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For Others, For Him

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When Juleka had first summoned those two creatures - Personas, if Luka recalled correctly - he’d practically interrogated her to learn everything he could about them. The idea of another version of one’s self - their true self, if her word was anything to go by - given superpowers to aid their human form was awe-inspiring. 

If I didn’t have such a fixation on music, Luka had thought to himself once, I could make a career out of researching these Personas. Then he thought about how much he could see similar words coming out of Hawkmoth’s mouth, and that ended any mental discussion on career choices.

Bigger fish were on the frying list right now, anyway; having recently recovered from the immense beatdown his formerly-akumatized mother had given him - Ladybug’s cure had healed his wounds, but not the nasty concussion - the absolutely livid blood father of him & his sister was now suing for custody, citing the damages caused to him by Anarka.

As imagined, it didn’t work; no one could be held accountable for being akumatized unless there was another reason associated with it. Still, people were raising a greater fuss than in previous akumas; the fight against Mama Bloodshed had been such a nasty battle that the Ladyblog refused to post footage (albeit fairly - it was for those who might be triggered by the scenes).

Even further unfairly infuriated, the sperm donor was akumatized as well. Vårdnadshavaren - a mouthful for even the surprisingly eloquent Chat Noir - had certainly threatened to repeat (if not surpass) Mama Bloodshed’s amount of pain caused. The akumatized custodian had used a mop-pitchfork fusion to stab people and was causing a tsunami of garbage around Paris to smoke out his blood children, but thankfully no one got hurt by the time Ladybug & Chat Noir showed up to keep him busy.

Luka & Juleka knew who Vårdnadshavaren was the second they saw him. While Luka wanted to huddle once more in their houseboat, Juleka advised against it. Transforming into White Tigress, she told Luka he needed to find somewhere safe where Vårdnadshavaren wouldn’t think to look for him. 

He scrambled for a while, and he’d nearly reached the house of his recently-made friend Kagami when his sperm donor caught up to him. Pinned against the wall and immobilized by trash-made bindings, Luka couldn’t help but feel that this was where it was going to end for him.

No. Not if he could help it. Marinette needed help with that she-devil Lila, he still part-timed as Viperion, and Juleka & Anarka would be especially helpless to his sperm donor should he fall today! 

“I’M NOT DONE WITH MY LIFE, BUT I’M DONE WITH YOU!” he shouted - not only to the heavens, but to the man who he once called Father .


 

The heavens must have heard him, because they sent down the one who would become his guardian angel even before White Tigress got there.

“AT LA-SSS-T, YOU HAVE DE-SSS-IDED TO SSS-TAND SSS-TRONG.”

With a cry of pain, Luka keeled over in pain due to the nasty headache which now ravaged his head. This torment, he realized, is born from the pain it takes to become a newer, greater me.

“YESSS, THAT ISSS EXACTLY SSS-O. I COULD GRANT YOU THE POWER TO SHED YOUR PREVIOUSSS SSS-KIN AND BECOME REBORN, BUT IF YOU WISH TO PARTI-SSS-IPATE, WE MU-SSS-T FORM A CONTRACT.”

Having adjusted to the pain, cracks slowly appeared on his detritus-born restraints. A scowl formed on his face akin to the kind you’d see on a cat with its hackles raised, and when his eyes opened, Vårdnadshavaren started to get a bit scared.

“I AM THOU, THOU ART I… THE FRIENDSHIPSSS YOU HAVE FORMED HAVE BEEN THE RE-SSS-ILIENCE YOU NEEDED TO CONTINUE ON. LET ME BE THE OUTLET FROM WHICH YOUR DE-SSS-IRESSS ARE RELEA-SSS-ED!”

After he ripped off his mask and awakened to his Persona, Vårdnadshavaren would hear little more than these words before Luka - soon to be dubbed Adder - took him down, returning him to his normal, despicable self:

“Strike him down… Apophis !”