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Roommates - Ch. 8 (Movie Night)

Dec 4th, 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. 8 (Movie Night): http://i.imgur.com/D7j6Xf3.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. You pull away from Chica sooner rather than later, wanting to avoid making any more of a public spectacle of yourselves than you already have. She turns her head under the pretense of checking on Bonnie, though you catch her dabbing at her eyes a little as she tucks the money you gave her into her pocket.
  12.  
  13. "I, uh..." Scratching the back of your head, you smile sheepishly at her. "There's a couple things I need to get from the store that I didn't put on the list the other day. Can you and Bonnie kill some time shopping?"
  14.  
  15. "What kind of question's that? We're girls -- of course we can kill time shopping," she chuckles, slipping her easygoing smile back into place. "What kind of store are you looking for?"
  16.  
  17. "Is there anything like a pharmacy or a big box store in the area?" you ask, running through your mental checklist. "I mostly just need some socks and some personal stuff like aftershave."
  18.  
  19. "Yeah, there's like a big discount store that usually has everything -- if you don't mind off-brands, that is," Chica says, running a wing through her headfeathers.
  20.  
  21. "Sounds good."
  22.  
  23. "All right then." She thrusts her wings into her pockets, trotting toward the entrance where Bonnie's still camped out by the television set, eyes glued to an upbeat-looking children's cartoon. "Hope you don't mind a walk. It's a few blocks away."
  24.  
  25. "I'm told I'm tubby," you answer. "Some exercise'll do me good."
  26.  
  27. "Adorably tubby, I said," Chica insists.
  28.  
  29. "But still tubby, you clarified." You can't wipe the smirk off your face. "It was a point you felt the need to, you know, emphasize."
  30.  
  31. "Oh, hush, tubby," she jokingly groans. "Let's just get your socks or whatever. Come on, Bon! We're rollin' out!"
  32.  
  33. "Thanks for being patient, Bonnie," you offer to Bonnie as she tears her gaze away from the television, bounding over to rejoin you and Chica.
  34.  
  35. "No problem," she quietly replies. On a whim, you pluck a lollipop from a bowl on the tellers' desk as you head out the front door, handing it to her.
  36.  
  37. "Here you go. You know, for being a good girl."
  38.  
  39. "Oh, thank you!" She giddily accepts it, tucking it into the pocket of her jumper for safekeeping. "I wanted one, but I didn't want to ask."
  40.  
  41. "They're for everybody, Bon," Chica laughs. "That's the point of having them out in the first place."
  42.  
  43. "O-ohh," Bonnie says, face flushing. "Right. I knew that."
  44.  
  45. The three of you pour out onto the street, basking in the brisk afternoon air. Chica takes the lead, turning in place a couple of times to get her bearings before nodding to herself in satisfaction.
  46.  
  47. You walk together in silence for a while, taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling city. Bonnie makes little games of moving down the sidewalk, avoiding cracks and lines and occasionally jumping over the odd grate or manhole cover. If you didn't know better, she looks like a big-for-her-age kindergartener, between the jumper dress, lollipop, and even her mary janes clicking on the sidewalk.
  48.  
  49. "Are we back to having an 'up day'?" you whisper to Chica, gesturing at Bonnie as she merrily swings around on a parking meter pole.
  50.  
  51. "Hmmm. You know, I think it's going to be a very up day for all of us," Chica replies.
  52.  
  53. Your route takes you through what is clearly an older, more dilapidated section of downtown. You can almost feel a vague sense of melancholy hanging in the air. It's as if this entire side of town has largely been forgotten about -- most of the structures nearby are closed or cordoned off with caution tape, foreclosure notices taped to windows fluttering in the afternoon breeze. Buildings that appear to have been abandoned halfway through construction stand next to shops that look like they could have been set locations for Hitchcock films once upon a time.
  54.  
  55. As you cross the road, halfway down the street a broad, flat building with a bright marquee and darkly-tinted windows catches your eye, sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of what could easily pass for a ghost town. Faintly, as if just at the edge of hearing, the distant sound of music drifts in on a cold wind. The hairs on your neck stand up, and you pull your coat close to keep from shivering.
  56.  
  57. "Mike, let's go," Chica calls to you from several buildings ahead as you tear your gaze away from the flashing purple and yellow lights.
  58.  
  59. "Yeah, coming," you shout back, hurrying on your way.
  60.  
  61.  
  62.  
  63. The discount store's nothing fancy -- a big warehouse-turned-store full of pallets and lots, most of which seem to be overstock or generic brands. For your needs (and your budget), however, this place is perfect. Per your request, Bonnie and Chica busy themselves in the housewares section, leaving you to relative privacy as you head through the store. You grab a basket from the rack by the front door and begin perusing the shelves to stock up on what you need.
  64.  
  65. Heading for the mens' clothing section, you decide your first order of business should be to replace your threadbare socks. You've only got a couple of good pairs right now -- and considering that you'll probably be doing a lot of walking, keeping your feet in good shape seems like a no-brainer. A sturdy pair of boots probably wouldn't go amiss either for when the snow undoubtedly kicks in a couple weeks from now.
  66.  
  67. After trying a few different pairs on, you find a set of boots that are comfortable enough you think you can live with them. It amazes you how many varieties of footwear there are for talons, webbed feet, paws, and so on while still catering to your approximate foot shape, especially considering that this isn't even a store that specializes in shoes.
  68.  
  69. One pair of boots and a package of crew socks with the correct number of holes in them later, you make your way over to the next aisle. A few long-sleeved shirts are a cold weather must-have, and while you're at it maybe a couple new pairs of jeans as well. You're not exactly looking to put together a new wardrobe, but a fair number of your current things are ragged, and not in the stylish way.
  70.  
  71. "All right," you murmur to yourself, going over your mental shopping list. "Now what?"
  72.  
  73. On their recent shopping excursion, Chica and Bonnie did pick up some essential toiletries for you -- deodorant, body wash, and most importantly some shampoo that didn't feel like it was going to rip your eyebrows out. While you're covered on the basics, you've since thought of a few things you would like to have, such as a comb and a hand mirror, and also some more masculine shaving cream.
  74.  
  75. No offense to the girls, but their selection of "Spring Flower Fresh" isn't quite to your taste.
  76.  
  77. As you walk down the toiletry aisle, your gaze inadvertently falls on the mens' personal products. You're reminded of your second-day conversation with Chica in which she made that jab about your "last pipe cleaning", and even though you'd never admit it out loud, that was a pretty astute observation. Embarrassing as it is to think about, the condom you keep in your wallet probably expired long ago.
  78.  
  79. Even if you're not exactly planning on anything, you'd rather be safe than sorry. After all, who knows what might happen? You're a decent-looking guy, and there are obviously girls here interested in your "look" -- Chica DID say you were "adorable", and you're willing to bet that the human-obsessed Bonbon would find you to be quite the catch. You could easily get lucky, so you might as well be prepared.
  80.  
  81. Glancing over your shoulder to make sure nobody's watching, you surreptitiously pluck a box of rubbers from the rack and skim the label.
  82.  
  83. "Holy cow," you mutter, instantly putting it back when you realize that the length and girth would be, er, roomy to say the least. You quickly paw through the other boxes, eventually landing on one that looks like it'd be an acceptable fit -- only for you to flip it over and see the brand name.
  84.  
  85. "'Spud Sleeves' -- skins for... 'small fries'?" you choke.
  86.  
  87. You flip the box of condoms at the shelf in disgust, not even caring that you just knocked over several rows of products. Without even bothering to neaten them back up, you storm down the aisle in a huff towards the back of the store, cheeks burning.
  88.  
  89. Guess that's just one more difference between you and apparently everyone else here.
  90.  
  91. Honestly, you don't even know why you bothered. It's not like you were going to ever hook up with anyone anyway, and especially not now given that metaphorical (and literal) shot to the 'nads. Everyone already sees you as a freak. Apparently in this world, you must be 'this tall to ride', and once again you're coming up short.
  92.  
  93. You can't help but feel sorry for yourself. You didn't ask to be dropped into an apartment complex full of crazies. You didn't ask for any of this, actually. You want nothing more than to get back on your feet and out of this hellhole -- but there's nowhere to run to. You never should have forked over so much of your stipend to Chica, but you just had to play the big boy in an attempt to impress her.
  94.  
  95. "Mike?"
  96.  
  97. You should have just saved your money diligently so that you can move into a better apartment, a normal apartment. One where you don't have to share a bedroom with a total stranger you can't even understand. Where you don't have creepy ceiling foxes spying on you, cracking lewd jokes all the time about your 'twig and berries'. An apartment where there aren't neurotic rabbits prone to violent mood swings that have to be handled with kid gloves.
  98.  
  99. "Mike!"
  100.  
  101. An apartment where the one sane, truly likeable person that lives with you isn't making constant flirty advances at you, isn't just so infuriatingly cheerful and warm, isn't tricking you into thinking that there's a reason for you to get out bed in the morning --
  102.  
  103. From out of nowhere, Chica grabs you by your shoulders, lightly shaking you.
  104.  
  105. "Earth to Mike! You in there, dude?" she asks, chuckling nervously.
  106.  
  107. Snapping out of your reverie, you nod, looking up at her, discreetly wiping your eyes and nose on the back of your sleeve.
  108.  
  109. "I'm fine," you mutter. "Really, I'm good. I, uh -- I got what I needed, so I'm gonna go check out."
  110.  
  111. Bonnie peers out from behind her, wrapping her paws around your arm.
  112.  
  113. "Mike, you don't look fine," she whispers.
  114.  
  115. Yeah, Bonnie, because you're totally the expert on being fine.
  116.  
  117. "I'm okay. Just a little tired and cranky," you insist, faking a yawn. "Come on, we've still got to hit the pho place before we head home, right? I was thinking maybe we'd grab a couple movies for the pajama party tonight." Yeah, pity party, more like.
  118.  
  119. "Well, okay then," Bonnie says, exchanging glances with Chica. Much to your relief, they drop the subject.
  120.  
  121. Turning on your heel, you head toward the checkout lanes -- giving the toiletries a wide, wide berth.
  122.  
  123.  
  124.  
  125. "So that's two orders of pho chay, a pho bo vien, a filet mignon pho tai and a lemongrass beef vermicelli -- with two orders of spring rolls on the side," the cashier drones. "$48.59. You paying cash or credit?"
  126.  
  127. You wince inwardly at Mangle's expensive taste. Fifty bucks for takeout dinner (even with two of the orders being the cheaper vegetable option) certainly puts a considerable dent in your remaining funds, and you still have to stop by the video store. You idly wonder if you shouldn't have just shilled for pizza this morning instead.
  128.  
  129. "Mike, at least let me pick up the dinner tab," Chica insists, reaching for her wallet. "Please."
  130.  
  131. "Nope," you reply, having recovered enough from your earlier fit that they're no longer looking at you like you've grown a set of horns. "I've already got it covered."
  132.  
  133. "Hey, you've done so much already. You're making me look bad." She's smiling, but you can tell her embarrassment is genuine.
  134.  
  135. "Let's not argue about finances in front of the nice man, dear," you smirk.
  136.  
  137. "Ha ha, oh WOW. So that's how it's gonna be, huh." She covers her mouth with a wing, laughing incredulously as you peel two twenties and a ten off your thinning bankroll, pushing them across the counter. "You're a piece of work, Mike."
  138.  
  139. "Don't I know it."
  140.  
  141. As your group heads out the door loaded down with paper bags full of steaming hot food, you glance over at Bonnie.
  142.  
  143. "Hey Bon," you offer, "you want to pick out what movie we watch tonight?"
  144.  
  145. Excitement flashes across her face as her eyes light up.
  146.  
  147. "I can, Mike? I can pick? Really?"
  148.  
  149. "Sure," you reply, fishing around in your pocket and handing her a ten dollar bill. "Run get us a movie and a box of candy or two for yourself. Can't have movie night without some theater candy, right?"
  150.  
  151. Awestruck, she tackles you in a hug before skipping across the street to the rental store.
  152.  
  153. "Hoo boy. Letting her pick a movie AND sugaring her up in the process? Now you've gone and done it," Chica jokes as she watches Bonnie running from aisle to aisle through the window. "Whatever she chooses, I'm not responsible for it. That's on you, bucko."
  154.  
  155. Sitting down on a nearby bench, you plop your share of the bags in your lap.
  156.  
  157. "You think she'll be all right by herself?" you ask Chica warily, realizing that sending her into a store alone may not have been the best idea.
  158.  
  159. "You're the one I'm worried about right now, Mike," she answers. "You seemed real moody back there. Somethin' you wanna talk about?"
  160.  
  161. "Oh, you know..." You sigh, avoiding eye contact. "Finding out things about yourself that you don't particularly like."
  162.  
  163. "And that has to do with buying socks and jeans? You're not THAT tubby, Mike."
  164.  
  165. "Hah, no, no, nothing like that. It's a personal thing. I just -- I guess I'm feeling like a bit of an outcast. Sort of like I don't belong here," you reply, staring down at yourself.
  166.  
  167. Chica sets her bag down on the bench, lifting your head gently with a wing.
  168.  
  169. "And we're not outcasts? C'mon, Mike. I'm down a beak, Bonnie and Freddy've got all sorts of issues -- and you didn't hear this from me, but so does Mangle." Smiling, she strokes the side of your face with her feathered thumb. "We're misfits, Mike. All of us. That's why we all shacked up in the first place."
  170.  
  171. "I'm sorry, Chica. I guess I'm just trying to kind of get my act together. I didn't mean to, you know -- get heavy."
  172.  
  173. "Neither does Bonnie. But it happens, and we deal with it when it does. Don't be ashamed of how you feel, Mike. Be ashamed of how you act on your feelings."
  174.  
  175. Pulling you close, she lowers her voice.
  176.  
  177. "And hey -- if we've done something to offend you, or you're feeling like an outcast BECAUSE of us, then you tell me and I'll see it resolved before the end of the night. If you feel wronged, if you've been hurt, I need to know now. The sun doesn't set on anger in my house."
  178.  
  179. "No, Chica, it's not you guys at all. I promise," you insist.
  180.  
  181. She searches your face for several seconds before relaxing her grip on you.
  182.  
  183. "Then I'm holding you to it. I can't stress it enough -- pajama party's a huge, huge deal to Bonnie. It's kind of an 'anchor' for her, you know?"
  184.  
  185. "Message received," you reply. "I'll try to buck up. Thanks for hearing me out."
  186.  
  187. "Not a problem, Mike."
  188.  
  189. The remainder of the wait passes in silence as Chica pulls her phone from her pocket, busying herself with checking her text messages. Eventually, Bonnie comes back with a movie and two boxes of candy, handing you the change.
  190.  
  191. "You all set?" you ask her.
  192.  
  193. "Yeah! The guy in there was really nice," she replies, pulling out some sappy-looking musical from the plastic bag. You stifle a groan.
  194.  
  195. "Glad to hear it! Let's get back to the house," Chica announces.
  196.  
  197.  
  198.  
  199. By the time the bus sets you down outside your apartment complex, it's getting close to early evening. Chica and Bonnie help you up the stairs with your purchases where Freddy's standing outside on the porch like a doorman.
  200.  
  201. "Bienvenue," he comments, accepting your bags. "Cuisine vietnamienne? Ce sent bon."
  202.  
  203. "Nice to see you too, Freddy," you greet, nodding back. Even though neither of you understand each other, you feel like the sentiment is mutual. Glancing at the clock, you squint. "Wait, it's only 3? What time does this shindig start? Feels a little early for dinner, still."
  204.  
  205. "Yeah," Bonnie comments. "It's rare we're back so soon. Can we start a little earlier than usual tonight?"
  206.  
  207. "I guess we could," Chica replies, much to Bonnie's excitement.
  208.  
  209. "I'm going to go get a bath and get changed into my PJs then," Bonnie says, darting off towards her bedroom.
  210.  
  211. "While she's off, how about we at least neaten up the apartment a bit before we get going?" Chica says to you. "I can go knock out some laundry if you don't mind vacuuming the living room."
  212.  
  213. "Sounds easy enough," you agree. "Do you mind washing the clothes I got today? I'd feel better if they were cleaned before I start wearing 'em."
  214.  
  215. "Not at all! I don't blame you -- you don't have any idea what's on that stuff. For all you know some guy with fleas has tried a pair of pants on before you."
  216.  
  217. "Holy shit, that's a thing that can happen?" You stare at her, incredulous. "I didn't even THINK about that."
  218.  
  219. "Oh, sure!" she says, eyes wide. "Happened to me in -- gosh, what was it? Sixth grade, I think. I was shopping with my mom and I saw a blouse I liked at a store, and it turned out that it had lice all over it when we got it home. That's the first of two times in my life I've been unwillingly plucked."
  220.  
  221. "Freaking ouch," you reply. "I can't even imagine that. A cousin of mine got lice when I was a kid, and the worst thing that happened to him was he had to shave his head. I feel like he got off lucky."
  222.  
  223. "I guarantee he did. Man, I was miserable waiting for my feathers to grow back, AND I still had to go to school. Wasn't a pleasant experience, I can tell you that much."
  224.  
  225.  
  226.  
  227. While Chica busies herself with gathering up the laundry, you pull the vacuum out of the closet and begin running it through the common area. Even Freddy takes a moment to grab a feather duster, running it over the furniture. Working together always gets the job done faster, and before long you've got the entire apartment looking beautiful and in order.
  228.  
  229. Chica's still busy in the laundry room and Bonnie's still in the middle of her bath, so you decide to join Freddy in indulging in a cup of pre-dinner tea. You're hardly a tea enthusiast, but it's a nice treat after having been in the cold weather all day.
  230.  
  231. "Oh, you're back? Welcome home," Mangle says from the living room vent overhead. "Darling, that tea smells simply heavenly. Foxy, dear, may I trouble you for a cup?"
  232.  
  233. Freddy glances up at Mangle and nods, heading to the kitchen to refill the kettle.
  234.  
  235. "So, Michael -- did you have a pleasant time out? How's Bonnie doing?"
  236.  
  237. "She's doing a lot better, yeah," you answer. "And yeah, I'd say it was a pretty good time overall. We ran into a guy by the name of Bonworth -- you know him?"
  238.  
  239. "Oh, of course! He's a lively character, isn't he," Mangle laughs. "We had him over for brunch not too long ago. Poor boy doesn't get anything resembling a good dinner over there, I would be inclined to wager. Too few cooks in the kitchen, to 'mangle' a phrase."
  240.  
  241. You chuckle at the lame pun. "Ahh, that's right, he did mention that he'd been over here before. Stands to reason you two would know each other," you reply. "Sorry, I'm still trying to get the hang of there being three Bonnies around here, so I have no idea who all knows who."
  242.  
  243. Freddy hands the teacup up to Mangle who accepts it with a sharp-toothed smile.
  244.  
  245. "Ohh, thank you, honey. I've been busy all day and haven't once stopped for a break." Busy? Doing what? Now that you think about it, you really don't have any idea of what Mangle does.
  246.  
  247. "Oh, before I forget, I got your tissues. I couldn't remember what kind you wanted, so I got the normal ones for like a runny nose with the eucalyptus lotion stuff, and then just the plain kind. They're in my room in one of the shopping bags."
  248.  
  249. "Ah, eucalyptus. That's wonderful. Thank you," Mangle replies, blinking at you expectantly. "Err... do you mind retrieving them for me? The tissues, I mean. I understand that you might feel a touch uncomfortable if I head in there without asking."
  250.  
  251. It sounds more than just a touch rehearsed, like Mangle doesn't actually quite understand why you'd be uncomfortable in the first place, but is nonetheless trying to be polite.
  252.  
  253. "It's fine," you reply. "Help yourself."
  254.  
  255. "Oh, well -- if you insist." As Mangle tugs the vent cover shut, something clicks in your mind.
  256.  
  257. "Hey, Mangle?" you call out.
  258.  
  259. The vent cover flips open again, and Mangle pokes out nervously.
  260.  
  261. "Yes?"
  262.  
  263. "Thank you for asking," you say with what feels like one of your first truly genuine smiles of the day.
  264.  
  265. "Oh, of course, Freddy."
  266.  
  267. "Mike," you correct gently.
  268.  
  269. "Oh. Mmm, yes. Right you are."
  270.  
  271.  
  272.  
  273. Chica wasn't kidding about the pajama party being serious business, but you're starting to get the impression that it might not be exclusively for Bonnie's benefit.
  274.  
  275. She's been strutting around like a drill sergeant, barking orders the whole time. Freddy's the only member present not dressed explicitly in pajamas, instead sporting a silky dressing gown and loose-fitting slacks. He looks so distinguished that it's almost comical -- you're half-expecting him to pull out a box of cubans or a thick pipe and light up in the living room. Mangle, meanwhile, grins expectantly at you from behind the couch, wrapped in the comforter from your bed.
  276.  
  277. "Mmmm. Pho bo vien, sooo scrumptious. The Vietnamese are surprisingly talented at the art of making a delicious meatball, and the broth is just exquisite." Glancing up at your dubious look, the fox giggles. "Oh, Mike, I hope you don't mind but I was a touch chilly and your blanket's ever so soft."
  278.  
  279. "As long as it's back by the time I crash," you chide, shaking your head. Give 'em an inch... "Anyway -- I'm not sure I dig this bland vermicelli stuff -- it's like flavorless ramen. The beef's amazing, though."
  280.  
  281. "Mike, you're not in proper uniform," Chica warns. "Five-point deduction for forgetting your pajama top."
  282.  
  283. "It's warm in here!" you protest. "Mangle has the heat on, like, eighty degrees. You're lucky I've still got pants on!"
  284.  
  285. Chica folds her arms, scowling as she surveys the room.
  286.  
  287. "We're -- you ARE playing this up as a joke, right?" you ask.
  288.  
  289. Everyone -- Freddy included -- stares silently at you. You quickly wither on the spot under their gazes, lowering your bowl carefully onto the coffee table.
  290.  
  291. "Maybe I'll just go put that on now, save us some time."
  292.  
  293. "Maybe you should just," Chica says militantly, playfully whapping you with the feather duster's stick as you grab your matching pajama top from the kitchen counter. "And be grateful I didn't get you the pajamas with the flap in the butt!"
  294.  
  295. "What a merciful dictator you are, ma'am," you snark, throwing your top over your shoulders as you hurry back to your designated position on the couch. "You're out of your mind if you think I'm buttoning this thing up, though."
  296.  
  297. "The panel will begrudgingly accept this outcome," she sighs.
  298.  
  299. "Yay!" Bonnie cries out from her cushion on the floor. "Oh, this is such fun!"
  300.  
  301. "Such, such fun," you whimper as Chica flops down next to you.
  302.  
  303. "Complaining is a ten-point deduction with repeated infractions punishable by bathroom duty for two weeks," she hisses.
  304.  
  305. "SUCH fun!" you enthuse hastily with only your most saccharine inflection. Bonnie beams up at you from her spot on the floor, slurping her broth. You feel like you're in one of those summer camp movies where the plucky kid protagonists get harassed by the power-tripping counselors.
  306.  
  307. Speaking of movies, the one you're about to watch (if you can even classify a musical as a movie) is starting, and as the previews begin to roll Chica breaks character, smiling at you.
  308.  
  309. "An up ending to a very up-and-down day," she murmurs gently in your ear.
  310.  
  311. Looking back on everything that's happened since this morning, you suppose you'd be inclined to agree.
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