The year is 1989. The Vale, a satellite city on the southern edge of greater Sydney, is the territory protected by the Bellas mafia. Headed by the Italian mafioso Blake Belladonna, the Bellas consider it their duty to commit lesser crimes to prevent greater crimes from threatening or befouling their home. However, their decade-long claim to the Vale is set to be challenged by two forces.
The first is a land developer with a shady past and crew who has designs on the western and southern parts of the Vale, aiming to gentrify the former area and impoverish the latter area. After a violent bust up between the two forces, a group of cops emerge swear to do away with both forces. Who will win?
Goodbellas contains examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Tyrian has shades of this towards Yang, who isn't very happy to hear about it.
- The Alcoholic: After seeing his goons get brutally murdered by the Bellas, Port evolves into this.
- Adaptational Villainy: this version of Roman Torchwick are far Worse then His Canon Web Animation Counterpart.
- Adaptational Heroism: This Version of Cinder Fall of all people is not Her Canon Web Animation Counterpart.
- Babies Ever After: How the fic ends; Pyrrha gives birth to two sons through IVF (one of them hers, the other Ruby's), while Yang and Nora are expecting daughters and Velvet got knocked up by Sun.
- Batman Gambit / The Caper: An epic one goes down in chapter 8, and deals a massive blow to the villains. After finding out that Watts is set to torch Blake's restaurant with the use of a vehicle he purchased and had modified by Pyrrha and Yang, four things happen within a week to prevent this. First, Ruby and Cinder break into his office with Gwen and Octavia, and make copies of the development plans that Torchwick gave him, then find out how his attempt is set to go down. Second, Pyrrha convinces him to pay his car on a shonky layby contract, then orders Dew to seduce him and steal the spare key, and Roy to create a false statement of missed payment, giving her enough pretense to repossess his car the minute Watts takes his dog for a walk on the evening the Vytal's set to be torched, along with pilfering a pile of fire-starting equipment. Third, Blake has Ren and his crew guard the Vytal in case the others failed, and last, Nebula gains a job trial as the waitress at the Amity restaurant (which Roman and Watts both invested in) on the night the Vytal's set to be torched; she remains behind, lets Yang, Gwen, Brawnz, May and Octavia inside, and the six of them proceed to burgle the place, and use Watts's fire-starting equipment along with their own to torch the Amity. The reason why it's a Batman Gambit over a Xanatos Gambit? Watts was too tired to read the fine print, and signed his car away without realising it, and then sold his old car off after the fact - leaving him without transport and equipment when he needed it most.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: "Lines Drawn" sees this happen to Port and Hazel, when Velvet gets handed evidence of their corruption. It results in Operation Rosewood arresting the crooked cops.
- In "Roman Invasion", Roman reveals that this is how he's keeping Lionheart in line with his wants - a picture of Lionheart kissing his brother-in-law is all it took to work.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: Roleplay with this trope invoked is the spice in Ruby and Pyrrha's sexlife, with the latter adorned accordingly in "The Goon Show Incident".
- Cliffhanger: "Roman Invasion" ends on a doozy. Tyrian botches a hit on Blake, by accidentally shooting Qrow through the stomach. After he speeds off and Ruby takes Qrow to hospital, Emerald writes his number plate and car type down and betrays her unreliable colleague.
- "Revelations and Rumours" features a small one where Tyrian gets knocked out by Ruby.
- "Uncivil War" shows Lionheart about to blow the lid on Roman's activities with Cinder's assistance.
- "All Bad Things ..." has Sun and Velvet bust Weiss and Ren's wedding with arrest warrants galore.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Oh boy. "Untouchable", the fifth chapter, features a number of these. The corrupt cops that stood guard while Yang and Nora were raped get bashed with hammers and burnt by a blowtorch, while Neon (who'd raped Nora) was penetrated with a crowbar, bashed heavily with said crowbar, then raped by Ren with a sandpaper-wrapped penis until she died. At the same time, Adam (who'd raped Yang) gets his nuts blown off, blinded by a pair of combat knives shoved through his eyeballs, and sawed vertically in half to his neckline. Ruby then decapitates him, places the pieces in a barrel of oil, and (ostensibly) sets the corpse on fire with a flare gun. Not that it wasn't deserved, of course.
- "Uncivil War" features Tyrian getting battered with cricket bats and a new arsehole torn by a scythe with serrated edges, followed by his corpse getting nailed to a burning cross. Ouch.
- "Fall Of The Roman Empire" has the deaths of Mercury note , Emerald note , and Roman note at the hands of the Bellas.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In "The Mancunian Candidate", Blake inflicts a messy one on the mafiosi who betrayed and murdered her father, with a little help from Ruby.
- Dating Catwoman: What Sun does with Blake. Finding out about her less-than-pleasant actions palpably disgusts him.
- Drugs Are Bad: Subverted. Blake believes this whole-heartedly, and killed the mafiosi who butchered her father because of his disgust with the trade. Despite this, she and Weiss recruited four drug cooks into the latter's section of the gang; making marijuana, speed, heroin and cocaine, Weiss and her soldiers plant their drugs onto anyone who dares to peddle drugs in the Vale and reports them to the police.
- Erotic Eating: "Business As Usual" sees Nora do this real slowly to a jealous Yang with a banana. And that's after what Nora did with the lime slice.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Bellas as a whole operate on the maxim of "protect the Vale from other criminals through any means necessary", so this trope applies to varying degrees across the board. However, this gets played straight in "Untouchable" when Ren fatally rapes Neon with his dick wrapped in sandpaper. His subordinates, to a man, are disgusted with this action.
- Qrow's injury elicits this in spades from the witnesses.
- Seeing Tyrian's final fate causes Dr. Watts to faint in "Uncivil War".
- Evil Brit: On the side of the protagonists, we have Ruby. On the side of the antagonists, there's Dr. Watts.
- Five-Man Band: This gets invoked twice.
- First, the Bellas leadership follows this pretty conventionally, for a group of anti-villains.
- Big Bad: Blake, naturally.
- The Dragon: Jaune. The Consigliere and legal eagle of the group, was originally co-underboss with Nora.
- Evil Genius: Nora and Weiss. The former is the underboss and accountant for the gang, and co-owns a nightclub with Blake that serves as HQ for the trifecta. The latter was the first of the gang to found a front business, and she's intelligent enough to recruit the four best drug makers in the Vale and have them make drugs, plant them on drug dealers/cartels who muscle in on their hometown, and then tip the cops off about them.
- The Brute: Ren and Ruby. The former leads the standover/murder squad, used to take out or report small-fry murderers and rapists. The latter, by contrast, is the chief spy and designated hitwoman, a role evidenced when she tracks down and brutally murders Adam for raping her sister.
- Dark Chick: Pyrrha and Yang. The former leads the thieving/repossession crew, and is responsible for (amongst other things) providing alibis for the other members and keeping vigil over them if they get attacked. Also, Pyrrha covered for Nora as underboss when the latter was in recovery. The latter leads a crew that (in addition to arson and explosions) destroys evidence of the gang's lesser crimes, and both women founded the car dealership/mechanic shop that proved to be a big revenue-raiser for the Bellas.
- As for the villains, it breaks down like this:
- Big Bad: Roman. He's the one with the designs on the Vale, and is clearly the leader of the bunch.
- The Dragon: Dr. Watts. An accountant in this setting, he's responsible for advising (and presumably funding) Roman's efforts.
- Evil Genius: Mercury. The group's lawyer, he was responsible for getting Adam off a possession charge.
- The Brute: Adam, at first. He's the one who traps Nora and Yang, and is the one who initiates their rape. After he gets killed, Tyrian cements himself as this when he shoots Qrow in "Roman Invasion".
- Dark Chick: Emerald.
- First, the Bellas leadership follows this pretty conventionally, for a group of anti-villains.
- Friend to All Living Things: Ruby describes Velvet as one of these in "Lines Drawn".After all this time, my old hairdresser's still a sappy idiot for animals, Ruby warmly reflected. Even with her new career, she never can stop finding strays to look after.
- Ruby herself has shades of this in "Roman Invasion" when Velvet gives her a baby Corgi on her birthday.
- From Camouflage to Criminal: Ruby, Ren and team CRDL all have this in their backstories.
- Gayngster: The Bellas have a fair number of these. As far as couples go, there's Ruby and Pyrrha, Nora and Yang, Nebula and Gwen, and Dove and Russel.
- Groin Attack: Cardin's backstory contains a crucial one. He and Ren were in a bar brawl whilst on leave from duty in Vung Tao (during the Vietnam war). Noticing a Vietcong sniper about to kill Cardin, Ren saved his comrade's life by kicking him in the nadgers, causing Cardin to duck beneath the bullet. Consequently, Cardin's been loyal to him ever since.
- Velvet does this to Sun after he forgets to file a request at work - and just after he shagged Blake - in "Revelations and Rumours".
- Just for Pun: The work itself is a reference to Goodfellas, with the gang's name also inspired by the Ballas gang in Grand Theft Auto V. Also, the first chapter's title is "The Mancunian Candidate" - a pun classic film buffs would pick instantly - and the eighth's title is a Shout-Out to the Doobie Brothers ("Watts The Fool Believes").
- Kick the Dog: ... for a given measure of "dog", but this happens to Weiss and Ren when their wedding gets raided by Operation Rosewood.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: What Emerald does to Tyrian at the end of "Roman Invasion".
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Definitely. RWBY and JNPR lead the group; Weiss, Ren, Yang and Pyrrha all lead four-man squads (teams ABRN, CRDL, BRNZ and NDGO respectively), and most of the villains have already made appearances. And as of chapter six, we get the police: teams SSSN and CFVY, along with Ozpin, Glynda, Penny, Oobleck, and Oscar. The only major characters who haven't appeared yet are the Schnees, General Ironwood, and Salem - whether they will show up is yet to be seen.
- The Mafia: The Bellas are this, but with two crucial differences; they only commit crime to stop other criminals from hurting the Vale's residents, and they are not exclusively comprised of Italians. The latter fact annoys Roman when Emerald discloses this during a meeting.Torchwick turned to his subordinate, a skilful thief called Emerald Sustrai. "Emerald, has our quiet little mouse ratted out her old partners-in-crime yet? All I've heard about the Vale's crime trade is that it's clandestine and subtle, yet powerful and monopolised."
Emerald shifted slightly and responded coldly to her employer. "Clearly, you haven't lived in these parts long enough, Roman; there isn't a crime trade in the Vale. These people that Neo worked for were very committed to preventing crime in the Vale, even though the means they used to achieve this weren't legal. The only other thing she's told me was that it was run like the American Mafia, but with much more permissive attitudes towards membership."
Roman scowled petulantly. "So we can't find our marks by merely sniffing around the Italian community here. That's just perfect."
- Mr. Exposition: Jaune fills this role in "1989" when inducting Cinder into the gang and their methods.
- Murder, Inc.: Ren's gang is this.
- Mythology Gag: Played With. The seventh chapter features Yang chancing upon a furry couple - Blake and someone who's implied to be Sun, to be precise - screwing each other while wearing kitty ears and a monkey tail with a dildo on the end. Yang reacts accordingly.Taking a quick picture and running, a deeply-unsettled Yang came home and failed to rinse her brain of the memory with tequila.
- A more severe take on this goes down when Tyrian wounds Qrow's stomach in a hit job gone wrong.
- Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Played ram-rod straight throughout the fic - albeit with the caveat that their efforts are unknown to civilians and law enforcement.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: "Roman Invasion" sees Tyrian kick this trope off. He incompetently botched a hit job on Blake and shot Qrow at Ruby's birthday party. Given that Emerald left his number plates and car description at the scene of the crime, this may be the turning point in their conflict.
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, a war between two biker gangs got too close to the Vale during 1988. It resulted in Yang having to dispose of a man who Ren had decapitated.
- Outlaw Couple: There's plenty of them in the Bellas. The leadership alone contains Victory Rose (Ruby and Pyrrha), Pink Lemonade (Yang and Nora), and White Lotus (Weiss and Ren). In chapter eight, Arc Furnace (Jaune and Cinder) sets sail.
- The Quisling: Hazel and Port are this to the cops. Thanks to Ruby and Velvet, it doesn't last.
- Race Lift: In this setting, both teams RWBY and JNPR have backgrounds which reflect their names. Ruby is from Manchester, Weiss escaped from East Berlin, Nora is a Dutch migrant, Blake and Pyrrha are Australians with Italian and Greek ancestry respectively, Ren is from Vietnam, and Jaune is French-Canadian. The only anomaly is Yang, who is said to be completely Australian despite her Chinese name. This practice extends to the supporting cast as well; for instance, Cinder is half-Korean, and the dark-skinned characters (such as Arslan and Roy) are Aboriginies in this setting.
- The author's clarified Yang's heritage as of the sixth chapter; her father was the result of generations of interbreeding between Chinese and English couples, which started in Hong Kong.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Blake and her cohorts display this line of thinking when Yang and Nora get on the receiving end of it from Adam and Neon. Needless to say, retribution is served quick-smart.
- "Lines Drawn" sees an incensed Roman threaten a captive Neo with it after the last two corrupted cops get arrested.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mayor Leo Lionheart comes off as this, despite working with Roman (unwillingly). He manages to get some of Roman's unscrupulous plans nerfed before he was obliged to bringing the final development proposal to the council.
- Blake herself is this to a large degree. She took in Weiss and Ren when they first arrived in Australia, helped them and Ruby settle into their roles, and quickly gave Cinder a role as thanks for the tipoff to Roman's designs. And when the Amity went up in flames, Cinder's brother lost his job as a waiter. At Cinder's request, Blake immediately hired him as her head waiter.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ruby inflicts a nasty one on Adam in "Untouchable".
- Really Gets Around: Dew, if Pyrrha's anyone to go by. Considering her role is to seduce and burgle criminals, it isn't surprising."Pyrrha, do you have a moment?"
Pyrrha gave her Irish employee her full attention. "What's on your mind, Dew?"
"I'm kind of stuck deciding which of the mechanics I want to get involved with."
Pyrrha snorted with an amused expression. "Dew, you've probably bonked half the gang by now; I'm sure you'll know which beefcake appeals to your tastebuds more."
Dew scowled as Octavia unleashed a spit take for the ages.
- Refuge in Audacity: Cinder says this word-for-word when Jaune discusses Ren's job.Then there's the whacking crew. Ren leads this group, comprised of some of his old service mates, and they are involved in murdering, reporting and intimidating any rapists and murderers who dare assail our town. The genius thing behind it, though, is that Ren leads a crime-scene cleaning business, and his four crew members are his employees. This means that they know how to frame up a crime scene to make it look like suicide, a gang-related attack, or even like an accident, and they get to make money cleaning up the mess they make.
Cinder smiled in vivid amusement. A refuge in audacity; impressive.
- Rugby League: Features prominently in the seventh chapter. Pyrrha and Ruby host Yang and Cinder for dinner after 1989's first round and banter with each other over how the round went for their teams. According to the author, Sydney's well known for the number of rugby league teams it harbours, and they felt obliged to represent the sport accurately, going to the length of finding and using a rugby database to faithfully depict the matches that year.
- Sedgwick Speech: Happens in "The Mancunian Candidate". After fleeing a shootout, a group of heroin importers hide behind a minibus. One of them frets openly about the possibility of a sniper. The leader declares otherwise.That's bollocks, the leader said haughtily. The parking building is too obvious for the standard mob sniper to take an undetectable shot, and the next high ground is two blocks away. You wouldn't be able to hit a beached whale at that dist-.
The four watched in abject horror as their boss became a scatter-brained man. As it turned out, the importer actually had been right about the difficulty of the untrackable shot, but his assailant wasn't a standard mob sniper.
Ruby, who'd picked up the conversation at the edge of her hearing, found this to be juicily ironic.
- Sadist Teacher: Played with in the case of Ruby. She doesn't have any evident malice towards the first years under her charge, but Ruby goes into her sadistic side when called to kill in the service of the Bellas - as seen with Adam Taurus in "Untouchable".
- Shown Their Work: Evident throughout the work. The cars the Bellas drive are real production models, the weapons used were available in Sydney at that time, and even the background events are depicted accurately. For example, the cricket commentary seen in "1989" is taken directly from the coverage concerned.
- Thieves' Guild: Well, "thieves club" would be more accurate when describing Pyrrha and her crew.
- Time Skip: The first one spans between December 1978 (chapter 1) and January 1989 (chapter 2), while the second jumps from April 1989 (chapter 13) to December 1990 (chapter 14).
- Title Drop: "All Bad Things ..." has this joke from Ruby:Ruby:"Ah, well, I've just realised something; we should've called ourselves the Goodbellas."
- Villainous Friendship: Abundant within the Bellas, and seen between Roman and Emerald.
- Villain Protagonist: A given for a mafia story.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Velvet finds Adam's butchered corpse, we only hear the discovery of the latter and the return of the former with a vomit stain on her sleeve.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Bellas gang as a whole qualifies.
- Wrench Wench: Being a qualified mechanic, Yang counts as this.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Played dead straight in the cases of Nebula and Reese (from teams NDGO and ABRN). In the former's case, she dyed her hair purple after it went grey prematurely.