I’ve been on a RWBY kick again lately, despite still not watching anything past Volume 3. This time that’s taken the form of reading a bunch of short-form fanfiction, just for fun. However, there’s piles and piles of RWBY fanfiction (and not all of it smut), and one of the problems I run into frequently is that I can’t actually imagine the characters saying the lines that are written. What’s the point of writing fanfiction if you’re not going to have the characters act like they do in the original work?
(Okay, I can totally see other people enjoying writing or even reading such works. It’s just something I value, enough that I’ll stop reading a piece if it’s not ringing true for me.)
So today for fun I did an exercise, one that I like to suggest to others but don’t often follow through on myself: have a direct dialogue with characters, with fourth-wall-breaking permitted. This would be set after Volume 2, before all the events of Volume 3 go down. I borrowed a few of the questions from “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love”, which my theater director had us use to help explore our characters. For today, my primary goal was to make sure I could hear all of these answers in the voices of the characters; the actual content is meant to be plausible, but not particularly canon.
(I do in fact have a RWBY fanfiction idea in mind, though I probably shouldn’t start it until I finish Memoirs of a Student. But it doesn’t actually feature the main characters very much, so this really was just for fun.)
Oh, and I had to do actual research for this one…since I couldn’t remember whether Ruby or Yang was the singer of the pair. Turns out it didn’t affect much the way I had written it.
What is your favorite color and why?
Ruby: Red, duh! It’s bright, and active, and it makes it look like I’m going even faster than I am. Plus it’s Uncle Qrow’s favorite color too.
Weiss: Of course I’m going to answer white. White is pristine, something to strive for and something to protect. That’s actually why the Schnee Dust Company logo is light blue—to give us something to strive for. Ever since I heard that story it rang true for me.
Yang: Obviously I’m going to say yellow. I mean, have you seen my combat gear? My motorcycle? Not to mention all this. *points to hair* If you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?
Seriously, though, what was the point of this question? Isn’t it already obvious from our emblems?
Yang: …I stand corrected.
Blake: Deep purple, like the heart’s blood flower.1 The color of ink, and stories. At once similar to black and deeply, deeply saturated.
The room is silent for a moment. Ruby’s mouth is open slightly.
Blake: Of course, light purple’s been growing on me lately too. *winks at Yang*
Would you like to be famous? Why?
Ruby: Yeah! I’d be a world-famous huntress, and people would know me wherever I go. I’d have friends everywhere!
Yang: And everyone would give you free cookies?
Ruby: Yang! I’m not twelve, you know.
Yang: But you do love cookies.
Ruby: …I do love cookies. …Well, what about you?
Yang: Hm. I guess it’d be cool. Get my name in the history books and all that. I don’t know what I’d do with it, though.
Blake: …Yeah. It sounds miserable to me. Never having a moment to yourself…
Ruby: What about you, Weiss?
Weiss: I’m already famous.
Ruby: Oh yeah, I guess you are…
Weiss: Let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Ruby: I don’t really…sing.
Yang: You sing to your scythe.
Ruby: Ya~ng! Stop butting in on my answers!
Yang: Heh, you said “butt”.
Blake: I don’t know if I’ve ever sung to someone else. Is that a thing people do? When would that come up? And I don’t really sing to myself much either. Not really a music person, I guess.
Weiss: Once again, a question that fails to take into account the person being asked. Although I have to admit I haven’t had much time for singing since I came to Beacon. I do try to keep my voice in shape, but it’s not the same as an actual recital.
Blake: What about the other part?
Blake: When did you last sing to yourself?
Weiss: Oh. Well…all of you know this already. I sing to myself plenty. Once you’re a singer, it never really leaves you, even when you’re training to be a huntress. I just…don’t like to do it when others are around.
Yang: Aw, Weiss, you know we don’t mind!
Weiss: That’s not it. I’m…comfortable enough with you three by now, but… And besides, you do enough singing for the entire team.
Ruby: Uggh. Yang and her made-up lyrics.
Blake: One time, she redid an entire song with “plastic bag” at the end of every line.
Yang: *points finger* That was hilarious.
Blake: I didn’t say it wasn’t.
Ruby: Next question, please?
If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
Weiss: Why do people like these “would you rather” questions anyway?
Yang: I dunno, I think they’re kind of fun! Come on, what do you think?
Weiss: I refuse to answer.
Yang: Well, I’d have to pick “mind”.
Yang: Ugh, don’t act so surprised, your highness. Can you imagine having a great body but not being able to remember anything? Your friends, your family? What is even the point of staying young if you don’t get to do anything with it?
Ruby: Wow, Yang…
Yang: That’s…ugh, that’s not quite it. But still. Oh, and you’d get the worst of both worlds, because everyone would treat you like you’re a normal 30-year-old, and then get all annoyed when you couldn’t do it. Or they’d be incredibly condescending, like most people are to disabled people. No thanks.
Weiss: I, uh…
Ruby: …Yang’s convinced me. I’m going to go with “mind” on this one.
Blake: Yeah, I don’t think I could pick anything else after that.
What’s one thing you wish other people knew about you?
Ruby: Uhh… Uhh… This is a hard one. Can you come back to me?
Weiss: I guess it’s that…I’m not making it up. Yes, I grew up rich. Yes, I had a privileged childhood. I know I don’t have the perspective to know what other people have had to go through. …At least, I know that now.
But that doesn’t mean my life was easy—or, well. I mean it doesn’t mean I didn’t feel things. Sad, pressured, lonely. Maybe I shouldn’t feel those things…but I do. And just because I didn’t have to go through other trials doesn’t mean I didn’t have any. People’s emotions adjust to fit their experiences.
I’m learning. I’m trying, really hard.
A moment of quiet. All three other members smile in Weiss’s direction.
Blake: I wish that it didn’t matter that I’m a faunus, but it does. But that’s not really the question. I guess…I wish more people knew what it means to be an introvert. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I just…need some space. And quiet. And if you’re willing to share that quiet, then I’d like you to be there.
Yang: Also you really like eating fish.
Yang: What? If more people knew you liked fish, more people would buy you fish!
Blake: …Fine. I also wish more people knew I like eating fish. Your turn, Yang.
Yang: *sigh* …I wish people knew I’m not just a brute. Like yeah, I’m super strong, and I’m proud of that! I put a lot of work into that. And I’m beautiful.
Blake: Don’t overdo it.
Yang: *grins* Shut it, Blakey. …The point is, that doesn’t mean I’m some brawler with an IQ of 20. I deserve your respect, intellectually—the same respect you’d give to anyone else. I know what I’m doing. I take care of people. And…I want to have real conversations sometimes, y’know? Actually talk about life. Society. …Maybe not homework, though.
Ruby: I’m not always happy.
Ruby: I mean, yeah, I get it. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m the world’s worst liar. But still, everyone thinks I’m this happy-go-lucky kid, this permanent ray of sunshine, and…that’s not true, is it? I’m having a hard time. I…I still miss Mom sometimes. And things out there are bad…really bad. It’s not a lie when I’m being cheerful and everything but…I’m a full person under that. I’m not just a fountain of cheer.
Ruby: Yang, you’ve been so, so good to me. You’re the best big sister anyone could ask for. …All of you. I’m so glad we ended up on this team together.
What happened with Yang’s friends at the beginning of the semester?
Ruby: Wait. Yeah. Yang, what did happen?
Yang: Oh, I don’t hang out with them anymore.
Weiss: We can see that.
Ruby: Yeah, what kind of answer is that?
Yang: Guys, c’mon, I spend most of my time hanging out with you all now anyway.
Blake: I have to admit I’m curious about this too.
Yang: You weren’t even there!
…ugh, fine. Two of them turned out to be creeps, and the others all backed them up instead of me.
Weiss: Yang, that’s horrible!
Blake: I’m…sorry that happened to you.
Yang: Yeah, well, whatever. They’re not worth my time anyway.
Blake: Are they still at Beacon?
Blake: If they’re still at Beacon, they might be doing it to someone else.
Weiss: Hang on, what about Ruby’s friends back at Signal?
Weiss: You used to write them letters every weekend! What happened?
Ruby: I still write letters! I’ve just…been very busy lately!
Yang: Maybe we’ve had enough questions for one day.
Ruby: Yeah. Team RWBY, away!
Weiss: …You are such a dork.