Nino glanced at the man who was sitting across from him. “So… you were the guy that was Wayzz's partner?”
“Yes I indeed was.” Master Fu sipped his tea slowly as he judged the boy in front of him through narrowed eyes. Parting from Wayzz had slowly been doing a number on him as more grey hairs appeared along his hairline. His voice also seemed to have gained a small rasp to it when he spoke. “And you are his new partner.”
“I am. I would say it is nice meeting you but… I’m really not sure to be honest.” Nino tilted his head slightly as he studied the other. “I am however trying to see it from your perspective to why it has taken so long to give Ladybug and Chat Noir help.”
“As you should.” Master Fu held his cup close as if looking into the tea’s depth would give him the answer he sought. “I have made mistakes and have paid dearly for them. What has been deemed stubborn in ways is also hesitance in making more wrongs at the cost of something greater.”
“What made you change your mind?” Nino inquired genuinely. Understanding the need to do no more harm that one had done already but was a double edged sword as not reacting could lead to more harm also.
“Eventually Marinette and Adrien when they came forward… an old friend.” He held up his hand and could see more defined wrinkles. Though there was a faint colouring of his band at the wrist with a two toned heart. “And time. I do believe my love would not forgive me if I take much longer. It has all come to this moment to move on and change.”
Nino eyes softened a little and allowed himself to relax when he made eye contact with a sullen Wayzz. He sat up straighter on his knees and bowed his head in acceptance. “Then I’m ready to learn what it takes to take care of the kwami’s and the miraculous. I would be honored if you teach me.”
Nino had told Chloe of his experience with Master Fu and his teachings a couple of days later as she was next to see him for a lesson. He didn’t want her going in attacking the old man with harshness as it looked like a soft wind could blow him over.
So with those thoughts in mind, Chloe went in with a care package and promptly dropped it on the kitchen counter when she was let in. She poked the top of the box with a newly manicure nail, detailed with honeycomb, as she addressed him. “You are going to take better care of yourself, old man. I’ve had the chief prepare easy meals for you to chew on and keep you healthy. I also had the girls make you a skin routine set to bring back your more youthful look. Need you at your best when you reunite with your lady friend.”
Master Fu was stumped as he watched the heiress instruct him on how better to care for himself as she buzzed around his kitchen putting the meals away. He even gaped when she had started chucking out some of his more unhealthy snacks. “Young miss…”
The bee kwami took that moment to come out from Chloe’s purse and came over to him giggling as her Queen continued her reorganisation. “She’s doing what she can, Master Fu. Once the others had asked her to be Protector, or what she has taken on as being called the mum friend, She has taken it very seriously and looked up the best ways to help you out too.”
“I don’t…” His shoulders slumped as he held on tight to his walking stick to keep himself steady. Pollen gave him a look and knew that there was no way of getting out of it. He needed help just as much as the others did. “Very well…”
Pollen brightened and buzzed happily. She decided to help out by rejuvenating his house plants and making sure they were taken care of too.
Master Fu allowed himself a chuckle as he watched the pair bumble about the place making it more homely than he ever had. It was certainly an experience he wouldn’t be forgetting any time soon and there wouldn’t be much he could do to teach her. So his little note book of the effects the miraculous can do to the holders would have to do.
Both Marinette and Adrien walked in a week later to a newly redecorated room and were blinking in surprise to see Master Fu among a pile of pillows reading the newspaper and a funny face mask on. Marinette was the one to approach him cautiously. “Master Fu? Is everything okay?”
“Oh!” Master Fu smiled behind the mask as he sat up and placed the newspaper down. “Everything is just fine Marinette. Thank you for asking.”
Adrien waved his hand around his own face as he looked curious. “And the reason for the face mask?”
“Ah yes. It was so refreshing that I forgot about it.” He peeled it off slowly and did a gentle toss to the bin that was near the counter. He gave a light cheer when it went in. “Miss Chloe had recommended the face mask in order to revitalize my face and bring some life back into my complexion.”
The two of them looked at eachother and wondered if Chloe had slipped him something extra as this wasn’t something they expected. He was far more relaxed compared to the other times they had seen him. It was a little off putting to say the least. Adrien cleared his throat. “It certainly seems to be helping.”
“Thank you, some of my neighbours have been complimenting me on how youthful i’ve been looking nowadays.” Master Fu stood up with a bit of aid from his walking stick and went to the kitchenette. “Would you two like some tea before todays lesson?”
Marinette answered for the two of them as they sat down at the usual table. “Yes please, for the two of us.”
Whilst Adrien sent a rapid text off to Chloe asking what she had done to Master Fu. He groaned a laugh into his hand when he tilted his phone to Marinette to show Chloe’s reply.
“Chloe charms, my ass…” Marinette laughed at the situation but didn't complain that Chloe had got results. It had been the smoothest lesson they had in awhile.
Kim grumbled as he carried Alix on his back, he had lost a bet, to go get ice cream. “Why are you so heavy!? you are like smaller than my leg.”
She dug her knees into his sides in retaliation. “It's all muscle! And I’m not that small, my growth spurt is just delayed that’s all. You saw future me! I’m gonna be hella tall.”
“Bet it was stilts.” He snorted and hiked her up further his back. “Doubt you can grow that tall in less than ten years.”
“Believe it buckoo.” Alix wiggled excitedly. “I’m gonna be so awesome!!”
He rolled his eyes at that cause he already believed her to be awesome as is but didn’t voice it out loud. He dropped her to the floor when he arrived at Andre’s and laughed at her squawking. “Gotta think faster next time.”
Taking off her cap she wacked him with it before getting up to stand on her skates. “What Odine sees in you I have no idea.”
“That’s a lie and you know it.” He threw a cheeky grin back at her and paid for their separate ice cream. He handed over hers when she was steady and started walking off again. “Can’t believe the platonic changed from that to Heartmate. I really wasn’t expecting it.”
Alix shrugged as she ate her ice cream. “Is what it is. Maybe giving that bracelet that you got Marinette to make was the key turning point. Isn’t it a good thing?”
“Don’t get me wrong! It is really good but it’s just…” Kim looked around as if trying to track his lost thought. He slumped when he couldn’t get it back.
She bumped into him lightly, her voice light and caring. “Hey don’t think too hard about it Kim okay? I understand it’s a big step but you have always been attentive to Odine, you’ll be fine.”
“It’s not that that i’m worried about.” He breathed out deeply as he rubbed his head frustratedly with his free hand. His voice was just a whisper. “Being a hero? That worries me.”
The two of them finished their ice cream in silence with the quiet thought in the air. Kim was safe in his knowledge that Alix would not judge him for his worries. Alix was safe to contemplate on what to say next knowing he wouldn’t interrupt her thought process.
“Time isn’t set in stone…” She started off slowly as she bladed next to him. “Whatever you decide to do wouldn’t be held against you. Just know that I have no doubt you would be a great hero and I would be so proud to have you fight by my side. However I know you would be the greatest support ever should you decide the hero business isn’t for you.”
Kim decided to give her the biggest side hug ever given when she finished. He even went as far to pick her up and spin around in happiness. “I couldn’t have asked for a better friend.”
“Don’t let Marinette and Nino hear you say that.” Alix laughed once she was put down. Their platonic bond humming happily in the background.
“Pff. They have each other. I got you and Max.” Kim spoke proudly as they went back to their walk. “To the bitter end yeah?”
“And beyond!” Alix added happily and pushed him to start a competition before speeding off with a cheer. “Race you to the bakery!”
“Oi! No cheating!” Kim ran after her with a massive grin on his face not at all bothered that she rolled ahead of him. “Get back here!”
Her laughter filled the air in return.
Luka wasn’t really expecting much when he got permission to play for the crowds at the open market. He had just finished his first set and was chatting with a couple of people when he saw the sisters coming towards him. The group walked away as Kagami and Cassandra stopped in front of him. He smiled in greeting “Hi ladies. How’s your afternoon going?”
“It’s been going well, thank you.” Kagami answered politely as Cassandra looked over the crowd ensuring their safety. “I’ve come to ask you if I may touch you please?”
“Found something interesting as well have you?” He held out his hand as he leant over his guitar. He had sensed something since the night of the calling but was unsure how to go about it.
“You felt it too?” She tilted her head a little as she placed her hand in his. There was a moment that nothing happened and she grew a bit disappointed at that until something shifted. Her breath caught in her throat as a slither of warmth circled her arm then cooled. “A platonic, I was correct then.”
He chuckled as the warmth settled for him also. “That you were. It’s nice to meet you Kagami.”
“And you Luka. I do apologize but I felt it best to just be forward considering circumstances.” She implied their hero side business despite him not quite being one just yet. “I’ll be sure to check up on you once again when you aren’t so busy.”
“Not a problem, I look forward to knowing you better. However… just a bit of advice concerning Marinette.” He placed his hands over each other on his guitar and leant his head on them.
“I’m listening.” She frowned a little as she was going to head in the direction of the bakery next.
“I know you mean well but… Don’t force the bond till she’s ready. I could sense your heart trying to reach out to her but her’s is guarded due to what happened with a previous platonic.” His eyes grew sad at his own previous experience he had with a toxic person. “I suggest you talk to her so you two can be on the same page.”
She nodded slowly and felt herself be grounded when Cassandra slipped her hand into hers. “I’ll be sure to keep your advice in mind when I next see her.”
It was at that moment when the akuma alert went off.
“What timing huh?” Luka smiled amused and went about packing up in a sedate manner as other people started running to the Akuma shelters. “You two stay safe out there and good luck.”
“You also.” Kagami nodded to him and the two sisters ran off to safely transform without being noticed. “May battle be swift.”
“Want burgers.” Cassandra added with a short smile. Knowing that if she was hungry would ensure that Kagami would make the battle end quickly to ensure she was fed. It was the little things that mattered.