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“It’s not fair, is it?”

The words seemed to echo around him, permanently engrained in his head, haunting him as he stumbled through the dark. He could hear the ghosts of sentences long-since spoke, see the vague outline of people long-since dead. The halls of the manor have always been his home but this…

This was Hell.

He watched, over and over, as the body dropped from the railing, cold and dead and smiling. Smiling in a way as if he’d won. As if this was just the beginning. He watched as she called forth a monster, a demon made of black smoke and a whispering, persuasive voice that invaded their ears, clouded their minds until their bodies were nothing but empty shells, waiting to be used as their souls were trapped in this endless black Void.

He watched, over and over and over, helpless, as something in his eyes broke, watched that relieved, desperate smile grow across his face. The light had gone from his eyes, replaced with something much brighter with an iron grip as madness slowly began to sink its teeth into him, pulling the strings.

He watched as the mirror cracked, as he abandoned the only family he’d ever known, Hellbent on something as futile and fleeting as revenge.

He watched as Darkiplier was born, as William lost his mind, as everything changed.

Dark bolted upright in bed, shaking and breathing hard, a cold sweat covering his body and tears streaming down his face as he tried to stifle his sobs. His hands clawed at his face as he scrambled back against the headboard, choked, hiccupping noises escaping him. He froze however, holding his breath, when Wil stirred beside him, lifting his head and staring at him with half-closed, sleepy eyes. “…Dark? Wha’s wrong?”

Dark slowly lowered his hands, a single sob tearing itself from his throat, as Wil’s brow furrowed, shifting to prop himself up on his forearms. And then he was throwing himself at him, burrowing himself as close to Wil as possible and sobbing into his chest. Wil, completely taken by surprise, took a moment to reciprocate, wrapping his arms around Dark and pulling him closer, intertwining their legs. “Hey! Hey, Dark, it’s okay! It’s okay, it’s okay, it was just a nightmare.”

Dark only sobbed harder as Wil spoke, his form splitting completely and curling closer. Wil’s voice was rough with sleep, almost completely losing its slur and sounding far too much like the man he no longer was. “I…I’m so sorry, Wil!” His voice broke, heavily distorted and multilayered as his twin souls sobbed with him. “I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

He trailed off, more choked noises creeping up his throat as his hands fisted in Wil’s shirt. He felt Wil press a kiss to his hair. “What, why are you apologizing, you didn’t do anything. Dark?”

Dark simply shook his head, body trembling as both his images reached for Wil as well. “No, no you don’t understand, I broke you, Wil, I broke you, I’m so so sorry…”

He could feel Wil’s confusion radiating off him, felt his aura wrap around him, comforting both him and his desperate images. “I…what are you talking about, Dark?”

Dark just held him tighter, not quite thinking, not caring about he doesn’t know he doesn’t remember and just spoke. “M-my birth, my creation, it broke you, I broke you, I’m the one who broke you and I…I…”

He felt Wil’s grip on him loosen slightly, most likely with surprise, but his chest still tightened, he still stopped breathing. His heart still felt like it was going to explode as one of Wil’s hands moved to his own, brushing his thumb over the ring on his finger. He’s going to take it off he hates me he hates me now I deserve it I broke the man I love I –

“Dark.” As if sensing his rapidly spiraling thoughts, Wil pressed a kiss to the ring, brushing away Dark’s tears with a thumb. “Look at me. Please?”

Dark shook his head fervently, hiding his face in Wil’s shirt. “No, no I-I can’t, I can’t, I –”

Dark.” His breath hitched. “Look at me.” Slowly, Dark lifted his head. His eyes had changed colors – his left blue and his right red – and his images both shimmered, flickering rapidly and remaining curled around Wil, both still sobbing silently. Wil offered him a small smile, still caressing his cheek. “I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about, but…if what you’re saying is true and…a-and you’re the reason I’m so…” He lifted his hand from Dark’s cheek, twirling a finger by his ear. He drew a deep breath. “It’s not your fault, Dark. We can’t help the circumstances of our birth. That’s not in our control. It’s not your fault. It’s not.”

Dark furrowed his brow, opening his mouth before closing it. “I…don’t understand.”

Wil chuckled, pressing their foreheads together briefly before tilting Dark’s chin up, pressing a slow, lingering kiss to his lips. Dark just laid there, shocked and confused, but pressed back all the same, clinging onto Wil desperately. When Wil pulled back, he gave him a smile, unshed tears glistening in his eyes. “I love you, Dark. No matter what happened in the past, no matter what you may think is your fault…” He brushed his finger again over the ring, the black diamond glittering beautifully in the glow from Dark’s eyes and images. “I still love you, and I always will.”

Tears had yet to stop rolling down Dark’s face, and at those words a fresh wave came, soaking his face as he buried it back in Wil’s shirt, wrapping his arms around him and pulling him as close as he possibly could. “I love you, too, I love you so much, that’s why I – I just –” He couldn’t finish the thought, his coherency slipping out the window as exhaustion crashed over him in the wake of his emotional meltdown. His nightmare still lurked in the corners of his mind, and he shook his head again, physically shaking.

Wil sighed, nuzzling Dark’s hair and grounding him in a tight hug, curling around him protectively. “Go back to sleep, Dark. You just went through quite the ordeal and…” Dark felt him smile against his hair, his breath warm. “If you have any more nightmares, I’ll be right here to fight them off, alright?”

Dark let out a noise that was half-sob, half-laugh, still shaking as his eyes slipped shut. “…Okay. I…I love you, Wil.”

“I love you, too, Dark.”