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Red Dead Virgo (RDV) is at its core an Alternate Universe What If fic, asking "What If the trolls all had a different blood color than they do in canon?" The focus is on a Red Kanaya, who decided she simply couldn't hide her "mutant" blood color from her friends. This turns out to be a bad thing. However, the story jumps around a lot to several other trolls, all with different blood colors (shifted down five places from canon), and more importantly different upbringings. The characters are somehow similar to the way they were in canon...and yet at the same time they aren't. A part of what makes the story work is the contrast between these Alternate Universe characters and their canon counterparts, and how much about them was nature and how much was nurture. This extends to most (pretty much all) of the relationships as well. Even SGRUB is a bit different, while remaining the same.
This story has a gained a large amount of popularity, which has spawned fanart, other fanfics set in a similarly altered universe for the human characters, and even roleplayers. As such, it's worth reading.
This fanfic has the following tropes:
- All Take and No Give: Terezi gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Kanaya accusing them of having this sort of relationship with Vriska.
- Alternate Universe Fic
- Ambiguous Gender: The Kids have this going for them all the way, though the author states that the only intentional instance of this was Jade Strider.
- Anachronic Order: The stories are arranged chronologically, but they were not written that way.
- Blind Seer: Subverted. While Terezi is a Seer, she is only mostly blind. And deaf.
- Born Lucky: Tavros, in sharp contrast to the canon counterpart.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Kanaya and Jade.
- Came Back Strong: Vriska, Rose, and Jade.
- Deader Than Dead: Feferi made a pact and gruesomely killed all the trolls save Kanaya, Vriska and Eridan to ensure that they would live on in dream bubbles. However, because Kanaya, Eridan and Jade were still alive at the time of the Scratch, they don't get to join their friends in any form of afterlife. Damn. At least their dreamselves managed to live on.
- Expy: Eridan is a lot like canon Dave. Right down to the time travel...
- Fix Fic: Especially after recent events. Quoth the fanfic author
Stay tuned for updates to the RDV-verse, where everything is actually pretty fucking happy and functional and sane. Who woulda thunk!
- Follow the Leader: RDV has inspired a number of other fics with the premise of the trolls having different blood colors or the kids being raised by different guardians.
- For Want of a Nail / In Spite of a Nail: Very much zig-zagged. The characters are recognizable, but different, and that creates some odd things. For example, it's Eridan who breaks up with Feferi in this universe, rather than the other way around. Though he certainly didn't want to... then there's Vriska's conversation with Doc Scratch, who makes the same prediction of Vriska's ultimate fate, except he bets on her living instead of dying.
- In Spite of a Nail: The kids except Jade go through the same events as the canon kids (from what can be interpreted from Jade's offhand references to them)... until "We KINDA Fucked Up," where Dave was revealed to have gone grimdark, John went off to stop Jack Noir, and Rose died the most heroic of deaths to save Dave and Jade.
- Go Mad From the Revelation: Dave went grimdark for... some reason.
- Genki Girl: Vriska, surprisingly. Or maybe not. "Chooooress!!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Equius is still as racist as he was in canon, despite his lower social standing. And yet his idea of showing caste superiority to Kanaya is doing incredibly nice things for her.
- Jerkass: Terezi, plus Karkat... which makes sense because he's in Canon Vriska's life.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Nepeta is a Catfish!
- Kick the Dog: Karkat and Terezi in "Paladin" and "Make Her A Member Of The Midnight Crew." Then again, it worked out...
- Laughing Mad: Terezi is messed up.
- Lethal Chef: Vriska is a minor one.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Kanaya, while in the process of BLEEDING ENOUGH TO CAUSE HER TO PASS OUT FROM BLOOD LOSS, is more concerned with it leaving an easy trail to follow and worrying Vriska.
- Manipulative Bastard: Karkat and Terezi. They make a cute couple too.
- Multiple Endings: In the April Fools 2012 update, there are three color-coded endings: Red, Blue and Green. The Red ending is the "normal" ending where everyone dies. The green ending isn't explained but seems to turn everyone in a cyborg. The Blue ending is a good ending where Kanaya, Vriska, Eridan, Feferi and Karkat survive and Kanaya wins a ticket for a free trip to Maui.
- Name's the Same: Equius? He's the Prince of Space! (But do guns work on him?)
- Nice Hat: Tavros, plus Nepeta and her swimming cap.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Eridan crushed Feferi's thoughts of having any sort of relationship with him because he saw that his powers were going to involve a LOT of dying, and wanted to spare her that anguish. Feferi didn't take it well at ALL.
- Noodle Incident: Kanaya apparently did something to Terezi, but isn't mentioned in anything except a few offhand mentions.
- Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: Kanaya bleeds a lot.
- The Paladin: Vriska is explicitly referred to as one, especially when she ascends to God Tiers as the Knight of Life. She herself isn't entirely comfortable with the idea though.
"...you never read about any holy warriors who wore scrubby oversized shirts and rolled dice at their foes."
- Pet the Dog: Karkat to Kanaya, in "Full Circle". But nobody said he was good at it. And even Terezi helps Kanaya avoid doomed outcomes... by mocking her.
- Pronoun Trouble: Dave is referred to as a "she" in "Hello, I Hate You, Won't You Tell Me Your Name". Jade is also, on several occasions, referred to as a boy, but this is probably intentional due to her (also intentional) ambiguous gender situation.
- Resigned to the Call: This version of SGRUB forces some of the trolls out of their comfort zones. Vriska doesn't think she's cut out to be a God Tier Knight in Shining Armor since she was a humble stuttering farmgirl all her life. Equius is horrified that he has both a lofty title (Prince of Space) and the huge responsibility of creating the new universe since he was a servile bootlicker before the game started. Eridan really doesn't like being the Mage of Time since dealing with Time Travel is so messed up. Aradia was an aloof and antisocial smart girl before the game so she isn't happy that her new role is to be The Empath. Nonetheless, all of them try their best to fulfill their roles since they have no other choice.
- Satellite Character: Quite a few of the trolls (notably Aradia, Tarvos and Sollux) don't do much except chat with other trolls and remark on their lands and titles, but they at least get off better than Rose, Dave and John, who don't even get a single speaking line in the whole story - just a few offhand mentions. And then they get erased by the Scratch.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Karkat, Tavros, and Sollux. The former makes the biggest deal of it.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In "Glub", Eridan messages Kanaya and keeps her moving all the way to her hive. It quickly becomes clear that Kanaya didn't make it the first time.
- Ship Tease: Jade and Eridan, Karkat and Terezi, and Kanaya and Vriska. The latter seems to be the main pairing, though it's one-sided on Kanaya's part, but "Decide" hints that Vriska may share the same feelings towards her.
- Split Personality: Sollux, but according to Word of Fanfic Author, it's really two trolls forced to share the same body.
- Standard Bleeding Spots: Is shown to happen at least once or twice to Kanaya.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Sollux and Feferi suspect that Aradia may be one to Captor.
- Twist Ending: This session turns out to be a doomed Session that preceded the canon one.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: A lot of plot points, even characters! The kids (except Jade) get nothing but offhand mentions. Many of the trolls just disappear after "Lands and Titles." That is, until "Complementary."