"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. One who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
Volpina returns with deadly intentions and a spiral of events lead to the death of Paris' beloved hero, Ladybug. At the point of her death and for the days after each character must face their pain and learn to cope with grief while Volpina continues to haunt Paris.
Marinette was pretty damn sure her day could not get any worse: A new akuma was terrorizing Paris, her commute to school was laden with misfortune in the form of a punctured umbrella, rain-soaked clothing, and a twisted ankle. Worst of all, Chloé Bourgeois was one step closer to stealing Adrien away from her. He had finally accepted her offer to dinner. Even if that wasn’t successful, she still had the new exchange student, Lila, to worry about. Even if Chloé wasn’t going to win Adrien over, Lila was still a threat.
Marinette held back her frustration as she called out for her transformation: “TIKKI TRANSFORMÉ MOI!”
In an instant, a light red glow engulfed her form. Her casual clothing quickly faded to reveal the iconic red and black spandex suit of her counterpart, Ladybug. She swung her yoyo, taking to the skies to reach the akumatized victim. The victim took the alias of “Newscaster”, she went around the city exposing some of the city’s greatest role models as evil and loading Parisians’ minds with traumatizing memories. This time, Ladybug was the alleged culprit on the list of people’s lives Newscaster had to ruin. Ladybug’s tussle with Lila over the importance of truth had been more of a petty argument, and Newscaster was obliged to show this much and more to the public.
The akuma victim roared as she charged towards Ladybug, but Ladybug quickly counter-attacked. Sliding under her outstretched arm, she kicked Newscaster in the back, causing her to fall to her stomach. The akuma was located in her microphone. Every word she spoke into it could be heard by all the world and everything she showed it could be seen. “Ah, a little bug. Such a small, insignificant, spoiled girl in her perfect world,” Newscaster laughed.
“What do you want?” growled Ladybug as she flung her yoyo towards her foe.
“You shouldn’t be attacking me, you wouldn’t want the city of Paris to know how bad a hero you really are, would you?” replied Newscaster. A violet mask appeared before her eyes as her controller encouraged her on.
“Yesssss! Yesss!” Rang Hawkmoth’s voice in the back of Newscaster’s mind.
Ladybug rolled her eyes as she jumped toward the akuma in an attempt to pull the akumatized object away, but with little success. “And what evidence do you have of this claim?” Ladybug challenged, trying to buy herself some time.
Newscaster smirked. “Just this little clip here,” she replied, holding out her phone. It was a video from the other week, or a compilation of videos, that is. There Ladybug was, interrogating Lila - she’d been more pompous than she had in a while before the girl ran off crying. It was only logical to assume she’d caused the girl’s akumatization. Another clip featured her slipping off her earrings, slowly giving into the akuma.
“See, Ladybug? You’re just a little teenager in spandex, nothing more!” Ladybug swung for the microphone again in desperation and missed;-it was too late. Newscaster was speaking into her microphone, “Parisians, Parisians, I’m about to show you what a ‘true’ hero Ladybug is.”
Ladybug swung her yoyo forward again grunting as Newscaster placed her cell phone in front of the mic, and the video became public in an instant. Ladybug turned to look and all her cheering fans’ smiles had turned to angry scowls. They hated her, and it was all this akuma's fault.
“Lucky Charm!” cried Ladybug in desperation, and in her hands landed a small, speaker-sized amp. “An amp?” She asked with curiosity. Ladybug looked around and smiled as she determined how to use the object. She faced it towards Newscaster’s microphone, causing excessive feedback. Newscaster grunted, dropping the mic as Ladybug grabbed it, snapping it in half. She then purified the akuma, but she felt no joy. When the akumatized victim had returned to her normal form, Nadja Chamack, Ladybug didn’t do her usual calm the victim and smile. Instead, she ran off in tears just as her transformation wore off, flopping onto her bed the minute she reached home. Marinette had been right, today had been the worst day ever.
The next few weeks passed slowly and painfully. School wasn’t that bad aside from watching Chloé try to flirt or whatever it was she had with Adrien. Lila, of course, was making her own advances on Adrien that Marinette failed to approve of.
But as Ladybug, god, that was when things went badly. She was ridiculed and attacked, and even the saved akumatized victims gave her looks of disgust. Ladybug would beg for forgiveness every time but to no avail. She was hated.
“Is being Ladybug even worth it anymore?” Marinette exhaustedly threw the blanket over herself, Tikki at her side. “Given the current circumstances, at least. On any other day, I’d say that this would be a great life with only a few drawbacks.”
Tikki sighed. “It’s up to you, Marinette. Whether you choose to continue on as Ladybug
“That’s the thing! I don’t know what decision’s the right one!” Marinette exclaimed, sinking into her pillow.
“I heard that Adrien’s still hardcore into Ladybug.” Tikki chirped, a smirk playing across her lips.
Marinette peeked out from underneath her pillow. “Really?”
“Mm-hmm!” Replied the Kwami, giving her an encouraging smile.
“You know, I think I can handle being Ladybug a little longer.”
These conversations with Tikki had been almost all Marinette depended on for motivation. Alya’s Ladyblog was the other major benefit. It’d still been going strong even after Newscaster’s blow to her reputation. Sometimes, Marinette would check on the Ladyblog if she really needed a boost, and she’d walk out of the house with her head held high. This time her joy was short lived as she noticed Lila flirting with Adrien by his locker. That’s when things went too far and she kissed him.Or she tried to, but Adrien pulled himself away.
“Lila, I’ve already told you no. I’m in love with Ladybug.”
At that, Marinette felt a cold chill run over her, but she had to escape her mind to continue watching.
“Why do you like her? She’s just a little bitch who got me akumatized! Ladybug is the worst!” Lila barked.
Adrien gritted his teeth, “You don’t know that! You don’t know anything at all!” he yelled. “Lila, you are just an insecure liar, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.” Adrien shook his head before he slammed his locker and left the building.
Lila sprinted off before sitting on a park bench dropping her head into her heads, “Stupid Ladybug, such a pretentious little bitch. Well, I’ll show you.”
A small butterfly entered her necklace. “Volpina,” drummed a familiar voice in her ear. “Let’s see if you succeed this time shall we?”
Lila cackled. “And take her down once and for all? I’m in, Hawkmoth.”
Purple smoke engulfed her and soon Lila had been replaced with Volpina.
Marinette paused for a second to catch her breath, and in the instant she did, an orb of light flew past her ear and she felt the hair in her ponytail whip her across her left cheek, leaving it stinging. Gasping from the sudden pain, she held back tears and clutched her hand to her cheek. Marinette pressed her fingers to her temple, and massaged the area slowly. Suddenly, another bright streak flew across the sky and the gates behind her began to bend and fold into themselves, sealing people into the park. She looked up and spotted a orange figure on top of nearby buildings, wielding a staff. Even more panic rose up in her chest, as Volpina met her gaze. Marinette started forward; this was the moment she’d been waiting for, a chance to take Volpina down herself, and redeem her name.
“TIKKI TRANSFORMÉ MOI!”
Ladybug readied her yoyo, fixated upon the sight of Volpina’s orange streak across the sky, but she was stopped short. “My lady!” Called a familiar voice.
Ladybug whipped her head around to see Chat Noir behind her, “What do you want Chat?” She asked with annoyance.
“I don’t want you to go,” he said firmly.
“Chat, Paris hates me! This is the only way I can win them back!”
“How is defeating her any different than defeating any other akuma?” Chat asked.
Ladybug sighed. “Because… I can’t explain it, I need to go.”
“I want to protect you.”
Ladybug offered a tender smile. “I appreciate that, and you know I do, but it’s best I do this on my own.”
Chat leaned in and connected his lips to Ladybug for a split second before pulling away. Ladybug felt a tongue on her bottom lip before he did so. She felt a sudden urge to wrap her arms around Chat’s neck and do it again, but she had more pressing matters to deal with.
Snapping back to reality, Ladybug frowned. “What was that?”
Chat laughed, blushing, and smiling. “I was afraid you’d punch me,” he replied before embracing her. “Be careful ok?”
Ladybug nodded her head. “I will,” she replied.
“Well, I guess you’re off, the-” Chat’s words were cut off by Ladybug’s soft hand on the nape of his neck. A feather-light peck on the corner of his mouth and a tiny sting where Ladybug’s hand had been. She bit me?
“Take off the mask sometime. We’d do well on a date together!” Ladybug winked, hugging Chat tightly before forcing her legs to pull her away.
“I look forward to it, my lady!” Chat yelled. When he was sure Ladybug was out of earshot, he blew a kiss in her direction and whispered to himself. “I knew it’d happen one day.”
Throwing her arm forward, Ladybug thrust her yoyo into the black, swinging herself to the other side of the street when one string of buildings ended. Whenever she could exercise her acrobatics like this, it always made her feel weightless, and tonight was no exception. After all, the view was wonderful: ruddy-pink orbs of light dotted the city, accompanied by spectacular yellow and orange lambency. Half-laughing, half-crying, Ladybug whooped as she jumped, enjoying her freedom to the fullest. She stopped to catch her breath on a chimney, her levity gone. At the moment that she regained her stamina, her instincts told her to head for the Eiffel Tower. Though the tower was already illuminated, Ladybug could feel something was there, and sprinted across the empty streets to get there. Strangely, there were no cars, no night buses, nothing that Ladybug would have to dodge in order to get to the Eiffel. Not that it really mattered, anyway. Traffic always had its way, but at least it was giving her some time.
Ladybug danced through the metal lattice of the tower, using her yoyo to grapple onto specific points that would get her to the top the quickest. On her way up, she thought of Adrien; she thought of Chat; she thought of Paris and Alya and her parents; she thought of everything she fought for. By the time Ladybug reached the Eiffel’s spire, she felt ready to set things right with herself and Paris. If even one Parisian sees me take down Volpina, they’ll finally realize that I want to protect the city, her thoughts screamed, spurring her on.
“Aha! Ladybug. I was wondering when you’d show your face,” sneered Volpina, grasping her pipe firmly in both her hands. Ladybug readied her yoyo, and took a tentative step forward. “What’s the matter? No cat to cover your back?” Volpina’s voice rang out from the darkness surrounding them.
“Oh, just passing by, Lila?” Ladybug remarked, hand on her hip. The use of Volpina’s real name unhinged the villain slightly and Ladybug used this time to formulate some semblance of a plan.
“Don’t call me that.” Volpina growled. It’d clearly struck a nerve. She took a menacing step forward and raised her pipe. She brought it down onto Ladybug’s knees, forcing her to reel backwards. Volpina sneered and advanced forward again, pipe raised. Ladybug was ready for the attack this time, and flung her yoyo forward and latched onto the pipe. Grunting with effort, she used all her remaining strength to pull the stick from Volpina’s grasp, and flung it across the rooftop, away from them both and into a plant pot nearby.
Ladybug began to step backwards away from Volpina, but before she knew it Volpina was right in front of her. “You think you’re so amazing, don’t you?” This was followed by a sharp blow to Ladybug’s right shoulder. “Paris’ little saviour!” This was followed by a blow to her left knee. “You’re just a bug!” Volpina kicked Ladybug square in the stomach, winding her and forcing her to her knees. “Nothing more but a pathetic bug, and I’m going to make that clear to the rest of the world.” This last remark was followed by a kick to Ladybug’s face, which left her side on to the floor, gasping for breath and struggling to see in focus. Volpina walked over to her pipe, and began to blow yet another illusion from it.
“Ladybug sighed, yoyo at the ready. “Lila, it’s not too late to change. I was selfish and underhanded and I don’t know what else, but you’re going much too far!”
“Oh, Ladybug, haven’t you heard?” Volpina’s laugh rang out against the cold night air. “Lila’s gone. And you’re about to be with her soon.” She charged toward Ladybug, hands outstretched. Ladybug lunged to the left, narrowly missing Volpina’s attack, making the villain lose her balance momentarily. Ladybug used this time to send a swift kick into her back, making her fall forward. Volpina snapped her head around with fury in her eyes and lunged at Ladybug again. Ladybug barely had time to react before Volpina had recovered and lunged for another attack. Ladybug turned and saw the villain holding a small knife, the blade reflecting Paris’ city lights below.
“Nice try, Lila, but I’m done falling for your pathetic illusions. It may have almost worked before, but not this time!” Repeated Ladybug in triumph, though she saw Volpina smiling imperiously in front of her.
Volpina laughed, a twisted cackle, and twirled the blade in her hand. “Oh, this? This isn’t fake, not at all. You could say it’s dreadfully real, no?”
Ladybug crawled back towards the edge of the rooftop as Volpina came closer and closer.
“Goodbye petit coccinelle,” Volpina said, thrusting the knife forwards. Ladybug twisted to the side, narrowly avoiding the blade, but rolled into some potted plants standing nearby.
“Oh that’s what you want don’t you? You want to play cat and mouse? Or fox and bug?” Volpina twisted the knife in her hands, and started forward again, as Ladybug scrambled to her feet, unable to catch her breath.
It was one swift motion that ended it all. It’s funny how one action can dictate everything that happens next. Just a thrust directly into her stomach, that’s all it took. Volpina cackled maliciously, mirroring that of Hawkmoth’s many miles away.
“NOW!” Yelled Hawkmoth in triumph, “BRING ME HER MIRACULOUS!”
“No way old man, you promised me I could get what I wanted before you got what YOU wanted. Well, I’m not done. I still need Adrien to be MINE!” Volpina looked down at the convulsing Ladybug, who was bent in a fetal position around the weapon protruding from her stomach. “He’s mine now, bitch.” And with a final kick to Ladybug’s bruised and battered body, she took towards the skies, leaving Ladybug to wither on the rooftop.
Chat Noir arrived moments later seeing her limp body laying on the roof, he ran over and scooped her up into his arms and took the knife from her stomach tossing it aside angrily "VULPINA, HAWKMOTH YOU ARE GOING TO PAY!" He screamed into the cool air.
"Oh god, this is my fault" he said trying no to cry stroking Ladybugs bruised face brushing the blood away. " If only I had gotten here sooner." He leaned down and kissed her cold lips. "I love you Ladybug."
Weeks later Adrian stood by Ladybug's grave still unknowing that Ladybug was Marinette. He placed flowers down and cried silently as the rain poured not ready to say goodbye to his mysterious lover and partner in fighting crime.
- The fanfiction thus far is on Archive