I honestly didn't expect to finish this so quickly, but a personal goal was to get it out before Resident Evil 3 and FFVIIR dropped. Looks like I've made it in the nick of time, as RE3 is coming out in less than eight hours (as of this writing).
Anyway, let's see what's next for Cécile (as if you all don't already know, haha).
People who normally would have stopped Cécile on the street with poorly thought-out, trite pick up lines (like the guy who lived three floors down) paid her no mind as she strolled through the familiar streets of Southtown. It was almost like she was invisible… and she loved it. There was something deeply satisfying about being able to walk by herself — at night! — without having to worry about the possibility of being attacked by drunken degenerates. Of course, it was a shame that the only way she could truly feel safe while taking a stroll was by being someone else, but… did it really matter at this point? Her plan was already working: people didn't recognize her as her; she was just a well-dressed young man walking down the street. She held her head up high as she continued forward, unable to help it as the corners of her mouth turned upward.
She was going to get that job.
Just as Cécile reached a crosswalk the text chime on her phone sounded from within her pocket. She dug the device out and looked at the screen, which displayed a text message from Jessica that read, "Good luck."
Cécile stared at the little notification banner but decided not to respond, as she was still rather unhappy with how things had gone between her and her girlfriend. She couldn't afford to let herself become distracted — especially not now. She put the phone away and continued toward her destination, which was just across the street.
Once she was outside of L'Amour Cécile found herself staring at the loathsome sign in the window. That damn thing had mocked her for weeks, but things were finally going to be different this time. She walked inside and quickly tore the paper down (which garnered a concerned look from the new hostess, whom she had only met once before) before briskly making her way toward the bar, where the restaurant manager — a perfectly ordinary man named Moses — sat, playing solitaire and drinking… whiskey. He appeared to be having a conversation with the bartender, a somewhat lecherous chap called Bruce, who had been working at the restaurant for at least three-hundred years.
Cécile pressed her lips together in a thin line, her heart racing. She swiftly thought of her father again — and of how assertive and confident he had been in life, regardless of where he was or who he talked to. And while it was true that she was a very confident individual, it was also true that she was out of her element: She was not a man — she was a woman dressed as a man… there was a huge difference. However, she knew that she could do what any man could — and could probably even do it better. Especially when it came to kicking the shit out of someone. All she had to do was play the part.
And, so, Cécile took a deep, steadying breath, sauntered right up to the counter, and slammed the sign down on the hard surface, right next to Moses's drink.
"I'm here for the bouncer position," she declared in a low, emphatic tone.
"Position's taken," Moses told her flatly without even looking up from his cards.
Cécile was pretty sure her heart momentarily stopped. There was no way the job could have been filled — especially since it had still been up for grabs when she worked the night before. Either Moses was full of shit (which was very likely) or someone had actually come in and beat her to the position by a matter of hours. If that was the case she was going to have to think on what to do. She couldn't do anything impulsive; she needed to —
"By whom?" She asked before she could stop herself.
At that, Moses turned away from his game, took a drink of whiskey, and looked Cécile up and down, his brow furrowed.
"The position has been filled," he reiterated. "And, even if it was still open there's no way someone like you would be hired."
"Someone like me?"
"He means you're too soft," Bruce spoke up from behind the counter.
"Why don't you come over and see how soft I am?!" Cécile shot back without thinking. Both men raised their eyebrows at her… and then, to her chagrin, began to laugh. She pressed her lips together again and clenched her fists, her temper starting to flare. Even while dressed as a man she was being underestimated.
"Is there a problem here?"
Cécile quirked a brow at the sound of the voice, which was somehow vaguely familiar. She turned away from the pair at the counter to see a man approaching… a man she recognized immediately as one of three who attacked her after work not all that long ago. She held her breath as he approached; she remembered his face so vividly: how drunk he had been when he initially approached her, and how he held her down with the help of a friend (who looked like a darker, dirty Iggy Pop) and told her that he liked it when "dumb cunts" like her fought back.
She also remembered how easily she had taken him down before his big, fat friend stepped in to incapacitate her. She clenched her fists even tighter but didn't say a word as he drew closer, a smug grin on his face.
"Name's Dimples," he informed Cécile as he stopped in front of her, "and I'm the king of this here castle."
Before she could stop herself Cécile let out a loud snicker, which drew the ire of all three men in her company. The rapey asshole in front of her had unironically told her that he was called Dimples and then declared himself royalty. She hoped she didn't come across as that silly. Nevertheless, she quickly composed herself, cleared her throat, and stood up straighter.
"Well then," she told Dimples calmly. "I guess I'm just going to have to dethrone you."
"What makes you think —"
There was a loud, sickening crack as Cécile interrupted the new bouncer with a single kick that connected with his mouth, breaking several teeth. She knew she could take him out in one blow but she wanted revenge for what he did — for what he tried to do. She watched with glee while he staggered backward, covered his bloody mouth with both hands, and spluttered obscenities in disbelief that quickly turned into rage.
"You asshole!" Dimples shouted. He threw a straight right at Cécile, which she easily dodged. She then snatched his shirt collar and jerked his head down while forcefully bringing her knee up to his face, smashing his nose. She followed up with a hard uppercut that sent him to the floor.
Cécile watched Dimples (what a name…) squirm around, trying his best to get up. She attempted to keep from looking too pleased with her handiwork, but she knew she was failing — and miserably at that. She abruptly recalled that night once more: the fucking barbarity of his attempted actions and the sheer terror she experienced — particularly when she felt his arousal against her leg as she struggled. Suddenly infuriated, she stomped down on his crotch as hard as she could; he let out a loud yelp that was cut short by a kick to the face that knocked him out cold.
"Who's the king now?" Cécile asked coldly. She grabbed a napkin from a nearby table and tossed it at Dimples so he could clean up his blood when he woke up. Satisfied, she turned back to Moses and Bruce, who were both staring, their jaws practically on the floor. She raised her eyebrows at them, giving the go-ahead to speak… or do anything, really.
"Okay," Moses uttered after a moment. He fixed his eyes on Dimples, who was beginning to stir, and called out, "Hey, man, you awake?"
A feeble nod.
Cécile's eyes widened as Moses shifted his attention to her.
"Can you start tomorrow? Five o'clock?" He asked, his expression still somewhat awestruck.
"Great. Off you go."
"Thank you," Cécile told him sincerely, while trying to hold back her excitement. "Thank you so much!"
She cleared her throat and turned on her heel so she could exit the restaurant to call Jessica. She was eager to share the news, offer to take her out to dinner, and maybe say, "I told you so," though that last bit wouldn't be very nice...
Bruce's voice instantly stopped Cécile in her tracks. She slowly turned around to face the bartender, who was squinting at her while drying a glass.
"You didn't give us your name."
At that, Cécile inwardly grimaced; she actually hadn't thought of that. She looked around at her surroundings before fixing her eyes on the playing cards on the counter. She pondered for just a moment… and then it struck her. She glanced over at Dimples, who was still on the floor, and smirked.
"Call me King."
So, there you have it, folks. I've thought about this way too much for way too long. I tried to make King's origin story make as much sense as possible using what what I had/have (very little canon to go by and an overactive imagination). Here are a couple of notes:
* Canonically, Céc loses a fight to Jack Turner and his gang (the Black Cats) some point before the events of the first Art of Fighting, which I wrote about as well. So, like, if you're new, I'mma point you over to A Profound Impact so you can get the skinny on that event... and King's past experience with Dimples, darker, dirty Iggy Pop, and, of course, Jack.
* Speaking of Dimples! There's a movie called Attack the Block that stars Jodie Whitaker and John Boyega that came out, like... back in 2011. I highly recommend it and I'm bringing it up because two of the characters are called Moses and Dimples. Obscure pop culture reference FTW!
Uhh, that's actually it for the notes section. So! I hope you all enjoyed this jaunt into what King's life might have been like leading up to her decision to work for Big. Tell me what's on your mind and I'll see you all next time.
WASH YOUR HANDS!