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Take a Chance or Two

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Luka didn’t even want to attend some stupid party brimming with people he hardly knew, but music was slow coming and he needed inspiration. Though Marinette, his sweet melody, is the first person he would think of to gain new insight on his music, he knew she was spending a day with the girls and he didn’t want to disturb her. Having time for friends is important. And, he thought with a blush, perhaps getting closer with her guy friends would mean getting closer to her. Plus, he got to hear stories about her from her peers and classmates.

The party was in full swing by the time he got there. Luka settled himself into a corner of Adrien Agreste’s more than spacious room as the other males danced and played and sang, being their silly masculine selves without having to worry over minding anyone of the opposite sex.

Luka was listening as a shy redhead named Nathaniel was telling him of the time Mari set him up with his writing partner when everything went to hell. An Akuma began attacking the mansion, all because he wasn't invited to the party if what he was ranting about was true.

The next thing he knew, he was hiding behind a car holding a small, hexagonal shaped box. Black with red lines, it reminded Luka of Chinese artistry. Inside was a bracelet resembling one of the many he wore on his arms. It came some with a small, snake-like creature that called himself a Kwami.

Now here he is; standing with Chat Noir and Carapace as a superhero. Ladybug was trapped inside his disco ball. And, eventually, so was he. Thankfully, the Monkey Miraculous saved those trapped within the disco ball prison and Luka was able to fight again, hand poised over his bracelet and ready to reset time.

Luka was too busy fighting to see how it happened. All he heard was Chat Noir's cry of anguish.

He turned and saw Ladybug, an icon of creativity and life, impaled on an iron bar that had come loose from the wall surrounding Adrien's home.

It was as if the works had taken a deep breath. All who saw the hero gasping for air and palming the iron protruding from her chest, right over her heart, were frozen in shock. Her earrings flashed as her fatal injury forced her to detransform. A ring of pink magic appeared at her feet and rose from the ground, leaving behind the everyday Ladybug, class president at his sister's school, an amazing artist, and the love of his life.

Marinette. His melody.

Chat Noir screamed, his agony echoing off the buildings and streets of Paris. Party Crasher whimpered, whispering apologies to Marinette. Even Hawkmoth was stunned. Hawkmoth wanted the Ladybug and Chat Noir Miraculous. He wanted them so badly he could taste it. He wanted them so he could bring his wife back. But not like this. Not at the cost of a young girl's life, a young designer he hoped to one day hire. Max, Kim, and Nino were silent, feeling rather dumb for not seeing that Ladybug had been beside then all along.

And Luka…

Luka was distraught.

He felt so weak and powerless watching as his melody bleed out, her crimson essence pooling under her handmade pink flats, no doubt shoes she made herself. His eyes burned, a sob caught in his throat. Luka felt so cold.

And then white hot rage coursed through his veins.

He was not powerless. He was Viperion! And Viperion could reset time.

But it was his special ability, one he could only use once. Which he used to push Pegasus out of the Akuma’s attack. And couldn’t just take off the Miraculous and reactivate it, as the special ability would reset.

Marinette was dying and there was nothing he could do.

“Viperion!” A little red Kwami, much like Sass, flew from Marinette’s purse carrying a purple macaroon. “Viperion! You can reset time! You can save Marinette!”
He shook his head, shoulders slumped in defeat. “I already used it.” His Miraculous beeped as if to emphasize his statement.

“This is a power up potion! You’ll be able to use Second Chance as many times as you want! You’ll need a really long nap after you deactivate the Miraculous. And Sass will need a lot of eggs…”

Hope blossomed in his chest at the Kwami’s declaration. He would do whatever it took to rescue his sweet melody. “That macaroon will allow me to save her?”

Chat Noir gasped, “Of course! The power ups!” The black clad hero had pulled Marinette off the iron and was cradling her body, his arms curled protectively around her.
Tikki floated close to Luka’s face. “Usually we Kwami’s would ingest the potion and then fuse with our holder, but you can’t if you want to save Marinette. You can eat the power up while using the Miraculous, but I don’t know how it will affect you. Humans aren’t meant to ingest potions meant for us.”

“I don’t care! If it means Mari will live, I’ll face the consequences.” Luka took the offered sweet from Tikki. He shared nervous glances with the other heroes before pinning the cowering akuma with a cold glare. “Bottoms up.”

Agony consumed him as soon as he popped the treat in his mouth. His body quivered as his suit changed and took on purple streaks and undertones. His throat constricted painfully, allowing neither breath into his lungs or his screams into the air. Finally, the transformation concluded and Luka could breathe again. He remained curled on the ground, simply savouring the feeling of his chest rising and falling and the thrum of his pulse in his ears. It took him a minute to collect himself and climb to his feet.

Now Luka could save Marinette. And kick the ever loving shit out of the Akuma that killed her. With the power up that the Ladybug Miraculous gave him, he could reset time repeatedly, as many times as he desires, to better take revenge on Party Crasher. And eventually Hawk Moth if he could find him.

“Luka…” Marinette stared up at him, her skin growing paler as she continued to bleed out. A small smile grew on her bluing, still kissable lips. “I believe… in you…”

The young man nodded, imprinting her image in his mind: a reminder of his failure and to memorize the moment he lost everything.

He placed his finger on the Miraculous. “Second Chance!”

And like that, he was standing with Chat Noir, Pegasus, and Carapace. Marinette safely trapped in the Akuma’s disco ball prison.

Luka made his move, sprinting towards Party Crasher with the intent to break his face with what the hell item had been Akumatized. Party Crasher, of course, was able to anticipate his moves. Just before the ball could touch him, Luka tapped his bracelet. “Second Chance!” And was back where he started.

It took a few tries before Luka learned the Akuma’s ticks and began to work around them. With a faint to the right, Luka was able to catch Party Crasher in the gut with a hard kick. The Akumatized body curled upon itself from the blow, leaving him open to a right hook in the jaw.

The boy fell, his glasses broke, and the Akuma was no more.

All of those imprisoned by Party Crasher were now free. The boys at the party, the objects stolen, a few civilians that got too close. And Ladybug.

Marinette. His melody. She is alive and safe.

Still, the fury that simmered in his blood had not abated. The love-mad beast that resided in his mind would not be appeased until the blood of her would-be killer was staining the floor.

Luka grabbed the boy by the lapel of his shirt and lift him off the ground, making certain he could look right into the boy’s watery brown eyes. Luka could hear his heartbeat, seeming to cry out a single name. Mari… Mari… Mari… Knowing how close he came to losing her, how he did before he reset time, invoked waves of such hot rage that yearned to be set free upon this quivering wimp.

“You killed her! You killed the love of my life!” His throat throbbed as his angry bellow reverberated off the buildings and back to him, reminding him of his moment of failure. The moment he failed to protect Marinette.

The boy gulped fearfully. “K-k-killed? W-what’s going on? Who are you?”

“Viperion, stop!” A red-clad hand tugged on his arm. Luka’s gaze trailed up the limb, his arm lowering, to meet the concerned sapphire eyes. “Who did Party Crasher kill? I didn’t see any… This isn’t your suit…”

All of Luka’s anger melted away as soon as he looked into her eyes, leaving guilty relief in its wake. His grip grew slack and the boy slipped free, landing on his backside, scrambling away to safety and away from the Reptilian hero. "I didn't see how it happened… I just saw the love of my life impaled and bleeding to death. A red Kwami gave me a power up macaroon and I used Second Chance, over and over again, learning the Akuma's moves until I could beat him once and for all."

All the heroes stiffened in shock. Never had anyone does during an Akuma attack. It was hard to believe him when they didn't remember it themselves. Ladybug took Viperion's hand in her own. "But she isn't dead. You saved her."

Luka smirked, though the gesture seemed empty. The ghost of his loss remained haunted his teal eyes. Ladybug couldn't empathize, having never lost someone close to her, but she did understand his feelings of love. "She must mean a lot to you for it to have affected you so much."

"She is clear like a musical note, as sincere as a melody. She is the song that has played in my head since the day we met." Viperion peered deep into Marinette's bright blue eyes. "She is everything to me."

Marinette was rendered speechless. She heard this twice before, but both memories lacked the intensity that resonated in his voice right now. Her heart fluttered in her chest. Luka loved her… loved her enough to reset time again and again if it would save her life. At least that’s what she thought he meant.

Chat Noir sauntered up to Viperion’s side with his baton stretched across his shoulders. “If you love her so much, why don’t you tell her how you feel?”

Luka held Marinette’s gaze, steady and unwavering. “I think she likes another guy. I want her to be happy, even if she is happy with someone else.”

A shiver ran up Marinette’s spine, her heart and throat constricting as her emotions wreaked havoc on her insides. Luka loved her. Not only that, but he respected her: respected that she was another human being with thoughts and feelings of her own. Instead of getting jealous over her crush over Adrien, he acknowledged her emotions and was willing to stand aside if she was happy.

Marinette began thinking, really thinking, about her relationship with Adrien. The day she met Luka was the day she realized that perhaps life was driving the two apart. Adrien had recently confessed that he was in love with another girl. And how did she react? She got jealous, angry at this mystery girl for stealing away her… for stealing away Adrien. What did that say about her? Adrien wasn’t hers. He is a person entitled to his own emotions. She should be happy for him, support him in his love for this… girl. Like a good friend should.

And Luka…. He had been there the second she admitted to herself that Adrien and her were being kept apart. He lifted her spirit with his amazing musical abilities. Luka helped her escape Captain Hardrock by sacrificing himself. His first statement upon his rescue was concern over her safety. Luka joined her at Adrien’s date with Kagami at the ice rink and encouraged her to run after him, all because she had the stupidest and creepiest crush on some boy that hardly acknowledged her. Hell, Luka was akumatized because of his anger over Bob threatening her, always bringing up XY’s stealing of Marinette’s rather than his band’s music.

She felt so blind. How could Marinette focus on the unreachable Adrien Agreste when a boy that truly loved her was beside her all along.

Ladybug cleared her throat. “Crushes come and go. Is her love requited?”

“Not from what I hear.” Viperion and Ladybug’s gazes were locked. Chat Noir looked between the two, a deep unease turning his stomach. He had the sudden sense that his life was about to drastically change.

Ladybug stepped closer. “Then there may just be a chance for you. Just talk to her. You might be surprised…”

A small grin appeared on Luka’s face, his mask magically altering to further highlight the movement. “I think I will.”

Monkey King whooped in joy. “That’s the spirit, Viperion!”

Pegasus smiled broadly and gave the Snake-boy a thumbs up. “Best of luck to you, Viperion. I hope this girl returns your affections.”

“Yeah. You deserve to be happy.” Adrien’s encouragement was more subdued than the others. The unease in his belly grew more volatile. Something was happening, something really bad.

Like that, they all separated. Ladybug collected the Monkey and Horse Miraculous, saving the Snake Miraculous for last. Luka gave it up without a fuss, promising that he would always be there should the city need another hero. “Now if you excuse me, I have to go find and confess to the sweetest girl in France.”

“I’m sure she’ll be waiting for you.” She blushed at his flirtatious wink and made her way to Master Fu to return the Miraculous she borrowed. Back in her civilian form, she ran towards the gate guarding Adrien’s abode. A large group of her friends were collected in front of the walls. Alya, Mylene, Alix, Juleka, and Rose had come when they heard about the Akuma attack. Ivan and Mylene were cuddling, ignoring a ranting Alya as she tore into Nino for not being able to get her any footage for her Ladyblog. Marinette was gasping as she finally reached the horde. “Alya!”

The brunette whipped around and beamed. “Marinette! Girl, are you okay?”

She just nodded her head. “Yeah. As soon as I heard about the Akuma, I ran as hard as I could and warned Ladybug. She told me to stay hidden until the threat was neutralized. With a little extra help if what I heard is right.”

Adrien waved at her, his green eyes glowing. The two boys he was talking with, Nathaniel and Kim, waved at her too. “Hey Marinette! I’m glad you’re alright.”
Marinette returned the greeting, but she noticed her heart didn’t attempt to leap out of her chest. Nor did her face flare the way it always did when the model so much as entered her vicinity. Why would it when her heart was letting him go in favor of a boy who loved her enough to turn back time to save her.

The boys started talking excitedly about the heroes the “saw” help Ladybug and Chat Noir. Marinette smiled in amusement. She was so lucky to have such brave friends that were willing to don the title of hero and face danger with her.

A flash of movement to her right had her turning to face the nearing man. Luka had rounded the corner and was speeding towards her, his blue eyes focused solely on her face. “Luka! There you are! You’re not hurt are yo_!!!”

His grasped her head between his callused hands and brought her close to his own, capturing her lips in a passionate kiss.

Neither could hear the moment of shocked silence followed swiftly by whoops and whistles. Luka and Marinette were far too consumed with each other and the fire racing through their veins. One of his hands slid down to encase the back of her neck. He used his new leverage to hold her tighter to him. Mari’s arms rose to wrap around his neck, welcoming Luka as he deepened their kiss. Both their hearts beat as one, their heart songs merging and creating the most beautiful symphony Luka had ever heard.

Mari’s girlfriends giggled and started herding the boys away, claiming that the love birds needed a little alone time. Everyone followed, calling out comments unheard by the pair. The only one who refrained from joining in the celebratory teasing was Adrien Agreste. Luka’s mauling of Marinette was seared into his memory and made his insides burn. He felt angry… and hurt, but he didn’t know why. Marinette was a friend, one of his closest and most trusted. He enjoyed making her happy, wanted her to be her bright and bubbly self forever and always. So why did the thought of her smiling and… kissing Luka make him want to Cataclysm his stupidly handsome face?

Luka and Marinette broke apart to refill their lungs, unable to look away from one another. The older boy lovingly brushed her bangs up a little to better see her glorious sapphire eyes. The red blush that was already on her face darkened. “Your song has changed. It’s more… certain. Bolder. I like it.”

‘How am I not swooning?’ Marinette thought to herself. Nibbling her bottom lip, she gained the courage to reply. “Perhaps it’s because I am certain where my heart lies.”
His broad smile made his cheeks ache, but he was far too ecstatic to care. Hand in hand, Luka and Marinette made their way down the street. Neither feeling the green-eyed gaze of a blond and green eyed boy. Their love was only beginning to blossom and both reveled in the other's requited affections.