“Alya! Alya! Alya! Wake up!” Groaning, Alya slowly opens her eyes, lifting her head to stare at her little sisters sitting on her bed. “It’s Saturday!” The twins cheer jumping off the bed and running out of the room.
With another groan, Alya’s head flops back down on the bed.
There’s a knock on her door which opens fully. “Oh. I thought the door was closed. Good morning. Alya.”
“Does your friend have any food allergies?”
“None that I know of. I asked everything you asked me to ask.”
“Good. I’d hate to put your friend or her parents in the hospital with something I could’ve prevented.”
Alya sits up. “Mama, Marinette isn’t my first friend.”
“I know but it seems so long since you’ve had one. Especially one even Nora likes.” Her mother walks into the room and sits on the bed. “Any complaints with school so far?”
“No, which is a little weird to be honest. But it’s only been the first few days, I’m sure I’ll have some complaints as time goes on.”
“I’m sure you will too.” Marlena chuckles, “oh. I need a favor, do you prefer helping me cook for your friend or picking up some groceries?”
Marlena puts a small piece of paper in Alya’s hands, “thank you, sweetie.” She kisses Alya on the forehead. “And try not to take too long we’re serving them lunch, not dinner. Plus, I have work later tonight.”
Alya salutes her, “I’m just gonna take a quick shower then head out.”
Alya heads to the grocery store with the list and money from her mother, as always her mama threw in a little extra so she could get something she wanted.
After grabbing everything on the list, she heads down the miscellaneous aisle of the grocery store and spots the costume jewelry of all shapes and sizes. She sees a pair of bunny-shaped earrings that make her think of Marinette and remembers she’s gotta get home before her mother gives her a courtesy call. Before she exits the aisle, however, there’s an adorable fox phone charm she grabs up and puts in the basket.
When she turns the corner to head to checkout she nearly bumps into an old man. “Ooh. I’m so sorry.” She apologizes side-stepping around him.
“Oh no. No. It’s my fault. Uh. Young lady, do you mind if I ask a favor? I can’t reach that box of crackers on the top shelf.”
“Oh. Okay. I’ll get ‘em. The least I could do for nearly knocking you down.” She stands on her tip-toes then reaches the box and hands it to the old man, “there you are.”
“Ah. Thank you, young lady.”
“My pleasure. Bye now.”
When Alya gets to the checkout line and grabs her wallet to pay for everything she feels a small hexagon shaped box in her purse. “What the—” She opens her purse wider to look inside. Staring back at her is a box similar to the one she saw in Marinette’s room. Did she take Marinette’s box by accident? Wait. She didn’t have her purse when she visited Marinette.
“Is everything alright?” The cashier asks.
Alya snaps her purse shut and nods, “yeah.” She opens her wallet and pays for the groceries.
She gets home and delivers the groceries to her mom who hugs her then immediately starts grouping the groceries together, Alya takes the fox charm out of the bag and heads to her room. She locks the door for good measure because Ella and Etta and, shit, Nora, see unlocked doors as open invitations to barge in. Alya puts her purse in her closet but not before taking out the box and putting it on her bed. While she doesn’t understand Chinese writing yet, it’s not the same word or words that were on Marinette’s box.
She continues to stare at the box until the nagging voice in her head tells her to open it while the more reasonable voice in her head argues it could be dangerous. Boxes just don’t appear in people’s purses. Maybe she bumped into—
“Oh fuck.” She puts a hand over her mouth then looks around. She bumped into that old(er) Asian man—no, she nearly bumped into him. She wasn’t paying attention and he could’ve accidentally dropped this box into her purse. But was her purse even open?
Alya massages her forehead.
“To hell with it.” She mutters and stalks over to the bed and opens the box. There’s a blinding orange light that causes her to squint in an attempt to see through it but squinting doesn’t help. When the glow subsides there’s an orange and white thing cracking it’s neck with it’s tiny paws.
The thing opens its big purple eyes and stares at her. “Who are you?”
“Uh, who are you?”
“I asked first.”
“Well, you’re in my room so...”
The thing frowns at her and Alya frowns right back. After the staring contest goes on for a solid minute the thing sighs heavily, “I’m Trixx, a kwami.” It looks Alya up and down, “I guess your kwami.”
“What the hell is a kwami?”
Trixx points to the box on the bed and Alya stares at the necklace inside shaped like a fox’s tail. “I’m a kwami and that’s my—well, our—Miraculous. You get super powers when you transform.”
“No way.” Alya gasps, “super powers? Me? From a necklace? Is that how super powers work?”
“It’s how mine work. Put the necklace on and pick a transformation phrase.”
“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Hold up. Just like that?” Trixx nods. “What would I even say? I don’t even know what you are.”
“I told you I’m—”
“A kwami. Right, I heard you the first time but you didn’t explain what that was.”
“I’m a magical creature way older than you are so can we just leave it at that?”
Alya lifts her hands in defense, “fine.” She scrutinizes Trixx. The necklace matches her phone charm.
But that’s just a coincidence, isn’t it? “What does the box say?”
“Illusion. It’s my power.”
“Illusions. Hmm. That could be useful.” She can create an illusion of herself and send it to school in her stead.
“I guarantee whatever your thinking is wrong.”
Alya glares, “are you a mind reader too?”
“No but I’ve been around a lot of idiotic and slash or careless Miraculous holders who used their powers for personal gain.” Trixx makes a buzzer noise, “which isn’t why you got me.”
“Then why did I get you?”
“The Guardian must see something in you. They can check people’s auras or some crap. It’s never the same Guardian so it’s probably never the same method they use to pick Miraculous holders.”
Alya points at the necklace, "if that thing gives me powers shouldn’t it be less obvious? I mean, it’s a fox tail. So I’m obviously gonna transform into a fox.”
“I’m a fox.”
Alya looks Trixx up and down, “no points for originality.”
“You know, I am starting to wonder why The Guardian chose you myself.”
Alya turns her TV on. She’s surprised no one’s knocked on her door yet. It’s basically impossible to get five minutes of peace in this apartment and with this “fox” sizing her up it’s about to become truly impossible. “So you don’t know this ‘Guardian’ who gave you to me?” Trixx shakes their head. “It could be a short Asian guy. I think he slipped your box in my purse when I was helping him reach a box of crackers because I didn’t have a box in my bag before helping him.”
“The Guardians are a crafty sort. You’ll never know you were chosen until they already picked you.” Trixx claps its hands together. “So... what do you have to eat in this place? I feel like I haven’t eaten in two lifetimes.”
“My mama’s a chef, so we have lots of food. At the same time, my older sister is a professional wrestler and my younger sisters are in their ‘eating everything on the plate’ phase so we don’t have a much food as I’d like. What do you eat?”
Trixx shrugs, “can’t exactly be picky. Like I can’t choose my own Miraculous holder.”
Alya’s eyes narrow, “well it looks like I can’t choose my kwami either so we’re in the same boat.” They continue to glare at each other until someone knocks on Alya’s door. Alya startles and Trixx flies under her sheets. “Y-Yes?”
“You’re not trying to get out of helping ma cook, are you?” Nora asks.
“No. But she never said she needed my help. In fact, she had me get the groceries so I wouldn’t have to cook.”
“She’s enlisting all our help so let’s get it over with, Loly.”
“I’ll be right there.” She grabs the necklace and puts it on then pushes it under her shirt. “Alright. I’m ready so let’s pounce—” Trixx flies out of her sheets and into her necklace, “that... was—” Her body starts glowing orange and in seemingly slow motion an orange and white fox skin catsuit envelops her body then a helmet pops up out of nowhere and latches itself on her head.
“What kind of transformation phrase is let’s pounce?!”
“I was trying to say let’s bounce but I got tongue tied. Oh man. It is a terrible transformation—wait, what?!” Alya looks around, “where are you?”
“In the necklace. It happens when we transform. You grabbed the necklace, put it on, and chose a terrible transformation phrase that we’re stuck with by the way so thanks for that.”
Alya runs into her bathroom and looks at her reflection. “How do I un-transform? My family can’t see me wearing this skin tight furry suit!”
“Think of something! Uh, what’s the opposite of pouncing?”
“Do I look like a thesaurus?” Alya groans, then runs over to her phone and cringes at her reflection in the screen. Her helmet has long, floppy fox ears poking out of it. Not what she would’ve wanted but she was right about the fox theme. There’s even a tail attached to the back end of the suit. She types in pounce in the dictionary app and taps her foot as it loads. “Trixx, alight? Oh my God, it got worse!” Nevertheless, it does the trick and the suit gets off far quicker than it came on and Trixx is now in front of her face scowling.
“It was the first word I saw!”
Trixx sighs, “hands down, worst transformation phrase I’ve ever—” They pause, “you know I just realized you never gave me your name.”
“Alya, huh? I like it.”
“Thanks.” They stare at each other. “Stay here. I’ll get you something to eat.” Trixx salutes her. Alya makes sure the necklace isn’t visible before she leaves her bedroom.
When she makes her way to the kitchen her sisters are wearing their aprons and helping their mom chop and peel. Alya looks around, “where’s dad?”
“I forgot to tell you to get ice so he’s out grabbing some. He’ll be back before your friend shows up.” Marlena frowns, “I hope.” She shakes her head. “Anyways, I know I had you get the groceries but with your father gone I need you to help me wash the vegetables.”
While washing the vegetables, Alya puts some baby carrots in her pocket. She’ll probably have to wash them again before giving them to Trixx but her mama won’t miss them. It’s not like she can stuff some asparagus or celery into her pocket as easily as baby carrots. There’s nothing in the twins’ corner of destruction she’d give to Trixx raw but there are pieces of bread Nora chopped up she’ll have to stealthily grab on her way back to her room.
If she heads to the pantry now her mother might question it so she’ll either have to make due with carrots and bread or wait until everyone is otherwise occupied to raid the pantry and refrigerator for anything a small magical fox might enjoy eating.
Hmm. Now that poses a question: What do foxes – magical or otherwise – even eat?
The four of them spend the next half-hour thoroughly checking over their work until their mother is satisfied with everything then she dismisses them one by one and thankfully their father returns and is designated as her sous chef. Lucky for him, they did most of the work so all their dad has to do is pour things into oven safe containers and set the table.
Alya slips back into her room and locks the door. She didn’t get the chance to get close enough to the bread to grab any but she still had the carrots in her pocket so she takes them out and goes into the bathroom to wash them off. After drying them off with a paper towel she puts them on the bed and looks up just what the hell do foxes eat.
Trixx peeks its head out from under the sheets, after they spot Alya, they fly out and hover over the carrots, “what are these?”
“Baby carrots. It’s all I could grab.” Alya pops one into her mouth and Trixx stares at her briefly before picking one up and biting into it. Trixx is making a face eating it and Alya’s struggling not to laugh. “By the way, what are you? Before you once again tell me you’re a kwami, I’m not asking about that. I mean are you a boy? A girl? Neither?”
Trixx shrugs. “I am what I am.”
“Okay. I didn’t wanna misgender you – because I didn’t even know if you had a gender.”
“I’d say it’s surprisingly thoughtful of you but you did bring me baby carrots. It’s thoughtful either way, though.”
“According to the Internet, foxes are omnivores. They—well, you—eat small animals—” She looks up at Trixx, “I don’t think you’ll find any animals smaller than you. Except maybe fish but I’m not giving you raw fish.”
Trixx shakes their head, “nothing smelly. You’ll have to carry food with you because I’m gonna be with you all the time in case you need to transform.”
“That’s good to know. So no raw meat then. Maybe some more vegetables? What else is easy to transport?” She taps her chin, “grapes? Cherries? I’m gonna need something that comes in a bunch.” She starts pacing her room. “I’ll also need something that doesn’t leave a lot of crumbs if I’m gonna carry it around...”
“I think you should transform again.” She stops pacing to stare at Trixx, “I sense another kwami and they seem miserable.”
Trixx nods, “we can sense one another I sense three other kwamis in total; two are fine but one of them?” They shake their head. “It’s not good. That might be why The Guardian brought me out and gave me to you. Besides, you need to know our power. Illusions can be powerful when used correctly.”
“How am I supposed to use this power if I can’t use it for myself?”
“I’m sure you’re a smart—wait, I don’t wanna—”
“Misgender me? It’s okay. I’m a girl.”
Trixx nods, “okay. You’ve proven to be clever and resourceful in just a few short hours. You’re definitely the right person for the power of illusions. We don’t have to like each other but we do have to be able to work together.”
Alya sighs, “then let’s pounce.”
Trixx wasn’t lying about her having super powers with the necklace, she was able climb out of her window and onto the roof of her building in what must’ve been five seconds. She looks around, staring at the other rooftops. “if I’m a superhero now I’m gonna need a catchy name.”
“My last Miraculous holder called himself Volpina.”
Alya shudders, “hard pass. I don’t even know what that means and I’m not gonna make the same mistake I made with my transformation phrase. I need something with flair.” She may not be able to see Trixx but she can tell they’re rolling their eyes at her. “If you can search out other kwamis then I’m not the only newly made superhero in Paris.”
“I can only sense one kwami now which means the other two I sensed earlier are in their Miraculouses.”
“Based on that logic, they can no longer sense you either.”
“Huh. Guess I never thought about that but you’re right.”
Alya looks down at the flute attached to the left side of her suit, “was this there earlier?”
“Yup. That’s Vol—your weapon of choice.”
“A flute?! That’s a terrible weapon.”
“Maybe you missed the part where I said you create illusions? This is what you create them with. Besides, have you ever got hit by a flute? It hurts.”
Alya twirls the flute in her hands, “quick crash course on this then, I only have a less than a half hour before Marinette and her family arrive.”
There’s a thud behind her. Alya turns around to find a man’s body kneeling in front of her, when he stands there’s a glowing purple butterfly outline around his eyes. “Wait a minute...” She hears Trixx say.
“Another Miraculous holder in Paris?” There’s a strange echoing ethereal lilt to the person’s voice as they tilt their head to the right. “Where did you get your Miraculous from?”
Alya folds her arms over her chest, “you first.”
“Kid, I don’t know every kwami in existence but there’s no doubt in my mind this is Nooroo’s work and from the look of things he’s not doing this because he wants to.”
“Gotcha.” Huh. She can talk to Trixx telepathically in the suit? Cool. Now she doesn't have to keep talking out loud.
“Very well.” The man waves his arms in a flourish, “I am The Guardian of the Miraculouses. The Miraculous of creation and Miraculous of destruction were stolen from me while I was handing out other Miraculouses.”
“You honestly expect me to believe that?” His eyes narrow, “if you were really The Guardian you’d know how I got my Miraculous – for starters. And secondly, I doubt you’d lose two other Miraculouses.”
“Clever. But you just let me know that The Guardian is out there handing out more Miraculouses.”
The man laughs cruelly, “don’t fret, Little One. You won’t have your Miraculous for long.” He takes a bow, “I serve Hawkmoth who will soon wield all the Miraculouses. Including yours.” The man drops to the ground and a purple butterfly flies out of his back and into the sky.
“Uh...” Alya watches the butterfly fly off. “Should we—”
“Forget about that. There’s nothing you can do. Only Wayzz and Tikki can purify those. Nooroo uses akumas for transmission – that’s his power. Let’s get back inside.”
Alya climbs back in her window and closes it behind her, “alight.” She takes a deep breath as Trixx flies out of her necklace. “You’re sure this is Nooroo?” Trixx nods, “then we need to find the real Guardian. Just a hunch, but I think he knows about this Hawkmoth asshole.”
“Definitely. Ah! But that means a Guardian did have a Miraculous stolen. I doubt they’d willingly give a Miraculous to someone that...” Trixx trails off with a shudder. “However, something tells me it isn’t the current Guardian that had a Miraculous stolen.”
“Maybe, maybe not, and Hawkmoth – seriously, what kind of name is that?” Alya shakes her head, “anyway, Hawkmoth clearly did research if he knows just at a glance that I have a Miraculous. Not to mention he knows about the Miraculouses of creation and destruction.”
“Tikki and Plagg, respectively. But – unfortunately, I don’t remember what their Miraculouses are.”
Alya’s eyes widen, “the Miraculous of creation – it’s a pair of earrings.”
“How do you know?”
“Because Marinette had a box like mine that said creator and there were a pair of earrings inside.”
“Are you sure?” Alya nods. “Then Tikki would have already spoken to the kid and she’ll be super tight-lipped about it. Tikki’s always been big on secret identities and all that. Even from her own team.” Trixx’s eyes widen, “didn’t you say a Marinette was coming over? If she opened the earrings she’ll have Tikki with her which means we can talk about it.”
“I know for a fact Marinette just got her ears pierced yesterday so she’s definitely wearing Tikki’s earrings.”
“Good. There’s also a good chance she’s spoken to The Guardian.”
“And if she hasn’t?”
“Then we’ll have the incentive for finding him.”
Nora opens the door and Marinette is on the other side with her parents. “Hey. Nice to have you here.” She opens the door wider allowing them inside. “I’m Nora.” Ella and Etta pop up from behind Nora’s legs, “these are my baby sisters Ella and Etta.” She points to them as she introduces them.
“We’re not babies.” The twins reply.
“I didn’t say that. I said baby sisters, which is what you are.”
“I’m Sabine and this is my husband Tom. Thank you so much for having us over.”
“It’s our pleasure. Thanks for taking care of Lo—Alya the other day.” Nora leads Marinette’s parents to the kitchen where her parents are and the twins each take one of Marinette’s hands and pull her toward their bedroom.
“This is my side.” Ella says.
“And that’s my side.” Etta says.
“Wow. This room is so pretty.”
The twins beam at her, “are you Alya’s girlfriend?” They ask.
“I—uh, I’m a friend.” The twins seem pacified by her answer because they’re dragging Marinette toward their shared toy-chest. “Say, where is Alya’s room?”
“It’s down the hall and it has a bathroom attached to Nora’s bedroom. Do you want us to show you?”
“It’s okay. I’ll figure it out.”
“Will you come back and play with us when you’re done?”
With the parents still in the kitchen, Marinette walks down the hall. Nora is in the living room watching TV. She nods at Marinette who returns the nod. The opened bedroom door is Nora’s room if the wrestling posters are any indication but the door leading to the bathroom is locked. Marinette knocks on the door, “Alya?” The door opens a fraction for a split second and she’s pulled inside then Alya locks the door behind her and an orange and white fox flies out of her hair. “W-Wha—”
“Tikki, wherever you are you can come out.” Marinette’s purse opens and Tikki slowly pokes her head out.
“Trixx? W-What are you doing here?”
“I’m Alya’s kwami. I know why we’re here. Someone calling himself Hawkmoth.” Alya shakes her head and sticks out her tongue in disgust, “has stolen Nooroo’s Miraculous.”
“What!? Not Nooroo. How do you know this?”
“Because he paid us a visit.” Alya replies. “Well, not him exactly. He had a purple butterfly like mask over some random guy’s face and he was using him to talk to us. He’s looking for you and whatever a Plagg is.”
“You’re the kwami of creation, right?” Tikki glares at Trixx who shrugs.
“I don’t keep stuff from my partner.”
Tikki rolls her eyes, “yes, I’m the kwami of creation and you’re the only other kwami I’ve seen but if Nooroo is around being used against his will we need to find out who Hawkmoth is and what he knows.” Tikki flies over to Trixx, “have you seen The Guardian?”
“No but I’m certain an old Asian guy gave me Trixx.”
“Did he have hawaiian shirt and a small green bracelet?” Alya nods, “I think he gave me Tikki.”
“A small green bracelet? I’m willing to bet that’s the Miraculous he has. Did either of you notice if it was shaped like an animal? That might help us figure out who’s Miraculous it is.”
“I don’t think every Miraculous is as obvious as mine but I think it was—”
“Something like a turtle shell.” Marinette finishes.
“Might be Wayzz.” Tikki says and Trixx nods.
“What’s their power?” Alya asks.
“Wayzz is the kwami of protection. Fitting for a Guardian.”
“What’s your power?” Marinette asks Trixx.
“I’m the kwami of illusion.” Marinette glances at Tikki who nods. “Have you two transformed yet? Nooroo makes for a dangerous enemy. Any kwami is really.”
“We transformed a few times.” Tikki says, “Marinette’s still getting the hang of things.”
Marinette rubs the back of her neck, “that’s putting it mildly.”
“How’s about this? Ask your parents if we can hang out and we’ll transform together and look for the Guardian. If we show up in our suits I’m certain he’ll wanna talk to us.”
Marinette nods, “okay, sounds good. Oh. I promised your little sisters I’d play with them after I found you.”
“Go right ahead. Saves me the trouble of playing with them later.”
Lunch is a success to which no one was really surprised. Marlena Césaire is equal parts best mother in the world, equal parts kickass planner, and equal parts professional chef. Tom and Sabine brought over dessert which, again, was no real surprise considering they live in their bakery.
Alya’s mama isn’t one for desserts but she ate more of Tom and Sabine’s petite fours than the rest of them combined, and that is not an exaggeration by any means.
Their parents okayed them hanging out since it was still early.
With her parents both going off to work, Alya walked back with Marinette’s family to their bakery.
Marinette grabbed a box of profiteroles from her kitchen before they started walking toward the shopping district. “You know, I didn’t even realize you live one street away from school.”
“In my experience, it’s both a blessing and a curse.”
Alya gestures to the box in Marinette’s hands, “how come you needed that?”
“Tikki likes desserts. I figured we could share some with Trixx.”
“Sure. You won’t get any arguments from me.”
“Some are for you as well.”
“I’ll probably need a while before I’m able to dive into any more food but I appreciate the thought. I’m still trying to figure out what Trixx likes to eat, so far I’ve only given them baby carrots.”
Trixx’s head pops out of Alya’s hair, “all in all, pretty okay but I’m interested in finding out what else I like to eat.”
Marinette blinks up at Alya’s hair. “Uh—”
“Apparently, that’s their favorite hiding spot.” Alya shrugs, “I don’t ask.”
“Your hair smells so good.” Then Trixx disappears back into Alya’s hair, “and it’s big enough that I won’t get noticed.”
Marinette’s still looking at Alya’s hair. “Just make sure no one surprises you with a pat on the head.”
“If they do, I’ll just bite them.” Trixx is certainly more outspoken than Tikki appears to be. Marinette doesn’t know what she’d do if The Guardian gave her Trixx instead of Tikki. There aren’t that many rooftops they have access to where they can overlook all of Paris but Marinette gets an equally wondrous and horrible idea as she looks up.
“The Eiffel Tower.” Alya eyes her. “We can look at most of Paris from The Eiffel Tower. It’ll be the perfect place to...” As several people walk by she gives Alya a meaningful look, “you know.”
“Gutsy. I like it.”
Alya hasn’t been in Paris long enough to take the trip to the Eiffel Tower and her family had already gone – separately – without her. Her parents going for work in their respective jobs and Nora took the twins when Alya was in school yesterday because their school didn’t start until next week.
“I’m so glad I’m not afraid of heights.”
“Yeah. That would be bad.” Trixx says into her scalp.
Surprisingly, it isn’t as crowded as it usually is during this time of day. Marinette considers it a small mercy but just to be on the safe side they’re not gonna transform out in the open. They head to the bathroom on the top floor and Marinette inspects every stall making sure they’re empty. “Okay. Maybe we should’ve thought this out more.”
“No time! Trixx, let’s pounce!” Trixx flies out of Alya’s hair and into her shirt? Marinette tilts her head as Alya’s chest starts glowing orange before her whole body starts changing into an orange and white fox suit.
“Spots on, Tikki.” Marinette opens her purse in time for Tikki to fly into her right earring.
Once they both transform, Alya looks at her reflection in the mirror. “I think the helmets might be a bit much.” She plays with one of her floppy ears then toys with one of Marinette’s antennas.
“I don’t know. I like the helmet. Could do without the antennas though.” They slowly open the bathroom door and once they made sure the coast was clear they slip out of the bathroom and climb to the tip top of the tower. “I never thought I’d see the Eiffel Tower like this.”
“It is a pretty sweet view. We need to take a picture.” They squeeze together in the frame and give the peace sign when Alya takes the photo. “Nice.”
“Will you send me a copy?”
A few minutes pass before a small green turtle flies in front of them. “I doubt this was what my master had in mind when he began choosing the new holders for this cycle but if your goal was to get his attention, consider it a success. You also managed to gain the attention of several local news-stations who sent helicopters to see who climbed the top of the Eiffel Tower.”
“Are you The Guardian’s kwami?” Marinette asks.
The turtle nods, “I am Wayzz. I will take you to my master.”
They de-transform once they slip back into the bathrooms avoiding three helicopter then Wayzz flies into Alya’s hair alongside Trixx and takes them to a small herbal medicine shop.
“I wasn’t expecting a meeting so soon.” Wayzz flies out of Alya’s hair and to the side of the same man Alya helped in the grocery store today and the same guy Marinette saw Thursday.
“It’s you!” Marinette and Alya exclaim.
The man bows. “You may call me Fù.”
“You’re The Guardian of this cycle?” Trixx asks.
Alya looks up at Trixx dangling from her hair. “Cycle?”
“Yeah. The Miraculous holders change every cycle and so does The Guardian. Less chances of a Miraculous getting lost or stolen. Ah! Guardian, you must know about Hawkmoth.”
Fù nods with a sigh. “I do. It was when the last Guardian was transferring the Miraculouses to me that two were lost.”
“Two?” Tikki grimaces. “Nooroo is one but who is the other?”
“Duusuu. Hawkmoth made his first appearance over a month ago. There were reports of butterflies swarming through Paris.”
“I remember that but it didn’t seem like dire news.” Marinette says.
“Under normal circumstances it wouldn’t be, especially since the news didn’t catch the one purple butterfly in the middle of the swarm. Hawkmoth has been akumatizing people in order to find out where the other Miraculouses are. I needed to find a Ladybug to purify these akumas and I found one in you.”
“But why me?”
Fù beckons them over and they head to a much larger hexagon shaped box. He opens it then Alya and Marinette look inside seeing various kinds of jewelry. “These are all the Miraculouses minus the three of ours and the two that are lost. We know for a fact that one is in Hawkmoth’s clutches but not where the other is. I chose you because your aura felt the closest to Tikki’s.” He glances at Alya, “in a similar way that your aura matches Trixx’s.”
“Yeah, you sure you didn’t mess up our match, Guardian?” Trixx asks and Alya nods in agreement.
“You two are more alike than you realize.” Alya and Trixx exchange a glance.
“Hold on.” Alya begins, “do you know our names or...?”
Fù shakes his head. “No. That is beyond my power.”
Alya and Marinette sigh in relief and Fù chuckles. “I’m Marinette and this is Alya. How do we stop Hawkmoth, Guardian?”
“Currently. You cannot.” Marinette’s face falls. “Hawkmoth knows more about kwamis and Miraculouses than both of you combined. It would be foolish to attempt to take him on. Especially, since he does not need to be present. It is the reason why I cannot tell who Hawkmoth is. With the power of transmission, Hawkmoth could be sequestered anywhere in Paris. Plus, there’s no telling how he got it. There is a huge gap between Nooroo not being with the rest of the kwamis and Hawkmoth’s first appearance. There are many blanks that need to be filled.”
“Well, what about Plagg?” Tikki asks, “Alya and Trixx said Hawkmoth asked about our Miraculouses.”
“I see. I knew he was looking for other Miraculouses but I had no idea he was looking for both of yours. If Plagg isn’t active then there’s no chance for Hawkmoth to get his hands on him.” He closes the box. “But I can’t keep him in here forever. You’ll definitely need him to help you with Hawkmoth.”
“How many other kwamis are getting released, Guardian?” Tikki asks.
“I have no other candidates as of yet, but that can change in an instant.”
“Including a partner for Plagg.” Trixx says. “If you’re matching us up with auras maybe it’s best he doesn’t have a partner.”
“Perhaps I might find someone with an aura opposite of Plagg’s instead.”
“Good idea.” Tikki replies.
“About Nooroo? If Hawkmoth put on their Miraculous and chose a transformation phrase Nooroo wouldn’t have much of a choice in partnering up, right?” Marinette asks.
Fù nods. “That is correct. However, it is possible Nooroo believed Hawkmoth to be his partner. Kwamis aren’t introduced to humans unless it’s to The Guardian or their partner.”
“Then how come they didn’t know who you were?” Marinette asks.
“Yes, I—” Fù rubs the back of his neck, “I neglected to introduce myself Trixx and Tikki before giving them to you. I will not make that mistake again.”
“So we know we’re definitely getting Plagg but like you said, you’re not sure about anyone else?” Trixx asks.
“Yes.” He glances at Marinette and Alya, “this is your team, Marinette, if you believe you know of someone who can help you deal with Hawkmoth then let me know and I will feel their aura.”
“You are Ladybug. You will lead the team.”
“What about Alya? It couldn’t’ve been more than two days a difference that we both got our kwamis!”
“I’m actually good with not leading but if you want me to lead, I will.”
“It has to be you, Marinette. That is why you were picked first.”
Marinette sighs. “Fine. I just hope the team isn’t too big.”
Alya pats her on the back, “you’ll do great. Just believe in yourself, Girl. You got this. And whatever you don’t got, I’ll help you with.”
Alya cracks her knuckles, “so, when do we get to throw down the gauntlet to Hawkmoth?”
“I’m... not certain I understand.” Fù confesses.
“Hawkmoth knows about me but not about Marinette, or Ladybug. Maybe we need him to know we’re gonna free Nooroo?”
“That’s a good idea. Let Paris know that Ladybug and uh...” Marinette tilts her head, “what’s your name?”
“Don’t have one yet. It’s a working progress.”
“Okay. We’ll let Hawkmoth know we’re onto him.” A pause. “What does he want, exactly?”
“To wield all the Miraculouses.” Trixx replies.
“Whosoever wields the Miraculouses gets to make their greatest wish come true. It’s a terrible power that has even greater consequences. While it’s in the user’s best interest to collect as many Miraculouses as they can, they definitely need the Miraculouses of creation and destruction first and foremost.”
“Then is it safe to have a whole team together?” Alya asks. “We’re obviously not gonna make our greatest wishes come true if it has huge consequences but still?”
“That’s why I need to have multiple Miraculouses active. It lessens Hawkmoth’s chances of making whatever his wish is come true.”
“But how did he even know about this?” Marinette asks.
“In addition to Nooroo and Duusuu being lost, the book of Miraculouses was also lost. Hawkmoth must either have it or studied it enough to know about the wish.”
“Then there’s a chance Hawkmoth has Duusuu too. Can someone activate two Miraculouses?” Marinette asks.
“Yes, however not at the same time.”
“Then how would he even make a wish happen? I-If you can tell us. If not, then forget I asked.”
“I’m sorry Marinette, but you are right I cannot tell you. While I believe neither of you will do it, even tempted, I can’t afford to make any more mistakes.”
Marinette nods, “I understand.”
Alya nods as well. “But you should at least tell us how to prevent Hawkmoth from making a wish happen, other than keeping him away from our kwamis.”
“Unfortunately, that is all you can do. The wish was created to be used only as a last resort, not even the kwamis know how to do it.”
“Then why put it in a book to begin with?” Marinette asks, “isn’t that dangerous?”
“It wasn’t.” Fù sighs.
Alya elbows Marinette, “come on, Ladybug. Let’s tell Hawkmoth not to mess with us.”
“Just be careful.” Fù warns. “I’ve noticed a pattern with Hawkmoth’s akumatizations. He relies on strong negative emotions: fear, sadness, anger. It’s not how Nooroo’s power was intended to be used but that’s Hawkmoth’s signature move.”
“What else can Nooroo do?” Alya asks. “Transmission is a pretty broad subject.”
“All kwamis have many talents, some they learn about centuries later. There are many things you two can help your kwamis to learn as you work together.”
“Things that even the Order of Guardians don’t know about?” Trixx asks.
“Yes. Unfortunately. I’m also learning new things about kwamis almost every day. It’s been over one-hundred years since I’ve had Wayzz with me.” Trixx, Tikki, Marinette, and Alya stare at Fù.
Alya’s the first to break the silence. “Did you just say over one-hundred years? How old are you?”
For the second time today, they climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower in their suits. Only this time they let the helicopters spot them.
Less than ten minutes later, all of Paris becomes aware of their new superhero duo Ladybug and Rena Rouge (According to Alya, Trixx surprisingly liked the name she thought of on the fly) after Hawkmoth sends an akumatized person at them to “send a message.”
In an overly dramatic fashion, after his defeat he stated now that he’s aware of Ladybug’s existence he’ll stop at nothing to seize their Miraculouses.
Tikki guides Marinette through purifying her first akuma and setting the no longer purple butterfly free. Unfortunately, she tells Marinette that Nooroo – evidently – can summon a swarm of butterflies so even if she purifies every butterfly in existence Nooroo can always call forth more. It’s also unfortunate that neither Tikki nor Trixx can summon armies of animals; especially Trixx because having an army of foxes at one’s command would be super cool.
When they make their way back to Fu’s shop, no longer transformed of course, he congratulates them but also tells them things are just getting started. Then he states he’s going to work extra hard to find a fitting match for Plagg because Hawkmoth will undoubtedly up his game now that there’s a Ladybug in the picture and they need to be prepared for when that happens.
“It may take a while. I don’t sense anyone even remotely fitted for Plagg.” He opens the large hexagon box and picks up the ring in the center. A small black cat with glowing green eyes literally pops up in front of their eyes. It yawns loudly and stretches.
“Huh? W-Where am I?” He blinks at Tikki, Wayzz, and Trixx, “if it isn’t Sugarcube, Snappy, and Dreams.”
Tikki sighs loudly, Wayzz shakes his head, and Trixx rolls their eyes. “Plagg.” He turns to Fù. “I am The Miraculous' Guardian.”
“Good to meet ya, Guardian.” He looks around. “I see two kids and four kwamis. Where’s my partner?”
“We don’t have one yet. Someone calling themselves Hawkmoth is attempting to get you and Tikki and we need you prepared.”
“Okay but I can’t exactly get prepared without a partner.” Plagg yawns again, “sucks that we need partners in the first place.”
“You know very well what happens when our powers go unchecked, and by ours I mean yours.” Tikki says.
“Hey, I’m the kwami of destruction. Not my fault.”
“But it is your fault we got partners in the first place.” Trixx adds.
Plagg points at himself, “kwami of destruction.” He repeats, “you can’t blame me for being what I am.”
“Black cats are synonymous with bad luck.” Marinette says. “Is it wise he’s also the kwami of destruction?”
“Don’t make the rules, Kid, it is what it is. You gotta be Sugarcube’s partner, you have the same doe-eyed look as her.” As Tikki mutters under her breath, Plagg yawns again, “anyone got something to eat around here? I’m starving. Feels like a few lifetimes since I had anything good.”
“I almost forgot!” Marinette takes the box out of her purse. “Here. Profiteroles. Enjoy.”
The kwamis fly over to the box and tentatively sniff at the pastries and each pick one up. “This is as big as my head!” Plagg yells, “nice!” Unlike the other three, Plagg stuffs the entire thing into his mouth and moans appreciatively. Once he swallows it, he goes back for another and repeats the process.
“You sure we need Plagg, Guardian Fu?” Trixx asks. “He’s always been a wild card.”
“No more than you, Dreams. Arguing with your partners and whatnot.”
“Oh. So they’ve done this before then? And here I thought I was lucky.”
Plagg laughs then flies over to Alya, “I like you. What’s your name?”
“Good to meet ya.” He sticks out a hand and Alya shakes it with her pointer finger. He then flies over to Marinette, “partner of Sugarcube, I’m gonna call you Sunshine but I’m gonna need a name in case it’s better.”
“My name is Marinette.”
“Meh. Sunshine’s better.” He flies over to Fù. “you’re Snappy’s partner too, right? Can you keep up with the kids?”
Alya rubs the back of her neck. “Uh. I don’t wanna sound like a jerk but I’m wondering that too. I mean, you said it yourself, Hawkmoth’s gonna keep coming at us. And you’re over one-hundred years old.” Plagg whistles.
“As sprightly as I am, I would merely get in the way if I were to fight alongside you. Not to mention, I haven’t transformed in three decades. It would benefit you both if Wayzz were to have a much younger partner.”
“But can two people have the same kwami?”
“That is something we will discover if I find someone equally suited to partner with Wayzz.”
Fù pats his head. “Don’t worry, Wayzz.”
“Yeah.” Plagg puts an arm around him, “think of all the attention you’ll get with two partners, Snappy.” He flies back over to Marinette, “did you make these pro-fero things?”
“Profiteroles and yes, I did. What of it?”
“Can you make more? They’re really good. I mean, I’m a cheese aficionado but I could get used to eating these all the time.” He sighs, “but I’m guessing I’ll only be able to eat whatever my partner can find for me.”
“Yeah. I’m figuring out that myself.” Trixx says with a sigh.
“I just got you today, Trixx. We’re gonna find out what you like and don’t like to eat.”
“But in the meantime, we can all enjoy some more of Sugarcube’s food. Sharing is caring and all that.”
Marinette elbows Alya, “I kinda feel sorry for his partner, I can tell he’s gonna be a real handful.” Alya nods in agreement.