Let Us Be Your Poison (also available on Archive of Our Own) by GodSaveTheKings is a RWBY rewrite fanfic. The story reworks RWBY into a darker tale, while keeping the general events and plot the same.
The story starts in a Remnant without Grimm. Grimm are just a fairy-tale to most, but hunters still exist as military personnel. An Ordinary High-School Student named Ruby Rose is accepted into the prestigious Beacon Academy despite her young age and lack of huntress training. Though she has misgivings, Ruby and her older sister Yang Xiao Long both embark on schooling together. There they meet the distant and hostile Weiss Schnee, heir of the infamous Schnee Dust Company, and the aloof Blake Belladonna. The four... don't become Team RWBY. At least, not initially. After getting into trouble together and meeting a real-life Grimm, RWBY is formed.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Bordering on Malicious Misnaming. Upon meeting Jaune, Weiss keeps on calling him "John" to show her apathy towards him.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Weiss' character is a lot meaner. Upon meeting Ruby it looks like she's been made an Adaptational Nice Guy, but then she tells Ruby to kill herself and goes on a rant that leaves Ruby teary-eyed.
- Adaptational Name Change: Blake Belladonna is an undercover alias. Her real name is Belle Kataliana.
- Adaptation Species Change:
- Velvet is a human instead of a faunus. Faunus are banned at Beacon and there's no way that Velvet could hide her ears.
- Alternate Universe Fic: The story rewrites RWBY from the start. It also changes major elements, such as huntress' fighting Grimm.
- Character Exaggeration:
- Weiss is more of a conceited Academic Alpha Bitch and is hostile towards most.
- Ruby's brief shyness from Volume 1 is expanded upon as a major characteristic. She suffers from social anxiety.
- Dark Fic: The intention of Let Us Be Your Poison is to turn RWBY into a "dark fairy-tale" and it shows. All of the levity of Volume 1 is removed. For example, the Beacon test has been changed (even in-universe, due to lawsuits) and replaced with a series of tests. The first one is a "simple" endurance test consisting of staying in an "x" position for as long as possible while watching or listening to shock videos.
- Disabled in the Adaptation:
- Weiss has a Fictional Disability where she can't use her aura or semblance.
- Pyrrha is on the autism spectrum.
- Fantasy Pantheon:
- Weiss is a worshipper of Faith of Decum Luna, a religion practiced in Atlas. It consists of ten gods. Atlasian families believe that one of the gods watchs over them. The family's chosen god determines whether they're soldiers, artisans, or craftsmen. Families only marry into families who have the same religious beliefs as them.
- Other religions mentioned are the True Faith of Vale and Mistran Gods of Arillystos. Vacuo is the kingdom with the most scattered faiths.
- Henotheistic Society: Like most people from Atlas, Weiss's family follows the Faith of Decum Luna. There are ten different gods but Atlasian families only worship one of the gods as their guardian. The family's chosen god determines whether they're soldiers, artisans, or craftsmen. Families only marry into families who have the same religious beliefs as them, but Weiss' parents are a rare case of a mixed-belief couple. As a result, Weiss feels some Internalized Categorism that her Fictional Disability of being disconnected from her soul has to do with her parent's taboo marriage.
- Hide Your Otherness: Similarly to in canon, Blake does this, being a Faunus passing as a human. Its even more necessary here due to Faunus not being allowed to attend Beacon. However, since Faunus are much more animalistic than the Little Bit Beastly they are in canon, it took more than a bow for Blake to do this. She had her body surgically altered through a Semblance, and though what she lost isnt fully described, we know she gave up fur and cat ears. All she kept after the fact was a set of feline claws.
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Weiss' parents worship two different gods in the Faith of Decum Luna. It's unheard of for people to inter-marry like that and it is looked down upon. Weiss feels some Internalized Categorism and worries that her Fictional Disability was brought on by her parent's mixed marriage.
- Not His Sled: Subverted. The teams are originally different than in canon: Ruby gets put on a two-person team with Jaune. Later, the teams are re-arranged and Team RWBY is created.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Quiet, awkward Ruby contrasts with her friendly and sociable sister Yang.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Blake and Weiss have a tendency to drop the F-bomb like punctuation.
- Unexplained Accent: Averted with Velvet, whose unspecified-in-canon accent is Southern Valian.