“Hello, Jim! My name is Jim, my associate, Jim, is manning the camera, and this is Jim News!” Reporter Jim grabbed the camera, focusing it entirely on his face as he grinned. “It is the day before Christmas Eve, and there are many last-minute preparations going on in this house! Let us see if we can catch some on the camera.”
The camera zoomed out as RJ moved down the hall low to the ground and slow. At the first door they came across, RJ spun back around to face the camera, microphone held far too close to his mouth and pushing his hair out of his eyes. “Ah! First up we have the…elusive King of the Squirrels! Let’s see what the King is up to, shall we, Jim?”
He pushed open the door, just a little bit, and Cameraman Jim zoomed in as far as possible on the bit of the room they could see. King was only just visible, seen petting one of his squirrels with one hand while the other hung candy canes on a small tree in the corner, humming happily to himself. When he turned around, he just happened to catch sight of the spying twins, eyes widening with alarm. “Why…What the Hell?!” He slammed the door. “Don’t do that guys! At least knock!”
RJ let out a hiss through his teeth, turning back to the camera. “We were discovered, Jim! But that will not dishearten us, Jim! Onto the next fortunate soul in line!” They moved once more, in strange unison in their weird, crouching walk. The next door was dusty red with an old brass doorknob. RJ ran a hand through his hair again. “Ooh, Jim! The Host! Perhaps this powerful ego will give us more to work with!”
He opened the door, revealing the Host sitting at his desk, scribbling furiously with an iridescent blue quill and muttering incessantly to himself, seeming frustrated. Several crumpled balls of discarded parchment littered the floor. He paused almost immediately, tilting his head in the direction of the door. “The Jim twins would do well to move along. The Host does not appreciate such blatant disregard for his privacy.”
Both Jims let out a squeak as the door slammed on its own, sending them skittering further down the hall. They paused outside the next door, both breathing hard and definitely more skittish than before. “Dr. Iplier, Jim! Let us see what the good doctor is up to, hm?”
Dr. Iplier was singing softly to himself, Christmas songs playing quietly over the nearby radio. He appeared to be putting the finishing touches on wrapping presents, glittery, bright blue wrapping paper scattered everywhere. “There we go!” He picked up the present he was working on and moved out of their view, presumably to set it with the rest. As he was coming back, light reflecting off his head mirror bounced into the camera lens, making it flash, and he jumped. “Jesus Christ, you two!” His eyes narrowed. “What the Hell do you think you’re doing! Are you trying to spoil yourselves?” He closed the door – not slamming it – and the Jims moved on, slinking toward the next door.
Once they recognized the next door, RJ instantly perked up, smiling brightly into the camera. “Ah, Jim! It is our dear friend and hero, the Silver Shepherd! Perhaps he will indulge us in our quest!”
He pushed open the door, a bit too enthusiastically, and Silver jumped, glancing over his shoulder before letting out a yelp, using his cape to block their view of his bed. “Guys! You can’t do that, it’s the day before Christmas Eve! Have a little common sense!” They felt the cool breeze of his aura on their faces before the door shut, leaving them more than a little discouraged.
“Well, I suppose Silver is right…” RJ glanced at the camera, microphone dropping, before he brightened once more. “But we must not give up, Jim! We are nearly finished with our exploration of the egos!”
They pranced on, though instantly froze when the spotted the mechanical door, a bright glowing ‘G’ emblazoned on the front. “Google…” CJ’s words were barely picked up by the microphone, though still heard. RJ glanced over the camera at his brother, eyes wide, and he swallowed harshly before tapping on the door, both of them cringing back at the mechanical whirr it made as it slid open. Their jaws hit the floor.
Google had Bing pressed against the wall, hands wrapped around his wrists and a knee between his legs. He had their lips pressed together in a forceful kiss, Bing’s sunglasses discarded, the glow of their eyes visible even through their closed eyelids. Google growled, moving to the younger android’s neck, and Bing let out a high-pitched sound. The Jims finally snapped out of their shock, RJ tapping the wall and the door slid shut.
RJ turned to face the camera, eyes impossibly wide. “Uhh…” He cleared his throat. “Make a note to edit that out before we send this to the studio, Jim.”
They continued down the hall, visibly brightening when they spotted the royal purple door covered in silver glitter. “Ah! The lovely Bim Trimmer! Let us see what he is up to!”
They opened the door, revealing the sight of Bim dancing around his room and humming to himself, hanging up strings of multicolor, blinking Christmas lights around his room, making his hair reflect and glitter with all those colors. He ran his hand through his hair, fluffing it up, and spun around, raising an eyebrow when he spotted the twins lurking in his doorway. “Hey guys!” His eyes shifted to the camera and somehow his smile brightened further. “Whatcha up to?”
Both Jims finally stood straight, RJ eagerly bouncing on the balls of his feet. “We are filming a Christmas special! We’re documenting the Christmas preparations of the other egos!”
“Oh really? If you’re going about it the same way you have with me, I’m surprised the Host or Google didn’t kill you.”
CJ turned bright red, and RJ shifted nervously. “Google was…otherwise engaged. He didn’t see us.” At that Bim cracked up and the Jims reddened further. “Well, anyway we will leave you alone now! Good-bye, Bim!” RJ rushed through his words and then they were bolting down the hallway.
“Be careful with Dark and Wilford,” Bim called after them. “They might not appreciate the interruption!” CJ just shot a thumbs up in his direction, both of them only half-listening.
The next door they stopped at had chipping paint. RJ turned to the camera, both of them crouching back down in sync. “Ed Edgar, Jim! Engage in the stealth mode with me, Jim!”
He pushed open the door a little too much, but Ed wasn’t paying attention. He was cursing colorfully under his breath, a pile of wrapping paper and oddly-shaped wrapped boxes lying in an unorganized heap on his bed. He appeared to be wrapping – or attempting to wrap – another one now, tape covering his fingers. He tossed his hat off his head in frustration, joined by a very loud exclamation of “FUCK!”, and its trajectory was just right for the brim to slip through the cracked-open door and nail RJ in the nose. He spluttered, falling onto his back, and CJ took the liberty of closing the door while RJ righted himself.
“Well, Jim,” He said, rubbing his nose furiously. “I believe that is our cue to move along! Only two more egos left unaccounted for!” They started toward the last door at the end of the hall with enthusiasm, but the closer they got the more apprehensive they became. They stared at the dark oak door, far too large from their crouched position on the floor. CJ panned the camera down it from top to bottom, giving his brother time to collect himself. “We must be extra sneaky, Jim! Who knows what Darkiplier and Wilford Warfstache will do to us if we’re caught!”
He, slowly and very cautiously, opened the door just a crack, leaving CJ scrambling for a view passed RJ’s head. Dark was sitting at his desk, hunched over and clearly working. Wilford suddenly emerged from out of their view – or perhaps he had just appeared? – holding a steaming mug. “I got your coffee! Look, I even put a candy cane in it!”
Dark chuckled, pulling the other down for a sweet kiss as Wilford set the mug down on his desk. “You’re an angel, Wil. Thank you.” Wilford let out a pleased hum as Dark took a sip and returned to his work. Suddenly Wilford’s gaze slid from the demon to the door, locking eyes with the twins. They both instantly panicked, moving to scramble away, but Wilford simply held a finger to his lips, smiling softly, before he winked and hopped up onto the corner of Dark’s desk, kicking his feet and alternating between watching him work and staring out the window at the flurrying snow.
“Do you remember when we first met?”
Dark dropped his pen in surprise, head whipping up to face the other, something unreadable crossing his face briefly as the Jims’ jaws hit the floor. “Yes, of course,” he started slowly. He glanced out the window. “January 1st, 1963. It was snowing just like this, wasn’t it?”
Wilford laughed. “I have never been able to get you back in a club, nor have I ever seen you more flustered than you were that night.”
Dark blushed. “In my defense, I wasn’t expecting you to be so…vivacious and flirty.”
“But you were expecting me?”
Dark tilted his head. “What do you mean by that?”
Wilford hummed, leaning his head back to stare at the ceiling and still kicking his feet. “You knew my name. It was the night we first met and you knew my name before I even spoke a word to you. How?”
Dark smiled, a soft, sad little smile. “Oh Wil…” He reached up to cup his cheek, stroking it with his thumb. “I have to be able to keep some secrets, don’t I?”
Wilford huffed, frowning, but leaned into the touch all the same. “I suppose so.”
Dark’s smile became a little happier and brighter. “Come on. I know how much you love wrapping presents, and I still have a few more to do. Care to help?”
Wilford’s eyes lit up, and he clapped his hands excitedly, sliding off the desk. His gaze slid back to the twins, both of which were watching the scene with rapt attention, eyes wide and mouth open. He winked again, and the door slid shut, Dark none the wiser of what the bubblegum man had allowed them to witness.
The click of the lock was what snapped the Jims’ out of their reverie and they shook their heads, clearing their minds. “Well uh…” RJ cleared his throat, moving to face the camera and just barely remembering to hold up his microphone. “We’ll cut that out too. I doubt they’d appreciate it much if that went on air for the whole Realm to see…”
CJ nodded, obediently stopping the recording. Suddenly his face lit up. “Come on, Jim! We still have yet to wrap our own presents! Let’s go!” RJ gasped, and the both of them took off running toward their own room, giggling excitedly. The scene they had just witnessed almost completely slipped from their minds in favor of the sheer exuberance of the holidays.