Chapter 1: Different, Yet the Same

It had been 3 days since Mike Schmidt had been fired from his night guard position at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria, and he had been spending his time trying to find another job. The reputation of his previous place of employment had made it difficult, since many of the employers assumed that Mike would be suffering from partial insanity. Or total. Mike understood, a lot of the other employees had been pretty messed up from having to deal with the robots in some way or another, as well as rumors that the restaurant was haunted. That wasn't the case, as Mike knew, but urban legends still affected the community. The rumors got so out of hand, that even the local high school students didn't dare try and get inside and figure out the truth. Plus, there was a guard anyway.

After spending an entire day on the phone, Mike finally landed a job at another pizza joint, ironically, although this one didn't feature a band of singing metal animals. It was called Vito's Signature Italian, and was pretty much a higher-class type of pizza, saturated in Italy. He was brought on as a janitor, since the place's old one quit, meaning Mike was once again working nights alone in a pizzeria. He figured it would be fine. After Freddy's, how bad could it have been? So, Mike arrived just as the sun fully set to get the low down on his assignment for the night. The manager met him at the door, and handed him a mop.

"Just clean stuff up," he said.

"No… Important info?" Mike asked.

"The water's wet, that suffice? Hop to it," the manager said gruffly, before leaving.

"Is the power conserved at night?" Mike called after the manager.

"What? No! Turn them all on for all I care," the manager barked back, before getting into his car and driving away. Mike walked through the door, put at ease by the fact all of the lights were on.

A welcome change, he thought, and set to work. The entire restaurant could have fit in the Dining Hall of Freddy's, including the kitchens, and was done up to resemble an Italian villa, with fake grapevines covering some of the walls. After seeing the destruction kids could cause, Mike was also pleasantly surprised to find that this place was much cleaner, even if his job was more menial. After 20 minutes spent mopping the floors, Mike unknowingly nudged a metal pot almost entirely off a counter in the kitchen with the handle of his mop, and as he began wiping tables, it finally fell onto the floor. The loud clanging caused Mike to immediately snap his head up.

"Chica?" he called out reflexively, before checking himself. "Right… She's not here…" Mike shook himself out of the memory, mind again drifting back to the two bodies that had lain backstage. Despite Mike's renewed fear of the robots, he couldn't help but wonder how they were getting along without him.

Freddy sat on the edge of the stage, deep in thought. After the new guard's first night, it began to feel much like before Foxy's escape: they didn't want to hurt the guard, but said guard didn't know. Mike hadn't returned the next night, or the night after that, but the new girl did, which surprised the animatronics, since the plan was to scare her into quitting. Hopefully, after enough guards quit, the restaurant would be forced to rehire Mike, and Freddy and the others could hopefully win his trust back.

Besides trying and keeping the position open for Mike, the other goal was to find some way to contact him, so he would take the job in the first place. But the robots weren't exactly sure how to do so. They didn't know anything about what Mike did when he wasn't in the restaurant.

So here Freddy sat, trying to figure out a way to learn more about their favorite night guard. He strained his memory, hoping to recall something, anything that could give them an idea of where to go. Coming up with nothing, the bear looked up, spying Foxy poking his head through his curtain, ready to charge once again. He seemed to be the most effective, since the fox could essentially come out of nowhere. Foxy had actually managed to get into the office, forcing the guard into a corner and screeching until she broke down. Freddy felt a little guilty they had to go that far, but considered it worth it to get Mike back.

Chelsea sat in a pool of nervous sweat, her uniform clinging to her chair. That first night had been scary, and the second had been pure hell, especially when the fox managed to get into the office. Thankfully, the clock managed to strike six before anything could happen, and when Chelsea opened her eyes, the robot was gone. The fox scared her the most, always charging when she least expected, and combined with its large metal hook, sharp teeth, and exposed metal skeleton, made him the manifestation of terror itself. The woman had always been disturbed by animatronics, and now they were attacking her. It was Chelsea's worst nightmare, but for some reason, she came back. Some part of her, one that she couldn't explain, told her that these things needed her help, but she could never work up the courage to ask them.

Looking at the tablet, Chelsea jumped when she switched to Pirate's Cove, seeing the fox grinning sinisterly at the camera. Shuddering, the new guard switched over to view the camera in the East Hall, spying the rabbit standing in the shadows, glowing eyes staring right into the camera's lens. Remembering the fox, Chelsea once again switched to Pirate's Cove, spying the curtains wide open. Slamming her fist into the button, she leapt back when a large metallic crash sounded from the other side, shaking the door in its housing. The robot's hook suddenly tapped on the glass, before sliding downward, leaving a long scratch down the middle of the window.

"Ye should go home, lass," the pirate called through the door in a low voice, before walking away.

Bonnie stared down the East Hall towards the office, hearing Foxy slam into the left door. A large part of her felt terrible about scaring the poor woman. It had been different when they thought the guards were simply endoskeletons, needing to be punished then returned to uniform. Guilt shot through the rabbit at the memory of some of the "suit ups." Maybe scaring the guard was the wrong way to go about it. If she hadn't been swayed when Foxy cornered her in the office, then nothing could get the woman to quit. For a moment, Bonnie contemplated talking to her, explaining things; maybe this new guard could be an ally. But, if they became friends, then the new guard wouldn't leave, and Mike wouldn't come back. Bonnie decided to stick to scare tactics for now, and began walking towards the office.

Upon reaching the window, the security door slammed down and Bonnie stared at the guard through the glass. She didn't look well, color had drained from her face, and she had dark circles under eyes. Bonnie felt another pang of guilt, but said nothing, just continuing to stare through the window. The guard stared back, wide-eyed.

"What do you want!?" she demanded. Bonnie again remained silent, again feeling the sharp stabbing guilt.

"Please, just leave me alone," the guard pleaded.

"Okay," Bonnie said, and began walking away. She couldn't take torturing the poor guard anymore, deciding that her visits to the office were done for the night. As for the others…

Chelsea was surprised the rabbit spoke, nevertheless just walk away, just because she asked. Maybe that one wasn't so bad. Sighing in temporary relief, the guard opened the right door to conserve power. It didn't take a genius to figure out how bad it would get if she ran out. Returning to the camera tablet, Chelsea was again relieved to find the curtains on Pirate's Cove closed, and hear the rattling of pans in the Kitchen. The animatronics were taking a break, which gave her time to think. Why were these things attacking her? It didn't make sense, she hadn't done anything, at least, she thought she didn't. Did anyone know about this? Chelsea couldn't have been the first guard, not if this is what happened at night. Unfortunately, part of Chelsea's hiring process had been to sign a binding non-disclosure agreement about what happened after hours. Having been so excited at finally landing a job, the woman hadn't bothered to read it too closely, though now she wished she had. Chelsea was still conflicted about leaving. Something drew her back, something about the way the animatronics acted. Despite being incredibly aggressive, they also seemed… sad. When Chelsea watched the animatronics on the camera, she noticed that they seemed to stare at the ground a lot, almost guiltily, or melancholic. Why? Something was going on here, and Chelsea felt compelled to figure it out despite fearing for her life.

Foxy sat on the small stage of Pirate's Cove, thinking back to what Mike had told them on the night of the break in. What they thought were rogue endoskeletons were in fact humans, like Mike. Naturally, it had occurred to the machines that all of those other "skeletons" had been human as well. Every guard they had stuffed into a suit. Looking back now, it all made sense. They looked a lot like the staff during the day, sounded similar, did the same things like drinking and (in Mike's case) sleeping. This was what made Foxy so mad at himself, that he didn't make that connection earlier. He should have known, should have realized, should have stopped.

The knowledge that he had killed left the pirate shaken, and he found a good emotional release in the form of scaring this new guard. It helped get rid of the frustration, the shame, at least temporarily, even though he felt a little bit guilty for it. All of the animatronics knew that their actions were inexcusable, and that nothing they could do would make it right. That was logic. But it still hurt. Hopefully, if the robots made amends with Mike, then things would start to get better, maybe the man could help explain. Until then, this new guard needed to go, and Foxy got up, and slowly slinked out of the curtain, closing it behind him. Maybe breaking the routine would scare her away. Focusing instead on stealth as opposed to a loud charge, Foxy crept up to the window. Finding the Cove still curtained off would hopefully keep the woman from checking the hallway, leaving Foxy able to sneak into the office. Peering through the glass, he saw that the guard had her nose buried in the tablet, watching its screen intently.

Perfect, Foxy thought, and walked up as quietly as possible. Now that he was practically breathing down the woman's neck, Foxy was at a loss at what to do. He could scream, but what then? He didn't want to hurt her, so would he just leave? He was still figuring out his plan when the woman finally noticed a presence behind her. She slowly turned around, and looked up to see Foxy looming over her shoulder. She screamed, bringing Foxy out of his thoughts. The woman sat stock still, until she ran out of air, before gasping and screaming again.

Tired of the screaming, Foxy stuck his face into hers and screeched, stunning her into silence. She sat, petrified, staring into Foxy's burning yellow eyes. That's when Foxy thought of a plan. Grabbing her arm with his good hand, he dragged the guard to her feet. She tried to pull away from his grasp, and pounded on Foxy's arm, screaming again. Foxy ignored her, and began to drag her out into the West Hall. The guard kept on pulling, pounding, screaming, and pleading all the way into the Dining Hall.

"No! Where are you taking me? Let me go!" she shouted as she was dragged along. Foxy turned his head around to look at her while continuing to walk forward, once again startling the guard into temporary silence, before turning back and snatching a nearby dining room chair with his hook. Carrying the chair and the guard onstage, he sat her in the middle of the stage. Foxy stepped aside and crossed his arms, staring at her.

"Why don' ya leave, lass?" he asked, narrowing his eyes at her. Foxy looked up as Freddy and the others walked onto the stage, staring at the scene, confused.

"What do you want with me?" the woman asked, eyes darting to each robot. Chica stepped forward.

"For you to leave," she hissed.

"It's not safe here, you know," Freddy told her, his usual polite and proper tone replaced with a faked deep, static-filled one. His eyes betrayed his forced aggressiveness; however, "You should leave while you still have a chance."

"A-a chance at wh-what?" the guard asked.

"Life, lass," Foxy told her, flashing his hook in the stage light.

"You're, you're gonna kill me?" the woman replied, horrified.

"Maybe," Freddy said, forced evil breaking slightly. Foxy noticed, and quickly covered.

"Did ye want to find out?" he asked. His façade was starting to crack as well. Suddenly, Bonnie broke down.

"No, no, no, stop! I can't keep doing this. I'm so sorry, really!" Bonnie cried at the girl, "We're not going to hurt you, honest! We'll leave you alone, I'm so sorry!" Bonnie hid her face with her hands, and fled the stage. The others looked after her in a solemn silence, before turning back to Chelsea. Freddy took off his hat.

"Well, I suppose the cat's out of the bag now," he said, voice back to normal.

"Yeah, there goes that plan. Thanks a lot, Bonnie! Now we'll never get Mike back!" Chica chastised the rabbit, who had ran Backstage.

"Ta be honest, I wasn't much further away," Foxy told the yellow bird, before walking back towards Pirate's Cove. He stopped and looked at Chelsea.

"I'm sorry, lass, for givin' ya a fright," he told her, before stepping off the stage.

"Well, I guess I'm sorry to," Chica said flatly, and returned to the kitchen, leaving Chelsea and Freddy alone on the stage. Chelsea sat, confused and scared, staring at the bear.

"You… you guys aren't going to kill me?" she asked hesitantly. Freddy nodded.

"No, and we never were going to. I'm sorry you had to get involved, we're trying to get our friend back," Freddy said sadly, fiddling with his hat, "I don't blame you if you're mad at us." With that, Freddy replaced his hat on his head, and walked Backstage to talk with Bonnie. Chelsea sat in stunned silence for a good while, thoughts exploding across her mind.

They were trying to get their friend back? How does that work? Who is that? It was all an act? Chelsea sat this way for a while, until she noticed Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica were returning to the stage, and leapt up out of the chair.

"You're still here?" Bonnie asked, "Well, could you please leave? We open soon, and I don't want to get in trouble." Chelsea just nodded, and picked up the chair, taking it back down into the Dining Hall, before returning back to the office, still lost in thought. She passed Pirate's Cove, and saw Foxy's eyes following her. Chelsea walked a bit faster, before sitting in her chair.

What is going on?

A/N: Welcome back to Night Three, ladies, gentleman, and other. If this is the first story of mine you're pointing your face at, I ask that you please take the time to view the earlier installments, as they'll help set the stage for this one. Also, they're, you know, DONE, so you can read it all at once. For those of you that enjoyed the rapid updates… Yeah, no, not gonna be so good about it this time around. I've hit a (metaphorical) wall right now, since I hadn't planned out this installment, well, at all. I really, really, really want to keep this series going, and have no intention of abandoning it, I just need some more downtime. I may start a spin-off series to get the creative juices flowing into my brain holes, so look out for that I s'pose. So until I find enough (metaphorical) nitroglycerin to make a (metaphorical) bomb to destroy that (metaphorical) wall, there will be some (literal) pauses in my writing. OH, OH, OH, wait, hang on, one more thing… Thank you guys, seriously. I never expected I would get so much attention from my writing, I did it just to put it on paper and not forget my stories. My friend, Arm Chair General (he writes Halo/Star Wars Crossover stuff. It's okay.), said to put it on FanFiction, because why the hell not? And it turns out, people like it, which humbles me, really. This is starting to sound like an ending monologue, and I do NOT want to think about the end not even halfway through. So, to sum it all up, thank you for making me feel popular, I have writer's block, I'm building bombs out of metaphors, and this note is way too long. Again. 'Till that (metaphorical) bomb goes off… -DeltaV, Master of the Wall of Text