Fate: These started out as random little drabbles from a livejournal meme. And then I kept going back to them and staring at them. So. Here they are. Argh.

Disclaimer: Not ours. This was a simple meme -- come up with five instances that would have changed the YGO plotline. Maybe a little, maybe a lot, but something is different.


one

[my beautiful mania]

A shotgun blast really was deafening. And he'd never expected such a kick, either.

Perhaps it was a good thing he'd gotten lucky and hit.

Hm. His shoes would need cleaning. Then again, he could only wear black now. Mourning. Mourning and weeping.

Weeping. Yes. Those were tears running down his face.

Taste the salt and the Dead Sea, the sand and the desert, blood and metal in the air. Taste it all in one breath.

You have committed murder. You have killed. Killed. Extinguished a life. Snuffed it out, taken where there was no right to take.

But in truth, did he not have every right? He gaveth this life, and forsooth could again take it away...if...if...

It had always been a gamble. A gamble with the devil himself, all with sleek royal bones and murky red eyes and haughty disdain and beautiful rancor. A gamble he had lost, and lost again.

Stepping from the pool of blood now, and closing those beautiful hazy eyes. Somewhere between purple and red now, somewhere between light and dark. Somewhere between, in eternal limbo.

Purgatory.

He looked at the tumble of limbs and hair at his feet, at the pale fingers and half-lidded eyes.

He had gambled and lost his soul, and lost his grandchild. Lost it all to that beautiful devil, mocking and laughing inside that shattered puzzle. Inside that empty head.

But perhaps...perhaps he had gained something.

The position of God, perhaps?


two

lost in translation

"Oi, oi, what's this one?"

Everyone glanced up, then back to the machines. Bob was new. Bob would learn the ropes. Someone would tell Bob what to do with the latest package.

Gareth finally took pity on the scrawny college dropout slaving away in the dank confines of the mailroom, at the lowliest position -- removing packages and mail when they fouled up the conveyor belt through the address scanner. "Chuck it in the bin."

"What bin?" Bob blinked.

"That bin." Gareth gave the boy a shove in the right direction, then shuffled back to his place.

"What happens to it now?" Bob asked, bewildered.

"No return address, mailing address scratched all the way out? Someone'll be by and looking for it, if we're lucky," Gareth called. "If not, it stays. It'll just stay here 'til someone comes for it. Or 'til the place caves in," Gareth finished with a chuckle.

"It's gold, Gary! And it's got points all over, I can feel 'em!"

"Yeah, yeah," Gareth grunted.

Bob turned and studied the edges of the package, poking at them a bit. "Gary, I can almost -- "

"You're tamperin' with mail, kid! Best get on with it, the convey's all fucked up again."

"R-right!" Bob shot to his feet and began disentangling packages with a vengeance.


three

[yoroshii]

"Niisama, you really shouldn't be doing this," Mokuba warned. "You saw what happened to Malik. You know what happens to everyone who comes into contact with these things! Dammit, niisama, I don't want you to be like them!"

Seto smiled. "I could never be like them." A sneer twisted his smile. "Like I'd want to be."

"Niisama!"

"Mokuba, I'm just going to touch it," Seto said gently.

"Everyone's been handling it with gloves and surgical tools for a reason, niisama," Mokuba snapped.

"Yes. Those were my orders," Seto retorted. "It's fine. I'll be fine. I'm better than any of them, and you know it."

Mokuba looked away, then glanced up. "You're sure that this is the only way?"

Seto nodded tersely. "Positive."

"Okay," Mokuba said softly, and made for the door. As soon as it clicked behind him, Seto began stripping the heavy gloves from his hands. He didn't wait for Mokuba to reach the viewing room. Didn't wait for any of the instruments to be turned on.

It's the only way...the only way to know...

His fingers closed around the Rod.


four

[another empty day]

"Got one more for the wagon, sir."

"Lord, another one?" The chief sighed and ran a hand through his thinning hair. "They're knocking each other off in droves, the bastards."

"I think I recognize him. Juvie like the others." The sergeant sighed. "Poor things. Always so young."

"They do it to themselves, sergeant."

"Yes, sir." He snapped to attention. "Just over this way," he called to the paramedics. "Strung up."

The chief cast a lazy eye over the disrupted tree with the teen hanging from his heels, throat slit. Most of the blood had run into the drains. "Cut him," he grunted. "Nothing more to see here. They all did each other."

"Chief, do you know him?" the sergeant panted, scooting along after the chief as he strode off.

The chief flicked a glance back at the blonde being hauled into a body bag. "Yeah. That's Jounouchi. Remember the little sod who kept nicking stuff from the kids? Fell in with a laundering gang. This laundering gang." The chief skirted a pool of blood and entrails not yet scooped up. "Lasted longer than I thought he would."

"How long was that?" the sergeant finally asked.

"Couple weeks," the chief said. "Right, was he the last? Give those kids to the crims. Better widen the tape to include that Jounouchi's spot. C'mon, let's go, we haven't got all night here..."


five

[memories memories memories]

"G'night, Anna!"

"Bye, Hilarie!" She rattled up the steps to her apartment and burst in on her roommate, Claude. Claude was a wonderful roommate, for all that he was a rather small orange cat. "How did your day go, huh?" she asked, rubbing noses with the feline. She hit the message button on her machine and waited for them to play back as she danced around the tiny kitchen, making tea.

"Anna, it's Ree. Want to go hang out some time? Call me."

Beep.

"Anniebabes, it's Erika. Can you and Hil pick me up for practice on Saturday? Love ya."

Beep.

"Anzu love, it's your mother. Your father...well, he's finally been transferred back to Japan. Call me, honey, so we can figure out what's what. Don't worry, he'll be here for your concert if I have to bash his boss on the head myself and drag him all the way back to New York. Bye now."

Beep. "You have no new messages."

She sat down on the couch and idly pulled Claude into her lap, running a finger around the rim of her teacup. Japan, after all these years! Japan, which she'd not seen since she was a girl in pretty dresses, envying the big girls in uniform who went out and did lessons at all hours. Japan, where she'd gotten her dark hair and perfect complexion. Japan, where they all spoke a language she was just the tiniest bit rusty on. Japan...

"Well, we're going to stay right here," she said to Claude. "It's not like there's any need for me to go back, too."

Claude purred and rolled onto his side in her lap. Decision made, Anzu Mazaki sipped her tea.


Fluffy: Woot. Be a luv and review?