Drewhemian Rhapsody- a Hell’s Studio Fic
In which I had an idea, @doodledrawsthings liked it, and so I turned it into a story. It’s not quite in line with the original idea, but it’s close enough. Also, since today is the premiere of the new BATIM trailer might as well have a fic in conjunction. Get ready for a Muppets-esque distraction away from important business meetings to keep things running and BATIM inspired lyrics to a famous Queen song. Seatbelts on? Here we go!
First it had started with the Muppet Bendy, which Bendy used to amuse Henry and Joey while simultaneously scolding them. Among the other pranks Bendy pulled, relatively harmless. The others ran the gamut from harmless to harmful -in the sense that the victim would be torn between anger and embarrassment for the rest of the week, but never at the detriment to a cartoon in production. No, Bendy and company usually took the opportunity to pull pranks at meetings, much to the annoyance of all those in attendance.
Today, was the worst -or perhaps best- occasion for such a prank. Studio founder Joey Drew and a few of the other original workers were coming out of their retirement home for one last visit and they were going to sit in on a meeting involving the rest of the studio on the direction the company should take moving forward. Conference call machines were set up in every department available so that news could be directly there for everything that was to come. The execs should have known better, but to be fair they hadn’t known the whole rest of the studio would be in on it.
It had started innocently enough. Bendy, Alice, and Boris as well as Joey, Henry, Susie, and Sammy were sitting amongst the executives in the meeting room. All other departments were on call via the conference machines. Per Sammy’s working conditions request a piano had been brought in for him to work his fingers with. The meeting had been going well so far as various people pitched their proposals and the audience had listened intently. Where it had all gone wrong was when it came time for questions. They should have known Bendy would pull something, especially when at the moment he was only benignly asking questions. Usually at these things he would harshly berate with questions, ripping an idea to shreds before piecing it together into something he liked. No, instead it was going something like this,
“So how does this vision positively affect our product output?”
“We specialize in hand drawn animation, how could we combine that with computer animation without compromising everything we have built up as a company?”
Questions that focused on business casually drifted, so subtly it wasn’t noticed until it was too late;
“I mean c’mon, what world are ya livin’ in? Is this real life, or is this fantasy?”
There was a pause as Bendy stopped a moment looking around the room from his position standing atop the table. No reaction came from anyone, they were all holding their breath, waiting to see what the little devil would do next.
Bendy glanced over to his toon companions, who were looking at him in blank confusion. The demon spoke again, “Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.”
There was the screech of a chair as Alice stood abruptly. With an unreadable expression the two stared at each other for what felt like an eternity.then their mouths opened an in harmonic unison they declared,
“Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…”
Boris joined in with, “I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy.” while Alice and Bendy fell to backup before the three voices coalesced.
“Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me. To me…”
Suddenly the board realized what was going on and they attempted to shut the whole thing down.
“Now see here,” one of them harrumphed, reaching for Bendy on the table. But before they could, the conference machine spoke with the noises of a single piano playing notes.
The toons allowed Bendy to continue, changing the lyrics as he saw fit, “Papa,” he looked straight at Drew, “Just killed a man, swung a hammer at his head, cracked it open now he’s dead. Papa!” Bendy slid to his knees in front of his creator, “Life had just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away!”
The toons continued to croon as the executives stood there flabbergasted, unable to control the meeting they had set up. But just as they came back to their senses the toons were finishing up and -as no one had seemed to notice- inching to the door.
“If I’m not back again this time tomorrow! Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters.”
And they peeled out of the conference room, the door slamming shut behind them. The suits breathed a sigh of relief, believing the prank to have come to a close. But the old folks, the ones who knew Bendy and company the best, knew this was only the beginning.
Just as they were attempting to bring the meeting back to focus they heard it, from the little machine.
“Too late,” it was Bendy, “My time has come. Sends shivers down my spine, ink is achin’ all the time.”
“Goodbye ev’rybody,” Alice took over, “I’ve gotta go. Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth…”
“Papa!” Boris howled and then the others joined him, “We don’t wanna die, sometimes we ya’d left us sketches on the wall!”
The music department was in on it, the execs realized as the instrumental break kicked in and one of their employees began to wail on his guitar. This needed to be shut down, and they dispatched several guards to do so. But it didn’t work.
The guards went chasing them down and passed a full size poster advertising the characters. But then, the Bendy’s head peeled off the wall and began singing, “I see a little silhouetto of a man,”
The guards turned tail and chased the trio to a locked room whereby the toons escaped by slipping under the crack, Alice and Boris crying,
“Ink and paint ink and paint will you do the fandango?”
The guards got the door unlocked just in time to be greeted with the entirety of the animation department screaming at them, “Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening me!”
From behind them Alice and Boris argued,
“Susie Campbell!” “Sammy Lawrence!” Susie Campbell!” “Sammy Lawrence!” “Susie Campbell!” only for Bendy to break in at the last moment with “Joey Drew!” and then Alice to add in, “And Henry too…” drawing out the ‘o’ while Bendy and Boris joined her.
Bendy pushed his way to center stage, hands together and looking like a repentant soul, “I’m just a demon, nobody loves me,”
Alice and Boris emphasized, “He’s just a demon from Joey’s ink machine, spare him his life from a monstrosity!”
But the guards snapped out of it and chased them down a hallway, all the while the toons kept singing. And yet, this seemed to go according to plan as the hallway was littered with doors that would open at some cue for the people inside to shout at each other;
“No we cannot let them go!” (“Let them go!”) over and over again.
And all of this was heard throughout the studio and back in the conference room the execs and new heads of the studio were absolutely mortified. This was going on in front of the people who had built the foundation for their careers, and retired or not Joey Drew still owned enough stocks to shut the entire place down if he so desired.
The music built and pounded and swelled until it circled back to the conference room for the grand finale, which was so loud and powerful it nearly blew out the conference machine. And Sammy Lawrence moved aside as Bendy appeared on the piano bench and plucked out a few of the final notes out on the instrument. Alice and Boris leaned against it on either side, singing,
“Nothing really matters, anyone can see… Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me…” and from the machine came the echo into fade out. The song was done.
Stunned silence filled the room. No one could say a single word. And then it came, hoarse and raspy and sounding almost like a creaking hinge. Laughter, pure, unbridled, unadulterated laughter. Happiness, from all the old folks they had brought in today. Some short minutes later, there also came clapping as the original cast applauded the toons’ and the rest of the studio’s efforts.
Bendy stood atop the bench and joined hands with his silver-screen costars. They bowed in unison a couple of times before the ink demon leapt off onto the table and approached them.
“We heard this was probably the last time we was ever gonna see you guys,” he said by way of explanation, “An’ we just couldn’t let’cha go without a proper send off.”
“Yes,” Sammy grumbled, “Over the top and trouble making,” but then a smile cracked his hardened, wrinkled face, “In typical, true, Joey Drew fashion.”
“I have to agree,” Henry added, “Well done. Even better than Muppet Bendy.”
“Brava,” Susie cheered.
But then it fell quiet as everyone waited for the word from the big man himself. Well into old age, but no less sharper for it, Joey Drew sat in his wheelchair and simply looked at them. There was no hint of rage, but no hint of happiness in his expression. The silence drew out into something uncomfortable, even getting to Bendy.
Nervously he stepped forth, mouth turned down against his face in a frown, but eyes uncertainly hopeful.
“Joey?” he ventured, “Didn’t’cha like it?”
Joey narrowed his eyes, pursed his lips and swished them about his face a moment. Then, he spoke, voice sounding stern and disappointed, “Bendy I’m surprised at you,” Bendy shrunk down, head colliding with his torso, “After all these years,” Joey smiled, “I can still get one over on you.”
It took a beat for Drew’s meaning to sink in. But when Bendy looked up he could see the smile of pride on the old man’s face, accompanied by the sentiment of, “Well done my little dancing demon. This has to be your best performance yet.”
Alice and Boris leapt onto their creator, losing their forms a moment due to their happiness. And Bendy just melted into a puddle. Just a little bit. Over the conference machine there came cries of celebration from all over the studio. And the meeting was abandoned for the sake of good times in the projection room, reliving the glory days of Bendy and friends.
So yeah, there we go. Hope you all liked it!