When Lila walks into the classroom, Mme. Mendeleiev spits her coffee out at her tablet, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” She slams her thermos onto the desk, “damn you, Damocles.”
Lila strolls up to the desk, “what’s wrong, Madame?”
“You’ll see.” Mendeleiev takes off her glasses and pinches the bridge of her nose, “have a seat.”
Lila takes a seat in the farthest seat on the right in the front row, angling her body slightly so she can see the door.
Sabrina is the first – technically the second – to enter the classroom. She gives Lila a curious look before heading toward the brunette, “why are you sitting here?”
“I sprained my ankle at the party yesterday running away from those wavy air balloon... thingies. Hurts to go up stairs.”
“That sucks. Hope you feel better.”
“Grazie, Sabrina. You’re such a sweetheart.” Sabrina smiles at her then trots up the stairs.
Lila turns back to the door. A bunch of unfamiliar kids walk in the room and make a beeline for the back. Not the very back because Sabrina has her backpack on the chair to her right. Unlike Mme. Bustier’s classroom, Sabrina and Chloé sit together here. Chloé claimed the back desk on the right side of the classroom where at Bustier’s class she’s on the left. Well, she’ll have to see what Mme. Bustier does about the seats.
A really tall pretty girl – about as tall as Marinette – with long purple hair with highlights that are a brighter purple, hoists her bag over her shoulder as she skulks into the classroom. When she looks up – probably seeing most of the seats in the back are filled – she frown then takes a seat in the third row on the right side of the room.
Some more students, familiar this time, start filing out the rest of the seats past the third row.
Adrien walks into the classroom looking around. When his eyes land on Lila, the brunette smiles and waves. Lila’s hardly expecting him to take the seat next to her. “What are you doing here?”
“I got an email from Principal Damocles saying I’m in Mme. Mendeleiev’s homeroom now.”
Ah. That must be what pissed the teacher off. Damocles must’ve changed the whole class roster around after Chloé’s bitchfit. “When did you get this email?”
“You know Chloé’s gonna want you to sit next to her.” Adrien shrugs.
Out the corner of Lila’s eye she sees a tiny girl with rainbow hair scurry inside the classroom and take the closest seat to the door. Then she looks around the classroom quickly before returning her attention to the front of the class.
Marinette walks backwards into the classroom holding an orange-haired, bespectacled girl’s hand. Lila recognizes the girl. She’s the same one from the party and damn she’s even hotter up close. Both girls stop in front of the rainbow-haired girl. “Bonjour.” She looks up at them, “Would it bother you if I sat here?” Lila sees the girl shake her head. “Merci.” Marinette and the orange-haired girl keep holding hands even though they’re in different rows. “I’m Marinette and this is Alya.”
Alya puts her bag on the seat next to her, “I saw you at the party yesterday.”
Chloé bursts in the classroom nearly knocking over the kid that came in before her. She looks around the classroom and when her eyes land on the rainbow-haired girl, the blonde growls stomping toward her. “You!” She hisses. “You’re responsible for this, aren’t you? Because of your talentless piece of shit papa!” Before anyone can reply, Chloé all but shoves her phone – that has a red flaming dragon on the phone case – in front of the girl and Marinette.
Alya puts her hands over her mouth when she sees the footage she recorded playing on Chloé’s phone. Which should be impossible because she hadn’t uploaded it anywhere. All she did was show it to Marinette in the courtyard a few minutes ago. She knows she wasn’t the only one recording the akuma attack but it’s absolutely her footage because it’s at an angle above the doorway. When she was dangling in the air dancers’ (Kagami told her last night that’s what it was called) grasp she started recording. [Not like she had much else she could do.] She was the only person that high in the air... aside from the rainbow-haired girl in the balloon chair, but the other girl didn’t have a phone out. And they were at opposite ends of the banquet hall.
“—next time you even cause an akumatization I will leave you to deal with it.”
“Y-You can’t do that!”
“The hell I can’t!”
“B-But look around!” Video Chloé explains on her knees gesturing around the banquet hall, “I did all of this to see you again!”
“Is that supposed to mean something?” The Video Dragon replies, off camera. “So you styled your hair like mine and paid someone to make an ice sculpture of me? I don’t care. I am not your personal on-call savior. And intentionally riling someone up just so I can show up to save your sorry ass makes you just as bad as Papillion.”
Alya whistles lowly as the camera zooms in on Chloé’s hurt expression. She hadn’t noticed that when she looked at the video earlier. (She also hadn’t noticed how crisp the sound was.) “W-Wha—No. N-No it doesn’t.”
“Oh it does. There are dozens of ways to flatter someone without causing an akumatization!”
Then the video cuts off and shows Nadja Chamack somber expression, “that’s right, Paris, you heard it here first live. An anonymous tip this morning told us that newly turned fourteen-year-old Chlolétte Aurélie Bourgeois intentionally caused the akumatization of actor and teacher’s assistant Fred Haprèle yesterday at her birthday party, but it doesn’t stop there. The video reveals right from Fred’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Mylène, that the akuma was originally gunning for her—” The rainbow-haired girl gasps loudly, “—when her papa heroically and probably figuratively, possibly literally, threw himself in front of the akuma, protecting his daughter from being akumatized. This makes Mlle. Haprèle Mlle. Bourgeois’ intended victim but for what purpose? Why was she selected specifically?”
Alec Cataldi, on Nadja’s left, laughs as he shakes his head, “wouldn’t be surprised if she selected Mlle. Haprèle at random. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Mlle. Haprèle wasn’t the first—or even the tenth person Chloé Bourgeois tried to get a rise out of yesterday.” Nadja sighs shaking her head. “As serious as this situation is, I’d like to point out that I’m a huge fan of this Dragon. For a number of reasons. I mean... well we all saw the footage, right? Come on! How could someone not be? I’ll agree with Mlle. Bourgeois on that one point. Who wouldn’t wanna be saved by them?”
“I’d like to point out I’m a bigger fan of— go back to the last screen. No, no, no. Not. Wait. There.” The camera pauses on Kagami’s back holding the knives. “This girl is truly the unsung hero of yesterday’s akuma attack.”
“Absolutely! Any information on this girl would be greatly appreciated. Those were kitchen knives, right?” Nadja nods enthusiastically. “And I know the akuma’s minions were balloons but still. Absolutely incredible.”
“Agreed. I was there in person and I saw it in real time. It was incredible. There really aren’t words.”
“You saw it?”
“I know I’m a news reporter but I have no idea why I didn’t think of recording it.” She sighs shaking her head. “It was absolutely one of those things you had to see to believe.”
“You aren’t the only one kicking yourself about not thinking to record it. Thankfully, someone managed to get some decent footage. I’m digging the aerial point of view too. Anyway, there is no legal reprimand for causing an akumatization and let’s face it. Even if there were, with her maman as mayor I doubt she’d get any. Furthermore, I’m sure Chloé Bourgeois has caused more than just that one akumatization yesterday. Remember your akumatization, Nadja?”
“Not the first one. I’m talking about the one before New Years Eve.” The burgundy-haired woman lowers her head and groans. “See? Proof! And we can tell the viewers to send in their causes for akumatizations, excluding the ones in the beginning, and I can guarantee you’ll see a lot Bourgeois’ as the reason. Not to mention the akumatization two days ago was Adrien Agreste and sources say that Adrien Agreste was akumatized after a conversation he had with Mlle. Bourgeois. If she can get her alleged best friend and the city’s local ball of sunshine akumatized then the next day deliberately put Paris through a premeditated akumatization for her own selfish reasons. She truly is worse than Mme. Papillion.”
“And let’s not forget Mlle. Bourgeois herself was akumatized three days ago.”
Alec sucks in a breath, “oof. Can’t forget about that one. Although, no one seems to know how it happened.”
“How what oh...” Nadja taps her chin, “you’re right. Curious. That’s something we’ll have to look into. Now we know the Dragon appeared because of Mlle. Bourgeois’ akumatization, with its currently unknown cause, but based on their attitude toward her, we can surmise the arrival was purely coincidental.”
“If you need any reason to be a fan of this akuma busting Dragon. I have the perfect one. They aren’t a fan of Chloé Bourgeois!”
Chloé slams her phone down on the desk then takes deep breath, “did you think it was a wise decision making a fool of me, Mini Mime? You can kiss your papa’s sad ass career goodbye!”
“Bourgeois—” Chloé looks over her shoulder at Mendeleiev pointing at the door, “to Damocles’ office.” The blonde opens her mouth, “now.” Chloé balls up her fists, “and just a reminder: you get akumatized or cause one nobody is coming to save you.” The blonde’s nostrils flare as she storms out the classroom.
“Is it okay if I touch you?” The rainbow-haired girl flinches then nods and Marinette rubs her shoulders. “Mme. Mendeleiev? Can I take... um.. what’s your name?”
“Gotcha. Can I take Mylène to the nurse?”
Mendeleiev nods, “go ahead.”
Marinette and Mylène leave the classroom the same time Kagami walks in. “I’ll tell you about it later.” Marinette says as she heads down the hall.
Alya slides over and Kagami joins her at the desk. “It’s been one hell of a morning and school hasn’t even officially started yet.”
“No one who values their job would humiliate me so it has to be someone with nothing to lose.”
Audrey nods, cleaning her cuticles. “Agreed.” Looks like she’s gonna need to make a nail appointment soon. She was anticipating the video call from her daughter the minute she saw that video surface, “what about the girl you were having trouble with Monday?”
“What about her? I doubt she could’ve gotten into my party.”
“Cassidy, you didn’t exactly bar off the doors to the hotel. Any of the riffraff could’ve slunk in.” The fourteen-year-old frowns, “we’ll talk to your papa about increasing the hotel’s security. In the meantime, give me the girl’s name.”
“I don’t know her name, Audrey. Lila takes care of that.” Audrey hums with a nod, “what’s with the face, Audrey?”
“No face. Simply... processing what you’re telling me.” Audrey clicks her tongue, “have your friend give me the entire class roster. We don’t want to overlook anyone while we take care of this mishap.”
“While you’re looking for people to fire or whatever, you should look into firing Alec Cataldi. Someone might’ve sent the video but he’s the one who... who...” The blonde growls.
“Calm down, Cristal. I’ll look into getting rid of Cataldi but I doubt it’ll be easy. TVi keeps him around because he’s not afraid to shy from the truth. The masses will riot if he’s gone. Furthermore, they’ll know we were involved if he’s suddenly replaced.”
“Then why not get him on our side?”
“Not a bad idea. It’ll be difficult but not impossible. I hear Cataldi has a high price.”
“You mean someone is paying him to be biased against us?”
“It’s very likely.” Audrey sighs.
“Who has that kind of money?”
“That’s something else I’ll have to look into.” Audrey sighs again, “has my daughter ‘learned her lesson?’ Can she return to class now Principal Damocles?”
“O-Of course, Mayor Bourgeois. I’ll talk to Mme. Mendeleiev.”
“See to it that you do. How can she complain about my daughter’s education if she isn’t in class to learn?” Damocles nods. “Bye Darling. We’ll get manipedis at lunch. Love you.”
“Love you too, Audrey.”
Audrey hangs up the phone then leans back in her chair looking at the ceiling, “Alec Cataldi. Alec Cataldi. Nooroo Dear, refresh my memory, has Alec Cataldi ever been akumatized?” The small purple butterfly sitting on her desk looks up at her then tilts their head to the right.
“I do not believe so, Mme. Audrey.”
“Let’s fix that. Nooroo, let’s fly.” The butterfly nods flying into the oval lavender brooch on Audrey’s shirt collar. Her hair begins to magically grow and turn purple. She stands as her clothes turn into a grey pants suit with a purple inner shirt. She picks up the mask slotted against her waist and puts it on her face. Next she puts on her purple heels and purple boots. Fully transformed, Audrey walks toward the window and opens it. She holds out her right hand and creates an akuma, “be a dear and find Alec Cataldi but don’t akumatize him, yet.” She flexes her fingers and the akuma multiples, then she blows at her hand toward the window and the akumas flap away. Once the akumas are in the sky, she closes the window then walks back over to her seat. “Nooroo, let’s land.” The transformation drops and Audrey sits back in her chair, “now we wait. Are you hungry?”
“I could eat. But, Mme. Audrey, why aren’t we akumatizing this Alec Cataldi now?”
“Patience, Nooroo Dear. He hasn’t done anything to akumatize him over. Aside from the fact that he humiliated my one and only daughter publicly, which I will not let stand, but I can’t akumatize Cataldi based of my anger. He’s gonna have to drop that cheerful façade sooner or late and when he does, I’ll be ready.”
“We can always try and see if one can be akumatized with overwhelming positive emotions?”
Audrey taps her chin, “I suppose we could give it a shot.”
When Chloé returns to the classroom, everyone watches the blonde until she takes her seat beside Sabrina folding her arms over her chest glaring in front of her.
Marinette had returned from taking Mylène to the nurse’s office several minutes ago. The rainbow-haired teen caught an asthma attack on top of her panic attack so the nurse was looking over her.
In the timeframe Marinette wasn’t in the classroom, Alya filled Kagami in to the goings-ons.
Alya suggested they check on Mylène once class ended; Kagami and Marinette agreed.
Alya yawns as Mme. Mendeleiev starts going over stuff she and Kagami already learned when they were in Mme. Bustier’s homeroom. She brought it to Mme. Mendeleiev’s attention and the teacher’s response was to blame the principal. (Alya has to wonder how the other classes will be.) As the orange-haired teen cracks her neck, lolling it from side to side, she sees Adrien just flat out, unabashedly staring at Kagami.
Alya nudges the girl next to her. Kagami leans forward, “heads up, Agreste is here and he’s looking this way.” Alya whispers. Kagami starts to turn in that direction but Alya turns her back, “don’t look.”
“Why did you inform me of his staring if you did not want me to stop him from looking over here?” Kagami whispers back.
“Be—because...” Alya’s eyebrows furrow, “damn you got a point.”
“M. Agreste, is there something interesting about the back of the classroom?”
Blushing, Adrien turns toward Mme. Mendeleiev, “n-no. There’s...” He frowns then sits up straight. “S-Sorry, Madame.” The brunette beside him giggles.
When the door opens, Marinette, Alya, and Kagami do a double take as an Adrien duplicate in glasses wearing a navy three-piece bespoke suit walks in the classroom adjusting his lapels as he looks around. He walks over to the teacher’s desk with determination and an envelope.
The class nosily and noisily tries to get a good look at the newcomer as Mendeleiev accepts the envelope and opens it.
The Adrien double is standing there with his hands behind his back in parade rest. Alya nudges Kagami in a get a load of this guy manner and Kagami nods in agreement.
One Agreste is a bad enough.
If this one shows an interest in Kagami too, Alya might have to break something over his head. Speaking of Agreste, Alya glances at the blond who has a frown on his face. For a professional model, who has his face plastered all over every available flat surface in the city (and some circular ones), the guy kinda wears his heart on his sleeve. Probably why the majority of things his face is featured on has him smiling.
Mendeleiev sighs loudly putting the sheet of paper back in the envelope then returns the envelope to the blond. “Take an empty seat wherever.” Nodding, the blond turns to his classmates surveying the room. He walks up the one stair before approaching Marinette.
“Bonjour, Mademoiselle, is this seat taken?”
“Our friend’s in the nurse’s office.” Alya adds, smiling sweetly; Kagami, on the other hand, raises an eyebrow as she folds her arms over her chest.
The blond nods, and Alya doesn’t miss him looking them over, before he ascends the staircase and takes the formerly empty desk behind them.
Alya puts some hair behind her ear and sees the blond staring at Kagami out the corner of her eye. She puts her head on Kagami’s shoulder. Sure, Kagami is shorter than her by several centimeters but she’d bear a lot more than a crick in her neck for her girls.
Mendeleiev hands Marinette a stack of worksheets then she walks over to Adrien and hands him the same worksheets. While the brunette takes the stack from Adrien passing them over her shoulder, Marinette fully turns toward her best friends handing them the stack. Both Kagami’s and Alya’s eyes roll upward and Marinette nods before turning back around in her seat.
After a quick loss at rock-paper-scissors, Alya lifts her head then turns slightly to hand the worksheets back. The blond brushes his fingers against hers as he takes the stack and thanks her.
Oh boy. This is gonna be a long class period.
Damocles walks in the classroom. “Mme. Mendeleiev, a word?” The teacher’s eyes narrow but she follows Damocles out of the classroom, telling them to look over their worksheet.
“Crap.” Marinette mutters, “forgot to get a worksheet for Mylène!” She spares a glance at the back of the classroom. Sabrina is set to pass the worksheets ahead to the redhead in front of her when Chloé grabs her hand and the stack of worksheets.
“Not yet, Sabrina. Mme. Mendeleiev didn’t ask for them.” She smirks at Marinette then props her feet up on her desk, “you want a worksheet for that rat so badly, come get it.”
Marinette stands then Alya and Kagami stand too. “The odds don’t seem to be in your favor, Bourgeois. I suggest you back off.”
Chloé’s right eye twitches before she composes herself, “I’m not scared of you, Tsurugi.”
“Really?” Alya muses, nudging Kagami. “Care to test that theory?” All Kagami does is move from behind the desk and Chloé flails back in her seat sending the extra worksheets flying. Alya catches a worksheet and hands it to Marinette, “look pretty scared to me.” Then the three of them sit down. The class applauds until Sabrina picks Chloé up from the floor.
The blonde points a finger at Kagami. “I’ll bet it was you that sent the video to TVi!”
“Oh believe me.” Kagami turns back to her, smirking. Everyone in between the two ducks. “I wish I had the pleasure.”
Chloé snarls. “My parents can ruin yours!”
“Then let them try.”
The class oohs, heads playing ping-pong between Kagami and Chloé glaring at each other.
Mme. Mendeleiev comes back in the classroom looking twice as tired than she left and she wasn’t even gone for five minutes. “What’s with all the papers?”
“Chloé did it!” A pink-haired girl exclaims pointing at the blonde.
Mendeleiev glances up at Chloé who points at Kagami, “she made me! Then she threatened me!”
“That’s bullshit, you threatened her first!”
“Like hell I did!”
“Shut up!” Mendeleiev exclaims. “Kim, what the hell happened?”
“Well...” The tall boy in the row in front of Chloé, next to the pink-haired girl, begins. “The cute girl with the twintails said she needed an extra worksheet for the rainbow-haired girl Chloé threatened. Then Chloé stopped Sabrina from handing the worksheets to the front of the class and told Twintails to come get it. So then Twintails, Orange-Hair, and Knives got up and Chloé said she wasn’t afraid of Knives then Knives moved to probably take the worksheets from Chloé when Chloé flailed backward and fell out of her seat scattering the papers. When Sabrina helped Chloé up, Chloé said Knives probably sent in the video of Chloé and the Dragon – and we’ve got to find out their name. And Knives replied she wishes she had then Chloé said her parents could ruin Knives’ to which Knives replied let ‘em try. Then you came back in.”
Mme. Mendeleiev nods slowly, “merci, Kim.” The brunet nods. “Everyone pick up the worksheets closest to you then pass them down to the front of the classroom.” Mendeleiev shakes her head, “I’m not caffeinated enough for this.”
When class mercifully ends, Marinette stretches at her desk. “I hope Mylène is okay. I didn’t expect her to be gone all class.”
Chloé stomps down the stairs, glaring at the three of them when she reaches the bottom of the staircase then flips them all off as she leaves the classroom with Sabrina trailing behind.
“If I thought this class was gonna be long it’s nothing compared to the damn schoolyear.” Alya grumbles.
Marinette gets up from her desk and stretches again. “We can take her.”
“Fuck that. Kagami, yes.” Alya leans on Marinette, “you can’t tell me Blondie doesn’t deserve an almighty asskicking? Plus, she’s already afraid of Kagami.”
“But she didn’t even know who you were the other day.”
“I’m guessing the... events of yesterday made our presence known.” Kagami pauses, “either that or Adrien told her.” The three of them narrow their eyes at Adrien as he glances in their direction then hastily exits the classroom.
“Good. We got our foot in the door, now all we need to do is pull the rug underneath her Chanel boots.”
“Those aren’t real.”
Before Alya could ask or say anything, the brunette who was sitting beside Adrien approaches the front of Marinette’s desk. “Marinette, right?” Marinette adjusts her purse strap and nods, “I’m Lila. Lila Rossi. I know I’m a few days late but I wanted to officially welcome you to François Düpont.”
“Merci. That’s nice of you.”
“Piacerie mio. I mean, it’s my pleasure. It’s the least I could do.”
“You speak Italian?”
“I am Italian.”
“Cool. I’m half on my papa’s side.”
“Yeah? Fantastico. So glad I’m not the only one anymore. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to find me. I know all too well what it’s like being the new girl. Ciao, Belle! See you in the next class~” The brunette waves as she merrily leaves the classroom.
Alya starts rubbing her arms, “did you two also get a weird vibe from that girl or was it just me?”
“Weird how?” Kagami asks.
Alya shudders, “the best way to describe it is: she gave me the heebie-jeebies.”
“I’m not certain if that’s what I felt, considering I don’t know what that means, but I felt... something. However, in the same vein, I should state that I am naturally distrustful.”
“That’s a good attitude to have.”
Marinette snaps out of her stupor, “I-I didn’t feel anything, and you two shouldn’t be so paranoid. Good people exist.”
“So do bad people.” Alya and Kagami reply. Alya points out the door and holds her hair up in a ponytail for emphasis.
Marinette sighs. “That’s true.” Alya keeps rubbing her arms. “Maybe you should see the nurse?”
Alya elbows Marinette with a smile, “maybe you should, for your red face.” Marinette squawks. “You’re blushing something fierce. Did she offer to surrogate your kids or something?”
“W-What?” Marinette laughs, “no, she... she called me beautiful.”
“Was that all?” Kagami scoffs, “we all know you’re beautiful. Hell, we can call you beautiful every day of the week and twice on Sundays if you’d like.”
“N-No, I don’t need that!”
“Perhaps but you need to build immunity to it. You are beautiful. I’m certain you see your reflection in mirrors when you coordinate your outfits.” Marinette’s face turns redder.
“Y-Yeah, I-I have... I mean I do.” Marinette bites her lip as she twiddles her thumbs, “t-the only people who c-call me beautiful are m-my māma and nonna. I-I hit m-my growth spurt early so... so I’ve been a b-bit self-conscious... about it.”
“I’ve seen them both and they’re both hot. Blessed are ye with great ass genes.” Alya holds up her hand for a high-five and Kagami obliges. (Marinette forgot they spent two months together before she came in the picture.) “And your pops is huge! Come to think of it, so is your grandma.” Alya gasps, “imagine if you get taller!”
Marinette sighs, “that thought has gone through my mind.”
Kagami and Alya exchange a glance then nod. “That settles it. We unquestionably have to reaffirm your beauty to you. Marinette Dupain-Cheng, you are one badass glamazon.”
“Your beauty is so indisputable it should be immortalized in marble.”
“Ooh. That’s a good one. You’re... You’re...” Alya takes out her phone, “let’s see... synonym for beautiful. Ah! You’re pulch-rit-u-di-nous.”
Kagami shakes her head, “yeah, no. That sounds...” She shakes her head again. “Pick a different one.”
“Resplendent? That sounds real fancy.”
Kagami makes a seesawing motion with her hand, “a little better.” She takes out her phone, “let me look for some. Stupefying. Splendiferous.”
“Sublime.” Alya and Kagami utter simultaneously.
“Stop. Stop!” Marinette laughs. “I get it!”
Mylène is sitting on a cot drinking from a bottle of water when they enter the office. “O-Oh. Bonjour.”
“Bonjour. I brought you a worksheet Mme. Mendeleiev had us looking through.”
“M-Merci beaucoup. You didn’t have to do that.”
“It was no trouble. All we did was practically declare war on Blondie McFakeshoes. Speaking of which, how do you know they’re fake?”
“The stitching.” Marinette replies with a shrug, “I’ve seen a lot of knock-off designer stuff when I lived in Italy.”
Alya rubs her hands together, “Alya needs to rub this in her face.”
“Alya needs to wait until she comes for us first.”
Alya leans on Kagami, “you’re the best.”
Kagami chuckles, “wait. You said you had to show me something.”
“Right...” Alya hands Kagami her phone, “did you see the news this morning?” Kagami shakes her head, “Marinette, I didn’t accidentally hit send or share or anything when I showed you the video this morning... right?”
“No. You showed me the video, backed out of the camera app, then put your phone in your pocket.” She gasps, “you... that—”
“I didn’t! I thought about it sure but I didn’t get the chance to post it.”
“Oh.” Kagami nods in understanding as she pauses the video, “the only way someone could’ve uploaded content straight from your phone without your consent would be if they pickpocketed you.”
“And they’d have to be a damn good pickpocket to take your phone, upload a video, then return your phone with you none the wiser.”
“But do to that they’d have to be an accomplished hacker as well. To get into your phone in the first place.”
“Unless the phone was unlocked and already on the camera app.” Marinette sighs, “great, now you got me on the paranoid train.”
Kagami’s eyes widen, “I know exactly when it happened. Not, specifically but I know the small window. Remember after you fell from the air dancers after the akuma was destroyed? Marinette’s papa caught you and handed you your phone. There was a whole group of people in the surrounding area. From the time you fell to the time you were given your phone anyone could’ve uploaded the video to their phone especially if you were still in the camera app.”
“Then they erased their tracks and probably went through a bunch of people to erase their fingerprints instead of just handing my papa the phone themselves.”
Alya sighs, “great. That only leaves the unknown amount of individuals who know how to use a cameraphone from the hundreds of people who were in the ballroom. Looks like we got a mystery on our hands to solve, gang.”
“Looks like it.” Marinette agrees. “Ooh! Lemme be Velma?”
“Can’t. I got the glasses.”
“That literally doesn’t mean anything.”
“What are you talking about?”
Mylène giggles and the three of them turn to her, “o-oh! Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize. I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m Kagami. I believe you’ve met Alya and Nette.”
Alya and Marinette exchange a glance before turning to Kagami. “‘Nette?’”
“I’ve read best friends give each other nicknames. ‘Mari’ seemed the obvious choice so I wanted to go in another direction. I couldn’t come up with a nickname for Alya though.”
“Ooh! Doesn’t matter! I’m absolutely on board! You’re totally Mimi now!” Alya exclaims.
“And you’re Yaya.” Marinette rocks back and forth on her heels. “You can be Lyly or maybe just Ly? Lyna?”
Mylène blushes, “m-me!?”
“Yeah, you. We’re totally best friends now.”
Alya and Kagami nod in agreement.
Mylène looks at the three of them rubbing the back of her neck. “I-I don’t know what to say.”
“Say ‘cheese’ cause we’re taking some pictures.”
They manage to take one picture before the nurse’s office door opens and a kid with dark blue hair stumbles in holding their nose. “Another nosebleed?” The nurse sighs, ushering the kid to an empty cot.
“Are you okay? Do you need us to get your notes and stuff for the next class?”
“I-I should be okay to go back to class. R-Right?” The nurse nods.
“Mme. Bustier has the old-school assigned seats thing going but it’s not like it’s by last name or whatever. Cause, I mean that would be simple. I’m Césaire, I’d be in the front—”
“You’d also be near Bourgeois.” Kagami points out.
Alya scowls and Marinette gasps, “I’m Dupain-Cheng, so would I!” She nudges Alya, “but we’d be pretty close together. Just Kagami would be all alone in the back.”
“We’d better book it to class to see what Mme. Bustier did with our seats.” Mylène hops off the cot. “This should be fun~” Alya sing-songs.
“Come back if you experience any symptoms, okay?” Mylène nods.
The four of them walk to class chatting. Mylène would’ve been content with just listening but they’ve been engaging her into the conversation. She gets a warm, comforting feeling being near them.
Mme. Bustier has pens sticking out of her bun as she paces in front of her desk with a clipboard in her hands.
Everyone is lined up against the front rows except Chloé who is at her seat in the back with her feet propped up on the desk. Marinette looks around the room and when the blonde meets her eyes she waves.
Marinette stops in front of the teacher’s desk as Alya, Kagami, and Mylène lean against the wall by the door. “Mme. Bustier, you’re kinda obstructing my seat.”
The redhead stops pacing, “this isn’t your seat anymore. I’m figuring out the best seats for everyone.”
Marinette jerks a thumb behind her, “yet you’re gonna leave you know who in the same seat?” She shakes her head with a sigh then joins her friends.
Mme. Bustier frowns before looking up at the top row. “Chloé, can you come down here please?”
“Because I’m arranging everyone’s seats.”
“I know. That’s why I’m sitting here waiting.”
“I’m moving your seat too.”
“Are you sure? You know Audrey’s just a phone call away.”
“I’d hate to bother Mayor Bourgeois with something this trivial.”
“One bad video doesn’t change my status, Mme. Bustier.”
“I’m well aware, Mlle. Bourgeois.” The redhead gestures to the class, “please. Join us.” The blonde picks up her bag and her plaque and walks down the stairs joining the rest of the class. For about a second before she heads to the front row desk on the right and sits on it.
It takes five more minutes of pacing before Mme. Bustier has their seats ready (or so she says). The redhead puts Chloé in the front of the class, to the surprise of everyone. What’s even more surprising is the blonde goes without a fuss.
Mylène watches Mme. Bustier check off her list as she sends the students to their seats one by one.
She gets put in the desk across from Chloé, and considering what happened earlier Mylène’s not sure if this is a good move. But with what Alya told her, Mylène doesn’t only have to worry about herself. In her old class she heard horrible things about Chloé Bourgeois but to see slash experience them first-hand is something else entirely. (She’ll undoubtedly get nightmares about it.)
Mme. Bustier sits a boy named Max next to her.
There are seven quatrième classes in the school and Damocles somehow managed to swap students from the other six classes into this one. Yet no one else from Mylène’s old class is here. Did the principal pull her name from a hat? Why was she the only one?
At the end of the day, it hardly matters as she never really conversed with her old classmates.
Some unlucky, unfamiliar boy gets put next to Chloé. Mylène didn’t hear his name from Mme. Bustier.
Kagami is put at the desk behind the blonde, which happens to also be next to Adrien Agreste. She does not seem happy about this, at all. Which, by all accounts, seems strange because Adrien Agreste is the handsomest boy in the school, and any girl—hell any student would be elated to be his deskmate; Mylène’s happy just to be in his proximity.
Alya is put in the back, in the seat Chloé was sitting in. Next to her is a green-eyed brunette who loudly complained about her sprained ankle until a tall boy carried her up to her seat. That same tall boy got put in front of the brunette and Alya, and his deskmate is Marinette.
A boy who looked exactly like Adrien Agreste with glasses is seated behind her, alongside an unfamiliar pink-haired girl. Though, to be fair, all the students here are unfamiliar to her sans Marinette, Alya, and Kagami and that’s only because they introduced themselves to her.
Bustier looks over the class then takes a deep breath and nods. “Okay.” She claps her hands together and beams. “Time to begin today’s lesson!”
Alya pretty much tuned out the seating arrangements on the grounds that she only cared about where three people were sitting. She tries to get a glimpse of Kagami. Being in the orbit of Adrien 1, Adrien 2, and Blondie? That’s a triple oof. At least this class won’t have Blondie bitching, not while Kagami is within striking range.
Marinette was grateful for the seat switch (especially as she never truly had a seat). There are only six rows in the classroom and she’s in the fifth. She feels for Kagami though. Mme. Bustier doesn’t have a clue the storm that’s brewing.
Chloé put her name plaque on her side of the desk. Bustier (surprisingly) wasn’t budging on the desk share and Chloé doesn’t recognize the boy next to her.
She sneaks a sidelong glance. Her “deskmate” has a pair of pink headphones around his neck, he’s wearing a black cap and has on a pink and black gingham style shirt. Not Adrikins level of pretty but cute... as far as boys go. How the hell has she not seen him before?
Adrien was practically vibrating in his seat. Mme. Bustier put him next to Kagami! Adrien honestly couldn’t be happier if he tried. He was also next to his cousin Félix and Chloé but that was less important. Sabrina was on the other side of the classroom, and Lila was all the way in the back. Needless to say, he had plenty of opportunities to make friends! Especially as the only people from his old class were Kagami and Alya.
Hopefully, there could be some salvageable bits of near friendship between him and Kagami. All he has to do is prove he’s nothing like Chloé. Simple. Adrien always admired his childhood friend’s tenacity and headstrong nature (even the times when it got him in trouble) but if Chloé flat out picked a fight with Kagami he’d be screwed. Based on years of friendship, he’d have to pick Chloé’s side even if his heart would disagree and cry on the inside.
Kagami feels a headache coming on. Mme. Bustier had her next to Adrien when they were in the same homeroom. She looked around the classroom while the redhead was designating seats and Alya and Marinette both mouthed apologies to her when they were given their seats. Now would be a great time to practice meditation techniques. It might lessen her urge to headbutt her desk repeatedly. She can feel one blond next to her vibrating with excitement while the other is displeased and trying to put some kind of hex on her.
Lila takes a deep breath. She hit the motherfucking jackpot! Alya is downright gorgeous and she smells like sunflowers. Plus, her hair is so, so shiny. (Lila doubts she’ll be able to pay attention to class as long as she’s sitting next to Alya but, damn, her bad grades will be worth it.)
Kim stretches, “oh...” He turns around, “I’m not in your way, right?”
Lila smiles at him. “With you being so freakishly tall? No, Kim. I’m good.”
He nods then turns back around. Oh. That’s what he meant. With him sitting up straight, she can’t see anything in front of her. [She doubts she’ll be able to see anything if she was behind Marinette too, so she’s just flat-out screwed. She might have to put her chair in the aisle.]
Marinette props her fist against her cheek and yawns, prompting the boy next to her to do the same. “Sorry.” She whispers.
“You’re good. Probably woulda yawned on my own at some point.” Marinette chuckles, “I’m Kim, by the way. Wanted to talk to you since Monday but then the akumatization happened, and I wasn’t in school Tuesday or yesterday.” They shake hands.
“You’d be the second person I met from this class that actually wanted to talk to me.”
“They’ll come around. You know, hopefully. Everyone’s so used to being under Chloé’s thumb they can’t squeeze through the spaces between her fingers.”
“Huh. Interesting way to put it. What about you, though? You offered to give her your seat on Monday.”
“Right, that.” Kim rubs the back of his neck, “not my best moment. I was trying to be a gentleman but I forgot who I was trying to be a gentleman for. Chloé doesn’t give a shit about chivalry if it gets in her way. I could’ve just as easily offered my seat to you and avoided this whole thing.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yeah, guess I don’t but I still feel like I made the wrong move.”
“Well, you won’t get a disagreement from me on that.” Kim laughs, “how come you’re not squished under her thumb like the rest of them?"
“Alix.” Kim points to the pink-haired girl at the front of the class behind Mylène’s desk. “We’ve been best friends since we were in diapers. Tried the dating thing. It was gross. Continued to be the best pair of best friends in existence. Me, Chloé, Alix, Rose, Nathaniel, and Sabrina all went to école primaire together and were in the same damn class year after year after year. I would never go so far as to say Chloé wasn’t always terrible but she was less of a shrieking banshee when she didn’t get her way. Before she started threatening people on a regular basis she was just showing off and bragging about all the stuff her parents got her. Talking about how great her parents were. You know, typical rich kid stuff. She’d bribe us into doing whatever she wanted time and time again. Her shit was shiny and she knew us pretty well. Needless to say, we were not immune.” Marinette hums. “Chloé’s maman is called 'The Queen of Fashion' or something? Personally, I, to this day, have no idea what that means but...” Kim shrugs, “I suppose it was something worth bragging about. I’m guessing she was a model at some point? Maybe a fashion designer too? Whatever. Doesn’t matter. She’s featured in magazines and all that jazz. Before she was mayor, Chloé’s papa was mayor.”
Kim nods, “I think the more corrupt her papa mayor became the more corrupt Chloé became. Anyway, she was showing off and bragging and whatever like always when Alix called her out on her bullshit. It’s like this spell she had over me broke. I knew Alix would never fuck around and say shit just so say it. Plus, I knew if one person on this planet knows skate history: It’s Alix Kubdel. Then a shouting match erupted and it ended with Chloé threatening to talk to her papa about closing down the skatepark. Since then they’ve been at each other’s throats.”
“And that was the first time Chloé started making threats?” Kim and Marinette look up at Lila, “what? The story’s interesting and I’m engaged.”
“Same here.” Alya adds.
Kim shakes his head, “yeah. It was about two years ago. Before we started collège. Alix might remember the exact date. There really isn’t much I can do about anything. I’m the one who has to restrain Alix from attacking. Chloé would love to file assault charges on her. As she’s threatened to do so several times. I’d never hit a girl even for Alix. I’d probably have to find a girl to do it for me.”
“Kagami.” Alya and Marinette reply.
“I’ll talk to her. Even if I told the teachers what I know, they don’t take me seriously. I’m a goof. Plus, you know, they’re under Chloé’s thumb too.”
“What about Mme. Mendeleiev?” Alya asks.
“It feels like they’re slowly trying to break her down. Every time she does something, Damocles pops up and gets on her. Today is a fine example.”
Alya taps her chin, “her parents are in control of the city which is the police along with damn near every authoritative force; politicians, other celebrities, yada yada. They don’t seem to have the media in their back pocket yet but we don’t know for how much longer. Realistically speaking, we cannot conventionally pose a threat.”
“You said conventionally.” Kim points out.
“You’re saying we gotta think outside the box. Poke holes in the armor. Stuff like that?” Lila asks.
“Exactly. I don’t know how yet but I’ll think of something.”
“Hell yeah.” Marinette nods, “I’m in.”
“Me too. Just tell me what you need.” Kim looks up at Lila then gasps, “wait a second! Aren’t you like friends with Chloé?” Lila’s eyes widen slightly as both Marinette and Alya stare at her. The stares aren’t bad, per se, but all their warmth and friendliness flew out the fucking window.
That damn big mouth! Time to do some damage control. Lila tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, “my mamma is in the same social circles as her parents. Dignitaries and all that. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re ‘friends.’ However, as you’ve all no doubt experienced, being on Chloé’s good side is far better than being on her bad.” The three of them exchange glances. “I can help you guys, from the inside.”
“You could just as easily be helping her on the inside.” Alya says.
Fuck. She wasn’t expecting that. Great. Now she’s gotta watch her ass for the pretty one. “The glitzy life has its perks, sure, but I’m a simple girl with simple needs.”
Alya raises an eyebrow. “Which are...?”
“Friends? Real friends.” Marinette’s eyes soften just a fraction but that’s more than enough. Alya on the other hand isn’t affected. Looks like she’ll have to put in some research on the orange-haired girl. “Haven’t any of your parents made you hang around with the kids your age when you knew damn well knew nothing good would come of it?” Kim nods but the others shake their heads, “no? You’re lucky.”
Marinette taps Alya on the shoulder and she leans forward so Marinette can whisper in her ear. Alya nods then leans back, “for your own safety it’s probably not the best idea to have you play double agent, at least for the moment.”
“But we’ll be more than happy to be your real friends.”
Lila smiles, “grazie and I appreciate your concern.”
Alya pats her on the shoulder, “we’re good at making friends.” Marinette nods in agreement.
“Kagami, do you have a minute?” Adrien jogs up to her. “You walk fast.”
“I do so particularly when I don’t want to be bothered.” She turns on her heels sharply and enters the gym. Adrien nearly stumbles as he follows after her.
“I just want a minute of your time. After that, I-I won’t bother you... for the rest of the week!”
“I find that very hard to believe.” Kagami suddenly stops walking and Adrien bumps into her. Adrien rubs his nose then looks up at the sign for the girl’s changing room. “Do you plan on following me inside here as well?”
“N-No, I’m gonna get dressed myself.” Sighing, he miserably heads to the boy’s changing room. His mother had been excited when the school got M. Armand D’Argencourt to teach fencing last year. Adrien wished he was able to attend public school last year but he’s here now, no use dwelling on the past. He and Kagami are teammates, she can’t hate him if they expect to win. Yeah. That’s a great point to make! With renewed vigor, he gets dressed.
Meanwhile, as Adrien gets dressed Chloé, Sabrina, and Félix enter the gym. “Why are we here?” Félix asks.
“Because we’re supporting Adrikins, duh. Otherwise I wouldn’t be caught dead in the gym on purpose. Audrey writes me daily excuse notes for a reason.”
“Too bad about Lila’s sprained ankle.” Sabrina muses, “she said to cheer on Adrien for her.”
“Wait, what? What are you talking about?”
“Lila? She sprained her ankle at the party yesterday, running from the tube dancers. She can’t climb all the bleachers so she went home.”
Félix snickers, “hell of a party you know how to throw Bourgeois.”
“Zip it Graham Cracker. When did Lila tell you she sprained her ankle? She didn’t tell me anything. Hell, I barely saw her today.”
“She sprained her ankle yesterday fleeing from the akumatizations, and I’m pretty sure the reason you haven’t seen her today is because she’s cozying up to Marinette and Kagami, remember?”
Chloé’s eyes narrow, “I think she’s cozying a little too much. I saw the look in her eye on Tuesday. She’s got a thing for...” The blonde frowns, “dammit. Don’t tell me I’m turning into Audrey. I’d like to remember the names of people I hate!”
Sabrina sighs, “Marinette Dupain-Cheng is the girl from Monday. Lila even told us so. She’s like freakishly tall. You really can’t miss her. Kagami—”
“Don’t insult my intelligence, Sabrina, I know all about Kagami Tsurugi. She truly is her maman’s daughter. How dare she refuse an exclusive offer from Oncle Gabriel? Saying she’d rather be akumatized than work with him? She can’t be allowed to freely roam the city.”
“Chloé, there are so many reasons I can get into to explain why you cannot do anything to Tomoe Tsurugi without insulting your intelligence.”
Chloé rolls her eyes, “I don’t discriminate, Sabrina. Visually impaired or not, that bitch deserves to get akumatized. Maybe it’ll get her to change her attitude.”
“I don’t know. It certainly didn’t help you.” Félix states and Chloé glares at him.
The fencers start lining up. “Go Kagami!”
Chloé flinches then leans over Sabrina to see Blue-Hair on the bleachers with pom-poms. “As if my day couldn’t get any worse.” She grumbles then gets off Sabrina. “Time to trash talk.” Sabrina gets up and moves a seat back so she’s next to Félix. “You know Adrikins, will make quick work of Tsurugi, right?”
Blue-Hair turns to her. She’s higher up on the bleachers and... Huh. Chloé hadn’t realized how pretty she was before. Nope. No complimenting her mortal enemy. Or is it sworn enemy? Whichever.
“Right...” A pretty orange-haired girl, leaning on Blue-Hair on the bleacher behind her, waves her arm in the air carelessly, “your boy likes Mimi, he’ll get distracted and defeated.”
“Adrikins is the best fencer in the school!” She growls. “And Kagami Tsurugi is barely worth a second glance let alone a distraction.”
“She sure seemed to distract you. Or do you need a reminder of what happened earlier?” Blue-Hair mutters then taps her friend. “Kagami’s up. Go Mimi!”
“Kick some ass, Mimi!” Orange-Hair yells as Blue-Hair shakes the pom-poms. Kagami walks to the center of the floor and puts her helmet down.
M. D’Argencourt chuckles. “Fencing practice has never been so lively before.”
“It’s distracting.” Kagami’s opponent grumbles putting his helmet down.
“Does it ‘distract’ you because you aren’t being cheered for?” The instructor asks, the student growls. “Nationals are ten times as noisy. If you can’t deal with the ‘distraction,’ forfeit now.”
“Then let us begin.” The instructor looks at the competitors. “En garde!” The remaining fencers try to inch closer. “Prêts?” He looks at the students again. “Allez!”
Ordinarily, Chloé wouldn’t pay attention to anyone other than Adrien fencing but she’s glad she decided to see what Tsurugi is capable of. To start the match, Tsurugi’s opponent lunges and Tsurugi somehow deflects his attack with her épée. The crowd gasps loudly and the guy growls. She’s obviously not on par with Adrikins... but she’s scary good. Compared to the peons anyway.
“Someone’s getting akumatized.” Félix mumbles and Sabrina nods in agreement.
After a few pathetic attempts that get brutally rebuffed, Tsurugi’s opponent just starts unprofessionally flailing his épée around and Tsurugi is not only effortlessly dodging the pitiful assault but counterattacks. It’s almost like the cartoons Adrien makes her watch.
When Tsurugi effortlessly knocks the épée out her opponent’s hand he snarls tackling her to the ground. Blue-Hair and Orange-Hair get up then rush down the bleachers.
“You don’t deserve this uniform!” The guy throws a punch but Adrien runs over grabbing his arm.
“What do you think you’re doing, man?”
“This doesn’t concern you, Agreste. Back the hell o—ff!” He groans loudly then slumps off Kagami. Adrien looks down at his teammate then over at Kagami noticing the blue-haired teen’s left knee is up. Adrien winces, as do the rest of the guys on the team.
Marinette and Alya each grab one of Kagami’s arms helping her up. “What the hell, teach?” Alya exclaims.
“Indeed. This is fencing, not wrestling M. Brisbois show a little decorum. You’re suspended from the team, indefinitely.” The boy gasps as he cups himself, “maybe you’ll learn how to work well with others in the meantime.” With a sigh, he turns to Kagami. “I trust you are unharmed, Mlle. Tsurugi?”
Kagami takes off her helmet and runs a hand through her hair. “I’ve sustained no damage.”
“Thank goodness. However, I believe you should see the nurse. Just in case. You did hit your head when you hit the floor.”
“If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll see her when practice ends.”
D’Argencourt nods. “Take M. Brisbois to Damocles so we can resume practice.”
“You clowns are nothing without me! The Ice Princess and Pretty Boy don’t care about this as much as I do!” Brisbois yells as two of his former teammates drag him off.
Chloé raises an eyebrow as she watches Orange-Hair and Blue-Hair fuss over Tsurugi heading to the front of the bleachers. She never noticed how tiny Tsurugi is. What the blue-haired girl lacks in height she makes up for in how scary she is.
“M. Agreste, Mlle. Charles. You’re up.”
Chloé claps her hands together. “Finally! Go Adrikins!”
“Go Adrien!” Sabrina cheers cupping her hands around her mouth.
The rest of the girls in the bleachers, who run to the front, also start cheering Adrien’s name. They’re holding both his model posters and the poster D’Argencourt made to get people “interested” in fencing. It worked... to a degree, it just hadn’t gotten anyone interested in joining fencing.
Adrien clears his throat. He’d spare a glance back at Kagami but he doesn’t want to be obvious. “Mèlodie.”
He can practically feel the blonde grinning behind her mask. “Adrien.”
“Oh. So you’re not the only girl on the team?”
Kagami shakes her head leaning into Marinette as she massages Kagami’s head. “I’m one of two, and one of three non boys on the team. That girl is Mèlodie Charles. Brisbois has a problem with her as well.”
“The whole girls aren’t allowed in our sports bullshit?” Alya shakes her head, “it’s fucking 2020, man. Get a life. Get some hobbies.”
“Does this jerk have a problem with the other non boy on the team?” Kagami nods. Marinette blows out a breath. “I’m not even gonna waste time thinking about that asshole.”
“En garde!” D’Argencourt begins. “Prêts?” He looks between the two fencers. “Allez!”
“Hold up. Didn’t a Mèlodie get transferred into the class too? She had long blonde hair in a fishtail braid.”
“Huh. I think you’re right.” Marinette beams, “you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I could really go for some doughnuts.”
Kagami nods with a hum, “same. Glazed. Maybe jelly filled?”
“Definitely glazed. Feels like forever since I last had a good doughnut.”
“Okay, I was thinking about doughnuts, not gonna lie, but I was also thinking about cheering for Mèlodie.”
“Then let’s do it now and get doughnuts later.” Alya clears her throat. “You got this, Girl!” She cheers.
Chloé gasps, as does every other girl in the gym.
“C’mon Mèlodie!” Marinette cheers. Kagami shakes the pom poms in the air.
The girls start angrily muttering to one another. Félix can’t help laughing. Those three certainly are interesting. He might have to join the fencing team himself. Tante Émilie goes on and on about the sport but Félix never paid much attention to her ramblings. It doesn’t matter, he’s a quick study.
The fencer on the right is just a tad bit faster than the one on the left and Félix would bet his bottom euro the faster fencer isn’t Adrien. Still, they’re practically evenly matched. Or so it appears. They keep moving each other back and forth. He’s gonna have to study a handbook or something when he gets home.
The fencers keep clashing their épée’s. Chloé taps Sabrina, “what’s going on? How much longer until Adrikins wins?”
“I don’t know!”
“Teach? How about we get uniforms with some personality?” Alya asks. “Or maybe just a little something to help us tell the fencers apart?”
“Hmm... that’s not a bad idea. I do grow weary of these dreary uniforms. If you have any ideas, Mademoiselle, I’d love to hear them.”
Alya gives him a two-fingered salute, “will do.”
An épée goes flying in the air landing on the bleachers. The girls in that area run off. Adrien lifts his helmet staring wide-eyed then Mèlodie follows suit.
D’Argencourt holds his hand in Adrien’s direction, “win—”
Adrien shakes his head, “that wasn’t me.” The blond lifts his arm with the épée in it. “This isn’t me either!”
“Just can’t take the win, can you Agreste?” A voice whispers in his ear.
“Brisbois.” Adrien’s head tilts upward, “why don’t you show yourself?”
“You’d like that wouldn’t you, Pretty Boy? I’ll deal with you once I’m done with the Frost Bitch.”
“You’d better leave Adrikins alone!” Chloé shouts.
“Kagami, look out!” Adrien falls to the floor and all the girls rush over to him. “Brisbois is akumatized and he’s invisible!”
Kagami stands then gets off the bleachers cracking her knuckles, “typical of a coward. You wanna target me? I’m right here.”
“Kagami, no!” Adrien screams.
Kagami’s eyes narrow and she lifts her right arm defensively in front of her face and there’s a loud guttural growl. “Holy shit!” Alya yells, “did she block his invisible punch?!”
Everyone in the gym is stunned as they stare at Kagami. She sidesteps and the bleachers shake then there’s another growl. She moves from side to side for a while before she reaches out in front of her and grabs something and pulls it down before headbutting it. There’s a thud before Brisbois materializes on the floor, unconscious.
“Oh wow.” A girl utters blushing slightly. “That was hot.” The girls look among one another then run from Adrien over to Kagami surrounding and cheering for her.
“Unbelievable!” Chloé mutters, folding her arms over her chest. “Talk about fair-weather fans! Utterly ridiculous!”
“R-Right.” Sabrina agrees, blushing.
Marinette blinks then looks down at her slightly opened purse at Longg who shrugs. Not kwami magic then. Speaking of kwamis...
Mèlodie squeezes through the crowd and elbows Kagami, “badass.” She holds out her fist and Kagami obliges with a fist bump. “I mean, I know your mum has you practicing fencing with your eyes closed but wow. Seeing it first-hand?” She whistles. “You’re on a whole nother level.”
“Just calling it how I see it. What do we do about the akuma?”
“It’s gone!” Adrien exclaims, getting up. “I mean, he’s gone!”
The girls gasp forming a shield around Kagami. “That coward! He’ll have to get through us first!” They declare.
“How are they loyaler to her than Adrikins?!”
There’s a bright purple flash before a table goes flying toward the crowd. The girls hold their ground yet scream until the Dragon drops in front of them slicing the table in half.
“She’s back!” Chloé squeals.
The girls all cheer. “I got this. Go!” They drag a protesting Kagami off.
“The akuma is invisible and a sexist coward.” Mèlodie states, “good luck.” The Dragon nods as the blonde runs off.
The akumatization turns visible and he now has épées for hands, “you scared away my adoring fans!” He laughs.
“You want a swordfight, asshole, you’re gonna get it.”
He grits his teeth. “Frosty’s an anomaly but there’s no way two girls are better than me when it comes to fencing!”
“Put your money where your épée is.”
“Your sword isn’t exactly regulation.” He brings his hands together and it forms into a bigger sword.
Yelling, he rushes at the Dragon running straight through her. “W-Wha—?” She grabs him by the back of his head as she reforms. “L-Let go of me!”
“With pleasure. But first, on behalf of non-male fencers everywhere? Just chill out, man!” He screams as his head gets slowly encased in ice. He gasps for air turning blue. As his eyes roll to the back of his head the akuma flies out of his fencing uniform. Once the transformation drops, his head gets unfrozen but The Dragon doesn’t bother catching him as he falls. Instead, she freezes the akuma and it shatters when it stops moving and falls to the ground.
The girls cramming in the doorway cheer as they run over to her, stepping on Brisbois’ unconscious body.
“What do we call you?”
Chloé does a double take as she sees Sabrina among the crowd.
“Fēngbào. F-ē-n-g-b-à-o.” She gives the crowd a toothy smile and they squeal, some even faint.
“Hands in the air, Mlle. Dragon!” The crowd turn to police chief Raincomprix holding a riot shield, behind him are several officers also with riot shields. “There are several questions we’d like to ask you.” The crowd glares at Chloé.
“This isn’t my doing!”
“Maybe next time, Officer.” The crowd gives her wide berth and her wings extend.
The officers run into the gym but the girls run at the officers blocking their path.
“Fair-weathered they may be but they’re certainly loyal to their current obsession.” Félix says watching The Dragon—Fēngbào—fly away. That’s Chinese for something. But what? He hadn’t realized his Chinese was so rusty. Looks like he’ll have to brush up.
Marinette manages to slip into the crowd without suspicion. Unfortunately, her clumsiness kicks in and she trips right in front of Kagami.
Kagami immediately helps her up. “Are you alright, Nette? I lost sight of you while I was being dragged away.”
“I’m good. I must've got swept up in the crowd. I lost track of you and Alya.”
Alya skips over to them cradling her cell against her chest. “I think I found my calling~” She turns her phone over and Marinette gapes. Alya managed to get a clear picture of her before she took off. “I hid in the bleachers watching Fēng-bào not waste any effort on that sexist scum. She, like, turned into wind or something.” Alya shows them another picture of Marinette—Fēngbào—partially evaporating into air.
“Your photography skills are impeccable.”
Marinette nods dumbly. “Merci. My favorite is this one.” Marinette internally facepalms as Alya shows them her idiotic grin. It took her like ten hours to come up with a fitting name, and even longer to come through with a perfect delivery that she blew to hell. She decided to go with something Chinese because her kwami and the Miraculouses are based on Chinese mythology... or maybe it was the other way around. It only... partially involved her being Half-Chinese herself.
M. D’Argencourt cancels the rest of practice and after a quick thumbs up from the nurse, Alya, Marinette, Kagami, and Mèlodie head to Sabine & Tom Boulangerie Pâtissèrie.
“I can’t believe you live in a boulangerie pâtissèrie!” Mèlodie whistles, “that’s incredible! And it’s so close to the school too!”
“Doesn’t stop me from underestimating the time it takes to get to school.”
Mèlodie laughs, “I overestimate the time it takes me to get to school. I’m like super early every day.”
“Ciliegia!” Gina yells as she picks up Alya in a hug. “I was hoping you’d pop in for a visit!” Once she’s done hugging Alya, Gina gasps. “More of Fragola’s friends?” She hugs Mèlodie and Kagami at the same time. “Welcome, welcome! All of Fragola’s friends are welcome! I’m Gina.”
Mèlodie blinks as Gina releases them. “Fraga-what?”
“Fragola is my nickname. It means Strawberry in Italian. This is my nonna. Grandma.”
“Ah. I’m Mèlodie and she’s Kagami.”
Gina ushers them inside, beaming. “Bambino, we have hungry friends of Fragola to feed!”
Mèlodie looks around then screams clutching her chest when Roland appears out of nowhere. “Ciao, nonno.” The old man grunts, and gives Marinette a wave before shuffling off.
“If nonna is grandma then that’s your grandpa?” Alya asks and Marinette nods.
Kagami watches the man disappear around the corner. “Forgive me for... assuming but he seems rather surly.”
Marinette laughs awkwardly. “We’re here for doughnuts, right? Doughnuts are this way.”
“Girl, don’t even sweat it. We all have a grumpy relative. You should see my paternal grandpa, or Nora when she hasn’t had a match in a while.”
“Do your grandparents live in the boulangerie pâtissèrie as well?” Mèlodie asks.
“I’m starting to think so.”
Tom outstretches his arms, “welcome to Sabine & Tom Boulangerie Pâtissèrie! I’m Tom. Our products are 100% gluten free and we make everything fresh daily, delivering our leftovers to shelters and soup kitchens around the city.” He grins at Marinette, “how was my sales pitch?”
“It needs a little work. Don’t worry, papa, we’ll fine tune it.”
“How about we bounce some ideas off your friends?” Marinette looks at the three of them who nod eagerly.
“Break out the French-Chinese dictionaries because Fēngbào is here!” Alec Cataldi begins, “man, I really hope I pronounced that properly. Thursday, in case you hadn’t heard, and seriously if you haven’t you must’ve left the city that day, we finally got the name of our personal akuma buster! You Know Who might not’ve caused this akumatization to round out her week but I’m thinking François Düpont is an akuma hotspot all the same. Anyway! Let’s check out this footage!”
Kagami takes off her phone with a sigh. She was carried away so damn suddenly she didn’t get a chance to transform with Wayzz.
As she brushes her hair she remembers Marinette’s words from the other day.
She takes a plain black hairclip and places it through the hair she brushes out of her face. “I like it.” Wayzz says as they float over to her holding a pair of small silver hoop earrings.
“These?” Wayzz nods, “arigatou.” She puts the earrings on.
“You and your friends are going on an impromptu tour of Paris?”
“I’ve never really... gone out to see the sights of the city since my arrival. Alya said she’s seen some but not all, and Marinette just got here less than a week ago. This is absolutely something one must do with friends. Every guidebook I’ve ever consulted confirmed it.”
Wayzz nods in agreement. “Paris has probably changed a bit since my last time in the city. It has been over a century. Anyways, I hope you three have fun!”
“As do I. The fact that yesterday was an akuma free day has me on edge.”
“Don’t let Papillion get in your head. We can take an akumatization and if we, for whatever reason, cannot the Dragon Miraculous wielder is more than capable.”
Kagami stares st her reflection in the vanity then frowns. “Do you know who is behind the mask?”
“No. Well, I mean sort of...? I have an idea? I didn’t stick around long enough to find out fully, though.“ Kagami takes her plain black shirt off then puts on a black and white button-up striped shirt. “Master must be furious. Then again, it would be hypocritical of him to comment. He left the Order because they weren’t doing anything about the akumas and amoks here. I left him because he was taking his sweet time delivering me to you. In a sense, it’s practically the same thing.”
“Yeah, practically.” Kagami scowls at her reflection. “Wayzz, will I full-on turn into a turtle the way Fēngbào became a full-fledged dragon?”
“Yeah. Depends on the situation, really. And your emotions... a bunch of factors truthfully. Once you’re accustom to it you can do it on command. The majority of my Chosens prefer that form. Something about childhood and memorabilia...”
Kagami picks up her chapstick and stares at it. “Should I wear makeup?”
“You don’t have makeup. Hatchling, please, stop overthinking. They’ll love whatever you wear. Your cluster is very supportive.”
“My what now?”
“Cluster. Your friends are fellow Miraculous holders.”
Kagami blinks then turns to Wayzz, “what?!”
“Kwamis can sense each other and I sense the dragon kwami, Longg. Unfortunately, I can’t exactly pinpoint Longg’s exact location. That's the whole... 'hiccup' with the kwami sensing. Never specific. Only gives the estimation.”
“It’s Marinette.” Kagami’s eyebrows furrow. “I’ve seen Alya take footage of Fēngbào twice but I have never seen them and Marinette in the same surrounding area. It could just be a coincidence... but I don’t believe it is.” She looks at Wayzz through the vanity, “is it bad that I’ve figured it out?”
“No. They’re your cluster. It’s damn near impossible keeping secrets from them. Back in the olden days members of the same cluster were told to keep their identify secret from one another. Granted, they rarely did but it was one of those rules everyone knew about but flat out ignored because it made no sense.”
“Alya and Marinette are Miraculous users as well and we’re in the same cluster... is that why we’ve become friends so quickly?”
Wayzz nods then pauses. “No. They’re just very friendly. You all being part of the same cluster is why you’ve gathered but it cannot forge the bond for you. Nor can it dictate the type of bond you create. Orikko, Plagg, Longg, and myself have been a subunit for as long as I can remember yet it’s never been like this before. This is the quickest we’ve ever been bonded together. Although we’re not fully bonded together, we’re not quite yet there with Plagg’s Chosen. She’ll come around.”
“So we know her?” Wayzz nods, Kagami hums. “Figuring out who she is might require a bit more thinking.” Wayzz nods again. “Can you give me a hint?”
“You’ll know it when you feel it. Your bond will slot into place like a puzzle piece.”
“Not the hint I was hoping for.”
“I don’t know anymore about this than you do. All I know is she’s near but the bond hasn’t formed yet. Let me put it all out there. You and Orange-Hair? Solidified bond. Those months you’ve spent in each other’s company floating on the same wavelength forged one hell of a bond. It’s a line that you go over with a Sharpie to thicken. Twintails? Your bond isn’t as strong on the count of you just meeting her. The bond is there but it’s like a dotted line. Plagg’s Chosen? Again, you just met but the bond has yet to form. No line.”
“I... think I understand.”
“Good. If you are unclear on something let me know.” Kagami nods. “Have you thought of a name yet? Should we get the opportunity to transform to fight?” Kagami nods, “good. Very good.” Kagami changes her shirt again. “Hatchling, listen, you. Are. Overthinking. It. Your cluster wold never do anything to make you feel—”
“Anything less than perfect.” Kagami recites then smiles at her reflection. Then she almost immediately scowls, “I need to work on my smile.” She changes her shirt one more time.
After three more outfit changes, Kagami meets Alya and Marinette at the Louvre.
Wayzz told her not to overthink her smile either and it’ll come naturally. (And she really hopes so, her face hurts from forcing a smile for the past half hour.)
Kagami picks up her pace the moment she sees Marinette in the distance. Marinette’s hair is in a bun on the top of her head. She’s wearing a powder blue hoodie, a pair of grey jeans, and a pair of white sneakers. Alya has on a yellow Anansi hoodie she swallowed up in; her pants and boots are black. “Mimi!” Alya waves her over, “you gotta be the tiebreaker. Nette made the clutch she’s using.”
A blushing Marinette holds out the powder blue ruffled clutch purse in her hands. “Yaya’s making a big deal out of nothing! I don’t even consider this in the top ten of favorite things I made.”
Alya shakes her head, “you may think that but some people might disagree. I wanna be a photographer, you wanna be a fashion designer. The best way to get both our names out there is post on every social media platform in existence!”
“You want to be a photographer?”
“She’s really good at taking pictures.”
Alya grins. “I was nudged in that direction.” Marinette beams. “I don’t wanna be just any ol’ photographer though, I wanna be a Peter Parker style photographer so I can take pictures of superheroes.”
“My comic book knowledge is limited but didn’t Peter Parker only take pictures of his alter-ego?”
Marinette laughs. Alya’s eyebrows furrow. “He did! He totally did!”
“Really?” Alya sighs, “regardless. I don’t have a superhero alter-ego but if I did? I’d Peter Parker the hell out of myself. But I wouldn’t be obvious about it. Like I’d take pictures of other heroes while I’m suited up too. Stash a camera like in my bra or something. Not much else going on in there.”
Kagami doesn’t feel too bad when her eyes aren’t the only ones that immediately drop to Alya’s chest. Fortunately, Alya doesn’t seem to notice. “Do you have a portfolio, Nette?”
Marinette rubs the back of her neck, “yeesh. Wouldn’t call it that. I have pictures of some stuff but I’ve never really like showcased anything.” Her eyes light up, “to make the best portfolio ever I’d need a stellar, kickass photographer’s help.”
“Girl, you don’t even have to ask and I’ll give you the 95% off best friend’s discount. It’s only gonna cost some mango pudding.”
Marinette groans, “how was I supposed to know Nora would’ve went into childbirth videos!? Nonna had diagrams but I never saw the process in real time.”
Kagami looks between them, “I’m lost.”
“Before we met—” She gestures between them, “Alya and I had a little bet going on whose puberty talk was worse. My nonna or Nora. Nora won, hands down. She had a slideshow, Mimi. I feel for your little sisters, Yaya.”
“You’re not the only one.”
“So when you say worse...?”
“We meant most unbearable. More scarring. I still can’t eat an orange and it’s been a year.”
Marinette scratches her head, “an orange?”
Alya shakes her head, “you don’t wanna know.”
“Except I kinda do.” Kagami says.
“How did ‘the talk’ go with your maman?”
Kagami’s face goes blank, “we haven’t had it yet. It’s a long standing tradition to have ‘the talk’ on the eve of the fourteenth birthday as the women in the Tsurugi clan generally don’t officially hit puberty before then.”
“I hear it gets delayed if you have a bunch of siblings.”
Marinette nods in agreement, “I heard that too.”
“As have I. I have plenty of cousins but I’m an only child.”
The three of them stare at one another. “Let’s head inside!” Marinette leads the way.
“Behold!” A voice booms as they step inside the building, then a spotlight shines on four decorative plates. “The Four Auspicious Beasts!”
As a crowd forms, a bespectacled brunet pinches the bridge of his nose. “Jalil—”
“Papa, please, I... I know what I’m doing.” With a heavy sigh, the man next to their pink-haired classmates nods gesturing for his son to continue. “Merci beaucoup, papa.” He clears his throat. “Ah! I see I’ve garnered a crowd. Let me start over. The Four Auspicious Beasts—” He gestures to the plates, “also known as The Four Symbols or Sì Xiàng.”
“What’s so special about this, man?” A tall blond with spiked up hair asks raising his hand. Kagami saw him at the Le Grand Paris party.
“So glad you asked! It has everything to do with Fēngbào and the power of the Miraculouses!”
The crowd begins to murmur.
Kagami glances in Marinette’s direction to see if she reacts. She doesn’t.
“But last I checked a butterfly wasn’t part of The Four Symbols.” Adrien, because of course Adrien is here, states and the crowd whispers among themselves.
“No, it isn’t but I’d surmise The Four Auspicious Beasts will be our aid against the akumas and amoks!” The crowd claps.
“The number four is considered bad luck in China.” The curator stares at the blond. “I don’t think—” He hisses as Alya maneuvers herself through the crowd to step on his foot.
“No more questions!” She chirps, “go on.”
“R-Right. I believe the magic of the Miraculouses predated The Four Symbols hence the colors being a bit... off. The azure dragon, Qīnglóng, is the spirit of the east and represents the season spring.”
“Dude, it ain’t spring yet. Why didn’t the winter spirit show up?” Everyone shushes the blond and he grumbles under his breath and folds his arms over his obnoxious gold XY chain.
“The next plate features the black tortoise, Xuánwǔ, the spirit of the north and representer of winter.” The blond pumps his fist in the air. The curator gestures to the plate below the dragon. “The white tiger, Báihǔ, spirit of the west and the representation of autumn.”
XY raises a hand, “you said the colors are off but that plate has something red on it and Fēngbào is red. Maybe the colors aren’t off but mixed up?”
The curator looks at the last plate, “it’s possible. However, we don’t know what grants the Miraculouses Fēngbào and Mme. Papillion have the ability to do what they do.” He takes a deep breath, “lastly, we have the vermilion bird, Zhūquè; spirit of the south and representer of summer.”
Adrien tries to raise his hand but Alya puts it down, “don’t ruin this for everyone else, Agreste.” She whispers.
“I’m not trying to ruin anything!” He whispers back, “I’m curious about stuff.”
Alya lets go of him as the crowd begins following the curator. “Our next Chinese exhibit features the zodiac animals!”
“Not sure how I feel about this...” Marinette mutters. “I mean, one the one hand I’m glad people are interested I learning about Chinese history but on the other hand it’s two tiny rooms they crammed a whole bunch of stuff into.”
Kagami looks around. “I’d hate to see the Japanese history section. Assuming they even have one.”
Alya locks her hands behind her head, “you’re more than allowed to be upset. Pretty sure the majority of these artifacts were stolen and sold by less than reputable sources.”
“You don’t know that.” Adrien protests.
“No, she’s right.” Alix heads over to them, “even the shit that’s claimed to be ‘legitimate’ was stolen. History is full of people stealing things from other people, vying for credit they don’t deserve.” The pink-haired teen stuffs her hands in her hoodie pockets and shrugs.
Alya grins at her. “I like you.”
“Oh shit!” The five of them turn to Luka on the floor holding one of The Four Symbols plates in his outstretched hands.
“I told you to watch where you’re going.” The purple-haired girl says plucking the plate from his hand and setting it where it belongs, then she helps Luka up.
Luka waves at them and they wave back. The girl look between them then drags Luka over. “We meet again.”
“So we do.” As Marinette smiles at Luka, Adrien frowns slightly.
Luka clears his throat, “this is my sister Juleka.” The purple-haired girl waves. “Jules, this is Marinette, Alya, and Kagami. We met at the party the other day.”
“Your brother was a real gentleman.” Alya says.
Juleka elbows her brother, “he only is when it comes to pretty faces.”
“T-That’s not true. It’s literally my job to be a gentleman.”
“No, it’s your job to be hospitable. You go the extra mile when—”
Luka puts a hand over Juleka’s mouth, “enough about me, how have you all been?”
“No complaints.” Alya replies. “Did you check out The Four Symbols exhibit?”
“The one I nearly knocked over?” Chuckling, Luka releases his sister’s mouth and rubs the back of his neck, “yeah, we did.”
“If what my bro says is partially true I’m crossing my fingers for a badass phoenix superhero.” The pink-haired girl points to herself, “I’m Alix. You just got transferred into Mme. Mendeleiev’s the other day, right?” Juleka nods. Alix looks around, “come to think of it all of you are recent transfers.”
There’s a loud shriek and they all look toward the other Chinese exhibit room as a lifesize tiger statue busts through the wall.
Marinette gapes. “An akuma?”
Alya takes out her phone and starts recording, “a senti-feather.” Kagami grabs her by the hood and starts dragging her away, “haven’t seen one of those in a while.”
Luka grabbed Marinette’s hand when she stood there stunned watching the remaining Chinese zodiac animal statues walk around.
“Madame Mayor, it’s not too late to undo this new law. I don’t think outlawing the only thing that can help us with the akumas is a good idea.”
“Noted. Also, note your firing. Raincomprix, get him out of my sight.” The police chief ushers the officer out of the office then comes back inside, “anyone else who disagrees is more than welcome to leave the force. My daughter was exploited on national television. If anyone thinks they can get away with that and not suffer repercussions they have another thing coming. Magical or not.” The blonde turns around in her swivel chair so her back is facing them, “I want this ‘Fēngbào’ arrested on sight, and arrest anyone who thinks about harboring her.”
All the police offers lined up in front of the mayor’s desk nod and salute, “yes, Madame Mayor.” Audrey waves them all away.
Roger Raincomprix is the last officer to leave the office. Audrey turns her chair back around and he nods before closing and locking the door behind him.
Audrey gets up and stretches. “That kills two birds with one stone.”
“Your daughter might not appreciate this law, Mme. Audrey.”
“Don’t I know it.” She runs a hand down her face, “this utterly ridiculous infatuation Chloétta developed is poorly timed. I only have her best interests at heart and that’ll be hard to do if she fights me at every turn.”
“Perhaps if Mlle. Fēngbào continues to treat her with disdain it’ll be easier for your daughter to fall out of this puppy love state?”
“Let’s shelve that option. Last thing I want is Cleo’s heartbreak. I’d rather wait until she gets over this fucking lizard on her own time than have her be forced out of love. No one will ever be too good for my daughter.”
“You could always make Mlle. Fēngbào seem not worth all the trouble?”
Audrey smiles, “good idea.” Nooroo preens. The blonde cracks her neck, “let’s fly, Nooroo.” The butterfly kwami flies into her brooch transforming her.
As soon as she’s transformed, she feels magic forming a mask over her eyes. Audrey gasps, “Mme. Papillion? I believe it’s time we had a chat.” She closes her eyes. She sees it: one of her akumas has been infected by a bee?
Her eyes open, “I don’t know who you are but surely there are better ways of getting my attention?”
The voice chuckles in her ear. “Surely.” They agree, “however, I felt this would be the most effective method.”
Audrey opens her compact and sees a yellow bee mask outline over her mask. What the hell? This is a new development. Then again, so was the damn Dragon. “You have my attention. What’s your pitch?”
“I’d love to find out just how you can keep your akumas when you aren’t transformed?”
“Months of practice. Next question.” They don’t know who she is otherwise they wouldn’t’ve waited for her to transform.
“Would you be at all opposed to teaming up? I’ve recently become aware of the book of Miraculouses, thanks to my bees, and I’ve discovered powers can be fused.”
“A book? Well they have to store all that knowledge somewhere. What can your bees do?”
“My power is subjugation. I know how you love to let your akumatizations have free will and all that but what if we had them completely under control? They wouldn’t get side tracked by emotions.”
Audrey taps her chin. The most control she can exude over her akumatizations is fifty percent. That was her first experiment all those months ago, on Nadja Chamack. She got Nooroo when Raincomprix and a team of his officers were in pursuit of a jewel thief. She was just walking home with André after their date minding her business when the thief slammed into her knocking them both down and scattering his stolen goods all over the sidewalk. As the officers were taking the thief away, Audrey pocketed all the jewels she could grab before André could help her up.
When she got home she hardly expected the gauche little lavender oval brooch to house a magical butterfly.
It’s not like she needs control over akumatizations. However, it would be fun to see what happens. She still has so much to learn. Thursday was the first time someone ever got hit with two akumas; however, she hardly expected some meathead to be effective.
She was actually glad the Dragon didn’t waste much effort on him.
What was even more intriguing was Tsurugi’s daughter. Quite the prodigy. Not just once but twice she dealt with an akumatization head on. Not even the barest threads of emotions Audrey could manipulate. No wonder Gabriel was so adamant on partnering up with Tomo Tsurugi.
If Audrey can have that girl akumatized and exhibit full control over her, she’d be unstoppable. Not even the weather lizard would pose a threat.
“You know what? Let’s give it the old university try.” Audrey folds her hands together, “how do you feel about testing to see if your bees can make someone more susceptible to akumatization?”
“You have someone in mind?”
“Two someones.” Audrey looks at the class list on her desk. “Alec Cataldi and Kagami Tsurugi.”