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Overheated

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Overheated

Bonnie powered up to the familiar ringing of the phone. He subtly checked the camera in the corner. He was surprised to notice the red light was not blinking, which meant that the camera was not being checked. He almost let out a predatory chuckle, but he refrained. If that endoskeleton was stupid enough to leave the cameras off, then he deserved to be caught.

The purple rabbit quickly stepped down from the stage. He took his usual path through the tables. Again, he didn't see the red lights of the cameras flickering to life. The animatronic took a step into the hallway and stopped.

The new endoskeleton was laying on the floor.

Bonnie tilted his head as though that would help him see what was going on with the endo. They had seen a lot of endoskeletons since they first became aware, but they always seemed to hide in the security office. Why would this one be laying the hall?

The bunny considered that the servos in his leg might have locked up. It had happened to each of them at least once before. It had even happened to Foxy during a show once!

Bonnie bent down and grabbed the endoskeleton by the back of his neck as he'd seen Freddy do with the broken one in the back room. He held the endo up, shaking it lightly when he just hung limply and breathed shallowly.

Freddy and the gang didn't breathe, and Bonnie pondered if it was just a feature of the new animatronics to make the humans more comfortable. He'd seen all the endos doing it. Vaguely, he wondered what it felt like.

After a moment, Bonnie noticed the faint heat radiating from the endo into his paw. Since Chica helped cook in the kitchen and they each handled various machinery, the animatronics had been designed with heat sensors in certain parts of their body to keep their suit from catching on fire.

When the animatronic felt the heat coming from the endo, he came to an immediate and alarming conclusion. He gently placed the endo back where he found him and ran to the stage.

"Freddy! The endo is overheating!" He cried. Immediately, the bear moved, proving that he'd been powered up the whole time.

"Overheating?" The bear stressed, a concerned look coming over his face. Chica quickly looked over as well.

"What are we gonna do Freddy?" She asked worriedly. "He could be really damaged if he's overheated!"

"Well, we'll have to cool him down and make sure he isn't too damaged. Looks like we can't fix him with a suit tonight. The suit would be too hot and make it worse," the bear frowned and carefully thought over the protocols for overheating. "Bonnie bring him in here."

The rabbit nodded quickly. He hurried back to the hall and gently picked up the endo. He noticed the limp limbs with a wince and carefully pulled the whole frame into his arms. His feet plodded heavily on the linoleum floor as he made his way back to the main room.

"Set him on the table there. Chica's gone to get some ice packs," Freddy directed. Part of a table had been cleared of all party hats and decorations.

"Won't the condensation mess with his circuits?" Bonnie fretted even as he laid the endo on the cleared space.

"All these new endos seem pretty water tight," Freddy assured. The bear moved closer to examine their overheating patient. "What's this?" The bear plucked at the button up shirt that covered the endo's torso.

"It looks like human clothing... Why would an endo be wearing human clothing?" Chica questioned as she joined them at the table. In both hands she held a bucket full of ice packs.

"Maybe he made his own suit?" Bonnie suggested. He flicked open one of the buttons. "He doesn't look like he could fit in one of our suits, actually..." A frown settled over his face. "In fact, if we put him in a suit I think we'd break him. But what kind of endoskeleton doesn't need a suit?"

"What be all tha blubberin' about, mateys?" Foxy drawled as he finally made his way from Pirate's Cove. "Tha endo hasn't checked me... all night... Freddy! What's tha endo doin' on tha table?!"

"He's overheating!" Chica helpfully supplied. The pirate's jaw dropped, and not in its usual way.

"We've got ta save 'im!" The fox cried. "What do we do?" The three animatronics turned to Freddy.

"Well, I say... I say we cool him down first," Freddy reckoned. The others nodded and they began to carefully arrange the ice packs around the endoskeleton. A few minutes later, the endo was still the overheated red color but he was shivering!

"What do we do?!" Bonnie lamented. "It isn't working!"

"Maybe we have to fix the damage first?" Chica wondered. She gently unbuttoned the endo's shirt and set it aside. All four animatronics stared at the smooth surface in front of them.

"Ya think he's already in a suit?" Foxy asked, head tilting curiously to examine the torso better.

"Either that or he's very advanced," Freddy frowned. Chica blubbered beside him.

"How are we supposed to fix him noooooow?" She cried.

"Do you think there's a hidden panel or something?" Bonnie asked. Freddy's paw wandered over the torso.

"I don't think so. It's all very smooth," the bear puzzled. He scratched his head. "Do endos normally shiver?"

"No. I've seen him breathing too. Look!" Bonnie pointed out. The animatronics studied the endo intently for a second.

"Well, I'll be!" Foxy exclaimed.

"None of this makes any sense!" Chica wailed and retreated back to the stage.

"That's some mighty advanced tech," Freddy scowled.

"I don't think he's meant to have a suit," Bonnie concluded. "He's the wrong size, and he does things we don't. And don't you remember how all the other endos broke when we put them in a suit? I think it's a new kind of animatronic. Smaller, more... cuddly."

"Ya think he's meant for... cuddlin'?" Foxy spat as though the action were repulsive.

"Well, yeah! He's the right size for cuddling. Humans are about this size. We could cuddle him, a human could cuddle him... I think he's meant for cuddling. Freddy's for jokes and Chica's for food. Foxy, you're for playing. I'm for music... It just makes sense, don't you think?" Bonnie explained with a warm smile.

"But how do we fix him!" Chica demanded.

"I don't know!" Bonnie responded, back to being worried. The new animatronic shifted weakly on the table.

"So... cold..." A small voice croaked.

"Cold?!" The four animatronics exclaimed.

"But you're still red!" Chica frowned.

"It doesn't make sense!" Freddy scowled. He help his hand to the new animatronic's head. "You're still overheating!" The animatronic shivered violently and made a soft sound.

"If he says he's cold..." Bonnie frowned. "He's different than us. He probably know what's best for his mechanics..."

"I guess..." Freddy agreed in frustration.

"Do we still have any blankets around here?" Chica asked.

"Aye," Foxy nodded. "They were moved into me Cove when it started bein' used for storage." The red animatronic quickly ran past his curtains and returned with one of the old blankets. Sometimes, children would get sick during a party, and the staff would take care of them until their parents arrived. Most of the supplies had been moved into storage as business died down.

Foxy threw the blanket over the shivering animatronic after Chica removed the ice packs. The four older animatronics leaned over the form and watched intently for any changes. Gradually, the new animatronic stopped shivering. They each breathed a sigh of relief.

"Well, now that that's taken care of, I'm curious. If he's a new animatronic, what is he supposed to be? I'm a bunny, Freddy's a bear, Chica's a chicken, and Foxy's a, well, fox. So what is he supposed to be?" Bonnie questioned.

"He's kinda small... So it must be a smaller animal!" Chica exclaimed excitedly.

"A kitten?" Foxy sneered lightly, staring at the thin limbs and lean frame. Each of them were big and powerful; this animatronic looked weak and frail.

"Maybe he's another kind of bird!" Chica hopefully cried.

"He doesn't have a beak," Bonnie pointed out. "Or wings. Or feathers."

"A mouse," Freddy stated gravelly. "He's a mouse." The other animatronic peered searchingly once more.

"You're right!" The chicken cheered. Foxy nodded, accepting Freddy's observation.

"He is kinda mousy," Bonnie agreed. "Look, he's got the soft brown hair and a little mousy nose." The others nodded.

"What about his ears though? I thought mice had big ears," Chica pouted.

"They don't. I caught a mouse once," Foxy grinned wickedly, instantly falling into story mode. "It was when we was still roamin' these halls. It was just after closin' when I spotted it..." Chica unnecessarily sucked in a breath in anticipation. "A vermin!" Chica gasped. "The little creature was all grey and dirtied... I did 'im a favor I did." Freddy nodded solemnly. "Anyway, mice has them small ears and big eyes."

"So he's a mouse," Bonnie concluded for all of them. There was a brief period of silence.

"What do we do now? We haven't spent a night away from catching an endo in years..." Chica pondered. "I'm going to go bake! There's a birthday party tomorrow, and I'm sure I can find the cake order."

"I've been meain' to count the doubloons I got left..." Foxy muttered as he drifted back to Pirate's Cove. Freddy turned to leave as well, but Bonnie quickly stopped him.

"Freddy? I'm still confused. Why wouldn't management tell us if there was a new animatronic? And we haven't seen him at all during the day..." The rabbit trailed off uncertainly.

"I've been wondering the same, Bonnie," Freddy stated. His back was still turned to the purple animatronic. "I've also been curious about the endos before. We kept breaking them, Bonnie. What if they were supposed to become one of us? We broke them, and they aren't coming back... Maybe that's why management didn't tell us... They don't trust us after everything that's happened..." With that, the bear left.

Bonnie struggled for a moment with the feelings Freddy's little speech had given him. His eyes wandered down to the overheated animatronic on the table, and he was thankful they hadn't broken him too.

Gently, Bonnie sat next to the table and pulled the new animatronic into his lap. If he was meant for cuddling, then cuddling would make him feel better, right? Or maybe Bonnie just felt the need to cuddle...

Bonnie searched his memory banks for all the endos they'd broken before. His hands roamed mindlessly as his thought processors whirred, fingers combing through soft hair and stroking the other animatronic's cheek. His sensors vaguely registered that the new animatronic was beginning to stir.

A quiet whimper pulled Bonnie from his data banks. His fingers stopped their ministrations as he looked down. The other animatronic shifted weakly, eyebrows creased, before he finally opened his eyelids to reveal dazed blue optics.

Bonnie was stunned for a moment by the realistic looking eyeballs, but he remembered that the new animatronic was simply more advanced.

The new animatronic's fingers twitched weakly, his arm having escaped the blanket at some point. The fingers buried themselves in Bonnie's chest fur, and the body settled more heavily against him. The glossy blue eyes stared blankly at the purple fur. Bonnie's was somewhat worried the animatronic's optics were damaged; it would be a shame because they were so pretty.

"Hello, little mouse," Bonnie greeted quietly. The new animatronic's breath hitched and his eyes slowly moved up to the rabbit's face. Unsure how to continue, Bonnie just asked, "Are you better now?"

"W-what?"

Uh oh. Was his voice box broken too? Bonnie's knew from experience that voice boxes were extremely difficult to repair or replace.

"You overheated and locked up in the hallway. We tried to cool you down but you started shivering... We covered you up with a blanket and you seemed better after that. Can I see your circuitry? I know it's inappropriate, but it seems like it'd be really fascinating!" The bunny babbled nervously.

The animatronic blinked a few times before shaking his head and examining himself. In an unsteady voice, and ignoring everything Bonnie had said, the new animatronic squeaked, "Where is my shirt?!" He lifted up the blanket and let out a sigh of relief at his pants. Bonnie quickly tucked the blanket back around him.

"The human clothing? We took it off to fix your damaged parts, but we were stopped by the seamless plating on your torso. How did the mechanics do that anyway? How are they supposed to fix your circuits and replace worn down parts?" The rabbit questioned. The animatronic have him a look of complete disbelief.

"It's called skin," he declared. Not even a second later, his chest stopped and his frame was shaken with coughs. Bonnie's hands hovered over him in worry, not knowing what could be causing this kind of malfunction.

"I don't understand," the rabbit pleaded. "Where are you damaged? How can we fix it?" Slowly, the coughs tapered off.

"Not.. damaged. 'M sick," the animatronic muttered. The purple bunny puzzled over the response, knowing deep within his data banks that animatronics shouldn't be able to get sick.

"Ooooookay? Well, I'm Bonnie! What's your name?" The rabbit smiled warmly.

"Mike," the new animatronic shifted restlessly, even though he looked dead tired.

"Wow! That's perfect!" Bonnie exclaimed, startling the weakened animatronic. "Mike the Mouse!"

Mike stared at him in confusion, his eyes becoming glassy once more. He shivered once and sank into Bonnie's fur. One hand pulled the blanket tighter around him while the other gripped the purple suit.

"I'm delirious," he murmured. "Hallucinating... Gotta be..."

"Mike?" Bonnie asked nervously.

"You're not real... Leave me alone," Mike whispered even as he snuggled closer. His breathing quickly evened out and he powered down again.

Bonnie fidgeted, unsure of what had just occurred. Mike was very strange for an animatronic. Maybe his programming was just different? The rabbit tucked the blanket around Mike again.

The mouse still seemed to be overheating, but Bonnie let it be. Maybe when Mike was fixed he could explain why he was so different?

-{[(•)]}-

Mike woke up to the familiar alarm on his phone. Shifting tiredly, he pulled the irritating device out of his pocket and stared at the time displayed. After a beat, his entire body rocketed up, leaving a blanket behind him.

"It's 6am, oh my gosh," he gasped. "I know I made it..." He looked around at the familiar main room of the pizzeria, strange when he wasn't seeing it from a camera. "Howam I alive?!"

The brunette ran both of his hands through his hair, spinning in bewilderment until his eyes rested on the animatronics. A blurry memory came back to him... He had thought it was a dream...

Bonnie...

The purple rabbit had picked him up last night... Had he really? Was it real, or just a dream?

Mike eyes drifted to his unclothed chest. He clenched his eyes shut and forcefully took a deep breath. When he was calm enough to move again, he pulled his shirt back on and buttoned it up.

So they had figured out he wasn't an endoskeleton...

That was good.

Mike shakily sat on the edge of the stage, realizing how close to death he had really been. He was lucky they had assumed he was another animatronic. Who knows how they would have reacted if they thought he was a human who had broken in or stayed after hours?

The brunette stood once more and turned to face the animatronics. He knew they meant well; they thought he was an endoskeleton for some reason. They weren't trying to hurt him. They were trying to follow the rules.

They were still the monsters who haunted his feverish nightmares.

He had caught a cold the day he applied for the job at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria. Of course, he desperately needed money, so he had gone to the interview anyway. He had been drowsy and sniffling the whole time, but the manager had hired him anyway.

He'd been shocked at the time, but it all made sense now.

From there, his cold had just gotten worse. He hadn't rested properly all week, he kept forgetting to take medicine, and the stress of working in this nightmare was agitating his symptoms. He had constant migraines and stomachaches. His vision was blurry, and he sweated constantly. It was awful.

He was almost afraid the cold would take him out before the animatronics did.

It seemed his cold had saved his life...

Sniffling weakly, Mike let himself pat Bonnie's arm. The animatronic had taken care of him. And if he pretended to be an animatronic, he might be safe, and maybe they could be friends.

Or this was all some crazy, sickness-induced hallucination and tomorrow he'd be back to fending for his life...

Mike let himself hope as he exited the pizzeria once more.

Chapter Text

Tiredly the brunette shuffled into the pizzeria that night. It was a few minutes to midnight, and he was going to risk his life to see if his foggy memories from last night meant anything. Shivering, he sat on the edge of the stage and looked up at the animatronics.

At this time of night, when the lights were off and he could only see because of the faint moonlight coming through the doors, the animatronics were shadowed and darkened eerily. It gave him the creeps, and his mind flooded with the camera images that had been ingrained into his brain. The angles seemed designed to make the animatronics seem even more scary.

And Mike sat pliantly at their feet, their cold metal bodies looming over him, able to snap his neck with the slightest twist of their fingers-

"Mike!"

The brunette looked up to the purple rabbit, trembling and with wide eyes.

"Mike?" Bonnie fretted and stepped closer. The man flinched, but he stayed where he was. "You're not still overheating, are you? You're still... Well, actually you're kinda pale now." He bent down and pressed his hand to the man's forehead, gauging his temperature. "Yeah, you're still too warm..."

The rabbit grabbed Mike's arm and yanked him to his feet; he missed the small, pained gasp the brunette made at the harsh gesture. He started to pull the smaller being towards the other side of the stage.

"Hey! What are you- Ow, stop it!" Mike cried, pushing uselessly against Bonnie's fingers. "Gentle! Please, you gotta be gen- You're hurting me!"

"It's okay!" Bonnie reassured cheerfully and glanced back at him. "We can get the right parts to fix you back here."

Blue eyes widened in horror.

"No! No, let go of me! Get off!" Mike dug his heels in as best he could, but there was no traction to be found on the linoleum flooring. "LET GO!"

Bonnie's hand jerked away at his scream, just as he was opening the door to the back room too. He gave Mike a worried, questioning look.

Quivering, shaking his head, gripping his tightening chest, letting out panicked breaths, Mike couldn't meet the animatronic's eyes. He let out a tiny squeak and fled back to the dining hall.

"Mike? Mike, where are you going?" The robot called and followed after him with those hauntingly slow, heavy footsteps. "I don't understand!" When the machine finally reached the dining hall, the terrified man had managed to duck under one of the many tables.

"We can't play games right now, Mikey!" Bonnie called plaintively, hoping to entice the man into coming out. "We gotta get you fixed! It's not good for your systems to be over heating for so long!" Echoing footsteps moved between tables.

Mike held his trembling hands over his mouth, curled into as small a ball as he could go. He understood, somewhere deep in his logical mind, that Bonnie didn't know he was human and was just trying to help. But the animatronic was too aggressive, and Mike was human. What if the rabbit tried to fix him, but Mike couldn't show him the damaged parts? Would Bonnie rip him open to help him? Would he try to force parts in him?

The footsteps were right beyond his table.

"Mike, you need to be fixed! Come out! Please?" The purple animatronic pleaded. He started to lift the tablecloth. Now, it felt like every muscle in Mike's body had frozen.

Ruby eyes peered under the table.

Mike whimpered and moved backwards. A purple hand was reaching for him, slowly, coming closer and closer with every second, and why wasn't he saying something, trying to stop the fate he was so afraid of, and why, oh why, wouldn't Bonnie just take a clue-

"Are you..." The rabbit hesitated. "Are you crying?" The man blinked, finally feeling the wetness on his lashes and the cool air against his wet cheeks. He just shifted further away. "I didn't know you could- How are you doing that?"

The cold hand finally wrapped around his wrists and began to pull him out again. Mike shook his head again, willing his voice to work.

"Please," he breathed shakily. "Please, don't." His head was bowed; his entire body was shaking. Bonnie slowly let go and retracted his hand. He shifted to his hands and knees so he could see the man better.

"Do you like being under the table?" The rabbit asked. "I like staying in the supplies closet sometimes." Mike nodded silently. "Okay."

The man carefully rubbed his wrists, trying to force some feeling back into him. Gosh, he felt so cold. Why couldn't he stop shaking? Bonnie wasn't touching him, wasn't dragging him away. Why was he so stupid- why couldn't he stop? Gosh, he's a mess. Really, he is. He wasn't some frail glass figure or a newborn kitten, why was he so panicked-

"Why are you crying?" Bonnie's voice sounded so small now, like he was trying to make himself like Mike, like he was trying to understand.

"Please don't make me go back there," Mike begged softly, barely able to make eye contact. The past four nights, the nightmares, it was all building up and he just, he couldn't stop shaking.

"Okay," the animatronic agreed simply. "Why did you yell?"

"You were-" Mike choked on his own words for a moment and continued to fight the rising terror. Bonnie was right there, and he was so much bigger, and how many people had he killed before because he didn't understand, how simple would it be for him to kill Mike? "You were hurting me-" he managed breathlessly.

"I was?" Bonnie's jaw dropped more as he spoke, like he honestly didn't know he'd been hurting the man, despite all his shouting. "But- But I didn't mean-"

"I..." The brunette considered his words for a moment. What had he told himself yesterday? The animatronics... They saw him as one of them, and if he played along, he would get through this. He could be friends with them, this didn't have to end badly. This didn't have to end with him stuffed in a suit, his loved ones wondering where he went, the cleaners wiping his blood off the floor, the only things left his eyeballs and teeth-

"I-I'm delicate," Mike whispered. "You... You hurt me, when you grabbed me. And it s-scared me, when you started dragging me b-back there..."

Bonnie's ears drooped.

"I'm sorry," he apologized quietly. "I didn't mean to. I just want to help you."

"I'm not... broken," Mike managed. He could picture perfectly, in his mind's eye, the camera image of the empty suit in the back room. There was no way he would have gone back there without having a full blown panic attack.

"But, you're overheating," the purple animatronic argued gently. "Why would you-"

"I'm more... more like a human, okay? I-I have skin, and-and I cry, and I breathe- I just, I run warm sometimes, okay? Please, please don't take me back there again- I can't- don't-" Mike hid his face in his knees. He was still curled up as tightly as possible, but his shivers seemed to have died down a bit.

"Okay, it's okay," Bonnie soothed. "You don't have to be upset, I promise not to take you back there again. Here, I- Do you want to cuddle?"

"W-what?" Mike squeaked out a tiny, disbelieving laugh. He wondered for a moment if he was finally going off the deep end. He kept coming back to a job with a high risk of dying, kept talking to this animatronic that could kill him yet called him Mike the Mouse and apparently wanted to cuddle-

"I mean, isn't that, I thought you were-" the bunny fumbled. "I thought your purpose was cuddling." When Mike didn't give a response, he struggled to explain himself. "It's just, you're the right size, and everything about you is soft, and each of us has a special purpose- I just thought you were, you know, for cuddling."

Mike stayed silent as he observed the fidgeting animatronic. The fearful haze was dissipating now, and the human way the rabbit moved reminded him of why he decided to stay out of the office tonight.

The man held out his arms and waited.

For a long moment, nothing happened, and Mike felt so stupid- why was he such a dumb, idiotic thing, of course Bonnie wouldn't know what he was trying to do and now he just looked stupid-

Gentle hands rested under his arms. A slight tug pulled him out from under the table, and he found himself seated in Bonnie's lap. A furious blush settled across his cheeks; at least he didn't feel so stupid now. Carefully, his fingers sought out Bonnie's surprisingly soft chest fur, and the anchor helped him settle against the animatronic.

Soft fur brushed his cheek and tickled his nose. How long had it been since someone how held him like this? Or touched him with any kindness at all? Thinking back, he couldn't remember... Bonnie's fingers were roaming through his hair, and he let out a gentle sigh at the pleasant touch. No one had cared for him like this since-

Except Bonnie wasn't a person, not really. He was an animatronic, a machine. Was it strange for them to sit here like this? They didn't even know each other- This was wrong wasn't it, his mother would say it was wrong, and if the manager saw-

He was supposed to be guarding this place not- not cuddling with one of the animatronics like some perverted-

"What are you doing?" Bonnie questioned as Mike tried to push his way out of his arms. "Am I hurting you again?"

"No! I just- I shouldn't- I'm being bad, and I can't- shouldn't-" the man struggled some more, but the bunny just wouldn't let go-

"I don't understand," Bonnie frowned. "I thought you wanted to cuddle. You weren't shaking anymore- hey, please don't cry again."

Mike could feel his cold creeping up on him again, making him dizzy and too warm. His stomach rolled unpleasantly, and his struggles lessened slightly.

"I knew you were broken," the rabbit hissed and cautiously pulled him to his feet. "I just want to help you! Where are you damaged? I can help!" He was still holding Mike's arm, and no matter how much he tugged, his arm was still stuck in the firm grip. "Where are you damaged?"

"I'm not damaged!" Mike yelled. "I'm not broken, or overheating, or whatever! I'm just- I can't- You're a robot, and I shouldn't be cuddling-"

"Well, if I'm a robot, then what are you?" The machine demanded, grip tightening, finally getting irritated.

"I'm a-!" Mike cut himself off.

He was supposed to be pretending to be an animatronic. They didn't... follow the same rules humans did, and even if they did, they didn't know he was a human. They wouldn't think it was strange to be friendly and cuddle with each other. Bonnie even said it was his- his purpose.

But... But it was still wrong, wasn't it? Even if he was just trying to survive? Gosh, why did he come back? What did he think was going to happen?

The man let out a sob, "What am I doing?" He covered his face with his hands. His arm was still caught in Bonnie's grip, but the tight hold had loosened and was now the only thing keeping him on his feet. "I'm so confused..."

"Mike?" Bonnie breathed. His other hand lightly held the brunette's other arm.

The only sound in the pizzeria was Mike's soft sobbing.

An indeterminable number of minutes passed before Bonnie shifted uncomfortably on his feet.

"You're still too warm. Come on, Mike, let's get you seated- Yup, there you go," the rabbit carefully directed the man to a chair and sat beside him. "I don't know what to do, I don't. I'm so sorry- I-" The animatronic cut himself off. He looked at the brunette for a long moment. "Let's... Let's start over, okay?" He straightened up. "Hi, I'm Bonnie the Bunny! What's your name?"

The blue eyed man wiped his tears with a sniffle and hesitantly replied, "M-Mike."

"It's nice to meet you, Mike!" Bonnie smiled as warmly as he was able. "What do you like?"

"I don't know- I..." The brunette took a deep breath. He needed to survive, and if he had to be friends with robots and cuddle, then that was just what he was going to do. Besides, he didn't have any immoral reasons for spending time with the animatronics, and it was kind of part of his job. It was just like... like getting along with his coworkers. And remember to smile, you are the face of Freddy Fazbear's...

"I like kids," he began. That was a good place to start, right? Why else would he bother working here? "Um, I like to draw, and... and I play games." Video games, but it didn't matter did it? "And I like cooking."

"That's cool!" Bonnie encouraged. His smile seemed more realistic now, and it settled more of Mike's nerves. "I like kids too. I can't draw, but I like to sing and play guitar. I like games also! We have a few board games, would you like to play?"

"Uh, sure," Mike replied, feeling a bit shy. Here he was, this big screwed up mess, and Bonnie seemed to have himself together. Now as long as nothing else terrifying happened-

"You guys! We're gonna play a board game!" Bonnie called as he made his way to the supplies closet. "Anyone else wanna play?"

Like that.

Mike shifted anxiously. "Bonnie, I'm, um, not sure-"

"Oh, you're fine!" The rabbit reassured. "They'll love you!"

"That's not really what I-" he tried again.

"What game be we playin'?" Foxy called as he strolled towards them. Mike flinched at the sight of him and ducked behind Bonnie as quickly as he could. "Oi! There's no need ta be 'fraid o' this ol' fox." The red animatronic tried to peer around the rabbit and see the skittish man, but he couldn't catch more than a glimpse. "Skittish, ain't 'e?"

"I can hear you," Mike mumbled.

"Chica doesn't want to play?" Bonnie asked, overpowering the brunette's meek protest.

"Nah. She's still bakin'. Poor lass hasn't had a real chance in years," the fox explained. "So, what game?"

"Well, I was gonna let Mike pick," the purple one said and tugged the smaller male out from behind him. Mike flushed to the roots of his hair.

"Bonnie, I don't-"

"You'll be fine!" The rabbit repeated and pushed the man towards the closet. "Just pick one."

The blue eyed man hesitated in the doorway, staring at the small shelf of games. What if he picked one they didn't like? Would they get angry? Should he try to pick a game he knew they'd like? How was he supposed to-

Right. He's doing this to survive.

He's already bonded with Bonnie. (Sort of.) Now he just needs to win over Foxy. It shouldn't be hard, right? Old pirate who likes to play and tell stories...

"Uh, does the Battleship still have most of it's pieces?" He questioned quietly and came out of the closet with the box. He was fairly certain he saw Foxy's golden eyes brighten, though Bonnie looked a little disheartened.

"That's a two player game, Mike," he pointed out. "It's got most of the pieces, but..."

"Well, Foxy's already got an advantage," the man retorted. He could feel his confidence rising; maybe he could make it through this.

"I do?" The fox startled.

"Of course! You're already a professional captain," Mike answered easily. "If Bonnie and I don't team up, we could never beat you." Bonnie looked so touched, Mike wondered if he would have tears in his eyes, were he able. Foxy's ears sprung up, and a cocky grin came to his muzzle.

"An' you better believe it!" He cried. "Come on! Let's play!"

-{[(•)]}-

Around 3am, the game players were interrupted by Chica, who came bearing cake. Obviously, the animatronics weren't supposed to be able to eat it, but it was the thought that counted. (Even if Mike really wanted a slice.)

"Welcome to Freddy Fazbear's, Mike!" The chicken greeted and held out the cake. The brunette offered her a shy smile and shifted ever so slightly towards Bonnie and Foxy. "It's so great to have another member around!"

"It, ah, great to be here," he offered as genuinely as possible. His playful manner from the different board games died quickly, and he was left feeling a bit stranded in the sea of his emotions. "Do you want to join us?" He suggested carefully.

"Oh no!" She flapped her wing happily like a fan. "I couldn't, really. I have so much to catch up on in the kitchen!"

"Oh," Foxy looked at the nearest clock. "I guess I should get back ta countin' ma doubloons... Lot more o' them than I was expectin'." He slowly pulled himself to his feet, and Mike winced at the resulting creaks from the pirate's joints. Did the technicians ever take care of these guys?

Looking at Chica, he guessed not. The purple eyed animatronic was covered in grease and baking ingredients, her bib was stained irreparably, and her beak looked stuck in place. She needed some serious maintenance.

"You've spent enough time with these guys, Mike!" Chica laughed as Foxy retreated back to his cove. "Why don't you come back and help me finish baking orders?"

"Um, I..." The man glanced to Bonnie, wondering if he would be deserting that rabbit. The purple animatronic had looked crushed when he thought Mike might not want to play with him...

"You go ahead, Mikey," Bonnie grinned. "I wanna practice my guitar anyway."

The blue eyed man uncertainly nodded and turned back to Chica once the bunny had made his way towards the stage. She seemed harmless enough, and if anything happened, Bonnie would probably help him, right?

"Lead the way," he tried to joke. He probably had this entire place memorized from staring at the cameras. The bird laughed, even though it wasn't that funny. She started walking to the kitchen, and the man cautiously followed.

In the kitchen, he tried to find the broken camera, just to finally know where it was. He spotted it in the far corner, the entire front half torn off and dangling below. Maybe Chica wasn't as harmless as she seems...

Mike gulped and tuned into what the yellow animatronic was saying. She directed him to the walk in refrigerator for some ingredients and held out a recipe book for the cake they would be baking. The man turned to the freezing storage area with a wince; this whole night was like a live horror movie...

With a heavy amount of caution, he started into the small, cold room and searched for the needed ingredients. The door started to creak, and he immediately scuttled back out.

"Nope. No. Not happening. Nope. Nope," he muttered anxiously.

"What's wrong?" Chica asked.

"I... I can't find them," he lied. She examined him and nodded.

"I guess you don't have the same bulb lights we do. How do you see at all?" She questioned as she gathered the ingredients herself.

"They're like... like cameras," he answered weakly. "The light goes in, my... my hard-drive processes it and turns it into images." That wasn't too much of a lie, was it?

"Oh! That's amazing!" Chica flapped a wing through the door as she continued to rummage through the shelves. "Technology sure has improved since we were built. Were there many models like you?"

"You could say that," the man fingered the pages of another cook book and ran his hand over a row of pots and pans.

"Alright, so here's what we needed," Chica unloaded the ingredients on the metallic table in the middle of the room. "The first thing we need to do is prepare the ingredients and begin mixing them." She placed the open cook book on a little stand and gestured to the directions.

Mike read them, and the two started pulling out bowls, blending things, stirring, and generally doing what it takes to bake a cake. Gradually, a wistful smile came to the man's lips.

"I haven't baked a cake since I lived with my... my creator." My mom. The brunette reminisced.

"You're really lucky, you know," the chicken replied lightly. She threw another pinch of flour into the bowl.

"Why is that?" Mike checked the recipe and added a cup of chocolate chips. The bird quickly poured in a handful of colorful sprinkles.

"None of us remember our creator. We've been functioning for, golly, how many years is it now? The information has faded from our memory banks," she informed. "The only thing I can really recall from our beginning was the first cake I baked."

"Really? Why?" Mike questioned, turning to face her. His hands had stopped moving and rested limply on the cool table.

"Well, what I remember was actually the child who the cake was for. The pizzeria had just opened, and he was our first birthday party. He was young enough his parents weren't worried he would remember if the party turned out terrible. All his friends were gathered around the table, watching Freddy sing. Suddenly, the lights went down, and we all said happy birthday to the little boy. His eyes were so wide," she chuckled fondly. "Then, I brought out the little vanilla cake I had baked the night before." The chicken paused in stirring the batter, looking incredibly pleased, if a bit distant. "He clapped his little hands and gave this happy little laugh. Everyone sang happy birthday, and I gave him the first slice. Then..." She smiled wide, and Mike wondered how she did it with her beak stiff as it was. "He gave me a big ol' hug and thanked me in his sweet little voice."

The companions stood in silence for a long moment.

"Well," Chica finally started. She turned back to their work. "I think this is ready to be poured and put in the oven. Would you do the honors, Mike?"

The bird hovered over him as he did so. He cracked some lame joke, and their laughter filled the kitchen.

-{[(•)]}-

5am rolled around.

Mike looked at the clock and almost wondered how he had survived this long. Looking at Chica and Bonnie bickering across a table on what color to frost the cake with, seeing Foxy perk up when the suggestion of red came up, feeling the sense of family that rested over the pizzeria like a thick blanket, Mike felt he knew.

"Mike," a deep voice rumbled across the pizzeria. Everyone stilled.

"That's Freddy. I think he finally powered up, the lazy bear," Chica giggled.

"He called for you. You should probably go before he comes to get you," Foxy commented off-handedly, as though the idea of Freddy even knowing his name wasn't scary enough.

"Um," the man stuttered. "I-I don't... He's..."

"Mike," the voice hauntingly called once more.

"It's okay, Mike. He did this with each of us," Bonnie placated. "He's just going to greet you and make sure you know your place in the pizzeria." The blue eyed man gulped and went to meet his fuzzy Fazbear doom.

Mike was extremely cautious as he entered the dining hall and made his way to the stage. Freddy was standing tall, his back to the significantly smaller male. The man soon found himself at the edge of the stage.

"Well hallo there," a heavily accented voice greeted. "Welcome to ma humble abode."

"H-huh?"

"Ya deaf, son?" Freddy chuckled. "Sorry if I scared ya a'tall before. Didn't know ya were one of the family."

"Oh, it's... fine," the man mumbled sheepishly. "Sir?"

"Ya kin jus' call me Freddy. Or Pops if yer feelin' real friendly like," the bear grinned.

"Ah. Okay, Freddy." Mike felt some of the rigidness melt out of his shoulders. "So, what did you want to talk about?"

"First off, I always welcome newcomers to tha family," Freddy explained. "And besides that, I just wanted to help ya understand yer job here. Yer a mouse correct?"

"Yeah, sure," the man agreed weakly.

"An' what's yer primary function?" The brown animatronic continued.

"Isn't that a bit personal?" Mike floundered. His brain searched hopelessly for a good answer. The bear just gave a hearty laugh.

"I suppose," he conceeded. "But I won't tell a soul, I promise."

"I... Just... Cuddling!" The man blurted and clapped his hands over his mouth and flinched violently backwards.

"It's alright, son. Ain't no body here gonna judge ya," Freddy reassured.

"It's for comfort," the brunette tried to reason. "Kids get sad or lonely, you know? And I... I just offer them someone to lean on." Thinking about his relationship with his mother, who was currently under the stain of unmedicated mental illness, he thought maybe that was one of his primary functions.

"I'm sure ye'll be a valued member of the band," the larger male smiled warmly and patted his shoulder. Mike vaguely wondered when he had gotten so close.

"I'll do my best," the blue eyed man responded.

"Now, what were ya'll gettin' up to in tha kitchen?"

Mike grinned sheepishly and led the older male back through the pizzeria. Bonnie and Chica had finally settled on making the frosting white with rainbow trim and sprinkles. Foxy was enthusiastically trying to sneak some of the frosting, just for the fun of it, but Chica caught his wrist (without even looking, either) just as he reached the bowl.

Everyone laughed at the fox's pouty expression.

Freddy chose the frosting when the next cake came out of the oven, and when the batch of cupcakes came out there was a small frosting war. Mike used it as an excuse to help the animatronics out and give them a thorough wash-down.

They had protested at first, but he just had to give them his most innocent look and say it was part of his personality programming.

When he was done, the Fazbear gang returned to their usual positions. Mike waved goodbye to Foxy at Pirate's Cove and followed the others to the stage. Freddy and Chica powered down quietly, but Bonnie looked at him with worry.

"Where are you going to power down?" He fretted. "What's your station? Why haven't we seen you during the day?"

"I power down wherever because I just wander during the day," Mike reassured. "You probably won't see me for a while. I still have some bugs, and my creator is sick."

"Will you be okay? Should I walk you to the office?" The rabbit continued.

"I'm fine," the brunette laughed. "I'll see you tomorrow, Bonnie." A warm smile lit his face, and despite his anxiousness, the animatronic let himself drift away.

The alarm on Mike's phone went off.

He had survived another night.