Thanks to Mini-minou for betaing!
So I've been a fan of Damian for a long time, since way before ML came out. He's my favorite Robin actually. I was excited to see him used in tons of ML fics... and then discovered he was horribly out of character in most of them. And used for bashing and salt mostly. And paired with Marinette for some reason.
The bashing REALLY annoys me, especially in regards to Adrien bashing. He and Adrien have gone through some similar abuse at the hands of one of their parents, though Damian's was WAY worse. Honestly? The two of them would relate and probably become friends.
I wanted to see what would happen if I dropped a CANON-COMPLIANT Damian Wayne into Miraculous Ladybug; this was the result.
This is set between seasons 2 and 3 of Miraculous Ladybug, and during the "Year of Blood" arc in Robin: Son of Batman (2015). Adrien and Marinette are 14, Damian's 12, and I'm not certain how old Maya is, but not much older than Damian.
Disclaimer: This is a Lovesquare fic, with Identity Reveal, Hawkmoth Reveal, and Hawkmoth Defeat. It is NOT a salt fic.
"Maybe we should take a break."
Damian sighed. "Tt. You can leave at any time you know."
Maya Ducard glared at him. "I'm not leaving! But we've been flying around constantly for the past week, returning things you took, trying to make amends for what you did during the Year of Blood. I want you to try to make amends, to repair some of the damage you did – heck, that's why I'm here! – but I need a break, you need a break, and most of all, Goliath needs a break. He's strong and has a lot of endurance, but even HE has limits Damian!"
The giant red bat-dragon gave a low grunt in agreement.
"See? Goliath agrees with me!"
Damian frowned. "A year, Ducard. A new horrible task every day to 'prove' myself to my mother and grandfather. There's still almost a hundred tasks left to try and undo – or at least to try to fix or make up for as best I can. We don't have time to waste."
Ducard gritted her teeth. "If we collapse – ANY of us – it will take a lot longer. We need to be at the top of our game. And just submerging yourself in this redemption quest without any sort of break IS taking a toll, even if you won't admit it. Mentally, if not physically."
Goliath bellowed as some sort of cable wrapped around him. Instantly Ducard and Damian stopped fighting, jumping to high alert.
A girl in a skintight polka-dotted suit and a catboy in a similar skintight black suit swung onto Goliath, using their forward momentum to swing them both on top.
The catboy – wait, is that tail a BELT, how is it moving like that? – grinned, then did a double-take, blinking. "Wait, are you-"
Ducard charged forwards before he could finish, the catboy blocking her blows with his staff. "Who are you? More assassins?"
Catboy looked shocked. "No! Wait, MORE assassins?"
The spotted girl looked around carefully, taking in Damian's and Ducard's expressions and body language. Damian held himself at the ready. It looked like maybe this was a misunderstanding, but better to be ready than allow himself to be caught off guard. This could still be a trick of some kind.
"…You're not an akuma, are you?" the girl asked.
Damian frowned. "What's an akuma?"
The girl groaned. "Not again. Chat, I think we might have jumped the gun a bit."
Ducard backed off, still holding herself at the ready but no longer attacking. "Who are you? Why are you here?"
The spotted girl sighed and plopped down on Goliath's back, the catboy joining her a moment later. One of his cat ears flopped slightly, increasing his resemblance to an oversized kitten. "I'm Ladybug, and the boy beside me is Chat Noir. We're the local superheroes in Paris. A villain named Hawkmoth is threatening Paris, sending out these tainted butterflies that infect anyone who's feeling a strong negative emotion. It gives that person superpowers, but also corrupts them, twisting them into an evil version of themselves and putting them under Hawkmoth's control."
"A few minutes ago reports started pouring in about some giant beast flying above Paris. Naturally everyone assumed it was an akuma, so we came to defeat it. Looks like we were mistaken though."
Damian rolled his eyes. "No kidding. Now get off."
Ladybug crossed her arms. "You don't need to be so rude about it."
Ducard took one look at Damian's expression and decided to cut in. "Damian's just like this. Don't mind him."
Damian looked at her sullenly. "No one asked YOU, Ducard."
Chat tilted his head to the side. "Hey, I was wondering – are you Robin? I thought you died, but recently I've seen news reports that you were spotted around Gotham City again. But then there's been that whole Robin movement in Gotham lately with a ton of kids and teenagers putting on the uniform, so I wasn't sure."
Ladybug blinked. "Wait, but- I thought Robin was older than that! I thought he was like, sixteen at least?" The spotted girl peered at Damian, narrowing her eyes as she stared at his face. "You've got to be a LOT younger than that."
Who does this girl think she is? "And if I said I was sixteen and that you're just a horrible judge of ages?"
Ladybug rolled her eyes. "I wouldn't believe you, since I can SEE that your upper right canine's growing in. Generally speaking, sixteen-year-olds don't have baby teeth."
Ducard snickered. "She's got you there."
"This is YOUR fault, Ducard," he muttered.
"If I recall correctly, you said that it had been loose for a while by the time I knocked it out."
He looked away, silently fuming.
Chat coughed, obviously hiding a grin behind his hand. "So back to the topic at hand – ARE you Robin? What are you doing here?"
"Of course I'm Robin! And what I'm doing here is none of your business!"
"Well we ARE the protectors of Paris. If there's any trouble Bugaboo and I should know about it."
Ladybug rolled her eyes at him. "Quit calling me Bugaboo!"
Damian wanted to groan. Great, more flirting. He'd seen it between Father and Selina Kyle often enough, he didn't need to see MORE of it. Was it something about cat suits? Was that it?
Ladybug turned back to Damian, addressing him. "Chat IS right though. If there's any trouble heading to Paris, we need to know."
He glared at her. "I don't take orders from you."
Ducard sighed and cut in. "We're just passing through. We'll be out of your hair soon."
Ladybug gave a curt nod. "That would be goo-"
She didn't get to finish the sentence.
Namely because a giant spoon had whacked her off of Goliath.
"MILADY!" Chat yelled, his face twisting in panic. He dove off Goliath after her.
"GOLIATH, CATCH HER!" Damian didn't know whether they'd make it in time, but he HAD to try. The whole point of this trip was to undo damage, put some GOOD back into the world, maybe even earn redemption and forgiveness. He wasn't going to let her die. He'd taken enough lives by his own hand. He didn't want to see another one snuffed out.
Goliath dove towards Chat and Ladybug… but it turned out to be unneeded.
Damian blinked, then stared. Ladybug's yoyo was wrapped around Chat, keeping her from falling to the ground. Chat, meanwhile, was twirling his staff so fast that it apparently acted like a helicopter blade, allowing him and Ladybug to slowly descend to the ground.
So these two were obviously magic. Great. Just great. He could feel a headache coming on. Well, it seemed like he'd just have to wing it and figure out the limits of their abilities as they fought. Not what he preferred, but he'd made do with less intel before.
And then one of the silliest-looking supervillains Damian had ever seen flew towards the two superheroes.
He had two sets of "wings" – if they could really be called that. The upper pair was made of two giant spoons, while the lower pair were two forks. A pair of knives were strapped to his back.
"People kept saying that the placement of silverware doesn't matter. That it didn't matter whether the spoon goes on the right or left of the fork, and even that the type of fork or spoon didn't matter! Well, joke's on them! I, Table Angel, will put everyone in their proper places AS SOON AS YOU GIVE ME YOUR MIRACULOUS!"
So this was probably an akuma. Apparently akumas were really stupid. Seriously, this guy was more of an imbecile than Condiment King, and he didn't even know that was POSSIBLE.
Akumas were also unobservant. You'd think that he'd notice a giant red bat-dragon descending from above and barreling towards him, even with his back to them, but nope.
He noticed eventually. When Goliath rammed him into the ground.
Goliath descended to the ground, Ladybug and Chat Noir landing a moment later.
There was no rush. The akuma (Damian REFUSED to call him something as stupid as "Table Angel") wasn't going anywhere. Currently he was groaning in a giant crater.
Chat smirked. "Well that's one way to take down an akuma."
He strolled over to the semi-conscious supervillain. "What do you think, Milady? The knife, fork, or spoon?"
Ladybug shrugged. "Try the knives first. He hadn't used them yet, maybe there was a reason."
He nodded. "Makes sense. CATACLYSM!"
The knives crumbled into black powder, a purple and black butterfly fluttering out of the remains.
"No more evil-doing for you, little akuma," Ladybug called out, spinning her yo-yo. "Time to de-evilize!" She caught the butterfly in her yo-yo, then opened it and set it free, now a pure white. "Bye-bye little butterfly!"
As it flew away, a purple liquid mass passed over the akuma, stripping away his supervillain appearance and leaving behind an ordinary man.
The man blinked, looking around wildly. "What happened? Where am I? Wait… Ladybug? Chat Noir? Oh no. I was akumatized, wasn't I?"
"Yes-" Ladybug began telling the man soothingly.
"SENTIMONSTER!" the man yelled, scrambling to his feet as he stared at something behind Ladybug.
"Sentimonster?" She turned around. And came face-to-face with Goliath.
"Oh. Right." She called after the man, "Don't worry! He's not a sentimonster, he's just-" but by that point he was out of sight.
She sighed. "Well, there he goes." She turned to Goliath and smiled. "Thanks for your help. Sorry about that whole being-mistaken-for-a-sentimonster-and-an-akuma thing."
Goliath smiled, sweeping Ladybug and Chat Noir both into a hug.
Ladybug laughed as best she could, with the way she was squished against Goliath. "I love you too."
Chat was ecstatic, his eyes sparkling as he seemed to melt into Goliath's soft fur. A low rumble sounded from his throat.
Damian blinked. Chat could actually purr? Exactly how much of a cat WAS he? His eyes were catlike, his cat ears and tail swiveled and moved like a cat's, even though they were CLEARLY fake… did he just like, have the magic essence of a cat or something?
Come to think of it, he didn't actually know HOW Ladybug and Chat Noir got their powers. He didn't even know whether they were human or not.
Hm. This was worth investigating.
After a few more moments of hugging, Goliath let Ladybug and Chat Noir down.
Chat dropped to all fours, still leaning into Goliath and purring, eyes half-lidded in contentment.
The "magic essence of a cat" theory was seeming more likely by the minute.
After several more moments, a beeping noise sounded from Chat's ring. He blinked. Looked at it. Then abruptly jumped up, face turning as scarlet as Ladybug's suit as he chuckled. "Uh, heh heh heh, I'll just be going now, nice meeting you guys!"
"Chat!" Ladybug called out, holding out her fist. Chat smiled, raising his fist to meet hers.
"Pound it!" they chorused.
"Just one more thing I need to do," Ladybug said. "Lucky Charm!"
A statue of a small red-and-black spotted bird fell into her hand. She blinked, glancing over at Damian. She studied him closely.
"WHAT?" he asked her irritably. "What was that all about? Why are you looking at me like that?"
"I don't think you should leave just yet," she told him. "My Lucky Charm produces an item that I can use to succeed; sometimes by giving me the tool I need to beat an opponent, and sometimes by giving me a hint about what to do next. This bird looks like a Robin, so I think you're supposed to stick around."
Damian frowned. He hadn't been planning on it before, but... he didn't fully know what was going on here. And as both Batman's partner and the former prince of the League of Shadows, he knew how valuable a bit of intel could be.
"Fine," he stated abruptly. "But I'm not going to stick around for long."
Ladybug looked slightly annoyed, then sighed. "That's all I ask for."
She threw the bird into the air. "Miraculous Ladybug!"
Swarms of ladybugs erupted through the air, whirling around the city. One swirled around the crater that Table Angel (with some unsolicited help from Goliath) had made. When the ladybugs left, the crater was gone.
Damian stared. So THIS was the 'Miraculous Cure' she'd been talking about. This… this could be HUGE. Collateral damage was a major problem in superhero fights, if this could reset that…
No way was he going to leave now. He wasn't sure whether this power could only repair damage related to akumas or sentimonsters, as she said, or whether there was a more general principle, but he had to know more. At the very least who Ladybug and Chat Noir were so he could find them if he needed them.
A beep sounded from Chat's ring again, a beep from Ladybug's earrings sounding in tandem with it.
"And now I REALLY should be going," Chat called.
As Chat ran past Damian brushed against him, lightly placing a device on his belt.
"I've got to leave as well, I don't have much time left." Ladybug hesitated. "You might need to hide Goliath somewhere; he's obviously a huge softie, but Parisians might panic."
Damian scoffed. "I'm not an imbecile, girl. And neither is Goliath. He knows how to hide."
She shot him another irritated look, but apparently decided that it wasn't worth responding to the slight insult.
Instead; "Look, I've got to go too. I'll try to figure out what the Lucky Charm was hinting at and contact you later."
As she threw out her yo-yo, hooking it onto the nearest building, Damian swiftly placed an item on one of her spots. A moment later she was out of sight.
Ducard glanced over at him suspiciously. "What are you so happy about?"
Damian took a device from his toolbelt and flipped it open.
Two dots blinked back, both moving rapidly.
Ducard stated flatly, "You put trackers on them, didn't you."
Damian's smirk widened. "Always get to know who your allies are."
Ducard let out an exasperated sigh. "How do the Batfamily have so many friends again?"
He chose not to dignify that with a response, looking back at the screen instead. "Now we just-"
The dots disappeared.
Ducard stifled a giggle.
"Did they discover my trackers? They didn't seem like the most observant lot."
"Guess you're not as sneaky as you think you are," Ducard teased.
Damian's eyes narrowed. "We're getting to the bottom of this. I'll go to the dot on the left, you take the dot on the right. We'll look for clues about what happened."
Now it was Ducard's turn to smirk. "I'm guessing the fact that the left dot is the catboy is totally irrelevant?"
He looked away.
Ducard burst out laughing.
"I don't get what's so funny," Damian muttered.
Ducard wiped the tears from her eyes. "Damian, I've seen the way you've been looking at him. Looks like someone has a crush~"
He shot her an irritated look. "That's not it."
"Really? Because it looks like it to me."
He shook his head. "Tt. I have no romantic inclinations towards him or anyone else."
"Then what was up with the look on your face when you looked at him? Don't think I didn't notice."
He stared in the direction that Chat Noir had gone and swallowed. "It's just… he reminds me of some of the stray animals I've rescued."
"Oh." She was quiet for a moment, then looked back down at the tracker, squinting at it. "Ok, I think I know where to go. I'll head for where Ladybug's tracker disappeared."
Damian gave her a curt nod, then ran away. He had a catboy to find.