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Fanfic / How to Break a Family

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How to Break a Family is an Arthur Dark Fic that can be read here.

The story starts when D.W. is kidnapped. This sends the once happy Read family into chaos, and Mr. and Mrs. Read end up divorcing soon afterwards, with Arthur in his mother's custody and Kate in her father's. Years later, a now-adult Arthur works with his mother at her store. When a familiar-looking young woman enters the store one night, things take a sudden turn. With his mother missing and D.W. confirmed alive, Arthur is on a mission to avenge his family and save his sister.

How to Break a Family provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Jerkass: Both Jane and David are more quick-tempered here than they are in canon, and it takes one of their children being kidnapped to drive them to divorce.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: D.W. shows none of her usual brattiness and selfishness as an adult in this fic; it might be justified by her outgrowing that phase since she is older now.
  • Asshole Victim: Averted with D.W.. Although in canon she was a Spoiled Brat who tormented her brother on a regular basis and was rude to many other people as wellnote , Arthur and her parents are still worried when she gets kidnapped, with the former even swearing vengeance on the kidnapper when she comes back fourteen years later, and as mentioned on the show's Characters page, she did have several Pet the Dog moments in canon.
  • Creepy Stalker Van: 4-year old D.W. was lured into an unmarked van by a strangers using sweets. She was kidnapped and remained missing for over a decade.
  • Dark Fic: The story revolves around D.W. being kidnapped and tortured, with the news leading to a rift between Arthur's parents and his grandmother dying of a sudden heart attack. Once D.W.'s reunited with Arthur years later, he's out for revenge.
  • Dead Fic: The story hasn't been updated since 2012.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Thora can't handle the news of D.W.'s kidnapping. Her heart gives out.
    • Jane is murdered early on trying to save D.W. after they're reunited.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Used in an exchange in chapter 2:
      As soon as Mr. Read, Mrs. Read, Arthur and Kate left the room, Mrs. Read furiously turned towards her ex-husband.
      "Are you happy now?" she yelled, tears filling her eyes, "It was your irresponsibility that got DW kidnapped, and now you are taking Kate away from me! What type of a husband are you, you… you selfish, horrible pig?!"
      "As far as I know," Mr. Read replied dryly, "I am an aardvark."
    • In the final chapter posted before this became a Dead Fic, Mr. Ratburn explicitly referred to Buster as a rabbit. Although it was more so said in the context of him being a metamorphical "sneaky rabbit" because he'd broken out of prison seven times, he follows it up with "no pun intended", which makes it into this trope.'
  • Grief-Induced Split: Mr. and Mrs. Read divorce soon after D.W. is kidnapped. It being a Solomon Divorce, Kate is raised by their father and Arthur by their mother.
  • Karma Houdini: Tommy and Timmy Tibble caused D.W. to be kidnapped by daring her to go buy candy for them, but when asked by the adults if they'd seen her beforehand, they manage to avoid getting in trouble by lying and saying they hadn't.
  • Mature Animal Story: The fic is set in a World of Funny Animals but starts with a four year old getting kidnapped.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: D.W., even more-so than in canon. She's never once called her full name.
  • Solomon Divorce: Upon their parents' divorce, Arthur is raised by their mother while Kate is raised by their father.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Kate begins hanging out amongst older kids at ten. By age fourteen she's already drinking and smoking. One of her friends also encourages her to prostitute herself, but one day she meets a guy who is turned off by how young she is. It turns out the guy was her brother Arthur.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Despite the fact that D.W. pretty much treats Arthur like crap in the show, he's still upset when she gets kidnapped and wants to see her saved, and even swears Revenge on the culprits after she's found.