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Roommates - Ch. 5 (Relax)

Dec 1st, 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. 5 (Relax): http://i.imgur.com/4YXeeyO.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. For a relatively pleasant (even if chilly) morning, you're not really seeing many residents out and about in the complex as you walk back to your building. That's not to say the place is necessarily dead -- there are plenty of vehicles and other signs of occupancy. Rather, the tenants just seem to be minding their own business.
  12.  
  13. This has the unfortunate effect of rendering your fact-finding mission largely bust, since your only other option for information would have been to visit the front office and speak with the landlord. And while he wasn't exactly what you'd call "rude", he also doesn't strike you as being particularly interested in idle chit-chat. The feeling's at least mutual, and thus you resolve to have only as much contact with him as is absolutely necessary.
  14.  
  15. At least the trip wasn't completely moot. Bonbon was nice enough, if not slightly weird and more than a touch clingy. Foxy was... interesting. You wonder just what must have happened to him to leave the poor guy in such a state. Bonbon DID mention something about him being hit by a car, but for all you know that might be the least of it with him.
  16.  
  17. As you arrive once more at 87-B, you pause halfway through turning your key in the lock, a thought beginning to take root in your head.
  18.  
  19. Bonnie's extremely neurotic. Chica's severely maimed. You're not sure what Freddy's deal is, and the less said about Mangle the better. Bonbon's sociable enough, her single worst offense being terminally cheerful -- though she does have something of an overt infatuation with humans. Foxy's got too many problems to count and you've known him for less than five minutes.
  20.  
  21. As far as severe injuries and/or mental disorders go, you're at least five for six so far. Harsh as this may sound, you can't help wondering whether you've moved into low-rent housing or an insane asylum. Hell, even the landlord seems kind of kooky.
  22.  
  23. Throwing the door open, you hang your coat on a nearby wall rack before locking up behind yourself. As you walk inside the apartment, you spot Mangle out in the common area on the couch, covered in a blanket and talking at Freddy.
  24.  
  25. "Welcome back, Bonnie," Mangle croons.
  26.  
  27. You furrow your brow, looking to see if Bonnie's nearby. She's not.
  28.  
  29. "Uh, no, it's just me, Mike," you reply warily, but Mangle's already back to talking to Freddy. At Freddy. Whatever.
  30.  
  31. You stand awkwardly in the foyer for a few minutes, but it soon becomes clear that they have their own discussion going on (however one-sided), and you know better than to try inserting yourself into it. Looking around the room for anything resembling a source of entertainment, you spot a small bookcase beside the TV set, stuffed full of paperbacks. You grab the first book that looks even remotely interesting and head for your room.
  32.  
  33. "Mind if I borrow this?" you throw over your shoulder on your way back to your room, not even bothering to wait for a reply.
  34.  
  35. Carrying your book up to the top of the bunk bed, you flop on your stomach, propping yourself up on your pillow. You flip the novel open and begin attempting to engross yourself in it. After trying and failing to get invested in the story, you realize you're just skimming the same pages over and over again without actually absorbing any of the information printed upon them. Eventually just you toss the book onto the desk out of frustration.
  36.  
  37. The sound of repeated thumping overhead causes all the hair on your neck to bristle before you realize it's probably just Mangle moving through the vents.
  38.  
  39. "Why can't I seem to relax?" you mumble aloud.
  40.  
  41. Relax. You need to just relax.
  42.  
  43. You yawn. Even though you slept heavily this morning, you're bored and -- if you're honest with yourself -- more than a little bit melancholy. It's not your fault you're here. You haven't done anything wrong. Turning your head away from the window, you glumly resolve that you'll just rest your eyes for a few minutes.
  44.  
  45. That's it, just -- relax.
  46.  
  47.  
  48.  
  49. You yawn, eyelids slowly opening. Your nap did wonders for your mood. You didn't even realize how much tension you had in your back and shoulders, but now that it's gone, you definitely feel an improvement. Breathing deep, your nostrils fill to the brim with the sweet, therapeutic scents of lavender and chamomile.
  50.  
  51. It's much chillier now than it was when you laid down. Sleepily rubbing your forearms, you notice your skin feels soft to the touch -- almost buttery smooth. Huh. Just yesterday you were borderline chafing while walking around outside. Besides, you could have sworn you laid down fully-clothed, and yet you don't have your shirt. Well, that explains being cold.
  52.  
  53. Wait -- lavender? Yeah, right! Try body odor -- you haven't had a shower since the previous night. All you did this morning was wash your face before breakfast. If anything, you should smell like sweat! With a start you fully snap awake, nearly falling out of your bed and onto the floor. You catch yourself on the ladder with one arm halfway down, breaking your fall instead of your leg. Righting yourself nervously, you conduct a hasty examination of the room since you just know someone has to have been in here.
  54.  
  55. All of Freddy's things are neatly in order, and he's made a little more progress on his drawing -- but he'd been working on that when you left, so he probably hasn't been in here since you fell asleep.
  56.  
  57. The wall clock says it's half past twelve, so you were out for well over two hours. You're practically twirling around, bewilderment spreading through your body like a fever. The light from the window glints off of something, drawing your attention to the floor. Leaning down, you pick up a fairly oversized metal bolt, about an inch and a half in length. As you turn it over in your fingers, you try to figure out what it could have come from. Freddy's more of the artisan type -- not someone who appears to dabble much in mechanical things.
  58.  
  59. Looking up, you realize there's a vent cover directly overhead which is hanging just a little crooked. No wonder. A vent cover would need all four bolts to keep it firmly in place.
  60.  
  61. "Sloppy, Mangle," you growl as you put two and two together. Grabbing your shirt off of Freddy's desk chair, you button it up quickly before charging out into the common area, where Bonnie, Chica, and Freddy have gathered around the table to eat lunch.
  62.  
  63. "Hey, Mike!" Chica says with a wave and a mouthful of salad. "We just got back a little while ago, but you were asleep. I bet you must be hungry after that power nap, huh?"
  64.  
  65. "I'm good, thanks," you snap in spite of the delicious smell of fresh food. Bonnie shrinks back a little in her chair, and even Chica seems taken aback by your harshness.
  66.  
  67. "Everything okay, Mike?" Chica asks warily. "You don't seem yourself." You resist questioning how she could possibly know what "yourself" is after just a day of knowing you, but you bite your tongue.
  68.  
  69. "Where's Mangle?" you ask pointedly. Your audibly growling stomach outs your previous lie. Not now, belly, you're trying to look righteously indignant!
  70.  
  71. Stiffening, Chica looks you square in the eye.
  72.  
  73. "Oh, boy. I was afraid of this. Let me guess, some of your underwear's gone missing?"
  74.  
  75. "W--what? No -- at least, I don't think so?" Damn it, now you're going to be up all night wondering about that, too. Running your hands through your hair, you gesticulate angrily as you continue speaking. "Just now, I woke up half-naked covered in some kind of -- fruity lotion or -- something, and guess what? The vent cover was hanging loose in our room. Small wonder who was in there."
  76.  
  77. Chica leans forward, paying rapt attention.
  78.  
  79. "Uh huh...?" she prompts, apparently waiting for you to continue the story.
  80.  
  81. You're flabbergasted. You look to Bonnie to see if she gets what you're talking about, but she's already halfway under the table. All you can see of her are her ears and a little tuft of blue fur as she quivers.
  82.  
  83. "Freddy, dear, I assure you I did nothing untoward," Mangle announces from overhead, poking out of the vent.
  84.  
  85. "Gah!" you sputter. "Mangle! So you were in my -- our -- room!"
  86.  
  87. Chica sneaks a glance upward at Mangle.
  88.  
  89. "Mangle, he seems really upset. Mike, can you calm down a bit? You're scaring Bonnie. Deep breaths."
  90.  
  91. Mangle gasps, turning to Freddy. "Sweetheart, please! You know I'd never do anything to hurt Freddy or any one of you. Isn't that right, Mike?"
  92.  
  93. Freddy sips his tea with one paw, extending a platter of finger sandwiches to you with his other.
  94.  
  95. "Profitez-en," he says, waving the plate a little under your nose. Well, just one won't hurt. You snatch it off the tray, cramming it in your mouth.
  96.  
  97. Chica turns a little in her seat as Mangle begins rubbing her shoulders.
  98.  
  99. "Now then, darling -- please, tell us what ails you," Mangle insists.
  100.  
  101. "Is it -- oh, okay, so I'm the only one here that sees something wrong with this." You glance around the room at the others, all of whom look either bewildered or nonplussed. All right, sure, blame the human.
  102.  
  103. "You're being obtuse, Foxy," Mangle chides. "If I've wronged you in some personal way, please, speak up."
  104.  
  105. Closing your eyes, you draw a deep breath.
  106.  
  107. "Mangle, were you in my room earlier?"
  108.  
  109. "I was," Mangle replies matter-of-factly. "On honest business, I assure you."
  110.  
  111. "Well, does your 'honest business' involve you touching me inappropriately while you were in there?" you reply, folding your arms.
  112.  
  113. Bonnie shrieks, springing up from under the table.
  114.  
  115. "MANGLE!" she practically screams. "What did we SAY ABOUT THAT?!"
  116.  
  117. Mangle sharply intakes air, growling at you with a feral snarl.
  118.  
  119. "On my honor, I'd NEVER do such a thing! I can't believe you'd suggest that I'd -- I'd just... violate you...! Whilst you slumbered, at the peak of your vulnerability, no less! My goodness, I can't BELIEVE your lack of shame!"
  120.  
  121. You raise your hands, backpedaling.
  122.  
  123. "Whoa, no, that's not what I meant," you clarify. Bonnie's still quivering, her teacup rattling in her paws as she sloshes its contents on the tablecloth.
  124.  
  125. "WHAT did you mean, Mike? WHAT IS IT?" she howls.
  126.  
  127. "Down, Bon," Chica says, patting Bonnie's shoulder. "Easy."
  128.  
  129. "Look, I just -- Mangle, did you break into my room and massage me?!" you blurt out.
  130.  
  131. "That's what he's mad about?" Mangle asks, exchanging funny looks with Chica. "You looked so exhausted and stressed out. I just wanted to help you relax!"
  132.  
  133. You realize that you're going to come out of this the bad guy no matter which way you approach it. Rubbing the bridge of your nose, you carefully take a seat at the lunch table. Bonnie's breathing heavily, jerking her head back and forth from you to Mangle, as if she's daring one of you to make a move.
  134.  
  135. "Mike, you've seemed to have it out for me ever since you walked in here. Now -- I realize I don't make the best first impression, but how could you possibly think I'd have anything other than pure intentions?" Mangle sniffs, clearly offended. "Get your mind out of the gutter."
  136.  
  137. "Mangle, I appreciate the fact you're trying to make me welcome. I really do. I just don't really like being touched when I don't know about it, okay?" You can't believe you're having this conversation. "It's -- we don't know each other nearly well enough for that. Just keep your paws to yourself, and we'll be fine."
  138.  
  139. Chica pats Mangle's paw with her own feathers. "No more massages for Mike, Mangle. I know you meant well and I think he does too, but clearly that's a no-no thing. Remember when we talked about Bonnie when she first moved in?"
  140.  
  141. With an overly dramatic sigh, Mangle shrugs, conceding defeat.
  142.  
  143. "Well, now that the glorious moment is ruined, I suppose I'll take my lunch tray to my room."
  144.  
  145. "No, no, please -- stay, and have lunch with us. I'm sorry I... 'overreacted'."
  146.  
  147. Mangle looks to you first, then Chica.
  148.  
  149. "See? It's fine. That's how we are here," Chica insists, grinning and nodding. "We have problems but we work them out. No need to get hostile. Bonnie, stop hyperventilating."
  150.  
  151. "Very well, then," Mangle sniffs, dabbing an eye with Chica's napkin bib. "Let's eat, shall we?"
  152.  
  153.  
  154.  
  155. After lunch, Chica pulls you aside to her room.
  156.  
  157. "Oh no," you stammer as she drags you inside. "Chica, uh, remember what we were just talking about at the table about being touched?"
  158.  
  159. "Geez, Mike, you really ARE a randy boy. How long has it been since your last pipe cleaning?" She presses a feather to your lips as you blush. "I'm kidding. You don't have to answer that. Wait here."
  160.  
  161. Chica ducks into her closet, rummaging around for something. Between Mangle and her comments just now, you're so embarrassed that you're fighting the urge to bolt out of the room. Your cheeks are burning, but you already feel like you're on thin ice so you shakily stand your ground.
  162.  
  163. It hasn't been THAT long, has it?
  164.  
  165. While you wait for her to re-emerge, you sneak a look around Chica's bedroom. It's arguably the most well-decorated room in the house so far, even if it's a little eclectic. Mardi gras beads hang in heaps off of her nightstand lamp. Clothes are piled all over the floor. Posters of bands that probably haven't been popular in years adorn the walls.
  166.  
  167. None of the furniture seems to match, most of the pieces either being obvious thrift store/yard sale finds or whatever she could scrounge up when she moved in. Her bed's a little plain with just a headboard, but it does look rather comfortable with its bright linens and fluffy down pillows.
  168.  
  169. Hmm. Wonder if she stuffs the pillows with her own feathers, or if that'd be too weird?
  170.  
  171. Her dresser is covered in cute little knick-knacks and photos, most of which seem to be of her, other friends, and occasionally Bonnie. Studying them, Chica looks confident in every single one. They're all labeled cutesy things in flowery writing like "Summer Vacation '11!" or "At the beach with the girls!" One photo frame is tilted face-down, and out of curiosity you flip it up to see if it's of a former boyfriend or something else of interest.
  172.  
  173. It's a small photo -- the kind taken with an old-fashioned instant camera. In the picture, Chica's dressed in a work shirt and jeans, and it's dated a few years prior. She's in what looks like an arcade or amusement park, holding a tool chest. It's labeled "First day on the job!"
  174.  
  175. Noticeably, she still has her beak.
  176.  
  177. You blush a little as you examine it. She was quite attractive. Well, she still is -- uh, for a six and a half foot tall chicken lady, of course. There's just something about the glow on her face, the eagerness in the way she's standing and looking at the camera, tools in her wings like she's ready to just take on the whole world.
  178.  
  179. You hear the door creak behind you. You quickly flip the photo face down again, turning to look up at her as she trots out with a large shopping bag in her arms.
  180.  
  181. "Sorry -- I had Bonnie put things up and she felt the need to alphabetize my shoe rack. Anyway, Mike, I want you to understand something. What I'm about to tell you is serious business." Chica looks you boldly in the eye as she thrusts the bag into your arms. "We have a tradition in this household, Mike, and you're not going to be any exception. It's just how we do things."
  182.  
  183. She narrows her eyes at you, drawing close. You suddenly realize how much taller she is than you. You look more nervous than Bonnie does as you fumble with the bag, trying not to let her see that your knees are knocking.
  184.  
  185. "All right -- what might that, um, tradition be?"
  186.  
  187. "Every Wednesday night, we have a pajama party. Ice cream, popcorn, carryout food. Bad movies. Pedicures. The works, Mike." Chica pokes you in the chest, a smile playing at what's left of her lips. "You don't get to skip out on pajama party night. It's HUGE with Bonnie. If you try -- if you even THINK about bailing -- the punishment is dishes for a month."
  188.  
  189. You exhale visibly, fighting a smile of your own.
  190.  
  191. "Ah, well, that's a fate worse than death, to be sure."
  192.  
  193. "Damn right, Mike. Glad you came around to our way of thinking. We picked these up for you today since you didn't have any of your own. After all, you need a uniform to stand in attendance." She flicks your shoulder. "Improper attire at the pajama party? Bathroom detail for one week."
  194.  
  195. "Duly noted," you chuckle as you unwrap the bag. A three-pack of soft-looking mens' flannel pajamas greets you in just the most wonderfully garish assortment of plaid patterns. You smile broadly.
  196.  
  197. "Man, they're even in my size and everything. Wait, how'd you know I didn't have pajamas? Do I just look like the type?" you ask, holding up one of the tops to your chest. Even not having been washed, it's STILL super soft. These are going to rock.
  198.  
  199. Chica puffs up her chest proudly, strutting over to the door and clicking it open.
  200.  
  201. "That was the easy part. Mangle looked through your luggage for an idea of your size and called us earlier today while you were asleep."
  202.  
  203. Your left eye twitches ever so slightly as you slink out of the room after her. You're still smiling, but it's much more forced now.
  204.  
  205. "Thank you so, so much," you manage. Chica slaps you on the back with a grin.
  206.  
  207. "Anytime, Mike."
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