ladylarkrune: (Death)
[personal profile] ladylarkrune
Title: Chess With Death
Prompt: "There's no chance for us // It's all decided for us"
Universe: Yakko's World OWBC
Notes: A missing scene between Chapter 16 and Chapter 17. Definitely spoilery for the last chapter of my OWBC. If you haven't read that, you might want to skip this.
Word Count: 1,108

Onslow screamed and screamed until he couldn't scream anymore. He wanted to run after Drea, twist her head clean off of her body, rip out her throat with his teeth, pull her entrails out of her body with his fists, but something in the back of his mind wouldn't let him leave his beloved's side.

Exhausted he sunk down next to her form, his hand unconsciously reaching out to stroke her soft brown hair. He ran his fingers through the strands, shying away from the sticky wetness that he knew was her blood. He didn't know what he was doing, but he felt like he was waiting for something. Someone.

As if on cue, the temperature of the room seemed to drop and a ghostly figure floated into the underground room. Death had come to collect his Olive. The reaper's presence triggered a memory of his father.

He remembered his father telling a story from when he was younger and running around the universe with his brother, Wakko, and sister, Dot. A story about how his father and his sister challenged Death to save their brother. But more importantly, Onslow remembered the outcome of the story. That his father had won.

Unsteadily he rose to his feet and placed himself between the dark figure and his beloved's form. The figure stopped and seemed to regard Onslow solemnly.

Lifting his chin, Onslow stared at the faceless hood and spoke in clear, concise tones, "I challenge you."

The figure tilted its head almost in amusement. Then nodded. "The stakes?" it rasped. The voice was as dry as leaves blowing in the winter wind and it was very nearly as cold.

Onslow suppressed a shiver. "Return my beloved to me if I win."

"And when you lose?"

"You take me as well."

The figure was silent for several moments then nodded. "Agreed. The game?"

The man considered this for several moments, he needed something he would excel at. Something that he stood a chance with and then the answer became clear almost Iconic. "I choose chess."

The figure let out a dry chuckle. "How troperiffic."


Death waved his hand and Onslow was seated on a chair in a desert landscape facing a chessboard. The white pieces were all lined up in two rows neatly.

To one side, his beloved stood wearing a flowing white dress. Onslow longed to run to her, gather her in his arms and never let her go. He drank in her appearance, knowing that it might just be the last time he saw her.

A motion to his left made him turn his head, Death pushed back his hood to reveal a handsome young man with streaked hair. "I hope you don't mind, the cloak is a little stuffy." The voice was no longer chilling but more of a pleasant baritone with a slight accent.

"I thought you were a..." Onslow trailed off. How were you supposed to ask why he wasn't the skeletal figure his father saw all those years ago?

But Death seemed to understand the half asked question. "What were you expecting? A skeleton?"

"Actually, yes."

"You must be thinking of Sven from Speilburgia."

Onslow had no clue who he was talking about but plunged ahead. "Does he have a Swedish accent?"

"Yep! He's been a little strange ever since that Swedish Meatball Eating contest all those years ago." Shin fixed Onslow with a knowing look.

Nonplussed, Onslow just shrugged.

Death took his seat. "It's your move."

Considering the board, Onslow picked up a pawn and moved it forward. The game was on.

The two men played in silence for several long minutes, something Onslow appreciated. He knew that many chess games were won in the first ten moves and he needed to concentrate. He made the conscious decision to play aggressively, go for the quick kill, knowing that he was not a defensive player by nature.

Death, it seemed, was. The supernatural countered his moves with brilliant ones of his own, sacrificing pieces to defend his king. Pawn, knight, rook all were sacrificed. But Death's queen was decimating Onslow's pieces. All too soon, the last of Onslow's pawns was captured, but in sacrificing that last pawn, Onslow was able to defeat the marauding queen. The loss of Death's queen signaled that the endgame had arrived.

"Check," Onslow said a few moves later.

The man nodded and moved his knight to capture the threatening bishop. Onslow responded by using his last knight to take the piece. Death frowned at the board. He only had a rook and his king remaining while Onslow had a knight, rook and king.

Death slid his rook across the board and took Onslow's rook which was in the square next to his king. "Check."

Onslow quickly captured Death's rook with his king.

Death smiled. "Draw."

"What?" Onslow exclaimed.

The smile widened. "You can't force a checkmate with the pieces you have left. The game is a draw."

He quickly scanned the board and saw that Death was correct. He couldn't put the other man's king into checkmate. Onslow's eyes widened, what did this mean for their wager. "Do we play again?" he asked, softly.

Death shook his head. "No, you only get one chance. And it is a draw. I will take who I came for and send you back to your realm."

Onslow leapt to his feet, knocking the chair over. "No!"

"You didn't lose," Death pointed out.

"You cheated!" Onslow accused, sidling over to place himself beside his beloved, grasping her hand with his. "You are not separating us!"

"It is done," Death said coldly, drawing up his hood. He reached one skeletal hand forward. "Olive Warner come to me!"

Liv gave Onslow a sad look and took a shaky step forward.

Onslow tightened his hand around hers. "No! Fight it, Beloved! Stay with me!"

Tears welled up in Liv's eyes, but she took another step forward and then another. With each step, her form faded and became more transparent.

Onslow could feel her becoming more insubstantial and he became even more frantic. "Please, Olive. Beloved. You must fight him. Please. Don't leave me!"

Liv's lips moved and he could just barely make out the words. "I love you." And then she was gone.

Onslow slumped to the ground in defeat. "You forced the draw on purpose," he accused.

Death chuckled. "Of course I did. Did you really think you could beat death at his own game?"

"I hate you," Onslow ground out.

Death nodded. "I'm used to it. I'll be seeing you, Onslow Warner."

The man's eyes narrowed. "Not if I don't see you first."


Author's Notes: You can tie in chess. There are only a few circumstances and most have to be by mutual agreement. But a player will tie if they can't force a checkmate legally due to lack of pieces. Which is what happened here. The Events that Onslow remembers Yakko telling him about take place in "Meatballs or Consequences." The whole chess with Death thing is a Trope but it was too good to pass up especially since Onslow totally would plead for Liv's life.

I hope you enjoyed.
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