Ivan Bruel was a simple sort of guy. Sure, he may seem rather intimidating with his size and stoic expression but once you get passed it, you’ll see that he’s nothing more than a gentle giant. He hardly ever asks for much or ever wants much; he just wants people around him to be happy. Especially his dearest girlfriend Mylene Haprele. He still remembers the strides he had to overcome to get her to notice him and accepts his feelings. Thankfully she did and he made it his mission in life to always show Mylene his love and loyalty to her.
Things then began to change when the new student Lila Rossi entered the classroom. Like any other, Ivan thought she seemed pretty cool although sometimes the tales the Italian student tends to spin seemed a little too farfetched for one person to fulfill.
“Well we are surrounded by many people who have achieved many great things our age. I mean for starters; you play a pretty mean set of drums for Kitty Section.” Mylene told him.
Ivan smiled and accepted that. Still a tiny inkling inside told him to be weary of Lila. For now, Ivan decided to keep that to himself. Mylene seemed to find Lila as a great person and amazing friend so in time, he will too.
Or so he thought.
For a while now, Ivan has been noticing how Lila would complain about how her wrists would be sore and have sprained so Mylene, being the ever so generous angel that she is, offers to carry her books and lunch trays. Ivan would also assist but the inkling keeps jabbing at him.
‘If her wrists are so sore, why isn’t she wearing bandages or gauze?’ The voices tell him.
He pushes it back. ‘Stop it, Lila just needs help. If Mylene trusts her, I should too.’
‘Are you sure about that?’
Ivan then watched as Marinette threw a paper napkin which Lila caught effortlessly. Huh, for a girl with a sprained wrist that was a pretty good catch. Few seconds later, Lila then began to howl in pain and tell some story about a napkin gouging out someone’s eye.
‘Wait, what….?’ Ivan thought.
“Are you proud of yourself?” Mylene’s scolding voice broke his thoughts.
“Now Lila is even more pain because of you!” Kim said angrily.
Ivan watched as Marinette ran off, feeling ashamed. ‘Go after her, Marinette needs a friend.’ The voices told him.
“Are you okay, Lila?” Mylene spoke.
The Italian transfer merely smiled as she rubbed her wrists. Her not purpling wrists, her wrists that was holding bracelets and bangles instead of bandages like any other injured person should.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be alright, thank you for your concern.” Lila replied sweetly. Ivan felt the back of his hairs stand at her tone. “I’ll go find Marinette, maybe I can talk a little sense in her.”
“You sure your wrists aren’t too sore?” Rose asked worried.
Lila just smiled and excused herself.
“Wow, even after all that Lila still shows concern for Marinette.” Rose admired.
“I just hope that in time Marinette will learn to see how great Lila is.” Mylene said then turned to her boyfriend. “Right Ivan?”
Mylene’s brows furrowed a bit. “Ivan? Ivan~!”
The giant blinked and looked at his tiny girlfriend. “I’m sorry what?”
“I said that in time Marinette will learn to see how great Lila is, don’t you think so?”
“Y-yea sure.” Ivan replied.
Whether she caught his hesitation or not, Ivan wasn’t sure. He was to busy going back and forth with the voices in his mind. And the doubt was winning.
Time passed; Ivan would hope that things would get to normalcy. Well as normal was it could get when you live in a city that’s being terrorized by a strange butterfly man and is being saved by two courageous youngsters in a ladybug and cat suit.
But they did not.
Lila continued to spin many grand tales and Mylene would always listen and gush about it. To be honest, it was sort of driving Ivan crazy. “Lila did this….Lila did that….she said this….she said that.” Is all he would hear from Mylene or the other girls. Ivan wants to so badly say something but Mylene looked happy and her happiness is very important to him, so he remained silent and stoic.
Until one day….
“Did you know that one of my uncles was good friends with the comedian and owner of the Restos du cœur foundation? I’ve been there once or twice before my travels and I’m thinking of doing some volunteer work there.” Lila spoke.
“Really?” Mylene said, eyes lighting up. “That’s cool! My father once donated and volunteered for them as well, after his success as an actor.”
Ivan caught how Lila’s eyes widen in shocked before she composed herself. Smiling sweetly, she replied. “Your father is an actor? That’s interesting!”
Mylene nodded. “Oh yes! He’s an amazing actor, I just hope I can follow in his footsteps. You know, maybe one day you and I can go the Restos du cœur foundation and volunteer together?”
Ivan side glanced at Lila and watched as her green eyes shifted from annoyance to concern. “Oh Mylene that would be wonderful but the thing is, they currently have enough volunteers as it is. There wouldn’t be any room for you.”
Ivan’s eyes narrowed. ‘What kind of bull is that? Charities are always open to volunteers!’ the voices spoke.
Mylene looked a bit downhearted. “O-Oh…I see. Well maybe another time.”
Lila placed a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll be sure to put a good word for you.”
“Thank you, Lila! And maybe, I can donate to them as well! Do you think you’d be willing to give them my donation?”
“Of course! Anything for a sweet generous person like you.”
Mylene was about to dig into her purse for her wallet when Ivan finally have had it. He stood up and grabbed Mylene’s wrist and pulled her away from the surprised Lila.
“Ivan! W-What are you doing?!” Mylene squawked as she was being dragged down the school hallway.
Ivan said nothing, a determined expression in his face. Anybody in the way quickly moved to the side so they wouldn’t get run over by the giant student. Once they were far enough and entered an empty classroom, Ivan finally stopped and let go of Mylene’s wrists. He flinched and looked guilty when Mylene rubbed the soreness of her hand.
She huffed and stood akimbo. “Can you please explain to me what that was about?”
“Mylene, please listen to me.” Ivan began calmly. “I know you think Lila is a great person and all but don’t you think maybe there’s something a little….off… about her?”
“What do you mean?”
“Think about it, lately it seems that Lila has making many claims and sometimes she talks about these injuries just to get us to carry her stuff or buy her lunch?”
Mylene frowned. “She just needs help with all the charity work she does and as her friends, we should help those in their time of need.”
“Yes that’s true, but lately it seems that Lila keeps pushing it. Don’t you think it’s a bit too much?”
“Ivan.” She reprimanded, not understanding why he was acting like this, “You shouldn’t say that, Lila must’ve been bearing the pain this whole time.” She clasped her hands together, a concerned frown as she thought about Lila holding her pain in this whole time. “Poor girl, bearing all this pain and yet she’s always pushing it to make the world a better place.”
“And that’s another thing, you were about to give your money to her when you clearly could’ve donated it yourself.”
“I know but Lila said she would do it for me.”
“How do you know she wasn’t going to run with it?”
“Ivan!” Mylene gasped with shock. “I can’t believe you would accuse Lila of thievery!”
“I’m not.” Ivan bit back. “I just don’t want you to be tricked and fall prey to her.”
Mylene was silent as she looked into her boyfriend’s concerned expression. Finally she squared her shoulders. “I get it now; Marinette got to you, didn’t she?”
Ivan sputtered. “W-what?! What does Marinette have to do with any of this?!”
“Ivan…” his girlfriend sighed. “Marinette is just a bit jealous and she can’t see how great of a person Lila is. Now she’s making you think of our friend as a bad person.”
“Marinette is our friend as well! In fact, she’s one of the reasons we’re together.”
“I know that, and I’ll always be grateful, but I can’t stand it when she’s causing a rift between all of us.”
“Are you sure she wasn’t trying to warn us?”
“Warn us about what?”
“Its just….” Ivan breathed deeply to keep himself calm. He won’t have another Stone Heart incident. Never again. “Look, you and I are the kind of people who wishes for everyone to be happy, don’t we? And I get that you think Lila is this great person and all but lately I’ve been noticing that sometimes she…..”
“She’s treating you like a servant.”
Light brown eyes widen with shock and horror. “What?! How dare you!”
Ivan face palmed. “Shoot! That’s not what I meant!”
“Then what?! What did you mean?!” Mylene asked hotly.
Ivan said nothing. He didn’t know what to say or how to fix this. Mylene however looked even more upset then she’s ever been and worst of all, it was being directed to him. Ivan felt sick. Not once in their entire relationship has Mylene ever frowned at him.
“I’m going home.” She said quietly.
“Bu-but….we had a date afterschool….” Ivan tried to salvage this.
She shook her multi-colored hair. “I don’t feel like going anywhere right now.”
She left before her boyfriend could say anything. Ivan stayed there, feeling more and more upset then ever. Not caring that a single purple butterfly was slowly inching towards him….
“Ivan, look out!”
Quickly turning, he saw a flash of blue and pink zip by follow by the sound of a jar lip closing. He saw that it was none other then Marinette folding an akuma butterfly inside a jar. She sighed with relief.
“Whew, thank goodness for empty paint jars.” Marinette said cheerfully.
“Marinette…” Ivan said, amazed. ‘Adrien is right. She really is an everyday Ladybug.’
The French-Asian looked over and gasped. “Ivan! What’s wrong, you’re tearing up”
The gentle giant blinked and realized his eyes were getting wet. He reached up and wiped them away. “I….I messed up.”
Both friends sat down in a private section of the school courtyard. Ivan told Marinette everything, from the argument he and Mylene had, to the doubts he had towards Lila. All while Marinette listened with patience and understanding.
“And that’s everything that’s been going on.” Ivan concluded.
Marinette nodded and placed a petite hand ontop of Ivan’s larger one. “I’m sorry about all that, Ivan. I know you were just looking out for Mylene.”
He nodded grateful. “I appreciate it, Marinette but I’m the one who should say sorry. You’ve been trying to warn us about Lila and now she’s….I’m just worried about Mylene.”
His friend merely smiled and patted his hand gently. “Please don’t apologize. I will admit for a while I was a bit….jealous, but really the only reason I kept trying to call out Lila is because I don’t her to get all of your hopes up only to have it come crashing down when you find out the truth.”
Ivan chuckled and shook his head with amusement. “You’re a really great person, you know that Marinette.”
The girl giggled lightly. “Well, I do have some pretty great friends.”
Quickly the giant frowned. “Not so great right now. What should I do about Mylene? I’m worried that Lila will continue to be a bad influence on her.”
Marinette tapped her chin in thought. “I think for now, lets have Mylene cool down a bit then you can talk to her again.”
Ivan nodded once. “Do you….think you can help me?”
“For you, anything!”
Mylene sat in her bedroom with the curtains closed. She sighed deeply as she looked at a heart shaped frame sitting atop of her bed side drawer. It was a picture of her and Ivan when they first started dating with the Eiffel Tower behind them. In the picture he was planting a kiss on her cheek while she was giggling.
‘Oh Ivan….’ She thought softly. ‘Maybe I was a bit harsh. He’s just trying to look out for me, like any sweet boyfriend should.’
“Mylene?” Her father, Fred knocked on the door. “May I come in?”
In entered her father, Fred Haprele, a tall lanky man with his special derpy hat sitting on his head. He sat on the edge of the bed, placing a gentle comforting hand on his daughter’s leg.
“What’s wrong, my little star? Weren’t you going to go on a date with your boyfriend?”
Mylene sat up and leaned towards her father. “Ivan and I got into an….argument today, papa.”
Fred’s eyebrows shot up surprise. “What happened?”
“Its sort of…my fault.”
“What do you mean, sweetie? You know you can tell your dear papa anything, right?”
Mylene nodded. “I know I can, its just….there’s this girl in my class, a transfer student.
She…she’s this really amazing person, kind of reminds me of Marinette.”
“Ah, I remember Miss Marinette. She’s the one who made me this special hat.” He took off his derby hat to show the pocket inside the hat to show the profile picture of his daughter. “Still special.”
Mylene giggled a bit. “But anyway, lately this girl would tell these grandiose stories about her adventures and I just want to help her out because she’s always in pain. Today, I wanted to help her but Ivan sort of….stopped me. He told me that he feels like this girl is treating me…like a servant instead of a friend.”
Fred gave a thoughtful look as he took in what his daughter was telling him. “It seems to me like perhaps Ivan was trying to protect you from this young lady.”
Mylene looked at her father confused. “Protect me?”
“Your mama and I have been watching the relationship between you and Ivan grow and we can tell that always has your best interests at heart. Reminds me of myself when I was courting your mother during our time in the university.” Fred said with a fond smile at the memories. “Now if Ivan was telling you this, then perhaps he had a good reason.”
Mylene got up with a huff. “But Lila is so nice and amazing and….! Ivan has no reason to say or think those things!”
Fred looked at his daughter patiently. “How can you be sure dear? Has Ivan ever given you a reason to not trust his word or his judgement?”
“N-no…..” she replied after a short pause. “But…!”
“My precious star,” Fred said as he stood up and placed his hands on Mylene’s shoulders with a comforting look that any father would give their daughter. “In this world, not everyone or everything is at it seems. Sometimes people wear masks to hide their intentions.” He then made a flourishing pose. “We must look beyond the stage, past the curtains and you will then see how a person truly is.”
Mylene creased her brows to think of everything her father said. The cogs in head were spinning as she attempting to put everything together.
“Papa….just one question.”
“You’ve been to the Restos du cœur foundation, haven’t you?”
Fred looked a bit confused at the random question. “Whenever I get the chance and your mama goes as well, why do you ask?”
Mylene bit her lower lip as she braced herself. “Have….you ever met or seen anyone named Lila Rossi or anyone in that family name?”
Fred still looked confused. “No, not to my knowledge. Why do you ask, dearest?”
Mylene simply covered her face with her hands, trying very hard to not cry as her entire body shook. “I….I need to go apologize to Ivan and someone else I’ve hurt.”
Before Fred could ask, Mylene bolted from her room, down the stairs and out the front door only to halt in shock.
There on the front steps stood Ivan with a small bouget of white lilies and a sheepish expression.
“Hi Mylene.” He greeted quietly. “I….I came to apologize and….”
“No.” Mylene said tearfully. She then threw herself at her boyfriend who stumbled back but after a quick second he embraced her. “No Ivan don’t ever apologize for something that wasn’t your fault. You were just trying to protect me.”
Ivan looked down at her fondly. “Always have and always will, Mylene. I love you.”
Mylene sniffled and gave him a watery smile. “I love you too.”
They shared a kiss, relationship repaired and built stronger than ever.
“So….” Ivan began, holding up the bouquet which Mylene took gently. “Are you still up for the movies and ice cream date?”
Mylene nodded. “Yes, but first I think I need to go see Marinette.”
Ivan grinned. “Funny you mentioned that, you can come out now.”
Looking to the side from the stoop, appeared a very familiar pigtailed hair girl with a sheepish smile.
“Hi Myl-ACK!!” Marinette yelped when a flash of rainbow threw themselves at her.
After some hugging, crying, apologies and forgiveness, all was well.
“Oh Mylene, there you are!” Lila greeted the girl when she, Ivan and Marinette stepped into the classroom. “I was a bit concern after yesterday’s little incident since you didn’t come back.”
Mylene gave the Italian a small smile yet it didn’t reach her eyes. “Thank you for your concern, Lila. But don’t worry everything is fine now.”
Lila nodded happily. “That’s good! So about that donation, if you still want I can give it to Restos du cœur foundation and of course I’ll be sure to put in a good word for you.”
“No need, Lila.” Mylene said with a big smile. “Me and Ivan donated ourselves.”
Lila stopped in shock. “Wh-what?”
“You see, Lila, my father and mother volunteer with Restos du cœur as well as several other charities.”
“O-Oh! Is that so?” Lila said through her teeth, trying not look to nervous. Especially since a few other students paused to look at them. “W-well, I’m glad to see that they finally opened a few spots and…”
“Its funny though, Lila.” Ivan spoke up, a look of mischief in his face. “We dropped your name, and wouldn’t you know it, nobody’s ever heard of anyone named Lila Rossi or even the Rossi family.”
At this point, Lila was trying very hard to not explode especially since the spectators were starting to murmur and give looks of suspicion. “W-well….you know, its my….auntie, from you know my mom’s side of the family and we….”
“Your aunt? Not your uncle, as you claimed?” Mylene questioned.
“W-well….I…..” Lila looked to the door, ready to bolt.
However, her only exist was blocked when Ivan stood by the door, arms crossed, face menacingly staring her down. “Is there anything else you would like to share, Lie-la?”
"Restos du cœur" - Is an actual French Charity where there are many volunteers donating and distributing food to those who have very low income and even helps people find housing and many other projects. Founded by french comedian and actor Coluche it has become a very popular event and to this day, every year the media would show the project its goals and how people can help.
-Sorry if Ivan and Mylene seemed rather out of character. I don't really know them that well other then tiny screen times that they had in show. However Ivan does strike me as one of the strong silent and observing types while Mylene would always jump in to help anyone so if Ivan notices anyone pushing his girl around, he has to step in to protect her. Also I have noticed that many fanfics don't have this cute couple stepping up to expose Lila and are usually left to crash and burn. Which I dont blame since again, these and several other characters barely get any screen time. Still lets try to step up and give them some love!