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Look What You Made Me Do

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Marinette took a deep breath. Class had just ended and it always took a little time to decompress. When Lila had first threatened her in that bathroom she had laughed it off. She had fully believed that there was no one some girl everyone had just met could turn her friends, some she had known since they were children against her. She had been so naive, so trusting in human nature. She hadn’t realized that Lila had a super power of her own, no miraculous needed. She knew how to manipulate those around her. Knew just what to say, exactly how to act, read the smallest body reaction and acted accordingly, when to cry. Whatever got her her way. She drew in the entire class like moths to the flame.

Well not everyone. Two people had seen through Lila Rossi’s lies from day one. The first was Chloe Bourgeois. She could spot a manipulative bully a mile away. Of course a lot of that had to do with like recognizing like. Chloe refused to fall in line. But most people hated her already so Lila left her alone. Though not before taking Chloe’s loyal sidekick Sabrina. Marienette knew Chloe acted indifferent but she could tell Chloe missed Sabrina. Being on the sidelines of the Lila show did have one positive come out of it. Chloe started to realize the serious hurt she caused people. Of course she didn’t change overnight but Marinette saw that she was trying. And it started with Chloe apologizing to her of all people! Marinette appreciated her support

The second person who knew was Adrien Agreste. His knowing did little to help Marinette. In his mind if they did nothing then everything would come out okay in the end. For so long Marinette had been in love with Adrien. She didn’t know it at the time. But the day Adrien told her that Lila’s lies weren’t really hurting anyone her love started to die. It was like waking up from a dream. She started to see what a negative effect putting Adrien on a pedestal had ended up being. She saw things in a new light. Thought back and realized the mistakes and bad choices she had made in a desperate attempt to get closer to the blonde. She honestly doubted if they had ended up dating the relationships wouldn’t be healthy.

One thing Lila could never take away, partially because she had no idea, was Lady Bug. Marienette was one of Paris’ heroes. She had been for over two years. Originally it had been LadyBug and her partner Chat Noir. But as time went on the partnership became more and more complicated. Chat Noir had fallen in love with her, as LadyBug. At first when she told him she was in love with someone else he had respected her answer. Sure he was still a flirt but that was who Chat was. Though as time went by Chat seemed to change. He pushed the flirting more and more. They started to fight more as Chat Noir pressed more and more for them to be together. It got to the point where he would start to sit out huge portions of the battles out. When he threatened to stop comin Marinette consulted with Master Fu. Reluctantly he suggested that it was time for her to think about another partner.

By then Lila had gotten to a lot of her old friends. But she had one new one. Lady Bug visited Chloe’s balcony once more. This time since time was not a crucial thing she was able to sit with Chloe and have a good long talk with her about what it meant to be a miraculous holder. Pollen was happy to be with Chloe again. Together they planned a new hero identity. Once Chloe swore to keep a secret. She got a new look. Instead of a bright neon yellow she had a more golden shade. She had black tights under a gold skirt that had a bodice of black and gold. (I’m sorry if this is an awful description). Her hair went from platinum blonde to a more amber blonde,like honey. Instead of Chloe’s trademark pony tail it was in high pigtails to pay tribute to the bee antennas in the way Lady Bug’s low pigtails did. And so Queen Bee was no more. In her place was Honey Flash.

Things with Honey Flash worked out better than Lady Bug and Master Fu had been expecting. It got to the point where the girls would have the akuma taken care of by the time Chat Noir got there. When he realized Honey Flash wasn’t going to be temporary he threatened to stop coming. Chat Noir was no longer the hero he had been when he was given his miraculous. Fu decided that it was time to take the cat miraculous back. He reluctantly shared the information that Chat Noir’s personality change was not completely his fault. But the reason was because he was not the true holder of the cat miraculous and it sometimes negatively affected holders. But because the two miraculouses needed to be in circulation at the same time Master Fu had decided to put the cat miraculous out there even though Plagg said he did not feel a true holder in all of France.

Plagg had been getting more and more upset with Adrien. He liked the kid but he was getting more and more difficult. With a heavy heart Ladybug asked Chat Noir to meet with her. Of course he thought she was going to confess her undying love. But instead she watched as Master Fu revoked his miraculous powers. He would forget everything about being Chat Noir but that was it. It took some time but Marinette learned how to be friends with Adrien again. She would always cherish her first serious crush but it had long since passed.

“Dupain-Cheng! Where is your head?! Do you think I’m going to just stand around watching your day dream?!”

Marinette was snapped out of her mind wandering by her best friend Chloe. She gave the impatient looking blonde a sheepish look. “Sorry Chloe. Let me stop by my locker and we can go.” Jumping up Marinette went to her locker. When she closed the door she was startled to find Lila behind it.

“L-Lila?!” Marinette squeaked. She looked around unable to stop from feeling nervous. Whenever she was alone with Lila something bad happened. Well actually nothing bad ever happened but that didn’t matter because Lila would always say something bad happened. And for some reason everyone believed her no matter what.

Lila’s smile was sweet as sugar but Marinette knew that sweet smile covered up the poison of her lies. She sighed and locked her locker. Though she had long ago learned not to keep anything really important in her locker. “What do you want Lila?” she asked feeling tired.

“Marienette. It’s so good to see you.” When she didn’t say anything Lila continued. “Do you remember our first private talk we had. Well I’m sure you’ve had a lot of time to rethink some of your life choices. I have decided that if you wanted to apologize to me in front of everyone. And you make it REALLY convincing i could be persuaded to publicly forgive you. You won’t be as popular as me of course but at least you won’t be considered such a loser.”

Marinette started. Waiting for the punchline. For Alya to jump out with a camera or something. When she realised Lila was serious she felt something snap. Suddenly she felt free. Lila had already taken so much. If her friends would ever be her friends again she wanted it to because they realized what a scheming witch Lila was. Not because she put on a good show!
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Lila smirk. She felt like her moment of victory at hand. Everything she had threatened Marinette with had come true. She had taken all her friends and the girl who was once called the EveryDay Ladybug had been brought down to nothing! And after a lot of begging and groveling she would publicly forgive her bully. Everyone would love her more than they already did! Lila couldn’t help but be impressed by her own genius.

She watched as Marinette bowed her head and closed her eyes, wanting to savor the moment. “No.” Her eyes flew open and narrowed into angry slits.

“Excuse me?!” she demanded. “Marinette I’m sure I misheard you. Because surely you aren’t turning me down again.”

Much to her annoyance Maririnette smiled….no wait….she smirked at her! “But I am.” she said in a clear tone. Lila could feel that something was different but she didn’t know what.

Lila quickly tried to gain control again. She was not going to let Marinette get the best of her. “Marinette you don’t know what you’re saying. You think what I’ve done is bad? I will destroy you!” she said stamping her foot.
~~~~~~
Marinette couldn’t help but laugh. If Lila had any sense of self preservation she would have left well enough alone. But of course she didn’t. Marinette knew exactly what to do. She knew what Lila was capable of. But she also knew what she herself could handle.

“Lila you feed off the attention your lies get you. And today is your lucky day. Because I’ve decided to help you keep your cover.” Marinetter smiled with a hint of malice. See she was done cowering. She was done hiding in the background hoping attention didn’t fall on her.

She took a step forward and felt a small thrill of satisfaction when Lila took a step back. Of course once Lila realized what she was doing she tried to take control of the situation. “I don’t need anything from you!” she hissed.

Marinette laughed again. “Well I guess this will just be out of the goodness of my heart then.” she mocked. “Lila keeps telling everyone what an awful bully I am.” She paused and almost growled at the smug look on Lila’s face. “Well Lila, if you want a bully. I will give you a bully.”
Lila laughs at her. “Are you kidding me? I’m not scared of you.”

“Not right now….but you will be.” Marinette said a calm tone. “You better watch yourself Rossi.”

“I….I’ll report you!” Lila said a touch nervously.

“Oh, you mean like the countless other times?” Marinette asked. “You’re not the only one who can time things out for when people will and won’t be there. Besides Lila. Don’t you remember all the times you very publicly told the class you would never report me to a teacher. Because you ‘don’t want me to get in real trouble’?” She was using Lila’s own words against her. “You even made the others promise not to tell.” Lila had tearfully swore she would never go back on that promise because she was sure with time her bully would learn the error of her ways.

Marinette knew it was just a way to make sure things stayed between the students since Lila never had serious proof of anything. “Besides even if you did I’m sure you’d be told the same thing I have been told over and over again. That as young adults we need to solve our own problems. Well Lila I am about to become your biggest problem.”

“I-is that a threat?!” Lila demanded. She was trying to regain her high ground. “Because if it is….”

Marienette cut her off. She gave Lila a grin that she knew was a little off. “Lila. Do you know the best part about all that moral high ground you have built up for you to stand on?”

Lila fell right into her trap.”WH-what?”

“The best part….is going to be watching you fall after I push you off it.” With that said she pushed past Lila making sure her shoulder knocked into the Italian girl.
~~~~~~~
Lila watched Marinette leave the locker room. And for the first time in a long time….she felt nervous about the lies she had told everyone.

Chapter Text

Chloe was leaning against the wall filing her nails as she waited for Marinette. If someone had told her two years ago Marinette Dupain-Cheng would become her best friend she would have told them they were being ridiculous, utterly ridiculous. It was strange to think about all the things that lead her down this path. It took a long time to realize that she had always been a little jealous of how easy Marinette could get along with others. It took watching a monster like Lila Rossi to see what kind of monster she was. And sure she wasn’t as bad as that sausaged hair girl…..but it still wasn’t a pleasant wake up call.

It was a slow process but Chloe felt like she was getting better. Marinette certainly thought so. But the biggest sign of that was when Ladybug appeared on her balcony. Naturally Chloe had been nervous. Worried that the superheroine was going to scold her for something.But instead she held out the bee miraculous to her. She said that she had been watching her and said that she had seen her trying to change. They had a very long talk about the responsibilities of being a hero. That it wasn’t about fame or recognition. It was about helping people. Chloe admitted that the reason she had told everyone she was Queen Bee was because she wanted people to like her. Wanted to do something that would make her mother proud of her and maybe come home more often.

When Ladybug said she was going to give her a second chance Chloe had been confused how they were going to do that. Everyone knew her as Queen Bee. Ladybug said they would rebrand her. Apparently she was a perfect fit for Pollen so just giving her a different miraculous wouldn’t work. However they could change her appearance. They went over details and in the end Honey Flash was created.

Chloe had asked about Chat Noir and right away could tell it was a subject Ladybug did not want to talk about. So Chloe dropped it. She didn’t pout when Ladybug took Pollen back with her. They had gone over that this was a trial basis. Things had started out a little shaky. Chloe had been nervous about meeting Chat Noir as Honey Flash. She had been worried he would know it was her but that fear was short lived. The real test was hearing him bad mouth Chloe. But she kept her cool and could tell Ladybug had been proud. Things got a little weird after the third akuma in a row and Chat realized Honey Flash wasn’t a once in awhile thing. When he threw an absolute tantrum and threatened that if he saw Honey Flash he wouldn’t bother joining the fight. Well that was fine with her. Ladybug and herself could clearly handle things. When Ladybug announced that she had taken back Chat’s miraculous Honey Flash hadn’t been surprised. What had surprised her was Ladybug not just asking her to be her official partner but finding out who her civilian identity was!!
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Revealing her identity to Chloe had been a big step to take. But after talking to Master Fu she explained how much easier it would be if there was one person she didn’t have to hide from. Master Fu had been training her to become a guardian and said that he trusted her decision. As a guardian she would have to trust her instinct.

“God it’s about time.” Chloe complained as they started to walk. Marinette just smiled because she knew that Chloe was more bark than bite. As they got outside she spotted a familiar Bluenette waiting for them. It was Kagami.

Kagami was another near casualty of her massive crush on Adrien. She had been so scared by the prospect of a rival that it almost ruined their chance at being friends. Kagami had a stricter upbringing than anyone Marinette had ever met. She had thought Kagami was strange when she was just trying to get to know her through her friendship research. The fact that she felt she needed to research on how to make friends hurt Marinette’s heart. It made her feel ashamed of how she had acted. But they had become closer.

“Kagame what are you doing here?” she asked with a smile.
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Kagame looked up and gave a brief smile. “I am here to pick up Adrien so we may go to fencing practice.” she explained in her usual clinical manner. She had long since moved on from her feelings for Adrien. When she heard what had been happening at their school she had wanted to go straight for her katana to punish the offending parties. She would make Lila Rossi beg for forgiveness at sword point! But Marinette put a stop to that plan

When she had found out Adrien knew that Lila was lying she had wanted to go for her katana again. Marinette was her first female friend and Kagami wanted to protect her. But she would honor her friend’s wishes. She would admit that Chloe was doing a good job of supporting their friend

“Once again Mother is pushing us together. I suspect she is doing more business with Mr. Agreste.” As children with a very controlling parent they got along in a way others didn’t. But that didn’t get him completely off the hook.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Well we’d better get going then.” Marinette said as she grabbed Chloe’s hand and pulled her to the waiting limo. She did not want to deal with Lila any more than she already did. They had developed the habit of Chloe giving her a ride home even though it was not on Chloe’s way home. Chloe didn’t like the idea of any of Lila’s minions messing Marinette. None of them had the guts to do anything close to the bakery. Chloe knew none of them wanted to be on Mrs. Dupain-Cheng’s shit list.

Marinette waved as the limo drove off.After greeting her parents and grabbing some cookies and an apricot croissant she headed upstairs. Once the door was closed Tiki flew out of her purse and accepted the lime macaron offered to her. “Marinette are you sure it was wise to confront Lila like that?”

Marinette knew that Tiki was worried about her. Normally she would never think about doing anything so aggressive. But to be honest...she was tired. Tired of Lila’s lies. Tired of the class being against her. Tired of keeping her head down. Tired of Adrien’s lack of support. She had been dealing with the same problem for years. “I know you’re worried Tikki. But Lila isn’t going to leave me alone. So I’m going to make her do it.”
~~~~~~~~~~
The red kwami didn’t say anything right away. She knew it wasn’t in Marinette’s nature to be mean or any type of bully. She wanted her holder to be healthy and happy. What has been going on wasn’t right! But she worried that in the long run this course of action might hurt Marinette. She was probably the best Ladybug she had ever had. A perfect holder for sure. It was probably the reason Master Fu was teaching her how to be a guardian. “You know I trust you completely Marinette.” she smiled as she floated over to give her holder a hug.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette smiled as he kwami hugged her cheek. She turned her attention to her computer so she could start her homework. As soon as she opened her email she gave a gasp of surprise.

“Marinette are you okay?!” “Tikki asked looking worried.

Marinette had a huge smile on her face. “Tikki I’m great! I just got an email saying I won that essay writing contest! Our class is getting to go on a month-long trip to Gotham in America!”

The kwami was practically vibrating with her excitement. “Marinette that’s so great! I know you worked really hard. I’m sure everyone will be proud of you!”

At this Marinette gave a little snort of amusement. “Oh I’m sure Lila will find some way to take all the credit for it.”

“That’s just so unfair!” Tikki said with a shake of her head.

“Don’t worry Tikki.” Marinette smiled as she started to reply. “I have some ideas on how to stay ahead of Lila. Mr. Wayne emailed me himself! He asked if there are any special accommodations I would like for me and a friend.” She got a reply rather quickly and was pleased with the answer. She couldn’t wait to tell Chloe tomorrow. She had a lot of plans!

Chapter Text

The next morning Marinette got up at her usual time. She had taken to doing yoga in the morning. It helped to clear her mind and keep her calm. There was no hope for therapy to help deal with the emotional aftermath of Hawk Moths reign of terror. It wasn’t easy to always be in control of your emotions. All the therapists in Paris were booked solid. And she didn’t think anyone outside the country knew what was going on. As Ladybug she had tried to reach out to the Justice League but had been told that it wasn’t okay to prank call the Justice League. And to be honest she understood how things would have seemed if they had looked into things. They would probably find everything looking normal. Though really it was for the best. Marinette couldn’t imagine what would happen if someone like Superman or Green Lantern becoming akumatized.

Now that she had won the trip to Gotham she had a lot of thinking to do. Gotham was the home of the vigilante Bat Family. Batman was said to be the world’s greatest detective. She was wondering if Ladybug could find a way to talk to him and ask for his help. She could feel that time was running out. The akumas were getting stronger. In the last months she had needed to call upon as Kagami and Luka to become Ryuko and Viperion again. Fu had admitted to having doubts because this was not something that had ever been done before. It was dangerous to have so many miraculous active. But Marinette knew she could trust Chloe, Kagami, and Luka with her life. The Parisians called them Team Miraculous. People had been quick to notice a lack of Chat Noir. Finally Ladybug had to announce that Chat Noir had needed been hurt and needed to be retired.

But what the people didn’t know was that the cat and ladybug were always supposed to be active together. You couldn’t have life without destruction. So when they couldn’t win without a cataclysm Ladybug would become La Dame Chat (Lady Cat but come on...Chat Noir just translates to Cat Black) after unifying Tikki and Plagg. No one really liked this because combining miraculous was dangerous. Marinette had hated having to take the cat miraculous. But it was hurting Adrien. Which was why she had opted to take away all his memories as being Chat Noir. To just erase some or none would just be asking him to be akumatized in his crazed desperation to get Plagg’s ring back.

Once she was done with her morning yoga Marinette got ready for school. She did her best not to be late but . She grabbed a quick bite to eat with her parents before heading off to school. Today was a big day. She was going to put her money where her mouth was. It was time to take a stand against Lila. For too long she had been keeping her head down and taking abuse from everyone. That was the old Marinette. If her class wanted a villain she would give them one. They all bad mouthed her all the time but still expected to help them with school things. Well she wasn’t going to be anyone’s doormat ever again.

Team Lila wasn’t really active in the morning so it was safe for her to travel to school on her own. But she knew Chloe would be waiting to walk in with her. As expected the blonde was sitting on the front steps filing her nails. When she spotted her friend she stood up and picked up her bag. “Marinette what was so important that you wanted to meet early?” she asked. “I have a VERY detailed morning routine. Perfection takes time.”

“And yet you make it look so easy and flawless.” Marinette interrupted her friend’s rant with a big smile.

Chloe couldn’t help but smile. “Alright Dupain-Cheng. What’s the big news?” When she used Marinette’s last name there was no longer the bite of venom in her tone.

“Well first I wanted to let you know that things are going to be a little different in class. I’ve decided to try something different with dealing with Lila and the others....I might seem a little….out of character but just go with it.”

Chloe nodded and smiled at her. “I will always have your back Marinette.” she promised. “Now that can’t be everything you needed to tell me.”

Marinette smiled. It was honestly a relief to know she had Chloe’s support even though Chloe didn’t know what the plan was. “Well I found out last night that I won our class a trip to Gotham in America. I submitted a written essay and included a video of the things different people in our class have done. We will be going for a month! We will get to attend Gotham Academy. But the first week we will get to go to different tourist spots plus a tour of Wayne Enterprise. And at the end of the month we will all get to attend a gala thrown by the Wayne family.”

“That’s amazing Marinette!” Chlow exclaimed hugging her best friend. When the pulled away there was a small frown on her face. “You know Lila is totally going to take credit for everything right? And probably do everything she can to screw you over right?.”

Marinette had been expecting this question and nodded. “Yes I know. But Mr. Wayne contacted me personally. As the contest winner I got to pick out some of the places we are going to go. I’m also in charge of room selection for our hotel so Lila can’t mess with that. But I have a plan to deal with any changes Lila might try.”

Chloe nodded. “Okay….but what about our special little friends?” she asked quietly.

Marinette was ready for this too. “I spoke to Master Fu this morning. While we will be away Kagami and Luka will be here. We all have that akuma alert on our phones. You and I will sneak away and use Kaalki who can teleport us.” Even though there was no one around she made sure to keep her voice low. Chloe nodded looking satisfied and together they headed to class.

“Chloe Do you want to do theme outfits with me?” Marinette asked. “I was thinking about making us both outfits based on the heroes of Gotham like the Bat Family and those in the grey area like The Sirens.”

“That would be fabulous, absolutely fabulous!” Chloe exclaimed. “You know I love wearing MDC originals.”

Marinette gasped and looked around to make sure no one overheard her. No one knew that she was Jagged Stone’s official designer MDC and had been doing commissions for other celebrities as well. She was well on her way to launching her own brand and MDC originals were highly coveted.
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Chloe couldn’t help but be excited over the news Marinette had given her. She had always wanted to go to America. And while Gotham was a dangerous place she wasn’t too worried. She had taken several self defense classes after Hawkmoth appeared. And after becoming friends with Marinette Sabine started to include her in Marinette’s martial arts lessons. Chloe knew how to take care of herself.

Another thing she wasn’t worried about was speaking English. Both she and Marinette had learned English at their parents' insistence. Chloe’s father said it would be good because they saw a lot of visitors from other countries at the hotel. Marinette’s parents' reasoning were along the same lines. Sabine and Tom explained that when someone was really struggling with French it made them so happy to know someone else spoke their language. Marinette spoke English, Mandarin, Japanese, and Arabic. Chloe spoke English, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Russian and German. Chloe had learned at a young age she had a ear for languages and took advantage of it. Though she had specifically chosen to learn Mandarin for Marinette. When they wanted a completely private conversation they would switch languages.

When they got close to the classroom and saw Lila holding court she rolled her eyes. She didn’t know what she was talking about but it didn’t really matter since it probably wasn’t true. She was proud that Marinette was going to stop taking Lila’s shit. She had always thought Marinette was way too nice for her own good. The fact that that snake had swayed everyone to her side was absolutely disgusting. There were a couple of barely forgivable exceptions. Like Nino and Adrien. Nino she knew was being swayed by his lady lover Alya. He was Marinette’s childhood friend. If anyone should be on her side it should be him. Marinette said Nino didn’t really like confrontation.

Adrien was another case. Chloe had been livid when she found out her own childhood best friend knew about Lie-la the entire time. She had confronted him besides Marinette’s protests. That was how they found out that for some reason Gabriel’s father liked Lila and had threatened to home school Adrien if he did not keep Lila happy. Neither Chloe or Marinette could be mad after that. This combined with Adrien’s mental conditioning to make no waves. So they didn’t hold anything against the blonde. Sometimes he was even able to escape Lila and the Dupain-Cheng bakery was back door was always open to him.

“Wow everyone look. Marinette is on time.” Lila said in a stage whisper which caused some of the others to giggle.
Marinette spoke up before she could, which surprised Chloe a little. She supposed this was the start of Marinette’s plan to start standing up for herself. “Lila I haven’t been late in a long time. Isn’t it a little early in the day to be so annoying?” Chloe could tell Lila was taken by surprise.

As usual Alya was quick to respond. Lila didn’t even have to work her way up to full tears to go onto the attack. “God Marinette why do you have to be such a mean bitch?!” she demanded.

“Well I would try to speak in a way you would understand but I lost my dumb bitch translation dictionary so mean bitch it is.” she shot back. Chloe gave a snort of laughter and gave her best friend a high five. She could understand everyone's shock. Marinette wasn’t usually one for swear words.
~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette knew she had surprised everyone. She had never spoken to anyone that way. But today was a new day with a new Marinette. Rose was the first to recover and she took a hesitant step forward. “M...Marinette that was really mean!” She had probably drawn up all her courage to say something so Marinette decided she could tone things down a little...for now.

She put a bored expression on her face as Alya tried to comfort a now fully crying Lila. “You’re right Rose, that was a little mean.” she began. Marinette saw Lila’s head pop up from Alya’s shoulder, ready to hear an apology. She probably thought Marinette had changed her mind and was just putting on a good show. This was going to be a fun bubble to pop.

“Lila has an almost daily story about what a bully I am towards her. And even though conveniently no one is ever around to see or hear these awful things I have said or done to Lila I am still branded as a bully. So I figured if everyone is going to talk about me I might as well give a good show. You all want me to be so awful and I thought the last nice thing I should do for you all is give you what you want. Come on Chloe lets go.”
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Both girls walked past the group so they didn’t notice some of the others exchanging looks. Alix and Kim shared a look. To be honest they hadn’t really thought about it. Marinette had a point. Lila had told them countless stories about things Marinette had said or done. But none of them had ever witnessed anything. They had just accepted Lila’s stories because they seemed so convincing.
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Inwardly Lila was livid. How dare Marinette do this to her! She hadn’t taken that little mouse seriously when she warned her about what she was going to do. Well Marinette had made a huge mistake! Now she had evidence of Marinette being mean to her. Actually now that she thought about it this was perfect. If Marinette kept this up she could probably have her expelled for real!

“I...I can’t believe she said all that.” she sniffled dramatically. “I think maybe it’s time to talk to a teacher.”

“Oh Lila you can’t do that!” Rose squeaked in that annoying high pitched voice. “You said you didn’t want to do that because Marinette will get in serious trouble.”

Alya spoke up next. “She’s right girl. Remember you said the best thing to do was wait for her to see the error of her ways? If you report her you’ll regret it later. I know your heart is just too good.”

Lila wanted to scream. She couldn’t believe Marinette was right about the others not letting her go back on her selfless promises. She put a brave smile on her face. “You guys are so right. I can’t believe Marinette almost made me lose my way again!” She took only a small amount of satisfaction as everyone murmured about what a good person she was and how she shouldn’t let someone like Marinette and Chloe get to her. She grit her teeth a little as they went into the classroom and took their seats. She would have to find some other way to make Marinette pay for this new insult!

She hardly paid attention when their teacher Miss Marabelle walked in. “Class I have exciting news! Next month our class will be going on a trip to Gotham in America! Someone in our class entered the Martha and Thomas Wayne scholarship program. I can’t tell you who because they wished to remain anonymous. We will be there for a month. The first week we will get to take a sightseeing tour and go to very exclusive places. One of them being Wayne Enterprise which does not normally do tours. You will attend the prestigious Gotham Academy. Will will be staying at the Gotham Plaza Hotel which I have heard is the most secure hotel in the city so no one has to be scared to sleep at night. And at the end of the month there will be a gala hosted by Bruce Wayne to honor the contest winner!”

Lila perked up at this. Already her mind was coming up with new lies and stories to get more attention for herself. As if on cue Alya turned and smiled at her. “Lila I can’t believe you won that contest for us!”

Lila gave a modest smile. “Well I was trying to keep it a secret because I don’t need the attention...but yes I did win that contest.” she bragged. “It will be so nice to go back to Gotham again.”

“You’ve been to Gotham?” Alya asked in surprise. Lila realized she had kept her travel stories on the more exotic side. She didn’t really know a lot about Gotham, just that it was dreary and filled with crime.

“Of course I’ve been to Gotham. That’s where my Damiboo lives.” she preened.

“Damian as in Damian Wayne?!” Alya squealed.

“Of course a sharp mind like yours would pick that up.” Lila smiled. The best part about Alya was all it took was a little praise to keep her by her side. Sometimes she worried that she had done Marinette a favor by stealing such a gullible and fickle friend from her. Oh well, Alya was very useful to her. “Damiboo and I are very close. We were childhood sweethearts….oops I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Oh that’s so romantic!” Rose sighed. “Childhood sweethearts reunited!”

Lila pretended to look worried. “Oh I doubt he even remembers. Even though I had to leave he cried and said he’d love me forever.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette exchanged a look with Chloe. As expected not only had Lila taken credit for winning the trip but now she was the secret childhood love of Damian Wayne. Rolling her eyes she pulled out her textbook as their teacher called the class to order. Miss Marabelle was nice but from day one she had fallen for Lila’s lies. Lila didn’t do anything too elaborate but Marinette knew the teacher didn’t really like her. But that was fine. After this year she would graduate. She had heard Gotham University had a very good design program and planned to look into it.

Chapter Text

“Miss Dupain-Cheng will you please read the third paragraph on page twelve?” M. Marabelle asked.

Marinette looked up from her sketch book. To help get ready for their trip to Gotham their class their class was had to attend additional Englis lessons after school. Lila had gotten out of it by explaining that as the daughter of a diplomate she was already fluent in English and that her time would be much better spent attending to one of the MANY charities she was apart of. When that was allowed Chloe pointed out that both of them already knew English because of their parent’s businesses. Mme. Marabelle shut that down by telling her just because she knew how to order in an English speaking resturaunt or shop didn’t mean she was fluent in the language. The old Chloe would have threatened to call her father over the insult. The current Chloe just huffed about things being utterly ridiculous.

Neither Chloe or Marinette really paid attention in class since they didn’t need to. Marinette would usualy sketch ideas for outfits she wanted to do for herself and Chloe.This was one of her throw away sketch books. Which meant if it got destroyed it wasn’t the end of the world. When she got home she would take the pages out just to be safe. She had learned not to have a sketch book with anything truely important. No designs that could be stolen and if any ‘accidents’ happened it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Chloe usualy worked on her nails during the lesson.

“Chlo?” she asked softly.

“Third paragraph page twelve.” the blonde answered not looking up from filing her nails.

Marinette nodded looking down at her work book. She scanned the paragraph and read it without any trouble.
~~~~~~~~~~
Bernadette Marabelle pressed her lips together in irritation. She knew full well that Miss Dupain-Cheng had not been paying any attention to the lesson. Miss. Bourgeois wasn’t much better. At this point she knew both girls were indeed fluent in English. But she didn’t want to admit to it. That would be embarrassing. It had never occured to her that just a quick and simple test on the first day could have told her like Lila the girls didn’t need to be in this class. There were others who were struggling.

But what she found strange was that Miss Dupain-Cheng was doing nothing to help out. She was normally such a sweet and helpful girl. Yes she was aware of some….disagrements between Marinette and the other students. But usually she rose above such things. When Marinette had first come to her at the begining of the year Bernadette had told her that if she didn’t give in and get upset then the incidents would stop. If they were really happening at all. It was hard to believe some of the stories Miss. Dupain-cheng had told her. Miss Rossi and her friends had always behaved in her class and when she saw them around campus. She had also told Miss Dupain-Cheng that soon she would be out in the real world and needed to learn how to solve problems. After all if you didn’t like a coworker you couldn’t just run to your boss and complain!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When class was over Marinette was not surprised to be asked to stay behind with Chloe. She packed up her things and went to stand in front of their teacher’s desk. “Girls why were you not paying attention in class today?!” Mme. Marabelle frowned.

“Uh...because we don’t need to?” Chloe replied. “This class is to help students learn or improve their English.”

“We know English.” Marinette pointed out.

“Everyone can improve their English.” Mme. Marabelle said with a little huff.

“Look we answer the questions in class and pass all the assinments. This is an afterschool lesson. What more do you want?” Chloe asked with a huff. Marinette was pretty sure she was fighting off the old urge to threaten to call her father.

“Miss Dupain-Chen I have noticed that some of your classmates are struggling with the lesson plans.” Mme. Marabelle had decided to change gears to take attention away from the obvious fact that she and Chloe knew English.

“And?” Marinette asked even thought she knew full well where this was going.

“I think you should help them study.” the woman smiled.

“Why would I do that?” Marinette asked. That was something the old Marinette would have done. She would have noticed way before the teacher needed to say something. And even though one on one tutoring wouldn’t be an option due to the risk of Lila’s wrath falling upon the person in need of help the old Marinette would have done something like make some flash cards or perhaps a study plan.

The smile turned into a look of dissapointment that Marinette was surprised to find didn’t bother her at all. Normally a teacher looking like that would send her spiraling into a guilt trip. “Don’t you want to help your classmates get a better grasp on the language?”

“Not really.” she answered.

Now their teacher was outright frowning.
~~~~~~~~~
Chloe was done with this conversation. “Look it isn’t Marinette’s job to make sure people are doing well in class. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s your job. And either Marinette and I need to improve our English by attending these lessons or we’re so good that we can help the other students. Or at least Marinette can because I know no one would want help from me. Not that I’m offering either. Which is it Mme. Marabelle?” she challenged.

The teacher pressed her lips together, clearly frustrated. “I just made the sugestion because in the past….”

“There’s your key word.” Chloe pointed out. “Past.”

“I have no interest in helping the others. Either they’ll get things or they won’t. Perhaps you should come up with some extra assignments for them? Flash cards or somethin.” Marinette suggested.

Finally the teacher let them leave. “That woman is ridiculous, utterly ridiculous to assume you should help those sheep out.” Chloe huffed as they walked down the hallways.

“Don’t worry Chloe. Lets focus on something more fun. I have a ton of designs drawn up for different outfits for us! Can I still work on them at your place?”

“Of course!” Chloe smiled. They had decided Marinette would make their costumes in Chloe’s room since it would be completely secure. “Do you have enough time to make so manny outfits?” The first five days would be exloring Gotham. Going to a special place each day and then they would have the weekend to have free time before starting at Gotham Academy the following Monday. That was ten outfits plus she knew Marinette wanted to make them dresses for the Wayne Gala.

“It’s going to be an exciting time press but I can get it done.I don’t have any commisions right now.” Marinette assured her. “Butler Jean already got the list of fabrics I need. And Mr. Wayne said I could have a seweing machine in our suite.”

“I can’t believe you got us a suite for our stay!” Chloe said with excitment. “I can’t wait to see Lila’s face. And of course I upgraded our tickets to first class.”

Marinette smile. “”Chloe you didn’t need to do that.”

“I most certainly did!” Chloe exclaimed. “You think I’m going to sit in coach with those pesants listening to Lila talk the entire ride?! Or let you do it?! Out of the question Dupain-Cheng!”
~~~~~~~~~
Marinette just laughed as they got into the waiting limo. “Okay so your outfits are going to be inspired by Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn,The Spoiler, Nightwing and Black Canary. My Outfits are going to be based off of Cat Woman, Robin, Batgirl, Zatanna,and Wonder Woman.”

Chloe nodded her aproval. They had decided early on that they would not do any villains because it would seem like encouraging their wrong doing but that the Sirens were in that gray area. They used to be bad guys but had reformed. If anything they were in the anti-hero category Red Hood was. “Have you come up with our gala dresses?” she asked curiously.

Marinette shook her head. “No….I was thinking of letting Gotham fashion inspire me.” Chloe nodded. She liked the sound of that. She was honored to wear MDC clothes. Marinette was going to be a bigger name that Gabriel Agreste one day. She knew it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The next morning before school there was a meeting of Team Miraculous.She had texted everyone before school to let them know she needed to video chat with them. She called Chloe first and then connected to both Luka and Kagami.

“Dupain-Cheng we are going to see one another in less than an hour. What is this about?” Chloe complained in a dramatic fashion.

“I too would like to know what this call is about?” Kagami asked calmly while Luka calmly strummed his guitar. Marinette wasn’t bothered by that; she knew that Luka could do that and listen perfectly well.

“Good morning everyone.” Marinette smiled. “I just wanted to go over some things in a completely private setting.” she explained. “Is it safe?” She was only really worried about Luka since his sister Juleka might be around. But to her relief everyone nodded.

“In a couple of weeks Chloe and I will be going to Gotham for a school trip and we will be gone for a month. While we are gone, Kagami and Luka will protect the city.”

“But Marinette only you can cleanse the akuma butterfly.” Luka protested.

Marinette smiled. “Yes. I talked to the Guardian and together we have come up with a solution. I will be taking the horse miraculous with us. It has the power teleportation. When the akuma alert app goes off Chloe and I will find a way to get away and we will come to finish things.”

Kagami was the first person to speak. “This sounds like an acceptable plan. Is there anything else we need to go over. My ride to morning lessons will be here soon.”

“One more thing.” Marinette announced. “We have all been fighting against Hawkmoth for different amounts of time. But it is all too long.” She could tell that her serious tone had them all a bit more alert. “As you may or may not know Gotham is home to Batman who is said to be the world’s greatest detective. I plan to approach him and see if he will help us.”

This time Chloe was the first to speak up. “Didn’t the Justice League tell you off when you asked for help?”

“Yes….but Batman is a little different. He seems like a logical person. At the very least I’m hoping he will hear us out. I understand why we got turned down. If it wasn’t so every day to us hearing what’s going on in Paris would sound crazy. Or they might have looked into it and saw that nothing was wrong due to the miraculous ladybug cure.”

“That makes sense.” Luka agreed. “Good luck Marinette. I hope he listens.”

“If he does I would like to set up a meeting with the four of us. I want everyone’s input on any plans. We might get only one chance to do this.” Marinette finished. Everyone agreed to this which Marinette was relieved. She hadn’t known how they would feel about bringing in outside help. But Hawk Moth had Mayura and the akumas were getting stronger all the time. Something had to be done. Batman seemed to have great control of his emotions. He always was calm and in control according to the online forums. She hoped this was true.

An hour later she and Chloe were walking into school. As they got close to their classroom they heard a familiar and loud voice
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Rose I heard you were really struggling with the English lessons.” Lila said in a fake concerned tone.

The little blonde sighed and nodded. “Yeah I’m just having a little more trouble than expected.” She sighed. Juleka squeezed her hand and she gave her girlfriend a warm smile.

Lila noticed this and of course wanted to get attention back to herself. “I hear Marinette and Chloe are really disrespectful in class. Is that true?” she asked.

Alya glared. “They totally don’t pay attention at all and are really obvious about it!” she complained.

“Wow it’s kind of like they’re making fun of all of you.” Lila gasped. She felt a thrill of satisfaction as the others began to grumble a bit.

Nino spoke up. “Yeah...well it seems like they don’t really need to be there. They can always answer the questions or read from the book.” He swallowed when Alya glared at him.

“They’re just showing off!” Alya snapped. “If they’re really so good at speaking English they could have gotten out of it. Lila doesn’t need to go because her mother is a diplomat so she knows the language already.”

“I heard Marinette was asked to help out since she seems to know just a little more than the others but she turned Mme Marabelle down because she said it would be a waste of her time.” Lila said in a hushed tone. “Something about how she had better things to do than help a dumb blonde or an empty headed jock.” She knew both Rose and Kim were having the most trouble. Inwardly she gloated over the angry muttering. It was almost too easy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Wow for someone who isn’t at school for those lessons you sure hear a lot.” Marinette pointed out. “Are those sausage rolls in your hair listening devices?”

As expected Lila gave an over exaggerated gasp before starting to tear up. “Marinette that was such a mean thing to say! Why are you eavesdropping on our conversation?! That’s SO rude!”

“First of all you can eavesdrop on a conversation in a public place.” Marinette pointed out.

“Especially with how loud and obnoxious your voice is Lila when you bad mouth Marinette.” Chloe pointed out.

“Lila is just telling the truth!” Kim glared, angry that Marinette had made fun of him. “That’s not bad mouthing!”

“So Mmm. Marabelle didn’t ask you to help out?” Alix asked, wanting to get things straight.

“She didn’t ask me. She just assumed I would be willing to help out.” Marinette answered. “Of course I refused. Why would I want to do something like that when all you guys do is talk trash about me. I’m done helping you guys out. You always come to me at the last minute and I’m sick of it.”

“Besides even if Marinette did offer to help out Lila would just turn it around on her and say she was offering to be a teacher’s pet or to get attention.”

Lila’s bottom lip trembled as the crocodile tears started. “Ch-Chloe that’s so mean!” she whined as Alya wrapped an arm around her shoulder to comfort her. “Why would you say that?”

“Uh because according to you getting attention is the reason I breathe.” Marinette pointed out. “I can’t win and I’m done trying. It doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do it’s all for attention according to you Lila. And I’m over it. So say whatever you want. I’m over it.” She sighed and went up to her seat with Chloe right behind her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila glanced around as some of the others murmured a little to one another about what Marinette had just said. She couldn’t automatically tell if they were in disagreement with what Marinette had said. Which did make her a little nervous.

“You guys know I would help out if I had the time right?” she said with a little pout.

As expected Alya was her biggest supporter. “Of course girl! We know you’re busy. Marinette could help if she wants but she clearly doesn’t care about us like she used to.”

Lila noticed some of the others share an uncomfortable look and her eyes narrowed a bit. That shouldn’t be happening! They should be angry at Marinette not looking doubtful! Something had to be done and soon!

Chapter Text

Nino waited by Adrien’s locker. The class was going to Gotham soon and he had been doing some thinking. He had been watchin Marinette a little more lately. And not in a creepy way. He had never seen her like this and they had known one another since they were kids. When they were eight she had grounded herself for calling him a butthead when they had been fighting over something he couldn’t really remember anymore. He just remembered going up to her room and her shouting through the door that she was grounded. When he asked her mother about it she had explained that Marinette had felt so bad about their fight and the name calling that she had grounded herself. That had been the old Marinette. The Marinette of today wasn’t afraid to say the word bitch. And he was plenty sure she wasn’t going to ground herself over any other cuss word she might say. Not that she was going around swearing like a sailor. But to hear it had been a shock to the system.

He had also been thinkin about some of the things she had said that day. It was true that Lila never had anyone around that could back up her stories about Marinette pushing her around. Were they just that? Stories? He remembered when Lila had first come to school Marinette had called her a liar. Looking back it was hard to tell where he had stopped believing in his childhood friend. He guessed a lot of it had to do with Alya. Alya and Lila were like best friends now. And he wanted to be supportive of his girlfriend. Then there was Adrien. Lila and Adrien were always together at school. Lila even did some modeling gigs with him. Alya was always talking about how it was only a matter of time before those two got together. And if he didn’t want to be one of those guys who couldn’t get along with his girlfriend’s friends he definitely didn’t want to be one of those guys who couldn’t get along with their best bro’s future girlfriend. So he kind of just stayed silent.

His phone beeped and he jumped to his feet. He had exactly four minutes to talk to Adrien. It was Thursday and Adrien would go to return his library books. This was a day when Alya would go hang out with Lila so they could work on something for Alya’s website the Ladyblog. Though over time it had become less and less about Ladybug. Adrien would come get his things and then have to go get picked up by his bodyguard so Nino had to act fast.

“Bro can I talk to you?!” he blurted out as soon as he saw his best friend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adrien was surprised to see Nino all alone but also happy. They didn’t get much time together. Lila attached herself to him like a barnacle every chance she got. He had no idea what kind of lies she had told his father to make him think she was some kind of positive influence on him. But it was what it was.

“Sure Nino. I have a little time.” he smiled. “What’s up?”

“Look I’ve been thinking…..do you know what’s going on with Marinette.” Nino asked. “She’s….different.”

 

An uneasy look came over Adrien’s face. This was a dangerous topic. “Marinette….is...I-I can’t….I should stay out of it.”

He watched Nino’s eyes widened in surprise. Then surprise slowly melted into understanding. “Dude….do you not want to talk about it?” When Adrien didn’t do anything Nino carefully pressed on. “Can you….not talk about it?” he asked hesitantly.

Adrien felt a familiar dread fill his stomach like he had swallowed a big rock.He gave the smallest of nod that anyone except Nino would miss. “I...I have to go…” he gasped as if he hadn’t been able to get enough air just now. “Just….not everything is as it seems…..I’m Sorry!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino watched his best bro run off like someone had set fire to his feet. “God damn it I hate Gabriel Agreste.” he muttered.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was kept busy as time led up to the Gotham trip. Not only was she kept busy making outfits for herself and Chloe but she was also going out with Team Miraculous to teach patrol routes and so people could get used to seeing Viperion and Ryuko out and about. Working with Team Miraculous was so much different than it just being Chat and herself. For one patrol route could be shorter since there were more of them. She had even started to devise plans of attack that they could use in a fight.

She knew it was dangerous to have so many active miraculouses out there in the world. But being part of a team….it took some of the weight off her shoulders. Being Ladybug was stressful. She had to be the serious one. Chat Noir was comic relief combined with a bunch of unwanted flirting. And then there had been his talking to Marinette. At first things had just been light and friendly but then sometimes he would complain about the girl he was in love with. And how he just didn’t understand why they weren’t together. It was annoying to have to be shoulder for Chat to bitch onto. But at least if he was talking to his good friend Marinette he wasn’t talking to others. Or at least she hoped so. She did not want to think of Chat running his mouth to other civilians.

Marinette had been in contact with Bruce Wayne to talk about the trip. She had set up a lot of different activities that she was sure her class would enjoy. They were going to start with a tour of Wayne Enterprise. Then they would be going to the Gotham museum, the Gotham Zoo, the shopping district, and the Gotham garden. She was really excited. It didn’t hurt that the class wouldn’t be able to get into any of these places without her as the contest winner. She was sure Lila was going to do her best to cause trouble but she had some back up plans.

Surprisingly enough there weren’t any issues with getting to the airport. Of course it helped that the night before she had spent the night at Chloe’s. She had kissed and hugged her parents goodbye, promising to be careful in the crime ridden city. They had been worried about their little girl going to a place like Gotham. But Marinette assured them that she would be okay. Both she and Chloe knew how to defend themselves. Chloe had reassured Tom and Sabine, who were like second parents to her, that she would watch out for Marinette. They knew that not everything was well with their daughter when it came to school. But whenever they asked Marinette about how school was going she always said she was fine.

She could tell from the dirty look Lila gave her the Italian girl had been hoping to leave her behind. She just smiled sweetly and pretended not to hear Lila talk about how she had showed up with Chloe in a nice car for attention. Their bags had already been sent ahead so no one would know how many bags they had. She wanted their daily outfits for the first five days to be a surprise each time.
~~~~~~~~~~
Mme. Marabelle was becoming more and more agitated as she argued with the woman behind the ticket counter. “What do you mean the tickets aren’t under the school name?!” she demanded.

“Mme. Marabelle I think you need….” Marinette began

“Not now Miss Dupain-Cheng!” the teacher snapped. “Go wait with the others.”

She then remembered something that the tickets were under the contest winner’s name. “Oh! Try the name Lila Rossi.” she smiled. She watched as the woman typed and frowned. “I’m sorry but there are no tickets under the name Bernadette Marabelle, the school Francoise Dupont or the name Lila Rossi.”

“This is impossible!” Mme. Marabelle exclaimed. “We are about to go on a school trip to America. I can not believe you people lost our tickets!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Can you like put an end to this spectacle Dupain-Cheng?” Chloe asked with a sigh. “This is getting embarrassing.”

Marinette looked up at her friend. “Yeah I guess it’s time.” She had tried to be nice about this. But then Mme. Marabelle had snapped at her when she had tried to help. So she stepped forward to intervene before their teacher got put on some kind of no fly list. “I’m sorry Ma'am but can you check under the name Marientte Dupain-Cheng?” she asked in a pleasant tone.

She could see that their teacher was getting ready to yell at her but they were interrupted by the woman behind the counter. “Here we are! And congratulations on winning the Martha and Thomas Wayne essay contest Miss Dupain-Cheng!”

Alya almost knocked her over as she pushed forward. “What are you talking about?!” she demanded. “Lila is the contest winner! Marinette is just an attention seeker!”

The woman behind the counter looked at them in confusion. “The tickets are under the name of the contest winner. There is no way someone else could claim them even if they used her name.” she pointed out.

“So there is one obvious conclusion.” Chloe spoke up.

“Ohmigod Marinette I can’t believe you changed the ticket!” Lila gasped.

Marinette starred as some of the others started to glare at her. Were they being serious. Did they really think she had the skills to hack into the airport computer system?
~~~~
Chloe noticed with slight interest as Nino pulled Alya back a little and seemed to be trying to calm her down. That was new. Before an argument over Marinette’s supposed hacking skills could break out the ticket lady spoke up.

“Um….no one has changed into our computer system.” she pointed out. “Here are your tickets.” Chloe could see she was getting really frustrated and wanted to be done with this interaction.

“Did the upgrades for my and Marinette’s tickets go through?” she asked.

“Oh yes,” the woman smiled. “I have your first class tickets right here Miss Bourgeois!”
~~~~~~~~~~
Like a shark smelling a drop of blood in the water Lila zeroed in on the words first class. She wasted no time doing one of the things she did best. Complaining. “Mme. Marabelle I’m worried about my tinnitus acting up on the flight. I think it would really be helpful if I could have Marinette’s ticket. Alya can take Chloe’s ticket since I know Chloe doesn’t like me and having her as a seat mate would be really uncomfortable.” she said with a sweet but suffering smile as she touched one of her ears.

She was pleased when Alya wasted no time snatching Marinette’s ticket. “Here you are, girl!” she said in a sympathetic tone. She looked at Chloe with a hand on her hip. “Hand it over!”
“Absolutely not!” the blonde glared.

“Wow Chloe you’re being so selfish!” Lila whined. She was caught off guard when Marinette took the ticket back. She hadn’t been expecting that. Oh well it made her look like a rude savage. She completely ignored that Alya had been the first to grab the ticket.
~~~~~~~~
Chloe’s eyes narrowed as Mme. Marabelle made the most pathetic attempt to settle the issue. Which really meant she was just going to side with Lila.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng I need you and Miss bourgeois to hand over your tickets.” she explained with an expectant smile.

Chloe was ready to stand her ground and was pleased to see Marinette was as well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“No.” Marinette replied with a stony expression. She watched a look of surprise come over her teacher’s face. The woman really thought she was just going to hand over their tickets!

Mme. Marabelle seemed to gather herself to try again. “Miss Dupain-Cheng Miss Rossi has a medical condition….”

Chloe stepped in before Marinette had a chance. “Look if it was such an issue then Lila’s mother should have made arrangements for her daughter.” Chloe said. “My father paid good money for these upgrades and neither of us are going to just give our tickets away!”

“I’m sorry to interrupt but the airline does not permit switching seats.” the airline employee spoke up politely. “All the names and seats are already in the system. If something went wrong and someone went missing it would cause complications.”

Chloe gave a look of triumph as Lila scowled before sighing. “I don’t want to cause any trouble.” he said in a most pitiful voice.

“Well good.” Chloe said as she took hold of Marinette’s hand to lead her away. She could just barely hear Lila spinnin some sob story about how she would do her best to suffer as quietly as possible. “Nothing she does is quiet.” Chloe muttered.
~~~~~~~~~
Nino walked a little behind Alya and Lila. She listened to them complain about Marinette and Chloe. About how unfair it was for Marinette to change the tickets. That it was so cruel of them not to give up their first class seats. He remembered what Marinette had said. Why hadn’t Lila’s mom done something if this was going to be such a big issue? Why was she waiting until the last minute to try and get a change in seating?

He shared a look with Adrien who just gave a little shake of his head. As if to say it wasn’t worth it to say something. He thought quickly and called out to Alya. “Babe I know you and Lila would have more fun having girl time on the flight. You know...talk about your next episode for the Ladyblog. Maybe Lila can get you some interviews since she knows the Waynes. Why don’t we switch seats?”

He watched as Alya’s face lit up. Since he was watching the two so closely he noticed the look of annoyance that came over Lila’s face before she put a big smile on. “That….sounds great.”

Nino noticed the relieved look on Adrien’s face and when the girls weren’t looking they fist bumped.

Chapter Text

Marinette had to admit being in first class was pretty nice. It was her first time on a plane. The seats were so comfortable and there were yummy snacks. Chloe said if they were older there would be mimosas or straight champagne. But since they were under age there was just orange juice. Not that she was going to complain. The eight hour flight was spent in great comfort.

From the dirty looks some of the others were giving her and Chloe it was clear that Lila’s attempt to suffer quietly had not been sucessful. Not that she had expected anything more. She had made arrangements for their bags to be sent ahead to the hotel. It was nice to be able to stretch her legs. She was excited to be in America. It was a place she had always wanted to go one day. She was glad her parents had insisted on her learning English. Not just for the bakery but many fashion writers only wrote in English. She couldn’t wait to see Gotham fashion! She had some ideas for gala dresses but hadn’t commited to anything.

She was a little nervous about going out to find Batman. She was taking a huge risk. Ladybug belonged in Paris. If some one from her class some how found out she was in Gotham they could, in the very least, easily deduct that the superheroine was some one in their class. It would be just too much of a coincident for their class and Ladybug to be in Gotham at the same time. At the worst they would figure out she was Ladybug.

They grouped together to get their bags. Marinette frowned as everyone else seemed to have their bags except for her. Finally she happened to be looking around and noticed her bag behind a nearby trashcan. “What the hell?” she muttered as she went to go get her bag. What was it going all the way over there? When she looked up and saw her class was gone she knew exactly what had happened. Lila. She was willing to bet Lila had her eyes peeled for her bag so she could hide it. She would be her miraculous that her class was now on it’s way to the hotel.

Sure enough a couple minutes later she got a frantic text from Chloe about how she had tried to get the group to wait but Lila told everyone she was feeling faint and needed to lay down. With a sigh and a shake of her head Marinette sent a message back saying she would be okay and that she would find a way to the hotel. She told Chloe to sit back and enjoy the show of Mme. Marabelle trying to get their room keys with out her being present.

After putting her phone away she grabbed her bag and went out front to get a cab. Thankfully it wasn’t very hard to get one. She knew this was Gotham and she had to be careful. So after the cab stopped before even getting in she told the driver where she needed to go and asked for a price and what the milage rate was. It was a little more than what she would have liked to pay but it wasn’t anything bad. She was fascinated by the sights of the city. It was so different from Paris. It was a lot darker but she could see it’s charm.

“That will be fifty dollars.” the driver said.

Marinette gasped. “Excuse me?! You said it was going to be twenty five at most if there was bad traffic. And we had hardly any traffic!” she glared. She knew what was happening. This guy was trying to take advantage of her. Maybe because she was not just a young woman all on her own. Or because of where she was going, the Gotham Hotel was very nice after all. Or it could be because she was all alone with no one to defend her. It was probably all of those reasons.

“Listen girly give me the money and we won’t have a problem.” Before she could do or say anything she heard the doors lock. Probably some kind of child lock feature. Or maybe something specifically designed so he could take advantage of people.

“You scum bag! You are trying to take advantage of me!” Marinette was so angry she didn’t realize she was speaking French. Her mind couldn’t even process English. Just as she was about to punch the driver in the side of the head the diver seat opened and he was pulled out.

“Look what ever you are trying to pull I suggest you give it up.” A deep male voice growled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason was not in the best mood. He had gotten shot a couple of nights ago and Alfred had benched him. If it had been anyone else but Alfie he probably would have ignored them and gone out anyways. But you did not cross Agent A. He had been out blowing off some steam when he heard muffled yelling. There was a cab stopped outside the Gotham Rose, the best hotel in the city which also happened to be owned by Bruce. Inside the cab was a very angry looking girl. She was pulling at the door handle but the door wasn’t budging. At once he knew what was going on. He had heard about this. Cab drivers jacking up the price at the end of the ride. He was pretty sure soon a gun or a knife would be pulled out. So he decided to act.

With out hesitating he went to the driver’s seat, opened the door, and pulled the driver out. “What ever you are trying to pull I sugest you give it up!” he growled. One hand had the driver’s shirt collar. The other reached down to unlock the door.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette stared with wide eyes as her driver was pulled out by the collar of his shirt. “This guy giving you trouble miss?” She looked at the very large man now holding her driver. She had to struggle a bit for her mind to translate words into english. “Ah….y-yes. He told me that the ride from the airport would be twenty five at the most if there was traffic. But upon arival he said that it was fifty and locked me in!”

“That Frenchie is fucking lying!” the driver protested. The man got his head slammed against the roof of the cab.

“Watch your fucking mouth!” her rescuer snarled. “Miss I suggest you get out. Don’t worry about paying.”

Marinette scrambled out of the back of the cab, happy she had her bag with her. She watched wide eyed as the stranger threatened the driver before letting him drive off, though she noticed that he took note of the liscense plate.

“You okay?” Marinette took in the details of her savior. He was tall and broad shoulder. His hair was black but there was a noticable white streak above his right eye.

“Ah….y-yes….thank you for helping me. I know Gotham can be a dangerous place.” she stammered. The man snorted but she decided to ignore that. “My name is Marinette. Marinette Dupain-Cheng. I am here on a class trip from Paris.”

“Name is Jason. Not to be rude but where’s your class? Why the hell were you takin a cab all by yourself?” the man demanded.

“Oh….well you see I got left at the airport. One of my classmates probably thought it would be funny.” Marinette sighed. “Though the joke is on them. We’re on this trip because I won a contest and no one can get their room keys with out me.” When the man gave a bark of laughter Marinette couldn’ help but smile.

“Well take care pixie-pop.” he grinned before walking away. Marinette hoped she could see him again. His leather jacket was cool but looked a little worse for the wear. She wanted to make him something new. Maybe she could do it anyways and hope for the best. She had a natural eye for measurments. Picking up her bag she walked into the hotel and came upon a very familar scene.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mme. Marabelle could not believe she was in the same situation in less than twelve hours. “Ma’am I’m sorry but I can’t release your room keys with out the contest winner being present.”

She looked around almost helplessly. “Where is Miss. Dupain-Cheng??”

Chloe Bourgeois stepped forward. “Mme. I tried to tell you several times we left her behind at the airport!” She said with a huff. “But everyone ignored me in favor of rushing off!”

Mme. Marabelle saw the desk clerk’s eyes widened at hearing that she had accidently left a student at the airport. Which of course made her feel rather embarrassed as a professional educator. “Miss Rossi said she was feeling faint and needed to lay down!” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up. “Miss Dupain-Cheng-”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Is right here.” Marinette announced as she approached the group. She couldn’t help but laugh a bit as Chloe threw her arms around her in a hug.

“There you are Marinette. I was so worried!” Chloe exclaimed.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng why didn’t you get on the bus with the others?!” Mme. Marabelle demanded. Like she had done this on purpose. Though it was very likely Lila had spun it that way.

“Mme. Marabelle my bag wasn’t on the luggage belt.” she explained as patiently as she could. “Someone took it off and put it to the side. When I noticed and went to get it I came back to our spot and everyone was gone.”

“Gee I wonder how that happened?” Chloe asked, giving Lila a dirty look.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng you should have let someone know where you were going!” Mme. Marabelle scolded. As if this had all been her fault. Marinette fought back the urge to say that as the adult in charge Mme. Marabelle should have at least stopped to do a head count. Instead she ignored the woman and went to the front desk.

“I’m Marinette Dupain-Cheng. I’m here now so can you please let us have our room keys?” she politely asked in perfect english. The desk clerk smiled happily that everything had turned out well in the end. Really that teacher needed to be more careful. This was Gotham for crying out loud!

“Welcome to the Gotham Rose Hotel everyone!” she smiled as she set a bunch of room keys on the counter. “I will assign the rooms if you will please give me the names of who goes where.”

“Why does Marinette get to decide?!” Alya asked rudely.

“Because I won the contest. Not Lila.” Marinette said in a smug tone. Her former friends looked at her in surprise. They had never heard Marinette be smug over anything. When she did well on a test or got praise for something she was usually very modest.

It was Rose who spoke up. “Lila…..wh-why did you say you won the contest?”

Marinette didn’t say anything she knew Lila would have a way out of this. “I...I….” Lila stammered a bit nervously before thinking on her feet. “I actually helped Marinette. I practically did everything myself. I assumed Marinette would do the right thing and submit both our names!”

Marinette rolled her eyes as the others glared at her. “Are you for real? When in the last year and a half have I ever worked with Lila on anything? We don’t even get paired up in class!”

Lila gave a piteous little moan. “Oh I’m so dizzy. Marinette, why are you purposely wasting time and not giving us our rooms?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe was pretty sure if Marinette rolled her eyes any harder she might pull a muscle. “Fine!” Marinette said. “Ivan, Max, and Kim are in a room. Nino and Adrien. Rose, and Juleka. Mylene and Alix. Alya and Lila. Chloe and myself.” The desk clerk had a list with last names and quickly assigned the room card keys.

She watched as everyone but Alya and Lila thanked Marinette though they looked uneasy over it. As it turned out they were all on the same floor for convenience. Everyone had paired up. Though when Lila saw that she and Marinette were heading for a suite she pitched a fit.
~~~~~~~~~
Lila had just opened her room door and had been impressed with the size and luxury. This really was the best hotel in Gotham! But then out of the corner of her eye she noticed Marinette and Chloe heading for the end of the hall where the suites were. Why should Marinette and Chloe get the best room?!

“Mme. Marabelle I think there might be a problem with my room.” she complained. “I really think the size of this room is going to make my claustrophobia act up. There are only two windows! Can Alya and I switch with Marinette and Chloe? It just makes sense when they have a bigger room.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was not having any of this. When their teacher turned a questioning gaze to her she put her foot down. “Absolutely not. I was able to request this room when Mr. Wayne emailed me about my preferences. I am not switching.”

“Stop lying!” Alya hissed. “Why would Bruce Wayne talk to you?!”

“Miss Dupain-Cheng….Miss Rossi….” Mme. Marabelle started.

“If Lila has a problem with her room she can go complain to the front desk. Though in my personal opinion complaining about your room in a five star hotel that you’re not paying for any part of seems pretty rude!” And with that she slammed the door behind her since Chloe had already gone in.

Chapter Text

Marinette didn’t think she had ever had a more comfortable sleep. She had told Chloe she had some plans to counteract some things that Lila was probably trying to pull. And that she shouldn’t worry. The two of them had a fun time exploring their suite, putting away their clothes, and just talking about the trip. They both had a lot of plans and did not intend to let Lila mess them up.

Lila was many things. And one of those things was predictable. Everyone knew Marinette used to have trouble getting to school on time. She didn’t anymore but she doubted that Lila would have picked up on that. She didn’t even put effort into basic fact checking when she came to her lies. So today’s plan was to get up early and just head to Wayne Enterprise. She would bet money that Lila would get the class to leave at least an hour early. So that was why she walked into Wayne Enterprise in her Catwoman inspired outfit. She had on a pair of tight blackleather pants, a half-hoodie(stops just above the waist) that had cat ears on it, a black tank top in case it got hot, and black boots with heels. She also had a pair of goggles around her neck. She had done her eye make up in a classic cat eye style. Since she had nothing better to do she took a seat and looked up fashion related things on her phone.
~~~~~~~~~
What time was it? It was….day time? Tim blinked in a bleary fashion and looked out the window. Where was he? Oh...that’s right he was in his office at W.E. Tim had pulled another all nighter. His third in a row. But he was THIS close to figuring out that merger problem. Coffee. He needed coffee. Groaning he pulled himself to his feet and stumbled out the door. He was halfway to the door when he noticed a girl with an obvious cat theme going on. No wait..a Catwoman theme. Did Selina have a fangirl? Or had she taken on an apprentice? It would be like her to send it to W.E. to cause trouble for her fiance. Selina loved stealing out from under people’s noses. Though she wasn’t a serious thief these days. Together with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy they were the three Sirens of Gotham.

He continued on his way,stopped, and turned around.

“Excuse me Miss are you here to commit some kind of crime?” he asked politely after walking up. His brothers might prefer more straight forward or brutish methods. But you could never tell what asking nicely might get you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette looked up in surprise when not only did someone speak to her but asked her a very strange question. But as she took in the person standing in front of her it made sense for a strange person to ask her a strange question. In front of her was a boy who honestly didn’t seem that much older than her. He was in a slightly rumpled looking dress shirt and slacks. There were bags under his eyes like he hadn’t slept in a week.

She smiled. “No sir. I am not planning on committing a crime. Though I’m not sure I would say so if I was.”

The boy gave a surprised bark of laughter. “Sorry. I just wasn’t sure. There was a good chance I was imagining you. So what are you doing here?”

“My name is Marinette Dupain-Cheng. I’m here with my class from Paris.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
Tim nodded. “Ah yes the contest winner. Welcome to Wayne Enterprises.” He looked at his watch. “You’re here pretty early…...and where is your class?” He had glanced around and noticed that Marinette was very alone. Had she come here on her own?

“Well you see.” Marinette began. “There is this girl Lila. She likes to cause trouble for me. I used to be late a lot. So I’m pretty sure she is going to get the class to leave early in an attempt to leave me behind.”

Tim frowned. That sounded like a pretty shitty thing to do. But he had to admire Marinette’s choice to beat this Lila girl to the punch. He had to smile. “Well would you like to get a cup of coffee with me?” he asked. “You can tell me about your outfit.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick whistled as he walked down the street. He was really excited to give a tour to the class from Paris. They all were promising young people with bright futures. But he was curious about the girl who had written the essay, there was a written and a video essay. She hadn’t said much about herself. But Tim had looked into her and she had not only amazing grades but did a lot for her community as well as help out at the bakery her parents owned!

He still had some time before the class would arrive. Enough for a cup of coffee. Dick didn’t feel like going up to the floor that had the full coffee shop so he decided to stop in a little place a block down the street. When he stepped in he was surprised to find his little brother Tim sitting with a girl who was wearing a hoodie with cat ears on it. Well that was different. He walked up to the pair. “Really Tim? Did the W.E. coffee shop finally cut you off? And who is this?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette had been having a nice time chatting with Tim. She was amazed to learn he was Tim Drake-Wayne! He was the co CEO of Wayne Enterprise even though he was only two or three years older than herself. He was easy to talk to though she avoids talking about her class whenever possible. Instead she talked about her real friends, her parent’s bakery, fashion, and this trip She had explained her outfit and told him that she had made her best friend a Gotham themed outfit.

“Marinette this is my oldest brother Dick Grayson.” Tim smiled. “Dick this is Marinette Dupain-Cheng. She is the contest winner.”

Marinette knew that Bruce Wayne had adopted three of his four sons. She took note that both Tim and Dick just went by their original names. Maybe they didn’t like to throw the Wayne name around. “It’s very nice to meet you.” she smiled as they shook hands.

“How did you end up at a coffee house with Tim?” Dick asked her curiously.

“Marinette arrived early to prevent a possible timing mishap.” Tim explained.
~~~~~~~~~~
Right away Dick picked up that there was more to what Tim had said than just the words. He wasn’t sure what the hidden meaning was but it was there. Tim was a master at saying a lot and nothing at the same time.

“That’s a very interesting outfit you are wearing.” Dick commented. He had noticed Marinette had tensed every so slightly but was happy when she relaxed.

“I made it myself. I want to be a fashion designer. Since the first five days of the trip my class will be sight seeing before we start school. I made myself and my best friend Gotham inspired outfits.” She wasn’t bragging but it was clear she was.

“So you’re Catwoman.” Dick smiled. He was very impressed with her outfit. It was fun and flirty. He had to get a picture for Selina! “Who is your friend going to be?”

“Wait and find out.” Marinette winked.

When a phone chirped Marinette pulled out her phone and smirked. Dick couldn’t help but be curious. “Good news?”
~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette looked up from her phone. “I just got a text from Chloe. She wants to know where I am and is warning me that the class is leaving the hotel.”

“You expected this?” Dick asked, raising an eyebrow.

Marinette hesitated but decided to explain. Maybe being able to talk about it would help. Dick and Tim were so nice so she would hate for Lila to trick them “Yes...I have a classmate named Lila. She lies easier than she breathes. Unfortunately she has a talent for it and a lot of people fall under her spell. When I wouldn’t get in line she decided to turn everyone against me. I fully expected her to pull something like this so I came extra early.Lila rarely fact checks anything and I used to have problems being on time. So it was easy to figure out her plan.”

She worried that Dick would think she was just trach talking. But to her surprise Dick laughed. “Wow I can’t imagine a teacher falling for something like that. Today has a planned out schedule. Your class isn’t going to be able to start the tour early just because they show up early!”

“This is just a small example of Lila not thinking anything beyond her own lies. All she is thinking about is how funny it will be to leave me behind.” Marinette shrugged. It felt so good to have not just one but two people believe in her.
“Well Let me order something and by the time we finish we’ll be right on time for the tour.” Dick smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Ma’am….just because you showed up thirty minutes early does not mean you can start your tour early.” the receptionist said for what felt like the tenth time. She didn’t know how things were done in Paris but this was a multi-billion dollar company! They had a schedule to stick to. Did these people not understand how big an exception that was being made for them. Bruce Wayne’s oldest son was going to be their tour guide!!

“Well we’re here so why can’t we start?” a girl with red hair and glasses demanded, rather rudely.

“Miss your special tour guide isn’t even here yet.” the receptionist sighed.When the class went to sit down to wait she was relieved that they were going to leave her alone. But she couldn’t help but frown when one girl with thick ringlets, she guessed, complained in a stage whisper how she expected a company like Wayne Enterprise to be a little more professional. Personally she thought this class was rather bratty. But she did find one girl intesting. She was a tall blond with her hair pulled into two hanging pigtails one dyed blue and the other pink. She wore a long sleeved crop top where one side was red and the other black with diamond of the opposite color on each side with a matching skirt. It wasn’t hard to tell who she was dressed like.
~~~~~~~~~~~
When Dick walked in he spotted Marinette’s friend right away and he almost laughed. The two girls were dressed as two of the three Sirens of Gotham. He was pretty sure one of them would eventually wear a Poison Ivy outfit. He was looking forward to the next five days even more. Marinette was just as sweet as she seemed on paper! They had planned for Dick to go ahead while Tim and Marinette would follow so they could drive the point home that if this Lila girl wanted to leave Marinette behind again she would just be wasting everyone’s time.

“Welcome to Wayne Enterprise!” he grinned. “I am your tour guide Dick. We have a full schedule today so I hope you’re all ready.”

“Yes of course we’re ready. In fact we have been here for almost thirty minutes.” the teacher said as if he was one of her students she could scold.

Dick gave her a confused look. “You have? Your tour is scheduled for ten. Why would you show up so early?” He didn’t really give her a chance to answer. “Wayne Enterprise is a very big company that doesn’t normally do tours. Everything has been planned out months in advance.”

He tried not to laugh as the teacher tried to cover her ass and was failing. “I...I know that….I just thought you would appreciate us being so punctual.” she said with a small sniff of disdain.

Dick gave her a slightly patronizing smile. “Well that was a nice thought. Well it’s a few minutes to ten. Is everyone here? As expected the teacher started to say yes but the blonde interrupted.
“Actually Marinette isn’t here!” she protested. “She was left behind…..again.”

Dick noticed the teacher flush with embarrassment and anger. Again? Marinette hadn’t mentioned being left behind anywhere before this. He decided he would have to look into that. “Marinette Dupain-Cheng?” he asked even though he knew exactly who she was talking about. “Your contest winner? I’m afraid the tour can’t start without her”

A girl with brown hair and a sickly sweet smiled stepped forward. “Marinette is late a lot sir. We should really just start without her.” He was willing to bet that this was Lila. He was about to patiently explain that they couldn’t start without Marinette but didn’t have to.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Actually Lila I’m right here.” Marinette announced as she walked in. Time had somehow straightened up his appearance and looked quite smart in his grey dress shirt and slacks. “I actually got here in about an hour. I know I used to have trouble with my schedule but that was a long time ago. Since there was time I got a cup of tea and ended up meeting Tim who works here.”

“Hello everyone.” Time smiled “Sorry I can’t stay to talk. I have to finalize some details for a research and development meeting.” That wasn’t what the meeting was about but Marinette said to make it something important sounded but simple to understand.

“See you later Timmy.” Dick waved cheerfully.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng why did you leave the hotel without informing anyone?!” Mme. Marabelle demanded.

“I actually left a note at the front desk….if anyone asked about me.” Marinette said with a sweet smile, exposing that her absence had been overlooked once more. “I wanted to arrive early to make sure everything was on schedule and do a little sketching.” She couldn’t help but laugh inwardly at the look on her teacher’s face.

“Well since everyone's here on time let's start the tour.” Dick smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe moved to stand beside Marinette, which Dick noticed. “Wow those are some interesting outfits Miss. Dupain-Cheng. Who is your friend?”

Chloe had never been one to let others speak for her. “I am Chloe Bourgeois. “ she said, holding out her hand to be shook. “Marinette makes clothes. She decided we should have some fun so she made us Gotham inspired outfits. Today we are celebrating Harley Quinn and Catwoman. They have come a long way.”

“That’s very interesting.” Dick smiled before going to stand in front of the group to start the tour. It didn’t take Lila very long to start mouthing off.
“Look at how they’re dressed.” she stage whispered to Alya. “I can’t believe Dick likes those tacky outfits.”

“And did you hear how excited Marinette got over a little attention? She is SO desperate!” Alya sneered.

Chloe glared. “What’s wrong with Dick complimenting Marinette?! There’s nothing wrong with getting attention when you have skills. But of course a talentless tabloid writer would know nothing about that!” She left a spluttering Alya and pulled Marinette closer to the front. She knew Lila and Alya would stay in the back to talk.

Once glance at Marinette had her frowning. “Marinette these outfits are amazing. YOU are amazing!” she whispered to her friend. Tell me about your new friend later.”

When Marinette gave her a secretive smile she was intrigued. “That was Tim Drake and our tour guide is Dick Grayson.” she whispered. “I met them both.” Chloe’s mouth almost fell open. She was instantly impressed that Marinette had befriended two of the Wayne boys. Plus one was their tour guide. This was amazing, utterly amazing. “I want the WHOLE story later!” she hissed which made her friend giggle as the tour officially began.

Chapter Text

Dick had mixed feelings about this group. Most of these kids were pretty nice. But there were two that were certainly trying his patience. The first one was that Lila girl. He didn’t know who the other girl was. She was a redhead with glasses. Both of them continued to whisper as he gave the tour. Before things got started he suggested that the class take a picture together. He made sure that Marinette and her friend Chloe had a full body shot. Not that he was trying to be a creep. He had a reason.

When he got a little break when someone from research and development took over to talk about some of the things the company was doing. He brought up the picture on his phone and logged into the private chat server Babs had set up then started a group chat. He made sure to always be aware of his surroundings so no one could sneak up on him and get a peek at his phone.

Original Bird: Check out the group from Paris that won the contest. Notice anything interesting??

Miss Kitty: What a cute little kitten! And is that a clown I spy with my little eye?

All Seeing Eye: Black hair and blue eyes. Bruce...is there something you want to tell us? #NewWayne?

Lil D: Father, have you cannot add any other children to our ranks!

Blondie: Bruce….I think you have a problem…..

B: I didn’t adopt anyone.

World’s Best Boy Detective: The girl in the catwoman outfit is Marientte Dupain-Cheng. And her hair is a very dark blue.

B: She won the contest.

Original Bird: Yup! And the girl dressed as Harley is her best Friend Chloe. Marinette is an aspiring fashion designer. She made both outfits. And according to her there are eight more Gotham inspired outfits to follow. One for each day until the weekend since the class is just sightseeing.

Jazz Hands: She is very talented. Both of them have kind eyes.

Little Wing: Small world. I saved Marinette from a cab driver trying to rip her off. Her class left her at the airport.

Blondie: What the hell was wrong with that teacher?! You can’t just leave a girl like that alone in Gotham!

Jazz Hands: I’m glad you were there for her Jason

World’s Best Boy Detective: Dick and I talked with her this morning. She came early because she felt like her class would leave earlier than scheduled and leave her behind. Some girl named Lila is giving her trouble.

Original Bird:Well there was one girl who tried to insist that since Marinette was often late we should start the tour anyways. Teacher tried to Marinette out on leaving the hotel. But that blew up in her face because Marinette left word at the hotel but no one asked about her.

Little Wing: Oh damn!

B: This is a little troubling.

World’s Best Boy Detective: I’ll look into it.

Dick had to put his phone away when he had to start the tour again. He had to admit that most of the class wasn’t paying attention thanks to that Lila girl. But Marinet and Chloe were being attentive. They paid attention to what he said and asked questions. He already knew Marinette was into fashion but he also learned things about her friend Chloe. Her father was the mayor of Paris and her mother was a huge fashion icon. She wasn’t just a pretty face but had a sharp mind for business.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila was bored. She had thought they would be learning big company secrets or something like that. And to think the day had started off so well! It had been child’s play to convince Mme. Marabelle to have the class leave early. Picturing Marinette’s stupid face when she came down to the lobby and saw them gone had given her quite a lot of entertainment. She almost wished she would have been able to be there to see it. But then Marinette had ruined everything. Why couldn’t she just stay in her place?! Hadn’t she done enough to teach her where she belonged?? Apparently not.

“Wow look at Marinette and Chloe suck up to that lame tour guide.” she half whispered to Alya causing her to laugh.

“Yeah they’re so fake. And who is that guy anyways? It looks like they just picked up some random guy off the street. Couldn’t they have at least gotten someone with an important title?” Alya complained.

“Well I tried to pull some strings but I guess Marinette overrode my amazing advice!” Lila complained. “Maybe I can talk to my Damiboo to get something done about her.”
Rose looked at her with predictable stars in her eyes. That little blonde twit was a sap for anything romantic. “Oh Lila did you get in contact with him?” she squealed quietly

Lila smiled. “Yes. He was SO excited that I am back in Gotham. He asked me out on a date tonight. I’m sure he’ll take me somewhere fabulous!” It would be easy to find somewhere to hang out for a few hours. Then she would come back and tell everyone an absolutely amazing story about her date with Damian Wayne. She couldn’t believe how easy this all was even after all this time. Marinette was being a little bothersome but she wasn’t worried at all. Sure she was being a little mouthy but Lila decided that this would just help her prove her point that everyone was better off without Marinette in their lives. Chloe didn’t count. Everyone hated Chloe so she didn’t even bother spreading rumors about the blonde.

“Do you think you could get me an interview with Bruce Wayne?” Alya asked her hopefully.

Lila didn’t miss a beat. “I’ll ask my Damiboo about it but Bruce is a very busy man” she warned. Alya nodded at once. “Right of course!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Alright everyone it’s time for lunch.” Dick announced. “We are now at the Wayne Enterprise cafeteria. We have several food stalls. Don’t worry about pulling out your wallets Every W.E. employees eat for free and can have as much as they want. All the fruits and vegetables are provided by Wayne Food.”

Marinette listened with interest as she looked around. What Dick called a cafeteria looked more like a big food court. There were all kinds of food types from all over! It was also so amazing that the workers could eat. Chloe leaned over to whisper to her. “I’ve been telling Daddy that we should invest in farm land to produce more of our own things.” No one knew it but Chloe was taking business classes so she could one day fully run the hotel her father owned. A lot of people thought she would just live off the family money for the rest of her life. But Chloe wanted more out of life. The two of them got some salads and started to look around for a place to sit. Marinette wanted to make sure she was as far away from Lila as possible. Shr had just found a nice looking table but something caught her eye…..well someone did….

“Jason?!”

Chapter Text

“Jason what on earth are you doing here?!” Marinette asked. The guy who had saved her from the cab driver was the last person she had expected to see at Wayne Enterprise. Not that she wasn’t happy.

“Taco tuesday.” Jason answered. He was indeed eating a plate of tacos but there was one big flaw in that answer.

“Jason it’s monday.” Marinette answered in an amused tone.

Jason gave a shrug. “Whatever….it’s taco time.”

Marinette gave a snort before feeling Chloe nudge her. “Oh! Jason, this is one of my best friends Chloe Bourgeois. Chloe, this is Jason. He helped me out last night.” she explained as the two of them sat down.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe had been confused when Marinette called out to some strange man who was sitting and eating tacos. “Oh so this is that Jason.” She replied after sitting down. “Nice to meet you. Thank you for helping Marinette.” Marinette had told her what had happened and how her taxi ride had ended. It had just made her anger at their teacher grow. They had all sat through a half hour lecture about how to be safe in Gotham. This wasn’t Paris where the crime rate was almost non-existent. There was no Miraculous Ladybug Cure here.

“So what the hell was Pixie-pop doing taking a cab by herself so late at night?” Jason asked.

Chloe appreciated blunt speech. People would waste so much less time if they weren’t worried about the proper way to say things. “Well we were all at the airport and a manipulative little harpy picked up Marinette’s back and hid it behind a nearby trash can. When Marinette finally noticed and went to retrieve it that class was hustled out to catch the bus. Leaving her behind.” She took note of the way Jason clenched his fist at getting the whole story.
~~~~~~~~
When Dick came into the cafeteria, the last person he expected to see sitting with Marinette and Chloe was his brother Jason. “Jaybird?” he asked as he approached the table with his tray. “What are you doing here?” Jason hardly ever came to W.E. because he didn’t want to risk running into Bruce.

“Taco tuesday.” Marinette answered in an amused tone.

Dick gave them a puzzled look. “But...it’s monday.”

“Shut up and let a man enjoy his tacos!” Jason huffed which made Dick laugh. He had a sneaking suspicion that Jason had been worried about Marinette. Of course he was never going to admit to it so he was going to let it go before Jason got angry. It was just nice to see him out of uniform. “So Jaybird does this mean you changed your mind about helping out?”
Jason shot him a dirty look but shrugged. “Yeah I guess I’ll help out.” he grumbled.

“Help out?” Chloe asked, raising a well groomed eyebrow.

“Yeah all the trips come with a special chaperon. Jason got asked to be around on the day your class goes to the Gotham open markets. It’s a good place to go shopping but there are people who might try and take advantage of visiting foreigners.” Dick explained. “Jason has like a sixth sense for that kind of stuff.”

“Oh I already know.” Marinette smiled which made the others laugh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Oh my look at Marinette and Chloe sitting with the tour guide. Who’s that other guy?” Lila asked innocently. “Does anyone think it’s a little forward for Marinette to be friendly with so many strange men?”

She was sitting with her usual group. The food was nice but not as nice as she was expecting. She had been expecting a more V.I.P. experience. Not sitting in the cafeteria with everyone else! She had been about to complain but then noticed where Marinette and Chloe were sitting. Why were they sitting with the tour guide like a couple of nerds? And who was that strange guy? Why were so many people interested in stupid Marinette?!

“Probably trying to make Adrien jealous.” Alya replied. “So Pathetic!”

Lila latched onto that. She looked up Adriend with a sympathetic expression. “Oh Adrien it must be so annoying to have to deal with such a manipulative girl!” He gave her an uncomfortable look.

“I don’t really think she’s trying to do that.” he said weakly. Lila gave him a small elbow nudge to silently warn him he was stepping on thin ice. She was going to have to remind him yet again that his dad had said to be nice to her. And supporting Marinette was not being nice!

“Plus there was that guy from this morning.” Lila pointed out to get the conversation away any possible ounce of sympathy for Marinette. “Marinette is like ALWAYS late. And it just so happens she’s early for something and walks in with some guy? Then she walks in at the last minute for attention!”

“That does seem a little odd about the guy.” Mylene softly pointed out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“So she happened to meet some guy while checking up on the tour stuff.” Alix pointed out. “I don’t think it’s that big a deal!” She was kind of getting tired of Lila continuously talking about Marinette. Ever since that day it had been pointed out how much Lila accused Marinette of wanting attention it was like she couldn’t not notice. She was starting to see Lila was either telling some fantastic story about her life or bitching about Marinette. It was getting old
Lila gasped and got a little teary eyed. “Alix I’m sorry if I offended you. I….I was just worried about Marinette giving the wrong impression about the rest of us girls.”

Alix bit down on her bottom lip as she couldn’t help but feel bad. She had never been good when people cried. “No Lila not at all! I’m sorry!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino hadn’t said anything. He wasn’t a big talker when the girls were going at it. When Lila and Alya got worked up it was best to keep quiet. But because he was just observing he caught that little exchange between Lila and Adrien.

He couldn’t help but notice how quickly Lila’s tears disappeared as soon as Alix nervously apologised.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette couldn’t remember the last time she had been able to enjoy the lunch hour this much. Lila was staying on the other side of the cafeteria and it looked like she was actually going to stay there. She probably figured there wasn’t a point in trying anything since she didn’t think they would be seeing Dick again. Or maybe she just thought he was a random worker bee and couldn’t get her anything.

“So I know you guys just got here but how are you and Chloe liking Gotham?” Dick asked.

Marinette thought about it. “It’s relaxing. Right Chloe?” Chloe instantly nodded her agreement. “Yeah.”

She noticed Dick and Jason exchange a confused look. “Relaxing isn’t really a way most people would describe Gotham.” Jason pointed out.

“Sorry I know that’s weird but it’s just nice to not worry about suppressing emotions.” she explained. “I finally get to speak my mind fully without worrying about creating an akuma.”

“Fun isn’t it?” Chloe smirked, causing them both to laugh. They were at the point where they could joke about that number of akumas Chloe was responsible for creating.

“What the hell are you two talking about?” Jason demanded.

Marinette exchanged a look with Chloe. “You guys don’t know about akuma’s? What about the Paris superheroine LadyBug?”

“Paris has super heroes?” Dick asked.

“Paris’ superheroes are named after insects?” Jason asked at the same time.

“Like Gotham can really talk!” Chloe scoffed. “They are all bats and birds!”
Marinette decided to step in before a fight could be started. “Yes Paris has super heroes. A few years ago a villain named Hawk Moth appeared. He uses people’s negative emotions to turn them into by sending out a butterfly infused with the power to enhance negative emotion called akumas. The person is akumatized and changes form and has powers. For example a boy who gets dumped by his girlfriend could become akumatized and go after her to make her love him again. Or maybe he’ll want to break up other happy couples. In return for giving them these powers Hawk Moth orders the akuma to go after Lady Bug to get her and the black cat miraculous.”

“Her what now?” Dick asked.

Marinette exchanged a look with Chloe wondering how much to say. “It’s the source of power.” Chloe explained. “All I know is it’s what he asks for.”

“How would you know?” Jason asked.

“I’ve been akumatized…..multiple times.” Chloe answered. “It’s been awhile for me but I used to be a pretty awful person.” Marinet felt a burst of pride for her best friend. Chloe had come such a long way.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason was trying to be good since he was in the presence of impressionable youth but he couldn’t help himself. “Are you two fucking serious? This sounds like someone's weird fanfic.”

“Jason watch your language!” Dick glared. Though he totally could tell his older brother was doubtful as well.

Marinette laughed a bit. “I know it sounds strange but it’s the truth.”

“Why haven’t we heard anything about it?” Dick asked. “Paris is being terrorized from the sounds of it.” Jason nodded in agreement.

“It’s a serious problem. But it’s been kept quiet. Paris depends on tourism.” Marinette explained.

“Beside we have the Miraculous cure to set everything to right. So it’s not like we need other heroes butting in and getting akumatized. Not that I doubt LadyBug but no one wants to deal with an akumatized Flash or Superman.” Chloe pointed out.

“Miraculous?” Dick began

“Cure?” Jason finished.

“Ladybug has the gift of creation.One of her powers in the Miraculous Ladybug cure. It fixes all the damage done by Hawk Moth and his Akumas.” Chloe explained.
“Yes….Ladybug can fix physical damage. But I know there are a lot of emotional scars left behind.” Marinette sighed looking troubled. “People get hurt and even die. I find it impossible to believe that going through something like that doesn’t cause mental trauma.”

Jason exchanged a look with Dick. They would seriously have to look into this.

Suddenly there were several phones giving off beeps and chimes. Jason watched in confusion as all the students from Paris pulled out their phones.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was grateful that Chloe pulled out her phone. “We all have an akuma alert app on our phones.” she explained to Dick and Jason. “Pretty sure everyone in Paris has it. It lets us know when there is an akuma and where so people know things like where it’s happening so they can avoid that area.

“I’m going to call my parents to make sure they’re okay.” She slipped away as Chloe started to give an explanation of Ryuko and Vipereon who were already on the scene. They had discussed things and agreed if they couldn’t both get away easily then Chloe would make sure Marinette could at least get away so she could go transform. Hopefully Honey Flash wouldn’t be needed. After ducking into the nearest bathroom she made sure the coast was clear before letting out Tikki and Kaalki from her purse. “Tikki spots on!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick watched Chloe’s phone screen with a small frown. He had to admit he had still been doubtful. But as he watched a girl in black and red with a dragon theme fight off what looked like a wizard alongside a boy in turquoise with a snake theme he was down right shocked. These were teenagers! Marinette said that this Hawkmoth thing had been going on for a few years.

He was lost in thought but a cheer from the table where everyone else was sitting caught his attention. He turned his attention back to the fight. There was now a girl in red with black spots on the screen. This was clearly the famous Ladybug. He could see that she was clearly the leader because in less than a minute everything was over.

Dick shared a look with Jason. They were definitely going to have to talk to B about this. His mind was racing with questions. Why hadn’t they known about this? The Justice League was supposed to protect everyone. Media cover or no! He barely noticed when Marinette came back.

Standing up he called for attention. “Okay everyone now that the excitement is over let's get back to the tour!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Harley opened her eyes when she heard her phone chirp. She had been meditating, something she had been doing lately to help keep the voices calm. She picked up her phone and gave a squeal. Selina had just sent her something interesting.

“Hey Red get a load of this! Me and Kit-Cat have some mini-mes!” she said as she scrambled to her feet. She found her girlfriend out on the roof watering her plants in her greenhouse. Which wasn’t strange at all. They had a green house so they could still have their privacy.

Poison Ivy set down her watering can and took the phone from Harley. Her eyebrows raised in surprise. “Well that’s interesting. Who are these girls?”

“Kit-Cat says they’re two girls from a visiting class from Paris!” Harley said with a dreamy sigh. “Apparently there are more outfits to come!”

Poison Ivy smiled “Let's keep an eye on them. They have good taste.”

Chapter Text

Tim sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast and drinking coffee. Usually he would just have coffee for breakfast but Alfred had installed a new house rule. He was now not allowed to have coffee down in the cave and in the morning he had to have his first cups of the day with breakfast. He was on his computer which normally wasn’t allowed. But to be fair he wasn’t working on a case.

“Morning Timmy!” Dick chirped as he sat down with a bowl of cereal. “Does Alfred know you have your laptop at the table?”

Tim took a sip of his coffee. “Well I’m not working on a case so it’s technically okay.”

“Oh? What are you doing then?” Dick asked curiously.

“I’m still researching what’s going on in Paris.” he sighed, rubbing his eyes. He had stayed up late researching. “There aren’t too many websites reporting. I found one that started out promising.””

“Started out?” Dick asked.

Tim nodded. “Yeah, the website is called the Ladyblog. It’s actually run by one of the students in the paris group. It started out really informative. Details about Ladybug and her partner Chat Noir. But about a year or so ago it turned into some kind of shitty gossip column. It’s almost painful to read. It went from information and theories about Ladybug and miraculous symbolism to whether or not Ladybug fired Chat Noir because he was in love with a civilian and basically trashing her and her new team.”

Dick moved to read over his shoulder but soon made a face after sitting back down. “I can see what you mean. It reads like some trashy tabloid story. Is this really the only site about them?”

Tim shook his head. “No, but this one is the most dedicated with uploads. This Alya girl actually will go to the area of the akuma attack and get video. She is like Lois Lane but without the reassurance of Superman coming to save her. I’m starting to wonder if she is just a thrill seeker or if she’s like this because of that Miraculous Cure that fixes everything.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick sighed and shook his head. He couldn’t believe that this had been going on for years. “When the Paris class goes home I think we should send someone to Paris to check things out. Maybe get a hold of Ladybug and see if we can help her and her team.”

“Are you going to go pick up Marinette soon?” Tim asked as Damian came into the kitchen.

“Yeah I’m going to head out after I finish up. Dami you and Cass ready?” Dick asked.

Damian gave him a grumpy frown that Dick still thought was so cute. “Why are we leaving early to go pick up this Marinette girl?” he complained.

“Too many suspicious things happen with her,we think she is being bullied. Not only was she left at the airport to get to the hotel on her own. But her class also arrived for their tour without her.” Dick explained. “What was weird is she totally expected that and showed up early.”

“We had drinks at a coffee shop and she explained that there’s a girl named Lila who picks on her.” Tim added.

“Yeah that was the girl who tried to convince me to start the tour before Marinette made her grand entrance.” Dick grinned. “Her teacher tried to save face but Marinette shut that down. She’s nice. Dami you should keep an eye out for her today.”

 

“Tt! Isn’t it enough that I am wasting my time babysitting these children?” Damian demanded.

Dick sighed. “Dami we all agreed to help. Today is your day unless you want to trade with Step or Barbara to take the museum. We all know how you feel about the aquarium. Jason specifically needs to go on the Gotham Market trip and you two are still not allowed to work together after the dock incident. Today is the perfect trip for you to help with. It’s the botanical garden. You love nature! Plus you get to go with Cass”

Damian couldn’t help but stare. “Is their teacher an idiot or just incompetant?”

Dick thought for a little while before giving a, for him, a surprising answer. “I’m not really sure. Tim, one more hour of computer time and then Alfred is going to make you go to bed. Don’t make him handcuff you to the bed like last time!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette sat in the lobby of their hotel with the rest of her class. She had come down a little early to try and get a jump on whatever trick Lila was going to pull. Only for it to not matter at all. She and Chloe found their teacher arguing with the receptionist at the front desk. Apparently Mme. Marabelle was upset because she had been trying to call the bus for the last fifteen minutes and had been having no luck. Well at this point it had been almost forty five minutes. Marinette realized that she should have realised that Lila would try the same trick instead of taking time to regroup.

But apparently the bus was no longer going to come when called. She guessed the driver had not appreciated being called early the day before when there was a schedule to keep. It made Marinette wonder what reason their teacher had given to get the bus to come early. She was looking forward to going to Gotham Botanical Garden! It was almost time to go and the bus would be arriving any time now. After putting away her sketchbook she and Chloe went outside where Lila was complaining about something. The two of them stood a little bit apart from the others. When Lila looked over at her Marinette stuck out her tongue and was ready to do battle. But before Lila could do anything a limo pulled up with their bus following. To her surprise Dick Grayson stepped out.
~~~~~~~~~~
“Good morning everyone!” Dick smiled after getting out of the limo. “I hope everyone had a good night’s sleep and is ready for a fun day at Gotham Gardens!”

“It would be a nicer morning if we could have left by now!” a girl with glasses complained. Dick remembered her from the tour since she had been disruptive. But he also connected her as the creator of the Ladyblog that Tim had shown him a little more of after breakfast. He had wanted to know which student in the group.

“Oh why is that?” he asked, curious as to why the group would be trying to leave early again.

“Lila has allergies and she said there was a special plant in the gardens that would help her.” A small blonde girl with the squeakiest voice he had ever heard. And that was including the time Harley Quinn had gotten some helium for….honestly he didn’t remember what the plan had been after all this time. He looked at the group waiting for someone to laugh.But they were serious. Marinette hadn’t been over exaggerating when she said the class was under Lila Rossi’s spell.

He desperately wanted to call bullshit. But instead he gave an apologetic smile. “Unfortunately the bus driver will only be coming at the scheduled time. Like I said yesterday a lot of planning has gone into this trip. So calling the driver early will not be permitted. If there is an emergency you can contact me or someone else at Wayne Enterprise. Wanting to arrive early is not an emergency.” Somehow he managed not to look at the teacher. Instead his smile grew. “Miss Dupain-Cheng will you please step forward?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette stepped forward looking a little nervous. Was she in trouble? She was happy to see Dick again but didn’t know what he was doing here.

“Did Marinette do something wrong?” Lila asked loudly with fake concern. “She’s always causing trouble back home.”

Marinette felt her face go a little red and she looked down at her feet. She didn’t care if Lila did this at home but in front of a stranger was embarrassing. Though Chloe came to her defense. “Lila why don’t you keep your big mouth shut for once?”

She could see that a big fight was about to start so she tried to cut it off. “Um...am I in trouble?” she asked.

“Not at all Miss Dupain-Cheng!” Dick said with a smile. He was ignoring that Lila said and she was grateful. “It’s been reported that there have been some issues with your class. Gotham is a very dangerous place so special transportation arrangements have been made.” Dick motioned to the limo and Marinette felt her eyes go wide.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila had been in the process of winning an award for her portrayal of a victim at the hands of Chloe when her ears pricked as she sensed someone getting offered something that should really go to her. Lila had had this sixth sense ever since she was a child. Pretending to wipe at her eyes with her sleeve gave her the perfect chance to see that thorn in her side Marinette being offered a limo ride. Lila knew she had to act quick.

She rubbed at her lower back and gave a pitious little moan just loud enough to be heard by Kim.

“Lila are you okay?” he asked.

Lila gave him a suffering but well meaning smile. “Oh it’s nothing.” she insisted. “I just noticed that my back has been hurting a lot. I hurt my back years ago when I saved a group of orphans when a fire broke out. Maybe it’s those bus seats…..i wish there was a more comfortable ride available.” She gave a pointed glance at the limo and was satisfied when Kim frowned a little as he connected the dots. Soon he was whispering to Alex who looked from Lila and the limo. Good, soon she would have everyone’s support on her next move.

“Mme. Marabel!” she called out raising her hand. “Do you really think it’s fair that Marinette should get a special ride when first she missed the bus to the hotel and then the next day she left the hotel early on her own? Isn’t that like rewarding bad behavior?” She gave their teacher a sweet smile. “Plus going off with strangers? Is that really safe?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dick was honestly a little impressed by this girl, she certainly had a lot of guts to play her teacher like that in front of everyone. He held in an irritated sigh as Mme. Marabell approached him.

“Sir I really am not comfortable with you taking one of my students.” she started.

She probably would have continued but Dick wasn’t going to let her. “Ma’am I am a representative of Bruce Wayne, the fact that you think I would do anything to Miss. Dupain-Cheng is rather insulting. It’s nice of you to start showing concern over her well being.” The teacher took a step back and started to stammer out a reply, once again Dick cut her off. “However we have been in contact with the Dupain-Chengs and after informing them of the two incidents they gave permission for us to give their daughter rides to and from the events.” He noticed with some satisfaction that the teacher looked a little nervous over his talking to Marinette’s parents and backed off.

“Hey what about Lila’s back?” someone called out, Dick didn’t see who it was and he didn’t really care.

He looked at Miss Rossi with concern. “You’re having back pains?”

The annoying girl from the tour stepped forward. “Yes sir….it started after the first bus ride, but I didn’t want to be a bother and complain. If I could have an alternate ride I’m sure that would be very helpful. Unfortunately Marinette often bullies me so we can’t ride together. She’ll be fine on the bus.”

Dick watched with a small frown. Lila had a sweet smile on her face but he saw that smug look of triumph in her eyes. She really thought she had won. “Well Miss Rossi if you’ll give me your mother’s number I will be happy to get permission for you to have alternate transportation.” He watched, hiding his satisfaction, as Lila paled a bit and mumbled some excuse about how her mother could be called at very specific times since she was so busy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette couldn’t help but smile as Lila attempted to steal her limo ride and get shut down. “Um….sir is it alright if my friend Chloe rides with me?”

Alya stepped forward, almost pushing poor Rose down. “No way girl! If you are going to be so selfish to not share with Lila then Chloe shouldn’t be able to ride with you!”

Marinette was about to point out that it wasn’t up to her to let Lila ride, but Chloe beat her to the punch. “Do you have sand in your ears Cesaire or are they too clogged up from Lie-la’s stories? The man said Lila could ride if she got parental approval and she wasn’t even willing to call.” She whipped out her phone and called her father and explained the situation before handing the phone to Dick. She wasn’t surprised when Alya came to Lila’s deffense, it hurt but it wasn’t surprising.

“Chloe Lila can’t help it if her mom is busy. She works really hard!” Alya huffed.

Chloe wasn’t impressed. “Daddy is the mayor of Paris and runs the biggest hotel in all of Paris. He’s a very busy man but he always makes time for me!”

Marinette was relieved when Dick came back before a fight could break out. “Miss Bourgeois I talked to your father and he gave me permission. We’d better get going if we want to stay on schedule. Though before we go I must say your outfits are absolutely amazing yet again!”

Marinette felt herself blush a little but she smiled. She had worked hard on both their outfits. Chloe was wearing a Poison Ivy inspired outfit. It was a sleeveless short green dress with a bustier top, she wore green tights under that had leaves on a vine going up and down the side, matching ankle boots and arm bands that went from wrist to elbow finished off the outfit.

Her own outfit was inspired by Wonder Woman. She had a navy blue sailor skirt, the top was red leather bustier that she had made to look like armor, at her waist was a yellow belt in the shape of a w, red knee high boots trimmed with a yellow line gold arm cuffs and a gold tiara finished the look. On her hip was a gold rope meant to symbolize her lasso of truth. She also had a medium purse made to look like a shield that had her sketchbook, some pencils, Tikki, and some other odds and ends.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian scowled and crossed his arms over his chest. While he was glad to be able to skip morning lessons, the idea of babysitting a group of foriegn exchange students sounded equally tedious. They were due to avoid any minute now, he and Cass were waiting by the entrance. He wasn’t curious about this girl Grayson insisted on looking out for at all. He did think their instructor was foolish to not be more observant with her charges. This was Gotham for crying out loud!

“Your face will make the flowers wilt.” Cass teased.

“Tt!” Damian made the small sound of annoyance that had become his trademark. He was about to add more but a bus pulled up that was soon followed by a limo. He watched the students get off one by one and rolled his eyes. He just had to make sure no one hurt themselves right? It wasn’t like he had to talk to anyone.Just as he turned the limo door opened,

Damian felt himself freeze, out walked a vision in red blue and yellow. He remembered Grayson had said that the girl named Marinette had made hero themed outfits for herself and her friend. He knew at once that this first girl was dressed to represent Wonder Woman. He felt his cheeks heat up and was confused as to why. Was he getting sick. Beside the bluenette was a blonde wearing a homage to Poison Ivy. But she was nothing compared to the vision dressed as a warrior he greatly admired. He had always felt that something had happened to Father Wonder Woman should lead the Justice League, and okay he knew there was technically no leader of the Justice League….but come on..

Chapter Text

Recently I was accused of plagiarizing some one else's story. First I got a message telling me that my story sort of seemed like I plagiarized another story they had read. That I had a lot of the same plot points. That if I was inspired by another story I should post a link to that story and let people know where I got my ideas from. He then sent a second message to say that yes, I was most definitely plagiarizing.

But don't worry you guys. Despite my supposedly being a content thief my story was still interested to read. Aren't you relieved? I sure as hell wasn't! I was so shocked that some one would say that to me. Once the shock wore off a little bit I got angry, as any innocent person would be after being accused of stealing.

I know I have mentioned this before but I am aware that there are certain tropes used in almost every Daminette story. Tropes can refer to any type of figure of speech,theme,image, character, or PLOT ELEMENT used many times. Daminette has become it's own little genre and there are things that pop up regularly, not sure where they started but they are something pretty much everyone does in their Daminette stories. Lets list some of the Daminette tropes I have used.
-Marinette winning her class a trip to Gotham
-The Gotham trip including the class going to special places (like Wayne Enterprise) and Gotham Academy with there being a gala planned at the end of the trip
-Marinette and Chloe being friends now
-Lila trying to steal Marinette's first class plane seat
-Marinette getting left at the airport
-Lila trying to take the better room Marinette and Chloe have
-Lila claiming she knows Damian and that he likes her
-The Waynes taking a liking to Marinette
-A teacher that doesn't know how to control her class
-Lila practically holding Adrien hostage
-Adrien not being the true black cat.
-Marinette making special outfits for the trip with plans to make her own dress for the gala

Some tropes I used but changed a little. Or at least I feel like this is a change.
-Marinette getting left at the airport: Instead of her getting attack because she decided to walk(for some reason) she takes a cab and gets saved by Jason(normally it's Robin)
-Adrien not being the true black cat holder which is harmful to his mind: Instead of Marinette taking it from him and him going crazy I had Marinette remove Adrien's memory of being Chat Noir. So Adrien doesn't have to be the bad guy. And since both miraculous have to be in action Marinette has a new hero persona she has to occasionally use.
-Something happening the first day of the trip: Instead of Marinette getting left behind again she plans ahead.
-Marinette standing up for herself: I had her be a little more aggressive. In fact I worried that some people might find this happening for the first time so out of character they might stop reading.

If there are more examples I can't think of them. And you know what? There are more tropes to come, in fact people have been expecting and asking for certain things to happen. Bottom line is that I work very hard on my writing. Everything comes from my own head. Things become tropes for a reason. People like reading them and they work well. So if that person is still reading my story I hope my spelling this all out for you clears this up. And who knows? Maybe they recently got into the Daminette genre and my story is the second story they read, so of course it seems like I copied from the first story they read. Doubtful but maybe. Either way I would advise anyone to seriously think before they accuse some one privately or publicly about plagiarizing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On a different note I was going to wait until I had my next chapter ready and add this to the author's note, but since I had to write this to defend myself(I don't like making just author's notes since people will see that I've posted something and might be disappointed it's not a real chapter. Good job M_S you know who you are) I will ask again that people not interact with the commenter that likes to roleplay as Lila. Don't encourage, don't discourage, don't fight with her. If no one pays her attention things shouldn't escalate. At least this is what I hope. I've heard things about her causing trouble on other stories. I really don't like to delete people's comments so I am hoping after reading this no fights will break out. PLEASE JUST LEAVE HER ALONE. If anything getting a rise out of others is probably what she wants.

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Thank you to all the readers out there who enjoy my story. Your positive reviews make me excited to write more. Once again I'm sorry this isn't another chapter but I am working on the next one! I don't like to give dates or keep a schedule because my muse comes and goes.

Chapter Text

Damian wasn’t sure what was wrong with him. Ever since the Paris class had gotten here and he had been feeling...off. Of course he made a point to be aware of all the Paris students, but for some reason he was very aware of the girl dressed in homage to Wonder Woman, Marinette Dupain-cheng. He remembered her name from that morning. There was no other reason! It was simply because Grayson and Drake had been concerned for her, yes that was why he took notice of her. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was dressed as a warrior he greatly admired.

At first look he thought that her hair was blue, but upon closer inspections he saw that it was black with blue reflections. However her eyes were most definitely the color of bluebells. Not that he was looking that close of course, he was just observant….it was a requirement for his kind of night time activity. He had never paid much attention to fashion, but he couldn’t help admire the outfit of the Dupain-Cheng girl. She had good choices in heroines, for he admired Wonder Woman as well. He had seen the picture from the day before as well. Damian had come to get used to Cat Woman, at first he held her past against her and was angry that she chased after Father. Alright, the last one might have been a little influenced by his Mother.

But then as her relationship with Father grew she ended up spending more time around the mansion and the family. She went with him to volunteer at animal shelters. When he was twelve Father bought him a plot of land and said it was for him to plan an animal shelter, he supposed Father hoped this meant he started to spend his allowance on things instead of donating it all to animal shelters. Selina was a great help in planning. Yes, the Dupain-Cheng girl had good taste. She was also talented and creative, the outfits she made for herself and her friend was creative and detailed. He noticed her sketching by a pond and was instantly intrigued since too was an artist. Just as he started to take a few steps forward he heard a shrill and annoying voice interrupt the tranquility of the garden.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Did you know that these lilacs were planted for me?” Lila asked with a smile that seemed sweet but really was just smug.

“Really?!” Rose asked with an excited squeal. She was always such a sucker for fairy tale nonsense, and where Rose went Juleka followed. It was a two for one deal on romantic fools. Though to be honest Lila had almost worried about that soft spoken loser. Her older brother was friends with Marinette. But she quickly saw there was nothing to worry about. Juleka would have been an easy target even if she didn’t follow Rose like the ugly duckling she was.

“Well of course, my Damiboo was so distraught when he couldn’t come to visit me. So he had his father plant these special lilacs that are native to paris and only bloom under the light of the full moon. We saw them the last time he came to visit me. Damiboo was with his father and could only sneak away for a romantic late night dinner.” Lila smiled. No one noticed that she had knocked down the plaque stating the flower’s true origins.

She noticed a boy their age with green eyes staring daggers at her. At first she was nervous, but then remembered he was one of their chaperones from W.E. Probably some loser intern. It was SO insulting. “Don’t you need to be doing something instead of just standing there staring?” she sneered. “I know I’m beautiful but I’m taken!”

“That’s right! She’s Damian Wayne’s girlfriend!” Alya joined in. “If he knew you were even looking at her he’d have you fired!” Lila shot the intern a smug look before turning to walk away, she didn’t bother to check that the others were following her. They always did.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian felt rooted to the spot as he watched the small group wander off. How dare that….that harlot claim she was dating him! This must be the Rossi girl Grayson spoke of, the one Dupain-Cheng said was a liar. Clearly the little wench had absolutely no shame! She also did not appear to even know the true subject of her lies was right in front of her. He took a step forward ready to give that snake a tongue lashing she would not soon forget, only to have a hand on his arm stop him. He whirled ready to give who ever dared to touch him hell. But when he saw it was Cass he relaxed a little.She spoke using sign language which made him take pause.

“Little brother calm yourself before you act.”

Cass was using sign language so he did the same. Cass never did something for no reason. “Are you saying I should just stand around while that harpy spreads lies about me? About our family?!” When Cass’ smile grew Damian couldn’t help but frown.

“Sometimes the best way to learn the truth is to listen.” Damian was confused as he watched Cass walk away. What did she mean?? His eyes widened as a voice behind him spoke.

“You don’t have to worry.” a soft feminine voice said.

Damian turned and was surprised to find Dupain-Cheng standing beside him with an amused smile. “What do you mean?” he asked after a small pause.

Her eyes looked in the direction her classmates had gone. “Your job is safe. Lila isn’t dating Damian Wayne. I doubt she’s even seen him before.” Damian was surprised to find that his mind had gone blank, before he could think of something to say the girl with the blue bell eyes excused herself, saying that she wanted to get some sketching done. Damian found himself staring after her. What on earth had just happened? And how the hell did none of these Parisians know who the Waynes were?!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette had overheard the end of Lila’s bragging session and watched her be completely rude to one of their chaperones. She was curious why someone their own age was there to represent the Waynes. And then a light bulb went off over her head and she started to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Chloe asked as she came back from visiting the bathroom.

“You remember how Dick said that everyone in the family was helping out with these special trips for the class?” she asked, waiting for Chloe to acknowledge what she had said before continuing. “Well Lila had been bragging about being Damian Wayne’s childhood sweetheart.”

“And?” Chloe asked in that tone that said she was getting annoyed. Marinette understood since they never really talked about Lila and her ilk.

“Well she was talking about it in front of that boy who is our age….I’m pretty sure he’s Damian Wayne!” She watched in amusement as Chloe’s eyes widened and she started to laugh.

“Oh that is rich!” Chloe gasped when she got a little control of herself. “And she had no idea?”

Marinette rolled her eyes. “It’s Lila….so of course not. He heard her too. I wonder what he’s going to do. I’m pretty sure what she’s saying can count as defamation.” Before she could say anything else she heard a very high pitched voice call out.

“Oh! Red look there she is! I found her! Aww sweetie why did you change?”

Marinette and Chloe’s eyes went wide as they were approached by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. And even though they were now out of the Rouge Gallery and were more in the anti-hero category this was still a lot to take in.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Harley bounded up to the pair of girls. “Aww you changed from the Harley look.” she pouted in Chloe’s direction,before quickly changing to a smile. “But I have to say Blondie can’t argue with the replacement.

Ivy came to stand beside her girlfriend “Hello girls.” she greeted “I’m Ivy and this is Harley. Our friend Catwoman sent us an interesting photo and ever since we’ve really wanted to meet you.” She could sense something was different about the girl dressed as Wonder Woman, she needed to find out more about her.

“Oh well I’m Marinette Dupain-Cheng.” the girl dressed as Wonder Woman smiled. “And this is my best friend Chloe Bourgeois. We are on a school trip and are from Paris.”

Ivy couldn’t help but smile. “It’s so nice to meet you two. Your outfits are very charming.” She wasn’t sure how to broach the subject, maybe they could just get to know the pair.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette could not believe that this was really happening. It was her second day in Gotham and she was meeting Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. AND Catwoman had somehow seen her outfits from the day before. She wasn’t sure how but wasn’t going to question it. “Oh um….wow I’m so flattered.” she said with a nervous laugh. “Well I figured that since we were going to be having fun it would be a chance to make some fun outfits. I want to be a fashion designer when I’m older.”

“Well I have to say so far we love your choices of models.” Harley breamed “Specially you Lemon Drop.” It was clear she was talking to Chloe.

“Well we wanted to celebrate the Sirens. You guys have overcome a lot. But Chloe couldn’t decide who she wanted to be more.” Marinette explained giving her best friend a gentle nudge, it seemed she was in a bit of a daze.

“That’s right.” Chloe smiled. “Coming back from a bad past is pretty hard. I really admire you two! We admire all the Sirens.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick was scrolling through twitter. He had been fighting off the urge to text Dami to see how things were going. When he checked on a notification his eyes went wide. If he had been drinking anything he would have spit it out. He stared at his phone, what stared back was a selfie of Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, and Chloe Bourgeois.

Gotham Ivy@ Ispeakforthetrees
Went to Gotham Gardens and found a Marigold and a Daffodil. I think we’re going to keep them.

HahaHarley@Madeyoulaugh
I’m a Mama! Aren’t they the cutest? Everyone meet Lemon Drop and Lapis. Aren’t they cute. Lapis made the cutest little outfits and Lemon Drop dressed up like her Mommy.

Harley posted a picture of just Marinette and Chloe so it was easy to tell who was Lemon Drop and who was Lapis.

Red Robin@RedRobinYum
Harley….you know kidnapping is illegal right? It was on the don’t do it list for a reason.

HahaHarley@Madeyoulaugh
Don’t tell me how to live my life bird boy!

Dick couldn’t help but laugh again. He wasn’t even mad that this meant Timmy was on his phone instead of sleeping.

Chapter Text

Juleka was sitting with Rose and the others. Of course everyone had noticed what was going on with Marinette and Chloe. How could they not notice that THE Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy? Before they left for the Gotham trip the class had taken a safety class since Gotham was known to be a very dangerous place. At her older brother’s insistence she had looked up both Gotham hero and Rouge Gallery. She had also read about the Gotham Sirens. She had shared her findings with Rose, who seemed happy to hear her talk so animatedly about something besides music.

“Of course some one like Marinette would get along with people like that.” Lila scoffed. “It figured a couple of villains would be drawn to such a vicious bully!”

“Uh….Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn aren’t villains anymore.” Juleka hesitantly pointed out. She watched as Lila’s eyes widened a little but then gave her a pitying look.

“Oh Juleka you are sweet to think that.” she said in a slightly condescending tone,like she was talking to a five year old. “Do you really think all the poor victims of the two of them think that? It’s a little insensitive of you. Maybe you should stick to topics you’re sure about.”

Juleka felt her face flush and she quickly looked down at the table. She felt Rose take her hand under the table, and while that helped her feel a little bit better she still felt embarrassed. Why had she said anything? Everyone was looking at her!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian was trying to control himself. Quinn and Ivy being there was not something he had been expecting but realized he should have. Of course Selina would have shared that photo Richard had taken. Hey was monitoring the twitter feed, Quinn being so attached to the girls made him feel a little uneasy. But he couldn’t get too close, Damian Wayne had no reason to get involved. The two Sirens weren’t doing anything wrong, they were just talking and taking pictures. Quinn was her normal over energetic self, bouncing all around. Ivy was being more on the reserved side, she seemed to be studying Dupain-cheng. What was the end game? At least Ivy would reign Quinn in. For now he would hold his peace, but kept an eye on things.

Dupain-Cheng and her friend Bourgeois seemed flattered by being approached by the two Sirens.He supposed that this was an exciting occurrence for the two girls from Paris, Damian felt like he had spent far too much time with Quinn over the years. Though a lot of that time had been spent in uniform. No it was not a costume! Being Robin was serious business, not some silly little hobby. He kept an eye on the situation but moved around the garden since he was supposed to be keeping an eye on all the students. He noticed that lying witch speaking ill of Dupain-Cheng and the Sirens making him frown but kept Cass’ advice in mind and didn’t act.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila was glad she had been able to cast doubt over Marinette getting attention from those two freaks. What was so great about being visited by a clown and a plant loving mutant? They were criminals! And no she did not care that they were supposedly reformed. How dare that pathetic nothing Juleka try to correct her. Thankfully she had shut her down quickly and easily. Juleka was such a little mouse she shouldn’t say anything for quite awhile. They had finished lunch, which was not satisfactory at all. Sandwiches, fruit, chips, and cookies?! What? Were they five?! And to make matters more annoying she noticed that deplorable green eyed intern looking at her from time to time. Normally she loved people looking at her, but this guy looked at her with contempt that almost made her a little nervous. But he never said anything to her. Probably didn’t want to get fired for harassing people. Though now that she thought about it that boy seemed awfully young to be helping out. Shouldn’t he be in school or something.

Lila was walking around with Alya and was feeling bored. She didn’t really have any new lies to tell, plus Alya believed anything she said which could get boring. What was never boring was the satisfaction that she had taken away Marinette’s supposed best friend without breaking a sweat. Alya would do anything for a good story. Her classmate’s lives were so boring that her tales of travel, fame, and good deeds were so interesting no one looked into them. No one except Marinette in the beginning, but she didn’t even bother. Now she just stuck with Chloe, who everyone hated so there was no need to go after her. Taking Chloe’s so called best friend Sabrina had been satisfying. Though using the term best friend was rather generous. Sabrina seemed to have been Chloe’s personal servant. But with a little praise and complimenting, she was now her servant!

When Alya left her alone to go to the bathroom Lila’s boredom got even worse. Though up ahead when she saw Marinette standing next to a pond sketching a flowering lily pad, with no Chloe around, and she knew just how to ease her boredom. After looking around to make sure to look around to make sure no one was watching her. Not wasting any time after that she moved forward,bumping into Marinette enough to make her stumble a little, her hand shot out to grab her nice looking pen to toss it in the water.

“What was that for?!” Marinette demanded with a glare.

Lila looked at her with wide eyes. “Oh! Marinette I’m so sorry I was so distracted by our beautiful surroundings that I didn’t notice you.”

 

“You grabbed my pen and tossed it in the water you deceitful witch!” Marinette said, taking a step forward.

Lila felt a small flash of nervousness shoot though her, a little worried Marinette might get physical. As much as something like that would help keep everyone on her side Lila wasn’t willing to go so far as to get hit for the act. But to her relief Alya soon came to her defense.

“Marinette why can’t you ever leave Lila alone?! She said she didn’t mean to bump into you. Everyone knows how clumsy you are. Why are you trying to blame dropping your stupid pen on poor Lila?! You are so Pathetic.”

Lila willed tears to come to her eyes. “M-Marinette I’m so sorry.” she stammered. “I...I can buy you a new pen. I mean….I don’t have much money but I’m sure I can manage something.”

“Don’t bother!” Alya insisted “It’s just a stupid pen. I’m not going to let you waste your money just because Marinette has butterfingers.”

Lila let herself be pulled away, hiding her smile of triumph.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette had been prepared to fight with Lila after she threw her pen in the water. But when Alya came up and started saying such awful things Marinette felt her heart break all over again. Even after all this time the loss of her friendship with Alya could still hurt, though not as much as before. All she could do was watch Alya lead Lila away and try not to cry.

“That was deplorable!” A voice behind her seethed. She looked up and was surprised to see Damian Wayne. “Do you wish for me to report this?”

Marinette managed a small smile as she blinked the tears away. “No….it wouldn’t do any good. Lila would just twist everything. Not that she can get you in trouble or anything. But the trouble she would cause would just be annoying.”

“What do you mean she can’t get me in trouble?” Damian asked her after a small pause.

Marinette’s smile grew a little more. “Well you’re here to help your family with the trip. So it’s not like she can get you fired. Though her making up some kind of story about how you harassed her in some way could be irksome.”

She could tell she had caught Damian by surprise. “You know who I am?”

“Yes.” Marinette smiled. “I figured it out earlier, plus Dick said all the Chaperones were in the Wayne family. So far I have met Dick,Jason, and Tim, so that just leaves the youngest brother. My name is Marinette Dupain-Cheng.”

Before either of them could say anything Chloe came up with two bottles of water. “Why is everyone saying you tried to drown Rossi in the pond?” she asked. “I wish you had tried. This lie is really disappointing. Hello Wayne. What’s going on?”

“Well Lila bumped into me and tossed my pen in the water.” Marinette explained. She could see Chloe getting mad and hurried to finish explaining. “Damian saw and offered to report her.”

Chloe gave a snort. “Yeah good luck with that.”

“I told him not to bother.” Marinette sighed. “Damian this is my best friend Chloe Bourgeois. She also met your brothers yesterday at the WE tour.”
“It is nice to meet you.” Damian said after a small pause.

“Mari! Clo-Clo!” A voice called out, everyone looked up to see Dick bouncing over to them. “Time for your class to go back to the hotel. Hi Dami! Do you want to ride with us?”

“What did you call me?” Chloe gaped at what she considered an unflattering nickname which made Marinette laugh.

“I must finish up here with Cass.” Damian said before walking away. Marinette watched him with a feeling of disappointment before she turned to Dick and grumpy cat faced Chloe. She was relieved that she wouldn’t have to ride the bus with everyone giving dirty looks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Julka sat in the back of the bus with Rose. Rose was talking about her favorite flowers she had seen that day, but Juleka was feeling distracted. She had seen something that was a little confusing. Earlier she had watched as Lila went up to Marinette and purposely threw her pen into the pond that Marinette had been sketching by.

She had seen Lila look around before making her move, it wasn’t surprising that she hadn’t been noticed. She had watched as Marinette got mad, which she had the full right to be, and when Alya came over Lila started to cry. It was true….everything Marinette and her big brother Luka had said was true!! Luka’s story had always made her feel conflicted, he had never lied to her before. But it felt like Marinette had turned him against her, though now Juleka knew the truth.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila got off the bus, Alya had spent the bus ride back to the hotel ranting about Marinette. It had been enough to keep her jealousy over knowing Marinette and Chloe were riding in a limo. As she got off the bus she heard a timid voice call out.

“Lila….c-can I talk to you?” Juleka asked hesitantly. Lila raised a brow but nodded in agreement and waved for Alya to go ahead.

“What can I do for you?” she asked sweetly. “Did you want advice about a more flattering fashion choice?” She almost laughed at the way Juleka’s eyes widened.

Juleka shook her head after taking a few moments to recover. “No...I saw what happened with Marinette.”

Lila blinked and then put on what she thought was a brave face. “Oh? You saw how she almost attacked me? Thank goodness Alya came over before that bully could push me in the water! She knows I can’t swim very well.” she said in a pitiful tone.

Juleka shook her head. “No...I saw what really happened. You threw her pen in the water. Lila you need to apologize!
Lila was shocked, not only had she never heard Juleka talk in such an insistent tone, but the fact that she was using it with her was shocking. Of course she quickly recovered. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep that information to yourself.” she said with a nasty smile.

Juleka’s look of surprise was pretty satisfying. “Wh-what?” It seemed like she would need to spell it out with her.

“Do you want me to make you an outcast like Marinette?!” she demanded. “It will be so easy it will be pathetic. How would you like to be a social pariah? I’ll make sure Rose dumps your pathetic butt!”

Juleka had gone pale and wide eyed. “R-Rose would never do that.” she said, taking a step back.

Lila went in for the kill. “Marinette was brave at first. To think some of you were friends with her since childhood. She had so much faith in her so-called friends. And I don’t blame her, after all she was your ‘Everyday Lady Bug.’ But look at her now. No one will stand up for you. Not even Rose. You’re such a shrinking violet. If I were you I would just forget what you saw or you’ll be sorry. So….what’s it going to be?”

Juleka was almost in tears but Lila didn’t care. “I...I won’t say anything.” she practically whispered.

“Good choice.” Lila said. “Get yourself together before going inside!” She pushed past Juleka and didn’t look back as she went to catch up with Alya.

Chapter Text

Martinette was happy to be back in the room with Chloe, she had no doubt that word had gotten out about the confrontation and that she would be made to look like the bad guy. “Hey did you notice Juleka looked a little upset when she was sitting in the lobby?” she asked

Chloe nodded. “Yeah…..she looked sad.

Marinette sighed, normally she would have gone over to try and see what was wrong. But she reminded herself that it wasn’t any of her business anymore. She was done being the shoulder to cry on when it was convenient for everyone else but her. Not that she thought Juleka was like that. But some one would probably see them talking and assume she had said something horrible.”I’m going to text Luka to facetime her tonight to make sure everything is okay.”

“That’s a good idea.” Chloe agreed. Marinette wondered if Chloe might want to do more but feel held back by her past. Marinette was proud of her friend. She had come a long way and understood that the road to redemption was a long one. Which was the main reason Marinette had given her the bee miraculous back

Speaking of a miraculous. “I’m going to go out tonight to talk to Batman.” she announced.

That got Chloe’s attention. “You know I’m coming with you right?”

Marinette had been expecting this. “Chloe, Ladybug and Honey Flash can not both show up in Gotham.” he began.

It seemed Chloe had been expecting some times as well. “Of course they can. We will find the right location and use Kaalki to make it look like we’ve come from Paris.”

Marinette opened her mouth to argue….but Chloe had a good point. Which made it all the more annoying.``Fine.” she gave in before pulling out Kaalki’s glasses summoning the little horse. For the trip she had brought Kaalki and Plagg, of course she had Tiki and Chloe had Pollen. Having four active miraculous items made her feel nervous. But it was necessary, there could be a time when she had to go back to Paris and transform from Ladybug to La Dame Chat, there might not be time to go to Master Fu who had the miraculous case. Everyone had strict instructions to stay in their miraculous tailisment. As a guardian in training she was allowed to give orders, plus all the kwamis held great respect for her since she was not only a true Ladybug but able to wear multiple miraculous at once. Even Plagg was behaving….for him.

“Marinette are you nervous about talking to Batman? What if he turns us down like the Justice League?” Tikki asked, looking worried.

“Don’t sweat it Sugar Cube.” Plagg said without a care in the world. “Marinette can handle a grumpy man dressed like a bat.’

“Plus my queen will be with her!” Pollen exclaimed. Even though CHloe had gotten a new name, Pollen still thought of Chloe as her queen.

Kaalki flew around the room in excitement. “Batman is the world’s smartest detective. This will be like meeting a celebrity!”

Marinette couldn’t help but laugh at the excitement of the kwamis, they were so cute that sometimes it was hard to remember that they were actually little gods. Going to the mini fridge she was glad to see that it had been stocked with what she requested. She had specific foods for all the kwamis. There was Camebert for Plagg, macaroons for Tikki,carrot cake cookies for Kaalki, and croissants with honey for Pollen. Marinette explained that she had done a lot of research to find a good bakery in Gotham to order from, normally she would have given them baked goods she had made herself or at least we're from the family bakery if there was no time. The three female kwamis assured her that they were very thankful and happy that she was so considerate over their personal preferences.

Every kwami had a favorite food, but they would eat whatever their owner gave them. The fact that Marinette went out of her way to get them their favorite foods was once again showed what a great future guardian she would make. Marinette and Chloe split the bakery bill and the price of Plagg’s stinky cheese. When there was a knock on the door Marinette and Chloe exchanged a look as the kwamis all hid.

Marinette went to the door and was surprised to find a bellhop holding out a box with a bow. “Oh!
“ Marinette replied. “Thank you.” Before she could try and offer a tip the bellhop left.

“What is that?” Chloe asked as the kwamis floated out from their hiding spot.

“I don’t know.” Marinette answered honestly. “I didn’t order anything.” Setting the box down, Marinette pulled at the bow before opening the box. What was inside made her gasp and if she had been holding the box she might have dropped it.

“What is it?!” Chloe demanded, worried that Lila had done something.

Marinette pulled out maybe the most beautiful pen she had ever seen. The ballpoint pen looked almost more like a work of art than a writing tool. The exterior coating was made of mother-of-pearl and abalone giving it a rainbow metallic hue, and she could already tell that the pen would glide effortlessly and elegantly over sketching paper. It came in a beautiful carbon fiber box. Chloe gave a whistle of appreciation as she was one to appreciate beautiful gifts that she could tell had big price tags. All the kwamis exclaimed over the pen since it was so pretty.

“Who sent you the gift?” Tikki asked.

“Oh…..right.” Marinette said a bit sheepishly. She had just been staring at the pen. She reached for the card that was inside. Once again she was surprised. “It’s from Damian! To replace the pen that she wolf cost you.” It was clear she was reading the card.

Chloe positively cackle with glee. “Oh I like him…..seems like he likes you.”

Marinette felt her face heat up with a blus. “Wh-what?! No he doesn’t! He just wanted to be nice and replace the pen I lost at the gardens today.”

 

Chloe looked at the pen and then back at Marinette. “Marinette, that is not just a replacement pen. There is no way he thinks that was the type of pen you were using.”

Marinette had to admit this wasn’t an average pen that you would take just anywhere to sketch, actually she didn’t think she would take it outside unless it was out on her balcony at home. “It’s still a very nice gesture.” she smiled as she put the pen away.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nightwing was BORED. He had been patrolling for over two hours and absolutely nothing was happening. He was off from work for the next two week to help with the Paris school trip, and already it had been so much fun. He adored Marinette and her friend Chloe. Those outfits were amazing! He wasn’t alone in his opinion, twitter was blowing up. #MarigoldandDaffodil and #LapisandLemonDrop were both trending. He thought it was funny that Harley had gotten so excited about the two, Ivy liked them too. That had gotten a lot of attention as people tried to figure out who the two girls were.

There were some jokes about Marinette having black hair and blue eyes and this meaning she could be the newest Wayne. He had sent that one straight to Bruce because it meant others had seen what they had seen in the group chat from the day before. He had been looking forward to patrolling, but maybe that had been his nostalgia talking? It was a very quiet night, which was very strange. The big bads that were out were being quiet, which meant they were probably planning something. Though there weren’t any hints to anything, no henchmen or flunkies scurrying about.

He was about to move on when a bright blue circle appeared before him, when it opened it showed the rooftop though what was even more strange was that it looked to be early morning on the other side. Nightwing stared as two girls stepped out of the portal before it closed. One girl was a dark blonde and was in high pigtails, she had black tights under a gold skirt that had a bodice of black and gold. Over her eyes was a black domino mask. Everything about her screamed “Bee!!”

Her companion seemed a little familiar. She was a little shorter, her black hair was in two low hanging pigtails. She had a red and black theme going on for her. She had a red long sleeved tunic top, the sleeved flared a bit at the wrist, a pair of black shorts and red pixie boots. Her domino mask was red with black dots. Nightwing’s eyes widened as he realized why she was familiar.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ladybug smiled as Nightwing took her and Honey Flash in. She and Honey Flash had spent a lot of time discussing who to approach. In the end they decided on Nightwing, he seemed to be the most easy going from what they had been able to find out. They agreed that he would probably hear them out. Batman was known to be very territorial and didn’t allow other heroes or people with powers known as metas in Gotham. Which was why it was so important to make a show of them using Kaalki’s power of teleportation,

“Hello Nightwing. I am Ladybug and this is my partner Honey Flash, we are part of Team Miraculous the superhero team from Paris.” she greeted.

It took a few moments for Nightwing to recover. “Um….sorry but since when did Paris get super heroes?” he asked carefully, trying to be polite.

“Over three years ago. A villain named Hawkmoth made his move, he’s been emotionally terrorizing Paris ever since.” Honey Flash announced.

Ladybug looked sad before getting mad all over again. Three years was far too long. “We’re not surprised that you’ve never heard of us.” she said with a small smile. “The French government is doing a lot to hide what’s going on so tourism is damaged as little as possible. I also have the power to reset the damage done in attacks.”

“Look we’re here because we need Batman’s help.” Honey Flash announced with slight impatience. She hated needing help but had learned to accept that it was okay to need it, and it was even okay to ask for help when you needed it.

“Two years ago I contacted the Justice League for help and I was turned away. But Batman is known as the world’s greatest detective. We were hoping we could talk to him and ask for his help.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nightwing stared. Was this really happening?! Red Robin had been doing all he could to find out about this whole Ladybug thing. And now here she was in person asking for help! He had been dying to get the whole story since Marinette and Chloe had first explained about the akuma thing.

It seemed like she had the ability to teleport, which would explain their entrance. “I can take you to Batman….can we teleport?!” he asked in an excited tone.

“Of course.” Ladybug smiled. “Kaalki?”

Nightwing’s mouth fell open as a small horse….thing….appeared. What the heck was that?! The little horse creature flew around, stopping to sit on Ladybug’s shoulder.

“This is Kaalki. She has the power of teleportation. Tell her where you want us to go. We won’t know the location of where we are but with her powers a portal will open there. Kaalki, this is Nightwing. He is an American superhero.”

“It’s so nice to meet you!’ Kaalki squealed.

“Ohmigod you’re so cute! Can I pet you?!” Nightwing squealed. He was ecstatic when the little creature floated over to him, letting him pet her. After petting Kaalki for a few moments he spoke into his comm

“Attention. This is Nightwing, I need everyone to rap up when you are doing and return to the Batcave. Something serious has come up. Everyone let me know when you get there.” He couldn’t wait to make his entrance!

Chapter Text

For this story we drink our respect the author juice. I tried to be nice to the Lila roleplayer. Maybe when you portray such a toxic character trouble will naturally follow. Or maybe this person just does this to be a troll since there are plenty of places on the internet where you can enjoy roleplaying besides a few comments when a fanfic updates.

I've decided approving comments before they are made public will be the easiest way to control things. Honestly it's a little confusing to tell who might be reacting to what I wrote about Lila in my story and people possibly responding to the Lila roleplayer.

I hate the idea of having to approve comments but it has become necessary. I hope this won't deter people from commenting. I appreciate reading what you guys like about my story. I dont need one negative apple affecting others.

Chapter Text

Ladybug waited with Honey Flash and Nightwing. Nightwing really wanted to make sure they made an entrance. She was a little nervous since she had very little knowledge of where they were going. All Nightwing had told them was that they would be going to a place called the Bat Cave. It was the homebase of Batman and his team. Was it an actual cave with bats or was it just called that because it was the place where Batman does his thing? Then there was the fact that they were walking into Batman’s territory without any warning. What if they were seen as a threat and some kind of trap was triggered? Though as nervous as she was, the more people there were the better chance that they might actually get some help.

In return she was trying not to give out too much information to Nightwing, and he asked A LOT of questions. Marinette liked him, she was intrigued about this group of people who for one reason or another had decided to become heroes. She admired them, no one had given them a magical talisman which granted them powers. If they got hurt or people died there was no miraculous cure to reset things. And people did die in Gotham, she had done as much research to prepare for this trip. Marinette was a little worried Batman and the others would take one look at them, hear their story, and just write them off as a group of children who couldn’t handle their own problems. She didn’t think Batman would mock her or write them off like when they contacted the Justice League. But she was afraid of him taking over.

Though maybe….just maybe he would understand where she was coming from. Batman did not let other super powered people into Gotham to help him. He had rules that she understood. The villains in Gotham couldn’t be handled by just anyone. So that was why she hoped he would accept that she and her team ran the show when it came to protecting Paris. Yes they needed help but if Batman came or sent someone, it was going to have to be on her terms or nothing at all. The thought of an akumatized Red Hood or Superman was enough to give anyone nightmares. Nightwing seemed to understand that she couldn’t really go into details just yet. He was content to sit and play with Kaalki…..speaking of that….

“Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake! Clap your hooves and do a little shake!”

“Are you sure he was the right one to approach first?” Honey Flash asked for the third time, which made Ladybug laugh. Nightwing was having a lot of fun playing with Kaalki. Way more than she ever expected him to have.

“He’s just having fun.” she smiled. Though soon they heard something they had been waiting for.

“Nightwing everyone who is in the city has assembled in the cave.” Batman reported causing the two Paris hero’s eyes to widen a little. “What is your ETA?”

Ladybug could hear the grin in Nightwing’s tone. “Oh...about five seconds.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Robin crossed his arms and scowled. Why had Richard requested that everyone returned to the cave? He had been working on an important case.

“Where the hell is dickface?” Hood grumbled, clearly not happy to be called back. But they knew Dick wouldn’t do something like this just for kicks.

Suddenly a large blue circle appeared and it soon opened up to show that it was a portal that opened up into a different part of Gotham. Robin tensed his hand going to his utility belt. To his surprise Nightwing stepped out to be followed by two girls in costume, they looked like….a bee and a ladybug?

Hood was the first to speak “Uh….Dickie Bird…..what the hell?”

Robin jumped into action. “Nightwing what is the meaning of this?!” he demanded. “You have brought strangers into our ranks. You have compromised the cave!” He was shocked and angry at Richard’s carelessness.

Father spoke next, staying calm. “Nightwing what is the meaning of this?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ladybug decided to step forward, she didn’t want Nightwing to get into any trouble. “Hello.” she greeted. “My name is Ladybug and this is my partner Honey Flash. We are part of the super hero group Team Miraculous from Paris, and we have come to ask for your help.”

“Paris has super heroes?!” A blonde girl in black and purple and black, this was Spoiler. Ladybug was really getting tired of that question but held back a sigh.

“Yes, Paris has super heroes. At first there were only two, currently there are four permanent members of Team Miraculous, which is what the public call us, we liked the name so we kept it. Your confusion is understandable. The problems of Paris have been a well guarded secret. Which is easy because when there is an attack on the city after we win I reset everything.”

Honey Flash spoke next, she was trying to be on her best behaviour. Considering she hadn’t said anything about being in a gross dirty cave was a miracle in itself! “Three years ago a villain named Hawkmoth. He has the power to take the negative emotions of a person and transform them into his champion. An akumatized person is granted great power and they will do his bidding.”

“How does he do this? Is he meta?” Red Robin asked, he looked like he had a lot of questions.

Ladybug shook his head. “He is a normal human being, as are all the members of my team including myself.”

“So how do you guys do your thing?” Red Hood asked.
“Everyone get comfortable because it’s story time.

“Thank you Honey Flash.” Ladybug replied dryly. “But she is right. The best place to begin is the beginning, and that means explaining about kwamis. Kwamis are divine beings formed when a new abstract concept or emotion comes into existence. In the beginning there was the kwami named Tikki, she is the kwami of creation. With creation always comes destruction, and so the kwami of destruction Plagg came next. Thousands of years ago a Chinese mage figured out how to create special magical jewels that allow the kwamis to manifest into a physical form so they could communicate with mortals. They were so happy that they would grant the holder of their jewel special powers.”

The group was silent, she knew that this was a lot of information to take in. She had gone over all this with Chloe so they could be on the same page. Because she knew this was going to be a lot of new information for her to hear and didn’t want the first time to be in front of strangers. Telling Batman and the others all this was a dangerous risk. But if Batman felt like they were holding back he might not trust them.

“Hawkmoth uses the butterfly miraculous. Nooroo has the power to akumatized people. Normally he will focus on a positive emotion but Hawkmoth is abusing his powers but sending the akuma after someone experiencing strong negative emotions.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Batman frowned as he listened. He knew he didn’t really have a leg to stand on, but he didn’t like how young Ladybug and Honey Flash were. “How long has this been going on?”

“Over three years ago.” Ladybug answered. Batman seriously doubted these girls were over eighteen. Which means they might have been doing this since they were thirteen at the oldest.

“You said there were two of your team to begin with,” he prompted. Ladybug spoke again, she was the leader.

“To begin with there was myself and my partner Chat Noir. We are creation and destruction, our two miraculouses must always be active together. Because to have one without the other will lead to disaster.”

“Why isn’t Chat Noir with you?” Robin demanded. He was going to have to talk to him about his tone.

A pained look came over Ladybug’s face. “Unfortunately Chat Noir needed to be retired. When need be I wield both miraculouses.”

“What happened to him?” Black Bat asked in a quiet respectful tone.

“A miraculous can be wielded by anyone, but for each there is a true holder. The cat miraculous is extremely powerful. If you are not a true holder it can have a negative effect on their mind.” Ladybug explained.

“Does it affect your mind?” Red Robin asked.

“As a true Ladybug I am able to handle it for now. I only call upon Plagg when it is absolutely necessary.”

“Plagg is the kwami of destruction. You also call it cat.” Black Bat pointed out.

“The kwamis turn us into animal themed heroes.” Honey Flash said, pointing to herself and then Ladybug. “Bee…..ladybug. Our partners are Viperion, he is the wielder of the snake miraculous. The fourth member of our team is Ryuko, she wields the dragon miraculous. Occasionally we must activate a new miraculous. Ladybug sees all the angles, she chooses which one and who should wield it, when the battle is over she takes the miraculous back. The holder is sworn to secrecy.”

“What happens when you contact the Justice League?” Batman asked. Why hadn’t he heard about this? Paris was being terrorized with only children to defend it!

“Two years ago I asked the Justice League for help. Flash told me that kids like me shouldn’t waste time prank calling the Justice League” Ladybug wryly. “But in hindsight this was for the best. Anyone can be akumatized and I don’t know if my team could handle an Akumatized Green Lantern or Superman.”

“What does Hawkmoth want?” Batman asked.

“The Ladybug and Cat miraculouses. When the two are brought together they can grant a wish. But creation and destruction require balance. There is no telling what effect the wish could cause. A person could wish to be rich and on the other side of the world a tidal wave might kill thousands.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Why do you need our help?” Nightwing asked. He was fascinated by all this. Were there other countries with superheroes?! He could tell B was very concerned by what he was hearing.

“Can you explain how you fix things well enough for this not to make the news?” he asked. Ladybug gave him a smile. Okay he might have asked a few questions while waiting.

“I have two main powers. The first is lucky charm.” she said as she took a small circle object from her waist that turned out to be a yo-yo. It shows me clues on what needs to be done to defeat the akuma. My second power is the miraculous cure. A swarm of ladybugs fly out to fix all the physical damage done by an akuma.”
Robin didn’t hesitate to speak up, observant as ever. “It fixes everything?” Nightwing thought he sounded skeptical.

“Almost everything. I do not doubt these attacks have caused emotional damage. Buildings collapse, there have been floods, volcanos, extreme weather changes.” Ladybug said with a heartbroken expression. She looked like she was in physical pain. “People die. I can bring them back….but I don’t know if they remember. People have adapted but it’s hard to always control your emotions. Not everyone can. We have needed to fight an akumatized toddler who was upset because they dropped their lolly pop. Or a girl who just got cheated on can be akumatized and want to make any couple she sees break up.”

Nightwing was horrified. How had they been dealing with this for over three years?! He could see that Ladybug and Honey Flash were tired. Christ he would be too!

“I will send members of my team to help you.” B announced. Good! He didn’t have to be sick Agent A on him to help these kids out.

“NO!” Ladybug said startling them all.

“You can not decide lightly on who to send. Whoever must be in complete control of their emotions. Currently I am doing some time sensitive training. I will contact you when you are able to come. Until then please think carefully about who will come.”

B was quiet and Nightwing was worried he would refuse. B was used to calling the shots. Nightwing was relieved when he nodded. “I understand. I apologize that you were written off when you came to the Justice League for help even if it was for the best in the long run.”

Nightwing thought Ladybug and Honey Flash looked surprised but pleased. It was for the best that the Justice League hadn’t come. But clearly they appreciated the apology.

“Thank you.” Ladybug “Now that we have things settled would you like to meet one of the kwami?”

Nightwing clapped his hands as Kaalki came flying out. “Hello everyone! I am Kaalki. I am the kwami of travel and my power is teleportation.” she exclaimed.

“Kaalki transported us here, but we don’t know where this cave is located.” Ladybug explained.

“So we don’t know where your super secret club meets.” Honey Flash announced. Red Hood snorted with laughter. Nighting turned his laugh into a cough.

Ladybug opened yo-yp like it was compact and pulled out another red compact with black spots. It was so cute! “With this communicator you can contact me. My kwami will alert me that you left me a message if I can’t pick up and I will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Nightwing was amazed at how mature Ladybug seemed. Honey Flash was delightfully snarky. He loved them both and hoped to meet their teammates. He watched as Kaalki opened up a portal and Ladybug and Honey Flash left. Red Hood broke the silence. “Well…..that was cool.”

Chapter Text

There was a long stretch of silence after the blue light had faded and then Jason spoke first, Time wasn’t really surprised. His money would have been on Jason or Dick. His mind was racing with questions about Ladybug and her team. He wanted to help the citizens of Paris in whatever way he could, he had already downloaded the akuma alert application to his phone, already he had learned a lot. The people of Paris had taken some steps to help protect themselves. There were several akuma shelters throughout the city where people could go to during an akuma attack if they didn’t already have a safe place to be.

He looked to B, but of course his face gave away nothing as he looked at the compact Ladybug had left for him. “What are you going to do?”

“Well….with the Paris group being here and so many activities being planned we can’t do anything this week. But perhaps next week when they attend Gotham Academy I can send Cass and perhaps Dick to start to check things out.”

 

Tim wasn’t surprised at his choice, Cass had complete control of her emotions and if Dick’s daily attitude got any more positive he was pretty sure he’d start pooping out rainbows and flowers. “But Ladybug said we shouldn’t send anyone for at least a few weeks.” he pointed out.

“This is a serious issue that has been going on for far too long.” Batman announced. “I would rather not wait.”

“Sir,I would advise you to listen to Miss Ladybug.” A voice called out. Everyone turned to see Alfred coming down the cave stairs. “Ladybugs are very wise. Besides, you have your set of rules for Gotham so it seems only fair that you follow her rules for her city.”

“Alfie you talk like you know Ladybug!” Dick exclaimed looking hurt and slightly accusatory. Tim was sure he wanted to be Ladybug and Honey Flash’s new best friend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alfred set a tray that held a mug of hot chocolate for almost everyone and tea for those he knew would want it.

“While I do not know this Ladybug personally, I once knew one very well in the past. In the war I too was a miraculous holder.” Alfred calmly announced as if he was informing them all what was going to be for breakfast the next day.

“Shut the front door, are you being serious?!” Jason exclaimed. “Why are we just now hearing that you used to be an animal themed superhero?! Is that why you were so okay with the bat theme?”

Alfred appreciated Master Jason remembering that he did not approve of swearing, he didn’t always and therefore that was the reason they had the swear jar. “It was not something that needed to be spoken of.” he replied in a dry tone. “I had the turtle miraculous. It was given to me by the Ladybug of the time.”

“So wait…..there are different Ladybugs?” Master Tim asked.

“Well yes….being a miraculous holder doesn’t make you immortal.” Alfred replied. “The miraculouses are activated in a time of need, when that time passes they are recalled. Ladybug is always the first activated along with the cat miraculous. They work as a duo but Ladybug is always in charge. Sir I advise you to listen to that young lady. Perhaps you can busy yourself by having a chat with The Flash to see if he remembers her request for assistance.”

And while they all noticed it, no one commented on how Alfred did not go back upstairs until he got verbal confirmation that Batman would not act before Ladybug contacted him again. It seemed for at least three weeks the Batfam was staying in Gotham.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was quite tired when they got back to the hotel room. She felt things had gone as well as could be expected. She just hoped that Batman would respect her wishes and follow her instructions. She couldn’t let it be known that Ladybug wasn’t in Paris, Batman might connect it with the fact that there was a group from Paris visiting.

The next morning Marinette woke to the wake up call she had requested from the front desk, though Plagg had reported that Max had called the front desk to try to get the time changed but the receptionist refused. Marinette guessed Lila wanted her to sleep in and look foolish when Dick showed up the next morning. Maybe she would lie and say she and Chloe were sick in an attempt to try to take the limo ride for herself and Alya. It was funny how thinking about the loss of Alya didn’t hurt as much as it used to.

Both Marinette and Chloe did some morning yoga, they found that it helped them stay in shape and build up the patience they would need for the day to face Lila and her lackies.She got a text from Luka letting her know that he had talked to Juleka and while he knew something had happened between her and Lila, his little sister hadn’t told him what had happened exactly. Marinette said she was sorry that Juleka was hurting and wished there was more she could do. Luka knew as well as she did that if Marinette sought Juleka out it would not go well for either girl. At the best Juleka would have to seek her out. But Marinette doubted that would happen since she was always with Rose, who was firmly under Lila’s spell.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick actually squealed when he saw Marinette and Chloe’s outfits for the museum trip. Chloe was Nightwing! He was SO glad that he got to see it, today it was himself and Tim acting as chaperones. He was picking up the girls while Tim was already at the museum to make sure everything was set up. Chloe was wearing a full body leather suit. On the chest was the blue Nightwing symbol. Black boots, two very detailed escrima sticks and a black eye mask finished the look, her hair was pulled back into a high ponytail.

When he saw Marinette Dick was pretty sure he was going to lose his goddamn mind. Marinette was dressed as Dami! Well Robin but that wasn’t the point. While Chloe had gone full bad ass Marinette went with cute but dangerous….but mostly cute! She had a red sundress hemed with yellow lace and a few yellow buttons going down the front staring at her collar, on her wrists were two green cuffs. She had on green knee high boots and a hooded cape that was black on the outside and yellow on the inside, and of course a green domino mask. Several pictures were taken and sent out to the group chat.

Original Bird: I AM IMMORTALIZED!

Little Wing: Ohmigod Damian’s face is SO red!

Lil D: Todd I will cut off your hand!

Original Bird: Dami we talked about this….no threatening to cut off body parts before noon.

Lil D:.......

He heard his twitter feed chirp and wasn’t surprised. Selina hadn’t said anything but had clearly sent the picture to Harley and probably Ivy.

HahaHarley@madeyoulaugh
Awwww my babies are so adorable dressed up as little birdies!! #proudmama

He held out his phone for Marinette and Chloe to see. “You guys are trending again!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette looked at Dick’s phone with wide eyes as she was shown Harley Quinn’s twitter account. She blushed as Harley’s proud raving. Next they were shown Poison Ivy. Apparently the two of them had been symbolically adopted by the two Sirens. #LapisandLemondrop, #MarigoldandDaffodil, #SirenMothers, and #NewestWayne? Were all trending.

When they got to the museum Marinette was pleased to see Tim. He complimented her on the outfits she and Chloe were wearing. When their teacher called them over to the group in an impatient manner Marinette couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Looks like Mme. Marabelle finally being a proper teacher.” she commented as she went to join their class.

“Great now that Marinette is done being a suck up we can go in.” Alya said just loud enough for everyone but their teacher to hear. Marinette rolled her eyes and went to help go get the tickets. She was actually excited since one of the reasons she had picked this spot was their new modern music exhibit, she knew Nino would really enjoy it, along with Juleka and probably Rose since they were into music too. Juleka seemed a little more subdued than normal but there was nothing that Marinette could do about that
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino had thought a trip to a museum would be pretty boring, but then they got to the exhibit about modern music. He had been drifting further and further away from Alya and Lila since they were spending the tour complaining about absolutely everything. It was getting a little embarrassing. Especially when one of their chaperons asked the two of them if there was something they wanted to share with everyone.

“After all it must be important if you’d rather talk about that than listen to the nice tour guide.”

He looked away as the two girls meekly apologized, knowing that as soon as the attention was off of them the venom would start to flow. Nino noticed that Juleka looked a little sad, so he went to go hang out in the back of the group with her and Rose.

“You okay Juleka?” he asked quietly. Juleka looked at him in surprise.

“I...I’m fine.” she mumbled.

Nino almost frowned but held back because he didn’t want to make Juleka more nervous. She said that in the same way Adriend did when everything was anything but fine. He didn’t like this one bit. But before he could say anything a chilling laughter could be heard before men with guns came into the room.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette felt like a bucket of ice water had been dumped over her at the laugh. Her eyes went wide as a man with ivory white skin, bright green hair, and a red scared mouth in a purple suit strolled in while his men shot the security cameras.

“Well hello children!” The Joker grinned as he strolled into the room. “I’m so sorry to interrupt your fun day of learning. Everyone up against the wall.”

Marinette noticed that all her classmates looked terrified, and with good reason. They had been warned about villains like the Joker but she could see that none of them actually thought they would run into anyone from the Rouge Gallery. Without having to say anything Chloe stuck to her side. She noticed the security guard that had been standing by the door was now on the ground. God she hoped he was just knocked out and not dead.

“Ow!” she yelped as one of the henchmen grabbed her by her hair and pulled her away from the others.

“Marinette!” Nino shouted.

“Leave her alone!” Adrien cried stepping forward only to be pulled back by Lila.

“Now now….don’t you kiddies worry. I just wanted to get a good look at someone who is making a bit of a fuss” Joker said in a mocking tone.
Marinette found herself face to face with one of the worst villains in all of Gotham, she glanced to Chloe who was soon pushed beside her. “Hello Lapis and Lemon Drop.” Joker greeted with a manic grin.

Chapter Text

To say that Marinette was scared would be a serious understatement, she was in fact terrified. Before her stood possibly Gotham’s worst villain. The Joker was insane and that was what made him truly dangerous, there was no predicting what he might do next, anything could set him off. She felt like there really wasn’t much she could do just yet. Her only plan was to stay calm and hope help arrived soon. If she could just keep the Joker distracted long enough Batman or some one from his team would show up. They had to! She knew that she and Chloe could handle themselves, but what if she said or did the wrong thing and the Joker decided to shoot one of her classmates?

“Um…..h-hello…..” she greeted nervously, afraid that if she said nothing that it might set him off. At first she worried that she had made the wrong choice but then the Joker’s smile widened.

“Well girls you have become quite popular.” the Joker announced. “You’re all over twitter with those little outfits. You’ve been a cat, a sub par clown, a plant, and now two birds. I can’t help but notice a theme.”

Marinette couldn’t help but get nervous because the Joker wasn’t smiling. Why was it scarier when he wasn’t smiling?! “O-oh? What would that be?” She couldn’t help but notice his reference to Harley Quinn as a subpar clown. She wondered if he had just seen someone retweet a picture or if he was going directly off what he ex posted. Either way the Joker didn’t really seem like a twitter type of guy. But maybe she was wrong.

“A theme of horrible choices. You should be modeling your clothing after winners! Like….I don’t know….the clown prince of crime!”

“Purple, green, and red? If you’re being serious you are ridiculous utterly ridiculous!”

Marinette felt her heart drop to her feet. “Chloe!” she squeaked. Was her best friend trying to get them killed?! Chloe seemed to realize her mistake as well. So awkward!

The Joker stared at Chloe and then started to laugh. “You’ve got moxie.” he decided. “I like that.”

“Yeah well your goon with the gun messed up my hair. Do you know how long I spent on it this morning? A perfect ponytail is not easy.”

Marinette was pretty sure she was going to faint. Apparently Chloe was living by the in for a penny in for a pound rule.

The Joker gave her a blank look. “Bill me.” he said flatly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When he got up that morning Dick had had such high hopes for the day. He had been looking forward to spending some time with Timmy, him getting some sun, and handing out with Marinette and Chloe. From the first time he met Marinette and later Chloe he knew he liked them. The morning had been great, the students seemed to be loving the museum. He noticed that there were quite a few students interested in the modern music exhibit. He had caught Marinette watching a boy with glasses and headphone around his neck, he knew Marinette had chosen the trip locations. Had she picked this for that boy? Was he her friend? Why hadn’t he seen them together?

His phone buzzed and when he read the text from Babs his eyes narrowed.

All Seeing Eye:Incoming!

He looked up and saw that Tim had just gotten the same message, without needing to say anything the both went in opposite directions, stepping behind a pillar just as he heard a familiar laugh. This was not good. He knew that Babs had no doubt B and the others but he texted to let them know that he and Tim had gotten out of the way in time.

Original Bird: Thanks for the heads up Babs. Tim and I will get the lay of the land and try to get the kids out.

When he crept closer and his heart dropped. Right in front of the Joker were Marinette and Chloe! He could tell the girls were scared but they were being so brave.

Original Bird: Good news. Most of the class is lined up against the south wall of the modern music exhibit

Little Wing: Most?

World’s Best Boy Detective: The Joker has Marinette and Chloe with him.

Dick grimaced because he knew Jay was going to flip out, he was very fond of both girls. He had been calling Marinette Pixie-Pop from day one, and he knew Jay was very fond of Chloe’s unapologetic blunt way of speaking. As a general rule Jay did not come out to Joker calls.

Original Bird:Marinette and Chloe are being SO brave and careful. The others can handle this.

Little Wing: I can handle this.

Lil D: ETA for Father and myself is less than five minutes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino didn’t remember the last time he had been this scared. He knew that they had been warned that Gotham was a dangerous place, they had watched videos, but seeing the Joker up close was making things hit him. There was no Ladybug in Gotham. Whatever bad thing happened they stuck. Right now he was watching his childhood friend stare down a mad man. How was she and Chloe so freaking calm?! For once even Lila and Alya didn’t have anything to say. He looked to his other side and noticed that Juleka was hugging a crying Rose. Kim looked like he was ready to throw down but Alix was holding one hand and Max was holding the other.

“Hey….come this way.” a voice softly called out.

Nino looked up in surprise and saw one of their chaperones motioning to the group. It was the tall one…..Dick? He noticed some movement to the other side of him and saw the other one helping the other half of the group get out.

“Come on.” Dick urged him.

“But….Marinette and Chloe….” Nino couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so helpless. Now more than ever he remembered that he had once been a hero. It had been a long time since Ladybug had called upon him to be Carapace. He wasn’t sure what had changed but whatever it was he deeply regretted it. Alya had told Lila she had once been Rena Rouge and Lila told her that Marinette told Ladybug that Alya was bullying her and that was the reason why she wasn’t called upon either. But Nino didn’t think that was true. When Alya told him that he remembered being so mad. Ladybug had trusted them!

He hadn’t really said anything on the subject, when Alya got in one of her moods it was best to just let her vent or rant. He didn’t point out that Ladybug herself had said that she wasn’t friends with Lila and that while she was happy to be friendly with citizens but that she would never risk endangering one of them by being friends with one. It would put them in danger from Hawk Moth using them. This seemed obvious but it was like Alya completely forgot all that, though now Lila had gotten Alya to turn against Ladybug. Lila had switched teams and later claimed she was a close friend of Chat Noir.

Dick smiled at him and held out his hand. “I know you’re worried about your friends. But it will be better if we get you guys out of here. Less hostages for the Joker. Batman should be here soon. He always shows up to save the day. Marinette and Chloe would want their friends to get to safety if they could.” Nino felt his stomach twist…..because it had been years since he had been a good friend towards Marinette. Instead of saying this he nodded and hurried to safety.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette had been doing her best to stay calm. When the Joker found out that she had no plans to create any outfits based off any of the rouge gallery he actually seemed offended. She distracted him by saying she hadn’t been able to narrow the choices down. “There are just so many cool villains in Gotham….it was easier to pick from the hero pool.” she exclaimed.

To her delight the Joker fell or it was started to rant a bit about how he was the biggest and baddest villain. “I’ve been fighting Batsy so much longer than any of those other losers.” She guessed that this was supposed to be impressive. She and Chloe let their eyes grow wide. When she felt Chloe nudge her while the Joker was distracted she glanced at her best friend, Chloe looked around and Marinette did the same. She was shocked to see that their classmates were gone. Yes! She knew playing the waiting game would pay off. “I’ll go high, you go low?” she said quietly

“With pleasure.”

Before the Joker could react, if he had even noticed, Marinette punched him in the nose putting her weight into it. There was a satisfying crunch and the Joker stumbled back. Chloe’s leg swept out to knock him off his feet. Marinette had a deep pocket sewn into her cape. Inside it along with Tikki and Pollen was a yo-yo she had taken to carrying around. The string wasn’t a regular string but was made out of steel and the yo-yo was weighted.

Marinette had wanted to learn how to wield a yo-yo without Ladybug’s reflexes. Both she and Chloe had learned how to fight and defend themselves. As soon as the Joker went down Marinette struck again. The two girls jumped when glass from a nearby skylight shattered and figured jumped down.

“Holy shit did they decide to combine Christmas with my birthday and my Hood Anniversary?!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood could not believe what he was seeing. He had been planning to come in guns blazing. Batman would have told him to be more careful. But that wasn’t necessary. He pulled his phone out and snapped a picture. The sight before him was so beautiful he was thinking about getting the picture printed and framed. The Joker had his arms behind his back and were hog tied to his ankles and he was gagged. “If this was any more delicious this would be fattening”

“Um….should heroes swear?” Marinette finally asked.

“Not much of a hero.” Red Hood said. As if to prove his point he kicked the Joker in the face.

“Red Hood is an anti-hero.” Chloe explained “He saves the day but doesn’t really worry about the rules.”

“Goldilocks gets it!” Red Hood exclaimed gleefully just before Batman and Robin ran in the room. As a rule he was supposed to stay away when the Joker was involved. He guessed Batman was worried he’d go too far. But when he heard that the bastard clown had Marinette and Chloe….all bets were off. God he was SO happy he had come
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Batman stared at the Joker. “Hood…..what is this?” he asked. He was not pleased that Red Hood had just burst onto the scene. The girls could have been hurt. But to be honest this was a lot less violent than he would have expected.

Red Hood held up his hands in surrender. “I didn’t do it. He was like this when I got here.”

Chapter Text

Robin couldn’t help but stare at the girl dressed as himself. Sure he knew there were Robin toys and that there was a plant based chicken sandwich named after him at Bat Burger. Originally it had been a regular chicken sandwich but Father, as Batman, found a way to contact the CEO to inform him that Robin was a vegetarian. For once Robin hadn’t cared when the newspaper reported on him. But then again he was pretty sure Father had done this to prevent him from acting on his own. Apparently he had been seen talking in hushed tones a few too many times after he saw the first commercial for the chicken sandwich.

Yes he knew people celebrated his being Robin, he had seen the children’s halloween costumes, but something about this felt so much different….personal. He didn’t think he had ever seen a civilian pay homage to Robin. This was different than just dressing up in a costume. He understood the toys, food, and costumes. That was financial gain. But this French girl, she was dressed as she was just because she admired Robin. In fact she had spent her own money to make her outfit, she gained nothing from this.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette tried not to laugh when Batman assumed that what had happened to the Joker was Red Hood’s doing. Sure he had given the clown a good kick, but she wasn’t going to tell on him, though she had to admit that it was a very good thing that his boots were red because there was probably blood on them.

“It’s true Batman.” she spoke up. “When we saw that our classmates were out of harm’s way we acted.”

“You were very brave but what you did was dangerous.” Batman frowned.

“I know and I’m sorry. But it was very clear that the Joker didn’t expect two teenage girls to try anything. Both myself and Chloe have been practicing martial arts and other ways to defend ourselves.” Finally Batman nodded and Marinette couldn’t help but be relieved. She didn’t want to be on Batman’s bad side. It was a little nerve wracking to meet him as Marinette, when just the night before she had spoken to him as Ladybug. But he didn’t seem to be suspicious.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Batman the police want to know…..holy circus clown flashbacks!” Nightwing had come in to make sure everything was okay. Yup, that was the reason he had come in his costume to check things out. It wasn’t because there was a mini him there. Like Red Hood he was not prepared for the sight of the Joker hogtied and a little bloody.

“Uh….what happened here?” he asked. There wasn’t enough blood for this to be Hood’s doing. And neither Batman or Robin would have enough of a sense of humor for this. They were solid cuffs or zip ties.

“Um….we did?” a familiar voice announced. Nightwing turned to see Marinette and Chloe looking perfectly unharmed. He was so relieved!

“Ohmigod! You guys are soooooo cute!” he cried as he rushed over. He circled Marinette making her laugh. “So this is what I would look like as a blonde girl!” He couldn’t help but smoosh Chloe’s cheek’s a little. THIS WAS THE BEST DAY EVER!!

“Nightwing!” Robin barked. “Control yourself at once! Have a little dignity!”

Nightwing ignored the scolding but just grabbed his baby brother by the arm. “Selfie time!”

IamtheNightwing@OGRobin
Gotham beware! These girls don’t just dress up like amazing superheroes they can kick your butt! Rogues don’t even try them.

HahaHarley@Madeyoulaugh
IF ANYONE TOUCHES MY BABIES THEY ARE DEAD!! JOKER YOU BETTER STAY IN ARKHAM BECAUSE YOU EVER COME NEAR LAPIS AND LEMON DROP I’M COMING FOR YOU!!

GothamIvy@Ispeakforthetrees
Normally I would be telling Harley to calm down. However instead I will point out that I can grow a flesh eating plant big enough to get rid of a body.

Red Robin@Redrobinyum
Is my don’t do it list a joke to you two?

HahaHarley@Madeyoulaugh
Don’t sell yourself short!
A lot of things about you make me laugh :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino was waiting anxiously outside the museum, the entire class had been checked out by the medics and were now waiting for Marinette and Chloe to be rescued. Even though everyone had turned on Marinette and didn’t like Chloe the only ones who had wanted to go back to the hotel were Lila and Alya.

Alya…..sometimes he felt like he didn’t know her anymore. She was so different from the girl he had started to fall for after getting locked in that cage at the zoo years ago. He still loved her but...was a relationship supposed to be so hard sometimes? He had never felt the way about a girl the way he felt about Alya, he saw a future for them, or at least he used to. He used to be able to picture them graduating, going to college, getting married, and starting a family. But lately it was getting harder and harder to picture it. He didn’t like fighting so he just kept quiet about how he was feeling.

“You know Batman was going to make me his new partner.” Lila bragged. “He felt like there was a lot I could help with after I saved both him and Robin. I was going to be called Moon Dove. But I was outshining Robin and decided he needed a win more than I did in that case.”

Nino couldn’t take it anymore. “Are you kidding me?! Marinette and Chloe are in danger and all you can do is talk about how supposedly you turned down the opportunity to become Batman’s partner?!”

“Nino what’s gotten into you?!” Alya gasped. Which wasn’t surprising at all, Alya had been Lila’s guard dog for years. “Calm down, Batman will go in there and save them. Besides if Marinette hadn’t insisted on wearing those outfits this would have never happened.”

Nino stared at Alya. “You can’t be serious. Are you really victim shaming Marinette and Chloe?! Don’t blame this on them! No one could have predicted this happening. Marinette and Chloe are our classmates. They could die and you don’t care!” he shouted before storming off. He heard Alya calling after him but ignored it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila had not been expecting that to happen. What the hell had gotten into Nino and why wasn’t Alya keeping her boyfriend in line?! She couldn’t risk him infecting the others. She wondered if she should fix this or break it.

“Oh Alya don’t worry.” she said in a sympathetic tone. “I’m sure Nino is just stressed. What happened today was so scary!”

Alya hesitated but nodded in agreement. “Yeah….I know they warned us that Gotham was dangerous. It’s so different than home.”

“Nino was totally out of line even if he was upset. You are SO right about Marinette and Chloe’s outfits. They put us all in danger by continuing to wear them!” Lila watched the wheels in Alya’s head turn. “I don’t know about you but I’m not sure if I feel safe with Marinette and Chloe on this trip with us. Even if they stop wearing those hideous outfits thanks to them making friends with criminals they could continue to put us all in danger!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was exhausted, she felt like years had just been taken off her life. From the look of Chloe she was feeling the same way. They had spoken to the police and had been cleared to join their class who were waiting outside.

“Yo! Little Robin!.” a voice called out.

Marinette looked up in surprise and saw Red Hood motioning to come closer. Of course both she and Chloe walked over. “Here.” Her confusion grew when she was handed a small piece of paper with a number. “Put that in both your phones right now.” When both of them had he took the paper back and ripped it up.

“That’s my number.” Hood explained. “I don’t want to freak you out or anything….but if something happens call me. I don’t care about the time or where you are. If I can’t help you I’ll send someone who can.”

Before Marinette could say anything Hood waved and jumped out a nearby window. “Well….that was cool.” Chloe nodded in agreement.

Chapter Text

“And just think….something like the museum could happen again.” Lila told the group. “Thanks to Marinette and Chloe making friends with those ex criminal freaks! Now any criminal could come poking around and threaten us.”

Juleka was sitting quietly next to Rose, they were in Lila and Alya’s room having a room service dinner. Their teacher had advised them to not go anywhere.Lila had suggested they hang out together. It had sounded like fun and Rose was really excited.

“But um….the Joker only seemed interested in Marinette and Chloe.” Kim pointed out.

Juleka was pretty sure only she noticed the brief look of annoyance that crossed Lila’s face. Now that she knew the truth there were things that she couldn’t unsee. Soon Lila was smiling sweetly. “You’re right. He singled them out because of those hideous outfits.” Lila continued. “Once again Marinette is causing trouble. If things like this keep happening we could all have to go home!” Everyone made sounds of protest.

“Why does Marinette have to try and ruin our trip?!” Alya asked with a huff. “Isn’t it bad enough that Lila practically did everything and then she stole the credit?!”

Juleka played with her fries as she watched Alya. The more she thought about it the stranger everything seemed, she felt like she had been living in a dream world but now she was awake and couldn’t go back. Why? Why did they all listen to Lila? They had been friends with Marinette for years. How had Lila gotten them to turn on her? Even Alya who was her best friend, and Nino the one who had known her the longest had been fooled. Though lately she had noticed Nino staying quiet about everything, he was just watching. She wondered if he was waking up as well.

As much as she hated it Juleka was afraid. Lila had taken down Marinette. What chance did she have?

“Don’t worry Alya. Soon Marinette and Chloe will both be going home.” Juleka looked up from her fries. Lila seemed so sure of herself. What had she done?

“H-how did you do that?” she asked, trying not to sound nervous. When Lila gave her a slightly sharp look Juleka dropped her gaze, which seemed to be the right thing.

“Well I spoke to Mme. Marabel.” she grandly announced. “I told her how unsafe we all feel and how scary it is that Marinette and Chloe might be in danger. Maybe they didn’t mean to attract trouble but clearly they do. She’s going to talk to the principal and surely those troublemakers will be sent home!”

Juleka felt her stomach twist at the news. She glanced around as a lot of the others told Lila what a good idea it was. Nino’s eyes met her own and she knew...he too was troubled. That he wanted to do or say something. But Alya was holding onto his hand, if he left it would be noticed. But...no one noticed her most of the time. Normally this bothered her, but this time she would use it to her advantage.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette hung up the video call. The nightly daily recap call had just finished. She and Chloe had been checking in every day with Luka and Kagami. They told them what had gone on in Paris and in return they would tell them about how much fun the Gotham trip was. Though today’s call was a lot less fun.

Things had started off normally, Kagami and Luka had reported how that afternoon and evening patrols had gone. Marinette knew that there hadn’t been any akuma attacks since she hadn’t been called back as Ladybug. Team Miraculous wasn’t just on the look out for akuma butterflies. If they saw someone who was upset they tried their best to help. By doing this they could cut down on the odds of someone being akumatized.

When it came time for the other half to give their report Kagami and Luka had, naturally, been worried. Even if they knew that their teammates could handle themselves. A lot could have gone wrong. Someone knocked on the door and Marinette exchanged a puzzled look with Chloe before going to answer the door. When the door opened to reveal a nervous and almost scared looking Juleka Marinette didn’t think she could be any more surprised. If it was anyone up she would have instantly been suspicious, though her guard was still up.

“Juleka…..can I help you?” she asked carefully. She had told Luka that Juleka seemed upset. He had tried to talk to her but hadn’t gotten much. Unfortunately thanks to Lila the siblings weren’t as close as they had once been. Marinette had wanted to reach out to Juleka but doubted it would go well. Luka had said he understood.

Juleka looked pale and nervous. She looked over his shoulder before saying anything. But when she did finally speak it wasn’t much but it said a lot. “Lila is going to get you and Chloe sent back to Paris!” she warned in a hushed tone

Marinette stared. “Um…..what?”

“Lila was telling everyone just now…..she was getting them worked up. Saying you guys are going to attract more danger, so she spoke to Mme. Marabel and she’s going to arrange for you to go back early.”

By now Chloe had joined Marinette at the door. “So…..why are you here?” she asked.

“Marinette I’m sorry! I...I found out the truth but….she threatened me. I’m nothing like you. I…..I can’t handle Rosie hating me. But I had to warn you!”

Marinette started, before she could say anything Juleka ran away. It was brave of Juleka to come warn them. She felt a small warm pulse run through her but didn’t know what it meant. Closing the door she sighed. “Poor Juleka.”

“Poor Juleka?!” Chloe scowled. “She knows Lila is a fake but is still hanging out with her!”

“Standing out on a limb is lonely.” Marinette explained. “She probably feels like she will lose everything like I did. Asking her to do that is asking a lot. Maybe too much. I thought I was secure and Lila dragged me down.”

“But you came back.” Chloe pointed out.

“That….was a long hard journey.” Marinette sighed. “And I had being Ladybug to help take my mind off things. It was brave of Juleka to warn us even though she is scared of Lila.”

“So…..what are we going to do?” Chloe asked.

Marinette pulled out her phone. “I’m going to make a call.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood blinked when his phone rang. Unless this was Dick calling then this was probably not going to be a good phone call. When he looked at the caller ID he frowned.

“Who is this and how did you get this number?!” he demanded. When a hesitant female voice spoke he recognized it at once.

“Um….Mr. Hood? This is Marinette.”

“Are you okay?” Jason felt anxiety start to grow.

“Yes and no. I just got tipped off that Chloe and myself might get sent home. Someone is agitating everyone and making them think us staying in the hotel and being part of the group puts them in danger.”

“Need me to scare them into shutting up? Blackmail your teacher? Pretty sure I can find something on the broad.” Hood offered.

“What?!” Marinette squeaked, which he found endearing and a little annoying because now he had to think of something else. He was like...ninety percent sure killing was not the answer. Not even non lethal shooting. Such bullshit.

“What do you need me to do?” he asked.

“Can you get me the number to Dick Grayson or maybe Bruce Wayne? I’m sure they can figure something out” He got the feeling from how quickly she made the request that she had called knowing what she needed from him. Chick was prepared, he liked that.

“I can contact him. Don’t worry. Help is on the way Little Robin.” he promised before hanging up.

Chapter Text

Marinette couldn’t help but be nervous. She had called Red Hood over an hour ago but she hadn’t heard anything. What if he wasn’t able to get a hold of Dick or Mr. Wayne? She wasn’t sure if Mme. Marabelle would be able to send her and Chloe home or not. Technically they hadn’t done anything wrong. The outfits she created were all within the school dress code, she had been very careful when making them. But when it came to Lila anything could happen. She just had this way with words and tones. If it weren’t for the fact that she used her talents for evil it would be impressive. But since she did insist on using her talents for evil it just made her feel tired and sad.

“If Red Hood doesn’t come through I’m going to kick his ass.” Chloe grumbled which made Marinette laugh. Only someone like Chloe would think to threaten the anti hero.

“I’m sure he’ll come through us.” she smiled, though she didn’t want to admit that she was getting a little worried too. She had no doubt that Lila would love to send them home. Though she was glad that she had been able to get Batman to agree to help in the fight against Hawkmoth. So as much as she would hate for Lila to get her way, she had accomplished one of her most important goals for this trip. Though missing the rest of the trip, especially the gala at the end would be extremely disappointing. Though even though she felt a bit bad to have the thought, it would be nice to be home without the rest of her class.

“Dupain-Cheng my time is like a toddler in a tiara…..precious and short.”

Marinette was about to respond but instead there was a knock at the door. She wasn’t overly surprised to see Lila. “Mme. Marabelle wants you two downstairs. Hope your bags are packed because you losers are going home!” she bragged before turning away to saunter off. Marinette watched her before looking at Chloe.

“Let's get this over with.” she sighed.The two went downstairs and weren’t really surprised to find that the whole class was downstairs. She was pretty sure that in a normal setting this would be something more private but okay.

“Girls, please sit down.” Mme. Marabelle said in a gentle tone.

“No thanks, we’ll stand.” Chloe answered for them and Marinette nodded in agreement.

Their teacher looked surprised and pressed her lips together for a moment before she was smiling again. “Now girls….I know a lot of scary things have happened recently. I’m worried that the situation has become a bit more dangerous. I’ve been in contact with the principle and we think it might be best if you two return back to Paris.”

“What happened was out of our control!” Marinette protested. “Everyone knows Gotham is a dangerous place!”

“Yes, and your presence might continue to put the class in danger.” Marinette did not appreciate the tone being used with them. Apparently neither did Chloe.

“Okay well if it’s so dangerous why aren’t we all going back to Paris?!” Chloe demanded hands on her hips.

“Why should we call go home when this is their fault?!”

“Yeah the Joker went after Marinette and Chloe!”

“It’s because they made friends with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy!”

“Don’t be so stubborn and selfish!”

“You’re talking to Chloe, what did you expect?”

Different people cried out but Marinette had no doubt that they had been coached by Lila. It took way too long for their teacher to get things under control. Marinette held back a sigh of annoyance. Who let this woman be a teacher?!

“Everyone calm down. It’s been decided that Marinette and Chloe will be going home. I’m still trying to arrange a flight but until then they will have to stay at the hotel.”

“That won’t be necessary!” A familiar and welcome voice called out. Marinette almost swooned with relief when Dick and Tim came hurrying forward.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“What is the meaning of this?”

Dick approached the school group with a smile. “Arrangements for Miss Dupain-Cheng and Miss Bourgeois.”

“What do you mean?” their teacher asked.Dick didn’t really remember her name, nor did he care. This woman was a horrible teacher. The fact that she was in charge of shaping the minds of teenagers was going to keep him up at night.

Thankfully Tim spoke up so he didn’t have to. Tim was better at wording things the right way. Dick called it being diplomatic. Jason describe it as a polite way od telling some one to fuck off with out them realizing it.

“You don’t have to worry about anything.” Tim said with his try-me-and-see-what-happens smile. “Sadly here in Gotham we are used to attacks from people like the Joker. And therefore we are better equipped to handle it. Two last minute plane tickets will be quite expensive. Let Wayne Enterprise handle it like we handled your flight here.”

“Oh….um….w-well okay.” Dick wasn’t surprised that the teacher was agreeing.

Tim nodded, pleased that things were going smoothly. “Alright well then Miss Dupain-Cheng and Miss Bourgeois will be coming with us then. We will make accommodations for their safety until it’s time for them to return to Paris.”

“Wait shouldn’t they stay here?” the teacher asked. Dick knew this was a mistake.

“Actually no. Mr. Wayne’s number one priority is the safety of everyone. He’s been in contact with the girl’s parents to get permission. In fact they were rather alarmed and surprised this was the first they were hearing of the attack. You were planning to inform the parents right?”

Dick watched in amusement as the teacher puffed up a bit, clearly feeling a bit insulted. “Of course! I….I just thought it would be better to have more information on when they would be coming home.”

There was a long pause before Tim spoke. “Right….I’m sure…..well everything is in order for the girls to come with us.” His tone was polite with an undertone of I-don’t-believe-you.

Dick smiled at Marinette and Chloe. “If you don’t mind we’ve already sent hotel staff for your things and they have been loaded into the limo.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette had not quite been expecting this. Not knowing what else to do she nodded her agreement. She had to admit Tim hadn’t broken a sweat putting Mme. Marabelle in her place. She could tell from the look on Lila’s face that Lila thought she had won.

Together she and Chloe followed Dick and Tim into the limo. “Um….are we being sent back home?”

“If we are that is ridiculous, utterly ridiculous!” Chloe snapped. Marinette could tell she was probably trying to figure out a way to kick Red Hood in the shin if that was going to be the case.

Dick laughed and the limo started to pull away. “Timmy said accommodations had been made for you two until it was time for you to return to Paris.”

“We heard that part.” Chloe said, crossing her arms.

“Well until your class trip is over you two will be staying at Wayne Manor!” Dick grinned, clearly pleased with himself.

Marinette was shocked. “Wait….we’re going to what now?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Wayne Manor is very secure.” Dick explained. “There will also be added security measures added to your remaining trips.” Their escorts were going to be in wireless connection with Babs and there would be people watching and ready to swoop in at a moment’s notice. He was so excited for them! Not many people got to stay at Wayne Manor. He was pretty sure that Alfred was looking forward to having guests. Damian….was less than pleased to have two strange girls in the Manor. It was only a week and a half, Dick wasn’t really worried. Plus he was going to get to see all those cute little outfits up close!

The limo stopped and Dick jumped out so he could open the door for the girls. “Welcome to Wayne Manor!”

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~A little over an hour ago~~~~~~~
Jason scowled as he hung up. When he had given Marinette his number he hadn’t thought the girls would need it so soon. His intent had been for them to call if they got in trouble with someone else from the Rouge Gallery, he hadn’t expected them to need his help after being attacked by one of their own. This Lila chick was a serious problem, so was that teacher, and what was really annoying is he wasn’t allowed to take care of things his way. Okay, okay maybe blackmail was not the answer….but he REALLY wanted it to be. In the end all he could do was what Marnette asked him to. He called Dick.

“Jay?!” Jason made a face as he held the phone away from his ear.

“Fuck Dick I like my ears to not leak blood!” he complained.

“Sorry Jaybird.” Christ, he could hear the grin on Dick’s face. “It’s just you never call me.”

“Ever think there is a reason for that?” Jason scowled. No, bad Jason! He was getting distracted. “Look, I need your help. Now shut the fuck up and let me explain. I swear to god if you squeal I am going to hang up and handle things my way!” He knew that even though Dick didn’t know what the problem was he would not want him to handle things his way.

He waited to make sure Dick had control of himself. “I need you to get to that hotel the Paris kids are staying at. I gave Marinette my number in case something happened after the Joker incident. She just called me to ask me to get a hold of you or Bruce, because that Lila bitch manipulated that sad excuse for a teacher into sending Marinette and Chloe home.”

“What?! Why would she do that?!” Dick exclaimed.

“She is saying that the others don’t feel safe and that Marinette and Chloe staying at the hotel and with the group could put them all in danger.”

“Don’t worry Jason. I’ll get Tim on this and we’ll work something out.” Dick promised.

“Good.” Jason sighed in relief. He couldn’t solve things his way and make bodies disappear. So the next best option was to let Dick sick Replacement on the Paris group.

“So….you gave Marinette your number?” Dick asked and Jason could feel his smugness.

“Sorry can’t hear you. Going through a tunnel!” And with that he hung up.
~~~~~~~~Present time~~~~
“Father is this really wise?” Damian asked, they were waiting on the front steps for Richard and Drake to bring back the two girls from Paris.

“Damian we’ve been over this.” Bruce sighed. He had known his son would not be happy with the outcome. “These girls are being targeted. They shouldn’t be sent back to Paris due to something they had no control over. This is the best solution.”

“Why can not they stay at some other hotel?” Damian persisted.

Bruce held in a sigh. “The Gotham Rose is the best hotel in the city. They can’t just go to another hotel Damian.”

“Master Damian if I didn’t know any better I might think you were afraid to have girls in the Manor.” Bruce hoped the cough the he tried to disguise his laugh as was convincing. He could tell that Damian wanted to say something, and he was proud of his son for not giving into the urge. Damian had come a long way from the angry violent ten year old he had been when he first came into their lives. Now that he thought about it they had all come a long way. Bruce knew he wasn’t the best at showing how he felt, but he had gotten better.

“What about patrolling?” Damian demanded crossing his arms over his chest.

“With everyone home for a change I’m sure we can figure out a schedule. Maybe not everyone can go out every night but we’ll manage.” Bruce said with a small smile. Maybe a lighter schedule would be good for his son. When the limo pulled up Bruce straightened up. Even he was a little curious about the two girls everyone was so excited over.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adrien felt sick to his stomach.When he had first told Marinette that they should just leave Lila alone he had never imagined anything like this happening. This had gotten so out of control and he had no idea how to fix things. He had no idea how Lila had gotten to his Father, he normally hated everyone. That was like his thing! But somehow Lila convinced him that she was a good influence. Maybe Nino had stepped over the line one too many times? His best friend always pushed his dad’s buttons.

Were Chloe and Marinette really going to be sent home? It wasn’t fair! They had been attacked and Lila had spun it so they were in the wrong. Though that nice tour guide had come to pick them up. Maybe he could pull some strings to help them.He looked up and noticed Lila was busy with Alya so he excused himself saying he needed to go to the bathroom. As soon as he was out of sight he pulled out his phone to send a text message to Marinette.

Me: Are you guys okay? Are you being sent home??

M:Everything is going to be okay. Dick made arrangements for C and myself. We aren’t going anywhere.

Me: Where are you staying??

M: It’s better that I don’t say. If it got out you know who would just say I was lying.

Me: You guys are safe right?

M: Don’t worry. Hey can you do me a favor?

Me: Of course!

M: Check on Juleka. I think something is going on with her.

Me: Consider it done.

Sometimes Adrien didn’t know what he hated more, that he was trapped by Lila and forced to stay silent or that Marinette was such an amazing person that she understood and forgave him. She even kept Chloe for coming for his head. Though even though Chloe had been ready to turn on him, he was glad someone else saw the good in her like he knew she had deep DEEP down.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Juleka excused herself to go to the bathroom. She just needed a break from pretending everything was okay. What had happened to Marinette and Chloe? Were they being sent home? If that was the case why couldn’t they stay at the hotel until it was time to go? She hated not knowing what was happening.

Stopped by the bathroom Juleka leaned against the wall instead of going in. She had tried to help Marinette and Chloe by warning them. But as usual she couldn’t do anything right!

“Juleka are you okay?” a voice asked.

Juleka looked up and was surprised to see Adrien. Nervously she glanced around and only spoke once she saw they were alone. “Not really.” she muttered.

“What’s wrong?” Adrien asked with a small reassuring smile. “If you need me to, I can keep a secret,” For some reason this made her smile a little.

“Don’t tell anyone….but I tried to help Marinetter and Chloe. I warned them about what Lila was planning. But I don’t think it worked.” she sighed.

Adrien placed a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t tell anyone...but I texted Marinette and she said everything was going to be okay.”

Juleka looked up in surprise. “You did?” she asked. Adrien nodded. “You….understand the truth of what’s going on?” she asked hesitantly.

Adriend sighed and nodded. “Yes….it’s complicated. But I believe everything will be okay in the end. Come on….let's get back before we’re missed.”

Juleka didn’t quite understand everything Adrien had said but it was nice to know she wasn’t alone. Maybe Adrien was trapped too?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino sat beside Alya. Nothing about this felt right. He didn’t like that Marinette and Chloe had been taken away. The stunt Lila had pulled was absolutely disgusting! Why was everyone so okay with it?! He looked at Alya who was laughing and talking with Lila. He now realized he had been ignoring the obvious and had been for a long time. Alya had changed. Nino decided he was going to try and see if he could get back the girl he had fallen in love with back. But if he couldn’t….well he could live with that.
~~~~~~~~~~
Lila was ecstatic. She couldn’t believe how easy it was to get rid of Marinette and Chloe. Surely now Marinette would see that she had won. She would have an eight hour plane ride to reflect and accept her place in the world. Lila might even still publicly forgive her. Marinette would have to get down on her hands and knees when she begged for her forgiveness. And then after that Marinette was going to be at her beck and call. She was going to make Marinette sorry that she dared to cross her!

Chapter Text

“Welcome to Wayne Manor!” Dick exclaimed. When Marinette stepped out of the limo she felt his mouth open to for a small ‘o’ of awe. She had known that Wayne Manor would be big but the sprawling mansion was not something you could prepare for. When she looked over and noticed that Chloe looked impressed she didn’t feel as bad. Chloe lived in the penthouse apartment on the top floor of the best hotel in Paris. When it came to living arrangements she was a tough sell.

Once she was done gaping at the house Marinette noticed two males waiting for them at the large front doors. One was a man that looked to be in his 40’s and the other was a teenage boy that looked to be her age whom she remembered from Gotham Gardens, Damian Wayne so of course the man must be Bruce Wayne

“I know Dick just said it but welcome to Wayne Manor.” Mr. Wayne smiled as they approached. “The circumstances of your arrival are unfortunate but I hope you two enjoy your stay. I want to assure you that you two will be extremely safe here.”

“Eh…..honestly you’re doing us a favor.” Chloe shrugged, which caused Mr. Wayne to look confused.

“Wh-what Chloe means is that things would have gotten rather complicated without your intervention.” she smiled as she elbowed her best friend. She was hoping to keep Wayne Manor as drama free as possible. Besides she seriously doubted someone like Bruce Wayne wanted to hear about the teenage drama of a high school girl’s life. “Thank you for taking us in!”

“Well we were not about to stand by and let you be sent back to Paris for something that was not your fault.” Damian replied.

“This is my youngest son Damian.” Mr. Wayne introduced.

“We met.” Marinette smiled.”Well I mean not officially. But at the gardens, he offered to help me.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick’s eyes widened a little as he watched the interaction. Dami had already interacted with Marinette? He hadn’t said anything when he had asked him about the class trip to the gardens! He watched as Damian’s eyes widened a little, as if he hadn’t expected Marinette to say anything. Dick sometimes worried about Damian socializing. Bruce may have been able to force his son to go to Gotham Academy but he couldn’t force Damian to make friends with his peers.

“By the way thank you for the pen. It’s really going to come in handy, I need to work on my gala dress design.” Marinette smiled.

 

“I-it was nothing.” Damian quickly replied looking away. And holy shit was he blushing?! His sweet lil Dami had sent a present to a girl?! Had he been sent to another Earth again? If so Dick wasn’t sure if he wanted to go back home. ‘Okay Dick, be cool. Don’t over react.’ After giving himself some mental instructions.

“You gave Marinette a present?!” Dick exclaimed making Marinette and Chloe jump, Bruce’s eyes widened a little, and Damian scowled.

‘Nailed it!’ Dick thought to himself.

“Grayson you will mind your own business.” Damian hissed. Uh-oh, he was being called Grayson rather than Richard. Damian absolutely refused to call him Dick no matter how many times he asked.Dick knew a warning when he heard one.

“Why don’t we go inside. It seems very rude to expect two lovely young ladies to spend the evening on the front steps.”

Dick latched onto the distraction. “Alfie is right. Let's go inside.”

“Girls this is Alfred Pennyworth.” Bruce introduced. “He is the family butler but really he’s more family than butler.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinete looked up and smiled, in front of her was a distinguished elderly man in a butler’s outfit. He looked like he had just stepped off the set of a movie. When their eyes met Marinette felt a familiar buzz hum in her brain. She usually got this when she was approaching someone with a miraculous talisman. Master Fu had said now that she was training to be a guardian she would be able to sense who could be a holder without there being a pressing need to find it. But somehow this felt like more. Alfred Pennyworth wasn’t a potential miraculous wielder, he had already been one. She couldn’t help but be curious and planned to ask Tikki about her feeling later. She had always trusted her instinct before, it was part of what made her such a good Ladybug.

“If you will please follow me I will show you to your rooms. Dinner shall be ready soon, but there is time to freshen up.” Alfred announced.

“That sounds great!” Marinette smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian was relieved for the intervention of Pennyworth. He hadn’t been expecting Miss Dupain-Cheng to bring up the gift in front of Richard, he knew that this wasn’t the end of things. Though he couldn’t help but be pleased that Miss Dupain-Cheng had liked the gift he had sent her. It had been easy to decide on giving the French girl a new pen. It didn’t mean anything and that was going to tell Richard! It was a matter of honor. Miss Dupain-Cheng’s pen had been lost while she was a guest of Father’s. Losing a beloved art tool would not leave a favorable impression of Gotham. Yes it had been easy to decide to replace the pen, what had taken more time than expected was deciding on what kind of pen to send. Damian was glad his choice had pleased her. He watched as Pennyworth led Miss Dupain-Cheng and Miss Bourgeois to their rooms. Maybe he could make his get away and appear again for dinner. Richard was busy talking with Father. Just as he was about to make a run for the stairs a voice stopped him in his tracks.

“S’up Demon. What’s this I hear about you giving Pixie Pop a present?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette couldn't help but look around with wide eyes as she was taken to the room she would be staying in. A part of her still was having trouble processing the fact that she and Chloe would be spending the rest of the trip staying in Wayne Manor! It was a little funny that something so amazing had happened but if she said anything about it to her classmates they would call her a liar, what made this truly funny was this was the kind of lie Lila would tell them.

Her room was spacious and absolutely beautiful. The Gotham Rose had been very impressive but it paled in comparison to the room she was in now.

“Is everything to your liking Miss Dupain-Cheng?” Alfred asked. “Miss Bourgeois will be right across the hall.”

“The room is amazing!” she exclaimed. “Um do you know if there’s a possibility of me getting a sewing machine? I will need one to make Chloe and my gala dresses. I-if it wouldn’t be too much trouble that is.”

Mr. Pennyworth gave her a smile. “Never fear Miss Dupai-Cheng. We happen to have a very trusty machine that hardly makes noise at all.”

Marinette was relieved, she had been a little worried. It was one thing to be able to request a sewing machine for her room, she hadn’t been sure she could get one here. “Please call me Marinette.” she smiled. “My last name is such a mouthful.”

“Of course, but please call me Alfred in return. I must say that the circumstances that brought you here were not the best. But perhaps in the end it was a bit of luck that brought you here.” Alfred smiled. “If you will please excuse me I need to get dinner started.” Marinette’s eyes widened and before she could say anything Alfred gave her a wink and passed Chloe in the hall as he left.

Chloe stared after him. “What was that about?” she asked as she closed the door behind herself.

Marinette shook her head, not yet ready to share what she was thinking until she had spoken to Tikki, she didn’t want Chloe to worry that, in the least, her secret identity was known to the insightful butler.

Chapter Text

“What’s going on?” Chloe asked Marinette. “You can’t seriously think you can hide something from me after all these years.” She had the feeling the Marinette was thinking about something but didn’t want to share with the class. And she was having none of that.

Marinette gave her a sulky look, which was all Chloe needed to know she had hit the nail on the head. “Kept the fact that I was Ladybug a secret.” she grumbled.

Chloe waved her hand to dismiss her argument. “Please! You pulled that off because you were the last person anyone would expect to be Ladybug.” She paused, realizing that came off a little mean sounding, before continuing. “I mean you were always just so clumsy and got tongue tied so easily.”

Marinette just smiled and laughed a little. Chloe felt some tension leave her shoulders. One of her biggest fears was falling back onto bad habits and old ways. But deep down she knew Marinette would not ever let that happen. “Well for all you know some of that was just an act to fool you all! Okay...some of the time. Though a lot of that tongue tied part was when I had that misguided crush on Adrien.”

Marinette winced a little and Chloe didn’t blame her. That was a pretty embarrassing chapter in her life, she was glad Marinette had moved past that. “I wasn’t much better.” she said with a small shrug. She had been so scared of losing her first friend that she had clung to Adrien which hadn’t been good for any one. But that chapter of her life was also over. Now the Rossi witch had her claws in him, part of her wished Adrien was a little braver but she tried not to hold it against him. Right now her mission was to support Marinette after bullying her for so long. A part of her still couldn’t believe that Marinette had forgiven her. Yet here they were.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette supposed she shouldn’t be surprised that Chloe saw through her. “Okay So you know how I’m training to be a guardian? Well when I met eyes with Mr. Pennyworth I got the same feeling I get when I’m looking for a miraculous holder.”

“But….you weren’t looking for one. Plus Mr. Pennyworth is like….super old.” Chloe pointed out.

“I know.” Marinette agreed. “But the Guardian said that as I continue my training my powers will grow stronger. I’m wondering if perhaps he was a holder when he was younger.”

Chloe thought about it for a moment. “You should let Tikki and Plagg out. They’re the oldest so they would know right?”

“Yeah,” she reluctantly agreed. “But Plagg often gets into trouble.”

“Tikki should be able to keep him in line.” Chloe pointed out. “Also threaten to only give him American cheese if he causes trouble.”

“What’s American cheese?” Marinette asked, looking a little puzzled.

“It’s a processed cheese that is made from different kinds of cheese. Honestly It’s not bad, but it should scare that little black cheese snob into behaving.” Chloe said making Marinette giggle. Going to her bag she took out the miraculous box and took out Plagg’s ring before summoning him and Tikki from her earrings.

“I think I’ve found a previous miraculous holder, I was wondering if you two could take a look at him and give me any information. Do not let yourself be seen. Plagg I’m looking at you.” Thankfully she didn’t have to threaten the kwamii of destruction, as a guardian in training and the best lady bug in history she held a lot of respect, so even troublesome Plagg was willing to behave himself.

“Lets go downstairs before the others start to wonder what’s keeping us.” she suggested.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Normally the Manor was the last place on earth Jason wanted to be, he usually stuck to the cave when he was absolutely needed and occasionally went upstairs to sneak some of Alfred’s cooking. He was glad he had been able to help Marinette and her friend. That Lila chick sounded like a bitch. But he kept that thought to himself because you weren’t supposed to swear around kids right? He felt like that was something Dick had once told him.

But knowing Pixie Pop and Goldilocks were going to be at the Manor was too much to pass up. Not that he spent a lot of time around high school kids, Demon didn’t count, but he was pretty sure that those two were the coolest teenagers he knew. They had beat up the fucking Joker! You couldn’t get more cool than that. It was kind of hard to believe that they were just civilians. Maybe they grew them differently in Paris. Though he knew part of what brought him here was what they were all hoping for, they wanted to hear more about the crazy shit going on in Paris. He wanted to hear more about Ladybug. Meeting her was pretty interesting, he would rather die than admit it but he was kind of jealous that Nightwing had met them first.

He found it very interesting that Demon had bought Marinette some kind of present after an incident at the gardens. Jason found it strange how one by one this little blue eyed girl was charming each member of the bat family. And it all started when he saved her from that creep in a taxi cab, he would have never guessed it would lead to all this. But at the end of the day….he met Marinette first so he won.

“Hi everyone we’re back.” Marinette announced as she and Chloe came into the room. Jason felt his mood brighten when he noticed Damian was making a point to be extra interested in the wall behind Marinette.

“Hey Pixie Pop, you and Goldilocks all settled in?” He didn’t pay much attention to the small look the two teen girls exchanged.

“Pretty much.” Chloe replied. “The rooms are very nice. Way better than the Gotham Rose.”

“Chloe!” Jason laughed at Marinette’s outraged gasp. He liked this Chloe girl, she spoke her mind. Marinette hurrying to compensate for Chloe’s accidental rudeness was every funnier but he managed not to laugh this time. “Our suite at the Gotham Rose was very nice.” she insisted.

“So I think we should wait until after dinner to start the tour.” Jason announced “But Dickface thinks we should do part before dinner and save the rest for tomorrow.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian did not know what was wrong with him. Miss Dupain-Cheng had come back into the room and suddenly he felt his stomach flutter. Was he getting sick? He had eaten hours ago so it couldn’t be food poisoning right? Maybe he was coming down with something?

“Excuse me? What did you just say?”

Damian looked up in surprise. Miss Dupain-Cheng had her hands on her hips and was glaring at Todd. Damian was confused at this turn of events, Todd often mocked Richard with variations of the awful nickname he insisted upon.

“Dick is your brother I can’t believe you would call him a name like that!” Miss Dupain-Cheng continued.

He watched as Todd's eyes went wide with surprise. Damian supposed to an outsider their form of bonding might seem a little strange. But he was curious as to how this would play out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick was as surprised as anyone else by Marinette taking offense to Jason calling him Dickface, somehow he didn’t think it would help to point out that Jay had called him things that were a lot worse.

“You should apologize!” Marinette smiled sweetly.

They all stared, except for Chloe who was studying her nails, until finally Jason broke the silence. “Want to run that one by me again?”

“Name calling isn’t nice. You two are brothers!” Marinette insisted.

“Fuck that I am not apologizing.” Jason announced squaring off with Marinette. Shoot he knew that stubborn tone. If Jay hurt Marinette’s feelings they were going to have words in private. Marinette was just being nice and Jason could say really hurtful things without meaning to. Well sometimes he didn’t mean it.

“Dude just apologize.” Chloe said, sounding bored. “Otherwise Mari will make you regret your choice.”
Dick did not appreciate how loud or long. Was that really necessary? Just as he was about to scold Jason Marinette made his play for power.

“If you don’t apologize you won’t get any of the macarons I plan to bake tomorrow afternoon.”

“Cookies?!” Jason scoffed. “You think you can boss me around for cookies.”

Chloe looked up. “Don’t be an idiot. Marinette’s parents own the best bakery in all of Paris!” Dick could tell from the way Jason’s hand twitched that he did not appreciate the tone Chloe was using. “Even celebrities, like Jagged Stone and Clara Nightingale order from there. Trust me, I missed out on Marinette’s baking for years because I was standing on my stubborn pride. Don’t make the same mistake.”

Jason crossed his arms over his chest staring Chloe down. Dick was honestly very impressed, he had seen criminals break under that look.

And then after the longest pause of his life something happened. “Fine! Dick….I’m sorry.”

Dick felt his mouth fall open in surprise. It was official, if this was an alternate reality he was staying. If there was already a Dick here….well he would just have to die. Because Jason Todd, the infamous Red Hood, had just apologized to him for some cookies.

Chapter Text

DO NOT STEAL MY STORY! I worked very hard on this story and finding out some one copied and pasted my work makes me so angry! The fact that some one had the nerve to steal an entire story is shocking. This is not using the same idea or general Daminette tropes. This person even copied my titles which I also put a lot of thought into. I have made a Wattpad account to post my story there. It's my first time even going on that site. But if you prefer reading my story there you now can. https://www.wattpad.com/user/Kiatana6

If you like a story claiming it on your own with some cute drawings is not the way to go.

9/25 The story has been taken down and I have gotten an apology. But I am keeping the note up so this hopefully doesn't happen again.

Chapter Text

Damian was starting to wonder if this black haired blue eyed girl was a meta. He had never seen Todd just apologize like that before. He wondered if he could get a hair or blood sample. Would that be invasive? Probably. He decided he would just continue to watch the situation.

“Did you say Jagged Stone?!” Damian looked up in surprise as Drake came rushing into the room, almost knocking Richard to the ground.

Miss Dupain-Cheng took a small step back, clearly caught off guard by Drake’s sudden approach. “Um….th-that’s right.” she answered looking nervous. For some reason Damian found this very irritating. Couldn’t Drake see that he was crowding her?! He felt his hand twitch and suddenly found him longing for his younger days when he carried around a throwing star….just in case. Richard had of course put a stop to that.

“Drake I may not be an expert on how to interact with women but I am quite sure getting in their personal space with a deranged look is not appropriate!” he snapped. He couldn’t help but feel satisfied when Drake backed up.

“Sorry!” Drake apologized. “I’m like a huge Jagged Stone fan! I’ve been listening to him for years. I’m absolutely fascinated by the latest designs he’s been wearing. I’ve been trying to figure out who his designer is but I can’t find out much. I’d kill for a commision by MDC but he or she is booked solid!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe wanted to laugh when Jagged Stone’s designer was mentioned. She knew Marinette wouldn’t understand why she had named dropped just now, but the Waynes were crazy rich. If there was one thing Chloe knew it was how the rich and powerful through. She had Jason’s number from the moment he tried to square off against Marinette. Marinette’s will was going to overrule him but they might be arguing for a while since she had no cookies at the moment to get the job done, so she had decided to speed things along. Jason would learn once he had eaten one of Marinette’s cookies.

What was surprising was the excited response of the sleep deprived brother. When he mentioned Marinette’s non superhero alter ego she almost laughed but managed to hold back. She had been telling Marinette that M.D.C. was a big deal in more places than just Paris. Some pretty big time names used him. Sure it had started with Jagged Stone but he had referred M.D.C. to others. Though they would have come looking sooner or later when a celebrity like Jagged Stone claimed someone as his exclusive designer.

It always cracked her up when their classmates talked about the mysterious designer. Of course Lie-la claimed to be very good friends with M.D.C. and that it was because of her that he met Jagged Stone and became so well known. Chloe fully planned to flaunt her M.D.C. original dress at the Wayne gala.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette wasn’t sure what to say to Tim when he talked about her alter ego M.D.C. For a teenage girl she somehow had ended up with a lot of them. “Does Jagged Stone really come to your family bakery?!” Tim asked in an excited tone.

“Um….y-yeah, whenever he’s in the city.” Marinette answered with a smile. “Sometimes he sneaks away for a treat. Really drives Aunt Penny nuts.”

“YOU ARE RELATED TO JAGGED STONE?!” Tim shrieked, grabbing hold of her arms..

“Christ Replacement! I think one of my ear drums just burst!” Jason complained.

Before Marinette could react she found herself being pulled away from Tim by Damian, who pressed her to his side making her face go a little red. “Drake you will keep your hands to yourself or I will remove them from your body!” he snarled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Woah, woah, let's just calm down.” Dick said holding up his hands to show he meant no harm. He hadn’t seen Damian so defensive and agitated in a while. It had been some time since he had threatened Tim with bodily hard, like at least three weeks. Almost a month really! But what was really strange was how protective Damian was being over Marinette. He didn’t think he had seen him like this before. At least not around another person, let alone a girl. Normally Dami avoided them like they were the plague. But with how many fame chasers there were out there Dick understood.Though usually his baby brother’s sharp tongue kept the girls at bay.

“Sorry!” Tim apologized.”I’m just...ah….a big Jagged Stone fan. And, I might be a little over caffeinated.”

“A little?” Dick laughed. “Timmers nothing but Alfred’s mint tea until tomorrow morning.”

“”But!” Tim protested

“No buts!” Dick ordered.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I’m not really related to Jagged Stone or his wife Penny.” Marinette explained. “I’ve known Jagged for years, he considers me his honorary niece so he insisted for years I call him Uncle Jagged and I finally gave in.” Marinette explained.

“Wow your bakery must be something pretty amazing.” Jason said with a whistle.

“Uh….w-well it’s a little more complicated than that.” Marinetter said with a nervous laugh.

“So what is it?” Dick asked.

“Will you all promise to keep it a secret?” Marinette asked. When everyone nodded she continued. “Well it started years ago when I designed some sunglasses for Jagged. He then had me design an album cover for him. I’ve designed a few other things for him.”

No one said anything and Chloe rolled her eyes. Looking at Tim she pointed at Marinette. “What’s her name?”

 

Tim gave her a confused look. “Marinette.”

“Her full name you dolt!” she snapped.

“Marinette Dupain-Cheng.” Time answered looking at Chloe like she was crazy. That is until it hit him. “YOU’RE M.D.C.?!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I do not know what all this shouting is about but I must insist that it end.” Alfred announced. “Dinner is ready and I don’t allow such a noisy dinner table. Master Damian perhaps you should release Miss Dupain-Cheng I’m sure she can find her way to the dinner table without such….hands on assistance.”
~~~~~~~~~~
Dick’s eyes widened, he hadn’t realized that Damian still had Marinette close to him! He watched as both Damian and Marinette’s face went red and they jumped apart as if they had been burned. Damian always prided himself on having control over his emotions, there was a good chance he could be part of the Paris team sent to help Ladybug when this was all over.

It was so strange to see his baby brother blushing and trying to act like nothing had just happened. He looked so….normal! Not that Damian wasn’t normal, Dick loved his Baby Bird, but this was a refreshing change.

Chapter Text

When they were led to the dining room Marinette was relieved to see that it was a large but still normal sized table, she had been imagining a table so big if you sat at one end you couldn’t hear the person at the other end. Everything looked so elegant!

“Hello girls.” Mr. Wayne greeted them.

A part of Marinette still couldn’t believe she was staying in Wayne Manor. This place did not accept guests in a casual manner and was only opened up to the outside world when there was a party. She noticed two other girls sitting at the table. One was a Chinese girl she remembered seeing at the gardens, and the other was a blonde girl. They introduced themselves as Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown.

“It is good to meet you.” Cass smiled.

“It will be fun to have guests around.” Stephanie added.

Marinette couldn’t help but wonder just how big the Wayne family was. “Just how many kids has Bruce Wayne adopted?!” And like usual Chloe said the thing that everyone was thinking but most wouldn’t say out loud. Before Marinette got a chance to scold Chloe everyone else started to laugh.

“Well officially only myself, Jason, and Tim have been adopted.” Dick explained. “Damian of course if Bruce’s natural son. Cassie and Steph are unofficial children.”

“But no less important.” Mr. Wayne insisted.

“Me and Babs have field trip duty tomorrow in fact.” Step announced.

“Barbara Gordon is a family friend and the daughter of the police chief.” Tim explained before anyone needed to ask.

“So what are tomorrow’s outfits going to be?” Dick asked.

“Sorry wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise.” Marinette smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cass looked at the two French girls with interest. These two held their secrets close. She liked them both even though this was the first time she got to see them up close and talk to them. She had seen all she needed to at the Gotham Gardens, these two were good people with good hearts. Chloe may seem fierce but it was because she wanted to help and protect. Marinette, she would give everything she had for a stranger, even some one who saw her as an enemy. Her heart was closing itself off, but Cass didn’t think that would last forever.

Her eyes flicked to her baby brother. She knew Damian wasn’t sure what to make of this French-Chinese girl. He was starting to experience things normal young men had felt at least once by now. Her little brother was growing up even if he didn’t know it. Not many could reach him, but this girl….she believed in her. In this Sunshine Girl.
~~~~~~~~~~~
“Is this your first time leaving the country?” Bruce asked. They had all agreed on a game plan earlier that day. Get Marinette and Chloe to relax by making small talk and then slowly work their way up to asking them about the Paris situation. It felt a little dishonest at first but they had all done worse. Though he had to admit that as a father he was interested in the girl who seemed to be having an emotional effect on his son. The signs were extremely subtle but he was the Batman, it was his job to notice the most subtle changes in a person.

Dick was the best at getting people to talk so they were all kind of following his lead. But they couldn’t make it seem obvious

“This is my first time out of the country.” Marinette replied.

“I’ve been out of the country several times.” Chloe responded. “I was in New York for fashion week in the fall with mom..

“Oh?” Bruce said, hoping that he sounded interested when he was really wondering what kind of parent pulled their child out of school for a week just for fashion. “Are you into fashion like I hear Marinette is?”

Chloe smiled. “My future career is in business. My Daddy runs the biggest and best hotel in all of Paris and I plan to run it one day. But of course I like to stay on the cutting edge of fashion. My mother is the director of Style Queen so it comes naturally to me.” Bruce had no idea what Chloe was talking about. What was Style Queen? A magazine? A show? Something done online? Thankfully Stephanie saved him from making a reply.

“Your mom is Style Queen?!” she exclaimed. “I thought your name was familiar! Why don’t you want to follow your mother's footsteps?”

“I don’t need to make fashion statements. I am a fashion statement.” Chloe replied. “Besides, the next world famous designer is my best friend.”
~~~~~~~~~~
Dick wanted to squeal, as Marinette’s face went red at Chloe’s praise. If these two girls got any cuter he didn’t know if his heart could take it. They were clearly best friends and their friendship was just too pure for this world! Chloe came off as a brat at first, but it was clear that she cared about Marinette.

“Well both of you speak English very well.” he praised. “Did you guys know the language before you came here?” He had overheard some of their classmates who sounded like they had just learned enough for the trip.

“Both of us knew English before this.” Marinette answered. “Actually we’re both multilingual, some languages we learned through for practical reasons and some we learned for fun.”

“What languages do the two of you speak?” Damian asked.

Chloe spoke first but that didn’t really surprise Dick.” We both speak English of course. But I also speak Japanese, Russian, and I learned Mandarin Chinese from Marinette.”

 

Marinette seemed a little more on the modest side. “I grew up speaking both French and Mandarin since I’m French-Chinese, later I learned Italian from my grandmother on my father's side. Chloe has an ear for languages so my mother and I taught her after we became friends. We both learned Japanese from our good friend Kagami” Dick wasn’t surprised at all that Marinette praised her best friend. “So for me it’s English, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic.”

Dick couldn’t help but notice that Dami sat up a little straighter when he heard that Marinette also knew Arabic.

“Dinner is served.” Alfred announced. “In honor of our guests I decided on a French theme. We will start with a vegetable consommé.(1), followed by a nicoise salad( 2). The main course will be ratatouille(3) and a coq au vin(4). For dessert we will have a chocolate soufflé.”

Dick let out a whistle. “Wow Alfie you really went all out.”

“Well it’s not every day we have special guests.” the butler responded as he started to serve the consommé..

“Why did you guys decide to learn so many languages?” Tim asked. “That’s pretty surprising for high schoolers.”

“Most of it is business related. Chloe lives in the hotel her family owns, my parents run a bakery so along with my Mother’s native tongue they thought I should learn some of the common world wide languages.” Marinette smiled. “Chloe aren’t you learning sign language?”

“Yes, after losing my voice and hearing so often I realized what a good idea it would be.” Chloe explained.

“Um…..what the hell are you talking about?” Jason asked. “I get losing your voice if you’re like sick and….stuff.” Dick was always proud when Jaybird remembered not to swear. “But how can you lose your hearing more than once?”

“Akuma attacks.” both girls answered at the same time.

“Um….what the heck is an akuma?” Stephanie asked.

Chapter Text

Marinette exchanged a look with Chloe, it seemed they were both wondering how many times they would have to tell this story. “We probably shouldn’t be saying anything.” Marinette began

“Why is that?” Cass asked.

“Well a lot of it has been kept out of the media. The French government is worried about the economy being ill affected.” she continued.

“Man fuck the government!” Jason declared.

“Jason!” Mr. Wayne scolded.

“A few years ago a villain named Hawkmoth appeared. He finds people experiencing strong negative emotions and sends out a purple butterfly called an akuma to take control of them so he can use them. At the same time two superheroes appeared to keep Paris safe, LadyBug and Chat Noir.” She knew that Tim, Dick, and Jason had heard this before.

“Wait let me get this straight.” Stephanie said after a long pause. “There is an evil butterfly man attacking Paris and he gets stopped by two heroes dressed like a cat and a ladybug?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe felt her temper start to rise. She was starting to think that their government was onto something by keeping this a secret. It was a hard sell, but that didn’t stop her from getting annoyed when these Americans scoffed at their problems. “Think what you like!” she snapped “I just got terrorized by a psychotic clown. So if you really think Gotham has a leg to stand on when it comes to better heroes and villains you are being ridiculous, utterly ridiculous!”

She felt a hand on his shoulder and she sighed as she tried to calm down. Chloe didn’t need anyone looking down on her, these people had no idea what the people of Paris had been through.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“It’s true.” Tim spoke up. “All those Paris kids have this alert on their phones that let them know when there is an akuma attack. One happened during the W.E. tour. They really do have super heroes. But it’s a team now.” Things were getting a little out of hand. They didn’t want Marinette and Chloe to feel defensive, they wanted the girls to open up.There wasn’t much to be found online and Ladybug said she was going to be busy for the next three weeks, so the only option they had was trying to get information from Marinette and Chloe. Them coming to live at the Manor made things a little easier.

“Why don’t you tell us more about Ladybug and the other Paris heroes? I can’t find much on them.” Which was saying a lot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette exchanged a look with Chloe, they hadn’t expected anyone in America being interested in this kind of stuff. Maybe if they had gone somewhere besides Gotham, where there was a team of superheroes and a group of villains running wild, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Everyone on the team had picked a member to be a fan of. Chloe of course was all about Ladybug since it might seem strange for her to switch to a different Team Miraculous member. Marinette didn’t want to pick between her friends so she said she liked both Honey Flash and Ryuko. Before this she had always been a Chat Noir supporter but that would be painful considering everything that had happened. Since Luka was dating Kagami it would be awkward to fangirl over Viperion. Luka understood and agreed. Marinette knew that there was magic that kept people from automatically connecting her to Ladybug but didn’t want to push that by playing the part of a big Ladybug fan.Instead she showed the normal amount of interest in the heroine almost everyone loved.

Chloe occasionally had to remind Marinette that she wasn’t completely tamed. This time she did it by claiming that she shipped Ladybug and Viperion. It never failed to get her best friend flustered and embarrassed. Worst of all Kagami had decided to have a sense of humor about the situation instead of taking Chloe’s head off, like Marinette had been hoping for. Kagami was normally always so serious so Marinette figured she would not approve of Chloe’s antics. Sure there had been a short time when Marinette thought she might have liked Luka before deciding that they made better friends.

“Well clearly Ladybug is the best.” Chloe announced. “That’s why she’s the leader of Team Miraculous!” Chloe had always been a big Ladybug fan but knowing that Chloe now knew she was talking about her made Marinette feel a little embarrassed.

“Ladybug has been there from the beginning, she sees all the angles and tries to do what’s best for Paris.” she agreed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick watched as Chloe pulled out her phone and played around on it before setting it down on the table. On it was a picture of four heroes sitting on a couch getting interviewed. “What is this from?” he asked curiously.

“This is from the interview Team Miraculous gave to officially announce themselves. There is only one reporter Ladybug trusts and that is Nadja Chamack!” Chloe explained.

Dick looked at the picture, he had seen Ladybug and Honey Flash up close in the cave but this was his first time getting a good look at the other two members of Team Miraculous. There was a girl in a red bodysuit with what looked like a black dragon tail edged in yellow, he was absolutely in love with those horns. Marinette explained that this was Ryuko who had elemental powers and a dragon theme.The one who was the most colorful was also the only male of the group. His name was Viperion and his colors were black, teal, and cyan. His look clearly said snake and he apparently had the power to go back to a point in time he chose. Which was a power that Dick would have loved to have, it was a serious struggle not to look at Jason or Damian.

“Rumor has it that Ladybug and Viperion are an item.” Chloe said with a sly look. Which for some reason made Marinette’s eyes go wide.

“Th-that’s never been confirmed!” she stammered. “I personally think he goes better with Ryuko.”

Huh…..well that was an interesting reaction.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian looked down at the phone picture. He was curious about Ladybug and her team. “What did you mean when you said that this reporter is the only one Ladybug trusts?”

“Not all reporters are honest.” Miss Dupain-Cheng replied. “Some of them report what they want after getting misinformed.”

“You mean like that crazy website the Ladyblog?” Drake asked.

Damian noticed the flash of pain that came into Miss Dupain-Cheng eyes. “It wasn’t always like that.” she said softly. Damian felt the sudden urge to hit Drake for bringing up something painful for her.

“So how does one end up as a victim of Hawkmoth?” he asked
~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette couldn’t help but smile, glad that they were taking things a little more serious. She didn’t want Chloe to get nasty with anyone. “It’s not easy. Hawkmoth preys on negative emotion. A girl with a broken heart. A boy who’s mad at his parents for grounding him. A student upset over a bad grade. A grieving mother. Even a baby who’s crying because they dropped their lolly pop. Anyone can become an akumatized.”

The room had gone silent and everyone was staring at her and Chloe in a mix of shock and horror. “That’s awful!” Dick finally exclaimed.

“I know.” Marinette sighed. “I have to think about everything I do or say. Even just saying something mean to someone can piss them off and make them vulnerable.”

“What does Hawkmoth want?” Mr. Wayne asked.

“He wants the ladybug and cat miraculouses.” Chloe answered. “When you are akumatized first he makes you an offer of power to do whatever you want to make you feel better. But in return he always wanted the miraculous jewels.”

“How do you know that?” Stephanie asked.

“I’ve been akumatized more than once……and I’ve caused a lot of people to be akumatized. I….wasn’t always the nicest person.” Chloe admitted.

“Chloe has worked really hard to overcome her past.” Marinette quickly announced. She didn’t want Chloe to get sad. “She’s come a long way.”
“I can tell.” Cass smiled which made Marinette relax.
~~~~~~~~~~
“So...uh what’s the craziest akuma you guys have seen?” Jason asked. He watched as Marinette and Chloe looked at each other as they tried to figure it out.

“Well there was Sandboy, the little boy who made people’s nightmares come to life.”

“There was the second time Stormy Weather appeared.”

“Oh yeah she controlled the forces of nature.”

“What about when my mom became Style Queen and turned people into gold statues who disintegrated?”

“Frozer put all of Paris on ice.”

 

“Yeah akumatized people like him are why Daddy turned the basement into an akuma state of the art akuma shelter so guests feel safe.”

“There was that time my dad turned into Weredad and locked me in a thorn tower.”

“What?! You never told me about that!!”

“Oh sorry, I kind of forgot. Chat Noir saved me.”

“What about the time Syren put the city under water?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“How the fuck are you two so calm talking about all that crazy shirt?!” For once it seemed no one minded his swearing.

Marinette jumped and looked at Jason with startled eyes.

“Um…..how have we never heard about any of this?” Mr. Wayne asked, looking pale.

“Oh….well you see Ladybug has the power to reset everything.” Marinette explained looking a little sad. “It’s probably why the government is okay with hiding things. With the miraculous ladybug cure whatever damage the akuma causes is instantly fixed.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?” Stephanie asked.

“Yes and no.” Chloe answered. “The physical damage is fixed. But there is no telling what emotional damage is caused.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Have people died?” Bruce asked quietly. The more he heard the more it became obvious that Batman needed to do something about this.
“Probably.” Marinette answered softly. “There was a time when Paris was flooded. I’m...I’m sure there were people out on the street.” She looked like she was going to cry and Bruce felt his heart break. No one should have to go through these things. Marinette must be a more sensitive girl, she was reacting like she felt like she could be doing more.

“Why haven’t Ladybug and her team caught Hawkmoth?” Dick asked gently.

“No one knows who he is.” Chloe replied with a hint of defensiveness in her tone. “It’s been three years but he is as powerful as ever.”

“Has Ladybug tried asking the Justice League for help?” Tim asked.

“I don’t know about you but I would rather not risk an akumatized Superman.” Chloe said, crossing her arms over her chest.

“That is….understandable.” Bruce reluctantly agreed. He had a lot to think about.

Chapter Text

Tikki and Plagg had been exploring the manor. It was a lot of fun to have so much new space to explore. Plagg was especially excited since without Adrien he no longer got to go out as much. Since he was used to being out while she didn’t like Plagg going out on his own she didn’t require him to stay in his miraculous ring. Plagg knew Marinette was worried about another kwami buster incident.

“Sugar cube look!” Plagg exclaimed. “It’s Alfie!” They had finally found the person Marinette and Chloe had been talking about. It had been years since they had seen him. It was Alfred Pennyworth, he had been one of Wayzz’s owners!

“You’re right. Marinette is getting stronger. She is going to be such a great future guardian!” Tikki exclaimed. The two of them could easily tell Marinette and Chloe all about Alfred Pennyworth.

“Boy he’s gotten really old.” Plagg commented as they watched Alfred work in the kitchen.

“Well it’s been many years since he was active.” Tikki reasoned. “Plus we don’t really have the best concept of time.” As the two oldest kwamis she and Plagg had been around longer than any of the others. Which made her sad because that meant before she knew it Marinette was going to be all grown up. Though at least even after Hawkmoth was defeated she would still get to see Marinette since she was going to be a guardian. “We should go back to Marinette’s room and wait for her.”

Plagg reluctantly nodded in agreement. He was feeling a familiar pull, something he hadn’t felt in a long time. This generation’s true cat miraculous holder was nearby. But he wasn’t ready to talk about that yet, not even with his sugar cube. He missed Adrien, losing him had been necessary but painful, so Plagg wasn’t sure he was ready for a new owner. He was being very careful to keep an eye on Marinette to make sure using his miraculous wasn’t putting too much of a strain on her. Though he would ask to go looking for the holder before the trip was over so if it came to it Marinette would know where to go looking when she needed it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick had been a little worried about how dinner was going after Marinette and Chloe told them more about what was going on in Paris, a part of him wished he didn’t know. He couldn’t imagine how difficult the day to day life was. How were these girls so casual about it? Though maybe he didn’t have room to talk considering how crazy Gotham was. Chloe had a point when she said they didn’t really have any right to judge the theme of the Paris heroes and villain. Not that he was going to tell her that, that girl was scary!

The truth was that he thought both these girls were very brave. Chloe said she used to be a bad person but it sounded like after she became friends with Marinette that changed. He could see it. Marinette was easy to like and just had this….vibe about her. It was hard to believe anyone would dislike her. It made him dislike that horrible Lila girl even more. There had to be something they could do about her! Man he did not remember high school being this dramatic back when he was a teenager. Was this how it was with girls? If so he was not looking forward to Mar’i reaching her teenage years!

“Would you girls like a mini tour after dinner?” he asked. This would be a good distraction, he was sure B was itching to get down to the cave so he could use a zeta tube to get up to the Watch Tower so he could get some answers about when Ladybug first asked the Justice League for help. He was pretty sure none of them envied Flash right now.

“That sounds nice.” Marinette smiled. Dick couldn’t help smile in return.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“So I heard that you two were total bad-asses when dealing with the Joker.” Stephanie replied. She was pretty sure that B hadn’t wanted them to talk about what was a potentially traumatic experience. But anyone with eyes could tell that these girls were tougher than they looked. Marinette was clearly the more modest one from the way she blushed with a slightly nervous chuckle.

“O-oh….well…..I guess so?” she stammered.

Chloe on the other hand probably didn’t have a modest bone in her body. “That is one way to put it. But it’s not like I’m going to let a fashion disaster push me around!” Stephanie really liked Chloe. When you were a Gotham girl you couldn’t get the men a single inch over you.

“Dangerous.” Cass announced. Stephanie had no idea how some one who spoke so quietly could sound so loud.

“Cass is right,” Bruce replied which didn’t surprise her at all. “Going up against the Joker like that was very dangerous.”

“I’m very aware but there really wasn’t any way to stay safe in a situation like that. Even just waiting to be rescued by Batman could have proved disastrous.” “Marinette politely replied. “But you only get one chance at the element of surprise, so when we saw that our classmates were out of the way we took our chance to get away.” Marinette’s tone was polite but it was clear she wasn’t going to apologize. Wow, that was a serious set on that little girl! It was official, Stephanie liked them both very much.

“While you two did put yourself in a great amount of potential danger….you were quite brave.”

Steph blinked a few times. Damian had started with his usual lecture tone but that had not ended the way he had been expecting. Well this was an interesting development.

“I know it was dangerous but Chlo (not a typo) know Martial Arts. My mom has been teaching us. It started out as learning self defense and we kept going.” Marinette explained.

“It’s a great way to let off steam.” Chloe smiled. Stephanie could get behind that.

“Oh...w-well the Manor has an excellent gym. If you require a place to spar. I have been trained in many forms of martial arts since I was a child. If….if you would like to spar I would be hap…..w-willing to accommodate you. You are guests after all.”

Stephanie was pretty sure if a pin dropped right now it would sound like a bomb going off. She had thought Dick had been over exaggerating when she talked about how Robin had seemed a little flustered by Marinette in her Robin themed outfit. But maybe not.

“Sure that sounds like it could be fun!” Marinette said with a bright smile. Holy shit was the demon brat blushing?! Why did Alfred have to have a no phones at the dinner table rule?! A picture of Damian blushing would be awesome blackmail material! Oh…..wait that was probably the reason why.

Chapter Text

Batman was not happy. The more he learned about the Paris situation the more unhappy he got. Dinner had been as enlightening as it was troubling.How was it no one had ever heard of what was going on. Was the Miraculous Cure he had heard about really be that powerful? And if it was, should that power really be wielded by children? How was it that Ladybug got her powers? From what little he found it looked like Ladybug was just a teenager. But this Hawkmoth business had been going on for years? They had just been children! He wanted answers. The people of Paris were being emotionally terrorized.

He was glad that Dick was handling their guests, it allowed him to excuse himself after dinner to take care of the reports. He had done a quick sweep of Gotham with Black Bat and Spoiler to help him. The more he thought about the day to day life of Marinette and Chloe the more determined he was to get to the bottom of this. He was hoping to be able to meet with Ladybug again, maybe even meet with her and her team so they could start forming a plan. A part of him wanted to step in and handle this, but he remembered how Alfred had put his foot down. Batman didn’t really like it but Alfred had a point. He fully expected the Justice League to follow his no meta rule for Gotham, so he had to respect Ladybug’s wishes for him or anyone else to not just step in. Though there was one thing he could do, and that was find Flash and find out what happened when Ladybug contacted the Justice League.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wonder Woman’s eyes widened when she looked up and saw Batman step out of the zeta tube. “Batman what are you doing here?” she asked. She knew he wasn’t scheduled for Watch Tower duty at all this week. “Is everything okay?” Something might be seriously wrong. There were so many possibilities that it was impossible to guess, it would be better to just wait.

“Everything is fine. Is Flash here?” he asked. His tone was calm but honestly anything could be going on under that cowl.

“He just went to get a soda.” she answered. “Why?”

 

“I need to ask him a few questions.” Wonder Woman knew she probably wasn’t going to get a more detailed answer than that, but she was kind of used to it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marnette had been enjoying the tour of the Manor. Well Dick had told her it was just the rooms they liked best.

“You would probably need a few days at least to do every room.” Dick had explained “So we’ll just do the highlights.”

Marinette found that she was really enjoying herself. At first the thought of going to stay at Wayne Manor had made her nervous, and seeing the huge old place as they drove up had not helped her anxiety. She had read a lot about the Waynes, they were practically the royal family of Gotham! They had done so much for Gotham over the years, especially Mr. Wayne! It was clear he really cared about Gotham. And as the heroine of Paris Marinette understood that kind of love, where you wanted to do everything you could for your city. It would have been so easy for him to pack up and go somewhere else, but he hadn’t. Wayne Manor may be an ancient house but the family made it feel lived in. Being around Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian was so much fun. They were all very different but they worked well as a family unit. Cass and Stephanie had excused themselves shortly after dinner, while Mr. Wayne had said he had work to do but would see them at breakfast the next day.

She was excited to see which room each of the Wayne boys considered their favorite. Dick was clearly a show man and couldn’t wait to show off.

“Tadah!” he exclaimed

“This….is the foyer.” CHloe said in a deadpan tone. “It’s just the front entrance!”

“Hey the foyer holds a lot of memories for me.” Dick pouted. “I played here a lot when I was a kid!”

“Bruce swears that after Dick came to the Manor Alfred started moving vases he secretly hated out here.” Tim confided.

“There are no rules for having a favorite room.” Marinette said sympathetically which ended up with Dick hugging her.

“See?! Mari gets me!” Dick said dramatically.

“Yeah this room is great.” Jason commented. “You’d never be able to guess that the chandelier had to be replaced.”

“Twice.” Damian added.

“Betrayal!” Dick cried after a gasp that Marinette was sure would have left a normal person gasping for air.

“Um…..how did you cause the chandelier to need replacing twice?” Marinette asked.

“Well when I first came here when I was nine I wanted to see if I could do a series of hand springs, jump on the chandelier and use it to swing to the other side. It….could not hold my weight.”

“And the second time?” Chloe asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I thought it would be sturdier.” Dick whined

“How old were you the second time?” Marinette asked.

“What does that matter?” Dick asked with a pout.

“It was four years ago.” Jason answered.

“Jason!” Dick shrieked as everyone laughed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian has stayed behind a little. It was easier to let his older brothers sort of take charge. He knew that he wasn’t the best at getting along with others. But the two girls seemed to be having fun. They laughed at Richard’s stories of failed acrobatics. Todd’s favorite room was the library, you wouldn’t tell by looking at him but Todd loved to read. Richard delighted in telling Miss Dupain-Cheng and Miss Bourgeois about what a bookworm Todd had been in school.

Drake said his favorite room was the study. Damian could see his reasoning even though Todd teased him about being a nerd. There was a rather large desk with a very comfortable chair, it was near a large window so if you were so inclined you could look out the window and enjoy the natural light it let in. There was also a large fireplace with a sofa big enough for two. Damian knew very well that it was a perfect spot to stretch out with one’s sketchbook.

Everyone was having fun and Damian was starting to feel a little self conscious about his idea, already he was starting to make up an excuse to get out of this. Perhaps like Father he could claim he had reports to take care of?

“This is Damian’s favorite room!” Dick exclaimed as they stepped into the music room. Damian’s eyes narrowed. Curses! He had forgotten how well Richard knew him, he probably knew he had been planning to try and get out of his turn.

The music room was indeed one of Damian’s favorite rooms. Music had once just been another accomplishment pushed onto him by Mother, with Richard’s help it became a way to express himself. He started out with picking the songs he wanted to play instead of the ones Mother would pick for him. Then he expanded the collection of instruments, he learned to play the instruments that he wanted, ones Mother would never have approved.

“Do you know how to play all these instruments?” Miss Dupain-Cheng asked him wide eyed. Damian felt that curious flutter in his stomach again, like when he first saw her dressed as Wonder Woman.

“Yes.” he answered. “I already knew how to play several instruments but music was just another task. My Mother was….well she wanted what she believed was best for me.” It was the easiest way to explain the truth without lying. For some reason he didn’t wish to lie to this blue eyed girl.”But with the encouragement of those around me I started to learn things for my own enjoyment.” He felt a little exposed but did not regret anything.

Chapter Text

“Do you know how to play an instrument Marinette?” Richard asked. Damian had to admit that he too was curious but hadn’t been sure how to ask. He wasn’t used to wanting to know about others, he didn’t make friends easily so he wasn’t sure what was appropriate.. No one else in the family was as musically inclined as he was. Though Cass did like ballet. Still he was grateful that Richard had encouraged him to continue to study music.

“Oh….well I don’t play much.” Dupain-Cheng answered modestly. “I only know a couple of songs.”

“Marinette has her own song.” Bourgeois announced. Damian raised an eyebrow as Richard of course became over excited.

“Marinette you have your own song?!” he explained.

“Um….kind of?” Dupain-Cheng answered. “My friend Luka wrote it for me. He plays the guitar and can create a melody for anyone. I’ve heard mine so many times that I wanted to learn it and then I added words.``

Damian felt himself tense a little. Luka? Who was that. Was this person of interest to Marinette Dupain-Cheng? How close was their friendship? Damian wasn’t sure how to ask these questions without alerting his brothers that he was acting in a different manner than normal.

“That’s so cool!” Richard exclaimed. Damian noted that both Drake and Todd looked intrigued. What was it about this strange girl from Paris that drew them all in? He wanted to know more. “Will you play it for us?” Damian’s eyes widened at Richard’s boldness. But then again maybe it only seemed bold in his mind but this was a normal thing to ask to anyone else.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette’s eyes widened, she hadn’t been expecting the others to be so interested in this. Why had Chloe said anything? Luka had been playing melodies for all of them since the day they had met. It was soothing and melted into background noise when they were together. But then one day she noticed that her song was different, the background music had changed. Once she noticed she couldn’t unnotice it. It was part of what made her want to learn how to play it. “Um….w-well if you want.” he said, feeling a bit nervous. Looking around she picked up a ukulele. “I think it sounds better on this than a guitar.”

“And you told me it was a stupid instrament.” Dick said to Damian looking smug. Marinette giggled before starting to strum the instrument.

“I don’t need you to respect me, I respect me.
I don’t need you to love, I love me.
But I want you to know you can know me.
If you change your mind

You think I’m no good, don’t you?
Just admit it, just admit it. And it gets to me sometimes,
When I let it, when I let it.
It’s easy to let it, It’s easy to forget

I don’t need you to respect me, I respect me.
I don’t need you to love me, I love me.
But I want you to know you can know me.
If you change your mind.”

Marinette repeated the last line a few times before the last notes faded before looking up. Everyone was staring at her. “Uh….was it that bad?” she asked only half joking.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe was amazed, she had been wanting to hear Marinette’s song for a while. But Marinette had always been self conscious about it. Luka wouldn’t push Marinette at all, Kagami had been on her side for a little while but soon got on Luka’s side. But as she had hoped Marinette either felt encouraged or pressured by an audience wanting to hear the song. She might have felt guilty about what she had done. But she didn’t, because the song was amazing. It was hard to explain how Luka could figure out those melodies, they all had one even her. Somehow even without words it said Marinette, but with words….now it was absolutely perfect.

She was glad she had thought to pull out her phone. Who knew if she would get to see Mari play it again. Though it was more than that. She could use the video somehow. She wasn’t exactly sure how yet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When the Flash came back into the monitoring room and saw Batman standing next to Wonder Woman he knew something was wrong. His mind rushed in the usual fashion as he tried to figure out what might be wrong and if he had done anything recently to tick off the Bat. But he couldn’t think of anything.

“Uh…..hey Batman.” he greeted as he went to sit down. Maybe Batman had just worried that he would try and skip out? Okay maybe he had done that in the past but the last time had been a really long time ago!

“A couple of years ago, do you remember the Justice League being contacted by a girl in red and black who called herself Ladybug asking for help?” Batman asked.

Flash blinked and thought back. “Uh…..yeah I remember that.”

“What happened?” Batman demanded as his eyes narrowed a bit. Well that was never a good sign.

“Dude some kid called up the Justice League and was telling me some crazy story about some butterfly man who wanted to take over Paris.” he answered, having totally forgotten about that until now.
“And you didn’t think that was something that should be reported?” Batman frowned. Flash couldn’t help but get nervous.

“I thought it was some new Young Justice recruit playing a prank.” he said in his defense before adding in a mutter. “It wouldn’t be the first time.” Wonder Woman giggled a little which made him feel a little better. But not by much.

“You didn’t think that you should look into things…..just in case?” Batman pressed.

“Batman what’s going on?” Wonder Woman asked with a slight frown.

Okay Flash had this one! “Look when my shift was over I ran over to Paris. Everything was fine!” he complained.

“Bruce!” Wonder Woman’s tone was quiet but sharp, her way of saying she was not pleased about having to sit there and not know what was going on.

“It turns out that was a super heroine from Paris, her name is Ladybug. Paris is being emotionally terrorized and has been for years. She came to us for help but got turned away.” Flash almost whimpered at the sharp look he got after that sentence. “I’ve been in contact with Ladybug and another hero from her team. I wanted to know what happened and get to the bottom of things.”

“We need to help the people of Paris!” Wonder Woman exclaimed.

“Don’t worry….I have things under control.” He announced before turning to leave.

Flash couldn’t help but be relieved that Batman hadn’t said he was in trouble. Though he soon sat up. Wait…..if he wasn’t in trouble now….that meant he was going to be in trouble later! Everyone knew Batman didn’t forgive or forget!!

Chapter Text

Damian sat on his bed, he was still thinking about the song Miss Dupain-Cheng had sung. One would think it was a simple song without any context. Since there was no going down to the cave for patrol when it got late he retired to his room, he would normally chafe at having to do this since normally if he was in his room at night it was because he was benched. Whether due to a healing injury or a fight with Father it would irritate him just the same, but tonight was different.

The song had been simple but it said so much. Richard and Drake both said that Miss Dupain-Cheng was being bullied by classmates. He had seen some of it in the afternoon at the gardens. He didn’t know how one person could cause so much trouble. That Rossi girl was something else. Damian found that he wanted to help, but was unsure how to proceed,he didn’t want to make things worse. He wasn’t used to helping others outside of his Robin uniform.He was going to need more information. But how to get it without arousing suspicion? He was sure that if Richard caught wind of his thoughts he would blow everything out of proportion. Richard was many things but subtle wasn’t one of them unless absolutely necessary so that meant only in the Nightwing uniform. Though even in uniform that wasn’t for sure.

This was something rather new to him. He had never before cared about how a girl felt. But Miss Dupain-Cheng seemed special somehow. Despite everything she had been going through she was staying strong. He imagined it was hurtful to have one’s friends turn on you, not that he had civilian friends. He had teammates but he didn’t think this was the same. Miss Dupain-Cheng had gone through emotional hardship and yet she was not falling apart as he would imagine a normal female would. And yet what was probably the most surprising part of all tis was that she was willing to forgive those who had wronged her. Damian wasn’t sure he could do something like that. Al Ghuls were not a forgiving group. He wasn’t sure how forgiving Father could be towards those who wronged him. Richard was the type to let go, though if you hurt his friends or family that might not be the case. Drake went for quite vengeance. While Todd would go nuclear…..he could get behind that. Not that he would ever tell Todd that.

The bottom line was that Marinette Dupain-Cheng was a very strong person, and even thought Damian had yet to talk to her that much...he admired her. He wanted to do whatever he could to ensure that her visit to Gotham was a happy one.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette couldn’t sleep. In the middle of the night she had been awakened by Tikki before her akuma alert went off, it wasn’t long before Chloe joined her. Before they left it was agreed that Marinette would go first and Chloe would stay behind to create an alibi for Marinette or provide a distraction so she could slip away. If Honey Flash was needed then Marinette would come back and they would figure out a way for Chloe to go somewhere private, they didn’t think it would be difficult since no one in their class liked them very much.

It had been an akuma amok combo and the fight had taken a couple of hours, but the real problem was how long she had needed to be La Dame Chat. Normally she didn’t combine Tikki and Plagg until she was sure what she needed to use her cataclysm on.But this akuma had been very difficult. The amok was very subtle and by not realizing that there was one everything had gotten reset. She needed to break away to recharge both kwamis. Using Plagg was completely different from using Tikki. When she transformed into Ladybug Marinette experienced a burst of energy. She felt like she could do anything and would always save the day. It was what she loved most about being Ladybug, that feeling of knowing that she was on the side of right. That no matter what the problem was she would create a solution.

Plagg was so very different. There was a rush of energy like with Tikki, but at the same time it was almost overwhelming. Though she didn’t know if it was always like that with Plagg or if part of it was combining the cat and ladybug miraculouses. The energy was amazing and frightening. She felt like she could do anything, she wanted to let loose and let the energy take her, she wanted to destroy and laugh wildly even if the end result was watching the world burn. Was this what Adrien had felt like every time? It was no wonder the cat miraculous had started to drive him mad. Part of Marinette was angry with Master Fu and Plagg not warning her about what was going on sooner. Adrien was okay now and for that she was grateful.

But it was getting harder and harder to hold on. Marinette could feel the toll of using the two most powerful miraculouses. Though what else could she do? The miraculous of creation and destruction had to be active at the same time. They balanced one another, though right now Marinette felt anything but balanced. She had been laying in bed for what felt like hours before getting up to go down to the kitchen for a glass of water. It took a little longer to get to the kitchen than she would have liked, not because she got lost but because there was so much temptation to break this or that. But finally she made it. Everything was peaceful and silent until…

“Pixie Pop?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason was surprised when he stepped into the kitchen and saw Marinette there with a glass of water. It had been a long time since he had come back to the manor for dinner let alone enjoyed his time there. Usually he preferred sticking to the cave when he had to be back and eventually sneaking upstairs to grab some of Alfred’s amazing cooking to snack on or take home. Alfred always left meals in tupperware for him. He was trying to get better but it was still hard being in the manor.

But tonight was different. He had enjoyed being around Marinette and Chloe, and he wasn’t the only one. Even the demon brat seemed affected by their presence. There was something definitely going on there that needed to be explored. After saying goodnight to the girls Jason has ducked into the guest room that he had kind of made his own. He still wasn’t ready to ever stay in his old room, though he did go in from time to time. He killed some times playing around on his phone and when it seemed late enough he slipped down to the cave for a quick patrol of what he considered his turf. Normal upstanding citizens considered Red Hood a criminal. But to the innocents trapped in places like Crime Alley he was their hero. He gave food to homeless children, looked out for the girls working the streets, and took down anyone who would dare to harm the innocents. Jason knew you couldn’t help the life you had been born into but just had to do your best as you lived it.
He had come upstairs to see if there were any more sugar cookies, which if there were he planned to eat in mass before going to bed. Finding Marinette alone in the kitchen was a pleasant surprise.

“What are you doing up so late?” he asked curiously as he went to the pantry to start the great cookie hunt.

“I was getting a glass of water.” Marinette answered. “What about you?”

Jason paused in his search and looked closely at Marinette. Something was...off, but he couldn’t put his finger on it quite yet. “Middle of the night is the best time to sneak cookies.” he replied, happy when his answer made Marinette laugh.

“I don’t know if Alfred will be happy with you for sneaking cookies.” Marinette replied before taking a sip of water.

Jason felt a buzzing in the back of his mind. Something was most definitely different about Pixie Pop. But what was it? She had this extra energy to her, and it wasn’t a good kind. With a sudden alarm it hit him what this felt like. It gave off echos to those early days when he suffered pit madness. There was no real official name for it but that was what Jason called it. It was an after effect of being put in the Lazarus Pit. But the real question was why the flipping hell was Marinette giving him pit madness vibes? He went back to his search but studied Marinette from the corner of his eye. She looked pretty normal, not like she was fighting back murderous rage.

“Pixie Pop are you okay?” he asked. Jason had found his prize and set the tupperware container of cookies on the counter.

Marinette gave him a puzzled look. “I’m fine.” she answered.

“Not overwhelmed?” Jason pressed. That got a reaction, Marinette’s eyes widened a little bit and she set her glass down. But she didn’t say anything. That was cool, he could work with that.

“Pixie Pop do you believe in magic?” he asked casually as he pulled the milk from the fridge. “Like real no reasonable explanation magic….not card tricks or shit like that.”

“Yes.” No hesitation, interesting.

Jason grabbed a glass because he may sneak cookies in the dead of the night but he didn’t drink from the carton. He wasn’t an animal. “Look I don’t know how much you know about me but when I was younger than you I was attacked by the Joker. I don’t remember everything that happened but everyone thought I was dead.” He was taking a chance by sharing even this edited version of his story. Though if you dug deep enough you’d find a version of it online. They had to explain the miraculous return of Jason Wayne-Todd somehow. Or at least Tim insisted they had. Letting Replacement do his thing and create a story that let him come back, legally, from the dead had been part of the moving on process.

“Sometimes I have….an excess of extra energy.”

Marinette had gone very still, he noted. Like she was trying to figure out where he was going with all this.

“So when that happens I try to close my eyes and take a deep breath. I focus on that energy and think about it traveling all through my body. I think about his gathering in my chest like a golden ball.” Small lie, his energy was a murky sickly green, but for Marinette he pictured gold, like the sun, which could be too overwhelming if you weren’t careful. “When I have it gathered I let the breath I’m holding go….and I picture that extra energy leaving me.”

Marinette was silent and the look on her face was extremely thoughtful. He offered her a cookie and she smiled. “Thank you.” If it was thanks for the advice or the cookie he had no idea.

Chapter Text

Okay so the original idea was of course the have Damian to be the new Black Cat. But recently it has been suggested that Jason could also be a possibility. I honestly love both ideas. So I wanted to know what the readers thought. I was hoping I could make some kind of poll but it's not an option. So tell me what you think! Both are touched by darkness and could handle Plagg's powers. And either one dealing with find out they are basically a magical cat boy will be hilarious.

Another matter I would like your ideas on is dessert ideas for Marinette to make for the Batfam members. I want Marinette to eventually make members of the Batfam their own sweet treat. I already have an idea for Jason. Dark chocolate cherry brownies. The dark chocolate will be bitter which is like Jason is when you first meet him, it's hard to get close to him to see the good. Then you have the tart sweetness of the cherries, Jason really is sweet on the inside but you just have to get past his walls.

So what do you guys think? What other sweet treats are fitting for the others? It can be any type of dessert you want, it doesn't have to be French themed like a macaron though those are great ideas too!

Chapter Text

Marinette had stayed in the kitchen with Jason eating cookies and talking before excusing herself to go to bed since she had to be up in the morning. She told him more about her life, both good and bad. And in return Jason told her what he could about his own life. Jason wasn’t sure what it was about this girl from Paris, but it felt like they were connected in some way It was hard to explain. They were strangers, well had been before this, but he felt at ease around Marinette Dupain-Cheng in a way that he hadn’t felt in a long time. It made him wish he could share his entire life with her, but a small part of him worried what Marinette would think about him being Red Hood. Yeah he hurt people and even killed, they were bad people but Marinette might not see it that way.

Some of the things Marinette had told him had him seeing red. What was going on with her class was total bullshit! He didn’t understand how people she had known for years in some cases could just turn their back on her, even her supposed best friend. A voice that sounded suspiciously like Tim’s told him punching a bunch of high school kids in the face was wrong. Fucking killjoy. What about the school system? It had completely failed Marinette with all this sort it out yourself nonsense.Okay yes in the real world when there was someone you didn’t like you just had to deal with it. But these kids weren’t in the fucking real world yet!

He couldn’t help but admire how strong Marinette was to stand up against her bullies. It couldn’t be easy to have everyone turn on you and Jason knew that a lot of others would have crumbled under that kind of pressure. But not Pixie Pop. Jason was glad she had Chloe. After setting the kitchen back to rights, minus the missing cookies, Jason headed off to bed.
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Marinette was sleeping peacefully. But the two kwamis watching her sleep felt anything but peaceful. The black cat kwami was especially fretful. “My miraculous is starting to affect her!” Plagg hissed to Tikki, his other half. He couldn’t do this again.

“What are we going to do?” Tikki asked in a whisper, not wanting to wake Marinette now that she was able to get to sleep.

Plagg was at a loss. “I...I’m not going to stick around for this.” he decided as he went for the hand that wore his ring causing Tikki to gasp.

“Plagg you can’t run away!” she protested. “Where will you go? Plus the cat and ladybug miraculouses must be in circulation at the same time!”

“I don’t care about that.” Plagg insisted. “I’m not going to let this happen again! I’m not going to let Marinette end up like Adrien!”

Tikki was surprised. “What do you mean?” she asked quietly watching as Plagg soon gave up on pulling at the ring on Marinette’s finger.

“I always knew Adrien wasn’t a true holder.” Plagg admitted. “Master Fu must have sensed something was coming because for weeks he sent me out to see if I could sense a true holder. Adrien was the best I could find. I knew what was going to happen to him eventually but Master Fu told me we would figure something out.” But what if they hadn’t? What if Adrien had gone insane? It had been a serious possibility. “We took his miraculous just in time. I can’t let that happen to Marinette. She’s our future guardian!”
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Tikki looked at Plagg sadly. She knew him better than anyone and for him to be this worried was still surprising. Plagg always just went with the flow. Once again she was in awe over how amazing Marinette was, to inspire such a reaction from Plagg was something else.

“There is one thing you can do.” she said softly.

“What?!” The desperation in his voice broke her heart. “You need to ask permission to see if you can see if there is a true holder nearby.” Anyone could wield a miraculous, some more than others. So every kwami worked on not focusing. It was like holding your hand in a fist. Because if you let go sensing all those holders at different levels would be too distracting.

“You think Marinette will let me?” Plagg asked her a little anxiously.

“We’ll convince her.” Tikki said, feeling hopeful. “She won’t like it at first but she’ll see reason.” Marinette was the best Ladybug Tikki had ever had, but even she was starting to fray at the seams. No one could be strong all on their own forever. They just needed to find the right time
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When her alarm went off Marinette sat up and stretched with a yawn. Shewas a little tired but felt good. Staying up talking to Jason really helped her out last night. She had really been feeling the after effects of the cat miraculous. She had never had after effects last so long, but then again she didn’t normally have to recharge and transform again. It was a little scary but at the same time she was glad Adrien wasn’t feeling this strain anymore.

Getting up she started to stretch, she planned to take advantage of the time change to bake a couple of things. She really missed being able to bake every day and was glad she would get the chance to make something. Though when she got out of bed and finished with some light stretches she was a little surprised to see Tikki and Plagg both looking like they had something to say.

“Um…..good morning.” she said. Normally the two would both be in their miraculouses like they agreed since there was a bigger chance of someone walking by the door and getting confused at hearing other voices besides her and Chloe.

“Good morning Marinette.” Tikki began. “There is something Plagg and I would like to talk to you about.”

Marinette felt her confusion grow but nodded. “What’s going on?” She expected Tikki to take the lead as usual, so it was a little surprising when Plagg spoke up.

“Marinette….we…..I think using my miraculous is getting too dangerous!” the little cat kwami blurted out.

Marinette was shocked and a little hurt. Was she not doing a good enough job so Plagg and Tikki were doubting her? As usual Tikki seemed to know exactly what was going on in her mind.

“Marinette you are amazing and are going to make a great future guardian.” Marinette opened her mouth but Tikki quickly continued. “But not only are you not meant to permanently wield the cat miraculous you shouldn’t be combining it so often. It’s dangerous and we are getting worried about the negative side effects.”

“Sugarcube is right Marinette.” Plagg said, looking miserable. “I….I let things with Adrien go on too long. Master Fu brushed aside all my concerns saying it was for the greater good. But...if something happened to you...I’d never forgive myself!”

Marinette instantly felt the feeling of hurt fade away. It wasn’t that Plagg and Tikki thought she wasn’t doing a good job, they were just worried about her. “But what can we do?” she asked. “The cat and ladybug miraculouses must be in circulation together!”

Plagg raised his hand. “I didn’t sense a true black cat in Paris….but maybe there’s one here? I want permission to look.”

 

Marinette thought about it. She wasn’t thrilled with this idea. What if something happened? But did it really hurt to at least look around. “Okay Plagg, but I want you to be careful.”

“I will, I promise!” Plagg exclaimed.

Chapter Text

Dick couldn’t help help but bounce down the steps, it was hard not to slide down the banister but he would be in so much trouble if he got caught. With there being guests in the manor Dick did not want any trouble, especially when the guests were so much fun. He really hoped that Kory and Mar’i would be home soon. They had left last week to go visit Tamaran but he was expecting them back soon. He couldn’t wait for them to meet Marinette and Chloe!

His eyes widened, even though he wasn’t half way to the kitchen he could smell something amazing in the air. Had Alfred been baking this morning? That wasn’t really like him. Sure Alfred would sometimes make pancakes or crepes. The latter made sense considering the house guests they now had. When he stepped into the kitchen he was pleased to see Marinette in a flour dusted apron, though at the same time he was disappointed that she wasn't wearing a cute little outfit.

Marinette smiled at him. “I’m not going to bake in one of my special outfits.” It was like she could read his mind.

“That wasn’t…..I-I mean good morning.” Dick stammered trying to recover.

“Nice save.”

Dick’s eyes went wide with surprise. “Jay?!” It was so strange to see Jason at the small breakfast nook without it being the end result of a it being the end result of a pratol that went so late or was so exhausting that he just crashed. Had Jaybird gone out after the girls went to bed? It was possible. Though they were supposed to be toning things down! Dick was pretty sure there was a way to broach the subject without Jason blowing up at him. It would be tricky but not impossible. Challenge accepted!

“What smells so good?” he asked.

“Heaven.” a sleepy but muffled voice announced.

Dick was once again surprised because not only was Jason at the small table in the breakfast nook that they used for informal morning meals. If there were more of them then they would eat at the dining table, but Tim was there as well. And he looked like he was functioning like a normal human! Usually the only reason Tim was up this early was if he hadn’t slept at all or if he had a W.E. meeting, but even then he more closely resembled a zombie as he nursed a cup of coffee like it was his life line. Dick was really loving the recently set up rule that Tim needed to eat breakfast if he expected Alfred to let him near the contents of the coffee pot.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng has been nice enough to bake this morning.” Damian replied, okay that wasn’t strange because Dami had always been a morning person.

Dick took note of what was on the table and decided that Marinette must be some kind of magical baking fairy. On the table were croissants, what looked like little pastries with chocolate inside them, and two types of bread. One that looked like it would be good to just use for plain toast and one that looked soft and fluffy.

“Damian I’m living in your house for the rest of the month.” Marinette smiled. “I think that allows for first names!” Dick once again watched in fascination as Damian became slightly flustered. Most people would miss it but Dick considered himself an expert in understanding the youngest and most prickly member of the family.

“I’m used to waking up early plus I don’t think I’m quite used to the time change. So I made a few things.” Marinette smiled. Dick learned that ‘a few things’ turned out to be croissants, pain au chocolat, a baguette and the soft fluffy looking bread was brioche.

“Good morning Master Dick.” Alfred greeted. “Would you like to partake of some of the wonderful pastries Miss Marinette has made or would you like something a little more savory?”

“I’ll take some scrambled eggs and bacon, but not too much since I want to eat some of the stuff Mari made!” he smiled. Even Dami was enjoying a piece of the brioche bread with a little jam and butter when normally he just liked fruit and yogurt or oatmeal for his breakfast, he liked to eat lightly in the morning. Chloe was scrolling through things on her phone. Jason had quite a full plate with a little bit of everything along with a nice sized pile of eggs and bacon, but that wasn’t strange because he was a big guy who needed a lot of fuel
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To be honest Jason had meant to sneak out early that morning after what he considered a nice power nap. He quietly got up and remade the bed in the guest room he usually used when he slept at the manor, he wasn’t an animal and therefore wasn’t going to make Alfred make his bed. When he heard someone in the kitchen he figured it was just Alfred which meant the polite thing to do was to say good morning and let Alfred feed him before he made his escape.

When he walked into the kitchen ready to greet the elderly butler who was probably immortal he was surprised to find Marinette kneading dough with flour on her cheek, and was happily chatting away with Alfred. Jason couldn’t help but stay in the doorway and watch the two interact, they were getting along quite well, and Jason was reminded when he was younger and Alfred started teaching him how to cook. Jason hadn’t known how to make many things and had wanted to do something to prove he was useful. Back then he had been scared that Bruce would eventually see him as a burden, so he saw learning how to cook as a way to show he could be of use. Those were some of his happiest childhood memories.

“Good morning Master Jason.” Alfred greeted once he noticed Jason. Since he had been spotted there was nothing else to do but come into the kitchen. He was glad to see Pixie Pop with a smile on her face, and was even happier that whatever weird energy he might have felt last night was gone. Jason was starting to wonder if he had imagined it last night, it had been late and his sleep schedule wasn’t the most stable.

The kitchen had always been a happy place for him and having Marinette there talking as she worked put Jason in a tranquil mood he had not felt in a long time, so much that he didn’t notice how much time had passed and he heard others approaching the kitchen. The first was Damian, who seemed a little surprised to see him but made no comment. Bruce was the next one to come in but didn’t have time for much more than a cup of coffee and croissant before he had to leave for work. Chloe soon sat down but the real shocker was when Tim dragged himself to the table.

Surprisingly enough Dick did not make a scene about him being there for breakfast. Probably because he was hungry. Which he was relieved for. More often than not Dick was exhausting. Everything was just so damn dramatic! Jason was surprised when a plate of brownies was placed in front of them and looked up at Marinette.

“I made you some chocolate cherry brownies.” Marinette. “I really appreciate the advice you gave me so I wanted to make you something special. Now I made these for you but I really hope you’ll share.”

Jason stared at the plate. The brownies looked absolutely stunning, like something you could easily find in a bakery in the more high end areas. Ignoring Damian’s protest over eating something so sweet at the breakfast table Jason took a bite and his eyes went wide. NEVER in his life had he ever had a brownie like this before. Pixie Pop had used dark chocolate; it was smooth but bitter in an almost overwhelming way. But before the bitterness got to be too much there was the sharp tartness of the cherries with a sweet finish. Everyone was watching him waiting to see how he would react.

He set the brownie down and said in a solemn voice. “I have known Marienette Dupain-Cheng for a day and a half. If anything happens to her I would kill everyone in the room and then myself.”

“Jason!” Dick gasped

“He’s quoting the show.” Tim muttered into his coffee cup.

“Told you so.” Chloe said not looking up from her phone. Jason knew he would be really annoyed by her smug tone if not for the plate of delicious brownies in front of him. “Come on Marinette we should go get ready.”
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Dick watched the girls leave the kitchen before turning to look at Jason with puppy dog eyes. He was hoping that Marinette’s magic baking powers would still work on Jason. “Jaaaaaaaaaay” he began in a pleading tone. He was ready to pout as hard as he needed to. But that didn’t end up being necessary.

Just eat it and shut up!” Jason snapped. Dick took the brownie and broke it in half to share with Tim, he knew Damian was a big fan of sweets and wouldn’t want any. After his first bite Dick’s eyes went wide. He didn’t know how Marinette had done it but….the brownie was Jason. There was no other way to explain it. It was official. Marinette Dupain-Cheng was a magical baking pixie girl.

Chapter Text

Dick was pretty much bouncing in his seat as he waited for Marinette and Chloe to come back down. He couldn’t wait to see who the two would be dressed like today.

“No wonder Bruce never adopted another child when he has you.”

Dick ignored Jason’s comment. So what if he had been the youngest of the Robins? Nothing could get him down!

“Richard if you don’t calm down Pennyworth will think you’re sneaking cereal again.” Damian warned.

Nope! This excited energy was all him! When the girls came back Dick was not disappointed. Not that he had been really worried about that. Marinette was a magic baking pixie girl who could sew! Did she know that they were all secretly the vigilante heroes of Gotham? She had to. Today was the trip to the aquarium where Babs and Stephanie would be chaperoning.

And who did Marinette come bouncing into the kitchen dressed as? Batgirl! Her outfit was simple yet effective. A pair of purple jeans with a big yellow belt to represent the utility belt. Her t-shirt was also purple with a yellow bat symbol over the chest with a cape that was attached at this shoulders. She even wore a cowl with her hair down. Yellow gloves and boots finished her classic original Batgirl look.

Meanwhile Chloe walked into the room like she owned it dressed as Spoiler. It was hard to tell if it was a body suit or a top and pants due to the purple belt at her waist. There was a little purple utility belt on her right upper thigh. What was most impressive was the purple hooded cape with a face mask the covered Chloe’s face from the nose down alone with the purple gloves and boots. Chloe’s hair was down and pulled front. Dick was truly impressed with Marinette’s talent and attention to detail. Babs and Stephanie were going to love this.
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Marinette couldn’t help but smile as Dick squealed over the outfits she had made for Chloe and herself. She really loved making clothes and that had dropped off a lot after things started to go down hill more and more after Lila started to turn everyone against her. She just hadn’t felt inspired to even sketch, let alone touch the sewing machine she had gotten as a child. With support from Chloe, Luka, and Kagami she had slowly gone back to enjoying things that she hadn’t been able to enjoy for a long time. Uncle Jagged had been overjoyed and excited when she told him she had started to sew again and wanted to know when she might design for him again. That led to him wanting to share her name with others. And that was how M.D.C came to be.

She had worked really hard on all the outfits for the Gotham trip. It had been a good way to work off the excess energy using the black cat miraculous gave her in a positive way. Sure there had been plenty of sleepless nights but it had been so worth it. Especially seeing how excited Dick got over her outfits made her feel really good.

“Wow Dick you sure must be a big fan of Batman and his team.” Marinette smiled. Tim gave a loud snort of laughter into his coffee and Jason looked like he was trying really hard not to laugh as well. Damian seemed calm but he was always a little hard to read.

“I am a fan of talent.” Dick answered. “Now we should get going so we won’t be late.”

Chloe looked up from her phone for the first time in awhile. “I can not wait to see the look on Lie-la’s face when she sees us.”

Marinette knew that she should say something about that not being nice. Instead she turned her attention to Dick. “Are you sure there’s nothing Lila can do to get us sent home?”

“Richard has taken all precautions to be sure that she-wolf will have no power in this matter.” Damian assured her, speaking for the first time that morning. Marinette felt a warmth wash over her. Damian sounded so sure that it put her at ease. It really was sweet how much faith he has in his big brother. She really hoped they weren’t under estimating Lila like she once had. It didn’t sound like it, so she was hopeful.

“Damian is correct.” Dick said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Bruce has taken every security precaution possible. Tim has been hard at work and looked over all the rules and guidelines your school has about field trips. You two haven’t broken any rules so you can’t be sent home.”

Marinette nodded with a smile. “Okay let's get going.” She was still feeling a little nervous. But she was going to have faith in Dick and his family. Plus it would be a lie if she said that Lila’s shriek of outrage at the sight of them wasn’t satisfying.
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Lila had wasted no time the night before after Marinette and Chloe were taken away. She marched up to the front desk and demanded that she and Alya be allowed to take residence in the suite the two girls had once occupied. After all it wasn’t like the suite was being wasted any more. So she didn’t see a reason why she couldn’t have what she wanted.

When her classmates wandered over her tone became a little more sweet. She wasn’t really worried about what hotel staff thought of her. They weren’t important in the slightest. However she still did need the fools in her class to see that she was being sweet and polite. If the hotel staff refused then they would seem like the bad guys and she would be seen as the victim. The role she had perfected long before this point. There was some hesitation but in the end she got her way. It would have been preferable to have the suite to herself of course but she knew she had to share with Alya.

The next morning Lila was excited to get the day started. They were going to the aquarium today. Of course Lila didn’t care about stupid fish but the fact that Marinette and Chloe wouldn’t be there had her looking forward to the trip. She had spent the night listening to Alya telling her how amazing she was to have Marinette and Chloe sent away. How brave she had been to take a stand for the class and how much safer she and the others would now feel. Lila always loved hearing praise directed at her. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad sharing the best suite in the Gotham Rose with Alya.

Lila modestly smiled over breakfast as the others talked about how excited they were for the trip to the aquarium and how safe they would feel because of Lila. She noticed that Adrien and Juleka seemed a little more subdued than normal, but as long as they didn’t cause trouble then that was fine. Nino kept looking at something on his phone and texting, but that probably wasn’t anything important. If it was Alya would know and would have told her. Alya was boring and predictable but she liked to talk.

Finally the bus came to pick them all up and they got onto it happily chattering away. “If they think Marinette is the contest winner will they let us into the aquarium?” Kim asked. “Those other times they wouldn’t let us do anything if she wasn’t with us.”

Lila didn’t miss a beat. “Marinette probably set things up like that on purpose.” she explained. “She just wanted to feel important, it wasn’t enough that she claimed all the credit for herself. But I’m sure by now Mr. Wayne has set things to rights. Now that he’s seen what a danger Marinete was to the trip he will have fixed things. If there is anything wrong I’m sure one of those silly chaperones will be there to take care of any problems.”

They had all been standing outside the entrance to the aquarium for a few minutes when a limo pulled up. Lila frowned a little bit as Dick stepped out. Why was that idiot showing up in a limo still? Instead of heading over to their group he turned his attention behind him, and then time seemed to slow down. Lila’s eyes went wide as Marinette Dupain-Fucking-Cheng stepped out of the limo dressed in a ridiculous outfit followed by the world’s most annoying blonde bitch Chloe Bourgeois, who was also dressed in a stupid outfit.

What was going on?! Marinette and Chloe were supposed to be back in Paris by now! She let out a small frustrated shriek and marched over to the trio. “What are they doing here?!” she demanded pointing at Marinette and Chloe.

Chapter Text

Lila was absolutely livid. What the hell did she have to get rid of Marinette fucking Dupain-Cheng?! She had taken everything from that girl! She had not just all her school friends but even her best friend! She had taken the boy Marinette liked and everyone thought they were a cute couple, if only her heart wasn’t taken by another. Oh well! She had taken away Marinette’s credibility and together with Alya trashed her design website until Marinette had taken it down. Marinette was reduced to making friends with the only girl everyone hated more than her. She had even convinced their teacher that Marinette was a danger to the class and gotten her sent home. Or well she thought she had. Why couldn’t that stupid woman do anything right?! Clearly Marinette had pulled some stunt to stay, probably cried and begged Bruce Wayne to let her stay. Well Lila was not going to put up with this. She was the queen of this class and Marinette was nothing! NOTHING!!

She pulled back on her anger and put an anxious expression on her face. “What are they doing here?!” she asked again, letting her voice quaver for affect.
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Dick had been born and raised to be a showman. He had grown up as one of the Flying Graysons. He created the Robin persona and showed Bruce that crime fighting could be fun. Finally when he outgrew being Robin he created his own superhero persona. Long story short he was a natural performer….and game recognizes game.

Dick was really glad Lila Rossi lived in Paris. He hated to say it but if she was a little older and lived in Gotham she would be running the city. She was a criminal mastermind in the making and the thought was honestly terrifying. They might not be able to save the world from her but they needed to save Marinette. Chloe didn’t seem to need help but that was only because she wasn’t Lila’s target. He wondered why Lila was going after Marinette so hard. Was it because she was so easy to like and Lila had to work so hard with her lies to get people to like her? Was it jealousy? Or just the fact the Marinette had stood up to her?

“You said that Marinette and Chloe were going home!” Lila said with a small stamp of her foot. It wasn’t long before Alya was by her side.

“Those two put everyone in danger!” she shouted. The class who had drifted over watched and a few of them nodded. Tim had done a lot of research on Marinette and Chloe’s classmates so Dick felt comfortable taking care of things.

“Actually what we said was that arrangements have been made for Marinette and Chloe.” he pointed out.

“Which they did.” Marinette replied with a smug little smile. “Mr. Wayne has relocated us.”

“B-but you told Mme. Marabell that she didn’t need to worry about plane tickets.” Lila stammered.

“Well obviously they will arrange our tickets...for the end of the trip.” Chloe smirked. “You know….like they made the arrangements for EVERYONE’S flight here.” Her tone heavily implied that should be the obvious conclusion.

“Marinette and Chloe put us all in danger!” Alya argued.

“I understand if some of you feel unsafe.” Dick began. “I just want to reassure you that Mr. Wayne has taken every security precaution possible to keep you all safe. However if there is anyone who still feels unsafe we will be happy to arrange for them to return home early.” The silence that followed clearly indicated that while these brats were happy to demand that Marinette and Chloe be sent home but none of them felt so unsafe that they would be willing to go home.

“Well now that you have all that settled why don’t we go inside?” a voice called out.
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Barbara had been told all about what was going on with the Paris class. She had thought that Stephanie was over exaggerating, again, but from what she had seen in such a short amount of time she could see that this was not the case. She had also thought Dick had been over reacting to the outfits she had been hearing about, of course he would go crazy when one of those outfits had been Nightwing themed. Though now that she was seeing Marinette’s batgirl themed outfit she couldn’t help but feel flattered. What the Joker had done to her had been devastating on so many levels, but even though she had to give up being Batgirl she didn’t let that end her career. She was still seeing justice but just in a different way. Now she was Oracle and she looked after her city and her friends.

 

She rolled her wheelchair closer to the group and smiled. “Hello everyone, my name is Barbara Gordon I will be one of your chaperones today along with Stephanie Brown.”

A girl with glasses raised her hand. “Are you related to Commissioner Gordon?” she asked.

“Yes that’s my father. He is a close friend of the Waynes as are both myself and Miss Brown.” Barbara was honestly surprised that any of these students would know of her father. She guessed that this must be the girl who fancied herself as some kind of great reporter. Though from what she heard the girl had been led astray by the little actress Lila Rossi. Barbara could understand, when your life seemed so normal it was easy to get swept away by amazing stories. She honestly hoped that this girl found her way.
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Stephanie was annoyed. Because Dick was right and having yourself represented in a themed outfit was totally cool. Dick was going to gloat for sure and that was so annoying! It was hard not to stare at Chloe decked out in her Spoiler outfit.

“Okay listen up!” she said to the students. “We are about to go inside the aquarium. Rather than do some boring ass tour we are going to let you guys explore on your own. We have the entire aquarium to ourselves so you guys better behave yourself. Miss Dupain-Cheng will get your tickets. Have fun but don’t be a pain!”

“That was eloquent.” Babs teased as she rolled up to her.

Stephanie shrugged. “Eh, they’re teenagers. How well are they really going to behave listening to some stuffy tour guide? Dick said for the most part the class was good, just a couple annoying brats.”

“He did not say that.” Babs said without missing a beat.

“Fiiiiiiiiine he didn’t word it like that. But the intent was there!” Stephanie insisted.
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Marinette was mostly done handing out the tickets. Some of her classmates muttered thank you but most of them were quiet. It seemed they still believed that she had somehow let Lila do all the work and then swooped in and took all the credit. She wasn’t really surprised.

“So what stunt did you have to pull to get Bruce Wayne to change his mind about sending your sorry ass home?” Lila asked with a sneer as Alya practically gave her a paper cut from yanking the aquarium tickets out of her hand so fast.

“I didn’t have to do anything.” Marinette calmly answered. “Mr. Wayne just realized what happened with the Joker was something no one could have predicted. Like Dick said they’re used to this stuff so it was easy to make arrangements.” She could tell her calm attitude was annoying Lila. Good.

“Well where are you staying then?!” Alya demanded.

“Wherever it is it can’t be as nice as the Gotham Rose.” Lila declared in a triumphant tone. “In fact now that the trash is gone Alya and I moved into the best suite the hotel has.”

Marinette knew that Lila was trying to rub it in her face that they had their old room now. She shared a look with Chloe and knew exactly what the blonde was thinking. Once again Lila hadn’t thought anything through. That room had been reserved for herself and Chloe. When the hotel checked them out it put the suite back onto the market. Which meant that anyone staying in that room would be charged. She was sure that even though the poor soul at the desk would have tried to talk Lila out of insisting that she have that suit but Lila had not only ignored them but also berated them in the process, well unless she was too busy playing the victim.

She knew Chloe had already calculated what this was going to cost Lila and shook her head when the blonde opened her mouth to say something. Instead she smiled sweetly. “That suite was pretty nice.” she agreed “As for where Chloe and I are staying, well for our and probably your safety it’s better we don’t say.”

“It’s probably some run down trash heap.” Lila said with a little sniff of disdain.

“They’re probably too embarrassed to say where they’re really staying.” Alya agreed.

“Babe why don’t you and Lila lay off for like once in your lives.”

Marinette’s eyes widened a little as Nino walked up to them. She watched as Lila jumped a little. If the gears in Lila’s head spun any faster as she tried to figure out how much Nino might have heard and how to turn it all around she was pretty sure smoke might come out from Lila’s ears.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino was done. He had thought to try and give Alya one last chance. But that was over. There would never be a last chance, not after the video Chloe of all people had sent him a video. Normally he would never open anything Chloe sent him. But the text that followed caught his attention. “You people will never break her” His eyes widened as the video started to play. He had known Marinette could sing, but he hadn’t known she knew how to play anything.

Her song was sweet, beautiful, full of hope and made him feel like a complete asshole. It was simple but said so much. Marinette had been hurt, was probably still hurting on some level, but wasn’t going to let that stop her. The song was his breaking point. He had let his love for Alya blind him for way too long and that was going to stop. Now.

“Nino how could you say something like that?!” Alya gasped.

Nino crossed his arms over his chest and frowned. “Marinette and Chloe are out of the hotel. Trying to get them sent back home was not cool. Yeah it sucks that they got targeted by a madman but you’re forgetting they were victims. Thank god they were saved by Batman!”

He knew Alya wasn’t going to be happy with him.

“Marinette you bitch! What did you do to Nino to make him say those things?!” Okay….he had not seen that coming.

“Babe I’m not an idiot!” he snapped. “I can make my own choices. I’ve been quiet for way too long.” He couldn’t believe Alya was treating him like he was some little kid who didn’t know what he was saying. Ignoring Alya’s spluttering he turned his attention.

“Marinette….I’m so sorry for everything. I know I haven’t been a good friend to you in a long time. But I want to let you know I’ve woken up and maybe you won’t change your mind about me…..but I’ll wait as long and do whatever it takes to get my friend back."

Chapter Text

Marinette honestly had no idea what had just happened. Nino stepping in to stand up for her was one of the last things she would have expected to happen. She knew Nino really loved Alya and had never wanted to get in the way of that. Unfortunately she wasn’t surprised at all when Alya turned to blame her for this. Though it seemed like Nino was having none of it.

What had he meant when he said he hoped she changed her mind? That seemed a little on the nose. Suddenly her eyes widened a little, she remembered glancing up while playing her song and saw that Chloe had her phone out. Had Chloe been recording her and sent it to Nino?! She looked at Chloe but the blonde wasn’t looking at her, so she turned her attention back to the raging red headed bull that was her ex-best friend.

“Alya I haven’t said anything to Nino.” she began. “I haven’t spoken with him outside of school in forever. I don’t even like or comment on his new music because I knew you’d be…..like this.” She waved a hand at Alya.

“Like what?!” Alya demanded with a fierce glare.

“Like how you’re being now.” Chloe pointed out. “Your boyfriend spoke out of turn and you are losing your mind over it..”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alya couldn’t believe this was happening. She knew Marinette had done something to make Nino say these things.

“Why is Marinette visiting Nino’s music website in secret?” Lila asked her softly. “It would be one thing if she was openly visiting. But it sounds like she wanted to keep it a secret.”

Alya’s eyes widened. Lila was right! She glared even harder at Marinette and Chloe. Why couldn’t Chloe mind her own damn business. “What are you doing on Nino's page Marinette?! You sound like such a creep!”

“Just because we’re not close right now doesn’t mean I don’t support Nino’s goal to become a DJ.” Marinette sighed pinching the bridge of her nose, like the conversation was giving her a headache. “Alya you don’t have to freak out. I haven’t said or done anything to Nino. I know he’s your boyfriend and I didn’t comment on his site because I didn’t want you to get mad at me or him. I’m sure you expected him to block my name or something.”

Alya honestly had assumed that. He knew she didn’t like Marinette and what she thought about it.

“Marinette you shouldn’t have to worry about things like that.” Nino said.

Alya’s eyes widened when her boyfriend once again defended that lying witch. “Nino you don’t understand.” she started to protest.

“Alya drop it!” Nino snapped.

Alya felt like a bucket of ice water had been dumped over her head. She couldn’t remember the last time Nino had called her anything else but Babe. “Nino…..” she said, voice trailing off.

“Alya it’s over.” he said looking tired before walking off.

“Nino wait!” she cried as she ran after him.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lila had honestly not expected things to go that way. When she had quietly egged Alya on it had only meant to be a distraction, she had been a little too real too out in the open earlier. So she needed something to cover that up. However she had not meant for Alya and Nino to get into a fight. To be honest it sounded like they were on the verge of breaking up if they hadn’t just done that.

What the hell had gotten into Nino anyways? On the outside her expression was worried but inwardly she was frowning. What was going on that she was losing control of some of the others?! It started with just a few moments of questions and doubts but she had quickly been able to set things to right. Then there was her first big slip up, Juleka had seen her throw Marinette’s pen in the pond at the botanical gardens. But thankfully Juleka was easy to scare into silence. Now there was damage control to do with this Nino fiasco.

Well it wasn’t like Alya needed another reason to hate Marinette but it certainly didn’t hurt. Yeah, she could work with this whether or not Nino and Alya broke up or stayed together. “Alya wait!” she exclaimed as she hurried after his supposed best friend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Wow….that was just….yikes.” Stephanie said with a whistle as she walked up to Marinette and Chloe. She had been tasked with collecting the stragglers since Babs was already inside with the others. She had been watching the little group from afar and it was quite the show. “What just happened?” she asked the girls.

“I….I think Alya and her boyfriend Nino just broke up.” Marinette answered looking worried.

Stephanie nodded even though that answer told her nothing. But that didn’t stop her from shooting Chloe a sly smile. “Not really much for details. Care to spoil the end of this story?”

“Glasses used to be Marinette’s best friend.” Chloe said, disgust obvious in her tone. “But after that lying harpy came into the picture she threw Mari away like she was trash on the promise of getting leads on stories that would get her sad little tabloid website views. DJ Loser used to be Marinette’s childhood friend and followed his girlfriend’s lead. He never outright turned his back on her….but he never stood up for her either. However it seems like he might be coming around. Maybe someone sent him something interesting.”

That seemed to snap Marinette out of her daze. “Chloe did you record my playing Change Your Mind and send it to Nino?!”

“Maybe...maybe not.” Chloe answered smugly. “I guess if you ever decide to forgive him you can ask.”

Oh yes, Stephanie liked her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Barbara looked up as Stephanie joined her. “Everything okay?” she asked.

Stephanie nodded. “Yeah, there was a little bit of drama with those girls we were warned about, but it wasn’t anything too bad. Just stupid teenage drama.”

“Careful.” Babs warned. “Apparently it’s because people fall for that Lila girl's innocent act that she gets away with so much.”

“Eh, the Ladyblog girl got in a fight with her boyfriend because he was nice to Marinette.” Steph reported.

Barbara blinked. “Oh….well yeah that is stupid teenage shit.” From what she had heard about this Lila girl and what she had seen so far she was not fooled for a second, and she knew Stephanie was right there with her.

“That girl certainly has a calculating edge to her.” the blonde warned. “But I think Chloe and Marinette can handle her in the end.”

“You sure you're not just saying that because Marinette made a Spoiler outfit?” Babs teased.

“That is just a bonus.” Steph smiled.

Chapter Text

For once Alya and Lila were leaving Marinette alone. Marinette thought when this day finally came that she would be able to enjoy it. Unfortunately that was not going to be the case. Yes Lila was busy consoling Alya over what had happened with Nino, but word had gotten around that Marinette had broken the couple up. Marinette didn’t need three guesses to figure out who had spread that rumor around. So now almost the entire class seemed to hate her more than ever. Which was something Marinette hadn’t thought was possible.

So far for Chloe and herself the morning had been a mix of enjoying the aquarium and avoiding their classmates whenever possible. Marinette wished she could say she wasn’t surprised that everyone blamed her. She had no idea that was going to happen with Nino! And even if she had known Nino was going to break up with Alya she wouldn’t have wanted it to happen like this. Something like a break up should be a private matter. Though nothing official had been said it seemed like Nino and Alya were over. Which made Marinette sad, she had been there when they had first gotten together! She was kind of responsible for the couple though that was as Ladybug. She had always thought they made a really cute couple and she knew they had been in love.

Sure it hurt when Nino turned his back on her with Alya, but she had understood. First love was a complex emotion and you didn’t always make the best choices. She had several examples of that from when she had been in love with Adrien, thankfully that embarrassing chapter of her life was over. Despite what everyone else thought Marinette had absolutely no romantic interest in Adrien. Now all she wanted was for him to be free from Lila’s clutches. But she wasn’t really sure how to do that, though maybe if Nino was serious about wanting to reconnect she could enlist his help, after all he had always been concerned wanting Adrien to have his own life outside of the gilded cage his father had put him in. Just as she was about to turn a corner Chloe pulled her back. Marinette was confused until she heard some familiar voices.

“I just think they were such a perfect couple!” Marinette’s eyes widened a bit at Rose’s nearly tearful voice. She looked over at Chloe but Chloe just rolled her eyes. She was clearly done with hearing the same thing over and over.

“They were a good couple but if Nino wasn’t happy they shouldn’t stay together.” Even Chloe was surprised at Juleka’s soothing tone.

“But why all of the sudden is this all coming to the surface?” Rose asked. “It’s just so strange! Marinette should have stayed out of their business. This is just so sad!”

Marinette braced herself, Juleka had a hard enough time expressing her own thoughts and often just went with the crowd because it was the easier option. Marinette didn’t judge her, Luka had said she had always been like that. Marinette had no idea what it felt like to be so scared of what others thought that it would keep you silent. She thought it must be a lonely and scary way to live, so she was happy Juleka had a supportive big brother like Luka and had found love with Rose.

“Rosie I think everyone is being a little quick to judge Marinette. And maybe not for the first time.” The last part was mumbled so soft Marinette almost hadn’t heard. “Nino….he knows his own mind and feeling. I don’t think he would break up with Alya just because someone talked him into it. I mean….no one could ever talk me into leaving you.” Marinette had to admit that it was brave for Juleka to speak up for her, even if it was just between herself and Rose. She motioned that she and Chloe should leave the two alone.

“Wow who knew the wallflower had it in her.” Chloe marveled when they were a safe distance away.

“That was pretty brave of Juleka to speak up.” Marinette said thoughtfully, she had a warm familiar feeling in her chest. But before she could focus on it both their phones went off. It was the akuma alert.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stephanie jumped a little when she heard several phone alarms go off. It must be that monster alert Tim told her about. Sure enough every Paris kid in sight was pulling off their phone and talking in hushed tones about the akuma, it’s location, and how the two Team Miraculous members were handling it.

From what she was able to overhear it seemed like the two members Viperion and Ryuko had been showing up to the scene first. This led to rumors about their leader Ladybug. That she was giving up on Paris, that she was being dramatic to come in at the last minute to save the day, that Ladybug wasn’t the leader anymore, and the list went on. Did Gothamites talk about Batman and the others like this or was this the outlook of a bunch of teenagers? God she felt old.There was a lot of drama that was going on with this group.

Unsurprising the Lila girl seemed to be egging everyone on. Her comments would seem innocent to the average observer. But there was nothing average about her skills. She hated to admit but this girl was good. Steph honestly hadn’t really noticed because she had been busy with that Alya girl who just had apparently been broken up with and that was somehow Marinette’s fault. She honestly didn’t know how that one worked but okay. Honestly it seemed like a lot of that drama was being stirred up by these little ‘innocent’ comments and questions from Lila

She didn’t have to feign curiosity over what was going on and got a rather tall boy named Kim to show her his phone. As it turned out not just anyone could get this app, much to Tim’s annoyance, you had to live in Paris.

Some of the t=other students cheered. “What?” Step had to ask.

“It’s Honey Flash!” Kim exclaimed. “They just announced that she and Ladybug showed up. It’s been a little while since Honey Flash has been seen. Which has been a little weird.”

“As weird as Ladybug not showing up right away?” Steph pressed.

“Yeah I guess.” Kim replied sounding a little distracted.

Steph found that interesting. When had changed in the last few akumas that the team leader wouldn’t be on top of things? Whe Ladybug had come to the cave she seemed completely in control. Even Alfred said not to question the young heroine.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ladybug was relieved when the battle was over. “Miraculous Ladybug!” she shouted before throwing her yo-yo into the air. As soon as she saw the akuma she knew she would need Chloe. It had been a bull themed akuma who kept charging around to destroy the city. Which meant they needed Honey Flash to immobilize the akuma with Venom. So she had gone back to Gotham to get Chloe.

They had ducked into a bathroom and risked locking the door. The battle hadn’t lasted long. Having a team was pretty amazing. Before there had been times when an akuma had taken hours between herself and Chat. She turned to her team and smiled. “Good job everyone.” she praised.

“I had to admit I had my doubts but things have been working out well enough.” Ryuko admitted

“That’s her way of saying she had been nervous about so much responsibility.” Viperion smiled.

Ladybug nodded, she had to admit that it was a lot of responsibility to be the city’s first defense. “I always had faith in you guys. Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked you to take care of Paris while Honey Flash and myself were gone.”

“Yeah this is touching but I’m on my last warning and we need to get back.” Honey Flash announced.

Ladybug nodded, it wouldn’t do to transform back in such an open place. “Take care.” she smiled before summoning Kaalki
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Marinette there you are!”

Marinette jumped a little and looked with wide eyes at Barbara Gordon. “O-oh were you looking for me?” she asked hoping she didn’t sound as nervous as she felt. The woman was looking at her with such a deep searching look.

“The akuma alert went off on everyone’s phone and everyone seemed to gather to watch together but I noticed you and Chloe were missing. Stephanie and I were a little worried.”

“Oh...um…..” she stammered nervously

“Both Marinette and I went to go try and get a hold of our parents.” Chloe stepped in saving the day. “Daddy converted the basement into an akuma safety shelter so I like to make sure the guests are okay. The Dupain-Cheng bakery has been involved in collateral damage a lot. Enough times so that Marinette likes to make sure her parents are emotionally recovered.”

She said it with so much confidence that Marintte latched on. “That’s right!”

Blue eyes blinked at the two of the and Marinette was sure that Barbara didn’t believe them for a second. “Oh...well okay. Lunch is about to be served so we need everyone to come to the lobby.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Babs rolled away from the girls and back to Stephanie. She couldn’t put her finger on it but she had the feeling that Marinette and Chloe had been lying just now. But what reason would they have to lie just now? What had they gone off from the others to do? She would think all the Paris students would be glued to their phones. Were they embarrassed by how worried they were or did they just not want to attract attention to themselves?”

“Everything okay?” Steph asked

“I’m not sure.” she answered carefully. “I think there is something I need to look into.”

Chapter Text

To say the rest of Marinette’s day was stressful was an understatement. Not only did she and Chloe still have to deal with the rest of their class thinking she had broken up Paris’ number one couple but she couldn’t help that sometimes Barbs as she was affectionately referred to the night before watching her. Chloe tried to tell her she was being paranoid but Marinette couldn’t shake the feeling that the red head knew something.

It was a relief to get back to Wayne Manor where it was quiet and she could actually think. When she got up to the room with Chloe she was surprised to see Plagg was waiting on her pillow. “Hey Plagg.” she smiled “How has your search gone?”

“Uh….yeah about that.” Plagg began a little nervously.

“Did you not find a holder?” Tikki asked.

“No...I did….” Plagg replied.

Marinette had a bad feeling. “Are they a true holder?” she asked. She refused to accept anything less than that. No one would be put at risk for her. If need be she would just have to continue being La Dame Chat. Plagg hadn’t been gone that long so she was worried he had cut corners. “Plagg tell the truth please.”

“He’s a true black cat.” the kwamii reluctantly admitted.

“Plagg that’s great!” Tikki exclaimed. ‘What’s his name.”

“Jason Todd.”

The room was absolutely silent. Chloe was the first to recover. “Wait….Jason as in Jason Todd the tall bruiser ready to throw down at a moment's notice?!”

Marinette wasn’t sure why Plagg hesitated so much to give the name. Sure it was a surprise that Jason was this generation’s true holder of the black cat miraculous. Though thinking back to that night he helped her focus her energy this made sense. She wasn’t sure what had happened to make him know what to do with excess destructive energy, but he had really saved her..

“Plagg…..what aren’t you telling us?” Tikki demanded. Marinette wasn’t surprised that Tikki thought there was more to the story. These two had been together since the beginning.

“Jason Todd is Red Hood!” the cat kwami blurted out. They all started.

“Wait…..what?” Chloe asked.

“My true holder is the Red Hood!” Plagg exclaimed. “He’s a criminal! A crime boss! I can’t let him be my holder!”
“But Plagg Marinette can’t keep combining out miraculouses. It’s too much strain!” Tikki exclaimed. “She could lose her mind if your power overwhelms her!”

Marinette sat down on the bed. This was a lot to take in. She understood Plagg’s worry but now she had to figure out what to do with the information she had just been given. Plagg had dropped a huge bomb on her and Chloe. How should she approach him? Should she approach Jason or Red Hood? Would it be better to try and talk to him as Ladybug or Marinette. She tried to imagine how she would want to be approached by some one who knew she was Ladybug. What if Jason refused? After all he had said that he wasn’t a hero. She didn’t think that anti-hero spin would work for the citizens of Paris. They needed to have faith in Team Miraculous! She needed to think. “I need to bake something!” she exclaimed, jumping to her feet. Baking always helped her focus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alfred had just finished dusting when he noticed Miss Marinette coming down the stairs looking agitated and distracted. Not that he knew her very well but this seemed rather out of character for what he had seen of the energetic young lady.

“Miss Marinette, is something wrong?” he asked politely.

She looked up and seemed a little surprised but smiled anyways. “Oh hello Mr. Alfred…..I was a little distracted just now.” she admitted

“I could tell.” he replied with a wry smile. “Is there anything I can help you with?”

“Oh….um I was just on my way to the kitchen. I was wondering if it would be okay to bake something again.”

Alfred couldn’t help but smile. “You are very welcome to use our kitchen. Sadly not as much lovely baking gets done these days. What are you planning to make?”

Marinette seemed to think about it for a moment. “I’m honestly not sure just yet. Baking helps my mind focus.”

“Well it is time for my afternoon tea but I won’t get in your way.” Alfred smiled.

“Oh no the kitchen is so big and I would be happy to have your company!” Marinette reassured him.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was happy to have Mr. Alfred in the kitchen again, she had enjoyed his company so much that morning. He had a calming aura about him. Going to the pantry she gathered basic baking ingredients, it was best to start with common ingredients and then go from there since she wasn’t really sure what she was going to make.
“Care to share what’s on your mind Miss Marinette?” Mr. Alfred asked as he put a kettle on the stove.

Marinette thought about what she could say about the situation. “Well….I need some help with something. And I think I found someone but in the process I kind of found out some personal details about them. So I’m not sure how to approach them.” she sighed.

The elderly butler didn’t say anything right away and seemed to be thinking. “Well….it’s not as if you went out of your way to learn those personal details correctly?”

“Right.” Marinette sighed.

“Perhaps you can explain yourself to this person first.” He poured the water into his tea pot and let the tea start to brew. “Though before this person makes their choice admit what you know of them, be honest and perhaps share some personal information about yourself in the process. This way you will be on even footing.””

Marinette thought about this and her eyes went wide. “That’s a great idea!” she exclaimed.

The rest of the afternoon passed in pleasant conversation with Mr. Alfred. He spoke about his life in England and his life living and working with the Waynes. She could tell that even though he was working at his age he was very happy. Marinette hadn’t been thinking about what she was making, just focusing enough not to burn anything. She was quite pleased with the Victoria sponge cake she had made. It was simple but elegant. It didn’t need to be fancy with crazy frosting decorations or colors.

“I think this will pair quite nicely with afternoon tea tomorrow.” she smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette had honestly felt guilty that she knew Jason’s secret identity. She knew she would hate knowing someone out there knew she was Ladybug, but then again magic protected her and the others from being recognized. Otherwise someone would have connected her to Ladybug years ago. Especially that one time she was supposed to dress up as Ladybug while Adrien had dressed as Chat Noir.

It certainly didn’t help that now that she knew who Red Hood was, the rest of Batman’s team became quite clear, in fact it all seemed so obvious now. Especially Nightwing, he was just so energetic and happy, how could he be anyone besides Dick Grayson? Red Hood’s attitude about being a hero made more sense, she got the feeling that while Jason hung around he didn’t like to play happy family and instead marched to his own drum.

Tall and stoic Batman was Bruce Wayne, they had the same build and Marinette had felt while he had been friendly at dinner he was holding back. Batman had a heavy burden on his shoulders.Blonde and sassy Spoiler had to be Stephanie while calm and quiet Cass was Black Bat. She hadn’t met Red Robin but she had spent a lot of time talking to Tim. It was clear who Red Robin was after reading his exasperating response’s to Harley on twitter. The last member of the team was Robin, she hadn’t gotten a feel for the super hero, but the last option was Damian who she had spent time with. All these secrets were pressing down on her.

She hoped that she hadn’t seemed strange at dinner. Marinette had tried to sound as cheerful and she normally did. It helped that Dick had been his normal talkative self. He was happy to announce that tomorrow night his wife and daughter would be visiting. They had been visiting his wife’s Kori’s family. Kori sounded absolutely delightful and their five year old daughter Mar’i sounded adorable.

An interesting fact was that Dick said Kori was a Tamaranean, though he had seemed a little nervous about this. Though Marinette wasn’t sure why. She had heard that after the super hero Starfire came to earth eventually she had gotten some of her people to visit Earth. Though they didn’t have any in Paris.

Dick had kept them all entertained with stories and Marinette already knew she wanted to make something special since tomorrow night’s dinner would be a welcome back home dinner.

“Marinette Jason is in his room and he’s alone.” Plagg announced.

“Finally!” Chloe exclaimed.

“He must have just gotten back from his patrol as Red Hood.” Marinette explained.

“Are you sure you need to do this by yourself?” Chloe asked.

“Yes.” Marinette answered. “Plagg….Kaalki….it’s time. Tikki spots on!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jason yawned as he stepped into his guest room. He did a light patrol since he was helping out with the Paris class tomorrow. They were going to the Gotham Open Markets and he had a sense about when someone was being ripped off. This was Gotham and he didn’t doubt that there would be plenty of vendors who would take advantage of the Paris brats.

Suddenly a blue circle opened up, his eyes went wide at the familiar sight, and a moment later Ladybug stepped into his room.

“Jason Peter Todd-Wayne, my name is Ladybug. I am the guardian of Paris and I need your help.” she announced.

Jason was shocked and didn’t say anything for several minutes. “Holy shit!”

Chapter Text

Jason starred as his brain was still trying to process what had just happened. What on earth could Ladybug need Jason Todd for? Not that it would make any more sense for her to need something from Red Hood. But even though it didn’t make sense he kind of liked the idea of someone needing something from him as Jason rather than Red Hood.The last time someone wanted something from just Jason was when Bruce….nope! He was shutting down that thought right there. Still, it felt nice to pretend he could do something like this. “Look I’m not sure what you are doing here but I seriously doubt I can help you.” he sighed.

Ladybug smiled at him, and Jason couldn’t explain that smile made him feel like everything would work out. He didn’t know how….but it was a good feeling. “To explain I need to start at the start. In this world there is a group of small gods, each born when a new idea or concept comes into being. The first was Tikki, the kwami of creation, this is the kwami that gives me her blessing to become Ladybug. But she is one side of a coin, with her comes Plagg the kwami of destruction. You can not have one without the other because that leads to disaster.”

Jason didn’t have the heart to tell Ladybug he had already heard all this. Well that and it would give away his identity as Red Hood. Jason pushed down the bad feeling at that thought. Ladybug had no idea who she was talking to. He pushed the thought away and focused on the story.

“In every generation there is one soul born who is a true holder for one of the miraculous jewels, who are the perfect match for their kwami. I am the true holder of the Ladybug miraculous and Tikki is my perfect match. Your soul is a match for Plagg, Jason you are the true holder of the Black Cat miraculous.

Jason felt like he had been punched in the gut. Ladybug had come to him because he was the perfect match for the god of destruction? Yeah that sounds about right
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ladybug could see that Jason was hurt and confused, so she hurried to explain. “Jason in you is the potential power of destruction. It is easy to assume that this is a bad thing. But you take that darkness inside you and control it. You do not let it consume you. You do all you can to help others.”

“Look I’m not a hero or anything.” Jason interrupted “I hurt people.”

“Yes. But what people forget is sometimes the important thing is not what you do but why you do it. You have made Crime Alley the territory of your criminal empire.” she began noting that Jason wouldn’t meet her gaze. “But since you’ve taken over the crime rate has gone down and less innocent people get hurt. You visit the orphanages and bring the children food and clothing. For those poor children who don’t trust the system you try to look out for them as well. You even look out for the sex workers on the streets. You have a destructiveness in you Jason….but you help protect the innocent.”

He was looking at her in amazement. “You…..you know who I am?” he asked. “About being Red Hood, and you still want my help? Lady are you crazy?!” Ladybug couldn’t help but laugh at his outburst.

“I see the good in you Jason, even if you don’t.” She could see that he didn’t know what to say she decided to move on to the next part of her plan. “Jason I would like you to meet someone. This is Plagg, the kwami of destruction.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason was in a state of shock. He had assumed that Ladybug had made a mistake and was just waiting for her to realize it. But instead she told him that she knew all about him, the good and the bad. He knew he was a crime boss, that he had killed before, and she accepted that with grace and a smile.

His eyes widened when Ladybug held out a ring that soon glowed bright causing him to squint. When he opened his eyes again he stared at the creature floating in front of him. “Is that a bug….a cat…..a bug cat?”

The small black bug cat made an insulted noise while Ladybug giggled. “I said something very similar when I met Tikki, my kwami.” she smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Plagg glared at his potential new holder. “I am not a bug cat! I am a kwami, the god of destruction! I have been here since the beginning of existence!”

“Sorry little guy….it’s a little hard to keep in mind when you look like a little girl’s stuffed toy.” Jason explained.

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover….aw man I sound like Sugarcube” he groaned. “Well I don’t know…..ask me about the worst disaster in the world and I bet I can explain it.”

“Where did the Lazarus pits come from?” Jason asked.

Plagg groaned. “Seriously? Man that’s such an embarrassing story.” Well he had agreed to give an honest answer. “Well….it started when I decided to eat some meat that I found outside….one thing led to another…..and I got sick to my stomach.”

“What the fuck?!” Jason shouted. “You are not fucking serious?!”

“Um….what is a Lazarus pit?” Ladybug asked, looking confused.

“It was the result of bad life choices.” Plagg answered.

“It’s a pit of weird green liquid that has the power to bring back the dead.” Jason scowled. “But dead is dead and that’s how it should stay!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I said I was sorry.” Plagg whined as Jason glared at him. Ladybug shook her head. They were getting off topic. But that did explain how Jason had been able to help her that night. They had both been touched by Plagg’s magic.

“Jason can you do something for me?” she asked sweetly, holding out Plagg’s ring. “Can you put on this ring and then say Plagg claws out for me?”

Jason looked at her in confusion as he put on the ring. “Uh…..Plagg claws out.”

Chapter Text

Perhaps it was a little wrong to not tell Jason what was going to happen. But things would go faster this way. Jason did not seem like one who would readily agree to the transformation. Tikki had explained things a lot more but Ladybug was pretty sure it was because she had needed that time to calm down and do what needed to be done. She doubted Plagg had given Adrien much instructions. While they had waited she had sent both Plagg and Tikki to find out more about Red Hood. What they found confirmed what she had felt once the shock wore off. The idea of Jason Todd being the next Black Cat had been a surprise, but the more she thought about it the more how she felt around him made sense.

At first she had been a little wary, she would never forget how obsessed Adrien had gotten toward the end. But Plagg assured her it was the negative effects of not having the right soul. Yes the Ladybug and Black Cat were connected, the Black Cat was meant to help protect Ladybug while Ladybug kept the Black Cat from becoming too destructive. Jason had been like a protective big brother from the moment they met, even as Red Hood he had looked out for her and Chloe.

Ladybug had watched several people use a miraculous to transform into a superhero and it was always different. Watching Jason transform made her wonder about Adrien’s transformation into Chat Noir. Who would Jason be. The transformation didn’t take long. Tikki had said each miraculous holder was different and no two looked alike with the same miraculous. Still Ladybug was surprised by just how Jason looked. Chat Noir had been lithe in a fully bodysuit. Jason was so much bigger, his body more defined. He had black leather pants and combat boots, there was a collar and bell as well as a belt like tail just like Chat Noir. His top was sleeveless showing off his strength and on his hands were black clawed gloves that went to his wrist. The mask and ears were exactly the same as Chat Noir.

“What the hell just happened?!”
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Jason watched wide eyed after he said what Ladybug requested of him. Plagg gasped and tried to protest before he was sucked into the ring, it was the best way to describe it. What followed...well if was hard to put into words. His body moved on its own and he felt a new energy course through his body. It was a little like pit madness but it was so much more, it was a lot to handle but he felt like he could handle it. And then he was striking some kind of pose. He jerked back and stood upright trying to get a good look at himself. Was that a tail behind him and… “Why do I have cat ears?!”

“By saying the phrase claws out you triggered the cat miraculous transformation.” Ladybug explained.

“What the hell?! You turned me into some magical cat boy?!” he demanded. When had his life turned into an anime?!

“Well that’s not exactly right.” Ladybug said in an amused tone that he did not appreciate. “This seemed the fastest way to do this. How do you feel?”
“I feel….good.” Jason replied. “I mean...I can feel the power of destruction flowing through me, but it’s not like when my pit madness flares up.”

“Your what?” Ladybug asked, looking confused.

“Nevermind. So….what do I have to do now?” he asked.

“You are my partner, you have enhanced speed, agility, stamina, and strength. Your main power is the Cataclysm which will destroy one item no matter what it’s made out of. Normally for myself and the other members of Team Miraculous are young and after we use our main powers we transform back to our civilian self, you as an adult might be different. I know adult holders are different from younger ones.”

“We’re partners?” Jason asked. “I usually work alone. No offense.”

“I understand, I will only call on you when necessary.” A sad look came over her face. “The Cat and Ladybug miraculous must always be in circulation together. After Chat Noir retired I would combine the two and become La Dame Chat. I’m sorry to force this on you but to continue to do this would have overwhelmed me and I would have lost my mind.”

Jason felt a surge of protectiveness rise up in him. He would not let Ladybug suffer if he could help her in any way. “You need a partner….well you got one.” he announced. “Um….if you don’t mind me asking what happened to your old partner?”

“His name was Chat Noir.” she replied looking sad. “Because he wasn’t a true holder he was corrupted, but I didn’t know that was something that could happen. He was convinced he was in love with me and playful flirting became more and more aggressive. Thankfully he never crossed a line he couldn’t come back from. His memories of being Chat Noir were removed and he is now a normal teenage boy.”

Jason felt anger swell up in him at the thought that some creepy little brat had made advances on Ladybug. He went down on one knee. “I will protect you until the day I die Ladybug.” he swore.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ladybug was taken aback by the show of loyalty, she had not expected it but was touched all the same. “There is no need for that.” she assured Jason as she pulled him to his feet. “Now that you have accepted your role you need a name.”

Jason was quiet and seemed to be thinking carefully. “Midnight….call me Midnight.”

“Alright.” she nodded. “Welcome Midnight to Team Miraculous. To transform back you just say claws in or when you run out of steam your ring will give you a warning to give you time to find somewhere private. It’s rather late so there’s no time to go out to practice but hopefully you won’t be needed before I can help you get used to being Midnight. But even if that does happen I have faith in you. But before I go I must advise you against telling anyone your alter ego. You could put innocent people in danger.’

“Uh I think my friends and family can handle themselves.” Midnight snorted.

“Humor me please?” Ladybug requested.

“Look I can try but the Bats know how to figure shit out.” Midnight sighed. “Pretty sure one look at me and they’ll know everything.”

“Actually part of the miraculous magic keeps others from putting two and two together. No one who sees Midnight will automatically connect him to Jason Todd.”

“I will do my best.” Midnight promised.

“One last thing. I found out your secret by accident and I’m sorry. Normally I would have waited on this. But as partners we need to be on equal footing.” she explained. She and Chat Noir had never been on that level even though they worked great together.

“What is it?” Midnight asked.

Ladybug took a deep breath. It was the moment of truth. “Tikki…..spots off.”

“Marinette?!”

Chapter Text

Midnight gave Ladybug a puzzled look when she said they should be on equal footing. “Tikki….spots off.” He watched in amazement as a bright light that started at her feet and traveled up her body, and when that light faded his jaw dropped.

“Marinette?!” he gasped. Pixie Pop was Ladybug?! How was that possible?!

Marinette smiled at him. “From the moment we met you’ve been protecting me.” she pointed out. Midnight blinked as it hit him like a truck.

“Claws in.” He watched Plagg come back out of his ring. Plagg floated over to Marinette and she pulled a little bag out of her pocket. His nose wrinkled when she opened it. “What the hell is that smell?!”

“It’s the best smell in the world!” Plagg sighed happily as he stuffed something into his mouth.

“A kwami will eat whatever food their holder gives them, but each one has their favorite food.” Marinette explained. “Plagg likes cheese and unfortunately for you stinky Camembert is his favorite.”

“Aw man.” Jason groaned.

“No one understands good cheese.” Plagg grumbled.

A flash of red caught Jason’s eye as Marinette gave a small red kwami what looked like a macaron. This must be Tikki. Jason laughed a little, he could see why Ladybug had found his reaction to Plagg so amusing. He understood that she was a ladybug but if he didn’t know any better he would have called her a bug-mouse but like he had called Plagg a bug-cat.

Once she was fed Tikki floated over to him. “Hi! My name is Tikki, it’s so nice to meet you.”

Jason found himself smiling in return. Leave it to Pixie Pop to have such a cute little kwami. “Nice to meet you too.”

“So you’re like rich right?” Plagg asked. “I mean….son of Bruce Wayne….plus you’re Red Hood! So I expect you to be able to buy me a lot of cheese okay?”

 

“Plagg Tikki gasped. “Don’t be so rude! Your holder will feed you what they want!”

Jason laughed at Tikki’s scolding. “Don’t worry little guy. I’ll hook you up.”

“Kwamis need to eat after you transform back.” Marinette explained. “Plagg does eat more than a normal kwami. Though for now I would like to keep Plagg with me so he can be with Tikki. When we need Midnight we’ll come to you.”

Jason wasn’t sure how he felt about that. On one hand he still didn’t know exactly how he felt about this new hero gig after so many years as the black sheep of his vigilante family, but on the other hand he didn’t want to let Marinette down. He was pretty sure part of the reason she wanted to keep Plagg with her was because she was worried about forcing this onto him. Well he would show her! He’d figure this shit out and be the best partner she ever had.

“Tomorrow night we’ll go out so you can get used to your new abilities. It’s a lot to take in at first.” Marinette smiled. “When I first became Ladybug I was kind of a disaster. I was thinking that it would be best to start in Gotham since you are familiar with the city.”

Midnight wasn’t thrilled by this idea. “Do we have to do it in Gotham? I don’t want anyone to recognize me.” He wasn’t like the others and had always had his helmet to hide his identity. “There aren’t as many of us going out with you and Chloe staying to give the illusion that we are normal but there are still people protecting the city.”

Marinette’s smile was understanding. “There is magic to protect your identity. I once won a contest and had to dress up as Ladybug no one knew it was me even though the only thing I changed was I didn’t wear the mask. I was hoping we would go to Paris when it was time to introduce you to the others.”

Jason couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. “You mean the rest of Team Miraculous?”

“Yes.” Marinette replied.

“Were they close to Chat Noir? You think they’ll accept me?” he asked

“None of them knew him well. Honey Flash knows him slightly better. I don’t think you have to worry. I will tell them that we have shared our identities so they know our level of trust. But it’s up to you to tell them who you are.”

“Is that normal? Knowing who you guys are when not saving the day?” he asked curiously.

“Actually no.” Marinette admitted. “Your identity is supposed to be your most guarded secret. This is also the first time so many miraculouses have been in circulation. Before I formed Team Miraculous it was Chat Noir and myself. Whenever I needed some other power I would approach someone and offer them the miraculous with the condition to return it when the job was done. I didn’t even know Chat Noir’s identity until the end. Those who ended up as my team had proven how loyal and true hearted they are, so I knew I could trust them to both be a permanent holder and to know my identity. It actually took a lot of pressure off me.”

“I can imagine.” Jason replied “It’s getting pretty late you better get to bed. Your room isn’t too far from my own.” He peeked out into the hallway to make sure the coast was clear.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The next morning Marinette woke up feeling better than she had in a long time. It felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She hadn’t realized how much added pressure controlling the cat miraculous had caused. It had just been one more responsibility she had taken onto her plate without question. Maybe Chloe was right and she was too responsible. But she hadn’t seen any other options, Master Fu said both the ladybug and cat miraculouses needed to be in circulation together.

“You seem to be in a good mood.” Chloe commented as they got ready. Marinette had gotten up early to bake with Alfred again and now the two of them were getting ready for the last field trip.

“Everything just went so well last night.” Marinette answered. “Way better than I expected.I thought Jason would hate the idea. But I think he feels our bond. I even apologized to him, but when he heard what might happen if I kept being La Dame Chat he swore to protect me.”

“Classy.” Chloe smiled.

“I’m going to go out with him tonight to try and get him used to things and hopefully before he’s needed as Midnight we can all meet and get to know one another. Remember Chloe I’m leaving it completely up to you, Kagami, and Luka to reveal your secret identities. Just because I told him right away doesn’t mean you guys should feel you have to.” Of course Chloe already knew who Midnight was but there was no helping that.

“I’ll tell him in my own time.” Chloe assured her. “All set?”

“You bet.” Marinette smiled. For their last outfits they were both Justice League members. Chloe was Black Canary while Marinette was Zatanna. Marinette had a little trouble figuring out how to make both outfits so they didn’t break any school dress codes. Chloe had really wanted to be Black Canary so Marinette had thought about who else in the Justice League she liked, having magic seemed pretty cool. Both girls had black shorts on. Marinette wore black shorts with a white top and a black tuxedo jacket with tails. She also wore boots that went all the way up to her knees and a top hat with her hair down for a change.

Chloe wore black shorts as well but instead of fishnet stocking she wore tights that were a very pale purple, almost grey. He black top was just short of being a little risque thanks to the half purple leather jacket she wore. Her normally straight hair was slightly curled and a black choker and ankle boots completed the outfit.
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Chloe sat at the breakfast table enjoying some of Marinette’s delicious freshly baked almond croissants. She looked up when Jason stumbled in looking like a zombie. “Late night?” she asked, raising an eyebrow as he sat down after pouring himself some coffee.

“I’m not used to being up this morning.” Jason muttered.

Chloe let him enjoy his coffee for a few moments before starting to hum. Jason gave her a puzzled frown before taking a long drink of coffee.

“What are you humming?” Dick asked as he ate his third blueberry muffin.

Chloe smiled like the cat who ate the canary. “Oh it’s this song that’s been stuck in my head. The lyrics are just so catchy.

“Oh?” Dick asked with interest. “How do they go?”

“Midnight…..you come and pick me up no headlights.” she sang while making eye contact with Jason. “Long drive….could end in burning flames or paradise.”

Jason choked on his coffee and Dick jumped to his feet, and went to help Jason. Though Jason waved Dick off who was hitting him on the back. He had kept eye contact with her the entire time. So she smiled sweetly at him.

“Something the matter Jason?” Her tone was perfectly innocent. “Oh? Are you admiring my charm on my choker. It’s a honey bee. That black choker was so plain that I wanted a little bit of color.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette could see the moment when it clicked for Jason and he figured out the hidden meaning that was not hidden at all to three people in the room. When she had said Chloe could reveal herself to Jason when she was ready she thought it would be after his official introduction as Midnight to Team Miraculous. She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Chloe no.” she sighed eyes closed

“Chloe yes.” Chloe countered. Marinette didn’t need to look up to know she was smirking.

“Am I…..missing something?” Dick asked.

“No.” Three voices answered him.

Chapter Text

Damian was slightly concerned about the last field trip the Paris class was going on. They were going to Gotham open market, which was nice except for the fact that this was Gotham and the odds of someone getting taken advantage of was pretty much a given. Marinette already had enough difficulties with her class. He had to admit that at least Todd was going with them, though he did find that he wished that he too could escort the group. That explosion on the docks last month when he had been patrolling with Todd was not his fault! Richard had completely over reacted to the situation. Cass would also be there. Damian had to admit that Richard was wise in his arrangement of chaperons.

Dressed in his school uniform Damian went downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast, before he got to the room he could smell fresh baked goods and couldn’t help but smile a little, though just before he stepped into the kitchen he school his face into a passive mask so Richard wouldn’t be weird about him smiling. The idiot would surely try to link it to their guests and be annoying.

“Good morning Master Damian.” Pennyworth greeted him. “What would you like for breakfast?”

“Yogurt and fruit please.” Damian politely requested. He raised a brow at seeing Todd at the breakfast table for the second morning in a row. He had thought that he would meet Richard and the others at the open markets. But maybe he was drawn back to the Manor not just by Pennyworth’s cooking but also Marinette’s baking.

“Good morning Damian.” a melodic voice greeted him. “Did you sleep well?”

Damian opened his mouth to answer but felt his throat go dry, trapping the words, as he watched Marinette set a plate of freshly baked croissants on the table. She was dressed as Zatanna and Damian wasn’t sure how he felt about that. Wasn’t that a bit...risque? He noted that her companion Chloe was dressed as Black Canary. “Good morning.” he finally managed to get out as a bowl was placed in front of him. He was pleased that Pennyworth had also gotten him a cup of chai tea without him needing to ask.
~~~~~~~~~~
Jason watched as Marinette and Dick talked about dinner that night. He was pretty sure Pixie Pop had figured out who everyone in his family was. After all once you spent a little time with them in and out of uniform for the most part it was pretty obvious. But they were all experts of keeping their lives in uniform separate from their lives out of them. If Dick’s cop buddies in Bludhaven spent more than five minutes with Nightwing they would put two and two together. B had his Brucie persona, gag, to keep him safe. His Red Hood helmet changed his own voice so he didn’t really care. Demon Brat never let anyone close to him either way, but if he had his attention on you for more than ten seconds you started to look for an escape route.

Well most people that it, he watched as Damian sat down and greeted Marinette. She seemed to be the exception to the rule. Though now that he was seeing things up close he could see that Damian was being a little different. He watched as Damian’s eyes widened just a touch and he seemed to be a bit at a loss for words.

It seemed like Pixie Pop had a special effect on every member of their group. Damint if that girl didn’t work her way into everyone’s heart. Even Poison Ivy and Harley adored her. Though back to his original train of thought, and that was Demon Brat. He had definitely been a little different since Marinette came into their lives. Usually girls avoided him, only the bravest of future trophy wives dared to try and hit him up at charity events Bruce forced him to go to, Jason was pretty sure all the girls at Gotham Academy had given up barking up that tree. After all it had been months since they had gotten a letter from the school saying he had made a female classmate cry.

He guessed something had happened at the garden trip, something the resulted in Damian feeling the need to buy Marinette a new pen. Damian had been far more welcoming than any of them had expected. There had even been a couple of times when he had blushed. Holy shit did their Baby Bat have his first crush?! Oh Dick was going to be all over this once he noticed. As he ate his breakfast he listened to Dick tell Marinette more about his wife and daughter, he wondered if she had figured out Kory was Starfire. He was willing to bet she wouldn’t figure it out until they met, after all it wasn’t common knowledge the Nightwing and Starfire were together. He didn’t doubt at all that Pixie Pop was going to plan some special dessert.

“Yo we better get going or else we’re going to be late.” he announced. “Honestly I wouldn't mind if those little shits in your class get ripped off.” He noticed the dirty look Dick was shooting him. “But unfortunately I agreed to be a responsible adult today.” Jason was pretty sure if he had rolled his eyes any harder he would have pulled a muscle.

“That is a horrifying prospect.” Damian deadpanned. Sadly Jason agreed. He much preferred to be his normal irresponsible self

“Damian, that’s not very nice.” Marinette lightly scolded. “I’m sure Jason will do a very good job.”

“I suppose for an outing to the Gotham Market Todd is one of the best people you can have accompanying you.” Damian seemed to reluctantly agree. Jason didn’t move, he didn’t even want to breathe unless it broke the moment. Instead of calling Marinette a foolish female like he would have with almost anyone else. Jason had lost count how many times Dick had begged him not to refer to girls or women as females, but Damian ignored him every time. “You will also have Cass with you. I suppose it is the best one could hope for. Though if a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. The Gotham Market is filled with swindlers. It would probably be best to just stay close to Todd.”

“Well I don’t really plan to do much shopping. I’m hoping to get inspiration for my and Chloe’s gala dresses.” Marinette answered.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“As interesting as hearing about fashion is we have to bounce!” Jason announced.

Marinette decided to take pity on him so she agreed. “You’re right Jason.” she said as she stood up. She tried to help clean up but was instead shooed out of the kitchen by Alfred. Suddenly it was just Jason, Chloe and herself as they headed towards the front door.

“So….thanks to Chloe having the subtlety of a wrecking ball in use I’m sure you have some questions.” she said dryly.

“What the hell?!” Jason quietly demanded. “Why didn’t you tell me Chloe was part of the team?!”

“It’s not my secret to tell.” Marinette replied. “I plan to let them know I’ve revealed my identity to you but it will be up to them when they are ready to do the same. And in return you are under no obligation to share your identity. I hope that you will but it’s your choice.”

“I figured you would doubt the magic the miraculous talismans have. So I decided to show you how well they work.” Chloe replied. “Mari said she’s going to take you out training.”

“Um….why do you know I’m Midnight?” Jason asked with a frown.

Marinette knew this could turn into an argument. “Chloe was with me when Plagg reported that he had found you. I told her she could reveal her identity in her own time. I should have known she would not just do it in her own time but in her own style.” she said sounding amused as they walked out the front door. She was rather surprised that instead of a limo were two motorcycles, with Cass standing by one.

“Yeah I don’t really do limos.” Jason announced as he handed her a helmet. “You’re with me Pixie Pop.”

Chapter Text

Life as Ladybug was anything but ordinary. Marinette had seen and done a lot that most people could never even dream of. She had been on top of the Eiffel Tower more times than anyone. As Ladybug she had been pushed and jumped off and swung around the tower more times than she could count, and yet if given the option she would rather do any of those things than ride on the back of Jason’s motorcycle. That at least she knew and could control, though those first few times had been pretty intense.

“You drive like an absolute lunatic!” she complained after getting off the bike and taking off her helmet.

“It’s not that bad. Dick is way worse.” Jason said in his own defense. Marinette made a mental note to never go on a bike ride with dick. Before she could say anything a shrill voice interrupted them.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng what are you wearing?!” Ms. Marabelle demanded in a practical screech as she charged over. Marinette looked at her teacher and saw her classmates staring. From the way Lila was whispering to Alya and had no doubt she was stirring everyone into a frenzy. Which wasn’t surprising in the least.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason watched as the pathetic excuse for a teacher came over to do her job. Funny how she often forgot about doing that. She was dead wrong of course but he supposed she got some points for effort. Unfortunately this bitch was about to be put in her place.

“Miss Dupain-Cheng and Bourgeois! While I am aware that this trip is meant to be relaxing and fun that does not mean you may wear whatever you want” Miss….whatever her name was scolded. Jason had no idea what the stupid teacher’s name was and he didn’t care that he didn’t know. “You will return to your lodgings and change or you will not be allowed to return!”

Marinette smiled and Jason almost leaned forward. Oooooooh he liked that smile, it promised a good show. “Well actually Miss Marabelle.” Marinette began as she pulled something out of the little black leather backpack purse she wore. “I made all my outfits according to the school’s dress code guide lines. I have a copy if you need to review it. And also a measuring tape if you feel you need it.” Her tone was pleasant and sweet with just a hint of ‘I know I’m right’. It was wonderful. Jason was so happy this pixie girl had come into his life.
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Chloe was LOVING this side of Marinette. Honestly if she had met this Marinette years ago they would have been friends from the start. Chloe appreciated a nice back bone. The old Marinette had been so sickly sweet that it had made Chloe want to gag. Sweet perfect Marinette, everyone liked her and she didn’t even have to try. She even had a pair of loving parents who took an active interest in her day to day life. Chloe could hardly say the thing about her own parents.

Okay yes Chloe was now in a place where she could admit that she had been jealous of Marinette back then. She made friends so effortlessly, like she wasn’t afraid if people didn’t like her. Her own parents didn’t even care enough to spend quality time with her so why would her peers like her? That was the old Chloe’s reasoning. She pushed others away before they had a chance to reject her. Her only friend in the beginning had been Adrien whom she had known since they were both children sitting around bored at the same dinner party and charity event. Later there had been Sabrina, but as soon as those thoughts came she pushed them away. Sabrina had made her choice and so had she.

A small mean spirited part of Cloe felt satisfaction that Sabrina was not on this trip. Sabrina had always gone where Chloe went and Chloe paid for them both. Her police officer father had not been able to afford the cost of the field trip. And of course Sabrina’s new best friend conveniently had just donated her allowance to some bullshit made up charity right before the due date. Not that Chloe was surprised. She was still bitter as hell and hoped Sabrina was having fun in study hall or wherever the school had stuck her while her class was away. But it was fine, one day Sabrina would see how wrong she was just like all the others.

It was also pretty funny to watch their pathetic excuse for a teacher try to save face. “W-well yes….your outfits may be in line with the school dress code. But not everyone would know that.” the teacher stammered looking to Jason for support.

“Yeah I don’t really care.” Jason said and in one swift action destroyed the plan that adults should stick together. “Sides, the outfits look fine to me.”

“And just who exactly are you?!” Alya rudely demanded. Chloe had seen Lila whispering to her before.

Jason gave her an unimpressed look. “My name is Jason and I will be your chaperon today along with Cass.” he announced.

“You two work for Wayne Enterprise?” Lila asked with wide innocent eyes. Chloe could see where she was attempting to come from. Jason and Cass looked pretty badass standing in front of their bikes. Definitely not your average office workers.

“We wouldn’t be here without out.” Cass answered in a soft calm tone, yet at the same time she stared Lila down until the girl looked away.

Jason stepped in before things got awkward. “Welcome to the Gotham open markets.” he announced. Chloe was tempted to make a face at him for spoiling her fun. “You can find a lot of cool shi….stuff here. But you need to be careful because while the area is nice it’s still Gotham. At least three out of every five vendors will take you for all your worth if at the first chance they get. If a deal sounds too good it probably is. So be careful!”

“Is he implying that we’re stupid?” Chloe glanced behind her when she heard an annoying little whisper.

“Yeah it’s like he’s saying we can’t watch out for ourselves.” Alya huffed.

Chloe rolled her eyes and stayed quiet. There was no point in saying anything.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was really excited for this part of the trip. There was so much to see and do here. It was clear the open market was in what was considered the good part of Gotham. It wasn’t Paris but that was a pretty unfair comparison. Gotham was a city in pain, Marinette honestly wasn’t sure how these people could take it. Maybe they were just so used to it. Or more likely her experience as being Ladybug and her training to be the next guardian was giving her emotional insight.

Master Fu had told her that it might be a good idea to think about what she wanted to do after Hawkmoth was defeated. He said it was good to plan for the future instead of agonizing over the present. And Marinette had to admit that he had a point. Yes she had to focus on the task at hand but she couldn’t let it consume her life. Fu said that as a guardian it would be her job to go to places that needed balance. That hadn’t really made sense….until she got to Gotham. Plus it wasn’t like there was a lot to tie her to Paris. Yes there were her family and three best friends Chloe, Luka, and Kagami. But they all loved her and wanted her to be happy. If some other place than Paris made her happy then that's where they would want her to be.

Not to mention that once Hawkmoth was retired then she would be taking all their miraculous talismans to put back into the box, her own and Jason’s included. There they would all stay until the world needed them again. Not being Ladybug would be sad but at least she would get to still see Tikki and the others at guardian training, and one day all the kwamis would be with her. But to be honest she hoped that wouldn’t happen for a long, long time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason was doing his best to be a mature adult by drifting among the group of Paris brats when he really just wanted to hang out with Marinette, Chloe and Cass. The only teenager he had ever spent time with was Demon Spawn, he was quickly realizing how mature Damian was and how much he appreciated that. Another thing he had learned high school kids had dumb fucking problems.

He was currently keeping an eye on that Lila bitch and the internet tabloid writer without making it obvious that he was doing it. Jason was hearing way too much about dumb teenage girl stuff. Apparently Tabloid’s boyfriend had broken up with her and somehow it was all Marinette’s fault. From the way these girls talked, very loudly, about Marinette you would think she was the goddamn devil. He could understand how the Liar was able to wrap everyone around her little finger. Liar sounded so sympathetic towards her friend but really she was just stirring the pot.

“I don’t know Alya…..you and Nino have been together for years. You are….I mean….were such a great couple.” Liar simpered as she picked up a pair of earrings. That little slip with present and past tense was absolutely masterful. Jason gave credit where credit was due. “It’s just so strange that all of the sudden he would turn Team Marinette.”

“That girl must have done something to him!” Tabloid hissed. “Oh those earrings are cute, you should get them.”

“Sir how much are these?” Liar asked.

The jewelry stand owner looked up and smiled. “Those earrings are one of my finest pieces!” he raved. “Those are moonstones and they are forty dollars.” Jason drifted a little closer and glared at the man. It was satisfying to watch him pale a little and back track. “B-but for you lovely ladies I will give them to you for twenty dollars.” As the two exclaimed over their good fortune Jason stepped away.
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Cass was having fun. Being around these people was...interesting. There were so many strong emotions in this small group of young people. She had to wonder if this was normal. So many of them held their secrets close. She might not understand everything said to her but one thing Cass would always understand was body language. So many of these children were hurt and confused. Some were angry. Everything centered around the Italian girl. The source of all this turmoil. Lila Rossi.

What Cass found interesting that above all things Lila was scared. Which was understandable. Spinning so many lies for so long, one wrong move and everything would go crashing down. Lila was manipulative and clearly enjoyed being in the middle of everything. This was a dangerous game to play. Marinette was a sweet girl with a pure soul. Even if the others didn’t see it on some level they understood it. She drew them all in with her sunshine.

A familiar flash of black and green caught her eye, making her smile. Even her baby brother, who was born and raised for the first ten years of his life in darkness, could not keep away.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was honestly having a great day. For once everyone in her class was too distracted to bother her. Though she could tell from the dirty looks Alya shot her way when she got a little too close that her ex best friend was still blaming her for the break up. She hadn’t even dared to go anywhere near Nino out of fear that Alya would freak out and ruin the day for everyone, though she knew they would all blame her. She had texted Nino to make sure he was okay and for the first time in a long time she had hope. Things weren’t perfect but maybe one day they could be friends again.

“Are things going well?” a voice asked.

Marinette jumped and looked up, quite surprised to see Damian standing beside her. “Damian!” she gasped. “What are you doing here? I mean...n-not that it’s not nice…..to see you I mean. To see you….was unexpected.” Marinette could feel her face go red as she stammered like an idiot. She hadn’t been flustered by a boy since….well….Adrien. Though to be honest that felt like a lifetime ago.

“Gotham Academy is not too far from here.” Damian answered. “I had a free period and while I know Todd will try his best…..I just wanted to make sure all was going well.”

Marinette had the feeling Damian might have been tempted to add a jab at his brother’s expense after the doing his best bit but she was pleased that he refrained. Marinette had no idea what it was like to have a sibling, only what she had seen between Alya and her sisters. But that was nothing like she had seen between the Wayne boys. Still they didn’t have to go after one another every chance they got.

Damian was so thoughtful. “Well everything has been going pretty great actually.” Marinette smiled. “Everyone has been doing their own thing to be honest.”

“So no one has been harassing you?” Damian pressed.

Marinette shook her head. “Nope. Chloe and I have been having a lot of fun just walking around. Jason has been doing a good job circulating and I haven’t heard about anyone getting ripped off. But maybe we won’t hear about that until after the fact. I know some of my classmates won’t like someone telling them not to buy something because they aren’t able to handle themselves.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe watched Marinette interact with Damian Wayne with interest, though of course she didn’t make it obvious. It had been a little funny to watch her flounder a bit, it had been years since she had seen that Marinette. Before she had gotten this way around Adrien and it had just been mean funny, but now it was just kind of endearing. She had known since the pen was sent to Marinette that there was going to be something between these two.

It seemed like Damian Wayne was not an overly affectionate person, he was in no way friendly and probably scared everyone away….everyone except Marinette. Well and herself because she wasn’t scared of anyone.

“Yo. I’m starving, let's go get lunch. Cass is taking over babysitting duty so lets get something to eat.” Jason said, stepping up beside her. Chloe had not heard him approach but wasn’t going to let him know that.

Marinette came over with a smile. Wait, Marinette was alone? Where had the youngest Wayne gone?

“Jason! You just missed Damian.” Marinette smiled.

Jason’s eyes widened a little. “Demon Brat was here?” he asked.

“Jason!” Marinette exclaimed. “But yes, he said Gotham Academy was nearby and he just wanted to check in while he had a free period.”

“What?” Jason asked. “It is a family nickname that Damian has had for years…..with time you’ll understand!”

Marinette just smiled and rolled her eyes. “Fine.” she gave in. “I saw a hot dog stand that looked really good earlier.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette started to lead the way and once she was out of earshot Chloe spoke softly just enough for Jason to hear her. “Gotham Academy is nowhere near here is it?”

“Nope.” Jason replied making the p in it really pop. Demon Brat had it bad and he was loving this. He wondered if later when it was time to attend Gotham Academy Marinette would realize it was nowhere near the area Gotham open market was. He also wondered what asshole Gotham elite classmate’s car Damian had hijacked to make this trip. Had anyone else figured out Damian was experiencing his first crush or was it just him?

Chapter Text

Marinette couldn’t remember the last time she had enjoyed her day so much. It was certainly before Lila had come into their lives. Even when Jason left her and Chloe to go do his job they weren’t alone because Cass would come over. Cass was much more quiet than her other siblings but that didn’t make her any less interesting. Marinette got the feeling that she studied and took in everything around her. There wasn’t really any part of Gotham that was happy or bright but she had to admit that there were areas that were better than others. But she took Jason’s warning to be on guard to heart. She got the feeling that there would be others in her class that would completely ignore him.

Best of all Lila and Alya were leaving her alone for a change. Part of Marinette didn’t want to leave Gotham, but she knew Paris still needed her and her team. Speaking of her team, she was going to have to do her best to convince Jason to go out with her so he could get used to his new super hero persona Midnight. It could be a lot all at once. Marinette remembered her beginning days as Ladybug very well. She was pretty sure all of Paris had heard her screams as she learned to swing with her yo-yo

She was getting some pretty good ideas but hadn’t nailed down exactly what she wanted to do for Chloe or her own gala dress. Though she did know what she wanted to do for tonight’s desert. Dick had told her about his wife Kory and their daughter Mary (I know it’s misspelled but that’s how she would spell it right now) She had never met someone from another planet. Dick had told her that the superheroine Starfire had been acting as an ambassador between Earth and Tamaran to get more of them to come to earth.

Marinette had asked if that was a good idea because they would all have super powers right? But apparently Starfire was special because she was part of the royal family. Marinette thought that was amazing. She lived with a literal goddess of luck but that was different from meeting an alien princess.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason had to admit that the chaperone job wasn’t so bad. Certainly not as bad as he thought it was going to be. Of course part of that was besides doing rounds to make sure none of the Paris brats were losing all their money he spent the day with Marinette and Chloe. His experiences with teenagers were very limited. Basically all he had to go off of was Replacement and Demon Brat. And he was pretty sure those were not the most reliable sources for normal teenage behavior. Tim was a genius insomniac addicted to coffee and Damian acted like an old man since he was ten.

Now this might be his obvious favoritism speaking but these other teenagers were boring as fuck. Marinette and Chloe were so much cooler. Marinette was like a little sister to him. Chloe...well she looked at life a lot like he did. Which shouldn’t be a good thing, except it was pretty awesome. They were going to go far in life, Jason could tell.

When his phone buzzed and he saw it was a text from Dick he thought it would be him trying to check up on him again. Fully intent on telling Dick that all the kids were fine and that he needed to fuck off Jason opened the message. But surprisingly enough it was not a check up message. The teacher was starting to gather her students to head back so he walked over to the students. “Yeah I hope you all had a good time.” he said even though his tone said that he could care less. “Listen up bra…..children. I know this is your last field trip and on Monday you will be going to Gotham Academy. Anyways I’ve just been informed that tomorrow there is going to be a fair in upper Gotham. I don’t really care but Dick just texted me and I know if I don’t tell him I told you he’ll ride my as….get on my case for it. Go….don’t go…..do whatever you want. Since it’s not part of your trip it’s up to you to get there. But it’s not that far from the hotel. Well….bye.”

“Good save Mr. Chaperone.” Chloe smirked when he went over to the bikes where the girls were waiting.

“Shut up and get your helmet on.” he glared. “Since my driving offend’s Marinette’s delicate constitution you’re with me.”

“Not wanting my life to flash before my eyes does not make me delicate!” Marinette exclaimed.

“Whatever. Let's get out of here.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick was feeling so excited. Today was the day Kor’i and Mar’i would be back from visiting Tamaran so they would be able to meet Marinette and Chloe. He had been hoping that this would happen but hadn’t been sure if it would happen or not. He had missed his wife and baby girl! Mar’i was going to be six soon. God she was growing up so fast. She had recently started to show signs of having powers like her mother which was the main reason they had gone to Tamaran. He had been nervous over the idea of his little girl leaving the planet but after sitting down and talking things out he reluctantly agreed that it was for the best in the long run. Anyone who said he sulked in a corner after they left was a dirty liar!!

“Husband, we are home!” A joy filled voice echoed through the manor.

Dick’s head jerked up at the happy sound of Kor’i’s voice. His eyes widened at the sight before him.

“Daddy, look I can fly!”

Sure enough his five year old daughter was floating,in the air. She was a little unstable but she was up there. It seemed that the trip had been successful. “Baby I’m so proud of you!” Dick exclaimed, wrapping his arms around his daughter. And if she had been wavering in the air just before that moment neither parent drew attention to it.

Dick smiled and leaned over to kiss Kor'i’s cheek. Having his wife and daughter made him so happy.

“So….what has happened while we were away?” Kor’i asked.

“Quite a bit. We have guests staying with us in the manor.” Dick began. “They are two girls from the Paris class that won the trip.”

“Should not they be with their school mates?” Kor’i asked looking a little confused.

“Well it’s a bit of a long story but there were some issues. So Marinette and Chloe ended up needing somewhere to go or else they might have been sent home for something not their fault.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kor’i sat at the island table in the kitchen listening to Dick fill her in on what had been going on while she and Mar’i had been away. She knew that Dick and the others had been planning for this trip for some time and she was happy that they had been able to get back while the group was still there. But she could tell that Dick had taken a special interest in the two girls who had ended up needing to stay at the Manor. She was excited to meet them later that afternoon. It wasn’t often that anyone outside of the family stayed at the Manor so this was quite exciting.

“What this Marinette girl has gone though sounds so awful.” she frowned, eyes flashing green for a moment as her emotions swelled. “I’m so glad Bruce has opened the Manor to her and her friend Chloe.” She had also been interested in the part of the story about the two Paris superheroes Ladybug and Honey Flash had come into the cave. She knew that none of them would have thought about superheroes from other countries. But maybe there were more out there. And even though it seemed like it, not everything could happen in Gotham or Metropolis.

“Do you think Marinette and Chloe will be my new friends?” Mar’i asked looking up from her cookie, she had been sitting on Dick’s lap, he had not let her go since that first hug. Not that Kor’i blamed her husband, it was the first time Mar’i had gone off planet. Aside from this she had only gone between Gotham and Bludhaven with the occasional trip to the Kent farm.

“Hey fuckers we’re back!” a voice shouted.

“Master Jason!” another voice scolded a few seconds after that.

Kor’i couldn’t help but laugh. “I see Jason has not changed.” she mused.

“Actually Jay has taken the biggest shine to Marinette and Chloe. It’s like they are his little sisters. Especially Marinette, he’s so protective of her.” Dick replied. “Marinette is a lot like you. She’s got a lot of sunshine in her that draws you in.”

Chapter Text

“You are more adorable than five…..no….ten baby glimforps!” Marinette stared up at Dick’s wife wide eyed as her cheeks were squished together

“What the hell is a glimforp?” Chloe asked Jason quietly

“No idea.” Jason answered back just as softly. “When she says shit like that we kind of just smile and nod.”

Marinette was briefly distracted by the exchange but was soon brought back to her original realization. In front of her was Starfire. Under any other circumstances she supposed she would seem familiar. But knowing Dick was Nightwing and the fact that the pair had been teammates for years in their Teen Titan days and beyond was SO obvious. Yes Marinette had done quite a bit of research to get ready for the trip and even more once she found out about the Wayne family’s nightly activity. Though now she was wondering if she was too used to the magic of the miraculous to hide her identity or if it was really possible that a simple mask or in the case of Starfire a change of clothes and her hair pulled into a ponytail was enough. Though to be fair people in Gotham were clearly used to minding their own business. It wasn’t like no one had passed her that night when the cab driver tried to trap her into paying more, but no one had even glanced over until Jason came to save her. It was a very big change from the friendly people of Paris!

“Marinette, this is my wife Kori Anders-Grayson.” Dick beamed proudly.

“Kori...Anders……”Marinette asked, sounding confused. Was Dick’s wife seriously named after a spice?!

“Yes.” Kori answered, smiling just as brightly as Dick. “Before marriage I was Kori Anders. But many female friends encouraged me to keep my name as it is a noble one and I am not a housewife trapped in the fifties.”

“It sounds like a spice.” Chloe pointed out.

“Chloe!” Marinette was mortified. It seemed like they were going to have a conversation about thoughts you shared and thoughts you didn’t….again. But thankfully Dick and his wife laughed.

“Yes I have heard that before. My name is spelled Koriand’r, but when I came to earth I worried about people’s ability to say and spell it. So I went with Kori Anders.”

“Oh well that makes sense.” Marinette smiled.

“This is our Daughter Mar’i Grayson.”

Marinette smiled at the little girl being held by Dick. She had been waiting very patiently to be noticed. Dick set her down and encouraged her to shake hands and Marinette was startled when the little one floated up into the air and wrapped her arms around her neck for a hug.

“Mar’i just learned how to fly.” Kori explained.

“I’m just like my mommy even though daddy is a human!” Mar’i exclaimed excitedly before floating back to Dick’s arms.

“Very impressive!” Marinette didn’t miss a beat with her praise. Little Mar’i was absolutely adorable! “Your Daddy told me you just came back from Tamaran. Did you have fun?”

“Yes!” Mar’i squealed. “It was my first time in space and Mommy said I was very brave.”

“I’m sure you were.” Marinette smiled. “Every homecoming party needs a special treat. Would you like to help me while your Daddy catches your Mommy up on what happened while you were away?”

Mar’i big green pupiless eyes went wide as she turned a look to Dick. “Can I?!”

Marinette understood the look the two parents shared. “Sure sweet heart.” Dick answered. Marinette knew the look of parents who could use a little alone time when she saw it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mar’i had been excited when Daddy said that there was a guest staying in the Manor. Something like that had never happened before. He said they were two girls from a place called Paris who needed a little help. Though she didn’t understand what kind of help they needed. Marinette was one of the nicest girls she had ever met before. Chloe…..well she was as prickly as a two tailed niflat. But Mar’i still thought she was okay. She could have gone away but sat in the kitchen and watched her and Marinette work.

“What’s your favorite thing to eat?” Marinette asked as she mixed something in a bowl.

“Mustard!” Mar’i exclaimed.

Chloe looked up from painting her nails. “Excuse me?”

Suddenly Mar’i felt nervous. She was used to being around people who were like his Mommy and Daddy. She forgot sometimes that her tastes which were like Mommy’s could be considered strange by normal people. “Um….it’s Mommy’s favorite too.” she mumbled looking down at her feet. When she felt a gentle hand run through her hair she looked up in surprise to see Marinette smiling down at her.

“Well I have just the thing we can make. What else do you and your Mommy like?” she asked.
“Um….me and Mommy have a garden at home. Last summer we grew berries!” she smiled.

“So you and your Mom like fruit? You guys should make fruit tarts too.” Chloe offered.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian had been feeling strange all day. He knew logically that Todd was one of the best people to escort the Paris group to the Gotham open markets. But the thought that something could go wrong nagged at the back of his mind all morning. The Paris group were obviously mostly idiots. What other explanation could there be for their falling so hard for that harpy’s lies that they would turn on a sweet girl like Marinette Dupain-Cheng?

Not that Damian had ever made a point to spend time around girls his age but he had never met or even seen a girl like Marinette. Females had always been nothing more than an annoyance. They saw his name and pictured all the things that could come with it if they could just get close to him, and Damian was having none of it. He did not want to put on a public persona like Father, Richard and Drake did. Todd never cared enough and was considered the black sheep of the clan. Damian attempted to be civil….for the most part but he too refused to put on a show for the Gotham elite.

While he had felt slightly distracted at school Damian had felt like he had things under control. That is until he found himself hot wiring a car in the school parking lot. He told himself he just wanted to be sure all was well, that he would check on Marinette and go back to school. That was just what he did, though the idea of staying longer had been tempting, however that would lead Todd to catch him. Todd had not sought him out to mock him which left him wondering if he knew. It left him on edge.

Upon coming home from school and learning of the return of Kori and Mar’i Damian was pleased. He greatly enjoyed spending time with his niece. Sure maybe he had been slightly….opposed to Mar’i in the beginning, but he was now mature enough to admit that he worried about being replaced in Richard’s affection. He wondered if he would go through the same thing when Selina eventually became pregnant. His cringe worthy ‘blood son’ days were thankfully behind him, though he supposed it might feel odd to not be the only child when Father’s blood ran through their veins.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick would be hard pressed to find a time when he had been happier. They were having a family dinner that for once wasn’t complete chaos. He was convinced that he had Marinette to thank for that. That girl was an absolute angel! Thanks to her he and Kori had gotten to enjoy a wonderful afternoon to themselves.

He was now happily listening to Mar’i talk about the fun afternoon she had had with Marinette and Chloe. Though it sounded like Marinette had taken the lead on the babysitting adventure along with stories from Tamaran. Her stories had everyone smiling, even Dami’s lips twitched now and again. Ah Dami, the child of his heart. He knew Damian had his reservations over his and Kori having a baby but he took to being a big brother like a duck took to water and Dick had been so proud.
“Daddy look what I helped Mari make!”

Dick was shaken out of his thoughts and looked up as Alfred put a large fruit tart on the now cleared table while Marinette set down a plate with little yellow cake pops with green sprinkles.

Marinette smiled. “Mar’i told me how much she and her mother enjoyed growing plants so I thought a fruit tart would be appropriate.” Marinette explained. “And then while it was baking we made cake pops.”

Dick didn’t think he had ever seen a prettier fruit tart. It was so vibrant and filled with color. He was pretty sure that there hadn’t been much a little girl like Mar’i could help with so he understood the cake pops. “What flavor did you make pumpkin?” he asked before taking a bite.

“Mustard!” Mar’i exclaimed.

As a father you did many things for your child. Sometimes you had to tell little white lies…..sometimes you had to pretend like a mustard flavor cake pop was the most delicious thing you had ever eaten as your little brothers snickered at you behind their hands.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood had been out on patrol for almost an hour but his mind wasn’t really on it. He was feeling on edge. He had agreed to meet up with Marinette as Ladybug tonight so he could turn into Midnight again to see if it was something he could handle. He didn’t see what the big deal was but she insisted he should see what it was like before committing. Though he didn’t care if it was the hardest thing he had to do in his life. He had sworn to protect Marinette and he would. No matter what.

He looked up as a blue circle started to form. He had let Dick know he had Hood business to take care of that night so he would be offline. Dick was the one who would give him the least amount of trouble. He knew he would never believe in the way of the Bat but he was better than he had been years ago.

He couldn’t help but smile under his helmet when Ladybug stepped out from the portal. Hood couldn’t help but wonder if it was tiring to have to pretend to come from Paris “Hey Princess.” he greeted her. He preferred Pixie Pop but if one of the bats found them,they would eventually, and they heard him call Ladybug that no magic would protect them.

“Hello Red Hood. Are you ready?” she asked as she held out the ring to him.

Taking it he smiled as Plagg came out. “Good evening Plagg.” he greeted.

“Yeah yeah….let's get the show on the road.” the kwami replied.

“Plagg!” Ladybug scolded. But Red Hood wasn’t offended. He knew the kwami did not trust him yet. But he would prove himself to the both of them.
“Don’t sweat it.” he laughed as he put the ring on. “Plagg…..claws out!”

Chapter Text

Ladybug smiling at Midnight. He was getting something no other hero had gotten, training. Everytime she had given someone a miraculous tailisment it had been in the moment. Of course it didn’t hurt that she and Chat Noir had always been there to help save the day. But Jason was going to be wielding the powers of one of the most powerful kwamiis so she felt that it was appropriate that she help Jason. Before she and Adrien had been learning the ropes together. And sure Jason fought crime as Red Hood but having super powers was a lot different than mods and guns.

“Your weapon is your staff. But it’s more than just that. You can use it to jump from building to building, lift you, contact me and more. From what I saw with CHat Noir it seemed like your limit was your imagination.” If her smile was a little sad she hoped Midnight would not comment on it.

“What about when you were La Dame Chat?” Midnight asked instead. Well you couldn’t always win.

“Combining Plagg and Tikki was always my last resort. I only became La Dame Chat once I figured out what I needed her for.” Ladybug answered.

“Never fought much with a staff.” Midnight admitted. “That’s always been Replace…..Red Robin’s thing. But I can’t imagine using it to travel is all that different from a grappling hook gun.”

“Well I’ve never used a grappling hook gun.” Ladybug said in an amused tone. “I had never done anything like this before. I’m pretty sure half of Paris heard my startled screams as I used my yo-yo to swing around.” She couldn’t help but smile at the memory, it seemed like a lifetime ago when it had only been just a few years. “But now it’s like an extension of my body.”

Ladybug tried to think about all the things she wished someone had told her. “Another thing you’ll need to get used to is your new strength and agility.” she explained. “But to be honest that can be a lot of fun.” Being the black cat miraculous holder was a lot of responsibility so she wanted to show Midnight the benefits. It was one thing to run around in capes and costumes to fight crime. However it was something completely different to have the power of a miniature god boosting you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Midnight had to admit that he was still a little inwardly nervous about this hero gig. It had been so long since he had tried to be a good guy. Good….bad….that was Batman stuff. As Red Hood he was able to see that there were a lot of grey areas between the two words. Yeah he was a crime boss but under Red Hood’s control Crime Alley had started to see better days. Batman had his rules and Red Hood had his own. And yes people died for breaking his rules but others learned from it. The important part in all of this was he didn’t let innocent people die for his rules. That wasn’t something Batman could say now was it?

He watched as Ladybug pulled her yo-yo from her hip and started to spin it around. He had to admit she was pretty handy with the thing. “Alright Midnight. Try and keep up.” she said with a smile that was a little too close to a smirk for his liking. Before he could say anything in reply her yo-yo went sailing to wrap around something stable on the next building. He didn’t understand how it worked but somehow the yo-yo seemed to pull her up and away. “How the hell…..” he muttered with a frown. He looked at the staff that was in his hand and tried to figure out how it worked, it didn’t seem very long. Ladybug had said he just had to believe and go for it, and well, she was the professional when it came to this magic shit. Midnight had never been a big magic fan but he didn’t hate it as much as Batman or Red Robin, their minds were way too logical to easily accept it.

Then without warning the staff extended and Midnight’s eyes widened but soon he knew what he needed to do. Backing up a little he ran forward and stabbed at the ground with his staff which launched him upward.

“Shitshitshitshitshit!!!” He half yelped, half screamed as he felt himself being pushed upward. It was a very different feeling to be quickly lifted up clinging to a pole than being pulled up by a tool he had been using since he was a kid. He ended up landing in an awkward heap on the roof of the next building while a very amused Ladybug looked down on him.

“Well you made it.” she offered.

“That was...not like using a grappling hook gun.” Midnight grumbled as he got to his feet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Robin was wrapping up his patrol. Red Hood had needed to end his patrol a little early because he had business to take care of. Not that any of them knew what that might be. Red Hood had come a long way over the years but he refused to let go of the territory he had claimed years ago. Not that Red Robin blamed him. Crime Alley was his home, it made sense he would take care of it in his own way. It was better not to ask questions.

He was traveling by rooftop to get back to where he had left his bike so he could head back to the cave when a flash of red and black caught his eye. Stopping he pulled out some binoculars and….was that Ladybug?! She seemed to be sparing with someone with a cat theme. For the second time that week he found himself wondering if Catwoman had picked up a protege.

A few minutes later he dropped down onto the rooftop the two were on. “Ladybug?” he asked “What are you doing in Gotham again?” Red Robin had noticed that he had caught the pair off guard but that was to be expected since they had been focused on the fight.

Ladybug smiled at him. “Hello Red Robin. I had a little business to attend to in Gotham once more.” she explained.

Red Robin nodded and looked at her companion. He was a big guy that was clearly older who was dressed in a cat themed outfit. “Oh?” he prompted.

“Yes.” Ladybug answered not bothered at all by his questioning. Though her companion seemed a little nervous. “In an unexpected turn of events it was brought to my attention that there was a true holder for the cat miraculous in Gotham. I came back to approach him and see if he would join my fight. This is my new partner Midnight.”

Red Robin didn’t think Ladybug could have said anything more surprising. Though this made more sense than Ladybug palling around with a mysterious side kick of Catwoman. He noticed that upon the introduction the man had stood up a little straighter but didn’t seem to want to make eye contact. Weird.

“Oh? So are you guys going to be going back to Paris?” Red Robin.

“Wow are you always so nosey?” Midnight asked with a scowl as he crossed his arms over his chest.

Red Robin’s eyes widened a little at the question. Had he somehow offended Midnight with his question.

“Midnight!” Ladybug scolded. “Be nice.” She smiled at Red Robin. “Midnight has accepted my request. I was letting him get used to things to make sure he wanted to do this.”

“Princess I told you I was going to serve you until my death.” Midnight said face was going soft as he looked at her. Okay so it seemed like the guy wasn’t a complete asshole.

“That’s nice.” Red Robin smiled, though he noted that the sound of his voice had brought back the scowl on Midnight’s face. But then again the guy was from Gotham so his surly attitude made sense. “Are you going to be in Gotham for much longer? I’m sure Batman would like to talk to you again.”

“Batman can mind his own business.” Midnight snapped. “We’re not doing anything wrong.”

“N-no of course not!” Red Robin said holding his hands up. “I...I was just curious.”

Ladybug seemed to take pity on him. “I just came to talk to Midnight and make my offer. I had to show him some things before he was called upon. His life is here so I will only come back when he is needed. I didn't mean to intrude upon Batman’s territory. The original timeline still stands and I hope he will stick to it.”

“Yeah you don’t have to worry about B jumping the gun.” he smiled “I was just curious. You two are welcome to stay in Gotham as long as you like.” Red Robin was pretty sure Batman would say it exactly that way but if it gave them the chance to talk to Ladybug again it was worth it. He was tempted to invite them to the cave but held back.

“Well if you will excuse us.” Ladybug smiled. Before Red Robin could say anything she swung off on her yo-yo and Midnight used his staff to launch himself away.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You didn’t have to be so rude.” Ladybug pointed out ten minutes later. They had decided to call it a night.

“You don’t know him like I do.” Midnight protested. “He could latch onto the smallest detail.”

“You were nervous he would figure it out?” Ladybug responded. She was amused at his hesitation before he agreed. “I told you the miraculous magic would protect you.”

“Yeah well better to be safe than sorry.” Midnight grumbled which made her laugh.

Chapter Text

Tim had not slept well after getting home from patrol. He replayed the interaction with Ladybug and Midnight over and over in his head. Midnight seemed pretty hostile, but then again he was from Gotham so it made sense. Still, Tim worried that he had messed things up by offending the guy. What if he tried to dissuade Ladybug in taking their help? Ladybug seemed pretty level headed but this was her partner, her other half. That carried a lot of weight. He wondered what it was like to have another half. Sure he loved his family and they worked together in different ways. But to know someone was your perfect partner...he couldn’t imagine that feeling.

“Good morning Tim! Wow, you look exhausted.” Marinette greeted him.

Tim blinked and looked around. When had he gotten into the kitchen? “Oh….um….I had a late night. But to be honest I rarely sleep well.” he admitted as he went to pour himself a cup of coffee.

“You look like a zombie.” Chloe said, barely looking up from her phone.

“That’s saying more than you know.” Jason chuckled

Tim frowned. Why was Jason always here now? It was nice and all….but he could only take so much. Suddenly a plate of something red and yellow with a heavenly smell was placed in front of him. His eyes widened a little. “What are these?” he asked. They looked like little puffed up donuts with….. “Is that the Red Robin symbol in powdered sugar?!”

“I made you beignets to help you start your morning off on a sweet note. They have a chocolate espresso filling.” Marinette smiled. “And yes that’s the Red Robin. He’s such a cool hero. Plus you really like him right?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason thought after last night he’d sleep in until noon. But he had woken up feeling oddly energized. He had his doubt about how things would work out but he was glad Marinette had insisted on them going out to train. Being Midnight felt like nothing he had ever done before, for the first time in a long time he felt like he had a real purpose. He didn’t think he would ever be able to give up being Red Hood, he still had a lot to do, but being Midnight wasn’t like what he had been worried about.

He wasn’t sure what he was going to do that day. It was honestly still a little weird to be casually sitting at the breakfast table at the manor. But he wanted a front row seat for whatever was going to go down this morning. Life had never been this interesting before. Having Marinette in his life was enough to make him casually hang out around his family. It was a lot to take in. It didn’t hurt that Starfire and Mar’i were in residence. He had always known Dick would make a good father from the way he took over raising Damian after Bruce ‘died’. Mar’i was probably the cutest kid in Gotham.

Tim stared down at the plate before him in confusion, as if he wasn’t sure what to make of them. Ha had to admit Pixie Pop had outdone herself. Jason wondered if she secretly felt bad about how hard he had been on Red Robin last night. Probably figured Replacement could use a win.

“How did you know I like Red Robin?” Tim asked as he placed a beignet on his plate. Of course they all boosted their alter egos whenever they could. But Jason wondered how Marinette would explain this.

“We talked about him the first day we met at the coffee shop.” Marinette smiled without missing a beat. If he wouldn’t have to explain himself Jason would have clapped.

“We did?” Tim asked, looking puzzled.

Suddenly Marinette looked worried. “Oh no did I get it wrong?” she asked in a fretful tone. “Is he not your favorite. Huh….maybe you said Red Hood?” Jason almost snorted into his cup of coffee but the look of horror on Timmy’s face was too damn amusing.

“N-no you got it right.” Tim quickly reassured Marinette. Jason could literally see the wheels in his brain spinning as he tried to remember the conversation and was coming up short. Jason was pretty sure this conversation had never happened but Marinette was just showing Tim some support in her own way. He had to admit that it looked like it was doing the trick from the look on Tim’s face after his first bite. Pixie Pop was literally a magical girl.

“Good morning all.” Damian greeted as he came into the kitchen. Jason sipped his coffee. Things were about to get interesting. “What are those?” Damian pointed to the Red Robin beignets.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian sat at the table and raised an eyebrow at the plate of what looked like little donuts with the Red Robin symbol on them.

“They are chocolate espresso beignets I made for Tim.” Marinette explained. “I know he likes Red Robin so that’s why I made his symbol in powdered sugar. Researching the vigilantes of Gotham has been so interesting. Reading fansites about Red Robin has been a lot of fun!”

Damian felt himself frown a little as a bowl of oatmeal with fruit on top was placed in front of him. He didn’t know why but hearing Marinette talk about Red Robin made him feel annoyed. Drake was subpar at best compared to...others. Why did she sound so interested in him? Clearly she hadn’t done much research. Damian knew that there were people who liked what his family did and there were those who found them redundant. From what he understood Ladybug and her team were quite beloved by the citizens of Paris.

He grit his teeth as Marinette spoke once again about the talents of Red Robin. He could not let this go on.

“Marinette!” he said with a rush of something. He suddenly felt a need to do something. But now that the blue eyed girl was looking at him with a curious expression he wasn’t sure what that thing should be. “I’m not sure if you were aware but today there is a...fair in upper Gotham today. I was wondering if….you would allow me to escort you.” He felt his face growing hot but there was no turning back now, even though he was sure he was on the path to disaster. He was Damian Wayne and he did not back down! Though perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to explain himself a bit more. “After all Gotham is still a dangerous place...I….I would not want misfortune to fall upon you.”

Chapter Text

The entire room seemed to go still, as if no one was sure what to do. Tim wasn’t even sure what was going on. Dick had shared his theory about falling into an alternate reality. At first he just brushed it off, Dick just being...well….himself. But the little demon spawn had just asked a girl out on a date. Oh sure, he called it escorting Marinette to the fair for her safety. It didn’t sound like he was overly concerned about Chloe’s safety. After all, it was unlikely that Marinette would just go without her friend.

He was starting to wonder if Dick might be onto something. It wouldn’t be the first time that one or more of them had been sent to a different version of earth. He had to admit Marinette’s power to draw people in was rather impressive. Jason was clearly attached to both Marinette and Chloe but it was pretty obvious that he had a special spot for Marinette. It was like she was his emotional little sister. Then there was Ivy and Harley, they had definitely emotionally adopted Marinette and Chloe.

From his observations neither Marinette or Chloe appeared to have any meta abilities. Which was really for the best, because as cool and interesting the French girls were they all knew Bruce’s rules about metas in Gotham. The only exceptions were those grandfathered in, like Ivy after she turned over a new leaf. There was no way he could let Dick know he even thought about entertaining his alternate reality theory. He would start going over plans for how to take down their alternate selves.

“Oh...um…..” Tim’s attention was brought back to what was going on as a blushing Marinette started to give her answer. She looked at Chloe clearly not wanting to leave her best friend alone for some guy.

“Marinette I’m not a child and in need of constant attention.” Chloe pointed out. “You can go on a date and I will hang out with Jason.”

“D-date?!” Marinette squeaked face going red again.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Who’s going on a date?” Dick asked as he walked into the kitchen with Mar’i riding on his shoulders. He noticed both Marinette and Damian had red faces and instantly became concerned. Were they coming down with something? That would be awful! He wanted them all to go to the fair!

“Dem….Damian just asked Pixie Pop out on a date.” Jason reported. Dick felt his mouth drop open, he was so surprised he didn’t even think about how Jason had self corrected to use Damian’s actual name.

“I did no such thing Todd!” Damian protested with a murderous glare.

Dick recovered from his surprise and decided it would be better to try and diffuse the situation. Damian had that stabby look in his eyes. “Well then Little D what happened?” he asked as he set his daughter down at the table.
“I merely asked Marinette if I may escort her to the fair.” Damian explained. He was scowling at Jay but Dick was an expert in reading Damian’s body language and from the way his shoulders were a little hunched he was starting to doubt if what head done was appropriate or not. Damian had come so far and Dick was extremely proud of him but he knew there were still some social situations that Damian didn’t bother to understand. “After all Gotham is not a safe place. Though perhaps this was not the best idea.” The self doubt Dick heard in Dami’s voice broke his heart.

“Damian, I would love to go to the fair with you.” Marinette answered with a smile. Dick wondered if she could sense Dami’s discomfort and was trying to ease the tension. Maybe there was something there. It was about time Dami started to get interested in girls, though part of him worried about what would happen when Marinette went home. Oh well, that was a problem for Future Dick. Not to be confused with Alternate Earth Dick.

Chloe stood up and grabbed Marinette’s hand. “We’d better go get ready for the fair.” she announced before pulling Marinette out of the kitchen.

Dick watched them go and then looked at the table. “Are those beignets with Red Robin symbols?” he asked.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chloe let the door close behind herself and Marinette. This was a very interesting development. “Wow I wouldn’t have guessed that the youngest Wayne would have the balls to just ask you out on a date like that.” she mused before going to sit on the bed.

Marinette’s eyes widened and she blushed. “I-it’s not really a date.” she stammered. “Right?”

“Sounded like he asked you out to me.” Chloe shrugged as she typed on her phone. She was texting Luka and Kagami. This was going to be good and she knew her teammates would be mad if they were kept in the dark. “A bit oddly matched….but that might work out for the two of you.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Damian was just trying to be nice.” Marinette protested. Why was her heart beating so fast?

“Didn’t hear my name included on the request to ‘escort’ you to the fair.” Chloe pointed out.

Marinette’s eyes narrowed. What was Chloe doing on her phone?? Something about Chloe’s focus made her feel a little uneasy.

“If you didn’t want to go, why did you agree?” Chloe asked looking up.

“I...I want to go.” Marinette replied. “Damian has been so sweet.”

“He talks like an aristocratic old me.” Chloe replied, looking at her phone again after it buzzed.

Marinette gasped. “He does not!” she argued. “Well...I guess his speech is a little formal. But I think it’s refreshing.”

“Okay so then you’re fine with the date.” Chloe smirked.

“It’s not a date!” Marinette blushed as she went to her dresser.

“What are you doing?” CHloe asked.

“I’m changing….I don’t want to wear this outfit to the fair!” she protested. She could feel Chloe’s look of triumph and ignored it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian was starting to have second thoughts. He had asked Marinette to the fair on a whim. Which in itself was strange. He always thought carefully before speaking or doing anything. But he had just been so annoyed over her gushing over how interesting she found Red Robin. So far she had made special treats for Todd, Pennyworth, Kor’i and Mar’i, and finally Drake. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for whom she chose to favor.

“Ohmigod I can’t believe Dami is going on a date!” Richard squealed.

Damian glared. “It...it is not a date!” he protested blushing.

“Sounded like you asked her out to me.” Todd said in a calm tone that Damian found oddly infuriating.

“Todd this is none of your business!” he huffed, crossing his arms.

“What’s a date?” Mar’i asked as a bowl of cereal was placed in front of her.

“Well sweetie when a boy and girl like one another they agree to go somewhere and have a fun time. They can go to the movies. Or ice skating. Your Uncle Dami asked Marinette to the fair!” Richard explained.

“Uncle Dami, are you and Mari going to get married?” Mar’i asked as she started to eat her cereal.

Damian felt his eyes widened and almost choked tea he had just sipped and ended up coughing.

“They have to see how the date goes.” Damian gave Drake a murderous look since he could not voice his thoughts in front of his young impressionable Niece.

He was starting to wonder….did Marinette think this was a date? He had to admit that she was pleasant to be around. Which Damian found rather surprising since he found most females of all ages to be rather annoying. There were some exceptions of course such as Cass and Mar’i. He didn’t think they could ever bother him. And of course there were those he had admired such as Wonder Woman. Though now that he thought about it he did admire Marinette Dupain-Cheng. She was strong and brave. Her classmates had turned on her but she stood tall in the face of their stupidity. She was also quite talented, Damian didn’t know much about fashion but he knew that making all those outfits could not be an easy task. She will do well in the near future. Marinette was aesthetically pleasing which didn’t hurt anything, though just thinking about it made his face heat again.

“Uncle Dami, your face is red!” Mar’i announced.

“Miss Marinette, you look lovely.” Damian was thankfully saved from having to acknowledge Mar’i comment by Pennyworth’s announcement. Though when he looked up he felt as if his mind went blank from the sight before him.

Chapter Text

Jason let out a low whistle as Marinette came back in the kitchen. Her outfit of black yoga pants and a tank top had been good for a casual day around the house or going out but maybe not for a day at the fair. He was starting to think Marinette was a secret genius. She certainly was bold in her choice of clothing. Her pants were dark red and he wasn’t sure he approved of how they hugged her hips. Her black tank top had a robin sitting on a branch embroidered in gold. Wasn’t that neckline a little low? “Aren’t you worried about getting cold?” he asked. It was his first time seeing her hair in a different style, it was in a simple but elegant looking side braid, and he had to admit she looked very cute. Which made him frown a little because he wasn't sure if he was ready for this.

“Oh that’s no problem.” Marinette smiled holding up a red jacket that had the Robin symbol on the left breast, just where demon brat had his symbol on his uniform. The green pixie boots and black purse with a Robin symbol, probably for Tikki to ride in, completed the outfit. The outfit was cute but he had some notes. His eyes went over to Damian who was staring at Marinette. Would it be weird to give him the intentions talk? Jason took comfort in the fact that Damian was looking at Pixie Pop like she was a goddess that had come to earth for a visit. Plus he wasn’t even sure if Damian knew what to do with a girl.

“So Pixie Pop what’s up with the Robin theme?” he asked. When blue eyes met his own he knew she knew what he was getting at. She was being a little on the nose in his own opinion. But maybe the best way to hide information you knew was to flaunt it?

“Well I had quite a few ideas for outfits so I brought a lot.” Marinette answered smoothly. “Chloe said this was a good idea because I have a tank top for when it’s hot and a jacket for if it gets cold later on.” Oh she was good. He noticed Chloe hadn’t changed and what she was wearing, which supported his thoughts that this was going to be a date between Marinette and Damian. It was still a little weird to think about the demon going on a date. Maybe Dick should have the intentions talk with Damian. He had a kid after all.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian was starting to feel a little under prepared for the day to come. When Marinette went to change he hadn’t expected her to return in another Robin themed outfit. He would have never imagined that she would be so inspidered that she came up with more than one. Not that he had disliked what she had been wearing before. Over the years he had gone to several fairs and similar events. Mostly he was dragged there by Richard who insists on them doing this so he could experience more normal childhood things. He would complain but he was sure Richard knew that it wasn’t how he felt deep down.

But what did one do when escorting a nice young lady? He glanced at Todd who seemed to be looking between himself and Marinette. He wasn’t sure what that was about. Drake looked like he was ready to fall asleep again, so he was as useless as ever.

“Just let me get Mar’i dressed and we’ll all go together!” Richard announced as he put some dishes in the sink.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino….had been doing better. While he didn’t regret breaking up with Alya, he did miss her. Or maybe it was more accurate to say he missed the old Alya. The girl who wanted a story and would hunt for it. Now it seemed like she was glued to Lila’s hip. It was like she couldn’t do anything without Lila’s approval. When he looked at the Ladyblog he was shocked at what it had become. There was hardly anything about Ladybug and when she or her team was mentioned it was never anything good. When had the Ladyblog turned into such a gossip rag? Before, Alya had always told him about new articles because she was so proud and excited, wanting his input. He had been so distracted with trying to maintain his relationship, school work, his music, and trying to help Adrien have some semblance of a normal life. He hadn’t noticed that she had stopped asking him to read her newest articles.

“Hey Nino.”

Nino looked up at Adrien and tried to smile. “Hey man.” he greeted.

“How are you?” Adrien asked.

Nino couldn’t help but offer a small smile. Adrien was always so caring, he hated conflict and just wanted everyone to get along. Nino loved his best bro but he had to admit that Adrien could be very naive. But he knew he could always count on Adrien to be there for him. It might not always be in person but Adrien always found a way to reach out to him. And that was why Nino would never give up on Adrien. “I’m….” he wanted to say he was okay but he wasn’t sure if that was the truth. So he sighed. “Man, I don’t even know. I miss Alya but I can’t support everything she does anymore. I should have put my foot down a long time ago and I feel like I failed”

Adrien nodded a little at this. “Well we have a free day, do you want to go do something?”

“I don’t really want to go sightseeing.” Nino sighed.

“Sitting in our room moping isn’t going to help.” Adrien pointed out. “I was thinking that we could go to that fair Mr. Jason told us about. Maybe we’ll get lucky and run into someone interesting.”

Nino looked up in surprise. “You think Marinette and Chloe might go?” he asked. Nino wanted nothing more than to talk to Marinette. Maybe even try to get to know Chloe again. It was something he had never put a lot of effort into, but if Marinette was friends with her then there was no way she was the same old Chloe.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Does this answer your question?” Adrien held his phone out and Nino’s eyes went wide. Chloe had sent him a picture of herself and Marinette with the message ‘Off to the fair!’

“Chloe sent you that?!” Nino asked.

“Clearly.” Adrien said in a rare snarky moment.

“Why?!” Nino asked.

“Because she trusts me to do the right thing.” Adrien knew that Chloe wasn’t very happy with him, and that it was probably thanks to Marinette that she even deigned to speak to him. None of them deserved Marinette friendship, and the fact that she would one day forgive them when they were ready to earn it back was proof of that.

Adrien wished he could be braver and be willing to risk more. But he had spent so many years practically locked away not arguing because he wanted to please his father. Things with Lila had spiraled so far out of control. Adrien wasn’t sure how to get things back on track. Though now Adrien was thinking that he could help Nino in the way Nino had helped him. Chloe had sent that picture to him for a reason. Marinette missed Nino and now that he was ready it was time to get the two friends back together. Adrien couldn’t openly be friends with Chloe and Marinette. He hated it. For now he could only do small things in secret.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pamela hummed softly as she watered her plants. When her phone buzzed she paused in what she was doing and picked it up. Her eyes went wide at the picture Selina had sent her. She knew that Selina followed the twitter accounts of her fiance’s children. She had to admit that some of the things she shared were quite amusing. Her favorite were the things that the eldest posted.

“Harley, woul you like to go to the Gotham fair?” she called out loud enough for her partner to hear.

It didn’t take long for the blonde to come charging into the room. “Are you for real Pammy?!” she squealed. “But I thought you said after the petting zoo incident we would never go to one again!”

“I do remember that but there is something important we need to look into.” Pamela answered sweetly as she showed the twitter post

Better Ass Than Nightwing@TherealDickGrayson: Dami will kill me if he ever sees this. But thankfully he thinks Twitter is stupid. So I can post things like this!

Attached was a picture of Damian and Marinette in line for tickets at the Gotham fair with the caption ‘First Date!’ with a lot of heart emojis.

Harley snatched the phone and stared. “Who said that little Wayne brat could date our Lapis?!” she screeched.

Chapter Text

Chloe opened her phone when she heard the notification for the group chat she had started with just Kagami and Luca..

Hissy Fit: What is this?

Imagine Me: Why is Marinette not part of this chat?

Chloe With A B: I made this group chat to keep you updated on an interesting development.

Chloe posted a picture of Marinette and Damian standing in line. Marinette was showing Damian something on her phone and the two were quite close as they leaned over her phone. They both looked happy.

Imagine Me: Who is that boy with Marinette?

Hissy Fit: I bet the two of them together have a beautiful melody.

Chloe With A B:Thanks to Lila’s meddling we had to leave the hotel but ended up being hosted by the Waynes. This boy with Marinette is the youngest, Damian Wayne. This morning he asked Marinette on a date.

Imagine Me: And Marinette’s response?

Chloe With A B: Well at first she didn’t realize it was going to be a date. Neither did Damian.

Hissy Fit: So this is real?

Imagine Me: Don’t be rash! What if this is another Adrien disaster?

Chloe With A B: While there was some initial stammering in the beginning it was nothing like with Adrien. Both are so awkward, it’s actually cute.

Hissy Fit: So…..idiots in love?

Chloe With A B: Pretty much.

Imagine Me: I find this acceptable. Keep us updated.

Chloe smiled and started to put her phone away

“What was all that about?” Jason asked as they walked.

“Just keeping Kagami and Luka updated.” she answered.

“Friends back home?” he asked.

Chloe knew she had been a little rude just now so she wanted to pake up for it. Marinette had taught her that it wasn’t enough to realize you did something wrong, you had to actively try to do better next time.“The rest of our team.” she said before holding up her phone to show Jason a picture of the pair. She could tell he was a little surprised by her words but happy all the same.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Um...Damian, why is Dick following us?” Marinette asked. “He’s been doing it for at least twenty minutes.”

Damian looked to where she pointed with narrowed eyes. Sure enough there was Richard with Mar’i on his shoulders. Both were wearing sunglasses that he imagined were supposed to help keep them disguised. It was just the kind of idiot stunt Richard would try and pull. He was greatly annoyed but at least his niece looked like she was having a good time. Still it was embarrassing.

“Please excuse me for a moment.” Damian sighed. He knew that this was not a normal course of action for him, as he had never shown serious interest in any one of the fairer sex before. They all seemed to be the same. Loud, annoying, self centered, money grabbing harlots. For years he had been forced to endure their company at social functions and occasionally at school. Though for the most part many seemed to get with the program at school so he was left in peace. However social functions were another story. There was always at least one female who hoped to gain access to an easy life by dating him. He had heard all the stories from his older brothers and knew well how to avoid such traps.

But Marinette was not like any girl he had met before, and for the first time he found himself admiring a female who was not of his family or connected to his night time activities. Part of him was unsure how to proceed, but thus far he seemed to be doing well. He was nervous but able to talk to Marinette about everyday things. She didn’t think he was strange nor did she seem to want to change anything about him. He did not need anyone meddling!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dick’s eyes widened when he saw Damian look over with his patented Baby Bat Glare. He had really developed that over the years! “Looks like the jig is up princess.” he said to his daughter.

“Uh-oh….Uncle Dami looks extra grumpy.” she commented.

“Richard, what are the two of you doing?!” Damian demanded as soon as he got close.

“What? We’re just enjoying the fair.” Dick protested.

“Why are you both wearing sunglasses?!” Damian seethed.

“Um….it’s bright outside?” Mar’i tried to supply. He was so proud of his princess’ commitment! Though she still needed to learn not to make it sound like a question to really sell it. Damian did not look amused.

“Richard, you are to stay out of my business.” Damian ordered.

“Fiiiiiiiiiine.” Dick sighed dramatically. Damian gave him a look that said ‘I don't’ believe you but I can’t prove you're lying right now.’ Good enough!

“Hey, is that Ivy and Harley talking to Marinette?” Dick asked while pointing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“There you are Lapis!” Harley squealed as she bounced up to Marinette. She looked around. Where was that Wayne brat? How dare he leave their darling baby girl all alone!

“You mother and I have been looking all over for you!” she cried as she pulled Marinette into a hug.

“You have?” Marinette asked, looking surprised and confused. She was so cute!

“Yes! We heard you were going on a date and wanted to come talk to you.” Harley said, putting her hands on her hips.

Marinette couldn’t help but blush. “What…..how……?” she stammered.

“Nevermind about the how!” Harley decided.

“We just wanted to make sure you were okay.” Pammy said in a reassuring tone. “A first date can be a lot to take in.” Harley threw her a smile. Pammy was always so calming.

But back to business. “And just where the heck is your beau?” she asked. “How dare he leave my precious baby all alone!”

 

“Our.” Pammy gently introjected.

“Right!” Harley exclaimed.

“Miss Quinn…...Miss Isely?” A polite voice asked. Harley turned to see the youngest Wayne.

“And just where were you?!” Harley demanded.

“I was….dealing with someone.” the boy answered. “Forgive my rudeness, but what are you two doing here?”

“A friend let us know our daughter was out on a date.” Pammy calmly informed, cutting off her plan to interrogate the Wayne brat.

“And how did they do that?” the youngest Wayne,Harley decided she was going to have to learn his name if he was going to date Lapis, asked.

“We were sent a picture by our friend Selina.” Pammy informed. Harley watched as the kid’s eyes twitched and he turned.

“I”m going to murder him!” he growled. He took a step forward but Lapis grabbed his hand.

“Not necessary!” she exclaimed. “Um...moms…..I really appreciate you guys coming out but we need to get back to our date!” Before anyone could say anything she dragged the blushing Wayne away.

Harley stared after them wondering if they should let things go.

“I think we can help each other.” a voice said. Jumping Harley turned and saw a man with black hair and blue eyes.

“Hi I’m Dami’s big brother and a fellow Daminette supporter.” he smiled. This guy seemed familiar but Harley couldn’t put her finger on why. Oh well. They had kids to chaperone!

“Let's do this!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette was honestly having a great day. It had been a long time since she had felt so carefree. Being away from Paris and letting herself feel her emotions without fear was so freeing! Part of her felt a little guilty since she still had a villain to defeat back home. But it felt good to be just a teenager for once.

Seeing Harley and Ivy after the Dick incident had been a little surprising. What was more surprising was how much Harley and Ivy were doubling down on this daughter thing. But it all seemed pretty harmless. So the easiest way to get away was to go along. Which was what she had done before making their escape.

“My brother is an idiot. I bet he put something on twitter again.” Damian grumbled. “Those two are friends with Selina Kyle, father’s fiance.”

“Well lets put a pin in planning Dick’s murder.” she teased. Now that she had accepted that this was a date Marinette could see that she did like Damian. What amazed her was how different things were from how she had been around Adrien. Yes being with Damian made her heart race and she felt a little nervous, but she also felt more in control of herself.

Suddenly music started up. Marinette looked around and saw that they were near a stage where a band was playing music. Closing her eyes she let the music take her away. Without warning she pulled Damian towards the small crowd that was enjoying the music. “Let's go dance!” she exclaimed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian had admittedly been a little distracted after what had just happened. To be honest his mind was still on ways to get revenge on Richard for whatever he had done. He did not know the extent of the damage but he knew that all this boiled down to Richard’s idiotic tendency to be an over excited mother hen when if came to him experiencing normal teenage experiences. He had endured much of Richard’s antics but he would not allow them to embarrass Marinette.

“Let's go dance!”

Damian felt his eyes grow wide as he was pulled toward a stage where a band was playing some fast upbeat tune. He had to admit the music was appealing….but Damian did not know how to dance. Well not from outside of forced dancing lessons from childhood when Mother planned for him to be a well rounded conqueror. But he seriously doubted waltzing would be appropriate in this case.

Not that he had anything to worry about. Marinette kept hold of both his hands and swayed with him. They jumped into the fray of dancers with abandon. He watched wide eyed as Marinette spun them around, laughing as she did so. He felt his heart flip over in his chest. He didn’t know what this feeling was...but he knew he wanted to feel it for the rest of his life.

Chapter Text

“Do you really think Marinette will be at that fair?” Nino asked Adrien as they walked.

“I don’t have a doubt!” Adrien smiled. “This will be the perfect chance to talk to her without everyone being around.”

“Well let's hurry. I don’t want to risk not being able to find her.” Nino sighed as they walked out of the hotel.

Lila frowned as she thought about what she had just overheard. What was Adrien doing?! Why was he trying to get Nino and Marinette to talk? Marinette needed to stay isolated! Well she would have to put a stop to this at once, and she knew just how to do it! There was just one person she needed to find.

“Alya!” she exclaimed as she walked up to the group of girls. Alya hada been so boring since she and Nino had broken up, and with Alya that was saying a lot. But Lila had been playing the role of consoling best friend flawlessly. “How are you feeling?”

“Fine, I guess.” Alya sighed. Lila smiled even though she wanted to roll her eyes. Comforting Alya felt like such a waste of time but it couldn’t be helped. She needed to look like a good friend.

“I have some good news for you.” LIla smiled. “I just overheard Nino and Adrien talking about going to that fair we heard about.”

“Alya this could be your chance to talk to Nino privately!” Rose squealed.

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” Juleka asked “I mean….didn’t he say he wanted space?”

Lila didn’t know what had been getting into Juleka lately. Maybe she needed another pep talk. Even though she wanted to snap at the shy little wall flower “Juleka are you saying you don’t want Alya and Nino to get together?” she asked with wide eyes. “I think we should all try and be supportive.”

 

She watched with hidden satisfaction as Juleka blushed and squirmed.

“N-no that’s not it…..he just asked for space…..so maybe we should…..listen?” she said, mumbling more and more.

“Well we can just go and let them run into one another.” Lila decided. “And if Nino still doesn’t want to talk we’ll go. Though it’s been a couple of days. I’m sure being away from Marinette and whatever odd influence she had over him has faded.”

Alya scowled as she remembered that she was mad at Marinette. “I’m sure he’s had time to see what a mistake our break up is!”

“Well then let's go!” Lila smiled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Marinette couldn’t remember the last time she had enjoyed herself this much, Damian was just so easy to talk to. He didn’t talk much about his life before coming to Gotham. He said he had lived with his mother for the first ten years of his life and she had been very strict. She had thought Adrien and Kagami’s parents were bad but Damian’s mom sounded way worse. Though she supposed that was why Damian seemed so formal in his speech.

“I apologize if my speech is odd. Drake says I sound like an aristocratic old man.”

Marinette couldn’t help but giggle. It was a little mean but she could see where Tim was coming from. “There’s nothing wrong with the way you talk.” She reassured him. “It’s just part of what makes you you.” Her words seemed to surprise him but he smiled shyly at her.

“I’m sorry about Richard. Due to my...unconventional upbringing I missed out on a lot of what is considered a normal childhood experience. That combined with my personal tastes when I do have what he considers normal teenage behavior he gets over excited.” Damian explained.

“Stop apologizing so much.” Marinette gently scolded. “The best thing to do with something negative is to turn it into something positive!”

Damian gave her a puzzled look. “And how do we turn my meddlesome eldest brother and your two….surrogate mothers following us around into something positive?” Damian asked, clearly doubting her words. He motioned to behind her. Marinette pulled out a compact mirror and saw Harley and Ivy.

“By turning getting away from them into a game.” Marinette smiled. “I’ll get us away from Ivy and Harley and you’ll get us away from Dick and Mar’i.” Before he could protest or question her, Marinette grabbed his hand and quickly pulled him behind a game booth they had been standing near. Together they weaved through the back end of the midway.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino was enjoying walking around the fair. Gotham was so different from Paris, but he was having fun. Over the last few days he had felt like the fog over his mind had been lifted.

Now he was thinking about things he had said and done in the past with a new perspective. It left him questioning a lot of things. Why had he let things go so far? At the time he told himself he was trying to maintain a healthy relationship, but somewhere along the line things had become unhealthy and he wasn’t sure when everything had gone wrong. He tried to remember back when Lila first came into their lives. It had all seemed so innocent, sure Alya had gotten excited at the prospect of having someone new and interesting to interview, but before he knew it it seemed like Lila was the only person she would listen to.

He had tried a few times to talk to Alya about her new attitude and her crumbling friendship with Marinette. But each time Alya had snapped at him or lashed out. Not wanting to upset Alya further he let it go, but it was more than that. Nino could see that in taking the easy way out he had turned his back on Marinette. He stopped walking and looked at Adrien. “Let's just go back to the hotel. Even if we see Marinette I doubt she’d want to talk to me. I hurt her so much. I told myself I was just trying to keep the peace but I was just being a coward. I don’t even deserve to talk to Marintte.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian had to admit that he was having a much better time than he had anticipated. Once he realized that what he had proposed could be considered a date he worried about doing or saying the wrong thing. But things felt oddly natural when he was with Marinette. He had worried that the actions of Richard had put a damper on things but Marinette had managed to turn that around as well. Her suggestion to make avoiding Richard, Miss Quinn and Isley into a game had been clever.

They were currently running from Richard but he spotted a familiar flash of red and green that had him skidding to a halt. With his brother behind them and Marinette’s pseudo mothers in front it seemed they were trapped.

“It seems we are trapped.” he said with a small frown. It seemed like their game was coming to an end.

“Give me a boost.” Marinette ordered.

Damian turned to look at her with a raised brow. “Excused me.”

“Get down on one knee and give me a boost.” Marinette explained cupping her hands together to give him an idea of what she wanted. “Give me as much power as you can.”

Confused, Damian did as directed and Marinette used the momentum to climb on top of the roof of the shooting range game they had ducked down beside.

Marinette leaned over the side and held her hand out. “Come on!” she urged. Damian was a little doubtful about her ability to pull him up but before he knew it they were both on the roof. Damian was glad that many of the booths were made of sturdy wood due to the fact that just having tents could lead to potential theft. Once again he was impressed by Marinette Dupain-Cheng’s quick thinking.

‘She would make a wonderful vigilante.’ Damian’s eyes widened at the thought. Where had that come from? Marinette was a beautiful angel that was gracing the world with her very presence. The thought of Gotham’s dark nature having any ill effect on her, and it eventually had an effect on all who came to Gotham, was not something he could take lightly. No... he would enjoy Marinetter’s company while he could and then he would probably never see her again. Confused, he placed a hand on his chest after his heart twisted painfully. Very odd.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette put a hand to her mouth to help muffle the sound of her giggles as she and Damian peered over the edge of their hiding place to watch the growing frustration of their chaperones. It seemed they had yet to catch onto the game she and Damian were playing. Which was for the best because she did not need any of them to get creative. But eventually they would take pity on the trio and let them have a picture or two.

“I don’t even deserve to talk to Marinette!” a familiar voice exclaimed.

Marinette’s eyes widened as she looked over at Damian before crawling to the other side of the booth. If those walking by noticed two teenagers up on top of the shooting range game booth they minded their own business. Marinette was surprised to see Nino and Adrien walking by. When she looked at Damian he gave a nod and together they ran and jumped to the next booth so they could hear more.

“I turned my back on my friend.” Nino said next. “Alya was my first serious girlfriend and I thought I had to support her. That it was what a good boyfriend would do.”

“I know you did, buddy.” Adrien consoled. “First love is intense….well from what I’ve read. I’ve never been in love!”

Nino laughed. “Bro everyone knows you are absolutely in love with Ladybug.”Nino teased the now blushing Adrien. “To be honest Alya and I always hoped you would end up with Marinette.”

“W-were just friends.” Adrien protested. Marinette felt her face go red at hearing Adrien loved Lady Bug. Past Marinette would have killed for that kind of info!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian’s eyes narrowed. Did that blonde fool have designs on Marinette?! He was blushing, though that could still be from when the other boy mentioned his being in love with LadyBug. He didn’t find that strange. Citizens got crushes on his family members all the time, though he tried not to pay attention to such nonsense.

Looking over at Marinette, Damian wanted to frown, but he didn’t give into the feeling so he could say what he needed to say. “Do you….want to go talk to them. You look conflicted.” For a few moments Marinette looked caught off guard before her face went blank.

“I have nothing to say to them.” she insisted.

“But it seems like the one with glasses has things he wishes to say to you.” Damian pointed out. He had taken note of the very brief look of longing on Marinette’s face. In his line of night time work you sometimes had a split second to notice the smallest of details. “I understand that your classmates have hurt you. And I’m not saying you have to talk to them. But I have learned that part of healing from pain is not always letting go, sometimes it is talking to those who hurt you. This conversation could give you closure.”

Marinette did not say anything and Damian was starting to worry that he had over stepped. Marinette stood. “You’re right. I was hurt by Nino turning away from me. I do understand that he did it to preserve his relationship with Alya. But….maybe I should talk to him.”

Chapter Text

To say that Marinette felt conflicted was a serious understatement. Nino hadn’t actively bullied her, but he hadn’t done anything to stop it. He had just let Alya say those horrible things. Why? Because of love? Marinette couldn’t really throw stones when it came to making bad choices because you thought you were in love. If she thought too much about how she used to be in regards to Adrien she was pretty sure she’d pull a muscle with how hard she would cringe. Past Marinette had been an obsessed disaster. She had made so many bad decisions in her attempt to get Adrien into her life. Even to the point where her feelings for the blonde clouded her judgement when being ladybug.

The Aspik incident was a perfect example. All the clues were obviously pointing to Luka, but because she wanted to bring Adrien into Ladybug’s world so badly she ignored those clues and gave the snake miraculous to Adrien. Adrien who at the time had been in love with Ladybug. It was kind of funny. It certainly explained why he had tried so hard to be the right holder. It was a miracle that there wasn’t any lasting damage from using Second Chance so many times. Yes he worked with Ladybug as Chat Noir but their identities had to be a secret from one another.

Though now she wondered if that had been the truth or because Master Fu knew Adrien wasn’t a true holder. He had been a little against her telling Chloe, Luka, and Kagami who she was but in the end said he trusted her judgement. Was it that by then she had matured or was it not just a coincidence that her knew team were all true holders? She wondered what Master Fu would think about Jason.

“Your….classmates are moving away.”

“Wh-what?!” she exclaimed. Marinette had been lost in her own thoughts so hearing Damian’s voice startled her. Peering over the edge of the booth she could see that Damian was right and that the two boys were moving away. “Looks like the coast is clear.” she said before climbing down. She looked in the direction Nino and Adrien were walking in but hesitated. Was she really ready for this?

“I’m here...if you need me.” Damian offered a bit awkwardly. Marinette looked over at him and smiled.

“Thanks.” she said before going in the direction she had seen the other two go in.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino was starting to think that coming to the fair had been a waste of time. He and Adrein had been walking around for over an hour and a half and had seen no sign of Marinette. He was starting to wonder if this was a sign. What right did he have to talk Marinette ever again. He had turned his back on her by not doing anything. He just let Alya and all the others steam roll her. Just as he was about to sigh and throw in the towel a voice called out to him.

“Hey Nino.”

Eyes going wide he turned around and stared at Marinette. It was like he had summoned her with his thought of giving into defeat. “Oh…..h-hey Marinette.” he stammered. He had been wanting to see Marinette so bad, but now that the moment was here he felt tongue tied. “What are you doing here?” He inwardly winced. She was clearly there to enjoy the fair. Unlike his loser ass who had come with a desperate hope that he might run into her.

Marinetter didn’t seem to think his question was stupid. “I came to enjoy the fair.” she began with a half smile. “I’m here with Damian…..we’re on a date.”

Nino wasn’t sure what he had been expecting her to say but that was not it. Marinette was on a date?! When had she met someone. He looked at the boy standing beside her and swallowed nervously. The guy was frowning at him pretty hard.

“Uh….that’s cool. How’d you two meet?” he asked, feeling slightly awkward.

If Marinette thought the same she gave no sign of this. “Well we first met at the Gotham Gardens, but actually Chloe and I are staying with him and his family for the rest of the trip.”

Nino quickly nodded and gave them a nervous smile. He had to act now or he would lose his nerve. “To be honest I came here with Adrien in hopes of running into you. I would really like for us to talk….i-if that’s okay.” He quickly added the last part.

Marinette turned to her date. “Do you mind if Nino and I talk?”

Damian stopped frowning in favor of giving Marinette a small smile. “I encouraged you to do this for a reason. It would be detrimental to discourage you at this point.”

Wow, this guy was like, super formal. Nino was distracted from his thoughts when Marinette turned to him and smiled. “Shall we?” Nodding he followed her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adrien had to admit while he had hoped that they would run into Marinette he had assumed they would run into her and Chloe. Instead they had found her on a date! What made this even more awkward was just a few minutes ago Nino had said he and Alya had always hoped that he and Marinette would have ended up dating. It wasn’t that he had never thought about it, but he just felt like they made better friends. Adrien often felt like he could barely handle maintaining normal friendships, he doubted he was ready to try dating. But….maybe one day.

“So….uh…..it’s a nice day.” he said smiling at Damian.

Silence.

“Are you….enjoying the fair?”

Silence.
Boy this was awkward.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Marinette I just wanted to say.”

Marinette held up a hand. “Nino….I understand.” she smiled. She knew this wasn’t going to be an easy conversation. But it was one she sometimes wasn’t sure would ever happen. “When you think you’re in love with someone, sometimes you can do crazy things.”

Nino looked like he couldn’t believe that is where the conversation was going to go. Which she supposed was fair. “But that’s not a good excuse.” he protested.

“I never said it was one.” she pointed out feeling a little bad when Nino looked away with a guilty expression. “I just said I understand.”

She took a deep breath before continuing. “For a long time I was in love with Adrien.” she confessed. “Or I thought I was. I’ll never really know because I never let myself fully get to know Adrien. No matter my good intentions, everything I did had at least a small note of planning and calculation to try and get closer to him. I put Adrien on a pedestal and it wasn’t fair to anyone. It took a long time for me to see that and actually start to be his friend.”

She could tell Nino was surprised, after all it wasn’t him who she had been open with about this, though she had never been this honest with Alya either. She never would be again probably. “Marinette I’m so sorry.” he apologized with a sigh. “I let myself be blinded to what was going on right in front of me. I had all these ideas on what made a boyfriend a good boyfriend. And it was enough to make me into a bad friend. Alya and I…..we’re through.”

 

“I’m sorry about that.” Marinette said with genuine regret in her voice. “I remember when you two first got together. You were a great couple and I wish things hadn’t ended up this way.”

“The Babe I fell in love with is gone.” Nino admitted as he looked down at his feet. “I accept that. From now on I’m going to work on myself and do whatever it takes to earn your forgiveness.”

“You probably don’t deserve it.” Marinette replied with a straight face. Nino looked up at her with a pained expression. “You hurt me a lot Nino. I can’t find it in my heart to forget what happened…..but I can find it in my heart to forgive you.”

Chapter Text

Marinette had once strongly believed that one day everyone would see through Lila’s deception and lies. Now she wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t known how talented Lila was. In some ways she was worse than Hawkmoth, an everyday super villain. At least with Hawkmoth there seemed a way to fight him.

A part of her had given up hope. That part of her believed in self preservation and decided it was better to gather those she cared about and let the others who she had once cared about go. It seemed like there was no hope for them. But now here was Nino, standing before her and apologising for all the hurt he had caused. The old Marinette would have wanted to forgive and forget, and believe in a better tomorrow.

Though the Marinette of today knew that a positive attitude and belief that things would one day get better wasn’t enough. People didn’t live in ‘one day’ they lived in the present. Sometimes the best option for a better future was just to accept what you couldn’t change on a large scale and take care of yourself. Marinette may have lost her friend group but now she knew who was truly on her side.

She wasn’t the old Marinette anymore, she would forgive but she wouldn’t let her forget. That was how mistakes of the past got repeated. The future couldn’t be changed all at once, sometimes you needed to take small steps. And standing before her was one of those small steps. Nino’s apology was one of those steps.

“Thanks Mar….Dudette.” Nino said with a small smile. Her old nickname brought a smile to Marinette’s face. Before she could say anything a voice called out.

“Hey this game is rigged!”

Marinette’s eyes widened a little. That voice was familiar!!

“That was Alix.” she commented. Looking off in the distance she saw Lila, Alya, Rose,Juleka, and Alix standing at one of the game booths. From the look on Alix’s face she was not pleased by the outcome of whatever game she had just played.

“You little brats better scram before I make you!” a large man running the game snarled. Why was she not surprised that Alix was biting off more than she could probably chew? Marinette inwardly sighed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nino looked around. “We need to help!” He started to forward but stopped when Marinette didn’t follow. “Dudette?”

She looked like she understood his confusion as she shook her head. “Once upon a time I would be right there with you.” she said with a small sad smile. “I did my best to solve everyone’s problems. But that wasn’t enough for you guys. Even though I helped everyone I was still wrong. I can’t do that to myself anymore.”

Nino wanted to protest, to tell Marinette she was wrong. But she wasn’t and now he saw it. And he hated himself all the more for it. How could they have all been so blind? They had hurt Marinette so much. “I understand,” he said softly. “It’s okay to not want to be hurt anymore. But I’ll stand with you, no matter what.”

Marinette looked conflicted and Nino couldn’t blame her.

“Marinette, you look as though you are distressed. “Do you require assistance?”

Nino looked up in surprise as Marinette’s date approached them. “We think some of our classmates are in trouble and I wanted to go help them.”

“So go?” he said in a slightly confused tone. As if he wasn’t sure why they were having this conversation.

“Nino if I go with you Alya will go maximum crazy on both of us.” Marinette sighed. “It’s better if you and Adrien go alone.”

Nino really wished he could argue but Marinette had a good point. So he nodded and headed in the direction of the girls. This was Gotham and there was no telling what might happen!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Damian watched Marinette watch her classmates hurry off. “Do you want to follow but keep your distance?” he offered.

Marinette opened her mouth and then closed it. Finally she sighed. “Just a little, but I meant what I said. No good would come of me going with Nino. From the sound of it Alix was talking big again. Things will probably be okay, and if not….well then maybe it will be a chance for Alix to pick her battles.”

Damian had made the suggestion knowing Marinette would probably worry and wanted to give her an excuse to go make sure everything was okay. He knew the signs of shutting yourself off from others. He didn’t want Marinette to shut herself off from the world. Her shine was much too beautiful to be locked away.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Juleka nervously watched as things escalated between Alix and the carnival worker. They had been looking for Nino and Adrien for hours. They had taken a small break to get something to eat and then Alix had insisted on playing the ring toss game. Gotham was so different from Paris. The video had warned them but it seemed like no one was really taking it seriously.

What was Alix thinking?! This guy was twice her size and she had just called him a cheater and that his game was rigged. She usually didn’t play carnival games since Rosie liked to pull her to the petting zoo as soon as they got there, so she wasn’t sure if Alix was bad or if the game was rigged. But then again this was Gotham so it was very likely that it was.

“Um…..everything okay here?” A voice asked. Juleka looked up in surprise as Adrien and Nino approached. Well there was one worry out of the way. She had been inwardly cringing as she imagined Alya’s overly fake reaction to ‘accidentally’ bumping into the boys.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Nino!” Alya exclaimed as she ran over to him. She had been starting to worry that Lila had been wrong about the boys going to the fair. Not that she would ever say it outloud of course. She glanced at her friends and felt encouraged by their smiles

She almost hugged him but stopped herself when she noticed that his body was tense. That wasn’t a good sign. “I missed you.” she said with a small smile.

She started to become a little nervous when he didn’t say it back to her. “Nino….can we talk?” she asked.

Nino sighed. “Alya I don’t think we have anything to talk about.” he protested.

“Nino, how can you say that?!” she gasped as she took hold of his hand. “We’ve been through so much! We’ve worked through every problem we’ve ever come up against.”

Nino pulled his hand away and frowned. “This is something we can’t work through because you refuse to meet me in the middle!”

“So our breakup was because of Marinette!” Alya glared as she clenched her fists. She fucking knew it! Lila was right as usual. But the part that confused her was trying to figure out when Marinette had sunk her claws into Nino. They were always together at school and hung out all the time.

Nino gave a tired sigh. “Look….I’m not going to lie and say our break up doesn’t have anything to do with Marinette. But it’s more than that. I’ve been letting a lot of things go because I thought as a good boyfriend I needed to support you, even when I thought you were wrong. And that was wrong. I’m not going to just sit by and say nothing because it’s easier!”

“Wh-what are you talking about?” Alya asked. How long had Nino felt like this? How had she never noticed?!

“Ever since Lila came you’ve been different.” Nino replied. “I didn’t notice at first, or maybe I didn’t want to notice. I got caught up in everything going on. But enough is enough. Trying to be a good boyfriend to you made me a bad friend to Marinette. No one has been fair to her!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``
Lila did not like where this was going. What the hell did Nino think he was doing laying these debts at her doorstep?! Where the hell did he get the nerve for such a thing? She had to do something and make it quick.

“I...I didn’t mean to break anyone up.” she stammered as she forced tears to come to her eyes. “I always thought Nino and Alya were a great couple. I can’t help it if Marinette doesn’t like me. But is that really a good reason to break up?”

Nino pinched the bridge of his nose. “You know what….I’m going to go. Alya if you ever want to talk without the school’s resident drama queen let me know.”

Before anyone could say anything Nino grabbed Adrien’s hand and pulled him off. Lila had been planning to pull him into this to have a shoulder to cry on. Shortly after they walked away Alya started to cry. Lila could work with that.

“Alya don’t cry.” she cooed. “What he said was so out of line. I don’t know why he would try to blame everything on you and myself!”

“I...I just….I don’t know…...what’s gotten…...i-into him!!” Alya sniffled. “He’s never...talked like…..like that before!!”

“Maybe he wasn’t ready to talk.” a soft voice spoke up “Or maybe this was a conversation to have in private?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When the attention turned to her Juleka regretted speaking up. But for once she wasn’t going to back track or run away.

“What do you mean?” Lila asked with wide eyes. “Are you saying Alya shouldn’t have tried to talk to Nino?!”

This was normally the point where she would blush and mumble something to get out of this. But she wasn’t going to let Lila turn everything around this time. So she took a deep breath and brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. “No….it’s just…..Nino said he wanted time. And maybe Alya should have waited. I mean they haven’t been apart for even a whole day. Or if she really wanted to have a serious conversation, a public setting with her girlfriends in toe wasn’t the best idea. Which is probably why Nino walked away from the situation.”

Everyone was staring at her and she wanted to find a hole to crawl into and hide forever. But she was done hiding. Nino taking a stand gave her courage to speak her mind. Without waiting for Lila to react, which she was sure would be bad, Juleka turned to Rose.

“I’m sorry Rosie, I know you really want them to get back together and this isn’t what you want to hear but maybe this is for the best.” she apologised. “I think Nino was right to apologise to Marinette and I plan to do the same next time I see her.”

Juleka stepped away to go. She knew how much of a romantic her girlfriend was, maybe supporting Marinette would mean she would lose Rose. But Marinette deserved justice and she wasn’t going to let Lila silence her anymore. But to her surprise Rose grabbed her hand and stopped her from moving.

“Juleka you should know you don’t have to hide how you feel from me!” the blonde insisted with a smile. “I don’t really understand what you’re feeling but I believe your feelings are valid. Why don’t we go talk about it?”

Juleka looked at her with shock but soon smiled. She should have known her Rosie wouldn’t just abandon her. Rose always believed in open communication. Lila had threatened to take Rose away from her, and before it had been enough to scare her into silence. “Thanks for listening to my voice.” she smiled shyly before they walked away. Rose called out some goodbye to the others but Juleka was gathering her thoughts so she could make her case before Lila got a chance to try and poison Rosie’s mind.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Well…..that was an unexpected turn of events.” Marinette mused. She didn’t know if it was an accident of design but she and Damian had ended up far enough to not be spotted but close enough to overhear what had just happened. Actually they had caught the end of the fight between Alya and Nino.

“The issues of teenage girls are a mystery to me.” Damian replied.

Marinette gave a snort of laughter. “Come on, let's get out of here before they spot me.” she smiled as she took hold of Damian’s hand to lead him away. She had no doubt Lila would love to pull focus over the verbal bitch slapping Juleka had just delivered. Something about what had just happened buzzed in the back of her mind. But for now she was going to focus on enjoying her date!

Chapter Text

Dick was exhausted, he had done so much running around that day! He had quickly caught onto Marinette and Damian's strategy and accepted the challenge; he liked to think he lost with grace, dignity, and a socially acceptable amount of sulking. Hey may not have been able to see much of the big date but on the bright side Mar’i had enjoyed herself. It wasn’t like Harley and Ivy had had any better luck. At least he didn’t think so since neither had any pictures posted on their twitter. He followed both on his Nightwing account since he thought it might look strange if Dick Grayson followed them. Though there was a good chance that they had so many followers they wouldn’t notice. It made sense for Nightwing to follow since it could be seen as good naturedly check ups. Posting wouldn’t seem weird. What reason did Dick Grayson have to do that? Not a lot.

Dinner was delicious as ever and he couldn’t help but smile as Mar’i told Marinette how much fun she had had that day. And if he skillfully the amused looks Marinette shot him as Mar’i congratulated her and Damian for how good they were at hide and seek she was gracious enough to not say anything on the matter.

“And then me and Daddy got cotton candy and we had so much fun Nettie, though Daddy said I couldn’t feed any to the petting zoo animals.”

“Your Daddy was right to say that sugar would make them sick.” Marinette smiled. Dick had of course noticed that Mar’i had started to call Marinette Nettie but didn’t comment on it. She had called her Mari before but wondered if she had switched because it sounded like her own name. It was cute how quickly his little princess had accepted Marinette.

“Time for dessert!” Dick looked up with interest, Marinette had been making something every day since she came to the Manor. Alfred had tried to tell her she didn’t have to but she said she was happy to do so and that baking was a fun and relaxing hobby for her. He was glad that she wasn’t being pushed into taking over her family’s bakery and was instead being allowed to pursue the career path she wanted.

“Tah-dah!”

Dick’s eyes went wide at what had just been put on the table. Marinette had made a pineapple upside down cake. “Did you cut the pineapple into Nightwing symbols and dye them blue?!” That was obviously what she had done because that was what he was looking at.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marinette smiled at Dick’s surprised face. “Yup,” she answered, making the p sound pop. “Damian said Nightwing is your favorite. He also told me that you used to be an acrobat in the circus. A pineapple upside down cake is light and airy, it does it’s own thing by starting off upside down to seem right side up which is just like what I’ve seen from you. I can’t imagine you trying to act boring and normal anymore than I can see trying to bake a pineapple upside down cake right side up!”

Marinette had made a point to ask about everyone’s favorite member of the vigilante team that protected Gotham, and found it funny that it seemed like everyone was a shameless cheerleader for their alter ego. Though this way when she made a treat for someone if she wanted she could now incorporate that alter ego into the dish without needing to make up a story.

She could tell from the amused look Jason was giving her that he was impressed with her.

“Oh, you looked a little down earlier so I also sent something to your phone.” she added as she started to help Alfred pass out the slices he had just cut.
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Dick was flattered, he had not expected to be included in Marinette’s quest to provide special treats for her host family. Okay, so maybe he had been a little jealous of Timmy’s Red Robin chocolate espresso beignets. But only a little!! Her explanation just added another tally mark for the Marinette Is A Magical Baking Pixie Girl.

The cake was perfect. It was light, fruity, and sweet. Not that he expected anything less from Marinette. He had already taken pictures with plans to post them. He was distracted by the beautiful deliciousness before he remembered what Marinette had said about sending him something on the phone. When he opened it he gasped. Marinette had sent him pictures from her day at the fair. There were selfies with her and Damian, pictures of Damian playing fair games or eating unhealthy fair food, there were even some pictures of himself and Mar’i looking around for them.

“How did you get an angle this high?” he asked, looking confused.

“Marinette is very creative.” Damian answered with a smug smile.

God...their wedding is going to be absolutely amazing!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BetterassthanNightwing@TherealDickGrayson: A perfect end to a perfect day. Marinette is 100% a magical baking pixie girl. Fight me

Attached was a picture of the Nightwing themed pineapple upside down cake

IamtheNightwing@OGRobin: Someone has good taste

HahaHarley@Madeyoulaugh: Little Lapis is so talented

GothamIvy@Ispeakforthetrees: She has many talents

HahaHarley@Madeyoulaugh: Of course Red!

Jokesonyou@Ilivedbitches: Dick get off my coat tails. Pixie is part of my nickname! I called her Pixie Pop first! Copyright! I will sue you!
BetterassthanNightwing@TherealDickGrayson: Get off your coat tails? That’s pretty rich coming from you. Also what are you going to try and take. I have nothing of value

Jokesonyou@Ilivedbitches: I’ll come for your collection.

BetterassthanNightwing@TherealDickGrayson: You stay away from my cereal!!

Espressoyourself@Duckgoesquak: You two are ridiculous. Can any lawyers tell me if I can un-adopt older brothers but keep everyone else?
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Marinette groaned as she was shaken awake. “Tikki?” she groaned looking at her kwami, she looked and saw that Pollen had also woken up Chloe.

“Marinette the akuma alert on your phone went off!”

“My Queen, please check your phone!”

Instantly Marinette felt herself jolt into being fully awake as she grabbed her phone. She opened the akuma alert and took in the details. “Tikki spots on!”

Once she transformed she was about to call for Kaalki but Chloe stopped her. “Wait!”

Ladybug looked at her friend in surprise. “What is it?” Chloe knew the routine. They couldn’t both go unless it was absolutely necessary. Chloe held out her phone and Ladybug’s eyes went wide as she read a text message Chloe had just gotten.

“Come get me.” She didn’t know the number, however the contact name was Midnight.

“It’s from Jason.” Ladybug said even though it was obvious

“Looks like he’s letting you know he’s ready to put his claws out.” Chloe said softly.

Ladybug was touched, she had made it clear that she would only come get Midnight when they needed his cataclysm, so his life wouldn’t be interrupted anymore than it had to be by the Paris problem. But here he was telling her he was ready to go with her. She guessed that he too had put the akuma alert app on his phone so he would be able to let her know he wanted to come with her before his power was needed.

“He truly is going to be my partner.” she whispered to herself. Tears of relief came to her eyes but she blinked them back. It had been such a long time since she felt like she had true support from the cat miraculous. Chat had put her on edge but it was only now that she had Jason that she was able to see how much she had dreaded coming together with Chat Noir in those last days.

“Kaalki….Tikki…..unify!” She had a cat to pick up on the way.

Chapter Text

When the blue circle appeared in his room Jason was ready. He had told Ladybug he was in this until death and he meant it. Without a word he held out his hand and as soon as the cat miraculous was dropped into his hand Plagg came flying out.

“Well looks like we’re going to do this?” the kwami sighed.

Jason understood his reluctance. The Paris kids were nothing like him, but that was okay because he had a fucking job to do and he was going to do it.

“Plagg….claws out!”
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Viperion flipped out of the way of the akuma’s lazer. Ryuko and he had been fighting it for almost a half hour. Hopefully Ladybug would get there soon, being so far away and in another time zone her response to the Akuma alert could vary. The civilians had all cleared out so at least there was that. The akumatized person was a librarian that was tired of teenagers being disrespectful and noisy in her library, so now any teenager she saw she stole their voice

It wasn’t the worst akumatized person they had faced while Ladybug was away but he knew they had to be very careful. If either of them were hit they wouldn’t be able to use their power. Thankfully their training helped prepare them for things like this. After Team Miraculous had been formed, Ladybug had suggested they run drills and practice maneuvers. Having powers was great but there was always room for improvement. Plus sometimes they were trapped in their civilian forms and had to figure out a way to act.

Finally a familiar flash of blue caught his eye and he gave a sharp whistle to get Ryuko’s attention. He turned and started to run knowing Ryuko would follow. Ladybug always pulled them away from the fight so they could give her whatever information they knew.

“Who is that with Ladybug?” Ryuko asked as they jumped from rooftop to rooftop.

Viperion looked and noticed for the first time that there was someone with Ladybug. A new miraculous holder? But he was older…..and it looked like he had used the black cat! “Well we will find out.” he calmly stated.
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Midnight would be lying if he said he wasn’t a little nervous. Ladybug had explained that until she got there her partners Ryuko and Viperion did damage control. She explained that they regrouped away from the danger. As soon as the akuma spotted her they would go after her miraculous. These were her team members, it was different from knowing Honey Flash. What if the others didn’t approve of him?

“Don’t worry, Ryuko will be suspicious of you but I know Viperion will welcome you. But both of them will accept you because I don’t give a miraculous to anyone who doesn’t deserve one.” Ladybug said softly.

“You better cut that mind reading shit.” he grumbled. Midnight decided to ignore her laughing at him. He straightened up as Viperion and Ryuko landed and started to approach.

Ryuko was the first to speak. “Ladybug who is this?” She asked with a frown that could rival Robin, which was pretty impressive. Viperion was calm, but then again Ladybug had said he was a pretty chill dude.

“This is my new partner Midnight.” Ladybug began. “We discovered that he is the true holder for the cat miraculous.”

“So this is not temporary?” Ryuko asked. Midnight felt his heart sink, this chick hated him.”

“Welcome to the team.” Viperion smiled. “We’re happy to have you.” Midnight looked at him in surprise.

Ryuko seemed to realize something and nodded in agreement. “Yes, we know using the cat miraculous hurts Ladybug but even so she would never give it to someone who could not handle the power.
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Ladybug was pretty sure how things would work out, but it was still a relief to hear that Ryuko and Viperion accept Midnight. She knew even though he didn’t want to show it, that he was anxious about meeting the rest of Team Miraculous. This was very different from knowing Honey Flash.

“What’s going on with the akuma?” she asked, they needed to get back to business.

She listened to Viperion’s explanation. Ladybug was glad that Midnight’s first akuma wasn’t a super dangerous one. “Have you needed to use Second Chance?” she asked.

“No but there have been some close calls.” Viperion reported.

“Alright let's go, we’ve been away for too long.”

It didn’t take long to find where the akuma, Ms. Silence was. She was distracted with her hunt to catch whatever teenager she could find.

“I guess it’s too late to return that overdue book.” she called out to get the Ms. Silence’s attention.

“Ladybug there you are! First I’ll take your voice and then I will take your miraculous!”

Ladybug rolled her eyes, it was always the same.

“So what’s the game plan?” Midnight asked.
“Oh? And who is this new delinquent?” Ms. Silence asked.

Ladybug debated on answering, wondering if it was wise to let Hawkmoth know she had a new partner. “This is my new partner and holder of the cat miraculous. Meet Midnight.” Hawkmoth was going to find out sooner or later.

“Sup.” Midnight greeted with a two finger salute.

As expected it didn’t take long for the butterfly shaped eye mask to appear. This was fine, Ladybug wanted Hawkmoth to know she wasn’t on the ropes anymore. It was public knowledge that Chat Noir had been benched.
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Being Midnight was nothing like being Red Hood. It was almost a little like the old days of being Robin, but this time the magic was real and not just a feeling. Now it was his job to be the protector. The training he had done with Ladybug had been helpful but actually fighting was so different.

Having this new agility and strength was pretty crazy! It was amazing to be able to jump from building to building with almost no effort. But while they were all able to avoid being hit by the crazy chick’s eye beam they couldn’t figure out a way to beat her. “How the hell are we supposed to do this?” He growled.

“Every akumatized person has an object that holds the akuma butterfly. If we break that we can defeat them.” Ladybug explained.

Midnight shook his head a little, unsure of what to do.

“Look! She has been holding a ruler this whole time!” Ryuko pointed out.

“That’s right. But we can’t get close to her.” Midnight complained.

“I know what to do.” Ladybug announced. Taking her yo-yo she threw it into the air. “Lucky charm!”

Midnight watched in amazement as a light flashed and suddenly she was holding three bells. What the hell was she going to be doing with those. He wanted to ask what the hell was going on but decided to let her work. Ladybug looked all around, he remembered her explaining her power and how she just needed to put it all together.

“I’ve got it! Ms. Silence hates noise right? So the three of you are going to separate and ring your bells at different times. Midnight, Ryuko, and then Viperion. While she’s distracted I will knock the ruler from her hand, Midnight. I'm going to need you to be ready with your cataclysm.”

They broke apart and split up. Then they put the plan into action and everything went like clockwork.

He watched as Ladybug scooped up the ruler and watched in awe as she broke it and a black little butterfly escaped. Not that it got very far.

“No more evil doing for you. Bye Bye little butterfly.'' She smiled before throwing her yo-yo in the air. “Miraculous Ladybug!”

Midnight watched wide eyed as a swarm of white butterflies started to swarm and fix all the damage. No wonder the government wasn’t doing anything about this shit. They thought that as long as Ladybug could fix whatever damage happened then everything was okay.

“Good job everyone!” Ladybug smiled.

“That was pretty neat. Our rhythm is strong.” Viperion smiled

“We did perform well for our first time in battle.” Ryuko shrugged. She was giving him serious Demon Brat vibes. Especially when she looked at him with a piercing stare. “So you are the new cat miraculous holder? Do you feel capable of holding this responsibility?"”

“Ladybug needs me and I will do whatever I can to keep her and the rest of Paris safe.” Midnight promised. “You can count on me!”

Ladybug nodded. “Midnight is a true holder just like us. Otherwise he would not be here. I would never risk someone else the way….the Chat Noir had been at risk. I trust Midnight with my life. I have even told him who I was.” He could see that this was a big deal to the other.

“I am running out of time.” Ryuko announced. “I look forward to speaking to you in the next group chat. If Ladybug trusts you this much then I will follow her lead.”

“I’m with Ryuko.” Viperion smiled. “I’d tell you who I am now….but you never know who’s listening.”

“Get going you two. Midnight and I will return to Gotham.” Ladybug said softly.
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“Tikki spots off.”

“Plagg claws in.”

Marinette hugged Jason after offering Tikki a macaron. “That was great!” she squealed.

Jason smiled and hugged her back. “Yeah….that was pretty cool.” he agreed.

Chapter Text

I woke up this morning and saw that I hit 1000 bookmarks. So like I said I'm going to make a deleted scenes story. Please go check it out and let me know what you wish you could have read. I know a lot of people wanted to see what happened with Dick and the others during the big date.