There was nothing else she could do.
There was no way she could stick around.
Not after that.
“Come on Marinette, we can talk about this!”
“There’s nothing to talk about. You either believe I’m bullying Lila, or you don’t. It’s that simple!”
“ Look girl, I’m not your enemy here! I want to believe you! But you have to admit you been acting like someone peed in your cereal ever since Lila showed up-”
“Because she’s a LIAR, Alya! How many times do I have to tell to you?!”
“And how many times do I have to tell YOU! There’s! No! PROOF!”
“SCREW YOUR PROOF! I’M YOUR BEST FRIEND! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TRUST ME!”
“WELL MAYBE IF YOU ACTED LIKE MY BEST FRIEND, I’D ACTUALLY HAVE A REASON TO TRUST YOU!!!”
“No…Mari, I -”
“Fine. Fine! If you think I’m such a bad friend, then maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore!”
“I’m done. Have fun with your new BFF, Lie-la!”
She tried. She really did. But she couldn’t hold it back anymore. There was only so much a girl could take.
And Ladybug could not be akumatized. That was simply not an option.
And so, against Tikki’s protests, she took off her earrings, placed them in the box, and hid them in her drawer. Then, she went up to the roof, and waited.
Sure enough, she heard the faint flapping of wings, and the little black butterfly came into view.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” she asked bitterly. She raised the arm that held her charm bracelet. “Just get it over with.”
The akuma floated over to her raised arm, and sunk itself into the bracelet, turning it black.
You sound as if I’m about to send you to the guillotine, came the amused voice from the back of her mind. I want to help you, Marinette.
“Connerie. You want to use me. And then when you’ve gotten what you wanted, you’ll toss me aside like trash.”
Like your friends did?
You cannot lie to me child. I can feel your anger, your pain. I know all about Miss Rossi’s lies, and how she turned everyone against you. How no one believed you.
Marinette’s mind unintentionally drifted to her fight with Alya.
Ah, but it’s not the lies you’re most upset about, is it? It’s the betrayal. The ingratitude. You’ve done so much for them. You give and give and give, and it’s just not enough.
Marinette had to admit, the passion in Hawkmoth’s voice sounded genuine. Either he was a very good actor, or his Miraculous allowed him to feel her emotions. Either wouldn’t surprise her.
All these years you’ve proven time and again, your loyalty, your reliability. And the one time you needed them to trust you, to believe in you…they turned their backs on you. They chose her pretty words and false promises over you.
Marinette sank to her knees. She knew Hawkmoth was just trying to get under her skin…and by God he was succeeding.
But I can help you rise above that. I can help you cut away the frayed threads, and stitch out your own destiny. No more will anyone define you, especially not Lila Rossi! And all I ask in return, is that you bring me Ladybug and Chat Noir’s Miraculous’.
So, Mistress Couturiere…what do you say?
Marinette was silent, before slowly standing up. A single tear trekked down her face behind the glowing butterfly mask.
What the hell. It’s not like she had anything left to lose.
And as the dark smoke enveloped her body, she had one last conscious thought.
So much for taking the high road, huh, Adrien?