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!
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.