In an alternate universe where Cinder Fall never recruited him, Roman Torchwick investigates rumors of a new player in Vale's criminal underworld and discovers that the White Fang is behind a chain of dust robberies in his territory. Together with his faithful sidekick Neo and a little help from a few patsies (er, Beacon students) Roman takes up the mantle of Villain Protagonist and sets out to teach Cinder and the White Fang a lesson about messing with his profits.
Bad for Business is complete at eighteen chapters. A sequel series, Worse for Business, covers the events of volume 2 and is currently ongoing.
Bad for Business and Worse for Business contain examples of:
- Dance Battler: Neo's training helps turn Melanie into one of these. The twins' fight with Mercury exposed an obvious weakness in her style in that Melanie has to stay on her feet in order to have any way to attack, so by learning how to fight on the ground she improves significantly in a short timeframe.
- Dramatic Shattering: Used to great effect during the raid on the White Fang base. The first time the Lieutenant and Yatsuhashi lock blades with each other, the sheer force of the impact blows out every window in the warehouse simultaneously.
- Dynamic Entry: Ruby comes blasting in to save Blake from Adam during the fight at the docks.
- For Want of a Nail: Without Roman, Cinder and Adam need to get more personally involved in the plan's earlier stages. This leads to Blake and Adam meeting again and crossing swords during the fight at the docks rather than at the Vytal Festival.
- Elective Mute: Neo isn't disabled or crippled somehow, she just chooses not to speak. Do not give her a reason to speak.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Penny suffers from this during her brief fight with Adam. Being a robot, of course, she's merely inconvenienced by it.
- Heroic RRoD: Ruby is able to do serious damage to Adam during the fight at the docks but has to burn through all of her aura to overclock her semblance.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Neo never speaks in anything besides ellipses and sometimes gestures (or at least, almost never) but Roman has no problem carrying on a conversation with her.
- In the Back: This is how Adam ultimately goes out. Blake, Ruby and Penny manage to wear him out and distract him but it's Roman who blows him up with a shot from behind. Never turn your back on the most underhanded man in the room!
- In the Name of the Moon: Played with. Coco doesn't use it as a recurring catchphrase, but she does at one point open a battle like this:Coco: "Hello, members of the White Fang! Coco Adel, world-class Fashionista, at your service. I'm here to fix the problem with your outfits."White Fang Grunt: "...What problem with our outfits?"Coco: "You mean you don't know? Well, I guess it's my solemn duty as a Fashionista to educate you."
- Join or Die: This is the offer Roman makes to the Malachite sisters after Junior gets killed off.
- Out-Gambitted: Two examples happen in quick succession: first, Roman's bid to locate the White Fang's headquarters by posing as a Fake Defector is foiled when a real defector reveals his plan to Cinder. Cinder then uses Roman as bait for a trap intending to catch his allies when they come to rescue him, only for Roman to smugly reveal that his allies were never part of the extraction plan in the first place.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Roman's plan to escape the White Fang base involved calling in an anonymous tip to Ozpin on the base's location. The fish in question winds up being Glynda and Team CFVY, who come in guns blazing and serve as the perfect distraction.
- Time to Unlock More True Potential: The Malachite twins get worked over by Neo and eventually unlock their semblances. It doesn't help much when they and Junior try to double-cross Roman and Neo, but it does at least make them valuable enough for Roman to extend a recruitment offer afterwards.
- Villain Protagonist: Yup. Torchwick and Neo are no less villainous than they are in canon, they're just not on Cinder's side anymore so their villainy is of the pragmatic and profit-seeking variety rather than the city-razing variety.