Something Special

BY : Cat_Eyes
Category: +M through R > Miraculous LadyBug
Dragon prints: 676
Disclaimer: I do not own Miraculous Ladybug. Miraculous Ladybug is the intellectual property of Thomas Astruc and released by Zag studios. No profit was made writing this story.

Marinette watched as Lila glided around the courtyard, moving from group to group as she spun her tall tales. It was a strategy to avoid the New Kid Syndrome. To make up stories about herself so she seemed more interesting, or like she had something to offer. Basically, to make herself instantly popular.

She understood Lila’s motives, though she couldn’t empathise. It must be tough, starting a new school, and so late in the year. She had to leave her old friends behind and then be forced to attempt to break in to established cliques for a chance to make friends. It would be nearly impossible.

Marinette was torn. She disliked liars, therefore, she disliked Lila on principle. She also pitied Lila for her change in circumstance and her apparent pathological need to lie in order to fit in. Mixed in with that was the massive weight of guilt for getting Lila akumatised after Ladybug had embarrassed her.

She huffed as Lila told another story to a group of junior students. Marinette shook her head in disbelief as the younger girls believed everything Lila told them. It amazed Marinette that, even though word had gotten out, and everyone knew Lila was Volpina, they were still taken in by her lies. Marinette was certain it was her civic duty to do something.

‘What are you scowling at?’ Alya asked as she stepped in front of Marinette.

‘Nothing. I’m not. Just thinking,’ Marinette evaded. She cringed inwardly at her hypocrisy. 

‘You looked like you were trying to set Lila on fire with your thoughts.’

‘It just bugs me, you know?’ she huffed as her arms began to wave around in agitation. ‘She’s a known liar. She’s never met Jagged Stone, she doesn’t know any Hollywood directors, and she was never friends with Ladybug. Everyone knows all this, so why do they believe her?’ Marinette heaved a breath.

Alya looked at her thoughtfully for a moment. ‘Have you ever read Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind?’

Marinette’s arms dropped. ‘What?’

‘Wizard’s first rule,’ Alya continued, ‘is that people will believe anything. Either because they want it to be true, or because they’re afraid it might be.’ Alya indicated the group of younger girls behind her. ‘Which do you think they are?’

Marinette regarded the different groups of people as they stood, sat, talked, and played games. They were, mostly, good people. They didn’t need someone lying to them. 

‘Logically, they have to know somewhere, deep down, that Lila’s not being honest with them, surely,’ Marinette asked, bemused.

Alya nodded, ‘probably, they do. But if you go in there, righteous guns blazing, and tell them to stop listening to Lila, who do you think that’ll hurt most?’

Marinette sent Alya a small glare; she hated it when Alya acted like a mother.

‘Yeah, you know I’m right,’ she gloated.

Marinette groaned. Alya was right. If she went over there and told everyone to stop listening to Lila’s stories, she’d just look petty and spiteful. A stubbornly resistant part of Marinette’s mind insisted this shouldn’t be allowed to continue, either. Marinette found herself in a conundrum.

Alya sighed, ‘if it bothers you that much, why not have a quiet word with Lila herself. Maybe she just needs a friend.’

Marinette could have smacked herself. She looked askance at Alya and said, ‘That’s weird, coming from someone who doesn’t even like Lila.’

Alya merely shrugged.

Later, Marinette found Lila in the library. She was alone, looking for a reference book for an assignment.

‘Lila,’ Marinette called softly, ‘do you mind if we talk?’

Lila straightened as she looked at Marinette, a wary look in her eye as she asked, ‘What about?’

Marinette balked. She had not thought this through. ‘Uh, well, it’s my job as class rep to make sure every student is comfortable and fitting in, and I’ve become aware that I’ve been doing a less-than-stellar job of that,’ she stuttered as she rubbed the back of her head.

Lila regarded her coolly. ‘You’re friends with the ladybug blogger, Alya, right?’

‘Yeah,’ Marinette drawled, uncertain where Lila was going with this.

‘Your friend idolises the Bug. I can’t stand the sight of her. I’ve made no secret of this. So my question is, why should you care about me?’

Marinette blinked as she registered that. Lila thought Marinette would hate her because Lila and Alya had opposing opinions about Ladybug. Since Alya was Marinette’s best friend, she was expected to side with Alya in a show of solidarity. Schoolyard politics at its finest.

‘Listen, Lila, it doesn’t matter how you feel about Ladybug. In all honesty, I don’t blame you for being mad. From what I’ve heard, anyway,’ she quickly tacked on with a nervous giggle.

‘Where are you going with this?’ Lila asked, crossing her arms.

Marinette scrubbed her hands down her face. ‘Look, let me be frank . I know you’re still telling lies to try to fit in here. I can see that it’s hard for you, coming to a new school and having to make new friends. But you don’t need to make up stories to make yourself more interesting. You actually have traveled all over the world. Your parents are diplomats. You’re plenty interesting just as you are - you don’t need to pretend anymore. You are enough.’

Lila stared at Marinette with wide eyes.

‘Just, um. Just thought you should know,’ Marinette muttered as she ducked her head and left. 

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