Okay, so, like... have you heard of an artist called Brochan? She's on Twitter, and pixiv, and, like me, she has a soft spot for everyone's favourite ass-kicking bartender. With that being said, we decided to do an art trade. As I was doodling I was hit with inspiration for this piece, which I've decided to share for more than just the In-Crowd to see.

Brochan... this is your fault, but in the best way possible! :)

(And I promise that the actual art is coming!)


Drunk [druhngk] - adjective: having the faculties impaired by alcohol

The rookie bartender who went by the alias King didn't think she was drunk. She sat on the floor in the middle of her new apartment, an empty bottle of wine not too far from her, and decided that, if she was capable of giving the matter serious thought, then she couldn't possibly be that intoxicated. Besides — it wasn't like she had gone through the whole bottle, as it was only half full when she started.

She made a face while she looked around the barren yet cluttered space: cardboard boxes that held her possessions were literally everywhere, and most of her furniture either hadn't arrived yet or needed to be assembled… which is where Mary came in.

Mary Ryan was a cop turned private investigator, and an unlikely friend to King, who was a reformed criminal. The two had slowly but steadily started to form a close bond: other than her little brother, who was very sick, King didn't really have any family (she simply couldn't count her horrible aunt and uncle) and Mary had tragically lost her lover and her father in a shooting. King often wondered if their meeting was coincidence or kismet, as the two filled the empty voids in one another's lives and balanced each other out in a way that was almost scary.

And, as such, it was because they were such good friends that Mary enthusiastically volunteered to help King get settled in her new place. She was supposed to bring the food while King would — of course — provide the drinks. However, King had started drinking early as a way to kill time while she waited for Mary, since her cable and internet services weren't hooked up yet (two more days…). Unfortunately, she hadn't stopped drinking until the bottle was empty.

Bored and definitely not entirely sober, King wondered how she could possibly entertain herself. That was when she saw it: a black and red cloak was haphazardly sticking out of an open box behind her, and a white theater mask with a wide, creepy smile across its cherry lips was laying on top of it. On the floor next to the box was the wide-brimmed, black boater hat that completed the old Halloween costume.

It was like a light bulb clicked on over King's head as a wonderful idea occurred to her: She would wait outside and surprise Mary at the last second! That would be great! And funny! And great! She nimbly climbed to her feet and grabbed the costume; she put on the hat and the cloak, but decided she would wait until she was outside before putting the mask on. With a delighted giggle she walked out of the apartment and quietly made her way to the end of the hall. She flattened herself against the wall; when Mary rounded the corner she would jump out — directly in her path — and maybe yell something witty, like… "Boo!"

King stood against the wall for several minutes until a loud ding sounded, signalling that the elevator had arrived. She carefully looked around the corner: there was Mary, looking down at her phone as she slowly stepped out into the hall. With a quiet snicker King pulled the mask on over her face and waited, waited, waited. She listened for the sound of Mary's boots on the soft carpet… she could tell that she was almost there. Just a little more and —


King's gleeful shout was interrupted as she instantly fell to the floor, her muscles suddenly on fire. She could hear a loud, crackling noise above her as she curled up; the painful sensation coursing through her not unlike being hit in the stomach with a baseball bat. Wide-eyed, she turned her head as much as she could to see Mary standing over her, a stun gun in her hand.

"Alright, asshole —" Mary quickly knelt down beside King, who was still reeling from the effects of the weapon — "let's see who you are!"

With that, the investigator aggressively ripped the mask off of King's face; her eyes widened as she took in the sight of her downed friend, who was looking up at her with a slack-jawed expression of shock and horror.

"...Oh, shit…!"


* In Art of Fighting 2, if you fight King in her stage (a Halloween-themed carnival), she comes out dressed as SNK's mascot, G-Mantle, who is clad in... you guessed it. A black cloak, hat, and mask.
* King seems to have a canonical affinity for Halloween, as seen in her AOF 2 stage, and the random Jack-o-Lanterns that can be seen in her KOF '95 and '96 stages. (Either way, whatever, this is my house, and I say King likes Halloween. The end.)
* This fic is, obviously, at an earlier point in time: King doesn't own Illusion just yet and Mary has only recently become a PI, which would place it somewhere around AOF2 and FF3. I'm still trying to get the timeline sorted so pardon my dust, yeah?
* I read up on what it's like to be shocked by a stun gun from multiple sources. With that being said, King's pain tolerance is shockingly low for a fighter (adrenaline helps her through it during her fights) so the effects of it are a little stronger on her.

Once again, my art trade with Brochan inspired this short, so, if you dig it, go see her on Twitter, tell her "thank you," and then go check out her artwork! Or check out her artwork, then thank her. Either way, check her art, it's wholesome and adorable.