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Roommates - Ch. 6 (Panic)

Dec 2nd, 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. 6 (Panic): http://i.imgur.com/FuZz54e.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. Nothing like a little money in your pocket to start your morning off right.
  12.  
  13. "Anyone up for heading to the bank with me?" you ask, proudly showing off your stipend check to your housemates as you take your seat at the breakfast table.
  14.  
  15. "Hey, congrats!" Chica pumps a fist in the air. "Dinner's on you tonight, pennybags. Tradition and all."
  16.  
  17. "I thought that was just for family," you mock-complain.
  18.  
  19. "Implying we practically aren't by now, dear?" Mangle idly comments, swiping a strawberry from your plate with a deft claw.
  20.  
  21. "I thought tonight was our pajama party," Bonnie murmurs, desperately fumbling with the lid on the jam jar before finally relinquishing it to Freddy -- who effortlessly pops it open for her.
  22.  
  23. "It is indeed, honey -- but we usually get takeout on pajama night anyway. Anyone up for pho?" Mangle asks, snagging another strawberry from your plate.
  24.  
  25. "Mangle, do you want me to make a plate for you?" you interrupt, side-eyeing the fox with a bemused expression.
  26.  
  27. "Your berries taste better," Mangle replies dismissively, licking the glaze from the strawberries. You decide against even dignifying that statement with a comment.
  28.  
  29. "Pho sounds good," Chica chimes in. "Or if you're not up for it, Mike, we could do burritos."
  30.  
  31. Freddy's usual placid smile twists into a sudden frown, his eyebrows scrunching up.
  32.  
  33. "La cuisine mexicaine est l'œuvre de démons et des barbares," he animatedly argues, chest swelling as he makes a sweeping gesture with one of his burly arms.
  34.  
  35. "No on the burritos," Mangle observes. "...decisively, it would seem."
  36.  
  37. "I gathered as much. I have no clue what he said, but I've never seen him that adamant." You pat Freddy's paw reassuringly, nodding to let him know his complaint has been registered. "No burritos, Freddy."
  38.  
  39. He visibly softens, and resumes buttering slices of toast for everyone.
  40.  
  41. "...merci."
  42.  
  43. "But yeah, pho's good with me if you guys are all up for it. There a good place around here to get it from?" you inquire, taking a piece of toast from Freddy and immediately handing it off to Mangle, who accepts it without a second's hesitation.
  44.  
  45. "Downtown, yeah," Chica replies. "They've got more than pho too, if you're into vermicelli and sushi and that sort of thing."
  46.  
  47. "Sounds like a date, then," you grin, gratefully accepting another slice of buttered toast from Freddy for yourself.
  48.  
  49.  
  50.  
  51. It's been a few days since you moved into 87-B, and you're already starting to settle into a routine -- chores and all. Today's your turn to take the trash out, so while the others begin clearing the kitchen table from breakfast, you gather up the trash to be carted down to the dumpster.
  52.  
  53. "So is it just you and me, Chica? Or Bonnie, are you coming with us too?" you ask, tying off the plastic handles of one of the garbage bags.
  54.  
  55. "I -- oh, well, I wasn't planning on it," Bonnie croaks in surprise as she carries her plate to the sink. "I haven't done my fur yet, and I need to brush my teeth. Too many things to do, ohhh. Yeah. I think I'll stay here."
  56.  
  57. "Really, Bon?" Chica asks, one eyebrow raised. "You sure you don't wanna get out of the house?"
  58.  
  59. "Huh. Sounds like you can get all that done in a few minutes, Bonnie," you add, rubbing your chin. "C'mon. You look fine, the weather's nice -- let's go!"
  60.  
  61. "Now now -- don't force Foxy to go if she doesn't want to." Swinging down from the overhead vent, Mangle wags a claw at you. "Our little blue darling is more fragile than you think, Mike."
  62.  
  63. "And I say she's got it together more than YOU think, Mangle," you answer back, patting Bonnie's head. "You have had your meds today, right, Bonnie?"
  64.  
  65. Rather than replying, Bonnie kind of cowers down in the middle of the kitchen, covering her head with both paws.
  66.  
  67. "Hey, come on," you try again, a little more firmly. "Did you forget to take them?"
  68.  
  69. "She's melting down, Chica," Mangle warns.
  70.  
  71. "I hear you, Em," Chica replies, practically tossing her plate to Freddy who catches it with expert precision. "Come on, Bon. Mike doesn't mean anything by it. If you don't want to go, don't go."
  72.  
  73. Bonnie's stammering awkwardly as she begins to rock back and forth on the floor in the fetal position.
  74.  
  75. "Look, Mike -- I know you mean well, but those bottles on the bathroom counter aren't just for show," Chica says in a reprimanding tone.
  76.  
  77. "I'm starting to think they are," you reply evenly. "The layer of dust on 'those bottles' is a quarter of an inch thick. I'm pretty sure I saw cobwebs growing on the ones with bright orange 'take twice daily' stickers."
  78.  
  79. By now, Bonnie's starting to hum to herself in what appears to be an attempt to drown the two of you out.
  80.  
  81. "I've only been here a few days and I'm willing to wager this check in my pocket that she hasn't been taking any of them," you continue.
  82.  
  83. "Is that a fact?" Chica turns her attention to Bonnie, looking down at her with a stern expression. "Bonnie, how many times do we have to remind you? Please don't make me have to call the doctor -- because you know what'll happen if I do."
  84.  
  85. "I'll take them!" Bonnie howls, rolling across the foyer like a pillbug. "I'll take my pills! Just don't take me BACK there! Not again! I can't HANDLE all the QUESTIONS! So, SO MANY QUESTIONS!!"
  86.  
  87. You watch in surprise as she throws herself into a tantrum, kicking and thrashing around. One of her feet kicks over the shoe rack by the front door, sending shoes and slippers everywhere.
  88.  
  89. "I CAN'T stand it!" she wails. "I can't stand HIM, I can't stand his -- his BEADY little EYES when he stares at me! I CAN'T keep putting up with it!! Don't send me back, Chica!!"
  90.  
  91. Freddy brushes past you and gently heaves Bonnie to her feet, hugging her closely to his chest as she struggles all the while to break loose of his grasp.
  92.  
  93. "Soyez calme, mon petit," he murmurs in her ear while she continues to spasm.
  94.  
  95. "This is how we have to do it," Chica murmurs to you, gently whispering to Bonnie as she strokes the back of her head with her wingtips. "Just like this. That's it. That's a good girl -- get it out of your system, Bon."
  96.  
  97. "Panic attack?" you ask, gazing pitifully at the twitching rabbit. Chica shrugs as Bonnie kicks weakly at Freddy's thighs.
  98.  
  99. "Kind of," she replies as Bonnie eventually gives up and buries her face in Freddy's chest, panting raggedly. "She goes through these phases. Some days she's up, some days she's down. Apparently what I thought was an up day turned out to be very, very down."
  100.  
  101. You think back to Bonbon's comment in the park about Foxy and his "good days", idly wondering if there's any similarity.
  102.  
  103. "All right," Chica says, taking a now-limp Bonnie from Freddy and princess-carrying her back to the kitchen table like a mother with an exhausted toddler. Freddy takes the opportunity to top up Bonnie's juice glass, adding another curly straw to it. Grinning, you flash him a thumbs-up, and he winks back at you. Once Bonnie's situated in her chair, Chica heads for the bathroom.
  104.  
  105. "Mangle, can you please?" she asks over her shoulder.
  106.  
  107. "I'm already on it," Mangle says, gently but firmly gripping Bonnie so that she doesn't fall out of her chair.
  108.  
  109. "We're going to start with the really important ones, since I don't think your stomach can handle ten pills at once right now on your skeleton diet," Chica says as she comes back with an armful of bottles. "Mike, you weren't kidding -- these things ARE covered in dust."
  110.  
  111. "Let me take them later," Bonnie moans. She tries to wrestle away, but Mangle's got her on tight lockdown. "I promise, I'll do it!"
  112.  
  113. "No promises," Chica snaps. "You're taking these pills right this instant, and don't you think I won't check to see if you cheek 'em. I'll hold your head under the water faucet to get them down you if I have to."
  114.  
  115. Quivering, Bonnie realizes she's beaten. In the end she swallows several pills and a cup and a half of juice in all, and every single time, Chica pries her mouth open and examines it with a penlight to ensure they went down.
  116.  
  117. "This is so humiliating," Bonnie mutters in between doses, chewing on the end of her straw.
  118.  
  119. "Did it to yourself, kid," Chica replies with a wry smile. "No sympathy from me, not anymore. No ma'am. We've talked about this until I'm as blue in the face as you are."
  120.  
  121. In spite of herself, Bonnie giggles a little as Chica ruffles her hair. You grin as well, relaxing slightly.
  122.  
  123. "And you ARE pretty blue," you add. "A very 'pretty' blue, in fact."
  124.  
  125. "Oh, Michael," Mangle titters flamboyantly. "Don't tell me you're sweet on our dear Bonnibel! Why, I was under the impression that Chica was more your type!"
  126.  
  127. Mangle disappears into the air shaft with a grin as you blush, causing Chica to try to stifle a laugh while she continues to lecture Bonnie.
  128.  
  129. "From now on you're getting your meds at every meal. I'm going to have Mangle mix them up and put them in your juice. If you don't drink every drop, so help me, Bonnie," Chica scolds. "We're getting them in you one way or another. You almost gave poor Mike a panic attack of his own just then."
  130.  
  131. "Sorry," Bonnie whimpers.
  132.  
  133. You can't help but feel sorry for her -- she's clearly embarrassed and probably feels like the spotlight's on her. As you stand in the hallway watching her, an idea suddenly strikes you.
  134.  
  135. "Bonnie, how about some gelatin?" you ask, slamming your fist against your palm. "It's how my mom used to get my medicine down me when I'd have an ear infection or a fever as a kid. It mixes in so well, you won't even taste it. I promise."
  136.  
  137. Bonnie looks up at Chica who nods vigorously.
  138.  
  139. "Hey, there's a good idea, and I know you like gelatin. We'll get you some orange gelatin at the store while we're out."
  140.  
  141. "Lime," Bonnie sniffs. "...lime sounds good."
  142.  
  143. "Oh, lime? All right, we'll get some lime and orange. They actually taste good together if you mix them, but then the gelatin turns out to be brown. It doesn't look good, but the flavor's great," Chica muses. It seems the hen's already figured out where you're going with this.
  144.  
  145. "Yeah, we used to mix flavors all the time when I was a kid. I like lime too, so I'm all right with that. You know what's really good? If you put some canned fruit in there too, it gives it some texture."
  146.  
  147. "Oooh. Like ramen. You can add anything to ramen," Chica says.
  148.  
  149. "Exactly," you add, gauging Bonnie's face to see if she's calming down. The cocktail of medication already looks like it's beginning to take effect, since her pupils are starting to dilate ever so slightly.
  150.  
  151. "It's quite the flexible meal, not unlike myself," Mangle adds from overhead, having returned with a hairbrush -- or would it be furbrush?
  152.  
  153. "Um, so, what sort of stuff do you like in your ramen, Mike?" Chica asks, nodding slightly to you as she takes the brush from Mangle. That's it, Chica -- keep the ball rolling with more small talk. Act like you don't notice it, and in Bonnie's mind it never happened. Get her mind off of herself and onto something else.
  154.  
  155. "Oh, all sorts of things. Eggs, hot dogs... shrimp, if I can afford it. Good shrimp, not the canned stuff. A little sriracha, you know. Ramen's great. You can do anything with it and it still tastes good."
  156.  
  157. "You like shrimp in yours? A kindred spirit. What really does it for me is imitation crab -- almost as good as the real thing and a fraction of the price. We have to be a bit penny-conscious here, you know," Mangle chimes in.
  158.  
  159. Bonnie hiccups slightly, leaning close to Chica.
  160.  
  161. "Oohh. Wow. ...little dizzy."
  162.  
  163. "It's okay, Bon. It'll be over soon," Chica says soothingly. "You know, it's a shame the 'instant' noodle cups actually take like four minutes to cook, though, because some of them have better flavor."
  164.  
  165. "Just as well, they're more expensive anyway. The stuff out of the packets is cheap, but you can feed four or five people for the price of one or two of the cups," Mangle says, gently dabbing at Bonnie's cheeks with a napkin.
  166.  
  167. The three of you continue inane discussion of everything from ramen toppings to songs you like for several minutes as Chica soothingly brushes Bonnie's fur. Eventually, Bonnie's almost completely back to 'normal' -- well, for a given value of normal, anyway. 'Subdued' is probably a better way of phrasing it.
  168.  
  169. "Feeling better now?" you ask hopefully.
  170.  
  171. "Yeah, I just... I get so worked up. Sorry, Mike," she replies.
  172.  
  173. "No big deal, Bonnie." You reach over and gently pat her arm with a smile. "I do need to get to the bank to get this check cashed, so if you feel like coming you're more than welcome to -- and if you don't, nobody's forcing you. On the plus side, though, I think you look really nice now that Chica's taken care of that bedhead of yours."
  174.  
  175. "...maybe some fresh air would help clear my head," Bonnie finally manages at length. "I guess I'll go get dressed."
  176.  
  177. "I'll come with you," Chica insists. "If you're still dizzy, the last thing any of us need is for you to slip and conk your noggin on your closet door trying to get changed."
  178.  
  179. Bonnie giggles as she teeters into her bedroom with Chica helping her along.
  180.  
  181. "We'll be just a minute, Mike."
  182.  
  183. "Take your time," you reply as the two of them leave the room. "Man, was I pressuring her that badly? I feel like shit now."
  184.  
  185. "You most certainly aren't the cause of her malady, dear, but you might have... flustered her, just slightly," Mangle hesitantly replies. "For someone as, ah, self-conscious as Bonnie is -- she doesn't hold up well to intense scrutiny."
  186.  
  187. "It didn't seem that intense," you quietly protest. "If she's not taking her pills, how is she going to get any better?"
  188.  
  189. Something kind of flashes in Mangle's eyes, though the fox remains quiet.
  190.  
  191. "What? What did I say?" you ask, scratching your head.
  192.  
  193. "Foxy, if you could be so kind as to pick up some facial tissues for me from the store, I'd be most appreciative. I've run out." Producing a floral-print change purse, Mangle begins thumbing through it to hand you some money, but you politely turn it away.
  194.  
  195. "That's not necessary. Nothing's too good for 'family'," you say with a wink, inwardly savoring the surprised expression on Mangle's face as Bonnie and Chica return to the common area.
  196.  
  197. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Mike," Chica says. "Ready to go?"
  198.  
  199.  
  200.  
  201. "So I'm guessing we don't have a car," you comment, slinging the kitchen trash bag that you were supposed to carry out earlier into the nearby dumpster.
  202.  
  203. "Nope. Our apartment isn't one with the garage option. There's actually only a few that do have it, but I don't think our building was designed that way. Some of the apartments were built more recently than others," Chica replies.
  204.  
  205. "That makes sense. So we take the bus into town? I mean, I didn't, you know, get to go yesterday."
  206.  
  207. "Oh, you wanted to go yesterday with us? Why didn't you say something?" Chica asks obliviously, helping Bonnie with her scarf.
  208.  
  209. You catch yourself from getting angry, and instead try the calm approach.
  210.  
  211. "Uh, to tell you the truth, you guys were in such a hurry I just didn't get the chance," you reply with a huff.
  212.  
  213. "Yikes. I'm sorry, Mike," she sighs. "If I'm being honest with you, the thought never occurred to me. We were both in a hurry and just wanted to get going as quick as we could."
  214.  
  215. "Yeah," Bonnie adds. "We didn't mean to ditch you, Mike. I guess that was a little mean of us."
  216.  
  217. "Ah. Don't worry about it, guys," you reply, feeling better now that you know it wasn't intentional.
  218.  
  219. You and Bonnie tag along behind Chica, having to move relatively quickly to keep stride with her due to your notable differences in height. Fortunately, it's not too far to the bus stop at the front of the complex.
  220.  
  221. "To answer your question, yes, we take the extravagant, luxurious city bus." Chica puffs up her chest with mock pride, waving to the bus stop sign with a flourish.
  222.  
  223. "Glorious," you reply, clapping appreciatively.
  224.  
  225. "Actually, it's not so bad now that they reupholstered the seats for most of them. Just be grateful we don't have to ride 'old butt-buster'," she adds with a shiver.
  226.  
  227. "Oh man, crappy plastic seats, I take it?" You find yourself wincing at the thought of having to sit on hard seats -- especially this time of year.
  228.  
  229. "Worse. Metal with hard edges," she replies.
  230.  
  231. "Criminal," you groan. "I'm imagining trying to ride that in the freezing rain, and I'm not liking it."
  232.  
  233. "We did last year," Bonnie stammers. "It was AWFUL."
  234.  
  235. "No kidding," Chica replies as she turns her rear toward you. "My tail feathers used to be twice as long until 'the freeze'."
  236.  
  237. "Wait -- they froze to the seat?" You stare at them in horror. "Oh, god. That had to be miserable!"
  238.  
  239. "No kidding. Being plucked is all kinds of painful, not to mention more than a little degrading," she replies with a haunted look in her eyes, shivering slightly. "...ngaahh. Never again."
  240.  
  241. You take a seat at the bench where Bonnie's already flopped down, panting from the walk.
  242.  
  243. "Bon, I keep telling you, you NEED to get out and jog with me," Chica smugly insists, folding her wings. "Put some meat on those bones, girl!"
  244.  
  245. "If I get out and jog with you I'll shrivel up. If anything, I need to gain weight -- not lose it," Bonnie replies.
  246.  
  247. "Yeah, but you'll burn a ton of energy and then come in famished afterwards! As it is, you expend no energy so you don't eat anything." Chica looks at you like this is just the most obvious thing in the world. "Seriously. Have you seen her diet?"
  248.  
  249. "Hmm. I guess that makes sense," you muse. "Hell, I'll go jogging with you if you don't mind a slowpoke weighing you down."
  250.  
  251. "Not at all," Chica says enthusiastically. "We'll have you buff and trim in a month, guaranteed. You'll have a six-pack instead of looking like you just drank one."
  252.  
  253. You pat your stomach self-consciously.
  254.  
  255. "It's -- I'm big-boned," you lie. Obviously, by the look on both of their faces.
  256.  
  257. "You're tubby, Mike. Adorably tubby, but still tubby," Chica scoffs. "You keep shoveling Freddy's cooking down your throat without getting up to burn it off? We're going to have to roll you around the apartment in a wheelbarrow."
  258.  
  259. "He's cute, though," Bonnie smiles, poking your belly as well.
  260.  
  261. "Hey now," you chide good-naturedly. "You know, that's a good point, Chica. His cooking IS pretty good, but really, really rich. How does Freddy keep the weight off?"
  262.  
  263. "Are you kidding? Freddy benches like, 400 pounds, dude! Late at night, he sneaks out to the exercise room next to the leasing office when he thinks we're all in bed!" Chica busts out laughing as she spreads her wingtips about a foot apart. "Have you SEEN the size of his arms? The guy could pick up our refrigerator with one paw -- hell, I think he DID once when Mangle dropped a tube of lipstick underneath it!"
  264.  
  265. You sit back in awe and newfound respect for him.
  266.  
  267. "That's really impressive. I mean, I get that he's a bear and being strong's sort of their thing -- but still, wow," you gush.
  268.  
  269. "Yeah. Freddy might be jacked, but he's super gentle," Chica says, running a wing through her headfeathers. "I don't think he'd ever hurt a fly."
  270.  
  271. Conversation kind of peters out for a bit as the three of you patiently wait on the bench for the bus to arrive. Your lucky streak of clear, cool weather is likely coming to an end soon, so it's a good day for you to get some money cashed out so that you can float for the rest of the month. Besides that, you promised you'd help with expenses, and the fact you've had to subsist on the generosity of relative strangers up until now wounds your pride.
  272.  
  273. With a smile on your face, you study Chica and Bonnie, resolving to do right by these folks.
  274.  
  275. It's the least you can do.
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