good.", Ladybug nodded, "Kitsi thanks again for your assistance.", Ladybug thanked.

"Yeah, you were an un-bee-livable help today.", Chat added.

"No problem. It's cool working with you two.", she smiled, "Let's do it again.", though hopefully not too soon. Kitsune was enough for her. And she was sure Whissp was going to give her an earful when they got home.

"Anyway. Better get home before I get in trouble again. Ja'ne.", with that Kitsi headed off. Leaving the heroes and her classmate. She had a lot of work to do and little time to do it.

But first, maybe a long nap.

Hopefully, tomorrow would be calmer.


To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

 "Marinette are you okay?", Kitsi wasn't as oblivious as people might think. So when she came to check on Marinette, she was a bit surprised to find her sitting on the floor of her bed. Her covers over her head, "Marinette?"

But, she didn't answer.

"Mari? Are you...", she never finished her sentence as she saw it. An akuma fluttering over Marinette. It was by the ceiling. Circling its target from above.

Not taking any chances Kitsi quickly pushed open the latch and sprinted toward Marinette. Jumping in front of her, she made herself a human shield.

"Not today you pest.", she was not going to let Marinette get taken by some wicked bug.

The butterfly continued to flutter over the two. Possibly trying to pick between them. A worried friend and a sad girl. Both perfect targets.

"Where's a can of bug spray and a match when you need it?", Kitsi continued to block the akuma from her friend. Best case scenario it latched onto her and she fought it off. Worse case, it latched onto one of them and succeeded to make them akumatized.

After a staredown between them, the butterfly seemed to take off. Going out the window.

"You better run...fly...", Kitsi shook her head, but continued to shout out the window, "And don't come back!", shutting the window for good measure and dramatics.

"Marinette?", she returned her attention to her friend on the floor, "Mari are you okay?", obviously not if she found an akuma flying over her head.

There was a hesitation in her answer. Which signaled something was wrong.

"Marinette, what's wrong?"

"Am I taking advantage of you?"

"What?"

"Am I...do you think I'm taking too much of your time?", she changed her answer, "You're taking time to help at the bakery, meaning you're waking up earlier to get here and make it to class. You call me all the time to check up on me and even text me about class. Bringing me homework and waiting on me hand and foot.", Kitsi basically became her caretaker. Bringing her food, checking up on her, bringing her homework, she even took over her responsibilities in the bakery.

"I'm worried you're doing so much for me. And I'm just up here laying in bed like some useless log.", and it made her feel guilty.

"Mari you're not a useless log. You're a pretty lotus.", she said, "Also, where is this coming from?"

"Promise you won't get mad."

"Kitsi promise.", the most trusted promise she could make.

"Well...", she took a deep breath, "I might have snuck out of the house today.", it wasn't like she just went down the fire escape. She wanted to stretch her legs and went to do some errands for her parents. A quick stop to the store for some last-minute ingredients, "When I came home, I overheard our classmates talking.", especially about Kitsi and how she was treating Marinette. Essentially equating their relationship like something of a master and servant type deal. With Kitsi treating Marinette like she was royalty. Even comparing her to how Chloe treated Sabrina.

"Am I going to have to break someone?", Kitsi had that look in her eye. The look that she was about to get her hands dirty.

"No Kitsi.", she said quickly, "It's just...what if they're right? What if I'm just overreacting and having people take care of me. And being a burden to everyone.", because she couldn't fix her own problems.

"I could say the same thing.", when she put them in the hospital, "Marinette you're not being a burden. You're recovering.", there was a difference.

"But, I'm just stuck in my room. You, Adrien, my parents. You're all doing so much for me.", even people she didn't know were being so nice to her. She couldn't count the number of people that sent her cards and even gifts that Kitsi delivered. Most of which she didn't feel she deserved.

"Because we love you.", that's what people do when they care for someone, "Marinette you need to learn that it's okay to be spoiled now and then. You do so much for people, you and them, sometimes forget you have feelings too.", and having those feelings made her human.

"So...I'm not taking up your time?"

"Marinette you are my friend. I chose to be with you.", not just out of sympathy or pity, "Friends look out for each other. And that includes picking them up when they feel down.", it came with the territory. And Marinette was her territory was to protect.

Marinette smiled a bit.

"You don't have to worry. I'll always have your back.", whether she knew it or not, "And don't listen to people talking.", they were just jealous, "I know! I think I have something that might bring your mood up."

"Really? What?"

"Donny Morgons?"

"Hai", she nodded, "Since the popularity of his blog has been growing, he's added a new segment to his channel."

"Hero Hour."

"Viewers send in their clips of the heroes of Paris.", not only akuma battles, but the heroes around the city helping out citizens, "They showcase everyone.", showing a few clips posted earlier.

"That looks really good.", it was nice that more people were giving coverage for all the heroes.

"It's still in a pilot mood.", but with some time it should take off in no time, "People have already been flooding the channel.", she showed.

"That's great.", she commented, "Donny should be proud. It looks like he works really hard on his content.", and it shows.

"Donny's dream is to be a great entertainer.", he loved being on camera and being able to share information with people. And this new segment could be a big leap for him. And ly or fall, she would support him all the way.


"Good morning everyone.", Mrs. Lark greeted. To say students were surprised, and a bit disappointed, that the substitute was still there was an understatement. Many were expecting Mrs. Bustier to be back at the front and their seats to return to normal. When asked, the teacher replied that their regular teacher was still helping out the headmaster and would return to her regular job on Friday. Though after nearly a week of having a sub, many wondered what type of assignment she was helping him with.

"Now then as you know tomorrow is the due date for your papers. I trust you all have been applying yourselves and will turn in the work that shows it.", she reminded them of the due date.

Looking up from her book Kitsi noted the mood in the class. Throughout the week the atmosphere shifted drastically. It went from tense to random and now seemed to drift in the grey. Even the most positive of people seemed to be losing that extra glow.

'Not my problem.'

Even if she was curious and perhaps a bit worried. She made it a point not to get involved and focus on bigger things that needed her attention. But, even that didn't stop her from catching the run-off of her classmates stupidity. And after the monumental cluster from yesterday, it was a wonder half the student body hadn't been akumatized. Again.

She would do her best to keep people calm as possible. But, as for anything else they were on their own.

"Before we begin, there is a meeting taking place. So all class representatives and their deputies are being dismissed early.", she announced.

"Where are you going?", Alya questioned.

"To the meeting.", obviously.

"I don't think you heard right. The meeting is for class reps. And deputies.", for which Kitsi was neither.

"And you apparently didn't get the memo.", Kitsi added.

"What memo?"

"As of today...", she stood up, "I am the Official Honorary Stutitute Class Representative!", she declared. Alya and the class looked shocked by the announcement.

"O-Official Rep...", Alya blinked, "What does even mean?"

"Since the current representative is out sick and the 'stand-in' is out 'traveling. Kitsi will be acting as your class representative.", since the first two were unavailable, Kitsi was chosen after an emergency vote, "Congratulations.", Ms. Lark gave a simple but encouraging smile.

"How did she get picked as the class rep? We didn't even vote."

"Ironic.", Kitsi muttered of the girls growing list of hypocritical statements, "Well you know how last-minute changes can be."

"This was decided by student council as well as your current teacher Ms. Bustier.", who was asked for submission for a stand-in class rep., "It was put to a vote and Kitsi won by a very impressive margin.", since she was the only one out of the two names put forward to take up the position.

"T-That's...that's...", Alya tried to find the right words.

"Completely ridiculous!", Chloe voiced, "She can't be a class rep. She has no leadership skills."

"Well Bourgeois, unlike you and certain people, I have actually been in leadership roles.", she replied, "WIllinging I might add.", she jabbed.

"Like what?", she questioned.

"I was the head of elementary school line where we all walked to school together.", holding hands as we picked up and walked each other home and to school , "Co-captain of the middle school fight club, captain of the all-girls tennis club, and third of my last school's student council as part of the student safety section.", so she had a good resume, "I've been in a lot of clubs and activities in my time. So I know the value of both leadership and teamwork."

"I still say it's ridiculous. As an actual heroine why wasn't I picked for class rep?", she questioned.

"I could make a list.", she shook her head, "And like I said I'm only the temporary one until the real representative comes back. And I'm sure Marinette will agree with this decision, she declared.

"But, Alya is the deputy, shouldn't she take up the role?", Nino asked and most of the class agreed.

"In most cases yes.", Ms. Lark nodded, "However, some of the other students on the council believe that the current deputy requires an extra push in order to finalize projects that have been recently unresolved."

"What does that mean?"

"They believe while Ms. Ceasire is capable of stepping into the role, they feel a new set of eyes will help even things out.", adding they didn't want to put any extra pressure on one student for the work of two, , "Now then, I believe you and your deputy have a lot to discuss.", adding that all class representatives were being dismissed for meetings to discuss the school meeting, "For everyone else please turn to chapter 43 in your textbooks.", it was time for class to begin. Alya and Kitsi left, passing one last glance at each other as they walked out the door.

As they headed down the hall there was a tense silence between the two. For the most part, they kept to themselves and headed to the meeting. However, as the continued to walk down the hall Kitsi heard her phone ping.

Kitsi stopped and opened her phone. It was a link from Donny. Clicking it a video began to load.

"Greetings all!", Donny's voice came over, "This is Donny Morgan's here to deliver a big announcement. A new segment will be added to the blog. Hero Hour!", a segment dedicated to showing the heroics of the heroes throughout the day, "This afternoon will be the official first episode. Where I'll be showcasing footage with this morning fight with the akuma, Etiquette.", an akuma bent on teaching proper etiquette to the people of Paris, "We'll also be viewing the results from our last poll.", which showcased the favorite power moments of the heroes, "And finally we'll be having a special trivia show. Know Your Akuma!", showing a few selections for topics being put on his channel, "If you have any photos, videos, or stories about the heroes of Paris doing what they do best. Post them and show your support!"

"Be sure to stay tuned in for updates and a live showing of the first official episode.", he invited, "Until then this has is Donny with your facts of the day. Keep it real.", with that, the video ended.

"Good job Donny.", Kitsi smiled at her friend's determination to go through with the new segment, "This is going to be amazing.", and she was sure everyone would love it.


"Hero Hour!?", a voice boomed across the room.

Well so much for that thought.

As news of Donny's new segment swept through the internet and blog world, in the real world not everyone seemed excited. One of them is none other than Alya, the creator of the Ladyblog, who took the news rather differently. If by different, being she basically was ranting about it since she got the link. Now she was fuming with her classmates, sans a few faces, about the new development.

"Looks like bowtie is expanding his territory.", Alix commented.

"It's already beginning to trend.", Max noted how news of the addition of the blog had caused quite a bit of talk, "At this rate, it will all over the school and beyond."

"It does look like a lot of people are interested.", Rose commented.

"But, it's a complete rip-off of the Ladyblog.", Alya argued that Donny was basically copying her, "He's basically being a copycat."

Kitsi snorted. Though she didn't look it, she had been listening to the blogger rant about the new segment. Which, in her opinion, was childish, to say the least.

"He can't just make up a new segment about the heroes.", that was her job, "He doesn't even understand the time and work it takes to get those stories."

"Which part would that be?", Kitsi spoke, "Would it be running into a dangerous situation just to see the akuma's powers or posting random stories without backchecking.", both of which had a similar theme. That being its reporter being reckless and not thinking about the consequences.

"I wasn't talking to you.", Alya retorted.

"But, you were talking about my friend.", a bad decision no sane person would make if they didn't want to have teeth, "Seriously, you're getting dramatic because there's another person blogging about the heroes.", did she even know how many people blogged about the heroes in Paris alone.

"But, the Ladyblog was the first.", Alya reminded, arguing the essentially Donny was just doing what she had started, "Even his segment is just copying other blogs."

"Well from what I've been hearing a lot of people are excited about something fresh.", people loved things that were new, "Plus Donny already has a pretty strong reputation in the blog world.", for his unbiased reporting skills and fact-checking.

"It's still not a good enough reason to think he can report on the heroes."

"And you have such a glowing record.", she retorted, "Donny has one of the most trusted blogs on the web. People love his energy.", its what hooked his viewers. "People enjoy and trust their content."

"And the Ladyblog isn't trustworthy?", she seemed to challenge.

"No one's going to argue the lengths you go through to get a story.", as dangerous and stupid as they were at times, "But, as of recent the sense of the blog of trust is split.", and not down the middle. With recent details surfacing, especially after the debate, people's trust in the sense of the blog of quality was declining. Most were concerned over the reporter, Alya, integrity to get her facts straight. Especially, after she was shown to have kicked people off her blog just for acting common questions to someone she claimed to be not only a source for some of the stories. But, her close friend as well.

Not to mention stories of her hypocritical behavior when it came to fact-checking and use of proof. And how she treated her friends and subscribers over how she valued her blog. Overall, people simply didn't fully trust her postings.

"I still say he's copying me and my blog.", and she didn't seem to want to change her mind.

"He is not copying you.", that was an overstatement, "Donny decided to make a segment that showed highlights of the heroes.", not just an entire blog dedicated to mostly one. But, all the heroes and what they do for the city. Giving everyone a chance to show their videos and photos.

"It's still copying.", Alya stated, "He's even using clips from the Ladyblog.", she pointed out.

"Again not copying you.", she corrected, "All the clips used were sent in by viewers.", some of which had probably been sent to the Ladyblog before, as well reshared on other sites, "People are allowed to post things on various sights.", the only rule came with credit and content, "Plus when are you the only one allowed to cover the heroes of Paris?"

Alya frowned.

'That's what I thought.'

"You have the Ladyblog. Donny has the Hero Hour.", they just had to co-exist, "You'll just have to deal with it.", and not make a fuss over nothing, "And as his friend I'm going to be supporting him and making sure his blog is one of the best.", whether as a subscriber or endorsers. Maybe even providing some equipment or getting up close footage from the battles.

"I still say it won't last long.", and her friends would support her.

"Will just have to see, won't we.", in the end it came down to what the viewers wanted, "Also, I'll be expecting the budgets for the school dance.", she added of Alya's tasks, "Hopefully, you can manage to gather that information.", she evened out her papers and place it in her folder, "Putting your drama aside, we need to focus on making sure this dance happens."

"And it will.", Alya said quite confidently.

"Well see.", Kitsi sounded doubtful, but continued to talk about how much work needed to be done, "I don't want to disappoint everyone because 'someone' made some promises she couldn't keep."

"I told you it's handled.", Alya reaffirmed.

"I heard what you said.", but the facts shown differently, "We literally only have a few weeks before the dance.", and there was a literal pile of things that needed to be done. Did they think all this stuff was going to magically appear out of thin air?

"We're going to meet after school and figure out how to salvage this.", as best as possible.

"After school?"

"Yes.", she nodded, "I'll be over your house so we can go over the last reports and go through a list of venues.", she pointed out they needed to level down their options, "As the class representatives it's our job to make sure everyone is on the same page.", and there were a lot of pages to go through.

"I know that. It's just...it's not a good time for me.", she tried to explain.

"Then we're going to make time.", she was not doing this chasing game again, "This dance is days away and it's damage control time.", because she was not going to look like a fool because her own class couldn't do one job.

"Seriously you need to chill.", Alya said, "You're taking this position way too seriously."

"Someone in this class has too.", because no one else was, "The majority of these promises make no sense. Who promised a rooftop party with a light-up dance floor, and a live DJ? Or a full concert headlined by Jagged Stone? And...", she looked at one of the reports, "A pool filled with chocolate?", who would want that?

'Well, that would be sweet.', but Kitsi had experience when it came to trying to fill a pool with edible liquids. That wasn't water.

"And no one checked on any venue for this?", not to mention there was no report of contact with any of the promised acts, "And put your phone down."

"What? I'm listening.", she said hiding the phone behind her back, "And as I said before I have all this handled."

"Sure it is.", she stood up, "Maybe when you're done obsessing over your blog, you could bring your head back down to earth.", and stop being so dramatic.

"I am not obsessive.", she denied, "As the sites only admin, it's my job to make sure everything is kept up to date."

"Well, you can update your blog later. Right now we need to work on getting this dance together.", and getting the school back to normal, "We will talk more afternoon.", one way or another, "Make sure you take good notes.", with a smirk Kitsi gathered her things and left for her next class. Leaving a glowering blogger leering at her back.

"Ugh, sometimes she can just...", she folded her arms.

"Babe calm down.", Nino said trying to comfort his girlfriend, "You're getting stressed over nothing."

"I am not stressed.", she denied, "Between this dance and this new blog popping up.", not to mention her own blog troubles, "I've had a lot on my mind.", recently her numbers for her post have been less than a thriller. While she got a good number of views they were nothing compared to her old videos. And her subscriber list had gone down over the past couple of days. Even with the high number of akuma attacks, she couldn't get close to the action or even get a word with heroes.

"Well don't worry I here for you babe..", Nino assured.

"Thanks. I can always count on you.", she smiled knowing she had people in her corner, "Still...", she looked at her phone, "I need to do something big for the Ladyblog.", making sure no one could just step in and try to take over.

"What about reporting on another akuma attack?"

"That might not be enough."

"Oh, what about interviewing one of the heroes?", people loved the interviews with the heroes.

"That could be something.", no other sites could get up close to the interview like Alya. She had interviewed all of them, "I can interview the heroes.", the only question is how? It was hard to even get a regular Q&A because the heroes usually left before she even got a chance to pull out her phone.

"It's still a good idea. You could have a live interview.", for people to chat with the heroes.

"Other sites have never done it before."

"Plus the other heroes love the Ladyblog.", having mentioned it as a good source for keeping up with news around Paris, "Not even Donny Morgon's can say that.", besides having a few notable figures on his blog. He never showed any of the heroes.

"Still where am I going to find a hero to interview?"


As lunch pulled around Kitsi decided to eat in the courtyard. She had her tablet on her lap and was making some notes for the dance. She had the bigger items already set. It was just putting everything together. Which was a lot considering what they had to begin with. Which was nothing.

The first meeting was the general meet and greet. The other representatives welcoming Kitsi for her position, as short as it would be. She was given a rundown of the current project and elephant in the room, the school dance. It had become obvious that with the date nearing, a lot of the standards and expectations from the other students were being heavily over-exaggerated.

For her part, it was the classes duty to procure a venue for the dance and entertainment as well. And with the expectations looming it was going to be a job. Especially with so many students expecting different things. Including a theme.

Looking at the notes Kitsi couldn't help feel the pressure.

"Something wrong Kit?", Whissp asked. Noting how she seemed uneasy after last classes.

Kitsi sighed a bit, "Just having that feeling again.", the feeling that something wasn't right and there was something about to happen.

"Careful Kit. Your paranoia is showing.", Whissp seemed to joke. But, he knew better than to underestimate his partner's senses.

"It's not paranoia.", for the most part, "It's this dance.", she looked at her notes, "Even when I'm not involved, I become involved because of other people.", basically she was guilty by association. One of the lamest kinds of crimes you can be guilty of.

"Hey Kitsi?", a voice spoke, causing Whissp to duck back in Kitsi's hair.

"Oh hey Adrien.", she greeted quickly, "What's up?", her relationship with Adrien had, for the most part, become a bit more civil. She was still frustrated with the other for his knowing reluctance to let Rossi lie and convincing Marinette it wasn't worth it to expose her lies. And while it still infuriated her of the boys over pacifism. She gave him credit for coming to visit Marinette and beginning to see the light. Though he hadn't actually seen her, he made the effort to check on her.

Even if it took a reality check to do it.

"Out of any chance have you seen Chloe today?", he asked. Though it was a long shot, Kitsi was someone who seemed to have the same feeling of him when it came to his missing classmates.

"Well I haven't had any migraines today.", so that was a thankful, no, "She's been missing from class since this morning.", though given the fact it was Chloe one would think she would be coming to school to brag about her latest victory.

"I was afraid of that.", truthfully he hadn't seen her since the last akuma attack. After the last akuma was defeated Kitsune had to leave early. Though somehow Chloe had snuck off without returning the bee miraculous to Ladybug. To say Ladybug was upset would be making light of the situation, "I thought she would back at school.", though quickly lost hope of that when he didn't see her.

"Well hopefully she'll be taking a day off.", she didn't need to listen to the heiress boost. She still didn't see why they had to bring her in for the last fight. But, in retrospect, it might just be her frustration talking. They were tired. After so many akuma fights in these last 3 days alone, it was hard not to feel a bit held back.

"Anyway...I heard you're taking over as class representative.", Adrien brought up.

"Technically I'm only the substitute.", she corrected lightly, "I sort of got voted in at the last minute.", she added.

"Still, it's great to have you taking over.", if only for a short time, "The other students must have really good faith in you."

"Well, I don't know about that. But, I'll do my best to live up to expectations.", as high as they might seem, "As long as this dance goes off well, I think I can manage to put up with our class.", especially Ceasire who was starting to tick her off.

"I'm guessing you two aren't getting along?"

"She's still salty about...well, take your pick.", it hadn't really been solid ground for a while now and these past couple of days kept tilting the axis, "As long as we don't argue too much, I think we can get this dance done."

'Ping, Ping'

"I just got a notification.'

"Me too."

It seemed like almost everyone was getting a notification on their phones. At the same time.

Pressing the link a video popped up. Once it began to play who should appear, but the Queen Bee herself.

"Chloe?", Adrien looked shocked. "Why is she blogging?", she should have returned the bee miraculous already.

"That should not be your top question.", Kitsi noted, "Seriously, why is she cosplaying as Queen Bee?"

"I don't think that's a costume.", Adrien frowned a bit. And Kitsi caught it. Looking at him and then to the screen a couple of times.

'She didn't.'

"Evening loyal citizens, it's your one and only Queen Bee!", she announced herself, "Here to bring you an update of my latest victory in protecting Paris."

"Oh for the love of...", she rubbed the side of her head, "Is this the reason she wasn't in class.", to do a live blog. With her miraculous still on.

"I'm being interviewed by my good 'friend', the blogger from the Ladyblog.", the camera panned over to the creator and host of the Ladyblog herself.

"Alya!?"

"Well this just a whole lot worse.", what were those two up to?

"So Chl...Queen Bee, what can you tell us about the latest akuma battle?"

"As Ladybug's best and closest ally, it was no surprise when she called upon me to aid in stopping Hawkmoth latest attempts at taking over the city."

"I'm already over this.", wasn't it bad enough she had to deal with her as Kitsune and Kitsi. It seemed to go one like that. Answering questions by the host that usually seemed to allow Chloe to brag about something or another.

"I can't believe Alya is apart of this."

"In a way, I can.", and that was sad. Thinking back she had noticed how Ladybug seemed less than excited to speak to the reporter. Noticeably avoiding her, even after akuma attacks. Answering questions from other reporters and fans, before zipping off when she even caught sight of the blogger.

Most people hadn't noticed. But, Kitsune had counted it happening more than once. Whenever Ladybug caught sight of the blogger trying to get her attention her expression seemed to sour. Her smile of hope and victory, replaced with what Kitsune could only describe as disappointment with hints dust of anger. It was odd and suspicious.

She chalked it up to exhaustion. With so many akuma attacks happening, all the heroes were tired. And answering reporters was becoming a chore.

"So what do you say to some sites questioning her stance as a true hero?", Alya brought up.

"Utterly ridiculous.", she dismissed, "Ladybug chose me to be her ally because she believes I was the best for the job. And of course who knows better than her.", she was Ladybug, the hope and jewel of Paris, "Unlike 'some' people who think they can just waltz in, I am a professional hero.", and heroes work should be left to real heroes.

"When will it end.", Kitsi groaned, "Also professional? she's only been a hero for three months.", and Kitsune had been there a lot longer. Even Ladybug and Chat Noir were technically veterans when it came to being superheroes.

"Maybe because she was busy holding up a car.", she muttered under her breath. She wasn't going to act like the akuma's had been a cakewalk. With them and the creatures created by Mayura, Hawkmoth's partner, they needed more hands in order to cover all bases. Which meant calling in other heroes like Carapace and Queen Bee. One of which was an actual choice.

"As Ladybug's closet friend she tells me everything.", she bragged, "Unlike other blogs claiming to get the scoop and giving 'facts'."

"Most of the content are just recycled clips. But, you can't really count on a third rate gossip site to post content people want to see.", she gave a flip of her hair.

Kitsi snorted.

"He wouldn't know good content if it came up and stung him. He even passed up a chance to interview yours truly.", and apparently only a fool would do that, "Truth exposor, more like a poser."

"Kitsi?", Adrien could see his friend eye twitch, "Oh boy.", this was not good.


Donny was having a day for sure. He was nearly late to school because of the akuma attack. While it wasn't close to the school, it brought a bit of traffic and a few onlookers who wanted to see the heroes in action. An exciting sight for sure.

Donny himself had a chance to see the newest giant creature that spawned from the villain Mayura. Along with the akuma, Etiquette, battling the heroes of Paris. While Kitsune and Carapace took on the Centaur. Ladybug and Chat Noir battled the akuma.

After the dust had cleared and the heroes stood victorious he managed to get a photo of the heroes together after the battle. And by pure luck Kitsune had given a shout out after spotting him in the crowd. It was amazing. He even got a few words about from the fox heroine, along with a short interview. It was unbelievable and would look perfect for his segment.

Only when he was heading to class did he receive an update on his phone. Someone had posted a link on his blog. With messages telling him to watch it. And when he did, he got an earful. Greeted with the Queen Bee herself, who not only insulting his blog but insulting him as well. And to top it off it was being shown live from the Ladyblog of all places.

A blatant act of mud throwing. Accusing him of using the heroes to build his subpar viewer count. And claiming that he was only copying better sites like the Ladyblog and only spreading common gossip about the heroes.

"Third rate site. Gossip blog.", just who did she think she was?, "I look for the facts. These people just don't know when to quit!", now they were attacking his blog with such remarks and claims. He exposed the truth and only that. He would never make up stories for news or twist the words of others for viewers, "Someone needs to give them a reality check.", he growled.


"Interesting. Someone who prides themselves on getting the truth and exposing those who use lies to spread lies.", nothing he hadn't dealt with before, "Still, a perfect target for my akuma."


The akuma fluttered around the blogger before merging with his bow-tie. Feeling the dark energy coursing through him, a dark mask over his face, as the neon mask illuminated on his face.


"Exposor, I am Hawkmoth.", the supervillain greeted, "You make it your code to uncover the truth and bring real facts to life. But, there are those who would rather see the dirt and spread lies to others. I'm giving you the power to expose anyone you target. Forcing them to reveal their darkest secrets to you and your audience.", allowing them to get the attention they so richly deserve, "Expose those who trampled on your work. Then you'll bring me the miraculous of Ladybug and Chat Noir!"


"Lights! Camera! Let the show begin!", with a wicked grin, Donny was surrounded in a purple mist. When it was cleared he was transformed into Exposer. Looking over his new silvery tuxedo form, he smirked wickedly. With a quick pull on his bow tie, he took a silver, retro-style microphone out from his sleeves.

"Let's see who's on schedule.", summoning a virtual screen he scanned through a number of names and quickly made a guest list, "First on my list, Chloe Bourgeois!"

"After I knock her down. The third rate reporter of the Ladyblog will be in the hot seat.", he closed the screens, "I think I'll start with a couple of test appearances.", with that he took off into the city.


Back at the school, the students were still talking about the interview. Many going over the video of Queen Bee slamming Donny's blog. Leaving many confused by what they saw and heard. Igniting conversations of a possible split in the heroes.

While Kitsi was slamming Nino into a locker. It didn't take long for her to find him. After snapping out of her shock, she was out for blood.

"You got ten seconds to explain what the heck your girlfriend was doing.", and she was being generous with the time.

"I didn't know she was doing that.", he thought she was going to try to interview the heroes. Not, Chloe.

"Kitsi put him down.", Adrien pled for his friend to calm down before she seriously hurt Nino.

"Where is that story snoop?", Kitsi questioned releasing the boy back onto the floor.

"I don't know.", he swore he hadn't spoken to her since this morning, "Also 'ow'.", he rubbed his backside as Adrien helped him up.

"Well until I see her face, your body is going to be in a world of pain.", she cracked her knuckles, "That wasn't even news. Plus I got some words for Queen pain in the butt. She has some nerve to pull what she did.", and she was going to make her feel it. Whether as Kitsune or Kitsi.

'Ping Ping!'

"Another notification?"

All the students seemed to get the same notification. Clicking on the play button as the video loaded. It turned out to be a new video posted, under an icon of a retro mic and a bow tie on the next.

"Exposor?", what was that? A new site? No one remembered subscribing to such a site. Yet they all got the same notification. With the video fully loaded it was the mayor of the city, Andre Bourgeois.

"Mister Bourgeois?", as the video played the Mayor began spilling a number of stories about his daughter. But, not just any stories. Embarrassing stories that the heiress would never want to see the light of day. The video switch between him, his wife, and even the butler.

"Chloe still sleeps with a stuffed teddy bear?", a student snickered.

"She has a solid gold toilet?", another student repeated.

"She has a crush on Adrien and already planned their wedding.", which wasn't a secret. But, still rather bold of a thought to think Adrien felt the same way. Students were either gossiping or laughing as the video played.

"Why would Chloe's parents say such things?", and then have it posted. He knew her mother was rather cold, but not her own father. Even the butler cared for Chloe. And she couldn't even get his name right.

"Like I care.", though it was rather funny, "Honestly it serves her right for messing with people.", a taste of her own medicine, "Still...", it was strange how the video was posted. Especially with Chloe's own parents and her butler, revealing embarrassing secrets about her. Well,rapid-fired three. Audrey Bourgeois wasn't one to hold her tongue. But, even she wouldn't do this.

"Enjoying the show?", a voice called out. All eyes turned back to their phones to see a figure appear on the screen.

"Who is he?"

The male smirked as he brought his microphone up to his lips, "This is Exposor coming to you live from the city of lights!", the akuma announced, "If you didn't see my last post with the honorable Mayor Bourgeois and his 'adoring' wife and faithful butler. On the ever delightfully detestable and full of herself Queen Bee. Don't worry a full line up of guests, who are just waiting to spill their secrets just for you. Brought to you by me, the one and only host!", he laughed.

"Exposor?"

'I do not need this today.', one akuma and Centaur maximum. Was that too much to ask for?

"I've got a wide array of videos to keep my adoring fans entertained.", he showed all the interviews he had done throughout the city, "For my next interview I'll be taking to the halls of akuma hotspot Francis Dupont College.", bringing up a picture of the school, "Where I'll be putting the so-called reporter, Alya Ceasire, in through a real rapid-fire session. Can the blogger stand handle the pressure or will she get crushed! Stay tuned and find out!", he laughed as his logo popped back up.

"What did he...!?", suddenly the doors to the school burst open and a figure strutted in. Students and staff gasped and the watched who they guessed to be the akuma.

"Greetings students, faculty, and soon to be victims.", he greeted with a smooth tone, bringing his microphone to his lips, "This is Exposor!"

"Let's start the show!", he announced. Students stood clear as he walked across the courtyard. Many backing away seeing the new akuma, "Now, where is Alya Ceasire?", he looked around trying to spot his target in the crowd, "What? Has someone gotten cold feet?", he laughed, "She's usually front and center. I had a full segment prepared just for her.", for all to witness and watch her crushed over and over.

"If she doesn't want to step up to the mic. Looks like I'll have to improvise.", he grinned, "Now let's bring out our next guest is!", his eyes began scanning the crowd of students before landing on Nino. With a quick jump, he landed right in front of Nino.

"Looks like we have our first volunteer.", shooting a beam upwards a spotlight came over the DJ before he could react. He stiffened.

"So first guest how about an introduction.", he put his mic in front of Nino.

"What up, I'm Nino Lahiffe!", he introduced himself rather excitedly, "Thanks for having me."

"So Nino, tell us about yourself.", the akuma encourages, "Don't skip any details."

"Well let's see, I'm fourteen, a student at Dupont Francis College, and I love music.", he listed off a number of things about him.

"Interesting. You must be a star student.", he commented.

"Yeah, not so much. I'm pretty much sleep during most of my classes. Especially Ms. Mendeleev.", he commented on how boring her classes were, "Her lessons are pretty dry."

"What's wrong with him?", Adrien questioned seeing his friend basically spill his life story like it was nothing.

It had to be the akuma.

"So what can you tell me about your girlfriend Alya?"

"Oh, you mean my main girl. I like her, no joke.", he said, "We do almost everything together."

"How cute.", he chuckled, "I'm sure you must tell each other everything."

"Of course.", he nodded, "Like just last week she stayed up watching this new horror movie that her parents told her not to watch. She was having nightmares so she spent three days sleeping in her older sisters room.", the revelation made a lot of people listening break out in laughter, "She called me every night so she wouldn't be alone.", regaling various conversations they had.

"What is up with him?", Nino would never tell another's person's secrets.

"Also Zombie Prom Night is not a scary movie.", low budget comedy at best, "It must be the akuma's power.", but how was he doing it? As she watched them closely, she noticed the spotlight pouring over Nino.

"The spotlight.", it had to be making him spill all his secrets.

"...We also have this new substitute teacher. Majorly strict. Most of us think she needs to take a chill pill .", he commented.

"Interesting. But, tell us more about your girlfriend.", he insisted they stay focused on Alya.

"He must be after Alya.", that would explain why he went after Nino first. Who knew more about her than her own boyfriend.

"...We got locked in a cage at the zoo.", Nino was regaling how he and Alya got together, "The funny thing was I actually invited another girl to the zoo because I had a crush on her.", he mentioned, "But, it turns out she actually had a crush on..."

"And that's my cue to cut the cord.", Kitsi broke from her spot and ran towards the akuma. As the interview continued she tackled him out of the spotlight. The two landed on the ground and as she predicted Nino seemed to fall out of the gaze.

"W-What happened?", he looked around dazed.

"Your welcome.", however it was short-lived as Exposor began another interview with one of the teachers, Ms. Mendeleev. Who was telling the akuma about the students who were failing their classes. Including revealing habits some students exhibited. Like sleeping, snoring, drooling, and even some of the conversations she had caught between students.

"Oh perfect.", moving from Nino she went over to the akuma who was now looking for more guests. She only hoped the school nurse was hiding or it would get really bad. At this rate, the entire school would be in chaos.

"I think it's time to kill your lights.", Kitsi said as she followed after the akuma. As he continued to search the school for more people to interview, Kitsi managed to slide in front of him. Blocking him.

"Oh another guest.", he said excitedly, "Kitsi Inari have you come to be interviewed?"

"Yeah, no. I have this thing about having camera's shoved in my face.", she never really cared for pushy reporters, "Who are you?"

"Exposer!", he announced, "Here to reveal the deepest secrets of Paris. Live for all to see!"

"You can't just force people to tell their secrets."

"Why not? Better come out with the truth before people think they can lie and say anything they want.", so he made the choice easy for them, "And I've got two special seats for that wannabe news hound and big-headed bee! Time to see who's the real third rate reporter!"

'Third rate reporter."

"Donny?"

"Exposer is the one and the only host of this show!", now and forever, "So ready for your close-up?"

"Come and find out.", though he might not like what he got. Kitsi rushed forward and the two began engaged in battle. Most of it involved Kitsi trying to avoid the akuma and the spotlight. As long as she wasn't it, she should be fine.

"Someone's a little camera shy.", he noted thrusting his microphone towards her.

"No. I have a problem with people getting into other people's business.", especially trying to get embarrassing stories, "Seriously take a hint!", with a spin on her foot she delivered a spin kick to his side sending him sliding back.

She held back. Even if it was an akuma, it was still Donny. She couldn't hurt him, even if it was for the best.

"Donny please let's talk about this.", she began, "I know you're upset, but this is not the way.", she tried talking some sense into him. Keeping her stance and guard up.

"Of course it is!", he recovered himself, "Nothing sells more than juicy gossip and revealing stories! I will expose them all!", he declared with a wicked laugh.

"Then you leave me no choice.", she would need to hold him here until the others came and got his akuma, "I'm not going to take it easy on you anymore."

"Holding back? True or False?"

"The only truth is that you're going down!", she declared.

"We'll see about that.", he smirked, as Kitsi got in close he used the beam on his mic to momentarily blind her, allowing him to trap her in his spotlight.

"Let's give a warm welcome to our newest guest, Kitsi Inari!", he announced as the camera focuses on her, "I like you, so I'll keep the questions short.", mostly due to them being friends, Exposor found no need to embarrass her too badly.

"For those of you not familiar with my special guest, she is quite a spitfire. Besting a few choice akuma's, unlike myself.", he brought up her fights with Sports Master, Le Gem, Medusight, and a few past akuma's. Though she didn't win, she held her own.

"You've always brought me some good views.", which for him meant more power, "First question, how do you feel about Queen Bee?"

"I...I...", she seemed to struggle to fight the akuma's powers, "My opinions on Queen Bee is that she could use a better sense of humility.", she finally said, taking a breath.

"So she's not a humble-bee?", no surprise.

"Well if you mean she spends the majority of the time trying to impress everyone then, yes.", she admitted, "She tends to lose focus of the objective. Not to mention she constantly tries to take lead and treats the other heroes, sans Ladybug, like sidekicks.", it was frustrating.

"So Queen Bee likes to spread her venom around.", Exposer chuckled, "And do you think it was the right decision to allow her to continue to be a miraculous holder?"

"Honestly...", she held her breathe, "She wouldn't my first choice. Or anyone else's for that matter."

"Fitting words. Not many people with common sense know that a bee, even a self-proclaimed Queen, will always sting first.", and show little remorse for those they hurt, "The results on in. And many people believe that the Queen Bee isn't living up to her own hype.", big surprise.

"Thanks for another great interview.", with a snap the spotlight disappeared and released Kitsi from its power. With a deep breathe she came to her senses.

"D-Donny?", she looked up at the akuma, no her friend, "Why are you doing this?"

"Why to expose the truth.", what else, "And making it more entertaining by letting everyone know their deep secrets!"

"But, that isn't you.", Donny didn't report to hurt people, he did it to help people. He was fair and looked on both sides of the coin, "You report to show facts.", not reveal private information to hurt and humiliate people.

Exposor laughed, "People don't want boring facts and fairness. They want excitement and truth. And the best type of truth is the honest truth.", and now he had the power to make people be truthful, "So I hope you stay tuned. You won't want to miss a second!", with one final laugh he headed off to continue his interviews.

"Donny!", but he was already gone. Kitsi could only watch as he left, "I have to go after him.", she had to transform and get the akuma out of him.

With that in mind, she headed out the front doors. Heading down the steps she got to the front of the school. She needed a place to hide and transform.

"Kitsi?", a voice called. Kitsi looked back just in time to see Adrien running after her.

"Adrien?", what did he want?

"Are you okay?", he asked.

"I'm fine.", for the most part. They barely were able to escape the akuma's powers, "He got me on a sneak attack.", luckily he went easier on her, "I think I'm going to set this next round out."

"Not going to try your luck?", though he didn't show it, he was happy she decided not to fight. While he had no doubt she could hold her own, she couldn't keep running into battle like that.

"I know him. He's my friend.", and she couldn't hurt a friend, "Donny isn't like this.", energetic yes. But, not persistently willing to humiliate people.

"Donny? Donny Morgon's?", so he was the akuma, "Hawkmoth must have gotten to him.", no doubt from what happened earlier.

KItsi nodded, "...Donny is a good person. He didn't deserve the critique he got.", especially in front of other people, "I believe I know who his targets are.", which would be helpful in tracking him down, "I hope the heroes can bring him back to normal.", adding that he should stay out of his spotlight if confronted. It put people under the spell and got them to talk.

With that being said she headed off. She would transform and help defeat the akuma. Before more secrets were revealed and more people got hurt.


After managing to get away from the school, Adrien was now searching for a place to hide and recharge. The akuma was tougher then he gave him credit for. With his powers, people were forced to tell their deepest secrets. Making it hard to get close. And with so many people around him, he would have to fight and protect them at the same time.

"Well this is a scoop!", a voice announced, "Adrien Agreste, I've got you in my sights.", looking back Adrien saw the akuma had found him, "How about a few words for the viewers."

"Uh, I don't think I'm ready...", he inched back. With his powers in mind, Adrien couldn't risk being hit. He could reveal his identity to Hawkmoth.

"No need to be shy.", he activated his powers, "Spotlight!"

"No!", as he prepared to be hit, he instead felt a push. The force was enough to knock him back and onto the ground. he was knocked. When he opened his eyes he saw what had hit him.

"Now then why don't you introduce yourself.", he pointed his microphone to his next victim.

"A-Adrien run.", Natalie struggled. Feeling the power of the akuma overtaking her.

"Natalie!?", he gasped seeing his father's assistant had pushed him out of the way. She sacrificed herself for him.

"Not who I had booked. But, the show must go on!", one way or another, "So ready for your close up?", as if she had a choice.

"Leave her alone!", Adrien ordered.

"I told you to run.", she said still fighting.

"But..."

"No, but's.", she dismissed, "Y-Your father...trusted me...to keep you safe. I...can't...let anything happen to you.", even at the cost of her safety.

It pained Adrien to see her like that. She had taken a hit for him and was now suffering.

"I won't tell you again.", she gritted, "Run!"

With no other choice, Adrien was forced to run away. Leaving Natalie at the mercy of the akuma.

"What a shame.", the akuma clicked, "I wanted to interview the young face of fashion. He attracts some interesting people.", he hit his weapon against his palm lightly, "Honestly you think his father would hire better help. Especially with the individuals that hang around his son.", he noted, only from his memory, "Like that detestable Queen Bee.", he said with disgust, "How does anyone even be around her, let alone friends with her?", he looked to his victim. Taking the microphone he placed it to Natalie, "Your thoughts."

The assistant did not look pleased.

"Well, Ms. Assistant, what does Adrien Agreste see in Chloe Bourgeois?", he questioned.

She gritted, "Adrien...and Chloe have been friends for years.", since they were little, "Though Ms. Bourgeois is not the most contented person to be around. But, Adrien...seems to care for her.", if only because she's the only one his age he had been around.

"Of course. She's a convenient friend.", and one sense of the word, "Mr. Agreste must adore the new friends he's made in school.", he commented.

"Mr. Agreste had...his reservations about Adrien attending public school.", for a variety of reasons, "He...doesn't believe Adrien was ready to experience...school life.", especially interacting with people his father didn't know or trust at that point.

"Normality a bit much for his precious son?", the akuma seemed mildly interested, "It must be hard having his son make so many friends other than Chloe Bourgeois of all people.", adding how managing to keep the girl in check would be a hassle. Especially if her actions affected their reputation.

"Mr. Agreste is quite...critical on who his son interacts with.", encouraging him to make connections with those with influence and goals.

"Keep to your lane.", people of influence tended to flock towards each other, "Guess that's another reason the King didn't want his precious prince to mix with the common ground."

"I guess it was only by chance that he managed to become friends with those of fencing prodigy's, like Kagami Tsurugi.", who was noted to have quite a flame for the young model, "I'm sure his father would be interested to know about his son's admirers.", which were many.

"Mr. Agreste is already aware of this.", Natalie said becoming more tamed under the spotlights influence.

"And how would he know that?", maybe from all the fan mail his son got. Or perhaps he had more detail on his son other than his bodyguard.

"He...", it looked like she struggled for an answer.

'Exposor'

"Having trouble finding your words? Or, are you trying to hide something.", he inquired, "So, Ms. Assistant, how does Mr. Agreste know about his son's friends? How does he decide who gets to be around his son?"

'Exposor I don't believe this is apart of the deal'

"The deal was I get to expose all those who made a fool of me and my blog.", and what better way to hurt someone, then through their friends, "The golden prince happens to be close to the wanna-bee a hero and third rate reporter.", so getting dirt on him would be a major advantage for him, "And I have his father's assistant in the hot seat.", it was too perfect.

'You're wasting your time.', Hawkmoth argued, 'You should be getting the miraculous. Not wasting your time with random citizens.'

"I don't like to be double-crossed Hawkmoth. You'll get your little jewels, as soon as I take some inflated names. Down in flames!", and he wasn't going to lose any opportunity, "What makes people like Bourgeois or Ceasire think they're so amazing? All they do is ride the heroes coattails and leech off other people.", he scoffed, "Especially that no-name harpy from Italy. She throws her name out like it's going out of style. What's so special about Rossi?", he was so tired of the girl popping into his life. Leaving trails of murk wherever to chose to sliver. It was the main reason he and the Ladyblogger were at odds. Because she couldn't accept her best friend and confidant was nothing more than a fraud. He picked her down to the bone, but it wasn't enough. She just had to push him.

"You can't expect anyone to believe your boss would allow someone like her near his son.", was he that blind or just to upon his ivory throne to care.

"Of course he wouldn't.", Natalie responded evenly, "Mr. Agreste isn't a fool. He knows that Ms. Rossi is a pathological liar and only sees his son as a means to climb the social ladder among her peers."

"He does?", he hummed, "Then why does he allow her to post pictures of them together on social media? Is he aware of her claims and her use of his name?", or was it a political move.

"Even though he knows she lies as easily as she breathes, in an endeavor to keep on an on his son. He...procured her services to stay close to him.", she revealed, "In order to gain information on his son and all those who try to get close to him. She provides information on them and gives to Mr. Agreste.", so he could make sure his son's interactions are limited with them.

"Now that is interesting!", he exclaimed, "It was a conspiracy!"

"Oh what a scoop this is!", he laughed, "Now that's what I call hard-hitting!", and when the city learns about it. It would crush so many bubbles.

"Exposor!"

The akuma tensed up feeling the link to Hawkmoth intensity.

"This interview is over!", he commanded as he tightened his hold on his champion, "Your focus should be on the heroes. Not random individuals.", and he was wasting time with these random people.

"I was only doing my job.", to expose the dark truths people hide, "And this is a real scoop. A father using one of his own son's classmates as a spy. Sponsoring her deceit and isolating his own son from his classmates. A power play to keep control over his star model.", it was priceless, "And all of Paris will know!", this girl was truly a nobody. And with this everyone would see her for the fraud she was.

"Interesting thought.", Hawkmoth intersected, "But, why expose the secrets of one boy and his father? When you can have an even bigger story to your viewers."

"I'm listening."

"Don't forget the ones who embarrassed have yet to be punished for their crimes.", he reminded, "Instead of just recording and replaying words. Why not do it live.", he suggested, "Let everyone see them for who they really are. Not just by a few onlookers, but all of Paris!"

Exposor's eyes lit up.

"Now that's a plan!", why record and keep their secrets. He could let the whole city see them for who they really are. A permanent hot seat with no interruptions. He would have enough energy that the whole city would be his studio stage. Nowhere to hide or deny anything. Everyone would see and know.

"Good.", he sounded satisfied, "Now I believe you have some guests to book."

"Yes, Hawkmoth.", releasing Natalie from his powers, "Thank you Ms. Assistant you've been a lovely guest. Nothing personal, but you provided me with some ample energy.", with a smirk the akuma took off. Leaving Natalie in the alleyway.

Ring, Ring

"Yes, sir.", she answered her phone.

"Are you okay?"

"For the moment.", she replied, "You picked a persistent akuma this time.", noting how Exposor operated.

"He is overly energetic.", but he was powerful, no doubt, "He was only supposed to go after his targets.", not Natalie or his own son, "You were supposed to be getting Adrien and getting him to safety."

"My apologies.", she said, "I saw Adrien running from the school.", when she caught up to him he had been found by the akuma first, "I reacted as I thought best.", and ended up giving away too much information.

Hawkmoth passed for a moment, "It's irrelevant now.", no one else would know since the akuma hadn't posted it, "Your only focus now is to find Adrien and make sure the heroes are taken care of."

"Of course sir.", she wouldn't fail him.


At the Le Grande Paris Hotel...

Kitsune had arrived at the hotel. Her suspicions were that the akuma would come after Chloe again. When she arrived at the roof, she found the area had been trashed. Equipment tossed over and broken. Along with furniture in pieces. And finally the figure of Chloe sitting on the ground.

"Chloe?", Kitsune went to go check on her classmate. When she looked up to see the fox heroine she seemed less than thrilled.

"Oh it's just you.", she sounded disappointed, "Where's Ladybug?", she looked around hoping to see the heroine of luck.

"It's always nice to see you too.", she rolled her eyes, "Seriously what happened here?", it looked like a storm came through.

"It was that despicable bird.", Chloe fumed, "She crashed the set and completely ruined my hair.", she pointed out her untied hair, "I don't know who ruffled her feathers, but someone got up on the wrong side of their nest."

"Where's your miraculous?", Kitsune questioned.

"Um...", she looked off a bit.

"Chloe.", she stressed her name. Her molten gold gaze burning into the heiress.

"Mayura took it.", she finally admitted. Looking to the side she didn't want to appear distressed of having Pollen snatched from her. She thought she could take her by herself. But, she got distracted by those stupid videos and ended up defeated.

"Seriously.", that was not good, "I've got to tell Ladybug and Chat.", she said preparing to call her teammates.

"No! You can't tell Ladybug about this.", Chloe said grabbing Kitsunes wrist, "If she finds out I lost Pollen, she'll think I'm incompetent.", she sounded desperate.

"Not the issue.", or her problem, "I'm calling them."

"I said you can't.", she repeated, "Ladybug cannot know I lost Pollen. She'll take my miraculous away and I won't be Queen Bee anymore.", if they ever got the miraculous back.

"Is that all you care about?", Kitsune moved the girl's hand off her arm, "Your miraculous was stolen by the enemy and another akuma is on the loose too.", if they didn't do anything Hawkmoth would misuse it for evil. And they couldn't afford to lose anymore miraculous, "This is why Ladybug told you to return it.", not take it for some petty reason, "But, instead you used it to make a fool out an innocent person. Live on the internet", and created another akuma, "And on top of that your only thinking about yourself."

"What else am I supposed to think about? My miraculous was stolen.", it involved her, "Not to mention the nosy akuma made a fool out of me.", posting those rude comments about her with her family, "I should be out there helping Ladybug. Not, stuck talking to the third fiddle."

Kitsune frowned, resisting the urge to bite the heiress, "I might be the third fiddle. But, when it comes done to it I will always be a hero.", it was her responsibility, "That's more than I can say for you.", she turned from the heiress, missing the look she had given. One of hurt and anger. Quickly morphing to sadness and thought.

"I don't have time to argue about this.", she had enough on her plate as it was, "You stay here.", she instructed them to stay in the hotel until the akuma was handled, "If Exposor is still looking for you. It's best you keep off the streets.", she added. Now she had three things to deal with today.


Mayura was racing across the rooftops. After managing to disarm and defeat the bee holder. She had taken her prize.

The bee miraculous.

"Hawkmoth will be please.", with another miraculous in their grasp, it would surely weaken the heroes. Now she would need to get it back to the liar. However, as she made it to the other side of the roof, she suddenly jumped back. Flames crashing down revealing Kitsune as they dispersed.

"Sorry birdie. You're not flying away that easily, Kitsune announced brandishing her flute toward Mayura.

"Kitsune. Come to join the fray?", Mayura unfolded her fan.

"The only thing that's about to be frayed is you.", she announced activating her After Burn, "Hope you don't mind if I singe your feathers."

"I don't have time to play with you.", Mayura brandished her fan, "I've already dealt with too many pains for one day."

"I'm not playing.", she leered, "You've got something that doesn't belong to you.", with her flames charged she launched herself at Mayura. Using her fan she blocked a punch from the fox holder. With the boost of her After Burn, Kitsune quickly got the upper hand and pushed her back.

Recovering she managed to dodge as Kitsune let out a flurry of punches and claw attacks towards her appointment. Either to damage or grab her miraculous. Mayura barely was able to keep her back. When it came to the heroes, Kitsune was one of the most dangerous. Even alone she had skills of a seasoned fighter. And her After Burn gave her a boost.

But, after watching the heroes she knew they were tired. Hawkmoth had been making more akuma's, which left the group little time to rest. And it showed in how they fought. And Kitsune was no exception.

Taking her chance Mayura thrust her fan outwards and as Kitsune dodged with a side step, Mayura used her foot to trip Kitsune and get her unto the ground. Mayura pinning Kitsune with her foot on her chest.

"Give up.", she declared smugly as she pressed her foot on Kitsunes chest.

"You wish birdie.", she peered up at her opponent.

"Why are fighting us?", the evil holder questioned, "It's obvious Chloe doesn't deserve a miraculous.", with the way she abused her power and status. Only to have it stolen when she wasn't prepared.

"And you're just so deserving.", she replied back.

"It will be more useful in Hawkmoth's hands.", she smirked.

"Just like my foot will be useful in your face.", she growled as the comment earned her another press on her chest, "For someone so skinny, you weigh a ton."

"Cocky to the end.", she scoffed, "I think I'll just take your miraculous. Hawkmoth will enjoy having another servant.", she reached down for the pendant.

Sucking in her breathe Kitsune released a burst of fire that sent Mayura scattering back from the heat alone. Once she was free Kitsune took the chance to tackle Mayura to the ground and pinned her.

"Not so fun being on the bottom again, is it?", she was met with a glare, but focused more on her mission. Looking around she grabbed the bee miraculous off Mayura.

Mayura growled at her.

"Like it.", she grinned, "I've been told I'm a real, Spit Fire.", she breathed releasing a small puff of embers, "Fox's always have a trick up their sleeves.", taking the miraculous she placed it in her pouch.

"Looks like I win birdie.", she stated, "Now let's see who you are.", she reached for the brooch.

"You shouldn't look so high and mighty.", opening her hand she released a single feather from her grasp and let it go away, "I sense your frustration. Let your sadness of rejection manifest."

"What are you...?", with a rumble, Kitsune looked to the side to see a Centaur creature manifest.

"Really?", sensing its master's distress, the creature came over to the building. In her distraction, Mayura took her chance. She pushed the heroine off and delivered a kick to the gut. Once on the ground, Mayura got onto her feet and escaped over the building.

"This isn't over yet!", Kitsune called after the villainous, still nursing her stomach.

"You okay Kitsune?", Chat asked as he checked on his teammate. He had spotted the commotion and the Centaur being created. Finding Kitsune on the ground.

"Fine.", save for the pain in her neck, "Were you able to deal with Exposor?"

Chat frowned for a moment, "No, he got away from me."

"What about you?", she noticed something seemed off about her partner, "Are you okay?", even his words seemed automatic.

"Well I managed to get the Bee Miraculous back from Mayura.", she showed the miraculous to her partner, "Unfortunately, she cheated.", and summoned a Centaur creature to save her before she could get the other miraculous, "I hate high heels.", they were so unfair in a fight and hurt like no one knew, "With that akuma making people spill their guts, Mayura has prime targets.", making it harder to keep her down if she could summon another one of those monsters.

"Still you were able to get the miraculous back.", they would get Mayura another time, "Now we just have to worry about the akuma and the Centaur."

'Beep, Beep'

"Anyway I'm about to detransform.", she only had four minutes left, "Get this back to Ladybug.", she handed the miraculous to Chat.

"Count on me.", he nodded.

"Don't I always.", she smirked before using her powers to vanish.


After transforming back, Kitsi took off into the city. Powers or not, she still had a job to do. Yet, all around her, she could see the damage being done. People had been spilling secrets left and right. And for her relief, it was only minor things. Friends admitting to borrowing items without asking, children admitting to their parents about sneaking dessert before dinner, and even students coming clean about cheating on tests. Yet there were the really major things coming to light.

A girl admitting to having a crush on a boy her friend liked. A boy revealing how he forged a letter from his parents so he could skip school. A mother admitting she destroyed her husband's school jersey from his days in high school and then blamed it on the dog. And a teen who admitted to sneaking his friends into movies where he worked.

But, most of the secrets came from her school. Obviously, Donny was after all those who had insulted his blog. No doubt he would be searching for Alya and Chloe. One of which she had left on the roof of the hotel. The other was still up in the wind. There had been nothing on the Ladyblog other than the usual sittings posted by viewers.

"What's the plan Kit?", Whissp asked.

"Well until you refuel, we'll do our best to back-up the other's.", sometimes she wished Caliburr was able to transform her. But, with her miraculous still being fixed, using it was a big risk. So, she was on her own.

As they neared further into the city, the chaos had been growing. The police had been mobilized, the akuma warning sirens were on repeat, and of course, a giant Centaur creature was rampaging through the city. So basically the usual afternoon in Paris.

The blockades would make it hard for her to go any further. So she had to take a short cut. Using the back ways to get around the police. She ended up in one of the shopping districts. It looked to be evacuated. That or people were hiding.

"This looks like a good place to rest.", but she still had to find the akuma.

Suddenly a crash shook her from her thoughts. Looking back she saw something had crashed down onto one of the awnings of a coffee shop. A black mass laying on the ground from the impact.

"Chat Noir?!", Kitsi went to check on her partner.

"I'm fine.", he rubbed his head, "Tough host.", he had been fighting the akuma. Who was surprisingly tough for a blogger.

"Yeah he can be a bit persistent.", but this was just ridiculous. Carefully Kitsi helped him up to his feet. Helping him find his footing.

"Is the kitty growing tired?", Exposor chuckled as he landed in the space, "We're not even on the hard questions."

"I've seemed to have hit a wall.", literally, "Maybe we should cut to a short break."

"Cut and break is right.", Exposor stepped forward, "Hand over your miraculous and save yourself from further embarrassment.", he demanded.

"You okay Neko Kuro?", Kitsi asked as she checked on him.

"Of course. This cat has more than nine lives you know.", he assured, "You should get to a safe place. Once Ladybug and Kitsune get here we'll handle this persistent paparazzi."

Exposor laughed, "How common. The kitty waiting for his master to come and save him.", the akuma mocked, "Seems like the rumors you can't do anything with the real heroes is true. Nothing more than a common sidekick."

"Back off.", Kitsi spoke up.

"Kitsi.", Chat said, "You can't get involved."

"For once he's right. This isn't your fight.", akuma said, "You should run along.", he instructed.

"Not a chance.", powers or not, she wasn't going to let some akuma, friend or not, talk down on her partner like that, "Chat Noir isn't some second string."

"Then why does he have to rely on Ladybug to come and save his leather-clad tail all the time?", he brought up the times where Chat Noir had been beaten in battle, controlled by the enemy, or had been used as bait in most of the battles he fought, "Without the other heroes, he's nothing more than common bait.", which only lead to him being defeated and the other heroes having to save the day.

Kitsi growled.

"Even now he can't even hold his own. Relying on a civilian for help.", how sad.

"It doesn't matter what you think of Chat Noir. If you say anything else I'm going to knock that condescending smirk off your face.", even if he was being controlled, she wouldn't tolerate it, "No matter what you say. Chat Noir is a hero. Everyone is behind him to beat you and Hawkmoth!", she declared that even if he talked down on with a bunch of fake rumors and gossip, it didn't change the fact that people believed in him and the heroes.

"Big words.", the akuma chided, "Since Chat Noir already down in the dirt. Let's throw some more to bury him!", activating his powers, his microphone became energized with the energy he stored from his last interview, "Let's see what Paris really thinks of the 'great' Chat Noir!"

"Reality Impact!", he released the energy in a burst of light, the traveled toward the two. As it neared, Chat forward and used his body to shield Kitsi.

"Chat Noir!?"

"Stay down!", he ordered as he took the impact of the blast. The words and statements crushed down on him. Though it might have seemed like a regular attack of energy, it was deeper than people could see.

"Chat Noir is only the second-best hero."

"He doesn't really do much."

"Can't fight with her."

"Hopeless tomcat."

"Second fiddle."

"Failed to help."

"Didn't last."

"She could do better."

"Such a shame."

"Just a joke."

"Can't compete."

"Doesn't love him."

"Just give up."

"I like someone else."

"Such bad luck."

"Isn't serious."

"Cocky."

"You should do better."

"Those horrible puns."

"You weren't raised like this."

"Sidekick."

"You disappoint me."

Each word, each comment, each statement. All of them dug down into him. Piercing him beneath his suit, getting under the skin, and burrowed further.

"Chat Noir? Chat Noir!?", Kitsi called out to him. Feeling the other trembling against her.

"Reality is a pain isn't it?", Exposor spoke, swirling his weapon, "You think everyone just adores you because you save them. Ha! Ladybug saves them. Kitsune fights for them. But, the poor kitty...", he paused, "Is nothing more than a side piece. A small fragment that's no better than a shield to protect the real heroes."

"Though I suppose that position has been filled.", bringing up Carapace and Queen Bee, "You have no place as a hero. So why not just surrender your miraculous and stop wasting everyone's time.", he charged up his mic again for another attack.

"Chat? Chat?", she shook the other trying to get him back to reality. Looking around she tried to find something to use. Reaching into her pockets she pulled out a small ball. Her smoke bombs. As the akuma continued to charge up, she took the bag and tossed all. rained down and exploded. Surround the area in plumes of multi-colored smoke.

Exposor gasped and covered his eyes. Guessing what she was up to, the akuma fired his beam into the mist. When it finally cleared he found not only did his attack miss. But, the two were gone.

"They escape!", he growled.


Using the cover of the smoke bombs Kitsi managed to drag her and Chat Noir to a safe place to hide. After the tirade from the akuma, they waited until it had gotten quiet.

"It looks like the coast is clear.", so they could rest for now, "I didn't think that would work.", now she needed to get more smoke bombs. Looking back she saw Chat Noir sitting against the wall. He was injured.

"You okay Neko Kuro?", she asked, "I'll give Donny this, he's not as lightweight as I thought.", even by the standards of akuma's.

"Anyway we should be safe down here.", even for a short while, "That should give time to recharge. And we can go back out there in..."

"No."

"No?", she blinked, "Right...it's a bit dangerous to go out there blind. We should probably come up with a plan."

"No.", he repeated with a solemn tone, "We can't back out there.", he said, "You're a civilian and will get hurt."

"What about you?", he was a hero he needed to be out there, "Look I know I shouldn't have been out there. I promise I'll stay here and you can go kick the akuma's butt."

But, Chat Noir remained silent.

"Chat Noir? Kitty? What's wrong?", something wasn't right with him. He wasn't acting like himself., "Aren't you going to give some quick-witted joke, banter a bit, and then go stop the akuma?"

"Am I?", he doubted it, "I couldn't even defeat one enemy by myself. I can't beat any enemy without someone coming to save me.", he wasn't strong enough, "I'm too weak."

"No, you're not.", Kitsi denied, "You are strong."

"Am I?", he didn't feel like, "Am I strong when I'm constantly getting rescued. When all I can do is be the bait for enemies or draw fire. I couldn't even protect the city.", he had one job. Make sure the akuma didn't hurt any civilians, "I couldn't even do that right.", instead he had to get rescued by a civilian, "You got hurt because of me.", even when he thinks he is doing good, someone else had to come and fix things. Exposor nearly got his miraculous, until Kitsi used managed to distract him long enough for them to escape.

Now they were trapped underground, the akuma was still loose, and yet again he was useless to anyone.

"They're right. I'm a joke.", and not even a good one.

"You're not a joke.", Kitsi frowned. She had never seen her partner, Chat Noir, so down in the dumps. Even at times when he was sad, he wasn't this somber, "You can't let yourself get taken in by the akuma. He just wants you to feel bad. To make you weak so he can take your miraculous."

But, he had grown silent again. She watched as he brought his hand up. His fingers gripping his ring, his miraculous, "Plagg...Claws In."

"Chat Noir no!", but a green light flashed. Reverting him to his civilian form as he removed the transformation.

"Kid what were thinking!?", a voice scolded.

"Doing what's best for everyone.", he said, "I can't beat the akuma.", and no one believed he could.

"Those were just words.", they only hurt as much as you let them, "They don't matter."

"What matters is you getting back out there and saving the city. Ladybug is up there.", if anything he would go back for Ladybug. His lady. The love of his life. Who he loved with all his heart, soul, and every part of his being, "You two are a team."

"Are we?", again he was doubtful, "She's always hiding secrets from me. She never wants to let me close to her.", even if he wanted to help, "And even when I'm not there, she just brings in some new hero to replace me.", and never consults him on anything, "The truth is, no one needs me.", and that was the only thing he could believe in.

Kitsi frowned. He wasn't listening to her. Was the akuma's powers that strong that it made her partner, made him feel so worthless and gray.

"I probably just end up losing my miraculous anyway. It's better if someone else...if someone better had it.", someone that wasn't him.

"Chat Noir?" a voice made him look up to find Kitsi sitting right in front of him. Her head was lowered, preventing him from seeing her face.

"Kit...?"

His words were silenced by a slap to the face. Even Plagg was shocked by the sudden hit.

"W-What was that for?", he questioned only to receive another slap across the other cheek.

"Hey...", and another, "Stop", and another.

Again and again. Kitsi delivered a number of smacks across the boy's cheeks.

"Are you going to keep moping?", she questioned.

"That still doesn't answer why you keep smacking me across the face.", as he looked for answers he was met with a surprise. Kitsi's eyes were closed.

"You di...hey!?", again she hit him across the face, "Why do you keep doing that?"

"Because if you're going to act like a kicked cat. I'm going to hit you until you snap out of whatever spell the akuma has you under.", because she wasn't going to let him drown himself in self-pity because of an enemy, "What did he do to you?"

"I told you.", he held himself closer, "He made me see what people think of me. What they really see.", not a hero. But a sidekick. A joke that got in the way and had to rely on others to save him.

"How many times am I...", she groaned into her hands, "You aren't a sidekick. People love you. You're their hero."

"Ladybug is the hero.", not him, "She's the only one who can purify the akuma's and fix the city. Without her, what good am I?", just a destructive mess. Causing bad luck wherever he went.

"Kid?", Plagg frowned.

"You can keep telling me how much of a hero you think Chat Noir is. When it's plain to see that anyone can just that. Anyone can wear this ring."

"Anyone can also wear Ladybug's earrings, or Kitsune's pendant, or even Chloe's comb.", they weren't made for just one person, "But, the difference is that wouldn't be the same."

"They wouldn't be you.", they wouldn't be Chat Noir, "You can't let what people think about you decide who you are."

"But, it's true. I'm not as good a hero as Ladybug."

"Because you're not Ladybug!", that was obvious, "Your Chat Noir. Hero of Paris. The Knight in Black Leather. Someone who has protected and fought for this city more times than people can count.", and would jump in to save anyone in need, "What people think doesn't matter."

"When they think I can't do my job they do.", if they thought he wasn't capable, what was the point of trying, "Like I said someone else can defeat the akuma."

"And that someone is you.", she didn't know what the akuma did to him, but she didn't like it, "You can't stay down here forever."

"Why not? No one will miss me.", not even himself.

"What makes you think that?", she questioned, "If this about you being Chat Noir..."

"It's not just that.", he cut in, "It's not just that no one thinks I'm capable as a hero. I found out...not even my father believes in me. He doesn't trust me. He lied."

"Chat..."

"No matter how much I try, no matter what I do, I'm never going to be good enough for anyone.", he just keeps making mistakes and letting people down, "I can't be trusted. I can't be respected. I can't even be loved.", no one wanted him. No one needed him.

Kitsi's hands tightened in her lap.

"I can't do anything for anyone.", so why even continue when all he would do to fail. Suddenly he lifted his ring hang to Kitsi, placing it on her own hand, "Take the black cat miraculous."

"Kid?", the other voice spoke.

"Kitsi, please take care of Plagg and the city.", they both could be a handful, "And please...protect Ladybug.", something he could never do, "You be a great hero."

Better than he could ever be.

Kitsi's hand itched. Though she couldn't see at the moment, she could feel the ring on his finger. His miraculous was literally at her fingertips.

"KId this is insane. You don't need to do this.", the voice continued to try and talk some sense into his partner, "You are seriously not trying to pawn me off like some common piece of jewelry. We talked about before."

'Before?', so this wasn't the first time he thought about giving up his ring. To stop being a hero.

"It's not like I'm giving you to some random stranger. Kitsi is capable of wielding a miraculous.", he said dully, "She'll make a good kitten."

The voice gave an angry groan, "I already told you. No matter who you give me to, it still wouldn't be you!", he stated, "You were chosen to be my partner. Not her or anyone else."

Even if she couldn't see, Kitsi could hear the passion in the other's voice. Anger mixed with sadness and worry.

"You're the only kitten I want. And I won't take anyone else. Even if you had chucked me in the sea that time I would have still found you again."

"I..."

"You aren't going to stop being Chat Noir.", he cut in.

"He or it, or whatever, is right.", Kitsi said, "You are the hero of Paris.", whether he knew it or not people depended on him, "Paris needs Chat Noir. Your partner's need Chat Noir."

"I need you.", she had hoped her words would get through to him. To pull him out of the hole he was putting himself in.

"I...", he hesitated.

Kitsi took a breath, "At least transform back.", she said, "If you're not going to fight, at least get us out of danger.", she would take the miraculous once they were in a safer place.

There was a tense pause between the two.

"Plagg...Claws Out.", he said, with a lackluster transformation. Once he was Chat Noir again he picked up Kitsi and carried them both off. The plan was to find a secure place for him to give up his miraculous to Kitsi.

As they traveled across the rooftops, the two had been ambushed by the akuma. Knocking them to the side, Chat Noir held onto Kitsi close as they tumbled across the roof.

"Look what the cat dragged in.", Exposor laughed, "Thought you could leave without finishing your last interview.", he twirled his weapon, "This is what I get for book second rate guests. They don't bring any good material.", he said with disappointment, "But, why can you expect from a mere sidekick. Always letting people down.", his words pierced Chat Noir. Who still held onto Kitsi. She could feel his pulse. He was in pain.

Maroon eyes looked with sadness at the state of her partner. Until her eyes fell on the akuma. Turning into burning anger.

She had heard enough.

"Chat Noir isn't a sidekick. He isn't second fiddle. Nor is he an overly cocky tomcat.", Kitsi stated, "Chat Noir is a hero!", she declared.

"The opinions of one little fan.", he dismissed.

"The facts of many.", she returned, "Just because someone says something doesn't make it true. And you shouldn't be spreading it around to make others believe it."

"Why not?", he laughed, "There's no doubt the cat is just the shadow to the real hero. Even the other's show more promise. While he just gets in the way.", he pointed out all the times he had failed and was defeated before the battle was over.

Kitsi frowned.

"Without Ladybug he would be nothing.", he stated, "And even without him, there are more, better heroes to replace him.", he pointed out, "He's nothing special. And no one will miss him."

"How..."

"Hm?"

"How dare you say something that?", her voice was a little more than a whisper, "HOW DARE YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT ABOUT HIM!? HOW DARE YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT ABOUT MY FRIEND!?", her voice bellowed. Her anger reverberating with each word, with every letter that left her lips. That both the hero and the akuma looked shocked.

"You...?"

"You think you can just say things like that. Like they're facts. They aren't!", she gritted, "No matter what you or anyone else thinks of him. How he's always making puns even during battles. How he doesn't seem to take things seriously. Flirting or being overly cocky.", she tightened her fists, "Even when he's against the rope and he's being beaten. He puts his all into all his fights. He throws himself in front of people, his comrades. He puts the lives of others before his own.", he would throw his own life away if given the chance, "He protects the city. He protects the people. He protects what he cares for.", even if it means he has to go through the wringer to do it.

"That is why.", she extended her arms out, "I will be his shield!", she would stand in front of Chat Noir.

"You throw your life away?", for him.

"For a friend.", she stared up at him, "I will always give my all!", and that was a fact, "Just like Kuro Neko.", who would sacrifice his own safety for even one citizen.

"Then you'll just have to feel the burn of the hot seat!", charging his attack he struck Kitsi with the same attack he used on Chat Noir prior. The electric shocks filling Kitsi's ears with all the rumors that floated about her.

"Is that...the best you can do?", she breathed.

"?"

"Is that all you can throw at me?", she smirked, "Do you know how many times I've been called a beast? A monster? A freak? And so many other comments.", she had lost count, "How about next time bring you to try bringing some new material.", because she wasn't going to budge. Not by such thin words.

"Exposer forget the girl.", Hawkmoth ordered, "Your target is Chat Noir. Without the other heroes, he's easy to defeat."

"I've grown tired of this back and forth.", the akuma stated, "You've taken up too much air time.", and since she couldn't be beaten by words, he would have to take a more physical approach."

"I've got a better idea.", she smirked, "Surprise!", she threw something towards Exposer. Once it got close the akuma could look on in shock, still stuck charging, before the item exploded in his face. Sending confetti flying and scattering through all around.


After giving him the slip, Chat managed to put some distance between them and the akuma. Landing on a deserted street.

"What was that?", Chat Noir questioned, "I thought you were out of smoke bombs."

"My new Confetti Bomb!", a step up from her smoke bombs she carried with her, "Great for parties, surprising your friends, or blinding an enemy for a quick escape!", sure to be a bang at any event or situation requiring a quick exit, "Looks like it might need some tweaks.", luckily she hadn't used it before.

"Still we managed to get away from Exposor.", for now, "That was really...brave what you did back there.", he commented.

"If this is another speech about giving me a ring, I swear...", she warned.

"It's not.", he assured, "I just...", he paused, "Your really a strong person. Thank you."

"For?"

"For being you.", he said.

Kitsi blinked a couple of times before a small smile settled on her lips.

"Domo.", she hummed, "And thank you."

"For?"

"For being you.", she replied earning a smile from the other.

Looking up the two caught sight of Ladybug fighting the Centaur creature. Swinging around and dodging the attacks with speed and grace. It was like she was flying. Breathtaking and beyond a sight to see.

"Looks like Ladybug's handling the Centaur.", the was one threat down, "Now all she needs is her knight in black leather to save the day.", she looked at Chat Noir who had been staring longingly at his partner.

"Y-You think so?", he stuttered, "What...what if I can't do it?", if he made a mistake. If he wasn't focused and made things worse.

'Not this again.'

"Don't think about the words of others.", held his hand, "Just do what you do best. Save the day.", she smiled.

"I...", suddenly a loud boom drew the two's attention to the fight. The Centaur looked to be getting the upper hand. Grabbing Ladybug as she tried to swing away. Clutching her in its large hands.

"It got her!", that was not good, "You have to do something.", she looked to Chat.

"I...I...", he hesitated. What if he messed up? What if he made things worse. He couldn't fight that thing. He could barely handle one akuma on his own.

"Chat Noir! Help!", Ladybug screamed.

The words echoed through his mind. Those cries for help drowning out the other voices.

Ladybug was in trouble.

Ladybug has called for help.

She called for him!

"Ladybug!", his partner was in trouble. She needed him, "I'm coming M'Lady!", he prepared to rush into action with his weapon drawn.

"Hold on!", Kitsi halted him. Grabbing his tail.

"What are you doing? I have to save Ladybug.", like he was supposed to, "I have to protect her."

"I know that.", that was the first priority above everything, "But you need a plan.", he couldn't go rushing in without coming up with a plan first, "Focus.", she suggested he thinks before he went into battle. If he ran in blindly, fueled by emotion, it would only tip the scales further away from them.

Chat Noir took a deep breath. He needed to think. Calm down and think.

'What would Ladybug do?'

Opening his eyes he scanned the area. Something he could use to help him. At first, nothing stuck out, until he landed on Kitsi. His senses began to flicker.

"Kitsi I need your help.", Chat Noir said as he quickly reached into his pockets. He pulled out a small box and presented it to Kitsi.

"What are you doing?", she questioned.

"I know this is last minute, but we could use the backup.", at the moment it was only him and Ladybug. Kitsune was still out of commission, "I'm presenting you with the miraculous of the bee. With it, you can become a miraculous hero."

"But...I can't.", she already had a miraculous, "I mean. There's already a bee miraculous holder. Chloe. I mean Queen Bee.", as painful as it was. But, she couldn't accept it. She already had Whissp. He was fully charged and she could transform.

"And that's what Exposor will be expecting.", since Chloe was well known to be a miraculous holder, no doubt the enemy knew her powers. Plus he already had her parents and Sabrina to blurt out the most embarrassing secrets and it tripped her up as a civilian since almost everyone was now laughing at her. And who knows what would happen if she fell under any of his attacks, "Which is why I need someone they won't be expecting.", and someone who could endure his attacks when it came down to it.

"And you want me?"

"I trust you.", he offered the miraculous to Kitsi, "You've proven yourself more than worthy to be a superhero." , and though he wouldn't say anything, Chloe was mostly to blame for the stunt she pulled earlier. And had already lost the miraculous to the enemy, "You helped me. I could use it again."

Kitsi couldn't help feeling touched by the trust her comrades had placed in her civilian self.

"And you're sure about this?"

"Ladybug picks someone that can be a great asset to the team.", Chat said that she used her instincts and trusted herself to pick the right person, "And I believe that's you.", he looked at Kitsi, "So ready to spread your wings and fly into battle?", he gave her a playful wink, but a friendly smile.

"Domo.", she took it. Opening the box a yellow flash came out and floated around before forming into Pollen.

"Greetings my Queen.", Pollen greeted politely.

"Hello.", Kitsi greeted the little kwami, "You're so cute~", she beamed giving Pollen a little tap on the forehead, "Kawaii~"

"I am Pollen, ready to assist you, my Queen.", Pollen said.

"I'm not much of a Queen.", she could never pull off that title, "So I guess I say the magic words.", and she would become a bee superhero.

"As long as it is compliant with a kwami then you may use any phrase you wish.", Pollen said.

"You got this Kit.", Chat encouraged.

Kitsi thought for a moment as she fixed the charm in her hair.

"Pollen, Stripe's On!", she declared.

Pollen was sucked into the miraculous. Activating the powers of the miraculous, Kitsi was engulfed in an intensely bright, golden yellow light.

"Yellow Jacket is on guard!", Yellow Jacket announced, "I look pretty good in gold.", it was like a Kill Bill mixed with Bruce Lee inspiration with the yellow and black vertical stripes.

"Yellow Jacket?"

"I was going for Jet Bee or Sting, but Yellow Jacket rolls off the tongue, no?", and probably wouldn't get her into any legal troubles.

"Alright let's go tame this monster.", Yellow Jacket gave him a thumbs up.

The two-headed off. Chat took the lead as Yellow Jacket followed closely. Jumping up to the buildings. They broke off as they scaled up the Centaur creature. Once Yellow was close enough she jumped just as it tried to swat her. Once in the air, she spun her body and delivered a rounding kick to the creature's face. The creature let out a yell of shock and pain, staggering back it released Ladybug who began to fall to the ground.

Before she could take out her yo-yo, she found herself falling not to the hard pavement of the streets below. But, the strong arms of her partner.

"C-Chat Noir?", he looked up at her partner as he brought them safely to the ground.

"You caught me?", she sounded more surprised then she wanted to.

"Always M'lady.", he smiled with the reassurance that in times of danger, or anytime she needed him, her kitty would always be there to pick her up.

Ladybug smiled back.

"It looks like the Centaur beast has bit the dust.", Exposor announced, "But, this fight is far from over. The heroes are on their last legs. Will this be the end?", he laughed.

"Man that guy is really starting to irk me."

"No kidding.", they had to end this.

However, the moment seemed to come to an end when a figure landed in front of them. Dressed in yellow, she gave a couple of stretches.

"Um Chat who is...?", she looked at the person her partner had come with.

"A friend.", he said, "I've brought in a special guest to give our persistent host a real interview he'll never forget."

"M'lady, allow me to introduce Yellow Jacket.", he introduced.

"Greetings!", she saluted, "I'm ready to defend the hive!"

"The Bee Miraculous?", she saw the miraculous in the girl's hair golden hair, "You're not Chloe.", just by her look and energy alone, she could tell that wasn't the original Queen Bee.

"I know she isn't Queen Bee. Chloe was a bit out of touch.", he said, "But, I know she can be a great help to us.", he assured that she would be a good addition.

"Good to have you on board...", she said, "Um, Chat, you can put me down now.", she pointed out that he was still holding her.

"Oh ah...sorry M'lady.", he apologized before putting her back on her feet.

"So what's the plan?", Yellow asked.

"Yellow Jacket, you and Chat go on the offensive.", distract her long enough to get close to the akumatized item.

"Got it. I'll just hit it with my tempo and...and...?", she felt around and didn't feel her weapon, "Where's my Tempo?", she couldn't find her weapon. How was she supposed to fight without a weapon?

"Maybe you have a different weapon.", it could be she wasn't Queen Bee. Her weapon could be different. Or maybe it was hidden in another place.

Again Yellow Jacket felt around. Until she felt something in her sleeves. Pulling it out she noticed it wasn't a Tempo.

"What is it?"

"It's a dart?", her weapons were darts. More accurately the playing darts used in board games.

"What am I supposed to do with these?", she felt kind of cheated, "The ends aren't even sharp.", pointed, but rather dull, "Guess we this the old fashioned way."

As she threw the dart onto a random car where it managed to stick. After a second the stripes on the body began to beep and disappear. As the last one faded the car exploded with a huge bang.

"Holy nectar, these pack more than a sting.", they were explosives, "We can blow the akuma up!"

"Isn't that a bit overkill?", thinking about it more than did sound a bit cruel. Exposor was still a human being.

"It looks like the darts are all different.", so she could only use a specific one, one time. And it looks like she used one of her explosive ones. Leaving one more.

"So three stripes.", Chat joked.

"Then let's not waste anymore.", it was time to end this interviewers reign once in for all.

Once a plan was settled the three heroes went to confront the akuma.

"And who are you?", the interviewer asked, "Has the Queen Bee changed her stripes?", he commented on seeing the new face among the group. Though it was three on one, it was the one in yellow who stepped up to face the akuma.

"It would seem that the heroes have brought in a new miraculous bee holder.", Hawkmoth commented. Recognizing that this was not Chloe Bourgeois. After he had the miraculous in his grasp, only for it to be retrieved by Kitsune during her fight with Mayura.

"Now do I look like a Queen to you?", the heroine took a fighting stance, "Names Yellow Jacket!", she grinned adjusting her aviator goggles, "I defend the hive!"

"Call yourself whatever you want. I'm still going to expose you and everything about you!", he declared, "Time to shine a spotlight on all your secrets!"

"Let's see about that.", she sprinted toward the akuma. She got a considerable speed boost. A shimmer of gold giving the illusion that she was flying down the block.

"First question wh...?", suddenly she was right over him, her leg high up.

"Pollen Drop-Kick!", bringing her leg down she slammed on the ground as the akuma pushed himself back just before the strike hit. The force leaving a noticeable dent in the foundation.

"You're strong.", the akuma noted, gasping as the heroine burst forward until they were face to face, "WAH!?"

"Stinging Rush!", the akuma quickly scurried back, jumping with his boosted agility as Yellow Jacket released a flurry of kicks. Narrowly dodging the quick strikes.

"She seems like a natural.", there was no doubt with her practice in fighting, it gave Kitsi an extra advantage when it came to combat.

Ladybug and Chat Noir watched as Yellow Jacket kept the akuma on the run. During the last flurry of punches, the akuma had been forced back. Unable to focus on the heroine as she quickly moved around. Making his powers useless since he couldn't get her to look at him long enough to put her under the spell.

"Exposor eliminate that pesky bee!", Hawkmoth ordered.

"It's time for a more hostile approach.", turning the dial he change to a more offensive attack, "Rapid Fire Rounds!", charging up his weapon he fired a number of energy beams off. Yellow Jacket quickly dodged and vaulted out of the lines of fire.

"She's a natural at this.", Chat commented seeing Kitsi in action. The miraculous gave her a boost and allow her to fight even more on par with the akuma.

"Hold still!", the akuma ordered.

"Hold this!", dodging another shot, Yellow Jacket sprinted and jumped and did a mid-air spin kick and managed to knock Exposor back.

The akuma gritted his teeth. Finding his footing, Exposor stared down Yellow Jacket.

"I will not be pushed off the air by some wanna-bee hero!", it was his time! His show!

"You called me a hero.", she smirked, "Your words won't save you from me kicking your butt!"

"But, yours will dig you into an early grave!", charging up his weapon he fired a shot towards her comrades. He would weaken them all with the words of the public, then crush them into the dust. Crossing her arms together Yellow Jacket to the beam head-on. The force pushing her back, her feet inching into the dirt.

"Yellow Jacket!?"

"Stay behind me!", she instructed, "If you get hit by the beam it's game over.".

"By taking the damage?", what would that solve.

"Don't worry.", she assured, "I learned this from a really cool guy. If you're going to go down. Go down for the ones you care about.", no regrets.

"Is this the end of the new heroine? Has the wanna-bee been beaten?", the akuma laughed as he continued his onslaught, "Can it be without your comrades you're unable to beat one akuma."

"I'm not going to let you hurt my friends!", finding her footing, she began to push back against the beam. And one final push she broke the energy beam. Dissolving the words into nothing, but dust in the wind. They had no effect.

"You were pretending to be weak!?", she was just dodging and missing on purpose. Not from lack of experience with her powers. But doing it on purpose.

"Sorry about that. I usually don't try to finish fights too early. You really surprised me.", she smiled a bit as she rotated her shoulders, "Good work.", she gave him a thumbs up.

"...?", he blinked in shock, "But, I had you on the ground.", she should be worn out.

"You did.", she admitted, "I just needed to get close enough to you. Plus with you keeping your spotlight on me, it would be easy to keep your attention.", and expend all his energy on a gamble that he could defeat all of them.

"You were playing me?!", The akuma growled, "I don't like fakes on my channel!"

"Then I think it's time to wrap this interview up.", reaching into her pouch she pulled out a green striped dart. Holding it in her hands she took off towards Exposer.

"This ends now!", he charged his beam. He would finish her off in on final blow!, "This is your first and final interview!", he fired the high impact energy straight towards her. As it neared, Yellow Jacket got as close as she could and dodged. The beam grazing her cheek, before she found her footing and burst forward like a bolt of lightning.

"Tranquilizer!", she threw the dart towards the akuma. The dart taking flight towards its target, spirling around the beam, leaving trails of gold before landing square in akuma's chest. With a pulse it began to take effect, it dispersed and lulled him to sleep. Relaxing the nerves and muscles.

"Sleepy~" the akuma yawned, "Time...for a short...brea...k-em.", he fell back onto the ground.

"She did it!", the citizens cheered seeing the heroine had stopped the interviewer's rampage.

"Now for the akuma.", taking off the bow tie she ripped it in half. Releasing the akuma and allowing Ladybug to purify it.

"Miraculous Ladybug!", with her special move the city was cleaned up from the damage. Though only on a physical level.

"That's a wrap!", for the last time.


In his liar Hawkmoth was furious. He was so close. He had the heroes cornered and on the ground. He even had a miraculous in his possession.

"Soak up the spotlight now heroes. But, soon all your secrets will be revealed and defeats for all to see.", he vowed that one day they would all fall.


After the final butterflies flew around the akuma. The darkness was shed leaving only Donny in its place.

"Ugh.", he groaned rubbing his head, "Someone please turn down the spotlight."

"Pound it!", the three bumped fists on their latest victory.

"Great work.", the two congratulated the newest hero on a job well done.

Donny looked up seeing the three heroes celebrating their newest victory.

"You're...", he was still in such a fog he barely noticed the hero standing with them. But, Yellow Jacket did. Approaching him, she helped him up from the ground.

"Yellow Jacket.", she introduced herself, "Pleasure to meet you."

"Oh! Are you the new hero?", he commented on seeing the new person, hero, in front of him. He quickly began making notes and even taking a couple of pictures with his phone, "WIth that color pattern you almost look like Queen Bee. Except for a bit more...approachable.", noting her energy seemed less stand-offish like the original.

"Merci.", she smiled, "Your quite energetic.", she commented, "It's good to have you back.", she smiled.

As the group began celebrating their victory. A number of reporters had come to interview the group. Especially Yellow Jacket.

"Who is your new teammate?"

"This is Yellow Jacket.", the heroes introduced the heroine to the people. She waved to the people who continued to take pictures of the new heroine.

"Is she replacing Queen Bee?", many seemed curious if she was the new replacement for Queen Bee, who had been active recently. Many assuming it was due to the video she had done earlier. Had caused the other heroes to replace her.

The reporters asked a number of questions. Many focusing on the newest addition with a similar palette as Queen Bee.

Ladybug spoke, "Unfortunately she is only temporary.", stepping in to help against the akuma, "She was a great help today and helped turn the tables on the akuma.", she added.

"It was an honor working with the heroes of Paris.",Yellow Jacket said, "Though my time is short. It was un-bee-livably miraculous to be able to help."

'Beep Beep'

"Looks like our times almost up.", their miraculous were on their last five minutes.

"Let's get Donny home.", they decided to split up. Yellow Jacket and Chat Noir would go recharge while Ladybug. And they would all recharge and regroup.

"Wait Ladybug!", a voice called. The group watched as Alya made her way through the crowd. Guess they should have expected her to come when an akuma was about. Making it just as they were preparing to leave, "I manage to get to you guys before you left.", she sounded out of breath.

She must have been held back by police barricades and ran all the way to find them once the magical cure fixed everything.

"Do you think you have time for a quick interview?", she took out her camera and began filming. Nd by the looks of it Ladybug was none too happy.

"Sorry.", Chat Noir stepped in front of the camera, "M'lady is a bit worn out from today's battle.", and could use some space to catch a breath.

"Well...could I at least get a couple of words about today's battle?", she asked bringing focus to Chat Noir. "What was it like battling Exposor? Many of us were worried the worst.", especially when he had Chat Noir on the ground.

"Sorry, but we need to be focusing on bigger things.", not answering any more questions, "Now it's time for everyone to get some rest."

"Bug out!", Ladybug leaped off with Donny in hand.

"Graceful as always.", Chat sighed with a loving look at his partner, "Looks like it's time for this cat to be on.", extending his baton Cha Noir left off.

"Guess that's my cue.", she had to return the miraculous.

"Hold on. Yellow Jacket.", Alya called before the last of the heroes left.

"Yes miss?", she paused cautiously, "I'm in a bit of a rush."

"Could you answer a couple of questions? I'm sure the citizens of Paris would love to know about the newest miraculous holder."

"As my partners said I'm only a stand-in.", she replied, "I stood in on request.", and probably wouldn't be back.

"So you aren't replacing Queen Bee as a full heroine?", emphasizing that many people assumed she was replacing Chloe.

Yellow shook her head, "Not an option.", she dismissed, "Now if you don't have any more questions I really need to give a comb to a cat.", and she was running out of time.

"But, I have a lot more questions.", and no one would doubt that, "Like...what was it like to work with the heroes? Or why did Ladybug and Chat Noir stay on the sidelines while you fought Exposor?". She listed off a number of questions.

"I'm sure the other heroes will be happy to answer your questions.", but now was not the time, "Though I'm sure you'll hear some much-needed words later.", and very soon.

"Huh?"

"Until next time, stay golden!", with that they took off to the cheers of the people and confusion of one reporter.


At Donny's House...

After Ladybug had dropped off Donny back at home, Yellow Jacket had returned back sometime later. With the permission of Chat, she was able to dawn her stripes once more. She felt odd leaving so suddenly and wanted to make sure Donny was okay. She found him at his computer, no doubt looking over the news of the latest akuma attacks. After getting his attention they convinced on his balcony.

This wasn't the first time she had seen his house. From the outside that is. Never going inside.

"Are you okay?", they asked if he was still feeling upset or hurt from the attack. While akuma victims didn't have memories of their possessions. There was always the lingering that they might still be upset.

"My memories a bit foggy.", other than that he was just tired, "I guess even I can get caught in the pool of butterflies. My apologies for any trouble I might have caused.", even if he couldn't remember much. Though he was sure he would find out before the night was up.

"It's not your fault.", Yellow Jacket assured he wasn't at fault for anything, "You were just having a bad day.", it happens.

"Thank you.", she smiled at the compliment, "Sorry, if we had to leave you for those few minutes.", with her miraculous timing out she needed time to recharge, "You remember Chat Noir."

"Hey there.", he greeted.

"Two heroes in one day?", he must be in luck, "My head was still in such of haze I didn't even notice. I was rescued by two heroes of Paris."

"Anyway, we wanted to get you home and make sure you're okay.", especially after what happened.

"Besides a bruised ego I'm fine.", he said, "I've been getting messages about what happened today. I really caused a bit of a commotion.", and in a tacky silver outfit at that. Though the tie was a nice touch.

"Donny could tell us what happened?", they asked what caused him to become upset.

Donny thought for a moment, "I was having a bit of a bad day and things escalated from there.", which lead to his akumatization.

"Can you tell us a bit more?", it helped to let victims talk things out. It took the stress off and allowed them to vent their problems.

Again Donny thought for a moment, "To be honest, during the last akuma attack before me, I ran into someone.", he said it was after the heroes had left that he bumped into a person he had been having issues with, "We got into a bit of an argument."

"Can you tell us what the argument was about?"

"Just about how I picked her stories apart after pointing out a flaw in her content. She didn't like that I was working on it and blew up at me.", honestly it wasn't even that bad, or wouldn't have been, if she would just let it go, "She also seemed to be making a fuss because she hadn't been able to get 'good' footage of the past akuma fights.", mostly because Ladybug had been taking off before she could get even a question in.

"This sounds familiar.", and not in a good way.

"Then after I announced the new segment I was being accused of copying the Ladyblog.", something he would never do, "She was trying to make a big deal that she got Queen Bee on her blog.", he wouldn't have felt the way he did, if the same 'heroine' didn't outright try to slam his content and blog, "I got upset and you pretty much know what happened yet.", because apparently, he went around the city forcing people to expose their hidden secrets. Not his proudest moment.

"I apologize for any trouble I caused you.", and everyone else. He embarrassed so many people, even his own friends. All because he lost his cool and let the words of other's get to him.

"It's not your fault.", he was just upset and was taken advantage of by Hawkmoth.

"He's right.", Yellow Jacket said, "We all have our bad days. As long as you try your best. You can be better than the you, you were yesterday.", as long as he continued forward and not fall back.

"Are you okay?", the heroes asked.

"Trust me I'm much better. One bad moment won't make me lose my nerve. Tomorrow is a new day and the spotlight will shine again!", he declared with a glimmer in his eyes, "I need to go and get on my blog. Until next time!"

"Good luck!", Yellow waved back as the young returned to his home. The two heroes took off and went to a nearby roof.

"Well, that went better than I thought.", Chat Noir had been rather skeptical letting Kitsi us the bee miraculous to visit a civilian. But, she handled herself in a manner more Kitsi-like. In the end, she talked to Donny and brought his spirits up, "Good job Ki...I mean Yellow."

"Domo.", she smiled back, "Still I think there is still one more thing that needs to be addressed.

"What do you mean?", he looked at her curiously.

"The only person I know who could get under Donny's skin like that.", she sighed, "Alya."

"Alya?", Chat Noir seemed surprised, "...You think she caused his akumatization?"

"The two, well Alya, have been going at it for a few weeks. Mostly because Donny has been debunking a lot of her stories she posted on her blog.", which only aggravated her, "My guess is that she started an argument with him and got Chloe...Queen Bee on her blog for personal reasons.", which caused him to get akumatized.

"She's been doing that a lot.", Chat sighed.

"If you mean starting fights with people, then yes.", she did, "I swear that girl is going to send me to an early grave.", she groaned.

"Maybe I should try and talk to her.", the hero suggested she have some words with her.

"She might listen if it was from Ladybug.", she was her idol after all, "Maybe you should bring it up the next time you see her."

"Might be sooner than you think."

Yellow Jacket looked up to see Ladybug had come swinging in. Landing gracefully on the roof. Unfortunately, she wasn't alone.

"M'Lady?"

"Bourgeois?"

"Chat."

"You!", Chloe took no time to march over to Yellow Jacket, "I knew it. You took Pollen from me.", she accused the new heroine of theft, "Now you're trying to steal my title from me. If you think you're going to be the new Queen Bee. You've got another thing coming.", she warned poking the other female in the chess.

"Excuse you?"

"Chloe calm down.", Ladybug said.

"M-M'Lady what brings you out this time of night?", he asked, trying to remain casual, "If you wanted to see me all you had to do was ask. And I would have come with bells on.", he flicked his own bell for emphasis.

"Chat explain.", Ladybug looked at her partner in question, "During the akuma attack you made it seem like Chloe was unavailable.", and yet she got flagged down and pretty much told that Chat Noir, her own partner, had given the miraculous to some random citizen. Even though Chloe was active.

"Not just that. He disobeyed your orders and given it to some wannabe.", Chloe added unneeded.

"Is this true Chat?", she looked at her partner.

"I'm sorry My lady.", he apologized, "I lied about Chloe being unavailable.". He admitted.

"Why would you do something like that?", especially lie to her.

"Because Mayura actually stole the miraculous from Chloe.", he explained how she had gotten the drop on her and snatched the miraculous, "Kitsune was actually the one to get it back. But, he lost it again after the fight with the akuma.", but it was Kitsi who had managed to find it and keep it away from Mayura and Exposor. Risking her safety and her secrets to keep it and him safe.

"Kitsi?"

"While you were fighting the Centaur creature, I was fighting Exposer.", he was nearly hit and Kitsi jumped in from of him and took the hit.

"Is she okay?", she didn't know a civilian took one of the rapid shots. Unlike the standard power, the one he described did actual damage.

"No.", he assured, "The akuma wouldn't attack her. But, he did try to use her as a bargaining chip.", and when he tried to attack again, Chat had jumped in and shielded her, "I ended up getting hurt.", badly. Dark damage that he was going to remember.

"Are you okay?", she asked worriedly at what happened to her partner.

"Honestly...", he took a breath, "I was in a pretty bad place. I questioned whether or not I was useful as a hero.", he felt worthless, "I couldn't defeat the akuma. And a civilian had gotten hurt because of it."

"Oh, Chat..."

"I'm better.", he admitted, "Kitsi slapped some sense into me.", repeatedly, "I can't let what people might think of me. As long as I keep going, I can always become better.", not only for the city, but for himself.

"I see.", she answered, "And Yellow Jacket...?"

"Right.", Yellow blushed a bit, "Pollen, Stripes Off.", in a flash of light Yellow Jacket returned to Kitsi.

"Ohayo Tanchou.", she waved.

"You?", Ladybug looked surprised, to say the least, "Yellow Jacket?"

"Surprise."

"I cannot believe this!", Chloe piped in, "You let her use my miraculous? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.", she was not happy.

"So you gave Kitsi the bee miraculous?", that definitely was a surprise.

"Gomen.", Kitsi apologized, "I used the miraculous. I asked Chat Noir to help.", she needed to step in. And using the bee miraculous was the only way with two threats about, "I pushed him to let me us it."

"Actually I choose Kitsi. I believed she could be a great help to the team.", Chat explained that he was sure Kitsi was the most plausible person to help. She had potential and was actually friends with the victim.

"If your upset or mad, then be mad at me.", it was his choice and he would take full responsibility for going against his partner's instructions.

Ladybug looked between the two.

"I'm not mad. I'm proud of the both of you.", she said.

"Your not?", Chloe looked shocked.

Ladybug shook her head, "Miraculous are meant to help people and allow the holder to do good in the world.", and bring out their true hero potential, "Chat made the decision to give the miraculous to someone he believed would use it to it's best.", and that was Kitsi.

"Kitsi.", she looked at the other girl, "You stepped up to not only protect the city. But, you also saved someone really important to me.", her partner, "As far as I see, you both made valiant decisions today."

The two eyes lit up a bit.

Kitsi gave a relieved sigh.

"So you think I made the right decision?", Chat's ears perked up.

"You chose right Chaton.", she smiled in approval, "I'm proud of you."

"Now I think it's time to put the bee miraculous away."

Kitsi nodded, "Thanks for working with me Pollen.", Kitsi smiled to the little kwami.

"It was my pleasure, My Queen.", Pollen smiled.

"Actually, Kit would be fine.", Kitsi smiled back, "Ja ne.", removing the miraculous from her hair, Pollen returned into the miraculous. She handed it to Ladybug, "Have a good rest."

"Thank you.", taking the miraculous she put it in her yo-yo.

As the tension began to calm, Kitsi happened to catch Chloe trying to tip-off.

"Oh no, you don't.", Kitsi grabbed Chloe by the collar, "You're not off the hook that easily.", she resisted the urge to pull her back by her ponytail.

"Hey watch the material.", she complained as she released herself, "These clothes were expensive.", adding she would make her pay her laundry bill.

"Kitsi what's wrong?"

Kitsi snorted, "I think you need to have a word with Chloe about interview etiquette."

"I don't know what you're talking about.", Chloe dismissed.

"You were doing an interview on the Ladyblog and made hurtful comments about Donny and his blog.", saying he wasn't good enough to get a real hero on his blog, "That's why he got akumatized.", she wasted her energy showing off, that she wasn't prepared when Mayura got the drop on her.

"Is this true Chloe?", Ladybug stared firmly at the heiress, "Something you failed to mention."

"Did you actually keep your miraculous for a blog interview?"

"Of course not Ladybug.", she denied, "I was just showing my support for you. Plus you have to admit that his blog is a third rate gossip site.", she tried to defend that she was doing it to protect their names as superheroes.

"That still didn't give you the right to trash him as you did.", Chat scolded.

"Like he trashed me. He said horrible things Queen Bee.", she cried.

"No, he didn't. He only said what other people thought.", and that Queen Bee, while she was a hero, didn't always act it, "And you didn't exactly prove them wrong with the stunt you pulled.", if anything it made people more sure that she didn't earn her miraculous.

"Not to mention getting your miraculous stolen.", that was the biggest thing.

Ladybug groaned, massaging the bridge of her nose.

"Chloe, do you remember when I gave you your miraculous? I said that it was to help you grow and become a better person.", to become a heroine and do some good in the city.

"I know right. And I've become an exceptional heroine. Just like you."

"No, you haven't."

"W-What do you mean?"

"I mean while you're growing in battle, in your civilian life you still refuse to change.", still clinging to the same behavior that had gotten her in trouble so many times, "You still talk about people, insult them for no reason, and you've been trying to use your title as 'Queen Bee' as an excuse for your behavior.", she listed, "That's not making progress."

"But, Ladybug..."

"No but's.", she cut in, "I know change takes time. But, it also takes effort.", and by the looks of it, Chloe wasn't putting in any effort, "I'm beginning to think maybe giving making you a superheroine was too quick a judgment."

"No, it wasn't!", Chloe defended, "I can change. I mean...yeah I did do bad by getting another person akumatized and losing my miraculous.", which didn't help her case, "But, I promise you I can do better. I swear.", she pleaded for Ladybug to reconsider.

"You say that.", but she wasn't sure, "I'm not a hundred percent sure that you'll stick to your word. But, I think there's still a chance for you to do better.", a slim one, but hope that Chloe could make a change for the better.

Chloe looked hopeful. Kitsi looked done.

"But, no more akumatizations.", accidents were one thing, but doing something to hurt someone on purpose was crossing the line, Adding she had to focus on protecting the city, and not just trying to make a name for herself, "In the meantime, I think it's best Queen Bee takes a break.", mostly for the stunt she pulled by keeping her miraculous and using it for a petty reason. Then having it stolen by the enemy and trying to keep it hidden.

Well, at least she wasn't being replaced. Not yet, at least.

"I still believe in you, Chloe. And I know you can do better.", Ladybug gave her a hopeful smile. Chloe looked up at her and nodded.

"I promise Ladybug.", she vowed to be better. Not just for the city, but for herself.

"Good.", Ladybug nodded, "Kitsi thanks again for your assistance.", Ladybug thanked.

"Yeah, you were an un-bee-livable help today.", Chat added.

"No problem. It's cool working with you two.", she smiled, "Let's do it again.", though hopefully not too soon. Kitsune was enough for her. And she was sure Whissp was going to give her an earful when they got home.

"Anyway. Better get home before I get in trouble again. Ja'ne.", with that Kitsi headed off. Leaving the heroes and her classmate. She had a lot of work to do and little time to do it.

But first, maybe a long nap.

Hopefully, tomorrow would be calmer.


To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

"Kid are you sure about this?", Plagg looked up at his holder. 

For the past five minutes, Adrien had been standing in front of his father's office. Last night brought him no sleep. As did a few other nights that saw him going to bed late. But, this was something different. The last akuma attack had left a weight on Adrien's mind. A pressure he couldn't shake. One which could change things between him and his father. Whether he kept it to himself or confronted it.

"You can still walk away.", Plagg offered that he didn't have to talk when he wasn't ready, "We can just head back to your room and eat some delicious Camembert."

"I need to do this.", if he didn't, he would never feel the same. It was already tough knowing what he knew. And being in the house didn't help.

With his resolve set, he took a deep breath and faced the door. Raising his hand he knocked on the door and waited. At first, there was no answer. So he knocked again.

Again no answer.

Maybe his father wasn't in his office.

So one last time he knocked on the door.

"Yes?", came an even tone on the other side. Guess third's times a charm.

"Father it's me. Your son.", the fact he had to add the fact it was himself, didn't help the feelings in his stomach.

"Adrien, shouldn't you be in bed?", he looked at the time. It was a school

Adrien took a deep breath, "Father, did you hire one of my classmates to spy on me while I was at school?", he skipped right to the point.

"Excuse me?", he looked up from his laptop.

"During the last akuma attack, Natalie got infected and revealed that you made a deal with one of my classmates to spy on me.", he repeated his accusation a bit more bolder than before, "Which includes giving information about where I went and who I was with.", giving details about his classmates and friends that, as he looked more into it, seemed completely exaggerated.

"I wouldn't take the words of an akuma at face value.", his father attempted to dismiss, "It could have forced her to lie."

"The akuma's power made you tell deep secrets.", mostly to embarrass people, "I don't think this particular akuma had any knowledge to make people lie.", it was all true and all meant to embarrass those who the akuma had attacked and exposed them of their deepest secrets, "So did you do it?"

"Adrien..."

"Dad...", he was stalling, "Is it true?", all he wanted was the truth. That maybe his father didn't do it.

"Son.", he began, "As you may or may not understand I cannot always be with you.", running a fashion company kept his time tight with business and work, "Which includes keeping an eye on you when you're off at school.", since the schools wouldn't allow his bodyguard to go with him from class to class. He had to depend on 'strangers' to protect his only son.

"So you used one of my classmates."

"Admittedly I had my reservations about .", by the way, she tricked herself into his home, his staff, and seemed to want to be close to Adrien, "She made it seem as if she was trying to help you."

"So the only reason you pushed to have me be friends with her is so you can keep tabs on me.", basically making her a human tracking device that latched onto him at every given second. In return, she got to be around him more than he liked. Even in places, she shouldn't have been.

And his father made it happen. His father used him as a bargaining chip.

"I don't expect you to understand now. But, you in time you'll see what I do is for your own good.", so he shouldn't worry, "Now then off to bed with you. Since Natalie will be off for a couple of days, your entire schedule will have to be changed."

"But, father..."

"Adrien bed.", he instructed, "You've had too much excitement for one day.", so the conversation was over.

Adrien wanted to say more. But, the words became trapped in his throat.

Turning around he opened the door, "Goodnight Mr. Agreste.", he didn't know if his father, if Gabriel, heard him or not. The fact that he hadn't been called back was a clue that he hadn't. And as he walked up towards his room, he could feel Plagg inside his jacket.

The only warmth he could feel at this moment.


With the dance approaching with each passing day, it was crunch time to get things prepared. The first part is to actually start. After taking the position of her classes president, the responsibility came on her and her class to make preparations for the entire school dance. Which included the venue and entertainment.

She had drawn up some ideas and brought them with her to the official meeting. Her first with the entire student council members from different classes. While she had no problem working with the other students. She knew there was a divide between their classes.

"How are the decorations coming along?."

"A lot quicker since we finally have a theme. Miraculously You.", a theme dedicated to showing your best and loving yourself for who you are, "The art club is getting all the decorations and supplies together.", breaking down some of the old decorations for the material.

Kitsi nodded, "That's great. I talked to some people about catering for the event. I found some good restaurants that can give us a great deal.", with such a variety they would have enough to feed everyone for the night. Including dessert, "I was thinking some students from the culinary club could do a tasting.", since they had the best palettes.

"What about the venue?", many assumed that with the deadline the dance would be held at the school or perhaps even the Le Grand Paris.

"We're still looking at a few places.", checking on the size of the venue and prices to accommodate all the students, "At the moment the Le Grand Paris might be the best option.", it was large, had a glamour factor, and they could probably get it at a good price. Or free if Chloe could be persuaded, "I also thought maybe we could use the studio for the dance."

"Studio?"

"The one my brother's work in.", she brought up, "My brother's studio is in recess at the moment. Since it won't open back until later this summer, I got permission from the owners to use it for the dance.", explaining that there was enough room to hold a substantial group of people.

"You think you can get all those students inside one studio?", it seemed kind of small the last time she was inside.

"The building itself has various sets and areas.", that could be opened up for more space, "Plus each set could be decorated for various themes.", like the beach, a garden area, gala, even to give the feeling of a rooftop space, "This way there is a variety and less need to argue over a theme.", because they would have multiple. Plus there were props they could use to add to the ambiance, "Plus it will be free.", so long as they didn't wreck it and cleaned up afterward.

"Do we really want to have a dance at a studio?", Alya sounded doubtful, "It doesn't scream exciting."

"And I suppose you have a better idea?", Chloe piped in.

"Chloe? Why are you even doing here?", she wasn't the head of any club or class rep.

"I invited Chloe to help out with the dance.", Kitsi said.

"You did?", she blinked, "Why?"

"Obviously you all need help when it comes to this dance. And being the leader I am, of course, I've come to offer my services.", she said.

"Which would be, what?", Alya craned her eyebrow.

"Hello, did you forget whose daughter I am?", how could they forget, "I've got the resources you wish you could have."

"She has a point.", Kitsi added, "Given the level, we're at now, we need all the help we can get.", and Chloe was a boost when it came to resources and getting connected with businesses.

"I can easily book this party at any spot in Paris.", she bragged, "Not to mention connections with the best caterers in the city.", she added.

Are you offering these 'services' for the school dance?", Alya questioned in suspicion.

"Can you do any better?", she returned, "As far as I've seen the last person in charge didn't even put the plan to paper."

"Chloe also has organizational skills.", surprisingly she was good at delegation, "Which is why I put her in charge of planning.", chalking it up to her parent's positions and jobs. Which had them over various people and organizations.

Alya gave a quiet mutter under her breath, "I guess so.", though she didn't particularly like it, "Still what about having the dance at the stadium?"

"Do you know what that grass will do dress shoes.", it wasn't exactly dance proof, "Plus its peak season and most places are booked full.", even for her, "The studio should suffice."

"All in favor of the studio hotel for the dance, say yea."

"Yea!"

"The motion carries.", the dance would be held at the studio. It had a lot of space and could be decorated with a multi-theme set. Relieving the burden from the art and theater clubs.

'That's one problem solved.', Kitsi jotted down in her notebook, "The next thing is entertainment.", one of the next big issues was finding an act that would both keep the atmosphere, keep the guests entertained, and live up to the expectations of the students.

"Well I couldn't find a classical orchestra.", well not one on such short notice, "But, I did manage to pull together some entertainment I'm sure everyone will love."

"Who?", the students asked curiously.

"DJ XY.", she reminded them of the artist's real name, "I asked my cousin if she could convince him to playlist the set.", and as she thought, it was a lock. She supposed having those two dating. As odd as it was. Had its benefits. Especially since the two seem to hit it off and XY looked to have changed for the better. It was almost scary.

Alya didn't want to appear impressed, "XY is 'great' and all. But, I don't think he can keep everyone entertained.", not everyone can relate with techno, "Jagged Stone, RVER, and Clara. Those would be great acts."

"Well at the moment our options are limited.", given tour dates and travels, "Plus with the current budget we can't exactly afford anyone too big.", so they needed to be practical. Though she wanted to keep people hopeful, she could tell the enthusiasm was a bit low at the moment when it came to the dance and entertainment expectations.

"But, shouldn't we also be considering adding a wider venue of entertainment?", Alya brought up.

"Personally, I don't see a problem.", Chloe piped in, "Plus if XY comes, no doubt Usa G will come as well.", she reminded that the two were touring together. Which looked to sway the students on the idea.

"Anyway with entertainment aside, we should also think about a good playlist.", suggesting input from all students about their favorite music and try to work it into the dance. That way there would be a variety and choice for everyone to have fun on the dance floor, "We can discuss the music at another time."

"So is there any new business for the dance?"

"Well, some of the students still think we should have a theme dance.", and were pushing for the original themes offered before, "A lot of students are on board with the current one.", but others still wanted their themes to be showcased. Because of all the promises made beforehand.

"Then we'll show them a great time.", and pray to Kami that it all came together, "But, if they still aren't sure, then I'll listen to them.", and try to make something work.

"Since we're using the studio as a venue it should be easy for everyone to get their ideas in.",

."The studio is perfect. And I'm sure with some encouragement we can get some great acts.", Chloe bragged, "I can even hire personal decorators to fix up the spaces.", she announced.

"That's nice Chloe. But, the student's want to make their own decorations.", Kitsi said.

"Why make? When you can buy the best materials in Paris.", she brought up, "...With input from the other students.", she added.

Kitsi nodded.

"What's say we break for lunch.", she suggested, "we'll return in let's say, twenty minutes."


During the break, Kitsi stepped outside to take in some fresh air. Having to deal with all the ideas and expectations of an entire school was draining. Even if some students looked on board with the changes for the dance. There was still resistance. Even in her own class.

"You okay Kit?", Whissp asked.

"I'm starting to rethink my position.", she sighed, "This is becoming a Frankenstein party.", everyone expected so much and she could only provide what she could. She had to be realistic. Though she believed in the impossible and going pass one's limits. She could see the walls around her.

"People are expecting me to make this grand dance with all these bells and whistles.", but she was only scratching the service, "If things don't go great and this dance isn't amazing, I'll have let the entire school down."

She would fail.

"Then, of course, Alys had to butt in.", basically pushing all of Kitsi's idea's out and trying to make herself the leader. Comparing her ideas and decisions against Rossi's.

"Don't put so much pressure on yourself.", Whissp advised, seeing his holders frustrations, "When one tries to live up to expectations, they only end up hurting themselves."

"I know I shouldn't be this frustrated. But, I can't let everyone down.", but she couldn't give people what they didn't have to begin with. She looked at her notebook and all the writings inside. Closing it she pressed it to her forehead.

"Maybe...this was a bad idea."

"It's fine if you want to step away.", it wasn't her problem."I was surprised you even agreed to become her class rep."

"And leave it to that liar.", she scoffed, "This is her fault in the first place.", and she should be the one to fix it. That, or come clean about the promises she obviously couldn't keep. Now with cancellation looming, everyone else was scrambling to make an effort.

Now they needed a miracle.

"Why do things always have to be so hard?", she groaned.


"Ah, the feeling of frustration.", Hawkmoth smirked feeling a new negative energy growing, "And what a surprise, Miss Inari.", it always piqued his interest when her emotions came to play. Though she alluded his powers one too many times. He couldn't deny she had potential. A power that outmatched even his best creations, "Even if it's only minor, soon I'll capture this energy.", sooner or later.

"For this, I can wait a moment longer.", until the perfect time, "It shouldn't be too long."


When they returned to the meeting, the subject of the dance was always present. Everyone adding their two cents and bringing forth more concerns about what the students wanted. Arguing and debating back and forth.

Kitsi tapped her pen on her notebook. Taking in all the words around her. It was like a whirlwind.

'I want.'

'We want.'

'I need.'

We deserve.'

With a snap, the pen broke bringing the room to a silent standstill. Eyes turned to Kitsi, pen still gripped in her hand, not looking at anyone.

"I need to say something.", releasing the other half of the pen, it fell to the table with a light tap. She slowly stood up, feeling the students eyes on her. Even Chloe was attentive.

"Okay.", she began with a calm tone, "I understand everyone is expecting something special for the dance. Everyone was promised different things like live bands, gourmet food, and overall a spectacular party.", she really could sympathize with that and the hard work they did for the party, "But, we have to come into consideration that a lot of these expectations will have to be compromised.", or just dropped all together, "For one thing we can't get these entertainers.", for both budget and timing, "Second, no chocolate in pools.", it was impossible and unsanitary, "And these venues, while not practical, take months to book.", and even then many of them wouldn't hold the number of students set to attend.

"I know you all want to do right by the other students, your clubs and friends, and create a great dance. But, realistically, we have to think about what we can do now.", and not what they wished for, "But, even without all this stuff I'm positive we can make a great dance.", she declared, "We just have to compromise.", even if it wasn't going to be what they dreamed, it would be something they could look back on and be proud of, "Now let's get this done!", the students looked at each other, but no one dared to speak.

"We already have a venue and entertainment and the menu is being worked on.", so they were halfway done, "Now how are we on the dress code?"

"What about prom wear."

"Beach casual."

"Formal is always good."

"All good ideas.", Kitsi seemed to agree, "Since it's at the hotel formal and prom would be the best choices.", but formal and prom wear seemed like the best way to go, "We should pick a day so clubs can come and look at the hall.", to get a better idea of how to decorate and get a feel for the size, "Chloe what are the measurements of the studio?"

"Big enough.", of course, "Enough room for all."

"I would expect no less.", she wrote in her notebook, "And everyone can expect that this dance will be something no one expects."

And she would make sure of it.

"How did you get all this done so quickly?", with everything she's listed it sounded like it would take weeks. Months even to get it all together.

"Persistence.", which Kitsi was known for and also having friends in the right places, "Had I known about this beforehand, I could have done a bit more.", like trying to convince people that it was a bad idea, "But, I do believe if we all pull together we can make this dance amazing for everyone!", Kitsi declared.

"Plus I've got back-up.", both high and low, and places in between, "Plus with the date change it will sync up with their tour schedules.", so that there weren't any conflicts or cancellation risks, "But, as a backup we have a few other musical acts that have offered their services.", just in case.

"And thanks to some outside help, we've found some great caterers who offer specialties for those with allergies. Some crafting stores have offered to donate supplies to help with materials, and we're in talks with some venues with great electrical equipment for dancing.", with some good packages for the number of students attending.

"This is perfect!", at this rate the dance would be better than what they had planned before, "This dance is going to be amazing."

"I hope so.", there were still some things to iron out, but with the way things were going they would just make it, "There still needs to be a discussion about the theme of the party.", everyone had expected various ranges of styles. So they wanted something that everyone would love.

"With everything now planned out it's sure to be amazing.", just having the musical groups were a huge boost to student morale.

"Why do we need security at the door?", Alya pointed out that there was the subject of security for the dance.

"To keep people from crashing the party.", obviously, "Right?"

Kitsi nodded.

"Besides fun, we also have to think about the safety of the students, staff, entertainers, and all those attending.", making sure no one could just sneak in, "Which is why I think we should implement some kind of bands or maybe stamps.", to make sure no one could just waltz in without proof they were allowed there.

"You can't have a dance-like this and not expect crashers.", Chloe added.

"How did we get all this stuff with a minimal budget?", even when all the clubs pulled together their money it didn't seem like they had enough for everything listed.

"Most of it is donations by vendors, businesses, and even from those who heard about the party.", and wanted to help. Giving special discounts or even waiving the fees altogether, "Even the parents and relatives of students are volunteering their time and resources to make the dance happen.", which gave a huge boost to what they could do with the budget they had. And also less stress on the other classes who had been on pins because the dance might have been canceled.

"This is going to be so great!"

"Yeah...great.", Alya grumbled, "You know what would be great? If we got the heroes to come to the dance."

"Why would the heroes of Paris come to our school dance?"

"Why not? Having the heroes at the dance would be amazing."

"In theory yes.", it sounded amazing.

"Then what's the problem?"

"For one thing, it's not 100% certain they could come. They do have civilian lives and therefore must have their personal responsibilities.", including friends and family they might want to spend time with, "Plus with all the akuma's popping up they must be worn out.", kami knows she was just making it on reserve energy alone.

"I agree.", Aurora said, "It would be rude to just ask them and expect them to come.", getting people's hopes up for the chance of them not showing up. That had happened too many times and it would be playing with people's expectations.

"How would we even invite them?", it never hurts to try.

"Over the Ladyblog of course.", it was the best way to get information out to the heroes, "We could make an invite for them.", and of course they would come.

"Again, jumping the gun.", she was basing her assumptions on well...assumptions, that the heroes would show up because people asked, "We shouldn't put pressure on them. If they want to stop by they're always welcome.", but they shouldn't feel the need to come just impress some fans.

"It couldn't hurt to ask.", and they could meet their fans.

"Ladybug doesn't have time to just drop what she's doing to come to a school dance.", Chloe voiced surprisingly shooting the idea down, "She has a city to protect.", and many of the students seemed to agree.

"Guestlist aside. We still need to create a playlist.", besides the band, they needed a wider range of music that everyone could be included in when it came to dancing, "I put forth a mashup."

"A mashup?"

"Meaning students can put in a request for music that can be played throughout the night.", like a jukebox except with real people. Maybe an actual jukebox would be cool, "I also need to call Donny about bringing equipment."

"He's going to live stream the dance for his channel.", she informed.

"Why does he need to do that? He doesn't even go to school here.", she added, "The Ladyblog could stream it."

"I never said you couldn't videotape the night's events.", though she had concerns, "I'm just letting you know that Donny has also asked to be able to record the events for his stream as well."

"But, this is supposed to be our school dance. Why are we inviting so many people from another school?", she pointed out that people were attending from another school. Mostly students on major projects.

"Because they're the ones who are donating their time to help put this dance together.", and they needed all the help they could get, "It's only fair to invite them.", and let them add input.

"Still at this point, you might as well invite the whole school.", which sounded a bit overdramatic.

"Moving on.", and quickly, "With the entertainment, decorations and food covered. I think we're pretty much golden.", there was still some tweaks to make, but at this point, the bigger fish were out of the water and cooking, "I say that's it for today.", calling the meeting to a break.

As students dispersed, some hung around to talk to Kitsi. Many students thanking her for all her efforts and commenting on her commitment to making the party great.

"A-Arigato.", she smiled, "I will try my best.", though she couldn't give them everything, she promised to try to give them what she could.

'I must do my best.', she had people counting on her, 'So no matter what.', she could not fail. As she continued to listen.

"Now let's all get out there and do our best!", she declared. And with that, the meeting was adjourned. Students gathered their things and prepared to leave or the rest of their day and classes.

"Inari."

"Bourgeois."

"I have to admit I thought whoever put you in charge was out of their minds.", she admitted easily, "But, you seem to be handling yourself better than I expected."

"Domo?", she supposed that was a compliment, "I also have to admit you know how to work a room and organize a party."

"Of course. If you have a vision, you can't let someone else try to push you down.", you had to take charge, "They should be happy to be even getting anything.", as if they could expect all those over the top ideas, "Honestly, people have no idea the work it takes to put a party together."

"True. I'm just relieved to have some backup.", guess they could work together for a common goal.

"And of course you made the right decision coming to me.", she commented, "Obviously you weren't getting it anywhere else.", she peered over at Alya in the corner talking to some of her classmates, "She needs to get over herself."

"Can't argue about that.", in some aspects, "I'm just happy there's no...bad blood between us.", all things considered.

"Well as a heroine. I have to help those who ask.", she declared, "Just because you wore my crown, don't think I'm going to let you keep it."

Kitsi smirked at the double meaning, "Crowns aren't my type of accessory. Besides, I'm just a stand-in.", she had her title to hold.

"At least you might be able to pull this off.", by some miracle, "Though I wish a certain someone was here.", just to rub her nose in it.

"Let's just focus on the dance.", everything else can wait, "Though I would be lying if I didn't say I had more up my sleeve."

"Please, you're terrible at lies.", Chloe commented.

"But, I'm great at surprises.", Kitsi reminded at her pension for coming up with over the top surprises, "Let's just say this dance is going to be something no one will forget."

"We'll see.", but Kitsi caught the glint in her eyes as she left with Sabrina in tow. Kitsi could only watch and give a slight smirk.


As the school day continued and free period finally arrived, Kitsi was happy to have time to herself. Whissp snuggled in her case, as she sat on the roof of the school.

"Sounds like you've had quite a busy day.", Marinette commented over the video chat.

"It's not so bad, but it is tiring.", which is the reason she never ran for class rep most of the time, "But, I will press on!"

Marinette giggled, "I have no doubt you'll do great.", she had the utmost faith in you, "By the sound of it you've brought everyone together. Even Chloe."

"Yeah, she's actually been a great help.", especially with keeping students in order, "And with her resources, she's a great asset to getting this party up in going."

"Plus we might be able to complete a few of these promises.", she mentioned.

"I know. I didn't think the dance had gotten that hectic.", Marinette admitted, "Though I didn't have much to say after someone else took over."

"Honestly you might have dodged some bullets from this.", point-blank range level bullets, "When Rossi does come back she's going to have a lot of things to explain."

"We can only hope."

"On a brighter note, I have some great news.", Kitsi said, "I've got a big surprise you."

"Kitsi, more surprise?"

"I promise it's nothing too big.", though she might be lying on that, "I know you told me to ease up, but this is the last one. Kitsi promise."

"That's what you said a pallet of expensive fabric back.", she reminded, "I don't want you spoiling me so much."

Kitsi stood up, "I know.", she just couldn't help herself, "But, I promise this isn't like the last time.", picking up her things, she headed into the school, "Just don't make any big plans for the next couple of days.

"Do I want to know what you have planned?", Marinette sounded curious and worried, "Please don't do anything...well overly Kitsi."

"You wound me.", Kitsi fined hurt,

'Ring, Ring'

Her phone went off.

"Excuse me.", she had to take a call, "I see you after school."

"Can't wait. Bye.", with one final goodbye the line ended.

"Mushi Mushi Kitsi-desu!", she greeted as she answered the other line. She stepped out into the hallway. Listening to the person the other end.

Kitsi nodded, "Hai! Arigato!", she beamed from the information she was given. Ending the call she sighed in relief, "Just gotta keep it together.", she patted her cheeks.

As she continued walking down the hallway, head in a cloud-like fog, she couldn't help but notice something out of the corner of her eye. Rushing down the adjacent hallway.

Curious, and suspicious, she followed after the moving objects. Hearing what sounded like a slam and knocking sounds. Picking up her pace she found the culprit.

"Chloe please come out.", Sabrina pleaded.

"Go away!", Chloe's voice snapped angrily from the other side of the door.

"Sabrina what happened?", Kitsi questioned why Chloe was no doubt crying in the bathroom. She knew she saw something passed by in a rush.

The amber haired girl gave a small sniffle, adjusting her glasses, "It's Chloe. She's...upset."

"Upset? Why?"

Sabrina seemed conflicted at first. But, showed after pulling out her phone opened a page.

"What's this?", Kitsi asked looking at the phone. What was presented to her was an article.

'A New Queen In Paris? Yellow Jacket Takes the Crown as New Golden Heroine'

"What the heck is this?", she questioned.

"It was on the Ladyblog. It's saying how Ladybug has replaced Chloe, Queen Bee, with a more trustworthy superheroine.", all over the school people were talking about that Chloe had been dethroned as a miraculous holder and retired.

"Why would they do that? The other heroes already said she was temporary.", Yellow Jacket wouldn't be back.

"Well, apparently Alya got information that says Ladybug dismissed Chloe after the thing with her last interview. And took her miraculous permanently.", Chloe had, obviously, been upset and went to confront Alya. When she demanded answers and order the article to be taken down. She was ganged upon by the rest of the class. Claiming that Chloe was never really a superheroine and that she deserved to lose her miraculous, "They said she would never be Queen Bee or real heroine ever!", Sabrina looked like she was about to have her own breakdown.

"She ran here and now won't come out of the bathroom.", refusing to come out.

"Sabrina can you make sure no one comes into the bathroom?", Kitsi instructed.

"I-I'll try my best.", though she wasn't sure she could keep people out.

"Just tell people I'm here.", that should work. With that Kitsi went inside, leaving a worried Sabrina. Once inside it was easy to find Chloe in the only occupied stall. Plus the sound of soft crying gave it away.

"Chloe?", Kitsi knocked, "You in there?"

"Go away!"

'Yep, that's Chloe.'

"Come on your highness time to leave your throne.", she carefully teased.

"I said leave me alone.", she snapped.

"Either you open this door and talk to me. Or I will tear this stall door off.", and she could do it and would if necessary.

With a silent pause, there was a click, releasing the lock on the door. Pushing the door open carefully Kitsi saw her. Chloe, seated on the toilet. Though she tried to fix herself up, there was no doubt she had been crying. Mascara smudged and running down her cheeks.

"What are you doing here? Come to watch me cry.", she accused, vainly wiping her cheek, "Take a picture and let everyone see.", then everyone could see what a mess she was.

"Chloe calm down.", she was being overdramatic, "I heard what happened. I...I'm sorry."

"Why? You should be happy. Yellow Jacket is going to be the new bee miraculous holder.", because everyone just loved her, "Everyones been talking about how great she is so great and heroic. And how undeserving I was to even get a miraculous.", because of how horrible she was and had been over the years.

"No one is going to miss Queen Bee.", she wiped her eyes.

Kitsi sighed. Taking some tissue she kept in her bag, she used them to 'help' get the mascara off Chloe's cheeks. Though the heiress fought her like a child at first, she seemed to simmer down when finding it tedious.

"So you wanna tell me what happened?", or did she have to go asking around.

"It's all her faults.", she hissed, "Ms. Blogger released some article about me getting replaced.", it was infuriating how she was being slandered, "She made it sound like Ladybug snatched it out of my hair. And now people think I was just fired like some common worker.", it was embarrassing.

"But, you weren't.", she assured.

"I might as well have been.", she frowned, "I told her I wasn't going to give her any information on Yellow Jacket.", and apparently that warranted her getting the article printed about her.

"Wait, she asked for information on Yellow Jacket?", that shouldn't be a surprise.

"Apparently she couldn't get any footage from the last battle.", so she came to Chloe for information on the new heroine, "I told her I didn't have any.", nor was she going to tell. Ladybug swore her to secrecy. But, that didn't stop her from pressing her. At one point she would have jumped at the chance to be on camera.

But, she promised.

"So you didn't tell on Yellow Jacket and her...identity?", not that she was accusing her or anything.

"What? And give people more reason to think your amazing. Please.", she wasn't going to help someone else get famous, "Plus what kind of heroine would I be if I revealed a fellow heroes secret identity?"

'Wish she thought about that when she revealed Pollen.', could have saved so much trouble.

"If you want people to know who Yellow Jacket is that's your business.", she folded her arms, "It's 'her' miraculous now."

"But, it's not her title.", she whispered.

"I used the miraculous to save my friends. To protect my home. And because I needed to do it.", no matter what she had to do, she would always find a way to fight, "Yellow Jacket was that way. And yeah I'm happy people like her. I happier knowing that I was able to do something to protect the ones I love."

Chloe gave a low scoff, "That sounds like you. Throwing yourself into situations. You could have been seriously hurt you know.", at this point, the girl should be in a hospital or dead.

"Yeah that line has been crossed a long time ago.", about the time she got thrown off a roof, nearly got eaten by lions, and then there was that whole impalement debacle, "But, I'm still not a superheroine."

"Oh don't even try it.", Chloe narrowed, "Even without having a miraculous, people still think you're amazing.", it was sickening sometimes hearing people talk about Kitsi like she was a real superhero. And after not even one day her own hero persona was already being praised more than Queen Bee ever did, "People call you a real heroine."

"They've also called me a monster, a freak, a delinquent.", she listed, "Just to name a few."

"Not to your face.", no one was that bold, even Chloe had her limits not to press Kitsi too much, "People know I'm Queen Bee and they still don't respect me as much as Yellow Jacket.", but gravitated to Kitsi as an example of what a hero should be.

"Maybe because Chloe Bourgeois overshadows the heroine Queen Bee wants to be.", it was hard stepping out from a shadow. Even your own, "People just can't forget that even with a miraculous, you still hurt a lot of people.", with her attitude and getting them akumatized. And doesn't show much change even now.

"Well they need to get over it.", she let it go, "I'm trying to be a better person."

"But, people just keep bringing up the stupid past.", she frowned.

"You can't blame people.", even if she wanted to, "People never forget how people treat them.", sure they might brush it off from time to time. But, they never forget, "I know you want people to recognize you as a heroine. You want to fight with Ladybug", and become a true hero, "But, you have to learn some control.", that a miraculous won't erase the past.

"As someone whose been at the end of your less than heroic behavior.", bullying, teasing, and pranks, "I admit I wasn't the most thrilled when you became a 'heroine'.", and revealed her identity and Pollen to most of Paris, "I would have bet you would still be the same pain in the butt you were.", and to some level she still was, "You think being a heroine gives you a free pass to act like your adore. That it pays up for all the trouble you caused and the people you put down when you were just the mayor's daughter."

Chloe looked off to the side.

"But, as time went by you seemed to change.", sure she was still the spoiled brat she usually was. Snappy and unapologetic, "You look so much...happier when you were Queen Bee.", less tense and more open. Even when her other people put her down she didn't let it affect her. Not even her own mother. Yes, she had her trips and slips back into her old self, "At the end of the day you can't let a few words put you down."

"Why not? It's not like they aren't right.", she pouted, "At the end of the day, no matter what I do, no one will see me as a true heroine."

"And why are you even trying to tell me otherwise?", she questioned, "I don't even like you. I've bullied you since day one. I've played horrible pranks on you. Spread rumors. And even threatened to have you deported.", but here she was with her as she cried in a bathroom stall, "You should save your breath. Not even you can change people's minds."

"Then forget them.", Kitsi said, "Stop trying to make people like you. Stop trying to live up to the expectations of others. Stop beating yourself up for that past."

"How can I? I'm supposed to be a great superheroine. How can I be if no one likes me.", no matter what she did or how hard she tried she was always reminded how horrible she was. How she didn't deserve to be a hero, "I disappointed Ladybug, lost my miraculous...twice. And now everyone knows what a complete joke I am.", how could she even be a heroine anymore? Let alone show her face, "Everyone's right. I'm no hero.", she bowed her head, resting her forehead against her knees. Sobs filling the stall.

"Chloe...", she went to touch her. Her hand lingered just near the blond locks. But froze at the last moment. It felt wrong. Standing up she silently left the stall, closing the door behind her. As she stood in front of the stall the image of Chloe, curled up on the stall, was imprinted on her brain.

With a silent exhale she left out of the restroom. Sabrina was still waiting out front and looked hopefully at Kitsi.

"Gomen.", she apologized, "I've never seen Chole so sad.", she was hurting.

"Chloe really enjoyed being Queen Bee.", Sabrina said sadly, "I know Chloe isn't always the best person, but she really tries.", she could see it.

"I know.", she could see it too, "Even though we've had our fights, Chloe still didn't deserve that.", maybe in the past, it might be fine. But, not it just left a bad taste in her mouth. No one deserves to feel like they can't be better.

There had to be some way to show her otherwise.

But, how?


The rest of the school day seemed to drag on. During the last hours, Kitsi head was still, at this point, overfilled. She was past her usual capability of dealing and found herself lingering on one issue in general.

Chloe Bourgeois.

She didn't see her for the rest of the day. She hadn't returned to class and neither had Sabrina. She sympathized with them both. And worried that this would turn into another situation.

The possibility of akumatization was the height of that worry. Either one of them could be targets. Or even both of them. Fused together in a negative bundle. Creating another villain to face.

She knew the feeling.

After reading through the article Kitsi's emotions only worsened. And the talk of the school, among the students, added fuel to the fire building inside her.

And by the end of the day, she knew what needed to be done.

After the last bell, Kitsi had waited at her desk. Thinking. For ten whole minutes. No one bothered her at that time.

And once the clock hit the ten-minute mark, Kitsi stood from her desk. Without any words, Kitsi headed off. She was going to get to put an end to this. And someone's head was going to roll for this. And she had a few heads in mind.

It didn't take long for her to find the blogger. Waiting down at the bottom of the steps with their classmates scattered about. But, relatively she was alone. And of course, was on her phone. No doubt looking at her blog. Without a word, she walked down the stairs.

Before she could even register her presence Kitsi had snatched the phone from the girl's hands in one quick swipe. Alya only registered after a moment that her phone was gone and quickly found it in Kitsi's hands.

"Hey!", she stood up and went to reach for her phone, "Give me my phone back.", she demanded. Causing much of those around to look in their direction.

Kitsi silently held the phone.

"We need to talk.", was her reply, "Are you stupid?"

"What?"

"I said are you stupid? I know you're going to say no. But, I'm going to assume you are.", she narrowed, "Because only a genuinely stupid person would fail this miserably as you have."

"What are you talking about?", the blogger questioned, "I don't know what your deal is, but you need to give me back my phone."

"Come and take it.", she dared her. And for a moment the other girl seemed to actually think it over.

"What's happening?"

"Kitsi took Alya's phone."

"Why?"

"Hey Kitsi!", a voice called. It was Kim, stupidly trying to interfere, "Did you seriously take Alya's phone. Not cool."

"Le Chen, unless you want doctors fishing this from your stomach. Back off.", she snapped at the boy, "Now.", her eyes, fierce and flaring, sent chills up the athlete's spine. Her voice was little more than a growl.

"Uh...I'll just let you two handle this.", raising his hands in a careful surrender he stepped back. This was between them. And no one smart enough was going to step in.

"Anyone else wants to try me?", she looked from student to student. And to their credit made the smart decision not to interfere. Allowing Kitsi to focus her attention on Alya.

She took out her own phone and pulled up the title of the latest article on the Ladyblog.

"You wanna explain this?", she showed it to the blogger.

"What? It's just a piece about the new bee heroine replacing Queen Bee.", she replied, "Yellow Jacket!", excitement in her voice.

"No. It's slander it's what is out.", she corrected, "This article is horrible.", not only because the information was wrong, but it makes the other heroes, especially Queen Bee, look incompetent.

"There is nothing wrong with my articles.", Alya defended, "I'm introducing the new heroine to the city. It's public knowledge."

"No it's complete fiction.", is what it is, "Yellow Jacket was a stand-in. Not a permanent hero.", all the heroes said this during the after the battle conference, "You also had to dig at Queen Bee.", reporting not only was she defeated by Mayura, but had been scolded by the other heroes. And had been stripped of her hero status, "Are you out of your mind!?"

"What are you getting upset about? I reported on the last battle."

"No, what you did was make up a bunch of information. Humiliate people. And now because of this garbage you wrote, Chloe is crying in the bathroom."

"Are you kidding? After everything Chloe puts people through.", she was probably faking it.

"That's not the point.", she scowled, "Everyone knows Chloe can be a pain and had probably bullied half the school and caused most akumatizations.", not really something that can't be proven false, "But, to put it on a blog and humiliate her to half the city. You have sunk to a new low."

"Because I printed the truth."

"The truth? None of this is true.", from beginning to end, "Yes Chloe lost her miraculous, but Kitsune got it back. A new heroine had to step in, but because Chat Noir was injured protecting civilians.", which the article skipped over, "And blaming Chloe isn't even half true. Because you were the one who goaded her with that slimy interview."

"How is that my fault? Chloe said..."

"Chloe only answered the questions you asked.", they were all from Alya, "You manipulated and used your position and the blog to attack someone else. You know how Chloe is and used her ego against her.", making her culpable, "And getting inside information? How? None of the heroes even talked you after the battle.", meaning none of them spoke one word about what happened, "So where did you get your information? It wasn't the heroes? It wasn't Chloe? So where did all this come from?"

All eyes looked to Alya who looked at a loss.

"As I said, it's from a trusted, inside source."

"Where? Up your butt.", she accused, "This is false. All this isn't even half true. But, I wouldn't expect any less from you, Ceasire."

"All my information is sourced. I can't be faulted for reporting."

"Yes you can.", and was, "Also this source sounds suspiciously convenient. And doesn't excuse you or the class ganging up on Chloe."

"How can you even defend her? Chloe has made trouble since day one. Even you said she didn't deserve to be a heroine."

"Of course I did.", she wouldn't deny it, "But, while Chloe is Chloe. She is still trying. She goes into battle when needed and gets the job done. I know she's been a brat since day one, but you're in no right to judge someone, blog-girl."

"What's that's supposed to mean?"

"It means you think because your a 'titled' reporter it gives you the right to write, post, and release any piece of information as if personal boundaries and ethics suddenly don't apply.", and it had reached the end of its rope, "You've violated people's personal space, made up wild stories and theories about people, and post articles that had been proven false.", and making a deal when someone calls her out, "And I'm pretty sure who this 'inside source' is."

"No, you don't.". Alya denied.

"If her name starts with 'L' and ends with 'IAR'. Then I'm pretty sure I know.", she could see the blogger flushed with both surprise and anger.

"Like I said a trusted source.", she practically growled.

"Trust is not a word I would use. Desperate works way better.", down to the last letter, "You seriously never learn your lesson do you."

"I don't have to say anything to you."

"You do and will.", she stated, "Putting this newest tragedy on the backburner, let's talk about your bestie? Miss 'I traveled all over the world and made so many friends. You should love me because I met so many celebrities and accomplished so much. Even though I have no proof that what I say is true.'.", because that was the catalyst to all this, "I know for a fact all these 'stories' came from her mouth.", that she pulled from her backside.

"Hey, you can't say that."

"Why because you don't like to hear the truth?", she mocked, "The truth that your source is nothing more than an attention-seeking, lying shrew who makes up anything and everything just for attention. And you and them eat it up like a bunch of starving sheep."

"Don't go talking about people when there not here."

"Why? Because she's such a special snowflake that will melt into a puddle when putting in the hot seat.", she wouldn't dream of it, "Even Chloe, for her dramatics, isn't as hammy as Rossi.", and had a thicker skin.

Alya frowned.

"Oh I broke a nail, someone has to carry my books because I'm too weak to make it. My foot hurts, someone message them and carry me to class like the princess I may or not be related to, but you've never heard of. I'm allergic to nuts, pick them all from my salad and feed me while I tell you about how I saved a man from losing an eye to napkin.", every day was a something and every day just kept dragging on like nails on chalkboard, "At what point do you start erecting a golden idol of her and start dancing around a bonfire chanting her name?.", because they might as well be a cult by how they followed and believed every story that came from her mouth.

A few onlookers snickered at Kitsi's antics. Even though it was mocking.

"You are just ridiculous.", Alya yelled, tired of the girl's mocking, "You're being a bully."

"And you're being the dog of an even bigger, more whiny dog.", she alluded, "When Rossi says bark you howl. When she whistles you come and sit at her feet. And if she dangles a tasty little treat, you get up, roll over, beg, and dance.", just like a tamed dog, "Tell me when do the collars come in? You know so people know who you belong to."

Alya flushed in anger as students who stopped to look began to either laugh or 'ohh' at the verbal argument.

"Oh, what's the matter? No more teeth to bite. What did Rossi take those when she spayed and neutered you and most of the class?"

The onlookers gasped the assumption. While her own classmates looked embarrassed and shocked at the girl's words.

"I forgot you don't make a move without her.", a common mistake, "How about when she comes back you can get your special treats and praises for being a good little girl.", and defending her 'friend' so loyally.

"Y-Your one to talk.", Alya spoke.

"Was that a bark or a whine?"

"I said your one to talk!", Alya spoke louder, "Especially since you're always over Marinette.", she accused, "You follow her around, constantly talk to her, and always come looking for treats."

"Because Marinette is my friend.", she wouldn't deny that, "And can I help it she always has macaroons in her purse.", delicious and fresh.

"And you call me a dog."

"Wan, Wan.", she barked back, "I may always be around Marinette. But, Marinette is great to be around. She's like a breath of fresh air when you wake up. And soothing hot milk before you go to sleep."

"Plus I'm more of a guard dog.", with the bite to back it up.

"Obsessive much."

"Coming from you, that's rich.", Kitsi returned, "Guess after hanging around a lemon, you would be sour."

"Did you call Lila a lemon?"

"Compared to the pure sugar that is Marinette. Lemon might be too generous.", now that she thought about it, "Salt is much better. Looks like sugar until you shove it in your mouth.", and boy had people gotten a mouth full.

"That's completely out of line and you know it.", Alya stated, "She's completely awesome."

"Of course she is.", Kitsi rolled her eyes.

"It's true. People are just jealous because of all she's accomplished."

"You mean what she claimed to have accomplished. And again she has never shown any proof.", that was the bottom line, "I'm all for giving people their due. But, Rossi has never shown any piece of evidence of one word that came out of her mouth."

"You can't prove that."

"Neither can she or you.", Kitsi returned, "You're just too blind and thick-headed to see the truth."

"You wanna say that again?"

"Come closer and I'll talk slower for you."

"Alright girls calm down.", some students came to break up the two girls before a fight broke out. Things were escalating quickly.

"If you got something to say just say it."

"I have a lot to say.", most of it she had to repeat because it wasn't getting through her thick skull, "Can you focus on something other than your blog for five minutes and actually do something?"

"Only if you can get off your high horse."

"Please there isn't a horse strong enough to carry your ego.", she leered, "Plus I'm pretty sure you've broken too many horses backs to count."

The two locked eyes.

"You think you can get away with accusing my friend.", while she was still breathing.

"Says the Queen of false accusations.", she snorted, "All this falls on you and Lady Lies A lot."

"What was that?", Alya narrowed, "Girl, I know you did not just insult me or my friend."

"I didn't do anything.", she parroted back, "Just pointing out facts. Which you seem to be missing.", Kitsi frowned, "I've got enough on my plate without having to explain this to you. I should be planning a school dance. But, no. I have to come and teach you another lesson.", a new highlight of her life apparently, "Speaking of which, I do believe this is another example of Rossi's mouth barking more than it bites.", bring up the fact the dance was her idea.

"Whoever was running this show before did it with a blindfold on in the dark.", leaving Kitsi and everyone else to pick up the pieces, "Instead of blaming other people for what could have been a huge disaster, you can actually help.", instead of complaining and making more trouble, "We're supposed to planning a dance. But, surprise, your too busy on your blog posting more questionable articles."

"Because the blog is my job.", she was a reporter, "And at least I'm not trying to turn this into a personal party."

Kitsi raised an eyebrow, "Do tell, blogger. How is planning a school dance making a personal party?"

"Not for you. You've been making this about Marinette.", she brought up.

"I talk about Marinette almost every day.", that wasn't a surprise, "But, please do go on.", she dared.

"It's not that you just talk about her constantly. You fall all over her every chance she got.", from morning until night, "In class, at lunch, even outside at school. You nearly outran a train just to get on the same car as her.", she brought the time they went on a train conducted by Max's mother. Kitsi was running late, surprisingly, and would have missed the train. But, not even three minutes after they left off. Kitsi came running down the platform. Not only keeping up with the train. But managing to board. And brush it off like it was nothing that she kept up with a train going 50 mph on taking off.

"I didn't want to miss the train.", they had planned to ride it together, "I would have been on time, but I had a late night the night prior.", and almost overslept.

"What about the time you dived into the tank at the aquarium?"

"Marinette dropped her favorite pen in the tank.", and with permission from the staff, afterward, she jumped in the water to retrieve it.

"For a pen?"

"A special pen.", Kitsi corrected, "It's the one she uses in her design book and specially designed.", with her own logo, "Plus it was just a fish tank."

"It was a shark tank.", she corrected, "You jumped into a tank of man-eating sharks. For a pen."

"They weren't man-eaters.", they were more like nursing sharks, "Plus I don't see the big deal.", true it might have been the smartest idea, but she got out and the pen as well, "Also I didn't hear this level of scolding of safety when a certain someone bragged about saving a cat of a tarmac or climbing up the Eiffel Tower.", she brought up.

"W-Well that's...different."

"I'm still not seeing your point. Marinette is my friend. Can I be blamed if she radiates with the warmth of sun rays beaming down from a clear blue sky?", and as a friend, she wanted to help out whenever she could.

"Do you hear yourself? You are completely obsessed with her."

Kitsi shrugged, "And you follow Ladybug and the other heroes for fun.", she pointed out, "I care about Marinette, she's my friend."

"It's more than just 'caring' when you bring her presents almost every day and invite her out to lunch."

"Marinette's brings me gifts to.", people did that and Marinette was one of them, "Plus I don't hear you complaining when Marinette brings food from her parent's bakery or Rossi offers you a new story for your blog."

"That's different."

"Why? Because it gets you so many views.", and she used the term loosely, "Friends getting each other gifts do not equal obsessive. And who I chose to give mine to is no one's business."

"It is when it's constant. Jewelry, candies, fabric, stuffed animals.", she listed, "There was even a time you got her a wax statue of herself."

"It was supposed to be Ladybug.", she mixed up the photo's and the sculpture made a replica of Marinette, "Plus it was adorable. It was a mini-mari. With those adorable pigtails and they even got her eyes right and her smile.", she gushed. She still had it in her room.

"Creepy much."

"Jealous much.", Kitsi countered, "Just because your waxwings are burning, don't try and melt others."

"I am not jealous.", Alya denied, "But, you seriously need to get your head checked."

"My heads just fine.", she gave it a couple of knocks, "Your the one with a few screws loose.", lots and lots of screws.

"Are you calling me crazy?"

"If the spandex fits.", and boy did she have a bit of stretching to do, "You're just mad because, in the end, Marinette was right."

"Marinette was right? How did you come up with that?"

"Because for weeks Marinette has been telling you and everyone what a joke this all was. Being lead by a clown in bad makeup.", and in the end, she was right, "Which, as I've proved, is why Marinette will always be amazing.", because unlike most people she doesn't follow the hype.

"How? How is she amazing?"

"Shall I make you a list?", she had a number of pages drawn up, "Marinette knew this would all lead to something happening. If you had listened to her, you wouldn't have so much mud on her face."

"How do I have mud on my face?"

"Remember those horses?", she had to fail somewhere, "Point being, she was right, you were wrong. Now have some humble pie.", she needed a few dozen slices, "And as her best friend, I knew she was."

"Her best friend? Her best friend."

"Sounds so good you have to say it twice.", she held up two fingers.

"You are not her best friend."

"That's not what the t-shirts I'm getting made say.", and they were going to be so cute, "Me and Mari are like this.", she twisted her fingers together.

"H-How do you figure you two are best friends? You haven't even known her that long."

"Are you saying that I can't claim her as my best friend? After only knowing her for almost six months?"

"Of course not. People just don't become best friends like that.", she snapped her fingers.

"Ha!", Kitsi laughed, "I got you to admit hypocrisy."

"What?"

"On the first day of school when Rossi flew in on her magic cloud of rainbows, she told you she had become best friends with Ladybug in less than a day. Not even twenty-four hours.", or however long she's been in the city until that day, "But, that didn't stop you from eating it right up and posting on your 'credible' and 'fact-checked' blog.", she reminded, "So explain that?"

Alya blushed, "Well that was...I was...that's two totally different things."

"Really? Because I'm pretty sure you let a stranger, who you hadn't known for five minutes, convince you that not only was she saved by Ladybug. But, that they were close friends."

"They could be."

"And I'm Hawkmoth. Remember that?", because she was still finding paint in weird places, "But forget about fact-checking to see if it's true, let's just post to my blog. Then add more articles from the same girl I never once fact-checked along with information that can't be backed up.", as long as the view count goes up who cares about the many, many visible holes.

Again Alya blushed.

"For Kami sake, those stories were ridiculous from the get-go. Why would Ladybug become friends with some random girl? And why would she tell you of all people? You didn't even ask her for proof.", just posted and let the whole world see, "And you never did check, did you?", all eyes fell on Alya.

"I - didn't need to."

"Didn't need to or didn't care to? Because of all the views you got, you never bothered to ask for proof that her any of her stories were true. An actual reporter would have .", instead of posting it for people to see, "And that's your issue. Your so quick to jump the gun and be a part of a big scoop', you never stop to make a plan.", and most people in the area seemed to agree. It was bad policy to just post information without any proof.

"The difference between Mari and Rossi is the result.", what came afterward, "While Rossi will let anything come out of her mouth. Marinette puts in the effort to make things happen.", even when things got out of control, "And for all her faults I trust Chloe to give better information."

"Tell me, Ms. Reporter, of all the things your o so best friend promised, what has she actually come through with?"

"Well, she got the blog all those interviews and stories."

"You mean the ones of 'her' bragging about something that may or may not have happened.", because she provided no proof each time, "I'm talking about all the times she promised people things. But, only if they did something for her in return."

"What are you talking about? She would never do something like that."

"Can. Have. Did.", since day one, "And there's proof in this room alone.", from students who have first-hand testimony of her using personal favors to get something, "She promised you multiple times to have Ladybug appear on your blog. But, oh look, not one interview.", only excuses about how Ladybug was too busy to do an interview.

"She promised Nino she mention him to Steven Spielberg. But, only if she got to be credited in his last short movie.", a movie she offered no input for and didn't even crack the top five in the contest. Even after she claimed to have so many Hollywood connections the film went nowhere.

"She promised Rose a handwritten letter by Prince Ali. But, hasn't even mentioned it.", and Rose had been waiting for weeks for a reply. Including emails and an autograph by the Prince himself, "Any word from the Prince?", Rose blushed and looked down sadly.

"Then there was the time she swore up and down of her amazing ear for music. Acclaimed next to her angelic singing and professionally trained dance moves.", since she was only taught by the best, "Need I remind you and every one of that song Kitty Section played during the music competition last month.", many students had cringed remembering that overlapped monstrosity those instruments played, "Her lyrics were a tragedy and I'm surprised the judges didn't arrest her for crimes against music.", even her brother who helped judge the competition looked uncomfortable listening to the massacre.

"It wasn't that bad.", the other band members tried to defend.

"More like ear-bleeding awful.", one student commented.

"I still have nightmares.", another shuttered.

"But, Luka was so hot.", some of the girls swoon thinking of the blue-haired guitarist.

"Even he said the music sucked.", she added how the guitarist was upset by the song choice and even commented about it to the other members on the song. Who only pushed they use the music because they thought they had a lock with the judges because someone bragged about being friends with all of them. Yet, conveniently, didn't appear and told everyone else not to mention her out of fairness to the other groups.

"And let's not forget this huge and extravagant party she promised the whole school!", forget just a party for their one class. No, she promised the entire school a grand party, "She hasn't done one thing. But, she's the victim because she wanted to make people happy. Are you joking?", it was nothing more than a manipulative ploy to take credit and get favors from people.

"And what's wrong with that? She wanted a party for everyone to enjoy. She was thinking about her friends and fellow students."

"No she was thinking about herself and making herself look good.", by making promises and trying to weasel out of responsibility if something went south, "She did nothing. But, lied and manipulated people.", and took credit when presented.

"No, she didn't."

"Yes she did.", and that was the bottom line, "You think because she gave you some stories and got you views, your just the best of friends. But, while things are falling apart and we're all scrambling like decapitated chickens. Where is she?", obviously not there helping, "And your to blind to see to admit that you great friend is nothing more than a fake."

"But, apparently everyone else is the bad guy because they know how full of it she is.", because they've witnessed it first hand, "And you have the nerve to criticize Marinette for not caring about people. Marinette may not be perfect, but when it comes to caring for others she is a saint.", and it irked her how people could just dismiss all the good she's done.

"Marinette would give you the shirt off her back and the shoes from her feet if you needed them. If you were sick, her mother would make her special soup and she would deliver it to you in the dead of winter. If one day you were late and needed to get into the school without being caught by the headmaster, she would leave a window open with a rope tied to a door and...", she was getting off-topic, "The point is Marinette is one of the most selfless and caring people in this school.", maybe even this city, "Sure she makes mistakes, but it only shows her willingness to try harder and make things right.", and in the end she always thought about people, "And that's what I love about her. And why I will always tell her how amazing she is.", even for the smallest thing, "And why I will always stand by her and believe in her."

"Can you say the same thing?", she dared the blogger to even answer.

"No, because you have proven time and time again no matter how low you have to go or what you have to do for a story. Even if it means dismissing the truth, stretching the facts, or contradicting people you claim to be your friends.", and that was one of the biggest insults a person can do, "And now you're making up fake stories and information because people are done with you and your agenda."

"Well, how do you know the story wasn't true? You're basing your assumptions of gossip."

"And you're not basing her information on anything factual.", just gossip in general, "You can't go around believing every little thing you hear. People lie and exaggerate stories.", and this well far beyond a simple exaggeration, "Which is why I know this new article of yours is completely false.", returning back the article on the blog.

"How would you know?"

"I was there.", if she bothered to check she would have known that, "Which is why I know all this mess about Ladybug picking Yellow Jacket is false. And Chat Noir didn't just get beaten by the akuma. He held him off and protected civilians while doing it.", but, yet again the blog was trying to cater to Ladybug, more than the other heroes. Dismissing the fact that Chat Noir got hurt in the process, "And you didn't even once mention how Kitsune took on Mayura."

"And how do you know all this?", Alya questioned.

"Have you met me? I went to go find Donny.", who had been akumatized and hoped to snap him out of Hawkmoth's control, "I also see you failed to apologize."

"Apologize? For what?"

"For what? Donny getting akumatized was your fault.", and she was offended she thought otherwise, "You did an interview with Queen Bee and borderline manipulated her into slamming his blog.", creating Exposor, "Didn't see that in your blog.", she pointed out and the students looked at Alya.

"How is that my fault? I didn't say anything about his blog. Chloe did.", she just asked questions.

"Because you goaded her."

"Right, I made Chloe Bourgeois insult someone and got them akumatized.", everyone knew what a brat Chloe could be, "Chloe does this thing all the time."

"Not this time.", she was being led, "You were the one who interviewed her and questioned her about Donny's blog.", using her frustration and friction to create a storm, "As much as I complain about Chloe and her behavior, what you did was by all levels, disgusting.", she basically used Chloe to do her dirty work. She played her emotions, civilian and hero, and used them against not only herself, but someone else, "When it comes down to it you were the cause."

"I am not.", admittedly the interview might have taken a turn, but it didn't make it all her fault, "Why aren't you telling this to Chloe?"

"Not the issue.", and she already got a talk from the heroes and promised to make amends for her mistakes, "Plus Chloe already admitted to her part in this.", growing rather humble, though slowly, "You, on the other hand, have been walking a fine line.", that was running out quick, "And you have the nerve to scold Chloe. By comparison, Chloe is a saint compared to you."

"Are you kidding me?", Alya looked offended, "I am not on any level as Chloe. She's been bullying people for years. And caused the majority of akuma's this year alone."

"And she doesn't deny it.", at least not as much as she used to, "And this isn't about Chloe."

"Yes it is.", it was the main topic, "And I find it hypocritical of you to lecture me or anyone else about her. Most of the class spent years being bullied by her and were akumatized because of her."

"Yeah because my time with her has been roses and sunshine.", she huffed, "The fact that I'm the one who has to defend her is saying something about a worse situation afoot."

"So after everything, she's done how can you defend her?"

"Because it's easy to kick a person when their down. But, it's harder to help them on their feet.", even if Kitsi didn't like someone, she couldn't put them down and put their foot on an unarmed opponent. It was like fighting a wounded animal.

Weak and helpless.

There was no point.

"I don't like it.", she had been there. On the ground. The feeling of her hands that her legs would never hold the weight.

Helpless and weak.

At points, she crawled. All alone she wanted the pain to end. And when she made it back to her feet. She vowed to never allow that feeling to keep her down.

But, not everyone was the same.

"No matter how I might be treated. To beat someone when their already down would accomplish nothing.", just continue the cycle, "I know how Chloe can be. But, I also know she's trying to change."

"She's only trying to keep her miraculous."

"Everyone has a reason.", and while some might not see it, for Chloe, the miraculous was her key. Her reason. To rise from her old self and grow into someone better, "If she becomes a better person out of it, I don't see the issue."

"Because if she's not actually changing. She's still the same as she was before.", a bully who believed she should get whatever she wants, "Even the other heroes thought so and took her miraculous.", and gave it to someone else.

"No, they didn't.", Kitsi denied, "Yellow Jacket was only there for that one time. And as I've had to repeat, you can't make assumptions like that."

"It's not an assumption. I have an inside source."

"No you don't.", again Kitsi denied, "What you have is a work of petty fiction. You didn't write this to introduce a new hero or teach Chloe a lesson. You wrote it out of desperation."

"Desperate?"

"You couldn't get any new footage for your blog and the heroes refuse to do an interview with you.", she pointed out, "And Chloe, in trying to keep her promise, told you she wasn't going to do any more interviews with you.", stating that after her talk with Ladybug, Chloe had decided to tone down the Queen Bee attitude and not talk to reporters for a while. In order to better herself.

"That is so not true."

"Isn't it? At this point, Chloe has better credibility than you.", and after their brief talk, she was sure she was telling the truth, "You wrote that article out of spite. And use information that isn't even remotely true."

"You don't know anything about what happened other than who was akumatized, but missed the point entirely, "People got hurt.", emotionally and physically, "You credited Ladybug for saving the day, but what about the other heroes? What about the victims? What about Donny? What about Chloe?"

"What about Chloe? She didn't even fight.", no one had spotted her actively.

"Maybe she was busy fighting Mayura and got injured."

"She fought Mayura?", the students seemed surprised at this.

"I'm guessing your source forgot to mention that.", to busy claiming how she had such an inside connection, she failed to mention that, "She actually could have won. But Mayura used hostages and forced Queen Bee to surrender."

"She...surrendered?"

"To protect her home and people inside the hotel.", who could have been harmed if she hadn't conceded, "As I said. Your source isn't all that connected if she missed that.", and she should have had the sense to double-check, "So while your complaining about her not being worthy enough to be a heroine. You're making things worse by making up stories and unfairly attacking people who call you out on it."

"I'm doing my job.", keeping the city and people up to date on the news about the heroes and akuma attacks, "I tried to ask Chloe about what happened and she demised me.", and rudely she added, "And now that she's never going to be Queen Bee again she wants everyone to feel sorry for her."

"She's also upset because you and them.", she pointed her classmates, "Ganged up on her after she told you to retract the story.", which was fair, "You had no right to do that to anyone.", Chloe or not.

"I just told her the truth. She is not a real superhero and only pretended to be a superhero for the attention.", she stated, "That's not a true superhero."

"Heroes come in all forms and creeds.", and not all of them followed the same moral code, "Yeah Chloe isn't the usual hero brand, but she was a hero.", just in her own way, "She always went into battle-ready and willing to fight.", because it made her feel special and gave her reason to do better, "And you can't judge someone by the outside."

"A 'true hero' doesn't take someone at face value.", and Chloe was not different, "And even if your view of her is jaded, she does have her moments.", she just shows it in a different way, "And though we've clashed from time to time, I believe that Chloe can change."

"People don't just don't change overnight."

"Anyone is capable of surprising you.", you just have to give them a chance, "I've seen and met some people that Chloe couldn't hold a candle to when it comes to attitude.", some of the worst, "It took a hard blow to bring them down.", but the smallest acts of kindness to pick them up. And show them a better path, "And Chloe is going to take some hits.", but it was how she chose to go on that decided the ending.

"Plus I give her credit for aspiring to be better than herself.", it was almost encouraging, "As for you, Ms. Reporter, when it comes down to it the blog is the only thing you have.", she said, "You go around chasing the other heroes. Trying to uncover their secrets so you can videotape it and show it to everyone. Just to boost your numbers."

"That is so not true. I support the heroes."

"How? By acting like some paparazzi and prying into their private lives. Releasing any information about them without permission. Posting images and assumptions without their input.", just for a story, "Without them you would be just another blogger and wannabe reporter.", looking for something new to keep her fans and get more views, "You act as if you own them. That under those masks they aren't real people with lives. Lives they fight to protect. That you would endanger for self-gratification."

"You don't care about them. You only care about getting views. So much so you'll put their lives and the lives of others in possible mortal danger because you think everything will always turn out fine.", but it didn't work that way. Someone always got hurt, "What are you going to do if Hawkmoth figures out who they are? You think they'll be able to protect themselves 24/7 with someone hunting them down.", they barely got enough piece with the secret identities, "This is not a game or one of your superhero comics.", it was real.

"You've lost all sense of respect.", not just for herself, but everyone around her, "And you know what? It's time you learn a lesson.", she stepped closer to the reporter.

Many assumed Kitsi was going to fight Alya. Many preparing for the worst situation.

"What are you going to do? Hit me?", she challenged.

"Iie.", she shook her head, "I'm done."

There was a pause in the air. Students at each other confused.

"Y-You're done?"

"Hai. I'm done.", she repeated, "I'm tired.", and her voice showed it, "I've been that way for a while.", and she needed a break before she broke herself, "Since you think you can do it all and have all the answers. That you can do better than anyone else. And that everything will magically work itself out with no consequence.", she leaned in, "Than so be it."

"As of this moment, I am done with trying to revive this Frankenstein of a monstrosity of a school dance. Or deal with any of 'your' problems.", she declared, loud enough for all to hear her, "Since I'm such a burden to you, the class, and your all so suspicious of whatever I do. Not trusting a single thing I have to say. Then I'll take my idea's, my resources, my funds and leave it to you."

The announcement came as a shock to many of the students. Kitsi had stepped down. Surrendering her position as the class rep and party organizer.

"Wait, so you're not going to help with the party?"

"Help? I'm the one trying to save this party.", she stated, "I got the venue, the food, the staff, and the entertainment. Do you know how hard it is to find even a quarter of the things you promised for this dance?", and in this short amount of time and limited resources for her to use.

"You're acting as if we begged you to help us."

"I wish.", for this type of damage control, they would owe her until well after Lycee and into their early adult lives, "This dance is ridiculous. All these promises were never going to happen. You got everyone's hopes up because of unchecked promises.", especially for what she had to work with, "Yet while me and everyone else have been trying to make the best out of it. You are constantly trying to find fault in the smallest things. Why? Because your new best friend, with her amazing stories, put, her foot so far into her mouth she should be tasting her neck at this point."

"Hey don't bring her into it."

"I'll bring the liar into this because it's hers and your fault this even happened.", because one chooses to lie and the other gave opportunity by being her hype woman through it all, "You relied on big words, that were as hollow as the chances of this dance even happening.", with or without Kitsi, the dance would be up to chance at this point, "And now you want to try and blame Marinette because, oh wow, she actually had the capacity to actually think about planning a whole school dance in the middle of the year.", that alone should have raised flags, "At this point, one would think you would be tired of crow."

"So you know what? Find your own venue, hire your own caterers and staff, book whatever entertainment you want in whatever theme you want. Invite the Prime Minister of France for all I care", but they wouldn't be doing it on her dime or her time, "I'm so over this I should be on the moon at this point.", oh how she wished she could be on the moon.

She turned to Aurora and the other students, softening her features, "Gomen. I'm sorry, but I can't put up with this.", she could only give so much before nothing would add up, "I wanted to make this a dance everyone could enjoy. I couldn't get what everyone wanted.", even with her resources she had little time and too many other obligations to do, "So, I am stepping down as the Class Representative.", effective immediately, "Thank you all for having faith in me.", she gave them a smile, though regretful, she picked up her folders and plans and headed out.

She was not going to put up with it. Not anymore.

"As such I'm canceling my reservations and withdrawing all my favors.", essentially wiping the line up clean, "Which includes entertainment, the venue, and any anything else procured either by me or Mari or Chloe.", which came down to nearly half between the two, "You want this party so badly. You can get it yourself. Or better yet have your de facto president and best friend make all your wishes come true with her magic powers of pulling it from her backside.", and they'll see how it plays out, "I am done."

She was just tired.

"I still want to contribute to the dance. You can still use the studio and I'm sure the entertainment is still going to play.", however, everything else was off the table, "I wish you all the best.", because she was not going to be a part of it.

"You're still letting us have all this stuff?"

"I promised to give you all a dance that you worked hard for. No matter how angry I am at one of you, I won't punish all of you.", that wasn't fair, "You've all put so much effort into this dance. And I don't want to see that go to waste."

"Though I might not be there, I want you all to have fun.", she smiled to the group.

Then she returned her attention to Alya. Still struck by the scolding from people she had considered her idols. And now she was face to face with Kitsi again.

"Do remember what I told you last time?", which had been plenty, "Marinette doesn't need to pin herself to someone else's coattails like some cheap accessory. She doesn't need to brag and build herself up with fake stories for attention. Her work speaks for itself.", with every design and deed she does she makes a name for herself, "Unlike certain people who need to follow people like shadows, Marinette stands out because she works hard and still finds a way to help others shine too.", even if she doesn't do it right the first time, she tries her best and keeps going.

"She's going to be a great designer one day. Because that's what she wants.", and she will put her blood, sweat, and tears into making it come true, "What she doesn't need is someone like you, who's so petty, conceded, and asinine putting her down for just being herself.", and as her friend Kitsi wasn't going to put up with it, "And the only reason I haven't beaten you and the majority of the class senseless is because you and her were friends.", past tense, "But, no more.", she wasn't giving her anymore talks, or lectures, or even chances.

"And your right. I didn't care about this party. I didn't believe in it.", she admitted, "But, not because I didn't want it. Because it was built on lies.", and nothing more, "There was never going to be any grand venue with celebrities, great food, and magic."

"I didn't believe in it. But, I wanted to at least make something special.", and give her classmates something to be proud off, "But, now I don't even want to believe that anymore.", because now she just didn't care.

"But before I leave and let you soak up your own stupidity, let me leave you with this.", she pressed a button on her phone. After a moment the phone picked up and a video chat was established.

"Hello?", a voice spoke.

"Is that..."

"Rain, please say hello to everyone.", she turned the phone to the other students.

"Hello.", greeted earning waves and smiles from other students. In awe and shock at seeing the singer appear on their fellow classmate's phone.

"Sorry to keep buzzing you like this.", she apologized for her constant calling recently.

"It's fine Kit. My phone is always open for you.", he said, "Did you need anything?"

"Remember what I asked this morning? About the dance.", she brought up.

"Your school dance.", he remembered, "You wanted to know if I would play for the students.", the number of gasps came from the students. Kitsi had talked to Rain about playing the school dance.

"Well I'm calling to tell you not to bother.", her voice was calm. Ignoring the more gasps from the people around her.

"Is something wrong Kit?", the singer asked curious and worried about her sudden change of heart, "I said you wanted the band to play at your school.", while she didn't beg, she did plead in a way for his help to find a group to play the dance.

"Oh I did.", so much, "But, it seems my services won't be needed. Since apparently a very close and special friend of yours already booked RVER."

"They did?", he raised an eyebrow, "I don't remember hearing something like that."

"Well, it seems a 'close friend' of yours, who you adore personally, organized RVER to play the school weeks ago. You know because of how super close you guys are.", she sounded both annoyed and frustrated as she told the singer about how the person who first organized the whole school dance book various acts, "I don't want to overbook you. Especially since your playing as a personal favor to a friend."

Rain remained silent for a moment, "I see."

"Sorry for bugging you so much. I know asking you and the band to rework your schedule was too much.", she apologized, "I also need to apologize to Usa, XY, Jagged, and Clara too. Having them drop everything to come and play at a small school dance.", what was she thinking. By now the students were stunned.

"It's okay Kit.", Rain assured noticing what she was trying to do, "If that is your wish, then I will reluctantly withdraw."

Kitsi gave a small smile, "Arigato."

"However, I will have to look into these booking claims. I don't remember seeing anything about coming to Paris for a while.", only making trips when Kit brought the dance up, "I'll also let Usa and XY know to cancel their plans as well."

"Arigato Rain.", she smiled and waved goodbye, before closing the call.

"And there you go.", she looked at a stunned Alya.

"W-What did you just do?"

"What I said.", she reminded, "I'm done."

"You didn't believe I booked all the acts or could make anything close to the amazing party as your 'bestie'.", so she pulled out all her favors, "And I'm not going to try to force lead into gold.", it wasn't her problem to fix everyone else's. And she definitely wasn't going to bring her brother's into it and ruin their reputations over lies.

"But..you canceled all the acts."

"Yeah, that I booked.", she stated, "I called all the managers for the acts Rossi claimed she got to attend. None of them had anything scheduled for a school dance in Paris.", they weren't even going to be back in the city for months, "Rain was going to rework his whole tour schedule because I asked him.", something she might regret had he gone through with it, "Jagged and Clara were going to come as a favor to Marinette.", who Jagged saw as a niece and Clara a fan, "And Usa and XY were going to be debuting their new collaboration.", they would be the first one to hear it.

"But no, it's not good enough for you.", it was never good enough for anyone, "Well you can get it yourself because I'm not going to bend over backward anymore."

"So let me make this as simple as possible.", she leaned in, "Stay away from Marinette, me, and anyone I care about. Forever.", she emphasized the last word so it branded in her brain. Since they couldn't love her for herself, then they didn't deserve to know her at all or ever again.

"The next time I even think you're trying to put me or anyone down. You are going to wish I was an akuma.", she leered, "Because no magic will undo the damage I will do to you.", whether it be physical or otherwise.

"I hope you learned your lesson.", Kitsi moved past the stunned blogger and down the steps. Her classmates came to comfort Alya, who was still standing silently on the steps.

Kitsi quickly pressed one of the numbers on speed-dial.

"May-chan, call the girls and tell Chiffon to bring some ice cream donuts.", it was going to be one of those nights, "Meet up at the bakery.", with the meetup set, Kitsi hung up the phone.

"Now if you'll excuse me I have a friend and frenemy to visit.", with that Kitsi headed off. She had a lot of phone calls to make. And headed off.

Her absence left an odd, but silent air around the students. Watching as Kitsi went across the street and into the bakery.

"Can you believe her?", Alya folded her arms. However, her bravado looked to deflate when she saw the other students glaring daggers at her, "...What's with you guys?"

"Are you joking!?", the students exploded. Talking over each other.

"W-Whoa, whoa. What is with you guys?"

"All you had to do was keep your big mouth shut. But, true to force you've ruined the dance not once, but twice.", a new record, "Hope you're proud of yourself."

"Thanks a lot, Lady Dictator.", one of the students commented using Alya's growing nickname, "Now the school dance really is canceled.", after everything and all their hard work. Gone. Wasted.

"What are you guys even saying? You guys said the party wasn't going to be what was expected."

"Because you said it was going to be a regular party.", when in fact it was going to be really great by the sound of how Kitsi described it.

"And you hurt Kitsi's feelings.", and pissed her off.

"She was trying to help.", and by the sound of it was going to have a really good party.

"But apparently if it's not the byword of the liar and chief, we all have to suffer.", and they were getting tired of it, "So yeah thanks for that."

Basically, the students were not happy. And for good reason considering that the dance was pretty much going to happen, just with a couple of changes.

"Seriously what was the deal you had to upset the one person who was literally taking care of everything.", it was basically all set. They had the venue, the food, and even entertainment. Live music they couldn't dream of getting.

"Well, what about all the changes she wanted to make?"

"Like what?"

"The entertainment.", she brought up, "She wanted to let DJ XY of all people play at the party."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Well for one thing he's a total jerk.", adding that he once tried to steal music from one of their classmate's band, Kitty Section, "And she was going to let him play."

"True, but he has gotten better.", especially since he was working with Usa G. His music was less robotic and cold. And he looked to be turning over a new leaf and become a decent person.

"Also didn't she also say she got RVER, Jagged Stone, and Clara Nightengale to come.", meaning they would have had a number of musical talent at their dance.

"Well, she said that but..."

"But, what?", Aurora spoke, "You think your classmate is the only one allowed to have connections. Or did you just not want to look bad because she couldn't rise to the challenge?"

"As much as she brags about hanging out on private jets, dedicated songs, and saving cats. You think they would have mentioned her since she goes to this school.", but not one word, "But, thanks to you and your mouth, they'll probably never come back here again.", especially if Kitsi canceled their appearances and told them the reason.

"There still no proof she actually got them for the school dance."

"There's no proof Rossi did either.", they retaliate, "Also Kitsi just called Rain. Video chatted with him.", in front of everyone, "Has Rossi ever done that before?"

Alya looked taken aback, "No, but..."

"But, nothing!", they didn't want any more excuses, "You have single-handedly ruined the dance for everyone.", and now they had nothing, the students looked at Alya with disappointment and aversion.

"I just..."

"You were just being petty.", Aurora cut her off, "As much you make a big deal about being standing up to bullies and defending friends. You've done the exact opposite.", pointing out Alya's behavior and how she had basically drifted into the territory of a petty mean girl.

"So she wanted to pick the acts. So what if she chose the venue and the food?", who cared, "At least she was actually trying to make sure there was a dance.", and doing a good job of it.

"On top of a growing list you also had to insult Marinette too.", that's what broke the camel's back. And made Kitsi quit and take all her contributions with her.

Aurora folded her arms, "I refuse to be a part of this anymore. Frankly, all this drama is beneath me.", and she was getting upset, "I'm out of the dance to."

"What do you mean?"

"Clean out your ears. I'm out.", she was done, "And by the way, the best friend, Rossi, isn't as connected as she says she is.", Aurora stated.

"What are you talking about?"

"She told me her family had connections in network television.", having met a lot of key figures that could help her weather girl career, "She promised she would link me and Merille with people for a spot as local weather girls.", but after weeks she never heard from anyone, "And when I confronted her she brushed me off.", claiming that none of the people she talked to thought Aurora was any good at her job.

"She told the art club she could get Thomas Astruc to come to our end of the year art exhibit.", if they helped make the decorations for the dance and a few of her own personal projects. But, none of them had gotten any word of the producer actually appearing.

"She told the Scrapbooking club she would get Prince Ali to endorse the beautification events.", but he never came to one. Even after they did all those frames and photo collages for her. The worked for hours and never once got any new pictures of the Prince or his palace.

"She told the students in the culinary club about her allergies and had us making special food for her.", it wasn't a problem at first, until she started complaining and asking for more elaborate items from them. While also bragging that she herself was trained and eaten at some of the best restaurants and could give them recipes for exclusive dishes. But, many noting her palate was weak and knowledge of chefs and food knowledge lacking. She never even helped with the menu or offered any suggestions. Just told them to make anything.

"She's made promises to almost every student and every club in this school.", and who knows what she said outside of school, "And never came through with any of them!", many of the students were talking over each other at this point. Explaining how they had been promised one thing or another for favors.

"She always claims to have connections to these big names, but she never delivers.", even after they do favors for her or let her into their group's projects. And when she's confronted she plays the victim card and tries to get that person in trouble. There were even rumors of threats against other students by the Italian girl.

"Face it that girl is nothing, but a liar and fake.", who had done nothing but lie and poison the student body and anyone who came close to her, "And I am done with it.", putting her foot down, Aurora took her parasol and left.

"I with her.", another student said, "This isn't fun anymore."

"Me too.", more and more students gathered their things and left.

"You guys are leaving too?"

"What about the dance?"

"We wanted this dance because it sounded fun and exciting.", with the added bonus of celebrities, "You turned into some kind of feud to one-up someone.", and taking everyone along for the ride. Whether they wanted to or not, "Even going through with this party is in bad taste.", because of the tension and bad vibes going in.

"So since everyone is wrong but you and your 'amazing bestie'. Then you can keep each other company.", because no one else wanted to be a part of it.

"Just don't expect any help from the Art, Theater or Drama club!", they were done making decorations. They spent hours on various designs and were tired of getting pulled along.

"Or the scrapbooking club.", now they had to figure out what to do with all the confetti they made.

In the end, all the clubs, groups, and classes had left. Breaking all ties with the dance and refusing to even be attending the dance. Leaving only Alya and a few of her classmates in the courtyard.

"Well this has taken a turn.", a voice came belonging to Kagami.

"Listen I don't need your mystery, ice queen lecturing right now.", Alya frowned.

"Then just listen.", Kagami said, "I tend to stay out of petty arguments.", finding them far below her attention, "Though after witnessing that display, I have to say you've displayed what one would call bad sportsmanship."

"So you think I'm wrong too?"

"Not just wrong. Disrespectful would the best way to describe your attitude.", Kagami stated coldly, "I knew you had a stubborn personality because of your want to report stories.", it was her persistence that gave reason for her to run into danger and become suspicious, "But, what you just did was not only rude, it was also what one would call villainous."

"I'm the villain?"

"You didn't want this party for everyone's benefit. You wanted it to be right.", but in the wrong way, "Now nobody's happy. And you find yourself to blame."

"I was just trying to..."

"You were just trying to make trouble.", Kagami didn't even let her speak, "You never think of the consequences. You selfishly trek into deep waters and expect someone to save you.", that there would always be a way to fix things with minimal effort, "What have you gained from this crusade?"

"I...I..uh..."

"Nothing. You got nothing.", and it showed, "You pushed and pushed until there was nothing left. And this was the result.", broken promises, hurt feelings, and no reward, "You relied on others. You used people. You turned what should have been a simple gathering and twisted it.", and when people tried to straighten it, she snapped at them.

"But...there's still a way...there has to be.", wasn't there, "Everyone will come back. They're just..."

"Upset. Angry. Frustrated. Sad.", they were a lot of things right now, "They feel used and betrayed.", because of hollow words, crumbling away, and leaving nothing. But bitter dust in the mouths of all those who swallowed them, "Or did you forget it was Rossi's responsibility to put the dance together. Or to fulfill the promises she made to students who blindly trusted her.", and ended up with nothing, "And you, someone who prided herself on uncovering truth has the nerve to turn your nose up on people who have been burned by your proclaimed best friend.", and refused to offer any support other than empty words.

"And now you've pushed too far and shown the very worst of yourself.", and for the worst reason, "I hope it was worth the price.", with that Kagami walked past her. A cold look on her face.

Alya was stunned. It felt like she was dunked in ice water.

"What just happened?", everything just fell apart.

"Everyone seems really mad.", Rose commented with a small voice.

"It was like they turned into an angry mob."

"Seriously Alya what was that?", between the back and forth, it was hard to keep track of what they had been fighting about.

"Nothing. Just Kitsi throwing a tantrum.", Alya dismissed, "She's just being a child."

The students looked at each other worriedly.

"I swear she is doing this just to irk me."

"I think we might be missing a point here."

"The only point is Kitsi is hiding something.", she knows something about the deal between Queen Bee and Yellow Jacket, "She's also trying to attack a classmate, our friend, for no reason.", and for her, that was crossing the line.

"And we're going to uncover the truth!", she declared.

"We?"

"Yes we.", she repeated, "Together as a group we'll show everyone that this is just another student trying to bring down a good person."

Again the students looked at each other in worry.


Friday had finally come with a relative peace to it. One akuma attack in the morning. Which left the afternoon open as the school was closed. For some, it meant time to complete tasks and other chores. For others, it was a chance to go home. And for a very few it was time to spend the day out.

"Kitsi are you sure about this?", Marinette asked. She didn't know what to expect when Kitsi had come to the bakery and basically taken her out for a surprise. She couldn't deny she was nervous. With Kitsi you never knew what to expect.

"Well yeah, you're my friend.", no matter the circumstances, "Plus with everything you do, you deserve to soak up some well-deserved admiration.", which is why she brought her out to hang out. A big change from being in her room all day, "I invited some friends to meet you.", she added.

"But, I don't want to be a third, fourth, um...I don't want to intrude.", these were Kitsi's friends. She didn't know them and she was nervous. What if she made a mistake? Like tripping over her own clumsy feet and making a complete dork of herself like she always did.

"You'll never intrude. Plus I invited you.`, as she invited them to get to know each other, "Plus with the day I've had planned we'll all definitely have fun.", she would make sure of that.

"If you're sure."

"Hai!", she confirmed, "Now let's get a move on. Everyone is waiting for us.", taking Marinette's hand is hers, she led her to the meeting place where everyone was going to go over the day's plans.

"Everyone this is Marinette.", she introduced her to the group.

"H-Hello.", she greeted with a small smile and a nervous wave to the five girls Kitsi had introduced her to. She recognized a couple of the girls. Remembering the photos Kitsi had shown her and even seeing each of them, though briefly after they had been akumatized.

"Sephone Blue", the girl with the floral crown introduced herself. Marinette remembered the girl from the Paris Park Pick Up event. Which was organized to keep the city clean and provide information on ways to help the environment. Unfortunately due to a mishap with her pet Venus flytrap, Edmond, she had been akumatized in Persephone.

"Chiffon Rollins!", another girl, with long braided hair, created. How could she forget her? Kitsi had brought a box of donuts and mentioned a girl named Chiffon had made them. It was kind of silly thinking Kitsi had replaced the bakery, but knowing Kitsi she was just enjoying herself. And true to her words the donuts were delicious.

"M-May Dusia.", a girl with glasses gave a small smile. She was someone Kitsi had talked about in length. Mostly from the times, she visited the museum. Being a shoulder to lean on, she could confirm without a doubt how close the two were as friends. And in a way, Marinette envied that.

"Lily Vales.", a blond-haired girl waved happily. Marinette definitely remembered her. During auditions for a contest looking for new musical talent. Lily had auditioned and wowed the judges and viewers with her guitar skills. She was like a volt of electricity that raced through her guitar.

"These are all my friends from Voltaire College.", and she hoped they would all become friends. So they decided on a short meet and greet. Just a way to break the ice.

"So Marinette tell us about yourself.", Sephane asked. She remembered the bluenette. Though their first interaction was brief and bit awkward, she couldn't forget such a kind soul. When Kitsi asked her to help lift her aura, Sephone had agreed. And even from a distance, she could feel her aura had taken a turn. A cold sadness trying to hide under a warm positive mask.

"Oh me? Well, there's nothing much to tell really.", Marinette seemed to dismiss.

"Marinette's a bit shy.", mostly from her self-esteem, "She's actually pretty interesting. Her parent's own one of the best bakeries in Paris.", she pointed out.

"Your parents own a bakery?"

"Yes.", she nodded.

"It's great. She always smells like sugar and various spices. Plus she brings treats for everyone to try.", and her parents even gave discounts to her friends.

"That's pretty interesting.", Chiffon said, "My parents own a donut shop.", she said proudly.

"They're really good.", adding how Chiffon brought samples of new products for people to try.

"R-Right. I mean, I remember the time Kitsi brought some to class to share.", she remembers the colorfully decorated treats, "They were really delicious. Your parents are really talented bakers."

"I'm glad you like them!", Chiffon smiled, "Another satisfied customer."

"Marinette's also super creative.", listing off some of the items she's made.

"I'm not that good. I'm still learning.", she said, "It's all novice stuff..."

"Would a novice design the cover for Jagged Stone?", Kitsi brought up.

"You made a cover for Jagged Stone? Thee Jagged Stone!?", Lily gasped.

"Uh, yes.", she gave a nervous smile.

"That's so...cool!", she exclaimed with uncontained excitement.

"Is she okay?"

"Lily's a bit of a rock head.", if she remembered right her father owned and worked in a guitar store. Even giving lessons from time to time, "Jagged is one of her favorite rockers."

"I have all his albums. Posters. And I'm a proud member of the Jagged Stone fan club.", she went into her wallet and showed her badge to the Young Rockers Fan Club.

"Wow..."

"Her parent's bakery is also where they did they t.v show where Jagged got to be a baker.", though there was that whole deal with his assistant being akumatized into Troublemaker. But, it worked out in the end.

"So he's been in your house?", Lily's eyes lit up.

"Well, I guess. It was nice to see him again. I was a bit shocked when he actually came over and wanted my parents to teach him how to bake.", shocked and embarrassed for various reasons.

"She also made a lot of other items too. Like her derby hat was modeled in the Spring Fashion Show by Adrien Agreste.", receiving praise from that of Audrey Bourgeois. The Style Queen of the Fashion world who cut into even the most acclaimed of celebrities and designers, "She's also made the costumes for Kitty Section."

"Sounds like you're a pretty cool girl, Marinette.", the girls commented.

"Marinette you need to give yourself more credit.", not trying to downplay her achievements, but use them as building blocks to grow and see that she could rise to the challenge. Instead of kicking herself down, "Which is why I planned this day out. We are going to enjoy a day of pampering, shopping, and just having fun."

"Welcome to the official Marinette Appreciation Day!", she announced, "Girl's Day Out!"

"Girl's day?"

"Well, I wanted to invite more people, but decided on a girls day to keep things a bit more comfortable.", since having guys around might complicate things. Plus many of them already had plans for the day, "I hope you guys are ready because this doesn't end until tomorrow morning!", she declared.

"Yeah!", they cheered.

"Now then the theme of today is Princesses!", she announced.

"Princesses?"

Kitsi nodded, "Because today is a day of pampering, relaxation, and being treated like royalty.", for which Kitsi had reserved some special places and services for such a trip, "Now let's begin.", from her pocket, Kitsi pulled out a slim, white stick.

A wand. That sparkled when it was waved.

"Chiffon your code name will be Rapunzel.", for her long hair and what she could do with a frying pan.

"Puedo ir con esto.", she could go with that.

"Sephone your Snow White.", for her love of animals and nature.

"How lovely."

"Lily you're Ariel.", for her musical prowess and overly curious nature.

"Kickin!"

"May you'll be our Belle.", for her love of books and friendly nature.

"I...I'll try my best.", she blushed a bit.

"What about you Kitsi?"

"I shall be Mononoke.", she declared, "I was going to go for Fairy Godmother. But, couldn't resist.", she was one of her favorite warrior characters and princesses.

"Do I get a code name?", Marinette asked.

"Of course.", she declared, "Today, you shall be Cinderella."

"Does that mean at midnight I'll turn back into a cinder girl?", she joked.

"Let's see where the day takes us.", reaching into her bag Kitsi took out a number of items, "For today I've made you've charms and accessories to symbolize your nobility into the group."

"For Lily, I present a pair of lizard scaled wristbands with a matching belt.", the red and black belt with a black metal trim.

"As Jagged would say, killer!", she tried on the wrist bands.

"For Sephane a flower crown.", made from an array of freshly cut and preserved flowers.

"So beautiful.", she awed, "And natural."

"Chiffon a jeweled headband.", she the green headband, sewn and embedded with small stones.

"Awesome!", she tied the band around her head.

"May I got you a ruby brooch.", cut into a red rose.

"W-Wow.", she awed as it was pinned to the lapel of her jacket.

"And what is a princess without a crown.", she presented the final item to Marinette. It was a silver crown with sapphire and pink jewels.

"Kitsi this is...beautiful?"

"Are those real diamonds?"

"You bet. I got them as a gift from Madame Luire and her daughters.", she said, "Everything I make is a hundred percent real.", with some exceptions of things, she made with fur, scales, and even bone if she got her hands on it.

"I don't know if I can accept this.", it looked so expensive.

"It's either the crown or glass slippers.", she showed pair of glass footwear.

"I - think I'll stick with the tiara.", those glass slippers seemed uncomfortable. Even in thought, it made her feet throb. Carefully picking up the tiara Marinette placed it on her made. Making sure it was secure, "How does it look?"

She was quickly given words of encouragement by Kitsi and the girls from Voltaire. So much it made her blush a bit in embarrassment, but a happy embarrassment.

"Now let's get a move on. To the carriage!"

"You mean the car?"

"Nope.", moving to the side she showed an actual horse-drawn carriage.

"Oh so cool!", Chiffon took no time skating towards the carriage and commenting in her native language, especially about the carriage itself.

"Such cute horses.", Sephone awed petting the white horse on its nose.

"Kitsi, where did you find a horse-drawn carriage.", and in Pairs?

"I called around.", she said, "But, allow me to introduce our transportation for the day.", a beautiful horse-drawn carriage with a driver.

"You really went all out with this.", but then again it was Kitsi. Her ability to get certain items was both surprising, as it was confusing at time. Yet, even though people questioned it. At this point, people became used to it.

"I'm just getting started.", she smirked, "Now to the carriage!", they had a busy day ahead of them. One by one they filed into the carriage and took off.


Before they went to the spa they made a stop on their outing to the museum. Not a typical place one would think of having a day out. But, through the magic of May's knowledge of events, she found an exhibition Marinette would love. A showing of embroidery and fabric use through history. Displaying artifacts with noticeable designs, patterns, and history of the people of the time.

And surprising, or not, the young designer was enthralled with the exhibit. Looking at the fabrics, the patterns, the material, and even the methods for which they were created. Going from display to display, and marveling at the items presented. Even the other girls found something to look at. From the side, Kitsi watched in relief that things were going off well.

And seeing as everyone was happy she decided to do a little looking of her own. Perhaps she would get some snacks for everyone. As she headed towards the food court, something caught her eye. Something bright red. It was moving through the exhibit and ducked into the tapestry.

Suspicious, she followed the head of red. Sneaking up the tapestry she carefully pulled it open and find the culprit.

"Tomato-kun?"

"K-Kitsi?", the artist paled a bit, "What are you doing here?"

"A better question is why your hiding among old tapestry?", she questioned his suspicious behavior.

"Um just...you know doing some sketches.", he did make references to the artwork. Practicing his skills with various art forms.

"Sketches?", without a pad or pencil. She wasn't buying it.

"Y-Yeah, so you're visiting the museum."

"Well I was with a group.", who thankfully were preoccupied in another section of the museum, "Thank Kami Marinette enjoys old embroidered fashion.", the designer spirits were looking down on her.

"M-Marinette is here? Now?", he peered around as though he would catch a glimpse of her. It seemed like forever since he saw the ravenette that would sit in front of the class. After the whole fallout, he wondered if she would ever return back to class. Though he couldn't say it out loud.

He missed her.

"Stay on topic tomato-tan.", he wasn't going to change that subject easily. Nor was he going to admit his actual reasons. Kitsi decided to look into it herself. And it didn't take long. Peeking out from the opening in his hiding spot, Kitsi noticed the view. Right by the sculptures of castle replicas, she spotted Marc and Giovanni. The architect seemed to be showing the shy writer something involving the pieces. Marc looking attentive to the other's words as he wrote down in his notebook. Giving a small smile every now and then.

Contrasting with Nathaniel's frown as he watched the pair.

"Sketching.", she motioned to the two boys.

"Yeah, just sketching.", though by his look Nathaniel knew he had been caught, "You're not going to blow my cover are you?", he looked worried that Kitsi might expose him.

"Don't flatter yourself. I have plans today.", which didn't involve playing consoler to a moody artist hiding behind medieval tapestry to spy on a shy writer and an architect, "But, if I find out you're trying to wreck my plans or theirs I know a sarcophagus in the Egyptian exhibit.", she warned.

"U-understood.", he nodded slowly, "I was...I saw Marc and...", he didn't know how to explain what he was doing. He didn't even know why seeing Marc with the other artist. But, just seeing him so happy, it made him feel...weird. And Giovanni being with him didn't make it better.

"Look I really don't care what you're doing.", in certain aspects, "But, like I said I'm doing something with my group.", but seeing some odd figure, Nathaniel, skulking around the museum, wasn't part of her plans. And could dampen the mood if Marinette saw him, "Also...", and she couldn't believe she was saying this, "It might help if you go talk to Marc."

"I...don't need to talk to Marc.", he denied.

"But, you should.", among other things, "I would start with 'I'm sorry..',", the rest would just flow.

"I can't say that."

"Can't or won't?", she narrowed her eyes a bit. Maybe she should have let those people call security.

"No. I mean, after all this time and everything...I don't know if he even listens to me.", he barely looked at him at school, let alone talked to him. After the fallout with the comic and the incident on the debate, Marc wouldn't even acknowledge him. Ignoring him and refusing any form of communication, "Plus he's with Giovanni and it wouldn't be right to interrupt their outing."

"Well you can't just follow him around like a kicked dog.", it was weird, "You and Marc need to have a conversation." after their disagreement in school, coupled with this incident, an apology was the least the other could do.

"I told you I can't. Marc hates me.", and he couldn't blame him, "I mean Marc is being unreasonable. I try to talk to him and he completely shuts me out."

"Only because you shut him out first.", first with making changes to the comic without his input and then basically pushing him out all together because he spoke up and began hanging out with Giovanni, "So either man up and go talk to him.", and by that she meant apologize, "Or leave it and them alone.", and abandon ever speaking with Marc again.

"Now if you'll excuse me I need to get back to my group.", and with that, she turned and began to leave. Leaving Nathaniel to mull over his options. He could either talk to Marc or walk away.

"Wait.", he called out suddenly, though catching her before she left.

"Look I know that things between me and Marc didn't end on a good note.", and was now on fractured ground, "And I want to talk to him. But...", he didn't know how, "Even if I do apologize he's just going to go back to Giovanni."

"Who you and everyone else made a fool out of. You took advantage of his medical condition and completely ruined his work.", it was mean, just as it was disgusting. Giovanni didn't do anything to them, but they picked on him anyway. Switching his labels and ruining what accumulated to a month's worth of work.

"I...we...didn't mean to hurt him. It was just supposed to be a joke.", at least it started out as a joke.

"You don't joke with someone's work.", especially an artist and most definitely not someone who had a legitimate disability that affected them every day, "And tell me what's so funny about someone who's never seen color. Who's never experienced a clear blue sky or a red apple or the green of the grass or even a rainbow.", living in a world of grays, whites, and blacks. She couldn't imagine never being able to experience colors.

"Nothing. There's nothing funny about it.", he shook his head.

"Then why did you do it?"

"I didn't know he was color blind.", he just thought he saw colors differently. Not that he had never actually seen them.

"That still doesn't make it any better.", he shook his head, "Just because you're upset, doesn't mean you get to take it out on people.", especially people they didn't know.

"I wasn't trying to hurt anyone.", he swore he didn't, "I was just trying to help a friend who said he had made fun of her work from the comic we were making together."

"By embarrassing them and messing with their work.", as an artist, Nathaniel should know how much dedication goes into someone's projects. Even Kitsi would be hurt if someone purposely harmed any of the charms she spent hours making with her own hands, "Need I also add he got akumatized.", and turned half the city and the people into color-blind messes. For a moment he could see color, only to steal it away from others. Then losing it upon his defeat. Although he couldn't remember what he did, it was still a bittersweet victory. Even sadder was the actual reason for being akumatized.

Nathaniel looked down in shame. He remembered.

"Look I'm not trying to be your counselor.", she stopped herself from getting too invested in this and her classmate's problems, "Either talk to Marc or don't. But, do not try to mess with his happiness just because you did something stupid and selfish.", and refused to fully own up to it, "The least you can do is be honest with Marc.", he owed him that much.

As she left to rejoin her group, Nathaniel mulled over her words. Looking back he saw that Giovanni seemed to have moved to another part of the exhibit. Leaving Marc alone to look at the models. Seeing his chance Nathanael decided to ignore the voices in his head and ear and go for it.

With a deep breath, the artist exited the tapestry and carefully made his way next to Marc. He didn't seem to notice him yet. Thankfully.

'You owe him that much.'

With another deep breath, Nathaniel decided it was now or never.

"Marc...?", at first he didn't seem to answer him. Was he ignoring him? Did he hear him? Maybe he needed to speak louder.

"Um, Marc?", he tapped his shoulder and the other seemed to jump in surprise. Yep, that was Marc alright.

"Nathaniel?", he blinked in surprise seeing one of his classmates.

"Hey, um...funny running into you here.", he tried to play it off as casual as possible, "I say you...I mean I thought I saw you and wasn't sure so I followed you. Not follow you like that, I mean just came to 'say hi'.", he rambled, "Hi."

"Yeah...hi.", he said with a dulled interest. Not exactly mean, but not happy either.

'Well, this has gotten awkward.', he could have smacked himself for rambling like an idiot. And admitting he had followed Marc. Probably giving him more reason to avoid him.

"So...I see you're looking at building models.", he commented, "I didn't know you were into that kind of stuff.", he tried to make conversation. It was simple, right?

"I'm helping Giovanni with a project.", Marc said, "Since he can't see colors he asked me to come to the museum to help describe some of the pieces.", especially those with a distinct color. Most of his teachers gave him leeway because of his condition. But, Giovanni worked hard and asked other students for their insight and assistance.

"Oh your here with h...I mean Giovanni.", he corrected himself, "That's...great.", well maybe not for him. He really didn't feel comfortable having another person around at the moment. Especially since the two weren't exactly on good terms as it was, "I'm actually here looking for some inspiration myself."

"Okay.", he went back to his writing.

Seeing as his first attempt didn't go anywhere he was prepared to give up. Peeking at the other's notepad he saw caught the small sketches. Rough pencil sketches of what he assumed were buildings and structures.

"I didn't know you drew.", he noted, "Have you been practicing?"

"They're Giovanni's.", he was an architect and made practice sketches in his notebooks.

"Yeah, I mean you've never really been good at drawing.", the comment a look from Marc, "I mean...not that you couldn't. With some practice you could make a good artist.", he rambled.

"Look Nathaniel.", he began, "I know you didn't just run into me.", as someone who spent most of school life hiding from people, he had a pretty good idea of knowing when people were lurking around. And Nathaniel stuck out like a sore thumb. Especially with his hair color, "I know you've been following us."

"No I wasn't.", he denied.

"You admitted you did.", openly and to his face, "I don't know what you think your trying do, but whatever it is it won't work. Or will. I don't know exactly what your up to, but it probably not good.", showing he didn't trust Nathaniel's intentions.

"I'm not up to anything.", feeling rather insulted that he would just accuse him of trying to do something bad, "I just saw you and...", he paused trying to come up with something to add, "I just wanted to talk."

"Just talk?"

Nathaniel nodded, "We used to come to the museum a lot after school and just look at the paintings.", Marc was one of the few people he could talk to and share his love of art with, "I thought maybe we could just talk.", hopefully.

"Well as I said I'm busy with Giovanni.", he replied, "You should probably go talk with your own classmates.", he suggested.

"But, I wanted to talk to you."

"Really? Because one of the last times we tried to talk, you were giving me grief about being friends with Giovanni. And speaking up when one of your 'friends' were making up wild accusations. and accused me of not being faithful to the comic and pulling my own weight", which was one of the last straws for him.

"I..."

"I don't know what you're up to. But, I'm not falling for it."

"Seriously. I'm not up to anything.", he didn't know how many times he had to say it, "I just wanted to talk to you. That's all. Why are you trying to make this into a thing?"

"Coming from you that's rich.", he snorted, "You and your class have been making big deals out of everything.", mostly on the validity of rumors and gossip. Most of which had no proof other than the crocodile tears from which they originated, "At this point, we both be wasting our time."

"Go talk to that 'writer' and co-producer you decided to replace me with."

"Are you seriously still on this?", Nathaniel was becoming frustrated, "Look I know we left off on a bad foot. I said something, you said somethings.", which only made bad blood, "I know things have been tense since the disagreement..."

"Disagreement?", Marc narrowed, "We didn't have a disagreement. I'm pretty sure we both decided it was best to see other people.", since being friends didn't fit his new narrative and circle of friends. Nathaniel had changed and not for the best. At first, he was becoming more vocal and seemed to be standing up for himself. Unfortunately, that new confidence didn't help when he was pushing expectations onto the other members. Which at that point was Marc.

"I never decided on that.", not that he could remember, "Your the one who blew up at one of our team members, our classmates, and then up and left the comic.", he listed, "You also started hanging out with Giovanni and became distant."

Marc wanted to roll his eyes, knowing who the 'friend' he was talking about, "That still isn't a valid excuse for anything you did. Giovanni nearly failed a number of his classes because the labels on his folder were switched.", and he ended up submitting his submissions for his art internship with work for his architecture class, "It also didn't help that you got upset about something you didn't even know anything about.", especially when there was no proof other than the words of one person who has proven to be nothing but a liar, "Giovanni actually liked the comic. If anything he was talking about the fact that Lila was trying to take all the credit and telling people the ideas were her idea."

"She...was?"

"The drawings, the storyline, even the script for the comic.", she took credit for all of it. Saying how it only became popular after she led the team and provided all the material, "If anything he was right calling her out for her lackluster input and skills she obviously didn't have and never contribute until it was convenient for her, ", which didn't result to much because she didn't know a thing about art. Basic or otherwise, "He even stuck up for the comic when people were criticizing it."

"But, the comic was doing so well.", people said they liked it.

"That was the reviews from your classmates.", everyone he talked to said that the newer issues were more cut and paste than anything. Some hadn't even finished to the end because they didn't feel drawn into the story anymore, "Seriously the words were so generic and flat. They didn't sound like anything the heroes would say.", and the plot was substandard at best and could have been easily plagiarized from other comics for the generic step-up. And as a writer, he felt both hurt and insulted that he was basically pushed out for something with no heart put into it.

"I didn't know that.", he was sure everyone loved the comic.

"No, you wouldn't. Because you and everyone believed you were getting real info from Ladybug's self-proclaimed best friend.", believing everything with no proof or evidence, "Every time she opened her mouth you added more work.", not even letting the ink dry on the last comic.

"Okay so maybe some of the stories were far fetched. But, you still didn't have to leave."

"I didn't want to leave.", it hurt him to do it, "But, I wasn't going to be apart of a project where I was not only getting ignored. But, also having my work belittled.", and getting no support or backup, "In the short time you let 'her' onto our team, you were so obsessed to make the comic more about pleasing her, then the actual reason it was being made for.", to show appreciation for the heroes who kept the city safe, "She barely even did any work accept spin false stories and take credit. And you were being unreasonable when I tried to give my two cents.", taking all the fun out of the comic, "Missing deadlines, barely showing up for meet-ups, and pushing all work unto us.", but when it was time to soak up the credit she never missed a chance, "And when I pointed this out, what did you do? You fired me.", like he was some common worker, "I poured my heart into every comic we made. Working long nights just to meet deadlines three people should have been able to complete. Because I believed in the comic and wanted it to succeed.", and in the end, it was taken away from him. He was just let go.

And in his moment of sadness, he met Giovanni. Who showed him that there were bigger things in the world. That as bad as you feel one day, one day it won't feel so bad as you made it. Giovanni was born with a disability that decreased his level of color perception. The last time he saw color was at the age of ten. His world would always be shades of gray. But, he didn't let it make him gray. He continued to work to be an architect. He lived day to day as everyone else. Never caring about his eyes and what he couldn't see.

And on that day when Marc felt like his world has shattered. Giovanni helped him see that it wasn't so bad. He would survive. And that he could move past the pain.

He even began his own writing again with Giovanni's help.

"If all you wanted was to try and make me feel bad. Then you came here for nothing.", with a turn Marc left off to find Giovanni.

"Marc I...", but he was already gone, "Great job Nath. You're such an idiot.", he scolded himself.

"Yeah you really messed that up.", another voice agreed.

"K-Kitsi?", how did she sneak up like that, "H-How long have you been there?"

"Long enough to watch that awkward display.", and it was bad, "Seriously what was that?", it was like watching the slowest death possible.

"I was...trying to talk to Marc.", the word being tried, "I don't know what went wrong. It seemed to be going...somewhere. And then it all turned into a thing and now Marc is even madder at me.", if possible.

"Marc is upset because, for one, you made the decision to change the comic you both had been working on.", at the last minute and without much input from Marc, "You know Marc is passively shy and you pretty much pressured him to accept the changes."

"I...did?"

"Yes you did.", she deadpanned, "You decided to not only add some Mary-sue character to the comic. But, you were also adding information that wasn't even remotely true.", because he thought Ladybug's close friend was giving it to him and it would impress the heroine, "You also didn't think of Marc's feelings. Especially when he decided to do the 'unthinkable' and make another friend.", then went as far as to harass them because he believed Marc was being petty and not a good friend to him because of an argument. Phasing him out of the comics, before just not allowing his input at all.

"It also didn't help you haven't apologized."

"What do you call what I was trying to do?"

"Gaslighting.", which seemed to be a common practice, "You wanted to make Marc think he was in just as much blame as you. To a point that he was the cause.", and that was by no way an apology, "You weren't apologizing. You just wanted someone to share the pain you caused yourself.", and others by association by following the herd.

"But, I was trying to apologize. But, Marc..."

"Marc doesn't have to accept your words. Because to him, the only reason you even tried to talk to him is because you think he'll forgive you.", and things will go back to normal. It didn't work like that.

"No. I mean I do want him to forgive me.", it hurt him seeing how much Marc hated him. Neither wanting to speak or even look at him.

"But why?", she questioned, "If you didn't get called out in that debate, would you even consider apologizing to Marc?", she pointed out, "No, you wouldn't. You would still be following Rossi like a lost sheep and looking down on Marc because he chose to speak up.", and walk away.

"Listen.", he began carefully, "I admit it. I was a jerk.", he could see that, "I just got caught up in everything. But, I still shouldn't have acted the way I did.", and treated people like he did either, "I've been a horrible person and a worse friend. I turned my back on those who actually cared for me.", and chose to act like a sheep because of empty promises and false praise from a snake, "I hurt a lot of people. Marc, Giovanni, you, and Marinette."

Maroon eyes watched the artist. And as she listened to his epiphany, she found a sense of sympathy for the shy artist. Yes, he had been part of the flock. She couldn't deny he seemed genuinely remorseful.

"You let old feelings mix and murk up your common sense.", it happened, she guessed, "I know you used to have feelings for Marinette.", which changed after his akumatization, a passing crush as it was, "And that she was one of the reasons you and Marc got together.", she added how Marinette had tried and succeeded...in the end, to get the two to work together on their comic.

"Yeah, she really went out of her way to have us work together.", and though it didn't start off well, Marc became akumatized, eventually the two became close. Their work just clicking together and gave new life to both their projects, "But, I screwed it up.", he took Marc for granted and completely made a fool of himself when he believed Marc had left him. For an architecture artist. And then kept making more mistakes when he ended up hurting Marc's friend and getting him akumatized.

"As someone once told me. Friendship doesn't just die.", even though the worst situations, the bond between people still held on, "Marc still actually cares about you."

"H-He does?"

"While you did hurt his feelings. Marc still talks about you.", and she could see he still, for whatever reason, wanted to be friends with Nathaniel again, "He never wanted to end things in the first place.", but couldn't find any way to deal with his attitude and how he was ignoring his feelings for the sake of the comic book.

"Then why did he decide to start hanging out with Giovanni?", and not tell him, "Then he goes and quits the comic.", quitting and walking away from everything they worked for.

"Have you not been paying attention.", she just went through this, "Marc and Giovanni actually have a bit in common.", both working in black and white of the artistic medium. Giovanni being an architect artist and Marc a writer, "They talked and became good friends.", Giovanni was there when Marc was down after his relationship with Nathaniel, both as friends and partners, began to fracture due to sudden changes in the dynamic. And a friendship was born.

"And as for leaving the comic. What would you do when the person who is supposed to be your partner starts taking the advice of an outside party without your input?"

"I didn't..."

"That was a rhetorical question.", with a simple answer, "Marc left the comic because you weren't thinking about his feelings. You basically gave him the ultimatum.", either stay and just be a forced third wheel and be unhappy. Or just walk away, "You didn't even care about his feelings. You just wanted to make a comic, even if it was with fake information."

"And when you basically pushed Marc out of something he really loved doing, Giovanni was there to help comfort him.", which should be appreciated with evil butterflies roaming about and a broken-hearted artist, "You should have been happy for Marc making friends. Instead of making him out to be some kind of traitor.", especially when he stood up for Nathaniel and against Rossi, "Seriously, you think Marc would just explode at a person?", even if he was getting bolder, Marc was still as soft as a marshmallow, "Marc was standing up for your work. Rossi was trying to take credit for all the work you both had been doing. Your art and Marc's words."

"He was?"

"Marc knows how much you cherish everything you draw. He sees your passion.", so when he heard what the girl was saying and how she tried to take credit for his hard work, he just did what any friend would do.

"I didn't know he did that."

"Friendship can make even the smallest mouse stand before the deadliest of predators.", even a snake, "It was actually pretty inspiring.", and she couldn't be more proud, "Marc and Giovanni know the importance of a creator and their work.", and the frustration of having someone think they can take credit for it, "At the end of the day, Marc just wanted to protect something you created together.", even if he ended up having to let it and a friend go.

Nathaniel absorbed everything he had been told. "Maybe I should try talking to him again."

"That's your business.", not hers, "But, if you're not going to do it wholeheartedly, then don't even bother."

"I think I know what I have to do."

"I hope so.", she really did, "Good luck.", she gave him a small thumbs up.

"Thanks.", he nodded and headed off to find Marc again.

Thankfully he hadn't gone far and looked to be by himself again.

"Is this one of your projects?", he questioned. Assuming he was trying to show-off the comic. Show him how well it was doing without him.

"It's not another project.", he assured, "I just...wanted to give you something and say I'm sorry.", he handed the comic to Marc.

"...", reluctantly taking the comic he looked through the pages, "What is this?", he questioned why he was even giving it to him.

"Our comic.", he said, "It was the last comic we did together.", before they broke up. No, before Nathaneal fired him.

"You kept it?", admittedly he forgot about it. A bad memory and moment in his life.

"I couldn't throw it away.", though he was upset and hurt about how the broke up as partners and friends, he kept the last comic they wrote together before they...he let the transfer student on board, "I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.", even if he wanted to.

"But, why are you giving it to me?", he didn't work on the comic anymore. He would have no reason to have it. After they parted ways, the last project they worked on never got printed. For Marc, he believed it was just Nathaniel being petty.

"Because you deserve it.", he said, which confused the other, "You were there from the beginning. Through late nights and deadlines. Meetings and tons of drafts, you were there.", right by his side, "Even though we weren't as popular, we were happy.", because they were friends. Doing something they both loved.

"I was a jerk. A real jerk. Like Chloe Bourgeois level of a jerk before she became Queen B.", which was a slight change, but still bad, "I got so wrapped up in the comic and impressing Ladybug. I got blinded by false words of a liar and took the true words of the people who actually care about me for granted.", and never giving him the proper respect he deserved.

"I was a terrible partner and even a worse friend. Especially to you Marc.", to the point they broke up and he blew up at him because he didn't consider his friends' feelings, "I turned a molehill into a mountain. And threw myself off a cliff because I was too stupid to see that I was the one being the real villain.", and destroying something they created.

"I know my words might not seem like much and I've thought about ways I could show you that I'm being truthful.", so he gave Marc the comic, "I know it isn't much and I owe you so much more.", including a long apology.

"It's okay if you don't forgive me.", he said sadly, "Just please, don't forget about me.", at least the good times they shared. And with that said, Nathaniel took a long breath, "Take care of comic. It will be in better hands then it was with me.", and certainly better than the backstabbing, snake in the grass he regrettably made his partner.

Had he listened to all those weeks ago, perhaps he wouldn't be where he was now. If he hadn't been blinded by his own ego and desire to please everyone he would still be working on the comic with Marc. Not fighting or avoiding each other.

But, maybe it was time to walk away.

"Hold on.", Marc stopped him, "I can't take this."

"Yes, you can. I told you, the comic should be in someone that actually cares."

"No, I mean I don't want it.", he corrected, "This isn't about some comic book.", he said.

"It isn't? We worked so hard on the comic and I fired you for no reason. And now you'll get the credit you deserve."

"I don't care about the credit. I mean I do.", in his own way, "Yes, I was upset when you pushed me out and didn't listen to me. But, what really upset me is how obsessed you become with it.", not the usual deadline kind of obsessive, "You were so into making a good comic, you took advice from someone who had done nothing but drive wedges between people. And worse, you even let her come between us.", friends and partners, "You printed every story about the heroes. Even when they didn't make sense."

"I know. I was such an idiot.", a gullible one at that, "I can't believe I bought all those stories.", all because he thought he was talking to Ladybug's best friend. He should have known someone like Ladybug, a true hero, wouldn't associate with someone who treated people like she did, "I just wanted to impress everyone and give, what I thought, was respect to the true heroes.", never once questioning about what he was making was actually, well, true, "Even when things were being questioned I wasn't thinking right.", just being selfish, "And I took it out on you and everyone else.", well those who he thought were trying to stifle him.

"Yeah, you were kind of a jerk.", no denying that, "But, you weren't as bad other people.", and the bar was pretty low in that department, "I was disappointed in you. I was so upset that you put a comic over your own friends. And believed the words of a stranger.", over those who actually cared for him.

"I'm really, really, really, really sorry.", Nathaniel apologized repeated, "I shouldn't have done what I did."

"No, you shouldn't.", Marc agreed, "Which is why I can't accept this comic."

"But, why?", was it not enough?

"I didn't write for the comic for any type of recognition.", from people or otherwise, "I did it, because...I, well...liked hanging out with you.", he was one of the few people he felt comfortable around to actually be himself. And not hiding out somewhere by himself, covered up in his hoodie, "You were one of my first friends. And being able to work together was like a special bond between us."

"What I didn't like was how you started treating me and other people for the sake of a comic.", to the point of acting like a dictator for the smallest things, "And believing the stories of one person.", especially when it villainized another person, "And worst of all when I found someone else to actually talk to, you went and hurt him for no reason.", he brought up what he and his classmates had done to Giovanni. And that was the last straw for him.

"Not one of my proudest moments.", and he had been collecting a small collection, "Honestly I've felt terrible since it happened. Not just because he's colorblind.", which was a big factor he wouldn't be living down any time soon, "It's because I hurt someone who did nothing."

"I'm sorry Marc.", he didn't know how many times he had said it, but no number seemed enough, "I know I haven't been the best person. But, I want to be better.", for himself and others, "And I hope one day we can...look at paintings and just...you know, talk.", maybe not like they used to. But, better than they were now. Even if it's not today or tomorrow. Next week or even next month. Or years down the line. He would like to hope that they could be maybe meet again.

As friends.

"I think that's all I needed to say.", though admittedly he wanted to say, "Thank you for listening, Marc. I'll just be...bye.", he turned to leave. Automatically he senses told him to quickly getaway.

"Wait Nathanial!", Marc called.

"Um...yeah?"

"Well I...", he looked down for a moment, "Nathaniel.", he began, "You're an idiot."

"O-kay?", not what he was expecting.

"You think you can just give me this, say what you did, and just walk away."

"Well yes. I mean no. I mean...", he rambled, "Look I didn't really have this planned out.", it sounded much better in his head.

"And you gave me a comic."

"So you can make it better.", and right.

"Will you listen to yourself.", because he wasn't making any sense, "What makes you think I want the comic book."

"I...you don't want it? You worked so hard on it."

"We worked hard on it.", both of them, "We both put out hearts into this comic."

"But, you said you were mad because your ideas weren't being used."

"Yeah, I was mad at you for not listening to me.", anyone would be, "But, what I was most upset because of how insane you got. You made me feel like I was holding you back."

"Why would you think that?"

"Because whenever I tried to make suggestions you brushed me off.", making it seem like I was trying to change the narrative of the true story, "Then when you invited another person onto the group I couldn't get a word in.", to the point, he felt like a third installment, "It hurt me that you thought so little of me that you wouldn't even care if I left.", and to top it off fired him.

"That's not true.", Nathaniel denied, "I didn't want you to go.", admitting how sad he was when Marc left and even worse when he didn't come back, "I thought after a day or so things would go back to normal.", but they never did, "I now see it was my fault you left,", he had pushed him away with his crazy demands, "Then when you started hanging out with Giovanni I got...I felt replaced."

"Giovanni was there when I needed someone to talk to.", and after a while they became friends, "He listened and helped me see things in a different perspective.", from the other's point of view, "Even though I was mad at you for not listening to me. I should have considered that you were just under a lot of stress."

"I still shouldn't have yelled at you or belittle your work or accuse you of not putting effort into the comic.", Marc was one of the hardest workers, "After you left things didn't get better.", sure they got a few more commissions, but deadlines were never quite. Because 'someone' couldn't find time in her schedule to actually contribute her share of the work, "I shouldn't have let you go. Even worse, I got upset because of how well you and Giovanni were getting along."

"Like I said Giovanni was there when I needed someone to talk to.", who wouldn't judge him and made him feel needed, "He knew about the comic and even talked about my writing.", it was he was seeing beyond the words, "The first thing he said was..."

'Art makes us feel all kinds of ways. Like colors. Conveying a palette of emotions.'

"He said that?"

Marc nodded, "He said art is both beautiful and tragic. It can give joy to others and hurt the artist.", and trying to please others and live up to expectations was tricky in any medium, "Honestly when we had our first argument I was going to leave the comic book then.", but talking to the architect made him feel better.

"Why didn't you leave?"

"Because it made you happy.", he admitted, "With how well people liked the comic you seemed so lively.", and he couldn't take that away. So even though he was ignored and felt pressured by the changes, he kept on. For his friend's sake, "I thought eventually you would calm down.", but soon the pressure just continued. More changes and more fights just continued to come up. And after what happened with Giovanni, Marc had enough.

He wanted the best for Nathaniel. To see him continue to grow and become a famous artist. But, as things changed Marc found he could no longer stand behind someone who put fame over his own friends. So, even with his feelings, Marc took his notebook, along with his words, and walked away.

"Friends don't leave each other.", they stick with them when they need help and did their best to get them through whatever they were going through, "But, there is a line to how long you can stick with someone.", and after all the stress and the pressure, Marc couldn't take it anymore. And once he was let go from the comic, he felt lighter, "In some ways, I wanted to go back. I felt maybe we could try to work things out.", but it wouldn't fix anything, "I know this comic can be great. And I know you can make it great.", which is why he wouldn't take it away from him, "I don't need the comic to define me as a writer or a person.", he would do that with his words.

"I...think I understand.", Nathaniel gave a small smile, "I'm sorry."

"I know.". He always knew that the old Nathaniel was still there.

There was a silence between the two. But, a better silence. A healing silence after finally ripping off the bandaid.

"Marc?", a voice brought their attention to Giovanni coming towards them, "There you are?"

"Nathaniel.", he noticed the artist.

"Giovanni.", he looked at the architect.

"Nathaniel wanted to apologize for what he and his classmates did.", Marc explained, Hoping Giovanni wouldn't be too upset seeing Nathaniel.

"I know.", Giovanni said, "I overheard your conversation.", he admitted to hearing the two converse.

"You did?"

"I'm color blind. Not deaf.", he joked a bit, "I was actually coming to check on Marc.", who he came to have lunch with him for a break from their walk through the exhibit. He overheard Nathaniel's apology to not only Marc, but for all he had done to people. And from what he could see and hear. The artist was sincere in his words.

"You actually have really good talent.", Giovanni commented taking out one of the comics Marc had shown him, "I had hoped to meet you in person. But, I suppose this works too.", given the circumstances. It never seemed possible.

"You wanted to meet me?"

"When Marc showed me the comic you both made together, I was impressed by how well you both worked together.", and how their talents blended.

"You like the comic?", he seemed a bit surprised, "R-Really?"

"My favorite part is the detail you put into the landmarks and attention to the background.", each showed a level of detail and design most people would overlook in favor of the characters and plot, "A lot of students in the art program enjoyed the stories you both were able to come up with.", combining both their talents to make something special.

"Right, you're an architect.", couldn't forget that, "Still aren't you mad at me? I messed with your work and treated you badly.", not his proudest moments, "I was a jerk.", and for literally no reason.

"Truthfully, I was cross with you.", like most people he didn't care for how the other had treated him before. Especially for the 'pranks' done with his projects, "But, I don't believe you did it with malicious intent.", just being in a bad place at the time.

"Yeah...", most of it was misplaced emotions, "Still I shouldn't have judged you like I did. I was upset because I thought you were taking Marc away.", and feared losing one of his closest friends and partner. Though, he was the one who pushed him away, "I know you are a good person. And a good friend. Especially to Marc."

"Please accept my apology.", even if he couldn't get his forgiveness. Maybe one day he could earn their trust back.

"As long as you remember to listen to Marc. I'm okay.", Giovanni wasn't made of stone or clay, he could tell the artist had been kicking himself for a while. He just didn't know how to express his feelings.

"And your not mad I messed with your work and got you akumatized?"

Giovanni gave a small smile, "We'll chalk that up to a misunderstanding.", while he was upset at what had happened to his assignments, which led to his akumatization. After speaking with Marc, he found that holding on to anger wouldn't help him. And chose to focus on his new friend, "Plus in a way, it worked itself out."

"How?"

"Well, the internship I was sending work in for was for a design studio that does work with movies.", with openings to work under set designers, "One of the head staff members saw my designs for architecture and offered me a summer position for an up incoming project."

"R-Really? That's great.", at least something good came out of a bad situation, "I'm glad you got your internship."

"I never got a chance to mention it, for obvious reasons...but, you really have a talent for drawing buildings.", Nathaneal commented.

"Giovanni knows a lot about Paris landmarks.", even pointing out some of the hidden details that various artists have added to their work, "And the internship will allow him to recreate a lot of those sites."

"I go to some of these buildings to get a better idea for my art.", he said, "So I've seen some of the more private activities of the heroes.", like them sitting on the ledge of Notre Dame or swinging over the Eiffel Tower at night. Thankfully they never noticed him much so it allowed him to focus on his work.

Giovanni showed Nathaniel some of his drawings.

"These are amazing.", even in the darkest of textures, the feeling was still there.

"I'm not as good as drawing people. But, I find having them makes things more interesting.", even without color, Giovanni could still bring an image to life with his attention to detail.

"Actually I wanted to use some of these drawings in the comic.", it was one of the points he tried to bring up, "Do you still think we can still use them?"

"You think they can work in the comic?"

"Yeah I mean...if that's fine with you.", he looked to Giovanni.

Giovanni gave a small smile, "I would like that."

"Let's start over.", clean the slate.

The three seemed to agree to restart the clock.

"Hi, I'm Nathaneal Kurtzberg.", the young artist introduced himself, "I enjoy drawing and art."

"Giovanni Grayson.", the architect in training greeted, "I enjoy drawing as well.", with dreams of creating great sculptures and buildings around the world.

"And I'm Marc!", the writer inserted.

From the sidelines, Kitsi had watched the displays. Fully sure that artists were all dorks. At least the ones she knew. But, in all honesty, she was relieved. Happy even seeing the three getting along and starting over. Perhaps if things had been different all those weeks ago it could have been like this. The three of them just meeting and bonding over art.

And with a thoughtful smile, she walked away to rejoin her group.


At L'Maria Cafe...

Donny was sitting at this table. He decided to inquire about the email he had received earlier. While he wasn't stupid enough to come to some random place on the whim of an email. He was curious about what details and information he would receive. Especially if it would put an end to this drama.

He had already been sitting for about ten minutes now. Meaning his contact should be arriving soon. If things didn't pan out he had an exit plan just in case the person was suspicious.

"Donny Morgon's?"

As his name was spoken he looked up from his tablet to find the owner.

"Interesting.", he set his tablet on the table, "It's you.", he eyed the other, "Nino Lahiffe."

"Round two?", he mused, "But, if you think you have a chance this time. Then let's go then.", he was ready for anything he had to throw. It would kill time while his order came.

"I...I didn't come looking for a fight.", he said.

"You didn't?", he raised an eyebrow.

Nino took a noticeable breathe, "I..I need your help."

"Did I hear that right?", he needed his help.

"Listen I know we've had our differences.", Nino spoke, "But, in this particular situation you may be...you are the only one who can help."

"Why?", he questioned not biting the others bait.

"There's no denying your the best at what you do.", especially when it came to gathering information and separating facts from not facts.

"True. But, flattery aside, something seems suspicious about this.", especially them seeking him out for help, "Don't you already have someone who snoops and gets information on people?", he mentioned, "Plus, like I said the last time, I've made my point.", especially after that display during the last debate. Drama aside, the conduct seemed to go overboard, "Not to mention your girlfriend tried to smear me, my morals, and my own blog.", which caused him to be akumatized, "And from what I heard she's been burning more bridges by the day. She's basically a one-person natural disaster.", destroying anyone in her path. Especially with her latest stories that were doing more bad than good.

"Which begs the question of why you, her boyfriend, called to meet me here.", under the pretenses of a story.

"Like I said I need your help to get information on...someone."

"And who might this 'someone' be?", he had no intention to help him, but as a journalist, he had a moral code to have an open ear.

Again Nino paused, "One of our classmates.", he explained, "Lila Rossi."

"Oh you mean your girlfriends BFF.", he summarized, "Oh I remember her. What's wrong? Having a few girl problems?"

"Dude, you know how crazy Alya can get on a good day.", he brought up, "And I remind you I came here, behind her back, to ask her rival for help.", he was breaking so many rules right now he might as well be signing his own death certificate and his own grave for when Alya found out he lied to her. And came seeking help from the person who basically annihilated her in front of a live audience.

And admittedly he wasn't any better.

He wanted to be supportive of Alya. His girlfriend.

And as much as it pained him to admit, she wasn't in the right. And her last confrontation with Donny only proved that it was time to seek different help.

"Good point.", Donny gave him that, "And what exactly did you want me to find out?", though he had a clue, the other's answer would seal the deal and confirm his suspicions.

"Everything.", every little piece of information he could dig up. Every story she ever told under a microscope.

"And you couldn't do this yourself?"

"At this point, I need someone who isn't so...", blinded by their own pride, "Overwhelmed.", he loved her persistence. But, even he couldn't deny Alya wasn't working with a full deck. Or even the right deck in the same game.

"Think you can handle this?"

Donny raised an eyebrow, "I can.", he nodded.

Nino gave a relieved sigh. This was a load off his chest. Now all he had to do was let Donny do his job and make sure Alya never found out. She would go ballistic if she found out what he was doing.

"Nino?", the DJ nearly fell off his chair in surprise. Looking to the side he was even more surprised to see his classmates.

"What are you guys doing here?", why were they in the cafe? Did they see him?, "I can explain this.", he quickly sai remembering who he was herewith.

"We could ask you the same thing?"

"I asked you first.", he retorted.

"Ech.", came a disgusted groan, "What are you losers doing here?", the group looked to see, surprisingly, Chloe Bourgeois having come up to the table.

"Chloe?"

"What are you doing here?", no one suspected to see the heiress in a cafe of all places.

"That's none of your business.", she replied, "I should be asking what your all doing here?"

"None of your business.", Alix retorted back, "We got our own business here. If your here for some fancy coffee you can get it at your daddies hotel."

"Of course I can.", she wasn't a savage, "I shouldn't even be speaking to you ingrates after you did to me.", she scoffed, turning her nose up. Sabrina following in suit.

"At this point, I'm expecting the teachers to come in.", since it seemed like the whole class was, "Seriously why is everyone in this cafe?", at the same time.

"Okay, we came here to hire him to dig up dirt on Lila. Happy?", they admitted they intended to hire Donny to do an investigation. Though they weren't friends, they weren't exactly enemies.

"You did?", he looked dumbfounded, "But, I thought you we're going to let Alya handle this."

"No offense, but Alya's got a few screws loose.", and getting looser by the day.

"All she's been focusing on are proving these stories right and honestly, we're not sure on her mind is in the right place.", to the point, she wasn't getting actual evidence and leaving everything else on the proverbial edge of uncertainty.

"Plus we can't just sit back and wait for her. Our social lives are at stake.", they barely had any credibility as it was. And it was only getting worse by the day.

"Wait, it's gotten worse?"

"Apparently you weren't at school.", explaining how Kitsi basically confronted Alya.

"What happened?"

"Your slandering girlfriend made a mockery of Queen Bee.", Chloe glared, From what I heard Inari let loose on her.", not physically liked her hoped, but enough to leave her speechless.

Nino groaned in his hands.

"Trust me it gets worse."

"How? Is Alya in the hospital?"

"No.", but she did get burned.

"But, she may have gotten the dance canceled."

"Canceled? How? Why? What happened?"

"Short version. Kitsi quit."

."Kitsi quit.", she stepped down as class rep and now refused to have anything to do with the party.

"And now the other students hate us more than ever.

"Speak for yourselves.", Chloe was not apart of this, "Ceasire got the tongue lashing she deserved. Taking the word of some nobody.", and burning everyone else, "From what I heard not only did Kitsi quit, she banned her from going anywhere near Dupain-Cheng."

Again Nino groaned.

"By the looks of it, you all need a miracle worker.", a good one at that. He didn't even think Ladybug could fix this kind of damage.

"The only thing I need is dirt.", as much as she could get her hands on to bury her enemies.

"And what made you come looking for him?"

"At this point, we need a shark in the water.", and Donny was one of the biggest ones they knew when it came to getting information and facts on people.

"I'm flattered.", all things considered, "That you all thought of me,'' to basically do their dirty work.

"Oh no, you don't.", Chloe interjected, "If anyone is going to use the blogger it's me.", she stated, 'He's going to work for me.", once he dug up all the dirt she needed, she would expose Rossi and earn Ladybug's favor back. Including her miraculous and become the only Queen Bee in Paris. And throw in Ceasire as a bonus if she felt like it.

"Couldn't you get your dad to hire someone?", he was the mayor of Paris.

"I don't need to explain myself to any of you,'', she said, "And I shouldn't even be talking any of you either."

"So DJ-boy what are you doing here?", Alix questioned.

"We'll I was just...", he tried to come up with a good excuse, "Looking around.", though as he thought about it he decided to forget the obvious lie. That's what put them in this position in the first place.

"Okay I came to see Donny too.", he admitted, "You guys know I love my girl and support her endeavors.", within reason, "But, she's tripping on the edge."

"Well no duh.", Chloe said rather snidely, "Like we can't see she's lost her marbles.", Sabrina nodded.

"Not agreeing with Chloe, but yeah girls not exactly on the ball.", revealing how they spent half the afternoon following Kitsi around. On Alya's request.

"Again?", did she want to end up in the hospital and have them all as bedmates, "What exactly was so important that she had to do all that?", to the point of stalking another student.

"I don't know. Kitsi was just out spending the day with Marinette.", treating her and others to an afternoon at the spa, shopping at the craft store in the mall, and even taking her to a fancy restaurant for an expensive-looking feast.

"And did you find anything?"

"Just that Kitsi keeps a surprising amount of cash on her.", especially for all the things she paid for. Evidenced by the spa treatment, a shopping spree, and even a horse-drawn carriage that took her and the group she was with all over Paris. Guess she got it with the money she was saving not planning the dance.

"Basically just Alya sending us on a wild fox hunt.", all afternoon, "We also lost Nathanael in the museum.", only finding his earpiece in an old pot after he didn't pick up.

"What about Alya?"

"Thankfully she had to go babysit her little sisters.", giving them time to talk and come up with an escape plan. In the end, they decided that they had had enough.

"So while Alya was doing that, we came to get a more 'focused' investigator.", to hopefully put this all to rest. It came down to the fact that even if they didn't use Donny, Alya would still be doing a biased investigation. Trying to prove the stories as plausible and realistic. And taking them along for the ride.

"Has she gotten that bad?", Nino asked worriedly.

"Bad isn't the word.", between having them running all over the city, she had been treating them like her assistants. Especially when they questioned the actual investigation or doing things that straddled the lines of illegal. Like sneaking into a spa or borderline-stalking a group of girls around the city. They nearly got caught a couple of times, but Alya told them to press forward.

"Alya's pretty much lost it and we can't wait for her anymore.", at this point, it was either find the answers themselves or distance themselves from the reporter. The last one was a plan B. A very open plan should getting Donny to backfire.

"So Mr. Fact King, what's it gonna cost us?", no matter the price they would get any kind of help to end the insanity.

"Hey, he's working for me.", Chloe stepped, "I can match anything you all can scratch together.", seeing as she was rich, "So what's your price?", she didn't have forever.

"Hey, we saw him first.", Alix stepped in.

"Too bad.", Chloe dismissed, "I have bigger emergencies then all of you.", like never being Queen Bee again and losing her miraculous and Pollen to some...replacement. Even if she knew the girl behind the mask, she didn't have to like it, "Name your price.", she didn't care what she had to do she refused to lose to anyone.

"I'm a bit insulted.", for various reasons, "I don't do my job for money. I do it because, without proper fact-checking, the world ends up well...", like them, "Plus I believe there's the matter of someone calling my sight a third rate gossip site.", he reminded the heiress of her stunt.

"For the record, we had nothing to do with that."

"Are you still on about that?", she huffed, "Fine, your site is higher than third rate."

But, Donny didn't seem to budge.

"Okay fine, I apologize for what I said.", Chloe stated.

"Trust me that's the closest you're going to get as an apology.", so he might as well take it.

"Hey I heard that.", she wasn't deaf, "Look. I know I can be a brat and a major pain. I usually step on people and don't bother to look down. But, even I can admit what I did wasn't in the best taste.", certainly not something a hero would do, "I'm sorry for insulting you and your blog."

"I'm...speechless."

"You and us all."

"Never thought I would see the day Chloe Bourgeois apologizes.", and be on the receiving end. He seemed to relent, "The fact you came and actually asked for help is compensation enough.", and the results were an added bonus.

"So you'll help us?"

"You have my resources.", for now. He wasn't a hundred percent that all this wasn't going to turn on him. Though if it was some kind of trick, he had something to fix them, "I'll get you your information."

The confirmation of the blogger's aid gave a new relief to the students. Many seeming happy. Even Chloe for the most part.

"So how long will this investigation take?", it could take days, weeks...

"Actually I already have the information.", he revealed.

"You do?"

"That was fast.", faster than they had thought.

"Please I have enough information on her that would make the FBI blush with pride.", he smiled proudly at his work. He always made records in advance and kept the information as sources. Always in hand, just in case.

"You do? How?"

"You didn't think I show up to such an event unprepared.", he just never got a chance to put it on the table before the debate took a turn for the worse, "As I said, facts are a safety net. Without them we all be jumping off the blissful cliff of ignorance.", and he was pretty sure he a pretty sturdy safety net to fall back on, "I just never got a chance to show it.", now it was just a security incentive in case anything came up.

"Well...alright then.", that was easier than they thought.

"So you want to know about that friend of yours?", he concluded, "Are you sure you want to know?", the class each looked at each other, many with expressions of doubt and uneasiness. Clearly, the wonder was losing its luster. Yet, they seemed to want to hold on to a sliver of hope that something, anything was true.

"Just tell us what you have.", no matter what they heard, they would take it.

"Well you might as well sit down.", there was a lot to unload, "And you may want to order something.", he added as the group moved to a more seated area, "Just so we're clear, if this is some last chance tactic to trick me, know I have enough dirt on each you to follow until Lycee and beyond.", he warned the group that he while he was helping them in the capacity of finding the truth, he wasn't going to be merciful if they tried to backstab him.

And to their credit, they knew better not to cross him.

"As an added bonus we'll be using these.", he took out some of the coffee stirrers from the table, "Each of you will have one.", it would represent their belief in the stories. As long as they still held them, they would trust their friend. If they ended up on the table then they no longer believed the story. Just like the debates earlier that weekend it all came down Donny can prove or disprove the stories.

"Well, I already don't trust Rossi or Alya.", Chloe flicked her coffee stirrer onto the table first. Sabrina followed, though with a bit of hesitation.

"Basically in preparation for the debate, I looked into all those interesting stories about your classmates.", mostly being the main stuff about her being saved by Ladybug. The catalyst of this whole mess. Which was surprisingly easy to debunk after comparing the time she arrived in Paris and the fact she had no physical evidence to back up her claims or witnesses to the event in question of her being saved, "It comes down to this. Besides her parents actually working with the embassy, her claims involving exotic travel and celebrity connections don't exactly hold up.", he managed to find out her mother was working in the city, while her father was somewhere on business. Though he had only gotten that far given her parents' job titles.

"So none of her stories are true?", not even one.

"Not in the capacity she told them.", even if you didn't take it at full value, even half value, nothing added up about the stories. From the dates, time, and the actual event or person being mentioned, "They're too convenient.", especially for her, "Plus they contradict each other when you compare the dates.", as vague as they were.

"In most cases she's claimed to have met, knows, or befriends a famous celebrity or has an exceptional skill after being trained by someone of a noted talent.", having a skill wasn't an issue. It was the fact she couldn't prove she knew the basic procedures of these skills. She claimed she could sing, but her voice became hoarse when she was asked to show. She claimed she could cook, but a sprained wrist and allergies kept her from using the utensils or ingredients. She's claimed to be good at art, but no one had ever seen her work. Many of the skills she claimed to have been trained in, she couldn't demonstrate a single one. But, had a story to go with them.

"Have any of you ever seen one piece of work she's done?", the students looked between themselves.

"Well...not really.", they shook their heads.

"What about the awards from the contest to swore to have won.", trophies, medals, or even certificates, "Anything that shows she even participated in these events."

"Well..."

"What about the time she bought homemade cookies for the class.", they remembered her bringing chocolate chip cookies for everyone to celebrate Juleka's birthday.

"Or the painting she helped work on in the Italian museum of art.", she showed them pictures of the piece.

"Cookies are one thing.", though anyone could bake, "But, paintings are another. If she truly did work on the piece she would have been credited.", all artists usually were unless there was some kind of stipulation.

"But, her name is on the painting.", they mentioned how her last name had been used in the title of the painting.

"Wouldn't that count as proof?"

"Rossi isn't just a name.", it had meaning, "It means red in Italian.", so it could have just been part of the title, "And if you run the words through a translator.", which he demonstrated, "It comes up like this."

'Red Lady of Death'

"That doesn't sound very...beautiful as it sounded before."

"More like morbid."

"That's because it was a painting by an Italian artist who painted it to represent a plague known as the Red Death.", the use of red representing the blood that colored the victims eyes after the passed, "It's part of the museum medieval exhibit of the Italian century.", which depicted a woman with red dripping from her eyes and dressed in a bloody red dress. A beautiful victim.

"So...she didn't help make it?"

"Not unless she and the actual artist are the same age.", since the painting itself is over ten years old. And the artist was the lone creator on the piece who was well into his late 50's.

"Then there was the claim about her having run sports like track, swimming, and tennis.", he listed off, "I've checked the rosters for each of those sports and can't find records of her participating in any of them.", It was pretty easy to backtrack on those types of competitions. Even in her home country, there was no record of her participation in any of the sports she claimed to have entered.

"So she never participated in the Italian marathon?", Kim looked confused, "She told me she participated twice. And got a medal during a freestyle swim race at her old school."

"Highly doubtful.", Donny dismissed, "It's easy to tell when someone has participated in certain sports. No offense, but she doesn't exactly have the figure of someone athletic.", with little to no muscle mass that would suggest she had competed in any type of event. Even Lei and Odine had commented on that fact since he was a swimmer/surfer and had witnessed the girl first hand when it came to her swimming skills.

Which were basic if anything.

"What about being a gaming champ?", Max remembered being told how Lila participated and has a high score in the Italian gaming community. She even played against one of the top players from Japan and nearly won.

"Again easily backtracked.", he said, "I looked at the past gaming ranks in Italy and her name didn't appear once. And the top rank for that country has been held by the same player for the past three years.", this included past gaming tournaments and leagues that kept detailed records of past players and teams, "Plus Kitsi's cousin is a gamer herself and met the top-ranked player during a gaming charity competition.", who only went by an alias so no one knew they're real name.

"When she made these claims did any of you actually witness her doing what she claimed?"

"Well I did challenge her to a race between me and Alix.", with all three of them it would be interesting to see who wins. One of many actually.

"But, she said she sprained her knee and couldn't do it.", many sympathizing with her, "Come to think of it she seemed to do that a lot."

"I offered to play her in a game of Super Mecha Strike.", maybe he could learn some skills, "But before we could even start she said her wrist was acting up.", or had some event to go too. But, promised to

"Same when we invited her to show some of her work during art club.", she always had an excuse for why she couldn't make it, "In fact, I don't ever think I've seen even seen her draw.", always complaining about her wrist

"Isn't she allergic to come types of paint?", some kind of chemical that irritated her skin.

"Proven point.", Donny said, "In most instances when this classmate of yours, after bragging about a certain skill, is faced with a challenge to demonstrate it, she comes up with some form of excuse to get out of it.", complaining about a sudden injury or an appointment for something else she needed to do, "Besides that there's no record she even did all these amazing things.", not a single photo, video, or article to prove it happened.

"Tell me where is she right now?", or where they thought she was, he should say.

"In New York City."

"New York City?", did they really think she was in the states?

"She's there on business with her mom whose meeting with Prince Ali for a humanitarian effort between Italy and the Acchu Kingdom.", which amazed many of her classmates.

But, the blogger seemed to have other thoughts, "Prince Ali isn't even in New York City.", Donny informed, "If you pay attention to actual news, you know that he's in his home country because his father has been unwell.", he hasn't been traveling in days. Having decided to stay by his father side as he recovers.

"Well he could have been in New York.", lots of people visited the city.

"How? It takes at least three days to get from the kingdom of Achu to the states. Not to mention if the Prince of the royal family was in New York it would be front page news.", everyone would be talking about it because the family would have to give notice of the visit. Not just randomly drop in. That created a security issue if a member of a royal family of a neighboring came. Especially unannounced.

"Well, it could be he wanted it to be secret."

"If that were the case your friend really needs to check the definition since she blabbed to anyone with an ear.", he reminded that she told everyone in her class how she was traveling to New York to meet up with Prince Ali. And from what they had told him she had been giving video calls to update them on her amazing time in the city.

"She was...probably just excited to meet up. They are old friends"

"Of course they are.", he chuckled, "I believe you've told this story about meeting on Prince Ali's private plane.", if he remembered right.

"Yeah. Her family visits the country all the time. She's been on it a number of times with him.", Rose said with excitement that seemed out of place given the current situation.

"I think you might want to bring your heads back out of the clouds.", Donny spoke, "Rules for the use of private crafts, even those of the royal family, dictate that no civilian shall be allowed on aircrafts stationed specifically for members of the royal house.", meaning those related to the royal family were allowed to fly those planes, "With the exception of security, staff, and close personal. Individuals, especially those with ties to foreign parties, are not permitted on such crafts.", since it would create a political stir having diplomats or other political parties not related to one's own country on the plane. It was suspicious and could create the worst gossip among other countries.

"Again, if my memory serves me right, your friend's parents are diplomats.", Donny said, "Italian diplomats. Who, may I remind you, wouldn't even be able to step onto the plane, let alone their civilian daughter.", credentials or not. Which included the royal palace.

"Is that even a rule?"

Donny nodded, "Not known by most who have never been on an official private aircraft no. But, Dex's father is a professional pilot.", sure enough, he knew the rules that accompanied certain aircrafts and the people who were actually allowed on them. Dex even gave a presentation in class on the subject, "Besides saying she's friends with him, have you seen any actual proof she knows Prince Ali? Like a picture or how about a phone number?"

"Well, we've never seen any pictures..."

"But, they do talk on the phone! And exchange letters and emails.", Rose said excitedly.

"Again have you ever seen any letters or emails from Prince Ali?", he questioned, "From what I've heard the Prince doesn't even have an email or personal phone.", for security reasons he had attendant who handled all letters, emails, or even requested phone calls to the young prince.

"But, what about all the photos of Prince Ali she showed us?", like the ones Rose gave to her club to use for one of their scrapbooks.

"There are dozens of photos of Prince Ali online.", anyone could search and pull them from the internet, "Like the one I found was taken during one of his trips to the local hospital.", during one of his goodwill trips to visit children and deliver supplies to the hospital, "Plus ever wonder why she was never in any of them.", if they were so close, why were they never in any pictures together? You're not going to be so close that you can't even get a picture together.

This information devastated Rose. If the pictures were just taken from the internet, she could understand why her club members had been so upset with her and dismissed her.

The photos were fake. Pulled from the internet.

With a broken heart, she tossed her stick onto the growing pile.

Juleka placed her hand on her shoulder to confront her best friend.

"She doesn't any music producers either, does she?"

"Not that I could find.", considering the contacts he knew, it was unlikely she knew anyone with that kind of pull, "Plus most musicians wouldn't affiliate with younger fans. And writing a song about one, no matter what the inclination, would be a PR nightmare.", to many implications that could be used the wrong way.

Hearing that Juleka tossed her stick in to.

"What about seeing a man lose his eye from a napkin?", Kim brought up.

Donny blinked at the question he had just been asked.

'Losing an eye to a...', no one could be that stupid.

"Putting a pin in that. How do you know she's in New York, to begin with?"

"Well she video chats with us from the hotel she's staying at.", with a backdrop of her hotel room, "And she even took pictures from the subway."

"Being in a subway doesn't mean she's in New York.", there were train stations all over the world, including the states. Though New York was famous for its many transit stations and subway connections, it wasn't simply just saying because you're in a subway your automatically in New York, "What station was she in? Was she in Boston, Queens, the Bronx's, or Manhattan? What show did she catch at the Radio City Music Hall?", Donny listed a number of questions for the class to answer.

"Well she...the subway was...she saw this amazing show and...", Nino tried to recall what Alya has shown him. She mentioned all the different places she had visited, the upscale hotel she was staying at, and even some of the shows she took in.

"Take your time.", he encouraged, "However, consider this. New York and Paris are on two very different continents. Tell me when anyone of you called her while she was out of town, were you ever charged a fee for the places being called?", the students thought back. Though they never paid any phone bills, they each had spoken to Lila at one point or another while she was traveling. But, never saw a change in the charges. Their parents would notice and no doubt flip.

"Also those shows you just listed, while big in their own rights, the stories she told about them have holes in them.", while they could have been believable, but the girl overreached and stretched the truth.

"How so?"

"Well, for instance, she claimed to have seen two plays the night before. Wicked and Les Miserable.", while both shows are being performed in New York, the dates were completely wrong, "Both shows were playing at the same time, but at two different venues.", miles apart. But, Lila claimed to have been at both as a special invited guest of the main stars, "Not to mention both productions have been sold out for weeks in advance."

"But, she was invited.", by the stars of the production, "She's even going to see a play starring Lady Iro herself."

"Again she has no proof.", he reminded, "In all her claims of being invited on trips and special events by famous celebrities, never once has she shown any proof to these stories.", no photos, video, or even ticket to show she was there or even knew the person who invited them, "It's too convenient to happen so many times.", especially in the time span.

"It is rather suspicious she never showed us any photos."

"Or videos."

"Not to mention whenever we asked about any of that stuff she always changed the subject.", or brought up a new story or complained about feeling unwell.

"Well it would have been rude to press her, right?", that didn't want to seem like they were being too pushy.

But then why tell them in the first place? If she didn't want to press on information or details, why would she keep telling them all those stories?

"When it comes to certain things yes.", people were entitled to their privacy, "But, from everything she claims, evidence is required.", especially with the level by which it happened, "Tell me, when your girlfriend did an interview with this girl about her being best friends with Ladybug, did she ever once ask for any proof to her claims?", he turned to Nino.

"Well I...", he thought back and couldn't even remember anything like that. Admittedly he was caught up in all the hype.

"I already know she didn't.", even so, she should have known better, "Didn't you ever get suspicious when some random girl just waltzed up and proclaimed out of the blue how not only was she saved by Ladybug. But, that she had become best friends with her for no reason.", the class looked at each other and seemed to actually ponder over the question.

Ladybug saved civilians all the time. Why would she become close friends with some random civilian after only saving her once?

"When did she get saved by Ladybug?", Sabrina spoke out loud.

"And how didn't we see anything on the news about this?", Alix added, "Something's not right here.", thinking about it more the students found more inconsistencies in the stories they heard.

"Also consider these facts.", he brought up, "Ladybug leaves right after each akuma attack and heroic act.", never staying longer than needed because of both time and other obligations, "Second, Ladybug is quite secretive. She wouldn't give out any information to just anyone. Especially some random citizen, who can't even get her details in order.", adding that it would be irresponsible and dangerous, "Finally, even if your classmate was saved by Ladybug, again she never stays longer than needed. And not once has anyone outside herself even shown any proof that any of this happened."

The students were silent. Absorbing the information, they all seem to call to the same conclusions. Nothing made sense. And looking back on the story that started it all they couldn't help feeling rather off-put they missed so many holes.

"But, while you're trying to iron out some details I believe there's some tiny piece of information you should see.", he took out his phone and began flipping through the gallery.

"Dude, have you been stalking her?", Nino asked concerned. Like many of the people at the table, seemed worried over the blogger's methods of getting information.

"Please you stalk, I follow up.", he dismissed the accusations, "This was taken outside a nice little cafe in the city. I'm guessing your 'friend' decided to get some fresh Paris espresso and a delicious croissant."

When did you take this?"

"Yesterday.", he replied.

"Yesterday?", the class seemed shocked.

"But, isn't Lila still in New York?", how could she be in a Paris cafe if she was in the states.

"Well as you can see she hasn't left.", and probably never did, "I just happen to spot her taking selfies of herself.", she didn't even notice when he snapped the photo feeling it would be useful later, "She posted it on her social media account."

"Wait, aren't we all on her account?", wouldn't they have gotten a notification about a new upload. They were sure they had her email and followed her on social media.

"You are. However, turns out this girl has more than one.", separate accounts with different people on each one. No one was on more than one. Meaning what one person saw, the others wouldn't.

"How are you on her post?"

"Because she's not the only one with one account.", personal and private, "Basically she befriends rather quickly.", all he had to do was butter her up with flatters and she basically let him onto the account. If only to sing her praises and add to her 'fan' base.

"Is that legal?"

"It's not illegal.", he explained that since she allowed him onto her site, he had broken no laws. And once on the information posted was public, "Here's from an early post.", he read.

'Having brunch at a cafe. Waiting for my boyfriend whose treating me to a perfect and expensive brunch at one of the high-end cafes in Paris.'

He read rather dramatically.

"Brunch?"

"Boyfriend?"

"High end?", Chloe rolled her eyes, "That's just some little cafe. I wouldn't call it expensive.", the place was a three-star at best.

"Obviously you haven't tried their cinnamon mocha espresso.", it was delicious, "Anyway she's been posting about herself at various places around Paris. Each with different captions.", he said casually flipping through some of the posts, "And by the timestamps you can see it contradicts the times when she was supposed to be in New York.", meaning she was still in the city and never left to begin with.

"But, she has to be in New York. She was in a hotel with the city backdrop.", they all saw it.

"How do you know that?", Donny questioned, "It would be easy to set up something, especially on a video chat, and say you're in one place.", people did it all the time, "For instance did she ever move? Like to show you the view from the hotel or even more of the suite she was staying at.", of the city or even something remotely indicating she was in New York.

"Actually...she didn't.", she was usually sitting in one spot. But, they never noticed. Too engulfed her latest story.

"See. It would be easy to say your in one place, when you could very well just be in some random place. Heck, she could have been filming from some room in her home.", since there was nothing pointing to where she was other than a backdrop that didn't prove anything.

"That sounds lame.", Alix said.

"But, it's not impossible.", Max commented.

"What about when she was in the subway?"

"Paris has subways.", and the pictures she showed didn't show any kind of signs or route maps that would tell where she was. Let alone prove she was in New York City.

"She's been telling all her followers about how she was returning to Paris soon after being away for so long on vacation.", he said, "In fact, most of her postings involve her time in Paris and her popularity among many of the people in it.", which included pictures of her visiting various places and a lot of her with her classmates.

"Well she is rather popular.", no one could deny that. At least no one who didn't question her claims.

"I can see. Her posts are so interesting.", he commented, "Like for the fact she was commissioned by Thomas Astruc, the famous director, for her work on the Ladybug and Chat Noir comic.", apparently telling her followers that she had been contacted by the director himself for a part in an up incoming movie to provide input.

"Her comic?", Alix 'tsked', "That's Nathaniel's and Marc's comic.", they started it together. Lila had practically waltzed into it after bragging about her artistic skills and how connected she was with famous artists and writers alike. Which lead to her getting a position on a comic.

"She also posted a picture of herself at the pool.", he showed, "Apparently she's helping to train some of the swimmers.", since apparently she was a semi-professional who had competed in competitions, "The couch and many of the swimmers begged her to join and offer them tips."

"Training?", Kim raised an eyebrow, "I've barely seen her in the water.", most of the time she was lounging on the side and barely even stuck in a toe. If anything they trained her. Which wasn't much because she never got in the pool, "Also when did anyone ask her to join?", he would have known if someone new was joining.

"Also wouldn't the water mess with her ear injury?"

"No, her injury was healed by Ladybug.", Mylene reminded., "Right?"

"Of course it did.", Donny hummed, "And look at this.", Donny brought up another post, "Apparently she's the lead lyricists for the band Kitty Section. Whom she introduced to music producer Bob Ross, who is in works to sign the band after hearing a song the band dedicated for her in appreciation."

"Rose is the band's lyricist.", Juleka frowned.

"And we never dedicated a song to her.", Ivan disputed.

"And she's never introduced any of use to any music producers.", especially Bob Ross. They only met the music manager after the time he and his son, DJ XY, tried to steal their music. Which led to Juleka's brother, Luka, getting akumatized into Silencer.

Suffice to say after hearing the Italian girl's claims on her other account, the students were less than happy. Since everything was a lie. No need for debate.

"Well according to her posts you all are her loyal friends.", emphasizing the word loyal, "saying how you loved having her at the school and how things were so much better ever since she came to visit."

"Well, it is true...", to a point.

"She also seems to comment about her boyfriend.", he noted as he scrolled through the post.

"What boyfriend?", the students never heard anything about her having a boyfriend.

"I'll give you a hint. Blond hair, green eyes like emeralds, face plastered all over Paris...", that should ring some bells.

It didn't take long for the group to put two and two together.

"Wait, is she talking about Adrien?", she was claiming Adrien was her boyfriend.

"So not only is she a liar she's obviously delusional if she thinks Adrien would be interested in something so fake.", Chloe snorted at the mere notion.

"Well according to these posts she and he have been dating for weeks. Being invited to various parties, hanging out after school, and even being invited to meet his father, who is quite fond of her.", she posted a number of photos of the two together. Though they didn't seem like photos couples would take.

"But, they aren't dating."

"That's not what her friends say.", he pulled up some clips.

'There such a cute couple! He brings her flowers and kissing her hand. Such a gentleman!'

"I never said that!", Rose said.

'You know he likes her. Guysbeen in love with her since they first met. No doubt.'

"Hold up I did not say that.", Nino dismissed.

'They work so well together. Like a princess and her knight.'

"So you never said anything along those lines about how you loved having her in your class? Or commented on how great she is."

"Well yeah, but we were just complimenting her and..."

"Or how she and Adrien were the perfect team. And complemented each other. And how Adrien was madly in love with her.", which he just played for them.

"We were talking about Ladybug And Chat Noir being a perfect team.", and possibly a couple.

"My guess is that she edited the footage and used it to make it seem like she and the golden boy of Paris were this amazing couple.", posting the pictures online and letting the assumption take roots, "Though with some of these pictures he looks more like a cornered animal.", he commented on most of photos showed Adrien less than thrilled to have the other girl so close.

"But, why would she do that?"

"Because she's desperate.", Chloe spat.

"Because it gets her attention.", Donny concluded, "As the evidence shows she makes up these stories to build up the illusion of her life. Since Adrien is a model and son Gabriel Agreste, being close to him would certainly make her stories appear more believable.", allowing her to make up more stories, "She took advantage of them being classmates and used his status as a stepping stone to get close to those she claimed to already know.", filling in holes in case her stories were questioned, "Being friends with a famous model is one thing. But, think how much attention dating one would be.", whether it is real or not.

"But, they aren't dating!", Nino stated and most of the class agreed, "The two are just friends.", Adrien was just friendly to most people.

"You say that. But, she's been doing this for a bit.", he pointed out the date, "She's made it appear like they are a couple or have romantic feelings.", adding that if Adrien were to say otherwise than she could use the photos to claim otherwise. Even that he was leading her on.

"That conniving witch!", Alix growled breaking her stick before tossing it into the growing pile on the table.

"I can't believe she did that.", many of the students were shocked and disgusted if she was playing at the angle.

"I can't believe people actually buy that load of garbage.", Chloe sneered tossing another stick into the pile. At this rate, the shop was going to run out from Chloe alone.

"Absolutely garbage.", Sabrina added throwing her stick in too.

"How did she even get the video, to begin with?"

"Here's another.", he read, "Going shopping with my BFF Chloe Bourgeois. Two Princesses of Paris.", with a number of emojis and stickers around the picture.

"Excuse me!?", Chloe gasped, "BFF my foot. That photo is edited. photoshopped. I'm calling my dad's lawyers. This is slander!"

"Yeah, I'm Chloe's BFF.", Sabrina stated.

"Well, apparently you two became the best of friends. Adrien introducing you two. You even introduced her to your mother who wants to take her to Milan to help critique fashion.", Donny read, "She even convinced her 'best friend' Ladybug to let you keep your miraculous."

Chloe was practically fuming with anger at this point. Not just because of the complete fabrication of her being best friends with Lila. But, that she even used her own mother and her miraculous and her childhood friend.

"HOW DARE SHE!?", Chloe screeched. Not caring that she was in a public place and people were starting to stare.

"I'm going to have her deported!", she growled with venom in her words, "She just bought herself a one way trip to the North Pole!", or any other miserable place she could think of.

"Oh and look at this. Apparently, she was a big help in a project involving the decoding of ancient texts that connects the miraculous to ancient times.", showing the picture of her standing next to the slab at the museum with what looked like Alix's older brother and some other figures.

"Helped my foot.", Alix clenched her fist, "My brother spent months on that thesis.", he even got akumatized because of it. And Lila thinks she can waltz in and try to stamp her name on it. Her brother's work.

"According to a number of these posts, she's a pretty big deal in the city. Friends with superheroes. Meeting lots of celebrities. Climbing up the Eiffel Tower?", he looked at the other students.

"Well you see...", they tried to explain.

"No explanation needed.", or wanted, "At any rate, I can pretty much see this is the classic catfish job mixed in with the old bait and switch.", this girl would make up a bunch of stories to build herself up. Making herself a following that seemed to confirm this and use their words in order to solidify the stories without many knowing. Making herself look all too important.

"...So it was all a lie?", many of them seemed in disbelief. But, the evidence proves otherwise.

"Wake up and smell the cinnamon mocha, you all got played.", Donny was wondering were they all really that delusional, "Obviously she lied and used you all to build herself up as this big shot celebrity in Paris.", using their own words of admiration to make themselves look good in the eyes of everyone else.

"She...used us?"

"Like a child's toy.", Donny confirmed, "Like puppets.", he emphasized moving his fingers like those of one controlling strings, "And made you all dance until she cut you loose."

"But, she said we were all friends."

"And she said Chloe was her shopping buddy and Adrien was her boyfriend. And let's not forget her close relationship with the heroes of Paris.", she used them all, "She used you all like props in her play.", and when she wasn't using them, she put them away for when she needed them for her next act.

"Anyone else feel dirty?"

"Very dirty.", to the point they might never feel clean again.

"When I get my hands on her I'm going to drag her by her bangs up the Eiffel Tower!", Alix fumed, "Well see if she can climb down anything when I get down with her."

"Get in line skater girl. The liar mine.", Chloe called, "She thinks she can use Chloe Bourgeois or Queen Bee then she has another thing coming.", she sneered, "This is my city!", and no liar was going to mess with it or her friends.

"You show her Chloe!", Sabrina encouraged.

"I can't believe she used us like that.", Nino whispered in disbelief. He was prepared for bad news, but this was just...he didn't know how to label it. But, it was pretty bad.

"She didn't just use us. She played us.", like cheap instruments, "We were nothing, but the tools for her own means."

"And I'm going to use a number of tools on her face.", Alix continued to snap more stirrers and throw them into the pile.

"Maybe there's another way.", Donny spoke up.

"What do you mean?"

"Your friend comes back next week from her trip to New York.", though he knew the truth that she was somewhere in the city and was just hiding out until she returned.

"And that's where we get her.", Alix punched her fist in anticipation, "The moment I see her, she's a dead girl walking.", she punched her first in anticipation for a fight.

"Not if I beat you to the punch.", Chloe was already thinking of ways to hurt the girl. Deporting her would be too easy. And Chloe knew she could do better. Or in this case worse, "She'll regret the day she crossed Chloe Bourgeois!"

"She so needs to pay.", Juleka added as she tried to comfort Rose who was on her third box of tissues they had taken from the other table. Rose sniffled dabbing her eyes.

"Big time.", everyone was pretty much on the same page. Each preparing to confront the girl. Whether it be separately or as a group. She was going to answer for her careless manipulations and lies. Which showed to have escalated into immoral territory.

"I don't think violence is necessary.", Donny stepped in, "While I don't believe in dragging good people down just for views or satisfaction.", he wasn't a sadist and had a code to keep.

"Are you saying you're fine with her lying and manipulating people?

"I believe in facts. And the facts state this girl messed with my friends and my blog. Two things no one should ever try to mess with.", and now it was time to pay the toll.

"So what's your plan bow-tie?", the students looked at him in question on what his next move was.

"Easy.", he pulled on his tie happily, "From this conversation, there is still more dirt to bring to the surface.", and he wanted to find it, "However, it will have to wait until tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?"

"But, you have all the proof needed to bury her and then some.", they could expose her no problem. Then everyone would know.

"True, but even with the best evidence she could still find a way to refute it and even water down the stories to avoid heavy punishment.", even with the best evidence, it could still be turned around if a person was good enough to do so, "We have to make sure we cover all the bases.", leaving no room for doubt, "Plus she wouldn't go down.", there were hostages and bystanders connected. One's she would no doubt use as leverage and to save face. Allowing her to play the victim card and gain sympathy.

"Which is why you can't release the evidence now.", until all exits were sealed.

"I still don't get it."

"At this point, your credibilities are hanging by a thread.", even if they did come out and confront the girl with the evidence. It would be easy for her to try and play the victim. Using the evidence as a means to scapegoat her, "You're going to need more nails to completely seal the coffin.", and bury done to the core.

"So what exactly do we need to do?"

"Just meet me at this location tomorrow.", he wrote down an address and handed it to Nino.

"What exactly are you going to do?"

"Why get more nails of course.", he was going to do his job, "Oh and you'll all need to be there. And that includes your girlfriend.", he looked to Nino.

"You want me to bring Alya?", he paled, as most of the other students did at the mention of their fellow classmate.

Donny nodded, "Of course. If this is a class effort then all members must be present.", including the class reporter. Since she was tangled deep in this.

"But, she'll never come.", she was devoted to proving the stories, "Not to mention she'll kill me if I tell her what I did."

"She'll be really upset.", the class agreed.

"Well, she needs to grow up.", Donny commented, "It's time to rip the band-aid off and let the wound breathe. As long as she continues to play the blind fool and make excuses for all these stories it doesn't matter what information I dig up.", because she would still be too stubborn to accept it and defend the girl's stories. Making it harder to get any headway, "Normally I let all parties go down with their sinking ships. But, all things considered, I know the outcome would have no benefits."

"If she can't see the light at this point she and her blog are going down. Way down.", he pointed his finger downward.

"Maybe if we show her all this information about Lila being a liar, Alya will come to her senses."

"Have you met Alya, the girl is stubborn as a mule.", never backing off until it bites her, "No offense Nino."

"None taken.", he knew his girlfriend's personality, "I'll talk to her.", he volunteered.

"You sure?", the class looked at him worriedly.

"Yeah, she's my girlfriend.", as her boyfriend and friends it was time to step up, "I'll talk to her and explain what's up.", if worse came to worse she would be upset. Very upset. But, nothing he hadn't seen before.

"Who knows maybe she won't be that mad.", it was hopeful thinking.


"You did what?!"

So much for hopeful thinking.

In hindsight he should probably have waited until tomorrow, when his girlfriend was more calm, to bring up his dealings with another blogger. Maybe in a place with more witnesses if she actually did kill him.

"You did not just tell me you were out having a meeting with the enemy.", she leered, obviously upset with what Nino had told her.

"Yeah, I did.", he admitted, "But, I have a good reason, I swear.", he explained, "You were getting so stressed with everything. I thought it would be best to get another person's view.", who happens to be on the other side.

"Donny Morgon's.", even saying his name made her upset, "You went behind my back. Lied to me. Your girlfriend. And went to have coffee with the person who embarrassed me and the blog live on the web.", she listed in frustration.

"I know babe and I'm really sorry.", he apologized, "I know I lied to you and went behind your back. But, it was for a good reason.", and it did not come without a payout, "Donny discovered a whole bunch of things on Lila. You won't believe what he found out."

"Hold up.", she paused him, "Are you telling me you went to another blogger to investigate Lila?"

"Well yeah.", that was the point, "And he has a bunch of information on her. Stuff even we didn't know.", and probably wouldn't have if they hadn't looked past her stories, "There's still some things to iron out and the investigation is still ongoing.", but at this rate it was only a matter of time before they were able to release the information.

"I can't believe you did this."

"I know. I was really skeptical at first.", thinking Donny wouldn't help them, let alone hear them out, "But, it went better than I thought."

"No, I mean I can't believe you would do something like this.", she punched him in the arm.

"Ow!", Nino held his arm, "What did I do?", he rubbed his arm which was starting to throb.

"Besides going behind my back and speaking to the enemy. You hired him to do an investigation on Lila.", of all people, "What were you thinking?"

"What was I thin...?", he blinked, "I was thinking I was helping. We needed someone to do an investigation.", that was the point.

"What do you think I was doing?"

"Listen babe was passionate as you are about reporting, you have to admit you weren't exactly going about it the right way.", she seemed more focused on something that had nothing to do with the actual problem, "No offense dudette, but you've been going a bit...a lot overboard."

"How? Because I'm trying to find the truth?"

"No, because you're trying to find what you think is the truth.", which equaled nothing but following rumors or trying to start things with the wrong people, "Seriously babe you're taking it too far. Stalking, snooping, looking into things that have no basis."

"You're not looking in the right places.", which lead to the decision of hiring another source, "I hired Donny because he's unbiased and looks at all the facts.", and not the ones he thought would help his case.

"So do I.", Alya disputed, "I've been investigating too."

"And you've done a decent job.", points for persistence, "But, you were getting overwhelmed and needed a hand."

"Yeah from my friends and boyfriend.", not from another blogger who was out to ruin her and her blog's integrity, "Seriously why him?"

"Because I didn't know anyone else.", and he was one of the best, though he couldn't tell her that, "Look Al's we are running out of time here. Most of the class is one edge and the sooner we figure this out, the better it would be for everyone.", surely his girlfriend would understand that, "Trust me, babe, this is for the best.", he placed his hands assuringly on her shoulders.

"I know you're mad and I know you don't like Donny.", he had been with her throughout all this, "But, I know all this is causing you to stress. So instead of sneaking around and trying to dig up dirt. Let's work together and get the truth.", together.


"Where's Alya?", the group looked to Nino about the whereabouts of his girlfriend. After they left the cafe, they had hoped that Nino had convinced Alya to help them. Though their hopes looked to dwindle when they found him at their meet-up place. A forlorn look on his face and black under his eyes.

"She's not coming.", he said.

"What do you mean she's not coming?"

"She's not coming.", he didn't know how to make it any more simple, "I went over to her house yesterday and told her what was going on."

"And what happened?"

"Besides calling me a bad boyfriend for going behind her back and talking to the 'enemy'.", after punching him in the arm. "She threw me out of her house.", and he hadn't heard from her afterward.

"Whoa."

"You okay bro?", Kim asked.

"Yeah it's cool.", he dismissed, "Let's just focus on this investigation."

"Any word from Donny?", after confirming his aid to the group, the blogger had left his contact information so they could keep up with the investigation.

"Not yet.", he was still working on another part of his investigation.

"I can't wait for this to be over."

"I know. After everything from yesterday I was barely able to go to sleep.", most of them too anxious to even think about sleeping. So many questions running through their minds. Mulling over everything and questioning everything they knew. With little time left they were running out of time and options. It was clear that Alya would be no help to them. No doubt still under the other girls spell.

"It still hard to believe she lied to us."

"I can't believe we bought all that mess.", Alix tossed a rock, "Helped with the exhibit.", she barely got through history.

"It would explain why there's not proof of her being at all those events.", though it wasn't like they asked for any.

"I still say we cut off her bangs.", Alix proposed.

"Maybe she didn't lie about everything.", just somethings.

"Well if she isn't going to tell the truth. Then we will find it.", to the last letter.

All they could do now was wait.


To Be Continued...


Please remember to comment and review. Until next time.

Chapter Text

Saturday should be a time for relative rest.

In the case of the students of Francis-Dupont, it might be the last peaceful day they would have. Currently, the group was waiting for Donny, who they had hired to gather information on their classmates. And after their first meeting with the young blogger, they found their worlds shaken. With all the information dumped on them, many questioned everything they thought they knew.

"I couldn't find anything about her.", Juleka spoke.

"Me either.". Rose said sadly.

"Me and Ivan looked up some of the charities she said she was apart of.", Mylene commented.

"There's absolutely nothing about Lila.", not a single shred of evidence. Not a picture or video or even links that connected her to anything she said.

"I plugged her name into multiple search engines.", Max commented, "The only article about her claims are the ones from the Ladyblog.", and nothing more.

"How can someone with such amazing stories have not a single photo or video during these trips.", it made so sense.

"Because she doesn't.", Alix stated, "She lied. Everything was a complete hoax."

"It looks that way.", especially with no proof to back it up.

"I can't believe we feel for all this.", Kim groaned into his hands.

"Logically it would have been smart to do a simple fact check.", and for someone who used evidence and facts, Max was rather embarrassed.

"It would have been smart to actually fact check a lot of these claims.", given the circumstances, they should have considered to actually look into all those stories. Instead of believing them at face value.

"This is completely bogus.", Nino groaned, "I'm going for a walk.", he needed to clear his head. With all the drama it felt like the world was coming down. So, after separating from the group, he took a walk with no direct path. He didn't know where he was going. Only hoping for a bit of peace.

"Nino?", came a voice. Looking up the teen spotted Adrien. Surprisingly on the same path as him.

"What are you doing here?"

"Waiting for a...friend.", could he call Donny that? At this point, they would be allies working on the same goal, "Let me guess. Another photoshoot.", he quickly changed the subject.

"You know it.", he shrugged a bit.

"Seriously, does your dad even consider weekends a day off of work?"

Adrien gave a small smile, "Not when the Summer Fashion Show is coming up.", meaning more shots and ad's to prepare for, "My schedule has been getting pretty busy.", thankfully people still believed in breaks.

"Still without child labor laws, you probably be working 24/7, 365.", including holidays.

"My dad isn't that bad.", how he wished he could still think that honestly, "...So what's up with you?"

"A lot of stuff.", so much he wasn't sure how he was handling it.

"That doesn't sound good.", give Adrien credit. Sometimes he could pick up on cues. And something was telling him that his friend was upset.

"Actually...", he sighed, "Bro to bro. I had a falling out with Alya."

"Falling out?", that really didn't sound good, "You guys had a fight?"

"Yeah I did something behind her back and she did not take it well.", and that was putting it mildly, "I tried to talk to her.", but as always, she decided to be stubborn.

"Sorry, Nino.", Adrien gave him a sympathetic look.

"Don't apologize dude. This is between me and Alya.", he made the decision and he could let other people try to take the blame, "But, ugh, I wish sometimes she wasn't so...so prideful."

"Not to be too nosy, but what were...are you guys fighting about?"

Nino sighed, "Look, you how things at the school have been tense? Especially between Alya and Kitsi."

"It's hard to miss.", even if you wanted to stay clear. There was no safe zone to stand-in.

"Well, I've been doing some thinking. A lot of what Kitsi brought up makes sense. Like a lot of sense.", the more he thought about it and actually listened to the arguments, he felt something shift in him, "Especially when it comes to all those stories. Honestly, the more I thought about them, like really looked at them, I can understand why people are skeptical."

"You do?"

"Yeah, I mean, especially when it comes to proof.", and after doing a bit of searching on each of the class members' parts, no one could find anything on the projects their classmate had spoken about, "I feel...I feel kind of dumb for believing all that mess now.", never questioning about how he never heard of any of this stuff happening.

"It's okay Nino."

"No it's not.", because the more he dug up, the worse he felt. Both as a conscious being with thought and as a friend in general, "All this time and never once did I consider something was off about all these amazing stories.", instead of acting like a sheep.

"It's still not your fault.", he assured, "I knew that Lila made up a lot of her stories for attention. Even I found myself almost believe her stories."

"You knew?", that sounded off, "You mean you figured out she was lying and had suspicions."

"Well not exactly.", he said, "I kind of knew Lila exaggerated her stories."

"You what?"

"Yeah. I mean on the first day she told me all these stories about her travels and her 'family history'. And I sort of figured it out when they turned out not to be true.", just stories she made up for attention.

"Rewind that back for a moment.", Nino seemed to be missing something, "Are you saying that you knew that her stories weren't a 100% true. That she was lying."

"Well sort of.", he frowned a bit, "I mean, it was rather obvious she was exaggerating a lot of what she ways."

"So you knew she lied?", he pressed, "You knew that she had lied to everyone. You knew that her stories, everything she ever said, that she wasn't being truthful?"

"Um...Nino are you okay?"

"Don't try to change the subject.", he practically snapped, "So from what you're telling me. Is that you knew that she was lying from day one. And you didn't say anything."

"Are you out of your mind!?"

Adrien was surprised by his friend's sudden outburst.

"Nino, what's wrong?"

"What's wrong? After you knew someone was playing us, was lying to us for weeks, you're asking me what's wrong?"

"You're angry...", he commented.

"Thanks for noticing captain oblivious.", he huffed, "How could you do something like that."

"I-I was just trying to keep people calm. You know, be the better person."

"This isn't about being the better person.", he hissed, "You knew someone was lying to me, to everyone, and didn't try to tell us."

"Nino I..."

"Do you know what we, everyone, has been through because of all this lying.", what they had to go through during class and having their social lives tank because they defended someone who basically lied to them, "And you knew about it."

"Well no. I mean yes. I mean...I knew she lied. But, I thought she was just making up stories for attention."

"How do you think I feel?", he was supposed to be his best friend. But, he hides this from him, "I believed all those stories. That I was going to get my work looked at by music producers and directors from Hollywood. My dreams and hopes.", all dashed, " I had a fight with Alya whose been brainwashed by this girl. I could lose Alya, the girl I love, because you didn't say anything.", and warn them.

"I...I just thought..."

"You just thought about yourself.", Nino gritted, "We're supposed to be friends. Best bros. If you know someone isn't legit, you're supposed to say something.", warn a person. Especially a friend. So they wouldn't get taken for a ride.

"But, exposing her wouldn't have helped. And you said you figured out she was lying."

"Yeah, after literally weeks of making myself look like a complete tool.", and in front of everyone, "And you just stood there with your moral high ground and let me do it. What the heck is wrong with you?!"

Adrien shrank. He had never seen his friend so upset. He figured that people wouldn't be happy when they found out about the lies. But, Nino looked like he wanted to have a breakdown and kill him.

"You completely stood there and left me to the wolves.", and didn't even seem to care, "Well thanks for nothing.", he turned to leave.

"But Nino..."

"But nothing.", he dismissed, "I thought we were like brothers and told each other everything. And had each other's backs."

"We are. We do. Nino, you're my best friend."

"Not anymore.", he frowned, "Because as of this moment you and are not bros or anything.", with that he stormed off. Leaving a shocked and hurt Adrien.


"What do you mean Adrien knew?"

When Nino returned to group they found in an even worse mood than when he left. After some prodding from his friends. He revealed the source of his frustrations.

"Since day one Adrien knew Lila lied and made up stories.", he couldn't say it any simpler than that.

"He did?"

"He figured it out weeks ago.", but decided to keep it to himself, instead of calling her out.

"Why didn't he tell us?"

"Something about taking the high road and not wanting to call her out because it would embarrass her.", truthfully he phased out the other's explanation, "He even convinced Marinette not to try and expose her.", again this shocked the students.

"So while we're here losing are collective minds he just stands there and lets it happen.", offering no support and letting them believe all those stories.

"Letting us crowd around and listen to her like a pack of sheep."

"Not to mention the school hates us."

"How long did he know about her lying?"

"Since day one.", he explained how he had figured out a number of her stories were false, "He even knew that her stories about Ladybug and meeting all those celebrities weren't even close to being true."

"I can't believe he would do that."

"I can.", Chloe spoke, "As much as it pains me to say, Adren has always had, or never has had, much of spine.", he was openly against conflict and would try to find the more positive approach to things, "I mean if he did, he would have spoken against me ages ago.", instead of the passive and hollow threats, "But, not to tell me.", she actually felt hurt.

"Ugh, that jerk.". Alix frowned.

"So he knew Lila was playing up for chumps and kept it to himself.", Kim was not happy.

"And we've been making fools out of ourselves.", to the point that they couldn't come to school with people talking behind their backs or being treated like outcasts because they believed all those stories and sided with them. Even though there was evidence against the stories.

"He even convinced Marinette no to try and expose her lying.", probably the only person who saw through the lies and manipulation.

"There's that dirty feeling again."

"Come on Nino. Please let me explain."

"Well look who showed up. The golden moral compass has graced us with his presence.", Alix didn't even hide her contempt. Though neither was the rest of the class.

" Come on Nino, this is a big misunderstanding.", he tried to talk to the other boy, "Let's talk about this."

"There's nothing left to talk about.", Nino dismissed, "You had to weeks 'explain'.", and now decides to confess.

"Seriously you couldn't say anything."

"What's the deal Agreste.", Kim frowned.

"Why didn't you tell us she was lying to us?", Rose looked at him with the most hurt look in her eyes.

"I...I didn't think her lies were hurting people. They were just...you know stories to get people's attention."

"Bedtime stories are stories. Fables are stories. Dr. Suess books are stories.", Alix listed, "Saying your best friends with and saved a cat from a plane and sipping tea in a Royal Palace are lies.", there was a difference.

"I know that stories...lies got out of hand.", there was no doubt about it, "But, they weren't hurting anyone. Right?"

"Oh yeah, no one got hurt.", Alix voiced, "And we're eating lunch in class because we love the view."

"We also got kicked out of our clubs.", or were in bad standing with the other members.

"We also bent over backward treating Rossi special because she promised to introduce us to her celebrity friends or take us to these big events.", that never happened.

"If you had actually spoken up then we wouldn't have believed her so easily. And make complete fools of ourselves."

"I didn't think..."

"Right you didn't think.", only stood there and let it play out.

"You couldn't even say, 'Hey guys, some of her stories don't seem a hundred percent true'.", and that wouldn't be so bad because it would have shown she lied, "Instead you threw everyone to the wolves, cross your fingers and hoped for the best outcome."

"I didn't...it wasn't like that.", he tried to explain, "Things just got...out of hand."

"Is that what you call out?", because they had a different definition of what they were going through.

"Because it's basically been chaos for us!", they voiced and even blamed Adrien.

"But...but..."

"If you came all this way to try and shove your moral high ground, take it somewhere else.", because they were beyond that point.

"Look guys I'm sorry. Really I am.", he didn't know how else he could say it.

"Saying your sorry doesn't fix all this mess. It doesn't erase the months worth of damage that's been done. Of lies, deception, and deceit."

"And now we have to explain to the whole school why were not having a dance because of all the lies she told to possibly the entire student body.", and left them holding the bag.

"I'm still kicking myself for electing Rossi.", which made them feel more guilty.

"I just want to kick Rossi.", Alix added without hesitation, "I want to do worse things.", but she was weighing her options.

"I miss Marinette.", Rose said sadly thinking about their former class rep and friend. They all missed her. And wished they hadn't fallen into the web of lies that took her away from them. Nothing was the same without her energy in their lives. Even at her most spastic and unpredictable moments she always brought joy wherever she went. Always willing and wanting to help anyone in need.

"She did warn us about all the lying.", but they didn't listen.

"Yeah, Marinette has never really cared for lairs.", it was one of her pet peeves. She could deal with a white lie within reason. But, deceptive lying like Rossi did was beyond forgiveness. Especially how long and the selfish reasons she did it for.

"Which brings up another point.", Nino turned attention back to Adrien who had been silent during their conversation, "Marinette knew that Lila was lying and taking advantage of us.", and to her nature, she tried to dispel and expose her whenever she could, "If she knew Lila was lying. And you knew she was lying. You could have both said something together."

"It wouldn't have changed anything. Exposing all those lies would have humiliated her and caused more negativity.", he tried to explain, "I didn't think Marinette needed to worry about something so small."

"Marinette was trying to warn us.", to prevent this from happening and protect them from the lies, "Then you came in and made her stand back. What kind of friend does that? You didn't speak up for her, or the class, or even me. You let Rossi lie and manipulate us. Use us. Then stood on your moral high ground and preach from your sand pedestal. While everyone else got royally screwed by a wolf in sheep's clothing.", letting everyone else suffer and doing nothing to help, "And now you have the nerve to try and justify her lying. For the person who literally ruined our lives."

"Nino's right, real friends don't allow others to get taken advantage of.", Kim added, "I'm still trying to get Odine to talk to me again and I got benched from my team.", now he practiced swimming alone.

"If you knew Lila's stories weren't truthful you could have brought it up.", before it reached this level.

"It wouldn't have helped to expose her."

"And this is better? Everyone in school pretty much knows she's a liar.", maybe more, "And you're still trying to make her out to be this poor victim who deserves our sympathy because she lied for attention."

"Oh, she'll get attention.", Alix commented, "After we show everyone how connected she is."

"What do you mean?", Adrien asked worriedly.

"We're going to expose all her amazing stories.", releasing every bit of information they had and all the lies she ever told, "Let's see her weasel her way out of that."

"Then everyone will know how truely fake she really is."

"But, this is going too far. Everyone already knows she's a liar. There's no point in exposing her to all of Paris."

"There is a point.", he refuted, "For weeks we swallowed all those stories. Buying all those promises and acts of friendship. Believing she actually wanted to be our friends. Letting her into our lives. And got left holding the bag.

"Most of us got kicked out of our clubs."

"We can't even eat the cafeteria."

"Markov is still cross with me.", Max frowned.

"And Nathaneal and Marc broke up."

"Actually Marc and I kind of made up.", he mentioned, "Still, not cool Agreste.", he shook his head.

"It's not fair that you didn't warn us about the lying. But, you didn't once try to stop her."

"I...I thought she would, you know, stop.", at least that what he hoped, "I didn't think she would take it so far."

"Why? If she figured no one would stop her or call her out.", it gave her full room to push her lies and what she could get people to believe, "And you knew from day one.", and let it continue.

"I know and I'm sorry.", he didn't know how many times he could say it, "This got way out of hand. Had I known she was doing this I would have done something.", he didn't want his friends to suffer, "But, confronting her would have made things worse."

"Yeah for her."

"Do you even know what kind of lies she was spreading?", because there was a lot by their count, "Or maybe it's because you just don't care."

"That's crazy. Of course, I care.", how could they even say he didn't care about them?, "You're my friends."

"Really? Because you have a funny way of showing it."

"While your off being daddies perfect model son, the rest of us have to deal with our reputations getting thrashed."

"Meanwhile you still have your friends and your reputation.", because no one was turning on him or treating him like a plague. At least not as much. But, only by affiliation of being in their class.

"B-But, I just wanted to keep everyone calm."

"No you didn't.", Nino disagreed, "You just wanted to believe things would 'work themselves out'. That people would catch on to her lies and she would stop and change. But, surprise, she didn't.", instead everyone was left hanging and had to deal with the mess of associating themselves with her and her lies.

"You had multiple opportunities to set things straight.", but he didn't, "Even when she started lying about you and your father you still didn't correct her. You even let her talk about Ladybug and the other heroes. Using all their hard work to make herself look good.", and still didn't say anything.

"Tell me Agreste how's that moral high ground working out for you?", he narrowed his eyes at his classmate.

"I...I just thought everything would work out."

"Well it didn't, did it? Now half are class is depressed, akuma levels are up because of all the negative emotions, and nobody's happy now are they?"

"So yeah everything worked out.", for no one except maybe Hawkmoth who pretty much had one victim after another, "So congrats on keeping your moral high ground. All it cost was your dignity, people's respect, and let's not forget your friends.", the last one cut him deep, "I hope you're happy.", adjusting his backpack Nino headed off.

"Nino wait!"

"Seriously not cool.", Kim left off next.

"Statistically speaking, you're a jerk.", Max adjusted his glasses before heading off.

"Have fun on your moral high ground. I'll be waiting for the crash.", Alix skated off after a quick punch to Adrien's shoulder.

Soon everyone had left from the meeting spot. Even Chloe, who only gave a haughty flip of her hair, barely spared him a glance as she left with Sabrina. In the end. Adrien was all that remained.

"Everyone is really upset.", Adrien frowned.

"I think disappointed would be a better word.", Plagg commented.

"I didn't think they would be so mad.", he knew they would be upset about the lying. But, now they didn't even want to be his friend.

"You might have more problems to worry about than not having friends.", Plagg mentioned, "Like the fact that there are a bunch of upset pre-teens out in the city. Hawkmoths going to have a field day."

Adrien paled.

"I need to make this right.", before Hawkmoth akumatized half of all his classmates.

"How are you going to do that?"

"I figure something out.", he had to, "I mean cat's always land on their feet, right?"

"In your case, it's your head I'm worried about.", Plagg did not want to deal with this now, "Why not just go back to your shoot and...hey!"

"No time Plagg!", he had a mission, "Claws Out!"


At the Liberty,

"Juleka!", he called. Quickly moving to the right he dodged book. One of many things being thrown at him when he arrived at the houseboat, "Please just talk to me!"

"Go away!", she yelled and continued to throw random items off the boat. Forcing Adrien to duck, dive, and all-around scatter to avoid getting hit.

"I don't think that's a good idea.", the Luka advised, "Juleka has been like this since she got back.", she came home in a bad mood and mostly stayed in her room.

"She's still mad?", though nearly getting hit with everything, but the kitchen sink, should have given it away.

Luka sighed, "That might be an understatement.", she even yelled at him. And she never raised her voice, "I don't think you'll be able to talk to her.", not unless he wanted to end up in the hospital.

"Actually I was hoping to talk to you.", he admitted, "Please, I really need someone to talk to.", who wasn't angry and possibly wanted to kill him. Remembering how Alix emphasized her want to throttle him, Kim splashing at the pool, and Ivan looking like he would crush him. If they did become akumatized again, he didn't know if he would survive. Everyone else wanted nothing to do with him. Even Nino shut him out. Literally, slamming the door in his face.

"Let's find someplace to talk.", he offered a space, a bench, a small ways away from the boat. Adrien nodded and headed toward the spot, "Jule's try to keep the boat in one piece.", and not throw any of his belongings onto the dock or into the water.

After a minute the two boys were seated on the bench. Luka's calm, clashing with Adrien's nervous and anxious energy.

"Juleka told me everything."

"E-everything?"

"The lying classmate, fake stories, and bullying.", he listed off, "Care to give your side of the story.", Luka was a carefree soul. He was calm and reserved. Mellow like the strums of his guitar. But, there were times when that calm harmony became a discord. Especially when it concerned his family and friends. But, he did allow the benefit of the doubt in certain situations. And considering he knew Adrien, he would give him that benefit.

"I...made a mistake.", he explained, "I found out a classmate was lying. But, I didn't say anything. And now people are mad at me because I didn't tell them."

"So basically you knew this 'classmate' was a liar.", by definition, "But, instead of telling your friends the truth, you let her continue to lie to them."

"Well...kind of."

Luka sighed, "I'm not going to press you for more than your willing to tell. But, even I can see you've done something bad.", and stupid. Very stupid, "If you knew this girl was lying and her stories were false, why didn't you speak up the first time it happened?"

"I thought eventually people would figure it out and get tired of her stories.", though that proved a pipe dream since not only did she not stop lying. She had gotten worse.

"And I assume this is the same girl who told my sister and the rest of the band she had connections to Jagged Stone and various music producers.", even without knowing her, he felt a discord resonating from her very core.

"Yeah.", he said in a small tone, "I didn't know she was making promises like that. I swear.", he never knew she was promising extravagant favors to people.

"Even if you didn't know about this. You knew about that she lied constantly.", and didn't talk to someone or give warning, "And apparently you knew that Marinette knew and stopped her from exposing this girl.", that one made something glint in those usually calm eyes. And Adrien caught it.

"I...I thought if we both knew it would be enough. And exposing her would make things worse.", he tried to explain, "That everyone would figure out her stories were overblown and just ignore them.

"I don't care that this girl is a liar. I care that she took advantage of my sister and her friends.", making them look like fools and getting them in trouble with their other classmates, "I had a feeling Marinette's melody had been off.", and now he was looking at part of the cause.

"Are you mad at me too?", he shrank under the boy's gaze.

"I'm more disappointed.", he frowned, "I know you have an open heart and want your melody to welcome everyone to listen. But, not by trying to underplay other people's songs.", by drowning out their own echoes to fit his tempo. And knowing he not only did that to his sister and her friends but Marinette as well. Whose song longed to reach and unite with Adrien's. But, fell deaf. Even as it broke and faded.

He was not happy.

"I think it's best you don't visit here.", he advised.

"Not visit? What do you mean?"

"Right now everyone's song, that once harmonized together was one, has been distorted and splitting.", diverging and breaking apart, "There's a disharmony.", he never broke his gaze from Adrien. Who shrank under the silent accusation.

"So until Juleka calms down.", and not want to throw things at him, "And I feel I can look at you again.", it was best for him to stay away.

"Luka..."

"Bye Adrien.", with that he got up and walked away. Leaving Adrien on the boardwalk and returned to the ship to make sure the houseboat was in one piece.


At the Le Grand Paris,

"Chloe doesn't tell me you're mad at me."

When he came to his friends' hotel, he had hoped to find someone he could talk to. Being childhood friends, there was a special bond between them. At least that's what he wanted to believe. Sitting face to face, he wasn't feeling the bond.

"I'm not mad at you.", she said.

"You don't sound like it."

"Well it's hard to be happy with all this drama.", while she liked a good train wreck, this was conflicting in her eyes, "Honestly Adrien you need to learn to stop being such a doormat."

"I'm not a doormat.", he denied, "I just didn't think a couple of lies could hurt people."

"Seriously, you have been in your bubble too long.", Chloe stated, "Of course lying hurt people. Especially if it's done with bad intentions.", she should know that.

"Take Rossi. She made up all those stories about travel and being friends with credit. Promising anyone who would listen that she get all their work looked at. And, nothing happened.", now everyone was losing their collective minds because they bent over backward to please the girl for nothing, "What did you think was going to happen when people found out that she was lying. Just forget about it and act like they didn't get scammed."

"But, the lies were small.", ridiculous, but small, "And they weren't hurting anyone."

Chloe snorted, "Of course they were hurting people. News flash, people don't like to be swindled. You think anyone wants to waste their time and efforts to get nothing in return."

"Everyday she had some story about some big event she was invited too. Bragging about going on expensive trips and meeting people. And promising everything and the kitchen sink to people.", and it only grew each day, "She had people carrying her books, fetching her food, doing her homework, and even following her around like a bunch of lost sheep.", Chloe did that too, but she at least had the credit to back up her words.

"Okay, her stories did get out of hand.", he would admit that, "But, Nino and the class are planning something big to expose Lila. And I'm afraid it's going to get worse."

"Well, that's no good."

"You agree with me.", that was a surprise.

"No, I mean if they do their plan, it will clash with mine."

"Your plans?"

"Of course!", she wasn't going to just stand back, "I've got something special planned for that liar. Something she'll never live down until the end of time.", Sabrina nodded in agreement in the back.

"You're trying to expose her too?"

"And miss all this fun. Of course, I'm not going to sit on the sidelines.", she had her own stake in this, "She thinks she knows Queen Bee. Ha! I'll prove to everyone how deserving I am and what a great heroine I am. By exposing Rossi as the fraud she is. All of Paris will know what a fake she is."

"All of Paris?"

"Maybe the world.", especially with the way social media works, "After that Ladybug will see what a great person I've become. By removing the plague of a liar that is Rossi from everyone's lives."

"How does that make you a superhero? You're talking about humiliating a person over a few lies."

"Those 'few lies' cost me.", Chloe pouted, "I lost being Queen Bee and disappointed Ladybug.", something she could never forgive, "By exposing Rossi, I will not only release whatever spell she put on these weak-minded people but also end all this drama."

"But, it will only make things worse."

"Maybe for the liar. I, on the other hand, will take great satisfaction watching her crash and burn.", she might also film it.

"But, this is too far.", whatever she was planning it would no doubt only make matters worse, "She'll be humiliated."

"She deserves it."

"She might get akumatized."

"Who hasn't.", that wasn't much of an excuse, "Honestly the girl's been akumatized more than I've caused. And again, she probably deserves it."

"How could you say that? Now one deserves to be akumatized."

"Of course no one does.", she didn't argue, "But, if she gets upset because she fell in the grave she dug. Then she's weaker than the lies she tries to spin."

"But, it's still not right.", to humiliate someone like that, "And it's also something a hero would do."

"A hero also wouldn't stand by and let some lying vixen run her mouth like she owned the place. I mean seriously Adrikins, you need to stop being so blind."

"I'm not blind.", he refuted, "I just think there's a better way. Like, um, talking with her."

"Seriously.", Chloe did not look amused, "You can't talk to a liar. They'll just say what you want to hear because they know they can trick you.", that's how manipulation worked, "No, she needs to be taught a special lesson.", one she couldn't lie her way out of.

"And this is the way? Humiliating her and risking an even bigger problem.", like a new akuma, "I still think there's a better way."

"And I would think as my friend you would try to help me."

"Help you? What about helping me!", Chloe fumed angrily, surprising her childhood friend, "When I get humiliated or talked down to you never once try to speak up until everyone else has walked off.", and even then it's not right away.

"That's not true I've stuck up for you plenty of times.", he argued back

"Really?", she seemed to challenge, "What about the time I got embarrassed in front of the whole class and was about to go to New York?", she reminded, "If memory serves me the school threw a party to celebrate me leaving."

"That's not true. I mean it was, but not everyone wanted you to leave."

"I noticed.", she strummed her fingers, "In the end, it was Dupain-Cheng who organized who organized an appreciation party for me.", the girl who had bullied her for years, "Meanwhile you didn't even try to stop me."

"That's not true.", he argued, "I told people it was wrong to celebrate another person leaving."

"Yeah, you told the one person I don't like.", her enemy, "And of course she just had to come in and save the day.", making herself look more sweetly nice and loving.

"Between that and all the times you've could have had may back. It's considerably lacking."

"Even when people put down me for being a superhero you doubt even try to say otherwise."

"Chloe you know I think you're a decent superhero."

"Decent? That's all?", she said offended, "I'm a great superhero."

"I meant you do your best.", he tried to correct his wording, "It's just that your...personality could be a bit better.", maybe a bit more humble-bee, instead of waspy.

"I know I need to change.", people still were getting used to the girl who caused akuma's on a near-weekly basis being a superhero, "But, forcing your morals on me and everyone else isn't very nice of you, Adrien."

"I'm not trying to force anyone to do anything."

"Then you're even blinder then you are oblivious.", Chloe commented, "Unlike Dupain-Cheng who uses...ugh, positive words and kindness.", she gagged a bit, "You guilt people into doing the right thing."

"No, I don't."

"Of course you do. Because to everyone else your the golden child who can do no wrong.", a literal symbol of good and innocence, "Which it's easy for people to take advantage of you because they know you lack any form of leverage to push back.", and will just go with the flow if it means no conflict.

"I don't let people take advantage of me."

Chloe gave a laugh, "Of course you do. You let anyone try to be friends with you. And when they do something 'wrong' from your point of view, you'll scold them and then forgive them like that. Or try to make others see the 'error' of not talking things out and singing kumbaya to fix the problem.", she snapped her fingers in emphasis, "And I find it quite interesting that you're lecturing me about embarrassing and humiliating people when you never once scolded Rossi about her behavior."

"Yes, I have."

"Not that I've ever seen.", and she saw enough, "You let her lie her way into your home, send pictures of you two out on the web, latch herself onto you like a thirsty dog, and lie about herself every which way. Even though you knew she was completely full of herself."

"I still don't think that makes me spineless."

"No it makes you a doormat.", she repeated, "And as much as I hate to admit it, Nino was right about something.", and she really didn't like saying it, "As long as you and I have known each you could have at least come to me about all this mess.", she could have pulled the bandaid off without a care, "You didn't even tell Nino or his gossiping, soon to be ex, girlfriend that she was lying. Letting her post all her stories on her blog.", effectively scaring her credibility as a reporter, "You even made Dupain-Cheng keep her mouth shut and step back.", and she was the poster child of love and morality in most departments. She even had the nerve to stand up to Chloe when she threw her weight around, "Besides lying. She had your 'friends' eating out of the palm of her hands. Even spending money on her on obviously fake conditions and ailments to get sympathy. Then promised them their dreams on a silver platter. Tell me when's the last time she ever opened her own wallet for anyone or fulfilled any of her promises?", she couldn't recall.

"And you say I'm the manipulative one."

Adrien paled as Chloe practically pushed him back to the wall.

"T-That isn't the same thing."

"It's most certainly is.", from what she's been learning, "Friends don't let friends get taken advantage of. You knew Rossi was a fake and still found it more convenient to spare her feelings than your own friends.", then giving half-hearted reasons for his actions.

Again Adrien was silent.

"At least I tell people the truth. Instead of letting them live in the disillusion and risk more disappointment.", just tear the bandaid off and let the wound breathe. Instead of smothering it and hoping it will heal. Sure she could be mean and cruel at times. But, now she was trying to better herself.

"Meanwhile you actually stood back and let everyone believe Rossi's stories and that she was going to get their work looked at by their idols or that she was actually a superhero.", making promises wasn't a crime, but giving false hope was morally wrong, "Everyone was so happy that all their little dreams were going to magically come true. Only to find out that they were as real as a three dollar bill.", and nothing was going to happen. Instead, friendships were broken, dreams were crushed, and trust was thrown out the window, "Honestly Adrien, personally, I'm disappointed in you."

Again, Adrien felt that tear in his chest.

She folded her arms, "Until you learn to grow a spine and actually stand up for yourself, then you and I can no longer be friends."

Adrien looked shocked. Even Sabrina was surprised by the sudden statement.

"Chloe, you...don't want to be my friend?"

"Of course.", she didn't drop her stance, "But, right now I have to think about me. And if you can't support me, then right now you're a liability.", especially if he was just going to preach about the high road and wait for other people to fix his messes. And try to stop her from getting her revenge.

"But Chloe..."

"Save it Agreste.", she cut him off, "Jean Phillipe."

"Yes Mademoiselle?", the butler spoke. Appearing from some unknown place.

"Please escort Monsieur Agreste out. I believe our conversation is finished.", she ordered.

"But, Chloe...", but he was interrupted by the butler.

"I'm sorry. But, Ms. Bourgois wishes for you to leave.", he instructed.

"Chloe?", she had already turned her back to him. With a stance of both anger and disinterest.

Without another word or chance to speak, Adrien left.


After leaving the hotel Adrien, now Chat Noir stalked across the Paris rooftops. Nothing was going as planned. No matter where he went no one wanted to talk to him. All he wanted to do was apologize and explain himself. But, after a long afternoon, his list was completely empty. There was no one left who would even let him through the front door.

There had to be someone.

As he continued onward he passed over the busy streets. Stopping on a roof he tried to figure out where to go next. He had already tried to visit the closest people he could think of.

"Who's left?", with a sigh of defeat he leaned down on the ledge of the building. He was truly at a loss. It seemed no matter the path he took, disaster and rejection were waiting for him. Lowering his gaze to the streets he noticed something.

A familiar head of nearly red hair came into view. He knew it anywhere. Causing a glimmer of hope to well in his stomach. Strengthening up he began following after her. Waiting until the right moment, he went into action. Un-perching from his hiding spot and landing right in front of her.

"Evening Kit.", he greeted with his usual charm. And thankfully didn't startle his friends too much. Fearing she might give him a first-hand feel of her right hook.

"Hey Neko Kuro.", she greeted, "To what do I owe this surprise?"

"Just doing some afternoon patrols.", he said, "And how are you doing Ms. Charming?"

"Surprisingly okay.", all things considered, "School is still a madhouse. But, now that I don't have to deal with that dance, it's a huge weight off my shoulders and nerves.", she gave a glow of relief.

"Right.", he hummed, "Out shopping?", he noticed the bags in her hands.

"Hai!", she exclaimed proudly, "Mostly somethings for Marinette. Some supplies for some projects she's working on.", she smiled, "Though even though she's out of school for the moment, she still forgets things.", so Kitsi stepped in for these types of things.

"Speaking of your school, I ran into one of your classmates. Adrien Agreste.", he mentioned.

"Sunshine boy?"

"Yeah. See he was having some trouble at school and wanted some advice.", he explained, "Since I don't know much about the school other than some of the akuma's that seem to come there...you wouldn't happen to have any advice."

"Well, not that I care much, but I can't really give advice without details.", usually she wouldn't bother with people's problems at the moment. But, since it was Kitsune's partner and her friend, she supposed it might be important.

"Right...well you see...he, Adrien, is having some problems with his classmates. They kind of believe Adrien knew about that girl...the one who said Ladybug saved her."

"Rossi.", she frowned.

"Yeah her.", he nodded, "See they think because he might have known about her personality for exaggerating the truth."

"You mean lying.", she corrected.

"Yeah that.", he nodded again, "Well see they had a fight and now all his friends are upset with him. He tried to apologize to them, but they won't even talk to him.", he explained, "He's tried talking to them, but they just slam the door in his face.", literally, "He wants to fix things, but they won't let him. What should he do?"

Kitsi seemed to think for a moment.

"I mean he thought apologizing would help smooth things over. But, no one would listen. Even Chloe kicked him out. And Luka banned him from the houseboat."

Kitsi was still silent.

"I mean I...he knows he did something wrong. But, doesn't know why everyone is so mad at him.", and it was tearing him up inside.

"They're mad because Adrien knew Rossi was lying and still allowed her to do it to them.", Kitsi explained, "Making up whatever story she wanted. Giving them empty promises. Getting their hopes up and basically making them look like sheep. Only to find out that none of it was true.", just a facade and a joke with no punchline. More like a gut check. Repeatedly.

"But I...he didn't think it would get this bad."

"People never do.", she shook her head, "Lies always start out small. Then it just got bigger and bigger. Until it's ready to burst and everyone's is in the danger zone."

"But, do they have to be so cold to him?"

"While I hate to say this, I think they do.", she admitted, "Adrien knew from the jump what a manipulative pill Rossi was. And even when she got worse, he never spoke up about it."

"I think he felt that it would be mean to just, you know, call her out on it."

"That isn't the point.", Kitsi commented, "If someone knows someone is doing something wrong on purpose, it's best to at least tell someone."

"He did. I mean, he and a friend knew about her lying. And he thought that as long as they knew then they had a better chance of not falling for her tricks."

"That's like saying you know there's a shark in the water. Another person might know. But, that doesn't mean anyone will listen to them about the shark.", considering all the times they would be warned, "Adrien knew Rossi was a liar. Marinette also knew this and tried to warn people not to believe all those stories. But, without back-up and support, it was her word against someone who could convince students and adults of almost anything."

"And now that the shark has claimed too many victims, Adrien wants to be the moral compass and try to downplay the fact they let them swim in the water.", and basically become shark food.

"He just wanted to protect someone from becoming an akuma."

"What about everyone else? Were they not special enough to be 'protected'?", she brought up, "Rossi not only made their classmates into literal tools, but she also messed with other people for no reason.", ruining various events and projects just because they didn't bow down and kiss her feet. And most likely because Kitsi was friends with them, "Need I remind you of the students from College Voltaire."

Chat paused and thought back. To all the past akuma's. Many had been students from another school.

"They never even met Rossi, but because they didn't buy her lies, she made it a mission to make them suffer.", humiliating them, messing with their projects, and even trying to frame their friends, "They got humiliated and then akumatized on top of that."

"But, does that make it her fault? I mean there's no proof she was the direct cause.", though there was suspicion.

"Depending on where you look.", Kitsi said, "Giovanni got akumatized after Rossi went around telling a story that he had been copying the comic Nathaniel and Marc had been working on. Giovanni, as I've mentioned, is colorblind.", he couldn't copy anything, especially the color palette, "Marc stood up for him and got completely shut down for siding with Giovanni. Which, as I remind you, caused him to quit the comic and end his partnership with Nath.", which also lead to a decline in the comic's popularity.

"Lilly got akumatized when somehow Kitty Section ended up with her song stolen during the last young battle of the bands competition.", it broke her heart, "I know for a fact Rossi took it, but somehow, convinced others Lily was trying to sabotage the competition.", thankfully she showed the song to her brother the night prior, "And need I bring up the disaster cover Kitty Section actually did.", not only were they humiliated on stage, but there was still video of it. Haunting them of one of their worst performances and possibly limiting their growth if an actual producer did see it.

"Sephone got akumatized after someone trashed the park she and her group spent days cleaning up to raise money for charity.", she couldn't forget how it broke her heart after seeing how all the hard work destroyed for no reason. And how hard she worked to fix things, Only to be akumatized and nearly turn the entire city into a jungle.

"And, though I hate to bring it up, the issue of the Ladyblog.", she said, "Ceasire, for what it's worth, was a good reporter. Now because of dealing with Rossi and her lies her blog is crashing and burning.", along with her reputation and sanity, "And to top it off she still won't admit Rossi and her stories were fake. And how wrong she was for not fact-checking her stories. And getting one of my friends, Donny, akumatized."

"Adrien knew Rossi had lied about knowing Ladybug and being saved her or any of the heroes. But made no effort to warn her before she posted more and more of those stories.", and now it was too late since people had pretty much turned their backs on the blog and her as a trustworthy reporter of news. There were even pages being made to have the site banned or even taken down. Because of how she ticked people off with her behavior.

"Now everyone sounds like they're either mad, sad, or just in a funk.", and looking for someone to blame since the root hadn't returned yet, "And the fact that Adrien knew this girl was a liar and said nothing, even to his own friends.", she shook her head.

"If Rossi had been called out on day one she would, or might, have been akumatized. But, people would have known better and not taken the bait.", and all this trouble could have been avoided, "Adrien was so afraid of hurting one person's feelings, the casualty count tripled.", along with the mounting pain and the cost of all those lies.

"Because of small lies."

"Lying, no matter how small, can always grow. And standing by and letting it grows helps no one.", only makes the impact worse when revealed, "He stood back and let other people basically suffer and act like sheep for what he knew were empty promises and false hope.", and never once trying to call her out or give any warning. Until it was too late. And people were either to blind and the damage was already done.

"So, he was a coward.", Chat frowned. He already knew what Kitsi thought of him. But, it didn't make it hurt less when it seemed she was more upset.

"Adrien is a pacifist. But, standing by and being silent doesn't stop the pain. Only drags it on."

"But, he feels bad about what he's done. That he...hurt so many of his friends."

"It's sad that he feels this way. But, he has to learn that apologizes are just thin band-aids on wounds. And the deeper the cut, the harder it is to fix."

"And apologizing is even worse because it still not facing the problem.", just trying to quickly move on.

"So there's nothing he can do?"

"The only thing I can suggest is that he leaves it and them alone. He didn't want to get involved when it started, so he shouldn't try to act as peacekeeper when he had the means to do it earlier.", those days were gone and would never come back for a long time, "Adrien didn't just hurt their feelings. He broke their trust.", and that was hard to get back, "In the end, everyone's going to lose.", plus it meant more possibilities for akuma's.

'Perfect'

"Anyway, I need to get this stuff back to the bakery. You should drop by sometime. Marinette would just love to see you."

"Right.", he looked off for a moment, "H-How is the Princess doing?"

"She's smiling.", Kitsi couldn't hide her happiness. And Chat couldn't help feeling a bit jealous.

He couldn't remember her smile.

"Have a good night Kitty.", Kitsi patted his head.

Chat stilled. Feeling the energy that resonated from that touch. Of warmth and acceptance.

"Do your best.", she smiled, removing her hand she gave him a thumbs-up, "I'm rooting for you."

"I know. Thanks, Kit.", he gave a smile. Before heading off.

Once he was out of sight and alone. He dropped his transformation.

"Kid?", Plagg called. Watching as Adrien slide to the ground. Bringing his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms and let his head rest on his knees.


In Hawkmoth's Nest,

A window opened, Bathing the room in light, as butterflies scattered. Their master waiting in the shadows.

"I sense a soul crushed by guilt and sadness.", Hawkmoth sensed a new wave of negative, "This energy..."

"Adrien.", his son was hurting.


Adrien sat on the empty bench. After running around Paris and being rejected at every turn. He was now alone. Physically and emotionally drained.

"Kid you need to calm down.", the tiny cat hides in his jacket.

"I can't Plagg.", everything hurt, "Everyone hates me."

"They don't hate you. I mean they don't like you, but..."

"I really messed up, didn't I?"

"Humans are always messing up.", Plagg commented, "Cheese doesn't have this problem. It's perfect."

Adrien continued to groan. He played the days in his head. No matter where he went everyone was disappointed in him. Accused him of being a doormat or basically betraying their trust. They hated him. They wanted nothing to do with him. He had basically been banned from houses and a houseboat. Even Chloe was keeping him at a distance.

As he roamed the streets of Paris he could only hear the voices of those he had once been able to call friends.

I'm disappointed in you.

You disappoint me.

You don't belong.

You could have said something.

You threw us to the wolves.

Chaotic melody

I wish you never came!

A friend would have spoken up

You don't care

I don't trust you

Coward, Coward, Coward!

Adrien groaned. His head was throbbing. The voices bouncing in his skull and only growing louder.

"I'm a coward.", he finally admitted. Feeling the tears in his chest growing and throbbing. It hurt. Everything just hurts.


"My son is no coward.", Hawkmoth dismissed as he listened, watched, felt the negative energy continued to build. If he got too close the akuma would bind to Adrien. His son. Would become a villain.

All-day he had been tempted with a number of emotions. Negativity from those of his son's own classmates. Which any other day would be a dream. If only, the negativity wasn't directed toward his own son.

"Even with these strong emotions, I won't allow my son to be endangered.", but the attraction to such negativity drew the akuma close. If he didn't do something his son would become another supervillain.

"What's this?", another energy was near, "A feeling of frustration.", it wasn't strong, but it was something, "It feels familiar."


"This is getting ridiculous.", in the span of three days, they had to deal with seven. Seven akuma's. Each of them ranging from common to downright ridiculous, "I want to punch Hawkmoth in the face.", repeatedly.

"You okay Kit?", she heard Whissp ask in her ear.

"Just a bit tired.", between the constant villain spawns and her school days, Kitsi didn't know what was frustrating her most. And after talking to Chat, she now had to worry about her classmates getting akumatized, "I just want to go home and take a long, hot, bubble...", she halted seeing something fluttering past her.

"Again with this?", she watched the butterfly flying around her. As if taunting her.

"I'm not that upset.", but seeing the akuma she was getting their, "Don't you have better things to do?", the butterfly, having caught her gaze continued to catch her gaze before suddenly flying off. Kitsi followed it. Worried where it might land. No reason some innocent citizens had to be a second option. It wasn't until she made it to some secluded spot did she notice the akuma moving to its next target.

"Adrien?", the akuma was headed towards him, full speed, "Oh no you don't.", he was not taking another of her friends. Speeding towards her classmate on the ground. Somehow, oblivious to the akuma right over him. She slides in front of him. Finally gaining his attention.

"K-Kitsi?"

"Get out of here you winged vermin so help me I squish you!", she yelled as the butterfly flew away, "Next time I'm getting racket.", the electric one. She turned to look at Adrien looking up at her. The look of surprise still on his face.

"K-Kitsi?", he blinks through the tears still fresh in his eyes, "What...what are you doing here?", he wipes his arm over his eyes. As if it would hide the evidence of his actions.

"I should be asking you that.", considering an akuma was close by and he didn't even notice, "Are you okay?"

"F-Fine.", he nodded, "I'm okay."

Just smile. It's what your good at

"Obviously not,", she wasn't blind, nor was she easy to dismiss an obvious problem, "Adrien, you were crying."

"Must be my allergies. All those feathers.", he tried to explain that his allergies were acting up.

"You sneeze.", not cry in the way she could still see residue down his cheeks, "Are you okay? Are you hurt?", she looked him over. Checking for possible injuries.

"Fine.", he said, "Just...a bad day."

You're alone now. Happy? No one wants a cowardly cat

"Must be if you attracted old Hawkmoth.", the akuma was so close. It could have attacked him and made him into akuma number eight.

"Akuma?", was he that upset, "I didn't notice anything."

"Well it's gone now.", it won't be snacking on cinnamon buns today, "Want to talk about it?", she offered.

"T-Talk?", he seemed to think about the question. Could he talk to her? Wasn't she already upset with him? They weren't exactly on good terms. Not with everything going on at the school;

"I'm...just feeling under the weather. I've been working a lot recently. I'm okay."

Lair

"Are you sure?", Kitsi stared at him.

"Yeah. Just tired.", he sighed.

"You're not a good liar.", even with all those years in front of a camera, smiling his innocent way. She could see something fragmented, "Well I think I have something that might lift your spirits, "Ta-Da!", she showed the basket to Adrien.

"This is..."

"A dessert basket.", Kitsi said, "Marinette made it. For your letter.", she placed it on his lap.

"She made this for me?", he looked down at the specially wrapped basket. Brimming with confections, "She read my letter?"

"You know Marinette...she...", she didn't finish her sentence as she looked back at Adrien. Whether he knew it or not, those cracks had been breached. Small streams cascaded down flushed plains and over smooth cliffs. He had opened the basket and taken out a croissant.

He was crying.

"?"

"I know you're not allowed sweets.", even she doesn't get that choked up. Well, not all the time.

Adrien bite into the freshly cooked pastry. More tears pulling into his eyes.

"Is it that bad?"

Adrien shook his head, "It's good.", he sniffled, "It's warm and I...", he took another bite, "I can taste all the care that went into it.", every bite made his stomach and heart so full.

Then why was he crying?

"Whenever Marinette makes something it's always filled with love. She puts all herself into everything she does.", whether it was for herself or other people. Because she wanted to make everyone happy. Even if it wasn't the best, it was always done with everything she had.

Because she loved it.

She loved.

Marinette was a kind of love.

But...

You broke her heart

You left her alone

Swallowed her light with your darkness

Such a good friend, right?

Slowly Adrien put the croissants back in the basket. Closing it slowly, with a look a dread on his features.

"I...can't eat anymore."

"You models and your diets.", she groaned, "You know it's rude not finish a gift.", especially food."

"It's too much."

Kitsi gave a chuckle, "Really, I could eat a dozen of these.", not that she was bragging, "You should at least try the cookies. Sabine and Tom baked them fresh.", before they could ask Marinette had swiped them up and put them in the basket.

"I shouldn't eat this."

"Oh, what's a couple of desserts.", everyone needed time to stop and eat a cookie or piece of cake.

"I don't deserve it."

"Na...What was that?"

"I don't deserve it. All these treats.", made by Marinette, "It was made with so much love. Even with everything that's happened, she still...makes things with warmth."

"I can't eat anymore. It would be disrespectful to her.", to have such treats and be able to eat them so happily.

"This is something more than croissants and cookies.", he was talking odd. Odder than usual. Not the innocent sunshine peeking around the world. No, this was something much darker, "Seriously what is wrong with you? You haven't been yourself lately.", she commented.

"I'm just..."

"Tired from working.", Kitsi had heard that excuse too many times to count, "Don't try to lie to me, Adrien. I'm persistent when it comes to things like this.", she wouldn't just let it go with a weak affirmation or excuse. Something was bothering him, "I told you I wouldn't press you. But, I won't let you off easy.", especially if she had to go hunting for the answer, "You don't have to tell me the whole story. But, don't hurt yourself alone."

Adrien exhaled slowly. And after some time of silence, he talked.

"He did what?", she was barely able to keep her voice down, "Tell me your joking. No, even as a joke, this is too far below the bar.", and coming from a place where people were turned into supervillains by butterflies.

"What was he thinking!?"

"I asked the same thing.", but wasn't given much of an answer, "He says he was doing what was best for me.", instead of revealing his troubles with his class. He decided to spill his guts on another matter.

Kitsi groaned. Rubbing her temples lightly.

"How did you even find out about this?"

Adrien sighed, "Exposor.", he explained how Natalie had been trapped by the spotlight attack. How he had gone back to check on her and overheard the confession, "Even she knew of what my father had done."

"Betrayed by your own father.", that was cold, "I know your father was controlling, but that is just many levels of wrong."

"I also found these.", he showed Kitsi some of the pages from his father's logbook.

Date: 05/18/20XX

Ms. Rossi had brought me another report. Adrien has been invited to attend a trip to the arcade with classmates. He will ask after returns from school.

Date: 05/24/20XX

Ms. Rossi has reported of a weekend party of Adrien's friend's house. A number of people weren't invited.

Date: 05/30/20XX

Adrien had a fight with one of his classmates, Ms. Inari. The two seem to be at ends over an undetermined dispute. Seldom talking, with brushing him off with little interest. Her feelings for Adrien remain suspicious.

"What is this?", it was like reading a transcript. And a bad one at that. All of them dated and containing information on various subjects.

"A transcript of conversations.", mostly involving Adrien and his other classmates.

"I don't remember any of this.", she noted the transcripts that involved her interactions with Adrien and others, "This doesn't sound anything like me."

"Because she changed the words.", making up conversations and adding scenes that didn't even happen.

"Why am I not surprised.", forgery seemed right up her alley, "She's a horrible writer.", she's read fanfiction with better dialogue, "And your dad believed this junk?"

"He tried to make it seem like he was protecting me and doing what was best.", by isolating him from his friends because he thought they were bad influences on him, "I was just token to him."

"Are you okay?", stupid question, but a needed one.

"I just...couldn't be in the house.", so he lied about going to fencing practice and didn't mention it being closed for the day, "I feel so...used."

"It's okay.", she said, seeing her friend was obviously upset, "I don't know what you're going through. But, I understand."

"It's always more painful when you hurt by the ones you love."

"It's not just about what my father did.", it was part of it, "Be truthful. Am I...am I a good person?"

"Depends on your definition.", she replied, "You're not evil."

"No, I mean...am I a good friend?"

"Good friend?", she hummed a bit, "We'll you're a friend."

"But, am I a good friend?", that's what he wanted to know, "When I feel like I'm doing good, understanding people, like I'm walking like backward.", and headed obviously towards a cliff.

"What are you talking about?", she questioned, "And how did we go from your dad hiring Rossi as a rat, about friendship?"

"Because...I don't think...I'm a good friend."

"Why do you think that?", something twisted in her stomach.

"Friends are there for each other. Friends don't lie. Friends care. Friends are...friends protect each other.", he frowned deeper, "I don't understand. I don't."

"Adrien. What's going on?", there was something deeper.

"I...I...", he stuttered to find the right words, "I just realized something. I'm a coward."

"A coward? Adrien...you're not."

"Don't.", he cut in, "You don't have to lie. I know what I am. I'm a coward. A doormat who can't even stand up for my own friends.", he admitted, his voice strained, "I knew they were being hurt. I let them get used and taken advantage of. I abandoned them when they needed me. Worst of all, I let a good person. Someone I really care about fight alone.", never truly stepping up until it was too late, "Dad was right. I shouldn't have gone to public school. I didn't belong there. If I hadn't pushed and begged, none of this wouldn't have happened.", and he wouldn't have hurt so many people.

"Baka! Baka!", she whacked him on the head. Adrien flinched, holding his head in shocked from the sudden assault.

"You're mad at me too?", he knew he should have kept his mouth shut. Kitsi probably was going to kill him. Her eyes burned. Ignited with energy and emotion he couldn't quite place. But, he didn't think it was anger.

"Listen and listen closely. No matter what anyone thinks no one can decide what can and can't be.", it was impossible, "I don't care what mistake you made then, this is now. You're here now. And even if you could go back to that time, you can't."

"?"

"...What I mean is that no one can say what could have been. But, you can't change the past then you should only go forward.", she tried to simply, "I like the you I know now.", to an extent, "You may stumble on some basic things, but your learning and you try to become better."

"But, I'm not 'normal' like everyone else.", even he knew that.

"I like the you that I know now. And I want to see the you that you'll become.", she corrected, "And I don't want you putting yourself down for someone else's stupidity."

"But, what if I keep making mistakes?"

"Then it means you're human.", and could make them. Even if he didn't want to, "I know you think the worst. And yeah things are pretty bad right now. But, you can't blame yourself."

"I don't think anyone else shares your sentiments.", he looked down, "Everyone pretty much hates me now.", and they had every right too, "I disappointed everyone. Including myself."

With a sudden, but gentle pull, Kitsi guided his head onto her shoulder. The action shocking the young model. But, he made no move to fight it.

Instead further on her shoulder. More tears leaking from his eyes.

"It's okay to cry.", she said, "Even if you feel like you're cracking. We can pick up the pieces.", she pushed his head further into her shoulder, "You're not made of glass. But, you shouldn't be treated like you're unbreakable either."

So he did. Sitting there. In the silence of the oblivious city. He cried into the welcomed haven of his friend.

Surprisingly no butterflies returned.


"NINO LAHIFFE!", the name rang out through the courtyard. All eyes turned to see Kitsi, eyes burning, coming down the pathway as they locked with her target. As she grew closer many held her breathe. Even if she already voiced who she was looking for, it didn't make things less tense. Smarter students had already taken cover and left the area in general once they were out of her line of sight.

"She does not look happy.", and that is putting it lightly.

"Think we can make a break for it?", if he ran now, he had a slight chance of making to the principal's office.

"Don't worry dude we got your back.", Kim said.

"You sure about that?"

"There's strength in numbers, right?", but as Kitsi approached and her eyes fell on them. Blazing with an immeasurable energy. They felt small.

"Leave. Now.", she growled.

She didn't even need to finish her sentence before the entire courtyard cleared out. Even Kim and Max had split seeing the angry girl before them.

"Good luck dude.", was the last thing they said before basically abandoning him.

So much for sticking together.

Though given the position he was in now. He couldn't really blame them.

"Uh, hey dud..."

But, the look in her eyes said she wasn't there for pleasantries. That should have already been established.

"You want to explain to me, why I shouldn't throw you and your headphones into the Seine.", not a question, but a warning of what his future would hold if he pushed her the wrong way.

"What did I do?", his first, of many, stupid questions to ask.

"What did you do? What did you!?", she snorted, "I should be asking why I got a call from Marinette.", she was on her way to school when she got a call from Marinette. Who, from the sound of it, was upset. And when Marinette was upset, Kitsi was not happy. And when Kitsi was unhappy, someone or something got hurt.

"I don't..."

"I got a call from Marinette, who said she saw Adrien sulking outside of the school.", how she spotted him coming out of the school, not even ten minutes after the first class and left the school. Practically running out of the building and down the street. And from her description he was distraught. Like a kicked cat before he ran away from the school, "So what did you do?"

"Nothing.", he swore, "Me and Adrien just...got into a disagreement."

"Is that it? Because from what I've been told it was more than a disagreement.", she narrowed her eyes.

"I thought you said you didn't believe in rumors."

"Yes, because unlike certain people, I listen to my friends.", and take offense when someone upsets them, "And you Lahiffe, have ticked me off.", too many times, "Now for the last time, what did you do?", and she wasn't going to let him off easy like she did before.

"Look. I don't know what Marinette told you, but we just had a disagreement, he said.

"And this disagreement apparently warranted Adrien to leave school.", he still hadn't come back, "Last chance. If you don't tell me and I have to find out myself.", nothing good would come out if Kitsi found out the other had been lying to her, "And if it has something to do with what I think it does, then your chances are ticking away. Very quickly."

"Okay look.", he began, "Adrien and I got into an argument.", he explained how Alya had asked him to come on the Ladyblog and do an interview. She wanted his opinion on the latest akuma attack and being attacked by Exposor.

"How did she know he was attacked by the akuma?"

"People says they saw the akuma go after him."

"Oh so now she listens to eye-witnesses?", surprising, "And what else?"

"Well Adrien didn't want to talk about it.", but Alya didn't seem to take no for an answer, "When Adrien walked off I thought it was the end of it."

"And?", she leaned in.

"And...she overheard him talking to Marinette."

Kitsi's eye twitched.

"Your lying."

"No I..."

Her eyes narrowed. Maroon eyes boring into him. Drilling into his very soul with an intensity that prevented him from looking away.

"I think what you meant to say was, you and Adrien had an argument.", that much was true, "But, not because Adrien wouldn't be interviewed. No, this was because you found out he knew about a certain someone's stories not being truthful. Right?"

He didn't even have to say anything.

"If you're looking for some false sense of pity and sympathy for them and yourself. Go talk to Ms. Bustier.", she barely had enough for herself, "I say go talk to Marinette, but even I'm not going to let her talk to any of you two-faced vipers.", she scoffed, "You and everyone else wanted to believe all those amazing stories and act like a bunch of brainless sheep. And now it's blown up in your face. You want everyone else to feel bad because you all made donkey-backsides out of yourselves."

"And now you take it out on Adrien. Are you out of your mind?!"

"I...he knew.", Nino voiced, "Since day one Adrien knew that Lila was a liar and her stories were bogus. And he never once said anything. And let her manipulate everyone and make up lies."

"You mean that after Adrien told you he went to see Marinette, you went and told your girlfriend.", which lead to the whole confrontation yesterday, of accusing Kitsi of not allowing people to see Marinette, but also upsetting Adrien which lead to Chloe spilling tea on her, literally and figuratively, "Or maybe it's how you tried to guilt him because he didn't tell you Rossi was a two-faced, venom-spitting snake."

"But he knew. And instead of telling us, his friends, and stood back and let her do it.", he didn't hide his pain and feelings of betrayal.

"Yeah Adrien's pretty much an overly passive kravan.", what else was new, "But, you Lahiffe are much worse. Because after knowing Marinette since elementary. You never once stood up for her when rumors began to surface.", even after she had gotten framed and suspended he didn't once stop and defend her.

"I was..."

"Following your girlfriend and Rossi like a lost puppy. Especially after she promised you a demo and meeting famous directors was dangled in front of you.", like a starving dog chasing after a hollow bone, "I may be ticked off at Adrien for being a coward and not speaking up or Cesaire for never knowing when to leave well enough alone. But, between him, her, and everyone else, he isn't the worst person in this drama turned tragedy.", but he wasn't the best at the moment.

"But, he knew she was lying.", and let them all continue to believe her stories.

"So did Marinette. And we all know how that went.", a number of people looked at the DJ, "Even I knew the girl was jaded and I didn't even know her for one day.", anyone would common sense would have seen flaws in her stories and figured out she lied.

"He could have said something."

"Even if Adrien had said anything.", which would be a miracle in itself, "You and everyone else would have probably done the same thing you did to Marinette and me.", dismissed it and acted like a mob when someone disagreed with Rossi and called her out, "You have no room to judge anyone.", especially someone who actually used common sense, to a level, and didn't fall for Rossi's tricks. After some extra prodding and smack to real-life consequences.

"Plus I give him credit for at least coming to visit Marinette and trying to make amends for his lack of action. Haven't seen your face in the bakery.", none of their classmates had even attempted to step in the shop or call or inquire about how Marinette was doing.

"Well I've been...you know busy with..."

"Oh, you mean trying to dig up more dirt on me or trying to salvage what little credibility your girlfriend has.", which was next to little, "But, are willing to throw anyone under the bullet train if it means neither you or her or anyone else has to face consequences.", and that was low, "You and everyone else don't want to take responsibility and admit that you were wrong. Yet, you jump on anyone because it will take the heat of you.", bringing up the fact that they goaded Chloe into standing up to Kitsi, guilt-tripped Adrien for not speaking up, or even blaming Kitsi because she decided to give them a reality check. While also adding it was because they didn't have the thought to actually check the facts that led up to the public scolding they had gotten in the first place. Live, because his girlfriend couldn't bother to swallow her pride and actually get the facts straight.

"You have no right to judge anyone. Not me or Adrien or any else because you put yourself in this situation because you didn't know when to stop.", and now it was time to pay up, "So no, you do not get to play the victim card. You are not a victim, you are an accessory at best. With a title of a casualty. You could have spoken up and actually fact-checked all her stories, but you didn't. You could have also stood up for Marinette when she actually tried to tell you Rossi was deceiving you. Instead of treating her so poorly and believing all the rumors Rossi made up.", so he shouldn't expect sympathy. Especially not from her, "You'll sell out yourself and your friends for nothing but petty words. So yeah, poor you.", she leered at the other's contemptible sense of morals.

"If we weren't in this situation right now and Adrien told you Rossi lied. Would you believe him?", she questioned.

"Well, I..."

"No you wouldn't.", he hesitated with his answer, "You were warned time and time again something was off. You should have noticed when promises didn't come through or the stories kept changing.", or seemed too good to be true without proof or evidence to back it up, "You choose to believe the stories. To act like a bunch of sheep and eat up all the lies that spewed from her mouth. And when someone tried to give you facts, Rossi played the victim, cried her crocodile tears, you all drank them.", to the last drop and spit it in other people's faces.

"You even turned on Marinette. Who you've known since you were a child. One of the kindest people you've ever met. You turned your back on her and left her alone.", and that's was one of the worst offenses, "Marinette suffered alone. Now Adrien is suffering.", and she wasn't doing so well herself. But, she couldn't allow herself to breakdown just yet.

"So now allow me to repeat myself. Since you still want to act like a hypocrite then leave the rest of us alone."

"Huh?"

"You heard me. I'm getting sick of you and them trying to bring everyone down because you can't accept the facts.", and then trying to act all righteous when it was convenient, "You had no right to say what you said to him. Especially since you never spoke up. You never tried to look for answers. And you were just as complicit in kissing Lila's feet and fanning her flames as you were villainizing anyone who tried to prove her wrong."

"But..but...Adrien..."

Kitsi stomped her foot.

"This isn't about Adrien not saying anything about her being an obvious liar. You just want someone to a fault because you failed one of the basic rules of being a friend.", not turning their back or abandoning a friend for any reason, "And don't even try to say this is for Marinette because he told her not to get involved. It's insulting to even think what you did was even close to being for Marinette.", on any level.

"But, I..."

"You didn't do anything. You followed everyone else like a pack of sheep and now it isn't all green pastures.", it was the line for the slaughterhouse, "You have no right to judge or scold anyone. When you should have had the common sense to figure out that you were being led by a rat."

"Even if Adrien is passive, he at least he has a reason.", not much of a good one, but has a moral code, "Meanwhile you pretty much sold out because you thought you were going to mention to Hollywood producers and music celebrities.", and do all these amazing things.

"But he knew she was lying and didn't tell anyone."

"That still didn't justify you or everyone else chewing Adrien out because he doesn't know better.", which she chalked up to his years of being homeschooled and not having much control over his personal life, "To say what you did is not only rude, disrespectful, but so hypocritical that not even Chat Noir could make it light.", because there was no humor in it. And given the fact that he was still in a raw place after the last akuma attack, made it worse, "I don't care how mad you were. I don't care if you put your foot in your mouth. Which isn't the only place you're going to get it for not only yelling at someone for no reason. But, getting everyone so worked up it makes a person devalue themselves as not only a friend. But, as a human being", it broke her heart listening to Adrien cry. To see him breaking down and beating himself up. Finally crying himself to sleep and carrying him home, "So at this rate, this is the second, no, the third person to be driven out of this school.", a new record, "So congratulations, Adrien hates himself. He literally despises his own existence. And wants nothing more than to be locked back in the home where he'll be placed behind glass like a porcelain doll. Are you happy? Are you proud of yourself?"

Nino paled a bit.

"He...hates himself?"

Kitsi's hands clenched.

"He feels guilty that everyone is suffering. He blames himself for what's happening.", all he could do was apologize. Cry and bow his head, "Adrien needs a friend.", she folded her arms, "So as his friend I'm going to find him, before a little butterfly of evil does.", and hopefully she could prevent that, "Or did you forget there's a supervillain that targets negative energy.", for which Adrien pretty much had a target on his back. All that was missing was a sign that said 'come and get it.'

Again Nino paled. He had forgotten. Akuma's were always around. That targeted negative energy.

"I...I didn't know..."

"Too little too late.", and it was time to face the facts, "So since you and your girlfriend and our classmates can't seem to get your heads from up your backsides. I'm going to have to do it for you.", and she had no problem with it, "Consider this your first and last warning."

"What does that mean?"

"It means if you even so much as look at Adrien, Marinette, or any of my friends. I will break you into dust.", and she had every bit of means to do it, "Not physically. No, I will wreck you. I will make your lives so painful, so agonizing, so unforgiving that no one will ever find what remains.", she leaned in, "It won't be a quick demise. I will make it slow. Taking my time to skin you down to the bone. Grinding every bit. Until nothing remains."

Nino shrank under those eyes.

"You will rue the day you crossed me.", and she wouldn't rest until everyone knew it, "And that goes for our classmates as well .", and they better pray they never crossed paths outside of class or school for a long time.

And without another word she turned and walked off. Leaving a silent and stunned boy to think over those words. And count his blessings, or not, that she hadn't beaten him senseless.


The rest of the day crept by slowly. It was as if time was being weighed day, as the clocked ticked by. The last class of the day found everyone quietly reading at their desks. Though mindlessly staring at their books might be a better description. None of them had dared to talk or even look at Kitsi. A sign that Nino had relayed her message. And they were smart enough to keep their distance.

Yet when the final bell rang students had started packing up. Before she left Kitsi had been called to the front. The teacher handing her an envelope of papers.

"Count on me.", she promised before heading off.


At the Agreste Manor,

Kitsi pressed the doorbell.

"Yes? Who is it?", a voice questioned as an eyeball camera came from the monitor to look over the visitor.

"Kitsi Inari.", she introduced herself as one of Adrien's classmates, "Also known as the violent beast with a short temper.", she mentioned the information apparently compiled on her and her reported actions, "I know you expected me to bust the door down. But, decided to leave those boots at home.", though she could appreciate a good challenge.

"How may I help you?", she questioned with the same even tone.

"I'm here to drop off Adrien's homework.", she revealed, "Also there are no secret love notes or intimate texts. Me and Adrien are just friends.", had to make sure to add that.

"Adrien is currently in his Chinese lessons.", meaning he couldn't have visitors, "You can leave the assignments with me and I'll deliver them to him.", a slot opened where mail would go.

Kitsi looked at the slot and the folder.

"Actually I would prefer to give it to him myself.", she commented, "I've heard you can lose anything in the mail."

"Adrien is busy with his lessons.", she repeated.

"Then I'll come back.", she was pretty sure she knew his schedule by now. So she was sure Adrien wasn't in lessons as mentioned. Thank Marinette and her attention to detail almost everything about her crush.

It was obviously a way to get rid of her.

"That won't be necessary.", Natalie said evenly, "I'll make sure Adrien receives his work."

'I'm sure you will.'

"I would actually feel better giving it to him personally. You know, to make sure he knows I stopped by.", and that he actually got it. She didn't trust the assistant, professional or not, to deliver the homework.

"I don't believe Mr. Agreste would appreciate uninvited guests in his home.", she narrowed.

"I can get the drop on an akuma. You think this gate and your security system will stop me.", it was a challenge, "You should update my file.", she stretched her muscles, "How long do you think it will take me to clear the gate and get in the house?", she bet on ten minutes tops to climb over the wall and get into the house and up to Adrien's room.

"You wouldn't..."

But, she would. She wouldn't be here if she didn't.

"Time me.", she took her stance and prepared to scale the gates, "Mark, Set, and...!", before she took off there was a clanging sound of a lock unlatching before the doors opened. Releasing her position, she took it as a sign that she could enter.

Maybe next time.


When she entered the house she was greeted by Natalie, Adrien's father's assistant. While she rarely had much contact with the usually cold emotionless woman. She wouldn't put anything past her. It was usually the ones on both ends of the spectrum of emotions that you should be cautious of.

"I came to deliver Adrien's homework.", she showed the folder to the older woman.

"Adrien is in his Chinese lessons at the moment.", and was therefore unavailable. She gave a small cough.

Kitsi expression remained lax, "Well the teacher asked me to make sure Adrien received his homework.", for which she volunteered to deliver. Though after being in this house a few times, it still felt cold. Like being in a freezer without ice cream or meat. Baron and without satisfaction. It made her wonder how Adrien survived living in such a place, "Adrien didn't come back to school this afternoon."

"Is he okay?"

"As far as I know he wasn't feeling well.", and came home and went to his room.

'Of course, he did.', she knew the assistant was lying, "So I guess I should leave this with you. I trust you'll give it to him.", she offered the folder to Natalie.

"I see we have a guest.", he looked at Kitsi with a calculating look, "I believe I know you. Ms. Inari, correct?"

"Kitsi Inari.", she introduced herself fully.

"She's here to deliver Adrien's homework.", Natalie informed, still holding the folder containing his classwork, "I was just about to show her out."

"Try it.", Kitsi said casually in her second native tongue, "I was actually going to wait until Adrien was done with his Chinese lessons.", one way or another she was going to talk to Adrien, "But, if he's not available I can always come back.", and she would.

"She was just about to leave.", she said, adding an apology for the disturbance.

"Actually I would like to have a word with Ms. Inari.", this came as a shock for both Natalie and Kitsi. Gabriel Agreste wanted to speak with her. She had only spoken to him on a few occasions. Mostly when he was on the monitor calling from his office. Never in person. Recounting one occasion when she spoke with him in her Kitsune form. And now as Kitsi, she had nothing to say to him. Mostly for the fact she wanted to put her foot to his face.

"If you have a moment."

"Sure.", why not add some fuel to the fire.


Once inside the office, Kitsi was greeted, in the indirect sense, to the world that was the King of Fashion. The office was just like the owner. Cold, colorless, and sealed out from the rest of the world. She pictured more fabrics really. Carefully scanning the room he noticed a picture on the wall. A woman. With hauntingly familiar green eyes that stood out from the rest of the painting.

'Have I...seen her before?'

However, it would have to wait, as Gabriel began to speak. Drawing her attention to the desk.

"When I overheard Natalie talking about one of Adrien's classmates at the front gate I wasn't expecting you.", this was the first time he had seen her in person. At least in his own house. Their interactions were usually centered around business or events at the school that Gabriel had, reluctantly, had to be a part of.

"Most people don't.", and that's what led to so many surprises.

"Still you went out of your way to deliver Adrien's assignments.", he noted, "It's very rare to see his classmates come to the house.", or at least the inside.

"It's no problem. It's a friend's job to make sure others don't miss the important things.", like education, "Adrien is smart, but he should still stay upon his classwork."

"Very true.", he seemed to agree, "I take it education is important in your home life."

Kitsi gave a laugh, "Well I'm not exactly a role model for a studious student.", she admitted, "If it wasn't for people like Adrien my math scores wouldn't be the B average it is now.", though she may be pushing it.

"So Adrien is your tutor."

"Adrien is one of the smartest students.", some subjects more than others, "Though when it comes to the more physical and creative courses he does need that extra push."

"I see.", he hummed a bit, "I believe I've seen some of your work. The charms and jewelry you've made. Quite an impressive eye."

"I'm a bit of a hands-on person.", admittedly she couldn't think of being on the sidelines for too long, "I believe in doing the best. Win or lose. You have to keep pushing forward until the end."

"I see.", he sounded intrigued, if only slightly, "A good lesson to live by."

"It's one of many, many Inari codes to live by.", and she had a pretty good list of lessons and codes in her life.

"She painted you as a troublemaker with a sorted past."

Kitsi gave a small snort, "Hardly.", she dismissed, "And my past isn't sorted. I've been to a lot of schools."

"I was modeling for my brother's portfolio for cosmetology school.", she spent hours getting styled up by Akihiko, "That was from the punk rock collection.", she actually had ones with her and her brothers, "The theme was pretty rebellious."

"So the stories of you being a school delinquent."

"Completely made up.", and overly exaggerated, "The only gang I've ever been in was the student council as a monitor.", she and others would volunteer to walk students, mostly females, home and school. Mostly because of rival schools whose students tried picking fights with other school students. It was normal for fights to break out, but mostly from upper-class students. Lower classes were usually bystanders most of the times, "Also there was no rivalry.", the two gangs that were reported weren't a bunch of members at war, "Honestly those girls were members of my older brother's fan club."

"Fan club?"

"My brother's were rivals for years. Honestly, they mostly got into verbal fights most of the time.", nothing too physical, "And the fan clubs were a gang on its own.", the real delinquents didn't even want to cross them. They clashed almost daily and would disrupt classes just to sneak into the upper-level areas to see her eldest brother. The only reason she was left alone was that her brothers basically threatened anyone who came near her with ill intent.

"If you wanted to know more about me all you had to do was ask.", she could have compensated him with some stories, "Seems a shame you had to get it from a stray dogs mouth."

"Stray dog?"

"Oh you know, the one that seems to try and jump on your son and now and again.", she replied, "I believe she's a yapping Italian breed."

"I see."

"I take it you're referring to Ms. Rossi.", he surmised.

She tapped her nose.

"Am I to assume you've spoken to Adrien."

"We've had a few conversations.", this one was in the top ones, "And I've got to say, this one really caught me by surprise.", she was nearly speechless. Nearly. Her emotions fluctuate from confusion, shock, anger, and remorse. The last one being for Adrien who had to find out this information. Not from his father that traded him off. No, it was from an akuma attack, "Though after giving it some thought I came to some pretty decent conclusions."

"Which is?", he inquired.

"Pardon my French.", she began, "You, Mr. Agreste, are an idiot."

"Excuse me?", he raised an eyebrow at the child who had just insulted his intelligence.

"You pretty much made a deal with who I assume is a she-devil.", that's not a wise business deal to make, "And like many others who bought her snake oil, you've fallen into the category of a, and again excuse my French, Baka.", which was Japanese, "Honestly I didn't peg you for a person who would fall for the words of a, and I quote, child.", manipulative yes, but a child nonetheless.

"I assumed Ms. Rossi was a good influence on my son.", though by the sound of his voice he seemed to try to hide the fact he was doubting his own words. Or perhaps he didn't think he needed much effort to convince Kitsi he was only doing it for Adrien's benefit.

But, Kitsi wasn't that easily swayed. She was taught never to trust others fully in words alone. Even actions had to be taken at length without proof.

"Unless you've been living under a rock, I wouldn't call her a good influence.", by any standards, "She'll lie, cheat, and steal if it benefits her. She shows no remorse for what she does. And will backstab you when she gets the chance.", which had been proven on multiple occasions.

"It sounds like you're not too fond of her.", he commented.

"Fond isn't the word I use.", detest would be on the top list, "See, I have this thing about liars. Not, small lies. No, she is on a different level.", one Kitsi was all too willing to watch her fall from, "She crossed me.", too many times.

Gabriel took her answer to mind. Not hiding her resentment of her classmate in any form.

"I find it quite odd how someone like you, the King of Fashion, believes she was good for your son.", she put forth, "Aren't designers supposed to know real from cheap imitation and material that causes irritation to the human body?", and Rossi was as cheap and fake as they came. Especially if she had the nerve to not only trick her way into his house, fool his own staff, and falsify a picture with his son as a possible relationship, and spread it around to anyone, "I would like to see how you measure what counts as a good influence.", because it must be a pretty low bar.

"I did what I did to protect my son. I do anything to keep him safe.", it seemed to be his go-to excuse. Using the parental right to keep his child safe and make decisions because they were for his benefit.

"Well, you didn't. You allowed one of the worst people to get near him. Someone who literally uses people to make herself look better.", that was the definition of a bad choice, especially by a parent who knew she was manipulative liar, "What's worse is now he pretty much knows she was just using him and to top it off was sending information to you. His own father. You could have at least hired someone else. You could have picked Chloe.", it probably would have been less painful.

"You don't understand. You're a child.", she didn't need to know what happened in his home.

"I'm a child? You don't even trust your own son to make his own friends. You think they're going to use him or ruin your reputation. When you hired someone who not only lied to him, but also robbed him, and throws herself at him at every turn. How is that anything close to protect him?"

"You said she robbed him.", he sounded surprised.

She sighed, "Oh for the love of...", that's what he focuses on, "On her first day of school she stole a book from him. You know, the one you were ready to pull him out of school for.", and grounded him for life because he took a book to school. She's lost stuff before and her parents were never that strict that they take her from her friends.

"She stole the book?", he remembered that day. When his book was stolen and Collector had been born.

"Among other things, she's a thief.", on various levels, "As I said, she uses anyone and anything to build herself up. Which includes your own son.", adding how she stole a book from him on the first day of school and tried to hide it by disposing of it in the trash, "But, instead of doing your fatherly duty and telling him to avoid her. You make her your spy. Top-notch parenting there.", real A+ parenting material.

"I didn't really realize Ms. Rossi's past interactions with my son. I assumed since he was so formal around her, they were close friends.", but again Kitsi didn't seem to buy the excuse.

"Are you joking? She only sees him as a means to an end. There is no love or friendship that doesn't involve her using his name to boost herself up.", for which his own father offered up as a prize piece of meat for what she could only guess was false information to make everyone else look bad in the designers eyes, "I've seen her abandon him during akuma attacks. Only to fine being worried or pretend she was protecting him.", just to brag about to anyone who would listen, "Like the time some akuma turned into Adrien and climbed up the Eiffel Tower.", next thing she knows she's hearing about how she was helping the heroes and ever climbed up there to save Adrien. Which was a lie because she was the akuma, "There's also the fact she throws herself over him every chance she gets. She has no sense of personal space."

"And Adrien voiced his dislike of this?"

"He looks like a caged animal everytime she puts her hands on him.", latching onto his arm, putting her hands on his shoulder, "And doing the thing where you twirl your finger on someone's chest.", she demonstrated, "Is creepy than anything. And she does this without his permission. Most people would see that as harassment.", which was both wrong and uncomfortable. Especially for Adrien who looked miserable.

"He never mentioned any of this."

"Because Adrien isn't one to stir up conflict.", even if he was voicing his disconcern, "Plus even so, Adrien is a boy. Most people don't understand harassment goes both ways.", though boys and men never get the same level of sympathy as females, "If it were me or some other female, and a boy was doing it.", there were major repercussions for the offender involved, and she was just thinking about what her brothers would do, "I'm saying this because as his friends, I don't like seeing him in situations that make him uncomfortable.", which includes anyone, male or female, who think they can touch another person without consent and with a motive. And Rossi had a motive.

"These are very serious claims you've brought up.", and he was not one to turn a blind eye if someone was harassing his own son. Especially if he was put in a position where he was obviously uncomfortable, "I didn't know Ms. Rossi was going to these lengths with my son."

"It's not just about her touching him. It's the fact she's using the fact that they're close to putting him in a position that, if he tries to resist, she could turn things against him.", it was a cringy thought, "Adrien has said multiple times that he doesn't like her in the way she tries to frame it. But, that doesn't stop her from alluding to the fact that they are in a relationship.", and that was crossing the line, "And I know that if Adrien says otherwise she will use that forked tongue of hers to make people believe that Adrien was playing 'her' or leading 'her' on."

"I highly doubt she would use such tawdry means."

"I know she would.", Kitsi argued, "I've seen how low she will go to keep up her lies. Adrien would just be another corpse in the road.", if it came down to it, she would throw him to the wolves and keep running, "She's a liar. It's all she does.", it was a matter of survival, "Even if you don't believe it would happen, it does happen.", and people love a good scandal. You could be the face of humanitarianism. But, just one accusation would taint the image. And no one was an exception, "And if she can make people believe she's friends with heroes or had some ear injury. You think she couldn't and wouldn't try to spin this out of spite.", then he needed to get out more.

"Do you know why Adrien didn't want to go back to school this morning?", she questioned, "After the last akuma attack people found out Adrien pretty much knew Rossi wasn't all truthful. They got mad at Adrien because he stood back and didn't tell them. And because of that, most people don't want to trust him because he knowingly let her lie to them or was going against her for some petty reason.", especially Nino who felt betrayed that Adrien pretty much left him in the dark. Even Kagami was disappointed and she actually had feelings for him.

"How do you know that?"

"Trust me, word travels fast in a school.", so it wasn't hard to listen and figure out what was going on. Especially since people liked to gossip. Even if he didn't say anything, Kitsi could figure out he wasn't coming back, "And I assume you didn't know.", or choose not to care about the fact that his son was upset.

The silence gave him away.

"He feels guilty for his friends, ashamed of himself, and at the top of the list heartbroken because you went so far as to keep him under your watch you pretty much hired a classmate to spy on him and make sure he wasn't tarnishing the Agreste family name.", while simultaneously using that name to build her own reputation and offering him like he was a token.

"As I said it was for the best.", again with that same excuse.

"You keep saying that, but do you honestly think what you did to him was for the best?", because she couldn't see it, "His best friend doesn't want to talk to him, his own teammates barely trust him to just spare with him, half the class won't acknowledge him, and now he's lost trust in not only people but himself.", and that was on a growing list of problems he was dealing with, "He even tried apologizing to them, only to get scolded and the door slammed in his face.", and was even banned from people's houses, "Even Chloe basically kicked him out.", and Chloe had done some pretty questionable things, "If your plan was to make your son a social pariah and give him depression then congrats, you succeeded."

"When Adrien first enrolled in school people only saw him as two things: Adrien Agreste the model son of Gabriel Agreste or Chloe's friend.", the latter of which made him unapproachable since people assumed he was the same as her if they were friends, "He worked so hard to make friends. He was so happy when he got to meet new people and even got to experience new things with those new friends.", now it was on the verge of ending because of something his father did. Or rather didn't do.

"If you were so worried that Adrien was around such bad influences, why didn't you just talk to him?", like a normal parent would do. Adrien would have gladly talked to his father. If ever had emerged from his office. And told him about all his friends.

"Well, it's rather late for that. My son doesn't wish to speak to me.", not that he didn't try. He didn't even want to eat with him. He even called him by his last name, "I just wanted to protect him from those who would use him. Befriend him for only his namesake."

"And you pick someone who did the exact thing you wanted to protect him from.", that was the definition of a bad move, "Rossi has done this since she got here. She claims to know all these amazing people and uses their accomplishments to make herself look good.", Adrien included, "She's claimed how 'close' they are. How he invites her over his house. And how they're always hanging out. And how his father, the King of Fashion, just adores her because of you he talks about her to you.", which only proves she was full of herself because his father didn't care about anyone who didn't benefit him.

"I don't care if Adrien is your son. I care that Adrien is obviously hurt and feels betrayed. And as his friend I will do anything in my power to make sure he is safe and knows he has people who truly care about him.", like Marinette, her parents, and so many people who liked Adrien for being himself and not just what his name represents, "And while you might think it's not my business because I'm just some 'beast with a temper' who will get your son hurt. Know that my code is to protect the people I care about.", and she would do anything to make sure they were safe.

"I've protected Adrien from overzealous fans, paparazzi, people who would take advantage of him, and even akuma's.", and she did it for his sake. So he could have a normal life and go to school and make friends, "And even though we have had our disagreements. I know that he still has a lot to learn.", and that as a friend she needed to be there for him to make sure he didn't get over his head.

"So your upset that Adrien made friends with a DJ, a blogger, the daughter of bakers, and well...me. Because we don't come from influential backgrounds.", seriously that was so petty, "We, everyone, liked Adrien for who he was. For being himself and not for his namesake."

"Heck even Chloe, all things considered, cares for him because they've known each other since they were kids.", and Adrien still wanted to be friends with her even with her attitude. And Chloe would defend him and snap on anyone who would try to hurt him, "We would have done anything for Adrien because we were all friends."

"And now?"

Kitsi paused. He wasn't getting it. No matter how she explained it the businessman couldn't fully see what he had done. Or was just too proud to admit he was wrong. Even for his own son.

"I didn't want to get involved.", but in the end, perhaps that was her fault.

"So fair warning.", she began, "From what's been going around Rossi's reputation has taken a critical hit and is going down fast. I'm sure even someone like you understands what happens to a person's image when there associated with bad PR.", even without prior knowledge, people would associate someone with the company another keeps. Good or bad. It was a venom that would rot anyone and anything that failed to seek out a cure.

"I don't want Adrien to go down because some lying mink used him and tainted his reputation with a bunch of lies.", it was, in her grandmother's words, a pathetic way to die by false means without a good fight, "And If you're not going to do anything for him as his father, do something as his employer."

She could feel the other glaring at her, but ignored it.

"And though you might not like it when people actually disagree with you because you think you're always going to be right. At this moment, you have a decision to make.", and she hoped to Kami he understood the cost of his decisions, "Adrien is your son, not just your model. And even after you constantly try to keep him under your thumb. Pulling him from school for a variety of reasons. All he has ever wanted was for you, his father was to believe in him. That he could be more than what you try to make him.", not just a model. Not just the son of the King of Fashion.

Just Adrien. His son.

"And just what do you hope to gain from this endeavor of yours?", the designer inquired.

Kitsi paused for a moment.

"Something special.", she said, "The thing that only Adrien has."

"So even if you don't like me. If you don't think I'm good enough for your Adrien. That I'm nothing special or maybe even will bring nothing but trouble.", she didn't care, she never did, "For this precious item has been stolen.", so she must recover it.

"So you do want something from my son.", so it would seem he was right in his suspicions that Kitsi only wanted something from his son.

"I don't need anything from Adrien. And will definitely never want anything from you.", Kitsi relaxed her fingers, "But...", she paused taking a silent breath.

"Gomen."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry.", she apologized in her second tongue, "I wish I could have been a better friend to Adrien.", perhaps it wouldn't have escalated to this point. If she hadn't chosen to be selfish and focus on herself and the other friends she had made. She didn't want to constantly have to look out for people. To point out the obvious and try to be a hero all the time. Or always be pegged as the bad guy. To allow the world and people to take out their frustrations on her. And should the world and those she chose to leave behind combust and turn to ash. She wouldn't bat another tear.

"All I can hope for now is to salvage the pieces I allowed to fracture.", though she had many to find and sort out, perhaps that was how it had to be, "But know this."

"No matter what you think of you me or anyone else on the other side of high society.", people with influence and title, "I could care less who Adrien is."

"I know he is talented. As well as I know that he is kind and wants nothing more than to know he is loved.", whether they were family or friend, "He is not some piece of meat to be looked at, an accessory to wear, a prize that can be fought over (to a degree), and above all else a token to be used for someone else's enjoyment.", she emphasized the last part for the Gabriel to understand, "I'll admit I haven't been the model friend.", she had her moments, "But, as you said, I don't understand your relationship with your son."

"So congratulations, Mr. Agreste, your son lost some good friends and probably won't be getting more anytime soon.", she didn't blink, as she turned to the door and away from the designer who had not once looked at her, "All it cost you was the trust of your own son.", and the respect of others who would have thought better of a man with the title of a father.

"I meant what I said.", every word, "And I always keep my word.", one way or another.

With her words said, Kitsi took her exit. She had spent enough time there. And though she had more to stay. Her senses told her this was a fight, for now, that she must walk away. But, even when the door closed and only Gabriel remained. The air, the atmosphere in the room.

Her presence lingered and her words echoed.

'I always keep my word.'

Going to his monitor, Gabriel pressed a couple of buttons and brought up his security camera for the front of the house. He could see Natalie escorting Kitsi out. The young female walking down the pathway and towards the gate.


After leaving Adrien's home, Kitsi went to go visit Marinette. She promised to give her updates about Adrien and how he was doing.

"What's wrong Kitsi?", Marinette looked worried. Kitsi came to the bakery in a bit of a funk. Even missing the freshly baked cookies her parents had offered. Coming up to the room and basically falling on the bed. Exhausted.

"Well I shouldn't be saying this, but...Adrien was attacked by Exposor.", she revealed how he had been cornered by the akuma as he was trying to help people evacuate.

"He was?!", she gasped, "Is he okay? Was he hurt? Did he say something embarrassing?", was that the reason he wasn't at his activities? Why he ran away from school. People were making fun of him. Teasing him?

"It wasn't him. It was his father's assistant Natalie.", who had pushed him out of the way and told him to run.

"She revealed that Gabriel had pretty much hired Rossi to spy on his son and keep anyone he deemed 'unfit' away from him.", basically allowing him to keep tabs on his son and those around him.

"He what? How...why would he do something like that?", she was beyond lost on how a parent could even come up with that.

"We all know he never really approved of his son going to school. So he recruited Rossi to keep tabs on him and the company he keeps.", making notes on them all so his father could pick who was fit to be around his son, "He even has transcripts of our conversations. Most of which were fabricated and changed.", no surprise.

"But, that's so...so...invasive. It's like he doesn't even trust his own son.", Marinette frowned, "And he picked her?", of all people.

"You think? Apparently I'm some brute with anger issues.", she scoffed at the notion, "And something about me having feelings for him. Not all girls have romantic feelings for him.", that was ridiculous and so egotistical, "And you're written out to be some stalker fan."

Marinette blushed furiously, "Ugh, that is embarrassing!", she put her face in her hands.

"Adrien found out and...he's not taking it well.", which explained his mood, "He feels betrayed. Especially by his dad.", and that's one of the worst feelings any child could feel.

"Poor Adrien. I couldn't imagine what he's going through.", knowing his father did something like that, "What a jerk.", she muttered. Even if she did look up to him as a designer, it didn't make her anger lessen that he would go so far to control Adrien. Especially if he was sponsoring someone like that liar.

"Mr. Agreste isn't a jerk. Cold-hearted and calculating, but...he's a parent.", Adrien's parent, "And though what he did was wrong, he was no doubt just thinking of his son.", at least that's how she wanted to see it.

"Still to do something like that to him. He should at least trust him.", Adrien was a good kid, one of the sweetest people she knew, "How's he doing?"

"Absorbing it. It seems like he's bottling up his emotions now.", which was unhealthy, "He needs someone to talk to."

"Agreed. Everyone needs someone to talk to.", even the most closed off people needed a shoulder now and again, "What about Nino?"

Kitsi groaned, "Not an option."

"What do you mean?"

"Somehow he and the rest of the class, figured out Adrien knew that Rossi had a forked tongue and doesn't exactly tell the truth."

"T-They did?"

"And now...", she sighed, "They basically blame him and accused him of basically throwing them to the wolves for not saying something earlier. And won't even talk to him."

"That's horrible.", Marinette frowned.

"I know.", in even she felt guilty about it, "Adrien's not in a good place. He won't come out of his room.", not that she didn't try to go see him, "And of course Mr. Parent of the Year is showing his full concern.", she muttered.

"This is horrible. Terrible.", Marinette exclaimed, "Adrien doesn't deserve this. All alone and being treated like that."

"Not to be rude, but aren't you...I mean his treatment aside. He did tell you not to expose Rossi. And didn't offer much help when things took a turn for the worse.", she commented, "Aren't you mad at him?"

"I...", she blushed a bit, "I won't lie. I felt alone. Especially when my own friends turned their backs on me.", including Adrien who only offered little words, "He still doesn't deserve to feel alone!"

"And as his friends, we need to help him.", and be there for him, "Adrien needs some good friends.", because they were sure he wasn't getting any support from inside his own house. The one place you're supposed to feel safe and welcomed.

"Going to be a bit tough. Adrien's having some trust issues.", after you've been lied to by your own parent and abandoned by your friends, it becomes harder to put your trust in people, "It's not bad, but it's not going to get better.", until he lets it out.

"That's why we need to show him he's not alone.", Marinette looked determined to help her friend and crush fix his broken heart.

"I like determined Mari.", it wasn't so rare, as it was fascinating to witness, "If you have a plan I've got your back."

"Maybe...", she had something in mind that might help, "It will cut into the day you planned. Sorry."

Kitsi only chuckled, "The plan was always to make you happy. And if rescuing the princess from his tower is it.", then who was she to complain, "I'll go get Sunshine child and we can make this is an extra special appreciation day."

With a quick hug, Kitsi went back to get Adrien.

Guess she would get a chance to jump the fence and test the security system.


After leaving the bakery, Kitsi was on a mission. To bust the princess out of the castle. All she would need to do is get passed the guard, the assistant, and the King of the castle.

Easy.

She just needed to get to his house. She would have called Austin, but the less people involved the better.

So passing by the Eiffel Tower, she was rather shocked when she felt something hit her on the head. Stopping suddenly, she reached on top of her head and found the culprit.

"A charm?", with pink and yellow beads, "Wait, this is?", she recognized it. Looking up she stared at the top of the tower.

"Life hates me.", she was sure someone was having fun at her expense. But, her instincts told her she needed to investigate. Heading towards the elevators she prepared to take a journey to the top. However she reached the control panel, she found the buttons unresponsive.

"What's up with the elevator?", she asked one of the men in hardhats.

"Sorry it's down for repairs.", the worker said, "For now it's out of commission.", so no one could go up.

"And the stairs?"

"Just waxed.", he pointed to the sign on the roped-off stairs.

Kitsi groaned.

"Guess we're doing this the hard way.", couldn't she catch a break for one afternoon? But, she promised Marinette.

She really needed to rethink her own words. And making so many promises. So once the coast was clear she went to work.


"Kitsi? How did you get here?", Adrien looked shocked to find Kitsi on top of the tower. Especially from over the sides.

She breathed a couple of times, "I...took the stairs.", and climbed up the railings to reach the platform. Going to have to explain that later, "Luckily you didn't climb up anything too difficult.", like Notre Dame or the Louvre.

"What are you doing up here?", he questioned.

"Obviously to find you.", though she should be asking him that.

"How did you even know I was up here?"

"You dropped this.", she showed Adrien the charm he had dropped off the side, "It wasn't hard to put two and two together.", holding out the charm bracelet, Adrien carefully took it.

"Thanks. This is...really important to me.", he looked down at the bracelet with a longing smile.

"So, the Eiffel Tower?", she sat down next to him.

"I really like the view from up here.", he could see everything, "I just...wanted to be somewhere I felt free.", he sighed looking out into the city.

"It is a sight to see.", even after so many times, she never got tired of looking over the place she called home.

"I overheard what you said to my dad.", he admitted that he had been coming to his office and overhead Kitsi's conversation with Mr. Agreste, "You stood up for me."

"Yeah, we had a conversation.", one-sided as it was.

"I've never heard anyone stand up to my dad like that.", it wasn't often someone actually spoke against his father. Especially someone Adrien's own age.

"As I told him, people don't deserve to go down for the actions of another.", Adrien in particular, "Your only fault is that you've never learned to fully stick up for yourself. You have a passive nature. But, that's not your fault.", he was never taught any better way. He never learned that people weren't always true on the inside than what they pretend to be on the outside.

"Still you defended me.", he gave a short smile, "I should also apologize to you."

"Huh? Why?"

"On a list of things, my father has no right to judge you or anyone else.", for any reason, "You're a good person. And should be judged on the good you do and not the bad he thinks you'll bring because he doesn't approve of you.", he often dismissed his father personality and cold demeanor. He knew his father could be warm and caring when he wanted to be. He showed it many times before. Especially for him.

At least he used to.

"You also came to visit me and check.", he wished he knew sooner. He happened to catch sight of her from the window when she came up to the gate. He had hoped to talk to her, but something told him it might be a bad idea. Fear mostly. Afraid she was still mad at him for his pacifism.

"Because you needed someone to do it.", and she was in the neighborhood, "And you're my friend. I couldn't let you fall because of a molehill."

"But, it was still my fault for not speaking up when I did.", like he always did, "I wanted to believe people can change. But, no one really does.", even with the best intentions and trying to show them a better path. Bad people would just be bad.

"While I can't speak for certain people. I do know that change is hard.", like everything else in life, "Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they realize their mistakes. For others, they have to fall much, much further to get the message."

"It still hurts know my own father did something like that. He didn't even trust me to have friends.", so he hired one and used them to spy on him and keep him tied down, "He didn't even acknowledge how much I felt.", as his own desires outweigh the feelings of his own son.

"Yeah he's a pretty cold person.", he wouldn't even look at her while she was in his office. Only staring out his window as though she wasn't worth the time, "While I don't like what he did. On a variety of levels. In a way, I can understand why he did it."

"Because he doesn't trust anyone that doesn't fit his standards.", always judging people who didn't fit his views of successful and with a future.

"Because he's a parent.", not a very traditional one, but a parent nonetheless, "Trust me when I say I've met some interesting people in my short life. And though your dad might seem like...that he does look down on people. He still loves you.", in his own way that he refused to show most of the time.

"Well, he has a funny way of showing it.", as in not very often, "I know my dad has his own work to do being a highly ranked designer and running his business. But, could he just spend time to actually talk with me?", his own son, "He has our dinners pre-scheduled.", he had to go through his assistant ahead of time just to spend ten minutes with him.

"Pre-scheduled?", what was that?

"Half the time there's some excuse to why he can't make it.", just like when he misses his tournaments for the activities he signed Adrien up for, "If he can't even have dinner or spend time with me, he could at least trust that I'm actually doing good in school.", and making good friends that actually want to spend time with him, "Instead he does something like this.", behind his back.

"Yeah your father has some skewed sense of right and wrong.", which she didn't have the time to cover, "Still in some odd way, I get where he's coming.", not by much, "Parent's want the best for their kids. And sometimes that want to protect them and put them on the right path, clouds common sense."

"Still, I don't think that justifies what he did.", because all it showed is that he didn't trust him. His own son. Sure he disappeared now and again, but it still wasn't right to hire someone who basically pretended to like him, "Was he paying her? Giving her things so she could continue her lies?", he basically fueled her own bad behavior with his bad behavior, "He basically allowed the type of person he didn't want around me, full access to me.", just because he didn't like him coming to public school or wanted to make friends with normal people. They were nice to him. But, one way or another, his father made them feel pressured because he treated them like they weren't up to his standards.

"Yeah he screwed up.", no doubt about that, "But, stressing yourself out about it isn't going to make you feel any better."

"Well it's the only thing I can do now.", since his social life was slowly dissolving, "Now people think I'm just some weak enabler who's friends with bullies and liars.", or that he looked down on them because of his father's standards.

"That might be going overboard.", sure he was passive, but that didn't make him weak, "Plus you know how people like to blow things out of proportion.", people liked to turn a mountain into a molehill.

"Well it's what people think.", and now people were coming up with their own conclusions, "My teammates think I have no spine, Nino thinks I'm a liar, and everyone thinks I'm a horrible friend because I didn't call out Lila in the first place.", even though he knew she was full of it and had basically lied about...well everything.

"And that's not your fault.", Kitsi assured.

"Isn't it?", he doubted he was less than innocent, "I knew she was lying. I knew she wanted attention and how manipulative she was. But what did I do? Ignored it. Pushed it to the side because I thought she would learn to stop lying or that people would get tired of the stories.", and things would go back to normal, "I even told Marinette, one of my most precious friends, not to confront the lies because it wasn't worth it.", always convincing her to take the high road and that it would all work itself out.

"And look at what happened. Marinette got suspended and lost her own friends because of all those lies.", plus she was nearly akumatized, "Not to mention most of the school has turned on our classmates because of all the stories.", leading to them losing their own friends and getting kicked out their clubs.

"That still isn't your fault.", he couldn't take the blame for people's blind stupidity to believe the most obviously stretched pieces of truth.

"I still could have done something.", instead of just trying to pacify everything, "Why didn't I fight harder? Speak up and defended those being hurt. Why couldn't have done more?"

"Why? Why am I such a disappointment to people?"

"Adrien...", she frowned. It broke her heart seeing Adrien like this. It felt bitter. Not bittersweet. But, rotten in her mouth. The irony that she herself had placed blame on him not too long ago because of her frustration of the other's passive nature. She had scolded him. She displayed the distrust and disappointment she felt because she believed he could have done better. Because he knew but allowed it to continue. And when she found out he hadn't done anything when Marinette was suspended or didn't even try to comfort her after she lost it. For her, Adrien was the problem. Because Marinette loved him. And that love made her do, not to smart things in ways of decision making.

But, it wasn't his fault.

Kitsi have a slight groan.

"Listen Adrien.", she began, "I need to apologize to you. I pretty much aided in throwing fuel to the fire.", admittedly this was, in a way, her fault, "I should I have called her out when I had the chance. But, I didn't.", it would have saved so much trouble.

"In a way, I wish you did.", he sighed, "But, this is what I get for trusting people.", especially one who robbed him and lied to him. Multiple times, "I thought she would change. And this happens."

"Just like you think there's good in everyone and that even the worst person can change with the right push.", down the right path or a good cliff in her opinion, "I think I gave too much credit in people. Especially you."

"I tend to forget that you haven't had to deal with conflict most of your life. And in a way, you're afraid of disappointing people because, like me, your afraid of not being able to do what's best for them.", whether they know it or not.

"I stopped caring because I was tired of fighting, risking my own self, for people who easily forgot that I'm still human.", even if she fought akuma's and could do things most couldn't, at the end of the day she was still human, "But, even with all the bumps and bruises and broken bones, somehow I found the energy to smile.", because she had protected the ones she cared about. The ones she chose to defend with all herself. Because for her, that was the proof of her love.

"I fear that. Not being able to defend what I love.", to be unable to protect even one person, "Yet, in those moments when I felt beaten down by the remarks of others. Those I had protected and fought for. I doubted my own senses of throwing myself into fights that didn't seem too much worth to those I chose to protect.", what was the point of doing going beyond, if she doubted they would do the same. It nagged at her and throbbed in her phantom wounds. Until finally she decided to appreciate her own worth and give her strength only to those who she believed would return it.

"Which is why I got worried when you just disappeared.", because it scared her that if something happened, she could not be there to save him.

"Thank you, Kitsi."

Kitsi blinked for a moment, before hugging him back.

"Also your not alone. You have a lot of people who love you.", she assured, "And if you're ever feeling sad and need some TLC, Marinette and my doors are always open."

"Really?"

"Yeah...I might have let it slip.", she apologized, "She noticed how sad you looked and I couldn't lie to her."

"It's fine.", he said, "Marinette's is...a really good person.", always thinking about others, even over her own feelings, "I know she was worried about me.", and he was glad to have someone like her thinking about him.

Kitsi gave a small smile.

'Ring, Ring'

"It's my dad.", he noticed from the ID. It was only a matter of time before they found out he had snuck out again.

"Want me to chuck it?", she offered to throw it off the tower. Adding she could get it in the Seine.

"It's okay.", he figured he would have to deal with this. Taking a deep breath, he pressed the call button and was met with an image of Gabriel Agreste.

"Hello.", Adrien spoke.

"Adrien thank goodness you're okay.", disappearing without telling anyone. Leading to people scrambling to find him.

"I'm fine.", obviously, "I wasn't feeling good so I went to get some fresh air."

"And where exactly are you getting fresh air?"

"...On top of the Eiffel Tower.", he said.

"You left to visit the Eiffel Tower.", he was not pleased.

"Well, it is one of the best views in Paris."

"Who is that?"

"Kitsi is here with me.", he panned the phone a bit so his father could see Kitsi.

"Hello again, Mr. Agreste.", she waved. Adding something in her native tongue.

"So not only did you sneak away from home. But, I see you had an accomplice.", he insinuated that Kitsi was the one who dragged him away, "I could have guessed you would be part of this."

Kitsi huffed.

"Kitsi didn't make me do anything. I came up here by myself.", Adrien defended, "Do you always have to blame my friends when I decide to do something? I have my own free will you know.", while Gabriel seemed surprised by his son's sudden outburst. Kitsi was both surprised and touched that Adrien defended her to his father, "If you must know Kitsi came looking for me.", because as his friend she was worried about him. And he was insulted his father would assume that she somehow forced him to leave. Was that all he cared about? That he missed his fencing practice.

"I'm just relieved you're safe. Now come down from there.", adding that he was sending someone to bring him home, "You've had enough excitement for one afternoon."

"But, father..."

"We'll talk about this when you come home."

"No, we won't. We never talk.", no matter how he tries, it never felt like he could approach him for even a simple question. He was intimidated by his own father, "I'm not having some emotional overreaction.", like he kept telling people whenever he got upset, "And I would appreciate it if you showed some actual concern for me."

"Concern? Adrien, I have been worried since I was told you had missing."

"Really? Because it seems like the only way you actually show any kind of feeling or general concern for me is when I'm in some mortal danger.", bringing up the times of the incidents with Collector and Style Queen, "So I might as well just stay up here since this is the longest conversations I've had with you that isn't about fashion, modeling, or my activities.", and for him that was sad.

"Adrien this is ridiculous. Be reasonable and come down from the tower.", emphasizing he could get seriously injured.

"Why? So you have your assistant bring me home so you can lock me in my room.", he didn't even hold back his sass.

"Are you disobeying me?", he said almost surprised that his son had talked back to him.

"Not unless you actually come out of your office and make me.", which he highly doubted, "Or is that too much trouble for you?", he challenged, "If not, I think I prefer it here."

"Sitting on top of a metal tower."

"Better than being locked in some gilded cage in your ivory prison."

"Go Adrien.", Kitsi chewed on one of the croissants.

"You stay out of it.", Gabriel said in irritation, "It's obvious your behavior has rubbed off on my son."

"Kitsi has nothing to do with this.", Adrien stepped in, "Stop blaming other people for your bad parenting."

Gabriel gave a low sigh, "Clearly your having another one of your emotional moments.", equating it to a mood swing from too much excitement, "You've had your fun, now it's time for you to come down.", he stated, "Your bodyguard will be down there waiting for you."

"I told you I'm not coming down.", and he that was his decision, "You even had Natalie in on your plans. What is the Gorilla part of it too?", could he trust anyone his dad hired.

"Adrien this tantrum has gone on long enough.", and he was getting tired of it, "I am your father. And as your father, I'm ordering you to come down and come home."

"Can I borrow this for a second.", she took the phone with much, if any, fight from its owner. Obviously this was moving into dangerous territory that Kitsi knew she did not need to touch.

"That boy.", he muttered, "He gets it from his mother.", he swore.

"Well getting stabbed in the back by a loved one tends to make a person salty.", especially by his own father, "Adrien is upset. And you trying to put band-aids on the wounds aren't helping."

"As I said before, Ms. Inari, this is between me and my son."

"And now it involves me and my friend.", and it wasn't getting any better, "I get you're trying to be a parent at the moment. But, your treding into some dangerous waters.", with lots of blood floating around. So he should move carefully.

"Stop talking to him like he's not hurting. Talk to him as your son. Who, at the moment, is very tender.", which at this point was mostly Gabrial's fault.

"Not your concern. I know what's best for him.", he stated, "And what's best is for him to come down and come home. Before someone sees him."

"Or hears him.", she didn't know Adrien's voice could reach those levels, "It's a surprise people aren't posting yet."

"This is absurd.", the designer dismissed, "I'll just have the authorities came up there and get him down."

"You wanna risk getting the news involved?", she commented, "You really want the media and all of Paris to be talking about the King of Fashion hiring a classmate to spy on his son?", who climbed up a national monument and refuses to come down because of what his father did, "Do you know how they'll spin this?"

"Point taken.", even reluctantly.

"As it should.", because it could be spun a lot worse, "Now talk to your son. Fill the distance you created with your half baked plans to control him.", so she could move on with her day. With that, she gave the phone back to Adrien so he could speak with his father.

"Adrien your...dad has something to say."

"I don't care.", he dismissed, "Chuck the phone in the Seine.", he brought up her earlier offer to toss the phone.

Kitsi sighed.

"Listen Adrien.", she began, "I know you feel like your father betrayed you. You have every right to be upset with him.", Kami knows she was, "But, holding onto emotions like this will only hurt you more.", instead of just letting go.

"I don't want to forgive him.", he muttered.

"Just talk to him.", she put the phone in his hand, "If it doesn't work out, then I'll toss the phone.", she promised. After that, she went to the side. Giving them enough room to talk.

"Adrien."

"Mr. Agreste."

Gabriel took a deep breath, "Son, I know you are upset with what I did. After giving it some thought I see that in my decision to hire Ms. Rossi, I not only invaded your privacy and betrayed your trust. But, I essentially allowed you to be open to the type of person I thought I was protecting you from."

"Still why did you do it?", that's what he wanted to know, "Why is it so hard for you to trust me?"

"I do trust you.", it was everyone else he didn't trust, "Everytime you leave the house I worry that something bad is going to happen to you."

"But to go this far. All I asked is to go to school. To be normal.", even for those small moments when he was in class and interacting with normal kids his age, "Is it so hard for you to let me make real friends and be a normal kid."

"Instead of letting me be normal. You insult my friends, judge them, and refuse to let me just hang out with them like a normal kid my age.", using his schedule to keep him busy and away from them, "Breaking promises might be fine for you, but it makes me feel bad whenever I can't make it to events with my own friends.", even after he promised. He wanted so badly to just be with other people and just be out.

"Now because of this I've probably lost my best friend.", and the respect of people he cared about, "But, I guess that doesn't matter to you.", because he got what he wanted.

"Adrien, son, I never wanted to hurt you.", never would he think of harming his own son in any way.

"But you did hurt me.", in one of the worst possible ways, "It wasn't enough to have me as your model or put me in various activities that you didn't even ask me if I wanted to do. You went behind my back and basically used one of my own classmates to make sure I never got to see my friends.", basically to make sure he never did anything his father might deem as not worth his time.

"I thought it was for your own good.", he replied, "It was obvious your 'friends' weren't up to your standards."

"Why does everyone keep saying that?", he frowned, "Why do people think I'm better than everyone else. Because I'm Adrien Agreste.", he hated when people did that, "All I wanted was to go to public school and make friends.", that was all, "Yet even that seemed too much trouble because people assumed the worst of me.", they saw him as just another rich kid. A model for his father. A golden child raised on a silver spoon and probably thought he was better than everyone else.

"You and everyone else think there's a bar to even get close to me.", he didn't even know what a social scale was until Chloe, for lack of a better description, explained it to him, "I want people to like me for me.", to show them he was more than what people saw on billboards and in magazines, "Now because of this, what you thought was for 'my own goods', people will never know the real me."

"You didn't do this for me. You did this because you think your so much better than everyone else.", and it frustrated him to no end, "You think you know everything, your rude to even the kindest of people, and you act like a child when people won't give you your way.", not by throwing a tantrum, but coldly putting people down. Making them feel small and insignificant because they made a small mistake.

"Okay Adrien maybe bring it back a bit...", Kitsi suggested noticing that Adrien was tremblings. From the shaking in his voice and the vibrations from his body.

"It's bad enough you never try to spend time with me.", save for lecturing about his lessons or giving him bare details about his next modeling assignment, other than that he rarely saw his father, "But, to go to such lengths to keep me in the house."

"I told you I was doing what was best for you."

"How? By isolating from any other individual who didn't work for you.", he frowned, "I don't want to be locked in the house just working and doing lessons. I don't want to have no to talk to. To be stuck in one place."

"I don't...I don't..."

"You don't what?"

"I don't want to be like you!", he yelled.

The designer was silent. Even Kitsi was surprised.

"I don't want to spend everyday, morning to night, locked away in some colorless box.", chained to something no one else knew and pushing those he cared for away, "I don't want to be alone." even in a place he should be able to call home.

"Ever since mom disappeared you completely shut yourself off.", from the world, from his son, and even from his self, "Everything about you became something cold and calculating. Even your words are just hollow and empty.", without even a shred of feeling behind them. Just automatic, "I know it hurts you when she left. And you want to protect me. But, now it feels like I lost both of you.", unable to see either as he remembered. Just ghosts from his memory.

"If doing all this work means I'm going to become something cold and hollow.", he would rather never have the best, "And if my image is all you care about. Then I have nothing else to say to you. Gabriel Agreste."

He put the phone on mute and pushed it to the side.

"That is not what I expected.", talk about opening old wounds. Carefully taking the phone she unmuted it. Stepping away to talk with the designer. Seeing the pained look on his features. His glasses removed, as he rubbed his eyes.

"This is my fault.", Gabriel said, "I only wanted the best for my son. To give him everything and making sure he wanted for nothing.", all the chances he never got and more, "Instead I left him alone to fend for himself.", making a simple request and warping it to make himself feel content.

Kitsi was silent.

"I only wanted to keep him safe. To protect him from the world.", instead he broke his son's trust and his son's heart. Just so he could feel vindicated in his actions.

"You can't always think like that.", true the world wasn't rainbows and sparkles, but making things appear that way didn't help, "Locking your son in some bubble doesn't mean he's safe.", and definitely not happy, "And the fact you went it did something like that wasn't fair to him or anyone else.", just mean and sneaky.

"You keep saying it was best for Adrien, but look at him. He could have caught pneumonia wandering the streets of Paris. With nowhere to go because all his friends don't even want to speak with him and the girl you claim as a 'good influence' is apparently unreachable.", which pretty much left him on his own, "But, for all the critique you hold against others, there are still people who care about Adrien and who were scared to death when they heard he missing and possible hurt."

"You both have to learn to be more open with each other. If not it's just going to continue like this. Until one day you're both older and won't even talk to each other.", and then it would be too late.

With a sigh, Kitsi headed back to Adrien, still on the floor. Huddled up.

"Okay.", she began, "I know you two have a lot to talk about. But, you need to do it face to face."

"You both made some mistakes. Mistakes that hurt the ones you love.", and even themselves, "I'm not a counselor. I can't give you answers that will make things the way they are.", it wasn't her place, but she would try her best, "You two love each other.", there was no doubt, "But, you need to talk to each other."

"I always want to talk.", Adrien began, "But, it's hard when you only see a glass screen."

"I never wanted you to feel...that I wasn't there for you.", Gabriel said, "I just...wanted to give you what I believe you deserve. But, sneaking out of the house, from your lessons, hiding secrets from me. Especially about your friends."

"Because you're always looking down on them and treating me like I'm special.", he was afraid he would scare them off.

"You are special."

"Not the way you see me.", he denied, "You want to make me into your perfect model son. But, no matter how good I am you always want to find something wrong and try to fix it.", but in his way. Never letting him just be himself.

"You will always be special to me.", not as a model, but as his son, "I need to...I will learn to show you more. That your more to me than just that."

Adrien wanted to believe that. But...

"I admit I overstepped my boundaries with .", he frowned, "I allowed myself to believe that she was trying to help you make better friends.", he looked to Kitsi for a moment, "But, it seems you have the instincts to choose them."

Kitsi couldn't hide a smile. But, gave a small smirk.

"I apologize if I gave you or them the wrong impression.", he only wanted his son to have the best. That included his friends, "I will try to be a bit more open-minded.", even if only a little.

"And no more spies.", especially ones that made him uncomfortable and hurt his friends, "I want you to trust me to make real friends.", ones that he trusted.

Gabriel was silent. But, nodded.

"Thank you.", it was a start.

Kitsi smiled.


"Who was that?", the students asked after seeing Donny walk out of the apartment as the woman had gone in. They had been called to an emergency meeting by the blogger and their current investigator. After nearly ten minutes, Donny was spotted emerging from the apartment of a mysterious woman. Before finally joining them.

"That was Ms. Rossi.", he revealed.

"Ms. Rossi?", the class looked in shock, "Lila's mother?"

"So that's...", her home.

"Honestly, I expected her to live in some kind of mansion with a big fence.", especially the way she talked like she came from an influential household.

"Please, she's an upper middle class at best.", Chloe said curtly.

"As I was saying. I was just having a few words with Ms. Rossi.", he explained.

"But, how did you get her to talk to you?"

"I told her I was a student doing a report on citizens' opinions on the heroes of Paris and situation of Hawkmoth.", after a bit of negotiating she let him into the house for a quick interview. Once he was inside, he went to work. After excusing himself to the restroom, while the mother took a phone call for work, he managed to look around the apartment and get some interesting information.

"Your good."

"Thank you.", he smirked rather proudly, "I got some great footage.", if he said so himself, "With this, I believe the final parts are in place."

"And I see we have a special guest.", he commented. The class looked confused. Only to be shocked when something, or rather someone, emerged from the bushes.

"Alya?"

"What's she doing here?"

The group watched anxiously as the two bloggers met face to face.

"Morgon's."

"Ceasire."

"Glad you could join us.", he smiled his usual smirk.

"Just because I came doesn't mean I trust you.", she frowned.

"The feeling is mutual."

"Just know if you try to mislead us..."

"Don't lump me into those who need tricks to get a good story.", he dismissed, "I'm in this for the facts.", and nothing more. As the conditions seemed to be laid out the two parted. Though now she would have to face her classmates and her possible ex.

"Um...hey guys.", she greeted, though rather awkwardly.

"What are you doing here?", the class questioned. Skipping the pleasantries.

"Shouldn't you be posting on your blog?"

"Or cuddling up to your new best and only friend."

"Look. I just came to...oversee the investigation."

"Oversee?"

"To make sure my investigation is fair and unbiased.", Donny said.

"So you only followed to make sure you were right.", her class frowned at this.

"Or maybe you came to ruin the investigation and get your bestie off the hook."

"It's sabotage!"

"I'm not here to sabotage anything.", Alya dismissed.

"She called me.", Donny revealed.

"She did?"

"She begged me to keep on with the investigation."

"I didn't beg.", she refused, "I just asked to be a part of this...check-up."

"You mean exposing that lying rat for the weasel she is.", Chloe didn't hold back.

"How do we know you won't try anything?"

"Because she's put up a bit of collateral.", Donny said, "For coming along, she's offered something in the situation that she is proven wrong."

"Offered what?"

"The only thing I had left to lose. I gave up the Ladyblog."

"You what?"

"But, you love that blog."

"Yeah I did.", she still did, "But, it's not worth losing everything else for.", she had already lost too much as it was, "After the investigation is done I will officially be turning it over to Donny."

"But, why would you give up your blog?"

"I gave up the blog because honestly, I don't know if I deserve to report on real heroes.", when she had been acting like a villain, "I know it doesn't begin to fix even a fraction of what I've done. Especially how I treated all of you.", wanting so much to be in the right, she blinded herself to the wrong paths she had taken to do what she thought was the right thing. Only to find too late she had been led astray and taken her friends with her. Even when she saw they were tired and hurting she convinced them to stay the course.

Which led to the end not only her friendships but her relationship as well.

"I want to help you guys find the truth. The real truth."

"Even if it means betraying your best friend?"

"I don't believe we were really friends.", and it took the worst reality check to figure it out, "If she truly isn't all she claims to be, I want to...I need to know the truth.", so finally swallowing her pride, she contacted Donny and found out about his plan to reveal his final report. Also, gathering all the information he already had.

She didn't sleep at all that night.

"So then let's not waste any time.", it was time for the debriefing, "As I mentioned that is the home of your classmate, Lila Rossi. And the woman, who you just saw, was her mother.", he recapped.

"After allowing me into her home, Ms. Rossi was nice enough to offer me some delicious cookies.", he showed the small snack pack he had made.

"Hey don't those look like the cookies Lila brought for the class?", the recognized the similar design.

"Almost too alike.", something was off.

"There from an Italian bakery a few blocks from here.", they sold traditional Italian treats and desserts, "Ms. Rossi orders them from there. She loves the horn cookies.", he said biting the cookies.

"So...she didn't bake them?"

Donny shook his head, "From what Ms. Rossi told me she's not much of a baker.", though she can cook, "The only thing her daughters ever made in the kitchen is cereal or maybe a nice sandwich."

"So much for training with Italian bakers and professional bakers in Germany.", since it turns out Lila has never even turned on the stove, let alone baked in one.

"I don't know. These cookies are pretty tasty. I wanted to try the Cantucci. But, there weren't anymore.", he said sadly, "Apparently they're Lila's favorite cookie since she eats them as a snack."

"What's a Can...tucci?", Kim asked.

"It's an Italian almond cookie."

"Almonds?"

"Wait, didn't Lila say she was allergic to nuts?", they remembered the girl saying how she had an allergy and would break out being near them. But, she was eating almond cookies. So much so she asked them to pick certain ones out her found since she wasn't used to French food. They even took turns getting her lunch for her. One of the reasons the menu for the party had to be changed was because of those allergies.

"She also said she was allergic to tomatoes.", he reminded, "But, when I commented on the smell in the house. Ms. Rossi said that she was making dinner. A special tomato and basil chicken soup."

"So she doesn't have food allergies?"

"What do you think? Obviously she made it up so you all would feed her and fetch her food.", and cater to her.

"Oh, I'll feed her something alright.", like her fist.

"Alix down."

"Let's save the dessert talk for after I give you my report.", he said, "As I suspected what you've been seeing in those video chats have been nothing but backdrops in her house.", tampering with the lighting for added effect for the time difference.

"Wasn't that the backdrop she had from when she was in Achu?", one of the classmates pointed out to the spot that sat on the wall where the bed was.

"And that looks like the painting from her penthouse hotel room in New York."

"Please.", Chloe scoffed, "As if any high-end hotel would put that in a penthouse.", it looked like something that belongs in a three-star pace at best, "I have better art in my bathroom."

"That's how she made it look like she was traveling.", but she was just in her bedroom.

"Fink.", Alix muttered angrily, "She wasn't out of the country.", just hiding out in her room.

"So all this time she was just talking to us from her bedroom?"

"How did you get all these photos?"

"I had a bit of help."

"Markov!", Max looked shocked seeing his robot.

"While I kept Ms. Rossi's attention, this little guy did a little snooping around the house.", taking pictures of proof and anything needed for the investigation.

"Markov helped friends."

"You came to help us?"

"Markov always helps his friends."

"I asked Dex to borrow him for a project.", Donny added.

"I'm sorry Markov.", Max apologized, "As someone who checks his work, I made a critical error. I chose to listen to lies over my friends."

"Markov forgives Max.", the little robot said, "He was hurt Max and everyone called him junk."

"Sorry about that little guy.", the students apologized.

"We got fooled by Lila's stories."

"Still I shouldn't have called you, of all, a piece of junk.", he was his best friend, "I should have listened to you when you noticed a fault in her stories.", instead of dismissing his reports as glitches.

"Markov just happy Max knows the girl is a bad liar.", the little robot said after giving him another hug, "Now Markov wants to help expose her for hurting Markov's friends.", and though many might think his feelings were artificial. No one could say he didn't care for his friends. Especially Max.

"Good to have you back."

"Ugh, all this sap is making me sick.", Chloe said with mild disgust, "Can we get back to the fact that the fake lied about being in New York.", she reminded them they were there for a reason.

"But, why did she lie?"

"To cover her tracks.", obviously, "During my time speaking with her mother, it turns out she's just in the dark.", if not more on what her daughter was doing.

"What do you mean?"

"According to her the reason her daughter has been home so much is that the school, your school, has been shut down a number of times because of akuma attacks.", Ms. Rossi mentioned that because of that, students couldn't go to their classes.

"So while she told us she was traveling for something or other, she was actually in her room.", and video chatted with them to keep up the ruse. While also lying to her parents and them.

"Also the school hasn't been closed."

"That's what her mother believes.", Donny said, "And, according to her daughter, it's because Ladybug has failed her job with keeping the city safe.", adding to the fact when she asked about the school closing or getting a call from the headmaster. Lila would tell her a staff member or student was akumatized or under some kind of influence.

The students gasped.

"That's a complete load."

"Yeah Ladybug always protects the city.", all the heroes do.

"Forget being friends. If I was Ladybug I string her up by her yo-yo from the Eiffel Tower for spreading such lies."

"Queen Bee could so make that happen.", Chloe narrowed her eyes at the thought of stringing the Italian girl up for all to see.

"I also managed to get a glance at her computer."

"Isn't that illegal?"

"Not when they take it to a computer shop to sell.", Ms. Rossi had taken her daughter's broken laptop to the shop where Dex worked to repair it after it was 'dropped by accident'. Though, as Dex concluded, it looked like someone had thrown it against a wall, "After that he recovered the search history your friend..."

"Not our friend."

"Fine classmate.", he corrected, "Point is she did a lot of searches on various people and places.", every day a number of different searches were done. Most of hers were on celebrities, events, and especially the heroes of Paris. With various links and clicks on sites that showed their heroics, "My guess this is how she got all her information for all her amazing stories.", she cherry-picked various pieces and frankensteined them to great a number of lies.

"She even searched the symptoms of Tinnitus.", the class looked to see the medical article with the ear injury and the symptoms associated with them. Which included the ringing noises and how one could get it. To what someone might experience when having the injury.

"That's just sick.", they didn't hide their disgust of how she had some easily and remorselessly faked serious ailments and injuries. Just for the attention.

"Well it isn't a dumb idea.", in the context of choice, "If your going to fake an injury, then you would need to use something that can't easily be disproved.", since no one can prove what happened in the body, "And as I mentioned before to the claim of her friendship with Jagged Stone and her story about saving a cat. It's a complete fabrication.", since it was proven the rocker not only never owned a cat as a pet, but also the fact there was no report about the incident in question.

"But, she swore her ear was injured."

"She also swore her knee was sprained and her wrist was sore and she could climb up the Eiffel Tower .", though thinking back she didn't look like she was in any discomfort.

"I also assume with all the information you all like to post she could easily have found out your likes and dislikes. Then all she would have to do is insert herself.", and the bait was set, "She found out that Rose like's Prince Ali from her the letters she writes. That Nino love for things Hollywood from the short films he makes, and of course Ladybug is a big celebrity in Paris.", so there was no guess there. And it was easy to guess the most popular celebrities and get information from the internet.

"So she basically studied us like a bunch of lab rats.", and dangled cheese in front of them to follow her.

"Guinea pigs would be a better term.", Donny said, "Once she knew how to bait you. She used the same technique to keep you and others content.", allowing her to create an illusion and propel herself as one of the most popular girls in school.

"I think I'm going to be sick.", Alya groaned feeling her stomach bubble. Nino patting her back for comfort, "is there anything else?"

"Turns out she has an online diary.", he chided.

"A diary?"

He nodded, "Pages full of juicy stories and devilishly interesting tells."

"Okay searches aside and taking pictures in someone else's home.", that was one thing, "But this is someone's dairy..."

"It does sound like we're invading someone's privacy."

"But, she did lie to us, manipulate us, and left us to clean up her mess."

"Read it."

Donny cleared his throat and began to read,

'Dear Diary, Today is the first day of school in Paris. After my time at my last school, I'm sure everyone here will love me just as much.'

"Gag.", Chloe made a sound of disgust.

'While the school seems like your basic public school, It turns out there's a lot of interesting people there. Like for instance the daughter of the mayor of Paris..."

"Well, she's not wrong. I am pretty interesting."

'I found out she's the typical mean spoiled brat. If I can't get her as a friend, it will be easy for everyone else against her.'

"Excuse me, everyone adores me."

'She hangs out with this one girl. Sabrina. She's a bit mousy and obviously follows Bourgeois around like a little puppy. Easy pickings. The mousy ones are always easy to bait."

"Did she just call me a mouse?", Sabrina scoffed at being referred to as something small, weak, and timid.

'I also met this pixie-haired blonde and her goth friend.'

That sounded like Rose and Juleka.

'The blond was super friendly. It was like she eats a bag a sugar a day with all that energy.', he read, 'By the way she easily believed I knew Prince Ali and flew on his plane with him, made it too easy. Blondes are usually the air-heads of the group.'

"Air-head?"

"Did she just call Rose stupid?"

Juleka didn't hide her displeasure of someone calling her friend stupid.

'Surprisingly she friends with this girl. Even when she smiles she seems so dreary. But, she seems just as simple as her friend.'

Juleka snorted at that.

"What does it say about me?", Kim asked.

Donny looked through the pages.

'Let's see.", he found a page, "Typical boneheaded jock. Annoying dares...', he read on, "...easily trained like a monkey.'

"A monkey?"

'He's often trying to challenge a smaller girl. A rather tomboyish looking girl from a distance."

"Tomboy?"

"She called me a dude?", Alix folded her arms.

"Max is such a big help. With him doing all my homework I have more time to focus on more important things."

"It seems I was nothing more than a brain to her.", Max frowned a bit, "Lying witch."

"What does it say about me?"

"Alya...?"

"You sure you want to know?"

"Tell me.", she needed to know. She wanted to know. She vowed to see this through to the end. No matter how bad or ugly it turned out.

So he read. And as the words of truth left his lips. Alya only listened. As her stomach churned and swayed like hot waves in an uncontrolled sea.

'I used her...'

...She betrayed her...'

'Easily believed...'

'Pretended to be friends.'

"Alya, babe, are you...", before he even finished his sentence his girlfriend made a beeline for the nearest bush and empty her stomach. Her classmates could only look in pity and sympathy at their friend's affliction. Having heard the deep and uncaring words, they expected her to be upset. Though not to the point of losing whatever she had eaten or didn't eat. Filling the area with wrenching sounds and splatter to the ground.

After one last lurch, Alya had emerged from the brush. Heavy breathes from her lips and the bitter vile still fresh in her mouth. Fresh, hot tears stained her cheeks and her eyes red with irritation.

Nino went to comfort his girlfriend.

"Babe?"

"I-I...I'm okay.", she stuttered, though he knew better than to believe that, "...I don't think I can take much more.", it was too much for her brain or stomach to handle.

The truth was a bitter pill to swallow. Let alone stomach after digesting so many lies.

"Can it get any worse?"

"As a final look into this 'person' and her stories. I looked into a story that caused a bit of a stir last week.", he said eying the group, "The case of one Marinette Dupain-Cheng and a stolen necklace.", a situation at had piqued his interest, as much as it agitated a few certain when it happened. The circumstances were substandard like the evidence against the accused.

The incident brought an air of dread over the students. Especially since it resulted in one of their classmates, their friends, being suspended from school.

"The item in question, a necklace."

"Y-Yeah. We were told it was a family heirloom from her grandmother."

"You mean like this?", he pulled out a familiar-looking necklace from his jacket pocket and showed it to her class."

"That's..."

"It looks just like Lila's necklace."

"It's not a family heirloom or anything like that.", he dismissed, "It's actually a replica that I purchased at a jewelry store in the city.", after a quick bit of research he found a shop and had inquired about it, "It's part of a line. I told the saleswoman I saw one of my classmates wearing it and had to get one for a friend of mine.", and as he thought the shop had a few about.

"A classmate?"

"She bought almost two months ago.", the shopkeep remembered her because she had shown her this odd book with the same design as the necklace.

"So it's not a family heirloom from her grandmother?", and given to her as a birthday gift.

"Nope.", he shook his head, "In fact, when I was in the house, the necklace 'accidentally' fell out of my jacket pocket.", just so Mrs. Rossi could see it.

"Not only does her mother believe Adrien is her boyfriend. But, she's under the illusion that he bought the necklace for her as a present.", not from her elderly relative passed down.

"For the last time, Adrien would never date, let alone gift anything to that thing!", Chloe stated.

"She even still has the necklace.", her mother confirmed it, "So the pieces found in Marinette's locker were just that.", pieces from the replica of a replica. Adding that it was part of a special fashion line and could be bought in a few stores in Paris.

"That lying fink!"

"That is not cool.", Nino was beyond ticked off at this point. Not only did she lie about having her necklace broken, but she framed another student for it.

"So as you can see none of her stories can even hold a droplet of water.", Donny concluded with a snap, "Not only has she lied about her connections to people of influence. But, she's been telling people on the outside of how big she is in Paris. By overwhelming evidence, she is by definition, a fraud", and thus his investigation was complete.

The students absorbed the information. Various thoughts running through their minds. Emotions bubbling up that spilled over into waves.

"That's it!", Alix fumed.

"Alix where are you going?"

"To introduce Rossi's face to the bottom of my foot!", she was mad, furious, "She used us! She played us like chumps!"

"Alix calm down."

"No I will not be calm!", she refused, "That snake. That weasel. That...that..."

"Two-faced, backstabbing liar.", Sabrina commented.

"I can look past a lie or two, but she took it too far.", she pointed to the residence, "She pretended to be our friend. She buttered us up with stories and all that 'fake sweetness' and 'being friends' junk. Then lied straight to our faces.", and they just took it. They believed every word and defended tem, and here, like a bunch of saps.

"Alix is right.", Kim voiced, "Because of her lying we got made fools off.", they could barely go to school because most of the students hated their guts because they sided with Lila. And for good reason.

"Now almost everyone hates us.", Max added, "I conclude...she must pay!", and all their classmates seemed to agree.

"She even went so low as to frame someone else for a crime they didn't commit."

"And she got Marinette suspended.", obviously oschestrsting all those claims to get them in trouble.

"Well, how's your best friend looking now?"

"Seriously Chloe, not the time.", Nino voiced.

"This is basically her fault.", Chloe sneered, "If she had actually done a real investigation in the fake's lies then we wouldn't be here in the first place.", adding that even after there was proof that Rossi was lying, she never thought to check into the stories. Instead of dragging her name and them' down into the gutter.

"Your one to talk.", Nino leered, "You bought her stories too."

"As if.", she laughed, "I had better things to do then deal with that obvious trainwreck.", she never believed any of the stories from the start. It was only through convenience that she didn't speak up, "She was the one who posted every story that came out this girl's mouth. Believing that she was not only saved by Ladybug but was best friends with her.", not even double-checking to see if it was true, "Then acting like her 'bestie' because all those stories, which as we all know are a complete load."

"I...I didn't know. She said...but we were...she told me...", she rambled. Still in shock.

"You two were acting all 'bff!' and shutting down anyone who called her out because she decided to cry like a little baby.", just looking for sympathy when she got cornered.

"You still can't blame Alya for this.", Nino defended, "We're all to blame for this.", some more than others. They were blinded by such tall tales they failed to recognize that they might be false.

"Some more than others.", Chloe mentioned.

"What matters now is actually doing something to fix our mistakes."

"Wouldn't exposing the lies be the quickest way?", they had the proof.

"Actually it probably wouldn't.", Donny said, "Even with all this it doesn't change your behavior these past months.", he pointed out, "People don't forgive or forget that quickly. So exposing the catalyst doesn't mean people still won't be upset."

"So even if we expose Lila people are still going to hate us?"

"Maybe not hate. But, they won't trust you so easily.", given how they jumped on the bandwagon rather quickly, "Plus as I've said before your credibilities are floating in the water.", on their last wings, "People will just see this as a means to save your own skins."

"Then what do we do?"

Donny thought for a moment.

"If you want to save the remains of your social lives and to finally expose this girl, you'll need someone to vouch for these claims and against Rossi.", someone who people trust and would listen too.


At the Dupain-Cheng Bakery...

"You've got ten seconds before I turn this bakery into a morgue.", she warned brandishing the bread pan. Kitsi had come down into the bakery to grab snacks for the slumber party upstairs. What she didn't expect was to find half, if not all of her classmates come into the bakery. Which led to Kitsi, in her typical set of mind, to go on the offensive.

"Whoa, whoa put the bread pan away!", Nino said as the group huddled back, "We're unarmed."

"Not yet.", but she could fix that, "I warned you what would happen.", now it was time for punishment.

"Hold on Kit. No need to get physical.", Donny stepped in.

"Donny what are they talking about?", and why was he with 'them'?

"Believe it or not they actually came for my assistance.", he admitted.

"They did?", she narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

"It's true.", they all nodded.

Kitsi leered, "I still don't trust any of you.", especially given recent events. Her instincts told her to beat them and throw them out, "Is this is some kind of trick. I will go Kalema on all you!"

"Kitsi maybe we should let them speak.", Adrien suggested.

"Fine.", she relented, "Talk.", she ordered. She didn't want the other's to hear this.

Nino began, "As he said. We went to Donny because well...you guys were right about Lila."

"Come again?", she didn't think she heard right.

"Everything she's ever told us was a lie. Every word."

"She made up all those stories to make us like her and manipulated us."

"They had me do an investigation into your 'classmate'.", Donny explained, "And I found out quite a bit of juicy information that both shocked and angered a lot.", and shattered many illusions and delusions.

"Mostly angered."

"Wait you investigated Lila?", like an actual investigation.

"It wasn't that hard.", he brushed off, "I already had enough information on her about all those stories she told. But, what I just found out really put the cherry on top."

"So you all really know that she was lying?", she searched their faces for any hesitation or doubt.

"Not just lie. She manipulated all of us. She played us like chumps.", they found out that not only had she fabricated all her stories of travel and meeting celebrities. But, even made up stories about various conditions she had supposedly be afflicted with.

"She's never had Tinnitus.", she just made it up to get special treatment and to sit next to Adrien, "Or a sprained wrist. Or even surgery on her throat."

"She doesn't know any celebrities like Jagged Stone, Clara Nightingale,Usa G, or Rain."

"She's never met Prince Ali or even been to Achu!"

"And get this. All those video chats from other countries and cities she traveled to. She was in her room the whole time!", not in an exotic country or big city. Just her own bedroom in Paris.

"Her room?", Adrien looked confused and shocked, "I thought she was out of the country."

'Those were good days.', believing she was millions of miles away.

"Nothing but backdrops and lighting.", basically just smoke and mirrors to make it seem like she was visiting some country for some special reason.

"So all those times she was traveling...", she was really still in Paris.

"Yeah. And she's been telling her mom it's because the school has been closed because of akuma attacks.", allowing her to spend days out of class and giving the excuse she was traveling or doing some kind of humanitarian work. Which allowed her to not only miss class, homework but create more lies and stories that she used to make herself look good.

"What akuma attacks?", until recently the attacks on the school have been...nonexistent. How they missed those days.

"I know. But, she convinced her parents the school's been closed and blaming the heroes for not doing their jobs."

"Do they watch the news?", the heroes always win. And even then it didn't explain how her parents were that ignorant about their daughter's school activities.

"Because apparently the heroes haven't been doing a good job keeping people safe from akuma's."

'Not doing our jobs?', was that a joke? She didn't bust her hump just to get scrutinized by some lying snake and her delusional mother who couldn't bother to call up to the school.

"I know. We went over to her house and Donny got evidence that she's still in Paris hiding out.", even taking photos and speaking to her mother, "He even found out how she manipulates everyone. She has files on me, Adrien, Alya, almost everyone in school and outside."

"Speaking of which, where is Ceasire?", she didn't see the blogger, "Not apart of the investigation."

"Probably somewhere throwing up."

That caught the two by surprise.

"Is she okay?"

"Yeah, this past couple of days have really upset her.", and her stomach. She had become visibly ill as everything came to ahead. All the lies and deceit. All festering in her gut, until it spilled out in a flood of nauseous realization of what she had done. Before eventually running off when she couldn't take it.

"That bad?"

Nino frowned, "Bad doesn't cover it. Lila manipulated Alya. She used her for her blog and to get to Marinette.", breaking up their friendship while pretending that she cared about her, "She made my girl into a tool.", played on her emotions and convinced her that they were best friends.

But, it was all a lie. All she wanted was information and someone to take the majority of the hits for her if something came up.

"She threw Alya and us under the bus.", even after everything, she had thrown them away like nothing. She neglected her duties, lied to them, and had no connections to any of her promises. And when things were getting tense and her stories came under attack, the class had came to her defense. Yet, she was nowhere to be found. Even while they were getting isolated and hated by their fellow students. She was still trying to paint herself as someone to be admired and trusted. Never once showing a shred of real concern or care.

"Lila never cared about any of us.", just what they could for her and following her words.

"We were little more than servants.", to do her homework, carry her things, or get food for her. Basically they were her underlings and sheep to follow around.

"So what did you find out?"

"To give a play by play, she's not in New York as she's been going on this past week. In fact, she's still in Paris.", he revealed.

"She still in the city?", they looked at the pictures.

"She's been filming all those video chats in her room.", he said having seen it first hand, "Her mother is under the impression the school is closed because of akuma attacks.", though given how easily she let Donny in, they could assume she wasn't all there in terms of suspicion.

"She stays in one of those upscale apartments.", nothing too fancy, but not what she had painted to her class, "It's across the street where we had that picnic.", from Heroes Day.

"I also found her online diary. Where she proudly lists her accent to the top of the school food chain. Through her many lies and manipulative tactics.", each day seems worse then the next in terms of her lies and escalation to keep them intact, "Suprise, she never clears her search history.", amateur move.

"Seriously this is the reason villains are so stupid.", always had to boost and leave themselves open for defeat.

"She even talks about how she effectively manipulated each of her classmates.", by using their own wants, dreams, likes, hobbies, and even fears against them.

"She used us. She studied us and used the information to make up all those stories so that we would like her.", they played them like cheap fiddles.

"Then she talked down on us like a bunch of dogs."

"She called me a monkey.", Kim huffed.

"She what?"

"She called Alix a tomboy."

"And Ivan a walking wall."

"She even called Rose an air-head because she's blond and bubbly."

Kitsi quickly read through the entries. In the captions involving her, it mostly listed her as a roadblock or a contingency in her plans. Since she couldn't manipulate Kitsi like everyone else, she decided to isolate her like she did Marinette. Mostly through rumors and false reports she had started herself.

"I think It's time I paid Rossi a visit. I got something that she needs down her throat.", starting with her fist and then meeting with her foot when she rammed up the backside.

"While I still take issue with calling someone out in public.", for various reasons, "I see that Lila needs to be taught a lesson. It's what she deserves."

"See now that wasn't so hard.", in most causes Kitsi would be proud, "Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to give a lesson to Rossi that she'll never forget.", and she was taking the bread pan with her.

"What else did you find out?"

"You mean besides that Rossi is a manipulative, lying, backstabbing, two-faced, venom spewing..."

"We also found out that she actually did threaten Marinette. Multiple times."

"Multiple?", as in more than one.

"It was another one of her sick plans.", when Marinette didn't fall for her tricks and lies, she made it her mission to make Marinette's life as miserable as possible.

"Either this girl is a manipulative genius or a complete idiot.", especially confessing to the crimes.

"It's our fault.", even if she had told them, there was a high possibility they wouldn't have believed her.

"Which brings us to the other reason we are here."

"We wanted to apologize to Marinette and how we treated her."

"Marinette's always been there for us.", and they couldn't even give her the benefit of the doubt when she was trying to protect them. Only to be abandoned and pushed aside for someone who didn't care what happened to them and lied right to their face.

"We were jerks."

"Mega jerks."

"We let all those stories and the promise of meeting celebrities and trips blinded us."

"I haven't been much better.", Kitsi admitted, "I may have taken my emotions a bit too far. Especially when it came to Marinette.", and escalated things.

"But, you weren't wrong.", she was just trying to protect Marinette, her friend, "We shouldn't have dragged you in the mud as we did."

"You would risk your lives for us.", blood and bone just to make sure they were okay, "We don't deserve friends like you or Marinette."

"Kitsi are you crying?", Adrien noted.

"I-Iie.", she sniffled a bit, "Just onion ninjas.", she rubbed them with her palms. She really didn't like Clichy moments.

"But, since we're apologizing for regrettable actions. I want to say...I shouldn't have lost my cool with you." , he was just so upset and frustrated and took it out on Adrien.

"It's okay Nino.", Adrien said, "Honestly I might have deserved it. I wasn't being much a friend myself."

"Still I shouldn't have treated you the way I did. Not very chill of me."

"None of us should have.", the classmates apologized to Adrien for their cold treatment.

"It's okay. Honestly, I think I need to learn to stop giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.", especially those who didn't want to change for the better, "I shouldn't have hidden the fact that Lila was a liar. At least I should have told you all how manipulative she was."

"I'm trying to be more open with my feelings. Like when someone does or makes me feel uncomfortable.", he wanted to be able to speak up more and be reliable when other people, especially his friends, needed him, "And hopefully we can all be friends again."

"Bros?", he held up his fists. And after a small moment, Nino connected his.

"Always.", he offered back.

"And now as promised, I'm going to take this laptop and make Rossi eat every scrap of it!", Kitsi struggled against her classmates hold as they tried to keep her from going on a blood hunt.

"Kitsi don't!"

"You'll be thrown in jail."

"No one will convict me.", it might take a bit of time, but she was sure her family could make one person disappear. Along with any charges, "She must pay!", and by her hands.

"No. I mean she's not worth getting your hands dirty over.", it would be a waste of time and effort for just one person. Lila especially.

"You don't seem to grasp this. That lying, she-devil, snake had the nerve to threaten Marinette. Verbal threats aside and petty pranks, she crossed the line.", too many times, "And you all know I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.", especially with the blood of her enemies.

"I know. But, I don't think sinking to her level would change anything.", just escalate things more, "Plus what would Marinette think?"

Kitsi sucked in a breathe. If Marinette found out what she did, even if it was for her, she wouldn't be happy. Not the slightest. And doing it in her name probably wouldn't win her any brownie points.

"I'm not saying we let her get away with this. But, we should do it with a little casualty as possible.", only Lila needed to suffer as far as he was concerned.

"As long as she's in some form of pain. I can accept that.", Kitsi slowly relented her blood-lust.

"Still what are we going to do about her? She needs to pay.", and big.

"Especially for getting Marinette suspended and causing all this chaos."

"I've been meaning to know, what did Marinette get suspended for.", admittedly, Kitsi never looked into the way she was suspended. Just become upset and frustrated when it happened.

"Lila claimed Marinette stole her grandmothers family heirloom and broke it.", finding pieces of the item in question in her locker.

"Marinette wouldn't steal anything.", and she cursed anyone who thought she would do it. At least maliciously and with bad intent, "Also family heirloom? What exactly did Rossi claim was stolen?"

"A necklace given to her by her grandmother.", the class explained.

"That thing?", Kitsi groaned.

"You know what it is?"

"To a letter.", both good and bad, "And I can tell you it's no heirloom. It's some store bought necklace she purchased to make Adrien think she was some super vixen or whatever."

"Huh?"

Kitsi was about to speak but was halted by Adrien.

"Let me explain this.", Adrien suggested, "Remember that book I 'borrowed' from my dad?", he brought up.

"You mean the one that got you grounded?"

"For life."

"Yeah. I took it to school and Lila seemed really interested in it.", though it was probably just a way to get close to him, "She invited me to the park to talk about Ladybug. But, then she told me that the reason she and her were so close was that she had a miraculous."

"Miraculous? Really?"

"She is desperate for attention.", Chloe sneered.

"But, as you can probably guess, it was just another lie.", even after Kitsune came and revealed herself, she never denied her story was false, "I want to say I'm surprised, but I'm not.", just disappointed.

"She told us it was a family heirloom from her grandmother."

"She also told her mom it was a present from her boyfriend."

"That's not a family heirloom or a present from her imaginary boyfriend.", Kitsi dismissed, "It was just some necklace she bought from some jewelry store."

"Which, as I explained, she had copied. Lied about its origins, showed it off, and then planted it in your classmate's locker.", then played up an act to get Marinette in trouble and make herself out to be the victim.

"But, how did she even get it in her lockers?"

"All lockers have a combination.", at least most people did, "I know for a fact Marinette's locker is always locked. And no one but her and two other people knows the combination.", Kitsi explained how Marinette had begun, finally, locking up her belongs.

"Who else has the combinations."

"I do.", Kitsi admitted, "Marinette tends to forget items in her locker.", so Kitsi, being a bit quicker than most, retrieves them from time to time, "The only other person who has the combinations is...well..."

"Alya, right?", Nino cut in. Feeling the answer coming, "She's Marinette's best friend. Of course, she would have the combination."

"But, how did Lila get it?"

"Probably weaseled it out of her."

"Makes sense.", Donny brought, "If she managed to get the combination from Alya, she could have easily slipped out and planted the broken pieces in the locker."

"So it was all an act.", and they fell for it.

"We owe Marinette big time."

"Majorly big time."

"Which leads us to the next reason we're here.", on a growing list, "With all the information we found on her, we want to expose Lila for who she really is."

"The only problem is our credibility is pretty much at an all-time low."

"Even if we released the information now, people might not believe it because it came from us."

"Why doesn't Donny release it?"

"As much as I would love to expose such a despicable person. It's still not a hundred percent that everyone would accept it."

"Which is why we came here. Kitsi you need to be the one to release the information."

"Me?"

"Why Kitsi?"

"Because to her credit, Kitsi has a rather big platform.", whether she knows it or not, "And considering her own influences, there's a higher chance this girl would never recover from such an exposure."

"He does have a point.", Kitsi had a pretty good following. People trusted her and saw her as a hero in some aspects. GIven her record and feats around the city. Plus she was one of a few people to actually confront Lila and never once backed down when up against a challenge.

"It's too merciful.", in her eyes, the girl deserved something special, "I was saving this plan for Chloe. But, Lila is much, much, more deserving of this.", in so many ways.

"And you think it will work?"

"Trust me. By the end of this, one thing will be very clear.", she declared, "The first being is no one, and I mean no one, messes with an Inari!", she grasped the bread pan with enough force to crack the wooden neck.

"Anyone else scared?"

"I'm just relieved not to be on her bad side anymore.", or else they would be like that poor bread pan.

"So...what's the plan?"

"What else?", she faced everyone, "We're going to throw a party!", she declared. Much to the classes confusion.

Just what was she planning?

"Just leave everything to me.", she assured, "Just know, things are about to get fun.", she cracked her knuckles menacingly.


Lies. Lies. It was all a lie.

After running away from her classmates and Donny, Alya found herself kneeling against the rails of the river. Her heart was thumping in her chest. Her legs felt numb from running. Her eyes and throat burned from hot tears and acidic vomit.

"I-Its not true.", she stammered, "Sn-ot true.", she coughed feeling another wave of nausea coming up. Forcing it down with a hard, choking swallow. Reaching into her pocket she took out her phone. Her voicemail and inbox had been filled with messages from various people. Mostly her friends who had been asking where she was and if she was okay.

As she went through the messages she noticed one sticking out. It was a notification.

'MarinetteDesigned'

It was Marinette's instagram account.

Opening the account she scanned through and found newly posted photos. Each of them captioned and tagged by accounts she didn't recognize. One account that stuck out, was tagged in the majority of the photos.

Ignite-Kit

Kitsi's Instagram account.

All the photos showed Marinette, Kitsi, and four other girls around Paris. Each with various captions.

'A relaxing day at the spa.'

'Ice cream is the cure to all problems. Except for Brain freeze.'

'Still hate heels.'

'Lily Shreds.'

'Usagi I found you another rival. #MarinetteisGamingPrincess'

'Found a Star in Paris.'

With Kitsi and the girls posing with Marinette. Who looked flustered, but happy. Surprisingly the picture had gotten a number of likes and was even tagged by accounts of big names even Alya recognized.

RockandRip!: That's a killer friendship

RabbitGirl: Very cute

WolfRain: Nice to see you enjoying yourself Kit.

PhotoMonkey: 'smiling monkey'

WhiteFox: So sweet.

Anonymous Author: Your energy shines through the photo.

TheAdrienAgresteBrand: You look beautiful Marinette.

All the photos were of Marinette and her girlfriends. Having fun and enjoying themselves.

'Nothing but Love in the City of Lights!'

The final photo was of everyone posing in front of the illuminated Eiffel Tower. With Kitsi and Marinette in the middle. Each giving a peace sign to the camera.

They were close.

They were smiling.

They were friends.

"She was right. I am a bad friend.", she admitted bitterly as she looked at the photos, "I abandoned my real friends and took the words of a stranger. And for what? A bunch of lies.", she sold herself, her dignity, her integrity, her morality. For nothing, "I even got someone akumatized, again, because I was too stubborn to accept the truth."

Lies. Lies. It was all lies.

Looking through her own photos she saw it all. All the photos of the girl she thought were her friend. All the smiles, laughter, and cheer. Nothing, but an act.

Where were their good times? The happiness and energy that oozed from the other photos like sun rays beaming down on people.

There was nothing, but cold and ice. Lies and tricks.

"I lost one of the best friends I ever had. I abandoned her and didn't even look back.", what kind of person does that, "I can't even face her.", even the thought made her want to cry and throw up in shame.

"And where are you?", she leered down, glaring at the olive eyed girl who dared stand where her real friend should be, "Off in New York. Having a great time.", she sneered, "Were you ever going to call me back? Don't you care?"

"It was all some sick game to you!", she yelled into her phone, "I believed you. I trusted you. You said you were my friend!"

'Liar!'

"All you wanted was my blog. You used me just to post your lies!"

'Deceiver.'

"I carried your books when your arthritis flared up. Messaged your ankle when it hurt. Bought you ice cream when you got throat surgery."

'Manipulator.'

"I believed every word that came out of your mouth. All those stories about saving a cat and traveling all over the world. They weren't even true!", her words echoed through the empty streets, "I trusted you.", her knees buckled and she kneeled to the ground, "More than anyone should."

Over her boyfriend. Over her friends. Over the heroes. Even over her own instincts.

"I turned my back on all of them.", her voice was a pained whisper. As the truth burned it's way down her throat and seethed through her body.

"I really wanted those stories to be true. I believed every word she said.", spent hours combing through the scarce sources she was left. But, the belief in their 'friendship', kept her going. She fought off every attack against what she believed was an attack on her friends, "Only to have it all thrown in my face.", the floor cracking beneath her as the weight of all the lies came washing over her, "I did so many horrible things. To my friends, to my family, to people I didn't even know.", she even went off on her own friends, her classmates, because she thought they had betrayed her, "I even yelled at Nino.", her turtle.

"Now everyone hates me. My blog is dead. And to top it off, I lost one the best friends I ever had.", she covered her face, "And after all the stunts I've pulled my coffin is sealed. Dumped in a hole and on its way to the fiery core in the middle of the Earth.", to be obliterated into nothing.

"Everything, everything,...", she had lost everything.s

"They were right. Marinette doesn't need someone like me.", not that it matters. Marinette had already made new friends and even had a new best friend. They were laughing, telling secrets, and just enjoying being around each other, "It's probably better if we just...stayed apart."

It hurt to say. Because now it was mixed with the bitter truth.

"I've been nothing but a villain. I did things because I thought they were right.", when in fact she was doing things to scold people about doing, "I did it and refused to admit I was wrong."

"I betrayed my friends, hurt my boyfriend, and even worse...I lost respect for my own self.", and when faced with the truth she ran away like a coward.

"Escalator.", a voice greeted, "Lies and deceit have taken much from you. The one who claimed to be your friend has stabbed in you the back and left you alone to suffer. So If she wants attention so much, why not give it to her?"

'It's not you that needs to face the truth.'

"I give you the power to rally the people. Show the one who deceived so many, the consequence of her own words."

"Of course!", Alya stood to her feet, "I'll use her own words against her. The truth shall prevail!", Alya found herself cocooned in a shell of red energy.

She would expose her lies. She would make her suffer. And would avenge her friends. And destroy everything she had taken from them. And above all else, she and Marinette would be friends again.

No matter what.


To Be Continued...


Please remember to commit and review!

Chapter Text

True Friends: Chapter 7: Build You Up


"You are free to make any decision you wish. But you are not free from the consequences of that decision."


Today was an amazing day.

That's what Lila Rossi thought as she walked into school. After being away, traveling in New York City, she found a relief to be back in the halls she all but controlled. Where she was adored for her many stories and loved by the students and faculty. And with her newest tales waiting on her tongue, it would only increase her ever-growing popularity among the masses.

As she proudly strutted down the halls, a certain pep in her step, she noted the stares of the students she passed. Amazed and dazzled as she thought. It was only a matter of time before she was swarmed by her classmates and other students. Greeting her back and asking about her latest venture.

It was almost too easy.

As she made it down the hall she happened to noticed Juleka and Rose. The pair of friends talking lively amongst each other. A little practice never hurt and those two were easy. So with a click of her shoes, she walked to the pair. First being unnoticed and spoke,

"Ciao ragazze!", she greeted in her native tongue, "Guess who's back? I've missed you guys so much!", she smiled.

The two girls only stared at Lila with little interest. Even Rose who got pretty excited over the smallest of things.

"I know you have a lot of questions since I've been away.", she mentioned, "New York was amazing! And guess who was staying at my hotel? Prince Ali.", she began to regale, "I'm sure you're just...huh?", when she looked back she saw the two girls were gone. And after a quick look around she spotted them walking off.

"Wha...?", she blinked. Did they just leave? Right in the middle of her story about staying in the same hotel as Prince Ali. Rose would have been drooling over this bit of information. Brushing it off for the moment, Lila continued on her way.

No one had come up to her yet. Which was odd in her mind. Continuing on she spotted an even odder sight. Nathaniel talking to someone. That someone being Marc. She hadn't seen much of the shy boy in a while. Honestly, she thought she would never see those two interacting again.

Yet they were laughing and even looked happy to be around each other.

Getting in closer she happened to catch a small bit of the conversation.

"So after school, we're meeting Giovanni to go over the next draft for the new issue, right?"

Marc nodded, "He reserved us a room at the museum.", he explained, "He has some great new scenes for the comic.", especially from the photos he sent.

"Since when have you guys been working together?", Lila questioned seeing the two together. But, also hearing that this, Giovanni, was working with them. The boys turned to see Lila, looking at them in questioning.

"When did you get here?", Nathaniel said.

"I asked you a question first.", she repeated, "You have someone else helping put with the comic book?", and she didn't know about it.

"Yes, Giovanni Grayson.", he informed, "We made him part of the comic as a background artist.", which focused on creating the set and places where the characters and scenes took place. With his abilities in drawing buildings, Giovanni was a great addition. Giving them more time to focus on key parts of the comic.

"Well that sounds...great.", she said rather sweetly, "With all four of us working together I'm sure the comic will be three times as great."

"Actually it's three of us.", Nathanael corrected.

"Oh right, I forgot Marc wasn't a part of comic anymore.", she commented.

"Actually Marc is apart of the comic.", again she was corrected, "Along with me and Giovanni."

"And me of course.", she added.

"Actually that's the other thing.", he looked at Marc for a moment who gave a small nod, "You're dropped from the comic."

"W-What?! You're dropping me? Why?", she sounded shocked.

"For starters, your not really any good at making comics.", mentioning how her writing was amateur at best and she offered nothing equally of worth to the projects as far as the art.

"What about all the amazing stories I gave you? From Ladybug herself.", she reminded.

"That's the other thing.", he sounded a bit more vigorous then his usual shy tone, "I actually got a chance to share your stories to the heroes and none of them remember any of that stuff happening.", meaning that either it didn't happen the way she said or not at all.

"I don't know why they would say that. Everything I've ever said is the truth.", she defended. Insisting they must have forgotten.

"Not according to them.", so there was no point in wasting time with it, "Plagiarism and false reporting is the killer of creativity.", and friendships. And he wasn't going to risk being called a liar just to build their comic. People respected the heroes and would no doubt be upset for making up stories to pad a comic.

"Which means we have to recall and rewrite all the former comics.", Marc added noticing the look Lila was giving him. But, ignored it since he wasn't as afraid of her as before.

"But, how could you just replace me like that? After all, I've done for you and the comic.", she sounded hurt.

"Easy.", he began, "Your stories, while interesting at first, don't show the real heroes of Paris. It's all so generic.", it could be anyone in those stories, but nothing original or eye-catching, "Not to mention we took a poll from the last comics you 'helped' with and to be honest, people didn't like them.", at all. Leaving comments that proved their assumptions.

"So you brought in someone else. Who was bashing your comic.", she reminded.

"That's the last thing.", he narrowed his eyes, "After talking with Giovanni, I see now that those stories weren't the only thing you embellished.", bringing up how she told people how the artist had belittled her work and that of the comics, "Giovanni didn't say anything to you.", insult or otherwise.

"Yes, he did. He was quite cruel. Mocking my drawings.", she said sadly as if her tears would bring her sympathy.

"No he didn't.", he repeated more firmly, "And unlike certain people, he has proof to back up his claims.", which made him both upset and frustrated that he had to go through all this because she chose to lie about being bullied. For him, and a lot of people, that hit a personal place. Especially if she was just doing it for sympathy and to be petty, "In fact, Giovanni liked our comic and even showed an issue to his step-mother.", who she claimed to know so well. But, was she sure she didn't know. And wasn't going to tell her.

"Meanwhile, I've never seen one piece of work from you or that you claimed to work on.", no one had. So there was a low probability that she was being bullied. There was no art ability to mock, "The bottom line is Giovanni is in. You're out.", and that was that.

"You can't possibly think you can make your comic without me.", she inclined that without her stories the comic would fail because no one would pay attention.

"We did before.", Marc said, "And with all three of us working together. Anything is possible."

Nathaniel nodded.

"But, if you have a problem, then you're free to make your own comic.", if she could. With that, the two friends walked off together. Leaving a shocked girl standing in the hall.

What had just happened?

First, she got ignored by Juleka and Rose. And now she had just been fired from the comic. And all the comics she had 'helped' with were being retracted. Her name would no longer be associated with the comic book.

As she mauled over what was happening she noticed Kim at his locker. The Italian began to think. Kim was usually easy to sway and was a sucker for a helpless girl. So pushing earlier events aside, she made her way over to the boy. She got close enough to catch the end of a conversation with some other students. Apparently planning a trip to the local pool.

"Hello Kim.", she greeted, "Did I hear that you're going to the pool after school? That sounds so fun.", she eased herself into the conversation, "Why don't I come along?", she offered to come with him.

"Actually it's only for swim team practice.", Kim said.

"That sounds cool. I do enjoy watching your amazing swimming practices.", she commented, "I could use a good friend to talk to with the morning I've had.", she alluded. Waiting for him to take the bait. Kim would surely come to her defense.

"Actually it's a closed practice.", swim team only. Like he said. Not showing the reaction she had hoped.

"...Well, how about after practice? We could hang out.", she suggested, "I can tell you about my trip to New York."

"Nope.", he declined the offer, "I'm going to get ice cream with Odine and Lei."

"Lei?", her mind quickly remembered the swimmer. The one she crossed paths with at the pool and hung out with Odine.

"A friend of Odines.", he said rather casually, "Guy has some great swimming techniques.", he commented on how they had all hung out and found they had a lot in common. Like how they both loved doing dares and their interest in sports.

"Really?", she blinked, "I mean, it's just, It's so nice you've found common ground. Especially with the guy Odine likes.", knowing that Kim had a crush on Odine.

"Of course she likes him. Dude's an amazing couch when it comes to swimming.", even taught him how to increase his speed in the water, "Plus he plays a ton of sports."

"Of course. But, most people get uncomfortable being around others who seem to enjoy the company of others. Like being the third wheel on a date."

"Which is why I should come with you guys.", she suggested that they could hang out.

"As I said it's a private swimming practice.", he reminded, "Plus like I said Lei is pretty cool.", he was a surfer and helped weekends at the Aquarium where his mom worked, "He's even been deep diving with sharks.", it was the definition of brave, "I wonder if I get him to let me come on his next dive?", he said out loud.

"You know I've been deep-sea diving as well.", Lila claimed, "It was during one of our family trips and...?", but before she even started her newest story Kim had already left. Still talking about swimming with sharks.

"Hey I wasn't finished!", she called, "Rude.", he hadn't even stayed to listen. He should have been eating out of her hand. Instead, he basically ignored her and showed no interest in her stories.

What was with everyone today? No one had even acknowledged her return or even looked interested in her stories. Something was happening.

And she didn't like it.

"Oh Max you and Markov are back together.", she gave a smile, "It's nice to see you both.", she chirped.

Even for a robot, he gave the girl a look of contempt in those electric eyes.

"Oh, you've returned.", Max commented seeing his classmate back at school.

"Just got back. It was such a long trip. But, New York was so much fun.", she commented with excitement, "New York is so lively."

"Still I was hoping to run into you. Now I don't have to wait until class.", but, then noticed the number of items in Max's hands.

"Oh, you got me a present. You shouldn't have.", however, he mode changed when a number of books were thrust into her arms, "What is all this?", she questioned.

"Obviously they're books. Your books.", though since she rarely did her own work she probably didn't recognize them, "As it turns out I won't be able to assist you with your homework or projects any longer.", simply put, she could do it herself.

"W-What? But, you promised to help me with my projects. Since I'm so busy helping other people after school and attending events...", she tried to remind him of her after school activities and busy schedule.

"That is not my issue.", nor should it have been to such an extent that he spent late nights doing another person's homework on such unevidenced reasons, "I have my own work to do. Like completely the Platinum level on Mecha Robot Royale."

"Oh yeah, I've actually beaten that level myself. I could show you.", she offered.

"Unlikely.", he dismissed, "I already have a playing partner.", he added looking to Markov, "When I did ask you to play you've always had an excuse.", so he doubted she had the skill to back up your claims after asking her for weeks to display her technique.

"Well...because I'm always helping others. It's hard to keep everyone happy.", she said as she juggled the books in her arms, "I mean you wouldn't have me break my promise to my friends just to accommodate another.", she tried to make herself out to be the victim. Trying to be a good person to make everyone happy, but unable to because of her overscheduling.

"Then this arrangement should allow you more open time. As well as myself, which I have been neglecting.", along with his friends.

"But, my homework. I mean, how will I be able to catch up with so much.", as if he would pity her for that, "I can't do this all by myself. And carrying all these books are bad for my wrist.", she reminded.

"I would suggest finding another 'tutor', since I will be unavailable for future endeavors.", he suggested, "Also I'm not a horse. If you are having trouble with carrying books, I suggest downloading the digital copies.", adding she should consider limiting her last-minute travels. Which put her so far behind. with that said he and Markov headed off. And if she didn't know any better, she could have sworn the little robot had snubbed her as he floated past.

The Italian gave a deep growl and dropped the books with a clatter. Scattering the books and papers on the ground. Students stopped to see what was happening. Seeing their gazes, she quickly composed herself and played it off as an accident.

"No littering in the halls.", Ms. Medeleev said in passing, a cup of coffee in hand. She didn't even stop to offer aid.

Olive eyes widened, blinking quickly.

After, reluctantly, picking up her books, she dumped them in her locker and continued her trek through the school. Something was happening. Even as she walked down the hallway no one paid her any mind. No one acknowledged her presence. No-one stopped or came up to her. She had been gone for over a week and traveled to New York.

But, no one noticed or even welcomed her back. She should be swarming with students.

Continuing down the hall she tried to figure out what was happening. She couldn't have missed too much. Why everyone was showering her with attention. Instead of basically pushing her aside as if she was nothing.

She saw him at his locker speaking with his friend, Nino. Whatever it was, by the way, they were laughing, it must have been interesting. So putting on her best and fixing her hair she confidently strode over towards them.

"Hey guys.", she created with her usual charm and pose that was sure to captivate anyone, "It's nice to see you both. It seems like so long since we've met each other."

"Yeah, right.", Nino said with an unusual tone, "Bro, I'll see you later.", he gave Adrien a smile and a pat on the back. But, as he left he didn't even pass a glance to the transfer student.

"What's up with him?", she questioned out loud at the DJ's behavior, "He didn't even say goodbye.", or hello for that matter.

"Anyway, Adrien, I was wondering if you wanted to study after school today?", she asked, "I just dumped with an unfair amount of homework. We can meet at the library or maybe your house.", she offered, "I have so many stories to tell you about my trip to New York.", she added.

"I don't think so.", he quickly declined the offer.

"Oh.", she gave a small look of surprise at the quick and sudden answer of rejection from her classmate, "Well maybe we can have lunch together.", she offered to take him to a restaurant in Paris. One she had visited before, "They have some of the best food."

"I'm going to have to decline your offer.", he said again. Still polite in manners, but the tone was less than his friendlier context and with no hesitation in his reply.

"What's wrong?", she finally asked. Not liking the look she was getting or the fact he was refusing to hang out like they usually did, "Well if you don't want lunch we can just meet at your house."

Adrien gave frown and a look of stoic. A look that was more akin to his father, Gabriel. A look showed coldness and annoyance. Not the usual kind and warm nature he was known for.

"No.", he said with a stern tone that many people had never heard from the young model.

"What do you mean?", she said as if she was surprised by the other's answer. But, Adrien wasn't buying it, "Don't you want to hang out?"

Adrien simply said, "I don't want you over my house."

"What? Why?", she asked "Are you feeling okay?", was it so out of character for him to say no?, "I thought we could catch up. You know, since I've been gone to New York. We haven't had time to talk."

"I don't want to talk.", he closed his locker, "Not to you.", the last part was like cold water had been dumped on her.

"Why not?", she sounded hurt, "Adrien you're acting strange."

"I think I'm acting the way I should.", he replied.

"Then why won't you talk to me?", her voice sounded agitated as she tried to sound concerned, "If I've done something wrong you can tell me. We're friends. Remember?", she smiled her same smile and placed a hand on his arm.

"No. We're not.", he shook his head and moved her hand. The touch was like ice.

"I don't understand? What are you saying."

Adrien exhaled, "I know you've been spying on me."

"Spying? Me? Don't be ridiculous.", she laughed as though it was a joke, "I mean I do know people in the secret service..."

"No..", Adrien was upset, "I already talked to my father and he confessed.", in his own way, to getting Lila to spy on him and his friends, "So, are you saying you weren't spying on me for him?", his green eyes narrowed.

"No. I mean those are just rumors.", she tried to right off, "You know just gossip people like to talk about.", she tried to play innocent, "Who would even come up with such ridiculous theories."

"Lila.", he folded his arms, his voice serious, and eyes sharp, "This is serious. You've been doing exactly what my father believed others were doing to me. Using me for your own selfishness.", he might be upset with his father and Natalie for a number of reasons, like lying to him and hiring a spy, but this was just too much.

"You've also been going around telling people we're 'together'.", he emphasized that last part. After everything, she put him and everyone else through. To think she would be so bold not to think someone would call her out on her stories, "That I was your boyfriend."

"But you said you liked me."

"As a friend.", that still didn't excuse her behavior, "At least I did.", but now it had come to a point where he couldn't even hear her name without growing upset because of everything she had done. Not only to him but to his family and friends as well. Especially Marinette.

"I'm sorry. Adrien..." she tried to touch him, but he jerked away from her touch, "I didn't mean to lie. I just...thought you would like me more if..."

"If what? You lied to me. About me. To my friends. Your classmates. Who did nothing but try to be your friend.", he folded his arms at her mentality to think anything she did was okay, "Don't you even care that a lot of people who trusted you are now hurting?", not just him or his classmates. Everyone she had come in contact with. She lied and used fake words to make people trust her and use their talents for her own benefit. Only wanting to help herself to the credit and thinking she could continue to lie to get her way.

"I wasn't hurting anyone.", at least she didn't think she was. It was just a couple of small lies. Everyone was so impressed and liked her. People wanted to talk to her. She was always the topic of people's gossip. As long as she had a story to tell the more people wanted to be her friend. The small lies quickly grew as she tried to make herself sound more and more interesting.

"That's what you wanted to believe.", but it was all a lie, "You purposely lied to them and took advantage of mine and their trust and kindness.", and that was worse than actually lying. Knowingly doing it even though you know there would be consequences.

And there were going to be consequences.

"If there's one thing I can't stand is people who would lie and misuse other people.", just for their own selfish purposes, "And frankly, I can't trust anything you say.", even her apologizing felt fake in his ears and his eyes, "You lie about everything. You pretend to be friendly and have good intentions, when in fact you don't care.", that was just it, "You took advantage of people just to make a name for yourself.", listing off a number of people who she exploited to boost her name and credibility around, "Was that all I was to you? A name to be used for your own privilege."

"Adrien I..."

"LILA ROSSI!", a voice yelled shocking the two students. They watched a familiar blond came strutting down the hallway. Sabrina right behind her. She came like a force of nature. She wasn't about to let her try to sow seeds of deception. Especially to Adrien.

"Chloe?", the heiress took her position in front of Adrien.

"So the rumors were true.", the girl had slithered back into the school. Students were talking about how she came into the building without a care in the world. Not wasting any time trying to spread some gossip, "I see you're back from your trip."

"Of course.", she said proudly, "I just got back and ran into Adrien."

Chloe didn't look impressed.

"Shame the trip couldn't be longer.", much longer, "I 'trust' you had fun in New York."

"Of course. It was amazing, We stayed at only the fanciest hotel in the city.", she bragged. Missing the look of disappointment Adrien was giving her from her complete 360 just minutes ago.

"Sure you did.", she folded her eyes, "Anyway, Adrikens, let's get to class. Remember we have that 'thing' to discuss."

"I believe Adrien and I were in the middle of a conversation."

"I don't think Adriken's enjoys being in the company of slimy creatures.", Chloe quipped back, "Why don't you go slither off someplace else. Like under a rock or in a deep hole where no one can see you."

"How dare you talk to me like that?", she fumed, but Chloe didn't budge an inch or bat an eye. "Adrien can you believe how she speaks to me?", she seemed to cry, "Not very hero-like."

"Don't talk to him.", she stated, "He's much too good for someone like you trying to sully his name anymore with your toxic desperate juices.", she spat in disgust.

Lila leered at her.

"Come Adriken's let's get to class. You shouldn't be wasting time with the likes of this thing."

"Yeah.", he didn't make much resistance as he was led away from the Italian girl, He could feel her eyes boring into him. But, continued to walk away with Chloe at his side and Sabrina following right behind her.

"Honestly Adrien I don't know what you were thinking. Talking to someone like that.", Chloe did not hide her dislike of the other girl.

"Chloe.", Adrien sounded like he was going to scold her, but only exhaled, "Thank you."

"Of course.", she smirked, "A hero always comes to the aid of others.", and Chloe always protected her hive. Especially those she cared for.

"So are we friends again?"

"Who says we weren't", was her reply, "Now let's get to class.", they had a lot of work to do.


As class began students were already filed into their seats. Talking and chatting, ignoring the girl who would come into the room and bring all attention to her.

Now she stood there, with not one person even looking at her. Instead of focusing on the person next to them or an assignment in front of them. No greeting, or smiles, or even a welcome back.

Just nothing.

With a frown, she made her way to what should have been her desk. But halted when she saw someone else in her seat.

"You?"

"Ko-ni-ch-wa.", Kitsi emphasized each syllable, "Hello."

"What are you doing here?", she questioned.

"I go here.", obviously, "I know you've been out in your own little world for a while. But, you're memory isn't that bad.", unless she wanted some extra attention.

"Of course.", she huffed lightly, "I just haven't seen you around. I assumed you had transferred."

"Just a rumor.", Kitsi assured, "Plus you should know, I'm hard to get rid of."

"I know.", it showed in how she kept coming back, "Guess nothing can keep you away for long."

"You know it.", Kitsi smirked, "I was wondering if you would return."

"Anyway I believe you're in my seat.", she pointed out the fact that she was sitting next to Adrien.

"Actually I'm in the right seat.", she returned, "While you were 'gone' the class decided on a new seating chart."

"What?"

"Kitsi's right.", Adrien added.

"New seats? Why?"

"I'm only holding this seat until the real owner comes back.", she stated, "And I don't think I'll be moving anytime soon."

"How could the seats be moved?", she was assured that her seat would remain, "I think I need to have a talk with Ms. Bustier.", she would side with her. She always was a pushover who was easy to manipulate.

"We'll see about that.", Kitsi seemed to challenge.

Before the issue could go any further Ms. Bustier had returned. Greeting her class.

"Good morning everyone.", she greeted.

"Morning Ms. Bustier.", they all greeted back.

"Alright everyone let's get to our seats.", she said, "I trust you all had a good and insightful weekend."

"Ms. Bustier.", Lila called as she went down the stairs.

"Ah Lila, I see you've returned from your trip.", she noted, "Did you need anything?"

"Yes Madame.", she nodded, "Not be a bother, but I believe someone is in my seat.", she motioned to Kitsi, "And she refuses to move."

"I see.", she noted, "Since you were gone a new seating arrangement was assigned.", she replied, "You'll be sitting in the back."

"The back?", she sounded stunned, "But, I thought it was decided I would sit in the front."

"Yes, but that was because you said you were having some medical problems."

"Yes my hearing.", she nodded.

"Of course, your ear injury.", she hummed, "While I was more than happy to accommodate you. Though I still haven't gotten a note from your doctor.", stating that she was indeed injured.

"But, I am...was injured.", she said.

"That's right. I believe you claimed Ladybug 'healed' your Tinnitus.", she mentioned.

"Yes! It was a miracle. No?"

"Hm.", she hummed again, "Well then you won't require to use the front since your disability is no longer an issue."

"But...I believe I still require my seat.", she assured, "In fact, I hurt my ankle.", she explained how she injured it during her trip.

"You don't look injured to me.", the teacher commented seeing as she was walking fine, "Your ankle seems perfectly healthy.", remembering how she had practically been skipping when she arrived back to school. And now was saying she had hurt her ankle and was now in pain.

"The pain comes and goes.", she said rubbing it gently, "I would feel more comfortable in the front. Maybe next to Adrien."

Most of the class rolled their eyes.

"Oh, I'm sorry about your injury.", she said with a sympathetic smile, "However, until I see a doctor's note or a note from your parents, unfortunately, you will have to keep your current seat."

"But, that's such a long walk."

"You'll survive.", Kitsi commented. She twisted her ankle a number of times and had to deal with it.

"That's quite rude. Picking on an injured person.", she cried.

"Your ankle looks fine to me.", Chloe voiced as she and Sabrina stared at her ankle. Like the rest of the class. It didn't look swollen or broken in any way. No bandaids or cast. Or even a limp to tell otherwise.

"Well, it's a sprain.", she said.

"More like a pain.", some students snickered at this.

"Now, now we'll have none of that.", Ms. Bustier intervened, "If it's so important to you, I'm sure someone will give up their seat for today."

Olive eyes spied the marooned eyed girl.

"Adrien can you please switch seats?", Ms. Bustier spoke.

"Huh?"

"Sure .", Adrien stood up.

"Kitsi would you mind sitting one desk back?"

"Hai.", she nodded, before gathering her stuff.

"B-But...but Ms. Buster, mam, I couldn't ask Adrien to give up his seat."

"It's fine.", Adrien gathered his things and went to sit next to Nino a couple of desks up. Kitsi went to the second desk from the front.

"Thank you both.", she smiled, "Now you can sit in the front row and stretch your leg out.", as she wanted.

"But...but..."

"Now .", looking as though she wouldn't win this fight, the student took herself to her seat. Beside Kitsi, who didn't even spare her a glance.

"Now class I have a couple of announcements.", the teacher began, "After listening to your suggestions, I've decided that Marinette will return as our class representative.", Ms. Bustier announced earning cheers from most of the class.

"W-What!?", Lila gasped and stood from her desk, "But, Ms. Bustier, I'm the class representative. We had a vote.", she reminded.

"I know.", the teacher remembered, "But, it seems you've neglected much of your duties in the short time you've held the position.", she pointed out.

"Neglected? What do you mean?", she tried to play innocent.

"Well, for one thing, you failed to properly organize anything for the school dance.", she brought up.

The Italian girl paled slowly, but perked up slightly, "Yes I did. I mean it was my idea."

"Having an idea doesn't make a dance.", especially one that involved most of the school, "You failed to organize anything from the entertainment, catering, decorations, or even a venue for the dance to take place.", which left much of students and staff confused. Until they were scrambling to get things back on track.

"B-But I thought we could use the school."

"Lila, the dance you described would be too extravagant for the school's capacity.", especially for all the promises she had made, "You also never contacted any of the other class representatives or their deputies about any plans for the dance.", adding that since no one knew what was being done, everyone had planned for something different. And when things fell through, students were arguing and butting heads for control.

"With the deadline coming up, It's clear that you bite off more than you can chew.", and instead of getting a smaller plate, she tried to stuff too much in her mouth, "So I assigned Kitsi to be in charge of the dance."

Lila paled. Peering to the side she looked at Kitsi who was leaning against the palm of her hand. Kitsi a short wave and a smirk on her lips.

"But, but...that's not fair.", she declared, "You can't replace me just like that. This was my...I mean our dance."

"You had plenty of time to get your priorities together.", and instead made excuses and put the tasks on everyone else to complete, "You've shown this is too big for you."

"True the dance is rather...big.", she commented winding her hair on her finger, "But, it's certainly not my fault.", she tried to explain, "I've barely had time to myself. Because of all the work, I do after school.", claiming to have been volunteering and helping with events.

"Then you shouldn't have pushed to not only take over the planning if your schedule was so conflicted.", noting how irresponsible the decision was, "You also made promises not only to your classmates but other students in the school.", promises she sees the other girl had no intention of keeping if they were even possible in the first place, "That's not fair to everyone else to make such promises. As such, Kitsi has been chosen to take over."

"But, why her?", she questioned, "I mean, it seems unfair to just give someone the position without input from the class."

"And you would be right.", she seemed to agree, "However, the class voted and elect Kitsi to take charge of the dance.", and the class agreed. All stating that they agreed to the change very willingly after some talks. Admitting the change was rocky at first, but they came around.

"But...that seems like a lot of work for one person.", she said concerned, "It seems unfair for one person to take on such a big job in such a short time."

"While your concern is noted, Kitsi has already proved to be able of handling the task.", Ms. Bustier commented, "And you didn't seem too concerned when you had to plan a dance for the whole school by yourself.", she reminded Lila of her own overconfidence to make a grand spectacle. Deflating the girl's momentum to turn the narrative.

"Domo sensei.", Kitsi smiled from her seat for the teacher's confidence in her. And above all, not letting the other student weasel her way out of taking responsibility. She didn't know what happened during her time helping the headmaster, she wouldn't argue with the results.

"But, Ms. Bustier, I still think it's a tad unfair to replace me so suddenly.", adding how she wasn't here for the vote or state her case to remain class representative.

"That may be, but the rules do state that if a representative cannot fulfill his or her own duties then they can be replaced.", without discretion and by a unanimous vote.

"But, that still isn't fair.", she looked around the room, "Also shouldn't the next person in line become the class rep?", she brought up, "What about Alya?"

The class seemed to still at the mention of their classmates name. Mostly out of anger at the other girl for even bringing her into it. Nino seemed especially on edge, not that the other girl noticed his expression, using his 'possibly still' girlfriend as an excuse. She hadn't bothered to notice she wasn't there until she needed back-up or even help when she was crashing and burning cleaning up the Italian girl's lies.

"Usually yes.", Ms. Bustier didn't deny, "And she agreed to work as Kitsi's deputy."

"But, no one asked me.", she pointed out, "I know I haven't been too active, but that's still no reason to replace me. Is it my fault I have to go to the doctor for my wrist or volunteer helping others?", she sounded more pathetic than the teacher would like to admit.

"Lila..."

"I think is rather disheartening that all my hard work is being minimalized by situations I have no control over.", she said sadly, "Can I be punished for all the good I do and trying to help those..."

"As I'm trying to explain...", but as she tried to defuse the situation and continue on with the lesson. Lila continued to try and defend herself as if it would change anything.

"I even took over when the last representative didn't even want anyone to have a dance." she brought Marinette up. Many students frowned, though for few, like Kitsi, looked ready to jump in. And possible on her.

"That is enough!", the teacher yelled having heard enough.

"Woah.", they had never heard Ms. Bustier raise her voice like that before. Not even to Chloe. And even she was at a loss for words. Kitsi untensed her muscles and looked at her homeroom teacher.

"Being a class representative is not about being friendly and coming up with ideas that may or may not happen.", it wasn't even close, "As a representative you're being trusted to be the voice of the class.", and not just her own, "Student's put their faith in you to make sure all problems within the class can be handled.", with fairness and efficiency. Not as an excuse to run the class and act like royalty. And believe you should be treated as such.

"And as I've stated you've neglected most, if not all, of your responsibilities as a class representative.", accepting only the title and nothing else, "You've had weeks upon weeks to not only put this dance together. But, you've made excuse after excuse every time you fail to complete your word.", for which the other girl had not even tried. Even leaving suddenly after claiming to travel out of the country or helping with another event.

"Missing meetings, sending your own deputy to events with no information beforehand, and offering no help to other clubs for their projects when they put their own on hold to assist you.", but expecting them to cater to her at the drop of a hat, "So since you obviously have no desire to be a diligent or even responsible representative, then I'm afraid someone else will have to."

"But...but...", she was beyond words. Not only had Ms. Bustier taken her title as class rep, but she had also scolded her in front of the whole class. And the class tried to hide their contempt and joy as the teacher calmly told Lila off, "I know I've missed a few meetings now and again. But, I do have a valid excuse."

"That may be fine once in a while, but that doesn't excuse you showing no results.", she had seen students with fractures and broken bones provide more effort, "You've also yet to show me any kind of doctors note to these appointments and claims of medical emergencies or scheduled events.", and her patience was thin as it was.

"He...she..they just forgot to write me one.", an honest mistake.

"Once or twice is one thing.", things like that happened and many were happy to make accommodations, "But, you have yet to bring in one note for the number of your classes missed or have been tardy to.", for which she claimed various fractures and pains to get out of doing work and turning in assignments/ Along with events and traveling as reason to forsake her responsibilities, "That is not the proper actions of a responsible class representative.", using excuses to get out of work and to get special treatment from others.

"But, I've been a good class rep. Even better than the previous one.", she commented.

Ms. Bustier gave a small frown, "If you are speaking of Marinette, you're services are incomparable.", she said, "While Marinette may make mistakes and try to please everyone. She owns up to them and makes a way for everyone to be happy.", keeping with her promise to do her best and listen to everyone. And finds a way to accomplish her fellow student's needs.

The class nodded in agreement.

"And that's what I've been doing.", though more promise then listening, "Marinette was okay. But, she could never offer what I could. Honestly, I believe I've been one of the best representatives."

The students frowned and shook their heads.

"No, you have not.", Ms. Bustier disputed, "From what I've seen your entire platform stemmed from making promises you obviously couldn't keep.", tempting her fellow students with promises of travel, parties, and meeting celebrities she claimed to be friends with. Then pushing for a re-election when the idea of a party was brought up and claiming she could organize it for the entire school, "And as we all can see you've done none of the things you promised.", only make excuses, "And while Marinette may not be able to promise such extravagance, she is honest to her capabilities and will go out of her way yo go beyond them.", and under no circumstances was she going to have another person who barely understood the position speak ill of someone else.

"But Ms. Bustier I do have the ability for the position.", she just didn't know how to stop, "I know things are going rather slow, but working with other classmates and trying to fulfill their request has not been easy."

"Our requests?", the students looked among each other. Was she trying to blame them for her slow actions?

"True I promised an exceptional school dance, but students kept requesting more and more from me.", from the food to the entertainment, "And when word got out other classes wanted my input as well."

"It certainly didn't help that my deputy wasn't pulling her own weight.", blaming Alya for not helping, but adding to the list of tasks.

Nino's hands tightened in anger as Alya was again thrown under the bus. Adrien putting a hand on his shoulder for support. And to keep from lunging at her.

"That's enough.", she cut in, "While I understand you are upset about losing your position, you have shown no respect for the position.", or even her classmates who elected her and those who tried to help her, "And furthermore you will not make any more excuses. That ends today.", she would no longer allow students to use sympathy as an excuse for their misbehavior, "Kitsi and Alya will be in charge of this dance. And Marinette will be returned to her position as a class representative. You will not. And I will not hear another word about it."

Lila looked about to say something, but the firm eyes of the teacher stopped any words from coming out. The teacher was no longer going to accept any more excuses. So without another word she sat back down in her seat. Feeling the eyes of her classmates baring into here. She felt the urge to sink further down. But, her pride prevented her.

exhaled, feeling her adrenaline calm down.

Now if there are no more questions or comments.", she eyed the class, staying on Rossi for the longest as if expecting another rebuttal, "Let's begin with today's lessons.", with a small smile she turned to the board and began her lesson. The tension in the room held. But, beveled with the ticking of the clock. Eventually calming to its usual stature.

When class ended students were gathering their things.

"I can't believe you all!", and there it goes, "How could you all allow Ms. Bustier to pick a new class representative?", Lila was not happy. Mixing it with both sadness and hurt.

"We didn't just let her pick."

"We voted to have Marinette back."

"You did? Why? I thought you all wanted me to be the class representative."

"True.", the didn't deny it.

"Then why did you vote to replace me?", she questioned, "You didn't even wait until I got back from my trip."

"Because, as Ms. Bustier said, You haven't been doing your actual job."

"If this is about the dance. I can assure that there is nothing to be worried about.", she assumed everyone was upset with how slow the dance was going.

"Right. Because now we have someone capable of actually doing their job.", emphasizing their trust in Kitsi, Chloe, and even Alya to make sure the dance was amazing for everyone.

"That's a rather bold statement.", Rossi commented, "Especially with all the work I put into getting special guests to come to the dance."

"Kitsi, no offense, couldn't dream of bringing together something as close to amazing.", she seemed to boost.

"Oh?", a voice chimed in. The class looked to see Kitsi, "Is that challenge?", she joined in the conversation.

"Oh Kitsi I didn't see you there.", she tried to sound surprised, "We were just talking about that dance."

"Oh, were you?", she held a small look of interest, "I heard so much about the dance you came up with. I have to say you set the bar pretty high."

"Of course. Only the best."

"I'll say you packed a pretty big plate.", and now everyone else had to pick through the spoiled bits, "Though I have to wonder how you planned on getting so many different performances."

"Like what?"

"Like RVER, Jagged Stone, and Clara Nightingale.", she listed off.

"How?"

"Because we're such great friends of course."

"No I mean how would they be at a dance with their schedules.", she expanded her question, "I do know their all on tour right?"

"T-Tour?"

"RVER is in Germany on their world tour.", she pointed out, "Along with Jagged Stone and Clare Nightingale who are giving a concert in Brazil.", she listed off, "In fact, most of the people you mentioned are either in different countries on vacation, involved in projects, or scheduled tours.", imagine that, "Curious because you claimed weeks ago that they agreed to play and visit the school.", but were pre-scheduled elsewhere and never changed any of the dates to reflect them being off.

"Well, of course, I know their schedules. It just because of what close friends we are they promised to come just for me."

Kitsi hummed a bit, "Well can't argue with that.", she noted the smirk on the other girls face at her self conceived victory, "Then you'll have no problem showing us the receipts."

"R-Receipts?", and there went the smile.

"Hai.", she nodded, "All acts and scheduled performers for any event must complete an agreement.", which included a contract and receipts showing any funds used, "If you did book these performers and they agreed to sing, then you should have a contract. Which of course will be signed and approved by the headmaster."

"You did get a contract, didn't you?", Chloe questioned. Eyeing the girl who seemed solid, but flinched slightly.

"O-Of course!", she stated, "A verbal one. They were all so excited to play after I asked them."

"That's still no a solid contract for promising the entire school a party.", Kitsi emphasized, "And only written contracts are binding and keeps all parties safe and liability in check."

"W-Well of course. They were doing a favor for me.", she said, "But, if you think you can do better."

"I have the venue booked. The caterers called. And of course, the entertainment has been booked.", Kitsi listed.

"You did all that?"

"Of course. I had help.", she looked to her classmates, "The entire school helped.", all the clubs, students, and even faculty members came together to get the band together to make an amazing party, "Which brings up another issue I found with your party."

"There seem to be some discrepancies when it comes to the budget.", she brought up, "Since you were the one you took care of the overall planning. You can explain why some of the receipts don't match up."

"I'm not sure I understand what you're saying."

Kitsi gave a short hum, "Just putting together a final list of expenses. I'll have to compare them to your log notes."

"My notes?"

"All purchases and funds are registered in a logbook.", to keep track of money and make sure it was being used responsibly, "I trust you were keeping track of all your funds."

"Of course.", she stated, "I have it in my locker. Excuse me.", not waiting a moment, she quickly, but confidently left from the room.

"I'm taking bets she leaves school.", Chloe said.

"You actually think she'll come back?"

"She'll come back.", Kitsi was sure of it, "Rossi is just buying time.", it was basically a game. And whether she knew it or not, she had already been dealt a blow. Her pieces had been moved and replaced. Now she was just a fake Queen without a castle or any pawns to come to her aid.

"Slowly she'll find her corners are empty. Faced with exposure, she'll ne