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| NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR


 

Hello readers! 

The last thing I should even be doing is starting another story, but I plan to make this a short story that would end in about thirteen chapters, if that.  Which would be one of the shortest stories I have planned out for the finish, or somewhat planned out. Excuse me for still ironing out details!

Yet in my other stories, you will not find an author's note in the beginning from me. Which will start changing as of now, because I understand that we all could be struggling with something or maybe everyone is okay.

I don't want to take that chance, so I want to insert this tigger warning.

This story can or may include,

Dark Themes

Depression 

Does mention and contain Suicide 

Does contain character death

Anxiety

Mentions of self harm 

Angst

Domestic Violence

Drug abuse

Mental health is highly important and crucial, so if these topics do trigger you then this story might not be good for you too read. If you do struggle with any of these or with something I missed that can be in this story (I don't have very much written yet, the list above may be altered as this story develops), please note and know that you are not alone.

Down below are hotlines you can call if you feel as if you can't talk to anyone you know and love, but are seeking help. Please do not be afraid to ask for help if you are in need of it. You are loved, and you are important to this world.

·National Alliance on Mental Illness  : 1-800-950-6264

The staff at NAMI are well-trained to answer questions on a wide range of mental health issues, including anxiety. Available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, this organization provides free information and referrals to treatment programs, support groups, and educational programs. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-8255

For Spanish speakers: 1-888-628-9454

The hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889

Veterans: 1-800-273-8255

24-hour crisis intervention hotline. Counselors can help you ease your anxiety and get to the clear headspace you need to seek help. You can also chat with a crisis volunteer live on their website.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration· : 1-800-662- 4357

If you're not in danger of harming yourself or others, but are ready to seek medical care for your anxiety, SAMHSA's treatment locator service can help you find a mental health facility near your that specializes in anxiety. The service is available in both English and Spanish 24 hours a day and can also point you to support groups, substance abuse treatment programs, and community-based organizations

Boys Town National Hotline : 1-800-448-3000

Anxiety in teenagers is becoming more common as they face the mounting pressures of schoolwork, college preparation, first jobs, social activities, and becoming an adult, on top of any issues they may face with their families at home. 24/7 for free crisis intervention services, plus information and referrals to valuable mental health resources. Email, text, and online chat-based services are also available

Teen Line1-310-855-HOPE (4673) or 1-800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336)

Teen Line offers teen-to-teen counseling services available between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. PST. Callers can talk to one of their peers about what they're going through and learn strategies that have helped other young people just like them. The service is also available by texting "TEEN" to 839863, as well as via email and message boards. 

Please enjoy the story if you read!

Chapter Text


 

00| PROLOGUE


Tragedy.

By definition tragedy meant an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe. It was something unexpected, something that no one could prepare for or know how to properly react to.

People faced it every single day, and those who were spared another day were lucky. They were lucky that they didn't lose something dear to them, lose something that could alter them as a person or change their very life before their eyes. Blissfully ignorant.

As Ladybug, Marinette believed she was ready for anything that could be thrown her way. Hell, she was always one step ahead and ready to go for anything that stood in her and Chat Noir's way. Even recently when she had to step out of her own comfort zone to gain new allies, recruit new heroes just to be one step ahead of Hawkmoth.

She constantly reassured Chat she trust him the most, did her best to soothe his nerves despite him being out of the loop with Master Fu. That was not her choice, because if it was she would want her partner to know and too help. It would help more if Chat Noir knew, instead he was being forced to blindly trust her. Everything always seemed to work out well in the end, and everything always seemed to remain okay.

No one told her how to handle such a delicate situation, how to stop the situation without escalating it. She wish she could go back to that moment where everything in Paris had changed, where it became clear how far Hawkmoth would go to get her miraculous and Chat Noir's.

It was noticeable how much more dangerous akumas were becoming, causing Marinette to call on others as Ladybug to become some of Paris's new beloved heroes. Alya as Rena Rouge, Nino as Carapace, and surprisingly Chloe as Queen Bee. Each one of them had their own unique quality that provided beneficial to the team and ensured their victory.

Yet she had to take the miraculous back from each one of them once the job was done and the city was saved, and she wished she hadn't. She wished she let them keep the kwami's, wish she and Chat had help because maybe then it would have ended different.

The akuma was like Sandboy, bringing people's nightmares alive but much more dangerous. This particular akuma called himself Vex, bringing out the very worst and darkest thoughts of the people his purple mist touched.

It shouldn't have ended the way it did, if only Ladybug had someone else other than Chat Noir who was doing his best as she was, but he didn't see the dark haired girl on the ledge. She did though, and Ladybug had acted quick, without a second thought and forgetting everything else that needed to be done.

"It's not safe here." Ladybug tried to tell the girl who's purple eyes were glazed over, emotionless standing at the ledge of the Eiffel Tower.

"I don't want to be here anymore." She whispered softly, causing Ladybug's heart to wrench and dread to fill in.

Ladybug took a tentative step towards the girl, "There's so much for this world to offer, so please step away from the ledge. You have family, a brother, friends. People who love you, and want you safe. I want you safe."

For a moment, she tilted her head to the side and thought about something. It was written on her face, putting pieces together, "How do you know I have a brother? Why would you care about me?" 

She wanted to lie, she wanted to keep everything a secret. After all, Ladybug had no attachment to this girl what so ever. She had no reason to even listen to her, but as Marinette? Maybe then she could do something and worry about the repercussions after. A life was more important than her identity.

"Your brother told me all about you when we went ice skating, how close you two are- it would crush him." She says softly, taking a careful step closer. "I had to agree with him how amazing you are. How cute you and Rose are, imagine how she would feel."

Silence for a moment, and then a soft, "Marinette?".

"Whatever you're going through, we can work through it together. We can fight this, get you help. We love you, and we don't want you to do this." Ladybug went to take one next step, only to freeze when the other girl shuffled dangerously closer to the ledge as retaliation.

She didn't even bother looking at Ladybug, just continued to look out over the horizon with a small fire in her eyes that suddenly turned her into a spit fire full of emotion as she whirled on Ladybug. "You don't understand, I mean how could you? You're Ladybug, perfect in everyone's eyes. You don't know what disappointing your family feels like. Knowing you're the reason your father left! Knowing your the thing holding your brother back from his full potential!"

"Please." Ladybug begged, and for the first time she was clad in red, Marinette felt the tears in her life as she begged. "Step away from the edge. I hear you, Juleka. I hear you. I live two lives, I have double the pressure and it gets to you at times. I understand, because I'm under constant fear I'll fail the city, the people, you. Please, take my hand, come home."

"What would you even know? You don't actually understand! What have you lost!?" She cried out, turning back to the ledge, facial expression firm. "Please take care of him, Marinette. I'm sorry."

For a moment, Ladybug was frozen watching her throw herself off the ledge. She was stunned and in four seconds she finally reacted with a loud cry of, "No!" 

Ladybug swung her yo-yo out to grab her, to pull her back up and save her precious life. The moment trickled by as if in slow motion, and right when Ladybug had her yo-yo wrapped around her torso, Chat Noir had come flying through the air and knocking into Ladybug's side.

Knocking her momentum off balance.

She had a good grip on her yo-yo, she always has had a good grip on that damn thing. Such a good grip that it flicked back with her wrist as her body worked with gravity, and gravity threw the other girl at the end of the yo-yo soaring threw the air.

"NO!" Ladybug cried out when Chat Noir grabbed her by the waist to secure her and used his baton to take them safely to the floor. "No, no no, no!"

It was the first time Chat Noir seen her cry, or ever get distracted- especially when she started to run in a certain direction. Following her, he understood why she was so upset. Seeing someone he knew look so broken. The blood, it was splattered in a way that would stain his memory and more likely haunt his dreams. 

He didn't understand why Ladybug had her yo-yo out, but his mind was able to piece it together with the situation they had at hand here. The twisted truth of the situation his partner had just endured, and the effects it's wake left her. This time he had to be the strong one.

Pulling her up, and away from the body, Chat forced her to look at him by gently turning her chin towards him and staring into those blue belled eyes he loved so much full of unshed tears. She was trying her best not to cry anymore, and he could tell how much heartbreak there was in those eyes.

"We need to focus on the city." Chat tells her softly.

"But her bod-"

"There's nothing we can do for her now." Chat says more sternly, wincing at his own town but wasn't backing down. "We need to contain the akuma before any other casualties can happen. We need to protect our city, M'lady. Everything will be okay."

He pressed his lips gently against her forehead, feeling her relax slightly. He knew she was refocused, that she would catch the akuma and purify it. It would be easy and simple as that, with the issue of just getting the akuma.

Only it wasn't, because catching the akuma and purifying it had fixed the city. Tikki had mentioned it once, that she could fix everything, but she couldn't bring back the dead.

Maybe then Juleka would have been alive.

 


 

He didn't understand it, honestly how could he? They had a family dinner the night before. She had been smiling, joking with him and their mom while telling them about her day at school and with Rose. She had even asked him about his date with Marinette, to which he had to say they went as nothing more than friends and it wasn't even a date. His sister only rolled her eyes at that last part and put her own thoughts into words.

"She's a nice girl, but she can be naive when it comes to her own emotions." Juleka had said, giving him a soft smile. "Adrien won't make a move on her, and she's to shy and nervous. Take a chance, I can tell you like her. I support it."

In a way, his sister had given him her consent to pursue one of her closer friends. It wasn't weird, but it left him at a loss of what to do. The rest of dinner, it had been full of jokes, laughter, and love. It was just like any other night and then he woke up from a nap to that god awful heartbroken cry of her name. The cry that would haunt his dreams for the rest of his life, the cry his mother let out that sounded as if her very heart was getting ripped from her chest.

Luka's feet had hit the floor running that morning, and god he'd never unsee it. His mother crying so uncharacteristically on the floor with the landline phone hanging next to her. He had kneeled down, hand on his mother's back and softly he asked what had happened, never seeing her in such a state- not even when his father had left them.

His mother had and always would be the strongest woman he would ever know. If she was crying like it was the end of the world, something bad had to have happened. It left him with dread, and there was one question on his mind when he noticed a certain sister of his missing. 

"Where is Juleka?" Luka asked, earning a heart wrenching sob in reply. 

No. He needed vocal confirmation, so with a shaky voice he repeated his three worded question.

"She's gone, Luka." His mother choked out, leaning on him as she cried silently now. Leaving Luka to process the new information in silence. 

He had shut himself in his room the next two days, ignored text messages and phone calls. He checked on his mother, he made sure she ate but she wasn't herself. She was strong enough to arrange a funeral that would be held next week. He sat in the foyer of the house boat they lived on listening to Officer Raincomprix give the official cause of death of his sister.

The latest akuma Hawkmoth had created brought out the victim's deepest darkest  and angry thoughts and had them act on them. Juleka had been affected, and in turn she took her own life.  Luka felt like he failed, especially as her older brother. He didn't protect her like he swore he would when she was born. 

How could he have not seen that her smiles were as bright? That she wasn't hanging around Rose and their friends as often outside of school time? Or how she spent her days in her room, not coming out for most meals unless it was dinner.

He asked her if she was okay, if she needed to talk. She would always smile and tell him she was fine, that it was just a bad day and that tomorrow would be a new day. He hadn't pushed hard enough to be there, letting it slide. He wanted to trust her, and maybe he if he hadn't then she would still be here.

"Luka?" The soft voice startled him out of his thoughts, and he was quick to wipe his eyes as he turned around  and stand from his bed to face the one and only Marinette.

The said girl stood there with a sad smile, holding a box of fresh cookies that he could smell calming him for a second until his stomach grumbled.

"Your mom let me in." She continued softly, putting the box down and approaching Luka slowly, nervously and unsure. Trying to attempt to comfort him, he concluded. "I can't imagine how it feels, but I am so sorry for your loss Luka. If there's anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask."

Acting out of character, Luka slowly reached out and pulled Marinette to his chest and buried his face into the ebony hair he'd come to like. She smelled of the fresh cookies she had brought with her, like vanilla, and it soothed him more than the actual box of cookies as silent tears escaped his eyes.

Marinette said nothing, wrapping her arms around his torso knowing that he needed someone to comfort him. She didn't know why she cared so much about this boy the past few days, maybe because he had saw her. Despite how they met, there had been a connection there. They both knew it.

He was her friend, and he went on the ice skating date with her. He knew she liked Adrien, encouraged her, supported her. Didn't make her go and say hi like Alya, or try to be sly like Nino at times. He let her go at her own pace, and it was nice. It was different.

He had been there to help her when she fell down, to encourage her, and it was then she realized that besides Chat Noir, this boy in front of her was the only one in her civilian form to ever do that for her.

"Please take care of him, Marinette."

Maybe it was guilt, or maybe it was genuine feeling of wanting to help him. After all, he had been there when she fell down, picking her up, so she would do her best to do the same for him.

"Let it all out Luka, I got you." Marinette whispered, falling to her knees with Luka and holding him to her chest while he finally let his emotions go.

She'd be here for him. However long he needed her to be here for him. 


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