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Here We Go Again

Chapter Text

Evan unlocked the door to his apartment and walked inside. He let out a soft yawn while closing the door behind him. He worked pretty much all day, and will have to do it the next day. He wouldn’t deny that he was excited, it was amazing to make music, and hang out with people who had the same interests as he did. 

Right now, all he wanted to do was fall asleep. He needed it and will need it for tomorrow. He dropped his bag on the couch and left his jacket draped over one of the chairs in the kitchen. He was so tired that he could barely keep his eyes open as he staggered toward his bedroom. 

His skin prickled from how cold it was inside his apartment. “Damn it,” he muttered, heading back down the hallway to turn the heat up. He still had his phone and turned it on while walking into his bedroom. It was a wide room with a queen bed sitting against the wall with two nightstands on either side. 

He sat down on his bed and turned his lamp on. His wifi wasn’t on. He frowned, connecting it, but it wouldn’t come on. 

“Fuck,” he whispered, getting up and exiting the room. All he wanted to do was sleep, but he had to make sure his wifi was on and check his social media. He walked into the living room and found his wifi box. Yeah, it was off.  There was no lights blinking. He knelt down and fixed it in his tired state. 

Evan checked his phone at the same time, waiting for the lights to turn on. While he did that, he felt something strange. He didn’t know if it was because he was tired and hearing things, but he was sure someone was watching him, breathing, or maybe he was just tired. 

He glanced around the living room with its wide screen, two couches sitting on either side, and a glass table in the middle. It was clean with no chips lying on the floor. He liked when his place was relatively nice, and it was mostly because his friends made a mess of the place whenever they came to visit. 

Evan sniffled, and looked back down at his phone. Yeah, now the wifi was on. He got up and headed back to his bedroom. That feeling of being watched was still on his mind, but he was so tired that when he reached his bedroom, he flopped down on his bed, rolling on his side, and looking at his phone. 

He had a new message.

Did you miss me? — Nov.1/16

Evan stared, bleary eyed, at the message. He didn’t get it in 2016 or it would’ve been left and forgotten. No. This was the person who sent it, and it was just a date.

Another message appeared.

I missed you. After all this time, I found you. — Nov.1/16

Evan sat up, blinking, and waking up as his heart raced in his chest. What the fuck is this? Why is this here? Who is this?

Evan messaged back, asking who they were. He was in no mood for his friend’s freaking him out. It sounded weird, like a stalker or something. 

You forgot me? :( That makes Delirious sad. — Nov.1/16

Evan felt sick. A nausea rising in his stomach, to his throat, he slapped a hand over his mouth to stop himself from gasping, while his eyes widened at the message, at the words, the names, the fucking emoji.

No. This isn’t happening again. Not again, not like before. What the fuck is this? 

Evan got up, letting the phone fall on his bed as he ran straight for the bed and shoved it closed. His heart raced at how hard it was slammed, but no one came, no one was there. That feeling of being watched, was it him in the house? Did he find him from before, all those years ago? 

He wanted to run, to hide, to forget what happened. He changed his name and made something of himself, but this...no...this can’t be happening again. 

He glanced over at his phone and saw that someone was phoning him from an anonymous number. 

Oh shit. Oh fuck. This was happening again. 

The number went out, and they phoned again, and again, and again, while Evan was against the door, to scared to move, unsure of what he was supposed to do. 

“I have to call the police,” he whispered. 

He slowly pulled away from the door and walked toward the bed. No one was phoning him and he picked it up. There was a new message though, and he checked what it was saying. 

If you call the police, the other six are going to be picked off one by one. — Nov.1/16

Evan ignored the message and called the police. He went back to the door, and pressed his back against it. He was shaking so bad, but he had to call them, he couldn’t have this happening again. If...that man...gets arrested, he won’t have to worry about it anymore. He’ll be safe. 

He gasped as the door to the bedroom was slammed against, and he lost hold of the phone in his hand, almost losing his strength on the door before pushing it back. He pushed and pushed, listening to someone grunting on the other side as they kicked the door several times before it went quiet, soft panting breaths were the only indication that they were still standing on the other side. 

Evan heard the slightest sound of something scraping along the wood of the door, followed by a low chuckle. 

“Vanoss,” he whispered, the scraping continued, “come on out, Vanoss. You’re not going anywhere else, why do you think this was a good idea?”

“I already called the police, asshole,” Evan said, trying to sound confident in his frightened state. 

“Did you now?” 

Evan looked down at his phone, and knew that they must’ve either hung up, or they heard the loud noises. He really hoped that they heard and were coming to his apartment to make sure he was still alive, or still here. 

The last time this happened, he was kidnapped and taken to an old warehouse of some kind in the middle of nowhere. Now, this was going to get worse if this guy tries to come into his apartment and beat the shit out of him, or worse, kill him. 

“Come on, come on, come on,” Evan whispered, reaching for the phone, at the same time, wishing for the cops to already get to is apartment. 

“Are you jerking off?” he asked, laughing. He sounded menacing, a lot more than the last time they saw one another. Not like Evan wanted to see him, right now, he hoped this guy stayed on the other side of the door until the police come to arrest him. Even then, he’d rather not look at his clown painted face, and the hockey mask he wore over it. 

“Fuck off,” Evan said, grasping for the phone and letting out a sigh of relief. He was still shaking, and sweating, the room either got too cold or too hot in the last several minutes, but that didn’t matter, he had to tell his friends that they were back, and it wasn’t going to end well. 

The sliding of something on the door was making Evan think that what he had in his hand was a knife. Maybe a spoon, or a butter knife, or nothing. Nothing was better than what he actually held. 

Evan texted Brock, and before he can send the message. The door was shoved hard again, and Evan wasn’t ready for it, and he stumbled forward, dropping the phone. He twisted around, about to shove the door shut, but it was shoved open, hitting Evan in the leg, and he yelled in pain while his attacker stood above him, he wasn’t wearing the mask this time. 

He looked almost the same, the clown makeup was splattered on his face, and there was a blue toque covering his dark hair, while his blue sweater was unzipped, revealing a dark shirt underneath. And Evan’s fears came true at the sight of the large knife in his gloved hand.

Evan clenched his teeth back, moving away, but he was kicked in his bad leg, and was shoved down, the knife placed to his neck, while a grin stretched across his attacker’s mouth. 

Evan breathed hard, chest heaving. 

“Hello, Vanoss,” he whispered, leaning close to his face.

Evan swallowed thickly, and said, “Hello, Delirious.” 

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”

“Not long enough.”

Delirious sneered. “Shut the fuck up. It was difficult looking for you.” 

“I made sure that it would.”

“Smart ass,” Delirious said, pushing the knife into his neck, and Evan was frightened to move, even if he was being too sarcastic in this situation. He couldn’t think of anything besides this guy leaning placing his leg on his arm, and the knife to his neck. 

He smelled of peppermint. 

“I called the police.”

Delirious wrinkled his nose, “This is just a calling card.”

“You texted.”

“And you don’t understand.” Delirious slowly slid the blade away from Evan’s neck. “This isn’t like before. We got some new people in our group, and I think you lost some.” He chuckled. “The next time I see you, Vanoss, it won’t be like before, it’ll be a lot more different.”

Evan said nothing as Delirious got up and sprinted from the room. He slowly sat up and heard the front door slam shut, and the quiet wrap around the house. His phone laid a foot away from him, but he couldn’t move besides his hand that reached up to his neck.

It was small, a slice leaving a dribble of blood on his fingertips. 

“Fuck,” Evan whispered.

The silence was interrupted by knocking on the front door of his apartment. He heard the door open and a police officer wandered into the bedroom as Evan was now sitting on the bed, holding his phone after he sent the message to his friend, Brock. 

He needed to talk to his friends before this escalates.

Chapter Text

Fifteen Minutes Before.


 

Brock stared bleary eyed at the glass fridge and what was inside. He wanted something to eat, his mouth was parched and his stomach grumbled. An ache that told him to eat. At first, when he was at home, Brock stared in his own fridge, but his sleepy mind urged him to grab his keys, his coat, and pull on his shoes. Next thing he knew it, he was sitting in his car and driving away while yawning. 

He patted his coat pocket for his wallet, and sighed in relief that it was there. He disliked when sometimes he forgets about it, and then coming to the store was usually a waste of time. This time, he remembered, somehow. 

Brock yawned again, and glanced around the corridor and found no one else around. The bright lights burned his eyes, and his indecisiveness left him unsure of what he actually wanted. Maybe fruit would be better, or possibly a box of pizza. 

These nights were getting more and more routine that he was thinking of changing his work hours. It might even help him feel less strained later on in the day when he’s forced to stay awake. He’ll have to call in by the afternoon, that was a good hour, right?

Brock reached into the fridge and pulled out a box of pizza. He spotted a shadow in his peripheral vision and found himself staring at a tall blonde haired male, smiling down at him, the smile looked forced that it fell into a frown once Brock noticed him. 

“I’m sorry,” Brock moved back, thinking that the man wanted pizza in the late hours like he did. He dropped the box into the basket and is about to turn away except the man stepped closer, hovering almost, his shadow envelops Brock’s, and there’s a slight spike of nervousness and fear occupying the space where his sleep addled thoughts are. 

“You look exactly like the photo,” the man murmurs, his face twists, he leans back and takes out his phone. 

“What?” Brock asks, unsure if he heard right, or his mind was still foggy. 

 The man wrinkles his nose, glanced at Brock with the same tired eyes, except this time there’s irritation, maybe even revulsion. And then he tucked his phone back into his pocket, and Brock is so tired that he wants to go home. 

He steps back, awkwardly, there’s really nothing to say, and he’d rather not be glared at, and he even goes for his pocket where his phone and wallet are, but before he could pull his phone out to glance at the time, the back of his coat was yanked, and his gasp was cut off. 

What?

He’s sharply turned around, but before he could straighten himself out and get away from the man, he’s slammed hard into the glass fridge. The impact stalled out his thoughts, and the cracks of broken glass trying to hold itself together barely registers, but they spider up around his head, he can feel the ridges along his face as he’s roughly pulled back, gasping, trying to figure out what’s going on, before he’s slammed back into the fridge. 

The breath is knocked out of him as the sharp edges finally break apart, landing around his feet. Brock falls with the shattered glass, hitting the ground with a thud that disturb his mind, sending out a shock in his body, followed by his body throbbing as he involuntarily squeezes his eyes closed. 

What just happened? Who was he? Why...why? 

Brock groans, pushing himself up, he feels the glass under his fingers, they crunch as he attempts to push himself up. He’s there, right? And his question is answered as the man kicks him hard in the side, and his gasp is forced out, and he falls back down into the glass, a series of pinpricks are barely registered in Brock’s mind, he’s more focused on the sharp pain in his side, and the ringing in his head. Why was this happening?

“This isn’t really personal,” the man says, “you’re more like a message.”

Message?

“What are you...talking about?” Brock asked, attempting to get up again, except he felt a foot on his back, forcing him back down amongst the glass. “I don’t know you, let me up!” He tried, and the man kicked him, forcing a groan out this time, adding to the pain in his side that burned from the previous kick. 

The man knelt down beside him, and Brock turned his head to the side, catching a smirk on the man’s face. “I could’ve easily killed you. I do it all the time, do you know that? It’s not that hard to kill someone.” 

Brock shuddered, he hated the calm in the man’s voice, the rage in his eyes of both disgust and boredom. “What do you want from me?”

“Not particularly you ,” the man said, gritting his teeth and snapping his gaze down the corridor. “Someone who got away a long time ago, but don’t worry about that, he’s being taken care of it right now.”

He. Who was it? Brock could hardly think when the man was beside him, threatening his life and someone else’s. “Y-you’re not going to kill me?”

The man sneered as if the offer itself was an insult when he just confessed he kills people. “Don’t think you’re so special. I’m here as a messenger, and you’re the message. Idiot.”

Brock blinked, he wanted to get up but he was too frightened to move. His entire body tensed, and his leg was lying on top of his pizza while the basket he brought with him laid at his feet. All he wanted was to get something to eat.

“How...did you know I was going to be here?” It’s not like he takes regular visits to the store during this time of night. That meant this person had been watching him? The thought shocked him, his mouth was dry, and his words were gone. He was being watched, for how long? How long was he watching him and how many people were there? 

The man stares at him for a second before straightening up and walking away. After a second that he’s sure the man is gone, Brock pushed himself up, and sits in the glass, stunned by what happened, his limbs are shaking and he hadn’t noticed that someone else is talking to him, but he can barely hear them. A store clerk from the looks of it is knelt before him, asking him questions. He nods and shook his head, barely able to find the words before muttering, “Pizza.” 

The police had also arrived, and the store clerk shown them the camera system, and they spoke to Brock who was able to buy his pizza. 

“Did you know him?”

Brock shook his head, sitting in an office chair, hugging the pizza box inside a plastic bag to his chest. “No. I don’t know him.” 

“Have you seen him before?”

Brock shook his head again. “No. I don’t know him.”

“Did he give you his name?”

Brock looked at the police officer, and said, “No. I don’t know him.”

He wasn’t even sure what he was supposed to do. He was a little afraid to go home after realizing the man had been following him, or at least watching him. 

Once Brock left the house, they had their moment to assault him inside a store. Some of the glass shards cut into his hands and face, and he was given bandages to cover them. 

The officer even told him he should go to the hospital to see if he has any internal damage, and they offered to phone an ambulance. Brock shook his head, still holding the pizza box. 

He stayed at the store while the police officer was speaking to the store clerks about the man. No one knew who he was, or what was going on. He simply walked into the store a few minutes after Brock was browsing the corridors, and they watched the conversation before Brock was slammed into the fridge door. 

He looked away from the tape, and mentioned to the police officer that the man told him one of his friends might be in danger, he didn’t know who, and he took out his phone to start calling each of them up.

However, he got a text message from Evan. He clenched his teeth, and was a little apprehensive that he didn’t show the police officer. He tucked his phone into his pocket and told the officer he had a place to stay at for the night, and that they’re meeting him at the hospital.

The officer nods, telling him to be careful and call if he runs into the man again. Brock, hating the idea, slowly walks out of the store, still holding on to the pizza box. 

He stepped past the threshold of the automatic doors and frowned at the lampposts that didn’t give much light to the streets, and gave more to the shadows. “Great.” A chill ran up his spine as he walked stiffly toward his car. 

He has to speak to Evan about what is going on, and he made sure to tell him that he’s heading to the hospital to check out the pain in his side. 

He did not want to find out he had a broken rib.

Chapter Text

13 minutes after the first attack. 

10 minutes after the second attack.

He was running out of popcorn. And his drink was almost completely gone. The movie was going to come to a close, but Jaren really needed to take a piss. There weren’t many people in the theater to see movie, which Jaren didn’t mind, so he didn’t have to feel awkward as he got up from his seat and walked down the steps. He always felt like he was going to tumble, and a large group of strangers were going to laugh at him, and because of this fear, he held onto the railing. 

It was like walking into one dimension and another. One moment he was inside a room full of darkness with the sound as loud as possible that he didn’t initially had to think, then the next moment, he was in the hall with bright lights that barely burned his eyes, and made him wince, he blinked a few times, and glanced toward the counters where the popcorn was being made, and barely spotted a crowd. He walked down the red carpet toward the bathroom. The men and women’s bathrooms were across from one another.

The bathroom in the theaters was a lot cleaner than most places he had gone too. He told this to his friends, the same ones who didn’t want to come with him to see the movie. They didn’t like it, and Jaren was put off by their off handed comments that he went without them in spite. He wanted to enjoy the movie, not feel terrible about it just because of their opinions.

“Finally,” Jaren said, unzipping his pants. It was about an hour since he last used the bathroom, but the movie was so good, and now he was wasting about ten minutes of it by going to the bathroom. It was worth it, he needed to take a piss, and he didn’t want to sit uncomfortably in the dark. Once he finishes, he turned around and walked over to the sink.

He quickly washed his hands and grabbed a paper towel only to notice someone who hadn’t be there when he entered the bathroom. A tall man with blonde hair and a beard. He was holding his phone and seemed to be reading something on the screen, but Jaren had only glanced at the man while he dried his hands.

Jaren’s heart is racing while he tries to figure out when the man entered the bathroom, and why it matters to him. Before he leaves, the man says something that makes him go still.

“What’s your name?” 

Jaren turned, peering at the man. “Why?” 

“I want to know,” he says, still not looking at Jaren.

“Maybe I don’t want to tell you.”

The man sighs and Jaren isn’t sure if it’s because of him or whatever he was reading. He shoved his phone into his pocket and his gaze settled on Jaren who is about to turn away from him, and scurry back to the theater to continue with his movie. He was possibly missing large parts of ending, and he didn’t want to miss it anymore than he has. 

“Smith, right?”

Jaren blinked, heart racing painfully while his own body begins to shake at the question. “What?”

“Your last name,” the man says, “am I right?”

Maybe it’s a good thing he’s in the bathroom, he needs to throw up. “No...no...that isn’t my last name.”

He sighed again, as if bored. “Are you sure, Jaren?” 

Oh shit. Oh shit. What the fuck is going on? How does this guy know his name? Who was he to know his name? 

“That isn’t my name,” Jaren said, willing himself to take a step forward, to get out of the bathroom.

“We’ve been failing for the past few minutes,” the man said, his voice husky, no sign of anger or amusement. “It’s my turn to see if I can do this right while the rest try to succeed in locating your friends. By the way, I’m Luke.”

Friends? 

“You’re the third.”

Who were the other two? What was going on? Jaren let out a nervous laugh, and said, “Look, I have no fucking idea what you’re talking about? I’m going to go, I’m missing out on a movie, and since you wasted about a minute or two of my life, I’ll be getting back to it.”

He has to get the fuck away from this guy. Holy shit. It’s not like he was watching a scary movie in the first place, but this takes the cake on weird strangers in bathrooms. And usually he doesn’t even come across any weird ones besides random people singing while they take a shit.

He almost walked out of the bathroom when he heard a thumping coming from behind him, and the back of his jacket was yanked, and he let out a choked yelp as he’s thrown hard against a stall. The door swung as he hit the tile floor before he pushed him inside and kicked the door shut. There’s about a two second gap before Jaren locked the door, and the man, Luke, slammed his fist against the stall door. 

“Hey, buddy, what the fuck is wrong with you?” Jaren asked, trying to keep his composure from breaking, but he was never the type to stay calm in these situations. Not like he was ever in them to begin with. This guy simply started freaking out on him. How the hell did he even know his full name, and he talked about his friends. Which ones because he has a lot. 

The thumping turned into a brutal kick against the door, and Jaren slid to his knees and crawled under one of the stalls. He glanced out and spotted Luke wearing a determined expression, a smile curved on his face, eyes alight with excitement. Something was seriously wrong with him. 

“Jaren Smith,” he said against the door while Jaren crawled under, raised himself to his feet, and slammed the door shut, Luke threw his hands on the surface, and Jaren was almost slammed back against the toilet, before pushing it shut and locking it. His hands were slick with sweat. He wasn’t even entirely sure what the hell he was doing, or how he was doing it. “You’re the third one...the third victim…they told me not to harm you too much, but I can’t help it, you’re really fucking annoying!”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Jaren asked, reaching for his phone inside his pocket and found there was a text message. He pulled it open and scanned the message, brows pinched together. What the fuck?

Once you get this message, call me, it’s an emergency! — Evan. 

“Shit,” Jaren said, ducking down when a hand came out from the top of the stall, trying to grasp Jaren’s hair. He fumbled for the call button and placed the phone to his ear. His heart was racing painfully in his chest, and he wasn’t sure if this stall door was going to hold out any longer. He was too scared to try and slip under the stall again, knowing for sure he was going to get dragged under.

The phone was answered on the first ring and he heard Evan’s voice, but then the door was slammed open, and Jaren was pushed hard against the toilet, the metal part digging into his back, and his phone falling from his fingers as the front of his sweater was grasped, and he was dragged out, thrown against the floor where he heard a yelp near the door. Someone else was watching, and it seemed they caught Jaren getting assaulted by this strange man.

“I don’t know who the fuck you are!?” Jaren yelled at the man as he stepped over him. Luke didn’t have a weapon, but it still frightened him. 

“Just know,” he said almost in a soft voice, if it weren’t for the exasperated sound dragging the words,  “we know where you are, and we know where the others are.” And to Jaren’s relief, the man walked out of the bathroom, and Jaren laid on the floor, scared to move until a second after, another man, including one of the workers from the counter walked into the bathroom.

“Are you okay?” the man asked, offering his hand that Jaren took, while the worker passed him his phone that he dropped.

“Thanks...and that guy,” Jaren said, trying his best to explain while the man phoned the police, and Jaren looked down at his phone. Evan was still talking, almost shouting, his words falling over the other as he asked Jaren if he was okay, and what had happened.

His heart was still going, and he leaned against the wall while the police were phoned. He had no idea what happened, or who the guy was. All he did know was that he had a disturbing sinking feeling that he couldn’t rid.

“The others,” Jaren said, staring at the white wall across from him, “he’s after the others…”