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Fanfic / re:Bound (RWBY)

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"Ruby Rose never meant to kill Roman Torchwick. At least, that's what she tells the mysterious girl who haunts her dreams."

re:Bound by Allison Illuminated is a RWBY Soul Bond fanfiction first published on June 19th, 2017.

The plot begins when Ruby Rose accidentally kills Roman Torchwick instead of letting him escape with Cinder Fall. Suddenly, Ruby is plagued with dreams of a mysterious girl with multicolored eyes and hair who calls herself Neo. Accepted into Beacon for her murder, a high-stakes mystery unfolds as she struggles to keep Neo secret from Ozpin and her team, all while something more sinister lurks beneath the surface...

re:Bound focuses on RWBY's world and characters. Weiss leads Team WBYR as she keeps her team from falling apart, Blake's insomnia entangles her in Ruby's world as she deals with her past and heritage, and Yang only wants her sister to stop slipping away from her (and maybe something more with her feline partner). The first three volumes are currently complete, and the fourth is being actively published.

re:Bound contains examples of the following tropes, which may contain unmarked spoilers for RWBY:

  • Accidental Murder:
    • Instead of capturing Roman like she intended, Ruby kills him.
    • Ruby commits indirect manslaughter against Cardin after she beats him close to death before getting ambushed by an Ursa.
    • Pyrrha accidentally kills Penny during the Vytal Tournament finals with her semblance.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Ruby is not the kind soul she is in canon. After exposure to Neo, she becomes something of a bad influence to her team and friends; shows no regard for other people's opinions if they differ from hers, disregarding the many years her father cared for and raised her when Raven enters the picture, is unsympathetic to Yang's justified abandonment issues, she emotionally and physically abuses Jaune while blackmailing him, allows Raven to pressure Blake into serving the Branwen tribe, hates Qrow for his moral stance against Neo, and leaves a devastated Pyrrha isolated without help after she came seeking more options when Ozpin started pressuring her into his service, revealing that she doesn't think helping Pyrrha is worth making an active enemy of Ozpin against the Branwen's.
  • Anyone Can Die: Jaune and Ren both die in the Battle of Vale.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Jaune and Pyrrha fight back-to-back during the first fight of the Vytal Tournament and destroy their opponents.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: After Crescent Rose is destroyed, Ruby is forced to recreate Ember Cecila so she isn't weaponless while she mourns and comes up with a new weapon
  • Best Friend: re:Bound focuses on several close non-canon relationships:
    • Ruby is best friends with Pyrrha
    • Weiss is best friends with Yang
    • Raven is best friends with Summer
  • Big Bad: While Cinder masterminded the attack on Vale and Harkan is out for Ruby and Neo's blood, Salem is the chessmaster behind most of evil's schemes.
  • Big "NO!": Nora, after Ren is killed by Emerald.
  • Blackmail: After Neo tells Ruby Jaune's secret and she blurts it out, she blackmails him by telling him she won't tell anyone as long as he lets her train him. Initially Ruby fully intends on helping Jaune, arguing with Neo over the fact that she's not taking advantage of the opportunity to get something out of him. However, when Pyrrha corners Jaune over where he has been disappearing to it is revealed that the training sessions have become warped from a way of helping Jaune into a means for Ruby to take out her pain and frustration regarding Roman's death, Neo's torture of her and everything else, with her instead just beating Jaune into submission and taking it out on him. She becomes to Jaune what Neo is to her. Jaune, understandably, is not keen on forgiving her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Pyrrha doesn't take the revelation that Ruby is a killer who encourages her to become the Fall Maiden after she went to her for help escaping Ozpin, well. Especially since she also finds out about how Ruby treated Jaune.
  • Byronic Hero: Ruby slowly becomes this as the story goes on. By Volume 3, she's not really a nice person, not even to her friends and family.
  • The Casanova: Taiyang slept with his entire team - including Qrow.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Weiss accuses Ruby of being a hero, not a leader, after she disobeys instructions twice during the ambush of their training mission.
    "You don't get it, Ruby." Weiss' gaze was distant, her clenched fist white against her knees. "You're not a leader - you're a hero. You go after crime lords alone and take massive Grimm head-on. You can't understand what it really means to have a team, to lead a team. Remnant needs people like you, but there is a time and a place for that."
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Ozpin reveals that he knew about Neo since nearly the first time her met Ruby after Neo is revealed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Ruby easily defeats Cardin every time they fight, each time with a worse outcome for the bully.
    • Harkan wipes the floor with Ruby during their first battle.
    • Pyrrha easily wins every match in the Vytal Tournament up to the finals.
    • When Jaune challenges Ruby, she humiliates him as he fails to land a single hit on her.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Neo, Cinder, Dane, Ren and Nora
  • Dirty Business: After Ruby kills Roman, she is intensely guilty and calls herself a murderer despite everybody else's praise of her.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation:
    • Neo's tongue was cut out, so she can't talk. She was later confirmed mute in canon, but her tongue is intact.
    • Ruby is deeply traumatized after killing Roman. Her depression and PTSD symptoms only get worse as time goes on.
  • Dream Weaver: Neo can control what Ruby sees in her sleep, and she uses it in several ways: to talk and interact directly with Ruby, to show memories, and to show what she sees (if Neo is still awake)
  • Dysfunctional Family:
    • Neo is Raven's adopted daughter. Qrow hates Neo and blames her for getting cast out of the Branwen Tribe. Raven's ex-husband Tai hasn't spoken with her in sixteen years after he cheated on her with Summer. Tai and Summer had Ruby, who is bonded to and romantically involved with Neo. Ruby is half-sisters with Yang, who first hates Neo in her disguise for replacing her role with Ruby then for replacing her as Raven's most important daughter. After Yang learns Neo's true identity, she is also disgusted that her two sisters are dating each other. Ruby hates Qrow for hating Neo, and outright attacks him on multiple occasions.
    • Pyrrha stopped living with her parents at age fourteen on the condition that she kept winning tournaments.
  • It's All About Me: From a large amount of the cast. To a tragic degree, many times.
  • First Day from Hell: On Ruby's first day back from winter break, she gets into a fight with Blake and Yang, Neo is exposed, and she and Blake both get detention for a week.
  • Flashback: A frequently used narrative tool in re:Bound:
    • Ruby relives her aura getting activated and the last night she ever saw Summer
    • After Ruby breaks through Neo's mental barriers at the end of volume one, she witnesses Neo's parent's deaths and her bonding. After that, Neo vows to show her all of her memories and reveals the rest of her time with Starling. After that, her memories are interspersed with the rest of the fic. Volume Two covers her time with Silas and Three, Volume Three covers her time with Augustus, and Volume Four with Roman.
    • Raven remembers her first time meeting Summer on her first day at Beacon.
    • When Amber's aura is transferred to her, Pyrrha relives key moments in the maiden's life
  • Meaningful Name: Audrey Calla. Calla Lilies are symbols of purity of innocence, directly contrasting Audrey's personna of Cinder Fall later in life.
  • Psychic Link:
    • Ruby and Neo are connected by an aura bond created by Starling Branwen. The bond has been held by six people: Starling, Silas, Three, Augustus, Roman, and Ruby
    • Pyrrha and Cinder are bonded after Ozpin transfers Amber's aura to Pyrrha's body. Cinder and Amber were bonded as well, but since Amber was unconscious the entire time the bond never became active.
  • Rejected Apology: When Ruby tries to apologize to Jaune, he doesn't accept it and threatens her, saying if she ever hurts Pyrrha he'll kill her. He's not unjustified in his reaction, either.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Blake knows Neo's name because she has insomnia and hears Ruby talking in her sleep
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Ruby and Neo
  • The Bully: Ruby becomes this towards Jaune after she starts blackmailing him. She emotionally and physically abuses him in the name of "training" and at Neo's advice tries to turn him into her minion. After she stops, Jaune threatens to protect Pyrrha from her if he ever needs to.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Neo goes to the beach with her parents only for them to be killed by the Branwens
  • You Are Too Late: At the end of Volume Two, Ruby bursts into the CCT to catch the murderer only to find everyone inside dead and the building on fire.
  • Your Favorite:
    • Weiss knows the preferred drink of each member on her team, and always makes sure to bring each person theirs during rough times.
    • Ren and Nora have a massive stash of their favorite pancake batter in the dorm's kitchens.