Greetings to you, potential reader. Before we dive into the story, I'll give a short introduction. I came up with this fic idea shortly after "Timetagger" first premiered. However, due to ML's chaotic and downright nonsensical manner in which episodes are released, certain canon episodes that take place "before" Timetagger created issues with the story's setup. So, I am giving you this neat guide to show which episodes have and have not happened in this AU.

Backwarder- Happened as normal

Weredad- Happened as normal

Chameleon- Happened as normal

Animaestro- Happened as normal

Bakerix- Happened as normal

Silencer- Happened as normal

Oblivio- Happened as normal

Stormy Weather 2- Happened I guess (really irrelevant though)

Reflekdoll- Has NOT occurred in this AU

Oni-Chan – Happened as normal

Miraculer – Happened as normal

Puppeteer 2- Happened as normal

Desperada – Happened as normal.

Startrain- Happened as normal.

Kwamibuster- Has NOT occurred in this AU

Feast- Has NOT occurred in this AU. This fic should be seen as an alternate, darker version of Feast backstory. Thus, Fu is not in hiding and Hawk Moth doesn't know his identity

Ikari Gozen- Has NOT occurred in this AU.

Party Crasher- Has NOT occurred in this AU.

Timetagger- Happened as normal.

Gamer 2.0- Happened as normal

Chat Blanc- Happened as normal.

Felix- Happened as normal.

Ladybug- Happened as normal.

Christmaster- Has NOT occurred in this AU. Pretty much going to ignore any Christmas special/episode in this fic.

Heart Hunter- Has NOT occurred in this AU.

Miracle Queen- Has NOT occurred in this AU.

Miraculous World United Heroez- Has NOT occurred in this AU.

Hopefully, this guide will clear up any confusion you might have canon-wise. Also, since this story takes place in Paris, you can obviously assume most of the dialogue is in French. Occasionally I will use italics to indicate the conversation is in English or another language. If a French word is italicized AND underlined, it means I kept the statement in French for emphasis only. You can assume that the rest of the sentence is also in French since it's just a stylistic choice on my part. I don't plan on doing that too often as most of my French knowledge comes from Duolingo and Google Translate and I'd rather not embarrass myself. Also, I might add some song recommendations every now and then to set the mood for important scenes. There will be a small numbered musical note marker and an endnote at the end to guide you to the music should you choose to listen.

Now, without further ado:

1

The Status Quo Shatters

Throughout history, mankind has been ravaged with horrific tragedy. And on each and every occasion, it was there, gorging itself on humanity's pain and suffering. Since the dawn of civilization, it has haunted the shadows of human existence, inflicting agony and death on all it embraces. It has been more than a hundred years since the darkness fell upon the new world. But the hour of evil is upon us once again. There is a vicious storm brewing, bringing winds of torment and a rain of terror. And with it comes the haunter, a parasitic monster who feeds on man's most primal emotions, seeking ecstasy in the torturous throes of human misery. No man, woman or child is safe from its wickedness

"The Haunter Out of Time"- In the Mouth of Madness

Adrien had been a fan of Le Singe Bleu for several months. It was a quaint little café nestled in the 8th arrondissement, only a few blocks away from the Arc de Triomphe. He had come to know the restaurant by pure luck. Ordinarily the young Agreste scion would not have the freedom to casually explore random Parisian cafes, but it had been a particularly busy photo shoot that day, and he and Nathalie hadn't had time to stop by the mansion for lunch. Given a rare opportunity to choose a place to eat, he had set his sight on a street corner café with the emblem of a blue monkey hanging over the entrance and selected it.

The food was classic French fare, and while it could not compare to the masterful work of the chefs employed at home, Adrien basked in its simple, made-from-scratch goodness. The interior smelled of espresso and delectable pastries that reminded him fondly of the Dupain bakery of his friend Marinette. The servers were warm and courteous, engaging in small talk with Adrien and Nathalie. While the latter seemed less than enthused with the pleasantries, she played along and had let him enjoy this unfiltered view of Parisian café culture. After a few more chaperoned visits to Le Singe Bleu, he became so enamored with the place that he decided if he ever managed to take Ladybug on a date, this café would be their destination. During some downtime at one of his photo shoots in a park, he took the opportunity to toss a coin in a fountain and make a wish, hoping lady luck would be on his side this time.

Several weeks later, he got his wish, though not quite in the way he was hoping. When he wished that he could take Ladybug there, he didn't mean take her there by having them crash land through the front door after being thrown from across the street by a seriously strong akuma.

And yet that was how he and Ladybug made their entrance to Le Singe Bleu. Glass shattered over the black and white tile floor, causing café goers to scream in terror and waiters to panic and spill platters of food everywhere. The superhero pair rolled together and landed in an ungraceful heap right in front of the hostess stand. The mustachioed and impeccably dressed host could only stare at them in stunned silence.

Chat Noir stared up at the horrified server and flashed a guilty grin. "Uh," he began, "table for two?"

"GIVE ME YOUR MIRACULOUSES!" screamed a burly voice that was quickly approaching the café entrance.

"Okay maybe three," Chat admitted, "but between you and me, we'd rather not sit with him."

The patrons of the refined establishment screamed again as a seven-foot giant clad in a jet-black wrestling singlet broke the smashed door in completely and stormed in. His skin had been turned a dark shade of red and a wicked, enthusiastic grin was plastered on his face. Bulging biceps and pecs strained against his spandex as he eyed Ladybug and Chat Noir with bloodlust in his eyes.

"I AM HEAVYWEIGHT!" he declared. "Give me your miraculouses now before I'm forced to squash you, just like I'm going to squash my team for making fun of my size!"

Ladybug rose off the floor first, twirling her yo-yo in a defensive stance before turning to the people in the restaurant.

"Everyone get down!" she ordered.

The patrons didn't argue. Everyone in the vicinity got down, some crawling towards the kitchen while others cowered in the corners, attempting to get as far away from the monstrous giant as possible.

Chat rose to his feet, casually brushing the dirt off his suit and then twirling his baton. "So what's the plan my lady?"

The duo somersaulted backwards just as Heavyweight punched down, cracking the floor with the sheer force of his fist.

"...Other than avoiding getting flattened," he added nervously.

The two edged their way back toward the barista stand and pastry display case as Ladybug cautiously observed their opponent. As she bit her lip in thought, her eyes homed in on a black ball of thin paper sticking out of the singlet against his right pectoral muscle.

"The tissue!" she exclaimed, "That must be where the akuma is hiding."

"MEN DON'T CRY!" Hawk Moth's thrall protested, apparently incapable of using his inside voice.

His two fists came down together as Ladybug and Chat Noir sidestepped in opposite directions. Instead of hitting his targets, the display case was destroyed in a shower of broken glass and lukewarm French baked goods.

Ladybug swung her yo-yo around the akuma's legs and pulled tight. Her muscles strained as she barely managed to pull Heavyweight's feet closer together.

"Now!" she ordered through clenched teeth. "Take him down!"

Chat, quickly gathering her meaning, swung his baton at the giant's legs in an effort to sweep him. Heavyweight cried out in enraged pain, but to the heroes' shock, the enemy's impossibly thick legs held firm. Instead, he looked down at the cat superhero with murderous intent in his eyes.

Chat Noir swallowed hard. "Uh oh."

A hand the size of Adrien's torso grabbed him and squeezed, making his eyes bulge and pushing the air out of his lungs.

"Not the rib cage!" Chat squeaked in agony, "I kinda need that unbroken…"

Assessing the situation, Ladybug retracted her weapon and launched the yo-yo again, this time nailing Heavyweight in his right eye. As he grabbed his face in pain, his grip on Chat loosened. Her partner grabbed him and pulled him over the barista stand to relative safety. They found themselves hiding out of sight, surrounded by stacks of plates, mugs, and containers used for dirty dishes.

Chat clutched his chest as his ability to breathe gradually returned to him.

"Not to nitpick," he wheezed, "but I think Lucky Charm might be in order."

Ladybug nodded in agreement and tossed her yo-yo in the air, calling out the name of her special power which emerged in a flurry of circulating energy. The object that emerged from her superpower was a polka-dot red and black plastic tube about a meter long.

Chat sighed. "I was really hoping for a big hammer this time."

Two massive hands grabbed onto the wooden counter, causing the duo to yelp with a matching oh crap expression written on their faces. They cautiously looked up to see Heavyweight glaring at them with Hawk Moth's purple butterfly-shaped mask on his face. Whatever their arch-nemesis was saying to their opponent, it was doing nothing to ease his rage as the counter started to crack and splinter under the strain of his grip.

"Would have to agree with you there," Ladybug gulped. "Quick! Can you distract him long enough for me to figure this out?"

For a split second, Chat seemed to hesitate. But when Heavyweight reached to grab Ladybug, the feline superhero attacked. Using the barista stand as a springboard, he leaped onto the enemy and got behind his neck, resting his knees on both shoulders. The akuma growled as Adrien tauntingly leaned towards the right side of his enemy's massive head.

"As long as you need my lady," Chat said before turning his attention back to the behemoth, "You're not still mad at the whole 'sweep the leg thing' are you?"

Heavyweight punched at Chat Noir, but the cat quickly pivoted to the left side, letting the akuma punch himself instead. His legs wobbled a bit from the self-inflicted blow but eventually stopped.

Chat's game, on the other hand, did not. "Not even close," he shook his head disapprovingly, "Hawk Moth really picked a dud this time."

An enraged left punch barreled toward Chat only to achieve the same result as he returned to his original position. "Nope, still missed me."

Heavyweight attempted another punch and yet again the cat triumphed with a smug grin plastered on his face.

"You know I thought I had a pun about not hitting yourself, but you're so stupid I think it's rubbing off on me," he declared with fake concern.

The charade continued for at least thirty seconds as the giant repeatedly tried and failed to land a blow on his target. His body swayed from the repeated hits to himself but due to either the density of his head or sheer stubbornness he refused to yield. The Hawk Moth mask lit up again, no doubt demanding that his villain quit being an idiot. Intelligent this akuma was not.

In the meantime, Ladybug had not been idle. As the wheels of her mind turned, her scheming eyes locked onto a juicer resting on a shelf that was filled to the brim with oranges. Her internal black and red vision then eyed her partner, his staff, and finally a small open storage closet near the restrooms. Within a matter of moments her plan weaved itself into existence. A devious smile appeared on her face.

She placed the plastic tube on her shoulder with one end aiming towards Heavyweight and the other end wedged against the bottom of the juicer near the spout. "Chat!" she called out to her partner.

He briefly turned his attention away from his game to see Ladybug pointing to the juicer with her free hand. His eyes widened with realization as the message sunk in. He leaped off the monster's shoulders onto the counter only to feel himself being pulled back by his belt tail.

"I'M GOING TO SKIN YOU ALIVE LITTLE KITTY!" Heavyweight bellowed.

Chat strained against the pull, desperately reaching forward to the juicer. Using his legs against the counter as leverage, he got within centimeters of the juicer. Fearing he would lose the battle of strength any second, he didn't waste any time.

"Cataclysm!" he shouted.

As soon as his right hand radiated the destructive energy, Ladybug grabbed his wrist and closed the distance to the appliance. Chat was immediately pulled back towards the enemy and ended up colliding with the opposite wall, but the brief touch was enough. The machine sparked and malfunctioned. The glass cracked. The internal parts went haywire, sending a volley of oranges through the lucky charm tube and pelting Heavyweight mercilessly. The fruits exploded everywhere, coating the akuma, the walls, and even Chat Noir. Juice began to accumulate on the floor, so when the giant attempted to attack Ladybug, he began to slip and lose his footing.

Now she thought. It has to be now. Not wasting a second, she dropped the tube and flung her yo-yo around the giant's massive wrist and pulled him in the direction of the storage closet. Heavyweight heaved to his right, struggling to stay upright against Ladybug's pull and the liquid mess below his feet.

"Baton!" she shouted to Chat.

Despite his rough encounter with the wall, the black cat responded quickly. He threw and extended his baton, causing it to be wedged between the barista bar and the wall he was leaning against. When Heavyweight faltered against Ladybug and the slippery floor, the baton waiting to trip him proved to be the coup de grâce. He landed headfirst into the storage closet. Given his massive size, his shoulders and head became trapped in the narrow doorway while the rest of him struggled vainly on the floor of the café.

Ladybug triumphantly cracked her knuckles and effortlessly removed the tissue from the singlet. "And that's how it's done," she declared.

Her smile wavered slightly as Chat approached her. Covered heat to toe in orange juice and pulp, the cat crossed his arms over his chest and gave her a pouting look.

"Sorry Chat, I couldn't think of anything else to beat him."

"Understood buginette, but next time we face an akuma can we keep the fruit barrage to a minimum?"

Ladybug smiled and rolled her eyes. "I'll do my best. At least it's not garbage this time."

"We promised never to speak of that akuma again my lady."

"Oh, it wasn't just that akuma," Ladybug recalled as she placed her index finger near her chin, "didn't you fall into a dumpster three weeks ago?"

Chat turned away in mocked outrage. "Also something we promised not to speak of."

In the midst of their banter neither they nor the still cowering patrons noticed the gaunt, lanky figure quietly approaching the counter from the other side of the café.

Ladybug's miraculous gave off its second warning beep, closely followed by Chat's first beep.

"Okay time to wrap this up," she said as she ripped up the paper.

The akuma emerged from the tissue, attempting to fly away. At the same time, Heavyweight disappeared in a black haze to reveal a small young teenager in a red singlet, looking up at the heroes with confusion and noticeable tear stains in his eyes.

"No more evil doing for you little akuma," Ladybug said, as she wound up her yo-yo to pounce, "time to de-evil-"

The simple formality of purifying an akuma was instantly shattered when a hand reached out from nowhere and grabbed the black butterfly. A short man, only about 1.7 meters in height, stood before them. He wore jeans that had been considerably torn up, almost as if an animal had nearly ripped it to shreds. He was barefoot with a strange greenish tinge covering his feet. Despite the hot August weather in Paris, the man wore a thick jacket that had a dark red color resembling human blood. Though Ladybug and Chat Noir only got a sideways glance at his face, he appeared to be a young man of East Asian descent. Yet his skin was profoundly pale, lighter in complexion than any individual from even the whitest Nordic nation. The superhero duo watched him dumbstruck, stunned that he was just staring fixedly but calmly at a still corrupt and moving akuma. 1

As the man turned away from the pair to face the restaurant entrance, Ladybug finally broke out of her shock and reached toward the man. "Sir drop that thing immediately! It's not safe! It could turn you into an akuma!"

What followed sent an instant wave of disgust and panic among the people in the restaurant watching from their hiding places. Ladybug and Chat Noir's hearts nearly leapt out of their chests and their mouths fell agape in disbelief. Though the man was facing away from them, his head turned back to face them. Except his body remained perfectly still. His head swiveled on its own, turning in an impossible three-hundred-and-sixty-degree angle on his neck to stare at them while the rest of his body faced the opposite direction. This man…this thing…eyed the superheroes, remaining expressionless for a moment. Then his mouth slowly but surely widened to unveil a bizarre and chilling Cheshire grin that stretched all the way to his ears. His disturbing smile revealed a set of teeth that were sharply pointed, almost canine and predatory in their appearance.

The two superheroes didn't hear the next beeping of their miraculouses. They remained staring, unmoving. Chat managed to recover himself enough to glance at Ladybug, the look in his eyes silently sending her a desperate plea for an explanation. Her partner didn't see it. Her gaze remained transfixed on the creature in front of them appearing confused and…lost.

The distinctly inhuman man tilted his head to the side with his unholy grin still plastered on his face. The torso and legs then twisted in place away from the café entrance to sync up with the head. His head slowly and almost mechanically returned to its normal position above the torso. He stepped forward and opened his mouth. The voice that emerged was raspy and strained, as if he had smoked for several decades. Yet though his speech appeared weak, it possessed a low but definite growling sound that followed every word.

"Oh, I apologize Ladybug and Chat Noir," he said, "but you see-"

He briefly paused to look at the akuma, his expression eager and ravenous. "-I am quite famished."

He shoved the creature into his mouth and swallowed it in one gulp, licking his mouth to savor the brief taste he received. The black and purple energy could be seen through his body as the glow traveled down the esophagus and towards the stomach area. It was then abruptly extinguished. A second later, Chat's baton fell to the floor. Ladybug's left hand started to shake.

The akuma eater took one step towards them. Ladybug and Chat Noir quietly took two steps back.

"That was delicious," he said with the same unnatural smile on his face, "though it pales in comparison to the real deal. Akumas are a good appetizer, but they always leave you craving the flesh of your…miraculous prey."

Did he just say…prey? Adrien asked himself, his heart rate accelerating rapidly.

What…is…that thing? Marinette thought, her left hand now trembling violently.

"You're both so young," his voice soured in apparent disappointment. "Perhaps I should wait for you to mature a bit more. We shouldn't rush the harvest too much."

He frowned and scratched his chin in deep thought. "Then again, if I wait too long, you might get strong enough to actually beat me. That would be too risky. Better do it now."

He stepped forward again and the superheroes retreated backwards up to the entrance of the storage closet. The wrestler akuma victim, having witnessed the whole event, covered his mouth to stifle a scream and backed up further into the closet.

The gaunt creature then stopped again, holding out his hands and shaking his head disapprovingly. "No, no not now. Soon but not now. Have to let them marinate at least a little. Must be patient."

He picked up a mug from the barista counter and threw it against the wall near the heads, making the two jump in shock. It shattered into a dozen pieces. Chat Noir desperately grabbed at his baton and moved into a corner, clutching the weapon in the best defensive stance he could muster.

"Ladybug and Chat Noir," he began as a sickly green smoky haze emerged from the floor behind him. It rose and coalesced to form a distinctive image. The image of a tiger's open mouth.

"You are going to die," he stated nonchalantly. "Both of you. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week. Could be a month, could be several months. I haven't decided yet. I'm so bad at timing these things until the last minute. But regardless of when, you will die sometime soon. You and everyone who's been unfortunate enough to use a miraculous are as good as dead as of this moment."

When the creature ceased speaking, the pair remained silent and frozen in place. A sharp, strangled gasp came out of Ladybug's open mouth as she dug her fingers into the wall behind her. Chat's face lost its color. His clawed hands locked onto his baton in a death grip. While his partner remained almost catatonic as she stared at the monster, Adrien's eyes attempted to avoid the horrid face that watched them hungrily. The movement in his gaze brought his attention to a small group of reporters that had congregated near the café entrance. Cameras were aimed directly at the intruder's back.

How…how much of that did they see? he asked himself as coherent thoughts slowly returned to him.

A second followed in which no one moved…or breathed. Then one of the cameramen, perhaps more bold than wise, stepped a few feet closer to get a better angle on the figure menacing Paris' champions. The creature tilted its head ever so slightly, his eyes following the cautious footsteps approaching from behind.

A wave of panic rushed over Chat, kicking him out of his stupor. "GET AWAY FROM HIM!" he yelled, "THIS THING IS NOT HUMAN!"

As if on cue the people in the restaurant screamed and rushed towards the exits, knocking over the Parisian press to get as far away as possible. Back inside the monster twisted his repulsively gleeful face toward the feline hero. In one stroke he grabbed Chat's baton and pulled him closer with a level of strength that did not match his size.

"How right you are my delicious little friend," he said as a long grayish tongue licked his sharp teeth.

His mouth became unhinged at an almost ninety-degree angle relative to his jaw, revealing row upon row of piercing teeth. His face briefly became covered in black fur and took the shape of a predatory big cat, which dramatically increased the size of his carnivorous jaw. An exploding roar poured through his gaping maw, rattling the café and stopping Chat's heart. He became utterly paralyzed and white as a sheet. He could do nothing as the thing approached, slowly and methodically taking in his scent with a voracious gleam in his eyes.

A yo-yo twisted around Chat's chest and pulled him back towards the wall. Ladybug grabbed him and pulled him in the opposite corner in the direction of the kitchen. Her hands reached around his chest and held him tightly. Locked in her panicked embrace, Adrien could feel her partner's heart hammering at her rib cage. Her yo-yo spun around rapidly in front of them, forming a shield against the enemy that inched towards them. His jaw pulled itself apart again and unleashed another soul crushing roar that shattered the glasses on the bar. Chat Noir covered his ears and screamed in agony while Ladybug shut her eyes and trembled like a child. The monster cackled like a hyena and sniffed the air, savoring the smell of their terror.

Then without warning the laughter came to an abrupt end. The monster's laughter was replaced by a low growl. Ladybug cautiously opened one eye. He was not growling at them but behind them, glaring at a white disk that had appeared in the wall opposite them. Ladybug opened both eyes and inhaled sharply as the portal suddenly seemed familiar.

"Her again," the entity hissed.

Bunnyx burst through the disk with both hands on her parasol, ready to attack. In a furious strike she knocked the monster onto a nearby table. The force of the collision splintered the wood into several pieces.

The rabbit hero of the future charged her enemy again and shouted, "Burrow!"

Another portal opened up behind the monster. In one fluid motion Bunnyx tackled him into the opening and the two disappeared in a flash. Paris' heroes, who were still huddled in a corner, suddenly found themselves alone in the café.

Ladybug stopped spinning her yo-yo, letting it clank against the floor. Her hands dug into her hair and the rate of her breathing increased heavily. She stared off at nothing as her chest heaved up and down. Chat slowly and cautiously laid a hand on her shoulder as her partner seemed close to hyperventilating.

"Ladybug?" he asked gently.

She didn't respond at first. She merely looked at him, opening her mouth but unable to form words. The second to last spot on her earrings started to beep.

"My lady, you don't have much time," he said. He crawled over to the bar area and fetched the plastic tube that was her lucky charm. "You need to fix everything and then we need to get out of here…and try to figure this out."

His partner nodded mechanically, her gaze still staring off into space. Without even looking, she threw the tube into the air. "M-M-Miraculous Ladybug," she stammered as she tossed it in the air.

In a flurry of red light, the café was made right again. The front doors were fixed, the tables and floor were repaired, and the juicer was un-cataclysmed. Normalcy returned to Le Singe Bleu.

Unfortunately, the restoration of the café also apparently gave the Parisian press the green light to pounce. In an instant they poured into the restaurant and swarmed over the shell-shocked heroes. Chat barely noticed his second to last miraculous warning as the wave of questions assaulted them.

"Ladybug and Chat Noir, who was that new villain?" one asked.

"Is he a new ally of Hawk Moth?" asked another.

"Is that thing a human with powers or a real monster? Are the people of Paris safe?" a third demanded.

Chat grabbed Ladybug's hand and motioned to the kitchen. "Time to go."

They busted through the doors and ran, trying to put as much distance between them and the reporters as possible. Before the kitchen doors closed behind them, Ladybug took one look back. As the crowd of reporters prepared to follow them, she spotted white pieces of broken ceramic on the floor. The mug that the monster threw at them was still shattered.

Ψ

The large circular window in the dome slowly closed, covering the chamber in darkness. Hawk Moth continued staring forward, his face contorted in a combination of disbelief and disgust. He took a few steps backward, swallowing his own saliva. His throat felt dry. There were no curses against Ladybug and Chat Noir this time. No promises of retribution or redoubled efforts to claim their miraculouses. Nothing but stunned silence and a strange weight forming in the pit of his stomach.

His akuma had not been purified. With his powers Hawk Moth had sensed the butterfly go down that creature's throat, moving down its esophagus, and then it was just…gone. No trace of it remained. It had been reduced to nothing.

The villain of Paris tightened his grip on his cane, trying to keep his hands steady. His mind raced, desperately searching for answers.

One thing is certain, he thought, that creature is not human and is obviously a threat.

"Dark wings fall," he said, releasing his transformation in a quick flash.

Returning to his civilian appearance as Gabriel Agreste, he adjusted his suit jacket and took a few calming breaths. He heard his kwami slowly and cautiously approach. When he opened his eyes, Gabriel saw Nooroo avoiding his gaze and trembling. The purple creature stiffened as his master cleared his throat impatiently. Nooroo reluctantly looked up to face him. There was a deep and overwhelming fear present in his small eyes. And Hawk Moth doubted it was purely a fear of him.

"You have a lot of explaining to do," he told his kwami in a cold but menacing tone.

1 Music recommendation: "Something Wicked this Way Comes" by Raydia (Jenny Music) watch?v=vZds2v8e3-U