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Fanfic / Russian Roulette

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Russian Roulette is a Self-Insert fanfic written by Vixen Tail (author of the Naruto fanfic Déjà vu no Jutsu) set in the Reborn! (2004) universe, beginning about 50 or so years before Canon. It is available on both AO3 and Part 1: Reloaded and Part 2: Second Barrel.Due to the author's death the series will remain uncompleted.

It tells the story of Sonya Nikishina, a young Russian thief that was, once upon a time, a girl by the name Rachel Victoria Stokes, an American college graduate who had died in a mugging gone wrong. Sonya has the memories of Rachel, which include details about an anime called Reborn! (2004)... and guess who has apparently been reincarnated into said anime?

Russian Roulette contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: A good number of readers seem to think Tatiana's name is actually Titania.
  • Alternate History: Sonya has some trouble in her history classes until she realizes that the historical events of her previous life didn't necessarily occur the same way in her new life. For example: Hitler was assassinated, which led to WWII being extended a few years, the Cold War never got into a paranoid arms race and greater technological development all around.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Viper, as in canon, although they decide to appear more feminine until confronted by Sonya and Cherep. This causes Cherep some Pronoun Trouble, although it doesn't stop him and Viper from becoming friends.
  • Arsenal Attire: See Hidden Weapons below.
  • Badass Baritone: Renato.
  • Badass Bookworm: Sonya, who is the founder of modern Soviet Flame knowledge base built upon in her childhood, but also able to throw her armory of miniaturized medieval weaponry at the speed of a speeding semi-truck with high precision.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Many people in- and out of universe interpret Sonya and Renato's relationship as this.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Sonya, for the Cerrito family's loss of Verde that Renato has been hired to look into. This is due to Sonya mainly hanging out in Europe.
  • Blessed with Suck: Poor, poor Cherep. Immortality isn't as fun when it lets you survive being accidentally "killed" by your parents, kidnapped, repeatedly abused, and possibly "dying" more than once, lost far away from your home country with no papers and no money. He was lucky that Sonya liked him, or it might have been worse, though there's still the threat of the Zolotovs taking advantage of him for their own gain.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted; Renato is close to running out of bullets and has to ask Sonya to multiply some for him.
  • Caper Crew: Tatiana's group.
  • Cheerful Child: Under Renato's guardianship and Sonya's protective eye, Shamal slowly grows into this.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Sonya was considered this to the Flame-users' segment of the Zolotovs, after Dmitriy deliberately got himself caught by the Soviet Union police to avoid Sonya's wrath at the politics that led to in-progress Flame research being published in a book. Also Larion for the Rains, after the high turnover rate post-Fadei.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Renato, whom Sonya describes as both a womanizer and a gentleman. It's suspected Shamal will grow up into this, due to his changed upbringing.
  • Circus Brat: Cherep and Sonya go on to become this after Sonya is "done" with her training.
    • Viper decides to take a shot at pretending to be one to lay low for undisclosed reasons.
  • Contralto Of Danger: Sonya.
  • Creepy Child: Usov seems to have grown into this.
  • Cuddle Bug: Cherep seems to have turned into this in response to his childhood growing up with the Zolotovs and wanting to obliterate Sonya's standoffish tendencies.
  • Disguised in Drag: Sonya and Shamal end up doing this at one point to hide from the Flame-user traffickers. It doesn't really work on Renato, though.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Fon, by Sonya, repeatedly. Although of course Sonya is oblivious as always.
  • Doorstopper: Over a million words and still nowhere near finished.
    • For comparison's sake, that's nearly as much as all the Harry Potter books put together.
    • Gotten to the point where Vixen Tail is worried the fic will be removed from on grounds of "excessive length", and has decided to split it into two parts.
  • The Dreaded: Cloud Flame users are infamous for their short tempers, to the extent that grouchy, anti-social Sonya is seen as restrained and sociable in comparison. Sonya becomes this on her own merits in the Soviet Union when she annihilates a minor gang, burns down their base (with the flames still going days later) and puts several members' heads on pikes. And does the whole thing a second time to a gang that blackmailed a Zolotov Rain to try to assassinate her.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Turns out Sonya and Cherep's secret background before coming to the circus wasn't as secret to the Großes Volksfest as they'd thought. Magicians and circus performers apparently had a huge tendency to be Mists in hiding.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Cherep, much to Sonya's disgust.
  • Fish out of Water: Having an extra 20 or so years of memories has left her with difficulty in relating to other children.
  • Foil: Sonya to Dmitriy in regards to their leadership over the Zolotov Flame users, with not only gender, but Sonya tending to be more experimental and into exploring the possibilities of Flame aspects, and Dmitriy tending to stick to what he knows. Also Sonya with Gedeon, in her being less interested in Russia and the Zolotovs than he is, and Gedeon being narrowminded in regards to what Flame users are capable of.
  • Fortune Teller: Crina, and Sonya while she's with the circus. As well as Viper, when they take Sonya's place as Crina's apprentice.
  • Friend to All Children: Well, maybe not all children, but Renato and Sonya definitely have a weak spot for baby Shamal.
  • Glorious Mother Russia: where Sonya and her "family" live.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: the external manifestation of a Flame-user being very close to causing body harm to anyone foolish enough to get on their bad side.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Sonya throws one of the men that invaded Mafia Land into his comrades; Renato calls him ballistic missile man.
  • Hates Being Touched: "She didn't even like hugs when Cherep wanted to give her some..." (Although she does tolerate it from him more often than anyone else, and it takes more effort to break free from his grasp, considering his advantage in strength of Cloud Flames.)
    • Also, she nearly broke Renato's wrist when he grabbed her arm, goes out of her way to avoid brushing people on the street even accidentally, and glares at people too far in her personal space.
      Sonya: [at Renato after he tries to bodily move her away from the entrance] Remove your hands or lose them.
      • Though she seems okay with giving hugs if asked nicely, but she'll need a moment to remember the mechanics.
  • Hidden Weapons: Sonya disguises several battleaxes as bracelet charms, her Bec de Corbins as hairsticks, and a battlehammer as a pendant, which earns her incredulous stares after she finds out that she wasn't supposed to bring weapons to the Vongola ball.
    • Galina even weaponized her nail polish.
  • Hint Dropping: Tatiana tries to figure out the exact nature of Renato and Sonya's relationship by dropping hints regarding a possible romantic involvement. Sonya does not get it.
  • Hitman with a Heart: After most of Renato's contacts get mobbed down by a Don with a grudge, he takes in one of said contact's orphaned son, despite having no obligation to do so and no idea how to take care of him.
  • I Have Many Names: Sonya, obviously. Rachel Victoria Stokes, Nikishina Sonya, Bazanova Sonya, Sonya de Mort... she's gathered a lot of them with her unique family situation.
  • Immortality: Cherep has this in a combination of Resurrective Immortality and From a Single Cell
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Implied to be the result of the 'date' Renato and Sonya go on while in the Soviet Union together.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Sonya is oblivious to attraction, mostly, and is perfectly willing to strip in front of Renato when she needs to change.
    • Slips into Shameless Fanservice Girl when she doesn't care that she just ran through Vongola mansion half-naked and was definitely seen, would have no problem walking through a Zolotov-owned hotel in the shreds of her Flame-burnt clothing, and has to be talked into changing into something less revealing than a skimpy nightgown by Renato.
  • Iron Lady: Daniela, Vongola Ottavia, natch. She tries to foster an Intergenerational Friendship with Sonya to get her as a Guardian for Timoteo, but it doesn't work.
  • Justified Criminal: Sonya was dumped into her criminal family to escape a Fate Worse than Death and as a small child, there's no way for her to leave, refuse the "training", or the obligation to repay said training.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Sonya expects Renato to do this, sooner or later, if they end up on opposite sides of a job. After he finds out she was responsible for the Cerrito Lightning's kidnapping, Renato refuses.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Bordrov Jaroslav, better known as Peter McScruffy.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Renato is confirmed to be this, although it's not (yet?) reciprocated on Sonya's end.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Sonya and Cherep, justified in that they were fostered together.
  • Little Sister Instinct: Despite being younger and "weaker" when it comes to Flames, Sonya is extremely protective of Cherep, specially against underworld denizens. When Viper mentioned s/he knew that Sonya and Cherep were both Clouds, Sonya threatened to hunt them down, rip out their spine and beat them with it.
  • The Mafia: The Vongola.
  • The Mafiya: The Zolotovs.
  • Meaningful Rename: By the time Sonya meets up with her birth father again, she's had enough pent-up disgust and anger, plus enough time to bond with her adopted family that she changes her last name to Bazanova. From then on, she only uses 'Nikishina' as a sometimes-alias.
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: The Mists of Switzerland, to give people fleeing there new identities. Also hinted to be why Sonya can't recall what about Switzerland is so significant, when Viper asks her help.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Sonya thinks Bjǫrn is Finnish, until she finds out that he's an Icelander.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The circus doctor and audience's reaction to Cherep's first public normally-fatal-but-survivable-due-to-Flames experience.
  • No Social Skills: Sonya is considered to have these by her family and friends. Luckily, she has Tatiana and Cherep to help her out.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: 'Peter McScruffy', after getting out of Freetown jail. His Sun Flames are how he survived.
  • Oblivious to Hints: Sonya, related to No Social Skills above. Fon isn't, which causes Sonya to label him a pervert.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The coalition of Mafia groups that runs Mafia Land have some shades of this.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted; Lisa's baby, Valerian ends up being called the same name as a minor Grekov thug.
    • Boris, Sonya's tattooist when she was young, has the same name as a Grekov member Sonya goes to see.
  • Papa Wolf: Arseniy, natch.
  • Parental Substitute: Sonya and Renato to baby!Shamal. Of course, this only adds to the rampant Ship Tease between the two that everyone can see. This is why Renato can't pick up any maids at the Vongola mansion anymore.
  • Past-Life Memories: Her memories of the anime helped her recognize Cherep, who will go on to become the Arcobaleno Skull. However, she seems to be having problems remembering details as time goes on and fails to associate the things she remembers with the people she meets. It took her years before she realized Renato would go on to become the Arcobaleno Reborn, and when Sonya meets Fong, she doesn't seem to recognize him as the future Arcobaleno Fon at all.
  • Public Secret Message: the Zolotovs plan to disguise Sonya's book on Flames as a self-help Hippie book, with the understanding that only those already in the known will realize the true meaning of the book.
  • Rainbow Motif: This wouldn't be a KHR fanfic without mentions of the Seven Flames of the Sky, though as Sonya accidentally learns in chapter 14, the colors of gemstones used as focuses do not necessarily match up to the colors of the Flames.
  • Red Herring: Many people thought Liqin was Fon when he first appeared.
  • Reincarnation: Sonya is the reincarnation of an ordinary college student.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Gedeon, who managed to piss Sonya off so much that she is leaving the Zolotovs and he is letting assassins go after her, despite Sonya being the most experienced Flame User and expert.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ganauche is never going to live it down, never.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Sonya wakes up on Christmas morning wearing Renato's shirt as sleepwear. Which leads to the servants to believe that they are sleeping together. What they don't know is that Sonya stole the shirt the year before, when she had to disguise herself as a male to keep Shamal out of trouble, and she simply kept it because it was too comfortable.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Renato acknowledges this about Sonya in later chapters, which squicks him out a little because he met her when she was eleven/twelve, but he can't seem to stop Eating the Eye Candy in his internal narration.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Fadei, who is rather put-out that Sonya was charged with leadership of the Zolotov Flame group.
    • Gedeon, in the Flame-users' group where he is fairly unoriginal with Flame theory and use, but considers himself an authority anyway. Unfortunately, he's not a small name among the Zolotovs.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Galina and Peter, when they get together.
  • Super Strength: Sonya's default application of her Cloud flames.
  • Thieves' Guild: Sonya gets dumped into one.
  • Thought-Aversion Failure: Sonya averts this by carefully not thinking about certain things in Renato's presence.
  • Too Dumb to Live: One clerk, after attempting to get rid of Sonya with a mission far above her skill level, claims to her face that Sonya is 'faking' her Cloud Flames. For attention. The guy was lucky his boss was there to intervene for him, to say the least.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: A Triad group hires Sonya to dispose of some sensitive information the local police acquired.
    • Accepting the job eventually comes back to bite her when the Triads get very interested in Sonya's Flame abilities.
  • Uriah Gambit: A clerk attempts to off Sonya this way, but unfortunately for him, she not only goes above and beyond to fulfill the task, but also returns pissed off enough to smash his face into a wall.
  • War Refugees: The Großes Volksfest sneaks some Jewish refugees out of Egypt by disguising them as performers and dockworkers.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
    Cherep [in his narration]: Why were all the other Flame types so much more interesting?
  • You Need to Get Laid: Tatiana to Sonya, during the teen years. She gets a little more proactive in trying to set Sonya up during their vacation in France, but is forced to admit defeat when Sonya's natural Cloud tendencies make her unwilling to do casual.
  • Younger Than They Look: Bjǫrn looks a few years older than he really is.