So... I wasn't going to write this. I was content leaving it to the imagination, but then this quarantine happened. And, also, the event here has had a lasting effect on King, which is alluded to/mentioned in the fic, Hurt. With that being said, I figured: why not?
Anyway, you all know the deal by now, so onward~
King's relationship had always been a priority but, lately, her job was taking up a good chunk of her attention, which, coupled with her girlfriend's schedule, started to make things a bit more… difficult for them, to say the least. Suddenly it was less time together and even less common ground; differences of opinion that seemed to come out of left field. Then it was an increase in blown dates and odd comments — some more caustic than others.
But King was trying.
God, she was trying.
She had been with Jessica for two years. Two years of laughing and dinners and rained out plans and studying and great sex and binge watching shows together. Even King's family, who pretty much hated her, liked Jess. And King was, of course, madly in love with her: she helped provide a sense of normalcy that counterbalanced King's batshit crazy "professional" life, and she was just… amazing. She was so kind, and intelligent, and being pretty was a bonus. Seeing — no, knowing — that things were starting to crumble was, in a word, distressing. As a result King would sometimes take out her frustrations on whichever clown she was sent to deal with at work — particularly on the occasions where Jessica assured her that everything was fine because she knew that it was just carefully crafted bullshit designed to appease her.
And, so, as King started to get ready for another night of breaking bones and making people bleed for the Big Bad under the guise of being a man, she abruptly decided to call in sick. She would make something up — something believable so Big wouldn't think to question it — and, instead, go off to Jessica's place with a smile and good intentions. But she wouldn't go as King; she'd go as her real self — as Cécile — and hope for the best. Maybe not quite "Netflix and chill," best, but… something.
King, who was already halfway dressed for work, reached into her shirt and clumsily pulled the athletic tape that was binding her breasts off and out before throwing on some jeans and applying a little makeup, which "restored" her more feminine appearance (which Jessica definitely preferred). She then left her bedroom, plucked her work phone from its place on the coffee table, and quickly made her call, citing food poisoning as the reason why she couldn't go in. As soon as she was done she grabbed a single rose from a vase on the table, pocketed her essentials, and walked out the door, hopeful that maybe some quality time would help set things within the relationship back on track. After all, rough patches were normal; all couples went through them at some point...
...Then again, all couples didn't have to deal with one half masquerading as the opposite sex to keep a job working for a mob boss…
King hated thinking that the problems between her and Jessica were solely the result of her job. Yes, it was true that she had formulated a plan to cross-dress, and then cut her hair and bought men's clothing and dropped out of college without telling Jessica about it until the day of her "interview," but she needed the money, and a job was a job was a job. She never let it effect things outside of work if she could help it. And while it was also true that it had changed her to some degree, she was still fundamentally her. A little more mature but that went with the territory: wearing a disguise to work for a notorious crime lord every night by inflicting violence on people who wronged him while hiding it from the world, and, also, being blackmailed by one of his cronies, made one grow up very fast.
However, she knew that the problem wasn't entirely on her: Jessica was the one who was constantly canceling their plans, or expressing some form of disapproval toward everything from King's job to her taste in music to the patterns on her underwear...
During the short drive to Jessica's place King used loud music to drown out her thoughts, but everything came back to the front of her mind almost the second she stepped into the building. She was so preoccupied by her musings that she nearly collided with a college-aged boy who was exiting the elevator.
"Sorry," she hastily told the stranger, who was preoccupied himself: clearly upset, he was texting wildly. He mumbled an apology of his own before stomping off.
Strange interactions with men continued when King reached Jessica's floor: As she made her way down the hall she heard someone yell that they were "done" before a door slammed. Within moments an older man rounded the corner and rushed past King at a hurried pace, his shoulder grazing hers. She made a face but kept moving forward despite the odd pit that was beginning to form in her stomach.
King stopped dead at the sound of her name being uttered by someone she didn't know. She whirled around, alarmed, but relaxed — but just a little — when she recognized the stranger, who was staring at her with a furrowed brow. She stood up straight and cleared her throat.
The man, who was King's Psychology professor before she dropped out of college, drew closer to her as he cocked his head to the side and regarded her with caution.
"I thought that was you," Wilde told her after a moment. "You look well. I like the haircut."
"What brings you up here?"
"I… could ask you the same question," King replied, a bit puzzled, but also extremely concerned because why was her ex-psych professor — who had a history of cheating on his wife — coming down the same path that led to her girlfriend's apartment? Her girlfriend, who was taking his course this semester...
"You know, it's a shame you stopped coming to class," Wilde commented, completely ignoring King's statement. "You were one of my best students."
King frowned in response.
"Come to think of it I haven't even seen you at L'Amour, either. Did you quit?"
"...Something like that."
Wilde abruptly turned his attention to the rose that was in King's hand. She noticed and twirled it between her fingers, careful not to touch any thorns.
"It's for my girlfriend," she explained.
Something in Wilde's expression darkened, which, coupled with the fact that he was coming from the same direction of Jessica's apartment, made King extremely uncomfortable. There was an awkward silence as the two stood for a moment, unsure of what to say — a sure sign that it was time to end the stilted conversation.
"I should go," King stated. "It was nice to see —"
At that exact moment King heard a door somewhere around the corner open; there was the sound of feet running on the carpeted floor, and then:
"Oliver! Oliver, wait!"
King turned around to see Jessica standing behind her, dressed in nothing but an oversized off-the-shoulder t-shirt. Her expression changed from angry to shocked the second she saw King, who looked from her to the professor, a feeling of almost existential dread washing over her.
"Huh-hey babe," Jessica exclaimed in a borderline frenzied voice. "Wh-what are you doing here?!"
"Took the night off," King replied slowly. She fixed her eyes on Wilde, who looked right back at her, wide-eyed.
"That's your girlfriend?!"
"Yes," King answered without hesitation. She narrowed her eyes at the professor, who was regarding her with… pity?
"You two need to talk," he remarked. He then looked at Jessica, shook his head, and briskly sauntered off.
"Yeah," King mumbled numbly. "It looks like we need to talk..."
The couple silently made their way to the apartment, where King slowly lowered herself onto the sofa, heart pounding, and gripped the rose in her hand, not caring about the thorn that was lodged into her thumb. She had always trusted Jessica; she never had a reason not to. But King wasn't stupid. She prided herself on her above average intelligence — especially now that she had to be extremely cunning and two steps ahead of everyone else… So, when Jessica sat down beside her and moved to put a hand on her back she instantly slapped it away and glared at her.
"How long?" she asked bluntly.
"Céc, I can expl —"
Jessica let out a deep breath and looked away.
"I dunno… Four months…?"
"You've been sleeping with Wilde for four months?!" King exclaimed.
"Céc," Jessica began. "I know what you're thinking, but —"
"Don't presume to know what's going on in my head right now!"
"It's just —"
"Don't you dare, 'it's just' anything! You've been — behind my back! With- with Wilde!?"
King tossed the rose to the side and placed her head in her hands, completely indifferent to the blood that was seeping out of her thumb while a tension headache began to set in.
"Was it a grade thing?" She asked weakly, the corners of her eyes burning a little. "Because if you weren't doing well I could have helped —"
"That's not what it was about…"
"So what was it then…?!"
"I just… needed… someone with some... experience."
"Some experience?!" King cried as she raised her head. "Is that supposed to be a metaphor for a penis?!"
There was an uneasy silence between the two then: Jessica disappeared into her bedroom while King put her head back in her hands, the pain in her temples getting stronger by the second. She couldn't believe what she was hearing — what she was seeing.
Just then there was a loud knock, which caused King to look up. Jessica emerged from the bedroom wearing leggings and a different shirt, crossed the area, and pulled the door open to reveal the college boy King had seen in the lobby earlier.
"I forgot my keys," he huffed while storming inside. He went over to the small dining table to grab the aforementioned item but stopped when he caught sight of King on the sofa. He furrowed his brow and turned toward Jessica, who looked wildly unsettled.
"Paul," she started. "It's —"
"Who is this?!" The college boy named Paul interrupted while grabbing his keys.
"She's… a friend."
"A 'friend?!'" King yelled angrily.
Paul turned toward King and cocked his head to the side before looking at Jessica.
"You know, I'm half expecting you to tell me that you've been cheating on me with her, too," he remarked coldly.
King jumped out of her seat, wide-eyed, and looked from Paul to Jessica. This couldn't be happening. No way. No. way.
"Cheating with…?! I'm her girlfriend," King told Paul. "Who the hell are you?!"
"Her boyfriend," Paul responded.
"That — no… that… c'est pas!" King sputtered, utterly at a loss for words. She turned to Jessica, who looked like a deer caught in headlights.
"I'm not sticking around for this," Paul declared. "Don't call me."
Jessica shut the door behind Paul, her eyes glistening with tears. Tears that meant nothing to King, who was livid.
"TWO?!" she screamed. "Not one, but two different guys?! At the same time?!"
"Listen, Céc, it's —"
"You're not allowed to call me that!"
"So… what? You want me to call you King now?!" Jessica barked. "Should I bow down and kiss your feet while I'm at it?"
"Don't call me anything! Just... give me my fucking key so I don't have to stick around to look at you anymore, you… you… putain de — men… teuse…! Damn it! Me-merde!"
King clenched her jaw as words — and English — completely escaped her as a result of her overall disbelief. How was this happening? Hell, why was this happening?! Was she not attentive enough? Was it really the job? Was she simply not good enough? Why?
"What did I just tell you?!"
"Well I'm not calling you 'King' because you're not a king! You're a cri —"
"No, I'm an idiot who… who loves — no, loved — you," King interrupted, her voice starting to crack. "And you went and —"
"Listen! I made a mistake! People make mistakes!"
"A mistake is something like buying the wrong bread! A mistake is using the wrong credit card — not fucking people behind my back!"
Something horrifying occurred to King as she forcefully wiped a tear off of her cheek.
"I'm going to have to get tested," she started. "I'm going to have to make sure that you didn't pass anything —"
"We're all clean. We used protection."
"How do I know that?! You've been lying to me for months! How can I believe anything you say?!"
"Listen, I just… I told you when we started that I was a little confused, and you said you were willing to deal with that. You said —"
"Dealing with and respecting your feelings doesn't grant you permission to cheat on me!"
"Céc, listen," Jessica pleaded, her hands held out in front of her. "I love you! I love you, but I couldn't break it off with them because I didn't know how!"
At that King actually took a small step backward. Much to her displeasure tears were freely running down her flushed cheeks and she felt like she wanted to vomit. She stifled a burp but somehow managed to keep everything down, though she had a feeling that it was going to come up later anyway.
"You honestly have the nerve to say that you love me? After sleeping with other people? After betraying my trust? After… after potentially exposing me to STDs with no regard for how it might effect me?! My health?!"
"I know this is bad—" Jessica made her way back to King and placed a hand on each arm — "but I want to make it up to you. I want you to know that I love you and I forgive you and I just —"
King raised her eyebrows as she broke away from Jessica.
"Forgive me?! What the hell did I do?"
"You're not the same person you were before you took that job, Céc! The men's clothing! The fighting! You're enjoying what you do even though it's wrong!"
"What I'm doing…?"
"Whether you realize it or not, you're a violent criminal! You're breaking the law — and you're totally okay with it!"
King stared down at Jessica, mouth agape, and completely taken aback by the other woman's attempts to justify her despicable actions — by placing blame on her.
"Who cares if I'm breaking the law?! That has nothing to do with you being the town bicycle!"
"You've changed so much I barely even recognize you, Céc!" Jessica continued, ignoring King's remark. "You're aloof, and-and angry, and you come back from work with honest to God bloodstains on your clothes like… like it's no big deal!"
"Are you kidding me?!" King yelled, "Are you fucking kidding me?! You're really going to put this on me?!"
"Well, I mean… you —"
"Where is my key?!"
"It's here," Jessica choked. She picked up her key ring and struggled for just a second before finally freeing the small object. Before she could say a word King snatched it from her and sniffled loudly.
"Don't ever talk to me again," she said in a low, level tone as she wiped tears off of her cheek. "If you try to call me, or come to my place, or the restaurant I will make you look like a dropped pie, and then you won't be able to do this to anyone else because no one will want to be with you. Do you understand me?"
"Oh my god! Did you just…threaten...?! I can't believe that you actually just threatened me right now," Jessica retorted, scandalized.
"AND I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU CHEATED!"
With shaking hands King removed her keys from her pocket, tore Jessica's from the ring, and tossed it at her feet. She shook her head as she started for the door.
"If you wanted to see other people then you should have said so," she said quietly. "You should have just broken it off with me and left it at that! Instead you strung me along for two goddamn years and —"
"It wasn't the whole time, and I know I should have told you!" Jessica said. "I just didn't know how!"
"You didn't know how?!" King's voice became elevated once more. "What's so hard about saying, 'Hey, I don't think I wanna do this anymore'?!"
"I didn't wanna hurt your feelings!"
"And this didn't!?"
"I didn't think —"
"Didn't think what?! That I'd care that you were cheating on me?! You didn't think it wouldn't…!"
King trailed off, unable to even look at Jessica. She was so hurt, and betrayed and angry and —
"Your job has been —"
"This has nothing to do with my job," King yelled while gripping the doorknob, "or with how I've 'changed' so stop trying to use that as a crutch for your bullshit!"
"J'en ai marre! FUCK YOU!"
With that, King stormed out of the apartment and let the door slam loudly behind her, noise complaints be damned (though it wasn't her problem anyway). She clenched her fists and pressed her lips together in an effort to hold herself together as much as she could — at least until she got home.
Then she would let it all out.
Officially something of a cliché, King spent several hours parked on her couch, sobbing hysterically in between bites of mini Three Musketeers bars while a show autoplayed episode after episode that she wasn't even paying attention to. She couldn't believe what happened: she had been cheated on for months. Months! Meanwhile she had always been nothing but dedicated. Beautiful people, both male and female, hit on her all the time; asked her on dates, got a little too close for comfort (especially now that a lot of the Big Bad's female "companions" thought she was a handsome man), and she had never, ever entertained the thought of straying. But, obviously, it meant nothing, as Jessica clearly didn't care. In her mind it was perfectly justified — which was really fucking horrible.
Although King wasn't a stranger to heartbreak, this hurt— badly. She couldn't help wondering what it was about her that made people leave for somebody else, since her first love dumped her for another girl after promising that he would come to America to be with her. (Then again, at least he was forthcoming about it…) She grabbed a nearby tissue and blew her nose, all the while wondering what was so wrong with her. She wasn't an insecure person but she had to wonder: Was she too confident? Too outspoken? Not pretty enough? Bad in bed? She didn't understand what she was missing. She let out a choked sob as she reached for some wine that was on the coffee table; she took a long swig straight out of the bottle and slammed it down before wiping her eyes on the back of her sleeve. She had already blocked Jessica's number and deleted her contact info, as well as every photo of the two of them in her possession. It was painful, but she was determined to scrub every trace of that lying bitch out of her life as quickly as possible.
With a shaky breath King shifted so she could recline lengthwise on the sofa. She sort of wished she had someone to talk to about everything but she was going to have to handle it on her own — like she always did. She'd eat some more comfort candy and chug some more wine until she couldn't function. Then she'd go to work the next evening, like nothing happened, and kick the ever living shit out of everything in her path. It wasn't exactly healthy, but it would have to do.
King turned on her side and let out a loud sniffle as she wiped her eyes once more. She suddenly wished she could just… hug something. Maybe even some one. There was a tiny part of her that entertained going to see her little brother — just to hang on to him for a little bit — but it was getting late, and she didn't want to have to explain that her and Jessica were no longer together, nor did she think she could handle an inevitable fight with her aunt and uncle (who would no doubt blame her for the break up) in her current state.
With a huge sigh King picked up a throw pillow that had fallen on the floor and curled up with it held tight against her chest. Thoughts about her failed relationships started to overwhelm her, which caused her to squeeze the pillow even tighter. She sobbed into it and decided that she would never let anyone get close enough to hurt her this badly ever again.
Okay. Raise your hand if you're actually feeling good after reading this. I hope no one raised their hand. Anyway, some stuff:
* King's totally not canon name is Cécile for anyone who's new here. Go tell SNK they should listen to me and make it an official thing. I'll buy you pastries.
* Professor Wilde's name: Oliver Wilde. Ever hear of an actress/director called Olivia Wilde? Yeah. I did that on purpose.
* Obviously this takes place during King's stint as a bouncer and enforcer for Big. Maybe about... six weeks before the events of AOF. It's still a bit fresh.
* C'est pas = it can't
* Putain de = fucking; menteuse = liar (feminine)
* J'en ai marre = I've had enough/that's enough/I'm done
* Mini Three Musketeers bars are King's go-to candies. She's a vegetarian, yes, but she digs sweets. Also, it's around the time of year they'd be on sale for Halloween (I haven't set the exact timeline, but it's somewhere around that time)
* Clearly King has become more accustomed to drinking between the time that passed between this fic and R&D
Welp. I'm pretty sure that's it. As always, thoughts and feels are always appreciated so don't be afraid to reach out and say something! Lizard brain craves the validation! Cheers~!