Chapter 1: Rolling
“Wha’s goin' on?” Mike groaned, pulling himself up into a sitting position. He rubbed his eyes, then blinked away the sparks. He didn't recognize where he was, but it felt familiar. He looked about. He was on a couch, Jeremy sleeping curled up in an armchair fitfully. He saw a photograph on the mantle, and recognized his brother. Then the memories of the night before flooded his mind. He leapt to his feet, wobbling slightly. “Blake! Fritz! Eggs! Dementia! Flug! Where are you guys?”
“In the kitchen, mate,” Eggs called, poking his head out and around the corner so Mike could tell where the kitchen was. “Flug and me are making pancakes. We've got good news and bad news, and we'll wait for Jerm a‘fore we share the info.”
“Flug and I,” the doctor (not so) jokingly corrected as Mike stumbled into the kitchen. Mike plopped down in a very fuzzy chair and rubbed his eyes, yawning and stretching his arms. Flug smiled. “You know you're sitting on 5.0.5., right?”
Mike had almost jumped away, but two furry blue arms wrapped around him, not letting him up. He glanced up at the bear, who smiled down at him. He sighed and shook his head, but leaned into 5.0.5.’s fur anyways. He nodded in thanks when Eggs passed him a plate of fluffy pancakes, stacked and served with syrup. He wolfed it down in a span of three minutes.
“Someone's hungry,” Dementia joked, as she ate four huge pancakes herself. Mike raised an eyebrow at her, and she shrugged. “I usually eat a lot. Fast metabolism, I guess. It all wears off pretty quick, haha!”
“I suppose,” Fritz mumbled, picking at his pancakes, not able to eat any. He pushed them away sadly, ignoring the other’s shocked looks. He sighed, just holding his coffee, not even sipping it. He inhaled the scent. “I'm just not hungry.”
“Fritz Smith is never ‘just not hungry’,” Mike retorted, glancing at his chubby friend with concern. Jeremy, yawning walked into the kitchen and sat next to Mike, face immediately planting to the table. Mike patted his shoulder. “He is alway ‘just very hungry’.”
“Yeah,” Jeremy mumbled into the table, not looking up, “what’s wrong, Fritz? You’re usually much happier, more optimistic.”
“I think I’m just worried,” he replied, staring at his uneaten food, tightening his grip on the coffee mug. “Uneasy. Vincent and Scott missing? Not a good feeling. I feel like it’s my responsibility to step up to the plate now. Be the bigger man.”
“Hey, hey,” Blake interjected, pointing his fork at the tinker. “Right now, you all are my responsibility, as you are under my roof. If anything happens to you guys, I’ll take the blame.”
“Okay,” Mike said slowly with a nod, then swallowed. He looked to Eggs and FLug. “You said you had good news and bad news. Give us both, but you know. First bad.The usual.”
“Yup,” Eggs nodded, huffing a light laugh. “The bad news is this,” he lifted a paper from the counter, showing it to everyone. It was an anonymous letter, written with newspaper cut outs. It read, “‘If you don’t leave five thousand dollars at Fazbear’s by tuesday night, you're dead, S.C.’.”
“It’s obviously William, with S.C. obviously referring to Scott Cawthon,” Flug scoffed. Mike gave him an odd look, wondering how Flug knew. “Dementia told us last night, about the blackmail.”
“Oh,” Jeremy said softly, “I was hoping that he’d just… uch, I dunno, give up, maybe?”
“Evil people don’t ‘give up’,” Black Hat muttered darkly. “We fight until the very end, then vanish in a puff of smoke.”
“Literally,” Dementia added with a wink. “Anyways, what’s the good news? It would be nice to hear something good for once. Not saying I’m a good guy, but anyone likes to hear good news pertaining to them.”
“Right,” Dr. Slys rolled his eyes. “The good news is that I’ve managed to figure out an arrangement for you all to come in. You can move in tonight, if you’d like.”
“Awesome!” Mike jumped up and kissed Dementia quickly. She blushed and touched her lips, thinking of the previous night. He winked at her. “I guess I’ll be seeing you a lot more often, am I right sweetheart?”
“Sweetheart?!” a new, female voice asked. Mike paled as he spun around to face none other than Scout. His girlfriend. She didn’t look upset, or even mad, but everyone could tell she was both. “I thought someone else was your sweetheart, but I guess I was sorely mistaken.”
“It’s not what you think, Scoutie!” Mike protested weakly, red as a beet, trying to use her pet name in a futile attempt to calm her. It seemed to make her anger a little increased. “We had an open relationship while you were still in medical school!”
“Yeah, at least that’s what Mike told me,” Dementia defended herself. She looked closer at the new girl, and noticed a significant similarity to Scott. She had his good looks, strong figure, but seemed more feminine than him, yet she seemed more butch than most women, just like Scott was more effeminate than most men. “Are you and Scott… siblings?”
“Scotty’s my twin, actually,” she informed her with a grin. She unabashedly looked over Dementia’s figure, then her features, stopping at her eyes. She winked, and Dementia suddenly felt very warm. “I could see why Mike fell for you. You’re very… alluring.”
“Hm, I think you’re pretty enchanting as well,” Dementia flirted back, her bi- ness kicking in like a mad dog, ready to have a fun time with a new pal. “Hey, are you open tonight? ‘Cause I think I’ll close that door if you are~.”
“I think I’ll add a lock to that,” she grinned, and Dementia realized that the other woman’s right eye was glazed over, like a paintbrush with white paint had dipped into it, splaying across her eye. Dementia found it intriguing rather than strange. “How does seven o’clock sound? And what kind of food do you like?”
“Any,” Dementia replied, smoother than Vincent could ever dream to be, “just as long as you're on the menu.”
“I take it you'll be dessert, hmm?” Scout smirked gently, then winked. “Cause you're the best cherry on top.”
“And you'd be the chocolate ice cream,” Dementia grinned with half lidded eyes. She licked her lips. “And I can't wait to dig in.”
“F*CK!” they heard from outside. “Sammy, get back here!”
“I'm right here, Charlie!” Sammy called, from the hallway. “I found Aunt Scout!”
“Aunt?” Flug said, raising an eyebrow. “Are you saying Scott has kids?”
“Uncle Scott? Kids?” Charlie laughed, walking into the room. “As if! We're Flittars, Henry's kids. We call Aunt Scout and Uncle Scott aunt and uncle because that's who they feel to us. Not blood related, at all.”
“Yeah, and the idea Uncle Scott having kids?” Sammy chuckled, rolling his eyes. “Never ever. And, ever since April came and went, especially not likely.”
“We don't talk about April,” Scout sharply reprimanded him. “She was not… is not, and never will be any family to us.”
“Who's April?” Mike, surprisingly, asked, tilting his head in minute confusion. His mood suddenly shifted violently, and he seemed very angered. “And why has Scott never told us about her?”
“This is why we don't talk about her,” Charlie hissed to her twin. “That b*tch.”
“Who? Who is April?” Fritz demanded, rising to his feet. “If Scott's in trouble, we need to know every bit of his past.”
“No, we don't,” Jeremy whispered sadly. “I know who April is. You won't. He didn't tell me anything about her, I just know who she is. He merely pointed her out to me once, and told me quietly, ‘that's April’.”
“Who is she?” Eggs pressed, but not forcefully. “I mean, how does she look? Ya don't have to tell, if you don't want to.”
“Brown hair, brown eyes, tallish, and a jerk,” Scout interjected madly. “Drop it. This conversation ends now.”
“Fine,” Mike muttered. “Well, we can just ask Scott when he gets back.”
“If he comes back,” Blake muttered darkly. Scout glared at him. “Sorry. I don't think I caught your name.”
“Scout. Scout Cawthon,” she tartly responded, eyes narrowed. “Blakeney Hyman Schmidt. Glad to know you remember your old classmate. Scott remembers you, you sonovab*tch. You outed him in ninth grade, live on the school radio, b*stard. Lucky for me, I was panromantic, and you didn't know. Otherwise, I also would've also been outed by you. Jerk.”
“That's why your name sounded so familiar,” he replied, gaping. “I'm so sorry, I was being such a jerk. Sh*t, I forgot all about that! I'm sorry. And hey, wow, your memory is actually really excellent. How many years ago was that, anyways?”
“What time is it?” Jeremy asked quickly and suddenly. Shifting in his seat, he fiddled with his hands. “Vincent promised to be home before lunch, and, and he promised to bring Scott with him. He… he promised. I'm worried.”
“It's ten forty seven,” Fritz informed them all, including himself, looking at his watch. “We'll give him an hour and twelve minutes.”
“What will we have for lunch, anyways,” Eggs said, grumpily. “I can't believe that we've been evicted by the end of the month.”
“YOU'VE BEEN WHAT?!” Scout thundered. They all cowered under her accusing voice. “Evicted?! Ooh, just wait ‘til I get my hands on Scott.”
“Hey!” Sammy and Charlie said together, then giggled. “Don't kill Uncle Scott!”
“I ain't gonna kill him,” she grumbled, peering out the window. “I'm just gonna whoop his *ss all the way to New York.”
“Oh, okay,” Dementia giggled. “Do I get a ride there myself?”
“Hmm, would you like one, hun?” Scout raised an eyebrow with a small smile. “Cause I think I can arrange that.”
“Ewww,” Sammy rolled his eyes, then perked up. “Am I going to have another aunt?”
“Haha, maybe,” Scout contemplated. “I'd say… nevermind. We'll figure this out one day or another.”
“Another aunt,” Charlie mused. “That would be cool.”
5.0.5. smiled at the two teens toothily. They and Scout gawked at him. But Scout stopped and grinned. Her expression clearly said, ‘WOAH, A BEAR!’ even as her eyes widened larger.
“Oh my God, you’re so adorable and cute!” she squealed, excited to an extreme. “I love bears, and you're so amazing! I love your flower, it's so cute and sweet! Aw, can I give you a hug?”
A pink tinge colored 5.0.5.’s cheeks, and he nodded happily. Scout jumped up to give the beast a bear hug, in both senses of the term. Mike smiled albeit a little sadly at her extraordinary bliss.
“What time is it?” Jeremy whined, biting his nails. “I’m still really nervous… no, I’m really anxious. I haven’t seen Scott since yesterday, and Vincent I last saw at two AM. I miss them.”
“They’re probably fine,” Eggs reassured him. “‘Specially knowing Scott’s punctuality, mate. He’s more on time than a wallaby to a boxing match. And I know that for a fact.”
“Alright, yes, that’s true, I admit,” Jeremy admitted. “But what time is it? When are they coming home? Do they even know to come here?”
“I’m sure they know to come here,” Mike nodded, then glanced at the clock behind Jeremy. “As for the time, it’s eleven thirty. They’ll be home in about thirty minutes. Probably.”
“They better,” Flug said darkly. “I’ve got a lot to tell that Vincent Afton about his father.”
“He knows,” Scout told him, coloring slightly, in agitation. “You, at any rate, should keep your opinions to yourself. Especially unbased ones. Maybe you should watch your tongue, bag boy.”
“Oh, really now,” Flug stood up to be at eye level with the female. “Maybe you should go back to the plantation, negress.”
The way she looked at him made Flug regret the fact that the word even existed. Anger sketched into her features, rage emanating from her eyes. If looks could kill, the doctor would’ve been dead forty times over, each time uniquely and painfully.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, falling back into his seat, squirming in it a little uncomfortably. “I didn’t mean to say that. I just got a little mad, but I shouldn’t’ve acted on it.”
“It’s fine,” she accepted his apology, expression softening. “It’s not the worst thing I’ve been called.”
“Ten minutes,” Sammy said quietly, looking at the clock. “I wish they’d hurry up. I’m also getting nervous about their absence.”
“You’re nervous?” his twin giggled, nervously. “I can hardly wait to find out if William didn’t flat out murder Uncle Scott.”
“No one is murdering Scott any time soon,” Scout cut in. “If anyone will, it’s gonna be his twin. Me.”
“Hopefully, Scott will live for a long time before you have any urge to do any bodily harm to him,” Fritz chuckled. She smiled at him, rolling her eyes. “Scott’s pretty much invincible. Especially to most things that would kill most humans, like spring lock suits and the such, and cliffs, guns and knives.”
“Someone’s optimistic,” Dementia joked dryly, with a wry smile on her lips. “Let’s hope they come back to us in two pieces.”
“WHY TWO?!” Jeremy shrieked shrilly, losing all his cool suddenly, rapidly flipping into a full blown panic mode. “I WOULD RATHER SEEN THEM IN ONE PIECE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!”
“I meant as in two seperate people.”
“‘Oh’ indeed,” Black Hat chuckled shaking his head, laughing silently. “Speaking of ‘o’s, I was wondering if you all wanted alphabet soup for dinner.”
“Hell, to the, yassssss!” Edward exclaimed, stars lighting up in his eyes. “Ooh, I love ABC soup! Reminds me of my mum, and back when my dad… back when my dad… my dad… back when he loved me.”
“He still loves you, I bet,” Mike declared sternly. “He just needs time to adjust and figure things out clearly.”
“Hopefully,” Fritz muttered under his breath. Jeremy nudged him sharply with his elbow. Fritz glanced at the clock. “Five minutes left. They’d better move their *sses.”
“They would,” Flug nodded, quietly. Agreeing silently. “And I hope they're safe….”
“They are, I can feel it,” Blake said, leaning back, eyes closed. “Their life force is… odd. Vincent’s is strong, humming….”
“It's purple,” Mike added, smirking. “His aura thrums, and it's pretty powerful when he's emotional. Scott is… tricky.”
“Yeah, I can only faintly detect Scott's Chi,” Blake muttered. “It just… pulses. Softly. Unwillingly. As though he doesn't want to continue. He's tired. Very tired.”
“I can never tell what color his aura is,” Mike mumbled, thoughtful. “Is it brown? Gold? Red? All of them? None of them?”
“Three minutes before twelve! I told you Vinny, that I could do it!” Scott shouted, breathing heavily as he dashed into the room, carrying Vincent on his shoulders. Scout gawked at him, as did Eggs, Mike, and all of those in the kitchen. He beamed, triumphant, at his friends and family, his only remaining eye twinkling with accomplishment. He hauled the laughing Vincent off his shoulders to sit on table. Then he grabbed an entire bottle of orange juice, not noticing the spell Black Hat secretly shot at it, and drank it all at once. He exhaled heavily, then laughed heartily, happiness infectious. He cackled, rubbing his hands together. “Oh, Scout, he won't even see it coming! We did it, in less than six hours! Vin, time?”
“Five hours and three minutes!” Vincent, flushed with exercise and joy, replied, looking at his watch. “Ooh, I can't wait! This is gonna be good… almost as good as you, Scotty.”
“Shaddup, doofus,” he giggled in response, playfully punching Vincent’s shoulder. “Dude, this plan is the greatest!”
“Okay, okay, what plan?!” Fritz sputtered, trying to understand the whole situation. “And where were you two, all f*cking day?!”
“F*cking, duh,” Vincent joked. “We actually did not screw each other, though I did suggest it.”
“You slept like a child on top of me, and I think that's where I'll draw the line,” Scott retorted with a laugh, rolling his eyes. Vincent pulled Scott down to face him, their faces a mere few inches apart. They stared each other down, in a mock trial of will. Scott drew away with a grin, even as Vincent edged closer. The purple man blinked then, shook his head and laughed. “Oh, you're gonna have to do a lot better than that to get me to kiss you, grapevine.”
“Is that a challenge I smell, sweet Scotty?” Vincent teased in a purr, cradling his head on his hands, batting his eyelashes flirtatiously. “If it is, I'm ready to… roll, if you catch my drift, Scotty.”
“I guess you were right, Jerm,” Dementia whispered to him. He gave her a questioning look. “About Scott and Vincent.”
“What do you mean?” he whispered back, looking at the two. “What was I right about?”
“They came back in one piece after all, didn't they?” she said, giving a lopsided grin. They turned back to the other two.
Scott didn't reply, but blushed furiously, a dopey grin hiding behind his hands. He looked like someone trying to tamp out all his feelings, but not doing well at all. He stifled a giggle, and Sammy cleared his throat.
“Are we going to have two uncles, too?” he jokingly (not really) asked Scout. “It looks like Uncle Scott is a teenager again.”
“Am not!” Scott squeaked, even redder than before, but his smile faded slightly. Then he looked troubled. His breathing became a little more labored. “Actually, come to think of it, I've been feeling… spry, I guess? But only, like, for the past few minutes. What? Why… ugh, my stomach hurts… My eyes are hurting, both of them… what the heck?! I haven't had phantom limb syndrome in years! Wh-what's happening to me?!”
“I may have added some black magic to your orange juice as you were drinking it,” Blake admitted, trying to avoid smiling. “It'll take your body back fifteen years, but not entirely, like, uh…. What was the word you used? Ah, right. Phantom. Like that. I thought you might like your eye back.”
“FIFTEEN YEARS?!” Scott shrieked, voice cracking, as though he actually was a teenager again. “Eff to the uck NO. I hated being a teenager with a passion!”
“Your voice cracked!” Scout guffawed, tearing up at the sheer thought of Scott being a teenager. “Oh my God, you’re fifteen again, Scott, you are fifteen!”
“ARRRRRGGGHHHHHHHH!” Scott screamed into his hands, blushing furiously. “I refuse to be a teenager again, nope, nope nope, this cannot be happening, oh God, I can't handle this….”
“It'll be fine, big bro,” she grinned, rolling her eyes, “or should I say, little bro ?”
“How long is this going to last?” Mike asked Blake, staring at Scott's changed features. Scott's scars and premature grey hairs seemed faded, but they were still there. Another golden brown eye hovered in it's old socket, like a ghost. He looked panicked. “Approximately.”
“Well, it'll take an hour for the actual phantom eye to materialize, then three hours for Scott to return to his actual age to revitalize,” he replied after a moment. He gave Scott an odd look. “Judging by Scott, his new eye will be pitch black with a golden pupil.”
“Fookin’ h*ll,” Eggs laughed, shaking his head, but had some sadness in motioning. “And Scott ‘ere thought the medics might fix ‘im up. But no, it's black magic.”
“I could've done it,” Dr. Flug muttered to himself sourly. “I could've made him a prosthetic.”
“I could have as well,” Fritz informed him, sounding a little upset. “I was actually halfway through with it.”
“Scott? Are you okay?” Jeremy queried, concerned. “You seem… uncomfortable?”
“Oh, I'm just a fifteen year old again, who can't frickin’ handle his stupid panse-” he snapped, then caught himself in the midst of his rant, and turned red again. “I'm sorry. It's just hard going back to this age. Rather very, uh, annoying as well.”
“It's alright,” Dementia grinned, “after all, you're only going to be in this state for about four hours.”
“Four hours is a long time to a fifteen year old,” Charlie told her. “I should know, cause I'm eighteen. Sammy and me are both eighteen years old.”
“Sammy and I,” Scout corrected.
“Whatever,” Sammy replied, but it was clear he was joking. He turned to his ‘uncle’. “So? What are you into these days? Meaning those days you're in now.”
“I just started working at Fazbear’s Family Diner, around six months ago,” he answered duly, as though he wasn't in control of what he was saying. He shook his head, trying to snap out of it. He covered his mouth with his hands. He shook his head again, as though telling the others not to ask anything else. Fritz just smirked, as he was in the freshman year while Scott was in junior. Scott glared at him, but with a touch of anxiety.
“Was it true you had a crush on the football cheerleaders’ captain?” he asked. Scott's glare softened in relief.
“No,” he answered, briefly uncovering his mouth.
“Who did you have a crush on then?” Fritz continued, confused.
“No one,” Scott spat with effort, lying vehemently with all his strength. “Please stop asking me all these questions.”
“Was it Eggs?” Mike teasingly asked.
“I didn't know him, so by default, no.”
“What about Blake?” Dementia questioned, as a joke. The answer she got was not one she expected. At all.
“I thought he was good looking and really smart until he outed me on the school intercom,” he hissed through his gritted teeth, flushed with embarrassment. “Guys, please stop.”
“What about Annette?” Mike asked, tilting his head, referring to a girl in the senior year.
“She was nice to me,” he replied, not restraining anything. “She's actually my psychiatrist now.”
“Scott?” Jeremy said, a little worried, but he had to ask. Scott was never this open. “Uh, what about my older sister, Janice?”
“She was really pretty,” he mumbled, his blush creeping from his cheeks, spreading over his entire face. “I asked her to Homecoming, once. She rejected me harshly. I never asked her again. I didn't go, either. I didn't want to see her. I just didn't want to see anyone.”
“Listen up guys,” Vincent stepped in. “Scott obviously doesn't like this topic. We should stop. Just listen to him, he told us to stop already, twice! So we should stop. Right, Scott? Scott?”
But the tallest of them was gone. He fled while they were distracted by Vincent’s tirade. A door slammed somewhere down the hall. They heard a faint click, and then water running for a shower. Vincent turned to all of them, upset. His expression clearly said, “Look what you all did.” and it made them feel ashamed. To be honest, the only one of them that had a right to even ask anything was Vincent, who had spent second to most time with the phone guy, first being Scout.
“Don't look at me,” Fritz said, raising his hands as if to say ‘I didn't do anything, my hands are clean!’, but Vincent glared at him anyways. “Fine, I may have brought the conversation to crushes, but only because he never tells us anything about his romantic life!”
“Maybe he didn't for a damn reason?!” Flug asked, explosively sharp. “If he doesn't tell you under his own influence, why the f*ck do you think it's okay to ask him when he clearly couldn't control what he was saying! Huh?! Riddle me that, Smith!”
“I agree,” Scout nodded, with a wee bit of anger and some disappointment. “Dementia and Mike were just joking around, following your lead so they're excusable, if Scott forgives them. Jeremy had a valid question, but it only came up because of the path you led the conversation down. Literally, down into Hell. I can't believe that we've dated in high school. You're nothing like the sweet nerd I loved. Maybe you should work on going back to being nice, instead of just being an insensitive jerk, Fritz.”
“I'm sorry,” he sighed sincerely. “You're right. You always are. Ugh, I just got caught up in my own inquisitiveness, rather than letting Scott tell us when he wanted, if he wanted.”
“You're damn right she's always right,” Mike grumbled, twiddling his thumbs. “I wish we listened to Scott when he asked us to shut up. But no, we had to open up our big mouths. Except for 5.0.5.. He's huge, and does not speak human languages, let alone manage to stay awake long enough to listen to our shenanigans.”
The bear yawned in agreement, showing off all his sharp teeth happily. He snuffed the top of Mike’s head, slightly knocking his ever present cap askew. Dementia giggled at the sight, Scout chiming in. Eggs chuckled, Flug smiling beneath his mask.
“Something tells me that 5.0.5. is a lot more cute than we acknowledge him to be,” Blake grinned, rolling his eyes. “He's a mean, blue, fighting machine.”
“Yeah, right, and I'm Anastasia the queen of Russia, bow before me,” Eggs laughed. “As if this cutie could wreak a town on purpose. I bet most of the villainous acts he does are accidents.”
“N-” Blake began to retort, then pondered a moment. “Huh. Guess you're right on that one, Eggsy.”
“Eggsy?!” Fritz guffawed, clutching his sides. “Eggsy?! That's a new one, oh, I love it?! Like, a lot?! It's amazing!”
“There's the Fritz I know and love,” Scout laughed, shaking her head. “Dorky as ever.”
“Ha, I believe it,” Dr. Flug grinned eyes sparkling in his goggles. “Being a nerd suits him much better than a jerk.”
“Agreed,” Mike said joyously, pulling a can of soda from the fridge, opening it with a pop. “Fritz is our fiddler. Smith the robo smith.”
“Mike the little sh*t,” Scout whispered to Dementia, who burst into a fit of giggles again. Scout also giggled. She felt like a schoolgirl again. “I can't wait for our date tonight.”
“You're going on a date?!” Sammy asked, big eyed, mouth slack. He high fived Charlie. “Whoa, that's awesome! We might actually get two aunts!”
“Shut up!” Charlie laughed to her twin, shoving him playfully rough with her shoulder. “I think that's up to Aunt Scout, Sam.”
“I guess,” Scout shrugged, but smiled. “We'll have to wait to find out about all this.”
Vincent swallowed a lump in his throat, but it mockingly remained, and seemed even worse. He let a smile cover his lips. Fake it til you make it, he supposed. He located to toaster in the kitchen, and then a bread box. He glanced about. No one was paying attention to him, so he inched to the toaster and in the span of two minutes, made himself a nice toasty toast, just the way he liked it, putting on a little bit of butter. He snatched the two slices of bread and left the room, then the hall, then the mansion. He sucked in the crisp air, and made off toward home, nibbling his breakfast. He knew exactly what, or rather, who, could cheer Scott up. He punched in the code to the apartment, then unlocked the door. A happy bark greeted him, and ButterScotch waddled her way to the purple guy. He laughed at her sideways gait, and got for her breakfast, pouring the puppy food in her bowl. As she munched away, he grabbed the tote bag of her toys, tossing in the remaining bag of dog food. When she finished her meal, she sneezed adorably. Vincent smiled and gathered up her dish, spilling out the water. He put it in the bag as well. He clipped on her leash, and they made their back to the mansion, ButterScotch pausing every few moments to do what her hyperactive brain told her to do, like smell the gate, oh, uh, bark at the car! Bark again, but just for fun! Cat! SQUIRREL! SQUIRREL! SQUI- Oh wait, that's just a chipmunk. Nevermind. Wow, look, a butterfly! Chase that butterfly, it is a butter imposter, and it must die. Cute stuff like that. Sooner or later, they finally made it back to the large house. Vincent slipped in, ButterScotch right next to him. He left the bag of toys in the living room, and peered into the kitchen. Everyone was still there. He sighed in relief, and turned around to see Jeremy glaring at him, but his expression softened when he saw ButterScotch.
“You'd make a great partner for Scott,” he admitted, stooping to pet the golden retriever mix. Her tongue and tail wagged with happiness and energy well spent. He looked back at Vincent. “Speaking of Scott, he's still in the bathroom. I wouldn't expect him to come out anytime soon. He might even stay there until the four hours elapse.”
“What Scott does is only up to Scott,” Vincent shrugged, then flashed a little grin. “But, to be completely honest, I also hated being a teenager. Children can be cruel.”
“That's true,” Jeremy agreed, sitting in the armchair he slept on. Vincent sat on a couch, leaning over to undo the clasp of ButterScotch’s leash. She yipped contentedly, then waddled her way into the kitchen, hoping to snag a treat or two. “Aaand there she goes.”
“Bet you five dollars Fritz will ask her how she got here,” Vincent chuckled, “then ask where you and I are.”
“Hey, how'd you get here, ButterScotch?” Fritz sure enough asked a moment later. “Hey, where are Vincent and Jeremy?”
The two security guards in the living room burst out laughing. Fritz poked his head into the hall, looking ever comical from his huge glasses.
“There you two are,” he said, stepping into the roll of Captain Obvious and Oblivious. “Hey, do you guys know that ButterScotch showed up? She's actually in the kitchen right now.”
That made Vincent and Jeremy laugh all the harder, tears pricking their eyes as they guffawed, gripping their sides. Vincent choked on his laughter, and Jeremy could only point at him as he laughed. Vincent got over his fit of coughs, and immediately restarted laughing with his hologram emotive friend. Their mirth was infectious, and soon, Fritz joined their laughing stock, Dementia cracking up and following soon after, Scout giggling. Blake also found himself laughing, and Mike caught on. Even Flug began laughing, and Charlie and Sammy were rolling on the floor, tears streaming down their cheeks as they howled with joy. Scott crept out of the bathroom, hair slightly moist, wearing a sweater such a dark red it was almost black, and black slacks. He had heard his friends’ laughter over the water of the shower, and so he decided to wrap up and investigate. He stole into the hall, noticing how one of the paintings was obviously fake, and he easily swung it open on its hinges to reveal a secret hall. He rolled his eyes. Amateurs. He slipped into it, closing the painting door behind him. He was able to hear everyone still. He rubbed his sore arms as he quietly traversed the dark hall. He found the living room and pressed his ear to the false door to listen.
“… so I went home to get ButterScotch, ‘cause I know she'd make Scott feel better,” he heard Vincent iterate, slightly muffled through the wall. Scott felt a smile tug at his lips. It faded slowly as he thought about the danger Vincent was putting himself in. Anything could've happened to him. He could've been shot, or stabbed, or kidnapped, or worse. Scott swallowed roughly as the alternative flashed through his mind, his own pleading screams ringing through his memory. He shook his head to clear the thoughts. Vincent was fine, he was safe. Scott suddenly felt the presence of another person in the hall with him, and he whipped around to grab the intruder’s wrist. Eggs gawked at him, mouth open just a tad. He glanced around, seeing no one else. He critically studied Eggs’ now passive face.
“What are you doing here?” he hissed quietly. Eggs shrugged. “How did you get here?”
“Amateur hour, I guess,” the shorter of the two shrugged again, tilting his head towards the fake painting. He rose an eyebrow. “Also, I get paid to break into people's houses, mate. So excuse me if I think I've learned a thing or two.”
“Good,” he nodded, surprising Edward. “We're going to need that skill to get out without anyone noticing. We need to get back to the apartment, and get everything out of there. Everything important, at least.”
“Why?” the trans man simply asked. “Scott, what are you not telling me?”
“William is going to burn the house down,” Scott informed him, watching the Russian - Aussie’s almond shaped, almond colored eyes widen. “Literally. There are a lot of things in there we need to get out.”
“Fine,” Eggs muttered, looking around. He pointed at a ladder, cleverly disguised as a brick wall. “That's our way up and out. Follow my lead.”
After ten minutes, Eggs finally opened a trap door leading up to the front door’s welcome mat. He motioned for Scott to follow, still a little unnerved by the dark man's glowing new eye. But he shrugged it off as they made their way to the apartments that soon won't be, as it definitely wasn't the creepiest thing he's seen. They dashed up the hall, and saw a sight that froze their blood. Stabbed to the wall with a bloodied knife was a photograph of a smiling Vincent, with a red ‘x’ over his eyes. Scott touched the red, and recoiled sharply, pulling his hand away, trailing blood. Eggs looked sick to his stomach and rage welled in his chest. Scott mirrored his feelings. He tugged the picture from the door, slipping it into the pocket of his shirt, under his sweater. They opened the door, and came face to face with William. He scowled at them, dropping the kerosene container to the floor with a clatter. A smirk tore into his lips. Eggs’ anger throbbed in his lungs and muscles, as did Scott's. Neither of them wanted anything more than William out of their lives. He ruined Scott's life, and destroyed Eggs’ with that d*mned car crash.
“It’s so nice of you two to join me,” he chuckled with a sickeningly fake sweetness in his tone, a mocking grin plastered on his own face. He pulled out a lighter and a cigarette, igniting the deadly stick in his mouth and drawing in a long and slow drag of the disgusting smoke, puffing it out lazily. Scott and Eggs said nothing, only glared. It said a lot. The cigarette dangled precariously from Dave’s loose fingertips. “Miss Edna and Mr. Cawthon. How sweet. I think it's better than sending you to die with Vincent. Vincent is my son, after all. So you two are going to die together, I suppose. I've tried for so long to get rid of the both of you, but you just… wouldn't… die. Ha. I guess now it's just too late for you. I can get away Scott free, in both terms. You understand what I mean, right?”
“No, I don't understand, sir,” Scott growled, stepping forward protectively and angrily. “And his name is Edward.”
“Whatever, faggot,” he looked at his cigarette contemplatively. “What is it that some people call cigarettes? Oh, right. Some call ‘em fags.” A puff on the cigarette. “I think I'll burn three now.” He pointed at the cigarette,” A real fag,” he pointed the cigarette at Eggs, “a sex confused fag,” he jabbed the cigarette at Scott, “and a f*ckin’ gay fag.”
The cigarette fell.
Chapter 2: Ecardinate
Someone's stab happy...
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“GET DOWN!” Scott shouted, tackling Eggs to the floor as flames leapt around them. William laughed maniacally as Scott and Eggs shied away for cover. Scott shoved a few papers and bills to Eggs, who gathered them up quickly. Scott snatched his mug and pulled Eggs to the bedroom, pausing to grab some of their prescription medicines from the bathroom cabinet. Eggs was already in the room, stuffing things into a large suitcase as Scott barricaded the door with blankets as he was taught. He joined Edward in loading their little belongings into the black case. He slammed his foot down on a floorboard, and the startled Eggs noticed that the whole thing burst off in a clatter, and he saw paintings hidden beneath. He smiled to himself as he gathered photographs off the dresser and into the suitcase as well. Of course Jeremy would tell Scott where he hid his art projects. Scott grabbed a hammer and smashed Fritz’s computer, pouring the parts inside into the case. He opened the door briefly before slamming it shut as flames licked his scalp. William was nowhere to be seen amongst the fire. Scott yelled over the flames, “HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET OUT OF HERE?”
“I HAVE GRENADES!” Edward yelled back. Scott's expression clearly asked, ‘AND HOW WILL THAT HELP?!’ and Edward laughed. He popped the cap, and threw it at the wall with a window. It blew up the bricks and the glass outward. Scott stared at the gaping hole in the wall. “THAT'S HOW! NOW, SHOVE THE MATTRESSES OUT, AND WE'LL LAND ON THEM!”
Scott nodded, and hauled a mattress through the hole. Eggs also did, and they worked in silence for the last four beds, the only noise the cackling fire and piercing smoke alarm. Once the cleanup was complete, Eggs grabbed an umbrella and leapt from the hole, going against the laws of nearly all physics as he gently floated down. Scott glanced about the skeleton of a room, then rushed out the broken window, parkouring down the ninety degree angle. Eggs gawked at him from the ground as the dark man zigzagged his way down the slope, grapevining downwards gracefully, without stumbling even once. He landed, or rather, skidded to a halt on the mattresses mere moments before distant fire truck sirens were heard. A black limousine beat them to the scene of the arson, Black Hat and company rushing out, along with the night shift security guards, Scout, and Charlie and Sammy.
“Are you hurt?” Scout asked, running to her twin brother. “What happened? Did you catch on fire? Why did you come here? Where's Edward? Oh, there he is. Are you alright? Why the bloody heck are you here, anyways? Scott, how old do you think you are right now, with your new eye? Do you think you can walk? And what the f*ck happened to the wall of your house?!”
“Slow down, Scout, we're fine,” he replied tiredly, flopping on his back onto the mattresses, “we're just fine .”
He repeated himself in an exhale, whispering “we’re just… fine .”
Vincent sat beside his supine form, then jolted up immediately. He stared at the mattress as though it was a peculiar object he had never seen before.
“There’s something inside the bed!” he explained, pointing with wide eyes. Scott rolled his own and sat up pulling out a swiss army knife from his boot, deftly cutting open his mattress, pulling out a metal file, locked with a mini letter combination lock. He turned the letters until they read “TRLS”, and it clicked open. Vincent raised an eyebrow. “And what does that stand for, Scott? Tarnished railroad lifty stick?”
“Haha, no, but that’s a good guess,” he chuckled in reply, pulling out a bunch of papers from the file. There were photographs, cassettes, and other documents. Scott nodded to himself, and slipped the picture of Vincent that he and Eggs found inside, keeping the image down, so only he and Edward knew the contents. He relocked the combination lock, tugging at it to make sure it was stuck. He stood up, and instantly sat back down with a wince. “Uh, it actually symbolizes ‘trials’. It’s my case against… echm, Mr. Afton, senior. Cases, to be more precise.”
“You're suing my dad?” Vincent asked quietly, then laughed bitterly. “That's… that's just great, I guess. Perfect.”
Scout looked between them, glaring at Scott. He only gaped at the purple guy with a surprised look.
“You misunderstood, Vin,” he mumbled, running a hand through his flaming red hair. “I'm suing him on our behalf. Meaning you and I, then everyone else.”
“I don't get it,” Blake said blatantly, Mike nodding in agreement. “Why are you suing him, exactly? I didn't quite catch that in this mumbo jumbo.”
“I'll explain later,” Scott answered. He tried to get up again, but blanched and sat back down. Scout rushed to his side, ready to put her paramedic abilities to use, but her twin swatted her away. “I'm fine , Scout. Eggs, tell her I'm fine.”
“I don't think you are,” Fritz interrupted sternly, going over to his friend and pulling him up to his feet, pulling Scott’s arm around his shoulders, motioning for Vincent to do the same. Scott shrugged his wrists from their caring hands, and gripped his case. “Scott. We're not playing around here.”
“I know,” he said, gingerly stepping forward, relaxing with relief when he felt no (just less) pain running up his legs. “Let's get back to the mansion. Now. William wasn't in the room.”
“Oookay,” Flug scoffed slowly. “I think I'm also going to have to do some tests on him, too.”
“I uh….” Jeremy shuffled his feet, his hologram punctuation marks indicating his panic. “IsawWilliamleavetheapartment.”
“Hooda whaty?” Dementia questioned in shock. “I don't think I understood a letter of that garble.”
“I said,” Jeremy huffed, turning red. “I saw… Wi….”
This time, he trailed off into silence, mumbling.
“You saw what?” Vincent pondered, confused. “Wild leaves in the rampant?”
“No,” Jeremy shook his head vigorously. “William leave the apartment. I saw William leave the apartment! I saw him leave!”
“Ya… ya saw Dave leave.” Eggs stated in horror, exchanging a plain look with Scott, who's already blanched face paled further. “When, mate?”
Jeremy blushed again, “Like, five minutes ago?”
“We need ta leave, naw,” Edward ordered, the Aussie accent of his falling into his speech heavily, and he hastily ushered everybody to the car. Just as he said that, William rounded the corner, whistling. Scott froze and gripped the file in his hand tighter, grabbing Vincent’s shoulder and pulling him back protectively. Eggs scowled at him with rage. “The fook do ya think you want, ya bish?”
“Don't provoke him,” Scott hissed to Edward. “Look at his right hand.”
“Ha. Ha. Ha. He's right again,” Afton chuckled, mirthless. He brandished the gun he carried more freely now. “An eight shot, nine millimeter revolver. One of my best friends throughout the years. And it's gonna help me out in a bit of a… situation, it seems, again.”
“Stay away from them,” Scott growled, stepping forward again. William continued his unconcerned gait toward the group. “I mean it. Like I said, this is between you and I. Not them. They have nothing to do with this. Don’t you dare even speak to them, you sonofab*tch.”
“Someone’s got a dirty mouth today,” Dave grinned, rolling his eyes. “Usually, you don’t even say anything. I guess that it’s true, once you put someone in a corner, they lose their restraint.”
“It's not like I have much of a choice,” he spat back. “What do you want?”
“I want all of you to get into the car,” William answered, cocking then raising the gun to point at Jeremy, who whimpered. Scott stepped in front of him, but he made a motion for the others to get into the car. William grinned as they silently obeyed. As soon as everyone was inside, he stepped up to Scott and placed the gun against his temple. “There we go. Now, Scotty, be a good boy and get into the driver's seat. I'll sit in the passenger seat and direct you to where you need to go.”
“Yes, sir.” Scott sighed, like a drone without a will of his own. He slipped into the driver’s seat noiselessly, and started the car, even as William aimed the gun at him. “Okay. Where.”
“I haven't seen you this compliant since April,” William laughed, then turned to face Vincent. “Bet you wish he listened to you like this.”
“I treasure every little syllable Vin says,” Scott growled through gritted teeth, tightening his hands on the wheel. Everyone looked at him with various levels of shock. “Now tell me, Mr. Afton. Where. Are. We. Going.”
“Don't talk like that to me, boy . Drive to Blakeney’s mansion. I'm sure you know the way.” Dave snarled, hitting Scott with the gun. Vincent let out a peep of terror. William spared him a sadistic grin. “Aw, worried about your crush? Boo hoo hoo. Man up, Vincent Will. Faggot of a son. Ask him how many times I've hit him with a gun. He has to keep track, or else. Go on. Ask.”
“I don't want to,” Vincent whimpered, and Scott looked at him through the rear view mirror. There was a plea for him to ask, for all their safety. He winced and swallowed back bile. He hugged himself, and closed his eyes. “H-How many times… how many times did he hit you with a gun, Scott?”
“Nine hundred sixty eight times,” Scott answered. William hit him again, and the car jolted slightly. “Sixty nine.”
“Good boy,” William purred, and Scott hunched over the wheel, focusing on the road. Anger flared in Vincent's chest. “And how much did I pay April?”
“Three dollars,” Scott whispered.
Scott paled, and closed his mouth tightly, lips firming a single line.
“I asked, for what?”
“Oh would you look at that it seems like we're back at the mansion,” Scott replied loudly, still blanched. “What do you need now?”
“Get out of the car, everyone,” he said cheerily. When no one stirred, he raised the gun again. Everyone was out of the car in a matter of seconds. William got out after them, and Scott also left his seat, weakly protesting Dave’s pointing of the gun at Mike. “That’s much better now. Now, little Mikey… I’ve been waiting and wanting to do this for a
“Don’t touch him!” Blake yelled, demonic form flickering into existence. “Don’t you dare touch my brother!”
“I won’t,” William said calmly, with a grin. And then there was a bang . A scream from Dementia, Jeremy, and Scout as Mike pulled his hand away from his gut, trailing blood. “I didn’t touch him. I shot him from a distance, a-ha!”
“You sick freak !” Scout shrieked with rage, picking Mike up in her arms. “Do you even have a, uh, I dunno, a soul ?!”
“D- don’t ge… don’ get m-mad Scoutie,” Mike coughed, shuddering with each word. He tucked a loose hair behind her ear. “It's… It's fine….”
“No, it's not,” Dementia cut in sharply. “You just got shot! With a gun! Nothing is fine in this situation!”
“Of course not,” William chuckled, then turned around to face the horrified Scott. His dark brown skin was pale, and there was terror in his golden brown eyes… both of them, the one shrouded in black flashing in fear. “Scotty, Scotty, Scotty… ha. The irony in this situation is really extraordinary, is it not? You spent so many nights, hiding in the shadows, keeping Michael alive. And yet… I shot him in front of your face, in the middle of the day!”
“Y-you promised! You swore, we have a contract between us!” Scott thundered, at first without strength, then gaining power. He fumbled in the pocket of his shirt, and pulled out a battered and worn out paper. He thrust it at William, waving the paper, written in black ink, signed with four signatures. “You swore in front of Henry and Ivan! They signed it too! Thus, the contract is null and void, and I say, right now,” he took out another stack of papers, and shoved it into William’s hand, “you’ve been served!”
“You’re suing me?!” William growled, reading over the subpoenas. “For… what’s this? Basically everything I’ve ever done against you? Let’s see… assault, fine. Murder, alright, I guess that you figured out who did ol’ Remus in. Blackmail, obviously. Threatening safety of family, hah. Oh ho. Oh ho ho… I never thought you’d have the courage to even open your mouth on the subject. Hm. Let us discuss this further inside, shall we, Mr. Cawthon⸮”
“After you,” Scott hissed, going to stand near his family, his new eye flashing like a light bulb. William took a step back, then shrugged and strutted into the mansion. Scott turned to Scout, “heal Mike up with what we have at hand. Fritz, call an ambulance, but, do not speak .”
“Are you comin’ in?” William called out to them. Scott sighed and nodded, though Dave couldn’t see him. They came into the living room, William looking at some of their photographs. “Hello there! Let’s get this meeting started, shall we?”
“Dick bag,” Scout muttered, laying Mike onto the couch, unbuttoning the bottom half of his shirt. She examined the wound then swore under her breath. “The bullet is still in there, but this ain’t no dumb HollyWood film, bitches. It’s gonna stay in there. Yo, Bag Boy, you got any gauze and medical tape?”
“Yeah,” Flug said, tossing her the supplies. “I hope this’ll work.”
“It will,” Blake affirmed, crouching next to his injured brother. “Mike’s tough. He’s got this.”
“Yer damn right I got this,” Mike huffed, then flinched as Scout disinfected the wound with some alcohol swabs. Dementia looked over him with worry, and squeezed his hand. Mike smiled weakly at her and Scout, and they smiled back, as much as they could in the situation. He turned his attention to William. “What exactly do you want?”
“I want Scott dead,” he calmly replied. “Seeing as that’s not possible currently, he and I need to discuss matters of certain urgency, such as his recent acquisition of two thirds of Freddy’s.”
“Hey, if this is about the restaurant, dad, then why the hell did you shot Mike?!” Vincent shouted with barely contained rage. “Huh?! Part of that damned place is mine, anyways! You cannot just say that you want to talk to Scott about the stupid pizzeria, and, and shoot Mike! If you really cared about the place being in good hands, then you should just give your part to Scott as well! I was going to in the fut-”
He suddenly stopped talking, and stilled. His rapid breathing slowed as his hand tightened around Scott’s bandaged one. He exhaled slowly and took a step back to be next to Scott. This was probably the first time Scott did… practically anything with him. It was usually Vincent flirting with him and messing with him, trailing him like a puppy to an owner. Scott, in fact, had usually pushed Vincent away from him and any romantic enterprises that the purple man strived for. Scott tightened his hand around Vincent’s before letting go to take a step forward.
“William, I know that I promised… I know you coerced me into staying away from Vin, and at first I was happy to oblige, but now…” he exhaled heavily, closing his eyes. “Now, I… I don’t know. But this… this blackmail needs to stop. You broke the contract, and that ends it.”
“I know damn well about your pansexuality,” William smirked at Scott’s shocked expression. “I know about your middle school crushes and your sick high school fantasies. You liked practically everyone, every little thing turned you on. You might be wondering how I know.”
“Obviously,” Scott snorted, rolling his eyes. “But I can guess. You probably spoke with my mother, often, until you said a little to much about the murder of a certain five children and you had to cut ties with her, clearly.”
“Smart kid,” William growled, furrowing his brow. “Smart kid.”
“Are we going to have this conversation now, or never?” Scott asked, impatiently. Dave’s expression soured. “I’ll take that as a now.”
“Okay, so the contract is null and void, as I overstepped the boundaries,” William hissed. He was dangerously quiet and still. “But… I have a word of warning. Fitzgerald, get over here, right now.”
With a terrified, squeak, the smallest ran over to William and Scott. Dave didn’t say anything. He suddenly lunged and headlocked Jeremy, jamming the gun into his throat as he opened his mouth to scream.
“Now I have a chip in the game,” William snarled, then laughed as Scott stared at him in horror. “Aw, little Scotty’s worried? Well, you should be. Get your ass over here, you bitch.”
“What the Hell do you want from me?” Scott asked, voice trembling. “I gave you everything I have, I don’t have anything left….”
“Where do you hide your knife?” Will questioned, lazily adjusting the gun in Jeremy’s mouth. Jeremy whimpered. Scott blanched. “I know you keep it on you. The knife you use to cut yourself when you think no one’s around, going over your scars so the new cuts are unnoticeable?”
“Are you shitting me, Scott?” Edward suddenly snapped. “You promised you’d buy your meds and stop that destructive habit!”
“I know, I know,” he answered miserably. “But I keep it in my boot. That’s why I was having a hard time getting up and around earlier. I, uh, accidentally stepped on it, I guess? Or maybe it nicked me, I dunno. I didn’t bother to check.”
“You fool,” Scout said sadly, shaking her head, “You fool….”
“Alright, alright, boo hoo, Scott’s depressed, big whoop,” William rolled his eyes. “Get over here and hand me the knife.”
He bent his knees, keeping his back straight to continue looking at the murderer as he pulled the knife out of his boot. It was not long, and a bit of blood lingered on the tip from when he cut his foot accidentally. He stood up with as much dignity he could muster, and gave William the blade. He looked over it and smirked, tracing it down the side of Jeremy’s neck. His tears dripped to the floor, and his spit pooled around the gun.
“Let him go, William,” Scott said, but there was a warning in his tone. “Let him go.”
“Fine,” Dave chuckled, and shoved the smaller man away roughly. Fritz hugged him, rubbing Jeremy’s back as he coughed and cried. “Now Scott, get on your knees.”
He paled and stared at William. He slipped himself to the floor, maintaining eye contact even as his breathing picked up speed. William leered and loomed over him.
“Good boy,” he mused, yanking Scott’s red hair, “now give me your arm.”
“Give me your arm. Just roll up your sleeve, and give me your arm.”
William sat in the armchair as Scott rolled up his right sleeve, the criss crossed scars jarringly visible against his dark brown skin. William shook his head.
“Your left sleeve, dumbass.”
“So I can make it match the right.”
Scott didn’t say another word. He obediently rolled up his left sleeve, and outstretched his arm to William.
“Just get over with it.”
“Listen closely,” William growled, gripping Scott’s wrist tightly, spinning the knife in his hand expertly. “And repeat after me.”
“Michael,” William said, making an incision run down the other’s forearm. Blood welled from the wound. “I didn't hear you. Repeat.”
“Mike,” Scott answered through grit teeth.
“On the, F-Fritz.”
“His… his name is Edward.”
William sliced Scott's arm, creating a seventh cut. He gasped at the pain, as it was practically his elbow, where the nerves connect. “Edward, then.”
“Still being defiant without showing it blatantly,” William chuckled. “Typical. Let’s continue, shall we. Flug.”
“Five… ugh… oh… oh five.”
“Losing strength, huh?” William laughed. Scott didn't reply, he only breathed heavily, staring at Dave’s shoes. “Sammy.”
“Char… dammit, Charlie.”
“Hmph. Is that what your father is to you?” William growled, suddenly mad. “Is that what your father is to you?!”
“It's definitely not,” Scott replied, “but it is who you are to Vincent.”
“How… fucking… dare… you…” William gaped at him. Scott maintained eye contact furiously. Suddenly, the knife was plunged deep into Scott’s shoulder. He shrieked in pain, and collapsed downward, doubling over onto his mutilated arm. The scream cut into a groan, and William stabbed the knife back into his shoulder. He yanked the blade down. “Say Vincent. Say it right now!”
“Vincent!” Scott yelled, gasping, tears dripping down his face. William stabbed him again and again, driving the blade into his shoulder repeatedly, blood coating it over and over. “Vin…. Vin… Vinny… Vince… Vincent! VINCENT! I’m sorry! I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…!”
“STOP IT!” Vincent screamed, fighting against Fritz, who held him back from straight out murdering his father. “Dad, stop it! Please! SCOTT!”
“Put your hands in the air where I can see them, Mr. Afton,” a new, authoritative voice commanded, with a heavy russian accent. William shakily did so, rising to his full height. Scott collapsed to the ground, breathing choppy and thick. Vincent ran over to him, wrapping him into his arms. “Drop the knife.”
“David! Scottie!” Eggs exclaimed happily, relieved to the point of euphoria. “Morris! Leonard! And Papa! You came, oh my god, thank god!”
“Get out of here, Ivan,” William growled, but couldn’t do anything, as there were five rifles pointed at him. “Why do you have two clones?! And why does Edna have two clones?!”
“His name is Edward,” Ivan rumbled. “And they are not clones. They’re from other dimensions, but thanks to that devil Mephistopheles, we’re all in the same universe. It’s both a curse and helpful, like in situations like this one. I don’t think the others know you though.”
“Nope,” Scottie grunted, adjusting the rifle to sit on his shoulder better. “But I know I don’t like you.”
“I second that,” Leonard snarled, “I don’t like you one bit.”
“Agreed,” Morris added, a smirk under his mustache. “You seem like quite a, for lack of a better word, bastard, excuse my french. What do you say, David?”
“I say we give this jerk what's coming to him,” David chuckled. William paled. “Seems like he knows what’s coming, too. You should be scared, you freak.”
“I called the cops,” Eggs said, grinning at his doppelgängers. William stared at him in horror. Sirens were heard in the distance, approaching rapidly. “Game’s up, mate.”
“No.” William replied. It was quiet and dangerous. He looked at everyone. Scott, despite Vincent’s best efforts to keep him down, shakily staggered to his feet to face Dave. They stared at each other for a long time. The police were right outside. Scott turned to face Vincent. The police were almost at the door. “The game’s not over just yet….”
So much happened at once. Almost too much, but it all had happened, all in quick, overlapping, succession. William dove to the floor, snatching up the bloodied blade. The door burst open, and as it flung open, William flung himself into Scott as his back was turned, Vincent wordlessly screamed. The knife rose and fell, and with each strike, it rose covered in red. Scott thrashed to escape, but was weakened by all the recent events that had transpired. Scott's sweater, a maroon so dark it was black, became a black so red it was maroon. Two officers, one of them a terrified Leslie Jones, yanked William away from Scott. He crawled to the wall, and leaned against it, slumping down, looking almost dead, and Mike, in his delirium, remembered finding Scott in the golden Freddy suit. Two teams of paramedics rushed in, not noticing Scott at first, picked Mike up on a stretcher. Scout, Dementia, and Blake ran out after him. The other team suddenly saw Scott, and he waved at them weakly. Another woman hurried into the room, toxic green mohawk flowing into her bright blue eyes. She ran over to Scott, and yanked the maroon sweater off of him. Vincent gasped at the sight of Scott’s once white shirt, now red like the blood that seeped into it. The woman swore.
“Dammit, Scott, why didn’t you listen to me,” she sighed.
“Annette, I did what I had to,” he answered, then coughed. His hand came away from his mouth red. “I wish that it didn’t need to come to this result, but… ugh, I think this is it, my friend.”
“Don’t you dare die on me, Scott,” Annette scolded him, then turned to the paramedic team and Vincent. Scott stood up shakily, and inched toward the door. “C’mon, we gotta get him to a hospital, now.”
“On it, Dr. Stein,” one of them answered. They rushed to the slowly escaping Scott, and tried usher him onto a stretcher, which he refused. “Listen man, we need to get you fixed up.”
“I don’t want to go into shock,” he whimpered. Vincent sighed and shook his head. “Or maybe I don’t want to go to the hospital?”
“I think you’re in shock already,” Vincent said softly, then went over to him. Scott looked at him with both confusion and wonder, his face red compared to his pale skin. He swayed dizzily, and gripped Vincent’s arm for support. Vincent could feel his pulse, weak but rapid. He smiled gently. “Let’s go, Scott.”
“I feel nauseous,” he groaned, but let Vincent lead him to the hospital. He stumbled every now and then, but Vincent was there to keep him upright. “I’m thirsty, too.”
“He’s definitely in shock,” Eggs added, then followed after. Flug, Fritz and Jeremy came along. Eggs pulled Annette’s sleeve. She turned and looked at him, asking what he needed wordlessly. “Uh, could you evaluate Jeremy for trauma? William jammed a gun down his throat.”
“He did what ?!” Annette shrieked, then took Jeremy by the hand. “Yeah, c’mon, we’re going to the trauma specialist. Her name is Tip. Hopefully, you’ll like her.”
“M’kay,” Flug said slowly. “That just happened.”
“Let’s go,” Fritz sighed, then turned to the other two Edwards and the three identical Ivans. “Are you guys coming?”
“Uh,” they glanced at each other. Ivan spoke for them all, “We would, but we have some unfinished business elsewhere. We’ll see you at Samantha’s for Thanksgiving, though. Stay safe. Eddy, take care.”
“Alright pap,” Eggs nodded then waved. “We’ll see you then, then.”
“Okay, now, let’s go,” Fritz instisted. He shook his head. “I don’t know how they did it, but Dementia, Blake, and Scout somehow all fit into Mike’s ambulance.”
“Everyone to the car,” Flug instructed. “Cam-Bot’s already waiting for us there.”
They rushed out, and followed Annette’s car to the hospital. They watched Scott and Mike get rushed into the emergency room, and that was it. All they could do was wait… wait.
Chapter 3: Convulsions
Vincent had to admit, it was… terrifying to return to the emergency room. In a very similar situation to the previous one as well. There was nothing good about such a situation. He growled and rose to his feet, and paced nervously in the waiting room. Scout sighed, and slumped further in her chair. Dementia sat beside her, and gently gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. Scout tightened her hand in response. Blake stared blankly at the wall, emotionless. Fritz was in the trauma ward, waiting on Jeremy. After a moment of complete silence other than that, that damning noise of a metal fan. Vincent glared at it angrily. It was a constant reminder of who was the one who did this, and it gave him the sense of nervousness the pizzaria did. He despised it. He hated the whirling and clanging sound it made, even though it was almost silent. He glanced around, no one was watching. He made his way to the fan and shut it off. No one gave him a second look. He plopped himself back in a chair roughly, hitting the back of his head against the wall. And again. And again. Again. Again. One last time. A shudder wracked through him, and he dropped his head into his hands, and a sob rose in his throat. It wasn’t fair. Mike didn’t deserve to be shot. Mike went through so much already. He didn’t deserve to be in an Emergency Room again. He didn’t deserve to be around Vincent, and, and keep getting hurt like this! It wasn’t fair!
“It’s not your fault, you know,” Edward said softly, his makeup on his cheeks smudged from crying. He placed a hand on the purple man’s shoulder. “None of this is. You’re better than Will, pal.”
“Thanks, buddy,” Vincent replied dryly, attempting a smile. It came out as a grimace. Eggs laughed softly. “I hope they’re okay….”
“Jeremy is tougher than he lets on,” Eggs assured him. “Mike is, well, just as tough as he lets on. Scott, on the other hand… I’m worried about ‘im, mate. I don’t know if he really wants to go on, ya know. Living. Maybe he feels like he doesn’t need to go on, because, William is gonna go to prison for life, especially if he dies.”
“Let’s hope we’re enough for him to keep on living,” Scout articulated shakily, on the verge of numb tears. “Let’s… let’s hope.”
“He will go on,” Black Hat assured them, with great uncertainty. “I mean, he should go on….”
“Don’t make assumptions,” Annette said sternly, coming down the hall with Jeremy, Fritz, and another woman, whom they all assumed to be Tip. Jeremy stared after her with a dopey expression. Her hair was frizzy, but smooth. Her skin was a soft cream color, with freckles of tan. Her eyes were a sharp but calm green. Annette indicated her. “This is Gratuity ‘Tip’ Shannoar. She’s a trauma doctor.”
“And she’s really pretty,” Jeremy gushed, blushing. She smiled at him. “Will you go out with me when Scott and Mike get better? I don’t want to leave them alone, but you’re really beautiful and I want to get to know you better.”
“He’s having an acute stress reaction,” Tip informed them, but she was laughing. “In any case, I’d love to.”
Jeremy didn’t say anything, but he smiled excitedly, blush flicking onto his hologram marks. She smiled back and waved a goodbye. Jeremy watched her leave, the dreamy smile still stuck.
“Oooh, Jeremy has a crush!” Fritz teased, tousling his raven black curls. The smaller man bashfully batted him away, even as he darkened even more. “Aw, c’mon Jerm! It’s adorable!”
“I’m not adorable,” Jeremy whined as he pouted. Vincent held in a snort. “I’m manly as Hell.”
Dementia cracked up, followed by Vincent.
“Oh, oh my G-d,” Dementia wheezed, clutching her sides as she laughed. “That was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, oh my G-d!”
The mood was suddenly and quickly ruined by two grim faced doctors stepping out of the double doors. One looked far younger than the other, maybe just out of college. He looked pale and scared, while his senior just seemed grim and tight. The younger one gestured at the group, whispering to the older. He nodded. They came over to the group.
“Hello,” the older said, his voice gruff, “I’m doctor Hayim. Are you the family of Michael Schmit and Scott Cawthon?”
“Yes, we are,” Blake answered for them all. “Are they doing alright? We’re really worried about them.”
“I have good news and bad news,” Dr. Hayim rumbled. Jeremy duly noted through his breakdown that his voice was similar to Henry’s. “The bad news is… rough. So, whether you like it or not, you’re hearing the good first, otherwise you might die of a heart attack or an aneurysm.”
“Haha, nice one, doc,” Eggs chuckled, albeit slightly nervously. “Was… was that a joke?”
“Dr. Hayim doesn't joke,” the younger doctor said stiffly. Eggs’ worried smile faded. “Ever.”
“Francis is right,” Annette grumbled. “Well? What’s the news?”
“The good news is that Michael will heal up in a few days,” the junior doctor, Francis said. “He just needs bed rest. Dr. Cawthon did a good job taking care of the brunt of the wound. You should be proud.”
“What about my brother?” she asked firmly. The doctors fell silent, looking at each other in a loss. “The bad news is obviously about him, since you’ve mentioned that Mike’s getting better already. What. Is. Going. On. With. Scott.”
“We… oh my frickin’ G-d,” Francis stuttered, and he seemed on the verge of tears. “We almost… oh my G-d, we almost lost him. He was gone for a moment even. I’ve never been more terrified in my life. He… he asked, no, begged us to let him go. Oh my G-d….”
“It’s alright Francis,” Dr. Annette said calmly. “Is he awake right now?”
“Barely,” Hayim answered. “I don’t suggest talking to him, though. He’s very… wracked. Emotionally and otherwise.”
“I’m not gonna talk ta him,” she grumbled, heading to the double doors. Her voice faded as she went down the hall. “I’m going to give that *sshole a verbal beat down for terrifying the sh*t outta me. Mother….”
It fell into silence, then they heard her yelling.
“Go stop her, will you Francis?” Dr. Hayim groaned. He nodded and went off. “Annette can be very hard headed sometimes. Anyways. Scott’s wounds are very dangerous. Even breathing to heavily may injure him for a while, which may pose quite an issue with his anxiety and depression problems. I can only suggest that he is not left alone, at all, in his time here. He accidentally tore his stitches about five or six times already. Since he is in shock still, his dreams may be… insane. However, that is not the bad news.”
“What could be worse than almost dying!?” Scout asked angrily, fear edging its way into her voice. “What is the bad news!?”
“We noticed an odd tumor when we gave him an echocardiogram,” he answered. Flug gasped, whispering the word under his breath. Cancer. “We’re not certain, but we assume it is myxoma.”
“Heart cancer?” Scout breathed, eyes wide. “Isn't that genetic, anyways?”
“Most forms, yes. Hopefully this tumor is benign. We’d like someone to stay with him in his room at all times anyways.”
“I’ll stay with him,” Vincent volunteered, getting to his feet. The doctor studied him. “That is, if Scout won’t, and if it’s okay for me to stay with him, I can.”
“Yeah,” Scout said with a small smile and nod, “it’s fine by me.”
“I don’t see why not,” Dr. Hayim shrugged, then motioned for the purple man to follow him. “Come along.”
He was suffocating. Her hands tightened around his throat, and he couldn’t breathe. Her knee jabbed into his stomach sharply, and her breathy chuckle penetrated his head. All he could think of was trying to escape, but the harder he struggled, the more he needed to breathe. He knew not to open his mouth, but… air… air… ugh… air….
Scott shot up, sweat pouring down his forehead and back, stinging in the recently sealed wounds. He sucked in glorious, beautiful, sterilized air. He thumped back onto the pillows, pressing his right hand to his rapidly beating heart, unable to move the left one. Tears began to mix with the sweat, and the stench of blood invaded his senses. He felt like he needed to vomit. He heard footsteps thundering down the hall, and he recognized Annette as she slammed open his door.
“How could you be so reckless?!” she yelled, stomping over to him, not noticing the sorry state he was in. “You almost died! Don’t you care about your family enough to not end up in such insane situations!? We both knew William was dangerous, and you fuckin’ provoke him!? Are you out of your mind, Scott?! Answer me, Cawthon!”
“I’m sorry,” he said, emotionlessly, staring at his hand. He didn’t look at her. “And I think I am going insane, yes. I’m sorry.”
“Shut the eff up,” she chastised, then sighed, and sat on the edge of his hospital bed. “It wasn’t your fault. I shouldn’t be taking this out on you. You’re not going crazy. You were just under a lot of pressure, my friend.”
“Annette?” another doctor timidly said, walking in carefully. “Dr. Hayim said you shouldn’t… you know. Blow up at a patient. He told me to take you out of here.”
“Fine,” she huffed, then turned to face Scott again. “Sorry. I was just worried about you, buddy.”
“I get it,” Scott replied with a weak smile. “It’s cool, Dr. Stein. I’ll see you soon, I guess.”
She nodded. She left. The door closed gently. The beeping of the heart monitor was the worst noise Scott ever heard, aside from his own begging screams played back to him through her laughter and his sobs. His chest suddenly felt restricted, and phantoms of her hands ghosted over his body. He bit his lip to hold in a scream, and he wrapped his blanket around himself tightly, tears spilling down his face, the left side slipping down into the gap torn in his cheek. He choked on the bitter taste of his own tears. He covered his face with the hand that wasn’t screaming in pain. Scott’s shoulders shook with cold and pain. He didn’t want look up and see the disgustingly white walls and furniture of the hospital room. He hated hospitals. Only one good thing had ever happened to him in one, and she was torn away far too quickly.
A sob rent from him, and he bit his lip again, harder, to keep from crying out. June was everything to him during those bleak years. She was his lifeline, his lighthouse, his little princess, and now, she was gone, and there was nothing he could do to get her back. He missed her so much. He flopped back onto the bed, and tried to fall asleep. Maybe he’d see her again in his dreams. Maybe he’d take her to DisneyLand like how he always promised her. As darkness clouded his vision, a wretched smile stuck to his lips.
“MIKE!” Jeremy shouted, throwing his arms around the normally stoic night guard. “I’m so glad you’re okay! Anyways, I apparently have an acute stress reaction, and I met the prettiest girl ever, so I asked her out and she said yes, but don’t worry, I’m not going out with her yet, I’m going out with her as soon as you and Scott get better! Speaking of Scott, he’s in an emergency ward and Vincent is staying with him to make sure nothing more bad happens! Vinny says hi, by the way, and feel better! What’s new with you Mikey?”
“For starters, you’re talkative,” Mike chuckled, then winced. “And I’m in a hospital. With a bullet in my stomach.”
“Yeah, but you’re not dead though,” Jeremy commented brightly. Fritz gave him an odd look. “Plus, we’re all here if you need us! We’re your family, Mike. And that means we’ll always be there for each other, no matter what. We got you.”
Everyone looked at him as though he was the eighth wonder of the universe. He seemed so confident and optimistic about such a dire situation. He was pretty much their beacon of hope.
“How’re ya so optimistic?” Eggs smiled, shaking his head. “It seems like no matter how bad it gets, you’re able to bounce right back. A real hard hitter.”
“Well, in my case,” Mike said with a smirk. “It’s a no brainer.”
“That was awful,” Blake groaned. “Are you ever going to quit your puns?”
“Nah,” Mike responded, “then I’d have no security.”
“Ah, it looks like he fell asleep,” Dr. Hayim whispered to Vincent with the merest ghost of a grin. “Seems like his little chit chat with Annette tired him out.”
Vincent managed to give the doctor a weak smile in return. He shuffled over to the chair next to Scott’s bed and sat down, heavily. He stared at the floor, only hearing the beeping heart monitor. His vision blurred, and he was vaguely aware of the doctor telling him that he was leaving. The door clicked shut. Tears dripped to the floor, but he did not even notice, nor did he care in the slightest. Soon, there was a fair sized puddle of salty water pooled by his shoes, filled by drop after drop. If Mike didn’t deserve this, Scott didn’t deserve it even more. He went through so much more than all of them, diving head first into danger to keep the others safe, didn’t tell them about his issues because he thought it would burden them, and avoided hurting any of them in any which way, shape, or form. He groaned into his hands, hating every little thing he ever did wrong. Every little thing entirely. It made him wish he was never born.
“Stop overthinking, love,” he heard Scott mumble, his hand brushing against his shoulder. “You’re prettier when you’re calm, Vin.”
“Scott?” Vincent stuttered, staring at the half asleep man with surprise. “Scott?”
“Hm?” he hummed, seeming to have a hard time staying awake. “What is it, dearest?”
“Did you just call me love?” he asked, even more surprised. “Wait, also pretty and dearest?”
“I don’t see why not,” he answered, yawning. His eyes dimmed slightly, and his shoulders fell slightly. “Goodnight, Vinny.”
“It’s the middle of the day,” Vincent muttered dumbly, staring at the clock. A blush spread over his cheeks and went to the edge of his neck. He bit his lip. What the Hell just happened?! What… the… Hell… just… happened?! He felt the blood heat up even more than earlier. He was certain his cyanosis was making his blush even more of a lavender glow. He was glad that everyone else was visiting Mike, otherwise, well… that would have been awkward, wouldn’t’ve it been? The darkness on his cheeks spread to his ears. He stared past Scott, out the window. But the rise and fall of the darker man’s chest was impossible to ignore, as was the somewhat steady beep of the heart monitor. The trees swayed in tune to the blips. Every now and then, Scott would sigh, groan, or shuffle the sheets, but other than that, all was calm and peaceful. Vincent thought that it was not nearly as bad as the previous time he had been in a hospital for Scott, and found this one time almost nice or genteel. It was all going to be okay and it was beautiful. “It’s all gonna be okay.”
Mike shot up, clawing at his abdomen, writhing in sharp pain. He gasped through the pain, tears of pain and agony painfully springing to his stinging eyes. All he could feel was pain, pain, pain, pain!
He stifled a groan against the back of his hand, and it took all his will power to prevent biting himself as hard as he could. The bright red glare from the analog clock informed him it was a quarter to midnight. A light snore attracted his attention, and he saw sleeping, albeit a little uncomfortably, Blake. He was in the plastic chair beside Mike’s bed, with his ever ready black top hat perched over his face. Mike realized that he fell asleep while he and his brother were talking. A smile danced upon his lips. He knew that when he’d get out of the hospital, he’d go to live with Blake. How’d they live? Earlier, Edward had told them of his uncles, who had some similar character traits as Mike and Blake. They got along well enough, if not amazingly. When asked who these mysterious uncles were, he responded “skeletons.”
“So they’re dead?” Mike asked incredulously.”I thought you said that they get along perfectly!”
“They do,” he chuckled. “They’re just skeletons.”
“They’re super thin?” Dementia questioned with futility.
“Only one of them. The other’s pretty chubby. Must be from his ketchup obsession.”
Afterwards, they couldn't get a word from him. Maybe they didn’t even exist, but Eggs was honest, and never lied about anything. Maybe they actually were skeletons. There was a rumor that monsters had joined the human on the surface after emerging from under Mt. Ebott, in the Rocky Mountain Range. Heck, he and Blake weren’t a hundred percent human either. But then again, they showed signs of not being completely human. Eggs did not show any traits of being inhuman. However, he did say his uncles were skeletons, and his skeleton obviously exists inside of him. But it didn’t make complete sense, but maybe it’s because he was still semi unconscious. Mike continued to hazily go over these thoughts, until pain exploded in his abdomen. He let out the minutest cry of discomfort, but the small peep was enough to wake Blake up.
“Mike? Are you alright?” he asked with some urgency, shoving his hat atop his head. “Is it your stomach?”
Mike gasped and vigorously nodded. Blake jumped up and hit the button to call a nurse, and grabbed Mike’s hand. A young medical student rushed in, his scrub on haphazardly.
“What’s wrong?” he asked with urgent concern. “Is his wound acting up?”
“Yeah, it’s a bullet wound,” Black Hat gibbered. “It shouldn’t be causing so many problems, right?!”
“That’s true,” the nurse answered, looking over Mike. “I think that the bullet may have fractured and a part may have entered or is agitating an organ. I’ll call in Dr. Francis.”
He gave Mike another dosage of morphine and rung a caller strapped to his waist. A few minutes of agonizing waiting passed, and the middle aged, but young doctor sauntered in.
“You think the bullet fractured?” he asked calmly after the nurse explained what was going on. “It’s not impossible.”
“Look here, buddy,” Blake growled, growing impatient. “ My brother is in excruciating pain right now. Either you do something to help, or you will do something. And it might not be the most pleasant thing you’d experience.”
“Okay, okay, calm down. We’ll give him another x-ray. But I doubt anything is amiss.”
It had turned out that the young nurse, Kaylib by name, was correct in assuming the bullet had fractured and was irritating an organ, Mike’s liver to be specific. Dr. Francis could barely believe it, but begrudgingly admit that Kaylib was right. They debated what to do, Kaylib suggesting to remove to bullet, at least the part causing Mike pain, while Dr. Francis argued to just give him more pain killers and the matter would resolve itself. Kaylib reasoned that this would force Mike to stay in the hospital longer, and Francis shrugged. In the end, they left the decision up to Mike and Blake.
“Just do something,” Mike pleaded, biting his knuckles to keep from crying out, “it hurts so much.”
“I opt for the surgery, it’ll keep incidents like this from happening,” Blake reasoned with a begging and anxious tone. “As soon as possible.”
“Fine,” Francis agreed, calling in another nurse to take Mike to the surgery ward. “Since this is pretty early in the morning, a lot of the senior doctors will be able to deal with this. That’s a good thing, by the way.”
All the pieces of the fractured bullet were set aside in a sterilized plastic bag. Every single one of the eighteen bits of the 9mm bullet. The doctors said that removing them was a good idea, as one or two might have caused serious problems later in life.
Blake was uncertain how to feel at first, but when he saw how much less agony Mike was in, sleeping soundly with the knowledge his big brother was watching over him, he knew he had made the right decision. He reached over, placing a hand on Mike’s head.