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Sentient of a Ladybug

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Chapter 15
Glaciator

 

Now. Chloé wouldn’t say she worried about people often. Or at all… But she ended up worrying about Chat Noir.

On TV was Chat single handedly saving an out of control bus. He looked exhausted but still managed to smile. Chloé hadn’t seen the whole news report, just caught the end when Chat saw the media and bolted for the roof tops.

Reminded her of Adrien when he saw fangirls looking for him. With a kicked puppy look and messy hair. What a funny coincidence it’d be if Chat and Adrien were the same person!


.. That reminds her. She needed to call Adrien about what he was doing later.
So Chloé reached for her phone, hesitating when she saw Kubdel text her.

She’d been more.. Adamant about talking to Dupain-cheng, but always got the wrong dms. At this point she's starting to think it's on purpose.
In her annoyance she replied as she always did to the messages.
It was routine at this point. A routine she found herself willingly falling into place with.

Rollerblade disaster: one, these nicknames suck
Two, wheres Marinette??

Hive Queen: what? Did you expect me to tell you?

Rollerblade disaster: Kind of! I need to talk to her, I told you!

Hive Queen: Well she doesn’t want to talk to you obviously. I'm not her jailer.

Rollerblade disaster: you think i haven’t seen you tailing her during school??


Chloé gasped a bit, glaring down at the text messages in front of her. Their conversations usually always went like this.
Chloé was just half tempted to block Kubdel to force her to text Dupain-cheng herself.
At least she’d stop being a coward and actually TRY

Hive Queen: not my damn fault you lot kept hunting her like a hawk.

Rollerblade disaster: I haven’t done that in a while!
… Your point is proven but STILL!

Hive Queen: Why don’t you just text her yourself?

Rollerblade disaster:

Hive Queen: She has you blocked doesn’t she

Rollerblade disaster: NOT THE POINT
Please can you just tell me??

Hive Queen: not my job, not my place. Ask her yourself.
Stop being a coward.


Chloé quickly muted the chat. She was already annoyed and she knew Kubdel would spam her with messages for a few more hours.
Chloé groaned, feeling a headache coming up. She rubbed her temples in annoyance.

“The things I do for people.” She muttered before calling Adrien.
It rang for a few seconds before he picked up.

“Mm.. Hey Chlo.” he muttered. He sounded tired. He sounded very tired. Worry filled her ever so slightly.
He’s tired occasionally but he never takes naps during the day. Not unless Gabriel is planning something big.

Usually never good.

Chloé let her expression soften, even if he couldn’t see it.
“Hey Adrien. Just calling to check on you and see if you had plans.”

There's a pause. Chloé wanted to laugh when she realized he’d forgotten. The fear of him taking a nap vanished from her. He’s being stupid again.
“Plans..?” he muttered. She assumed he shot up from where he was laying from the background noise

“I HAVE PLANS WITH THE GROUP AND-” he shrieked. She could hear him rushing to get up and possibly presentable.
She finally burst into laughter listening to him.


“SORRY CHLO GOTTA GO BYE-” he hung up on her, but frankly she didn’t care. She was too busy laughing. She kept laughing for a few minutes before catching her breath. She smiled down at her phone before letting it fall off her face.

At least Adrien was happy. That’s what mattered right now.
A happy Adrien was better than a depressed Adrien.


━━━━━♥━━━━━

Adrien let his leg bounce furiously in the car as the Gorilla drove him. Plagg flew out of his shirt pocket, laughing like a gremlin.

“You jerk! You said you’d remind me!” Adrien grabbed plagg, shaking him around furiously. Plagg kept laughing at him.

“It's not my fault you went out as Chat to save that bus!” Adrien froze, remembering it before letting Plagg go.

“.. Point taken.” Adrien mumbled as Plagg laughed more.
Adrien yawned into his hand. He was still horribly sore from doing that solo. Harlequin hadn’t even tried to make an appearance.

He rolled his left shoulder, still feeling the aching pain there.

The car stopped at slight suddenness, as the gorilla grunted.
“Ah! Thank you!” Adrien walked to the door, only to hear a tap on the window. He looked over and met his bodyguard's eyes.

“I’m okay, I promise.” He got a pointed look.

“.. No, just fencing got rough today! I’m with friends, so I'll be okay.” He used his model smile which got him to look away. So Adrien walked out of the car, running up to his friends.


“Alya! Nino! Marinette!” He called out as he ran over with a smile.
Marinette’s gaze shot to him first. He was lucky he’d worn a long jacket today for plagg to hide in.

“Adrien!” Marinette called, beginning to run up to him as he walked over. But he stopped walking to take her in, finding blush making its way up to his face.

Marinette wore a light grey-pink shirt below a pink cardigan. Alongside a plaid skirt with a belt to hold it steady. The shoes she wore were thigh-high boots that’d just made their way into fashion. Her hair was in its normal pigtails, but the left side had a braid pulling half of her bangs out of her face.

She looked lovely.
Adrien didn’t know how to feel about the pounding heart in his chest as she ran up to him with a smile that could melt ice.
“I’m so glad you could make it!” She grabbed his hands, holding them in hers as she bounced up and down slightly.

“I’m glad I could as well!” He matched her smile with a more real one, feeling safe with her in his hands, and him in her hands.

Alya rolled her eyes looking at the two.
“Can you believe them? They’re totally in love with each other!”

Nino spared a glance to Adrien and Marinette before shaking his head.
“Totally. Too bad they’re both as smart as bricks when it comes to romance.” Alya laughed at the joke Nino said, punching him lightly in the shoulder

“Good thing we weren’t.” She said between laughter.

“We nearly were, don’t even try that missy.” Nino ruffled Alya’s hair, causing her to push him away.


Adrien blinked a few, realizing how long they’ve been holding hands.
Marinette’s sense of time returned, realizing she’d been holding his hand for.. More than a minute.

The two pulled apart quickly, Adrien looking to the left while Marinette looked down.

“Sorry!” she held the hem of her skirt, uncontrollable embarrassment filling her.
“It’s okay! It's sort of my fault too.” Adrien muttered.

“We.. We should go to the others.” Marinette gave a soft laugh, quickly rushing to Alya. Adrien followed closely behind her.

“So.. Uh, where are we going?” Adrien said as they got close enough to Alya and Nino for them to hear.

“We’re goin’ to Andre’s. Famous ice cream vendor who’s said his ice cream gives you insight into your soulmate or romance.” Nino spoke first before Alya, pulling his phone out.

“The only catch is that he’s never in one spot, he’s constantly roaming. But his ice cream is really good so everyone is on the lookout for him.” Nino tapped something on his phone, giving a sigh of relief.

“Cool, he’s at the Love Lock bridge this time.” Nino looked up to be met with Adrien’s confused face.

“It’s better if you see it, come on!” Alya said quickly, grabbing Marinette’s hand and dragging her off.
“Alya waaaaaaaiiittt!”


Marinette was out of breath by the time they got to the Love Lock bridge, leaning over and bracing herself on her knees as she caught her breath.

“Sorry girl.” Alya mumbled into her hand as she looked away. Nino looked very amused while Adrien looked concerned.

“You’re.. Cool! Not all of us are on the track team!” Marinette finally wheezed out as she properly stood up.
She looked onto the bridge, seeing Andre there.

She began walking up, being joined by the other three. She was glad they got there when they did, seeing as no one was there. Yet.

“Ah! Nino! Alya!” Andre spotted them, calling out to Alya and Nino. He opened his arms like going for a hug but made no move to give them one.

“I see you’re back for more! I’m so glad to see your love blooming!” He walked back behind his stall, making two ice cream scoops very quickly.

Marinette clapped a little, watching him. Adrien stood by her side, curiously watching.

“Oh? Two new people? What are your names!” Andre was full of warmth, Marinette was surprised the ice cream hadn’t melted.

“I’m.. Uhm.. Marinette.” she felt on the spot.
“Adrien.” He felt like this was a very coincidental scam. But he’ll believe his friends. The miraculi exist so he believes it a bit himself anyways.

“Marinette! Adrien! It’s a pleasure doing business with you for the first time!” His smile made the two of them smile. It was odd.
It felt like they’ve known him for years, yet they just met!
The two walked closer to the stall, stopping just a few feet from it.

“Hmm..” Andre scooped down into what she thought looked like two voids.
“Coconut, for his eyes! Banana for his hair.. And a touch of passion fruit, For his heart!” He threw three scoops up, catching them all in a cone before handing it to Marinette. She stared at it in awe. She felt blush rising to her face.

“And for you young sir..” he paused to think, dramatically raising a finger to tap on his chin before having an idea.
“Blackberries for her hair, Blueberries for her blue eyes and strawberries for her love!” He seemed to dance with the ice cream scoops this time, gently placing each onto the cone.

He handed it to Adrien. His first thought when looking at it was Ladybug.
Her black hair, lovely vibrant blue eyes and her red suit. He kind of wanted to cry. It meant she was still out there.

But he couldn’t. Not as a very familiar voice rang out.

“Adrrien!” Lila called out, walking up the bridge with Ivan, Mylene and Alix.
The whole group froze, all in varying degrees of horror and shock.


Marinette met Lila’s eyes. She felt like she was staring down a predator that wanted her blood.
Kind of how it was, anyways. She was a vulnerable prey that had what the predator wanted. 

How dare you bow down to such a weakling?
Marinette didn’t feel any better now that the voice was back.

“Oh, Marinette! I didn’t see you there!” Lila’s voice held that fake tone. She knew what was coming.
“I’m.. I’m sorry! I didn’t know you’d be here..” she balled her hand into a fist, placing it over her mouth, her other hand was balled as well but more resting on her arm.

The fake tears came next.
“I.. I should just leave, right? It’d be better so you.. I mean we don’t cause any issues.” Marinette felt herself getting angry. She couldn’t be angry.

Mylene gently held Lila, cooing her lightly. Alix looked conflicted, looking between the two.
“Marinette-” she tried saying before being cut off by Ivan.

“Lila, it’s alright! They were just leaving! Right?” Ivan rubbed her back before giving the group of four a glare.

Lila kept sobbing, and barely whispered this time. “I can’t believe she has her claws into Adrien and his friends.. I just wish we could all be friends.” It was almost like magic rolled off her tongue. Marinette felt the fear enclosing. She backed up.

“I.. I..” she stuttered.
She dropped her ice cream.

“Oh! Little Lady! Your ice cream! Let me make you another one!” Andre said quickly, scooping another one up.

Tears welled in her eyes, it's like they wouldn’t stop. Ivan glared at her, same with Mylene.

“N.. No.. I.. I didn’t..” She kept backing up. It felt like the world was closing in on her. Like everything was collapsing just because of her.

“I.. I’m sorry..!” She finally said before running away, with her back turned she finally let the tears fall.

“MARINETTE!” Alya called, quickly rushing after her. Nino was close behind. Adrien felt frozen in place, glancing back to Lila.

He saw the barely concealed smirk on Lila’s face. He saw Alix’s conflicted look. She kept looking between the two groups.

She is taking her damn time to decide and Adrien decided he was having none of it.
He placed his ice cream down quickly on Andre’s stall.

“Make a choice already, dammit! We don’t have all the time in the world!” he finally said, glaring at Alix before he ran off to go find Marinette. Alix flinched, knowing full well what he meant. But yet she still watched them all run off.

None of them noticed the black butterfly flying towards a man in hopelessness.



━━━━━♥━━━━━


Marinette hid in an alleyway. She had listened to her friends chasing her but the overwhelming despair covered her. She didn’t want them to see her this way.

She sat on the floor, curled up and crying into her knees. Duusu was floating in front of her, their little paws resting on her knees.

“Marinette.. Breathe, please! For me!” Duusu said quickly, quietly even.

Pathetic. The voice rang out in her head, making her cry even more.
You have all this power and you do nothing with it? The voice taunted her. Mocked her.

You could’ve destroyed that lying vixen. Calling her a vixen is an insult to actual foxes.. That lying brat. It laughed. This wasn’t her voice. Her laughter. What was it!?

“Who are you..?” she whimpered, the voice fell silent.

Duusu watched Marinette. Duusu felt the magic on Marinette and fear rose in their tiny body. Duusu thought she was gone.

She wasn’t.

To them? I am their nightmare. To you? …… I am your guardian angel. You may call me Madame. Once you picked up the miraculous, you summoned me. Madame said in a soothing voice. The overwhelming feelings she was experiencing seemed to die down.

“.. I.. I see.” She sighed and the tears finally stopped. Duusu flew into her face, looking worried. Maybe terrified. For some reason.

“I’m okay, Duusu. I promise.” She smiled, hugging them to her cheek gently. Duusu sighed in relief. Their smile was gentle.. But she saw the fear in their eyes.

The ground shook, causing Marinette to squeal.
“MARINETTEEE!!” the voice rang out.
“Akuma!” Marinette whimpered, pressing herself closer into her hiding spot.
“You were so sad and surly, but Glaciator will make it all better! I’ll freeze their cold hearts, and yours as well!” The akuma, Glaciator, laughed.

Marinette saw him walk by the alleyway, hand over her mouth as she watched him walk by. He was an ice cream giant, literally. He had the roundness of a snowman, but he had a giant human form. In other circumstances he would’ve looked cute.

“I’m Glaciator, The mean ice-cream man!~ Escape my fury if you can!” He sang out loud, throwing ice cream out of his fists. “I melt your hearts, but I was so wrong! So now, I’ll freeze your bodies so long!” he kept singing that as he walked away. And Marinette saw what the ice cream did if it hit someone.

It froze them solid in ice cream, and she's pretty sure if she touched someone they WOULD be ice cream.


What are you doing? Madame’s voice rang out in her head.
Transform!
“No! I’m not using Duusu like that.” Marinette replied quietly as she got up. The ground’s thumps had become distant, so she's pretty sure Glaciator was far away. The Akuma alert blared from her phone.

Not surprising, just more surprised it took this long.
She quickly read the alarm. What drew her attention was that it seemed Glaciator didn’t attack couples.

She groaned. She found herself gently rubbing the pin hidden inside of her pink cardigan. It’s smooth silver calmed her enough for her to stand up. Duusu flew into her jacket, holding onto her shirt tightly.

“Okay.. I can do this.” She breathed, walking to the entrance of the alleyway.

“One.. Two..” Without hitting three, she bolted out of the alley way, praying to the kwami’s that Glaciator wouldn’t notice her.

Across Paris, Adrien lounged in his bedroom, specifically on his white couch. His plaid jacket was thrown along the back while Plagg sat in Adrien’s hair.

“Where did she go?” Adrien muttered. He felt abandoned for some reason. It was the same feeling of abandonment when Harlequin appeared for the first time. He mentally shook it off, instead deciding to turn the tv on.

“-ja Chamack. Currently there is an akuma alert out for today's latest akuma.” Nadja finished, just as Adrien’s phone went off. He sat up quickly, panic filling his chest.

“The current Akuma calls himself Glaciator.” Nadja started up again, it was her normal news routine when an akuma alert went out.
“His powers are limited to anyone outside, and anyone seemingly not in love according to his words. His..” Nadja breathed in and then sighed. She was suppressing a laugh. “His powers involve shooting ice cream from his hands and turning anyone single into ice cream. So if you must go outside, please go as a pair and at least pretend to be in love.” Nadja finished. The corners of her mouth twitched a bit.

If she wasn’t meant to be professional Adrien would be laughing with her.
“Footage of the akuma will be airing shortly.” Nadja finished as the akuma alert section repeated.

“Plagg!” Adrien called for the little black gremlin who flew out of his cheese fridge.

“Again?” He groaned.

“Claws out!”
“LET ME EAT MY CHEEEEEEEEEEEEE-” Plagg got cut off as he was sucked into the ring, and Chat noir sat where Adrien just had.

Chat noir launched out of Adrien’s bedroom through the suspiciously unlocked window.



━━━━━♥━━━━━


Marinette shrieked a bit as ice cream flew past her face.
As she’d been running Glaciator had seen her and began chasing her.

Her luck has been so poor lately. If it hadn’t been for Madame, she’s sure she’d be frozen by now.
Marinette ran past an opening between two houses she had eyed up but decided she didn’t have time for it.

What she didn’t expect was for a hand to shoot out and pull her into the opening. She went to scream but another hand covered her mouth.

“Shh!” The person, she could now identify as Alix, said as she pulled the two of them to the wall. Hidden behind some boxes.

“Marinettteee!” Glaciator spoke, although it sounded like he yelled it. “Where are you?! Let me freeze that heart of yours!”

He walked past them. Marinette watched him walk past while looking around. A few times she was so sure he’d looked right at her but didn’t see her.

A few seconds passed before Marinette pushed Alix away from her.
Marinette said nothing as she quickly went to the other wall, putting space between them.
Silence stretched out as the two looked at eachother.

Alix caved first, looking away.
“I’m sorry.” Alix said, catching Marinette off guard.
“You were right. I.. I should’ve known!” Alix’s voice got progressively more angry. More disappointed in herself.

“The lies.. They’re so obvious in retrospect!” Alix put her face in her hands before looking back at Marinette. Marinette felt the anger roll off of Alix that shifted to disappointment, anxiety even.

“Marinette, I am so, so sorry. I’ve known you for years yet I believed that.. Brat without thinking! Why did it?!” Alix pulled at her hair as she spoke, whining a bit.

“Alix, it’s okay.. Plus. I don’t think you meant to.” Marinette smiled quietly as she curled up, placing her chin on her knees.
“I think Lila is using some form of magic. Something that warps you mentally into believing her.” Marinette drew circles on the ground with her index finger, watching the dust pile up on her fingers.

The silence returned as Alix processed the information.
“That..” Alix paused before continuing “jerk.”

Marinette laughed. “Yeah.”

“Why didn’t..” Alix stopped herself.
“Oh my god you did try. That's why Alya, Adrien and nino were always with you!” Alix shot up, Marinette remained silent as Alix let everything click into place.

“Chloé.. She knew! She didn’t need you to convince her! Damnit! She made us do-” Alix stopped, fear in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Marinette. I am SO sorry. I hope you can forgive me.. Forgive us sometime soon.” Alix finished quietly. Walking over to Marinette and quietly sitting next to her.

Marinette didn’t move away, just looked at Alix.
“I already do.” Marinette pulled Alix into a hug. “I never blamed any of you.”

Alix felt tears come to her eyes. She hugged Marinette back, crying quietly. “We don’t deserve someone as caring as you.”

“Yes you do.” Marinette replied back, gently rubbing Alix’s back.
The two remained there for a while before Alix stood up.

“Come on, we gotta get to safety. This isn’t the safest place.” Alix wiped the remaining tears from her eyes, smiling down at Marinette as she held her hand out.

“Yeah, not exactly the safest.” Marinette took Alix’s hand, pulling herself up. The two stood there awkwardly before Marinette pulled her hand away.

“Well.. Where’s the safest place to go right now?” Marinette pulled her phone out as she spoke.

“No clue. I was using the ice cream people as landmarks until we ran into each other” Alix rubbed the back of her head, looking at the road outside of the alley they were in.

“At this point it’d be safer just to let the heroes take care of the akuma.” Marinette put her phone away, she had a store in mind but doubted she’d get there in time without Glaciator seeing her.

“Can’t be that hard of an akuma.” Alix shook her head.

Marinette looked at Alix, something inside her told her that she could let Alix know but at the same time that grip of secrecy was there, preventing her from even telling her parents.

But confidence rolled over her for once, she felt like she could trust Alix. Alix broke through the lies with barely any help from Marinette. Maybe.. Maybe Alix could be trusted with a truth she couldn't even trust herself with. Maybe all of her friends could! But if she did this one small move.. She could do it for the others!

Her mouth opened before she could think.
“Alix I need to te-” She was cut off as the Ladybug’s flew over Paris, fixing the damage the, now purified, akuma had caused.

All confidence drained from her. She closed her mouth and looked away.
What was she thinking?
She was a fool for trying! Even fate didn’t want her to tell anyone! Why should she try!?

“Huh? What was that Marinette?” Alix looked at Marinette, she could feel the comfort and the trust from Alix but she just couldn’t!

“Nothing. I.. I need to get home, sorry!” Marinette without letting Alix reply.

She was a coward.
Coward. Madame’s voice rang out in her head. Marinette kept running.
Pathetic coward. Worthless coward. Marinette covered her ears in a vain effort to block her voice. Madame kept calling her a coward anyways.


The run from her hiding spot and to her house was a blur. She only realized she was home when she launched herself into bed, under the safety of the blankets.

A coward like you needs help. Madame’s voice became silky, like she was comforting a child.
Trust me, child and I'll help you. I’ll make you into the best version of yourself. The person you always dreamed to be. Marinette almost felt Madame’s arms fall over her, like a mother comforting her crying child.

She nodded.

Good.


A knock above her broke her from the daze she was in.

She removed the blankets from her and looked up, to be met with two green cat eyes.

She stood up, pushing the trap door open and pulling herself up to her balcony.
Chat stood a bit in front of the trap door, holding a hand out for her.
She didn’t take it.

“Princess!” he said in relief as she closed the trap door, fully on the balcony and turned to face chat.

“Hello chat, what's up?” She said with a smile. For some reason it didn’t feel like her smile. Yet it did at the same time.

“I was checking on you, Glaciator was targeting you.” He walked to the balcony railing, leaning on it. Marinette followed and stood by the railing.

“I managed to escape without being turned to ice! But that wasn’t any fun.” She laughed. Why was she laughing again?

“I'm just glad my princess is okay.” He grabbed her hand, kissing the top of it. She blushed.

“Thank you, Chat. I promise I'm okay.” She pulled away. She refused to meet his eyes. “You should go home, you're tired aren’t you?”

Chat yawned. “I guess I am. I’ll see you around then, Princess.” without another word he used his baton to launch himself into the skyline, disappearing over the horizon.


She didn’t want to see him leave, yet at the same time wanted to be alone.
Her heart ached. Yet she made no move to fix that ache.

She’s pretty worthless without help isn’t she? 

Is what Marinette wondered to herself as she crawled back down her trapdoor, throwing her shoes off and getting into bed.

Without me, you’d be nothing. Madame whispered.
Marinette slowly closed her eyes, falling into sleep as the day's adrenaline slowly disappeared.

That night, Marinette didn’t dream.