Hey there! Welcome to the new and improved Five Nights at Freddy's: Another Side! This is a fic that I started in 2015 and have been working on pretty much ever since. To those of you who are new, I hope that you'll like what I've been making here! To those of you who are returning after my revision, I thank you for your patience and understanding. I'll talk more about the revision at the bottom of this chapter, though for now, please enjoy!
My eyes rapidly flickered from the monitor in my lap to the dark doorways on either side of me. My heart was hammering, beating loudly enough that I could actually hear my own pulse. Cold sweat ran down my face as I lowered my gaze from the doorways, having made sure that they were still empty, before again focusing on the tablet clutched in my hands. Not wasting a second, I cycled through the multiple camera feeds to locate my pursuers- a difficult task, given that the screen was violently trembling in my hold.
This is insane! No- more like impossible!
Seeing that the wandering abominations hadn't covered too much ground yet, I let out a relieved sigh and allowed my tense body to lean back in my chair. According to the tablet-like device that I was given to monitor the security cameras with, I only had about 70% of my power left- and it was barely past two o'clock. Great.
I didn't know for sure what would happen if the power went out, just that it was probably in my best interest to keep the lights on. The pressure of the absurd situation was making me panic, and even though this reaction was completely warranted, I knew that not thinking straight could easily get me caught. With that in mind, I took a few deep breaths to calm myself as I inspected my new office- though in that moment, I couldn't help but think that maybe the word "deathbed" was more apt.
I was sitting in a surprisingly comfortable leather chair that rested against the back wall of a small security room. In front of me was a large wooden desk holding a few random monitors, flashing and blinking in intervals, as well as a small buzzing fan that struggled to stir the space's muggy air. Hanging on the wall behind the desk were a collection of company posters, each featuring large smiling animatronics; a yellow chicken named Chica, a purple bunny named Bonnie, and lastly, Freddy Fazbear. He was the frontman for the group, and as the name suggests, a scruffy brown bear. The trio were iconic, especially in this town, for being the animatronic members of the Freddy Fazbear Band- as well as this restaurant's only real appeal to customers. To the outside world they were cute cartoonish characters, which was a perception that I shared until recently- as recently as the start of my first shift, in fact- though now it was hard to even see their faces without being overcome by dread. With that said, I let out a rattling breath and averted my eyes to favor the rest of the room.
The walls to either of my sides were nearly identical, sporting a large metal doorframe beside two buttons that read 'Light' and 'Door' respectively. After some experimenting, I now knew that the light button would illuminate the hall momentarily to reveal any threats, while the door one would abruptly close off the entryway with a thick slab of steel. These safety features helped me to calm down a bit, but it was hard to completely relax seeing as I only had a limited amount of power to make it to six o'clock.
In a life-and-death situation it's hard not to wonder what series of events led you to that particular moment. For me, I guess, it all started when I was just a kid… Back then, I used to come to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza as often as I possibly could, despite the fact that it had been a small and somewhat dingy pizza parlor. It seemed to have had more problems than upsides at the time, though it had one great thing going for it: the aforementioned animatronic band. There was also a fourth animatronic that was kept separate from the main performers- Foxy the Pirate Fox. Her act was musical and fun in its own right, though she never seemed to have the same following that the others did.
I can remember laughing and playing like all the other kids my age as our parents- or guardians, in my case- held polite conversation at the waited tables. To me, the Pizzeria was about the coolest place on earth; they had arcade games and a ball pit, a seemingly endless supply of pizza and soda, as well as performing animatronic animals that were surprisingly high-tech for the time. An example of this would be how Freddy and his friends would walk around and interact with the customers whenever they weren't playing poppy, pizza-themed music. Looking back at it now, it was kind of strange that the animatronics had a free-roaming mode, but its draw was undeniable. Sometimes I would even go as far as to hold hands with the roaming animatronics, singing and exploring the restaurant with them... After all, who else was I supposed to play with? Not that I should complain, given that tagging along with robots seemed more fun than hanging out with the other kids anyway, but I never had much in the way of friends.
Some of my best memories were held in that pizzeria, spending time with the band and eating junk food... But then they closed. Back then I hadn't known why, though years later I learned that it had to do with a group of missing children that were somehow linked to the company. Apparently the news had whipped into a frenzy over the event, and heads rolled within Fazbear Entertainment as they scrambled to recover from the blow.
Regardless of the bad press, it wasn't long until Freddy's re-opened. They had moved into a larger building and even invested in some new animatronics, including a new and "improved" Freddy Fazbear band. Personally, I never really cared for the new 'Toy' models. They all looked so plastic and fake, and somehow seemed more mechanical than friendly. Especially this one puppet-like animatronic… It looked about as far-removed from the rest of the lineup as you could get, as its tear-streaked mask and tall, slender body gave off a sinister vibe- a sense that threatened to undo its cheerful role as a gift-giver, though the other kids didn't seem phased by its unique design choice. They all seemed to love the puppet, but I couldn't help but be creeped out by it.
Later that day I had learned that the original Freddy Fazbear and company had been put away as spare parts. I was heartbroken by the news, and for the first time in my whole life, I asked if we could leave Freddy's before it was time to go. It just wasn't the same anymore.
Since then, Freddy Fazbear's has closed and re-opened twice- the second restaurant went under after one of the animatronics bit a staff member. I was still really young when it happened, so I don't remember all of the details… Only that the staff survived but the company was once again forced to shut their doors. However, just when it looked like Freddy's was done for, history repeated itself. This time the company's salvation came in the form of a wealthy benefactor- an eccentric individual, no doubt- who donated enough money for another restaurant to open. Only the four original animatronics were kept as the new location opened, however, and nobody knows for sure what became of the Toy models- some say that they were sold for parts, while others insist that they still remain decommissioned somewhere within the pizzeria.
Then there was the last "closing". I use that term lightly, since no catastrophic event took place that forced the company into shutting down. Much the opposite, it was an upgrade. The animatronics that they still had were in disrepair after so many years of constant use, not to speak of their recent neglect. They were less than pleasant to look at, and had acquired an array of technical malfunctions ever since they were replaced by the Toy animatronics at the second location. Taking this as well as the cramped building into consideration, the CEO of Fazbear Entertainment decided that it was time for the company to get back on their own feet. Thus came the fourth Freddy Fazbear's Pizza... And my new job.
This building was much larger than the previous, and the animatronics had apparently been patched up and redesigned. Technically, they were still the same robots that were used at the very first pizzeria- only with repairs for their neglect, slight changes to their technology, and external modifications that made them more pleasant to look at. Not that I would know from experience, as all that I had seen of them was through security cameras in dim lighting.
I was snapped out of my thoughts as I heard a loud crash in a nearby room. The sound made me jump in the chair as I scrambled for the monitor in my lap, turning it on and cycling through the cameras once again. The first few feeds seemed completely normal, and so I started to relax… That was, until I switched to the camera placed outside of the security office door. At first it was a dark feed lit only by two light dots, which was strange since I vividly remembered seeing a corner there before. It was only when the two white lights shifted downward that I realized what was going on- it wasn't a dead screen, the feed was just blocked by a dark face with glowing eyes.
Eyes that were now trained on my door.
I quickly mashed the button that activated the hall light before peeking out of the door, wanting to be absolutely sure that I wasn't just seeing things. After all, I didn't have enough power to just close the doors whenever I wanted… As nice as that would be. I swallowed at the lump in my throat as I scanned the hallway for any movement. It was only after a tense moment of quiet passed that I began to question either the camera or my sanity.
I had just started turning my head to check the tablet again when I caught some movement in my periphery. My neck snapped to look in that direction, and I felt my heart skip a beat at what I saw; running from the darkness of the hall was a large shadow, tall with shining eyes. It charged in my direction at an incredible speed, its feet thumping against the floor in a rhythm that quickly gained pace with each step. My widened eyes immediately began looking the form over, though its speed and the sudden failure of the door light kept me from seeing anything definitive- just two arms that eagerly reached toward me in time with its approach.
An unmanly scream escaped my throat as I stumbled backward. Seeing it charge forward petrified me, leaving my body immobile aside from an unconsciously heaving chest and violent tremors. My mind numbed in a fuzz of terror as misguided adrenalin flooded my system. Right then, at the worst possible moment, I became the human equivalent of a deer staring into oncoming traffic, stunned into stasis by the growing headlights.
Terrible images bombarded my mind, premonitions of me being forced into a mechanical suit, bones snapping and muscles tearing as wires and crossbeams impaled me from all directions. It was an awful and deeply uncomfortable prospect, though that discomfort was exactly what I needed to snap out of my daze.
The animatronic let out an ear-splitting shriek as it drew near to my office, and I knew that there was no time to waste. With a terror-driven lunge I flew toward the controls, and just as the creature was about to reach the threshold, I slammed a hand against the door button. The response came in the form of a heavy crash as the door lowered between me and my would-be killer, the impact sounding like that of an explosion in the empty building.
I slowly backed away from the door as the shriek was replaced by an aggravated mechanical roar, followed by several loud bangs on the metal that separated the animatronic from myself. My legs were shaking uncontrollably as I collapsed into the chair, my breathing rapid and heavy. With each pound on the door the lightbulb hanging above me flickered, and with eyes that widened in late realization, I cast a look down at the tablet.
The cry of fearful disbelief hadn't been intentional. However, at seeing the large 20% on my power gauge- a number that fell further with each consecutive hit- I couldn't contain my dismay. There was plenty of anger in that regard as well- after all, I had done everything right and was still in danger.
I watched helplessly as my power drained more... And more... Until it was right around the 5% mark.
I sighed. Well, this is it.
The door shuddered with each impact, a blatant reminder of the robotic strength that was coming for me. I was terrified as well as pissed off, but also strangely amused. The rage that I felt toward this animatronic for outsmarting me was like that of a kid who had been cheated during a harmless game on the playground. The difference was that this game was for my life, and by cheating, I was being run out of options.
As the power meter finally hit 1%, I cursed at the door, though the conviction in my voice wavered as it met fear. From there I was helpless but to grit my teeth and await the inevitable. Maybe it was that I had nothing to lose anymore, but I felt a defiant urge strike my fancy- a resolution to go down fighting, if nothing else. The chances of getting anywhere in a physical altercation with a machine were slim-to-none, but at least I would die like an idiot rather than a coward.
My hands balled into fists at my sides as I glared at the door, my trembling body and heavy breathing likely to betray my true emotions. I was scared out of my mind for what might happen to me, sure, but didn't want to give this thing the satisfaction of seeing me do what I really wanted to do in that moment- curl up into a ball and beg for my life. Not that it would matter… My murderer was to be an inanimate object who couldn't understand those sorts of things.
Time slowed, and I already knew what was coming next. There would be a bang and the door would be forced open, then that monster would come for me. At that thought, dread sabotaged my attempted image of strength. I reflexively jumped in my skin and clenched my eyes shut, my ears straining to hear the door open from over my shuddering breaths…
… But just then, something unbelievable happened. Something absolutely amazing, a possibility that I never would have seen coming given the circumstances.
Six o'clock arrived before my predator did.
I heard a set of rich chimes sound from the grandfather clock at the restaurant's entrance and slowly opened my eyes. The first thing I did was shoot a look down at the security tablet in disbelief, but it was true- I actually made it until morning! Normally this wouldn't be such a relief, given that there was a bloodthirsty bunny/bear/chicken right outside my door, but my employee phone call had explicitly said that I would be safe if I survived until morning. Apparently, at six o'clock sharp the free-roaming mode is disabled, and the animatronics automatically return to the show stage for the day ahead.
I did it... I thought as my expression lifted into a grin, I'm... Alive!
I couldn't help but chuckle at my feat. I had been so close to death, only to be saved at the last possible moment. My chuckle escalated into a giddy laugh as I heard the doors at the front of the building open. I took a few moments to enjoy the fact that I had survived before standing up from the chair and stretching. Despite me being up all night, I wasn't tired at all- probably because I was still riding an adrenaline high.
The power came back on with the end of the night. My curiosity piqued, I opened and looked out of the left door, but found no trace of any animatronic- discounting the poppy music that echoed from somewhere in the distance. I chuckled once more as I began to walk down the temporarily empty hall toward the building's entrance. As I reached the end of the hallway, I looked across the vast dining area of the building and found a familiar figure fiddling with a briefcase at the admittance counter. He must have heard my footsteps, because he flinched before wheeling around and staring at me through the empty room, his eyes growing wide.
He was a man who stood a hair shorter than me, with a receding hairline that contrasted his impressive waistline- no doubt the product of years spent eating the restaurant's greasy pizza. He gawked at me with blue eyes nestled behind a slim pair of spectacles, his mouth agape below them. It was an expression that I had yet to see from Mr. Fazbear- or so he had introduced himself when he hired me- as he was generally a very jovial and lighthearted sort of person. That energy had been abundant during my interview, and he had practically thrown the job into my arms without a single word being spoken of my qualifications. His eagerness to have me "join the fazfamily" had been a curiosity of mine ever since, though after spending a night here, I now understood why he was being so generous with the position.
An awkward moment passed before he finally broke the silence between us.
"Hey! Uh... You!"
"Me?" I asked out of habit that preceded the redundancy of my question.
"Yes, you!" He replied as he walked toward me, briefcase in hand, before gesturing for me to follow him back into the halls. I shrugged and complied, following the man partially back the way I had just come, though we stopped short at a closed door marked "Fazbear Office". Seeing that he was taking me into his office with no explanation, I assumed that he wanted to talk about last night… Good. After going through that, I had a few words for him as well.
Mr. Fazbear held the door open for me before closing it behind us.
"Please, take a seat." He pulled a chair over for me as he passed and turned it toward his desk. I accepted, and soon after he sat in his own chair before picking up the conversation again.
"So, how was your first night on the job?" He asked with an enthusiastic light in his eyes.
"Honestly?" My eyes narrowed a bit, "Not what I expected."
"Oh... Really?" He slowly asked, "How so?"
"How so?" I echoed sarcastically before leaning forward with a glare, "When you said that this was a security job, I thought I'd be chasing off thieves or keeping teens from graffitiing bad words on the walls. You didn't say a damn thing about animatronics trying to kill me for six hours straight!"
Mr Fazbear sighed, though that was the full extent of his reaction. His poise in the face of confrontation gave the impression that he had dealt with this sort of situation before.
"Look..." He began after a moment, "I'm sorry that you're unhappy with my… Selective description of the job, and I won't blame you for raising your voice at me. However, you show quite a bit of promise as a night watchman! I mean, you actually made it through a whole shift! Unfortunately, most people don't even last that long… They either quit prematurely, or… Well…"
"... They die." I answered for him, not trying to conceal the malice in my voice.
He coughed and raised a handkerchief to dab at his forehead. "Well… Yes, I suppose that's one way you could put it. If we could change the topic for a moment, could you tell me exactly why you decided to take this position?"
"Because I needed the money," I answered plainly, "I used to come to Freddy's all the time as a kid, so when I heard that they had a job opening, I thought it would be perfect- but that was before I found out that those robots are killers."
"Animatronics." He corrected, "And they're not 'killers'... Look, they're just machines. Machines have glitches, and these machines' glitches just so happen to-"
"-Try to stuff people into suits!" I answered once again. Mr. Fazbear shot a worried look at the door, probably afraid that someone would hear what I was saying. Normally I would be more considerate to his feelings, though at that moment I couldn't deny that his discomfort was satisfying. After all, it was menial payback compared to what I had just gone through.
"Okay, okay, I see your reason for concern," He shot back in a low voice, "It's a very high-risk job. Ever since the animatronics began displaying this behavior, we've only had a handful of night guards make it. With that said, you made it. You somehow survived a night, and that is something that very few people can do. You are a true rarity!"
I chuffed. "You're saying that like it means something to me."
"It should," He insisted as a small smile tugged at his lips, "Because I'm willing to compensate for the danger of the job. If you continue to lend us your services, I'll pay you considerably more than what we agreed upon."
I snorted sarcastically. "Nothing that you have to offer is worth putting my life on the line. That's that."
To my surprise, he chuckled while leaning back in his seat. "I'm sorry, but it seems to me that you desperately need this money. Is that right?"
I grimaced. It was true, I really did need money. I could hardly afford to take care of myself, and with no higher education worth mentioning, I was having a rough time finding work in the dog-eat-dog world that was the job market.
"I can help you." He offered, giving me his usual kind smile. "And I want to help you. But in return you need to help me."
"Ok..." I answered slowly, "So what were you thinking?"
He grinned. "You keep working the night shift. I pay you five hundred a week. And, the icing on the cake: you can have all the pizza you want, on the house."
I hated that I couldn't keep the smile from my own face. I was furious with him, but he was very good at making himself seem like a friend- or, at the very least, not my enemy.
"You drive a hard bargain," I looked away and rubbed the back of my neck. "But I'm still unsure... I mean, one of those things almost got me last night. What if I get caught? I could use the pay, but it won't do me any good to die for it."
"I'll tell you what," He started as he abruptly stood from his seat, "You agree to keep working for me and I'll show you all of the vents in the building that the animatronics can't get into. My days of squeezing into those sorts of spaces might be behind me, but you could use them without a problem. If things get really bad out there, you can just get away through those. Deal?"
I stared at his hand as he held it out for me to shake. He was offering me a lot... Money, food, and some tips that could make my working here a lot easier. I could tell that, just as I was desperate for money, he was desperate for a good night guard. I really, really, really didn't want to come back, but what better choice did I have?
After a few moments of thought, I sighed in resignation. "Deal. But don't expect me to stay long, alright?"
He smiled as he extended his hand even further toward me, as if prompting me to seal my own fate. "Excellent! Glad to have you aboard, Mr…?"
I took his hand in my own and gave it a firm shake. "My name's Dustin Juniper."
Earlier that night, in a deserted part of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza...
It was dark… As usual. The curtains that enclosed the area prevented light from coming through from the outside, and the skylight overhead was no help either as it was now nearing midnight. Not that the time really mattered, as the glass was left so dusty and unclean that barely any light would filter though it on even the sunniest days. The place seemed barren- totally deserted, even. But there was one person who remained still in the darkness… Well, not really a person, per se.
Sitting amid the dusty pirate-themed props was a large animatronic fox with a rose red coat. In the pitch black, however, all that could be seen of her were two glowing eyes that stared into the nothingness that surrounded her. After all, that was all that she could do anymore. It seemed fitting that this was the place she was banished to- the props around her hadn't been used in ages. They were junk. They were forgotten. And likewise, she hadn't been used in ages... She was junk. Forgotten.
The lone foxlike animatronic looked down at her damaged body. Her lower jaw was loose and dangling, her joints creaky and stiff. External problems aside, she also knew that she had many issues within her technologies, such as her voice box which had become increasingly glitchy and warped as of late. When she and the other animatronics were moved to this location, each was given an update that included new features and proportions that made them more humanlike. Unlike the others, however, she wasn't brought back onto the stage after this improvement. Her figure was curvier now at the bust and hips, emphasizing the fact that she was a female. Her damaged coat was also stitched up and cleaned, while the technologies within her were altered and renewed. The exact changes that had been instated were as strange as they were mysterious; she could cry now, she could speak without limitation, and she could actively control things like her tail and even her fur, to an extent. That didn't protect her from neglect-induced decay, though… Not that it really mattered. After all, no one had even seen her since she had been abandoned here.
They must think I'm a monster...
Her eyes grew wet as familiar thoughts began to form a black storm cloud in her mind. Nobody cared about her, and nobody tried to help her... The only time that she had been out of the Cove in years was when the improvements were made to her, and while she was grateful for her new modifications as well as the restoration to her coat, she was confused as to why someone had gone through the trouble. She wasn't open to the public... In fact, she often wondered why she was even kept around at all, rather than just being scrapped off. Was she some sort of souvenir? An experiment? She didn't know… It hurt either way.
A single tear fell from her whiskers and hit the floor with a soft dink. She was alone and hurt, and desperately needed someone- anyone who would help her out of the dark hole she was trapped in.
She needed a friend.
She had wished for one every night for years, though, imagining a day where some stranger would find her here and show her what that word really meant. However, it never happened, no matter how often or hard she dreamed of and longed after a companion. Maybe it didn't matter if someone did find her, anyway- After all, who could possibly like her? She was a freak. An outcast. She was a monstrosity deemed unfit for anyone to see.
She was... Nothing.
Several more tears joined the first as the lone fox began to whimper silently in the darkness of her home.
I seriously can't express my thanks enough. I was a bit hesitant to take the chapters down, even temporarily, out of fear that I would receive anger and sadness in return. Instead, something incredible happened- so, SO many of you reached out through reviews or messages to support and encourage me. Thank you all so much for being so understanding and... Well, cool about everything.
I understand that the previous state of this story was serviceable, but as I mentioned in my update, I wasn't happy with it. I've grown a lot as a writer, mostly thanks to readers like you, and now hold myself to a higher standard than I used to. If you're going to take the time to read my story, then I'm going to do everything in my power to make it deserving of your time.
So, here's how this will go from now on- I will try to crank out a revised and edited chapter every few days until we catch back up to chapter 39. Obviously, some will take longer than others, but a lot of these earlier updates will *hopefully* be pretty quick to crank out. I understand that the chapters still won't be perfect after updating them- there may be technical or story flaws, but I'll correct them on-site without removing the chapter in the future.
To answer a few common questions- yes, the plot and pairings will stay the same. There will be a few small changes in this regard- things like discrepancies and scenes that I thought were rushed or unrealistic, though the Another Side that you know and love isn't going anywhere. It's just getting better, so hey, let's all get pumped for it together!
Seriously, you- all of you- make writing such an honor. You're incredible people, and I'm honored to be able to entertain you. I wish that I could thank all of you, but I don't have the time to put down 960 names, unfortunately. Just know that I'm super grateful for your support, from the people who review every chapter and message me about the fic, to those of you who follow just enough to idly go through updates. It means more than you know.
Extra big thanks to my friend PyroFox117. They wrote me a really heartwarming message this morning, and have been reading/reviewing this fic for quite some time. They even went as far as to make an A/N in their own fic encouraging support for me, which is... So appreciated. Please, everyone, show this legend some love and check out their story entitled A Summer at Freddy's if you haven't already.
I also want to thank khanubhai, JustinTheSpider, NecrorexSparda Juubi-No-Kishin, TheBlazingDragon98, Victor John Foxfire, Phantom1968, I EL D0CT0R I, TheJayANator, Alfred7033, NullSilver2005, PyroSolracIII, DannyPhantom619, AncientofDayz, HydroK Operations, razmire, RabidPanzer, albiter117, Voids Odyssey, Viperclaw14, Blue Dragon 77, and Crimson An'Xileel for your support and understanding. It's... Overwhelming, to say the least.
Thanks for reading! See you in the next one!