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To Believe

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Joey’s plan was becoming more complicated than it needed to be. He had merely planned for the cartoons to experience an illusion of living, not actually living. He had created life three times, and each time the creations seemed more human than the next. With a human mind came human troubles, opinions, and desires. His tools to immortality had to be sated.

Boris was the recent child to be born of the machine, only a few months old now, and so very curious about the world. Kind to everyone and the stains of greed hadn’t stained the wolf. It helped that Boris only had the social understandings of an eight year old; easy to control and easy to manipulate. The middle child was Alice Angel. The girl, although she looked like a woman, was a bit more wiry then Joey wanted; seeming to be born of venom rather than ink. He took her bad attitude as simply being the second born, rather than being first.

And then there was Joey’s poster child, his magnum opus. Bendy.

Bendy although only being five years old physically had the mental capacity of an adult; as if born spiteful and sceptical from the first drop. Joey had to assume Bendy bore this emotions because of the animator’s feelings at the time towards Henry. Henry, that fool, turned all of this away. And for what? A nice pair of legs and decent face? Joey would make sure Bendy would never go away.

Bendy was more independent than Boris and Alice, and a lot more vocal in how the cartoons were produced; more of a hobby then an actual job. Joey hadn’t made Bendy to take the show to seriously, but as long as it kept the demon close and complacent . . .then Joey could have more time to change Bendy’s mind about his fate. However, the freetime was a double edged sword.

Bendy was given lots of time to think about what it meant to be alive and what it mean to be a person, and after reading history books and hearing about wars where man killed man . . . Bendy knew the world Joey wanted him to save would hate him. Bendy could hear their words in his sleep - Demon. Monster. Abomination. These thoughts started to build up a resentment inside of the cartoon to a world he never meet.

This was not what Joey wanted. If he was going to have Bendy save them all, and to have his creation’s very real emotions willingly bend to his request, Joey had to give Bendy an example. Someone who was worth saving. Joey had found her in a local orphanage. Female, small, thin, and submissive. She would be the perfect tool for the job. She would be the pen that would help Bendy’s ink flow onto the pages of life.

Yes, Joey Drew was very happy in this new plan.

. . .

Another day, another dollar. That’s what Bendy told himself as he got out of bed.

'Well, that’d be if I eva’ get a cent from the royalties from the dang show.' Bendy thought as he huffed on his shoes over his hooves. Once on, he did a little tap for warm up. Clicky click! Clicky Click! Click-Click-Click! “Still got it!”

The toon giggled to himself and walked over to the step stool. With a scoot of wood on wood, Bendy got the stool over to the sink and stood up on it; looking over his reflection in the mirror. He never had form before being pumped out of that machine, and even years later he looked at himself in the mirror with a bit of wonder. Form, shape, texture, surface. The darkness never gave any of those . . .

“Well hey there handsome!” Bendy waved his taloned fingers at himself, humming out a tune as he reshinned the ink in his eyes and slipped on his white gloves. Handsome? Hardly. People in the studio used the term cute or friendly. He hated it. Sometimes Bendy would practice the same old smile Drew liked, but mostly he made different expressions to try. Today was sadness. Bendy sort of lost track of how many different sorts of frowns he could do now. There were the real ones and then the ones Bendy was made to wear for the show. He liked the real ones more.

With a sigh Bendy hopped off the stool and began to walk down the hall to find something to do. Maybe he could bother Shawn today, get some payback for painting his smiles all wrong.

. . .

Meanwhile, in the music department, Joey’s new ward was settling into her job. How long had it been since she was brought here? Two weeks maybe? The days went by in blurs at the orphanage and the effect seemed to follow her here to. Samara didn’t mind to much though, knowing where she was.

Really, in all possibilities for her life, this was something of a dream! Fostered by the Joey Drew! She was so lucky and so very grateful. He even let her work on the show . . . in a way. She was a very good listener.

She had meet Sammy Lawrence once before today and he seemed . . . quiet, for someone who worked with sound. Soft. Samara wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Tom Lee at the orphanage was quiet and she was told once he ripped the wings off butterflies. Tom Lee had no chance to be adopted if he kept acting weird.

Sammy lead Samara down to the studio to listen, sitting quietly with herself as she waited for the real to start up. As Sammy worked, she could hear other voice not to far away. Some foreigner and another guy.

“That’s her? The um-” The first voice was bit hesitant.

“Yeah, that’s her.” The second voice was the Foreigner. Irish? Or Scottish? Samara had never heard that sort of voice before to know the difference.

“Odd little thing, isn’t she?” Odd? Samara was not odd! She glared at nothing.

“SH! She might hear you!”

“Oh yeah, sorry.” If adults only knew how much Samara could hear and knew. “So, you know what Joey hopes to accomplish by going this?”

“Beats me.” Samara took in a little breath waiting. Here it came. “Cartoons aren't made for her kind of kid.”

If adults only knew . . .

. . .

Heh, pranking Susie was fun! Bendy had replaced her rouge with brick dust and hid behind her couch as she got ready for the day. When her blush came out shit brown she screamed. Oh man, the look on her face!

Bendy was happily making his way down the hall, a song in his throat that he kept in time with his footsteps, when the voice of Joey called out to him.

“Bendy, come with me please.” Joey Drew. His limp had gotten worse recently and Bendy could see how hard his hand depended on the cane. Bendy may not like his father, but he could still pity the man.

Drew lead Bendy to sit in the viewing area above the orchestra's room, another step stool waiting for the toon to jump up on.

“Have a look down there.” Joey nodded down to two figures. One Bendy knew, Sammy the creep, and the other . . .

Sammy stood beside the dark haired girl, sheet music in his hand. “Today Bendy and Boris are going to meet a new friend today.”

“Okay.” The girl nodded.

“Are you ready?”

“Yes, Sir.” She nodded again; her voice was so small.

Sammy looked up to Joey to play the real, the music kicking in through the speakers and the most recent cartoon playing on the screen on the other side of the room.

Bendy frowned. “A Kid? What gives Joey? I’ve seen kids before.”

“Not like this one though.”

“Stop being cryptic, old man. I have stuff to do today!” That was half a lie. Really, Bendy didn’t have much to do when not setting up in front of the cameras to move. Anything he did on his off time was all optional.

“Very well.” Joey began with a little sigh. “I know you still refused the idea of you divinity.” Bendy kept his eyes down on the child as Joey spoke. “You find it hard that a person could ever think you are more than a moving image. Let alone the god to set all of humanity free from the curse of mortality.”

'Funny how you mention to leave out being a god you made, old man.' Bendy commented in his mind.

“Well today . . . I have brought you your first believer.”

Bendy didn’t like the tone in which Joey said that. The demon glared over at his creator, the red iris inside glowing ever so. “A little girl? Wow Drew, you’re far more fucked up then I pegged ya for.”

“Not like that, you little-!” Joey grumbled and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

Bendy knew that’s not what Joey meant, but something spitefully inside of Bendy couldn’t stop that itch at the back of his head. Someone like Joey always had ulterior motives to something. Bendy just liked to remind Joey that he knew exactly what was in the human’s heart.

“So, how did it sound?” When the music and cartoon were over, Sammy leaned down to the girl and asked a soft question to her.

Bendy snapped his gaze back to the creep, then down to the kid. 'Sound? Sound?!' Bendy growled at the stupid question. Shouldn’t Sammy be asking how the cartoon looked? That’s what kids did, right? They watched the cartoon. It was the adults job to make sure it sounded nice before the kids saw it. 'I swear if Sammy get’s all we-'

“It’s perfect.” even though all Bendy saw the back of her head, he could see in her tone what expression she held. The bittersweet joy was in her pitch.

'Oh . . .'

Bendy got it. The Demon looked down at the girl and Sammy as they left, even longer at the little chair she sat at.

Joey tilted his head. “Bendy? . . . B-”

Bendy turned his head away to hide his face, speaking almost uncomfortably. “Tomorrow. Can I see her tomorrow?”

“Of course.” Joey gave a little bow of his head, working to hide the growing, shadowed smirk on his lips.

. . .

Tomorrow became today, with Bendy and the girl sitting across from one another in Joey’s office. He found it a bit weird that she lived at the studio, then again Joey lived at the studio so the kid had to live where their guardian lived.

Bendy was slumped in his chair, sort of waiting out the time between the girl’s breathing to find the words. He could hear the muffled talking of the two adults outside of the office, but he couldn’t quite hear what was said.

Sammy peeped up, his slick curiosity peeking. “Sir, are you sure about this? This sheep is-”

“I’m sure. Don’t question me again, Mr Lawrence.”

“F-Forgive me Sir . . .”

Joey always did have a knack of shutting people down. Something in his voice.

“What do you think our Lord will do with her?”

Joey moved his other hand to join the first on the hilt of his cane, worn hands writhing ever so at the wood handle. “For the moment, I think he is merely curious. I have given him this little pleasure.” The older man bowed his head some, looking to his twisted leg. “ It should hopefully pay off in the end.”

Well, whatever they are talking about, it had to deal with Bendy and the girl. The demon could make out some of the words, mostly his own name but little else. Bendy smiled as he talked. “So Kid, I hear ya’s a big fan?”

“Yes Sir. I love the show.” She didn’t smile back.

“Ya got a fave’ toon?” He tried to make his voice a little excited, to see if he could draw her out more from that shell.

“Bendy, Sir.” There, a little grin spread over mauve lips.

Heh, ya got good taste, Kid!” 'Take that Alice!' Bendy couldn't help but gloat ever so.

“I like it when he dances.” Bendy went still as she spoke more, listening intently. “The little taps of his shoes, the beat makes me wanna dance to.” As she went on, Bendy wish he was an asshole enough to stop her. “But I’ve been told by doctors that dancing isn’t good for my health.”

The poor kid. Bendy felt raw emotion boil up from his nonexistent stomach. It was unpleasant at best. Bendy grimmanced and rubbed his head, trying to be rid of it. With a sight Bendy went on. “I gotta ask ya something’.”

“Sir?” Her voice was so sweet.

“I gotta ask ya . . . “ Bendy looked back to her, leaning up in his chair ever so. “How can ya be a fan of the show, be a fan of Bendy and his dancin’ if . . .”

'Say it Bendy.' By the look on her face he knew that she knew it was coming. He had to wonder how many times she’d been asked this already - and now Bendy was just part of that annoying statistic.

“If ya can’t even see him?”

She smirked playfully, blushing ever so from mild embarrassment. “That’s sort of an off question to ask a blind girl, Sir.” No one liked to be put on the spot.

“ERM-!! Y-Yeah, it sort of is, ain’t it?” 'Good job, Bendy.' He knew it was coming but he still had to internally criticize himself. He could feel the ink welling up at his face, hueing him with a grey blush.

“What’d you say your name was again, Mr-?”

“Oh . . . um, I never-” He never actually told her his name. He wasn’t supposed to. Being blind helped the lie, and seeing as how he never spoke in the show she’d not know it was the Bendy she was actually talking to.

'Joey will hang me out to dry if I tell her who I am!'

“I-um”

'Come on Bendy! THINK!!'

It came to him with a little pop and Bendy added a charm to his voice. ‘Heh, call me Ben. No “Mr” or “Sir” needed.”

She gave a single, gaspy laugh. “Ben? He, a few more letters and you’ll have the same name as Bendy.”

“Yeeeeah, ha! It’s um short for Benjamin.” Bendy mentally patted his back.

“Well Ben, would you mind if I ask you a few questions before I answer yours?”

“Ask away, Kid.”

“Samara.”

“Huh?”

“My name’s Samara.”

“Oh, uh okay.” It was a pretty name, not something Bendy’s ever heard before. But there were so many S names already in the studio - Sammy, Suzie, Shawn, and now Samara. They could form an S cult at this rate.

“Ben, can you see air?”

“No.”

“Yet you feel it when you breath, right?”

Ah, Bendy could see where this was going. Maybe. She might pull a fast one on him. “Yes?” 'Well if I had any lungs to breathe . . .'

“Keeping that in mind, do you think I need to see Bendy to enjoy him?” Samara lowered her head ever so in thought. Bendy himself was almost in a trance, digesting her words carefully. “To believe he’s really there? The answer is no. I don’t need to see Bendy to know the joy he gives me; or gives many others. I have faith, I believe, that he’s there.”

The trance was snapped at that. “You . . . you believe in me?” Bendy could feel his ink stir in his eyes, as if they were trying to absorb the invisible conversation floating between demon and child; catching the light with pops of twinkle.

“Believe in you?” Samara did that playful smirk once more, tilting her head into the question.

“Uh-! I-what I meant was-uhhh . . . !”

'Joey’s gonna erase me! Crap, crap, CRAP!!'

“What I-uh!” Why was he so nervous? He was a demon, for ink’s sake! And yet he was getting unnerved by a little girl! Maybe because . . . actually it was because she was the first person outside of the studio's crew that he’d meet. Someone who only knew him in the now, not before; no opinion formed of the person behind the cartoon; of the real Bendy.

“Hehehehehe . . . What I meant was, yeah ya kinda do believe in “me”.” Bendy shrugged, sweating ink in a bout of anxiety. “All that dancin’ ya hear? That’d be me!

Samara sat up straight at that, head coming to sit center once more.

'By all that is unholy, please let her believe that!!'

“I’m the one that makes that little dancin’ devil boogy! HA!”

'Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please. FuckfuckFUCK!'

If Drew’s big secret got out before it was time-

Samara smiled warmly, her entire face glowing with joy. “Y-You mean you’re the tap dancer they record?”

'Oh thank fuck, she believed it!' Bendy could have nearly fallen out of his chair at that. Close one.

“Y-Yep! That’s me.” Bendy cleared his throat and began to say something, but he was stopped by Samara’s eagerness.

“W-Watch this Ben!” She scooted forward out of her chair a bit, her feet meeting the floor and . . . she began to perfectly tap dance out one of the routines Bendy had performed. Bendy couldn’t take his eyes off her feet, his tail shifting behind him to keep time like a metronome. Wow, she was actually fairly good! Color Bendy impressed.

With a small “Heh”, Bendy pulled himself and his chair to her side and then stood beside her, tapping out the routine with her. They kept perfectly in sync, both smiling wide and chuckling at the shared passion.

Joey and Sammy could hear the dancing from inside, and both men looked over to the fog class to see the fuzzy outlines of Samara and Bendy.

“He’s . . .dancing with her.”

“I can hear that, Mr Lawrence.”

“What does it mean?” Sammy looked back to Joey, cowering somewhat as his boss rose from the chair.

“It means,” Joey smiled with a darkness spreading over his once handsome face. “We have our in . . .”