Welcome back to the sad Oscar AU. The unfortunate adventure continues for the little guy, as another upset in his new normal changes things again.
Oscar’s first car ride had been terrifying, trapped in the plastic ice bucket. Then, he hadn’t had any idea where he was going or what might happen to him. The sounds of a car all around him had been foreign and strange reminders of his predicament.
This time, he knew what was next. Noriko and Thomas didn’t exactly talk to him, but when they talked over him he picked up more than enough information. He was for sale. Mina was the human who would buy him. For all of Noriko’s cooing and hugging him, fawning over how cute he was and pinching his face in her fingers, she was eager to make as much money as she could with him.
All that time, he’d tried to ignore it. He was being prepared, like some kind of fancy toy, to be presented to Mina so they could hope for the biggest payout.
For the first few minutes of the car ride, Oscar stared up at the top of his cramped prison. The holes cut there only let in sparse light, and a rare glimpse of Noriko’s face or her straight black hair. The box rocked from side to side every once in a while as she fidgeted with him in hand.
Oscar looked away as the trip wore on. His eyes stung, an all too familiar sensation these days. Tears brimmed and then raced down his cheeks in time with his breathing. He brushed them away on a sleeve, but then more tears burst forth and he sobbed. He couldn’t stop the despairing emotions from crashing over him.
Noriko never noticed his cries. She talked to Thomas, but Oscar drowned out her words. Their voices were like broken glass jabbing at him.
By the time the car came to a stop, Oscar had curled himself into a tiny, shuddering ball. The tears tapered off as he looked up, his eyes sore and scratchy. He always cried more when he thought he couldn’t possibly have tears left. They always came.
Now, he needed to listen. “Do you want to go in with me?” Thomas asked.
To Oscar’s surprise, Noriko’s voice was tight with emotion when she responded. “Ohh, I shouldn’t,” she said, and Oscar’s box lifted up, presumably to be handed off. “I miss him already, Tom.”
“Aww, Nori,” Thomas chided gently, a smile coloring his tone. “Are you sure you’re okay selling this one? It seemed to take a real shine to you. I’m sure Mina would understand.”
“Nooo,” she replied, drawing out the word. “I know I do this every time, but I’m just a foster mommy, really,” she assured him. “He needs to go to someone else who will love him just as much.”
Oscar shuddered and shrank into himself. His chest ached from sobs he couldn’t let out anymore. He didn’t want to go to some other human. He was nothing more than a doll to them. A scared little pet who was too weak to escape.
“Okay,” Thomas replied, still amused. A car door opened. “Be right back.”
Just like that, Noriko was out of Oscar’s life, and he was out of hers. He couldn’t even see the moment, trapped as he was in the box, but the finality in their voices couldn’t be denied.
Now, as Thomas carried him to his next destination, Oscar couldn’t decide if he wished he could stay with the nightmare he knew. Wherever he went next might be better than Noriko’s coddling and treating him like a toy.
He heard the sound of Thomas knocking on a door and shuddered.
It might be worse, too.