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Becoming The Mask / Fan Works
aka: Fanfic

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People Becoming the Mask in fan works.

  • A Crown of Stars: Discussed in chapter 34. Asuka says she has worn so many masks during her life that she is not sure of what is her real self anymore. Another character suggests that she should to choose one mask and wear it until it becomes real.
  • Claymade's The Dark Lords of Nerima is a particularly insightful examination of this trope when a wounded Youma from Sailor Moon is taken in by the Ranma 1/2 crew.
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  • The Reveal in the middle of Chapter 3 of the Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Finding Freedom. You thought that the Beta Couple's main reason for being added in the previous chapter was to give the other main character a boyfriend too or to be the cute established couple? Think again.
    "Don't be stupid, although I know you can't help that. Kiku's... not my type."
    Also a lie, Heracles told himself. He definitely felt something for the other man, cherished his time with him and his quirks and just... all that made him who he was. When he kissed him, it was real. By now, everything he did with Kiku was real.
  • John-117 in Company0051. As such, he certainly doesn't appreciate the having to be out of armor, and to make matters worse the armor in question is kept by a scientist who seems to have a bit of a fetish for it...
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  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Asuka decided to pretend she was a super-heroine... and throughout the story she becomes one.
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion: Shirley started out being manipulated into the role of Zero by Lelouch as nothing more than a figurehead with powerful stand, with Lelouch literally dictating her speeches by writing on the inside of her mask with his stand. Then, when she accidentally gets her father killed she retreats into the Zero persona to deal with it, becoming more loyal to the role than to Lelouch and developing her own planning skills.
  • From the Cylons' perspective, this is what happened to Boomer in Did I Make the Most of Loving You? (in reality, her restored memories of the future just helped her commit to the Colonials even knowing that she was a Cylon).
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  • Queen of Shadows: Thanks to Shendu trying to re-write the Book of Ages, Jade Chan ends up in an alternate reality where she has replaced the queen of an empire of Shadowkhan. Trying to fufill the role so she isn't caught out, Jade unknowingly does a better job of being the queen than the real queen. Her advisors take this more as her developing into a true leader than anything suspicious.
  • Explored in the Mass Effect/Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles crossover Drift, where Cameron has spent a couple hundred years carefully developing an entire personality construct based on her "Allison" memories, effectively becoming an otherwise indistinguishable human. It turns out that Cameron has apparently been using the Allison persona for so long that elements of her have influenced other parts of her "brain," like her combat programs - which she finds quite troubling, because she is apparently unable to actually do physical maintenance on her processors.
  • In Deep Cover, a Naruto fanfic. Naruto gets sent on a mission to infiltrate the Sound village, with the idea that his behavior is so loud and obvious that nobody would suspect him hiding something. He betrays Konoha and has a romantic moment with Tayuya while watching it burn. Thinking back on how he made his decision, he realizes that at some point in the past he stopped caring about Konoha and decided that Sound was his home.
  • In the Bleach series Heirverse this is pretty much how Gin and Aizen get together. YMMV though as this could just as easily be a case of Beneath the Mask and some of Kyouka's comment would imply that.
  • Really, almost any Naruto fanfic that has the word 'mask' in the title.
    • Likewise, in many Naruto fanfics where he uses Kage Bunshin that have to act like someone other than himself, they end up actually thinking of themselves as their adopted persona. Case in point, in The Ninth Sekirei Pillar, a pair of clones pretending to be a married couple actually start thinking of themselves as a married couple. Naruto doesn't protest their moves to prevent their dispelling since he "doesn't want memories of fucking himself".
  • White Rain has Itachi Uchiha and Lucia van Alstyne; the former's motivations were only revealed long after his death, while the latter only came to realize it after being interviewed by Ibiki.
  • This trope is a major part of the Teen Titans fanfic Avatar. As far as Robin's concerned, when the mask goes on he is Robin - Tim Drake (unusually for a Teen Titans fic, Robin is the Tim Drake version rather than the Dick Grayson one) doesn't exist. He deliberately wears the mask at all times, even when hanging out with the other Titans, because he considers leading the Titans a 24/7/365 job, so decided to simply stop being Tim, who he feels doesn't have what it takes to be a hero.
  • The Monsters, Inc. fanfiction Angela's Pet Monster involves Randall getting adopted by a human girl. At first, he doesn't care much for her, only wanting food and warmth. However, he quickly grows to like her, which leads to his Heel–Face Turn.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Without a Hive, by Phoenix_Dragon, a novice Changeling Infiltrator named Nictis is cut off from his Hive, and forced to pretend to be a (female) Pony named Meadow Song for many, many years, during which it has no contact with his own kind. As the years pass, the identity of Meadow becomes all too real, causing a slow change in Nictis's own loyalties and values.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Bon Bon has been away from the changeling hive and amongst ponies for so long that she's come to consider herself as a pony foremost.
  • Zaysen in The Bucky O'Hare Web Series. A toad spy altered to resemble a hare named Renfield, he's placed in mammal society and very quickly becomes enamored with the freedom of expression and choice it offers, at least in comparison to that of the toads. He develops close friendships with his co-workers, and even begins dating one, and gradually starts feeling guilty for secretly betraying them the whole time. Although he faces some hurdles (a big one being that he's outed and captured), he gradually assimilates more or less perfectly, and even his boyfriend doesn't entirely mind that he's a toad.
  • In Sean Bean Saves Westeros, the "real life" Sean Bean is transported into the land of Westeros of A Song of Ice and Fire. Now living as Ned Stark, not just playing him on TV, Sean Bean has a hard time not accepting Ned's family as truly his own, especially after Sansa is rescued.
  • In Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness, from the perspective of Hogwarts students in 1997-8, there's no real difference between Severus Snape pretending to be evil so as not to make Voldemort suspicious, and Snape actually being evil.
  • The Seraphim, the major antagonist of Angel of the Bat, doesn't have the prestigious lineage he claims he does, he's just so crazy he forgot what he was saying was a lie to gain followers.
  • Lelouch of the Rebellion RX: Demonic Knights has Lelouch abandon his apathetic schoolboy personality completely and fully become Zero before using his Geass on Emperor Charles to erase everything except for his memories of being Zero. Even after his memories are restored in Chapter Ten, Lelouch continues to believe that he is Zero whenever he is with most of the Black Knights.
  • In Who We Are, one of the Mane Six is revealed to secretly be a changeling. While it's never revealed which of them is, she's shown to be far less concerned with being outed as a changeling and more with losing her friends.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality we learn that one of the villains originally constructed their villainous identity simply to test their allies and provide an enemy for them to rally against, but became disillusioned when they failed to put up an effective resistance and eventually came to enjoy the role and the respect it afforded him from their fellow villains.
  • Thousand Shinji: At the beginning Shinji intended to pretend that he cared about Asuka, Rei, Misato, Touji, Kensuke... in order to manipulate them. However, he quickly came to care for them and regard them as his family sincerely.
  • In the Steven Universe fic Pulse, Pearl only accepted Amethyst as a teammate because Rose ordered her to. Over the millennia, Pearl's barely-hidden distrust of/apathy for Amethyst grew into real friendliness.
    "No, Amethyst," Pearl said quietly. "You're wonderful. We all thought you were."
    "No, you didn't!" shouted Amethyst. "I bet you would've killed me if Rose wasn't there."
    "I probably would have," said Pearl, "and it would've been a horrible mistake."
  • In My Mirror, Sword and Shield, Suzaku was a Ordinary High-School Student turned unintentional time-traveler. Fearing how his appearance could butterfly the War of Ascencion and erase his timeline, he joins Emperor Lelouch's Evil Empire as a knight. Suzaku puts on the facade of being a loyal obedient knight to Lelouch in order to keep track of him and make sure that Lelouch dies at the right time. When he refuses to give up Lelouch to the JLF despite being unarmed and surrounded in the Battle of Narita and being promised to absolved for his actions. Suzaku then realizes that he is genuinely loyal to Lelouch. Which complicates things.
  • Subverted and then played straight in Snapshots of The life and times of Hatake Kakashi, Nukenin where Ran has been one of Konaha's top 5 longest running infiltration, after ten years in the Grass village, but when she's ordered to 'go nukenin' and get close to the titular character, she finds that she rather enjoys the freedom that being a nukenin offers
  • The Stargate SG-1 fic "A Pretense of Romance" starts with Daniel offering to pretend to date Sam to encourage Jack to acknowledge his own feelings for her (Sam resigned from the Air Force in protest of a dangerous order and is thus no longer in SG-1), but as the fake relationship unfolds Daniel ends up falling for Sam for real, and Sam later realises that she feels the same way (although in the final chapter both of them reflect on past moments where they realise with hindsight they felt a certain jealousy towards the idea of someone else being interested in the other).
  • Renamon is this in Digimon Trinity. As it turns out, she only partnered with Rika in the first place because Apocalymon ordered it, as he wanted to learn how to use the bond between Digimon and Tamer to strengthen the Nightmare Soldiers. No one anticipated that she would actually come to care for Rika.
  • A literal example in With This Ring. In the Renegade timeline, Orange Lantern rolled with the mistaken identification of being Grayven in order to foil several Apokoliptian invasion schemes for earth by 'claiming it as his own'. However, as part of this masquerade, and also as a general Power-Up, he used a piece of Apokoliptian technology to reshape his body and soul in Grayven's image (gaining Super Strength, Super Toughness, Regeneration, and powerful innate magic). Since doing so, he has found himself having flashbacks to Grayven's past and is finding difficulty separating his SI past life and Grayven's in his memories.
  • Zigzagged in Bride of Discord, where Discord has feelings for Fluttershy from the beginning, but initially tries to justify his attempts at wooing her to himself, as an attempt to manipulated her into falling in love with him, so she would be unwilling to join her friends in trying to stop him, when he finally targets the rest of Equestria. But as the story goes on, he eventually forgets about the manipulation angle and is genuinely trying to convince her to marry him for its own sake.
  • Cinder Fall in The RWBY Loops zigzags this trope something fierce. Because of the way the time loops works, she decides to fake a friendly looping identity with which to socialize with the good guys whilst simultaneously indulging her villainous side in secret. The two identities both manage to grow stronger and cause more internal conflict to the point where, with a little assistance from an outside force, they become independent and unaware of each other. This does not end well.
  • Jaune in Forged Destiny. At the beginning of the story, he is merely a disguised Blacksmith pretending to be a Knight with none of the knowledge or skills to back it up. After a few adventures though, he develops into one of the most heroic characters of the main cast with a knack for tactics and improvisation that makes him one of the more valuable party members.
    I was a Blacksmith, but I'd never felt less like one than I did right now. I could remember back when Beacon started and that reality had plagued me every day.[...] No one could look at me and think I was a Blacksmith. I never acted like it.
  • The fanfic Camouflage Contract, a Super Junior fanfic about the Eunhyuk/Donghae couple (more commonly known as EunHae) is all about this trope. Eunhyuk gets Donghae to a fake relationship with him so he can avoid others' suspicions and in turn Donghae can raise his son well instead of having to be a prostitute everyday for money. At first it was only temporary, but through time, they truly fall in love with each other and decide to settle with the other for real.
  • Subverted in the Zelda fic Surface Tension. When she began falling for Malon and later Ruto, Zelda tried to make herself believe that she was just really into being her male-disguise Sheik. No, she's a lesbian who has had a hard time accepting it.
  • In the "Princess of the Isle" series, Audrey (Descendants) has been maintaining a second identity as 'Addie' on the Isle of the Lost for years with the aid of her adopted grandmother, Angelina Jolie's Maleficent. However, when Ben states that he won't be releasing some of the other Villain Kids from the Isle yet, Audrey briefly goes full 'Addie' when Ben and Mal decide to keep the barrier up rather than release Gil (who Audrey regards as her True Love) and other less evil villain kids.
  • Jaune Arc in Professor Arc goes from a bumbling Butt-Monkey doing his best to act like the professional Hunter his credentials paint him as to a serious professor who frequently forgets he's the same age (or younger in some cases) as his students and a genuine badass who's acknowledged as a hero.
  • Emerald and Mercury in A Monster's Marriage pretended to be ordinary civilians around Jaune because Cinder demanded it, wanting to keep that part of her life away from her husband. When Cinder is forced to turn against Salem's forces (due to Watts blackmailing her and Neo wanting Watts dead), Mercury remarks that when he was around Jaune, he didn't have to be "Mercury Black, professional killer"; he could just be "Merc" and he liked being Merc. Emerald admits the same about being "Em".
  • Applies to Faith in Worlds Apart; in this version of events she initially just pretended to defect to the Mayor so that she could be a double agent, but eventually decided that the mayor was treating her better than the Scoobies and defected for real.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories: Ember starts up the whole “Amberline” charade in order to get close to Danny in order to destroy him, the first part of the plan works so well that she ends up falling in love with him and gives up all of her evil plans, she even reaches a point where she’s willing to swear off her ghost half permanently for him.
  • It's All in the Details:
    • Thanks to Gabriel’s efforts in creating a new background for Castiel he has a ‘valid’ identity as a pagan god, with the result that prayers to ‘Kaseva’ will actually summon Castiel (although he is not subject to the weaknesses of a pagan god).
    • Word of God explicitly states that Chuck is God (written before that was confirmed in the show), but most of the time He just acts like Chuck, only allowing his true self to slip through on a few moments.
  • After exonerating Naofumi in Ambition of the Red Princess, Malty thinks to herself that she'll have to become Mien the Adventurer for real now as she won't be able to rely on her royal status any more.
  • The Smeet Series: In the third story, Indokani, Tenn is sent to infiltrate the kurokani program, disguised as a Kryvtor. In the process, she gets close to several of the other trainees, and is surprised to find herself coming to genuinely like them.
  • Suikakasen: Kasen pretends to want to help Yoshika become a hermit after she realizes that she can get Yoshika to gather the materials she needs to gets past gate Rajoumon so that she can retrieve her severed arm. After Kasen gets Yoshika to buy both books about hermit training and barriers, a Good-Times Montage plays that first portrays Yoshika engaging in hermit training at the instruction of the books while Kasen focuses on the books about barriers. As the montage goes on however, Kasen starts to develop a genuine friendship with Yoshika and begins listening to the hermit training documents too. Once Kasen realizes this trope is in action, she doesn't take it too well and plans to covertly off Yoshika, but Yoshika tells Kasen about how grateful she is to have met her and adds that she can't stop fearing the day of her death when they are apart. This makes Kasen undergo a Heel Realization and confess the truth about who she really is and that she used Yoshika. Yoshika doesn't mind because of their friendship and suggests that Kasen could get over her Loss of Identity by becoming a hermit together with her. Kasen's present-day character title being "One-Armed Horned Hermit" should tell you all that you need to know from this point.
  • In Shifting Heaven and Earth, Kralel is tasked by Gabriel to spy on Aziraphale for evidence of corruption or dereliction of duty while pretending to just be his assistant-in-training but he grows genuinely fond of Aziraphale and ends up going to great lengths to help him even against Gabriel's wishes.
  • Point Me at the Skyrim has Victoria Dallon/Antares being unable to say with a straight face which identity is the real her or if there's any difference anymore. Doesn't help that her superpowers come from an Eldritch Abomination.
  • After being declared leader of the "Villain" side of the exercise in Hero Class Civil Warfare, Izuku spends an entire weekend pouring over movies where the villain is a main character (including The Godfather, The Dark Knight, Ocean's Eleven, and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe) to create the perfect villain persona as "Kingpin." He then spends the rest of his prep time helping his teammates do the same. While it goes a long way towards helping them win, the observing teachers become concerned they're getting a little too into character after the Villain Team blows up a building. It turns out Izuku predicted this possibility, and recruited Shinsou specifically to act as a Morality Chain should he start to get Lost in Character.
  • Gospel of the Lost Gods: A constant concern among the Wards is making sure that they don't let their duties and actions in Westeros consume their identities.
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship: While she starts out just wanting to keep an eye on Timmy (to be fair, she was generally nice and wanted to help him), Sunset gradually becomes a loving sister figure to him.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves: Jaune, through a series of freak accidents, ends up in control of a White Fang branch and branded public enemy #1. He steels himself to the task of reforming his branch, if only to clear his name and convince everyone he isn't a monster. However, he becomes increasingly more concerned with helping to reform White Fang, as he witnesses (and experiences himself) the injustices Faunus in remnant go through.

Alternative Title(s): Fanfic


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