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Roommates - Ch. 2 (The Misfits of 87-B)

Nov 28th, 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. 2 (The Misfits of 87-B): http://i.imgur.com/zTbfJcr.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. After unwinding on the couch for half an hour or so, you tear yourself away and politely inquire as to where the restroom is located so that you can take a shower.
  12.  
  13. "If you don't have any body wash or shampoo, you can use mine until you get your own," Chica says, handing you a notepad and pen. "Whatever you need, put it on the shopping list. I can float you a loan for some basic necessities for the first month or so, but after that you're going to be expected to kick in for groceries and household goods, since we don't get much in the way of financial aid."
  14.  
  15. "That won't be a problem," you reply.
  16.  
  17. Chica peers over your shoulder as you scribble down the bare basics on the grocery list. For now you're not going to ask for anything fancy, since you can get whatever else you need on your own time. There are several other items listed above yours in varied handwriting, but most of it's gibberish (hmm, guess who) and what little ISN'T is in such formal script, you're having a hard time trying to figure out what it says.
  18.  
  19. "Okay, so shampoo, soap, deodorant, and a razor...?" She gives you a funny look at that last one. "I'd assumed you'd be trying to get most of your fur BACK, not get rid of what little you've got left."
  20.  
  21. You've grown tired of having to explain that you aren't, in fact, a gibbon undergoing chemotherapy. Instead you just smile and shrug, which placates her for now.
  22.  
  23. "Well, despite how absolutely LUXURIOUS we've made this place, most of what we've got here comes out of pocket," she says with a chuckle. "Disability only covers so much, you know? But hey, thrift stores and garage sales are great places to bargain hunt, if you're willing to swallow your pride a little."
  24.  
  25. You fish around in your pockets and press a crumpled-up twenty into Chica's wing. It's all the cash you've got until your next check arrives, but that's none of her business.
  26.  
  27. "I'm not a freeloader," you insist -- perhaps a bit more harshly than you intended, but a hastily-added smile gets the message across. She flinches slightly at your tone but recovers quickly enough, returning your grin with one of her own.
  28.  
  29. "Good enough for me, Mike."
  30.  
  31.  
  32.  
  33. After stopping off by yours and Freddy's room for a change of clothes, you finally decide to indulge in that shower.
  34.  
  35. Like most of the rest of the apartment, the bathroom is neat and clean, albeit sparsely stocked. Of course, you can see places for improvement -- a medicine cabinet would be a nice start to clear up some of the various medications and cosmetics scattered around the counter. Actually, that's a fairly good point -- who leaves their pills in the bathroom?
  36.  
  37. You glance at the labels on the pill bottles and realize at least half of them belong to Bonnie. You're torn between respecting her privacy and sating your curiosity after that awkward encounter in the living room earlier, but eventually give way to being honorable. Even though you know nobody's watching you, you know how you'd feel if someone violated your privacy.
  38.  
  39. To that end, you make sure the door's locked -- kind of a dick move in case someone needs to use the toilet while you're in the shower, but you're well aware the key to successful co-ed living is establishing boundaries early. You're no dumbass -- you'll make it clear from the beginning how you operate so that you can avoid any future embarrassment.
  40.  
  41. Stripping down, you hop in the tub and turn the faucet. The water's good and warm and the pressure's stronger than any shower you've been in for the last several months -- way better than the halfway house ever had. You smile to yourself as you scrub your face, enjoying your good fortune.
  42.  
  43. In a rack hanging under the shower head are several different bottles of shampoo, all of which are labeled with permanent marker to indicate ownership. Chica's looks like it's a particularly potent rinse specifically designed for "feather shine" -- with aloe vera gel and some other sciencey-looking stuff to "reduce plucking urges".
  44.  
  45. It DOES say it's shampoo, so you reason to yourself that it likely just has extra nutrients and crap to justify a higher price tag. You shrug and dump what you perceive to be a small amount in your hair, only to immediately regret the decision. This shit's got the consistency of tar. The more you lather it, the more soap foams into your face and eyes.
  46.  
  47. "Oh, shit," you mutter, trying to scrub it free. You only succeed in making it worse.
  48.  
  49. Fumbling around on the rack, you grope blindly for anything you can use to try to scrape the film out of your eyes so you can at least see, if nothing else. A hand towel, a bath brush -- anything at all would be helpful. Eventually, your hand catches on what feels like a loofah. Of course, it's hooked on the rack and you can't seem to jerk it loose, so you back up to it and tilt your head to rub your face against it. After a good half-minute of alternating between chiseling this gunk off of your head and soaking under the hot water, you finally can see clearly again.
  50.  
  51. Turning back around, you suddenly can't find the loofah. Glancing on the floor and peering out of the shower to see if it fell out yields nothing. With a sigh, you finish up and hope nobody notices it's missing for now. Grabbing a towel off the rack above the toilet, you hurry up and dry off, then change. While you're combing your hair, Chica opens the door to the bathroom. Strange -- you could have sworn you locked it. Good thing you're dressed!
  52.  
  53. "Oh, nice, you're finished already," Chica says, poking her head inside. "I want to introduce you to someone! Mike, this is Mangle, our other roommate."
  54.  
  55. A white arctic fox (or possibly a wolf, or a ferret, or a lemur, or something -- you really can't tell and are too afraid to ask) plastered in clownish makeup grins at you from the room down the hall from yours.
  56.  
  57. "Oh, it's a pleasure to meet you, sweetie," Mangle purrs, extending a paw from behind the door. "Sorry, I'd come closer but I'm, ah, indecent."
  58.  
  59. "Nice to meet you too," you reply.
  60.  
  61. You shake Mangle's paw, trying desperately to fight the urge to run back into the bathroom when you feel that it's soaking wet.
  62.  
  63. "Just washed my paws, darling. No need to look so surprised," Mangle adds soothingly.
  64.  
  65. "Ah, right, of course," you say, shivering a little.
  66.  
  67. Freddy steps into view behind Chica, bobbing his head politely at the three of you.
  68.  
  69. "Le dîner est prêt."
  70.  
  71. Mangle grins even wider, somehow. "Delightful! Well then, shall we eat?"
  72.  
  73. "You understood him?" you ask, not sure whether to be impressed or terrified, eventually deciding to split the difference. Mangle chuckles before disappearing behind the door, leaving Chica to roll her eyes.
  74.  
  75. "You get used to it," Chica shrugs before following Freddy into the kitchen.
  76.  
  77.  
  78.  
  79. The seating arrangement is admittedly weird. Bonnie doesn't even leave her room to eat, and Mangle spends most of the dinner hanging from the chandelier overhead, deftly skewering things off of the table with a fork. That said, the meal itself is delicious. You have no idea what you ate, but Freddy offers a vivid and colorful explanation after you point first to it and then to him. The best you can gather, it's some kind of meat in some kind of sauce.
  80.  
  81. Mangle coyly refuses to tell you what Freddy said -- or maybe can't, and again, you really can't tell -- so you simply throw your hands in the air and try as well as you can to convey your gratitude to Freddy.
  82.  
  83. After dinner, you volunteer to help wash the dishes.
  84.  
  85. "Is that whole... thing normal?" you ask Chica when you're convinced Mangle isn't watching. "With the chandelier, I mean."
  86.  
  87. "Do any of us LOOK normal to you?" Chica deadpans.
  88.  
  89. "Fair point," you mutter as you place the last of the freshly-cleaned dishes back in the cabinet before beginning to wrap up the leftovers.
  90.  
  91. "Don't put it all away just yet, Mike," Chica sighs, wiping her wings on a towel. "I'm going to fix Bonnie a plate and take it to her room. Since you're the newcomer, why don't you go pick out a movie for us to watch tonight? There're a bunch in the rack by the TV, and if you don't see anything that looks good, ask Mangle to put something on."
  92.  
  93. "All right," you reply.
  94.  
  95. While you're not much in the mood for a movie, there's not really a whole lot else to do around the apartment and you feel weird heading back to your shared room so early in the evening. After thumbing through the limited catalogue of DVDs at least three times, you narrow your selection down to films you'd be willing to tolerate. You haven't quite figured out Mangle's deal yet, so you're not about to turn over control of the remote so soon after getting it. Begrudgingly settling on a late 90s rom-com based entirely on the brevity of the running time, you unwrap it from the plastic shrinkwrap and load the disc into the DVD player.
  96.  
  97. Freddy takes a seat in one of the easy chairs with a book, while Mangle curls up under a blanket on the floor next to the couch. Chica scoots through the common area with a tray of food and a glass of juice, headed for Bonnie's room.
  98.  
  99. "You guys can go ahead and start without me -- I'll be a few minutes," she says.
  100.  
  101. "I don't think we're in any rush," you reply.
  102.  
  103. Chica lets herself into Bonnie's room without even knocking. You hear a muffled shriek followed by Chica's laughter, and you feel a vague sense of vindication. It's not just you she does it to, then. You glance over at Freddy who's already absorbed in his book, then Mangle, who flashes you an eerie grin.
  104.  
  105. "Girls will be girls," the fox coyly hums.
  106.  
  107. You laugh nervously and busy yourself with pretending to study the back of the DVD cover so as to avoid having to make conversation. Chica bursts out of Bonnie's room afterwards with Bonnie in tow, the latter carrying her dinner tray and looking decidedly bedraggled. Bonnie's fur is a mess and one of her floppy ears is standing up on end. You're pretty sure her dress is on backwards, but again, you smile and say nothing. Less is more, probably.
  108.  
  109. "Hi Mike," she squeaks, sitting at the opposite end of the couch from you. Chica flops down in the middle between you and kicks her feet up on the coffee table as Bonnie slowly picks at her food.
  110.  
  111. "Hi again, Bonnie," you reply very carefully, studying her out of the corner of your eye without saying anything else. When she doesn't appear to look like she's going to bolt, you tap the play button on the DVD remote and settle in for what's likely to be a long evening.
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