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The Things You Do

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It started out innocently enough as a normal friday night. Nothing out of the ordinary.

“Your father and I will be back in a few hours, please make sure Marinette does her homework. She’s in her room right now, probably working on a design.” Sabine turned and looked to her eldest, handing him a list of things that needed to be done. “You sure you can handle cleaning up the bakery, Anthony?”

“It’s alright, I got this. It’s not the first time I’ve had to do it, I’ll be fine. You two go have fun on your date! Bonsoir, Maman et Père.” And with that, the only thing keeping Anthony from his perfect friday night was gone.

“Freedom!” Anthony did a mini fist pump to the sky. It was a Friday night, and like every other teenage boy in Paris, he had plans. Big plans.

That’s right, it was Photography night. What a wild child, a real rebel. All he had to do now was find his lenses wipes to clean off some junk that had collected on the lenses. And clean the bakery, can’t forget that.

But Sabine and Tom wouldn’t be home for five hours, and cleaning the bakery only took one.  He couldn’t afford to waste this beautiful day light, therefore, photography had to come first.

He just had to find the lenses wipes, however that was proving to be a difficult task. He knew he had just bought some, but where did he put them?

“Maybe Marinette knows where my lenses wipes are?” He sauntered over to the stairs, “Hey, Mari, do you know where are my lenses wipes are?!” No response. Maybe she was just listening to loud music?

He climbed the stairs, knocking on the door a couple of times. Still no answer. Should open it? She probably had the volume way up, typical Marinette behavior.

Opening the hatch, he observed the was no one in the room. “Balcony? Seems like a good time to be up there, sunset and all...” He walked over to the base of the ladder to the loft, “Marinette?!”

Then it happened.

All he was going to do was ask if she had seen his lense wipes. That’s it. He didn’t ask for this. Anthony believed he was a good guy, and that his life was the perfect average. He loved the predictability of his family, life, school. Wouldn’t change a thing, not a single thing.

“Marinette, pardon my french, but what the fuck.” Anthony whisper screeched as he stared at his sister. The same sister who had just jumped through the skylight in a spandex suit. The same spandex suit as the local super hero, Ladybug. “What the actual fuck?!” His voice went up about three octaves, followed by hyperventilation and nervous sweating.

“Shit.”

“Shit would be the correct term to use at this moment, yes.” He barely got the words past his lips, “You are, y-you’re Ladyb-!” He didn’t get to finish his sentence. Syncope, being the bitch it is, took over his bodily functions.

He collapsed to the floor, hitting his head on the corner of the chaise. He basically was a melted puddle of sibling on the floor.

“Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!” Marinette started to freak out, pacing around the room occasionally looking back at the body lying on the ground.

The day was going so well. She got to school on time, had an actual conversation with Adrien (albeit short, but still a victory.), had her favorite food for dinner, and patrol with Chat went well. She even got home in time to go to sleep at a decent time! But, life decided to fuck her over.

“Marinette, it’s going to be okay!” Tikk tried in vain to comfort the girl, but once Marinette started going there was no stopping her.

“What if he tells our parents, Tikki?! What then?!” Marinette looked pleadingly to her, begging Tikki to say something soothing.   

“He won’t, you’re letting your emotions get the better of you.” Laying a gentle paw on Marinette’s face, she continued. “Marinette, Anthony won’t tell anyone, and if he does, we’ll deal with it when it happens. But right now, you need to find a way to either wake him up or move him.”

“If you haven’t noticed, my brother is a six foot giant, Tikki. How the hell am I supposed to move him?”

“Language. We go with option B, Marinette; wake him up! Here,” Tikki flew off and returned with an empty glass. “Fill this with water from your vanity.” She nodded, running off to fill the cup.

Sploosh!

“What the hell, Marinette?! Why did you do that?!” Anthony sat up with amazing speed, glaring at the offending person.

“Why were you in my room?!” She didn’t even wait to pounce, she went straight for it.

“Why would I be in your ro- holy shit.” He looked her over, and let out a scream “You’re Ladybug!”

“Anthony! Be quiet! Someone will hear you!” Slamming her hands over his mouth, she took a deep breath. “Yes, I’m aware I’m Ladybug. I’m that person who goes over paris in a spandex suit. Anthony, please, for the love of Kwami’s, don’t tell anyone.”

“What do you mean ‘don’t tell anyone’?! I think that would be a given, but seeing as your grade in geometry isn’t that high, I’ll let it slide.” Oh he wasn’t letting it slide. She had a lot to explain, and by golly, he was going to get to the bottom of this. “Who else knows you’re Ladybug? Do mom and dad know? Does Alya know? The secret service?”

“Now isn’t the time for your sass, Anthony.”

“I’ll have you know sass is an art and there is always time for art- What. The. Fuck.” His eyes locked on to Tikki, his body going rigid. Tikki believed this would be as good a time as ever to introduce herself.

I mean, he already knew, better to get all the shock out of his system now.

“Don’t freak out, I won’t hurt you!” Tikki flew in front of his face, inspecting him. “I’m Tikki, a Kwami. I let Marinette turn into Ladybug. Hello, Anthony.”

He stared at the creature for a small bit, before laying back down in a fetal position and covering his face with his hands. “I’m dreaming. I hit my head on the trap door, and have a concussion. I probably fell down the stairs, too. Mom and Dad are coming home from their date right now to find my mangled body on the ground. I have slipped into a coma and won’t wake up for another eight years, in which time my peers will have surpassed me. I’m going to die alon-”

“Find your fucking chill, Anthony. Unfortunately for both of us,  you aren’t dreaming. Anthony, no one, except for you, knows. I can’t endanger you all like that.”

“Marinette, you have to at least tell mom and dad. They... they’re our parents.” Anthony felt a little shocked, as Marinette told their parents everything. And he means everything, from homework assignments to her strange obsession with Adrien Agreste. Why wouldn’t she tell her parents about this?

“I know but… But they just- They can’t, alright? Promise me you won’t tell them? Please?”

“What if something happens, and little Mari-Berry doesn’t come home one day? What then? Chat Noir comes to the house and has to tell them that she’s dead?” He was shocked with how harsh of a tone he used. He never scolded Marinette like this, not ever. It wasn’t his place, but he just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t.

She looked down at her lap, hands folded tightly. “I know, but the risk is so high... It’s so, so high. I haven’t been able to tell anyone this secret, it’s too big. Not even Chat Noir knows. I’ll tell them one day, all of them, when it’s safer. But please understand I can’t tell them right now. I just,... I can’t.” He realized she was crying now. Oh great, now he really was the bad guy.

Damn it, now he felt guilty.

Anthony took a deep breath, and let out a sigh. She was right, her safety was at risk with every person that knew. And even though he didn’t want to admit it, their parents were probably better off not knowing.  “Alright. I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

“Thank you,” She relaxed a little, standing back up.

“What are annoying older pain in the asses for if not to cover for small sisters?” He ruffled her hair, causing her to smack his hand away from her head. “Harsh. Come on smalls, that bakery isn’t going to clean itself and you have homework to do.”

 

Chapter Text

Anthony didn’t sign up for this bullshit. Nope, did not sign up for this. Take his name off the list of people’s lives Ladybug had to fuck with. Seriously, what the heck? Tonight was the Jagged stone concert, and they had bought tickets two weeks ago. But, as fate would have it, Marinette was kept home.

“What exactly are you doing here, Marinette?” Anthony looked at his sister in fierce disapproval. “Don’t you know how much of a bad idea this is?”


“If it wasn’t on a school night maybe you could go, but Marinette you’ve missed so many classes you just can’t go.” Her parent’s explained as gently as they could, but nothing could stop the tears pricking Marinette’s eyes.

“Oh Marinette, you know we only want what’s best for you. You aren’t getting enough sleep, and you need rest!” Sabine put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder, but Marinette took it off.

“Whatever.” She mumbled, storming up the stairs to her bedroom.


 

Now, she wasn’t exactly a bad kid, not troublesome by all means, but she just had to go to this concert. She had been waiting for so long for tonight, she needed to go. So, Marinette had the bright idea that she would ‘sneak’ out. And she knew exactly how.

“I can’t concur.”

“Marinette, they said you couldn’t go to the concert for a reason. They’re gonna find out.”

“Not if no one tells on me.” Marinette swung her arm over his shoulder, “And besides, don’t you want to be seen with the amazing Ladybug? It would probably get you a girl-”

“...” Anthony took a deep breath, and mustered up all the will power he needed. “While you drive a hard bargain , I have to say no.”

“But Annie-“ Oh shit, she pulled the Annie Card. 

“Do not ‘Annie’ me! I swear Marinette if you don’t go home right now-“

An explosion cut him off, causing the young man to let out an exasperated groan. An akuma attack, really? Out of all the times, Hawkmoth had to make one while he was giving his sister a needed scolding? “You lucked out.” He sighed, “As soon as this akuma is dealt with,we will have words !”

“I’m going to that concert, Jackass. You can’t stop me.”

“Fight me, asshole.”

Unbeknown at the time, Chat watched in shock as his lady and his friends brother verbally battled it out. No one ever spoke to Ladybug like that; no one had the courage. Who was Anthony to Ladybug? He was tempted to go ask him how he knew ladybug so well, but a scream set him back on track. Right, Akuma.

Marinette lept off to go fight leaving her elder in her dust. Anthony shook his head and pinched his nose, waiting for the impending headache to arrive. Why this? Why couldn’t she just stay home and get some (much needed) sleep?

Maybe if she wasn’t ladybug he would let it slide, but she really was missing a lot of school. From long patrols to late night akuma, she was running on three to five hours of sleep on a regular basis.

She constantly had bags under her eyes. No amount of concealer could hide her constant droopiness. It was a noticeable problem, and as hard as he tried to help her out, she was constantly exhausted. he had tried making her a shit ton of coffee, helped her with her laundry when she couldn't get to it, and supplied her tons of sugar. But it ended up not helping much, and in addition to that, he basically created her dependence on caffeine. 

Her grades had been slipping lately, and in addition to her tardiness and absences, it was not looking good for her. If she wasn’t careful, she could get help back. He was extremely worried about that in a combination to other things that had occured

He sighed and cursed under his breath. Why was she so stupid sometimes? She had a night off of patrol, no major school projects, and no fashion contests! She finally had the option to sleep a normal amount! But what does Marinette  do? She sneaks out to see a concert that goes till one in the morning.

“You with the face!” The sudden voice behind him jolted him out of his thoughts, and he let out a yelp.

Anthony whirled around to face his supposed attacker, bracing himself for a fight. However, life had better plans for him. Running up behind him were Nino and Alya. “Anthony!” He let out a deep sigh of relief and relaxed. They skidded to a halt and Alya looked around, “Where’s Marinette?”

“Nice to see you too.” He deadpanned, “She’s home, grounded. Something about her missing too many classes.”

“Damn.” Nino whistled, chuckling a little “I thought Marinette was perfect.”

“I always knew her sins would catch up to her at some point.” Alay mumbled, putting her palm to her forehead. “I heard about the attack, so I went back home and grabbed my equipment. I got a new camera and microphone set, but it takes two people to handle it.” She gave Anthony her best smile and continued, “Hey Anthony, you’re amazing with cameras, is there any way I could get you to-?”

“Cesair, I will stop you there. We are not going into that fight. Do your parents even know you're out here? As a responsible adult, I forbid it.”

“You aren’t the boss of me!”

“That is true, let me rephrase the earlier statement; As a responsible adult, I will not go rushing into a battle between a demon and two magical girls.”

“Damn, okay. No need to be sassy.”

“Sass is an art Alya, I thought you of all people would understand that. My apprentice, you have failed me.”

“Pfft.” Nino cracked up, placing an arm around Alya’s shoulders. “He went there.”

“Nino, can I entrust you to keep your soulmate safe?”

“I don’t know man, that seems like a lot of responsibility. But, I’ll do it. For the sake of love and friendship.”

“You’re both fucking nerds.” She sighed, “Alright Nino, looks like it’s just us! Onward!” The two teens set off, leaving Anthony alone to rethink his decision to let them go alone.

Nino’s there, what am I worried about? He’ll keep Alya from getting too close.  He thought, comforting himself with the knowledge of Nino’s iron will and sense of self-preservation. He went to head off to get something to eat while he was waiting for the concert to start.  He was almost to the nearest food shack when he remembered an important, fundamental truth. Oh dear stars, what the fuck have I done?! Nino is no match for Alya and her blog, he’s fucking putty.

He twirled one-eighty degrees and set off in a mad dash towards the fight. If anything, it was to keep them out of Marinette and Chat’s way. Stupid, stupid, stupid! What was I thinking?!

He caught sight of them and picked up his pace. Damn, he needed to get in shape. Add it to the list of things he’ll do eventually. “Alya! Nino!” he rounded the corner, and to his relief, they were both still in one piece.

“Do you guys realize how danger-”

“Pound it!” His head snapped over to the dynamic superduo as they completed their normal ritual of fist bumping.

“Nevermind.” He sighed. He didn’t have a right to scold them, after all, Nino probably kept them safe. Besides, he had people who were more deserving of his disapproval. He looked over to Ladybug, eyes locking. Marinette shrunk under his gaze, letting out a sheepish laugh.

“My lady? Are you alright?” Chat looked over to her, then moved his eyes to Anthony. He didn’t know what the relationship was, but obviously the eldest Dupain-Cheng child was not very happy.

“Oh, yeah!” She laugh sounded a little too forced. He was about to ask about it when her miraculous timer let off a warning beep. Like sonic, she got out of there fast as hell. “Gotta go! See you, Chat!”

“O..okay?” He turned his head back to Anthony, but found that he too was gone. All that remained was his number one fan and her insistence on an interview.


 

“Marine-.”

“I can’t hear you!”

“Marinette!” Anthony spoke a little louder this time, grabbing her by the wrist. “We need to talk.”

“I am going to that concert. It’s not going to hurt anyone Anthony, why can’t I go?! Don’t I get to be a teenager too?!”

“Marinette, listen. You aren’t a normal teenager, you’re a great one. I really want you to have fun, but listen, this is the one night in a long time where you have a chance to sleep. You need to take a break.” He sighed, “But, I guess… you really deserve to go to this concert. I’ll cover for you tomorrow, I’ll call the school and tell them you’re sick or something.”

“You would do that?!” Marinette’s eyes lit up like a christmas tree. Anthony felt just a little pang of guilt for not offering earlier, but hey, whatcha gonna do?

“Least I can do for Paris’s hero! You just gotta buy me a shirt.”

“I knew there was a fucking catch to your kindness.”




Chapter Text

It was a normal day in the Dupain-Cheng household. Sabine Cheng was out buying ingredients for dinner, Tom was working the Bakery, and Anthony was minding his own damn business.

That is, until he found the broken mangled pieces of his mug in the trash whilst taking it out. Shocked, and slightly horrified, he took the pieces out. “Who did this?” He sighed, examining the broken handle piece. He looked up to Marinette’s room door, and made eye contact with his seemingly innocent younger sibling.

He didn’t have any suspicions about it being her until she slammed the door and locked it. Honestly, he knew he left it on the ledge of an open window. He thought that a bird probably knocked it over. But now… He knew.

“Did you break it?” Anthony pressed his ear against the cold wood, trying to hear the response.

“Break what?” Marinette spoke back, her voice holding an innocent ring to it.

“My mug.”

“Your mug? I’m pretty sure it was a communal mug. And as it being a communal mug, it’s my mug too.” He let out a sigh of irritation, and pulled his ear away.

“That- Marinette you know that I use that mug most often. And don’t change the subject, did you break it?” He groused, folding his arms over his chest. He was getting really irritated, and she knew it.

“Ladybug broke it.”

“You are Ladybug!” Anthony threw his hands part way into the air, trying to convey more meaning to it. It didn’t work for a number of reasons. “Marinette. How did this happen?”

“There is a very good story behind this, come closer and I shall tell you my secret tale of adventure.” She baited, egging him on. Marinette knew what she was getting into, she was a master of sass. Being a slight jackass, but with style.

“I can’t, you locked your trap door.” He deadpanned. Marinette quickly made amends for this and opened it.

“Now listen here to my tale of savagery, tragedy, betrayal, love, and hopefully forgiveness.” She popped down a step to where her brother was.

“Are you serious?” Marinette made a shushing finger motion and continued anyway.

“It was a long day for Chat and I. We had faced our most average enemy yet, Scarmageddon. One of Ms. Chloe Bourgeois’s collaborations with our dear enemy Hawkmoth, this monster was created due to an unfriendly comment made by Ms. Bourgeois about a scar on a girls face.” Marinette made a slicing motion across her face, along with some weird facial expressions. Anthony couldn’t resist an eyeroll at her antics. This was pure comedy gold.

“It was a long and tiring battle, and by the time I was to arrive home, our mother was almost to our very front door. I tried to get in through the balcony hatch, but alas, in my safety conscious behavior I had locked it! Now you may ask why I didn’t just walk in through the front door after our mother, and the answer is simple!” She struck a dramatic pose, but remained still and silent for a few moments.

“Well? What is it?” He poked her, feeling his tension wash away as she furthered her ridiculous story.

“I didn’t think of it. Instead, I flat out panicked. So, in a brilliant moment of not so calm, cool,and collected thought, I took the first entrance I saw; which happened to be the window of which ledge your coffee was on. Which leads us to our current situation, for which I am sorry I caused the circumstances of which this happened.” Marinette bowed, clapping for herself afterwards. She felt very proud of her performance, and if he wasn’t going to clap, then someone had to.

“Okay, that makes more sense. But why didn’t you flat out say that? And why did you have to word it so weirdly?”

“It’s fun to press your buttons.”

“How are we even related?” He groaned, butting his face in his hands again.

“I thought since you were in university, you’d have had Sexual Education by now. But, just for you, I can elaborate.”

“No thank you.” He got up and started to walk away, Marinette following soon after him.

“It all starts-”

“Marinette!”

Chapter Text

Anthony always thought of himself as a patient guy. He wanted his sister to have the best life she could with her messed up little world, and he was prepared to sacrifice his time and social life for it.

 

And he did! He stopped signing up for photography competitions, missed many club meetings, and did more than his fair share of the house work. He didn’t mind that much, not until the backlash of his decision had finally hit him.

 

He was on his way to his next class, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning, he saw that is was a member of his photography club. “Anthony, dude, what’s up? You haven’t come to club in, like, a month! What’s going on?” He asked, concern evident.

 

Fuck. “Life’s been kinda rough at home lately, everything’s getting really busy. The business in the bakery has been booming, and we just don’t have enough employees. I just haven’t found the time.” He’d gotten better and making excuses ever since he started covering for Marinette.

 

“Well, that’s reasonable. But, the president says if you don’t start showing up more often she’ll have to kick you out.” The nervous tone in the guy’s face made him uneasy. What on earth is up with this?

 

“What?”

“Don’t you remember the participation clause?” Shit, the three times a month attendance minimum. But I’ve been making that, haven’t I?

 

“Yeah, but I didn’t think I was missing so much.” I know I haven’t. I’ve been coming once/twice  a week.

 

“I didn’t either, but apparently you are. Maybe you could be hiatus until things calm down? You should go talk to her, get it sorted out.”

 

“Okay, yeah. Thanks dude.” As he turned and left, Anthony felt a small bubble of annoyance and irritation build up. However, as soon as he noticed, he immediately calmed down. Marinette didn’t need that. I’ll just go and talk to her, find out what’s up.

 

Let’s just say that didn’t go as well as he wanted. Who knew his club leader could be so unfeeling? Not only that, but she straight up kicked him out then and there.

He chalked it up to her having the stress of graduation, and them never being on the best of terms to begin with. She was probably just looking for an outlet, and if he could give that to her then he would. The last thing he needed was more akuma.

 

Ah, Akuma. The root of all Anthony’s problems. How they wound him, even if they aren’t there in the immediate.

 


 

 

Later that evening, he was chilling up in Marinette’s room. His laptop was buggy, and he had a paper to type. Marinette was letting him use her’s, but it was hard to navigate since it was a different brand. He went to save his thesis paper, when he accidently deleted the file. Five hours of work, all wasted. The paper was due midnight, and was half his grade. All entries after midnight were counted only at half points, so he absolutely HAD to rewrite it then.

 

He felt the stress tears prick his eyes, and he slammed his hands on the desk. Why did this have to happen? Why him? “Get it together, Dupain Cheng. You can do this, just apply yourself. Be the paper… Be the words. Be the person you need to be.” He told himself, gritting his teeth and straightening his back. “Alright, let’s do this. Only six hours left, I can do this.

 

He had started to re-write it, when Marinette rushed up the stairs and burst up the door.

 

“Anthony! You’ll never guess what!” She sounded so happy, and somehow, it agitated him more.

 

“Marinette, I can’t really talk right now, I have a paper to type.” He grumbled, turning back to his paper.

 

“But it’s important!” She poked his face, earning a scowl from him. Did she not know when to stop?

 

“Fine, what is it?”

 

“My design got chosen to move on to the semi-finals!” The genuine joy on her face pissed him off. He wasn’t sure why, but it did. He wanted to scream.

 

“Good for you.” he muttered, the passive aggressive tone seeping into his words. Marinette frowned, and let her hands drop to her sides. Disappointment and rejection set in on her, but she wasn’t going to let that ruin her good mood.

 

“What’s eating you, Anthony?”

 

“It’s nothing.” You have no right to be mad, you signed up for this life. In fact, you told her to sign up for that competition. Don’t be a bitter prick, she has enough to deal with.

He beat himself up, she didn’t deserve this. He should be happy for her, she was getting long overdue recognition for her hard work and talent. But, he kept remember how many competitions he had to give up, and it just fueled his bitterness.

 

“Okay?” Marinette felt so confused, like it was somehow her fault he was in that mood. She then remembered that he was going to go to nationals, and had to quit because of her super hero life. Guilt started to set in, and she shied away from him.

 

Anthony, of course, noticed and immediately backtracked. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t treat you like this. I’m just really stressed out right now, with what’s happening with Photography Club and all.” He took a deep breath and smiled at her. “I really am proud of you, you really did do a good job on that design.”

 

Marinette’s guilt increased a little more, and that forced smile on his face didn’t help. He should be the one getting credit, and a pat on the back. Not me.

 

“Thanks, it means a lot to me.” She faked a smile back at him, and they ended the conversation with an awkward air.

 


 

The next day, he was walking out of the door when his professor stopped him.

 

“Mr. Dupain-Cheng, you have three overdue assignments. Now, I understand life is busy, but you need to get those in. The Labs for unit 8&9, and the paper for unit 7.I’ll give you an extension for the end of the week, but you need to get them done.

 

“But, Professor, I did do those. I handed them in already a while ago!”

 

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have the records for them.”

 

As he walked away, he tried to figure out how to fix this. If he didn’t get those done, he wouldn’t get the credit, and he knew that. He needed it, so he would just have to go and find the file on his laptop- Oh fuck. It’s broken. I’ll have the re-write… it….

 

And the redo the labs, and…

 

Tears welled in his eyes, and he punched the nearest brick pillar. The skin was instantly scrapped off his knuckles, and he let out a yelp of pain.

 

“I’m done! Fuck this! I’m fucking done!” He threw his backpack on the ground, and slumped down against the wall. “I’m not going to graduate, I’m not going to get a job. I’ll be a failure. Nothing is going wrong, the world fucking hates me. Why? Why me? Why is life testing me like this?!”

 

So torn by the latest piece of bad news, he failed to notice the black butterfly flying towards his camera.

 

“Hello, Tester.” The voice was so soothing and rage inducing at the same time. He couldn’t refuse it’s invite into his mind.


“Hello, Hawkmoth.”