okay just. JUST
I want a fic where Lady’s miraculous gets taken and the trauma of having her transformation so violently disrupted – of having half of herself torn away – causes her to lose her memories of being ladybug.
but in that same moment, adrien finds out, and he has no idea what to do
- adrien/chat knows who ladybug is now, but marinette doesn’t remember anything
- adrien deciding that the best thing to do is keep mari in the dark about her alter ego because he doesn’t want her getting herself hurt now that she’s de-powered
- adrien doesn’t reveal his identity to her because that’d require explaining who SHE is
- he does tell her what happened to lady tho, because marinette asks where the hell lady is with all this shit going on like??
- chat hanging around mari a LOT because he’s guarding her – “shouldn’t you be looking after ladybug, if she’s powerless right now?” “and lead hawkmoth right to her?” (to himself: ’actually that’s a good point…’ but he’s so anxious about keeping her safe that being away from her/leaving her unprotected leaves him pretty much useless)
- marinette is so confused because chat is so fAMILIAR to her, so predictable to her, but she’s only met him once, right? why does she feel like she’s known him forever? like she can tease him and banter with him like they’re friends?
- more akuma start showing up bc hawk has lady’s miraculous to give him extra power (max 2 at a time & he has to “release” them periodically to regain his strength like lady and chat have to recoup after using lucky charm/cataclysm)
- MEANWHILE ADRIEN STARTS SHOWING MORE INTEREST IN MARI ALSO
- mari is over the moon of course, and throughout the fic there’d be a smattering of lighthearted adrinette type stuff during their downtime
- chat trying desperately to save paris on his own but not believing he can because lady lost and what is he compared to ladybug?
- marinette wanting to help because she might not remember being lady but lady is a part of her and the instincts are there
- basically marinette being the hero she is even without the powers – taking charge when an akuma attacks to get everyone to safety
- but also marinette reacting on instinct – the instinct of someone who has super powers – and getting herself into really dangerous scenarios that she realistically cannot handle as a civilian and getting hurt
- DEPOWERED MARI SAVING CHAT WHEN AN AKUMA NEARLY GETS HIS RING AND GETTING HURT IN THE PROCESS
- chat being fucking terrified because it was bad enough to see his lady in a fight but marinette is human and breakable. chat yelling at her because holy shit would you STOP before you get yourself KILLED?!
- “you don’t have a partner right now, kitty. didn’t you ask me, once, to be your ladybug? if she can’t help you, i will.“
- (oh god, he thinks, because he hadn’t really thought about that too much since he found out but in hindsight–)
- “besides, you’re more important. if hawkmoth gets your ring, he’ll really be unstoppable.”
- “don’t say that! you are important, marinette!” and “i already failed – i already failed her – i’m too weak” slips out without him meaning to say it
- and marinette is so, so FIERCE in her response, in telling him he’s wrong, he hasn’t failed until he’s given up, and she’s not going to let him do that. marinette taking his hands in hers and looking up at him with blazing eyes and such passion in her voice and face and – “you’re ladybug’s partner. her equal. you’re just as strong as she is. don’t doubt that!”
- chat realising how much of ladybug was actually marinette – that her determination to do good and her willingness to put herself in harms way for others is something she does even without her powers, and realising that he’s really fucking in love with this girl (but he doesn’t deserve her, doesn’t deserve that unflinching, fierce faith of hers)
- adrien/chat’s general arc in this fic is him falling for mari/lady all over again, and also overcoming his feelings of inadequacy and failure (bc of marinette’s unwavering faith in him and refusal to let him talk that way about himself)
- over time, mari being frustrated w/ her inability to really do anything & chat’s protectiveness, and becoming angry with ladybug because there’s been a bad attack and she basically thinks that lady’s sitting on her butt because she doesn’t have powers (some part of her remembers enough that she’s angry with her own inaction)
- “She doesn’t have her powers any more! She’d just get hurt, or killed!” “No-one out there has powers! And they’re still doing their part! There are police officers and parents and– and teenagers and ordinary people out there trying to protect Paris and getting hurt because someone has to fight!”
- aLSO MARI SUBCONSCIOUSLY REMEMBERING TIKKI’S WORDS
- remembering that she was chosen as ladybug because she was special all on her own, without the magic, telling Chat that Lady might not have her powers but was chosen for a reason and even if she’s depowered she’s not powerless so where is she??
- HOLY SHIT MARI SUBCONSCIOUSLY/ACCIDENTALLY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT SHE’S SPECIAL
- (later, after she remembers again, mari devaluing her ‘ordinary’ self when they talk things out and adrien throwing her own words back at her – “you said yourself that ladybug was chosen because she was special without the spots. you are special, marinette, and you know it”)
- chat just. kind of staring at this girl, this amazing girl, and realising that ladybug is still with him – he’s not alone, even if she doesn’t have her powers and she doesn’t remember. she’s ladybug, and she’s so much stronger than he ever knew.
- chat/adrien asking for her help because she’s right. he needs it, needs her, because they’re a team and powers or not, she’s his strength.
- chat finally telling her that she’s ladybug, and mari’s so – that can’t be right, can’t be, but she knows it is, like she knows the sky is blue and that she loves adrien
- ultimately, depowered!Mari and Chat working together to take down the akuma because holy shit i need Mari to realise how amazing she can be even without the spots
- but they need her miraculous back, so they take the fight to hawkmoth
- and it’s just marinette with fierce determination, no powers, no real weapons or a realistic shot at taking down a superpowered villain
- but when she calls out to Tikki, to Ladybug, to luck – Ladybug answers.
- because Tikki CHOSE MARINETTE
- Marinette, Ladybug, was chosen
- out of all the girls in paris
- and choices are powerful things.
- you can’t really steal power from someone it was freely given to, can’t steal what lives inside someone’s deepest, truest self
- and all that she lost – the memories, the powers, but not the hero, because she never lost that – comes roaring back into her
- final battle with hawkmoth!
- denouement!! in which!! mari processes everything that’s happened over the couple of weeks
- chat and mari have a talk about everything – about the fact that he knows who she is, now, and he finally reveals his identity to her and, oh, oh
- adrien and mari having a proper talk about everything – particularly adrien’s lingering feelings of guilt/inadequacy re:mari losing her earrings – instead of just falling into each other’s arms because, yeah, they’re definitely in love with each other but there’s still so much to talk about
rambly not-fic of the first chapter i imagined below the cut!!