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Fanfic / Maribat AU

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Art by kceedraws on Tumblr

I love how suddenly the miraculous fandom claimed Damian and decided he was a better pair for Mari than Adrien or Luka. Like someone just all of a sudden went:
"I know we have this whole complicated ship quadrangle going on and also other ships within the universe, but hear me out... What if... Mari goes to Gotham and... Ends up with the most problematic child of Bruce Wayne?!"
"You mean Jason?"
"No, no, Damian."
"Ok but why?"
"... Bad boy... Soft for sweetheart?"
—Tumblr user stuff-that-makes-me-tired, summarizing the entire AU

It's been several years since the events of "Chameleon", and Lila has made good on her promise. Not only has she managed to turn all of Marinette's friends against her, but Adrien is sticking stubbornly to his pacifistic mindset and refuses to be of any help. And to make matters worse, Chat Noir has become utterly horrible, attempting to emotionally blackmail Ladybug into dating him by refusing to help with akuma attacks otherwise. Marinette is stuck.

Things finally start to look up for her, however, when the class takes a trip to Gotham City, and she meets a nice boy named Damian Wayne...

Created by Tumblr user ozmav, the Maribat AU is a Miraculous Ladybug/Batman crossover AU that focuses primarily on the relationship between Marinette and Damian, as well as Marinette's interactions with the rest of the Batfamily. While the original story has since been completely wiped from their account, a large number of fanfics based on the premise popped up in response to it, making it arguably one of the most popular crossover settings in the Miraculous fandom. The AU also tends to be used as a setting for "salt fics"; as such, a number of tropes related to Maribat AU fics are also common "salt fic" tropes.

This AU provides examples of:

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    Core story 
  • Affectionate Nickname: Damian has "Angel" for Marinette and Marinette has "Dami" for Damien.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Marinette has effectively been ostracized from the rest of her class, thanks to Lila.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: It’s implied that part of the reason Marinette likes Damian is because he's one of the first people her age in a long time to care about her and her feelings.
  • Blatant Lies: Lila tells the class that she and the son of Bruce Wayne are in an on-again, off-again relationship. Even ignoring the fact that Damian only has eyes for Marinette, this is clearly false.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Damian and Marinette, naturally.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Adrien, as in many a Miraculous salt fic that follows a similar mode, is equal parts an Extreme Doormat to Lila and an Entitled Bastard towards Marinette.
  • Forgettable Character: As a side-effect of her ostracization, everyone forgets to make sure Marinette is with them when the rest of the class heads to Wayne Enterprises, forcing her to transform into Ladybug to catch up with them.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: A variant; Tikki feels that Damian would be good for Marinette, but vows to kick his ass if he hurts her.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Adrien seems to be under the delusion that everything would be better if Marinette went along with everything Lila said, citing that otherwise she (Lila) could get akumatized. Marinette points out that she’s almost been akumatized six times already, but no one seemed to care about that.
  • Internal Reveal: Marinette learns that Adrien is Chat Noir when he slips up and calls Ladybug "my lady".
  • Like a Daughter to Me: How Tikki sees Marinette, which is part of why Adrien's treatment of her pisses her off so much.
  • Love at First Sight: Damian falls for Marinette pretty much the moment he meets her.
  • Meet Cute: How Marinette and Damian first meet when the latter is out of costume; Marinette ends up crashing into him while trying to catch up with her class.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Marinette gives one to Adrien over how he's handled her conflict with Lila.
  • Right Behind Me: Alya chooses to say that Marinette is a horrible person right as Marinette arrives with Damian in tow.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Damian and Marinette, naturally.
  • Shipper on Deck: Dick quickly becomes one for Damian and Marinette, much to the former's annoyance.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: A lot of tales have the Bat Family surprised at hearing about Hawk Moth, who isn't exactly subtle, and attempt to handwave why none of the DC heroes have tried to help. A few stories also invert this by having Marinette finding out the hard way that The Joker is The Dreaded for a damn good reason.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Gender-flipped; they’re not dating yet, but upon meeting the people that have been making Marinette's life a living hell, Damian has to remind himself that he doesn't kill civilians. He also has to be restrained by Dick when she gets confronted by Adrien. This can be explained, though, by his decidedly... non-standard childhood, raised by Talia Al-Guhl and the League of Assassins.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Plagg gives one to Adrien when he leaves Marinette behind at the hotel, specifically calling out his behavior towards both her and Lila.
    • Marinette gives him another one later on, pointing out that he seems to care more about Lila than her despite claiming to have her back.

    Spin-offs written by ozmav 

    Spin-offs written by others 
  • Adaptational Heroism: #WayneAngel by Markiplier_Egos features by Markiplier_Egos features a double example: one that's from canon in Chloe, who's actually grown into a good (if secret) friend of Marinette's and who defused the situation between Marinette and Adrien by explaining to the former just why Adrien gave her the advice he did about Lila and informing the latter about why it was terrible advice, and the second that's specific to this AU with Adrien being highly supportive of Marinette and bowing out so Marinette can pursue Damian — a far cry from the Entitled Bastard most writers tend to make him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Adrien in this AU is anything but good, but there are stories that take his horrible behavior up a notch:
    • In A Challenge! From A Friend!, he attacks Marinette while she's in civilian form after she rejects his advances.
    • In Keeping You Warm, he breaks into the Wayne manor and threatens to Cataclysm Damian, all under the pretense of being there to "save" Marinette. It's also revealed that he's willingly working for Hawk Moth.
    • There are a few fics where he, as Chat Noir, kidnaps Marinette for a period of time before she escapes.
  • Alternate Universe: Yes, there are AUs of an AU.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In Keeping You Warm, Dick and Tim are initially skeptical that anything magical or superhero-related is going on in Paris, mostly because they would have heard of it by now if that were the case.
  • Big Brother Instinct: All of the older Robins have this for Marinette, most often (and most violently) Jason.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Ironically not Bruce Wayne. It's usually Marinette (sometimes along with Damian due to being on a date at the time) which is sometimes how she meets the Batfamily.
  • Canon Welding: Happens often, considering the nature of the stories.
    • Some stories take advantage of the fact that one of the previous users of the Ladybug Miraculous was Hippolyta in order to introduce Wonder Woman into the story.
    • Alfred is often made a former Peacock Miraculous holder before it was mysteriously lost, a distant relative/family friend of the Dupain-Chengs, or both.
    • There are a few fics where Marinette and Jason meet before Jason becomes Red Hood and Marinette becomes Ladybug, which is used as another way to establish their sibling bond.
  • Cool Big Bro: In Hey, Brother, Kwiz Kid (a one-shot villain from the comics based off of the animated Teen Titans show) is this to the Puzzler, trying to help him with his love woes. It backfires, but points for trying.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In MaxDark158's fic, Marinette not only easily figures out the Riddler's puzzles and traps, but also discovers that he sucks at hand-to-hand combat.
  • Defiant Captive: Marinette whenever she is captured by any of Batman's Rogues Gallery. She is willing fight against her kidnappers even without transforming into Ladybug.
  • Depending on the Writer: Several parts of the AU are subject to this. How did Marinette and Damian meet? Which of the ML characters are on Marinette's side, and which are on Lila's? How involved do the DC superheroes get in the Hawk Moth situation? The possibilities are endless.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Some works play around with the idea of Damian receiving the Cat Miraculous after Adrien gets stripped of it.
  • Epic Fail: A number of fics like the idea of Marinette not figuring out that Damian is the Damian Wayne at first.
  • Fairy Tale Episode: littlefleetinglight's Slightly Cinderella (which — as the title indicates — is loosely based on Cinderella), with Marinette in the titular role, Damian as the prince, and Audrey, Chloe, and Lila as the wicked stepfamily.
  • Gaslighting: Adrien's favorite tactic in various fics. He tells Marinette that everything Lila has done to her is entirely her fault, insists that Lila wasn't harming anyone with her constant lying, despite how she used those very same lies to turn most of their classmates against Marinette with Malicious Slander. According to him, it's all Marinette's fault for standing up to her and trying to expose her.
  • Gold Digger: Lila is portrayed as this because she wants to be with Damian and/or Adrien to get fame, wealth, and power. There are fics where she tries to seduce Damian only for him to reject her for various reasons (including his own love for Marinette).
  • Graying Morality: Most fics set in the AU turn Marinette's entire class turn against her. DesertSnowQueen's Keeping You Warm, on the other hand, only gives Lila a handful of loyal followers (Alya, Nino, Mylene, and Adrien) and makes the rest of the class varying degrees of neutral, with reasons ranging from "Pro-Marinette, but can't get proof that Lila is lying" to "hates both sides equally".
  • Internal Reveal: Used in various ways:
    • Mme. Bustier's class finding out about Lila's true nature (usually starting with the reveal that she's not linked to the Waynes in any way).
    • Marinette finding out that Damian is Robin and Damian finding out that Marinette is Ladybug. Or Marinette finding out that Damian is the Damian Wayne.
    • Marinette and Adrien learning each other's secret identities is also popular.
  • Kid from the Future: There have a been a few fics where Marinette's and Damian's kid(s)(along with others) shows up in Marinette's class. This kind of story usually features:
    • It being caused by an Akuma. It's rarely caused by an actual time machine.
    • They reveal that they are Marinette's and Damian's kid(s) which disproves Lila's claims of being in a relationship with Damian. Although, she will try to complain that Damian is cheating on her with Marinette.
    • The children not liking Adrien, Lila, and/or Alya due to their treatment of Marinette.
    • Lila revealed to be a villain and/or a loser in the future.
    • If the story portrays Adrien and Chloe in a good light, they are seen as the Cool Uncle and Cool Aunt to the kids. They might even meet their own children.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Naturally, Lila will always get hit with this in one form or another.
    • Alya also tends to get this in the form of her reputation as a credible journalist (and, subsequently, the reputation of the Ladyblog) going down the drain and/or Nino breaking up with her, leaving her alone and miserable.
    • Adrien will also get this if he's being villainized, usually in the form of him losing his ring.
  • Liar Revealed:
    • Whenever the Wayne family make themselves known and disavow any claims Lila has made (which might include Bruce threatening to sue for slander).
    • Sometimes Jagged Stone comes in and reveals he doesn't know Lila.
  • Mama Bear: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy tend to become this to Marinette in any story where they have a major role.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Adrien along with others who took a neutral stance (as in they know Lila is lying but won't call her out on it and don't lend any support to Marinette and/or others who do) will face this.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Adrien/Chat Noir doesn't listen whenever Marinette/Ladybug says no. He will stalk (and possibly kidnap) her until she says yes because "they are destined for each other."
    • Lila is also like this whenever Adrien or Damian rejects her due to her narcissism.
  • One-Steve Limit: Downplayed in fics that feature Dick and Koriand'r's daughter, Mar'i Grayson, especially if Marinette is nicknamed "Mari" by her friends. The similarity in the two's names may even get brought up in-universe.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A common trend in fics is for Dick, Jason, and/or Tim to find out about Damian's crush by noticing that he's been acting odd recently.
  • Pair the Spares:
    • A few writers who don't villainize Adrien seem to like pairing him off with Jon Kent.
    • Luka Couffaine is usually paired off with Kagami Tsurugi.
  • Papa Wolf: Bruce Wayne/Batman and Alfred Pennyworth to Marinette, naturally.
  • Pen Pals: Some fics have Marinette and Damian become this, either through FaceTime or traditional letters.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Lila is sometimes portrayed as a homophobe and/or racist in fics. There are also fics where she engages in Slut-Shaming and body shaming.
  • Poor Communication Kills: #WayneAngel uses this as part of Adrien's past redemption. As Chloe explains to Marinette, Adrien has been trained his whole life to keep his head down and thus he never learned the difference between gossip column lies and lies like the ones Lila tells. Adrien was absolutely horrified when he had the difference explained to him and has yet to forgive himself for it at the time the story occurs.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: In Audacity, Adrien betrays Marinette by taking her earrings. He makes a wish for his mother to come back to life but the wish requires an Equivalent Exchange. This led to Marinette's mother, Sabine, being killed. Once Marinette gets her memory back after meeting Damian and getting Chat Noir's ring, she says that after she gets back her earrings, she will not wish for her mother back because of this trope.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: To the original Maribat AU story.
  • Running Gag:
    • Marinette being stronger than she looks. This is usually shown by one of the Wayne brothers sneaking up on her and startling her. Another is her taking down an attacker (maybe a Rogue) when the Waynes didn't know her secret identity usually to their surprise and approval.
    • Due to Marinette's black hair, blue eyes, and trauma, she is often seen as an (potential) adoptee of Bruce Wayne by those not in the know.
      • He may even try to actually adopt her (key word being "try"). He is often thwarted by others mainly because he has already adopted so many kids and she has parents...that are alive. He is usually placated by her dating Damian.
  • Seen It All: In MaxDark158's fanfic, Marinette is quietly thankful that Hawk Moth's attacks have allowed her to become used to supervillain attacks, as otherwise she'd be losing her mind during a surprise attack by the Riddler.
  • Sick Episode: kelelamentia's Of Sick Birds and Nurse Bugs. Even lampshaded by the author:
    kelelamentia: What's a ship without a sick fic?
  • Slut-Shaming: There are a few fics where Lila accuses Marinette of being a slut in order to maker her look bad.
    • After Marinette's relationship with Damien is revealed when Lila claims that she is in a relationship with him, she'll always accuse Damian of cheating on her with Marinette.
    • In #WayneAngel, Lila anonymously tries to paint Marinette as a, quote, "gold digger slut".
  • Soulmate AU Fic: There are plenty of fics where Damien and Marinette are soulmates. Some include a Red String of Fate or a soulmark.
  • "Success Through Sex" Accusation: In Perfect, Marinette is a ballet dancer who's envied for her talent. Marinette wins the role of the lead dancer for a charity event in Gotham, which Lila claims she would have won if Marinette didn't sleep with the head of the company hosting the event.
  • Trauma Button: In several stories, Marinette has one in the form of being called "Princess", thanks to Chat Noir's constant use of it.
  • Victim-Blaming: Adrien does this to Marinette. He often blames her for any misery she receives while Lila has the rest of the class under her sway, and claims that she wouldn't be suffering if she just went along with everything Lila said.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Played for Laughs; often, Damian's siblings wonder exactly why Marinette has chosen to date him, of all people.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In MaxDark158's fanfic, it's implied that Mme. Mendeleiev chewed out Mme. Bustier for leaving Marinette behind. When Bustier gets incensed over Marinette apparently getting "special treatment", Mendeleiev is quick to call her out again.
  • You Must Be Cold: What kicks off Keeping You Warm; on a date, Damian notices that Marinette is cold and lends her his jacket.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Happens a lot, usually in the form of either the Wayne family (particularly Damian) giving Marinette much needed emotional support after being bullied by her class, or Marinette saying this to Damian and Jason whenever they feel ashamed about their violent pasts.