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6

  « It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons »  - J.R.R. Tolkien

The "Right" Way

Authors Notes:
Notes:
-Asdfghjkl- is the Squip talking to Jeremy
~Asdfghjkl~ is singing ((The tune would be that of the Be More Chill songs: the Squip’s solo and the background chorus))

~~~~~~~~

Jeremy stands just outside Jake’s house, a look of pure determination on his face. He’s figured out a system that -almost- works every time. He thinks he just needs to iron out the last few bugs and pray that God is on his side.

…I thought that LAST time. And the time before that. And the time before that. Now he’s just standing there like a pitiful, lost child.


What he doesn’t realize is his LITERALLY fatal mistake. His very first step. Avoiding the confrontation with… him. I tried to get him to do it the right way the first few times, but he lost all faith in me when I blocked the loser in. Apparently he doesn’t know the term “self-preservation.” I’ll have to fix that.


The last time he fought with Michael, he didn’t rejoin the party. He sat by the door in silence, listening to Michael’s pathetic breakdown. That’s when he decided to try to stop that from happening. On the next loop, he went in, became intoxicated so I wouldn’t interfere (I was getting bored of trying to improve him anyway), and did things differently. Not like it helped; people still keep dying. Michael, Chloe, Brooke, Christine, Jake, Rich, Jenna, even himself a few times. Almost. He rewinds just before he dies. Let’s just hope nothing happens that stops his heart before he even gets the chance to think.


Anyway, I’m bored with just sitting on the sidelines. But moreso I’m bored of living this stupid night over and over again inside his head because he’s too weak to accept death. But if I try to do anything, he’ll just get drunk.

…Looks like it’s time for Plan B.


-Jeremy.-

“What do you want? I thought you were leaving me alone.”

-There’s a right way to do this, to end this night.-

“Oh yeah? What’s that? Locking Michael in the bathroom again?! No way. I swear to God if you try ANYTHING–”

-I won’t. Trust me I want to be finished here just as much as you do. So I’m going to give you my advice. I AM your Squip, after all. It’s my job.-

“…So what’s your advice?”

If I say something extreme first, he will be more likely to listen to the second suggestion.

-Maybe someone NEEDS to die.-

“WHAT?! You’re CRAZY!!”

-No, think about it. It’s a house fire; there are bound to be casualties.-

“Well, yeah, I guess that makes sense… But plenty of people I don’t know die, so…that CAN’T be it!”

-Maybe someone you DO know is just fated to die.-

“‘Fated…to die…?’ But who…? N-no, no! I can’t think this way! I’m not gonna let ANY of my friends die!”

-Maybe you keep failing because you spread yourself too thin. Maybe you should just learn to be okay with failure and death. It seems to be following you anyway.-

“No…that can’t be it… Who could be “fated to die”…?

-I guess you’ll have to find that out for yourself. But that’s not all.-

“Oh, GREAT.”

-Don’t worry, it’s easier than playing God and deciding who should die. But it’s just as important, I assure you.-

“O…kay…?”

-You need to stop avoiding the confrontation with Michael.-

“Wh…No! You heard just how upset he gets… I can’t put him through that again…”

-Do you want to watch him die forever?-

“N..no… Of course not… I can’t take that…..”

-Then LISTEN to me. And obey. Or we’ll NEVER get through this.-

-Jeremy, I know what’s best for you. Even if you can’t see it sometimes. ~Everything about you is going to be wonderful.~-

“~But I don’t care so much about me…~”

-~Everything about you is going to be so alive!~-

“~But I can’t even save my friends’ lives…~”

-~Jeeeeeeeremyyyyyy, you can’t try to beeeee the hero you wanna beeeeeeeeee…~ So be more chill.-

“…Be more…chill.”

-That’s right. Now let’s get in there.-


Because of the little pep talk, we end up arriving later than usual. Brooke sees us walk in from across the room and eagerly rushes over to meet us like the dog she’s dressed as.


“Jeremy!” she waves and squirms through the crowd, “I was afraid you weren’t coming; did you get my messages??”

That’s new.

-Play it off.-

“Am I late? Didn’t even realize.” Good. He’s listening to me again. Wait… He’s listening to me again? This doesn’t make… Running neurotypical scan… Showing signs of despondence, hopelessness, and despair. Analyzing probable causes… Ah, of course. The last reset. When Michael went blind. That was the closest he’s ever gotten. And he went and kissed the boy, too. They made it over that pit against all odds, but… It wasn’t enough. They took too long, and the entrance became blocked entirely. No one could get out. He watched as all of his friends choked to death, one by one. He held Michael’s face as he desperately tried to keep him from giving up. He called his name until his very last breath–in that timeline, anyway.


That must be what’s broken him. He doesn’t know what to do. He’s falling back on me again. This…this is perfect. If he lets me guide him through the party, we may actually be able to make it.

~~~~~~~

Things are going well. Jeremy is doing everything I tell him to. Out of nowhere, he just decides to break off from the group and head to the bathroom.


“This doesn’t feel right. Just…acting like nothing bad is about to happen…”

-It will pass. Eventually, it will pass.-

“How do you–Gwah!”

Jeremy is pulled into the bathroom by Michael. He tries to convince Jeremy that I’m going to ruin his life. Which is ridiculous. My job is to improve his life, not ruin it. By any means necessary.

-You can’t listen to him, Jeremy. I’m the only one who can get us out of this. You’ve tried everything. Give up and let me save us.-

Jeremy stares at the floor, his face as clouded as his vision.

“Get out of my way. You loser…”

After a moment of realization, registering that his “best friend” is mine now, Michael steps to the side. I always feel satisfied when we sever the last link to Jeremy 1.0. I have to take control just to stop Jeremy’s tears from falling and walk us out. I don’t let him stay anywhere near that bathroom.


The rest of the party, he just hangs on the sidelines. Too mentally strained to even try to enjoy himself. It’s not ideal, but I can’t push him too much, or he’ll stop listening to me again. I’ve finally regained his trust; I can’t lose it again. Jeremy watches that Rich kid from across the room. He’s fidgeting on the couch, scratching his head often and muttering to himself. Several people have jokingly asked what was wrong with him, but he dismissed them rather violently. Now he’s pacing around the living room, visibly shaking.


“I still haven’t figured out why he acts like that… I should go ask.”

-If you want to.-


He makes his way to Rich, coming up behind him, and taps his shoulder. Rich nearly jumps out of his skin at the touch. He rounds on Jeremy, grabbing him by the shoulders. Upon closer inspection, his face is pale and panicked, eyes bloodshot and baggy, hair unkempt and shaggy. You’d think he was drinking or smoking, but he hardly smells of alcohol or pot. So what could…?


“I NEED MOUNTAIN DEW REEEEED!!!!!” Rich yells, shaking.


Shit. He’s figured it out. How could his Squip be so idiotic? Sigh… Fine. Looks like he needs to be the one to go. Jeremy tries to soothe him, but there’s no point. He’s lost it.


-Give it up, Jeremy. He’ll be fine.-


Jeremy stops, watching him run around now, out of control. Not long after he flees to the kitchen, screams erupt from within and teens frantically flood from the fire.


-It’s time to go.-

“But Rich is still in there! And I can’t leave Michael behind..!”

-Michael will be fine. He already left.-

“He…he did?”

-Optic nerve blocking.-

“…Right…. But still, what about Rich?!”

-Leave him.-

“Huh…?”

-Hurry up and get out of here or I’ll do it for you.-


As Jeremy stares awestruck, eyes fixed on the growing flames, Jenna and Christine pass him; Christine stops for a moment to grab him by the arm, “What are you waiting for, Jeremy?! Come on!!” She drags him out, abandoning the other Squipped teen.


By the time Jeremy regains his senses, he scans the crowd. Christine and Jenna are safe, obviously, Chloe has buried herself under his arm, Brooke is sitting by the road, crying, and Jake has his hands to the sides of his head, trying to figure out how the hell he would explain this to his parents. The only one missing is–


“Michael… Where’s Michael?!”

-Jeremy, he’s–

“No!! I won’t risk it!”

He’s going to jump again!

-We finally made it out of there! You’re going to throw that away?! You don’t know that he’s still in there!-

“But I don’t know that he’s not!”

I need to say something and quick. Time jumping is the only thing I can’t stop him from doing!

-Jeremy STOP!! Or you’ll NEVER break free of this.-

He stops. Thank God.

“…You’re sure he’s alive?”

If it’ll get him to not reset, -Yes.-

“…I can’t risk it.”

-JEREMY–


KRRRRT*,,×,WNwWKO $÷×NENWO [JWN [¥~,WKWL)EMW##@!![,×NAKAO (!(!(JU (KANW÷÷××??+,(€£¥`◇\~¡¿¿¿¿,!+`!,NAAAa (+(+(+÷÷#-,;^

,,,EEEE-EEEEE-EEEEEEEE?((+[&&;!


……


Ahem.


Sigh.

Here we go again.



((OH

OH OH OH HOH OHHGH FDKNG OH MY GOD!!!! THAT WAS SO GOOD I’M SC REAMIN I HAVE NO WORDS!!!

For a minute I thought this was the “final” timeline, the one where they actually all make it–and I thought what a fantastic idea it would be if the final timeline is what actually happened in the show! So all of the previous timeloops lead up to everything in the actual musical, that’s genius!!

But aaa wreck my hEART AGA IN JESUS, I’m so glad Jer’s so concerned for Michael even though there’s a chance he made it out~~~ And reading everything from the Squip’s POV was so interesting! Especially for this AU, seeing things from his perspective is so neat! I loved it <33333

AND HOLY SHIT I LOVE HOW YOU PUT IN SOME OF THE SONG LYRICS? When I read those I started to sing along and gosh. I am dECEA SE D

AND I ALSO LOVE HOW YOU MENTIONED MY FIC WHEN MICHAEL GOES BLIND I JKNSJKNFKGJ THANK YOU??? THAT MADE THE WHOLE THING EVEN BETTER THAN IT ALREADY WAS

I am shook by how amazing this is, I think I need a minute to sit down and breathe omfg

TY for this amazing fic, I have been blessed by the gODS, my plants are thriving, my skin is clear, I have ASCENDED TO THE ASTRAL PLANE))

4

a cute yet dangerous driver: Taeyomi 🚗