What makes a Hero? 1
The skies were clear, the sun was shining and it was a peaceful and quiet day for the majority of Parisians. Of course, this was not the case for the young 16 year old who was barreling through the roads in order to make it in time for his first class of the day.
If there ever was a day that the universe was completely against Marin Dupain-Cheng, it was today.
He had missed his alarm (thank you late night akumas) and had only woken up because of the awesomeness that is Tikki pinching his cheeks. Then he dropped his school bag on his little toe and spent 5 minutes hopping on his other foot while holding his injured one and simultaneously trying to eat breakfast all the while hoping that he didn't trip and fall on his face.
And now he was trying to demolish the sound barrier by running at breakneck speeds. It was miraculous how Tikki had managed to hold on to his raven hair and not fly away due to his speed.
Somehow being the holder of a miraculous associated with good luck paid off (why it didn't do so this morning was beyond him) and he reached school with a few minutes to spare. He huffed and ran up the stairs two at a time, his slim legs covering the distance easily before coming to a stop in front of Ms. Bustier's classroom.
And then Marin yelped, having been startled by the unfamiliar voice and walked back at the same time. But his luck ran out again as the sudden movement made him trip over his own feet and fall on his behind. He groaned at the throbbing pain on top of his considerably sore body (Again, thank you late night akuma!)
"Oh! I am so sorry!" A sweet as honey voice apologized and offered him a hand, which he graciously took. His bluebell eyes trailed up the hand till he saw it's owner. In front of him was a green-eyed brunette with olive skin and an interesting (?) hairstyle. His inner fashion designer almost cringed at the twin tails framing her face. "I didn't mean to scare you." She looked immensely shy and Marin figured she was a new student as he had never seen her at Françoise Dupont before.
His heart went out to her once he saw how nervous she seemed. He waved her apology away, "It's fine. I startle very easily." He smiled at her and she looked taken aback for a split second before her expression fell back into place.
"My name is Lila Rossi." She said with a flirty tone. Marin wondered why she was drawing out her words like that but said nothing about it.
"That's a beautiful name. I'm-"
Just then the door to the classroom opened and Ms. Bustier stepped out. "Marin Dupain-Cheng. Come in before Ms. Mendeleiev catches you again." Said boy let out an 'eep!' before dashing in with one last smile to the new girl. Ms. Bustier shook her head in fond exasperation at her star student. "You must be Lila. That was Marin, he's our class president. Come on in and we'll introduce you to the rest of the class."
Inside the classroom, Marin rushed in and took his usual seat next to Alya and behind his oldest bro Nino and Adrien. He greeted his friends who teased him for being late...again. As the conversation around him continued, his sleepless night and rude awakening caught up to him, making his eyes flutter close of their own accord.
I'll just rest my eyes for a minute...
"-arin!" He jumped when Alya nudged him harshly. "What?" he hissed, rubbing his side. She jerked her head towards the front of the classroom and Marin noticed -to his great horror- that everyone's eyes were trained on him. He could swear that he had a nightmare just like this once- Wait, was he still wearing pants? He quickly glanced down and once satisfied that yes, he did in fact wear his pants to school today, he sheepishly smiled at his teacher. "I'm sorry, what was the question?"
Ms. Bustier gave him a scolding look before gesturing to the amused girl next to her, the same one who scared Marin half to death a few minutes ago. "I asked if you could show Lila around? Just until she settles down here."
Marin blinked for a second before bringing out his signature -and in Nino's opinion, deadly- grin. "Of course Ms. Bustier." He turned his attention to Lila. "Don't worry, I'll help you with everything you need."
To his surprise, Lila looked startled herself. Ms. Bustier spoke before Marin could ask if she was okay. "Wonderful! Now Lila, unfortunately the only free seat is at the back, next to Nathaniel, so why don't you sit over there. Please inform me or Marin if you have any difficulties with the seating arrangement. Okay?"
Lila nodded and walked up the middle of the classroom to get to her seat. She passed Adrien's seat without looking at him and only made eye contact with Marin for a second before her olive skin took on a reddish hue. Thinking she was embarrassed about making him fall, Marin smiled to ease her nerves and she swiftly turned her head away, running off to her seat in the back where she could look at him whenever she wants.
Beside him, Alya groaned and handed her boyfriend a 5 euro note mumbling about "Why can't someone be immune to his smile?" While Marin looked on in confusion and Adrien frowned.
As soon as class was over, Lila stuck to Marin's side like glue. Which he supposed was okay because he was supposed to show her around either way and get her caught up in the coursework.
So now Marin sat in the library waiting for Lila. She said she needed extra help with history and since that was one of his more liked subjects, Marin offered to catch her up as soon as possible (he missed her victorious smirk once he did so).
He glanced over the text. Lila was very vague with what topics she needed help with, so much so that his Scymnus senses were going off but he couldn't really understand why. Even Tikki was uneasy for some reason. In his opinion, Lila was just a sweet girl with a very impressionable life. She had been all around the world and had met many important people. Usually, this would sound too good to be true but then again, Marin had met and was familiar with Jagged Stone and there were many students in his class alone who led exciting lives.
A crash near the shelves to his right made him jump. And what do you know, there laid a golden haired boy with a sheepish smile on his face. "Adrien? What are you doin here?" Marin frowned before his mind caught up with him. "Oh my god! Are you okay?!" He jumped from his seat and helped the red-faced boy up. "What were you doing there?"
Adrien rubbed the back of his flushing neck. "I-uhhh, I was actually..." He brightened, bending down and picking up a book from the ones on the floor. "I was looking for this book, and I slipped? Yeah, I slipped so..."
Marin eyed the book. "You were looking for a book on menstruation?" Adrien's eyes widened as he snapped his head to look at the title of the book he was holding.
His cheeks pinked, "...Nathalie's going through some things so I wanted to help her." Marin smiled at the care his friend was showing towards his father's assistant. Adrien returned the smile before hurriedly placing the book back on the shelf. "So, what are you doing here?"
Shrugging, Marin walked to the table his books were scattered across. "Waiting for Lila. She said she needs some help with her history and since I'm free right now, I thought I could catch her up."
"That's nice of you." Adrien said before pausing, "Do you mind if I join you?" Marin didn't notice the displeased look he sent towards the library entrance.
He shook his head, "Not at all. Two minds are better than one."
Adrien relaxed and picked his fallen bag. Unfortunately, the zipper was open and the contents spilled to the ground. He turned crimson again and Marin chuckled before crouching and helping him pack everything again.
He spotted a thick book that looked out of place with the blonde's other belongings. Clutching it in his hand, he stood up. "What's this?"
Adrien glanced up and frowned once he saw his book in Marin's hands. "Just a book on superheroes. It looked interesting so I wanted to know more about it."
The two sat down and Marin opened the book. He leafed through the pages in surprise as he saw many miraculous themed heroes like a ladybug one, a cat one and even a fox themed one. "You're right, this is really interesting Adrien."
Suddenly from under his raven locks, Tikki pulled on a strand. Caught unaware, Marin yelped. His hand flew to his head to soothe the sensitive skin of his scalp. "What's wrong?" Adrien asked in alarm.
Marin laughed nervously and tired not to jump as Tikki pulled on his hair again. "Everything's fine. Just -Ah- Excuse me for one second."
Without waiting for Adrien's response, Marin left his seat and ran towards the bathroom. He saw Lila on the way but couldn't say anything more than a "I'll be back in a minute, wait there!" as he ran towards the bathroom.
He shut the door and bolted it from the inside as he inhaled deeply to catch his breath. Almost immediately, Tikki flew out from his hair. "We need to get that book Marin!"
"Tikki what are you talking about?"
The Kwami flew around in a panic, "The book, Adrien's book! We need to get it. I don't know why he has it but we need to get that book!-"
"Breathe Tikki." The Kwami ignored Marin as she flew around. "Tikki- Okay fine. I'll get that book, but you have to tell me what's going on!"
"I promise I will Marin. Just get that book before Adrien goes for his fencing class."
She flew back into her hiding place in Marin's hair and he opened the bathroom door as soon as she did. Tikki's reaction towards the book was very concerning for the young teenager. Paired with the fact that the book had images of heroes powered by miraculous, Marin guessed that the book must be really important. But the question arose- Why did Adrien have it?
With numerous questions swirling around in his head, but not able to find any answer to them, Marin walked back to the library. Maybe he could ask Adrien about where he got the book from and what it meant.
He stopped in his tracks when he reached his table. It looked like Adrien and Lila were in an intense staring match as they glared at each other. Adrien was sitting to the right of the seat Marin was occupying before he ran to the bathroom and Lila was sitting to the left of the seat.
"Is everything okay guys?" He asked.
Instantly, Lila's glare dissolved into a pleasant and happy smile. She got up and clutched Marin's arm, dragging him to his seat. "You're here! Everything's fine, we were just disagreeing on some topic." Marin glanced at Adrien for confirmation and frowned when he received a curt nod.
"Okay...Since we're all here, should we start?"
Lila giggled. "Well, we could but I was just talking to Adrien about this awesome new book he was going to show you." She looked away from him bashfully, "I'm really curious about it...Could we please see that instead?"
Marin bit his lip. On one hand, if Tikki was so panicked about Adrien's book then it made sense for him to see it properly and try to find some clues. But on the other hand, he had promised Lila he would help her with history. He weighed the options in his head but ultimately the need to know more about the heroes was more important. He could always catch Lila up another day.
"I mean, I'd love to, but it is Adrien's book so I don't know." He turned to Adrien who was already looking in his direction. "What do you think?"
"You don't mind, do you Adrien? Especially if Marin is asking?" Marin blinked in confusion at Lila words and Adrien's resultant blush.
"I don't mind at all."
Lila clapped her hands "Great" She leaned across Marin to the point that her strong perfume almost made him sneeze as she snatched pulled Adrien's book towards her.
Ignoring Adrien's less than friendly look, she flipped the pages before landing on the one with a woman dressed in red with black spots. "A Ladybug?" she gasped, bring Marin's attention towards her.
Marin pulled the book near him gazing intently at the Asian-looking woman on the page dressed as a Ladybug hero. Seeing his interest in it, Lila smiled, "You know, I'm close friends with our Ladybug Hero."
That made Marin snap his head up to look at her incredulously. "What?"
"Umhmm" Lila confirmed. "Scymnus and I have been close friends for a while now. Ever since he saved me actually."
Marin frowned. He couldn't remember saving her at all. Much less being friends with her. For Kwami' sake, he had only seen her today for the first time. With a start he understood. Lila was lying through her teeth.
"Scymnus doesn't have friends when he is in hero form, except for Chat Noir." Adrien countered looking weirdly defensive. "He's really strict about those rules."
Lila's sweet expression turned acidic for a fraction of a second but Marin caught it. "I know. That's why he doesn't broadcast it to the world."
Adrien's unamused expression hardened. "Then why did you tell us?" He argued, gesturing to Marin and himself.
Ignoring Adrien, Lila trailed her finger down Marin's arm. "Because I know I can trust you with anything." She batted her eyelashes but Marin wasn't even paying attention to her now obvious flirting. "I want to show you something. Will you meet me in the park after school? It's about Volpina."
Lila stroked the pendant of the fox hero in the book. "I can't tell you here, will you meet me at the park?"
Marin gulped as he looked down at the smiling Lila. Before he could hesitate, he piped up. "Of course we'll be there!" It was concerning how quickly Marin relaxed after saying that Adrien will be there too. He looked at Adrien to see if he was okay but was pleasantly surprised to see him smiling at Marin's words. Deciding to handle Lila's lies later, He figured it would be a good opportunity to get that book.
Lila looked less than happy at the thought of Adrien being there with her and Marin but let it go for the moment.
Marin tensed as Adrien's phone rang, thinking it was the akuma alert. Thankfully it wasn't and it was just his reminder for fencing classes. Not wanting to be alone with Lila should he lose his cool if she started lying about his alter ego again. He stood up as well, packing his bag. "I'll see you at the park in the evening then."
Lila stood up quickly and leaned in. When Marin straightened up, he was startled at her sudden close proximity and leaned back on instinct. Unluckily, he leaned back too much and lost his balance, causing Adrien behind him to drop his bag and catch the boy in his arms. She covered her mouth and adopted a sorry look. "Oh no, I'm sorry Marin."
Marin regained his balance and stood on his own feet again, "It's fine Lila. I told you, I startle easily." Turning back, he thanked the pink-cheeked Adrien and helped him to once again gather his books. Neither of the boys noticed Lila slip Adrien's book inside her own bag.
Once he was done Marin stood up with Adrien and said a fast goodbye, walking out of the library.
"Tikki, is this really necessary?" Marin asked as he hid behind a tree watching Lila sitting down at the bench and pull out a very familiar book. Marin gasped, "She stole Adrien's book?! So now she's a liar and a thief?" Lila then looked side to side before taking out a jewelry box and opening it to show a fox tail pendant. Marin glanced up to where Tikki's head was poking out of his hair. "Is that really-"
"No. It's not a miraculous. It's just a regular pendant."
Marin nodded. He was about to go distract her so that he could slip the book away but he stopped in his tracks when he spotted Adrien coming that way. Using his phone to see what was going on, Marin gasped in outrage as Lila threw the book in the trash as she greeted Adrien.
But what made him frown in confusion was the obvious tension between.
"Hello Adrien." Lila smirked. "You're not needed here." Marin's eyes widened at the rudeness she was showing, a complete 180 change from the shy and sweet girl she showed herself to be. Just another thing she was lying about, He thought.
Adrien scowled. "You're not the one to decide that Lila. Marin is my friend and he wanted me here."
"He was just being polite." Lila said, waving his words away. "Scratch that. He was just being a friend." Adrien flinched at the word 'friend' and Marin became confused at his apparent disappointment.
"Why was he sad that I am his friend. Does he not want to be my friend?"
Tikki patted his forehead with her nubs. "I don't think that's the reason."
"Then why-Oh...you don't think he has a..."
"A crush on you? I wouldn't be surprised if he did. You are very likable Marin." He blushed brightly. The idea of someone having a crush on him made his heart flutter.
He ignored Tikki's light giggles. "Hey, didn't you want that book? Lila is busy with Adrien, now's your chance."
Tikki gasped, "Oh yes...wait, what are you going to do?"
Marin smirked, "I'm going to teach that liar a lesson." He put his hands on his hips, striking a confident pose.
"Not about that, about Adrien's crush on you."
His hand's slipped from their position and Marin's confident pose crumbled like dry cookies. "Uh- I don't know. He m-might not actually like me you know? Besides, I have Chat Noir."
Tikki sighed, "I will never understand humans' love affairs." Ignoring Marin's offended squawk, the tiny Kwami flew down to the trash bin and tried to pull out the book but it was too heavy for her. Seeing that she was having trouble with it, Marin crouched low and crawled towards the trash can.
He glanced up subtly and saw that Adrien and Lila were still glaring at each other harshly, he reached his hand into the can and pulled out the book.
"He would never go for you. Especially not now that I'm here." Came Lila's smug voice making Marin pause on his way back.
"Shut up Lila."
Said girl giggled, "I mean did you really think Marin would go for you? I'm pretty sure he's straight." I'm not, I'm Bi. Thought Marin bitterly. But judging by the silence, it seemed Adrien didn't know that small fact. "I feel bad for you Adrien." Lila spoke in a tone that suggested she didn't feel bad at all. "If only you hadn't figured out I was lying. I could have enjoyed you both."
Marin gulped down the urge to barf at her words.
"Lila, I'm warning you. Shut the hell up."
"What are you going to do huh? I bet your father doesn't know that you're into boys. I could just tell him that you're gay and he'll pull you out of school and then I'll have Marin all to myself. So be a good obedient boy and stay out of my way."
Marin glared at the figure of Lila. He quickly stalked off into a corner of the park and paced. "She's horrible! How can she even say something like that?!"
Tikki watched her holder with concern. "Marin calm down or you'll make hasty decisions. Think rationally, what can you do now?"
Paying heed to her advise, Marin closed his eyes and took in a few deep breaths. Once he opened his eyes again, he looked significantly more calm. "I know. A visit from Scymnus should do the trick. I can lecture Lila a bit too, plus whether he likes me like that or not, Adrien is my friend and I can't let what Lila said go."
Tikki nodded, "Alright that's okay, hide the book in your backpack before you transform. And don't take things too far."
"She'll be lucky if I don't threaten to hang her from the Eiffel tower." Marin growled. He packed the stolen book into his bag before placing it to the side. He glanced all around him for any onlookers and once he didn't find any, he called out his transformation phrase.
"Tikki, Spots on!" The Kwami was sucked into his earrings, turning them bright red with black spots and a bright pinkish-red light to be emitted from them.
Once the light faded, Scymnus stood in Marin's place. Not wanting to subject his friend to Lila's remarks anymore, he threw his yo-yo towards a building and swung away before rounding back to the direction of the bench.
With a large swing, he landed right in front of the bench, making the two teenagers jump. Scymnus looked between the two of them with narrowed eyes. His heart tightened on seeing Adrien's glassy eyes and Lila's still present vindictive smirk, though the latter had diminished significantly with his arrival.
"Hi, sorry to interrupt but I wanted to talk to you Miss Rossi." He spoke after smiling at Adrien, who looked much more relaxed now that he was here.
Lila laughed nervously, pointing to herself. "M-me? What for?"
"I saw your interview on the Ladyblog and I want you to stop spreading those lies. It's not safe for you or anyone around you should Hawkmoth catch wind of it. I have never saved you, and we are most definitely not friends. This is the first time I am meeting you." Lila blinked at his scolding tone and opened her mouth to most likely lie her way out of the blame but Scymnus held a hand up. "I'm not done. I was just passing through and I heard what you said to Adrien. How can you threaten him like that? It's despicable. You do not know what he is going through and it's not your business. And the fact that you're threatening him, that too over another boy? I can't believe you have the guts to do such a thing. And another thing, don't you think the boy you are fighting him for deserves to have his own choice? He might not even want to be your friend. I certainly wouldn't, not after the stunt you just pulled. People like you are the reason Hawkmoth still has power over Paris. What you said and what you threatened to do was just downright inhuman."
By the end of his scolding -which was admittedly more of a rant- both civilians had tears in their eyes. Though for completely opposite reasons. Lila because she had been humiliated by Paris' most beloved hero and Adrien because his partner (though not at the moment) was defending him against a stranger.
Lila wiped her eyes furiously, "How dare you!" Snatching her bag from below the bench, she ran off all the while muttering curses under her breath.
Scymnus watched her go with a vexed look. He sighed and turned to Adrien, "You okay Adrien?"
He smiled warmly and nodded. "Yeah." He rubbed the back of his neck, "Thanks for that. I wanted to tell her off, but you heard her..."
"Yeah." Scymnus grimaced, "You don't think I was too harsh on her do you?"
"Are you kidding me?" Adrien exclaimed, "She totally deserved it! You did the right thing."
"I sure hope so." All he could do now was hope Lila didn't turn into an akuma. He bit his lip, wanting a change in topic so that he didn't overthink his words again. "I couldn't help but overhear, so...Marin?"
Scymnus watched in amusement as Adrien turned almost as red as his suit. The blonde boy looked down at his shuffling feet. "Yeah, he's my friend but- it's-it's complicated."
"How so?" He prompted. Some might say it was cheating that Marin was using his alter ego to find more information out but sometimes he couldn't help but cheat a little.
A dopey smile took over Adrien's features. "He's so kind, and he really cares for things. Not like the others do, he cares for things and people as if they were his own and he's so strong too, mentally and physically. We didn't get off on the right foot but now we're really good friends." His face dimmed at the mention of 'friends'.
Very much intrigued (and trying very hard not to blush), Scymnus took a seat beside his friend on the park bench, "You don't want to be friends with him?"
Adrien's eyes widened in alarm, "What no! I mean yes! -I mean I love being friends with him! It's just...sometimes I wish we were something more than friends. Besides he doesn't see me that way." He snorted. "Did you know he was my gay awakening?"
At that Scymnus burst out laughing, "Oh that's just too much!" Adrien laughed along with him heartily. After a minute of full blown laughter, the two sobered up. Scymnus stood up, fiddling with his yo-yo. "I know a thing or two about one-sided love. But I hope you know that just because he sees you as a friend doesn't mean he doesn't love you."
Smiling sadly, Adrien nodded, "I know. He's my entire world and I'm happy with only being his friend as long as he's happy with that too."
Scymnus inhaled sharply at his painful but powerful and oh so relatable words and smiled. "Alright then, see you around Adrien."
"See you later Scymnus and thanks for everything."
Just as Scymnus stumbled onto the balcony of his family's bakery, a loud rumble shook the city. He looked up and watched in horror as a meteorite as big as a house cut through the air in a ball of fire.
If it hit Paris, it would mean complete devastation and damage. Damage that his miraculous cure wouldn't be able to cure as it wasn't the work of an akuma. He gripped the railing to regain his bearings before throwing his yo-yo out once again and swung towards the meteorite as fast as he could.
After three jumps, he spotted an orange and white blur speed past him and lost his balance because of it causing him to detour and duck into a roll as he fell on top of a building's roof.
He got up quickly, ready to jump into action again but stopped when he saw the blur push the meteor back into space. Which honestly shouldn't have been possible because it was a literal ball of fire. Not even miraculous enhanced suits could withstand that much damage.
The orange and white blur introduced itself as Volpina to the crowd forming below. Scymnus frowned, something about the apparent hero's name rubbed him the wrong way. He kept observing the newcomer, even as Chat Noir landed beside him. "Hey Kitty."
"Hey Scy. What's going on? You handled the meteor?"
Scymnus shook his head, "No." He pointed to Volpina, "She did."
Chat Noir narrowed his eyes and leaned in to get a closer look. "Who is that? Wait-what are they chanting...Vol-Volpina? Where have I heard that before?"
Scymnus shrugged, "I don't know, but be on your guard, I don't have a good feeling about this. Something isn't adding up."
"Will do." Chat Noir paused, looking over his partner. "You okay bug? I now you're kinda tense because of her, but it feels like there's something else too."
The ladybug themed hero smiled warmly at his partner's concerns. How did he get so lucky to fall for him? "It's fine. Before I came here, I had to deal with something. I feel like I crossed a line or something."
"Trust me you didn't." Chat Noir stated and Scymnus turned to face him upon hearing the sureness in his voice. "Uh I mean...you're usually right, so I don't think you did anything wrong."
Scymnus hummed, accepting the answer. That cat really shouldn't say stuff like that, not when it makes me smile when he does.
The blur that was now identified as Volpina dropped onto the roof with them. "Hey guys! Glad you dropped in, I need a hand. Come on!" And as fast as she had appeared, she disappeared from the veteran heroes' sights.
Chat Noir and Scymnus shared a look before they each took out their respective weapons and followed her onto the next rooftop.
Scymnus growled as a dark figure came into his view. The shape and costume was too unique, there was no one it could be except for Hawkmoth. "How can this be possible? He never comes out, either something is really wrong or he's planning something really big."
Volpina nodded, "We can take him down, but it's gonna take all three of us. We better make the most of our individual talents"
"What are your talents, newbie?" Chat Noir asked with a smirk. Scymnus shook his head in fond exasperation. That damned kitty.
"Flight, superstrength and speed" The fox heroine stated in a take-that tone.
"Really?" Scymnus drawled out, catching on, "Because our miraculous only grants us one power. We only get a second power in extreme situations like my miraculous cure. How in the world did you get three?"
Volpina floundered, but bounced back quick but not quick enough because the two heroes were onto her. "It's obvious isn't it? You need more help, so I was given three powers instead of two."
Chat Noir moved to pat her on the shoulders in order to make another comment but she gasped, dodging away from his hand. Scymnus hummed in thought, looking at the surface of the rooftop they were standing on. "Hey Volpina?" the fox turned towards the ladybug hero. "Where's your shadow?"
Without letting her answer, Scymnus' yo-yo cut through the air and through Volpina's body. But instead of hearing a pained scream, her figure disappeared in a puff of orange smoke.
Bringing back his yo-yo, Scymnus shook his head, "She's an akuma, and judging by what just happened, her powers are illusions."
"Then we better keep our eyes locked on her." Chat Noir whirled around, searching for 'Volpina', "Uh...Any idea where she is?"
Scymnus chewed the inside of his cheek. "I think I know who she is. The stunt with 'Volpina', the whole 'I'm better than Scymnus' thing? It's Lila. It's got to be her."
Chat Noir twirled his baton. "Lila huh? She doesn't like you or something?"
Scymnus nodded his assent. "That's probably an understatement. And I know where she's going to go now."
"If that's really Lila then I'm pretty sure I know too. I need to make sure Marin is okay. I'll send you his address." Ignoring his partner's pleas to wait, Chat Noir vaulted off and Scymnus stood on the rooftop with a worsening grimace. How in the world is he going to get out of this one?
He sighed, accepting his fate before throwing his yo-yo and using a different route than Chat so that he could enter his room without being seen.
He called off his transformation and caught an exhausted Tikki. "Will you be okay as just Marin?" She asked in concern. He placed her inside his jacket's inner pocket where a cookie was waiting for her to devour.
Marin smiled, petting her lightly to avoid any panic from setting in. "Aren't you the one who always tells me I'm a hero in and out of the mask?" He chuckled at Tikki's blank look and waited until she was done. As soon as she was out of sight, an orange and white blur flew in through the window.
"Hello Marin" Lila purred as she stepped in through the hatch that led up to the balcony.
He waved unsurely, acting as if he had no idea who was in his room. "Hey, uh...who are you?"
Lila or Volpina giggled. She twirled around, the fabric tail fanning out behind her. "This is what I wanted to show you, Marin. When I asked you to come to the park remember?"
Marin narrowed his eyes, 'thinking'. "Wait, Lila? Is that you?"
Lila nodded enthusiastically. She took a step forward and he took and instinctive step back. "You looked so excited about the heroes that I just had to tell you. You can call me Volpina." She bit her lip, looking dejected. "But you should know, the other heroes...Scymnus and Chat Noir, they-they don't trust me. They're just jealous. Just because I'm more powerful them both of them!"
Marin almost scoffed at her obvious lie and want for him to comfort her, but he held back his disgust. He crouched into a defensive position when another figure vaulted into his room but relaxed once he saw it was Chat Noir.
He looked oddly serious at the moment, very different from the goofy kitty Marin had fallen in love with. "Step away from him Lila, I'm not feline very generous right meow."
Two puns in one sentence? He must either not care at all or care so much that he's using his humor to cover his fear. I really hope it's not the first one.
Lila sneered at the hero, "See what I mean! He's jealous of me, of you, of us, but this time you aren't going to ruin our date you mangy alley cat."
Marin raised his hand, "This is not a date." Lila turned back to glare at him. "It's really not. No offense, but I've done the whole date an akuma thing already. Not a fan of it."
Lila looked angry at the thought of Marin not thinking it was a date and at the fact that he had already been on dates with an akuma out of all the people who probably liked him. The girl was rather possessive about someone who wasn't even interested in her.
Chat Noir smirked at Marin, making the boy's cheeks pink. "Excuse us, my prince. But I need to have a chat with super liar." The smirk was replaced with a seething glare as he turned to Volpina. "You! Stop thinking your illusions are reality."
Seeing the need for Scymnus to reappear, Marin rushed into the bathroom. He opened his jacket and Tikki popped her head out of the pocket. "I'm ready." He nodded and called out his transformation phrase for the second time that day. The bright light faded and he was once again Scymnus. He pushed the window in his bathroom open and slipped out before dropping down through the hatch and into his room.
"Sorry I'm late, ran into some trouble." He called out as he dodged a lamp thrown at him by Volpina. "Could you not destroy my -uh- a random civilian's room please?"
"It's alright Scy." Chat Noir sniggered but groaned in frustration when Volpina played a tune on her flute and the room was filled with her copies. He swung his baton, making many of them turn into a puff or orange smoke.
Scymnus swung his yo-yo and destroyed the rest of the illusions, but to his surprise, there was no one left in his room expect them. "Where did she go?"
Chat Noir growled, "Out there." Scymnus followed his partner's line of sight and winced on seeing Volpina with a figure that looked suspiciously like his civilian self. "He's got Marin."
Scymnus shook his head. "That's an illusion too."
"How do you know that?" Chat Noir argued before dashing to the bathroom. Scymnus grimaced as he knew the leather-clad hero wouldn't find anything in there. "He's not in there, She's taken him!" As expected. Damn secret identities. "Come on!" Chat Noir exclaimed and extended his baton, vaulting out and away from the bakery and towards the illusionary Marin.
Meanwhile, Scymnus rubbed his forehead, "I'm-I'm not even going to try to get out of that one." And then moved to follow them and save 'Marin'.
Upon reaching the Eiffel tower, he felt sick as he watched Volpina dangle 'Marin' over the city. Even though he knew it wasn't real, it still made him feel like he was actually hanging on for dear life. The fox laughed maniacally when she spotted the two heroes.
She swung 'Marin' around. "Give me your miraculous or I'll drop him and then it's bye-bye Marin."
Scymnus scoffed, "Weren't you just fighting over him?" Volpina glared at the hero.
"I love him but not as much as I hate you both." She fumed and turned to 'Marin'. "No hard feelings right babe?"
"You're bluffing. It's another illusion. Just give up Lila." Scymnus tried reasoning with her. He really felt weird watching himself be strung up like that.
Lila burst in anger, "It's Volpina!" She released two of the fingers holding 'Marin's' wrist making Chat Noir scream out for to not do it.
Scymnus decided he had enough, he never wanted his love to scream like that ever again.
He threw up the yo-yo, hitting Volpina right in the chest. As he had suspected, she and 'Marin' disappeared in orange smoke. Chat Noir took in a deep breathe and he patted his partner to comfort him. "There she is!" He exclaimed as he spotted a simmering Volpina across from them.
Chat Noir hissed and vaulted up along with Scymnus. But they both gasped when they saw that the entire tip of the tower was covered with multiple copies of Volpina.
Not finding any other path he could take, Scymnus threw his yo-yo into the air. "Lucky Charm!" The yo-yo came down, bringing with it a rectangular package. He tilted his head in confusion before seeing that the red and black spotted covering was a wrapper. She opened the wrapping and instantly squinted as the reflective inner cover shone by the rays of the sun falling on it. He looked around, his mind already coming up with a plan. "I've got an idea to take her down!"
"I'm ready to end her-er, end this."
Chat Noir smiled innocently at him and Scymnus' cheeks warmed at how much his partner cared for his civilian side before remembering that no, murder was bad. "Just get ready Kitty, and no murder please."
His partner simply smirked, ignoring the last part and raised his right hand. "Cataclysm!" His gloved palm bubbled with destructive energy. Scymnus unwrapped the chocolate popsicle completely and titled it at an angle so that the sun's rays were reflected off of it and right into the illusions. Most of them weren't affected but one of them, the one standing right in the middle shielded her eyes against the blinding light.
"There!" Scymnus called out and Chat Noir jumped, brushing his hand against a part of the Eiffel tower which decayed instantly and broke apart, falling over Volpina's illusions and breaking them and then trapping the real Volpina behind a cage-like structure the fallen parts formed.
With a smug smirk, Scymnus jumped over to where she was trapped, "Well, isn't this lovely?" He reached over and snatched her fox tail necklace off her neck and ignored her enraged scream. He threw it to the ground, shattering it into pieces. The still negatively charged butterfly peeled itself out of the pieces and tried to flutter away, but Scymnus was faster. He opened his yo-yo and swung it around, catching the butterfly. "Time to de-evilize."
When the yo-yo opened up again, a pure white butterfly flew out, flying off into the distance. "Bye-bye little butterfly." Scymnus said with a tiny wave and a smile. He picked up the spotted popsicle wrapping paper and threw it up into the air with a cry of "Miraculous Ladybug!" and soon the entire tower was swarmed by a loveliness of ladybugs that fixed all the damage. The hunched over figure of Volpina was soon replaced with Lila as well.
Feeling guilty that he upset her so much that she was akumatized, Scymnus picked up the repaired fox tail necklace. "Lila?"
The girl looked up at the mention of her name. "Scymnus?"
"I'm sorry that my harsh words caused you to hate me." He said, smiling sadly. He regretted making her cry but not his words. "Do you want me to drop you off to your home?" He moved to place a hand on her shoulder but she swatted it away with an angry look.
"Don't bother, I don't even want to see you, much less touch you." Ignoring the two heroes, she stood up with her necklace in hand and stalked off.
"I would say that was harsh." Chat Noir started as he leaned on his baton. "But then I would be lying. She doesn't deserve your friendship." He stretched out his closed fist. "Pound it?"
Scymnus hit his fist with his own. "Pound it." Then he snorted. "But it never hurts to try Chat."
The cat hero nodded before snapping his head up to look at his partner. "If she didn't have Marin, then where is he? He wasn't in his room-"
"The ladybugs would have taken him back to where he was before."
"-Not good enough. I want to see him for myself." With that, Chat Noir vaulted off while his partner tried in vain to convince him that Marin was fine.
"Stupid friendly Kitty." He threw his yo-yo and darted off in the bakery's direction, wanting to get there before Chat Noir did.
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