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Death Fic

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A variety of fanfic in which the plotline is focused around the reactions of the cast to the death of one of their number. Frequently written in the first person, as the narrator goes on (sometimes at exasperating length) about everything they regret doing/not having done and everything that ever went wrong in their relationship to the deceased. Confessions of hidden love, secret friendship and occasionally responsibility for the death are common. Almost stereotypically ends with some variation on "Goodbye (name), life will never be the same without you/I'll miss you/I'm coming to join you just as soon as I open this vein."

This is a fanfic style which lends itself, predictably, to incredible amounts of wangst at times. Like a Fix Fic, writing a good Death Fic requires a good understanding of the Tropes you're using, and a damn good idea of what exactly you're trying to do. Done well, a Death Fic can tear at your heartstrings and explore some very serious topics. Done poorly...well, copious angst is probably going to be the least of your problems.

Some Death Fics explicitly employ a Tomato Surprise by obscuring just who is narrating and/or who died until the very last moment. A few of these don't actually spring the surprise, instead forcing the reader to guess.

On the other hand, death fics are often written in the days following the real-life passing of a beloved actor or creator. This provides the writer with the closure that they may not have had otherwise, and the fic will be dedicated to their memory.

Not to be confused with a Dead Fic or Someone Has to Die, though they can all certainly overlap. Are often categorised with the Dark Fic genre, considering its subject matter, though it should be noted a Death Fic is not also a Dark Fic by default.

Examples (sorted by original source media):

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • We're here Charlie Brown revolves around the characters dealing with the aftermath of Charlie's suicide.
    • The Last Word is a Dark Fic where Violet is dying of terminal cancer caused by her years of chain smoking. Charlie Brown is the final person to visit Violet, but she takes offense towards it because she loathes Charlie. Charlie Brown gets the last laugh because, despite Violet's bullying and insistence that he'd always be a failure, he published a best-seller about his childhood.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Encanto fandom has Was It Ever Really A Miracle? which details of how the Madrigals gifts led to their deaths, leaving Mirabel the soul survivor. Yes, this includes Antonio.
  • At least six fanfictions of Inside Out have Riley die. Their names are Transient, The Death of Riley, Goodbye Riley, Going Dark, Until the End and Job Well Done. All of them have Riley old and have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, along with a husband who died before her. The Emotions are subdued in these, and Memories play before she dies in each one.
  • Frozen:
    • By the Hands of the People is a very dark, Dark Fic that revolves around both Anna and Elsa being killed in a coup.
    • Fireside Tale is an AU of the film's ending where Anna goes to Kristoff instead of Elsa. Elsa died and Anna is crowned queen in her sister's stead. However, Anna never recovered from Elsa's death and no one ever learned how to stop the blizzard, so Arendelle was left abandoned. Now the country of Arendelle and its supposed fall is just a story people talk about around the fire.
    • Kingdom of Isolation is a oneshot where Anna shatters upon being hit by Hans' sword. Elsa undergoes a Sanity Slippage and it's up to Kristoff to kill her and free Arendelle from her blizzard.
  • She Felt Better Today is a oneshot that delves into Izumi's off-screen death prior to Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa.
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines fanfic Heroic Sacrifice revolves around an alternate universe where Katie died in the final battle.

     Film — Live-Action 

     Live-Action TV 
  • There is, of course, this amazingly vindictive and far-too-detailed monstrosity about Barney the Dinosaur.
  • iCarly: One exponent is Lovely Amelie who has written several of these, including Castles in the Air, Up Into the Blue, and Days Like Masquerades.
  • One example of this in the BBC Sherlock fandom is a one-shot, Alone On the Water, told from John's POV as he watches Sherlock slowly die from terminal brain cancer.
  • The Death of Clark Kent is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • An Enduring Song is a fanfic of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Deanna Troi dies and then Riker mourns her death.
  • Don Eppes is a NUMB3RS fic where Don eventually dies after being shot and having his life support taken off due to a strong possibility he would never regain consciouness and his family dealing with the emotionally difficult decision.
  • Zigzagged in the fanfic Morticia is Pregnant, featuring The Addams Family. First, Morticia attempts suicide because she is depressed over not wanting a new kid and being pregnant. She is managed to be rescued, but the baby she was expecting dies via miscarriage. This causes Morticia, who never even wanted the baby, to become depressed again and have another suicide attempt in which she does indeed die but after a few days she goes to Heaven and changes her mind about wanting to die, asking God to resurrect her, which He successfully does. All is well for a while but then Morticia gets kidnapped by a rapist has a Child Born Of Rape, who is successfully born but dies for a while after being born. Morticia and Gomez try for babies and Morticia gets pregnant with twins, one of whom dies before birth and the other of whom survives. After that, Gomez & Morticia are kidnapped by a woman named Lily Munster, who kills Gomez.

     Video Games 
  • Go Not Gently kills off Vivi Ornitier in the prologue. His death shapes the entire plot from there on out.
  • A fic entitled The Many Deaths of Ms Croft takes this to its logical conclusion for Tomb Raider. The fic essentially consists of a series of oneshots in which Lara Croft dies no less than 11 times in varying, but always gruesome, ways.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • In Reconciliation, Hanako distances herself from Hisao and Lilly out of guilt for eight years, until she gets a phone call informing her of Hisao's death.
    • In Regrets, the main characters have various reactions to Hisao's death in the Act 1 bad ending.
  • The Kingdom Hearts fic A Dirge For You tackles the scenario of Sora dying in the final battle with Xehanort. Four chapters (P.O.Vs being Riku, Roxas, Aqua, and Sora himself in that order) of either Wangst or Tear Jerking sorrow. Oh, and it's stated that among the casualties are Terra, Kairi, Ventus, Vanitas, and every incarnation of Xehanort part of the True Organization.
  • Touhou Project
    • Gensokyo 20XX, which is this to a lesser degree, with some characters dying off left and right. Even immortals are no exception, as is obvious seeing that Eirin killed herself and succeeded.
    • Koishi Komeiji's Heart-Throbbing Adventure is this to a high degree that those that didn't die go insane, and those that do die are not given very pleasant deaths, to say the least.
    • A common Fandom-Specific Plot involves Sakuya Izayoi, the only non-immortal member of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, passing away.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • "Life Could Have Been So Different" by Taranea opens with Sonic the Hedgehog mourning the death of his best friend, Tails, while stopping Dr. Eggman from launching missiles at a city... and Sonic isn't exactly able to move on. Shadow of all people comes to provide comfort, specifically by revealing his own harsh Backstory in full detail. The "Shadow comforting Sonic" premise quickly turns into a Framing Device, with the main story being primarily about Shadow's life on the ARK.
    • Frenzy is a murder/mystery that revolves around Sonic finding a Serial Killer who murdered Amy.
  • Pokémon:
  • While Splatoon has a lot of fics that involve death (especially on Archive of Our Own, which has a specific tag for it), most of the deaths cap off the story rather than focusing on it. There are still some that better fit the template, however.
    • Clouds above Inkopolis involves Manga protagonist Goggles dying horribly in a car crash, and focuses on the reactions specifically of Team Blue and Rider.
    • The Fault in our Spawnpoints focuses on Marie dealing with the grief of losing Agent 4 to a faulty Respawn Pad. Although, there is a subversion in the end.
    • Splatoon: Crimson Gaze likewise starts with Marie losing someone close, in this case Callie, after the final boss fight of 2 goes horrifically wrong. The next few chapters focus on how characters react to her passing, eventually spiralling into Marie's transformation into something truly evil.

     Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Played with brilliantly and heartbreakingly in the one shot Secrets Can Kill, where Grif is shot and severely injured, but is able to pull through after emergency surgery… only for Simmons to die in front of him instead after bleeding out from a bullet wound he had dismissed as minor.
    • The oneshot Noradrenaline as both Grif and Simmons die during the Reds and Blues's Last Stand aboard the Staff of Charon.

     Western Animation