Continuing Tales


A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by spectaclesandbooks

Part 36 of 38

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"Welcome back, Marinette!"

The enthusiasm with which Marinette was greeted was startling enough to make her trip through the door way as practically the entire class shouted at her arrival. Fortunately, Adrien was directly behind her and was ready to catch her and prevent the otherwise-inevitable face plant, and he did so with a chuckle.

Even Madame Bustier was smiling at the bluenette as she turned pink at the attention and stammered her thanks. The beaming grins of her classmates were everywhere and unavoidable, so Mari resigned herself to staying scarlet for the rest of the period. She shyly took her seat next to Adrien and tried not to look too pleased with her reception. It didn't last long- people started crowding around her the moment she sat down, anxious to make the most of the few minutes they had before registration officially began by talking to their newly-interesting classmate.

"How are you feeling? You look well," gushed Rose, staring awe-struck at the other girl.

"You're totally hard core, serious respect." Juleka stated and Ivan nodded his agreement.

"You were so brave!" Alix's compliment made Mari blush even harder, unused to all the attention.

"What happened? There's no footage of what happened to you, all anyone managed to film was what happened to Ladybug." The words from Max were possibly the most nerve-racking, and Mari shot a helpless look at Adrien. This was what she hadn't looked forwards to about her return to school- the questioning. Apparently three weeks in hospital and then three more days off at home weren't enough to dissipate anyone's interest in the events that had put her in hospital. Luckily, she'd spent enough time with Alya, Nino and Adrien to get her story straight. She hoped she was prepared enough.

"What do you want to know, exactly?" Mari asked nervously, grateful for the calming pressure of Adrien's hand on hers under the desk.

"Well… Adrien, Alya and Nino have pretty much told us everything." Mylene admitted and the others nodded. "But we wanna hear it from your point of view!"

"Yeah, considering you're the one who actually… y'know…" Kim trailed off, a little sheepish.

"Got shot?" Mari supplied with a laugh, and some others laughed too, relieved at her light-heartedness. "Well okay, you all know that the four of us were at the pizzeria when the bomb went off. I was a bit dizzy and bruised afterwards, but I took the others to safety, then went back to help other people get away from the fire. I knew I was probably in more of a sound mind than loads of the other people who had been there, and I knew I'd be able to help. I couldn't just stand there, so I ran back."

"Wow…" Nathanael muttered, looking star-struck. Marinette grinned to herself when Adrien's hand tightened territorially on hers before continuing.

"I saw Ladybug and Chat Noir helping people get away, and they pointed me in the direction of some people who were, like, dizzy or injured after the explosion. I helped a couple of people away from the smoke and stuff, then Adrien showed up." She shook her head at him, exasperated, and he shrugged.

"I wasn't about to let you go on your own." He snorted. "I know you. You'd probably have tripped over and fallen face-first into the fire if I hadn't turned up to help."

Marinette looked outraged. Of course, this was all for show- the four had practiced their story over and over until they were all word-perfect. This was all part of the façade.

"Hey, I was doing fine!"

"Until you got shot." Nino muttered, and their classmates looked at him, aghast, until Marinette laughed.

"Yeah, but that had nothing to do with me. It wasn't my fault the robber had a terrible aim."

"Yeah, what exactly went down with that?" Alix asked, and the class refocused on the bluenette.

Mari took a deep breath- this was the important bit.

"It was after the fire engines had put out the fire, and were starting to drive away- the ambulances too. People were starting to leave, and then this shot rang out and there were five guys in front of the where the bank had exploded. This one man was telling everyone to stay back while they robbed the place, and they all had guns so everyone was screaming and running for cover. Chat and Ladybug showed up after two guys went in to rob it while the other three stayed outside. Chat took down the first two, and Ladybug took down the other one. Adrien and I were hiding behind an overturned car at this point, and I noticed that there were these other two kids hiding a couple of feet away. They couldn't have been more than, what-" she looked at Adrien, "eight, nine?"

"I reckon one was eight and the other seven." He agreed, as planned, and Marinette nodded before returning to her story.

"Yeah, so they were like half our age and obviously scared out of their minds. They were sobbing and honestly looked like they were about to faint. So while I thought Chat Noir and Ladybug were taking care of things, I stood up from behind the car and started going over to them when one of the other robbers came out of the bank and shot twice at Ladybug. The second shot was the one that hit Ladybug, but the first one hit me."

There was an awed silence, her classmates looking at her with respect and amazement. As the hush continued, Mari grew nervous and blushed even deeper. The silence wasn't reassuring, and her mind went into panic-mode.

Had her story not been convincing? Had they not believed it? Were they all slowly making the connection? Was she fully revealed?

Adrien sensed her growing panic, and jumped in.

"I saw Mari get hit," he continued confidently and was relieved when his classmates' eyes snapped to him. "And there weren't any ambulances left, they'd all gone back to the hospital with the other injured people, so I carried her to where Alya and Nino were, and we waited for the paramedics there."

"It was terrifying." Alya admitted, drawing the attention to herself like they'd scripted. "He shows up with Mari in his arms and then she's covered in blood and barely conscious…" She didn't need to force the shudder that rocked through her body at the memory.

"We had to stop her from going into shock," Nino explained. "We needed to keep her warm and awake, so we did, and then the ambulances arrived and I brought the paramedics so they could pack her into an ambulance and get her off to the hospital."

"And then one paramedic said we could go in the next ambulance to get us checked out for shock and stuff." Adrien finished, hoping that they wouldn't be forced to improvise any answers to unexpected questions. For the last month or so, he, Alya and Nino had avoided their classmates' curiosity as much as possible, insisting that they'd explain everything better when Marinette came back. This had given them time to rehearse their story with the girl in question, as well as checking it several times to look for any plot-holes. It seemed watertight, and the four were just hoping it would hold up under their classmates' scrutiny. They were also praying that Chloe wouldn't make it her business to make life difficult for Mari.

The blonde had been remarkably quiet over the last few weeks, only shooting them thoughtful and suspicious glances across the classroom every now and then. She was clearly pondering whether or not they, too, knew Mari's secret, and they'd given her no incentive to think one option was more likely than the other. In fact, Chloe had decided that they probably did know, but that they also knew that she'd been blackmailing the girl with that secret in particular. She had a feeling they were waiting for her to make a move before laying into her about it, and had decided that the best course of action was to stay quiet.

She was sitting silently in her seat now, fuming at Sabrina's interest in Marinette's story but resolving that it would be better for her health if she didn't say anything incriminating about the similarities between Marinette's and Ladybug's injuries. She didn't want to go up against Alya, Nino and Adrien in class, and she doubted that her other classmates would be very impressed with her, no matter how satisfying the look of panic on Marinette's face would be. And, truth be told, she was ever-so-slightly absolutely terrified of Chat Noir after he'd broken into her room and smashed her phone, and was loathe to do anything that might incur his wrath. So she remained quiet, only giving irritated huffs now and then to voice her displeasure at the attention she wasn't being given.

"You're so brave," murmured Sabrina quietly. "I could never have done something like that."

"Yeah, running back towards the fire and saving those civilians? Totally cool." Juleka was just as awe-struck, even more so than she had been when she'd found out Mari had created the artwork for Jagged Stone's most popular album yet. Which was saying something.

"Respect." Agreed Kim and Mari breathed an inward sigh of relief.

They'd bought it.

She shared a quiet look of gratitude with her three co-conspirators, secretly thankful when the bell rang and her other friends were forced to go back to their own seats.

Madame Bustier, who was pretending she hadn't been listening intently to every word of the conversation, stood up to get the class' attention.

"Good morning, class. As you all obviously know, today we're welcoming back one of our classmates after her injuries at the Champs-Elysees robbery, but I hope you're not all too distracted to focus on today's lessons. But Marinette, we are all immensely proud of you, and are awed by your bravery, selflessness and heroism. That being said, we must get back to class." The woman smiled kindly at the now-scarlet teenager before picking up the register and calling out the names.

After answering for himself, Adrien looked over at his girlfriend, squeezing her hand under the desk with a smile.

"Hear that?" He muttered. She looked at him questioningly, the embarrassment but pride still evident on her blushing face. "You're brave, selfless and heroic."

She giggled quietly, giddy with relief that her classmates had believed them. She waved his words away good-naturedly, speaking in a low voice.

"Please. All in a day's work."


A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by spectaclesandbooks

Part 36 of 38

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