Spread My Wings
"Recovery is the most important decision I have ever made for myself." -To Write Love On Her Arms.
Chapter 19 "Deals."
The beep of a machine woke her. Her vision was blurred by crusty eyes and medicated eye cream. She groaned as she tried to move her legs, only to stop when she was met by resistance and a great deal of pain. She whimpered as she found herself disoriented and pained.
She attempted to move again, thus causing herself even more pain. The steady beep of the machines startled her as she struggled again. Tears cascaded down her cheeks as she found that she wasn't able to speak very well. She struggled as her voice came out in a very hoarse tone.
Finding out Ladybug's identity had always been a dream come true. Yet, Alya found herself regretting finding out this information. Marinette, her best friend, was the superhero of Paris, Ladybug. She had been Ladybug's best friend all of these years. Everything made sense. Her friend's tardiness, her disappearances, lack of interest in Ladybug and even her bizarre friendship with Chat Noir. A part of the journalist's heart ached at the pain of her friend's betrayal toward keeping this secret from her.
The girl knew deep down that this was for her safety. While it stung, Alya knew that it was not important. Right now she needed to be there for Nino and Marinette. That is, if she could get past security.
Sabine was at her wit's end. Gaining access to her daughter's room had been ridiculous. The security guards nearly sent her and Tom away until he reasoned with them. It was only now that the doctor in charge of "Ladybug" had finally given in and met with the two worried parents.
While the duo sat in the waiting room fidgeting impatiently, they looked up as a shadow appeared near them.
"You two believe that your daughter is the girl suspected to be Ladybug?"
Tom exchanged a look with Sabine, both ready to lose it with this scam they were facing. "Yes, we are certain that it is our daughter, Marinette. We have proof," Sabine stated, holding up a series of photos of her daughter.
The doctor took the photos and studied them carefully. Once he was satisfied, he handed them back over to the small Chinese woman. "I see.. Well, this definitely looks like my patient. However, at the moment, she is only able to see one person at a time."
Tom looked ready to protest before his wife stepped in, holding a defensive state. "I believe you can make an exception in our case? After all, she has saved the city and the lives of civilians countless times."
Tom loved his wife. She was always scheming and often knew more than she let on. She knew what and where things were without anyone mentioning it.
The doctor looked conflicted as he glanced over at the security guards near the entrance to the wing that held Marinette. He shot the men a nod and then let out a sigh.
Marinette was awake, fighting against the pain that coursed through one of her legs and also through her head. She managed to open her eyes and take in the room before her. She continued to whimper and call out for her partner as confusion set in.
The door to her room opened, causing her to stiffen, fearful of what was going on. She clenched her eyes shut as the shuffling of feet across the cold linoleum flooring.
"Here she is."
She heard a deep male voice that was foreign to her. It caused her to grow even more anxious.
"She was found in the ruins of the tower. She hasn't been given much of anything to help her since we didn't have her medical records." He turned and motioned for Tom and Sabine to move closer to their daughter's bed.
When they caught sight of her, they both gasped.
At the sound of her name, the girl opened her eyes, gazing over at her parents in a daze. Her doctor watched their interactions carefully. He was relieved to see the girl somewhat more aware.
Sabine approached her daughter, taking in her injuries.
"Darling, you had us worried!" Tom cut in and stepped up next to his wife.
The girl blinked slowly, confused and dazed.
"What are you talking about?"
The question caught both of her parents off guard. Their daughter's question made their entire bodies stiffen.
Noticing this, the doctor stepped out and motioned for her parents to join him out in the hall.
"We will be right back, Marinette."
The bakers offered the bedridden girl a frown as they exited the room with the doctor in tow.
Once they managed to close the door, both Tom and Sabine gazed at the doctor anxiously.
"Why did you make us leave? She needs to know why we are here."
The man sighed and motioned for them to follow him back toward the waiting area. Once again both of them followed after the man without any answers they desired.
"Sir, we need to know what's going on with our daughter."
The question was met with silence until they arrived back at the deserted waiting area, each taking a seat at a round table near a window.
"Forgive me, I believe an introduction is needed. I am Dr. Ardel. I am the physician in charge of your daughter's care."
"As for Marinette's injuries, she is very lucky to have survived such a fall. She has suffered a badly broken leg, bruised ribs, and a very bad concussion."
Tom let out a sigh in relief. "That's the extent of the damage?"
"That is what we are aware of at this time. We are monitoring her to see if anything changes in her condition."
Sabine nodded and held onto her husband's hand. "Is there reason to believe she may have a more severe head injury?"
The man frowned, tapping his fingers against the table. "We cannot know this early on, madame. Now that she is identified, we will go through her medical history and perform the necessary tests."
"Thank you, Dr. Ardel. We appreciate the help. If there is anything we can do to help, just let us know."
At this the physician perked up suddenly. "Are you able to get in touch with Chat Noir?"
Both bakers blinked in surprise. "Chat Noir? No, we do not. Why is it that you want to get in touch with him?"
"Your daughter needs him. She's been calling out for him since she has been stabilized."
Sabine bit back a sob as she looked away. The truth of Marinette's superheroine self had finally sunk in. Tom squeezed her hand gently, turning his eyes toward the doctor's.
"We do not know the boy personally, but we can try and get in touch with him."
Alya was in shambles. She wanted to see her best friend and her boyfriend. Security had been tighter than she had anticipated. No one was allowed near the wing where Ladybug was being held. For now, she had to set her sights on Nino.
So far, no one had made a fuss over her sneaking around the hospital. Yet, as she began to creep near the other side of the building, she found herself face to face with security all over again.
"Kid, visitors aren't allowed in this area. The akumatized victim is being kept here on twenty-four surveillance. "
Alya gazed upward at the man, recognizing him as Sabrina's father. She was relieved at this and decided to try and sway her way toward her boyfriend's bedside.
"Officer Roger, Nino, the victim, is my boyfriend. I just want to see him for a moment. Can you please let me?"
The red-headed officer crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head.
"Sorry, kid. I'm not even allowed to permit his family visitation. Chat Noir is the only other person allowed to come through here. But as you can see, he hasn't shown up."
The journalist frowned at this, but soon changed her mind as an idea slipped into her thoughts.
"Wanna make a deal, Sir? I can get Chat Noir if you let me in to see Nino?"
Roger had heard stories about Alya. His daughter made it clear that the girl was manipulative. He wanted to ignore her, but found that the outcome was rather even for both of them.
"You better have that cat boy here in person."
She smirked, shooting the man a wink.
Gabriel had grown worried at the silence that seemed to linger near Adrien's room. He had already found himself standing in front of the boy's bedroom door. With a hasty knock, the man entered, finding Adrien asleep and Plagg sitting on the nightstand cleaning his fur and watching television.
The man fought back the urge to groan as the green eyes of the kwami met his own gaze.
"You ever heard of knocking, Gabe?"
"Have you ever heard of etiquette?"
The cat kwami chuckled under his breath as he stopped grooming himself.
"You're one to talk, Gabe. Barging into Adrien's room like that."
The designer pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. "Clearly, you haven't learned any form of manners from my son."
Plagg rolled his eyes at the comeback. "So why are you here? Did you think I would let Adrien transform after that stunt he pulled?"
Gabriel stared at the god briefly, surprise flitting across his features.
"Considering your track record, I believe I am wise to check in on my son."
"Look, I may only listen to a few people, but I do not allow my kittens to disobey me when they are at risk. I've already had to stop him from running of to his girlfriend's hospital bed."
Duusu had told him of the black cat's absurdness. Now the man found himself surprised all over again.
"Speaking of Ladybug, I would like to know her identity. She kept Adrien safe during that little vacation the two of took for a few months."
The kwami blinked, abandoning his post against the nightstand. He flew over toward the designer and asked, "What do you really want, Gabe?"
"Tell me the young lady's identity so that I may offer some aid to her family."
Plagg gazed over at his sleeping charge. He knew that Adrien refused to share that information just as Plagg also did. He turned his attention back toward the man.
"Well, I can't do that. Adrien refuses to allow that. But if you make the deal of the century for both of us, maybe we can arrange something."
Gabriel knew that Plagg wasn't trustworthy. It was possible that the fortune he had just spent on camembert was futile. But a deal was a deal.