Ms Caline Bustier had gotten her class back from the long flight home; she had the class on a weeklong field trip to check out Gotham Academy, all the way in Gotham City in the US! It was also funded by none other than Wayne Enterprises as well.
It had taken a lot of work to do and set up along with the permission slips and not everyone was allowed to go, especially not Adrien Agreste due to his strict overprotective father. She never thought she was allowed to directly criticise parenting but Gabriel Agreste was too strict a parent to Adrien, it had only been recently that he even allowed him to go to school like a normal child.
Most of the School Board needed to be convinced and she along with Principal Damocles was sternly warned that anything that goes wrong will be on their heads.
It was mostly due to the infamous status that Gotham had; corrupt politicians and police officers that were replaced by dangerous Villains and insane criminals. She swore she had everything under control.
She was happy to report that everything went off without a hitch; nothing happened. The only disappointment was that Marinette seemed to be distant from her classmates and especially when Lila was nearby. She seemed to go out of her way to talk to the Gotham Academy students instead of joining any conversations that Lila was involved in.
She frowned at this and decided when they got back she needed to have a small little talk with Marinette; she noticed she was becoming more distant from her classmates and it couldn’t be good for her. She had been hoping she could reconnect with her friends which was why she insisted to her parents that she go.
It didn’t work so she would have to do more.
She made sure to check all the names on the list before leaving but there was one that was crossed out weirdly with a pen but she guessed it was a name that cancelled at the last minute.
She made sure everyone was sent home that Friday afternoon when they got back. However on Monday morning she got an urgent email from Principal Damocles that she was to report to his office immediately after arriving. She was stunned but rationalised that he must just want a report on what happened.
However she was met with a unhappy Principal Damocles; several people she did not recognise, Marinette’s parents who looked uncharacteristically furious and several representatives of the School Board. The representative’s fury was only overridden by the Dupain-Cheng couple’.
She could not even begin to ask what wrong before Sabine Cheng went on a tirade about how she left her daughter alone in one of the most dangerous cities on the planet when she assured them she would be totally safe.
She was in the middle of asking what they meant before her brain frozen when she realised something: she did not remember seeing Marinette on the line to come back at the airport or on the plane.
Marinette had phoned them home saying no one had told her when they were leaving so she was waiting at the meeting place at the hotel having been unable to find any of them. She had been found by Bruce Wayne who had to contact her parents arrange for her to be flown back in a private plane.
Ms Bustier was relieved that Marinette had gotten back safely then but one of the representatives passed her a tablet and saw it was the Gotham Gazette website. Ms Bustier was asking why she was being shown it and was about to get back on the topic of Marinette but she was harshly told to read it.
She saw it was about something that happened on the Friday Night after their flight left, the hotel they were staying at was attacked by criminals after a VIP guest who was in a luxury suite. The photo showed several criminals being handcuffed by GCPD police officers, she could make out the dark vigilante of Gotham ‘the Batman’ (a pretty bleak figure if you asked her) and next to her were the superheroine Starfire and the Bludhaven vigilante Nightwing. The two were comforting a teenage girl.
A teenage girl who looked a lot like Marinette....
The backlash had been enormous and school was cancelled indefinitely for the students; the School Board and Marinette’s parents were furious that not only was Marinette left behind in a different country but it was in one of the most dangerous cities ever with her life at risk by an attack by criminals.
It was a miracle it was not someone like the Joker, the Batman Who Laughs, Killer Croc, the Scarecrow, King Tut or even the Bookworm who was involved. The criminals were being personally led by someone called the Ventriloquist and what had happened was that they were not willing to harm a teenage girl so they let her get to saftey just before the Superheroes had come.
Of course that was the official story; the one Batman had told the GCPD who related it to the Gotham reporters. The criminals were not contradicting the story due to their embarrassment of what had actually happened:
Batman, Nightwing and Starfire had arrived to see the criminals all tied up to a pole with a Yoyo, there was Ladybug there. Tied up was Arnold Wesker a middle aged grey haired balding man with glasses and was tie up along with Scarface his mobster ventriloquist dummy who he still had his hand in.
Ladybug was actually tickling his cheek asking who was a cute mob boss and Scarface was shouting to his men that anyone who lets this go out will be a dead man walking.
The story became everywhere in Paris; Nadja Chamack made sure to get it out through the news media. She was angry that the daughter of her friends had her life endanger by being left behind in a different country.
Marinette was interviewed about it in the investigation and was asked about the record of her having been bullied by the mayor’s daughter for years at the school. She related what had happened and asked about what Ms Bustier had done about it. She had to say that she didn’t do a whole lot and had taken her aside to encourage just be a good example for Chloe after she had ruined a birthday present she had made for the teacher.
That did not look good at all.
It turned out that when the classmates were asked they said that Lila Rossi promised she would tell Marinette when they were going and didn’t. There were apparently some beef between them and looking into their file they found claims of disabilities, diseases and absences that didn’t have notes.
Her mother was called in for a talk.......
Ms Bustier was on indefinitely suspension but knew she could not count on keeping a teaching profession and didn’t know if Principal Damocles would survive the ordeal. Ms Bustier came to the bakery and gave a well deserved apology Marinette and their parents even knowing it would not do much. Marinette looked apologetic but her parents just said they didn’t have anything to say to her.
She felt that even the look Marinette had given her was more than she deserved.
Marinette had gotten home and despite what happened did enjoy her time in Gotham. She had a few souvenirs including a communication device with a T on it, it seemed like Ladybug was now an honorary Titan.
Her classmates had come to the bakery and given her apologies for what happened along with her parents. She accepted them but was upset about what happened.
She was more than happy with the other classmates (the ones who didn’t go) who wanted to make sure she was okay along with other students. Juleka and Rose had come to make sure she was alright along with Luka.
When she next saw Alya she was enveloped her into a hug that seemed to last forever and tearfully told her that she was glad she was okay. She hugged back. Alya was vehemently refused permission to go by her parents; they knew what she was like in wanting to get Superhero footage in the Ladyblog and the lengths she went.
They did not trust her to do the same in a city like Gotham.
On social media and TV interviews Bruce Wayne talked about making sure the visiting Marinette had gotten home safely and criticised the French school officials who allowed it to happen. Former GCPD commissioner and current Gotham City Mayor James Gordon shared the sentiment.
There were tweets and interviews from Bruce Wayne’s foster son Dick Grayson and his fiancé Kory Anders (a beautiful young woman who most people swore that she did not come from this world) who talked of making sure the poor girl was consoled until they were able to send her home.
Marinette was asked what it was like meeting Bruce Wayne by her friends but she was being humble about it and didn’t like saying anything. It was not like her classmate Lila.
Said girl was angry about the attention her hated rival was getting and the enormous trouble she was in. If she came back to school she knew she would have to face tougher and sharper personnel.
Why did she decide to make sure Marinette was left behind again?