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Plague Rat

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Three months later…

 “Hello and welcome to Channel Eight! I’m Erica, bringing you the news!”

 “Today we are speaking of what is now called ‘the Plague of Truth’, brought upon us by the Akuma Plague Rat.

 Due to the Akuma’s powers of infecting people with a deadly virus resembling the Black Plague but targeting liars, many secrets came about. And many consequences have occurred. The most high profile ones are the former mayor, his wife and a dozen city officials who are now closing ranks and trying to-“ Marinette turned off the TV and closed her eyes.

 After she had been purified, the girl had been horrified at her actions, feeling ill and disgusted. She had done that? She had attacked people? She had nearly…

 Luckily there was a therapist employed by the hospital that sat with her and spoke with her. He was open and honest and she had a lot off issues she usually kept locked up. 

 He helped her speak of them and confront them. Helped her understand her issues. Helped her realize how many were people putting things on her and expecting things if her when they shouldn’t. 

 She still didn’t feel okay. Knowing what she did made her feel sick, but her classmates where there. Alix spoke with her softly, the girl knowing she had killed one. Kim spoke of rewatching his actions and feeling horrified. Rose shuddered at what she had done.

 It helped. 

 More so, honestly, it helped knowing that her actions had exposed Lila and a lot of corruption. Not only had she hit the mayor, she’d hit the commissioner, Audrey, Nadja and a bunch of others. 

 Andre had been removed from office and was now facing trial for his crimes. The commissioner had been removed from office along with Roger being fired and were also facing charges. Rumors said they would probably get ten years at least.

Audrey was going away for child abuse, corruption and the abuse of her staff. She had admitted everything and Chloe had been removed from their care in a second, being placed with an aunt on the other side of Paris who hadn’t spoken to her sister in years and had never cared to. The aunt had agreed to take Chloe in but had warned the girl she would not put up with any of her actions.

 Marinette hadn’t heard anything since as Chloe had been expelled by the new principal that had replaced Damocles when the fact he was being bribed came out. Bustier had also been replaced. Marinette wasn’t sad to see them go- even if it was only recently she could go back to school after the shock to her system becoming an Akuma had been. It wrecked her metabolism again and she’d been stuck in a bed for months.

 Luckily, there was a friendly nurse around who was happy to take over for Akumas. Marinette has the best time hearing her rant about magic and how stupid it was she couldn’t tell who Ladybug was when she was in the hosptial. Often right in front of her door.

 Tikki found it hilarious to.

 But she had finally left the hospital and Tikki said she could go back to fighting, something she was glad about. She missed it, not that she’d admit it.

 But before that, there was a trial to be had.

 -0-

 “So you willingly did it-“

 “I did.” Alya interrupted the lawyer. “I willingly exposed her to sick children but that was at the urging of Lila who said she had to be lying. I believe the videos I’ve given show that.” Alya felt like a bug as everyone in the courtroom stared at her. She kept her chin up though. She would not be cowed by this lawyer Lila’s father got her. Apparently Lila’s nasty habits came from someone and that was her father. Her mother had been furious to know she was in contact with him and was not pleased by the lawyer but agreed to it.

 She didn’t want her baby in jail either.

 He was a good lawyer, knew how to come at things from all angles.

 But Alya had been Rena Rouge. The Fox Miraculous left marks deep in her soul, which made her slippery and sly. She had forgotten and gotten caught in lies herself, but she remembered now.

 And she would not yield. 

 “I wonder, if anyone actually knows that the reason she wants Marinette dead is because she called her out on her lies in college.” Snapped Alya, suddenly latching onto the thought. The lawyer blinked. “Didn’t know that? Lila is just angry that Marinette didn’t follow her around. That Marinette called her out.” The lawyer actually stepped back and turned to look at Lila who couldn’t hide her furious face fast enough. Alya smiled at her while the lawyer said he had to dismiss himself from the case now, his clients had been lying to him.

 Alya hadn’t been a good person for a while. She had followed a liar and had blinded herself to truth for a long time. But she had once been a hero, once been a good person. 

 She was going to start again.

-0-

 “So you thought it was like tabloids?” Dr. Shaw asked Adrien who sighed. 

 “Yeah I mean…” Adrien shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe if I hadn’t known the truth I’d have believed hem but when I did I saw how stupid they were and they reminded me of the tabloids. I thought they’d figure it out themselves. I didn’t think she was hurting anyone.”

 “But she did. Her actions almost caused many of them to miss out on incredibly important opportunities for their futures. It was lucky your friend Marientte managed to convince them it was a good way to show case their skills to the supposed contacts Lila had.” The doctor said and Adrien winced.

 “I… I didn’t want her Akumatized again.”

 “And yet Marientte was.” Adrien looked down. “Adrien, if I can be very blunt- you despise conflict and prefer a passive approach to it. While disliking conflict is fine, and I encourage you not to seek it out, not confronting people who you know are in the wrong isn’t always the best idea.”

 “...” Adrien didn’t want to think about it anymore. But he had to. His father had made him go to therapy and Plagg had told him it was a good idea for him to do so. He needed to get over this. “It’s easier when it’s not me.” Adrien blurted our. “Online I mean.” He quickly covered. It was easy to confront people as Chat Noir. 

 “Then pretend you’re not Adrien when you confront people.” The therapist offered and…

 That was really good advice.

Two months later…

 “Hello and welcome to the new Ladyblog!” Alya grinned on the screen Marientte was watching. “As you know due to certain circumstances I left this blog for the last few months. This is due to Lila and her actions towards my classmate and my own actions. However, this is a new start. First and foremost- this blog will now only contain facts. I have three people to check over anything I post that’s an article and needed to be researched who will do so. I spoke with Ladybug and she’s agreed to an interview with all heroes providing they agree-“ that was the only small crack, a shadow of sadness. After Miracle Queen everyone know she’d been a hero, and seeing a new fox must hurt.

 Marientte though was just amused that Alya was such a good actor. Sure she no longer used the fox but she fit the Turtle very well. And Nino was a fine Dragon, while Luka was a great Fox and Kagami was an amazing Bee.

 It hadn’t been to hard to manage to have an interview with them- though all separate. It was enough to show Paris they were human to.

 Marinette smiled,  watching as Alya continued her speech. 

 Things had changed since she’d become Plague Rat. Lila was now in jail back in Italy. Youth jail but still. She would spend two years there before being released on parole for either ten years or for the rest of her life depending on her actions. While she had lost her first lawyer they had been assigned a second one who had managed to get a psychiatrist in to look at her. 

 The man said she was either a psychopath or a sociopath. They had tried to say that meant she was allowed to be free but that was ended when the doctor pointed out she knew what she was doing was wrong. She just didn’t care. 

 She wasn’t allowed back in France and apparently other countries had also banned her. She was forever stuck in Italy.

 The former mayor was also in jail. Five years, chance of parole in two and a half, maybe less depending on behaviour. Nadja had lost custody of Manon after it got out she routinely used the girl to gather info and had put her in risk multiple times. Audrey was in jail, Roger had lost his job and was on probation. 

 Paris had experienced a revolution after Plague Rat. The new mayor was a woman who took no shit and was a hardass who was happily funding the police to find Hawkmoth, and bring him down. The new commissioner had fired all corrupt cops- Roger had been part of this sweep- and now Paris was thriving.

 Adrien as well seemed to have changed. He had formally apologized to her for his inaction and he was taking steps to be able to confront people. He’d already had a fight with his father about being a model and had leaked to the press how Gabriel treated him. Gabriel was in therapy now and Adrien had a social worker doing random checks on him. 

 “I guess even Akumatized I’m a hero.” She remarked to Tikki who chuckled. 

 “Perhaps. But I like you as you.”

 “Same.” She still has nightmares about what she’d done. She still freaked out about the hospital. Hell she was still recovering months later from the stress of being Akumatized while suffering from sickness and a horrible immune system. 

 But she was doing better. She was moving forward.

 And that was all she could do.