During that three weeks, both Adrien and Sabrina practiced and rehearsed the song for the show while Marinette designed and made a dress she knew would fit Sabrina's style. Soon the day of the show arrived and Sabrina and Adrien were backstage doing a few warm ups. Sabrina was growing more and more nervous.
"Adrien, I can't! I can't go on stage!"
"You can do this Sabrina, I know you can."
"You might as well give it up four eyes, cause I'm going to win this," came a snarky voice.
Adrien cringed and turned to scowl at the source.
"Watch it, Michel," Adrien growled.
Michel, wearing a purple suit this time, just smirked.
"Look Goldilocks, just because you've helped her doesn't automatically mean she's going to win. That prize is mine."
"Just wait till you hear her sing! She'll wipe the floor with you!"
"Um Adrien," Sabrina tried to speak.
"That little mousy thing?! Not likely!"
"Look here, I may not know how or why you go in the show and frankly, I don't care. But I will not have you put my friend down like that! You can take your comments and shove it!"
"Whatever, I don't have time to waste on the likes of you."
Michel scoffed and walked away. Adrien tried his best to build Sabrina's confidence back up. What they didn't see, was a pair of icy blue eyes narrowing at Michel. The seats were filling up rapidly. Marinette's parents found themselves next to Sabrina's mom and dad.
"Officer Rodger, Madame Raincomprix, nice to see you," beamed Tom.
"Evening Tom, Sabine," greeted Rodger.
"You must be so proud of your daughter singing tonight," stated Sabine.
"Oh yes, I was so happy when she told us," stated Madame Raincomprix. "I am grateful to Adrien for encouraging her."
"She's always singing around the house. It's nice to have other people hear how wonderful she is," smiled Officer Rodger.
Meanwhile, Marinette was trying to get backstage to give Sabrina her dress.
"Please, I have my friend Sabrina's dress here! She needs it for the show," she cried.
"Sorry, only those authorized are allowed back here," stated the security guard.
Adrien just happened by and saw Marinette.
"Sir, it's okay, she's with me."
The guard looked at both of them till he waved Marinette in. She smiled and scurried over to Adrien.
"Glad you made it," he smiled.
"Yes, I was worried I'd miss it."
"That the dress," Adrien asked pointing at the garment bag.
"Yep, I hope she likes it."
Before Marinette could open the bag, a scoff was heard.
"I told you that Sabrina wouldn't wear anything you make. She's already fabulous!"
Chloe stepped aside to show Sabrina in Chloé's choice. It was long sleeved and had huge shoulder accents and went down to the floor. The yellow was too bright and the make up Chloé applied was too much. Sabrina looked uncomfortable but she still smiled for Chloe.
"Well, that's...something," said Adrien nervously.
"It looks awful," yelled a snarky voice.
The four of them turned to see Michel try really hard not to laugh.
"Now I know I have a good chance at winning! Your get up looks as bad as your singing," he chuckled.
Chloe, Adrien and Marinette were furious but before Adrien or Marinette stepped in, Chloe stomped over to him.
"What would you know about fashion?! Seriously, what a cheap suit! And purple?! Are you kidding me?! You look like a grape, one that deserves to be squished! Now take your no talent, uncouth self and drop out of this show before I call security!"
"You wouldn't dare!"
"Try me! I'm Chloé Bougoise, daughter of the Mayor and I can get anything I want! Even getting rejects like you kicked off the show," she sneered.
Michel stood there fuming, not knowing how to respond. He was used to being the one to dish it out, not take it. He puffed up his chest, growled at Chloé and stormed away, leaving himself to stew. The show got underway and there were many talented kids performing. From playing musical instruments, feats of magic and acrobatics to dancing and singing and acting. Chloe was getting ready to go on to do her talent while a certain angry boy not notice a butterfly land on his carnation.
"Tired of people telling you that you have no talents," questioned a smooth voice. "The whole world is a stage and you belong at the center of it."
"I do belong on stage," Michel sneered in agreement.
"Good thinking Center Stage. Create a show worthy of getting Ladybug and Chat Noir to appear and bring me their Miraculous."
"The show must go on," snickered Michel as the black and purple mist changed him.
Chloe was all over the place with her "talents" and the judges were getting bored. Suddenly, the lights went out and a dark chuckle reverberated through the room.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming out tonight. Sorry you have had to suffer through these no talent hacks but fear not, for the real show." The lights slowly came back on and someone appeared on stage next to Chloé. He wore a black suit with purple sequins glittering in the spotlight. He had white gloves on and a cane in his right hand. A black top hat that glistened with purple sequins sat atop his brown hair and a black and purple sequined mask covered part of his face but his once grey eyes were now purple. A sinister smile formed on his lips as he stared back at the terrified audience. "Is about to begin," he finished eerily.
Chloe was about to run away when the Akuma tapped his cane and a cage formed around Chloe.
"Ugh! Get me out of here right now," she screamed.
"What's the matter? I thought you liked the spot light? Besides, I want you to have a front row seat for this," snarled the Akuma.
Backstage, both Marinette and Adrien had separated to transform to handle the Akuma. When Marinette became Ladybug, she climbed up into the rafters to get a birds eye view of the stage. She needed a strategy but she also needed her partner.
"Where is that cat," she whispered to herself.
"You called," came a sly voice.
Ladybug turned to see her green eyed feline partner.
"You got here fast," she asked raising an eyebrow.
"I was already here," he answered. "So what's the plan?"
"Not sure yet. I think he might have been a contestant but was not favorably received? I need you to distract him while I get Chloe out and then I need to figure out where the Akuma is."
"I'm on it My Lady," saluted Chat as he got into position.
The Akuma had raised the cage higher and tapped his cane again, causing a tub of electric eels to appear.
"Now, ladies and gentlemen! For my first act, let's see if my assistant can escape the cage before being dropped into the electrified water below! And do it before I finish my song! Maestro, if you please!"
The music kicked in; a slow melody came through and the Akuma held his cane up like a microphone.
"And now, the end is near. And so I face, the final curtain."
Ladybug had to admit, he had a nice voice and strangely, she felt compelled to listen to him. She seemed to have forgotten that she was supposed to be saving Chloe, too who was also listening intently. Those in the audience seemed to be enthralled as well, some even swaying to the music.
"I've lived a life that's full. I've traveled each and every highway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way," the Akuma sang in a soothing voice.
Ladybug felt a buzzing in her head, like someone was screaming at her to get moving but she ignored it. She wanted to hear more, had to hear the rest of the song. She didn't even notice Chat Noir come up behind her and slap headphones on her ears. When she couldn't hear the music, she was brought back to her senses. Ladybug shook her head to get the fuzziness out and saw Chat wearing headphones too and tapped a small microphone by his mouth.
"You okay Ladybug," he asked into the mike.
"Yes, I'm fine. Sorry I spaced out a bit."
"It's alright, I'm glad I managed to put one of these on before I heard the first note."
"How did you know what would happen?"
"Animal instinct? I don't know, I guess after being controlled too many times I got the sense he would try something like that. And I recognize him. His name is Michel, one of the contestants."
"I see. I wonder what happened," she asked despite already having an idea.
"Well, I heard that Chloe gave him a talking to after he insulted her friend Sabrina," Chat answered trying to sound like he wasn't there to see it even though he did.
"Well, while he's got everyone paying attention to him and he's distracted, let's get Chloe."
"What's the plan then?"