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Fan Fic / Truth And Consequences

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"On Sunday, Marinette discovered who her arch nemesis really was. On Monday, she made Adrien's father a deal."

Marinette and Adrien have been heroes for four years. Graduation and college are right around the corner for Paris' heroes, while Marinette and Adrien are in the beginnings of a relationship, but sadly, no end to the war against Hawk Moth is in sight. That changes when Ladybug accidentally discovers the true identity of her Arch-Enemy, leaving her with a choice she never expected to face: expose him then and there, potentially ruining Adrien's life... or give him what he wants in return for an end to the conflict?

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Ladybug chooses the latter.

What follows is a downward spiral, as Ladybug and Chat Noir find themselves at cross purposes for the first time in their careers, resulting in an ever growing conflict that threatens to bring drag both heroes down, and all of Paris with them...

Truth and Consequences is a Miraculous Ladybug Fanfic by siderealSandman, and is ongoing.


Truth And Consequences contains examples of:

  • The Abridged Series: There's a side-story that retells the fic in a shortened and far more humorous manner.
  • Accidental Pun:
    Carapace: [fighting skeleton enemies] Hey numbskulls! I got a bone to pick with you...ahhh man, even Chat Noir would have groaned at that...
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: According to Thomas Astruc, canon Sarutobi Sasuke wielded the Monkey Miraculous. Here he's a Cat.
  • Amicable Exes: Prior to the story, Marinette was involved with Luka, and Adrien with Kagami. Both relationships have since ended, but both remain on friendly terms.
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  • Anachronic Order: Starting with Chapter 30, the fic bounces between the In Medias Res opening and the final leadup to How We Got Here. As of chapter 35, the author is removing and rewriting some of the "future flashes" so they are not boxed into anything.
  • And I Must Scream: Luka's fate, for the foreseeable future. With the Ladybug Miraculous gone, the heroes are left with no way to purify him from the Mayura Akuma, and they don't want to kill him. So, they're forced to imprison him in an inter-dimensional cell, with no way to speak to anyone, and Mayura constantly trying to regain control of him, until a way to purify him can be found; if one ever is.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Lampshaded. When Kagami (who at this point is working with Adrien) learns from Master He that she believes Hawk Moth is a warlock, she initially finds the idea ridiculous. Adrien sets her straight:
    Adrien: A thumb-sized talking cat powered by stinky cheese lives in my ring and gives me unfathomable powers of destruction, and you’re having trouble buying the fact that Hawkmoth might have gone to Beauxbatons?
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  • Arc Words:
    Ladybug: I (We) can fix this.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Adrien delivers a brutal one to Marinette when confronting her about making decisions about him and his family without his knowledge.
    Marinette: I'm not asking you to be grateful but don't say I don't care about you! I...I love you Adrien.
    Adrien: ...yeah? Maybe...but you sure as hell don't respect me.
    That's not true! Marinette's mind screamed but as she opened her mouth to protest, she struggled to come up with evidence to disprove Adrien's claim. Adrien's point of view didn't factor into her decision...and she actively ignored her partner's advice which might have saved everyone but Gabriel from the mess they found themselves in. Marinette struggled to fill the hollow silence with some kind of assurance; struggled against the mounting worry that Adrien might actually be right. Because as much as she loved him, she was beginning to realize that she never had the whole picture; there had been an invisible wall between them since the day they had met, preventing them from truly being their complete selves. Lies of necessity were still lies.
  • The Atoner:
    • After Hawk Moth takes the Ladybug and Cat Miraculouses, Marinette swears to fix her mistakes and defeat him.
    • During Lila's cameo, she expresses a desire to put her sociopathic actions as a teenager behind her.
  • Badass Boast:
    Gamemaster: But is it really a good idea to discuss battle strategy in front of your enemies?
    Master Crane: It is if you know there's nothing your enemy can do to stop you.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Gabriel's use of the Black Cat and Ladybug backfired like this: he has now been transformed into a giant purple moth monster.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Right as Gamemaster is about to capture Kagami, Chat Noir shows up with the fully mastered Fang at his side.
  • Black Speech: Late in the fic, Adrien starts speaking in this manner whenever he is extremely emotionally compromised.
  • Bluff the Imposter: When Queen Bee infiltrates Agreste Manor using Rena Rouge's illusions to disguise herself as Adrien, Nathalie catches her by bluffing that Marinette is pregnant with Adrien's child.
  • Brainwashed:
    • Luka, after being given the Peacock Miraculous, is being influenced by some kind of super-Akuma inside of it, turning his affection for Marrinette into dangerous obsession and slavish loyalty. Eventually, it takes control of him completely.
    • A subtler form, but Gabriel, upon learning Marinette's name and after conditioning her to do what he says after saying a trigger phrase, was able to use magic to control her without her knowledge; anytime he says "I insist" she has to obey, and doesn't even realise it for most of the fic.
  • Broken Pedestal: Several.
    • Ladybug to Chat. While she's convinced that this is just a feud and that eventually they'll both be friends again, Chat holds almost no affection her any longer and is more than willing to take her down if she continues to stand with Hawk Moth.
    • Chat expresses the sentiment that he's not going to be calling Fu "Master" for much longer after finding out how badly his training was neglected.
    • Alya, Nino, and Chloé become increasingly disillusioned and mistrustful of Ladybug as her behavior becomes overbearing and it becomes more obvious that she's lying to them.
    • After being tricked into thinking Chat Noir is a traitor, the Parisians tear down the statue of him they'd erected.
    • Obviously, Marinette doesn't hold Gabriel in high esteem anymore after learning he's Hawk Moth. Obviously, neither does Adrien.
  • Body-Count Competition: Queen Bee and Carapace have one during the Final Battle.
  • The Bus Came Back: Lila Rossi returns to Paris after years away only to see the hellish mess the city is in and head off for Maui.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mayura. Chat Noir effortlessly flings him around every time they fight, Kagami feigns not knowing who he is the first time they meet, Team Paris is put off by his slavish devotion to Ladybug, and at Mayor Bourgeois' gala Adrien deliberately gets his name wrong and wonders why he's Team Ladybug's new leading man when Carapace should have gotten the title by virtue of seniority. All of this contributes to the festering anger in Luka stoked by the creature in his Miraculous.
  • Came Back Wrong: The "resurrected" Emilie, once Gabriel finally gets his hands on both Miraculous, is described as "like Adrien's mother if his mother had been made out of wax and left out in the sun for far too long. Spindly, uneven fingers pulled up a body that was too thin, too gangly, too badly proportioned. Its hair was patchy and thin and fell off its head as it moved, bones cracking in a way that suggested they hadn't been put together properly.".
  • Cassandra Truth: In Chapter 36, Ladybug tries to tell Chat that Gabriel Agreste is Hawk Moth, but he doesn't believe her.
  • Cavalry Refusal: After all hell breaks loose in Paris, Master He tries to call on Section 13 and the Xiaolin Temple for aid. Unfortunately, they have their own problems to deal with at the moment, and aren't willing to help France until their own territories are secured.
  • Chaotic Neutral: In-Universe, Queen Bee jokingly refers to herself as a Chaotic Neutral wildcard when she reveals she swiped the Tiger Miraculous.
  • Cliché Storm: In-Universe, Chat has this reaction to Gamemaster kidnapping Kagami and using her as collateral for his Miraculous. Pointing out how overused this plotline is goads him into releasing her.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Adrien descends into a fit of enraged profanity when he learns Hawk Moth is his father.
    Adrien: Shut up! Don't touch me! Don't fucking touch me, you monster! You fucking monster, I- [...] I...I hate you! I fucking hate you! I hate you and mom's gonna hate you too! She's gonna call the fucking cops on you the second you bring her back to life!
  • Convenient Coma: Almost literally, since Master Fu is the only one who knows the identities of both Ladybug and Chat Noir; however, his health fails him early in the story, leaving him unconscious and thus unable to help defuse the situation.
  • Cool Sword: Fang, a sword of destruction wielded by Sarutobi Sasuke, fueled by the Power Of Hate and created by the Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculous being used together.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Ladybug dismisses Chat's desire to Hawk Moth brought to justice as revenge, largely as a means of rationalizing her actions. This finally ends up becoming the case at the end, after everything she's done to him finally causes him to snap.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Mayura and Chat Noir, to the surprise of exactly nobody; not only is the Black Cat Miraculous acknowledged as stronger than the Peacock, but Chat has four years of experience as a superhero, while Mayura has been at it for a few days.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Wielding the Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculous simultaneously would, in theory, grant any wish their wielder desires. In practice, it requires an incredibly strong will, and perfect spiritual balance. Only one person has ever successfully pulled it off, with the consequences of the failures ranging from turning the wielder's hair orange, to transforming them into a potted plant, to Ret Goning an entire civilization. Marinette is convinced she can pull it off; everyone else, not so much. When Gabriel gets his hands on both, not only does he fail to resurrect Emilie, but he himself is seemingly annihilated - taking both Miraculous with him
  • Damned by a Fool's Praise: In Chapter 37 Mayura is given particularly barbed dialogue.
    • About the idea that Marinette shouldn't have to deal with problems.
      Mayura: He upset you, Marinette, [...] He disobeyed you; he failed to treat you as the pure, perfect creature that you are...and anyone who does that needs to be eliminated.
    • About the idea that Adrien should be punished for his flaws after being beaten to near-death.
      Mayura: Finally... finally! [...] He’s gone...he’s finally gone! [...] No more M. Sunshine! No more smug, spoiled, selfish, bratty little Adrien! No more supermodel outshining me at every turn!
  • Damsel in Distress: Gamemaster kidnaps Kagami and demands Chat's Miraculous. He gets out of it by pointing out how cliche this plotline is, causing Gamemaster to release her.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Kagami, upon becoming Monarch, the new holder of the Butterfly Miraculous, gives one of these to Max, Juleka, Kim, and Nathaniel, when she asks to empower them to stop Hawkmoth and Mayura.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • The In Medias Res prologue. The Ladybug and Cat Miraculouses are destroyed, Hawk Moth is dead, everyone has turned on Marinette, and the fact that Adrien and Luka are still alive is described as a miracle.
    • Chapter 41's author's notes neatly summarize how far to hell everything's gone.
      "TL;DR. Adrien and Marinette are going to take a field trip into their Sanctuary to soak up some magical energy that will either outright kill them, horribly horribly mutate them, or bestow on them the power to save the world. Gabey the Baby and Kaiser Long's Putty Patrollers are invading Paris, the 5-0 just got Jurassic Park'd, and Luka is composing a post-emo album about possession and powerlessness in the basement.

      Oh, and Wayhem has been sentenced to 30 years for tax-fraud but that's unrelated to this story.

      This is probably going to end well, right?"
  • Dating Catwoman: An example neither party is aware of; Adrien is dating Marinette, unaware that she is Ladybug and has betrayed Paris out of a desire to protect him.
  • Demonic Possession: In Chapter 34, the monster inside the Peacock Miraculous fully possesses Mayura and forces him to kidnap Kagami.
  • Determinator: An important, possibly the most important, part of Adrien's character.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Master Fu, the only one who could reliably defuse the conflict between Ladybug and Chat Noir (or failing that, reveal Ladybug's identity and be done with it), falls into a coma early in the story.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Hawk Moth sends an akuma in order to quietly kidnap Kagami. Unfortunately for him, akuma are terrible at being quiet and he gave this one the power to summon endless hordes of monsters.
  • Dirty Coward: When everything goes tits up, Mayor Andre flees to New York rather than stay and help.
  • Disappointed in You: Tikki towards Marinette, for obvious reasons.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Alya and Chloe, upon seeing Nino in only a Modesty Towel after using the Jade Colossus form caused him to grow several inches, are more than a little... flustered.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Marinette rejoices in the "best day of my life" after her fashion show in London, unaware it was a set-up to get her out of Paris for an akuma attack and that the day is going to get much worse for her.
    • Chat tells Ladybug that he wouldn't care if Hawk Moth's family got hurt as a result of him being caught. He is unaware that he himself is Hawk Moth's son.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: At one point, Gabriel is shown chugging vodka and lamenting how low he's sunk in order to save Emilie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Zig Zagged, but actually seems to be leaning towards being defied as time goes on: Marinette's motivation is that she feels she has, and would like nothing better than to retire, become a fashion designer, and pursue her relationship with Adrien... something she feels would be threatened by the revelation of Gabriel's identity. Tikki, however, points out that it simply doesn't work like that. Being a hero does not guarantee a Happy Ending, and it certainly doesn't make her entitled to one. Gabriel even uses part of this-her dream of becoming a fashion designer-to manipulate her into leaving Paris for a weekend so he can kidnap Kagami.
  • Eagleland: Stigma, the American mercenaries Mayor Andre hires to bring in Chat Noir, are a definite case of the Boorish; gun-toting thugs who do more to rough up the citizenry than anything useful, and flee in terror when an actual Akuma shows up.
    Mayura: And here I thought Americans with guns were the answer to all life's problems.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Kagami was already an Olympic fencer before she got the Butterfly Miraculous and became Monarch.
  • Every Man Has His Price:
    • Defied by Ladybug. During their initial meeting, Gabriel briefly considers buying her Miraculous off of her, but her Death Glare shuts that offer down before he's even finished taking out his checkbook.
    • When Hawk Moth launches an attack on Paris through Gamemaster, Chloe is able to board a sold out train to Paris by bribing a couple of American tourists for their tickets.
  • Evil Mentor: Tikki outright refers to Hawk Moth as Marinette's "new master" at one point. Marinette vehemently denies it, but several of their interactions give the impression of a lesson from a teacher to their student, such as his explaining why making Chat into a Hero with Bad Publicity works to their advantage.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: A downplayed example. For most of the story, Ladybug is the villain working with Hawk Moth to protect Adrien while Chat Noir opposes her for the sake of justice. In Chapter 33, Ladybug has a Heel Realization and extends an olive branch to Chat, but in Chapter 34 a badly timed case of Demonic Possession leads Chat to swear revenge on Hawk Moth's son just to hurt her, and Ladybug fights to stop Chat Noir from doing this. As indicated in comments on the story and on the author's blog, however, reader sympathy remains almost entirely with Chat and against Ladybug. This is largely because readers know Chat won't frame Hawk Moth's son due to being said son, Ladybug's sudden principled stand is much too little, too late and reeks of hypocrisy after she's spent the entire time hurting innocent people (Chat, Team Paris, Luka, the city of Paris itself), and Chat's pursuit of revenge is in retaliation towards what appears to be Ladybug's most loathsome betrayal yet in a series of betrayals (while she's actually innocent this time, Chat and everyone else has every reason to believe she's behind it considering what she's already done). This is compounded when the fight reveals that while Ladybug has accepted helping Hawk Moth was wrong, she still hasn't learned much from her disastrous choices; she can't shake a Why Did You Make Me Hit You? mentality in her fight with Chat, and then, after beating Chat and taking his Miraculous, attempts to salvage some of her original plan anyway by using both the Miraculous.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The story begins with Ladybug turning to Hawk Moth's side in order to protect Adrien from the fallout should it get out that Gabriel Agreste is a supervillain.
  • Fighting from the Inside: In Chapter 36, Luka has a brief moment of lucidity when Rena Rouge tells him he's working for Hawk Moth; he manages to mutter "get...get...", most likely telling either the akuma to get out of his head or the heroes to get away from him before he hurts them. Later on in Chapter 38, his voice can be heard mocking Mayura as the final battle progresses.
  • Flanderization: A justified example. As the fic progresses and the monster in the Peacock Miraculous exerts its influence, Luka's crush on Marinette warps into fanatical devotion.
  • Flash Back Echo: Ladybug and Chat Noir's first real fight as enemies is intercut with flashbacks to their first sparring session after they defeated Stoneheart.
  • Flipping the Bird: Plagg flips off Ladybug when he confronts her in Chapter 27.
  • Freak Out: At the end of Chapter 38, Marinette finally loses it when she realizes that there's nothing she can do to fix the mess she's made.
  • Geas: The kwami are magically bound to certain rules, including their promise to Master Fu not to reveal Ladybug and Chat Noir's identities, even to each other. They can't consciously do anything that might lead to anyone learning a Miraculous holder's identity. Tikki outright refers to it as a geas in Chapter 14.
  • Generation Xerox: Gabriel's story of his and Emilie's youth is a mirror for Marinette and Adrien's own, with Emilie as the wealthy child celebrity with a controlling father and Gabriel as the wannabe fashion designer too nervous to talk to her. And there's the whole Love Makes You Evil thing...
  • Get Out!: Adrien's response after learning that Nathalie was knowingly serving Hawk Moth.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: During the Final Battle, the heroes rally pretty much every akuma ever victimized by Hawk Moth to take power from the Butterfly Miraculous and help bring him down once and for all.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Master He. In chapter 38, she makes it clear that she won't hesitate to kill the Akumatised Luka, since they no longer have Ladybug to purify him, if it ultimately saves lives.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Subverted. Nathalie draws a gun on Queen Bee, who simply laughs at her. So she turns it on herself, and finds that she makes a much better hostage.
  • Healing Hands: After realizing that Plagg is teaching Chat to access more of his powers, Tikki (reluctantly) teaches Marinette how to use her powers like this, if only to keep her safe. She retains this ability even after the Ladybug Miraculous is destroyed.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • After Hawk Moth double-crosses her and takes both yin-yang Miraculous for himself, Marinette returns to the side of good.
    • Lila pulled one offscreen over the course of four years, thanks to six highly paid therapists.
    • After realizing just how far Hawk Moth is willing to go in the name of his goals, Nathalie turns to the heroes' side.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Marinette has one late in Chapter 18, but instead of turning back from the path she's on, she doubles down on her actions. It ultimately proves temporary, as subsequent chapters reveal she's gone back to her previous mindset that she's the one who's thinking about the greater good.
    • Marinette has another one at the end of Chapter 33 in the aftermath of Hawk Moth's attack on Paris. This time, she actually swallows her pride and asks Chat to work together one last time.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Ladybug invokes this on Chat by convincing Paris that he's the one who turned traitor, forcing him on the defensive.
  • Hope Spot: Chapter 34. Ladybug has had a full Heel Realization and successfully convinces Chat Noir to put aside their animosity and take down Hawk Moth once and for all. Then the creature in Mayura's Miraculous completely possesses him and abducts Kagami, leading Chat Noir to conclude Ladybug was leading him on, and he completely loses his shit and swears revenge on Hawk Moth's innocent son.
  • How We Got Here: The prologue shows a confrontation between Marinette and Adrien; their Miraculouses are apparently destroyed, and all that's left of Hawk Moth is a crater. The fic then rewinds three months to the main story.
  • Hypocrite: Many of Ladybug's assaults on Chat's character (particularly his "refusal" to bite the bullet in order to stop Hawk Moth) can apply truly, or at best equally, to her.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Fang is sharpest in the moment it is drawn from its sheath.
  • I Choose to Stay: Nooroo, after being freed from Gabriel, chooses not to return to the Miracle Box, but instead to fight with Kagami to save Paris. Wayzz, Pollen, and Trix agree with him on this.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After framing Chat and failing to capture him during his furious confrontation with her, Marinette briefly realizes that her motivations for aiding Hawk Moth are ultimately selfish, but doesn't reflect very long on this and ultimately goes back into denial and convinces herself that she's the true good guy in all of this.
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: Hawk Moth when using his powers to rip Chat Noir's identity out of Kagami's mind.
    Kagami: Go...to... hell...
    Hawk Moth: I undoubtedly will.
  • It's All About Me: Ladybug's reason for helping Hawk Moth ultimately boils down to her wanting Adrien for herself.
  • I Know Your True Name: Knowing Marinette's real name allowed Gabriel to gain magical control over her without her even realizing it.
  • I Never Told You My Name: When a desperate and de-powered Marinette begs Rena Rouge and Queen Bee to save Adrien, she's so out of it she calls Rena "Alya," which is how the latter finds out Ladybug's real identity.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Chapter 36 has Ladybug and Chat Noir learn each other's identities and Chat Noir and Hawk Moth learn each other's identities.
    • Chapter 37 has Rena Rouge and Queen Bee learn Ladybug's identity.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • In Chapter 36, when Gabriel suggests that they deal with Kagami, Ladybug shuts him down with the line "We? Who's we? What makes you think there's a we anymore?!" After Adrien finds out Ladybug's identity, he drops the same line on her.
    • The Trigger Phrase. Gabriel uses the phrase "I insist" to convince Ladybug to do what he wants. When she finally arrives for the final battle against him, she angrily declares, "I insist you fork over my Miraculous, Mothman!"
  • Laser-Guided Karma: During the Final Battle, Monarch akumatizes a repentant Nathalie and uses Hawk Moth's own "make an akuma that gives me uber-powers" strategy against him, resulting in nearly every single akuma he ever made coming to get a piece of him. The narration describes it as "the sins of his past literally gathered to confront him."
  • Literally Shattered Lives: After losing control of the Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculous, this is what happens to Gabriel: literally exploding into shattered fragments of violet light.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Chapter 35 confirms that the Gorilla is not in on Gabriel being Hawk Moth.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: When Marinette enters her Sanctuary to claim the true power of the Ladybug Miraculous, she is taken into a vision where she is Happily Married to Adrien and has three children with him.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • Mayura gets hit with this twice.
      • When confronted with extremely damning evidence that Ladybug has been working with Hawk Moth, Mayura's head starts ranting "Marinette doesn’t lie; Marinette is never wrong."
      • When demanding that Alya take down the Ladyblog article that questions Ladybug's integrity, he rants "TAKE IT DOWN". 55 times.
    • "I can fix this" slowly becomes one for Marinette in the final act, as things spiral further and further out of control, before Alya finally tells her that, no, she really can't anymore.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The story is revealed to take place in the same universe as Jackie Chan Adventures and Xiaolin Showdown, when Master He has a conversation with two people heavily implied to be Captain Black and Clay.
  • Meaningful Rename: After overcoming the akuma's influence on him, Luka abandons the Mayura identity and renames himself "Bluebird".
  • Missing Time: Being Akumatised is described like this; a big blank space in a person's memory. Luka gradually begins experiencing the same thing, which is what tips him off that there is something very wrong with his Miraculous.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: When Adrien and Kagami begin spending a lot of time together, their friends suspect Adrien is cheating on Marinette. In reality, they're working together to defeat Hawk Moth and Ladybug.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the In Medias Res prologue and its aftermath, Marinette is horrified at what her actions have led to.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong:
    • Mayura slowly degenerates into a fanatical sycophant who is slavishly devoted to Ladybug in spite of any and all evidence she isn't on the level, caused by the creature possessing his Miraculous.
    • The Stigma mercenaries hired by Mayor Bourgeois insist on arresting Chat despite damning evidence of his innocence and an active akuma attack.
  • Mysterious Backer: Gabriel tells Ladybug that he received the Butterfly and Peacock from a mystery patron, but neglects to reveal he's still taking orders from said individual. And in chapter 27, we find out he's coming to Paris... He's revealed to be someone calling himself Kaiser Long, a student to Master Fu and Master He's Evil Former Friend Master Li.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Chapter 37, Mayura nearly directly quotes his love confession from canon "Silencer" in the context that anyone who dares displease Marinette needs to die, right before beating Adrien to within an inch of his life.
    • An employee of Gabriel named Marcel is metioned a few times, with Gabriel advising Adrien to fire him if he ever inherits the company. The character is a reference to the author's older story Satisfaction Brought it Back, an AU fic in which Gabriel has died and the interim CEO is Marcel Dubois, an incompetent and corrupt manager with no understanding of fashion despite working in the industry for a decade.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Ladybug in spades. Everything, or almost everything, is Chat's fault in her view. She finally owns up to some of her mistakes at the end of Chapter 33.
      • Chat struck the first blow by trying to steal her Miraculous first! Never mind that this was after she issued an ultimatum to give up his Miraculous.
      • She only framed Chat Noir because he tried to get the media involved first! The fact that she actually is a traitor trying to help the villain who has terrorized Paris for years, mind raping countless people, and jeopardizing the lives of thousands is irrelevant.
      • Chat Noir should have had her back and did what's best for Paris, but instead he's motivated by "bitter self-righteousness" and a thirst for revenge. Let's not think too hard about how she's willing to deny the thousands who've suffered at Hawk Moth's hands justice and that she's really doing this because she can't bear to hurt Adrien.
      • Even after she recognizes that helping Hawk Moth was wrong, in their final fight, Ladybug still insists that she doesn't want to hurt Chat and he's the one forcing her do this. Chat Noir finally has enough with her rationalizing, and bluntly tells her that nobody is making her do anything, and that, "Everything you've done has been your choice. Not anybody else's."
    • Kagami snarkily mocks Hawk Moth's refusal to take responsibility for his own actions when he tries to blame Chat Noir for refusing to surrender his Miraculous.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's repeatedly noted in the mid-to-lategame that one of the main reasons the situation escalated as far as it did is because Master Fu failed Chat Noir as a mentor and overly favored Ladybug, leaving him unprepared to deal with her betrayal.
  • Noble Demon: Firebird Wouldn't Hurt a Child and targets the boorish Stigma goons for death first in order to gain infinite power.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: From the akuma-possessed Mayura/Luka to the newly de-powered (or so it seemed) Adrien. It was bad enough that the author felt the need to put trigger warnings at the start of the chapter.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Adrien finds out Ladybug convened a massive press conference to accuse him of turning traitor for Hawk Moth, he's furious. So furious he... goes and attacks her in the middle of the conference. On live TV. And accidentally Cataclysms the Mayor's house in the process. Afterwards, Kagami berates him for doing something so incredibly stupid, as it all but confirms her accusations in the eyes of the public.
  • Not So Different: The parallels between Marinette and Gabriel get increasingly pronounced as the fic progresses, namely in their relation to their respective love interests (Adrien and Emilie): both fell in love with someone seemingly unattainable, managed to get them anyway, and are now performing morally questionable actions for their loves' happiness. By chapter 29, she's having nightmares about becoming the same kind of workaholic Gabriel is, ruining her relationship with Adrien as a result. See if this line sounds familiar:
    Gabriel: Never mind the fact that she was as beautiful then as she is now and I was a skinny fourteen year old nobody who could barely say two words to her without making a total fool of myself...still honestly a bit surprised that she gave me the time of day.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Subverted. Marinette thinks this is what is happening at the gala when Adrien gives a toast about how noble and selfless Ladybug is. In reality, Adrien is Chat Noir and knows exactly what effect it will have on Ladybug.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ladybug and Hawk Moth share a big one when Chat Noir returns to fight Gamemaster. Ladybug directly namedrops the trope, while Hawk Moth drops a Rapid-Fire "No!" and orders Gamemaster to throw everything he's got at him.
  • Old Master: In addition to Master Fu, we're introduced to his colleague Master He (actual age unknown), a respected medical professional, wielder of the Crane Miraculous, and member of a group called "The Viziers", which is implied to be related to the Guardians Fu was one of. Once she finds out what's going on, she offers to help Adrien and Kagami.
  • One-Winged Angel: Chapter 39 reveals that Hawk Moth has transformed into a horrific insectoid abomination as a result of his misuse of the Miraculous.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Adrien pulls this on Ladybug during a gala in Chapter 27.
    Adrien: Now, most sane people would have just up and moved. But as anyone who has lived here recently can tell you, you can always count on the Heroes of Paris to do the right thing. Every one of us, in some way or another, has been saved by the efforts of Ladybug and her team at some point. Whether that's being protected from direct akumitization or being protected from all the...frankly silly ways Hawkmoth has attacked our city, we can always count on Ladybug to step up and do the right thing.

    Even with the...unfortunate business involving Chat Noir, I know we can rely on Ladybug and her new team to bring Hawkmoth to justice and avenge the thousands of innocent people he’s harmed over the years. I believe now, more than ever, we are on the road to a future without Hawkmoth and whatever cronies choose to support him!

    To Ladybug. The most honest, faithful, and truest friend this city has.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Hawk Moth is fool enough to make the code to his secret lair his wife's birthday.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: A fully-trained wielder of the Black Cat Miraculous would be one of these; Diomedes (yes, that Diomedes) killed enough people in his day to populate an entire city in the underworld, and fought two Greek gods one-on-one.
  • Playing with Fire: One of the new powers Chat Noir unlocks is the power to conjure green flames at will.
  • Pocket Dimension: Sanctuaries. Special dimensions each miraculous have for the express purpose of training their wielders. They feature Year Inside, Hour Outside, the kwami can conjure inanimate objects out of thin air inside one, past wielders of that Miraculous can come Back from the Dead inside it to give lessons, and if a Miraculous wielder is killed during training, they come back to life! Adrien's less enthused about that last one.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • The only reason this story can function is due to the Mutual Masquerade, since a large portion of the plot boils down to: Marinette fights Chat Noir to help Adrien. Yeah.
    • This is also part of what contributes to Adrien's unwillingness to consider Ladybug's plan, since, from his perspective, she's giving over their Miraculous to their mortal enemy for the sake of total strangers, not realizing her relationship with Hawk Moth's son (him).
    • It eventually becomes clear that a lot of the conflict stems from unresolved resentments the two had been building up for years, but never talked about; Ladybug for feeling like she was the one shouldering all the responsibility in their partnership while Chat didn't seem to take anything seriously, and Chat for feeling like Ladybug and Fu were keeping him Locked Out of the Loop because they didn't trust him.
  • Power High: One he finally has both Miraculous united, Gabriel takes a minute to revel in the raw power he's experiencing.
  • The Power of Rock: What is Juleka/Nightwisher's opening salvo against her brainwashed brother? A magically powered rendition of Thunderstruck, what else?
  • Private Military Contractors: After Ladybug tricks Paris into believing Chat has turned traitor, Mayor Bourgeois hires a bunch of American mercenaries to keep the peace. They quickly prove to be little more than mindless thugs.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Chat Noir delivers this to Hawk Moth in the final battle.
    Hawk Moth: Adrien... Wait...please! I have a plan...a plan to bring your mother back to life...I just need-
    Chat Noir: You just need to draw the life out of everyone in the city to do it! You need to kill all my friends and destroy the whole world to do it, you selfish- [punch] -arrogant! [punch] -miserable excuse for a father! [punch]
  • Rage Breaking Point: Chat Noir hits his twice. First, when Ladybug frames him for the very crime she is committing and turns Paris against him. Second, after Mayura kidnaps Kagami in the midst of Ladybug's attempt to make peace with him and reveal Hawk Moth's identity, which ends up making it look like that Ladybug was stringing him along to commit her worst act of betrayal yet.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": When Chat Noir returns to Paris to fight his akuma, Hawk Moth can only respond with a panicked "No... No, no, no, no, no, no!"
  • Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!": Hawk Moth's reaction when Gamemaster starts monologuing to all of Paris.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The four years of non-stop superheroing have really taken their toll on Marinette: she can't leave Paris for even a day for fear of an akuma attack, severely limiting her options for college, and she's lost several jobs due to vanishing every time Ladybug is needed, all of which contributes to her desperation to see the whole thing finally end.
    • The only person surprised by Chat Noir's unwillingness to give up his ring when Ladybug asks is Ladybug herself, not least because of her unwillingness to explain herself.
    • Making Chat into a Hero with Bad Publicity has consequences Marinette failed to predict, like causing the owners of an animal shelter he supported to fall under suspicion of aiding and abetting him.
  • Redemption Promotion: Kagami wielding the Butterfly Miraculous is able to empower multiple people at once without an external power boost, something Hawk Moth could never do.
    Monarch: You’re right about one thing, parasite. I am not Hawkmoth; my kwami actually likes me...and as it turns out, that comes with one or two perks Hawkmoth didn't have.
  • Relative Button: During the confrontation between Luka and Mayura, Luka is finally spurred to beat the crap out of him when he threatens to break Juleka's neck.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Ladybug maintains that Chat Noir's desire to bring Hawk Moth to justice is this, prioritizing revenge over the well-being of Hawk Moth's (legitimately innocent) family. It's not true at first, but Ladybug ultimately ends up making this true when one (perceived) betrayal too many finally causes Chat to snap and he actually slides into Revenge by Proxy.
  • Revenge by Proxy: After believing that Ladybug's peace offering was a trap, Chat declares his intent to let Ladybug go free, but guarantee Hawkmoth's son (unknowingly, himself) is sent to prison for life, because he knows that would hurt her more than anything he could do to her personally.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Lila returns to Paris in the hopes of putting her past behind her, but takes one look at the devastation caused by Hawk Moth, says "fuck this shit", and promptly nopes right out to Maui.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • Both Luka and Kagami had figured out Marinette and Adrien's (respectively) identities years ago, and kept it to themselves until now.
    • By the time Chapter 30 rolls around, Gabriel has already sussed out all of the heroes' identities except Chat Noir and Master Crane, and for obvious reasons keeps this to himself.
    • Sabine figured out Marinette's secret a while ago. Apparently, the latch on Marinette's skylight isn't as quiet as she thinks it is.
  • Self-Made Man: In this story, Gabriel Agreste is an orphan who built his company from the ground up, because Emilie's father would never have permitted her to marry a poor working class schmuck.
  • Shadow Walker: After Chat Noir takes a level in badass, one of his new tricks is the ability to create shadow portals to move through.
  • Shout-Out: Tons, mostly from Adrien.
  • Side Bet: Master Fu and Master He make one as to whether Marinette or Adrien will emerge from their respective Sanctuaries first. Given that either of them emerging alive is anything but guaranteed, it's implied that this is mostly a way to deal with their own nervousness. Two chapters later, Master He collects.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Ladybug fears this befalling Adrien if word gets out that his father is Hawk Moth, leading to her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Sizeshifter: Carapace, in Chapter 30, unlocks the power to transform into a giant. Master He calls it the Jade Colossus and remarks that she never thought she'd live to see it again.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Ladybug commits more and more morally questionable actions in her quest to get Hawk Moth's wish so she can retire without costing Adrien his family.
  • Smug Snake: Ladybug, believe it or not. She's dismissive of Chat Noir's fighting ability even after he fights her to a draw three times and becomes more powerful than she can handle solo, and insists that she has all the power in her relationship with Hawk Moth despite him knowing her secret identity and turning Mayura into his Unwitting Pawn, unbeknownst to her.
  • Soap Opera Disease: According to Gabriel, the illness killing Emilie is so rare, it didn't even have a name; he was less than amused when the diagnosing doctor decided to name it after himself.
  • So Proud of You: When Alya takes command of everything after it all goes to pot, Marinette is proud of her and thinks that maybe she should have given her the earrings all those years ago.
  • Stolen MacGuffin Reveal: Queen Bee reveals that she palmed the Tiger Miraculous before the villains could get ahold of it.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Nathalie prevents the heroes from interfering with Hawk Moth by taking herself hostage, correctly gambling that they wouldn't want her to die.
  • Suddenly Speaking: In Chapter 35, the Gorilla unexpectedly starts speaking regularly.
  • Summon Magic: The Peacock Miraculous gives its wielder the power to summon and control four knights. After his Akuma takes over, Mayura can summon hordes of them.
  • Super Mode: Queen Bee unlocks one in her fight against Mayura. It includes six insectile wings, her top transforming into a chain weapon, and gives her Super Speed. Master He calls it "a coronation."
  • Suplex Finisher: Carapace uses this against a freaking Tarrasque.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Due to the monster infecting his Miraculous, Mayura slowly degenerates into a mindless sycophant who worships the ground Ladybug walks on and goes berserk at the slightest hint of disagreement with her.
  • Take That!:
    • In Chapter 32, Carapace mentions he never liked the Godzilla movies, "especially the shitty American versions."
    • The second chapter of the Abridged version has a big one to Damian Wayne and to the Maribat AU and its imitators:
      “Le sigh...I just wish I had someone who understood me,” Marinette pouted, opening her closet shrine to DC comic book hero/Worst Robin Damien Wayne with a loving sigh. “Oh Batboy...why can’t you take me far away from this life? Surely you, a petty, spoiled, murderous little shithead, would be the one to take all my cares away…”
  • Teach Him Anger: Sarutobi's training for Chat boils down to this; according to him, the powers of destruction are fueled by negative emotions, and Ladybug's betrayal has left him with plenty of those...
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Enemy Mine aside, Ladybug and Hawk Moth still despise each other. At one point, Adrien even wonders if they couldn't just hide from the two until the partnership implodes on its own.
    • The rest of Team Miraculous with Mayura (Luka). Though, in his defense his Miraculous is infected with something worse than an akuma.
    • When everything goes to pot, all of the heroes make it very clear Marinette is number two on their shitlists, but are forced to put aside their anger with her to save Paris.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • When Chat Noir returns to Paris to save the day from Hawk Moth, the fic links to "From Shadows".
    • When Luka regains control of the Peacock Miraculous and saves Monarch's life, the fic links to "Devil Trigger".
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After spending the whole story up to this point doing mental gymnastics to try and justify her actions as "the right thing to do", Marinette confesses in Chapter 18 that, no, it's not the right thing to do, but it's the right thing for her, and after four years of self sacrifice, hasn't she earned the right to do something selfish for once?
    Marinette: Just once...this one time, we’re doing the right thing for me... even if I’m the only one who will...
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Ladybug admits that she only saw Hawk Moth as an anonymous force of evil, and finds it somewhat unnerving to see him cooking dinner like any other family man.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: After Ladybug's Face–Heel Turn, Chat is approached by Master Fu's colleague Master He, who offers to give him the opportunity to wield the full power of the Cat Miraculous.
  • Too Clever by Half: Tikki bemoans that this is one of the reasons why Marinette refuses to listen to anyone. She's so used to coming up with the clever plan and calling the shots that she hasn't truly considered whether nor not she's wrong.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In response to the circumstances, Plagg and previous Black Cats start teaching Adrien how to access a wider variety of the Black Cat's powers, including how to create portals, generate a caustic fire, and using Cataclysm with more finesse and creativity (such as destroying a color). It reaches a point where he can injure the other heroes through their supposedly indestructible suits.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Luka, after getting the Peacock Miraculous and becoming Mayura. The akuma infecting his Miraculous isn't helping.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • After Hawk Moth goes behind Ladybug's back and sics an akuma on Paris. The narration describes her voice as a venomous whisper.
      Ladybug: You...are a fucking dead man.
    • Queen Bee is like this for most of her battle with Mayura. After finding out Marinette is Ladybug, seeing Adrien on the brink of death, and Mayura saying she doesn't deserve to be a hero, she goes from utterly furious, to dangerously quiet before entering her Super Mode.
  • Trigger Phrase: "I insist."
  • The Unfavorite: A mentor version. Master Fu horrifically neglects Chat Noir's training in favor of Ladybug, which bites them all in the ass when Ladybug goes rogue. Fortunately, his colleague Master He is more than willing to pick up the slack.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Ladybug not only dismisses all the times Chat Noir sacrificed himself for her but criticizes him for not being good enough to avoid it.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Team Miraculous is being used by Ladybug to get Chat Noir's Miraculous so she can deliver it to Hawk Moth. Alya, Nino, and Chloe downplay this, as they suspect Ladybug may not be on the level, but Luka plays this fully straight.
    • Mayura to Hawk Moth. His Miraculous was infected by something that not only fuels his negative emotions, and turns his affection for Marinette into a borderline obsession, but lets Hawk Moth see through his eyes; by the times the story reaches its climax, he's used this to figure out the identities of all of Paris' heroes except Chat Noir.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Sarutobi Sasuke challenges Adrien to a duel with his Cool Sword as the prize.
  • Villain of Another Story: Played for laughs; the author's notes for Chapter 41 reveal, completely out of the blue, that Wayhem got 30 years for tax fraud.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Gabriel, after remaining calm and in control for most of the fic, spirals into this towards the end. It begins when his patron announces his intention to come to Paris, which terrifies him and pushes him into self-destructive recklessness in the hopes that he can claim the Black Cat Miraculous before he arrives, and climaxes when he discovers that Adrien is Chat and that while he still has a shot at resurrecting his wife, he will not have a happy ending with his family.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Paris at large is unaware that Ladybug has defected to Hawk Moth's side.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 26: Hawk Moth's mysterious backer, and someone else, is coming to Paris soon, and Gabriel is terrified.
    • Chapter 27: Hawk Moth, at the behest of his patron, has five black butterflies that he feeds ex-akuma butterflies to regularly. They're extremely malevolent, they frighten Hawk Moth, and there used to be six. The sixth one is possessing Mayura's Miraculous.
    • Chapter 29 ends with Hawk Moth going behind Ladybug's back to akumatize a man and force him to bring him Kagami.
    • Chapter 30 has Nathalie remove the battery from Marinette's phone when she's in London to prevent her from learning of the akuma attack, confirming what was long suspected that Hawk Moth knows her secret ID.
    • Chapter 33 is when Marinette finally realizes how little control she had in her alliance with Hawkmoth (i.e. none) and how badly she's abused the trust of her team and Paris as well as the strange behavior of Mayura since she gave Luka the Peacock Miraculous. Realizing she won't get her perfect ending after all, Marinette finally calls Chat Noir so they can bring down Hawkmoth.
    • Chapter 35 has Hawk Moth psychically compel Kagami to reveal that Chat is Adrien, but he absolutely refuses to accept this revelation.
    • Chapter 36: Ladybug defeats Chat Noir and claims the Black Cat Miraculous, at which point Gabriel uses his hypnotic Trigger Phrase to force her to surrender both Miraculous. Then Adrien emerges from where Ladybug threw him, and all three finally realize who it is they've been fighting.
  • Wham Line: In Chapter 36.
    Gabriel: Give me Chat Noir's ring... now.
    Ladybug: And why, pray tell, would I do that?
    Gabriel: Because I...insist. [cut to all of the times Gabriel has used the word "insist" when convincing her to follow his orders]
  • What Would X Do?: When faced with an akuma who has his friend hostage and no apparent way to rescue her, Chat finds himself wondering what kind of half-baked scheme Ladybug would cook up to get out of the situation. He quickly hits a Eureka Moment thinking along those lines.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Whenever Ladybug grumbles that she just wants the whole Hawk Moth thing to end, someone (typically Tikki or Chat Noir) asks her why she doesn't just turn Hawk Moth in and be done with it.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Firebird orders her minions not to attack children.
  • Yandere: When completely under the influence of the akuma in his Miraculous, Mayura is perfectly willing to murder people just for "disrespecting" Marinette.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Downplayed; Hawk Moth's backer makes no effort to prevent the heroes from defeating Hawk Moth since they have what they need from him, but doesn't actively turn against him either.
  • Your Cheating Heart: At one point, Chloe notes that the French ambassador to England owes her father a few favors because "the woman he checks into Le Grand Paris with isn’t always his wife."
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