Marinette let out a soft yawn as Miss Bustier continued with her lecture. Late night patrols were taking their toll. Between being a superhero, student, and budding fashion designer, the teenage heroine was always in battle with a lack of sleep.
“Up late again?” Alya said from her left.
“It’s not my fault that 2:00 AM is a perfectly reasonable time for artistic inspiration.”
Alya chuckled. “One of these days, we’re going to get you on a vacation. You, me, Nino… and Adrien.”
The boy in question after hearing his name began to turn around. What she would give for a distraction at that moment.
The classroom door slammed open and all the heads in the room snapped to the door. Ladybug and Chat Noir dashed into the room.
“You all need to evacuate immediately.” Ladybug said to the class. Murmuring began instantly.
Marinette blinked as she took in the superhero duo. A fake? Again? The students began to rush out of the room but Marinette didn’t notice. Her eyes were on the superhero duo as she glanced back and forth between the two. Chat was definitely real, she knew his mannerisms anywhere. But the Ladybug had to be fake, there was no question after an illusionist like Volpina could create fake heroes.
But something was wrong. The heroes seemed uncharacteristically nervous as they glanced around the room. Marinette felt her stomach drop when she realized Ladybug was staring right at her.
A tugging on her shoulder broke the moment.
“Come on Marinette, we need to go see the action!” Alya said. She practically vibrated in excitement and her phone was already in her hand recording the two heroes.
Marinette’s eyes darted around the room. They were the only people left at this point with Adrien below them Adrien staring silently at Chat Noir.
“I just remembered Alya, I need to…” she glanced at the heroes who looked like they wanted to flee as well - “go to the bathroom.” Marinette yelled while already bolting out of the room. She could barely hear the disappointment and confusion in Alya’s voice as she darted past the heroes into the hall.
First she had to transform then defeat whatever knockoff Hawkmoth had created.
Sliding into the empty locker room, Marinette nodded at Tikki and got ready to transform.
“Tikki, Spots-” A gloved hand covered her mouth, interrupting the transformation phrase.
Marinette’s eye’s widened and she glanced down to the red glove covering her mouth. She recognized that hexagonal print.
“Don't transform now, please, we can’t have two Ladybugs.” Ladybug said while removing her hand from Marinette’s mouth.
Marinette pointed her finger at the superheroine. “Who are you?”
“I’m you from the future. Again.” Ladybug replied.
Marinette blinked. Not again...
Tikki floated out from her bag and looked up at Ladybug. “It’s true!” the little sprite said.
Ladybug smiled down at the spotted kwami. “Sorry for scaring you two, it’s just what you did. What you will do. Ugh. Time travel.”
Marinette sighed knowingly. “Trust me, I understand.”
Ladybug looked back to Marinette. “Don’t worry about the Akuma. We’ll handle it. Go keep Alya safe. You know she always wanted you to film superheroes with her.”
“Make sure to be seen.” She added, suddenly serious.
Marinette nodded. She had gotten too used to magic related shenanigans with akuma for another time traveling incident to faze her.
With a curt nod, Ladybug sprinted away into the hall with Marinette following suit.
Marinette just had to look down to find wads of paper filling the halls. Another school Akuma it looked like it. She just had to follow the paper trail... Ah. Chat would have liked that one. Just get to the akuma and call it a day.
Adrien slipped into the halls passed the throngs of students. Months of akuma battles had taught him how to navigate fleeing crowds and escape into the empty parts of the school. But he was restless. Why would his lady fall for a copy cat?
Coming to a stop in the empty hallway, Adrien let open his shirt and Plagg flew out.
“Plagg, why would she fall for a fake?”
The cat sprite put his paw to his head in thought. “Because it’s Chat Noir, obviously.”
“Plagg! This is serious, we have another copy cat.”
“Well actually, it’s-”
The kwami zoomed into his shirt when he heard footsteps.
Chat Noir slid into the hall, his leather boots squeaking on the tile floor. The hero’s eyes locked onto Adrien’s.
“It would be a catastrophe, if you transformed right now.” Chat Noir said.
Plagg peeked out of the shirt then flew out. Looking between the two of them he scoffed. “Ugh, now there’s two of them.”
Chat Noir smiled at Plagg then turned towards Adrien. “Seriously, it would be a clawful idea, if you know what I mean.” Chat continued.
Adrien glanced down the empty hall then back to Chat. “I hope you’re not uh... kitten me right now?” he tentatively replied.
“Nope, I’m pawsitive” Chat Noir replied on point.
Plagg looked between the two of them with disgust on his face then flew back into Adrien’s shirt.
“So you’re me?” Adrien said to Chat Noir.
“Yup, from the future.”
Deep in the recesses of his mind, an instinct in Adrien awoke. Paternal in origin, this was no doubt a once in a lifetime opportunity… for fashion.
Adrien giggled as he looked over Chat Noir walked around Chat peeking at him from all angles. Chat grinned and adopted various model poses.
“Oooo, so this is how others see me.” Adrien said. Certainly he had seen more than enough pictures of himself to last a lifetime but this was certainly an experience he’d never get again.
“You think I’d be a model with how good I look in leather.” Chat teased Adrien with a cheshire grin.
Adrien snorted. “Nah, I’d look better in it. I don’t think leather suits you.”
Chat let out a little laugh and the jovial grin disappeared. “While I’d love to stay and chat, but there’s an akuma in the courtyard that Ladybug and I have to deal with.”
Adrien tilted his head. The last time he and Ladybug had dealt with time travel they defeated the akuma together. “Don’t you need help?”
What was left of Chat’s grin dissolved completely replaced by an almost grave expression. “We can’t have two Chats. Just go out there and be seen.”
With a quick salute, Chat disappeared into the halls. With nothing else to do, Adrien followed after him.
Marinette never thought watching an akuma battle as a civilian could be so… exciting.
There was a certain grace to Ladybug and Chat Noir. Sure she had seen the footage and lived the battle but watching herself and Chat in person was astounding. The superhero duo moved in synch as they fought the latest villain of the week. The akuma was a student no doubt who got akumatized over a failed test. The test which he was using to launch papers towards the two heroes.
“Isn’t this exciting Marinette?” Alya said to her friend, phone already out filming the two heroes.
Marinette winced as Chat got hit by a wad of paper.
“It’s… interesting to say the least.”
While every instinct told Marinette to run off and transform, it was nice not being responsible for Paris’s safety. Marinette grinned. For once she could make up on the times she ran off from Alya during an akuma and spend some arguably safe quality time with her friend.
“It really is Alya, but I think we should get back a bit more.” Marinette said looking down at the crumpled pieces of paper that were building up around the park.
“No, it’s safe. Ladybug always keeps civilians safe.”
Marinette winced. Ladybug needed to teach her proper akuma etiquette. Again.
A crumpled ball of paper flew far and a yoyo grabbed it before it hit a civilian. Marinette’s eyes locked onto the near victim.
Adrien stood starstruck as Ladybug threw the piece of paper away.
Adrien was here? He was just standing there watching Ladybug and Chat Noir. Would Adrien think she’s weird for just staying near the akuma instead of running off like usual? Would he-. A hand patted her gently on the shoulder.
“Calm down girl, look Nino is there too.” Alya said, comforting her.
Moments later, light flew around repairing all the damage of the akuma.
“Oh darn it! I missed the finisher!” Alya hissed. Alya cursed silently to herself. Marinette chuckled, her sisters loved to watch her footage.
Now it was over and Paris was saved once again. Marinette let out a sigh of relief, temporal shenanigans aside this had been a good day.
A distant “Bien joué!” caused Marinette to freeze. She looked over to see the two heroes participating in their post-victory fist bump. Ladybug was still there. Why was she still here?
As if to assuage her fear, Ladybug began walking towards Marinette with a classic Ladybug smile. Ladybug’s eyes shone with determination. They weren’t done quite yet.
“Hey, you're Marinette, right?” Ladybug said.
Marinette nodded “Yup, that's uh... me.”
Ladybug smiled knowingly.
“I never thanked you for helping Chat Noir with the Evillustrator. Say, let's take a picture.”
Ladybug beckoned Chat over then turned back to Marinette “Your friends can join in too.”
Alya’s smile threatened to burst from her face as she glanced back and forth from Ladybug to Marinette. Alya must have been happy for her to finally meet her idol Ladybug. Nino and Adrien rushed over for a chance to be in a photo with Paris’s own heroes.
Ladybug put an arm around Marinette shoulder. Alya, Adrien, and Nino joined the trio.
Chat turned towards Marinette with a distinct grin on his face. She knew that grin. She feared that grin. It could only mean one thing. Puns. “Cellphone for a cell-fie?” Chat purred.
Marinette and Ladybug groaned while Adrien laughed. Marinette lamented Adrien’s fall from grace. He may be a sunshine child but his humor certainly was not.
Chat Noir extended his baton with the phone precariously balanced on the tip. The timer went off with a flash.
The two miraculous beeped. “Well, that's our cue.” Ladybug said, excusing herself and her partner. Marinette watched the hero pair disappear into the Parisian skyline.
Alya turned to Marinette as she practically vibrated with excitement. “See, this is why you should follow akumas. You get to meet real live superheroes!”
“Yes Alya, you certainly do.”