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When italics are in quotations (“”) then Marinette is speaking French. If the italics don’t have quotations, that’s people’s thoughts.
After patrol, Dick made his way to bed, mulling over the announcement Bruce had made at dinner. When he had seen that picture, he had wanted to join Jason on his Paris killing spree. That girl-Marinette, was it?- seemed to be in need of a better place to stay, and he was happy they could provide it to her. At the same time, he had no idea how to treat a young teenage girl! What does she like? Sports? Dresses? Both? None? He had no idea! As he lay there having a breakdown in a slight panic, he couldn’t force the image of her broken, bloody body out of his head. He wondered what kind of person that sort of assault would turn her into. He had seen greater people snap after such emotional and physical wounds.
Meanwhile, Jason, Tim and Damian were facing similar dilemmas over the girl in question.
Jason had no idea how to handle teenagers, especially ones that had been assaulted. Suffering through fucked-up shit like that would definitely leave you with some trauma. He thought to himself. Maybe we should ask her about her boundaries. His coping method involved wearing a red helmet and gallivanting around the rooftops of Gotham, looking for excuses to shoot people. He didn’t exactly think that was the best way to help her out. Sure, he grumbled, I’ll just walk over to her, hand her some Kevlar and a grapple before pushing her off the top of fucking Wayne Enterprises in hopes that she’ll get it right. ‘Cause that’s totally fucking healthy!
Tim on the other hand, was completely and utterly paranoid. Sure, he was definitely worried about that girl, considering that it looked like she had lost a lot of blood; but at the same time, he was worried about exposing their identities to her. Just one slip up, and she would know exactly what the Wayne family did at night. Not to mention that if they ended up getting injured, they’d have to figure out how to hide it from her. As he hacked into her school records, he noticed that she had filed several bullying complaints that had never been acknowledged, as well as a request to transfer classrooms that had been dismissed. Just how corrupt is this school?! He thought to himself as he saw how the principal-Monsieur Damocles- had bent to one girl’s every whim, just because her father was the Mayor! Abuse of power, and ignoring bullying reports? He thought to himself. This is not going to end well for them. With that, he completely launched himself into digging up every bit of dirt he could find on that school and it’s staff; completely forgetting about his original panic over being discovered.
And as for Damian, he was completely furious that there would be another person living in the Manor with them! Not to mention she had to go to Gotham Academy as well! He hadn’t even met this Marinette, and she was already proving to be a pain.
As the day of their Marinette’s arrival dawned bright and clear, four members of the family waited for the arrival of their last member and guest. Bruce was slightly nervous. He had never had a girl so young stay in the Manor before, and he didn’t know how to greet her. Did he shake her hand? Smile and wave? Shake her hand then smile? Wave then shake?
Dick, however, was full of excitement that their new guest was arriving in a couple of hours. He wondered if she knew any gymnastics, and if she would be willing to do some flexibility-related stretches and workouts with him.
All his other children were scattered throughout the city, doing various different things. Jason was up in the Manor library, reading his latest novel. Tim was in his office at WE, finishing up some paperwork he had wanted to fill out before Marinette arrived. Damian, thankfully, was at school, and wouldn’t be returning until later in the evening.
His thoughts were cut short by Tim’s arrival. As he walked into the kitchen and came back with a large mug of coffee, Jason trudged downstairs, and they all sat around in the living room continuing to work and read as they waited for Marinette and Alfred.
Half an hour later, Bruce was alerted to the gates in front of the Manor opening. They all lined up outside the house and watched as the sleek, black limo pulled up in front of the house.
They waited patiently as Alfred got out of the car and headed to the trunk before opening it and taking out a suitcase, and what looked like a foldable wheelchair. The four of them were confused. Why would she need a wheelchair? Surely her classmates hadn’t injured her that badly? Their thoughts were cut off by Alfred opening the back door on the opposite side of the car. He bent down and proceeded to open the wheelchair, before wheeling it around to face the family. When they caught their first glimpse of their guest, they were absolutely floored.
They had all seen many worse injuries during their nightly patrols, and several injured children years younger than her, but when they saw Marinette, they were shocked into silence at her battered appearance.
She was a decent height at around 5’ 4”, but compared to Bruce and Jason she was absolutely tiny. She had several dark purple-blue bruises that contrasted sharply with her pale skin as well as an angry gash covered in stitches on her forehead. She also sported a clunky cast and a thick brace on her leg and wrist. With her dark hair pulled into space buns, and blue eyes, as well as how small and bruised she looked, they all felt a rush of protectiveness flood through them when they saw her.
Their silent shock was interrupted by Jason leaning over to Bruce and whispering angrily “You said her classmates did this to her?!” At his exclamation, the other three tensed in anger at the reminder that her old friends had been the ones to injure her so severely. They were snapped out of their thoughts by Marinette speaking.
“Bonjour, Monsieur Wayne! Thank you for letting me stay in your house with you! I promise I’ll do my best to not be a bother to you and your family.” Her voice was slightly rough from when she had been crying, but she spoke sweetly, and politely. At her statement, Jason jumped in “No problem Pixie Stick! The only nuisance here is the Demon Spawn, and he’s not home yet.” She blinked up at him, before her mouth twitched up into a half-smile. “Thank you, Monsieur. I’m sorry but I didn’t get your name…” she trailed off.
“Sorry about that Sunshine, he’s Jason, I’m Dick, and the sleep deprived one is Tim.” Dick interjected. “And you don’t have to call us Monsieur, either. Just our names are fine.”
“Oh okay. Thank you Mister Bruce, and thank you Dick! I’m Marinette, but I’m sure you knew that already. You can call me Mari if you’d like. I’m not very picky about nicknames!” She laughed.
“Now if the young Masters are done with their introductions, I will gladly show Miss Marinette to her room.” Alfred cut in. “Thank you Monsieur Alfred, that would be wonderful.” The girl in question smiled up at him from her seat in the wheelchair before he wheeled her inside.
Marinette thanked Alfred as he wheeled her into her room. He mentioned that someone named “Damian” was at school, and that she would be attending school after she gets adjusted to the time difference. After he left, she opened her bag to let the Kwami out, and waited for their excited chattering to calm down. Once they had quieted, she spoke. “Hey Tikki? Do you think it was wrong to tell Alfred about the Miraculi being active in Paris?” she questioned as she fiddled with the straps on her bag. ”I was just so excited to meet another wielder that everything slipped out!”
The Kwami was quick to reassure her. “Oh no Marinette, it’s okay. SInce you are the Guardian now, you need all the help you can get. And besides, you already recognized each other’s auras, so there was no point in trying to hide it!” She flew up to her face and patted her unbruised cheek gently.
“Oh no! I completely forgot to tell Alfred that I’m the Guardian!” She shrieked. “What if he gets mad at me for being too inexperienced?! He’ll kick me out and I’ll have to live on the streets! Then I’ll end up becoming part of the Crime Alley hierarchy, living alone in an abandoned building with a stray cat named Tommy! Tikki this is a disaster! A disaster!!” She would have continued to ramble in french, if it wasn’t for the fact that Wayzz had flown up to her and reminded her that she needed to shower because she had been on an airplane and in the airport.
Several curses, near falls, and plastic cast coverings later, Marinette limped out of the shower, exhausted but clean. She quickly tied her hair onto a messy bun before changing into warm leggings (although she couldn’t fully pull one side down due to her cast) and a sweater. Gotham was cold! She let the Kwami roam around her giant room as she put her clothes into her closet.
After settling in, she plugged in her phone and texted her friends.
FashionableBug: Just got everything organized and took a shower. Turns out M. Wayne has four kids! I met Dick, Jason and Tim, and apparently Damian is at school.
QueenofMean: Maribug! How dare u not text us as soon as you arrived! Ur plane landed over three hours ago!
Snakey Boi: Chlo’s right, Mari. We were all worried bout u.
FahsionableBug: Sorry u guys. Everything was going so fast I completely 4got!
FashionableBug: Also I met a Peacock wielder!!!!!!!
You’reUnderAgreste: Really?! Buginette thats amazingggg
DragonGurl: Wonderful news indeed, Mari. They must have lots of advice for you.
QueenofMean: Nettie thats awesome!!!!!!
SnakeyBoi: Thats totally great!
SnakeyBoi: Also who is it???
FashionableBug: lol Luka its Alfred their butler. Tho hes more like a grandfather
FashionableBug: Anyways, I’m going to go find the kitchen. I wanna make the Kwami some macarons!
DragonGurl: Bye Marinette.
You’reUnderAgreste: Bye Bugaboo!
QueenofMean: Bye Bug!
SnakeyBoi: Bye Mari!
Marinette smiled as she put her phone down. Glancing over at the Kwami flying around the room, she stretched before calling out “I’m going to see if I can bake in the kitchen. Do any of you want to join me?” Before she had even finished her sentence Tikki and Kaalki were flying over to her and nestling in her bun. Laughing at their antics, she maneuvered herself into the chair before wheeling herself down the hall. She hadn’t gone very far when she bumped into Alfred walking out of another door. “Salut, Monsieur Alfred! Would you mind showing me where the kitchen is? I was thinking of making some sweet treats for my…friends.” At her statement, Tikki and Kaalki poked their heads out of her bun to wave, before hiding again. Smiling, Alfred turned to her and spoke. “Of course Guardian. Right this way.” Her eyes darted to meet his hesitantly. “You aren’t mad that I’m the Guardian?” Alfred paused and looked her directly in the eyes. “Miss Marinette, I am in no way questioning your capabilities as a Guardian. You are very powerful, and I have no doubt you will do an amazing job. I am simply upset over how you seem to have no Mentor or any form of Guidance to help you.” Sighing in relief, she smiled. “Well, my old Master lost his memories because he had to give up his memories after being compromised. I do have the Grimoire though, and I was also hoping you would help me as well?” She questioned, looking up at him hesitantly. As they walked into the kitchen, he bowed to her and stated “It would be my greatest honor to assist you, Great Guardian.” She laughed and thanked him before beginning to bake.
She hummed a simple melody designed to bring about calm and peace, and soon she was happily working in her own tranquil little bubble.
An hour later, as she was frosting the little pastries, Jason walked in, drawn by the smell of sugar and freshly baked goods. “Hey Alfred! What cooki-” he cut himself off. “Sorry Pixie Stick, I thought you were Alfred. Only he can make something worth eating in this house!”
“Oh it’s no problem Jason, I was just making macarons. My parents own a bakery, so I’m kinda used to just baking whenever.” She laughed softly
“Damn Pixie, macarons?! You haven’t been here a day, and you’re already much nicer than all my asshole brothers!”
“Yeah, well these are for after dinner, so no touching ‘till then!” She warned.
He sat at the counter and scrolled through his phone as she decorated the pastries. Soon enough, she had them all completed and proceeded to carefully take the tray and wheel over to the fridge. Before she could move an inch, Jason had leapt up and placed the tray in its designated spot. “Sorry Pix, but I’ll get that for ya. We don’t need you accidentally crashing or dropping these heavenly treats!” He laughed.
She crossed her arms and pouted up at him, before her mouth stretched into a wide grin. As she wheeled herself into the dining room, she swiftly turned her head and stuck her tongue out before disappearing through the door into the room beyond.
Dinner with the Wayne family was a rambunctious affair. Dick and Jason bantered good-naturedly over their meals as Bruce sighed tiredly in the background. Tim moved lethargically, downing giant gulps of coffee as he ate his meal. Damian apparently was studying with his friend Jon, and therefore wouldn’t be eating with them. They all smiled and laughed as they talked through dinner. Marinette told them about her friends, before adding that they’d probably video call her tomorrow so they could meet the family. Bruce assured her that it was not a problem and added that he would be glad to speak with her parents. After eating, she headed up to her room to work on the outfit she had been sketching on the plane.
She immersed herself in designing, and ended up finally going to sleep shortly after midnight. The Kwami flew over to their little nest of pillows and blankets, and she turned off the lights before drifting off to sleep. Her dreams were plagued by nightmares of looming shadows and ethereal dark butterflies destroying the world in fire. She watched in helpless terror, stuck in her Ladybug persona, unable help as the world burned. The horrific dreamscape was shattered by the sound of her phone blaring out an Akuma alarm.
She leaped out of bed and shut off the shrill noise as she called for Tikki and Kaalki before leaping through the portal and into Paris.
She ended up in a ravaged, unrecognizable landscape covered in flames. Looks like her dream had been semi-accurate after all. The Eiffel Tower was partially melted, and fires were cropping up all over the city. The four simultaneous thuds behind her signified the arrival of her team. As one they looked upon their ravaged city and charged the Akuma.