Saturday again, or will be in a few hours. Time to update my FNAFiction (also my NaNoWriMo project!), Everything Is All Right, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night. So if you’re reading along, skip on over to Fanfiction.net or Archiveofourown.org and gorge yourself on the new chapter. As usual, here is a small sample! And if I sound a little bit like I’m phoning it in tonight, that’s because I still kind of feel sick, I’ve got a very close cousin whom I rarely see flying in for a visit tomorrow, AND I’ve got four kittens trying to help me write this post. So yeah, not one of my best. Still, I got it up on time and that’s the important thing.
Ana wasn’t sure just what she expected their reactions to be following this declaration, but it wasn’t silence. All four animatronics stared at her, not blankly, not as if their programming did not allow them to comprehend her words, but as if they absolutely did and were sharing a moment of stunned disbelief.
“YOU CAN’T,” said Freddy at last, prompting Chica to enthusiastically reply, “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS!”
“A little short on friends at the moment,” Ana admitted with a careless shrug. “But that’s okay. I can do this by myself. The fates have aligned, providing me an extended run of good weather, a three-day weekend at a critical juncture, and access to a commercial upcycled lumber yard. I’ve got the tools already and I’ve put up a metric shit-ton of buildings before, including roofs, and as much as anyone can guarantee anything in this fucked-up world we live in, I can guarantee you, I got this.”
“YOU CAN’T,” Freddy said again, still with that grim plastic frown.
“Sure, I can. Hey, you do me a solid, I do one for you. That’s how it works. And you did me a real solid that one time. In fact, I think it’s safe to say you probably saved my life.”
Freddy grunted. It was neither denial nor agreement, but more a sound of impatience, as if her life and the saving or losing of it were entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand. “YOU. DON’T. UNDERSTAND,” he said. “YOU CAN’T. BECAUSE. I. WON’T. LET. YOU.”
Ana let out a breath that was half a laugh and half a sigh. “God, I knew you were going to do this, I just knew it. Seriously, Freddy? You won’t let me fix the roof?”
He clicked to himself for a while, but when he spoke, all he said was, “BECAUSE. I. SAID. SO.”
Ana’s brows raised. “Holy shit, is that the wrong answer.”
“I’M FREDDY FAZBEAR. I’M THE LEADER OF THE BAND.”
“Yeah, you are. You’re Freddy Fazbear.” She leaned forward a little, putting special emphasis on her next words with a direct stare. “You’re the animatronic. And I’m the human. Want to guess what that means?”
Freddy’s hands clenched on his biceps. “I’M. THE. ANIMATRONIC,” he growled. “YOU. ARE. THE. TRESPASSER. WANT. TO. GUESS. WHAT. THAT. MEANS.”
“Oh for…really? We’re back to this shit?” Ana threw her hands up and slapped them down on her thighs again. “Check your memory banks, big bear. You’re the one who said I could come over whenever and stay as long as I want.”
“THIS. ISN’T. WHAT. I. MEANT,” said Freddy, sweeping one arm back at the equipment filling the far end of the kitchen. “YOU. CAN’T. DO. THIS. YOU. CAN’T.”
“I know what you’re thinking,” she said quickly. “You think I’m high or something and I’ll tear half the building down and then sober up and realize I’m in over my head and leave you with the mess.”
Freddy blinked at her, uttered a short bearish laugh, and said, “NO. I. WASN’T. THINKING. THAT. UNTIL. NOW.”
“Then what’s the problem? Look around! You can’t just ignore this and hope it goes away! You have to fix this! Now! Before it’s too late! Chica, back me up on this.”
“I CAN HELP,” Chica said obediently, waddling closer to Ana in the narrow kitchen aisle. “LET’S ALL WORK TOGETHER. I LIKE TO HELP MY FRIENDS. I CAN BAKE THE CUPCAKES!”
Freddy held up one hand before she could get too carried away with her act, still glaring at Ana. “YOU. CAN. VISIT. BUT. YOU MAY BE ASKED TO LEAVE. IF.” He clicked a few times, his gaze drifting over her left shoulder for several seconds before coming back to her with an air of frustration. “YOU. DAMAGE. RESTAURANT. PROPERTY.”
“If I damage it? Hey, look around, big bear. The damage is already here. I’m talking about fixing it.”
“I. SAID. NO.”
She looked at him and for a moment, it was almost like he was looking back, like he was a person and not a giant toy programmed to respond to keywords and situations. In that moment, he was real—still broken, still filthy, still doomed, but real—and maybe it was time he got a reality check of his own.
“That roof is coming down in the next hard rain,” she told him quietly, no longer smiling. “And the next hard rain is coming.”