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We expose her. Viciously. We tear apart every lie, every falsehood, every obfuscation she ever made and lay it bare for the world to see. By the time we're done with her, nobody will believe she's even Italian.
Chapter 5, Marinette telling Adrien, Alya and Nino what are they going to do after Alya shows them the video of Lila pushing a wall on Ladybug.

Crumbling Down is a Miraculous Ladybug fanfiction written by OminousPredicitions and can be found here. It is complete.

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Lila Rossi has it all at her school, mostly thanks to the neverending stream of lies that she utters to draw in and maintain her popularity. But unlike everyone else in Paris, she has a burning hatred for the superheroine Ladybug, one of the few people to see through and call her out on her bull***. So when she is caught up in an akuma attack and sees a large section of crumbling wall above where Ladybug happens to be standing, she takes advantage of this opportunity and pushes it onto her, almost resulting in a victory for Hawk Moth. Lila is frustrated that she failed to actually kill Ladybug, but takes solace in the fact that she did hurt her… unaware that the whole thing was caught on camera by Alya Césaire. Karma is not mocked, Lila Rossi, and she's gunning for you.


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Crumbling Down contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Adrien accidentally calls Ms. Mendeleiev "Professor McGonagall" out loud, Mendeleiev replies with "Ten points from Gryffindor, Mr. Agreste". Needless to say, the class is surprised to see how the resident Stern Teacher took a joke at her expense so well.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: A few instances.
    • Max and Kim are in a relationship despite being only friends in canon, some distinctly Ho Yay moments aside.
    • Nathaniel and Marc are explicitly in a romantic relationship. Though both are confirmed in canon to be LGBT+ and romantically interested in each other, they are not offically confirmed to be dating.
    • Adrien is mentioned at the end to have briefly dated Luka.
    • Alix briefly has a love interest named Francesca.
  • The Anti-Christ: After learning just how depraved she is, Mylène wonders if Lila is this.
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  • An Axe to Grind: Alix, with a fire-axe she liberated from the Grand Paris Hotel and fully intends to use on Lila before Marinette talks her down. It's mentioned later on that she makes a habit of throwing it at pictures of Lila to vent some anger.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • The author freely admits having no knowledge of how the French legal system works and just threw together a standard court scene for Lila's trial, though they do not make it a Kangaroo Court either.
    • At one point, André Bourgeois laments that Lila won't be sentenced to death, but he will push for the next best thing. Like all countries that belong to the European Union, France has no death penalty.
  • Beware the Nice Ones / Beware the Quiet Ones: Noted with some characters like Adrien, Rose, Juleka and Nathaniel. Lila's true character provokes them to moments where they show hints of a genuinely scary darker nature. The latter two are noted as having noticed off things about Lila because their quiet nature makes them both easily overlooked and keenly observant.
  • Big Sister Instinct: When Nora sees how upset Alya is, she threatens to beat up whoever caused it and had also warned her to stay away from Lila.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Kim. His first conclusion to a mysterious invitation to Chloé's hotel by Adrien, Marinette, Alya and Nino was that they were planning to kill and replace them all with clones, which causes his boyfriend Max to Face Palm in embarrassment.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Alix has this as mentioned in the finale, with Max and Kim making use of it as well.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Of the Salt Fic genre. It follows the Fandom-Specific Plot of Lila being on top and manipulating everyone against Marinette at the start, but quickly goes in another direction from there. It does not engage in character bashing with the exception of Lila and subverts the typical demonisation of the characters in other salt fics. In turn, this fanfic is also a Reconstruction of the pre-Season 3 status quo.
    • Alya; is taken in by Lila at the start and has distanced herself from Marinette, believing her to be simply jealous of Lila, but she is the first one to realize Lila's true nature when she sees her pushing a wall onto Ladybug whilst filming an akuma battle and is horrified when it sinks in that not only did she not believe her best friend, she posted lies on her beloved Ladyblog. Alya is the first one to set the plot in motion by researching Lila's lies and going to Marinette to apologize, both accepting the truth and expecting her best friend to not forgive her. This is in contrast to Salt Alya, who is a gullible, mean and spiteful harpy who hangs onto Lila like a limpet, treats every word she says as gospel and refuses to accept the truth even when it's hitting her in the face.
    • Adrien; initially maintains his "high road" approach to Lila, but this changes when he finds out about both Lila's continued bullying of Marinette and her murder attempt on Ladybug. Usually depicted in salt fics as being spineless, selfish and entitled to Ladybug and Marinette's feelings, here Adrien is horrified at what his naivety almost cost his friends and Ladybug and throws himself into taking down Lila. The author points out that Adrien did not have all the facts with Lila and Marinette, thinking that Lila was just telling stories for attention and not that she would do it to bully and hurt Marinette, and it is said in-story that Adrien would never have given that advice had he known the full picture. He does have one brief moment of annoyance and entitlement when Ladybug still refuses to date him despite their mutual identity reveal, but he calms down and accepts it when she points out that it is still too dangerous with Hawk Moth around because he would exploit it readily to weaken them.
    • Miss Bustier's class; usually depicted as turning on Marinette at the drop of a hat despite their friendship to flock to Lila for being more interesting, they are depicted here as being caught between the two's accusations of lying and bullying and not knowing who to believe, though Nathaniel and Juleka both reveal suspicions about Lila due to cracks in her facade when she thought they weren't looking. When they are shown evidence of Lila's true character, all of them immediately throw themselves behind the anti-Lila effort.
    • Miss Bustier; like Marinette's classmates, she's often depicted as believing Lila's lies and happily punishing Marinette for the smallest offenses without giving her the chance to explain herself, here Bustier believes Lila's lies without checking them because she genuinely thinks all her students are trustworthy kids, can't imagine that somebody would feign disabilities to get preferential treatment, and in general, her desire to be seen as a Cool Teacher makes her act unprofessional at times. She's also horrified when she learns how much she screwed up by being so trusting of Lila and not trusting enough of Marinette, who she considers her best student.
    • Marinette; usually depicted as being bitter about her friends not instantly believing her about Lila and content to let them sink on their own, here she forgives them and tells them that she was only looking out for them as she didn't want them to be hurt by Lila's lies, though she does specify that she was a bit hurt that they didn't hear her out.
    • Lila; her influence over the class and the school is usually hyper-inflated to the extent that she can have people beat up Marinette and then get her blamed and punished for it. Here she is not at all infallible, with her lies about Marinette being doubted and slipping up big time in trying to murder Ladybug which is caught on film by Alya, resulting in a slow spiral of doom.
  • Distant Finale: The final chapter of the story takes place ten years after the main story.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Max's attempted analysis of the situation with Lila is complicated when his boyfriend Kim rips off his hoodie in a rage and is left barechested, distracting him until Kim covers up with a blanket.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Mentioned and deconstructed. Lila believes this applies to her and cites it when she's exposed and cornered, only for her mother to inform her otherwise. Mrs. Rossi is the senior ambassador to France, which confers diplomatic immunity upon herself and Lila, but she waives it so Lila can face punishment for what she's done. When Lila protests, her mother points out that the scale of her crimes is beyond what diplomatic immunity covers and if she attempted to protect her daughter from rightful punishment, it would lead to a political firestorm between Italy and France.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Lila fully believes this. In her mind, it doesn't matter if Adrien says no or not. Not to mention, she can frame him for assaulting her. The author specifically notes that they do not believe in this trope and states emphatically that sexual harassment and assault can happen to anyone regardless of gender.
  • Driven to Suicide: One of Lila's last victims, a girl named Giselle, took her life after Lila was done with her.
  • Entitled to Have You: Lila firmly believes that Adrien is hers and hers alone. And this is before she threatens to rape him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gabriel may have hired Lila to spy on Adrien, but once he learns she threatened to rape him, he is horrified and cuts all ties with her.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Chloé is a jerk and a bully, but even she thinks that Lila is beyond evil and needs to be taken down. She is even willing to work with Marinette and Alya to make sure of it.
  • Failed a Spot Check: What kicks the fic off. Lila attempts to kill Ladybug by pushing a wall onto her and then gloats about it, unaware that Alya saw and filmed the whole thing.
  • Final Battle: Offscreen, Ladybug and Cat Noir defeat Hawk Moth and Mayura with the help of all their classmates equipped with their own Miraculous.
  • A Fool for a Client: At her trial, Lila hires an ass of an attorney (herself). It ends predictably disastrously.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: One of Lila's past victims, a boy named Luigi, was forced out of the closet by her because he didn't believe her lies, with some malicious slander thrown in. He was forced to move away as a result of the bullying that ensued.
  • For Want of a Nail: Lila attempted to kill Ladybug, not noticing that Alya was there, too, and was filming the whole time. After finally seeing Lila's true colors, Alya shows the film to all her friends, who then disprove Lila's claims and dig up her past through research. Then, they show the films to their superiors, like their teachers or Intrepid Reporter Nadja Chamack, or to their parents who have power in Paris, like Chloé's father Mayor Bourgeois and Sabrina's dad police lieutenant Roger Raincomprix. Lila is exposed on live TV with the footage and her class's research. Gabriel fires her, sues her, then sends her an akuma only so he can gloat to her as Hawk Moth that she outlived her usefulness to him and he's dropping her as an ally. Lila is brought to court, successfully convicted for her many crimes, and deported back to Italy where she spends the rest of her life caged, as she still refuses to change her selfish ways, landing her in solitary confinement in the Distant Finale, still dreaming of her escape and revenge against all who exposed her. All this because she Failed a Spot Check.
  • I Have No Son!: Inverted. Lila disowns her mother after she allows her to get arrested.
  • Insult to Rocks: Many characters claim that calling Lila a snake is an insult to snakes (as well as to the snake-themed hero Viperion).
  • Internal Reveal: Kagami reveals to the class that Lila manipulated her into trying to kill Ladybug when she was akumatized into Oni-Chan, recalling some of her memories from that time, and regretting that she never informed Ladybug of it so she would be more on-guard around Lila. Marinette, being Ladybug, makes a note to visit Kagami as her hero self to assure her that she doesn't blame her for it.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure:
    • Can hardly be surprising for Lila, but a particularly memorable case is when she claims to be in contact with the lead actress of Solitude. For both her husband and her son (namely, Gabriel and Adrien Agreste) that serves as an outright Berserk Button.
    • She also promised Nathaniel to introduce him to Stan Lee. Nathaniel can't imagine how, given that Lee has been dead for more than a yearnote .
  • Kangaroo Court: Subverted. Despite being a fic dedicated to making Lila suffer, the court scene is presented as reasonable and willing to give Lila a chance to defend herself despite the mountain of evidence against her. Since Lila foolishly opts to waive an attorney and defend herself, naturally by lying, it doesn't work and she gets a lengthy prison sentence.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • What the fic slowly builds up to for Lila. She has all her lies exposed on live TV, along with her murder attempt, gets filmed trying to seize an Akuma, shipped back to Italy in chains and no one believes anything she says ever again.
    • This is mentioned as being a part of the Miraculouses in case they ever fell into the wrong hands, in that they can't be misused without the person suffering some kind of backlash for it. In the case of Gabriel misusing the Butterfly Miraculous to get what he wants, he ends up losing what he already has; his business suffers and tanks, his son grows more distant before cutting him out of his life and he loses a second chance at love with Nathalie.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Hawk Moth may be a cruel supervillain, but beneath the grief-twisted monster there's still a man who loves his family deep down. When he goes to war with Lila, he easily comes across as more sympathetic.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Several characters get this.
    • Alya is the first to have this reaction when she realizes that Lila was lying about everything and she turned on her best friend because it.
    • The rest of the class reacts in the same way once it becomes clear that Alya, Marinette, Nino and Adrien are telling the truth.
    • Mr. Damocles and Miss Bustier are both horrified at themselves for never stepping in, with Bustier especially being upset that she failed her best student.
    • All of Lila's past victims' friends suffered this once they managed to realize what happened.
    • Duusu, the kwami of the Peacock Miraculous, suffered this once she realized her Miraculous was being used for evil purposes.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Ms. Mendeleiev is given the first name Danica.
    • Mrs. Rossi gets the first name Claudia.
  • Never My Fault: Even after her lies come crumbling down on her head, Lila refuses to accept personal responsibility for her actions.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • There's a court order against Jagged Stone that has something to do with guillotines. Jagged invoked Let Us Never Speak of This Again! when Penny brought it up.
    • Discussed by Ladybug. When Cat Noir and Ladybug show up at Alya's window to convene about Lila, Alya, unaware of the identity of her intruders, initially threatens them with an egg whisk she takes out from under her desk. It's implied there's a reason Alya keeps the egg whisk under her desk in her bedroom, but when Cat Noir asks, Alya avoids the subject. When Cat asks again, Ladybug intervenes, saying that sometimes it's best not to ask because you probably don't want to know or the answer is so confusing you'll wish you didn't ask.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Mylène, usually a quiet and reserved girl, explodes and lets loose with a Precision F-Strike when the depths of Lila's evil are exposed.
    • Adrien, who never raises his voice, bellows "SHE DIES!!!!" when he sees the video of Lila pushing the wall onto Ladybug and tries to leave to do just that. It is noted as scaring Nino considerably because Adrien is never like that.
    • Even when angered, Marinette is not somebody to rely on violence (out of costume, at least), but when she learns that Lila has been sexually harassing Adrien and forcing him to keep silent under threat of a False Rape Accusation, she's so utterly furious she knocks Lila out with a Megaton Punch to the face, leaving her with a bloody nose.
  • Papa Wolf: Zigzagged by Gabriel. He initially has trouble believing Adrien about just how bad Lila is. Then he learns about her threatening to rape him and demands to know why they aren't exposing her right then and there. It even carries over into his Hawk Moth persona, where he deliberately engineers a situation where Lila grabs his akuma and reveals her past instances of doing so on live camera, before withdrawing the akuma so she can't hurt anyone or escape using powers. The author specifically notes that Gabriel might not have been willing to double-cross Lila in this fashion had he not known about the rape threat. However, he still persists with his quest to get the Miraculouses even after Nooroo informs him that the wish might kill Adrien as a price.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Lila's default tactic when anyone opposes her is to act like they're attacking her. It fails to fly with people experienced in dealing with her (Marinette and co.) or stern authority figures (Ms. Mendeleiev, the trial officials).
  • Rage Breaking Point: Marinette hits hers after learning about Lila's sexual harassment of Adrien and her blatant attempt to get Akumatized. Lila gets Punched Across the Room.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Mrs. Rossi is this. When Lieutenant Roger shows up and informs her of the situation with her daughter, she is naturally doubtful but also willing to hear him out and then decides to go and see for herself. When the truth is made clear, she is naturally heartbroken and horrified but does not stand in the way of Lila's arrest, trial and imprisonment because to do so would be an abuse of power, downright illegal and pointless anyway since her authority and position are temporarily revoked for just that reason.
    • The judge and the prosecutor at Lila's trial are both depicted as this. They keep the trial fair and balanced and permit Lila a chance to defend herself, even though she has virtually no defence.
    • The Italian authorities as well. They are horrified at Lila's actions due to the effect it could have on diplomatic relations between Italy and France and volunteer to take responsibility for her imprisonment as a sign of good faith. The three officials sent to oversee the extradition all apologize on behalf of their country for Lila's actions and are awestruck by Ladybug and Cat Noir, even asking for autographs.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ms. Mendeleiev gives an admittedly deserved one to Miss Bustier and Mr. Damocles for not doing their jobs properly (such as not demanding evidence of Lila's claims of disabilities/injuries, like a doctor's note, or checking with her parents regarding her prolonged absences) and taking Lila's words at face value. She also points out the sheer absurdity of believing that a student with such a squeaky clean reputation like Marinette would engage in bullying, theft and physical violence. Though she softens it at the end by saying that she doesn't think they're bad people who did it out of malice, but need to start acting in a more professional manner.
  • Running Gag: Alix and a fire axe that she got from Chloé's father's hotel, having broken the glass in a rage when she found out about Lila.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The author intended this to be the case, with Lila's lies crumbling in the face of scrutiny and all her morally reprehensible and illegal actions bringing the hammer down on her:
    • After Lila is arrested and set to juvie, she starts up her old tricks again. All it does is get her beaten up and targeted by the other inmates.
    • Hawk Moth's actions in akumatizing people who then go on to attack people and cause destruction of public property have naturally caused the French authorities to label him a terrorist. Whilst akumatized people are not prosecuted because they are not in their right minds and whatever damage they cause is fixed by Ladybug's magic, Lila being filmed in the act of deliberately grabbing an akuma implies willing collaboration with a terrorist. As such, she is arrested and subjected to prosecution as well as detained by the elite counter-terrorism force.
    • Tying into the above, Lila's mother is the senior ambassador for Italy to France and it is noted by some characters that Lila being a willing accomplice to a French domestic terrorist could have serious political ramifications. Mrs. Rossi herself understands this and willingly distances herself from her duties whilst her superiors sort things out and Lila goes on trial.
    • After Lila is convicted, her imprisonment is seen to by the Italian government as she is a proven risk to French national security and cannot remain in Paris where she might be akumatized again and attack the city.
    • Because Lila is so self-centered and sociopathic, she utterly fails to realize how her fate is a direct result of her own actions and instead blames anyone and everyone else for it, even disowning her own mother when she rightly refuses to get her off the hook. It also means that she refuses to atone for her actions because she believes she did nothing wrong, and so is still plotting revenge years later. This does not go unnoticed by the prison authorities, who extend her sentence and subject her to psychiatric evaluation and observation.
    • Also because of this, Lila still tries to use her old tricks of lying and faking emotional outbursts to get herself acquitted in court because they've always worked for her in the past. However, the judge and the prosecutor are not moved or fooled and point out that given their occupations, they need evidence to pass judgement rather than someone's word, especially if the reliability of that word has been called into question.
    • Marinette is not the first person to have had Lila frame and torment her. However, those victims didn't always have a happy ending with one, written as being almost exactly like Marinette in terms of personality, being driven to kill herself after being bullied and tormented. On the flip side, it meant that the friends and relatives of those victims realized what was going on and put the word out on the Internet to warn others.
    • Adrien is left horribly traumatized and in need of a lot of emotional support after the revelation of Hawk Moth as his father, realizing that his own father was responsible for the years of pain and fear Paris had to endure when Hawk Moth was active, the emotional suffering of his friends and that he was willing to endanger even his own son in his selfish pursuit of the Miraculouses despite the risk it posed to the universal balance. As such, he is almost a wreck when he finally visits Gabriel in prison, barely holds himself together during the meeting and refuses to forgive him instantly, telling him that he needs time to heal before he can even think of forgiving him and even then it might not happen.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • After discovering just how much of a monster her daughter is and then getting disowned by her, Mrs. Rossi finds love with Lieutenant Roger.
    • Adrien has to endure Lila's very forceful insinuation of sexual assault, as well as the later revelation of his father as Hawk Moth and confirmation that Gabriel knew there was a risk that the wish to resurrect his mother might kill Adrien as a price but kept trying it regardless. At the end, though, he is more or less adopted by the Dupain-Chengs and enters a loving relationship with Marinette.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend:
    • Gender inverted. After Lila shoves Marc, Nathaniel claims it took all his willpower not to get physical with her.
    • Marinette isn't dating Adrien at that point, but when she learns about the rape threats, she gets right up in Lila's face and Lila admits that she did look rather scary - and later gives her a Megaton Punch.
    • Chloé also isn't dating Adrien, but is not happy to learn about what Lila's been saying and doing to him, at one point ranting about having Lila chopped up and fed to dogs.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nathalie is last mentioned as being hospitalized due to the damage inflicted on her by the broken Peacock Miraculous, apparently with a good chance she might not pull through.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
    • Marinette is a highly popular fashion designer working under Edna Mode and she is now in a happy relationship with Adrien.
    • Nino is a successful DJ and aspiring movie producer and has always taken up weight lifting as a hobby.
    • Alya is now a journalist and part-time news anchor, known for always checking her sources.
    • Alix is a professional skater
    • Kim has Olympics swimming aspirations.
    • Max specialises in video game design and also a leading mind in several scientific fields.
    • Nathaniel and Marc still do their comics, with Nathaniel also taking commissions on the side.
    • Sabrina is a practicing lawyer.
    • Ivan is a successful drummer.
    • Mylene is a successful voice actor.
    • Chloe is a socialite.
    • Rose works with Prince Ali on several charitable fundraisers.
    • Juleka is a music teacher.
    • Kagami is an Olympic-class fencer.
    • Luka is a now a music partner for Jagged Stone.
    • Lila is still imprisoned and still dreaming of an escape that will never come.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Hawkmoth sends an akuma Lila's way, knowing she'll grab it, just so he can gloat to her personally as his villain self about how he is discarding her now that she's exposed. He does this just when she's been exposed on live TV, hit with multiple lawsuits, and about to be arrested for aiding him. Clearly, he's trying to rub salt in the wound for her assaulting and harassing his son, plus desecrating the memory of his late wife.
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