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Toleri's Wish

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Dirt went past the windows, dirt and more dirt. Bonnie had driven down plenty of roads like this before, but never as long and boring as this one was proving to me. He'd taken to counting every time he came across some form of fauna, usually a cactus or a stray bush. 35. That was the number he was at currently.

The mind numbingly boring journey would prove to be worth it in the end he believed. His destination couldn't be too much further, given that he'd managed to pass the state border at least a couple of days ago, he HAD to be close now. Or at least he hoped he was.

Sure, most people would have taken a plane, especially for state to state travel. It wasn't like he couldn't afford it, but when everything he owned was essentially the car and the contents within it, why not just cut out the middle man and drive down there yourself? Given why he was travelling to the small out of the way town, it made sense to him.

The long drive had at least given him a lot of time to reflect on this turn of events. He'd been at rock bottom. Let go from his job. Homeless and living in his car. Bad relationship with his parents. No friends or other family to rely on. Then he got a phone call from some solicitor, claiming to represent one Gerard Iommi, Bonnie's estranged uncle, who had recently died. The real shock came when said solicitor went on to explain that Uncle Gerard had left his entire estate to Bonnie via his will. This included everything from his money, which Bonnie received rather quickly through bank transfers, to his home and all it's belongings.

Bonnie could have done what most people would have done, taken the money, sold the home and anything worth even a dime, and moved on with his life. But something about the situation called to Bonnie. It had come to him at arguably his lowest moment and Bonnie couldn't help but take it as a sign of some kind, a sign to keep on going, a sign that his life could get better

And that is how Bonnie came to the decision to move into his late Uncle's home, and start a new life in the small sleepy town in which it was located.

As if on cue, Bonnie spotted a large sign in the distance, decorated in flowers and plants, a trend that seemed to continue on the sides of the road beyond the sign itself. As he got closer, the large bright blue friendly letters on the sign started to stand out against the yellow of the sign and Bonnie felt the corners of his lips curl up into a small smile as he read what they said.

'Welcome to Toleri's Wish'

 


 

While Toleri's Wish was definitely smaller than the large city in which Bonnie had grown up it still proved to be bigger than he was expecting. He managed to get lost a few times, not that he would mind usually as it would be a way for him to explore and get used to his surroundings, but he had a deadline to meet. The Solicitor had arranged for her Nephew to meet him at his late uncle's home to give him the keys and offer assistance with moving.

It took around 20 minutes for Bonnie to find his destination, signalled by a small post box with the number “42” on it and a small dirt road leading down to a rather destitute looking house. It didn't surprise Bonnie too much, the solicitor had mentioned the place got a bit run down at some point.

As Bonnie pulled up, he noticed a small beat up car already parked outside, and a brown bear leaning against it, who looked up from his phone as Bonnie's car approached. Parking the car and hopping out Bonnie approached the bear with a friendly smile.

“Bonnie Iommi?” The bear asked politely, offering his hand forward.

“Yes, that's right!” Bonnie took the offer of the hand shaking it firmly. “You must be Freddy Fazbear!”

“And that would be me alright!” The bear laughed lightly, fiddling in his pocket and eventually producing a set of keys.

“Do you need to see ID before you hand them over?” Bonnie's eyebrow raised as he reached for his own pocket and wallet where his drivers licence was.

“Ah. Suppose I should...” He smiled nervously as Bonnie handed the bear his licence. “To be honest it's the first time Aunt Emma's asked me to do anything like this, usually i'm running errands for my dad rather than her.” He scanned the licence for a second before handing it, and the keys, to Bonnie. “That looked like what Aunt Emma's copy's of your details said, so I think we're fine here!”

“Great! Um. Is there anything else I need to sign?”

“Not that I know of.” Freddy seemed to rub the back of his head. “I'm sure Emma will let you know if there's anything you missed... Anyway...” The bear suddenly clasped his hands together. “Is there anything I can help you with moving in?”

Bonnie looked back at his car for a second before looking back to Freddy. “I've got a few bags you can help me with if you don't mind!” The bear nodded and Bonnie signalled for him to follow. “To be honest this all came at a pretty weird time, so, pretty much everything I own is in this car.”

“Ah. I'm sorry to hear that.” The bear frowned and watched Bonnie pop the trunk of his car. “Still, I'm pleased you decided to move here! It's nice to know Mr. Iommi's house is going to someone who truly need's it...” The bear took a couple of bags of clothes into his arms and looked at Bonnie with a small yet sad smile. “I think he'd have liked that.”

“Did you know my uncle well?” Bonnie hadn't really thought about it, but he guessed the people of this town would have gotten to know his Uncle, even if he'd never had the chance to.

“Everyone knew Gerard.” Freddy laughed. “You'll get a lot of 'oh, you're Gerard's nephew' from people around town.” The pair started to calmly walk towards the house. “He was very well respected, everyone loved him!” Freddy sighed sadly, watching Bonnie fiddle with his keys. “Everyone was heartbroken when he passed.”

“I can imagine.” Bonnie finally managed to work out which key would let him in. “I almost feel like I'm intruding by being here...”

“Oh no, please don't think of it like that!” Freddy shook his head. “I think everyone's more relieved that the home is being kept in the family.” As Bonnie clicked the door open, Freddy shot him a large grin. “Toleri's Wish wouldn't be the same without an Iommi here!”

“Well you got one... Hope I can live up to expectation.” Bonnie let his feet guide him through the hallway into a small living room, placing his bags down by the door as he viewed his surroundings. The place definitely needed a lick of paint and some new decor but from what he could tell the place was structurally sound, sighing in relief as he heard the bear come and stand next to him. “You can put the bags here, I'll sort through them later.”

“Alright.” The bear confirmed putting the bags down next to the other pile. “So what will you be doing now you're here? Uh, job wise that is.”

“I dunno yet.” Bonnie rubbed the back of his head. His previous job had been in some dreary dull factory where he hardly ever saw the sun and everyone hated each other. Never again, he noted in his head. “I guess I'll just have to... Look around town... See what's available!”

“Well...” The bear started, rooting around in his pocket for something. “My brother recently opened up a cafe in town, uh, 'The Golden Place'.” He finally finished rooting and produced a rather battered looking flyer for the purple rabbit. “I know he's looking for some help at the moment. Uh, I mean you might not be interested but...”

“No... I mean... No as in yes I am interested!” Bonnie took the flyer and looked it over briefly. It has directions good. “Would he need me to have any experience? I... Uh... Worked in a factory until now.”

“No I don't think so.” Freddy offered a smile. “Just go in and ask to speak to Goldie, tell him Freddy sent you.” He chuckled briefly before looking more serious. “Would you like any more help or should I leave you to get settled?”

“I think I'm alright for now.” Bonnie offered his paw out to once again shake the bears. “Thank you so much for all your help. I mean it. You've been very welcoming.”

“My pleasure! I'll hopefully see you around town! Don't be afraid to ask for help, everyone in town will be more than willing to give you a hand!”

Bonnie followed the bear back to the door and porch, once again thanking the bear profusely for his help, maybe I'm over doing it a bit, before the bear returned to his car, starting it up and driving off as Bonnie stood and watched him leave. Taking a deep breath, he stepped back in the home, heading straight for the living room and taking a leap onto the couch. He hit it with a thud and groaned slightly, realising that leaping before checking if the sofa was in good condition was a little foolish. He'd need a new couch then, and need to check all the other furniture and appliances were in working order.

For now however, he was just going to lie back and relax. For the first time in what felt like forever, Bonnie could honestly say he felt safe and his future bright.

I'm home.

 


 

Bonnie walked down the streets, clutching the flyer as he tried to work out where he actually was in comparison to the cafe he was trying to find. He'd checked things in his new home, practically everything needed replacing at some point, so he decided inquiring about a job and getting a steady income was his biggest priority. Sure, he had Uncle Gerard's money and his own savings to burn through but that wouldn't last forever.

Bonnie had entered the shopping district hopeful. Every shop, cafe and restaurant he'd passed had been locally owned and the only chain he'd seen in the town was a “Fazbear & Family Pizza”. Well, Freddy's surname is Fazbear, guess they're locals so that would make sense I guess. Having lived in a large city, it was a nice change of pace. That didn't mean that Bonnie couldn't get LOST in the town however, as he was finding that the winding streets looked different yet the same.

He eventually gave in, looking to spot someone who might be able to give him directions. Just walking in front of him was a butch but soft looking chicken, and he decided that she would probably be as good a person to ask as any.

“Excuse me!” He shouted out, doing a strange half run towards the chicken, who stopped and turned around, looking Bonnie up and down with slight suspicion. “Was wondering if you could help me. Uh. I'm trying to find a cafe named Golden Place, you wouldn't be able to give me some directions could you?”

The chicken looked at him for a second, an eyebrow raised, as if she were trying to work out what exactly Bonnie was about. As Bonnie was about to apologies for stopping her, the chicken suddenly let out a barking laugh, leaving Bonnie feeling awfully confused.

“You stopped the right hen, my friend!” She finally stopped laughing, rubbing her hands together. “I happen to be the cook there AND am on my way right now!” She held out a hand. “Chica Crawford. And who may I be making the acquaintance of?”

“Bonnie Iommi!” He reached to shake the chickens hand. Guess I'm going to be doing a lot of this.

“Oh! Your Gerard's Nephew right?” Chica clapped her hands together upon the realisation and Bonnie just nodded. Going to have to get used to that too, Freddy did warn me. “Freddy told me you were moving here! Nice to meet you!”

“Nice to meet you too!” Bonnie stated as he noticed Chica start to turn to walk, and Bonnie padded forward to walk beside her. “My uncle seems to have a good reputation around here.”

“Oh yes, definitely!” Chica giggled. “When I was a little chick, I decided to bake some cookies for the first time. They were terrible!” She laughed at the memory. “Soggy on the bottom and burnt on the top. I tried to sell them at the school fair but no one would touch um. Felt uh, really dejected y'know. Then Gerard comes up, asks to buy one. I told him just to take one, no cost, since no one else wanted em. He took a bite... and he smiled. I asked him why. He asked me if I'd had fun baking them, and I replied yes. And he told me he could taste the love i'd put into them, and sure they didn't look the best but he told me that's what practise is for and as long as I keep putting that love in them, I could make something great.”

In the corners of her eyes, Bonnie could see what looked like tears forming. “Went on to buy the whole batch... Pretty sure he had food poisoning for the next few days, not that he'd have ever admitted that to me.” She turned her head to look Bonnie straight in the eye. “But y'know, those words have stood by me my entire life... Think if he hadn't of done that I'd have given up and I'd never have taken up cooking again. My entire carrier revolves around it now, I really have him to thank for it.” She looked down to the floor, sighing sadly. “Not ashamed to admit I bawled my eyes out at the funeral.”

“I can imagine.” Bonnie replied. Uncle Gerard sounds like he was a real great guy, why didn't we keep in contact with him again? “I feel terrible that I couldn't be here for it.”

“You're here now.” Chica stated, wiping her eyes with her hand. “That's what matters. Anyway.” The hen looked back at Bonnie a sparkle of curiosity in her eyes. “You never did say why you were lookin' for our lil cafe.”

“Oh well.” Bonnie laughed nervously. “Freddy mentioned there may be, uh, job opportunities!”

“Well we could certainly use more help!” Chica said, nodding. “We have an interview with a girl who wants to help out in the kitchen today, and we could always use another barista. We're startin' to get busier now.” Chica suddenly put a hand on Bonnie's shoulder, making him jump slightly “Speaking of, we're here!”

He looked up at the cafe, a golden plated sign shining the name 'Golden place' on the top. As he followed Chica inside the cafe, he looked around. It was very nicely done up, but still had a very cosy family home feel to it. He briefly considered all the branded cafe's he'd been to in the city that all looked the same bar maybe one or two colours. The difference was black and white in Bonnie's mind.

Behind the counter a small bright blue rabbit, who seemingly perked up when he saw Chica and Bonnie. “Afternoon Chica!” He called and waved, the chicken waving back. “Who's the rabbit... New boyfriend?” He said winking at her and she scoffed putting her hands on her hips.

“No. Bondon, this is Bonnie Iommi.” Chica stated, pointing at Bonnie. “Bonnie this is Bondon Hendrix, our charming barista!”

“Oh, Iommi! As in Gerard Iommi?” Bondon asked excitedly and Bonnie could only laugh.

“Wow I really am going to get that from everyone I meet aren't I?” He stated, moving forward and offered the rabbit his hand. “Nice to meet you.” Bondon took his hand and shook it.

“What brings you to the golden place?” The rabbit asked, before Bonnie could answer however, Chica chimed in with an answer.

“Freddy told him we're hiring!” She almost sang. “By the way did my potential assistant turn up?”

“Oh yeah, she's in with Goldie now.” Bondon nodded, and pointed towards the back door. “I'm sure he'll be happy to see you afterwards.” Bondon looked back in Bonnie's direction. “It'd be good for business to have an Iommi here, anyway!”

Bonnie chuckled lowly. “I have big shoes to fill, it seems.”

“Well.” The rabbit smiled slightly. “Not to put pressure on you, but he WAS a shining example of this community.”

“Oh Bondon don't scare him!” Chica stated lightly tapping the rabbit on the nose. “Honey, you are you and Gerard was Gerard. There are no shoes to fill, you have your own destiny to make here and I'm sure however you do it, you'll do it in a way that would have made him proud.”

Bonnie smiled, he didn't have any of his own memories of Gerard, he moved before he'd even turned one and his parents refused to keep contact, but Bonnie had some mementos from when he had briefly met the man, namely a few photographs of his uncle holding him when he was a newborn. His parents had tried to throw them out, but Bonnie had sneaked into the bins and retrieved them. He'd always told himself he'd make contact with his uncle once he grew older, but once he grew older things seemed to fall apart and no time felt like a good time to go searching for the man without feeling like he was leeching off his uncle.

And then he got the call from the solicitors.

I should at least visit the graveyard, pay my respects to him.

Suddenly the back door opened and a small slender chicken exited, clutching a small handbag to her chest and followed by a large golden coloured bear, the two seemed to be in conversation.

“How'd it go?” Bondon suddenly chimed in, both animals turned to look at him, the small chicken looking nervous but the bear smiled widely.

“Very well! Circe will be joining us tomorrow for a trial run!” He patted the chicken on the back and gestured towards Chica. “Chica will be the one looking after you. Don't worry she doesn't bite... Or peck... Or...” He stopped for a minute and stared at Chica and then back to Circe. “She's nice I promise.”

Chica began to laugh and approached Circe. “I only peck under special circumstances!” She said winking at Circe who began to giggle slightly. “Don't worry, I'll take good care of you!”

“Thank you!” The girl managed to squeak out.

“How about I take you on a quick tour of the kitchen, get you acquainted with it before tomorrow! If you have time of course!” The smaller chicken nodded her head and thanked Chica again, causing Bonnie to smile to himself, that seems familiar. Suddenly Chica's attention turned to Bonnie again, as if she suddenly remembered he was there. “Oh, don't suppose you have enough time for another interview do you Goldie?”

“Yes, I should think so.” Goldie nodded his head before his eyes landed on Bonnie. “Bonnie Iommi I assume?” Before Bonnie could question how he knew his name the Golden bear laughed slightly. “Freddy told me you might be coming! Please, follow me!”

Goldie held the door open for the purple rabbit who went forward to follow the bear through it, a small 'Good luck' came from Chica as he passed before she turned her attention back to Circe and the tour of the kitchen. Behind the door was a small hallway with a couple of doors leading to other rooms, however Goldie stopped in front of a certain door with the word “Office” printed on it, he opened it and gestured for Bonnie to go inside.

The office was small and cozy, just what Bonnie was expecting from seeing the cafe itself. On the wall above a fire place and mantelpiece was a large framed photograph of a large group of bear's, and oddly Bonnie noted a single rabbit kit, with front and centre had Freddy and Goldie with their arms around each other laughing and smiling. It made Bonnie happy just looking at it, and wished he could say he had family photos like that. Mom and Dad burnt that bridge and gave me no choice though.

“Please, take a seat Mr. Iommi!” Goldie suddenly spoke, waving at an empty chair across the desk in the one corner of the office.

“Please call me Bonnie!” He replied as he took the seat that Goldie had indicated to him.

“Very well, I don't believe I actually introduced myself properly. I'm Fredrick Fazbear, but everyone calls me Goldie, so please feel free to call me that!” He bear put his paws together and looked across the desk at Bonnie. “So Bonnie, tell me a bit about yourself!”

“Well. As you may be aware I've just moved here to Toleri's Wish from the city of Urbanomo.”

“Oh, I've been to Urbanomo once when Pa was on a business trip! You ever been to the Fazbear Pizza there?”

“You kidding, I basically lived there during high school!” He laughed slightly at the memories of his old high school friends all bunched around a table having a laugh and the frequent arguments about whether pineapple belonged on pizza. It does, haters gonna hate! “I always preferred it to everywhere else there. Uh, had a friendly feel to it. The other places in the city had a more... Uh... Clinical feel to them I guess.”

“I'm glad to hear you had a good time there!” Goldie let out a small chuckle. “You may have guessed from mine and Freddy's surname's but we're part of the family that owns the business, actually the owners would be my Pa and Uncle Fred!” Goldie shook his head “My family has a thing about the name 'Fred', but I digress!” Goldie clapped his hands together, looking at Bonnie with a huge smile on his face. “We Fazbear's value family above all else, whether it's biological, romantic or a family you've made with friends, and we hope that our restaurants show that.”

Goldie briefly turned his head to look at the photo hanging on the small and then turned back to Bonnie. “It's those values I hope to also get across in this cafe y'know! Take Chica for example! Known her since she was a chick and I was a cub! She's basically a sister to me and Freddy! That's why when I decided I wanted to open this place I knew she HAD to be my chef!”

“Your passion shows!” Bonnie replied. “It's honestly such a breathe of fresh air having come from somewhere so urban and cold.”

“You flatter me Bonnie!” Goldie stated. “So, if I may ask, what is YOUR passion Bonnie?”

Bonnie frowned briefly, he wasn't sure how to reply, or rather he was worried about how his passion would be taken. After a couple of seconds, he decided that Goldie didn't seem the sort of person to judge. “I love music.” Bonnie replied, brushing his ears as they lay limp against his head. “I got my first guitar when I was 8, and I've been in love with it ever since!” He laughed. “Parent's didn't really see it as a career though, so I ended up working in a factory until they made cuts and I got let go.” He sighed “I'd love to be able to make a living out of music but I don't really know how.”

“You'll get along so well with Bondon.” Goldie commented shaking his head. “Me and him went to school together, he was the year below me, and he was almost always in the talent shows playing his guitar.” He looked at Bonnie with a mischievous grin “You never know, you two could work something out together.”

“Maybe we will.” Bonnie said before suddenly frowning. Wait, he's only a year older than that tiny rabbit I met earlier? Seriously?

“Is something wrong?” Goldie's face looked across at Bonnie with concern, and Bonnie realised he must have looked like he'd suddenly gone deep into thought.

“Oh no, sorry just something confused me a bit.” I probably shouldn't bring up his age.

“Let me guess, your surprised me and Bondon are only a year apart in age?” Bonnie looked across where Goldie sat with a smug look on his face, apparently knowing exactly what had confused Bonnie.

“Uh. No... No offence to you or him, but...”

“None taken my friend!” Goldie stated between laughter holding his paw out. “Believe me I know I've always been told I act much older than a 22 year old and Bondon... Well he looks like he's only just turned 18, not a 21 year old!” Tilting his head slightly he frowned. “If it's not a rude question how old are you by chance?”

“Oh. I'm 22 as well.” Bonnie couldn't believe the bear across the table from him was the same age as him. Goldie had such a strange air of maturity about him.

“Interesting.” Goldie stated. “I seem to be getting a bit off track here, sorry, you'll find that happens a lot.” Goldie grinned sheepishly towards Bonnie. “I think I've got a grasp on your personality though. If it's not to much to ask, would you care to have a work trial tomorrow? Just for a couple of hours, if you aren't too busy with your moving.”

Bonnie's ears flicked up as he felt his mouth curl into a smile. “Of course, I'd love to!”

Goldie smiled back, apparently please by this news, and continued to tell Bonnie exactly what he'd be doing, what time to show up, how he'd be mostly working with Bondon but Chica and Circe would be in the kitchen too, he'd be in the office should Bonnie need anything. All Bonnie could do was smile.

Everything's looking up already.

 


 

As Bonnie walked back through the town, he'd decided he wanted to make one stop before going back to his new home. When he'd gotten lost he'd seen a small bookshop that had caught his eye and he'd made a note to go in and explore it. Usually this was something that could have been left for the rest of the week, but there was one word written on the window that had caught his attention, one word that Bonnie could simply not ignore.

Comic Books.

He knew it was probably childish and his old high school friends had always made fun of his enjoyment of them, but dammit if it wasn't one of his dreams to own SuperRabbit Issue One, and anyone who thought less of him for that was probably not worth his time.

He finally managed to retrace his steps and found himself outside the front door of the shop, a sign hanging above stating 'Welcome to Paige's Page's' on a sign above the window and door. Bonnie peered in through the window, the shop looked small and crammed full of books but that was exactly the way Bonnie liked his book shop.

As he pushed the door open a small bell chimed out, making a smaller golden rabbit that sat at a cashiers desk jump in his seat and look up towards Bonnie. The rabbit looked as if he was about to have a heart attack, he has several visible scars as well as at least quarter of his ear missing. Obviously life hadn't been all that kind to the rabbit. Bonnie smiled across at him, and in return he gave Bonnie a pained smile.

“H... Hi!” The rabbit started. “Uh... W... Welcome to Paige's Page's! D... Do you need any help?”

“I'm just browsing.” Bonnie stated, he wasn't oblivious to the Rabbit's obvious anxiety about this situation. “Although if you could point me in the general direction of the comic books...”

The golden rabbit seemed to perk up at the mention of comic books, leaping off the seat he was perched on. “Y... Yes, they're just over there!” He said pointing over in a corner. “U. Um. Sorry, it's just... Not many people like the comics, so it's nice to meet someone w... with a similar interest a... as me!”

“Ah, people don't know what they're missing out on!” Bonnie said playfully as he approached the shelf of comics the rabbit had pointed towards. “Gonna get my hands on a SuperRabbit Issue One eventually!”

The other rabbit giggled softly at this. “I... I'll be sure to put one aside if we ever get one in... Uh... I... If you're going t... to be here again that I... is?”

“Oh you'll probably see me a lot, mostly over in this corner.” He laughed softly. “My name's Bonnie Iommi, I've just moved here.”

“I... Iommi... As in...” Here it comes. “Bonnet Iommi?”

Bonnie stopped confused for a second.

What?

Bonnie looked over at the rabbit with a frown. “Sorry...” He started slowly. “I'm not familiar with anyone of that name.”

The rabbit shuffled on his feet slightly, obviously seeming awkward about this revelation. “O... Oh sorry. It's just... I thought you were related to her and Gerard and...”

“I know Gerard.” Bonnie said blinking. “He... Uh... Was my uncle. I inherited his house...” Bonnie frowned slightly. “I've not heard of Bonnet though.”

“R... Really?” The rabbit frowned. “Oh... S... She was his daughter.”

Bonnie felt himself stop breathing.

“I... I'm sorry.” The golden rabbit seemed to back off, seemingly believing he'd offended Bonnie in some way.

“No. No, don't be. It't just...” Bonnie folded his arms. “Everyone's been talking about my uncle all day... I'd have thought SOMEONE would mention a daughter before now.”

“W... well.” The rabbit looked sad while he looked at Bonnie. “E... everyone's spent a long time trying to avoid t... talking about her... S... Since she went missing 4 years ago...” Bonnie felt his ears go rigid against the back of his head and a shiver down his spine, the other rabbit's ear drooped sadly. “N... No one wanted to upset Gerard talkin' bout her... y... you know... Uh... S... Sorry.”

“Really you have nothing to be sorry about.” Bonnie nodded gently. “It's just a bit of a shock, y'know, finding out about a cousin I didn't even know existed.” He couldn't help but wonder why this rabbit had been the only person so far to bring it up. “Was she a friend of yours?”

“Yes.” The rabbit smiled sadly. “I... Just wish I knew what happened to her... Y'know.”

Bonnie was silent for a second.

Uncle Gerard had a daughter, who went missing 4 years ago. His estate was left just left to me... Because she disappeared?

“Yeah.” Bonnie agreed absentmindedly. “I think I'd like to know that now...” Bonnie looked back to the Golden rabbit who just stood looking so sad and pitiful, obviously distressed from the memories of his missing friend. There was no point to upset the rabbit further, not right now, so Bonnie made the conscious decision to try to move the conversation on. “I'm sorry, I never caught your name did I? And if we're gonna be geeking out about comics together...” Bonnie offered the rabbit a wink, and he noticed them start to loosen up again, looking relieved that the conversation was changing focus and that Bonnie didn't hold it against him.

“M... My name Spring! Spring Hendrix!” He held out a shaking hand. “Nice to meet you Bonnie!”

For what felt like the hundredth time that day, Bonnie took the hand offered to him. “Nice to meet you too! Swear I've heard the surname Hendrix today somewhere...” He frowned “Your not related to a small blue rabbit who works at Golden Place are you?”

Spring suddenly lit up with a smile and his ears went up. “Yes! Bondon! He's my twin brother!” Bonnie couldn't help but notice since the mention of his family member the rabbit's speech became a lot more confident. “He can be a little annoying but I promise he means well!” Bonnie couldn't help but laugh at this.

“I'll keep that in mind, especially since he could potentially be a work colleague!”

“Oh. Are you going to be working there?”

“Possibly.” Bonnie shrugged. “I have a trial tomorrow, so hopefully if that goes well Goldie will hire me permanently!”

Spring nodded and Bonnie couldn't help but notice a blush come across his face. Bonnie wondered for a second what that could be about but decided not to pry, he seemed anxious enough already.

“So... You don't happen to have any comic recommendations for me do you?”

Spring suddenly started to grin from ear to ear, though his blush was still obviously across his face, as he took a few steps forward to be beside Bonnie pointing out various comic's he had read and enjoyed while Bonnie engaged in the conversation by pointing out series he'd read, and the two continued to compare notes on what the two liked. It was nice, as the conversation went on and deeper, Spring seemed to overcome his initial shyness and show a strong passion for what he was talking about. Bonnie was happy for him.

Even if a part of his mind was questioning so much more.

 


 

As soon as he got through his front door, Bonnie passed quickly down the hallway, into his living room where he placed a small plastic bag of comic's he'd purchased from Spring on the sofa. He kicked off his shoes and threw his jacket on the floor before pacing up to the stairs at the end of the living room and quickly hopped up them.

When he found himself on the landing he approached one of the homes two bedrooms, one he'd assumed to be a guest room, and let himself inside. He looked around and frowned.

If Bondon and Spring are twins, then Spring is also 21, and if he was potentially the same age as 'Bonnet', who went missing 4 years ago, she would have been 17 when she disappeared.

This room does not look like it once housed a teenage girl.

He signed, touching the walls of the room, hoping something would stand out to him if he stood there long enough. He looked across to the lone bed in the room. Suddenly his eyes went downward, to where the bedposts met the wooden floor, where he swore he saw something shiny underneath.

He approached, getting on his hand's and knees at the bed to discover a large leather covered chest underneath it. His eyes widened as he reached forward to pull it out. It was the dustiest thing he'd found in the house so far, obviously not been touched by anyone for years. He felt his heart sink, and he lent forward to open it up.

Inside, he found answers. Pink fairy lights, posters of trendy pop star's who'd been every teenage girls heartthrob 4 years ago, diaries, CD's, plush teddy bears with hearts sewed to them that read “greatest daughter”. Bonnie wanted to cry. It was what he was looking for. The evidence of a teenage daughter.

He carefully took out one of the diaries, it was a pink faux leather, with faux silver trimmings and the word “diary” engraved into it. Bonnie opened to the first page. He was immediately met with a Polaroid photograph of two rabbits. One was a very deep royal purple with the widest smile he'd ever seen, he recognised this rabbit from his own photographs as his Uncle Gerard. The other rabbit was the brightest pink he'd ever seen, and she wore an equally wide smile and her eyes were full of life and wonder, Bonnie could only assume this was Bonnet.

His eyes flicked to some writing under the photograph. 'Me and Dad at the Toleri's Wish Annual fair 2012'. Bonnie felt cold. This is a year before she went missing. There was more writing under this however, reading in big pink letters 'Bonnet's Diary! No reading! Yes! Even you Dad!'. Bonnie smiled and chuckled slightly, he guessed every teenage girl was entitled to their privacy. His eyes trailed from the diary, back to the trunk, where what he assumed most of Bonnet's prized possessions lay. He closed the diary, and sat it back on top, carefully closing the trunk but not pushing it back under the bed where he'd found it.

He'd look through it all eventually, he'd read the diary eventually in hope's he'd find clues of what had happened to her but that was all for another day. Bonnie left the room and went to the one next door, the master bedroom he'd claimed for himself. He let himself fall onto the bed, which turned out to be as equally painful as his fall onto the couch earlier, but it didn't bother him this time. He felt numb.

I had a cousin... And I never even knew she existed.

All Bonnie could feel was hurt.

Chapter Text

Bonnie shifted from foot to foot. He'd got to the cafe early, the doors still tightly locked as it's owner had not yet turned up. No one had turned up yet. Bonnie was the first one there. He sighed. He hadn't got much sleep last night, between the uncomfortable bed and the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach from the revelation he had a missing cousin, he kind of guessed it couldn't be helped.

First thing I'm buying when I get a pay-check is a new bed.

At least that would relieve half of his troubled sleep. The mystery of Bonnet Iommi? Well, he wasn't sure about that. He wondered how Gerard had managed to go on for 4 years without knowing where his precious daughter was. He could only assume it kept him up all night and it was what lead to his fairly early grave. Why had no one except Spring brought Bonnet up? Of course, Spring was a friend of hers and was concerned, but given the way everyone seemed to praise and adore Gerard it made no sense to Bonnie that they didn't even hint that he'd had a daughter.

Spring did say people stopped talking about her so not to upset Gerard... But I can't help but think that would make it worse. I'd hate if I had a daughter and people just pretended she didn't exist anymore.

“Excuse me...” A small voice broke Bonnie's train of thought, as he turned his attention to the small chicken from yesterday beside him, Circe, he told himself her name was. “Um. I was wondering if you'd seen Goldie Fazbear?”

Bonnie shook his head. “No, sorry. I'm waiting for him to get here. Got a trial today.” Circe blinked for a few seconds before a look of recognition crossed her face.

“Oh! Yes you were here yesterday after my interview!” She put her hand forward and then took it back almost unsure if she should be shaking his hand or not. “My name's Circe Wilson... Um. I can't help but ask, but... Goldie said your name was Bonnie Iommi... Right?”

“That's right. And yes, I am related to Gerard Iommi.” Bonnie thought he'd save the girl the trouble and she giggled slightly.

“I guess you heard that a lot yesterday, huh!” She smiled slightly before sighing and frowning. “I hate to ask but... You... Don't happen to have heard from Bonnet at all, have you?”

Bonnie rubbed the back of his head and sighed. Speak of the devil. “No. To be honest, I didn't even know she existed until yesterday.”

Circe's eyes widened in shock. “You didn't? … Oh. Yeah. I remember her saying once something about her family not keeping in contact.” Circe blinked. “To be honest, I was so sure after Gerard's death, she'd show up again. That we'd all go to the funeral and there she'd be there, alive and well... She loved her dad. I can't see that she'd willingly miss his funeral...” She started to hug herself, staring hard down at the floor. “Something terrible must have happened to her.”

“Was she a friend of yours?” Bonnie wanted answers so badly, there was so many questions in his mind.

“Yeah. I mean...” Circe looked at the ground a light blush on her face. “She was friends with everyone really. I can't think that anyone had a bad thing to say about her. She was absolutely beautiful and had the heart to go with it unlike a lot of the 'popular' girls.” Circe gave Bonnie a pained smile. “I may have had a slight crush on her. Uh. She's kind of the reason I realised I liked girls.”

Bonnie couldn't help but smirk at that comment. “Oh yeah, there was a guy like that in high school for me.” He laughed. “Still... If Bonnet was so beloved... How come only one person mentioned her to me yesterday?”

Circe looked thoughtful for a second, her brow drawing together. “Who was it?”

“Spring Hendrix.”

“Ah.” Circe stated, nodding to herself for a second. “That makes sense. Bonnet was friends with everyone, but her and Spring were something else.”

“They were close then?” Bonnie questioned and Circe seemed to sigh.

“Yeah, I'd say so. I think soul siblings is the correct term. They were inseparable.” She quickly went back to staring at the floor. “Truth is he was the only person who never gave up hope of finding her. After a year, half the town gave up... After 2, even Gerard was starting to grow weary. It quickly rolled around to four... and then... Well... I know they said his death was a heart attack, but I truly believe he died of heart break.”

There was a slight pause, Circe obviously expected Bonnie to say something, but he had a feeling she hadn't quite finished yet. “And that's why no one want's to talk about her?”

“Something like that.” She finally turned to looked at him, this time her bright blue eyes looked wet with tears. “No one wanted to accept that something so... Terrible could happen in our little town so. I guess everyone just ignored it. Gerard already had to live with it, why rub salt into his wounds?”

Bonnie tried to understand that reasoning, he guessed it made enough sense. Maybe that's why her belongings were in that trunk... So he didn't have to live with a constant reminder.

“What about the police? Did they not find anything?” Bonnie had always had shaky belief in the police, certain events in his childhood had left him dubious, but he'd hoped so badly in a case like this they could pull together.

“As far as I know, they never found anything.” She nervously rubbed her hands together. “There was no trace of her, like she just disappeared.”

“Dammit.” Bonnie muttered under his breath an gritted his teeth. “There's just so many things that don't make sense. I have so many questions and none of them are going to be answered.”

“I'm sorry.” Circe's voice sounded unsure, it reminded Bonnie of how Spring had acted the day before.

“It's not your fault. Thanks for answering what you could.” Bonnie tried to shoot her a reassuring smile. “Let's just... Move on for now okay?”

“Sure thing.” Circe spoke softly, her face tried to smile back but she seemed to lack the energy.

“Morning~” Before Bonnie could speak further, the pair heard a cheerful shout from down the street. They both turned to the direction it was coming from to be greeted by a cheerful looking blue rabbit coming towards them.

“Good morning Bondon.” Circe greeted as Bondon trotted up to them, hands on his hips.

“Goldie not here yet?” In unison Bonnie and Circe shook their heads. “Typical!” The blue rabbit said over dramatically causing Circe to giggle and Bonnie just to smirk. “Oh. Hey before I forgot, I think you met my brother, Spring, yesterday right Bonnie? Uh, he thinks he upset you about something, but he wasn't sure. Wanted me to tell you he's sorry.”

“Oh.” Bonnie said sighing. He felt bad, he had reacted badly yesterday, after all he'd had a shock when they met. “No, he didn't upset me. I mean I was upset about something but it wasn't his fault. I'll make it up to him later.”

Bondon seemed to accept this, and seemingly changed the subject. Circe and he started to discuss how late Goldie usually was, and how it was actually unusual for Chica to be late, and while Bonnie was listening to their conversation, he did zone out a little bit in his own thoughts. Questions that had no answers. No, that isn't true, they DO have answers.

I just don't know who can give me them.

 


 

The morning had been rather busy once Goldie and Chica had arrived to let the trio into the cafe. While Chica and Circe were busy in the kitchen making breakfasts, Bonnie, Bondon and even Goldie himself had been in at front of house, taking orders and making coffee's. Despite how everything could have gone very quickly downhill, especially with two new staff on, everything went surprisingly well, with Chica and Circe making on hell of a team in the kitchen and Bonnie, Bondon and Goldie managing to spilt the jobs between each other.

Eventually, the rush went down, people took their breakfasts and went, and soon, the cafe started to enter a calm, with only the occasional patron coming off the street for a cup of coffee. Goldie had gracefully bowed out once it was decided his assistance was no longer necessary, he had paper work to look over after all. Once the kitchen orders had died down, Chica and Circe emerged from the kitchen, looking exhausted yet full of adrenaline and as cheerful as ever.

“That was a hell of a first morning for you both.” Chica finally stated, as she grabbed a couple of cups to make herself and Circe a couple of cups of coffee. They definitely deserve it after that. “Still, glad you were here Circe! Gotta admit, we make a good team yeah?”

“We really do!” Circe jumped up and down and clapped her hands slightly. “I was having such a good time working with you I didn't even notice how much we were having to actually do!” She laughed slightly as the other chicken rush towards her and took her hands.

“Circe. Will you do me the honour...” As she spoke, Chica suddenly got on a knee, and Bondon burst into hysterical laughter and even Bonnie couldn't help but let out a laugh. “Will you do me the honour, of being my Sous Chef?”

“Oh Chica! Yes!” Circe spoke, pretending to wipe a tear from her eye. “You've made me the happiest girl in the world!”

“And I'm the luckiest head chef in the world!” Chica exclaimed and got back up of her feet as the two chickens laughed.

“Ya'll need to get a room!” Bondon suddenly laughed, throwing a tea towel at Chica, causing her to childishly stick out her tongue.

“How come I'm not getting a mock marriage proposal!” Bonnie pouted while looking at Bondon.

“You have to buy me dinner first!” Bondon answered back, earning a fake hurt gasp from Bonnie. Chica and Circe just continued to giggle.

Suddenly a small chime that meant someone had walked into the cafe chimed and everyone tried to regain composure for whatever poor customer had just walked in. As Bonnie turn to look he found a tall white fox with pink accents walking towards the counter. Bonnie frowned. What gender are they? Is it rude to ask them? Maybe one of the others will say something first so I can follow their lead.

“Hello.” The fox spoke, and Bonnie found himself slightly more dumbfounded, the voice was as neutral in gender as their appearance was.

“Hiya Mangle!” Bondon suddenly chirped, and Bonnie wondered for a second what kind of name that was before quickly deciding it must be some kind of nickname. “What can I get you?”

“Just a coffee please Bon.” The fox stated, digging into their handbag for a purse. “Mornin' Circe and Chica.” The two birds practically sang a good morning towards the fox, still obviously buzzed from the adrenaline and possibly the coffee they both now stood and drank. “And... I don't believe I know you.”

“He's Bonnie Iommi!” Bondon stated before Bonnie could even introduce himself, handing over a cup of coffee for the fox. “Bonnie, this is Mangle Guadalupe, they were a friend of mine in high school!”

“Nice to meet you.” Bonnie decided the use of 'they' was the answer he looked for, obviously the fox's ambiguous gender was intentional, and it wasn't his place to question it.

“Likewise.” Mangle took a sip of their coffee. “I assume a relation to Gerard Iommi, Yes?”

“Yep.” Bonnie deadpanned, and Chica giggled slightly.

“Freddy did warn you it'd be like this for everyone you meet!” She sang and Bonnie lipped yeah yeah yeah, earning a snicker from Bondon and a very light slap on the shoulder from Chica. Mangle just smiled lightly.

“Yeah, I should have guessed you'd be getting a lot of that.” They sighed, stirring their coffee. “He was beloved by us all... Bonnet too.”

There was silence between the five animals for a second, like no one knew what to say. Chica and Bondon looked almost panicked, while Circe shifted about on her feet. Bonnie sighed, I guess everyone really did just want to forget what happened to her.

“I just wish I'd have met them, to be honest.” Bonnie stated, he wanted to draw away from the awkward atmosphere but he also didn't want to continue to act like Bonnet didn't exist.

“Bonnet always talked about how much she wanted to meet you...” Bonnie's heart hurt as a fox spoke. “I'm sorry you never got the chance to meet her.”

“Thank you.” He wasn't sure if thanking them was the right course of action in the situation but he had to try. “I'm not giving up hope just yet.”

Mangle gave a tired smile, before picking their coffee up to go sit down at a table. Bonnie tried to resist the urge to cry. She wanted to meet me yet I didn't even know she existed, what the fuck? He suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder, turning to see it was Bondon standing beside him, ears flat and a worried expression on his face.

“Are you okay?” He asked, and Bonnie gave him the best smile he could muster.

“Yeah. I'm alright.” Bonnie felt a second hand on his other shoulder, this one Chica's, while Circe settled for placing her hand on his forearm. He almost wanted to laugh, as comforting as it was, he was sure to anyone else it must have looked very strange. “Things are a bit raw at the moment, but I'll move on.”

“Is this why Spring thinks he upset you yesterday? He... Brought up Bonnet.” Bondon questioned nervously, and Bonnie wavered his hand in a 'sort of' motion.

“I was more shocked than upset.” Bonnie reasoned, and before anyone could question what he meant by shocked he decided to interject. “It was only because of that I found out she existed.”

“Oh.” It was the only thing to escape the blue rabbit's mouth and Bonnie resisted the urge to start giggling at the way he'd said it, like his entire world view had been shattered by that single piece of information.

“We thought you knew.” Chica reasoned. “Didn't want to add any more to your plate when you're still mourning the loss of your uncle.”

“It's alright. I forgive you all... As long as ya'll do be a favour.” Bonnie shot them all a cheeky smile. “Don't be afraid to talk about her any more... I want to know her, even if at the moment, it has to be through other peoples memories of her.”

The three animals looked amongst each other. They all silently came to an agreement and nodded in unison.

“Of course.” Chica spoke for everyone. “I'm sure once you've broken down the walls, everyone will be happy to share those moments with you.”

“I know it'll make Spring happy.” Bondon chimed it, the smile on his face was gentle and his eyes shone with relief. Now is probably not the time but he has beautiful eyes... “He's been so sad since she disappeared, he'll love to be able to talk about her again.”

“I think it'll help everyone heal as well.” Circe nodded.

The four animals jumped as they heard the door behind them click open, revealing a bear who stood looking between them like he'd just walked into a private personal moment.

“Did... I miss something?” Goldie asked, and Chica immediately started laughing.

“Don't you always?” Chica tutted. “You'd miss your own birthday if I let you!”

“Hey!” Goldie gasped in fake offence. “I wouldn't forget my birthday! Your cake is way too good!”

This was the ice breaker so desperately needed after such a tender moment, as the animals fell about laughing at Goldie's blatant response. It's like I've known them forever.

“Anyway.” The bear continued, a grin of satisfaction on his face. “Bonnie, Circe, I'd like to talk to you both in my office if I may.”

 


 

Goldie had taken Bonnie and Circe back into his office. He'd been as excited as a child who'd just been offered candy when he told them they had both passed their trial with flying colours and had offered them full time jobs starting the next day. Both had accepted and soon Circe rushed off to go celebrate her new found employment with her parents. Bonnie had excused himself as well, though not to celebrate, he would do that later in the evening. He had a specific destination to visit first.

And so with a bouquet of flowers in hand, he'd made his way to Toleri's Wish Cemetery. Walking through rows of graves, some obviously had been visited regularly, others worn away by time and neglect.

Bonnie stood in front of the grave, staring down and admiring how lovingly cared for it was, especially compared to some of the other's next to it. Bonnie knelt down, removing a couple of dead flowers from the buried vase next to it before trying to neatly mix his own in. He sighed, staring at the marble grave itself, and the word's etched into it's face. 'Gerard Iommi, Beloved Father and Friend.'

The word 'father' almost stared back at him, like it was taunting him. It reminded him how little he'd known about his family. It was an accusing word, one that told Bonnie that despite their blood ties, the man who lay in the grave in front of him was nothing more than a stranger.

He thought back to the images of him as a baby, asleep in his uncles embrace. He remembered looking at them as a child and feeling a warmth he never seemed to get from his parents. He would have to go and look at them more closely now, maybe there would be a clue for one of the many mysteries that plagued his mind.

After all, there had to be a reason his parents never spoke to him after they moved. It seemed no matter who had been in the wrong, his family had some skeletons in their closet. He sighed, staring at the words as he got back up on his feet.

“Hi Uncle Gerard.” He started softly. There was no one else in the graveyard but he didn't wish to feel like he was disturbing the other graves around him. “Sorry it took this long to come and see you. It never felt like a good time. I didn't want to be that screw up nephew who just showed up after 20 years of no contact to leech off you.” He wiped a tear he felt drip down his cheek. “I won't be that screw up nephew any more. I promise.”

He rubbed his face furiously, the tears didn't seem to be stopping though.

“I promise.” He took one last look at the grave. “I'll come back soon. You haven’t been the best of me yet.”

Without much more though, he turned away, walking back the way he had come to the heavy metal gates he had come though. He took one more look at the graveyard, before making the final steps back down the gravel path.

 


 

Bonnie didn't have anywhere in particular he wanted to go. He decided to just let his feet take him wherever they felt like going. A good walk was what he needed right now, something to clear his head. He felt the gentle breeze hit his face, he closed his eyes and smiled, the air smelt so much fresher than in the city, but that would probably sound crazy to anyone who wasn't him.

He was brought out of his calm by the sound of shouting in front of him. His eyes snapping open into a frown he looked to see who caused the sounds. In front of him where four teenagers, two humans, a bear and a fox. They seemed to be having a play fight in the middle of the path. Bonnie smiled, he couldn't help but remember the days he and his high school friends used to skip school to do stupid things like play fight or try and push each other off the swings. He returned to his frown when he realised that skipping school was exactly what these kids had to have been doing given it was only early in the afternoon. Either way, he needed to get past them, so he slowly approached but they didn't seem to notice.

“Excuse me.” He said, all four froze and turned to look at him in horror. They must think I'm going to rat them out. “I need to get past.”

As what he said sank in, the four started to laugh in relief, getting off each other to move to the sides.

“Sorry bout that mister! Won't happen again!” One of the human girls spoke, she had bright red hair, worn in two pig tails.

“I'm sure it won't.” Bonnie said, smirking and rolling his eyes as he went to go past them. There was silence between the teenagers for a few seconds, but it seemed some message had been silently given to each of them.

“Uh. Sorry Mister!” The girls with the pig tails called out again, causing Bonnie to turn around and eye the teenagers suspiciously. “Uh. You. Um. You never saw us. Okay?”

“Ah.” Bonnie said with a sly smile. “You four are skipping school. I did wonder.” He turned back, hearing one of the other teenagers shriek something that vaguely sounded like 'Baby' before the Pig tailed girl called out again.

“Mister! P... Please! You didn't see us! Okay!” Bonnie turned to look at her, she and the fox looked equally as worried, while the bear looked like he was almost about to have a panic attack. The only one who didn't look worried was the other, blue haired, human girl, who looked positively bored with the entire situation.

Bonnie wasn't sure what to make of it all and now he was curious.

“Why didn't I see you?” He asked with a raised brow. The four teenagers looked at one another and the three others nodded at the red haired girl as if to give her the signal to tell him what they were doing.

“I... It's only for one lesson.” She said, shrugging trying to make out like it wasn't a big deal. “We... Just... Don't like the teacher.” She said blinking realising that Bonnie must only be a couple of years older than her and possibly within the age of being at high school recently. “It's uh... THAT teacher...”

“Sorry. I'm new in town, so THAT teacher doesn't mean much to me.” Bonnie laughed, but apparently this caught the bears attention as he passed by his friends.

“Uh... A... Are you Bonnie Iommi then?” The bear asked. His friends seemed to think those words over for a second before the three of them looked over at him in shock.

“Yes... And how might you know that.” He said crossing his arms.

“Uh. M... My mom... She's a solicitor and...”

Bonnie held his hand up to stop the bear. “Right, I get it. You're a Fazbear. Cousin to Freddy and Goldie right?”

“Yeah... I'm Rica.” He said, seemingly gaining a more confident stance than his earlier panicked expression would have eluded to. “Goldie already knows we skip out for his classes. He's uh... Caught us before... And promised not to tell my mom or dad...”

“Riigghhhtttt...” Bonnie wasn't sure how much he believed that, but he guessed it wouldn't hurt to ask.

“My mom and dad can't find out either!” The red haired girl interrupted “They'd kill me!”

“My mom wouldn't care, but my Dad and big sister would!” The fox exclaimed. Bonnie frowned, she looked almost like a miniature version of Mangle. Maybe Mangles her big 'sister'.

“Yeah my parent's won't give a fuck so do whatever.” The blue haired girl stated shrugging earning and loud “BALLORA!” from her friends. “What? It's true!”

“Please mister, please don't tell anyone.”

Before Bonnie could reply there was a shout from behind him, he turned back to see a rather dishevelled looking human man come running up the path, panting heavily as he approached Bonnie and the teens.

“Y... You four... I...” The human said between breathes doubling down clutching his chest. “Oh my god I'm never running again.” He tried to stand up, using Bonnie to lean against, though Bonnie didn't say anything to protest. “Right. Ha! You four need to go back to school right now.” He said his breathing becoming a little easier. “I'll cover you again, saying ya'll came to see me, but this is the last time you hear me?”

The four kids seemed to light up.

“Thank you Dr. Schmidt!” The four chorused. Dr Schmidt turned his head to look at Bonnie, he smiled slightly at the rabbit.

“Sorry... Thanks for letting me lean on you.”

“Your welcome.” Bonnie felt the doctor press himself off to stand on his own but Bonnie still held an arm to help the man steady himself.

“Right you four, go now. Sneak into the nurses office until I come get you out.” The four teenagers thanked the man again before running past them down the path apparently back to school. The man smiled apologetically at Bonnie. “Don't worry. I'll sort them out. They do this all the time. I saw them sneak past my window and made a mad dash to keep up with them.”

“Is it true Goldie Fazbear knows about this?” Bonnie questioned. Goldie did strike him as laid back but he wasn't sure he was THAT laid back.

“Yeah, I've talked to him about it myself.” The human shrugged. “He thinks the teacher in question is a creep, which is why he's okay with his lil cousin escaping him a few hours... Me...” The humans got a handkerchief out of his pocket to wipe his brow. “I put my concerns about him in years ago, but hey I'm just the school nurse so no one listens to me.”

“What's so bad about the guy?” Bonnie asked.

“Arguably nothing, he's not exactly done anything to anyone. Doesn't stop kids making rumours and kids getting nervous though.”

“Yeah guess not... When I was in high school me and my friends started a rumour about a human teacher that they ate live insects when no one was looking.” The human gave Bonnie a strange look and Bonnie smirked slightly. “I don't know why anyone believed it either but we still had to have an entire assembly about how said teacher did not in fact eat live insects.”

“So. Uh. Don't think we've met. I'm Doctor Mike Schmidt.”

“Bonnie Iommi.”

“Oh. Ger...” Mike stopped midway through the sentence. “Actually you've probably heard that already huh?”

“Only 100 times.” Bonnie laughed. “Don't worry. It's... Kind of nice everyone knew him so well.”

“Well I don't think I was as close to him as some people, but being the school nurse I delt with... Well..”

“Bonnet?” Bonnie questioned and Mike nodded his head. Funny, yesterday I didn't even know she existed, yet today I just can't stop running into people who want to talk about her.

“Yeah, sorry... Must be pretty hard to talk about right now.”

Bonnie nodded as he and the doctor started to slowly walk in the direction that the four teenagers had run off. Bonnie couldn't curb his curiosity at this point, and Mike being in a position of responsibility meant he may have a different outlook on Bonnet than anyone else Bonnie had so far talked to.

“I don't suppose you know any more about what happened to her than the rest of the town?”

“Not... Really. My Fiancé was the detective in charge of the investigation and as far as I know all the leads came up as dead ends.” He ran his had through his messy black hair. “It's considered a cold case now. He picks it back up every now and again when things get quiet, but he's never managed to come to a conclusion.”

“I see...” Bonnie tried to conceal his disappointment. “Is... Is it possible she ran away?”

“Could be, but I couldn't understand why.” Mike shook his head. “She was always so happy and loved life, loved school, loved her friends... She loved her father...”

“Well... I guess you know what they say about closed doors...” Bonnie tried to insinuate but Mike seemed to immediately disagree.

“I feel like I'd have picked up the signs. I'm a mandatory reporter, and anything suspect needs to be reported to CPS, even if they don't always do their job right.” There was an edge of bitterness about the last part of the sentence. “With kids and teenagers, they like to think they're good at hiding stuff like that, but they aren't. If something was going on at home for Bonnet, she was unusually good at hiding it.”

“I see.” Bonnie tried to wrap his thoughts around it. “Were there any suspects of potential kidnap.”

“Well. Yes and no. There were people of interest, but it seemed they were all had alibis or lack of evidence.” Mike shrugged. “I have my own suspicions but no proof.”

“Those are?” As Bonnie questioned Mike hesitated.

“Let's just say I noticed erratic behaviour from a certain individual after Bonnet's disappearance.”

Mike suddenly stopped walking and Bonnie looked at his surroundings suddenly realising they were at the back of a school, a chain link gate and fence separating the yard and the small trail they'd been following. He quickly opened the gate, getting a padlock out of his pocket.

“Anyway, I'm afraid I have to leave you here Mr. Iommi.” He shut the gate and put the padlock on. “If you have any more questions, try going to the station and asking for Detective Fitzgerald. I don't know if he can legally tell you much, but he'll tell you what he can.”

“Right. Thank you.” Bonnie stated, giving a small wave to Mike as the flustered man ran back up to the school building.

He stood for a few seconds, staring at the building. It was a large school for a small community, but he wondered if it hadn't always been a school, something about the architecture just seemed odd to him. Eventually, he turned back to the trail, thinking about what information Mike had given him.

It was unlikely that Bonnet ran away from home, from all accounts it seemed she had a perfect life, but Bonnie still hadn't got enough information to rule it out. Kidnap was looking likely, though wither it was someone who she knew or not wasn't clear. Just who was the person Mike suspected? He had mentioned putting in complaints about the teacher the four teenagers were avoiding. Were the complaints maybe about his apparent erratic behaviour?

There was also that one possibility Bonnie desperately wanted to avoid thinking of. That Bonnet was dead, either by accident, suicide or heaven forbid murder. Could her happiness been a mask to hide depression? Could she had simply been out for a walk and slipped somewhere no where anyone would think to look at her? Was there someone in the town who potentially hated her so much as to kill her? They were just as likely as everything else, even if Bonnie wanted to rule them out on sheer hope alone.

Every time I ask questions, I just get new ones rather than an answer.

Bonnie stopped in his walk, staring up at the clouds.

Maybe I need to dig deeper to get them. Maybe I need to be the one to solve the mystery of Bonnet Iommi once and for all.

I need to find her.

 


 

The small bell at the door chimed as Bonnie enter once again into the small book shop. I've got a new job. I deserve comic books! Not to mention I need to speak with Spring. Entering he looked around, once again Spring was behind the counter, only putting down his sketchbook long enough to see who entered, giving Bonnie a small smile and wave before covering his face again. Bonnie couldn't help but notice the Rabbit was blushing again, which possibly explained why he was desperate to hide his face.

“Oh, hey Bonnie!” He heard a familiar voice call to his right, as his eyes followed he saw Goldie standing there, smiling widely.

“Don't you have a cafe to be running?” Bonnie questioned between laughs, and thankfully Goldie seemed to realise he meant it teasingly and started to laugh.

“Ah, well, yes!” Goldie laughing, walking up to Bonnie with an armful of books. “Freddy asked if I could pop out and grab him some books for his studies though” He waved a psychology book in Bonnie's face. “I don't know if this is what he needs, but hey.”

“Yeah can't say I can help you there!” Bonnie laughed, before his mind suddenly fell back to a certain bear he'd met earlier. “Oh. Uh. Hey, this is gonna be weird, but I... Think I met a cousin of yours earlier... Uh... Rica?”

“Oh! Yes Rica's my cousin, how did you...” He seemed to paused for a second as if he was thinking something before his mouth clamped shut and he snorted. “He was skipping school with his friends again wasn't he?”

“Seems so.” Bonnie said, not sure what Goldie's reaction was. “Said you knew he did it, but figured I'd make sure.”

“Yeah. I do know.” He sighed, closing his eyes. “It's only for one lesson, to get away from a particular teacher... So I let them get away with it, but at the same time it does worry me...” Goldie reopened his eyes and bit his lip. “But then again, said teacher always was a creep. I'm kinda glad he has the sense to get out of there...”

“Mr. Afton?” Spring suddenly questioned, the first words he'd spoken since Bonnie had entered the shop, his face still red and he looked like he was quaking slightly.

“Yeah. That's him.” Goldie gave a small smile. “Good to know everyone's aware of how creepy he was.”

“Yeah... He... Um... He always gave me the creeps... Even Bonnet didn't like him, and she loved everyone...” His eyes suddenly widened as if realising what he'd said, mentioning Bonnet is Bonnie's presence, His ears drooping infront of his face. “I... Uh... S... Sorry!”

“It's alright Spring.” Bonnie said stepping forward. “Uh, actually I wanted to apologies to you actually.” Spring gave Bonnie a look as if to ask why Bonnie would owe him an apology. “I had a bit of a knee jerk reaction yesterday, it wasn't your fault. I'm sorry if I made you feel like it was.”

“O... Oh. It's okay!” Spring offered a smile, but Bonnie could still see a hint of sadness inside. “I was told it might be a sore subject... So...”

“It's okay, actually... I've kind of come to a conclusion on something and to be honest, you were the first person I wanted to tell.” Bonnie took another step towards Spring, the golden rabbit's face was confused and from the corner of his eye Bonnie could see Goldie arching an eyebrow in interest. “I want answers on Bonnet, and I've come to the realisation that I'm not going to get them unless I look for them...”

“You mean...” Spring started slowly.

“I'm going to try and find her.” Bonnie confirmed, Springs face was hard to read, but it was somewhere between shocked and relieved. “Seeing as you where her closest friend, I thought you should be the first to know.”

“Are y... you sure?” Spring questioned. “I... I mean, if you want to do it... I just don't want you to feel like y... you... HAVE to...”

“Spring's right.” Goldie suddenly chimed in, placing his hand on Bonnie's shoulder. “No one's expecting this of you.”

“I know.” Bonnie tried to smile at them. “I want to find her though. She's my family, even if we've never met. When I decided to move here, I had felt something calling to me... I think Bonnet was that feeling.”

There was silence for a few minutes between the three animals, but it wasn't uncomfortable, it seemed more contemplative, as if they were letting Bonnie's words sink in.

“And well... Bondon told me you'd probably love to tell me all about her sometime.” He shot Spring a kind smile. “Whenever you are ready, that is, I don't want you to feel pressured into it.”

Spring was quite for a few seconds looking down at the floor before finally making eye contact with Bonnie. “Thank you.” He said softly, it was almost a whisper. “I... I'll do whatever I... I can to help you.”

“I want to help as well.” Goldie affirmed. “I'm sure everyone will. I know you must feel like this town needs you, but I can't shake the feeling you need us just as much.”

“Well I mean...” Bonnie sighed, his eyes now firmly avoiding contact with the pair of golden animals. “I can't argue with that, seeing that I was living in a car until I moved here.”

There was no verbal reply, but a pair of arms wrapped around him, pulling him tightly into a comforting hug. Bonnie couldn't help but sob slightly, everyone had been so kind to him since he got there. He was used to the cold response of the city, everyone was too busy and important to deal with the emotions of a complete stranger. The cynical part of his mind wanted to write it off as just being the nephew of the community's most beloved member, they were only treating him that way because of who he was, while the less cynical part hoped that it was kindness for the sake of kindness alone.

After a few minutes of silent rumination in Goldie's embrace, Bonnie decided it was the latter.

Chapter Text

The morning had been as hectic as the morning before, the only difference being Bonnie and Circe were now officially members of staff, and just as the morning before, everything was running smoothly. As the morning crowd drifted out, yet again, Bonnie found that he and Bondon were once again joined by Chica and Circe, who occasionally went back into the kitchen when a customer who wanted a sandwich came it.

It was getting to early afternoon, when Spring came in, apparently having had a day off working at the book store, ordering a coffee and sitting in the corner, with a sketchbook. Bonnie decided not to disturb him, he looked oddly peaceful as he sat, his pencils and pens scratching away at the paper. Given how anxious he'd looked the past few meetings, it was a relief to see him like that.

Spring had been there around 15 minutes when the door opened, and two foxes entered, one being Mangle from yesterday and the other being a redish brown fox that Bonnie believed he hadn't met yet.

“Hiya Mangle!” Bondon cheerfully greeted once more.

“Good morning everyone!” They stated, starting a chorus of good mornings from the rest of the Golden Place Staff. “Oh. Bonnie, this is Caleb Fox.” They pointed at at other fox beside them. “We call him Foxy though. And Foxy, this is Bonnie Iommi and YES he's who you think he is before you say a thing... The poor guy's probably had enough of that to last a life time.”

Bonnie gave a snort of a laugh. “Thanks Mangle.” Before he turned his attention to Foxy. “Good to meet you.”

“All right mate? Good to meet you too!” The fox spoke a thick accent that Bonnie had never really heard before. The fox had seemingly no issues with English so it was obviously his first language but it was definitely not an American accent and didn't sound like it was Canadian and it didn't sound like any of the British or Irish accents he'd ever heard on the TV. Mangle started to howl with laughter.

“Aw man. I'm sorry your face.” They giggled leaning against Foxy who just stood with a smirk on face.

“Don't worry mate! I'm British. Not the kind you hear on telly either!” He laughed slightly “I'm from chavsville, we all speak like proper twat's.”

“I... Have no idea what that means.” Bonnie stated, only causing Mangle to laugh harder.

“I'd tell you that you get used to it.” Bondon said, elbowing Bonnie's arm slightly. “But you really really don't!”

“I get it, let's make fun o' the funny talkin' foreigner.” Foxy held his hands up defensively. “Least I can make a proper cuppa tea!”

“Oh those are fighting words!” Bondon suddenly shouted, turning around grabbing a tea bag off the shelf. “I'm going to make you the best cup of tea you've ever had!”

“If ya want a tip...” Foxy said teasingly “It helps to boil the water, not just make it hot!”

“Oh go sit down in the corner Mr. Fox!” Bondon turned slightly. “Mangle my dear, what would you like?” Mangle raised an eyebrow as if to say 'you already know' before Bondon laughed and nodded his head. “Coffee it is! I'll bring them over to you.” Mangle passed Bonnie their money before the pair of foxes walked off to sit at a table. As Bondon started to make the drink's he turned to Bonnie. “Oh hey, could you do be a favour and go see if Spring wants another drink?”

Bonnie agreed, going past the counter and making his way up to Spring's table, he tried to make It as obvious as he could that he was coming towards the rabbit, he didn't want to startle him and ruin his drawing after all. Spring looked up as Bonnie approached, offering the bigger purple rabbit a smile.

“Hey Spring, been told to ask if you want another drink?” Bonnie stated, reaching forward to take the used cup on the table.

“I'm okay at the moment, thank you.” The reply from the shy rabbit came, and Bonnie nodded happily in response. His eyes were suddenly drawn to Springs sketchbook, inside were many quick doodles, obviously drawings of people who he'd seen coming in or passing the cafe, but Bonnie's eyes quickly got drawn to one drawing in particular.

“Is that me?” He asked, staring down at the pencil sketch of a rabbit looking utterly perplexed. Springs ears drooped behind his back and he smiled sheepishly towards Bonnie.

“Uh. Y... Yes... S...Sorry.” He lent back slightly, looking a Bonnie as if he was trying to figure out how the rabbit felt about the drawing. “Just... the face you made when Caleb was speaking... it just...”

“It's amazing.” Bonnie said staring in wonder. “How long have you been drawing?”

“Well, I've always loved art... But... I only really started taking it seriously uh... about... 4 years ago.” That...seems to overlap with Bonnet disappearing... Maybe he threw himself into art as a way to cope? “I'd really love to become a comic artist in the future, but...” He looks down nervously at his drawings, one hand absent-mindedly going to rub his chest. “Well I'd probably need a degree...”

“How come you didn't go college?” Bonnie asked, and the smaller rabbit smiled back thought it looked more like a grimace.

“Well... When I finished school... I wasn't sure what I wanted to do... and... Well. It wasn't a good time for me, so my family decided we should put it off...” Thinking about it him finishing school would have overlapped with Bonnet's disappearance as well... Ouch. “Now... I just... Don't really know how I'd go about going for it, y'know?”

“Well, a degree isn't everything, especially in the world of art.” Bonnie looked back down at Springs drawings. There was something so expressive and excited and above all beautiful about them. Bonnie blinked a sudden thought coming to his mind. “Have you ever thought about trying to run a web comic?”

Spring blinked. “N... No.” He stared thoughtfully at his drawings for a few seconds. “That might actually be a good starting place...” He considered, his eyes were fixed to his drawings for a few seconds before he looked back up and Bonnie with a wide grin. “Thanks Bonnie. I might just do that.”

“No problem, so long as you promise to sign all future comics I buy from you for the foreseeable future!” He flashed the rabbit a cheeky grin and in return the rabbit tutted slightly but returned the expression. Bonnie suddenly jumped as he felt a hand touch his shoulder. Turning to see who's it was, he found Goldie standing next to him.

“Is everything okay?” Goldie asked. He's smiling so he can't be upset with me, but just in case.

“Sorry. Everything's fine I just got a bit carried away.” Goldie laughed at this reply.

“Don't worry about it!” He smiled. “It's always nice to have a chat with the customers, don't apologies for that.” Bonnie felt relieved “What were you talking about?”

“Oh. Spring drew a picture of me. I was complimenting it.” As Bonnie asked, Spring held out the book for Goldie to look at himself. Spring's was once again starting to blush.

“Wow... You've imported so much since high school.” He looked up into Spring's eyes. “And that's saying something because you were already incredible in high school...”

Spring seemed to make a small squeak sound as he pulled the sketchbook back to his chest in a hug. “I... Thank you...”

“Y'know I still have that painting you did of me n' Freddy for the art show!” Goldie suddenly exclaimed and somehow Spring's face went even more red than it had previously been. I think I'm starting to see a pattern here...

“Y... You do?” Spring sounded a strange mix of flattered and mortified by this piece of information.

“Of course! I absolutely love that painting!” Goldie suddenly placed his hand on Spring's shoulder and the poor rabbit looked like he was about to explode. “You captured mine and his relationship in a way I never would have thought was possible! Actually...” Goldie's face looked like he'd just thought of something. “Pa was sayin' something a while ago about how he wanted to commission some paintings from a local artist of the town and it's inhabitant's. Uh. Celebrate the community! I'm sure he'd be mighty pleased if you took part! If you're interested naturally?”

“Yes!” Spring suddenly managed to blurt out. “I mean... Sorry... Yes... Yes I'd be very interested! I'd love to!”

Goldie chuckled softly, getting out a small business card. “I'm glad about that, here's Pa's business card. Just give him a call and tell him I told you about the art commissions, and he'll be able to give you the details and the numbers!” As Spring took the business card, Goldie looked like he suddenly remembered something. “Oh. Damn. I was going to take the banking.” He laughed softly. “Sorry I've got to rush off! But I hope we hear from you!”

As Goldie rushed out the shop, Bonnie turned to Spring and elbowed him lightly. “See! I'd say you have a fruitful art career ahead of you!” When he got no reply, he frowned. “Spring?”

“He... Kept my painting...” Spring seemed almost dazed as he stared at the business card. Given his shyness I wonder how he'll fair giving Goldie's dad a call.

“Are you okay?” Bonnie asked concerned shaking Spring lightly and breaking him out of his daze. Spring look embarrassed.

“Yeah, sorry.” Spring gave him a small smile. “I... Think I'd better make a phone call...”

“Say no more! Good luck!”

As Spring started the fumble around with his phone, Bonnie walked away smiling. Things really did come together sometimes.


 

The rest of the day had gone smoothly for Bonnie and company. Spring had rushed out soon after he'd made the phone call, apparently Mr. Fazbear was very interested in knowing more about Spring's art so had asked him to bring some examples to show him. Mangle and Foxy left soon after, with Foxy jokingly complaining about 'bloody yanks can't make a propa' cuppa', and Mangle almost dying of laughter.

The day was coming to a close, and once the cafe was sufficiently tidy, everyone piled out as Goldie locked up, saying their goodbyes and all walking their separate ways. That was until Bonnie heard Bondon shout for him.

“Hey Bonnie hold up!” Bondon gently jogged up to Bonnie's side.

“Something wrong?” Bonnie asked, rather concerned until the other rabbit shook his head.

“No nothing wrong, uh... Just I was wondering.” Bondon suddenly looked like a child who'd done something naughty. What's he up to? “Just. Y'know we're gonna be working together a lot, and... well. Uh. I'd... Like to get to know you better. Like... Be friends. I guess... So... Wondering if you wanted to hang out with me...” His face suddenly scrunched up. “Uh, that is if you're not busy... I mean you did just move here I guess you need time to put things away...”

“Ah, No. I... Don't really.” Bonnie shrugged. “I didn't exactly own much before coming here...” He stared at Bondon for a second, he couldn't make out what exactly the blue rabbit would get out of something like this. I won't find out if I refuse. “What did you have in mind?”

Before Bonnie knew it, he was following Bondon down the streets of Toleri's Wish, not entirely sure were the other rabbit was taking him, but he decided to offer him some trust. He's not exactly big enough to be a serial murderer. Soon, the two rabbit's reached the destination that Bondon obviously had in mind. He found himself in front of a small home, adorned with flowers and other plants, with Bondon taking out a set of keys and clicking the door open. As soon as he opened it a jar, Bonnie was met with the absolutely divine smell of what he could only assume was home made pumpkin pie.

“BONDY'S HOME!” A high pitched voice shouted from somewhere inside and a flash to gold suddenly flew towards the door into Bondon's arms. Upon closer inspection, it was a small rabbit kit, who looked almost exactly like a miniature version of Spring, and Bondon picked up into his arms.

“Hey Plushie! How was school today?” Bondon asked.

“Ugh. Booorrriiinnnggggg. But Agatha wrote this cool poem today and...” The kit stopped as he noticed Bonnie standing behind Bondon. He shyly dipped his head onto Bondon's shoulder as the elder rabbit laughed.

“Oh Plush, you're not being shy are you?” Bondon looked back and Bonnie. “Don't worry little kit. He's a friend!” Bondon jerked his head in a motion to tell Bonnie to come in. “Come in Bonnie, make yourself at home!”

“Right.” Bonnie walked in through the door, closing it gently behind him and taking his shoes off. The little rabbit kit eyed him nervously and suspiciously, Bonnie tried to smile and wave at him but it caused the kit to shrink further into Bondon's arms.

Bonnie followed Bondon through the hall into a small but obviously very well loved kitchen, where two more rabbits, one with sky blue almost white fur and the other with almost pitch black fur, appeared to be cooking. The smell of the pumpkin pie hit Bonnie and he almost melted from how inviting it was.

“Hey Dad, Shab. I'd like you to meet someone!” Bondon suddenly called out while setting the kit onto a dining room table. Both of the rabbit's turned around, both sets of eyes landed immediately on Bonnie and he started to feel nervous. “This is Bonnie!” Bondon said Pointing at Bonnie, then next pointing at the sky blue rabbit “And that is my Dad, James.” His hand then pointed at the Black rabbit “And my big brother Shab.” Before taking his hand and placing it on the kits head and ruffling his fur. “And this is Plushie, the absolute cutest fluffiest bundle of a little brother ever known.”

“Boonnnddyyy...” Plushie whined quietly, obviously embarrassed by his elder brothers declaration of his cuteness. Bonnie couldn't help but giggle slightly, given that it only further made Plushie look quite frankly adorable.

James suddenly stepped forward, offering a hand to Bonnie to shake. Oh, hey, I haven’t done that at all today until now.

“It's nice to meet you!” James handshake was probably the strongest and most confident he'd come across so far. “When Bondon told us you moved into town, it was such a relief.” He sighed. “I'm glad you decided to join our town.”

“I'm glad as well.” Bonnie wondered briefly what he'd meant by him moving being a relief, but he chose not to chase that at the moment. “I've... Been made to feel more welcome than I ever imagined.”

“Well I'm sure you're already aware of how beloved your uncle was to us.” Bonnie nodded along with what James spoke. “It would just seem wrong not to extend a welcoming arm to his kin.”

Before the conversation could go further, the front door down the corridor clicked open, revealing Spring and yet another rabbit with cream coloured fur. Spring looked surprised to see Bonnie standing in the kitchen doorway and waved slightly at him causing Bonnie to wave back. The other rabbit looked confused at him for a second before apparently figuring it out.

“Oh. You wouldn't happen to be Bonnie would you?” She asked as she gently ushered Spring forward down the corridor. Bonnie positioned himself so he was further inside the kitchen to let them in.

“Yes, that would be me...” He said nodding.

“It's good to meet you, both Bondon and Spring have been absolutely singing your praises since you got into town.” As she and Spring entered the now rather crowded kitchen, she reached forward to shake his hand. “I'm Paige, their mother... and it looks like you've made acquaintance with my husband and their brother's already.”

“Guy's we're crowding him.” The black rabbit, Shab, said for the first time since Bonnie had got there.

“Bondon, Spring, how about you show him to the lounge until me and Shabby are finished dinner!” James said proudly, and apparently the twins agreed, linking arms with Bonnie on both sides and guiding him into an equally cosy space with a couple of couches.

“Well...” Bonnie stated, completely unsure of what was happening right at that moment. “Your... Family seems nice.”

“Sorry.” Bondon stated, looking slightly embarrassed, letting go of Bonnies arm and letting himself falls back onto a couch. “I probably should have warned you...”

“No it's okay... I guess I didn't realise our relationship was at the point where I get to meet your parents.” Bonnie said in a jovial tone, giving Bondon a smirk.

“Hey you were the one who wanted me to propose to you yesterday!” The pair laughed, but Spring stood confused, having not been privy to the madness of the previous mornings breakfast service. “I just thought... Y'know... You might be lonely. You're living on your own after all... Why not invite you for some company...”

“I understand... Thanks.”

Bondon gently patted the space on the sofa next to him, and Bonnie took the hint, sitting down next to him. He took a second to take in his surroundings. There were photos of the family everywhere, little nick nacks that had obviously been brought on holidays, and several paintings hung on the wall that had obviously been created by Spring. It was so warm, inviting, full of life and love. Everything Bonnie's parents home had never been. He couldn't help but feel a little bit jealous.

Suddenly, his mind went back to the paintings, and their creator who now sat on the couch across from himself and Bondon. “Hey, Spring, how did it go with Mr. Fazbear?”

“Oh!” Spring suddenly brightened up, apparently pleased that Bonnie had remembered. “Yes! It went really well! As soon as he realised I was the one who'd painted that picture of his son's he was absolutely adamant about getting me on board.” Springs smile was the most natural it had ever been since Bonnie had met him. “He's given me some of the details but he's leaving me to be as creative as I can be!”

“Wow that's great Spring!” Bondon suddenly chimed in. He was beaming, clearly proud of his brother. “Have you had any ideas of what you want to do yet?”

“Well.” Spring started, rubbing his chin slightly. “I always like capturing little moments between people. A hand shake, a hug... People visibly feeling emotions. So I was thinking about doing studies, and then working to make paintings out of them... A... Uh, bit like I did for the art show!”

“The one Goldie mentioned still having earlier?” Bonnie asked and nodded in response, there was a soft intake of air from beside him and Bondon looked like he was going to explode from excitement.

“Goldie still has the painting you did of him?” He asked and once Spring respond by nodding once again Bondon let out a small squeal. “Oh my god! That's so cute!” A nervous laugh escaped Spring's throat. “I told you, he really does think the world of you!”

“I'd say.” Bonnie added. “The way he spoke about the painting was like it was his most prized possession...”

“See! Even Bonnie sees it and he's been here 3 days!”

“I... Well.” Spring hesitated, biting his lip.

“Ask him to go to dinner with you.” Bondon said with a earnest tone to his voice. Well, I guess that explains all the blushing. Spring has a crush on Goldie.

“Or...” Spring gained a devious smirk on his face. “I could invite him home and make sure Mom and Dad like him.”

“Well I hope your parent's like me.” Bonnie replied, immediately knowing exactly what Spring was hinting. “If they didn't it'd make the wedding rather awkward.”

“I haven’t even got the ring yet.” Bondon tried to keep a straight face but was terrible at trying to hide his laughter. “Was I that obvious?”

“No.” Spring said with a satisfied smile on his face. “Just twin intuition.”

“Well they do say twins have a psychic connection.” A voice joined from the door to the kitchen, as Shab stood looking over at his younger siblings. “That said... Dinner is ready!”

This was all the dark furred rabbit had to say to make both Bondon and Spring practically leap off their chairs and run towards the door. Shab laughed dryly.

“Some things never change.” Looking over to Bonnie with a smile over his face. “C'mon. There's enough even for you too.”

It was if those words put a spell on Bonnie and he himself got off the chair and followed the black rabbit into the kitchen where all the rabbits either sat or stood around the table, some talking about their days, some just drooling in anticipation for food. Bonnie stood in awe.

I've never had anything like this before...


 

 

 

Dinner with the Hendrix's had been entertaining. Everyone had gone out of their way to make him feel welcome and to make sure he went fed. The Pumpkin pie that James and Shab had made was absolutely divine and Bonnie thought he would definitely have to put it in his 'top 10' of meals he'd eaten in his life. The conversation had been light and joyful as well, everyone celebrating Spring's success with his art, and seemingly celebrating Bonnie's honorary addition to the family.

After the pie had been utterly devoured by the hungry rabbits, Bondon had excused himself and Bonnie from the table to take Bonnie up into his room. Bonnie wasn't sure what exactly he expected from Bondon's room, but at the same time what he got was somehow not surprising to him. It looked sort of like a stereotypical teenagers den, band posters plastered the walls, cloths hanging on pieces of furniture and strewn on the floor. The pair sat down on Bondon's bed, Bondon tucking his feet under neigh him.

“So...” He started. “I... Have something to admit... I may have had an ulterior motive to this...” Bonnie looked at Bondon, clearly showing he was not surprised to hear this. “I know, I know... I wasn't subtle with it but...” Bondon looked clearly concerned. “You... Don't have to say anything if you don't want to but... Well... Spring mentioned yesterday that you... You said you'd been living in your car before you got here... Is... Is that true?”

“Yeah. It's true.” Bonnie didn't see the point in lying about it. Bondon and Spring had to have been concerned about it. “I... Had a bad argument with my parents, they kicked me out... All my high school friends either got out the city or were just... not the people I once knew. So... I didn't really have much choice other than my car.” He blinked, thinking about the REST of the story. “Then I got let go from my job... and, it looked like my life was going to shit, basically... that is until I got the call about Uncle Gerard...”

“What... What could possibly have been so bad... that your parents kicked you out for it?” Bondon looked confused and hurt. The rabbit clearly had a good relationship with his parents and his siblings, the idea that someone who was supposed to care deeply for you would abandon you was not something he'd ever had to worry about.

“Well... From what I remember of it, they didn't like that I'd set up my own bank account... Apparently to them that meant I obviously was trying to save up to 'escape' them so if I wanted out that badly, they'd just throw me out.” Bonnie hugged himself briefly, remembering the anger in his parents eyes. “I think they thought I'd come crawling back and relent in a couple of weeks but if I inherited anything from my parents, it's being stubborn and I lasted out a couple of months before I made the call to come here.”

“No parent should do that to their child.” Bondon seemed so sad. “I'm so sorry that happened to you.”

“Hey, it's alright!” Bonnie said, desperate to lighten the mood and relieve the other rabbit's worry's. “If it hadn't of happened, I may not be here now! Sure, it was a terrible couple of months, but I made it thought the other side. I mean it's been a crazy few days, finding out that I had a cousin I never knew, meeting everyone and finding out just how loved my uncle was... but... I had a feeling this decision would change my life, and I know it's going to change it for the better!”

“Well... If you ever get lonely... Or... it all just get's to you... You now know where we live...” Bondon smiled “Mom and Dad would love to adopt another son... I'm sure!”

Bonnie laughed. “They seem the sort of people who'd welcome anyone with open arms... it means a lot.” He paused for a moment before smirking to himself. “Although I get the feeling it's a Son-In-Law they might be in for.”

“It really is that obvious isn't it?” Bondon whined playfully. “I'm weak, I can't resist such a handsome smile.”

“Ah, now you have told me your weakness I will never stop smiling at you” Bonnie teased while Bondon responded with a pathetic moan.

“My one weakness, how could you! You brute!” Bondon lightly pushed Bonnie shoulder causing both to dissolve into a fit of giggles. They stayed like that for a few seconds, before Bondon continued, this time in a more serious tone. “I've never grown fond of someone so fast. It's exciting but at the same time...” Bondon trailed off, his eyes fixed across the room.

“Scary?” Bonnie questioned and Bondon nodded with a sad smile.

“I mean, we're obviously attracted to each other... but... I have this fear that's all it is...”

“Hey. It's all right. I get it. We only met 2 days ago, it's natural.” Bonnie reached forward, placing his hand gently on Bondon's shoulder, causing the blue rabbit to turn his head back to Bonnie's direction. “These things take do take time and you don't want to rush into things, I understand. We can be friends for as long as you need before your sure if this is what you really want.”

“What if we decide... We won't work out...”

“It's a possibility. But even if we decide we're better just as friends... I'll have still gained an amazing friend out of everything.”

Bondon was silent, allowing Bonnie's words to sink in, his ears dropping behind his head. He looked at Bonnie and a small smile emerged on his lips, this time however, it was a warm and happy smile.

“You really are a great guy. You'll make someone really happy one day...” Bondon's suddenly leaned in. “Well, if I don't decide to snap you up first!” He winked at Bonnie.

“I guess I just have to keep cheesily flirting with you until I win your heart.”

“You'd better mister!” Bondon crossed his arms “If we don't make everyone else tell us to get a room we aren't doing this crush thing right.”

“Speaking of crushes, I have a question actually.” Bondon leaned back from Bonnie with a sceptical look. “... Spring has a crush on Goldie doesn't he?”

“You really need to ask?” Bondon rolled his eyes and his body slouched forward, returning to a neutral stance. “I think being obvious about crushes is one of those weird twin things me and Spring share.”

“Sounds like it's not just a one sided crush either.” Bonnie lent back on his arms.

“Oh Goldie is completely smitten.” The sides of Bondon's mouth quirked up into a small smile. “I mean, Goldie's one of those people who can just go talk to anyone but he always seemed to make the extra effort with Spring. He's always tried to be there for Spring, especially after the accident and Bonnet's disappearance.”

“Accident?” Bonnie asked tilting his head slightly.

“Ah, Spring's not told you about it yet?” Bonnie shook his head at the question. “Well, the detail's will probably be better coming from Spring, but I'll just say he's had a really bad time over the years, and just before middle school he had an accident that almost killed him.”

“Shit. I... Is everything okay now?” Bonnie felt his whole body go rigid. I mean, I knew something had to have happened to him given the scars, but I'd have never believed it was from something quiet so bad.

“It seem's so.” Bondon replied in a surprisingly chipper manner. “It was dicey for a very long time, and he still has what we've coded as 'bed days', but he's made amazing progress.”

“That's a relief at least.” Bonnie relaxed his body again. “Though, If you're right about Goldie I'm surprised he hasn't done anything about it himself actually. He seems like he'd have no issue asking someone out.”

“I think...” Bondon lent to one side, his eyes rolling up to look at the ceiling. “I think Goldie just isn't sure if he'd be overstepping some mark if he asked or cause Spring any unnecessary stress. Spring won't ask for obvious reasons...”

“I have noticed he's very... Anxious.”

“Yeah. It stems partially from trauma and partially from highschooler's being bullies!” Damn, Spring was bullied on top of everything else? Poor guy. “Trust me, the way he is now is a huge improvement from his last year in high school.”

“He didn't have Bonnet for company any more I guess?” Bonnie frowned.

“Yeah. That and Goldie graduated the year before us. After Bonnet disappeared, I tried to be there for him but it was hard when we had only a handful of lessons together. At least the year before the last year If I couldn't be there I knew Goldie was looking out for him.” Bondon sighed placing his hands over his face. “After Goldie left Spring grew more and more withdrawn and detached. I tried to be there as best I could, even considered giving up band just so I could be there for him but he told me he'd never forgive me if I gave up something I loved so much.”

“I can understand that...” Bonnie nodded to himself. “He didn't want to feel like a burden.”

“In that respect I've really gotta thank you Bonnie.” Bonnie frowned and stared at Bondon who was giving him and small hopeful smile. “You've been so patient with him, there's very few people who are.” It's sad that is something that I need to be thanked for. “And thanks for being so up front about wanting to talk with him about Bonnet. I know that means the absolute world to him. He told me how you want to try find her, and I want you to know I'm beside you all the way.”

“Thank you.” Bonnie returned the smile, he felt a strange warmth come over him. “I just hope I can find some answers.” I just hope I can find her. “Anyway. The real question is, do we let Spring and Goldie keep flirting around their mutual crush or do we maybe give them both a gentle nudge?”

“I think it needs more than a gentle nudge.” Bondon deadpanned, his smile having morphed into a smirk, knowing exactly what Bonnie was suggesting. “I think they need a good hard push in the right direction.”

“Well then.” Bonnie rubbed his hands. “Look's like we'll have to do some plotting.”

“Hm. How about...” Bondon looked devious for a second. “You come over on Sunday. Cafe's closed so we both get the day off. Then we can both speak to him about Goldie somewhere he's comfortable with... And... Maybe Bonnet too, if you're ready for that.”

“This sounds like a plan.” Bonnie nodded. “If you're family doesn't mind having me, that is.”

“Ah don't worry.” The blue rabbit waved his hand dismissively. “I don't think there will be any problems, but we can ask before you leave.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

There was a silence between the two rabbits for a few minutes, a comfortable one. One in which both were secure with their feelings. For Bonnie it was companionship and knowing that there was someone to care for him. He couldn't say for sure what it was for Bondon, but he hazarded a guess it was the knowledge that the larger purple rabbit was safe now, and that he was accepting of both his feelings and his that some of his concerns were answered.

“So. You were in band?” Bondon's ear's twitched at the mention. “What did you play?”

“Guitar.” Bondon suddenly bounced off the bed and walked over to where his desk was and from underneath pulling out two guitar cases. Bonnie couldn't help but clap and rub his hands together.

“Ah. Always good to meet another guitarist.” Bondon looked over to him with a surprised look on his face. “Got my first at 8... My current one is sat in it's case at home, last few days I haven’t had the chance to pick it up.”

“Well in that case...” Bondon picked up both cases, walking back up to the bed and offering one forward to Bonnie, who stared at the blue furred rabbit in confusion. “C'mon man. You can't tell me you play guitar and expect to get out of having a jam session.”

Bonnie didn't verbally reply, just smirked and took the offered case as Bondon perched on the bed beside him. Slipping the guitar out of it's case, Bonnie noted the craftsmanship that went into the cherry red finish and just how well it had been cared for. Beside him, Bondon had already removed the case from the guitar he'd designated to himself, and he began to strum a gentle tune.

Bonnie closed his eyes, in his mind he pictured himself at 8 when his then music teacher gifted him the guitar for his birthday. It was one of the earliest times in his life Bonnie remembered feeling like someone out there cared about him. As the happy memory faded, the sweet tune Bondon played entered Bonnie's ears, his own fingers instinctively playing a counter melody, not the same as what Bondon played but it didn't clash. The two tunes naturally complimented each other, intertwining and together making something pure and beautiful.

Bonnie never wanted it to end.


 

The walk back home was pleasant. James had offered to drop him off, but Bonnie had gratefully declined. The walk would do him good, allow him to ruminate on his thoughts. Thoughts on what his near future held.

Bonnet was a mystery that he didn't see himself solving straight away, that could take months. But there were smaller things he could start doing, problems he could start solving. It seemed that had been his uncle's place in the community, the man everyone could go to about their problems, and he felt comfortable about continuing that tradition. Bonnie had always been the emotional rock in his past friendship groups, it always seemed he just gravitated to a position of compassion.

Sounds like I really take after Uncle Gerard... Maybe that's why my parent's hated me as well as him.

Bonnie's relationship with his parents had always been rocky, the fact he always tried to be kind and loving to everyone he met seemed to grate on them. They'd told him how being nice didn't get anyone anywhere, that he would only get a place in life if he was ruthless and stepped over the little guys. Bonnie had replied that if that was how it was, he was happy to never become anything if it meant holding out a hand and helping the little guy up.

They'd grounded him for a week for talking back to them.

But it had never dampened Bonnie's philosophy. Sure he was sarcastic and was sure sometimes his jokes went over peoples head's, but when it came down to it he was always there when someone needed him most.

As he was walking, he took his phone out of his pocket. His first port of call was changing his wall paper. Currently it was just some picture he'd found off the internet. Going to his pictures he clicked the latest picture, a selfie of him and Bondon that had been taken soon after they'd started their jam session. He smiled. Bondon was something special, the guy had invited Bonnie to join his family when really he needn't have done anything short of just interacting with Bonnie at work.

He quickly clicked the settings to set it as both his lock and his regular wall paper. He knew someone would see it eventually and question it, but he didn't really care. Plus It gave him an angle to further tease Bondon about their obvious attraction to one another. I mean, he IS my type, but I don't mind taking it slow. Plus the flirting is the best bit of building up to these things.

After this was done, he went to the notes application on his phone. He wanted to start making a list of things he wanted to help do around the town, people who needed his help, or even just places to go and see and do with people. It was a bucket list of sorts he guessed. He started typing.

'Bonnie's to-do list;

  1. Find out more about Uncle Gerard

  2. Find out more about Bonnet

  3. Find Bonnet

  4. Help Spring to admit his crush to Goldie'

It felt like a strange jump from finding a missing girl to getting someone to admit feelings for another person but he just guessed that was the nature of making a list like this.

As he started up the small dirt path that lead to his home, he slipped his phone back into his pocket, only to look up and be face to face with a brown bear. He was smaller than either of the Fazbear's he'd met, with bright red rosy cheeks. The bear blinked as if surprised by Bonnie's presence.

“Uh. Can I help you?” Bonnie asked nervously. The bear didn't look threatening but he did wonder what he could possibly want here.

“Are... You the new owner of his home?” The bear asked, there was a tinge of nerves in his voice.

“Yes. I'm Bonnie Iommi, and who might you be?” Bonnie held out his hand to shake hands for what felt like the 100th time since he moved in 2 days ago. The bear hesitated but eventually took the hand and have a quick shake before returning to normal.

“M... My name is Alfred... I... Uh... Live next door.” The bear wrung his hands in a manner that just screams 'I have some from of anxiety' to Bonnie. “M... My parents realised we hadn't said Hi yet, so sent me round to... uh... meet you. But then you weren’t in and I...”

“Ah. Sorry, I'd been invited to someone's house but...” Bonnie pointed towards his small home. “If you'd like to come in for a bit, since I'm here now...”

“Oh... No... No that's okay! I don't want to intrude!”

“Nonsense. I insist...” A thought hit Bonnie as he spoke. “Uh, though I should warn you I don't have much in the way of furniture yet.”

It took another few minutes of convincing the bear he was definitely not unwanted or unwelcome in the house to get him to the front steps, and then another couple to convince him to actually make his way in and sit down on the admittedly not very comfortable couch before going to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee for the both of them.

As Bonnie exited the kitchen, he watched the bear, who was unaware that Bonnie was standing in the doorway. Alfred's leg was bouncing up and down and he was taping his fingers rhythmically on his thighs, and his torso gently rocked back and forth, though Bonnie wouldn't have noticed the last bit if he hadn't been looking and it. Bonnie gently cleared his throat, causing Alfred to turn his attention.

“Sorry it took so long. I was trying to find the cups.” Bonnie gently chuckled as he approached Alfred, holding out a cup of coffee. “And sorry again about the lack of furniture.”

“O... Oh no that's okay.” Alfred took the coffee from Bonnie's outstretched arm and shifted slightly away when Bonnie sat down next to him.

“So... How long have your family lived in Toleri's Wish?” Bonnie knew what he was asking was just small talk and mindless fluff but he figured it would be the easiest way to let Alfred to get comfortable.

“Uh...” Alfred took a long sip of coffee. “Actually.” Alfred bared his teeth in what looked like he was trying to smile. “I guess the easiest way to put it is... Um...” Alfred took yet another sip of coffee and his eyes were focused on everything but Bonnie's face. “My surname is Toleri.”

Bonnie paused as he let the realisation sink in. “Toleri as in Toleri's Wish?” Alfred nodded his head. “Oh. So. Your family founded the town then?”

“S... Something like that.” Alfred laughed nervously. “But me and my parent's are the only Toleri's here any more...” Alfred shifted in his seat as if he was trying to get comfortable. “We aren't really involved with the politics either now. We're just a regular family who share's the name.”

“I see.” Bonnie couldn't help but wonder if this was by choice or if something had happened that caused that to happen. “It's still kind of cool you get to be able to say your part of a founding family I guess... If I'd been you I'd have used that to tease my friends no end.”

“O... oh...” Alfred seemed to clam up. “I... Uh... I don't have any friends to do that with so...”

Bonnie felt his face drop and his heart sink at that statement. “I'm sorry to hear that.”

“Oh no. I... It's fine.” Alfred suddenly seemed to realise that was the wrong thing to say. “Uh. Studying is... More important right now I guess. I... I have the rest of my life to make friends.”

Bonnie silently nodded but he wasn't convinced by the bear's words. Everyone needs at least one friend right? I couldn't imagine growing up without mine. “What are you studying?” He decided to question instead.

“O... Oh Psychology.” The brown bear seemed completely relieved that Bonnie had moved the conversation on. Bonnie's mind flashed back to the day before, and a pile of psychology books in golden furred arms. I wonder.

“Oh. D'you know Freddy Fazbear then? I think he's studying Psychology too.”

“U... I... In passing.” Alfred looked puzzled as to why it was relevant. “I mean... He's in most of my classes.”

“Fair enough, it was just a realisation.” Bonnie watched as Alfred once again brought the cup to his mouth causing Bonnie to raise an eyebrow. The cup's empty... “What made you want to study Psychology anyway?”

“O... I... Guess I just find it fascinating really.” Alfred tried to shrug like it was not big deal but the movement was so over exaggerated Bonnie couldn't help but wonder if there was actually more to it. “A... Anyway. I really think I should be going now... I... I've already taken up enough of your time.”

“Are you sure?” Bonnie asked as the bear started to stand up.

“Yeah... Like I said I've taken up enough of your time I... I'm sure you have stuff to do.”

Bonnie sighed, and stood up after the bear. It was a very quick chat, by Bonnie's standards anyway, but he could tell the bear was extremely uncomfortable and forcing him to stay in that situation would just make things worse. Bonnie walked over to the door to the hall, where the bear's coat and shoes were discarded.

“Well, it was nice meeting you anyway Alfred.” Bonnie spoke watching Alfred trying to get his shoes on in a quick manner, but he was fumbling with the motion a bit. “Please feel free to stop by again, uh... Next time I'll hopefully have better furniture.”

“Oh. Sure.” Alfred nodded as he took his coat and put it over him in a far more graceful manor than he'd put his shoes on. “Uh, feel free to pop on over to ours as well... My Ma and Pa would like to say hi.”

“I'll be over sometime in the week then.” Bonnie laughed softly as he opened his front door for the bear.

The pair exchanged farewells before Alfred, exited the door and powerwalked his way off down the driveway of Bonnie's property. Bonnie watched, partially amused and partially confused. As he closed the door, she slowly brought his phone out of his pocket, flicking it unlocked. I wonder if his parent's sent him round because they're worried about him having no friends, or if they're just oblivious to his discomfort.

Still...

He quickly brought up his to do list as he turned back down the hall, and quickly added to the end '5. Go round to Alfred's house'.

Once he was back in the living room alone, he once more dropped down onto the couch, lying down across it's whole length. I definitely need a new one, he thought as his hand reached for the bag of comic books he'd brought. Quickly looking through them, he picked his chosen comic, an issue of Manbat from a story arc he remembered enjoying, and just lay there, letting the images and words take his mind away from everything.

Chapter Text

Bonnie landed on the floor with a thud, his eyes shot open as he looked around in surprise and shock at what had just happened. Surveying his surroundings, he realised he was still in his lounge, only now on the floor rather than on his couch and his issue of Manbat lay innocently on the floor. I must have fallen asleep. He quickly gathered his composure and glanced at his phone, seeing it flash up that it was 9am or there about. Damn I really overslept as well didn't I?

Bonnie felt a small twinge of panic as he suddenly realised 9am, shit aren't I supposed to be at work? He pulled up his phones contacts, quickly phoning the number he'd got for the Golden Place and letting it ring. After a couple of rings, a familiar voice answered.

“Hello, Golden Place, This is Goldie speaking how can I help you?” Bonnie felt his heart race, Shit he's already there.

“Hey Goldie, It's Bonnie. I'm really sorry I'm running late, I'll be there as soon as I can.” There was silence on the other end before finally he heard a hearty chuckle on the other end.

“Bonnie...” Goldie started, obviously trying to hide his amusement. “You realise it's your day off today right?”

Bonnie blinked a couple of times. “Oh yeah...” Bonnie vaguely recalled the conversation. “Today and Sunday right?”

“That's right.” Goldie stated, still trying to hold himself together. In the background, Bonnie could swear he could hear Bondon laughing as well, obviously having realised what the conversation was about.

“This is one of those thing's I'm not going to live down am I?” Bonnie stated, pulling himself off the floor finally and gently padding his way to the kitchen. Well if I'm not in a hurry I might as well have breakfast.

“Nope!” Goldie gleefully replied. “Actually while I've got you on the phone, your first pay check should have gone through!”

“Awesome!” Bonnie grabbed a bowl from a cupboard and a packet of cereal. “Maybe now I can actually buy furniture!”

“Freddy mentioned it looked a bit barren in there.” Goldie hummed. “I'd better let you get on that, furniture won't buy itself after all.”

“No I don't suppose it will, much is the pity.”

“I'll see you tomorrow Bonnie... Try to set your alarm tonight, yeah?” Bonnie could hear a howling laughter in the background, and despite the fact no one could see him he stuck his tongue out. “Don't you stick your tongue out at me!”

“How'd you know?” Bonnie asked in a mock offence, though he genuinely curious as to how exactly Goldie had known.

“I have two brothers, do you really think they don't do that to me all the time?” The image of Freddy sticking out his tongue at Goldie over the phone amused Bonnie greatly, especially as he'd seemed so mature the day they met.

“Fiinnee.” Bonnie moan in jest. “See you tomorrow Goldie!”

As he put the phone down and placed it on the worktop he reached toward the Fridge pulling out the milk and pouring it onto his cereal before taking a swig right from the bottle. His mom used to go mad at him when he did it back in Urbanomo, but I'm not in Urbanomo anymore and I can drink all the milk from the bottle as I want!

That wasn't the issue of the day however. He needed a plan of how he was going to spend this day off, and more important, how he was going to spend his first pay check. He wandered back to the front room, sat down on the couch. He grunted at it's hardness and sighed. First thing; a new couch. As he took the first bite of his breakfast he thought about what else needed to be done. Second; a new bed. Then maybe some bits and bobs to make the place look nice and...

Bonnie thought back to Tuesday afternoon, as he'd been walking down the tracks. Mike had mentioned that Bonnie should talk to a detective, presumably the same one to who Mike was engaged to. What was the name? Fritz? Fritzgerald? Fitzgerald? … Ah, that sound's right.

Well, looks like that's my plan.

 


 

Bonnie had taken his time choosing his furniture. He's picked out a nice wooden bed that came with the comfiest mattress he'd ever laid on. For the couch he'd picked one that wasn't too large, but it could recline and it was a dark brown in colour meaning if he dropped anything on it wouldn't show or stain in any obvious way. The store he'd stopped at had told him the earliest they could drop it off would be the next evening, which Bonnie didn't mind. It gave him time to decide what else he wanted for the place.

He'd looked at a couple of TV's and a couple of dining tables but he'd decided they could wait for the next week. For now, he was content to browse for more household objects, cups and plates and the like, as well as just looking for general decorative items to start making the home his own. It also gives me an excuse to explore!

He'd been in an out of a few shops, purchasing small items here and there as he felt like it, picture frames and a pin board. He soon found himself walking into a small shop with crystals in the window. He wasn't sure he believed in crystal healing and the like, but they are kinda pretty. The door went off with a chime and from the corner of his eye he saw a pink and white blur jump up from a desk.

“Oh. Howdy.” Bonnie smiled as he recognised the pink and white fox in front of him. Mangle gave him a wry smile.

“Well, this is a turn around from the last few days.” Mangle crossed their arms “So what brings you to my humble abode?”

“I was just exploring really. Haven’t had too much chance to do that.” He looked around the shop, there were packs of tarot cards and book's about Yoga and crystal healing on a bookshelf near the desk. “Gonna be honest, I didn't peg you as someone who was into this kind of stuff.”

Mangle seemed to shift where they stood, but they didn't look offended or angry. “Yeah, to be honest, I never was growing up. I thought it was all a bunch of bullshit” They moved to go in front of the desk. “It was Foxy's Mom who got me into it. I have some anger issues, she suggested meditation. Thought it was stupid, y'know, but with her being my future mother-in-law I figured I'd give it the benefit of the doubt.” They shrugged. “A combination of that, therapy and healthy outlet's for my anger and I'm the mostly well-adjusted adult you see before you.”

“I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark that Foxy's Mom owns the shop.”

“Correct. I just help out, gives me some cash and gives me something to do outside of looking after my little sister.” They laughed and shrugged. “I could be doing a lot worse jobs.”

“I hear that. Never work in a factory!”

“Duly noted.” They placed their hands on their hips and smirked.

“So... Future mother-in-law huh?”

Mangle blinked for a few seconds, before smirking. “I know right? Me and Foxy? Married? Bleh.” They stuck their tongue out in mock disgust. “I don't do love... Well I didn't 'til I met him.” They brushed their hair out of their face. “We just seem to fit each other, y'know...”

“I get it” Bonnie nodded. “Curiosity leads me to ask how you got together.”

“Well. We met in the library.” Mangle snorted. “I was unemployed and we didn't have internet access at home at the time, so. Library it was.” They went to mime being on a computer. “So I'm there typing away right, minding my own business, and suddenly there’s a tap on my shoulder.” They continued to act out the encounter, looking towards their shoulder. “There's this red fox standing behind me. I expect him to ask if I'm almost done with the computer cause there’s no others. So I just stare at him, waiting for him to say something... And you wanna know what he said?”

“What?”

“Do you know what my shirt is made of? Boyfriend material.”

Bonnie was silent for a few seconds before giving in to his urge to giggle and Mangle themself began to laugh.

“That actually worked?” Bonnie questioned and Mangle nodded slightly.

“Well I mean, not before I told him he was a fucking idiot, and told him to try something else. So there we fucking are, him telling more bad and cheesy pick up lines and me fucking howling with laughter in the middle of the fucking library.” They put their hand on their head. “We eventually got told to shut it, and I told him if he wanted to continue he'd have to do it in a restaurant. We've been together since, and that was... ah...” They took a moment to count on their fingers looking concentrated. “3 year's ago. We got engaged about a month ago.”

“Ah well in that case, congrats!”

Suddenly, there was a trickle of chimes from the door, causing both Bonnie and Mangle to turn around to see a tall pale human man standing in the doorway. Bonnie couldn't help but raise an eyebrow, as the man was wearing thick purple eye-shadow and black winged eye-liner as well as a long black gothic style coat. In the summer?

“Oh, hey Marion!” Mangle stated, apparently recognising the man who now made his way further into the shop. Upon closer inspection, Bonnie could see the tired and stressed expression on his face. I wonder if the make up's to hide that? “What can I do for you?”

“Hi Mangle. Uh. Just. Do you have any more of that lavender stuff?” Marion questioned, making a motion with his hand that Mangle didn't seem to understand as they tilted their head. “Uh, the stuff you to spray on the pillow. To help with sleep?”

Mangle's tail flicked and ears twitched, indicated they now understood what the man was asking for. “Ah, I don't know if we've had the shipment yet, lemme check the boxes behind the desk.” They stated, and walked back behind the desk. The man seemed to shift on his feet, grey eyes quickly flicking over to Bonnie.

“Ah. Mornin'.” The man called over to Bonnie. “Not sure we've met.”

“No, I don't think we have.” I'd remember that make up, sir. “I'm Bonnie Iommi.”

“Ah, you're the new Iommi in town. I'd heard the ripples of rumour.” Marion laughed but it seemed to fall flat, like his heart wasn't really in it. “I'm Marion Briggs.”

“I'm sorry Marion.” Mangle suddenly interrupted from behind the desk. “It doesn't look like we've had any yet. I'll text you when we do... Is there anything else I could get you?”

“Uh. I mean, if you know anything that can help sleep!” Marion asked through clenched teeth. “Uh, Bobby's having nightmare's again.”

“Maybe you need to see a doctor about this...” Mangle stated hesitantly. “I mean, or a therapist... Mine is a miracle worker.”

“I've... Tried.” Marion sighed in defeat. “For both of them. Bobby just refuses to talk and Jessie...” He looked at the ground, frowning to himself. “Jessie is as unfazed as ever.” He dragged a hand through his long black hair. “They both said they're worried about me though, which is weird.”

“Why's it weird?” Mangle questioned.

“Well y'know...” Marion have a bitter laugh. “I'm the one taking care of them, not the other way round...”

“Maybe that's why they're worried though.” Mangle tried to mediate, though something in their voice told Bonnie that they didn't think Marion would believe them. “Quite frankly my dear, you look exhausted.”

Marion gave a small smile. “Your starting to sound like them.” There was a sudden jingle of a tune coming from one of Marion's pocket's and Bonnie recognised the tune. Huh, a fellow LOLBIT fan then?

Marion reached into his pocket and pulled a mobile phone from his pocket, it's screen was severely cracked and Bonnie wondered just how he could use it in such a terrible state. Marrion frowned at the phone before choosing to answer.

“Hello, Marion Brigg's speaking.” Marion blinked a couple of times, a confused look on his face. “Bobby's done what?” He suddenly closed his eyes, taking a hand to his face and dragging it down, somehow not smudging his makeup. “Alright, I'll be there in a few minutes, thank you for letting me know.” He put the phone down, placing it back into his pocket, and offering an apologetic looking smile towards Mangle and Bonnie. “I've gotta go get Bobby from school... Apparently he's bitten another kid...” He shook his head and muttered under his breathe, just loud enough for Bonnie to hear. “Just want I need.”

“I'm so sorry Marion.” Mangle offered. “I'll let you know when we get the lavender spray or if we get anything else that might help.”

“Thanks. I'll see you later, Mang.” Marion went to exit the door put stopped short of leaving to look over his shoulder. “Oh, and it was nice to meet you Bonnie!”

With that, Marion had left the shop, and through the window Bonnie could see him practically run towards a car parked outside and once he'd unlocked the door jumped in and sped off.

“That guy really worries me sometimes.” Mangle muttered, Bonnie wasn't sure that he was meant to hear it, but before he could ask, they started speaking again. “His parent's died about 3 months ago. He gave up a well paying job in the city to come back here and look after his little siblings.” Mangle lent against the desk, their eyes never left the window. “I understand, I'd do the same for my little sister. I just get the feeling he's not coping as well as he'd like everyone to believe.”

“I did notice he seems... Tired.” Bonnie felt at his pocket, trying to grasp at his phone. “Does he have much of a support network?”

“No.” Mangle shook their head. “His sibling's are his only family and he left all his friend's in the city. They can't make time to come see him.”

“I see.” Bonnie finally reached for his phone, quickly popping up his list, and typing in '6. Offer Marion support/help him find support.' Once he was happy he looked back up, at Mangle who was now looking at him quizzically. “Ah. I'm uh... making a to do list of sorts.”

Mangle suddenly snorted, flicking their tail again. “Jeeze, you really are just like Gerard.” Now it was Bonnie's turn to look confused and Mangle gave him a sly smile. “Gerard kept a list of people's problems that he thought he could help with as well.” Wait, my uncle kept a list like this as well. “Bonnet didn't keep a list, but I know she kept a diary which was her way of keeping 'the list'”

Bonnie's mind flashed back to the diary he'd found the first day. He still wasn't sure he had the stomach to read it yet, but maybe I should look through that trunk later.

“People won't mind will they?” Bonnie pushed the thoughts of the diary aside. “They won't think I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong or something?”

“Nah. Shouldn't think so.” Mangle gave him a toothy grin. “More likely they'll be amused your keeping the family tradition of 'the list' alive.” Mangle's eyes suddenly sharpened, yet not in a threatening way. “You're gonna want to add, 'attend Mangle and Foxy's wedding' on it by the way.”

Bonnie tilted his head. “Is that an invite?”

“Yep, so you better be there or I'll never forgive you!”

“We've only just met.”

“Well I've always been an excellent judge of character!” Mangle looked down at the floor, their arms folded at on their chest. “Beside's... It just wouldn't be the same without an Iommi there.”

“My uncle was supposed to attend?” Mangle didn't verbally reply just gave a sad smile and nod. “Sound's like you really miss him.”

“Yeah. He was the one who helped me find my therapist.” Ah, that's why. “In the past, whenever I'd made friend's their parent's had slowly steered them away from me, they thought I was nothing but trouble. But not Gerard. Between him and Bonnet I don't know who I owe more...”

“Well... Since it means that much to you... I'd be honoured to come to your wedding.” Bonnie smiled, quickly bringing up his phone and quickly adding in '7. Attend Mangle and Foxy's wedding'. He then quickly showed Mangle his phone to prove he'd added it.

“Good! Now you have to be there!” They laughed, before biting their lip. “Sorry but... I couldn't help but notice the points about Bonnet...”

“Yeah, I. Guess that's why I started the list to be honest.” He quickly placed his phone back into his pocket. “I just... Really want to find her.”

“I'm not sure how much help I can provide...” The foxes tail flicked around a bit. “But I can offer you emotional support...” Mangles eyes flicked over to a display case of crystals and gems. “... And healing crystals I guess...”

“Support is all I could ever ask for...” Bonnie nodded as his own gaze met the same display case. “So... Any crystal you'd recommend for me?”

“Well... From my observation's, I have a couple in mind...”

 


 

By 2 in the afternoon, Bonnie had returned home briefly to store his purchases and immediately left back to town. He intended to go straight to the police station and speak with Detective Fitzgerald to see if he could gather any more details on Bonnet's disappearance.

As he walked down the street however, he noticed a large black bear in the street trying to hand out flyers to people passing by. Most people however, gave the bear a dirty look and declined the flyer, or just outright ignored him. I mean really, no need to be that rude. As Bonnie made an approach, the bear's red eyes made contact with Bonnie's and the bear gave a large smile.

“Mornin' sir! I was wondering if I could offer you a flyer.” The bear held one out for Bonnie and with a smile he took it. He took a quick glance at it, bring red letters read 'Sweet Dreams Parlour Tattoo's' and the rest of the flyer was decorated by images of tattoos. “My name's Faust, or as I'm better known by my artist name Nightmare! I specialise in American traditional but I'm starting to get into geometric as well, if you're interested in those kinds of things.”

“Not to be rude but... I... Uh... Have fur... How exactly can you tattoo that?”

“Ah, well it is slightly different for people with fur like ourselves.” Faust grabbed the sleeve of his shirt and pulled it upwards, revealing a rose pattern in his fur. “See, with humans you just push ink under several layers of the skin. For those like ourselves the procedure involves permanently changing the pigment of the fur, which is achieved using special needles that penetrate the hair follicles and change the colour.”

“You really know your stuff huh?”

Faust chuckled and blushed slightly. “Well, I'm nearing the end of my apprenticeship so I'm still not an expect, but I like to think I've done the research.”

“Ah, so you're looking for Guinea pigs?” Bonnie asked, suddenly hoping that Faust realised that was meant in jest. Thankfully he seemed to when the bear gave a toothy grin.

“I also accept rabbits.” Faust winked at Bonnie causing him to burst out laughing. Okay, I've got to admit, he's definitely got charm.

“Lucky me.” Bonnie looked closer at the photos on the flyer, he had to say, even if Faust was still an apprentice, he seemed to be pretty good at. “You may have me convinced... Not sure I have the money for it right now.”

“That's not a problem, wouldn't want to bankrupt anyone in the pursuit of my art.” Faust pointing carefully at a number and email address on the letter. “That's my number and email if you decide to make a booking, and I'm also the one on walk-in duty on Monday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's. Oh, and...” He points to the social media accounts listed on the flyer. “Those are my social media account's that act as a portfolio if you wanna check my work out some more before you commit.”

“I will do. Thank you.” Bonnie smiled, folding the flyer in two and slipping it into his pocket. “If anyone mentions wanting a tattoo I'll be sure to send them your way.”

They exchanged a fair well and Bonnie set off on his way. As he continued to his destination he slipped his phone out of his pocket and pulling up his to do list before typing in '8. Get a tattoo from Faust'. Why not? I've always been curious about it.

 


 

Bonnie sighed as he entered the police station. It was quieter than the police station in Urbanomo, or at least it had been busy on that day he'd found himself inside it. Now is not the time to be thinking of that though. It was a small station, with about 3 chairs in a make shift waiting area and a desk opposite the front door. There were several other door's that Bonnie could only assume led to interview rooms and offices. At the desk sat a short dog, a dachshund, Bonnie noted, who had looked up immediately when Bonnie had opened the door. Bonnie could just make out the dog's tail wagging slightly.

“Hi!” The dog called out excitedly. “Welcome to Toleri's Wish police station, how can I help you today?”

“Uh. Is it possible at all to speak to Detective Fitzgerald, please?” Bonnie asked, the dog cocked his head slightly.

“What would it be regarding?”

“My name's Bonnie Iommi. I've just moved into town, I was hoping he might be able to tell me a bit about the missing person's case involving my cousin, Bonnet Iommi.”

And just like that the dog's tail stopped wagging and drooped down between his legs. I guess Bonnet's disappearance really did effect everyone.

“I see. Give me a minute.” The dog nodded to himself before picking up a small phone and pressing a button for a connected line. “Hi Jeremy, it's just me.” The dog started, having apparently had an answer on the phone. “I've got someone named Bonnie Iommi here...” The dog seemingly didn't need to finish the sentence as he listened closely to whatever the person on the over end said. “Alright, thanks Jeremy!”

Putting the phone down the dog looked back over at Bonnie. “He'll be with you in a minute Mr. Iommi! If you'd like to take a seat...” Bonnie nodded politely but before he managed the thank the dog, he started talking again. “Oh. And if you have some ID for Detective Fitzgerald to see could you prepare it.”

“Sure. Thanks for your help.” Bonnie sat turned and sat on one of the seats. Pulling his bag onto his knee to look for his ID. I wonder why they need that? Something about giving a policeman his ID made Bonnie feel a bit nervous, but he figured it'd be stupid to fight the only people who may have some information that could help Bonnie.

After he dug his driving licence out of his wallet, he stared at it for a second. The photo on it was about 5 almost 6 year's old now, guess I'll need to renew it in a couple of years, and was from when he was 16. Not that it really mattered he guessed, rabbit's were one of the few species that were absurdly youthful for some reason, and they didn't really change appearance much after they turned 20 and it was only around their 70's they started to age. That said there were factor's that made them show age sooner, mostly drug and alcohol abuse. It was possibly why rabbit's were known to have such large family's since they would live younger longer.

He looked back up, staring around the small room. He wondered if Urbanomo's station really had been bigger or if it had just seemed that way to a 9 year old. At the time he didn't understand why he was there, just that the police stormed into their apartment late one night and his parent's had been 'naughty', as it had been explained to him, and that the police needed to talk to them to make sure they don't do it again. Bonnie had never been to the station again after that, his parent's however...

“Mr Iommi?” A voice snapped him out of his memories. He looked up to see a man with light brown hair that didn't look like it had been brushed in a while.

“Yes? May you be Detective Fitzgerald?” Bonnie questioned and the man in front of him nodded gently.

“That's me. If you don't mind could I have a quick look at some ID?” Bonnie obediently handed him his driver's licence, and Fitzgerald looked over it, eyes flicking between the small card and Bonnie himself before he smiled and handed it back to Bonnie. “Thank you for your understanding Mr. Iommi, I'm about to discuss some sensitive information with you, so I needed to make sure it was actually you if that makes sense.”

“Oh. No it's fine I understand.”

“Well, in that case, if you could follow me please.”

Bonnie followed the detective across the waiting area and past the front desk. He pressed a key card against a reader, and after a short beep, a door opened, Fitzgerald held it open so that Bonnie could get though before closing it behind them. As Bonnie was lead down a narrow corridor, he couldn't help but notice something about the detective that made him frown.

He's limping. It wasn't immediately noticeable, but Fitzgerald was definitely favouring his right leg to his left. He decided he should probably not approach that subject. He's a cop, after all... He's most likely gone through some shit.

Soon, they arrived at a door which, once again Fitzgerald used his key card to open it, and once Bonnie stepped inside, he realised it was an office, with a desk that had a couple of chairs drawn up to it, and a lot of filing cabinets, all labelled alphabetically. Bonnie scanned the room as he walked over to the desk to take a seat, it was tidy and impersonal for the most part, Bonnie assumed it was that way by design to help Fitzgerald concentrate on his work. The only sign in the office that the man had a life outside of the work, was a photograph pinned to a cork board of Fitzgerald himself and Mike holding a pair of kitten's to the camera.

“Mike told me you might stop by sometime.” He placed a folder on his desk, the type on the front displaying 'CASE 5059; BONNET IOMMI MISSING PERSON' “I dragged up the file to be prepared!” Fitzgerald eyes flicked between the folder and Bonnie for a second. “Uh, of course you understand I can't divulge everything with you, such as suspects, but I can give you what we know on her last know whereabouts and such.”

“I understand.” Bonnie couldn't admit he was a little disappointed he wouldn't learn about suspects, but he assumed that the detective wanted to prevent vigilante style justice from occurring. “Honestly anything you can tell me is completely appreciated.”

“Well I should start at the beginning I guess.” Fitzgerald opened up the file, to a page with what looked like a basic run down of facts, including a small photograph of Bonnet. “At 10pm on Monday the 14th of January 2013, we received the call from one Gerard Iommi, stating that his daughter, Bonnet Iommi, was not answering her phone, and that no one had seen her for several hours after she had left school for the day. According to witness, the last sighting of her was around 5 o'clock, leaving Toleri's Wish High School. We started a search party on that day, but found nothing. Several day's later, on the 18th, an anonymous party handed Bonnet Iommi's mobile phone into the police station, stating that they had found it several miles outside of Toleri's Wish.”

“So... She left Toleri's Wish?” Bonnie frowned, maybe she really had run away after all.

“We put out a state wide missing persons alert. There were several reports of sightings of her in several nearby towns, however, these all proved to be mistaken identities.” Fitzgerald quickly flipped to another page. “After several more days of searches, we found her school bag in the Toleri's Wish woods. There was nothing missing from her school bag, all her belongings, ID, and purse were all still in the bag... Honestly, the only way's she'd have gotten so far out of Toleri's Wish without those belonging were if she wasn't alone or was were kidnapped.” Fitzgerald looked between the paper's and Bonnie. “That's where things started to slow down, unfortunately. Several more searches of Toleri's Wish, the woods and surrounding towns brought up nothing. Several witness and potential suspects have come up, but unfortunately those all lead no where.”

“So... Her... Phone was found outside of Toleri's Wish... But the rest of her belonging were in the woods?” Something really doesn't add up there.

“Yeah. One theory is she was nabbed in the woods, and it was only after they'd started leaving town that her kidnappers realised she had her phone still. The problem with that is she didn't try to contact anyone with the phone, she could potentially have sent out a text requesting help before they noticed.” Fitzgerald seemed to fidget with the folder. “The other theory is she was never taken out of Toleri's Wish at all, and the phone was deliberately planted outside to throw us off the fact she is still somewhere in town.”

“Is there any chance...” Bonnie bit his lip trying to think of a way to word the question he wanted to ask, one that didn't seem like it was laying blame on Jeremy or the police. “Is there any chance that there are area's of the woods that were missed in the search?”

“It... Sadly it is possible.” Fitgerald lent his head in his hand, staring down at the folder. “We aren't a big police force, the woods are fairly large, and extra resources were only offered for a limited amount of time. The case wasn't exactly treated very seriously by our higher ups, and they mostly wrote it off as the case of a teenage runaway. It's possible that there are places we missed, but every time I get chance to pick the case back up again, I do a search of the woods, just in case.”

There was silence between the two for what felt like minutes, though realistically it was more like seconds. There's a chance she's still in Toleri's Wish somewhere... There's... A chance she's in the woods.

“I hate to ask but...” Fitzgerald seemed to shift in his seat. “Is there any chance I could ask for a DNA sample from you.”

Bonnie instinctively felt himself lean backward. “Why?”

“Oh, don't get me wrong...” Bonnie relaxed himself. “Just we may potentially need to do DNA testing in the future and a sample from you might be able to help us.”

“... You mean if you find a dead body and need to confirm if it's her or not?”

There was silence between the man and the rabbit for a few seconds.

“Yeah.” Fitzgerald reluctantly replied, nodding softly. “It will help us rule out any potential problems should we find a body.”

“Do... you really think she's dead?” Bonnie's ear's had stiffened against his back. It was the possibility he hadn't even wanted to entertain, and yet there was a strange certainty about the way the detective brought the subject up.

“I wouldn't want to say for sure...” Jeremy started, but his voice was uncertain as his tapped his pen lightly on the table. “But... after 4 years... It just doesn't get my hope's up.”

“I just want to know what happened to her...” Bonnie softly muttered to himself.

“Yeah. So do I.” Jeremy let out a long breath and closed the folder back up. “This case has haunted me for the last 4 years and I get no closer to solving it.” He crossed his arms and sat back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling and deep in thought. “It's not like it's even the only unsolved missing persons case I've dealt with. Back in New York every other case was a missing persons case. There's just something about this one that bothers me. I don't know if it's because it's the only missing person's case I've encountered here in Toleri's Wish, if it's Bonnet herself, or even if it's because Mike knew her and thus it's personal. I've had so many sleepless night's just thinking about this case and yet nothing ever seems to add up.”

There was a wavier in Jeremy's voice as he spoke. Evidently Bonnet's disappearance was as hard for him as everyone else, yet there was somewhat of an edge of guilt and anger to his voice. Does he blame himself for her not being found yet? He eventually sat up, picking the case file of the table, before standing up.

“However, sadly that's all I can tell you at the moment.” He was trying to deflect from his frustration, Bonnie realised as he instinctively felt himself start to stand up as well. “I hope I've at least given you some information you didn't previously know.”

“You have... Thank you for your help.” Bonnie stood up. “I'm going to be going through some of her old belonging's soon... I'm sure you've already seen it all but I'll be back if I find anything that may be relevant to your investigation.”

“That would be helpful of you... Though...” Fitzgerald slowly placed the case file back into it's cabinet and slowly closed it before looking Bonnie in the eye. “Try not to get too caught up in this all... This sort of case... Well... It does hell to the psych. I wouldn't want to see you fall into that trap.”

“Speaking from personal experience?” Bonnie asked and Fitzgerald gave a humourless chuckle and reached forward to touch Bonnie's shoulder.

“There's only so many time's you can see a dead body before you become numb to it... It doesn't feel good when you do, believe me.” His eyes briefly flicked over to the photograph of himself and Mike. “And effects the people you love as well...”

“I'll keep that in mind...” Bonnie said, nodding. “Anyway, thank you for your time Detective.”

“No worries.” Fitzgerald walked over to the door of the office, holding it open for him. “Hopefully next time we speak it will be under kinder circumstances.”

 


 

As Bonnie wandered down the woodland path, he looked up at the tree's above him, gently shading him from the warm August sun. He smiled, birdsong filled his ears while they swayed slightly in the gentle breeze. He needed the walk to relax after the information Fitzgerald had given him, and he realised he'd chosen the perfect place. When all was said and done, Toleri's Wish was absolutely beautiful.

He stopped when he heard something move in front of him, looking back to the path and expecting to see someone who he'd need to pass. He froze, however, at what was really in front of him.

A small, white, feral rabbit sat in the middle of the path, twitching it's nose and looking at Bonnie. Bonnie stared back for a few minutes. It wasn't like he hadn't seen a feral rabbit before, in fact back in Urbanomo they were quite popular pets, especially amongst humans, but he always found it weird. How both he and the small creature in front of him were considered 'rabbits', it was even a lop like himself. Rabbit's who had pet rabbit's were even weirder in Bonnie's mind and the whole thing caused him to get a headache. He guessed when he really thought about it, it wasn't really any different from human's and Apes. A closely related species separated from years of evolution.

On the other hand, some had a more spiritual approach to the subject, that feral's are the spirits of the dead, but Bonnie wasn't exactly sure he believed that. It was one of those paranormal things that was interesting in concept but he couldn't bring himself to actually accept it as truth, similar to how he thought of the notion of ghosts and mythical creatures.

Besides making him uncomfortable however, he had to admit the only time's things got very awkward was when carnivorous species ate the meat of the feral form of species they called friends. Oh and that huge mishap a couple of years ago with the cow milk... That was... Concerning.

Bonnie continued to watch the rabbit as it started to hop off the path into the forest, and Bonnie let out a sigh as he slowly started walking forward again. The world is just strange I guess. He suddenly stopped in the spot the rabbit had been in when in the corner of his eye he spotted the same rabbit sat in the forest. He turned to look at it again and if he didn't know better he would have thought the rabbit was giving him an expectant look. The rabbit turned and hopped slightly into the forest, before stopping and turning around. Bonnie looked on in disbelief.

Is... It trying to get me to follow it?

Before Bonnie could react however the rabbit suddenly got spooked by something Bonnie couldn't see and it went running off into the forest kicking up debris behind it. He very briefly considered trying to follow the rabbit anyway, no Bonnie, you know what they say about chasing rabbits. Bonnie blinked a couple of times before chuckling to himself quietly.

One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small...” Bonnie turned back to the path, quietly singing to himself as he gently paced the direction he had originally been heading. “And the one's that mother gives you, don't do anything at all...”

He continued to walk, not bothering to turn back and look.

Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall.

 


 

Once he'd returned home, Bonnie had started to organise the thing's he'd brought earlier that morning, as well as the few trinkets he'd managed to salvage before he left his parents home. He'd started with the mantle piece, putting a couple of little statues he'd brought from one shop on it, and in the middle he placed an Amethyst crystal that he'd brought from Mangle. He was still sceptical about the healing aspects, but the way Mangle had explained the meaning of each gem he'd found rather fascinating, and he had to admit, it was very pretty. Even if it doesn't work, it does look good on the mantle piece.

After he was happy with the mantle piece, he grabbed the pin board and set off up the stairs. When he reached the landing, he stopped outside the spare room. Bonnet's room. He put the board down lent against the railings and took a few reluctant steps inside the room. It was dusty in there, and it desperately needed a lick of paint but at the same time he didn't want to touch it. It didn't feel right, it wasn't his room, it was hers.

He slowly made his way to the trunk, kneeling in front of it he carefully clicked it open. The diary was right in front at the top where he'd left it. I still don't think I'm ready for that. He stroked the front cover, before gently putting it to the side. As he rummaged through, unsure what exactly he was hoping to find. As he pulled out the teddy bear he noticed that sitting innocently underneath was a small pack of polaroid photographs. He picked it up gently, and frowned. He quickly placed everything back into the trunk, except the pack which he took with him out of the room, picking the board up once more and returning to the master bedroom. My bedroom.

He placed the board on top of a set of draws, and put the photograph's from the trunk on the drawer next to a battered envelope, which he picked up in it's place. The envelope contained Bonnie's own personal photograph's, the one's from when he was a new born. The one's from before his parent's ran to Urbanomo. He took them out, flicking through them. They were mainly of him and sometimes him with his mother or his father. Finally, he came to the photo he wanted to find.

Bonnie stared at the photograph of three adult rabbit's and a small kit in one of their arms. Two males were a deep purple with ears that stood up for a way before hanging forward and a smaller pink female with lop ears stood. It was the only photo Bonnie owned with himself, his parents and Uncle Gerard all together. He had to have been a newborn kit at that point, and Gerard held him close to his chest, eyes brimming with what could only be described as pride. Bonnie's father, Clyde was actually smiling for once and his mother, Poppy, had a sassy look on her face and was posing as she lent up against Clyde. It was obviously a better happier time than what Bonnie grew up in.

I never realised even back then Mom and Dad looked so old. It was especially jarring when directly compared to Gerard, who he knew for a fact was the elder sibling to his dad, and yet Gerard couldn't have looked younger if he tried. Bonnie had a strange pain in his chest. There was no way Gerard couldn't have know what his parents did to look that way, could that have caused the rift? Looking at the photo you'd think they were a close knit family. What the hell happened?

He didn't want to think any further, he didn't want to imagine what his life could have been like had his parents stayed. He didn't want to think about how much happier his life would have been with his uncle in it, he didn't want to think about having the chance to know Bonnet. He carefully pinned the image on the cork board regardless, wiping a tear from his eye as he did so.

He turned his attention to the small pack of developed photograph's he'd salvaged from Bonnet's trunk. Taking them out of the pack, he quickly flicked through them. Mostly they were of Bonnet and Gerard. Birthday parties, school plays, cute photo's of them together, one of Bonnet on a beach wearing a maxi dress and large sun hat and looking like she was about to run full pelt into the ocean. Okay that one's definitely going on the board. As he pinned that one to the board, the photo that had been underneath caught his eye.

The photograph was one of Bonnet and Spring. They must have been in their early teens, with both of them wearing pirate hats and laughing at the camera. If Bonnie had to guess he'd assume they were both most likely high school freshmen. Bonnet had one hand lifting her hat above her eyes and the other arm was around Spring's shoulder's. Likewise Spring had his arm around Bonnet's shoulder's, but his other arm was draped over a crutch that his hand clutched to.

That must be related to his accident...

Bonnie took another pin, and pinned with photo next to the other two. He slipped the remaining photos back into the pack. The three photo's he'd picked out painted a strange picture. A once happy family torn apart by something he didn't understand, a young woman at the prime of her life who loved everyone, and the hurting friend who'd been left behind when she vanished.

He tried not to think about it as he turned away and slowly made his way downstairs to continue his decorating.

Chapter Text

Baby put the lid down on the piano. She'd been awake since 4 am practising, and it was nearing 7 now. She had roughly an hour to get ready for school and an hour to get to school. This was nothing new to Baby, she'd been doing this for as long as her parent's realised her musical gifts. She was talented, she knew that seeing how she could pick up basically any instrument and instinctively know how to play. She loved her talent and she loved music, but she didn't love her parent's fixation on it.

Baby had detested music for so long because of that, until she met Ballora and the rebellious girl had introduced her to metal, and Baby had fallen in love with the angry sounds and lyrics about the unfair nature of life. It ignited a fire inside her and a burning love for music and the messages it can bring. While her parents would never purposefully permit her to play such 'inferior' music, Baby still hid a few symphonic metal melodies in her portfolio, disguising them as long forgotten classical pieces she'd salvaged thanks to her friend's Russian heritage.

Her solace was she wasn't the only one her parents pressured. Once one of their children discovered a talent they were good at, they drove them into the ground with it. There was Abigail the artist, herself the musician, Cadence the model and cheerleader, Dwayne the football captain, Ellen the writer, Flick the fashion designer and Hunter the actor. The only child that had so far not shown any sort of particular talent that the parent's could exploit for their own gain was Genesis, the second youngest. A few of them, like Cadence and Dwayne relished in their parents constant supervision of their talents, Baby herself however, resented it.

'They fuck you up, your mum and dad', Baby quoted in her head, sighing as she walked down the long corridor's of her home. 'They may not mean to but they do.'

She walked past each of her siblings rooms, she guessed it was lucky her parents had brought a giant house, practically a mansion if she was honest, back when they first got married. She was never sure if they'd planned to have 8 children, it was usually rabbit's who were known for having large families, not humans who usually stuck to just 1 or 2. Baby also wasn't sure they were even done having kids, she had a weird feeling they were just having a break between Hunter and the next child, who probably would have a name beginning with 'I'. Baby had noticed the naming convention between herself and her siblings, and she hated it just as much as she hated everything else. It's not our fault your names are at the back of the fucking alphabet.

She finally got to her room, walking in and calmly walking up to her dresser. On top was her make-up bag and all her accessories. She was already dressed, all she needed to do was to 'punk up' as she and Ballora put it. Her parent's hated that Baby had started leaning towards a punk look, it wasn't lady like and was improper according to them. She loved the style and the fact she could use it to spite her parent's just added more points in her opinion. They let Flick dress in whatever he wants.

Every little thing she did, she tried to add a spice of contempt. They loved her Birth name, Brittany? She got everyone to call her the nickname they detested. They loved Genenis' name? Baby nicknamed her 'Genny' and the younger girl had rolled with it. Dwayne was having a big football game and they were forcing Baby to attend? She cheered for the opposite team. They were berating Ellen for not having won another award for her writing and claiming she can do better? Baby was there telling Ellen she was AMAZING and she didn't need fancy awards to tell her that.

Having grabbed the things she needed, she made her way out of her bedroom and walked back up the corridor to the closest bathroom. She gave a frustrated groan when she saw it was occupied, but as she couldn't be bothered to wander to the opposite side of the house she guessed she'd just have to stand and wait.

Her irritation very quickly dissolved as beyond the door she heard what sounded like retching. She stared at the door, thinking she must have misheard, before the sound came again. Please be anyone but Cay. She knocked the door lightly and gingerly. From inside she heard the toilet flushing and a few light footsteps before a click and the door opened a crack and Baby found herself looking at her eldest little sister, the very person she hadn't wanted it to be. Damn, not again.

“Cay? Everything all right in there?” Baby felt her heart racing even as the younger girl opened the door more fully to let her elder sister in. As Baby slipped in she placed her belonging's on the counter and Cadence shut and locked the door once more. Sure neither of them were indecent but it was nice to have some alone time with themselves and their make up sometimes.

“Uh, yeah everything's fine.” Cadence shrugged.

“Just I thought I heard you being sick.” Baby asked, preparing her make up on the counter, next to her Cadence did the same with her own make up set. Make up was the one interest the both of them shared and on some of their sillier days where their parent's eyes weren't on them judging everything they did, they liked to do each other's make up in their own styles.

“Oh. Yeah a bit.” Cadence admitted, not making eye contact. “It's cool though, I probably just ate something funky last night.”

Baby didn't verbally reply. She just nodded. This wasn't the first time she'd heard Cadence being sick, it wasn't even the second. It happened with alarming frequency. She'd tried to talk to her sister about it, but she'd been brushed off. She then tried to talk to her parents and was then shouted at for being 'jealous' and slandering her little sister.

She's got to be doing it on purpose. Why am I the only one who can see some thing’s not right here?

She didn't voice her concerns though, and the two sister's continued their routine like nothing had ever happened.

 


 

When she got downstairs into the kitchen it was around 7:40. Cool, 20 minute's to make myself some breakfast and then I gotta get gone. She took a quick glance in the cupboard, spotting a box of Poptarts. Please Dwayne don't have put an empty package back in to torment me. She reached for it, finding a single packet left in the box.

SCORE!

She quickly removed the packet, placing the two Poptarts into the toaster and setting it to heat them up quickly. As she waited, she grabbed a plate from the drawer before hearing the door open behind her. As she quickly glanced behind her, she realised it was her mother.

“Mornin' Mom.” She tried to muster up as much cheerful enthusiasm as she could, even if she wasn't exactly happy to see her mother at that very moment.

“Hope you're making yourself breakfast Brittany.” Baby rolled her eyes. No, Mom, I'm just going to starve myself.

“Yep. I sure am.” She answered instead, as much as she liked causing arguments with her parent's she wasn't in the mood at that very moment. As if on cue her poptart's bounced up from the toaster and she quickly grabbed them and put them on her plate, twirling around to finally face her mother. “See?” She said triumphantly taking a bite, but she quickly noticed the displeased look on the elder woman’s face. Ugh, what did I do this time?

“Poptarts are a snack, not breakfast!” She scolded as she walked to the dining room table placing her handbag on and going through the contents. Baby looked up at the ceiling and stayed quiet as she shoved the food into her face. They're breakfast when Dwayne fucking has them. “I hope you remember that me and your father will be out this evening. Dwayne has a football match.”

“Cool.” She affirmed causing her mother to glare up as her. “I practised Piano from 4 til about 7 this morning.” Usually when her parent's were pissed off at her and she didn't feel up to an arguement, she attempted to distract them. This time it seemed to work as her mother grunted in approval and heaved her handbag over her shoulder, car keys in hand.

“Good.” Her mother turned heal and headed towards the door again. “I'll see you tonight, Brittany.”

“Bye Mom.” Baby just barely managed to get out before her Mom slammed the door. “Don't let the door hit you on your way out.” She muttered under her breathe.

She quickly shovelled the remains of her first poptart into her mouth, dictating the other was now cool enough for her to eat while she walked to meet Ballora. She shoved the plate into the sink, she'd wash it later, if Abi didn't do it first, and walked up to the door her mother had just exited, grabbing her school bag off the table as she walked past it.

She took one last look around the kitchen, before she turned back into the corridor and finally walked to the front door, quickly leaving her home behind.

Why do I get the feeling it's going to be one of those days...

 


 

Baby had made quick work both of walking to the spot she usually met her best friend and in finishing the last remains of her breakfast. She was the first there, much to her surprise. Ballora usually left absurdly early in order to avoid her parents. Of course, there was that nagging thought in Baby's mind, the one that questioned if something had happened to Ballora. If her best friend would show up with a black eye or broken nose or even if she was in a state to be able to leave the house in the first place.

“Hey Babe, thanks for waiting!” A tall elegant blue haired girl walked up to Baby causing her to smile.

“No problem doll!” Baby said, her voice confident and cheerful, though inside she was feeling the relief that Ballora was there and seemed to be both in good spirits and in good health.

Ballora stopped to get a pack of cigarettes out of her jacket pocket, getting one out and then placing it on her lips before grabbing her lighter and lighting it up. Baby really wasn't sure she liked Ballora smoking, too many health concerns. At least it's just tobacco this time though. As the pair began to walk, Baby suddenly realised there was something, or rather someone, missing.

“Where's Oksana this morning?” Baby asked. Oksana, One of Ballora's little sister, was 14 and had just started high school and normally walked to school with the pair.

“Oh, she wanted to walk with her own friends this morning.” Ballora replied, taking another drag of her cigarette. That was another relief to Baby, partially that Oksana had made friends and partially that nothing terrible had happened to the young girl. “I don't think she's all that happy with me at the moment to be honest.”

“Oh. Why?” While they cared deeply for each other, Ballora and Oksana didn't always get along, so it wasn't that much of a surprise. Ballora was a strong minded rebel and Oksana was far too mature for a 14 year old, it caused some arguments between the two.

“Katrina was dressed exactly like me this morning.” Ballora gestured down at her outfit, a low cut top, very tight and very short shorts, fishnet tights and her beloved leather jacket. “Like seriously, the only thing she's missing is the jacket.”

“Hm. I can't say I blame Oksana... 11 is a bit young to be dressing so revealing.”

“Yeah... I know...” Ballora shrugged but it wasn't so much her shrugging it off and more a 'I don't know what to do about it' “I'd be a hypocrite if I said anything to her... But... I don't want her... Gaining unwanted attention.”

Ballora didn't look her age. She looked to be in her early 20's when in reality she was only 17. It was the reason no one had ever questioned the fake ID she carried around. Ballora was also undeniably beautiful, she had an hourglass figure practically all the girls at school would die for. This brought Ballora a LOT of attention, from the boys at school and from the elder men at the bars Ballora hung out at since getting the fake ID.

When Ballora had first started going out, she basked in the attention, especially that of the elder men, who would buy her drinks and generally make her feel special and wanted. Ballora was fuelled further by the fact her own mother openly envied her, and it was one of the reasons why the woman felt the need to hit, throw and generally hurt her own daughter, to try and sabotage that beauty. Her dad did nothing to help either, he was just as bad in the end, Ballora had told Baby the horror stories after all.

Then, one night at 4am, Baby had found Ballora practically trying to beat her door down hysterical. She'd been in a bar and one man who'd so generously brought her a drink had seemingly put something in it. Baby had tried to convince Ballora to go to the police, but she'd refused, she didn't want to get into trouble for the ID, and just plain didn't trust the police not to claim Ballora was to blame for the entire incident. The best Baby could convince her friend to do was to take a pregnancy and some STI tests, both of which thankfully came back negative.

Ballora never spoke about the incident after that, Baby wasn't sure if their two other friends even knew it happened. Despite that, Baby could tell how it effected Ballora a lot more than she liked to show, the only men she trusted were Rica and Dr. Schmidt and she'd suddenly got a lot more protective of Baby and Feli, and she'd gotten even more so with her sisters. There would have been a time Ballora would have encouraged Katrina to be like her, now she wanted the opposite least the same happen to her.

“Well... Maybe don't try and make it about that.” Baby finally answers and Ballora looked at her quizzically wanting an explanation. “Try and make it about how she needs to find her own person and not just copy you...”

Ballora turned to look ahead of her. “Maybe.” She didn't sound convinced.

“Morning!” A voice suddenly interrupted the conversation, as both girls turned to look in front of them where the voice had come from, seeing a fox and a bear stood against the wall. Baby smiled, she was glad to see her other two friends.

“Mornin guys.” Ballora stated as they caught up to where the pair were standing. They didn't stop however, as soon as Ballora and Baby were at their side, the four all started walking at the same pace. “So how are you guys this morning?”

There was silence, Feli looked towards the floor, her ears went low, while Rica folded his arms and glanced away. Damn, not good then?

“I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed...” Rica tired to reassure them. “Well Actually I... Didn't want to get out of bed this morning.”

Rica often had days like this, days where he just couldn't get out of bed, days where life itself seemed far too much. He often described it as a feeling of not wanting to exist. It wasn't like he wanted to kill himself, he realised that would cause too much hurt for his family and his friends and Baby knew he never wanted to be the cause of anyone's pain. It was more like all trace of him disappearing, no one remembering him so when he wasn't there, no one would feel hurt by it. It didn't really reassure Baby all that much, to her that sounded far too much like being suicidal no matter how he worded that. He'd assured them all he wouldn't kill himself, that just felt like too much effort.

“I don't even know why... It's like there's this black hole sucking in my will do to ANYTHING and I don't know how to stop it.” Baby's heart hurt as Rica elaborated his feelings.

“Are the pills not helping any?” Baby asked, Rica had been on Antidepressants, Prozac I think, for a few months now. Surely they've gotta have started taking effect by now.

Rica just shrugged. “I dunno... I sure don't feel any different.”

“Maybe you should talk to your doctor or Dr. Schmidt about it!” Feli stated with a flick of her tail. “I can't remember what Mangle's on but I know it took them a few tries to get something that worked for them...”

“I don't want to be a bother.” Rica replied, once again looking away from his friends. Baby wanted to reach out to him and give him a hug but something in his body language told her he didn't want body contact at that moment. “A... Anyway... What about you Feli?”

Rica was deflecting the conversation, they all knew he was. Rica had a belief that his problems weren't as bad or severe as the rest of them, so he kept them to himself because they needed his support more than he needed there's. Oh Rica... If only you could see how much we all love you...

Feli seemed as unsatisfied as the others but eventually her ears flattened in defeat and looked like she was mentally preparing herself to explain her situation at the present.

“Papa has a black eye again.” Feli said slowly, not looking at any of her friends. Baby's heart sank for what felt like the 100th time that day.

Feli's father, Miguel, was a soft spoken and very sweet man. He adored his daughter, and his stepchildren. Feli always told stories of when she was young and Miguel took herself and her 'sister' Mangle for ice cream and days at the park. Baby herself could say without doubt that Miguel was one of the loveliest and inoffensive people she'd ever met, he couldn't hurt a fly.

Baby still remembered the day Feli first worked out exactly what was going on, why her Papa always seemed to have a random bruise somewhere on his body, why she could hear her mother screaming at him though the walls of their home. Why her elder half-brother, Tangle, had left Toleri's Wish the minute he turned 18 and had the chance and why Mangle refused to leave Miguel's side most of the time while they were at home.

The day Feli realised the her mother had been hitting her father.

After this initial realisation came, the details of what was going on slowly became far more clear to Feli. How her mother had groomed him when he was 18, a vulnerable Spanish immigrant in a country so far from home who accepted the help of someone who he believed he could trust. How later she used Feli, Mangle and Tangle, as a pawn to keep Miguel with her, threatening him with deportation back to Spain if he tried to leave her where he'd never see his beloved children again. He was scared and Feli believed the only thing he took solace in was that her mother only hit him and never hit his kids.

“I... Heard him talking with Mangle and Foxy earlier...” Feli started again. “They're slowly convincing him that he can leave her. It... Sounded like the plan was to wait until I'm 18 and legally an adult so Mother can't pull the custody card again.” Feli sighed sadly, finally looking to her friends. “I don't know if I want him to wait that long... I want Papa to be safe.”

Ballora wrapped an arm around Feli in comfort. “I know babe.” The two girls walked in unison huddled close to each other. “But look at it this way, when you're 18 that bitch that calls herself your mother can't legally do anything to keep you there. You and your dad can be out and free.”

“I guess...” Feli sighed resting her head on Ballora's shoulder. Feli knew Ballora understood the pain of abuse better than anyone else, it's why she trusted her advice on how to deal with it. “Foxy's going to help Papa look into citizenship as well... Which is nice of him.”

“I knew there was a reason we liked Foxy.” Baby spoke up, trying to lighten the mood a little. “Well other than the fact he's a walking British stereotype.”

Baby got the result she had wanted causing Feli to laugh lightly, hiding her face by burying it into Ballora's side. Ballora herself rolled her eyes but her grin showed her own amusement and to the other side of Feli, Rica chuckled to himself.

It was a little victory, but when all four of them were suffering their own problems, Baby took whichever victories she could. Baby had her parent's, Rica had his depression and lord knew he felt guilty about it, Feli had to watch what her father went through and Ballora... Well... I don't know how the fuck she get's through everything.

'They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad'

As her friends managed to move onto a lighter hearted conversation beside her, Baby's thoughts wandered back into the dark side of everything. She wondered how the hell the four of them managed to keep their problems so secret from the rest of the world. That's a lie, she thought, we haven't hidden anything from Dr. Schmidt.

Baby liked Dr. Schmidt, he'd always been good to her and her friends, but she was also painfully aware of how perceptive the man was. The very first time he met Ballora, he figured out she was being abused and called CPS. It angered the man that nothing was done no matter how many times he called them. The first time he talked to Rica, he immediately picked up the symptoms of depression and was the reason Rica had approached the subject with his parents and eventually his GP. With Feli, Dr Schmidt had dealt with Mangle, which in turn made him keep an eye on Feli once she got to high school, and as a result Feli had confided in him a lot, but always stopping sort of what exactly was happening to her father. Unlike Ballora, Dr. Schmidt had no reason to believe Feli was in danger, but Baby had a feeling he was just waiting for something to confirm his suspicions.

As for Baby herself? Dr. Schmidt had, similarly to Feli's situation, known her elder sister Abi. He knew from that experience alone that Baby would be suffering from immense pressure from her parents. She admitted it was nice to have at least one adult in her life she could trust to talk about the way her parent's were without being made to feel like a selfish brat who took her parent's for granted. I'm sure I do sometimes, but does that mean I can't complain about all the shit they put me through? He even let her skip out in his office sometimes, mostly for one lesson in particular. He didn't know the extent of why Baby skipped that lesson, but he did understand why that lesson put Baby on edge.

Thinking about it, Baby continued her thoughts, not noticing a voice next to her saying her name, I wonder if he's noticed anything off with Cadence. Maybe I should talk with him about it.

“YO! Earth to Brittany Germanotta!” Baby jumped a mile as the blue haired girl next to her shouted and shook her. “You alright there, you were like in a trance or something.”

“Haha. Sorry I got lost in thought again!” Baby rubbed her back of her neck as she felt an arm go around her shoulder and bring her close to Ballora, who still had her other arm around Feli.

“Better keep hold of you too then.” Ballora nodded as Feli giggled, still leaning her head on her taller friends shoulder. “I don't want you walking into anything.”

“I wouldn't walk into something!” Baby tried to dismiss, hearing a snort from in front of them, seeing Rica walking slightly ahead. When did he get in front of us? She considered for a moment that he seemed to be putting distance between himself and the rest, but not too much. I guess he really is in a 'don't touch me' mood right now, huh?

“We've heard duck's fart under water before.” He snarked, glancing over his shoulder at her. She tried to keep a straight face but eventually couldn't take it.

“Okay, that's literally the greatest phrase I've ever heard. I am totally stealing it for the next time my parent's nag me!”

The four friends laughed as they walked along, pointedly ignoring the strange looks from other passers by and the occasional peers. Baby was too happy too see her friend's laughing to care. Sure, she had to put up with her parent's but she had it easy compared to her friends.

But then, if she was be completely honest, Baby's true problem wasn't at her home.

He was in her school.

 


 

“So. What's first period anyway?” Ballora asked, stamping out her cigarette before they got to the school gates. “I haven’t exactly had time to look.”

“Math.” Baby barely mumbled out while staring at her timetable, causing her friends to all stop dead in their tracks. Dammit, I'd forgotten about that.

“Shit.” Feli breathed out. Math was the last lesson any of them wanted right now.

“We can skip.” Ballora said firmly. “We'll go down to the tracks again and wait it out.”

“We can't... Uh...” Rica started, linking and unlinking his fingers. “Goldie asked about us skipping the other day... I... If he catches us again he won't cover for us...”

“And Dr. Schmidt said that was our last time he'll cover us...” Feli put an arm around Rica, knowing how upset the thoughts of his parents finding out made him. Even if his parent's were understanding about his depression, they still expected him to at least try to go to school, even if he couldn't last the entire day. They wouldn't be pleased if they found out he was skipping a lesson entirely, even if it was for a justifiable reason.

“We'll make something up. One of us got hurt on the way to school or something...” Ballora tried to argue but Baby coughing to clear her throat stopped her.

“We need to go.” Baby replied and Ballora looked at her as if to question if she was mad. Yeah, I really think I am. “Like Feli said, Dr. Schmidt won't cover us this time and we're already lucky the school and our parents haven’t gotten suspicious in the last 4 years of us skipping most of the lessons.” Baby sighed, putting a hand on Ballora's shoulder. “I'll be okay. I'll just... suck it up like I always do!”

“You shouldn't have to.” Ballora breathed out, gently moving Baby's hand from her shoulder and grasping it tightly. No one said anything else, they didn't need to. They knew how hard this was already, so they just walked to the class in silence.

The lesson itself was not the problem. It was just math after all and aside from being boring it was relatively harmless.

The problem was Mr. Afton.

As Baby sat down in her assigned seat, she preyed to whatever god might exist that Afton was ill that day and they'd have a substitute instead. Seconds later, he entered the room and Baby lightly slammed her head into her desk, and groaned. This lesson would be no different than it was normally and even though it had only just begun she felt her chest tighten from the anxiety of what he'd do this time.

Afton gave a loud sharp shout and clapped his hands to get the attention of the class and to get them to shut up while he checked everyone's attendance. Baby sat in wait for her name, knowing he just wouldn't be able to resist a comment in her direction when he got to it.

“Brittany Germanotta?” He called out, his eyes locking with hers. He knew the minute he entered the class that she was there, he just wanted to make her say it.

“Here.” She grumbled, trying to ignore the way he looked at her with a sneer.

“Ah. You've decided to grace my lesson with your presence today, whatever did I do to deserve that?” There was a small ripple of laughter from the rest of the class and Baby tried her best to bite her tongue. When he wasn't being creepy he was being a sarcastic asshole. A punch in the dick is what you deserve.

He quickly made short work of the rest of the classes names, before quickly moving straight to the lesson of the day which was some very basic equations, and a worksheet to get through. He handed them out personally, rather than doing the take one and pass it back technique most teachers did. Baby was convinced this was so he could spend more time near her desk but that could have just been spite talking.

Once he got to her desk, he passed her a sheet with an odd smile and a strange look in his eyes. Baby could almost see his mind working away, coming up with some scheme or plan, most likely to do with her.

“Do tell me if you need help, Miss Germanotta...” She didn't rebly vocally, she just nodded instead. Even if I don't need help, you'll be hovering over me anyway... Like always.

Walking up and down the class room, occasionally stopping to correct or help out fellow students, hands clasped tightly behind his back. That was until he reached her desk again, and his hand found it's way onto her shoulder, to tightly grip it. She could barely breathe as he hold her what to do and she changed it as quickly as she could, to get him away from her. He eventually let go and moved on, but baby knew it was only a matter of time before he returned. The clock was going far too slow for her liking and an hour long lesson felt like it was going on for a fortnight.

Eventually the bell rang, signalling the end of the lesson and Baby finally found all the anxiety she felt escape. She was almost free, all she had to do was make it out the door with her friends before...

“Brittany Germanotta, could I have a private word with you please?”

Baby's worst nightmare had just happened, she couldn't breathe, she felt deathly cold. She looked at her friends, who looked at her, eyes pleading her to just run, but deep inside she knew if she ran something worse would happen to her, most likely a call from her parent's who she liked to keep as far away from her academics as she possibly could. The only relief in the situation was that Mr. Afton was intelligent enough to have hidden whatever creepy agenda he had so far, he'd never outright do anything to her on school premises. She was relatively safe around him as long as they stayed on school property.

“If I scream... Come get him off me.” She whispered to her friends, who simply nodded, unable to think of a suitable answer, before they slowly filed out after the rest of the students and she approached her teachers desk, heart beating so fast she was sure it would either break out of her chest or she was about to have a heart attack. “You... Want to see me sir?”

The man looked at her with his odd purple eyes. Purple was not exactly a natural eye colour for humans, but it could happen occasionally, like Ballora and her equally as rare pink eyes. He was a thin and very pale man, with large bags under his eyes, long unkempt hair tied back into a pony tail and a raw pink scar on his cheek that stood out against his complexion. He honestly looked like he was deathly ill in her honest opinion, and it was only made worse by the fact he seemed to be constantly sweating.

“I've noticed you haven't been in my lessons for the past few weeks Brittany.” Neither have my friends but you don't seem to care about that. Singling her out in things like this seemed to be a trend of his. “Is there a problem?” He reached a hand forward, placing it so his fingers just about clung to her shoulder, but his palm was firmly planted on her chest. Baby didn't like how dangerously close to her breasts he'd actually gotten. “You can tell me if there is?”

“N... No...” Baby started, her thought's rushing for some excuse as to why she wasn't it. “I just... I keep coming down with... things... My friends just keep getting overly worried and taking me to Dr. Schmidt.” Baby tried to offer the best smile she could manage but Mr. Afton didn't look convinced by her excuse. “You can ask him if you need to! Uh. I seem to be getting better now, I'll be here a lot more often.” Shit why did I say that, now I have to come to these fucking lessons or he'd gonna get more pushy.

“I do hope so.” Mr. Afton said, taking his hand off her, though she felt the hand deliberately brush up against her hair. She tried her best to not grimace. “Still, you have missed a lot of work... I want you to reconsider my offer of... one to one tuition.”

Baby almost shivered at the way he said 'one to one tuition'. There was something in the tone alone that told her there was definitely something more to it that just helping her out with math. Something he could only do if the two of them were alone. Especially since last time his specifications implied they would be after school, there was even an invitation to his home. None of it sat right with Baby, but out of all the school staff the only person who took her seriously regarding her fears was Dr. Schmidt, and no one seemed to want to listen to him.

“It's just I... Have a lot on my plate already, what with all my piano lessons and extracurricular activities...” She hoped to god he didn't call her out on the second point, she had no idea what she could spin and sound convincing on that lie.

“And what activities would those be?” Fuuuccckkkk.

“Oh... Y'know... Just...” Think Brittany, think, you've got to come up with something, you're usually so good at pretending why are you failing now... “Robotics...”

I fucking hate myself!

“... Robotics?” Willaim questioned, a eyebrow raised he clearly didn't believe her. “Then I assume you have to do a lot of calculations in that, correct? If you can bring me some of those, I'd be more than happy to get off your case, give you extra credit's even...” Baby tried to hide the sudden dread that filled her body when she realised he was calling her bluff. “... That is if you really are taking part in robotics activities and you aren't just coming up with some absurd lie in an attempt to get me off your case...”

“Okay fine I'm not doing robotics.” She huffed. Her stomach was starting to churn, if I don't get out quick I may just spew all over him... “But I am still really busy with my Piano lessons...”

“You know, if you are worried about persecution from your... peers over such a thing, I happen to own a cabin in the woods that we could use instead, no one would ever have to know you were getting extra help, not even your parents.”

Alarm bells went off inside Baby's head, drowning out any other thought she had. Her chest felt like it was about to explode and she suddenly felt nauseous, she felt her breath start to become erratic. She barely even registered that Afton was still speaking, lecturing her or something. Equally he hadn't seemed to pick up on her horror and disgust. Somewhere in the back of her mind, was a poster she'd seen 4 years ago, big red letters screaming 'MISSING' at her.

Bonnet Iommi.

Her mind was freed from it's torture when a very loud and this time very real alarm bell went off, this one warning her she had five minute to get to her next class. Afton looked unamused, agitated even, by the interruption.

“Think about my offer again Miss Germanotta, and come back to me.”

Baby nodded, stopping just short of running out the door. Once she was out and had shut the door behind her, she found herself just staring at the blank corridor wall that was in front of her. She felt a cold swear appear. The realisation of everything was finally sinking in. A teacher, an adult who was supposed to provide a strictly professional relationship to a student, was inviting her to his private property, in the middle of the woods.

“Babe? Are you okay?” Ballora was suddenly beside her, a hand on her shoulder. Baby wasn't sure when she'd got there. Just past Ballora she could see Feli and Rica exchange a worried look.

Afton is trying to get me alone in the woods...

And Bonnet Iommi disappeared 4 years ago...

She had no idea if there was a genuine correlation, but those two pieces of information switched in her mind in quick succession.

What if... Afton is responsible?

The alarm went a second time her, warning them they should all be in class. Baby looked across at her three friends, giving them a pitiful smile.

“You guys go ahead... I'm going to the nurses office...”

The three nodded. They understood, or at least they thought they did, Baby's interactions with Afton often ending with Baby going to the nurses office. They wished her luck, and told her they'd see her at lunch, before they set off and Baby started her slow walk to her destination.

Her stomach was going crazy. She suddenly felt herself wretch. Running as quick as she could, she made it to the girls toilets just in time before she felt herself heaving. This, again was nothing new. She always got herself so worked up by Afton that she often threw up in response.

As she knelt by the toilet, still heaving, her mind wouldn't rest. As the vomiting stopped, and she started to calm down, she sat for a few minutes. She closed her eyes and sighed. She was over thinking it all. Of course she was. Afton was a creep, but he wouldn't kidnap or murder someone. After all, if he was like that, she was sure she'd have been locked in his basement the minute she set foot in high school. He wouldn't be as plainly obvious about his intentions as to invite her to the place he'd murder her...

But what if that's what Bonnet thought as well...

Something felt wrong, and in her heart, Baby believed she knew the truth.

Chapter Text

She knocked lightly at the door, and waited before a quiet 'come in' beaconed her inside. She clicked the door open and took a peak inside, spotting Dr. Schmidt sat at his desk, looking at her an eyebrow raised as she took a step inside and closed the door behind her.

“Hello Miss Germanotta. What can I do for you today?”

“Uh. I... Have a stomach ache.” She didn't want to tell him she'd actually thrown up, that would make him send her home and she didn't need the stress her parents would put on her if she did that.

“A normal stomach ache or a math stomach ache?” His question was worded strangely but Baby knew exactly what he was really asking, are you skipping math?

“Uh... Post-math.” She said with a small smile. “Think I got myself far too worked up after he asked me to stay behind for a few minutes.”

Dr. Schmidt didn't say anything, he just nodded and gestured a hand towards the bed. Baby said a small thank you before heading over to the bed and laying down. She closed her eyes, desperately trying to get her mind of the pain in her stomach and the twisting anxiety she felt in her gut.

She couldn't though. It was such a random thought that had come to her so suddenly with absolutely no evidence behind it, and yet it was consuming her mind. It just seemed so strange that he had a cabin and that he invited a teenage girl to go to it. What if Bonnet was like me? Just a normal teenage girl with a creep for a teacher who invited her to a cabin in the woods. Baby didn't actually know that much about the case and she'd certainly never interacted with Bonnet before, though the name definitely stuck with her.

She glanced over to the school nurse, his back turned to her looking at some paper work. While he was supposed to stay neutral regarding his fellow teachers, Schmidt had always made it plainly obvious, at least to Baby, that he didn't trust Afton. Maybe he suspects it himself...

“Uh. Dr Schmidt?”

“Yes Miss Germanotta?” Dr. Schmidt turned in his swivel chair, he obviously had taken her sudden vocalisation as meaning she was about to be sick as he'd grabbed a small bowl while turning.

“Can I ask you a... kind of weird question?”

“As long as it isn't regarding mine and my fiance's love life, sure...”

Baby went to open her mouth in response before stopping herself and staring and the school nurse. “D... Do students question you about that a lot?”

“Well most of your peers have incredibly closed world views and either can't work out how exactly two men engage in intercourse or they want to know who's the 'woman' of our relationship.”

“Yeeaahhh, no.” Baby pushed herself up into a sitting position. “D... Do you think Mr. Afton... Uh... Had something to do with that Bonnet girls disappearance?”

Dr. Schmidt was quiet for a few seconds, his face was blank but something told Baby that he had entertained the idea himself at least sometime in the past.

“What's brought on that question? What... Exactly did he say during this... after class talk?”

“Uh, nothing really. Just that he was concerned about me missing math so much... It's just...” Baby frowned, now that she was having to justify her suspicious she had no idea how to explain her gut feelings when she had absolutely no proof that Afton even knew Bonnet. But that Cabin. “He just mentioned he has a cabin in the woods at one point during the lesson and I guess it made me wonder, like... what if THAT'S where she is?”

“I don't know about that cabin, what I do know is according to the police he had an alibi.” His tone alone told Baby he didn't believe what he was saying, not really. “Your own anxiety over him may have twisted his words slightly.” He sighed and turned his attention to the window, staring out you could just about make out the edges of the woods. “Besides, the police fully explored the woods, police dogs included and they picked up nothing except a few of her belongings.”

“I guess...” Baby crossed her arms and pouted slightly. “The woods are pretty big though. They could have missed a spot, especially if that spot is technically private property.”

“It's... Possible.” Dr. Schmidt seemed to hesitate regarding this. “I can't recall there ever being any mention of any cabin's in general either... That is a bit odd but that doesn't mean Afton's keeping it secret for malicious reasons.”

“Yeah...” Baby bit her lip. Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up.

“Miss Germanotta, I realise that you're worried about this. Something terrible happened to our small town and it's hard to accept.” Schmidt started to strum him fingers on the arm rest of his chair. “But I don't want you going and getting yourself into trouble over this. The police are still working on this, they'll get there eventually, you just have to give them chance.”

But it's taken them four years to come up with nothing. Baby pouted slightly, but nodded so not to start an argument. She knew Dr. Schmidt probably wouldn't take kindly to accusations against the police, seeing as his own fiancé was a detective if she remembered right. Instead she starting trying to think of a way to divert the conversation. She suddenly remembered the distinct sound of vomiting from early that morning and she remembered she had something else important she needed to talk with the school nurse about. Cadence, of course.

“Oh. Yeah, can I ask another thing before I forget...” Baby added, Dr. Schmidt tilted his head with a raised eyebrow. “Can... I ask you to keep an eye on Cadence?”

“Why? Do you think she's ill?”

“I...” Baby wasn't sure how to word it. “I think... I think she has an eating disorder...” But which? I know there's a couple of different ones? “Which one is it where you make yourself throw up?”

“Bulimia...” Schmidt clarified and Baby nodded thoughtfully.

“Yeah. I think she has Bulimia...” She thought back to the morning, how Cadence had tried to deflect the question regarding her throwing up. “She seems to be being sick a lot at the moment, like, vomiting and stuff... It's really worrying me.”

“Could it be more akin to your stomach problems where she get's worked up about things to a point she can't keep it in any more?” It was a fair question now that Baby thought about it. She herself did have a pretty weak stomach when something set her off, and yet she doubted this was the case.

“Maybe but she seems to be throwing up at very specific times, mainly first thing in the morning and right after we've had dinner or something.” Baby shrugged and Schmidt looked like he was deep in thought.

“Have you noticed any other odd behaviour with her eating?” Baby tilted her head not really understanding the question, prompting Schmidt to clarify. “For example is she binge eating, or does she eat very little?”

“I mean, I never see her eat that much during meals I guess.”

Schmidt hummed. “Given that, it sounds more in line with anorexia, but I wouldn't rule bulimia out completely, the two do sometimes go hand-in-hand as a diagnosis.” He quickly grabbed a pen off his desk. “Have you tried talking to her or your parents about your concerns?”

“Yeah. Cay just deflects it as eating bad food, and my parents won't listen long enough for me to explain why I think that.”

Schmidt clicked his tongue. “She's been doing modelling lately correct?” Baby nodded. “Model's are one of the common groups at risk of developing eating disorder's, I had to refer so many young girls to specialist clinics back in New York, so I definitely can't blame you for having that suspicion.” He turned around to a pile of papers on his desk, and quickly scribbled something on his paper. “I'll keep an eye out and see if I can get the councillor to have a word with her and get to the bottom of it.”

“Thanks Dr. Schmidt.”

There was no verbal reply, Dr. Schmidt simply bowed his head slightly and turned his attention back to his paper work.

They didn't talk for the rest of her time there.

 


 

Even though it was lunch time, Baby didn't feel like eating. Her stomach still hurt, even if it had calmed down enough she checked herself out of the nurses office, she decided it was better to wait it out. Her friends had suggested going and sitting outside but Baby had another idea. She'd persuaded them to go to the library, so they could hang out and laugh at stupid things on the internet. She had a different plan in mind however. As soon as she was able to load up to her school computer profile, she quickly found her way to a google map of Toleri's wish.

If Afton has a cabin in the woods, surely I'll be able to find it on here.

Anything that looked off she zoomed in on to check it out. Every part that interested her upon closer examination however, was not what she was looking for. After several attempts, she began to realise that method was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Next to her Feli was laughing softly at something that Foxy had posted on FriendHouse, while Ballora and Rica looked over her shoulders with a equally puzzled faces. At least they're having fun.

She turned her attention back to her screen, staring at the map in front of her. Maybe I should be looking for paths instead? She found the start to the path most people would take when walking through the forest, visible on the map, practically all the other paths in the woods met up that that path, so it seemed a better place to start. She soon found something that caught her attention.

Not too far from where the one end of main path joined the streets of Toleri's Wish, there seemed to be another path. Baby zoomed in. She recalled seeing the path before but had never really thought that much about it, from what she could remember it was gated and she'd taken that to mean that particular path was dangerous. Following the path however, it seemed to go the opposite way from the main path, snaking right into the heart of the woods where barely anyone would ever want to go.

Eventually, the path ended in what looked like it could be a clearing, though the tops of the tree's made it hard to tell. She tilted her head, trying to get a better angle before she realised what she was looking at. In a couple of breaks in the trees, she could see what looked to be a wooden roof. Her eyes widened.

I've found it.

She knew what she had to do.

 


 

The school day after that had flown by without much incident, Baby and her friends mostly stayed out of the way of other students anyway and the rest of the teaching staff didn't really care for them one way or another. Besides, Baby had more important things to think about than her education.

As classes came to an end, she'd left the school with her friends like always. She could tell they wanted to ask her what happened in Math, she still hadn't managed to find a way to tell them, yet something seemed to hold them back. Eventually, Rica and Feli had parted ways from the two humans, Rica had something going on that night and Feli wanted to make sure her father was okay. Baby and Ballora walked in silence almost the entire way.

“Okay. Babe... I'm seriously worried about you right now.” Ballora finally broke the silence, her curiosity clearly getting the best of her. “You haven’t been acting right since Math... What the fuck did Mr. Fuckface say to you?”

“... I can't explain yet... I need to check something out first...” Ballora looked unconvinced but before she could voice her objections, Baby stopped her. “Look, I'm... Gonna go looking for... Something. I need you to do me a favour.”

“What is it?” Ballora looked at her with a frown, clearly unhappy she was being left out of the loop on something. Sorry Bab's, I'll tell you everything later I swear.

“I'm gonna be going somewhere that might be dangerous. If I don't text you by 9 telling you that I'm safe... Please call the cops.”

Ballora was silent, a look of conflict on her face. “You... Sound like you're about to do something really stupid... Please tell me your not going to do something really stupid?”

“It's like I said babe. Basically I have a feeling about something but I need to scope it out first before I come to a conclusion... And I need you to be on alert if I don't text you.”

Baby knew that Ballora was fighting herself over this, she could see it in the way she was trying to hold back and the way she kept her hands behind her back. She eventually squinted and grumbled.

“Okay, fine.” Ballora said crossing her arms and Baby did a little bow in thank you before she gently started to run off, leaving Ballora to shout behind her. “If you don't call by EXACTLY 9 I'm calling the police... And stay safe dumb ass!”

Baby couldn't help but laugh to herself about the dumb ass remark. She may have a point. Eventually, she'd managed to run to the desired street, and soon after that managed to find the gated entrance into the wood's she'd been looking for. She examined the heavy metal gate for a while, it wasn't big by any means, she'd be able to climb over it no problem, but she did notice there was a large padlock. Not like it'd keep people out... Maybe it's there to stop car's or something.

She paid no mind to it however, as she carefully started to climb over the gate. She landed on the other side gracefully and after brushing herself off, started a steady walk up the path. It was on a slight slant and Baby cursed. Vaguely steep hills... My one weakness. Damn you Afton. After she found her footing however it didn't take too long to get a fair way up. Suddenly she heard a loud metallic scraping sound and she ducked as some birds that had been spooked by the noise took off.

The fuck was that?

She shook the thought off and decided the quicker she got to the cabin, the quicker she could leave. Thankfully she only had to walk a minute longer before she found even ground, and sat innocently in the forest was a wooden building. She practically ran to it, looking it up and down. It was very run down, some windows were broken with boards trying to patch it up and the wood looked like it was practically rotting away. She felt uneasy for a second, before she tried to take a step onto the front porch. She jumped back as the wood underneath gave way. Carefully she felt around for a more solid point with her foot and when she found it she carefully shifted her weight over to the spot.

This place is practically falling apart. She carefully pushed the front door, and to her surprise it slowly creaked open, the lock having rusted away a lot time ago. She gingerly stepped inside, it was dark, the daylight that seeped in through the cracks gave her minimal light to see where she was going and she doubted that the place would have electric lights. Regardless, she continued her exploration, eventually making her way into what she assumed was once a lounge and social area, though now it was empty and barren. It was better lit than the previous hallway however, thanks to the big bay window at the front of the property, but that didn't help the gloomy feeling the place gave her.

It's pretty creepy, actually.

She was brought out of her thoughts as she heard something, that seemed to be getting louder, as if something was coming closer to the cabin. She frowned and tried to really listen to it. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that sounds like a car engine. In the corner of her eye she saw something purple move outside the window. As she turned to look, she instinctively jumped around a corner, into what she assumed was once a kitchen, when she realised that there was indeed a purple car outside.

She listened intently, hearing the car door open and then be slammed shut. She heard footsteps, and then the creek of the front door. She held her breathe as she heard footsteps lead from the hall way into the room Baby was only a corner away from. Oh god, oh god, oh god...

“Miss Germanotta...” The familiar voice called out, Baby didn't reply. She continued to hold the breathe and closed her eyes tightly, tears forming in the corners of her eyes. She heard a few more steps, and then something that sounded akin to a growl. “Miss Germanotta... I know you're there... I suggest you come out, unless you want me calling the police for trespassing on private property.”

Baby bit her lip. She hoped to god the threat was empty, but at the same time, did she really want to risk calling his bluff? If the police really did get involved, there's no way her parents wouldn't find out. She'd rather accept her imminent death than her parents scorn. She let out the breathe she'd been holding, covering her face with her hands and trembling she took a step back into the room.

“P... Please don't call the police.” She whimpered, finally pulling hands away from her face, to find Afton stood opposite her, arms folding and with a twisted grin on his face. She covered her face again, she couldn't look at him when he was looking at her with an expression akin to a kid in a candy shop.

“What exactly are you doing here Miss Germanotta?” Baby removed her hands again when she heard movement that sounded like he'd come towards her. When she observed him again, he had indeed taken a couple of steps in her direction, face still stuck in it's twisted expression. Quick Brittany... Think of an excuse...

“I... I was taking a walk... And I saw this cabin and thought it was abandoned so came to explore it.” She sucked in her breathe, trying to keep a cool head about it, even if she was still quaking.

“Oh... Really?” Afton tilted his head slightly, there was a hint of amusement in his voice. “And this had nothing to do with me mentioning I had a cabin earlier to you?”

“N... No...” Baby saw him take a step towards her again, and she instinctively took a step back. For some reason, this seemed to amuse Afton, as he gave a dark chuckle. “W... What are YOU doing here? A... And how did you know I was here?”

“Well I think it's reasonable enough for me to visit a cabin I own, isn't it? As for how I knew?” He gave an over exaggerated shrug for some reason. “I saw you climbing over the fence, and knew exactly why you were coming here.” He gave another chuckle shaking his head. “Funny, you avoid my lessons like the plague, yet here we are... Alone in my cabin.”

The implication hit Baby like a punch to the face. She took another step back, throwing her arms up in self defence fully expecting the man to charge full force at her and as if she truly believed she could fend him off with his fists alone. Afton didn't run though, he just continued to laugh.

“Please... If I did do anything to you, do you really believe you'd be in any way, shape or form be able to stop me?”

“... Y... You Creep!” Baby screamed, tears rolling down her face. “I... I'm going to t... tell the cops.”

“Oh yes? And say what exactly?” Afton stood with his hands behind his back. “That you broke into my private property, and that I verbally confronted you?” He suddenly pulled his hands in front of him and wiggled his fingers. “I haven't touched you, and you have no proof that I have done anything towards you beside asking you to leave.” His hands snaked back down to his hips. “So, tell me, exactly what you think calling the police will do when you're the one in the wrong here, Baby?”

The use of her nickname, the way he said that nickname, sent a shiver right down Baby's spine and a deep seating feeling of dread and fear in her stomach. He'd obviously heard her friends use the name at some point, there was no way he'd just chosen that pet name at random. Afton was far too calculating to just pick something at random. So calculating in fact, that Baby realised he was technically right, if she went to the police, she'd have to explain what she was doing in the cabin, which, no matter how she worded it, was because she broke in.

The conflict she was having inside of all the emotions she felt, the fear, the anger and the disgust, all of it was definitely for display on her face, and it obviously gave Afton some sort of sick pleasure, judging by the look of gratification on his face.

“Now then...” He started back, tipping his head backwards and placing his hand on his chin. “What to do about this situation? Hm?”

“L... Look. I... I won't tell ANYONE about this I... if you just let me go.” Baby ignored how gross it felt to try and beg with this man, but at the same time, the thoughts of her parent's angry faces had once again resurfaced and at this point she just wanted this all to be over.

“I don't think you're the one who gets to make the demands in this situation.” Afton licked his lips and Baby felt her skin crawl once again. “But... I guess it would be bad for BOTH of us if what happened here today got out...” Baby felt a small ping of hope inside her which she felt quickly dashed merely from the smirk on Afton's face. There's no way he'll let me get out of this that easy... “Let's make a deal...”

“W... What do you want?”

“I will not get the police, or your parent's, involved, on the following conditions...”

Here we go...

“One, when you leave here you tell no one what's happened here.”

Okay, I expected that one.

“Two, if you miss one more Math lesson, I WILL involve your parents.”

Shit.

“Three...” He paused for a few seconds, and Baby eyed him up suspiciously. He'd paused on purpose, again, it was obviously to make her uncomfortable. You really don't have to try this hard to do that, Afton. “Three, you WILL take up my offer of 1 to 1 tuition.”

Fuck.

“What if I don't agree?” Baby asked, crossing her arms. At this point she was willing to at least attempt calling him out, anything to possibly get out of having to agree to those terms.

Afton didn't reply verbally, he instead reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone, a couple of finger flicks and clicks and he held it up to show Baby. The phone was on the dial screen, the number 911 clearly visible even at the distance she was at.

“The choice is yours, Miss Germanotta.”

Does this count as blackmail? This feels like blackmail...

“... Fine.” She spat, her cheeks heating up under the humiliation that Afton's plan had actually worked. “But the 1 to 1 shit stays in the school building.”

“Fair enough.” Afton shrugged, almost as if it was just a another regular conversation he was having, rather than a game of cat and mouse he was winning. “We'll discuss the detail's of that when I see you at your next lesson.” Baby could feel herself grinding her teeth. “Now I suggest you get out of here before I change my mind.”

Baby didn't give him chance to even think about that, she practically bolted past him, back through the front door, somehow avoiding any bad patches of wood, pretty much jumping down off the porch and onto the path back to civilisation.

She ran down back down the path, never looking back to see if Afton was watching her leave or even following her. When she eventually reached the gate she scrambled over it, unfortunately landing on her backside as her foot slipped in her rush to get away from that place. She groaned, and chanced a glance behind her to make sure Afton hadn't seen, but thankfully he was no where to be seen. She picked herself up and power walked down the street before turning and taking the regular forest path.

Once she felt she was far enough up the path, she stopped and lent up against a tree, trying to regain her breathe. She grabbed her phone from her bag, clicking up her chat with Ballora, and sending a quick text.

'Lettin u no im safe. Meet me by the tree in my yard at 9 xx'

She lent her head back while the text sent, closing her eyes and letting her body relax. How am I going to actually explain this shit to her without her loosing her shit? Her phone gently vibrated and she quickly unlocked to read Ballora's reply.

'Glad your safe babe. Will see you then. You have a lot of explaining to do xxx'

Yeah... I sure do, don't I?

Baby slipped her phone back into her bag, and continued her walk through the forest to get home.

 


 

Baby muttered to herself as she walked down the dirt path. She was pissed, not just at Afton but at herself for crumbling so easily to his demands. She felt stupid and humiliated. She should have never gone looking for the cabin alone, then she wouldn't have ended up in that situation. I'm such an idiot.

She wasn't looking where she was going, and to her surprise suddenly felt herself bump into something soft but solid in front of her. She stumbled backwards confused and looked at what had stopped her so abruptly. Purple lop ears flung to the side as a large rabbit turned to see what had just walked into the back of him. Red eyes met Baby's green for a couple of seconds before the rabbit turned back to look where he'd originally facing, head surveying his surrounding's like he'd lost track of something he was looking at. Baby suddenly felt very guilty.

“Uh. S... Sorry.” She started, flinching at he turned back to look at her again. To her surprise he didn't look angry, more amused.

“Don't worry about it... Lost in thought?” He asked and she nodded slightly. “Glad I'm not the only one...”

Baby frowned and took a few steps until she was stood beside him. There was nothing in front of them.

“What were you looking at?” She asked, squinting to make sure her eyes weren't failing on her.

“This'll seem a bit strange but... The other day I saw a feral rabbit in this spot...” He stared up along the path. “I was kind of hoping I'd see it again today...”

“Well... I see a rabbit...” He suddenly perked up at this looking around in quick succession.

“Really? Where?” It took him a few minutes for it to seemingly click and he turned his head to look at Baby, who was trying her best to give him a cheeky grin. His face felt flat, trying his best to look unamused but the upward quirk of his mouth and the look in his eye gave away his true feelings. “Oh. Very funny.”

“So... Uh... You walking my way Mr. Iommi?” Baby asked pointing up the path and the rabbit pulled an odd face.

“Please call me Bonnie. I'm no where near old enough to be Mr. Iommi yet!” He started taking a couple of steps forward and Baby went to match his pace. “I don't believe I caught your name the other day?”

“Oh. Yeah. I'm surprised you remember me...” Baby said shrugging. I mean, he's got to have met so many people the last week, I should of just been a dot on his radar. “My name's Brittany Germanotta.”

“Well, it's nice to meet you Brittany...” Bonnie nodded and Baby smiled slightly. It's been a while since someone thought meeting me was a good thing...

“So... Why did you want to find that rabbit so bad?”

Bonnie didn't reply instantly, instead he seemed to observe her from the corner of his eye, as if to try and work out if she was genuinely interested or if she was just asking as a form of small talk. Eventually he cleared his throat.

“I don't know. I've just had a bit of a weird feeling since I saw it. Like there's something it wanted me to see.” Bonnie shrugged. “Might sound crazy, but then there are those who believe that feral's are the spirits of the dead even if I'm on the fence on that one...”

“Hm... I don't know about that but I know how you feel about the whole... feeling thing...”

“You do?”

Baby hesitated, wondering what exactly she should tell him. On one hand, her feeling was related to his family and in that respect he deserved to know, on the other, she didn't exactly know him and didn't know if he'd take it well bringing her up. She sighed. I have to try, I guess.

“Well... D'you know about Mr. Afton yet?” She asked and she watched as one of the rabbit's long ears twitched upwards in recognition.

“The teacher you guys were avoiding the other day?” He asked. He still wasn't looking fully at her, his eyes seemed to be fixated on something in the distance.

“Yeah. Him... So... Basically today I found out he... Uh... He has this cabin in the woods.” Baby gestured to the woods surrounding them, though she wasn't really sure why, the rabbit would already know she meant these woods. “And it just... Made me think... Like... With his creepiness and the cabin... I wondered if... I though maybe... I just... I got this feeling that...” Baby stumbled over her words. How the hell do I explain to him that I think my Math teacher is responsible for the disappearance of his cousin?

“He had something to do with Bonnet's disappearance?” The rabbit questioned, now turning to actually look at her. His voice sounded neutral but his ears seamed to have stiffened and if Baby was honest there was something very intimidating about him in that moment. She couldn't find her voice, instead just nodding in agreement that was what she'd wanted to say. He seemed to study her for a moment, before speaking again. “Did you know Bonnet?”

It was a simple question but Baby knew there was more to it than that, and had an idea of what he had really meant.

'Who are you to be concerned about Bonnet's dissapearance?'

“Not really... She was a few years older than me.” She kicked a rock as she walked. Maybe it was a bad idea to bring her up. Should I even be referring to her in the past tense? I don't even know if she's actually dead. “Like I said, it was just this... weird feeling I haven’t been able to shake.”

“Well... Gut instinct is there for a reason...”

Baby hadn't even noticed Bonnie had taken his phone out and started writing something on it. She frowned, is he texting someone? The rabbit seemed to notice her confusion and held up his phone, revealing a list titled 'Bonnie's to do list.”

“Just a list of things I need to do.” He laughed, Baby looked closer at the list. Where his cursor was flashing was under number 3 in the list, titled 'find Bonnet' with this edit apparently being an amendment so that the words 'investigate possible connection to Mr. Afton'. “I just needed to get it down before I forgot.”

“You...” Baby started, she was shocked. “You think I might be on to something?”

“I believe it's a possibility.” He took his phone back, sliding it into his pocket. “You seem genuine about it... Though I can't help but think there may be more to it than what your telling me...” Shit he noticed. “But as long as you can assure me you aren't going to put yourself into danger, I'm willing to over look that bit.”

“I won't get into any danger, promise.” Well, no more than I'm already in. “... Thank you for listening to me...”

“Thanks for being honest about that feeling of yours.” He replied, with a kind smile. A vague memory from a day Baby had met Gerard Iommi came to mind. He kinda does look like his uncle, that much I know. Baby suddenly realised her surroundings when she saw the small path that lead to the street her house was located.

“Oh. Uh, Sorry, this is my stop!” Baby said, jogging up to the path she'd have to take. “I'll see you around, Bonnie!” She gave him a small wave and he returned in kind.

“I'm sure you will, Brittany.”

And with that Bonnie continued walking down the path, seemingly whistling to himself. She watched him for a moment until she started to feel that might come across as a little bit creepy. Turning heal, she set off towards the upper class neighbourhood she lived in.

 


 

Baby got home to very little fan fare, in fact her absences hadn't even been noticed judging by the fact her parents seemed to be dotting on Dwyane for winning the game. Instead of making a scene or even letting them know she was home, she quietly went to the kitchen, made herself some mac and cheese and snuck up to her room before anyone noticed.

She hadn't eaten since her breakfast, courtesy of her earlier reaction to her teachers strange behaviour. She hadn't wanted to risk throwing up again. The mac and cheese barely lasted her 10 minutes as she quickly shovelled it into her mouth. She lay back in her bed, and looked over at her alarm clock on her beside dresser. To her surprise, it was only half 5. She considered what to do for 4 hours until Ballora was supposed to meet her. She really felt like she needed to get drunk, but there was no way she could sneak any of her parent's wine without them noticing. She brought up her phone and quickly sent a message to Ballora

'Boo can u plz bring alchohol wen u come later? Xx'

The reply was practically instantiations, and it simply stated 'hell yes' with a devil emoji. Baby giggled to herself, quickly clicking off the message and going to the alarm and setting it for 8:45. She put her phone down next to her pillow and settled down in an attempt to get at least an hours sleep before she met with Ballora. The days events played in her mind. As she felt herself start to slip into sleep, a picture started to emerge in her mind.

She was stood in the cabin again. There was something pushing up from under one of the floorboards. That was... Weird, she hadn't noticed it before. She carefully made her way towards it. As luck would have it, there was a crow bar propped against the wall. Reaching for it and carefully taking it in her hands, it was surprisingly light. She turned back to the floorboard and jammed it under, putting as much pressure as she could under she finally felt it give, dropping the crow bar and reaching down and pulling it up. As she removed the piece, a pink furred hand lay behind. Baby dropped the board, covering her mouth.

“Bonnet?” She whispered, closing her eyes and covering her face. Until she felt something grab her ankle. She looked down, the hand was grasping onto her for dear life. Baby screamed, jumping backwards and the hand let go of her.

She watched as the hand felt around, before soon being joined by a second hand. White flowers started to pour out of the floorboard, Baby wasn't sure what kind, even if they looked familiar, as the hands started to pull up the rest of the body they belonged to. Soon, the a head emerged from the brimming flowers revealing a female rabbit, whose eyes were tightly shut as they pulled themselves onto the floor.

“B... Bonnet?” Baby said again. The rabbit tilted it's head, opening it's eyes to reveal two white eyes, glossed over and looking through Baby. There was no sign of life in them. The more of her body that got pulled out, Baby could make out that half of the rabbit's flesh wasn't there any more, leaving her ribs completely exposed and brimming with the flowers. Baby wanted to scream again, but found herself silenced as she watched in abject horror as the rabbit reached out towards her.

“Help... Me... Please...”

Baby gasped as she felt herself sit up suddenly, a light jingle going off. She blinked, surveying her surroundings. She was in her room, and everything was normal. She looked towards her phone, where the light sound was coming from. It was her alarm going off, somehow it was already 8:45. She wiped the sweat off her brow, flicking the alarm off and jumping off her bed.

That was the most horrifying dream I've ever fucking had.

She pushed it to the back of her mind however, as she tried to sneak through the house without being noticed. Thankfully, it seemed that her parent's were still more concerned about their son's football game than Baby, good job not questioning where your teenage daughter's been for the last few hours, and she managed to slip out the back door and practically ran down the garden to the tree.

As she got there, she saw a pair of hands on the fence, and soon after a pair of pink eyes just about pulling themselves above to scope out the garden. Once they noticed Baby's presence, they pushed themselves up, revealing it to indeed be Ballora as she tried to get herself into the garden.

We really need to get a gate installed.

“Hey dollface.” Baby stated as Ballora finished clambering over the fence. “You sure you're all right being out tonight?”

“Yeah. It's Friday... Y'know what my parent's are like at weekends, we won't see them until Monday now.” Ballora gently placed her bag down on the floor, before stretching and sitting down next to Baby under the large oak tree. “And let's face it Oksana is better at looking after the others than I am...”

They were silent for a few seconds, as Ballora got comfortable. Baby wanted so bad to just explain herself, explain everything that had happened that day since Math but she had no idea where to begin. Ballora was eyeing her expectantly.

“So... You going to explain what the hell's been happening today?” Ballora finally broke the silence. Her tone wasn't exactly angry, but she did sound frustrated at being left in the dark for so long.

“Yeah so... Um... You... You knew Bonnet Iommi before she disappeared right?” Baby stared down at her feet sprawled out in front of her. She wasn't sure she wanted to look Ballora in the eye while she did this, it would make it harder.

“Well... I wouldn't say I knew her... I'd met her before.” Baby could somehow hear Ballora's frown without even having to look at her, which was impressive in itself. “She gave me my leather jacket actually... Why?”

“I can't escape this weird feeling I have.”

“What feeling?”

“That Mr. Afton was somehow involved with her disappearance.”

There was an awkward quiet that befell the two, the only sound she could hear was the soft sound of music from one of her siblings open windows.

“How'd you come to that conclusion?” Ballora's voice was wary, but she it didn't sound like she was dismissing the idea, more that she was scared of it. “Don't get me wrong, he's a fucking creep, but like... do you have any evidence?”

“Not... Exactly...”

“What do you mean, not exactly?”

“Well...” Okay, time to just admit the truth. “When Afton pulled me back... He mentioned having a cabin in the woods, and I just... I don't know why but I put two and two together and I haven’t been able to escape the feeling since.”

“... That does seem...” Ballora stopped herself short, as if she had just realised something herself. “... Please tell me that wasn't where you went after we split up?”

There was silence, Baby really didn't want to confirm Ballora's suspicion's but she had a feeling her silence was confirming that already. Baby decided she should interject before Ballora lost it.

“I... It's okay. I didn't get hurt... I mean... He saw me go up there and caught me, but he just told me to fuck off basically and...” Baby didn't continue she could see Ballora balling her hands into fist. “... Babe? Please speak to me...”

“What the fuck were you thinking going there alone?” Ballora wasn't shouting, shouting could gain the attention of Baby's parent's and neither of them wanted that. Her tone was sharp though, and it was plainly obvious from the stiff posture she held that she was pissed. “You could have been kidnapped! Or killed! Or raped! Or all of the fucking above Brittany!”

“I know! I know, okay, I'm a fucking moron!” Baby huffed, and folded her arms. “But the point is I really think Afton had something to do with Bonnet's disappearance!”

“Yeah, and you could have been next!” Baby winced slightly. Ballora was right, Baby herself had already compared herself to Bonnet earlier in the day. After a few minutes of an angry and uncomfortable silence, Ballora sighed, placing her head in her hands. “I just... I don't want what happened to me to ever happen to you.”

“I know. I'm sorry. I should have told you, I shouldn't have gone there alone...” Baby reached forward placing her arm around Ballora's back and then resting her forehead on Ballora's shoulder. “But I'm okay, I'm still here, that should count for something.”

“... Where do we go from here?” Ballora's voice was strained, obviously still thinking about that night that changed her entire world view, yet trying so hard to push it back to the back of her mind.

“I need to get evidence. I need to know I'm not just paranoid and that this isn't just something that my minds making up because he's a fucking creep!”

“You're serious about this... Aren't you?” Ballora finally took her head from her hands, as Baby moved her head to look up at Ballora. “I mean... I know you, so... I can tell you are but... What if you get hurt?”

“That's why I need you on board. Feli and Rica too!” Baby sat up, giving Ballora a pleading look. “I need you guys to be there so if something happens to me, Afton will be brought to justice!”

“Babe, this is such a stupid and reckless plan.” The corners of Ballora's mouth quirked up and she began to chuckle, much to Baby's surprise. “I'm equal parts horrified and proud of you.”

“Thanks Boo...” Baby said, her arm still around Ballora, she gave a quick squeeze or reassurance. “Don't worry, with you by my side, I'll be fine.”

“And if your not I'll teach them how we deal with shit in Mother Russia.” Ballora made a punching motion with her hand that quickly had Baby into a fit of giggles. “Speaking of Mother Russia...” Ballora reached for her bag and Baby let go to sit up and allow Ballora more room to move. As soon as she'd received her bag, she pulled out two large bottle's of vodka. “I believe you ordered some of Russia's finest?”

Baby's grin was wide as she grabbed one of the offered bottle of Vodka. She made short work of getting the top off the bottle and taking a rather large swig. Ballora laughed as she got the top off her own bottle and took a sip.

Getting drunk was what both of them desperately needed at that moment. They sat for hours in the garden, drinking and eventually once they were both far enough gone, laughing at practically everything, dissolving into fits of giggles as they discussed how Feli and Rica were made for each other and how everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality, wanted to bone mega-star singer LOLBIT.

Once their bottles got dry, Baby suddenly realised she didn't want Ballora walking home drunk. So the pair, arm in arm, made their way through the garden to the Germanotta house, where despite they're drunk state they attempted to sneak back in without disturbing anyone. They made quick work getting to Baby's room. Neither bothered to get out of their clothes, their heads were swimming too much, and they ended up curling up together in Baby's bed, not even throwing the covers over themselves, and soon they both drifted off into an alcoholic slumber.

Her dreams were more peaceful this time, she was giving a concert with her friends for a large adoring crowd. Someone threw a bouquet of red roses on the stage and she picked them up and gracefully bowed before taking a closer look at the beautiful roses. Expect they weren't all roses.

Amongst them, was a single white flower...