Welcome to a new AU that I've been working on for several months now.

Dedicated to KryallaOrchid, Panda013, adjit, and Rionydal since they've let me talk about this for months and helped me develop it (whether they realized it or not).

For anyone who has read my stuff before, you'll notice that this is a different style than what I normally write in. This will be a combinations of segments of varying length that act as snippets of life, sometimes forming larger arcs. This is a story about their lives. Buckle up kids, this is gonna be one hell of a ride.

Whenever a new Miraculous wielder was chosen, there were certain things the kwami would tell them before they even were allowed to put it on.

You were chosen because you were worthy.

So long as you wield this power, you will bear the weight of millions of lives on your shoulders. Where evil rears its head, you will be there to stand in its way.

This will not be easy. You will be fighting for your life. You will get hurt. You may die.

This is for life.

This is the biggest responsibility in the world but by taking it on, you will experience things most people cannot even imagine.

Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes…they will say no. They were the cautious ones, the ones who could not bear a responsibility greater than the one they already bore, the ones who were afraid. One might argue that they were the smart ones. Whatever the reason, the kwami would accept it, wipe their memory, and seek out another.

Most often, though, they say yes.

Because when you're a teenager, crawling out of childhood and rushing towards adulthood, with the world calling to you, and you are being offered freedom and power unlike any you've ever known, you don't say no.

In the year 2015, Marinette Dupain-Cheng said yes to Tikki, the kwami of Creation.

Two days later, Adrien Agreste said yes to Plagg, the kwami of Destruction.

For the first time in over a thousand years, the cat and the bug were starting fresh.

As the fledgling Guardians took their first steps in their new lives, there were certain things the kwami would tell them in preparation.

Your first and foremost responsibility is to your Miraculous. It contains enormous power, more than you can imagine—and I promise to teach you over time—but it must never be exploited, even by you.

There will always be people who will seek to take your power. You cannot let them have it.

There is evil in the world and it as real as you are. It is your job to fight it when it appears.

You will find that your powers come naturally to you but there is so much for you to learn.

Your secret identity is now your most valuable possession. You can never tell anyone.

But you are not alone. You have a partner out there waiting for you. You'll meet soon, don't worry.

More often than not, the fledglings are inducted in the midst of a conflict, forced to learn on the fly with a partner older and more experienced than them. Sometimes, less commonly, the kwami waits until the conflict has ended and then they seek out a budding evil in the world which needs attention. The survivor follows and awaits their new partner, chosen from somewhere in the vicinity of the looming threat, and both are waiting when the evil finally rears its head.

It's easier this way. The fledglings learn early on the importance of their duty and they're so preoccupied that they don't think to ask the important questions until way down the line when things are calm and they've had a chance to process.

Which is why kwami very rarely will choose a host from a location at peace.

Paris was at peace.

Ladybug and Chat Noir met as equals, two children gifted with extraordinary abilities, thirsting for adventure, reveling in the freedom. Trust did not come immediately but once it sprouted, it grew quickly, strengthening as it went. Over time, it would bind them to each other in a way no one else could understand, except perhaps for other Guardians.

Yet as much as they enjoyed each other's company, neither Adrien nor Marinette could understand why their respective kwami had chosen them to fight evil when there wasn't any.

And then there was.

There were certain things kwami told their hosts up front. They always made sure to spell out the duties and responsibilities, as well as introduce the benefits provided by the magic.

However, there were a great many things that they did not say and it was in this list that the most important details lay. They never outright lied to the Guardians but they never gave them the full truth, either. It wasn't done out of maliciousness or any cruel intentions, rather from eons of experience. There would be bitterness down the road, there would be anger, but there would also be eventual acceptance. If they told them everything from the beginning, they would never have hosts. It was better to simply ease them into things and wait for that acceptance to come. It always did in the end.

His name was Papillon. He wanted their Miraculous and he had no qualms about exploiting the people of Paris to get them.

The heroes hadn't been idle since their meeting. They had thwarted petty crimes but mostly kept to the shadows as they learned themselves and each other. When the first akuma arose, they knew what they had to do and though they charged in, guns blazing, neither felt ready for the task they faced. Neither Chat Noir nor Ladybug believed themselves to be particularly powerful and wondered how they would be able to protect their Miraculous and the people of the Paris from a madman and his villains.

But what choice did they have? As Guardians, it was their duty to defend their Miraculous and defeat evil and that meant throwing themselves into the fray, no matter the risk. If not, their Miraculous, along with their powers and their kwami would be taken from them. Then, their lives. After all, as long as a Guardian lived, their Miraculous would work for no other. If he truly wanted their powers, then the only way to get them was to kill their hosts.

When Marinette was fourteen years old, she met Adrien Agreste at school and was immediately ready to maim him. He was a friend of Chloe Bourgeois, of all people, and he had tried to stick chewing gum to her seat. The re-emergence of Stone Heart suitably distracted her from the new pest as she went to go clean up the mess that not purifying the akuma had caused. (Tikki had warned her what would happen. It was her own darn fault for not trying harder to capture it.)

It wasn't until the next day that she learned it had all been a misunderstanding and that he had honestly been trying to help her. In the span of thirty seconds, poor Marinette fell and fell hard.

She soon realized that not only was Adrien handsome, but polite, kind, smart, and, in her opinion, all around perfect. He was rich, too, and the son of world-famous designer Gabriel Agreste, but neither of those things mattered to her, not really. In her eyes he could do no wrong and her ears would tolerate not an ill word about him.

What she could not understand was why she felt drawn to him, almost like she'd known him her whole life. She decided it was a sign they were meant to be.

Had she been able to consider her feelings objectively, she would have discovered that it was the same attraction she felt towards her partner.

Had she been able to ask Adrien such things, she would have learned that he, too, felt drawn inexplicably to her. That he had chalked it up to her personality and the warm, friendly air around her that drew everyone else in, barring two notable exceptions.

Had she known who he was, she would have realized that it was a combination of the deep trust formed between them as well as the magics flowing through their bodies. Magics as old as time itself, inextricably linked to each other, drawing the hosts together as they were meant to be.

When Adrien was fourteen years old, he fell in love with the most wonderful girl in the world. She was kind, she was brave. She cared about others, about him, about Paris and fought tooth and nail to keep all of the above safe. She was intelligent, she could think on her feet, use her bizarre Lucky Charms to their advantage in ways he wouldn't have been able to work out in twice the time she did.

She made him laugh and he liked to make her laugh…about as much as he liked to get a reaction out of her with his puns. Honestly, those reactions were a big reason that he made one every chance he got. She made him feel like a person, someone whose wants and needs mattered, whose opinion counted for anything. She made his freedom worthwhile. Most importantly, she made him happy like no one else ever had and even before he knew he loved her, he knew he wanted to be around her for the rest of his life.

"Well, you might very well be," Plagg told him once whilst idly selecting which piece of cheese to devour next. "I told you before you even put the ring on that this was for life. The same terms apply to her as well. Unless she dies first, she will be your partner for your entire life."

"And if she…" he trailed off, unable to say it, never mind even consider it. The loss of his mother was still too raw to even contemplate losing someone else he loved.

Plagg turned away from the cheese and gave his charge a long look. "Then her kwami will choose another and they will become your partner. That's how it is, kid."

"So then…why were we chosen at the same time? She was new when I was."

"Yes," he agreed. "Why do you think that is?"

Adrien had known without being told that he and his Ladybug were not the first Guardians of their Miraculous. Logically, there had to have been others throughout history. He had no idea how many, he had no idea how long the Miraculous had existed, and Plagg wasn't inclined to tell him. If he had to guess, he'd say there had been hundreds before him.

He had also known without being told that his predecessors were all dead. Logically, if the Miraculous could only bond with one person at a time then its previous wielder had to have perished before he inherited it. He hadn't really thought about it, though. Not until that moment. Then the fate of their predecessors was suddenly crystal clear.

There was only one way two people in their position could die at the same time…especially when pursued by someone like Papillon.

Starting off a bit slow but I feel like there was plenty of information in here to digest. Many events will progress as they did in canon with the exception of those that no longer are possible due to the different fundamentals of this world, all of which will be revealed over time.

This is gonna be fun. For me.