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tightrope

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Some people long for a life that is simple and planned

Tied with a ribbon

Some people won't sail the sea 'cause they're safer on land

To follow what's written

 

“Marinette, this is Dick, our son. He’s also training on trapeze, and since he’s your age, we decided to instruct you together.” Mary tells her.

 

Four-year-old Marinette Dupain-Cheng beams and holds out her hand. “Hello! I’m Marinette. It’s nice to meet you!”

 

The boy, who has dark hair and the bluest eyes she’s ever seen, takes it and smiles brightly. “I’m Dick. It’s nice to meet you too.”

 

That was the beginning of a long journey. Mary and John, Dick’s parents, otherwise known as the Flying Graysons, instructed them in the art of trapeze for two years before they performed in their first show at age six. Robin and Swallow soared through the air, twisting and flipping as they propelled their bodies with the bars. They received the loudest applause, second only to the Flying Graysons themselves.

 

But I'd follow you to the great unknown

Off to a world we call our own

 

Marinette and Dick spent their days flying off the bars, throwing and catching each other and playful competition. Swallow and Robin, Haly’s youngest performers, continued to greet the crowd with joyful smiles wherever they went.

 

Dick was her best friend. They did nearly everything together, whether it be snacking on funnel cake or seeing who could do more backflips in a row. All the performers and staff at Haly’s knew they were inseparable.

 

Or so they thought, anyway. All good things must come to a close.

 

Hand in my hand

And we promised to never let go

We're walking a tightrope

High in the sky

We can see the whole world down below

We're walking a tightrope

 

One day, when they were eight, her parents, who ran the catering service, received the news. Her grandfather, who owned a bakery in Paris, had died and left it to Tom. They were going to move to France to manage the bakery.

 

She was going to leave the circus. Marinette was going to leave the feeling of weightless flight, the joy of tumbling through the air, behind.

 

Marinette was going to leave Dick behind.

 

She didn’t want to leave. But there was nothing she could do. The bakery needed someone to take over, and that someone was her parents. At least she was fluent in French, as well as Romani.

 

On their last day, she and Dick clutched each other like the world was ending, which, in a way, it was. Haly’s was a travelling circus, which meant that they didn’t use phones and letters were almost impossible to send.

“Don’t forget me.” Marinette whispered, blinking away her tears. “If you’re ever in Paris, expect me to be there.”

“I will. Don’t you dare forget me either.” Dick replied, trying hard to keep his own tears at bay.

 

“Marinette, sweetie, it’s time to go.” Sabine said gently. Reluctantly, the two children pulled apart and said their last words to each other for another eight years. 

 

Only when they landed in France did Marinette allow herself to cry, to mourn the loss of her first partner.

 

Never sure, never know how far we could fall

But it's all an adventure

That comes with a breathtaking view

Walking a tightrope with you

With you

With you

 

Paris was… different. After spending her entire life travelling the world, Marinette was finally rooted down in one place. And she was lonely. 

 

Sure, she had friends, but Marinette found herself searching the people around her for a playful smile, kind blue eyes, and gleaming dark hair. She missed her best friend, missed doing flips and twists on the trapeze with him.

 

Her parents signed her up for gymnastics. It wasn’t the same.

 

At night, she would stare at the night sky from her balcony, and imagine that, wherever Dick was in the world, he was doing the same. 

 

There was a gaping hole in Dick’s life, wherever he went. She had taken up so much of it, and now that Marinete was in France, he noticed her absence at every turn.

 

The first time he performed as a Flying Grayson instead of Robin, without Sparrow at his side, tears threatened to spill over his smile. It got more bearable over time, but only just. Every time he took to the skies on the trapeze, even when he saw a little girl eating funnel cake. Everything reminded him of dark blue hair and gleaming bluebell eyes, tiny freckles and a smile like the sun itself.

 

He found himself looking at the night sky more often than not, identifying the constellations and thinking of her.

 

A year later, he stood over his parents’ limp bodies and a growing pool of blood, and wished that she were there to comfort him like she always was, and not living in a bakery in Paris.

 

Dick donned a mask and cape and his family’s colors and became Robin again, but this time as a sidekick to Batman, helping him take down criminals and bring them to justice. He soared through the skies at night with his grappling hook, even doing a quadruple somersault off Wayne Enterprises, but it just wasn’t the same as before.

 

Marinette became Ladybug at thirteen.

 

She was suddenly thrust into a world of heroes and villains, a world of magical jewelry and evil butterflies and mini gods that granted you powers. She spent her days at school or fighting akumas, her nights on patrol incorporating extra flips in between every swing, remembering a time where another boy, with black hair instead of blonde, and blue eyes instead of green, soared alongside her.

 

Marinette gave Adrien his umbrella back the next day. Alya thought she had a crush on the blonde, but she couldn’t bring herself to forget Dick. If she tried to see Adrien romantically, she would just see another boy over him. 

 

A boy she hadn’t seen in five years.

 

Mountains and valleys, and all that will come in between

Desert and ocean

You pulled me in and together we're lost in a dream

Always in motion

 

Robin formed the Team along with Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, and Miss Martian when he was nearly thirteen, with Artemis joining not long after. Half a year later, the League sends them to Paris to investigate a potential threat.

 

They prepared for a lot of things, but seeing a huge baby with terrible color coordination knock over the Eiffel Tower was not one of them. A girl dressed in red with black polka dots that fought with a yoyo and a boy clad in black leather with cat ears on his head were not accounted for either.

 

Robin noticed the way the female heroine almost flies through the air, like she’s been doing it her entire life.

 

Ladybug and Chat Noir were grateful for the added help during akuma attacks. Hawkmoth was caught and revealed to be Gabriel Agreste within another three months. Chat, who turned out to be his son Adrien, gave up his miraculous after that. He just wanted to live a normal life. 

 

Robin and his teammates offered Ladybug a spot on their team, and the League approved of their choice. Ladybug accepted, and moved into Mount Justice not long after.

 

Ladybug was surprised the first time the Team showed up to an attack, but she easily worked them into her plan and captured the akuma. They offered their resources and skills to fight the akumas faster and track down Hawkmoth. Gabriel Agreste was arrested not long after, and Adrien no longer wanted to be a hero after that, which was understandable.

 

Master Fu transferred Guardianship to her following Hawkmoth’s defeat and Young Justice, backed by the Justice League, offered her a spot on their team. Ladybug agreed, as she was now the Guardian and not escaping the hero's life anytime soon, nor was she willing to leave it.

 

Marinette told her parents about Ladybug, and gained their approval to move into Mount Justice. To her classmates in Paris, she told them she was going to America to study.

 

Ladybug rotated through various miraculouses throughout the day to keep her identity hidden, for the time being. She still wasn’t comfortable with so many people knowing, even after telling her parents. Luckily, Robin was the same. From what she gathered, only Kid Flash knew his identity.

 

She tried hard to ignore the pang in her heart every time she saw the dark-haired, cheerful boy, dressed in the Flying Graysons’ colors with her partner’s name. Because there was no way that this Robin was Dick.

 

Dick, as far as she knew, was still in Haly’s with his parents. Not dividing his time between Gotham City and Mount Justice. Not being a partner to the rest of the Young Justice team and the sidekick to the Dark Knight, whom he called his father.

 

So I risk it all just to be with you

And I risk it all for this life we choose

 

Ladybug proved herself useful to the Team, calling up her Lucky Charm in the stickiest solutions and always finding a way out. She was clever and quick to think on her feet in battle, choosing to outwit her opponents instead of beating them through brute force. When it was needed, she would merge with another miraculous or use a completely different form, whatever was necessary for them to win. The Tiger miraculous proved extremely useful for covert op missions.

 

She also constantly baked treats for everyone. Ladybug taught M’gann how to actually bake a good cake, and would give them pastries when they looked like they needed to be cheered up. 

 

They also discovered that being the Guardian came with new powers. Robin received a fairly deep cut on his right arm from a mission, but Ladybug stopped him from stitching it up, instead muttering an incantation in an unrecognizable language. Her fingers glowed white, and she traced them over the wound, closing it instantly, not even leaving a scar behind.

 

When Marinette wasn’t baking for her teammates or designing, she found herself heading to the training room. The room had a wide variety of resources, including trapeze equipment. She walks into the room in her Multimouse transformation, as to give Tikki a break, and freezes in place.

 

Robin is swinging on the trapeze, sailing through the air with a carefree smile on his face and doing a quadruple somersault- the Flying Graysons’ signature move- like it was second nature. He moves with an elegance that she has only ever seen in one other person, and all of a sudden, the name, the colors, the familiar energy, everything makes sense.

 

Multimouse warms up as fast as she can, and climbs up the rungs to the platform opposite him with a grin. She recognizes the routine, the one they used to do back in the day as Robin and Sparrow at Haly’s. Without missing a beat, she launches herself onto the bar, seamlessly picking up where he was and weaving herself in.

 

When the time comes for her to let go and for him to catch her, she gives him a trusting smile and releases her hold, soaring, flying forward, right into his hands, which clasp around her wrists in an achingly familiar way. I’ve found you at last.

 

Robin- Dick- grins at her, and Multimouse smiles back, as wide as she can, because she’s finally found him again, after so many years apart. 

 

Hand in my hand

And you promised to never let go

We're walking a tightrope

High in the sky

We can see the whole world down below

We're walking a tightrope

 

When Robin has a bit of free time at Mount Justice, he finds himself climbing the rungs to the trapeze platform and immersing himself in the old routine he used to do with her. The lively dance they used to do in the air is still cheerful, but without a partner, it’s more melancholy than he’d like to admit.

 

He notices Multimouse walk in and freeze when she sees him. This was the first time she’d seen him on trapeze, so Robin assumes it’s just the shock. He lets go of the bar and easily turns a quadruple somersault with an exhilarated smile on his face before grabbing the bar again.

 

Multimouse climbs up to the opposite platform with a smile, and easily falls into the routine alongside him. She does Sparrow’s flips and twists with the grace of a person born to fly and an overjoyed smile on her face.

 

For a while, Robin swings through the air with his first friend and first partner. When the time comes, Multimouse- Marinette- easily lets go of her bar and soars towards him, a trusting smile on her face, and he grins brilliantly back, hands clasping her wrists tight. I’ve found you at last. The message resonates between them, and he launches her back into the air towards her own bar, laughing as she flips twice before grabbing it.

 

They are so immersed in their aerial dance, so immersed in each other, that they don’t see the rest of the team enter to watch the two birds fly. 

 

Marinette’s eyes shine with laughter and joy as she takes in the sight of the one she wished she could share the entire world with. Dick’s smile could melt ice with its brilliance as he sees the person he’s missed every single day for six years.

 

When they both land on the floor as the routine ends, Dick immediately pulls her into a hug, squeezing her as tight as he can. She returns it with just as much, if not more, strength.

 

“Mari.” He whispers. “It’s you. I found you again.”

“Dick. Robin, mon oiseau. I’ve missed you so much.” Marinette replies, a single happy tear slipping down her cheek.

 

In the heat of the moment, she makes an impulsive decision and yanks him down by his cape and presses her lips to his. Dick eagerly returns the kiss, and soon, they’re clutching each other like the world is ending (though it was quite the opposite) and their lips firmly glued together, sending bursts of warmth through them.

 

Wally clears his throat, and they spring apart, only just noticing the other people in the room. “What exactly happened? You guys were doing this super cool trapeze thing like you’ve been practicing it together for years, then you’re saying stuff about ‘finding each other’ and making out like your life depends on it?”

 

Multimouse and Robin turn bright red, but their smiles stay on their faces. “Well, uh, how do I explain this?” Multimouse turns to Robin, who gives her a thumbs up. “Basically, today was asterous , as Robin would say. As it turns out, our civilian identities were childhood friends and grew up performing in the circus together. I had to move to France when I was eight and we lost contact after that. I was going to train in the gym when I saw Robin doing our old routine, and then everything just sort of clicked and I realized it was him.”

 

Robin chuckles, wrapping an arm around her waist. “That just about sums it up. I knew it was her when Mouse just seamlessly joined the routine. Although I was suspicious after that last mission. Nobody pulls off a flyaway like Sparrow.”

 

Multimouse lightly punched his shoulder. “Says the one who does a quadruple somersault as easily as he breathes.” They leaned in for a second kiss, smiling, and the team took that as their cue to leave them be.

 

Never sure. Will you catch me if I should fall?

Well, it's all an adventure

That comes with a breathtaking view

 

Marinette, detransformed for once with one of Dick’s domino masks over her face, sits on top of Mount Justice with her partner by her side, enjoying the night sky from their location.

 

She leans into him, and Dick pulls her in close, huddled under a blanket as they watch the stars glimmer over Happy Harbor.

 

“You know,” Marinette says quietly, “I used to look at the sky every night in Paris and hope that you were seeing the same stars that I was.”

 

Dick laughs, such a beautiful sound, blue eyes sparkling. “Really? I used to look at the night sky and think of you too, lubirea mia. It’s so interesting, how things work out.”

 

“One could say it was… whelming? Did I use that right?” Marinette reaches up and pushes a stray lock of midnight hair out of his face.

 

Her boyfriend simply chuckles and pulls her in for a kiss as the sun slowly makes the horizon burst with color, shedding its light on a beautiful world.

 

Walking a tightrope with you

With you

With you

With you

With you

With you