The Strings that Bind Us: Ch. 13
Day 13: Friday the 13th
“We have to stay until Saturday evening.” Dick insists, making Bruce pinch the bridge of his nose.
“Dick-” He starts but he cuts him off.
“B, have you even checked the calendar for Friday?” Dick asks. Marinette raises an eyebrow. Why did the date determine when they could fly home? Bruce sighs and pulls up his calendar, huffing before nodding at Dick.
“Okay, late flight on Saturday it is.” Bruce says simply.
“What’s wrong with Friday?” Marinette asks from her spot on the couch. She was tucked into Bruce’s side with Damian on her other side. She had a set of knitting needles and a skein of yarn on her lap, working furiously on a sweater.
“You’re not serious, are you?” Dick asks with a raised eyebrow. She rolls her eyes
“If I wasn’t serious, I would have said ‘haha’.” Marinette says with a huff.
“M, it’s Friday the 13th.” Bruce says.
“And that means?” She says, eyebrows furrowed.
“It’s a superstition, Ma. These two babies are just too scared to fly with the ‘bad luck’.” Jason says, finally glancing up from his book.
“Thank you, Jay. And you two are ridiculous. A singular day cannot have more bad luck just because of the date.” Marinette says.
“You say that now, just wait til you’ve lived in Gotham for a few years.” Dick mumbles with a pout.
“Have you told your family that we’re coming?” Bruce asks suddenly, and Marinette pales. Mon dieu, she knew she’d forgotten something.
“I’ll be right back.” She says, gently shifting Damian to lean against Bruce. She practically runs out of the room, grabbing her phone on the way to the kitchen. Leaning against the counter, she dials the familiar number.
“So you finally remembered your Maman?” Her mother’s voice is teasing, but she can hear the slight exasperation in it. She winces.
“Bonjour, Maman.” Marinette says nervously.
“Don’t ‘maman’ me, young lady. You haven’t called in over a month! Just vague texts about the bakery or your cafe. Those are not the kinds of messages you send your parents, those are the messages you send distant friends.” Her mother complains with a huff. Marinette was once again glad that Hawkmoth had been defeated. Otherwise, she was sure her mother’s annoyance would be high enough to be akumatized.
“I’m sorry, Maman. I just- do you remember when I told you I’d met someone?” She tests the waters, realizing that although she’d talked about Bruce on occasion, she’d never told her maman how serious she was about him.
“From last October? Or have you met someone new and it slipped your mind to tell me?” She asks, her tone teasing instead of bitter.
“Yes, from October. I- We’re going to come visit for the anniversary of Hawkmoth’s defeat.” Marinette says, her nerves skyrocketing as there’s nothing but silence on the other end. “Maman?”
“Marinette?” Her papa’s confused voice comes through and she winces.
“Hello, Papa. Is Maman mad at me?” She asks, the tension in her shoulders dissolving as he laughs.
“Of course not, mon chou. She told me she was going to get some recipes, but she didn’t say what for. Care to fill me in?” He asks and she smiles.
“Do you remember me talking about Bruce?” She asks. “We’re flying in for the anniversary of Hawkmoth’s defeat. I told him that it was something of a holiday in Paris and he suggested flying home.” She adds.
“He sounds smart.” Her papa says, and she can hear the teasing smile in his tone.
“He is, Papa. And he’s kind, and loving. I never imagined I’d find the love of my life in the crime capital of the world.” She laughs, her face heating up with a blush as arms wrap around her waist. She tilts her head and raises an eyebrow at Bruce, who just smiles down at her.
“Well we can’t wait to meet him! And see you again, of course.” He says.
“Oh, um, also, we’re bringing the boys.” She blurts, biting her lip nervously as she expects his silence to rival her Maman’s.
“Sabine! Start the cookies! We have grandkids!” He shouts instead, and she has to jerk the phone away from her ear to keep from going deaf. Bruce snorts and she glares at him, waiting for the screaming and cheering to die down before bringing the phone back to her ear.
“Marinette Dupain-Cheng! How could you not tell us sooner? What day are you flying in?” Her mother demands, clearly in planning mode now. She glances at Bruce, raising an eyebrow.
‘Late Wednesday.’ He mouths and she nods.
“We’ll be in Paris late on Wednesday.” She says.
“Then I expect you to bring your entire family here for breakfast on Thursday. The bakery will be closed for the holiday anyway.” Her maman insists.
“I-” She pauses. Her mother was an immovable force, there was no way she could change her mind. “Yes, maman.”
“Good. We love you, sweetheart.” Her maman says, her voice filled with love. Marinette smiles.
“Love you too, Maman. See you Thursday.”
“See you then.” Her maman says before hanging up. Marinette looks at her phone for a minute before groaning and turning, hiding herself in Bruce’s chest. He tightens his hold on her, but he shakes lightly with laughter.
“What’s wrong, love?” He asks.
“They’re going to go overboard.” She mumbles into his chest.
“They’ve always wanted grandchildren, and one of the ways they show love is food. The boys aren’t even going to be able to walk by the time we leave.” She says with a sigh, leaning back and glancing up at his face. He smiles and leans down, giving her a soft kiss.
“I think the boys will love this. Are you okay with it? Or-” He pauses, looking unsure. “Did I push you into something you didn’t want to do?” She shakes her head rapidly.
“No, no of course not.” She denies. “I <i>want<i> my parents to be part of this side of my life. I’m just...scared.”
“Messing this up.” She says quietly. He lets out a breath before pulling her back into a crushing hug.
“You are not going to mess this up. If anything, I’m going to be the one to mess this up.” Bruce says and she pulls back to frown at him.
“How about, instead of you guys trying to argue over who’s gonna mess it up, you just admit you love each other too much to let it get messed up.” Dick says, strolling into the kitchen with his arms crossed and a knowing smile on his face. Marinette’s frown falls into an easy smile.
“I’m fine with that.” She says, looking back at her boyfriend. Bruce’s face stretches into a loving smile and he nods.
“Damian, sweetheart, Plagg has to stay in the hotel.” Marinette says for the hundredth time.
“But why?” Damian asks...again.
“Cause M said so.” Dick says, butting in. Damian frowns.
“But he’s family.” Damian says, bringing in a new argument.
“My parents don’t know Plagg, sweetheart. They- they don’t know about the kwamis.” She admits, heart clenching. Damian frowns, but nods.
“Okay then.” He says, tilting his head as he looks at her. “Hug?” He asks, and her heart melts as he holds out his arms. Sure, he didn’t love hugs as much as she did, but he was always good at reading people. More so than any other three year old she’d ever met. She wraps him up in a hug, feeling her stress from talking about the kwamis falling away.
“Jason is finally dressed in something other than pajamas. Everyone ready?” Bruce asks, walking into the room. Marinette glances up at him and nods. She starts to let go of Damian, but he tightens his hold. She readjusts her hold, standing up.
“Am I carrying you to the bakery?” She asks with a laugh. Damian simply nods.
“Why, on vacation, do we have to get up so early?” Jason complains, rubbing his eyes as he walks into the room.
“Technically, you’re on vacation til next school year anyway Little Wing.” Dick points out, ruffling Jason’s hair. Jason scowls and shoves him away.
“Boys.” Marinette says, both of them straightening almost immediately.
“Come on, we were meant to be there five minutes ago.” Bruce says, voice tense as he guides everyone out of the room. Marinette adjusts Damian on her hip and raises an eyebrow at the look on her boyfriend’s face.
“Are you nervous?” She asks. Bruce frowns and she gasps. “You are nervous!”
“This is a big deal.” Bruce counters, still frowning.
“Bruce, mon coeur, they’re going to love you. If only because I love you and you love me. And that’s all that matters to them.” She reassures him, reaching over and squeezing his hand.
“Gee, feeling the love.” Jason says, rolling his eyes. Marinette snorts.
“Maman and Papa will love all of you boys, no matter what. I’m sure they’d trade me for you in a heartbeat.” She says. She pauses as they stop in front of the bakery, the place where she grew up. She glances around at her little family, the one she hadn’t expected but would now run through hell to save.
“Let’s do this.”
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Marinette: I hate you.
Damian: Get off my lap, then.
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Marinette: ive only said "i love you" a handful times and meant it- *hisses* and ill be damned if i ever let you into that handful.
Jason: ...thats a long way of saying "i hate you."
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Marinette: You can't just run away from your problems you know
Dick: maybe so, but I can moonwalk away from them
Dick: *almost trips while badly moonwalking away*
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Maribat Incorrect quote #idk
*The whole of the batfamily + Marinette looking at a spider*
Tim : If you bite it and you die, it's poisonous. If it bites you and die, it's venomous
Duke: What if it bites me and it dies?
Marinette : That means you're venomous. Jesus Christ, Duke, learn to listen.
Dick : What if it bites itself and I die?
Duke: That's voodoo.
Stephanie : What if it bites me and someone else dies?
Damian: That's corellation, not causation.
Plagg : What if we bite each other and neither of us die?
Jason : That‘s kinky.
Plagg *smirks*: Yea it is
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Maribat Secret Santa 2021 Interest Form
Hello everyone! The MSS Team is here to say that we might just host this event this year too! But of course, we want to know the voice of the community first to ensure the success of this event!
That’s why we’re sending out an interest form for you to fill out and let us know whether we should launch this event or not!
Here’s our interest form!
This interest form will be open from October 25 (12:00am EST) to November 1 (11:59 EST)!
Hope to hear from you all soon!
-Maribat Secret Santa Team
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MASTERLIST Part of you, just for me
The world is full of soulmates. There are so many different and unique soulmate marks and bonds. So, why’s this one so concerning?
Is it just a childhood obsession or is there something deeper at play?
Is it a stepping stone into becoming a normal child or a fleeting memory of the past?
Only time will tell if fate is what binds them.
Chapter One: Life on the sharp side
Is this just an ADHD obsession or is there something deeper at play?
Chapter Two: Depressed, Suppressed and Emotionally Distressed
Soulmates. They’re everywhere and everyone is supposed to have one. But Damian doesn’t know.
After being through an unbinding ritual as an infant, he grew up knowing he’d never face the weakness that is love.
But why was his heart being pulled in multiple different directions?
Could he ever be happy?
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Canon Adrien = horrible, manipulative, petulant, no boundaries, impulsive, selfish, put on a pedestal by the universe itself
Fanon Adrien = no brain cells, simp (derogatory), says he drinks respect women juice but only sips it to look good, comic relief, still remains just the damsel in distress, queer but it's never elaborated on
My Personal Interpretation of Adrien = asexual, ADHD , trans Ftm, only puts up the the "good boi sunshine" persona in front of his father and even that only lasts a year or two after he gets the ring, starts as the gremlin child but slowly turns into the mom friend, wants to be a science teacher, smart as hell academically, Younger Sibling Syndrome, chugs respect women juice like it's an Olympic sport, believes in the "Daddy issues? Just traumatize your father back." Post, the one that actually lives off coffee
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A Failed Betrothal (9)
Hey, look guys. I am finally updating this fic.
But I also have bad news. I have a very severe case of writer's block with this particular fic and have exams in next month. So I decided to put this on hiatus for the foreseeable future. I really want to finish this and I have some ideas on how to continue but I just don't know how to move this forward. I do want to finish this since it is my first official fic I have posted here.
Thank you everyone who has been following this story so far and for being so patience. There is some good news. I have Chapter 10 half-written and will post it some time if I ever finish it. Love you guys.
(Part 1)(Part 8)
(Words in English is bold)
Chloe watched the scene unfolding in front of the entire school. Marinette and her ‘fake’ boyfriend were ‘tearfully’ saying goodbye. There were a lot of ‘I will miss yous.’, promises and some tears. Honestly, at this point, she was hoping for them to have their tongues down each other's throats. But both of them are too stubborn to admit that they actually like each other. They would be a very cute couple if they actually dated. Fuck that curse that makes them ‘fall in love with each other’. Like it was some Harry Potter bullshit.
Luka even said that their melodies harmonise with each other. That is a sign that they would make the ultimate couple. But no…. Both of them were too stubborn.
If only those two stop dancing around each other.
At least, Tim was still going to be in Paris to help the Miraculous Team’s search for Hawkmoth. The past week had been spent catching up on each other’s life, complaining about hero (vigilante) work and narrowing down the suspect list for Hawkmoth. So far everything has been pointing towards Gabriel Agreste. It would be hilarious if Hawkmoth had had the Black Cat Miraculous under his nose for over a year.
Damian and Marinette had finally finished their act and-
Holy Shit! This must be a dream.
They were kissing.
Full-on lip-locking in front of the entire school.
And where the hell is her phone?!
Chloe frantically looked through her bag. This was a certain possibility that Chloe was hoping would happen when Damian volunteered to be tribute. She needed proof that her ship had sailed and rubbed it in Tim’s face that she had won the bet. (He claims to know his brother and said that his younger brother would never kiss Marinette for the sake of an act.) When her yellow phone emerged from the bottomless pit that was her bag, he was already gone on his way to Gotham. She hoped at least someone got a picture of the kiss. She was not letting Marinette live this down.
“Hey, before I go, Dupain-Cheng, you are tolerable and I wouldn't mind having you as my bride.” Damian said in a low voice. Which sent some shivers through Marinette. It was illegal to sound that sexy.
“Well-,” Marinette cleared her throat as her voice came out in a higher pitch than intended. “Well, you were an amazing fake boyfriend, even if it was for a week and thank you for doing this. Shame that I never got to kiss the Damian Al Ghul Wayne.” She teased.
Damian’s ears tip turned red to which Marinette was proud of until the blood son of Bruce Wayne smirked, looking towards the courtyard where many students were gathered to see the couple’s goodbye.
“We have to fix that, won't we?”
He proceeded to kiss her.
Marinette froze in shock at the contact before her brain kicked in and she began moving her lips against his.
It ended too soon for both their liking.
“You bastard.” Marinette hissed while their foreheads touched each other.
“True. Um... Goodbye, Dupain-Cheng. I have a flight to catch.” Damian said before he got into the car taking him to the airport. His cheeks were flushed. The same went for Marinette.
Marinette admittedly was still very dazed and in a blissful state of mind. Absent-mindedly waving goodbye to the spot where the car was. Damian Wayne was one hell of a kisser. And that bastard had to do it in front of the entire school. How was she supposed to not fall in love after that mind-blowing kiss?!
She wasn’t sure if she would be able to concentrate in class today. (Not that it mattered. She already knows all of the material. She has a few PhDs under her belt and is currently taking some online college courses. Her new role as Ladybug had made her unable to take as many courses as she would have liked in the recent years.)
She was broken out of her state by Chloe and Alix swinging their arms around each of her shoulders.
“Soooo,” Alix began with a teasing smirk “How was it?”
“How was what?”
“Mari-bug, how much did you enjoy your goodbye present? I swear that the entire courtyard got hotter.” Chloe said with too much glee and a glint in her eye which Marinette didn’t like.
“You guys see me kiss Damian all the time. So what if our last kiss before we see each other in person again got a little out of hand?” Marinette tried to shrug it off nonchalantly. Hopefully, the class wouldn’t question the fact that she hadn’t kissed Damian at all until today and Chloe’s insane plan to get Adrien off her back worked. He hasn’t approached her at all since he had tried to prove that Damian was trying to cheat on her with Lila of all people.
Chloe was going to be smug for days over the fact that her plan worked.
“Anyways, we are still on for tonight, right?”
“Yes, Marinette, stop worrying. We will be there. And Tim is getting close to finding well... you-know-who.”
“Who? Who are you trying to find?” The unwanted voice cuts in.
The trio rolled their eyes and proceeded to ignore the orange-clad Liar, switching the topics to Chloe’s mother up-coming fashion show. (Alix just nodded along and hemmed and hawed where appropriate. Pretending to understand the difference between different fabrics and styles.)
“Hey! I was asking you. Who is this you-know-who that you were trying to find?” She blocked their path. They were plotting something for sure. She just has to find out what.
“None of your business, Rossi.” Chloe snapped.
Lila started tearing up, “But I jus- just wanted to ask a question. I- I am sorry if I disturbed you.”
“Lila asked you a question. No need to be so rude about it.” Alya joined in, sneering.
“Well, she was very rudely interrupting our conversation, Alya.” Marinette pointed out.
“Lila is just very sensitive and you made her cry.” Alya said as she comforted the Italian. “You guys are the biggest bully ever to make her cry like this. She asked a question. No need to get so defensive over it. Just answer it.”
The trio resisted to roll their eyes.
Just another day of dealing with Lila’s bullshit and the class’s herd mentality.
Someone knocked on the door of Tim’s room in the Wayne Penthouse. (Room was too generous a word. It was more of a no man’s land after a tornado had gone through it with computer screens everywhere set up like a command centre.)
“Jason, for the last time, I don’t know where your guns are. Don’t you have like trackers on them- oh. Hey, Chloe. Marinette.”
The two Parisian girls came in and made their way through no man’s land, trying to not to step on the mess on the floor. Along with them came the tantalizing aroma of coffee.
Marinette offered Tim the cup of coffee to which he perked up. He snatched it and took a sip, instantly feeling energized.
“Woah, where did you get this?”
“It’s Marinette’s special brew. She makes it when she has lots of commissions or when the finals are coming up. Honestly, I don’t know how she ingests the stuff. It would be better if she sleeps instead.” Chloe replied as she removed some of the things on his bed and made herself comfortable.
“Sleep for the weak, Chloe and it’s normal coffee with some magic infused in it to give me a boost.” Marinette retorted as she sat beside Chloe.
“Normal for you maybe. That stuff has the maximum amount of espresso shots legally allowed.”
Tim took another sip of the nectar of the gods (Marinette mentioned that Kwamis were a little like gods, right? If some of their magic is used in this coffee, then coffee is truly the nectar of the gods.),“You are my most favourite person on the planet right now. (Kon was off-planet) This is Heaven, Paradise and every good thing in the world in a cup. You are my new bestie.”
“You have to fight Queenie for the title and it’s nothing. I thought you might need it. This is the least I can do for all your help.”
“Well, your theory seems to check out,” Tim replied, “You said the Butterfly and Peacock brooches were lost in Tibet years ago, right? Gabriel Agreste and Emilie Graham De Vanily, his then girlfriend and now ‘late’ wife, were there on their around-the-world trip and one of their stops happened to be Tibet, specifically the area where you said the Miracle Temple would be. And I matched up the lack of akuma attacks with the periods of time when Agreste was out of town. It mostly matches up although there are a few inconsistencies. It’s possible that Mayura was using the Butterfly during that time to throw us off track because his assistant and the top suspect for Mayura, Natalie Sancouer, had stayed behind during those trips when the akuma attacks happened. At least, that’s the theory. I also found something you might find interesting in the blueprints of the Agreste Mansion.”
Tim tapped on his keyboard a few times, pulling up the plans for a butterfly window and an underground lair on one of the screens before showing the two girls.
“The workers were paid off to keep this a secret. Oracle, our resident tech genius back in Gotham, found something else too. A few months before Hawkmoth’s first debut, Gabriel Agreste purchased everything necessary for a butterfly garden. There are also a lot of receipts for butterflies which I bet is how he has a constant supply of akumas.”
“So either Gabriel is secretly a butterfly enthusiast or he is Hawkmoth.” Marinette groaned at how the man didn't know the meaning of subtle, “How have we not caught him yet?”
Chloe side-hugged the ravenette, “He’s a coward that doesn’t come out of his dark hole that often because he knows you would utterly destroy him when he does appear and you are not preoccupied with saving Paris. I mean your mother is an assassin for crying out loud.”
“Yeah, I would.” Marinette absent-mindedly nodded in agreement before stiffening as she realized what Chloe said.
Marinette went out of her embrace and looked at her with a sharp look, “Wait. What did you just say, Chloe?”
Chloe scoffed, “Don’t try denying it, Dupain-Cheng. The room full of weapons your family has, how good at martial arts your mom is, how you don’t flinch at the sight of blood.” She listed off the reasons with her fingers.
“That- That doesn’t mean anything and there are perfectly reasonable explanations for them-” Marinette denied.
“And you really should be careful when you talk about things that are supposed to be secrets in public places. I know and understand Japanese too, Mari-bug. I heard you and Damian talking about having assassins for mothers on one of your ‘dates’.” Chloe smugly said.
Marinette sighed and flopped onto Tim’s comfortable bed, knowing there’s no point in keeping Chloe from snooping further into her family business.
“As long as you don’t go around telling the others about my family secret, I won’t have to cut out your tongue.”
“Or your fingers,” she added as an afterthought as she brought out her hidden switchblade and started playing with it. “And remember that I am good with needles and threads and know how to hold someone down while sewing their mouth shut.” She pointed her blade in Chloe’s direction.
Chloe nervously moved away from the bed, closer to Tim and hid her hands under her legs. Tim scooted away not wanting to be near a possible dead-woman walking, childhood promises be damned. He lived with assassins for siblings, and knows that threats like that are very real.
“You are joking, right?” The blonde said. “I mean, I did apologize for bullying you all those years ago. We are friends now.”
“Maman takes her secrets seriously, especially this one. But I think she trusts you enough to keep something as important as this. Although you did just say it in front of Tim. Superhero or- Sorry I mean Vigilante or not, that is not something you should casually bring up in a conversation in front of anyone.”
“You can tell Mama Cheng that I am not going to do that anymore. And I will take this secret to my grave. Promise.”
“You better or you get into it earlier than you think. So Tim, I don’t know you very well but can I trust you to keep my family secret as well?”
Tim didn’t like the way she was looking at him. He tried not to show how unnerved he was with the look in her eye. He had faced many different villains and psychopaths. Something tells him that Marinette was better to have as an ally than an enemy.
“Yeah. Yes. Definitely. I would very much like to keep my tongue and my fingers.” He quickly replied. He was also not willing to lose any more of his body parts. Thank you very much.
“Great, now that’s settled.” Marinette put away her switchblade and clasped her hand in front of her, all the while with a smirk on her face that would not bode well for Hawkmoth. (Somewhere across Paris in his mansion, Gabriel felt a chill run up his spine.)
“Let’s get started on our game plan.”
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2020′s Top Ships
Basically, there is only one OTP, and it's whoever you like together best.
Rey & Kylo Ren, the Star Wars universe
Catra & Adora, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Richie Tozier & Eddie Kaspbrak, It
Geralt of Rivia & Jaskier, The Witcher
Ineffable Husbands -4
Aziraphale & Crowley, Good Omens
Zuko & Sokka, Avatar: The Last Airbender
Luz Noceda & Amity Blight, The Owl House
Kara Danvers & Lena Luthor, Supergirl
Park Jimin & Jeon Jungkook, BTS
Dean Winchester & Castiel, Supernatural
Kirishima Eijirou & Bakugou Katsuki, Boku No Hero Academia
Yang Xiao Long & Blake Belladonna, RWBY
Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian, Mo Dao Zu Shi
Jonathan Sims & Martin Blackwood, The Magnus Archives
Bakugou Katsuki & Midoriya Izuku, Boku No Hero Academia
Draco Malfoy & Harry Potter, the Harry Potter universe
Ian Gallagher & Mickey Milkovich, Shameless
Steve Rogers & Bucky Barnes, the Marvel universe
Zuko & Katara, Avatar: The Last Airbender
Keith & Lance, Voltron: Legendary Defender
Christen Press & Tobin Heath, Athletes
Korra & Asami Sato, The Legend of Korra
Bellamy Blake & Clarke Griffin, The 100
Zim & Dib, Invader Zim
Finn & Poe Dameron, the Star Wars universe
Evan Buckley & Edmundo Diaz, 9-1-1
Todoroki Shouto & Midoriya Izuku, Boku No Hero Academia
Entrapta & Hordak, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Uchiha Sasuke & Haruno Sakura, Naruto
Waverly Earp & Nicole Haught, Wynonna Earp
Ben Mitchell & Callum Highway, EastEnders
Steve Harrington & Billy Hargrove, Stranger Things
Kageyama Tobio & Hinata Shouyou, Haikyuu!!
Joe x Nicky
Joe (Yusuf Al-Kaysani) & Nicky (Niccolò di Genova), The Old Guard
Aizawa Shouta & Yamada Hizashi, Boku no Hero Academia
Marinette Dupain-Cheng & Damian Wayne, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir x The DC Universe
Hannibal Lecter & Will Graham, Hannibal
Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe, Anne with an E
Remus Lupin & Sirius Black, the Harry Potter universe
Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy, the DC Universe
Daniel Howell & Phil Lester, YouTubers
Merlin & Arthur Pendragon, Merlin
Larry Stylinson +30
Harry Styles & Louis Tomlinson, One Direction
Callum & Rayla, The Dragon Prince
Michael Guerin & Alex Manes, Roswell, New Mexico
Adrien Agreste & Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Ladybug & Chat Noir, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Connie Maheswaran & Steven Universe, Steven Universe
Stiles Stilinski & Derek Hale, Teen Wolf
Marinette Dupain-Cheng & Chat Noir, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Steve Rogers & Tony Stark, the Marvel universe
Dabi & Hawks, Boku no Hero Academia
Villanelle & Eve Polastri, Killing Eve
Princey & Anxiety, Thomas Sanders
Tony Stark & Dr. Steven Strange, the Marvel universe
Robbe x Sander
Robbe Ijzermans & Sander Driesen, WTFock
Percy Jackson & Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Kim Taehyung & Jeon Jungkook, BTS
Katara & Aang, Avatar: The Last Airbender
Betty Cooper & Jughead Jones, Riverdale
Karlie Kloss & Taylor Swift, celebrities
Cole Sprouse & Lili Reinhart, Actors
Phoenix Wright & Miles Edgeworth, Ace Attorney
Clover Ebi & Qrow Branwen, RWBY
Natsu Dragneel & Lucy Heartfilia, Fairy Tail
Carol Peletier & Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead
Beauregard & Jester Lavorre, Critical Role
Draco Malfoy & Hermione Granger, the Harry Potter universe
Alastor & Angel Dust, Hazbin Hotel
Chloe Decker & Lucifer Morningstar, Lucifer
Bokuto Kotarou & Akaashi Keiji, Haikyuu!!
Magnus Bane & Alec Lightwood, Shadowhunters
Spock & James Kirk, Star Trek
Dave Strider & Karkat Vantas, Homestuck
Charlie Magne & Hazbin Alastor, Hazbin Hotel
Elsa & Honeymaren, Frozen II
Clarke Griffin & Commander Lexa, The 100
Cloud Strife & Tifa Lockhart, the Final Fantasy franchise
Kylo Ren & General Hux, the Star Wars universe
Glimmer & Bow, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Weiss Schnee & Ruby Rose, RWBY
Juliana Valdés & Valentina Carvajal, Amar a muerte
Simon Snow & Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch, Carry On
Kim Taehyung & Park Jimin, BTS
Zelda & Link, The Legend of Zelda
Eliott Demaury & Lucas Lallemant, SKAM France
Luka Couffaine & Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
TK Strand & Carlos Reyes, 9-1-1: Lone Star
Jake Peralta & Amy Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Caleb Widogast & Jester Lavorre, Critical Role
Dimitri & Byleth, Fire Emblem
Will Solace & Nico di Angelo, Percy Jackson
Iwaizumi Hajime & Oikawa Tooru, Haikyuu!!
John Watson & Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock
Adam Parrish & Ronan Lynch, The Raven Cycle
Gavin Reed & RK900, Detroit: Become Human
Casey Gardner & Izzie, Atypical
Gordon Freeman & Benrey, Half-Life VR but the AI is Self-Aware
Todoroki Shouto & Bakugou Katsuki, Boku no Hero Academia
Kristoff Bjorgman & Anna, Frozen
The number in italics indicates how many spots a ship moved up or down from the previous year. The ones in bold weren’t on the list last year.
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Okay I absolutely adore Maribat fics where Marinette’s core squad is Adrien, Luka, Chloe, and Kagami because it implies that this girl for some reason just??? exudes rich kid pheromones or something? Like you got the son of the Douchebag Fashion Icon, the son of international rock legend Jagged Stone (which finally became canon!!), the daughter of the mayor and the Style Queen, and a fencing prodigy from a bloodline of famous fencers. Then you add in the hc that Marinette is already a successful fashion designer who goes by the pseudonym MDC and you’re set. These children are unnervingly elite; I would honestly be SO intimidated.
BUT THEN you throw in the batboys, who always end up becoming homies with our resident rich kid beacon, and now you’ve got a combined net worth high enough to buy a medium sized country. Like this is how I imagine this scenario playing out...
[Lila heavily implying that Marinette is a gold digger or a leech because she hasn’t revealed herself as MDC to the public yet, so she just looks like the one middle-class Average Friend TM to the public]
Kagami: Bold of you to assume that she’s the one who sought us out and it wasn’t just us aggressively befriending her.
Luka: We vibed with her for like five minutes and then bam immediately developed separation anxiety.
Adrien: Our current theory is that Mari just radiates mom vibes, and since all of our parents are either oppressive, uninvolved, or a weird combination of the two, we all just kinda latched onto her as the closest thing to a parental figure in our lives. Sure, our parents forget that we exist unless it benefits them, but Marinette is always down to feed you and smother you with affection.
*Cue the realization as to why it was so easy to become friends with Marinette smacking the batboys in the face*
Chloe: And then we realized that she is an absolute dumpster fire of a human being because of her self destructively generous personality, so now we stick around to make sure the dumbass doesn’t accidentally die from dehydration or a misplaced paperclip.
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The Strings that Bind Us: Ch. 12
Day 12: Have I ever told you
A frightened scream from the next room makes Marinette jump out of her bed and run. Bruce was on patrol, Jason was staying at Dick’s, but Damian- She throws open Damian’s door, her heart clenching at the sight. He was curled into a tiny ball, and even though it was dark she could see the tears on his face- the telltale signs of another nightmare. He glances up at her, but shrinks back, hiding his face in the covers.
“Damian? Sweetheart, are you okay?” She asks softly. He huffs and turns away from her, but she can still see the way he trembles slightly. Curling up in the armchair next to his bed, Marinette hums a lullaby her maman used to sing to her, softly. Slowly but surely, the trembling stops.
“Minou?” Marinette says softly.
“Why doesn’t Mother like me?” Damian’s voice is so soft, she barely catches it. Her breath catches in her throat as a flurry of emotions rushes over her. Sorrow for the boy, anger at his mother. A million thoughts rush through her head as she tries to search for the right answer. What do you say to that? How are you supposed to answer a question like that?
“I think,” She starts, frowning deeply, thankful that Damian isn’t looking at her. “I think that your mother’s priorities are a little off. But sweetheart, there are so many people who love you. Your brothers love you, Alfred loves you, your dad loves you, I love you.” She says- not quite answering his question. Instead, she was trying to reassure him that people did love him. Cared about him.
“Have I ever told you about the time I got swallowed by a t-rex?” She asks suddenly, wincing at her lack of tact. But even though he acts like a much older child at times, Damian is still only three. And so he immediately sits up and looks at her with wide eyes.
“You?” He asks, and she nods. He frowns, but scoots to the side of the bed and she immediately takes the silent invitation to sit next to him. He crawls into her lap and she wraps her arms around him, hoping he can feel how much she cares about him.
“I was thirteen, and a little too confident…”
Bruce walks into his room and frowns. Though he hadn’t officially asked Marinette to move in, she stayed at the manor more than her own apartment. Which made the fact that she wasn’t here even stranger. Quickly changing into his pajamas, he walks out to check on Damian. Pushing open Damian’s door, he smiles softly at the sight. He should’ve guessed Marinette was with Damian. Although his son was still weary of him, he adored Marinette. Not that that was a surprise, all of his sons did.
“Bruce?” Her voice floats over to him, and he grins at her sleepy tone.
“Just checking on you.” He says, stepping into the room so that he can keep his voice soft.
“Come, sleep.” She mumbles, moving slightly. He nods, walking in and closing the door. He climbs into bed next to her and wraps his arms around both of them, kissing his girlfriend’s cheek softly. His chest warms as he glances down at his girlfriend and his son, safe and happy.
“Maman, release me.” A tiny voice demands, stirring her from her sleep. Marinette blinks, yelping as she opens her eyes to see bright green eyes right in front of her face.
“What’s wrong?” A voice mumbles into her hair, and she instantly relaxes.
“Your son terrified me.” Marinette says simply, laughing at the offended look on Damian’s face.
“Thought he was ours.” Bruce replies, making her cheeks heat up.
“Mmm, he’s only yours between the hours of 5 and 7am. Those are the hours that I should not be awake.” Marinette teases, poking Damian’s nose.
“Maman.” He says again, sighing. Marinette lets him go and he scurries off the bed, rushing to the bathroom. She turns to face Bruce, burrowing herself into his chest.
“I love you.” She says.
“And I you.” He says, kissing the top of her head. She tilts her head up, catching his lips in a quick kiss before sitting up and stretching.
"Since I'm already up, you think the boys will come home for breakfast if I make crepes?" She asks, sliding off the bed.
"Most likely. Do you want me to ask?"
"No, I will. Do you want coffee?" She asks, almost to the door. He nods, and as she walks out she hears Damian say:
"Did you know Maman was eaten by a dinosaur?" She rushes to the kitchen before Bruce can ask any questions.
As she'd expected, Damian demands that she tell everyone the dinosaur story at breakfast. Which leads to her telling stories of some of the kinder akumas. Before Hawkmoth started sending out one heavy hitter after another.
"Wait, so this man turned into a giant ice cream monster? Dick asks, an amused smile on his face. Marinette huffs.
"Yes! And it wasn't just once, it happened a few times. Laugh it up kiddo, but sentient ice cream is scarier than it sounds." She teases, not missing the way Damian snickers behind his hand.
“Paris was crazy.” Jason says, shoveling another crepe into his mouth.
“Oh yeah.” She agrees, memories of tougher akumas assaulting her mind. She blinks hard, pulling herself from her impending spiral before she can let it completely take her over. She was safe here, Hawkmoth was gone and had been for nearly three years. In fact….she thinks back to the calendar on the fridge and her eyes widen as she gasps.
“Are you okay, love?” Bruce asks, reaching over and holding her hand. She nods, her shocked expression falling into an easy smile.
“I just realized, the anniversary of Hawkmoth’s defeat is coming soon.” She says, almost surprised that she’d forgotten about it. But, then again, her life had been a little crazy lately.
“Isn’t there a holiday in Paris for that?” Bruce asks, and she nods. “And doesn’t Ladybug usually make an appearance?” He adds. She frowns.
“Well, yes. But Ladybug also lived in Paris for the first two anniversaries.” She says, gesturing around at the boys. “My home isn’t in Paris anymore.”
“Geeze Ma, you’re so sappy.” Jason teases before his eyes widen and he freezes slightly. Although she wants to cheer and dance around the room, she doesn’t. Afraid that if she made it a big deal, Jason would stop calling her ‘Ma’ or ‘Mom’ again.
“I’m allowed to be sappy, mon chou.” Marinette says lightly, rolling her eyes fondly.
“When is it, exactly?” Bruce asks, a calculating look on his face.
“Thursday is the actual anniversary and schools will be closed that day. But the parade and gala are scheduled for Friday. Thursday is more of a ‘celebrate with family’ situation.” She explains. Bruce nods, the slight twitch of his brow Marinette’s only hint that he’s planning something. A sudden realization has her dreading whatever her boyfriend is planning. After all, he hadn’t met her parents yet. Or her friends. Merde, she was going to hear it from Adrien if the family made their way to Paris. Bruce stands suddenly, leaning over and kissing her softly.
“I have some plans to finalize, love. I’ll see you later?” He says, and she nods, smiling softly at him. She watches as he walks away, until Dick snorts.
“Checking out the ‘butt’s match’ theory in person, M?” He asks with a grin. Marinette’s entire face heats up as she shakes her head rapidly.
“What? No, no of course not. Why would-”
“Maman.” Damian says, breaking her from her panicked ramble.
“Yes, minou?” She says, blinking.
“Plagg is out of cheese.”
Tag list: @maribat-october-rarepairs @ashbrea381writings @jayjayspixiepop @toodaloo-kangaroo @galla02006 @ritacrow-blog @liquid-luck-00 @corporeal-terrestrial @crazylittlemunchkin @tazanna-blythe
Permanent tag list: @stainedglassm @kittenmywaythrulife @laydeekrayzee @doll246 @queenz-z @deathssilentapproach-blog @literaryhiraeth @unoriginalmess @kking13
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Tim wants a MDC original
TRIGGER WARNING: this has some blatant racism that does not reflect my views
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Lounge: so? Gonna kill me? Or..?
Red Hood: God, you don't know shit, do you? Batman doesn't kill.
Batman: *mutters under his breath* [kind of getting to my limit, to be honest.]
Red Hood: *silences his speaker and whips his head towards Bruce* [OH, SO THE ROGUE VIGILANTE IS MAKING YOU SECOND GUESS YOUR KILLING RULE, BUT A MURDER CLOWN ISN'T ENOUGH?]
Batman: *looks away from him* [m'joking.]
Red Hood: [WHAT THE FUCK, BRUCE!]
Red Hood: *hisses* [you don't joke about murder.]
Batman: [for someone so adamant on not joking about murder, you seem to do it an awful lot.]
Red Hood: [oh you little BITCH-]
Lounge: not that im not entertained by this one way conversation, but are you guys gonna kill me or not?
Red Hood: *clicks on his speaker* [NO.]
Batman: *smirks viciously* [possibly.]
Red Hood: [you absolute Baboon-NO.] *points his finger in Bruce's face and silences his speaker again* [you are not going to go through a fun corruption ark while im in charge of you. Do that on your own time when Dick's on planet!]
Batman: *amused* [why?]
Red Hood: *incoherent scream*
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So I’m just going to go ahead and apologize for this in advance. My brain has decided it doesn’t want to concentrate on any of my current WIPs and keeps throwing new ideas at me. This may or may not be a one shot, but I’m hoping that writing some of the other ideas will let me get back to the rest of my in progress fics. So, yeah here goes nothing.
“Bruce Wayne said what to you?!” Adrien winced at Mari’s tone. The sheer rage in it was enough to make most people duck and run. Unfortunately he didn’t have that option unless he wanted her to commit murder.
“He was just being honest. I’d rather deal with that than the brush offs, false promises, and fear I get from everyone else.” He wasn’t prepared for the fierce hug Mari pulled him into but he automatically went boneless against her. Ever since his father had been unmasked and they’d revealed identities, Mari became insanely protective of him. Very few people had stuck with him, period, but their bond was different. No one else knew about the Miraculous and their Guardian so he was the only one she could confide in, and she was the only one he could talk to about what he’d been through as Chat Noir.
“You need to hire a new head designer and show all those assholes what a huge mistake they made.” His head was still buried against her shoulder but he pulled back to give her a dry look.
“I’ve been trying. No one is willing to ruin their career by working with me.” The look he got in return said she thought he was an idiot.
“I happen to know of a talented up and coming and connected designer you haven’t bothered to ask who would love to help you rebrand.” That couldn’t be right. He’d contacted everyone in the industry. She just looked more annoyed at his confusion and it finally clicked.
“Mari, I’m not about to destroy your career before it really starts. Beside which, you’ve got more than enough on your plate without getting pulled into my mess.” She had the audacity to roll her eyes at him.
“You need to look at this as a businessman instead of a friend, Chaton. I’m already known for being unconventional and you want to move away from high fashion. It’s the perfect partnership to attract a younger market and we already know we work well together. Besides, worst case scenario we tank, I become Jagged’s personal designer full time, and you can be my PA.”
That… actually made a lot of sense. Mari had been moving away from the traditional fashion world ever since Jagged started commissioning her. After what happened with his father she had just as much reason, just as much right, to dismantle everything he’d built and turn it into something he’d hate. Something that was uniquely them. Just thinking of the aneurysm it would cause Gabriel in prison was enough to put a manic grin on his face.
“Let’s do this.”
There was a shrill scream coming from Tim’s office and Bruce ran in expecting to see gunmen at a minimum. Instead, it was just Tim, staring at his computer in horror.
“Please tell me you didn’t delete the presentation for this afternoon.” He couldn’t help the exasperation in his voice. After doubling down on Bruce’s own paranoia, he’d made it so that anything he deleted was irretrievable. It had already caused more than a few crises when he was sleep deprived and hit the wrong button. Tim blinked at him.
“What exactly did you say to Adrien Agreste when he suggested a collaboration?” It was his turn to blink at that. The function that conversation happened at was months ago and as far as he knew, none of his children were aware of it.
“I told him there was no point since Gabriel was likely going out of business in a few months and we could simply buy any assets and hire any employees we’re interested in.” Tim’s groan was interrupted by a thud as his head hit the desk. Knowing he wasn’t going to get an explanation, Bruce walked around the desk to look at the article Tim had been reading. It announced the rebranding of Gabriel as well as a new head designer. The designer was quoted as saying that after a discussion between Bruce Wayne and their partner, they believe there are too many fundamental differences for them to work with him, his company, or any of his subsidiaries.
“Who is JHN?” The glare Tim shot him held disgust as well as anger.
“Only the best up and coming designer who Dick and I have been trying to commission for two years now. Unfortunately no one seems to know, or be willing to divulge who they are and the only way to get a commission is to be referred by one of their current customers. That was difficult enough and now you’ve gotten us blacklisted.” The bitterness in his tone almost overrode Bruce’s shock.
“You can’t find any personal information on them?” That was more than a little concerning since they were working with the son of a terrorist. “We need to be at that launch party.” Tim scoffed.
“Good luck with that. Pretty sure we’re not on the guest list.”
Marinette had a streak of pettiness in her that rarely had a chance to surface. When she suggested to Adrien that they invite the Waynes to the launch as a sign that there were no hard feelings, he hadn’t questioned it. The poor, sweet boy had no idea what she was planning, but if things went well she’d be eviscerating Bruce Wayne in person. It wasn’t until they were waiting backstage for Jagged to announce them that Adrien seemed to catch on to her plotting.
“You and Jagged don’t have anymore surprises planned for me do you?” She let out a giggle at that. Jagged had insisted on surprising Adrien with a brand new grand piano to celebrate the launch. When Gabriel had gone to jail, Adrien sold just about everything to donate to charities for Akuma victims, but he’d missed playing far more than he’d thought. He ended up getting an electric keyboard, which Jagged had called sacrilegious.
“I promise that was the only thing we planned together. I will be just as shocked as you at whatever he says before he introduces us.” Adrien let out an amused snort.
“You think he’ll explain how you got your moniker?” She could only roll her eyes at that.
“I hope not, since I’ll have to put out a press release to explain what actually happened.” She loved the man but he embellished the story more every time he told it. “Penny promised me she would try to dissuade him if he brought it up, but we’re hoping he forgets about it.”
“You are the lucky one.” Adrien proved to be right on that. Jagged rambled about how they were two of his favorite people, but didn’t mention that at all. Granted, she zoned out a little bit until she heard their names.
“So, it is my honor to introduce Adrien and Marinette Dupain-Cheng!” Marinette grinned wide at the name as they walked on stage. Not many people knew that her parents had adopted Adrien after Gabriel went to jail. The legal proceedings were sealed for the safety of everyone involved.
After that it was pictures and questions from reporters. She got to tell them the real story behind her design alias. She took too long to come up with one so Jagged started calling her JHN, for Jagged’s honorary niece, and it stuck.
Adrien had lost Mari in the crowd and that worried him. He could tell she was up to something and the fact that she’d deliberately ditched him to do it was concerning. He was trying to find her when two of Bruce Wayne’s sons cornered him.
“Congratulations on you launch, and getting possibly the most talented designer in the business. I’m Dick and this is Tim.” Dick was being too cheerful for it to be genuine and it immediately put his back up. Before he could give one of his polite, rehearsed replies, Tim spoke up.
“Yeah, how’d you manage that by the way?” His tone implied that there was something nefarious going on and Adrien couldn’t help the frustrated sigh that left his mouth. Everyone expected him to turn out like his father and he was just tired of it.
“Since you won’t believe anything I say anyway you should just ask Mari. I’d pick a different tone though. She really doesn't like people making assumptions about me.” He’d had to ban her from business meetings after she threw a stapler at someone.
“How dare you, you bastard!” His head whipped around at Mari’s yell and he found her squaring off with Bruce Wayne.
“Oh shit.” He took off running, only partly aware that Dick and Tim were on his heels. He managed to get in front of Mari just as she was about to lunge at the man. “Mari, stop. You can’t attack Bruce Wayne.” He meant to sound assertive but it just came out exasperated.
“The hell I can’t! He basically accused me of having Stockholm syndrome and you of holding me hostage.” Adrien couldn’t say he was surprised given the rumors going around. He really wished the man had accused him directly instead of going through Mari though. Before he could try to calm her down Mr. Wayne decided it was a good idea to continue.
“How do you explain the partnership then? Let alone the marriage? He’s just using your name for his own personal gain.” Adrien shared a confused look with Mari. Marriage? Surely he didn’t think… Mari started giggling and he couldn’t hold back his own laughter. They ended up barely propping each other up and gasping for air. It obviously annoyed Mr. Wayne but his sons just looked confused. Mari recovered first and he decided to just get out of her way.
“First of all, there is no marriage. We share the same last name because we’re siblings. Something you of all people should understand given your adoption fetish.” The boys both had ‘oh shit’ looks on their faces but Mr. Wayne’s expression didn’t change. “Second, the partnership was my idea after you told Adrien you were basically waiting to loot his company.” He tried to sputter out a denial but she cut him off. “Save it. I don’t care who you think you are or how much money you have. No one gets to my family without going through me first.” Another boy with a white streak in his hair gave an amused snort and Adrien motioned frantically at him from behind his sister. Yes, Mari didn’t necessarily look intimidating but she was fierce and fought dirty. “Laugh it up spot. You all refuse to even look past who Adrien’s father is so I’ll do the same and assume you’re all judgmental assholes like yours. Let’s go.” Adrien shot an apologetic grimace at them as Mari pulled him away.
“Did she just call me spot?” The boy didn’t seem to know if he should be amused or insulted.
“Damnit Bruce! Now we’ll never get a commission.” Tim’s words brought an amused smirk to Mari’s lips and Adrien could practically hear the wheels turning in her head. He honestly felt sorry for Bruce Wayne. The man had no idea he’d fired the first shots in a war he was destined to lose.
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Timinette Incorrect quotes #3
Marinette with Tim: hey what time is it?
Tim: I don't know, pass me that trumpet and we'll find out
Tim: *plays trumpet loudly and out of tune*
Jason: WHO THE HELL IS PLAYING TRUMPET AT TWO IN THE MORNING
Tim: its 2 am
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Hawkmoth was a bitch, and Marinette meant that with every fiber of her soul. Fu was also a bitch, and Marinette actually had good memories of the guy. Not many, but she had some. The fact that the guy got two ten-year-olds to become super heroes and fight a supervillain for him kinda soured those memories, though. But with Chat Noir not allowed to leave his house? Yeah, even as young as they were it only took about a year to find out who HawkMoth was and another year to take him down.
Except, that left Marinette alone. The final battle took her mom away, and Chat had to move out of Paris after his dad was arrested. Luckily Jagged allowed her and her papa to move into his house in Gotham, and everything was…
Well, it was okay. For about a month.
Then her dad was gone too, and she had no way to talk to Jagged, and the police were scaring her—
Yeah, that was the basic order of events that led to where she was now. Pushing fourteen years old, ex-superhero, protector of a magical box of gods, stealing the tires off of a very nice motorcycle.
Marinette was tempted to just take the whole thing, she loved bikes and knew she could drive it. But the thing had more security than she knew what to do with, and the fact that it belonged to Red Hood… she didn’t want to deal with trackers today, thanks. So the tires it was.
Should she maybe care more about the fact that she was stealing from a vigilante with a violent streak? Maybe. Did she? Hell no. For all she knew, maybe Red Hood was a bitch too. (Yes, she was still learning English slang. She was fluent by educational standards, but learning how to curse in a foreign language was fun and she still had a little bit to go. Her few street friends were very happy to help).
A shadow dropped down in front of her, and Marinette’s hero instincts kicked in. The tire iron she was using cut through the air, slamming right into the side of Red Hood’s knee.
“Hood,” Batman’s voice grumbled over the comms, instantly grabbing the attention of everyone else who was on the comms. It wasn’t as gruff as he usually sounded, in fact it almost sounded like… he was trying not to laugh?
“Did you get gassed by Joker?” Dick asked before Jason got a chance to respond. “Need backup?”
“No,” Batman responded, sounding a little more composed. “Not a rogue. But Hood, I need you to join me at my location as soon as possible.”
Finally getting the chance to talk, Jason responded a little warily; “Sure, B. Wait,” he blinked at the location that was sent to him. “Isn’t that where my bike is parked?”
Batman didn’t respond at first, only the sound of labored breathing— again, as if he was trying not to laugh. “Just get here, Hood.”
Sighing, but not too mad since the night had been fairly quiet so far, Jason decided to humor the old man and head over. When he could see the cape-clad back of Batman, he easily leapt over the last roof and sauntered over.
“Okay, B,” he had his thumbs tucked in his pockets as he drawled. “What’s the issue?”
Batman was grinning. As in, actually showing amusement. And he just pointed down, straight at Hood’s bike.
Jason rolled his eyes under his helmet, turning to look. At first he didn’t see anything amiss, until he saw movement and looked harder. Oh. Oh, holy shit.
“Is that a kid?”
“Yep,” Batman’s grin grew.
“Is she… stealing my tires?” Hood was so, so glad he wore a helmet that hid his expression. Because… wow.
“Yep,” Batman finally lost his composure, chuckling. “This seems like Karma, don’t you think?”
“And you just watched her so you could rub it in,” Jason groaned, throwing his head back in exasperation. Of course he would. Nobody knew it (except the other heroes who knew him) but Batman was a petty little jerk when he wanted to be. He bought the whole Daily Planet just to spite Clark, for crying out loud.
“Don’t adopt her,” Batman said as he stood up, patting Red Hood’s shoulder. “It looks like she’s almost done.”
“Shit,” Jason hissed, looking down to see that she was, actually, very close to being done. She had already had one tire completely free by the time he had arrived, and now she was only seconds away from getting the other one completely free.
He took a quick assessment— she was tiny, and really thin. Definitely a street kid, he thought, though he didn’t recognize her. He knew most of the street kids that stole to get by, nowadays, which meant she must have been fairly new. But even though she seemed to know what she was doing, her small frame made her take longer unscrewing the tires than it normally would have taken. Sure that she wasn’t a threat by any stretch of the imagination, he jumped down. His plan had been to startle her a little by showing up out of nowhere, but he didn’t want to scare her too badly. Just make her jump a little.
But he had underestimated her, it seemed. Without wasting a second, she jumped up and swung her tire iron at his knee. He cursed, she was a lot faster than her had been expecting. He was able to move so that the weapon only clipped the side of his knee, his knee pad thankfully taking the worst of it. She still hit hard enough to make him stumble and hiss in pain though, which was an accomplishment.
That’s when she abandoned her weapon and her tires, darting to try and escape only for Batman to drop down and block her escape. Though really, it was the grin Batman had that scared the girl most of all, apparently, making her slowly back away from him.
“Please stop smiling,” she begged with a faint French accent to her words. “It is not natural.”
That made Red Hood laugh, already recovered and right behind her. He plopped a gloved hand on her head.
“I know, it’s creepy right?” He joked. “What’cha doin’ stealing my tires, kid? I kinda need them to drive anywhere,” he was careful to keep his voice light and devoid of any anger. He wasn’t really upset, all told. It would be hypocritical of him if he was.
She looked between the two vigilantes for a moment, clear intelligence behind those bright blue eyes as she seemed to consider something. Suddenly she pulled away from Red Hood and stepped away from his reach, straightening up and trying to look tall.
“My name is Marinette Dupain-Cheng,” she said as firmly as she could. “My father was Tom Dupain, he was killed in a mugging three months ago. We were living in a house that our family friend leant to us after my mother’s death six months ago, and we moved here from Paris. I haven’t been able to contact him, and the police… I don’t trust them,” she admitted, clearly seeing this as the chance she had been waiting for. “I have been living on the streets since my father died. I am sorry for trying to steal your tires, Monsieur Red Hood. But it was a risk I had to take.”
“Did you expect us to catch you?” He asked, crossing his arms as he re-evaluated the girl. She was a lot stronger than he had assumed earlier, both physically and mentally. She seesawed her hand to indicate ‘kinda’.
“Even if you didn’t, I could make good money off your tires,” she justified with a shrug. “To me, I would win either way.”
“Who is your family friend? Can he help you now, take you in?” Batman asked, moving forward and kneeling down to be closer to Marinette’s height. Neither he nor Jason had missed the part where she was an orphan, but they had expected that considering what they had caught her doing. And they both knew that she wasn’t likely to take any apologies they tried to offer very well. It was best not to show pity, or she might get angry.
Marinette frowned. “... Our family friend is Jagged Stone. He lets me call him Uncle Jagged,” she told them, clearly expecting the disbelieving grunts they gave. “I mean it! You can call him, he might even be looking for me! I—“
“We know,” Hood assured her, now kneeling down as well. Man, she was short. “Calm down, we know you’re telling the truth. Jagged has made several public announcements about his missing honorary niece, we just didn’t recognize your name right away. And Jagged doesn’t have access to very many pictures of you, those he does have the Mayor isn’t allowing him to show because that spineless jackass—“
“—Cares more about keeping bad press off the air than finding a kid, even if it’s a world famous rockstar who’s asking. That’s probably why you haven’t heard anything, the mayor’s keeping it off the radio and not many reporters are brave enough to take the story and get on his bad side.”
“Oh…” Marinette took a deep breath, fighting the tears that were threatening to rise up. “He has been looking…” she sniffled, curling in on herself a little. “Can you take me to him?”
“I think we can do that,” Batman agreed, standing up. “I’ll contact him. Red Hood, can you handle everything here until I give you a place to meet up with Jagged Stone?”
Jason nodded. “No problem, B. Come on, little rabid pixie. Step one of gettin’ you back to your uncle is to help me fix my bike back up.”
Marinette sighed, shoulders dropping. “All my hard work, undone…” she playfully complained. But in the end she didn’t argue or fight against it, she just sat down and helped him reattach his tires.
All the while, Jason’s family kept teasing him over the comms. Clearly they were also thoroughly amused by the cosmic display of karma.
“...Monsieur Hood,” Marinette asked once they were done repairing the motorcycle and he had given her his too-big extra helmet. He tilted his head a bit to show he was listening. She squirmed. “Can… can we stop by my hideout? I have something really important I have to get.”
Jason smiles gently under his mask. She might not have been a street kid for very long, but she really did bring back some memories for him. He got on his bike and held a hand out to her.
“Sure thing kid. Wanna grab something to eat after? Can’t have a reunion on an empty stomach.”
She gave him a lopsided smile— not quite overjoyed, but definitely hopeful and thankful. Maybe this was the end of her streak of bad luck, she could only hope.
“Only if you don’t mind, Monsieur Hood,” she agreed before taking his hand and letting him help her onto the bike.
“No skin off my back, pixie,” he assured her. Then they were off. He followed her directions until they got to an abandoned building about three miles away, not in a good part of town at all but at least not in crime alley. Marinette easily led him through the building, skirting around other piles of ratty blankets and up broken stairs until they got to the badly-maintained top floor. She led him over to an almost invisible door in the concrete wall that pulled out to reveal what was probably a broom closet once upon a time. It was crowded with what looked like junk and empty boxes, along with a few blankets and two or three changes of clothes that were clearly her’s. A few belongings scattered around— a book, a small pink purse, and… Marinette came out of the pile of mess holding what had clearly been a very carefully hidden box. She also grabbed the purse and slung it over her shoulder, but didn’t seem worried about anything else.
Jason frowned at the box. It wasn’t that big, but it was clearly made of old wood. There were intricate carvings that were painted pink, in a symbol that was itching at the back of his mind. He recognized that symbol, but from where?
“Ready to go, kid?” He asked as he thought about it, getting a nod from Marinette. Twenty minutes later they were at a Batburger, sitting in a shaded booth that couldn’t be seen from the street.
She never let the box out of her sight. She kept it on the seat next to her, and Jason noticed that she tried to keep one hand on it at all times. But when she spoke, now her French accent stood out to him even more than before. But why—?
And then it clicked. Paris. Hawkmoth. Ladybug, Chat Noir, magic artifacts called Miraculous. Wonder Woman had raised a fuss when the heroes disappeared, declaring that something was wrong but she couldn’t put her finger on what. Then the magic users they trusted were called in, and returned from Paris with the grim news that the former Guardian of those artifacts had activated a failsafe and passed the guardianship on to someone else while erasing his own memories at the same time. But nobody knew who he could have passed it on to, so Batman had been given the green light to do all the research he and his team could into the Miraculous box to try and help track it down.
And here it was. The carvings were in pink now, which might have been the “cosmetic change” that Constantine had mentioned might happen when the box changed guardians. He had found the box full of super powerful magical artifacts… in the hands of a newly orphaned street kid who couldn’t have been older than fourteen at best.
What the hell?
“...” Red hood reached into his pocket and pulled out an old receipt and a sharpie. He scrawled on the back of the receipt and handed to Marinette. The girl was halfway into a bite of her burger when he did, and blinked at him owlishly before swallowing and cautiously reaching out to grab it. She frowned at the numbers scrawled there.
“What’s this?” She asked.
“My contact info,” he explained. “I won’t ask questions about why you have that box,” he watched her instantly stiffen but continued as casually as he could; “but it doesn’t matter. You can call me if you ever need help with anything, kid. Help with that box, help if you get in trouble in Gotham again, or even if you’re having a bad day. You can call me for whatever, got it? I don’t care if you think it’s stupid, if you can’t talk to anyone else in your life you can always call or text me and I’ll do whatever I can. Got it?”
“...” Marinette sniffled for a second and looked down at the table in silence for a second. “... what if I want your motorcycle?” she joked, but the watery tone of her voice gave her away.
Jason laughed, patting her head. “I need my bike, but we can talk about getting you your own once you are old enough to get a license. You almost done? Bats says that Jagged is ready to meet you, I can take you to him right now.”
“Yeah, lets go!” she was newly energized and shoved the last bite of burger into her mouth greedily. “And Red Hood?” She asked as they headed out to where he had parked.
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A part of you, just for me
I need to stop saying soon
Chapter 2: Depressed, Suppressed and Emotionally Distressed
The League of Assassins was a terrifying place where no soulmate dared to exist. They were either slaughtered or manipulated into joining. There, bonds were safer than marks. Any child born into the League that bared a mark was killed on sight or trained to kill their soulmate on sight.
Some parents even performed a ceremony on their infants, a ritual to split them from their fated. It was very dangerous, many died and sometimes it’s didn’t even work. Damian was one of these infants. Talia, although loyal to he father, loved her son enough to try to ensure his survival. He was strong, even as a newborn. It seemed as though it worked on him.
Damian never bore marks other than scars he earned in combat. He barely knew anything about soulmates while in the League. When he was placed into his father’s care he learned more. Gordon doesn’t care for them. Grayson’s bond broke when he was young but he found love with Starfire. Todd doesn’t talk about his. Drake found his mate through a ‘count-up clock’ mark, he pinpointed Dowd’s exact location and tracked him down with security cameras. Brown talks incessantly about the subject, she has become an unofficial matchmaker online. She researches all different types and people come to her for help. Cain has told him about her mate before, but because of what she’s done she feels unworthy. And Father… he never talks about it but he doesn’t think it was his Mother.
He didn’t even know if he still was connected to someone. His mother had told him what she had done, and he was indifferent at the time. But now, he never felt more alone.
Sometimes he felt his heart pulling when Alfred took him to school. Glancing at all the products in the windows of shops he felt there was something there. Many times he had left the premises during lunch (which wasn’t allowed) to wander to the shopping district. He never allowed himself to enter, he only looked.
His heart leapt in his chest when he went to his first Wayne Gala. His eyes followed the attendees; they wore gowns and garbs, suits and shawls. He rationalised his behaviour, he told himself his actions were from being surrounded by social-climbing strangers. His eyes always returned to this one dress. It was made of brilliant red tulle.
He felt it again now. Alfred had served him something new for breakfast. The plate was stacked with a wrapped crescent-shaped pastry.
“Croissants, Master Damian.”
Damian nodded, not taking his eyes off of them. He pulled the plate towards him, he liked it better when it was close. He held one in his hand, inspecting it like it was a strange piece of alien tech. He was ignorant to the world around him, his eyebrows furrowed.
The delirium was broken by a calloused hand snatching away a pastry. Todd leant back in his chair, smirking as he took a big bite out of the stolen croissant.
The plates jumped as Damian’s hand slammed down on the mahogany table. “Damian!” Bruce scolds, narrowing his eyes at his youngest. Damian however paid no attention to this too busy glaring at Jason before standing and leaving the room.
Alfred found him sitting on the steps out back, Titus laying down on his feet. He was looking at the croissant again.
“Do you not like this type of pastry Master Damian?”
Damian didn’t look at him. He tsked before taking a bite, mumbling “It’s fine.”
The elderly butler sighed, his eyes closed as he rubbed his face. Sitting down next to the young boy, he said, “I don’t think it is Damian.”
The temperamental boy gave no reply.
“I’ve been around a long time, Damian. I’ve seen and heard many things throughout my years. You felt something with those croissants, and I don’t think this is the first time. And it’s ok to feel these things Damian, you don’t have to justify it to anyone.
“There’s this bond, it’s rare but not extinct called ‘луугийн тэмдэг’ (luugiin temdeg), The Dragon’s Sign but most have called it The Dragon’s Mark.” Damian turned his head towards Alfred, the latter turned to him also, the orange glow of sunrise cast across his pale skin. “It occurs between two people who will leave a mark on the world. Some historians say that Pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti had this bond.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Because I believe you have it. Dragon Marked tend to collect items that their mates like. Your soulmate must like croissants.”
“They have good taste.” Damian took another bite out of the pastry, golden flakey crumbs scattered across his lap. He turned his deep green eyes back to the sunrise, the leaves looked black as the star’s light peered through.
Alfred stayed looking at the young Wayne, his eyes wrinkled as he smiled. “Yes, yes they do Master Damian.”
“Where were you?” He got no response. “Dammit Damian, where were you?” Bruce yelled, standing from his place at the batcomputer; its screen showed multiple different street cameras.
Damian stood motionless, still garbed in his Robin uniform. His left hand was curled tightly into a fist, clutching something.
Bruce stormed up to him, leaving a gap only inches wide; Damian tilted his head up in defiance. “I thought we talked about this,” batman seethed. “Now where we’re you?”
Damian gave no response, his face remained expressionless under his mask as if he had never heard Bruce’s yells.
Dick and Jason entered the cave, breaking the staring contest. A black gauntlet snatched the item from green gloves. Unravelling it, Bruce found it was a scrap of cloth; white and pink flowers printed on a deep crimson. Frustration built within him, Damian had abandoned the mission for this?
“So let me get this straight; you went AWOL after the fight and missed debriefing all for this?” Bruce boomed, throwing the cloth on the floor. The eldest two Wayne boys protested this action, cries of “B” and “Bruce” echos around the cave.
Once again no reply came, Damian looked away from his father's face and stormed up the cave’s stairs. Bruce’s shoulders dropped as he watched his youngest leave. Damian was only thirteen, less than three years was not enough to relearn a decade of teachings. The boy was raised only to love the art of the kill, there was no room in his life to love anything else, Talia made sure of that. But what was strange was that Damian didn’t argue or even reply, he had never backed down from a confrontation before.
The elder bat slouched back in his chair, hand holding up his head. Dick stepped into his line of vision, scolding him for who knows what. How many times had this same situation happened? It happened with each of his children; adopted, unofficial and now blood.
How many times would he mess up with his children?
How long until they all left because he didn’t know how to care for them?
Why didn’t Damian react?
Jason stood in the middle of the hallway, staring at a door. Damian’s door. It was up the stairs, to the right, second last on the left. There was nothing special to indicate his door was different from the closet. When Dick was nine he put a cartoon batman next to his doorknob, said: “This is how he’ll know Bruce will protect him.” Jason himself had carved his name into the wood, much to Alfred & Bruce’s displeasure, he had never had a room before and had to claim it. Tim’s door still was dented from when Jason karate kicked it open at 3am on Halloween. Steph’s door was purple. Cas’ door had a scrunchie permanently tied to the handle. Duke’s door had a different knob with extra locks. Barbara’s room was on the first floor and wider than the rest to suit her wheelchair.
He knocked and waited. Just like in the cave, there was no reply. He knocked again, “Demon Spawn I’m coming in.”
Two steps into the room and he felt a breeze swoosh by his face. A knife stuck into the door frame to his right, but that didn’t phase him. Jason’s eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness of the room, the only lights coming from the moon shining through the open window and the golden glow of the hallway light.
There he was, the man, well boy, of the hour. Damian was half under his sheets another dagger already situated in his hand, ready for a fight.
“Truce,” Jason said, tossing the scrap of fabric over to the former assassin. It landed on his bed, Damian made no move to grab it. He only looked at it before staring back at Jason. “I ain’t gunna apologise fer stealing tha croissant but whatever made ya go toe-to-toe with B fer this shitty fuckin’ scrap musta been important.”
Damian nodded at him, it was his gesture of appreciation. The demon spawn was never good with words when things got personal, no one knew this better than the second Robin. The league of assassins may have taught him their mannerisms, but when it came to familial confrontations, Damian either bursts into a rage or runs off into the darkness; both habits the Wayne patriarchs have worked tirelessly to undo.
Jason left only to come back a few hours later. Peeking through the cracked door, the knife still eye level in the wooden frame. Damian laid on his side curled up around that scrap piece of fabric. His chest rose and fell, and for once he seemed peaceful.
Jason hoped to God or whoever was responsible for their fucked up lives that this turned out well for the demon. Even if the kid is a hellspawn at times he is still just a kid. Damian deserved to be happy.
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Marinette: Here are my options. I could.. hmm. I could slit his throat, do voodoo, suffocate him with a yoyo, throw him off the Eiffel tower, and.. Hmm? Do you have any ideas? [Turns to the side and innocently looks at Damian.]
Damain: [Justice not vengeance, justice not vengeance. Bats don’t kill, we don’t kill, we don’t kill.] No. It appears I cannot think of any ideas.
Marinette: ..Are you sure Dami?
Damian: ..I’m sure.
Bruce would be proud.
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"I'm sorry how many phones have you stolen?"
“I’m sorry, how many phones have you stolen?” Dick asked her.
Marinette blinked owlishly at him and then looked down at her fingers muttering to herself while counting. When she got to seven Jason started laughing. By the time she got to twelve, Dick was making a noise that sounded exactly like Alya in distress.
“Fourteen.” She finally answered and nodded a little to herself. “I’ve stolen fourteen phones.”
“But why?” Tim asked.
She shrugged. “Depended on the time. Sometimes it was to delete an embarrassing message I left, sometimes it was because I needed information. Once it was because Chat wouldn’t stop sending memes to the group chat at four in the morning.”
“What did you even do with them?” Dick asked in a distressed voice.
She held up Dick’s stolen phone. “Well, sometimes I sneak them back to their original places, sometimes I hold them as ransom, sometimes I destroy them, and sometimes I hand them back to their owner with a smile as they realize that I have had their phone for over twenty-four hours.”
Jason had finally stopped laughing but started back up at the look on Dick’s face as she handed him his phone. “I can’t believe you didn’t notice.”
Tim was laughing now until she held up the next item from her pockets. “Don’t laugh yet duck boy, I’ve had your wallet for three days.”
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