On Marinette and Adrien's crisis management strategies
No, I wasn't done talking about Guiltrip. Let's discuss.
So the other day I made this post poking fun at the one scene where Rose sneezes and while the class goes berserk, Marinette orchestrates and organizes the mass hysteria, while Adrien quietly is trying to get everyone to chill.
You know, this scene:
Guiltrip gave us an excellent insight into one of the things that makes the bug and cat, the bug and cat with and without their masks: Their crisis management strategies.
I would argue that one of the biggest lessons of ml is that you can't always control the situations around you, nor convince mean people to stop being mean, but you can control how you react to these negative scenarios. I would argue even further, that it is precisely Marinette and Adrien's ability to manage themselves in these situations what makes them practically impossible to akumatize.
So far, Marinette has been close to being akumatized thrice and in two of those occations she either reasoned with herself or had someone else's help (Mme. Bustier) to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Adrien, on the other hand, has been akumatized once and for what I would consider pretty freakin' understandable reasons. This is to say, in a world where grown men get akumatized over pigeons and the way bread should be made, crisis management is indeed a super power. And it was oh so interesting to see this episode contrasting each style, because for a brief moment, we actually saw them being Ladybug and Chat Noir without the mask.
Why? Well, who is known to manage complex, time-sensitive problems under stress and delivering an equally complex, thoughtful solution? Who, in the direst hour, is able to calmly consider the situation and provide the unwavering support needed to overcome the odds? I'll give you a hint:
It was also very interesting to see how these crisis handling translates into the ways they each rationalize a negative situation and where they turn to for support. When they attempted to console Juleka, while Adrien tried to approach the problem first looking at it from Juleka's point of view (something we see him doing also with Chloe or even his dad), Marinette rallied the rest of her friends to show their support (something she herself relies on when she is feeling down, as we see when she reaches for Chat Noir or Alya).
You can argue that maybe if Marinette hadn't jumped the gun to tell everyone, Adrien would probably have been able to reason with her, provide her some experience-based words of encouragement, and avert the crisis that emerged when Rose found out Juleka had told the class about her illness. But you can also argue that if Juleka hadn't witnessed how willing her classmates were to support her, she would still feel alone, thus prolonging her suffering. In this sense, both crisis management styles have their pitfalls and advantages by themselves, but when you put them together, they create a well-rounded solution.
So yes, I'm not even sure I made my point, but that's what I wanted to say.
tl;dr: Guiltrip showed us Marinette and Adrien acting like Ladybug and Chat Noir for 0.2034 seconds and they were both completely unaware.
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ML Fic: I'm fine
(Post Guiltrip: TW:Suicide mention)
Chat noir arrived at their usual meeting place. Ladybug hadn't proposed a night patrol in a long time. Chat noir knows that these always impact his sleep, but its always worth it just to see ladybug.
"Good evening Bugaboo." Chat noir greeted as he took notice of Ladybug, who was standing there. She had her arms crossed and her expression was clearly not one of joy.
"Umm, is something wrong?" Chat noir asked. He felt a brief stint of panic. What did he do wrong? He needed to figure it out quick.
Ladybug walked closer, and as she did chat noir realized her expression wasn't of anger, but of a different emotion, worry.
"Can we talk for a bit Kitty?" Her voice was soft and calm. Chat noir felt himself ease. Maybe she was going to open up about something. He felt guilty that his default was to try and figure out what he did wrong.
Ladybug headed to the edge of the roof. She sat down and patted the spot next to show where she wanted him to sit.
The cat hero complied and sat next to her.
"Quite a beautiful night isn't it?" Chat noir complimented the night. Paris always did sparkle in the night. Both he and Ladybug loved that about the city.
"Yes..." Ladybug agreed, but it was clear her mind was on other things.
"So what is it you want to ask me?" Chat noir inquired.
"How... is your home life?"
Chat noir paused. This was not a question he expected. Ladybug was always the one that put the ax to personal questions.
"My Lady are you planning a home visit?" Chat noir cooed. "I thought we weren't suppose to talk about our personal lives."
"Chat noir, please answer the question." Her tone had a bit more bite to it. Not anger, but concern.
"Oh umm, well. Its alright I guess. Not much to really tell."
"Whats your relationship like with your parents? What's school life for you? Are you bullied? Are you..."
"My school life is fine. I got good friends that I can see when Im not busy with things, like being a hero." Chat noir replied. "Im glad you're interested but I think there is more to this then just a nice chat about our personal lives."
"You're right. There is more to this. Im... worried about you."
"About me?" Chat noir chuckled. "The goofy kitty? Im fine."
"Im serious." The heroine stated, she was not going to let chat noir play this off.
"Ladybug Im fine." Chat noir assured. "I mean if we want to really delve into something, I did have a break up relatively recently, but I was able to move on from it. It just didn't work out since we both wanted different things. "
Ladybug looked at him and softened a bit.
"Im sorry to hear that."
"Its not as bad as you think. I mean its a bit of a rough patch but it will be fine. Honestly you were having more of a tough time from what I remember. How are you doing with all that?"
"Huh? Oh I was a bit bummed but I am reprioritizing things. Superhero stuff makes it hard to date." Ladybug confided. "But Is that the reason you have been so... self destructive..."
"Self-destructive? Wait you think I'm..."
"Don't try and play it off, you have been sacrificing yourself WAY more often than necessary and both of us know it." Ladybug raised her tone.
"You think because of a... No Ladybug. I am doing my job. I buy you time to figure out what the lucky charm does so we can beat the akuma. Have I been a bit reckless a few times, yes. But thats because I know you will fix it. Im not self destructive."
"What about when we fought reflekta and that sentimonster portal."
"That was the bubbles making us feel gloomy. It wasn't reflective of how we are."
"Chat noir those bubbles weren't forcing you to be gloomy it was attracted to your internal guilt and then built on it. When it first hit you, you almost cataclysmed yourself!"
"I was trying to destroy the bubbles."
"That is a load of Bull..."
"You are making a big deal over nothing."
"Chat noir you need to talk with someone. This is serious!"
The blond hero stood up.
"Ladybug, I'm fine. If you want me to stop sacrificing myself when needed I can't. I can promise to try and keep it to a minimum." Chat noir stated. "I appreciate your concern but I really am fine. I think we should just start the patrol."
"Kitty please. I felt crazy overwhelmed and I had someone to talk to about it and it helped. I was in a dark place, I don't want you to suffer."
"Im not suffering Ladybug. Besides its not like you could tell the person everything we go through." Chat noir responded. He was getting ready to go patrol. Ready to jump to the next rooftop. "Lets just start patrolling the..."
"I did though."
"I told someone... who I was." Ladybug answered.
"You... you did?"
"Yes, it made me realize how much of a burden this whole thing is. Without fu, there was no one I could really talk with... he had Marianne who understood. I think you should have someone to talk with that you can tell everything to. It can really help."
Chat noir looked at her.
"I see. I think you should go get some rest Ladybug. I will handle the night patrol."
"Chat noir please."
"Good night Ladybug."
The cat jumped from the roof to the other one. Ladybug got up and quickly followed.
"Chat noir hold on, the conversation is not over."
"I think we've both said enough." Chat noir kept moving. He started moving faster. Ladybug sped up to compensate.
Chat noir tried to lose ladybug, but she was just as fast and in the well lit city, Ladybug could keep finding him.
Chat noir slicked into a dark alley, ladybug followed only to be unable to see where the cat went.
"Kitty please. I know this is a tough conversation... I know it feels like I betrayed your trust. But I want to help you."
A message appears on Ladybug's phone.
She opens it.
'You didn't betray my trust. You did what was right for you to feel better. I don't blame you for that. I just want to be alone right now. I will be fine. Maybe I will talk with someone, I just need some space.'
"Is that what you really want? You don't hate me? You aren't going to do anything rash?"
'It is what I want, I could never hate you, and its just patrol, I won't do any rash decisions.'
"Come out Chaton... please. Let me see your face. I won't leave until I see it. I need to know your okay."
Chat noir sighed. But he walked out of the shadows.
"See, I am okay."
Ladybug hugged him.
"Its okay kitty, Im here. Let me be here for you."
"Im fine ladybug you don't need to do this. Im fine. Im fine."
Ladybug held him tighter. She saw he needed it. She saw the tears streaming down his face. She could see how alone he felt.
"Its my turn to be there for you kitty."
Chat noir felt his heart bang against his chest, he closed his arms around her.
"Im... not fine."
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