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Fanfic / Smart Adversaries AU

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Gorizilla tried to obey, but his hands were both occupied. He helplessly bumped his fists together.

"That was foolish of me," sent Hawk Moth. "Put Adrien down and then take Ladybug's Miraculous."

The Smart Adversaries AU )series is a Miraculous Ladybug fanfiction series created by RockSunner on AO3. All stories are also posted on FanFiction.Net (also under the name RockSunner).

Each story is a separate What If? branch from a canonical story, where an adversary makes a smarter decision.

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The series is ongoing, with 49 entries so far, each complete.


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    Stories 
  • Antibug Anticipates — What if Antibug had used the decoy cellphone to learn more about Ladybug?
  • Backwarder Backtracks — What if Backwarder didn't get caught by Ladybug's trap?
  • Befana Blasts — What if Befana had tried harder to transform Marinette at her birthday party?
  • Bubble Your Troubles Away — What if The Bubbler went after Ladybug when she hijacked his party music?
  • Butterflies Aren't Free — What if Hawk Moth was more subtle when he targeted Marinette with an akuma in the Zombizou episode?
  • Charmer Chameleon — What if Chameleon did a better job of impersonating Adrien?
  • Christmaster Crisis — What if Christmaster had made a different choice about his toy?
  • Collected But Not Calm — What if the Collector captured the Foosball table before Ladybug could use it against him?
  • Copycat Cops It — What if Copycat had not suggested Ladybug take Chat Noir's ring, and just took it himself?
  • Cupidity — What if Dark Cupid shot Marinette instead of Alya?
  • Darkblade and the Diary — What if Chloe tried harder to demonstrate her leadership skills during the Darkblade attack?
  • Dark Owl is Not Deceived — What if Dark Owl saw through the deception at the death trap?
  • Despair Bear Scare — What if Despair Bear made a clever switch at the last moment in the fight between Ladybug and Chat Noir?
  • Evillustrator Entangles — What if the Evillustrator was more thorough with the death trap he made for Marinette and Chat Noir?
  • Fox Among the Pigeons — What if Volpina was more careful when she did the illusion of a crumbling building?
  • Frightingale Fixates — What if Chloe took longer to find the perfect revenge against Clara Nightingale?
  • Gamer Too — What if Gamer didn't fall for Ladybug's trick?
  • Gigantitan Gulps — What if Hawk Moth was more clever in finding ways to control a giant baby?
  • Gorizilla Grabs — What if Hawk Moth was more effective in directing Gorizilla when he had Adrien and Ladybug grabbed?
  • Horrid Horrificator — What if Horrificator attacked sooner, when Marinette and Alya were in the bathroom?
  • Kung Food Processing — What if Kung Food thought like a regular chef when he was preparing his soup?
  • Lightning Strikes Twice — What if we knew how Ladybug and Chat Noir defeated Stormy Weather the second time? And what else could happen in an AU?
  • The Malevolence of Malediktator — What if Malediktator was more assertive about getting Chat Noir's ring?
  • Mayura Mayhem — What if Volpina did a better job of concealing Scarlet Moth during the confrontation at the Eiffel Tower?
  • Mime Time — What if the Mime wasn't fooled into attacking the Eiffel Tower?
  • No Bars — What if Lady Wifi had tried to take Ladybug's earrings when she had her hands locked?
  • Oblivio Is Not Oblivious — What if Oblivio didn't fall for the trick on the stairs?
  • Ominous Onichan — What if Lila took a picture of Marinette among the trash cans and sent it to everyone?
  • On Reflection — What if Hawk Moth didn't waste Mayura's powers on creating an ally for Reflekta?
  • Party Crusher — What if Party Crasher captured Master Fu before he gave out any more Miraculous?
  • Pharaoh's Princess — What if the Pharaoh had grabbed back his amulet before flying after the toy earrings?
  • Pixelator Picks — What if Pixelator didn't take Ladybug's deal?
  • Power to the Pigeons — What if Mr. Pigeon was more ruthless when he had the heroes caged?
  • Prime Queen Time — What if Prime Queen didn't take the bait when the TV screen was blocked?
  • The Princess and the Peek — What if Hawk Moth had used his chance to learn something when Chat Noir was under the control of Princess Fragrance?
  • The Puppeteer is Prompt — What if the Puppeteer acted faster when she had Ladybug's doll?
  • Puppeteer Too — What if Hawk Moth gave The Puppeteer powers that were as strong as the first time?
  • Reflekta is Reflective — What if Hawk Moth warned Reflekta not to transform Chat Noir before getting his Miraculous?
  • Reverser Retargets — What if Reverser didn't let himself be distracted by Officer Roger in the park?
  • Riposte Lets Rip — What if Riposte didn't let herself be persuaded to delay her revenge against Adrien?
  • Robustus Triumphant — What if Robustus got his wish?
  • Sapotis are Suspicious — What if all of the Sapotis didn't fall for the illusion of an amusement park?
  • Silence Please — What if Silencer saw through Ladybug's trick and didn't say what she wanted him to say?
  • Simon Slays — What if Simon Says played a different card when he first hypnotized Gabriel Agreste?
  • Syren Sinks — What if Syren made better use of her underwater advantage when Ladybug came after her alone?
  • Time After Timetagger — What if Timetagger didn't let Ladybug write a note?
  • Time Pair Doxxed — What if Hawk Moth spoke to the Timebreaker from the future before creating another one?
  • Troublemaker is On Task — What if Troublemaker grabbed both earrings from Ladybug when she first had the chance?
  • The Turning of a Page — What if Adrien found the Peacock Miraculous? (Adrien is an Anti-Hero here.)
  • Weird Dad — What if the former Gigantitan remembered that he wanted his pacifier?

    Tropes Pages 


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This series contains the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: Most of the stories have two words that start with the same letter as the title (for example, Befana Blasts).
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the endings result in Ladybug and Chat Noir unmasked and intent on returning their Miraculous to Master Fu, but Hawk Moth and his accomplices are usually exposed and arrested.
  • Cassandra Truth: Oddly inverted; whenever someone exposes Hawk Moth's identity, they are usually instantly believed despite having no concrete evidence.
  • Darker and Edgier: Things can get much worse for the heroes than in the regular series.
  • Decomposite Character: The wielder of the Peacock Miraculous. In canon, Nathalie uses it under the name Mayura. In this series, Emilie used it for several years prior to the events of the cartoon and typically retakes the mantle under the name Le Paon (the name used for the character during development), while the canon wielder takes up the mantle as Mayura during Riposte Lets Rip and Lila Rossi does the same in Mayura Mayhem.
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  • Entertainingly Wrong: A couple of times, Gabriel comes back under suspicion for being Hawk Moth, and the question is raised of how he could have akumatized himself into the Collector. The usual deduction is that he had an accomplice do it for him; a perfectly sound conclusion based on the evidence available, but Gabriel actually temporarily renounced the Butterfly Miraculous to pull it off.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Hawk Moth and Emilie initially intend to force both Ladybug and Chat Noir to take Emilie's vampire curse, but relent whenever they learn that Chat is their son Adrien.
  • Fictional Province: These stories attempt to describe locations consistently, more so than in the TV series. The fictional 21st arrondissement, where Marinette lives, seems to have been taken from a part of the 16th (near the Seine and the Eiffel Tower). The Place des Vosges has been reduced in size and relocated from the line between the 3rd and 4th to across from Marinette's home, as seen in the show. The Agreste Mansion is a block or two away from the school, as seen in an aerial view in "The Bubbler".note  In one story, the short travel time of butterflies is used to pin down the location of Hawk Moth's lair.
  • Fix Fic: The premise is allowing the villains to rectify their errors against the heroes, from the understandable mishaps (ex. Volpina not having her illusion disrupted by a stray pigeon) to the incomprehensibly stupid blunders (ex. Lady Wi-Fi just removing the Miraculous instead of waiting for it to time out).
  • Irony: The main focus of the series is having Hawk Moth and his villains act smarter, yet only 9 out of the 49 completed stories end with him coming out ahead in the long runnote  while 15 have him break evennote ; 12 stories end with him in the slammer or otherwise in the heroes' custodynote , 2 end with him deadnote , 3 end with his identity exposed to the heroesnote , 1 ends with his identity exposed to someone who is known to the heroesnote  1 ends with him on the runnote , 1 ends with him neutered for the time beingnote , 1 ends with him comatosenote , 1 ends with the whole world turned against him note , 1 ends with both the Ladybug and Cat Miraculous getting lost note , 1 ends with him on the run and having lost his Butterfly Miraculous in exchange for one of Ladybug's earringsnote , and Time Pair Doxxed ends with three different versions of him getting screwed in various waysnote .
  • Knight of Cerebus: Things get much worse whenever the vampire Emilie Agreste makes an appearance.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Usually played straight as in canon, but with an exception. If Hawk Moth manually terminates an akuma connection (usually because either You Have Failed Me or You Have Outlived Your Usefulness), the akuma victim maintains full memories of what they did under his influence.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Adrien's bodyguard is not in on Gabriel being Hawk Moth.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Any fic where Adrien finds out the masked villain Hawk Moth is his own father Gabriel has this trope.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Any fic where Gabriel finds out the masked hero Chat Noir is his own son Adrien has this trope.
  • My Greatest Failure: Master Fu's mistake is indicated in this series to be accepting a gold bracelet in exchange for allowing an outsider to try on the Butterfly Miraculous. The outsider accidentally summoned an akuma and Total Party Killed the Guardians.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Adrien's bodyguard is given the name Gustav.
  • Older Than They Look: Emilie Agreste used the Peacock Miraculous to keep herself looking young and beautiful.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Emilie Agreste was transformed into a vampire as a punishment for attempting to use the Miraculous to become immortal. She is now incapable of moving in the sunlight without the protection of the Peacock Miraculous. Emilie and Gabriel now seek to transfer the curse to Ladybug and trap her in a coffin for all eternity.
  • Plot Armor: Marinette and Adrien lose a level of protection and have to find a way to win when their opponents don't play the Idiot Ball.
  • Power Source: The Bee Miraculous holder has two energy-related powers. "Honey" recharges a Miraculous user after they use their main power. "Sting" weakens the effects of hostile magic.
  • Reality Ensues: If Adrien finds out about Marinette stealing and hacking his phone, their relationship is inevitably damaged, possibly permanently, because she has stalked him, stolen his things, and violated his privacy.
  • Saying Too Much: Many of Chat Noir's identity reveals occur when he blurts out information about himself that could only apply to Adrien Agreste (ex. that Emilie and Gabriel Agreste are his parents).
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Level 0. While each story shares a common mythology regarding Master Fu's mistake and (with one exception) what happened to Adrien's mother, they all branch out from different episodes in the canon timeline.
  • Stations of the Canon: Many canonical events remain the same or repeat with a twist.
  • Summon to Hand: It is part of Ladybug's powers to summon the object she got as a Lucky Charm into her hand when she is ready for a Miraculous Ladybug charm, unless she is too weak or injured.
  • The Unmasking: Most often the identities of one or more heroes is exposed. Often Hawk Moth and accomplices are caught and exposed. Losing a secret identity is almost always a bad thing.
  • You Monster!: Every single time Adrien/Chat Noir finds out his father is Hawk Moth, he says some variation of "Monster!" Every single time.


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