Lila didn’t consider the consequences of lying--oh, excuse me, telling people what they want to hear. She knew what she wanted out of life and she knew how to...arrange the situation so that it worked out in her favor. It didn’t matter what happened in the long term so long as the short term succeeded. After all, if things threatened her happiness in the future any obstacle could be dealt with when it occurred.
Or, perhaps she did consider the consequences but chose to continue lying anyway. It's hard to tell what the inner workings of a person’s mind are, especially when that person only reveals herself in the falsities of her own choosing.
Adrien and Marinette had decided to take the high road and let Lila either choose to become truthful or deal with the consequences of her lies once they fell apart around her.
Adrien didn’t want to hurt her so long as she didn’t hurt anyone else. He didn’t know the lengths that she went to to ensure her lies; and as someone who spent a good deal of his life lonely, he could sympathize with the possible desire a new student might have to impress and gain friends.
Marinette was filled with righteous fury because of the depths of Lila’s deceptions. She might have had some jealous tinges when Lila first showed up at school, but Marinette could not be jealous of someone that used and abused people the way Lila did. She’d experienced first hand how easily her friends had been duped by the girl, even becoming neglectful and unappreciative of their friendships with her, and she’d experienced the bite Lila possessed when threatened. Still, all of Marinette’s efforts to reveal Lila’s lies before they did serious damage went in vain and only ended up making herself look bad. If she wanted to avoid Lila’s threat of turning her friends against her, Marinette knew she would have to change her tactics and wait patiently for Lila’s lies to crumble around her.
Neither Marinette nor Adrien had any idea the kind of danger Lila’s lies could bring when they finally failed her and went too far.
Alya had wanted to make sure that Lila felt welcome in her new group of friends, so she made sure to include her in a few of her Ladyblog videos. While she didn’t go into extensive detail like she did when she first interviewed Lila, Alya made references in each video about Lila being Ladybug’s best friend.
Marinette bit her tongue and ignored it and, thankfully, Alya was too excited to notice Marinette’s frustration. By the time Alya and Marinette both calmed down, the Lila moment had passed and their friendship went on and Lila wasn’t given the opportunity to compromise their relationship. Marinette did make a comment to Alya, once, that it could be dangerous to make a public claim about being a superhero’s friend and suggested that she should at least have Ladybug confirm it. Alya was too excited, however, and told Marinette not to worry about it.
Marinette was right, of course, but she had been thinking of the dangers Hawkmoth posed to the superheroes. Unfortunately, someone did take notice of Lila’s superhero bestie. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Hawkmoth.
It had been a few short weeks since Lila’s reappearance and Marinette was running late to class. Again.
“Late! Late! Late! Late!” Marinette squeaked as she crashed through the doors of the school and upstairs to her classroom.
“Take a second to catch your breath, Marinette, before you sneak in!” Tikki piped up from inside her purse.
Marinette stood to the side of the closed door and took a second to catch her breath before she silently eased the door open. She was surprised to see, as she started to creep in, that her class was all standing against the far wall facing a guest she hadn’t known about. Then her heart stopped when she fully took in the situation.
“I have to talk to Ladybug! She’s got that--Miraculous Ladybug...thing that she can do! She can help!” the man cried. His arms were shaking as he aimed a handgun at Lila, who Ms. Bustier was shielding.
The rest of the class looked on in shocked fear as the man made his demand. Adrien put himself as close to the man as he would allow and had a fierce look of determination on his face as he tried to reason with him.
“The Ladybug Cure doesn’t work like that,” Adrien spoke calmly in the hopes of easing the clearly desperate man. “It can’t fix pre-existing conditions.”
“It fixed her tinnitus! That’s what she said on her blog!” the man briefly pointed at Alya and Nino tried step in front of her. “Ladybug has to help me! And if she’s her best friend, she’ll listen to her!”
Marinette froze as the man shook in place. He was sweating profusely, and she got the sense that he was scared and unstable. Call it Ladybug intuition, but she knew she didn’t have time to get help or even leave to transform. She slowly and quietly eased into the room and closed the door behind her.
Her teacher and classmates caught sight of her and some flinched in surprise. Adrien blanched when he realized what she was doing but he tried to hold the man’s attention so that he wouldn’t turn on Marinette.
“I’m sure Ladybug would be glad to help anyway she can! Why don’t you let us post a request on the Ladyblog and she’ll come to talk to you.” he suggested.
“No! It’ll take too long--who knows when she’d see that post!” the man shouted.
“Sir, what’s your name?” Ms. Bustier said.
“Why?” he asked.
“It would be so much… friendlier if we could introduce ourselves,” she explained. “I’m Caline.”
“And I’m Adrien!” he added to cover up the sound of a squeak beneath Marinette’s foot.
“I’m...I’m...I… it doesn’t matter!” he yelled. “Call Ladybug! Now!”
“I--she doesn’t have her phone on her!” Lila tried.
“You’re lying! Where is she?” he demanded. “You’re her friend! She’ll come when she knows you’re in danger!”
“I... I’m not her friend!” Lila blurted.
“She saved your life and fixed your ear!” he screamed.
“I lied! Ladybug isn’t my friend! I don’t even like her and I never had tinn--”
“Bring her here!” he shouted
“I can’t!” Lila shrunk even more behind her teacher
“Then who can?” he demanded.
Marinette was only a few steps away from him when Lila popped up her head and pointed at her.
“Marinette! Take Marinette! She knows Ladybug!” the class gasped in horror at Lila’s shout.
Instantly the man spun around to aim at Marinette. He was so startled his hand twitched in panic. In one swift, yet drawn out moment; Marinette grabbed his arm in a disarming hold, pushed his arms upward, and flipped him. Just as she’d done to akumas many times. And Cat Noir on occasion.
Adrien leaped forward.
The class erupted in shrieks.
The gun fired.
The man landed hard on the floor and the gun bounced out of his hand. Adrien kicked it to the corner as Kim and Ivan pinned the man to the ground.
“Marinette, you did...” Adrien voice died away as he turned to his friend.
The classroom had erupted into relieved chaos around them and Marinette had a smile on her face, but Adrien couldn’t join them. He was focused on the bright red stain on Marinette’s shoulder.
Marinette looked dazed as Adrien reached out to support her. She followed his gaze until she saw the wound and her mouth dropped in shock.
“Marinette!” Alya’s shrill yell instantly attracted the classroom’s attention as Marinette’s knees gave out beneath her.
She started to feel the pain in her shoulder and was overcome by dizziness as Adrien and Alya helped her to the floor. Faces swam in front of her as different people came into view.
“Gah!” she cried as a new pressure was put on her shoulder. Someone had taken off her backpack and Adrien had taken was leaning over her with his overshirt missing. She distantly realized he was holding it against the wound.
“I didn’t mean to shoot her!” The man cried. “I wasn’t going to!”
“Alix, go get Principal Damocles! Nathanael, the nurse!” Ms. Bustier ordered. “Sabrina, call your father--have him send an ambulance!”
All of this was making Marinette’s head spin and she realized she was shaking when Chloe covered her with her sweater--without even a comment. The girl was pale and just backed away, while on Marinette’s other side Alya was crying and Nino hovered, looking stunned.
Max was spouting out some emergency medical facts while Markov zipped in front of Marinette’s line of vision. There were too many things going on at once and Marinette felt the pain increasing as her own panic began to rise. She’d been shot!
“Marinette,” a soothing voice tried to get her attention.
“Marinette!” The second time, Marinette focused her eyes on Adrien and realized he was talking to her.
“You’re safe. We have you,” he reassured. “Look at me and take slow breaths, alright?”
He began to take exaggerated breaths and Marinette found herself locking eyes Adrien--for once not out of a crush, but as an anchor. Marinette tried to force herself to follow his lead and focused on him despite the fogginess of her vision. Alya calmed down enough to reach out and gently wipe away the tears that were falling down Marinette’s cheeks.
“You’re going to be okay, Marinette.” Adrien promised.