Chapter 1: All That Glitters...
Chloé was 7 and three-fourths years old when she first saw Shrek 1. She had known Adrien for 3-4 years at this point, but the two of them had just been best friends to her at that point. She had been generally uninterested in the movie, to be honest - she was younger and not vain (just spoiled), and these factors led to her not truly understanding why anyone would give up their title and looks for love. But Adrien seemed to love it, and that made her happy. It was that day when she realized she’d fallen for him.
She rewatched Shrek 1 a few days later (she also bought the rest of the movies and was preparing for the soon-to-be-released Shrek 4) so she’d be able to hold conversations with him about it.
She had been planning to surprise him on his next birthday, but it was not to be; Emilie passed away a few days before, so Adrien’s birthday was spent mourning Emilie.
Chloé was 9 and one-half years old when she first met Sabrina. Sabrina and her were only friends then; although Chloé would look back as an adult and occasionally cry about it, Marinette always knew how to comfort her. Things got hairy one time when she heard Sabrina jamming out to All Star and started a fight, but they fixed things quickly. The fact that Sabrina gave up what she liked for Chloé would “earn” her the grand title of Best Friend.
Chloé was 14 and one fourth years old when Ladybug and Chat Noir appeared on the scene. The Bourgeois heiress was in awe of the spotted superheroine, dodging Stoneheart’s attacks like she’d been training exactly for Ivan becoming a weird rock monster her whole life.
Oh, and Chat Noir was good too, she supposed.
She didn’t know it at the time, but she fell in love with Ladybug too. She was in love with Adrien, she thought to herself if her mind ever brought it up.
All that glittered seemed to be gold, and life seemed to be a cool place. Of course, it only got colder.
Chloé was 16 and five-sixths years old, and also in danger of being sent to an orphanage or something like that when she realized her mistakes; at last she figured out that she’d been a massive brat and dangerous to her beloved city. André had finally been busted; he was arrested for robbing folks’ bank accounts blind (among other things), and while Chloé was declared innocent of everything but leading near half of the akumatized victims to the trauma being supervillains gave them, she felt incredibly bad (it wasn’t just because she had nowhere to go). She could have done something if she’d known; the depressive thoughts opened her mind to the truth of her actions. She would have nowhere to go, and so she decided to fix her behavior.
She started with Sabrina, and then the rest of her classmates and teachers followed suit. Not all of them were trusting, but few if any of those people didn’t even give her a chance. Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien were the last ones - she’d forgotten about both of them somehow. She and Dupain-Cheng (stop referring to her as that, she noted to herself) had found a very uneasy truce when Adrien started dating them. She got over that very quickly - as it turned out, they decided to call it off rather quickly, yet they stayed great friends. They probably stopped because of Gabriel saying no, she snarked to herself. One sincere apology to both of them later in which she achieved both of their forgiveness (We’ve been waiting to hear it for far too long, the two said), B.C. had finally reached closure (it stood for Bratty Chloé, and it was the nickname for the past version of herself - it was also a clever quip that made Adrien proud of her).
They celebrated by watching the all 4 Shrek movies - something Chloé had wanted to do for a very long time.
Chloé was 21 and one-sixth years old when she started dating Marinette. The formed rivals had bonded over Adrien, fashion, and other things post-graduation; Tom and Sabine had legally adopted Chloé until she reached adulthood, given the fact she had nowhere else to go but the foster care system. That was what lead the two former contenders for Adrien’s affections seeing each other far more often and eventually falling in love. After their first date of staying home and watching all the Shrek movies without inviting Adrien (they felt bad later and confessed to him, but he forgave them, of course), they started saving for university. Chloé got into an impressive business school, while Marinette made the fashion school of her dreams. While they were in a long-distance relationship, the two did their best to make sure they chatted at least once a week. In fact, Chloé was planning to propose to her when they got back to each other.
When the day came, it turned out that Marinette had a giant (albeit superheroine-themed) surprise for her too. Of course, both agreed to keep these new revelations secret for as long as they needed to. Needless to say, everyone had been very pleased.
It was one month after Chloé’s 26th birthday that she married Ladybug. Sometimes she still couldn’t believe Paris’ savior (and former love rival when a civilian) wanted her - her! - for a bride. It was a grand affair - Gabriel (who had lightened up after beginning his relationship with Nathalie, who also helped him to see the immense pain he’d left his own son with) had helped a lot, even agreeing to not only make a dress for the both her and Marinette, (who was his new star designer and possible heir), but he’d walk the blonde down the aisle to her raven-haired bride too (did you really think André was able at the moment?). After all, the Bourgeois and Agreste families were close; not to mention that Chloé & Marinette (alongside Ms. Bustier and their entire class) had made sure that Adrien had a lot of people in his corner when his own father had not been. Heck, even Hawkmoth ended up being merciful during the time of the wedding - he hadn’t made akumas since a few days before their announcement, and it was coming close to a year without akumas. Marinette and Adrien, still amazingly close friends (Chloé had figured out Adrien was Chat Noir before the duo’s first anniversary, so she was surprised she hadn’t figured out Marinette sooner) were half-joking and half-seriously worried that Hawkmoth had figured out Marinette’s identity and was going to swarm the place any second, maybe even take Chloé hostage. Chloé’s new hair comb, however, would have perplexed the purple perpetrator, most likely allowing the now-quartet of heroes to finally take him down.
But things never end the way we expect them to, do they?
Chloé was 29 years old when Hawkmoth finally yielded. His moth-made head told the crowd of Parisians led by Mayor Raincomprix (Chloé was still incredibly proud of Sabrina for that) he was giving this speech and then handing over his Miraculous to his two enemies. He did not state why he was going to do this, nor did he explain how he could do this, but in the end, he’d profoundly and professionally apologized for the horrors he had unleashed upon Paris, swept up his un-evilized moths and packed up shop. That was the last the public saw of Hawkmoth for a long time.
Chloé, Adrien, and Marinette were incredibly sure knew it was Gabriel after that, so after transforming, they stormed the mansion with Rena, cornered the fashion mogul, got the details. Ultimately, he was forgiven, so long as he didn’t try anything else (then again, he was not able to - he renounced the Peacock and Moth Miraculi). She’d been Queen Bee for less then two years, and now it ended. She was fine about it, though - she and Rena Rouge only showed up sometimes anyway. The reveal between the four was not particularly interesting to Chloé - she knew all of them except for Rena. Marinette had willingly told her on their engagement day, and Adrien was Chloé Bourgeois-Dupain-Cheng’s best friend! It made sense that Alya was Rena Rouge, Chloé would laugh while reflecting upon her time before and with the hair comb. One trip to Master Fu later, and all Miraculi were safe and where they needed to be when unnecessary. Chloé would miss Pollen, that said, but she hadn’t known her for long enough to have the bond with the bee kwami that Marinette and Adrien had with… Tinky and Lagg, was it? It wasn’t important now - that was the last the public would hear of Ladybug, Chat Noir, Queen Bee and Rena Rouge (really, Miraculous things in general) for a long time.
Chloé was a girl who’d had the best and worst the world had to offer. While it was true that the years had not stopped coming, Chloé just had to remember her loved ones, and then she would be a Believer of their opinion that she was an All-Star, and this was the way she liked it (and she never got bored).
Chapter 2: The Legend of Phalène
Phalène wasn’t sure if it was a good day or not for it to be raining. The water always weighed on Paonne’s wings, so she expected this to be a tough battle. That said, it weighed down on Mauvaise Abeille’s too, so the battle was mostly on the ground for the Bee and Peacock wielders.
Despite the new factor, Abeille was especially powerful this time, and Phalène had barely been able to save the depowered Marinette from becoming the victim of a particularly nasty bee’s sting. Paonne wasn’t faring much better.
Phalène had to do something. She’d always wanted to stay out of the visual fight since the fateful day she and Nooroo met. This time, nothing could be done - Paonne was going to fall very soon, if she wasn’t already done; heaven knows what Abeille would do to her.
Transforming back into Chloé, she fed Nooroo quickly. Once they were ready to go, Nooroo gave her a heart-melting smile, (Nooroo was such a ray of sunshine - the only one she knew who was more sunshiney was Adrien), and for what could be the last time, she became Phalène.
She jumped out, wings immediately unfolding so that she could fly to where she needed to go. Alas, just when she had finally arrived at the battlefield to deal with Abeille, she saw the newly monikered Bee-tch (Phalène had always been able to think up multiple insulting names for anyone based on their name alone, which impressed Paonne and other temporary wielders) take a defeated Paonne’s brooch.
In a burst of light, Paonne was gone, and Sabrina freaking Raincomprix, her best friend (and apparently, her girlfriend too when as a superheroine) was left there, unconscious and in severe danger. With a traditional evil grin, Abeille’s spiked gauntlets raised up, preparing to strike the Peacock (Peahen? Chloé wasn’t entirely sure, and from previous conversations, neither was Pao-Sabrina. Right, vengeance).
Phalène saw red. Raising her staff, she shot a small energy beam at Abeille. Enough to distract her and do damage (hopefully), but not enough to wear Phalène out early.
This definitely got Abeille’s attention. An interested face turned to Phalène, and the ginger supervillainess lit up like a criminal being practically given what she wanted on a golden platter.
Actually, that was almost exactly what it was, wasn’t it? Only problem was for Abeille, she was not going to succeed. Not if Phalène could help the matter.
“So you must be the famous Phalène.”
The tension broke and reformed at once.
“I thought children were supposed to be seen, not heard. Sweetheart, how about you yield? Hand over that Miraculous and you won’t end up like your formerly flashy friend here.”
Of course the last bit was a threat - her theory on Abeille’s identity had always been Sabrina’s stepmom Sarah, a harsh woman who left M. Raincomprix a few years back in order to rejoin the theatre crowd, her longtime passion. Regathering her thoughts, Phalène spat her words like they would burn her tongue should she keep them in her mouth.
“I should ask you to hand over yours, Sarah Raincomprix.”
Before Sarah could even register the fact she’d been called the heck out, Phalène used her second power.
All wielders had more than one accessible power - some just were part of the package, some were there and not there depending on the user. All Moths could make Champions, varying from 2-3 per day (it also depended on the user) Phalène wasn’t able to use Hall of Fame, which was a Moth’s strongest ability, but she could use Swarm. With a snap of her fingers, what seemed to be thousands of chunks of Sociae-shaped pure energy teleported in, forming a humongous ball of energy around the tip of her staff. Phalène had to make a command, or they would just sit there. Kill was not a viable option, but Phalène still had her plan.
“Distract, dear Sociae.”
With that, hell descended upon Abeille in the form of a storm of moths. They seemed to explode like energy balloons around the striped evildoer. They were not enough to be lethal, but enough to distract her. Speaking of which…
Phalène swooped in, and in movement smoother than silk, the hair comb that 100% belonged to the Big Bad Bee Boss was swiped right off her head. Phalène was ready to celebrate now. Early as it seemed, she was done fighting a bee-themed supervillain who was more decisive on her decision to do evil than her own hai-
Dear mothman, that’s Mom.
Audrey Bourgeois, who had divorced her Papa around the time Sarah Raincomprix divorced Sabrina’s, stood there in the distance. An evil smirk was on her face, and the way it looked fitting for her scared Phalène.
A now-depowered Sarah managed to snatch the Bee Miraculous in Phalène’s moment of shock, and just before the police (Roger wasn’t with them, Phalène barely noticed, but she wasn’t surprised) could grab her, she chucked the hair comb with surprising strength.
It landed right in the hands of blonde-haired Audrey. OH. OH, NO.
“Pollen, do the sting!”
With that, Mauvaise Abeille became a threat once more; the only thing changing was the holder. Things did look bad; a still unconscious Sabrina, who Chloé would later learn was taken somewhere safe, was clearly unable to fight. It was all on the generally weakest Miraculous wielder (who would depower in… about 7-ish minutes now) to protect her city. The odds were bad, weren’t they?
Well, years later, Chloé would tell anyone who knew she was Phalène that miracles happen, don’t they?
As if she’d known how to do it all along, her Miraculous’ power was concentrated in her hands. Abeille - no, Mom - was charging at her, without a care in the world for her daughter’s safety (whether she knew or not) and while she knew, she just knew that she should dodge, any major movement would break her focus.
3 she’s getting closer
2 that spiked gauntlet is NOT looking friendly
A humongous shockwave of energy blew Audrey away. The light ball of energy in Phalène’s hands was thrown to the sky like a volleyball (except it didn’t come down). When it died down, an entire army seemed to be on their way, Phalène could feel it. This… THIS was the HALL OF FAME.
Clearly, though, her mother could not. A second try from Chloé’s pitiful excuse for a mother was stopped in their tracks by the sabre & giant dual needles of the Adrinette duo (Chloé had moved on after she and Paonne started dating); a third was wrapped up due to Alya’s electrical whip and electrokinesis; a fourth attempt was stopped because Nino’s water cannon blew her into a wall.
More and more Champions joined, but while Phalène was touched, she also silently wanted Sabrina to help too. Phalène and Paonne had been together since the beginning, and considering she was Sabrina, it was even longer chronologically (Chloé had not counted Brat-Chloé’s time with Sabrina as real time spent together). So she took out her phone and went to the recording function, watching André’s psychokinetic powers twirl his ex-wife around like a drumstick in a musician’s hand. Chloé was unsure how much of Paris had joined, but she knew that there were outsiders alongside what was probably the majority of Paris - Marinette’s grandma and uncle, Jagged Stone, and others had joined in too. It was a miracle (heh) that the comb wasn’t broken to pieces by the time Chloé ordered the transformed civilians to stop. It wasn’t even the slightest bit cracked.
That’s magic for you, I suppose…
Her powers ran out just in time for her to hide after sending her Mom in a holding cell. It was simple and complicated from there, really. The resolutions for Sarah and Audrey were simple - they weren’t escaping their punishment if anyone could help it, and if they could get out of jail, they would be doing service or something like that for life. All their possessions went to Chloé and Sabrina - most of that, however, went to people that needed it - kids in bad situations, the poor, and whatnot. That was more complicated.
Sabrina recovered very quickly - the Miraculous helped a lot, Chloé imagined. That too was simple.
What wasn’t simple was the dealing of leaving their Miraculi with Alya Dupain-Cheng-Agreste-Lahiffe-Cesaire, who had been chosen as the new Guardian after some old man had passed the Turtle Miraculous to her. Her want for information about the Miraculi made her a good choice for the position, and her skill with patience and phrasing information was good as well.
Chloé had not cried for too long with Nooroo before saying goodbye, but Duusu (apparently that was Sabrina’s peaHEN-themed kwami) and the aforementioned ginger had needed to dry the others’ tears for a while. Chloé knew she would have to do what Duusu could no longer do.
Chloé and Sabrina had known each other since about the end of école, worked with each other as superheroines since the middle of lycée, and so help them if they wouldn’t stay together for as long as they could help it.
After Chloé and Sabrina passed on, both stories would become practically immortalized; the legacies of Chloé and Sabrina Bourgeois-Raincomprix were more popular for adults in that time period, but the more popular story (and longest lasting) were the ones of Paonne and Phalène.
Chapter 3: Regina et Pistores
When it came to Miraculous-related business, Sabine and Tom knew many things, but they were blind to a lot of other things too.
First, they knew that their daughter and her girlfriend were Ladybug and Rena V, as the latter called herself. They also knew that Marinette and Alya knew each others’ identities.
They didn’t know what the V stood for.
The current question they’d been tackling was an… interesting one. The two wanted Chloé Bourgeois to join in their relationship, despite all the pain the queen bee (Tom had laughed at the pun even harder when they realized who the girl behind the striped domino mask was - none but Hawkmoth were hidden from their superhero radar either) had caused her. Sure, she and Marinette were childhood friends, but why did it come back now?
The Dupain-Cheng adults weren’t going to blurt or anything. Now wasn’t the time, and it ruined the fun of… well, life isn’t like Scooby Doo, so there were no meddling kids (though there WOULD be meddling adults).
Well, they’d tried everything they could think of - offering their services to Grand Paris for work, catering at birthday parties, and so forth. Nothing worked (most likely due to Andre’s child stepping in). Later, Tom and Sabine decided it was time to talk about everything.
Sabine was skeptical. They shouldn’t tell the kids they knew about their night activities. Tom rebutted that they would learn eventually, and the kids needed help outside the suit as well. Nightmares weren’t often heard from the two girls, but they still happened. Overall, it was best that the baker duo stepped in before things went out of hand.
That was the plan, at least.
They’d been hiding from a furious circus strongman who was after Tom (Macho Monster, he called himself). The virile villain wanted to be the strongest, and that meant eliminating all the competition.
Queen Bee had swooped in to get them out of the way of a earth-fracturing fist when he’d gotten his eyes on the two. He was strong, but he wasn’t fast.
Tom and Sabine were not dexterous in the same way their daughter was, but the Marinette was clever as she was held no major relation to the luck-based powers.
Queen Bee held her maul with the determination and confidence only the recently mid-redemption Chloé could have in a good mood. And that’s when she made Sabine and Tom understand the affection Alya and Marinette had for her. She held off Macho Monster alone and kept Hawkmoth’s moth-mutated minion from getting close to Tom and Sabine until everyone else showed up to hold Macho Monster down so that they could take his arm band, release the akuma, and save the day.
Queen Bee seemed hesitant to leave the bakers behind, though. They couldn’t help but go up and ask if anything was wrong.
“…I used to be in love with a boy; now I’m in love with girls and boys. I used to be in love with Ladybug; now she’s dating Rena V. I tried going back to the boy, but he’d starting dating another boy, and I’d fallen out of love with him! It feels like every time I fall in love with someone, something changes and they show they don’t love me! It’s like I’m…”
In understandable hesitance, Sabine asked what the feeling was like.
“…it’s like I’m not allowed to love.”
She cried, and they consoled her. It wasn’t until they’d finally broken that all 3 realized her transformation had broken. Chloé seemed to pale, but they consoled her before they could worry too much. They told her that they’d known, that they knew the identities of everyone in Team Miraculous. They helped her “kwami” Pollen heal up (thankfully, strawberries were in season then), but before she could go, Tom asked her one last question:
“Who do you love now? You will find the love you want, need, and deserve; we’ll help if you want.”
A beat passed.
“I fell in love with your daughter and Alya.”
Tom and Sabine had to hide their squees.
“I don’t know why they’d love me back. They’re already dating, and after all the time I had spent being terrible to them, I don’t think they’d ever love me back…”
Sabine just advised her to try asking Ladybug and Rena V for advice. Apparently, the two other super-heroines knew the younger Dupain-Cheng and Cesaire rather well, and they would have good wooing advice for the bee. Chloé thanked them profoundly, but when she eventually had to leave, she promised them she’d treat their daughter like a queen whether things went out well or not.
Time went by. Not much time, of course - Chloé was a go-getter. When everyone learned that Chlolyanette was a thing, Marinette started helping out more in the bakery when she could. Alya and even Chloé would help too.
Tom and Sabine didn’t have to wonder why.
Chapter 4: Coffee And Eggs
Chloé and Adrien’s characteristics were practically the same. They were yellow-haired, had mothers that left them, their rich fathers were not often around them either… the list went on. It was little surprise that the two were childhood friends.
So what was it that made Chloé the brattiest teen in Paris, while Adrien was her equivalent in kindness?
It wasn’t their backstory - they were so similar. Adrien could easily have become as spoiled as Chloé, while she could have been the sweetest little thing you’d ever met.
The difference, as Jean and Nathalie speculated together, was how the blond and blonde reacted to their environment. If anyone asked them, they would use an analogy involving eggs and coffee beans.
Chloé, having been a passionate and peppy girl before everything went down, didn’t actually seem to need coffee to survive through the school day. Every staff member at the hotel, however, knew her guilty pleasure was sugary things - it was her equivalent to coffee, except she didn’t eat sugary things in the morning. Thankfully, she didn’t crash quickly - a tired Chloé was by no means a pleasant one. However, she was not a big fan of eggs (she’d eat them, though, to the kitchen staff’s relief).
Adrien, having to keep muscle for his modeling shoots, ate a lot of protein, and eggs were a decent chunk of his morning diet. He didn’t hate eggs, that said - they were good in many ways, and the protein helped him in more things than modeling and attracting girls.
(That said, Chat Noir did have a female fan-base, so maybe not…)
However, he actually did like coffee, to the chagrin of Gabriel, Nathalie, and Gorilla. Adrien, after all, was supposed to take over Gabriel one day, and while he’d get an addiction to caffeine soon enough, Gabriel wanted him to wait for later to have it.
So when Ms. Sancoeur saw the younger Agreste jumping around in a literal catsuit, she thought he’d gotten into the coffee and sugar again. Thankfully, this wasn’t too often.
That was what surprised Nathalie and Jean, however - it was the one thing that was not correct in its relation to their analogy.
Coffee beans in hot water become coffee, but eggs in hot water harden. The blonde teenagers did not follow that part of the analogy.
Chloé had clearly hardened due to her circumstances (hence the haughty spoiled-girl front), but Adrien became the sweetest young man from his circumstances; he wasn’t attractive to girls just because of his body.
When placed in hot water, when put under challenges, Chloé and Adrien changed into entirely different people; not just from who they used to be, but from each other as well.
A few years into Adrien leaving the Agrestes’ Manor, not to mention Chloé getting her act together, Nathalie and Jean figured out the reason of the difference.
Both of them had things they were supposed to be, yet they weren’t. They still managed to make something of themselves, though; and to say Nathalie and Jean were in so much awe of the future generation was an incredible understatement.
Another funny thing was that they stayed friends through it all - through the arresting of André for some money-related business and Gabriel for the crimes Hawkmoth had committed, (Nathalie and Jean had often worried that either or both of the bright duo would go from their respective foods to potatoes in those kinds of hot water). Their friendship shone like a bright yellow light through Adrien’s marriage to Marinette (Chloé had moved on about when Hawkmoth was arrested - she was too busy taking in his identity and comforting him to crush on him) and things were well on their way to Chloé’s upcoming wedding with Sabrina.
Now that I think about it, Jean recalled to himself, Chloé did want me to present a speech for the reception.
And while he did leave out the bits about Adrien, Jean made sure that the focus of the speech Chloé had kindly allowed him to write with was about coffee beans and eggs.
Chapter 5: Red, Blue, Yellow
Dimitria - My "fan name" for Ms. Mendeleiev
Ms. Dimidiata - Split Ender
Split Ender had been hunting for Chloé and Sabrina since the battle began. Her and some of her classmates (none of the others in Ms. Bustier’s, thankfully). As the former substitute teacher prowled through Paris, she sliced any target in her sight in half with her powerful katana, turning them into a blue-colored version of them representing their inherent good, while the other red one was the bad or evil in them. The superhero duo had quickly picked up that the worse or better a person, the bigger/smaller the respective form. Blue Rose had been pretty big, and it was her squashing the tiny Red Rose (Chat Noir couldn’t help but make the pun) that helped Ladybug and Chat Noir figure out that defeating one side fused the two together.
It was just as they’d found the fighting Sabrina’s forms and defeated the red one when they saw Split Ender decapitate Chloé, instead of halving her. Red Chloé was about Gigantitan’s size, while Blue Chloé was tinier then Red Rose. Chloé seemed to gape, as if she’d learned Hawkmoth’s identity. Unfortunately, she hadn’t; she’d realized that according to Split Ender’s judgement, she was a terrible person, but the size in general wasn’t the nail in the coffin for the epiphany. It was the comparison to others that did it.
It wasn’t bad enough that Red Chloé was big, or that she was small, but the fact that the biggest red one she’d seen was Ms. Mendeleiev, yet Blue Dimitria was in between Red Rose and Blue Chloé’s size and Red Dimitria was slightly smaller than Blue Rose. She did care for her students, after all - Chloé didn’t care about anything unless it pleased or displeased her. Chloé had finally realized half into the second year of Ladybug & Chat Noir that she’d been a bad person. Dear goodness, she’d caused so many akumas, bullied many who weren’t (Marinette included), and though she claimed to love Adrien, it was a wonder why he hadn’t chosen to no longer associate with her!
She had been crying by the time Hawkmoth was once again shut down by the two teens. She went to bed dejected that night - it had been the last period, so the day had essentially been over when the battle against Split Ender was stopped. Before going to bed, Chloé looked herself in the mirror. Her first thought was fabulous as usual, but she threw the thought away after telling herself she was in pajamas and not-perfect hair. Chloé decided to get her act together, and find out what it was exactly that made Adrien want to become like the peas- everyone else.
That morning, Chloé fixed herself a manner that was a little less fashionable than usual. Ms. Dimidiata (Split Ender’s civilian form) walked up to her before she could get out the door and apologized for getting angry to her. Honored by this (Chloé hadn’t been asked for forgiveness by anyone else for attacking her in akuma form), Chloé thanked her and asked her for forgiveness. The substitute teacher took it with a proud smile.
Her temper and impatience were not the only thing she fixed. She became less of a spendthrift, learned to be forgiving, did her own work, and finally learned to release emotions healthily. She came to terms with her sexuality and started talking with therapists.
It paid off. Sabrina had been thinking about disassociating with her, and Adrien was in the same boat. Even when Marinette and Adrien started dating, Chloé congratulated them. Really, she’d been too happy celebrating with Alya about Ladynoir becoming a thing, but she would’ve been fine at that point.
Yes, she thought to herself as she stood over the de-transformed Hawkmoth, I have earned my right to be Queen Bee.
Chapter 6: The Bear Witness
Mr. Cuddly didn’t really remember his life before Chloé, but given that he was made to help her ever silently (she was the tenth person he would help for his job on the Team of People’s Important Toys), that wasn’t really important, was it? Given to her on her 2nd birthday, before she became the vain teen everyone knew her as, Mr. Cuddly had quite the story to tell by the time she turned 15, and it wasn’t even over!
Mr. Cuddly was played with for a long time, and most of the time per day spent was from 2 years old to about the middle of 3, through which she met Adrien. A while later, she entered school and unfortunately (for the both of them) had less time to be with the button-eyed bear. Despite everything, Chloé attempted made time to talk with Mr. Cuddly, if not play with him.
The less said about Audrey Bourgeois’ disappearance, the better. Mr. Cuddly had known all along that her claims of fidelity were not trustable, and he wanted so desperately to do something for his owner, but was unable to say anything do to the T.O.P.I.T. Code. This came close for an intervention being acceptable, but it was just out of reach. Mr. Cuddly didn’t.
When Chloé was a good few years older, not old enough to be called vain or haughty, but by all means very spoiled and bratty, she met Sabrina, her new best friend. The two clicked on a level Mr. Cuddly did not understand in multiple ways.
See, Chloé mistreated Sabrina. A person that makes someone else do their work and basically treats them like a slave weren’t exactly what Mr. Cuddly wanted for Chloé. No, actually, Mr. Cuddly KNEW that wasn’t the Chloé he remembered. Quite frankly, Mr. Cuddly wanted to take the next train to find Audrey and attack her for what the woman had done to his ourson. Mr. Cuddly, of course, didn’t. After all, he would be leaving his beloved bear cub behind.
Chloé was 13 when Ladybug and Chat Noir showed up. The two were obvious from the beginning - Marinette had been Chloé’s best friend before Sabrina, and the two had spent many sleepovers together; alas, something had happened and that friendship was gone. Mr. Cuddly still wasn’t sure what the problem was, but it wasn’t exactly his job to question. Adrien, on the other hand, he’d known for longer than Marinette, so that happened.
One particular day, Mr. Cuddly had been reminiscing about the past of Chloé; both her ups and downs. He’d been feeling a little melancholy due to the buildup of her bratty actions building up lately, but his appearing-to-be-lifeless game was still strong as ever, and when he heard some sounds from the window, he could easily prove it.
In hindsight, Mr. Cuddly would recall, Antibug had been bad enough to watch, and he sometimes felt like he should have retired after Despair Bear (whether Jean getting akumatized was his fault or not). But somehow, Hawkmoth picked out him. That said, there was that robot her classmate - Max, was it? - had made, a sweet youngster that somehow held emotion and was able to become the monster Robustus. And now, it was his turn. Again…
No. Not this time.
Mr. Cuddly was not able to dodge Hawkmoth’s minion, sure, but he could resist the controlling old cad within in.
“Toy Soldier, I am Hawkmoth. I offer you the ability to keep Chloé safe from any harm. All you need to do is take the Miraculi of Ladybug & Chat Noir. Do you accept?”
Mr. Cuddly was not an idiot, not to mention he was trained to resist temptation like this. Mentally, he said no, accompanied by a certain word that should not be said around children.
“You would say no to this gift I have offered you? I could reveal you as more than the average stuffed doll if you refuse my offer!”
The message back was simple:
“A: This is no gift. B: Who’d believe you? ‘Innocence is bliss’ is a thing, Mr. Agreste.”
Oh, you can bet the moth left immediately after that, as if trying to escape from Ladybug’s purifying prison. Shame he couldn’t reveal Gabriel. Eh, they’d figure the emotionally stunted fashion mogul out eventually.
Speaking of her, he thought to himself, she’ll hopefully see it and fix it up before someone-
Naturally, another akuma broke his train of thought.
Another akuma’s anger, just for Chloé. FANTASTIC.
This Split Ender akuma (T.O.P.I.T. gave him updates whenever it concerned his charge) appeared to slice people in half, leaving them in two forms of themselves. One represented their inherent good, the other evil. The nicer you were, the bigger your “good side” was, and vice versa.
Mr. Cuddly was greeted by a very stressed Chloé, but something seemed off about her. He sensed something good about her stress, and had this not been his 3rd time with an especially spoiled brat to look after, he wouldn’t have understood it.
She was going to change for the better, and soon.
Chapter 7: Roasted Bee
Once again, Chloé was rudely awakened. This was her third meeting that night, presumably with the Miracle of Holidays Future. Her father’s spirit had warned her about this, but this André was different than the one she’d known as her Daddy. Forced to suffer the chains of ill-wielded wealth for eternity, André still had the energy to “make time” for Chloé. She’d already met with a raven-haired girl decked in red with black spots, accompanied by a blond boy with cat ears and tail, calling themselves the Miracle of Holidays Past; and the magical retelling of her past shown before her very eyes left her feeling pretty unpleasant about herself for the first time in years. The Miracle of Holidays Present had been a young, punkish girl wearing roller skates and a helmet (I’d bet that helmet doesn’t work if she looks this poor, Chloé mentally snarked, but she immediately felt like a jerk after), commoners’ clothing and wild pink hair in dual pigtails. Chloé had once again felt bad (if not worse) about the situation of others; her workers Jean, Sabrina and others, were struggling and overworked, and some of them were still working. Sabrina’s tiny nephew August was also still struggling; he was in great need of a prosthetic leg, but his parents couldn’t afford it.
The final ghost, materializing in Chloé’s path, was a tall man looking 25-30 physically, thought he was most likely much older. They looked like a red-cloaked Grim Reaper, but before Chloé could further insult this specter, they beckoned with a gloved hand that was too fleshy to seem skeletal.
Not the Grim Reaper - thank goodness, Chloé thought to herself.
The world seemed to twist around her as she followed this Red Reaper (I’m calling them that now, she said to herself with a small laugh) as if she was inside a tornado - minus the getting blown around part. She was put in front of Alya, Nino, Kim, Max and Ondine - folks from her high school when she went to Francoise-Dupont. She was a grown woman now, and too important for them. Chloé shut up when she heard the reporter speak.
“I don’t know why we’re being invited, really,” the fox-like firecracker grumbled, “but on the bright side, who here wouldn’t mind a free and exquisite lunch!”
That made everyone laugh. The almost traditional pang of pain hit Chloé, but she knew she couldn’t do anything. What event were they going to, anyway? Kim spoke up next, interrupting her train of thought.
“I can’t say I’d miss her, even if she’d associated with us after treating us like absolute-”
“Be nice, Kim.” Max spoke up sternly. Chloé did not feel relieved despite Mr. Kante coming to her defense.
Looking back, Chloé would say she thought that this insult was going to be the kicker for her. Nino, who was relatively quiet but very clever, delivered verbal pain just as hurtful as the Dupain-Chengs’ pastries were delicious - and that definitely said something! Anyway, Nino’s lips didn’t seem to want to restrain the spouting of this comment:
“Do you dudes think she arranged for us to say nice things about her for money? I don’t think I’d take that offer if I could help it!”
Ondine, who’d been listening, burst out in laughter, and the rest followed. Chloé was resisting the urge to cry when the world shifted again, but the tornado felt stronger this time. Fujita and Pearson would be rolling in their graves if they felt this level of power from what was sort of a tornado.
All was quiet in the night of a graveyard - Chloé noticed she and Red Reaper had not left - they’d merely went ahead in time by a few hours. A gloved hand, extended once more, pointed towards one particular gravestone. It was dirty on the flat part - clearly some jerks had been dancing on this one. It also glistened with some kind of liquid - had it been raining? Chloé walked over to take a closer look, and promptly recoiled at the name and dirt marks left behind.
This grave was HERS, and some jerks had danced on her grave!
“How could this get any worse?” she screamed to the heavens.
Then she took a whiff of the gravestone by accident. Dear God.
Someone peed on it. DISGUSTING! She had treated people like they were waste, so it was fitting that someone used her grave like a toilet!
Chloé felt like she was rightfully kicked off her metaphorical golden throne, and for a minute she did what she would’ve done over a porcelain one. Then the realization the way she had acted for about… pretty much her entire life (the thought of oh, no was instant) didn’t make her deserving of any throne hit her, and she had Round 2 of ralphing.
Red Reaper was nice enough to cool her down. A quiet and muffled voice, as if a preteen fused with a gravelly war veteran fused together spoke in a tone that was not as comforting as the Red Reaper most likely intended.:
“Faci paenitentia, et tum vigesque,
Si recusas, id futurum revirescerit.”
Chloé was magically given translation. It was an unpleasant warning, with imperative endings practically telling her to take the advice:
“Do the penance, and then you thrive,
If you refuse, this future will come alive.”
Chloé woke up in a cold sweat. Realizing what she must do, she scrambled to the window, scanning the street for someone. Upon catching sight of a young girl in brown pigtails with a woman that had a reporter’s aura about her - oh, that was Ms. Chamack! Formulating a plan quickly, she shouted just loud enough to get their attention:
“Excuse me, but what time of year is it, Ms. Chamack?”
Before the often-nosy mother could speak up, the little girl - oh, yes, Manon was the girl’s name - responded for her, with a voice containing the cheer only a young girl of about 8 to 10 could have during the holidays:
“Why, it’s the holidays, ma’am!”