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The Return of a Queen

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An audible sigh escaped Chloé’s lips as she stared at the streets below. She stood next to her giant bee signal, disappointed once again at the news that she wasn’t needed. Chloé knew it was dangerous to have her miraculous out due to Paris knowing who she was, but that didn’t stop her from being hopeful.

But it seemed like being Queen Bee was an event that only occurred once in a blue moon.

Flicking the switch on the side of the light, she turned it off and headed back to her bedroom, repeating the same routine as usual as a familiar pang of doubt built up within her.

As she reached her bathroom and glanced at her reflection in the slightly-fogged mirror, Chloé looked back on her past mistakes—the biggest one standing out to her being her act of jealousy that caused her to transform into her superhero persona for the first time.

Chloé gritted her teeth as her knuckles turned white from gripping the sink so hard, her vision blurring at tears began to build up in the corners of her eyes. Why did she have to get jealous so easily? Why did she make such an idiotic mistake?

She really wished she could go back and fix it, but it seemed like that was impossible now. All Chloé wanted was a second chance—something to start over with—and then maybe, just maybe, she’d be able to experience the exhilarating feeling of bounding over rooftops and fighting evil all over again.

A knock on the door broke her out of her spiralling thoughts, her head turning to see her butler stood in the doorway. Chloé quickly wiped the tears from her eyes, pacing over to him as he presented her favourite teddy bear to her.

“I’m sorry, mademoiselle,” he apologised as he handed her the bear, a sympathetic smile on his face.

Chloé nodded in acknowledgement as she cuddled her bear, waving a hand toward the door to signal that he should leave. With a solemn nod, her butler briskly walked away, shutting the door behind him.

Looking back at her reflection in the mirror, Chloé noticed tears building in the corners of her eyes again. A melancholy feeling began to wash over her as she clutched her bear to her chest, memories of her time as Queen Bee flashing through her mind.

“Please,” she desperately whispered, wiping her tears away and smudging her makeup. “Please let me be Queen Bee again.”

———————

A few days later, Chloé stared at a slip of paper in her hand. Her brows furrowed as she read through the text printed on the voucher.

“So this just randomly arrived in the mail?”

“Yes, mademoiselle.”

“Hmmm,” she hummed, glancing at it again. It was a voucher for a free massage at Mr Chan’s Massage Parlour that was going to expire tomorrow. “My current masseuse has been rather incompetent lately. This voucher expires tomorrow so I’ll go now.”

“Okay, mademoiselle. I’ll tell the driver to bring your limo to the front.” Butler Jean responded, Bowing slightly before quickly shuffling away.

Chloé scrutinised the voucher again, questions of how she even received it flowing through her mind. Surely this ‘Mr Chan’ wasn’t just handing vouchers out to everyone, right?

A knock on the door snapped her out of her trance as she shrugged it off and picked up her handbag, placing the voucher in it before heading out to her flashy limo.

A few minutes later, Chloé stopped scrolling through her social media feed as the limo pulled to a stop outside a small shop that matched the name displayed on the voucher. As Chloé took in the sight of the dismal place, she sneered at it. It didn’t exactly look anything like her usual place, so this trip was probably going to be a complete and utter waste of her valuable time.

Letting out a huge sigh of annoyance as her butler opened the door for her, she pocketed her phone and stepped out of the limo before walking over to the door.

“Come back for me in forty minutes. I’ll call you if I need to be picked up earlier than that.”

As she slowly pushed the door open, a quiet chime sounded as a bell hanging from the inside was knocked—probably to alert the owner of the small parlour that a customer had arrived.

“Hello?” Chloé questioned after a few seconds of silence. She frowned when there was no response.

Walking further down the narrow corridor—floorboards creaking under her feet with almost every step—she found herself stood in front of another door. Not knowing what else to do, she knocked on it and hoped that someone else was actually here. The silence was starting to become a bit eerie.

“Come in!” A voice shouted from the other side, and Chloé felt a sigh of relief escape her lungs.

Pushing the door open, she noticed an old man in a Hawaiian shirt kneeling on the ground with his eyes closed as if he was meditating, something green hovering beside him.

“Is that…” she quietly began to question, eyes widening in disbelief as she pointed at the green thing. “Is that a kwami?!”

“Hello, Queen Bee.”

The man’s eyes opened as he smiled at Chloé and stood up, the green kwami beside him flying toward the blonde-haired girl whose mouth hung agape in shock.

“I understand you must be feeling confused right now, but I will explain,” he began, turning around and walking toward the phonograph behind him. He glanced back at Chloé, waving his hand as to beckon her.

The green thing—it had to be a kwami, right?—floated beside her, waving at her. “My name is Wayzz,” he informed her.”

“Queen Bee, I am Master Fu,” the old man introduced, catching Chloe’s attention again as he pressed a few buttons, causing the phonograph to move and a box to rise from within it. Master Fu picked up the box and turned around, opening the lid to reveal the jewels within. “I am the last member of the Order of the Guardians, and I have been tasked with protecting the miracle box.”

Chloé gasped as her eyes landed upon a familiar hair comb, a hand rising to cover her mouth as her eyes widened. Her legs suddenly felt like jelly and she felt as if she could fall over at any second.

“That’s my miraculous,” she breathed, pointing at the yellow jewel.

“Indeed it is. I called you here today as I want to help you become a better hero. You will have to go under training for this until you’re truly ready. The end result of this procedure: re-receiving your miraculous.”

Hope sparked within Chloé at his words, her hand lowering down from her face as her lips slowly curled into a grin. This was the chance she needed! She could become Queen Bee again!

“What sort of training?” She inquired, scenarios of what the future may hold flying through her head.

“I will be teaching you the qualities of a true hero,” he began, closing the box again and placing it back in its hiding spot. “I advise you to lay low and not tell anyone of this. I will be informing Ladybug and Chat Noir of your training, but nobody else may know. Do you understand?”

Chloé slowly nodded her head as she processed the information, still confused by the whole idea. “When will I get to become Queen Bee again?”

“When you’re ready.”

That certainly wasn’t cryptic at all.

Chloé bit her lip, weighing up her options. She could either refuse whatever training the guardian was offering her, or she could undergo the training and have the chance to see Pollen again. Now that she was presented with the idea of getting her miraculous back, she started doubting herself. Was she even ready to train to be a hero? Every other attempt to be a better person had never worked out for her.

“Miss Bourgeois, you shouldn’t doubt yourself,” Master Fu interrupted, as if he had been reading her mind. “I wouldn’t have called you here if I didn’t think you were ready.”

“Oh,” she breathed, lips parting in surprise. “Okay then,” she continued, her words still airy as she clenched and unclenched her hands, now noticing how clammy they’d become. She took a deep breath. “I’ll do it!”

Master Fu smiled, nodding his head. “Then your training shall begin.”

———————

Chloé sat opposite Master Fu, both of them kneeling down on the floor, the phonograph hiding the miracle box behind Fu. The blue-eyed girl felt her gaze drifting toward it every so often, thoughts of her kwami and her time as a hero swirling through her head.

They’d been discussing how the training would work for the past half hour now, and Chloé finally felt like she would be able to do it. As long as she remembers what the completion of the training would allow, Chloé will be able to ace it!

“For your first lesson, you will master the attribute of kindness.”

Chloé frowned at that. “And how exactly am I supposed to do that?”

“Kindness can be achieved through even the smallest of good deeds,” he advised, smiling at her. “Start out with minor changes and work your way up to bigger things.”

Chloé began to think about what she could possibly do, her phone’s ringtone starting to blare a few seconds later. She hastily stood up and walked over to where she left her bag, taking out her phone and answering the incoming call.

“Hello?” She angrily snapped, annoyed that someone had interrupted her thought process.

“The limo is outside waiting for you, mademoiselle.”

“Oh. I’ll be out soon,” she responded, hanging up before her butler had the chance to respond. “Sorry, Master.”

“It’s okay,” he responded, waving it off. “If I need to speak with you, I will send Wayzz to find you.”

Chloé’s eyebrows furrowed at his words. Why couldn’t he just send her a text or email? It would be so much simpler!

“Okay. I’ll start my training tomorrow,” she informed him as she began to pave across the room, heading for the door.

“You could start now.” Master Fu encouraged as she was about to walk through the doorway, stopping her in her tracks. Chloé glanced back and nodded, flashing him a smile that she hoped to be sincere before making her exit.

When Chloé walked out of the shop, she made sure to stop her butler and open the door to her limo herself. She’d also thanked him and smiled.

Butler Jean had never been so surprised and proud of her before.

———————

“Hey, so I need your help.”

“Hello to you too, Chloé.” Adrien greeted as he closed his textbook, looking up at the blonde-haired girl who was now sat on his desk. The school bell had just rung, indicating that lessons were over and lunch break had just begun.

“Sorry,” she apologised, causing him to stop packing away his things.

“Did you just apologise?” He questioned, not quite believing what he’d just heard. His lips began to curl into a grin.

“M-maybe,” she stuttered, crossing her arms and looking away. In the corner of her eye, Chloé spotted his smug look and let out a sigh of defeat. It would be useless to try and ignore that look. “I’m trying to be a better person. That’s why I’ve come to you for help.”

“I’m so proud of you,” he responded, placing a hand over his heart as fake tears welled in his eyes. Ever melodramatic and over the top, he let out a little sniffle. “They really do grow up so fast.”

She swatted him for that comment, eliciting a laugh to escape Adrien’s lungs as he slung his bag over his shoulder and began to walk out of the room, Chloé hopping off the table and walking alongside him.

“Why do you need my help specifically?” He questioned, genuine befuddlement shown in his expression.

“Did you seriously just ask me that?!”

Chloé let out an exasperated sigh as she shook her head, placing a hand to her forehead. That boy was oblivious to everything.

“You’re the only one who’ll be willing to help because you’re probably the only one who will believe me,” she explained. She’d considered talking to Sabrina, but had reconsidered when she realised that Adrien was also an option.

Little did she know, Adrien was already aware of the reasons for Chloé’s sudden decision to reach for redemption. Master Fu had informed him and Ladybug soon after Chloé had accepted the offer. He felt proud of her for taking the chance and hoped that it would all work out in the end.

“Okay,” he replied with a smile. “I’ll help you. You’ve got to promise to take this seriously, though.” Adrien held out his pinkie finger to her, Chloé looping hers through it a moment later and sealing the promise.

———————

“Are you sure this’ll work?” Chloé questioned, looking at her blond friend skeptically.

“I’m sure,” Adrien responded as he opened the classroom door for her, waiting for Chloé to walk in before pacing into the room himself and closing the door.

Chloé glanced back at him for a second, opening her mouth to retort to his words. Unfortunately, this meant that she wasn’t looking where she was going and inevitably bashed into someone, knocking herself down to the ground.

“Hey!” She shrieked, fire blazing in her eyes as she looked up to see Marinette standing in front of her. “These clothes are designer, Dupain-Cheng. Not that you’d ever—“

A loud cough interrupted her words.

Chloé gasped as she realised what she’d been doing and quickly scrambled to stand up, brushing herself off in case her trousers had dust on them.

“Sorry,” she mumbled, briskly moving past a very shocked Marinette whose eyes bulged and mouth hung agape.

Glancing at Chloé—who had just sat down at her desk—and then at Adrien, something clicked in the black-haired girl’s mind. Master Fu had mentioned something about teaching Chloé the qualities of a true hero, so this must be part of that her training.

———————

By the end of the school day, Chloé proudly wore a smug grin on her face. Even though Adrien had to give her a nudge (sometimes literally), she had managed to go the rest of the afternoon without fully insulting someone. It was a step in the right direction, and that meant that she was a step closer to being part of Paris’ superhero team once again.

She went to sleep that night and dreamed of being reunited with Pollen and soaring into action to save the day.

———————

About a week later, Chloé found herself in Master Fu’s massage parlour once again. An hour prior, Wayzz had shown up at her penthouse suite to inform her that the guardian wished to see her urgently to speak with her about the current progress of her training. Chloé had then spent the next half hour sneaking out of the hotel and trying to remember the route the limo had taken the previous week.

Lightly, Chloé tapped her knuckles against the door, a quiet sound resonating around her.

“Come in!”

Opening the door, Chloé stepped inside the room and paced over toward Master Fu, kneeling down opposite him. She put her hands on her thighs and crossed her fingers, hoping to hear some good news.

“Miss Bourgeois, I have heard the news of your newfound kindness. I commend you for your improvement,” he stated, smiling kindly at Chloé as pride swelled within her. “I believe you are now ready for the next stage of your training: the quality of generosity.”

“Isn’t that just similar to what I’ve already been doing?” Chloé questioned, eyebrows furrowing.

He shook his head. “You are a lot more fortunate than most others your age. Not everyone has the chance to live in the penthouse suite of a hotel,” he reminded her. “I want you to be generous to those around you and be willing to help those in need.”

“Okay, Master.”

———————

“Mademoiselle, what are you doing?” Butler Jean questioned when he spotted the blue-eyed girl. He placed down the food platter with the girl’s dinner on it and walked over to her.

“I’m sorting out my closet,” she replied as she rifles through her clothes, sorting them into two separate piles on either side of her. “I don’t need all of these, so I’m going to donate some of them to a charity shop.”

Shock overcame her butler. This was rather uncharacteristic of Chloé. Then again, she had been changing for the better over the course of the last week. Maybe this was just another one of those changes.

“Have you thought about taking any of this to school?” He questioned, gesturing to the larger pile that he assumed was the designated ‘donation pile’.

Chloé froze for a moment, pondering what her answer should be. She recalled Master Fu’s words, remembering that some of her classmates would probably never be able to afford some of these clothes.

“I hadn’t thought about that, no,” she responded, adding another dress to the ‘keep pile’. “That’s a good idea, though. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, mademoiselle,” he responded with a smile before walking away to tend to other guests staying in the hotel.

The next day, Chloé received many thanks as students from all classes within their school took a clothing item or two, gratitude and joy written in their expressions. The blonde-haired girl managed to hand out every single miscellaneous piece of clothing she took with her. (She had left some clothes back at the hotel so they could be donated to charity instead.)

———————

A few weeks later, Wayzz showed up again, a proud smile blooming onto his miniature face when he noticed an abundance of charity badges pinned onto Chloé’s yellow jacket.

“Master Fu wishes to see you. He would like to discuss your third heroic quality.” Wayzz explained, zipping away and phasing through the window.

Hurriedly, she gathered the possessions she needed and shoved them into her handbag, feet pounding on the floor as she rushed out the door moments later.

After a short walk, she arrived at the massage parlour once again and made her way inside, not bothering to knock this time.

“Hello, Chloé,” he greeted, bowing his head in greeting. She returned the gesture, giving a small wave to Wayzz afterward. “This meeting will be very brief. I believe you are ready to move onto the next step: the quality of bravery.”

Chloé frowned at that. “How am I supposed to become braver?”

“Bravery isn’t just a feeling, it’s also doing,” he responded. “There’s no point being brave enough to leap into action if you don’t know how to fight.”

“Oh,” she mumbled, biting her lip. Chloé still had no clue what to do for this segment of training.

“Fighting isn’t just about offence; it’s also about defence.” Master Fu continued, hinting at what she could do.

“Defence,” she mumbled, gears whirring in her mind until it finally clicked. “Self-defence classes!”

Master Fu nodded. “It’s imperative that you know how to defend yourself due to Hawkmoth knowing your true identity. When you feel you’ve done enough, come back to me.”

———————

To say Chloé’s father had been shocked when she asked to take self-defence classes was an understatement. She was adamant on doing it, despite how he tried to talk her out of it.

It took a bit of searching, but they managed to find someone who would give her one-on-one training. Thankfully, it allowed nobody to see her fail time and time again.

Taking the class was a lot harder than Chloé had expected. She powered through it all, thinking of the reward for completing all of this training. The chance to see Pollen again; the chance to soar over the rooftops; the chance to be part of a team; the chance to protect her city.

So after weeks and weeks of the same routine, Chloé was finally told that she didn’t need to take the classes anymore. It had been a long and gruelling process and—in all honesty—she was glad to have it over and done with.

As soon as her final class finished and she was free to go, Chloé sprinted through the streets of Paris to meet with Master Fu once again. She could hardly believe how much time had flown by since the first time she visited. Her training had been going on for five months now—three of those months spent on physical training.

When she reached Master Fu’s place, she felt out of breath, air being inhaled and exhaled deeply to try and slow her heart rate. She pushed open the door and walked toward the next one, pausing for a moment as she debated whether or not to knock.

Just as she reached up her hand, the door swung open to reveal Fu on the other side.

“I’ve been waiting for your return, he said, turning around and pacing toward the phonograph at the other side of the room.

Chloé followed him in, shutting the door behind her. She watched intently as he pushed the buttons that opened the secret compartment containing the miracle box, confusion written in her expression.

“It’s time for the final step to your training,” he explained as he picked up the box. He turned around to face her, flipping open the lid. “The final quality of a hero is courage. Do you have the courage to take on the responsibility of being a hero?”

Chloé felt her heart beat loudly in her chest as she stared at the bee miraculous. Now that she was presented with it, she didn’t know what to do. Was she truly ready? Was her training enough?

As she pondered the decision, memories of encouragement flashed in her mind. Ladybug presenting her with the bee miraculous when her father had been akumatised; Chat Noir presenting her with the bee miraculous on heroes’ day; Sabrina’s constant encouragement; Adrien’s willingness to help her redeem herself; the training she’d spent the past five months doing.

Chloé inhaled a deep breath of air to calm her nerves. “I’m ready. I have the courage to be a hero.”

Fu and Wayzz exchanged a proud and joyful look before the former reached into the box and picked up the bee comb, holding it out for Chloé to take.

As soon as Chloé placed the comb in her hair, a bright yellow glow filled the room as Pollen began to materialise before her. The blonde-haired girl felt tears brimming in her eyes as Pollen appeared, her bright blue eyes opening as a smile bloomed on her little face.

“Greetings, my Queen!”

Pollen let out a short shriek as Chloé grabbed her and pulled her to her cheek, joyful that they were finally reunited. The bee kwami grinned and nuzzled her, eliciting a laugh to escape Chloe’s lips.

Becoming Queen Bee had once seemed like an event that only occurred once in a blue moon, but that wasn’t going to be the case anymore.