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Please Stop, You're Scaring Me

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For his entire life, Gregory has been alone.

Well, maybe not all of his life. He knew he used to have parents. He could vaguely remember his mom’s warm smile, and the way his dad would pick him up and fling him into the air. But those memories were stuffed in cotton, so incredibly hard to see or feel.

After the first few foster families, Gregory decided that he had enough. Life on the streets was hard, but at least nobody was hitting him, or shouting at him, or treating him like a burden.

Gregory was his own person, fending for himself.

Sometimes, however, Gregory wished things could be different. Gregory would sit in an alleyway, carefully wrapping his arms around himself as he imagined a different life. A life where he was loved. A life where he didn’t need to take care of himself.

It was a silly fantasy for babies, and Gregory would always scold himself the next day. He didn’t need anybody, and nobody wanted him even if he did. It was better this way. Gregory could take care of himself.

Gregory hadn’t meant to get trapped in the stupid Fazbear Pizzaplex. He wasn’t stupid. He knew that the security guard would probably kick him out anyway, or worse, send him back to foster care.

But Gregory had crawled into a storage closet for warmth and accidentally fell asleep. It was stupid of him, but Gregory thought that he could still manage to sneak out before closing.

Someone must’ve cursed Gregory, though, because the security lady saw him, and now she was actively seeking him out.

Gregory blinked back the frustrated tears that threatened to form in his eyes. It just… it wasn’t fair. How come all the bad things had to happen to him? Why did he have to be the one to lose his parents? Why did he have to be the one trapped in a giant building full of creepy security robots and a lady searching for him? What had he done wrong?

Well, whatever it was, it must’ve been something. Maybe Gregory was a terrible person in his past life, or maybe it was something he did in this life.

Safely tucked away inside Freddy Fazbear’s stomach (a situation Gregory never thought he’d ever find himself in), Gregory tried to think of any instances where he would’ve done anything to deserve this fate.

Well, there were plenty of instances where Gregory had gotten his foster parents angry. Maybe it was one of those? Or wait, maybe it was running away in the first place!

Gregory’s stomach curled at the idea of the universe punishing him for his selfishness, but he had thought he was doing the right thing. Nobody had wanted him, so why would he force them to take care of him?

It was all too confusing, and Gregory could feel himself beginning to cry again. He pushed the thought out of his mind. He could worry about all that stupid stuff later, but for now, he just needed to find a way to get out of the stupid building without getting caught.

Freddy woke up, and immediately insisted that Gregory get out of his stomach. Gregory complied, not wanting to get crushed. One of Gregory’s old foster brothers loved to tell Gregory horror stories about kids getting crushed inside of animatronics, and Gregory had spent weeks having nightmares after.

Gregory was a big kid now, and he knew that Freddy wasn’t the same type of animatronic that could crush him. Still, he wasn’t about to take any chances.

“What are you doing here?” Freddy asked him. For a robot, he sure could be expressive. “It is nearly time for closing.”

“I was hiding,” Gregory tried to explain. An adult would probably think Gregory was being ridiculous, but maybe robots were different. “Can you keep it down? I don’t want her to catch me.”

Freddy somehow managed to look confused, even though he was a literal robot with the exact same expressions.

“Who? Your mother?”

Gregory scoffed quietly to himself. “No, the security guard.”

“But I’m sure she just wants you to get back to your family safely—”

Footsteps started to approach, and Gregory instantly shushed Freddy. “She’s coming this way!”

Freddy’s stomach hatch was still open, and Gregory climbed into it without any permission. Freddy exclaimed in disapproval, but Gregory was already closing the hatch manually.

“Young Gregory, what are you—”

“Shh!”

To Gregory’s relief, Freddy shut up, and not a few moments later, Gregory heard the door open.

“Security guard Vanessa!” Freddy said, sounding alarmed.

“Who were you talking too?” The security lady, Vanessa, demanded. Gregory flinched away from her demanding tone instinctually.

This was it. Freddy was just a stupid robot. He was going to tell Vanessa the truth, and then Gregory would be returned to foster care or worse.

Gregory shrunk as far back into Freddy’s body as possible, which, admittedly, wasn’t that far. The sudden awareness of how cramped he was made Gregory’s breathing worsen, and he squeezed his eyes shut. He needed to keep it together. He couldn’t let Vanessa know he was in Freddy, even if Freddy was going to rat him out anyway.

“Um… myself!” Freddy said. “Yes, I was talking to myself.”

Gregory froze. What? Was Freddy… lying? Gregory hadn’t even known robots could do that.

“You call yourself Gregory?” Vanessa asked. She didn’t sound very impressed, and Gregory couldn’t exactly blame her.

“Uh, yes, in fact, I do.” Freddy sounded like a kid who had been caught trying to sneak downstairs to have dinner. “It rhymes with Freddy, you see.”

“I’m not an idiot.” Vanessa’s voice was getting increasingly impatient, and Gregory held his breath. “I know you know where the kid is.”

“I do not know—what child?” Freddy asked.

Vanessa let out some curses before making a hissing sound. “I don’t have time for this, Freddy! Just tell me where the kid is!”

A small whimper escaped Gregory against his will, and Gregory sucked in a breath, instantly pressing his hands against his mouth.

“What was that?” Vanessa asked.

“What was… what?”

“Don’t play dumb with me.” Gregory heard footsteps get closer. “It sounded like it was coming from… inside of you.”

“Inside of me? It would be against my safety protocols to let a child inside of my inner compartment. I do not go against my protocols.”

“You don’t go against your protocols?” Vanessa snapped. “Fine. I’m ordering you to open your hatch.”

“Vanessa, I… I cannot do that.”

“Why not?”

“I am... broken.”

Vanessa let out a frustrated sigh. “If you keep malfunctioning like this, I’ll make sure you go to the scrap yard. You already ruined the show today, you know.”

“I am very sorry.”

“Fine. If you’re too broken to open your hatch, I’ll just open it for you.”

More footsteps approached Freddy, but this time, Gregory felt Freddy move a few paces back.

“You do realize this is making you look more suspicious, right?”

“I do not wish for you to accidentally hurt yourself.”

“I’ll be fine. Now stay put, or I’ll make your damaged metal skeleton look like an accident.”

A sneaking suspicion that Vanessa did not mean to send Gregory back to foster care was beginning to overwhelm him, and Gregory’s heart began to speed up like crazy. It was everything Gregory could do to keep breathing as he heard Vanessa run up to Freddy and pry open his hatch.

The compartment filled with light, and Gregory found himself staring into Vanessa’s bright green eyes.

“There you are.”

Gregory tried to punch Vanessa’s stupid creepy eyes, but Vanessa caught Gregory’s wrist with a frightening amount of ease. She squeezed tightly as she tugged Gregory out of the compartment, and Gregory bit back a cry of pain.

“Vanessa—” Freddy began, sounding horrified.

“Zip it.” Vanessa pinned Gregory’s arms to his side, and Gregory instantly began the kicking method of fighting. Vanessa just forced Gregory to turn around, making it much harder to aim his legs at her. “You’re in enough trouble already. Don’t make things worse for yourself.”

Gregory could honestly care less about Freddy’s fate, more concerned with trying to get out of Vanessa’s grasp.

“Let go of me!” he shouted, trying to twist his neck around and bite down on Vanessa’s arm. “Freddy, help me!”

Freddy opened and closed his stupid mouth, looking stunned, and Vanessa picked Gregory up off the ground.

“If you keep struggling, I’ll tie you up,” she threatened.

Gregory continued to scream and squirm.