The Wrath of the Bug

BY : Cat_Eyes
Category: +M through R > Miraculous LadyBug
Dragon prints: 600
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's transformation fell away as she dropped through her roof access hatch. She flung her arms out, falling against her pillows with a smile.

'Marinette,' Tikki said, reproachfully. 'You know Lucky Charm isn't to be used for frivolous purposes.'

'I wasn't being frivolous,' Marinette argued. 'Adrien needed serious help.'

Tikki crossed her arms. 'A hairbrush counts as serious help?'

'He was in danger of looking like Chat Noir,' Marinette explained. Chat Noir was a dear friend and a valued partner, but she didn't want Adrien to look like him. The very idea was unsettling.

'Marinette, I don't think you appreciate just how hard it is to conjure a Lucky Charm. To waste one on something like this is childish and irresponsible.'

Marinette sat up and scowled at Tikki. 'Your job is hard?' she asked, sceptically. 'I'm the one doing all the heavy lifting.'

Tikki gasped. 'Who do you think is the one who augments your strength and stamina? That power doesn't come from nowhere, you know.'

Marinette waved a dismissive hand. 'Oh, please. I'm the one doing all the running, fighting, and taking the hits. You just cruise along inside the earrings.'

Glowering, Tikki said, 'I suppose you also think I don't shield your body from those blows. Haven't you ever wondered why you barely feel those hits? It's because I take them for you. I'll have you know, my job is extremely hard. You certainly couldn't do it.'

Marinette let out a disdainful snort. 'You think I can't handle sitting around all day eating, sleeping, and dishing out holier-than-thou speeches? You give yourself too much credit.'

Tikki scowled as her body pivoted from side to side in annoyance, her arms curling up to look like tiny fists.

'Marinette, dinner,' Sabine called from the kitchen.

Marinette turned her nose up with a sniff and left. Tikki glared at her back, still buzzing with fury.

 


 

Marinette drifted into wakefulness reluctantly, her phone chiming an alarm from its shelf. She reached up to swat it into silence, but smacked herself in the face, instead. She groaned and heaved herself upright, but immediately fell forward, her heavy head dragging her down. Marinette grumbled a wordless complaint and rolled onto her back as she slowly opened her eyes.

Beside her was an enormous shape. Marinette squawked in alarm and tried to push herself back, but her tiny limbs only flailed ineffectively about. Marinette stopped, inspecting her new appendages, her mouth dropping open in horror.

The large mound beside her rolled over and sat up. 'You're awake, I see.'

Marinette stared up at her own face as it smiled vindictively down at her. Marinette turned to her currant body, once more, patting her face and head in disbelief. 'What did you do?' she screeched.

Tikki smirked with Marinette's lips. 'I switched our bodies. Now you'll see just how hard my job is.'

Marinette felt weak. 'What kind of kwami bull dust is this?'

Tikki shrugged. 'Sometimes we get ungrateful wielders who fail to appreciate what we kwami go through for them. This trick was devised centuries ago to teach them a lesson.'

'Well,' Marinette huffed, 'I'm the kwami now, so I'll just reverse it.'

Tikki shook her head. 'You may have all my magic, but do you know how to use it?'

Marinette's mouth fell open again. 'You little brat,' she cried as she attempted to lunge forward. Unused to her new proportions, all she managed was to fall on her face, her indignant cries muffled by the pillow she had slept on. Tikki kept smirking, shaking her head at Marinette's efforts.

'Marinette, time to get up. You're going to be latte for school,' called Sabine.

Marinette's eyes bulged. 'School? I can't go to school like this.'

'No, you can't,' Tikki agreed with an arch look.

'Switch us back,' Marinette pleaded. 'You can teach me a lesson on the weekend or something.'

Tikki laughed. 'Oh, no. I've been wanting to experience modern France on my own, and I bet I could live your life better than you could.'

'What? Don't be ridiculous. Being a student, daughter, part-time bakery assistant, and full-time hero is tough. There's no way you could convincingly pull off being me.'

Tikki looked triumphantly down at Marinette. 'I can think of one thing I can do better than you. Talk to Adrien.'

'No,' Marinette gasped.

Tikki giggled and left to get dressed. Marinette laughed when Tikki fumbled the buttons and managed to tangle her fingers in her hair, but she sorted herself out quickly, and was out the door sooner than Marinette would have thought possible.

She's done this before, more than once, Marinette thought, bitterly.

From her hiding spot at the top of the stairs, Marinette watched as Tikki greeted Tom and Sabine over breakfast. Tom pretended to be shocked to see Marinette after only one call, but then they all laughed and continued as if it were a normal morning.

Marinette felt resentment bubble up in her chest; at Tikki, who had suddenly taken over her life, and at her parents for not noticing she had been replaced.

Tikki eventually came back upstairs to collect Marinette's school things. 'I'm already better at being you,' she gloated.

Marinette glared at her. 'We'll see how long you last,' she growled as Tikki held open her purse. Marinette slowly rose into the air, wobbling and drifting over until she could drop into the purse.

'Just flying is pretty difficult, isn't it?' Tikki asked with false sympathy.

Marinette crossed her arms and turned away. 'I'm getting the hang of it. I got across the room, didn't I?'

Tikki snorted. 'Flying is the least of your worries.' She then dropped a biscuit into the bag.

Marinette squealed when it bounced off her head. 'What the heck is this?'

'Breakfast.'

'It's stale.'

'I know,' Tikki replied with a meaningful look.

Marinette hung her head, the first twinges of shame lodging in her chest. Tikki snapped the purse shut and headed off to school.

'Hey, Morning, Girl,' Alya called from the school steps. 'You're actually here early. Who are you, and what have you done with the real Marinette?'

Tikki chuckled, awkwardly. 'Maybe pigs have started to fly,' she joked.

Alya gave a short bark of laughter, then hooked her arm around Tikki's. Alya gabbed on as she led Tikki inside, catching her up on the weekend's gossip, while Marinette sat and seethed inside the purse as it banged against Tikki's hip. Her resentment flared up again, this time at Alya.

The morning passed slowly. Marinette tried to listen to Caline Bustier's lecture, but the claustrophobic interior of the purse made concentrating difficult.

It's so stuffy in here. No wonder Tikki's always poking her head out, she thought.

Tikki, however, seemed to have no trouble adapting to Marinette's life. She answered all of Madame Bustier's questions correctly, responded to Chloe's barbs with aplomb, and even spoke to Adrien without making a fool of herself. Marinette couldn't see his face, but she could hear the approval in his voice. Her resentment toward Tikki only grew.

By the end of the day, Marinette had become the most sought-after girl in school. She offered sage advice, excellent study tips, and suggestions on how to gain the attention of a romantic interest.

The real Marinette, however, was fuming. Tikki had gained everyone's attention and approval, but the masses had no idea she was an imposter.

 


 

'So, how do you think I did on my first day as you?' Tikki asked, with a smug grin.

Marinette crossed her arms and huffed. 'Mondays are an easy day.'

'I'll say,' Tikki agreed. 'Students these days sure are lucky.'

'Just wait until Madame Mendeleiev gives you some real work tomorrow.'

'I look forward to it,' Tikki answered with a smile.

Marinette harrumphed and turned her back on Tikki, her shoulders hunched and stiff.

'Oooh,' Tikki cooed. 'You're not upset that I'm more popular than you, are you?'

Marinette's jaw clenched as she refused to answer.

'Fine, be that way,' Tikki sighed. She then climbed up to the bed and reclined against the pillows with a book. 'It's much easier to read like this,' she commented.

Marinette adamantly faced the wall, still silent. She was still seething over the fact that no one had suspected anything was amiss, not even Alya or her parents. She felt tears prickle her eyes, but refused to acknowledge them, unwilling to show weakness in front of Tikki.

As loathe as she was to admit it, Tikki had lived the day better than Marinette would have. Tikki was intelligent, empathetic, and easily able to talk to Adrien. Marinette's ire flared up again. Tikki only spoke to Adrien to spite her. She made Marinette feel inadequate, like Tikki had highlighted all of her faults, and when she got her body back, everyone would see those flaws. Furthermore, Tikki's act was deceiving Adrien, and everyone else.

Marinette refused to cry.



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