Title: The Sum of His Parts
Summary: He is 60% machine, 40% human. It is the human part that matters most. 50 sentences for José, and the people who helped create him.
Warnings: Contains spoilers and highly concentrated doses of speculation. No pairings, gen!fic. Oh, and an allusion to crossdressing.
Disclaimer: No matter how much I wish I could adopt Lucciano, he isn't mine. Nor are any of the others, for that matter – Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is the property of Takahashi-sensei and associated companies.
#26 – Lost
José is 60% machine, 40% human; his left arm, lower leg and much of his torso were replaced (upgraded) in an effort to save his life (when he was chosen as the first successor to God's will), and sometimes the scars still ache (nothing could be a greater honour).
#22 – Hollow
His second son is a tiny screaming thing smeared with blood and birth fluids, but he can feel nothing, not even disdain, for this inferior replacement.
#20 – Green
Lucciano will never grow up, mentally, and José prefers it that way – one perpetual teenager is quite enough (Plácido is twenty-two, not that anyone would believe it).
#36 – Secret
Of the Iliaster trio José is most mechanical, but also the most human: the little red-haired boy he took under his wing is a textbook example of misanthropy, and Plácido has renounced his very soul in his quest for perfection.
#45 – Ugly
Divine was beauty personified, the closest thing to perfection his proud father could ever hope to create – until the precocious adolescent threw back his veil of hatred, tearing into the man who engendered him with all the savage, vindictive ferocity of a slavering beast; afterwards, half-dead in an emergency room with his body in tatters, José wonders just when he miscalculated.
#03 – Beginning
Dark hair, dark eyes, cold silent demeanour, above all a willingness to please the one he calls father despite not inheriting the psychic abilities that are his birthright – perhaps Sly is not as useless as he feared.
#04 – Bugs
"Bees?" he rumbles in question, and Plácido nods solemnly – then, the grey-haired youth scoops one of the fuzzy insects into his hand, smiles almost tenderly at the creature, and proceeds to rip its wings off.
#29 – Old
José was fourty-eight when his world changed – only twelve years have passed, yet he feels closer to eighty than sixty.
#38 – Snow
There is one memory of his prior life that José refuses to forget – his son, beautiful bright Divine, laughing like a normal child as the world is carpeted in virgin white.
#19 – Grave
Plácido has already built the coffin; Lucciano thinks it's freaking hilarious, and laughs uproariously about it every time Plácido makes a jab at their superior's age.
#06 – Dark
José keeps tabs on the Signers, naturally, but nobody has realised that his attention is also directed at the clumsy reporter who was killed by (and killed) his son.
#35 – Roses
Divine was never that different from his father – he too craved to find perfection in the core of Psychic powers, he just found it in a pitch-black rose and not his own flesh and blood.
#10 – Duty
Calculation can only get you so far – when his father isn't listening, Sly promises he will steal Stardust, cripple Fudo where his dishonourable elder brother failed, and then he will have proven himself to be the better son.
#01 – Air
…is Lucciano, gentle and calm one moment (pretending, waiting) and a raging whirlwind of impetuous destruction the next – oh, and can he install a parachute in his duel disk José... please?
#37 – Snakes
Far from unified, Iliaster is teeming with suspicions and plots against fellow members: Plácido would quite happily bury his sword in José's back the first opportunity he gets; José allows his younger cohort to do as he pleases but doesn't care a whit about self-preservation.
#07 – Despair
José will lose not one, but two sons to the whims of Iliaster, though he is prepared to make that sacrifice… he thinks.
#42 – Strange
Lucciano would be laughing at the expression on the Signer's face if he wasn't freaking out over Plácido's transformation too.
#14 – Fire
…is Plácido, lacking the whimsical nature of the youngest, but (over)compensating for it through his fixed mind and determination to forge his own path, and not the one José dictates for them.
#27 – Metal
Nothing reminds him more of his narrow brush with death, and the manner of his resurrection, than the cool, efficient manner in which he smashes that D-Wheel with a swipe of his arm.
#02 – Apples
While Plácido is still recovering from that stunt of his, re-familiarising himself with new limbs, José frequently hears muffled screams of anger from behind the closed door; then Lucciano appears, juggling an apple, and claims he was just trying to make Plácido feel better (honest).
#11 – Earth
…is José – not for his Machine Emperor, Granel, but for the solid reliability of his presence.
#15 – Flexible
Plácido claims it's because José is too inflexible in his methodology, prompting Lucciano to scream with laughter and taunt Plácido with the memory of that fiasco at the WRGP.
#44 – Taboo
"Mention Divine's name around José and you'll be lucky to walk away intact – kekeke, why else do you think Plácido is mostly robot?"
#47 – Water
His prosthetic leg is the least advanced of his limbs, even worse than the one left untouched when José was 'rebuilt' – when it rains, the joint has a disturbing tendency to rust.
#32 – Pretty
At first Lucciano ponders wearing the girls' uniform on his recon mission; José vetoes that idea immediately, even though Lucciano has the skill to carry it off, and that jade-green ribbon is the last straw.
#33 – Rain
Of course it has to start drizzling when his leg is already giving him difficulty.
#21 – Head
Before that unfortunate incident with Divine, José was tipped to become the 361st Star Guardian (nobody in their right mind trusted Rex).
#13 – Fall
Later they learn that being fully human is a requisite for such a position, so José grimaces and nods, and his fellow schemers retreat, disappointed – later, he takes out the chessboard, a mewling infant tucked in the snowy white folds of his sleeve, and José informs the little boy that even the mightiest of oaks is not invincible.
#05 – Coffee
Plácido hates the stuff with a passion, has done since the time when a seven-year-old Lucciano replaced his morning brew with motor oil.
#34 – Regret
José glimpses his son for the first time in three years – he looks more like Divine than ever, despite the subtle differences in build and the more obvious ones of hair and eyes – and knows it is too late to change his son's fate, though he wishes he could.
#25 – Light
Lucciano and Sly share common links through José and that little Signer girl, that Ruka, but where Lucciano toyed with her before casting her aside, Sly has grown attached.
#08 – Doors
Membership of Iliaster is for life (they gave him hope, tore it down, built him up anew) and only a fool would attempt to find a loophole and escape.
#24 – Hope
There's one thing that Plácido forgets about his 'bees': they have stings.
#41 – Stable
José doesn't care if using the Ghosts will complete the circuit faster – it is better to have reliable Momentum generated by surpassing one's potential, he tells Plácido on a regular basis, though the impatient young man never listens.
#50 – Winter
José cannot function properly in the cold since wherever metal meets flesh, the pain is sure to follow.
#40 – Spring
He glares at José, though its gravitas is ruined by his puffy eyes and streaming nose – the youngest Emperor of Iliaster is reduced to the child he never was by something as trivial as pollen.
#18 – Foot
Building the Ghosts was hardly an inexpensive venture in futility; in fact Plácido wasted a great deal of resources on his Riding Roids, and Iliaster was not happy about the bill.
#09 – Drink
Sometimes, when Plácido and Lucciano are off doing their own thing, José stumps over to a liquor cabinet and downs a shot or two of whiskey before remembering that his enhanced body no longer allows him to get drunk.
#48 – Welcome
The silence is an old, dear friend.
#30 – Peace
Calm, harmony, utopia, all empty words and dull sentiments – there is only the primordial Chaos, Divine would tell his father, if he was still alive to say it.
#17 – Food
Sustenance isn't a problem for Plácido, but despite his body being mostly machine, José still cannot understand why it feels the same needs as any human does.
#50 – Wood
José keeps his chessboard in a cavity under his throne, and tries to teach the game to Lucciano in those quiet moments when they are alone.
#31 – Poison
Divine's grinning face leers out from the dream, and the words repeat, dripping with malice, churning like an agitation of waves on the craggy shoreline: "You've served your purpose, father, now it's time for me to repay the favour…"
#39 – Solid
Being built like a tank has its advantages, especially when people are trying to kill him.
#46 – War
Granel's appearance can mean only one thing – the conflict must resolve itself soon.
#16 – Flying
"Honestly, who keeps a parachute in their duel disk?" Lucciano mutters as soon as they're on the other side of the portal, to which José shrugs his massive shoulders.
#23 – Honour
He will rebuild Plácido, despite how the insolent fool irks him, for Wisel is necessary to his plans – but Lucciano can keep the sword.
#43 – Summer
Twelve years of waiting, seven of planning, and now everything shall unfurl in the space of a single season.
#28 – New
It has taken two months, several splinters, and more than one instance of telling Lucciano that "checkmate" is not the player who first chops the opponent's King in half, but eventually his student manages a win; José nods in approval, then counters with a string of victories that leave accusations of "Not fair!" on the youngster's tongue.
#12 – End
José will learn his true destiny at the hands of his chosen opponent, and no other; not even the Crimson Dragon can argue against the machinations of fate.
A/N: If you're curious as to what I made up? The whole "José is Divine's and Sly's father" bit, as well as José's current machine-to-human ratio. And as soon as he actually gets his name put on the character list, I'll edit the characters involved.
Any reviews are welcome, particularly constructive criticism.
EDITED to fix missing words.