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Roommates - Ch. 1 (First Impressions)

Nov 27th, 2015
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  1. Roommates has moved! You can now read it at Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11250126/navigate
  2.  
  3. Roommates - Ch. 1 (First Impressions): http://i.imgur.com/awhw5Ec.png
  4. Inspired by Weaver's Five Nights at Freddy's Apartment AU: http://i.imgur.com/LnDJVNL.png
  5. Originally written in November of 2015 as a greentext request for the /5N@F/ General Discussion Thread at /vg/: https://boards.fireden.net/vg/thread/123411224/#123531070
  6. Sincerest thanks to Weaver (http://tgweaver.tumblr.com/) for all of the invaluable assistance in writing, proofreading, and editing this story as well as for illustrating the chapter title cards.
  7. Questions or comments? Drop me an ask at http://roommatesau.tumblr.com/
  8.  
  9. ---
  10.  
  11. You drop your duffel bag to the ground, taking in the apartment block in front of you.
  12.  
  13. "This is the place," the landlord says, nervously adjusting his spectacles. "If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Do you need any help carrying your things in?"
  14.  
  15. You glance at his pathetic, wiry frame -- this guy looks like he hasn't lifted anything heavier than a pencil in his life. His scrawny, stringy build consisting of almost negative muscle mass means he'd be more useful as a windsock than he would be performing any strenuous physical activity. Besides, everything you own in the world has been condensed into a large duffel bag and a rolling suitcase.
  16.  
  17. "I'll manage, sir," you reply with a smile, much to his visible relief.
  18.  
  19. "Oh, good -- err, well, then, don't let me keep you."
  20.  
  21. The landlord scurries off to his dinged-up golf cart, and after a few tries manages to get it running again. Moving so fast as to almost be offensive, he's out of sight before you've even made it halfway up the stairs.
  22.  
  23. Once you're up top, you begin studying the apartment doors, counting them down until you make it to the one that you've been assigned: apartment 87-B. Parking the duffel on top of your suitcase, you straighten the shirt you've worn for three days in a row and the pants you've worn for four as best as you can before combing your hair back with your fingers. Might as well try to make a good first impression -- you get enough strange looks as it is. You try in vain to convince yourself that it's just because you haven't had a hot bath and a hot meal in a while, and not because everyone around you thinks you're some kind of hideous, deformed mutant.
  24.  
  25. Deep breath. You gently rap the doorknocker three times and practice your best smile. A muffled scream is audible from the other side of the wall, followed by stomping and what sounds like glass breaking. Hopefully it's just a television show.
  26.  
  27. "Mangle! Can you get the door?! MAAAANNNGLLE!!"
  28.  
  29. After a solid forty seconds, most of which you spend fervently quadruple-checking the note given to you by the landlord to ensure that you are in fact at the right apartment, the door clicks open. A tall, lanky brown bear with a head that seems a tad too large for his shoulders answers the door. He's dressed in what appears to be a sportcoat that wants to be a tuxedo, with a glossy ribbon necktie and a top hat that's far too small for his head. The bear gazes at you with a calm, blank expression.
  30.  
  31. "Bon après-midi. Puis-je vous aider?"
  32.  
  33. You stare at him. What the hell is this guy on? "I -- sorry, um... hi, my name's Michael -- Mike Schmidt. I'm your new roommate."
  34.  
  35. He looks you up and down. "Quoi?"
  36.  
  37. You frown slightly. "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying."
  38.  
  39. He shakes his head. "Désolé, je ne comprends pas."
  40.  
  41. "English? Do you speak English? I don't -- are you okay?"
  42.  
  43. You can't possibly comprehend the weird alien gibberish this bear is trying to broadcast into your noise funnels, and it sure isn't helping your rising anxiety.
  44.  
  45. "Attendez," he says before turning back and heading into the depths of the apartment.
  46.  
  47. "Uh, do you need medical attention? Are you all right? Am I at the right apartment?" you call after him. He's got to be having a stroke; that's literally the only logical explanation. Concerned for this bear's safety, you gently step foot into the foyer. "Hello? Is anyone else in here?"
  48.  
  49. Moments later the bear returns with a curvy, half-dressed avian of some variety. You can't tell what breed she -- oh. Oh, god, she's missing her beak. Don't stare. You do your best not to look -- you're looking. Look anywhere but where her beak should be, don't look at the horrible scars.
  50.  
  51. You successfully divert your gaze from her beak.
  52.  
  53. "My eyes are up here, pal," she says as you stare lasers into her thong.
  54.  
  55. "Hi," you reply without looking up.
  56.  
  57. "Why do we get all the freakin' weirdos," she grumbles. "Thanks, Freddy. You can head back to the kitchen now, if you want."
  58.  
  59. He stares blankly at her, and she points down the hallway. With a hesitant nod, "Freddy" disappears around the corner.
  60.  
  61. "Sorry about that," the bird replies, forcibly tilting your head up with one of her wings. You nervously shift your gaze from her panties to the feathers on her forehead. "My name's Chica, I'm the apartment head here. That was Freddy. He's -- well, his doctor says he's got some kind of weird disease. I think he called it aphrasia? Aphashing? Something like that. He says words, but they don't make any sense."
  62.  
  63. You breathe a sigh of relief. "Oh, good, so he's like that all the time. I was worried he was having an episode or something."
  64.  
  65. Chica laughs a little too loudly. "Oh god, I know, right? We called the emergency room the first time we met him. Took them hours to figure out what was wrong with him and I still don't think they actually know. He's a sweet kid, though. Sorry, what'd you say your name was?"
  66.  
  67. "Oh, I'm Micha-- uh, Mike Schmidt." You're still not quite sure you can make eye contact without staring at her horribly scarred mouth, but continuing to avoid it is only going to make it worse. "I'm your new roommate, I guess."
  68.  
  69. Chica nods. "Well, come on in, then, 'Micah Mykshmit'. I'm sorry to say that you won't have your own room. Given our limited accommodations, you're going to be Freddy's roommate. Unless you want to stay with Mangle, but I can understand if you don't."
  70.  
  71. "Just 'Mike' is fine," you say before she gets the wrong idea. "And, uh, Mangle? Just how many people are staying here?"
  72.  
  73. "Well, let's see," she says, counting off on her feathertips. "There's me and Freddy, Mangle, and of course Bonnie -- and she gets her own room. You don't go in with Bonnie at all, ever. Get that one through your head right now."
  74.  
  75. You nod briskly. So much for privacy, but you're still grateful. After all, the alternative isn't an option. Not again.
  76.  
  77. "Honestly, just anywhere to crash is fine with me. I'd sleep in a broom closet if I had to, as long as I had a place to lay a pillow and a blanket. Anything's better than the streets."
  78.  
  79. She sniffs and makes an unpleasant face. "Yeah, no kidding. You kinda reek, buddy. Look, no offense, but you're taking a bath before dinner. My sense of taste's already screwed up enough as it is."
  80.  
  81. You smile wryly. Chica's frank -- rough around the edges might be a better way of putting it -- but at least she seems well-intentioned enough. You drop your things by the door for now before following Chica further into the apartment.
  82.  
  83. For the most part, your new place is pretty modern. Looks like it's not much older than maybe five or so years, and it's been well-maintained. There's a set of couches and two big, overstuffed chairs in the common area, and a television that's of a decent size with a small rack full of DVDs nearby. You grimace slightly as your eyes sweep the titles -- they appear to be mostly chick flicks and lowest-common-denominator comedies, but you figure now isn't a good time to air your inner film snob.
  84.  
  85. The common area is a fairly open plan -- the kitchen is right near the living room, and it appears to have a full set of appliances. Freddy's busily cooking something, and while you can't identify what it is, it does smell delicious.
  86.  
  87. "Over here's my room, and down the hall from me is Bonnie's room. If you need anything at all, come get me -- you can wake me up in the middle of the night if you have to."
  88.  
  89. You squint. From the way Chica's dressed, you're not sure what kind of impression to take from that.
  90.  
  91. "Your room is on the opposite side -- well, Freddy's room, but it's your room as well now," she continues. "Is that all right with you, Freddy?"
  92.  
  93. Freddy glances up from the cutting board. "Le dîner est rognon de veau forestière."
  94.  
  95. She smiles back at you. "He says he doesn't mind."
  96.  
  97. Well, if she says so. You can't understand a lick of what he's saying, but you nod an affirmative and carry your bags into his room without objection.
  98.  
  99. Freddy's room is largely plain and inornate, with little more than a bunk bed and a few meager decorations. Two framed pictures hang on the wall next to the bed depicting scenic locations you'd know nothing about. Strange objects occupy a writing desk in the corner, none of which you can grasp the immediate purpose of. An artist's easel rests in the opposite corner from the desk, with a sketchy picture drawn on its canvas. It appears to depict some strange metal building -- or perhaps an enormous lightning rod -- that's shaped vaguely like the letter A, if it was an A on all four sides.
  100.  
  101. Lowering your bags, you take a moment to consider your surroundings, since this is where you'll be staying for the immediate future. Freddy's a complete enigma to you, but hopefully a benign one. With a shrug, you head back outside into the main room, where Chica's since moved over to the couch -- and she's not alone. Seated beside the large bird is a small, timid-looking waif of a blue rabbit. A lop, specifically. She's a frail little thing, wrapped in a one-piece dress that looks two sizes too big for her spindly frame. You find yourself idly wondering if she's related to the stick figure of a landlord outside.
  102.  
  103. The rabbit glances up at you and trembles slightly as you enter the room. "Hi," you say by way of greeting. "I'm Mike, your new roommate."
  104.  
  105. She doesn't stop shaking, slowly extending her paw to yours for a handshake. Her grip's weak even by a child's standards, and she pulls her paw away quickly like she's been stung. She whispers something aloud to you, but there's no way you could possibly hear her over the television.
  106.  
  107. "I'm sorry?" you ask politely.
  108.  
  109. She repeats herself twice, and you look to Chica for a translation only to find that the bird's already engrossed in a rowdy-looking sitcom.
  110.  
  111. "You must be Bonnie," you finally offer, sitting a fair distance away in one of the chairs.
  112.  
  113. She nods slightly, continuing to whisper to you and fumbling with the hem of her skirt.
  114.  
  115. "Educated guess," you continue hesitantly. "It was either that or Mangle, and, well, I figured because of your name..."
  116.  
  117. Bonnie gets up hurriedly, excusing herself from the couch and all but running for her door. "I'm sorry, was it something I said?" you ask nervously, but before you can get the words out Bonnie's long gone. Turning to Chica, she's either still ignoring you or she just genuinely doesn't notice, turning the volume up to just below thundering.
  118.  
  119. Glancing over at Freddy, still hunched over the kitchen stove, it appears the bear is holding a blowtorch in one paw while flipping a pair of welding goggles down over his eyes with the other.
  120.  
  121. What the hell have you gotten yourself into?
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