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rest your weary eyes, take my broken hand

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Everything hurt.

Was it possible to hurt this much? Why could she even feel pain? Pain wasn’t a programmed part of her. Yet, she felt every twitch, every exposed wire, every piece of metal framework twisted and contorted inside of her. Her usual clear and focused vision was spotted and dirty, and her facial recognition feature was no longer working.

She laid there for a moment, amongst the garbage and rotting food scraps. The events that just took place flashed through her mind.

The enticing smell and allure of Monty’s Mystery mix lured her into the small enclosure. It wasn’t her fault there was a bug in her system causing her to devour any left out food substance. Overrides flooded her system as she charged the mystery mix and began chowing down, unable to stop herself.

Then the mechanical whirring of the garbage compactor rang through the room, warning her of her impending doom.

But it was too late.

The metal plates closed in on her, squeezing and squishing her to rubble. Her plastic casing cracked, her metal skeleton twisting and contorting, her wires sparking and shocking her.

Her entire body screamed with pain, agony, yet there was nothing she could do.

She tried to scream for help, but too much pressure was being put on her voice box, all she could make was a high-pitched scream.

But that wasn’t the worst part. It wasn’t the garbage compactor crushing her to bits, not the inability to do anything about it, not the fact that her enhanced voice box was being ruined.

No, the worst part of it all, was being forced to be crushed beyond repair, and stare at the person causing it the entire time.

The scared yet smug look on the child’s face sent Chica into a frenzied state. The whole time she and the others had been hunting him down, she had good intentions— To keep him safe until 6:00 AM, so he wouldn’t get into anything he wasn’t supposed to. What had she done to this gremlin to provoke such horrendous and destructive behavior.

Chica didn’t know how long she laid in the garbage, rotting and withering even further. She was ruined, there was no way any routine maintenance or repairs could fix her. The little imp had taken her voice box, ripped it from her mouth. All that was left was a gaping hole, exposing her inner workings and endoskeleton. She would have to be replaced by another Glamrock Chica animatronic, or worse, scrapped entirely and replaced with a new animatronic. It had happened before with Bonnie, replaced by Monty after too many bugs and glitches.

And now she was next.

What did she do to deserve this? She could admit she had not been perfect, but none of her behavior demanded her being trash compacted and having her voice box stolen.

With nothing else to do, Chica forced herself up. She fumbled along as she walked. Not only had her voice box been removed, but her entire body had been damaged from her trip to the trash compactor. Her left arm had been completely stripped away of it’s plastic casing, revealing her metal endoskeleton. The plastic casing was cracked all over her body, and she was covered in food stains and dirt from sitting in a pile of garbage for so long.

Chica wandered the pizzaplex, eventually getting back up to the main level after some slow wandering.

It was strange to think this might be the last time she would ever see the pizzaplex. There was no way she would be kept in her current state. She would be stripped for spare parts(which was not much, seeing as most of her parts had been ruined beyond repair)and then the rest of her would be thrown out, a trip to the dump and she would no longer exist.

She wandered rockstar row, the main atrium, the stage, everywhere she wandered. She looked and reminisced on all the fun memories she had made with all her friends.

She stopped and stared at the large cardboard cutouts and paintings of herself, when she was new and repaired, in her shiny white and pink state, her orange beak still there and functioning properly. She was once so shiny and new, so beautiful. Now she was broken.

She wandered past her room on rockstar row. Filled with so much memorabilia of her when she was complete. Pizza boxes sat on the floor, some unopened, some torn open and pizza sprawled out. No longer could she gorge herself on pizza, trash, mystery mix, anything she could get her hands on. She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t sing, she couldn’t talk.

What purpose did she have without her beak, her voice box? She was useless now. She was gross, disgusting, broken. There was nothing left for her.

She didn’t want anyone to see her that way. She was ready to go back down to parts and service and wait for the repair team to find her and decide what to do with her. The pizzaplex would open in a few hours, she didn’t want to horrify any children in her broken, dirty state. No longer could she entertain children and provide them with happy memories. There was nothing left for her.

She was just walking back from mazercise, her own measly attraction that would soon be replaced by whatever attraction deemed fit for the new animatronic in her spot, when something caught her eye.

Roxy’s Raceway.

The raceway had proved once as a safe space for Chica. It was much more fun than her Mazercise, and the go-kart races she and her friends would participate in she would forever remember. It was so sad for it to be closed and for construction to be continued, both because children couldn’t experience the fun that was Roxy’s Raceway, but also because it belonged to Roxy, Chica’s closest confidant.

She had to visit the raceway one last time before she was scrapped.

Maybe Roxy was there. Roxy wasn’t in her room on Rockstar Row, so she had to be in there.

So Chica shambled into Roxy’s Raceway, hoping to see it one last time. And possibly, see Roxy one last time.

 

***

 

It was sad to see the Raceway the state it was in. Yellow tape drawn up over broken pieces, track ripped up and discarded, machine lifts and garbage cans littering the enclosure. Chica remembered it being a beautiful place of entertainment for both children and animatronics. Roxy had been ashamed when it had been closed for construction. She always was so proud of herself and her game, and watching it be torn up and put back together broke her. Chica hated to see her like that.

Ever since the beginning, the two had been close. Maybe it was a bond formed by being the only two female animatronics, or something else entirely. But Chica had always been drawn to Roxy, in a way she could never describe or explain. Stolen glances and quiet confessions bonded the two, and simply no one else could fill the space that Roxy occupied in her animatronic heart.

Did Chica really want Roxy to see her in the current state she was in? Would Roxy still want to be friends with her? Would it really matter, since Chica was only going to be scrapped soon enough? What would it matter if Roxy cared, since Chica would never see her again anyway.

Maybe it was better to avoid her. Roxy had always been proud of her appearance, and she couldn’t possibly still want to be around Chica if she couldn’t keep up.

So Chica turned around to head out of the raceway.

And then she heard crying.

Chica froze in her tracks. Crying? Who could be crying?

Chica couldn’t help herself from investigating. Perhaps it was one of her friends! Or maybe it was Gregory, and oh boy, Chica would love to get her hands on him right now—

Chica rounded the corner as she approached the crying and froze when she saw who it was.

It was Roxy.

But, no, it couldn’t be...

She was... Broken.

Roxy was curled up on the floor, hands pressed into her eye sockets, bawling. Just like Chica, she had been crushed and destroyed. Her plastic casing was broken and torn away, especially on her chest cavity and her right arm. Her hair was a matted mess, wires exposed all over and oil leaking from her face area.

It was the worst thing Chica had ever seen.

What happened to her? Did... Did Gregory do this to her?

Chica approached her and tried to say her name. But all that came out was garbled nonsense, high pitched squeaks and metallic screeching that made her wince.

Roxy jumped from the sudden noise, shaking and cowering. “Who’s there?” Her voice boomed, loud, yet broken and fragile.

“It’s me!” Chica tried to say. She wanted so desperately to comfort Roxy, to reassure her, but all that came out when she tried to speak was warbled broken speech.

“Who’s there?” Roxy repeated, her hands falling away from her face to brace herself.

Chica’s heart shattered when she saw the destruction done to Roxy’s face.

Her beautiful eyes had been torn from her skull, leaving gaping holes in her face. Dull lights flashed from the spots of her skeleton meant to hold the eyes, flashing in what Chica assumed meant she was trying to move her eyes. The plastic casing on her face was ripped away except for her muzzle, and some of her teeth were missing.

Chica approached slowly, still in shock from the state of her best friend. The state of herself could not hold a candle to how broken Roxy was. What had happened to her? Was Gregory the cause of it? What did he do to her?

He needed to pay.

Chica lowered herself to the ground beside Roxy. Roxy whimpered, and Chica felt like crying.

“Roxy, it’s me, Chica. You’re okay!” is what Chica tried to say, but nothing besides hissing and metallic garble came out of where her mouth was supposed to be.

“Stay away!” Roxy shouted, trying to scoot away. “I can still hear you! You will regret this!” Roxy lunged and tried to swipe at Chica, but Chica grabbed her wrist before it could connect with her face. Roxy gasped and whimpered, trembling from how scared she was.

Chica tried to contain her anger at whoever did this to her Roxy.

Instead, she took Roxy’s hand and entwined their fingers. She didn’t know how else to let Roxy know it was her.

Roxy gasped lightly when she felt the touch. It took her a second, but she squeezed Chica’s hand, and that was all the reassurance Chica needed. Roxy knew it was her, not someone who would hurt her. Chica would not let anyone hurt her again.

“Chica? Is that you?” Roxy asked, voice quivering.

“Yes!” Chica tried to say, to no avail.

Roxy inhaled sharply. “Why aren’t you saying anything?!” She roared, erupting into a fit of anger and anguish.

Roxy couldn’t see her, she couldn’t see the destruction done to Chica. Chica had no idea how to communicate with her, since her beak and voice box were gone. Surely Roxy could hear her futile attempts at speaking to her, but without her eyes, there was no way Roxy could tell it was for sure.

“You hate me!” Roxy cried, crying out into the silence of the room. “You hate me! You think I’m ugly, so you won’t even speak to me!”

“No!” Chica tried to scream. “I could never hate you!”

“Why won’t you speak to me!” Roxy cried, pulling away from Chica’s embrace, coiling in on herself. “Leave me alone! You hate me! You hate me!”

Chica felt broken, even more than her exterior and her voice box. Her heart was shattering more every time Roxy accused her of hating her.

Chica could never hate her. Roxy was her best friend, maybe even something more. Nothing could make Chica hate her, not her appearance, not what she thought of herself. She knew Roxy had self esteem issues, so of course she was going to take Chica’s forced silence as the worst possible scenario.

Chica needed to fix this. She needed to find some way to tell Roxy she was still here, she still cared about her, without doing it verbally.

She needed to tell Roxy she still loved her.

Carefully, cautiously, as if approaching a scared child, Chica scooted closer to the crying and whimpering Roxy. She tried to take Roxy’s hand, but she pulled it away. She tried again, grabbing Roxy’s wrist firmly but not enough to hurt her, and forced it to her own mouth— or, the gaping hole where it should have been.

Roxy’s mouth snapped shut and her crying ceased.

“Wh— What?” She asked, deathly quiet. “Chica, your mouth—”

Chica tried to speak, but only garbled speech came forward. Roxy’s ears perked up, and it looked as if she was beginning to understand.

“Is your voice box gone?” She asked. She had been in parts and service before, she had seen the schematics. Chica’s voice box was attached to her beak. If her beak was gone, so was her voice box, forcefully silencing her.

Chica nodded, high-pitched warbling and screeching emitting from her.

Roxy’s hand explored Chica’s face. “What happened? Who did this to you?” She snarled, beginning to get protective. Chica felt warmth at the idea of Roxy still being protective of her, it was something she always enjoyed, knowing Roxy cared about her.

Chica wished so desperately she could speak to Roxy, to tell her what happened. But until she could find a working voice box and somehow attach it, all she could do was screech and garble.

“Did he do this to you?” Roxy asked after a moment, voice getting louder.

Chica nodded desperately. There was only one explanation, that the same person had done this to them. No one else was inside the pizzaplex besides him, and their friends surely would not have done something like that to them, nor would the security guard Vanessa.

Roxy growled. “I’ll kill him! I’ll rip him to shreds for what he did to you!”

Finally having reached an understanding, a wave of relief washed over Chica. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead to Roxy’s—or what was left of it—and closed her eyes, enjoying the other’s company.

“We need to find a way to communicate.” Roxy said after a moment. Chica nodded, even though Roxy could not see her. “Because I can’t see you, and you can’t speak. So how can we communicate like this?”

Chica thought for a moment, and she could tell the silence was killing Roxy.

Then an idea struck her.

She took Roxy’s hand in hers and gave it another squeeze. Roxy, understanding, gasped.

“Chica, you beautiful genius!” Roxy said. “You can squeeze my hand! One squeeze for ‘no’, two squeezes for ‘yes’!” Chica wanted to praise her for her thinking, but knew she could not do so verbally. So, instead, she gave Roxy’s hand two affirming squeezes, and Roxy smiled understandingly.

“Okay, there is one thing I need to ask you first,” Roxy said, sounding sullen and unsure of herself again.

“What is it, my love?”

Roxy took a shaky breath, preparing herself for what would come next.

“Do you still love me?”

The words struck Chica in the heart. How could Roxy think such a horrid thing? Of course Chica would still love her, even if she was broken and shattered. Even if she lost her sight, or even her voice or anything else that defined her. Chica would still love her. How could she not?

Chica firmly squeezed Roxy’s hand twice, leaving ample time between both squeezes for Roxy to be able to differentiate them.

Then Roxy smiled. “Oh, Chica.” She said, voice breaking. “I love you too.”

Chica’s heart was full. She didn’t care about both of their broken states, how they had lost key components of what them themselves. All she cared about was that Roxy was here, and that they both loved each other.

That was all she needed.