Vanellope found herself in the same place she had in the past several nights. She approached a window, peering inside to see the inside of a restaurant. She gasped, seeing a somewhat familiar face, serving cake to children sitting in booths.
"Freddy..." Vanellope gasped, and it was then the children began to turn in their booths to face her, looking into the window. To her horror, the Sugar Rush racers narrowed their eyes, staring darkly at Vanellope. She whimpered as their hateful words from the past began to fill her mind, holding her head as she took several steps back. It was then, a pair of blinding lights came closer and closer from her left, and she whirled around to face them, gasping. The sound of the song "All Hail to the Chief" blared in her ears, and she fell back as the car stopped short inches from her. After a few intense moments, someone began to emerge, glitching heavily. Vanellope's eyes widened as the form glitched between King Candy and dark, ominous figure dressed in a purple suit. Vanellope tries to run, but she was grabbed, the glitching monstrosity keeping a tight hold and soon, she too began to glitch, revealing a small, hysterically crying child whose eyes were huge, and black.
"End of the line, glitch!" What sounded like multiple voices shouted, and Vanellope's scream was drowned in a sea of glitching.
The small girl awoke in her bedroom, screaming on the top of her lungs from this recurring nightmare.
She clutched her bed sheets to her, pulling them up to her chin as she frantically looked around her room. Nothing. Nothing was there, as usual. Still shaking, she tried to get her breathing back to normal though her heart still raced. It took her a few minutes, but she finally calmed down enough to reach for her glass of water that she kept beside her bed.
Vanellope barely had her arm out of the covers when the door suddenly creaked open. Startled, she froze in place, her hazel eyes wide with fear as she attentively watched for any more movement. When she saw a bald, shiny green head poke itself in, she sighed in deep relief.
"Miss President, are you quite all right?" Sour Bill asked her in his usual bored tone, though he did have an inkling of concern laced in his words.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine, Billy," she replied, trying to sound as normal as possible. "Just another dumb dream. No biggie."
Sour Bill eyed her for a moment. She had been waking up night after night like this and it worried him. "Perhaps we should tell your friend, Ralph, about this."
"What? Don't be ridiculous," Vanellope chuckled nervously. "Stinkbrain will never let me live it down if he has to check my room for monsters." She waved him off, a tired smile on her face. "I'm fine, seriously. Go to sleep."
Sour Bill kept his eyes on her for a few seconds more before nodding, and then turning to leave back out to his own room. Vanellope waited until he shut the door before she relaxed back onto her bed, sighing at the ceiling.
"This has to stop," she said to herself in determination, her brows furrowed as she thought. "I have to go back."
The little girl looked over to her side bed table, taking the cupcake plushie off and hugging it to her chest. After a few moments, she hopped out of bed, sneakily heading out of the castle, intending to make her way to GCS.
Meanwhile, Mike, who had been living in the Penthouse, groaned as he sipped a cup of coffee, rubbing his eyes. It was not long after that he heard the door creak open, placing the mug down and standing up tensely. When he saw a small girl enter the room, he relaxed. "You know I get nervy when people pop up out of nowhere, Van."
"Sorry Mike... I... I keep having these dreams."
"Me too. It's probably just... trauma. I'm sure we'll get over it in no time, and it'll pass."
"Maybe," she replied, though her tone suggested that she was unsure. "I think if I go back, they'll stop."
Mike hopped to his feet then, staring at her in shock. "Van, no! Are you insane, you can't go back!"
"But I have to!" She hugged the cupcake to her more, its presence having become a comfort to her. "I feel like these dreams are trying to tell me something. I don't think they'll go away until I go back."
"Well I'M not going back. And if you think I'm gonna let YOU go, then you're daffy! Don't make me scream for Ralph, I know he'll agree with me."
Vanellope shot him a glare. "You can't stop me! Nobody can!" She shouted before she glitched out of the room.
Mike blinked at her sudden disappearance, and then he scrambled towards the door. "Wait, Vanellope, wait!" He fell to the floor but got up, ignoring the pain in his knees. "Vanellope, get back here!"
Vanellope glitched into GCS when she stopped short, furrowing a brow. Mike caught up to her and noticed other characters were gathered around where Five Nights at Freddy's was.
"It... it's gone..." Vanellope slowly turned to Mike. She noticed others approaching then, hanging her head a bit when she saw Ralph approaching with Calhoun and Felix.
"What's all the commotion about?" Calhoun asked. "That game is gone... good riddance."
"Vanellope, trust me, this is a good thing. Nothing can be worse than that game." Mike reassured her.
What Mike would realize then is that he spoke too soon. A sound was heard, noise from within becoming louder as the door to inside the game reopened, and lights flashed in the sign above, reading the following words; "Five Nights at Freddy's 2."
Everyone stared at the title as it scrolled across the digital sign. Mike shook his head, wordlessly mouthing the word "no" over and over, and began to back up. Ralph's jaw dropped open, not believing this was happening.
"I- Is Litwak crazy?!" He shouted with his arms raised up by his sides. "This one is probably WORSE than the first one!"
"What if this one really has a duck in it?" Felix gulped, remembering how Chica had scared him the most. "I mean an actual duck, not a chicken that kinda looks like one."
"I'm not going back!" Mike screamed in a panic, sweat pouring down his face. "They can't make me go back in there! I won't do it!"
Calhoun slapped him on the back of his head. "Calm down, civilian! Don't go wetting your pants just yet. The new game will have a different Mike, or whoever they are, inside as the avatar."
Mike sighed and nodded his head; she was right. Some other poor sap would have to deal with the horrors of Freddy and his friends now.
Vanellope stood silent this whole time, staring unblinking at the new game's entrance. Would this sequel game help her? Or would it do nothing?
Surge Protector was calming down the crowds, moving everyone along. Vanellope headed back with the others, but was in deep thought, and she kept staring back at the new game, the words scrolling across the sign almost beckoning her in a way. The rest of the day was a blur, and Ralph couldn't help but notice she was quieter than her normal self.
"I don't think she'd appreciate me telling you this, Ralph." Mike started later on when Vanellope headed back to Sugar Rush. "She's been having these... nightmares. I think what happened with the animatronics have triggered past events that weren't pleasant. It's still haunting her... and me too."
Ralph sighed, a frown on his face. "I wish she'd told me. Though I shouldn't be surprised. It's a miracle she hasn't gone insane from all the stuff that's happened to her in her life. First Turbo, now these monsters." He sneered at the game, wishing he was strong enough to just wreck the thing of the plug-in.
"I heard a few things about this Turbo person," Mike mentioned out loud. "I'm not sure what's scarier. A person acting like a monster because he chooses to, or actual monsters acting that way because they're programmed to."
"Both suck," Ralph said simply. He groaned as he stretched his massive arms out above his head. "Too bad these animatronics don't act like other bad guys. Imagine, Freddy at a Bad-Anon meeting."
"Ha, I wish that were case, trust me."
In the palace, Candlehead cleared her throat as she popped a marshmallow in her mouth. "Vanellope wasn't at dinner again tonight... all she does now is talk to that cupcake thing ..."
"She isn't acting like herself. We should find out what's going on and snap her out of this funk." Gloyd frowned.
"We aren't doing anything." Taffyta replied. "She'll come around when she's ready."
Meanwhile, Vanellope stared at the cupcake plush on her bed. "Do you think they'll come after me? Do you think they'll know? What do the dreams mean, cupcake?" She jumped at a sudden loud noise, looking out the window. "A storm... it's raining chocolate milk." Drops poured down the windowpane, its reflection splattered on the opposite wall whenever lightening flashed. She was about to go to sleep when she noticed the lightening continued to flash outside, looking towards the wall to see that the drops on the window began to form ominous words.
"Come see us."
Vanellope bit her lip, seeing something in her mirror then. She saw a familiar face staring back at her.
Her scream was muffled by stuffing a pillow in her own face. When she slowly placed it down, Golden Freddy was mere inches from her, and her scream was cut off as everything went black.
The next morning, Vanellope didn't show up for gameplay, instead going to the Penthouse. "Mike... I'm going to talk to him. The new Mike. When the arcade closes."
"What?!" Mike choked on his breakfast, some fried eggs and sausage, all of it in a square shape like everything else in Niceland. "I thought we already said you weren't-"
"And I already said that I WAS going!" She softened her expression and gave him a pleading look. "I can't deal with these nightmares anymore, Mike. I just can't. I'm so tired…"
Mike sighed, noticing the appearance of dark circles around her eyes from lack of sleep. She was right, she couldn't keep going like this. "Okay," he agreed reluctantly. "BUT...you are not going alone. Ralph will kill me if he finds out I let you in there alone."
Vanellope looked surprised. "You're coming too? But...I thought you were-"
"I AM scared, terrified actually. But maybe this will help me with MY nightmares too."
Vanellope nodded, sitting next to him, taking a square cookie out of a bowl on the table and munching on it.
After another quarter drop, Ralph rubbed his head a bit, wiping some mud off of him. "I've been thinking, Felix. Vanellope's been spending a lot of time with Mike lately... she's been telling him some stuff too... you don't think that she's forgotten about me, do you? Like, maybe she thinks it's my fault she has her nightmares. It is, really... I shouldn't have let her go in that awful place to begin with."
Felix hopped closer to him to pat his hand. "Don't worry, Ralph. I think she just likes to talk to Mike because they both have something in common. You know, those nightmares."
"I suppose," Ralph agreed, his voice trailing off. "I guess I wouldn't understand THAT anyway. Still miss the little runt though."
Felix chewed on his lip thoughtfully before speaking. "Ralph, ya think...well, I was thinkin' maybe that..." He cleared his throat, obviously nervous about continuing. "Maybe it WOULD be a good idea to take Vanellope inside the new game."
The larger man looked down at him in disbelief. "Do you even hear yourself? Do you remember what happened last time we visited that franchise?!"
"Ralph, just hear me out!" Felix pleaded with him. "What if it COULD help her get rid of those nightmares? Wouldn't it be worth a chance?"
"Did you ever think that doing that would only make it worse? We know nothing about this new game!" He rubs his head. "I'm sorry, but I can't do it. I almost lost her in there, I am not risking that again."