Brave Little Toaster Fanfiction: TBLT: Finds The Recalled - 16. We'd Be Better Off With You
16. We’d Be Better Off With You
Warlow continued to gaze out towards the expanse of what was his side of the road. He and Hoss were to keep checking this direction, while Cro and Lammond would to the other. While Hoss’ gaze drifted off elsewhere, Warlow noticed something. A car, but not just any.
“They’re here!” He called out to the rest of the troupe, “They’re coming!”
“Finally,” Moe sighed with his claim. Meanwhile, Lammond, Hoss, and Cro looked in Warlow’s direction. What he said was true.
“Well, what’re we waiting for?” Lammond hopped to the ground, heading off toward one of the many groups of brass lamps, “Go and tell everyone!” The three of the others didn’t hesitate to follow the command.
As they did, Cro went to inform anybody who might be still indoors. Hoss and Lammond took care of the outside areas. Finally, Warlow decided to inform the McGroarty appliances. To the first three, the responses were mixed, ranging from nervousness, excitement, and a feeling of being ill prepared.
When informed, Lampta remembered something as Cro left them. She unscrewed the bulb she had continued to carry all this time, handing it to Lampford.
“Before I forget; here!” She spoke joyfully to the still-recently embellished lamp near her. Despite the crude concept, Lampson’s execution of it was a vast improvement. Taking and looking upon the bulb in question, Lampford exhaled with a smile, shaking his head.
“We must make sure they find the right lamp, at the very least,” He replied, hopping over to and stashing the incandescent in a box. “He still has a home to return to, and I won’t allow a mix-up.” He paused, looking back at Lampta. “Though… Thank you, for returning it.”
“Aw… Yeah, that’s so true,” The starry lamp nodded with her own grin, her overall expression soft. Yet, she couldn’t resist the urge to add playfully, “No trouble at all, Fordy.”
As for Warlow’s case, he could only find three of the group of five, they listening to something coming from Radio’s speaker. He didn’t know what to make of it, though the conversation sounded rather deep.
“I wish I had some popcorn…” Blanky was musing, quietly.
Not wanting to overstay his welcome (to put it mildly), Warlow kept the announcement brief, before leaving. They were such a strange sort, he surmised, not to mention their… Lamp housemate. Everything he’d ever known could’ve been wrong, but no one was certain.
He just hoped the truth didn’t end in fire and oilshed. He was sure that the rest of his troupe felt the exact same way.
“… Was that…” Lampy began to ask as the fan heater left them, “Warlow, you said?”
“Yup,” Blanky replied. “Though, he doesn’t look like he’s been around for long.” Radio simply emitted a bit of static with his short sentence.
“Long enough, I’d say,” Though quiet, his tone was bitter, and Lampy could see why… If the retelling of their events were to be 100% accurate. Knowing Radio all too well, however, that was impossible. Yet, his additional exaggerations is, and was just what Lampy wanted to hear about in the first place. No regrets.
The three of them then had to end their eavesdropping, Radio cutting off the feed. “Listen, Fuzzy and I will get the other two; you need to go with the others!”
“What if they don’t find me?” Lampy asked, turning nervous as his face fell.
“They will!” Blanky tried to reassure.
“Just be somewhere obvious!” Radio added. “For example, in the middle of the…” He trailed off. Lampy picked up on it.
“Floor?” He managed to smile again, remembering something from a very long time ago with fondness. “Sounds just confusing enough to work, it sounds like!” Radio was unable to hold back a laugh, just as Blanky lifted him up and carried him off.
“Wait! What about you guys?” Lampy called, his unease returning from the sudden departure.
“We’ll catch up with you!” Blanky answered him, “We’ll make sure of it!” Lampy didn’t feel assured by the words, but he didn’t have much other choice, hopping in the opposite direction. Once near the entrance, the doors were ajar, revealing many of the other lamps inside. All of them were frozen, laying on their sides.
Lampy had to admit that this was probably how silly he had looked, way back when. He suddenly understood the light teasing that came with it, after all was said and done. He couldn’t blame them one bit; he would’ve done it too if it’d been someone else.
“I guess this is it…” He muttered to himself at last, sounding a bit happier even as he banished the thoughts from his mind, before following suit right in front of the doors.
“… And so,” Toaster was saying to Kirby, “I felt like if I didn’t do anything, and let us continue with what we were originally going for, they’d all be doomed. I just couldn’t let that happen, you know? Whether they were Lampy’s, or mine, or yours; it doesn’t matter. No appliance should have to be trapped like that.”
“And yes, I should’ve just tried to make a better case,” He continued on, “I know now that it wasn’t a good idea to go off like that on my own-“
“Wasn’t the first time, either,” Kirby cut him off, briefly.
“… Right, it wasn’t, I get it,” Toaster picked it up again with a sigh. “Jumping out of the laundry basket on Mars to save Earth, all the while living with the possibility of never coming home, was haphazard. But, it was either that, or no home to come back to at all. There was no time to plan! It was now or never!”
“Which is why that was fine,” Kirby had to admit. “If you hadn’t… We wouldn’t have the Young Master, nor the Big Master or the Mistress anymore. Everyone we’d ever known would be gone, just like that. All we’d have left would be ourselves.”
“That too!” Toaster nodded in agreement. “But this… Could’ve happened whenever we wanted. We had the whole week, give or take a few days to make sure Lampy’s repaired on time, but overall…”
“You care too much sometimes…” Kirby tried to grumble, knowing he was losing, but also… Winning? It wasn’t clear. Toaster began to grin, finding it amusing.
“Well, if it was us,” He retorted lightly, “You’d do the same thing. I know you care just as much, and don’t give me that “The family would be upset” nonsense. As rambunctious as some of us can be, you wouldn’t have it any other way.” With a low whir of Kirby’s motor, he approached Toaster, snagging him to his side with his cord, in some form of an embrace.
“If I do this,” He managed to mutter, looking away from the bemused toaster and trying not to cry again, “Will you shut up?” Within a few seconds, Toaster understood, grinning wider and politely returning the gesture.
“Alright, fine!” He replied, chuckling all the while. “Still, I’m sorry for being a bit of a micromanager…”
“A bit?” Kirby echoed.
“A huge, crummy micromanager,” Toaster then corrected with a short eyeroll.
“Hm… Apology accepted,” Kirby tried to sound distant, but Toaster was too familiar with his internal ingenuity. “I’m sorry for yelling. And for that bread remark. I didn’t realize it was too far until I…”
“… Oh yeah, that,” Toaster recalled, having forgotten, “I forgive you. In hindsight, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounded. But, please don’t talk as though you know someone else’s functions better than they do, alright? That’s kinda…”
“Offensive,” Came the vacuum’s response, “Because it worked out so well last time…”
“Lamps aren’t made for climbing?” Toaster guessed, as Kirby flinched. He could feel it. “Yeah, he glared daggers at you for that. I almost messed up too, when I said something about “shedding light” on a situation. That was a close call.”
There was a pause, as Toaster realized Kirby has yet to let him go. He initially wanted to say something, but felt it better to gently push away. Luckily, Kirby immediately unfastened his cord from around the little toaster, as the latter took a few paces backwards to gain some space again.
“So,” Toaster started again, this time a bit quietly, “Are we okay?” He almost dreaded the answer, the moment after those words were said.
“Meh, we’re fine,” Kirby waved it off the best he could, though Toaster was just relieved. Before he could say anything more, the two were halted by Blanky and Radio, who rushed in from around the corner. Blanky was still carrying him.
“Pardon our interruption to your scheduled soap opera,” Radio spoke the moment he had their attention, “But the Luxley weirdos have just informed us of the Humans’ impending arrival!”
“What, now?” Kirby was in disbelief, disguising it as irritation as he added, “What soap opera?”
“The one where you and Toaster make up,” Blanky replied, rather shamelessly. Kirby didn’t respond.
“Well, what’re we waiting for?” Toaster changed the topic quickly, “We need to find somewhere to hide! Where’s Lampy?”
“Probably frozen somewhere in the middle of the ground,” Radio guessed, as Blanky finally set him down after he began to fidget. “Just like old times.”
“Uh-huh…” Toaster recalled that moment briefly, before leading the other three with him, reaching the corner that’d take them to the front end of the building. Just as he peeked over, he drew back, stopping the others from doing so as well.
“They’re already pulling in,” He whispered to them. “Looked like… About three or four cars.”
“Distress signals are no joke,” Radio whispered back, with his lowered volume. He sounded serious.
“You’re telling me…”
Lampy, are you okay? Did you find somewhere to go? They heard Blanky call out.
Yes, I’m fine! Lampy’s chipper reply came swiftly. I’m in front of the front doors; you can’t miss it! Radio let out a short laugh.
“Ha, I knew he’d do something like that,” He said aloud. Then, the four of them stayed silent as they listened to the Humans exiting their cars, taking a gander at the area around them.
“Here’s the truck that sent the signal,” One Human, a female, mentioned to the rest. “Looks like some screwball tried to take it and some of our office appliances.”
“What kind of poor excuse of a heist were they thinking?” Another, a male, responded in confusion. “Hey, they tried to make off with my work lamp! Wow…”
“Well, at least we can bring them back- Hold on,” A third Human, another male, piped up. They heard him walk toward the building. Realizing it, Toaster and the other three scampered further back, to not be seen. The Human stopped, picking something up. “Is this-… It has to be! How in the world did it get all the way out here?”
“What’d you find?” The female asked.
“Mr. McGroarty’s lamp,” The male responded, certain. “See? I put that sticker on myself, days ago!”
“Well, good. At least he won’t be screaming our ears off again, David!”
“Yeah, yeah… Why’s the door ajar? What’s… Oh my God.”
“Whoa…” There was a pause. It seemed like the two Human employees had found more of the lamps. “Wait a minute. Those lamps- this one, too – they’re all Marigolds! Those used to sell like hotcakes back in the 70’s!”
“Hotcakes…?” Blanky whispered, unable to help imagining the food instead of the metaphor. Toaster gently shushed him with the wave of a lever.
“What happened, then? Why’re they all here now?” David questioned.
“Faulty cords did them in. We couldn’t fix them without going bankrupt. They were sent here and in other locations across the districts. We were supposed to go into a repairing process when we had the extra money, but then… That was lost to time, I think. Anyway…” The female was heard running away from the building, towards a car.
“District Manager Miller! I think you need to see this!” She continued. A final car door opened, another Human stepping out and shutting it behind him.
“For the last time, May, call me Scotty,” Mr. Miller spoke, sounding rather young for someone in his position – must’ve been no older than his mid 20’s, if the appliances had to guess. As he approached the building, David opened the doors wider for them all to see.
The first male emitted a whistle at the sight. “My oh my. What a goldmine, wouldn’t you think?”
“They’re all so unique, too!” May picked a few up. “This one has a smoking pipe for a mark, and this one has a burst of wind, and this one has a…”
“They’re just what we need,” Mr. Miller, or “Scotty”, said after some stunned silence. “A resurgence. Marley, would you help in the repairs if I got a team of mechanics on board?”
“Sure thing,” Marley didn’t hesitate. “As long as that one goes first. The new cord came in today.”
“Good, then it’s decided.” A pause as Scotty started using a smartphone. “Hello? It’s Scotty. We’re going to need a few more delivery trucks out here… And a team of mechanics back at HQ. Tell them that the Marigolds are coming home.”