Marinette felt something off about the air as she wandered down the halls of her school. It felt like an eternity for her to get to the end of the hallway. At the end was the only light coming out of any of the classrooms, accompanied by voices. Her feet seemed to move of her own accord, using an energy her mind and body seemed to lack.
“Thank you so much everyone!” A voice said. Where was the voice from? It made her gut twist and her hairs stand on end. She got to the room and pushed the door open.
The room wasn’t a classroom, it looked like a fairytale wedding venue. Marinette felt a spark run up her spine and saw her clothes had become some mixture between a traditional Chinese wedding dress and a gorgeous trumpet gown, white accented with red; pink and black appearing in the details on the skirt. Her hair felt longer, pulled halfway up in a bun with apple blossom decorations. Thankfully she still felt the energy of her miraculous in her ears.
She stepped into the room, wary of touching anything as she picked up her skirt just enough that she could walk gently. Joy washed over her body, this was her day, the day she’d marry the love of her life. This was her happy ending, the stress of Hawkmoth was behind her and she was marrying someone that loved her completely . She noticed her name on a stray invitation, but she couldn’t read the other name, her eyes couldn’t seem to focus on it. Returning the invitation to the table, she wandered around the area.
Beautiful apple blossom decor mixed with gorgeous white, gold, and black decor. Sometimes she’d see a burst of red in the form of roses or blue in the form of tulips. They both stood out and blended with the deep applewood walls and the cream colored walls. As Marinette studied the cake, one of her parents’ handiwork no doubt, and the custom figures on the top were likely hers, the voice came again.
“This is my happiest day, I’m so glad you could join me on my wedding day!” The voice wasn’t hers. Marinette moved as quick as she could to the large doors that the voice came from, noting the beautifully done makeup on her reflection as she passed. She turned back and noticed the door had vanished. Picking up her dress she wandered inside, hearing a cheering crowd.
She spotted several familiar faces in the crowd, but there were some she couldn't find. Where were her parents? Her Nonna? Uncle Jagged and Aunt Penny? Where was Chloe? The crowd shifted and she could see the couple in the center. Adrien looking wholly uncomfortable and not acting like the groom his ill fitted suit. Next to him, clad in an atrocity that no one with eye would ever consider a dress, let alone one for a wedding, was….
The Italian looked like she'd just sauntered in off the streets in a wedding dress made of dime store materials and hatred, gaudy makeup like an 80s Barbie, that hideous mop of sausage hair completely unchanged, and was that orange lipstick!?
Marinette wanted to vomit.
“To the bride!” They cheered. “To the groom!”
“What?” Marinette breathed, bluebell eyes wide. This couldn’t be happening. This was her wedding day, Lila shouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the venue, she wasn’t even invited, and Adrien looked too poorly dressed to be the groom. Where was her other half? She spun around, skirt flaring as she tried to find someone, anyone , who could give her answers.
“Marinette quit looking for attention and come cheer on the newlyweds!” Alya yelled, glaring at someone just over her shoulder, in the glaringly opposite direction of Marinette herself.
“Alya what are you doing!?” Marinette yelled, not noticing how distorted her voice sounded. “I’m right here! My name’s on all the invitations! Can’t you see it isn’t their wedding!? Lila’s lying again!”
“Marinette don’t be selfish!” Kim called, again not in the direction of the actual bride. “Just be happy for them!”
Marinette ran around the group, trying to get their attention. Each time she called out, they spat some insult or admonishment about how she should be celebrating the false bride at the true bride’s wedding. Finally she yelled,
“You’re not even looking at me!” She heard a sob, two sobs, a whole symphony of sobs. The true bride spun on her heels and ran toward the noise. Suddenly it all became clear.
Her mother, dressed in a gown similar to those of the rest of the bridal party, a soft pink with an apple blossom ornament in her hair, sobbed on the ground. Her father embraced his wife, drowning her in his large form, large tears rolling down his face. Nonna was crying, comforted by her grandfather, while Uncle Jagged and Aunt Penny were crying too.
“Mama? Papa?” Marinette approached warily. “Nonna? Uncle Jagged? What’s wrong? What’s going on?” Her shoes clacked on the flooring as she approached, only to screech to a halt as she saw what they were crowded around.
It was her. Face ashen and dress covered in blood splatter. Her nails were bloody and broken, while her eyes looked sunken. Right over her heart was what had to be the result of several stab wounds, spreading the blood off her still form and across the floor.
“Can you believe Marinette?” A voice called over her shoulder. “Faking a stab wound for attention, bet she got her entire family in on it.”
“What the hell is wrong with you people!?” Marinette yelled. “I’ve been stabbed! I’m dead! Oh my god I’m dead at my own wedding!”
She ran to the crowd, anger boiling under her skin. She shoved past Nathaniel and Alix, bursting into the center around the false couple. “What are you people doing!? There’s a dead body over there and they’re clearly NOT the people getting married today! That liar is wearing cheap dress that looks like it came from a halloween store and she,” Marinette spun on her heel only to stop. “She killed me.”
Lila, seemingly the only one able to see the true Marinette standing in front of her, stood proud, her cheap dress covered in blood splatter, a still gorey knife in the place of a bouquet. An evil grin was stretched across her face, “I’m so happy that everyone I love could join me on my wedding day.” She said, as if it were the truth. A blood red string wound it’s way around from her fingertips to the joints of those around her. The guests were no longer people, they were puppets, strings held by a liar.
“I told you you’d lose everything,” Lila sneered, glaring at the bride. “Your life will be in shambles, because no one will love you, no one will be at your side.”
Before Marinette could react, the faux bride slammed the knife into the bride’s chest.
Marinette awoke with a yell, bolting upright. Her eyes jolted around the room, scared she’d find a lying Italian with a knife in her room. Tikki was at her side in a moment.
“Marinette breathe,” She urged. “It was just a dream.”
“It was horrible Tikki,” Marinette said, shaking like a leaf. “I-I was at the school, then it was my w-wedding. But Lila was there, acting like it was her wedding. Everyone was telling me I was causing a scene, but I wasn’t even there! They were talking to my dead body in a corner, Lila had killed me, her dress was bloody and everything, but they thought I was faking. T-then, she stabbed me and I woke up.”
Tikki frowned, wiping tears from her chosen’s eyes, tilting the girl’s head up with a paw. “Marinette, I promise you, nothing like that will ever happen, not on my watch. As long as I’m kicking, she will never be able to come after you like that, no one will.”
“Thank you Tikki,” Marinette sniffled. She wiped her eyes again and looked over at the clock, it was a little past three thirty, and she needed as much sleep as she could get. “I’ll try to go back to sleep, good night Tikki.”
“Good night Marinette,” the red kwami kissed her chosen’s forehead, leaving a bit of magic glowing on the spot. “Have some good dreams this time.”
As Marinette drifted off to happy memories and the feeling of flying over the Parisian night sky, Tikki settled down next to her, angrier and more determined than ever that things needed to change.
Elsewhere in Paris a car pulled up to a more upscale multi-floor abode. The doors opened and a teenager stepped out. Nodding their thanks to the driver, they got their bags out of the trunk of the car, allowing the driver to leave. The teen checked their phone’s address book.
“This is the place,” they said in English. They lifted their bags over their shoulders and moved up the steps. When they got to the door they knocked boldly. The light flickered on in the living room and the door clicked before opening.
Standing before them was a woman with the same brown hair and green eyes. Wrapped in a bathrobe and wearing slippers, tears sprung into the woman’s eyes.
“Hi Mom.” The two collapsed into a hug, neither afraid of the tears running down their cheeks attracting any akuma. They were tears of joy after all.