Chapter 1: An unexpected patient
Dark was lightly dozing in the reclined chair next to the hospital bed, his hand still lightly clasped around Anti's as they both slept.
The beeping from Edward's hospital equipment acted like a metronome, consistent and comforting.
The door to the room opened softly as Edward came in to check in on the pair. He picked up the clipboard hung over the end of the bed, pulled out his pen and began to copy down the data he needed from his machines.
Edward carefully lifted Anti's arm, checking the needles were still in securely. Anti twitched in his sleep, waking Dark suddenly.
He opened his eyes, getting ready to sit up before being shushed by Edward.
"You should go home for a bit Dark, you need to shower, sleep and eat."
Dark sighed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"I'm fine, I just need a coffee."
"It's been three days Dark, go home and get rest."
"No but's Dark!" Edward said sternly, "I'm a doctor and I say he's going to be okay, so go home and freshen up before your boyfriend wakes up!"
With a slight smile, Dark shrugged his shoulders as he stood up.
"I'll be back soon."
"Don't worry about things here, I'll stay in here till you get back."
With a light kiss to Anti's forehead, Dark left the room.
Dark woke up at home in his bed. Stretching out, he heard the kettle boiling downstairs.
Instantly tensing, he grabbed the closest pair of bottoms he could see and crept downstairs.
The kettle had boiled and now the kitchen was filled with a jovial voice singing under their breath.
Dark picked up a decorative paper weight from the book shelf he was walking by, raising it ready to club the intruder to death. He quickly glanced into the kitchen, letting out an annoyed sigh of relief.
"You know that I don't mind having you around Wil, just knock on the door next time!"
The pink moustached man turned around in surprise.
"Sorry about that old chap! Your door was open so I assumed that you wouldn't mind me skipping the formalities!"
Dark shrugged and went to the cupboard to grab a mug.
"Soooo... How's Anti?" Wilford called from the breakfast bar.
"He's... stable I suppose" Dark replied helplessly, pouring the freshly brewed coffee into the mug.
"That's great!" Wilford exclaimed, "I can't wait to meet him in person, he sounds like a lovely fellow!"
Dark smiled, "I suppose he is."
Dark went in the shower. He was insanely grateful for Wilford for agreeing to upkeep his house whilst he was in hospital. There wasn't many people that Dark trusted but he was glad to keep calling the crazy cotton candy man his friend.
Picking up his flannel, he began to scrub deeply, enjoying the hot water on his tired body.
It had been a long three days. He hadn't expected Anti to react as he did. Yeah, just because he and Wil had attempted suicide didn't mean that everyone who became aware did. He and Wil were already messed up, Anti though... he wasn't as damaged before. or maybe he was?
Grr! Emotions were complicated! He just wanted Anti back beside him.
Turning off the shower, he made his way back to his bedroom, getting ready to return back to the hospital.
Chapter 2: A sane man in a insane world
It's rather hard to write when my little brother is around :)
Wilford carried on cleaning up Dark's kitchen whilst he went to the hospital.
Whilst this may have seemed like a long, ardourness task to any other mortal, Wilford found it rather fun! Open a dimension portal and shove a dirty pan into someone else's sink whilst grabbing their clean one. Use a unnecessary amount of bubbles in the sink and when done with them, turn the sink water into a fountain in another universe, let the kids and adults wonder where the bubbly fountain appeared from!
This was one of Wilford's favourite activities to do- try to bamboozle the unawakened and mess up their idea of reality with the weird and wonderful!
Thinking of which, Wilford decided that Dark's kitchen was slightly too clean, organised, boring!
Reaching into a cupboard, Wilford sighed before opening a portal to his baking cupboard.
Putting both hands in, Wilford started grabbing every jar, box and packet he could reach.
Wilford grabbed a clean mixing bowl, shoving memorised measures of ingredients in, giggling to himself.
Using his magic, Wilford set to mixing the dry ingredients together as he leapt to Dark's fridge.
He instantly recoiled at the smell of rotting food that he had not gotten around to throwing out. With a wiggle of his mustache, Wilford emptied the contents quickly into a void.
Sighing at the now empty fridge, he opened yet another doorway to another fridge. He closed and reopened the fridge again, pulling out milk, butter and eggs.
He turned back to the kitchen side, measuring out the correct amounts he needed before carrying the spare back. Wilford jumped back slightly in suprise, finding a silver haired man in a cat mask having opened the other side of the fridge.
"Terribly sorry friend! I have borrowed some butter! I will replace it soon!" Wilford cheerfully closed the fridge again as well as the portal to the other universe.
Marvin stared at the back of the fridge in shock.
There was a man in the back of his fridge stealing his butter.
With Marvin's next blink, the pink man was gone and the fridge back to normal.
Closing the fridge carefully, Marvin furrowed his brow.
Throwing all caution to the wind, he reopened the fridge, hoping to catch the man again.
Disappointed, he grabbed the milk he had originally went for and put it on his counter.
He picked up his milk jug and opened the bottle of milk, finding only a dribble left.
Sighing, he threw it in the recycle bin, resigning to the fact that he would be drink black tea until he went out again to grab more milk.
He turned back to the empty kitchen and sat back down at the laptop set up. He wiggled his mouse, revealing a page set up to tumblr. On that he saw pictures of Anti, not his Anti but versions of others.
Grabbing his notebook, he carried on his search for his brother.
He would find him, eventually.
Scrolling down, he came across a curious post about a pink mustached man.
He carried on reading.
Chapter 3: A physician's tale
"Any change Doctor?"
Edward leapt back from one of the machines he was examining, hand slapping his chest as he turned to the voice.
"Jesus fucking christ Dark! Can't you open the door and enter the room like a normal person?!"
Dark snorted from the corner he had just materialised from, a grin forming at the sight of catching Edward off guard.
"Now where would be the fun in that?"
Shaking his head slightly, Edward straightened his coat.
"Nothing has changed for the worse if that is what you are asking," The doctor re-examined his notes, "His body seems to have been healing itself quite quickly, I doubt they'll be any long term damage when he decides to wake up."
"Yes Dark, apart from the obvious. You and I know very well that suicide leaves a mark that I can't heal completely, all we can do is make sure that he knows that he is loved, supported and important."
Dark leaned down and gently kissed Anti's head.
"I can do that."
Whilst time did not official exist, Edward felt the tiredest in a long time. He picked up his jacket and bag, turned off the light to his office and locked the door. Looking back through the ward doors window one finally time, Edward walked through the exit doors back into the main section of the hospital. As he reached the main corridor, his head spun.
Dammit, Edward thought to himself as he leaned against the wall, three years of travelling between dimensions and he still couldn't handle it well. What did he expect, to develop powers? To be able teleport without getting sick?
No, fortunately, Edward was 100% human. His purpose was to be a doctor who could heal anyone or anything.
And that was okay, Edward was very comfortable with that role, maybe he wasn't at the beginning but time heals all wounds.
"I need your help doctor." Dark had asked desperately.
"But of course, what do you need?"
"... I need you to really think about what you are saying before you agree to anything, if you come with me, I can't take you back."
"Are you in a gang?"
"No," Dark had smiled, "That would be a lot easier to understand."
"Then let's go!"
"Ed!" a voice called out.
Standing tall again, Edward turned to the man.
"Henrick! I thought you weren't working today?"
Schneep caught up quickly, slightly out of breath.
"There was an emergency in the morgue, apparently we've lost a body!"
"Oh! How peculiar!"
"Exactly what I thought! I know everything that goes in or out of that place but according to the computers, one of the autopsies I conducted never even happened!"
"Freaky!" Edward furrowed his brow in mock surprise, "Maybe there is a glitch in the system?"
Henrick raised his hands questioningly.
"Maybe I am becoming the mad scientist they think I am?"
Edward shuck his head quickly.
"You're not crazy my friend."
Henrick sighed in relief.
"Thank you," Henrick smiled shyly, "Do you wanna go catch a film tonight or something?"
"Maybe another time?" Edward said sadly, "It's been a long day."
"Ah... text me later?"
Edward put his meal in the microwave and pressed start.
He walked into his bathroom, taking off his uniform and washing his face under the cold water from his sink. The last three days had been challenging to say the least. Despite being trained and dealing with troubled people, it didn't ever make it easier to see a person in pain.
"I have to warn you," Dark said carefully, "It doesn't make sense logically."
"I've probably seen worse, I am a doctor after all!"
"I doubt you've seen anything like this," Dark paused, "This is your last chance to leave, you can turn away right now and I won't hold it against you."
"Dark, you asked me for help, I'm going to help."
Dark then grabbed Edward's forearm and crossed into the void.
The microwave pinged, pulling Edward out of his head space. Grabbing a nightgown, Ed made his way back into the kitchen.
Strange, he thought, despite the extra income he was earning from Dark, he still resorted to quick microwave meals.
Picking up the hot plastic between his fingers, Edward made his way to his round sofa. He put his meal on the coffee table and picked up the remote, turning the tv on.
Edward leaned back, scrolling through the channels mindlessly before stopping on a generic music channel.
Sighing, he picked up the microwaved mush and began to shovel it down his throat without much care.
"Hold on Edward, breathe. I'm sorry, I completely forgot that you are mortal, take a moment."
Edward threw dirty look at Dark. Dark shrugged back.
"Where are we? I can't see anything!"
"...Are you sure you want to know?"
"I wouldn't have asked otherwise."
Dark closed his eyes, collecting his thoughts.
"I call it the void. It's the space in between."
"In between where?"
Edward shivered, breaking his thoughts yet again. He hadn't noticed it get dark out. Turning off the tv, Ed took his rubbish back to the kitchen. Rubbing his eyes, he checked the clock before sighing again. He really needed to stop that, time made no sense anymore, the only thing that made sense was Edward was tired and needed to rest up before answering Anti's inevitable questions when he woke up. Although he probably knew less than Dark did about this... whatever bullshit it was.
"Look dark, you need to stop fucking with me right now."
"I'm not friend."
"What the fuck did you drug me with?"
"Nothing, this is only the beginning-"
"What is the beginning? What the fuck is this Dark? I'm a fucking Doctor, not a space physicist or a gullible druggie!"
Dark put his hand to his forehead.
"I didn't ask you to come here to he high or try to explain this... thing." Dark exasperated, "I asked you to be a doctor."
Edward gave up, raising his hands in the air.
"Okay, show me the patient."
Dark gestured to another part of the void, waving his arm as he created a door in the smoke
"After you doctor."
Rolling his eyes, Edward opened the door. Inside was a dark damp cellar, it appeared to be a basement to a house of some kind. Dark followed the doctor in, closing the void behind them. With a clap, the lights illuminated the room. A few boxes, a washing machine, low beams and in the corner a temporary bed had been set out where a curled up person lay shivering.
Walking slowly as not to scare the person, Edward placed his hands on the persons shoulder and laid them out on their back.
Edward curled back in horror instinctively at the sight.
Maybe he was in too deep.
Chapter 4: The way out
I wrote this chapter whilst listening to "Let's go" by Stuck in the Sound.
I would highly recommend listening to it- I think it accurately shows my idea of what is happening to Marvin in this story.
Marvin woke up the door being suddenly slammed shut. Picking up his face from his papers and laptop on the kitchen table, he rubbed the dried drool from his face as he looked up to Henrick who had just come in.
"Sorry Marvin, I didn't mean to slam the door."
"It's okay, I only had my eyes closed for a moment."
Schneep went to the kettle and prepared a pot of coffee.
"What are you even working on? You've not left the table in three days!"
"Nothing much, just trying to track down something I lost..."
"What have you lost? Maybe I could help, I'm good at research?" Henrick suggested, knowing that asking Marv to stop was an impossible task. Once Marvin set his mind to a task, he couldn't be pried from it even with a crow bar.
"It's... hard to explain..."
Schneep sat down opposite Marvin, put a coffee down for the both of them and gestured for him to continue.
"It's a guy, I've known him for years and now he's gone and no one can remember him except me."
Schneep raised his eyebrow.
"What's his name?"
"...Anti I think?"
Henrick threw his head back in exasperation.
"I thought we went over this h̵̟͟e̦̼̳̬͢͠ ̛̻͓͖̺̥̯̱̙̪n̝̭̟̪͚e̼̳̱̱̩͝v̰̙̲̼͓̗̼e͎̜͘͢r̵̸̨̫̺̪̝̲ ̞̲̮̺e̘̻͚͎̯͈̩̫̘x̷̡̭͍̪͕͈͔̜̫i̸̵̬͈͙̭̥̣͚̩͝s̯͇̼͕̩̬ͅt̶̷̼̙͇̺̳͙̼͔͡ͅe͈̼d҉̴҉̬̣"
"Then why do I have memories of him? Like full life experiences and-"
"Are you taking your pills Marvin? You've been working yourself to death down here-"
"It's not the pills! I know this is real-"
"No!" Schneep stood up, his patience running thin, "I think you need to shower and sleep and then tomorrow we'll review your medication."
Schneep sighed at his harshness.
"I'm sorry Marvin," He said rubbing his forehead, "I didn't mean to get angry, I know you aren't doing this on purpose, I just think you need to sleep."
"Okay," Marvin replied shakily "I get it, I'll just tidy up."
So much for Henrick's help. Now Marvin had an even smaller time to find Anti before the larger dose of Anti depressents would mess with his head. He knew he was close, he could practical feel the answer on the tip of his tongue. However for now, he needed to play it safe with Schneep. He quickly packed up the laptop and notebooks before leaving the kitchen quickly.
It was strange to have the house so empty- Chase had go to the cabin with his kids, Jackie had been working with the police for the last week intensively, Robbie needed time away to relax so JJ had gone with him to the coast.
Maybe that's what Marvin needed- a coastal break. Maybe then he could sort his hallucinations of doppelgangers and pink men in fridges from reality.
Yawning deeply, Marvin stripped out of his clothes and dove into bed. Snuggling into the pillows, he couldn't help but feel he was missing something. His arm patted the bed in a familiar pattern, as if he was waiting for a pet of some kind to jump in.
No pet came.
Marvin sat up quickly, turning on his lamp. There was a faint smell of cat in his room, too faint for the human nose but Marvin could feel it with his aura.
He had a cat until very recently. What was their name again? What colour were they?
Marvin couldn't remember. It was similar to a time before- maybe? Like some magical force was making him forget things. He knew he felt it before, Marvin just couldn't remember when.
Shifting his shoulders with false bravado, Marvin turned off the lamp and fell asleep instantly.
Marvin walked into a circle of people. All around him were distorted versions of him, some with green hair, some with silver, some had short hair and few had long.
Their masks were all slightly different, some made of paper, some porcelain, some done crudely whilst others had been enchanted.
They were all Marvin and Marvin was all of them. They all looked at him, curious as to how he would react.
"I need help remembering, I need to find Anti."
They all raised their left arm, pointing behind him. Marvin turned slowly, following their fingers to a cork board displaying a pink sticky note.
Marvin walked towards the board, not noticing the other Marvin's disappearing behind him- they had done their job.
Marvin woke with a jolt. Turning his lamp on, he rushed to his cork board on the wall.
He tore down paper, looking desperately for the pink sticky note.
He caught a slither of pink and slowed down. Pulling the note off the board, he read it in the dim room.
A͇͍͚̙r̴̮̯e̤̜͕̙̬̭ ̷͕̺͎͓̠̬͓y̗͕̻͘o͉̤̝͖̤͖̫u̵̗̼̫̲͖ ͚̲̮̤͟ͅs̴̮͓̹̪͖u̘͉͓͕͞r̥̤̕e̷̜̺ ̹̙̜̮͓̹̺y̷̘͉͍o̦̤͔̖̦͔͠u̶̘̳̱̫͙ ̤̪̖̮͍͝w̖̳̹̱a̵̻n͇͕t̤̩̬͍̜̬͞ ̡͇̣͉ͅt͏̗̪̯̰̯̪ͅo͇̮͉̬̜͘ ͖̳͇f̟̦̥̱in̨͚d͕̣̤̦̠̣̘͢ ̘̲͎͚̹͖̺͡m̙̦̥̤̻e̶ ̷̙̬͙̰M̹̝͈͍a̯̗r̼v͘i̞͢n?
Chapter 5: Wake me up
Dark was gently snoring when Anti opened his eyes. He looked around at his surroundings, the entire room bathing in the early morning light that streamed from the long window. To the right of his bed sat Dark, curled uncomfortably into the armchair, his hair draped across his face, slightly moving as he snored.
"Ow!" Anti said between gritted teeth as he tried to move his head to the left.
Dark was up in an instant, emotions running across his face quickly- confusion, joy, concern... fear?
"Mornin?" Anti croaked sheepishly.
"Good morning to you too," Dark smiled back, "You slept in a while."
Anti tried to laugh but his throat gave out to a croak halfway. Dark poured him a glass of water from the pitcher next to the table.
"Slowly dear, I don't want you to throw up."
Anti sipped, his dry throat already feeling much better.
"What happened Dark? Where am I?"
Dark held Anti's hand.
"You're in hospital, you've been asleep for around four days."
Anti relaxed slightly.
"Where's Marvin? Is he okay? Where is Schneep? I assume he's been treating me."
Dark visibly flinched and blanched.
"... you don't remember do you?"
"I don't remember anything after the explosion in the pub with Marvin," Anti tried to catch Dark's eyes, "What did I do?"
Dark took a moment before meeting Anti's questioning eyes.
"You tried to commit suicide..." Dark's voice shook slightly, "I almost didn't find you in time, I almost lost you completely."
"So apart from the obvious neck wound, your brain has gone back to it's normal size, almost all the excessive carbon is out of your system and your burns on your arm are healing nicely." Dr Iplier informed Anti, closing his clipboard.
Anti sat in silence, sipping his water as he tried to wrap his head around what had happened.
He'd tried to commit suicide, by all accounts he should be dead just from drowning in his own blood, never mind losing that much in first place.
Yet he was still here.
"I am still going to monitor you for a few days more before letting you leave. I am also arranging a time slot suitable for the both of us so that you can undergo trauma therapy-"
"Why doc? You wouldn't understand me even if I tried."
Edward stood up with a grim smile.
"Now that is where you would be wrong Anti."
Dark reentered the room, eyes red and swollen.
"I'll be back with your food in an hour." The doctor said, leaving the room.
Dark stood idle and uncomfortable in the doorway.
"Did you need any help with anything? Maybe I can-"
"Maybe you can tell me what the fuck is going on?"
Dark stood awkwardly again, not meeting Anti's glare.
"Maybe this conversation can wait till you're well enough?"
"I think you've left me ignorant for too long." Anti snapped.
"It's... a long story" Dark mumbled unhelpfully.
Anti crossed his arms.
"I'm not going anywhere fast and time doesn't really exist anyway so why don't you start talking now."
Dark sighed defectively and made his way to the bottom of Anti's bed.
"Well... you'd better make yourself comfortable."
Chapter 6: The Devoid and the Immoral pt.1
This chapter takes place during "Who Killed Markiplier?" and fills in gaps that Mark left- especially what happens in the "upside down".
Again, this story is getting more complex so please free to message me on here or on my tumblr LegoHurtsLikeSatan if you have any questions :)
It was 1925 and Damien was Mayor of a major city. With no steady female partner, rumors were rampant in the media of his so called "perverse sexual exploits". There was nothing Damien could really do other than deny everything and refuse to have any pictures taken other than on official business. What did it matter where he stuck his dick? It didn't make him any less good at his job! He wished he didn't have to hide or be ashamed of himself, he'd worked hard to get where he was.
However, if it ever got out that he was a raving queer, he'd be thrown out of office and into an insane asylum.
Damien wasn't normal, he was unnatural, perverse, ashamed.
A goddamn homosexual in a dangerous position with few allies he could count on that would fight to keep him in office.
But behind closed doors and in his private sphere, Damien was loved and accepted. He had a studio in the city, close to the town hall so he would have a comfortable commute to work. However, Damien wouldn't refer to this studio as his home. He had a family, an unusual family yes, but a family beyond the city limits that resided in Markiplier Manor.
He first came across that house five years prior. He was visiting his sister Celine and her fiancee, an up and coming actor Mark Fischbach.
Damien was travelling back from England after studying classics at the University of Cambridge. He'd been accepted on a scholarship and was studying alongside newly made war heroes in the war to end all wars. It was here Damien met the eccentric Colonel, William.
Damien had been reading a book in the corner of the student pub, keeping to himself. He'd been finding it hard to mingle with the English men because most regarded him a "coward" for not fighting in Europe- they were wrong of course, the US had not asked him to serve, one could say that he had won the conscription lottery.
It seemed to happen rather suddenly, one moment Damien was sitting absorbed in his book, occasionally sipping his wine, the next moment the young colonel came clambering over to the secluded corner with two glasses of beer in his hands.
"What are you doing here huddled all alone old chap?" The man slurred slightly, putting the glasses on the table in front of Damien.
"I was reading," Damien shut his book with a smile to his new drinking companion, "And what do you mean 'old?' I'm not balding quite yet."
"Forgive me! I didn't realise that you too were an American! I'm William!"
Damien and William became fast friends from that night on. It turned out that William was the adopted brother of Damien's neighbour in the US but had been travelling in the Army around the world since he had turned 18. He had been awarded a place on a philosophy course due to 'exemplary valor' ("We didn't do anything in particular, it's just another piece of paper to shove into people's faces!").
Damien was finally becoming happy in England, he had a friend of whom he could trust with his life. William was like a breathe of fresh air, he had no filter so that made him brutally honest with Damien.
"My brother thinks that just because he is a blood relative that he entitled to everything! Our father made it very clear in his will that we were both his sons and that his estates would be split between the two of us!" William took another swig of the brandy, laying back into Damien's chest, "Buuuuut noooo! Apparently we weren't brothers after all so I had to find my own fortune in the army!"
"Families suck," Damien agreed, taking a swig of William's brandy, "The only letter I've had off my sister in a year came today and it was just her telling me about this airhead actor that she met!"
"All actors are assholes, trust me, they have egos that swell beyond whats normal and they over compensate for their tiny peni!"
The pair collapsed into drunk laughter, tears falling down their faces.
"You sound like you know what a good penis looks like!" Damien said with a flirty wink, his guard dropping quickly around William.
"Well, you'd be right old chap!" William replied jovially.
"...really?" Damien questioned, unsure of the mood.
"Yeah." William confirmed resolutely, eyes softening as he met Damien's unsure gaze.
Cautiously, Damien lent down towards William's face, fear and curiosity filling Damien's face. William closed his eyes and met Damien's lips halfway, gently kissing him.
Chapter 7: Smoke and Guns pt.2
It was years later now and a lot of things had changed.
Damien and William had a short but sweet relationship whilst they were in England but had to end it swiftly as they went back to America. They continued to be close friends- so close in fact that when Damien started his political career, a small time reporter caught them canoodling in a shady part of a private club. Damien had to diffuse the situation VERY quickly once William pulled out a revolver on the poor man, quickly grabbing the man's camera and throwing a fistful of cash in his general direction before dragging William away.
It would have been safer to completely destroy the camera and its contents but the pictures were very good and Damien didn't have that many "intimate" pictures with his sweetheart. Damien developed them in secret and put them in frames, behind photos of his family. There! At least he could have pictures of his sweetheart on the mantle piece.
Damien straightened out his jacket once more before checking himself over in his long mirror. Mark was hosting a party tonight for the first time in several months and was very eager to have William over.
Damien did not expect the Colonel to stay celibate for him, he doubted very much that it would be ever completely safe for them to be romantic partners but that didn't mean it was any easier when he found out that William had pursued his sister, Celine!
Especially since Celine was married to Mark!
Mark was furious when he found out about the pair, Celine moved back into the family home, unable to divorce so separated. William ran off, hiding at his friends and many lovers in Europe, writing to Damien regularly, sending him little trinkets and such.
Damien moved back in with Celine but refused to take sides with anyone, he was everyone's friend and could understand everyone's quarrels and points of view.
So years later after all this had gone down and William wrote to Damien explaining that he was returning, Mark decided to host a party. Damien was naturally invited, along with the new District Attorney and Mark's close friend Abe of whom was a detective. The only invitation that surprised Damien was the one to William.
"Oh it was a long time ago! I just wanted to do things like we did before the war before I go!"
"Before you go? Where are you going?" Damien had asked.
"Oh, just to another studio to make more films, you know how it is Dame!" Mark had replied dismissively.
Straightening his bow tie, Damien headed out of the door and into the awaiting taxi that would take him to the manor.
Damien stood to the side of the living room, a glass of port in his hand as he tried to blend into the background. Sure, he knew Benjamin the butler and the chef but they were busy working. Abe stood next to him quietly with a glass of whiskey.
"How are you doing mister Mayor?"
Damien snorted and shook his head.
"It's Damien, I've told you before Abe, we're friends!"
"Forgive me, it's still slightly new for me to see you in charge."
"How's the PI business going?"
"Well! I can live more comfortably now and I always have customers!"
"I'm happy for you." Damien said quickly, sipping his port again. He looked towards the door again.
"Looking for somebody?"
"A friend I hope."
"Of course! The District Attorney is new in town right?"
"Yes." Damien said curtly. He wasn't referring to them, he was more interested if William would show his face.
As if he were the devil himself, in walked the district attorney with William following carefully behind them. Damien walked up to the colonel and gave him a hard hug.
"I missed you old friend."
"And I you Damien." William murmured back, holding Damien just as fiercely.
A throat cleared behind them. Damien looked around to find Ben trying discretely to get their attention. He quickly gestured towards Mark coming down the staircase. Ben had never had an issue with their queerness seen as though he was involved with another butler *ahem Ethan* but Mark was an asshole. He knew that he would turn both pairs of men in without any guilt on his conscious.
"I'll see you at the poker table." Damien murmured into William's ear before making his way towards the table for another top up. This was going to be hard.
Damien woke up with William's arm around his waist. He checked the clock- 7am. He turned around, facing the sleeping man.
"I need to shower," Damien said softly, "As do you dear."
William just grumbled in response, holding Damien tighter.
"I'll see you at breakfast." Damien left William's arms reluctantly. Looking back at the bed, William's eyes were open slightly, a sad smile on his face.
Damien kissed his forehead quickly and left to wash up.
"What's happened in here?"
"I'm afraid it's murder mister mayor."
"... I need to let the colonel know."
"Come on Will! I know you hated the guy-"
"-I don't know what you want from me Damien!"
"I want you to care! He reached out to you!"
"Just because I'm not weeping like a child does not mean I don't care."
"You know what?! Come find me when you get your head out of your ass!"
Damien had left in a huff earlier, he wanted to make sure that William was okay.
"Have you seen the colonel? I need to speak with him."
The district attorney shook their head.
"Oh... I could swear I could hear him... If you see him, can you let me know? I was short with him earlier and I need to apologise."
The shot rang out across the manor. Damien ran, hoping in vain that William wasn't involved.
It all happened so fast, Ben screaming about a broken vase, chef trying to break up the fight between William and Abe before backing away when he realised they were both armed. Abe and William arguing over who shot first and why they did. Fear filled Damien, someone was going to die unless someone stopped the pair.
"STOP!" A new voice screamed.
"Celine." Damien breathed with relief and trepidation.
Damien was beginning to feel excluded again. He sat on the far end of the table as William closed the gap and practically sat on Celine's lap.
Envy filled Damien in a way that he had never felt before, his whole body vibrated with anger, how DARE his sister upstage him again! It was always about Celine, no matter what the situation, Celine always had to come first.
Damien drifted, not really paying attention to anything until Celine stood up suddenly, dragging the district attorney behind them.
"WAIT! Are you sure you're okay Celine? None of this can be sitting well for you."
"Damien- trust me, you've no idea what you are dealing with here."
"But all this talk of the occult- Celine! wait!"
"You need to trust me, there is dark energy here and I have much more understanding to it and I've only opened my eyes a little."
"Okay," Damien sighed, knowing he couldn't argue with her, "Just be careful.
A scream came from the room above the stairs. Damien launched himself from William's lap and into the hallway.
He yanked open the door, finding Celine screaming at the district attorney of whom was dazed and unfocused.
"I think that's enough."
"It's enough when I say it is Damien!"
The detective grabbed the attorney, pulling them out of the room.
"I think you really need to think Celine! This isn't you!"
Celine looked angry for a moment, ready to strike Damien. She then blinked her eyes and began to sob.
"I just want to find out what happened here."
"I will help you Celine, let's just go check in with the others."
Damien reentered the room again with Celine by his side.
"What do you need me to do?" Damien asked, sitting across from the glass globe on the circular table.
Celine locked the door and turned around, eyes pure black.
I need you to go back to sleep."
Damien's forehead connected with the crystal ball and everything went black.
Chapter 8: Crystal balls and Disco balls pt.3
Damien woke up with no pain in his head. He felt his forehead, expecting a bruise at the least.
Confused, Damien looked around. All around him was blackness- it wasn't warm or cold, opaque or clear, it was just there.
Damien sat up slowly, confused as to the situation- was he dead?
Of course not silly!
Celine? Is that you? Where are you?
I'm everywhere dear brother.
Damien shook his head, not understanding.
What is there to be confused about? None of that is real, only this is.
But what is this?
There are different names for it, the upside down, purgatory, the void. It is a space where everything and nothing exists.
That doesn't make sense.
Nothing makes sense here...
...I'm going to wake up now...
Try all you want little brother! You don't exist anymore, embrace immortality with me!
But this isn't real Celine! You said so yourself!
You're trapped here Damien, you are never leaving! Try to wake up, scream into the Darkness, no one can hear you!
...But why Celine? I'm your brother.
WILLIAM WAS MINE! I WORKED TOO HARD TO GET RID OF MARK PERMANENTLY AND DESPITE EVERYTHING I SACRIFICED TO BE WITH WILLIAM HE STILL WANTS YOU! WHY?! WHAT CAN YOU GIVE HIM WHAT I CAN'T?!
...You don't understand Celine, William and I can never be together, we both know that-
BUT HE NEVER MOVED ON! HE NEVER CARED ABOUT ME, HE JUST WANTED TO FUCK MARK OVER! HE USED ME DAMIEN!
Let me out.
Let. Me. Out. Celine.
STOP THIS MADNESS NOW CELINE!
I can't let you go. You have no body to return to, it was destroyed in the crystal.
Why Celine? I am your brother, why do this?
...Because I can.
If you could bring me here, then you can send me back.
... For a price, yes.
Damien thought for a moment, Name your price.
Your soul is mine, the body I give you is shared with me, you will accept the body I give you. You will never be in control of the bodies' actions, you are mine, your soul is mine for eternity.
Damien looked around, sighing when he realised the inevitably.
The body is coming, persuade them to share.
Damien sighed sadly, he knew he had no choice here.
He faced the District Attorney.
"You need to trust us, it's the only way."
They opened their eyes, red and blue distorting the images before calming. They stood up slowly, feeling the movement between all three consciousnesses. They turned slowly.
A pair of boots stood up suddenly by them.
"You're alive, I mean of course you are!" The colonel cried out, shaking his head, "You were dead but now you are not!"
Damien's heart broke when he saw his lover cry.
Keep your emotions to yourself Damien!
"Of course! This was all a big joke! Were you in on it? And Damien?" Tears streamed down William's face, "Oh sun come out! Damien! Celine! Where are you guys?"
The colonel ran off in a mad search.
Celine! Please let me say goodbye!
Oh no Damien! Remember who is in control here!
Please! I will never ask for anything else, I will stay quiet and complainant for the rest of eternity but please let me say goodbye.
...Make it quick.
Damien felt himself take control, the thrum of the attorney and Celine was felt behind his eyes. Taking a step towards the mirror, he willed the body to take Damien's form.
In the mirror, Damien could see the shadow of the void.
He only a moment to act.
Damien whispered an apology to the Attorney.
Damien crack his neck, forcing the Attorney, Celine and (his) soul, back into the void behind the mirror, breaking the door way.
With a sad but determined look, Dark pursued William.
Chapter 9: If you love me...
Marvin hadn't left his room all night- nor had he slept like Henrick had suggested.
He'd been glued to the pink sticky note, trying to feel for magic traces.
It was very obviously from Anti- it was enticing but also a way out. It was almost as if Anti was giving Marvin a chance to forget him and live his life.
But what kind of life was it? Marvin was a depressed schizophrenic who believed he could perform real magic from a power deep inside him. He was a grown adult man who lived under voluntary supervision. He couldn't find anyone romantically who would put up with him when he started hallucinating. If he wasn't careful, he'd end up like Chase but without any familial bonds- just as broken and suicidal.
Marvin heard the kettle boil downstairs. He hadn't realised that it was morning already and apart from the brief dream, Marvin hadn't slept again.
Marvin looked around at the torn papers around his room before sighing, putting on his dressing gown and heading back downstairs.
It appeared as if Henrick had an early start. He was so focused on his brewing tea that he hadn't heard Marvin enter the room and slide up behind him, grabbing a cup from the cupboard.
Henrick looked up bleakly.
"You have a good sleep?"
"If I say yes, will you not ask any further questions?"
"Come on now Marvin," Schneep sighed tiredly, "You know what I have to do today, lets just be open and honest with each other."
Henrick sat down at the table, tea in front of him, waiting for Marvin to join him.
"So tell me what's been going on." Henrick said kindly, looking Marvin in the eyes.
"I dunno... I don't know where to even begin-"
"When did you start feeling low again?"
"Maybe around two weeks ago? When Sandra went missing-"
"Sandra isn't missing? She moved out to her son's house."
"Oh? I thought she..."
Henrick reached over and held Marvin's hand.
"It's okay, why don't you carry on?"
"... I suppose that's when I started seeing Anti again, it was kind of like he was protecting me, or maybe my mind? I dunno..."
"But he took you to that bar? How can that be protective?"
"No doc! I went there to meet him, I was getting ready to go somewhere..."
"...You were going to try and commit suicide again, weren't you Marvin." Schneep exhaled, putting his head in his hands, "I thought we've talked about this, you can trust me, talk to me!"
"No I wasn't Henrick else I would have succeeded!"
Silence filled the room as Marvin realised the weight of his words- oops.
"Okay," Schneep said finally standing up, "I'm going to get you some more pills and then I'm going to cancel my shift at the hospital."
"No Marvin," Henrick replied firmly, "You are my friend and I'm going to help you."
Henrick left the room swiftly, going into his private office. Marvin began to panic, he'd never find Anti if he was doped up!
Marvin threw himself out of his chair, searching the kitchen in vain, trying to find a clue or something.
"Anti help me!" Marvin growled into the room.
There! On the fridge, another pink sticky note. Marvin tore it off quickly, reading frantically:
T̗̹̫̩̲̗̝̬h̩͔͕̥̥̝e͇̫̘͚̘n̩̱͖̭͈̜̹̭ ͖̫̼s̗̰̪a̟̭̜̥̟̦y̤̘̝̱ ̹̘̹͍̺̤̬̲i̜̥̞̳͉̣t̹̝̯̞̯͈̳!̭͔͇ ͉̯͍͓̜S̱̫̼̯̪a̭̗̤̥͓y͕ ̮̟͚̳̦̝̟͈t͍̟̼͓̬h̗͔̟̺͉̟e̠͍̹̯͎͔̹̪ ̙̖̝̮̺̩͈̠w̱͇͔͍͉̤̪̱̝o͎̼͈̝͓̲̱̥r̗͉̮̤͉̳̹͎d̺̬͕͍̤̖̳ͅs͈̺̣ ͎͕̙͔̙̹a̦̲̥͇̠̭n̟͍͎̞͇̜ͅd̦͕ ̜̦̟̞̦̬m̙̣̹̮̲͙e̼̺̲̜̮̞̤̲a̮̩̙̮n̝̙͕ ͕̖͎̰̼̙t̺̳͉͈͕̲̪ẖ̪̪̲e͎̠m͙̜̬̥!̬͎̩̦̣̝̭͈
Marvin sat back, the memories finally coming back to him- the murder, the fight, the explosion, the void and the vanishing.
Schneep came in quickly, finding Marvin giggling to himself, rocking back and forth.
"Marv? What are you doing buddy?"
"None of this is real Schneep! None of it! Not you or me or anything!"
"NONE. OF. THIS. IS. REAL!"
Marvin blinked, finding himself curled up in the black void. The giggling never stopped. Marvin was right, about all of this!
Remembering the pink man and how easy he opened a portal, Marvin drew a circle in the dark space, creating a door.
Marvin focused his energy, not into finding Anti, but into finding the pink man and answers.
Marvin left the void quickly.
Chapter 10: The fear of falling apart
Anti stared at the far wall in the darkened room, eyes following a spider crawl across a newly formed web.
Strange, you'd think that in the "reality", spiders would not be of greater importance like in the "story". Small things like this were great plot devices, Anti thought to himself, no longer panicking at the weird thoughts.
Over the last few hours, Dark had explained a lot:
1) Anti was awake and aware. He was in a story, like in so many parallel universes. He was a main character with a rounded story that gave him purpose.
2) He was not the first or the last to "wake up". Dark had been awake the longest, then a guy called Wilford, then the physician Doctor Edward Iplier and then Anti himself.
3) There was no singular reason for them to "wake up". Dark's had been forced, Wilford was... complicated. But Edward was voluntary, or so Dark said.
Anti could not understand why anyone would want to be aware of this, all of this. To know that they were nothing more than a fantasy. Just a character used and abused by real people hiding behind internet names and personas- creating and destroying them as characters all for their sick games and imaginations. All in the name of art.
"I don't particularly hate this story," Edward called out, opening the ward room's door, putting down a fresh jug of water on the bedside table, "Yeah, maybe it could be less tragic but all in all they treat us with respect. They seem to want us to be happy and have self awareness."
"If they really cared that much," Anti replied slowly, sitting up and turning on the table lamp, "Then why did they let me commit suicide?"
"If they really wanted you dead, then you would be," The doctor replied simply, sitting in the chair next to Anti, "They didn't though, did they. They warned Dark, they led him to you."
Anti looked down, not wanting to catch the doctor's eyes.
"You have freedom, you have free will, you are who you want to be, surely Dark told you that?"
Anti sighed, fiddling with his fingers.
"I know what he said," Anti mumbled under his breath, "I'm just not sure what I should believe and what is story-"
"What does it all matter Anti?" Edward asked exasperated, "Does any of it really change anything?"
"Exactly! Everything still goes on, your story just got bigger and more important." Edward smiled, "You still feel, you still live, you still laugh and love! None of that changes, you are still you Anti."
"...Thanks doc." Anti smiled genuinely for the first time since waking up.
"Not a problem Anti." Edward smiled back.
Dark turned in his bed again, trying to go to sleep.
He knew he'd have to finish off his story to Anti soon, although for tonight he could try and rest, have a moment without having to worry about past mistakes.
This time he had Edward. Together, they wouldn't let Anti go crazy.
This universe couldn't handle another character like Wilford.
Chapter 11: The magic of madness
Wilford lay back on his beach towel, a pina colada sat on a tall table to the left of his head, a portable radio playing softly to his right. He was wearing a pair of round sunglasses, his yellow shirt slightly more open than usual at the neck, sleeves rolled up, a pair of tight red short shorts displaying his muscular thighs as he tanned in the midday sun.
In the distance, a herd of zebras began to whiny, kicking up dust under their hooves nervously.
"Can you guys calm down?" Wilford called out, his pink mustache wriggling with every word, "I'm trying to relax here!"
The whinnying got louder as the animals got more anxious.
"Seriously! It's harder to get an even tan when you're stressed- this is why I am this far from people!"
The animals suddenly scattered, sending dust into the air. Wilford quickly grabbed and covered his cocktail, throwing his glasses into his lap with a huff as he sat up.
"I swear to all the gods-"
Wilford stopped in his tracks as a silver haired man emerged from the centre of the scared animals. Wilford turned his head, remembering the man's face but not entirely recognising him.
The man was walking towards him, almost bouncing from one foot to the other, his emerald cape shimmering behind him. Porcelain cat mask reflecting light from the midday sun, highlighting his wide, almost unnerving smile. Wilford stood up, his arms raising both in an offer of comfort or in warning.
The silver haired man drew near.
"Can I help you friend?" Wilford slurred, raising his cocktail.
The silver haired man smiled wider.
"What drink can you offer here in the plains of Africa?"
"How does a strawberry daiquiri sound?"
Marvin sat on the newly formed picnic blanket, the cocktail in one hand, the other pushing his mask off his face.
"So Mr Warfstache," The magician began, "Why Africa?"
"Please! Call me Wilford! And it's quiet, no one out here but the zebras, elephants and snakes!" Wilford laid back down, closing his eyes, "The real question is why are you here Marvin? This isn't a place anyone can find easily."
Marvin drank deeply before answering.
"I need answers." He replied nonchalantly, looking in the distance.
"Well," Wilford giggled, "I don't know how much help I'll be! I know as much as you!"
"But... but?" Marvin asked incredulously, "You move around the gaps easily! You jump between all these realities so quickly, you must know what is happening!"
"Aha! My new favorite friend! I know nothing and everything!"
Marvin furrowed his brow.
"But that's impossible..."
"Exactly! Nothing is possible is here!" The pink haired man exclaim, clapping Marvin on the shoulder, "But do you know what that means?"
Marvin shrugged his shoulders, completely lost.
"It means," Wilford paused, giving Marvin an encouraging smile, "That nothing is impossible either!"
"But is any of this real?" Marvin asked, already knowing the answer.
"Of course not!" Wilford cried out incredulously, "But here we are!"
Wilford stood up, pulling up the stunned magician into a tight hug, gently patting his hair as Marvin broke down yet again. Wilford gently rocked the man, whispering words of comfort into his ear.
"It's okay, I won't leave you alone, I am here for you now," Wilford murmurered to the magician, "Now lets go have some fun."
Chapter 12: A moment of peace
Henrick: Hey, is it possible for you to pop round tonight? I could do with the company :/
Edward received Henrick's message as soon as he restarted his phone after finishing his shift. Henrick had called in sick- apparently he needed a mental health day. Poor sod, Edward thought, Schneep worked way too hard. It probably didn't help that his reality was changing very quickly and he hadn't had the time or support at the moment to support the doctor right now. Edward was under so much pressure right now; Dark wanted to speed up Anti's recovery and had tried to blame the doctor himself, Edward was trying to a) convince Anti to undergo therapy and b) develop a course and care plan that would help Anti in the long term, Wilford had gone off radar and hadn't left any way of contacting him and Edward just wanted a good cuddle and sleep.
Edward: Sure :) Are your brothers around?
Henrick: Nah, Chase is still at the cabin and Robbie and JJ are at the coast.
Edward reread the last message- didn't Schneep have another brother, Marvin? Hmm... He'd have to try and bring him up subtle like he had with Anti just in case he wasn't in the story any longer. That would cause more of a headache though, he was already trying to rein in Wilford, calm Dark and heal Anti- it would be very difficult right now to take on Marvin as well!
Edward: On my way now.
Edward got to Schneep's house around an hour later. Evening was setting in as he parked his car in front of the house and it was far too quiet for Ed's liking. Turning off the engine, he grabbed a paper bag from the passenger's seat and headed towards the front door.
"Edward? In here!" A familiar German called from behind a hedge. Edward turned left into the concealed garden to find his friend laid out on the grass, sipping tea and crocheting.
"I didn't know you crocheted?" Edward asked, puzzled.
"Neither did I!" Schneep shrugged, "Never picked up a ball of wool before but I somehow missed it? Does that make sense?"
"I dunno," Edward was bewildered, "Maybe it was someone you knew?"
"I don't know..." the German mumbled, "I just found them in a basket in the house."
Edward shuck his head and smiled as he sat down clumsily next to his friend.
"I bought you a new book-"
"You didn't need to-"
"But I wanted to Henrick!" Edward reassured him, "Let me love you, you idiot!"
With that, Edward tossed the paper bag into Henrick's lap. With a shy smile, Henrick opened the bag.
"Yeah I thought you could really do with a bit of magic in your life." Edward fumbled.
"I can try it!" Schneep gave what he hoped was a smile, truth be told, he hated magic and it made him sad to think that way.
Edward saw the flicker of pain in Henrick's eyes. It appeared that Marvin was indeed no longer in the story. He only hoped that someone found Marvin before anything bad happened.
Marvin laid next to Wilford on the pink sand, watching galaxies rotate above them in a multitude of colours.
Colours, patterns, code all brightly illuminating the black space, all merging and dissolving all at once in explosions beyond the line of sight both physically and mentally.
"It's... beautiful." Marvin breathed out, eyes glazing over, his brain collapsing and re-imagining itself over and over again.
Wilford looked over at the Sorcerer and finally felt understood by someone in this pointless universe.
"It is." Wilford agreed, looking at Marvin, no longer feeling alone.