“Who...who are you?”
It was surely nice to know that there was someone out there believing in her. This strange and mysterious girl, who was the first Ladybug believed in her so much that she even thought that Alya would have been better for the job than she herself. It was flattering, really, but this girl really had a bad timing. And why did she have to find those earrings while she was stuck between a wall and a car in her bag and not before or after?
“No, really, who are you?”
Alya already hated that question and voted for herself to never use it again, others already overused it´s use today alone. But giving the confused kitten in front of her a fitting answer was definetivly more important in that moment:
“I´m Red Luck, your new partner. So buckle up, Chat Noir and let´s go kick some Akuma butt!”
After finishing Stoneheart and happy that the supid aching in her rips finally was gone since she wasstuck between the car and the wall, she turned and flung on her yoyo away, quickly followed by her new partner. Stopping on a rooftop out of civilians view, she finally snapped at the miserable kitten: “And what do you think what you are doing? We´ll transform back soon and you should know that no one´s supposed to know our identities!”
The boy looked away and reminded Alya of a drowned and abandoned kitten. “I know...it´s just...where is she?” “Who?” “Ladybug, the first one? My Lady?”
“I don´t know, sorry Chat, but I have to now” Alya said, quickly turning away so she wouldn´t have to suffer his kicked kitten look anymore. But his whispered “so I was abandoned again” kept her in place.
Sighing, she turned: “No, you´re not. I will not abandon you. Know what? Screw those secret identities. If you´re uncomfortable with me keeping my identity a secret, I won´t. Because I trust you, Chat, to keep it a secret. And I´ll promise you to never abandon you.”
That night Alya gained knowledge and a little brother she would fiercly protect until her dying days.
Because she learned that this poor kid, who many people thought as lucky had just found his other half only to lose it again. And she swore she would find the girl behind Ladybugs mask, punch her and then reunite her little brother with the love of his life and soulmate.
Marinette, Alyas best friend, was a strange girl. She would always stand up and fight for other people. She was strong willed, helpful, kind, sweet and had a strong sense of justice. If you ever had a problem, you can´t resolve you would go to Marinette. She will do anything in her power to help you.
So it was truly infuriating that the only one this girl wouldn´t stand up for was herself. Alya already was on the edge of her nerves because of the threat of Akumas constantly hanging in the air. So it certainly didn´t help that Chloe kept picking on her best friend who seemed to have reverted to a shy and selfdoubting little child the moment someone said anything against her. Everyone else was protected by this amazing girl and friend – besides herself of course. So Aya took the duty on herself to protect her newly adopted third little sister and be her shield as Marinette always was for everyone else.
“Thank you” Alyas best friend whispered as the girls returned to their seats in the second row as Alya had put the wicked witch of the west – alias Chloe – into her place. “But you didn´t need to. Chloe was right you now. I am a failure and clumsy mess and...” “Stop.” Alya said firmly. How could someone like Marinette hate herself that much? It depressed Alya to watch and she wasn´t the poor girl herself. “Don´t listen to Chloe, she´s wrong, alright. You´re amazing and you should know it by now.” The dark-haired girl gave her a small smile: “Thanks, Alya. Cookie?” “Yes, please. Really, Mari, you are a life-saver.”
Because truly, without Marinette and her endless love for sharing all kind of bakery sweets Alya would have been blank already thanks to her secret job.
And that´s when her other adopted little sibling stepped into the classroom. Green eyes widened with desire as they focused on the bakery sweets Marinette had brought today. Alya had no idea how the bakery girl could ignore the kitten eyes Adrien Agreste gave her and instead glared at him. Sighing to herself, as Alya would have shipped the two of them together if Adrien wasn´t Chat and wouldn´t already have someone he would spent his life together with – once they found he again, that is – the auburn haired girl turned to her friend: “You should totally make up with him. I´m one hundred percent sure that the gum-thing was only a misunderstanding.” “I´m sure it wasn´t” snapped Marinette. “He´s Chloes friend and he put gum on my seat. What is there to misunderstand? He´s a bully, that´s what he is!”
Meeting Adriens questioning gaze while Marinette kept rantig next to her, she shook her head. Adrien visibly deflated, havng hoped to finally fix the misunderstanding up.
Problem was Marinette was hellbend on ignoring him. For example on his second school day when it had rained, he had wanted to apologize to her and maybe offer her his umbrella or something, but she had instantly stormed into the rain without looking back, looking downright miserable. Adrien just wished he could fix it and Alya tried her best to help: It just wasn´t enough.
Marinette was a crazy girl, Alya decided. After accepting the mantle of Red Luck, Alya did expect to have a partner in Chat Noir. What she didn´t expect was the crazy, reckless and brave civilian sidekick named Marinette Dupain-Cheng. Her best friend didn´t have any fear of getting hurt herself and was an endless string of surprises, right from the beginning.
Be it Climatica, where Alya had taken Marinette and her charge Manon to the Park in hope of finally creating peace between her friend and Adrien, who had a photo-shoot in the park at he same time as they were there “accidently” – of course, where stupid, sweet, stupid, crazy, stupid Marinette had ran and pushed Alya out of the way of Climatikas attack getting incompassed together with Manon in the ice herself instead of Alya.
Or be it Bubbler, where her crazed friend leads their classmates safely into the Agreste mansion, only to get caught in the crossfire of Bubblers bubbles instead. Later the girl would say that it was worth it that no one else beside herself had to go on a trip to space, but Alya would know better. She knew she would need to have a serious talk with her friend soon to get this girl to stop hating herself so much for whatever reason she just wouldn´t share.
Trying to get another opinion and tips from Tikki wouldn´t do it, too. The kwami would at times act as if Marinette had personally offended her by throwing the kwamis cat under a bus and other times she was singing praises of the french-chinese girl with and without really realising it. And of course the kwamis strange obsession with Cookies and baked goods Marinette made herself. It faszinated Alya to no ends to catch Tikki gobble up good after good simply because she knew Marinette made them. Especially scary was it when the kwami would start to cry or softly hum to hersef while eating the goods, thinking that Alya wasn´t watching.
Adrien had no idea what to think or do with the bakers’ daughter. He knew she could be sweet as sugar and as fiery as the fires from hell, but he honestly couldn´t understand how she could difference between himself as Chat Noir and Copy Cat. If he wasn´t Chat himself, he would have been unable to point out a difference.
But miraculously his strange classmate could.
When the police announced that he was a wanted man, the clip of Copy Cat robbing the Louvre was shown on national TV, and even Red – alias Alya – thought he had gone to the dark side by thinking him controlled by an Akuma, it was Marinette who bravely stepped up and defended him in front of all the Cameras. And when they asked how she knew, Marinette smiled sweetly – and had he accidently swallowed one of Hawkmoths Akumas becuase there was a fluttering in his stomach – and said that she just knew and pointed to the small, small picture in Copy Cats pocket.
That was the moment when Red snatched Marinette and took her to Chat Noir and Copy Cat she had tracked down and asked the girl to show her which one was the real one, as she still couldn´t differ between them. And no matter how much Copy Cat hid his picture, acted like Chat and switched them around, somehow clever, kind, sweet, brave, observative Marinette could always tell who was the real superhero was. After that it was childs play to defeat this Akuma and thanks to Marinette his name was quickly cleared.
And Red took it upon herself to apologize to Chat on live TV and thank Marinette for her help. But when he asked her: “How did you know it was me?” The girl just smiled bitterly and said: “You have your secrets. This is one of mine.” And when Red Luck tried to lift her spirits by announcing “Way to go girl, you really are a hero” Marinette fled. Chat could have sworn he heard her mutter brokenly: “I am no hero; I am a failure.”
The next day the girl didn´t show up to school.
It was strange, stressing and sad when the Akuma showed up at Alix race, because it had something in tow Adrien had never thought he would ever see again: It was Ladybug.
And while he swayed between shock, happiness and scared, his emotions simply overran him as he hugged her, crying, luckily having managed t transform somehow before. And when Alya showed up as Red and first slapped the girl and then hugged her, chaos was perfect. Especially since they now still had to fight against two Akumas. But still Adrien was ecstasic and he never felt as good and giddy fighting an Akuma before – with the exception of the first Stoneheart battle, surprisingly. It felt right having his Lady by his side again.
And when they had defeated Timebreaker, both heroes turned to Ladybug. “Now listen here and listen close” Red said after having dragged the other two to a secluded place. “You were meant to be the hero so you will be the hero. Your partner needs you. It was nice being a hero and all but it was you who was meant to be a hero. And don´t even think about not taking the earrings back. I will glue them to you if I must, am I clear?” “But Red” Chat started, touched. He knew how much Alya loved being a superhero and that she was willing to give that up so he was happy and with the one he was meant to be showed how great his friend was. Ladybug looked trapped between them, shook her head and sunk into herself: “No...I can´t...I´m no hero...I´m a failure...I´m so sorry Chat...” “No, you´re not” Chat protested and Red screamed: “No, don´t you dare...!” And Ladybug closed her eyes, threw her Lucky Charm into the air muttering “Miraculous Ladybug” and disappeared in a flurry of Ladybugs, her hauntingly blue eyes filled with tears, selfloathing and regret the last thing Chat saw from her before he fell to the ground, sobbing, having lost his love once again.
Marinette was a good sidekick. Alya had decided that long ago. Her clumsy friend was absolutely amazing, whether she fed the birds so Alya could run and transform or offered herself as the sacrifice for the Pharao instead of Alya so the girl could get away. But really, that was just too wrong at the same time, as Alya slowly came to the painful realisation that her friend absolutely held no sense of self worth, and what was worse that her missing sense of self worth was even worse than Adrien´s and sadly with Marinette Alya had no idea where that came from.
Especially since Marinette kept getting in the way of the Akumas wrath so Alya could get away or help them. It was actually kind of depressing, especially because Alya couldn´t remember an Akuma besides Stoneheart where Marinette hadn´t been present and helped in some way. Alya really had to talk some sense into her best friend, who really seemed to have a suicidal tendency by now.
Let´s just take the short route and agree that the talk hadn´t made an impact like at all. Because soon after Marinette called Alya and asked if she could put a request to talk to Red Luck and Chat Noir on her blog as she had agreed to go on a date with an Akuma. Alya nearly screamed in frustration at that.
The “Ladyblog” as Alya had called her side, had first been started at that Stoneheart disaster. The first video really made an impact, causing it to have too many followers already to close it down suddenly. So Alya had redesigned it into a facts portal about the heroes and Akumas with an inbuilt Akuma alarm. She kept the name “Ladyblog” because she knew one day the real Ladybug would return and even if she had to force her.
Valentines day brought a whole new set of surprise. Because when Chat in his stupid selflessness jumped to take the hit, he completely started ignoring her, surprising the Akuma who seemed to have thought they could team up to take her down. Instead Red had to hold Chat forcibly down so he wouldn´t hunt Marinette down and kill her – or as he so nicely stated “I´ll cataclysm her from the face of earth!” – which caused Alya not to wonder for the first time who exactly he loved now. Was it his still missing Lady or was it now Marinette?
And then Marinette had to walk into the warzone like it was a nice safe walk in the park and Chat had pushed Red of himself to go chase after her, which frustrated her to no end, as she had to chase after Cupid in hope to be faster with him than Chat was with Marinette.
It was surprising to tell the truth when Chat showed up near the end looking confused as hell and said that Marinette had told him to find her and that he really had no idea how he had ended up in Marinettes room. Red was confused by this, too, but decided not too think about that too much. With Chat by her side taking down the Auma was almost never easier.
Adrien only realised that his Lady wasn´t alone in his heart anymore when Marinette gifted him with her Lucky Charm bracelet. Seeing her fiery passion in the face of the game and her having finally given him a chance to apologize (and she had forgiven him, finally!) and remembering how she somehow faced and helped with all the Akumas they had until now had stolen his heart once more. Adrien knew he should feel bad, he was still longing for his Lady and liked Marinette at the same time, but somehow feeling love for both girls felt right. He wondered if he was a bad person because of that.
But when Marinette jumped to aid them by controlling the CatBug with him against Gamer since Alya didn´t know how to play, he couldn´t help himself but feel that this was how it was meant to be.
Maybe that´s why he was absolutely elated when he had helped Nino to try and express his feelings to Marinette and it didn´t work out thanks to the Akuma. He wanted to feel bad about it looking back but seeing Marinette still aviable for him and Nino and Alya dating simply made him smile with happiness.
She was there. Always there. Alya felt like screaming looking back on it. Climatika, the Bubbler, Copy Cat, Timebreaker, Mr. Pigeon, the Pharao, Roger Cop, Evillustrinator, Dark Cupid, Horrificator, Darkblade, the Mime, Kung Food, the Gamer, Animan, Vanisher and even Antibug saw Marinette bravely stepping up, giving tips, throwing herself into danger and just being so ridicolously selfless, it made Alya cry.
It certainly didn´t help when she once asked Adrien what he would suggest to do with her to stop her selfdestructive behaviour that he sighed like the love sick kitten he was – which Alya only now realised he was – and gushed about how brave his Princess was. Alya almost fell off the roof with shock, before laugher took it´s place causing her to really topple down the roof. Her adopted little brother fell for her adopted little sister? Okay, shouldn´t he still pine after Ladybug, his soulmate? Well, actually he should. But Alya couldn´t help but feel her inner shipper sigh with happiness, nevertheless.
Alright, this small infaturation couldn´t hurt, right? It would help her partner, heal and strenghten him until they tracked down Ladybug, glued the earrings to her and fixed the balance. And it wasn´t like it would hurt them, right?
“Yeah, she really is a hero” Red agreed. Chats stopped his dreamily ramblings to listen to her praise his princess. “She really is selfless. She´s like the third part of our team we didn´t know we had, like a civilian sidekick that can help us.” Chat grinned, agreeing with her statement: “Totally, I just wonder why she wasn´t picked to be a hero. She would be puuurrrfect!”
Alya groaned and slapped her annoying brother upside on his head: “That one was just so bad.”
And then Puppeteer came. Alya wouldn´t know much about that one, she just knew that their civilian sidekick really could kick butt. Because though it had been Red Lucks doll that had been taken first, the akuma was still defeated. Personally Alya had no idea how that happened, and she stared in shock at her best friends – both Chat´s and Marinette´s – worried eyes as they asked if she was alright. And then Marinette gave her a jar with Puppeteers Akuma in it and Alya found she couldn´t breath.
“It´s okay” Marinette finally assured her. “I won´t tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me.” Alya looked into her eyes before she carefully pulled the girl into a hug. Chat smiled at the scene before grinning widely: “Oh! Does that mean Marinette´s now our civilian sidekick officially?” Marinette blinked and Alya chuckled.
“I...I am no hero!” the raven haired girl then quickly stated. “Yes, you are. I don´t think we could have brought all these Akumas down without your help, not at all. Especially not this one” Chat quickly assured her. “So suck it up, girl” Alya added, grinning. “Wether you have a Miraculous or not, you´re now on Team Miraculous.”
Alyas eyes widened in surprise at Marinettes strange reaction. And Tikkis reaction to meeting Marinette and the other way around was strange, too. The kwami happily greeted her, nuzzled her cheek and Marinette looked as if she was just hit by a truck.
Alya glanced between them, somehow feeling like there was a missing piece of history between them that Alya didn´t know about. And the only explanation for that would be...
nah. There was no way Marinette was anything else than her heroic, clumsy, kind best friend/adopted little sister/civilian sidekick. Her strange reaction must have been the combination of being called civilian sidekick and meeting Tikki, while Tikkis overenthusiatic greeting must sterm from her love to Marinettes baked goods.
Having an official civilian sidekick meant that there was someone who could cover for you. Alya couldn´t bring herself to regret the reveal when it brought her such good results, leaving ony Adrien to stumble to come up with excuses. In secret he bemoaned that he wanted his very own excuse maker but Alya quickly shot that idea down. “She was already a target. Now that she knows she´s become a new variable that could bring good and bad things with it. Just imagine, what if she gets akumatized or tells under an Akumas influence everyone who we are? Secret identities are there for a reason, Adrien. I messed up, so I will have to deal with it. But you didn´t. So quit the moaning about wanting your own civilian sidekick and suck it up. I am well aware that you already make use of your Princess in non superhero situations. Don´t think I didn´t see you sharing crossaints on her balcony. Just, please, don´t forget that everything you do paints a bigger target on her and our backs. You don´t want her hurt, do you?”
He didn´t bring it up again.
Reflecta, Pixelator and Guiatar Villain were easier with Marinette there to cover for her, give creative tips and even join the fight (Reflecta), which made a good trap within the trap. Who knew that Marinettes idea of being her (by Reflecta cursed) double would be that effective?
And the akuma had no idea what hit them as with Mariettes ideas for using the Lucky Charms provided them with even better results as before.
Alya found herself stumbling over her strange thought some more times, but she always shot it down easily.
On another note she was pleased to see Marinette starting to crush on both Adrien and Chat. Now if only the boy would get the brain to open his mouth and ask her out than many frustrating situations could be avoided, really.
Princess Fragrance brought a whole new set of problems. And Tikki was sick and kidnapped by Chloe and Alya was just so done with the blonde and Chat was under Princess Fragrances control. Desperately searching for the kwami in the hotel didn´t help at all.
And then Marinette came and saved the day by giving her a healed, happy, healthy Tikki. Alya hugged her best friend, cried tears from joy and thanked her lucky stars for having a friend like Marinette who knew who she really was.
With Marinette by their side even the most dangerous Akuma became easier than thought. Their civilian sidekick made everything more bearable, no matter how dangerous the akuma became. And when after Simon Says Volpina came and with that the strange book, Marinette guided Alya because of Tikkis insistence to the healer she had brought Tikki to when the Kwami was sick. And even though the old man invited her civilian sidekick inside, Marinette excused herself quickly and ran away as fast as her feet could carry her. Alya didn´t understand her friend at all, especially as the man had introduced himself as theGuardian of the Mirraculous before Marinette escaped the house like a bat out of hell.
Collector, Despair Bear, Befana, Riposte, Robustus and Giganitan had Marinette being there to help them, too, even when it was dangerous to her, which started to frustrate the heroes.
Swinging her friend to safety, Red glared at her: “You need to stay safe.” “But you said I was your sidekick...” Marinette started protesting, but Alya cut her off: “CIVILIAN sidekick. You don´t have a miraculous to protect you. You can get seriously hurt.” “But...” “Please, promise to stay safe, Princess” Chat Noir pleaded. And Marinette nodded: “Alright, I´ll try to stay safe.”
Alya later noted unnerved that her best friend never promised.
Adrien was well aware that some things about him were changing and he wasn´t sure if he liked those changes. He absolutely couldn´t stand his sudden craving for fish and milk and the itch on his back that just wouldn´t go away didn´t help any.
Having a meeting with his partner and their sidekick once a week to check up on eachother on top of a secluded roof – an idea Alya had to form a closer teambond between the three of them (no, actually, it was so she could try to get her adopted siblings together and cure their I-have-no-sense-of-self-worth-policy but Adrien didn´t know that) – he told them about his new problems. Since Alya was detransformed while their meetings to spare Tikki to hold up the transformation unnecessary, the kwami was able to give tips. But at this bit of news, she frowned.
“I see” she said. “So it´s come to this point of time. It´s far earlier than we expected.” The other three looked confused at that. “What do you mean?” Chat asked.
Tikki sighed before explaining: “The bonds you have with your Miraculous will change your body to fit it better, resulting in being more powerful. But it has drawbacks, most times connected with special tendencies.”
The three of them looked shocked at that and while Alya and Chat still fought to process what hs been said, Mariette frowned: “So...that means Chat now has cat tendencies? Does that mean Alya will get bug tendencies? And why would it be earlier than expected?”
Tikki looked her in the eyes closely before answering: “Yes, he has. And no, she won´t. The reason is that she wasn´t the one choosen to be Ladybug and therefore isn´t changeable. On the other hand, the real Ladybug should start to show some tendencies herself. The reason is, that though she rejected my Miraculous, she´s started to come closer to it and is even more getting ready than ever for it. This reflects in the tendencies. As the bond had been weakened the magic couldn´t flow properly. And now that it is flowing the unspent magic will flow faster and stronger than ever, changing the real Ladybug and – because he´s her soulmate and they are therefore connected by a bond, too – Chat Noir faster than ever.”
After her little speech the three of them blinked in shock. And then Alya started grinning: “But that´s great! That´s how we will know her! We just need to watch the girls that have come closer to us recently and see who shows some strange tendencies! Chat, that means we´ll find her soon!” Chat, too, grinned widely. He felt ecstastic to know that these tendencies might lead hm to see his Lady again!
Only Marinette seemed pale. “S...soulmates?” she asked with a trembling voice. Alya stopped her happy dance with Chat to smile at her: “Yeah, I know, crazy right? But it´s real! Every choosen Ladybug and Chat Noir in history had been soulmates. And they always fell in love and stayed together as long as they lived – well beside the ones who had been siblings. But they, too, were devoted forever. Right, Tikki?” “That´s right” the Kwami answered.
Chat seemed to be positively vibrating with happy energy: “I´m an only child, that means my Lady and I shall be together forever!” Marinette glanced at him in shock, blue eyes wide, her brain frantically trying to process what she had heard.
And then Chat once more pulled her out of her thoughts by desperately trying to reach an itch on his back. Marinette blinked, Alya laughed and Tikki smiled saddened: “And that itch there is a typical cat tendency. And there´s only one way to deal with it. Marinette, why don´t you go pet him?”
“M...me?!” Marinette shot up as if on fire as her face turned a red colour. “I...I can´t...I mean...I...he´s still human! I can´t go petting him!” Alya snorted and Chat whined, on the verge of tears, the itch driving him crazy to forget about himself: “Please, Princess! You have to...I mean, please, you don´t have to...but please...”
His kitten eyes finally convinced the girl to hesistantly reach a hand out and carefully treat her fingers through his hair. Chat instantly leaned into her touch, eyes closed with bliss and Marinette giggled and used both hands to pet him. Alya awwed at the cute show they gave her and then suddenly, they heard a strange sound. Marinette pulled her hands back as if burned, leaving Chat to needily whine for the soft touches his friend had given him, the sound already disappearing once more.
“No way!” Alya snorted before she burst into a full out laughingstock: “No way! You were just purring Chat!”
Between needing Marinettes magic fingers and desperately watching any girl who could possibly be his Lady with Marinettes and Alyas help, Adrien didn´t have much time left for himself. And bit by bit he couldn´t help but not care as he cherished the times he spent with his friends, especially Marinette who seemed more creative while designing than ever, causing her to be vey tired when coming to school as the days got colder.
“Girl, you really need to stop that. It´s taking a toll on you” Alya chided her friend who was drownsily doodling a dress worthy a princess in her notebook. “I´m sorry” she muttered. “But I can´t help it.” Alya simply laughed at her strange friend.
Still, as the weeks passed, they found no one who could be his Lady.
And when Christmas came and with it the cold, cold snow, Alya finally figured that with the Ladybug Miraculous should come extreme creativity, extreme sleepiness with the cold and a green thumb. As they sat on Marinettes evergreen balcony filled to the brim with beautiful flowers that completely ignored the snow, they celebrated their own Christmas, exchanging gifts while talking. Marinette, who had (so she said) stayed up all night making their gifts, was snuggeled up in a thick pink blanket and slept peacefully with her head resting on Chat Noirs shoulder, causing the socially awkward boy to blush.
Alya meanwhile, though happy with her gifts, was almost at the end of her wits: “I´ve found no one, absolutely no one fitting the bill. It´s as if Ladybug´s invisible!” Chat sighed and smiled sadly: “Yeah, I guess so. It´s not like we haven´t looked everywhere yet.”
Deebly asleep, Marinette snuggeled closer to the boy. Alya glanced at her, frowning with worry: “And I really wish there was a way to stop this girl from designing day and night. Creativity is fine and all that, but seriously, now she´s asleep all the time when she isn´t working on something or gardening. That sucks.”
And then the heroes heard screaming and shot up. A manacting as Santa Claus had been bullied by the children who he tried to make happy and now he was searching revenge. Alya quickly changed into Red Luck and gave chase while Chat carefully extracted Marinette from him and carried her to bed, where she stayed snuggeled up asleep, a small smile on her face.
Santa Claws was was the only Akuma she missed.
And when spring came, new challanges awaited the heroes.
Dark Owl truly wasn´t a laughing matter. And the whipping cream wasn´t, too. As the villain monologued and Alya tried desperately to figure the stupid pen out she had gotten from her Lucky Charm, no one noticed Marinette sneaking around, following the akumas trail until she bravely attacked the akuma and managed to weasel the remote out of his hands, quickly freeing the heroes in the process. Alya never felt more thankfull for her friend as she and Chat managed to escape through the open hatch. The fight afterwards was still difficult though with Chat and their civilian sidekick distracting the akuma, Red managed to find the akuma and purify it.
Glaciator was a whole other category. Alya had been with Nino, Adrien and Marinette to get her ice cream – which by the way was really cute and she hoped it would come true that she and Nino would stay together forever – and when her adopted siblings tried to get an ice cream, André instantly gave them one to share, which caused both of them to blush instantly and start to stutter excuses, why he couldn´t be right. André frowned at them at that: “Strange...I can clearly see the two of you are meant to be. You´re meant to be together by fate and love!” And then a woman had stormed right up at the poor man and accused him that she wasn´t in love, how dare he accuse her of it and no, his ice cream wasn´t magical.
Alya groaned and quickly led her friends away, before telling Marinette to take cover with Nino and taking off with Adrien to fight Glaciator.
It was frustrating that they didn´t manage to fool the Glaciator that they were in love, he apparently could tell with a glance that they weren´t meant to be. So he attacked them and sent them flying, before going to chase the ones that doubted him, his ice-cream and the ones he thought were meant to be.
And because he set priority to his goal, he always chased the two heroes away, or he would throw them.
One of those throws sent Chat Noir crashing into the hiding place of Marinette and Nino. Marinette quickly got out of her hiding place to help the hero up. And as luck would have it in that moment Glaciator came around the corner and saw them.
Shocked, as he recognized Marinette as one of the doubting costumers he had before and seeing her now caring for the black cat, he stopped as he saw their fates interwined. Did that mean he had been wrong with her and the boy she was with earlier?
The akumas idenity crisis left Alya enough time to build trap the akuma, ventilator the ice away without too much struggle and purify the butterfly.
Her partner pouted when he got back to his feet and realized the fight was over. He tried to apologize for being useless in that fight, but Alya smply smirked: “Don´t worry, partner. You did more than enough. Because you were the one to actually stop him by letting Mari take care of you. Good tactic confusing him!”
Chat blinked, more confused than ever.
Though the things André said kept nagging on both of them.
And then, one frustrating day, Hawkmoth decided to make things personal by akumatizing Alyas little twin-sisters Ella and Etta into Sapotis. If she hadn´t hated that guy by now, now would have been the last straw. Alya was furious.
And trying to defeat this akuma was getting tiring, too, really fast.
The two superheroes already had gotten their civilian sidekick involved but the non-superpowered girl wasn´t much help no matter how hard she tried. Getting desperate, she called a lucky charm, only to blink owlishly at the red and black spotted object falling into her palms. “What am I supposed to do with that?!” she spat, feverishly searching with her Lucky view for an answer. When her civilian sidekick blinked in the telltale sign of being the answer, she rose a questioning eyebrow at her friend.
The girl chewed her upper lip, before voicing her thoughts: “I think...I remember seeing something like that in the shop of the old, asian man, Fu. Maybe you should go there?”
Reds eyes widened with realisation and se nodded. Turning to her partner who tried to protect Marinette from a few of the Sapotis, she ordered: “Get Marinette to safety at my house and then keep the sapotis busy until I come back.”
“On it” Chat answered, nodding. He quickly grabbed their protesting civilian sidekick and jumped away, leaving Red to go into her own direction while whispering unde her breath: “Be careful...”
When Alya reached the message parlor, Master was just having a break and drinking tea. Her sudden noiseful entering almost made him spill it, but luckily Wayzz was there to catch the cup before it could spill. Lowly, as if nothing had happened, he turned to the redhead: “Red Luck, to what do I owe this pleasure?”
“Master Fu, you know how you mentioned those other miraculouses from the spellbook? I think I might need one. You see...the Lucky Carm led me to you and my sisters are akumatized and...nothing we do works!”
The elder nodded and stood calmly, ambling toward the miraculous box, hidden away by the disguise of a gramophone: “Then the time has come again for the need of another Miraculous. “
Pressing three of the buttons the engraved dragons defended, the miracle box rose up from inside. Fu lifted it from it’s position and placed it quickly onto the floor, shifting it to face Alya and opening the extravagant container, presenting it to her: “Alya Cesaire, you must choose an ally you can trust in this binding time to aid you in battle.”
Alya gulped but nodded, seeing the many options in front of her. She already knew who she would choose to be the next Miraculous wielder, it was after all time for her fried to be promoted to partner instead of sidekick.
As if sensing her thoughts while the girl cluelessly gazed at every offered Miraculous, Fu added: “After the mission is complete, the Miraculous must be returned to me. You see, it is too dangerous to have so many Miraculouses active at once at this time. “
Aww, bummer, so no full-time promotion. She held her chin in her hand, looking to the two miraculouses on the upper level of the box: the fox and the bee: “What do these two do? “
“The fox grants a mastery of illusions to confuse the enemy and distract from afar. The bee, however, is an upfront fighter that allows for the power of immobility to be activated” Fu explained calmly while Alyas thoughts raced.
Her hand drifted over the bee, fingers circling the hairpin before she came to her final decision. There had been a sense of urge since the moment he first offered her the box. Alya realised that this Miraculous was calling for her. Obviously, it was the one she was meant to use if Ladybug hadn´t given her the earrings. Nice to know, that she would have been a hero either way. Personal feelings or not, though she secretly wished she could give the earrings to her friend instead of this necklace, she knew she couldn´t and she knew it was the best choice for the situation.
The necklace of the fox within her hand she stood and grinned, now sure of the victory that would be coming soon: “I know just the right girl for the job. Thanks, Master! I´ll be back in no time!”
When Red reached her home, she could hear Marinette frustrated banging against the door: “Open the door, you stupid cat, get me out! I have to help!” Grinning to herself, Red slipped inside the apartment through a window and detransformed: “Hi, Mari! Miss me?”
Marinette snorted unimpressed: “Why did he think it was wise to lock the door? I was ready to climb out through the window had you not come!” Alya winced: “Sorry, Mari.”
Then, exchanging a look with Tikki, she finally said: “But you see, for a civilian like you it´s dangerous right now out there. I can´t let you run into danger like that. We have no need of a civilian.” Marinette snorted:” As if that ever stopped me from going out. I will help you like it or not! I don´t care!”
Alya allowed a smile to slip on her face: “And that´s what I was counting on.” Seeing the confusion in her friends face, she explained: “I need your help, Marinette Dupain-Cheng. Paris is counting on you, we are conting on you. We might not need a civilian, but we need a hero.” She ignored her friends strangled gasp when she held the Miraculous box out to her: “Marinette, this is the Miraculous of the fox, granting you the powers of illusion...”
Red watched as her friend chewed nervously on her lips, seeing Chat bravely fighting off Sapotis alone as good as he could, seemed to set off every little doubt Marinette could have ever built up. Marinette was a brave civilian when she wasn´t drowning in selfdoubt and calling herself a failure, god knows the girl almost never seemed that unsure.
“Marinette? Are you okay? “Red Luck was looking upon the girl with genuine care, watching the ears upon her costume flick downward in what she guessed was reaction to her friends struggling mood. The whispered answer was almost to quiet to hear: “I don’t think I can do this, Alya. “
Red shook her head and put a comforting hand onto the girls’ shoulder, fingers pressing lightly into her collarbone to grab her attention. Red stood, smiling warmly at the new heroine with a pride she hadn’t seen on any other face: “Mariette...you see, back when I was first starting out, I was nervous just like you! I was a newbie; I didn’t know what I was doing and Chat Noir had to help me get everything down. But knowing Ladybug believed in me? It really did help- reminded me that she thought I had the potential to be a superheroine of Paris.“ Alya giggled and shook her head: “She believed in me and I believe I can find her and get to believe in herself, you know, Chat needs her and I will find her for him. And when I do, I will glue the earringsto her, so she can´t stop being a hero, stop believing in herself as she believed in me. Actually, I´m sure she would believe in you, too. I chose you for a good reason to wield a Miraculous, Marinette. You have all the potential to be a great hero, you already are even when you´re a civilian – all you need you have, so don’t let fear overcome them and break you down. You´ll be the best fox hero history has ever seen! Lila will be so jealous!”
Marinette couldn’t help but laugh softly at her friend: “Thanks, Alya. I needed that.”
“Then let´s go, kick some Akuma butt” Red grinned and the two girls leapt off the roof into battle.
Chat was slowly getting tired. As annoying the Sapotis were and not dangerous, they were simply too many for this single cat. But luckily, just as he was about to get completely overwhelmed, he finally heard Reds telltale yoyo and a second pair of foodsteps. Obviously, she had gotten hold of another hero just like she promised. But as he happily turned his head to greet them and thank them for finally getting him out of this catastrophe, his heart stopped in beating in his chest. Because...
... she was there...
Chat felt like he was punched in the gut and his heart seemed to want to escape his ribcage so it could find it´s way into her hands where it belonged, while the girl now clothed as a redfox helped Red free him and drag him into the safety of a roof. There his knees gave in as the world blurred in and out of focus. Was he crying? He guessed it must be so.
“Are you okay, Chat?” she asked tenderly coming close, so close.
His eyes burned as his world simply focused on her, the rest of the world unimportant. Doesn´t she feel it too, the irresisteble pull? The feeling of belonging, of being complete while he still felt something was wrong? Right, her costume was too much orange and too less red and the spots were missing.
His throat felt closed up as hee gasped for breath. She was there. Finally there. Red found her.
Blindly he tried to reach out, sobbing and pulling her close.
The new fox hero stiffened before slightly relaxing in his grip as he tried to ground himself into reality. She was there. His loneliness was over. He wouldn´t loose her again.
If he would he didn´t know if there would be enough left of him to glue together once more.
And he whispered: “My Lady...you´re there...”
And finally she hugged him back as he cried into her shoulder, both of them ignoring the sharp gasp of realisation next to them.
Reality only got to them as the Sapotis started to climb the house they were on. Quickly his Lady caught foot in reality once more, stiffening and then trying to carefully extract herself out of his grip. Chat only reluctant let go of her, though he kept a firm hold on her right hand with his left. He wouldn´t, no couldn´t let her go ever again.
“We need to talk about this” Red said, arms crossed, glaring at the vixen heroine that refused to meet her eyes. Instinctually Chat shifted and stepped in front of his Lady, shielding her from the death glare. Red looked between them, before she shook her head: “Alright, talk later, first akuma.”
Sapotis was defeated easily, though he never let go of his Ladys hand.
And then the akuma was defeated and their Miraculous were beeping. And his Lady was trying to get away once more. “Chat, let go” she said. “Please, let go, we´re going to detransform and...” “No secret identity is worth loosing you” he whispered broken. “Please don´t make me loose you again...I can´t...please...”
His heart was ripped apart as he saw her sad, ocean blue eyes he loved so much and slowly his grip on her hand loosened so she could slip away. And the world blured once more.
“It´s okay, Chat” Red finally said, hugging him. “You´re not going to lose her again. I know who she is. You will see her again.”
“We need to go” his Lady said, weakly gesturing at her Miraculous. “I´ll contact you later, Chat” Red said. And both girls turned and ran away, his Lady taking his bleeding heart and soul with her.
And only when he was sure they were out of earshot, he allowed himself to break down and cry as much as he needed.
“Are you okay, Alya?” Tikki asked carefully. In the darkness of her room Alya could only make her small, glowing form out. “I will be” she answered. “I´m more worried about Adrien.” Tikki nodded, frowning. Alya frowned, too. The harsh approach (glue the earrings to the former Ladybug) wouldn´t do anything good at all in this situation. Knowing it had been her best friend with the worst possible self-view all the time had sheken her up and finally made her understand. She realised now she´d have to tread carefully so neither Marinette nor Adrien could hurt themselves wose than they already had.
When Monday came, she and Tikki had a war-plan in motion that would get Marinette slowly eased into being Ladybug again. She started with wearing the earrings Nino gifted her with for their three-month anniversay. While giving the Ladybug Miraculous for safekeeping to Marinette. Her friend was glaring. “No, no I can´t” she said. Alya ignored her: “But please, Marinette, do it for me and just for today. Nino might think I hate his gift otherwise if I never wear it!” “B...but...I know why you do this!” she accused.
“Hey dudettes, what´s up?” Nino said as he stepped up to them, his face quickly brightening as he saw Alya: “Babe, you finally wore them! I thought you hated them and...” Alya shut him up with a quick kiss: “No, you know I love them.” Sending a sly grin to Marinette who stood with a deadpan behind them she led her boyfried inside of the school: “Have you seen Adrien yet today?”
When Marinette slipped in shortly before the bell, Alya grinned as she saw her friend wearing the earrings and Tikki carefully peeking out of Marinettes purse.
The bell rang but Adriens seat was emty.
Lunchbreak was messy as Marinette never stopped glaring at her best friend. Alya simply ignored her and decided to cuddle with her very happy boyfriend instead.
And then suddely, just as the bell was about to ring for the warning to get back to classes, the roof about them simply desintegrated. And just as the Akuma alert started, a white figure dropped down into the cafeteria, directly on their table. Marinette looked horrified, Nino was shaking and Alya knew instantly who the Akuma was.
“I´m not interrupting anything, or am I?” Chat Blanc asked sheepishly as he dropped down on his usual place at their table.
Heart lurching in her chest, Alya managed to calm herself forcefully: “Yes, yes you are.” Chat Blanc had the guts to look ashamed for a moment: “Sorry, really, but I need to borrow you for a moment if I may.” Marinette stood forcefully, pushing her chair so fast and hard back, that it fell to the ground: “I won´t let you!” Chat Blanc smiled saddened, heartbreak bractically edged into his features: “Don´t you worry, princess. Your friend will be fine. I´ll bring her back soon unharmed.”
And then he grabbed Alya, ignoring her protests and jumped up and away with her.
Alya was really angry right now. “What the – what were you thinking letting you get akumatized like that” she snapped, glaring and crossing her arms when Chat finally put her on top of the Eiffel Tower down. The now white cat shrugged apologic.
“Well, you see, Hawkmoth said I would never have to lose my Lady again if I agree. And I realize now that he´s right: If we stop fighting, if we give him our Miraculous, we don´t need to be heroes anymore. And if we´re not heroes anymore, there´s no danger in knowig our identities. And...I wouldn´t need to let her go ever again.”
Soulfull green eyes stared in hers and Alya felt crept out when she realised how much Adrien was still alive in Chat Blanc. Unlike other Akumas he was peacefull, though heartbroken yearning to be mended. He was not angry; he was just so sad.
“Please, Alya, give me your earrings and tell me where to find my Lady. I know you know who she is and where she is. That´s all I ask of you.” And finally Alya managed to say: “No. No, I won´t. I refuse.”
And when she saw hurt flash in his eyes as they turned a deep violett she realized she made a mistake by severing the last few strands of sanity her partner had left.
He howled, angered. She was trying to keep him away from his Lady. She would have to pay, how dare she! All was blurred, only the thoughts of his Lady seemed important and the little voice in his head whispering commands and promises.
He reached for her ears, taking her earrings. Now, now he had both Miraculous so he would only need to get them to Hawkmoth and peace would reign and the Butterfly man would give him the powers to find his Lady as Alya was unwilling to do that.
Following the commands of voice, he jumped across the rooftops, the surring of wind in his ears. Following the guidiance another tiny voice in his head whispered: “Huh? That´s my home.” After he entered through a strange window he never saw before as he felt it blured by magic, he touched down in front of the man he knew as Hawkmoth.
“Well done, Chat Blanc” he said. “Now sleep.” And the world fell dark as the powers given by the butterfly turned against him and just as darkness consumed him, Chat Blanc cold have sworn he heard the telltale sound of a yoyo...
When he awoke, Adrien was greeted by the sight of an angel leaning over him. Carefully he reached out, afraid that she was an illusion. And when he touched flesh, he broke, crying and sobbing and pulling her close once more. She hugged him back silently.
And when he pulled away to take her all in, she looked worried: “Are you okay?” He frowned, looking away: “I...I don´t know...Are you? What happened?”
“You were akumatized while you were Chat...” she started, and he gasped horrified. Looking around he realised that he wasn´t Chat anymore. So she knew who he was now and...oh god. “I didn´t hurt you, did I? Please tell me I didn´t hurt anyone!” Ladybug fell silent: “You were somewhat civil. You only broke into the cafeteria and took Alya so she could tell you where to find me. But when she did´t tell you, you snapped. You took her earrings and brought them here, thinking they were the Ladybug Miraculous. They actually weren´t. Alya had given them to me for safekeeping that day so she could wear the earrings Nino had gifted her with. But when you took them from her you were so out of it that you didn´t care for that detail and simply brought them to Hawkmoth. He let you collapse and turned to take the earrings and your ring but I interfeared. You see, I was also in the cafeteria and when you took Alya, I ran to the toilets and transformed and followed you.”
Adriens head was spinning, but Ladybug didn´t stop: “We fought, and Hawkmoth commanded you to attack me. But you refused, kitty. You refused as you didn´t want to hurt me. So he tortured you instead with his control over you.” She bit back a sob, shaking her head, before she blushed: “So I tried to break the control he had over you with a kiss, you see it woked once before and this time it did again.”
Adriens eyes widened and he blushed. He didn´t remember that little detail, but that meant he was already kissed twice by his Lady. He was in heaven...he just wished he could remember the kisses...
Ladybug finished her story: “Though you were still Chat Blanc, you could think again normally. Together we fought against Hawkmoth and defeated him. I took his brooch and then purified your Akuma...and here we are.”
“Hawkmoth is here?” Adrien asked shocked. Ladybug nodded, chewing on her lips. Her earrings beeped shrilly. “Adrien...Hawkmoth is...Hawkmoth is your father.”
Master Fu carefully closed deposed both Butterfly and Peacecock Miraculous inside before he turned to the teenagers. Alya gave him a smile while Marinette and Adrien exchanged a small glance before blushing, their hands still glued together. Awkwardly Alya shifted. “Do we...do we need to give the Miraculous back now?” she asked quiet remembering how happy Ladybug and Cat Noir were, as they chased eachother across rooftops. She didn´t ask for herself but for her friends, already having known long ago that her time as heroine would be short.
Fu frowned, glancing between the heroes of Paris, before shaking his head: “No, no, you may keep them for now. Heroes are still needed you see. Especially these two need to keep the former Hawkmoth in line so he doesn´t do anything else foolish.”
Adrien smiled softly: “I don´t think father will do anything else for a long time beside being gratefull. You healed my mom. And I can´t thank you enough for that. I just wish I had a way to repay you...”
“Do it by being happy, Chat Noir” Fu said smiling. “And continue to keep Paris safe.” “We will, Master” Marinette said, her smile brightening the room. Fu nodded and dismissed them, their Kwamis quickly flying into their respective hiding places, as the teenagers bid their goodbye.
Then Fu turned to Alya that watched them with a small smile: “You´re happy with your friends even though your days as superhero are over?” “I am” Alya said. “I always knew I wouldn´t be a hero anymore, so I enjoyed it while it would last and took care of my friends. They are so happy, and I can´t help but be happy with them.”
Fu nodded, before he closed the Miracle Box still smiling. Then he turned to Alya: “You´re a good friend, a true friend. They can be happy that you stand beside them.” “But not anymore” Alya said wistfully. “But that doesn´t matter. I´ll still cheer for them from he sidelines.”
“That won´t be necesseary as you´ve proven yourself worthy” Fu said holding his hand out to her and watched with a smile as her eyes widened with unhidden joy.
And the next day at school Marinette confidently walked inside and pulled Adrien out of his talk with Nino to kiss him passional. While Choe screeched in the background and Alya filmed the whole spectacle so she could show it at the wedding that was sure to come in a few years, people catcalled and dogwhistled while Marinette smirked at her boyfriend confidently who looked a bit dazed and lovedrunk: “So that you remember it this time, pretty boy.”
“Hey, you guys” Rena Rouge said grinning, startling the couple cuddling on top of the Eiffel Tower. “No way!” Chat said grinning, while Ladybug, simply rushed in to hug her. And as they patrolled Paris together for criminal activity, Rena and Chat bickering and Ladybug and Chat flirting, none of them could imagine a better outcome for all of them.