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Fanfic / The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

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I don't really know what happened here. I sat down to write a few thousand words of harmless smut, and promptly lost control of my life.

In which Blake is perfectly natural, Weiss gets ice cream in her hair, and Ruby and Yang would have to be really, really drunk.

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies is a RWBY fanfic written by feistyslapofpain and hosted on Archive of Our Own. It’s a volume one continuation fic written and completed in 2013 which tells the story of the rest of Team RWBY’s first year at Beacon and how they developed as a team, discovered a few dark secrets, foiled a criminal mastermind or two, and somehow wound up in a polyamorous relationship with each other. It is complete at just over 124,000 words long, making it a crown jewel of fanfics for Pollination shippers. It also has some adults-only content in chapters five and sixteen, so be mindful of where you read it.

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The Gentle Art of Making Enemies contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: For given values of heroism. Cinder is still plenty villainous, but in this story she’s merely a Well-Intentioned Extremist, owing to the story being started and finished before volume 2 had even come out.
  • Anti-Climax: Adam in this series is merely Blake's ex-partner rather than her mentor and so is not nearly as dangerous or threatening as he was in canon.
  • Awful Truth: Dust is a non-renewable resource and sooner or later humanity is going to run out of it, but the grimm will never stop respawning. Unless some miracle solution is found, a possibility Ozpin doesn’t rule out, huntsmen and huntresses are only delaying the inevitable. But delay it they must, so that the civilians they devote their lives to protecting can live safe and peaceful lives for as long as humanly possible.
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  • Bad Date: Ruby and Weiss’s first date starts out this way. They go to an obscenely classy restaurant where Ruby can’t even pronounce the names of any of the entrees and Weiss can tell she’s completely out of her element but is trying her best because she thinks this is what Weiss enjoys. Things go much better for them after they bail out and meet up with Blake and Yang at a burger joint instead.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Weiss and Blake have one of these on a live news broadcast.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jaune’s uselessness in a fight and obliviousness to Pyrrha’s feelings become something of a running joke, though it isn’t milked for drama the way canon does. It’s also exaggerated for some good laughs. At one point Jaune takes Pyrrha home to meet his family: to hear her tell it, it’s an Arc thing.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A whole slew of these are sprinkled here and there throughout the story, and eventually all of them become relevant to the plot in some way.
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  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Blake takes advantage of some alone time to get cozy with her books when the rest of the team goes home for a mid-semester vacation. Naturally that’s right when Weiss decides to come back early.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Daddy Schnee doesn’t approve of Weiss and Blake, to say the least. In fact he disapproves so much that he formally disowns her over it.
  • Double Date: One attempt by Weiss/Ruby and Yang/Blake to have a pair of normal dates don’t go quite as planned and winds up turning into one of these.
  • Freak Out!: Ruby has one of these when Weiss is badly wounded by a Beowolf, going so far as to point Crescent Rose's business end at Beacon's medics in a fit of hysteria and demand that they "fix her." More generally, the threat or idea of losing someone the way she lost Summer tends to provoke this.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Combined with Military Alphabet. The shutdown command code for the guard robots on the dust train is, "Sierra Lima Echo Echo Papa Yankee Tango India Mike Echo," or SLEEPYTIME.
  • The Jailbait Wait: When the girls realize that their relationship is going in a weird direction, Yang gets everyone to sit down and discuss some ground rules. One of those is “no funny business until Ruby turns sixteen.” Which thankfully is only a month or two away at that point.
  • Karma Houdini: Torchwick ultimately gets off scot-free for his involvement with Cinder’s plans.
  • New Year Has Come: The final chapter takes place against the turning of the year, and the final scene is of all of RWBY consummating their relationship while fireworks go off in the background.
  • Not a Date: Weiss and Blake’s first date is one of the “it wasn’t supposed to be a date” variety. It started out as the two of them walking around Vale looking for something to do and ended with them texting sexy pictures to Yang, trolling a bunch of upper-class snobs, and pretending to plan a robbery of an art museum.
  • Panty Shot: Weiss’s combat skirt fails her at one point during a sparring match and gives Ruby an eyeful, to Yang’s considerable mirth.
  • Plot with Porn: In case the page quote didn’t give it away. One way to read the entire story and all the conflict and character development within it is as an immensely long lead-in to the big messy foursome that happens right at the end of the last chapter.
  • Precision F-Strike: Weiss drops one when she realizes that Cinder also goes by the name Galiana Brandt.
  • Reality Ensues: Huntresses are supposed to fight Grimm, not dispense vigilante justice. The mayor is furious over the property damage at the docks caused by Ruby and Blake's fight with Torchwick and the White Fang and Glynda has stern words for Team RWBY over the whole affair.
    • Weiss's status as corporate heiress is formally revoked by her father after an emotional outburst on a news broadcast at a faunus rights protest.
  • Riches to Rags: Played with. When Weiss’s father disowns her she loses her status as the heiress to the Schnee Dust Company and all the financial security that comes with it. She frets about this a little but then remembers that she still has her trust fund, and has really only been bumped down a few notches from “obscenely wealthy” to “ridiculously wealthy.”
  • Sibling Incest: Defied. In contrast to the rest of the team, Yang and Ruby’s feelings for each other remain strictly familial throughout the story. The closest they ever get to invoking this trope is Yang joking that they’d have to be really drunk to sleep with each other and Ruby admitting under duress that she can admit that Yang is physically-attractive but is otherwise squicked out by the idea.
  • Train Job: Yang is deeply disappointed to find out that jumping on a train isn’t nearly as difficult or as cool as the movies make it look, especially for huntresses.
  • Trauma Button: Summer's death is a major one for Ruby. Yang accidentally pushes it when the team has a movie night and Yang picks something out at random. When a mother character in the movie gets killed off, Ruby snaps and has a minor Freak Out!.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: There's a lot of this going around between everyone on Team RWBY until it does, eventually, get resolved. It even gets lampshaded by Pyrrha at one point late in the story.
    “At some point, you all decided you liked each other. Then you and Weiss managed to go on a date, only you didn’t know it at the time. Then you decided you were all worried about moving too quickly, and almost immediately after that started sharing beds. Then, weeks later, you finally managed to actually kiss. Then you tried dating like normal people, and of course, you were terrible at it. Then, if I’m correct, you decided you were moving too slowly, so you turned your relationship into...” Pyrrha stopped, apparently lost for words. “A sex chicken game of mutually assured destruction?”
    “I met that chicken once,” Nora whispered into the resultant silence, quite a long ways over her breath. “It was a fun chicken.”
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Cinder is portrayed this way. A former huntress herself, she became disillusioned with the lifestyle after learning the Awful Truth about the grimm and became a political extremist who tried to reshape Vale from the ground up, believing that the grimm could be exterminated permanently only if the kingdoms could be made to go on a permanent wartime footing.
  • You Are Grounded: A variation. Glynda bans Team RWBY from participating in the Vytal Festival Tournament and confines them to school grounds for several days as punishment for going vigilante on Torchwick and the Fang at the end of volume 1. After some deliberation the girls decide they aren’t terribly put out by this on the grounds that none of them had a chance of beating Pyrrha in the first place.


Ruby wasn't sure she believed in heaven, but she imagined it felt a lot like this. Just them, together.
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