Listen. I just can't keep myself from churning shit out lately; I guess it's sort of like my way of compensating for an upcoming hiatus (surprise). Anyway, something said in passing by our very own Rex Madison spawned this idea, which was really meant to just be a super quick snippet for Discord or tumblr or something but turned into this. I'll probably end up hating it in, like, an hour, but whatever.

As always, Cécile isn't canon but it totally should be.


The woman called King winced as she slowly opened her eyes. The printed blue and white curtain and harsh, fluorescent lights told her immediately that she was in a hospital. Why was she in a hospital? And why did she feel so battered? She started to sit up but cried out when an intense pain in her midsection forced her right back down on the gurney. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to suppress freely flowing tears, and groaned as she realized with dismay that her ribs were either cracked or outright broken.


King jumped when the voice of her aunt, Madeleine, cut across the rhythmic beeping of the nearby heart monitor. She furrowed her brow before slowly opening her eyes once more. Sure enough, her aunt stood not too far away, her eyes narrowed and her arms crossed.

"...Maddy?" King asked groggily. "What —?"
"You were in a car accident," her aunt interrupted, her tone laced with disapproval.
"Yes. They said you must have been over the speed limit, but it was the other guy's fault. He ran a red light and hit you from the side."
"Dick move," King muttered bitterly. She sort of remembered that her car was totaled.

"You know, only you would pull something like this on a holiday," Aunt Maddy said out of nowhere.
"It's Thanksgiving, Cécile. Jesus, you must have hit your head harder than they thought."
"Many apologies for fucking up your dinner party," King said sarcastically. She shifted her weight and bent her right leg at the knee: a searing pain ripped through her, followed by the sensation of hot liquid pouring down the side of her leg. She immediately stretched the appendage back out; it still hurt — a lot — but, somehow, it felt better that way.

"You need to keep that still," her aunt told her. "They haven't sutured it up yet."

Right away King tried to sit up again, and, right away, the pain sent her back down. Meanwhile, Aunt Maddy made a dismissive sound as she rolled her eyes.

"You need stitches," she started. "The window —"

The high, child-like voice of Detective Mary Ryan interrupted Aunt Maddy's statement. The cop burst into the small area, speedily approached the gurney, and leaned down so she could look into King's slightly bruised face.

"Are you okay?!"
"I've… been better," King answered. She made a face as the text chime on her cell phone went off from her jacket pocket.
"Excuse me," Aunt Maddy spoke up impatiently. "Who are you?"

Mary quickly turned away from King and squared her shoulders.

"Ryan," she said coolly. "Detective Ryan. We've met before, but you wouldn't remember because you were too busy being trash. Anyway, I know they called you because of that whole next-of-kin thing but I'm here now so you can go and be trash at your trash home with your trash husband."
"Holy shit, Mary," King murmured, though she couldn't help it as the corners of her mouth turned slightly upward.

Meanwhile, Aunt Maddy stood, fuming. She squinted at the officer, who abruptly spun on her heel and stuck her head out of the open curtain.

"Hey! Can we get some meds here?! And someone to come close this up?!"
"Close what up?" King called weakly.

She propped herself up on her elbows (the pain in her ribs was unreal) so she could finally see her leg: her pants were torn and there was what could only be described as a gaping hole in the middle of her knee that had blood pooling in it. The flesh that was supposed to go there was hanging limply over the edge of the wound. She stared at the small injury, wide-eyed… and let out a tiny whimper, which instantly caught her aunt's attention.

"Cécile," the older woman told her impatiently. "Ne fais pas l'enfant."
"Casse-toi," King answered through gritted teeth while falling back onto the thin pillow. She tuned out the sounds of her best friend and her aunt as they began arguing while fuzzy memories of the crash started to come back to her: the initial impact, the sound of the driver side window shattering, the large shard of glass sticking out of her knee, the ambulance ride...

She suddenly remembered how desperately she wanted to go home because…


"Get out," she commanded Aunt Maddy urgently.
"Excuse me?"
"You heard her," Mary chimed in.

For a moment, no one said anything, which annoyed King — particularly because her aunt hadn't moved.

"VA T'EN," King practically screamed as tears started flowing once more.

Aunt Maddy took a deep breath. She stared down at King for just a moment before pulling her phone from her purse, dialing a number, and starting toward the exit.

"She's fine," she heard her say curtly as she disappeared beyond the curtain.

As soon as Aunt Maddy was gone King focused her attention on Mary, who was flipping through a file folder that had "Levasseur" printed on the label.

"Bb —" her eyes flicked to King's face — "you dodged a bullet."
"A physical one, sure," King sighed as she raised a hand to her aching temple, which was covered with a small patch of gauze.
"What does that mean?"
"It means… that… I…"

King trailed off as she began to recall the rest of the miserable day.

"What happened?" Mary asked quietly.
"...How'd you know I was here?" King asked after a moment.
"I was showing Rock the police scanner. We heard the call when it came in."
"Sorry I ruined your holiday."
"Awww, bb. You didn't ruin it."
"Sure I did. I ruined everyone's day…"

At that moment a doctor and a nurse walked in and introduced themselves before filling King in on the extent of her injuries (which weren't serious — but could have been had the other guy been going even a little faster) while Mary asked a variety of questions. King's leg was injected with lidocaine, and she was given a healthy dose of Dilaudid — which made her feel very weird — before the doctor set to work on her wound. Once it was appropriately stitched up she was wheeled down to radiology, where a quick x-ray showed two fractured ribs. Afterward she was promptly taken back into the ER to wait for her discharge papers and instructions.

"Whatta day," King mumbled as she folded her hands across her stomach and pressed her lips together in a thin line. The text alert on her phone went off several times in quick succession, eliciting a frown from Mary.

"Whoever keeps texting you needs to chill…"
"Ryo Sakazaki has no chill," King responded tiredly.
"Ryo?" Mary asked, her brow quirked. "How do you know it's him? Bb, what's going on?"
"I, umm… he knows," King stated dully. "Takuma did say something… so Ryo asked me about it… and I told him."

Mary's face fell as she wordlessly rose from the hard plastic seat she was sitting in. She walked up to the gurney, grabbed the side rail, and pulled it down so she could awkwardly climb onto the small cot beside King, who was beginning to feel very sleepy.

"Bb..." she said as she grabbed King's hand and squeezed.
"At least I owned it this time," King said, her voice taking on a tired-sounding, breathy quality that usually indicated some form of intoxication. She clumsily pulled her phone out of her breast pocket and tapped the screen: sure enough, condensed text notification banners from Ryo, and her brother, Jean, covered the small display.

"Uh-uh —" Mary snatched the device out of King's hand — "Friends don't let friends take narcotics and text. Especially not about heavy shit."
"Yeah," King mumbled as she rested her head on Mary's shoulder. Her eyelids began to feel almost comically heavy as she said, "But you can read them to me, though. Like a really fucked up bedtime story."
"Nope. Tackle this when you haven't just been given drugs because you were in a wreck."

Both King and Mary fell quiet and turned their attention to the small television that was affixed to the wall above the curtain. King worked to keep her eyes open as she zoned out but had no such luck; within seconds they were closed, and, despite her anxiety about how she was going to take on the Ryo Situation she could feel herself beginning to relax.

With a quiet sigh she fell into a heavy, drug-induced sleep.

Not much by way of notes for this one but eh:

* In case you're wondering why Aunt Maddy wasn't called in during Much Like Suffocating, it's because Mary was there from the very beginning of King's hospital visit to run interference.
* Ne fais pas l'enfant = don't be such a baby/child; casse-toi = go away/piss off/etc. You get the picture.
* Va t'en = go away/get out/ etc

* In this timeline Rock Howard is still a little kid, and not the awkwardly placed DLC teenager of KOF XIV. Sorry not sorry.
* Lidocaine is an analgesic and is fucking MAGIC. However, the initial injection hurts like a BITCH.
* Dilaudid is a narcotic pain reliever for moderate to severe pain. King's pain tolerance is surprisingly low.

Okay, so, like, that's really it this time. Idk if this is the last entry for the "Kingverse" this year or not. In a perfect world I'd be able to squeeze out at least one last something, but things aren't perfect, so, in case this is it, I just wanna say thank you for sticking with me and giving me your time. Any reads and reviews are always, always appreciated and make my heart swell and make lizard brain happy.