Chapter 1: these are the lies
After an akuma attack that had lasted well into the morning hours. Ladybug landed on her balcony and quickly jumped through the trapdoor into her bedroom.
Marinette collapsed onto her bed. “spots off” she grumbled as her ladybug outfit transformed back into the clothes, she had been wearing the day before. She was too tired to get change, so her and her kwami swiftly drifted off to sleep. Marinette woke with a start, she looked at her clock and realized she had slept past her alarm. SHE WAS LATE AGAIN! Marinette collected all the things she would need for the school day but when she went to grab her phone it wasn’t there. “that’s weird” she said to Tikki “I always leave it right there”. “you will just have to find it later Marinette, there’s no time now” replied tikki. Marinette nodded in agreement as she rushed out the door and was on her way to school.
Marinette crept into class hoping no one would call her out for being late. *CRASH* Marinette tripped over one of her classmate’s bags and was sprawled across the cold ground. “nice off you to finally join us, next time your late please try not to disturb the rest of the class” said miss bustier. Marinette looked up and saw that everyone was glaring at her, and no one even had asked her if she was okay. It’s as if everyone had become Chloe. That’s when she realized that Adrien wasn’t in class today. As she crawled into her seat next to Alya she whispered, “why isn’t Adrien here today?”. Alya turned to face Marinette but was cut off by miss bustier telling Marinette and Alya to wait to finish their conversation until after class. Marinette listened and turned away from Alya not wanting to get In trouble again .
The rest of the class flew by and soon she was out the door and on her way to her next class. Marinette went up to Alya to talk to her, but she quickly turned her head and walked away from Marinette. That’s when she realized everyone was avoiding her, no one would maintain eye contact or return her quiet greetings. Marinette hastily went to the washroom in between her classes. Once in a stall she opened up her purse and tikki flew up to see her. “why is everyone avoiding me tikki? Did I do something wrong?” “I’m sure you didn’t do anything wrong, there is probably a simple explanation”. Marinette decided to just ignore it and hope the problem worked itself out. The rest of the day seemed to drag on and Marinette found her thoughts drifting away from her worries about her classmates to wondering why Adrien had missed class.
It was nearly the end of the day and Marinette decided she would rush out of class and head home. She didn’t want to stay around to find out what had everyone in such a bad mood.
Marinette’s eyes wandered to the back of the classroom and that’s when her eyes locked with Lyla’s, there was a grin on Lyla’s face that worried Marinette. What was she so happy about? Marinette wondered. The school bell rang, and she was freed from what felt like an eternity of endless stares. Marinette collected her things and headed to her locker, she was able to get her things from her locker and get out the door without any confrontation. Until she bumped into Alya during her rush to head home.
“sorry” she practically shouted as Alya’s books and phone went tumbling onto the sidewalk. Alya just grumbled, picked up her stuff, and went to continue on her way. Marinette grabbed her arm and mustered up the courage to confront her “hey Alya, what’s up? Why is everyone acting so cold towards me todays?” Alya shrugged out of Marinette’s grip on her arm. “Marinette what did you think would happen, I know your jealousy of other girls hanging out with Adrien makes you do stupid stuff, but I never thought you would go this far! You have unfairly judged Lila since the beginning” snarked Alya. “WHAT??!?!?!?” shouted Marinette, tears starting to form in her eyes due to the extremely angry tone in her best friends voice. “don’t play dumb everyone at the school knows about the stuff you’ve done to Lila, what did you think everyone wouldn’t see the picture you sent out to everyone last night!” said Alya, who at that point was practically shouting at Marinette. Then Nino walked up “hey Alya ready to go” he asked his girlfriend. “yeah” Alya said “I’m done here”. “Nino?” Marinette questioned, hoping to get a kinder response. “not cool dude, not cool” Nino said as he walked away with Alya. The tears started streaming down Marinette’s face. Everyone is mad at me! And I don’t even know why. Is this why my phone was missing this morning? Did Lila steal it. Marinette wondered.
“Soon my plan to ruin Marinette will be put in motion” Lila thought about her flawless plan to turn everyone against the girl who saw through her lies. They were at war and nothing was off limits to her. She started by constantly acting very upset, but whenever someone would ask her if she was okay, she would avoid the question and tell them it was nothing. People became concerned for her and that’s exactly what she wanted. After she put the final part of her plan into motion, she would reveal that she was always sad because Marinette had been “bullying” her and was the reason she was always so sad.
(later that week)
Lila entered Marinette’s family bakery. She walked up to Sabine and smiled. “hello, you must be Marinette’s mother, I’m Lila! I’m new in Marinette’s class. Because she’s class representative the teacher asked her to show me around and help me adjust to a new school. Marinette is a really amazing person! She told me to come by tonight because she was going to let me borrow her notes to catch up on everything I had missed. Is she home?” Sabine smiled at Lila and replied “no sorry, she is out with friends tonight, your welcome to go up and grab them though. Marinette keeps all her schoolwork on her desk”. Lila thanked Sabine and headed upstairs. When she had reached Marinette’s room, she took a good look around. Look at all these photos of Adrien, she thought, how pathetic. At least after she ruins her Adrien will stop hanging out with this loser. Lila spotted Marinette’s phone and grabbed it and a couple pieces of paper she could pretend were the notes she was borrowing. She quickly left the bakery and went to find someone who could help her unlock the phone.
Once the phone was unlocked, she took a photo of herself crying and a mess. She thought about how great an actress she was as the photo came out awful. She sent it out to everyone at their school pretending to be Marinette. Now all she had to do was act sad, lean on people for moral support, and let everyone else’s imaginations do the work for her.
(back to present day)
Marinette noticed, through her blurry vision, everyone was staring at her. She ran inside the school where no one could watch her and collapsed onto the ground. Tikki flew out of Marinette’s purse and flew up to comfort her holder. Tikki had to quickly hid though when Adrien walked into the school. He quickly noticed the girl huddled in a corner crying and went over to check on her. Why did Adrien of all people have to show up right now she wondered. “hey Marinette, are you okay?” Adrien asked. “of course not. Its Lila, she succeeded in her mission and turned everyone against me. Even my best friend turned against me. And the worst part is I still haven’t found out what everyone thinks I’ve done. I had a chance to avoid all this, to expose her but you told me that exposing her wouldn’t make things better. That if I humiliate her, she will just be hurt more, making a bad guy suffer has never turned them into a good guy. But let’s be honest she was never going to turn into a ‘good guy’.” She said between sobs “I believed you when you told me ‘as long as you and I both know the truth does it really matter’. But it does matter, I’ve lost everyone and now any attempt I make to prove I’m innocent will just get spun against me.”
Ah, a girl accused of a crime she didn’t commit. She is lost and lonely with everyone she cares for turning away from her. She is the perfect prey for my little akuma. Feeling betrayed and untrustworthy, creates just the emotions I need. Fly away and evilize this broken little girl.
Adrien’s pov earlier that morning
Cat noir made his way home after the akuma attack that had kept him and his lady up all night. He had to leave halfway through school for a photoshoot, so he decided to just skip the morning and get some sleep. He knew his father would be upset if he couldn’t focus during the photoshoot. Plagg was happy, maybe the kid had finally realized that not going to school was a good thing. But Adrien quickly reminded him that they would be returning the next day. After the photoshoot Adrien decided to head to school to collect all the work he had missed. But when he walked in the front door, he saw his friend curled up in a corner. He didn’t know what was wrong (he never brings his phone to a photoshoot) but he was going to go help her. Marinette told Adrien everything that was wrong, and he started to worry it was all his fault and he was sad that Marinette was mad at him. Adrien knew that Marinette was just upset, and he didn’t take any of the words she said to heart. That’s when he saw it in the corner of his vision, a little black butterfly on a mission to akumatized his friend.
The little akuma evaded being noticed by Marinette and made its way into her purse. Marinette looked up at Adrien and the akuma mask appeared over her face. But unlike all the other victim’s Marinette didn’t look angry. She looked scared and in pain. “Hello Exposer, I am hawkmoth, I can help you get revenge on the friends who betrayed you and help you expose the lies being told about you”. “GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP- OWW” Marinette said cutting of hawkmoths little speech. She fell to her knees and put her hands on her head, she couldn’t let him win. “you are very strong willed, but I promise this won’t be like the last time you were able to fight off my akuma.” Hawkmoths voice boomed through Marinette’s head. “You can fight him Marinette, don’t let him get to you”. “I don’t know how long I can do this for, he’s so much stronger this time!” this time? has an akuma come after her before? Adrien wondered. While struggling she realized she wasn’t going to win this fight, the only person who could devilize her is ladybug. Hawkmoth didn’t know she was ladybug yet so, she decided it was time for someone else to borrow her miraculous. “A-A-Adrien, can I trust you?” she struggled to get her words out through the pain yet there was a demanding tone in her voice. “what?” Adrien replied confused by the question. Marinette repeated the question “can I trust you?”. Although he was still confused, he told her “of course” he would do anything to help a friend in pain. Marinette opened her purse and her little kwami flew out. Wait, why does Marinette have a kwami? Could she be… Adrien started to become distracted by his own thoughts while Marinette conversed with her kwami. “I know you won’t approve tikki, but this is my only option” “I trust you Marinette” Adrien caught parts of their brief conversation but was snapped back to reality when Marinette handed him a pair of earrings. He looked down at the earrings then back at Marinette. “go find cat noir! He will know what to do. RUN ADRIEN”.
Without even knowing it Adrien was on his feet and leaving Marinette. He hated that he had to leave her and couldn’t stay and help, but he couldn’t let hawkmoth get her miraculous. Her miraculous. It was weird to say. His partner the girl he loved had been right in front of him the whole time! now it was time for him to save his lady. He was told cat noir would know what to do, but he is cat noir and he was at a loss for what to do without his lady. He decided visiting Master Fu was his best option. “Plagg, claws out” he yelled as he sprinted off to find some help.
Marinette hoped she had given Adrien enough of a head start, the pain started to become unbearable. She had never experienced a worse pain than when she was fighting off hawkmoths control. She felt him, his power. She wished that she was stronger, that she was able to fight him off. But his power is growing, and she had never felt more broken as a person. She finally gave into hawkmoth. “are you ready to get your revenge on everyone who wronged you, Exposer?” hawkmoth asked her. “yes, hawkmoth” she replied. “in exchange for your powers I ask for only one thing, bring me cat noir and ladybugs miraculous’s. can you do that for me?” Exposer told him it would be easy for her.
Marinette’s outfit she had worn to school that day began to change into her new costume. She was no longer Marinette; she was the Exposer and she knew exactly where she was going first.
Chapter 2: The Exposer vs the world
It's time for the Exposer to finally go after everyone who has wronged her. Can cat noir stop her before she does something she'll regret?
Welcome to chapter 2. I tried separating the dialogue differently so hopefully its better to read!
Cat noir was tripping over himself as he rushed to meet Master Fu. His fists were clenched around the pair of earrings in his hands and his head was spinning. He was struggling to process the situation when he saw her. He saw The Exposer flying the opposite direction he was headed. It wasn’t flying though, he thought, it was more like she was floating. He couldn’t explain why but it looked much more menacing. He jumped into an alley to avoid being seen by her.
She was in a black skin-tight suit that had red stripes running down the sides. She wore a black mask with sharp edges, black boots and red elbow length gloves. Her hair was no longer in pigtails and her long blue locks draped down her back.
Her hair looked nice when it was down, I wonder why she doesn’t do it more often? he thought
But now isn’t the time to be thinking about this, he scolded himself, but having the lady he loved akumatized was trippy, especially because he only just now found out that he was in love with Marinette all along.
He peered out from the alley and didn’t see The Exposer anywhere. He took that as a signal that it was safe for him to continue on his way to find Master Fu. He knew he had to move fast, before The Exposer did something Marinette would regret. Even though anything that happened would be hawkmoths fault and not hers, he knew she would still feel guilty.
Adrien detransformed and headed into Master Fu’s shop. He quickly told him everything, how he found out Marinette was ladybug, the struggle as she tried to fight him, and how she had handed him her earrings and told him to find cat noir.
“slow down” master Fu told him
Adrien realized he had rambling and stopped to breathe. He handed Master Fu the earrings and asked what he should do.
“you will need to find someone to hold ladybugs miraculous while she cannot. Without ladybug there will be no one to capture the akuma and all will be lost.” Master Fu explained “You must find someone that not only you trust, but Marinette would trust to know her secret”
Adrien knew the perfect person for the job. His plan started to fall into place. It was nowhere near as well put together or complex as what his partner would come up with, but it was the best he could do, and he knew he had to try.
“I have a plan. But I’m going to need some help” Adrien declared
Master Fu understood and went to grab the miracle box.
“Adrien, pick an ally you can trust to fight alongside you in this mission” Advised Master Fu as the miracle box revealed all the miraculous “choose wisely, once the mission is over you must retrieve the miraculous from them and return it to me”
Adrien grabbed the fox miraculous, for his plan to works he was going to need its power of illusion. Then he hastily left the shop.
The Exposers pov
The Exposer lifted herself off the ground and began to float in the direction of her “best friends” house. She decided the first person she needed to visit with her newfound powers was Alya. She didn’t want to kill Alya, she just wanted her to experience the same pain she felt when Alya betrayed her.
Her powers didn’t allow her to force people to tell her the truth, instead it gave them a pretty convincing reason to. Pain. She almost preferred it that way, forcing people to tell the truth was to easy. But watching them suffer until they caved and told her the truth sounded like a lot more fun.
Her powers are unlike any other akuma attack. She realized. When a normal person is akumatized they were put under hawkmoths control. But I don’t feel like hawkmoths slave.
The akuma hadn’t put her under hawkmoths spell, it had only corrupted her. She was no longer weak little Marinette. She decided after she was done with her personal vendetta she would go after hawkmoth, and her connection to him gave her the means to do it.
She spotted Alya through the window of her apartment and invited herself inside
“Marinette!” Alya stuttered as she looked at her akumatized friend
“I think we both know I’m no longer Marinette. You can call me The Exposer” The Exposer retorted “And now we need to have a little chat”
“What do we need to talk about” Alya stammered
“I’m just going to ask you some questions and you need to be honest with me. You didn’t trust me when I told you Lila was a liar. You should’ve believed me over some new kid. Am I that untrustworthy?” The Exposed demanded
“No, of course not! I trusted you” Alya managed to Squeak out before grabbing her stomach and hunching over in pain.
“Wrong answer” The Exposer hissed “try again”
“Okay, Fine! You never see clearly when it comes to Adrien, I thought you were just making stuff up because Lila liked him.”
“I told you my hatred towards Lila wasn’t because of Adrien but you still didn’t listen. Now I realize I never actually had a best friend because a best friend would’ve trusted me. I was alone all along. So, tell me Alya, did you ever actually consider me your best friend?” The Exposer questioned.
“Yes, you really were my best friend Marinette” Alya whimpered through the pain, but then it started to subside, and she got up from her hunched over position.
The Exposer scowled. She knew Alya wasn’t in pain anymore which meant she was telling the truth. She decided it was time to move on and took the tears streaming down Alya’s face as confirmation that she accomplished her mission.
“THAT’S NOT MY NAME” she snapped as she flew out of Alya’s room. She had a new mission, and her name was Lila.
Alya quickly grabbed her things and headed towards the school. She needed to save her best friend, but to do that she would need the help of someone she knew Marinette would listen to, she had to find Adrien.
Adrien sprinted across the rooftops of Paris searching for the people to help him save his lady.
That’s when he spotted them, Nino and Alya, wandering around the school looking for something.
He knew the only way for his plan to work was to tell them both the truth, all of it, including his identity. He hopped down and dragged the couple into an empty classroom.
“CAT NOIR???” they both screamed, startled by his sudden appearance.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I need your help to save Marinette from hawkmoths clutches.” Cat Noir explained “Without ladybug to capture the akuma-“
He was cut off when Alya asked “Where’s ladybug?”
Cat noir sighed “Its time you learnt the truth. Marinette is ladybug-“
He was once again cut off by gasps and questions, but he ignored all of them and continued to explain.
“Before hawkmoth was able to fully control her, she gave me her miraculous in hopes that I would be able to save her. So now I need you Alya to fill in the place off ladybug and help save your best friend.” He explained while handing her the earrings “are you up to the job?”
“Yes! I’d do anything to save Marinette!” Alya Stated.
Adrien then turned his attention to Nino. “We will need Rena Rouge’s powers of illusion for this job. But ladybug was the only one who knew her true identity, So Nino I am asking you to fill In and fight alongside us, and to use the power off illusion to attempt to keep ladybugs identity from hawkmoth. There’s no one I trust more for the job!” said Cat noir
“guess your borrowing my miraculous?” Alya cut in
“Your Rena Rouge!?” Cat noir questioned “it does make sense though, who else would Marinette trust enough to give a miraculous to.”
“why are you trusting us to help you?” Nino interrupted.
“In the spirit of being honest…” Cat noir ventured “Plagg, claws in”
Adrien detransformed and was met with a flurry of confused looks and questions.
“YOUR CAT NOIR”
“THIS EXPLAINS SO MUCH”
“there’s no time, ill answer all your questions after we save Marinette.” Adrien insisted “now it’s time to transform. Plagg, claws out.”
Alya put on the earrings and tikki appeared in front of her.
“Hi Alya. Thank you for agreeing to help Marinette, all you need to say to transform is ‘tikki, spots on’” whimpered tikki still saddened by the akumatization of her holder.
“we are going to save her” Alya reassured the kwami “Tikki, spots on”
Alya transformed into ladybug. Her costume was similar, it was still a skin-tight red suit with black spots. But Alya’s red hair had darkened to match the suit with black tips. She turned to look at Nino who had already transformed.
From the neck down Nino’s costume was identical to Rena Rouge’s, but then the suit went up into a hood with ears on it and he wore a white and orange mask.
The three heroes were ready to go out and search for The Exposer when they saw a familiar face on the tv screen and headed off towards the tv station.
The Exposer pov
The Exposer had found Lila hiding it her bedroom, she grabbed her and dragged her through the sky towards the tv station. Once they were there The Exposer sat Lila in front of a camera and put the live video on every tv screen.
“Hello people of Paris, I am The Exposer! And today we are going to be doing a fun interview with a person you may recognize. Lila Rossi.” The Exposer stated “why don’t we start out with a simple question? Lila, have you ever lied about your life?”
“No, of course not” Lila started before screaming in pain.
“Oh, did I forget to mention? Anytime you try to lie you will feel intense pain. So why don’t we move on to find out what you’ve lied about? I mean your name is Lie-la for a reason. Do you actually know Prince Ali?” The Exposer chided.
“yes-“ Lila began but the hunched over again “please, make it stop!” Lila begged.
“just tell the truth and the pain will go away!” The Exposer spat
“fine” Lila mustered up the strength to continue talking, scared of what would happen if she didn’t answer.
The Exposer continued with her interview and was asking the questions more rapidly now. Lila answered all of them truthfully, unable to handle anymore pain.
“have you ever actually visited the kingdom of achu?”
Was your wrist ever actually sprained?”
“did you tell me you were going to ruin my life and turn everyone against me?”
“did you steal my phone and send out that photo?”
“And there you have it folks, you can’t trust anything that comes out of this girls mouth.” The Exposer concluded as she shut off the camera and walked over to Lila.
The Exposer Grabs Lila by the neck and holds her up in the air.
Ladybug and cat noir burst through the doors of the studio and see Marinette holding Lila.
“how nice of you to join us!” The Exposer hissed
Looks like the kitty cat found someone else to wear my miraculous. It is weird how similar she looks to me though. It’s almost as if he found my twin. She pondered. But it didn’t matter to her, even with the help from the new ladybug cat noir stood no chance against her.
“THEIR MIRACULOUS! Seize them for me.” Hawkmoths voice rang through The Exposers head
The Exposer didn’t reply and instead put her attention back to the heroes in front of her and the girl whose life depended on whether the Exposer wanted her to live or not. The power to decide who live and who dies was appealing to her.
“Marinette put Lila down” Cat noir ordered
“She’s already gone through enough pain! Isn’t that punishment enough for what she did to you?” Alya questioned
“Oops” The Exposer whispered as she snapped the girl’s neck and dropped her to the floor.
“NO” Cat noir and Alya both shouted at the same time
The Exposer initiated the fight with the two heroes. She went after cat noir first, she lunged at him but left herself open for him to hit her in the side and she slammed down onto the ground. She was able to get right back up though and went after her partner again. he was able to put up a good fight but they both knew in the end The Exposer would win. Alya ran and tackled The Exposer from the side. Cat noir and the new ladybug finally started acting as a team, they knew if they didn’t work together, they might as well quit now. The new wave of enthusiasm that had flooded over her enemy’s didn’t concern the Exposer; she knew they were fighting a losing battle.
That’s when Nino dropped down from the rafters and comes up from behind The Exposer. With the three of them all working as a unit they were able to overpower and defeat The Exposer. All that was left to do was capture the akuma.
Alya reached down to grab the akumatized item but before she could The Exposer screeched out and a wave of black energy flew out from her. All the heroes were hit by it and landed against the wall.
The Exposer got up and went to them one by one to collect their miraculous. Once she took the fox miraculous from Nino the illusion that made Alya look like Marinette disappeared. This wasn’t a surprise to The Exposer who had already known that wasn’t the real ladybug.
“Where is the real ladybug?” Hawkmoth asked The Exposer
“doesn’t matter she has the real miraculous” The Exposer replied
Finally, she walked over to cat noir. She pulled the ring off his finger but was not ready to find out who was under the mask.
“ADRIEN” hawkmoth and The Exposer both yelled in unison
Hawkmoths concerned voice booms in The Exposers head “Adrien is cat noir? It doesn’t matter anymore. Bring me their miraculous Exposer.”
The Exposer ignored him. She had her own plan.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt any of you anymore than I already have. Lila was the only one who truly deserved it. Soon you will be glad I won this fight, because I am going to be the one who helps you win the war” The Exposer monologued “The next person I’m going after is Hawkmoth. And my connection to him has given me a way to do it. I know exactly where to find him.”
“WHAT?” Hawkmoth blurted out “YOU WILL NOT COME AFTER ME! I WILL TAKE YOU POWERS AWAY”
“I don’t need you Hawkmoth! I have my own power” The Exposer retorted
She cut off her connection to hawkmoth, but she remained the Exposer not Marinette. She preferred it this way, she wanted to stay corrupted. Sweet little Marinette could never do what she needed to stop hawkmoth.
Nino, Alya and Adrien all watched The Exposer leave through blurry vision. The were powerless and wounded. They didn’t know how they were going to do it, but they were determined to save their friend.