"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!" Plagg screeched with an expression of disbelief.
Felix simply remained aloof, pausing silently in front of the gold adorned full-length mirror of his lavishly designed bedroom adjusting his neckline. From the waist up, aside from his usual, immaculate black trousers, the dignified heir to the Agreste fortune stood dressed in an extremely loud red tuxedo jacket, heavily adorned with small black spots, the same design remained on a matching bowtie that clashed with his black silk dress shirt.
"DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DRESSED AS?!" The cat sprite demanded. It's eyes bulging with revulsion.
Now, Felix actually took notice of the creature, his eyes cutting over to it's direction with an air of annoyance. "Of COURSE I know! I'm not exactly wearing this for my health, Plagg!" He snapped.
"You're not doing it for MINE, EITHER!" Plagg winced, scooting back. "What are you even THINKING wearing that pattern?! I think that high-kicking witch you're into has gone to your head!"
NOW Plagg had done it. Felix had adopted what Plagg had come to know as the "You-didn't-just-go-there" glare, in which it seemed that all of Felix's collected angst, painful memories, and anger had collected in his frontal lobe at once. Needless to say, it wasn't a pretty sight..
"That..so-called..WITCH.. For your information is likely the ticket to my being FREED from this pathetic bad luck affliction I've been suffering!" He quite forcefully stated. "Besides, given how she seems to be around my age, there's ALWAYS the possibility she MIGHT go to the same school as I! So, naturally, I made arrangements to wear this to the costume party! She won't be able to resist! And.. for calling my sweet cherie a witch, Plagg... there shall be NO camembert for A WEEK!" He concluded with a threat behind ground teeth.
Plagg was at a loss for words.. This punishment surely didn't fit the crime as far as he was concerned. "You.. You MONSTER!" He squeaked out.
"WANT TO MAKE IT TWO?!" Felix countered.
The Kwami could only sadly hang his head in silence.
The setting sun was just beginning to color the Parisian night sky a season appropriate pumpkin orange shade of dusk as Marinette, fully decked out in her cat costume, approached the iron security gates of the Bourgeois mansion. She walked to the gate and pressed the buzzer.
"Uh.. H.. Hello.. Uh.. I'm Marinette Cheng.. I'm here for the Halloween party.." Marinette raised her voice, stammering nervously.
A slight pause and a gruff, older, disinterested voice said "Hmm.. I don't seem to see your name on the guest list, Madmoiselle.."
A slight pause, and a feeling of disappointment. Unsurprised, but disappointed. "Uhh.. There must be some mistake.. I was told that I had been.." She politely began to object.
Suddenly, there was a slight fumbling and rustling sound, and Amber's very distinctive, shrill voice could be heard rebuking coarsly "Serge, Quiet! Go watch the back door! HELLO, Marinette! Sorry, about that. Just a little miscommunication, that's all! Come on in!"
As the electronically controlled gate slowly whined open, Marinette grumbled under her breath as she trepidatiously walked forward.
"Marinette, are you SURE that you want to go through with this?" Tikki asked cautiously, her tiny head peeking out of Marinette's matching handbag.
Marinette looked down at Tikki with a fiery, determined expression, her ahoge a jagged curl. "I WILL get close to him, Tikki!" She growled.
"P..Point taken.." Tikki shuddered.
Marinette knocked upon the mansion's decorative door knocker with slight trepidation. A gruff looking bodyguard who looked like he was chiseled from solid answered the door.
Marinette immediately turned to ice in his sight. "Uh.. Uh.. H..Hello.. I... here.. party.." She stammered in unfinished sentences.
"May I see your invitat.." The guard began to growl, before being quickly shoved to the side by Amber, who was elaborately dressed in a glittery blue shaded, Cinderella-like gown with a white domino mask.
"MARIIIIIINEEEETTE!" Amber greeted in a way that couldn't have sounded more disengenuous. "I'm SO glad you could make it! WOW! What a CUUUTE costume!"
"Thanks, Amber.." Marinette strained to say in a polite tone. "You look quite beautiful yourself.." Her cheek quivering with seething anger.
"I HOPE so.. This thing cost over 2,000 Francs!" Amber grunted ungratefully, before recomposing herself "Anyway, come on in and have some fun!" Before holding the door open and sashaying in.
[I'll try in spite of you..] Marinette thought.
The Bourgeois' decadent "foyer" resembled something from a five star hotel lobby, with large, shining marble walls, a gold rimmed spiral staircase that let up to a massive balcony of costumed partygoers drinking punch, snacking and conversing amicably with one another. In the center of the entrance hall was a glistening, bubbling water fountain, with colored lights giving it a spooky, holiday feeling. The gleaming white tile floor seemed to glow as if from its own light source. The waiters, criss-crossing this way and that, up and down the staircase, hands holding open trays of complimentary snacks, were also heavily made up in character personas.
"Nice.. Nice set up you've got here.." Marinette said with a somewhat sedated expression. Her ahoge hanging limply in front of her face.
"Mmm.. Personally I liked my Birthday Party better.." Amber grumbled before attempting to resume her strained diplomacy "We've got a lot of the fanciest chefs on loan from the major restaur.."
"FELIX!" Marinette couldn't help but yell out loud to see at the top of the balcony the gorgeous, moody object of her affection stood, swirling his drink around casually in a disinterested manner. Not only was he dressed in his ladybug tux, but he also wore a ladybug print mask.
"MARI, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Amber screeched jealously with a blush of anger.
As Marinette dashed up the staircase, nearly knocking over several guests in her scramble, seemed to come under scrutiny by one of the waiters in particular, one made up like a street mime.. with bright blonde hair..
"FELIX!" Marinette called out energetically, racing towards her loverboy.
"Oh, no.." The boy muttered with a look of contrition.
"Felix! Love your costume! Isn't this an amazing party?!" Marinette declared in a sugary sweet fashion, while energetic, she was trying her unsuccessful best to appear respectful, her ahoge in a heart shape. [WOW.. HE'S DRESSED LIKE MEEEE!] She squealed internally.
"Mmm.." Felix began with an unitelligible mumble. "Yes.. Yours is.. Um.. interesting.. as well.." He replied, attempting to give as neutral a response as possible. While grinding in his mind [WHY DID THIS STALKER HAVE TO DRESS LIKE ME?!]
"Soooo.. Felix.. I was wondering.." Marinette began, nervously looing downwards.
"Uhh.. Look, Marinette, I've got to get some more punch." Felix replied evasively, attempting to skitter back down the stairs.
"Ah.. Wait.. I didn't get some punch!" Marinette declared, beginning to give chase.
Just then, Amber came marching up from the opposite end of the staircase, an extremely cross expression on her face. "EXCUSE me, Marinette, but I'd appreciate it if you let me FINISH inviting you in!"
"Ah, I..I'm sorry, Amber! I.. I just.." Marinette began defensively.
"Just FORGET IT!" Amber interjected, cutting Mari off with a swipe of her hand. She then marched off in a snit.
Marinette stood there, stewing in her own annoyance, when just then, she recieved a tap on her shoulder. She quickly turned around with an annoyed expression, only to again, see the hideous face of Medusa, her glowing eyes illuminated in a ragged cloak.
"AAAAAAAHHH!" Marinette shouted in fear. Her eyes bugging out, her ponytails and ahoge standing on end.
"Sorry, Mari! I thought you remembered this thing!" Medusa apologized in a familiar and cheerful voice.
"ALYA! You really should have said something!" Marinette scolded, beginning to calm down.
"Sorry." Alysa apologized good naturedly. "Nice choice of costume!" She then complimented.
"Yeah, but Felix just.. Didn't seem to care, as usual.." Marinette moaned, in a depressed voice. Her face and ahoge downcast.
"Oh, don't worry about that. I've got an idea on something that'll really impress him!" Alya declared in a slick fashion "You still know how to do those Chinese acrobat tricks your Dad taught you?"
"HUH?! S..Sort of.. But.. What.. What are you planning?" Marinette asked cautiously.
"Just trust me!" Alya replied covertly with a mischievous wink.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, a pair of young, disgruntled waiters were loading more trendy snack items on a tray.
"I cannot believe I was going to college to be a medical assistant!" One dressed like a mummy grumbled.
"Aw, don't lose your head over that.." The other, appropriately dressed like the headlsess horseman chided.
Nearby, dressed like.. Himself.. Monsieur Pigeon casually waltzed close to the Mime, standing as still as a cold statue. "We'd better start to spring it.." He whispered.
Without any expression, Mime simply nodded in affirmation.
Marinette now stood in line for the costume contest a practical nervous wreck, shivering and shaking, her ahoge wiggling nervously along with her body. Alya was doing her hardest to hold her upright and prevent her knees from buckling.
"Calm down, Mari.." Alya assured her "All you have to do is one or two of those awesome tricks you showed me and along with that costume, you'll be a sensation!"
"That's easy for YOU to say!" Marinette responded in a whisper through her chattering teeth. "You're not the one worried about HIM watching you from the audience!"
"Mari, you know that you can.. Oh, look! Here comes the Mayor!" Alya alerted.
"FORGET IT!" Marinette exclaimed, beginning to dart off, her face beet red.
"Oh, No, you don't!" Alya said, yanking her friend back by the collar. "Look, if it'll help, I'll go on WITH YOU." She said reassuringly.
"O..Okay.." Marinette relented somewhat.
There were general applause and cheers as the Mayor and a couple stern looking security guards took the stage. "Thank you! Thank you and WELCOME to the Bourgeois Society's Third Annual Charity.." Mayor Bourgeois began in a jocular manner, before one of the guards leaned in and whispered into his ear. After quickly clearing his throat, and adjusting his glasses, he continued apologetically "I mean.. Welcome, everyone to my beautiful daughter Amber's Halloween party!"
As Amber made her way across the stage with panache. The applause seemed a little forced an artificial this time.
"Thank you ALL for coming!" Amber greeted enthusiastically "And, NOW, I'd like to begin the costume portion of the party!"
"FANTASTIQUE!" Screeched a crazed voice from the balcony above. All involved looked up with a start to see Monsieur Pigeon throw off his waiters' disguise and throw his hands dramatically in the air, before rapidly undulating his behind and howling "AVANTI!"
With that, an enormous cloud of grey pigeons came pouring in through the windows and down towards the crowd!
[Oh, No! Not the pigeon freak again!] Marinette thought frantically.
As the masses began to scream and go into hysterics, and Security scrambled to get the Mayor and Amber off of the stage, Marinette immediately took hold of Alya's shoulder "Come on , Alya!"
"You don't have to tell ME twice!" She responded.
As the two girls raced for the mansion's door Marinette thought hecticly [I've got to get away from Alya so I can change!] Thinking on her feet, Marinette covertly darted off in another direction back towards the side of the mansion.
Back inside the mansion, among the bedlam, Felix, hiding under a snack table, was already going into action. With a lighting fast motion he rubbed the crystal on his cat ring! Plagg was just taking the opportunity to jump out of one of Felix's large pockets and snatch a cheese ball to pop into his mouth, only to be violently sucked into the ring. Felix then raised the ring over his head and was enveloped by a black cloak of energy, which then showed him revealed in the black leather costume of Chat Noir!
With the speed of a jungle cat, Chat sped out from the table on all fours, and pounced in the direction of the villain!
"HEADS UP, BIRDBRAIN!" Chat roared with intensity.
However, The criminal was alert with an almost, and with a flick of he wrist sent a whole swarm of birds in the opposite direction.
With an almost hypnotized glare, Chat cocked his head backwards with a bug-eyed gaze. "Can't resist.. B..Birds.. CHASE!" He stammered in a dazed voice, before giving chase to the pigeons.
Meanwhile, Marinette had sneaked back around the mansion towards one of the large windows when all of a sudde, she was ambushed by a roving swarm of pigeons! [Only one way to deal with THIS!] She thought in desperation as she quickly flicked her left earring! A sudden red glow emitted from underneath the piegeon horde and a burst of energy suddenly blew them backwards in a fluttering of feathers and in Marinette's place stood the costumed superheroine, Ladybug!
Quickly springing to the window ledge and rather uncerimoniously kicked them open! Again, all involved turned and looked in surprise at her triumphant stance!
"TRICK OR TREAT, MONSIEUR PIGEON!" Ladybug announced boastfully.
TO BE CONTINUED...