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Fanfic / the light of day is fading

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And the voices of the dead ring shrill.

the light of day is fading is a Yuri!!! on Ice fanfic crossed over with Elisabeth, written by shadowsnumberless on Archive Of Our Own.

What do you do when you've managed to attract the attention - or quite possibly intentions - of Death, himself? For Victor Nikiforov, it means having a constant companion, someone he could rely on when his entire world was breaking apart. Someone who genuinely cares for him and supports him.

Or so he thought, until Katsuki Yuuri came barreling into his life.

Spoiler note: This page is continually updated by the author as she thinks of tropes that are applicable to the fic, which includes chapters that have not been updated yet. Those tropes will be hidden under spoiler tags. No promises that there won't be any stray trope, though.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: The author is more partial to the Death/Rudolf ship, and it shows. Here Death also takes on the aspects of depression and suicidal ideation (themes dealt with in said ship in the Elisabeth canon), hence his interactions with Victor and Yuuri lean more to the "cold, ruthless manipulator" side that he shows with Rudolf than the "dark lover" aspect seen with Sisi.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Death refers to Victor as Viten'ka and "little Prince" - affectionate on the surface, but actually trivializing and dismissive.
  • all lowercase letters: The fic and chapter titles are this, only averted in the German sections (as German nouns are capitalized).
  • Angry Collar Grab: Yuuri does this to Death himself in order to get him to release Victor's soul.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Victor had a cracked skull, a nick in the aorta - and dear God working through the sprains was unbearable."
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  • Back from the Dead: Hi, Victor!
  • Balancing Death's Books: Lampshaded via an accidental Shout-Out to Game of Thrones - "Only death can pay for life."
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Characters who come face-to-face with Death, regardless of the form he's in, will comment on his flat, black, expressionless eyes.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Victor. A deceased younger sister, Katerina is a Missing Mom and Mikhail is a When You Coming Home, Dad? type of father.
  • Dark Is Evil: The villainous Death tends to dress in all black. When he's in white, it's Light Is Not Good: he cons Victor into making a Deal with the Devil by acting kindly. His female form, as seen by Mari, wears a white kimono flecked with blood-red flowers. She causes Vicchan to be hit by a truck.
  • Deadly Hug: The Grand Prix Final exhibition skate.
  • Demonic Possession: Yuuri is briefly subjected to this. Mind Rape trauma aside, this creates truckloads of guilt for Yuuri because of the I Let Gwen Stacy Die factor.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Pulling on your boyfriend's necktie in front of international television is one thing. Violently grabbing Death himself by the collar, demanding that said boyfriend be returned to life, not letting go even though Death is squeezing your wrist so hard he could have shattered bone easily, and then repelling a psychic attack with The Power of Love so hard the freaking Grim Reaper was hurled out of your mind, capping it off with contemptuous laughter, is quite something else. Bravo, Katsuki Yuuri, Japan's ace.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Victor. Mari also cradles a bleeding Vic-chan.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Sonya, with complimentary Creepy Blue Eyes.
  • Flower Motifs:
    • Yuuri (Eros) is associated with red roses - they can symbolize romance, sex appeal, and/or true love.
    • Victor (Psyche) is associated with blue roses - beautiful but artificial creations. Lampshaded in the fic via a reporter's question.
    • Death (Thanatos) is associated with black, withered roses - physical and symbolic death.
    • Sofia is associated with white roses - purity, honor, and hope. In Japanese culture, Snow Means Death, which is fitting for a dead character.
  • Footnote Fever: Or, "more author's notes than you'd care to read". The author is prone to these, which sometimes can get as long as half the chapter.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Victor (sanguine), Yuuri (melancholic), Yuri (choleric), and Death (phlegmatic).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Victor and Vicchan both get hit by a car and die in the arms of a Katsuki sibling. In Victor's case, it's quite delayed.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Yuuri as the id, Victor the ego, and Death the superego.
    • In another type of Freudian trio: Victor represents the human psyche, Yuuri the life drive (Eros) and Death is Thanatos, the, ahem, death drive.
  • Fusion Fic: The characters and events of Elisabeth (and history) appears to exist in this universe, as Death recalls Sisi and Rudolf, but never by their names.
  • Gratuitous German: All of the chapter titles.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Death's internal monologue refers to Yuuri as "it" and "the human". Until Yuuri surprises him by fighting back vigorously for Victor's life.
  • Kiss of Death: Carried over from Elisabeth. Borrowing Yuuri's form to disarm Victor, Death kisses the Russian after the Grand Prix Final exhibition skate.
  • Line to God:
    • In-Universe: Victor runs his own Facebook fanpage, and occasionally replies to fan comments. The skaters generally have strong presences on Twitter and Instagram as well.
    • Out of universe: The author is on Twitter.
  • Heroic BSoD: Yuuri suffers this after Victor dies. Fortunately, both of them get better.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Having seen Yuuri's possible influence upon swaying Victor's path, Death kills Vicchan in an attempt to sabotage Yuuri's skating career to keep him away from Victor. Instead, this kicks off the entire plot of Yuri on Ice.
    • Sofia, angered at being Stuffed into the Fridge, goes behind Death's back to assist her brother throughout his life, and proves to be the second catalyst in Victor coming Back from the Dead, in addition to Yuuri.
  • Hope Spot: Yuuri has grown as a skater and a person. Victor is returning to the ice with renewed fervor. Yurio has made a wonderful senior debut. All is well, right? Nope. It turns into a Darkest Hour when Victor receives the Kiss of Death, leading to Yuuri's Heroic BSoD, and Yurio developing huge doubts about Yuuri's true endgame.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Death. He was well on his way to driving Victor to a Despair Event Horizon and, well, death, before Yuuri shows up to be a Spanner in the Works.
  • Magic Genetics: Overlapping with In the Blood and Superior Successor. So far, characters who have shown psychic abilities are biologically related.
    • Siblings Katsuki Yuuri and Mari. The younger Yuuri is able to see, interact with, summon, and intimidate Death. Mari only glimpses Death once, and that was because Death means for her to see.
    • The Nikiforovs are an ascending case of this. Mikhail shows no psychic abilities. Katerina had a vague sense of foreboding before the accident. Victor, like Yuuri, interacts with Death. Sofia, despite being technically dead (and therefore actually in Death's backyard) manages to cheat Death until he catches up with her in Barcelona.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Sofia Nikiforova - Sophia is the Greek personification of wisdom. Her knowledge of the spirit world is one of the two catalysts that saved Victor. Also a reference to the Sadistic Choice Victor unknowingly made, as in Sophie's Choice.
    • Mikhail Nikiforov - the Biblical Archangel Michael, who leads the armies of Heaven against the forces of Satan.
    • Katerina Nikiforova - multiple layers.
      • "each of the two": She has two children, one dead and one living. Her grief for Sofia made her run away, and her love for Victor drew her back. Eventually, she would have two daughters with her second husband, and two sons, one by birth and one by marriage.
      • Hecate is the Greek goddess of witchcraft and necromancy. She is closely associated with dogs - two are present in the story (Vicchan and Makkachin).
    • Victor Nikiforov - as in Yuri!!! on Ice canon, his surname is derived from the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. "Nikephoros", "bringer of victory", was also a title of Athena, associated with wisdom (Sophia).
    • Katsuki Yuuri - Yuuri means courage. His ability to stand up to himself, as well as others (lampshaded by his horrified realization that he managed to tell off Death himself) is the other catalyst that saved Victor. His surname means "born to win", and he's the one that gets the boy.
  • More Than Mind Control: Death's modus operandi is to play with and amplify his targets' inner turmoil. He capitalizes on Victor's grief and guilt, and when he's trying to get Yuuri to back down from fighting for Victor, Yuuri's mental shields are stated to be cracking from the inside.
  • Necktie Leash: Imported from the anime canon between Victor and Yuuri. Another one occurs between Yuuri and Death, though it's more of a collar pull since Death does not wear ties.
  • One Head Taller: Mark Seibert, the preferred actor for Death, stands at 189 cms tall. This gives him a height difference of 9 cms over Victor (180) and a whopping 16 cms over Yuuri (173).
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Invoked in the artwork of Death carrying young Victor, originally from Death's carrying of teenage Sisi and preteen Rudolf.
  • Parental Abandonment: Katya.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Yuuri vs. Death.
  • Shout-Out: A fafillion of them, most of which are explained in the author's notes.
  • Smug Smiler: Death is prone to this, coupled with Fascinating Eyebrow.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Zigzagged. In Japanese contexts, Katsuki Yuuri's name is written with the Japanese name order (family name first) and the transliterated long u sound. Similarly, Yuri Plisetsky is only referred to as "Yurio" in dialogue with Victor, Yuuri, and the Hasetsu clan. However, Victor's name is spelled with a "c" rather than a "k".
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Poor Sonya. She's doomed because she is this universe's equivalent of the Archduchess Sophie of Austria, whose death at the age of two drove her mother the Empress Elisabeth into a deep depression, which greatly changed the course of her life. Or so it seems. Sofia avenged herself and her family from beyond the grave, subverting this trope. While Yuuri fights on Victor's behalf in the human realm, Sofia fights for her big brother in the spirit realm.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Of a sort, because both Victor and Yuuri will have to die eventually, and then subjected to the tender mercies of Death. However, Yuuri flat-out states that his idea of victory against Death is keeping them both alive until they are no longer meant to be.
  • The Power of Love: As per canon, this is the force behind much of the Character Development and supernatural occurrences alike. Specifically pointed out by Yuuri:
    “You’re lying,” he said, firmly. “I may be a dime-a-dozen skater, true. But I’m not the skater - the person - I was, at the last Grand Prix. I got better. I’m much stronger now. And I will not give up until my body makes skating impossible. Which will be a very long time from now, so help me. I’ll probably still be coaching when I’m as old as Yakov.” He took a few steps forward. “Do you know why? Because of love.”
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: As pointed out above. Yuuri is damn lucky Death is intrigued by him and revised his status to Worthy Opponent instead of deciding to Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • Virtual Soundtrack: Chapter titles - and the fic title itself - usually provide a guide to which song inspired that chapter. Unless otherwise stated, songs listed below are from Elisabeth.
    • "The Light of Day is Fading" is a translation of Die Schatten werden länger courtesy of elisabeth-in-english on Tumblr. The literal title of the song is The Shadows Grow Longer.
    • sei bereit, Sternkind (be prepared, star-child) - multiple songs from Tanz Der Vampire, but cited in the fic as Totale Finsternis (Total Darkness).
    • und flieg wie ein Vogel ins Licht (and fly like a bird to the light) - Ich gehör nur mir (I Belong To Me)
    • wenn ich dein Spiegel wär (if I could be your mirror)
    • wenn ich meinen Mut mal verlier, finde ich ihn wieder bei dir (if i should lose my courage, i’ll find it again with you) - Nicht ist schwer (Nothing is Difficult)
    • doch ich werd' keine Marionette sein (but I will not be a marionette) - Wenn ich tanzen will (If I Want to Dance)
    • den letzten Tanz, tanz ich allein mit dir (the final dance, I’ll dance only with you) - Der letzte Tanz (The Last Dance)
    • also lässt du mich im Stich (so you have abandoned me) - spoken by Sisi to Franz Josef before Ich gehör nur mir, and echoed by Rudolf to an offstage Sisi before the Mayerling Waltz, his death scene.
    • bin ich nicht genug gequält? (have I not suffered enough?) - Totenklage (Dirge)
    • wie kannst du mir je verzeih'n? (how can you ever forgive me?) - Totenklage (Dirge)
    • komm, süßer Tod, verfluchter Tod, (come, sweetest death, accursed death) - Totenklage (Dirge)
    • der Schleier fällt, verlaß die Schatten (the veil falls, leave the shadows) - Der Schleier fällt (The Veil Falls)
  • Wham Line: Chapters tend to end with these.
    • "Sonya... she died."
    • "The truth was that Sofia Mikhailevna did not exist except in the minds of those who hoped she did."
  • Woman in White: Sonya, befitting her ghost status, and inspired by Elisabeth's white dress in Ich gehör nur mir (I Belong To Me).

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