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Nightmares and Playing Games

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The final boss fight. The home stretch.

They were right there. Right fuckin' there! Stuck in this reddish-orange hell, faced against that fucking security guard. The one that tormented him and his friends the ENTIRE time. The one that made his heart flutter and do backflips every time they said something stupid. The one that, in the end, was set to be the final boss. Gordon raised his arm and pointed it at his once frenemy, and looked around him. His friends, they were there with him. Fighting alongside him. To escape. To get out of this god damn nightmare. But something wasn't right... Gordon's breath hitched as he watched Dr. Coomer's robo-arms malfunction, causing him to fall victim to the skeletons cocooning him. It was like nobody could hear Dr. Coomer, but his partner, Bubby, soon took notice to the skeletons circling xeir husband. 

 Gordon tried to scream out for Bubby to watch out as Bubby gave up fighting with Tommy to go and try to save Dr. Coomer, but it was like his voice was strangled as it came out. It fell on deaf ears as Bubby tried to fight off the skeletons, but they seemed to multiply and overwhelm even Bubby. Sweet Voice was all over the air, thick as can be, and soon the pair were taken from Gordon's view. Jerking his head back to Benrey, he wasn't in his normal position.

 With Bubby and Dr. Coomer out of the picture, and him standing still,  machine gun arm raised in the air pointed where massive Benrey once stood, that left only two people.

One person and his dog, actually.

Tommy and Sunkist.

Tommy! Sunkist!

Gordon pieced it together slowly, and looked over to the one side he didn't check before. Sunkist was standing in front of her owner, standing as proud as he could, growling as loud as possible. Tommy was sitting against the wall, breathing heavily as an arm was curled around his waist. The yellow glow from his eyes was slowly fading, and Gordon glanced at what could have possibly done that. Benrey's huge form was clipped half-way into the ground, and a clenched fist was raised above their head. Tommy shook his head, and looked off to the side, tears clearly pooling up in his eyes. "Benry, please," Tommy rasped out, but it was like Benrey couldn't even hear his once best friends desperate pleas for mercy. 

Gordon tried to rip himself from his place in the murky water, but found himself to be incapable of even doing that. Aggressive, unrelenting thoughts swirled his head as he tried to aid his friend. "LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Gordon tried to scream, he tried to run to his downed team mate, but he just.. Couldn't. And so, Gordon had to stand around. Helpless as he watched the worst events unfold in front of him. Tommy yelled for Sunkist to run, to help the others, but Sunkist tried to stand her ground against their friend.  Tommy grasped for his dog and put a defensive arm out in front of the both of them in a sad attempt of trying to save them. The fist previously suspended in the air above Benrey's head was suddenly brought down on the two, and the ground beneath Gordon shook aggressively. Benrey still was just as emotionless as ever. It made Gordon so fucking angry.

 A large scream ripped itself free from his throat, "NO!" was all he was able to manage. He started to breath heavily, hyperventilating. 

 While Gordon was busy losing it, Benrey suddenly appeared in front of him, scaring him even further and shaking him so bad he fell down in the water, making a splash. With wide eyes, he stared up into the face of what he considered Death. Was this it? Did he really come all this way... for nothing? What did Benrey have to say? The security guard, with lidded eyes and a crooked grin looked back down at him. "bro, you can't run!" Their voice boomed, but Gordon was determined to get away. He scuttled backwards, limbs flailing awkwardly, but managed to get up and turn his back to Benrey. He just has to escape. Run! Run! RUN!

 As Gordon made a mad dash to try and get away, Benrey loudly hollered from behind him. "i have pictures of your feet, bro, i can track you no matter where you go!" 

 Gordon yelled when he saw Benrey's fists start to come down, trying to crush him like he was a mere bug. He cut it close several times, but with one fatal fuck-up, he slipped and tripped. He fell face first into the water, water flying around him as he tried to catch his breath but only ended up sucking in more water, and he started to cough and choke as he tried to regain his bearings. He glanced up wildly to see if there was an escape route close enough, but there was none.

 Of course. Of fucking course. Of course there would be no exit point! He's in the middle of a fucking- ALIEN paradise. There IS no escape. All that work, all that hard work that he did, that his friends did, it meant fucking nothing. Gordon sobbed as he turned his head to see Benrey. "any last words, feetman?" Benrey taunted. Gordon had nothing else to say. I miss you, maybe, I wish it could have been different, perhaps, but those were words for another time.

 Gordon shook his head, and swallowed deeply. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. He can't believe he let this happen. He...

 As Benrey's fist started to come down, something clicked.

 Gordon sat up with a gasp, breathing heavily. Cold sweat dripped down his face, making him feel uncomfortable. He looked around, seeing as it was almost pitch black in his room, save for the night light in the farthest corner that illuminated just barely enough of the room. Right. It wasn't real. It was just- a fucked up nightmare. Well, that's one more thing he'll need to talk to his therapist about. He let out a breath he didn't know he was holding, and gripped at the bedsheets for comfort. Looking at his alarm clock, piercing bright red numbers stared back at him. 1:26 AM. Damn...

 His chest and stomach felt vaguely empty, so maybe he needed some food. And to check up on the others that reside in his house. Prying away his hands from the sheets, he tried to untangle his legs from their soft prison, with a varying level of success. He managed to get up out of bed with a huff, but ended up tripping and falling to the floor because one of his feet was still caught up in the blanket. Well, it's better than the murky waters of- he needed to cut that thinking out. The sooner he forgot about it, the better. 

 Getting up, he groaned and rubbed the back of his head. He looked to his side table, seeing the shine of his arm.  Would he need his prosthetic? He'd just be doing a snack run, right? That wouldn't require two hands. It's fine. He needed to go, maybe stop by the bathroom and wash his face so he could get the uncomfortable cold sweat off. He walked to his bedroom door and opened it, peeking from the crack as the door creaked. Walking out, he noticed the door across from his is cracked open. That's Benrey's room. Gently opening their door, he saw their messy room. Well, of course, but he wanted to know where the owner of the messy room was.

 As his eyes skirted around, they suddenly landed on them. Half on the bed, half not, snoring as loud as possible. Gordon let out a quiet snort-laugh, smiling softly at them. He knows they've changed for the better. He loves them a lot, it'll just take a lot of healing. Shaking his head, he exited the room, satisfied. He closed the door to the room and made his way to the bathroom to splash his face.

 But, it turns out... The cold water was actually worse than the cold sweat! It did get rid of the stickiness, though. He rubbed his face with a towel, getting rid of the wet substance that was leftover. Looking in the mirror, he only saw his reflection staring back. What was he expecting to see? Shaking his head, he left the bathroom. Walking down the corridor he made it to the stairs and descended to get to the kitchen.

 As his eyes adjusted to the lighter darkness downstairs, he noticed that the living room was a lot cleaner than it was yesterday. Toys were where they were supposed to be in their chest, the coffee table was cleaned off, the chairs were put back in place, and it seemed overall neater. Stepping off the last stair piece, he tilted his head. What?

 Making his way through the living room to the kitchen without stepping on any toys (thank god, no Lego related incidents today.), he saw that there was a figure sitting at the kitchen table. That wasn't ominous at all! Cautiously, he flicked the light upwards. The kitchen was flooded with soft, warm light and the room was illuminated enough to see who was sitting at the table, doing nothing but fiddling with their hands. Gordon let out a huge sigh of relief, seeing as it was someone familiar, well... Someone who was literally his kid.

 Gordon's hand slipped from the wall to hang by his side again, as he looked at the child seated at the table. "Kid, what're you doing up?" He rasped, voice not quite working yet. A quiet gasp left the seated being's mouth as he looked up, but he started to smile at seeing Gordon. "Oissu!" He replied. Gordon grinned as he walked over to rub the kid's head. PSP made a face and pushed Gordon's hand away from his pajama hatted head. "PSP, how long've you been up?" Gordon asked, and PSP made a quiet little noise. "Actually, wait until I get my coffee made. I can't see you sign if I'm across the room." Gordon replied, and a soft hum came from PSP as a form of acknowledgment.

 Gordon got a cup out of the cabinet and thought to himself about how maybe he should have brought his arm. Walking over to the household coffee machine, he put the cup underneath and chose a coffee pod he liked and put it in. As he waited for the coffee to brew, he heard a chair shuffle and footsteps patter to another part of the kitchen, and then some more shuffling and the sound of PSP picking up something fragile. Gordon turned his head to see PSP come closer to him with the sugar container. "Thanks." Gordon replied, and PSP smiled with a nod and went to go get a spoon. Gordon looked back as the coffee started to pour, and it wasn't long before PSP came back, clinking the spoon against the sugar container with an optimistic look. Taking the spoon from PSP and opening the sugar container, PSP carefully pulled the coffee cup off the platform. 

 Spooning in some sugar and stirring, Gordon sent PSP back to the table with a grin as he cleaned up the sugar and put the container along with the dirtied spoon away in their correct places. Coming back to sit at the table, he glanced at PSP who went back to fidgeting with his hands. "So, why are you up?" Gordon asked, and PSP looked away. "um," PSP mumbled, looking back and moving their hands to reply. 'Flashback, or nightmares.' He signed, and Gordon nodded. "Ah.. Yikes, same hat, huh?" Gordon gave him a sorry smile, and PSP seemed to calm down again. 'You did too?' He replied, and Gordon took a sip of his coffee and nodded. 

 "Yeah, it sucked. It was about... Y'know." Gordon sighed, and PSP tilted his head with a curious gaze. 'No, I don't. You don't have to tell me, but,' He paused, thinking of something to finish it with. 'Are you comfy talking about it? Yes? No?' PSP offered, and Gordon let out a quiet laugh at PSP's genuine attempt at trying to get through to him. "Maybe. For now, I'm more concerned about you and your nightmares. Aren't you messing up your schedule?" He asked, and PSP quickly came up with a response. 'Sleep isn't something that I need to do-' He tapped his lip, trying to think of more, it was always hard going into depth on what he can and can't do. 'I can, like, control myself? I don't get sleepy. Unless I take too much damage and I need to take sleep.' PSP explained, and Gordon nodded slowly. "Oh. That's why you- huh." PSP giggled, continuing to explain. 'Yeah! I sleep whenever I want, I don't get too full of sleepy or too tired. It's just... a thing I do.' He trailed off.

 Gordon tucked some loose strands of hair behind his ear and spoke again. "So, you had a nightmare?" PSP shrugged. 'I don't know. I guess? It's weird. I've never had them before. Not even when I lived in Long Life Town. Now I'm just thinking about all the stuff I did and its...' PSP shook his head, and went "bbb" verbally, unable to get it across in a way he liked. "It's okay, hey, you're not there anymore at least. Do you wanna talk about it? Maybe it'll get it out of your head faster." Gordon offered. "Uh," PSP thought about it. 'Maybe. It's hard. I miss a lot of my friends from town. I talk to UMD and some of the others online, but I wish I could see them again. I remembered kissing one of the residents? But then it got all scary. I know the person I was making happy was already really scary, his name was Chuck.' PSP shivered, clearly uncomfortable with remembering just who Chuck was.

 PSP quickly continued on, ignoring Gordon's look when he brought up the kissing bits. 'But, he got angry with me afterwards, and dragged me into the closet, where his hole was. And then I went down, down, down. That's never happened before.' PSP finished, frowning. That was... So fucked up, Gordon seriously needed to learn more about why this fourteen year old was forced to kiss people, especially people that live in holes that make said fourteen year old think they're gonna drag him down the hole they live in. "Sounds like a really messed up nightmare." Gordon commented, noticing PSP's upset expression, he furthered what he said. "Hey, again, it's not real, alright? You're not gonna have to go through that." Gordon comforted, and PSP nodded. 'What about you now?' He asked, and Gordon went silent. "Uhh... Fine, you got me." He let go of the handle of his cup and drummed his fingers against the table. 

 He sighed. "I just don't know where to begin. It's real messed up, I know you don't know what happened at my old workplace," PSP eyed him curiously, "but I know you do know who Benrey is." PSP nodded happily. 'Yes! Benny's cool!' He replied, and Gordon looked away for a moment. "Yeah, well, we have history. Some kinda bad history." PSP clasped his hands, making a small "oh" noise. "Me and them- we, uh. Didn't mix well. Always fighting, always arguing, stuff like that. It got real bad, Benrey... They became the end boss, you could say. In order to get out safe and come home, me and the science team, you may know them as Grampa Coomer and Bubby, and Tommy, we had to.. Fight. Fight Benrey." PSP grimaced as Gordon took a moment to recollect himself. "Yeah, we won! And Benrey came back, and we made up, and we're together now. Present is all good, because we got to meet you!" His hand darted out to ruffle PSP's head and PSP giggled, pushing him away once more. Retracting his hand, he started explaining his dream. "But in my nightmare, that's not what happened. We didn't win. We..." He rubbed at his face, taking a breath in. 'Lost?' PSP finished, sadly. 

 "I guess lost is the term for it. I woke up before something brutal happened to me in the dream world." Gordon replied, and PSP hummed. 'That sucks majorly. Are you okay? I'm sorry.' PSP responded, and Gordon grinned tiredly. "Yeah. It did suck majorly. I'm fine for now, what're you sorry for?" PSP shrugs. 'I dunno. I wish I could've been there to help.' PSP looked disheartened, and Gordon shook his head. "Hey now, you're helping out plenty here right now! Who else could I turn to in my darkest hour of need, a willing, listening ear?" Gordon gasped dramatically, putting an arm against his forehead with his eyes closed and mouth agape, making PSP laugh loudly. Dropping the act, Gordon sat up. "Alright, c'mon. I have a feeling we're not gonna sleep for a while, and talking about our icky nightmares isn't gonna pass time fast. I need to finish my coffee first, and get my prosthetic, but... Let's go play some games! What do you wanna play?" Gordon asked, and PSP jumped up with a happy grin. 'Animal cross! Or Mario Kart!' He provided, and Gordon rubs at the back of his neck. "Right. Was hoping you'd say something that I was good at." PSP takes that as a compliment and giggles. 'Don't worry, I'll spare you once or twice! You can also pick a game if you really don't wanna.' PSP offers, and Gordon rolls his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, alright. Go on, I need a sec to finish my coffee and get ready." He shooed PSP off.

 As PSP skipped into the neat living room, Gordon took another swig of his coffee, thinking about the exchange they just had. PSP and Gordon were so incredibly different, but in a way, extremely similar. Gordon's had to deal with his trauma from Black Mesa alone, pretty much, and from what Gordon could piece together, so did PSP. PSP seemed like he could only be a concept, an idea, after all.. Who names their kid PSP? And lets the kid named PSP just go out whenever and kiss some rando's for money, items, and friendship? Shaking his head, he takes a step away from the table. So different, yet so similar. He'd ponder this later, right now, he has to get ready so he can let PSP think he's kicking Gordon's behind in Mario Kart. Putting his now empty coffee cup in the sink, he left the kitchen, flicking off the light.