An Alternate Universe Yu-Gi-Oh!
fanfic that’s actually really quite good. It can be found here
, and this
is the sequel, Crimson Ties in Lullabies.
The basic story is something like this:Ryou (Bakura) is living happily with his father, who has finally decided to have some sort of presence and actually stick around. Their happy family of two is turned upside-down by a phone call. It turns out Ryou has a cousin living in Egypt named Minkah (Yami Bakura), who's in trouble with a group of local bandits, and they're trying to get him out of the country. He'll be there in only a few days.
Ryou's friends, Yugi and Marik, and their older brothers Yami and Malik (Yami Marik) are eager to help Ryou assimilate his cousin into Domino high school, but Minkah couldn’t care less. He’s not there to meet his family and make friends, or even to get away from 'bandits'. He’s an assassin working for the 'bandits', Apophis, and has been hired by Kaiba to kill off a slew of business men. He's just using family ties to get a place to stay.
The story changes point of view anywhere from five to thiry times a chapter, which can be a little confusing at first but really allows you to get into each of the character's heads and keep tabs of who knows what. It also renames Yami Bakura, since Yami was already taken and Bakura is a family name that, for personal reasons, he wouldn't dare use.
This story provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents - Marik/Malik's father, of course.
- Aerith and Bob - There are a good number of Arabic/Egyptian names amidst the Japanese ones.
- After School Cleaning Duty – Jou’s punishment for the honey incident
- Alternate Universe – They yamis are all different characters with their own bodies living as the older brothers of their respective hikaris, except Minkah, who’s a cousin.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking – He’s killed hundreds, but the most likely thing for Minkah to get grief for is just flat out being a jerk.
- Ax-Crazy - All members of Apophis Except Niu. Minkah is but the mildest example.
- Big Damn Heroes - Malik gets the most moments like this.
- Big Eater - Jou and Honda
- Bilingual Bonus - Later in the story some Arabic words are thrown in, though a translation in provided.
- Break the Cutie - Marik and Ryou.
- Break the Haughty - Minkah, big time.
- Bottomless Magazines - Subverted. Minkah gets screwed (literally) when he runs out of bullets during a scuffle with some guards.
- The Bully – Two kids dubbed 'Ass-hole' and 'Blubbery' by Minkah
- Cain and Abel - Minkah and Ryou
- Card-Carrying Villain - Kaiba
- Character Development - This, not the plot, is what makes the story so great.
- Chekhov's Gun – Ryou’s cat. The Car Niu crashes comes into play as well.
- Clingy Jealous Guy - Kaiba does not like the thought of Minkah being in a relationship with someone. Afika cranks it up a notch by hating Minkah having any sort of ties to anyone.
- The Cracker - Malik writes a virus into the Kaiba Corp mainframe. The end results for this, sadly, are never mentioned.
- Crack Pairing - Yami and Malik serve as the main couple.
- Curse Cut Short – Once, which is strange given that Malik and Jou are quite fond of cuss words.
- Deadpan Snarker – Minkah and Honda, most often.
- Deprogramming – Slowly and oh so very cautiously used on Minkah
- Did They or Didn't They? - After catching Minkah and Kaiba in the same shower stall the rest of the cast spends some time trying to figure out just what the relation is between the two.
- Did You Think I Can't Feel?
- Disproportionate Retribution - Afika's primary philosophy.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him - Otogi
- Dysfunction Junction – We give you a teen who used to murder on sight, a kid who’s so hypersensitive that a raised voice makes him believe he's about to be beaten half to death, and a boy who believes his dead mother is telling him to kill his remaining family.
- Easily Forgiven - Minkah, sort of. Though the intial reaction to him killing Otogi is not pleasent, the rest of the cast is willing to accept any explanation for his actions as an excuse for them.
- Even Evil Has Standards – Though they vary from villain to villain.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good – As a result of being raised as little mindless killers, most of the assassins or constantly baffled by any sort of act of kindness. The only exception is Niu, who was abducted at a later age, and actually comprehends how things like basic society and families function.
- Evil Laugh – Both Kaiba and Afika get one complete with lightning.
- Extreme Doormat - Ryou
- Eye Scream - Kaiba's eyes are gouged out of his head.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence - The story is, at the very least, every bit as violent as the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga.
- Fiction 500 - Kaiba has a bottomless wallet and an endless supply of elite guards.
- The Glomp – Ryou’s reaction to finding out Minkah isn’t dead.
- Gorn – Otogi gets gutted. In fact, he was supposed to be gutted alive, but he got out a little lucky on that one…
- Heterosexual Life-Partners - Jou and Honda, who solidify their status as straight when trying to make sure that a new member of their group with limited Japanese skills doesn't help the gay members of the cast outnumber them.
- Hidden Agenda Villain - No one has any idea what Afika wants. This includes Afika, but he does a damn good job of hiding that he has no plans.
- High-Pressure Blood - When the group is discussing a horror flick, Minkah, who was dragged along, complains that the gore was overdone, the blood was to plentiful, and it came out of all the wrong places.
- Hell-Bent for Leather - Kaiba insists on dressing Minkah in either leather or silk. Minkah goes along with this only because his family is in no rush to buy him any clothes.
- Hope Spot
- The Hunter Becomes The Hunted – Partway through Crimson Ties in Lullabies a military group forms specifically to track down members of Apophis
- I Have No Son - Reversed. Refering to Charles as Minkah's dad is a good way to get cut.
- In-Series Nickname - Jounochi -> Jou. Marik -> Mare. Minkah -> Mink. Only Minkah dislikes having a nickname.
- It's All My Fault – How Minkah feels about Yami and Malik’s breakup. Granted, it’s entirely his fault.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold – Otogi. Minkah also tries pretty damn hard to reach this, but falls short most of the time.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again – How the conversation in the changing room is initially treated. Minkah tries to make the fact that he was raped get handled this way as well, but no one else will let it be.
- Locked in a Room - When their relationship is on the rocks Yami and Malik get locked up together by their younger brothers.
- Morality Pet - Marik. His mere presence makes others hesitant to so much as raise their voice. He has an especially strong effect on Malik and Minkah.
- More Than Mind Control
- Murderers Are Rapists - When explaining Minkah's past Charles claims that Minkah raped and murdered his own mother. This is a pack of lies, as is the rest of the story.
- My Beloved Smother – Minkah’s mom. Or not Turns our Minkah was just brainwashed to think she was like that.
- No Sense of Personal Space
- Noodle Incident – The great ketchup mayhem
- Not What It Looks Like – While fighting with Kaiba in a shower stall, naked, with both of them covered in honey, Minkah realizes what an odd scene it would be to walk in on.
- One-Hour Work Week - Whilst Kaiba is almost always working, Otogi, who owns his own company, seems to have nothing better to do with his time than cruise around in a convertable.
- Original Character - Every villain but Kaiba.
- Parental Abandonment - The underlying cause of everything that goes wrong.
- Punch Clock Villain - Everyone working for Kaiba, Minkah included.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil - That Kaiba raped Minkah is treated as an infinitly worse crime than that Minkah killed over 100 people since the story started, including a close friend of the main characters. Then again-Kaiba ordered those killings.
- Rape as Drama - Kaiba's treatment of Minkah leads to most of the issues Minkah has to deal with in the sequel.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money! - Kaiba of course. His status puts him above not just school rules but most laws as well.
- Self-Made Orphan - Malik, still. Whether or not Kaiba did anything "dishonerable" to get Kaiba Corp is never mentioned.
- Sex Slave - Kaiba agrees to fund a criminal orginazation with money and weapons so long as they give Minkah the command to 'make sure his needs are met'.
- Smug Snake - Kaiba
- Suicide Is Painless – On more than one occaison Minkah implies that he would be in a lot less pain if he could just die.
- Sympathetic P.O.V. - Minkah would be a much bigger asshole if you didn't get to get inside his head.
- Take Over the World - Supposedly this was Apophis's aim.
- Teen Genius - Kaiba
- There Are No Therapists – They're present, and supposedly Marik and Malik used to see them frequently, but no one with any ability to take Minkah to one believes they ought too.
- Troubled, but Cute - Minkah
- The Un Favourite - Not only does Charles leave one of his sons in Egypt with a lone teenager mother to live in the slums while showering the other with affection back home, he at one point visits his older son just to try and kill him.
- Took a Level in Badass – Honda and Jou. They start the story as comic relief that the others just barely tolerate, but are quick to take charge by the time the climax roles around, doing whatever it takes to keep the others safe.
- Ungrateful Bastard - Minkah. Did Otogi just utterly trash his convertable to save you? Well, you'd better just ditch him. Did Ryou just abandon his own father for your sake? Well why return the favor? Did someone loving raise you and shelter you from all sorts of untold cruelty? To hell with them. At least he always gets called out on it.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? - In the spirit of the actual Yu-Gi-Oh! series, many Apophis members are given the names of ancient Egyptian gods.
- Yank the Dog's Chain – Any time something happens that seems to add hope, happiness, or normalcy to Minkah’s life you can bet it's about to get a lot worse.