Stepping around the mindlessly waddling form of Chica the Chicken and her cupcake or whatever the little eyeballed horror was supposed to be in the shadowy hallway, Spike entered the Security room, stooped, picked the receiver up off the hook and put the phone, which was on the floor, on speaker while eyeing the familiar number in the caller I.D display.

"Fazbear's Pizzaria. Wotcha want at this hour, phone guy?"

Ordinarily, Spike would have turned this into a break by flopping into the prolapsed remains of the office chair and propping his boots on the battered desk, but he and the chair parted ways last night when, still soggy, he'd awakened on the floor amidst the remains of the chair, struggling out of a nightmare where he was a small black child wearing a Fazbear's Pizzaria t-shirt being being stuffed into Freddy by the yellow rabbit so that the complex endoskeleton ripped him-her to bits as it clicked shut one joint at a time. Never one for half gestures, he'd also somehow managed to overturn the desk at the same time, ripping most of the monitors off the wall on his way down.

"Argle blargle urgh urgle, Frrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeedddddddddyyyyyyyyyy gurgle…"

Spike paused in the midst of pacing around the cramped space while fiddling with an unlit cigarette, "What the Hell?"

Frowning, he bent and turned up the volume. If it weren't for caller I.D. he might have figured he was he'd somehow getting a random call directly from the Hellmouth because it was lonely or whatever, or Drusilla was taunting him by strangling something large and tasty that she didn't feel like sharing. Which was ridiculous, because as far as he knew, Dru was still somewhere in Brazil, didn't know the phone guy, and didn't have this number, and anyway, the Hellmouth had other ways of communicating when it felt like it.

"Argle blargle ack ack ack rowlbleddddddd bleghhhhhhh."

The third option was that the Grand Rialto's plumbing wished to discuss working conditions, and would he be interested in joining the Union it was forming?

"Helllllppppp meeeeeeee….I'mmmmmmmmm choooooookkkkkkkinnnnnggggggggg…"

"Bloody hell, come again? Oi, this is rich!" Thoroughly embracing his Schadenfreunde because the normally annoyingly cheerfully man on the other end of the line who called every night from a different store in the chain to blatter happily at him was now obviously having a much shittier time than Spike. The vampire gave out a howling bark of laughter at the expense of the poor bastard badly in need of the Heimlich maneuver on the other end of the line.

"Hellllllllllpppppp…. Argh argh argh whOOP–akkkkkkkkkkk!"

"Keep it up mate!" Spike whooped from a bent-over position as he slapped the wall where the tatters of children's drawings still fluttered in all their Chica's Magic Rainbow Punch splattered glory, "And I do mean keep it up!"

"Arrrrrghhhgurgle…. Niiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhttttttt fooooouuuuurrrrrrrr – aaaaaak!" followed by a loud crash as if the phone guy had just pulled an entire automotive parts store down on himself.

"Oooooh, loverly! Now see if you can tip a Coke machine on yourself!" Spike added as in the sudden silence there came a tinkling that resolved itself into a badly worn music box rendition of "Carmine" and a slow, gurgling basso profundo laugh that dissolved into a child's distorted voice, "You in time out, dawg! You stole my happy day…"


"Oh, eh?" Frowning, Spike crouched to face the button-studded phone and its attached answering machine.

…somewhere in the old theater the yellow rabbit whispered in the ear of Freddy while placing a grimy coffee cup in one of her clumsy paws before wrapping something around the other, reminding her of lost days and stolen fun, of the man with white hair who took all the magic away, stealing Freddy's friends so that she would never again rap with Bobby, the curly dark-haired boy in the wheelchair who was the best human beat box ever, of Hailey the little blonde girl who knew the best clapping games, of Michael who knew the name of all the Turtles and let her be Leonardo because Leonardo was the coolest Turtle… "Make him pay!" the yellow rabbit whispered, "Make him pay, fifty dollars every day…my mother asked me to pick the very best one and I. Pick. YOU!"