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what if i was a skeleton and i helped you find the bathroom? haha jk... unless...?

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Gordon narrowed his eyes as he looked around a seemingly familiar stretch of hallway.  “... Where the fuck are the bathrooms around here?”

 

Really, he wished he’d gone to the concessions stand first.  Carrying all that around would be a pain and a half, but at least he could use some of the popcorn to indicate where he’d already been.  Let himself know whether he’s actually going in circles or not.  Hansel and Grettle that shit.

 

… If the belly of this movie theater was anywhere near as labyrinthine as it felt, though, he’d probably have been out of popcorn by now.  And he’s not about to waste that much popcorn.  Unless it’s, like, really bad.

 

Anyways- he’s letting his mind get all sidetracked again, which is not exactly something he wants to do while trying to go to the bathroom during intermission.  And get snacks for his friends.  Oh, right, and not get shot by his friend’s dad.  Can’t forget that part.  He shook his head and pressed onward.  Not really being able to differentiate anything about his surroundings, he shrugged and took a left, knocking into something that definitely felt at least human-adjacent.

 

“Ah, shit, sorry, I wasn’t-”

 

His words screeched to a halt as his mouth clamped shut around them.

 

There, toppled on the floor in front of him, was a skeleton.  It propped itself up on one elbow, rubbing at its head as it looked up at him.  (If those hollow sockets could really look at anything- jesus christ, man, focus! )

 

Gordon wanted so badly to just turn around and walk away without another word.  Hell, he almost wanted to just run out of this god-forsaken theater, gun-related consequences be damned.  Why wasn’t he doing that?  Why was he frozen in place?

 

With a little bit of effort, the skeleton stood, oddly pointed fingers digging ever so slightly into the wall next to them.

 

Run.

 

It shambled closer, standing directly in front of Gordon now, height difference the only reason their chests weren’t flush together.

 

Fucking run, man, you can’t deal with this shit right now!

 

Slowly opening its jaw, the skeleton let out a long, low rattle, filling his every sense with dust and the stench of death.

 

Okay.  Alright.  I guess this is how I die, since my stupid legs don’t want to cooperate with me.  That’s fine.

 

As the rattle tapered out, the skeleton backed up, coughing into its fist.  With one finger held up, it took a long drink from the nearby water fountain.  The vast majority of it just went right through the skull and splatted onto the floor.  It shook its head with a bwrrr sound before turning to look at Gordon again.  “Sorry ‘bout that, man.  What’s up?  See you’re still a clumsy boy, haha.”

 

“What the fuck are you doing here?”

 

Benrey raised its hands defensively, somehow conveying raised eyebrows as well despite being eyebrowless and, well, Benrey.   “Geez, man, sorry, I’m just tryin’ to find the bathroom.”

 

“You-”  When Gordon finished processing what he’d just said, he looked over his bony form in confusion.

 

He shoved his hands in front of the empty space by his pelvis.  “Dude- dude, just ‘cause I’ve seen your dick doesn’t mean you gotta look at mine.  Kinda fucked up.”

 

“You don’t have a dick for me to even look at!”

 

Wow-

 

“Look- no, look- shut up- why the hell do you need to go to the bathroom when you’re like this?”

 

“Hey, man, I’m not your biolology teacher.”

 

“I- okay.  Whatever.  I don’t have time to question that right now.”

 

“Why?  You in a hurry?  Gotta take a huge dump?”

 

“... Yeah, I do, actually.”

 

“Oh.  Fuckin… nice.  Wanna look around together?  Road trip?”

 

He really didn’t want to spend another second looking at that skull.  But it’s not like he had many other options, so Gordon just sighed.  “Fuck it.  Why not.  Road trip.”

 

For a moment, Benrey only stood there.  “... Wait, for real?”

 

“Yeah, nothing else I’ve tried has been working.  May as well.  Just- y’know, don’t make it weird.”

 

“Dude, how could anybody make that weird?”

 

Gordon pushed past it and started walking down that stretch of hall.  “Oh, I am not fucking answering that.”

 

“Alright, that’s cool.”  It followed behind him, trying to peer around his shoulder.  “Why you going this way, though, bro?  I just came from there.”

 

He stopped in his tracks, causing Benrey to run into his back.  “... Okay, I might not be thinking super straight right now.”

 

“Welcome to the club.  Ayyoooo!

 

Trying and failing to hold back a laugh, he turned back around.  “Alright, alright, let’s just go the other way!  I’m probably missing the rest of the movie by now!”

 

“Oh, shit, you think I could join you guys?  Heard good stuff ‘bout that flick.  Heard it’s got some pretty good gamer rep.”

 

“... I think Mr. Coolatta only wants people that were at Tommy’s party there, but, hey, you two are buds, so… maybe?”

 

“Wh- dude, I was at Tommy’s party.”

 

“... You were not.

 

“God, I can’t believe you didn’t notice me.  I kept hovering in your periphery an’ shit and everything.  Not… not making any effort to actually be directly perceived.  Can’t believe you didn’t pick up on my vibes, bro, I thought we had something going on.”

 

“I hate that a part of me was actually expecting that to be the case.”

 

“... What, having something going on?”

 

“Wha- no, the- the you being weird and expecting me to just know about it!”

 

“Damn, alright, touchy.”

 

“Benrey, the only reason I haven’t pulled apart all your shitty little bones yet is because I need to take a shit as soon as possible.”

 

It shrugged as it went from following behind Gordon to trying to match his pace beside him.  “What ever, dude.  That wouldn’t even work, anyway.  I’m like, uhhh… Stretch… Stretch man.  Stretchy arms.”

 

“... What?

 

“Hm?”

 

“You mean Stretch Armstrong?

 

“Yeah, that.”

 

“I’m… I’m pretty sure it’s possible to rip those things up.”

 

“Well, I dunno, have you ever done it?”

 

“I-”  Gordon stopped.  “Y’know, now that I think about it, I’m not really sure if I’ve ever seen a Stretch Armstrong toy in person, actually.”

 

“Damn, you serious?”

 

“Yeah, it just- huh.  Wow. ”  Shaking his head, he started walking again.  “For some reason, that feels like something I should’ve, like… been aware of before now.”

 

“... I’ve never ripped up a Stretchy Armsguy before.”

 

“Well, yeah, but you’re- I wouldn’t be surprised if you came out the womb or egg or whatever with a Playstation controller.  No time for weird lil men.  Gotta get those trophies.”

 

“Nuh-uh, I’ve played stuff other than Playstation.”

 

“Name one example.”

 

“The World Ends With You for the Nintendo DS.”

 

“... That feels like an oddly specific choice.”

 

“It’s just a good game, man, you don’t gotta nitpick.”

 

“Yeah, I’m sure it is, but you could’ve said, like… any Pokemon game.  Going for one with such a weird sounding title has got to be deliberate.”

 

Benrey hummed and nodded.  “Okay, yeah, I guess it’s pretty uh… themes.”

 

Gordon waited for him to continue as they stood at another intersection.  “... You gonna elaborate on that?”

 

“What?”

 

“I dunno, dude, it sounded like you maybe wanted to explain how that The World’s Ending At You game is… themes.   What- what kind of title even is that?  Is it some sorta apocalypse survival game or something?”

 

“Aw, dude, you wanna listen to me infodump?  That’s so sweet…”

 

“Well, I doubt I’m gonna get you to shut the fuck up any time soon, and that sounds a hell of a lot better than arguing over Stretch Armstrong, so…”

 

“... Wait, we were arguing?”  In just a second, his mind caught back up with what his mouth had been spewing out.  “Ohhh, shit, yeah, that.   Okay, so, neither of us can confirm or deny whether either of us can break one a those Stretchboys-”

 

Hands over his ears, Gordon turned on his heels and went in a random direction.  “I am not listening to any more of this-”

 

Benrey trailed behind him with no hesitation.  “No, c’mon, hear me out-”

 

Looking ahead, Gordon’s eyes lit up.  “Nope, nuh-uh, I don’t have to hear you out for another second, ‘cause there’s the fucking bathroom!

 

“Ohhhh, shit, hell y-  … Uh.”

 

He started walking backwards towards the bathroom, waving two middle fingers around.  “Ho!  Hoho!   I don’t gotta deal with you anymore for good real soon!  Get to kiss your bony lil ass goodbye!  … Wait, that saying sounds weird when it’s that way-”

 

It suddenly snapped its head around from where it was looking past another corner, looking him dead in the eyes.  “Gordon.”

 

Thrown off his rhythm, he froze before lowering his fingers.  “I... what?”

 

“Come look at this.”

 

“Uh… okay?   What’s so-”  Right around the corner, he saw what was very clearly the front door of the theater.  “... Has it seriously just been right here this whole time?”

 

“Yeah, probably.”

 

Gordon banged his forehead against the wall.