Sykkuno talks to himself.
He just does, okay? People think it’s weird, at first, but he’s not crazy. Which, of course, is exactly what a crazy person would say, but if you heard him you’d realize it’s harmless. Less than harmless. Mostly he just talks to whatever inanimate object he’s interacting with, or chats with his plants, or makes up little songs to make whatever chore he’s doing a little less boring. His habit has even been called cute, on occasion, which is a pretty far cry from crazy.
So he talks to himself, and it’s a bit odd but ultimately harmless.
Until his new house starts talking back.
Before he continues, he’d like to reiterate: not crazy.
His house is not actually talking to him. There aren’t voices in the walls and it’s not, like, commanding him to murder his friends or anything. Nothing like that.
But yesterday, when he’d been singing ‘gotta get the milk, gotta get the milk, get the milk for the cereeeaaalll,’ (not the most inspired tune, but he’d just woken up and thought he was alone, sue him) the fridge door opened. By itself.
He’d blinked dazedly at it, written it off as him still being half asleep, and got the milk for the cereal.
Later, when he’d been unpacking more of his things, he’d been humming under his breath, which turned into ‘lights, lights, lights, gotta get the lights to make the whole room… brights?’ (and yes, maybe ‘talking to himself’ is generally more like ‘singing to himself’ which is simultaneously less crazy-sounding and much more embarrassing). After the second verse, which was exactly the same as the first verse, and two fruitless boxes, one had sort of… skittered across the floor at him.
He’d let out a very manly yelp.
Rats, probably , was his first thought, even though he’d never known a rat that pushes boxes at people. An advanced rat, maybe? He sat there staring at the box for what felt like a very long time, but it didn’t move again and nothing scuttled out from behind it. Even longer was spent stalking around it in a wide circle, and then poking around the rest of the room, looking for… something. Anything. Any sort of explanation would do, honestly. He was so far from picky at this point.
Nothing came up.
Out of other options, he tentatively opened the box.
Inside were the fairy lights he’d been looking for.
And, look: he’d just moved. It had been a stressful time. He’d spent the last night sleeping in a pile of blankets on the floor. There were any number of excuses for those two occurrences - the fridge latch was faulty, the ground was uneven, he’d imagined it, etcetera.
He decided to very purposefully forget about it. He’d gotten an amazing deal on this place and he was not about to let his imagination ruin it for him.
Until, that night, he’d been laying in his blanket-nest, and wondered out loud, “Did I lock the door?”
And, unmistakably, the click-click of the door unlocking and locking again echoed through the barren house.
He’d bolted upright, then froze. What exactly was the tactic here? There were no guidelines for this sort of thing.
It wasn’t like he could sleep without checking - hell, he probably wasn’t going to sleep even after he checked - so after a few minutes of letting his breathing settle, he crept through the dark to the front door.
As he watched, the lock flipped from the locked position to the unlocked position, then back again. He blinked and stared.
It did it again. Somehow, the motion looked almost annoyed. He didn’t know unlocking and locking a door could look annoyed.
He sort of stumbled back to his makeshift bed and laid down, staring at the ceiling.
So. His house is, while not technically talking to him, certainly… communicating with him. Probably. Or maybe he actually is crazy, but he hadn’t been when he’d moved in - certainly someone would’ve told him if he’d gone off the deep end?
He’d woken up that morning and very intentionally did not sing as he made eggs for breakfast. He didn’t talk to his plants as he watered them, didn’t even hold his daily shower concert. After all that was done, he sat in the middle of the floor and thought fruitlessly about what to do.
Streaming was out. There was no way he could act normal for his viewers, and he hadn’t set up his studio yet anyway.
Telling his friends, while probably the best option, was not his favorite. They’d been concerned about him moving out already, this would certainly have them cajoling him into moving back ASAP. While he loved living with them and they were fantastic people, having his own space was… well, it wasn’t something he’d ever had before, and he wanted it for at least a while, now that he was able.
The house being sentient was… not part of the plan, but it didn’t seem malicious, so he could work with that. Probably.
“So,” he started, and realized abruptly that talking to yourself and expecting an answer was much different than talking to yourself to fill the silence. “Are you, uh, friendly?”
“House? I’m talking to you. There isn’t actually anyone else here.”
There was a thud from the room next to his.
“That’s… inconclusive.” Silence. Sykkuno was not crazy. Really. He wasn’t. Probably. He was just talking to his house, sitting on the floor in an empty room. As you do. “Well!” he says, sounding brighter than he feels, “please refrain from murdering me or driving up the water bill!”
Distantly, he hears the sound of a faucet being turned on then immediately shut off. He can’t help but roll his eyes. “Yes, yes, you’re very funny.” Silence. Welp, nothing else for it then. He grabs his keys and heads out to get a bed: hopefully this has all been a momentary psychotic episode brought on by too little sleep.
While an IKEA bed frame may not exactly be the definition of luxury, it has the benefit of fitting in his car. He lugs it in and flops it in the room he’d deigned the bedroom, then gets to work deciphering the cryptic texts that make up the IKEA instruction booklet.
Annnddd promptly flings the booklet away after the first sentence. How hard could it be?
“Finding the right screw, y’know you need the right screw, it’s not like any other screw~! Could do~! What this screw can do~!” His song, while helpful at cheering him up, is doing precious little as far as helping him find the right screw. It should be… small? He thinks? Most of them are small, but this one seems extra small, so maybe one of the ones that had rolled into the corner.
“Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, if you can’t find that-” he cuts off abruptly as a very small screw rolls towards him. Right. The helpful, sentient house. “Er, thanks?”
He tries the screw, and of course it’s a perfect fit. However, before he can start screwing it in, the pieces he was fitting together are tugged out of his hands, rotated, and unceremoniously shoved back at him.
“Uh,” he very eloquently says. “Are you sure this is correct?”
The booklet he’d flung to parts unknown is slid towards him in a manner he’d deem huffy, if he were the sort of person that anthropomorphizes houses. He looks at the booklet, then at the pieces in his hands. They match the diagram it’s open to perfectly, where they had not before.
“Well, that’s… convenient? Thank you, uh, house?” Yep, instead of being the type of person who anthropomorphizes houses, he’s just the kind of person that talks to them. That’s… better. Surely.
The pages of the booklet flutter.
It seems like every step he’s doing something wrong: screws are rolled out of his reach when he tries to grab for them, other, slightly different screws being rolled towards him in their place. Pieces are rearranged, and on one memorable occasion, forcibly ripped out of his hands (which is honestly a little bit scary, because the house hadn’t interacted with him quite so aggressively before, though the house seems to understand, because the next time he picks up the wrong piece, the pages of the booklet just flutter irritably until he exchanges it for the right one).
In the end, he has a perfectly serviceable bed frame through no fault of his own.
“Um.” He stares at the completed project. “Thank you? I couldn’t have done it without you. As in, I really would not have been able to do this, apparently.” The booklet flutters with a distinctly happy air to it this time.
He… needs to go to bed. Hopefully when he wakes up, this will have all been a very odd example of why good sleep is important.
He calls whatever mattress place comes up first on Google and they promise to deliver a mattress ASAP, even going as far as offering to bring it in and flop it on the bed frame. That sorted, he wanders into the kitchen and stares blankly at the fridge. Then he wanders to the window and stares blankly at the street outside.
After that, he sits down on the floor and googles ‘sentient house’, because he really can't think of what else to stare at in the name of procrastination. He gets a lot of results about ghosts, which is not something he will allow himself to consider for even a second. Ghosts aren’t real, his house is not haunted, he’s just sleep deprived and his house has… personality. He’s living on his own for the first time, of course it’s going to seem weird. This is probably normal house stuff, he’s just never noticed because he’s always been living with a bunch of people.
His conviction that everything is normal lasts right up until the mattress people come to deliver the mattress. The guy in front takes a single step in, and pandemonium erupts.
The lights flicker, first, which is - fine. The dude looks up, gives a sort of half-shrug, and continues onward. In a split second all the cupboards fling open and dishes start flinging out of some while the others slam shut. Ceramic shatters as the fridge door is nearly taken off its hinges, and an almost-full carton of eggs hits the wall opposite, splattering it with viscous liquid.
A knife embeds itself into the wall. The garbage disposal turns on. The lights don’t stop flickering. The microwave starts beeping incessantly, which he wasn’t even aware microwaves could do . Milk is slammed on the floor, the jug cracking and covering the entire kitchen, including Sykkuno, in milk.
As soon as it had started, it all stops.
Sykkuno blinks dumbly at the mess. A cupboard creaks as its door swings forlornly in the still air. A droplet of milk slides down his cheek; he can feel when it drips off his chin.
When he turns back around, the mattress people are gone, the mattress forgotten two-thirds of the way through the door.
As a rule, Sykkuno doesn’t really cuss, but there’s exceptions to every rule, and if this wasn't one he doesn’t know what is. “What the actual fuck was that!?” he yells at the kitchen at large.
The cupboard door creaks.
He throws his arms in the air with an indecipherable shout, stomping his foot for good measure. It makes the puddle of milk at his feet splash up onto his pants, which makes him yell again. The kitchen stays still and silent.
He tugs off his milky shirt and throws it in the puddle, figuring he’d have to wash it anyway and having very few ways he can accurately express his anger - especially to a house, of all things.
He strips the rest of his clothes off on the way to the shower, leaving a trail of milky footprints and apparel, and turns the water up as hot as he can stand it.
Then he gets in the shower and empathetically does not cry.
He may, possibly, have a ghost.