The Dudebro King Of Darkness (King for Short)
Warning: self-shipping impending
When your bro asks for a lift, you provide it. Doesn't matter where they are or who you're with at the time. When your bro asks for your car keys, you provide them, as long as it doesn't come back scratched. If it does, you will kill them. (joking) When your bro asks to merge with you in mind, body and soul so you can become the ultimate emo dudebro entity and also conquer the limitations of gender, well, uh, the Bro Code doesn't cover that, but in this specific case, you choose to do so anyway because, you know, you're bros.
On one hand, the resulting entity is gender as heck. On the other, they also have the pretentious dudebro tendencies you both already had seriously enhanced. And might literally be a Shadow Pokemon. This might not have been a good idea. Self-indulgent Steven Universe-style fusion (in which it's an embodiment of the parties' relationship) between my sona and Arlo (Pokemon Go), born from our chemically imbalanced edgelord bromance.
Partner in some capacity to Spark, in that Arlo is his boyfriend normally, I have difficult-to-classify feelings about him, and he's remarkably accepting of his two favorite people becoming sort of one person. That bit is mostly Arlo, but there's some of me in there. Spark likes him in all capacities, plus we were similar enough in vibe beforehand that the fusion comes off as much as either of us but More So as a separate being.
Character design credit goes to my unconscious brain. Normally I don't take character design advice from dreams, but this one seemed pretty cool.
- Name: Does not have a true personal name. Goes by The Dudebro King Of Darkness, or King for short. Other masculine/neutral edgy royalty titles are also acceptable.
- Species: Takes a humanoid form, but technically an animum projection.
- Gender: They're a guy. That's all you need to know.
- Pronouns: he/him or they/them. Refers to self in first person with "we" out of pretention, considering himself royalty, and literally being two people.
- Orientation: Sorry, his heart belongs to Spark and they also are a relationship; they're not into you.
- Age: Great question.
- Occupation: Using absurd dark powers to be a dudebro.
- Abilities: Can make bodily projections out of solid darkness. They're not that strong, but they are pretty and can be used to pick things up. They also periodically manifest Shadow Pokemon aura if they've gained enough energy from others' dislike or are experiencing strong emotions. It doesn't really do much save blocking people's vision and smelling like Axe body spray.
- Sloppy ████████ Neat: Both components weren't much in the way of remembering to bathe, which only got intensified because are you really going to ask the goddamn Liegelord of Edge to shower? Even if he really needs one?
- Shy ████████ Outgoing: Only enjoys other people when either they are Spark or he is fucking with them (figuratively). Would much prefer to stay in their room communicating amongst themself.
- Lazy ████████ Active: He enjoys getting things done. He just doesn't like having to leave his room to do them. Which seems somewhat contradictory for a Pokemon Go trainer, but they make it work.
- Serious ████████ Playful: Pretty much literally sees their life as a game. The components being gamer bros on a couch was the best thing they understood, so it's only natural that they enjoy video games and also messing with people in their combined life.
- Mean ████████ Nice: Both components are honestly perfectly fine people. It's just that this entity is an embodiment for and outlet for all of their douchiest tendencies.
- Voice has that cool layering thing. This means that he can do all kinds of cool metalcore harmonies by himself.
- Is very aware of, and relishes in, how punchable his face is and how nobody can wear a popped collar and/or turtleneck without looking like a pretentious jerk. Especially not if the latter is also a crop top and you are wearing both.
- The eyeliner appears to spontaneously generate. They've never been seen applying it.
- To quote one of the inspiration materials: the Dudebro King Of Darkness is not one person. They are also not two people. They are an EXPERIENCE.
- Both people involved are basically conscious, but the mind/body situation is complicated. The bodies essentially melt into animum and then reform as a pure animum projection with a single soul merged from the two original ones, but ideally keeping them intact enough to be able to unfuse. People who are fused appear and communicate in an internal headspace that's not quite part of either of their individual mental worlds. What this headspace looks like, what the connection is, how much each individual involved's personality is subsumed, how easily they can communicate when in the headspace, and how coordinated the fusion is depends on the parties involved.
- The headspace in DKOD's case resembles your classical Edgy Gamer Bro Cave. It's tricked out with audio equipment, there's a cooler in the back full of energy drinks, it's covered in posters of our favorite bands and anime and such, and most importantly, at the front of the console is a black and red (like everything else in there) Gamer Couch, on which both components control the action as something along the lines of a 2-player video game that's also simultaneously real and felt by both of them. Funky brain/soul stuff, okay.
- The closer together we sit in the headspace, the more our souls/minds "melt together". As with the two-player game metaphor, both components' personalities still exist and direct actions (the closer we are, the more our personalities and motivations match in that moment) as ourselves, but it also contributes to a combined single result (the "real" experience and personality of the fused entity). Direct physical contact in the headspace corresponds to complete coordination of components in that moment.
- The fact that all components actually stay sort of conscious while coordinated in the headspace is actually unusual as a product of our having incredibly similar vibes beforehand. Fusions with less similar initial vibes usually merge more in the headspace because they can't stay separately conscious while still being able to function as one entity. Essentially, you need to have been of one being, or pretty damn close, before fusing, if you want to sorta be two beings while fused. Funny how that works.
All Pokemon are Pokemon Go-style Shadow Pokemon. Rawr XD is specifically an Apex Shadow Lugia.Rawr XD
- Species: Lugia
- Gender: Genderless
- Nature: Naive
- Characteristic: Strongly defiant
- Moveset: Extrasensory/Aeroblast+/Future Sight
- Name Origin: Reference to emo/scene/lolrandom catchphrase and Shadow Lugia XD001.
- Species: Bisharp
- Gender: Male
- Nature: Bold
- Characteristic: Somewhat stubborn
- Moveset: Metal Claw/Dark Pulse/Focus Blast
- Name Origin: Logical derivation of "edgelord".
- Species: Salamence
- Gender: Female
- Nature: Quiet
- Characteristic: Often lost in thought
- Moveset: Dragon Tail/Outrage/Fire Blast
- Name Origin: Shortened from Tiamat, Mesopotamian dragon goddess.
- Species: Scizor
- Gender: Male
- Nature: Relaxed
- Characteristic: Capable of taking hits
- Moveset: Fury Cutter/X-Scissor/Iron Head
- Name Origin: Shortened from Guillotine.
- Species: Charizard
- Gender: Male
- Nature: Naughty
- Characteristic: Likes to thrash about
- Moveset: Fire Spin/Blast Burn/Dragon Claw
- Name Origin: Named after Ronnie Radke of Falling In Reverse.
- Species: Seviper
- Gender: Female
- Nature: Gentle
- Characteristic: Alert to sounds
- Moveset: Poison Jab/Poison Fang/Crunch
- Name Origin: Named after Wadjet, Egyptian cobra goddess and Enforcer's pet corn snake.
If you'd like to draw King via a request or trade, contact Enforcer using one of the outlets on the homepage.
"So, what do you want to do today?" I turned towards the headspace projection of Arlo, who will henceforth be referred to solely by the individual's name. "I've successfully binge-watched Steven Universe with you so you'll get my references and we've listened to the same 2 Escape the Fate albums, like, 6 times in the past week. I've gotten all the lyrics I can understand memorized."
Arlo moved from the couch to a gamer chair next to it and pushed it to a position in front of me before spinning around in place, trying his best to provide a menacing reveal. It wasn't especially effective and I couldn't help but smile at the display. He pressed a button on his glasses which filled them with an opaque white glow. I wasn't sure how he hadn't blinded himself by now doing that.
"So, how do you feel about Candela? Or more interestingly, perhaps, how does she feel about you?"
I fidgeted in my seat a bit and glanced around the room. "Well, we first met in 2017. She tried to convert me, which wasn't very effective. Did get me to make my first alt, though. Then once Elaphe started getting all corrupted, they killed the Valor alt and Candela decided she wanted nothing to do with the whole mess with the Ellendale Enforcer and me and Blanche and Spark and Elaphe and kinda skipped out. We were on-and-off friends until I tried to join Team Valor back in 2020, almost destroyed my psyche, and was never able to fully connect with any team again. Haven't talked since."
Arlo blinked a couple of times. "How the hell have you and your projection managed to antagonize and/or date all of the team leaders?"
"It's one of my talents. You're going to ask if we can go scare the crap out of Candela, right?"
"Yeah. How'd you know?"
"I can literally read your thoughts if I want. That's one of the main parts of the whole fusion thing. Anyway, while I don't have especially negative feelings toward Candela herself, I do like tweaking Valors and am totally down to support you."
"Bro." We shared one of those awkward bro hugs that tries so hard to avoid subtext that it becomes laden with it, except that we were aware of and embraced said subtext as a side effect of legitimately not being interested in each other, before sitting down at the couch and firing up the control console. "So, how are we going to find Candela? I don't think you have a reverse Rocket Radar or anything."
"She leaves her live location on Snapchat enabled." Arlo pulled out his phone and gestured to the map showing the Team Valor leader's Bitmoji self at the running trail of a nearby park. How he got location service while in a metaphysical mental location will be left as an exercise for the reader.
We arrived at the park and lay in wait for Candela on a park bench, earbuds in, quietly humming to ourself and appreciating how we could harmonize with ourself via the whole voice-of-the-legion thing, and looking exceedingly brooding and cool. We adjusted our collar. She'd come around eventually, although it might take several laps for her to realize who we were. We waved at her and smirked as she next circled and she got about 20 feet away from us before stopping in her tracks, leaving the Rapidash that followed behind her rather confused and turning back. She looked us over, showing none of the signs of confusion that we expected.
"What the hell have you done now? Did you listen to Tragic Magic on loop until you evolved into your ultimate jerk potential?"
We arose from the bench and struck our most prestigious pose. "Hardly. We never listen to the same song on loop. It's much better to listen to one album for a week. Anyway, we are no longer Arlo. We are everything he is and more. We are the Dudebro King Of--"
Candela physically walked up to us and put a finger over our mouth. "Really? As impressive as the technology for your voice modulation is, speaking in multiple voices at once and referring to yourself as 'we' is cliche even for you. You're better than that."
We stood silent for several seconds. Evidently, we had forgotten that our glasses, when we were in a form that required it, could hypothetically do that. We removed our glasses and placed them back in our case and made a show of our eyes briefly glowing red.
"Do not interrupt us while we introduce ourself! We are the Dudebro King Of Darkness. Lord of the Unholy and master of the edgelording arts. We have transcended the very idea of being a pretentious jerk to the point that we redefine it with our every word and deed."
Candela remained unfazed and approached us more closely before stepping back. "Okay, it is very bizarre for you to be taller than me. I could still totally take you, though. So, I guess your voice really does do that. What, did you get yourself possessed by Mewtwo or something?"
"We are an amalgamation of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers of two esteemed edgelords coalesced into a single cohesive entity with potential that transcends any creature, human or Pokemon alike. Your physical strength is irrelevant when you duel with a god!"
Our back exploded with bursts of dark tentacles that eventually formed themselves into a pair of Lugia-esque wings, surrounded by Shadow Pokemon smoke as our eyes continued to glow. We couldn't actually fly with them, but they still looked pretty cool and provided adequate punctuation for our statement. Candela widened her eyes slightly before returning to her blasé state and slowly shaking her head.
"Wait. I recognize one of your voices. Really, Enforcer? I always knew you were evil, but teaming up with him? I thought the face-heel turn you've been building up to for 5 years would be classier than this."
She walked all the way around our body, including briefly running her fingers over one of the darkness wings.
"Hmm. Projections are pretty solid. Not bad in the power level department. You'd still get crushed by any Legendary Pokemon that was trying, so don't sell yourself too much, Mr. Edgelord God. See, normally, Arlo, I'd call you out for leading them in with your emo wiles so you could take advantage of them and turn them into a vile little infidel like you, but I don't actually know who's corrupting whom in this case."
In the headspace, we both sat frozen. Candela waved her hand in front of our face. "Uh, hello? Aren't you going to use your newfound vast power to punish me for my insolence or say that you take 'vile little infidel' as a compliment or something?"
Arlo slowly turned towards me. "Uh, my most esteemed, exalted Enforcer? What is she talking about with you having always been evil? I'm totally down for that, but I wasn't aware of all of the history you apparently have."
Based on the smirk spreading across Candela's face, Arlo had also said that out loud.
"Well. I see you're both still conscious in there, so let me let you both know about the parts of each other's history you may have missed. So, our esteemed, exalted Enforcer...I would say they're two-faced, but that's a gross understatement. How many of you have there been? Like, 30? 80 percent of whom got eaten by each other, sacrificed to EE, or were otherwise gruesomely killed?"
Arlo let out a brief squeak of alarm. "Holy...wow, you really are evil. She means, like, projections, right? How if you make more than 1 Go trainer from yourself, they're all kinda different spinoffs or aspects of you? So you weren't really killing anyone, just absorbing them back into yourself."
I nodded. "Yeah, that summarizes it. Don't worry. Most of them were never meant to exist to begin with. And for your information, Candela, I've never had more than 6 active at a time. Really, no more than 3. And most of them didn't really individuate before I decided I was better off without them."
Candela's expression did not change. "You're only proving my point, you realize. Anyway, Arlo, I would keep an eye on them. Maybe make sure they're not going to try to, I don't know, get you to give up you trust and power to them until they become the real power behind your throne? I don't think anyone, including them, remembers what team Enforcer is supposed to be on. They'll align with literally anything just as an excuse to either get more power or hang out with people they think are cute. Did you know their last fling was a demon?"
Arlo decided to step forward to the front of the council to defend me. It was one thing for him to call me evil. It was another thing for Candela to. "I don't care how mean their ex was or how many of y'all they've dated. I know Enforcer and they're not going to betray me."
"Arlo, you don't understand. It was a literal demon. Like, fire and brimstone, making deals for people's souls, that sort of thing. What did you do to it again?"
"Oh, EE? I turned her into a Neopet, gradually robbed her of her ill-gotten power, and absorbed all of the parts of her that weren't made of self-loathing back into me."
Candela made a flourish with her hands. "QED. And if you say that's Mystic, I'm breaking your pretty little face. I'm reclaiming it for Team Valor as a jab towards the collective. Enforcer might have lost most of their power, but what they lack in animum, they make up for in sheer devious ruthlessness. They will make you love them and then play you like a cheap MIDI keyboard until you realize that all of your best character traits have been subsumed into them and you're left as a gratuitously edgy shell of your former self. Of course, I'm not sure if there's much to you other than being gratuitously edgy, Arlo. Might explain how your fusion is holding up so well."
"Guilty as charged." Arlo made his classic too-wide smile, which applied to our shared experience as well. The murder-smile just worked so well with red eyes.
"I'm actually kind of surprised that Enforcer chose to fuse with you rather than just hanging out with you until they absorbed enough of your power to supplant you like they did to Spark. Maybe they really do like you. Now, then, Arlo, let's discuss all of your failings. I don't think you're that bad of a person underneath, really. Spark has brought out a side of you I barely even saw when we were dating. By the way, is Spark cool with his boyfriend and his kind-of ex, I'm not sure of the relationship between Enforcer and Elaphe anymore, becoming the same person?"
"You take that back right this instant! And yes, in fact, he is. Part of why we fused is out of our mutual appreciation for him." I moved to the side and granted primary control of the console to Arlo. He proceeded to assume the pose he used when taking over Pokestops and take on his most smug and condescending airs.
"I do think you're a good person underneath. Really, I think Enforcer is too, although I'm not sure how compatible their relentless desire for power and control and your whole personality is with that. But let's talk about the matter that despite the fact that you dumped me because your fragile masculine ego couldn't stand the prospect of your girlfriend being a better team leader than you, you've claimed that I 'humiliated' you and held a petty grudge for 6 years. And the fact that your first response to me breaking up with you was to join a gang that plots to destroy my entire worldview and everything I work for. You're all smiles until you find something you think is a better opportunity, right? Everyone except you is just a tool to prove how great you are."
"Doesn't your professor keep saying that there's no 'I' in team and that your focus on proving that Team Valor is the best team, and by extension, you're the best trainer, is getting in the way of actually getting things done? We don't think we're the only one with a superiority complex here. And you seem to have held a grudge as well."
I had insider knowledge of how the team leaders operated. Arlo had history with Candela. Together, we were unstoppable. We smirked before making a sweeping gesture and started pacing around her. It's the best way to monologue.
"Tsk, tsk. And just when we thought that you had matured. Are you really so set on the idea of yourself as the hero of justice and us as fundamentally twisted and irredeemable creatures of darkness that your little shonen-protagonist brain can't contend the most minimal possibility that we actually like each other? You have this problem in how you think of our relationships with Spark, too, right?"
"Enforcer, when we interviewed you or Elaphe or whoever they explicitly said that they just wanted to seduce Spark so he'd gradually start trusting you and give up enough power for you to become the real force behind Team Instinct. And Arlo...well, while I can't deny how cute you two are so I do think your feelings are legit, let's just say you never did anything like that for me."
"That's what it's about, right? That's what it's always been about. You. You think that you were going to save us. That you were the only hope for us, like that one MCR song. Purifying flames and all that, right? And because we abandoned you, we're doomed to cascade further into corruption. You offered us forgiveness and we rejected it so you can leave with your hands clean. Why would we want to go back to Team Valor with you? So you can hold our past over us for the rest of our lives? I told you that my family had cut me off and I had no connections. I had no options other than either getting the leadership or turning to crime! You promised you'd let me win!"
"Your pronouns are slipping, Dudebro King of Darkness. Careful not to misnumber yourselves. And I said no such thing. You know I never hold back. I said that whoever won, I'd support you. Even if you didn't want to stay officially aligned with Team Valor, I could still fund you as long as you did some sort of related research. In case you forgot, the battle was a draw. Professor Willow chose me because I had slightly more people skills than you."
"Come on! Do you really think that a battle tournament selects for people skills? We only got to the last 2 positions because we beat up everyone in our way. Hardly a good quality for someone who's supposed to be a mentor to their trainers. Let's face it, Candela: you're just as much of a jerk as I am. You just have your hero complex to hide it and you can play the supportive team leader as long as everyone knows you're the Alpha Valor. But as soon as you feel remotely challenged, all of that crumbles. That's why you hate me so much, right? I'm the only one who's ever questioned you."
Within the headspace, the main console screen was being gnawed on the edges by areas of black and red glitching. Arlo continued to rant at Candela while gripping his controller as though his life depended on it. Shadow Pokemon smoke burst up from him, occasionally intercepted by bursts of purple and red lightning. I reached out a hand towards his shoulder, grimacing against the wave of rage that hit me when I made contact.
"Hey, calm down. I'm here. Things are better now."
I took some deep breaths and attempted to send good vibes in his direction, while sustaining some difficulty finding them since I was feeling the full force of his pent-up rage and sadness as well. I wasn't sure whether to use the tactics I'd use to calm down a friend or myself. They both seemed pertinent, but not quite sufficient. After several rounds of deep breaths, Arlo put down the controller and acknowledged my presence. As was to be expected given the state of our regulation, I ended up with my statements of internal comfort broadcast out loud, too, meaning Candela got to witness what looked like our fusion comforting themself.
"Aww, how cute. Is this where you do the song? You're made of love and it's stronger than me? For all my doubts, you do make a cute pair. Guess you needed someone to balance out the incoming wholesome vibes from Spark, right?"
That reminder got Arlo's aura back down so we returned to our positions at the console, now back in unison.
We are bonded via a completely different dynamic from Arlo and Spark. A pair, yes, but a couple, no. More precisely, we are part of the longstanding tradition of Edgelord Bromance and it is absolutely. Adorable. You wish you had something like what we do. We understand each other in a way you could never dream of."
We stopped our circling monologue and stood directly in front of Candela so she could behold us fully. She rolled her eyes before patting her Rapidash, getting onto its back with no signs of discomfort from the flames, and making her leave down the park's trail, firing off a final quip before she faded into the distance.
"Remember, fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak edgelords stronger. Later, losers."
Once Candela left, we sat back down on the park bench and convened to recenter ourselves.
"Hey, are you okay? I can tell that y'all's history really started biting you there."
Arlo shook his head and mumbled under his breath without making eye contact with me. "She always did know just how to get to my core."
He cleared his throat and looked back up at me. "It's not even really about what we used to have. That's long since over and as much as I may talk about wanting her back, I'm fine with that. It's just that...it's one thing for her to go for me. It's another thing for her to drag you or Spark into it. I know that all of you can fight back and she doesn't want to hurt me. She really is as nice as she appears despite being arrogant as all get out and she has every right to be mad at me. But, like, that part of my life is over. Other than what I do, y'know, professionally because it's fun, I'm trying to be less of a jerk and I wish she could see that. She's totally right that that's how the last version of me would have treated y'all, but I don't know how to make her see that I'm not that person anymore."
I walked into the back of the headspace and pulled two cans of Monster Energy out of the cooler and handed one to Arlo before popping one open myself. "Hey. It doesn't matter what she sees. It matters who we are now. I'd really rather that she left my past with her behind, too. I was...well, let's just say that I made so many of me to hide that I wasn't comfortable actually being myself. But that's not relevant anymore. We're here, now, and can be fully ourselves with each other. That's what fusion is about. And while it would be nice to prove her wrong about our past, I could tell that you were straining not to straight up fight her and that she probably felt the same, what matters is us making a future together. And maybe rubbing that in her face just for kicks. Cheers."
I popped open the can and it let out a hiss. Arlo did the same and we clanked them against each other, splashing some of their metaphysical contents onto the couch with a fizz, before taking our drinks and sharing another bro-hug. He smiled in my direction.
"Thanks for doing this with me. Want to go back to my HQ and listen to one of those albums again?"
"Totally. We need to work on My Apocalypse now that I finally looked up the lyrics."