Author's Notes: Finally, after several years, I decided to revive this story from the vaults. I started it quite some time ago, and found that it was just lacking. I wanted to pull it to rewrite it, but new projects always kept putting it off and putting it off. Furthermore, one of the reasons this story was pulled was because Pizzaria Simulator came out shortly after I started, and it threw some serious wrenches in my plot. Now, after spending some time back at the drawing board and creating a timeline of events, I am finally ready to try it again. Course, with the new game coming out in 2020, we'll see what wrenches come with that.
So, to begin with, I think it is best to state right off the bat that this story is more in the realm of an AU. It's not any kind of a specific AU, but rather, it is just a universe in which different decisions were made and different characters fulfilled different roles. When I first got into FNAF, thanks to a review exchange I had with a FNAF writer, I tried researching as much of the story as I could. I poured through forums, and in one of those forums (I don't remember where), I found a rather interesting theory, one that centered on the figure of Mike Schmidt. Now, to be fair, this theory existed when only the first game was out, and therefore, could not work given everything else out there. Still, it was a theory that intrigued me, and one I wanted to explore further. So, even though I completely agree with the storyline as posited by The Game Theorists, I wanted to explore this one and see what I could do with it. So, definitely be prepared for some surprises.
Finally, allow me to say one thing about the book series and the newly released books. One of the things that have made stories like the one told on The Game Theorist channel are possible because of the books. The games tell their own story, with plenty of plot holes and moments which can be up to interpretation. The books help fill those holes, and create a more coherent narrative, but it is one that is so connected, it's hard to break apart. Therefore, I have chosen not to include the information found in the books as part of this story, simply because in order to make my AU work, I have to fill in the holes presented in the games in my own way to make it work. So, sorry to disappoint, but just know I'm not dismissing the books because I don't consider them "canon," but rather, to give myself the free-range I need to tell my story, I need to leave their information out.
With all that being said, let's begin! I do not own FNAF. All characters, stories, and ideas are the work of Scott Cawthon, and I look forward to seeing where he takes the series next!
Nov. 4, 1993
Gloomy weather always made Mike feel down. He hated everything about days like this. That feeling of water splashing on your shoes with each step, knowing that your socks were getting wet inside, the grey skies making everything several degrees cooler without sunshine, the rain pouring down on you without an umbrella… In short, Mike was already starting off the day cold, wet, and irritable.
Still, he picked up the pace as he turned the corner, his wet shoes be damned. Maybe if Miss Fletcher, the secretary, did not see him come in, he could get in without a fuss. The big task would be to see if Mr. Thompson noticed. Nothing got by him. Yet, despite how harsh he could be, Mr. Thompson was Mike's favorite teacher. He was never fake. He always treated Mike like a normal person. At this particular time, he was not looking forward to being treated normally, not as late as he was.
As he had planned, he entered the building just as Miss Fletcher got up to take some papers to the principal. He was in, and at least he could try and argue that he had always been in the building when Mark and Jenny confronted him about it.
As he approached the classroom, he saw that Mr. Thompson's back was turned toward the board. So, as quietly as he could, he opened the door and slid into his seat. A few of the other kids had noticed, and a few of them grinned, but no one made a noise. Students still looked out for one another.
"Late again, Mr. Schmidt," Mr. Thompson said, not even turning around. "Dare I ask what the story is this time?"
Everyone snickered. Now that he was caught, they awaited whatever ridiculous lie he would come up with. He grinned too. True, he was in trouble, but he never missed the opportunity to get a few laughs in.
He put on his best smile. "So, there I was waiting for the bus. I stopped to tie my shoe, and out of nowhere, this creepy guy comes and starts talkin'. You know, tall, trench coat, totally looks like some sort of sicko. Well, I knew that he was trouble, so I started…"
"You are a gifted storyteller, Mike," Mr. Thompson said, cutting his elaborate explanation short, "but you are starting to run out of material. The best stories have a grain of truth in them. Let's start with the fact that you don't even ride the bus."
Mike shrugged. "Hey, you asked for a story on the fly. I provided."
Mr. Thompson tore off the tardy slip. "Indeed." But then he added quietly, "Though you may want to consider signing up for the bus. It's more consistent."
"I'll sleep on it."
"Smooth one," his girlfriend, Joanne said as he got back in his seat.
He shrugged. "I try, but he's right. The material's getting stale."
"You're starting to become the class bore instead of the class clown," she said with a laugh.
He grinned back. "Means I'll have to really pull out all the stops for science."
"No, you won't! Mrs. Ellard will kill you if you pull another stunt. I would like to actually hang out with you after school, you know."
"It's what you get for dating the school delinquent."
She turned back to her work and sighed. "I wish it didn't have to be that way. You really are a smart and funny guy. But I don't know why you always insist on crossing the line."
"Keeps things interesting."
She did not say anything after that, and Mike knew why. He liked her, a lot in fact. But she was the kind of person to always want to psychoanalyze everyone. She always felt like she had to solve everyone's problems. He did not mind that, at first. After all, that was what drew him to Joanne in the first place. It made her caring. But then, her psychoanalysis started hitting close to home. She really was starting to get at the root of things with him, and it scared him.
Mike only half-listened to Mr. Thompson's ramblings on the Industrial Revolution. Instead, he took to his usual hobby: doodling in his notes. One thing that could be said of Mike was that he was an imaginative individual. His drawings were always extremely detailed. He preferred monsters: hairy, growling, slobbering creatures with sharp fangs and claws. The teeth were always what he did best. Many of his friends said his creatures looked downright terrifying because of those teeth. Even Mr. Thompson had once told him he could have a future with comic books.
The bell rang, and the kids began to spill into the halls. "So, what was the real reason for being so late?" Joanne asked.
Mike shrugged. "Same as always. I was ready, but Jenny was out cold. I had to walk."
"Drinking again?" He could already see that worried look on her face. "What about Mark? He couldn't drive you?"
"He already left for work. Look, it's no big deal. I'd rather take the sleeping drunk over the angry one like with my last family."
"You know, you could always spend the night at my house. My parents love having you, and I'm sure the couch is pretty comfortable."
Mike hated that everyone treated him differently. But what could he do? Everyone had their own preconceived notions when they heard the words "foster child." Most of his teachers, Mrs. Ellard in particular, already branded him as the "troubled kid" before he even set foot in the class. Well, if that was what they expected, he would give them that, if anything just to spite them. Others, like Joanne, treated him as though he were fragile. They always worried for him, went out of their way to help, and almost never said anything to him about their own issues, afraid it would only make things harder. And still others, like his current family, saw him as a burden: a victim of society's woes that they had been saddled with. Only Mr. Thompson talked to him like an ordinary person. What Mike would not have given to have everyone be like that. But then, they were not as used to things as he was.
"It's fine, really. Honestly, this is one of the better situations. They give me my space, but don't leave me to fend for myself. Look, it may just mean I have to get up earlier and ride with Mark on his way to work."
"You think he would be okay with that?"
Mike shrugged. "He has to understand it's about school."
"I guess," she said. "He seems awful hard on you, though."
"It shows he somewhat cares. Look, can we not talk about this? You're almost making me want to go to science."
"Fine, but promise me, no detention today."
"I'll try, but no guarantees."
Science was even more boring than usual. Mike could not understand how Mrs. Ellard could take something fun like science and make it so dull. Normally, he enjoyed this kind of stuff. He always liked taking things apart and learning how they worked, and before, he had always had good teachers to encourage those passions. When he started high school, he was expecting something more exciting like mixing chemicals or building robots. This was just painful.
For the past week and a half, they had just been working on balancing equations. Mike could pretty much do this in his sleep. Numbers came easy to him. Still, he worked at a sluggish pace just to make the assignment last. He could not help it if everyone else was still struggling. That was the one thing Mrs. Ellard could not stand. He was a nuisance, but he still always made the grade.
For a while, he was content to goof off, fill in a few problems here or there, and pretty much ignore everyone else. That was when the pain hit.
Mike had been getting intense headaches for as long as he could remember, and that was not too far back. Doctors told him the headaches and the memory loss were the result of the concussion he had suffered in the car wreck that killed his parents. These would happen from time to time, and usually at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. They were short and went as quickly as they came on.
This one was sharp, like a small drill going through his skull. He bent over, rubbing the spot where he felt it most, hoping it was just a quick one. He let out a small moan, which managed to get Joanne's attention. Her hand lightly touched his. And just as he had predicted, it was gone in a second. He could see the concerned look on his girlfriend's face. Worse still, he had attracted the attention of Mrs. Ellard.
"Something wrong, Mr. Schmidt?" she asked, her tone clearly suggesting she was on the warpath and not in the mood for him.
He knew not to even try with her. "Nothing," he said.
"Better not be."
"You sure you're good?" Joanne whispered. "You've been telling your doctor how often they happen, right?"
He rubbed the top of his head and sat up. "Yeah. God, you're starting to sound like your mom more each day."
She shook her head. "I just worry this is happening more often than it should."
"Doctors keep telling me this is normal. I can't do much about that."
After school, Joanne offered to walk home with him, despite his protests.
"I really am fine to walk on my own, you know."
She crossed her arms. "And I'm not allowed to enjoy spending time with my boyfriend?" she said.
"It's not that. I just don't want this to be some act you do out of pity."
She reached out and grabbed his hand. "I'm doing this because I like hanging out with you. Now, I've been thinking about this transportation thing. You're almost sixteen. Have you thought about your own car?"
Mike laughed. "Now I know you're crazy. You think Mark would ever dream about getting me a car?"
She rolled her eyes. "Well, no, but my older brother has a friend who's trying to sell an old one. It's not a bad price. But I mean, you could always get an after school job to help pay for it."
That got him thinking. "After school job, hm?"
"Yeah. Brittany has a job over at the food court in the mall. And I mean, she's my best friend and all, but she's about as intelligent as a box of hair. If they gave her a job, surely we can find something for you."
"I admire your vote of confidence."
"You know what I mean. It shouldn't be too hard to get a little something to help earn the extra cash."
He thought about it for a moment. "It might not be a bad idea. Jenny always wants an excuse not to have me bothering her, and Mark would see this as a chance for me to learn some responsibility. It's worth a try."
She smiled. "Great! Come over to my place Friday night, and we'll start looking.
"You find anything?" Mike asked.
He sat across from Joanne on her bedroom floor. This way, the two of them had plenty of space to spread out as they poured through the want ads in the newspaper.
"Nothing on this page," she said, her glasses sliding down her nose as she read. "What about you?"
He shook his head. "Nah, either ads looking for truck drivers or other full-time stuff. What happened to the mall idea?"
"I talked to Brittany. She said they don't have any openings at the moment. Most of the teens already got jobs there at the beginning of the year."
"Just great," Mike mumbled, grabbing another page. He paused before adding, "Still, thanks for trying. I know I haven't been too pleasant to be around lately."
She nudged his leg with her foot. "We'll find something."
He went back to reading. "Hey, this might be something," he said after a while. "This pizza place is looking for a night guard."
Joanne looked up from her own paper, eyebrows raised. "Okay… two problems with that. One, I'm pretty sure they don't just let kids be night guards. And two, exactly when do you think you'll have time for homework or sleeping with a job like that?"
"It says no experience necessary. Training is provided. Plus, it's only a six-hour shift that starts at midnight. I sleep a little when I get home from school, go to work, probably do nothing but sit, and I do my homework then. I don't see a problem."
She still did not seem convinced. "Right… So, where is this place?"
"Freddy Fazbear's Pizza," he said. "Sounds easy. I mean, who the hell robs a kid's pizza place?"
Joanne laughed. "Probably someone after arcade quarters. I kind of remember that place. I only ever went once as a kid. I thought it shut down though?"
"I sort of remember that," he said. "Must've reopened or something."
"I guess you can find out if they interview you."
Mike did not want to worry Joanne too much, but somehow the name of that place gave him an odd feeling. It was not a feeling he could explain. Familiar? He did not remember ever going to Freddy Fazbear's, but maybe he had years ago. It was a popular place, he assumed. But why did this feeling also fill him with dread?