Fenrich figured it was going to be a simple mission. Find the right kid, kill the caretaker, and kidnap his charge. Easy. Even if there were plenty of rumors swirling around the man in charge, well... Valvatorez didn't look much like a 'Street Tyrant', former or otherwise.
The last thing he expected was to get dragged into volunteering at the very shelter he was trying to case. Forced to deal with a dozen rowdy kids, as well as the man he's meant to murder, Fenrich tries to focus on the task at hand.
Wolf in the Streets, Sardine in the Sheets is an Alternate Universe Disgaea fic by LoneSardine which focuses primarily on the cast of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Rather than a vampiric Prinny Instructor, this Valvatorez runs a group rehabilitation home for troubled youth in the run-down 'netherworld' of a gang-riddled city.
The main story has been completed; extra 'DLC' chapters are planned which detail how Valvatorez met Artina and founded his home.
This fanfic contains examples of:
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Zig-Zagged; most of the cast has had their preexisting backstories altered accordingly to fit the new setting. These circumstances aren't necessarily as bad as their Canonical stories, but are often still tragic in their own ways:
- Kurtis lost his family and baby sister five years ago, followed by losing his grandfather roughly a year before the story begins.
- Genjuro caused a lab explosion that killed his wife and Des X; Fuka and Desco barely survived the incident. Fuka remains firmly in denial about the fact that their father is in prison for manslaughter, insisting that he's just busy with some project and will come to pick them up any day now. Desco, meanwhile, uses video games as her coping mechanism.
- Emizel's father, Hugo, used to be the Mayor until he was busted for corruption. He tried bargaining for a lighter sentence by selling out his own son; however, Emizel insists that his Pops secretly had his best interests in mind.
- While Laharl still inherited his father's property after his death, those who once served 'King' Krichevskoy trashed the place, effectively forcing him onto the streets with Etna. There's also the matter of his being forcibly separated from Sicily, due to her medical condition.
- "Lost and Accused" reveals that Zeroken was coerced into joining a gang called 'The Lost', and was badly injured when Valvatorez came across them... along with being willing to take their own life rather than be forced back.
- Usalia's parents were murdered by Majorita over, of all things, spitefulness over the fact that she had parents to take for granted.
- Adult Fear: A recurrent theme is children being forced to live on the streets and/or fend for themselves. Valvatorez lived through this for so long that he can't recall anything beyond being the 'Street Tyrant'. Fenrich was similarly forced to grow up quickly, and several of Valvatorez's 'prinnies' went through their own ordeals before coming into his care.
- Age Lift: Kurtis is only seventeen here, making him the eldest of Valvatorez's current charges. Many of the others have had their ages adjusted accordingly.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Specifically Familiar Contextual Reassignment, turning the cast human and placing them in a more modernized setting. The various Monster types are translated into gangs, while Valvatorez dresses his charges in penguin-themed clothing and calls them his prinnies.
- And Then What?: Valvatorez asks Usalia as much upon learning that she has no plans beyond avenging her parents.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- During their first meeting, Artina hits Valvatorez with two of these in rapid succession:Valvatorez: "Because I'm the Street Tyrant Valvatorez! That's who I am!"
Artina: "And who are you if you stop being the 'Street Tyrant'?"
Valvatorez: [comes to a shuddering stop, taking some time to respond] "...Valvatorez?"
Artina: "Don't you know who that is?"
- When Etna dismissively describes herself as 'just some street kid' that only King Krichevskoy saw any value in, Valvatorez galvanizes her by asking whether she wants to prove everybody who dismissed her right.
- When Killia vows to make Void pay for the pain they caused for Goldion, Lieze and Christo, Valvatorez comments "And to you?"
- During their first meeting, Artina hits Valvatorez with two of these in rapid succession:
- Becoming the Mask: Fenrich naturally grapples with this; getting attached to Valvatorez or any of the kids threatens his mission, and he wants to be able to finish the job and walk away when it's all said and done... doesn't he?
- Big Brother Instinct:
- Laharl towards Sicily; one of his main motivations is figuring out how to create a home stable enough that he can get her out of the hospital she hates so much.
- Rutile shows the sisterly counterpart towards Pleinair, as well as towards Zeroken after being entrusted with getting him to Artina's clinic.
- Blood Oath: Laharl refers to this practice when Valvatorez talks about making their connection physical:Laharl: "'Physical'? This better not involve anything weird like mixing our blood together."
- Caught on Tape: During their confrontation in "Lost and Accused", Valvatorez tricks Majorita into bragging about how Void framed Killia and Christo for his own murders, as well as how she killed Usalia's parents, only to reveal that he recorded the whole conversation using an app on his phone.
- Chainmail Bikini: Desco declares that Fenrich's shirtlessness is a Rare Male Example:Desco: "Normally it's female armour that shows off more skin as it gets stronger, but Mr. Fenfen's jacket must be a rare case of strong and sexy male armour!"
- Clear My Name:
- Kurtis was arrested on false charges as part of Carter's scheme to force him to reveal where Jennifer and Gordon are hiding; Valvatorez is eager to help him set the record straight.
- Killia and Christo were framed for Void murdering Goldion and Lieze.
- Commonality Connection:
- Rutile's mother is part of the Felynn gang; when they first meet, she learns that Zeroken's parents were part of the Werewolf gang, and uses this to help keep him talking despite his concussion.
- Killia, much like Valvatorez, was building up a reputation for being a Tyrant in his own right before being taken in by Goldion at his own home for troubled youth. When that ended poorly, he soon found himself in Valvatorez's care, who finds the similarities between them interesting.
- Having Zeroken chime in and support his rage against the Lost helps Killia calm down, as he mistakenly believed that nobody else cared enough to truly understand his anger.
- Control Freak: Carter. All his schemes amount to wanting more power and control over others, regardless of what it takes.
- Custom Uniform: Valvatorez's charges wear prinny caps and jackets in order to foster a sense of unity amongst them. Most of these outfits have been customized to some degree to suit their respective tastes, such as Kurtis wearing green or Emizel's outfit including a hoodie.
- Death by Adaptation:
- Des X died alongside Mrs. Kazamatsuri in the lab accident.
- In "Lost and Accused", it's revealed that Goldion and Lieze were both Killed Off for Real.
- Decapitated Army: Critical to Valvatorez's plan to deal with The Lost: by getting rid of Void, he anticipates that the group will fall apart at the seams.
- Determinator: Valvatorez's desire to protect his charges is so strong that he keeps standing between Carter and Kurtis even after getting shot in the thigh.
- Didn't Think This Through: Piling all the taiyaki they'd made up together might have made for a pretty picture, but it doesn't make it easy to tell which is which flavor afterwards... Kurtis also notes that they could have sorted them into 'sweet' and 'savory' groups.
- Dirty Cop: The majority of the local enforcement are implied to be corrupt, though there are still some holdouts.
- Disabled in the Adaptation:
- Valvatorez's liver doesn't function properly, and his Canonical refusal to drink blood translates to refusing blood transfusions, insisting that he can maintain a healthy enough lifestyle to get by without taking those resources away from others.
- Killia has hyperthyroidism, causing him to suffer from tremors and irritability when unable to manage it properly.
- Does Not Like Spam: Fenrich claims to hate pizza in order to get away from Valvatorez and the kids for a bit. He has a pizza-filled taiyaki with him at the time, and doesn't eat it until it's necessary to keep his strength up.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Etna and Laharl get into an argument over his inability to understand why children like them would join a gang, as he grew up in a more comfortable environment and still had his father's wealth to fall back on after his passing. When Etna observes that "Maybe you wouldn't get it, Prince, what it's like not having a family...", he asks what family has to do with it.
- The Dreaded: "Street Tyrant" Valvatorez' reputation has a way of preceding him.
- Elective Mute: Pleinair; this caused problems in the past with caretakers and peers who refused to respect her reluctance to speak. Valvatorez immediately earns her and Rutile's respect by treating her and Usagi with dignity.
- Fallen Princess: Seraphina, who is in full Alpha Bitch Spoiled Brat mode when she first arrives at Valvatorez's and scorns his efforts to teach her how to take care of herself. It takes the place getting attacked by the Lost for kickstart her defrosting.
- Family of Choice: Valvatorez and his prinnies have grown into one by the time Fenrich enters the picture.
- Valvatorez and Fenrich have equally Dark and Troubled Pasts with no family ties to speak of. Both were hardened by their experiences; however, by the time they meet, Valvatorez has created a Family of Choice at his rehabilitation home. Fenrich believes that he's better off alone, and scoffs at Valvatorez's open and trusting nature, resisting his efforts to draw him into his flock.
- Emizel and Fuka. Both wound up staying with Valvatorez because their fathers are serving time in prison. While Emizel accepts the situation and has scheduled visits to see his Pops, Fuka remains firmly in denial about what happened. Both of them also end up as thorns in Fenrich's side, though for different reasons; Emizel doesn't trust him while Fuka teases him about his relationship with Valzy.
- Fenrich and Kurtis are also connected by their respective reasons for coming to the home, with the latter being the former's target. Both hold themselves apart from the other residents, but Kurtis has already defrosted to the point that he openly regards them as his Family of Choice, while Fenrich doesn't want to admit any attachment.
- From Dress to Dressing: Faced with a badly wounded Zeroken, Laharl uses his trademark red scarf to help secure them to Rutile, scolding about how he doesn't want them to get it dirty.
- Full-Frontal Assault: "Four Demons and an Angel" reveals that this is part of why Artina jokes about seeing Valvatorez naked. The morning after she found him wandering the streets in a fevered daze, he attempted to attack her before said fever broke, failing to notice that she'd stripped off his soaked clothes.
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: A critical piece of Foreshadowing comes when Kurtis stumbles over their words after Fenrich notes that Gordon was killed in action a month ago.
- Honor Before Reason: Val avoids getting blood transfusions out of the belief that they aren't strictly necessary for him. Even getting shot won't deter him.
- How We Got Here: The DLC chapters delve into the backstory, explaining how Valvatorez's project got started in the first place and how he met the various children whom he's taken into his care.
- I Ate WHAT?!: When everyone at the group home makes taiyaki, they pick out their own flavors, coming up with some... interesting results. What's more, after they're all cooked, the majority prove difficult to tell apart, leading to unintentional taiyaki roulette.
- Ideal Illness Immunity: Valvatorez believes he can obtain this through sheer determination. In practice, not so much...
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter of the main story is named after a different type of taiyaki. Specifically, a type of taiyaki that Fenrich eats in that chapter.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: As the Street Tyrant, Valvatorez frequently observed families going about their ordinary routines, enjoying the sort of lifestyles he only ever saw through the windows. Always on the outside looking in. Part of the reason he runs the rehabilitation home for his 'prinnies' is to give them the sort of stability and normalcy he lacked growing up.
- Ill Girl: Poor Sicily was born with a condition that's led to her spending her entire childhood quarantined inside a hospital uptown, forcibly separated from the rest of her family.
- Implied Death Threat: Emezil makes one while introducing himself to Fenrich:Emizel: "Hey, you."
Emizel: "How long do you think you've got left to live?" [Fenrich starts choking on his taiyaki from shock.] "If you answer a few questions I can help estimate for you."
- Improbable Weapon User: During a self-defense lesson, Valvatorez insists that the kids use crayons as safer substitutes for knives. He makes it work.
- Innocent Innuendo: Valvatorez discusses size differences during combat training, comparing himself to Fenrich before noting that "Size can lead to overconfidence, and is never a substitute for proper technique!" Fuka makes some very improper hand gestures in response to this, implying that he could be discussing something else.
- Insistent Terminology: Laharl claims that Valvatorez is his vassal rather than his instructor and caretaker.
- In the Dreaming Stage of Grief: A tragic accident at Genjuro's lab killed his wife and one of his daughters, with the other two (Fuka and Desco) barely surviving. The girls end up at Valvatorez's rehabilitation home after their father is arrested for the incident; however, Fuka refuses to acknowledge this as anything other than a temporary measure, dismissing the incident at the lab as "a bad dream" and insisting that their father is just busy at work.
- I Reject Your Reality: Fuka. Rather than insisting that she's currently dreaming, however, she dismisses whatever she recalls of the lab accident as a bad dream, claiming that the only reason their father hasn't come to pick them up yet is that he's gotten too absorbed in his work again.
- It's Quiet Too Quiet: Paraphrased by Artina in "Lost and Accused" as she notes an oddity she's noticed recently: that her clinic hasn't been visited by any gang members for a fortnight, or a single child or teenager.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Fenrich almost confesses his distaste for children before correcting himself:Fenrich: "That's because I don't even like... meeting new people."
- Loophole Abuse: Zeroken tries exploiting Fenrich's unfamiliarity with the house rules to have him check his plate without knowing what he's supposed to be looking for. He also tries to argue that ketchup counts as a vegetable, and that he covered his food with enough of it to meet Valvatorez's usual requirements.
- Manipulative Bastard: Carter is much better at manipulating others through his words than he is using any other methods. Though having a gun helps.
- Mythology Gag:
- The Custom Uniforms worn by Valvatorez's young charges are personalized versions of Fuka's 'unprinny' outfit. She also refers to herself as an 'unprinny' while denying that she's one of his kids.
- During an argument, Fenrich mistakes Emezil's interjection of 'dawg' for him calling him a dog, which he takes considerable offense to.
- Upon hearing a loud noise in the kitchen, Fenrich assumes that one of the unsupervised prinnies is responsible and probably 'blew themselves up' as well.
- Valvatorez derives the name 'prinnies' from the producers of the clothing he buys for his charges: 'Hades Printastic Clothing Company'.
- The Nicknamer:
- Fenrich mostly refers to the kids by various mental nicknames, most of which are insulting in some fashion.
- Fuka immediately saddles Fenrich with the diminutive 'Fenfen', much to his disgust.
- Artina retains her usual habit of referring to Valvatorez and Fenrich as 'Mr. [What-have-you]'.
- Not So Different: Near the end, Kurtis compares Fenrich directly to himself, noting how both of them were manipulated by Carter, only to stand up against him when it counted.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Cold Taiyaki reveals that Fenrich believed Carter intended to get rid of the local gangs. Learning that he was working with them all along cements Fenfen's HeelFace Turn.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Valvatorez's comments about Fenrich's nobility and finer traits increasingly get under his skin as time passes. He's especially shaken when Val tells him that You Are Better Than You Think You Are.
- Precision F-Strike: Used by Etna to refute one of Valvatorez's boldest proclamations:Etna: "You're making it sound as though we're going to take the whole group down by ourselves."
Valvatorez: "Indeed we are."
Etna: "Indeed we are so fucking not."
- Properly Paranoid: Emizel doesn't trust Fenrich one bit, and even correctly guesses his employer while listing off the possibilities.
- Protectorate: Valvatorez takes caring for his prinnies very seriously.
- Related in the Adaptation: Christo turns out to be Flonne's older cousin, as well as the son of Police Chief Lamington.
- Rule of Three: A rather darkly-humored instance in "Lost and Accused": Zeroken breaks his ankles three times over the course of the chapter.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
- Valvatorez is quite familiar with Axel, and is hinted to have other connections with the city council as well.
- This is how Killia and Christo were released into Valvatorez's care despite their awkward circumstances; turns out being the son of the Police Chief has its perks.
- Second Love: Implied to be the case with Seraphina, for Killia.
- Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the DLC Prequel chapters, several of Valvatorez's charges are shown to be more reluctant about trying on their custom uniforms. Donning their prinny caps and jackets for the first time is thusly used to signal a critical turning point in their development.
- Shipper on Deck: Fuka quickly becomes a fan of the idea of 'Valzy and Fenfen' hooking up. She also likes the notion of Valzy getting together with Artina, and teases Fenrich about it.
- Son of a Whore: Fenrich and his various siblings. According to him, their mother didn't use protection, and though she tried parenting the first few, she eventually stopped bothering to get attached and just abandoned them.
- Stock "Yuck!": When Emezil demands one of Fenrich's taiyaki, he recoils upon hearing it's full of spinach, though he claims "I eat all kinds of grown-up stuff like spinach all the time!"
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- As much as Valvatorez would like to believe that he can manage his condition without having to take any transfusions, Artina warns him that he won't necessarily have any choice in the matter. After getting shot, he needs a transfusion in order to survive, and isn't allowed to stop the process once he becomes aware of it.
- Laharl's desire to look after Sicily is severely hampered by how he doesn't have the medical expertise necessary to manage her condition. Etna repeatedly reminds him during the DLC chapters that even if they establish a stable home for themselves, that doesn't mean she'll be allowed to stay with them full-time.
- Talking Down the Suicidal: Valvatorez and his kids find themselves in this position during "Lost and Accused" upon meeting Zeroken, who mistook them for working with the Lost.
- They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Fenrich doesn't particularly enjoy discussing his past, and snaps at Valvatorez for bringing up his mother later, seeing it as a betrayal of something he privately confided.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Fuka develops one after falling off of Fenrich's bike; it's implied that her injuries caused her to flash back to the lab incident.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- Valvatorez retains his love of sardines, while Fenrich is given one of his own: taiyaki. Which is meant to be a thematic counterpart of Val's sardines.
- Played for Drama with Usalia; unlike her canonical counterpart, she enjoyed curry from the start — so much so that she ran away from home in a childish snit when her parents wouldn't make her curry. This led to Majorita murdering them out of sheer petty spite over the notion that Usalia didn't appreciate her parents enough, leaving Usalia to blame herself over everything.
- Villains Want Mercy: Majorita pleads for this when faced with Usalia looming over her with a heavy pipe in hand.
- Wham Line: "Lost and Accused" takes a sudden, sharp turn the moment Seraphina hears Valvatorez screaming "Everyone awake! We're under attack!"
- What Does She See in Him?: Played for Laughs; Fenrich's shocked upon hearing that Artina is working on rehabilitating Nemo, demanding to know how she could possibly choose him over Valvatorez.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Fuka clings to the belief that her father has gotten absorbed in his work again, and that he'll eventually remember that she and Desco exist and come pick them up. The truth of the matter is far bleaker.
- Would Hurt a Child: Carter, who framed Kurtis and tried starving him out in prison in order to learn where Gordon and Jennifer were hiding, and brings a gun along during his attempt to forcibly 'reclaim' his foster son, declaring that he'll gladly murder all the other kids if that's what it takes to get what he wants. To say nothing of his intentions for Jennifer...
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After learning a little about Fenrich's Dark and Troubled Past, Valvatorez encourages him this way, praising his strength and nobility in volunteering at the shelter despite not being particularly good at dealing with children.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kurtis keeps his distinctive green hair.