Chloé Bourgeois flipped her hair as she strutted to school, ready to establish her role as a leader on the first day. Who could be better? Chloé was beautiful, stylish, and came from a powerful background. As she approached the steps of the school, she could feel her heart swell with anticipation at the thought of peasants bowing down to her. Eyes scanned the exterior of the school, and two things stood out to her.
First, there was an old man in a hideous red Hawaiian-style shirt. Chloé instinctively rolled her eyes. Unless one was actively in Hawaii, wearing such a shirt was ridiculous! Utterly ridiculous! Chloé raised an eyebrow. Was this man even a part of the school? Why was he just standing there and glaring at…?
Chloé followed his gaze to a pair next to the stairs. One member of the pair was familiar, with her short red hair and glasses: Sabrina Raincomprix. She leaned up against the banister of the stairs, as if trying to lean as far as possible away from whoever she was with. Her face wore a desperate smile, lips turned up but eyebrows crinkled in discomfort. Her palms were up, a surrendering gesture, which Chloé was well familiar with. However, it was unfamiliar to see Sabrina surrendering to anyone except Chloé Bourgeois herself.
The person with Sabrina was a boy with short hair and gross green sneakers Chloé swears she saw on the clearance rack two weeks ago. He had his hands on the banister, right next to both sides of Sabrina’s waist, trapping her in and giving him support as he leaned into her personal space. Chloé took some steps to get an angle that would allow her to see his face. He had a predatory smirk, and eyes that glanced down at Sabrina’s sweater-vest. Once closer, Chloé could hear some of his words: “…C’mon, you don’t even know me, and you’re not even giving me a chance.”
“My dad says I’m not supposed to give my number to people I don’t know,” Sabrina responded in a voice so quiet Chloé had to strain her ears to hear it.
“It’s literally just a number. Or are you saying I’m creepy? How can you decide that the first time we’ve met? Isn’t that unfair?”
Chloé’s anger boiled in her chest. She was no stranger to pushy boys and men; being as gorgeous as she was attracted attention that was not always well-intentioned. But Chloé knew her own worth, and she was not afraid to respond to their attempts to trap her or neg her with disgust and derision, shutting them down and making them the uncomfortable party in their interaction. Sabrina, though having some adorable points, was not the great beauty Chloé was, and so had far less experience with this sort of thing. Sabrina was also people-pleaser, who would bend over so far backwards to help someone she would turn into a pretzel. Chloé clenched her fist knowing this boy was trying to take advantage of Sabrina. Had the boy heard about her personality beforehand and approached Sabrina because he thought she would be an easy target? Or did he just go after the accessibly-attractive girl with the hope she had low self-esteem and a desperation to be liked? He probably felt secure in the knowledge that he could push as much as he wanted, and a girl as timid as Sabrina would be afraid to make a scene rejecting him.
Fortunately, Chloé was never afraid to make a scene.
Chloé marched right behind the boy, grabbed his shoulder, and pulled him back, forcing his hands to leave the banister and giving Sabrina an escape route. “Excuse me?” Chloé brought all her anger and disgust with the situation into her voice. “You are creepy! I can tell just from that scene! No girl should ever give you her number, with that kind of behavior!”
Based on his wide-eyed expression, he had never had a girl call him out on that behavior before. He quickly schooled himself into a scoff, crossing his arms and adopting an insulted expression. In the process of confronting Chloé, he turned away from Sabrina, giving her some much-needed space. “Who are you? This is none of your business. I haven’t even done anything, I’m just asking for her number.”
Despite the numerous escape routes, Sabrina just stood behind the boy with a stunned look on her face. Chloé clicked her tongue, did she have to do everything around here? She grabbed Sabrina’s wrist and pulled her away from the boy, leading her behind Chloé so Chloé was between the two of them. “Sabrina is my best friend, so yes it is my business, and I know she doesn’t like boys who trap her and harass her into giving their number!” Chloé counters. Then, for good measure, she added, “Especially not with those cheap shoes.”
He scowled. “I wasn’t harassing her.”
Chloé huffed. “Really? Maybe we should call an expert and explain the situation. Sabrina, why don’t you call your dad? A cop like him would know exactly what constitutes a boy harassing his little girl.”
The boys face paled. “A- a cop?”
“Or, if that doesn’t work,” Chloé pulled out her phone as she carried on, “I can call my daddy, and see what his perspective on the situation is. You might know him, Mayor Bourgeois?”
He started to back away. “I’m, um, I’m gonna be late for the first day, I gotta go.”
He broke into a sprint to enter the school.
Chloé smirked at his hasty retreat. She turned around to check on Sabrina, but discovered Sabrina had also run away at some point. She was alone.
Well, alone aside from that weird old guy, who was now walking towards her. He had a gentle expression on his face instead of the glare from earlier, but Chloé was still weirded out. “What do you want?” She asked him point-blank. If he hit on her, she was going to tear him a new one.
He smiled at her, “That was very noble of you, to defend your friend like that.”
Chloé already knew she was the best. She was constantly praised by her father, her servants, and Sabrina. Hearing nice things from a complete stranger was… not necessarily common. She didn’t know how to react. “So?”
He chuckled. Then the chuckle turned into a cough. He collapsed.
Instinctively, Chloé reached out to catch him before he hit hit head on the pavement. Belatedly, she realized he could be gross. Especially when he reacted by grabbing onto her for support. Was he trying to cop a feel? But one hand gripped her forearm, while the other clung onto her bag, far away from any unsavory areas. She pulled him up, hoping to get him off of her as soon as possible.
He coughed, more gently this time. “Sorry, thank you.”
Perplexed, Chloé decided to leave the situation as soon as possible.
She had to make her high school debut, after all.
The first thing Chloé thought when she entered the classroom: Marinette changed her hair. It made her look even more childish than before. Chloé was sick of having to share a class with that goody-two-shoes. It seemed like her life goal was to annoy Chloé. Even today, the very first day, Marinette was sitting in Chloé’s seat! Adrien would be coming to school this year, and wanted to sit in the front, so Chloé was going to stick nearby to support him. But no, Marinette was deliberately sitting in Chloé’s rightful seat. She was clearly looking for a fight.
After making a scene to reclaim her rightful seat, Chloé texted Adrien to see where he was. Class would be starting soon. Didn’t he say he was going to run away from home and go to school this year?
Eventually he texted back. He had failed today, but he would try again tomorrow. Chloé texted him some encouragement, sneaking her phone under the desk during class.
After a tiring day of blessing the school with her presence, Chloé was ready to collapse onto her couch. After sprawling on the soft cushions, she turned on the television. What confronted her made her sit up straight.
“A stone villain is terrorizing Paris! Citizens are advised to stay indoors...”
The television cut to a scene of Sabrina’s dad aiming fire onto a living stone creature. Bullets didn’t seem to do anything, though, and the monster continued its path of destruction undeterred. Its fist swung towards the camera, causing Chloé to jump in her seat and knock onto her bag. Its contents spilled everywhere. She sighed as she picked up her lip gloss, mirror, mysterious wooden box…
Chloé gingerly lifted the box. She didn’t remember packing that. Did the butler pack it for her? It wasn’t stylish, but it looked old enough that perhaps it was some expensive antique. There was a hinge, so Chloé gently pried it open.
There was a dark ball of energy that burst from the box, and a tiny creature appeared, floating in the air. So Chloé did what anyone would do.
Immediately, a teeny-tiny paw shut her mouth. “Shh! Do you want to reveal me to everyone!”
Chloé took a step back from it, “Oh no, the floating mouse can talk!”
“I’m not a mouse! I’m a Kwami! I’m- Ooh, this is a nice room.”
Well, at least the mouse had good taste. “I must be going crazy. Am I stressed? I need a spa day.”
“I’d do a spa day.”
“Why are you here! What are you?”
The thing yawned. “I’m Plagg, I’m a kwami. We grant magical powers, yours is the power of destruction. Got it?”
That made Chloé pause. “Magical powers? Like… like a superhero?”
Plagg began to float around her room, examining her things. “Sure.”
Chloé had ambitions for many things. Being famous, being talented, being beautiful… but even someone who dreamed big like her put her foot down and told herself superheroes weren’t real by the time she was ten. Of course she wanted to be one, like those you saw on TV, but they weren’t real!
Giant stone villains weren’t real either.
Chloé looked back at the box. There was a silver ring inside. Was that related? She slipped it on her finger. Not the most fashionable jewelry; she would have to co-ordinate around it if it was required to be a superhero. Fortunately, she looked good in everything.
Possibilities lined up before her. If she was a superhero, everyone would love her. She would have parades. She’d be powerful, perhaps more powerful than her parents. She couldn’t wait to tell everyone that she, Chloé Bourgeois, was a superhero!
She realized Plagg had been talking, “...And you’ll be supporting another superhero who can purify them. To use your power, you shout ‘Cataclysm!’, and to transform, you say ‘Claws out’-”
Like any eager viewer of magical girl shows, she had practiced her own transformation dance. She and Adrien used to pretend to compare and critique each other’s ‘transformations’. It had been a while since trying it, but with the sensation of her clothes and hair transforming, her body naturally fell into a dance. By the end, she felt exhilarated.
Then she looked in the mirror.
Chloé was wearing not only a full-body leather suit, but on top of that she wore leather gloves, boots and a belt. Leather-on-leather! An atrocity! Even worse, Chloé’s hair was pulled out of its neat ponytail, and had turned into a mess of curls. Chloé spent an hour every morning having her butler straighten her hair, she didn’t want it to revert to it’s natural curly state every time she transformed! The excessive leather did not even spare her head, giving her both leather ears and a leather mask that tinted her sclera blue.
If Chloé’s mother, the Queen of Fashion, ever saw this, Chloé knew exactly what she would say: “Ridiculous! Utterly ridiculous!”
So this is why superheros had secret identities. Chloé wasn’t going to give up the chance to be a superhero, but nobody could ever connect her with this leather-wearing, mussy-haired cat hero. If they did, her mother might kill her.
Oh well. Time to see what she could do!
The baton was pretty versatile. She made a balance beam across some roofs, and walked across with impeccable posture. Ten years of gymnastics was pretty helpful, it seemed.
But no amount of gymnastics could have prepared her for a red blur falling on top of her. Before Chloé could process what was happening, she was tangled up in a… string? Swinging back and forth while looking into a girl’s baby blue eyes.
A thought rose in her mind, one she shouldn’t say. Or rather, one Chloé Bourgeois shouldn’t say. As the mayor’s daughter, there were some jokes that were too juvenile to entertain. Chief among them: Bad puns.
But this was not Chloé Bourgeois who just got smacked and wrapped up. This was not the Chloé that only ever entertained puns when alone with Adrien. This was a whole new person, and it would be important to establish herself as very different from Chloé Bourgeois. After all, no one would expect Chloé’s opposite in personality to secretly be Chloé. So Chloé took a deep breath, and said words:
“Nice of you to drop in.”
The girl sputtered, apologizing and trying to explain, before the two of them eventually untangled themselves. “Who are you?” She asked, eyeing Chloé up and down.
“I’m…” Chloé thought fast. She had cat ears. She was wearing black, “…Call me Chat Noir!”
The girl smiled. That was pretty. Could she be a model? Did Chloé know any models with dark blue hair in pigtails, cute blue eyes, and a dazzling smile?
There was the sound of screaming and destruction in the distance. Chloé extended her baton to get back on the roofs, from there it would be easier to find the villain.
Behind her, the girl called out, “Wait! Where are you going?”
Chloé… No, Chat Noir, smirked. “To save Paris!”