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Death of a Leader (#104 Universe Alterations)
hergan416 wrote in ygodrabble
Challenge Name/Number: #104--Universe Alterations
Drabble Title: Death of a Leader
Word Count: 574
Warnings: Suicide mention
Pairings: none
Summary: A great man has died, and Domino mourns his loss.

"My father will always be remembered for his generosity," a solemn voice read, a tremble revealing the sorrow the sixteen-year-old felt. "He took Mokuba and myself in as though we were his own children, choosing to adopt us on a tour of our orphanage six years ago. His own son had died, and he chose to give his love and parentage to children most would consider unadoptable due to their age.
"His campaign advocating for the adoption and fostering of older children changed the lives of many, much like our own. Billions of dollars were donated through his foundation while he was alive. Now gone," Seto had to pause here, his quavering voice stopping as he bit back a tear. "Now gone, 50% of his net worth will be transferred to the Foundation as per his wishes.
"Orphans were not the sole beneficiaries of his support. Though his oldest cause, it was not the only one dear to my father's heart. When Noa Kaiba died in an accident six and a half years ago, my father became a fierce advocate for strict enforcement of traffic laws, especially those regarding drunk driving. He funnelled money into alcoholism treatment programs, drug prevention education, and defensive driving courses. A further 30% of his estate is set aside for these issues.
"His intentional overdose surprised everyone who knew him. It is hard to imagine the man that a just week ago laughed at his favorite Charlie Chapman movie, imitating his favorite parts afterward, is gone."
Seto's voice grew quiet and harsh. "It was not until reading the note he left behind that I realized how badly the death of his wife and son affected him. That his healthy appearance was a mask. That is why my brother Mokuba and I have decided to pledge the remaining 20% of his worth, our inheritance, towards demystifying mental illness. To make it easier for those who have suffered a loss to admit they need, and then seek, professional help." Tears welled in his eyes.
"Gozoboro Kaiba was a great man and a role model to--"
The TV switched off as the doorbell rang. Televised on nearly every channel, Gozoboro's memorial service was hard to escape.
"Don't tell me you were watching that rich bastard's funeral," Joey admonished, as Yugi let him into the house. "He still sold weapons to make a living. He wasn't that great of a guy."
Yugi shrugged. "Without him they could never have won Iraq, or killed Bin Ladin."
Joey sighed. "And millions of children were killed or left orphaned because of airstrikes using his bombs."
Yugi couldn't argue with that. It was ironic that orphans were one of his pet causes. But the man seemed human enough, and their classmate was certainly upset enough about his second father-figure's death.
"We should be there for Seto," he replied firmly. "Can you imagine what he must be going through?" Though Joey had never got along with Seto, he could imagine the pressure. Having to deliver a eulogy in front of that many people after your second father died? No thanks. And so Joey sighed. "Alright Yug'. But do we havetah watch it now?"
Yugi shook his head. "You asked to come over and play games, not watch TV," he teased lightheartedly.
Joey grinned. "Sounds great Yug'."
"I solved that puzzle my grandfather gave me..." Yugi began excitedly, leading Joey away from the TV and up to his room.

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Oh, this is very intriguing, picturing a world where Gozaburo was actually kind to Seto and Mokuba (and others). Seto's heartbreak is very poignant and sad.

It's interesting to contrast that with Joey's viewpoint. Indeed, humans are such a mass of contradictions. And I love the little nod to the canon adventures soon to begin. I wonder if Seto in this verse will be kinder to Yugi and company.

Thank you! My hc is that yes, they would be on friendlier terms. I think a lot of Kaiba's emotional wounds could heal if given a kind loving home, and that he might actually be capable of trust and friendship without Gozoboro's abusive influence. I am not sure that he would play as much of a role in the events, however, given he never changes Kaiba Corp to a gaming company in this verse.

I really liked the idea that if Gozaburo had been a true father to Seto and Mokuba, that Seto would have felt loyalty and a strong bond with him. He may still have changed the corporation after Gozaburo's death, because he has a strong belief in the power of games, but it's also possible he would have done it as a memorial to Gozaburo instead of in opposition.

I also find it interesting that although Yugi clearly wants to watch the memorial and sees doing so as being a way to support his friend, he easily defers to Jounouchi's preference and puts Seto out of his mind.

It is a bit short for me to show some of my reasons for this, especially for Yugi at the end. I am going to start with some of the reasons I think Kaiba would play less of a role in the series though, especially in the gaming world. I think that Kaiba might expand the business to include games, but I don't think he would have spent nearly as much energy on it. I think part of his obsession with games came from not being allowed to play them as a kid. I think that he might still have the passion to make games more accessible, but I do not see him finding near the same obsession with duel monsters or blue eyes. Mokuba gave him blue eyes as a method to get through Gozoboro's abuse. Kaiba didnt need that if Gozoboro was nice. While he probably stull enjoys duel monsters as a hobby, I don't see him having the same obsession.

As far as Yugi goes, I think he realizes the memorial is just as much about publicity as it is about memory, which is why Seto is even mentioning a lot of the good things Gozoboro has done. He plans to help Kaiba in other ways, watching the memorial is probably the least important one. Still, he chides Jou for his lack of understanding and his contined dislike for their classmate. The memorial is important, yes, but Yugi certainly hasn't forgotten Seto.

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