Shine a Light on Royalty

Chapter 2
For His Neutral Special…

(Uploaded on May 13, 2020)

Summary: In Smash, Kirby can copy the abilities and appearances of any of the other fighters—and naturally, Joker isn't an exception to this rule.

Violet and Oracle aren't disappointed in the slightest.

Notes: Major spoilers for Kirby Star Allies are hinted at in this chapter, but are fairly avoidable.

World of Light
Kongo Jungle

"So, Kirby… you can copy other people's abilities, right?"

Kirby blinked.

That wasn't a question he had expected to hear.

In front of him, Oracle—one of the newer inductees to the Smashers' impromptu adventuring brigade—looked excitingly expectant, sporting a grin that stretched from cheek to cheek. Accompanying her was Joker and Violet, both of whom appearing to have no idea what their navigator was up to, but allowing her to continue on unabated anyway.

"…yeah, I can," he replied, somewhat confused. That was literally one of the first things everyone knew about him (aside from being the biggest eater this side of the multiverse). "Why do you ask?"

"Mwehehe…" she snickered. "Weeeeeeeeeeell… Joker here's supposed to be a Smash Brother in the future, according to nose man. So I just wanted to know—what would you look like copying him?"

Huh. So that's her game.

Two more teammates of Joker's—Skull and Panther—popped up upon hearing the turn the conversation was taking.

"Ooh, ooh!" Ann Takamaki—Panther—piped up, excited at the prospect. "I wanna see that for myself!"

"Me too!" Ryuji Sakamoto—Skull—added, his own beam impossible to miss. "A Joker version of Kirby is something we can't miss! Don't you agree, Joker?"

Joker put a hand to his chin and thought about it. Kirby's Copy Abilities in Smash worked a very specific way, if he could recall. He'd get apparel representing the fighter—and not to mention, their 'Neutral Special' to use in fights.

"It would be nice to see what happens," he replied, after a moment more to ponder. "I mean, I'm already charmingly debonair as it is—it wouldn't hurt to see how much of that'll transfer over."

"I… don't entirely understand what you guys are talking about," Violet chimed in, "but it seems pretty fun! I can already imagine Joker-senpai and Kirby-senpai working together—so I bet this'll be something extra-special!"

"You sure sound excited for this," the pink puffball said. "I do hope you remember that I have to eat you to get your ability, though. There's no getting around that."

Joker paused briefly. "Oh. Right."

That… was anunavoidable thing now, wasn't it?

Another beat of silence went by as he digested that revelation.

"…is it at least comfortable in there?" he asked, without missing a beat.

"R-R-R-R-Ren-senpai!?" Violet's jaw dropped at her boyfriend'sresponse. "U-Umm, maybe we shouldn't go through with this, then!" she started to low-key panic (which was basically her usual state of mind, half the time). "Like, I don't think you're a bad guy or anything, but—this is reaaaaally sounding dubious and I'd rather not have Senpai do anything dangerous or anything—"

Kirby laughed, much more genuinely than he'd been doing for a while. "Hey, don't worry," he said—"I don't actually consume people; they just pop back outta me the second I swallow 'em. Joker'll be fine, trust me."

Oracle nodded intently. "Yeah! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! When's the next time we're gonna get this kind of chance!?"

The gymnast, unsurprisingly, still looked unsure. "Umm…"

Joker decided to speak up. "If it makes you feel any better, Sumi, I can always bust out of his stomach with Satanael, or Odin, or… well, any of the Personas I have on hand." He smiled confidently at her, a smile proudly promising that everything would be okay. "Besides… it'll take a lot more than being eaten to take me down."

"That's right! Not even a rotten God of Control can do that!"

A jab in the side. "Skull, not the right time!"

"Yowch! S-Sorry, Panther…"

At the very least, this managed to some of assuage Violet's fears. She relaxed a little more, though that didn't stop her from latching onto her beloved's hand in comfort. (You can really see how much she cares for Joker, Kirby thought. It's… heckin' cute.)

"…okay. Okay. I'll hold you to that, Ren-senpai," she finally acquiesced. "But I reserve the right to freak out if something goes wrong anyway! Or use Ella to save you from Kirby hell, whichever one comes first!"

"I'm counting on it, Sumi."

The puffball faux-pouted. "You don't have to put it like that! I'm not an Eldritch Abomination or anything!"

The resident navigator gave him a pointed look through her goggles. Wordlessly, she summoned a holographic screen and had it scroll through images of a certain Destroyer of Worlds, with one image in particular—that of its core—explaining all that she needed to.

"…okay, so maybe I am a bit eldritch…" He shook his head. "Whatever, that's not the point. Let's go and do this thing already, shall we?"

"Alright." The leader of the Phantom Thieves flashed Kirby one of his trademark grins, well-practiced from his Metaverse misadventures. "Lay it on me!"

On a whim, Crow decided to see what Joker and his fellow Phantom Thieves were doing.

I've got time to kill, so why not, he thought. Who knows? He might provide some actual entertainment before we continue through this cesspool of a world.

He walked close to their position and idly turned his head—

—and proceeded to bear witness to Kirby literally eating Joker whole.

The Second Detective Prince stared blankly at the sight, periodically lifting the visor on his helmet as if it were the cause of… whatever this was.

"…nope. I am not getting involved with this."

He summarily turned on his heel and left for another group of Smashers.

Five faces stared at Kirby with something resembling awe and surprise.

"Holy moly," Oracle said. "I—I think I've reached heaven."

"Is this—is this real…?" Panther breathed. "Like, not simply us dreaming…?"

"It's gotta be," Skull gaped—"I couldn't make this up if I tried."

Kirby's appearance had changed, and boy was it spectacular: a wig of black, fluffy hair sat upon his head, as unrefined as Joker's own locks, and a black-and-white domino mask rested over his face. Behind it, his eyes now much resembled that of the aforementioned Phantom Thief in battle—complete with red orbs and white sclera (for whatever reason).

On anyone else, such a combination would be rather off-putting to see.

On Kirby, however…

Joker whistled. "Not too shabby," he complimented him. "That hair, that mask—it's all definitely my likeness. I'm impressed; it suits you pretty well."

The greatest reaction, however, came from Violet. At first, she simply stared at Kirby with wide eyes, the gears in her brain visibly stuttering in place. Eventually, she let out a loud, ecstatic squeal, and swiftly snatched the transformed Kirby up into her arms. "Oh my god, oh my god, he's—perfect! Look at him, Senpai!" She held him up with the widest of smiles. "He's so cute!"

Kirby blinked again, a little in shock, before deciding to roll with things. "That I am!" he sang, evidently about as cheerful as her. "I'm the cutest guy in the entire Smash pantheon, and don't you forget it!"

The Wild Card chuckled. "You know, bragging about how cute you are only provides the opposite effect," he stated, one hand ruffling his new counterpart's hair. "I guess I can give it a pass, though—I mean, I'm just as sassy and snarky as you."

"Hey, don't noogie me! Wh-Why can I even feel that!?"

Oracle giggled—Aww, I just wanna take him home with me and hug 'im 'til I die! Too bad Sumire's already doing that…

Eh, she can have him! I'll just be happy with saving this moment for myself!

She brought out her smartphone (as advanced as she could make it!) and snapped a photo of the scene before her. She wasted no time in making it her new home screen backdrop—until she came across something even better, of course. Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing, even! Wait 'til I show this to Sojiro!

"Well!" she said aloud, wearing the most satisfied smile possible, "my Curiosity gauge has went back down to zero! It's like Violet said: he's perfect."

"You can say that again!" Skull said. He and the other two Phantom Thieves gathered around the Hero of the Stars, the latter soaking up all the attention. "Man, this is kinda freaky! In a good way, I mean!" He leaned over him and whistled. "Do you think that if he took that mask off, he could summon a Persona of his own?"

It wouldn't be too out of the question: Kirby was undoubtedly capable of using various kinds of magic, regardless of who's it was. Heck, he could qualify for being a Wild Card based purely on his so-called Miracle Magic™. His Copy Abilities could easily be compared to Joker's brigade of herd-hitting Personas—but it wasn't a 1:1 comparison, either.

"Now that you mention it…" Panther put a finger on her chin in curiosity. "It would make sense; Kirby's supposed to get a power representing Joker. But can you really get a Persona, just from copying him…?"

"Maybe he's got his own version of Arsène!" Violet chirped. "Like a—little kid version of him, or a him that looks like Kirby!"

Joker's mind immediately supplied an image of a puffball Arsène, and then a puffball Raoul – both trying to act all intimidating, but their appearances leaving much to be desired.

He snorted uncontrollably. Hell yeah. Sign me up for that spectacle, please.

To sate his and everyone else's curiosity, Kirby lifted the domino mask from his face, revealing his mascot-esque features still beneath it. There was no trace of blue flames to be found.

"…I don't feel any different," the puffball slowly said. "As far as I can tell, my powers are the same as ever."

"Awwww," Violet pouted.

"That's a shame," Panther sighed.

"For real?" Skull slouched. "Nothing at all…?"

Joker idly started twirling his knife, his erudite mind getting to work with this revelation. "If you didn't get any Persona, much less one of mine, then—what did you receive in exchange?"

Oracle lit up. She came to the same conclusion about as fast as Joker did. "Oh ho ho… Can it be…?"

Kirby dug into his hammerspace… and promptly pulled out a gun.

Skull reacted appropriately. "Oh cripes, he's got a gun!"

"Ha! That's riiiiiiiight~!" the hero said, grinning like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet. "I've got a gun!" He aimed up into the sky and fired a few shots into the air—which thankfully didn't hit anybody, ally or otherwise. "Fear me, Puppet Fighters! I'm about to rain destruction all over your head! Wooooooooooo!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH—!" Violet and Oracle squee'd. "He's so adorable!"

"That settles it, I'm making him the Phantom Thieves' newest mascot," Joker declared, taking his lookalike into his arms. "Galeem'll never see him coming."

"Yeah!" Violet cheered. "Let's go, uhh… wait, what codename are we using for him?"

"Call me Starlight!" he happily suggested.

"Starlight it is, then!" the gymnast quickly bounced back. "Joker! Starlight! C'mon, let's go save the world! Any Shadow or Spirit we see, we'll take 'im down before they can even strike!"

"Aye aye!"

"Gotcha, Sumi!"

With that statement, the leading Star Allies-slash-Phantom Thieves dashed forth to the rest of their crew, leaving the remaining three behind in the dust.

"…I guess our break's over," Oracle nonchalantly said. She summoned Al Azif above her head and floated into it, trailing after the protagonist triad. "Well, we should probably go after them before they steal all our kills."

Skull and Panther followed suit. "You don't have to tell me twice!" the former track star said, pushing his feet as fast as he could go.

"We can't let them take the spotlight for themselves!" Panther agreed.

I was going to leave the last chapter as a standalone, but… well, I couldn't not have Ren and Sumire react to Joker!Kirby now, could I?

I love how, with Ren's ability, Kirby can technically use an actual gun (however fake it contextually may be). A real-deal, bullet-firing gun, complete with sound effects. The only thing that would've been even better (maybe) is Kirby being able to summon a Persona.

Now that would be one heck of a show.

Alas, we arrived at a different reality instead – but you know what, this one's fine, too. We can get Kirby and Joker working together in solidarity, and that's good enough for me.

Well, that's all for now – see you guys around!