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Existential Crisis

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    It had been a few weeks since Lila had came back. A few weeks since she was shunned by the class. Well, not everyone in the class. Nino had stayed loyal as a friend, which caused tension between him and Alya and the inevitable break up, while Chloé had apologize and they had become quick friends. She had also befriended a group of kids known as the Quantic Kids, from another class when she ran into one of them by accident, Félix. Félix, reluctantly, introduced Marinette, Nino and Chloé to his rowdy group of friends: Alec, Anais, Claude, Alan and Allegra. Alec and Nino had immediately gotten along and dubbed each other the “brotp” while Anais and Chloé had gotten along in a more romantic sense. They weren’t the only one building a romantic relationship. Marinette and Félix started falling for each other quickly, and in only a weeks time they started dating. Her crush on Adrien had slowly died as he didn’t help with Lila. Marinette was upset at first but later on realize that Adrien had been brought up to be passive and listen to orders. She decided it was too much trouble to dwell on it for she had a wonderful boyfriend and great friends. She didn’t need her old friends, if they ever were friends.  Today she had been eating with her friends in the middle of the courtyard. Marinette laughed as Alan tried to teach the others how to juggle oranges. Key word is try. Allegra wasn’t able to keep the oranges up for very long. Claude kept on throwing them too high causing them to end up in random places. Anais tried to juggle while snuggling up to Chloé, but was too focused on the snuggling part. Alec and Nino had given up and decided to just laugh at the group. While Félix, was oddly good at it. Something about hand-eye-coordination and how piano helps with that. She was minding her own business when Alya came storming towards her with a “crying” Lila and her angry classmates. Adrien trailed behind warily. Everyone in the group saw the mini mob and gathered around  Marinette in a defensive form.

    “I can’t believe you!” Alya yelled in her face.

Marinette looked at Alya with  disinterested as she wiped the spit off her face.

“Can’t believe what?” She asked in a bored tone.

“Don’t play dumb! You pushed Lila down the stairs!”

Her classmates were all upset as they looked at Marinette in disappointment and anger.   

Marinette looked at Alya for a moment, then at her friends, they looked at her in shock. They burst into laughter.

“You think this is funny?!” Alix asked in anger. 

“Of course!” Chloé said as she laughed.

“You- you'd think Mari would- d-do that-?,” Anais couldn’t get out the words for she was laughing that hard. 

“‘You pushed Lila down the stairs’,” Claude said, mimicking Alya.

They all laughed louder.

“Yeah, like Marinette would ever do that,” Nino stated.

Alya was fuming.

“She did!”

“Oh really?” Félix asked with a raised eyebrow. “When?”

“The beginning of lunch!”

Félix looked at Alya, clearly amused.

“She was with us the entire time, there is no way she could’ve done it.”

“You could be covering for her!” Kim yelled. “You clearly hate Lila as much as much as Marinette does!”

“Which-Which doesn’t make se-nse since I’ve- I’ve been nothing but nice to her!” Lila cried out. The girls of the class started to comfort her. 

Allegra rolled her eyes,

“We don’t hate her…, ” Allegra started.

“We just despise her very being,” Alan finished. 

“And hey! If it makes you feel any better, we also feel that way towards you guys too so it’s not like we’re targeting these emotions on just her!’’ Claude said matter-of-factly.

“We did nothing wrong to you!” Rose exclaimed with sad eyes.

“You hurt our friend,” Anais said as she crossed her arms. “That’s enough for us to dislike you.”

“You also blindly listen to Lila, which is pretty annoying.”

“Yeah, that too.”

Alya looked offended.

“We do not just blindly listen to Lila!”

Alec raised an eyebrow.

“What proof do you have that she’s telling the truth?”

Alya froze for a moment.

“What proof do you have that she’s NOT telling the truth?!”

Alec looked at Marinette as if he was asking for permission. She just waved her hand and rolled her eyes. She was done with their stupidity.

“Well, since you asked-,” he looked excited. “Let’s start with her first lie with  her “tinnitus” and how she got it from saving Jagged suppose kitten. One, never had a kitten, there was no record of him having a kitten, and before you say “he got rid of it after realizing he was allergic”,” Alec said in a mocking tone. “ -that’s false since he grew up with cats,” Alec said as he threw Alya his phone. Alya fumbled but caught the phone. She saw a bookmarked page of Jagged Stone’s life. There was a highlighted part where it mentions two cats he lived with growing up. Lila looked panicked. “There is also no reason for you or the kitten to be on a runway. You can also only get tinnitus if you are at a CONSTANT exposure to loud noise, not from one time. It might’ve blown your eardrums, but not cause tinnitus. And there are no songs dedicated to you on any of his albums there-”

“He didn’t put it on his album! It was a song specifically for me!” Lila tried to explain.

Alec glared at her.

“Do. Not. Interrupt. Me,” he growled. Lila closed her mouth in fear. “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, there are songs dedicated to Ladybug and even Marinette, but none to Lila.”

The class all looked at Alec in disbelief. Lila looked as if she would run any minute.

“What? Still don’t believe me? Okay, how about her lie about her trip to Anchu and her quote-on-quote "friendship" with Prince Ali. She could not have gone to Anchu with her mother for her mother is an ambassador, which has many responsibilities that wouldn’t allow the constant travels Lila says she’s been doing. There is also no project for helping the world going green relating to Prince Ali, he’s done work relating to children’s hospitals, but not pollution, and if you look at the next bookmarked search findings Ms. “Reporter”, you’ll see what I mean,” Alya clicked on the bookmarked  search findings and couldn’t find a single thing related to Lila and Prince Ali’s project. Alya felt sick. “And for the love of God, Rose, you literally have his number. Just ask him about her.”

Rose, frozen from shock still, broke out of it to text Prince Ali.

“You shouldn’t bother him! He’s a very busy person!” Lila said hurriedly. 

“Don’t even get me started on the sprained wrist. Ever heard of a brace? Or at least a stick to help support that wrist. Speaking of that Lila which wrist is sprained again?"

"My right!" She said, her facade breaking.

"Last time you said it was your left so… lie. And if she didn’t wear one of those things to support the wrist, swelling would occur and/or worsen and could cause permanent damage to the wrist. Kim! Alix! You literally breath sports how do you not know this?!”

Alix and Kim looked down at their shoes.

“I’m not going to even explain why accusing Marinette of pushing Lila down the stairs is absurd ‘cause I’m afraid I already fried your one shared brain cell, but I'm going to do it anyways if I hadn't already gotten it through your thick skulls. If Marinette had supposedly pushed  Lie-la, then she would have visible cuts and bruises. Even if it was only a step. Lie-la would've hit the floor causing her to either cut herself or at least have a bruised knee or something. Now give me my phone back.”

Alya stiffly handed Alec's phone back. The class looked sick. They realized Lila was lying when he debunked Lila's lie about Jagged stone, but when he kept exposing her other lies, it felt like salt in the wound.

"Man that felt great! I've been wanting to say that for weeks! Also pay up bitches, none of them figured it out!"

The group of friends groaned as they handed Alec money. They could hear Marinette grumble "shouldn't have given him permission".

"You made bets on us?" Ivan asked in shock.

Alec smirked.

"Of course we did. Everyone placed their bets on when you guys would figure it out, it ranged from a month to almost two years. But of course I knew you guys were lost causes and just like sheep you needed to be herded to the right answer."

The class flinched at his words.

"Also little liar Rossi is trying to get away," Allegra pointed out as she handed Alec money.

The class turned to see Lila try to sneak away.

"You lied to us!"

"How could you?!"

"Was anything you said real?"

"What about the promises you made to us?"

"Prince Ali just text me back. He's never even heard of you!"

"Why would you do this to us?!"

Lila scramble to come up with a lie that could save her, but to no avail. She was trapped in a corner. Then she noticed a purple butterfly flying towards her. She smirked. Or maybe not. She reached out for the butterfly to only get knocked out of the way by Anais. The butterfly went into her phone. A purple butterfly mask flashed onto her face

"Hello Punisher, I am Hawkmoth. You will-"

"Quick! Operation Honeybee!" Nino called out.

Chloé rushed over to Anais and gave her a big hug.

The butterfly mask quickly went away as Anais' face melted. Anais hugged her back and gave her a peck on the cheek. The butterfly quickly flew away, back to it's master's lair.

"Hello my queen!"

Chloé smiled.

"Hello my flower."

The Quantic Kids let out a sigh of relief as the class looked at the two in shock.

"She just broke out of Hawkmoth's control!" Alix exclaimed.

"Of course I did!" Anais said as she turned to face the class and wrap an arm around Chloé's shoulders. "How can I feel negative when I have my sunshine!"

The class was still gaping until they realized Lila had willingly tried to get akumatized. 

"You tried to get akumatized! On purpose!"

"Are you working for Hawkmoth or something?!"

"Why would you do that?!"

A loud voice interrupted them.

"What is going on here?!" It was Principal Damocles with Mne. Bustier trailing behind.

Lila rushed over to them, crocodile tears in her eyes.

"Oh it's terrible! Marinette had turned the class against me and now they're bullying me!"

"She's lying!" Alya exclaimed. "She lied about everything! About her medical conditions and even why she was missing school!"

Principal Damocles and Mne. Bustier looked livid.

"Young lady you are in big trouble! Come to my office right now, I need to have a long awaited conversation with your mother."

Lila paled.

"M-My mother is very busy! She's-!"

"Well your mother might want to make some time if she doesn't want her daughter to be immediately expelled."

Lila tried to protest but begrudgingly walked to his office, glaring at Marinette as she left.

After Lila was no longer insight, they started apologizing and asking for forgiveness.

"Marinette we're so sorry!"

"We should've listened to you!"

"Please forgive us!"

"We'll listen next time!"

Alya had tears in her eyes as she was face-to-face with Marinette.

"Marinette I am so sorry. I am a horrible best friend, I told you to check your sources when I didn't. Will you ever forgive me? Will you ever forgive us?"

Marinette looked at her classmates one at a time. She smiled.

Hope bubbles inside them.

"No."

Their faces immediately crumbled.

"You guys isolated me, treated me like trash- no worse than trash, make false accusations, bullied and belittled me, and even hurt me physically!"

"They did what now?" Anais asked in an angry tone.

"We'll talk about that later! But- Everything I said was brushed off as jealousy when I have been over my crush for weeks now, and have a boyfriend! Who, might I add, is amazing! Do you really expect me to just forgive and forget after everything you've done to me? I might forgive you guys later on, and that's a big might, but I don't think we can ever be friends again because I don't trust you guys."

They all looked down at the floor with guilt.

Marinette took a deep breath and sighed.

"I did so much for you guys. I supported you, I went out of my way for you, I even risked my well being for you guys. I gave you everything I had. And when a new girl came, promising better things, I was tossed aside. Now, please, just leave me and my friends alone."

They looked hurt. Marinette didn't think of them as friends anymore. They understood why, but it still hurt. They all walked away. Except for Adrien. He stood there looking guilty.

"Marinette-"

Marinette held out a hand.

"Stop. I know what you're going to say. That you're sorry and that you should've done something and yada yada. Look, I get why you did what you did. Doesn't mean I agree with what you did, but I get it. Unlike the class you didn't cause as much physical and/or mental harm to me so one day I'll forgive you. It'll take time to forgive you, a lot of time, but I'll forgive you eventually and maybe we can be friends again."

Adrien looked as if he wanted to say something more, but just nodded his head and walked away.

Marinette sighed as she turned to her group of friends.

"I am so proud of you Mari!" Allegra exclaimed as she hugged Marinette.

"Yeah! You were so cool with that smile, and then just saying "no", oh my god, I think I still have goosebumps," Claude said.

Marinette giggled.

"Thank you."

Félix gave her a loving look.

"You were amazing with handling that. I would've just snapped."

"Félix you snap at everything."

"I'll snap your wrist if you keep on talking Claude."

"You've been hanging too much with Alec and Anais."

"Hey! We're wonderfully influences!" Anais exclaimed.

"Exactly, but we should be talking about more important topic at hand." His face darkened. "Now, Marinette, point out those classmates of yours who physically harmed you."

Marinette gulped. She tried to get the others to support her with how it was a bad idea, but when she turned to face them, they all had the same dark look.

Marinette sighed.

Her friends were going to jail.


Bonus (Hawkmoth's lair):

"How did she break out of my control?!" Hawkmoth exclaimed.

   "Well, that Chloé girl had walked up to her, causing her to feel happiness, thus causing the butterfly to leave," Norro explained.

"That doesn't make sense! Chloé Bourgeois caused over half our akumas, and now she's breaking people out of my hold?!"

"Actually master, this is the only time-"

"My life is a lie!"

Norro sighed as his master seemed to be having an existential crisis.