So, like, I did birthday fanart of King in quarantine and it was probably the most depressing Happy Birthday, King! fanart to ever fanart. But, of course there was a story behind it! How could there not be? Anyway, this was written on very little sleep and is probably a mess but so is this self-isolation thing so whatever.
King was, in a word, dejected. Although she wasn't one for big birthday parties she was bummed out that she was going to spend the day alone (with her cat) thanks to a worldwide pandemic that had everyone in quarantine. Normally she would get to spend time with her little brother, who would present her with a gift he couldn't possibly afford on his own (like the rosebud necklace around her neck), before going to her bar and getting a little fucked up with friends, but it definitely wasn't happening this year. Thankfully, phones and FaceTime were a thing, so she had received plenty of calls and texts, which made her feel better, but there was no denying that the day was still going to be pretty lonely.
Since she had spent weeks hanging around in her pajamas (usually a cat hair covered shirt and flimsy short-shorts), she actually mustered the energy to go out to buy herself a cupcake, wine, and a shiny birthday hat (along with a few legitimate essentials). When she got home she removed her slacks, rolled up her sleeves, put on her hat, and plopped down at the dining table with her cupcake and wine. She stared blankly at the treat and grabbed the alcohol.
"Joyeux anniversaire à moi," she stated out loud in a monotone voice as she poured her drink. She guzzled the liquid probably maybe a little too quickly and set to work on glass number two. Glass number three was a little fuller than glass number two, and glass number four was emptied a lot quicker than glass number one.
There was a knock on the door as King's head began to feel a bit foggy, which puzzled her until she realized that it was probably a mail delivery (she had been doing a little online impulse shopping over the last week or two). She pushed away from the table, donned a pair of rubber dish gloves she started keeping by the door, and opened it up to see… nothing. No mail on the doormat, no "sorry we missed you" slips on the door. She made a face and turned to close up but jumped at least three feet back when her best friend, Mary, jumped out from the side, her motorcycle helmet covering her face, arms spread wide.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" she yelled gleefully, though the exclamation was muffled by her protective gear.
"What the fuck?!" King practically screamed. She placed a hand over her heart, which was beating rapidly, while Mary picked up a pizza and a small bag she had set down just out of sight, and sauntered inside.
"What-what are you doing here?" King asked as she removed her gloves. "You shouldn't —"
"Be here, right?"
"Whatever, I wasn't going to let you spend the day completely alone," Mary told King while walking her things to the counter.
"But… isolation…! Social distancing…!"
Mary removed her jacket, shoes and helmet, revealing her frowning face.
"I know, but you sounded so sad earlier, and it's not like I don't have the clearance to go wherever I want," she said while grabbing a Clorox wipe from a nearby container to wipe her helmet down. There was a brief silence before Mary continued.
"I see you've finally given in to the fact that pants are bullshit. Nice undies, by the way. Digging the… pandas?"
"I love that they're riding rainbows. Art imitates life, huh?"
"Is that supposed to be a gay joke?"
"You said it."
"Stop teasing me…!"
"Aww, come on! You know you love it."
King didn't reply. She was actually really happy to see Mary — to have real human contact with someone who wasn't a masked grocery worker — but she was also highly concerned. Her friend shouldn't have come to see her in the middle of a goddamn pandemic. She almost considered kicking her out but decided not to because, when it came down to it, Mary was risking herself… just so she could be there for her. It was incredibly moving and, even though she wasn't a hugger, King was buzzed enough to want to run across the room and tackle her but quickly settled against it. After all, what if she was infected? What about Mary?
"I see you there, bb," the detective said with a knowing grin. "Come here."
"Okay, fine drunky —"
"I'm not drunk."
" — I'll go to you!"
Before King could respond the wind was knocked out of her as she hit the carpeted floor. She struggled to sit up under Mary's weight as she was grabbed in a tight bearhug that might have been closer to an MMA hold than anything else.
"I know it's been tough, with the bar being closed and not being able to hang with Jean, and I know that it's getting to you which is why I'm here. So stop worrying about me — I'll be fine. And you'll be fine. So just chill out for a bit and enjoy my company because who knows when I'll be able to come by again?"
"Fine," King chuckled after a moment. "You win."
"Can you let me go now?"
"Never," Mary laughed while drawing the word out.
King raised her eyebrows before laying back on the floor as best she could, a little cheerier than she had been earlier in the day, and tried to put the whole, "six-feet apart" rule out of her head as she wrapped her arms around Mary and squeezed.
"You know you're the best, right?" King sighed.
There was a brief silence as King thought back to a previous occasion that she didn't remember terribly well, but could still have a little fun calling back to nonetheless. There was a very real possibility that she would get smacked, but she had a good buzz going, and she wasn't alone with the cat, and it just seemed like it would be entertaining. She laughed to herself before resting her head on top of Mary's.
"Hey, Mary?" King asked innocently.
A very long pause, and then:
"...Wanna make out?"
* So if you're new here, the very end of this fic references another tale called How Do You Sleep? that takes place in the aftermath of Much Like Suffocating. King doesn't remember the occasion very well because she had accidentally combined wine and Percocet. (Please don't ever do that.)
* The rosebud necklace around King's neck is actually in KOF XIII, during the scene when she's talking with Yuri and Mai over a magazine. It's green and I decided that it's from Jean because this is my house and why not.
* Joyeux anniversaire à moi = Happy Birthday to me
* The panda-corn underwear exists. And, yes, the riding rainbows thing is a gay joke, though King is bi.
* If you're like, "King would never wear such underwear!" think again. It's always the ones you least expect. Also, if you've read Red, you know about tacosaurus.
* King and Mary's hugs are fucking weird, okay. They shared an awkward one in Hurt, too, though that one got kind of gross.
Welp, that's it. Now there's a story to go with the art. Cheers~