When Papilio had first fallen into this world, she had been badly beaten from the battle that forced her there; to her fortune, however, she landed in the Dupain-Chengs’ kitchen, unconscious. Sabine and Tom had found her early that morning, and after they helped her recover, she explained a bit of what was safe to tell them (they knew her identity, and that she needed her kwami’s favorite food to fight crime, but other than that, they knew nothing else other than what would later become public information). Ultimately, they came to an agreement: she would be at the cash register in exchange for her keep until she found her own job and place to move into (while house hunting took a long while, she found another job soon enough). She swore to herself that she would forever owe the Dupain-Chengs, and it was not long after the events of Stoneheart that she had set up some of her butterflies guarding them in secret.
To this world’s fortune (and misfortune, in a sense), she had shown up the night before everything went downhill for them too. She would have joined Ladybug and Chat Noir in the first battle against Stoneheart, but as she hadn’t fully recovered from the wounds that her previous enemies had left her ( after she and her allies beat Hawkmoth, she later thought, they were next ), she had been in no shape to give the newer heroes aid, so she unwillingly waited the battle out.
Her wounds, however, had not been able to stop her from figuring out Marinette and Adrien's identities, however - she’d met Marinette when she was leaving for school that morning (though the fact she looked so much like a younger version of her scared her for a few), and when she saw Ladybug out there, she saw the connection immediately. In contrast, she’d seen Chat Noir first, but only when she was applying for a job did she learn about Adrien Agreste (in the same way with Marinette, seeing Adrien had nearly given her a heart attack - the way that he hurt her still stung a little).
How her and Chat’s glamours hadn’t affected her, she wasn’t sure, but as it was the least she could do for her saviors, she decided she’d go into battle as soon as she was healthy.
It was during the second of Hawkmoth’s attacks that Ladybug and Chat Noir first met the woman who would become one of their greatest allies (first place, of course, went to each other).
They had been battling Bubbler when the clown found himself lifted into the air, as a chunk of the floor had been ripped out of the earth. Suddenly, it zoomed off to a nearby building, where it was thrown into the palm of a steel golem that looked quite similar to Stoneheart. Launched over to the heroes, the bigger bubble wand was knocked out of his hands upon his rather painful arrival to the floor.
Ladybug decided this new possibly-threat would have to wait; quickly, she snatched the bubble wand from the ground, snapped it in two and purified the akuma inside. After the Miraculous Cure had finished its job, the floating piece of earth was put back into its place, with not so much as a crack in the ground indicating it ever happened.
As the two heroes cautiously approached the Stoneheart-like helper, he was suddenly enveloped in a radiant purple light. When the light dwindled and everyone recovered, they saw their friend Ivan standing in place of the Stoneheart lookalike.
Chat Noir was actually the first one to speak up, inquiring, “What happened to you, Ivan?”
Without a word, the young man merely handed him a piece of paper with a look of determination on his face that Ladybug had never seen before. Unfolding it, Chat Noir and Ladybug read it over.
It was merely a note to Mylene. Noticing the confused looks on their faces, Ivan blushed.
The middle schooler quickly explained, “She probably put it on the other side of the paper when I became Impervius.” This just raised more questions; who was this lady Ivan was talking about?
That was answered on the other side of the paper. On the paper, a different hand had written:
Dear Ladybug and Chat Noir,
Welcome to the Miraculous business! I heard you two were new Miraculous holders, and as I know a thing or two, I’m offering my help in battle if you would like it. Meet me at the location listed in the slip given with this note at 4:30 p.m. if you want to talk with me. Disclaimer - I look quite similar to Hawkmoth (our powers are pretty much the same anyway), so while I will advise you to be on guard when we meet, I would also ask that you not attack me unless I attack you first.
I presume I’ll see you tonight,
Weirded out as they were by this “Papilio”, Ladybug and Chat Noir knew that it was worth checking out. After checking on the saved Nino and making their way through the rest of the day, it was at about 4 that night that the two met at the location (thankfully, it wasn’t too far from home) at which Papilio was supposed to be waiting for them. Naturally, the place was practically abandoned, which only made things even more suspicious; nevertheless, the two started searching. Eventually, the two came to a clearing, which was supposed to be the exact location for the meeting. Nobody was there.
“Was this a prank?” Ladybug wondered.
“The akuma is probably late.” jested her partner.
“An akuma would attack you on sight, and you know it.,” laughed an unseen third voice behind them.
Whipping around, Lady and Chat laid their eyes on a figure sitting on the edge of a decrepit building, shining in the moonlight. Tipping an imaginary hat, the newcomer jumped down and begun walking towards them, a confident glint in her eyes showing when it came into visibility. The two heroes tensed up, ready for a fight, but when she reached them, the hand she threw out was for the purpose of a handshake instead of an attack.
“My name’s Papilio, in case you forgot,” Papilio grinned, her hand still gesturing for them to shake it, “and I’d like to join your little team.”
“How do we know we can trust you?” inquired Ladybug, already on guard.
“I’m offering my help, aren’t I? Besides,” Papilio’s cheery smile turned frightening, “I could totally whup you both anyway.”
“You sure about that?” Chat asked.
“Kiddo, I’ve been around the Miracle Stone block for a long time.”
At the others’ unimpressed stares, she added, “That and I’m fairly sure I know both of your identities.”
That got their attention.
Flinching at the sound, the newcomer quickly added on, “I wish I knew. I just figured it all out once I met you as Ladybug and you as who-you-are-behind-Chat-Noir. It’s not like I’ve told anyone - give me some credit.”
“Fine, then,” Ladybug grumbled, “you really should join us; we’ll be able to keep an eye on you that way. There will be a few things we ask you to do, however.”
Raising an eyebrow, Papilio asked what these conditions were.
“First, we get access to your Miraculous’ communicator Second, you or your akuma-”
“My butterflies are called comites .”
“-yeah, those are going to show up at every akuma we fight. If you can’t make it, you warn us as soon as possible. Third…”
A slightly sheepish look appeared on her face. “Since you’re so experienced, can you train us? I know we use different weapons, but…”
Papilio just guffawed. “Kid, I would have offered anyway. You want to start now?”
In tune with the mentor role Papilio had begun to play, Ladybug and Chat Noir ended up battling without her on the field; since the Butterfly wielder (“HAWKMOTH IS THE MOTH WIELDER, HOW MANY TIMES Y’ALL”) worked in the same way as their enemy, the first two heroes found a plethora of ever-changing allies joining them during their battles against Hawkmoth.
The first instance post-meeting was during the battle against Lady Wifi. Ladybug had been facing off with her akumatized bestie while Chat Noir remained pinned at the kitchen, and both were not faring well in their respective areas. Lady Wifi had some cameras set up in the area to show Chat’s identity, and since he couldn’t move…
In a flurry of motion, the door to the kitchen was kicked open, and before the cameras could so much as turn around, they were drenched in high-pressure water and promptly exploded. Stepping through the smoke was Papilio’s comes . Clad in security guard-like armor and wielding what looked like a Blastoise’s cannon, Bullitus entered to find a freed but dripping-wet cat.
“Heh heh… sorry, dude?” the comes offered, and Chat felt his stomach rise and fall, because he knew his best friend Nino was there to help him and his lady.
A while later, Alya was the next person to be “comitized,” and Marinette would forever be unsure on whether to thank her or curse Papilio for choosing her best friend. When Fulmen blasted through the ice with multiple lashes of her electrical whip, Manon was freed as well (and promptly taken to a safe place with Marinette’s parents while Stormy Weather… raised hail, if you will). Papilio never explained how exactly the comes got in, though…
That night, though, Papilio sent an apology to Alya for not arriving sooner and also promised her an interview, if she’d like it. All she had to do was talk to an “intermediary” of hers in private; only somewhat surprisingly, it was their school’s Latin teacher. To the heroine’s shock, she learned that Alya was going to use it later; she had lots of work with school and the blog, and when things were quieter, it would be a nice thing to have.
An odd thing happened during the next akuma attack- Aurore was chosen that day to become Tempestas to fight Copycat, but it didn’t go so well for her (she’d shown up later than usual, by the way - Papilio was keeping the police busy by attempting to explain the tale of two kitties).
When the “impurrsonator” (as the weather-woman put it) made a scratch post out of Tempestas’ umbrella, a swarm of comites swooped in and took Mireille’s detransformed now-co-anchor to safety by creating a platform.
“I have a thing with making sure any defeated comites get out safely,” Papilio had told them that night. “I lost many comitized Champions a long time ago when I was younger and cocky,” - her face turned somber at this, and Chat and Ladybug would have rolled their eyes at the last part if the moment wasn’t so dark - “and this is how I atone for my mistakes.”
Continuing, she made them a promise right there and then: “I will step into battle myself if no one else can help you and if your backs are against the wall. You two save Paris, but if a time comes that you need it, I will save you.”
The three silently hoped she never had to.
Underneath the masks of both Chat Noir and Adrien Agreste, the boy sometimes felt that Papilio was more of a caretaker to him than his own father was. So naturally, when he needed advice, Chat went to her instead of Gabriel. For wooing Ladybug, she was slightly harsh in her advice, but it was excellent counsel to give (“Be her friend before her lover; love at first sight doesn’t last,” Papilio would tell him). On days when Gabriel was being over-controlling, the two would spar to release his stress before they talked things through. Ladybug would join every now and then if she was in the area. Papilio usually won, even against both of them.
Chat wondered sometimes if Papilio had been under similar circumstances; living where everything should be fine, where you should be happy but things still aren’t okay was something that the Butterfly wielder understood far too well.
Here and there, Ladybug would also come to Papilio for advice; mostly to deal with that rich brat in her classes or building stress, and on occasion about the crush she had. The scathing insults were mostly ignored (“If she matters, she won’t mind, but if she minds, she doesn’t matter”), and Marinette was becoming skilled at turning the tables on Chloé. Ladybug was beginning to see the layers behind the bully’s appearance, and she felt sympathetic with her; this did not mean Marinette excused her actions, of course.
Ladybug wondered sometimes if Papilio had been under similar circumstances; dealing with spoiled people that could get away with just about whatever they wanted was something that the Butterfly wielder understood far too well.
Papilio had a knack for bringing out the best in people.
When Theo learned Ladybug was probably much younger than he was, he realized how creepy he had seemed and asked Papilio to apologize for him (Theo would have done it himself, but it would not have been good to expect the artist to chase her down). Seeing the desire to fix himself, Papilio agreed, but Mr. Pigeon attacked first. Theo was chosen to become Exitium, and he ended up asking for forgiveness in person anyway. Ladybug forgave him, and even Chat Noir breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.
Xavier didn’t get to feed the pigeons after all, but when Papilio and Roger learned he’d been miserable after losing his job, the officer remembered his own job as a role model and introduced him to a friend at the local zoo’s aviary; soon, Xavier had a job where he was even happier than the park pigeons. In turn, Ladybug would have needed to use a Lucky Charm when Gamer started to play, but with the help of feather-like throwing knives and the kits of pigeons who swarmed Max’s vision, Ladybug got to sit back and watch as Columbus snatched the glasses.
Ladybug and Chat Noir were icons for heroism, but Papilio was an icon for “sticking out for others.”
Papilio was an impressive battler and mediator, amongst other things, so when her allies learned she could sense certain kinds of magic (for example, she could look at someone and usually tell if they had anything to do with the Miraculouses), they weren’t as surprised as they expected themselves to be. If you knew her backstory, you would have understood that she had been just as suspicious when she and Fu had a tense stare down upon first meeting each other. After things were cleared that no, I am not Hawkmoth, why would that lepidopteran loser be out here in broad daylight, however, the two hit it off.
So when Jagged Stone came to town, Papilio felt unease when she thought about the rock star. The heroine liked rock, sure, but she preferred classics like A.Z.D.Z. and the Inflammatories, it was the feeling of magical essence that worried her. So deep in thought was she that when M. Aza was literally thrown out of the Grand Paris, she’d barely dodged the rabid fan (she was in civilian form, could you blame her) from colliding with her. Thankfully, she got her thoughts together enough to save a cornered Max from the newly named Pixellator. Sadly, choosing the kid to become Sciscitator was not her wisest choice; the powered-up photog poofed him away on sight, mech and all.
Papilio apologized to Max later on for choosing him on a bad time, but she did take time to listen to the young man about his newest project as he worked. When Papilio wondered out loud if one day the currently unfinished piece of technology would save her on the battlefield, Max just snorted and told her, “I don’t think the odds are that well.”
Papilio prepared to go after that, but before she took off, she turned back and asked Max,
“You finish bringing this little guy to life, and someday we’ll find out.”
With that, Papilio was off to chat with Jagged Stone.
Jagged knew nothing useful about Hawkmoth, but Papilio did find a lead out of Chat.
Recently, the guitarist had stopped by Adrien’s home to chat with his old friend. Gabriel was not outwardly pleased, but the two adults had a nice time; that, and he finally convinced the old man to come down and eat with his son (a pleasant surprise, yes, but the fact that it had been pleasant or a surprise in the first place disgusted her).
Either way, she came to a conclusion of sorts - that boy and his spotted idol really did need each other; nevertheless, she wasn’t going to force them into an awkward situation unless it really came down to it. As someone close to Marinette (she still stopped by the bakery a lot), she had not only seen Adrien here and there around the school (not to mention all the billboards and whatnot) but had received an earful of compliments about the kid from Marinette. She decided to give her the same advice as she gave Chat about Ladybug; be his friend before her lover; love at first sight seldom lasts, y’know?
“Besides,” she muttered quietly as she sat next to Ladybug while watching over Paris one day, “if Adrien wanted a schoolgirl hanging off him, he’d be dating Chloé.”
It had taken the Butterfly hero a few moments to realize that Ladybug had turned to her alarmedly.
“What makes you think of him?” Ladybug inquired, going into that calculating face she put on when figuring out a Lucky Charm. Groaning, Papilio knew she was going to have to tell the sweetheart sooner or later.
“I was about to offer you advice on getting the boy, Marinette. I figured your identity out a long time ago, remember?”
Despite that, a shocked Ladybug nearly slipped off the building they were sitting on. Faster than Ladybug could grab her bandalore, Papilio snapped into action with a trick she liked to use for certain situations; with a palm extended, Ladybug was lifted back to her feet, suspended mid-air and surrounded by a purple glow. She was in her face the moment she dropped the telekinesis.
“Yeah, about that, how did you really-”
“Shh! Just because I know doesn’t mean you can tell the whole dang city!”
Taking a deep breath, Ladybug nodded, but she still shot her a displeased look. No other identities were revealed, thankfully, and the two came to an understanding (if anything, they felt like they understood each other a bit better).
“Kid, you’ve gotta go. You’ve got school tomorrow, so…”
It wasn’t until the next day that Papilio realized she hadn’t actually given Ladybug the advice. She would have stopped by later and talked to her about it, but Guitar Villain struck Paris, so she had to go search for the next comes instead.
In hindsight, comitizing Vincent into Pictura was not her greatest idea. Sure, temporarily stunning Jagged was good when Lady and Chat couldn’t get near her, but when the flying dragon that was Fang lost control mid-air… well, Papilio was lucky the dragon didn’t get anyone killed (thank goodness for the Cure too). Ladybug and Chat would have murdered her.
That night, Papilio had let the two talk her ear off about the concert. When Ladybug had gushed about the song written for her, Papilio just smiled. Chat could not help but notice it was a sad one, though, a face akin to the face Chat would see on his father when the mogul remembered his wife and had no clue Adrien was looking. Before he could ask, however, Papilio politely spoke up.
“You two are luckier than you think that the city supports you. I’m glad to be a part of that…”
Ladybug and Chat Noir smiled.
The mood went somber immediately.
“What do you mean by that?” Chat asked.
“That, mi amice , is a story for another day. How’s about this - I’ll tell you everything, but only after we whup Hawkmoth. Sound good?”
Begrudgingly, the two agreed. They’d learned Papilio could be quite stubborn when she needed to.
Early on, Lady and Chat learned that Papilio could act whatever part she needed to. She was either dramatic and loud, polite and quiet, or a combination of those qualities. There was little balance in between, and the third hero of Paris knew it.
Appealing to the boisterous Jagged Stone was easy when Animan was around. Ladybug had considered jumping in a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s mouth for a plan of hers (“WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU SMOKING, SPOTS”), but Cithara chose that moment to fly in with Fang (who was now more like a wyvern) and distract her. While blasting the evilized zookeeper, Chat took the moment to sneak in and snatch the item. In no time, Alya was reunited with her father.
On the other side of the stick, appealing to Otis was easy too. Offering to watch over the zoo while he went out and fought as Ferus was enough to convince Alya’s dad to go fight Dark Cupid. While Ladybug fought Chat (and eventually kissed him, making Papilio wish she’d been there in person), Dark Cupid was busy eluding a Peregrine hawk who finally struck him down after transforming into a mantis shrimp and nipping his wings. The two other heroes made it just in time to see an elephant smash the brooch.
That night, all three heroes had been conversing when Chat started talking about his father and the way he acted.
Papilio (who had already met Gabriel in her civilian form and felt little but strong enmity towards the mogul) and Ladybug had listened patiently, and then blatantly told him he needed to get out of there as soon as possible. Chat desperately tried to tell them he was fine, but Papilio was a bit more adamant about the getting the young man away from his “pathetic excuse for a guardian.”
“Your father isn’t fine, clearly - no offense meant, kiddo - and if that affects you, sooner or later you won’t be fine yourself.”
Time went by, and the akumas were starting to get easier now that the three heroes had “eased” into their roles.
The first one in that time was Kim, who was transformed into Volatus. He made the Pharaoh look like old news.
Second was Jalil, who became Aegyptus to strike fear into the heart of Horrificator (and help his little sister).
Literally empowered by the people, Mylene became Audentia and managed to help Chat Noir save Marinette from Evillustrator on a starry night while Ladybug was “busy.”
After that, Nathanael became Artifex to block off Rogercop’s buddies while the other two gave the akuma a rest.
There was a few good changes in it all, though. After the events of Puppeteer, during which Papilio had comitized Sabrina’s father into Magistratus but had been beaten out when the distorted doll-lover used the toy version to make her lose the lawman, Papilio realized that just because she was stronger and more experienced than the other two heroes (and they had the embarrassing stories to prove it) didn’t mean she didn’t - or couldn’t - get better.
She started training with Master Fu as soon as she had access to the Guardian. She had already been certainly capable of fighting up close and personal, but she preferred not to after… certain events. She was more than capable to keep up with an average akuma in a one-on-one, and she might have called Hawkmoth no match for him if she and her allies knew exactly how strong the villain was.
One of the more notable results of the training, though, was that she could make more than one comes if she really needed to, but there had to be a link between the two; that, and it would be magically exhausting. This new power came to be useful when she sent out a comes to help fight the Mime. She had been going for Ms. Chamack, but she accidentally nicked her daughter Manon’s toy wand when the little girl ran into their kitchen. When Nadja noticed and realized what was going on, she put on a terrifying glare and stared Papilio into the eyes, thinking Hawkmoth was back.
Admittedly intimidated, Papilio knew what she needed to do. She’d sent spying comites around Paris, hiding them in places where most akumas took place. Turning into a swarm of butterflies (she’d known this trick for a long time), she booked it for their house. She didn’t know where it was specifically, but her butterflies (having scouted out pretty much the whole city by now) found the address quickly. Knocking on the door, Nadja opened it to find a panting Papilio.
Immediately, she started apologizing, explaining that she had not meant to comitize her and that she could not remove the comes unless she transformed her. Nadja thought for a few moments, and then shocked her by asking to be comitized so she could protect her daughter.
Papilio’s head could have detached from her body at the speed she started nodding.
Ladybug and Chat Noir were saved that day by the appearance of Continuitas and her mother Umbra. Overwhelmed by all the teleportation and reappearance of Magistratus, Fulmen and Artifex, the Mime was promptly shut up for good.
Papilio agreed to be interviewed as an apology to the Chamacks. While the reporter wouldn’t have asked for it as recompense on her own, she gladly took it.
She would have asked Lady and Chat to come along, but they were both busy at some show or another. Strange…
On the last three days before Jagged Stone left Paris, Hawkmoth struck with three quick-succession akumas.
The first day had Darkblade, who (despite putting the evil in medieval) was stopped by Ladybug, Chat Noir and Pantomimus, the strengthened version of Mylene’s father.
On the second day, Armand, who Papilio knew well as a civilian, became Miles to fight Reflekta. Later, Juleka would become Oesypum in order to battle Kung Food.
Finally, Marinette's uncle was asked to help the ones who were secretly his niece and her crush against Timebreaker. Becoming Archimagirus, the chef agreed, and with his power-boosting food and culinary-themed weapons, Timebreaker passed by quickly.
It had been a busy few days for all parties involved, so everyone involved went home early each of those nights.
Oroono was the name of Papilio’s kwami, and the two had been through a lot. Sure, the owner had human friends, but until she got a boyfriend (and past that), Oroono was her “partner.”
It had been over 10 years since the two had met, and it was on their 11th anniversary of partnership that Hawkmoth chose to attack with Princess Fragrance.
Papilio, needless to say, was infuriated. Alix could feel that energy transferring to herself when she became Celerrime, and she reminded him to chill. Feeling bad that the teenage girl had to remind a grown woman to chill out, Papilio profoundly apologized and swore to do better after the speedy skater saved her classmate.
The older heroine kept that promise to the end of her days. She also invited not only the other two heroes but Alix & Rose to celebrate Oroono’s birthday, disguising it as a victory celebration (and an apology for losing her cool to the pink-haired girl) so that the other two girls didn’t know too much.
The next few akumas were strong, and after the second of them, the three heroes decided to cut down on the amount of patrols for a bit, as they all needed as much rest as possible.
Sabrina wasn’t too much of a challenge, as Odorata (Rose’s redesigned form, which was quite different from Princess Fragrance) used her healing perfume to keep Ladybug and Chat Noir up and going. With no powers other than camouflage and increased physical abilities, the first akuma of that day fell quickly.
Chloé, on the other hand, was a challenge. Antibug had wiped the floor with Odorata, as unlike many Overwatch players, she went for the healer first. Lady and Chat tried to keep the still-empowered Odorata safe, but Antibug managed to break the item before long. Thankfully, however, Antibug left Rose be after defeating her; she was no longer a threat, after all. After Papilio’s comites took the kindly blonde home, the Butterfly wielder scrambled to think of whom to comitize next. It was not long before she thought to choose Sabrina.
When she came upon her, however, she refused, as she “didn’t want to hurt Chloé.”
“I know you don’t,” the purple hero agreed, “but if she continues, we all get hurt! It’s not about just her hurting you here - this affects all of us!”
Sabrina nodded ever so slightly, telling Papilio she acquiesced.
“I’ll make it quick, I swear. Your powers will be harmless to her anyway.”
True to her word, Notanda used somewhat-easy-to-dodge balls of stunning light to keep Antibug on her toes, distracting her enough for Ladybug to save her partner and eventually finish the job.
“Everything is going to be okay,” Papilio had told her, “but you have to decide wisely if what you’re doing will allow that.”
Sabrina spent some time thinking about what Papilio meant and reevaluating her behavior. Soon after, she had a talk with Chloé that culminated in a nasty argument (plus an end to their friendship), and the blonde brat couldn’t help but wonder why. Eh, Mme. Roby Liberalitas (as she called herself in civilian form) thought to herself, at least she was thinking about it for once . She was less rude and bratty now, and it appeared that Chloé was on the path to redemption.
Of course, a while after Antibug and the argument came Simon Says, and for a reason Ladybug hadn’t understood Papilio decided it was wise to choose Chloé to aid Ladybug and Chat Noir in battle.
To the latter two’s surprise, she did amazing work with them. With a two-headed mace that was themed after Ladybug’s bandalore (not to mention a laser-focused attitude), Coccinea helped the other two defeat the malicious magician with unexpected ease. Ladybug even caught herself thinking that if Chloé was nicer, she might have made for a good superheroine (though she never said it aloud).
“I don’t know what you did to make Chloé so nice,” Ladybug told Papilio later, “but it worked. How did you do it?”
“It’s simple,” Papilio laughed, “she’d been feeling bad about herself after the Antibug escapade, and I gave her the chance to redeem herself. She's trying to be a nicer person, Bugs; give her a chance!”
“You sure? What if she doesn’t change?”
“If she shows no desire to change, that’s another story. I told you to give her a chance, not infinite chances.”
The second Papilio laid eyes on Lila Rossi, she had a really bad feeling about her.
Sure, she didn’t have a magical essence like Jagged Stone, Marinette or Adrien, but something about the lass just… unnerved her. It wasn’t the lies she had heard her tell either (though that was also a problem).
But something had to be done when she saw a livid Ladybug staring at Lila as she chatted with Adrien in a nearby park. She knew exactly what was going on in her mind.
Confronting her after she left, she revealed her presence with a “What’s eating you, kid?”
Whipping around, the miserable superheroine explained all the lies Lila told. Papilio merely nodded as Ladybug ranted to him, and when she was done, she calmly talked her through her fury while also pointing out that she was a role model to Paris, and that Chat Noir would be disappointed in her (Catboy will thank me later, she thought to himself).
“I can’t let her get away with those lies.” Ladybug muttered.
“Sweetheart, I’m not telling you to leave her be about that - I’d be real disappointed if you did that, actually. Just be calm and cool about it. Didn’t you tell me and Chat once that we should fight with our head instead of our heart?”
“...yeah. Yeah, I did.”
“Well, kid, you were partly right. Use both.”
“Think about it like this; if you go too far into the heart, you’ll go into cardiac arrest, and too far into your head results in brain damage. Nobody wants a dead and/or insane superhero, right?”
Ladybug slowly nodded, a grin on her face.
“Now go get ‘em, champ.”
She knew Ladybug went and handled things with Lila properly (are you really going to pretend to have superpowers in front of a superhero?), so while she didn’t expect the appearance of Volpina, she most certainly wasn’t surprised; Lila seemed like the kind of person to end up angry that they were revealed to be a big liar.
Panicking nevertheless, she found M. Grimault on his way down the street and championed him into Magus. As the magician arrived at the battlegrounds, they found Lady and Chat climbing Eiffel Tower after the fox-themed supervillainess, who was carrying… Adrien?!
After a swarm of Volpinas jumped Magus and defeated him, followed by the comites getting him back where he needed to be, Papilio decided that more… serious action needed to be taken.
At last, Papilio was going to enter the battle in person. However, she wasn’t jumping in close just yet.
Papilio had a weapon other than his comites , and she knew how to use it; a swordlike staff with a crystal ball on the other end was aimed at the fake Adrien with its holder in a position you might have seen on a sniper.
Yep, Papilio had what was basically a sniper rifle (that doubled as a sword, yes, but still…).
In one perfect shot, a laser blast turned the illusionary Adrien into fog, and the earpieces Papilio had figured out how to bring into her allies’ transformations crackled to life with her voice.
“Chill, y’all, this was a fake; the real Adrien is safe at home. My comes was jumped, so this one is all on you two. Wreck this one good for me, okay?”
With Ladybug already angry at today’s akuma, and with Chat giving his all as usual, Volpina didn’t stand a chance. Despite their victory, however, Papilio worried that this wouldn’t be last they would see of Lila Rossi.
A good amount of time went by before the next akuma. It was Gabriel Agreste, but something felt off to Papilio. Ladybug had been suspecting that he was Hawkmoth, but Chat was (rather unsurprisingly) dismissive of the theory. The second that Halucinatio (who shocked Papilio by agreeing) stepped in Gabriel’s mansion to join the battle (with invisibility powers to aid her entrance), Papilio felt the negative magic she’d sensed with Hawkmoth while she laid eyes on the failure of a father’s head on that infamous first day.
Dear deities above, Gabriel is Hawkmoth.
Once the battle was over, Papilio did not tell her comes to return as usual. Instead, she told it to hide in the mansion and “take notes” for him, sending a few more on their way to sneak in as well. Having the ability to communicate with her comites had always been a useful trick for espionage, and this was excellent proof of that fact.
She wanted to tell Ladybug and Chat Noir the truth, but she didn’t want to break their hearts at the same time. Gabriel Agreste was Marinette’s idol, and if Adrien’s father was arrested… where was his son supposed to go?
Nevertheless, she didn’t feel like being arrested for obstruction of justice, and believed we can only heal when hurt (which doesn’t mean we should be made to hurt), so she had planned to call them that night to tell them the truth. Sadly, she had no opportunity - the akuma attacks were getting harder on them, and the kiddos’ schooling and her job were increasing in demandingness as well.
When Despair Bear possessed the spotlight at Chloé’s party, she was not able to access Gabriel (to no surprise), so she had (politely, mind you) asked Sabine to help her. She thankfully agreed.
As Ira, the baker’s tenacious spirit went into overdrive. Boosted with red-hot attacks that hurt her enemies as long as she kept control of her powers, Despair Bear was kept on the run. Papilio’s choice of powers might not have been so smart this time, however - if Ira had so much as nicked someone by accident, they might have been introduced to some pretty nasty burns.
Marinette’s birthday rolled by, and Papilio was introduced to her grandma. Really, it was Missile (as Marinette and her friends had started to nickname her - she had earlier insisted she be called Ms. L) that met her - even if she didn’t work at the bakery anymore, she still lived there, so the two would have met sooner or later.
Eventually, though, Befana came rolling in, so Papilio would have met her anyway. She chose Jean (one of Chloé’s servants who had been in the area on an off day) to join the heroes of his boss’ daughter in battle.
In the end, the now-giant teddy bear named Ursus ended up making Befana bite the dust, as even her motorcycle was stopped in its tracks by the bear-themed butler’s brutal beatdown. Papilio was pleased with the results, ultimately; the day was saved, she met another kind person in the form of Jean, and she even got a slice of cake as a thank-you from the Dupain-Chengs ( now I know how Mario feels, she joked, taking Marinette, Adrien, Max and a few others to the floor with laughter).
Over Papilio’s time in this world, she and Mme. Chamack had talked a lot.
Despite the teasing of his teammates, it really had been strictly for interviews - even though she gave a lot of them, Papilio felt forced to swear in all 360 degrees that she wasn’t romantically interested in the reporter, though everyone that saw their interactions seemed to think otherwise.
It all culminated when Chat made yet another of his stupid sexual innuendos about the two, and it was there and then when something important was revealed.
“I DON’T WANT SEX WITH HER, CATBOY!” Papilio shouted, “I DON’T WANT SEX WITH ANYONE! EVER!”
Chat Noir shut his trap there. Finally, he managed to utter, “...you’re asexual?”
Now confused by this brand-new term, Papilio asked what that meant. Her home world had no terminology for these things, as most if not all of them still described non-straight people as “heathens” and whatnot. However, the Butterfly wielder had been mostly ambivalent towards those people, believing that they were not defined by that, and while she had nothing against them at the time, she had little for them either. Upon reaching this world, however, she learned to be supportive of LGBT+ folks (she was apparently panromantic ace, which would have made any hate on them especially unfair), so she knew a little bit more about the people that those in her home world would have described rather rudely.
One educational explanation later (followed by a profound apology from Chat, as well as a heartfelt thank you about the education and apology for snapping), Papilio (plus his fellow heroes) would later become supporters of many organizations dealing with people who were not only non-cishet but facing injustice in general. Max and some others did a stream of some video games to raise money for some of them, and Papilio joined in as soon as she heard about it.
It was that day when Papilio reminded a certain blogger she still owed her an interview. When she asked her, Alya told her she’d use it soon.
When Prime Queen began her attack (which more than miffed Papilio - she’d been having a nice night too), Papilio ended up choosing Ms. Mendeleiev to aid her. She did this in what was later an embarrassingly begrudging manner, however, as when she was Missile, the two did not get along due to their disagreements on how one should work with kids.
While the two agreed that one must teach with a firm hand at minimum, the science teacher sometimes saw it as “leniency” towards students, causing her to sometimes hold overly high expectations for those she taught, but Missile thought that being firm - not soft, not hard, but firm - was the way to go; that said, akumas tended to make any arguments go out the window for the time being.
With the help of Pharmacopola, the reporter quickly found that portals taken out by explosive chemicals tend to put her in a not-so-prime position.
Later on came Kagami, who had unnerved Papilio with her external seriousness ( I know all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but I should have suspected it would make them stressed and uptight as well, the older hero supposed). After considering her luck with akumas, however, her civilian job was the only thing keeping her from being Papilio by the time Riposte showed up. Luckily for many people - Ladybug and Chat Noir included - Marinette’s nonna had yet to leave, and was staying for one more day before heading home to wherever she lived. Having recruited her under the guise of helping keep Marinette safe (and maybe impressing her granddaughter too), Papilio ensured that Riposte would learn far too late that for all her skill - not to mention the boosts Hawkmoth gave her - none of it would save her from long-distance blasts of angelic light and explosive coal.
Despite her lack of knowledge in what she remembered was called “T.E.M.S.” in his high school time, Missile had been ecstatic to meet Markov (though she almost revealed himself by nearly congratulating the young man on finishing the project, as only Papilio and Max knew Markov existed at all until the little guy saved the school’s systems from a malware-filled doom). So while she protested the lockup of Max’s “poor robot boy,” she lost the argument because of seniority, among other factors.
So when Robostus showed up, Missile snapped. Storming into the room where both of the “offending” teachers were discussing something, she nearly shouted, “YOU GUYS SHOULD KNOW BETTER BY NOW!”
“...what?” was all Damocles could utter. The science teacher, on the other hand, was speechless.
“THE ROBOT GOT AKUMATIZED, GUYS! THE ROBOT! EXACTLY HOW MEAN DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GET A ROBOT ANGRY?”
Continuing, she angrily admonished, “THAT DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO COVER THE IDEA THAT YOU SHOULD BE CONSIDERATE OF PEOPLE’S FEELINGS IN GENERAL! I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT AT LEAST 15 KIDS AT THIS SCHOOL HAVE BEEN AKUMATIZED VICTIMS, AND THAT’S NOT EVEN COUNTING STAFF OR FAMILY MEMBERS!”
Despite taking a deep breath, the “disguised” heroine’s infuriated scowl remained. She was lucky that Hawkmoth already had an akuma (come to think of it, she needed to deal with that).
“Mr. Damocles and Ms. Mendeleiev,” she began, “I originally had a few things to ask you, so not only am I going to request them of you, I’m going to add something else on. Madame, you will ‘pardon’ Markov, and you, sir, will form an official ‘club’ for akuma therapy and/or hire therapists for PTSD and whatnot so that students (and maybe others that need it) can deal with the traumas. If you do not, I might inform Ms. Bourgeois and others that you don’t seem to care very much for the traumas of akuma victims. Ultimately, it’s your call.”
“You’d stoop to her level?” the owl-like principal gasped.
“No one here is on that level anymore, chief. Tell me, insipiens senex , when was the last time you saw her being rude to others in the way she used to?”
She wasn’t wrong - Chloé had been surprisingly nice lately, and it wasn’t in the “she’s plotting something” way of quietness. Being an empath, Missile could sense that Chloé seldom had any malevolent intentions or ulterior motives with the acts of kindness she had been doing lately. Even when she did, it was for the sake of the friends she’d been slowly making.
Nodding confidently as she came out of her thoughts, she turned on the principal’s computer, showing Max in the clutches of the menacing mechanism.
“I’m going to go see if everyone else is okay. You and Ms. Mendeleiev are going to stay here and think these things over. I expect a decision by next Monday, or Lil’ Miss Blondie gets an anonymous tip about your ‘misbehavior.’”
Damocles could be a pushover, but the owl-like man was still assiduous enough to get things done. Papilio was the same in the latter respect, and with the help of Kagami - who was transformed into Matara - Markov was back to normal (as much as normal went for robots).
It wrecked the superheroine, however, when she had learned Kagami was another abuse victim. No, not another - for what she knew, Adrien was a victim of neglect. Kagami was actually abused. Not like there was much she could do about it, however - the Tsurugi family were influential.
Then again, Papilio mused next to Chat Noir, so am I.
“What now?” asked Chat. The heroine hesitated to explain at first, but ultimately, she caved and told the Black Cat plenty of details.
“Yeah,” the model had scowled, infuriated over the injustice, “I’m pretty sure you can get the police’s help on that. Paris will be crawling over itself to help a superhero celebrity or two, especially if it will also help someone else!”
Sure enough, Kagami’s parents (especially her physically abusive mother) faced trial, thanks to the help of Adrien and others (even the model’s father helped, near-hypocrisy as it was). With nowhere to go but a temporary orphanage of sorts, Kagami had been surprised to see Papilio show up one night, offering her a potential place to stay when she had a choice offered. The hero had handed her a card containing an address and told her to go there when she could pick a new family. She only asked that she keep the fact she’d advised her about it quiet, and explained that the person was a trustable old friend. But here the fencer “hesitated” for once in her life (though it was more like she was strategizing).
“If mi amica really does prove to be bad,” Papilio solemnly swore to her, “I will save you and whup her ten ways to next week.”
“Thank you,” said Kagami, who was not going to cry, it was a blatant display of weakness until Papilio offered a hug and the young woman promptly sobbed into his shoulder and eventually Kagami had to ask why she cared so much.
She could only respond, “I get what it’s like to be fine but feel like there’s a seemingly small thing against you that ruins all. It’s not bratty to want something, Kagami. If you ask me, brattiness is acting out angrily and expecting the answer for something to change. Here’s some fatherly wisdom for ya - you can ask for anything you want, but you must be prepared to deal with the answer.”
“N-not like that! That was just wisdom from… my own father, that’s all.”
Laughing, the fencer agreed to the elder superheroine’s offer, and even after Kagami moved out, both savior and victim would meet up so the former could check on her.
Through the many battles with Hawkmoth, Papilio would make all sorts of comites to counter the villain’s akumas. Some weren’t good picks, such as Pictura and Sciscitator. Others, like Bullitus against Lady Wifi, worked beautifully; high-pressure water had smashed the tiny technology of the blogger, and anything that lived short-circuited. Water being weak to electricity is exclusive to Pokemon, apparently.
Through it all, though, the comes Papilio would call her most clever choice was bringing in Markov against Gigantitan. It had really surprised her that the sweet, innocent machine could be powered up at all, but if Hawkmoth could do it…
Sure, that battle would mostly feature Automatum being tossed around like a ragdoll (not so oddly fitting for young August), but the robot was nevertheless able to make the size-amplified akuma to yield his item (apparently, “toy” robots were more interesting to August than his powerup).
She would later comitize August’s mother Julia to fight Dark Owl. That one had been her fault, partly - Missile had been a bit too much with the workload she’d helped push on the principal. No wonder the old man was akumatized…
Any and all of Dark Owl’s gadgets and fighting abilities couldn’t stop the humongous Collosica from protecting her beloved city (especially her child). Keeping Ladybug and Chat safe was a nice bonus too.
Later, Missile would apologize to Mr. Damocles for being brash, but the principal apologized to her as well; in fact, Missile was praised! Morale and grades had gone up since all that therapy had begun; heck, they’d received some award and a nice check for their virtuous program, and after putting some of it towards good things for the school (sanitation, etc.), therapy to help adults was in the process of being set up.
Even when not Papilio, the eldest heroine in town was still inspiring people to do good. And she was darn proud of it.
Thankfully, the next 7/10ths-of-a-score of akumas seemed to pass by. At least the new heroes Ladybug chose completely without bias (Papilio had quickly learned to resist the urge to snicker each time - she figured them out as fast as the original two (if not faster)) to help them on occasion helped each battle go by quickly.
Before Rena Rouge, Papilio had granted Mr. Damocles’ wish of superheroism by turning him into Strix in response to Glaciator's appearance. It was not long before the gigantic gelato creature was creamed.
Papilio had been offered a free cone as thanks from the portly romantic. It was hard for her to tell who it was; a strawberry glaze and bright blueberry “eyes” on two vanilla scoops had her wondering - it looked like Nathaniel with a bun, and last Papilio checked, she was not attracted to him (not that she should have been - she was not a pervert)!
Later on, Papilio would look back at choosing André to become Melliculus in order to fight the Sapotis and shudder at how bad an idea it was. Making a gelato-themed akuma against villains who gain their power by eating things was one of her dumbest ideas. Thankfully, the gelato vendor was saved by her swarm of comites , so it all worked out there.
Finding it a good time to get closer, Papilio had her first encounter with Rena Rouge.
Retrospectively, Papilio didn’t blame her for attacking him preemptively; in fact, it rather pleased her that the new Fox wielder was so diligent and cautious. Her brown-with-auburn-tips hair, excitable and unstoppable take-charge attitude (sometimes not stopping even for Ladybug)… if she still had her glasses on, Papilio might have figured out she was Alya even faster!
That night after battle, Papilio learned that Alya would keep her Miraculous under stern warnings not to use it unless akuma attacks were going on (Ladybug relented shortly after and let her use it on occasional patrols with them). The next night (which was Sunday, so no school), the oldest newest superheroines met up after the other two went home.
The staredown was more awkward than tense. Papilio kept secrets just fine, but she was a bit loose-lipped on his opinions when it didn’t count as much to hide them (Ladybug knew she knew her identity, but now that it came to mind, Chat didn’t), so it was natural that she broke the silence.
“...so Ladybug picked you, huh, Alya?” she casually remarked. Rena’s eyes looked like they were going to jump out like slinkies falling down the stairs with almost as much celerity as she supposed Marinette’s eyes had.
(She wasn’t entirely sure just how fast the ravenette’s had nearly popped out, though - she had almost fallen off a building then).
She quickly reassured her before Rena could freak out and inform the whole of the city about it.
“No one else knows but you, me and Ladybug, lil’ blog monster. I just thought you should know that I know, yeah?”
The two chatted for a while that night. It was about everything - things she needed to know as a hero (not just things that she wanted to know as a reporter), a few embarrassing stories on Ladybug and Chat, and they touched the fact that the Butterfly wielder knew the “middle children’s” aliases as well. Through it all, astonishingly, it was off-record, yet Rena felt like she knew the purple protector of Paris better than ever. Once again, Papilio had asked the girl if she wanted that interview she still owed her, and once again, she shocked him by telling him to wait. She was starting to feel “deprioritized,” she had snarked to the impressive illusionist.
There was an abundance of former akuma victim interviews following, and a side note on each person was left - even Chloé had been written about (and not with too negative a tone either)!
The Gorilla, as Adrien called him, was a quiet fellow, and both Missile and Papilio held a silent agreement with him to protect Adrien from Gabriel’s cruelty as much as possible (without arousing suspicion, of course - the bodyguard did have a job to do).
Therefore, when Gorilla was turned into Gorizilla, Papilio knew something had to be done before the monster revealed anything of importance, be it on Adrien or him.
Her hiding spot post-transformation must not have been good that day, as Alya’s little sisters found her amidst a game of hide and seek. She had checked with their parents after she’d comitized Alya into Fulmen, and Otis had told him that he’d better keep them safe, or they would find out if butterflies were a natural prey of panthers.
Always one to keep her promises, a whole army of Gemini had arrived just in time to see Adrien falling to his doom. There were enough Gemini (or was it better to call them the Copiae at this point?) to form a safety net and save the model boy while Ladybug, taking advantage of the situation in an impressively calm way, took the modernized King Kong from his throne.
In terms of strictness, Ms. Mendeleiev was to Missile as she was to Anarka Couffaine.
The woman was far too lenient sometimes, but “Miss Firm-hand” - as she’d also been nicknamed by Marinette and her friends- knew she cared for her kids and their friends. She figured there was a reason the pirate-like woman was so chill; there was always a reason for everything, however important or trivial the reason might be. Not knowing if it was sensitive or even if it was her place to ask, however, Missile didn’t ask until after Captain Hardrock showed up.
Papilio would have chosen to comitize Gorilla - she had a name picked out and everything! - but her idea of creating Stipator would have to wait for another day - Gorizilla had stayed away from water, and she didn’t want a repeat of Ursula from The Little Mermaid’s death if the bodyguard hesitated too much. Instead, she chose the akuma’s son Luka to become Fluctus, and with his guitar controlling the waves around him, Captain Hardrock found herself victim of a mutiny and sort-of-matricide. Not really on that last bit. It was Anarka who gave birth to Luka, not the freedom fighter.
Caline Bustier was one of the nicest women Missile had ever had the pleasure of meeting. If she didn’t have to focus so much on being Papilio, she supposed she might have fallen in love with her.
Look, she would tell her friends in Miraculous arms when they pointed her out one late night, just because my chest does a gymnastics routine whenever I see her doesn’t mean I’m in love with her!
…or did it?
Ladybug and Chat Noir, blinded by glamors as they were, loved each other despite the masks keeping secrets from them. If she kept herself from love, pretending she was not attracted to anyone romantically (she was ace, but not aro; Alix and her were still “ace-ociates” despite it), she wasn’t much better than her love-blinded colleagues, was she? But then came the traditional superhero problems: was it possible she could have a relationship with a civilian? Was it okay to do it without telling her? Furthermore, how was she going to do it?
She didn’t notice the mugger advancing on Caline until she shrieked, and she immediately snapped out of her thoughts and into action. She was on a building adjacent to the dark alley Caline was passing by, thankfully, she faded into the shadows unnoticed.
Caline noticed the glowing purple eyes first, prepared to strike at any moment.
“Before you take my money, I have a weird question of sorts,” she asked. When the thug visibly acquiesced, she continued, “why do you need two people to rob me?”
Confusion would be the last feeling in the attacker’s mind before pain settled in. A single thwok of the staff and he dropped to the floor unconscious, courtesy of Papilio’s weapon.
Putting her weapon back into the back “holster,” Papilio stepped out of the shadows, with what she hoped looked like a benevolent smile on her face. To both of their immense relief, Caline recognized her as Papilio and not Hawkmoth.
The silence between them was still awkward. Caline broke said silence first, saying “Papilio, right?” after she took a deep breath.
Recollecting herself, Papilio managed to unleash a “...yeah, I am.”
Di immortales, me, you’re not Marinette; get yourself together!
Pushing her infatuation as close to the back of his mind as she could, Papilio continued, “Glad to see you recognize I’m not Hawkmoth. Usually, only those I’ve comitized recognize me as… well, me!”
Caline giggled softly, and Papilio swore upon everything Miraculous she was going to swoon. She would have, too, but the thug made the unfortunate decision of choosing that particular moment to wake up from his unconscious state.
Papilio was not feeling particularly merciful tonight (on occasion, she’d let off some minor criminals, based on the current offense and amount of offenses), but she knew to show said mercy as much as possible. Calmly picking up the mugger with her telekinesis, she quietly asked the guy a few questions that Caline didn’t quite catch, then let the guy go after going in close (presumably to tell him not to do it again). The former attacker booked it for who-knows-where, hopefully never to be seen by her again.
After watching him run off, Papilio turned to Caline.
“Do… do you want a ride home?” she asked. “I imagine you’re a bit shaken up, but if you don’t, I’ll shadow you so that it doesn’t happen.”
Caline was duly interrupted when Chat Noir, revealing his and Ladybug’s presences from above the two, shouted, “If you wanna ask her out or something, just say so!”
Blushing, Papilio embarrassedly responded, “I could say the same to you, Leatherhead!”
It was about dang time she said something, anyway.
Turning back to Caline, she found a blush the color of her hair (and hers when she was younger) across her face.
Does she actually like me?
“Well, Papilio,” she replied in a sort of-sultry manner, and Papilio came to a conclusion that she needed to be more careful on when her thoughts were actually uttered out loud or not, “I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that I would love to date you. The bad news is that I’m conflicted between you and another girl, which means I’m not necessarily saying yes or no. So if you could give me a week, I might have an answer by then.”
Somewhat saddened but understanding, Papilio could not help but ask who it was. The tender teacher told all.
Looking back, Caline would laugh about how she was romantically pitting her now-husband against himself.
Roby had been about to tell her the truth that morning about her feelings (and then some) when her crush was distracted by seeing an akuma headed straight for Marinette. She got in between the teen and the butterfly before anyone else, and Missile barely managed to transform and get away from the minions of Zombizou. She also barely managed to comitize Ms. Couffaine into Pirata and help her get away before she could be turned into a “love slave,” if you will.
Pirata’s mic released soundwaves of energy that kept the akuma back while Ladybug and Chat Noir fought their teammate’s akumatized crush. Eventually, however, Pirata fell, and as she had no powers to defend herself, Anarka soon became a member of the horde of “lovesick” minions before Papilio could save her (not that getting near the woman was wise at that point anyway).
As always, there did come a point where the akuma was defeated, the malevolent moth purified, and the day saved. Ladybug and Chat Noir hadn’t hurt her too much, thankfully, but Papilio knew she would be slightly scarred from the experience.
Chloé came up and apologized for her cruelty and lack of a gift for her teacher’s birthday (Papilio had been planning to confess her love as Roby as a “birthday present”) to which the redhead forgave her. It was at this moment that Missile hurried over and almost immediately admitted her crush on the fellow teacher. It all ended up in them kissing, and Roby thought she would have to thank Hawkmoth for bringing the two together (but not before she beat the man silly for hurting her, Adrien and a lot of other people).
Soon, Missile thought that night in her bed, soon I will tell her everything.
Papilio had quickly learned to count her blessings for each and every one of his different abilities. As has been previously stated, she knew her way around a staff and laser rifle, as well as control of telekinesis and the comites. If you asked her what she thought her most convenient power was, though, she’d tell you without much deliberation that it was the giant wings she could make out of her individual comites ; they were, after all, her main method of travel while in the suit.
They also helped when escaping “flash” floods - unless you were caught in the water, of course, as (in this case not-so-good) ol’ H2O would weaken the wings of her comites and take out the power of flight with it. Thankfully, however, she didn’t lose so much as one due to a quickly found transformation spot, and soon she was speeding through Paris in pursuit of a swimming mermaid akuma called Syren. She just hoped Ladybug and Chat had made it out of the water.
Thankfully, she found them (accompanied by Rena Rouge) holding some odd little macaron-esque foodstuffs. At a time like this?
She would soon wish she had shut her mouth on that regard, as with the help of the fox hero watching from above-water angles, Ladybug and Chat Noir’s new powers allowed them to find and corner Syren rather easily.
Papilio wanted to continue her chain of comites , but she didn’t want to comitize her beloved Caline, and she’d been too busy trailing Syren. Ondine, as she would later learn was her name, had her and the team doing laps around the city by the time they caught her and undrained the city.
That night, Papilio had been out on a run when she caught sight of Rena crying on a building. Joining her, the elder heroine learned she’d seen her boyfriend Nino drowning before being given the Miraculous and had sort of freaked out. Comforting her, the Butterfly wielder gave her some “life” advice:
“It’s gonna be okay. He’s okay now, right?”
“So I’d like to think we’re good for at least a while. This is Miraculous business, Foxtrot; we’re gonna see some unpleasant stuff. As long as we keep moving forward, though, things are going to be okay in the end. We’ll defeat Hawkmoth sooner or later, and everything will be cool again.”
Papilio really hated lying sometimes.
“I stare into your troubled eyes, and I find it clear you like this Nino kid. I will watch over him for a few post-akuma nights, if you’d like.”
“Papilio, I appreciate it, but I’d rather do it myself.”
“With you, folks will get suspicious about her identity, as you’re a bit close to the Lahiffe family. For your sake, let me do it.”
“...alright. I trust you, okay?”
As Rena got up to leave, Papilio murmured to her, “No worries.”
She hadn’t been that sure she heard her, but it was cool in the end. Long after she’d left, however, she realized Rena could have relayed the secret of Gabriel Agreste to the other two heroes through her.
Frightningale was sort of fun, actually. Ladybug and Chat Noir could barely rhyme to counter her magic, but the Butterfly wielder…
She could rap. She wasn’t too good at freestyle, true, but she could do it pretty well.
Frightningale was roasted so hard through Ondine, who was transformed into Aquatica. “Harmless Quinn” was told her glittery costume was such an eyesore people could explode in a Big Bang, that she looked like the logo girl from Just Dance, and a ton of other destructive roasts.
Papilio was surprised Clara laughed it off afterwards, honestly. Papilio had nothing against the singer, but Frightningale had been a different story. After Ladybug and Chat helped get the Mayor back on Clara’s good side, Papilio asked a favor from the young musician. Soon, people found Papilio dropping major disses on Hawkmoth in the music video. Hawkmoth was most likely infuriated.
Roby finally found her own place to move into around the time Marinette’s family was chosen to be in the new show Fill My Shoes . Kagami was still waiting for her chance to join the teacher, so the ex-fencer was still at the orphanage. The decent apartment was relatively close to the bakery, and it had enough space for both ladies (plus plenty of ways to escape and lockable doors).
She had returned to come get some of her stuff when she walked in on Penny transforming into Troublemaker. Roby took one look at the akumatized assistant and booked it for her house. Soon, a comes was on its way to find a champion.
The ally of the day ended up being Clara, who was on her way to personally thank Marinette for her acting and ended up being nearby. Ladybug and Chat Noir ended up using many throw-into-dropkick combos against Troublemaker with the help of Cantatrix; there was even a part where Ladybug and her created a slingshot together!
Jagged Stone apologized for driving Penny mad, and he started trying to do better for her. Papilio thought she sensed affection in him, but she was not sure if it was romantic or platonic.
Feh, she thought to herself, it’s probably not my business anyway.
M. Berger was not a person Roby saw too often, but when they did, they got along like a house on fire.
Quickly joining his after-school art club, the magistra quickly met Marc Anciel, who she almost instantly dubbed “Angelus.” This was not the first name she had given a student; Marinette’s entire class (minus Lila - she was still trying to think of a nice name) had a nickname!
Alya was Curiositas, Nino was Undus (to her credit, he really did sound like every surfer movie’s male protagonist), Rose was Pudicitia, Juleka was Malacia, Ivan and Mylene were the Tuteli (Ivan was Tutelus, Mylene Tutela). Nathaniel was Silentium, Chloé was Potentissima, Sabrina was Singula (Roby never called her that around Chloé though), Max was Scitissimus, Kim was Pervicax (really, it was only funny if you weren’t a Le Chien), and Alix was Capillae Rosea (she was called Capro for short).
She was also still thinking up names for Marinette and Adrien; names that didn’t give away their identities were hard to find when you saw them with those characteristics often.
Either way, both Roby and M. Berger were greatly worried (amongst other emotions) when they saw Reverser flipping out. Yes, that pun was intended.
Reverser quickly found it hard to reverse what cannot be hit, thanks to Intactilis. Penny (who was on a vacation) had been very displeased when “gentlemen” kept trying to hit her up. Thankfully, Ms. Chamack had saved her under the alias of hosting a show where they exposed horrible people. Papilio would have sent her to Gabriel if the show was real (and if there wasn’t a battle going on at that moment).
After the battle, Marc and Nathaniel started a partnership, but Papilio asked them to pretend she didn’t exist in the comics until Hawkmoth was defeated.
“Um, why?” Nathaniel asked.
Papilio just snorted. A calculating sneer, one you might think befit Hawkmoth instead of her, was displayed on her face.
“I like having the jump on my inimici , you know.”
The desire to keep their close ones safe, the knowledge that they were usually strong enough to do so, and the arthropod theme used for combat… whether the former knew about the last part or not, Nora and Roby got along great.
Roby would treat the kickboxer to ice cream after any major victories (and after her losses too, rare as they were), and the two got along like… like she used to with… her home’s only two friends.
Deities above, did she miss Bridgette and Felix.
Either way, she couldn’t help but find herself wondering what exactly caused the Césaire family to have such supportiveness of everything their loved ones did (but not to the point of blind loyalty - well, sometimes it was). Sure, the Dupain-Chengs were the “love and kindness family” in Roby’s life, and the Agrestes were the “determination and hard work family” - and this was not so because of Gabriel’s self-made fortune, as Roby had been trying to convince the Adrien to get his butt out of Agreste Penitentiary - but the Césaire family was the “loyalty and support family” in the young woman’s life. If Roby knew no better, she might have said Nora was to her as Alya was to Marinette!
So that was exactly why Papilio put up her dukes against Anansi with a heavy heart. Or, at least her comes did.
Biblus had needed some encouraging to be ready to help, but Papilio was nothing if not good at her job. Sadly, while the comitized Marc could not just reverse the Spider-Woman-Pantha fusion’s personality like he had done as an akuma, he still managed to swarm her (heh - swarm) with paper weapons. Papilio would later regret not having him summon a rolled-up newspaper.
Papilio and Hawkmoth were different in their powers’ limits , she figured. Hawkmoth had traded the use of good akuma - whatever they’d be called - for the creative power that came with using it for evil. If he had not corrupted his moths, they would be less powerful than with the dark magic, and therefore less powerful akumas were made. Gabriel was a horrible excuse for a person and father, but he was darn clever, and darn efficient too.
Papilio always wondered why Hawkmoth never just made an akuma with unlimited-ammo gun hands or something like that. Maybe he still had his limits, or perhaps he had still some morality left after all. Maybe it was all just a game to him!
Nah, Roby pondered as she licked a not-made-by-André cone with Nora, if he’s doing this for the reason I think he is, then it’s no game.
Something occurred to her after her and Nora had parted for the day. That new hero - Chirrup Pays, was it? - no, Carapace! - was quite like Nino.
A covered head, eyewear, similar voice, compassion for everyone (especially Alya), and the tendency to use stereotypical surfer lingo (look, his nickname of Undus wasn’t so in order to make people call him Undies)... heck, she was sure Alya knew it was him. No offense meant to Alya, though - the reporter was smart .
Carapace had been put under the same rules as Rena Rouge - try to use this for akuma attacks only, but patrols are acceptable as well. With a new “timetable” made - Papilio liked doing this stuff every now and then - Papilio handed out the copies for Bugface, Catboy and Foxfire first, then went for Carapace’s home. Nino was out there, staring at what you could see of the stars.
“Nice job today, Caravan.”
“It’s Carapace, act-” he wisely shut his mouth when he realized not only what he had just said but who exactly he was talking to.
Nino was actually more nonchalant about being revealed than everyone else; it was more likely that Papilio showing up out of nowhere caused him to jump. The two talked for a bit about the expectations of a Miraculous wielder once he calmed down, since Rena had not been as lucky to receive one and the more experienced wielder thought it would be smart to do it for him and any other future supers.
“Can I talk with your kwami for a second? It’s a bit private…”
“Sure, dude. Just don’t misname me, yeah?”
Grumbling a bit as he left, Wayzz and Papilio (she’d met Wayzz during her training with Master Fu) were now alone.
“Doesn’t the senex need you to live?”
“No, he doesn’t… well, he sort of does. With me, he will live to at least 215 years old - that is the average, at least - but without me, he will live to at least 200. If I went back, his life expectancy would go back up to 215, and if he were over 200, he might have died there and then.”
“Would it be wrong to ask how old he is, then?”
“182 or so by now.”
“Wooooow. Does he have - forgive me here - ways to protect himself?”
“There are other Miraculouses he can put on, but he only would do that in emergencies. And your terrible pun is forgiven.”
“ Gratias ago, sed nobis discedendum est .”
Understanding Latin, Wayzz wished her well, and the two parted ways ( dang it, I did it again ).
Roby just arrived home when she realized what she had forgotten to do; tell at least him about Hawkmoth’s identity! She knew Nino would be on her side, what with the young DJ hating both Hawkmoth and Gabriel Agreste.
She could take him on herself, most likely, but was it her battle to fight? Ladybug and Chat were the “true” denizens of this universe, but Papilio was a visitor who should not even be here. The way Papilio thought about it, taking on the villain with the whole team was her best option, so she was content to play the supporting role unless she needed to step in fully. The promise she made would not be broken.
It was good bonding, after all, and if they wanted to save their universe from what would most likely come next, that teamwork would need to be tip-top.
Funnily enough, nobody knew anything about who Sandboy had been pre-akumatization.
Papilio had been lucky enough to stay away from the fight, therefore not being hit with any of the dust the young villain threw out like candy on Halloween. However, Aranea - or Nora, who was the comes of the day - was hit, and the dream that Papilio saw through her eyes horrified even her.
Now, one should understand that Papilio had seen a lot of nasty stuff - citywide hatred about her by the time she was 20 or so, blood-coated corpses by 22, and defeat by them at about 26. However, seeing the rest of the Césaires - Alya, Ella, Etta, even Marlena and Otis - to see all of them lying around the streets, beaten, bruised and some a little bloodied? The only time that Papilio had sensed more pain was… her last day at her home.
Though it doesn’t feel like home anymore, the Butterfly wielder mused, but I am still obligated to find my way back and save my friends!
For now, though, there was a battle, so Papilio helped Aranea shake off the illusion with her words and was soon helping the kickboxer defeat Sandboy (mostly with grapples and throws - the last thing Papilio wanted to do was beat up kids, but something had to be done about the akuma). When all was said and done, the boy (whose name ended up being Zander - Papilio made it her business to befriend every comes and ex-akuma) was calmed down, and after Papilio bought him a less sugary gelato cone from a new parlor that sprouted up recently (the last thing Zander needed at the moment was people trying to matchmake him at under 8 years old, so the boy was staying away from Andre if she could help), he was eventually sent home to his scared-to-death parents with advice about where to go for akuma therapy should the boy need it.
Papilio had many reasons she loved being a hero. The powers were nice, yes, and the friends or allies you forged bonds with more than made up for the enemies that followed. But one of her favorite moments in this world, weird as it may sound, was putting people in a good mood. Whether it was sparring with Catboy after a fight with his father (he’d been speaking up for himself more often, which was good and sometimes bad), or helping akuma victims get help ( was it wrong that those times made her the happiest? ), Papilio’s reputation of being there for the cives Paris was quite good.
So when the Queen’s Battles began, Papilio was a little late, as she was evacuating the civilians. Her original plan had been to sneak into the fashion show and confront Gabriel at some point, but she’d just made it in when Style Queen made an elegant appearance onto the runway.
And Adrien got turned to gold. Optime.
In truth, the idea to pick another Miraculous was not too crazy to Papilio. Plagg decided when they and Fu met up out of the blue to lie and say Chat Noir had lost his ring. Papilio had dealt with Lila (who was being more honest with people since she suggested the finally-nicknamed Poenicans (which was a clever pun given the similarity to the word Poena) audition for the school play) more enough times to know tell someone’s bluff.
“Ha! I appreciate you trying to cover for him, you silly turophile, but I saw them get blasted by Style Queen before they could get away. It was no mistake on their part; don’t put the blame on them now.”
“WHAT?!” chorused throughout the room.
“Who was it?” exclaimed Ladybug.
In return, Papilio teasingly admonished, “Don’t be hypocritical, Spots; you hide all sorts of stuff from us, but when you need to know our identities, you expect us to just detransform obediently?”
Looking guilty, Ladybug apologized. Papilio shrugged it off with a swatting motion and a tcheh, it’s fine!
“Chill, the lot of you. I’ll help this time.”
“You always help in battle, Papilio.”
“I said I would join you in battle myself when the chips were down, right? Well, the chips look pretty dang down to me, and I predict I’ll need to do this sooner or later, so… Festinemus , squad!”
Style Queen didn’t know what to expect from the newcomer. She’d been cornering that reporter girl ( Aliyah, was it? Feh, it didn’t matter ) when repeated blasts of energy collided into her backside, each one sounding like the blast of an old shotgun (albeit quieted a bit). Now distracted, Style Queen didn’t notice Ladybug attempting to give Alya the Bee Miraculous until it was almost too late; this unknown assailant had kept her on her toes, and she still hadn’t been able to decipher much.
She let out an internal scream of What is going on?! to Hawkmoth, who, to her immense shock, didn’t know anything, claiming he could see the blasts, but he could not tell what she was looking at. Style Queen was naturally confused, as she’d managed to catch their shadow through the dust kicked up by each blast.
It was almost as if this stranger was… invisible to the Moth wielder.
By the time everything was all said and done, Papilio had busied and buffeted Style Queen enough for the real newcomer (as Audrey would learn later) to swoop in and nab the golden rose without her stopping them.
Hawkmoth didn’t get the chance to see his latest failure’s mysterious assailant step out of the shadows. However, he did get a glimpse at his foe’s other newest ally, Queen Bee. Something told him he’d see a bit more of her, but until that time arrived, he had to get back to the fashion show.
Queen Wasp went by, and that felt like the breaking point; if another Miraculous wielder couldn’t win on his side (and not just others that look alike), who could do it?
He wanted so badly to stop, but he also wanted to bring Emilie back… what to do? On his way to the main area, Gabriel couldn’t help but ponder this.
“Personally, I wouldn’t have started,” coldly drawled someone, dragging him out of his thoughts and right into fear of being discovered, “but usually you’re the controlling one, aren’t you?”
A young woman stood there, a quietly infuriated look on her face. You have to fear the quiet ones, Gabriel, it’s always the quiet ones-
“And what do you mean by all that, madam?” he stuttered, in a vain attempt to save face. When the riposte was a wordless, unimpressed raising of eyebrows, he groaned and began negotiations.
“What do you want for your silence?”
“Yeah, nice try, beanpole. You can’t buy my silence forever, but you can get a temporary deal.”
This time it was Gabriel who gained an interested look.
“We’re all sick of the fighting between you and the others, and when I figured you out, I decided on doing this. Here’s the rules of your ultimatum, Mothman: today’s Saturday, so starting tomorrow, you have the rest of the week to confront the heroes in person . I’m not gonna stop you from making akumas until the end of Tuesday, and the second Wednesday begins, you have to do it yourself.”
“And why, exactly, should I obey these rules?” Gabriel sneered.
“Because I could tell your enemies just who’s hurting all those people. I’ll keep quiet er , but you will never have my complete silence, old man. Break any of those rules, and I tell them and the police. Your callous, cold, and controlling keister will be toast, and trust me when I say I’d love to find out your experienced opinion of how fashionable jumpsuits are.”
“You’re a rather overconfident woman, aren’t you?”
“Nah. It’s overconfident if you can’t back it up.”
“And if I win?”
“You won’t, allow me to assure you. But if you do, I ask that you be merciful to your enemies upon achieving victory.”
“Despite your confidence, you’re oddly accepting of a potential loss.” Gabriel snarked. What the woman said next, however, brought a different fear to him.
“Why wouldn’t I be? I understand loss almost exactly like you do.”
“When I said I figured you out, Gabriel, I wasn’t just talking of your identity. I know you’re doing it for your beloved one, right?”
“You’re rather astute, aren’t you?”
“I have to be. I also have lost close people to Miraculous powers; we’re not so different, you and me. For you, I presume it was a curse or something - me, a villain you could only dream to be.”
She started to walk away, but turned back once.
“If you really do win, here’s a warning. Tortue Cerveau, Miss Fortune, and Chat Blanc - remember those names. They cannot be trusted, so even if they appear allies, you absolutely have to fight them upon first sight, as they’ll hand out betrayals like candy on Halloween. And for the record, the key to victory is linked to the old man’s life source, not his Miraculous.”
After taking a moment to absorb all this, Gabriel asked, “Life source? What are you saying?”
One deep breath later, the woman uttered words that sounded like they didn’t want to come out of her mouth.
“You would have to murder them permanently.”
Gabriel gasped at this, and he couldn’t help but feel like she expected that of her.
“It would break the control over the other two; get them to a hospital ASAP, as they’re under a corrupted Miraculous’ power and are innocent. I don’t think I can do it, and if you are stronger than the heroes, then you are the best and only choice for the job. I am entrusting you with this duty should it happen, so for the sake of every Miraculous world, don’t let me down.”
With those words said, the woman left. Gabriel returned that night after trying with Malediktator, and he actually came down for dinner, surprising Adrien. The two talked, and Gabriel thought about how the boy had fought so hard for the things he wanted. Starting to see Adrien’s desires from his view, Gabriel settled it with himself that night.
This was bigger than his desires for Emilie, his hopes for the future. If time was short, he would do his best to ensure Adrien was happy until the end. His wish would fix everything.
“But master…” whispered Nooroo, “what about the consequences of the wish?”
“I have to make the sacrifice, Nooroo. For this world and whatever that woman meant by ‘every Miraculous world,’ I will not lose to those heroes!”
Papilio expected an onslaught of akumas every day until Wednesday (and maybe after, but Gabriel was a man of his word when he gave it). She had expected Hawkmoth to push his limits in search of victory. Even Ladybug and the other members of the Miraculous Team didn’t know the truth behind her story, so why would she trust him - a man who neglected a close friend, a man who was a literal supervillain - with that knowledge?
She started pushing herself as well. Surprisingly, only one akuma was made. Frozer arrived, and found not only one comes aiding Ladybug and her allies but four comites on him before long. The combined efforts of Dux, Sabulum, Auricolor and Vespa (who was Queen Bee with a power boost) put him on ice before long.
That night, she called the whole team and ordered them to meet her for a serious talk. The five showed up, worried for their friend.
Friend. Some friend she was, giving that sort of information to the enemy. At least he hadn’t learned their identities (well, he knew Chloé’s, but at this point the entire city probably knew).
Before anyone could open their mouths, Papilio began to spill everything. And “everything” was not exaggerated.
Her tale was of the Red Admiral, a powerful but very lonely young lady who battled against Beetle and White Cat Miraculous wielders named Miss Fortune and Chat Blanc. She talked about how the villains started killing people after a while, and how it turned the city against them; being Championed was seen as a death threat.
She talked about the Red Admiral’s final confrontation with a Tortoise wielder named Tortue Cerveau, and how he had revealed her enemies to be her only friends in the world, just under mind control. He gave them freedom for a few seconds to dangle his victory over her, then retook the reins and kicked her into a portal they’d made, though her kwami escaped and followed her. It supposedly went to a dimension where all the suffering and pain of every Miraculous world was stored and released onto its inhabitants, but she had been saved by what she believed was a Miraculous goddess and sent somewhere else.
“Where did she end up?” asked Ladybug. It was time.
“...the portal spat her out in that bakery over there,” she near-whispered, pointing to Tom and Sabine’s Boulangerie.
Marinette figured it out first, and hugged her almost as quickly. Overwhelmed, Papilio detransformed, and the others joined the hug.
That was the first time she cried since she’d been thrown in this world. It feels good to be able to release this emotion came to her amidst the tears. Now that she thought about it, she hadn’t released her emotions like this, in an effort to be strong for her home. Her true home.
The silence once the hug broke apart was morose and a little awkward. It was Chat Noir who snapped first.
“This is for solidarity, ‘Paps. I know you know anyway.”
And he detransformed into Adrien, to everyone’s shock. Ladybug, to her credit, didn’t freak out, though when everyone eventually left for their homes she told Papilio she would most likely freak out to herself.
Rena and Carapace detransformed as well, and Queen Bee would have done the same if her identity was still secret. Ladybug sighed, and to everyone’s shock again, detransformed as well.
No questions were asked that night. No jabs were taken. Tonight was a night for peace, however long it may have lasted. It was a celebration, too - they had nothing to hide between each other in that regard anymore, and it was quite cathartic for everyone else too. The kwamis were happy to see each other, too.
“Deities above, I wish the story ended there,” Roby mused, catching everyone’s attention.
“The three villains are still out there in the multiverse, and Hawkmoth, well… I figured him out and talked to him.”
After everyone gasped, she explained the deal they’d made. The younger heroes understood, and while they didn’t like the fact she hadn’t been able to tell them (and wouldn’t tell them Hawkmoth’s identity), they were understanding of exactly why she hadn’t.
It was Friday, and considering tomorrow was most likely going to be a big day, so they all made sure to get a good sleep.
As imagined, Heroes’ Day had been one heck of an ordeal.
Volpina’s return had been nothing, but when all those red moths showed up, Roby grabbed Marinette, Adrien, Alya, Nino and Chloé as soon as possible, getting them to a safe place as soon as possible. When the battle began, Papilio was watching from the sidelines, occasionally taking potshots at the scarlet akumas and causing them to falter, helping her allies land decisive blows.
Something in her had awakened, though. She wanted to fight up close, similar as she had done against Style Queen and the first bout with Volpina. It wasn’t her place, though. It wasn’t her fight as much as it was the others’.
Ladybug and Chat snuck through the sewers and got the jump on Hawkmoth, signaling the beginning of the end. With the help of the civilian and police forces that had rallied, Papilio pulled out a trick she hadn’t used in a while; healing magic. It wasn’t that fast, sure, as it was mostly meant to heal major wounds like cuts and gashes, so when Queen Wasp, Rena Rage and Shell Shock were eventually purified, Ladybug and Chat were on their last legs.
Returning, the four heroes arrived in the shadows to see Hawkmoth raise his sword in preparation to bring an end to Chat Noir. Papilio knew he was about to kill his son, and there and then she decided that she needed to act, and now .
In the quickest draw she’d ever pulled, Hawkmoth was blown off the tower by a laser beam shooting off from her staff. Jumping from the perch and flying after him, she turned around and shot a few blasts of healing energy at the wounded heroes before grabbing onto the disoriented Hawkmoth and chucking him to the ground with all her might.
“You monster. ”
Managing to get up, Hawkmoth immediately started dodging the fists and staff swipes this… this ripoff threw at him.
“You hurt so many people…” she said, gesturing to the now-recovering lead heroes, who were still unconscious. Their allies waited on the Tower, prepared to step in should she need it.
“I’d wager good money I could name all of them off the top of my head, but the quantity isn’t even the thing that infuriates me most.”
“And what, precisely, is that?” grunted Hawkmoth, managing to stare her in the eye.
“You hurt my kids,” shouted Papilio in the heat of the moment, “and now you’re gonna collect your dues. I heard you like getting paid, don’t you?”
At his confusion, she continued (the kids thing would be addressed later), “You care so much about how much cash you grab that you put your workers to impossibly high standards. Have you watched Adrien, you vetus sordidus sceleratus? Have you seen his desires to escape your tyrannical regime? You do not deserve to die by my hand; you deserve worse than death for the way you have treated him and everyone else.”
Before Hawkmoth could say anything, she launched into a brutal flurry of attacks, all directed on Hawkmoth. Nothing was meant to kill him, however; the sharp end of her staff was kept away from the villain.
It was meant to teach him pain .
It wasn’t until Gabriel was unconscious and incredibly beaten that she stopped whaling on him.
“Let this be a lesson to you and any other villain who dares hurt my kids!” she roared, before taking a deep breath. Once she had mentally calmed down, she took the Miraculous that was unrightfully Gabriel’s. Was .
Before she could leave, Gabriel called for her, requesting her to tell his son something.
The police, who had just arrived, were shocked to hear Papilio say, “I can acquiesce to this. What is the last wish of yours, you pitiful excuse for a human being?”
Watching in shock, the heroes looked at each other as Papilio made mincemeat of their enemy. Chat Noir was already crying, but he wasn’t broken by it; thanks to the help of Papilio, he had made peace with Gabriel a while back (though it didn’t stop the pain of this revelation). He was hugged by Ladybug at once; his girlfriend was awesome like that sometimes…
“Wonder what he’s asking her for?” Rena muttered, catching their attention.
As they were pretty far off from the two lepidopteran wielders (well, one now), even their enhanced hearing didn’t let them catch what Gabriel said to her. They noticed Papilio gasp in shock, and she looked like she wanted to slap him at best.
“Fine. You won’t get the chance anyway… but before we part, there’s something I’d like to-”
Whipping her head to Hawkmoth’s abandoned sword, she fired a blast of energy at the magical feather she’d sensed the evil of before it could touch the cane. It was instantly disintegrated.
Before she could ask anything about the feather, Hawkmoth (who was now pale as you could tell from his face mask) told her that had come from the Peafowl Miraculous and how it was cursed. Someone had awakened another Miraculous, and would probably use it for evil.
Over the communicators, the other five heroes heard “Let’s go to Gabriel’s place. You gotta move out, kiddo, and that feather I blasted has an origin source I’m sensing is there.”
Oddly, Papilio thanked Gabriel before she headed off.
“Why thank me?”
“Something tells me I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your troublemaking. It’s a heck of a lot better than the original plan.”
Relaying this info over to her allies and telling them she’d explain as they went, they started to head off. Before Papilio left, though, she whispered something in Gabriel’s ear.
“That, and you kept your side of the deal. Shame it didn’t work out, but eh…”
Gabriel’s eyes looked like they would slingshot out of his head. He didn’t even notice himself being lead into a cop car. Papilio just gave a casual wave, and leapt off to join her allies.
The world was almost ready to experience peace again.
As it turned out, Adrien was not his father’s son.
His true father, Hardi Bonheur, had been a Moth wielder who married his Peafowl partner Emilie. Hardi fell in battle one day, and a then-pregnant Emilie, trying to move on, ended up fake-dating and eventually fake-marrying Gabriel as a coverup, an old friend of Hardi’s who had kept the man’s secret identity of Papillon… well, secret.
Things escalated due to her grief in the marriage, and Gabriel, who’d not only been a replacement Papillon (keeping the same name until their 1.5 year disappearance) but was learning separate magic from a certain book now confiscated by the heroes, had accidentally cursed the Peafowl brooch after an argument. Unknowing of the curse, Emilie and him learned too late; Adrien was only 9 when she fell to the curse and died, causing him to retake the mantle after 1.5 years of retraining himself as Hawkmoth. Adrien was disheartened to hear that Gabriel could add the murder (however unintentional) of Emilie to his list of crimes, as is imaginable, but seemed almost pleased that he wasn’t related to his pitiful excuse of a “father.”
Nathalie had went to jail somewhat peacefully, as the still-cursed Peafowl Miraculous dampened her enough to end it almost anticlimactically. Papilio, having almost always displayed a level of mercy to her enemies, ensured she was healed from the curse she’d been given as Mayura before being incarcerated like Gabriel for good (well, she would get out a few years before her life expectancy, but still…).
Everyone else was found innocent. Gorilla, whose real name turned out to be Borya, was under mind control that he’d had slight power in (hence how much he cared about Adrien), and the rest of the staff had no idea this was going on. Adrien, of course, was found innocent, and things were okay for a while. Paris celebrated with great festivities, and Fu even allowed everyone to keep their Miraculouses for as long as they liked (and if they were on good behavior).
“Good,” Papilio had said, “because we’ll most likely need it.”
“Huh?” the rest of them had asked.
“My own enemies will most likely arrive here soon. I can sense it.”
“That is what I felt this morning?” Fu said, surprised. “It is probably for the best, then.”
Papilio planned to retire from actual fighting until then. She had a girlfriend to take care of, now.
The two had agreed to adopt Adrien, and Kagami was more than fine with a roommate. They were thick as thieves, her and Adrien, and as she and Caline now knew Roby’s secret, she was being trained to use the Peafowl Miraculous once it was fixed. Caline was so proud of everyone (albeit always worried for their safety; Roby had considered giving her Duusu instead, but she wanted no part in that).
There was one more battle to fight.
It had only been a few weeks after Hawkmoth’s defeat when Marinette saw them. An old man who looked like a spiky-haired Fu accompanied by two others who looked like alternate versions of her and Adrien, dressed in tourist clothing… Marinette warned the others right away.
“Don’t transform,” their former teacher had warned them, “if they see you hopping around, they’ll murder the nearest possible victim to get your attention. Let me handle the first interaction.”
Yaoyun Sui was only mapping this universe out, learning about the heroes and gathering data. So far they knew about 5 heroes and the war against 2 villains that had ended a few weeks ago. When he confronted a red-haired woman for information on their whereabouts, she laughed and told him to “wait and watch. They’re very… surprising people.”
They didn’t have time for this. Transforming there and then (as they had no citizenship in this world, there was no way to attribute them to someone else), Tortue Cerveau snatched the lady and jumped onto a building to finish the insolent brat for all to see. His friends followed suit.
Cerveau’s shield had a spike in the middle; it was good for impaling his enemies. He slammed it into her, only to find her gone. Almost in an instant, there were 5 heroes surrounding the three. Forgetting the oddball civilian, the 8 wielders began battle.
After escaping, Roby had evacuated everyone out of the vicinity, transformed in secret, and made the leap to an adjacent building, preparing her shot.
Papilio was not a big fan of murder. She hated bloody games, didn’t do TV shows in that genre, and so forth. This was the only person she truly wanted (and would ever want) to taste her blade, and even then she didn’t like the idea of killing him.
She’d met Fu’s old flame Marianne, now in Paris because it was believed safe again. The two married immediately, and Papilio had always wanted that sort of love. It wasn’t hard to figure out Sui’s story from there. He’d likely lost his version of Marianne, and in turn had sworn revenge on all Miraculouses, swearing to destroy all of them in all the universes containing them.
She took off flying, slamming right into Cerveau and pinning him into a chimney wall. Just as he reoriented himself, she plunged the spear end of her weapon straight into his stomach. It wasn't clean, but it wasn't exactly a bloodbath either.
Now losing life, he started losing control over his minions, who detransformed and dropped to the ground, the corruption being cleansed from their Miraculouses.
“Take them to the Guardian,” Papilio spoke in telepathy, “he can heal them.”
Ladybug and Chat scrambled off, carrying the two unconscious ex-minions with them.
Cerveau, reorienting his sight, got a good look at the lady who he thought he’d seen the last of.
“How… how are you alive?”
“I loathe you too, old man," Papilio snarked, "but I don't intend to let you know the answer!"
The other three heroes thought they understood just how serious the threat posed by the Tortoise wielder was, but the sheer power shown by the scowl on Cerveau's face heightened that understanding, as well as the intensity of the situation.
"Now, I have a question for you, and you will answer it.”
“Or what? I’m on my last legs!”
“You’re already going to die, Sui. You lost , so answer the dang question before you die!”
“Is my home universe… gone?”
Sui was a broken man like Gabriel, but he was truly evil, and the fact became evident to those who watched his cruel scowl turn into the crazed smile of a truly broken man. Gabriel was an anti-villain like Sui, but in comparison Gabriel was a merciful one. No one had actually died or even been seriously wounded - Miraculous Cure or not - in Gabriel's time as Hawkmoth, but Papilio had seen what Cerveau and those who he had corrupted could do. If Hawkmoth was bad, then Cerveau was pure evil .
“There are no working Miraculouses in that universe, so it could not survive," Cerveau chuckled between heavy breaths, drawing gasps from the audience watching from a thankfully safe distance. "No condolences, young woman.”
“Fine then. Might actually be better that way."
This caught the Tortoise’s attention.
"My world was full of hateful, crude excuses for people. The only things I would have brought over if possible are my Miraculous and my friends that you took. Well, it would have been nice to save the other Miraculouses, but if wishes were horses...”
“Not even your family?”
“They’re no family of mine.”
That was a whole other tub of lard, which would be saved for a whole other day.
“My family is here , and now my oldest friends are going to join the group. Of course, you are by no means welcome. You have broken me many a time in mind, body, and spirit, and now, you shall suffer for it!"
“Anyway,” she took a deep breath, grabbing her staff (which was still lodged inside her greatest foe), “thanks for the adventure and opportunities your villainy gave me. Now, exi , pursued by death!”
And with that, she ripped it out of Cerveau’s body, the blood loss and pain ending what would hopefully be the final threat to the world. She could practically feel the old man’s soul burning already. Closure was finally hers.
In the future, Marinette took over Gabriel, renaming it to Tenshi , and it thrived under her leadership. Nino and Alya were achieving their dreams, and something told Roby she’d be going to their wedding soon. Kagami moved out eventually to the Bourgeois hotel to live with the eventual owner Chloé and their other lovers Luka and Sabrina, and in their elder years, Roby and Caline would be let in to stay for their retirement. In time, Adrien would move out as well to live with Marinette. Caline joked that Nino and Alya would be married before them, to which Roby pointed out the kids had been dating longer than they had.
After lots of therapy, Bridgette and Felix got together too.
Nathalie came to terms with the loss of Emilie, and was looking to be released a few years early on good behavior. Gabriel, on the other hand, suffered in prison for the rest of his miserable life and suffered in the afterlife too. Sui, as always, wasted no time in his actions, going straight to eternal condemnation.
Of course, the story always seems simpler in writing than in the whole story. So what is the whole story of these people’ future, you ask? Well, that’s a story for another day.
This story is Papilio’s, and if you or anyone else intend to take the happiness she’s worked so hard for from her or her figurative kids (they’d talked about that)...
Well, she hopes you’re not particularly religious, because praying would not save you from her delivery of justice.