((A.N.: Hey, I'm actually posting another chapter today. This is 3/4, and I'll probably be able to edit the last one today, so we're pretty much almost done. Unless the story gets good enough feedback. There's a possibility that I'll keep writing it, but I might go on to post some other stories I've been working on. Anyway, here you go. Chapter three of TGTL. Go crazy.))
The walk to parts and service was a quiet one, aside from Springtrap's initial protests of being carried. Eventually, though, he quieted down. Just before we got there, I asked, "Why did you bring him? He would've been fine."
"We can't just leave a small child alone in a dark, quiet box, Marion," came his answer, "That would be called child abuse by some, but most, including me, would simply call it ignorant." His tone was cold, a total switch from the soft, kind one he usually used when talking to me. "I don't know where the ludicrous idea of him being 'fine' in that situation came from."
"He told me himself when I asked him," I mumbled.
"Am I in twoubwe, daddy?"
Wow. That was quick. Well, he did say he'd be my baby. "'Daddy'?" Mike asked, stopping short and turning towards me with widened eyes. It felt as though I was shrinking under his gaze.
I sighed, looking at Springtrap's guilty expression. "No, Springtrap, you aren't in trouble. I think I am, though."
"You can be sure of that." The edge in Mike's tone was unnatural. I could tell he didn't like having to be angry at me (though that could've been wishful and delusional thinking on my part). We continued walking, and I decided to speak up and explain.
"We will talk about this later, when he's out of earshot."
As we walked through the entrance to parts and service, Mike shot me a backwards glare that said "Silence" a thousand times better than actual words could. I was immediately quiet.
Once we entered, Mike removed a hand from around Springtrap and pointed at the table. I sat down, and he walked around the corner to speak to Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Freddy. I closed my optics so that I could pay more attention to what he was saying.
"Hello, Mike." That was Freddy, greeting the manager.
"Ahoy, matey," Foxy said.
"Hey," Bonnie spoke nonchalantly.
"Hi Michael!" Chica was the last to speak. "Bringing Mari in for his tune-up?"
Mike hesitated. "Yes Chica."
"Whatcha got there?" I heard Bonnie ask.
"Right. This is..." Mike leaned out so that I could see him. "What's his name?"
I opened my mouth to speak, but was interrupted. "I'm Spwingtwap!" the rabbit in question exclaimed, throwing his tiny arms up in excitement and earning a few "aww"s from the Fazgang.
"That's right. You said Springtrap earlier." He ducked back out of sight. "He was hiding and coloring in Marion's box. Chica, I need you to take him around the restaurant. Let him play with BB. I really need to get some answers from Marion, and I don't want him here."
"Of course!" I heard her joints quietly creaking as she stood.
"Can I get down now?" the tiny rabbit asked.
"Okay, buddy. Here you go." I heard his tiny feet pattering on the ground. They were heading in my direction. I soon saw the four-year-old approaching and looking up at me. I saw the human and chicken look at him in confusion.
"Hi, daddy," he said, grabbing onto my stub of a foot.
I smiled down at him. "Hi, buddy." He began to pull himself up using my leg as a rope.
"Pick me up!" he near shouted. I happily obliged, grabbing his tiny body and bringing him onto my lap.
"Any particular reason you're calling me daddy?" I asked, adding, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
"I'm youw baby, wemembew?" he stated matter-of-factly, flopping one long ear down. "That makes you my daddy!"
I couldn't help but chuckle. Springtrap was such a precious cinnamon roll. "Ah. Right. I guess it does."
I couldn't help but notice Chica's squeal and Mike's frown melt into a sad smile as he chuckled. Springtrap wrapped his tiny arms around my torso in a hug, careful of my buttons.
"Alright. Listen, Chica's going to be watching you for a little while. I’ll take you back to the box soon, just be good for her. Don't worry, she's nice."
"Wait, isn't she the one you-"
I leaned in towards him, whispering, "Yes. I was going to tell her I liked her yesterday, but I got too nervous to. Please don't tell her."
He nodded, taking a finger and crossing his heart. "I pwomise I won't," he whispered back. All the regret that was left in my mind for taking this child in after the bulk of it was gone melted away with that moment.
And then he was gone. He had hopped down- I instinctively lurched forward to catch him as he slid down my legs, but he insisted he was fine- and walked up to Chica. He lifted a tiny paw up, and she took it in her hand. She walked him out, and I could hear them talking excitedly as they left, all the way until the door closed.
And I was left with a concerned Mike. "He's your baby?”
"Yeah, well I can make it so that we have time if you want me to. This can be more than just a tune-up if you’d like. I can replace that joint in your leg that keeps acting up now that I finally have the parts and tools."
There was a reason that I didn't get out of my box a lot when the kids came around, or even when it was night. At unpredictable times, the knee joint in my left leg would lock up, and I couldn't walk properly. Mike had ordered a new one a month ago, and only now were we getting it. Apparently there had been a whole batch of defective ones the manufacturers had had to scrap.
"Actually, that would be great. I'm tired of being stuck as a flamingo."
Mike chuckled as he went around the corner and grabbed his toolbox. I heard the music box die down a little bit, but it was wound up quickly. He must have given it to one of the remaining Fazgang members, probably Freddy.
When he returned, I shut my optics off. It was weird, becoming basically blind, but it was necessary to not wreck them entirely. If they were on while he checked them, they'd short out. Bonnie learned that the hard way. He was completely blind in one eye and his facial recognition software was messed up in the other now because neither of them knew what would happen; he was the first out of all of us to get a tune-up. His model was so old that Mike was still searching for a replacement that was compatible with his system at the time. And the incident had happened last year.
As I waited, nothing but darkness filling my vision, I heard the toolbox open. "I'll work on your voice box first, then your auditory sensors," he said, and I wondered what the ulterior motive was. He always did that last, or at least right before any big replacements. "I don't want you to have to take any breaks from explaining why that child called himself your baby and you his daddy." Ah. There it was. "Alright. Shut your voice box off."
Mike figured after the optic incident that if one part would short out if it were running while he checked and refined it, the rest would as well. He made sure we turned each and every sensor off before he checked it so that what happened to Bonnie didn't happen to us.
I waited as I felt my mask removed before turning my optics back on. If anyone else saw my face, they would freak. However, Mike had learned to stomach the horrors. He reached in through the gaping, ragged-edged hole that was my actual mouth, avoiding the sharp edges.
At one time, I had been planned as an animatronic without a mask. I was the first of my kind to look as I did. And at first, all went as planned. I was a dark yet friendly figure with glowing white eyes and a smile stretched across my face. No color except midnight black was on my suit. Despite the dark color theme, I was one of the most cheerful animatronics there. But something went wrong one day. My suit got torn in five places on each arm, three on my chest, and nine on my long legs by some man of an unusual color. My mouth, which originally moved to make human expressions, was ripped open, the metal around it being cut into sharp, crooked, tooth-like shards. My optics were ripped out, the sockets containing them cut like my mouth, my voice box sliced so that I couldn't talk without it being garbled or drowned out by static, and my motherboard hacked so that I didn't remember the man. The only things that went untouched were my endoskeleton itself besides the optics and my auditory sensors. During that time, I was left in darkness. I only had sound to rely on. It was in the early days of the pizzeria, when the original Fazgang and I were the only ones active. They were ruined as well, though not as far beyond repair. Still, they'd never be the same. Only they remember me as I was. Only they and Mike saw my face after the incident.
Soon, I was brought to parts and service. They sewed glowing white stripes over the tears on my arms and legs, and glowing white buttons over the tears on my chest. They replaced my optics with similar ones, though these seemed more like floating pinpricks of light than what I had before, and my voice box was replaced as well, with a softer voice than what I had had. However, my face was beyond repair. Instead, they made me a mask. That was what I wore now.
I would never show my true face to the others. I was ashamed of it. It was hideous. I looked like a living nightmare. I only let Mike see it because he needed to in order to check my sensors. Otherwise, no one would see it.
He finished as quickly as possible. "Try it now," he said, backing away from my face.
I turned it on. It started up with a bit of static, but soon I spoke. "Is it good?"
"Excellent. Your voice sounds better than ever." He clapped his hands together. "Alright, now turn your auditory sensors off. Turn your optics on."
And that I did. He worked as quickly as he could, knowing that if I was in silence for too long, I'd stop functioning altogether. The sensors were placed so that they were just hidden by the edge of my mask. You'd never see them with it on. They were two, small, speaker-like holes. They took in sounds so that my processor could translate them.
Once finished, Mike backed up so that he was in my line of vision. He waved a hand, and I turned them back on to hear the sweet, sweet sound of my music box, as well as the quiet ambiance of the ventilation running.
"Are they good?"
"Okay. Optics off now."
Darkness overtook my vision again. "Now that we're past those two, you can tell me what all happened with that kid. Animatronics can't reproduce like humans, right?"
Had I been able to blush, I would have. "N-no... Why would you think he came from something like that?"
"Just wondering. You do seem to like Chica a lot, so I thought maybe-"
"No. Nothing happened between us."
"Ah. So where did he come from?"
I told him the story, only pausing when he said to check my optics. They worked so much better than before. I then continued, telling everything up until when he walked in as he grabbed the box with the new joint in it.
"Four years old, and he hasn't had anyone to care for him?" Mike said, his amazement hidden behind concentration on running his switchblade through the tape. "And when you discovered him, he suggested you adopt him, and you just... did? No hesitation?"
"Hey, I thought about what it meant!"
"Uh-huh." He sounded very unimpressed. We sat in silence for a moment, the only sound being that of the music box, before Mike looked me in the eye. "Marion, you may not know this, but I have a little girl of my own. Her mother died in a car accident when she was still a baby, so she never knew her."
"Oh... I... I'm sorry..." I had no clue what to say.
"I loved her mother very much. When I got the news, I vowed to take care of our daughter and raise her well, just like she would've wanted. And you know what?"
"Being a single parent, a single father no less, has been one of the most difficult trials of my life. She is still only four years old, otherwise I would bring her in to spend time with you guys. Her birthday's coming up, and she's asked me if she could come spend it here so she can see what my work is like, so you'll meet her soon, but that's beside the point. The point is that you've just brought a whole world of trials upon yourself, and I don't want you to do this alone."
"What I'm saying is that I'll allow you to do this IF, and only if, you allow us to help. We can't just leave this child out in the cold, but I do agree that parts and service wouldn't be the best place for him. However, he is probably going to get bigger someday, and he won't go unnoticed by the day staff for long. We'll have to find some job for him at that point, but he's so small he'll be fine for now."
I was speechless. Mike seemed so upset about it earlier, but now... he was just going along with it.
"Since I have a four-year-old of my own, albeit a female human, I might have an idea of how to keep him busy and under control. And you know that I know the most about animatronic care out of any human here. Chica has told basically everyone that she wants to be a mother, including me, so I brought in some parenting books for her to read. I'm sure she'll be more than happy to lend them to you for this situation. And he'll have to stay in your box or behind the counter during the day. I'm afraid of what might happen if one of the kids gets ahold of him. And if he does make any trouble, you can't hesitate to punish him."
My mouth hung open. I couldn't believe it. Mike was letting me keep Springtrap. This was amazing. It took me a while to find my voice, but I finally spoke. "Th-thank you... You're too kind, M-Mike..."
"I just want to be sure you know that this isn't going to be a cakewalk. This is going to take time and effort. You've also got to let the everyone else know what's going on. Once we get out of here and back to your box, I'll gather everyone else and you will announce him."
"Can't you help?" Even with being second in command, I was awful at public speaking in situations like this.
"Normally, I'd say yes. However, this is something that I think you should do yourself. He is your child. You need to be proud of him, and show it. I'll only step in if everyone else starts fighting. It'll be all you, big guy."
I simulated a deep breath. "Alright."
The music box was the only one of us speaking after that.
((A.N.: "All the regret that was left in my mind for taking this child in after the bulk of it was gone melted away with that moment." I seriously had no clue how to edit this sentence. I am aware you have to read through it several times to make sense of it. I haven't even made sense of it. But it's my favorite sentence because it's so ludicrous. Alrighty, I'll post the last chapter soon. As I said, maybe even today. See you all later.))