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“So… what brings you to detention?”

 

It had been five minutes since Mr. Damocles had locked the group of teenagers in the school’s basement, explaining before he’d left that he wanted the place to be tidied so it could be refurbished (something about a secret underground base of operation for the owl? Whatever that was) and since they were meant to be in detention, this would be far more productive than to just have them sit around.

 

The boy with the red cap, Nino if Adrien remembered right, looked up from the dusty shelves he’d been staring at, no doubt lost in mind numbing thought. He was pretty sure he’d seen this guy before (maybe in the cafeteria?) though they had never so much as spoken to one another. Come to think of it, Adrien barely had the chance to speak to anyone who attended the school, Chloe always attached to him at the hip like a limpet, tugging him along with her before he could ever get a word in.

 

Oh yeah, she was there in detention too, currently sulking in the corner of the room about how ‘unfair it was that she had to do physical education when sweat clearly didn’t look good on her’.

 

“Hmm? Oh, I was caught listening to music on the headphones. Dude, I was so sure that a supply wouldn’t mind me doing that… but nah,” He sighed, fingers trailing his neckline, “You?”

 

“Too many school days spent absent,” because his father pulled him out of school way too often, wanting him to model for him all the freakin’ time.

 

“Oh, I see,” He trailed off, an uncomfortable silence encompassing the pair yet again.

 

“Err, do you-”

 

“Ahem!” A loud cough drew the pair’s attention to a girl standing a few feet away from the pair, a feather duster held firmly in her hands. She waved it at them, scowl on her face as she continued, “How about you put that mothers meeting on hold? Me and my friend Marinette can’t just clean this place ourselves, you know?” Her gaze shifted over to the sulking teen in the corner, “Goes to you too, Queen Bee. Or are you too scared that you might get your precious jacket your daddy bought for you dirty?”

 

Chloe glared in her direction, dusting off the jacket in question, as if daring the dust particles to come any closer to her designer clothes, “You’re just jealous that your taste in fashion isn’t up to par with moi.”

 

“Pfft, whatever makes you sleep at night, I’d hate to ruin your ever so needed beauty sleep as well-

 

“We’ll help!” Adrien spoke up abruptly, hoping to split up the argument before it developed into something more. If they were going to be stuck here with each other for the next few hours (and not to mention the weekend), then he didn’t want to be stuck with two seething girls, casting death glares at one another when they thought no one was looking. Or maybe they wouldn’t even care if others looked on.

 

“Adrikins?! You’re seriously going to get your hands dirty? Why don’t you leave the work to them? I’m pretty sure they live in this kind of mess anyway.”

 

The girl ignored Chloe’s outburst, instead handing him a feather duster to match hers, “Well here you go,” She leaned in towards his ear, though she hardly spoke any quieter than before, “No need to let that blonde haired brat tell you what to do.”

 

The indignant shriek from across the room was duly ignored by the girl, though Adrien found himself wincing, even just a bit.

 

“I’m Alya Césaire and I'm guessing that you're that model Adrien, right?” Adrien frowned, brain whirring as he tried to place where he’d seen Alya before, though nothing to mind came up. How did she-?

 

She chuckled, pushing up her glasses as they began to fall down the bridge of her nose, “Quit looking so surprised. You’re a model… and besides my girl here won’t quit chattering on about you,” The smug statement elicited an embarrassed squeak from the girl standing next to her. Adrien turned to the girl, who must’ve been the ‘Marinette’ Alya had spoken of earlier, and his eyes shot up in recognition.

 

“Hang on… you’re the girl I gave my umbrella to on the first day of school,” Marinette flushed at the recognition, shuffling awkwardly where she stood next to her friend.

 

“Am I! GAH- I mean, I am... actually! Yes! That’s I,” Her arms flailed about at her wording mistake, and Adrien could barely stifle a grin at her antics. He liked this girl.

 

“Well it’s really nice to- ACHOO!” His sneeze echoed across the basement, turning all eyes to him with a mixture of emotions ranging from concern to amusement.

 

“Uh, you okay dude?”

 

“Yeah, I’m fine,” He rubbed his nose, now itchy and red from his allergic reaction, “Just forgot I was allergic to feathers,” Adrien suddenly realised, casting a look down at the duster held in his hand.

 

“Oh! Here!” Marinette rushed towards him, holding out a cleaning cloth, “No feathers!”

 

He took it graciously, charming grin, his father had taught him to use, stretched out on his face as he mumbled a thank you.

 

The detention group began the big cleanup, Marinette sweeping, Alya, Nino and Adrien scrubbing the dirt off of items that had been stacked in crates to be sent off to other rooms, and Chloe making a half assed attempt at bossing them around whenever she looked up from her phone. It proved impossible to get her to help, and they only stopped asking for (read: demanding) her assistance when they realised she’d face the consequences when Mr. Damocles came back to check upon them (that’s if her ‘daddy’ didn’t pay him to keep his mouth shut and lay off the consequences.)

 

By the half hour mark, they were already quite tired and sore from bending their backs over constantly, so Nino suggested a break.

 

“Come on, just for a little while!” He wheeled over a television set, hooked up to a fairly outdated games console.

 

“You seriously expect me to play on that old thing? With you lot, no less?” Chloe scoffed flicking her hand in a flippant manner as she got back to texting (“I thought our phones were confiscated?”)

 

Nino groaned, “No one said you had to. But is anyone else in?”

 

Alya shrugged her shoulders, “Sure why not. I’d love to have a go at,” She glanced at the game inserted, frowning as she glanced at the title, “... Miraculous? I’ve never heard of that one before. Marinette, you play games. Know it?”

 

“No, I don’t think so. And I’m really not that big on games, I mostly play Ultimate Mecha Strike,” She picked up a controller from the stack and plugged it in along with the other three, “That’s not to say I won’t play, though.”

 

The loading screen started up, displaying a single logo in the middle of an otherwise dark screen. It disappeared within seconds, replacing itself with a twirling symbol that was almost hypnotic if stared at for too long. All four of them waited in silence for it to change, each a little curious as to what the game ‘Miraculous’ entailed.

 

At long last, a title screen showed up, displaying the word ‘Miraculous’ in a bold but curvy font, red with a few black spots dotted here and there just like the those of a ladybird. In the back, it showed a steadily moving pixelated Parisian cityscape, the Eiffel tower being the main feature.

 

Then it switched to a character selection page, the generic caption ‘select your hero’ atop the screen. True to its words, there were multiple heroes to choose from, differing from some kind of girl in polka-dot spandex to a woman in a very flowy feather dress.

 

‘Mayura’ as she was called, was for some reason darker than the others, and when Alya tried to select the hero as an option, nothing seemed to happen. She sighed, resulting instead to choosing one called ‘Rena Rouge’, a girl clad in a fox themed suit.

 

Nino chose Carapace (“Duuude! I’m basically a Ninja Turtle!”), Marinette opted for the polka-dot one, who was apparently called ‘Ladybug’, whilst Adrien settled on a cat themed ‘Chat Noir’.

 

Alya snickered as she came across one called ‘Queen Bee’, “Hey Chloe, shame you’re not playing. This superhero would be perfect for you.”

 

The blonde looked up from where she was frustratingly tapping her thumbs against her phone screen, apparently perking up at the word ‘superheroes’. She bit her lip, before stashing her phone into her jacket pocket and headed over to where they all sat.

 

She glanced at the shocked stares the group gave her and rolled her eyes, grabbing the last controller from the pile, “Eh, It’s not like I have anything better to do. The signal down here was terrible. It’s impossible to get anything sent through.”

 

Adrien cast her a knowing smile at her as she selected her character, understanding all too well what he real motives were, but opted to remain silent. When she caught him staring, he averted his gaze, not wanting her to get the wrong idea.

 

The screen faded back to an empty black, a loading icon once again swirling in the middle.

 

“Urgh, that’s the thing about these old games,” Alya huffed, crossing her arms in agitation, “They take forever to load. I can’t-”

 

BA-DUM!

 

The hanging lights began to swing, barely noticeable to first, but then gained more momentum, swinging so violently that there was a chance that they could fall any second. Tables shook, and the television rolled back on its trolley, clashing into the wall behind it with an almighty thud . The group all got to their feet, dropping their controllers with shock as they stared at what appeared to be the effects of an earthquake in motion. Crates filled with dusty clutter slid across the floorboards with a groan as if they were not in a basement and had instead stepped foot on the lower deck of a ship.

 

BA-DUM!

 

If he hadn’t been fearing for his life so much, Adrien would have winced at the mess this freak of nature was causing, did the world not realise how much work they had put into tidying up?

 

BA-DUMB! BA-DUM!

 

“Anyone else hear that?!” Someone shrieked over the din, though Adrien couldn’t tell who, only just managing to catch the words that were almost lost to the world.

 

BA-DUMB! BA-DUM! BA-DUM!

 

It was then that Adrien realised that that sound hadn’t been the drumming of his own rapidly beating heart, rather, it was in the space around them, drawing out the air from his lungs, leaving him gasping.

 

BA-DUMB! BA-DUM! BA-DUM!

 

It was if the earth itself had gained a pulse, thunderous, and carrying that musty earthy feel that tugged at something deep within his soul. This sound held centuries of fiery anger and had poured fear into the hearts of many, many before them.

 

And just like that, it was over.

 

But the silence was deafening to his ears. Worse than a scream, just like-

 

Just like the way Chloe had just started to do at the sight of her hand. Or, well, lack of it. Particles drifted from it, sand blown by some unfelt wind that drew it towards…

 

The console?

 

The group stared, stricken at the sight of the girl who, while most would openly admit as not that nice of a person, definitely didn’t deserve such a horrific fate as this. Chloe… she was Adrien’s friend, and staring at her as she dissolved into a nothingness made him feel completely numb.

 

...Maybe that's because it was happening to him too. Fear swelled in his eyes as he stared, slack jawed as his hands began to disintegrate and drift off into a fine dust, just like what had happened to Chloe.

 

No no no no no! Nonononononononono-

 

But it was too late.

 

The game was already in motion.



Chapter Text

𝕀ℕ 𝔸𝕃𝕃 ℍ𝕆ℕ𝔼𝕊𝕋𝕐 he should’ve seen this coming a mile away. Really should have. Hawkmoth was usually the type of person to punish others majorly for even the tiniest of misgivings about whether or not his followers were going to be loyal. Now Chat Noir was no follower — or Akuma — by any means. No, a follower he was not. He was his son.

 

And apparently that was all the more reason to punish him.

 

“You don’t wish to act like a real demon then, son?” His father had spat at him, the way he’d said ‘son’ sounding like a curse too vile and poisonous to sit on even Hawkmoth’s tongue for too long. “Fine then. You don’t have to be.”

 

It wasn’t as nearly as nice as it sounded. He was hardly ever one to be compassionate.

 

Sure enough, as he’d been told, he wasn’t a demon anymore.

 

He was a cat.

 

Laughable really considering his preferred form took the likeness from that of a cat. Perhaps that’s why his father chose this form for him. A mere cat. A ball of black fur that any cat enthusiast may have pointed at and said “well isn’t he adorable.” He shivered at the thought of it. He was a demon! A god forsaken demon (despite what his father would tell you.) One shouldn’t describe him to be ‘cute’.

 

Alas, cute he was.

 

Cats , this exile was going to be a nightmare. Chat could only hope it would be temporary.

 

He lifted up a paw, greasy from the pile of filth he’d found himself dumped in when he’d entered the mortal world. He wrinkled his button nose at the stench, mind briefly wondering where a cat could get a bubble bath around here. Or maybe a hot shower. Though, he firmly doubted that anyone would be pleased to find a cat in a shower cap hiding out in their bathroom.

 

He clambered forward, swaying slightly from his position on the fence. It wasn’t high up by any means, but excuse him if he wasn’t exactly used to walking on four legs. Thinking back, he hardly walked at all. He was a demon. Floating around was his prefered mode of transport.

 

The fence creaked and groaned a bit but miraculously he somehow managed to keep his footing all the way to the end where he leapt off into a garden. It wasn’t anything special, really. Just a large expanse of green presumably for people to walk their dog on or for children to run around and play. But Chat couldn’t help but blink at it all, knowing fully well that Hell didn’t have places such as this. His home was, well, a hellscape. This — now this was beautiful.

 

It was one of many of the things he loved about the surface land.

 

(Not that he’d ever admit this out loud. Nope, you dear reader are probably going to be one of the few to hear this. Tell anyone else… and Chat would firmly deny it. Oh, and curse you with a lifetime's supply of bad luck when he became a demon again. What can he say — it’s simply what he does.)

 

He paused, momentarily, paw hovering just a smidge above the ground as he debated whether or not he should sink it into the cushion-like grass much like how one stares at snow and wishes not to ruin it with their footprint.

 

A foot spared him the decision. More accurately, a foot to his side.

 

He let out an undignified yelp followed by a hiss as he flew through the air, landing for the second time today in a heap. Really now, he thought cats landed on their feet.

 

“Dumb cats,” The voice seemed to be coming from the left of him, no doubt belonging to whoever had had the audacity to kick him. Ah, if only he were still a demon. They’d have just earned themselves the plague (and not by accident this time. He really wished people would stop blaming him for the last outbreak. He had allergies, okay! Was it really his fault if he sneezed out the plague after someone had decided to prank him by leaving feathers in his territory?)

 

He winced in pain as he picked himself up off the floor, though he still kept his head held high, making sure to glare in the direction of his attacker. Could cats even glare? He was ashamed to admit that he’d never even thought to check.

 

Chat Noir was a little disappointed to find that whilst his head had been thrumming with the pain of being whacked against the wall, they’d already left. No doubt to go home and laugh about how they had harassed a cat to their friends. Or just forget about this whole thing entirely. Shame, he’d have liked to scratch some decency into them.

 

From there, things didn’t exactly get any better. Chat found himself hurrying along the streets, moving with the fluidity and grace of a cat which he supposed he now was. If you asked him what he was looking for… he wouldn’t have had an answer. Some food maybe? A—

 

He recoiled at the impact of droplet of something cool but icky and gross and so, so wrong get it off get it off—

 

Rain.

 

Cats , it was rain.

 

Ironic considering how he’d longed for a shower earlier, but once again he really shouldn’t have been surprised? He was the embodiment of bad luck, chaos and destruction, was he not?

 

Of course he’d be stuck in the rain. And by the looks of things, the way the clouds had clustered together in grey clumps, the sound of distant rumbling as if the angels up above had decided to start a tap dancing contest (he wasn’t kidding, they’d actually done this before )... it was a storm.

 

And it held no sign of letting up any time soon.

 

He shivered, a mixture of the forceful winds that whipped at his fur and the angry pelts of rain that just got into all of the wrong places make it stop make it stop—

 

GAH!

 

He swerved his body, just in time to avoid being trampled on by yet another foot (lately proving to be his arch nemesis) of some man in a trenchcoat and holding up an umbrella as dark as his own fur. He’d emerged by some busy street, many citizens bustling, each in a hurry to get out of the rain.

 

Something he should probably do… if only…

 

His nose twitched, the scent of sweet, buttery pastry overwhelming him and and leaving his stomach grumbling. A small, pink tongue poked its way out of his mouth as he instinctively licked around where his lips would have been. Instead, he tasted only the fur that made up his face.

 

He ignored the unwelcoming taste of grimey fur in favour of slipping in unnoticed through the bakery door just as some customer opened it. True to the marvellous smell, the pastries looked simply divine. Croissants golden brown, baguettes which looked to house the softest bread you could ever taste. Chat Noir was left, understandably, in awe.

 

This feeling of hunger was new to him as (needless to say) a demon didn’t have to eat. Sure, he had eaten in the past. Food was too delicious to pass up. But he didn’t need it to sustain himself. That was what souls were for.

 

Hmmm… if only he could get into that glass casing…

 

As he eyed the treats, he felt the pinprick of his fur stand up on end. Almost as if someone was watching him…

 

He looked up to his other side and almost jumped up in surprise. Two eyes of the most purest blue he’d ever seen glared down at him. They belonged to a girl of fourteen or fifthteen at most, with raven black hair pulled back into twin pigtails at either side of her head. Everything about her appeared completely normal, and yet there was something about her that—  

 

“Just what do you think you’re doing there, kitty?”