Loaded Bones is a Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic written by Stealth Noodle.
Taking place before, during, and after the anime's season 4, with influence from the manga as well, it shows what Ryou and Yami Bakura were doing during that time and how the Memory World diorama got built. A post-series chapter closes out the story.
It balances the humorous aspects and the terrifying aspects of Ryou's situation, poking gentle fun at Yu-Gi-Oh's tropes and characterizations, particularly of the dub. The general surrealism of Ryou's situation is also focused on, with Ryou being able to stop Yami Bakura from causing trouble early on and finding out, to his dismay, that the evil spirit is bored stiff.
The fic can be found here.
This fanfic contains examples of:
- Brain Bleach: After realizing Bakura wasn't kidding about fooling around with Marik, Ryou takes a shower with his clothes on, wishes to scrub himself with steel wool, and vows to make tea with bleach in it.
- Broad Strokes: Events from the manga and anime are combined, with the Monster World campaign and Dartz's near-apocalypse being major events.
- Chekhov's Gun: St. John's wart turns out to be a ward against evil spirits, and Ryou running out is the cue for Yami Bakura to take over again.
- Comically Missing the Point: The Earl of Demise gets assigned to write Ryou's history report, and the only thing he took out of the French Revolution was that the guillotine took all the artistry out of decapitation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both Bakuras are this, especially when around Yugi and his friends."Anyway, the Ring's in my closet, remember?" said Yugi. "It can't do anything to him from in there."
The spirit sighed loudly inside Bakura's head. "And by such towering intellects am I thwarted."
Says a fair bit about you, doesn't it?
- The Dog Bites Back: The final chapter has Ryou getting back at Yami Bakura in the midst of trying to help him.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Ryou is failing algebra, and Yami Bakura isn't much better at math.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Yami Bakura picked up Ryou's interests and sweet tooth, which distracts and annoys him.
- I Am Very British: Played for humor. Ryou is British like in the dub, and loves fairy cakes, Doctor Who, tea, and other stereotypical British things.
- Kick the Dog: While Yami Bakura is generally mean to Ryou, once he regains control of the body he becomes very manipulative and cruel.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- The dub's 5000 years versus the original's 3000 years is brought up, with Yami Bakura complaining that Ryou's inability for math infected him.
- Zorc's second head and Diabound's generally phallic design are made fun of, with Ryou wondering how Zorc could even walk.
- Yami Bakura notes that Yugi got rid of Dartz, with "winning card games and shouting about friendship turning out to be yet another mastermind's fatal weakness."
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Yami Bakura notes that most of his proclivities come from Ryou's brain.
- Mood Whiplash: Chapter 4 starts with Ryou celebrating his birthday and ends with Yami Bakura regaining control of the body and forcing him to help him. Several other events whiplash between humor and seriousness, but that chapter's the most extreme example.
- Reality Ensues:
- Ryou constantly staying home from school and having Yami Bakura-related problems in general wreaks havoc on his social life and grades, and in the post-series chapter he initially finds work as a barista.
- A lot of Yami Bakura/Marik fics where the spirit shares a body with Ryou either gloss over the consent issues or have Ryou be okay with it. In this fic, when Ryou finds out what they've been doing, he's horrified at his body being used without his permission and uses a shower as Brain Bleach. Also, he initially doesn't believe Bakura and calls Marik on the phone to confirm it... and, due to time zone differences, Marik is very annoyed at being woken up in the middle of the night.
- Sweet Tooth: Ryou loves sweets, and because he's Yami Bakura's host, the spirit does too. Bakura becomes a particular fan of marshmallow fluff.