Author Topic: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)  (Read 743 times)

SpaceWonder368

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Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« on: January 01, 2020, 10:39:00 AM »
 Hello, everyone! It's been a long time since I have written anything on here, but it was mostly due to doing things IRL and dealing with a lot of stuff (that and I also been playing FusionFall constantly, currently on level 34; woohoo!), but I am here to show you this story I've been making known as Hide And Seek. Originally, this was going to be posted sometime around Halloween, considering the nature of it, but I, unfortunately, didn't have a lot of time on my hands with that. But, I have been writing it for fun and I have a lot of fun delving into the heads into the characters and delving into this universe. But, before I begin on the first chapter, I'm not sure how long it will take until I update the next chapter or so, but I do have a few of them written. It's just I'm going to eventually head into college courses and everything soon enough, but yeah, I hope you all enjoy it!
Though, here's a side note: I do not ship the main characters of this fic; I just see them as having a strong sibling relationship. That and this fic is canon divergent towards the canon of this game, so some things will be changed/different. And I know fusions don't talk but for the sake of this fic, they'll talk lol. Anywho, let's get on the road with this!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 1

“Is… is she gone?”

“Shhhhhh!”

A hushed whisper bounced off the walls, which are dimmed by the pitch-black darkness casting over it. Nothing besides that was heard, except for the heartbeats drumming inside of the children’s chests. It always sucked to listen to your own heartbeat, to hear it pierce into your eardrums, and for those said eardrums to momentarily be deafened by it. It won’t be long until that horrid action can seep horror into one’s bones, freezing them as if they’re a piece of meat stuffed inside of a giant freezer.

It won’t be long until frost coated all over those bones like frosting on a cake, paralyzing those bones in fright. In terror. In anything that can be determined by one’s fear. The fear of being stalked, chased and hunted. It was what anyone would have nightmares of, but you don’t actually scream so loud that you’ll lose your voice until you see that fear personified; where you see it right in front of your face.

And that’s the one, singular thing that the cruelest girl doesn’t want. She has to do something, anything to tell her friend’s terror to ‘beat it’ and so they can focus on the task at hand. But…

It can’t be easy with a green being wearing your face is chasing you around like a game of hiding and seeking.

“Hey, snap out of it,” the blonde demanded, her voice barely audible because of her whispering, sounding so unlike her that it managed to get her comrade’s beady eyes to widen, “I get it. You’re scared. But being scared isn’t going to help us get out of this mess. She’ll find us if you scream…”

The poor boy was convulsing from head to toe, his ridiculously bulbous nose filled to the brim with sweat and snot and who knows what else. Tears sat on the borders of his eyes, and he already looked like he’s prepared to swing his front door off of its hinges, grab a hold of his friend, and book it. But, he knew that his friend isn’t like him. She won’t run, she doesn’t run, and she most definitely won’t run from a fight.

It’s no wonder why he would find himself hiding behind her, guarding him like a personal bodyguard. Yet, his bodyguard is right beside him, hiding alongside with him this time. Maybe she has some inkling of fear too, but he would doubt it.

She can’t fear… right?

“Bu… but wha… what are we gonna do?” Sniffles came from the young boy, who’s clinging on this green glob of a friend of his. It’s almost kind of ironic in a way. To be hiding with a fusion (an imaginary one at that) but also hiding away from a fusion. “Don’t… don’t yous got a plan, Mandy?”

For once, Mandy found her thick eyebrows creasing upward, almost as if they’re casting some sort of sympathy. It wasn’t often that she’s seen with that expression, if ever. It made her feel… wrong inside. It made her feel sick, and yet… she couldn’t stop feeling it. The feel of one’s heartstrings being violently tugged. The kind that ceases all of your movements and then controls them as if you’re a puppet, wanting to protect the person you care for.

Sick. It’s all made her feel sick.

“I…” she murmured, dark eyes searching for something, searching for some kind of solution. She can’t afford to be at a stalemate. Not now. “…We’ll figure something out. I promise.”

Her tense fingers curled around the handle of a wooden baseball bat, pressing it up against her pale cheek, and preparing to swing at the nearest threat. All it would take is one full swoop, and that fusion’s head will be severed; placed on a silver platter.

Heh. If they weren’t in such a pickle right now, Mandy would have the sweet thought of bragging that to Grim. That bonehead. If only… if only he were here right now…

Then that baseball bat would have been replaced by that precious, deadly scythe.

Footsteps slammed against the carpeted floor, possibly making that poor, pink feline that Billy owned to be scurrying up the stairs, hiding under a bed or a closet for all the two children know. The footsteps belonged to one mean, green, cruel machine, releasing inhumane shrieks every now and then, but containing the voice of someone familiar, and Mandy couldn’t stand it.

Oh, how she cannot stand it for the life of her.

Those footsteps, akin to her own, were slow and precise, and every now and again, that doppelganger’s ruby eyes would search the perimeter, and search for her prey. If she had a mouth, she would have smirked at how cowardly her counterpart is acting. Her poor, poor human counterpart. It almost made her feel sorry for her… not.

“C’mon…“ she complained like she’s talking to a weeping, shivering dog. Her goopy fingertips extended like wolverine claws, pointing towards the television, which is still stuck on static. Maybe if she broke it, then those humans would have to peek out, and she would be the victor. Fuse would be proud of her. He must be. “…Don’t you want to watch your favorite, stupid cartoons?”

It didn’t take a single thought to cram itself inside of Mandy’s mind for her to be aware of what her fusion is doing. That… thing is taunting them. Taunting them like mice stuffed in a corner, and left to rot once they’ve been taken care of. One false move and that fusion would have their heads.

Yeah… no. Not on her watch.

Her grip on her bat tightened, just enough that splinters might be poking out and puncturing her skin. Her teeth gritted so aggressively that they might as well have shattered into millions of pieces, but even then… she won’t speak of her presence, nor of Billy’s.

Not on her watch.

Another chorus of alien screeching came from something else… something like the dreaded monster that this idiot is clinging onto like a teddy bear. Poor guy has his teeth chattering too, making a racket. The kind of racket that’ll only make this situation worse.

Mandy cannot allow that to happen.

“Billy…!” She strained her whispery voice, clasping a palm of hers across the other’s mouth, not caring in the slightest for getting the tiniest bit of saliva on it. “Shut your trap, or you’ll give away our position.”

What happened next was what she didn’t expect at all. The feeling of chubby fingers tugging on her wrist, nearly yanking her bat out of her other hand. Her knees being dragged across the floor, burning and writhing from the carpet, and if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s biting her tongue, she would have grunted. The boy beside her intertwined her fingers with his own, with calmness contrasting against terror. Several times he shook his head, and if he were to shake it some more, his tiny brain would fall out of one of his ears.

“I… I can’t.”

That alone got Mandy to blink, her eyes as wide as dinner plates. The bat that’s in her other hand brushed off against her friend’s nose, as if threatening to whack him by what he just said. Her muscles felt like they were replaced by stone.

She… she can’t have this idiot break down now. She can’t let her guard down. She can’t let this monstrosity take them down while they’re vulnerable. She just…

She can’t allow that to happen.

“Wha… what do you mean you can’t, moron?” Her words came out like they’re a volley of arrows, planning to hurt their target. “Don’t you realize what happens if you don’t? We’ll be gone for good if she-”

A whimper interrupted her, and that grip on her hand tightened once more. Tears were rolling down Billy’s cheeks, and Runty, the small fusion monster that’s in his other arm, started whimpering too. It came out like a dog’s whimper. It was only then the blonde started seeing what is truly laying in front of her eyes…

They really are afraid.

“I can’t…” The child desperately repeated, bumping the base of his forehead against his and Mandy’s hands, “I… I can’t lose you to her, Mandy. I can’t.”

The other child found her eyebrows furrowing, having tiny beads of sweat collect at them. Her heart’s pummeling inside of her chest, but she refuses to acknowledge it. “What… what are you talking about?”

A sniffly, blubbery kind of response was what she was expecting, but that didn’t come at all. Instead, any words that her friend would have said are now caught in his throat as only, only a frightened meek spilled out of his lips, and one index finger pointed to something behind her.

Both hands now tugging at her bat, her sight locked onto the sight of their hiding spot being discovered. Dripping, clawed fingers held onto each arm of the couch, and what’s shown behind it is one doppelganger; who would have chuckled scornfully at the two if it weren’t having them right where she wanted them.

The couch lifted over the fusion’s head, and that is where Mandy thought that would be how Billy and her would meet their demise. To be flattened by a couch and killed by her evil twin. It would be a slow, humiliating demise.

However, this fusion has other plans.

The couch slammed right upside the door, nearly bringing the door down but still blocking the doorknob and blocking anyone else from getting inside…

…Or out.

And that’s when the two knew…

They’re trapped.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 06:30:32 PM »
Hey, guys! I know it's only been a little while since I've updated, but I couldn't stop thinking about this story because it's fun to think about such an intense story to throw your favorite characters in. Anyway, here is the second chapter as promised, and this one is kind of on the shorter side, but I was never focused onto length of a chapter anyway. So, here's chapter two of Hide & Seek, and I hope you all enjoy! Also, thank you so much for over one-hundred views! I really appreciate it! <3

Hide & Seek - Chapter 2

Trapped.

It was a claustrophobic’s nightmare; to be stuck in between suffocating walls, having no way out of your current predicament, and to make matters worse, something is sneaking around the corner. It was going to rear its ugly head, glower its deadly, red eyes at you, and sank its teeth into you like a ravenous viper. It will leave you to lay there with your poisonous bite. It will leave you to rot, even if you were to be laying in the one place that gave you comfort: Your home.

And that would have been the same, exact, unfortunate fate for poor old Billy here, but… a pale one’s fingers tugged on his, yanked on his arm forward, and made a run for the stairs. A collection of brisk footsteps followed, stomping on the creaking, wooden steps, and not bothering to take a glimpse back at the sneering fusion behind them. The same fusion that took no waste of time to start tracking them once again.

With beads of sweat streaming down the sides of the blonde’s head, creating strands of hair that stick out from her usually perfect, demonic hairdo, Mandy ushered her childhood companion forward, making sure that they both are upstairs and to the bedroom. Punting the tip of her shoe against the doorknob, the door flew open and collided against the wall with a deafening bang. It wasn’t open for long as she kicked the door back as if doing that was enough to keep the fusion at bay. Yet, she knows all too well of her fusion that, unfortunately, that is most likely not the case.

“C’ mon, pinhead,” she commanded in a soft tone, clinging her sweaty fingers onto another doorknob, but this time, it belonged to a closet, “I know tight spaces aren’t really in your favor, especially if they have spiders in them, but you got to hide in here for me, okay? And stay quiet as much as you can.”

It was so unnatural to listen to Mandy like this. Billy knew that emotions were a thing that made Mandy recoil in disgust since Day One and that she would never, ever express them in such a way that was visible to anyone around here. It was a thing that she trained herself to do because she found no other way to express them. To be cold and detached was more natural to her than letting them flow free, but here?

Here it was the complete opposite. It might not have been shown in her expression, but her eyes said it all. The tone of her voice said it all too well. It boggled his mind, confused him, and yet? He didn’t bother to question her. Why question her at a time like this where they are hiding for their lives? Well, he’s hiding for his. Mandy? He’s… he’s not so sure what she’s doing.

And that alone scares him.

“But… what about you?” he wondered, climbing into the closet and letting Runty snuggle him for comfort, “You’ll be turned into green toast if she finds ya!”

Although that sentence doesn’t make much sense at all, it made all of the girl’s motions stop almost immediately, like they can never have the opportunity to move. There came a blink. Mandy’s fingers slipped from the closet’s doorknob, causing her arm to slap against her side. Her eyes darted from left to right and narrowed, whether that can be from deep thought or anything else on that matter. The distant noises of approaching footsteps made her hair stand on its ends; not that she would ever admit that. Still, it gave her the smallest spark of motivation to continue forward. And, with that, she grabbed the doorknob again, and slowly started to close it.

“…It’ll be fine…”

With a click, the closet closed. Hunching her body forward, Mandy once again held onto her trusty bat, leaning her spine against the closet and acting like its royal guard. She didn’t care if she would be the one down for the count. She didn’t care what her fusion or Fuse would do to her in the long run. The only thing that mattered to her would be that her friend is alive and safe.

Besides, he owes me for having Grim stuck at Orchid Bay, her mind bitterly reminded her. Yeah, she wasn’t going to admit that she cares for him, especially at a time like this.

BANG!

The door trembled from the blunt force, and green fusion matter could be seen from the tiniest gaps of the said door. Wood made a creaking, moaning sound once again, and it won’t be long until this dreaded thing collapses onto the plush, carpeted flooring. It won’t be long until Mandy would meet the claws of her arch-enemy, her counterpart, yet again. It was something she long anticipated for, but, at the same time…

Her pulse drummed in her chest. Her body tremored, and she can’t tell if it’s from the cold or her own fear. But - wait - she can’t fear! Now, can’t she? She can never fear. Never. Never want to. It’ll never happen. Never, never…

Her teeth gritted against one another, hoping that could block those thoughts of hers. Those stupid, stupid thoughts. She wished they could shut up. She doesn’t need this right now; not right now.

She was above them. She was above them all. She is Mandy The Merciless. She is cruel, cold, and will destroy anything that stands in her way. Nothing should get past her.

Nothing like this.

Sinking in a breath in between her teeth, holding her bat close to her, she spotted those green, clawed fingers grabbing a hold of the door, yanking it from its spot, and shoving it against the window, causing it to crash and break the glass casing of the window in no time flat.

It was times like this where this town’s fearless girl found herself in between a rock and a hard place. But, no matter the case, she isn’t going to bend down in defeat.

No way.

Her fusion made a step forward, and if this thing wasn’t so revolting, she would have bothered to see that it has a maniacal look on its face. Talk about showing that it’s evil.

“Now, I think it’s time we finish what we have started… shall we?”

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 01:59:43 PM »
Hello again! It's been a while since I've updated the last chapter, and I was hoping to do it tomorrow considering the anniversary of the game, but I'm just doing it today instead lol. So, this chapter is definitely longer than the previous two and what I considered to be the most intense so far, and with the current update, it's only giving this story more inspiration (especially considering what we learned of Fuse, and the stuff about Runty and all that). Anywho, here is the third chapter of this story!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 3

For the longest time, she forgot to breathe. She forgot to think, to move, to feel the bone-chilling sensation crawling up and down her spinal cord, to feel beads of sweat trail down her pale skin, becoming as cold as the teeth-chattering chill that billowed the curtains of the opened window. The window that could be the escape option. It could be the only way that the children can escape from this fusion, possibly escaping with not with their tails between their legs, but escaping from certain death.

Just the sheer thought of it made the blonde preteen gag, made her stomach twist and shape into gnarled knots, making her more at unease than she already is. She hated this kind of feeling, this emotion, and just about every little detail about it. It gave more ammo to the flight of a fight vs. flight situation, but no one talked about the third, more than likely, the outcome of that situation: The freeze.

And the freeze hit the hardest out of all of them.

Coal-black eyes followed the trail of those dagger-like claws from the fusion, which can remind anyone of the fusion that infiltrated Charles Darwin Middle School: Fusion Numbuh Three. Only, these claws looked longer, thinner, like they were constructed to look like a werewolf’s set of claws. Maybe they can be as sharp as Grim’s scythe. Who knows?

All Mandy knows is that she’s not going to take that chance.

Mary-Jane shoes of hers stayed sticking onto the carpeted floor, much like she’s been nailed or glued there and that there’s nobody who’s going to break her off from it… or away from that closet. No one’s going to that closet beside her. And, well, if a goopy counterpart of hers wants to play, then…

So be it.

“If you mean by finish, you mean by finishing you?” she inquired, her voice oozing with venom, “Because if that’s what you’re implying then, I’ll be happy to be a pawn in your precious little game.”

An arched brow came from the fusion, to whom looked more amused than anything. Like all she ever heard was some silly, foolish joke. And maybe, this is what all of this is to her. A joke. Or maybe it was a joke simply because it may be easy for her. After all, all this minion has to do is take them out.

What can be any easier than that?

“I would be wise with words if I were you, inferior counterpart. Would you grab a wishing skull knowing that it's wishes are filled with trickery? Would you grab the Horror’s Hand if it can give you an insight into your deepest, darkest nightmares? I would suggest thinking more clearly, but I guess that can’t be helped. Oh well…”

The frown on Mandy’s face deepened as if it were carved there on her mouth. A teensy bit of her pearly whites was showing, and before she knew it, she’s releasing an animalistic growl at the other. Her fingers are now white as snow from gripping onto the baseball bat so hard.

“I don’t have time for your mind games. And besides, if you like to be a chatterbox, you can keep talking. The more you keep talking, the more you won’t know what’s happening until a bat smacks you right into your face.”

She slammed the bat against one of her palms. It was hard enough that her entire hand was flaring in red color, but she didn’t flinch nor grunt at what she just did.

“…Allow me to demonstrate.”

And, just like that, she was removed from her spot, going into the fight or the fight vs. flight situation. In a way, it kind of brought a strange sense of excitement within her. A twisted sense of excitement that meant she can get satisfaction. She always wanted to beat the ever-living being out of her counterpart. She despised how it looks like her, sounds like her, and does a plethora of things to make it seem like it’s there like it’s stalking her.

But not anymore. Not anymore.

With the wooden weapon soaring across the air, it made contact with the extraterrestrial matter of the creature. Then again with a swing towards the stomach, then the chest. The girl heard pained grunts from the fusion and felt a slimy substance splattering on her cheek, her bat, her dress, but she didn’t care.

All she wanted to do was to get rid of that thing.

Yet, with each and every whack, the fusion remained intact. Yes, she budged here and there but even then, there wasn’t much of a movement. No hint of anything beyond the grunting and the pain. This monstrosity should have been gone by now, so… why isn’t it?

“My….”

Slender fingers reached their way towards the left side of Mandy’s face, digging its fingertips into the bottom of her chin, and lifting her said chin up. Widened, black pupils shrunk upon seeing the red eyes of the enemy. That frozen stature was beginning to unravel again, but Mandy won’t let it.

She can’t let the fusion win.

“…And I thought you had some fight in you, but no. It’s only desperation, and well, allow me to give you the verdict: Pathetic.”

She can barely listen to those words. The main thing she focused on was her heartbeat. It ran a mile a minute, piercing into her eardrums, and the heavy breathing that came after wasn’t slowing down either. They came in hot puffs of air, making her lungs stung by the amount of pressure put onto them. If it was fear, she wasn’t sure. All she knew was that she wanted these talons off of her.

She wanted to tear this fusion apart.

“Get… get your hands off of me!”

It didn’t matter to her if she were to get harmed by the fusion matter; all that mattered was getting this creep’s hands off of her. She jabbed her elbow into the alien’s chest, causing another hiss from the doppelganger and to have her knees plop on the floor, all stained with red from previous carpet burns. Shuddering gasps left her, along with some coughs. She grabbed for her bat again, only this time she swatted it across the fusion’s legs, just for it to fall down on its back.

She staggered back against the closet; the back of her skull colliding against one of the doorknobs. The closet creaked in response, and the worried breathing of Endsville’s local moron began to become rapid.

“Ma - Mandy? What’s… what’s happening?”

If she didn’t freeze enough before, then she surely has now. The fusion’s eyes grew about thrice their size after that question, and just like that, a cruel smirk worked its way on its lips. And it didn’t take any verbal cues for Mandy to know what the fusion is planning to do.

It all pointed to… the closet.

“If you’re going after that idiot, then… big mistake,” Mandy declared, holding her bat right in front of her, shooting daggers at her enemy with every chance she’s got.

“And what are you planning to do then?” the fusion countered, gesturing a hand towards the closet, “Whack me more with that thing? Please, and I thought you were an expert at making plans.” It took a step closer, seemingly levitating as if by her own power. “You have no idea what you’re up against.”

One hand of Mandy’s clutched onto the closet’s doorknob. Her friend attempted to protest but to no avail. The fusion floated closer and closer until she can have her poor, poor human self cornered like a defenseless animal. Boy, did it felt so satisfying to see such an inferior being become intimidated.

But, there was one thing the fusion didn’t know: Even if she was brought down at her worst, Mandy would always climb back to the top.

“Maybe you don’t…” The cruel human muttered, and the wooden closet trembled by how much she’s pinned against it, “After all, you are a fusion. A being entirely composed of sentient matter. A being so dependent on its master that the thought of failure bends you to your knees. And that’s where you fall…”

The counterparts were only a few centimeters apart from one another, and if one could see it past the milky moon rays, the fusion is boiling from anger. Good.

“…From dependency.”

All five talons from one arm of the doppelganger lunged towards Mandy, but she leaped out of the way right before she can be sliced from it. The talons cut into the wood of the closet, digging deep and spilling fusion matter onto it. It could mean a whole matter of things. It could mean that the person inside of the closet could be impaled… and that’s when Mandy felt her heartbeat quicken again.

She clutched onto the doorknob of the closet, and dragged her friend out of it, ignoring all the stammering, and all the worrying questions about her new injuries and of the monster. She rolled her eyes, directing her gaze back to the fusion.

“I’ll tell you about the answers later. Now, help me drop this closet onto the fusion.”

The boy blinked, his jaw dropping and his shivering hold on Runty loosened a tad. “Bu - but how? Hows are we gonna -”

“Just do it! Before it frees itself!”

The two clung onto each side of the closet, feeling its rickety hold loosening its luster. They heaved, pulling the closet away from the wall and punting their feet against the back end of the closet. All it took was one more push, and then…

Splat!

Fusion matter coated the floor, the bed, anything else that’s inside of the room. The only sounds that were heard were the occasional siren of the nuclear plant, and Runty squealing about the small victory. However, Mandy wasn’t so convinced.

“We’re getting out of here.”

The blunt statement of his friend made Billy bumble once more with shock, along with a lot of blinking. “But hows? The fr - the front door is blocked!”

“Not from there…. There.” An index finger pointed to the shattered window, now only having miniature glass fragments that clung onto the corners. “If we can end up rolling right after we jump, then we wouldn’t have to deal with broken bones.”

The idea of it appeared to be crazy, appeared to be like Billy’s best friend lost all of her marbles, but, really, he wouldn’t rather deal with a fusion than a few broken bones. Besides, he’s done enough worse stunts that have gotten him into the hospital before.

“Okay… if… if you’re sure.”

“I am sure, you idiot.” The squeeze on their hands made each of their hands utterly numb, but it was enough of a squeeze to assure that Mandy meant business. And really, when has she ever not mean business? “I know, it sounds stupid, but I wouldn’t want to die at the hands of a humiliating doppelganger… wouldn’t you?”

There came an immediate shake of Billy’s head.

“Good. Now, let’s get out of here.”

Keeping their hands together, they stomped across the bedroom, and without a single moment of hesitation…

Jumped out of the window.

But, before they knew it, the remnants of the fusion started to slowly come back together, and the doppelganger rose up from the wreckage, claws extending out again.

“You’re not getting away that easily.”

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2020, 04:20:19 PM »
Here is an another intense chapter, which was the most difficult chapter that I have written so far. When I originally started to think of this chapter, it took me approximately three whole months in the timespan from chapter 3 to chapter 4, as I had time to think about what in the world could be Billy and Mandy's whole 'escape plan' from the fusion, as for Endsville, there are a couple different places you could go to, and I realize how each of those decisions can alter the story in some shape or form. Eventually, I came with a decision and how it's going to change the story from when I originally thought of, but... that's all in the fun of writing I guess XD. Anywho, here is chapter four!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 4

The first thing that her forehead came into contact with was the drenched glass blades, tangling her platinum blonde bangs along with them, and each and every inch of her face being licked with the dew of the ground, creating miniature specs of dirt to mix in with the fusion-infested injuries she has been given by her dreaded doppelganger, but none of that has given her too much concern. Despite how much she demanded for her comrade to roll after hurtling at that window, hoping that doing the action can relieve some blunt force trauma, it still aches her body, but mostly her arms and legs. They are gonna ache for quite a while, but this isn’t time to take a moment to rest her eyes.

Not with a fusion hunting her down.

“Come on,” she stressed out in her raspy voice, placing a cramped hand on her friend’s shoulder and shaking it a tad, “Rise and shine, pinhead. We’re not out in the clear yet.”

A muffled moan came from the dimwitted boy, who too has grass burns from the fall, and his lips are splotched with purple bruises due to not protecting himself well enough from the jump. Still, the shaking was enough to rouse him up from his minimal slumber, glancing into the deadpan gaze of his best friend. “Mm-Mandy? Is she... is she g-gone?”

A huff escaped from the girl’s almost nonexistent nose. “...I don’t think so, which is why we’re gonna keep going.” She tugged on his arms, hauling him up and planting his sneakers onto the ground before she decided to drag him along the street, finding out most of the environment surrounding them has been damaged.

The wooden picnic fence that surrounded Billy’s house has been torn off from the ground, much like a plant has been viciously torn off from their roots. The abnormal tree that usually is positioned beside the doorstep has some indents in them; green claw marks spreading from one side of the other of the tree. The lamp post that’s nearby the house has been knocked over, like a hurricane came over here and brushed past through.

It wasn’t hard to tell that fusion has been busy, making a wreckage of the neighborhood. That could mean the fusions waltzing down the streets are probably her minions, her bodyguards, and that is far from good. It was yet another problem on the bucket list of problems, but it was enough for Mandy to pick up her baseball bat, now smothered in fusion matter and having splinters poking out of it. It would really be nice to have Grim’s scythe right about now.

Brisk steps were what they had to work with, feeling the pulsing pain of aching limbs stabbing in the back of their legs, and slamming their shoes onto the pavement of the ground. Tainted breaths each escape from them, filled with exhaustion and pain, but they had to continue going. There wasn’t much they can do except running... like cowards. It was not something that Mandy would like to admit, but what was there for them to do?

Clearly sitting like ducks would not be the best option.

A massive claw came peeking out from the destroyed house, gripping onto the borders of the window and the fusion began crawling out of the house like a spider, but a spider that is not at all friendly like Jeff. No, it was a spider filled with malice and destruction. Cold and heartless. And, unfortunately, it wasn’t like if it were to be squashed, it would be gone in a heartbeat. No.

Fusions can regrow and adapt to the changes once destroyed. They were easily adaptable, and can learn from their mistakes, much like a human can but can progress much faster and at such a scary rate. Fuse might be the hivemind, dwelling into the confines of his lair in the Darklands, but Fuse was not one to be underestimated.

The fusion continued following, crumbling into a pool of goo before retaining her form and following her pursuit on her prey. Each of those claws that she created before have become much longer, and now they stood onto each end of the fusion like a pair of long, oak branches. Instead of running like her prey in front of her, she hovered like an aircraft, blasting towards the two at a steady velocity.

“You know, I would have thought you over smarted me once you dropped that closet onto me, but it turns out all you did was create a diversion; a distraction. A way for you to escape, but look at how that turned out. What a shame... and I was beginning to enjoy what you have planned, but it turns out all you ever care for is the people you want to conquer.”

One of her arms was extended, stretching out much like an elastic band, and starting gripping onto her organic counterpart, tugging and gripping onto her shoulder, adding pressure and plummeting that pressure onto her arm until she started to let go of her weapon or her protective grip on her friend. Fortunately for that fusion, it was enough for her to loosen her grip on her friend, right before she clutched onto her bat, smacking her shoulder and smacking the green hand along with it.

The hit alone got Mandy to grunt, pierce her teeth into her tongue, and sinking the pain through her teeth once more before intertwining her fingers with Billy once again, and making her way down the soaked streets, splashing any kind of puddle and not caring at the slightest for the water to reach to their ankles. It wasn’t that far from getting to the sliders now, and once they reach onto those sliders, they can finally catch their breath.

But not yet. Just not yet.

The male redhead gulped, trying not to feel sick in his stomach for seeing what just happened. His childhood friend right there could have been grabbed, and could have been captured by the fusion, but it didn’t happen. Thankfully, it didn’t. A part of him wished he could have done something, something to help her, but there isn’t much he can do. After all, he doesn’t have a weapon. Just Runty in one of his arms and his friend holding his hand in his free hand. All they can do is escape.

Just escape.

“We’re almost there...” He heard Mandy croak out, and he can hear just by the tone of her voice that she’s losing her strength. After that kind of fight earlier, although he didn’t see it, he can see the damage it caused. He knew sooner or later she might pass out from exhaustion, and that worried him enough already, but he can’t worry now. He’ll worry when the time comes.

But they were almost there. Thank goodness they were almost there.

The fusion doppelganger was right on their tail, floating and attempting to pin her punches onto the two, but Mandy continued maneuvering. Her movements were starting to get sluggish, but she tried and tried. Each smack of her bat against a nearby fusion caused it to collapse and disintegrate into fusion matter. It continued like that until all the fusions were down for the count, and until the streets became a safe zone to traverse by.

No hope was sinking into their stomachs until their eyes spot the gothic sign of their town, displaying the town’s name and covered in cobwebs, but it’s enough to tell them that yes, they’re getting out of their town, and hopefully, hopefully away from the fusion at any and all costs.

“You’re not getting away from me!” The shout from the fusion came out screeching, demonic, and in such an inhumane manner that it almost felt alien to come out of this, well, alien creature. Sometimes, a fusion would display a certain character’s worst traits, and this one clearly caught one of not only Mandy’s anger, but stubbornness.

This is a fusion that would not give up so easily.

The second they inched closer towards the jump pad, they were sent flying in the chill air, wind nipping at their skin and giving them goosebumps, but it was all a sign of relief once they landed into the transportation vehicle of the slider, and the slider begin taking them into the eternal visitas, and soon, Genius Grove and so on. It did not mean the fusion is dealt with, but it meant that they can travel somewhere to get some help or even a lead into this situation.

“...We did it.” The baseball bat dropped, creating a small thud that almost got Billy’s heart pounding. And his heart pounded more once Mandy’s legs gave out, and laid limp against him, her eyes clamped shut from all the lack of sleep and endless vigilance she’s pushed herself on.

“Mandy!” It wasn’t a cry of grief, but a cry of concern. The same cry that anyone would have given to a friend, or a sibling. He held his injured friend close to him, having her head against his chest, and allowing her to rest until they come across the safe zone of Genius Grove.

Until then, this would be quite the story to unload to the Professor and Numbuh Five. Let’s hope Numbuh Five would be willing to go onto speaking terms.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 03:37:14 PM »
Now here is the beginning of the chapters where things dwindle down a bit. There is still intensity and dread going on, but now you readers will finally have some kind of breather after all of those intense chapters. Now, I'm not good when it comes to writing a character interrogating another character, so I hoped that this is at least somewhat decent. Anywho, that's all I got to say for now, and enjoy Chapter 5!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 5

Hospitals.

That was the one, singular word that would always bring an endless amount of chills down Billy’s spine. He would hear about in several horror movies, about tiled floors coated with dirt and grime and mold, about these group of patients discovering what is exactly wrong with the medical building they were transferred in, and how they would always fight against some sort of disfigured, misshapen monster that would haunt the poor lad’s dreams for weeks. Those movies were just as bad as the ones with those awful clowns, but none of them, none of them were compared to having to be in one, and to have him and his best friend here being checked for injuries and infection of fusion matter.

Yet, that wasn’t what exactly has unnerved him. No, it was more of the fact that the moment he screamed at the top of his lungs, so loud that they were straining while doing so, and just loud enough so that the Professor, Dee Dee, and Numbuh 5 could hear him, he knew what he was getting into. He knew that the onslaught of questions would occur, ones that his brain possibly couldn’t comprehend, and the other thing was that a Kids-Next-Door operative is going to be in the same room with the one person who conquered their organization that one whole time.

Billy was never the sharpest tool in the shed, not by a longshot, but even he knew about the tension that floods the atmosphere every single time that the KND and Mandy are in each others’ presence. It would always come in civil to heated disagreements, arguments, and even simple death glares to one another that would make Billy want to drag his furious friend away so that she wouldn’t have to get herself involved in a fight. Not that he thought that his friend was incapable, but seeing all of these tense moments come in time and again, it made him wonder how they would eventually work together to fight the common enemy.

He wouldn’t know. All of this thinking is starting to give him indigestion.

He took a glimpse at the medical mattress right beside him, seeing the unconscious blonde sprawled across the bed, bandages taped on her face and her brows tightened from either pain or from how they normally are. From seeing the bags under her eyes, black circles wrapping under them like makeup, it wasn’t hard to notice that she hasn’t been sleeping well, and it brought Billy great concern. Yes, he was well aware that Mandy was not one to talk about what goes on in her head, and would rather punch something or someone to get her mind off from it, but he wished that she would at least tell him something.

The odd behavior she expressed earlier and throughout the week did not go unnoticed. The constant demands to get Billy to train with her, so that he could handle himself in a fight, the messages she’s given to him to check on the status of the nuclear plant, the questions he’s gotten from whether or not her fusion doppelganger has appeared in the neighborhood or not…

It all made sense now, and the worst of it all was that Mandy didn’t say anything about it to Grim… and why? Usually the reaper would get them out of a deadly situation, but this time it was far different. It was far scarier than Billy thought it was, and even though the Resurrect ‘Ems exist, it only worked for those time-traveling recruits; not them. Maybe without the whole Orchid Bay deal, things would have gone differently. Maybe if Mandy decided to open her mouth to Grim, maybe things would have gone differently… but it didn’t. It just didn’t.

And now? Now, here they are… with a target on their backs all because of some fusion.

A creak from the door silenced all of his thoughts, to which surprised him considering he was not one to think on too many things, and the one who entered the room was none other than the one person who can make this room feel like it has dropped into the coldest of temperatures; Numbuh 5. The door was slammed shut and she propped herself against it, her arms crossed over her chest as she surveyed the room, scanning each and every nook and cranny like a robot searching for hidden clues. Her silence intimidated Billy alone, but it wasn’t long after a long sigh escaped from her, and it caught the boy’s attention immediately.

“Numbuh 5 has no idea what’s going on, but what I have just seen a while ago was not an accident.” The tone was low, deep, and curious, but it also a hint of suspicion within that curiosity. The kind of suspicion that won’t let anyone off the hook so easily. “Mind telling me what in the world you were screaming about? It looked like you two just caught yourselves into some kind of nasty scuffle.”

Billy twiddled his fingers, his beady eyes locked onto them as if they’re the only things he can focus on right now, and it seemed that way now that the tension has settled in. How was he supposed to tell that a fusion is hunting for them now? How was he supposed to explain that a fusion copy of his friend is now looking for them just so they can be eliminated off the face of the Earth? Now, if only Mandy was awake, then she can provide some answers, but…

Would that make things worse?

“Uhmmm… well…” His eyes were darting from left to right, feeling sweat drop down on the sides of his head. “A monster that stole Mandy’s face crashed into my house so Mandy and I had to jump out of a window and we ran to the slider as fast as we could and -”

Runty bumped his head against his owner’s side, nuzzling into him so he can give him some comfort. It was short-lived, however, as a palm was raised by Numbuh 5 so she can cease the rambling that had just occurred. The brunette pushed out a sigh once again, and the sound of her footsteps bounced off the walls once she departed from the door. She came closer, and all she did was focus onto Billy rather than her enemy.

To her, despite all odds with the person she dislikes, she knew that this situation is a matter of importance. No way that some fusion was going to target two people just for no apparent reason. No way was the scene of a boy clutching his unconscious friend was nothing. Something had definitely happened, something that slipped right under the radar, or maybe it was something that a certain misanthrope wasn’t telling anyone. But why isn’t she?

“So… let Numbuh 5 get this straight… you’re saying a fusion copy of her managed to get the drop on you two and both of you escaped by jumping out of a window?” It was hard to notice, but there was a brow being raised right after that question.

“Uh huh!” That was all Billy wanted to do; to give out easy answers just like that. Though, he knew that this is only the beginning, and he sure felt like he wished that he wasn’t the only one giving out the answers.

“And you used the slider to get to here, right?”

“Yeah huh!”

“Hmmm…” Abigail stroke her chin with her index finger, taking a moment for all of this information to completely register into her brain. It certainly wasn’t an unusual situation, for fusions to go after their counterparts, but at the same time, this didn’t seem normal either. “...Why was the fusion after you?”

“Huh?” Billy blinked.

“Why was the fusion after you?” Abby echoed, her fists tightening and her head lowering. “Like I said before, this ain’t no accident, and the fact that this fusion is only targeting you two sounds fishy enough.”

Billy pierced his teeth on his bottom lip; his hands become sweaty. What could he say? What could he respond with if he himself truly doesn’t know?

There wasn’t much to know about a fusion in the first place, and it wasn’t like a fusion is capable of much thought, as they were all a collective; a hivemind. But, the fusion that Billy has seen, the way she talked, the way she attacked, the way she spoke about her friend and battered her to the point of exhaustion… it seemed strange. It seemed like it was personal too, but with probing Mandy’s weaknesses until all of her strengths become thin and worthless, like the mere fact that she doesn’t want to be seen as weak. But… there was something else about it…

Mandy was the one protecting him; not the other way around. Sure, the fusion fought her, and chased after the both of them, but it was her who advocated for pushing him inside that closet. So, if that was the case then…

For what felt like a lifetime, the gears in Billy’s head started turning, and he doesn’t like it one bit. To think of the situation in such a degree, to think about the implications of it and what it entails for his friend, he found himself even more scared than how he was in his house.

“Me… she was after me…”

Everything went completely and utterly silent; hardly devoid of any kind of sound. Nothing was heard except the cool winds billowing plastic curtains, and the staggering breaths of the unconscious girl, who had her chubby fingers digging into the bed sheet, as if she was listening to the conversation the whole time.

Abigail clutched a part of her hat, adjusting it as a matter of not letting all of this information get to her head. It wasn’t like fusions going after people were some kind of mystery to solve, but to go after someone at the expense of their own counterpart… was it a way to break down the emotional stronghold Mandy usually possesses? Was it a way to… tear her down? To go after the ones close to her to let her act in the most irrational way?

It very well could be, but, if this is that fusion’s plan, then… who knows what could happen if she manages to succeed? Would more fusions decide to tear relationships apart? Just to make the entire resistance fall down like a stack of dominoes? It’s never easy, now isn’t it?

“...Listen, Numbuh 5 doesn’t trust that friend of yours one bit, but I ain’t letting some fusion go ahead and do something that will make her wreak havoc across the place. We know what she’s capable of, and if you’re the one who’s holding her back from doing that, then that’s what that fusion wants.” She shook her head, and scrunched her face in disgust. This all reminded her too well of Fusion Dexter attempting to break into Dexter’s old lab. Now, this is even more heavy…

“I’ll look into this later, but for now, just stay put. We’ll make sure that goop isn’t going to get ya…”

It was the last thing she said before leaving the room, leaving the worried boy to his thoughts once more. All of this being drilled into his head, making him wonder what is going to happen next, it’s all so physically and mentally draining. He doesn’t know how Mandy does it…

He looked again at his sleeping comrade, heart wrenching at her state of condition and of how much she overexerted herself. If she was willing to do that for him, to stress herself to the bone to make sure the worst doesn’t happen then… he will do the same for her.

But first, there was something he needed to do. Something that he knew wasn’t a brilliant idea, but there has to be some way to make sure something doesn’t happen to his friend. Thus, he tapped onto his Nanocom, and listened to the accented voice of the reaper.

“Billy, what do you want now?”

“...Grim, can I talk to you ‘bout something? I think Mandy... I think we're in trouble.”

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2020, 11:28:44 AM »
Here comes the heavy-hitter; the exposition chapter! This is the chapter where you learn what in the world is Mandy hiding from Billy, where Billy learns the truth, and where you learn on Fusion Mandy's ambitions and plans. Get ready for some feels because here they come!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 6

It had to come out sooner or later; the answers. The answers that would be provided from this whole dilemma, and it was a dilemma that was complicated at best. Not a single member of the resistance, hero or villain or even a local civilian, would have known about one particular fusion copy, one composed of the same material as the amalgamation of planets that are now embedded into the Earth’s atmosphere, would gain enough knowledge of the world to form its own sentient being, its thoughts, its emotions, and its desires. For it to have the desire to make its original counterpart, its organic counterpart, to suffer so that their master would not be sabotaged once again, was a problem on its own.

The Grim Reaper is a being that can tell when a being, whether human, animal, imaginary, or any other species, could wither and die, much like a clairvoyance would have several visions that would tell when something would be happening, even if it was a day, a week, or a month before that vision would actually become true. The skeleton would always chant about how much he loves his job, but there were moments even he cannot mentally bear. There would be visions he would rather not see, and, of course, one of them had to be about the topic that bumbling buffoon just messaged him about.

Poor Billy doesn’t know the half of the weight of the situation at hand.

A long sigh escaped from his jawline, and he didn’t even need to see the child to know that his solemn exhale made him jump. He didn’t need to be told to know that the two children who have ownership of him are currently residing inside of a hospital. It almost made him thankful that Billy was smart enough to message him through the Nanocom rather than rush all the way to Orchid Bay to talk to him.

Who knows what would have happened if Mandy was left unattended in her current state, and with that fusion doppelganger on the loose, having the Endsville children separated would only spell doom.

“...I know.” Billy’s breath hitched through the Nanocom. “I’ve been lookin’ at me list, and there were times when both of you would be on there, and then not. I tink you escaped from dat fusion, but I know dat Mandy wouldn’t have gone down without a fight.”

A couple of sniffles came from the Nanocom, and it didn’t take a genius to know that there are concerned tears welling up in the boy’s beady eyes. Grim always knew that Billy cared about Mandy, and showed it even more so than Mandy would have ever did. He would always shower her with affection, even if it made her uncomfortable. There were times when Mandy would wallop him for it, but there were times she would allow him to embrace her for as long as he wants. It confused Grim at times, but he can see that their bond was special, even if it was strange and unusual.

“She did, Grim. She had me be locked into my closet so she can face her gross evil self alone. I didn’t see much, but she looked like a pair of wolves tore her to shreds! She didn’t look fine before, Grim, and now she looks even worse! I - I don’t know what’s going on anymore, and Mandy would usually tell me but -”

Never had Grim has heard of such concern, of such worry coming from Billy. Usually his concern wouldn’t last long, even with his help of assurances, but this time, it was like Billy was aware that this is not something that you should shake off easily. It was like an abandoned switch hidden in the darkest confines of his brain was switched on, and made his brain finally click onto something. It’s too bad that this circumstance was the one thing to make that tiny brain of his click.

“...Is there somethin’ you’re not tellin’ me? Is there somethin’ Mandy isn’t tellin’ me?”

There came another sigh from the reaper, but this time, it came from where his nostrils should be. If he had a heart dwelling inside of his ribcage, it would be pummeling like a drum. There was no more time to beat around the bush when it came to this. No longer can he hide, expecting Billy to not get it, and expecting him to go aloof about the whole thing.

Not anymore. The truth has to come out now. Mandy would not like it, she would not agree to it, but keeping her friend in the dark was only going to make things fester, and Grim was not going to prepare himself for that kind of outcome.

“...Billy. Look, I am going to say somethin’, and you are not goin’ to like it. It is not goin’ to make you tink dat everythin’ is goin’ to be fine. It will make you worry ‘bout yourself and our girl here, but before I tell you, you need to tell me dat you’re ready for it, okay?”

Tense fingernails dug deeply into the redhead’s jeans, creating miniature indents by doing so. He took a moment to take off his infamous hat and dab the beads of sweat trailing down his oily face, and muster out a staggering breath before placing his hat back on and nodding.

Revelations were never easy for Billy, but there was no other way around it. His best friend is in trouble, he’s in trouble, and he needed to know more than the incident that occurred not too long ago. It will be then and only then that he would know the truth.

“I’m… I’m ready.”

That was it. That was the one way to determine that the truth needed to be said. There is no turning back now.

Grim hardly took a second before starting, but the voice and tone he spoke out was nothing but assuring.

“...A while ago, Mandy had concerns about not only your fate, but hers. She spoke of having a feeling in her gut; a sixth sense if you will about somethin’ not feelin’ right. It bothered her, and she even asked me about de hourglasses, and of how much time you and her have left. I showed her the same results for a week or two, but it did nuthin’ to stop her worries. She was determined to find out what was goin’ on, and she didn’t want anyone to stop her.”

The preteen couldn’t help but plop his back against the hospital wall, blinking numerous times to allow the information to register into his brain. He figured that Mandy was acting… off, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Until now.

The hourglasses. How could he forget about the hourglasses? It was no wonder why he would be greeted by Mandy’s presence, and of how she often checked to see how he was doing. That made sense at the very least, but there was still a lot more holes into this than not.

“Remember when her fusion tried to convince me to take her side? Fuse’s side? I told Mandy about dat, and she told me about dat same fusion tried to mess with The Great Machine. It was one plan after another, Billy. Makin’ me a traitor, makin’ Mandy angry dat someone out there with her face is causin’ trouble, but dat wasn’t de half of it, Billy. Mandy’s fusion wanted more, Mandy’s fusion learned about how Mandy foiled her plans, and of how I foiled her plans of makin’ me a traitor. Her fusion was not happy, and you know what it’s like for Mandy to not be happy.”

A lump was swallowed down Billy’s throat, but he didn’t bother to interrupt the explanation that is being given to him.

“Her fusion came out with de plan to make a target out of you, then me, then anyone else dat Mandy has come into contact with. Anyone dat is close to Mandy would eventually be taken out by her. It didn’t matter how it would happen. All that mattered was dat for Mandy to see dat anyone close to her would have to suffer for it.

It… it made her worse, Billy. She came to me with pages of plans on what to do, on how to stop her fusion, but nearly every time she would end up with nuthin’. It was why she came to you to make sure you can fight off her fusion, in case dat she wouldn’t be there for you. It didn’t matter to her if the fusion comes after her. It mattered to her more dat the fusion comes after you…”

Droplets of tears streamed down the boy’s bruised cheeks, and once again he interlocks his fingers with his friend, pressing the hand holding to one of his stained cheeks. He didn’t care if the minor injuries he’s gotten stung mercilessly. The concern for his friend was much more excruciating.

A round of small sobs racked his small frame of a body, and snot oozed out of his massive nose, and he wished, desperately wished he can wrap his arms around the blonde, but he chose not to. He wished that he wasn’t such an oblivious person to not see how much this was truly damaging the one he cares about, and he knew that even if Grim didn’t speak of it, he knew that it hurt him too.

A long, grueling silence was met between the two friends, with the center of attention not having a single peep uttered from her mouth, but despite how she seemed to be unconscious, she can listen to the sobbing, the heartache, the worry. It made her not want to let Billy know that she’s awake, and it made her want to shut him up as well, but… the truth was out, and there’s nothing more that she could do.

“...Be strong, Billy.” Grim’s words broke the silence, like a fairy godmother would come towards a weeping child. “I know dis is hard to deal with, and dat it hurts, but you and Mandy; you need each other. You need to help each other out so dat de worse doesn’t happen. I know dat I can’t be with you two right now, but I won’t fall apart on you either.”

It was not an answer Billy thought of receiving, but it made his lips perk into a smile at last. No longer was he sniveling, and he squeezed Mandy’s fingers with his own softly.

“...Thanks, Grim.”

“Keep each other safe.”

A noise of the Nanocom messaging deactivating came not too long after, plunging the lone boy into the haunting silence of the hospital room once more. Although, that didn’t take long either as the screeching of bed springs occurred, and the injured girl sat up from the bed, loosening Billy’s grip and turning away from him.

Her head lowering and her posture hunching was all Billy needed to know that there was some kind of guilt was radiating out of her. And he knew that not even the fusion-infected injuries she has is nothing compared to her having to deal with her friend knowing everything now.

“So… you know the truth.”

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 01:05:59 PM »
I originally was going to post this chapter at the end of the week, but since this is the last 'Calm before The Storm' chapter before things start to go intense again (I already have chapter 8 written so this is indeed a fact that things will get intense), I thought why not get it posted now? Now that our lovable goofball has learned the truth and now knows what is truly going on, would be be mad that Mandy was hiding secrets from him? Does Mandy truly feel guilty for keeping her friend in the dark? Let's find out in chapter seven!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 7

It sounded like the white noise of the hospital room was haunting, like it would be blasted into your eardrums like an endless mantra; playing constantly over and over again in your head. In your mind. The only thing that was preventing the noise from becoming overwhelming to the point you cannot help but exit the room to flea was the beeping noise of the heart monitor. That was the one thing that was preventing the tension in the air to squeeze the oxygen out of the two friends in the room. Yet, the aforementioned girl in the room, the one who is a closed diary with a whole assortment of secrets and would dare to swallow the key that would unlock her diary, has her guilt suffocating the room faster than a room filled with the noxious fumes of fusion gas.

She didn’t bother to move a single inch. She didn’t bother to have any word past her lips. Instead, it was just her hunched body hanging over the edge of the mattress, feeling the weight of her own body becoming heavy, but she did not care. The guilt was a lot heavier. The kind of heavy that would make a back bend backwards and have you screaming for mercy.

But why should there be mercy if the cat is already out of the bag?

Her friend, the one who finally knows everything, inched forward. Inched forward; not backwards. It almost seemed baffling to Mandy. Shouldn’t the boy be... angry at her? Angry at her for keeping all of these secrets to herself? Angry at her for not speaking of the problem at hand? Keeping him in the dark? She knew Billy is not the smartest boy on the planet, but... she knew when his emotions come at a face value; way more than hers.

What she never expected is to have her hand clutched again, and have it be held in such a tender way that isn’t expected. It almost made her feel sick, like something didn’t feel right. It made her drum her fingers against the back of Billy’s hand, and she cringed. Why is it whenever someone has to be affectionate towards her she can’t help but cringe? She never knows why.

...But, that wasn’t important right now as Billy patted her hand, and glanced into her fatigued pair of eyes with his puffy red-rimmed ones. Seeing the tear-stained face made the blonde’s face soften, and it hardened a tad afterward as to not soften up for far too long.

“...I’m not mad at you.” It was like he can read her thoughts. “I’m worried, Mandy.” Great; that was even worse. “You... you can tell me whenever somethin’ is wrong, y’anno? You don’t have to stress yourself to the point of... of this just to protect me.”

A bitter scoff escaped from Endsville’s little mistress, and she clasped a palm over her eyes, turning her sight away from her close friend yet again. It was her way of laughing in the face of some assurance; or some optimism because she doesn’t believe it is that simple. She was more than ever aware that just telling him that she is going through some problems isn’t going to make things any easier.

After all, she was mainly depicted as being unbreakable. She knew she was. Being depicted as someone who will not bend under their own will, who will not crack under pressure, and will be the ultimate stronghold under any kind of force; under any kind of team. It was no wonder that despite how the KND operatives and her have some unresolved tension between them, they can still work things out due to the way she can negotiate with others.

The only thing is that... now? Now there are hairline cracks in that usually unbreakable mask. Now there are signs of vulnerability from that usually intact personality. It was something that is not normally seen, and is only seen with the closest of friends, but it was something that always felt humiliating, even when she is alone.

“...You make it sound like it’s easy. It’s not. You know what kind of situation we’re in? I can’t have myself become vulnerable, or weak, or even snivel at anything that goes wrong. You know why? Because that is what my fusion wants. She wants me to be vulnerable. She wants me to become irrational, desperate, and dragging myself at the ends of the Earth to make sure the worst doesn’t happen. I have to... I have to leave no stone unturned, Billy. If I do, she will get what she wants and I will lose. And you know I never lose.”

She demonstrated her point by slamming her free hand on her pillow, causing a fist-shaped indent to appear on there, before gripping the edges of the bed and digging her fingernails into them. She could have been gripping so harshly on the bed that it was either her fingers are starting to ache or they have become paler than they usually are.

From the start she found herself in the hospital, the more unease she started to feel. Hospitals meant whenever someone is injured or sick or any other sort of medical problem has to be placed into here. Hospitals were common places, and easy to find anywhere. That meant it was easy for a fusion to find this place, and start a search down the halls to find their target. It won’t be long before that dreaded fusion began to tag along her minions and start trashing the place just so she can get her hands on Billy.

And the mere fact that Mandy is injured and has exerted herself to the point of exhaustion doesn’t help matters either. It only means that she can’t be physically strong and capable of defending Billy, and it meant that she might end up in an even worse situation with that fusion around. She knew that Grim would want the two of them to stay together and keep each other safe, but... but if the fusion is after Billy more than she is after her?

...Maybe it is Billy who needs to be hiding, and being hidden away so that he cannot be tracked down. Mandy isn’t sure on where he could go, as nearly every place, even where there is a safe zone, has some sort of infected zone and fusions walking among the lands of the planet. Maybe he has to keep running and hiding, but that would only lead to nowhere. It wouldn’t be fair to him, and so, that is where Mandy finds herself in between a rock and a hard place.

It sucked to be stuck in between a rock and a hard place.

“B-but...” Billy found himself tripping over his own words. “But, Mandy... you’re - you’re not alone. I know it’s scary right now, I’m scared right now -” He spotted Mandy cringing more, but now it’s with grimace. He inched closer and squeezed her hand. “But I’m not gonna leave you. I’m not gonna leave you to face her on your own. I won’t let you.”

It was weird to him to see his usually stoic friend to express a solemn expression, having her head hanging low and her posture to be hunched yet sulked at the same time. Usually, she wouldn’t think twice about keeping information behind someone’s back, but... they were childhood friends, after all. Of course keeping the truth away has some guilt lingering from it.

He only wished that there was something more that he could do. He wished he could be as smart as Mandy, as vicious as Mandy, but now he can see that under that cold demeanor, she can be just as vulnerable as him. And even though it hurt to see her like this, and it hurt a whole lot, it only fuels his determination to help her.

Thus, he gave a tight tug on her shoulders and pulled him into a tight embrace. He had her face sinking into his shoulder, and her body to rest against his own. He gave her enough space so that her arms could move, but he didn’t dare to break the hug. He knew that this time she wasn’t going to push him away or give him a good whack in his bulging nose. A hug was what was needed for the both of them after that horrible experience, and it’s horrible to know that sooner or later, the fusion is going to make a comeback and make things worse.

Instead of pushing, Mandy pressed further, and her fingers curled up and gripped the sleeves of Billy’s shirt, but she rested the base of her forehead against his right shoulder, and huffed out a humid yet melancholic sigh. There was not much she could say or wanted to say, so all she did was lean there against him. It was her way of showing some kind of affection or comfort, and sometimes, it worked. Sometimes, it doesn’t.

Although, this time, this is the time where she needed it the most. It is the time where she couldn’t wall up her sacred emotional walls up and close off everything for the sake of not becoming weak. And even though she doesn’t like to be considered weak, this was the one moment she can do it without so much as dwelling on it for far too long.

As the only people here that can see her breaking a chip in her armor was only her and her best friend.

“...Thank you.”

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2020, 10:54:55 AM »
As promised, here is the eighth chapter, as in the chapter where the storm is here and everything is going to get intense again. I was thinking it might have been too early for another intense moment, but since we've had three chapters where things have dwindled a bit, and since the kiddos are somewhere common, who knows when a certain fusion will attack, right? Anywho, here's chapter eight, or as I like to call the chapter "Mandy, please calm down."


Hide & Seek - Chapter 8

Fetid.

It was a word that he found buried under the endless pages of a dictionary, to which the corners of the pages have been folded by numerous children hurriedly searching for certain words to relearn the definitions for their spelling bee. Its definition fell in line with the word itself; unpleasant. It was all unpleasant. The shiny, reflective walls of the room, the pristine tiled floors, and not to mention the distinct smell that streamed into his nostrils that he cannot help but gag at.

Yup; fetid was definitely the word for it. It was no wonder why the scenery of these medical places always unnerved him. It was weird for a smell to smell particularly clean, and yet smelled of something far more foul at the exact same time. It was something like... what was it that his teacher spoke about that one time? Oh yeah... juxtaposition. Not that the word mattered to him anyway. It was just that smell that bothered him, which was funny considering he once created a stink bomb.

It was not fun to experience the consequences of creating it, however. Being stuffed inside of a brick house was a very lonely experience, and yet... Being stuck in this hospital was kind of lonely too. Even with the presence of his friend beside him.

He did not expect that sudden display of affection at the end of their tense conversation, nor the words that followed it. Thank you. It was not often that he would hear that word coming from Mandy. He believed one of the many times he did was when he got up in her face and yelled at her, and all she did was utter those two words, walking away as if she has never witnessed such a thing happen. It was weird. Then again, how the inner mechanisms of his friend worked was a mystery in itself. How she functioned could be expected as it is unexpected, and predictable as it is unpredictable. At least then that fact always brings excitement, as to prevent things from becoming stale, but it was also...

Very confusing.

Confusion always brought surprises, he supposed. Although this kind of surprise was something he did not want. He didn’t want to see someone that’s dear to him trudge through impossible odds just to save his skin. It hurt to see that such a face normally devoid of any emotion or just permanently be in this glaring expression, shift and change to something far more painful, something that has hidden so many secrets, so much pain and paranoia. Mandy was only ten years of age, and from the look of bags that wrapped her eyes, the way her hair is disheveled, and the stress that is piling on top of her like the metallic bars of buildings that held up Morbucks Towers, it looked like she has aged another decade or two from this situation altogether.

And she was hiding the truth; from him. From anyone else besides the reaper. It all sounded like an executed plan, but also one of desperate attempts. It was something Billy couldn’t blame her for. He too would be grasping straws just to save his friend from danger. Though, this was more of finding a needle in a haystack to find a solution to their problem. How things have come to this is something the boy would never understand, but it is terrifying all the same.

The blonde had stirred in her bed, her fingers instinctively digging into the covers of the mattress, indenting curved marks into it due to her fingernails. It looked like she was tugging onto the covers as to remove her back from the bed at once, and once she did, she nearly slapped her forehead into Billy’s, her cheeks now dripping with droplets of cold sweat. The beads of sweat were easily noticed under the artificial lights of the ceiling.

It wasn’t long before she found his shoulder, the same shoulder she rested her head on, and gripped onto it with the fierceness of a mother bear. Her eyes, black as the precious rock of obsidian, darted from Billy towards the window. Blown curtains were what she was greeted with, but the most she was looking at was the window itself. It wasn’t broken, and no glass is littering the floor. It alleviated the worry off of her shoulders a bit at least, but it still didn’t convince her.

Something is wrong, and it has sat itself well in her chest, stirring like a potion from a witch’s pot. Her iconic frown has deepened, and her grip on Billy’s shoulder tightened even more so. She glanced to her right; right towards the closed door. The urgency to open it invaded her mind, opening the floodgates to this sixth sense she’s currently experiencing. Maybe if she were to open it, she would get an answer. An answer as to why this feeling has been tugging at her.

She would have made a break for it... if it wasn’t for Billy grabbing her wrist. She was completely off from the bed, the ends of her dress whipping back and forth due to her brisk movement. A brow of her was arched, and it looked like her teeth were beginning to grit from the inside of her mouth.

“What’s wrong?”

Her eyes are glued to that door. It had to be open. If it were, she would know, and she would then have to be resting in peace. She didn’t break her eye contact with the door, preparing to lung herself at the door handle to just to open it. She didn’t care if Mr. Big Nose here is going to drag her back to bed. All she needed was an answer.

She pursed her lips, and rested her pointer finger on her lips, as to make the action to silence him. That usually worked wonders, and she only hoped that Billy would listen. She can hear Runty crawling close to her, touching her ankles like a worried puppy, but she ignored him. She made a step closer to the door, feeling sweat drip down the back of her neck. Her fingers curled around the door handle, and she nearly collapsed on the floor once it opened.

Darkness shrouded the long hallways of the hospital, corrupting everything it touches and erasing visibility to the naked eye of the children. Nothing except the cyan blue light of the ceiling lights provided some light, but it was rare. The green outline of Runty was more of a flashlight than those ceiling lights. If it wasn’t for the fact of him being an imaginary friend, his look of being a fusion spawn would have escalated Mandy’s paranoia.

Only it was something far greater than a fusion spawn. It had to be. Nothing with this strong of a sixth sense could have been something as insignificant as a fusion spawn. For it to be crawling throughout the hallways at night, where everyone has their guard down, it was smart as it is terrifying. It was something that made Billy tug on Mandy’s shoulders, as if urging her to head back inside.

He didn’t see it at first, but... now he can see why Mandy is disturbed. That foul smell that is infiltrating his nose is getting stronger. He does not like it one bit. And instead of encouraging the girl to head back inside, to take a second to breathe, he found her rushing outside, her fists clenched and her looking around from left to right as if expecting some spirit to swing by and take her away.

“I swear I can feel it... I know you can feel it too.”

Billy touched her wrist again, feeling her pulse quickening just by touching her wrist. “M-mandy, I’m sure it’s nothin’!”

“What, like you think this is some shutter of the wind? No, something like this... it’s not just the wind, Billy.”

“It can be, though! You’re probably just scared -”

The scoff she emitted and from the look of a darkened expression on her face, she looked almost unhinged. Like Billy is one fingertip away from her berserk button. Like she is about to smile and tear the entire universe apart once again. “Scared? Scared!? Billy... I don’t get scared...”

Sure, but this was scaring him. He was not sure what he could do. There were times Mandy would rant and express some stress or concern, but never like this. Never has she fretted like this, and it seemed so unlike her too. He just hoped it meant that she won’t take off in the hallways of the hospital, expecting for something that just wasn’t there.

But before that could happen, before he can bring her close to tell her that everything is okay, an inhumane shriek bounced off the walls of the hospital. Both children turned to see Runty, but Runty was shivering. Runty was whimpering. And, for some reason, they’re believing that it couldn’t have been Runty that shrieked.

Instead it was something at the end of the hallway. It wasn’t a figure whose stature was filled with pride, with control and floating from its own power. It wasn’t one that would give the blonde goosebumps, and it wasn’t one that she can find herself familiar with. The redhead, however, slapped his hands onto his mouth, and he could have screamed if it wasn’t for covering his mouth.

Mandy didn’t think it was possible, but her paranoia increased tenfold. She turned her head towards her friend. “...Billy?”

Billy pointed forward, just like he did when they were trapped inside of his house. That caused Mandy to slowly turn, her eyebrows furrowing and her hand twitching with the need to grab her baseball bat. She locked eyes with the being at the end of the hallway, and finding it to be something... something not like her fusion.

Instead, it was hunched. Hunched with its palms on the floor and its legs in front. The way it was like that reminded Mandy of a dog, but also of a human imitating one. From its green outline, she can make a shape, and with the squint of her eyes, she can make a conclusion of what she is seeing, and from that point on, she felt the instinct to run.

It was not Fusion Mandy who has entered the hospital; it was Fusion Billy.

And that fusion charged.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 01:00:21 AM »
Here we go guys... chapter 9.  :( Now this was the chapter I have been dreading to write, because it is the longest one I have written to date, and it is the most intense one I have written so far. In fact, I have rewritten it in order to make sure that it was satisfying enough to read, but be warned, it is the longest one I have written yet. Also, little author's note before we begin: My characterization on Fusion Billy is based on me in my childhood being legit afraid of this fusion because I found the way he ran on all fours was creepy. It still creeps me out but yeah as a kid I was afraid. Also since it is Valentine's Day I thought this would be fitting considering the platonic relationship that our two kids are having in this story. Anywho, here's chapter 9 to which I could have titled in a joking manner: "Mandy, please calm down."


Hide & Seek - Chapter 9

Run.

It was the first thing that popped into her mind. It was the first thing that bounced around as one single thought, or as one instinct that was so primal that it was almost natural to have. The natural instinct to protect, and to protect the one person that mattered to her, even if there was a possibility that she might end up getting harmed herself.

...But that didn’t matter right now. All that mattered was keeping Billy out of that fusion’s acidic, green clutches.

Chipped fingernails pierced into the boy’s sweat-coated wrist, and the second Billy knew, his feet were staggering among the tiled floor, one foot constantly sliding in front of another, with his friend slamming the bottom ridges of her shoes on the floor so hard that they might as well start creating fissures in the shoes themselves, or that the strap that held them together might start slipping off, but there wasn’t an ounce of care in Ms. Doom and Gloom’s body. Runty was once again cupped into Billy’s arm, his head buried into his chest and armpit, and shivering from the terror of the situation alone, screaming so loud that maybe, perhaps somebody, can be alerted of what is going on, and it didn’t matter if it would pop an eardrum or not. The only thing that could be hoped for is if the running trio can be heard.

The preteens’ footsteps bounced off the clean stark white walls of the hallway, scraping off miniature fragments of their shoes while doing so, and despite there being still, air-conditioned air of the hallway that could bring chills down to one’s spine, the speed of their run nearly made Billy’s iconic red hat to be slipping off of his noggin, for Mandy’s bangs to cling onto her narrowed eyebrows and eyes, and for their clothes to be slapping against their skin, or even sticking against their skin due to cold sweat.

The fusion was not so far behind. Unlike Fusion Mandy, who would have her arms and her capability of floating to be a prime advantage to her pursuing, her comrade was a lot more different. A long trail of the bubbling extraterrestrial goop of fusion matter, sticking onto the tiled floors like honey, seeped out of the doppelganger’s footsteps with every single step he made. Of course, instead of bipedal movement, he rushed on his palms and feet on the floor, all fours like a mutt. Ear-splitting screeches were emitted from him, sounding a lot like Billy himself only filled with rage, distorted, and inhumane.

All ten talons of that monster’s claws tore up the waxed flooring of the hall, creating crescent dents in that would cause long lines of cracks to spread like a spider’s web. The feet were just the adding touch, as fusion matter bubbled and encircled the fusion with every single step it had. It was not uncommon for fusions to have eruption attacks, but this many? And on this floor? It would not be hard for Billy and Mandy to collapse from the floor and onto the next story floor of the building - and that was the one thing that Mandy would not want to happen.

It could have given that fusion doppelganger the advantage; to sweep them up when they’re down and vulnerable, and then... take the boy in his hands and run off with him. No, no. That will not happen. It can’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. It. Will not. Happen. Mandy would make sure of it; she had to.

Otherwise... then... then... she wouldn’t want to know what would be the outcome of that.

It wasn’t long until her sight trailed down each and every single corner of the hall, scanning for something that could be useful for either escape or defense. Any of those things would be beneficial, but it was not simple to do in the case of a medical facility. They weren’t required to have weaponry at all times, and that was the part that sucked the most. Though, it wasn’t long before, squinting past through the strands of her bangs, that she found something scrawled on the ceiling; the words that tell of a closet.

It wasn’t the best place to hide in, but it was bound to have some kind of thing, some kind of object that would be used for defense. Yeah, that could be it. That had to be it. It just had to be. It had to, it had to, it had to -

Curling her pale, twitchy fingers around the doorknob, she pushed Billy and Runty in without a second thought, her pupils ping ponging all over the small, nearly enclosed space for something, anything for some kind of defense. She could have wished she could have her baseball bat even if it was torn to shreds from the last fight, or Grim’s scythe, but just about anything had to be something that would put a dent into that fusion’s face.

It was then she grabbed a hold of a broom, locking her gaze with Billy’s own. She can see how moist his eyes were, how they were shaking, how his entire stature was trembling, and made her skin turn a little paler than how it usually is. It made her feel sick in her stomach, but she knew she had to stand her ground. If she were to lose her cool, then it would all be over.

“...Stay inside.” Her voice started to waver, but at this point, she doesn’t care.

She didn’t have a single chance to slam the door shut. She didn’t have the chance to turn on her heel and face the fusion, as the force of a horned bull slapped her face against the wall, the back of her head and her shoulder blades aching mercilessly from the creature that hurtled into her. She felt goopy fingers clasped onto each of her elbows, having her hold the wooden stick of the broom close to her abdomen.

The actual part of the broom that could gather dust was still sticking out, to which that was where Mandy started swatting it against the fusion, in hopes it would slip up somehow. There was no avail as the fusion started pressing harder, as thinking if thinking if she were to bonk her forehead against the wall, she would be knocked out and defenseless.

Though, she was smarter than that. She knew better what to do when seized. And thus the base of her kneecap touched the wall, and with all her might, she punted the back of her shoe into the fusion’s legs, causing him to collapse onto his back. That pulled the girl’s protective instincts into high gear, as she towered over the fusion and at once raised the broom over her head.

Her face was reddened, soaked with sweat from agitation and tension. She could have been mistaken for a tomato for how red it is, or if steam was puffing out of her ears. The redness reached to her ears, and it brightened the darkness of her eyes, causing the lights of the ceiling to glint her eyes, showing how glossy they’re becoming.

“You and your friend have bothered me for the last time!”

Billy couldn’t help but drop his jaw and blink a multitude of times, staring at his best friend for that statement alone. Of how it wasn’t monotone, of how it was filled with rage, and, at the same time, so raw with emotion that it almost hurt to hear. He wasn’t sure what to call what kind of emotion she was expressing, but he can see the way her eyes shimmered in the dark; of how they were shiny like glass.

Emotions were flooding in in a place where they shouldn’t be, and in a place where Mandy would not want them to be.

Specs of fusion matter were tossed up in the air the second the blonde smacked the broom onto Fusion Billy’s face, then the arms, legs, and the rest of the body. The same specs splattered onto her face, on her dress, on her legs, anywhere that is possible, but each hit, with each hit along with a scream, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough damage to the fusion, and that was what frightened the inseparable duo the most.

It frightened Billy more that Mandy just kept continuing, and continuing, as if there was some small hope that the fusion would become a pool of green goo, but it wasn’t possible. It made the movements of that broom hitting the fusion more erratic, more unfocused.

Clunk.

The wooden object was dropped to the floor, and Mandy fell alone with it, hot breaths pushing out of her gritted teeth. Her hands had markings from how hard she held the broom, but they were tightened into fists and without a moment of hesitation, she clung onto the fusion’s shoulder, nailing it down to the floor so she can allow her fists to do the talking.

Bruised knuckles rammed into the matter of the fusion, and it stung. It stung vigorously, and that same matter soaked into her skin like a sponge, creating black splotches on her arm, with some of them flaring in red due to damaged skin tissue. It won’t be long until wounds start to develop, but all Mandy could think of is destroying this fusion, and going after her counterpart.

All she could think about is keeping Billy from them. She doesn’t care what happens to her.

...But Billy does. He wouldn’t want to imagine life without his best friend. As much as he doesn’t want to be dragged off with the fusion, he doesn’t want to see his friend endangering herself either. It tugged on his heartstrings like strings of a harp with every single scream that was emitted from his friend’s mouth, and that was when he clamped a hand onto his Nanocom, hoping that he could reach someone. Anyone.

“Help! My fusion is after me and Mandy! Numbuh 5! Professor! Help!”

Tears sprung to his eyes as he came out of the closet, causing Runty to whimper in fear of what could possibly happen. A hand clutched onto Mandy’s left shoulder, hoping to reel her away from the fusion so that they could escape and get some help. It wouldn’t be any good for them to defend themselves, especially with one of them injured from the get-go.

“Mandy! STOP!” He pulled and pulled, but not once did the girl budge. He tried again, with desperation now striking his tone. “Mandy, we gotta get out of here! We - we can’t fight this fusion all by ourselves! Mandy!”

All of his words flowed from one ear and out the other. The punching still occurred. Mandy’s hands and wrists were coated with fusion matter, and some bits of that matter are on her cheeks, and soaking into her bangs and hairdo. Her pupils have dilated so much that there are now the size of dots, and her mouth was curled into a mix between a scowl and a smirk, like she was taking pleasure in pummeling the fusion, even if it hasn’t been smashed to goop yet.

All of that pleasure could have been all the pent-up emotions that were locked up inside of her during this whole time. All of that paranoia, all of that stress, all of that anger, and all of that pain. It wasn’t going to stop until they were pushed out, and now they are flowing out like molten rock. It was something that Billy wished that she could have done when talking with him, but now... now it’s happening, and it won’t stop until it fissiles out.

A green glow illuminated her face, and her eyebrows slowly raised to her forehead. Her jaw dropped, and she didn’t have the chance to breathe, to move, to do anything as a bubbling circle wrapped around both her, Billy, and the fusion all at once. Fusion matter was pulled up like a geyser, and while Mandy took the brunt of it, both her and Billy were knocked back from the force of it, both of them down on the floor.

The broom that was used for defense was shredded to pieces. There was no more defense, if there ever was one at all. What made it worse was that both of them were hit by an eruption attack, and from what was seen from fusion fighters, they can take a lot of damage.

It has gotten Mandy to have her back smacking against the wall, and eventually planting her face onto the floor, her arms splayed in front of her and slow, rigid breaths were felt in front of her face from how her face is practically glued to the floor. Her fingers twitched, which gave Billy relief that she hasn’t passed out yet from exhaustion, but it was still concerning as his friend was injured before.

Unlike her, however, he was not hit from the attack. Bruises were peppered on his arms and one bump was on his nose, but despite his muscles were screaming at him from the pain, from the soreness, he hauled himself up, seeing that the fusion started crawling towards him. Before anything else, he ran into the closet and grabbed a hold of his imaginary friend, tossing him at the fusion in hopes that something, anything could work.

“See how you like it!”

Jagged jaws snapped onto the arm of the fusion, piercing hard and aggressively. Molecules of the fusion matter that created the arm started evaporating in the air like rain under the hot sun, and it vanished without a single trace, leaving the fusion with just one arm left and for Runty to be plopping on the floor.

With the lift of her head, Mandy couldn’t believe what she had just witnessed right in front of her eyes. Blinking past the water that filled her eyes, the rage-induced tears that streamed down her cheeks, she blinked a couple of times, but it has made her brain just hatch an idea. She directed her gaze towards Billy, nodding.

Billy looked from her towards the fusion, and a smirk formed on his face, getting the picture. He held his thumb and index finger together, snapping them. Runty’s head reared over in a snap. With Billy’s eyes glittering in determination, he pointed towards the fusion clone.

“Sic ‘em, boy!”

An elated screech emitted from the imaginary friend, and without a moment to waste, he bit the ankles of the fusion, dissipating them, and having the fusion give out a girlish kind of scream, the same kind of scream that Billy would have in front of Jeff or of clowns. The doppelganger splattered onto the ground, now disintegrating into nothingness by Runty.

It was a small miracle. It was the kind of miracle that got Billy to drop onto his knees, and for him to hold his arms out so that Runty can bury himself in. He rubbed his face with the face of the false fusion, not caring for getting tears on the pet. He scooted over towards his friend, holding her by the shoulders and having him rest on his own shoulders. What he didn’t account for was that she positioned herself against his chest, and soaked his shirt with the remnants of her tears.

He wasn’t sure what he could hear from her, whether it was harsh breathing or something else entirely, but he can see the way her shoulders shook. He can see the way these shakes wracked her entire body. He clung an arm around her and brought her close, rubbing his hand up and down her back.

She didn’t need to say what she’s feeling, because Billy can already tell what it is.

A small ding echoed off into their eardrums, causing them to perk their heads upward to see a towering, looming figure coming out of the elevator. From the figure, it appeared to be as tall as reaching the ceiling of the hallway, but there was one thing that can be identified much more differently compared to a fusion fighter or a companion: That sharp, delicate scythe.

While a smile spread across the male’s face, the female scrunched her face in pain, like there were knots forming in her stomach, and becoming as gnarled as twisted tree branches. It was that sixth-sense acting up again, and the source of it seemed to be coming from... the scythe-wielder. Was it just her or... their bony friend wasn’t blabbering on and on in worry?

“Oh my gosh, Grim! You wouldn’t believe what happened! My fusion came here and attacked us! It - it was so scary! I don’t think I ever seen it -”

Billy paused the second his friend dug her fingernails into his shirt. She was getting tense again. “Mandy? What’s wro-”

“That’s not him.”

“What?”

“That’s not Grim.”

The robed figure came closer, and from the artificial lighting of the lights on the ceiling, the one thing that can decipher a fusion doppelganger from the real thing was the mushy green skin and the glaring red eyes. A grin came from the fusion, lifting the scythe as it reached closer and closer towards them.

Without a second thought, Mandy yanked Billy’s shirt and started for them to make a run for it again, and just like the previous fusion, this one wasn’t so far behind in following.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 10:26:26 AM »
Herrre we go, guys! It's chapter ten time and while this is a tad shorter than the last one, I hoped its served well as an intense chapter all around. This chapter is what I'm gonna call the tail end of the first arc (or part one) of this story, and the next chapter will start the second arc. Speaking of this chapter, I'll be honest with you this chapter almost drove me to tears because of the emotions alone. Anywho, here's chapter ten!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 10

It all had to take a turn for the worst.

It could have been just the friendly face of the reaper. It could have been the accented voice that would have had a string of concerned words, wavering and collapsing on one word after another, but it couldn’t have been that. No sense of security or safety, because, as much as the reaper’s best friends wished to see him, there was no way to have that happen. The hospital just had to be far away from Orchid Bay. That wasn’t the least of their worries now.

Now that another lackey of Mandy’s fusion clone has appeared, and this time, there is no definite answer as to them succeeding, to defeating the fusion, to escaping the hospital. It was not something that one could have an optimistic viewpoint on, and Mandy was not willing to let herself stand there and find out.

Fusion matter drenched fingers curled into the collar of Billy’s shirt, and once again, they started running. Running, running, and running. It was all they have been doing since that stupid fusion and her stupid plans decided to make them prime targets. It had to be stopped somehow. Maybe Dexter has an explanation. About if fusions have enough sentience to be this determined to pursue their organic counterpart. Kidnapping their organic counterparts was common, so there has to be a connection somewhere, right?

It didn’t matter. None of that mattered right now, as nothing but terror striking their hearts and adrenaline flowing through their veins. Pain jabbed in the backs of their skinny legs, making running a much harder feat than it needs to be. It was much harder to find another place to hide, for Billy to hide, or a place that could have any kind of weaponry. It still bothered Mandy that no one ever came to the conclusion that maybe that someone needs to defend themselves from a fusion crashing into the hospital. That would be a pleasant conversation to have with the staff here - if she were to make it through this, of course.

Curled tendrils of the fusion’s robe followed them like eight tentacles of an octopus, as if it was a better alternative than moving by foot. It could have been similar to Fusion Mandy’s levitation, but it was not at all the same time. The fusion skeleton’s bony hands reached out, slamming the end of the scythe against the tiled floor, and missing the duo by a few centimeters. The same process kept occurring, and it was enough to provoke the fusion to speak, unlike the previous one.

“What’s da matter, children? It’s your old pal, here to save you...”

It wasn’t convincing, but it was chilling. A hitched breath escaped from Mandy, and a scream was suppressed by Billy. It just dawned on them then that... that the fusion is right about something. Their supernatural friend who has saved them time and again by the skin of their teeth is not here to save them... not this time. They have to go about this alone. Alone. It just had to be alone. They just had to be alone. That is exactly what Fusion Mandy wanted and as much as Mandy hated to admit it, her doppelganger was clever with these attacks. The attack at Billy’s house was a set-up; this is the real kicker.

This is where that plan of hers has really launched.

The corridors of the halls became like an endless loop. With each turn, it came to the same doors, the same rooms, the same descriptions of rooms, and it didn’t help that the darkness irritated the eyesight of the children. It didn’t help that they were already exhausted and harmed already. It didn’t help that eventually, eventually, they would come across a dead end.

With each step, the blonde found herself slipping again. Several times the soles of her shoes slipped across the waxed floor, and despite how she caught herself from sheer vigilance, she was getting progressively slower. Long, harsh breaths flowed out of her in a flurry, and there were times, if her friend were to squint, she can be seen sticking her tongue out like a man marooned in a desert. Her grip was loosening, and she blinked at an occasion or two, and the redheaded boy came to the conclusion that Mandy, once again, has a possibility of passing out. And although wishing the best for her, wishing that she can get more rest, Billy can’t have this be the one thing that will stop him. He can’t have this be the one thing that will get him captured.

And, as soon as they reached one more hall, the girl lost her footing, and would have hit her head on the floor with a skid if it weren’t for Billy taking the immediate approach to take a hold of her shoulders, scooping up her legs, and charging down the hall. The scrapping sound of a scythe hitting against the floor filled his ears, and that could only mean that they missed the hit from the fusion from a hair.

“...Billy?” Oh, how Mandy hated the sound of her voice right now. It sounded like she has just swallowed sandpaper. The lights of the ceiling became nothing but a blurry, colored mess, and dark spots began to polkadot her vision. It was clear to her that her energy is running out, and it was not just by her eyes fluttering, or how they look as flat as pebbles. “You... you idiot. Don’t you... don’t you realize if you do this, you’re gonna get -”

Billy shook his head in protest. The corners of his lips pulled into a frown, and his little pet mirrored his expression. It was the silly look of a local not-so-bright boy becoming motivated, and becoming motivated to the point of becoming stubborn. Maybe a little too stubborn. It was hard to knock him down when he’s like this, but at this point, anything like this could be needed. “I’m not lettin’ you get anymore hurt because of me!”

That caused Mandy to straighten her back as well as she could when carried, and her eyes were sparked back to life from that statement alone. Her weak voice could have sounded sad, but it was just out of astonishment, out of confusion and other mixed emotions. This was just like the conversation back at the house, only this time, this only seemed to be worse. “...Billy-”

“No! You saved my behind now I’m gonna save yours!”

This was something she has hardly ever seen from Billy. That motivation, that determination, that protective behavior. It was so strange of her to see, to see it and see it actually happening, but at the same time, it hurt. It hurt just as much as that eruption attack she got hit from before. It might have hit more. It just felt like someone had come into her tiny, tiny heart and... and gave it a sense of emotion. An emotion of fear, of worry, or anything else. It felt so strange, gosh it felt so strange. It felt ugly, sickening, downright nauseating, but at the same time, it felt like it was special.

Like someone truly cared for her well being. Huh.

A finger encrusted by fusion matter gingerly touched the boy’s hardened face, and it was by then that Endsville’s feared little girl cupped the local idiot’s cheek, her usually narrowed eyebrows creasing up a little, and a frown of sympathy and melancholy formed on her face. She allowed him to see it for just a single second before digging her face into his shoulder.

“Don’t... don’t feel like you have to save me. You should only worry about yourself.”

Billy thought that could have been it. The straw that was the final straw to Mandy’s emotional stability; the fissure that broke the emotional walls, but it could have been the exhaustion too. Whatever the case was, he felt that something was different. Something has changed, and he isn’t sure if he is ready to see that change.

It all caused him to tighten his grip and continue running, running enough that his toes are starting to sting, to feel like they might peek out from the tips of his shoes, to feel like he could have tripped over one of his feet, and then it would all be over. It can’t be something that he would allow himself to let it happen. His best friend meant so much to him that it would be a nightmare if things were to go wrong. He can’t let his... he can’t let his sister down.

The distance from the elevator door was coming in closer, and it would only be a matter of time until he can press the button, or if he would fail and lose everything. Maybe he could have Runty do another barrage of attacks just like he did on his fusion double, but the poor little guy was tired too. All three of them are tired, but Fusion Grim wasn’t. Fusion Grim was still chasing them, hot on their tails. It’s awful that fusions can’t get tired, but that was one advantage they have over organic lifeforms... sadly.

Turning back on the heels of his feet, Billy slammed his back into the cold metal of the closed elevator doors, and jammed his thumb into the button to open the doors. One time, two times, three times, four times he pressed. Each press felt more and more painful, and becoming more and more frantic once the fusion reaper appeared closer and closer, its tendrils of its robe crawled towards the boy, and locked eyes with him.

Cold, red eyes, ones that lacked a soul and filled with nothing but destruction pierced into Billy’s own like an arrow, and even though that Billy is sweating, that he’s trembling to the bone, that he’s holding Mandy closer and closer to his chest, he will not allow the fusion to do anything to the person that’s closest to him. He won’t allow it to happen. He won’t, he won’t, he won’t -

“You’re not gettin’ yer filthy hands on her!”

The fusion grinned in response, nearly tapping the end of his scythe against Billy’s massive nose. A distorted laugh came from him, which caused all of Billy’s bravado to vanish at an instant. “Oh, I have nuthin’ ta do with her. You, on da other hand...”

A bony hand reached for the collar of the boy’s shirt. Seconds that ticked by felt like long, daunting hours as the hand inched closer and closer, enough to grab a hold of that shirt, and enough for this to be over. Billy pressed himself harder against the elevator, his bottom lip trembling, and his finger that was on the button remained on that button. It was like time stopped, or that the dread of this situation is making it feel that way.

A ding jolted both of them, and the slide in doors opened, causing the boy to fall on his butt, clinging onto his friend for dear life, clinging onto Runty for dear life, before the doors finally closed in on him. He was now in the enclosed space of the elevator, and the long line of buttons determined where he should go next. Maybe the first floor, as that could be the one way to escape, but where can he go next? City Station was a vast city, and there could only be so many places to go before Fusion Mandy and her lackeys chase them again.

Oh, what to do... what to do...

Tears started welling up in his eyes again, and the one thing that can provide him comfort is holding his friend close despite her being unconscious. He sniffled, looking at that pale face of hers, and intertwined one of their hands together, squeezing it reassuringly.

“I’m not lettin’ him hurt you.”

Bang. Bang bang.

His eyes flickered up to the ceiling. The noise seemed like it was coming from there, but what could it be? It couldn’t have been Fusion Grim, now couldn’t it? No, no, it couldn’t be. He was probably trailing down all the stairs just to chase him, right? Yeah, that had to be it. Yeah, yeah. There was nothing to worry about as long as he’s stuck in here. Yeah.

Bang. Bang!

Clawed fingers peeked through the ceiling. A pair of hands gripped each end of the ceiling, and prying it open like it could have been opened easily with a crowbar, but those hands looked familiar. No way they were Fusion Grim’s. The metal screeched the more the fusion clawed in, and with one reach, it plucked the ends of Billy’s shirt, causing the poor lad to struggle and drop his friend on the floor. At least by that, it would mean the smallest of miracles that she would be safe from this.

The face he encountered was a lot like the one he was trying to save, but it was all green and had a cruel smirk on her face. If fusions had teeth, her teeth would be as sharp as a shark’s. Glee was already on the fusion’s face, and a delighted chuckle emitted from her, which got Billy to be quaking in his shoes.

“...Did you miss me? Because I sure missed you.”

With one more pull, Billy and Runty are now caught in Fusion Mandy’s clutches, and now, with all the fear that Billy must be having right now, he would have rather left Mandy there, and left her to be safe rather than for her to be captured along with him.

That would mean that maybe, despite the odds, she would find him and rescue him.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2020, 11:45:54 AM »
And thus, we begin the second arc. The second arc is where things fall apart for our spooky kids, along with them reflecting on their separation. Some chapters will focus on Billy's POV and some will focus on Mandy's POV, along with other characters (I have yet to explain why Numbuh 5 wasn't there to protect Billy and Mandy from Fusion Billy and Fusion Grim's attack, but don't worry, it's coming). You're also gonna see some insight from our main antagonist; Fusion Mandy. Now, with that out of the way, here's the beginning of the second arc... chapter eleven!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 11

“...Bring him here.”

A distorted, monotone voice scraped against the long, harsh walls of rock that seemed to close in on three figures, two of them completely outlined in bright green while the third one was struggling in the bony hands of the tallest fusion, his legs thrashing and kicking up miniature clouds of dust that did nothing but irritate his eyes. All of that thrashing and kicking and whatnot wasn’t enough for the boy to escape, and it was even harder to do because he has the imaginary fusion buried in his arms. It didn’t matter if the attempts made him gather more bruises on his arms; all that mattered was that Runty was secured in his hold.

He can deal with a good amount of pain, but Runty? Oh, he wouldn’t want to imagine what these fusions would do to Runty... especially the fusion clone of his best friend. Just by locking his beady eyes with her, he cannot help but feel like his insides were wrung out like a wet rag every time he can see her and think of Mandy. Oh, Mandy. That name clung onto Billy’s brain like a tick, and it wouldn’t be so simple to flick that name off of his mind. It made his heart ache and it ached raw and hard and vigorously. If he wasn’t holding onto his pet, he would have clutched his heart as if the emotional pain was equal to physical - or even more so.

He can listen to the way Runty whimpered, his slimy exterior rubbing against his arms, and it felt much like a slimy substance, but not enough for it to gather in the little hairs on his arms or on anything else. He knew he had some specs of fusion matter on his shirt, both from Mandy and her fusion grabbing him in her grasp, and now by Fusion Grim. Just by staring at the fuchsia, pupiless eyes of the counterparts of his dearest friends ushered him to swallow a lump in his throat, and to ignore a cold wind running down his spine, as to not make any sudden movements that would have him lose his grip on Runty.

He kept his ears in tune with anything these fusions have to say, though. He may not be good with escape plans, but listening when he has his attention set can be useful. Maybe he can get some further insight into Fusion Mandy and of her motives. After all, despite the extraterrestrial copy being so different from his friend, there were some similarities as well. Ones that could be hard enough to crack.

With one careless pull, the grip on him was loosened and his massive nose was met with the ground, and he could have sworn some pebbles might have slipped into his nostrils, but it didn’t bother him as much as he propped his back against the wall, his bottom lip pulled out forward as he frowned at the monsters that have put him here. The look could have been mutual, if it wasn’t for the way the fusion female stood there like she was some unbreakable statue.

Her clawed fingers were intertwined with one another. The tips of them were dripping small droplets of fusion matter, to which have made a nearby blade of grass wilt immediately at the contact. The hands were behind her back, and her stance was straightened, her chin was raised high, and her piercing gaze sunk straight into the boy’s soul, like she can go right ahead and pluck it from him as if it was nothing.

“...William.” The distortion lingered in her voice, but it was not as strong as it was before. The apathetic tone overlapped it, becoming higher than the distortion itself, making her voice almost as identical as her counterpart. She didn’t seem as wild as she was before, with stretching out her limbs like some rubberhouse cartoon, but that calmness could have just been a mask. All masks have some kind of way of tearing them off, don't they?

“You sure have a way of getting your butt handed to you, didn’t you? Are you proud of yourself?” A brow of hers was quirked, having a hint of amusement to it. A ghost of a smile appeared on her face, and it was far from welcoming. “You lead yourself into my trap, like a mouse going after some cheese. You did the exact thing I wanted you to do. The exact thing your precious friend worried about. Are you happy now?”

Her shoes slid across the ground, forming tiny pools of corrosive fusion matter in her wake, and tainting the land with every single step she has, as she moved closer and closer towards Endsville’s bumbling goof, kneeling down to him to the point that her knees are touching the floor and her face was only an inch away from him. It was strange to see that the fusion didn’t contain bags under her eyes like Mandy, but it could have been the fact that fusions don’t get tired. Fusions don’t get exhausted. If fusions were like their counterparts, having flesh and blood, then they would have the peak performance of health.

Though, if that could have been true, then... What about their mentality?

“...But don’t worry, William.” A clawed finger lightly tapped on his nose, and it has gotten his shoulders to shiver from the contact. “Your best friend is right here. It is me... Mandy. Your one and only best friend.” Fusion Mandy’s lips spread out so wide that they were hardly visible, showing the grin that was so long that it could be touching each of her ears. If she were to have pupils, they would have been dilated enough that they could have been dots of red.

A lung-draining gasp emitted from Billy, and he bonked his elbows against the rocky interior of the cave walls, hastily slapping his knees against his chest as if to guard his heart or to guard Runty. He had never felt so cold under the eyes of this fusion, and it wasn’t the fact that she’s so close to him. No, it was that she started smiling. It was that she did something he couldn’t imagine even on Mandy’s face, and it... it was something he thought he could only see in twisted nightmares.

His head shook, and he glared in defiance despite how much his chest rattled from terror. “You... you aren’t Mandy. Mandy would never smile. She would never ever smile. And she doesn’t call me William either!” He said it so with a huff, turning his head away so he can steer his sight clear from that awful, awful smile.

That smile dissipated just as it was made, but a smirk worked its way to Fusion’s Mandy’s face. Her eyes were the shape of daggers, but instead of uncontrollable rage, it was from amusement, and she demonstrated it with a hardly audible hum. It was so fascinating to see the way this made her pathetic counterpart tick, and it was enjoyable, more enjoyable than having to deal with Fusion Billy who only responded with grunts, snarls, and growls. Hmm... maybe she could have Fuse create another Fusion Billy again, just to mess with her counterpart again, but then again... why bother when she has the real deal right into her palm?

She tapped her chin, stretching out her hand as to touch the bony structure of her prisoner’s face, as to direct his gaze back to her. It was a peculiar kind of structure to her, but she figured that was just the skeleton that was hidden underneath. Fusions never had skeletons, and it showed in the way they can instantly be melted into goop. They didn’t need skeletons to hold themselves together or give them strength, as they can easily adapt and learn from each battle they face. It made it more enjoyable in a sense, at least to Fusion Mandy that is.

She wouldn’t want to end up like her poor, unfortunate counterpart who is bedridden in the hospital. Though, seeing her in such a disheveled state made that little sneak attack fun. She could have wished that Mandy would have been conscious when she grabbed Billy. It would have been nice to see her so desperate and having a lack of control.

Now here she is, Fusion Mandy, completely in control of the situation. It’s such a nice feeling.

“But I am Mandy. Can’t you tell by the horns? Can’t you tell by the dress? I mean, are you too stupid to see me for what I am or are you just denying the truth? Are you denying that one day, there would only be one Mandy?”

That was enough to reel Billy back in, and his head snapped back to her. His jaw was clenched, and his teeth gritted from the tension. Suddenly, the room appeared to be much colder than it was before to him, and he could have sworn that the warmth from the embrace he has on Runty has become as cold as a pillar of solid ice. The fusion spawn in his hands spouted out an inhumane shriek, as if he was barking like a dog and threatening to bite the fusion.

It was something that no matter how he could have reheard it, on how he could rewind it and played it in his head, on how the words echoed off in the quietest parts of his mind, he found something about those words to be... off. Like that they didn’t sound natural. Like they sounded less like an emotionless minion would say and more like a frustrated human would say. It was something that Billy wished he could have Mandy here with him, so that she can piece the puzzle better than he ever could, but still... it didn’t sound right.

He continued to have his brows furrowing, having Runty be pressed against his cheek. If this fusion who believes to be his best friend dared to come any closer, then she would have to deal with missing her fingers when Runty is done with her. A growl came from Runty, and looking eager to go ahead and fight once again.

“There is only one Mandy, and you are not her.”

The fusion clone stood absolutely still in her tracks at that statement alone. Her acidic fingertips were removed from the human’s face, and collapsed right into her lap. Her other hand clasped over that one, and her claws pierced into her hands, but since she is made out of fusion matter, that didn’t do any amount of pain to them. Her mouth scrunched up into a scowl, an all too familiar scowl, and if it wasn’t for the fact that Runty is with this prisoner, than she would have cleaned the boy’s clock in no time.

Instead, her form hovered, floating away from Billy and landing her feet in the same position that she had encountered him beforehand. No longer was her calm demeanor present, but she knew better than to have her fusion matter boil and to allow herself to get her fingers caught into Runty’s mouth. Instead of allowing her perfect fingers to be disintegrated, she straightened herself yet again and cleared her throat, her eyes becoming more hooded than round.

“I am her fusion, however. That doesn’t mean that she is going scott free from all of this. Soon, she would never have to worry about herself or others, since I will be taking her spot. And I will take that from her.”

She soon departed from Billy, who blinked rapidly and continued to stare at her, as if becoming utterly transfixed by what had just occurred. He has never seen this fusion become so... angry before. In fact, he doesn’t think he has ever seen an actual fusion be so angry before. It made him wonder what exactly made her so angry and got under her skin.

And that was the thing: Why was this fusion so determined to become like her counterpart?

It didn’t matter to Billy much. All he could do now is to keep Runty close to him, to keep him safe and secure, and to keep himself safe from what Fusion Mandy has in store for him.

All he could hope for is that Mandy wouldn’t end up anymore harmed in the process.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2020, 02:49:48 PM »
Hello everyone! This chapter took a while to post, but it was more or less because I have some personal stuff going on and it has been really rough on me. Doing this chapter was kind of like a way of coping it out but also describing Mandy's feelings on Billy's disappearance. Mandy might break character a bit here and there, and I try to keep it in-character as much as I could, but I figure she might break a bit due to the context of the story. Anywho, this is chapter twelve; enjoy!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 12

It has been hours. Several hours. The exact time was twelve hours, to be more precise. One half of a whole day has been cleaved off by the process of time. Two thinned, hardly visible to the naked eye that you would have to lean forward and squint to the point your eyes are barely open, hands have crawled among the clock in the hospital room.

The object, that single object that can fill in for bystanders to know what time it is (when the clock is set at the right time, of course), was hanging on the wall by a single nail that is drilled into the wall. If the door to the room was slammed shut, that clock would crash onto the tiled floor. Not that it would make any kind of difference. All tiny, insignificant shards of glass would scatter among the floor, and it would reflect on the artificial lights that are on top of the ceiling. It might even reflect on the normally feared, stoic preteen that is nailed on the top of her mattress.

Each of her eyes never drifted away from the ticking clock. It didn’t matter how long it has been. It could have been minutes, hours, or even more so that she has not looked at anything other than that clock. It’s kind of funny, considering, to her, that the concept of time is nothing more but an illusion. That it was just something that the people of this planet rely on to do their responsibilities and attend to their duties. And now, she is relying on that clock on the one person who has been taken from her.

The universe has a cruel sense of irony. A laugh would have slipped from her lips if she ever laughed before. It was not in her nature to do so. It was not in her nature to be anybody but a stronghold. It was not in her nature to express pain, or sadness, or anxiety. And yet, a melting pot of emotions that she has never allowed herself to feel are pouring out, bubbling and acidic.

A sigh was pushed out of her lungs, causing her to grit her teeth and wince while doing so. The damage from the eruption attack has stung and still stung in the worst of ways. Adhesive, medical bandages were once again curled among her arms, from her fingertips all the way to her elbows. It was mostly from the way she pummeled that fusion doppelganger of her close friend and has gotten fusion matter to drench her hands. It was a surprise that none of her hands have gotten burned from that, but that didn’t matter to her in any other way.

That fusion. That dreaded fusion whose facial features looked all too similar to her friend. Her childhood friend. Her friend that was snatched by her own fusion double, leaving her to be abandoned in the elevator. Leaving her injured, unconscious body in the elevator. Leaving her without knowing that his friend has been taken away from her.

A hand of bandaged fingers curled among the silky covers of the bedsheet, trembling like a leaf carried in gale-force winds. Each of her fingers might have had chipped fingernails, but they’re sharp enough to start peeking holes into the cover. The memory of how her eyes fluttered open, of her being found by the same Kids Next Door operative that she hated, was not a pleasant one. It was one that she had let her pride crumble, and crumble into billions of pieces that she doesn’t have time to pick up.

She recalled the questions clearly. Questions that were all mingled together mushed together, and when they managed to break through her stupor, to be drilled into her head, her eyes have become round the second that she noticed that something was missing. No... someone was missing.

How her vocal cords ached with each scream she lurched at the others, and of how her own questions, despite being raspy and husky, were filled with the type of urgency that sounded foreign on her tongue. She recalled how she feverishly tore out of someone’s grip, slapping her face against the hard floor of the elevator, and how that one name kept spilling out of her lips.

‘Where is he? What happened? Did she take him?’ That was the most she can recall from that before becoming unconscious once again, and it wasn’t her proudest moment. It made her screw her eyes shut, and drag a bandaged palm down her face. It rested over her eyes as if concealing them from the rest of the world. It... almost seemed peaceful, but the thought of her friend, the one thought of her friend appearing in her mind, disintegrated the peace all at once.

The fact that Billy has gone missing... it made something coil inside of Mandy’s stomach. It made her feel like she had swallowed an anvil or something. Made her feel nauseous and uneasy at the same time. It made her fingertips lose all of their warmth and so all that could ever be felt from her chubby fingers was just the cold.

She tried to ignore it.

It's so hard to feel when you don’t want to feel. It's so hard that you would want to lock all of your feelings in a safe and store it all away. It’s so hard that no matter what, no matter how she would want to feel numbness, some sort of feeling would gush out. It made her want to grip onto the edges of her hairdo, to dig her teeth into her bottom lip in frustration, and would want to punch something.

Anything, anything, anything. She would love to punch anything. It was the only thing she can think of to do. To regain some of that emotional strength back. She wouldn’t want to admit it, but it hurts. It is painful. Painful enough that she can’t describe. It would steal the air from her lungs. It would have her want to keep herself locked inside her room. It would want her to deny it all. Deny, deny, deny. Denying about her feelings was the only thing she could do for now on.

Not until she knows about her fusion’s whereabouts. Not until she is aware that Billy is safe.

“...I’m here to see her. All I know is that she is going to be mad at me. And I don’t blame her.”

The voice made her teeth grind. It made her blood boil. It made her clench the silky covers of the bed into her trembling fists. It made a pang in her chest strengthen, and it was painful enough that she had to lay completely straight in her bed to avoid feeling sick. That voice came from Numbuh 5, and she couldn’t believe that this KND operative is here when she should have been here last night.

It took every single ounce of her willpower not to remove herself from the bed and sock the operative right into her jaw. She wanted to pin the blame on her. She wanted to scream at her. She wanted to yell at her. She wanted to put all of her anger out on her. She wanted to tell her that this is all her fault. That it’s all her fault that she didn’t come here to help her, to help her friend. She wanted to. Gosh, she really wanted to. She wanted to give her the kind of pain she is expressing right now, and yet...

She couldn’t.

Because... how would Abigail know that the fusion showed up here? It was not like Abigail is an all-knowing being. It was not like she would know how this would happen, but... she promised to protect her and Billy. She promised them and now... now all there is left is only pain and suffering. That is all there is to it.

Hands of hers were clasped into her lap, and they were shaking. They were shaking and shaking to the point that they must have felt numb over time. Her bangs hung over her eyes like a curtain, now concealing the half of her face. Not one tear dribbled down her cheeks, but the more her body hunched over, the smaller she looked. The more vulnerable she looked.

She wasn’t sure what was going on right at this second. All she can safely say is that now she would rather welcome the silence than anything else right now. Now, if one were to open the door by a bit, Abigail would see that she is now at her most vulnerable moment. Figures.

It seemed to be that way too when the ear-splitting crack of the door occurred, and a long, braided ponytail bounced off of the intruder’s figure. The door closed, and she sunk deeper into the mattress as if hoping it would devour her.

“Hey.”

Her rival invited herself in and sat at the end of the bed. Her soft fingers gingerly brushed against her calloused ones.

“I know. You don’t want to talk to me.”

It wasn’t entirely true. All she wanted was to scream into the void. To scream at her.

“I’m sorry. I really am.”

Her head raised upward. Her bloodshot eyes creased and contained all of the venomous anger that she has been bottling in for the past few minutes. Her fingernails dug into her palms, and she was so close towards the operative that their noses could have been touching.

“Then why weren’t you here? Why didn’t you bother coming here when this happened? Why weren’t you here for me and Billy like you said you were!?”

Her words cut deep, and it wasn’t like Numbuh 5 was unaware of that. Though, despite the outburst, despite how the words that were thrown were losing their energy bit by bit, and with how the younger girl looked like she is going to explode from emotions alone, Numbuh 5 rested her hands right on top of her shoulders. She didn’t care for what consequence she was gonna get for it.

“Listen...” She said it with a hint of urgency as if to activate the vigilant part of the girl’s mind. “I wanted to come here. I wanted to save him. But... while it was happening, while you were attacked by her lackeys, Fusion Mandy sneaked on me...”

The preteen’s hands dropped to her sides. An unreadable expression was drawn onto her face, but it was easy to tell that there is a hint of surprise within them. “...What?”

A deep breath was made, and for all Numbuh 5 knew, she had to explain everything, and so she did.

SpaceWonder368

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Re: Hide & Seek (Chapter fic)
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2020, 10:52:14 PM »
Oh my goodness, it has been a while since I have uploaded a chapter. So sorry about that folks! I have been through a tough time for a while, and I have gotten some writer's block from writing this story (to a point where I was unsure if I should continue it or not). But, since there is news of a new update coming, I have gotten some inspiration and motivation to finally write another chapter. This one is actually the longest chapter I have written from this story, so I hope this was worth the wait! And also, as a recap, this is a flashback chapter showing what happened to Numbuh 5 and why she wasn't there to save Billy and Mandy in chapters 9 and 10. Enjoy!


Hide & Seek - Chapter 13

An incredibly thin, almost paper glass-like test tube has been perched on top of the counter, and within it contained an acidic, venomous green liquid that has been sloshing inside of it for the past few minutes. That same substance has been placed in a glass casing and being monitored under a microscope, still contained but it appeared to be attempting to seep through the cracks of the petri dish, like the entirety of that one little fragment of that liquid is still sentient and hoping for an escape.

A continuous, long string of words have zoomed across the massive screen of the laboratory and drenching the short boy genius in a blue luminescence. He didn’t appear to look so hot. Strands of orange curls were poking out from his usually perfect hairdo. Beads of cold sweat have trailed down the sides of his head, including his cheeks. Hairline lines have spread from the corners of his eyes, looking like a pair of spider webs and it was enough to see how this whole war has not only aged him but has changed him in more ways than one.

An exhausted sigh staggered out from his lips as his eyes scanned over the details of his discovery. He followed through every detail twice and added a third time to make sure he isn’t misinterpreting it nor misreading it. All the details were composed in the DNA structure, the source of the substance, and where it could all have originated from to combine into such a matter. It didn’t mean it was any less concerning, however.

ORIGIN - PLANET FUSION.

SOURCE - FUSION MATTER.

DNA STRUCTURE - 95% MATCH TO ORIGINAL COUNTERPART.

That pair of sky blue eyes have widened behind the sleek, polished blue-tinted glasses that have become crooked on the teenager’s nose, and those said eyes could have popped right out his skull at the last line of information alone. Each of his pupils has gone from left to right at that last line, fluttering his eyelashes as to blink once, twice, and perhaps a third time to make certain that he isn’t misinterpreting or misreading the information given to him.

With gloved fingers curling among the thin edge of the keyboard, he can conclude that the result was still the same.

95% match the original counterpart. The fusion doppelganger in question is a 95% match to its original counterpart; its organic counterpart. This was not normal. Usually, fusion copies would have at least fifty percent of their counterparts, as to have some form of identity to make them similar to the ones they resemble, but not one to stray too far away from the fusion hivemind.

This... this was an exception and, at the same time, nearly impossible. Never has a fusion contain so much DNA of the one they were created after. This kind of blend cannot be stable, and it could perhaps be more unstable than any kind of nano as well. The strands of DNA connected to that fusion had to be too much, and so much so it might be affected in such a manner that...

That the fusion might be more sentient than they thought.

Dexter pressed one finger against his nanocom and dialed the contact in no time flat. The person that was on the nanocom was none other than Numbuh 5, the operative that has been ordered to protect the ones who are in danger from this fusion. He was uncertain if she would be awake right now, but he’s going to have to try.

After clearing his throat, he raised the nanocom to be under his chin, and muttered in his accented breath, “Ms. Lincoln, I think we have a problem.”

There came a distinct noise from the other end, and the shuffling of some objects was heard, along with a guttural groan that gave the genius enough information that his partner had just gotten up. There came a long pause before he could hear a single “What?”

Dexter cleared his throat again, pressing his gloved knuckles to his chapped lips. “It turns out our little fusion of a mistress is more like our little mistress than we thought.” All he can listen to at the other end was just the chirping of crickets, so he could assume it was confusion. “What I mean to say is... Fusion Mandy is a lot more like Mandy than we thought... so much so that the DNA structure is nearly identical.”

At the other end, the sounds of bed covers being tossed from the mattress can be heard, along with the screeching of bed strings. “Hold on... you’re sayin’ that this fusion... is almost an identical twin to her?”

The ginger massaged one of his fingers against his nose as if softening the mark that is almost permanent on there due to his glasses, but the massaging was also because of frustration. A huff escaped from him. “Precisely. It’s... no wonder why a constant cat and mouse situation are going on with the two counterparts. If this keeps up, then... I think there is going to be much more than just a horrifying game of hide and seek.”

There didn’t need to be a holographic screen for Dexter to tell that the operative is raising her brow at this information. “As in...?”

Dexter didn’t waste a beat of hesitation. “As in identity. The fusion might have so much DNA it might think it’s Mandy. And due to how some personality traits are given to the fusion, it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that this fusion might be taken drastic measures. It all started with the idea of trying to destroy the Great Machine, the machine that has helped create the Nanos and purify the fusion matter within them. The second one had to do with our old pal, Grim, and of using manipulation and convincing to slide him over to Fuse’s side.

Neither of those plans has succeeded in the fusion clone’s favor. In fact, it led us straight to it, and the more those plans have been thwarted, the more the fusion would get destroyed and would have to be reconstructed once again, but even stronger and adaptable. Fusions have been known to adapt and change to the environment, which makes the clones deadly.”

There was a small pause before there was another clear of the throat. “Something must have happened to Mandy’s fusion when it was reconstructed. Fuse has, either intentionally or not, put too much of Mandy’s DNA into the fusion, and thus, has made the fusion unstable. Sentient. More capable of feeling, of thought, and of other things compared to how a human would feel or think or believe. With what the fusion has to be doing now...” Teeth have pierced into the bottom of the CEO of Dexlabs’ bottom lip and that lip curved into a grimace. “It’s more than obeying Fuse. It’s more... personal.”

Silence.

There was nothing more but complete silence coming from Numbuh 5′s side. It was so silent that the air itself could have transformed into a knife that could slice through anything at any given moment, and could have stolen the oxygen from the female in only a matter of seconds. In fact, it already did, and it was enough to completely rouse the operative from her mattress.

All five, clammy fingers of one of her hands have curled among the edges of her face, concealing her mouth that hasn’t had the strength to release a single breath. Black curls that have framed her cheeks have been glued to the sides of her head from dripping sweat, and with each growing nanosecond, it was even harder for her to breathe.

But it wasn’t just the information that has been given to her. It wasn’t just that the information that has been explained to her is much more dreadful than she anticipated. It wasn’t just that the whole weight of this situation has pummeled her down. No. It has escalated a much bigger step than all of this combined, and it all started with an abrupt message crackling through the nanocom.

“Help! My fusion is after me and Mandy! Numbuh 5! Professor! Help!”

That warranted a stunning response from both ends. The fusion in question wasn’t the one that is the danger from that message. The fusion in question wasn’t the one that is after the two who have cheated death. It... it had to be some kind of lackey of theirs. It had to be. There was no other way around it. Absolutely no other way around it.

“Numbuh...”

Dexter didn’t have a chance to finish. The one who he has been conversing with has already stepped out of her bedroom, already swung the door open, already gotten her weapon at the ready, and started to make a run for the hospital that is all the way downtown.


The chill of the air that has crawled down Numbuh 5′s spine has made her feel nauseous and anxious at the exact same time. Its crisp and uninviting nature didn’t seem pleasant at all, and the idea of treading throughout the open world that is shrouded in darkness doesn’t seem to help either. Not a lot of people in the resistance, time-traveling recruits included, have ever decided that it would be a good idea to walk around and exterminate fusions at the brink of nightfall.

But time is of the essence. This is not any ordinary mission. This is an emergency and that is all there is to it. This is no time to dilly dally and this is no time to be picking daisies either. The only thing that the operative could do was to move it and move it fast.

With white sneakers scraping across the pavement with each individual step, Numbuh 5 jogged down the streets, having two of her pistols curled delicately in her fingertips. And while each of her hands has been drenched with sweat due to the dread that has been settling in, she wouldn’t take any time to suddenly jump or to let her guard down.

Though, if she were to swivel her head around at the right moment, she would have seen a green luminescent figure clinging onto one of the skyscrapers of the downtown area. Curved, clawed green fingers have created miniature holes in the pristine glass of one of the many skyscrapers as if doing the action would be like gluing onto it. If one were to look in the glass, a pair of horns could have been seen protruding from the figure.

Claws have dragged themselves down the window and created a noise that is all too similar to having fingernails hitting against a chalkboard. Like a stack of dominoes that could reach the atmosphere, billions of fragments of glass have spilled from the windows that have secured the building, collapsing onto the ground and possibly hitting any fusion that has been nearby the building.

Fusion matter has smeared from those windows, and like corrosive acid, it has melted the sides that wrapped around those windows. A miniature crater has formed the second the fusion landed right in front of the Kids-Next-Door operative, and a cloud of dust has engulfed the both of them from that fall.

Fragments of glass could be seen from the fusion, as some of them have poked into what could resemble her hair, her shoulders, her dress, and some have managed to gather in her feet. The damage from the windows has done nothing to her, as there wasn’t a hint of pain from what she has just caused. The only thing that came from that was only satisfaction, and she has been craving it like a vampire that wants blood.

“Hello, Abigail.” Her voice never held any kind of pain nor restraint nor of fear of encountering the one that has been ordered to exterminate her. She figured this was a perfect opportunity to strain some ties between the operative and her organic counterpart, and this was one way to do it. To bring down Numbuh 5 so she wouldn’t be able to save Billy and Mandy in time. It all sounded too perfect. Fuse would be proud.

Her vermilion, pupilless eyes have locked onto the girl like a pair of fridge magnets. A ghost of a smile appeared on her face and her hand looked larger than her own head. “Come to play rescue, aren’t you?”

Abigail wasted no time to point the end of her pistol at the fusion doppelganger. Her index finger is clinging onto the trigger. No hesitation nor second thoughts have crossed her expression, and with one hard press, a singular gumball has soared across the air, hurtling towards the fusion. It could have been only a second before the fusion sidestepped from the attack, her posture still entirely calm and collected.

That was what caught Numbuh 5 off guard. One of her feet has staggered, becoming entirely reliant on its ankle, and if she were to make one false move, she would have twisted it and that would be the end of her. But she remained on her footing, she stood her ground, and she pointed both of her pistols at the fusion.

“I’m not playin’ any games with you, you... thing.” She was unaware of how that has gotten the fusion’s face to darken at the last syllable. “Is that what all of this is to you, huh? Some sick game?”

Fusion Mandy paused to pluck one of the glass shards from her shoulder and flick it back at her opponent. Both of her eyes have become hooded as if trying to calm from that sudden change in demeanor she just had there. No, she wouldn’t be angry if she was called a thing. She isn’t a thing. No. She is Mandy. She is in control. She has control.

She can control anything.

“If that is what you can consider it, then yes.” She found it amusing to see Numbuh 5′s face scrunch up in frustration, for frustration for being stalled and delayed on her mission. Too bad. “I missed the little games that we have played with one another, Abigail. The one I missed the most was when I took over your pathetic organization. Ring any bells?”

Numbuh 5 slid one of her heels back, and her eyebrows have dangled into one of complexity; of question and confusion. Her pupils have bounced from the corners of her eyes, and she has her mind reel back on that last bit like an endless mantra. The ends of her ears perked up just to hear anything else from the fusion, but all the fusion did was place her hands behind her back and tapped one of her feet.

Impatience. The fusion was becoming impatient.

Though, she couldn’t help but stay on that last bit of that sentence. It didn’t make any kind of sense to her. How could this fusion have any memories that Mandy has? How could this fusion believe that it is she who has taken over the KND and not her organic counterpart? What in the world could have given her something so deluded, but so wrong at the same time?

She decided to give the answer anyway. “It has rung some bells, but not in the way you think. Last time I checked, it wasn’t some fusion that has made my friends believe I was crazy. Last time I checked, it wasn’t some fusion that has conquered the KND. Last time I checked, it wasn’t some fusion that wants to rule the world.” Her finger returned on the trigger. “You may think you are Mandy, but you are not. I don’t know what has made you believe in that, but that ain’t it.”

That was when something changed.

The fusion doppelganger was silent. It felt something heavy within the substance of her entire being. A feeling was being brought out, but it was a feeling that she couldn’t be able to understand nor describe. It made all of that malice and twisted sense of satisfaction to be sapped out of her in no time flat. Her unnatural arms have been pinned down to her sides, and her head sagged as to let that second to the last sentence to sink in.

It was a terrible feeling. A terrible, ugly feeling. It made her feel sick. It made her feel wrong. It made her incapable of thought nor capable of doing anything to this operative. The feeling inside of her crawled within her body, and spread throughout like some virus, and has poisoned the fusion matter inside of her. It made something feel like it had been caught in her throat and if she were to have a heart, it would be pulsing rapidly.

It was a feeling that made the fusion matter inside of her boil. It churned and it made the outline of her body squiggle and become erratic like flames, and it made her stumble on her own two feet and to clasp a palm against her chest.

All it would take is one shot to bring the fusion down to her knees. It wouldn’t destroy her, but it would be enough to free Numbuh 5 from all of this. It would be like a safe haven in the midst of all of this chaos, and amid everything going completely, horribly wrong.

Then the fusion’s clawed fists expanded. Those eyes of the fusion have gone completely round and would have looked like they have been retracted or dilated all at once. Stuttering, an uncontrollable laugh came from her. It started out small, hardly audible, but as it continued on, it pierced the air with its volume. It sounded like the creaking of doors, the sound of thunder rumbling, the sound of the ground crumbling...

It was all twisted and distorted, and the worst of it all? It was identical to Mandy’s voice despite the distortion. It made Numbuh 5′s blood run cold, like all of the veins of her body has changed into ice, and the world around her has become small at the towering presence of the fusion.

And with one raise of the hand, the fusion’s talons have swiped against her.


“Now you see, girl? That fusion went off the wall because she believes she is you.”

Mandy didn’t know what to feel. She didn’t know how to respond. She wasn’t so sure what could have provoked this, nor of what could have made the fusion think of it. But all she could do was to rest her bandaged hands against Numbuh 5′s and heaved out an exhausted sigh. She was never one to be affectionate, but she knew where she could draw the line.

She knew, even at her lowest point, of what must be done.

“Her personal feelings don’t matter, Numbuh 5. And neither do mine.” Her grip tightened. “All that matters is saving Billy. Getting rid of that fusion comes second.

And I got big plans for her.”

 

FusionFall is a registered trademark of the Turner Broadcasting System. FusionFall Universe, FusionFall Legacy, and FusionFall Retro are in no way affiliated with Turner Broadcasting or any of its subsidiaries. The FusionFall Universe team claims no rights to anything owned by Cartoon Network, Inc. whether it be shows, sounds, game assets, etc. We have no intentions to infringe upon the exclusive rights to the content belonging to Cartoon Network featured within our network of sites. FusionFall Legacy and FusionFall Retro are fan recreations intended for the preservation of the closed down MMO game, FusionFall.