Spoilers: The Entire DOOM Saga and a little of the Memory Arc
Credits Screenshots from Yu-Gi-Oh Screenshots, Kokoro No Naka , and Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monsters.
Alister/Valon is a pairing that seems to attract the most paranoid of the anti-shippers. There's actually a club on the Janime main board dedicated to ANTI-Valon/Alister. Yet, ironically enough, the pro Alister/Valon is much smaller than the anti. Then, there's complaints that YGO canon pairings are being ignored for the sake of pairings like this one. Alister/Valon is one of the smallest SHIPs out there yet it seems to be one of the most 'threatening' given how non-fans seem to respond to it. Even I didn't consider them at first, but this pairing suddenly ended up being the pairing that could easily oust Seto/Alister as my OTP. For me, these two are much more fun because of the apparent complexity of the relationship.
I've already described him in The previous Manifesto
Even though no official ages have been given to the Doom Bikers, I have Valon pegged as the youngest of the three. It's not certain where he's from, but going by the dub and the theories of others, I have him pegged as Australian, Greek, Spanish and English. Wherever he is from, he's quite a handful with his mischievous demeanor and he's also more complicated than he seems. As a duelist in DOOM, he's stronger than Alister, but weaker than Raphael.
Little is known about his childhood, but it's well-known that he was raised in an orphanage and got into many fights. He's so powerful that he's able to take down people older and bigger than himself. During one of his fights, a nun named Mary appears and intervenes. At the time, she is the only person he really listens to and he stops fighting when she tells him to. In the orphanage church, Mary tends to his wounds and then a bunch of thugs come in and threaten her. Quite naturally Valon tries to fight back, but she prevents him since she doesn't believe in violence.
Later that night, Valon witnesses the church being burnt down and he knows who is responsible. To put it simply, he finds those thugs and kills all four of them with a crowbar. He ends up in prison and gets into so many fights that he's put in a straightjacket. Eventually, he is taken to the warden and given a duel monsters deck before being sent to an island where he must duel other prisoners. He is the last one standing. Dartz, the one who orchestrated the whole thing, takes in Valon, making the young boy the third and final member of the "Inner Circle" in the Doom Organization.
People tend to see Valon as a simple, but darker reflection of Joey Wheeler, but I see him as a "light" Seto Kaiba or a delinquent one. "Light" meaning that Valon is more playful, gentle and somewhat friendlier. He's also far more ruthless as he's taken lives with no visible remorse and has proven to be so violent that even Joey would cringe since Valon doesn't even discriminate(you see this in Episode 165 where he is as violent to Rebecca as he is to everyone else he duels). Like Kaiba, Valon also doesn't live in the past. He might be a little more talkative about it than Kaiba, but they share the general philosophy of looking only to the future. Above all, like Seto Kaiba, Valon wants to become stronger as a duelist and win as often as possible.
I describe Valon as being like this: "That kid was water, cold water. Not like the Arctic, that was Seto Kaiba. Rather, like the Mediterranean, known for clear, perfect blue beauty, but also known to be insanely wild." Despite all of this, Valon considers himself 'lonely and misunderstood', but that only tells me that for all his adult demeanor, Valon is, in the end, only a child.
This pairing is by no means easy to present. There is almost no canon evidence that ever puts these two together and one cannot rule out Valon's desire for Mai. Yet somehow, this pairing is endearing to me because it's very possible to make it work by thinking of before Yu-Gi-Oh, during and after.
Before Yu-Gi-Oh, all I have is Valon's joining of DOOM and my own timeline for the pairing. I have Alister and Valon staring out as colleagues who squabble because Valon is a thirteen year old pain and Alister is a sixteen year who does not suffer fools gladly. Slowly, but surely, Alister finds himself attracted to Valon because he finds that he can't seem to resist Valon's beautiful blue eyes and irrepressible demeanor. One year later, Valon, sensing Alister's feelings decides to go ahead and initiate at least a sexual relationship by telling him that, "I might like you better if we slept together". At first, Alister is hesitant because Valon is so young and he has never slept with anyone before because he is so focused on avenging his brother's death. So, compared to Valon, who uses sex as weapon(my Valon thinks everything is a weapon), Alister has zero experience. However, he soon yields, and Valon declares the relationship a "friends with benefits" sort of thing. The term is meaningless and foreign to someone like Alister, but he agrees to it anyway.
For a year, they basically have a great time. I believe that one the reasons why this pairing could work is because they could easily have fun with their interests together, paint the town red and have a load of fun ribbing on each other. I do this in my timeline. Yes, they argue and have friction, but all relationships have this. The reason why it stands out between Alister and Valon is because they are essentially two different people with strong personalities and different beliefs. It doesn't help that Valon can be very selfish, which both horrifies and irritates Alister. All arguing aside, they have the same interests. They play video games together, they go out riding their motorcycles or go on drives. Alister is more than willing to fly Valon on both a helicopter and a plane. In fact, he is willing to do just about anything for Valon and is fiercely protective of him. In this relationship, Alister sacrifices a great deal, because even though his heart is often shut, once he opens it to anyone, he gives almost everything he has. They still don't reveal too much about their pasts, but I think this is only natural.
Alister doesn't see "friends with benefits". Instead, he considers Valon his and his alone because Alister simply is not the sort to believe in casual sex. Because of the loss of his brother, Alister has also lost his confidence, self-assurance and security in himself that he had as a child. This makes him possessive and often controlling, both qualities chaffing the free spirited Valon. A little after a year, their relationship begins to deteriorate rapidly as Valon realizes that Alister wants more than just a friendship with sex on the side. It is never "just sex" for Alister. Tired of this, Valon ends the relationship and it's far from an amicable break-up as it results in Alister pulling out a knife and Valon breaking his wrist. Heartbroken, Alister withdraws into someone bent only on revenge and is only close to Raphael.
Beyond that and into Yu-Gi-Oh, Alister still harbors feelings for Valon, but will not show it. Despite their abrupt and turbulent end, they are 'hot and cold' while dealing with The Pharaoh and his friends.
In episodes 145-146, they are actually quite cordial when witnessing the duel between Yami Yugi and Gurimo. In Episode 147, Alister is simply irritated by Valon's ostentatious behavior while riding up to the ocean fortress. He says, "Ugh, can it, Valon!" and in sub he says, "Give it a rest."
Episode 148 is the "Watershed" episode for me as it prompted me to consider the pairing. In the ocean fortress, all three DOOM Bikers appear before Dartz. Valon announces that he is going after Joey Wheeler. Alister says, "I know why you're going after Joey" and Valon tells him to mind his own business before asking about the "sudden interest in Seto Kaiba". Alister replies, "Look, I have my reasons." The dialogue in the Sub version is little different.
This episode also stems my theory that Alister is jealous that Valon has his sights on Mai. I think Alister knows Mai's significance to Valon because: 1. Alister is the ultimate observer, much like Raphael. He could easily notice things that others might not. 2. Alister is clearly a meticulous researcher. You see this in fanon, but it's obvious in canon because that's how he researched Kaiba's dueling/life. Given his research on dueling, he had to have known about the other duelists and he had to have know about Joey/Mai(things like that tend to spread through gossip). He had to have know that Valon was responsible for bringing Mai(how can one not notice that?), and I think he clearly knows why.
It has to drive him crazy. Otherwise, why tell Valon, "I know why you're going after Joey"? If he's picking on Valon because Joey is supposedly weak, then who is Valon supposed to go after? Yami Yugi? He's for Raphael and certainly not Seto Kaiba. So, why pick on someone for not having much of a choice? Valon would duel anyone with pleasure anyway.
Perhaps Alister wants to pick on Valon for being in love with Mai and he thinks it's 'pathetic'. If that's the case, then Valon is right. It's NONE OF ALISTER'S BUSINESS. It hardly effects the DOMA organization and certainly not Alister, right? And the crem da la crem of all this is Alister blabbing, "My reasons are my own!"(that's in the sub) when Valon asks about Kaiba. So, why is it okay for Alister to pry to Valon and not the other way around? It's a douchy way to behave. If Alister minded his own business, then Valon wouldn't be prying into his. See, that simple?
But, it's not, is it? If Alister sees Valon as someone who should be his, then of COURSE he's going to pry! Kind of like the possessive/jealous ex-lover saying, "You went out with 'whoever', didn't you"? Only Alister doesn't have to ask. With his big mouth, of course he's going to make it clear that he knows what's going on. He cares because he still has feelings for Valon and he MAKES it his business because his jealousy doesn't allow him to behave otherwise.
In episode 159, Valon and Alister are cold, but cordial as their opinions of Rex and Weevil are in general harmony. Only, Alister is more catty, but not towards Valon.
In episode 165, Mai confronts the entire inner circle of the Doom Organization. In the dub version, Alister asks, "What does Little Miss Loudmouth know about respect?" in the sub, he basically says, "You didn't defeat Joey." In both versions, it's right in front of Valon. When I see this, I immediately think "classic cockblocking", even though cockblocking simply means "1. To interfere with or obstruct another's attempt at courtship. 2. To delay impending romantic activity between two individuals." It doesn't seem obvious, my idea is that it's Alister's way of saying, "Why are you with this woman? You could do so much better". Only he never says that to Valon. He just insults Mai and does whatever he can to make her look bad or make her angry. Whatever the case, he certainly doesn't like her and if one remembers his behavior in 148, jealousy could very easily be behind it. After all, why would Valon leave someone who has done so much for him just to be with a woman who doesn't give him the time of day?
After Alister's soul is taken in episode 168, Valon is quite cold. He refuses to avenge Alister's death by saying that he has to duel for himself. The dub version only has Valon wanting to show Joey Wheeler who's boss. Valon's facial expression tells me that he's angry and determined. Since one can't read his mind, who can say what he is thinking. The end of DOOM saga shows no further interaction or mention of names between Valon and Alister. The former wakes up at the beach house and the latter wakes up in the hospital. Neither one of them is seen again until Episode 198 with Valon in Barcelona, Spain and Alister in Pisa, Italy. In Episode 220, Alister is seen back home and right after that scene, Valon is seen riding beside a beautiful ocean.
Beyond YGO, who can say what happens? I have them meeting again at the Beach House and in Italy, but even I am not certain what may happen between them. I believe that Alister has a lot to offer Valon as he is a gifted young man who wears his heart on his sleeve and more than willing to "spoil" Valon or make many sacrifices for him. At this point, Alister would have regained his lost confidence and finally be at peace with himself. This wouldn't mean he's perfect, but the qualities that could poison most relationships would be kept to a minimum. As for Valon, he'd still be his playful, strong spirited self that would both drive Alister crazy and yet command admiration and respect.
So, that's how I made it work. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a very popular pairing and the reasons why are valid, but I think with a lot of imagination and good writing, it could easily hold its own against the larger SHIPS.
We'll both break down and cry: Alister/Valon FST by Me. A collection of songs I thought suited them as a pairing. More commentary is there, but you'll find of some of it is used here. Watch out for falling swear words! Oh and the "Might like you better if we slept together" comes from the song "Never Say Never" by RomeoVoid. I forgot to include it in the FST. Doh.
ameldaxvaron--A tiny, quiet community dedicated to Alister/Valon as a couple.
Best Served Cold--Yours truly. Yes, Valon/Alister is included in this fic too. That's why it's listed again.
Secret Ritual--Yours Truly
Between Wind and Earth--Yours Truly
Endless Mystery--Yours Truly
The Hours of Dying--Dagmar the Dark
The Back Seat--A Bit of Happiness
Just a Kiss--yllom21
Competition for Seme--Huajun Chen
My last Breath--MeeLee
And that's it. This ended up much longer than I thought it would be, but I considered important to be as thorough as possible. I'm not out to convince anyone, I just wanted to explain why I ended up SHIPPING them. If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for viewing this.