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Roommates - Ch. 7 (Here's Bonnie)

Dec 3rd, 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. 7 (Here's Bonnie): http://i.imgur.com/BWxzE6N.png
  4. Inspired by Weaver's Five Nights at Freddy's Apartment AU: http://i.imgur.com/LnDJVNL.png
  5. Part of an ongoing series written for the /5N@F/ General Discussion Thread at /vg/.
  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. The sounds of heavy footfalls on the concrete sidewalk alert you to someone approaching the bus stop. Glancing up, you observe a tall, gangly rabbit dressed in a tweed coat and dress slacks sauntering up to your bench. Unlike the two bunnies you've met thus far, this one's a dusty purple and appears to be male.
  12.  
  13. "Well would ya look at this motley crew," the rabbit says, snapping his lapels. "How are you folks doin' on this finest of days?"
  14.  
  15. "Hey, Bonworth! Good to see you up and around," Chica replies as she stands up to hug the newcomer. "Heading into town?"
  16.  
  17. "Right as rain," he replies jovially before turning to look at you. "Now say, I know li'l miss Bonnibel here, but who's this swell-looking fella? Put 'er there, pal!"
  18.  
  19. Without warning, the rabbit thrusts a huge, bulky paw in your face, nearly clipping you in the jaw. You reach out to shake it, trying not to wince -- he's got a grip like iron. This goofball's a hell of a lot stronger than he looks!
  20.  
  21. "Bonworth, this is Mike, our new roommate. Mike, this is Bonworth Carrington Rabbinson the 3rd," Chica replies.
  22.  
  23. "Kind of a mouthful, right?" Bonworth grins. "My friends just call me Bonnie."
  24.  
  25. "Huh. That makes you the third 'Bonnie' I've met while staying here," you reply, rubbing your hand.
  26.  
  27. "You know, I hadn't really thought about that, but now that you mention it..." your Bonnie comments, absently counting something off on her fingers.
  28.  
  29. "I suppose there are a number of us runnin' around," Bonworth chuckles. "If you factor in ol' Beanpole, then that should bring the tally of 'Bonnies' I know of to four by my accounting -- including myself, of course."
  30.  
  31. Holy shit. Bonbon wasn't kidding -- this apartment complex is by no means running a Bonnie deficiency. It's almost enough to make your head spin. Still, considering the fact that not a single one you've met thus far is actually "named" Bonnie per se, it makes some level of sense if it's a common nickname -- sort of like how "Freddy" could easily be short for Frederick or Alfred.
  32.  
  33. Either way, you make a mental note to try to start referring to your own Bonnie by her full name a little more when you're around other Bonnies so that it doesn't get any more confusing than it already is. Oh, but then there's the fact that Freddy refers to things using "bon"...
  34.  
  35. "Where are you headed, Bonworth?" Bonnie -- Bonnibel, damn it -- asks, giving him a gentle hug of her own.
  36.  
  37. "Well, shucks, look at me gettin' all the attention from the ladyfolk here," he grins, doing a little dance on the spot even though it's obvious he's not cut out for it. You watch as he teeters back and forth like a drunken sailor trying ballet for the first time, much to the girls' amusement and your own disdain. "To answer your question, I was fixing to go hook our crew up with some victuals, seeing as how we're running low on groceries. How about you kids?"
  38.  
  39. "Mike here's got to head to the bank," Chica says, patting you on the shoulder, "and then we were thinking of doing some shopping and picking up pho for dinner later tonight. Mangle has a craving, it would seem."
  40.  
  41. "You know, Bonworth, I think there's a grocery store right by the bank," Bonnibel says, timidly raising her paw. "Why don't we walk together and catch up?"
  42.  
  43. "Sounds jake to me," he replies, snapping his fingers enthusiastically as the bus pulls up. "Oh look, there's our trolley now! All aboard, everybody!"
  44.  
  45. Ah, wonderful. Now you're going to be trapped in a confined space for God knows how long with a neurotic rabbit that just went code red on you not twenty minutes ago and a -- well, whatever the hell Bonworth is.
  46.  
  47. Your theory about having accidentally checked into an asylum is starting to feel like it's holding water.
  48.  
  49.  
  50.  
  51. The bus is packed with colorful commuters heading into the city for work, some of whom give you funny looks as you pass by. You resist the urge to tell them that you're not even the weirdest person in your group.
  52.  
  53. Despite the bus being nearly full, the four of you are able to find seating all the way in the back. Chica squeezes in next to you while Bonworth and Bonnibel sit opposite you. With both Chica and yourself occupying a small, narrow bench seat, it's more than a little cramped. You find yourself pressing up against the window to avoid shoving her off the bench. Good thing you're not claustrophobic.
  54.  
  55. "You're welcome to sit up here, Mike, if you'd be more comfortable," Chica comments, patting her lap with a coy smile.
  56.  
  57. You very briefly consider taking her up on the offer -- her feathers ARE quite soft, and she's, uh, well-padded -- but you know it'd ultimately make you LESS comfortable, especially since she (and/or Mangle) would almost certainly tease you about it later.
  58.  
  59. "I'll manage," you reply. "If I'm crowding you, let me know. Wouldn't want to be accused of manspreading or anything."
  60.  
  61. "Hah! Fair enough. Don't let me smoosh you, though," she grins. "You know that Mangle likes the taste of your berries."
  62.  
  63. You turn bright red to the amusement of your companions and even a few of the passengers around you. Even Bonworth blushes, jokingly pulling at his collar.
  64.  
  65. "Gee whillikers, sport! Sounds like you're quite the man-about-town. Does Mangle have designs on you?"
  66.  
  67. "I think Mangle has designs on everybody," you grouse, rubbing vigorously at your cheeks in a failed attempt to hide your embarrassment. "That comment was taken very, VERY much out of context and you know it, Chica."
  68.  
  69. "Mike, you gotta learn to laugh a little," she replies smugly, tossing a wing around your shoulders. "All that surliness is contagious. Pretty soon we'll be an apartment of grumps if you don't cut loose every once in a while."
  70.  
  71. "I'm cutting loose. This morning at the breakfast table Mangle ate my berries and I didn't even--" More snickering from nearby. "Ugh. You know what, forget it."
  72.  
  73. "Well this sure is shaping up to be lively," Bonworth beams, straightening his bow tie as he turns to Chica. "So how's everyone doin' at your place? Last time I stopped by the apartment he made this delightful brunch for us and if I didn't know better, I'd have said I put on six pounds just looking at it."
  74.  
  75. "That's Freddy for you," Chica replies. "But yeah, we're getting along just fine. Right before you walked up, I'd been trying to convince Bonnie here to go jogging with us since she needs to put on some weight. I'm afraid the first strong winter wind we get's going to blow her halfway across the parking lot."
  76.  
  77. "Might need to get her a leash like we have for Foxy," Bonworth replies, tousling Bonnibel's headfur. Foxy and Bonworth are roommates? That explains a lot, actually.
  78.  
  79. Bonnibel ducks under her scarf a little. "Oh, you guys," she says, blushing.
  80.  
  81. "Don't worry, Bon," you reply, giving her leg a friendly pat. "We won't make you do anything you don't want to do."
  82.  
  83. Especially not after that little freak-out earlier.
  84.  
  85. "Thanks, Mike." She's still blushing, but gives you the most precious little smile. It's hard to believe this was the same little spitfire that threw a hissy fit just moments before you left the house.
  86.  
  87. "So! Mike, tell me a little about yourself," Bonworth grins, smacking his thighs with his palms.
  88.  
  89. "I moved into 87-B about, what, four or so days ago?" You glance at Chica, who nods. "So far it's not bad at all. Uh, everyone's been really easy to get along with. I'm enjoying it here, for sure."
  90.  
  91. "Well that's dandy and all, fella, but that tells me zip about you." Bonworth raises an eyebrow. "Come on, give me the scoop! Where are you from? Any hopes and dreams? When's the wedding? You know, that sort of thing!"
  92.  
  93. You shoot him an icy glare at that last question -- and to your surprise (and comfort) even Chica cuts her eyes at him a little.
  94.  
  95. "All right, Bonworth, that's enough now," she chides. "I'm the only one allowed to tease Mike."
  96.  
  97. "Thanks, Chica," you huff as Bonworth cackles, clutching his knees.
  98.  
  99. "You weren't kiddin'! He really IS uptight," he smirks, his long purple ears swaying as he shakes his head. "You're way too easy, fella."
  100.  
  101. "I KNOW, right? Isn't he great?" Chica giggles in agreement. You find yourself really hoping the bus stops soon.
  102.  
  103. "Honestly, Bonworth, I'm pretty much just an average guy who's just a little down on his luck right now," you insist, trying to steer the conversation back towards something resembling normalcy. "I got laid off due to a work-related injury and ended up losing everything. I needed cheap housing, and so here I am."
  104.  
  105. "That's some tough business," Bonworth says sympathetically. "I think you'd be surprised at the number of folks in our little neck of the woods who've been shafted at some point or another by the big cheese."
  106.  
  107. "At least I've got a roof over my head and food in my belly, thanks to everyone taking me in," you reply. "I really can't complain."
  108.  
  109. "Oh, I somehow doubt that." He gives you a lopsided smile. "You got too much fire in your eyes to be the complacent sort, Mike."
  110.  
  111. "What the hell does THAT mean?" you ask, before realizing all-too-late that you've fallen right into his trap. He and Chica both bust a gut laughing, and even Bonnibel can't help but giggle at your discomfort.
  112.  
  113. "See what I mean?" he says, wiping a tear from his eye. "Too easy!"
  114.  
  115.  
  116.  
  117. The Let's Humiliate Schmidt Express eventually pulls up to your stop, none too soon. You're one of the first off the bus, filing out along with about half of the other passengers. An ample-bodied blonde alligator -- or maybe she's a crocodile, you never could tell the difference -- sidles up next to you as you step out onto the sidewalk. Brushing a thick lock of her blonde hair back, she leans down and tilts her sunglasses slightly to look you square in the eye with a disapproving glare.
  118.  
  119. "Mmmm mmm. Don' you go bouder'in' now just cause you is honte, chil'."
  120.  
  121. "What?"
  122.  
  123. "I heard you back there sulkin'. Them amis of yours, they care 'bout you. They jes' playin'."
  124.  
  125. "I -- I don't understand," you stammer nervously. It's one thing to be intimidated by an oversized chicken, but this -- this is a whole new level.
  126.  
  127. "Mais, I think you konprann jes' fine, pischouette." Turning on her heel, she walks off, her bulky tail swishing back and forth as she goes about her business.
  128.  
  129. "Whoa, Mike," Chica grins as she watches the curvy reptile saunter down the street. "You make a new friend?"
  130.  
  131. "I have no idea what that was about," you reply. "I think I just got a dressing-down by that crocodile lady."
  132.  
  133. "Wild. What'd she say?"
  134.  
  135. "Man, I don't know -- she talked like she was from the same dimension as Freddy. It wasn't a good talk, I'll tell you that much -- I get the feeling I pissed her off."
  136.  
  137. "Eh. Don't worry about it," Chica replies, nudging your shoulder. "How about a soda or something?"
  138.  
  139. "Yes please, or maybe a beer," you reply, stumbling after her nervously.
  140.  
  141. "Mike, it's not even noon!" she cackles, slapping your back. "You act like that's your first time seeing a 'gator up close."
  142.  
  143. "It was, actually."
  144.  
  145. Bonworth raises a paw to his head, comically turning in place like a ship's lookout before snapping his pointer finger out.
  146.  
  147. "All right, pals! There's a watering hole not too far yonder with the most scrumptious ice-cream sodas," he says. "How about we wet our whistles before we part ways? My treat."
  148.  
  149. "Oh, you don't have to do that," Chica says. "We're fine with going dutch."
  150.  
  151. "I insist!" Bonworth replies. "It's the least I can do after us bustin' poor Mike's chops all the way over here. Come on, fella."
  152.  
  153. You're not fond of letting others pay for you, but your settlement check's already mostly spoken for and you've got to stretch it across an entire month. In the end, common sense wins out and you accept as graciously as you can. Besides, a soda DOES sound good right about now, considering you haven't had any caffeine today.
  154.  
  155. As you follow your group through the bustling downtown streets, you find yourself idly taking notes in case you're ever here by yourself -- it's good to know what services and businesses are available to you now that you're starting to get back on your feet. The downtown area's clearly an older district -- large buildings built closely together en masse, apartments above restaurants and shops -- but even though it's dated, enough recent renovation gives it more of a modern impression.
  156.  
  157. Bonworth leads the three of you to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. 50s-era pop art and posters adorn the walls next to photos of vintage cars and long-dead celebrities you've never heard of, while a jukebox in the corner of the room churns out upbeat classic rock. You could easily see Richie Cunningham or Archie Andrews hanging out in a place like this. Apparently, it's still too early in the day for the restaurant to be hopping since it looks like you're the only customers right now.
  158.  
  159. "I can see why he likes the place," you comment to Chica with a grin.
  160.  
  161. "It's a bit cornpone, isn't it?" she replies. "I've never been here, actually."
  162.  
  163. "I have," Bonnibel timidly interjects. "...about a month ago, I mean. Their fries and lemonade are really good."
  164.  
  165. "Don't tempt me," Chica says, rubbing her belly self-consciously. "Fries are my weakness, but we just ate breakfast not too long ago. It's too early for me to be gorging myself."
  166.  
  167. Bonworth taps the bell on the counter for service. A lanky, orange-furred tabby wearing an old-timey soda jerk's uniform shuffles around the corner.
  168.  
  169. "Look who it is! Big Bonnie and little Bonnie," he announces, propping himself up on the counter with one arm. "Nice to see you again, Bonworth. Who're your friends?"
  170.  
  171. "Hey, pal!" Bonworth says, shaking his paw. "Guys, this is Leo. You know the phrase 'service with a smile'? This was the guy they were thinking of when they coined it."
  172.  
  173. "Nice to meet you, Leo," Chica replies. "I'm Chica, and this is Mike. He's new to town."
  174.  
  175. You're starting to get that Bonworth is one of those "incapable of meeting a stranger" types. Leo shakes your hand and kisses the back of Chica's with a flourish. You find yourself fighting a frown as she titters girlishly.
  176.  
  177. "I'd love to say I'm all about the smiles these days, but my new boss has me bummed out ever since he bought this place. Total square, you dig?" Leo comments before glancing over his shoulder. "Err -- you didn't hear that from me, though."
  178.  
  179. "I get you," Bonworth agrees. "My old boss was real prickly too. Food service is a rough gig."
  180.  
  181. "So what can I get you guys? Our special of the day is a hot dog and root beer float combo for just three clams. Hand-dipped, hard-packed ice cream and a 100% USDA beef frank on a sesame seed bun -- only the best quality stuff."
  182.  
  183. "I keep telling you, you should be in commercials," Bonworth says. "I just ate and I'm already hungry listening to that spiel! Quite the pitchman, Leo, yes sir."
  184.  
  185. "I'll definitely take you up on a root beer float. Aaaaand as for that wiener..." Chica glances down at you with a smirk. You roll your eyes, bracing for an incoming crude joke, but to your surprise she takes the high road this time. "Nah, just the float for me, thanks."
  186.  
  187. From the look on her face, it's obvious she knows exactly what you're thinking. Smugly grinning at you, she takes a seat in the dining room.
  188.  
  189. "Leo, I'd like a scoop of mint chocolate chip," Bonnibel says, standing on tip-toe to see the ice cream case a bit more clearly. "Thanks for treating, Bonworth."
  190.  
  191. "Aw, shucks. You're sure welcome," Bonworth says, blushing as she hugs his waist.
  192.  
  193. "How about you, Mike?" Leo asks, scooping up the ice cream. He wasn't kidding, it's hard-packed enough that you can see him putting some serious torque on the scoop to get it out of the bucket.
  194.  
  195. "Uh, just a Dr. Pepper if you've got it," you reply. "If not, whatever caffeinated cola's on tap."
  196.  
  197. "Dr. Pepper, huh? Can't say I've heard of that one, but we've got fizzy drinks of the cola persuasion aplenty," Leo answers. "Bonworth?"
  198.  
  199. Bonworth makes a show of thinking, tapping his chin.
  200.  
  201. "You know, you sold me. I'll have that combo, but box the frank up to go if you would please."
  202.  
  203. "Mustard and relish okay?" Leo asks as he hands you Chica's float and your own drink cup.
  204.  
  205. "I relish some relish," Bonworth replies, doing another goofy, clumsy dance.
  206.  
  207. Leo chuckles as Bonworth nearly flips over onto his back, catching himself on a nearby chair.
  208.  
  209. "You're two left feet, Bonnie."
  210.  
  211. "Hah! You're tellin' me!" he says with a sheepish grin.
  212.  
  213.  
  214.  
  215. After enjoying your drinks together, your group parts ways with Bonworth so that he can go grocery shopping and you can hit up the bank. You waste no time in cashing your check, most of which you turn around and immediately hand over to Chica while Bonnibel's distracted watching television in the lobby.
  216.  
  217. "Dude, no. This is way too much for utilities and food," she whispers, looking down at the thick stack of bills. "Like, way, way too much."
  218.  
  219. "It's really fine. You guys took a total stranger in on a whim and did everything in your power to make me feel comfortable. Let me help out a little."
  220.  
  221. "Mike," she argues, her voice ramping up. "This is more than just 'a little'! This is twice as much -- or more -- than any one of us contributes from our own checks to the monthly bills. Really, it's--"
  222.  
  223. Not wanting to make a scene, you gingerly press a finger to what's left of her mouth to quiet her, but she flinches as you do. Giving her an apologetic smile, you hastily draw your hand back.
  224.  
  225. "Chica. I'm a single guy with basic needs. I don't smoke, I rarely drink, and I don't have much in the way of hobbies. What am I going to do with money?" You glance over at Bonnibel, keeping an eye on her. "Besides, until I'm back on my feet, I want to make sure I can help make things a little more comfortable."
  226.  
  227. She's clearly torn -- you can tell the money would go far towards furnishings and helping out with some of the apartment's more specific needs. On the other hand, you see that same pride in her eyes that you're fighting in yourself -- that stubbornness that wants to bear the weight of the world.
  228.  
  229. And just like you did with Bonworth, self-preservation forces her to cave.
  230.  
  231. "Well, um, thanks then," she murmurs, her face awash with embarrassment, relief... and something else.
  232.  
  233. You stand up to your full height and hug her tightly, turning a little as you do so that you don't make it look like you're trying to get a face full of chicken breast.
  234.  
  235. "No, Chica," you whisper back, "thank you."
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