Chapter 6: Real-life Nightmares

Rigby's eyes traveled the dark cover that he seemed to be surrounded by it felt as something was choking him, though he couldn't see anything. He could hear footsteps and small chatter something that sounded like Mordecai. He could hardly hear anything as if something was covering his ears. He moved his hands towards his throat and they bumped into something feathery. He still couldn't see anything but he could tell Mordecai's feathers from anyone else's. He wrapped his small paws around the feathered wrists trying with great strain to pull the wrists away from his throat. It was continuing to get harder and harder to breathe. "M-Mordecai.. S-Stop please…" Rigby's voice was but a haze of what it normally was it being so hard to speak. He gasped for air as the clasp around his neck seemed to get tighter his air restricting even more. He continued to push on the hands thought nothing was getting him to let go.

"M-Mordecai what are you doing?" His voice flooded the void as his eyes cleared and he could see Mordecai bent down on his knees one of his hands on his shoulder. Rigby smiled feeling as if he could breathe once more. Though as he gasped the air around him seemed to dissipate nothing coming in, his lungs seemed as if they were failing him. The feeling of something on his throat was no longer present but a new force seemed to push on him in all directions. He rubbed his eyes and then slowly lifted his eye-lids his facial muscles seeming to struggle at this small feat, as soon as he could see he was underwater he was also able to catch a glimpse of a light from the surface, it didn't seem to far away from him, the light was poking through the water and reflecting right at him. He started to move his small and fragile arms in a swimming motion as he started towards the surface. It seemed as if he was hardly moving the surface not getting closer even as he tried to exert himself. As he continued to swim he could hear muttering in the water, words traveling fast through the liquid that kept him from being free.

"I-I can't say I love you back." Mordecai's voice rang through the water Rigby's body being pulled down deeper into the dark void as he tried to swim towards the top. He struggled to keep holding his breathe as it was starting to run out. He was feeling weak and starting to get dizzy, as the force stopped pulling on him he tried to exert the last bit of his strength to get to the surface. He was having very little luck the water seeming to get even heavier as he felt even weaker. I can't do this..

"I c-could love you a lot better then her." Rigby's voice vibrated through the water, before he felt himself pulled deeper into the darkness of the water everything around him turning black his lungs feeling as they were filling with water, he couldn't breathe he couldn't move everything seemed to have frozen.

Rigby shot up throwing the blankets off of himself and looking over towards the T.V. taking in deep breathes putting his hand on his heart as it was beating quickly. He was still alright it was all just a dream, he wasn't in any true danger. He took another deep breathe, it was just another nightmare, one brought on by Mordecai. He looked out the window and sighed. Well another depressing day I guess.. Rigby moved his feet so they were dangling above the floor and stared out the window. He was up pretty early being Mordecai hadn't woke him, normally Mordecai had to wake him or he would sleep in too late, this time he woke up early enough that Benson wouldn't even be getting mad at him or anything just for being late. Just the thought of Benson reminded him of Mordecai, everything he did for Benson was usually with Mordecai by his side. Rigby stood up and stretched, the past week or so had been extremely stressful, every-time he saw Mordecai his heart would break a bit more. He had even started to have nightmares of Mordecai. He took in a deep breathe and rubbed his sagging eyes. They felt like bricks on his face, his crying had weighed them down for the past few days. The days that had gone by all felt like one crazy twister all of them seeming like darkened images of the reality he had gotten used to. He couldn't face Mordecai after him bluntly turning him down. It was a nightmare he believed he would face for the rest of his life. He got up and walked over to the T.V. he bent down and looked at the clock on the VCR seeing it wasn't even late enough for him to get working yet. He walked back over to the couch and sat down putting his head heavily into his furred paws. "When everything.. is said and done Mordecai.. You're the only one for me.." He spoke softly to himself trying to fight of the tears that were forming in his eyes. He lifted his head up and rubbed his hands under his bottom lashes the salty tears lying on his fingers before being flung off onto the ground. He took a deep breathe, he needed to just calm down. Rigby's day was just begging and he was already stressed to the max, he needed to find a way to divert his attention away from Mordecai. He grabbed his cell phone from between the couch cushions and flipped it open checking through his messages, a few from Muscle man which he could care less about mostly just him saying silly things like hey want to hang out. At the end of his new messages he heard a message from Jeremy.

"Hey Rigby, the other night at the arcade was fricken awesome, it was a ball I'm really glad we could fix everything and put it behind us your actually a awesome dude, so I was thinking me and Chad are going to the movies tomorrow around eight. Would you like to come with us? Anyways once you get this message please text back with a answer or something. Bye."

"Hey is that Rigby tell him I said hi!"

"Ugh, Chad says hi, hear from you later."

Rigby laughed to himself as the message shut off, well that was a a sweet message, and something that did distract him. The movies sounds like something to get my mind off of Mordecai. He checked the date and it was from last night, he didn't really expect anyone else to be up as early as him, it was only like six in the morning. He smiled before a small creek sounded in the kitchen his ears perked up as he turned to look to see who it was. A familiar gumball machine walked through the archway and into the living room talking on his phone to Audrey.

"Yeah, I'm excited for the party tonight, yes honey.. yes.. Alright I got to go get the schedule done for the day I'll call you when I get a chance love you." Benson's phone clicked off as he closed it and put it in his pocket. He looked over towards Rigby who was sitting up on the couch and looking right at him not making it too hard to tell that he had been listening to the conversation. "What I have a life other then this you know."

Rigby smiled, and then rubbed the back of his head. "I know I'm just happy for you. Um yeah.." It was awkward having a semi normal conversation with Benson and not just having him yelling at him. He cleared his throat and looked out the window. "Yeah, I'm gonna get breakfast." He said awkwardly standing up off of the couch and heading towards the kitchen.

Benson was a little awe struck by the fact the raccoon was actually happy for him. He didn't know what to say, but he did know what he saw. He hadn't really had too many chances to just look at Rigby but today he did, Benson could see the redness around Rigby's pupil, he knew it was from crying it was easy to tell. "Rigby, are you alright?" He asked concerned, he might not act like it to often but Benson really did care about his employees even the annoying ones.

Rigby stopped in his tracks a small warmth building in his heart, but he didn't feel right sharing this information with anyone but his friends, Benson was his boss first off and he didn't need him interfering with the issues that were going on in the house. Of course he had told him when he started sleeping downstairs it was because of some scary movie, thankfully Benson believed him. "I'm alright Benson thanks though." He said before he continued into the kitchen he walked to the fridge grabbing the milk out of it and placing it on the table. He stopped moving for a second to hear Benson foot steps going up the stairs. His heart continued to pound in his chest a little faster, every time someone would show they cared would always make him feel funny. He smiled and then walked over to the counter pulling a stool with him and getting up on it. He grabbed the cereal box from the cupboard opening the box to see it was empty. "Gah, you gotta be kidding me." He said tossing the box on the floor and crossing his arms. He was about to get extremely angry but realized he was the last one that ate any cereal. He laughed awkwardly to himself, so it looked like he would be eating nothing for breakfast this morning due to his own forgetfulness. He jumped down off of the stool and then pulled it back to being in front of the sink. He started back towards the living room before he heard more footsteps coming down the stairs, soft ones, nothing like Bensons or Pops. He looked around the kitchen and then eyed the door. He quickly ran to it opening it and slamming it behind him running down the path some. He looked at his cell phone and then back at the house. He opened it up and wrote Jeremy that he was going to be able to go. He didn't know what he had to do that day but, he would most likely not do it anyways he never really got in trouble for skipping out on his work. now what to do about breakfast? he thought before starting down the path leading away from the house and towards town. He might as well get his day started in town then go back and see if he had anything to do from Benson. He knew he planned on avoiding the café staying away from Eileen and Margaret seemed like a great idea for him.

"Hey Rigby! Hold up man!" Doug was running down the path trying to catch up with Rigby his small legs making it looked kind of silly as he ran. Once he finally caught up he started to breathe heavy put his hand up to tell Rigby to wait a minute. Finally once he caught his breathe he stood up and looked at Rigby. "Hey where are you going? At this early of a hour?" He said putting his hands on his hips still trying to catch his breathe all the way.

Rigby laughed at Doug the otter was pretty cute even though he didn't have his eyes set on the otter as a possible partner. "Oh, I'm heading into town to get breakfast, I ate all the cereal yesterday. Probably just going to hit a mom and pa shop.. what are you doing?" He asked curious as to why the otter was out and about. Since he moved into town Doug was out and about in the park quite a bit he had even meet Lione a few times. He shook his head as the cold morning breeze went past the two.

Doug laughed and rubbed his head. "Just thought to go out on a morning run being Liones out and about working already its crazy in all honesty, though I have to work the night shift at the café today, with this annoying beaver Eileen.. it kind of sucks but its better then working alone." Doug didn't know that Rigby and Eileen actually knew each other.

Rigby laughed at the fact Doug thought Eileen was a bit annoying too. He took in a deep breathe after laughing the crisp air making him cough a little before blushing. "So, well I should be going I'm sure you'd like to finish your run right?" He said with a smile still feeling a little awkward, ever since the kiss with Doug he felt a slight connection with him, even though it wasn't one he wanted to act on.

Doug nodded. "Yeah and you better eat and get back to work before Benson blows his cap.. Jesus does he like to yell. Anyways see ya later Rigbone." As Doug finished speaking he kind of saluted Rigby before turning and jogging away leaving Rigby alone once more. Rigby turned back down the path he needed to hurry in all honesty, he knew Benson might not be to mad at him but he didn't want to give him too much of a reason to be mad right off the bat. Though he did make plans for the night so he would probably skip a few chores so he could go to the movies. As he walked his phone beeped, he opened it up and looked at the new text message.

"Hey good to hear, so Chad wants to see this chick flick.. um the diary of john? Anyways see you tonight dude!"

Rigby smiled so things with Jeremy were a go he was glad to hear that. He looked up and continued to walk his small feet moving him forward along the cement path. He could tell not to many people were out and about at this time in the morning being he had only actually ran into Doug. He was glad though it gave him more time to just enjoy the park for its beauty. The air was still a bit chilly this morning but, it was nice compared to the heat that the afternoons normally brought. The trees were swaying slowly in the breeze the leaves swaying as if they were saying hello to Rigby. Rigby made a soft hmmph, it seemed all to perfect he wished Mordecai was there with him enjoying a walk with him. At the thought of Mordecai his mind went back to the path, town wasn't too much farther away.

"Hey coon boy, what's up?" Rigby turned around to see a white cloud behind him, well it wasn't just a cloud it was a person, it was C.J. the girl Mordecai had kind of been with a long time ago. Rigby was astonished that C.J. was talking to him, it was interesting to see her though being they hadn't seen each other since the episode with Mordecai thinking that red robin was marrying someone. Rigby cleared his throat he might as well say something right?

"Um hey C.J. how has life been treating you? Well I hope. Heh." Rigby continued to walk a little slower so that C.J. could keep up with him. He was feeling a little awkward the last time he had seen C.J. was when she was a hurricane in the café.

"Oh yeah, life has been treating me fantastic, I'm sure you know Thomas right? Well me and him are dating, going on our third week. Awesome right?" C.J. seemed to be the same cheerful person as she spoke a slight hop in her step as she said Thomas's name. She kept pace with Rigby, so to see what his reaction to that would be. He stopped and C.J. bumped into him.

"W-What?! You and Thomas are dating, that's awesome C.J. congratulations I'm happy for you two how did you two even meet?" He did have a small blush on his face from her running into him and almost knocking him off of his feet. I'm never going to get anywhere at this rate.. He started walking again turning off of the parks pathway and onto the sidewalk heading to the closet mom and pop shop which thankfully wasn't that far away.

C.J. was obviously happy about being congratulated as she let out a soft laugh and blushed. "Thanks coon boy, and well we meet at one of the concerts you guys had here a while back the one where your boss played that crazy drum solo. That was awesome! Anyways where are you heading this morning?" She asked happily skipping along beside him not seeming to have anything to do for that day. She wouldn't bother Rigby for too long, she could just ditch him and go find Thomas which would be pretty fun.

Rigby looked back at her, he didn't remember seeing her at that concert, but there was quite a lot going on that day, with the battle with the Drumatron VI and the rest of the Hair to the Throne. "Well heading out to get breakfast then going back to work, how about you?" He asked starting to pass other people walking on the sidewalks, he was even starting to pass some stores at this point the sun was a little higher in the sky and the temperature was rising. "I really can't believe I didn't see you there, I mean you stick out like a sore thumb." He said chuckling a little to himself before feeling the clouded hand on his head giving him a noogie.

"You little turd, that's not very nice. Well I guess if you're going to breakfast I might just head to the park and see if I can meet up with Thomas." C.J. retracted her hand from Rigby's head and laughed. "Well I'll be seeing you around coon boy." With this she departed and started back towards the park leaving Rigby in front of the little shop.

"See ya C.J." Rigby turned and opened up the door walking in and looking around no one was in there not even the owners. He took a deep breathe before walking over to the counter and jumped up lifting himself with his arms and tapping the bell for service. As soon as he heard someone walking in the back he jumped down and back away from the counter so that the person could see him.

A young lady around twenty walked to the counter and looked down at Rigby with a smile. "Hello sir, how can I help you today?" She had a pleasant voice filled with joy compared to most of the other employees he had spoken with. Rigby's face flushed with red before he looked down.

"U-Uh.. Ill have two pancakes and a few pieces of sausage." He said looking back up towards the young lady. She smiled at Rigby and then wrote it down on a piece of paper. She put it on a small hook that was on some kind of pulley system and it moved around to the back. She then looked back at Rigby after and looked confused.

"That will be four dollars and twenty cents." She still looked a little confused at the small raccoon. Rigby shifted he felt as if he was being examined or something. His eyes then widened he didn't bring any money with him, how was he supposed to pay for the food! He looked at his feet then back up at the girl at the counter.

"I don.." Rigby was interrupted by a very familiar voice.

"Broooo! Rigbone!" A large raccoon pushed through the front doors walking over and picking up his big brother in a hug. After letting his brother down he looked at the women at the counter who just looked at them both funny now. "I got you covered Rigby." Don grabbed his wallet and handed her the money before putting it back where he got it.

"Thank you sir, your food will be out in a little bit." With this the women went back into the back room leaving Rigby and Don together. Rigby moved over to one of the tables and Don quickly sat right in front of him smiling like the crazy loony toon he was. Rigby shifted awkwardly in the hard wooden seat looking right at Don. There was few moments of silence, he knew that Don had something he wanted to say but, he was afraid of saying it and upsetting Rigby. Don was a great little brother, even if he was always stealing Rigby's thunder when he was younger. Rigby sighed and then Don finally decided to speak up.

"So Rigby.. how are things going with Mordo.. how are you feeling, do you need to come live with me?" He knew he might have been going a little over board with all of his questions but he really wanted to know how his big brother had been with the situation since last time they had talked.

Rigby looked up at Don and then down at the table letting out a small whimper. "Don.. Its just so hard to know.. I was so close to him.. and now I don't even feel right being in the same room as him, I know things won't ever work between us.. Its like a real nightmare! A hell I can't wake up from.. I just want him to love me Don." He spoke as tears hit the wooden table leaving small salty puddles. Don reached one of his hands across the table cupping Rigby's hand in his own. Rigby looked up smiling some as his eyes meet his little brothers.

"Rigby, things always work out, you of all people should know this you get into messes all the time, and your still here. Things will get better, all you need is a little sugar right?" He got up and walked over towards Rigby picking him up in a tight hug. The smaller raccoon thrashed about in Don's arms laughing some the hug cheering him up a little. Don grinned at-least he could cheer up his big brother some, he knew he couldn't fix things with Mordecai but at least he was trying to keep Rigby sane. As he lowered Rigby back down the lady had come out with Rigby's food. She placed it in front of the smaller raccoon and nodded leaving the two. Don walked back to his seat and smiled some as his brother wiped his tears away.

"Thanks Don, you always know what to say no wonder you have a boyfriend hah." He said with a small laugh. He then took the fork that the waitress had given him and started to cut some of the pancake up. "So.. You know you never told me how you meet Whisper." He said popping a piece of pancake in his mouth, maybe getting his mind off of Mordecai for a minute or two would make it easier for him to talk about him. He poured some syrup on the pieces of pancake as his brother started to think. He put a piece of the savory pancake into his mouth as Don started to speak.

"Well, I guess we kind of just meet at his job, he was just working as a cashier and all, but his boss needed my help with a audit, kinda just like yours did. Well we talked a bit because he was interested in what I was doing, or at least at the time I thought that was it. A few weeks later I saw him walking down the side walk his clothes were all muddy and his face was cut up." Rigby choked on some of his pancake in surprise of what Don had said.

"What happened? Did someone beat him up? Who would do that?!" He asked pumbling Don with questions. Don looked down then back up at Rigby as he begun to speak again.

"Well, I stopped on the side of the road and got out to speak to him once I got to him he just kind of collapsed into my arms, I rushed him to the hospital after he had been released he told me what happened.. a group of homophobic idiots had him fired from his job and then ganged up on him in a alley.. and the reason they did it is just because he is gay.. ever since then he just don't like talking about being gay.." He took a breathe before he leaned back in the chair crossing his arms. "I've been trying to get him to feel safe admitting he is gay recently. Its just hard because of that experience. Yeah after the incident at the hospital, I just took him in, I had already fallen in love with him at first sight, so after that I just couldn't let him go." Don said sighing before crossing his arms and glaring at Rigby. "I won't allow no one to hurt you Rigby.. just so you know." He said with intensity rolling off of his words, he was a little peeved right then thinking about what happened to Whisper.

Rigby finished his plate quite quickly before smiling at his brother. "I know you wouldn't Don, but if I know anything about Mordecai he wouldn't hurt me if he had the choice. He isn't the kind of person to do that kind of thing." He spoke even softer as he continued. "Well he wouldn't hurt me physically anyways, I don't know what to do about him Don, I'm not sure if to be mad at him or me.. I actually have thought about quitting and moving in with you.. but, you have Whisper there I don't want to crowd you." His eyes glanced out the window seeing Doug jogging past the store, his stare then landed back on his brother.

Don sighed and rubbed the back of his head. "There is always room for you bro, and maybe not be mad at anyone you know, some things take more time then others and maybe this is just one of those moments Rigbone. You better get back to the park though, if I'm right Benson should be giving out the schedule right now. Plus I need to get back to the house and get ready to meet Whisper at the café the one that the red robin works at.. dunno why he picked there but that's Whisper for you. So I'll be seeing you around Rigby." He got up and started for the door before turning around and spreading his arms out. "But before I go, give me some sugar for old time sakes." He said laughing a little to himself.

Rigby shook his head, he normally hated hugging people especially Don but recently his little brother had been really helpful. He got up off of his chair and walked over and wrapped his small arms around Don as much as he could hug him. "Thanks Don, have a good time." As his feet touch the ground again he walked over to the table hearing the bell ring as Don left the ma and pop shop. He grabbed his napkin to throw it away for the women. As he turned to leave he looked in the back there was a old man and old women making bread. He smiled then spoke out. "Thanks it was delicious!" He turned and then pushed the door open going out into the air expecting a cold breeze he was hit with heat. He took a breath and looked as Don got into his car, not to far down the street. "What was he even doing in this area? People are always keeping track of me now days or something." He sighed and rubbed his tummy he was definitely full after eating. The small raccoon started once again with the warm breeze in his face to the park. time to get to work.. Timed seemed to go by faster as he headed to the parks house, time seemed to speed up, and for some reason he kept seeing Mordecai in every person he saw. His mind playing tricks on him, he knew he couldn't get his mind off of the blue jay but seeing him everywhere was not something he enjoyed. Half way to the house he heard the cart coming down the path, he didn't want to take any risks so he jumped into the nearest bush looking out to see Mordecai driving past. I bet he is going to the dang Café He gave a small glare as the cart left his sight, well at least the blue jay wasn't going to be in the park for a little while. He got out of the bush brushing some twigs and leaves off of himself before continuing to the park. It hadn't been much longer before he could see the porch steps. At the bottom was Benson sitting, seeming to be waiting for someone. Rigby gulped most likely he would be the one Benson had been waiting for. He continued towards the porch until Benson looked up at him and started heading towards him.

"Rigby, your late where have you been, actually never mind I really don't care." He said in a somewhat gruff tone before handing over a piece of paper to the raccoon. Rigby opened it up, it was the list of things for him to do today. He only had to rake near the rest rooms and empty the garbage around the park. Though he wasn't scheduled to do any work with Mordecai which was odd he had been teaming them up on most chores until today.

"Um Benson why am I working alone and not with Mordecai, I always work with Mordecai." He asked this lifting his head up to look at Benson who had his arms crossed. Rigby tilted his head as in question as to what Benson had been thinking when making up the schedule for him and Mordecai. Benson huffed and put his hand to his forehead shaking it making the balls inside his head move.

"Something is going on between you two I know it I put things together this morning, now I'm not one hundred percent sure what it is, but I think it would be best to keep you two separate for the time being." He took his hand off of his head to see that Rigby had started to tear up. He sighed he didn't sign up to be a counselor but it looked like he might have to be today. He put a hand out on Rigby's head and ruffled it a little he knew that Rigby wasn't a kid, but it was the only thing he knew to do right then. "Rigby do you need to talk?" He asked concerned he knew that Rigby didn't like talking about his issues but he just wanted to help him. Rigby didn't say anything to start with and Benson took his hand off of Rigby's head and then down. "Rigby I know I'm your boss but come on talk to me, you may be a slacker but I know you're a person too, I'm worried about you." He said looking up and right at Rigby staring the raccoon in the eyes.

Rigby looked away embarrassed and then back at Benson. ".. I don't know just things are going on.. bad things Benson, yeah but I better go and start my chores.. thanks though Benson." He turned and left Benson tears in his eyes once more he just needed to go focus on other things. He thought he could get passed this crying just at the thought of the blue jay. He still needed to take more time to fully heal, thankfully he had time to think. He could focus on his movie time with Jeremy and Chad, he just needed to get to the shed and get started. He might as well do all the work being Benson cut it down for him. He sighed reaching the shed and leaning on it. "… What am I supposed to say when Benson asks me things like that.. I can't just tell him.." He sighed and slowly sat down against the wooden shed. He looked up at the sky, at least the weather looked like it wouldn't be too bad for the day. "I just need to wipe off my eyes, lift my head up.. and know those who matter will love me the best they can.. even if this is all just a drag.." He spoke to himself standing up and trying to look tough. He wiped his eyes off going to the shed and opening it looking around in it, it was quite a mess.

"Rigby.. I love you." A voice sounded from the corner, it sounded like Mordecai, Rigby squinted and looked into the corner of the dark shed no light peering in. He shook his head and the darkness was suddenly filled with light. He could see everything, and Mordecai hadn't been in the shed. He moved around the shed, and headed to the corner before he heard a creek outside. "You will never have me!" He turned as the shed door slammed shut and a click sounded through his wooden surroundings. He knew the familiar click of the lock, he ran to the door and started pounding on it, it wasn't budging one bit. He growled closing his eyes and slamming his shoulder into the door. Thud, and Rigby was on the ground outside of the shed. He opened his eyes and looked around, the shed doors were wide open and no one was around. The inside of the shed was once again dark, naturally. "..Wh-what the H…" He muttered to himself, was he starting to lose his mind? He sighed and went inside grabbing the rake and a roll of garbage bags. He should just get working things couldn't get any worse then they were seeming.

Maybe if I work I won't see him.. or think about him.. I wish I could just go to the movies already.. with his final thoughts he left the shed and went to work.