Being Dead Ain't Easy is a Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic written by D. Draggy.
When Joey Wheeler dies saving Seto Kaiba's life, he decides that his day officially sucks. Making things worse is the fact that upon trying to enter the afterlife, he trips over his shoelace and finds himself unable to move on. As if things couldn't get worse than that, it appears no one but Kaiba can see or hear him.
As Joey tries to make sense of his un-life (and haunt Seto Kaiba), it soon grows apparent that he's weakening, and he has no idea how much time he has left. Joey searches for a way to save himself, and maybe save Kaiba while he's at it.
The fic can be found here.
This fanfic contains examples of:
- Attending Your Own Funeral: Joey falls from the gateway to the afterlife to the tail end of his own funeral.
- Barred from the Afterlife: This happens by accident when Joey trips over his shoes. The actual reason is because Kaiba told him to stay with him, binding his soul to Joey's.
- Batman Gambit: Joey pulls one on Yami Bakura to get him to help by saying that if Yami Yugi couldn't do it, there's no way he could. Yami Bakura saw through it, but helped Joey to further his own plans.
- Black Bug Room: Kaiba has one of these as part of his Soul Room, and a major problem is the threat of being permanently trapped there with all the dangers conjured up from Kaiba's mind.
- Buffy Speak: Joey's narration is full of this from the very first chapter.Kaiba was still at the school doin' schooly stuff.
- Can't Live Without You: Yami Bakura reveals that since Kaiba bonded Joey's soul to his own, Joey has been slowly killing Kaiba as his own condition worsens.
- Cessation of Existence: Since Joey is already dead, dying again means this will happen to him.
- Creepy Souvenir: Kaiba kept the trench coat he was wearing when Joey died, which is still soaked with his blood. Joey is very freaked out by it.
- Dead to Begin With: Joey is this for much of the story, and tries to make some sense out of his afterlife. Yami Yugi and Yami Bakura are also this by default.
- Deal with the Devil: Yami Bakura says he'll help save Joey if he gets the Millennium Puzzle in return. Joey adamantly refuses, so Yami Bakura makes an offer to Seto Kaiba instead—Joey's life for KaibaCorp. Yami Bakura holds his end up the bargain, and so Kaiba has to honor his. Fortunately for Kaiba, not only does Bakura have to deal with all the negative publicity surrounding the trade, as well as the fact that neither Bakura knows how to run a company, he's forced to give it back.
- Empty Shell: After the battle with Yami Bakura, Seto remains in his Soul Room, leaving his body empty and forcing Joey to retrieve him.
- First-Person Smartass: Joey's narration is full of this to the point that your internal voice may be replaced with his.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The Big Five. They're technically behind a lot of major events in the story, as they're responsible for sabotaging KaibaCorp and siccing Morrison on Kaibainadvertently starting the entire plotbut aren't personally involved or seen at all. At most, they get a couple mentions.
- The Hero Dies: Joey is killed in the very first chapter.
- How Dare You Die on Me!: Seto Kaiba is not happy at all that Joey dies in his arms and tries insulting him to make him stay awake. It doesn't work.
- I Choose to Stay: A very dark version in the penultimate chapters. Seto Kaiba refuses Joey's help and wants to stay in the Soul Room, trapped in his own mind forever.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: Joey was wearing his school uniform when he died, and later notes he'll probably be stuck in it forever.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: When bonded to the Red-Eyes Black Dragon card, touching it allows Joey or Kaiba to enter their Soul Room.
- Last-Name Basis: Almost everyone is on a last-name basis with Kaiba, and he's on one with everyone else.
- Muggles Do It Better: At one point Yami Bakura knocks Yami Yugi out by hitting him over the head with a lunch tray as opposed to using a spell.
- Mythology Gag: The story is anime-based, but a line from Kaiba where Yugi wants proof that he's helping Joey and not simply luring his friends here to kill them calls the manga's Death-T arc to mind, where Kaiba tried to kill Yugi and his friends with a theme park of doom.
- Noodle Incident: In-universe. While readers know the story behind the Funny Bunnies in Kaiba's Soul Room from watching Yu-Gi-Oh, Joey guesses there's a reason for it but decides he'd rather not know.
- Noodle Implements: During a duel, Yami Yugi destroys Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon using Kuribohs, Multiply, and a Catapult Turtle. Joey admits he has no idea how that worked.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Joey exhibits intangibility, invisibility, very limited flight, and the ability to affect the living world if he really, really concentrates.
- Please Wake Up: As Joey dies in chapter 1, Kaiba begs him to stay with him. This turns out to have lasting ramifications.
- Rescued from the Underworld: When Seto refuses to leave the Soul Room, leaving his body empty, Joey heads in to rescue him.
- Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: To put it simply, Seto Kaiba is not a morning person.When the alarm goes off at 5:30AM, I hafta duck 'cause instead of turnin' it off, the freak groans, grabs the clock, and chucks it across the room. The poor clock smashes against the wall and dies.
- Sanity Slippage: Seto Kaiba slowly loses his mind as the story progresses for a variety of reasons, including guilt over Joey's death, obsessively trying to find a way to save Joey, lack of adequate food and sleep, KaibaCorp not doing well, worry for his own life and Mokuba's, and synchronization with the dying Joey.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: A humorous, one-chapter example. After spending two and a half hours moving Kaiba's chair across the room and spinning it to where he can sit down, Joey realizes that not only could he have sat on the bed and not wasted so much energy, he'll have to move the chair back before Kaiba wakes up in three hours.
- Soul Jar: Joey can potentially escape ceasing to exist by having his soul fused to an object. They end up using the Red-Eyes Black Dragon card.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- Yami Bakura offers Kaiba a Deal with the Devil: he helps Joey in exchange for control of Kaiba's company. Since he held up his end of the bargain, Yami Bakura successfully becomes CEO of KaibaCorp. However, due to some highly suspicious circumstances hours before the trade (including company HQ exploding, a man falling to his death from the rooftop, and Kaiba being hospitalized), as well as the fact that his host has no idea what's going on and neither of them knows how to run a company, Yami Bakura doesn't enjoy it as much as he thinks he would, and gives it back.
- Kaiba can hear and see Joey, but ignores him for the first few chapters. Flat-Earth Atheist he may be, when he and Joey finally talk, he raises a good point: he recently suffered a traumatic incident and could be hallucinating from PTSD. It's only after Joey pulls off an impossible stunt with witnesses (announcing Yugi's cards before he plays them) does he realize that Joey might be real.
- Survivor Guilt: It's heavily implied that Kaiba feels guilty for living when Joey died. He almost works himself to death trying to find a way to save him.
- Taking the Bullet: While already banged up from an exploding limo, Joey officially dies taking a bullet for Kaiba.
- Undeath Always Ends: Joey is in danger of ceasing to exist, and spends most of the story trying to avert his fate.
- Unfinished Business: Parodied. Joey haunts Kaiba because he has nothing better to do, and thinks he's too smug for his own good.
- Unwanted Rescue: When Joey goes to rescue him in the Soul Room, Kaiba refuses all help because he wants to stay there.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Joey takes notice whenever Kaiba calls him by his first name, and Yami Yugi does likewise when he catches Joey calling Kaiba "Seto."
- Zerg Rush: When in the Soul Room, hundreds to millions of Funny Bunnies swarm Joey and Kaiba to prevent them from escaping.