"Many centuries ago, magic jewels bestowing extraordinary powers were created. These were," the small kwami hesitated briefly, knowing even a blind man could tell something was off about this man. "The Miraculous. Throughout history, heroes have used these jewels for the good of the human race." Again he hesitated. Again he wished nothing more than to crawl into a hole and never be found, if only to stay out of the clutches of the man in front of him. "Two of these Miraculous are more powerful than the others; the earrings of the Ladybug, which provide the power of creation; and the ring of the Black Cat, which grants the power of destruction. According to legend, whoever controls both these jewels at the same time, will achieve absolute power." His voice was quiet, as it often was.
The man closed a locket brooch containing a picture of a beautiful blonde woman. "I want that absolute power, Nooroo. I must have those Miraculous!" His tone was demanding.
"But nobody knows where these Miraculous are!" Nooroo protested, pulling his small hands to his chest.
"I found you though, my little Nooroo. Your Miraculous, remind me of its powers again." The man responded, dragging his fingers over said Miraculous.
"The Moth Brooch allows you to give someone their own superpowers and to make that person your devoted follower." Part of Nooroo was reluctant to remind his new owner of that. Something didn't sit right with him, he just hadn't figured out why yet.
"And when it comes to luring superheroes, what could be better than creating supervillains?" There it was. There was the reasoning behind Nooroo's unease.
"But master, the Miraculous are not meant to be used for evil purposes!" Dread slowly filled the Moth kwami.
"I must have this absolute power!" The man stomped his foot on the ground, surrounding butterflies fluttering away from him as he did so. He brought his hand up, pointing a finger at Nooroo. "Your Miraculous is in my control!" Nooroo could barely voice his fear as the man in front of him kept talking. "I am your master now, and you must obey me." Knowing he had no other choice, the small being bowed his head in submission and said the only two words he could.
Not seeing a point in further conversation, the man put Nooroo's brooch on. "Nooroo, dark wings, rise!" A flash of purple ran along the man, replacing his clothes with that of his Miraculous suit accompanied by a cane, and Nooroo was gone, sucked into his Miraculous. "From this day on, I shall be know as Hawkmoth." His sinister laugh filled the room around him.
Elsewhere across Paris, a different kwami lay snoring softly as he slept in a match box, only to wake abruptly from his slumber in a panic. That feeling, it had been a long while since he felt it, but there was no mistake. He flung himself from his bed, flying into the open where he could risk getting caught, and stopping beside his own master, who was with a client at the time. "Master, Master!" The client heard the green kwami and looked up, thankfully not seeing anything as he had already gotten out of sight. The kwamis' master thought quickly.
He put his hands together and hummed. "Mmm, master, master." He hovered his hands above the still laying man. "Chanting. It's all part of the treatment," he kept going. "Master, master." Now up, the old man was pushing his client out the door in a hurry. "Thank you for coming, see you again next week!" Once the door was closed, he turned around to face his kwami, whose look of shock hadn't fully subsided.
"Master, the Moth Miraculous, I felt it's aura!" He declared, tone matching his expression. His masters' hand went to his beard.
"I thought it had been lost forever." Ever since that day. . .
"But Master, it's a negative aura. I fear it may have gotten into the hands of a dark power!" It was only now that the worry completely set in as the green Kwami thought of what might be happening to Nooroo.
"We must find Nooroo and his Miraculous. If it has gotten into the wrong hands, there's no telling what evil will come upon the world." He agreed, walking away from the door and turning around. "Time to transform! Wayzz-" he was forced to stop as pain from old age prevented him from completing the phrase, and caused him to double over in pain.
Wayzz frowned, floating in front of his Miraculous holder. "Please, Master. Be reasonable. You are–"
"-still young!" He was cut off. "I'm only one-hundred-eighty-six!" He declared in a matter-of-fact tone. Though, pulling himself up and walking towards his gramophone, he lamented. "But you're right, Wayzz. I can no longer do it alone. We'll need some help." He pressed the eyes of the twin dragons serving as seemingly no more than decoration, letting the mouths open to reveal nine buttons in two rows. Putting in a specific code, the gramophone twisted and opened to reveal a dark octagonal box with a contrasting red symbol on it. The Miracle Box.
Meanwhile, above everyone's favorite bakery, an alarm was going off.
"Marinette!" A teenage girls' mother called. "Your alarm's been going off for fifteen minutes! You're going to be late for your first day back at school!"
Marinette crawled out from under her covers, calling out, "got it, mom! Coming!" Making her way downstairs in a bit of a groggy manner, she kissed her mom on the cheek and sat at the table. "I bet you anything Chloe will be in my class again." She muttered, pouring some milk and cocoa powder into a bowl as her and her mom talked.
"Four years in a row, is that possible?" Her mother questioned, stirring something.
"Definitely. Lucky me." Marinette responded in a deflated tone.
"Don't say that, it's the start of a new year. I'm sure everything will be just fine." The older woman responded in a cheery tone. Marinette offered a smile and a nod, setting the powder down a little too hard, causing several things to fall over and spill on the floor. Her mom grabbed some paper towels to clean up and Marinette groaned.
Seeing her daughter's look of defeat so early in the day, Sabine caressed her cheek with her finger. Marinette smiled.
Tom Dupain sang a little song as he turned around, surprising his daughter with two dozen macarons.
Marinette gasped in delight. "Dad, these are so awesome!"
Tom smiled. "Glad you like them." He closed the box.
"Thank you dad, my class will love them. You're the best."
"We're the best." He corrected, ruffling Marinette's hair, "thanks to your amazing designs." He continued, showing a sketch book with a drawing of a logo on it. Marinette giggled and threw her arms around her dad, all but flinging that unfortunate box of macarons. Lucky for her though, Tom caught them and handed them back to her.
"Thanks." Sabine gave Marinette her bag as her daughter kissed her on the cheek again before doing the same for her dad. "See you tonight." She told them, headed out the door.
Running so as to not be late, Marinette could only yelp as a car nearly hit her, forcing her to step back and wait for an opening to cross the street. Just as a small old man began crossing the road, another car was coming down the road fast. Thinking quickly, Marinette stepped into the road and grabbed the man, pulling him to safety. On her way back, she tripped on the curb, again dropping the box of macarons. This time, it open and some spilled out, getting stepped on by passing strangers.
"Thank you, miss. Oh, what a disaster." He frowned, leaning on his cane for support.
"Don't worry." Marinette responded. "I'm no stranger to disasters. Besides, there are still a few left." The old man grabbed one and ate it, humming in content.
"Delicious." Marinette smiled, shutting the box. However, that smile was gone just as quick as it had come, as even from where she was, she could hear her schools' bell telling her she was late.
"I'm gonna be late." She panicked. "Have a good day, sir." She ran away from him, attempting to get to school before anyone really noticed.
Unbeknownst to the young girl, the man she had helped was no normal man. "Thank you very much, young lady." He mused, turning and walking away, showing he didn't actually need his cane. It had all been a test, and Marinette had just passed with flying colors.
"Nino, why don't you have a seat in the front row this year." Marinette heard her teacher advise as she ran in, hurrying to get to her seat. The boy in question was a classmate of hers, and he didn't seem at all happy with what the teacher was suggesting, but didn't argue, either.
Just as Marinette sat in her usual seat, a familiar blonde slammed her hand on the girl's desk.
"Here we go again." Marinette resisted the urge to roll her eyes.
"That's my seat." The blonde declared. Marinette frowned.
"Chloe, this has always been my seat." Marinette often imagined she was talking to a bratty toddler when talking with Chloe. It was similar enough, anyway.
"Not anymore." Sabrina, Chloe's only friend, was suddenly sitting beside Marinette, arms crossed. "New school, new year, new seats." She told Marinette matter-of-factly.
"So why don't you just go and sit beside that new girl." Chloe pointed to a dark skinned girl with brown hair and red tips, who glanced up from her phone with a bit of a sneer. Marinette didn't even know there was a new student. This time, she did roll her eyes. "Listen, Adrien's arriving today, and since that's-" she pointed to a seat in front of Marinette "-going to be his seat, this-" she pointed to Marinette's seat "-is going to be my seat. Get it?" Marinette blinked.
"Who?" Keeping up with celebrities wasn't her thing. Chloe and Sabrina laughed.
"Can you believe she doesn't know who Adrien is? What rock have you been living under?" The rich blonde asked in a mocking tone.
"He's only a famous model." Marinette narrowed her eyes at the two girls. Speak to me in that tone again.
"And I am his best friend. He adores me." So, in other words, another stuck up rich kid she'd have to deal with. Great. "Go on, move!" Chloe demanded.
"Hey, who elected you Queen of Seats?" The girl from before stepped in, arms crossed over her chest.
"Ooh, look, Sabrina." Chloe put a hand on Marinette's desk and leaned back. "We've got a little do-gooder in our class this year. What are you gonna do, super newbie? Shoot beams at me with your glasses?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" The girl sassed, pushing passed Chloe to grab Marinette's arm. "Come on." Marinette had just enough time to grab her stuff before she was all but dragged away.
"Has everyone found a seat?" Mme. Bustier asked.
Sitting down, Marinette thanked the new girl for stepping in like that. "Wish I could handle Chloe like you."
"You mean the way Majestia does it." The girl pulled her phone up with a picture of an American superhero on it. "She says all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing." She pointed a finger at Chloe. "That girl over there is evil." Marinette knew that already. "And we are the good people. We can't let her get away with it." She spoke with declaration.
"Easier said than done. She's made it her mission in life to make mine miserable." The unknowingly future hero grumbled.
"That's 'cause you let her, girl. You just need more confidence." Right, because that was so easy.
Not voicing that, Marinette pushed the box of macaroons towards her potential new friend, allowing her to grab some. "My name is Marinette." She finally told the new girl.
"Alya." The brunette responded, gladly accepting the treats.
"For those of you who don't yet know me, I'm Miss Bustier. I'll be your teacher this year." Her name was on the chalkboard with a line under it.
Chloe frowned, Adrien still hadn't shown up. "He should've been here by now." She muttered.
Outside, a blonde boy was on the run. A car pulled up by the school just as he ran up the first few steps, his father's assistant and his own bodyguard stepping out of it, the former talking to him in an exasperated tone.
"Adrien, please reconsider! You know what your father wants." She tried. The model spun around.
"But this is what I want to do." He protested, going to turn back and run inside when the grunt of pain from an old man caught his attention. Looking over, the man seemed to have fallen, and his cane was out of reach. Without thinking, Adrien ran towards him. He was in the middle of the road after all, and no one else was helping him.
Adrien handed the man his cane with a warm smile and helped him up.
"Thank you, young man." The man responded. Adrien nodded once, turning back to the other two and immediately frowning at the looks on their faces.
"I just want to go to school like everybody else." He told them as he got closer. "What's so wrong with that?" It didn't make sense to Adrien. Sure, he was a model but why did that have to make him so different from everyone else? He didn't get it. Seeing they weren't going to budge, Adrien gave up. "Please don't tell my father about any of this." He knew that wasn't going to happen but it was still worth a shot.
Again, the old man walked away clearly not needing his cane. This time, he whistled as he went.
Back inside, the bell rang again for the switching of classes. A jock handed a male classmate a note.
"Those of you who have P.E., Mr. D'Argencourt is expecting you at the stadium. The rest of you can head over to the library." Mme. Bustier said as students filtered out.
"Kim!" A student roared, pulling his arm back to punch the now smirking jock.
"Ivan!" Mme. Bustier interrupted. "What is going on?"
"It's Kim! I'm so gonna get y-" he again drew his hand back to punch his classmate.
"Ivan! Go to the principal's office." The boy crumpled the paper up and stormed off, shoving passed his laughing classmates.
"Negative emotions." Hawkmoth spoke to himself. "This is perfect. Just what I need. Anger, sadness. . ." He paused for dramatic effect. "Burn a hole into his heart, my horrible akuma." Using the powers of his Miraculous, he captured a white butterfly in his hands and infused it with dark energy, turning it black and dark purple. "Fly away, my little akuma, and evilize him!"
That poor butterfly had to fly pretty far, yet still got to Ivan in only a few moments. Legendary. Anyway,
Ivan opened the door to his principal's office. "Excuse me, young man." He got cut off before he could speak. "Hasn't anyone ever taught you how to knock? Go on, out you go, let's try it again." Ivan groaned internally, stepping out to shut the door, facing it with a glare, not noticing the approaching akuma. "Go on, knock!" His principal called. But it was too late, the akuma had merged itself with the crumbled paper still in Ivan's hand.
"Stoneheart," Hawkmoth started, "I am Hawkmoth. I give you the power to seek revenge on those who have wronged you."
"Okay, Hawkmoth." No sooner than the words left his mouth was Ivan transformed into a rock monster.
"Well, come on in." Mr. Damocles sounded impatient, and it wasn't helping Stonehearts' mood. He broke the door down, ignoring his principal falling back from shock and fear.
"Kim!" He roared. The whole building shook.
In the library, students fell over and screamed. Marinette and Alya both fell to the floor, the latter getting up first and grabbing Marinette. "Come on!" She urged, pulling Marinette towards some security footage from outside the school.
"Did you hear that?" A student asked, voice trembling.
"Kim!" Ivan roared again, stomping off.
Looking through his broken window, Mr. Damocles spoke on the phone. "Hello? Is this the police? Get me the army!" Panic and fear were the most prominent features in his voice.
"What- what's going on? He had Ivan's voice?" Marinette was confused and scared. Not for herself, but for her classmates and new friend who seemed a little too excited. Like she'd been waiting for this day.
"It's as if he's been transformed into a real-life super-villain!" Yup, way too excited. "GPS? Check." Marinette's eyes widened. "Battery? Check." She couldn't actually be thinking of going after that thing, could she? "I am so out of here!" She declared, running off. Marinette blinked slowly. Her new friend was crazy. Great. But then, aren't we all? Marinette sighed, shaking her head a little as she turned back to the screens, just in time to hear Ivan yell 'Kim' again, and throw a car and the camera. Marinette winced.
"Who was the first president of the 5th French Republic?" Nathalie asked as she paced around Adrien.
"Everyone thinks it was de Gaulle, but it was actually René Coty before the first elections." The blonde boy answered in obvious boredom, wishing to be anywhere but there.
"Excellent, Adrien." Nathalie praised, turning to him.
"Give me a minute, would you, Nathalie?" Enter Gabriel Agreste, top fashion designer and bad parent. Adrien picked his head up in surprise. His father hardly ever paid attention to him these days.
"Yes, sir." Nathalie stepped off to the side.
"You are not going to school. I already told you." Adrien looked at Nathalie with betrayal crossing his features. He knew she wouldn't actually keep this from his father, yet it still hurt. His father's assistant bowed her head and looked away, the only sign of remorse Adrien was going to get.
"But, father!" He tried to protest, only to be cut off.
"Everything you need is right here where I can keep an eye on you. I will not have you outside in that dangerous world." As usual, his father's tone was demanding and final.
"It's not dangerous, Father." He argued. "I'm always stuck in here by myself. Why can't I go to school and make friends just like everyone else?" He waved his hand as he talked. Why did he have to be different? Why did he have to be so special?
"Because you are not like everyone else, you are my son! Continue." And with that, Gabriel walked away. Another common occurrence, especially these days.
"We can leave it there for today if you have–" Nathalie stopped herself with a frown as Adrien got up and ran away. She glanced in the direction her boss had left. Maybe she could talk to him, convince him to let Adrien have this one thing. The boy hardly asked for anything, as sad as it was. He seemed to want to only please his father, yet was shut down every time. Yes, yes perhaps Nathalie would talk to Gabriel. She felt she owed Adrien that much.
Adrien lay face down in his bed, sulking when suddenly, loud thumps and sirens filled the air. Not thinking twice, he ran outside and looked around.
A stone monster walked towards a police line. "Ready? Fire!" But it was useless, the being only got bigger with each hit. Fear taking over them, the policemen ran, the monster yelling 'Kim' as he picked up a van and threw it, barely missing a running officer.
Back inside, Adrien jumped over his white couch and turned on the news.
"I'm asking all Parisians to stay home until this situation is under control." Andre Bourgeois, Mayor of Paris urged.
"As incredible as it seems, it's been confirmed that Paris is indeed being attacked by a supervillain." Nadja Chamack took over. "The police have been struggling to keep the situation under control."
"Be confident, the strong arm of the law will come crashing down on the-" he raised his arm out of habit, momentarily forgetting it was broken. Grunting in pain, he continued "-I mean, the other arm."
"I hate first days back at school." Marinette muttered as she watched the news.
Glancing down, two unsuspecting teenagers finally noticed something. A small, octagonal box had somehow found its way into their rooms.
"What the-" Marinette picked it up. She didn't remember owning something like this.
"What's this doing here?" Adrien wondered aloud, also picking the box up.
Miraculously opening the boxes at the same time, a burst of green and red light showed up in their respective rooms, causing Marinette to throw her box and Adrien to shield his eyes with his free hand.
When a small, floating creature appeared, Marinette's first instinct was to scream and run. Instead she found herself jumping back, hitting her desk.
"What kind of bug-mouse thing are you?" The tiny thing in front of her looked very offended.
"Did you just call me a mouse? A mouse? Look at me, I am a cat. Not a mouse. Or a bug for that matter." Yeah, okay. Looking closer, the thing did look like a cat. "And actually, I'm called a Kwami. And I am starving and- hey, what's this?" The cat creature flew to Marinette's computer and started messing with it.
With Adrien, things were going a bit smoother.
"Woah, you're like the genie in the lamp." He poked at the tiny red and black creature who smiled kindly at him.
"Not quite, Adrien." Adrien gasped.
"How do you know my name?"
"I think you should sit down, there's a lot to explain. First, my name is Tikki. I am the Kwami of Creation." Having nothing better to do, Adrien did just that and let Tikki explain what was going on, and what was in store for him.
Back with Marinette, the thing that called itself a Kwami was being a menace. Flying around, grabbing things, biting others, Marinette's fear was quickly being replaced with annoyance.
Finally, she trapped him in a cup. "Okay." She sat up, still trapping him there. The Kwami looked up at her with an unamused expression. "You told me you were a Kwami. What the hell does that mean?" The cat-thing sighed and phased out of the cup. Wait-
"Look, Marinette." He set himself as eye-level with her. "My name is Plagg, I'm called a Kwami. We grant powers, yours is that of destruction." He told her in a more-than-bored tone. Marinette blinked.
"Destruction? Powers? I'm thirteen." The Kwami, or Plagg, nodded.
"Not my choice, kid. The Guardian did that. Now, as I said, I'm hungry and want food. Cheese, to be specific." Marinette blinked slowly, trying to wrap her head around all this.
"Okay. I'll ask my mom to-"
"No!" Plagg cut her off. "Your mother must never know about me, or anyone else for that matter. I must remain a secret from anyone and everyone." You know what? Considering he came out of a ring? Marinette couldn't say she was surprised he was supposed to be kept secret.
"Fine. I'll get you something myself. Anything specific?"
"Camembert." Marinette froze, turning to look back at Plagg.
"Yeah, no. You're getting Doritos." Confusion crossed Plaggs' face.
"Doritos?" He repeated. "What's that?"
"They're chips. You'll love them."
"I'll be the judge of that." Marinette opened her trap door without responding, walking downstairs into the kitchen.
"Do you think they'll be up to it, Master?" Wayzz asked, watching as his holder closed the Miracle Box.
"I only got it wrong once. It will never happen again. At least I hope not."
"But, I'm stuck here. How can I be a superhero if I'm not even allowed to go to school?" The whole thing was throwing Adrien for a loop. He longed for the freedom his subconscious told him he would get, but was it even possible?
"Don't worry, Adrien. Everything is going to change soon, that is, if you're willing to change." Tikki responded kindly. Adrien stared at the pair of earrings in his hand, the thought sounding more and more exciting.
"Right." He put them on, not noticing when they went black. "So, all I have to do is break the object holding the hakuna-matata-"
"-right, then capture it. And what's that charm thing again?"
"Lucky Charm. It's your secret superpower. But be warned, once you use your Lucky Charm, you only have five minutes left before you transform back. When you have defeated the akumatized victim, throw the object up into the air and say 'Miraculous' followed by whatever hero name you choose for yourself. It'll reverse all the damage." Adrien nodded. "To transform, you simply say 'Spots On'." She finished.
"Got it. Tikki, Spots On!"
"So, to transform I say 'Claws Out' and to call upon my power, I say 'Cataclysm', and only have five minutes left after doing so?" Marinette asked for confirmation. She had already put the ring on, choosing to ignore that it went from black with a green paw-print to a plain silver ring. Easier to hide, she guessed.
"That's right." Plagg had already gone through the entire bag of Doritos. A genius invention, he had said, but nothing could replace his camembert. Marinette told him they didn't have any right now, but she would buy him some when she could. He said he supposed he could settle for now.
"And then break the thing with the akuma in it so my partner can capture it. Okay. No, not okay." Plagg looked up. Marinette suddenly had this terrified look on her face. He frowned. "This is all too much, I don't think I'm cut out for this. How about Alya? She's my friend. I think. She loves heroes. You should pick her instead."
"No, Marinette." Plagg was at eye level again. "You were chosen for a reason, you are the only one meant to have my Miraculous." Plagg could tell doubt had found its way into the young girl in front of him. Unfortunately, reassurance wasn't really his area of expertise. "Trust yourself, Marinette. You can do this." Please let that work.
Marinette was quiet for a moment, just long enough to make Plagg think it wasn't going to work. That he'd have to try harder. But then,
"Well. I suppose trying it one couldn't hurt. And besides, I might actually like it."
"There you go, that's the spirit. Now, transform and let's go. Paris needs us to stop Stoneheart." Marinette gave a determined nod and stood up straight.
"Plagg, Claws Out!"
After the transformation, Marinette stared at herself in the mirror. She had read books and seen movies of people saying they hardly recognize themselves, but only now did she understand what they really felt. Her hair was now braided and much longer, almost reaching the floor, but suddenly curving, like a cat's tail, she realized. Speaking of, were those cat ears on her head? And her eyes. Holy crap, her eyes. They went from bluebell, human eyes to green, cat-like eyes encased in a black mask. Marinette was torn between finding it cool, and finding it terrifying. Moving on, Marinette looked at her clothes. A black, skin-tight suit with built-in boots and bright green lining, plus a small zipper at the top. She also had pockets. They quickly became her favorite part of the costume as she discovered they seemed to have an infinite amount of space. Like a Mary Poppins bag, but they were her pockets. Overall, she thought she looked really good.
"Stoneheart is heading toward the Montparnasse tower. The monster seems to be unstoppable." Marinette glanced at her T.V, eyes widening when she saw her crazy friend on a bike, chasing the monster.
"Oh, no." Now she had to go, her new friend could get hurt.
"Marinette?" The girl panicked at the sound of her mom's voice. She couldn't see Marinette like this. "Did you get home okay?" Did the suit affect her hearing? Her mom seemed louder than she should, and Marinette could hear her footsteps.
"Uh, yeah, mom! Just super!" She tried, quickly walking up the stairs to her bead and going onto her balcony.
"Marinette? You in here? Tom, we better call the school." Sabine had poked her head into her daughter's room, worry striking through her as she didn't find Marinette.
"Okay." Marinette stared at her hands. "I have special powers and this staff to help me get around. Yeah. Right. I can do that." She didn't really believe that but dammit, her friend was in trouble so she couldn't sit around, not if there was something she could do to help.
"You must be the partner my Kwami told me about." Marinette stared at the boy in front of her. He had messy blonde hair and green eyes. His mask was red with black spots, his suit following a similar pattern save for solid black parts here and there. A yo-yo hung around his waist. "I'm, mmm, Mister Bug. Yeah. Mister Bug. And you?" Huh, Marinette hadn't really thought of a hero name yet. And it looked like she wouldn't have the time as Ivan was still wreaking havoc.
"I'll get back to you on that, bugaboy." Wasn't sure where that came from, but she didn't see it going anywhere.
"Bugaboy?" Blondie repeated, sounding offended.
"Yup. Now, come on, we have work to do." Just then, a building collapsed. And Marinette hesitated. Mister Bug didn't. He took his yo-yo and flung, soaring away from her. "Hey, where are you going?" She felt dumb saying that but whatever.
"To save Paris, right? You are the one who said we had work to do." He turned around and kept going. Marinette frowned.
"Trust yourself. Trust yourself." She forced out her doubt and extended her staff, yelping as she went flying through the air.
Meanwhile, at Parc des Princes, the students were packing up when Stoneheart yelled loudly from atop the roof, gathering attention. Several people screamed and ran.
"So, who's the wuss, now?" He demanded, jumping down in front of Kim, who tried to run but conveniently tripped and fell.
"Hey, it's not very nice to pick on people who are smaller than you." Mister Bug showed up just in time, landing a bit behind Kim. This time, the boy successfully ran away.
"I guess you're talking about yourself." Stoneheart retorted, attempting to crush Mister Bug but ultimately failing as he leaped out of the way each time.
"Everything is going according to plan. The Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculouses have been activated. Here they come to save the day, and now my supervillain will destroy them." Hawkmoth mused.
Stoneheart continued to attack Mister Bug, who managed to land a hit, only for the supervillain to grow bigger after the fact. And more angry.
"Where are you, partner?" Mister bug shouted, not liking how he was doing alone.
Marinette stood at the roof of the stadium, fear officially taking over her.
"I can't do this. I can't do this. No way I can do this."
Stoneheart threw a net, sending it right to where Alya was, Mister Bug caught it with his yo-yo just in time, but the distraction let Stoneheart grab him.
"What are you waiting for, super black cat? The world is watching!" Marinette found it very concerning that Alya wasn't at all fazed by what just happened. Still, she had a point. Swallowing her fear, Marinette took action.
Her heightened abilities really came in handy as she leaped down, using her staff to trip Stoneheart, making him let go of Mister Bug. "Grabbing people without their permission? How shameful." But now she didn't have her staff. Great.
"Yes!" She heard Alya cheer.
"Sorry it took so long, Mister Bug."
"It's cool, wonder cat. Now let's kick his rocky behind." Marinette stopped him from charging into battle.
"Wait! Haven't you noticed?" She was going to have to be the voice of reason, wasn't she? "He gets bigger and stronger with every attack. We have to do something different." Just don't ask me what.
"Okay. Like what?" Dammit.
"Uhhh, I don't know." She bowed her head a bit in shame.
"Okay then. Let's use our powers!" This boy was way too excited for Marinette's taste. No, not excited. Reckless. Yeah, that fit better. "Lucky Charm!" A suit appeared.
"Some power." Marinette accidently said aloud. Mister Bug frowned.
"My Kwami told me I have to break the object where the hakuna-err-uh, akuma, is hiding. But," he looked back at Stoneheart. "He's made entirely of stone."
"His right hand, it's still closed." Marinette pointed out. "He never opens it. It's like the Russian dolls. The object isn't on him, it's hidden in his fist." That made sense in her head, and she could only hope it made sense to him, too.
"So then, what's your plan?" Marinette stared at him.
"It's your Lucky Charm we have to use, shouldn't you come up with a plan?" The boy in front of her looked around, but didn't seem to be coming up with anything. Marinette frowned and looked around herself. Voice of reason, and the one coming up with how to defeat the akuma? Wonderful.
A wetsuit, hose, Alya, Ivan's fist, the gears in Marinette's head started turning. She picked up the wetsuit and inserted the hose, making sure to tie the wetsuit so it wouldn't leak. Then, she grabbed Mister Bug by the ankles and spun him around. "Don't resist, trust me."
"This girl's crazy!" Mister Bug yelped as he was thrown right at Stoneheart, caught in his left hand.
"Catch me if you can!" Marinette leapt up, grasping the suit in her hands. Stoneheart didn't have a choice but to open his right hand to grab her, dropping his akumatized object. Settled in, Marinette turned her focus to Alya. "The tap!" She yelled. Thankfully whoever was watching over them at that moment that Alya understood the assignment and turned the tap on, letting the wetsuit in Marinette's arms inflate, making Stoneheart drop her. She ran toward the crumbled paper, stomping on it. It broke and out came the akuma, simultaneously turning Ivan back to normal.
"You're awesome." Mister Bug said. "You're crazy awesome." Just crazy, more like. Marinette thought silently. She didn't actually expect that to work so well. She stared down at her ring. She didn't even have to use her power.
"What's going on? What am I doing here?" So, akuma victims don't remember what happens after they get akumatized. Good to know.
"You were incredible, Miss, uh- cat lady. You did it." Marinette frowned.
"I never would have been able to pull that off without your Lucky Charm, so we both did it. Pound it!" The bumped their fists together. "And her-" she pointed at Alya. "Wouldn't have worked without someone to turn on the tap." Mister Bug's earrings beeped. "You should get going. Our identities must remain secret."
"Fair well, m'lady. Let's do this again soon, yeah?" Bug bowed and swung himself away. Marinette approached Ivan, silently reading the letter.
"Kim wrote it." Ivan muttered as Marinette knelt next to him. "He's always making fun of me." Marinette smiled kindly.
"You know, you shouldn't get so bent out of shape about that. There's no shame in telling someone you love them, uh, sorry, what's your name?" She figured it'd be best if she acted like she didn't know.
"Ivan." He answered.
"There's no shame in telling someone you love them, Ivan."
"Uncanny, amazing, spectacular!" When did Alya get so close? And was she seriously recording? "Are you going to be protecting Paris from now on? How did you get your powers? Did you get bit by a radioactive cat?" Marinette got up and started walking away. "Oh, I've got a ton of questions to ask you, uh, miss, uhhh. . ." Oh yeah, a name.
"Um. Lady Noire. Call me Lady Noire." She ran off.
"So thanks to this amateur footage, the Parisians now know the identities of their heroes. Mister Bug and Lady Noire." Marinette giddily watched the news from her computer.
"I did it, Plagg." Marinette's voice was quiet, disbelief clear in her tone.
"Yeah, you did. Believe me now when I say you can do this?" Marinette grinned.
"Yes." She gave a determined nod. "I believe I can do this."
"That's the spirit. Now, get me my cheese. I'm starving!" Marinette giggled, going downstairs. It was dinner time so Plagg would have to wait a little bit. She made a mental note to keep cheese in her room from now on. Or Doritos. He seemed to really like those. Briefly, Marinette wondered how he would react to Cheez-its. She'd have to test it out later.
"I am pleased to announce that we will organize a huge celebration in honor of our city's new protectors. Mister Bug and Lady Noire." Mayor Bourgeois announced on live television.
"Lady Noire. Her name is Lady Noire." Adrien's voice held admiration, as did the look in his eye.
"Oh, thank you Adrien. All this will do wonderfully to get my energy back. But, for future reference, I like cookies best. Anything sweet will do, though." Adrien smiled and nodded.
The uncaptured akuma settled itself atop the Eiffel tower, flapping its wings to multiply itself rapidly.
"Oh my!" Marinette looked up from the dishes she was doing to follow her mothers' gaze at the T.V and gasped.
"Just as Paris is about to celebrate the appearance of our two new superheroes, Mister Bug and Lady Noire, a new wave of panic is sweeping across the capital as dozens of people are mysteriously transformed into stone monsters. It's simply unbelievable." Panic struck Marinette and she froze on the spot. They defeated Stoneheart, why was this happening? Now on autopilot, she ran upstairs to talk to Plagg.
"These victims transformed into stone beings are still like statues. The police are perplexed as to what will happen to them. Will they come back to life or be frozen in time forever?" Adrien stared at the screen with wide eyes.
"Hey, Tikki, what's going on? I thought we defeated him?"
"Did you capture the akuma?"
"Did you capture the akuma?"
"What does capturing the akuma have to do with anything?" Marinette asked. Plagg sighed.
"An akuma can multiply, Marinette. That's why it's supposed to be captured right away. If Ivan gets upset again, the akuma will turn him back into Stoneheart. And then he'll turn all his stone beings alive and use them as his army." With how Plagg spoke, you'd think it wasn't a big deal. But it was.
"So, it's our fault." Plagg looked up.
"What are you talking about? Mister Bu-"
"You told me about the akuma as well, that it needed to be captured. I should have remembered, then none of this would have happened. I knew I wasn't cut out to be a hero."
"Hey." Plagg put his cheese down, flying up to Marinette. "It isn't your responsibility to remember anyone else's duties except yours. You don't have the ability to purify an akuma or repair damage, Mister Bug does. Therefore it's his responsibility, and not your fault." Marinette frowned.
"Mister Bug and I are supposed to be partners, Plagg, supposed to help each other. If one of us doesn't remember, the other should. He forgot, so I should have remembered. But I didn't. I told you. I'm not cut out to be Lady Noire. Besides, Mister Bug doesn't need me to repair damage or capture the akuma, so I can just give this to someone else. I create enough destruction on my own without it." She held her hand with the ring up. Plagg panicked.
"I'm sorry, Plagg." She took it off. Plagg disappeared. Marinette let out a shaky breath. She hadn't known Plagg for very long, yet she already missed him. Putting the ring back in the box it came in, she put it in her desk drawer. "I'm really sorry, Plagg." She whispered, kneeling to the ground in shame and regret.
"You mean to tell me that, because I didn't capture the akuma, it multiplied and now, if that guys gets upset again, he'll turn back into Stoneheart, gain control of them, and turn them into his own stone soldiers?" Adrien didn't know how else to feel other than guilty.
"Yes. But it's okay. It was your first time, you can still capture Stoneheart's akuma, and you will." Tikki offered reassuringly. Adrien smiled lightly.
"Thanks, Tikki. But I don't even know where it is anymore. A city this big, I don't know where to look." Which meant they'd either need a miracle, or to wait for Ivan to get akumatized again. Adrien was really hoping for a miracle.
"Ivan has a sensitive heart. It won't be long before anger and sadness strike again. And he and the stone beings will come alive. Then we'll see how long you will remain hidden, Mister Bug and Lady Noire. Once I have your Miraculous, you will be powerless against me." Hawkmoth monologed, his akuma coming back to him and settling in his cane. "Everyone will be powerless against me. I will have absolute power!" His cruel laugh filled the room, echoing off the walls.