Friendship and Uncertainty
Thanks to @oblivionhold for betaing!
Marinette really didn't have a lot of great options in Prime Queen. She couldn't tell Nadja and her parents "Oh yeah, sorry, I double-booked myself as Ladybug, my bad! Guess my parents are gonna have to babysit instead!" And if she'd tried to make up an excuse about being busy, with how last-minute it was and how urgently Nadja needed childcare, I don't think her parents would've accepted it.
Her only viable alternative option would've been to cancel her interview with Nadja at the last-minute, citing some last-minute conflict with her civilian schedule. She could've transformed during a bathroom break, texted Chat, and told him as much, leaving him to interview with Nadja alone. I'd argue that this would've been the most responsible option, but not necessarily the best one. With how much the network was pressuring her, Nadja may have landed in hot water if she couldn't get one of her guests on, and Chat would've been disappointed as well.
The plan Marinette came up with in canon was her best shot at fulfilling all her responsibilities without anyone being mad or disappointed or hung out to dry. Manon got looked after by someone Marinette knew was a good babysitter, she got to go to the interview, and no one would have any clue things were remiss... at least, that was her plan. In canon, things got dicey for a bit with Alya calling into the show, but ultimately no one discovered Marinette had left the premises, and everyone was mostly happy.
But it was risky, and things could easily have gone wrong. Hence, this story.
It gives me a good reason to explore Alya feeling hurt and exploring her emotions while sticking closely to canon. There aren't a lot of fics that do that.
“Where is she?”
Alya looked down at Manon. Nadja was worried about Marinette not being in the picture when she called, and she couldn’t blame her. Bringing over a friend to help babysit as well, or taking over babysitting momentarily while the hired babysitter was busy was one thing, but this was getting ridiculous.
Marinette had seemed weirdly anxious about talking to her parents. She’d chalked it up to Marinette being nervous about whatever she’d needed to tell them, but…
She let out a frustrated sigh. Marinette hadn’t even told her why she needed to talk to them so urgently. It almost felt like she was making up an excuse to ditch her with Manon.
“Marinette wouldn’t do that,” Alya murmured to herself. “She’d tell me if she needed me to cover for her, right?”
But the thought wouldn’t leave her brain.
Gears turned in Alya’s head. “Hey Manon, before you fall asleep, how about we go downstairs so you can use the bathroom?”
“I’m not gonna fall asleep!” Manon said, yawning again. But she stood up shakily and headed for the stairs, following Alya.
As Alya waited for Manon to finish in the bathroom near the kitchen, she heard a soft humming coming from the kitchen. Seizing on the opportunity, she hurried over (while keeping near enough that she could still hear when Manon opened the bathroom door).
“Ah, Alya!” Tom greeted her. “Did you kids need some snacks?”
“No, but-” Oh what the hell, why not? “Actually, that sounds great.”
“Anything for my daughter! And her friends of course,” he said, cheerily grabbing a few of hers and Marinette’s favorite cookies.
“Speaking of Marinette, what’d she want to talk to you about?” she said, as casually as she could manage.
“She wanted to talk to me about something?” Tom asked, sounding perplexed.
“Maybe I just misheard her,” Alya said hastily. “I was playing with Manon and things got a little loud.”
Tom looked troubled. “Well, just let her know that if she needs to talk to me about anything, her papa is always willing to lend an ear.” She could almost see a lightbulb turn on above Tom’s head. “Oh! I’ve got a batch of Marinette’s favorite cookies in the oven right now! They should be ready in about twenty minutes. If you can send her down then, we can talk this out, see what’s troubling her! And if it was a mistake, well, I’ll never say no to watching her face when she bites into a strawberry macaron.”
Alya slapped on a smile. “Will do!”
The toilet flushed.
“That’s my cue to leave. Thanks, Mr. Dupain!”
She walked to the bathroom on autopilot.
Marinette had lied.
“I’m so sorry Alya! I had no idea it would take so long to talk to my parents!”
Alya didn’t look at her. “What did you guys talk about?” she asked tonelessly.
“Uh, you know… family stuff,” Marinette sounded nervous.
Alya turned to her. “Marinette, I know you weren’t with your parents.”
“I went downstairs earlier and asked your dad what you two talked about, but he said he didn’t talk to you at all. Your dad wanted me to tell you that if you need to talk with him about anything, he’s willing to lend an ear. The batch of strawberry macarons he was making should be ready by now.” Her voice sounded dead, even to her own ears.
“Alya, I’m- I’m really sorry-”
She took a deep breath. “I’m not ready to talk with you about it right now,” she said evenly. “If I do, I might raise my voice, and I don’t want Manon to see us fighting.”
Marinette winced, glancing at the sleeping girl.
“Um… could we talk tomorrow…?” Marinette asked, sounding small.
Alya nodded stiffly. Not like she could avoid it, tomorrow was a school day.
As she headed down the ladder, she paused and looked up, “Oh, and Marinette?”
“I didn’t let anyone know you left. I’m still not happy you ditched me, but I didn’t rat you out.”
Marinette’s eyes widened and she started to stammer something. Alya shut the hatch.
Alya squeezed her eyes tight, letting out a small sob.
At that last moment, she’d been tempted to stay. To hear Marinette out. To see whether maybe, maybe, she had a good explanation. Some sort of excuse.
But she couldn’t.
If she stayed, with Marinette looking at her like that, clearly hurting… she wouldn’t be able to stay mad at her. Not when she felt worse than Alya herself did.
Alya wasn’t ready to let go of her anger and hurt yet. Not so soon.
Pausing only to text Nora that she was heading home, she hurried out the door.
Alya quickly wiped her eyes, trying to compose herself before Nora saw her.
It didn’t work.
“What happened? Who hurt you?” Nora asked, grabbing her shoulders.
Even to her own ears, it sounded false.
Nora frowned. “Really? Your eyes are red, and I can see the tear streaks on your cheeks. You really expect me to believe that?”
She looked away.
“Hey, look, little sis-” Nora said softly.
“Don’t call me that.” She couldn’t muster up the energy to put any heat behind her words.
“You know you can tell me anything, right?”
“Promise not to go after her?”
Nora blinked. “Her? ...wait, you were just at Baguette’s place- did something happen with Marinette?”
“Promise me,” she insisted.
Nora grimaced, before sighing. “Fiiiiine. Can I at least yell at her?”
“No. I want to handle this myself.”
“If you’re sure, little sis.”
Alya made a face, but explained what’d happened. How Marinette had called her over, ditched her with an excuse about her parents, how she’d learned Marinette was lying, everything.
“-and I just. I don’t understand why,” she finished. “I help her out all the time! Heck, I’ve even helped babysit Manon before! Why’d she lie to me?” She looked down at her lap, her fists tightening as she squeezed her pants legs, needing to get energy out. “I just- I feel used.”
Nora pulled her into a tight hug. She leaned into the pressure, listening to her sister’s heartbeat.
“Remember back in Martinique, with Maya?” Alya murmured.
“The neighbor girl?”
Alya nodded. “We played together a lot when I was a little. But sometimes… sometimes she’d get demanding, saying that if I didn’t do what she wanted - play some game she wanted, pick a role she wanted me to, whatever - she’d say that if I didn’t do it, she wouldn’t be friends with me anymore. There weren’t a lot of other kids my age in the area, so I agreed.” She gave a small smile. “Until one time she went too far. I stormed home in tears, scared that she wouldn’t play with me anymore, but not able to take it anymore.” Taking in a deep, shuddering breath, she continued. “You know what Mom did when she heard? When I told her how afraid I was that Maya wouldn’t want to play with me anymore? She told me to just wait. Less than an hour later Maya was knocking at the door, asking if I would come out to play. I stopped being afraid of her threat after that, and she stopped using it. I could say no.”
“I’m guessing this feels similar?” Nora said.
Alya nodded. “But it’s also weird! With Maya I understood what she was after. With Marinette, I don’t. Did she just really not want to babysit? Where’d she even go? And why-” Alya hesitated. “Why did she risk this? What was so important? Marinette, she- she doesn’t always think through other people’s feelings, but she DOES care about people! She doesn’t like hurting others! So why-”
Nora shook her head. “It’s no use speculating, you’ll just get your head turning ‘round and ‘round in circles ‘til you don’t know up from down. Just ask her tomorrow.”
Biting her lip, Alya sighed. “You’re right. Of course you’re right. I just don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight after all this.”
Nora smiled, pulling out a DVD from… okay she really wanted to know when Nora had hollowed out a copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy collection, because on the one hand that was SUPER cool, and on the other hand it physically hurt her to see a book damaged like that.
“I was saving this for your birthday,” Nora said, oblivious to Alya’s crisis, “But I think you need it now.”
She looked at the movie, letting out an inhumanly high-pitched squeal. “Majestia’s Early Days - Collector’s Edition?! How’d you even get this? I camped out on the website all day trying to snag a copy! They sold out in seconds,” she scowled, “Damn scalpers.”
Nora laughed. “Having fans can really come in handy. After one of my matches, I mentioned how bummed out my little sis was about not being able to get her hands on a copy. The next day one of my regular fans handed this to me, said he hoped you’d enjoy it.”
“If you see him again, tell him that he’s a wonderful person with excellent taste in boxers!”
Nora laughed, grinning from ear-to-ear. Alya bet her own grin dwarfed even Nora’s.
“Let’s watch Majestia kick some ass.”
“Alya? What’s wrong?”
Nino lifted an eyebrow. “You’ve been staring down at the floor for the past minute, looking like your dogs just got kidnapped by subterranean monsters and you’re trying to figure out how to get them back and why they’d want them in the first place.”
She stifled a laugh. “You come up with that for one of your movie scripts?”
He adjusted his cap, grinning proudly. “No, but now that you mention it…”
“Do you even know anyone with a dog?”
“Maybe a shelter would help out? They’re always looking for more exposure. We could put a note during the credits that the pups are available for adoption!”
Hm… she could advertise their film on her blog too, maybe ask whether any of her readers worked at a local dog shelter…
“We could talk to Marinette, see whether she’d be up for making a monster costume! Or if she’s too busy, Halloween’s coming up and- Alya?”
She blinked, only just now noticing how tightly she’d been squeezing her shirt in her hands. “I’m- I’m fine.”
Nino frowned. “No, you’re not.”
She looked away.
Nino slid into the seat next to her. “Look. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s clearly hurting you. If you don’t want to talk about it, I understand. If you just want to go back to talking about something unrelated to it, something fun, to keep your mind off it, I’m happy to oblige. But I’m always here to lend an ear if you need it.”
She took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “Marinette called me over last night, wanted me to watch the Ladybug and Chat Noir interview with her. She also happened to be babysitting Manon, and thought it’d be more fun if we were all there together. Everything was fine at first,” she said, fidgeting. “I played around with Manon for a bit, Marinette got some pillows to lay on, and we got set up to watch the interview. Then Marinette said she needed to talk to her parents and that she might be gone for a while.”
She let out a humorless chuckle. “I waited for a while, but… no Marinette. Finally, I went downstairs and checked with her dad. He didn’t know anything about it. As far as he knew, she’d been upstairs in her room with me the entire time. Marinette came back a little while later, pretending that her talk with her parents had gone super long and I just… I couldn’t deal with it. I left. I said I’d talk with her about it today, but…”
“But you don’t feel ready now either?” Nino guessed.
She nodded. “I just keep on turning it around and around in my head. It doesn’t make sense. Sure, Marinette makes up excuses and disappears sometimes, but…” Something niggled in the back of her brain. “Hey Nino,” she asked carefully, trying to catch the strand of thought. “Has Marinette always been like this? Running off at a moment’s notice with fake-sounding reasons?”
Nino scratched his head. “I’m not sure,” he admitted. “We’ve been in classes before, but we weren’t exactly close. I don’t think so? I think I would’ve noticed that. Not like we had akuma attacks distracting us last year.”
“Akuma attacks...” she murmured to herself.
There it was again. That niggling sensation, but even stronger this time.
Marinette threw the classroom door open, pinwheeling her arms as she struggled to regain her balance.
At the last second as she fell backwards, Adrien seemed to almost teleport through the door, catching her.
Nino smiled. “I swear Adrien has a ‘Marinette falling’ sense. He always arrives just in time to catch her.”
Alya snorted. “Now if only he had a ‘Marinette feeling’ sense.”
Frowning, Alya tried to grasp onto the threads of thought from before, but they’d scampered with the distraction.
“...Can I sit here?” a soft voice asked.
Alya jumped a little, then scolded herself. She’d just seen Marinette arrive, she shouldn’t be able to startle her less than a minute later.
Nino got up slowly, giving Marinette a hard look, but moving to his regular seat without comment.
Marinette didn’t move.
Oh. Marinette was waiting for her permission, not just for Nino to leave.
“Sure. I mean, you sat here first,” Alya said. “I’m not the Queen of Seats.”
Marinette snorted at the reference, the edges of her mouth twitching upwards.
Alya narrowed her eyes. She hadn’t noticed before, but from this close, she could see the bags under eyes, along with a slight puffiness.
Guilt settled in her stomach. She was pretty sure she knew why Marinette wouldn’t have gotten enough sleep, why she would’ve been crying.
“But she broke my trust!” part of her screamed. “She lied to me, used me!”
She still didn’t like seeing her friend hurt.
“So?” She asked as Marinette slid into her seat.
“So what?” Marinette asked nervously.
Alya narrowed her eyes.
Marinette bit her lip. “I- I’m not sure what to say. I- I lied to you. You’re right. I called you over because I’d accidentally double-booked myself, but I couldn’t just TELL Nadja that and I couldn’t cancel on no notice, so I just… came up with what I thought was the best solution. Manon would get taken care of, Nadja, Mom, and Dad wouldn’t know anything unusual had happened, and I’d be back before you noticed anything was wrong. Everyone would be happy! At least, that’s what I planned…” she petered off, looking away.
She could get what Marinette was thinking now, when she called her over. Sometimes you couldn’t do the things you wanted without disappointing someone, without someone being upset with you. But if you lined things up just right, you might not need to upset anyone - so long as they never found out what you’d done.
It still stung that Alya had been the tool she used to solve her problem, but at least she understood Marinette’s thought process.
“What was so important?” she asked. “What was so vital that you had to sneak out, even if it meant lying to your friends and family?”
Marinette flinched. “I- I have to,” she whispered. “I don’t have a choice.”
Alarm bells rang in Alya’s head. “What do you mean?” she said urgently. “Is someone threatening you? Marinette, are you in danger?”
“No!” She thought for a moment. “Yes? Kind of? Not- not the way you’re thinking of!” she added hastily.
She didn’t know what she was thinking. Drugs? Gangs? A cult that’d ensnared Marinette in its clutches?
“Can I have your attention please?” Ms. Bustier said.
Alya turned to the front of the class, head still spinning. She still wasn’t totally sure how she felt about what Marinette had done, but she had bigger worries.
Something was wrong with Marinette.
That girl could be slippery when she wanted to be.
She managed to avoid talking to Alya for the rest of Bustier’s class, not responding to any note-passing and hurrying out of the classroom the second the bell rang. With Marinette going home for lunch she had little opportunity to talk to her then, and as for their next period… Alya may be brave, but she wasn’t stupid. No talking in Ms. Mendeleiv’s class.
With a sigh, she watched Marinette run out of Francois-Dupont, somehow managing to take the stairs two at a time without falling. Clearly whatever it was, Marinette didn’t want to talk about it.
But if it was hurting her…
She shook her head. She’d been thinking about this all day. It was time to get her mind off it, do something else.
Nodding, she turned towards the park. Maybe some time climbing trees would help take her mind off things. And if it didn’t, it’d at least give her practice catching her siblings when they inevitably got themselves stuck in some high-up area. She could swear they had teleportation skills that they’d been hiding their whole lives just to prank the rest of the family with.
Chuckling to herself, she almost missed the flash of red out of the corner of her eye.
She whipped around. “Ladybug?!”
The superhero froze, looking caught out. “Alya!” she said, sounding strangled. “What’re you doing here?”
She shrugged. “Just enjoying the weather,” she said, pulling out her phone. “Would you be up for another interview?”
Ladybug started shaking her head before she even finished the sentence. “No, NOPE, nada, absolutely not!” she said, making an “X” with her arms for emphasis. “Not after yesterday. Not happening.”
She stashed her phone. “You just want to talk off the record then?”
The superheroine’s eyes widened a fraction. She nodded. “There’s… there’s something I could use your advice on.”
Something fluttered in Alya’s chest. Her idol needed her help? “I’ll do what I can,” she said, more confidently than she felt.
After going to a secluded part of the park, Ladybug turned to her. “You know a lot about superheroes right? About how we have to maintain a double life?”
Alya nodded. “It’s a comic book staple. Often causes a lot of trouble for the hero, but not as much as having their identity leaked to the world.”
“Yeah, I know what that trouble’s like,” Ladybug muttered to herself. Speaking more loudly, she looked at Alya. “I- I messed up. Badly. I forgot that I’d-” She paused. “Sorry, I need to be careful about this. I don’t want to expose myself.”
After a minute, Ladybug tried again. “I needed to do something as Ladybug, but as a civilian, I’d already agreed to another responsibility at the same time,” she said carefully. “I couldn’t tell anyone that I needed to do something Ladybug-related without spilling my secret identity, but I also couldn’t get out of my civilian responsibility so I- I tricked someone into doing it instead. And they found out and they’re mad at me and I can’t BLAME them but I can’t tell them everything and I just don’t know what to do!” She looked at Alya pleadingly.
Her stomach twisted. “Seems to be a lot of deception going on lately,” she muttered, surprising even herself with how bitter she sounded. She blinked as Ladybug winced.
Stop projecting your feelings about the sleepover onto Ladybug’s situation, they’re not the same! She scolded herself.
What would she do in Ladybug’s shoes? She couldn’t tell anyone her identity. She’d still want to be friends with this person. Just heaping on lies would make it worse when those came to light, alienating the friend (or former friend) even further.
“Have you explained as much as you could why you did it without giving away your secret identity?” Alya asked slowly. “Just… let them know that you do care about them, that you didn’t lie to them lightly, that you care about your feelings and you didn’t have a lot of options.” Ah, screw it. Maybe it was just because it’d been recent and she was still hurting and worried, but perhaps hearing it would help Ladybug with her own friend problems. “One of my friends recently tricked me into covering for her,” she said. “I’m still not sure why.”
“O-oh, really?” Ladybug said… nervously? Probably because it reminded her of her own friend.
“She vaguely explained to me why,” she continued. “What she was thinking and feeling at the time. She had another commitment too, but she didn’t tell me what it was.” She let out a deep sigh. “At least she didn’t lie about it - I think. I’d rather she not tell me, than lie about it.” A pebble sat near her shoe. Absentmindedly, she kicked it. “With how distraught she was when she explained it... I think she was sincere. That she doesn’t view me as a tool. That she was just in a tough spot,” she said. “That helps a lot.”
“I- I did explain,” Ladybug said, hope lifting her voice. “I think she believed me.”
Alya nodded. “In that case… I don’t think there’s much more you can do. Give her space, and try to avoid doing it again if you can.” She bit her lip. “Which might not be totally under your control considering Hawkbutt.”
Ladybug stifled a giggle.
She gave a small smile, snorting at her own joke. “Anyway, could I ask you a favor? So long as you don’t have any other commitments already, I don’t want to land you in hot water with anyone else,” she added hastily.
“Nothing to do with the Ladyblog, right?” Ladybug asked suspiciously.
As much as she’d like that… “No,” she said, shaking her head. “Actually, it has to do with a friend of mine. You know Marinette Dupain-Cheng?”
“Uh- NOPE never heard that name in my life! Who’s Marinette?” Ladybug said hastily, gesticulating wildly.
Huh. Weird. She could’ve sworn that Marinette had mentioned meeting Ladybug before, but come to think of it, she couldn’t remember a single instance of Marinette and Ladybug being in the same place at the same time-
Never mind, there was that time with Alix’s race. But if that was the only time, no wonder Ladybug didn’t remember her. She wasn’t even sure that anyone had said Marinette’s name while Ladybug was within earshot.
Aaaaaand there was that niggling sensation again. She wished it’d either divulge what it was getting at or leave her alone.
She whipped out her phone, pulling up a picture she and Marinette had taken together a couple months ago. “Marinette’s my best friend,” she said, surprising herself with how sure she sounded. “We’re going through a bit of a rough patch right now, but… well, I’m still worried about her. She was the one who lied to me yesterday, and when I confronted her about it, she said something about not having a choice. It sounds like she’s in danger but she won’t tell me from what, and I’m not sure what could be the problem and… I’m just worried.” Looking up from her phone, she locked eyes with the superhero. “Could you check up on her, please? Maybe she’d talk to you even if she wouldn’t talk to me. And- and even if she doesn’t, I’d feel better if a superhero was looking out for her.”
“You really care about her, huh?,” Ladybug said, giving her a soft smile. “Even though you’re fighting.”
She nodded. “I’m not happy with her, and there are some things we still need to work out, but- yeah. I want to make sure she’s okay.”
“You’re a good friend, Alya. I’m sure she’s fine, but I’ll look after her as best I can.”
“Buginette?” a boy’s voice called. A black figure landed next to Ladybug, crouched in the classic superhero landing pose, one knee bent, one hand punching the ground.
Oooh, new Ladyblog idea! Top ten Chat Noir poses! Seriously, that cat could be a model with the way he effortlessly mugged for the camera.
Ladybug groaned. “Did I forget the time already?”
“It’s fine,” Chat said, resting his stick on his shoulders. “Waiting made seeing you all the sweeter.”
The spotted heroine groaned again, for a different reason this time. Alya saw the corners of her lips quirk upwards ever-so-slightly, belying her annoyance. “Come on, you alley cat. Race you to the Tower!”
“Oh, you’re on!”
Alya watched them run off. Well, pole vault and swing off, but you know. Semantics.
Turning around, she headed back home.
She had an article to write.
Alya hummed as she walked into class, glancing at her phone. The Chat article had been a major hit, garnering several dozen comments within a few hours of posting, including from a user called “TheCatsMeow” who seemed weirdly invested in convincing everyone that Chat definitely had no experience modeling and his on-point posing was entirely due to natural talent and charisma. People picked the weirdest hills to die on. She’d been joking when she proposed that he was secretly a supermodel, but after having defended the possibility in a ten-commment-long exchange, she was starting to seriously consider it. Hm, maybe Adrien would have an idea of a possible identity lead…
Note to self: Don’t walk while looking at your phone. Sure she never listened when Mom told her that, but maybe this time she’d have the self-control to hold off! Optimism!
“Sorry,” she said instinctively. And blinked. “Marinette? You’re EARLY?!”
She should text her mom to buy a lottery ticket.
“Yeah,” Marinette said, chuckling nervously. She seemed to be in much better shape this time. A little down, but it looked like she’d gotten some decent sleep. “I- I just thought- if you wanted to talk- never mind. You need space.”
Suspicions percolated in her mind. “I should go to the restroom before class starts. How about you?”
Marinette’s head whipped up. “Yeah, sure, better to be safe than sorry. You know me, always needing to race to the toilet!” She rubbed the back of her neck.
“Every other akuma attack it seems like,” Alya said, walking down the hallway with her friend. “I swear, something about it being an inconvenient time makes you need to go even more.”
“Yep, that’s totally the reason!” Marinette agreed.
They walked for a moment in silence while she tried to gather her thoughts. “You know about my advice to Ladybug, don’t you?” she said at last.
“Ack-!” Marinette tripped on air, but managed to save herself at the last second. “Uh, no, that’s ridiculous, how could I know about that? It’s not like I was there or anything.”
She cocked an eyebrow. “Uh huh. And it’s pure coincidence that you concluded I needed space the day after I gave that advice to Ladybug to help with her own friend problem?”
“Uuuuuh…” Marinette looked off to the side, before releasing a long sigh. “Yeah, you’re right. Ladybug talked to me last night, and well… your conversation came up. I figured our problems were similar enough, and you were the one giving the advice, so… maybe if I followed it, we could make up?”
Marinette wanted to go back to normal, to laugh and joke and just.. enjoy each other’s company again. And Alya… she wanted that too.
She knew Marinette hadn’t meant to hurt her. And she understood why Marinette had done what she’d done.
Well, except for what prompted Marinette to need to lie in the first place. She just had a gut feeling it was a cult, some sort of secret society. She was sure Miraculous had been around for awhile, that several historical figures had used them, and she could just bet that there was some sort of secret group watching over them from the shadows. She just needed a thread to follow, something that could lead her back to the guardians-
NOT THE TIME, BRAIN.
Abruptly, she stopped. “I- I want that too,” she said softly. “I don’t like fighting. I want my friend back.” She gave Marinette a hard look. “If Ladybug told you my advice, then you already know what I’m about to say. I don’t like being lied to - not like that. Not as part of a manipulation. You had your reasons, I get that, but I don’t think I could take that a second time. Unless someone’s in danger if you don’t, please, don’t lie to me. If you can’t tell me something or why you’re asking me to do a thing, just tell me that. I can’t promise to like it, but it’s better than being tricked.”
Marinette bit her lip and nodded. “I think- yeah. Yeah, I can do that,” she said, gaining confidence.
Alya smiled. “In that case…” she took off. “Race you to the bathrooms!”
“Hey, no running in the halls!” Marinette said, but her laughter undercut her words. As did her immediately overtaking Alya.
Girl could move fast when she wanted to.
(Several months later)
“And I… I’m Ladybug”
“This makes everything make so much more sense.”
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