Five Nights at Freddy´s Fanfiction: Expect the Unexpected - 89. Chapter 89
Hey everyone! So long chapter today to make up for the inconsistent schedule. Also an announcement! Corona Pax created a Discord server for this story where you can ask questions and just talk about Expect the Unexpected in general. We both pop on when we can. The code is b9kAt2m. You just add that to the end of the usual Discord invite link.
Sick: Round 2
The next night Hedy and Jeremy arrived to find a note begging them to give the cleaners a night off. They’d been busy most of the day cleaning the paint out of the vent system. Foxy and Bonnie looked kind of smug about it while Freddy looked exasperated. The Toys on the other hand were itching to ask how the shooting range went. They were beyond curious.
“At least Jeremy doesn’t have any new holes,” Chi pointed out cheerfully.
“Thanks,” he muttered.
Since Ruby hadn’t arrived yet they were all in the main room, talking about the trip. Jeremy answered most of the questions since Hedy was already in work mode and was frustrated that she still didn’t have the things she needed to repair Spring. So she focused on working on Mangle again instead. The Originals were whispering among themselves and glancing at Hedy occasionally. After the game the previous night the last bits of hostility seemed to have dropped from Foxy and Bonnie but it was still unnerving to have them obviously talking about her like that.
Eventually Foxy straightened up and walked over to Hedy while Chica comforted Bonnie for some reason.
“Mechanic.” Foxy paused, looking awkward. “Hedy.” He very rarely used her name, if ever. “We’ve been thinking. We kinda judged ya just cause yer a mechanic and didn’t really give ya a chance.” His pirate accent bled into his voice which usually only happened when he was nervous about something. “So I guess…” he glanced back at the Originals who all looked nervous actually. Bonnie the most. “We’ve kind of been avoiding our check-ups for too long.” He turned back to look at her with a sigh. “‘Bout time that stopped.”
Mangle made a small surprised noise and glanced at Hedy.
Hedy stared for a moment, an overjoyed light in her eyes. She quickly squashed the delighted shout that threatened to startle Bonnie. Her face flashed through several emotions rapidly, most noticeably, concern and uncertainty, before she replied.
“Are you sure?” she asked carefully, tilting her head with a small frown. While she was thrilled they were deciding to trust her enough, she didn’t want to be too enthused about finally getting a look at the many issues her trained eyes saw on a daily basis.
He shrugged and she saw the slight flinch as something didn’t move quite right in his shoulder.
“Yeah. The lass trusts you. And besides the flashlight incident ya haven’t done anything.” He sounded more teasing than angry about that surprisingly. Seemed she’d been forgiven for that. “We see how careful ya are with Mangle and Spring. About time we stopped being so difficult.”
She let out a short laugh, glancing at Bonnie sympathetically. “I should think so. How about a break from your voice, Mangle?”
Mangle wasn’t bothered in the least and nodded with a smile, hopping off the table while the other Toys just watched quietly.
Teddy looked at the older group for a moment before going back to the book Hedy gave him, glancing at Toby over the edge.
Toby didn’t say anything, though he did stifle a mild wince with a look at Bonnie.
Chi seemed mostly curious while BB was sleeping, still and turned off in the corner. Puppet wasn’t in the room at the moment.
“Alright, well. Sit down,” Hedy gestured at the table she was sitting on. “Freddy how about I check you out first.” She figured Freddy would be the calmest and watching her work with him might calm the others down a bit more.
Bonnie was the most obviously anxious while Foxy was tense despite the calm act. Freddy nodded, leaving Chica to help Bonnie.
It was also surprising that they didn’t wait until Ruby arrived to do this.
“Where’s Ruby?” Chi spoke up. “It’s…” she thought for a moment and checked her internal clock. “Almost midnight.”
Hedy frowned as she scooted to the side to make room for Freddy and put away the tools she only needed for Mangle. “I’ll text her,” she decided, pulling out her phone.
The Originals also frowned when they realised that it was so close to the start of shift.
Hedy didn’t get an answer but as she started on Freddy, with barely a minute to spare, the teen stumbled through the front door with what looked like five jackets on.
The Originals all took one look and grimaced.
“Oh no.” Foxy groaned, dropping his head in his hands.
Hedy looked utterly confused, both at Ruby and Foxy’s reaction.
“Uh…hey, Ruby. Is there a particular reason why you look like a sentient ball of polyester and denim…?” she asked. The teen had been normal when she’d left them after the shooting range.
Jeremy looked up too, lifting the hat he was attempting to take a nap under. Technically he didn’t need to stay awake since he didn’t work there.
Ruby’s glare definitely lacked its usual bite.
“Shut up.” she muttered, shooting a glare Foxy’s way too.
Freddy sighed. “Ruby.”
“Couldn’t miss my shift,” The teen grumbled, stifling her coughing with one hand.
“I volunteer the Toys and Jeremy.” Bonnie suddenly said. “We had to do it last time.”
“You shut up.” Ruby snapped. “You and the pink monkey.”
“Monkey? We have a pink fox, not a monkey,” Hedy said, even more confused. “Unless someone’s been lying to me my whole life.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m a fox,” Mangle signed.
“What am I getting volunteered for and why?” Jeremy groaned, running a hand down his face, too tired to argue.
“Ruby’s sick.” Chica explained.
“I’m fine you annoying duck!” Ruby protested. “Were you always green?”
“She gets really bad and needs someone to watch her.” Chica continued as though she hadn’t been interrupted.
“And make her take her medicine.” Bonnie added.
“And help with the hallucinations.” Foxy watched her while she glared at an empty spot on the wall.
“Hallucinations,” Jeremy sounded alarmed while Hedy just frowned. Ruby had been fine. How did she get so sick so suddenly? Was she just that good at hiding when she wasn’t feeling well and it only showed when she was really, really out of it?
“We deal with sick kids all the time,” Toby said, rolling his eyes, not sure what the big deal was. Sometimes parents weren’t the wisest and brought their sick children to the restaurant, leaving the bots to deal with keeping the kids away from non-sick kids without them knowing and making sure they drank water and not just soda. That kind of stuff. It was in their programming even.
“Yeah, what’s the problem?” Chi huffed, annoyed the Originals were worried about a little cough. Sure they fussed over Ruby a lot but this was ridiculous.
“Uh…Bonnie?” Teddy asked. “Why are you leaving?”
“You just volunteered,” The rabbit stated bluntly.
“Good luck!” Foxy was after him in a flash.
“Uh, let’s go do this in the other room,” Chica suggested to Hedy.
“The light’s better.” Freddy nodded eagerly.
“I’m not that bad…” Ruby muttered. “Hey, who painted Toby purple? Gotta fix that.”
Hedy had a frightened look in her eyes as she quickly made her own escape, not keen on seeing exactly what the Originals were so afraid of. “You’re in charge tonight, Jeremy!” she said quickly, with a mildly sheepish grin.
Jeremy watched them leave suspiciously, a very uneasy feeling settling in his gut. Ruby couldn’t be that bad, could she?
The girl in question was digging around in her bag while swaying on the spot. Eventually she pulled out a can of spray paint.
“Let’s fix that purple problem.” she turned to Toby. “Then I can shut up the blue turtle. He won’t stop complaining about the futility of life.”
Toby jumped to his feet and backed up, waving his hands. “I’m not purple!”
Ruby frowned. “Yes you are. Not like Bonnie. Bonnie is lavender. It’s really nice. But purple isn’t. And while I don’t like you I’m not cruel enough to leave you purple. So hold still and stop complaining. It’s blue paint.”
The spray-paint she had in her hand happened to be a bright neon pink. They were starting to figure out why the Originals were so eager to leave with Hedy. And considering her unfocused gaze, they didn’t expect her aim to be as good as usual. Most of them were going to end up covered in pink paint at this rate.
Maybe it wouldn’t be as big a deal with Mangle but Tody and Teddy already had some issues with customers thinking they were girls occasionally.
Jeremy cautiously put his hands up and edged closer. “Ruby h-hold on a minute…have you taking any medicine yet?”
“No. I’m fine,” she growled at him. Actually growled. That was…unsettling to say the least.
At least her attention was temporarily pulled away from Toby.
Jeremy looked taken aback by the noise and subsequently stepped back. After a second he frowned. “No. You’re not,” he said, “You have to take some medicine to get better.” He was using a tone of voice that the Toys hadn’t heard before. It sounded like when he scolded Hedy but softer and less exasperated.
Teddy was hit by the first actual realization that Jeremy was indeed a father.
Ruby seemed to miss the fact that Jeremy was sort of trying to parent her. Probably because her eyes kept sliding to stare at something only she could see. Maybe the pink monkey she mentioned earlier.
“I’m fine.” the teen snapped, turning with the intention of marching off in a huff.
It didn’t work. She overbalanced and got light headed at the same time, resulting in her stumbling and almost tripping. Teddy just barely managed to catch her before she fell. Ruby grumbled to herself and kicked at the floor.
“Keep still building. Stop rocking like that.”
The building rumbled a bit in concern.
A bottle of medicine fell from literally nowhere and hit Jeremy in the head. That…was freaky.
“Aaaand… even the messed up half sentient building is worried…” Jeremy muttered, still disturbed by the establishment. He picked up the bottle as he rubbed his head. He read the label to make sure it was the right stuff. He wondered if it was accidentally left by some parent or staff member. Did the building materialize highly complex things out of mid-air or was there a secret stockpile of lost and found it had collected over the years hidden in the wall. The idea both disturbed and intrigued him.
“Ruby…” he said as he simultaneously poured the appropriate dose in the measuring cap jammed over the lid. “You’re sick. And miserable. This will make you feel better.”
Her glare was nowhere near its usual potency, especially since Teddy was still keeping her upright.”I’m fine.”
The Toys couldn’t quite believe this. They’d seen kids be stubborn but usually when they were feeling bad enough they took the medicine they were given. She could barely walk and she still claimed she was fine? Jeremy had an idea that was probably from living in a building full of kids. Being Ruby, she probably didn’t want to draw the caretaker’s attention away from the other kids.
“Ruby,” Jeremy repeated, a bit sterner. “You’re going to take this medicine then immediately go lay down. Teddy is literally holding you up.”
He obviously wasn’t crossing the line of forcing her to drink the medicine. He figured that was a great way to lose an arm.
He held the dose out in front of her, in her reach. He hoped she wouldn’t slap it out of his hand, but there was a whole bottle.
The Toys shifted a bit nervously. Bad things happened when someone told Ruby what to do after all. Teddy was closest so he was feeling the most worried and wondering why the Originals ran off so quickly. Wouldn’t it have gone better if they were here to help? Or was she this bad with them as well?
Or was she worse since she didn’t want them to worry?
Finally the teen huffed. “Stupid Hedy’s brother.” She took the medicine though with a sour look on her face.
Jeremy really hoped his kids weren’t like this as teens…
He huffed a bit in relief. “I do have a name you know. Come on, Ruby. To the staff room.”
“It’s Hedy’s stupid brother,” Ruby promptly insisted and turned to grudgingly go to the staffroom with Teddy staying close by in case she lost her balance again. However she paused. “He’s still purple though. I haven’t fixed that!” she pointed to Toby.
“Not. Purple,” Toby whined, trailing behind uncertainly.
Chi was tempted just to go to Part and Services and ask the ghosts if she could watch cartoons instead of deal with Ruby, but she figured Chica would be mad at her if she ditched the others.
Mangle followed, more out of curiosity than anything else. She wasn’t sure how much Jeremy needed their help. He seemed to be doing fine and she was a bit curious about watching Hedy work on the Originals.
At the same time, Ruby’s hallucination reactions were kind of funny to watch.
Five minutes later they regretted following.
Ruby decided that since they wouldn’t let her spray-paint Toby, she’d just turn the can into a bomb and throw it at him when they weren’t looking. Unfortunately a sick Ruby made the blast a little too strong and they were ALL covered in pink paint now. Except Teddy who had stepped out to fetch some water after Jeremy asked him too. The teen herself was dripping in paint as well.
“Now everyone’s blue! Dammit! I’ve got to fix everyone else now,” she muttered.
Goldy sighed as she popped into the room and grabbed Ruby’s bag before she could take anything from it.
“First rule of ‘sick Ruby watching’. Take her tools away,” she told the pink occupants. “Second rule, don’t argue about the hallucinations. It just gets her worked up. Third rule, survive.”
She vanished after giving them that ‘advice’ and appeared in the room the Originals and Hedy had settled in.
“They’re all covered in pink paint.” she told them as she dumped the bag in the corner.
Hedy stared at the bag, years of paint stains currently covered in dripping hot pink.
“Wow. Okay. Well, I think they’re all used to it by now,” she mused as she got her tools out, noticing Freddy fidget out the corner of her eye. “I think Jeremy was hoping not to deal with sick kids today. Marcus is sick and Amelia is staying home to take care of him.”
The Originals were torn between a little bit of guilt and a lot of relief.
“The Toys will benefit from seeing her act like a kid,” Foxy muttered, looking anxious as he shifted from one foot to the other.
Bonnie was quiet, leaning against the wall with tightly crossed arms.”She keeps more shields up when they’re around,” Chica added softly. “All her shields drop when she’s sick.”In a weird way the Originals were trying to let the Toys get to know the real Ruby, even if she was horrible when sick.
Hedy seemed unsure. “Heh. She does treat them like they’re pretty young.”
“She treats them like children.” Freddy shrugged. “All of them except Puppet. She never shows children her darker or more painful sides.” He gave a bitter smile. “She still doesn’t show us all of it. We only found out she’s an orphan because she’s so open when sick. She tries to protect everyone from it.”
“..Ruby…” Hedy muttered in disappointment, shaking her head. She didn’t agree with Ruby’s coping methods. Never had. She was always more open with her issues. It helped her control them better. Whether it was being honest or writing her problems in a journal no one else would see, at least she didn’t leave things bouncing around inside her head just to keep others from seeing. She had too many more important things to think about on a daily basis. She’d go insane if she tried to keep everything inside. It has to come out one way or another. With her, it was a journal or audio recording (Scott taught her that).
With Ruby, it was apparently a feverish daze.
“Well the Toys need to grow up a little faster anyway,” she half-joked. “Freddy hold out your arm and move it in a circle in front of you. Then the other.”
Freddy hesitated a brief moment before doing as asked. The bots were used to the aches that came from lack of maintenance but Hedy still noticed the slight flinch they all gave when something hurt, even if they didn’t notice it anymore.
“I’ll keep an eye on them.” Goldy vanished to go make sure Ruby didn’t freak them out too much.
Hedy listened to Freddy’s arms and almost immediately said “Stop.”
Freddy tensed as she gently grabbed his elbow making him keep his arm outstretched.
“Don’t move,” she ordered as she carefully took her hand away.
Freddy didn’t dare fidget as she took a long screwdriver.
“Make sure you tell me if I’m hurting you okay?” Hedy said.
The bear nodded but didn’t say anything for fear of worrying the others with his tone of voice.
Hedy carefully inserted the screwdriver in a space between his suit around his shoulder.
He flinched and she immediately stopped. “You okay?”
“Fine, I just wasn’t expecting it.
Hedy nodded. A few turns later she removed small rust covered screws with one hand while another had two fingers pressed inside the space in Freddy’s arm holding something in place. With her free hand, she fished out new screws from a box of various pieces and replaced them. She tightened them down, wiping the rusty oil off her hand on a rag she put on her lap for that purpose.
“Move your arms again, like before.”
Freddy did so and froze at the sensation in his right arm, the one Hedy messed with. It felt…looser. Not stiff. He didn’t realize how much the left actually hurt until he had the right to compare it to.
“What…did you do?”
“The screws securing the motors were loose and rusting,” Hedy explained. “The motor was stuck crooked and that causes friction between the motor and the gears. Turn. Other side.”
Freddy did as instructed, still shocked at the difference. It happened so slowly over the years that he hadn’t even realised how…bad it was.
The others were watching intently, Foxy anxiously pacing back and forth but keeping his eyes on them. Chica currently seemed the calmest, soothingly rubbing Bonnie’s back.
The left arm was a bit tougher as Hedy had to stick a small wire brush in and scrub rust off something, but eventually both arms were fixed.
“You’re in a lot better shape than I thought,” Hedy said. “There is more I need to work on but I want a chance to at least give everyone a check-up tonight.”
Freddy just nodded, stunned at the difference a few minutes of maintenance made. He knew he would be in the best shape though, he’d been lucky over the years and had one of the calmer ghosts. Felix was the worst during the possessions and he’d caused a lot of damage to Foxy over the years and Bonnie had the worst done to him when they were put in storage. Chica had just mostly had kitchen accidents.
“Who wants to go next?” Hedy asked, shooing Freddy off the table.
Chica stepped forward while Freddy took her spot calming Bonnie. It was currently a toss-up between Bonnie and Foxy over who looked the most anxious about this.
Hedy let the chicken get settled. “So what hurts?”
Chica shrugged. “I’m not really sure…”
Hedy frowned. “Well, you sound a little stiff when you move. You could just need more oil…” she held out her hands. “Hold out your hands please.”
Chica did so, noticing how she was trembling a little bit as she rested her hands on Hedy’s. Her hands dwarfed the mechanic’s, suddenly making her look fragile and small.
Hedy didn’t comment on the slight shaking (Bonnie would probably be much worse). She studied Chica’s hands for a moment. “Do you pick up hot things without oven mitts?” she asked, sounding a little annoyed.
The bot titled her head in confusion.
“We don’t get hurt by high temperatures and there aren’t any oven mitts that fit me anyway.”
Hedy held the chicken’s wrist firmly. “Just because you can’t feel it doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause damage,” she scolded, clearly upset. She lifted Chica’s hands a bit. “See the discoloration? You’ve burnt your suit.”
The bots all blinked in surprise, never having really thought of it. They all handled hot plates occasionally when delivering pizza but Chica was in the kitchen pretty often. She studied her hands, never really having taken notice of the discoloration.
“Oh.” she didn’t know quite what to say.
Hedy softened a little but still looked dismayed. “Are you okay with me taking the suit off so I can see the endo and wires for your hands? Just the hands, not the whole thing.”
Chica shifted a bit uncomfortably but nodded in the end. Bonnie let out a soft, strangled whimper. He was not a fan of suits being removed. Foxy stopped his pacing to go help Freddy keep him calm.
Hedy glanced at him in sympathy. She winced but she really needed to check Chica’s hands.
“I’m sorry you’re scared, Bonnie,” she said softly. “I know my dad is to blame.” She looked away and got to work carefully detaching the suit’s hands from the rest so she wouldn’t have to mess with the whole thing. She kept talking, not sure why, but didn’t look up. She felt ashamed and like she needed to explain. “I…can’t even try to defend him. There’s no way he didn’t understand what he was doing. He said he didn’t…but he knew you were alive. There’s no way he didn’t… ” she trailed off before her voice could crack. “I’m so sorry…” she whispered, head ducked and her eyes turned away as she focused on Chica’s hands.
It was so hard to think about her dad. She loved him. She loved him so much, but… knowing what he did to the Originals. It hurt. He was a good man, she had to remind herself. But she struggled to believe it every time this came up. It hurt having the image of her father further damaged every time she saw how anxious the Originals were around her. How frightened Bonnie was.
The bad memories were starting to outweigh the good and it was painful.
The bots glanced at each other uncomfortably before Freddy spoke.
“We heard them threaten him once…” he told her carefully, like he wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear this. “Threatened his…kids.”It didn’t excuse the fact that he took his anger and frustration out on them but…still. It was hopefully some comfort to her.
Hedy froze just as she removed one hand, staring at the suddenly exposed wires and endoskeleton.
Chica’s robotic hand twitched in reaction to the disturbing sight and she stifled a freaked out yelp and looked away.
Hedy didn’t notice. She stared at Freddy with a far off look and tried not to react like she wanted to, for a moment it seemed like she would just go back to work without a word.
The lights above them flashed as did a couple of flashlights in her bag, the penlight sticking out. She swallowed as she blinked, startled, at the ceiling and alarmed at the reaction. Were they blinking…because of her? The ghost kids weren’t there.
She forced a shuddery and disturbed breath and closed her eyes tightly. The lights settled and she turned the flashlights upside down so they wouldn’t trigger someone’s reset.
“Oh.” Her voice wavered, not sure what else to say.
They stayed silent, letting her process that. Foxy made sure to keep his eyes on the floor since he was the most sensitive to light flashes.
The heavy silence was only broken by a couple of yells somewhere in the building. Ruby was probably doing…something.
The sounds pulled Hedy out of her head. “Sorry,” she murmured, unsure if she was sorry about the lights or her dad.
She glanced at the door, a little concerned but looked back at Chica’s hands, distracted by work again.
“Ok. Well, your hands are screwed up…” she deadpanned with a frown at the melted wiring insulation. Chica was lucky she hadn’t shorted anything. Thank goodness she never accidentally electrocuted a child either.
There was a half-hearted mutter of ‘language’ as they all listened to her.
“Is it that bad?” Chica asked anxiously. She hadn’t taken notice of her hands in a long time.
Hedy hesitated. She didn’t want to scare anyone, but they should know if they were in danger of hurting a child. It would destroy Chica if something happened. So she gently told them about the shorts and how a kid could get shocked if something was exposed.
“It’ll be fine,” she assured quickly, trying to lessen the panic flashing in their eyes. “I just have to rewire…”
Chica just frantically nodded her head, her earlier apprehension gone. She could have hurt a child! Just because she was scared of getting some maintenance? Hedy could practically see the same thoughts flashing across the other’s faces.
“It will be fine!” Hedy said. “I’ll make sure to check everyone and anything potentially dangerous tonight. Nothing has happened yet that I know of, so you’re fine. You’ve taken good care of yourself with what you knew.” She pulled out a clear divider box full of many spools of multi-coloured wires and her electrical tools.
They still didn’t look completely reassured.
“Maybe I should stay in the kitchen tomorrow…” Chica mumbled anxiously.
“No, I’ll just get this done and you’ll be good to go,” Hedy said. “It will take me about…eh…two hours? Two hours for both hands.” She paused, glancing at the wires. “Let me get back to you after I check everyone else first. Okay? Just in case there are other important things I need to do before you all work tomorrow.”
Chica nodded, moving her hands carefully so she didn’t touch anything with the damaged wires.
Surprisingly Bonnie moved before Foxy could, looking terrified still but determined. They were all worried about being a danger to the children now.
Hedy listened to his movements and watched how he reacted to decide where to look, just as she had for Freddy and Chica. The only reason she wasn’t checking them from head to toe like she usually would was that she’d already spent the last month watching and analysing where she thought the most issues were. She already knew where the most pressing problems would be based on how they walked, what jobs they did the most (like Chica in the kitchen), and how they interacted with people. With Bonnie, she knew there was something going on with his eyes because sometimes he didn’t look straight at people when talking to them and he didn’t see things in his peripheral as well as he should. There was also someone wrong with his ears. They twitched randomly and not like they should. She also heard weird clicks with he moved anything. It was very faint and she knew no one would notice unless they were looking for them, but Mangle made those same noises a lot.
Bonnie fidgeted anxiously but to his credit he didn’t bolt. Foxy had resumed pacing but she could feel him staring at them. His protective instincts were probably going haywire.
He was still letting her work on Bonnie though, the pacing was probably a way to distract himself somehow.
Freddy and Chica stayed silent as they watched, waiting for her to speak.
“Freddy hold up some fingers.”
“Bonnie how many fingers is Freddy holding up?”
Bonnie stared, looking very confused.
It was quiet for a moment.
“Two,” mumbled Freddy.
“You’re not supposed to help him,” Hedy groaned with a little chuckle. “Puppet,” Hedy said, calling to the box on the other side of the room. “Puppet! Wake up.”
“WHAT?!” Puppet snapped, popping his head up with a glare at the mechanic. He smacked the lid open with some force as it swung open. He noted what she was doing with the Originals and paused. “Finally getting looked at?”
“Puppet, hold up some fingers,” Hedy said.
“Just do it.”
“I need to test Bonnie’s eyes. Hold up your goth Dr. Suess grinch fingers.”
Puppet glared at her but did so, two on one hand and three on the other.
“Bonnie how many fingers is Puppet holding up?”
Bonnie looked confused but looked anyway. He titled his head a bit and squinted. “Eight,” he said with a bit of confidence.
“I only have six fingers,” Puppet said sarcastically.
Foxy growled at him. He was already worked up enough as it was, it wouldn’t take much to make him snap.
“Not like you’re ever close enough to us to notice that,” Bonnie muttered, then paused and scrunched up his face. “Six fingers? That’s weird.”
Freddy coughed to cover his chuckle and they heard Goldy giggle. She was switching between watching them and watching Ruby apparently.
“Well, it works for me,” Puppet retorted tiredly. “Did you really wake me up just for that?” He glared at Hedy again.
Puppet grunted before climbing out of his box. He then began dragging it out of the room to find a different place to recharge where he wouldn’t be bothered.
They watched and when he was out of earshot, Hedy finally grinned. “Should we warn him about Ruby?”
“Nope,” All of them chorused.
“She’d be mad at us if we did,” Foxy said with a grin.
The brief moment of amusement helped to calm Bonnie down again and Foxy stopped pacing.
Hedy snickered. “Ok Bonnie, bend down and look at this flashlight. I need to look at your eyes. Don’t worry, it’s not bright enough to reset you.”
Bonnie nodded after a moment’s hesitation and did as she asked. He still instinctively flinched at the light but that was a reaction they all had.
She frowned as she looked into his eyeball, noting a crack in the glass lens and iris, the okay looking eyelight, and the little camera-like sensor. “Uh… okay tough question, but who the heck put your eyes back together. I mean, they didn’t do it very well, no offense if it was one of you.” She doubted they knew how so it was possible the management hired some random person as a temporary mechanic long ago when they needed the Originals working again.
Bonnie fidgeted again, but stilled almost immediately when he remembered that she was trying to check his eyes.
“We just…woke up one day, partially fixed. Kind of anyway,” Chica explained hesitantly. “That was just before this place opened.”
Foxy muttered something under his breath that sounded like ‘cheap job’.
Hedy didn’t look happy about that. “Lazy work,” she snapped. “Your lenses are misaligned.” She leaned back and looked at Bonnie in disbelief. “Okay. Seriously though. Has this always been a problem and you just ignored it? You had to have had headaches from this. You can’t even see straight. I would have gone nuts.”
“I was just glad to have a face again…” he admitted in a mumble.
Foxy frowned. “He did get headaches more often after that. Then again I did too, thought it was just the light sensitivity.”
Hedy was quieted for a long moment. “I can guess and nudge the eyepieces back in place tonight without doing much, but that won’t do much in the long run.” She paused. “…I would need to take your face off again if I want to align them properly. It’s…computer stuff. It’s not going to just go away if I don’t…” She trailed off. “Not…tonight though. If you don’t want to.”
Bonnie had stiffened immediately as she started talking, completely freezing in place. The others shifted uncomfortably.
“N-not tonight,” the rabbit finally managed to force out despite his panic.
“Not tonight,” Hedy repeated softly with a nod. She swallowed and put her flashlight away. “Okay. Lift your arms to the ceiling for me and stretch as far as you can. Stop if something hurts. Though I’m started to figure out you guys wouldn’t be able to tell if your endoskeleton was about to fall apart…”
The bots looked away, embarrassed. They were starting to realise how much they’d ignored over the years.
Bonnie did as asked, focusing more than he would a few minutes ago and picking up on a pain he hadn’t noticed in his back when his arms reached about shoulder height. How’d he miss that?
“Where?” Hedy asked when he stilled.
Hedy cautiously placed her hand at his spine. “I’m going to press different spots. Let me know when I touch it or if I hurt something pressing down.”
When she pressed down on a spot in his upper back he flinched.
“There.” he was frowning, trying to remember when it started to hurt there.
Hedy matched his frown for a different reason. The long screwdriver was back and the flashlight. “Be still. I’m just going to look inside.” She carefully looked inside the suit as Bonnie shuddered, disturbed at being unable to see what she was doing. Her frown deepened.
The others watched in concern while Bonnie held still.
“What’s wrong?” Foxy asked.
“Who freaking…” Hedy stopped and took a breath. “What sort of…” she tried again, starting and stopping a sentence when she was in danger of swearing. She looked inside again and blinked. “How on…Bonnie, you’re wires are a fu-” she stopped herself again. “They’re a mess. Did someone just…stuff them in and was like ‘good enough’? I’m going to kill someone,” she muttered then paused as she noticed something else. She squinted. “Are you kidding me? Who screwed that in?! A fish could do a better job. And that’s not even in the right place!” How did Bonnie get in such a ridiculous state of neglect? “If your hard drive is just hangi-oh my god! It is! What sort of brain dead…” she trailed off into flustered and furious muttering.
The bots just sort of watched her fume. They’d naturally seen her working on the Toys and heard how she spoke of the repairs she did on them at the warehouse they came from. Hearing her obviously angry over Bonnie’s condition made them feel kind of…warm though.
The mechanics that worked on them always just did the bare minimum for their job. They didn’t show anger over another’s sloppiness or anything.
It was nice.
Bonnie subconsciously relaxed just a little.
“This is going to take me a whole night,” Hedy muttered angrily, pulling several different coloured rolls of electrical tape out. She tore pieces with her teeth. “Don’t move,” she said through the tape in her mouth. She elbowed the suit open a bit wider and Foxy could see a tangle of wires that was basically Bonnie himself twisting around his endoskeleton. It did look like a mess. Bonnie whined and shuddered at the sensation of her sticking her hands in. “Ugh.”
“I know it’s weird. Seriously, don’t move,” Hedy ordered slightly sternly.
Somehow Hedy knew what she was looking at and took clumps of wires and tied them together, wrapping every exposed wire she found with a bit of red tape. “This should keep you from tearing anything or shorting for a couple of days until I can work on redoing all…” she gestured vaguely with a sour expression. “That.”
Apparently one thing Toby and Bonnie shared was their inability to sit still when she was working on them since Bonnie was back to shifting his weight after just about every clump she taped up.
Foxy looked kind of ill and Freddy patted him on the back.
“Will he be okay?” Chica was hovering a little closer, wringing her hands worriedly.
“He’s fine,” Hedy said, “I’m just worried about an important wire getting caught on something as he moves. Like if he takes a step and suddenly falls over shut off. Plus loose wires are an electrical hazard but there’s not any that would have been exposed outside the suit. It’s just all… poorly organized and by extension dangerous if I don’t fix it. Which I will. Just not tonight. I didn’t see any rust, so that’s good. Some endo pieces are secured poorly, but it’s not pressing. I wouldn’t suggest running into a wall anytime soon.” She paused and chuckled. “Maybe we shouldn’t have been so crazy yesterday.” She was dreading what state Foxy was in now. He was clearly in the worst shape.
Bonnie was fidgeting in place again. Seemed he was anxious to get up now. Amazing that he managed to stay calm so long though.
Chica nodded in relief and Hedy was sure the chicken was going to watch Bonnie like a mother hen until he got fully repaired. Foxy seemed to have realised that it was almost his turn and he was back to looking anxious himself.
“Foxy…” Hedy said as she closed Bonnie up and nudged him. “You’re up.”
Bonnie practically jumped to his feet and dashed away. He felt a little bad but he needed some distance from the tools.
Foxy took a moment to brace himself before sitting down.
“I’m not going to bite,” Hedy teased, a little more comfortable herself now. “You look like Ruby with an ambulance.”
Foxy grumbled something incoherent and cringed when he saw the smirks on the others’ faces.
“Foxy has always had a little, ah, phobia of ‘robot doctors’.” Freddy explained while Bonnie snickered. This clearly had nothing to do with their trauma and had more to do with an age old joke among them.
“Really?” Hedy asked. She blinked as she realized. “Huh. I’m a doctor before I even finished my doctorate. Didn’t occur to me before.”
Bonnie snorted in amusement, relaxing now that his turn was over.
Foxy on the other hand looked like he was barely resisting the urge to bolt.
“Alright, Foxy,” Hedy chuckled. She took a deep breath to stifle the laughter. She needed to be serious. “D-do…heh…do that arm thing I had Freddy do earlier, then swing your legs back and forth.”
He did as asked. He was better at hiding his reactions to the pain, probably didn’t even realise he did it, but she still caught them. Shoulders, elbows, definitely knees. Felix had a habit of throwing him around a lot. And he was as reckless as Ruby sometimes.
And he was still the most physically active of the bots, all of them, including the Toys.
“Okay,” Hedy said and pinched the bridge of her nose. She took a breath and folded her hands. “First of all…Foxy…how the heck are you still functioning?”
“Hey.” Foxy folded his arms defensively and she could even hear something wrong with that simple and often used movement.
“The building,” The others chorused.
“Hey!” Foxy repeated.
“Probably!” Hedy agreed, exasperated. “Don’t step outside or I bet you’re going to fall apart like a Jenga tower.” She ran a hand down her face and groaned.
He looked mildly offended but not that surprised.
How did he keep up with Ruby’s antics? They were always sword fighting or up to something similar.
Maybe they bonded over high pain tolerances.
Hedy huffed. “At least if your leg falls off and I can’t reattach it, you can get a peg leg and keep up with the pirate story,” she said sarcastically. “Let me see your hand.” She gestured at the suit-less appendage.
He scowled at the peg leg comment but at least he didn’t look about to run off anymore. With a huff he held out the hand.
Without the suit, it was easy to see the rust and worn down gears. There were wires that slipped under the plating on the back of his hand and hid most of his electronics from view, even with the ratty suit. They needed replacing but really weren’t doing too badly at the moment. Without a word and barely anytime studying the hand she took her screwdriver, unscrewed the platting and straightened up some of the wires, adding a bit of tape and tightening down a few motors. She added a few drops of oil and replaced the plate. It barely took five minutes now that she was warmed up. His wrist should still be sore until she worked further up his arm but at least his fingers should be more reactive and not as stiff. There was a slight scratching noise from rust every time he even twitched a finger before.
The sounds were what really bothered her. She always knew how something worked (or didn’t) by listening to it. She had excellent hearing, fined tuned for that stuff and Foxy was noisy.
Foxy was also twitchy from nerves apparently, forcing his hand to stay still while his ear or foot would twitch while she worked. Even those small movements produced noises they shouldn’t.
“Try that,” Hedy said, leaning back. “Make a fist or something.”
Foxy did as asked, surprised at the sudden lack of resistance. It didn’t take as much effort as it did before.
Hedy nodded and went to his elbow, doing similar things. “Your suit is a mess,” she muttered as she scrubbed rust out from between the suit gap.
“Gee thanks.” he rolled his eyes but didn’t really sound offended or surprised.
“The mechanics in the past didn’t really like Foxy all that much.” Freddy admitted. “It’s the teeth.”
“That doesn’t excuse these holes,” Hedy said. “Or the fact you’re missing suit limbs. You don’t even have a spare suit in the back. Everyone else does. Though it doesn’t seem like you’ve used them.”
Foxy shrugged but didn’t answer.
“It’s too much effort to switch suits when there’s nothing particularly wrong with the current ones,” Chica explained. “Getting used to a new one is weird too.””And Felix is a jerk.” Bonnie muttered. “He did that.”
Hedy twitched at the mention. “Yeah…Felix was always a bit of a jerk, even before he died and went insane. He broke mine and Benji’s toys occasionally. It was an accident, but he had a temper.” She wondered exactly how Felix could have gotten rid of Foxy’s spares. She glanced at Chica. “You might need a new one if your hands get any more burnt. I can’t really fix suits.” She had a thoughtful look. “Maybe I can ask Amelia how to redye them…” she muttered to herself.
“As long as she doesn’t upset Ruby,” Foxy and Bonnie said simultaneously making Freddy and Chica smirk.
Overprotective big brothers.
Hedy scoffed. “Amelia means well. Ruby’s just being difficult.”
The bots exchanged one of those annoying looks that contained an entire conversation.
“You know Ruby hasn’t been adopted right?” Freddy started carefully.
“It’s not that no one wants to adopt her, a lot actually do,” Chica continued for him.
“She doesn’t want to be,” Bonnie explained. “She does everything she can to chase off possible parents.””And parental behaviour is a bit of a sore spot for her,” Foxy finished. “It reminds her of her parents and how they used to act. They were good people.”It wasn’t often that the bots, even the Originals, spoke well of adults. They were more neutral compared to the Toys outright distrust.
“When any one acts parental, she probably feels that it’s threatening those memories.”
Foxy suddenly stood up and gestured for Hedy to follow him. The Originals were close behind. He led them into Pirate’s Cove and over to the back wall. Photos littered the surface, similar to how Puppet put up the kids’ drawings.
“Whenever there’s a birthday party in here there’s the option to hire a photographer. He usually puts up a picture.” he pointed to a photo closer to the left. “That’s the lass’ fifth birthday.”The photo showed a little black hair girl with familiar green eyes in the aftermath of a food fight. She had cake smeared on her cheek but was smiling at Foxy brightly who just looked amused. An exasperated couple stood on her other side, the woman trying to clean the child’s face. She really did look like she could be an adult Ruby, same facial structure, eyes and hair. Her expression was too soft though, too gentle to match the hellion of a teen they knew. The mischievous sparkle in the man’s eyes as he was clearly trying to stifle chuckles was very familiar though.
“The manager was terrified of her dad,” Foxy chuckled to himself. “He liked to show up in his uniform and question everyone about the rumours just to freak them out. I don’t think the lass even remembers him doing that.”
“Her mom was scarier,” Bonnie muttered. “She had this ice cold smile that she’d use on the manager whenever she saw him and she’d ask if they made any progress on the missing child case. Or if he’d found any basic human decency yet.”
“They enjoyed tormenting the staff.” even Freddy was smiling at the memory.
Hedy was very quiet as she rolled up to wall beside Foxy. She stared at the little Ruby, a small smile touching her face before her eyes drifted to the parents. She had an unreadable expression for a moment. She knew the bots were showing her this to explain Ruby’s reaction to Amelia, and she understood that. She didn’t want to make this about her. But they unintentionally were telling her something else. Something that made her want to cry.
“I get it,” Hedy said softly, trying to keep her voice under control and the focus on Ruby like they were intending. “Amelia’s just accidentally-” her voice cracked as she looked at Ruby’s dad again and she flinched, looking away to stare at the floor in embarrassment.
The bots nodded though.
“She’s seeing a hurt kid and wants to help,” Foxy said. “Ruby just doesn’t react well to it.””It’s not going to change suddenly,” Freddy told her gently. “From what we understand it took literal years for her guardians to get through to her. She’s Ruby though. She’ll fight anyone who tries to be parental tooth and nail.”
“We were kind of surprised she accepted your ‘big sister’ role so well,” Chica admitted with a small smirk.
Bonnie’s smirk was a lot more mischievous. “Something she’ll never admit, she always complained about not having an older sibling when she was younger.”
Hedy let out a short laugh, but it was pained. She looked back at the pictures. “I understand. Sorry… I’m just…surprised. You kind of accidentally dumped something else on me,” she admitted. “I…” she swallowed. “I didn’t realize anyone still cared about what happened, especially strangers. I kind of grew up thinking everyone forgot or didn’t care.” She rubbed her palm against her eye to wipe away tears. “Ugh,” she chuckled embarrassedly. “I regret not meeting her parents. It would have saved me a lot of pain.”
They blinked in surprise before understanding dawned on their faces.
“There were some, like Ruby’s parents. They never let it go.” Foxy looked back at the photo. “No matter how much the management wished they would.”
“We found a couple of private detectives snooping around even” Bonnie admitted. “Hired by people who weren’t satisfied with the outcome.””There were a lot more people who cared than you think,” Freddy told her softly.
Hedy nodded, sniffling as she frantically wiped her tears away. “I thought I was alone… except for Jeremy. Not even Dad wanted to talk to me. Scott tried but I know now how much it pained him to, still working here with you and the ghosts. I think he knew what happened and he just couldn’t tell me.”
The bots were quiet as they waited for her to compose herself again. They hadn’t thought to tell her before because it had become such a normal part of their lives.
Hedy huffed. “Okay. I’m good,” She lied. “Thanks for explaining Ruby’s ridiculousness more. I figured it was something like that.”
They didn’t looked convinced that she was fine but they started heading back to the room they were using. Things had quieted down in the building so they were wondering if Ruby had maybe fallen asleep.
The Toys wished the teen would sleep. While not as loud as usual, probably because of the frequent coughing fits, she was still being completely infuriating. She didn’t want to stay on the couch and when they’d looked away for a minute she’d made herself a blanket nest in the corner and somehow got a hold of a paintball gun again. She’d spent the last half hour sniping them and her hallucinations.
Suffice to say, the room was covered in paint splotches.
“Maybe she’ll run out soon,” Toby said and yelped as he ducked from another shot.
“Want to bet?” Mangle snarked with a messily scrawled whiteboard that had doubled as a small paint shield. “Ruby! I love a paint fight as much as the next person, but quit!” She wrote several more exclamation points, painfully aware that Ruby probably wasn’t even paying attention to her.
“Ruby!” Jeremy shouted as Ruby shot him in the leg when he tried to get close to give her another dose of the medicine.
Despite the coughing, the growl he got was still very off putting. She actually sounded a lot like Foxy and Mangle when she growled.
“I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to let the angel statues in, but I’m not getting sent back in time! They can feed on someone else’s future!” she yelled back and aimed at some hallucinations. Unfortunately, Toby and Teddy were directly behind these hallucinations and got hit instead of the wall.
“Ah!” Teddy shouted and ran out of the room to duck behind the doorframe. He ran straight into Puppet.
“What on earth is going on?” he snapped, clearly annoyed he couldn’t have a nap.
“Ruby’s sick,” Teddy mumbled. “And apparently she hallucinates when she’s sick. The Originals ran off and said it’s our turn to deal with her.”
Toby’s yelps from inside the room told him that he’d hadn’t been successful in dodging.
“Die angels!” Ruby yelled and then started coughing again.
“She’s got a paintball gun,” Teddy added after they heard more yelps.
“This is ridiculous,” Puppet muttered, deciding to duck in to tell everyone to shut up.
Elsewhere in the building, Hedy looked up at the sound of Puppet letting out a scream and chuckled along with the Originals.
The Toys weren’t sure where Ruby got the energy to actually tackle Puppet while trying to spray-paint his face but they did know they didn’t want to get in the middle of that.
Goldy appeared after a few minutes and gave them all a scolding look. “She’s supposed to be resting!”
“How is this our fault?!” Teddy retorted.
“Get her off me!”
Goldy rolled her eyes before abruptly darting forwards. Before they could blink she’d pulled the teen off the partially green Puppet and tossed the spray-paint and paintball gun at Jeremy.
“Hide those properly,” she told him and teleported Ruby onto the couch. A few seconds later she’d wrapped the teen up like a burrito. Ruby didn’t look impressed but her wriggling didn’t do much to get her free.”Goooooooolllllldddddyyyyyy!” she whined.
“Like with any kid, you have to be firm,” Goldy told them in that same scolding tone.Easy for the bear with teleporting abilities to say…
Jeremy rubbed his face, Amelia’s past words about him being a pushover with their kids coming to mind. If he could barely get Mercedes to eat her vegetables, how was he going to get a childish Ruby to take any medicine?
Goldy’s gaze flickered to Jeremy before resting on the Toys again.
“Be firm with her,” she repeated before vanishing again, leaving them with a pouting teen who wasn’t happy to be wrapped in a blanket burrito.
A vague memory flitted across Jeremy’s mind of Sergeant Stone complaining about his sick daughter. Apparently he couldn’t get her to take her medicine either. Yet his wife never had any problems. He’d sulked all day.
How was he supposed to be any more successful?!
“Ruby,” he said, holding the cup in front of her. He swirled it and wrinkled his noise at the smell. He took some soda to mix with the medicine. “Drink this. You need to take it every three hours if you want to get better.” He was a little worried being in arms reach, but Hedy wasn’t the only one in their family who was stubborn.
Ruby gave him a glare that really wasn’t anything compared to her usual ones. Regardless of what she said, she did look miserable. Finally she managed to wriggle an arm free and held out her hand with a huff after another coughing fit.
Jeremy handed it over, already bracing for another round of hallucinations. Somehow the medicine seemed to make them worse. He hoped it wasn’t some kind of allergic reaction.
They endured another half an hour of pretty bad hallucinations and Ruby having some kind of debate with one of them before she finally fell quiet. They were all exhausted by then. She really was impossible when sick.
The teen was currently staring at Jeremy with dazed eyes and a slight frown, looking like she was thinking pretty hard.
“You think any harder, you’re going hurt yourself,” Jeremy mumbled, spitting paint that got in his mouth into the sink in the staff room. It was salty. The grainy texture made it a hundred times worse. He hoped Ruby snapped out of it before they ran out of paper towel (Mangle went to go get more from the bathrooms.) He needed at least two dozen to lay down on his car seat to avoid getting paint everywhere when he left.
“You’re Fitzgerald,” Ruby randomly stated.
All of them looked at her in confusion. They all knew Jeremy’s surname.
“The one my dad always talked about.”
The bots froze completely.
Jeremy frowned, a little startled for several reasons. It hadn’t really gone well the last time he talked about Stone. However, this time she was the one bringing her dad up first.
“I bet he talked about a lot of the guys. Gals too. He mentored a lot of good cops. Drink more water,” he said as he handed her a water bottle he had Chi refill. He tried to move the conversation away. He didn’t want Ruby to talk about something that hurt her like this, especially if she was too out of it to realize what she was saying.
“Nah it was always Fitzgerald this and Fitzgerald that. He liked messing with you.” she took the bottle but apparently wasn’t about to stop talking. “Said it was funny when you panicked when he acted serious and asked you random questions.”
Jeremy sputtered a bit. He could never tell when Stone was being serious and actually grilling him or not.
He once demanded Jeremy tell him whether he liked Batman or Superman and he questioned Jeremy with such deadly seriousness that Jeremy was terrified of any answer. He said Batman and Stone called him out for supporting vigilantes. He said Superman and Stone just stared at him with an expression that made him squirm. One of the older officers had taken pity on the junior officer and finally told Jeremy that Stone was messing with him.
“I wasn’t that panicky,” Jeremy defended.
The teen smirked and pointed accusingly at him.
“He had the essay you wrote on whether chocolate or vanilla was better framed. Said you actually did research on it.”Toby snickered at that image.
“And said that you’d try and frantically google the answers if he looked away for a moment.”
Jeremy was red in the face now. He framed that?
“I was young and easily frightened,” Jeremy defended.
The Toys suddenly turned to stare at him.
Mangle laughed and signed.
Teddy chuckled and translated what he knew.
“Just last month you ran red lights when you found out Hedy was working with us.”
“Then you passed out when you saw us,” Toby added. “Some tough cop you are.”
Jeremy huffed and muttered under his breath.
“You got a weird job for being so jumpy,” Chi pointed out.
“Alright, I get it,” Jeremy groaned.
“Dad always said that jumpy nerves keep cops alive. If you’re too stupid to get scared, you’re dead,” Ruby mumbled, gaze starting to slide around the room again.
That was almost exactly what Sergeant Stone had said when yelling at new recruits trying to prove themselves.
“That’s how dad avoided so many of my pranks. He was dead scared of entering the house after work. He’d stand there for ten minutes psyching himself up.”
“I believe it,” Jeremy muttered, still embarrassed to learn Ruby did actually know him, even if it wasn’t in a direct way.
“I miss him.”
Silence fell in the room again as they watched the suddenly sad looking night guard.
Jeremy was quiet for a minute. “So do I,” he eventually said. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”
“I’m not.” Ruby answered bluntly. “I was a nasty brat for a while afterwards. You would have hated me.”
“Maybe…maybe not,” Jeremy said, crossing his arms and looking out the door. He sighed. “You were definitely worse than Hedy could ever be. No doubt about that.”
“I bit one guy so hard he almost lost a finger,” Ruby randomly added.
She looked on the verge of falling asleep.
“Got better though. Alice and Clint were just happy I stopped cutting.”
That was the last thing she said before finally slipping into dreamland.
Jeremy looked at her, eyes drifting to her covered arms.
“Jeremy?” Toby asked.
Jeremy jumped. It had gotten so quiet. He almost forgot the Toys were sitting there in the same room as him. He looked at the blue rabbit, but Toby didn’t continue his question.
“What Toby?” Jeremy asked, realizing he hadn’t said the Toy’s names that often.
“What was Ruby cutting?” Toby asked.
Jeremy blinked, seeing that the other Toys were just as confused. Of all the things they knew, it threw him that they didn’t understand that.
He sat back trying to think about how to explain. His eyes drifted to Mangle and something Hedy had told him a while ago.
“Mangle, Hedy mentioned that you used to chew your wires and bite yourself when you were in pieces.”
Mangle looked shocked and ducked her head but nodded.
“It was…distracting…” Chi said quietly for Mangle. She flinched guiltily.
“Hedy got her to stop. What’s that got to do with Ruby though?” Teddy asked in confusion.
Jeremy looked at the drugged, knocked-out Ruby. “Some people hurt themselves like that. They’ll cut their skin, usually the arms, with knives and blades or burn themselves. Sometimes to distract themselves from other pain, or to make themselves feel something if they can’t or they’re too overwhelmed to know what to feel. So they hurt themselves. It like taking control of the pain for once, even if they cause themselves harm and leave scars that will haunt them later.”
Mangle let out a sad warble. Jeremy described her to a T…
“That’s what Ruby meant by cutting. She cut herself like Mangle bit herself.”
Toby’s eyes widened and he shrank back. He hated seeing Mangle hurt herself like that. But Ruby? Ruby did that to herself? But…humans can’t just be put back together. Hedy beat that into his head when he broke Ruby’s arm. They can’t have pieces replaced or scratches painted over. Why would the Night Guard do something so…
His eyes darted to Mangle as she nodded in sad understanding and his thoughts trailed off.
Teddy stared at Ruby in stunned shock. It was hard to imagine the night guard they knew doing that. Sure they’d seen her upset and now they’d seen her sick. But hurting herself like Mangle?
The teen burrowed deeper into the blankets around her, looking relaxed and peaceful for the first time that night.
“I don’t feel great,” Chi blurted.
Jeremy was worried that he’d have to deal with sick robots now.
“I don’t like the idea of her hurting herself,” Chi admitted.
“Didn’t you try to kill her just over a month ago?” He wasn’t trying to be mean. He just still didn’t understand how they thought.
Chi didn’t answer. She didn’t really have an explanation herself.
“Did we ever apologize for hunting you?” Teddy asked.
Toby muttered something under his breath but didn’t argue.
“No one has verbally,” Jerry said but shrugged, “But I get it. I knows it’s meant.”
“I still want to kill you,” Puppet said flippantly, reminding them he had stayed behind despite his better judgement.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Jeremy said tiredly. “Hypothetically, where’s your music box?”
Puppet chuckled dryly. “However, I just hate adults. And guards. But of course we can’t get away going after the day guards. I have a personal reason for not liking you, because you weren’t paying attention. However, you’re Hedy’s brother so I’ll give a pass.”
“Did you actually just admit you cared for Hedy?” Teddy asked.
“No. She was one of the children. I have some responsibility.”
The Toys rolled their eyes, He just couldn’t admit to caring about someone who wasn’t a child.
“How do you feel about it?” Teddy suddenly asked, looking at Puppet. “About Ruby doing that?”As far as they could see there hadn’t really been any improvement in the relationship between Ruby and Puppet. They seemed as hostile towards each other as ever. But she’d taken down Springtrap…didn’t that count for something? Teddy thought so.
He knew Toby’s issues with Ruby stemmed more from not being able to win against her than any actual hate now, even if he hadn’t figured it out himself. Chi too. But he didn’t know how Puppet felt.
Puppet seemed to think for a minute. “It’s incredibly irrational to hurt oneself without any gain. There’s enough in the world that do it for her, including me. It’s terrible. Is that what you want me to say? It’s the damage to a human body. I see no possible comfort she could pull from such actions,” He lied. He understood Mangle and Ruby a bit too well. It seemed Jeremy did too with that lengthy knowledgeable explanation.
“It’s not comfort,” Mangle signed. “It’s…taking control. Or trying to.”
“She’s always in control.” Chi mumbled in confusion. “I don’t…Don’t really understand.”
“Now she is,” Teddy murmured. “But what about when she was younger?”
They were starting to realise there was a lot they had yet to discover about the night guard.
“Someone go check on Hedy and the others,” Jeremy said to no one in particular as he sat down.
No one grew offended by the order, too busy thinking as Teddy left.
Teddy still thought about what Jeremy had explained when he walked into the main room. He decided not to ask the Originals about it. Not until he and the other Toys had some time to sort themselves out.
He heard a sigh and looked up at Hedy.
“Alright, what happened?” Hedy asked.
Teddy shrugged slightly, frowning as he decided what he would tell them. “Ruby fell asleep. She was talking about her dad and how he apparently talked about Jeremy all the time?”
They looked a bit surprised and Teddy told the story about Jeremy’s interrogations and the framed essay on chocolate and vanilla.
Freddy actually chuckled.
“Chocolate of course,” Hedy said with a glint in her eye.
“She gets very open when she’s sick,” Freddy sighed. “She usually doesn’t remember what she does or say when she recovers either.””At least she’s asleep,” Foxy looked relieved to hear that. “Sleep will help.”
Teddy nodded, still weirded out. He glanced up at the sound of Toby yelling, suddenly worried he’d woken up Ruby.
Toby’s shouting was abruptly cut off, likely by Jeremy, and Goldy went to see what happened.
She was in a giggling fit when she came back a second later.
“What?” Foxy asked her, curious.
The others all looked equally curious except Teddy who was a bit apprehensive.
“She’s cuddling with Toby!” Goldy snickered. “He looked terrified!”
Teddy blinked. Then a small smile snuck its way on his face.
Hedy’s eyes lit up. “Picture! Quick, go take a picture!” She said, frantically holding her phone out.
Goldy grabbed the phone and vanished again while the Originals all cracked up.
“That’s brilliant!” Foxy gasped.
“Glad I left when I did,” Teddy snickered. He was standing closer than Toby.
Goldy reappeared with the phone, still snickering. She showed them all the photo. Ruby was curled up on top of a clearly petrified Toby, with her arms firmly wrapped around his middle.
Teddy laughed hard. Toby was holding up his arms like a bird, too afraid of putting them down and waking up Ruby. Jeremy was sitting in a chair on the other side of the couch from where Goldy took the picture. He made it even better. He was just looking at Goldy and the phone with a “really?” expression.
Hedy laughed as she glanced at her watch. She had gotten done with most of what she could with Originals. Each and every one of them definitely still had some future “appointments” with her. Foxy the most with Bonnie a close second.
“So who’s brave enough to wake her in an hour?” Hedy chuckled.
Goldy suddenly smirked along with the other Originals.
“If you want this picture then the answer is you,” She told Hedy cheekily, keeping the phone well out of reach of everyone.
Hedy’s eyes widened, realizing the hole she dug herself into. “What?”
Teddy laughed harder at Hedy’s horrified face. “Can we get a picture of that too?” He immediately choked as Hedy glared at him, but couldn’t help grinning. Then he saw the wrench and squeaked as he ducked out of the room.
“Traitor!” she shouted after him.
The Originals laughed harder.
“Well, we’re getting out before you try that on us next,” Foxy snickered as they edged to the door.
“See you Hedy!” Chica called before they ran.
“You’ll get the phone when you wake up Ruby,” Goldy told her sweetly before disappearing too fast for Hedy to grab any tools effective against ghosts from Ruby’s bag.
“Cowards!” she shouted after them, then looked up and groaned at the ceiling.
Everyone avoided her for an hour until it was time for her, Jeremy, and Ruby to leave. Apparently, someone warned Puppet and the Toys because the break room was empty too.
Not even Jeremy was there.
Somehow, Ruby had stretched and Toby had taken the opportunity to replace himself with a plastic storage bin that was randomly sitting around;
It was kind of funny he chose that instead of a couch cushion, but Jeremy pointed out Ruby would feel the difference between a cushion and hard plastic.
Ruby didn’t even twitch when Toby moved. She was completely out for the moment.
Before Hedy could wake her though, a buzzing started up in Ruby’s bag.
Maybe it was her procrastinating her doom, maybe she wanted to get back at Ruby for the several times she’s picked up her phone without her permission (including that time she had gotten Jeremy into the pizzeria for the first time in fifteen years with a little unintentional snitching). Whatever the case, she fished out Ruby’s phone.
“Hello hello,” she greeted, keeping a volume she knew wouldn’t wake up Ruby without needing to whisper.
“Finally answering the phone you little cowardly bitch?!” A venomous, female voice spat across the line.
Hedy jerked her head back in shock. People rarely called her a bitch and usually, when they did, she knew why. Exactly why.
“Excuse me?” She had to remind herself that this was Ruby’s phone. Who on earth…? “Who is this?” She kept her voice level and tried to imitate Ruby’s voice pattern, more out of curiosity. She was sometimes pretty good at imitating people if there was phone distortion to blur the details. She and Scott did it as a game to mess with Jeremy.
Whoever was on the other side seemed too worked up to notice anything was off.
“Playing stupid Stone?” She scoffed. “You know who I am! That’s just like you though.” She let out a cruel laugh. “Trying to run away. Like usual.”
“I never run away. It’s not something I do. Seriously, I don’t know this number,” Hedy said, glancing at Ruby’s phone to see if that was true. Yep. Unknown number. Phew. Whoever they were clearly knew Ruby since the stranger used her surname. Hedy wasn’t liking whoever this was. Ruby was anything but a coward and the way this person spoke made her bristle. “I’m going to hang up now if you won’t say who you are. It’s like…six in the morning. Most sane people are still asleep you know.”
“Pathetic!” Whoever it was yelled over the phone. “Hiding behind lies now? I’m not surprised. You’re a waste of oxygen Stone! You should have died that night with everyone else! You don’t deserve to have survived! My family should have! Anyone else but you!”
Hedy froze. Oh hell frick no. She understood too well what this was now. Or at the very least she had a pretty solid guess.
“Okay,” Hedy said, carefully. “I’m going to hang up now. But I’ll let you know this isn’t Ruby you’ve been talking to. I’m her friend and I don’t take kindly to this harassment. I will be speaking to the police. Please get some help,” she spoke calmly even though what she really wanted to do was punch this person. “Don’t call again. Goodbye.”
She hung up the phone, promptly deleted the call, and subsequently blocked the number. Taking a quick look through Ruby’s history she noticed a string of calls over the last several days, nearly a week. Some from the same number repeated at least five times before a new one replaced it and the pattern started again.
It looked like Ruby was ignoring the calls for the most part and not even answering her phone when that number popped up.
Why hadn’t she said anything? Why was she ignoring it in the first place? She was on good terms with the entire police department, Jeremy was always around as well and she wasn’t the type to let anyone get away with this kind of thing. So why was she ignoring it?
Hedy looked at Ruby. She wasn’t going to get the right answer out of Ruby unless she knew the right question to ask. She had a pretty good idea who the caller was, with that mention of their family. But she needed specifics before she confronted Ruby, or else the teen would just chew her head off and spit it out before Hedy knew anything.
Hedy slipped the phone back in its place and moved Ruby’s bag out of her reach, just in case. Hedy steeled herself. She picked up a broomstick and sat a few feet away from Ruby and poked her with the handle. Normally she wouldn’t be this cautious, she’d woken Ruby up easily before, but not a medicated and sick Ruby. She had no idea what she to expect.
She was also very aware of Goldy in the room, having heard the phone call but not having said anything. Now the bear was recording her, she knew.
“Ruby, wake up. Shift’s over,”
There was a muffled groan and then a pillow hit Hedy in the face as the teen burrowed further under the blankets.
Hedy groaned and poked her again. “Ruby. Get up.”
One eye opened to glare at Hedy. She seemed a lot more lucid now, her eyes no longer glazed due to fever.
“Why?” she mumbled, voice raspy from coughing.
“It’s six. Time to go home and skip school because you need to rest up in an actual bed.”
Her other eye opened and she groaned, looking around the room at the paint splatters.
“How bad was I?” she mumbled.
Goldy appeared in the room and simply showed her the photo of her cuddling Toby. She cracked up at the teen’s horrified expression.
“Phone,” Hedy demanded, holding her hand outstretched to Goldy and silently grateful Ruby didn’t attack her for being the wake-up call.
That relief faltered a little as Goldy handed it over and Ruby started glaring at Hedy.
“If that picture leaves your phone, I WILL take it out on your workshop.” she threatened.
Hedy nodded obediently, refusing to smile. She already emailed it to her computer and Jeremy as a backup just as Ruby said that. How else could she manage proper blackmail? “Noted. How do you feel? I hear cuddles are good for chasing away cooties.”
Ruby’s glare darkened. “If that picture is ever brought up by anyone you’ll BOTH regret it.”Goldy swallowed a little nervously.”The last guy that tried to blackmail me got hung upside down from the school gym’s ceiling.” she warned before sitting back and wincing at the aches in her body. “Did I yell a lot? My throat feels like it’s on fire.” she absently rubbed her neck.
“Ask Jeremy,” Hedy said. “He and the Toys were watching you. The Originals and I were busy so they dumped you on them.”
Ruby’s face twisted into a mix of amusement and annoyance.
“What did they do to deserve that?” she wondered, glancing at Goldy who just smiled innocently. “Did I say anything stupid again?”
“You might think so,” Jeremy said appearing in the doorway and leaning against the frame with a cautious expression. “You talked about your parents a bit,” he said honestly. “You mentioned your dad talking about how he tortured me at work. Plus a few other things you probably didn’t mean to.”
Ruby’s expression went carefully blank.
“Oh.” her eyes showed her annoyance and frustration though.
Jeremy looked at her for a moment before glancing at Hedy.
“Good news though,” Hedy said to distract Ruby. “The Originals finally let me look at them.”
Her expression brightened as she turned to Hedy. “How’d it go?”She wasn’t usually this easy to distract so she was definitely still not completely recovered.
“I think you’re going to want to hunt down whatever idiots they hired after my dad left,” Hedy said. “Bonnie looks like spaghetti. I think Foxy could smoke you in a race now though after I finish with his knees. I say this with the utmost kindness…Foxy’s a worse patient than Toby ever was.”
Ruby tilted her head. “I’m not sure if I should be offended on Foxy’s behalf.”Goldy cut in. “No she’s right. Foxy’s a terrible patient. He always has been.”Ruby nodded after a moment.
“Am I getting a list of people to hunt down?” she asked Hedy sweetly.
Hedy huffed. “I wish. I don’t know who they were.” She held up a notebook. “No one kept a good record of repairs. The last entry in the record is from when the Originals were pulled out of storage. No one signed it.
“I’ll find out who they are,” Ruby vowed with a dangerous glint in her eyes. “The company keeps really good records of who worked for them. In places only they can find of course.”
Hedy shook her head. “Any other comments about the Bonnie spaghetti? Also, Chica didn’t realize she was messing up her hands holding hot pot and pans. Freddy is just…” she shrugged. “He’s pretty ok, just worn down.” She shot a look at Goldy. “You however… no fricking clue.”
Goldy startled a little at the comment.
“Oh, no they took all the mechanical parts out. They were trying to just turn me into a suit.” She ignored Ruby’s horrified expression. “Too difficult without the supports though. So I went in storage and then…I just woke up different? It took a while to get used to this. But I did.”
“So…” Hedy swallowed as the horrible idea came to mind. “They…basically killed you and you ended up haunting what was left of yourself…” she said, too blunt for her own tastes. She looked a little ill at the idea of haunting what was essentially one’s own corpse. Maybe she was overthinking it.
Goldy didn’t look too bothered. “I guess? Although I’m pretty sure my hard drive was left in. I think the building shocked them or distracted them every time they thought about removing that from anyone. So… My skeleton was taken out but my brain was left in?”
Ruby was looking a bit disturbed by the turn in the conversation.
“You still shouldn’t be able to work without an endoskeleton,” Hedy pointed out, suddenly very worried for Goldy. “I mean… th-the hard drive has to connect to something. Is it just…floating around in there?”
“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “Never checked. And I wasn’t going to hang around Parts and Services for anyone else to check. I stayed in my poster the moment I figured out I could.”
Hedy and Ruby shared a look.
“One: that poster bit is weird too,” Hedy mumbled, shaking her head. “Two: remind me to give you a check-up later too.”
Goldy didn’t look too keen on that.
“Or else I’m coming after you with salt.” Ruby deadpanned.
The bear sighed. “Fine.”
Hope you enjoyed the chapter!