I’m just looking out the window and it’s cold outside
There are two boys yelling behind me and I’m terrified
Counting trees as they pass me by
Marinette was bored. Well, not exactly bored per se, but she certainly wasn’t enjoying herself at the moment. She stared out the window, looking at the trees as they passed by. Her sketchbook sat on her lap, a new one that she had not used yet in case Lila tried anything when nobody is looking. That way, if her sketchbook did mysteriously go missing (read: stolen), then nothing she draws in it would have been of any real importance to her.
Currently, Marinette and her classmates, along with Ms. Bustier, were on a school bus making their way to their field trip destination. They were going to Maison de Victor Hugo to learn more about the well-known writer and write a report about what they have learned when they go home for the day. The assignment was worth a good portion of their final grade, but Marinette wasn’t worried about that.
Instead, she was very excited to go on this field trip. Even with Lila causing trouble and painting Marinette as a villain every chance she had, and taking most of her friends from her while she was at it, she was still able to look forward to going to school each day and not let Lila get to her. Although, it was not like Marinette actually had a choice in not letting Lila get under her skin. She is Ladybug, after all, she cannot afford to be akumatized, and even if she could, Marinette refused to let Lila of all people be the reason she would be akumatized in the first place. She would not give that brat the satisfaction of being her downfall.
And I’m trying not to look across the aisle
‘Cause Maya’s letting Dan put his hand up her skirt
And she’s got her hand down his pants
Speaking of which, Marinette glanced across the aisle from where she was sitting in the third row, rolling her eyes when she noticed Lila clinging onto Adrien’s arm as they sat next to each other. Marinette never understood why nobody noticed how uncomfortable Adrien looked whenever Lila put her hands on him or even got near him for that matter. For that matter, Marinette also could not understand why Adrien never said anything about it when he clearly wanted to. However, she understands that he is most likely used to such behavior, especially since he never did much other than attempt to dodge Chloe’s tackles when she used to act the way Lila currently is around him, key words being “used to.”
That was something Marinette, and most likely everyone else when they’re not fawning over Lila, was surprised about. Queen Bee must have flipped a switch in Chloe, because after Ladybug gave her another chance to be a hero, Chloe started to become nicer. It was small of course, with Chloe visibly stopping herself from insulting everyone she came across and apologizing to everyone for everything she had done. Then, Chloe started to do nice things for people, especially Sabrina. Marinette was very proud of Chloe and made sure to tell her that after they became friends.
Glancing behind her, Marinette saw Chloe and Sabrina sitting at the back of the bus, quietly chatting about something. Knowing those two, and for once Marinette was happy to admit that she knew them, they were most likely gossiping, probably about Lila if the scoffs they threw her way whenever she opened her mouth to spew another lie were to go by.
Chloe looked around, most likely feeling eyes on her, when she locked eyes with Marinette. She gave a quick smile, a genuine one instead of the cruel smirk she had gotten used to receiving from Chloe, before turning back to her conversation with Sabrina. Marinette smiled to herself, giving Sabrina a small wave when she looked at her as well, before turning around to look back at Lila when she heard her speaking.
“Of course I knew him! I’m actually the great-granddaughter of Victor Hugo’s daughter, Leopoldine,” Lila was saying, still clinging onto Adrien as she lied to anyone that would listen.
“Wow, Lila!” Mylene exclaimed, sitting in the first row in front of Lila and Adrien, Ivan sitting next to her. Although, with how tall he is, it looked like Mylene was sitting on his lap to fit.
“Cool!” Kim shouted, sitting in the fourth row behind Marinette’s seat. Marinette could not see his expression, if she had turned around to look, she would have noticed Max, who was sitting next to Kim, frown at Lila’s claim. However, he said nothing, and his frown was gone as soon as it appeared.
“That’s awesome, dude!” Nino stated, sitting next to Alya as they sat in the second row in front of Lila.
“Ooh, you have to tell us everything, girl!” Alya stated, already pulling out her phone and recording Lila.
I know the driver sees it
I know he’s peeking in the rearview mirror
He says nothing
Trying to ignore it, it’s fucking boring
I’m quietly observing, I’m saying nothing
Adrien said nothing, simply choosing to smile nervously as his eyes glanced frantically around him, probably looking for a way to escape Lila’s grip without being too obvious about it.
Marinette quietly scoffed, trying not to draw attention to herself lest Lila decides to accuse Marinette of bullying her again. If Lila and her followers had actually done research, they would know that Leopoldine died when she was 19, along with her husband and their unborn child, she thought. However, she took comfort in knowing that only a few of her classmates were paying attention to her lies. Other than Chloe and Sabrina, who had both learned about Lila’s true nature after overhearing her threaten Marinette again, a few of their classmates saw through Lila’s lies as well now. Marinette looked at the seat across from Chloe and Sabrina, noticing Nathaniel shake his head softly at Lila’s back while Alix glared holes at the back of Lila’s head.
Nathaniel found out Lila was lying when she talked to him and Marc, claiming to have met a famous comic book writer, shortly after said writer had died. Alix, on the other hand, found out about Lila’s lies when she claimed to have participated, and won, in a huge roller-derby competition that Alix had managed to convince her father to take her to see two years ago. Needless to say, Alix was livid, and most likely would have done something drastic if Juleka and Rose had not been there to stop her.
Juleka and Rose were another two of Marinette’s classmates who had learned of Lila’s true nature. Juleka had always been suspicious of Lila, only choosing to hang out with her because Rose was excited about how amazing their new friend seemed to be. However, one day Rose had talked to Prince Ali, eagerly asking him what it was like to be friends with Lila. Poor Rose was devastated when Prince Ali told her that he had no idea who Lila even was and that he has not invited anyone to stay at his palace or worked on charity cases for pollution. He had apologized but had to hang up due to his tight schedule. After that, Rose and Juleka distanced themselves from Lila and her sycophants, taking everything Lila said with a grain of salt and only talking to her when she addressed them.
Of course, the four students apologized to Marinette for believing she was bullying Lila, and although it took a while for her to trust them, Marinette forgave them and tended to hang out with them along with Chloe and Sabrina, although it took the others a while to trust those two as well. Unfortunately, the rest of their classmates still believed Lila wholeheartedly, except for Adrien of course but he is still content to take the high road and let Lila do what she wants, including Alya. At first, it had hurt to have her own best friend believe essentially a complete stranger over her, but Marinette has long since given up on getting Alya to see reason, especially after Alya continued to accuse Marinette of being jealous of the attention Lila’s getting from Adrien whenever she tried to show Alya proof that Lila was lying.
If Alya had actually bothered to listen to Marinette, then she would know that she is no longer interested in Adrien. A girl can only take so much pain and humiliation just for trying to confess to the boy before she decides that he’s not worth it, after all. Besides, after Adrien told her to take the high road, Marinette began to realize that her crush was not as perfect as she made him out to be and that her methods of trying to get him to notice her were very unhealthy and borderline stalker-ish. It had taken a while, but Marinette had finally taken the time to think about her crush, and after looking around her room, she realized that she seemed more like an obsessed fangirl than a love interest, much less a friend.
It was not easy to admit, it was even harder to let go of her affection for him, but with help from Tikki and surprisingly Chloe, although Chloe does not know about Tikki of course, Marinette had taken down all of the photos of Adrien she had on her walls. After some consideration, Marinette had even sold most of the birthday presents she made for him, specifically the ones she made for when he was older, much older. She kept the ones she made for him for his next birthday, deciding that at least it would be easier for her to give it to him in person so he does not end up assuming his father made him the presents again. After all, she may not love Adrien anymore nor does she actually trust him to have her back as he said he would, but she still considered him a friend, even if they have not hung out as much as she would have liked, with and without a crush on him being in the way.
While she was at it, Marinette made birthday presents for her friends as well, so she would at least be prepared for their birthdays next year, especially if she and Chat Noir do not defeat Hawkmoth before then. She would hate him even more if he sent out an akuma before she could make presents and celebrate her friends’ respective birthdays.
Marinette had also decided to keep the schedule up, though she made changes to it. Instead of having only Adrien’s schedule on the chart, she had her friends' and classmates’ schedules as well. Despite being late to school all the time, although she has been getting better at waking up early lately, Marinette loved being organized. The fact that she is the class representative only made that love for proper organization grow. It is her job to make sure all of her classmates can attend a certain event or field trip, and reporting to Ms. Bustier if they cannot. Marinette has also learned her lesson after Max was akumatized into Gamer again, and has decided to make a schedule for herself as well so she would not be overworked with everything she had to do anymore.
Marinette’s phone buzzed in her pocket, she had taken it out of her purse since she did not want the vibrations to disturb Tikki, who was currently sleeping. Already knowing who was texting her, Marinette smiled as she pulled out her phone to double-check that yes, Luka was texting her, most likely to see how she was doing. A faint blush bloomed over Marinette’s cheeks at the thought.
Luka: Hey, how’s the field trip?
Marinette smiled as she replied, explaining that they are still on the bus and that Lila was making up another lie.
A few days after Lila became Chameleon, Marinette ran into Luka, who had somehow noticed her bad mood and talked to her. It took some nudging, but Luka had managed to get the story out of Marinette, and they had spent a few hours sitting on a bench at the park, Luka listening intently as she explained the Lila situation. When she finished, Luka looked at her with a frown on his face. At first, Marinette had worried that even he did not believe her, and she would not have blamed him if that were the case, he is Juleka’s brother after all so he would probably believe his sister compared to a girl he had not hung out with much.
However, Luka must have sensed her worries, and quickly reassured her that he believed her, and Marinette had never felt as much relief as she had at that moment that she almost would have cried. Thankfully, she did not cry, although tears did still prick the corners of her eyes. Luka had wiped those tears away, and they went to get some ice cream. They spent the rest of the day just talking and hanging out, until Luka had to go home, not before promising to call and text her more often, and soon they began to hang out and get to know each other more.
Then Silencer happened, and after Luka confessed Marinette was left confused. She was still trying to get over Adrien at the time, and Luka must have realized that because he never brought up his confession again. That did not stop Marinette from thinking about it whenever she could, though. However, with everything going on with Lila and trying to get over Adrien, Marinette felt like she was not ready to date at the time. Now though, she has friends sticking by her side and she is completely over Adrien and feeling a lot better about herself. Somewhere down the line, Marinette realized, she began to get a crush on Luka as well, but she still stood by her decision to take care of herself first before taking the chance to date him.
Marinette had made that decision two months ago. Now, after talking to Luka the weekend before this field trip took place, and telling him that she feels ready to try dating, with the request of going slow, Luka had accepted her decision, congratulating her on taking the time to recover from everything before asking her out. Marinette had accepted, and now they are dating, and Marinette has never felt happier than she does when she’s with Luka.
No one’s watching us, don’t give a fuck
Wheels on the bus
I’m holding it down up in the front
Wheels on the bus
(Ooh, ooh, ooh) Wheels on the bus
Marinette’s phone buzzed again, signifying another text from Luka. However, before she could look at it, a voice caught her attention.
Said girl glanced up, looking around until she noticed Lila staring at her with a faux expression of concern on her face. Marinette held back a sigh, already knowing that whatever was about to happen would give her a headache.
“Yes?” She asked, just barely managing to keep the annoyance she felt out of her voice. Looking around again, she noticed that all eyes, except the bus driver’s of course, were on her now. Marinette was wary, wondering what Lila would try to pull this time.
“I just wanted you to know that I hope we can put aside our differences so everyone can enjoy the field trip,” She stated, putting a hopeful smile onto her face. However, the gleam in her eye that had gone unnoticed by her doting minions, but was definitely noticed by Marinette and the ones who knew she was lying stated that she definitely had something planned today.
Before Marinette could reply, the bus stopped. Glancing at the front of the bus, she noticed that they were at Maison de Victor Hugo. Ms. Bustier stood up, calling for the students’ attention.
“Alright everyone, remember that this field trip is for a graded assignment, so try to pay attention and actually learn about Victor Hugo,” She said, thanking the bus driver as he opened the doors before walking out, her students beginning to follow after grabbing their backpacks.
Only Lila and Marinette stayed behind, Marinette being held back by Lila before she could step out of the bus. This time, Marinette did not hold back her sigh, clutching her phone in one hand and her sketchbook in the other.
“What do you want, Lila?” She asked, letting the annoyance she felt seep into her voice.
“I want to know what you think you’re doing,” Lila growled, glaring daggers at Marinette, most likely trying to intimidate her.
After getting some of her friends back, and hanging out with Luka, Marinette had decided to ignore Lila unless she accuses her of something she did not do, like steal the answer sheet for a test along with a necklace that Lila used to claim she was the wielder of the fox miraculous. When she was getting over Adrien, Marinette had accepted that her friendships with her classmates would never be the same even after Lila eventually gets exposed, and she figured that if her friends did not want to believe her, then they were no longer worth her time. She had tried to warn them about Lila, and only a few people came around before it was too late, so she was done.
“I’m trying to enjoy this field trip, you should too,” Marinette replied, quickly walking off the bus before Lila could say anything. She walked towards her friends, looking back to see Lila glare at her briefly before she stalked towards Adrien, who was talking to Nino and Alya before she latched onto him again.
Now that she had no more distractions, Marinette put her sketchbook in her purse again and focused on her phone, smiling at Luka’s text.
Luka: Good luck, Ma-Ma-Marinette.
Mari: Thanks, I’m not too worried about Lila though, even if she is planning something. Anyways, we’re at the museum now so I need to go. I’ll text you later though!
She turned her phone off and put it in her purse, noticing that Tikki had woken up, giving her a quick smile before turning her attention to her classmates who were already walking into the building. She quickly caught up to them, smiling at Juleka and Rose when they glanced at her curiously.
Marinette was really looking forward to this field trip, and nothing, especially not an akuma or Lila, would knock her down from the cloud she found herself floating on more often these days.