Early morning had risen on a modest home, and within a demon was stirring. Benny tossed and tuned on his bed moaning in his sleep before snapping awake and sat up looking around the room in fear. The demon looked around the space he was in dreading that he would see yellowed walls and endless hallways coated in ebony ink. Yet he was met with a soft baby blue wall and white trim. The spot were he was resting was his bed that Tom and Allison had recently bought for him. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the morning sun was shining through his window, and yet no one had come to get him. He was used to being woken at a set time by the the other residents of the home and yet he slept in. He listened carefully and come to realize that there was no sound of pattering feet or grumbling in the hallway. The normal sounds he had come to associate with mornings.
He lifted his blankets up and slid out of bed carefully to not make any noise. He opened his bedroom door slowly and saw that house had remained as still as it was the night before. The house itself was still sleeping and its occupants weren't a stir except for himself.
Benny quietly crept down the hall to the living room and den, no one was there. He drifted to the kitchen to find that it too was void of activity. He quietly groaned to himself that no one was up. The coffee pot was empty, there was no figure at the stove cooking, nothing. Just empty silence. The house was never quiet in the morning, someone was always up. The lack of sound was starting to make the little demon uncomfortable. It reminded him too much of the silence of the studio except for the occasional drip of ink or the moan of a tortured soul.
A sense of panic started bubbling up within the plushdemon. Why is he alone? Is this a bad dream where he thought he got out of the studio? Is he going to wake up and find the familiar yellowed walls of the factory and the stench of ink so thick you could gag? Will he be alone again?The edges of his eyes started to produce small droplets of ink before a rough but warm hand rested on the top of his head.
Benny whirled around and was met with a pair of tired eyes. "Hey, Benny. Good morning".
Tom smiled down at Benny and then noted the hints of ink at the demons eyes and knelt down. "Hey, whats wrong?" He rubbed his thumb on the demons cheek to wipe away the ink. A look of worry across the older man's face.
"I didn't see or hear anyone. There was no one here and I thought...I thought..." Benny's voice devolved into small whines as he leaned into Tom.
"Hey hey hey, it's ok" Tom hugged the toon and started to rub his back. "We're here and aren't going anywhere."
Tom knew all to well what Benny was probably going through. It was common for all of them to have horrid nightmares of being back in the hell hole of a studio. The yellowed wooden walls, the seemingly endless hallways dripping with ink, the creaks and moans of the building as ink was pumped through it like veins with the Ink machine at it's heart. Tom at least had Allison with him, but the plushdemon was separated from them. He didn't know what all the little devil had gone through since Benny didn't talk about it much, nor did he want to press him on it. One thing he knew for certain is that the demon had grown very attached now that the three were reunited. Benny had developed separation issues after the reunion, but he couldn't blame him. Benny was alone for so long just trying to survive the hell hole like everyone else. The only thing he could do was to be there for the toon whenever he needed him.
Tom just stayed there kneeling on his knee rubbing Benny's back while he waiting for the little toon to calm down. Benny's whining slowly stopped and he looked up at Tom. "Thank you".
Tom smiled and pointed at his leg for which Benny gladly clung to, sitting on top of Tom's foot as the man moved throughout the kitchen.
Benny watched as Tom drifted through the house opening up cabinets and drawers pulling out dishes and utensils. He set the table quickly and walked over to a stack of boxes and rummaged through them pulling out brand new pots and pans. Benny quietly sat and watched the man work his thoughts drifted to how he got to this point in his life.
It had been 2 weeks since they got out of the studio and Tom and Allison had no home to go home to since they were gone for years from being trapped in the studio. They had to start anew with nothing but the ink soaked clothes on their back and an old car long since rusted, a dead battery and flat tires. Luckily they still had a sizable bank account and managed to buy a house nestled in between some hills overlooking a valley. So much had happened so fast Benny had no clue what to make of it. The three of them had to move from one place called a 'hotel' to another one every few days, and they had to move at night so no one would see him. It felt like forever with moving from place to place with either Allison or Tom gone all day. He still remembered the day Allison came to the hotel room all grins shouting something about them finally getting a place called a 'house' and that they could move in in 3 days time.
This 'house' as he was told, is where he would be living from now on. It was much bigger then the hotel. He didn't quite know what to make of the place at the time since there were only walls, no bed, couch, fridge, or a device called 'television'. Tom insisted that Allison and Benny stay at the hotel one more day so he could try and get furnishings, but Allison countered with the argument that they needed to use the money for clothes, blankets and other necessities instead of a night in a hotel. Allison had told the man that she would gladly sleep on the floor of her new home and be at peace, then at a hotel. Tom was only able to bring home two sleeping bags since the beds would be delivered the following day, but it was more then enough for Allison. Their first night in the house was spent in sleeping bags on the living room floor with Benny sleeping with Allison.
The first few days made Benny's head spin. Either Allison or Tom were gone all day and would come home multiple times with boxes and boxes of stuff. Though when the delivery truck arrived to set up the beds and deliver the couch, Benny ran and hid under the kitchen sink till the crew was gone. As soon as the beds arrived Allison and Tom divvied up the rooms, he learned that he was getting his own room right next to theirs. He didn't like being separated from Allison, but Tom insisted that Benny have his own room so the he could have his owns things and his own personal space.
Though the house had little things that Benny liked about it. There was a strange wall where light came through the ceiling that Tom called a 'atrium' that spanned one side of the living room and opposite of it was a large structure called a 'fireplace and mantle'. He liked the living room cause it was large and he could run around, but his favorite place of all was the kitchen. Allison would always be in the room making something good to eat. He would watch her drift throughout the room opening cabinets and drawers stocking them with new utensils and china they just purchased. He always looked forward to what foods Allison was gonna make since the first room that was stocked with necessities was the kitchen. He often sat on the chair and hummed with her while he watched her cook. He really enjoyed it when Allison would ask him to help out, she would show him little things like how to cut fruit or vegetables without hurting himself.
His thoughts drifted to why Allison wasn't up yet and why Tom was. Normally it would be Allison up making breakfast and Tom would stumble out some time later. His thoughts were interrupted by a voice "Benny? Benny? You listening?"
Benny looked up to see Tom looking down at him with a worried expression. "I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention. What were you saying?" He looked up at Tom sheepishly.
"I asked; what did you want for breakfast, cause we only have eggs or cereal."
"May I have some cereal please?".
"Ok." Tom walked over to the cabinet and pulled down 2 bowls, a box of cereal from the adjacent cabinet, and set them down at the table. He went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of milk and he stopped and looked down at the still clinging toon while chuckling. "Benny you're gonna have to get off my leg so you can sit at the table to eat" Tom nearly forgot the toon was there considering Benny was pretty light, but if the toon expected to eat, he would have to let go the man's leg.
"...ok" Benny slowly lifted himself off Tom's leg and soon found himself being picked up and sat at the table with a freshly poured bowl of cereal being placed in front of him "Thank you".
"You're welcome little guy". Tom smiled while pouring himself his own bowl of cereal. He returned to the fridge and put the milk away and came back to the table and started to eat quietly.
<lBenny didn't take a bite of his food, but rather looked around before looking back at Tom. "Where's Allison?"
Tom stopped eating and sighed slightly "She caught a cold and isn't feeling well, so she is sleeping in for now."
Benny got instantly worried "Will she get better?"
"Yeah, she just over did it and tired herself out. All she needs is medicine and rest." he smiled at the worried demon.
Tom couldn't bring himself to say that both he and Allison were exhausted. Neither have been able to catch a decent break since once out of the studio they were jobless and homeless. It would have been one thing if it were just the two of them and they could take a little more time on things but with having Benny, they couldn't wait too long on anything. They had to hit the ground running. They were thankful they still had their savings from working with the studio and Henry was more then willing to help with lodging, but neither Tom nor Allison wanted to burden the older animator, especially now that he had his own demon to deal with.
Tom and Allison ran around everywhere and to their dismay, so much had changed. Stores they used to know were no longer around, and some areas that used to be grassy fields were all covered in either houses or shopping centers. Cars were a a different story all together. There were new vehicles and designs that to Tom looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it helped prove a point that neither he nor Allison liked: they were frozen in time while the world left them behind. Both he and Allison had to adjust to their new world just as much as their new companion, but they couldn't show that they were just as lost and scared as the toon was. Henry was heaven sent as he spent a bit of time catching Tom and Allison both up on current events and managed to show them around town so they wouldn't feel so lost. He was also kind enough to help them with the house search since he too was also moving out of his apartment and into a new home since he now had Bendy to look after. His small apartment just wasn't cutting it for the energetic devil.
"Is there anything we can do for her in the meantime?" Benny's voice breaking Tom out of his thoughts.
He looked down at Benny and smiled at the thoughtfulness of the toon "Actually, there is something we can do."
"What is it?" Benny leaned over the table, tom had the toons undivided attention.
"Well, we can make her some soup and get her some medicine, so she can get better faster."
"Yay! " Benny was about to leap off his seat when Tom caught the plushdemon's arm.
"Finish your breakfast first young man." Benny was met with a stern look from Tom.
"Ok!" Tom watched as Benny seemed to inhale his cereal before hopping off the chair with his bowl and dashing to the sink. He got on a step stool and placed his bowl in the sink before swiftly returning to Tom's side eager to get started.
The man nearly choked on his own food while trying to keep from laughing at the energetic devil. This was something he was going to have to get used to. Tom finished his cereal and washed the dishes with Benny following him like a little demonic shadow. He reached back into the box of pots and pans and pulled out a small pot and handed it to Benny.
"Here, can you set this on the table while I get the chicken?"
"Ok." Benny took the pot and step stool over to the table. He hopped up on the step stool with the pot and set it on top and waited for Tom to come over.
Tom went to the fridge and pulled out some chicken breasts, carrots, celery, an onion and 2 potatoes. He approached the table with all the groceries in hand and set them down. He returned to the drawers and pulled out 2 knives, 2 cutting boards, a potato peeler and returned to the table.
Tom washed and cut the chicken breasts very thinly and slid them in the pot and filled it with water, setting it to boil. While he waited, he helped Benny peel and cut up the veggies into small pieces so all the food could cook quickly. He was thankful Benny spent a lot of time with Allison in the kitchen and didn't have to watch him too much as Benny handled his knife carefully. The toon handled each vegetable carefully and steadily cut each one in equal sizes at a steady pace in comparison to Tom's 'slow and steady wins the race' pace. Tom felt a little embarrassed that the toon was faster at chopping up the vegetables, but at least Tom knew how to cook.
It didn't take too long for the chicken to come to a full boil with Tom stirring the pot on occasion. He grabbed the cutting board with the veggies and poured them into the pot along with some seasonings and let it continue to boil. While he waited for the veggies to cook, he gathered up the dishes on the table and started washing them and handed them to Benny so he could dry them. Benny couldn't quite reach the cabinets to put the cutting boards away but was able to put the utensils away. After handing Benny the last cutting board he waited for the toon to finish drying it and gingerly took the board from him and returned it to the cabinet. L
Tom returned to his former position over the stove occasionally stirring the pot, while Benny had brought his step stool over and was was watching next to him. He took out a small fork and stabbed a piece of potato. Benny asked why he was doing that and he told him that when a fork can penetrate a potato easily then it is ready. He went to one of the cabinets and pulled out a box of macaroni noodles and poured them into the pot. After making sure the soup was on a high boil he covered the pot with it's lid and immediately shut the flame off.
"Why did you do that? The noodles aren't cooked." Benny looked up at Tom confused. He had seen Allison cook noodles for a dish called 'spaghetti' and she would only turn the flame off after the noodles were cooked, and that took awhile. Not in the matter of seconds.
"Bring water to a high boil and throw in noodles and cover it, after 10 minutes the noodles will be cooked from the heat contained within the pot." Tom smiled while scooping Benny off his step stool setting the devil down on the floor "Now, While that is cooking I need go to the store to buy some medicine."
"What do I do in the meantime?" Benny looked up at Tom.
"You can be a good boy and watch Allison for me while I'm gone, but don't disturb her. She needs her rest.".
"Ok". Benny gave a small mock salute.
He watched Tom put a coat on over his Pajamas, grabbed his car keys and headed out the door. Once Benny was sure Tom was long gone he turned on his heel and headed for Allison's room. He knew Tom told him to not 'disturb her', but how would he know if she was ok if he didn't check on her? He quietly approached the door and turned the nob slowly opening the door to be as quiet as possible. The lights were off, and he could make out a mound of blankets rolled up on the bed.
"Allison?" he quietly called out, but didn't get a response. He walked over to the bed and carefully crawled up on the bed and scooted over to her. "Allison?"
The blanket mound finally stirred and Benny was greeted by a tired shaky smile. "Hey, sweetie." Allison whispered.
Benny laid on his stomach and was inches away from Allison's face and whispered " How do you feel?"
"I've been better." She lifted her hand and gently petted him between his horns.
"Tom went to get medicine. Do you need anything?" He leaned into her hand purring slightly. It was then he felt how clammy her hand was, the contact made him frown slightly.
"Some water if you can. Please." She whispered. It was clear she was exhausted and very much out of it.
Benny nodded and removed himself from her touch and slid off the bed. He walked to the doorway and looked over his shoulder at the woman frowning slightly before leaving.
He walked into the kitchen and looked up at the cabinets that housed the glasses and the faucet where he could get water. All of them were out of his reach. He needed water, and normally he wouldn't care if he had to climb up on a stool to get and glass and fill it with water, but the last thing he wanted was to spill the water by accident cause of his small size. He took a deep breath and thought to himself that in his normal state he can't do much, but in his larger form he is taller then a human and can. Though Tom didn't seem to approve of his other form, but if it's for Allison, it should be ok.
Benny felt the fabric of his body expand as the ink within him adjusted and grew. Ink seeped from his face completely coating his right eye and half the stitches on his left either expanded or snapped all together, partially encasing a large singular black eye and yellow iris. His teeth grew sharp and his horns grew long as he gained height. His body grew lanky with the stitches on his stomach pulling open and large white teeth protruding from it's edges. His arms separated at each respective stitch and only remained connected to his body by the threads that held them together. Allison had dubbed his alternate form "Rag doll" due to how shredded and broken his body looked, but it was a form he needed at the moment.
With height now on his side, he walked over to the cabinet and gingerly pulled out a glass and filled it with water from the faucet. He had a bit of a tough time with the faucet since his gloved hands are much larger then a humans. With glass in hand, he walked down the hall and re-entered the Bedroom.
Allison looked up at Benny and smiled tiredly at him. She didn't seem to mind the demons change in physical appearance.
"CaN yOu SiT uP?
" His voice came out garbled and deep. He winced at the sound of his own voice, but tried to smile without looking like a horror show.
Allison nodded and started to push the blankets off so she could sit up. It was then that Benny noticed her sheets were soaked as well as her clothes. He frowned at seeing her looking so pale, he didn't know what to do. He knew how to take care of himself, but never a human, let alone a sick one.
He watched as she seemed to struggle with sitting up, her body seemingly not cooperating. He carefully slid his large hand behind her back and helped her to sit up properly "HeRe
" he handed her the glass of water and sat next to her.
"Thank you." Allison took the glass and started drinking.
While she was drinking the water, Benny got up from the bed and walked over to her dresser. He opened up the drawers looking for a change of clothes for her. He knew at least that humans change clothes when their current one is soiled, and she was soaked from sweat. Allison protested about Benny rummaging through her belongings, especially when he accidentally held up a bra and underwear. He settled on a change of pajamas and brought them over to her.
"PuT tHeSe On.
" He held out the clothes. His cheeks were dusted with hints of pink from finding her undergarments by accident. His eye darting around to look anywhere but her.
Allison smiled up at him and took the clothes from him "Thanks". She wanted to laugh at how shy and modest Benny was acting. He very much reminded her of Tom when he would stumble in on her while she would be changing ,and instantly hide his face or turn around.
Benny watched as she slowly got up from the bed, groaning the entire way up, and headed for the bathroom to change. While she was gone, Benny pulled the soaked sheets off the bed and tossed them in the laundry basket. He grabbed the bedding from his room even though they were a bit small and used them to cover the bed back up. They still didn't have a lot of bedding yet since they were still trying to make the house properly livable, but for now it will have to do.
He quickly made his way back to the kitchen to grab a water basin and fill it with cold water, taking care to not get any of the water on himself. He knew that humans sweat when they get too hot and he hoped that a cold cloth will help cool her down. While the basin was filling with water he checked the time and saw that more then 10 minutes had passed. The soup should be ready. He opened up the cabinet and grabbed a bowl filling it with the chicken noodle soup. He shut the water off in the sink and opened up a few kitchen drawers till he found a cloth and soaked it in the basin. Satisfied, he carried the basin in one hand, the bowl of soup in the other, and returned to the bedroom. He laid the basin on the floor near the nightstand and set the soup on the nightstand making sure to not knock over the lamp.
Allison came back to the bedroom and chuckled at the change of bedding, the basin sitting on the floor in front of the nightstand and a bowl of presumably soup atop the stand. She instantly recognized Benny's bedding. The demon in question was standing next to bed and tilted his head.
"ArE yOu FeElInG aNy BeTtEr?
"I am now sweetie, now that I was able to freshen up a bit and that you're helping me out so much" Allison walked over to Benny and lifted her hand up and caressed the demons cheek which he eagerly leaned into humming a strange garbled purr.
With the demon satisfied Allison sat on the bed and grabbed the bowl of soup examining its contents, while Benny sat on the floor next to her. It was a very basic chicken noodle soup, tom's proclaimed 'specialty'. The man was very basic in his cooking saying that 'all you need are the bare necessities, nothing more, nothing less.' she picked up the spoon and started eating, all the while under the watchful eye of the over sized demondoll.
“Is It GoOd?
” Benny looked up at her, a hint of nervousness in his eye.
“yes it is.” Allison smiled warmly. Truth be told she could hardly taste it, but for the little she could taste, it was delightful.
Benny hummed at her appreciation for the food “I'm GlAd, ToM aNd I mAdE iT tOgEtHeR.
“And you two did a wonderful job” Allison reached over and scratched Benny between the horns resulting in a much louder purr. The demon clearly happy from her liking the food he helped make, and the show of affection he was getting for it.
Allison ate the soup slowly, savoring it's taste bite by bite. Such a simple meal yet contained so much love within it. Once she finished her food, Benny took the bowl from her and returned to the kitchen while she laid down in the bed trying to rest again. Benny came back to the room and double checked her sheets making sure she was tucking in for bed while he resumed his spot on the floor next to her.
After awhile he noticed that she would toss and turn in the bed and seemed to be shivering again. He lifted his hand up and placed it on her forehead to gauge her temperature and she felt quite warm. He knew he himself wasn't nearly as warm as what was viewed as the 'average' human temperature, but he was sure they weren't supposed to be that hot. yet she was acting like she was cold. That couldn't be right, she was sweating a lot earlier cause she was hot and now she's acting like she's cold? She has several blankets on the bed, including his. Yeah sure his blankets were smaller in comparison, but he laid them end to end to equate one adult sized blanket, so how is she cold?
"ArE yOu CoLd?
"I can't seem to get warm for some reason." Allison pulled on her blankets tying to get more comfortable.
Benny frowned slightly, but smiled when a thoughtful idea came to his mind.
Benny made sure his stomach mouth stitching was nice and taut before he carefully slid his hands under Allison tucking the blankets under her, wrapping her like a human sized burrito. She noted the sudden movement and looked to see what he was doing "Benny? What are you doing?"
Benny slid his hands under Allison again getting a small squeak from the woman as he lifted her and moved her to the edge if the bed. With the opposite side of the bed cleared, he crawled next to her. He pulled her body close to his and curled up around her as best he could. His body dwarfing hers, he laid his head next to hers and had his arms and threads wrapped around her to keep her blankets close to her.
Allison instantly caught on as to what the large plushdemon was doing. His body was primarily fabric, and he was using his own body as an additional blanket. "Thank you sweetie" she pressed herself into him, already feeling warmer with the addition of the little body heat he generates.
Benny felt her body relax under him as he himself relaxed. He extended the threads of his arm and reached behind himself and pulled the cloth from the basin. He squeezed it as best he could and brought it back to his main body and laid the cloth on Allison's forehead. He watched her drift off to sleep while he occasionally would remove the cloth, re-soak it and reapply it. It seemed that Allison had finally stopped shivering and wasn't sweating as much anymore, he could only hope that whatever was making her hot and giving her chills had passed.
Tom pulled up to the house cursing that his 'easy trip' to the pharmacy took longer then expected. Traffic was a nightmare thanks to an accident and then at the pharmacy an old man was bitterly arguing about wanting his discount of all but 5 cents off his bill, while Tom stood behind him wishing the man would get a heart attack and drop dead so he could at least pay for his things and leave. Getting back home was a rerun episode of 'return of the traffic accident', 2 cars got into a minor accident and were arguing it out on the road like idiots instead of moving to the shoulder to clear the road. Tom could only hope that Allison was feeling better and that Benny wasn't too much of a handful. While the demon was by no sense of the word a 'problematic child' he was a touch concerned about Benny being left alone for extended periods. Yeah Allison was there with him, but she was sick and in no state to deal with the devil. He steeled himself for potential trouble and opened up the door to pure silence within the home.
"Benny?" He quietly called out. He didn't want to shout for fear of waking Allison, but was confused as to why it was so quiet.
"Ben?" Still no answer.
Tom closed the door and walked into the kitchen. The kitchen was undisturbed except for a open cabinet and a bowl in the sink. He then went to the living room and there was no one there either. Tom sighed and started checking the bedrooms. Benny's door was left open, and his bed had been stripped to the mattress. Tom investigated the room, but other then the missing bedding everything else was in perfect order. He knew he didn't need to spend any energy on the spare room since it was still empty and that only left the last room, his and Allison's.
Tom walked to their room and carefully opened the door and was instantly stunned by what he saw.
Before him, lay Benny in his Rag Doll form curled around a mound of blankets. Tom still wasn't quite used to this form of the toon. He had remembered the day Benny was born how the toon acted, curious and sweet. It was hard to believe that what happened in the studio would warp the sweet little toon into that of a monster. What surprised him the most was despite the demons physical appearance he was still the same sweet demon born of a doll and ink.
Tom walked over to the bed and Benny lifted his head to look at the man. Tom noticed that Allison was under him, she looked peacefully asleep, unlike her fitful sleep through the night as her cold worsened. He noted that the bed was covered in Benny's blankets and that their own blankets were no where to be found. The man smiled and set the medicine on the nightstand and look over to the large demon.
“Thanks Benny. When she gets up tell her that there is some soup. Ok?” the man whispered as to not disturb his wife.
“I gAvE hEr SoMe SoUp EaRlIeR
Tom smiled, Benny was doing his best to take care of his wife while he was gone. “Thanks Benny” he reached out and caressed the demon between the horns.
Benny purred under Tom's hand and then laid his head back down resting next to Allison. Tom nodded, turned on his heel and quietly left the room shutting the door behind him. He knew his wife was in good hands, Benny would make sure of that. The demon more ways then one, viewed Allison as his surrogate mom and would do anything and everything for the both of them.