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Color-Coded By The Love He Gave To Me

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Mika had finished his fifth project for the month. It was in Shu's measurements, like nearly every other project he'd done, and he took a step back to look over his work. It looked much, much better than his previous projects, and Mika hoped it would be good enough for Shu. If anything, he was doing all of this for Shu, when he returned. Though he was now looking for another project to distract himself with.. and his eyes settled on an old book Shu had got him. It was in English, but from what Shu had told him it was themed around the Chinese Zodiac. So Mika got to work again, designing an outfit for Shu themed after the zodiac of the Dog.

 

"Stitch, sew, cut, pull.." He quietly spoke to himself as he selected the textiles, and made room for his next endeavor. Though Mika was soon interrupted by a knock at the door. Someone else went to get the door, though he wasn't really expecting Anzu to enter the room he was in. "What…" Anzu trailed off within moments, looking around to see every project Mika had made over the years Shu was in France— and the progression of quality as well. "Mika, is this what you've been doing for the last 3 years?" Mika just hummed in confusion, not finding much odd about the work he was putting in for Shu's return.

 

And then Anzu noticed where he was keeping the pins, and promptly freaked out. "Mika, why are you keeping the straight pins in your arm!? Let me get those out!" Rinne went for a medkit while Anzu removed the pins one by one from Mika's arm. Soon his arm was bandaged, though Anzu had a clear look of concern on her face. "Mika.. you really should take a break— I know Shu's been gone for a while but you can't just spend all of your days cooped up in here. What about Valkyrie?"

 

Mika paused, before deciding just to kick everyone out. He needed to work! Though… his phone went off a second later. Mika checked it, just to find that the Gabriel brand from France had come overseas to Japan and were doing a showcase of their products. Was Shu going to go after the Victorian-themed line they were showcasing over his work?

 

What if his oshi-san already picked the brand over him? The needle he was trying to use snapped. He was going to need to replace it. Mika went for the pack of spare needles, though he noticed the old sewing kit Shu got for him when he first got serious about sewing things. His heart clenched, and he wound up picking up the kit. "Oshi-san.. did ya replace me?"

 

Elsewhere, Gabriel Agreste slipped away from the news reporters and transformed into Hawk Moth. "And to think even in Japan there would be people feeling abandoned.. well, it can't be helped I suppose." Hawk Moth took a butterfly out of a cage he hid on his person, and infused it with his powers. "Go, my Akuma, and liberate that young man!" The black butterfly flew out the window into Tokyo's open skies, before slipping into the vents in the apartment that Mika was sharing with the others.

 

"WHAT IS THAT!? / SOMEONE KILL IT HOLY SHIT—"  Hiyori and Ibara shouted as the akuma dodged their attempts at crushing it, before it slipped under the door to Mika's room and landed on his sewing kit. The object shifted to appear like an old wooden gearbox, with brass fittings and all. Mika looked up, Hawk Moth's control becoming clear with the sigil on his face.

 

"Weaver, I am Hawkmoth. So you find yourself lost without the presence of your loved one, and seek comfort in your gifts? Well I give you the ability to stitch back what was taken from you. In exchange, I want Ladybug and Chat Noir's miraculous: two French superheroes who have also taken something from me." Hawk Moth's orders came clearly, and Mika nodded. "For my oshi-san…" Mika mumbled, as dark miasma made his casual clothes morph into his old Valkyrie uniform, albeit in tatters.

 

Cracks covered his hands as he put the kit by his hip, taking out a needle large enough to be considered a legitimate weapon. Another series of cracks now covered Mika's face, trailing down to his exposed clockwork heart. "I'll make a beautiful tapestry out of this world…" and with those words.. a crazed smile broke out on Mika's face.

 

Outside of Mika's room, Anzu left the apartment. "Any idea what that creepy butterfly was?" Ibara asked nervously, but he didn't get much of a response from his flatmates. Though, they all heard humming coming from Mika's room. "Uh.. do you guys think Mika snapped in there?" Niki asked, though the other boys just shrugged. "Maybe he's just—" Ibara began, before the door opened. Everyone froze— something didn't feel right.

 

"Silks, threads.. seems 'm all out." Mika's voice came from the room, before a metallic sheen shot out and stabbed Rinne in the abdomen. As soon as the needle came out, the leader of Crazy:B vanished in a cloud of smoke and was replaced by a little plush doll. Mika stepped out a moment later, observing the skein of thread he just got from his peer. "It's not gonna be enough though…"

 

The others couldn't flee before they were turned into dolls too. Yet the materials gathered from the lifeforce of his peers still wasn't enough. He left the apartment, and went down the hall to where the other agencies were while softly singing to himself one of Valkyrie's older songs. His eyes weren't properly focused— he truly had lost the last shreds of restraint he once had.

 

Dolls of Ryuseitai, UNDEAD, fine, and Trickstar fell on the floor next. Then Knights, ALKALOID, Switch, and 2wink. The last one was Madara. Mika looked over the silken threads that came from his victims, though it still wasn't enough in his eyes. He left the building, stealing the threads of life from the security on his way out. "Oshi-saaaan! This is for ya! It's going to be perfect!" Mika laughed as he began attacking the confused and later fearful civilians, stringing together their life threads and beginning to weave it all together with a manic smile on his face. "A perfect tapestry! I'll make the perfect creation for you, Oshi-san!"

 

Elsewhere, Marinette overheard the sound of the civilians panicking. "Kagami— there might be an Akuma somehow— get to safety, ok?" Kagami gave Marinette a confused look, before running away. Marinette went into an alleyway, before letting Tikki out of her bag. "How is Hawk Moth here!?" Marinette whispered to her kwami, though Tikki couldn't give much of an answer. "We need to stop them first, then we can ask how Hawk Moth got here." Marinette nodded, before she said a phrase she'd said many times before. "Tikki, Spots On!"

 

Soon Ladybug was running towards the source of the panic, coming face to face with Chat Noir fighting against a broken and crazed doll with an oversized sewing needle in his hands. "M'lady, a bit of help!?" Chat honestly looked like he was struggling, and Ladybug was able to put together what the akuma's powers were from the battlefield of plush dolls everywhere. Though just as she realized this, she saw Chat get stabbed with the needle.

 

The doll pulled out some kind of thread from the cat hero's chest, and soon Chat was no more than one of the plush dolls resembling that of the akuma's victims. The doll tried going for Ladybug next, but she managed to dodge the needle's attacks. Once she backed away, she was able to hear more innocent civilians being skewered and turned into dolls. "A tapestry imma weave~ for Oshi-san a perfect weaving~!" The doll sang, though Ladybug stepped away from the crisis. "Lucky Charm!" Ladybug activated her powers, and a small doll of a shiba inu came down.

 

What was she going to do with a doll!? Ladybug looked over the item multiple times, though the Akuma singing again made something click into place. It was one of that transfer student's songs! So she pulled out the Horse Miraculous, and unified the powers together. "Voyage!" And with that, she went back to Paris to find the Japanese transfer student from the idol school.

 

~~~

 

Shu had turned off the music from his phone, finishing an old routine of his from his idol days so he could resume being the leader of Valkyrie upon his return to Japan. While he had initially been excited to study fashion in the City of Lights, he soon realized that he actually missed Mika a bit. Practice wasn't really the same without his partner by his side. Though he was not expecting a portal to open up in front of him— and for Paris's hero Ladybug to step out of it. "I need your help— there's an Akuma in Japan."

 

"But isn't Hawk Moth usually in France?" Shu was confused, but he didn't fail to catch Ladybug taking out a small box. "Inside this box is the Dog Miraculous, with the power of Adoration. Its ability will let you take an item that the ball weapon touches. You will use this for the greater good, and return it to me once this is over. Can I trust you with this, Shu Itsuki?" Shu hesitated, not fully understanding what was happening. It was sudden— but something was telling him that whatever that was happening in Japan was very bad and really did need his help. Shu took the box and opened it, revealing a collar and a small spirit that did in fact look like a dog.

 

"The phrases you need to know are On The Hunt, Lay Down, and Fetch. The first two are for activating and deactivating the Miraculous, while the last one is for the specific power. I'm Barkk, by the way!" The spirit said, surprising Shu by specifically talking in Japanese. "You— you know what, I'm going to ask later." Shu sighed, putting on the collar. "Barkk, On The Hunt!" Shu's outfit changed in an amber flash, and he looked it over. It appeared to be ever so slightly similar to his Valkyrie uniform (which made him nostalgic and even more homesick than before), yet with a twist in it mostly being orange and white with a touch of the Miraculous's dog theme.

 

The two of them went through the portal— and while Ladybug ran off to recharge, Shu's eyes widened as he saw the damage Tokyo was suffering firsthand. There were plush dolls everywhere, and the property damage was immense. As soon as Ladybug came back, however, the akuma spotted them atop the roof of a building. "Hnnah! Oshi-san!" And if Shu's eyes could get any wider, they would've while his mouth was slowly opening in a mix of horror and surprise. Mika was the akuma— wearing a ragged version of his unit's uniform and covered in cracks. "It's been 3 years!" Mika looked just a little hurt, though Shu was able to put together what had resulted in Mika being akumatized. He was pining. Pining so hard that he could only turn to crafts in order to cope with his rampant feelings.

 

"So.. what do we do?" Shu asked Ladybug in an almost weak voice, still staring at what Mika had been turned into thanks to Hawk Moth's machinations. "I'm.. not sure. Usually Chat would be here too, but… he got turned into a doll like the innocents.." Shu frowned, before noticing the box at Mika's hip. It looked a bit like the old sewing kit from his school days. "The Dog Miraculous can take things the ball touches, right?" Ladybug nodded, before realizing what Shu was saying. "You're going to fetch the object?" She asked to confirm, and Shu nodded. "Keep him busy." Ladybug leapt down from the roof and swung with her yo-yo to get Mika's attention.

 

The diversion worked for about 30 seconds, before Ladybug found herself in an area filled with civilians. "Oh no.." Mika caught up, before his eyes gleamed at seeing all of the innocent people trying to get on with their lives. He forgot about Ladybug entirely, using his needle to begin runnign through civilians and turning them into dolls. Skein after skein of life thread came out of the victims, and they all began trying to run from the doll. Though Shu managed to close the gap, and throw his ball weapon at the sewing kit. "Fetch!" And with the command being given, the kit unhooked iself and flew straight to Shu. "Now how to crack it.." Shu muttered, looking for a weak spot.

 

"Oshi-san!" Mika shouted, before going to use his needle again— only for Shu to remember to raise his hands as the weapon ALSO went flying out of Mika's grasp. "Hgnah!?" Shu took the weapon and brought it down on the box, and with a loud crack the object was broken alonside the needle. A black butterfly flew out moments later, of which was quickly snapped up by Ladybug's yo-yo. "No more evildoing for you, akuma!" The butterfly was purified and freed, before Ladybug took out another doll that had come from her Lucky Charm. "Miraculous Ladybug!" And with that, the object transformed and flew throughout the damaged city.

 

~~~

 

"AH—" Chiaki blinked, registering that the thing that oddly looked like Mika wasn't in the room anymore. "What just happened, de gozaru?" Shinobu asked, though no one had an answer to give to him.

 

Meanhile, Hiyori was screaming about how the demonic butterfly was why they all got stabbed. Not that anyone was fully computing what he said.

 

~~~

 

As Shu watched the city return to normal, he caught in the corner of his eye Mika changing back. He flat out ignored Ladybug after that, running over to his friend's side. "Hna… oshi-san?" Mika clearly was disoriented, though it seemed like he was going to be alright. "You got akumatized— not sure how that happened— but everything's going to be fine now. I'll talk to your oshi-san." Mika only gave Shu a confused look, before news reporters began showing up. "I— Okuri, can you tell them we're on a time limit!? I don't know Japanese!" Ladybug somewhat hissed, though it was just out of urgency because she knew that her timer was ticking down.

 

"We can't answer questions right now— we have to get him back home." Shu— who apparently was going by the name Okuri now— said to the reporters, who while looking dejected turned back. He then went with Ladybug back to Ensembe Square's shared complex, and brought Mika back to the apartment. It wasn't without Okuri having to lie his way out of being recognized as Shu— which really was him under the mask. He left for Paris again through Voyage, though surprisingly Ladybug let him keep the Miraculous.

 

"Barkk, Lay Down." Shu went back into his civilian clothes, before taking out his phone. He then sent a few texts, and then a day later announced he was leaving for Japan again. He'd been gone for too long— Mika's horrible state was proof of that. And so, he sent his friend a text.

 

 

[ (7:30 CET) Itsuki Shu: Kagehira.. I'm coming home.

[Kagehira Mika is typing…

[ (11:48 JST) Kagehira Mika: Can't wait, oshi-san!

 

Shu couldn't help but smile. "I.. think it's about time I've stopped denying something." Barkk just looked at the pinkette a bit confused, before Shu left the messenger app and looked at the background— which was one of Valkyrie's promotional images. "Are you going to take Valkyrie out of hiatus?" The kwami guessed, and Shu nodded. "Yeah.. and I should also tell Mika how I feel." Shu put away his phone, and stood up. He was going to board the plane soon to go back to Japan.. and to go back home.