Marinette shivered and pulled her pink jacket a bit closer around herself. It wasn’t a particularly cold night, but the breeze sent chills down her spine. She had just finished a delivery a few blocks away from the bakery and was slowly making her way back home.
“Just a little bit further,” Tikki encouraged her in her ear. The hood of her jacket was pulled up so the Kwami had decided to burrow in her hair along her neck instead of her usual spot in Marinette’s purse.
“You’re right, Tikki,” Marinette smiled. “I don’t know what it is about tonight. I’ve made the trip to Mme Aguillon’s for years now, but something just feels off tonight.”
“You should trust your instincts, Marinette. They’re the reason why you’re such a good Ladybug,” Tikki advised.
“Thanks,” Marinette giggled. “I’ll be on the lookout tonight! I hope that there isn’t an akuma. We just had one yesterday.”
She paused at the entrance to an alley. Going through the alley would take ten minutes off her walk since she wouldn’t have to go around the end of the street. She had been through the alley way multiple times as it was a common route between her street and the ones a block over. During the day she never hesitated to enter. At night, she tended to be a little more cautious and walk the extra few minutes. Tonight, however, she just wanted to get inside and cuddle up on her bed. Maybe sketch a couple outfits before saying goodnight to her picture of Adrien and getting some sleep.
Sighing deeply, she began to turn into the alley. You are Ladybug. You fight evil villains on a nearly daily basis, you can handle an alley!
She had barely been in the alley for thirty seconds when she heard a pair of footsteps behind her. Her pulse jumped and she attempted to calm her heart rate. This was a popular route for locals. It was probably just some other person making their way home for the night. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help a glance over her shoulder. The figure was clearly male but was covered too much in shadows for her to tell anything more about them.
“D..do you think I’m in trouble?” Marinette asked Tikki in a quiet murmur, pulling her hood closer around her face.
“Just keep walking,” Tikki said in a strained voice. “Let’s hope it’s nothing.”
So Marinette picked up her pace slightly and walked another ten yards when a shadowy figure appeared at the end of the alley. Her step faltered, but she tried to keep walking normally. Her hood was covering her face and hopefully some of the fear that she was sure was showing. As she got closer to the figure in her path that was slowly walking towards her, the person’s hand drifted to the inside of their jacket. When it was removed, she saw the clear glint of a blade in their hand. Her breathing hitched and she froze.
“Tikki, what do I do!” she whisper-screamed at her kwami.
“I don’t know,” was the whimpered response.
“Alright, mademoiselle, this is how this is going to work,” can a gruff voice from behind her that she was sure belonged to the footsteps that had been following her since she entered the alley. “We are both armed. You are going to turn around really slow and take your hood off. Then you’re going to toss that purse over. If you don’t make any sounds and do as you’re told, you’ll leave here as you came just a little bit poorer. Make a peep and the pretty face that you’re covering up won’t be so pretty when you go.”
Marinette began to panic when the mugger asked for her to remove her hood. Tikki was still against her neck and her hair was pulled into her normal pigtails so would do nothing to hide the kwami. However, when he finished his last sentence, her posture straightened as an idea occurred to her. Make a peep and the pretty face that you’re covering up won’t be so pretty when you go .
“Tikki! They don’t know what I look like!” she whispered as quietly as possible. She felt the kwami begin to vibrate in anticipation on her neck and the little pat of her hand to show that she was on board with the idea.
“Your move, mademoiselle. Time is ticking,” the man in front of her with the knife said, grinning.
Marinette rolled her shoulders back, although she still kept her head down. She prayed that this would work. She channeled Ladybug’s inner strength. “You know, I do not know whose luck is worse: your’s or mine.”
Both men laughed. “Your’s or mine? I’m not sure you quite understand the situation, love. We get what we want, or you get hurt and we still get what we want. How is our luck bad?”
“You didn’t check to see who you were trying to rob, did you?” she chuckled. “Not that seeing my face would help you realize who I am, but you never know who you might come across. It was bound to happen at some point. I will give you one chance to go home and rethink what you are doing with your life.”
“Listen, girl, you are trying our patience,” one of the men growled angrily. “Hood off, purse now. We won’t ask again.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Marinette said. She was sure that the smirk in her voice was clear. She muttered quietly, “Tikki, spots on.”
She grinned in relief as she felt the familiar magic wash over her. Once the mask covered her face, she allowed herself to look up at the muggers who both stumbled back a few paces.
“L...Ladybug,” one of the men cried.
Ladybug sighed and unhooked her yoyo from her waist. She tossed it in her hand a couple of times, giving off the air of complete irritation. “After everything Chat and I do, you forget that sometimes there are ordinary people committing horrible acts at the same time.”
“We didn’t know!” the other man protested.
“That’s no excuse!” Ladybug snapped. “So you would rob an ordinary citizen of Paris instead? Well let me tell you a little secret, outside of the mask, I am an ordinary citizen of Paris. I have a life, friends, and family. So does every person that you have ever mugged. Being Ladybug shouldn’t make me a nontarget to the criminal population. In fact, I would much rather you try to come after me than somebody who can’t do anything. But that is beside the point. The question now is: what do I do with you?”
As one, the men looked at each other and both took off for the end of the alley closer to each position. Ladybug rolled her eyes. “Have neither of you ever seen me fight before?”
With a sigh, she tossed her yoyo after one man and it caught around his leg. She quickly leapt up to a fire escape and looped the other end around the railing. With a mighty pull, she lifted the man up and left him dangling upside down. Leaving her yoyo, she quickly ran after the other man, hopping from fire escape to fire escape. It didn’t take long to overtake him and she landed daintily on her feet in front of him. In desperation, he swung his knife at her that she easily avoided after a year of fighting akumas. A roundhouse kick to the face ensured that the man was out cold. She kicked the knife out of his hand in disgust. She dragged the man back to his companion.
“If I let you down, will you run?” she asked the man hanging upside down.
The man shook his head frantically. She quickly let him down and he sat next to his partner, looking like a ten year old ready to be chastened. Using her now freed yoyo, she quickly placed a call to the police. The police dispatcher was quite astounded to be hearing from her, especially about a mugging case, but assured her that somebody would be over as soon as possible.
The arrival of M. Rainsomprix, Sabrina’s father and cop, and his short time questioning her passed soon and she hurried back to the bakery where her parents were worried about what had taken her so long. She assured them that she had only been delayed by wanting to sit a few minutes in the park near her house before escaping to her room, closing the door securely behind her.
“Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I did that, Tikki!” Marinette squealed to her kwami as she took off her coat.
“You did amazing, Marinette!” the kwami giggled as she munched on a cookie, sitting comfortably on a small cushion on Marinette’s desk.a
“I’m just glad that I had my hood pulled up. I don’t know what I would have done if they had seen who I am. And it’s not like my clothes say that much about me, right?”
“So, M’Lady, I heard something interesting today,” Chat grinned at her. They were sitting on the top of the Eiffel Tower, having just finished patrol for the evening.
“What is it, Kitty,” she sighed as she leaned back against one of the bars.
“I had no idea that your favorite color is pink!”
“Wait… what?!” she sputtered, sitting up quickly, nearly banging her head against a low piece of iron. “Where did you hear that?”
“Well, you did happen to bring in a pair of crooks last night. They didn’t see your face, but they were very clear about what you were wearing before you transformed.”
She looked at her kitty who was grinning like mad. “So what, pink is my favorite color, okay?” she defended.
“Yes, but that much pink? I mean, pink jacket, pink pants, pink purse ? And here I thought red was your favorite color the whole time, M’Lady. It’s good to know, though. Now I know exactly what flowers to get you for next Valentine’s Day!”
Before she could even get a word out of her sputtering shock, he had already kissed her hand, proclaimed he un- fur -tunately needed to get some rest before school tomorrow, and was bounding home across rooftops. She stared after him with an expression of complete befuddlement on her face.
“Huh, I guess my clothes did reveal something after all.”