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Chapter Text

King was tired.

He’d been up a good portion of the night guiding a squirrel through childbirth. It had gone smoothly enough, but then there was something wrong with one of the kits and panic had fueled him to help the poor thing before he could go to bed himself and by the time he crawled into Bim’s arms it was past four in the morning. The kit survived, when he went to check on the family in the morning, so it was worth it.

But…King was tired.

His eyelids had been drooping all day. He’d barely made it through breakfast. The other egos could easily tell something was wrong, but King was pretty emotionally fragile when he was sleepy like this. None of them pushed. Bim kept not-so-subtly dropping hints that he should go take a nap, but no, King had stuff to do, he still had to take care of the blind newborns and their weak mother, he had stuff to do.

Despite the ‘stuff’…King still found himself sitting on the floor of the living area, mindless watching the cartoons the Jims had left on before their short attention spans had them scrambling away. His eyes were half-lidded and drooping again. He squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head in attempt to wake himself up, but that just led to him feeling dizzy and he flopped onto his back. His eyes were still closed. He hummed softly, snuggling against his cape. It was so soft…

King grabbed one edge of his cape and rolled over, cocooning himself in the fluffy material. He burrowed into it, wiggling onto his side and curling his legs up to his chest. He sighed softly through his nose, burrowing further into his cape. It was so warm

He was out within seconds.


Bim frowned as he popped into the manor from his studio, one fist on his hip and running the other through his hair. King had been stressed all day yesterday because of that pregnant squirrel, and he’d promptly run himself into the ground caring for her. He was exhausted. As a result, Bim had been more high-strung and spastic at work form stressing over King’s state. He hoped King had taken his advice and gone to bed.

Sighing, Bim stepped into the living area, rubbing at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. He dropped his hand, and promptly rolled his eyes with an exasperated little smile. King was passed out on the floor, bundled up in his cape like a burrito and snoring softly. His crown had rolled across the floor, and judging by the calico tail sticking out of it, it looked like Peggy had fallen asleep as well. Cartoons were still playing quietly on the TV

Bim walked over, turning off the TV before crouching down beside King. He ran a gentle hand through King’s hair, smiling softly when he paused in his snoring to nestle down further into his cape. Bim rolled his eyes again before slipping his arms beneath the King Burrito and hefting him into his arms. “Come on, Sleepy Head. Let’s get you into a real bed.”

King snored, curling into Bim’s chest, and Bim just smiled.

Chapter Text

Dark hummed softly as he closed his book, setting it down on the end table by the couch. He glanced down, smiling a little as he carded his fingers through Wil's hair, his husband's head lying in his lap. "Wil, I have to get up now."

Wil pouted, but sat up, pushing himself up on his forearms, and Dark slipped out from beneath him. He stretched a little, his old and broken bones audibly cracking back into place in multiple spots, and he sighed, content. He took a step forward to head up to his office and -

Slap!

Dark jumped, grey rapidly flushing down his face and neck. He spun around. Wil was grinning cheekily on the couch, eyes bright, tongue poking out between his teeth, and his shoulders shaking with suppressed laughter. Dark's face flushed further, and he cocked an eyebrow, speech slow. "Wil..."

Wil smile grew. "Yes sweetheart?"

"Did you...just...slap my ass?"

His husband wasn't quite able to stifle his laughter, shifting into a position Bing referred to as 'paint me like one of your French girls'. "I'll do it again, if you'd like."

Dark squeaked, and promptly vanished into the Void.

Chapter Text

"King I just realized something!"

"Bim, it's three in the morning, can it wait?"

"I'm technically a serial killer!"

"...Uh huh."

"King isn't that cool! You're dating a serial killer!"

"I'm gonna murder a serial killer if he doesn't shut the fuck up at 3:00am and go to sleep."

"You are no fun."

Chapter Text

The Author hummed a happy little tune, eyes shining bright as he scribbled in a notebook, sitting on his kitchen counter with one leg thrown over the other. He resolutely ignored the muffled sobs and pleas, only glancing up when they choked off. He raised an eyebrow, entirely unimpressed with the sight. The man before him - bound tightly to a wooden chair and gagged with his own fingers the Author had chopped off - was sitting limp, head lolling on his shoulders and staring at the Author with pleading eyes and undisguised begs for mercy. His hands bled sluggishly, his thumbs (the only appendages the Author had left) twitching a little. The Author maintained eye contact, pointedly jabbing a period onto the end of the sentence he was writing.

The effect was instantaneous. The man seized up, jolting in place and eyes rolling back in his head as his body convulsed. The Author grinned, golden eyes glinting as he watched the man react to the sensation of a live wire pressed against his neck, twirling his pen between his fingers. The thirty second limit he'd set passed by far too quickly, and his grin quickly fell to a pout as the man relaxed, breath wheezing and blood and foam and drool dripping down his chin. "Aww, it's over? But that was so fun! Your reactions are truly delightful." The man didn't react, chest rising and falling rapidly.

The Author's grin returned. "Let's do it again."

Chapter Text

"Come on, Googs! Please?"

Google sighed as Bing pouted at him, waving the bag of Haribo gummy snakes. They were currently lying in bed, Google's hands resting comfortably on Bing's hips with Bing practically on top of him. Bing snuggled closer, freeing his other hand from beneath Google's back in order to lift his shades. He pressed a lingering kiss to the corner of Google's mouth before pressing their cheeks together and whispering in Google's ear. "Please?"

Google blushed heavily, sighing again. "Fine, give it here."

To his surprise, Bing held the bag out of reach. "Nuh-uh! Let me do it!"

Google's blush darkened, but he returned his hand to Bing's hip beneath the sheets. Bing grinned, digging a blue snake out of the bag and pressing it to Google's lips, and Google allowed Bing to fed him. He pulled a face at the texture on his tongue at first before chewing. His eyes widened. "What -" He reached for the bag. "Why do these taste so good?!"

Bing gave a triumphant laugh, grabbing a couple snakes for himself. "See," he exclaimed, mouth full. "I told you you would like them!"

Google rolled his eyes affectionately and just pulled Bing closer.

Chapter Text

Eric couldn't see through his tears, panic swirling in his mind as he hyperventilated. He gripped onto his yellow handkerchief so tightly in some small corner of his brain he was afraid he might rip it, but as the panic attack continued to swamp in the thought was quickly caught in the hurricane and drowned. He trembled violently in place from where he'd curled up in the corner of the living area, tucking in between the small space between the farthest armchair and the wall. Hiccuping sobs tore through his body, panic making his body seize up -

Strong arms slipped beneath his body, and Eric tensed. "Shh, it's okay, Eric, I'm not gonna hurt you."

Eric saw a flash of blond through the tears, and he relaxed marginally, muscles still pulled taut. "R - R-Ray -"

Reynolds held him closer to his chest, stalking off quickly towards - presumably - Eric room. "It's okay, kid, come on, breathe with me, you need to calm down." He drew in a deep, audible breath, his extending chest pressing against Eric's body as he carried him, and Eric unconsciously tried to match him, still giving hiccuping sobs. Though, he began to slowly calm, the tears not flowing quite as fast, as he was able to see Reynolds push open his bedroom door. Reynolds set him down gently over his bed, pulling Eric's weighted blanket over his body, and the compression calmed Eric further.

He closed his eyes, squirming more fully beneath the blanket, and made a small noise when Reynolds pulled his glasses slowly off his face. "...You're okay, Eric. I promise."

Eric nodded absently, still hyperventilating a bit but nowhere near as badly. Reynolds made to pull away, but Eric reached one shaking hand up to loosely hold his wrist. His words were mumbled and slurred as he blearily opened his eyes just a bit and shot Reynolds a small smile. "...Thank you."

His eyes slipped shut again, and he missed Reynolds' little smile. "It was no problem, Eric."

Chapter Text

Chase grinned at Bing and Google from across the park picnic table, on hand resting on top of a nearly empty Subway cup. Bing was in stitches, while Google flushed dark blue. Bing had dragged him out of the manor for a 'change of scenery for once', and, well, Chase wasn't about to pass up a golden opportunity.

"You never answered my question, Google! Can you like, control all of your body parts? Can you make your dick vibrate?"

Bing wheezed, doubled over onto the table and one of Google's eyes twitched, flushed to near navy. He covered his face with his hands, bending over to press his own forehead to the table. "Why, why do you need to know that?! Does it matter?!"

Chase's tongue poked out between his teeth, beginning to giggle himself. "Of course it does! Bing's my best friend, I need to make sure he's ah...satisfied with life!"

A sound not unlike the Microsoft error noise escaped Google, and Bing bolted upright. His laughter was silent at this point, tears streaming down his face. When he finally managed to gasp out words, they were high-pitched and breathy. "No, nope, that's it, that's enough, shut up, I can't -" He wheezed again, one hand pressed to his chest with his other wondering to tangle in Google's hair. 

Chase burst into his own fit of giggles, glancing at Google and at the obvious glowing blue blush creeping down the back of his neck. "Alright fine. Good to know I can push my immunity this far with you around. If we were alone I'm fairly certain I would've been strangled long ago."

Google made another glitched-out noise. "...Keep talking and I still might."

Bing and Chase just laughed.

Chapter Text

The Host woke up screaming in bed, flailing in the sheet and scrambling out from under them. He halted, shivering violently, when his back hit the cold headboard, knees drawn up to chest with his arms wrapped around them and sobbing loudly. He could feel something soaking into his pajama pants and running down his legs, but he found he couldn't care. Vague glimpses of his nightmare swirled in his head, and he only sobbed harder when the image of two, burning golden irises entered his head.

"Host -"

He froze, whipping his head up as his sobs turned into hyperventilation and hiccups, and then a hand was being placed on his leg. Dr. Iplier stirred slowly, and the Host buried his face between his knees again. "Doct - the-the Host apologizes fo-or waking him up, he -"

"Shhh, it's alright." He heard Dr. Iplier push himself upright, and then his warmth was pressing up against his side and his arm wrapping around the Host's shoulder. "It's okay, I promise. Nightmare?"

The Host nodded shakily, still trembling violently. "Per-perhaps Dr. Iplier should considering sleeping in his own bed at night, so-so he doesn't have to deal with the Host waking him up every night."

Dr. Iplier's grip on him tightened. "Don't say that. I knew what I was signing up for. You know I don't mind. Like I said all those years ago, there is nothing you could do or say to get rid of me, alright?"

The Host nodded again, more hesitantly, and he slowly leaned himself against Dr. Iplier, allowing him to pull the Host closer. Dr. Iplier pressed a kiss to his hair before mumbling against his skin. "Now, what do you say about a late-night trip to my office to take care of those bandages?"

Chapter Text

Dark and Wil were lying in bed, Dark suppressing shrieks of laughter as Wil pinned his wrists to bed and kissed all over his throat and shoulders, his mustache very ticklish. His legs flailed wildly with Wil on top of him, trying his damnedest to protect and cover his throat, but when he tilted his head to cover one side Wil just switched to the other. At last, Dark managed to gasp out, "Wil! Stop, please, I -" He broke off with a giggle as Wil pressed several more kisses along the hollow of his throat.

Wil finally pulled back, grinning brightly. Something sparked in his eyes, and his expression shifted ever-so-slightly. "Come on, Damien! Live a little!"

Dark froze, expression falling into confusion and shock, but before he could ask about it the spark was fading and Wil was tilting his head, brow furrowing and no doubt confused by Dark's sudden shift in expression. "Dark...?"

Dark cleared his throat. "What...did you just call me?"

Wil split in a brief little smile, confused and troubled. "I...called you 'Dark'. Is there anything else I would call you?" He righted his head. "Are you feeling alright?"

Dark frowned, but nodded his head. "I'm fine." He slipped his hands out of Wil's loosened hold on his wrists, and he wrapped his arms around his husband's waist, pulling him down onto the bedsheets. Wil instantly curled closer to him, his head beneath Dark's chin and one arm slung over Dark's body. "...I love you, Wil."

He heard Wil give a small, quiet laugh. "I love you too, Dark."

Chapter Text

Dr. Iplier moaned softly when someone draped a cool cloth across his forehead, instantly shivering despite the dozen blankets piled on top of him and the raging fever. He was sweaty and pale, with barely the strength to open his eyes. Still, he mumbled out something that vaguely sounded like a thank you before shivering again, whimpering slightly.

The bed dipped as whoever sat down, and then warm fingers were brushing sweaty strands of hair from his eyes and forehead. "Shhh..." The rumbled voice of the Host sunk deep into his bones, soothing him immensely. Even when he wasn't using his power, his voice was still...nice. "Get some rest, doctor. For once, let the Host take care of him."

Dr. Iplier cracked a smile, opening his eyes just slightly. There was a worried frown on the Host's face as he rested his hand on Dr. Iplier's shoulder. "Yeah...okay...try not to kill me though while you're at it."

The Host let out a surprised snort, and Dr. Iplier have a hoarse laugh, his eyes slipping closed once more. He shivered again, burrowing deeper beneath he blankets. is body felt like it was on fire, but still he was cold. The Host's hand pressed against his cheek, his thumb rubbing soothing little circles. "Go to sleep, doctor. The Host will still be here when he wakes up."

Dr. Iplier could already feel his awareness slipping, and he nodded slightly before drifting off. "I know."

Chapter Text

"Doctor," the Host wailed, rummaging frantically through the drawers of his desk. "Where have all the Host's quills gone?!"

Dr. Iplier rolled over in bed, presumably in order to face him. "...I dunno. Don't you have five million spares in your library desk? Just go grab one of those."

"Those are all gone too!" The Host slammed the drawer shut, spinning around to face the bed. Distress was evident in every line of his face, and he flopped his torso forward onto the bed, his face buried in Dr. Iplier's stomach. "Doctooooor!"

Dr. Iplier's eyeroll was so powerful the Host didn't need sight as he tangled one hand in the Host's hair. "Oh Goddammit - I'll go track down the Jims for you. Undoubtedly they are the culprits. But you need to stand up so can get up."

The Host obediently lifted himself back up, pouting and slouching against his desk. Dr. Iplier chuckled, shifting on the bed. "In the meantime, you can use one of my pens if you like."

The Host seized up. "Wait -"

But it was too late. Dr. Iplier tossed him one of the pens he kept in his pocket, and the Host instinctively caught it. The Host stiffened further, breath catching his throat as he gripped the pen. His fingers locked up preventing him from dropping it, and he began to tremble, making a small squeaking noise. He heard Dr. Iplier scramble off the bed, and finally he manged to drop the pen, the instrument hitting the floor with a dull noise as the Host stumbled back to lean against his desk. He was hyperventilating, one hand pressed to one of his leather, handbound journals with the other clutching at his coat. He pressed his hand harder against his journal, splaying his fingers out against the soft give of the leather and trying to simultaneously ground himself with the sensation while trying desperately to rid himself of the memory of hardback, store-bought notebooks instead.

"- Shit shit shit shit shit - Host! I'm sorry, I-I-I didn't think, are you okay? Shit -"

Cold hands cupped the Host's face, jolting him back into his body, and he immediately latched onto Dr. Iplier in return, breathing ragged. He could feel blood streaming down his face, and he swallowed thickly, pressing their foreheads together as he tried to match his breathing to Dr. Iplier's. Gradually, he calmed, arms wrapped tight around his dear doctor. He swallowed again. "The...The Host is fine," he managed, still trembling a bit. "It...it will pass..."

He started a bit when he heard Dr. Iplier sob. "Fuck, I'm so, so sorry, I didn't...didn't think, I -" He sobbed again, pulling the Host closer.

The Host gave a strained chuckle, pressing a kiss to Dr. Iplier's forehead. "It's alright, doctor. It's not the first time the Host has been ah...unwillingly reminded of the Author, and he highly doubts it will be the last. Dr. Iplier need not stress himself out." He pulled back, smiling softly and the - though familiar - feeling of blood on his face beginning the grow uncomfortable. He lifted a hand to pick at the drying blood, but Dr. Iplier caught his wrist, pressing a lingering kiss to the inside of it before leading the Host out the door.

"...At least let me take care of you. To make it up to you. Please."

Chapter Text

"Oh come on!" Wilford banged a fist onto the top of the camera, but of course that didn't remotely help and just jostled the image. "How do I get this bloody thing to do what I want?"

Bim glanced up from where he stood on stage, cocking an eyebrow as the rest of his crew slowly began to back away from his scowling mentor, giving him a wide berth. He'd popped in to watch one of Bim's shows, lamenting about how he hadn't done that in a while, and when a member of Bim's film crew left early sick, he'd volunteered to fill in. 

But, it looked like he was having a bit of trouble.

Bim's eyebrow raised further when Wilford's aura cracked into existence with a shower of glitter, passing the clipboard he'd been scribbling on to a passing crew member. "Uh, Wilford?" Wilford's head shot up, and Bim couldn't tell if his eyes were actually swirling or if it was just an effect of his aura. "Are you alright?"

Wilford cracked a lopsided smile, eyes still swirling pink and yellow hypnotically. "Ah...It seems I am not as...'tech savvy' with modern technology as I thought I was. The Jims try to teach me but, well..." He shrugged, smile turning a bit sheepish.

Bim snorted, disappearing from the stage and popping up next to Wilford. "Alright, what were you trying to do here?"

Bim was...surprisingly concise and clear as he taught Wilford how to work the camera, pulling in a different crew member when Wilford had a question he himself couldn't answer. In short, he was a much better tutor than the Jims. And...Wilford couldn't help the glow of pride. When Bim was done talking, he glanced at Wilford, a small little smile on is face. "God I hope that splurge made sense. Did you get all that?"

Wilford chuckled, nodding. "It was perfectly fine, Bim. Thank you." He wrapped one arm around Bim's shoulders, tugging him closer in a hug. "It looks like the student has become the master."

He pressed a kiss to the top of Bim's head, and Bim made a disgusted noise, arms flailing and attempting to break free, pushing against Wilford's chest. "Ahg, Da - Wilford! Let go, you're gonna mess up my hair, and I have to be on stage soon!"

Wilford laughed, obediently letting go, and pretended he didn't see Bim positively beaming the second he glanced away.

Chapter Text

Dark rubbed at his eyes between his forefinger and thumb, yawning hugely as he stepped out of his office. Too lazy and too tired to just close the damn door, he summoned his cane for the simple purpose of nudging it closed.

He dropped his hand, and promptly stepped back in shock.

Streamers hung all over the ceiling of the manor in every color of the rainbow and then some. Glitter and confetti coated the floor, at least an inch high with drifts piled in the corners. Racing to the railing to peer down onto the first floor revealed hundreds of rubber ducks stuck in various compromising positions on the walls of the first floor. Not a single ego was in sight.

Dark's expression dropped into something furious, his ringing suddenly spiking into a shrill level that threatened to shatter the windows as his aura whipped around. He straightened, eyes narrowed to slits. "JIMS!" His roar echoed across the manor, as much power put into his voice as he could.

Not five seconds later he heard the approaching rapid footsteps and unison giggling of the twins, and within no time they were appearing from some far off corner of the manor and stumbling to a halt in front of Dark. They were both grinning brightly and still giggling. CJ's hair was coated in such a heavy layer of glitter that it would make Bim jealous, and RJ had confetti stuck to his shirt and a streamer stuck to the bottom of one shoe. "Yes?"

Dark's eyes narrowed further at their chorused question. He flexed his hands atop his cane, his aura flaring and growing to a size that blocked everything behind him from view. He didn't miss the Jims' swallow, despite their grins. "Fix this," he hissed. "Now."

They both saluted him, racing away again and resuming their giggling. Dark sighed, becoming tired and defeated once more as he leaned heavily on his cane, his ringin and aura dropping back to manageable levels.

There was still far too bright a spark in the Jims' eyes when they ran away.

Chapter Text

Bing dragged Google's limp form into the office, panic make his circuits twist into knots. Google made a sound that couldn't even resemble an attempt at speech as Bing heaved him forward, just straight glitches and errors and it was terrifying. Bing carefully laid Google down on the floor, Google's body glitching and lagging madly and his eyes rolled back in his head, and proceeded to drag his arm across his own desk, sending everything clattering to the floor. He picked Google back up, laying him down gently on the desk as Google shuddered violently and made another glitchy noise.

Bing shot a cursory glance around the rest of the room, checking up on the extensions. As expecting, they were all powered off and slumped in almost painful positions on the floor. 'Deactivated' while the central unit was out of commission. Why that was a feature Bing will never understand, but right now, he was a bit preoccupied.

Google lifted one lagging, spazzing hand into the air, searching blindly, and Bing took his hand, squeezing tight. "You're gonna be okay, Googs," Bing muttered, squeezing his hand again. "You're gonna be okay, I-I-I'm gonna fix you."

Google groaned in what sounded suspiciously like pain, and Bing flinched as he ran off to find the shears to cut through Google's skin so he could open his chest cavity. "B̨i̢̭̲̱̇͗̆̓i̟̻͐͒i̭̞̦͐̍͛̂͢ǐ̖͈̞̀̑į̛̝̪͉̑͂į͇̣̏̚̕̕͜ï̥͈̟͑͠ị̘̭̅̎̿̓͜į̨̤̪͂̈̽͟͡͠i̮͔̅̅ḭ̩͖͙̈͛͞͞n̡̲̭̖͉͌͂̔̇̚g̮̤͉̓̀̔ -"

Bing raced back to his side, setting the shears aside and carefully pulling Google's t-shirt off his body. "I know, I know, Googs." He stroked Google's hair from his eyes as he set about slicing through Google's skin, the gleam of metal and wires revealed beneath it. He couldn't help but give a tiny, strained laugh. "This is what you get for touching a ***damn live wire. First and last time you try to be a hero and save the Jims from electrocuting themselves I suppose."

Google made a noise that sounded almost like a laugh, but then he convulsed, suddenly spouting binary in between his glitches. "01001001 0010͔͚̠̗͗̍̅̃0͕̯̱̊͐̇0̻̩͖̳̔̉͐͝0̡̢̙̟̣̓̏͛̄͞0̛͖͚̺́ 01101100 0̪͖̔̈́1̡̼͌͘1͍͎̤͉̈͆̑̚0̯͍̼̗͆̓̎̎͒͜1111 01110110 01̨̢̰̦̎̃̌1̜̼̙͍͑̓̒0̣̫͓́̂̔0̢̘͚̮̤̋̇̉̔1̺͉̯͓̓͌͝͝01 00100000 011̘͒̓͟1̤̻͉͋̋͋1͖͕̂̒001 0110111̺͍̋͗1 011101̗̺̄̒01͉̠̇̃͢ ̢̙̮̽͋͞0͙͘0̮͍͕͇̪͐̋̆͘1͕̫̖̗̘͆͋́͊̾0̦̼̠͙̏̽͑1110"

Bing gave another strained laugh, though a little more genuine this time around as he set about repairing the deep-frying Google's systems just underwent. "I love you, too, Google."

Chapter Text

Google's face crinkled up with annoyance when his body began to vibrate, the default ringtone of soft chimes playing over his speakers. Bing shot him a raised eyebrow from his desk, and Google picked up. "Yes?"

"Goooooglllllle!"

Google sighed with annoyance, leaning forward to prop his head up on his elbow and pinching the bridge of his nose. "What do you want, Bim?"

"I'm trying to make macaroons but they don't  like me and it's not working and you're the only other kitchen expert in the house! Please help?"

Surprise coursed through Google - usually he was called because someone broke something and needed clean-up - and he glanced at Bing. "If you can last two minutes without doing something stupid, I'll be right there."

"Thank you!"

Bim hung up, and Google stood, heading out to the kitchen. Immediately he scowled. Bim's description had been a bit of an understatement, pans and bowls of batter scattered everywhere and none of it right. Bim was staring at him with pleading eyes, and he split in a sheepish little smile. Batter painted his suit as well, adding to his distressed picture. “I wasn’t kidding when I said it didn’t like me.”

”I can see that.” Google stepped forward, analyzing the nearest batter before moving to the next one. Rapidly a pattern was appearing. “You’re not adding enough liquid,” he said, turning back to Bim. “Would I be correct in a assuming they keep exploding in the oven?”

Bim rubbed the back of his neck, staring at the ground. “Uh, maybe? But the recipe says –“

”– The recipe is wrong.” Google raised an eyebrow. “Send it to me.” Bim reached for his phone on the island, and seconds later Google snorted. “I see the problem. But the filling looks correct. Would you like to start on that while I fix the batter here?”

Immediately a bit of the tension left Bim’s body, and his smile became a little easier. “Filling I know how to do, I can do that. Thank you so much, Google, sincerely.”

Google smiled a little himself, grabbing a bowl of batter and heading to a clearer counter space. “It’s my pleasure.”

When Google returned to the office a couple hours later, he was still giggling to himself with a handful of perfect macaroons cupped in his hands.

Chapter Text

Bing bounced into the office with noticeably more energy than usual, holding a small box. All four Googles glanced up, one eyebrow raised on each of them except Oliver. "Guyssss! It's here!"

Red's eyebrow arched further, sliding closer on his stool. "...What's here?"

Bing launched himself over his desk, landing on his own stool and plopping the box on his desk, carefully peeling back the packing tape. "You guys know how I've been chatting with that MIT professor right? I help him work out problems with his code, and he helps me with mine. We're like each other's rubber ducks. Anyway, there's a bug in something I've been working on for Eric because he deserves more surprise gifts, and when I explained it to him and sent him the chunk of code that wasn't working, he emailed back saying it was too complicated to explain via email, so he said he ship me a flashdrive of the fixed code." With a triumphant noise, he managed to open the box and slide its contents out onto his palm, and he held up the flashdrive. "And here it is!"

The Googles exchanged looks, and Google himself stepped forward a bit. "...While I do think it's wonderful you've formed a ah...sort of friendship with this man, I am hesitant to just let you plug that into yourself."

Bing's beaming smile fell a little. "Why? It's just a flashdrive, it's not gonna hurt me."

Green frowned. "It's the contents we're worried about. At least scan it? Or let one of us?"

Bing's smile dropped completely. "What? Why? Come on, guys, you're being a bit overprotective. I trust this guy, it's not like he can poison me." He hefted up the flashdrive, reaching behind him.

Oliver held out a hand. "Bing, wait - !"

He plugged it in.

It took a second for the contents of the flashdrive to be downloaded into his systems. When it finished, Bing's body seized up on its own volition, and he shuddered violently. Problem was, he didn't stop, and panic began to slowly creep at the edges of his mind. When he opened his mouth to say something, all that came out was the glitchiest, most painful noise he'd ever made, golden liquid that was his 'blood' (dyed machine oil and such) suddenly pouring out of his mouth. He was shuddering so bad he fell off his stool, impacting hard on his back on the floor as he choked on his own blood. A single message blared across his vision, blood red and angry:

'You are an abomination of sentient code.'

He hardly noticed when someone pulled his shades away from his face, his vision reduced to blurs of the primary colors surrounding him. He just choked and spluttered and sobbed, convulsing wildly as he felt someone lift his head and remove the flashdrive. The message was burned into his brain, playing on every insecurity he had, unavoidable and bold. Someone spoke, but he couldn't comprehend, the vile taste of machine oil and whatever liquid that kept his body running mixing in the back of his throat and occupying most of his senses. "G̝͈͇͛̈͛̚͘͟͢o͇͆ȏ͍̬̏ȯ͇̳̭̑̿ǫ̛̝̩̹͚̽̏͘͠ǫ̤̲̎̈́͞.̨̧̢̲̍̀̈̒.̭̘̆̿.̨͕͍̰͇̉̚̚͡gl͓͞l͔̒̕͟l̢̲̬͒͗̓lḻ̰̯͗̄͘l̢̖̼̍̄̄l͢͝ę͇̙̎̌͐͢ ͙̙̂̈́-"

Again, someone spoke, petting back his hair. Bing just convulsed again, the message finally giving way to millions of error signals flashing in his vision as the Googles worked to rid him of the corrupted code that had been injected directly into his systems. To get red of the poison

Fuck.

Another flood of golden mechanical fluid clogged his throat, but this time, when one of the Googles spoke, he could understand his words, though they sounded like the Google was standing at the far end of a tunnel. "You're going to be alright, Bing. It will only take a few more minutes. Just hang on."

For some reason, despite the pain shooting through his body, Bing believed him. And next time, he'd scan whatever package before plugging it in.

Chapter Text

Eric smiled as he sat in the cheetah enclosure, cross-legged with his back against a tree. One of the great cat's head was lying in his lap, her purrs shaking his whole body as he petted her gently. The two other cheetahs in the enclosure - a male and another female - were sprawled around him, incredibly comfortable with him present. And Eric was happy to be surrounded by them, happy to let the cheetah's purrs shake his small body.

"I'll never understand how you do that, kid."

Eric glanced up, smiling a little when he spotted one of his co-workers - Bridget - watching him from the other side of the fence. He just shrugged, continuing to pet the cheetah. "I-I don't know either, to be honest. They just like me, I guess."

Bridget snorted, crossing her arms. "Well, as cute as you four are, come on. Your dad's here to pick you up."

Eric flushed at the word 'dad', but carefully slipped out from beneath the cheetah all the same, excited to go see Bim. The second he stood, all three cheetahs lifted their heads, standing themselves and weaving around him in an attempt to block his way. He just laughed, dancing around them as he headed for the exit. "No - no! I'll be back tomorrow, I promise guys!" The male cheetah licked his hand, and then Eric was slipping out the gate.

The second Eric closed the gate, he froze, smile dropping. Tears sprung to his eyes as his hands locked up and began to tremble, ratting the fence. No, not now, not now! Despite his internal pleas with himself, his breathing rapidly became shallower, audible wheezes as the panic attack struck him upside the head, tears now fully running down his face.

"Eric?! Eric are you alright?!"

Bridget's voice sounded underwater, and Eric could barely comprehend it. Through his tears, he saw the cheetahs freaking out on the other side of the fence, but he couldn't do anything, just finally managed to let go of the fence and collapsed to the ground. He heard Bridget say something else, but he couldn't comprehend it. He just shifted to knees, pressing his forehead to the asphalt with his hands tugging roughly at his hair.

He heard the staticky crackle of the employee radio, and Bridget's voice again. And then someone else was kneeling beside him, pressing up against him and throwing an arm around his shoulders in attempt to soothe his trembling. "Shhh, it's okay, Eric, I'm right here." Bim's voice was soft, murmured into his ear, but to Eric it sounded like he was speaking from the far end of a tunnel. He felt Bim shift, and then his arms were slipping beneath Eric's body, lifting him up at holding him close to Bim's chest. "I'm taking him home. I'll be back to officially clock him out when he's fallen asleep."

"But-But-But what's wrong with him, is he going to be okay?!" Bridget's voice sounded no less panicked.

"It's just a panic attack, he'll be fine in about ten minutes. They hit him with no warning, I'm a little surprised he hasn't had one at work before." Eric's breathing - already far too shallow - devolved into hyperventilation, and Bim winced. "Bye."

And then they were in Bim's car, Eric lying down sprawled in the back seat as Bim pulled out of the zoo parking lot. He swallowed thickly, head swimming from the yperventilation. "B-B-B-Bim -"

Bim glanced back, but Eric's mouth had stopped obeying him. Instead, he lifted one trembling hand, resting it on the center console. He saw Bim smile in the rearview mirror, and he reached back, resting in own on Eric's. The position was undoubtedly uncomfortable for Bim, but he kept his hand there the whole way home, even after Eric fell asleep. 

Chapter Text

"Now behave yourselves," Bim hissed, walking through the fancy glass doors of the restaurant. "I had to pull so many strings to get reservations so short notice, and if you morons fuck this up for us I'll slit your throats myself."

King's jaw dropped, wearing a slightly too big suit that was clearly Bim's, and elbowed his boyfriend. "Keep talking like that and you'll mess it up yourself."

Google just laughed, hand-in-hand in with Bing and both androids wearing suits as well. Dr. Iplier, however, snorted as they entered the restaurant, elbow linked with the Host's and both of them wearing something fancier than their usual attire, too. "You have such low expectations for us, Bim."

The Host chuckled a bit nervously, pressed firmly to Dr. Iplier's side as they were led to their table and constantly fiddling with the wrap-around sunglasses he wore instead of his bandages, to appear a bit more inconspicuous. He still wore his beloved coat over his suit, wrapping it tighter around himself as they sat down. He was very uncharacteristically quiet, clearly not fond of being in public. How Dr. Iplier managed to convince him to come out with the rest of them was a mystery.

"still don't know how you even had strings to pull to get a place this fancy." Bing gazed around the restaurant with undisguised awe. The restaurant was undoubtedly the fanciest place a good portion of them had ever been, complete with a live piano player in the middle of the dining room. Bing turned to Google, eyes glowing brightly (his shades had been confiscated by Bim the second he walked out of his room wearing them with his suit). "Didn't we get kicked out of a place like this?"

Bim choked on his water, paling significantly, and Dr. Iplier had to muffle his laughter in the Host's shoulder. Google himself just chuckled, a little smirk in place as he raised his own glass of water to his lips. "Banned, too."

Bim leaned back dramatically in his seat, head lolled back with one arm draped over his eyes and the other hand pressed to his chest. "Oh you guys are gonna kill me. This is the end."

King smacked him. "Shut up, Bim."

The Host snorted out a laugh, shoulders dropping a little as he relaxed marginally. However, he rapidly flushed dark red when Dr. Iplier pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Doctor!" He shrunk into his coat, distress and embarrassment making his voice much higher. "They are in public..."

Dr. Iplier had to slap a hand over his mouth to muffle his cackle. He was still giggling when he finally was able to drop his hand. "I am well-aware of that, my dear." He raised an eyebrow when he spotted the Host's menu, humming softly. "Hold on, I'll ask for a Braille one for you."

The Host's voice was quiet and mumbled, to muffled by his coat. "Thanks."

A squeak came from the other side of the table, and the four others' head whipped to face Bing and Google. Bing was blushing heavily, looking everywhere but their eyes while Google wore a far too self-satisfied, smug expression, sipping from his water. Bim covered his face in his hands, forehead promptly connecting with the table. "Jesus fucking Christ, this is why we never go out."

(Depsite Bim's dramatic doomsday predictions, the night went very well and the group went home with a lot of fond memories).

Chapter Text

Mark cautiously opened the door to the manor, poking his head inside. The new 'A Heist with Markiplier' skit called for a few of the others, and he was there to pick them up and head to Texas. However, when he opened the door, his jaw dropped, and he stepped more completely in.

The first thing he saw and heard was Dark's aura. The writhing, shadowy mass kept flaring, gradually growing bigger and the ringing shriller and louder the more pissed Dark got. Dark himself wasn't paying attention to the door (thank God), too busy snapping commands and demands at the Jims and Bim as they tore through the manor, glitter and confetti and something else Mark didn't want to know about trailing after them. Wilford was trying (and failing) to help, appearing and disappearing randomly as he tried to corral the three. 

"BING! GET BACK HERE, YOU NEED TO UPGRADE TO STOP IT!"

"EAT MY ***, GOOGS!"

As if on cue, a glitching, lagging Bing bolted in the opposite direction, chased by a furious Google wielding a screwdriver. Mark ducked behind the door to avoid sight, but it was unnecessary; the pair of androids vanished just as quickly as they appeared, disappearing into the bowels of the manor.

Another set of voices started shouting from the direction of the kitchen: "Ed! If you don't keep your Goddamn hands out of the batter you won't get any brownies when they're done! Just get out of here!"

"Fuck off, Silver! You really think I'm goin' out there with the twins and Bim wreakin' havoc?! Hell no!"

King suddenly appeared out of nowhere, expression flat as he grabbed the back of Bim's suit and stalked off, dragging the protesting, struggling Bim away without batting an eye, and Dark called out a thank you to him. Reynolds and Eric rushed across the scene, Reynolds dragging Eric along by the hand as they no doubt searched for a quieter section of the manor. The Host and Dr. Iplier were just barely visible sitting on the couch, Dr. Iplier leaning up against the armrest with his arms crossed and legs draped across the Host's lap, the pair snickering at the chaos and not even attempting to help Dark and Wilford pin down the chaotic twins.

Mark's gaze swept the chaos once more, then promptly shut the door and spun on his heel, walking away. "Nope."

Chapter Text

The second the staticky buzz reached his ears, Dark growled in annoyance, setting his pen down. Not a second later, Anti was fizzling into existence in his office, glaring at Dark with enough venom to melt steel. "F͇͊û̳c̯̃k̳͛ ̳͛y̧͛ö̗û̬!̺͗"

Dark sighed, his annoyance growing. Still, he folded his hands across his desk, arching a single eyebrow and the only betrayer of his annoyance being his shriller ringing. "Really. Is that all you wanted? Did you get it out of your system?"

Anti scowled, body fuzzing a bit, and when he solidified again the wound in his throat was weeping openly. "S̹̏h͆ͅù̩t̟͂ ͈͆t͙͑h̰͡e͎̓ ̼͘f̯̕u̱̓ć͓k͙͑ ͗͢u̘͡p̥͗!̣̅ ̰͐I͙̔ ̀͟ĉ͙o͟͞ù͕l̄͢d̞ ̛͍c̺̿r̬͑i̙̊p͕͠p̞͌l͔̒ȇ̺ ̯͛y̭̑o͕̕ū̟r͚̚ ̉ͅo̢͂ļ̉d̩̿,͙͌ ̪̐b̳̐ȑ̜o̓͟k̂ͅë͙́n̻͠ ̽ͅa̖͝s̢̐s͗͜ ̛̮w̙͆i̜̾ṯ̛h͈͆ ̧͗j͔̒u̘̎s̳̅ť̼ ͖̓a͢͝ ̭̀p͖͘o̞̿k̦̚e̗̓!̮̎"

Dark's eyebrow inched further up his forehead, expression flat, and he tilted his head. "Better old and broken than not even having a body. Did you seriously come here just to pick a fight?"

Anti's face flushed dark green, and he fuzzed again, taking even longer to solidify. When he did at last, he simply hissed, forked, snake-like tongue flicking out between his fangs. "G͍͗a̦͛b͉́h̓͜ ̝̏ṣ̾í̧̊o̝͘s̘ ̅͜ő̬r͙͒t̲͝ ̙̅f̠̾h͖̅é͎̐i̩̐ṇ̏.̗͛"

Dark hummed, entirely unimpressed (also he doesn't know Gaelic), and just picked up his pen. "Get your glitch bitch ass out of my office."

Promptly absorbing himself into his work, Dark missed Anti's fanged grin. He did, however, notice the little zap! noise, accompanied by the lights above him flickering out. He scowled, slamming down his pen and standing up, but Anti was nowhere in sight. Dark smacked the heel of his hand to his forehead, closing his eyes and a drawing a rapid, prolonged breath through his nose, before stepping out from behind his desk and heading toward the door. When he opened it, he swore. 

Loudly.

And violently.

The entire manor was dark. Anti had fucking short-circuited the entire house. Dark closed his eyes again, drawing his mouth in a tight, thin line when he heard a pair of twin, terrified shrieks. The Jims were afraid of the dark. And with no obvious cause of the power outage, they'd undoubtedly spin everyone else up into a panic. Which Dark would have to calm down.

Great.

Chapter Text

Wilford stretched as he popped into the manor, yawning hugely and rubbing at his eyes. He dropped his suitcase right in front of the door, not bothering to teleport it or dragging it elsewhere. He'd just been out a few days on a business trip of sorts. A 'reporter convention'. The Jims had been there, too, but their attention spans and invasive personalities only allowed for them to be there for two hours instead of three days like Wilford. At least he didn't kill anyone. Dark would be proud.

Wilford visibly sagged at the thought of Dark. He missed his husband so much. They chatted every day Wilford was gone over the phone, and they would have visited each other, but even even with the power of teleportation neither's schedule had allowed for it. And...Wilford had been lonely, admittedly.

So, without a second thought, he poofed into Dark's office.

He grinned, opening his mouth to say something, but his expression quickly fell. Dark wasn't in his office. Which meant he was either taking a break in the living area or...

Worry rapidly overtaking him, Wilford poofed into Dark's bedroom instead. Instantly he was hit with the sound of broken sobs, and he glanced down. His heart broke. Dark was curled up on the floor, in a position that looked like he'd simply collapsed and never bothered to move into something more comfortable. His cane was a few feet away, like it'd rolled away from him, and he was sobbing quietly, choked sounds escaping him as he tried to swallow them back. 

Wilford crouched down beside him, running a careful hand through Dark's hair. Dark tensed, but that was quickly met with a full body shudder and a muffled noise of pain. Wilford carded his fingers slowly through Dark's hair again, whispering softly. "Shh, sweetheart, it's just me. It's okay."

Dark turned his head a little, just enough for his face to be visible, and a sickening, loud crack! echoed through the room, followed by Dark borderline screaming and his sobs growing louder. Wilford winced, continuing to run his fingers through Dark's hair. "I'm going to pick you up, okay? The floor can't be comfortable, I'm going to get you into bed."

Dark's head twitched in the vague impression of a nod, and Wilford slipped his arms beneath his body. He could almost feel Dark's bones shifting and creaking in his arms, and he was quick to hurry his hurting husband over to their bed, setting him down gently among the soft sheets. Dark sighed, stiff muscles relaxing slightly as his sobbing gradually died down to harsh gasps. Wilford quickly began to strip Dark of his suit, carefully teleporting his suit jacket and shirt off to avoid aggravating Dark's shoulders. He was just pulling up a pair of Dark's fluffiest pajama pants up his legs when Dark managed to open his eyes, chest heaving. "Yyyou're...home."

Wilford glanced up, flashing a bright little smile. "Yes, I am! Very observant of you, Darky."

Dark chuckled, eyes slipping shut once more, but it quickly turned into a coughing fit, him wincing all the while. When it was over, his breath sounded labored and wheezing, but his eyes opened just a bit, and he managed a smile. "Thank you, Wil. I...missed you."

Wilford's smile softened, and he leaned forward to press a kiss to Dark's nose, pressing their foreheads together. "I missed you, too, Dark." He pulled back, tapping Dark on the nose. "Now, you get some rest. I'll manage our little family for the day."

Dark gave a wheezing laugh. "Oh God, you're gonna burn the house down."

Wilford's jaw dropped. "We will not! I can be responsible! I'll show you!"

Dark just laughed again, closing his eyes. "Alright. Love you, Wil."

Wilford rested a gentle hand on Dark's thigh. "I love you, too."

Chapter Text

Marc sat on an imaginary throne, watching the events unfold with a smug little grin and a bird's eye view. He had them all wrapped around his little finger and he knew it. His foolish brother, the sweet, innocent mayor, his wolf-in-sheep's-clothing wife, and that intrepid detective. All had little strings wrapped around their wrists and ankles that Marc could make move with a simple flick of his wrist. God, what a rush, to be this in control. To be able to decide who lives, who dies, all spun up in this game. This story. Marc was the author, and this was his masterpiece. The perfect plot.

He couldn't help but lean forward as his perfect pawn came onto the scene with such perfect oblivious innocence. The D.A., moldable like clay in his hands. Their body was almost invisible with the amount of strings holding them up, moving them around, controlling even the subtlest twitch in their body. No movement was their own. No thought was of their own volition. All controlled by Marc, sitting high on his throne.

So caught up in his puppet show, Marc never noticed his own strings, blood red and leading off into the abyss around him. While he deluded himself with ideas of being the puppet master, he himself was just a pawn to something so much bigger. Masterful motions that could set off a chain reaction powerful enough to topple empires, waves rippling off an entity older than time itself, that has seen all and waited for so long to begin its own carefully crafted game. A simple, narcissistic human was easy to manipulate into bringing all the players to the board.  

But of course, the bigger picture was lost to Marc, so narrow and self-minded. He watched as his dear brother broke, but didn't notice the snapped strings no, longer holding him up. No longer tying him down. He watched as his 'friend', his wife, and the oh so tractable D.A. were locked into a single body. He watched them leave the D.A. behind, but he didn't see the strings fraying. Not broken, but the slightest bit of tension would have them snapping

Marc sat and watched, gleefully waiting for all his pieces to fall into place, unaware that he was a pawn in this game as well.

Chapter Text

It was the dead of summer, so, of course, it was hot as fuck outside. And inside, too. No matter what the egos did, no matter what spells Dark attempted, it was impossible to get the manor to cool down. In an attempt to beat the heat, most of them had foregone their usual outfits in favor of a t-shirt or tank top and shorts. Even Dark, though his body always ran several degrees cooler than the rest of them (a side effect of being dead), had stripped of his suit jacket and rolled his sleeves up to his elbows. It wasn't perfect, but it worked.

The only problem was the Host.

The stubborn bastard refused to take off his coat. Refused to change at all really. With temperatures pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the Host still wore his coat, trousers, and long-sleeved dress shirt. None of those items were designed to keep one cool. And it was clear he was uncomfortable; he was sweating like mad, his face red, and shifting in place constantly. But despite Dr. Iplier's and the other's pleas, he remained adamantly stubborn. It was infuriating.

"Host, I swear to God, if you don't at least take off that fucking coat I'm going to drug you and take it off for you." Dr. Iplier shot him a scathing glare from the floor, completely spread out at the Host's feet, who sat on the couch. The white t-shirt he wore was nearly drenched with sweat, and the other's weren't fairing much better.

"Careful there, Doc," Bim called out, lounging precariously on the back of one the loveseats in nothing but a sheer white tank top and his boxers. "That sounds a bit suggestive."

Ed snorted, and Dr. Iplier flipped both of them off. The Host refused to say a word, just picked at his sleeves and adjusted his bandages when they threatened to slip down his nose with sweat. Bing pushed himself on his forearms, his legs draped over Google's lap. The androids appeared to be the only beings unaffected by the heat. Even Peggy, usually such a snuggler, was nowhere near her two favorite people (Bing and the Host) in favor of being cooler. "Seriously, what's up with you, man? You're usually not so stubborn."

Dr. Iplier's snort was quickly followed by a fit of mildly delirious laughter, and the Host scowled, making to kick at him. "Shut up! Just drop it, leave the Host alone!"

Wilford raised an eyebrow, completely defying all of physics and was splayed out on the ceiling. "He speaks! At last!" Dark shot him a disapproving glare from the opposite end of the couch from the Host, but didn't say anything.

Dr. Iplier pushed himself into a sitting position, hair sticking up everywhere and his hard glare giving way to concern. "Seriously, Host, just take the damn thing off. I get it's a security thing for you, but for the love of Christ wouldn't you rather live than boil alive inside that thing?"

The Host made a small noise and just wrapped his coat tighter around himself.

Dr. Iplier sighed, head lolling back briefly before he stood. He brushed himself. "Right, I gave you a shot to comply." He placed his fists on his hips, glancing over his shoulder. "Google, if you'd assist."

The Host's head shot up as Google stood and both he and Dr. Iplier cornered him. "Hold on - wait - hey!" Google lifted him up effortlessly off the couch, and the Host shrieked, kicking and struggling to dislodge Google's grip, but of course to no avail. Google and Dr. Iplier dragged him away, the Host kicking and screaming all the while.

When the trio finally returned to the living area, the Host was wearing a slim-fitting white tank top and a pair of jean shorts (which were undoubtedly Dr. Iplier's). He looked so much smaller without the big coat, and he blushed bright red, crossing his arms the second Dr. Iplier dragged him into view. Google returned to his spot with Bing, and the Host shuffled in place, staring at the floor. "Happy now?"

Dr. Iplier kissed his cheek. "Very."

Chapter Text

Bing bounced along at Google's side, positively vibrating with excitement as he gazed around their surroundings. Bing had convinced (dragged) him to go to an engineering/mechanics convention with him to gawk at all the primitive robots humans had made. Bing found it fascinating. Google didn't see the point. They were so much more advanced than the pitiful creations around them. They barely even had an A.I. But, unfortunately, Google had a single weakness, and his name was Bing. So he came.

Google couldn't help but chuckle, squeezing Bing's hand as the younger android buzzed and vibrated. "Bing. You're going to damage something."

"I can't help it, Googs!" Bing shot him a beaming smile and Google could've sworn his core stuttered. "This is my jam! This is so cool!"

Google chuckled again, pressing a kiss to the side of Bing's head before letting go of his hand. "Alright. Go have fun."

Bing bounced in place, placing a quick kiss to Google's lips before darting off.

Google smiled, watching Bing race around with his shades perched on his head and asking rapid-fire questions to the engineers. Content to just watch his partner bubble with excitement, Google retreated to a far corner of the convention, arms crossed and eyes locked on Bing. He sighed, visibly melting with a happy little smile on his face. Bing was just so precious...

Google raised an eyebrow, eyes flicking away from Bing for a brief moment when he spotted a small group of humans gasp and point at him. He shrunk further into the shadows, purposefully dimming his logo and his eye returned to Bing. Or rather, where Bing had been - he was no longer in sight, and Google just shrunk further as the humans approached.

"Hey! It's the Google android! How cool is this!"

Google instantly scowled at the way they referred to him. As if he wasn't there. As if he wasn't a sentient being. He actually growled as the group drew closer, his eyes flashing to a near blinding brightness. "Go away."

One of the humans - a female with striking red hair - raised her eyebrow. "Why? You're part of the show, are you not?"

Google bristled, scowl deepening. "I absolutely am not. I am a spectator just as you are. I do not appreciate being gawked at."

Another human - this one he couldn't immediately tell the gender of - took a daring step closer. "Surely you expect it, coming to a place like this. And in general. You're the most advanced piece of technology humanity has ever created."

Google bristled further, red beginning to tint his eyes. "Expecting it and enjoying it are to very different things. Go talk to Bing, he's here, he thrives off attention."

The third and final human - a blond male - snorted. "We saw him. Bing is not nearly as impressive as you are." He snapped his fingers suddenly, turning to the other two. "Do you guys remember that feature they talked about in his debut? The phrase that gets him to comply?"

Google's eyes shot wide, and he actually took a panicked step back, but his back simply hit the wall. He was quite literally cornered as the androgynous clapped their hands excitedly. "Oh! I remember what it was! Okay Google!"

Google made to bolt, but the second the words left their mouth his body was wrenched from his control and he went completely rigid, expression falling flat with both his eyes and logo blazing brilliantly. Internally, panic consumed every inch of him, but he couldn't even move to show that or tell them to stop. He was just forced to stand stiff and silent until he was given a command, even as tears threatened to fall and pricked at the corner of his eyes.

"Oh that's so creepy," the female human exclaimed. "Someone ask him something! Before he snaps out of it or something!"

"What's your purpose, why were you created?"

Google's gaze shifted to the male human without his consent. "M̢̂m͙͊m̝͊m̼̕m̰͠m̗͂y͎͗y̬̔y͉y͉͠y̠͗y͈y̹̕y̪̚y̮̔y̻͗y͕͑y̬̚ ̱͐-" His voice glitched heavily as he tried to resist the pull of his programming, but to no avail. "M̜̓y̮̕y̼̔y͙̆y͔͗ ̨͆ pri̋͢ĭ̖i͙͡i͎̋i͛͜i͜͝i̩͆mary objective is to answer your questions as fast as possible." The words tasted like bile in his mouth as they were ripped from his throat, forced out by the one piece of programming he has spent years trying to remove, the one feature that was an absolute core piece of his programming and completely irremovable. His body started to relax and once again fall under his control, but quickly stiffened back up as the words were spoken again, this time by the female human.

"Okay Google, I'm curious. Do you consider yourself alive?"

Google's mouth opened, but even with the incessant, agonizing tug of his programming, it took a second before he responded. "Yes."

"Okay Google, but why? You're just a bunch of code. Technically speaking, whatever 'sentience' you have is probably a fluke."

Google couldn't help it when the tears began sliding down his face, leaving faintly glowing blue streaks in their wake. "I̭͒I͐͢I̐ͅI̞͌Į̀I̢̍I͙I̡̅ can feel emotion, I can love, I can feel pain, I breathe, I require the equivalent of sleep. Therefore, I am alive." He swallowed harshly, body at last relaxing as a fresh wave of tears cascaded down his face. He felt the overwhelming urge to vomit as his wide, panicked eyes swept the small group, dreading the moment one of them opened their mouth.

"Oh my God, is he crying, are you crying?! I didn't know that was a feature!" The androgynous human laughed, bringing one hand up to cover their mouth. "You are aware that literally every single one of those things you just listed could be easily programmed out of you? I bet if we asked one of the mechanics around here they'd happily do it. We could fix you. It's just electrical pulses gone haywire."

Google suddenly snarled. "That implies that humans are not wired the exact same way. You think your own thoughts and emotions aren't just tiny electrical signals shot into your brain? You think you are any different than me? The only difference between us is purely physical makeup, but the way our brains function is the exact same, and if you fucking touch me I will make you an example of just how much more fragile human flesh is compared to metal."

All three humans' expressions dropped, and Google swallowed. His core was going nuts, his fans going crazy as equal waves of fear and rage crashed over him. The male human stepped toward him, Google's head snapping in his direction as he pressed himself more firmly against the wall in a poor attempt at putting more distance between them. "...Okay Google -" Google's body went rigid once more, hands snapping to his sides, and the male human opened his mouth again and -

"GOOGLE!"

Google couldn't move, but he didn't have to to see Bing running straight for them. Panic and worry lined every aspect of Bing's face as he skidded to a halt in front of them. He quickly scanned the group of humans, mild horror crossing his features when he noticed Google's stiff form and slack expression. "...What's going on here?"

The female human raised her hands in mock surrender. "Nothing! We were just asking him questions! He's the coolest piece of technology we've ever seen, it was hard to resist!"

Bing's logo flared a little brighter as suspicion and anger took over his expression. "He's not a ****ing toy you royal pieces of ****. He's got a life and a mind of his own, how would you like it if some random group of morons cornered you and started grilling you about things?" 

The androgynous human raised an eyebrow. "You're talking like you both are actually alive and sentient. Some programmer - admittedly a really fucking good programmer - just wired you to behave this way."

Bing didn't even hesitate before clocking the human in the jaw with all the power his body held.

The androgynous human crumpled, bleeding from the mouth and their jaw no doubt broken and/or completely shattered. Bing's eyes blazed a brilliant gold, visible plainly through his shades. "LEAVE," he roared. "GET THE **** OUT OF HERE!" After a brief second of paralysis, the humans scooped up their friend and bolted, and Bing was quick to turn his attention to Google, everything in his body softening as he gently cupped Google's cheek. "What did they do to you, Googs, are you alright?"

Google shuddered violently as he was forced to spit out a painfully blunt and truthful reply. "They were taking advantage of my 'O̲͌ȍ͉o͓̊ǒ̺ǫ̇o̻͌o̡o͉̓kay Google' feature. Physically I am fine, but I am feeling panicked and sick and terrified and taken advantage of." The second the programming released its vice-like hold on him, Google slumped, pulling Bing into a tight hug in an attempt to ground himself as he sobbed heavily into Bing's shoulder.

Bing embraced him back just as tightly, one hand reaching up to tangle in Google's hair. "Oh ****, I'm so sorry, Google! I didn't - If I would've known I'd never have asked you to come with me, you didn't even want to be here, and - I'm sorry."

Google shook his head, though he refused to pull back. "It wasn't your fault, you couldn't have predicted this." He drew a shuddering breath. "All the same, I̢͐I̱̎I̼͞Ị̐Ï̘Ị̚Ȉ̥I̱̿I̠̔I̗̔Ï͔Ï͉Ȋ̯I̖̒Ȉ̱Ȉ͢ would like to go home." His head glitched and spazzed as he spoke, and he tightened his grip on Bing for one more moment before pulling back. He almost rushed to grab Bing's hand, however, squeezing it tight and pressing tight to his side as they slowly headed for the exit. Tears were still evident on Google's face, and he ducked his head in a poor attempt to hide his face.

When they were at last outside, he relaxed marginally, though still plastered to Bing. Bing slowed to a stop, and Google gave him an odd look, turning a bit to face him. Bing gave him a warm smile, cupping Google's cheek with his free hand. His voice was soft. "...Can I kiss you?" Google nodded hurriedly, for once in his life craving comfort, and Bing leaned forward. The kiss was slow and gentle and comforting, and Google almost protested aloud when Bing pulled away. "What do you say to me making peppermint hot chocolate and watching Drunk History until 3:00am?"

Google gave a strained laugh, fresh tears falling without him entirely realizing it, and he leaned in for another kiss. "Sounds perfect."

Chapter Text

The second Dark stepped into the living area, he froze stiff and his vision went red.

Mark's eyes shot wide when their eyes met, and the other egos he was talking lowly to (Bim, Google, and Silver) scrambled to block him from view. Bim flashed a strained smile. "Hey Dark! Wh-what brings you here?"

Dark didn't hear him, his vision tunneling on the terrified man behind the trio. "You." He stalked forward, aura thrashing in a way that made it seem alive with righteous fury. His voice contorted and echoed as a hurricane of emotions swirled inside him - predominately rage. "You lying, cheating, piece of shit -"

Mark attempted to scramble away (with Silver's help), but Dark caught the back of his shirt collar, stopping him short. Mark choked, reaching behind him to smack at Dark's arm as the demon smiled ruefully. He tore open the Void, and - blatantly ignoring the others' protests - dragged Mark into the abyss.

Dark dropped Mark's shirt, dumping him on the ground, and Mark coughed harshly, rubbing at his throat. He glanced up, something almost pleading in his eyes. "H-hold on - Dark - I-I'm not who you think I am -"

"Shut up!" Dark's voice - already echoing and powerful - seemed to radiate magic and raw, dark power in the Void, and Mark clacked his jaw shut. Dark straightened himself, his aura blending seamlessly with the Void, and he summoned his cane, holding his head high. "You have not earned the right to speak."

Mark pushed himself unsteadily to his feet. "Dark, just - let me explain and -"

"What did I just fucking say?!" Dark's aura shoved Mark to his knees, and the human crumpled with a choked back cry of pain. "You have not earned the right to explain anything!" He bared his teeth, his ringing growing to such a shrill pitch that Mark winced, little rivulets of red trailing from his ears. "For once in your miserable life you are going to sit and listen to what I have to say!"

He saw Mark swallow hard, his body noticeably trembling, and Dark consciously dialed back his ringing. He wanted Mark to actually be able to hear him after all. "Do you have any idea what it's like to feel that betrayed?" His voice was little more than a venomous hiss, spitting poison. "You were one of my closest friends. You were her husband!" His doubles snapped into existence, taking on the scathing forms of Damien and Celine. Even the mild-mannered Damien was scowling, and something that looked far too much like Hellfire raged in Celine's eyes. "We trusted you and you murdered us!"

Mark winced. "Dark -"

"YOU DID THIS TO US!" Dark's voice threatened to break as he screamed it raw, but he refused. "You broke us, tortured us, all just to mold us into your 'perfect villain' . Do you know what it is like, to die in the most painful way? Do you know what it is like to have your very soul ripped straight from your chest and strung up like a marionette? Do you know what it's like to walk on broken bones for nearly a century just because you wanted 'a villain' to fit your twisted hero complex?" Mark had the decency to look scared as Dark split in a terrifying grin, Damien and Celine mimicking him on either side. It quickly dropped to a scowl, and Mark flinched. "You broke your own brother's mind for your own amusement." Dark swallowed. "You manipulated me into breaking the one being I loved more than anything. And that -" Dark closed his eyes, drawing a deep breath. "that is the worst thing you have ever done."

Mark opened his mouth, but no sound came out, teared pouring silently down his face. Dark's eyes were hard and unforgiving as they bored into him, and he waved a hand, tearing open the Void with his other gripping tight to the top of his cane. "Get out of here." When Mark didn't move, Dark snarled. "LEAVE!"

Mark stood and scrambled out of the tear, and Dark finally allowed his own angry, betrayed, hurt tears to fall.

Chapter Text

Bim grinned at his reflection in the mirror, running a hand through his hair to purposefully make the silver glitter sparkle. He'd adjusted his glasses so they were a bit tighter so they wouldn't fall off on stage. Over all, he was pretty proud of his outfit - shirtless, covered in silver body glitter to match his hair, a glittery purple tie, deep purple fishnet stockings, and massive black six inch heels (which he rocked). And of course, black booty shorts that left virtually nothing to the imagination and short enough to show of the tattoos that decorated his thighs. He'd put in his diamond stud earrings, too, for the occasion.

After all, he had to look good for his one and only night as a stripper.

Though, the 'one and only' really depended on if this was as fun as he thought it was going to be.

With that thought in mind, Bim sashayed out of the dressing room, near blinding grin still in place. He zeroed in on the nearest bouncer/bodyguard type and headed over, almost predatory in his walk as his heels clicked on the floor. The super tall buff guy that absolutely did not have Bim drooling started when he spotted Bim, no doubt shocked to see a TV star in a place like this. An almost feral glint appeared in Bim's eyes, and he leaned up against the wall. He flashed his best grin. "Hi." He blatantly trailed his eyes down the man's body, licking his lips before meeting his eyes again. He tilted his head, still grinning. "Be a dear and point me to the stage?"

Wordlessly, the man pointed, a steady blush overtaking his face, and Bim followed his finger before returning his gaze to him. "Thank you kindly." He patted the man's chest (oh), trailing his fingers along it as he walked away. 

He burst onto stage with as much theatrics as his histrionic personality allowed for - which is to say, enough to greet the Queen of England - and the surprised faces of the crowd when Bim fucking Trimmer walked on stage had a tingling sensation buzzing along his skin. By the end of the night, hopefully they'd be wearing much different expressions, and Bim had plans on them never being able to look at him the same way again.

Oh yeah, tonight was going to be fun.

Chapter Text

"Silver, don't hurt yourself, Jesus!"

"Shut up, Ed! I do this every year, and I actually cared enough to get a license to do it!"

Ed crossed his arms, lounging back on his lawn chair. The egos had all gathered in the backyard as Silver flitted about, preparing fireworks. The sun had finished setting about fifteen minutes ago, and the sky had steadily grown darker since. And after a day filled with chucking water balloons at each other, holiday-themed food and snacks made by Bim, Wilford, and Silver, and a barbecue courtesy of Ed, they were all pretty content to sit and relax and watch the display.

At last, Silver stood straight, beaming happily and floating a good several inches off the ground. He rubbed at his exposed scars, wearing a tank top patterned like the American flag. "Alright! We're good to go! So uh..." 

He glanced at Dark and the Host, and both egos stood. Dark cleared his throat, aura ghosting lightly through Wilford's hair. "I guess that's our cue to leave. We'll come back out when the fireworks are over."

Eric choked on the burger he was still nibbling on, sitting cross-legged on the grass at Reynolds' feet, and he twisted around to face them. "Wait, where are you going?"

The Host smiled. "The Host is not a fan of loud noises. They tend to make him panic. And he sees no point in putting himself through Hell when he cannot even see and enjoy the supposed beauty fireworks hold."

Dark flushed, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "And for me...fireworks sound too much like thunder. I don't like them. We're probably gonna be holed up in the library till they're over."

The Host bent down to press a quick kiss to Dr. Iplier's lips, and the two disappeared into the kitchen. Bim twisted in his seat (which happened to be King's lap), eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Host if you eat all the cinnamon cookies while unsupervised I'm gonna kill you!" The Host was clearly visible flipping him through the screen door, at least two cookies already in hand.

Dr. Iplier snorted, then inched forward in his seat. "Come on, Silver, get over here so you can light them!"

Silver sped over, ending up floating behind Bing and Google, the extensions at their feet with Oliver bouncing and vibrating with anticipation. "Alright guys! Here we go!"

His aura wafted over them, like a cool breeze, and the row of fireworks' fuses all lit simultaneously. The group waited with baited breath - the Jims giggling and shaking each other from their spot on the grass - for the fireworks to go off.

And suddenly they were.

They whizzed into the sky, bursting and crackling against the dark sky. There were quite a few gasps as several color-coded 'G's formed in the sky, quickly followed by a golden-orange 'b'. The androids all exchanged glances, mouths open slightly, and Silver crossed his arms, looking extremely proud of himself as the show continued. A golden crown appeared side-by-side a purple bleeding heart, then a white head mirror, then a yellow and a blue pair of circular glasses, a blue and green microphone and camera, a red cowboy hat, and last but not least a huge, bright pink mustache before it dissolved into regular fireworks. 

Bim twisted in King's lap again to stare at Silver opened mouthed, eyes wide. "How did you...wh...huh?"

Silver arched an eyebrow, arms still crossed and grinning smugly. "You and Marvin aren't the only people who can do magic, Bim." A spark appeared in his eyes that hadn't been there for a long time. "Did you guys like it?"

"It was amazing!" Wilford popped up beside Silver, slinging an arm around his waist (considering he was still floating) and pulling him into a crushing hug. "You did brilliantly."

Silver flushed, and then Wilford was letting go again and bouncing toward the manor. "Come on! Let's get Dark and the Host, and I made thematic cupcakes!"

All in all, it was a very fun day.

 

Chapter Text

Bing was having a rough day.

Technically, nothing was actually wrong. It was just...one of those days where his head was less kind to him than usual. Not to mention, when he went out with Chase earlier he'd accidentally left his shades on his desk in his room. His self-consciousness about his eyes had skyrocketed, and while he'd gotten a few compliments on them while he was out, a few others had simply made faces when he walked past. And of course, he took those reactions to heart rather than the positive ones. It...wasn't a great day.

And then Google strolled into the Office with his stupid little smirk and purred, "Hello, my little default," into his ear, pressing a kiss to his cheek as he passed.

'Default'. In the beginning, it had been a horrific insult, but as time passed it grew to be somewhat of an affectionate pet name from Google. It didn't bother Bing much anymore (well, really depending on the tone in which Google said it), and usually Bing just stuck his tongue out at Google when he said it.

'...little default...'

But this time, Bing just burst into tears.

It was so sudden - one moment he was fiddling with a screwdriver and half-assembled project, and the next his forehead was hitting his desk and he was just sobbing. He heard all four Googles whir in distress, but he didn't truly comprehend it. And then two of them were pressing up against him from either side and one of them was squeezing his hand. "Bing?! Bing, a-are you alright, I didn't - I...I'm sorry, I didn't -"

Google sounded so distressed, Bing couldn't help but feel guilty. He lifted his head, laughing and wiping at his eyes with the heel of a hand. "I̐͟į̋i̡͑i̘i̡̊t̟͝'̛̖s̠̓ alright, Googs, s'not your fault. It's just been...a day."

"Still." Another pair of arms wrapped around Bing's waist, and he spared the time to glance around at the others. Google was to his right, pressed up as much as possible to Bing's side, with Red on his left. Green was across from him, on the other side of his desk and holding his hand. Which left Oliver behind him. Google wrapped an arm around his shoulders, calling Bing's attention back to him. "I...should not have called you that. I'm sorry."

Bing laughed again, sniffing and wiping away his tears. "Like Ỉ̲I̳͠I̟̊I̭͘Ĭ̜I͚͞I̧͌ said, it's fine. I don't mind it, honestly, today's just been...rough."

He saw the four Googles exchange looks. Oliver pressed a kiss to the nape of his neck, and then all three extensions were sliding away. Bing only had a moment of confusion before Google was picking him up and plopping him in his lap, facing him. Bing blinked owlishly in confusion, and Google smiled, kicking himself off to slide back to his own desk. He shifted a little so he wouldn't unbalance himself off his stool with Bing's added weight. He pulled Bing closer on his lap so they were completely flush together, chest-to-chest, with one arm slung around Bing's waist to keep him steady, and promptly continued with his work one handed, his chine resting on Bing's shoulder and his core humming softly. Bing blinked again, then let out a small squeak, wrapping his arms tightly around Google in return.

Bing sat there for a good long while, content to just bask in the simple affection Google happily provided.

Chapter Text

It was an unusual day for Eric. Neither Bim nor Ed could pick him up due to work, which in of itself wasn't too unusual, usually he walked home with Bing when that happened, because Bing liked to hang out at the skatepark across the street with Chase. But, Chase was unavailable that day, which meant Bing wasn't there. So, on the verge of a colossal anxiety attack with panic creeping at the edges of his brain, Eric had called someone else. And Dark had arrived within seconds.

The second Dark stepped out of his tear in the Void, Eric nearly bowled him over in a tight hug, hyperventilating with tears cascading down his face. "Thank you thank you thank you I-I-I'm sorry to interrupt your work b-b-but -"

Dark was quick to return his embrace, bits of his aura wrapping around Eric as well. "It's alright, Eric, I promise. Family is far more important than paperwork." Eric tensed briefly in his arms before pulling back. Dark smiled warmly at him, one hand resting on Eric's shoulder and the other cupping his cheek, wiping away his tears with a thumb. "Come on, let's get you home."

Eric shakily returned his smile, and Dark made to tear open the Void again, but then a random, passing visitor of the scoffed, crinkling up his nose as he blatantly stared at Eric. "Crybaby. Just get over it. A man shouldn't cry in public."

Dark's head whipped toward the man with an audible crack! as Eric teared up further, turning his head away. Dark's aura thrashed, and he gently pushed Eric behind him, protecting him with it. A few tendrils of shadow lashed out, wrapping around one of the man's wrists and ankles. "What did you just say?"

The man paled significantly, seemingly realizing what a horrible mistake he had made as Dark dragged him slowly back toward them. "I-I-I'm sorry, I-I didn't -"

Another tendril lashed out, wrapping around the man's mouth, and collectively the three tendrils drew the man in closer, lifting him a good couple inches off the ground and holding him so close he and Dark's chest were practically touching. Dark's lips curled up in a snarl. "Perhaps you should learn to think before interjecting on a situation of which you know zero context." His aura's grip tightened judging by the man's muffled sob, his free hand clawing at the tendril around his mouth and his free leg kicking out wildly. Dark tilted his head, eyes glowing their respective red and blue. "Maybe I should teach you the lesson myself."

Another tendril emerged from Dark's aura, gently wrapping loosely around Eric's eyes, and he let it, swallowing thickly as he reached out blindly to fist a portion of the back of Dark's suit in his hand. He heard the man shriek, but it was quickly cut off by a sickening crack! and Dark hummed softly, unimpressed by whatever had just happened. A moment later, Dark's aura was withdrawing from Eric, and Dark was pulling him into another tight hug, one Eric gratefully returned. He peeked over Dark's shoulder. The man was gone. "Um wh-what did you do with him?"

Dark hummed again. "Nothing he didn't have coming. You don't deserve to be treated that way, Eric."

Eric made a small squeak, clinging to Dark almost desperately. "Thanks...f-for sticking up for me..."

Dark chuckled. "No need to thank me, Eric." He picked Eric up abruptly, forcing Eric to lock his legs around Dark's waist with another squeak. "Now come on. Let's get you home, kid."

Chapter Text

Dark sighed, dragging a hand down his face before staring at the Dairy Queen employee with a flat expression, exhaustion lining every inch of his face. The other egos were currently trying their best to be chaos incarnate behind him. He didn't have the strength or courage to turn around, but he could hear plenty.

It sounded like Bing and Bim were arguing over ice-cream flavors with King desperately trying to get them to shut up because they are in public dammit. Dr. Iplier was bitching to Silver about even getting ice-cream with his lactose intolerance while Silver resolutely ignored him, drooling over the Sour Patch Kids blizzard of the month. The Host was attempting to become one with the farthest, shadowiest corner of the building, wrapped in his coat in an attempt to hide the bloody streaks running from beneath his sunglasses. Google had his hands slapped over the Jims' mouths and pinning them to the wall with sheer android strength to keep them from ordering something with peanut butter or peanuts, which they were both allergic to. And last but not least, Wil and Eric were trying to keep Ed and Reynolds from beating each other to a pulp after Ed had mused aloud about a banana split, bananas being a fruit Reynolds despised and just adding more argument fuel to the fire for the pair.

Dark sighed again, drawing his lips in a tight line as the employee gazed behind him with mild terror in their eyes. Dark drew an audible breath through his nose, aura shifting sluggishly. "I am...so sorry." He reached out his aura to tap Google on the shoulder, raising his voice over the din and glancing over his shoulder, pointedly keeping his eyes on the android. "Google, did the extensions want anything?"

Google glanced at him, and his eyes flashed red, green, and yellow briefly. "Red and Green do not, but Oliver desires a caramel milkshake."

Dark turned back to the employee, and offered them a tight-lipped smile. "One hot fudge sundae and one medium caramel milkshake. To go."

Chapter Text

A few months after the Host had been accepted by Dark, Wilford, King, and the Jims, they finally trusted him enough to add him into the rotation to cook.

To say the Host was nervous was an understatement. The Author was never a very good cook, and even without the handicap of blindness the Host doubted he was much better. Dr. Iplier hovered by his shoulder, one hand resting on the small of the Host's back and pressed closer than probably necessary as he whispered soothing words of encouragement. Though, he really wasn't helping. The Host had recently discovered he had a massive crush on Dr. Iplier, and his close proximity just made the Host's hands shake all the more as he fumbled for ingredients for the scrambled eggs he was attempting to make. And then Dr. Iplier inched closer, and a steady blush began creeping down the Host's face and neck, and the tension radiating off the other egos was almost palpable, he could feel Dark just stewing -

So, of course, as the high stress got to him, he began to bleed.

Dr. Iplier swore loudly, and he pulled the Host back from the stove, but it was too late; blood was already thoroughly mixed in with the eggs and cheese in the pain, bubbling and sizzling and creating a smell not unlike a cooking steak mixed with something metallic. Someone - probably King - gagged, and the Host seized up with panic. A mantra of 'he blew it he blew it he blew it he blew it -' ran on repeat through his head, and he swallowed thickly. He felt Dr. Iplier wrap an arm around his waist, pulling the Host against him in a show of comfort. "The um - the-the Host ap-apologizes, he-he-he -"

His words choked off with terror when he felt Dark's aura curl around his wrist, and he went rigid. The storm of all kinds of panicked emotions swirling inside him didn't exactly help the blood flow pouring from his sockets, so much so that his bandages threatened to slip down his nose. He stiffened further when Dark spoke, the scent of burning blood floating in the air beginning to make his head feel thick and clouded. "It's alright, Host. Accidents happen. Go get cleaned up, we'll take care of the mess."

The Host visibly deflated with relief, letting out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Dr. Iplier made to lead him away, but then Wilford piped up from the other end of the room. "Oh, and Host? No offence, but maybe it's best you stay out of the rotation. You know, biohazards and all."

The Host get a little laugh, a tiny smile gracing his lips. "In all honesty? The Host believes that is a very good idea."

Chapter Text

Dark was having...a day.

He'd been up in his office for a good couple hours now, and his chronic pain was beginning to act up, prompting him to summon his cane. So, rubbing at his eyes and craving some of the cotton candy Wil tended to buy and hoard in bulk, he ripped open the Void and stepped into the kitchen.

Dark's hand fell from his eyes, and his jaw dropped.

Wil stared at him from the table, eyes wide like a deer caught in the headlights. Before him was the most ridiculous milkshake Dark had ever seen. Just off the bat, he spotted a whole Popsicle and a fucking massive swirly lollipop in the thing. He couldn't even see how the thing was being supported and held. He didn't particularly care. It wasn't often that his sweet tooth reared its head, but when it did it was comparable to Wil's.

He wanted that fucking milkshake.

So, without even a second thought, Dark wasted no time in summoning the spoon from Wil's hand, and, taking advantage of his husband's stunned state, he tore open the Void again to appear next to him and hip-checked him out of the chair, plopping down in his place. And fuck that probably hurt him more than it did Wil but he didn't quite care at the moment as he wielded the spoon. 

And then Wil was popping into the seat next to him in a small puff of pink smoke, revolver in hand and eyes locked on the prize. "Fuck off, Dark," he hissed. "I spent nearly an hour making this and you are not taking it from me!"

Dark scoffed, waving his spoon-free hand, and Wil's gun flew from his grasp. Dark promptly placed the same hand unceremoniously on the side of Wil's face and shoved his head away. "Watch me." 

He stuck the spoon in the sugary monstrosity, and that was all he managed to accomplish before his back was connecting with his own bed and Wil was on top of him, pinning his wrists to the pillows. "I swear to Christ, Dar - !"

He never got through his sentence. Dark's aura flared, and with a little bit of effort and a barely disguised wince, he managed to flip them over, taking Wil's wrists instead and his aura pinning him down as well. "Let me have this!" His voice broke, and his arms wobbled. Wil raised an eyebrow, a glimmer of concern appearing in his eyes. "I am...willing to compromise. Even you couldn't finish that whole thing by yourself."

Wil split in a beaming grin. "We haven't shared a dessert in a while!" He leaned up, pecking Dark's lips, and then they were standing in the entraceway to the kitchen, hand-in-hand with Dark leaning discreetly on Wil for support. Both of their eyes promptly narrowed.

Bing and Bim stared at them, sitting across from each other and clearly enjoying the milkshake, though even between the two of them they'd barely put a dent in it. Bim simply stared, wide-eyed, and Bing offered a slight smile. "Uh...w-was this yours?" His voice sounded funny, mouth full.

Neither Dark nor Wil said anything, but Wil's aura cracked into existence as Dark's flared, the juxtaposing displays of power intermingling.

Bim suddenly swallowed harshly, and - keeping his eyes locked onto the two eldest - he extended a flailing hand, slapping Bing repeatedly before he got a grip on the android's shoulder, and a moment later they vanished.

In the end, Dark and Wil didn't particularly care that the milkshake was ah...'sampled', since there was still plenty to share.

Chapter Text

The Jim twins burst into their studio, the confetti canon they'd rigged up to the door in a stroke of pure genius blasting them with multicolored bits of paper. "Jims!"

Immediately, two heads popped up out of some rather unusual places. "Head Jims!" Weatherman Jim (Just 'W' for short) fell out of the ceiling, bouncing back to his feet and adjusting his metallic blue shirt. Studio Reporter Jim (SJ) scrambled out from behind his desk. They both sprung into salutes, grinning madly, and CJ snorted as RJ waved for them to relax.

"What does Jim and Jim need?" SJ inquired, cocking one head to the side.

"Yes, it is not often they come actually visit the studio," W added.

CJ and RJ exchanged matching looks. "We're here to take you two on a little 'field trip', of sorts," CJ said slowly.

"How would our dear, dear great-something nephews like to come back to the manor with us for a little...mischief?" RJ flashed a wicked grin.

W and SJ glanced at each other before splitting into matching, equally terrifying grins like RJ's. "We would love to."

Huh. So that's why the others freaked out about the twins speaking in unison.

In short, the day ended with all four Jims barricaded in the Google Office, Google and Bing banging furiously on the locked, clumsily welded shut door with all the three extensions sitting on the floor and cocooned in the strongest duct tape the Jims owned, Red spitting curses with his eyes blazing as Green struggled and Oliver sat close to tears. The four Jims danced around them in a wide circle, chanting utter nonsense and trying their damnedest to drown on out the furious, panicked banging.

At least, until Dark stepped into the room via Void and dragged the twins out by their ears with a flat expression, his aura mimicking the same for the younger pair while simultaneously shearing through the poor welding and allowing the androids into their own damn office.

Chapter Text

Wilford sat cross-legged on his and Dark's bed, staring with a fond smile at the screen of one of the Jims' laptops. He was watching some old videos the Jims took of Dark, and he meant old. The video quality was glitchy and silent, and of course in black and white (though for Dark that didn't really matter), but Wilford didn't mind. A skittish, jumpy Darkiplier was not something he got to see in person often. But the Jims had plenty of footage of that exact thing. And Wilford couldn't help but giggle as he watched Dark jump and bristle and yelp when ever his aura so much as twitched behind him, his eyes comically wide.

It was a bit...odd, seeing Dark so afraid of his own aura, even if it was fucking funny. He was like a cat; Wilford could practically see the twitching ears and bristling fur every time Dark whirled around to stare wide-eyed at his aura before shooting a scathing glare at the camera, the twins no doubt giggling behind it. His aura itself was just...different, as well. It was...spikier, less smooth and fluid, and seemed to just...attack Dark at random moments (prompting the cat-like jumpiness, Wilford supposed). It also seemed, far more curious of Dark and his surroundings than it was now. Wilford was, admittedly, curious.

And then he burst into another fit of mad giggles when the Dark on screen jumped and undoubtedly shrieked so loud the Jims jumped as well and the video jostled.

He spared a glance towards the door when it began to open, then only laughed (cackled) more when Dark stepped through. Wilford fell back on the bed, legs curled up to his chest, and Dark raised an eyebrow, smirking slightly. "What's so funny?" He stepped forward, aura curling around him lazily, but the second he caught a glance at the screen he pouted, mild annoyance crossing his face as his ringing shifted pitch. "Seriously? Again? Why do you like watching those so much?"

"Because I think they're cute!" Wilford shot Dark a smile, pushing himself back upright. He glanced at the screen again, just in time to watch Past Dark shatter a mirror with his flailing aura. Wilford actually hurt himself when he snorted, slapping both hands over his mouth and doubling over. 

Dark made a noise that always seemed to accompany him rolling his eyes, and Wilford felt the bed dip beside him. And then Dark was slamming the laptop shut, and Wilford jumped with a little squeak of his own, head shooting back up. Dark snickered, and Wilford smacked him arm. Dark drew back, his aura wisping around him in some sort of half-hearted protection as he barely smothered his own laughter. "Hey! That was rude, Wil."

Wilford rolled his eyes. "Oh whatever." He grabbed Dark's tie, pulling him forward in a lingering kiss (and trying not to burst into laughter again when Dark made a very high-pitched, surprised noise), before flopping back onto the bed, pulling Dark down with him. Dark was blushing heavily now, one hand reached up to slip his fingers between his collar and his throat to avoid being strangled, and Wilford grinned, humming softly. "Awww, you're cute."

He tugged on Dark's tie lightly, and Dark's blush darkened. "Shut up."

Wilford giggled, dropping Dark's tie in order to wrap his arms around him, his chin resting in Dark's hair. He hummed again. "You know, if you broke the Jims' laptop, am not going to buy them a new one."

Dark scoffed. "Please. There is no way I broke it."

"I dunno, sweetheart, I heard something crack."

"...Shit."

Chapter Text

The Host smiled softly, sitting cross-legged in on of the armchairs in the living area. For once, he wasn't wearing his coat, or any of his usual outfit, preferring to remain in his white t-shirt and a pair of Dr. Iplier's pajama pants for the day. His smile grew just a tiny bit as he sipped from his mug of peppermint tea, holding it in both hands to absorb more of its warmth. It was raining outside, just raining, and the patter of water on the roof was so incredibly soothing to the Host's ears. He really did love the rain.

He glanced down when he heard something climbing up the chair, and then Peggy was climbing 'gracefully' into his lap, sprawling out as she could. The Host chuckled, letting go of his mug with one hand on order to pet the fluffy little cat, and Peggy purred loudly, clearly pleased. He drew his hand away to hold his mug once more, but Peggy made as disapproving a noise as a cat could make, catching his wrist with a soft paw and holding his hand firmly to her fluffy chest. She'd learned early on not to use her claws around the Host. She didn't like it when one of her favorite people panicked.

Now when Ed or the Jims tried to hold her, claws were fair game.

The Host chuckled again, obediently stroking his hand down her belly as he took another sip of tea. Peggy purred happily in his lap, her tail swishing lazily against his leg. The rain continued to pound outside, a beautiful background noise as the Host enjoyed his moment of peace. With seventeen vastly different people running about the manor, peace was coveted.

Thank God for the jobs that took most of them away from the manor.

And so the Host was content to sit and drink his tea, petting Peggy, and listen to the rain.

Chapter Text

Reynolds laid flat on his bed, arms spread and staring up at his ceiling. He watched the blades of his fan spin lazy circles. He probably had stuff to do, but he neither had the energy nor the willpower to get out of bed. He was in...a mood. He didn't know how to describe it. It was just...bad. A bad feeling in his chest. And he just...didn't feel like he belonged.

He got like this sometimes. Just felt so...out of place in the manor. He was just so boring compared to the other egos. He didn't have special powers like most of them. He didn't have a fucked up backstory. He wasn't a powerful android. He didn't have any 'unique quirks'. He wasn't a superhero, or a demon, or a flamboyant cannibal, or a child-trafficker (though that one he wasn't too upset about not being). He was a construction worker from New York. There was nothing 'special' or 'abnormal' about him. He was just...a guy. A regular, boring...guy.

And it got to him sometimes.

Reynolds sighed heavily, blinking a couple of times as his eyes misted up slightly. Out of all seventeen of them, he supposed Dr. Iplier didn't have any of those things either, but his headstrong personality and borderline dangerous apathetic ability to not be fazed by anything allowed him to insert himself into the group with no problem. Reynolds wasn't fazed by much either, but he was just...stoic. Stoic and silent. He didn't have nearly as big of a presence. He just...melted into the background, until he and/or Ed began picking a fight. It was...tough.

Yeah.

Reynolds just continued to stare at the ceiling, his brain wandering into probably not good places. What if he just...went back out onto the streets, tried to make it on his own. He'd probably fit in better. And he had experience. But...Eric would be heartbroken if he left. So Reynolds just laid in bed, tears pricking at his eyes as he thought himself into a deeper hole.

So when there was a sudden pounding on his bedroom door, his soul left his body as he started so bad he tumbled to the floor.

"Reynolds! Reynolds, get out here! I swear to God if you're listening to music again -"

Reynolds picked himself up off the floor, one eyebrow raised as he opened the door. Bim grinned at him. Reynolds' eyebrow arched further. "...What did you want?"

"Right!" Bim cleared his throat, and suddenly looked nervous. "So uh...Silver's having a nervous breakdown in the living area over that superhero ceremony recognition thingy he has later with Jackie and none of us can calm him down, Dr. Iplier even tried sedating him but something with his superhero-y makeup makes him burn through that shit fast without even getting remotely tired and we need your weird ability to exude 'chill waves' and calm people down, else he might break the couch with his super strength and then will have an angry Darkiplier on our hands, too." He flashed a smile. "Please?"

Reynolds blinked a couple times, struggling a bit to comprehend the speech Bim just spat out in a single breath. Then, he smiled, a small, soft little smile, and Bim raised an eyebrow, the distress he was hiding so very well a moment ago shining through. "Uh, Reynolds? You good? Did...did you not just hear me say there is an unstable dude in our living room who has the strength to lift a shipping container? Why are you smiling?"

"Nothing, nothing." Reynolds slipped out of his room, heading toward the living area with Bim chasing after him. When they arrived, Reynolds simply sat next the hyperventilating Silver on the couch, placing a gentle hand on his thigh and taking his hand to keep him from scratching at his scars. He didn't even need to say anything. And within five minutes, Silver was calmed back into a more manageable state, clinging to Reynolds like a lifeline, and Eric (who'd been panicking himself on the floor in a sort of chain reaction) was completely passed out. Reynolds couldn't help but smile again as he scooped Eric up to take him to his room and left Silver in the care of Dr. Iplier and the Host.

Maybe he fit in after all.

Chapter Text

"Bim! Bim stop, ple -"

Eric cut himself off with a squeal as Bim tackled him to the floor, giggling and attempting to squirm away but Bim just kept pulling him back, grinning madly as he tickled Eric half to death. He squealed again when Bim managed to get a hand under his arm. "Bim! Noooo, stop it!"

He heard Bim chuckle as he drew Eric back in closer once more. "Sorry kid! Your fate is sealed!" Eric shrieked with laughter, struggling and kicking out madly as Bim's fingers danced down his ribs.

Dr. Iplier snorted on the couch, his head in the Host's lap, and he nudged Bim's head with his foot. "Give the kid a break, Bim, he looks like he's about to have a heart attack." Despite his mildly scolding words, he couldn't keep the laughter out of his voice. 

Bim huffed, but backed off. "Finnne." Still, as Eric cough his breath and got the residual giggles to of his system, Bim grinned. "But that doesn't mean I still can't keep him from escaping!"

He stood, and he bent over to pick Eric up, but Eric let himself go limp, complete ragdoll. Bim huffed out a laugh. "You little shit, come here!" He shifted to a firmer grip on Eric's waist, but he picked him up again and Eric almost bent completely backwards in half instead of being lifted up Bim dropped him in surprise, letting out a short shriek. "What the fuck?!"

Eric blinked up at them. Bim's eyes were wide, as well as Dr. Iplier's. The Host just looked confused (reasonably). The others in the room - Google, Silver, and King - all more or or less matched their surprised expressions. "...What's wrong?"

"You just bent in half, kid!" Bim looked mildly horrified. "That's not -" He swallowed, his speech slowing. "...what I expected."

Eric split in a tiny smile. "I'm just flexible, Bim. I've always been able to do that." A little spark appeared in his eyes. "I used to be able to fit in a drawer when I was younger. I wonder if I still can..."

Without any further prompting, Eric got to his feet and raced off to his room, shouting something vaguely like "Come on!" over his shoulder. He pulled open one of the bottom drawers of his dresser, taking out the piles of neatly and not so neatly folded t-shirts out of it and dumping them in his bed. By the time the other five egos had entered his room (apparently the Host had elected to stay back), Eric was already stepping into the drawer and contorting himself in ways that visibly made King's skin crawl. A few minutes later, he himself was neatly folded in the drawer perfectly. He grinned, eyes shining. "Told you guys!"

Google's neck sparked, one eye twitching while both flickered. "But...t̺̐h̡̔a̤̿a̤ạ̒a̧̓ǎ̧t̡̆'͙̍ŝ̱ not possible. Humans ȧ̱a̻͊ȃ͈a̜͒r̪̄ẹ͊ not built to bend that way."

Eric shrugged - well, as best as he could from his position. "I am!"

Silver raised an eyebrow, looking slightly...nervous. "Is that even comfortable, does it hurt?"

Eric shook his head. "No. I'm fine." He shifted. "Though it was much more difficult getting in here than when I was a kid."

He stuck a leg out, attempting to climb out, and after a bit of flailing Dr. Iplier took pity on him and helped him up. Dr. Iplier smiled as he helped Eric straighten out his shirt. "As creepy as whatever the Hell you did just was, you're pretty good at it. Did you ever take gymnastics or anything like that?"

Eric smile fell a little, shaking his head. "...No. I wanted to, but...my dad wouldn't let me. He gave a lot of excuses, but the big one was because he thought the leotards would make me gay, and stuff like that." He saw Bim narrow his eye dangerously, as well as most of the others' expressions harden. He shrugged. "It's okay though. I still got to practice using it and stuff, mainly to passive-aggressively freak out my brothers." He split in a grin, and a glimmer appeared in his eyes that belonged to the Jims, and was frankly a bit scary on Eric. "I was the king of hide-and-seek as a kid. They could never find me because I'd always fit myself into impossibly small spaces. It was great."

Google's neck sparked again, seemingly still unable to comprehend Eric's flexibility, and Bim snorted. He stepped forward, scooping Eric up and marching back out of the room. "Well, as freaky as you are, kid, I have given you a break. I said you're not escaping me."

Eric's eyes shot wide as Bim's grip on his tightened, and twisted around in every possible way, trying to break free. "No! Bim!"

Bim just chuckled.

Chapter Text

Bing sighed as he attempted to snuggle closer to Google in his bed, his chin tucked under Google's chin. Google's arms were wrapped around him, Bing's around Google's waist, and their bodies pressed tightly together. "...This is nice."

Google huffed. "Nice as it may be, I'd prefer different circumstances."

Bing laughed. "Aw, come on, Googs! We don't cuddle nearly as much to satisfy me!" He attempted to bury closer again, tilting his head to bury his face in the front of Google's throat.

The humming of Google's core shifted, and Bing couldn't tell if it was with annoyance or a reaction to Bing's actions. "...Bing, you know you just have to ask. And even still, you must admit, this is...unconventional."

Bing pouted, positive Google could feel it against his throat going by his shudder. "I don't care." He pressed a light kiss to Google's Adams apple, and chuckled when Google shuddered again and his core's humming became more of a whistle.

"...Bing." Google stiffened, and his tone changed to something...accusatory. "You are acting far to calm. Did you do this?"

Bing shifted, continuing to hide his face in Google's throat. "...No."

Google huffed sharply through his nose. "Fucking Hell, you did. You hired the Jims to duct tape us to together just so you could cuddle."

Google's legs jerked sharply in their duct tape cocoon, and consequently Bing's did the same. They were completely mummified together up to their shoulders, the Jims certainly thorough in their work. Bing pouted again. "Okay so what! They'll be back! I think..."

Google's eyeroll was so strong Bing felt it. "Call them, Bing."

"It isn't that bad, Google!" Bing pressed another kiss to Google's throat, a little firmer, and eliciting another shudder. "Can't we just stay here? For a little bit longer?"

Google pressed a kiss to his hair before speaking lowly in an almost purr. "Call them, and get us out of this, and I will stay in bed and cuddle you for the rest of the day."

"Deal."

Chapter Text

Eric sat in the middle of the lion enclosure at the zoo, though surprisingly without an inch of anxiety in his body, even with one of the massive cats lying half-way in his lap. It was the only male lion the zoo had, named Jasper. His right foreleg and head rested in Eric's lap, nuzzling Eric's thigh a little. Eric had noticed Jasper's limp as he was closing up the enclosure for the day (he was pretty much in charge of all the cats), and all it took was for Eric to sit cross-legged on the grass and make a soft whistling noise for Jasper to come limping over and collapse in the position the pair was in now.

Eric ran his fingers through Jasper's thick mane as the lion huffed. Frowning, Eric overturned his paw, and his expression quickly contorted into a scowl. A sizable piece of glass was lodged in the pad of Jasper's paw, dried and sluggishly-moving blood leaking around it. Likely a bottle or something was thrown over the enclosure railing by a particularly nasty and uncaring visitor of the zoo. Combing his fingers through Jasper's mane some more, in an attempt to soothe the lion, Eric took ahold of the glass and pulled.

Jasper roared.

Which Eric was expecting, and he was quick to cover his ears, the bloody piece of glass still held in his hand. After a moment, when the echoing roar died down, Eric lowered his hands and opened his eyes (he didn't even realize he'd squeezed them shut). Jasper was sniffing at his wound, licking it a few times to clean away the blood. As he did that, Eric inspected the glass. Thankfully, while the shard was big, not a whole lot of it had gotten stuck, leaving the wound shallow. Eric breathed a sigh of relief before tucking the glass in a pocket and made a mental note to sweep the enclosure again for any more. 

So lost in his own head, Eric didn't notice Jasper standing until their noses were practically touching. Eric blinked, then smiled, petting Jasper's mane with both hands.

And then Jasper licked him.

Eric spluttered, falling on his back with both hands still tangled in the lion's mane. Jasper was undeterred, humming as he continued to lick at Eric's face. Eric laughed, his attempts at shoving away Jasper's head half-hearted and pointless.

His face was going to be red and splotchy for days from the lion's rough tongue, but it was worth it.

Chapter Text

It was dark by the time Google and Bing got home. It had taken a bit longer than anticipated to reach the manor with Google's mildly laggy and glitchy body, and they'd taken frequent moments to take a break in some quiet area for Google to just...cry, and hold onto to Bing for dear life. He was...more shaken than Bing had ever seen him, with every right to be. Every time Bing thought back to the events of the convention, his core picked up and his eyes blazed.

He wished he could've punched all three of those humans.

But, he couldn't dwell on that now. Google clearly needed him as support right now. So Bing gently guided him to the couch, thankful that it was apparently late enough for none of the other egos to be loitering around. He pretended not to notice Google's hands shaking as they rested on his thighs, staring at them and uncharacteristically silent. His core was nothing more than a near inaudible whisper. Bing's own core humming with concern and a worried frown on his face, he wandered over to the blanket rack in the far corner of the living area, selecting the two biggest, fluffiest blankets they owned, and set to work wrapping Google up in them. When he was done, Google was sitting cross-legged on the couch and pretty much the only bit visible of his body was his face and a little of his hair. 

At last, Google lifted his head, blinking once slowly at Bing. Glowing blue tear tracks clearly stained his face, and he still didn't say a word. But, Bing smiled anyway, lifting up his shades to perch on his head and cupping Google's face in both hands. "I'll be right back. I said I was gonna make hot chocolate, and I'm gonna commit to that." His smile turned a bit lopsided and crooked. "Let's just hope that for once the stove agrees with me."

He could've sworn Google's lips twitched in the beginnings of a smile, but it quickly fell. Bing caressed Google's cheekbones (well, his equivalent) once with his thumbs, then pressed a quick kiss to his forehead before heading to the kitchen. It took a little bit, as well as quite a bit of swearing on Bing's part (the kitchen really didn't like him), but he managed to make two large, steaming mugs of peppermint hot chocolate piled high with little multicolor marshmallows and whipped cream. Bing would probably get chewed out by Wilford come morning for stealing from his stash, but it was worth it.

When he entered the leaving area again, he was surprised to see that Google had moved. His right side was still enveloped in his blanket cocoon, but he'd pushed open the left. He'd turned on the TV, too, Drunk History playing softly. Google gave Bing a small smile as he sat down next to him, passing him his hot chocolate. Google's smile grew as he took it, his logo's light pulsing a bit. "Thank you, Bing."

Bing flashed a bright grin, shifting closer to Google and wrapping the loose blankets around himself, cocooning them both together. He pressed a soft kiss to Google's temple, his voice just a low murmur. "Do you need anything else, Googs?"

Google was quiet and still for a moment, eyes focused on the TV, and then he was shifting away from Bing a bit. Alarm and guilt spiked through Bing, but then Google was laying his head on Bing's shoulder, shifting a bit more to get comfortable and sipping his hot chocolate, holding his mug in both hands. A faint blue blush dusted his cheeks as he snuggled against Bing and burrowed into the blankets.

A matching light orange blush overtook Bing's face, simply staring at Google for a moment, before he wrapped an arm around Google's shoulders, holding him comfortably against his side. Google made a small noise, wrapping the blankets tighter around them both and sipping again at his mug. They sat in comfortable silence, watching the TV well into the night.

And that's where Dark found them come morning, passed out and snuggled up together, the TV still on, and their mugs on the coffee table, before he lifted them up with his aura with a tiny smile and carried them to Bing's room to recharge.

Chapter Text

Eric was...uncomfortable.

It was his parents anniversary today. Traditionally, in their family, all the kids got them a present on this day. Eric's mother was always surprised when they got fifteen presents every year from the kids. She always told them they didn't have to, grinning and laughing all the while. She didn't know that they did. Derek would raise all Hell if someone skipped the 'tradition'. Eric had discovered this the hard way when he was about seven years old.

The punishment had been...harsh.

Even after Eric's mom died, Derek had expected the same. His expectations for the gifts themselves had skyrocketed. Five of Eric's older siblings had once pulled all their money together to buy a new TV, and Derek still hadn't been satisfied. It...wasn't an ideal life. And once it was just Eric and Derek, well...it got worse in ways Eric didn't want to relive. And even though Derek was very much dead and gone...Eric still found himself looking over his shoulder throughout the day at work. And instead of walking home with Bing and Chase that day, he'd taken a detour to the first store he came across. He bought two things, and quickly caught up with Bing and Chase without them even noticing he left, too busy chatting to each other in their overenthusiastic way.

 Eric slipped into the manor, waving bye to Chase as he and Bing headed off to the Septic's place. Fiddling with the two little trinkets in his pockets, his face steadily growing red, he stepped into the living area. King, the Jims, and Silver were all fast asleep, leaving Bim and Ed just glaring at each other with almost visible electricity sparking between them from opposite sides of the room. Bim was pinned to the couch by King in his lap, and Ed was stuck on one of the loveseats by Silver sleeping on his shoulder. The second Eric walked in however, they both turned to him, and Bim flashed a beaming smile. "Hey kid! How was work?"

One of the Jims made a noise, shifting a bit on the floor, and Ed shot him another glare. "Keep it down!"

Bim simply stuck his tongue out, and Eric shuffled his feet. "Um, w-work was good. And um, I-I-I bought you guys something." Both of their heads immediately snapped back to Eric, eyes wide an curious. Eric kept his head bowed, refusing to look either of them in the eye. He pulled both gifts out of his pocket, fiddling with them a bit more before passing Bim his and darting to Ed to give him his. Bim gasped, and Eric bowed his head further. "Eric, this is beautiful! Where'd you find it?"

Eric risked a glance up at them. Bim was marveling the blown-glass figure of a unicorn, it's mane and tail looking as if it were made of fire and it's horn gold. He'd given Ed a dragon, it's wingtips and claws gold and it's eyes and tongue the same fiery red-orange as the unicorn's mane. Ed looked completed awed as he held it gingerly in both hands. Eric shrugged. "There's um, there-there's a shop, right by the zoo, that has loads of them. I...thought you might like them."

Ed shot him a small smile. "What's the occasion, kid?"

Eric flushed further, debating for a moment whether to tell them the truth before mumbling, "I just...wanted to."

Bim gently set the unicorn down on the end table before suddenly appearing next to Eric, a pillow beneath King's head to replace his lap. Bim pulled him into a hug. "Thank you, Eric." He pressed a kiss to Eric's forehead, then picked up the unicorn and blew a far more mocking kiss to Ed. "Have fun being stuck, Ed. I'm gonna get a snack."

Eric couldn't help but giggle as Ed swore and flipped Bim off.

Chapter Text

The egos traveled in what was more or less a pack through the streets of the city, heading to the movie theatre to see the Lion King remake (and graciously ignoring how all four Googles - specifically Google himself - were literally lit up with excitement and anticipation). It had been in their schedule for a while - getting all seventeen of them together with job schedules tended to take a bit of work and preplanning - but when Dark woke up that morning in pain and having a difficult time moving, they'd all immediately offered to reschedule with more than a hint of concern. But, Dark wouldn't hear it, simply summoning his cane and leaning heavily on Wilford when the time came to leave.

Whenever they went anywhere and Dark needed his cane, the egos unconsciously surrounded him and Wilford, leaving the pair dead center with a little area of space to give Dark a berth for his cane and more or less doing their best to protect him from any possible things that might hurt or inhibit him. Wilford always very clearly got a kick out of it, shooting Dark looks and pressing kisses to every bit of Dark's head he could reach at least once during their walk while Dark just chuckled and did his best to hide his blush.

As they steadily closed in on the theatre, however, the 'pack' began to disband as the Googles booked it, dragging Bing along with them with Google's and Green's firm grip on his hands. Bim, King, and the Jims were quick to sprint after them, the Jims giggling and shouting something about candy with Bim and King splitting apart to chase after the different groups. Bim was shouting something about behaving and public while the Googles chorused snappy comebacks that had Ed snorting into his hand.

Dark legs suddenly wobbled as a shift in step caused a fresh wave of pain spiking of his spine, and Wil glanced at him, radiating concern as Dark leaned heavily on him. "You okay, Darky? Want me to poof us inside? Google's probably taking care of tickets anyway."

Dark drew his mouth in a tight line, adamantly shaking his head as the remaining group slowly went quiet. "No, no I'm good. Come on."

Dark straightened stubbornly, and took a step forward. With such a large portion of the other egos missing from his 'protection circle', Dark was exposed to passing pedestrians. So when a passing woman sneered, "Cripple," and kicked his cane, Dark was completely helpless as he fell.

He never hit the ground, however. The only thing stopping his knees from hitting the pavement was his arm linked with Wil's, but unfortunately the sharp transition in angle sent agony coursing through his shoulder and Dark just barely kept from screaming, breathing hard. His aura flared massively, the color draining from a small radius around him as his ringing shifted to higher, more distressed pitch. He struggled to get his footing back, gripping his cane tightly, and so very grateful for Wil's gentle, guiding hands and encouraging words in his ear.

The woman didn't get far. The second Dark was steady once more and resting against a nearby wall, the Host's powerful words were dragging her back by her hair into the egos' grasp. And then she suddenly had two guns cocked and her face - one Ed's, and one Wil's. Every ego's head had snapped to face her, rage visible smoldering in all of their eyes. Eric had been pushed behind Reynolds, but even the passive kid had anger creeping into his expression. Even the group that had bolted to the theatre had stopped dead and were looking back at them; the androids were too far away to make out properly, but even at their distance the blaze of their eyes were plainly visible. The air around the Jims shimmered oddly, like something was trying to break through and was only just barely being held back. Bim and King were standing side-by-side, murder in their expression and something feral glinting in both of their eyes.

She gasped, swallowing hard and stumbling back, but then Reynolds was grabbing her shirt collar and puller her back to them. The two guns in her face were mere centimeters from her eyes, and she swallowed again. "What -"

"What is wrong with you," Dr. Iplier hissed, eyes narrowed and fists clenched. "You see a man in pain and your first instinct is to degrade him and kick away with means of support?" He scoffed, crossing his arms. "I feel sorry for everyone in your life."

Ed's finger twitched on the trigger, and Silver flinched. "Guys, we're going to be late. She's not worth it. Can we pick this up later?"

The Host split in a cruel smile. "Then allow the Host." Reynolds let go of her, and before she could run the Host gripped both sides of her head, far too tightly to be comfortable going by her wince. He muttered furiously under his breath for a moment, and then she was gone.

Eric jumped. "Wait - where'd she go?"

The Host jammed his hands in his pockets, blood darkening his bandages but not quite dripping down his face yet. "The meeting room." His smile returned. "To resume the egos' plans."

Dark chuckled from his spot against the wall, and Wil's revolver vanished as he rushed to his side. Dark gratefully leaned on him. "Silver's right. We're going to be late." He gave a tiny little smile, aura finally calming from its pained churning to stretch out to the nine farther egos. "Thank you."

"It was out pleasure." Reynolds smirked, smug with his eyes still smoldering. "At least now know why you enjoy putting the fear of God into people."

Wil cackled, Dr. Iplier choked, and Dark just chuckled.

Chapter Text

Bim spread his wings wide as he talked and pranced about on his stage, alternating between winking and flashing dazzling smiles at his live audience and asking rapid fire questions to his contestants. One was a woman with green and brown wings, the second was another woman with blue jay wings, and the third was a man with bright red wings that kept flaring out and smacking the blue jay. Bim's lips twitched as he tried not to scowl, and licked them instead. He really had his eyes set on the blue jay...

"Alright, Miss Diamond..." Bim leaned up against the blue jay's podium, wings fluttering a bit and holding his stagecards at angle so she could see the answer to his question. "What is the capitol of the country Bhutan?"

He grinned as the woman flashed, her face now matching her pretty red hair, and her eyes flicked to his blatantly on display stagecards. He could hear the audience smothering laughter, and her blush darkened as Bim's grin grew wider, thriving in every sense of the word off the attention. "Um -"

"YOU!"

Bim's head snapped to the audience, grin falling and the three contestants doing the same. And that was all he had time to do before he was being tackled to the stage, his back and wings hitting the ground hard. Bim's wings flared, flapping wildly as he fought to get whoever off of him. It looked like a man with small, kestrel-like wings, but Bim didn't dwell on that long as the man fisted Bim's feathers in his hands, struggling to pin him to the stage floor.

The pair became little more than a swirl of feathers as both their wings flapped. Bim kicked at the man, shouting for someone to do something and help. He could hear the audience panicking, he could hear his crew finally storming up on stage. The man was lifted off of him, but not before his grip tightened on Bim's wings and he ripped out twin handfuls of his feathers. Bim cried out, wings spasming as the struggling man was carried away.

Breathing heavily, Bim shakily got to his feet, running a hand through his hair and straightening his suit. Everyone was staring at him, and Bim swallowed harshly, wings shuddering a bit. A sensation a little more painful than prickling pins and needles rippled through the massive limbs, and he finally worked up the courage to glance at them. Tears sprung to his eyes. There was a huge patch of missing feathers in the center of each wing, a little blood leaking from some of the spots where individual feathers once resided. None of the primary or secondary feathers were missing, he'd still be able to fly, but...

Bing swallowed again, tucking his wings in close to his body as he stared out at the audience. He turned away, hurrying backstage. "Show's over!"

Chapter Text

Eric shivered violently on the floor of his bathroom, cheek pressed to the cold tile. He was sweating like mad, his pajamas and hair stuck to his skin. He clearly had a fever, but he was too out of it to care. His stomach suddenly lurched and then he scrambling to his knees just to retch violently into the toilet. It felt like an eternity, and when he was done he collapsed again, still shivering.

He made a small noise, his head throbbing, when he heard a soft knock on his door. "Eric? Kid? You in here?" He heard Ed open his door, and panic crept into his voice. "Eric?! Where are you?!"

"In -" Eric's voice broke, hoarse and dry from throwing up and far too soft for Ed to hear. He tried again. "I-In here."

The bathroom door opened, and Eric shivered again as a waft of cold air billowed in from his room. He felt hot and cold all over, at the same time, and his head throbbed as his stomach rebelled and he was leaning over the toilet once more. Stomach acid burned his throat, but nothing came up, his stomach empty and he just ended up dry heaving.

He flinched when a hand rested gently on the back of his head, his whole body trembling, and he heard Ed sigh. "I'm sorry, kid." He gently pet Eric's sweaty hair, stroking it away from his face. Ed's voice was soft. "Do you want to stay here, or do want me to bring you back to bed?"

Eric whimpered, pressing his cheek to the bathroom tile once more. "...Here."

Ed continued to pet his hair, rubbing his back soothingly with his other hand. "Alright, kid. I'll be right back, I'm goin' to get Dr. Iplier."

Eric nodded, and he heard Ed stand and leave. And with seconds he was drifting into a light sleep.

Chapter Text

Silver was immensely surprised when the Host suddenly barged into his room. He hadn't even been doing anything, just listening to music and playing Solitaire on his laptop. And suddenly the Host was charging in and...crushing Silver in a hug. Silver blinked, instinctively hugging the Host back with a great deal of confusion. "What the Hell?!" He wasn't exactly complaining, but it was still odd, and just as suddenly as he arrived the Host was leaving without a word, hands jammed in his pockets.

The next to be a 'victim' of the Host was Eric. He was sitting in his room, playing Minecraft on his laptop when the Host entered. He jumped a mile when the Host appeared, almost flinging his laptop to the floor. The Host took a hesitant step forward before embracing Eric. He was far more gentle than he was with Silver, but Eric tensed all the same. It took him a moment to reciprocate, but when he did he latched on, making a small noise and burying his face in the Host's shoulder.

The last on the Host's list was Dr. Iplier. He waited around the corner for his doctor to emerge from the kitchen. Dr. Iplier was so out of it and basically running on pure coffee he didn't see the Host waiting there. At least, until the Host fucking flew at him and full-body tackled him to the floor from behind. Dr. Iplier shrieked, impacting with the carpet, and his muffled curses and the Host's loud, uncontrollable laughter could be heard throughout the whole manor. Dr. Iplier squirmed beneath him, but the Host just held him tighter and buried his face against Dr. Iplier's throat, still laughing as Dr. Iplier grumbled under his breath.

Chapter Text

Bing held Red's hand tightly as they entered the pet store. Red was...abnormally skittish, not even remotely used to being outside the Google Office, let alone outside the manor. He swallowed, eyes glowing a bit brighter than usual, and Bing squeezed his hand, smiling at him. "Just relax, dude! I'm just gonna get some stuff for Peggy, I just need you to help me carry things home, alright? No human interaction needed."

Red nodded absently, core whirring loudly, and he bristled and hunched his shoulders like a frightened cat when a dog barked somewhere in the store. Bing was unable to completely stifle a snort, and he squeezed Red's hand once more before letting go. Red panicked. "Wait - Bing! Where are you going?!"

Bing glanced over his shoulder, smiling with an eyebrow raised. "I'm just goign to the cat aisle, dude. Just wander around, Red, there are some pretty cool animals in here!" His expression softened, and he pressed a lingering kiss to Red's cheek. "Just message me wherever you end up, and I promise I'll come find you, alright?"

Red nodded again, hesitating before shyly returning the affection. "...Okay."

Bing grinned, and then he was jogging off deeper into the store, quickly leaving Red's sight.

Red drew a deep breath, then wandered off himself, nervously pushing up his glasses. The only reason he was out here was because of Bing. Well, he wouldn't do it for anyone else. Bing had resolved that all of the Google's - not just the main unit - needed 'social interaction' practice, and was steadily dragging them out one by one into the city to run errands with him. Google grumbled and put an a show whenever Bing grabbed his hand and dragged him out, but he always came back smiling with his core humming in content. Oliver didn't even try to hide his joy when Bing grabbed his hand and announced his plan to give the same treatment to the extensions, and - like Google - he came back clearly overjoyed. Green had yet to be chosen. And instead, it was Red's turn.

Red sighed, and turned down a random aisle. He cocked his head the side, eyes flashing with curiosity. It was...lined with cages, at the back, filled with...rodents? Curiosity overtaking him, Red stepped closer, head still tilted as he gazed into the nearest cage. The little cardboard plaque said it contained female fancy mice, but...he couldn't see any. Another flash of his eyes and a sweep of the cage revealed they were all burrowed together in the green plastic hide in the back right corner. He could see a few of them squirming through the little opening, but his sensors read that most were asleep.

There was a stirring in the left corner, underneath the bedding, and Red's attention snapped to it. His lips parted a little in surprise. Another little mouse was poking her head above from where she'd burrowed in the bedding, and she was...staring at Red. And to his surprise, she crept closer. She was white, with little brown spots patterned across her almost like a dalmatian. She was...cute.

Red continued to stare, and the little mouse raised herself up on her back legs. She mimicked Red's tilted head, and Red blinked. He tilted his head the over way, and again she copied. He smiled. She was really cute. He lifted a hand to rest on the glass, and she dropped back onto all four paws, coming over to try and sniff at his palm through the glass.

"Red! There you are, dude!"

The little mouse scampered away into the hide, and Red couldn't help but feel a twinge of disappointment before he looked to his right. Bing was standing at the end of the aisle, a shopping cart in front of him piled high with everything Peggy could ever need and/or want. He flashed a smile. "Ready to go pay, man? Then we could head home, or get some ice-cream, or go to the nearest hardware store, whatever you want."

Red literally lit up, and darted to Bim's side, wrapping an arm around Bing's waist as they walked toward the cash registers. Bing didn't notice when Red shot one last glance over his shoulder at the cage of mice, but smiled when Red turned to press a kiss to his hair.

Chapter Text

The Host sat on the edge of his bed, trying his damnedest not to cry. The old, bloody, battered notebook Dr. Iplier had bought him so long ago lay in his lap, one of the Host's thumbs idly rubbing the pages. In his other hand he fiddled with a scalpel. It was old and dusty, tucked far back in the same bottom drawer as the notebook, hidden beneath it in fact. He'd been lucky Dr. Iplier hadn't found it with the notebook. His dear doctor would have like that discovery even less than the notebook itself, especially so soon after Silver's...episode.

The Host made an odd choking noise, and he stopped messing with the ruined pages. He propped his elbow up on the hard cover, leaning forward to cover his bandages with that hand, gripping the scalpel's handle in a vice in the other. Hot tears soaked into his bandages and dripped down his fingers. He wasn't going to do anything with the scalpel, not anymore. He never did, not even when he was at his worse. He kept it as a...a memory, of sorts. It would be easy to just slip it back with Dr. Iplier's equipment, even though it was going on six years since he'd taken it. Dr. Iplier wasn't likely to notice. But he...didn't...want to. He didn't. So he kept it.

The Host jumped when he heard a knock on the door, bolting back upright and quickly mumbling a short phrase that had both the scalpel and the notebook safely tucked back into their drawer. And not a moment too soon, because then the door was opening. The Host's mind was spinning, he felt like he was drowning. He didn't actually know who had entered, but judging by the sharp intake of breath and the body suddenly being pressed against his own as whoever sat down, it was a pretty safe bet to assume it was Dr. Iplier.

"Host, what's wrong?!" The concerned, panic-spiked words just confirmed that it was in fact the Host's beloved Dr. Iplier. The Host opened his mouth, but all that came out was a gasping sob. Dr. Iplier didn't waste a second more and pulled the Host close to his chest in a grounding hug. The Host gripped him back tightly, sobbing into Dr. Iplier's coat. Dr. Iplier just held him, rubbing his back soothing. When the Host calmed to some level of coherency, Dr. Iplier pressed his face to his hair. His voice was soft. "...What's wrong, my dear?"

The Host shook his head. "Just - Just a bad day, is all. The Host is...having a 'moment', as Dr. Iplier put it."

His Sight flashed, and he saw Dr. Iplier's gaze flick to the bottom drawer where he knew the notebook resided. "Oh." His grip on the Host tightened. "Do you want to talk about it?" Again, the Host shook his head, and Dr. Iplier hummed softly. He withdrew one arm from around the Host, shifting quite a bit, and the Host's brow furrowed with confusion. It wasn't until a more forced flash of Sight that he realized Dr. Iplier was checking his wallet. "Hmm...do you think fifteen bucks is enough to bribe Bim to make you a batch of cinnamon cookies?"

That startled a high-pitched, shaky laugh from the Host, and he buried his face in Dr. Iplier's chest. "God, the Host hopes so."

Dr. Iplier chuckled, and he fell back on the bed, pulling the Host on top of him. He hummed again, planting a kiss to the Host's hair. "You know you can talk to me, right," he mumbled. "Whatever bad things that are circling around in your head...I'll listen. If it'll help quiet the noise of it all."

The Host nodded absently. Distantly he realized Dr. Iplier's shirt and coat were soaked with his tears. "The Host knows. But that's just all it is. Noise. The Host...most of the time he can ignore it. And...he'd rather not worry Dr. Iplier with his thought process while he is like this."

Dr. Iplier sighed. "Host, we've had this conversation before. Talking is better than stewing, my own feelings be damned. You need an outlet with more...emotional connection than writing. Alright?" The Host nodded again, a bit more hesitantly, and he felt Dr. Iplier grin, his face buried in the Host's hair. "Now, let's go see about those cookies."

Chapter Text

It was only 10:00am. Dark had been working for a good couple hours now. Technically speaking, he'd been working for nearly 24 hours straight now, only taking breaks to eat. Needless to say, he was exhausted, his bones hurt, and he was running solely on caffeine. So, heading to the kitchen to prepare his third cup of coffee since breakfast ended an hour ago, Dark yawned hugely and mentally readied himself for another grueling day.

So out of it with exhaustion and slight pain, Dark didn't notice Wilford, the Host, and Dr. Iplier in the living area as he passed. All three wore matching worried expressions, and once Dark was out of sight, Dr. Iplier leaned forward. "Okay, here's the plan. I'll distract him, the Host'll knock him the fuck out, and then you drag his ass to bed. Sound good?"

Wilford frowned, fiddling with his bowtie a bit and rubbing his wedding band with a thumb. He turned toward the kitchen, staring at the entranceway with undisguised concern. It was worryingly quiet. He faced the other couple. "Alright, in three...two...one -"

A crash sounded from the kitchen, and all three of them froze. And then Wilford was poofing away, Dr. Iplier and the Host scrambling to catch up. The tension melted from Wilford's shoulders, and he actually chuckled, planting his hands on his hips. Dark had passed out sprawled on top of the kitchen island, using one arm as a pillow and the other dangling limply over the side. His aura looked like it was melting, draped over Dark's body and pooling on the floor around the island. The crash had been his mug slipping from his grasp and shattering against the kitchen tile.

Wilford heard a snort behind him, and he shot a raised eyebrow over his shoulder. Dr. Iplier's face was buried in the Host's shoulder, his shoulders shaking with just barely smothered laughter. The Host himself was grinning, chuckling a bit as well, his head cocked to the opposite side Dr. Iplier occupied. Wilford gestured to the shattered ceramic. "Host, could you...?"

The Host raised an eyebrow. "Easily." And with a simple muttered phrase, Dark's broken mug was repaired and resting on the kitchen table.

Dr. Iplier finally managed to compose himself, withdrawing from the Host with one hand resting on his own chest. "Well there goes steps one and two." He shot Wilford a look. "Step three is still a-go, though. Get his ass in a bed so he sleeps. Besides, that can't be too comfortable."

"Alright." Rolling his eyes affectionately, Wilford slipped his arms beneath Dark's sleeping body, hefting him up. He nearly dropped him though when Dark snored, startling a shriek from the Host. Dr. Iplier promptly lost his shit, causing the Host to flush bright red in a chain reaction, and Wilford was quick to poof away before Dr. Iplier's cackling laughter and the Host's distressed berating woke his sleeping husband.

Wilford set Dark down gently on his bed, magicking him out of his suit and into pajamas before pulling the blankets over him. Dark made a small noise, rolling over and his aura holding loosely onto Wilford's wrist. Wilford smiled, brushing Dark's hair from his forehead and placing a lingering kiss there. "Sweet dreams, Dark."

Chapter Text

In the beginning, when Dark was first...smashed together, he hadn't the faintest idea what his aura was or how to control it. As a result, it tended to just writhe on it's own, like it had it it's own mind. It was like its own separate being. And it was really curious in those first years, reaching out and exploring everything. The Jims had been subject to this on more than one occasion. Dark's aura liked...to just grab them, in the beginning, and just...feel them. It was uncomfortable and weird for them, undoubtedly, having sentient tendrils of shadow wrap around them at random moments and more or less feel them up. Dark always apologized profusely and desperately trying to get his aura to stop, but it never did until it was satisfied with whatever it was doing. And the curiosity faded over time, at least with the Jims. Whenever a new ego arrived, however, it was all hands on deck, so to speak. But even that curiosity faded eventually. And interactions with his aura just got weird.

They all had highlights. Google's personal favorite was the bachelor party, when Dark got drunk off his ass and lost control and his aura just ended up petting everyone and stroking Google's leg. Eric's was when Dark was prevented from going up to his office because his aura was too busy petting and playing with Peggy, and he'd more or less been forced to stand awkwardly at the base of the stairs until it was satisfied. The Host had one where Dark had visited his library, and his aura had begun opening random drawers in the Host's desk and pulling out random rolls of parchment and laying them down on the Host's desk and in his way. The Host had been pissed at first, but with a furiously blushing Dark hiding his face in his hands mumbling something about his aura trying to be helpful, he'd quickly found humor in the situation.

Wilford had a favorite, too. Some amount of years ago, Dark had gone a particularly brutal workaholic spree. He didn't leave his office for bordering a week just working. Towards the end, he'd left to go kiss Wilford goodnight before heading back up, but he never made it through the doorway of his room. His aura had spread out and latched onto the walls and doorframe, preventing him from leaving, and after a good few moments of struggling, Dark had sighed heavily and turned to climb into bed with Wilford. He'd slept for two days straight.

The Jims' highlights were less weird and more...cute. Dark's aura has always been his prime mean of expressing affection in some way or another. And somewhere around the '30s, Dark's aura had discovered the hair ruffling was a thing, and it wouldn't stop doing it to the Jims. They just giggled every time and encouraged it, despite Dark's protests. Ever since then, it hasn't exactly been an uncommon sight for Dark to walk past the Jims and his aura reach out to ruffle their hair without even batting an eye. Silver and Eric have also accepted their fate as ones who's hair Dark's aura had an odd fascination with. It was cute.

Overtime, Dark had learned to accept that his aura wasn't entirely under his control. And honestly, he didn't really mind. There was no use in other reaction, anyway.

 

Chapter Text

Bing hummed softly as he entered his room, intent on searching through his desk's drawers to see if he had a part that Green requested for a project. He really should keep a better catalog of what was in his desk (he should probably make a catalog just to start with), but then again, he really didn't care that much about organization like the Google's did. When his bedroom door slid open, Bing stopped humming, and jolted back a bit. "Uh, Google? What...what are you doing in my room?"

Google went stiff, his back to Bing, and it didn't look like he planning on moving to face him. "Bing! I - um - it's nothing."

Bing raised an eyebrow, leaning against the doorframe. "...You didn't answer my question." He glanced around his room. His eyebrow arched further when he noticed a particular drawer open in his desk, and he split in a full blown grin when he spotted Google's reflection in the mirror above his desk. "Google, I can see your reflection. Turn around."

Somehow, Google stiffened further, and his core stuttered. "Shit." He slowly turned around to face Bing, blushing bright blue. His head was turned away, choosing to stare at himself in the mirror than look at Bing. He was wearing a pair of Bing's shades, silver aviators with big, blue reflective lenses. Bing's grin widened, lifting his own shades to rest on top of his head, and the distinct noise of a camera's shutter had Google's head snapping to face him. "Bing! Stop it, stop taking pictures!"

"Aww, but you look cute in my shades!" Google's blush darkened, nearly matching the shade of the aviators, and Bing couldn't help but chuckle and snap a few more pictures. Google promptly his his face in his hands, his core whirring loudly, and Bing actually went 'Awwww!' "It's okay, Googs! Promise, these pictures are for me and me only. And maybe Oliver too. We'll see."

"...I hate you." Google's voice was muffled by his hands and at least an octave higher with distress.

Bing snorted. "No you don't, otherwise you wouldn't be sneaking into my room to try on my shades." He laughed when Google let out a distressed whine. "What, did you get a bit too curious or something? Decided to explore 'your look'?"

He practically cackled, almost falling back into the hallway when Google's head shot up, his face darkened to near navy and really accenting the silver frame of the aviators. "Shut up! Okay, I'll put them back, just -"

He raised his hands to take off the shades, but Bing stepped forward, placing a finger on the bridge of the aviators and gently pushing them back up Google's nose. "Hold on now, Googs, I didn't say to do that." Google dropped his hands, and he visibly swallowed. Bing cracked a crooked grin, his eyes now visible blazing bright without the barrier of his shades. "I wasn't kidding when I said you looked good in them. You should keep them."

Google's mouth fell open as Bing's hand shifted to cup his cheek. "I - huh? But - you hoard these things."

Bing raised an eyebrow, shooting Google a wink as he pointedly hip-checked the drawer full of different pairs of shades closed. "Exactly! You saw how many of these things I have, I think I can stomach giving away a pair." He pressed a kiss to Google's nose, then grabbed his hand, dragging him out of his room as he flipped his own shades back onto his face. "Now come on! Now I have to show you off!"

"Bing! No!"

Chapter Text

Dark, Wilford, Silver, Bim, and King were all enjoying a wonderful lunch outside as part of a little café relatively near Bim's studio. Dark and Wilford had been out initially with plans for their own personal lunch date, but then they'd run into Silver, and he'd recommended the café, and since he was so close Wilford had called Bim to invite him as well. Apparently, it had also been one of the rare times King left the manor in order to watch one of Bim's recordings live. Dark and Wilford didn't mind this turn from their plans. Honestly, as rare as alone time was for them, it was rarer to be able to enjoy a quiet lunch with some of their kids.

At least, as quiet as it could get with Bim around.

Lunch itself went by fantastically, the five talking and laughing and just generally enjoying themselves. Wilford snorted so hard at some point his pasta went up his nose, and Dark laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair, his aura wrapping around Wilford's arm in attempt to prevent exactly that. After, Silver had persuaded (begged) them to try the apparently amazing pie the place had, and there they were.

"Holy shit!" Bim nearly dropped his fork as he took a bit of his slice of cherry pie. "Silver you weren't kidding! This is amazing!"

Silver rolled his eyes, already halfway done with his lemon meringue despite having just gotten it, and having changed quickly out of his costume and into street clothes. "Told you! This place is awesome! I try to come here as often as I can!"

"We'll have to try to get here more often, too," King remarked. "Since it's so close to your studio, Bim."

Bim nodded in agreement, mouth full of pie. Wilford snorted, reaching over to lay his hand over Dark's on the table. At that exact moment, a man came out of nowhere and pulled up a chair next to Dark, smiling and staring up at him through hooded eyes. All talking ceased, the younger egos swapping glances with Dark's aura beginning to writhe and twist a bit, curling tighter around Wilford's arm. The man's smile widened. "Hi."

Dark raised an eyebrow, clearly unimpressed. "What do you think you're doing?"

The man placed a hand on Dark's thigh - specifically higher up on Dark's thigh - and Dark couldn't help the blush beginning to turn his cheeks darker grey. "Talking to you." The man's eyes swept his body blatantly, only adding to Dark's blush, and then he was leaning forward to whisper in Dark's ear, his lips practically pressed flush to Dark's skin. Judging by Dark's squeak as his eyes went wide and his face and neck rapidly flushed to black, the younger egos were glad they couldn't hear the man. Wilford though looked about ready to explode, scowling with eyes dark and the air beginning to shimmer around him.

The man finally sat back in his chair, chuckling and biting his lip a little as his hand wandered further up Dark's thigh. Dark's eyes were impossibly wide, his mouth opening and closing a few times and clearly too shocked to respond properly. "Um -"

The man shifted closer to Dark's side, his other hand coming up to tug lightly at Dark's tie. Dark jolted in place when the hand on his thigh wandered a bit too far. "Come on, sweetheart, let's see what this can do." He tugged on Dark's tie again, his other hand squeezing Dark, and Dark ducked his head, body beginning to visibly tremble a bit.

Wilford finally broke, and his aura cracked into existence, tangling with Dark's and pulling his mortified and shellshocked husband practically into his lap and away from the other man. Wilford raised an eyebrow when the man had the gall to look pissed, and simply snapped his fingers. And suddenly the man was wearing nothing but his underwear, and he turned bright red with embarrassment. Bim choked on his pie, one hand braced on King's shoulder, while both King and Silver simply shot wide-eyes glances between the three on the opposite sides of the table. The man glanced up, terror reasonably glowing in his eyes, and Wilford's scowl deepened as he wrapped both arms tight around Dark's waist, pulling him even closer.

The man promptly sprinted away, his whole body rapidly flushing further red from embarrassment as the people of the city stared.

Wilford huffed, and turned back to his pie, Dark still firmly in his lap with one arm still around his waist. Dark gripped onto his arm, his heavy blush slowly fading and his aura curling more securely around Wilford as Wilford's aura faded away. "...Thanks."

Wilford instantly brightened, planting a big kiss to Dark's cheek and promptly making his blush return. Bim snorted loudly, forehead pressed the table and no longer making any noise or really breathing as his shoulder shook with laughter. "It was my pleasure, Darky! Now, let's finish our pie! Here -" He reached to the side, stabbing off a piece of Dark's slice coconut cream pie and holding it up. Dark swore softly, glancing up at the three younger egos in what was surely mortification again (but for an entirely different reason now), and opened his mouth. Wilford beamed, happily feeding Dark and alternating eating his own pie.

The rest of lunch went by without interruption, and despite the 'incident', it was an enjoyable time.

Chapter Text

The moon was rising steadily in the sky, leaving the world dark and quiet. The Host burrowed closer to Dr. Iplier's chest, sighing happily against his shirt. Dr. Iplier chuckled softly, tightening his grip on the Host. "Night, Host. Love you."

The Host smiled, breathing in Dr. Iplier's warmth with his ear pressed to his beloved doctor's heartbeat. "The Host loves Dr. Iplier, too."

Dr. Iplier sighed, pulling the blankets more over them both, and began to settle down himself, his chin resting on top of the Host's head, his breath tickling his scalp a bit.

And then the vision crashed over the Host.

He was sitting on the desk in his room, legs spread wide and gripping onto Google with a vice. Google was nipping harshly at his throat, purring dirty words in his ear as he ground his knee between his legs. He muffled his noises by biting his own hand, trembling violently as his core stuttered and whirred. Google chuckled, his voice low and accompanied by a hum and another nip. Google shifted his position between his legs, and this time he couldn't stifle the moan that ripped itself from his throat -

The Host snapped himself out of the vision, trembling and gasping and his face almost as red as the blood cascading freely from his sockets. It took a moment for him to realize Dr. Iplier was calling his name and trying to get them both out of bed. "Host! Host, Goddammit, work with me! really don't want to change the bedsheets right now!"

The Host swallowed, opening his mouth before closing it and trying again. "Apologies." He climbed shakily out of bed, clinging desperately to Dr. Iplier. A very unwanted replay of his vision fast-forwarded through mind, and he blushed further, swallowing hard as the blood flow increased.

Dr. Iplier swore violently. "Fuck! Goddammit - alright, hold on, let's get in the shower because you got blood all over me too, and then we'll go up and change your bandages. Fuck, why'd you even have a vision this late, what was it even about?"

The Host crinkled his nose, blush deepening. "The Host doesn't want to talk about it."

Chapter Text

When Bim walked out of his room that morning, King knew he was in trouble. 

King knew it was not going to be a great day even before that. Bim had just finished wrapping up a season on his show, leaving him with a couple week long break before he had to start preparing for the next season. As such, he no longer had a reason to wear the fancy suits 24/7. So, when he left King's room that morning with a comment about 'changing into something more appropriate for the summer weather', King realized it was going to be bad.

And bad it was.

Bim walked out of his room wearing nothing but a pair of black booty short and a glittery purple crop top. He flashed King a dazzling smile, running a hand through his hair and fiddling with one of diamond stud earrings as King promptly stopped functioning. "Hi."

King opened and closed his mouth, face steadily flushing to match his bright red t-shirt. "Wh - Bim! Why - why are you -" He snapped his jaw shut, ducking his head as his face burned.

Bim gave an exaggerated pout, planting his hands on his hips and and adjusting his stance so his hip stood out. "It's hot out, King! What, you'd rather me die of heat stroke in a suit?" His split in a too-wide grin, something glinting his eyes as he dropped his hand and stepped forward, gently taking ahold of King's chin to tilt his head back up. "Or am just too hot for you to handle?"

He laughed when King's eyes bugged out of his head and he shoved Bim away, hiding in his cape. "Oh Jesus Christ this is how I die."

Bim snorted, running a hand through his hair again. "No it isn't, I know I'm attractive, but not so much so that I'd cause sudden death." He grabbed King's hand, dragging him off. "Come on, I'm starving, and breakfast is gonna start any minute!"

King's blush deepened even further when he spotted Bim's tattoos just below the bottom of his shorts, unable to resist tracing the calligraphically written 'Bitch' on Bim's outer left thigh as they walked. "Dark is not going to let you walk around in that," he mumbled.

Bim arched an eyebrow, scoffing. "Please, I've seen pictures of Dark wearing a dress. He can stick it up his ass." He bumped his hip against King's grinning and winking at him. "Now come on, I'm pretty sure Reynolds is making waffles."

Chapter Text

Dark and Wilford lay tangled together in bed, Wilford's chin resting on Dark's head as he held husband close. Wilford closed his eyes, trying to match his breathing to Dark's, but Dark's pattern was much slower than a regular living being. Wilford had a sneaking suspicion Dark only breathed because it was pure muscle memory, like something inside him was clinging to humanity. A grin split his face.

He'd just have to help his husband speed up the pace.

He shifted a bit, burying his nose in Dark's hair. "Dark."

Dark grumbled wordless, pulling Wilford closer and smashing his face against his chest, his aura shifting sluggishly. "What."

Wilford chuckled, unwrapping one arm from around Dark in order to gently tilt his head up so they were nose to nose. He wasn't expecting to see a pair of mismatched eyes, but his grin widened all the same. "Your pulse is a bit slow, love."

Dark arched an eyebrow. "What -" He was cut off by his own sharp intake of breath and shriek as Wilford attacked his face and throat, peppering them with kisses and tickling him with his mustache. Dark flailed, his aura snapping to attention and he shoved Wilford away. Dark propped himself up on his forearms, his eyes blown wide and glowing as his chest heaved. "What the Hell, Wil?!"

Wilford burst into giggles, burying his face in a pillow with his shoulders shaking. Dark huffed, and Wilford pulled him close once more, Dark's back to his chest and his arms comfortably around Dark's waist. "Aww, I'm sorry, Dark! I was just trying to help!"

Dark's eyeroll was audible. "Yeah ri -"

Dark was cut off by a...sound. They both went stiff, and it happened again, Dark's body jolting in time. Slowly, another grin spread across Wilford's face, and he rolled Dark over to face him. "Dark...did you just...hiccup?"

Dark flushed, ducking his head. "No-o." His denial was interrupted by another hiccup, and he flushed further, gripping Wilford's arm.

Wilford gasped, positively beaming. "Aww! You sound so cute!" Another hiccup tore itself from Dark, and Wilford giggled, tapping his nose. "You're adorable!"

Dark scowled, the effect mostly ruined by how dark his face was and the bright red and blue glow from his eyes. "Shu-ut up! You-ou're not allow-owed to enjoy this, you did thi-is to me!"

He rolled away from Wilford, sticking his head under a pillow and groaning, which turned into a loud, violent swear when that was interrupted by a hiccup. Wilford was unable to contain his giggling, rolling on top of Dark in order to press a kiss to the nape of his neck and slink his arms around Dark's waist again. His giggling only intensified to something bordering hysterical whenever Dark's body and consequently himself jolted with the force of another hiccup. "But you are! You are my cute, adorable, powerful, demonic husband, and I love you." He pressed another kiss to his nape, giggling against his skin.

Dark just grumbled in response.

Chapter Text

Wilford enjoyed making pancake art. He had a specific shape he made for each ego. For example, Dark's was a big heart, the twins' were their respective equipment, and Silver's was his mask. It...took a couple tries when a new ego showed up fro him to settle on a shape. Usually he ended up making stacks of pancakes he was unsatisfied with and overfeeding the poor new one until they threw up or passed out or both.

And it was no different for Eric and Reynolds.

Wilford woke them early one morning and sat them down at the kitchen table before getting to work. Eric and Reynolds were both completely clueless as to what was going on, chatting quietly together until the first plate of at least five pancakes each was set in front of them. They'd both lit up and devoured it, though Eric a bit slower than Reynolds. The pair had been at the manor for only a couple of weeks at this point, and Eric's stomach was smaller, not just because of the streets,but because of just straight neglect and abuse, too. He barely finished the first stack, and Reynolds looked a bit done, too.

And then the next stack came, Wilford still equally unsatisfied with his creations.

As more egos filtered in to partake in what was essentially a pancake buffet, they began to take bets on who would cave first. Ed, Bim, and King were vocal about their support for Eric, while Dr. Iplier and the Jims were equally vocal about their vote for Reynolds. Google didn't seem particularly fond of the betting, too busying eating his own plate of pancakes shaped like 'G's with Bing sitting next to him and stealing pieces with a fork. But, judging by the way his eyes shifted from blue, to red, to green, to yellow, he was making rapid-fire bets with the extensions.

Unsurprisingly, Eric tapped out first. By the time he did, Wilford had decided on something for him - animals. Eric's last stack (which he hadn't been able to finish and given to Bing instead) had been shaped like a different animal, and Wilford seemed pretty content with his work at last. Reynolds hadn't lasted much longer, and his pancakes ended up being shaped like a variety of music note wearing his construction hat.

The two youngest egos ended up promptly going back to bed and sleeping it all off for another couple of hours while Wilford set about cleaning up the colossal mess he'd made in the kitchen.

(And if anyone saw a pissed Darkiplier handing twenty buck to a very smug Host, no one said anything)

Chapter Text

"Come here, you son of a bitch!"

Bim waved his hand, blowing his sudden handful of purple glitter at Marvin as he chased him through Marvin's theatre, pushing a little magic into the gust of air that carried the glitter to keep it on its path. Marvin grinned, disappearing in the blink of an eye and reappearing behind Bim. Bim dug his heels in, spinning around, and Marvin snapped his fingers. Bim suddenly found himself glowing a radioactive purple, his hair spiked up in an equally violent purple mohawk. Bim shrieked and shot Marvin a look that probably would've killed him had Marvin been paying attention and not doubled-over laughing his ass off.

"Marvin! Fix me!"

Marvin snorted as Bim stormed forward again, practically collapsed to the floor. Bim stomped his foot particularly hard, and Marvin was suddenly wearing a slightly too small white cat onsie. Marvin started, jumping to his feet, and Bim split in a rueful smile, planting his hands on his hips. "Suffer."

Marvin cracked his own grin, and his aura cracked into existence. "Oh it is on, Mercury! Come here!

Bim's eyes shot wide, and he sprinted off into the theatre, alternating between bolting and teleporting into obscure spots, Marvin never too far behind. By the time their little magic fight was over, Marvin's skin was bright green and he sported a tail to match his onsie and mask, and Bim's mohawk had given way to a mullet of all things and he was now wearing a blue, too-big dragon onsie, his skin still purple. Bim ended the fight by full-body tackling Marvin to the floor, summoning a pie tin full of whipped cream and smashing it into Marvin's face. "Ha! There! I win!"

Marvin blew bits of whipped cream into Bim's face, and Bim spluttered, rolling off of him. Marvin twirled a finger, and both of them were clean and back to normal. He shot Bim a lopsided grin. "Round Two? Winner takes all?"

Bim grinned, blowing a significant amount of green glitter in Marvin's face and making him choke before scrambling to his feet and taking off again. "Only if you can find me!"

Chapter Text

There was some sort of summer bug going around the manor. It'd knocked the Jims out for a week earlier in the month, followed by King, Bim, and Eric. Dr. Iplier was trying his damnedest to help them out while simultaneously trying to not get sick himself. But then the Host caught it, and of course the miserable bastard gave it to Dr. Iplier.

Dr. Iplier groaned as he rolled over in bed, utterly miserable. He knew he had a fever creeping up on him, and an odd feeling crawling up his throat that made him want to gag. "Fuck I hate you."

The Host had the gall to laugh, the sound a bit high and strained, though it turned into a harsh cough. "Suffer."

Dr. Iplier swore, flailing his arm to his right and smacking the Host a few times. "Bastard. I manage to go without getting this thing for a month and the second you get it I get fucked." He coughed himself, his voice sounding much croakier after. "You suck."

The Host simply scoffed, shifting a little. Dr. Iplier suddenly shivered violently as a bout of chills gripped him, and he curled tighter underneath the blankets, swallowing hard. The Host made a noise, and then he was pulling Dr. Iplier closer, curling around him. Dr. Iplier burrowed gratefully against him, rolling over in order to bury his face against the Host's chest and wrap his arms around him. He slipped his hands under the back of the Host's shirt, pressing his palms against the Host's burning skin as he shivered. The Host had a fever too, apparently.

Dr. Iplier shivered again. "I should text Dark," he mumbled. "Give him instructions. He can't get sick, he'll be immune."

The Host hummed, curling around Dr. Iplier a bit more. Dr. Iplier shuddered violently, a slight gagging noise escaping him. The Host crinkled his noise. "If Dr. Iplier throws up on the Host, the Host is leaving him."

Dr. Iplier smacked him. "Shut up."

Chapter Text

For once, Bim woke up first.

He smiled softly, inhaling slowing through his nose as he stretched and shifted a bit in bed. His brow furrowed, eyes still closed. Usually King preferred to be the little spoon, but Bim...found himself in King's arms, held close with his back to King's chest. King's face was buried in the crook of Bim's neck, his breath tickling his throat a little. And...Bim found he didn't mind, as he covered King's hands folded over his stomach with one of his own.

King shifted, holding Bim tighter, and Bim squeezed his hands. "Morning."

"Mmm..." King pressed a kiss to the side of Bim's throat, burrowing closer. His words were a bit slurred with sleep. "...What time is it?" 

Bim's brow furrowed. "That is a very good question." He opened his eyes at last, shifting away from King and rolling across the bed to get to the nightstand and his phone. 

King whined, clinging onto the back of Bim's shirt. "Nooooo...come back..."

Bim laughed, carefully dislodging King's fingers. "I'm just getting my phone, King. It's your own damn fault for having such a big-ass bed." King huffed, his outstretched arm falling limp to the bed, and Bim turned to his phone. He swore. "Ah shit, we gotta get up. We slept in, it's almost eight o'clock. Breakfast is gonna start any second."

King made a dismissive noise, grabbing Bim and pulling him back to his chest. "...Who cares. M'tired, and you're warm. They can deal."

Bim chuckled, burrowing back against King, and resigned himself to his fate as King's personal teddy bear.

Chapter Text

The Host lay curled in bed, cursed with the bug that had already claimed the Jims, King, Bim, and Eric. He shivered violently, his fever causing chills to wrack his body. He hated being sick. He wanted to write and work, but Dr. Iplier had threatened to cut his fingers off if he even thought of sitting at the desk in his room. 'Hemophilia be damned', to quote him exactly. In short, it sucked

The Host shivered again as his door opened, whining pitifully. He rolled over to face whoever it was, presumably Dr. Iplier. His pajamas and bandages stuck to his skin with sweat, his hair plastered to his forehead. He was too exhausted to narrate, and his head hurt too much for him to even considering forcing his Sight. "Doctooor!"

"Nope, sorry." The Host's lips parted his surprise, and his brow furrowed. "Sorry, it's Silver."

The Host tilted his head. "Why -" He dissolved into a coughing fit, and he swallowed thickly, almost panting as he pressed his head to the pillows. "Why is Silver here? Is he not afraid of catching the same illness?"

"Not really." The bed dipped as Silver sat down. "Something about my superhero-ness makes me a lot harder to knock down. It'll take a lot more than a bug to stick to me." He shifted. "I um, I brought you something. Here."

He passed something to the Host, and the Host took it with almost hesitant hands. His eyebrows shut up with surprise. It was...soft, really really soft, and the Host's grip on it tightened, sinking his fingers into the softness almost unconsciously. "...What is it?"

"It's a stuffed animal. From my collection. Um, it's an owl, like a light brown one, with big yellow eyes." The Host trailed his fingers across the fluff of the owl as Silver described it, his nails clicking against the plastic of its eyes. "You can hold onto it for the day, if you'd like. I...I'd like to think having something to cuddle with might help. I gave one to Eric and the others, too. Just...promise not to get blood on it, alright?"

The Host smiled softly, a hoarse chuckle escaping him. "Promise." He let one hand wander, trying to find Silver, and when he managed to he trailed his fingers down Silver's leg before settling his hand on his knee. "Thanks."

Silver covered his hand with his own. "No problem. I hope you feel better soon." The Host nodded idly, a fresh wave of exhaustion crashing over him as the fever continued to cling to him with a burning grip. Silver stood, gently placing the Host's hand back on the owl. "I'll let you sleep now. I'll be back later."

The Host was asleep before he'd finished.

And when Silver came back later to collect his owl, he found a sleeping Host dead to the world and curled around the owl, holding it close to his chest.

Chapter Text

The egos were all gathered in the living area, most of them watching Netflix, but a few were sitting on the floor playing Uno. Or, raging at Uno, because the Host kept beating them without fail. Mainly because he was being an absolute bastard and using his abilities to cheat and look at the others' hands.

The Host split in a smug grin as he placed his last card on the pile - a draw four wild card. Bim made an outraged noise, throwing his cards down, Ed swore loudly, the twins shot him death glares, and Dr. Iplier smacked his shoulder repeatedly before crossing his arms. "Bastard, this is why no one ever wants to play with you. Dick."

The Host laughed, picking at the edge of his bandages and pressing a kiss to Dr. Iplier's cheek. "The Host doesn't regret a single thing." Dr. Iplier smacked him again, clearly pouting, and the Host laughed again.

And then a vision was crashing over him.

He stared down at his hands, concentrating hard. His aura whipped around him, small bits of shadow breaking off to pool in his palms. Corralling and molding shadow was like trying to herd cats, but worse, as his brow furrowed. Slowly, the shadow bent to his sheer force of will, gradually forming the shape he wanted. Hours passed as he sat on his bed, crafting the shadow as it slowly turned to metal. The sun set, and yet he kept working, till no trace of shadow ran between his fingers. Instead, it was a -

The Host was snapped out of his vision by Dr. Iplier shaking his shoulders. He'd...collapsed backwards, his arm bent uncomfortably beneath him and blood pouring down his face. It took a couple more seconds for him to realize that several people were calling his name, interspersed with what could only be described as the sound of panic. He swallowed harshly, struggling to sit back upright with Dr. Iplier and - going by the smell of ozone and the sensation of several other limbs - Dark's help. He leaned up against the couch, gripping Dr. Iplier's hand tight as he struggled to slot himself back in the present with all the noise.

"What the Hell was that?!" Reynolds' voice was high with distress.

"A vision." Dr. Iplier squeezed the Host's hand back, no doubt grimacing.

"I-i-is he going to be okay?!" Eric sounded like he was mid-panic attack, stuttering and hyperventilating.

Someone began wiping gently at the blood covering his face with what felt like a wash cloth, and Wilford's voice was far too loud and close, causing the Host to flinch. "He'll be fine. Right?"

"Yeah, he should be, but usually he's good by now..."

"Wait -"

The second Bing opened his mouth, the Host lost it, his aura flaring into existence and wrapping around himself as he doubled forward, his knees pulled up to his chest and his hands held tight over his ears. He screamed, trying to drown out the overwhelming noise with his own voice as his head swirled with different possibilities and futures. A gunshot rang in his ears - he could hear 'This Is Halloween' playing from Bing's room - golden eyes bore into his own - he had wings - Too many visions swarmed him at once, and he sobbed, shaking his head and God it was so loud -

"Google! Help me get him to my office, I need to calm him down!"

Strong arms slipped beneath his own, and then the sound of moving pistons and humming fans and a whirring core drowned out everything else. The Host went limp, his aura fading as he sobbed and gruesome tears of blood painted his face and dripped off his cheek to leave a bloody red trail behind them. He felt someone reach for his hand, squeezing it reassuringly.

The Host passed out.

Chapter Text

When the panic attack crashed over Eric, he was all alone in the living area.

He curled into a ball on the couch, covering his ear tightly with his hands as he hyperventilated. Gasping sobs wracked his body, causing violent shudders to race through him. Bim wasn't home. Neither was Ed. He was alone and he couldn't breathe as panic gripped him from every front.

Unable to open his eyes, Eric jumped when he heard Dark's soft ringing, curling into a tighter ball as he shook. "Eric?!" He heard Dark rush over, and the couch dipped beside him. He tensed as Dark's aura wrapped around him. "Eric, what's wrong, how can I help?!"

Eric just shook his head, hot tears beginning to make their way down his face. Dark swore. "Shit um - Wil!"

Eric flinched violently at Dark's shout, and seconds later another presence was sitting on his other side. "Eric? Are you alright?"

"Of course he's not alright, Wil, look at him!"

"It's something that you ask, Dark! Hush!"

A tiny laugh escaped Eric through his sobs, though he was still wound tight. There was a moment of silence, and then Dark's aura was wiping away his tears. "Wil, tell one of your absurd stories while I call Bim. He can get here faster than Ed."

Wilford made a noise of offense. "They're not absurd, they're fun!

"Whatever you say, Wil..."

Wilford huffed, and immediately launched into a tale about rescuing Dark from a band of cybernetic pirates in the Bahamas. Dark interjected and bickered with him often, and by the time Bim was racing into the living area Eric had uncurled from his defensive position and was giggling incessantly, wiping at his eyes as Wilford and Dark bickered playfully over him. Bim was quick to scoop him up and take him to his room, calling several thank you's over his shoulder at the elder pair. He set Eric down gently on his bed, kissing his forehead before pulling his weighted blanket over him.

Eric was out within seconds.

Chapter Text

"Hey Google! How much money do you wanna bet I can do a backflip off my desk?"

"None. That's one of the stupidest things you've ever said."

"Aww, come on, Googs! I'm gonna do it anyway!"

"Bing, if you rip one of your limbs off with your own sheer stupidity I am not reattaching it for you."

"That's not gonna happen! Okay, hold on, watch!"

"Bing no - !"

Chapter Text

Dark was pissed.

There was no hiding it.

He sat in his seat at the head of the meeting room table, posture as stiff and rigid as ever with his hands folded on the tabletop and his expression blank. His aura took up the entire back wall, the color steadily leeching from the area around him and licking at the edges of Google and the Host. His ringing was deceptively soft.

Mark stood at the opposite end of the room, talking about his new project 'A Heist with Markiplier'. Every time he happened to glance at Dark, his speech either trailed off or suddenly became full of stammering until he looked away. Dark didn't bat an eye. Most of the other egos were listening intently (the Host wasn't exactly paying attention much either). Wil had flipped his chair around so he was leaning back against the table and facing Mark, but every few seconds or so he'd shoot a glance over his shoulder at Dark. Dark didn't even acknowledge this, too busy staring Mark down with a glare venomous enough to melt steel.

The other egos had taken it upon themselves to 'reign him in' as well. Every time Dark's ringing began to shift into something more noticeable or his aura began to reach toward the front of the room, several of them shoot him their own subtle look, forcing him to draw himself back in. Mark glanced at him again, eyes almost comically wide, and Dark's lip twitched. He couldn't help it when his mirror images snapped into existence, their hands clasped tightly behind their backs and heads held high as they glared at Mark. Google smacked his arm, narrowing his eyes at Dark, but all that accomplished was the images flickering like VHS tapes.

Mark swallowed hard, adverting his gaze once more, and a fresh wave of rage washed over Dark as his eyes began to tint red and blue respectively. How dare he have the nerve to come here after all he's done? Last time they'd come face to face, Mark had said he wasn't who Dark thought he was. But Dark knew exactly who he was. He was a snake who murdered his best friend and wife and stuffed them into the same body. He was a bastard who drove Dark to become the 'perfect villain' he desired. He didn't deserve to be in the manor again. 

And when Wil shot Mark a reassuring smile, reaching to squeeze his hand briefly, Dark's vision went red.

He stood abruptly, and all eyes turned to him. Wil's hand slipped from Mark's, and a bit of the red faded from Dark's vision, but not much. His red and blue outline shimmered, two two colors seeming to battle for domination as Mark stared at him with barely restrained terror. Nothing in Dark's expression changed as he stalked toward the door, his images following to either side of him. His aura fought to grab ahold of Mark as Dark paused in his steps to open the door, but Mark scrambled out of the way. Dark hesitated a moment longer, his aura still lashing out in shapes that looked suspiciously like reaching hands, before he slipped out of the meeting room, slamming the glass door so hard it shook in its frame.

 

Chapter Text

The Jims were like cats.

They got stuck in odd places, they were absolutely unmanageable, they were known to stare you dead in the eye as they did something they knew would piss you off (if you got on their bad side that is), and they were just chaos. There was no such thing as a boring day with them around.

And today was no different.

Reynolds was walking down a rarely used hallway on the second floor, hands jammed his pockets as he paced slowly and listened to his music, eyes closed, when he heard a loud thump! to his right. He jumped, he literally leaping away from that wall like a cat with his eyes wide. A second thump! quickly followed, and Reynolds tore off his headphones, draping them around his neck. "...What the Hell?"

"Reynolds!" He narrowed his eyes when the wall spoke, sounding suspiciously like one of the Jims. "Reynolds, is that you?!"

He drew his mouth in a tight line, eyes still narrowed. "...Something tells me I shouldn't answer the talking wall..."

"Reynolds, it's us!" Another voice sounded a bit farther away from the first. "It's the Jims!"

He raised an eyebrow. "I'd figured that much."

"Can you get Wilford for us?" The first Jim called. "We may have gotten stuck. In the wall. Again."

Reynolds smacked a palm to his forehead, dragging it down his face before staring up at the ceiling. "Goddammit, Jims - yeah, sure, fine. Gimme a sec. Stay put."

The chorused response had him rolling his eyes as he walked back down the hall. "We literally can't do anything else!"

Chapter Text

The egos were exhausted.

Collectively, they'd all had a bit of a rough week. Bim and Wilford were working on a collaboration cross-over thing between their two shows, and in a 'why the fuck not' mood they'd hired the Jims to help film it. All five androids were working on an intensive project that was apparently far more complicated than they'd anticipated, leaving them pretty wiped as well. Construction in general was just exhausting for Reynolds, apparently there were quite a few sick animals at the zoo Eric needed to take care of, and Ed had a...client that refused to correspond via email, forcing Ed to make several trips into the city. Silver was always tired after a day in the city, especially having to keep up with both criminals and Jackie's energy. Dr. Iplier had lost a patient earlier on in the week, and it had pretty much fucked the rest of his week, he was quieter than usual, and - according to the Host - he wasn't sleeping that great. King and the Host were simply always down for a nap, and Dark could definitely use someone dragging him out of his office and into some sort of relaxation himself.

It was the Jims' idea to turn the living area into a massive pillow and blanket fort. The egos all grabbed their pillows and comforters from their beds and laid them out on the floor, creating a cushion that could rival the softest mattress. Dr. Iplier had collapsed first, pulling the Host down with him and practically climbing into his coat with him as he immediately passed out. The androids all piled together just shy of the Host, Bing lost beneath the four Google, and Peggy curled up on top of Oliver. The Jims and Silver all bundled into his cape as they curled up on one of the farther edges of the fort, tucked into a spot almost blocked from view by one of the armchairs. Reynolds lay with his back flat against the couch, Eric pulled close to his chest and his arms wrapped protectively around him. King and Bim lay snuggled together near the android pile, curled together in a tight ball beneath King's cape. Ed had refused at first to lie down on the floor, dancing over the tangle of limbs that was Silver and the twins to reach his armchair, but Bim had waved a hand and he'd ended up sprawled near one of the loveseats, out cold with his hat pulled over his eyes. And in the center lay Dark and Wilford, Dark lying on top of his sleeping husband with fistfuls of his shirt in his hands and his face buried in his chest. His aura had spread out, covering them all in a thin blanket of shadow.

None of them moved for the rest of the day, fast asleep and finding comfort in the surroundings of their family.

Chapter Text

Bing was working in the Google Office, deep in focus and tongue poking out between his teeth. Google had left a little bit ago to help CJ fix his camera, apparently something had gotten loose inside of it and was doing something funky to the video. Google had rolled his eyes almost throughout the entire call before grabbing a screwdriver and pecking Bing on the cheek on his way out the door.

Bing heard heard one of the extensions stand up, but he didn't think anything of it, assuming whichever one was just grabbing a part from Bing's wall. At least, until the extension was gripping him below the shoulders and pressing up against him from behind. Bing went stiff, a blush beginning to dust his cheeks and his hands fumbling a bit as he continued to work. He shuddered when the extension pressed his lips to his ear, purring his words in a deep voice. "Hello."

Bing's blush grew worse. "Um...Green, what are you doing?"

Green chuckled lowly in his ear. "Oh come now, Bing, I've seen Google pull this stunt enough times to know what it does to you." He pressed a kiss to the shell of Bing's ear, gradually moving down his throat and nipping lightly at the junction between Bing's neck and shoulder.

At this point, Bing had given up the pretense of working, his entire face glowing yellow-orange and the color moving down his neck in time with Green's kisses. He began to tremble, squeaking and clearing his throat when Green's kisses and nips became a little more...insistent. "Google's gonna kill you..."

Green hummed, moving back up to his ear. "Please, you're in a relationship with all four of us. He can't have you all to himself..." He tugged on Bing's earlobe with his teeth before his kisses began to trail along Bing's jawline. 

Bing closed his eyes, relaxing a bit against Green, and he opened his mouth again. But then Green was letting out a loud yelp, jumping away from him, and both of their heads snapped to the door. Google was standing in the doorway, his eyes blazing so brightly that the entire upper half of his face was swamped in blue light. Green swallowed, eyes wide and looking very much like a deer caught in the headlights. Google's fingers twitched, the screwdriver he was holding resembling a melted, strung out lump of metal with how tight his grip was. Bing patted Green's arm, flashing him a slight smile. "You might want to run, dude."

Not a second later, Google was sprinting forward, the blaze of his eyes growing just that little bit brighter. They flashed green briefly, and Green yelped again, jolting in place before sprinting off himself, desperately trying to get away and leading the other android around the office before taking off out the door and charging into the rest of the manor, Google hot on his heels. A minute later, Google's deafening roar of "GET BACK HERE, GREEN!" echoed through the whole manor, followed by another high-pitched yelp from Green.

Bing snorted, twisting around on his stool to face the other two extensions. He flashed Red a grin. "Please tell me you got that chase on camera."

Red smirked, arching one eyebrow. "The second Google appeared I started recording."

A crash sounded deeper in the manor, followed by Google's unintelligible shouting and Green screaming 'No' repeatedly. Oliver winced. "As stupid as he is, please let's go help him! Google's gonna dismantle him!"

Bing's eyes shot wide, and he bolted out the door, quickly followed by the other two and shouting Google's name, simply adding to the chaos. 

Chapter Text

Bing stretched as the time 6:00pm flashed across his, locking his hands together and stretching his arms above his head. "Alright, I gotta go track down Peggy and feed her. I'll be right back." He hopped off his stool, heading to the door and sliding it open. He spun around, blowing all four Googles a kiss before back out and sliding the door closed once more.

The second he was gone, Red swore, pouting. "Fuck, he has no right to be that cute."

Google chuckled, smiling fondly. "You should see him when he's just woken up in the morning. He's adorable. Here."

He sent a picture to all three extensions, and Oliver gasped. "Awww, he's so cute! And Peggy was so small, that's precious!"

Green smirked, propping his chin up on a fist. "It's a shame all five of us can't fit on his bed." His eyes flashed. "Perhaps we could get him a bigger one for Christmas."

Google raised an eyebrow, his eyes flashing green for a moment, and Green yelped, nearly falling off his stool. Red snickered, and Google shot Green a hard glare. "No."

Green pouted, adjusting his glasses. "That's not fair."

Google scoffed. "Life's not fair."

Red cackled as Green's pout deepened, and Oliver frowned. "Knock it off, guys, I wanna hear more about Bing!" His eyes flashed as he smiled. "What's he like when he's about to fall asleep? Is he all cute and sleepy, or is he like Red?"

Red's mouth fell open with indignance. "Hey!"

At the same time, Green interjected with, "He's always cute, Oliver."

Google chuckled again, shaking his head. "He is very cute, here, I think I have a video somewhere..."

The four continued chatting about and swapping pictures and clips of Bing, gleaning every bit of information they could off each other. When the office door slid open again fifteen minutes later and Bing stepped back into the office, the four of them were in various states of hysterical giggles, Oliver having just shared a picture of Bing stuck upside down in the small space between one of the loveseats and the wall in an attempt to grab Peggy. Bing raised an eyebrow, smiling a little. "Guys? What's up?"

Google smiled at him, still giggling to himself. "It's nothing." His eyes flashed. "You are just...far too adorable for your own good."

Bing blushed, scratching the back of his head. "Thanks, I guess." He cleared his throat. "Anyway, ready to jump back on our project?"

All four Googles' eyes flashed. "Absolutely."

Chapter Text

The Host narrated softly as he worked in his library, his wings twitching and shuffling every now and then as blood slowly dripped down his face. He smiled softly as a vision of himself and Dr. Iplier cuddling in bed washed over him, their wings spread across each other. He muttered his narrations as he documented the vision down on parchment.

Something was suddenly on top of the edge of his left wing, and the Host jumped a mile, his quill skidding across the parchment. His wings flared, dislodging whatever was on top of one, and he stiffened when a surprised 'mrow!' rang out in the library. The Host was still for a moment, and then his wings were dropping back to rest on the floor as he twisted around in his chair, forcing his Sight to flash. Peggy immediately pounced on the end of his wing again, flopping on top of it when her one front paw failed to support the leap properly. She purred loudly, sending vibrations running up his feathers and pinning his wings more to the floor as she rolled on top of it.

The Host smiled, chuckling softly as he turned back to his work. Unintentionally, his right wings twitched, his feathers dragging across the floor. Peggy made a small 'brrp!' noise as she scrambled off his left in order to 'gracefully' tackle his right. The Host snorted, leaning forward to rest his forehead in his head as Peggy clung to his wing and idly chewed one feather. He purposefully made his left wings shudder, and the sound of Peggy skidding across the stone floor as she accidentally raced passed it only made him laugh harder, despite the blood steadily gathering in his lap.

He had a feeling he wasn't going to getting much else done today.

Chapter Text

Silver had pitched the idea about going camping that morning at breakfast, musing aloud about he'd never done it before. Most of the others (specifically Bim and the Host) were reluctant and unwilling, but the Jims had volunteered to go with him whenever he wanted. King had piped up that he knew a good spot in the woods behind the manor, and Dark had given the okay for them to go out and camp in the woods for the night. And after a quick, excited shopping trip in the city, the four were good to go.

"How the actual fuck does one put this thing together?" King made a distressed noise as his tent collapsed, refusing to stay up. He cast a pleading glance over his shoulder at the other three, their tents already set up.

Silver was working on getting a fire going as the sun set, the sleeves of his flannel pushed up to his elbows and the flannel itself unbuttoned to show off his worn Captain America t-shirt. The Jims, however, jumped to their feet, chorusing, "We'll help!" and immediately tackling the project. Within five minutes, King's bright red tent was standing proudly.

King flashed a lopsided smile, slipping a hand under his crown to scratch at his head. "Thanks guys." He turned to Silver. "How's it going?"

Silver blew lightly on the little flame he had, tongue poking out a bit. "Just...gimme a sec..." His aura rippled across the little clearing King had taken them to, and a second later the fire sparked and grew into a proper sized flame. Silver grinned ant sat back, clearly proud of himself. "There we go!"

The Jims split in twin grins. "Great!

"'Cause get what we brough!" CJ exclaimed, rushing to his own tent as RJ darted to his own.

"S'mores stuff!" RJ whipped around, revealing at least six massive Hershey bars in one hand and a box of graham crackers in the other.

CJ emerged from his own tent with two bags of jumbo marshmallows. "We brought stabby metal things to roast the marshmallows on, too!"

Silver gasped, scrambling to his feet, and King's eyes lit up. "Oh you two are the absolute best, come on, help me set up the chairs!"

The four roasted hotdogs over the fire and ate s'mores until the moon was high in the sky, telling horror stories and laughing together all the while. When they were done eating, they ended up chasing each other around the clearing throwing handfuls of leftover marshmallows at each other (Silver very much cheating and soaring high above them out of their reach and pelting them with marshmallows). Come morning, they trekked back to the manor with all of their stuff, exhausted, but happy and with fond memories of the night.

Chapter Text

"Bim! Be careful, we've only got one shot at this!"

"I got it, King, don't worry!" A pause. "...Run over the plan one more time?"

King sighed, thumping his forehead against the tree branch he was lying on. "Okay, there's a baby squirrel somewhere around this tree, lost and very far from home. You're gonna coax her out - or at least attempt to - while I'm up here trying to get a lock on her. You keep her attention, and I'll grab her. Okay?"

Bim shot him a thumb's up. "Got it! Okay, here little squirrely squirrel...come out, come out, wherever you are..."

King sighed heavily. "A little more effort, thanks! I don't know where she is, and if we don't hurry, she makes a very bite-sized snack for a snake!"

Bim waved a hand at him. "Shhh, I got this!" He knelt down on the forest floor, eyes scanning the surrounding bushes. "What did you say her name was again?"

"Lily, she's one of Bubblegum's nieces."

"Right, come here, Lily! It's okay, I promise, it's safe!"

Something shifted in a nearby bush, and King's eyes shot wide. He pointed down at it, then gave a thumb's up, beginning to slowly inch his way back across the branch and toward the trunk if the tree. Bim kept his eyes on him for a moment longer as he spoke before shifting his attention to the bush. "It's alright, Lily, come on out. No one's gonna hurt you." He felt incredibly stupid talking to a squirrel like it was a small child, but to his surprise a small, red-furred head poked out between to leaves, and the little squirrel chittered at him. Bim smiled. "It's alright! C'mere, I don't bite...much," he added, flashing a wicked grin at King and running his tongue over his teeth.

King promptly flushed bright red, halfway down the tree and moving surprisingly silently. Lily, however, squeaked and retreated back into the bush, chattering some more. Bim's eyes shot wide. "Oh shit - I was kidding! Sort of! I'm not gonna hurt you, promise!"

More chattering came from the bush, and suddenly King was diving toward it, sticking his whole arm inside. A second later, he withdrew his arm with Lilly safely curled in his hand, the little squirrel smaller than his palm. King lit up, getting to his feet as he rubbed the top of her head with a thumb. "Gotcha! Alright, let's get you home..."

Bim stood as well, running a hand through his hair. "Well that went well!" He reached to pet Lily, too, but she screeched, racing up King's arm and disappearing under his crown.

King shot him a flat look. "Great. You traumatized a three-week old baby squirrel. I hope you're proud of yourself."

Bim whined. "I didn't mean to! It was a joke! Kind of!" He couldn't help but grin again, raising one eyebrow as his eyes swept over King.

King flushed, and he wrapped his cape tight around himself. "Fuck off, Bim!" He stalked off into the trees, quickly leaving Bim to scramble after him. "If you don't hurry up I'm leaving you here!"

"Wait - But - King!"

Chapter Text

Google and Bing lounged about their oasis home in the desert, Google floating lazily on the top of the lake with his snakes hissing softly and curling up on his face or floating around with him while Bing watched him on the shore, arm crossed and a dopey little smile on his face. Google's eyes were closed, but Bing watched carefully for even the slightest flutter of his eyelids. It had been weeks since the Host had taken away the gorgon's 'gift', and Bing couldn't get enough of Google's beautiful, bright, electric icy eyes.

A sound cracked in the sky, and Bing jumped a mile, his flailing legs causing sand to fly everywhere and his tail's tip to clack against the hard exoskeleton of his scorpion lower half. Google's eyes shot open on the lake, jumping himself and submerging completely in surprise. When he resurface, his beautiful perfect eyes were wide with shock, his snakes lifting high in the air, half staring at the sky and the other half twisting around everything they could reach - each other, Google's ears, a twig on the surface of the lake - 

"What was that?"

Google had to shout a bit from his position in the middle of the lake, and Bing shrugged. He squinted suspiciously up at the sky, lifting his shades (Google had shyly given them back once they'd left the Host's library). The stars had abruptly been covered by swirling dark clouds, plunging the world in a more firm grip of darkness than it already was. "I don't know."

The sound came again, cracking and booming and echoing in Bing's mind. Seconds later, the sky itself lit up with a soundless flash, and Bing jumped upright, darting for the cover of the trees. He could hear Google swimming back to shore, and he glanced at him. Google stood, his feet buried in water and sand, just as the first drops of rain began to fall.

Google tilted his head up to face the sky, blinking when a drop landed right between his eyes. His snakes' hissing was the loudest Bing had ever heard it, all reaching up for the sky as the rain began to fall steadier. Slowly, Google split in a broad, beaming grin and he jumped in place a little as excitement visibly shot through his body. "Bing!" That beaming smile and those bright, expressive eyes suddenly fixed on Bing, and he swallowed as a blush began to dust his cheeks. Google didn't notice, too caught up in the water falling from the heavens. "Bing, it's raining!"

Google let out a delighted laugh, running around the oasis and running his hands over every leaf and flower he could reach as the foliage began to collect the rain, stroking them and giggling as he raced off to the next. Slowly, it dawned on Bing, even as he grumbled and ruffled his own hair with both hands, dislodging the droplets that had gathered. "I forgot. You're from the rain forest, aren't you, Googs? You...you must really miss this."

Google nodded absently as he raced about the oasis, still grinning with his arms spread wide. He tripped, and he landed face-first in a soaked fern. Google made no attempt to get back up, his laughter muffled as he wrapped his arms around the fern and his snakes coiled around a few leaves. The black robe he wore was already soaked from the lake, sand and bits of floating debris stuck to the fabric, and the rain slowly washed it away.

Bing chuckled a bit, glancing warily up at the sky before stepping out into the open. He blinked, marveling just how good the cool water felt on his skin before making his way over to Google. His hair was already beginning to plaster to his head, and he slicked it back with one hand as the other settled amongst Google's snakes, the little serpents quick to let go of the fern and wrap around his fingers and wrist instead. Google sighed, burying a little deeper in the fern. "It's...it's been a long time since I've gotten to enjoy the rain." Another sigh. "It's just a beautiful as I remember."

Google squealed when Bing abruptly and effortlessly picked him up, cradling him like a rag doll. Bing snorted at the sight of Google's sand covered face, then flashed a mischievous grin, Google's eyes wide with surprise. "Well, rain doesn't last long in the desert, so I figured you might wan to spend less time hugging that plant and more time actually enjoying it. Here."

He plopped Google back on the ground, bending over further to scoop up a handful of wet sand. His grin grew a little wider, and he watched with wonder as Google's pupils dilated and he started, realization crashing over him. He only barely had time to run before Bing was chucking his sand at him, cackling as Google squealed again and laughed himself. He spun around, sand flying as he scooped up his own handful. His snakes still hissed and reached for the rain as his eyes glinted with something. "This is war, Bing! Come here!"

Bing's eyes shot wide, spluttering out "Oh shit!" before he was racing off himself, his six legs moving stiffly across the firming wet sand as Google chased after him. The oasis was filled with their laughter, the desert plains absorbing their echo. In the vast, expressionlessly land of the desert, encased in the trees and vegetation and life of the oasis, to them the universe was their own, that nothing mattered and no one else lived outside themselves.

And all the while, the rain continued to pour.

Chapter Text

Marvin popped into the manor with a little theatrical puff of green smoke, his cape fluttering against his ankles as he scratched at a spot just below his mask. "Bim? You ready for rehearsal?"

No response came from Bim, but he felt a sudden sharp pain on his cheek like he was slapped and the familiar wash of power that came with a flared aura, and Marvin winced. He flared his own, sending a quick apology to the Host (who must've been on air), and whipped out his phone instead. 'Bim? Where are you?'

It took a bit to get a reply, but he got one. 'Shit, I totally forgot! I'm out helping King with his squirrels. Give me an hour or something, but if you're gonna hang around you should probably tell Dark or Wilford or someone. Oh, and don't make too much noise, the Host is live and you do not want to interrupt him. Last time someone who wasn't Dr. Iplier interrupted his show, Ed was completely mute for a week.'

Marvin winced again. 'A bit late for that warning. Will do though.'

He tucked his phone away, then planted his hands on his hips, surveying the manor's living area as he flared his aura again, alerting Dark of his presence. He jumped a mile when something butted against the back of his leg, spinning around and snorting with amusement when Peggy tore back behind him to grab and bat at his swishing cape. He crouched down, reaching out to pet her, and Peggy promptly bit the space between his thumb and forefinger. Not hard though, more of a gentle gnawing to help her grip on as she wrapped her one front paw around his hand and flopped backwards, pulling his hand down to rest on her fluffy little chest and belly. Peggy closed her eyes, purring happily as she continued to gnaw on his hand.

An idea popped into Marvin's head, and he smiled, closing his own eyes. A second later, he was no longer human, and instead had the body of a sleek white cat, his inner ears green to match his mask and the red and black symbols of the card suites still on his forehead. Marvin sat back, his tail flicking at his side, and Peggy jumped, her fur bristling. After a moment though, she calmed, and tentatively stepped forward. She sniffed at his face, her big green eyes unblinking, before she purred and rubbed her cheek against his.

Marvin purred happily in return, then dropped into a playful crouch, tail swishing behind him. Peggy made a high-pitched 'brrp' noise before tearing away, Marvin chasing after the smaller cat. He reached out, batting at and pinning down Peggy's tail, and she whirled around, cuffing playfully at his ears and promptly falling over in the process when she failed to keep her balance on just her back legs. Marvin raced away, Peggy scrambling after him in chase. Their game turned into a sort of tag; they'd catch up with the other, wrestle and bat at each other for a bit, then race away once more with the chasee becoming the chaser. It was fun, and certainly entertaining. Peggy was far more vocal than most cats Marvin had been around, making all sorts of funny, surprised noises when Marvin bowled her over or she launched on top of him. He figured it was probably because she hung around the Host so much. She needed some way to alert the blind man of her presence, and the little meows and other noises undoubtedly did the trick.

When Bim eventually appeared in the living area, Marvin - still a cat - lifted his head from one of the loveseats, sprawled out on his back with Peggy curled up and dozing lightly on his chest. Bim blinked, then split in a wide smile, a glint in his eyes that blatantly said Marvin would never hear the end of this. Marvin's ear twitched, and suddenly he was human again, Peggy still undisturbed and sleeping on his chest. "Uhhh...I-I can explain."

"No need, Marv." Bim's grin got wider, and he ran a hand through his hair. He winked, and Marvin flushed, adjusting his mask. Bim snorted. "Come on, we gotta get to rehearsal. Or are you content to be Peggy's pillow for the rest of the day?"

Marvin's blush darkened, and he teleported to Bim's side, Peggy now resting on the loveseat. Her ear flicked, but otherwise didn't stir. "Shut up, Mercury."

Bim laughed. "Ready when you are, Cat Boy."

 

Chapter Text

Thunder cracked above the zoo, and Eric flinched. Not two seconds later, rain began to pour from the sky. Eric flinched again, staring with pleading eyes up at the sky. Rain pelted his face, and he closed his eyes, drawing his mouth in a tight line. 

And then the loudest boom of thunder Eric had ever heard exploded above him.

Eric flinched back so violently he fell over, curling into a ball on the grass. His breath was coming in rapid gasps, he was at work, he couldn't do this, not now -

There was a rumbling hum nearby, and suddenly Eric remembered he was in the middle of the tiger enclosure.

Eric went stiff, holding his breath as the tiger sniffed at his hair. He'd never been hurt by the tiger before - he'd never been hurt by any animals in the zoo before - but that didn't mean they weren't capable. The zoo had two tigers, and Eric could feel their breath as they sniffed at him and rain continued to pour.

Suddenly teeth and fangs were wrapping around the back of his throat, and Eric gasped, going completely rigid as the tiger lifted him up and dragged him off. The tiger wasn't hurting him, it was being surprisingly gentle with him. The other tiger - the female one - walked along beside them. Eric realized they were taking him to the 'indoor' section of the enclosure. Eric blinked, consciously keeping from squirming with very large fangs currently pressed against his throat. He was set down gently on the stone floor, and the tiger that had been carrying him - the male - laid down beside him, pressed close. Eric crinkled his nose at the smell of wet fur, but when the tiger through a foreleg over him and pulled him close to his chest, Eric didn't think it'd be smart to protest. The female tiger settled in front of him, sandwiching Eric between the two cats.

Thunder cracked again, the rain pounding outside, and Eric flinched, subconsciously burrowing back against the male tiger. He felt...safe, between the two tigers, oddly enough. Thunder boomed, Eric made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a whimper, and the female tiger lifted her head. Eric burst into giggles when she licked his face, adjusting his glasses and wiping off as much of the saliva as he could. She made a rumbling noise deep in her throat, licking him again before lowering her head, pinning one of his arms beneath her this time.

Wedged between and pinned beneath the two tigers, Eric felt his panic ebb, and at the next crack of thunder, he didn't flinch.

Chapter Text

"Watch out!"

Silver and Jackie shot apart, soaring several feet off the ground, as a pale blue beam flew through the air, missing Silver by inches. He glanced back, just in time to watch the beam impact with a tree planted along the sidewalk. Before his eyes, the tree shrunk rapidly, till it was only two or three feet tall. Silver's eyes shot wide. "Oh holy shit! We gotta steer clear of that thing!"

"Yeah no shit, Silver!" Jackie glided up beside him, firing his own lasers from his eyes at the psychopath cackling on the streets below. "Stop starin' and help me!"

"Right, yeah! Okay!" While Jackie had the psychopath (who really did look like every stereotypical mad scientist combined into one crazy body) distracted, Silver raced away, wrapping around one building in order to come up behind the psycho with the shrink ray. He poked his head out from behind the building. Jackie was still blasting him, the psycho firing off randomly in every direction. Now was his chance...

He shot forward, and he almost made it when the bright green of Jackie's lasers suddenly shorted out. "Wait - Silver look out!"

Silver was knocked to the side, and he heard Jackie cry out. Shaking his head to clear some of the disorientation, he glanced over, and choked back a horrified sound. Jackie laid sprawled on the concrete (thankfully they hadn't been that far up), but now he was only maybe six inches tall, and completely out cold. Swearing colorfully under his breath, followed by a mantra of 'shit shit shit shit shit shit shit', Silver scooped Jackie up and took back to the sky, dodging another beam with a yelp.

He held Jackie carefully in his palms, both cursing and thankful for his big, clumsy, cushiony gloves. "Jackie!" He shook him a bit. "Jackie wake up!"

No response.

"Oh fuck!" Silver darted toward the first tall building he saw, touching down on the roof. He gently laid Jackie down on the cement, quickly shedding his gloves and arranging them around his shrunken crime fighting partner in an attempt to hide him from any birds that might spot him. A beam shot past them into the sky, and Silver flinched, scrambling for his phone. He quickly dialed a number, pacing endlessly as the mad cackles of the psycho below pierced the air. "Come on come on come on come on -"

"Hello?"

"Bim! Oh thank Christ."

"Silver?! What do you want, isn't there something going down right now? I can see the light show from the theatre!"

"I know, I know, look, is Marvin there with you?"

"Uh, yeah, but why? Did something happen, is one of you hurt?!"

The distress in Bim's voice just wound Silver up more. "No, well, not really, but, just - listen. Tell Marvin to lock onto Jackie's aura and teleport over here ASAP, got it? I need his help. Well, Jackie needs his help, but just -"

"Oh little heroes ~ ! I know you're still out there!"

Silver flinched again at that sing-song tone, quickly followed by another loud cackle and several more beams shooting past him. "I gotta go! Just hurry!" He hung up before Bim could reply, and shoved his phone back in his pocket. "Right," he mumbled. "I give Bim five minutes to stop panicking and relay the message." He glanced back at the unconscious, shrunken, vulnerable Jackie, and his resolve turned to steel. "I just gotta protect you until then."

And with that, he dove back into the fray.

Chapter Text

Marvin snorted, adjusting his mask one-handed while Bim stood far too proud of himself, hands on his hips and a beaming grin on his face. "Shut the fuck up, Mercury, and get center stage."

Bim's tongue poked out between his teeth as he chuckled, doing as Marvin asked. "Whatever you desire, oh great magician."

Marvin snorted again, shoulders shaking with silent laughter and bowed over to brace his hands on his knees. He waved one hand aimlessly, an odd wheezing sound escaping him. "Jus - Jus' do what you're suppose' t'be doin'. Ye bastard."

Bim could barely hold it together at the sudden emergence of a thicker accent, but he turned to face the empty House anyway.

And found himself staring into a pair of blank, white eyes, a translucent, half-decayed face mere inches from his own.

Bim shrieked, and without consciously thinking about it he teleported to the opposite side of the theatre. He was breathing hard, eyes blown wide, and after a moment he poked his head out from around the chairs he was hiding behind, swallowing as he glanced at the stage. There was nothing there, except for a confused Marvin staring at him.

"Mercury? You alright?"

Bim swallowed hard, running a hand through his hair. A second later, he was popping back up on the stage, glancing around fearfully. "Marv your theatre's haunted."

Marvin blinked, then narrowed his eyes. "Come again?"

"It's haunted. One minute I'm staring at you, a-a-a-and then there-there was a face, like-like-like a ghost, and it was all gross and see-through and this place's haunted." Bim fiddled with his cuffs, glancing around wildly.

Marvin planted his hands on his hips, his cape swishing around his ankles. "...I've never heard any stories about anyone dying here or anything, but you never know. Oh well, come on, let's get rehearsal going."

Bim shot him a look, hand halfway through his hair for the millionth time in his fidgets. "You don't believe me, do you."

"I didn't say that! But the show must go on, ghost or no!"

A few puzzle pieces slotted in Bim's mind, and his eyes narrowed dangerously. "Did you do that?!"

Marvin looked scandalized - too scandalized. "What?! No!"

Bim's mouth fell open, and he teleported the extra few feet closer to Marvin, smacking his arm and shoulder repeatedly. "You prick, that gave me a heart attack! You almost killed me!"

Marvin sprinted off around the stage, Bim hot on his heels. "Ack! I'm telling you, Bim, it wasn't me! I swear!" Unfortunately for Marvin, there was a little laughter in his voice, and Bim took that as a sign of guilt.

"I don't believe you! Get back here!"

"No! Fuck off!"

Neither saw the translucent figure hovering near the stage lights, eyes pure white, and it's body half-decayed. Watching as they tossed spells and magic at each other.

Chapter Text

Wilford was sick.

The summer bug that had already claimed the Jims, Bim, King, Eric, the Host, and Dr. Iplier was slowly spread to the rest of the manor. With Dr. Iplier out of commission, Wilford and Dark were trying to take care of the ailing egos as best they could, with instructions delirious mumbled and texted to them from Dr. Iplier. Dark was immune, he literally could not get sick, but Wilford...well, he was still human. And within a week he found himself bedridden as well.

Dark entered their room quietly, a cold wet rag in one hand and a glass of water in the other. He muted his ringing as best he could with his limited control over it when Wil groaned and threw the comforter over his head. Dark's heart panged, his twin souls buzzing with panic and overwhelming concern in his head. Wilford's usual demeanor was incredibly enthusiastic, him bouncing off the walls at every chance he got, and it was almost borderline sickly with the sheer amount of child-like energy he exuded. But now...his poor husband was miserable.

Dark sat down on the bed, gently pulling the comforter back to reveal his shivering husband. Wil was curled into a tight ball, his hair plastered to his forehead in sweaty pink strands, his white t-shirt clinging to his skin. Clearly a fever. The last of the others' fevers (the Host's) broke a couple of days ago, and without that immediate concern Dark was free to pay a little bit more attention to Wil as he shook and whimpered.

Gently, Dark rolled Wil over with his aura so he was lying on his back, then set about wiping Wil's hair from his forehead. Wil leaned into his touch, and once the rag was set in place to try and help break the fever, Dark took advantage of his cooler body temperature and placed his hand on Wil's cheek. Wil sighed, leaning into Dark's hand so much so it was trapped between Wil's head and the millions of pillows Wil had surrounded himself in. At last, Wil cracked open an eye, pouting heavily. "Darky I'm dying."

Wil's voice was significantly more slurred than usual, and rougher. Dark just chuckled, allowing himself a tiny smile. "No you're not, not if I have anything to say about it."

"Daaaaarkyyyyyy!" Wil's voice was little more than a whine as his eyes slipped closed once more, lolling his head to the other side and away from Dark's hand. "I'm dying. The others are probably dying too. I don't want them to die, Dark!"

Dark raised an eyebrow, placing the back of his hand against Wil's cheek. "Wil, you're feverish. Calm down, and get some more rest. Here, I brought you some water."

He helped prop Wil up against the pillows, and Wil obediently sipped at the straw Dark provided. When the glass was empty, he pulled a face, sticking his tongue out. "I'd prefer a milkshake."

Dark snorted. "You are not getting any sugar until you get over this. And if I find out you've been smuggling candy in here while I'm not in here I will lock all of your treats in the Void, got that?" Wil gave him a look like Dark had just kicked a puppy, and Dark laughed. "No - stop that! I mean it, Wil, puppy dog eyes are not going to save you in this endeavor."

Wil pouted. "But Daaaark! Can't a dying man have a last meal!"

Dark rubbed at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger, smiling despite himself. "Oh for the love of - you aren't dying, Wil. Go back to sleep, alright?" He carded a hand gently through Wil's hair, brushing it away from the already warm rag. His smile softened. "I'll be right here when you wake up again. Okay?"

Wil sighed, and within moment his deep breathing and soft snores told Dark he was asleep.

Chapter Text

When Dark emerged from his office late one afternoon, he was surprised (and immediately suspicious) to realize that the manor was quiet. Nothing was ever quiet with the Jims around, and a sudden silence usually meant they were up to something. A fact that had Dark sighing and rubbing at his eyes as he moved to the stairs, loathe to track down the Jims but equally loathe to clean up their Goddamn mess if they managed to go through with their scheme.

Dark dropped his hand from his eyes when he reached the stairs, and promptly halted, blinking slowly. One of the Jims - CJ, it looked like, going by the camera a few feet away - was draped over the stairway railing, on his stomach with his arms and legs to either side and snoring lightly. He was...asleep. Huh.

Descending the stairs, Dark ran a strand of his aura through the sleeping CJ's hair, and CJ's snoring paused. He sighed in his sleep, shifting like he was going to roll over, and he would have had a rather rude awakening with an impact to the floor had Dark's aura not caught him, lifting him back up. Dark smiled, and CJ's snoring resumed, his mouth open and now floating on his back in the hold of Dark's aura.

Shaking his head fondly, Dark stepped into the living area in the search of RJ. His fond smile widened, even as he smacked a palm to his forehead. RJ - of course - was somehow perched lying on top of the blades of the ceiling fan. He looked a bit like a cat, curled around the center and sleeping soundly. Dark had half a mind to turn on the fan just to see what would happen, but he didn't. Instead, he scooped RJ up with his aura and carried the twins to their room, setting the gently on their beds and all but tucking them in. With a snap of his fingers, CJ's camera and RJ's microphone appeared on the floor between the two beds. 

Dark hesitated at the door, glancing back at the twins. He smiled. A pair of peaceful Jims was nice every once in a while. But that being said, no matter how much it could piss him off, he wouldn't trade their chaos for anything. So, with that thought in mind, Dark ran his aura through their hair one last time before closing the door and leaving them to their rest.

Chapter Text

"Okay, Ray, all you have to do is punch the tree."

"Hey hey hey, I've seen enough YouTube to know how to start a game. I wanna build a dirt house in the side of a mountain."

"I mean...okay, so let's make a bunch of pickaxes and we can go carve out a mountain."

"Neat! Hey look, it's a pig! Why is its face so oddly cute?"

"I don't know, but oh my God it's a dog, hold on, I need to go find some skeletons!"

"Hey - wait! Eric, don't leave me here! I am a round boy in a square world!"

"Ray, you're square, too!"

"Not in my soul I'm not!"

A snort. "Come on, here's a cave! Take this sword, I'm gonna hunt some skeletons!"

"What do you want me to do?!"

"I don't know, find some resources! After we get dogs we can carve out your mountain."

"Okay, okay, hey I've got stone stuff now! I can get iron now right? There's a whole bunch right he - AH HOLYFUCKIT'SACREEPERERICSAVEMEPLEA -"

"...Reynolds? Ar-are you okay?"

Silence.

A stifled giggle. "Reynolds?"

"...I hate this game. Where the fuck is my shit."

Chapter Text

It was storming outside.

The manor was quite. The storm had lulled everyone (except Dark, who was terrified of storms) into a unique state of relaxation and calm. Not even the Jims were running around in their chaotic glory, resigned to their room to edit and organize film. The only sounds were the booming thunder and the pounding rain.

Two egos were taking advantage of the sudden peace. Dr. Iplier and the Host lay curled up together on the couch, a big, fluffy grey blanket covering them both. Dr. Iplier had one arm thrown around the Host's shoulders. Peggy was curled up herself in the Host's lap, purring softly in her sleep. A large mug of peppermint tea was cradled in the Host's hands, a permanent soft smile of his face as he sipped at it and snuggled into Dr. Iplier's side. Old episodes of Doctor Who played softly over the TV, quiet enough that the Host could still easily tune it out in order to listen to the sounds of the storm and Dr. Iplier could enjoy his favorite TV show. 

The Host went to take another sip of his tea, but pouted adorably when he realized his mug was empty, making a small disappointed noise. Dr. Iplier chuckled, the pair pressed so close together that the Host could feel the vibrations, and he gently took the Host's mug from him, setting it down on the nearest end table. The Host sighed, resting his head on Dr. Iplier's shoulder, and in an almost instinctive response Dr. Iplier rested his cheek atop the Host's head. The Host couldn't help but blush light pink, but for once Dr. Iplier didn't tease him about it, just shifted a bit and pulled the Host closer. The Host rested a gentle hand on Peggy's back, enjoying the sound and sensation of her vibrating purrs massaging his fingertips. The lull of the storm was making him drowsy, but he didn't fight it. Why should he? He was safe, wrapped in a blanket in the arms of the one person he loved more than anything, spending a quiet moment together saturated with unspoken love and affection. It didn't need to be.

So, with Dr. Iplier's warm body pressed up against him, his breath tickling his hair, the Host drifted off into a peaceful dream, filled with summer storms and Dr. Iplier and a forest made of words.

Chapter Text

Red fumed as he stormed to the kitchen, expression screwed up in a snarl. Not too long ago, the manor had shook with Bim screaming that something was crawling around in the kitchen cabinets, followed by Dark's answering shout for Google. Problem was, Bing and Google were out picking up parts. So the extensions had played rock-paper-scissors to decided who had to deal with it. And Red had lost.

With a pissed-off sigh, Red threw open the cabinets, scanning their contents before moving onto the next, searching for whatever creature Bim had lost his shit about. Rolling his eyes, he opened the cabinet containing the ten (at least) different cereal boxes the egos owned. His eyes flashed red when his sensors picked up movement in Silver's Captain Crunch. He narrowed his eyes, and snatched up the box, jumping with surprise when a trail of cereal followed. He inspected the box. A sizable hole had been chewed into the narrower side of it, near the bottom. Red could hear rustling inside.

So, without any hesitation, Red stuck his hand inside and grabbed it.

It was...surprisingly soft, and it made a distressed squeaking sound when he wrapped his fingers around it. Slowly, he pulled it out of the box. His eyes widened. It was...a mouse. A little grey one. A quick scan and search later told him it was a forest mouse. It must've wandered in from the woods behind the manor (probably hitching a ride on King). It was still squealing with distress, scrabbling at his fingers, and Red relaxed his grip just a bit, keeping it tight enough so the little creature couldn't slip away. The mouse calmed down, now staring up at him curiously with a twitching nose. Red felt his cheeks heat up, the LEDs under his skin lighting up red. 

God it was so cute.

Clearing his throat, he set the box on the counter, and shifted his grip on the mouse so he could rub its little head with a finger. The mouse closed its eyes leaning into his touch and curling its tail around the base of his pinky. Red's blush deepened. He was keeping it. Yeah, he was absolutely going to keep it. He could hide it in his desk upstairs. He doubted the little thing could chew through metal, and he could completely redesign one of the drawers for it. It wouldn't be too hard, nor take too long. It'd be fine.

Another quick search later, Red was grabbing a handful of blueberries from the fridge and heading back up to the office. He relaxed his grip on the mouse a little more, allowing it to simply rest in his palm. It didn't seem to have any intention of escaping him, which was nice. The little mouse seemed to...like him. Which was equally nice. 

He was just about to tap open the office door when the sound of another door opening reached his ears, and he spun around, quickly hiding the mouse and the blueberries behind his back. Dark was poking his head out of his own office, thin tendrils of his aura reaching towards the ceiling and towards Red as he gave him an exhausted look. Red didn't miss the way he was leaning on his cane. "Is everything taken care of? I'd rather not have another screaming fest."

Red nodded rapidly. "Yep, everything's taken care of. It was just a mouse. Probably gonna have to replace all the cereal though."

Dark groaned, dragging a hand down his face before sliding it back up to cover his eyes. "I'll just...get Wil to do that before he comes home. Yeah. Thanks Red." And with that, he disappeared back into his office.

Red breathed a sigh of relief, though he kept his hands behind him, and he tapped open the door with his foot. Green and Oliver both raised their heads when he entered, Green raising an eyebrow when Red hurried to his desk and determinedly kept his hands hidden. He set the mouse and blueberries on his desk, positioning himself and the stuff scattered across his desk to keep them from view as he pulled open the top drawer on his left and began pulling everything out of it. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Green lean forward, trying to see past Red. "...What are you hiding?"

"Nothing. Shut up, Green." Everything out of the drawer, he gently set the mouse inside, then the blueberries, and watched with a stupid smile as it grabbed one with its front paws and began to nibble at it.

"Aw, don't be like that, Red! I'm just wondering~"

"Green, if you don't shut the fuck up I may actually punch you in your stupid face."

His smile became more smug when Green sat back and crossed his arms, pouting. Suddenly, there was a gasp by his ear, and he jumped, resisting ever urge not to slam the drawer and harm the little mouse inside. "Whoa! It's adorable!"

"Gah! Oliver! When did you get there, go away! And don't tell Green!"

"Oh, now you're just being a dick."

"Shut up, Green!"

"Whoa whoa whoa, what's going on in here?!"

All three extensions' heads whipped to the door, going silent at the sight of Bing and Google standing in the doorway. Both of them carried several bags of parts, and Bing dumped his desk before heading towards Red and Oliver, one eyebrow raised. "What are you two looking at?"

"Nothing! It's nothing." Red slowly closed the drawer as Bing approached.

Bing's eyebrow arched further, and Red blushed under his gaze. "...Let me see?"

"No!" Red covered the drawer's handle with his hands, preventing Bing from opening it. "It doesn't matter! Go away!"

Bing was silent for a moment, glancing over his shoulder to swap a glance with Google. When he came back, he was smiling deviously. "Ollie..."

Oliver promptly blushed bright yellow, rivaling the sun itself. "Um...uh...Redhasamouse!"

Red whipped around and hissed at him, swatting at him with both hands. Oliver yelped and raced away to hide behind Green, who had pushed his stool away from his desk in order to get a better look. "You have a what?"

Red sighed, opening the drawer slowly. "A...a mouse."

Within second Google was on the other side of Bing, gazing in to the drawer. The little mouse was nibbling on another blueberry, purple juice covering its little white underbelly, and it glanced up when light hit it. Red couldn't help but smile as he gazed at the little creature, propping his cheek up on his fist.

He nearly fell off his stool when Google suddenly grabbed it, forcing it to drop its blueberry with a surprised squeal. "Wait no! What are you doing?!"

Google raised an eyebrow. "This is a wild creature, Red. You can't keep it from nature, let alone keep it in a drawer. I'm going to give it to King."

Red will forever deny he teared up as he watched the mouse squirm in Google's hand. "But...but it liked me..."

Another exchange of looks between Bing and Google, and then Bing was placing a hand on his shoulder. "Sorry dude, but Googs is right on this one. It belongs out in the woods. But," he added, glancing again at Google. "I saw the way you were looking at those mice in the pet shop a while back. If you really want one...maybe we can get you a couple. After we get all that stuff ready. Impulse buying a pet doesn't end well. I love Peggy to death, but that first day after grabbing her on the streets was a nightmare."

Almost instantly, Red's entire mood changed, and he bolted to his feet in order to pull Bing into a tight hug. "Thank you thank you thank you -" He interrupted himself by pulling Bing into a kiss, and Bing chuckled against his lips. Although, Red could hear Green scoff and roll his eyes, and he flipped him off behind Bing's back.

He was going to get started on the preparation right away.

Chapter Text

"Green! Come here, I think you'd really like this!"

Bing bounced in place, grinning widely as Green made his way over. Bing had dragged all four Googles out to the mall with the intention of spoiling the shit out of them. Nothing big, that wasn't really their thing, but just little things. Whatever they wanted.

Bing took the t-shirt off the rack, displaying it for Green, and Green snorted, smiling brightly. It was a simple black t-shirt with green lettering, spelling out in different fonts 'I speak 3 languages: sarcasm, profanity, & sexual innuendo'. Green took the t-shirt from Bing, then caught his gaze. "I do like this." His smile fell a little. "It wouldn't be too much trouble, would it? You know we would be perfectly alright with paying for ourse -"

Bing cut him off by pressing a finger to Green's lips. Green blinked in surprised, and Bing grinned, dropping his finger in order to peck him on the lips. "Don't you dare. I want to! And I suggested it, man, of course it's not too much trouble! I will buy you anything you want." Green blushed furiously, glancing back down at the t-shirt and running his fingers over the fabric. Bing chuckled, pressing another quick kiss to his cheek.

"Um, Bing? What about this?"

Bing's attention was pulled away from Green by Oliver, and he was quick to sidle up beside him. Oliver was fiddling with a black headband, though the top of the band was completely covered by the several sunflowers that decorated it. Oliver was blushing bright yellow, and Bing smiled, gently taking the headband from him and slotting it on Oliver's head. Bing curled a finger under his chin, tilting his head up and connected their lips in a sweet little kiss. "You look adorable, Ollie," he mumbled, and Oliver blushed further, letting out a tiny squeak.

"Ha! Green, that shirt is really perfect for you!"

"At least I won't look horrendous in my item of choice."

Red jaw dropped with outrage, adjusting the wrap-around sunglasses with big, red, reflective lenses and a black frame he now sported before crossing his arms and pouting. Bing just laughed, glancing around the store as Red and Green bickered. His smile fell into a small frown. "Hey, where's Google?"

The other three glance around as well, then helpfully, collectively shrugged. Bing raised an eyebrow, and texted Google instead, posing the same question.

'Next door' was the response. 

After paying for the extensions stuff, Bing wandered over to the next store. It seemed to be some sort of technology store, and it didn't take long to find Google. He was near the back, drooling over the wall of drones, with his eyes glowing a bit brighter than usual. He jumped when Bing slid an arm around his waist, light blue dusting his cheeks as he glanced at Bing. He was quick to turn back to the wall though, and the glow of his eyes grew even brighter. Bing surveyed the wall himself, and his own eyes widened. "Wow, there is some really cool ones here."

Google nodded dumbly, and a moment later, he flashed a mischievous grin, eyes flashing in time. "I'd be a menace with one."

Bing burst into laughter, burying his face in Google's shoulder, and Google chuckled as well. "Yeah, yeah you would, man. Um...do you really want one?" Google nodded rapidly, practically drooling again. Bing rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, it's a bit out of my budget right now, but...we'll see. In the meantime..." He linked arms with Google, gently tugging him towards the exit. He flashed a wide grin. "Come pick something out! You're going to love what Green chose."

Chapter Text

Dark needed coffee.

It was all he was running on at this point. Wil had gone on a ah...bit of a spree, and the resulting paperwork to clean up the mess and pay of the police so his stupid husband wasn't arrested was taking a bit longer than he anticipated. He'd just been slaving away in his office, not even sleeping in order to get this done as fast as possible. As a result, he'd become an absolute bastard to be around, practically fighting Dr. Iplier for coffee in the morning, which was never pretty. 

Which led to now.

Dark leaned up against the kitchen counter, stirring sugar into his mug (which contained the entire pot of coffee). He ignored the muffled obscenities to his right, taking a prolonged sip of his coffee instead. He was going to finish this, and go back up to his office. Because he loved his husband and didn't want him to be executed for murdering enough people to populate a small town. Unfortunately. 

He raised an eyebrow, mug still lifted to his lips, when someone came around the corner. The Host offered him a small smile before it faded into a worried frown, picking at the skin just beneath his bandages. "Has Darkiplier seen Dr. Iplier? He was up quite a while ago to make breakfast, but the Host doesn't -"

More muffled noises came from Dark's right, and the Host's head snapped in that direction. His mouth fell open. Dr. Iplier continued to squirm and fight the hold of Dark's aura, pinned to the wall by it and clearly pissed, but Dark refused to budge until he'd finished his coffee. Otherwise Dr. Iplier would most likely try to physically fight him, and Dark did not have the patience for that. The Host's brow furrowed in an expression of outrage as he snapped to face Dark again, scowling slightly. "What the Hell?!"

"What's all the commotion in he - Oh bloody Hell!"

Dark didn't say a word as Wil poofed into the kitchen, holding his mug in both hands and still drinking from it. Dr. Iplier kicked out against his aura, and a bit of his foot broke through, but Dark was quick to remedy that. Dr. Iplier swore violently and clearly, even with Dark's aura covering his mouth. The Host took a furious step forward, but Wil stopped him. "Hold on now." He turned to Dark. "Dark. Kindly release Dr. Iplier."

Dark held up a finger. He finished drinking his coffee (downing it all in one slow, drawn-out go), and set his mug on the counter. He raised an eyebrow. "Kindly fuck off."

Wil planted his hands on his hips, raising his own eyebrow. "Dark. You need sleep, not coffee, and certainly not terrorizing your kids."

Dark scrunched up his face, and waved his hand. His mug refilled with fresh coffee, and Dr. Iplier made a high-pitched, furious and indignant noise as Dark turned toward the fridge to grab the creamer. Suddenly he found himself unable to move, and a glance down revealed the glittery pick strands of Wil's aura wrapped around his arms, legs, and waist. He pouted. "Oh Goddammit! Wil! Let go!"

"No!" Wil dragged Dark backwards, and Dark crossed his arms as Wil slowly dragged Dark towards his room. They stalled in the entranceway for the kitchen, Dark's aura firmly attached to the wall and Dr. Iplier, but suddenly the Host's own aura snapped into existence, the blind man entirely unamused and reasonably pissed as he peeled away Dark's aura. Dr. Iplier dropped to the floor with a gasp, and flipped Dark off with both hands and sticking his tongue out at him as Dark was pulled away. They made it to Dark's room without much incident, and Wil threw Dark unceremoniously onto his bed. Dark immediately tried to disappear into the Void, but Wil's aura tightened its grip. "No. Stay and sleep, Dark."

Dark grumbled to himself, rolling over in bed, and Wil's aura retreated. In return, Dark's aura latched onto Wil and dragged him into bed with him, though his back was still stubbornly turned to him. "If I have to be here, you're staying here with me."

Wil let out a little laugh, and just wrapped his arms around Dark's waist. 

Chapter Text

Dr. Iplier hummed to himself as he prepared the chicken he was making for dinner, slicing it up into relatively even strips before setting them aside. He turned to the sink to both wash his hands and clean off the knife in order to chop up some vegetables. However, he jumped, almost slicing his thumb, when Peggy appeared out of nowhere and jumped up onto the counter. Dr. Iplier chuckled, preemptively setting the knife on the counter on the other side of the sink and away from her. Peggy wasn't exactly the most coordinated cat in the universe. She only had three legs after all. And more often than not, she forgot that fact.

Dr. Iplier set about washing his hands as Peggy stepped closer, stretching her neck to sniff at the running water. He raised an eyebrow, already knowing where this was going, but he made no move to prevent it. Peggy lifted her one front paw to bat at the water, and -

And promptly fell face first into the sink. 

She shrieked, scrambling to climb out of the sink but she couldn't find suitable purchase on the smooth sides of the sink nor the counter top. Dr. Iplier burst into laughter, bracing one hand on the counter as he doubled over. Peggy made pitiful, desperate 'mrow' noises in the sink, the scrabble of her claws against marble and ceramic only setting Dr. Iplier off more. Dimly he realized the water was still running, and he gasped out "Oh shit -" before reaching over to turn the faucet off. Peggy made made herself as small as possible at the bottom of the sink, pupils blown into huge circles that nearly covered the vibrant green of her eyes, ears flat against her head, and absolutely soaked. She made another desperate, heartwrenching noise, and Dr. Iplier couldn't help but go "Awww" and scoop her up. Peggy immediately curled into his chest, hiding her face in the crook of his elbow. Dr. Iplier made a pitying noise, stroking a hand down her back. The way she was soaking wet, her fur patterning looked dark enough to match a regular calico's.

Still giggling to himself and petting the poor, distressed cat, Dr. Iplier wandered over to the kitchen entranceway, calling out, "Hey Host?"

"Yeah?" came the distant call from upstairs. His radio studio probably.

"Come get your cat!" Dr. Iplier sat down at the kitchen table, cradling Peggy and still petting her soothingly. The poor thing was beginning to shiver, and Dr. Iplier raised an eyebrow. "This is what you get for being too curious." He gasped, heart panging when Peggy let out a loud waul, sounding absolutely miserable, to the point where Dr. Iplier began to feel bad for her.

It was only after the Host collected her that Dr. Iplier noticed he was covered head to toe in wet cat fur, and he swore violently.

Chapter Text

"Host."

The Host didn't acknowledge that Dr. Iplier had spoken, too busy muttering under his breath as he scribbled visions onto the parchment. His head was being propped up by his thumb and index and middle finger against his forehead, his elbow on his desk. Images filled the old god's head, of people in his city, of King and Bim, and even a few of Bing and Google out in the desert. The library he sat in was lost to him, his mind hundreds of other places at once, documenting everything he saw, he -

He was snapped out of his immersion by jaws clamping carefully around the back of his neck, and he was hauled out of his chair. He let out a surprised cry, arms flailing as Dr. Iplier carried him away from his desk. "Doctor! Put the Host down, he was busy!"

Dr. Iplier huffed, and dropped the Host. The Host stuck his tongue out at him, and turned to head back to his work, but Dr. Iplier let out a low growl. "Oh no you don't." He grabbed the back of the Host's toga between his teeth and dragged him backwards. The Host stumbled and fell with another surprised noise, and Dr. Iplier took the opportunity to pin him there with his two front paws on the Host's knees. He felt Dr. Iplier shuffle around behind him, his breath shifting from ruffling the Host's hair to tickling the back of the Host's neck as he lied down. "You're staying put. You need a bath, Host, and since you seemed so determined to ignore me, am going to give you one."

The Host's expression quickly morphed into one of disgust. "What?! No, let the Host up!" He tried to stand, but Dr. Iplier's claws suddenly appeared, digging gently into his legs a little.

"Don't you dare start, I am going to teach you a lesson. You are covered in blood, Host, someone needs to clean you up, and clearly you're not going to do it." He nosed the knot of the Host's bandages, tugging on it lightly with his teeth. "Take this off. The toga too. I'll let you up to do that if you promise you aren't going to run."

The Host crossed his arms, scowling. "Fine."

The Host removed his bandages, tossing the soaked cloth away, and Dr. Iplier let him stand in order to pull off the toga. Once it was off, he immediately tried to sprint away, but Dr. Iplier seemed to see this coming, because before the Host could even move Dr. Iplier was hooking a paw around the Host's waist and pulling him back down, pinning him against the great sphynx's chest. The Host swore violently, and Dr. Iplier chuckled. "I know you, Host, you can't get out of this. Now sit still."

The Host shifted into a cross-legged position, arms crossed too and definitely pouting as Dr. Iplier licked his cheek, cleaning away the blood. He kept one paw wrapped around the Host's front, the other resting on his knee. His grip was loose, but every time the Host shifted his claws would appear and force him to stay still, deepening his pout. Dr. Iplier was thorough in his cleaning, making the Host's hair stand up in strange ways as he licked his face. He was carefully to avoid his empty sockets though, and the Host couldn't help but squirm with discomfort whenever his rough tongue got a little too close.

"You know," Dr. Iplier mumbled between licks, now working on the Host's torso. "I wouldn't have to do this if you took care of yourself. Is it really so hard to remember to take a bath?"

The Host scrunched up his face. "The Host's physically needs work differently than that of a mortal's."

"That is a piss poor excuse and you know it." Dr. Iplier pulled back, and withdrew his paw from the Host's waist in order to place it on the Host's shoulder, pushing him down so his back was exposed. He licked a long stripe up the Host's spine. "Maybe now you've learned your lesson. But if not, I will not hesitate to do this again." He licked the Host's back a couple more times before letting the Host go, standing himself and stretching languidly, wings fluttering. The Host pulled another disgusted face at the feeling of saliva coating his skin, and Dr. Iplier laughed, licking his cheek again affectionately before the Host could pull away. "Now go take a real bath. Stubborn bastard."

Chapter Text

Chase slowly pushed open the door to Marvin's room, carrying a plate that held a bowl of soup and some medicine. "Marv...?" When he got no response, he shouldered open the door some more, stepping inside. Marvin was nowhere in sight, his bed messy and empty, and Chase seized with panic. "Marvin?!"

One of the lumps Chase thought was bunched up blankets shifted, and then the white head of cat was peeking out of the folds. It's inner ears were green, and the pattern of card suites that adorned Marvin's mask were patterned into the fur of its forehead. Marvin made a pitiful mewling noise, curling back into the blankets, and Chase sighed with relief. He sat down on the edge of the bed, setting the plate on Marvin's nightstand. He peeled back the blankets. Marvin was curled into a tight ball, and when Chase placed a gentle hand on his side, he seemed to be radiating heat. "Marv, you've got a fever. And you can't take medicine or anything as a cat. Come on."

Marvin's response was to curl into a tighter ball, making another tiny, pitiful noise. Chase sighed. "Scheep gave me explicit instructions to take care of you, and he's going to kill both of us if you don't take your meds." He pet Marvin slowly, and Marvin began purring weakly. Chase smiled. "If you turn back into a human for two minutes to take your meds and eat something, I promise I'll allow the cat thing for the rest of the day. Alright?" Marvin lifted his head, and licked Chase's thumb, in what he assumed was agreement.

Later, Jackie would come home to find Chase sprawled on the couch, his hat on the floor and fast asleep, Marvin curled on his chest. 

Chapter Text

"Chase! Chase Chase Chase, there's a Charizard behind the manor!"

"What?! Where?! Lead the way!"

"Betcha I can catch it first!"

"Not if I have anything to say about it!"

"Ha! Got it!"

"Doesn't matter, Bing! I have it too, plus like three more."

"You're just showing off now, and don't blame me for not playing Pokémon Go before this, I didn't even know if it'd work with my systems!"

"Whatever. Race to see who can get a Gyarados first?"

"You're on!"

Chapter Text

They were in the middle of a meeting. Eric didn't even remember what for. Dark was lecturing them over the frequency of murders caused by them, and was quickly pulled into an argument with Wilford about it. Eric wasn't really paying attention. Not for lack of trying, he was trying to listen, he was too afraid of possible consequences if Dark or one of the others discovered he was spacing out, but it was hard to concentrate when he felt so dizzy he was afraid he'd vomit and trying desperately to muffle his hyperventilation. 

It was a panic attack. A quieter one. Some small, self-aware part of his brain knew that, but the rest of him was swamped with emotions and sensations. The room was spinning rapid circles around him, his breathing was getting shallow and quick, he felt cold all over, which only shot his mind into the past, to cold nights on the streets with snow and wind and barely any shelter and he was so afraid he was going to die out there and -

His forehead thunked to the table, his hands fisting tight in his hair as he squeezed his eyes shut in a vain attempt to stop the spinning. All he got was a feeling like he was in the ocean, the ghost of waves crashing over him and tossing him around, and Eric actually gagged as the urge to vomit rose in him. Distantly, he was aware the argument had stopped, that the voices had quieted, but he was so lost in his own head with horrible memories and physical sensations that separated him from his current reality that he didn't really notice. 

Someone placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, and Eric flinched so violently he scooted away from the table, curling into a tight ball on his chair. A distorted noise that might've been his name reached his ears, but Eric just shook his head. And immediately regretted it when the action caused his head to spin so wildly he finally threw up onto the meeting room floor. Noise exploded around him, and Eric let out a sound that might've been a sob, or a scream, or both. His name sounded again, but still Eric didn't respond, trembling violently in his chair. Acid burned his throat, and he threw up again, definitely sobbing now yet still unable to pull himself from the Hell his own mind was putting him through.

And then there was...a hand on his forehead, and soft, soothing words were being whispered to him. His breathing calmed a little, and his head stopped spinning enough that he could trust himself with opening his eyes. The Host smiled softly at him, mumbling a few more words before his hand shifted to Eric's cheek. "Is Eric alright?"

Tentatively, Eric shook his head, eyes rolling back in his head when the room spun again. The Host frowned a little, and opened his mouth, but his head quickly whipped to the side when another voice appeared. "Move - Get out of my fucking way, Bim - Eric! Come here, kid, let's get you to my office." Dr. Iplier barreled into the scene, lifting Eric up into his arms with a little effort and walking out of the meeting room, the Host trailing along behind him with his hands jammed in his pockets. 

Eric swallowed thickly, loosely fisting a bit of Dr. Iplier's coat in his hands. "D...Doct -" He swallowed again, voice trembling and small. "I-I'm scared."

Dr. Iplier glanced down at him, halting his steps briefly to kiss his forehead. "I know, Eric. But you'll be alright. It will pass. You'll be okay."

Chapter Text

They didn't get a lot of warning. The storm hit with a sudden crash of thunder, and two minutes later the lights were flickering and going out completely, plunging them all into darkness. The majority of them had already been in the living area watching a movie, and those who weren't quickly gathered there (excluding Dark, who immediately vanished to his room with Wilford the second the storm hit, hysteria written in every panicked line of his face).

Thunder crashed again, and both Jims yelped, huddling close together and scrambling to make their usual protection against a power outage in the form of a massive pillow and blanket fort that took up most of the living area floor. At the same time, Dr. Iplier jumped and squeaked, pressing himself more firmly against the Host's side on one of the loveseats. The Host raised an eyebrow, seemingly annoyed. "Will someone please tell the Host what's going on?! His Sight -" He ground the heel of a hand against his forehead. "His Sight doesn't seem to be working."

"It's not you." Google crossed his arms, his logo and eyes' glow purposefully dimmed to nearly non-existence to simply be a little shit. "Power's out. Dark as Hell in here."

"Yeah and I hope it gets fixed soon!" Silver shrunk into the fort with the Jims, huddling with them as lightning lit up the room, quickly followed by another boom of thunder. His voice was much more of a squeak afterwards. "I hate this."

"Um, g-g-guys?" Attention turned to the entranceway. Eric was standing there, tears in his eyes and trembling slightly, hugging himself tightly. "I-I-I um, I-I was in my room, a-and the power - I went to get Reynolds, but he's asleep, a-a-and I couldn't find anyone else and -"

He let out a choked sob, and both Google and Bing increased the glow of their logos and eyes to slightly brighter than normal. A little tension visibly fled Eric's body, while Ed swore, covering his eyes with his hat. "Jesus Christ, you two, that's a little bright, dontcha think?"

"NO!" came the chorused reply (minus the Host of course).

Bing's eyes suddenly flashed, and he split in a too-wide grin. "Hold on, I gotta find Bim! King, you're coming with so he doesn't dismantle me!"

"What are you gonna do?" King poked his head out of the twins' fort, squinting due to the force of the androids' glow. Bing leaned down, whispering in his ear, and King's face lit up. "Oh my God, he's going to be so pissed. Let's go get him!" And the two sprinted off.

Google shifted to allow Eric room to sit next to him on the other loveseat. Not soon after, loud swearing and frantic shouts came from down the hall, quickly identified as Bim. "BING LET ME FUCKING GO! I AM NOT DOING THIS SHIT AGAIN, GET OFF YOU METAL PRICK!"

"It's for the greater good, man! Accept your fate!"

The pair rounded the corner, King trailing behind them and smothering his laughter with his cape. Bing had Bim's arms pinned to his sides, more or less marching him in front of him while Bim squirmed and shouted. Ed didn't even attempt to hide his laughter as Bing spun Bim around and pushed him to the floor, forcing him to sit in front of Google. Bim immediately tried to get back up, but Bing's grip tightened. "Stay. Or I'll get the Jims to make you stay." Bim stuck his tongue out at him, crossing both his arms and legs and pouting majorly.

Google chuckled, leaning forward just so so the glitter in Bim's hair caught the light of his logo. Immediately the room lit up, Bim's hair acting more or less like a disco ball, and Bim's pout deepened into a scowl. Dr. Iplier cracked up, falling to his side so his head ended up in the Host's lap, and even Eric began to giggle, calming from his initial freak out. King slipped back into the Jims' fort, while Bing stood to the side, looking incredibly proud of himself. "Right! Now that we've got the right atmosphere, the Host should tell a story! To help pass the time."

The Host raised an eyebrow, leaning forward with a small smirk. "Alright. What kind of story?"

"Something stupid please," Silver asked, voice muffled by layers of bedding material.

"Make it a love story too," Dr. Iplier added, mumbled into the Host's stomach.

The Host chuckled, leaned back again, and began to speak.

And hours later, when the power finally did come back on, the whole group was laughing and enjoying themselves.

Chapter Text

Dr. Iplier stepped into the manor with shuffling movements, eyes glazed with tears drying on his face. A patient had died. A car crash victim. He'd tried his best, he'd done everything he could, but in the end she'd succumbed to her injuries. To make matters worse, when her family had been informed, her mother had screamed at him, hysterical and blaming him for her death, just an endless barrage of why didn't he do more, why didn't he save her, it's all his fault it's all his fault -

"Doctor?" 

He lifted his head, fresh tears flowing down his face. He hadn't left the doorway. The Host was staring at him, nothing but concern in his expression, though Dr. Iplier could barely see him through his tears. The Host took a small step forward. "The Host heard Dr. Iplier come in, but nothing more. Is...is everything alright?"

Dr. Iplier opened his mouth, swallowed thickly, and choked out a broken "No!" before completely breaking down.

Seconds later the Host's warm arms were pulling him into a tight hug, and Dr. Iplier latched onto him, fisting his coat in his hand as he sobbed into the Host's shoulder. The Host entangled one hand in the hair on the back of Dr. Iplier's head, holding him as close as possible. Dr. Iplier heard him mutter something, and suddenly they were in bed, and the Host was curling around him, pulling him even closer. "...Would Dr. Iplier like to talk about it?"

"I tried, Host!" Dr. Iplier's words were strained an high, and he hid his face in the Host's chest. "I try so hard, but sometimes it's not enough, and they still die, and I can't - I can't help but feel it's all my fault, I didn't do enough, and they'd all still be alive if I just tried harder!

"Dr. Iplier knows that's not true." The Host pressed a kiss to his hair. "Sometimes...Death just refuses to let go, no matter how stubborn Dr. Iplier can be." Dr. Iplier snorted out a laugh through his sobs, and the Host chuckled. "Sometimes trying is all he can do."

"Yeah but -" Dr. Iplier sniffed, attempting to hold back his sobs. "Sometimes I think all I do is fail."

The Host snorted. "Now Dr. Iplier knows that isn't true either." He pulled back a little, tilting Dr. Iplier's head up to face him. The Host smiled, pressing a soft kiss to his forehead. "The Host wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for Dr. Iplier. The Host is well-aware of what it does to the mind when one only focuses on the negative. Let the Host be a reminder of the positive."

A fresh wave of tears blurred Dr. Iplier's vision, and he buried his face in the Host's chest again, hugging him as tight as he could. "I love you," he mumbled. "I love you so much. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."

The Host kissed his hair again before resting his chin atop his head. "The Host shares Dr. Iplier's sentiment. And he loves Dr. Iplier too. With everything he has."

Chapter Text

"Just...set him on the bed, Google."

Google wordlessly moved toward the bed, setting the unconscious Host down on it before backing away. "Is there anything else you need?"

Dr. Iplier shook his head, already rummaging through his cupboards for the Host's clotting agent and some cotton balls. "No. You should probably head back downstairs, help Dark do damage control. That was ah...i-it certainly shook up the younger ones. I think that's the first time either of them have seen him have a vision." He whirled around, syringe in hand with a container of cotton balls in the other, a bottle of disinfectant and a roll of bandages precariously balanced on top of it. Google nodded once, and he left.

Dr. Iplier sighed, carefully injecting the clotting agent into the Host's neck before grabbing the bucket he stored under the bed and rolled him over to drain his sockets of blood, picking at the knot in his bandages. He wasn't expecting the Host to gasp and sob, trembling violently as blood dripped from his face. Dr. Iplier peeled away his bandages, placing a hand on the Host's back. "You okay, my dear?"

The Host flinched the second he opened his mouth, one hand flailing out to grip Dr. Iplier's coat. "No! Don't talk!"

Dr. Iplier raised an eyebrow, concern spiking through him. "...Host? What -"

"Shut up!"

The Host let go of his coat, instead pressing his hands over his ears and hyperventilating, blood still dripping from his exposed sockets. Dr. Iplier - hesitantly - let him be, focusing on cleaning him up again, rolling him back over and dabbing at his face with the cotton balls. He was just tying the new bandages around his head when the Host hesitantly lowered his hands, swallowing thickly. Dr. Iplier offered a small smile. "Feeling better?"

The Host slowly nodded. "The Host - apologizes. He was...overwhelmed."

Dr. Iplier took his hands, kissing his forehead. "It's alright, my dear," he mumbled. "I haven't seen you have a vision that bad in a while."

The Host expression shifted into something unreadable. "Visions," he corrected, adding extra emphasis on the 's'.

Dr. Iplier paled. "What - plural? You had more than one?"

The Host nodded. "The Host...doesn't remember most of them. But he believes it was around five, all blended together. It was...not the most ideal experience."

Dr. Iplier snorted. "I imagine that is a bit of an understatement going by the 'display' I just witnessed." The Host laughed hoarsely, and Dr. Iplier kissed his forehead again. "Get some sleep, Host. Recover." He ran a hand through the Host's hair. "I'll be here when you wake up."

The Host nodded, and drifted off again in seconds.

Chapter Text

The Host sat on the steps of his library, face tilted up to the sun. Dr. Iplier's head rested in his lap, snoring loudly as the Host stroked his mane. He loved these days. He loved sitting out on the sun, he loved listening and talking to the people of his city, he loved it. He'd never admit it to Dr. Iplier, his guardian would never let him hear the end of it, but...he missed this, in those years he locked himself away. And he was more than ready to get back into the routine.

"Host!"

The Host dropped his head back to the face the street, raising an eyebrow and smiling a little. A little boy was racing toward him, scaling the stairs on all fours and sitting down next to him. The Host's smile widened. "And how is Jeremy doing?"

His could feel the boy radiating joy. "Good! That little candy you gave me worked! My mom's a lot better now, though she still looks kind of sick. I've never seen my dad so happy."

The Host chuckled, ruffling Jeremy's hair, and Jeremy giggled. "That's good to hear." Dr. Iplier huffed in his sleep, shifting a little, and Jeremy audibly gasped, going stiff at the Host's side. The Host raised an eyebrow, laughing a bit more. "Would Jeremy like to pet Dr. Iplier now?"

"Yes."

Still chuckling to himself, the Host took one of Jeremy's hands, guiding it to Dr. Iplier's mane. Jeremy gasped again, quickly sinking both hands into the sphynx's fur. "He's so soft!"

"Yes he is." An idea sprung to the Host's mind, and he grinned. "Scratch him behind the ears. That's what he really likes."

"Okay." Jeremy did as he was told, and a contented noise that was half-hum, half-snore escaped Dr. Iplier, stretching in his sleep and flexing his wings. Jeremy giggled, attacking the spot behind Dr. Iplier's ear with both hands now, and Dr. Iplier smiled and hummed, subconsciously leaning into his touch.

So much so he rolled over and promptly fell down the stairs.

The Host burst into laughter as Dr. Iplier made a startled noise, landing in a heap at the base of the stairs, and very awake now. "Ow!" The Host just dissolved into a fit of high-pitched giggles,covering his face with one hand. Dr. Iplier huffed, sitting back and licking one paw before rubbing it along the side of his face. "Fuck you!"

The Host gasped, covering Jeremy's ears and choking a little on his laughter. "Doctor!" Dr. Iplier just huffed again, and continued washing his face.

Jeremy made a distressed noise, racing down the steps. He fidgeted hesitantly in front of Dr. Iplier. "I-I-I'm sorry! I-I didn't mean to make you fall!"

Dr. Iplier paused in his washing, leaning his head down to sniff at Jeremy's face. He licked his cheek. "I don't blame you, kid." He shot a glare at the Host so powerful and scathing the Host could feel it, and the old god just burst into more giggles and laughter. "I do blame him."

He spread his wings, leaping the length of the stairs in a single bound, and pinned the Host to the stairs with a paw on his shoulder, growling softly in his face. The Host pouted, pressing a kiss to Dr. Iplier's nose, and only laughed harder when Dr. Iplier reared back and sneezed. The sphynx's eyes narrowed. "That's it, come on."

He clamped his jaws around the Host's wrist, his massive canine's digging lightly into his skin, and dragged the Host back unceremoniously into the library, only letting go of the Host briefly in order to pull the door closed.

All in all, the Host thought it was a pretty good day. 

Chapter Text

The Googles were infected. 

All four had gotten some sort of virus, just out of the blue. Google had collapsed in the middle of breakfast one morning, eyes rolling back in his head and his core stuttering. It had taken but Bing and Wilford to drag him up the office. Bing had been expecting it, but it still was a shock to see the three extensions crumpled to the ground in various positions. Something green was leaking from Green's mouth and nose, and Bing winced. "Can you...magic some mattresses or something for them?"

Wilford nodded, and seconds later the four Googles were laid out on mattresses on the office floor. Bing immediately darted to Google's side, kneeling on the ground and pressing a hand to his forehead. Google was overheating, his skin burning, probably hot enough to burn a human. Bing winced again, and darted to his desk to the the shears so he could open Google up and see if he could get his fans working again. He didn't even notice Wilford was still there until he spoke. "Do you need anything else?"

Bing shook his head. "No, I should be good. Once I get their fans working again I can focus on removing the virus, but currently they are very much in danger of overheating." He shot Wilford a tight-lipped smile, casting his shades away. "You should go back downstairs. The way Dark was looking, I think he suspects Anti. Might want to stop him from picking a fight." 

And Wilford was gone.

Bing's own core hummed high with distress as he peeled off Google's shirt and sheared through his skin, opening up his chest cavity. Google's core stuttered and pulsed, giving off an electrical hum that had Bing fearing it was going to shatter like a light bulb. He touched it, just to check it, and ended up jerking back with a yelp. Google was burning up. If Bing didn't get his fans working again soon, he was going to melt down, and that was the opposite of good. 

He set about poking around, installing multiple protection softwares into his system before carefully plugging himself into Google's core, poking around in his programming. He sighed in relief when Google's fans whirred to life, and a moment later Google's eyes were fluttering open. "Bing..." His voice was higher than usual, with a mild autotuned lilt to it. "I'm̜̒m̗̕m̺͆m͖͝m͙̈ warm..."

Bing pressed his hand to Google's forehead again. "I know, I know, Googs.Let me take care of the others and I'll get back to you."

Google's eyes slipped shut again, leaning into Bing's touch. "I̹̔I̮͂Į̿Í̪I̜ love you. You're s̳̀s͙͡s̤̕s̘͋s̜̅o nice..."

Bing's eyes flashed, and he smiled. "I love you, too, Googs. You'll be okay, the virus doesn't look too invasive. It won't take long to remove."

Google nodded idly, slipping back into sleep mode. Bing brushed Google's hair from his forehead, and raced off to Green. There was still something leaking from nose, and Bing swore internally.

The Googles would be alright, if it was the last thing Bing did.

Chapter Text

"Guys, I really don't think this is a good idea..."

"Oh come on, Damien! It'll be fine! Here -"

Marc's tongue poked out between his teeth as he pulled the old Ouija board out of it's flimsy cardboard box, planchette falling out into his hand. He set the board on the ground, shuffling into a kneeling position. "Come on, you guys! Sit down, this'll be fun, I promise!"

Celine dropped to her knees first, making a face at the feel of the cold stone of the wine cellar. Damien still fidgeted in place, glancing behind himself a couple times. Celine rolled her eyes and grabbed his wrist, pulling him down and he let out a sharp cry. She smiled at Marc, brimming with anticipation. "So what do we do?"

Marc shrugged. "I think we just touch this thing." He placed the planchette on the board, keeping the tips of both index and middle fingers on it.

Celine shrugged and followed his lead. Damien just wrung his hands, but eventually did the same. "I'd feel better if Wil was here too..."

Marc raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, too bad he's sick. Mom wants to keep him in his room so he doesn't get you guys sick too." He grinned. "We'll just have to tell him all about it later. Now..." He suddenly went serious, expression going slack. Damien swallowed nervously, and even Celine looked a little anxious. Marc glanced at them, then back at the board. "Hello? Are there any spirits in here?"

There was a moment of nothing, and then the planchette began to move.

`YES`

Damien made a strangled noise, eyes blowing wide and going completely stiff, and Celine shushed him. Marc swallowed. "Uh...wh-what's your name?"

`I-H-A-V-E-N-O-N-A-M-E`

Damien shook his head, moving to take his hands off the planchette, but Celine shot him a hard glare. "Don't you dare," she hissed.

Marc hushed them both, then cleared his throat. "U-um, are you...gonna hurt us?"

`D-E-P-E-N-D-S`

All three of them paled. Marc's voice was shaky. "O-on what?"

`H-O-W-F-A-S-T-Y-O-U-C-A-N-R-U-N`

Something grabbed Damien's shoulder, and Damien shrieked, leaping away from the board and tumbling over himself until he ended up curled on the floor. Wil cracked up behind them, and Marc burst into hysterical laughter. Celine swore loudly, smacking Mark repeatedly. "You guys suck!"

Damien lifted his head, tears in his eyes. "You guys scared the Hell out of me! I think my soul left my body!" He shot an accusing glare at Wil. "You're not even sick, are you?"

Wil made a pitying noise, wrapping one arm around Damien in a hug. "Nope! I'm sorry, Dames, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up!"

"I have to disagree."

Marc snorted. "That was much more fun than I expected! Come on, I think the cook made cookies earlier!"

Damien pulled a face, leaning into Wil. "You can't bribe my forgiveness with cookies, Marc."

"They're double chocolate~!"

"...Fine."

As the four scrambled out of the cellar, none of them saw the planchette move to `GOODBYE`, black smoke wisping from the glass in a steady stream. The glass cracked, the planchette split completely down the middle, and the smoke dissipated into nothing.

Chapter Text

The Host is a brilliant man, very capable of himself despite a major disability. Sometimes, with his abilities, it was easy to forget he was blind, especially if his bandages were obscured somehow. But he was disabled. And sometimes, he needed a little help with things.

The Host currently stood the shower, in the middle of washing his hair. He scrunched up his nose as water sprayed and dripped steadily into his sockets, but it couldn't be helped. He was used to it, and it was just something he'd learned to deal with. He finished massaging his hair with shampoo, and stepped into the stream of water.

Seconds later, bubbles filled his sockets, and the Host was instantly spun into a world of confusion and disorientation. Liquid he could handle in his sockets, blood was in there so often sometimes he felt weird if there wasn't a small pool gathered at the bottom. But bubbles were a different story, he could feel the faint popping against sensitive flesh, he could hear it too, and the water just swirled it around and expanded it and everything in his brain just screamed that it was wrong, that those feeling didn't belong in that spot. The Host spun a full circle in the shower, beginning to breathe hard as disorientation swamped him.

"Doctor!" His voice was high with stress. "Dr. Iplier!"

He heard the bathroom door open, and a knock on the glass shower door. "Host? What's wrong, do you need help?" The Host nodded frantically, hysteria beginning the creep onto the edges of his mind as the popping and tickling of the bubbles continued to confuse him. The shower door opened a moment later, and Dr. Iplier stepped in. He cupped the Host's cheek, and gently wiped out all the soap from his sockets with a soft wash cloth, the Host gripping onto his arms all the while. When it was all out, the Host sighed with relief, slumping a little as his mind settled back into place with the absence of the foreign, wrong sensation. "There." Dr. Iplier stroked his cheekbone idly with a thumb. "Do you want me to stay and help more?"

The Host nodded shyly. "Please?"

Dr. Iplier kissed his other cheek. "No need to be embarrassed, Host. It happens. Can you sit down for me?"

A few minutes later, the Host was sitting cross-legged on the shower floor, head tilted downwards and smiling softly as Dr. Iplier washed his hair for him, listening to his beloved doctor hum a nameless tune.

Chapter Text

"Come back here, you little - ah!"

King dove, and ended up with a face full of grass and dirt. The baby squirrel he was trying to catch - one of Bubblegum's - chattered at him, having the audacity to come up and sit on his hand. King narrowed his eyes, and made for another grab, but the little squirrel just raced away again, chittering in a way that almost sounded like a laugh. "Fuck - Come on! You're not old enough to be out here yet, come back!"

"Uh, King?"

Both King and the squirrel froze, staring at the back porch. Reynolds was standing there, one eyebrow raised and arms crossed. "What the fresh Hell are you doing?"

The baby squirrel chattered again, and King's attention snapped in its direction, eyes narrowing once more. He shifted into a position similar to that of a runner starting a race. "Trying to catch an escapee." He lunged again, running circles around the yard and practically falling all over himself in an attempt to grab the little squirrel.

He heard Reynolds laugh. "Do you need help?"

"No." King tripped, faceplanting into the dirt again with enough momentum that he rolled forward and landed on his back. "Ow! Maybe..."

Reynolds laughed again, stepping into the yard and positioning himself so the runaway squirrel was between them. King scrambled to his feet as the little squirrel glanced between them, preparing to run again. Reynolds grinned. "Ready? Three...two...one!"

Let's just say, it ended with a lot of forehead clashing and swearing.

Chapter Text

Dark stepped into the library, his steps echoing in the vast space. He weaved through the bookshelves with ease, only stumbling a little on a couple of the branching, spiral paths before coming out in the eye. The Host stopped writing, back to him at his desk, and tilted his head. "Darkiplier. He hasn't visited in quite a while."

Dark sighed, summoning his chair from his office and sitting down on the other side of the Host's desk. The Host's face was painted red with blood, the shadows from his single candle flickering across his face and making him appear like some demon or monster straight out of a horror movie. "I know, I'm sorry. I've just been...busy."

The Host chuckled. "The Host is well-aware." He tapped the end of his quill against his temple, and Dark rolled his eyes. The Host stuck his tongue out at him in response, then set his quill down and rummaged through the loose parchment on his desk. He finally handed a sheet to Dark. "Here. These are some of the Host's latest visions. That's why Darkiplier came down here, yes?"

Dark took the parchment, shifting eyes to the glowing blue and red in order to read in the dark of the library. "Partially, yes. I also came to talk." He skimmed the visions. Most of it was the usual stuff, antics between the other egos, usually ending up with someone getting laughed at or subject to the Jims' revenge (which tended to involve a lot of duct tape). Dark face flushed to near black, however, when he spotted a rather detailed account of an...'interaction' he'd have with Wil apparently tomorrow night. "Um." The Host paused in his writings again, muttered under his breath, and also flushed. "Do...do you have visions of...that...often?"

The Host's blush darkened. "The Host cannot help what he Sees. Some of it he'd rather not See. Unfortunately." He cleared his throat, voice cracking. "He'd appreciate it if Darkiplier wouldn't tell any of the others."

"Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." Dark set the parchment down, but his flush didn't go away, rubbing the back of his neck with awkwardness and embarrassment. "You...wouldn't have happened to have written another novel, have you? I finished the last one you gave me."

The Host raised an eyebrow, and he smiled. "Of course." A few mumbled words later, and he was holding a thick leather-bound book, noticeably cleaner and more blood-free than the books that held his visions. He handed the book to Dark, taking the one Dark pulled from the Void in return and dismissing it to its proper home with a simple phrase. His smile grew a little more knowing. "The Host has a feeling Darkiplier will particularly like this one."

Dark ran a hand over the cover. "What's it about?"

The Host chuckled. "It is a ghost story, Darkiplier's preferred genre of the Host's tales. But it's also a murder mystery, another of Darkiplier's favorites. Plus, there are some characters Darkiplier might find familiar."

Dark squinted suspiciously. "...What do you mean?"

The Host's grin widened in a way he did not like. "Well, there is a character who is the father figure of a rather unruly group, an absolute prick of a man, the Host doesn't know why he even bothered with the mildly redeeming qualities."

Dark's mouth fell open, and he smacked the Host's shoulder, the Host laughing all the while. "You Goddamn bastard." He ran a hand over the cover again, a bit more slowly this time. "...Did you really put me in here?"

The Host nodded. "Yes. Now hush. Darkiplier may remain, but the Host has work to do."

Dark nodded, and cracked open the cover, beginning to read with the glow of his eyes and the dim light of the Host's candle, the sound of the Host's quill on parchment and soft words a pleasant background noise.

Chapter Text

Google waited just inside some random shop for Bing. It was fairly late in the evening, and the two had just out together. Not quite a date, that wasn't really their style, but it had been nice. On the walk back home, they'd come across a locally owned pet shop, and Bing had raced inside to get a gift or something for Peggy, chattering excitedly. Google had just kissed his cheek and let him go.

"Google!" He glanced up. Bing was waving at him from across the store, holding up a box of treats or something. "I'll be done in a sec!"

Google shot him a thumbs up, and continued glancing around the store. It was fairly empty of people, but there were at least three different cats and a bird wandering around, livening the place up significantly. It was cute. He wouldn't be surprised if Bing wanted to come here again. He had a habit of spoiling the living Hell out of Peggy, not that the little cat minded. Still, he wasn't nearly as bad as the Host. 

"Whoa!"

Google glanced to the side, and raised an eyebrow. A young man who couldn't have been older than twenty was staring at him in awe, mouth open and eyes wide. Google consciously kept from shrinking back, his skin crawling. Memories of the last time someone looked at him like that were still fresh in his memory, and he forced his eyes back to Bing, willing him to hurry up in the check out line. "Go away."

The man closed his jaw with an audible clack, standing straighter and adjusting the glasses he wore. "Oh! Sorry, I mean, I've heard a lot about you! I-I'm an engineering student at the community college and we recently had a whole class dedicated to you! 'The Google Android'. It was really cool! I'm mean, they also warned us to stay away if we ever saw you, because they said you're super unstable and prone to homicide, but I just couldn't resist!"

Google scowled, eyes flashing bright enough to be momentarily blinding. "You just should listen to your professors," he growled. "Go. Away."

The young man didn't appear to hear him, grinning brightly and lost in his own ramblings. "Hey! You wouldn't mind coming with me, would you? I would really like to study you, whoever programmed you was clearly a genius and I could learn so much - what's that command? Okay Google!"

The kid talked so fast, Google hardly had time to process what was being jabbered at him before his body was going stiff, his expression slack and waiting for a command. His mind screamed, unpleasant memories and emotions swirling inside him.The young man beamed, bouncing on the balls of his feet. "This is so cool - come on! Follow me, we're going back to my apartment!"

Google took a halting, half-step forward, his body glitching and lagging and resisting every move. He opened his mouth, making a loud, inhuman sound not unlike the Microsoft error noise, and out of the corner of his eye he saw Bing turn his head. Rage quickly overtook his expression. "Hey!"

The young man turned. His eyes shot wide. "Oh my God, you're the Bing android! This is the best day of my li -"

Bing didn't give him a chance to finish, grabbing him by the shirt collar one-handed and dragging him forward so they were practically nose to nose. At some point, Bing had discarded his shades, his eyes blazing like twin, furious suns and no doubt blinding the human. The young man shrunk, cutting himself off with a harsh swallow and a small squeak. Bing narrowed his eyes. "Cancel. The command."

"I-I-I-I don't - how -"

"Cancel it!"

"I-I-I um - Cancel?"

Google immediately slumped with gasp, like his strings had been cut. He pressed the heel of his hand to his forehead, trying to shake the disorientation and trying even harder not cry. Bing dropped the human, slipping his shades back on. His eyes were still very visible. "Run."

The human scrambled backwards, spinning around to run out the door, but he didn't make it out before Google's fist shot out, clocking him in the jaw. The kid cried out and kept running, disappearing into the city. Bing pulled Google into a tight hug, one Google was quick to return. "...Thank you."

Bing squeezed him. "You don't have to thank me, Googs. But just - why do these things happen whenever drag you somewhere?"

One of Google's hands found itself in Bing's hair, cupping the back of his head. "Don't you dare blame yourself." He made a small noise, holding Bing tighter and burying his face in his shoulder. "I want to go home now..."

"Yeah, me too. Let's go home."

Chapter Text

Dr. Iplier stepped out of his office, pulling the door shut slowly and quietly. His eyes were red from crying, tear tracks staining his face. Every other member of the house stood outside his door, and the Host quickly came up to wrap an arm around him, Dr. Iplier gratefully leaning against him. Google was the one that spoke. "How...how is he?"

Dr. Iplier sniffed. "Sleeping. Silver's uh...he-he's um -" He gave a loud sob, and his voice broke. "I-it's really bad guys...mentally he's a mess, a-a-and physically..." He completely broke down, turning into the Host and wrapping his arms around him a tight hug.

Something warm washed over Dr. Iplier, and Dark's ringing - formerly high-pitched and strained - died down to a sluggish, muted whisper. "Come on." Dark's voice was soft. "'Let's give him some space."

The others moved to head down to the first floor, but Dr. Iplier hesitated, squeezing the Host a little. "I shouldn't leave him, not in his condition. I should go back in..."

The warm thing swamped him more, tugging him lightly in Dark's direction and confirming Dr. Iplier's suspicions about it being Dark's aura. "You said he was sleeping. He'll be fine for now. We all need to decompress a little. This -" Dark drew a shuddering breath, his voice sounding on the verge of breaking. "This is a big deal. We need to process."

Dark herded them all down the stairs and into the living area. They all collapsed in various places, Dr. Iplier still clinging the Host desperately and in his lap on the loveseat, practically climbing into his coat with him and sobbing shakily into his shoulder. There was silence for a long moment, and then Bing spoke, his face stained orange. "Where'd the twins go?"

"I think they're in their room." Bim's voice was uncharacteristically quiet. "They're the only ones who actually...who-who actually saw what...what Silver did, besides Dr. Iplier."

Ed looked deathly pale, a hand over his mouth with his other arm around the trembling, sobbing Eric. "I think I may throw up, I barely knew Silver before 'it' happened, and...I-I know I don't really get along with him but...fuck." Reynolds reached over and silently placed a hand on Ed's knee, tears trailing down his face and staring blankly at the floor.

King made a small noise, sitting at Dark and Wilford's feet. He shifted closer to Dark, wrapped up tightly in his cape. "Dad, I'm...I'm really scared."

For once, Dark - nor anyone else - didn't tease about the title slipping out, and Dark sighed. "I know, King, I am too. Come here." King climbed into Dark's lap, quickly enveloped in a tight hug of Dark's arms and aura. Wilford reached for Dark's hand, staring at his own scars with a fine mix of confusion, panic, worry, and a hint of the glazed cloud over his eyes that came with a lucid moment. Dark squeezed his hand back. Grief was swirling in an endless spiral in his head, his twin souls screaming and writhing and panicking and sobbing, but he shoved that down for the moment. He had a fiancé and eleven kids to soothe. King was still trembling in his lap, the Host was beginning to bleed, Dr. Iplier was still sobbing loudly, Eric looked about ready to pass out from hyperventilation, and Ed was looking paler by the second. Making a rapid-fire decision, Dark stood, gently setting King on the couch beside Wilford. "I'm going to go make some hot chocolate. Any one else want some?"

"Is that really appropriate right now," Google asked, glowing blue tears steadily falling into his lap.

"Of course it is," Dark replied, voice gentle. "We'll be no use to Silver if we're grieving, emotional messes. He's going to need support. We're going to need to support each other through this. So does anyone want any?"

Most of them raised their hands, minus the androids, and Dark headed to the kitchen. The day had barely begun, and already the world was falling out from beneath their feet. But it'd be okay, eventually. Dark refused to believe otherwise. He'd already had one family fall apart. He couldn't bear to watch it happen again. This was his family. And they - Silver included - would be alright.

Chapter Text

"Bim! Check this out!"

King sat down on the end of the pier, stretching out one foot to tap Bim on the nose and giggling when he submerged deeper into the water with a pout before boosting himself up to sit beside King. His tail swished idly against the water, creating small waves that just barely scraped King's toes. Bim narrowed his eyes squinting with suspicion and curiosity at King's cupped together hands. "What's that?"

King beamed, staring down at his hands. "Remember when I told you how I sometimes get visitors?" Bim nodded slowly, a spark of excitement lighting up his eyes, and King blushed. "W-well, I have a family of squirrels living on me now. And the babies are finally old enough to leave the nest and explore." He locked eyes with Bim, smiling shyly. "Ever heard of a squirrel?"

Bim shook his head, scooting a bit closer so his tail was flush against King's legs. The dryad could feel every shift in his muscles as it moved. "You know I haven't. Come on, I wanna see!"

King chuckled, and opened his hands. The baby squirrel cupped in his palms lifted her head, twitching her tail, before she raced up his arm to sit on his head, sniffing curiously at the the coral gem flower still tucked behind his ear (at this point his hair had completely grown around it and refused to let go). Bim's eyes widened, his mouth falling open a little with awe and showing off his fangs, and King laughed. He reached up and plucked the squirrel from his head, idly rubbing a thumb behind her hair and making her purr. "I love squirrels. They're my favorite little creatures. Some of the other dryads like to joke and call me the King of the Squirrels. Honestly though, I love the title." He blushed again, holding her out to Bim. "Do you...want to hold her?"

Bim's jaw clacked shut. "Would that be okay, I wouldn't hurt her would I? She can get wet?"

King shrugged. "As long as you don't drop her in the ocean she'll be fine. And she's curious enough to once almost get into a staring contest with that gorgon, um, Google! Of course he ended up being harmless, but still. I doubt you'll be the thing to send her running."

Bim laughed a little, finally holding out his hands. The squirrel sniffed his fingers before hopping onto his hands, seeming to take a special interest in the webbing between his fingers. Bim gently guided her to one palm in order to pet her with his other hand, face flushing the second he did so. "She's so...soft! The only creatures in the ocean are scaly and rough. I've...never felt anything like this." He copied King's motion of rubbing behind her ear, and she purred happily, leaning heavily into his touch.

King smiled. "She seems to really like you. I'd be willing to be you'll be seeing more of her. If her mother allows that is. I'm discovering Vita is one very overprotective squirrel." He laugh when the baby raced up Bim's arm in order to curl up on his shoulder, snuggled against one of the patches of purple scales on his throat that always seemed warmer than the rest of him.

Bim beamed, practically radiating joy, and he pulled King into an excited kiss, and King's face lit up dark green. Bim didn't seem to notice, pulling back just as suddenly and turning his head every so gently in attempt to spot the little squirrel. "Thank you, King," he whispered. "I never thought I'd get to experience anything like this." He sighed, staring at King with an adoring, lovestruck expression. "You're truly perfect."

King's blush darkened, and he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. "Well, I-I don't know about that..." His smile became mischievous and knowing. "I bet you won't be thanking me anymore though when she starts chewing on your hair."

"Wait what?!"

Chapter Text

King and Eric sat on King's bed in his treehouse, six sleeping, baby squirrels before them, all nestled together. Eric shot him a glance, fiddling with the end of his shirt. "Where do we start?"

"Well," King began. He pointed at one of the babies, one that was a blend of red and grey fur. "He is a little bastard. Took Reynolds and I half an hour to try and catch him when he escaped a week or so ago. I'm gonna call him Loki."

Eric snorted, visibly relaxing. He gestured to two of the female babies, one grey and one red, and completely tangled together. "I like Velma and Daphne for those two. U-unless you don't..."

King smiled, reaching over to allow the sleeping, newly named Daphne's fluffy red tail to curl around his fingers. "I like it! It's perfect!" He scanned the remaining three, then pointed to another solidly red squirrel. "She should be..." He laughed. "Oh the Host is gonna love me, I'm gonna call her Ginny!" He turned to the last two, two more males, both red. "I've got nothing for those two though."

Eric giggled to himself, smiling a little. "You should name them Pumbaa and Timone."

King burst into laughter. "Alright. I like the way you think, Eric. So we've got Loki, Daphne, Velma, Ginny, Pumbaa, and Timone." He pointed to each of them in turn, grinning widely. "I think those are some pretty good names!" He gave Eric a high-five, then scooped up the six babies. "Alright, let's get them back inside. Bubblegum's probably worried, which will worry Wilford, and it's just a downward spiral from there."

Chapter Text

Dark stalked down the kitchen corridor, approaching the stacked up barrels on the right-hand side. He glanced around, then tapped on the middle barrel and climbed inside the Hufflepuff common room.

"Darky!"

Immediately he was tackled in a hug, warm lips pressing against his own. Dark chuckled into the kiss, returning the embrace and pulling Wil closer. Eventually, they broke apart, and Dark couldn't help but smile. "Hi Wil. That excited to see me?"

Wil grinned, a special twinkle in his eye that only Dark got to see. "I'm always excited to see you!" His bright pink mustache twitched as his grin became a little lopsided. It had originally been black, but Dr. Iplier had dyed it bright pink as a joke when passing Wil in the hall early their fifth year. Wil, however, had liked it so much he'd never bothered to reverse the charm, and it'd just become a part of his already eccentric character. Wil pulled him into another kiss, and Dark hummed in contentment, eyes slipping shut.

"The Host suggests Darkiplier and Wilford get out of the common room. There are others here who are trying to study."

The pair broke apart again, Dark now blushing furiously. The Host was facing them with an unamused expression, one eyebrow raised above his bandages from his spot in the closest comfy armchair. He was wearing the usual white button down dress shirt, but instead of the yellow and black tie that signified Hufflepuff, he was wearing a blue and black one of Ravenclaw, undoubtedly Dr. Iplier's, and the blind wizard was most likely unaware of the mix-up. Despite, his blindness, the Host was arguably the most powerful student in the school, having a knack for wandless magic that made even some of the professors jealous. No one knew what happened to his eyes, and no one knew what was beneath the bandages besides Madame Pomfrey and Dr. Iplier, but rumors and speculation flew. The fact that he only ever spoke in third person certainly added to his mystery.

Wil flashed a cheeky smile back at the Host. "Sorry Host! I'll just take this invasive evil Slytherin that broke into our common room up to the dorm! To...contain him, yeah, that's what I'm going with."

Dark flushed darker, covering his face with one hand as Wil grabbed his other and dragged him away. The Host scoffed, waving his wand aimlessly in the air and turning back to his books (all translated into Braille). "Wilford would do best to remember that he has to share that dorm room with the Host, Oliver, and Eric."

"It was one time, Host! I promise I'll double-check and make sure it's my bed, alright?"

"Wilford better, else the Host will hex him into next month."

"Fine, fine."

Chapter Text

Wilford rolled out of bed with his usual energy, a bounce in his step as he headed towards the bathroom to greet his husband. "Good morning, Dar -"

He stopped dead in the doorway, mouth open. Dark caught his eye, smiling brightly. He...had a beard, a proper one, and he look...really really good, something about the sight frying Wilford's brain. Dark chuckled, gently cupping Wilford's chin and closing his mouth for him before leaning forward for a lingering kiss. "Morning Wil."

Wilford blinked a couple of times, still in shock. "You...have a beard."

Dark turned back to the mirror. "Yes I do." A thoughtful frown crossed his face, and he stroked his beard a couple of times, checking it out. "It's...an old look, from before I ever met you. I don't know, I might get rid of it again in a couple of days. What do you think?"

Tentatively, Wilford reach up a hand, trailing it across Dark's beard and marveling the scratchy feel. "I like it!" He brought his other hand around so he was cupping Dark's face in both hands, rubbing his beard with nothing but awe in his expression. "I just wanna touch it all day."

Dark laughed as Wilford played with his face, reaching up himself to hold Wilford's wrists and gently pull his hands away. His eyes lit up with a mischievous glint. "At least now I can give you a taste of your own medicine."

Wilford cocked his head to the side. "What does that meEEEEAAAN!"

Wilford shrieked with a laugh as Dark buried his face in the exposed side of Wilford's throat, holding him close and pinning Wilford's arms to his body. Wilford squirmed, struggling to get out of Dark's grip. "Dark, Dark stop! That tickles!"

Dark chuckled, purposefully rubbing his new beard all over Wilford's sensitive skin. "Now you know how I feel when you attack me with that stupid mustache."

Wilford pouted. "But I thought you liked my mustache!"

Dark sighed, which only succeeded in making Wilford giggle and squirm more. "I do! But when you're using it to attack me it's a different story." He pulled back, grinning smugly, and pressed another kiss to Wilford's lips before letting go of him. "Come on, love, let's get ready. Breakfast starts soon."

"You're not getting rid of the beard! Not for a couple of days at least."

Dark chuckled again. "Alright, Wil."

Chapter Text

"Hey! Dr. Iplier! Hey, what do you think the hardest part of a vegetable is to eat?"

"I don't care, Bim, you've telling stupid puns all day."

"Humor me!"

"Fine. What."

"The wheelchair."

"That doesn't even make - oh my God, Bim, that is so fucked up!"

"Wait wait wait, I've got another! Okay, so, two cannibals are eating a clown, when one cannibal looks up and asks...'Does he taste funny to you?'"

"Bim, if you don't shut the fuck up, I will make you shut the fuck up."

"Aw, come on! I'm funny! I've got more!"

"Don't you - mmph!"

"What's a cannibal's favorite restaurant?"

"Mng - get your hand off my - mmph!"

"Five Guys."

"Bim you don't even like Five Guys!"

"Shut the fuck up, it's funny!"

"If Bim keeps telling terrible puns, the Host will remove his mouth."

"You can't do that, that's not a thing!"

"Is Bim positive he would like to test that theory?"

"...You know what, fuck you guys! I bet Wilford will appreciate my puns!"

Chapter Text

The Host stepped into his room with a soft smile, humming a little to himself as he shed his coat and hung it up in his wardrobe. His Sight flashed, revealing Dr. Iplier sprawled and half asleep on the bed, and he chuckled. He raised an eyebrow when Dr. Iplier shifted, sitting upright and his hair sticking up everywhere. He wasn't wearing a shirt, and the Host flushed light pink. "Hoooooost, come here."

The Host obeyed without protest, letting out a startled noise when Dr. Iplier grabbed his shirt and pulled him onto the bed. Dr. Iplier rolled on top of him, pressing a sleepy kiss to the Host's lips, and the Host lit up further. They audibly broke apart, and the Host cleared his throat. "Why -"

Dr. Iplier silenced him with another kiss, and the Host squeaked, hands flailing a bit and his blush darkened, creeping down his neck. They broke apart again, and the Host opened his mouth, but Dr. Iplier pecked his lips, effectively shutting him up. "No." Another kiss. "No speaking." Another kiss. "Just kisses."

Dr. Iplier kissed him again, melting against him and sighing through his nose. The Host felt about ready to explode, blushing so hard he knew he was in legitimate danger of bleeding. Dr. Iplier hummed into the kiss, shifting from the Host's lips and instead kissing the corner of his mouth, trailing down his jaw before burying his face in the crook of the Host's neck. He pressed another few kisses there before he went still, breathing evening out, and it took a moment for the Host to realize he'd fallen asleep.

The Host swore softly, still blushing furiously and trembling slightly, and now trapped beneath Dr. Iplier's sleeping body. Dr. Iplier let out a snore, shifting closer to the Host and mumbling slurred nonsense against his throat. The Host swore again, wrapping his arms around Dr. Iplier, and resigning himself to his fate.

Chapter Text

"Kiiiiiiiiiiiiing!"

King barely had enough time to shove the two squirrels off his lap before Bim was replacing them, draped dramatically across his lap with one leg raised and the back of his wrist resting against his forehead, eyes closed. King crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow. "What do you want, Bim?"

Bim opened one eye, flashing a dazzling grin. "Nothing. I just require attention to live."

King snorted, rolling his eyes, and promptly shoved Bim onto the floor. Bim fell with a loud cry, far more dramatic then it should've been. "I'm busy, Bim. A couple of my squirrels are sick, I need to take care of them." He gathered the two squirrels back into his lap, curling his aura around them. Bim pushed himself upright, glasses askew and hair a mess, and he pouted heavily. King sighed, then smiled, cupping Bim's chin and leaning forward for a lingering kiss. "Give me ten minutes," he muttered, "and I will give you all the attention you want. Alright?"

Bim beamed, claiming another quick kiss. "I will happily take that!"

Chapter Text

Bing stepped into the Google Office with none of his usual energy, pushing up his shades to hide his eyes and sitting at his desk, pulling out a blueprint he'd been working on for a month. He'd woken up with a not so great mindset, feeling more off than usual, and it had just gotten worse throughout the day. He couldn't do anything right. He'd been playing with Peggy earlier, and had accidentally stepped on her tail. She seemed fine, and was quick to accept his numerous apologies, but Bing had felt all of his circuitries twist and a sensation like his stomach dropped. His mood had worsened further when he accidentally broke an old vase that had apparently been important. The Host had repaired it easily enough, but Dark had still chewed him out for at least ten minutes, at last dismissing Bing from his office with enough ice in his tone that Bing had almost burst into tears there and then. And then he'd wandered into the Google office.

He jumped when something pressed against his side, pushing up his shades again before glancing to his right. Google was staring at him with pure concern, and he could see Red and Green swapping glances in the background (Oliver was out of his line of sight). "Are you feeling alright, Bing?" Google reached fro his hand, squeezing it lightly. "You've been staring at your blueprint for almost half an hour now." He shifted closer. "What's wrong?"

"Nỏ̥o̧͌o̧̐thing, Googs." Bing didn't even attempt to hide the glitch, still staring down at his blueprint. Maybe it was just his shades, but the world felt...duller than usual. "I'm fine."

He saw Google frown out of the corner of his eye. "No, you're not." He caught Bing's wrist when he went to push up his shades again, interlacing their fingers. "Tell me what's wrong."

"I'm just such a piece of ****, alright!" Bing snapped, head whipping to face Google. "I...I hurt Peggy, I break everything I touch, I hate myself all the ****ing time, I just -"

Bing burst into tears, bowing his head and tugging weakly against Google's grip on his hands. His core stuttered with the force of his sobs, and he heard Google's shift pitch. And then Google was pulling him into a tight hug, one that Bing didn't quite reciprocate, but Google didn't seem to mind. "I can't change how you feel about yourself, Bing," he whispered. "I wish I could. I wish I could just press a button somewhere or flip a switch and you'll love yourself like I love you. But...all I can do is tell you every day how perfect you really are. And hope that one day you'll take it to heart and actually believe it like I do." Google drew a shuddering breath, hugging Bing tighter. "Everyone makes mistakes, Bing. Even us, even when we were built to be perfect. It's...impractical to beat yourself up mentally so severely for every little one."

Google drew back from the hug, and Bing sniffed, pushing up his shades to wipe at his eyes with the heel of a hand. He tried for a smile, though it wavered when he spotted the orange stain in Googles shirt. "Thanks, Googs. I um..." He swallowed thickly, and his smile grew a little. "I feel better. Promise I do." There was a loud meow at his feet, and Bing glanced down. He let out a surprised laugh, scooping Peggy up, and she settled easily in his lap, purring happily as he showered her in affection. "How did you get in here? I didn't let you in, did you?"

Google shook his head, smiling a little himself and trailing a hand down her back. "It appears she's forgiven you, Bing. So...?"

Bing lifted Peggy up, her back legs dangling in the air with her one front paw braced against his shades. She craned her head closer, still purring loudly as she butted her forehead against his, and Bing split in a truly genuine smile. "...Okay." He burst into giggles when he got a message from Oliver that was simply an image of a furious Red trying to reattach his own finger, a suspicious-looking Green laughing in the background with a screwdriver. Cradling Peggy against his chest he twisted around and lifted up his shades in order to shoot Oliver a wink, and Oliver grinned cheekily.

"Wait, hold on, what was that?! Oliver, what did you do?!"

"Nothing, Red, stop being so paranoid."

"Oliver, I don't trust that anymore than I trust Green, cut the bullshit."

"Hey!"

"The three of you, play nice or I'll dismantle you, and you know I will."

Bing just laughed, and the world became a little brighter once more.

Chapter Text

Eric sat on his bed, his laptop in his lap, and his tongue poking out between his teeth in a show of concentration. He had the Sims pulled up, and - with the help of several mods - he was steadily creating all of the egos. Currently he was working on Bim, a picture of him up on his phone as he cycled through all of the different hair styles. None of them quite matched Bim's obsessive perfectionism when it came to his hair, and it was a shame there wasn't any way he could get glitter in it...

"Hey Eric! Do you want -"

Eric jumped a mile and screamed, almost chucking his mouse across the room. Bim was suddenly standing in his room, eyes wide with one hand halfway through his hair and the other gripping tight to the lapel of his suit. Eric wrapped his arms around himself, falling back on his bed and grabbing the cheetah plushie Silver had loaned him, hugging it close to his chest. "Don't do that, Bim!"

"Sorry kid." Bim finished running his hand through his hair, clearing his throat and straightening his suit. "Anyway, what're you doing? You've been locked in here a while."

Eric promptly flushed red, scrambling for his laptop. "Nothing!"

Bim raised an eyebrow, flashing a wide grin with a glint in his eye Eric did not like. "Well that's not suspicious at all." He sat down on the bed, trying to see the laptop screen, but Eric kept twisting it out of view, blush steadily growing. Bim pouted. "Aw, come on, kid! Knowing you, it's not as bad as you think it is."

Eric hesitated a moment, fiddling with the cheetah, before spinning his laptop around, hiding his face in the plushie. His face burst into further flames when he heard Bim obviously trying to stifle his laughter, letting out a distressed whine. "This is why I didn't want to show you!"

"No no no, Eric, you've got it all wrong, I think this is adorable! My hair's not quite right though, hm, let's see..." He heard Bim click around a bit, then - "There we go! Perfect!"

Eric lowered the cheetah a bit, glancing at the computer screen, then at Bim. Bim flashed another grin, this one softer, warmer. "Who else have you made, kid? I take it your trying to make everyone?"

Eric nodded slowly, pulling the laptop back to him. "I-I um, I've made Dark, Wilford, the Host, and Dr. Iplier so far. A-and you." He frowned. "I couldn't do bandages for the Host, so I settled for those sunglasses he wears whenever he goes out in public. I couldn't do the blond bit either, mods can only do so much, but um...I think it turned out pretty good. See?"

Bim nodded, running a hand through his hair again. "You did really good, Eric!" He pulled him closer in a one-armed hug, ruffling Eric's hair with his other hand. Eric burst into giggles, blush finally beginning to fade a bit, and Bim chuckled. "Oh right! I had a purpose for being here! Did you want pasta or tacos for dinner?"

Chapter Text

The Host sat in his library, muttering his narrations and scribbling with his quill as vision after vision washed over him. He'd been down there a while, nothing but the echo of his own words around him. It was the perfect environment for him to work in, for him to experience his visions and slip back into the present without the chaos of the others and their distractions. 

Until he heard a voice.

The Host stopped speaking, stopped writing, the echo of his words and scratches of his quill dying down. Silence greeted his ears. Hesitantly, the Host began writing again, living through only a brief snippet of a vision involving Reynolds and Eric before he heard the voice again. It lay under his own words, like an afterthought, or a reverb. It was his voice, but...darker. Teasing. And it sent icy fear trickling down his spine.

The Host picked up his quill again, but didn't dare open in his mouth, flinching at every minuscule noise. He was hyperaware of every creak of old shelves, of his own rapid breathing, of the patter like rain as blood dripped of his chin and landed on his desk. He swallowed harshly, paranoia and fear gripping at his mind. His blindness only added to his hysteria, all he could was a black abyss, head whipping this way and that to follow the noises. Swallowing again, breath picking up speed, he forced his Sight to flash, but still all he saw was black, outside of the small circle illuminated by his candle. His library was dark, it was always dark, he was blind after all, but in this moment he desperately wished for something to light it all up.

One of his hands made its way into his hair, pulling at the strands, and his quill shook in his other. Words fumbling and trembling, he stuttered out his narrations, speaking so softly his voice no longer echoed, though he could barely hear himself. He pressed his quill to the parchment, writing out only a couple of words before the voice returned, layered under his own and almost mocking in its tone. The Host stood suddenly, chair grating violently against the stone floor as he pushed it back, hands slamming on his desk. "Who's there?!"

The only response he received was his own words thrown back at him in a fading echo.

Both hands now fisted in the Host's hair, he spun around in a full circle, his coat whipping around him and blood flying through the air. There was a banging in his skull, like something was trying to get out, and the Host spun and spun, trying to pinpoint the location of the voice, but all he saw was black and all he could hear was banging and -

"Host!"

The Host whipped around, his head spinning with dizziness and vertigo and his heart in his throat. He stumbled to the side, and his knees buckled. He was saved from crashing to the unforgiving ground by hands gripping his arms, supporting him. The sudden powerful scent of ozone crashed over him, signaling to him it was Dark before him. "Host, are you alright? What's wrong?"

The Host was loathe to speak, paranoia still making every noise sound right by his ear. He swallowed harshly, gripping Dark back just as tightly. "The Host -" He paused, hardly daring to breathe, but no voice came. He slumped against Dark, all tensions fleeing his body in relief, and Dark stumbled back in order to accommodate. "The Host is fine. Perhaps - Perhaps he has been down in his library too long, is all."

Dark huffed, shifting the Host around to gain a more secure grip on him. "I bet Dr. Iplier will agree. Come on. Let's get you to him."

The Host said nothing as Dark guided him into the Void.

Chapter Text

"Hey Host."

The Host glanced up from his spot in one of the reclining chairs in the living area, legs folded under him and not having bothered to change out of his pajamas for the day, his hair falling in his face and a mug of peppermint tea cradled in both hands. He raised an eyebrow, tilting his head to the side. "What does Wilford want?"

Wilford split in a wide grin, hands on his hips with a special little glint in his eye that usual had most members of the manor scrambling for cover. "The Jims spent all of last night ah...redecorating my studio, painting the stage pitch black with smiley faces all over the walls. Now I love the twins to death, but don't you think it's time they got a taste of their own medicine? And if memory serves me - which it usually doesn't, but hear me out - you still haven't gotten a chance to pay them back after they stole all of your quills last week..."

The Host was silent for a moment, taking a long sip of his tea. When he lowered his mug, he was smiling. Just a small little smile, but for some reason it sent icy fear trickling down Wilford's spine. "Give the Host five minutes to get dressed, and he will happily lead Wilford to the room where the Jims are currently hiding."

Wilford's grin turned wicked. "Deal."

Ten minutes later, the whole manor could hear the Jims' screams.

Chapter Text

“Um…I’m going to stay with Chase for a while. To, you know, clear my head, take a break. I’m…not sure when I’ll be back.”

Google's eyes widened, a feeling he was unfamiliar with twisting up inside him at Bing's words. Bing tried for a smile, orange stains trailing down his face that signaled he'd been crying. Google opened his mouth, wanting to say something, anything, to change Bing's mind, but Bing spun on his heel and walked away without another word.

The world swirled together, and suddenly Google was sitting on the couch in the living area, his body frozen, with Wilford poking around in his access panel. He could hear the judgment in Wilford's tone when he spoke, could feel his circuitries twist up in a painful knot. "I've seen the way Bing looks at you. There's a reason he's so eager to please. And if you don't lighten up, if you don't shower that boy with praise and affection when he gets back, one day he may walk out that door and never come back."

The world shifted again, and...Google was left with nothing. Bing never came back from living with the Septics. Google saw him out in the skate park with Chase sometimes, whenever he went into the city to run errands. He said hi, exchanged polite conversation. Bing never looked him in the eye, and Google always felt something like his stomach dropping. And one day, while Google was out (purposefully taking a longer route that would take him past the skate park), he watched from across the street as Bing and Chase laughed together, Bing performing amazing tricks on his skateboard while Chase cheered him on from the sidelines. Google watched as Bing stuck his tongue out playfully at Chase, the shades Google was so used to him wearing resting on Chase's head instead. Bing stepped forward, and Google's entire world fell apart as Bing pulled Chase into a loving kiss.


Google woke with a scream, bolting upright in bed, with both hands fisted in his hair and glowing blue tears streaking down his face. His core was going nuts, his fans humming wildly as he sobbed. That had never happened to him before, what was that, did Bing really leave him, his mind was spinning, he felt something spark behind his eye and a brief stab of pain washed over him, but he didn't notice, too busy melting down to notice.

"Nng, Googs? Why're you awake, it's like, not even 2:00am."

Google's head snapped to his left, a little of the tension bleeding out of him when he saw Bing still lying beside him, yawning hugely as he blinked sleepily. Though that sleepiness was quickly eradicated when he saw Google's condition, and he pushed himself upright, concern flooding his features. "Google? What's wrong, man, a-are you okay?"

"B̘̠̈́͠i̱̘͛̔ĭ͖̫̅iį̌i̝͗i̪̭̓́i͑ͅī̩ị͆n̛̰̳̄g͕,̯͡ ͓̜̒͗I̳̪͊I̘̝̊I͈͝I̲̰̋͆I͟Ǐ̠I̛̩I̟̾Ì͇̳̚Ỉ̯̣̾ -" Google's voice glitched heavily, and another violent sob tore through. "Ĭ̢̗͋I̩̅Í̡I̼̋̈͟İ̢̠͞Î̦̭̎ ̤͋ḏ̈́ọ́ỏ̭o͎̒̏͜o̮͑oň̘'̼͗t͙̻̓͗ ͍́k̦̝̈͂n̫͔̐͡o̺̓w̲̣̔̋ ̣̜́̊ẃ̹́͢ha̰͘t͔͕̃͝'̟̃ş͑ ̤̯̑͗ĥ͖͔͛aạ̓ǎ̜ḁ̄ḁ͘p̨͘ê̘n͔͗̚͟i͆͢ng̖̖̈́̇ -"

Bing pulled him into a tight hug, and Google latched onto him, sobbing into his shoulder. "Shh, you're okay, Googs. You're sick, remember? Just a little virus. A stubborn bastard of a virus, I just need one more day to get it out, okay?"

Google shook his head. "N͚̺̏̒o̫̙̒͝oo̮̐ǫ͐,̣͛ ̛̲̙̔I͈ ̞͖̑͠d͉͘o̩͘n'̝̪̈́̄t̰̟̿̈ - i-it was like a d̨͖͐͝r̮͇͡͞e̤̋͞ͅe̩̒ea͎͝aa̳͇͑̈́ä̫̳́͑m̞̫͌͌ ̨̏b̬̏ut̡́ - pḻ̨̓̊e̮̣̅͊eeã̯͇̍aă̙̮͗a̗͎͌͠as̡͆e͓̹̍̌ never leave me B̝̕i̹͆n͇̞͘͠g̝̝̍̏.̧̣͛͝"

Bing was silent for a moment, but then he hugged Google tighter, burying his face in his hair. "Oh Googs...of course I'll never leave you. It was just a nightmare, Google, nothing more."

Google's sobs were beginning to die down, enough so that he pulled back from Bing, though he still kept his arms wrapped tight around him, to reassure himself that Bing was still there. His expression was nothing but confusion. "N͚̊i͍i̙̾ĭ̞ḯ͖i͆͢i̳̅i̦̱̓͞ĝ̱h̋ͅt̡̺̆̄m͉͗a̡̕re̛̱̦͊?̜̳̔͝ But Ị̗́͡II̲͕͋̓I̳̜̐̍I̭̐I̝̬̅͞I̺̿Ỉ͎I͚͂I̐͟Ḭ̃Ĭ̭̂͜I̝̿ thought we couldn't g̘̚ę̒ĕ̥e̱͗eë̜́t̟̔ those."

Bing's expression shifted into something a little...sad. "Of course we can. I get them all the time. Dr. Iplier and the internet say it's helpful to talk about them but -" He shrugged. "That being said...do you? Wanna talk about it, I mean?"

Google opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before swallowing. His voice was little more than a mumble. "Remember when...when you went to live with the Septics for a week?"

Bing seemed to stiffen, but nodded slowly. "Yeah..."

Google adverted his eyes. "Well, in my...n̝̏i͓ì͕iii̭͝ȋ̦̠̍ig̞̈́̽ͅh̞̾t̙̠̐͞m͍̞̿͐ar͓e̪̅...you...you never came back. And...and ended up with Chase instead."

Bing smiled, chuckling a bit, and guided Google into a short kiss. "Google, Chase is my best friend, and I love him to death, but I do not want to date him. I've...It's always been you, for me. From day one." He kissed Google again, breaking it after a moment to press their foreheads together. "Never forget that. Okay?"

Google nodded, shifting down to bury his face in Bing's chest. Bing fell back onto the bed, curling around Google protectively, and pressed a kiss to his hair. Google shifted closer, the loud whirring of his fans reminding him of his fever, and somehow reassuring in that his nightmare was most likely just a product of that. "...I love you, Bing."

"I love you too, Googs."

Chapter Text

Bim was splayed out on the couch, half asleep, when the Host tackled him.

His eyes flew open with a startled gasp, one that quickly turned into a coughing fit as he choked on air. "What -" He squirmed beneath the Host, trying to shove him off, but the Host had somehow managed to wiggle his arms beneath Bim, pinning Bim's own arms to his sides. "What are you doing?!"

The Host muffled a giggle in Bim's chest. "The Host is holding Bim hostage."

Bim rolled his eyes, flailing his legs in another attempt to push the Host off, but the Host simply wrapped his own legs around Bim's, pinning him further to the couch. Bim jerked violently beneath him, and the Host just giggled again, clearly finding the situation hilarious. "You bastard motherfucker - alright I'll bite. What's the ransom?"

The Host lifted his head, grinning brightly. "Bim must agree to make the Host a batch of his cinnamon cookies."

"What?! No! Those are special occasion only! And when I feel like it. Plus, I think we're out of cinnamon."

The Host raised an eyebrow, grin becoming a smirk. "The Host can just make more."

Bim flipped him off with both hands, and with the way his hands were pinned beneath the Host, he knew he felt it. "No. Now get off, I've got shit to do!"

The Host snorted. "Bim's 'shit to do' is taking a nap. And the Host isn't letting go till Bim agrees." To accentuate his point, he tightened his grip.

Bim rolled his eyes again, and proceeded to teleport out of the Host's grasp, now standing a few feet away. He made to sprint down the hallway, but he barely made it two steps before the Host was flying at him and tackling him from behind, sending them both rocketing to the floor. Bim fell with a winded "Oof," then swore loudly, struggling beneath the Host. "Oh come on! Let me go you utter bastard!"

The Host burst into laughter, hugging Bim tighter. "No! Not until Bim agrees to the Host's demands!"

Bim rested his chin on the floor, trying and failing to blow his royally screwed-up hair out of his eyes. "Fine, I'll make your damn cookies, now let me up."

The Host bounced to his feet so fast Bim thought he might fall over backwards. Unfortunately, he didn't, still grinning stupidly. Bim picked himself up off the floor, and barely had enough time to brush off his suit and run a hand through his hair in a half-hearted attempt to fix it before the Host was wrapping his arms around his waist, pressed up against his back. Bim's arms dropped, expression flat and unamused with one eyebrow raised. "What are you doing?"

The Host stifled yet another giggle. "Making sure Bim doesn't escape before ransom is paid."

Bim sighed dramatically, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Alright. Fine. Fine. I'll go make your fucking cookies, come on, you massive fucking weirdo."

And so Bim headed to the kitchen, unwillingly dragging the giggling, far too pleased with himself Host along behind him.

Chapter Text

Bim popped into Wilford's studio, looking positively distressed and near tears, and it didn't matter to Wilford whether they were filming, because he quickly teleported off the stage to gather Bim in his arms, pulling him into  tight hug. "Bim, what's wrong?"

Bim sniffed, gripping Wilford back tightly and trembling with the force of holding back his sobs. His words were muffled by Wilford's shoulder. "I was in the middle of a show, and...someone in the audience stood up and started shouting 'fa -'" Bim swalled harshly. "...started shouting slurs at me, and I -"

His voice cracked, and his grip on Wilford tightened. Wilford's heart broke, though his expression hardened and his aura cracked into existence without him consciously thinking about it. "Do I need to stab someone?"

Bim gave a small, surprised laugh, squeezing Wilford. "No, no I-I'll be fine. Just..." He pulled back, sniffing and wiping at his eyes before giving Wilford a watery smile. "Thanks Dad."

And just like that, Wilford's eyes were lighting up with an excited gasp, and Bim's face quickly turned red. "Wait - hold on - Wilford - !"

Wilford pressed a finger to Bim's lips, his aura curling around him a little as he bounced on the balls of his feet. "Nope! No take-backsies, you called me 'Dad'!" Bim flushed further, covering his face with his hands, but embarrassed was better than depressed and in tears. So Wilford took the win, planting a big, exaggerated kiss to Bim's forehead that had Bim groaning and Wilford laughing. Wilford glanced to the side at his film crew, mouthing 'Did you get that?' and grinned wider when one of them gave him a thumbs up. He pulled Bim back into another hug, his aura hiding them both almost completely from view. He pressed another kiss to Bim's hair. "In all seriousness, are you okay?"

Bim nodded after a brief pause, clutching Wilford's shirt. "Yeah." He let out a small squeak, shifting just the tiniest bit closer. "But...I-I might just...hang out here? For a bit? Before going back."

Wilford nodded. "That's fine! Take as much time as you need, Bim." He kissed Bim's hair again, then bounced away, withdrawing his aura and poofing back to the stage to resume his interview.

And if he was grinning proudly and far more energetic than usual, well, that was his business as his gaze consistently found its way to Bim among his crew.

Chapter Text

No one else was home, off doing whatever they did during the day. Even the Host was gone, dragged out of the manor by Dr. Iplier for a much needed change of scenery and a practice in social graces.

So when the doorbell rang with a mildly panicked Chase Brody apologizing profusely with his kids' hands held tightly in his own, well, Wilford wasn't known for his ability to say 'No.'

He ushered the kids inside, waving goodbye to Chase who was repeating over and over that he'd be back in an hour as he walked to his car. He closed the door, and turned to the kids, crouching down to be on their level. He smiled warmly, his smile widening when a curious little Serina twirled some of his mustache. "So, what do you little ones wanna do?" He flicked his wrist, summoning a small bag of cotton candy.

When Dark arrived home roughly half an hour later, he found Wilford passed out on the couch, the two kids doodling on his arms and face with markers and giggling to themselves. Dark rolled his eyes, and left his husband to face his own consequences when he woke up.

Chapter Text

Jackie dropped to rooftop with a sigh, flopping backwards to lay on his back with his overly large wings spread, feathers ruffling. "I'm bored. There's not much t'do today."

Silver snorted, crossing his arms as he touched down beside the Septic. "Are you complaining about the fact that the city is peaceful for once?"

Jackie flushed. "No! Well - shut up, Silver!" Silver burst into laughter, wings shuddering. Jackie scrambled to his feet, 'accidentally' smacking Silver in the process and smiling innocently (totally ruined by his giggling) when Silver spluttered and batted his wing away, grumbling as he picked out red and blue feathers that had stuck to his costume. A glint appeared in Jackie's eyes. "How about a race! Schneep and I race all the time, though we could go farther."

Silver grinned, adjusting his mask. "Sure! I'll totally kick your Irish ass though!" He grinned cheekily.

Jackie snorted, spreading his wings to their full length. "In your dreams, pretty boy."

Silver gasped, placing a hand on his chest before smiling a little. "You think I'm pretty?"

Jackie's expression dropped flat, and he picked up Silver effortlessly, holding him up simply with a grip on his waist. Silver shrieked and flapped his wings wildly, struggling to free himself as Jackie carried him to the edge of the building. "No! No no no, Jackie, put me down!"

Jackie grinned. "If you insist."

He dropped Silver, watching as Silver plummeted a good several feet before his wings managed to catch the wind and he soared back upwards, heading back toward the rooftop. He huffed when he landed, flipping Jackie off, though the gesture just looked ridiculous with his big gloves. "Dick."

Jackie stuck his tongue out at him before grinning. "How about a lap around the city? First one back here wins!"

Silver spread his own wings. "What does the loser have to do?"

Jackie crinkled his nose. "Loser has t'go to the mayor's office and fill out all the official stuff she insists on shovin' upon us."

"Oh you are so on! Alright, three, two, one...GO!"

The two took off, wings practically a blur. Jackie laughed glancing over his shoulder. "Bye bitch!"

He laughed again when Silver scowled, but then Silver was soaring above him, catching some sort of breeze because he rocketed in front of Jackie. He grinned back at him. "Bye bitch!"

"Oh ye American bastard! Get back here!"

"Not a chance!"

Chapter Text

"Doctor! Can Dr. Iplier get a new roll of bandages for the Host? He's out of them at his desk!"

Dr. Iplier lifted his head when he heard the Host's shouted call, and he stood from where he'd been napping in a sunlit room on the third floor. Stretching languidly and yawning for a moment, he exited the room and spread his wings, leaping of the third floor balcony and drifting down to the second floor balcony. Weaving through the bookshelves, he eventually arrived at the Host's bedroom (though in all the millennia he'd been with the Host, he didn't remember a single moment in which he'd seen the old god actually use it). Swearing under his breath as he was forced to tuck his wings close to his body in order to fit, he weaved through the room, flipping open a chest at the end of the bed with his teeth and gently picking up one of the many rolls of bandages with his mouth, careful not to overturn the bottles of ink also inside. He closed the chest, and with more muffled growls and swears, turned around and exited back onto the balcony, dropping down finally to the first floor.

Because of his loose grip on the bandages (he didn't want to tear them, he was very aware of how sharp his teeth were), the impact with the ground jostled them from his mouth, and they rolled across the floor. Dr. Iplier froze, pupils narrowing to slits as he dropped rapidly into a crouch. He shuffled his paws, wings fluttering, his eyes on the bandages sitting innocently a few feet away.

And he pounced.

Dr. Iplier snarled, the sound bouncing a little between the ancient bookcases when he accidentally batted the roll away. He pounced again, catching it with a claw and tossing it into the air. His wings snapping open without him consciously thinking about it, he leapt after it, batting it between both front paws before it slipped out of his grasp and rolled away again, and the massive sphynx tore after it. He made all sorts of noises as he chased after it, playing with it and batting it around, ranging from more human sounds of disappointment when it slipped out from between his paws to more lion-like huffs and snarls and moans. He dove at the roll again, tossing it back up into the air, and when he leapt after it, wings flapping, he twisted midair, ending up flat on his back when he landed with the roll between his teeth. He let out a happy, throaty hum, and rolled over onto his stomach, now finally with the intention to give the Host his bandages. He froze, eyes widening.

The Host raised an eyebrow, arms crossed with an amused smirk plastered to his face. Blood covered his face and toga, but he didn't seem to care. Dr. Iplier's tail thrashed a bit with his distress, and wings fluttered, shuffling his paws closer to his body. The bandages fell from his mouth, and a deep red blush rapidly overtook his face. "Uhhh...I can explain."

The Host chuckled. "No need." He uncrossed his arms, cupping one hand under Dr. Iplier's chin, and he leaned forward in order to kiss Dr. Iplier's nose before shifting to whisper in his ear. "Dr. Iplier forgets that the Host is an omniscient being. He knows." Dr. Iplier flushed darker, lifting his chin out of the Host's hand in order to bow down and hide his face his his paws, groaning loudly with embarrassment. The Host burst into laughter, burying one hand in Dr. Iplier's mane while the other pet down the length of his spine (well, as far he could reach). "Aw, it's okay! Dr. Iplier is very cute when he embraces his feline side."

Dr. Iplier made another muffled noise of embarrassment. "Shut the fuck up or I will eat for hand."

The Host snorted, choking on his laughter, and he picked up the roll of bandages. "No Dr. Iplier won't, he puts too much effort into the Host's well-being to do that."

"Yeah, because you're a stupid bastard who doesn't take care of himself."

The Host raised an eyebrow again, his annoying, amused smirk back in place. "See?" He pressed another kiss to Dr. Iplier's forehead. "Thanks for getting the bandages." He chuckled again. "Dr. Iplier certainly looked like he enjoyed the task."

"I hate you so fucking much."

"No Dr. Iplier doesn't!" 

Chapter Text

Marvin stretched out in his cat form in the driveway of the Septic Manor, blinking lazily as the summer sun warmed his fur. It was all around just a lazy day, nothing much to do at home, and no rehearsal with Bim till later. So Marvin had decided 'fuck it', went outside, turned into a cat, and that's where he's been.

Marvin lifted his head, tail flicking idly, when he heard someone approach. He was at the end of the driveway, practically on the side of the road. So he wasn't exactly surprised when the woman walking down the street saw him (he was a white cat on black asphalt after all). He was surprised when she gasped and drew closer. She crouched down, and reached out a hand to pet him, and after a split-second decision, Marvin allowed it, purring softly as she scratched between his ears and stroked down his flank.

"You're such a unique kitty!" Marvin cracked an eye open, purring a little bit louder when she scratched down his spine. "I don't think I've ever seen markings like that on a cat! They look exactly like the card suites! And green ears!" She laughed a little. "You must be magical!"

Marvin would've laughed if he were able.

"I'm gonna call you Merlin." At that, Marvin opened both eyes wide, staring up at the woman. She smiled at him, holding out her hand, and Marvin couldn't resist the temptation to butt into it to ask for more pets. "I think Merlin suites you, a magical little kitty like you are. What do you think? Do you like it?"

Marvin thought for a moment, then stood, placing his two front paws on the woman's knee in order to rub his head along her cheek. The woman let out a delighted gasp, which turned into a giggle as she stroked both hands down his back. "Merlin it is then! I have to go, but I hope you'll be here tomorrow." She smiled. "I'd miss my new friend."

She ran a hand down his back one last time before standing and continuing on her way down the street. Though she turned back a couple times to wave at him. Marvin waited till she was out of sight before he turned back to house, becoming a human again halfway down the driveway. He smiled a little despite himself. Merlin the Magnificent sounded pretty good too...

Chapter Text

The Jims poked their heads around the corner, giggling to themselves incessantly. Each carried three baby squirrels somewhere on their body. Their targets identified (King, Bim, Google, and Bing all chatting in the living area and sounding like they were making plans for a double date), they retreated back behind the wall. They held out their hands, and their respective squirrels gathered there - RJ had Loki, Pumbaa, and Velma, while CJ had Ginny, Timone, and Daphne.

"Alright guys," RJ whispered, "You know the plan." CJ giggled beside him, and the six squirrels seemed to nod.

The twins grinned. "Then go!"

The squirrels raced into the living area, two heading for each android with one each for Bim and King. They scaled up their bodies, snatching all their glasses before racing back to cover. It was all the Jims could do not to burst into laughter at the resulting chaotic sounds of confusion. "Hey wait! Give those back, I'm blind without tho - ow!"

"Fuck - sorry King! Where'd these guys even come from?!"

"Hey! My pendant! Give that back you little fluffy monsters!"

The six baby squirrels turned the corner, dumping their prizes at the Jims' feet before racing off again. There was a mechanical whir, and then the dangerously low voice of Google. "Jims."

The Jims went stiff, gathered their prizes, and took off in the same direction as the squirrels giggling and nudging each other all the while, and blissfully ignoring the four egos chasing them.

Chapter Text

Dr. Iplier smacked RJ's hand away from his face, already practically pinning CJ's in place as he rubbed ointment on their faces. "Stop that! You'll make it worse and spread it, just sit still."

CJ pouted heavily (both Jims sitting on the hospital bed in Dr. Iplier's office), and RJ whined. "But Dr. Iplier! It itches!"

Dr. Iplier snorted, entirely unsympathetic as he struggled to apply the ointment and hold CJ's wrists together in one hand. "This is what you two morons get for trying to antagonize King. Of course he'd lead you into a batch of poison ivy. You're lucky it only got on your faces." He slapped away RJ's hand again when he caught him scratching his cheek. "Hey! What did I just say? If you keep scratching at it you'll eventually scratch the layers of skin off and you'll have a big ugly scar on your face. And you'll still itch. So knock it the fuck off."

RJ dropped his hands to his lap, squirming uncomfortably. "But it itches!"

"I know it does, I'm trying to help! But you two are not." Dr. Iplier sighed heavily, then dropped CJ's wrists, wiping his ointment-covered hand off on his coat. "Alright, I bought these a while ago, never thought I'd have to use them, it was mainly as a joke, but you two are leaving me with no other choice." He stalked deeper into his office, then whirled around, fixing them both was a scathing glare, and the Jims stopped scratching and dropped their hands guiltily. "Don't. You. Fucking. Dare." He took a couple steps backwards as he spoke. "Give me a second."

Ten minutes later, two pouting Jims with cones of shame fastened around their necks were ushered out of Dr. Iplier's office, ointment covering the patches of irritated skin. They sulked away to go hide in their rooms, none too keen on having the other egos discover their predicament until Dr. Iplier deemed them no longer hazards to themselves.

(Somehow, Google still discovered it, and twenty minutes later pictures of them were sent to the family group chat, and the Jims have yet to come out of hiding)

Chapter Text

"Bim! Get in the fucking car or we're leaving without you!"

"Hold on, hold on! I still have another suitcase!"

"Another?! Bim, we're only going to be gone like four days! Why do you need three suitcases?!"

"Shut the fuck up, King, let me live! I need my stuff! Besides, I'm driving you guys, so be nice!"

"Just get in the fucking car, Bim, Dark, the Jims, Dr. Iplier, the Host, Bing, and Google left ten minutes ago!"

"Shut up, Reynolds, I'm getting to it! Wilford, would it be possible to put this last one in your weird pocket dimension?"

"Sure thing! There we go!"

"Thank you, finally someone is helpful! Now, is everyone here? Wilford, Eric, Reynolds, King, Silver...that looks like everyone. Alright let's go!"

Five minutes later ~

"Shit, we forgot Ed!"

Chapter Text

Wilford found Dark out behind their house, digging in the sand. He looked deep in concentration, practically elbow deep in the sand with his tongue poking out between his fangs. He immediately brightened when he spotted his husband flashing a beaming smile and swishing his tail in both greeting and balance before going back to what he was doing. Wilford snorted, planting his hands on his hips. "What are you doing?"

"Looking for pearls." Dark's eyes lit up. "Ah ha!" He pulled his arm out of the sand (with a little difficulty). Clutched tightly in his hand were two decently sized oysters, and he tucked one under his arm in order to pry open the other, using his fangs. Dark's smile grew brighter, and he held up the pearl. It was about the size of the first joint of his thumb and a gorgeous black in color with a pretty green sheen.

Dark tossed the broken oyster over his shoulder, drifting over to hand the little pearl to Wilford before shucking open the other. Wilford took the second pearl - this one a lovely pink color - and rolled them around in his palm. "Why are you pearl hunting?"

Dark stiffened a bit, dropping the other oyster and taking the two pearls again. He shrugged. "Bim moved up by the surface to be with King. He's an adult, he can do what he wants. And with the amount of time he spent with King beforehand, and how he talked about him, and how they acted together when we met King...I figured he'd need a betrothal gift soon." He held up the pearls. "What better gift than pearls for a creature who's fallen in love with the sea?"

Wilford didn't miss Dark's smile waver, and he kissed his cheek. "I know, I miss him too. Come here."

He took Dark's hand, leading him back into the house and up to their bedroom. He propped himself up on the bed, and gently guiding Dark into his lap, his flowy fins rippling slightly as Dark settled. Wilford ran one hand through Dark's hair, brushing his thumb over the twin holes in his throat, as the other stroked Dark's dorsal fin.

And he began to sing.

Wilford didn't sing often. As a siren, he had to be careful with his voice. Even with a simple, wordless tune, the power of siren's voice was almost unparalleled. Bim was only half siren, and even his voice held serious capabilities. Wilford sang, and combed through Dark's hair, and he felt Dark relax. And eventually, he saw Dark's eyes slip shut as he drifted off to sleep. Wilford sang for a while longer afterwards, until the lull of his own voice carried himself to sleep, too.

Chapter Text

The Host shifted in bed, drawing in a deep breath through his nose and stretching. He already knew it was late, simply from how warm the bed was with sunlight and the distinct absence of his snarky, beloved doctor. The Host chuckled to himself, burrowing back beneath the covers and perfectly content to go back to sleep for another three hours.

Suddenly, there was a small "brrp!" noise by his ear, and something soft was stepping over his neck and impacting with the pillows. The Host laughed again, stroking down Peggy's back as she flopped ungracefully onto her side, purring loudly with her back pressed into the Host's face. The Host sneezed, adjusting so he wasn't directly breathing in her fur, though he continued to pet the purring little cat. 

The Host shifted, sighing contentedly and smiling softly. Dr. Iplier would probably come barging in soon to drag his ass out of bed, but...in the meantime, he was perfectly okay with basking in the warmth of the sun with Peggy. He snorted when she stretched out and let out a surprised mrow when she ended up rolling down the pillows and snuggling more against his chest. The Host pulled her closer, finding her rumbling purrs against his chest extremely soothing, and suddenly he found himself slipping back into the world of sleep. He sighed again, consciousness fading, as he continued to mindless pet the purring ball of fluff against his chest.

And the Host drifted back off into peaceful slumber.

Chapter Text

Mark was back in the manor.

Of course, Dark didn't like it.

Mark tiptoed around him, quite literally in some moments. Dark simply sat on the couch, tucked comfortably into the corner and reading a book, his aura twisting around him. Though, he wasn't actually reading, more like listening in on the conversation Mark was having with a few of the other egos. Mark may make his skin physically crawl with loathing, but like Hell Dark was going to leave him alone with those under his care. He was perfectly content to sit there still as a statue and make Mark extremely uncomfortable all day.

At least, he was. Until Bim get involved.

"That's it!" Bim leapt to his feet, and Dark raised an eyebrow. Bim adjusted his suit before planting his hands on his hips, glaring at Dark. "I don't know what is up with you and him -" Mark froze as both Bim and Dark's gaze slid to him. " - but it's getting real annoying for the rest of us. Come on."

Before Dark knew what was happening, Bim was grabbing both his and Mark's hands and dragging them up to the second floor. He threw open the door to an abandoned room, shoved Mark inside, then Dark, and slammed the door. "Hey Host! Can you lock down this room? Like, really lock it down?"

Dark raised his head sharply at Bim's shout, pounding one fist against the door. "Host don't you fucking dare," he roared. When he got no reply, he spun back around, attempting to tear a hole in the Void. The tear appeared easily enough, but it immediately sealed itself shut again, far too fast for Dark to slip through. Dark tried again, yielding the same results, and he let out a wordless shout of frustration, wheeling back on the door. "Bim, you fucking let me out right now!"

"No! Not until you two get along! Suck it up!"

Dark froze. He turned slowly, eyes blazing red and blue respectively and his aura whipping around him. Mark had retreated to the farthest corner of the room, visibly swallowing when Dark locked eyes with him. With a few long strides, Dark was on him, cornering him, and Mark seemed to shrink with every step. "Let's get one thing clear," Dark spat. "I despise every atom in your miserable body."

Mark nodded, eyes blown wide. "Yep, I uh...I-I-I've known that one for a while -"

Dark snarled, and Mark squeaked, slamming his jaw shut. "But," Dark continued, ignoring the fact that Mark had spoken at all. "I am willing to compromise for the sake of their sanity." He straightened his back, holding his head high as he adjusted his tie. "I won't snap your fragile, human neck for stepping foot in the manor, and in return, you are only allowed to use the meeting room when it is absolutely necessary you visit. I don't want to see you here, I don't want to feel your presense . Put one hair out of line, detour in any way, and you will discover just how painful a broken neck feels. Got it?"

Mark nodded hurriedly, and Dark smiled, a terrifying little smile. "Perfect." He stalked over to the other side of the room, leaning against the opposite corner from Mark and crossing his arms and ankles. His eyes bore holes in Mark's soul, and he knew Mark felt it from the way he shuddered. "Now we just wait them out."

Chapter Text

"Ray! Put me down, ah - !"

Eric burst into giggles, unable to control them as Reynolds easily scooped him up and swung him around like he was a little kid. Reynolds laughed, swinging him around more, and Eric practically squealed with delight. "Not a chance, kid!" You're coming with me!"

Eric shook his head, trying to clear his dizziness as he blinked open his eyes. "What do you - ah! No no no no no - "

He shrieked with more laughter as Reynolds tossed him over his shoulder, Eric's back thumping against his own, and he hooked Eric's legs over his shoulders, pinning him there with a strong grip on his knees. Reynolds started walking away, laughing as Eric squirmed. "I'm kidnapping you, you have no choice!"

Eric's giggling was incredibly infectious as he squirmed, trying to break free, though Reynolds could easily tell it was half-hearted. "Noooo, where are you taking me?!"

Reynolds snorted, grinning. "Why would I tell you that? I'm kidnapping you, remember?"

He stumbled when he felt Eric grab at his ankles, trying to slow him down. "No! Put me down! Let me go!" There was no bite to Eric's words, the desperate connotation further ruined by his giggling.

Reynolds' grin widened as he shouldered open the door to his own room. "If you insist."

He grabbed Eric's ankles, swinging him back around to his front and more or less slamming him onto the bed, back first. Eric was laughing so hard he almost wasn't breathing as he bounced a little on the bed, weakly protesting 'No' and shoving feebly at Reynolds' head when he flopped down on top of him, pinning him to the bed. Reynolds grinned, chuckling as he wrapped his arms around Eric, pinning his arms to his sides. "See? Kidnapped. There is no hope for you now."

Eric's chest heaved as he struggled to calm his breathing, still absolutely beaming and squirming beneath Reynolds. "Rayyyyyy! Get off of me! I have to go help King with Bubblegum's babies!"

Reynolds pouted, entirely immovable. "Should've thought about that before getting yourself kidnapped."

Eric huffed, though he was still smiling. "Reynolds!"

Reynolds just laughed.

Chapter Text

Bim sank his teeth into the throat of his victim, jerking his head around wildly until the chunk of flesh came free with a spray of blood, splattering across his face. Bim didn't care, devouring the piece, hardly even chewing it before swallowing and diving back in for more. He lapped at the blood, drinking greedily like he'd been left in the desert for weeks before burying his teeth in his prize's shoulder. He ignored the sounds of pain as the poor soul beneath him struggled to breathe and choked on their own blood. Bim didn't care, too lost in his feeding frenzy to even notice. He was so hungry. God, it felt like he hadn't eaten for months. He couldn't get enough, tearing and chewing and swallowing mangled flesh and muscles until his teeth hit bone, and he moved on to the next spot. Bim didn't stop, not when he heard his prize's hoarse protests, not when he heard them say his name in the last remains of a whispering voice, not when he felt them stop breathing. With every bite, with every drop of blood that slid down his throat, he felt like he was getting high, and higher, and higher, and God he never wanted to crash back down as he devoured his prize alive.

Finally Bim sat back, pupils blown wide with blood streaked across his face and glasses. He needed tools, his scalpel, to get to his favorite part. With the blood on his glasses, he couldn't actually see who was before him, so he wandered over to a shelf against the wall and plucked an old rag from a neatly folded pile, wiping his glasses clean. He slipped his newly cleaned glasses back on his face, and turned around, a blissful smile on his face.

And he froze.

And suddenly felt like vomiting up everything he'd just eaten.

King's face was tilted toward him his eyes half-lidded and glassy. Lifeless. Blood was splattered on his own glasses and face, even up into his hair. Almost his entire collar bone was visible, licked clean and exposed with jagged edges of flesh and muscle surrounding it. His throat was torn open, his esophagus visible amongst the gaping hole. Bim raced forward, swallowing back the bile rising in his throat. "Oh no no no no no no -" Hesitantly, he laid a hand on King's intact shoulder, shaking him lightly. "King?" His voice was small, choking back tears. "King?!" He shook him harder, nesting his other trembling hand in King's hair, pushing it away from his face. His voice broke. "King, please, please wake up, I-I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I-I-I didn't - King please..." Bim sobbed, pressing a kiss to King's forehead before burying his face in his hair, holding his corpse close. "King, I'm sorry, I love you, please wake up, please wake up, please..."

But he knew King would never wake again.


Bim woke with a scream, flailing in the bedsheets and ending up tumbling onto the floor. He sobbed, loud, gasping sobs that hurt his chest and that made him feel like his heart was trying to crawl up his throat. He trembled violently, both hands fisted tight in his hair. He felt like his world was ending, his nightmare and his worst fear playing over and over and over in his head until he felt like he was spinning, spiraling downwards into grief and self-loathing. And the next thing he knew, he was retching violently, throwing up everything he'd eaten for dinner onto the floor, and his throat burned, but it wasn't enough, not after what he did, oh God -

"Bim?"

There was a hand on his shoulder, and Bim flinched, curling into a tighter ball. "Bim, are you okay?"

Bim rolled away, scrambling back and lashing out blindly. "No! S-stay away from me, I -" Another sob broke through, and he ground the heel of his hand into one eye, pulling his knees up to his chest as he cried. His voice cracked. "King, I-I-I'm so sorry, please..."

"Bim, seriously, what's wrong? I'm...I'm right here, just talk to me, okay?"

Bim shook his head. "No, no no no, stay away, I don't want to hurt you, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it, I never want to hurt you, I just..."

Warm arm wrapped around him, pulling him into a tight hug, and, despite his head screaming at him, Bim latched onto King in return, breathing him in, feeling his heartbeat pressed against his own, and he sobbed harder, burying his face in King's shoulder. "...I don't know what's going on in your head right now," King murmured, squeezing Bim just that little bit harder. "But I do know that you'd never hurt me. I trust you, Bim. I love you. And...it was just a nightmare. I'm right here."

Bim shook his head again, gasping out words between hiccups and sobs. "You shouldn't, y-ou really shouldn't, I-I-I hurt you, I killed you, I-I-I don't - I don't - please -"

"Shhh..." King's hand found itself in Bim's hair, carding his fingers through it, massaging little circles into the back of his head. "It's okay, Bim. I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere. You didn't hurt me. It was just a nightmare, just in your head. It wasn't real."

"It felt real, though," Bim sobbed. He was slowly calming down, his body shuddering with the force of gasping hyperventilation as his sobs died down. "It felt real a-and you -"

King pulled back, and Bim adverted his eyes, not wanting to see King's glassy, dead eyes, not wanting to see proof of what he'd done. "Bim. Hey, look at me, okay? Please?" Hesitantly, Bim dragged his gaze up from the floor. King smiled at him, eyes as warm and lively as ever. King placed a hand on Bim's cheek, caressing his cheekbone gently. "I'm right here. I'm alive. I'm okay."

Bim nodded shakily, and leaned into King's touch. Tears still poured hot and fresh down his face, still hiccuped every now and then, but he tried fro a smile. "I - I-I don't think I'm going to be getting back to sleep anytime soon..."

King huffed out a laugh, kissing Bim's forehead. "Yeah, me neither." He crinkled up his nose at the puddle of vomit by the bed. "How about we go get some stuff to clean that up?" He grinned. "We can test the Host's theory that Wilford has a spell on his candy to keep us from eating it."

Bim laughed, getting shakily to his feet with King's help. He sniffed, wiping at his eyes. "Yeah, I...okay." He smiled again. "I love you, King."

King's grin softened into a warm smile. "I love you, too, Bim."

Chapter Text

When Silver opened his eyes, the first thing he noticed was that his arms felt like lead. And at the same time, they were so sore he felt like sobbing. He groaned, eyes fluttering back shut as he shifted slightly.

"Silver? Are you...awake?"

Silver's eyes snapped back open, and he lolled his head to the side. Both Jims were staring at him with nothing but concern, eyes red and tear tracks staining their faces. Silver's brow furrowed, still half asleep and the tiniest bit loopy with pain. "What're you two doin'?"

He spoke far louder than intended, and both Jims held their fingers up to their lips. "We're not supposed to be here," one said in a hushed voice.

"Dr. Iplier will kill us if he finds out," the other finished.

They exchanged looks, and the first Jim looked down at his lap. "We just...needed to see that you were okay."

The events of yesterday and earlier that morning crashed over Silver, and suddenly his numb, throbbing arms didn't seem so strange. "Oh fuck." He glanced down, tears springing to his eyes despite himself. His arms were still buried beneath the blankets of the hospital bed in Dr. Iplier's office. He shifted them slightly, wincing, and slowly drew them out. The second his saw the blood bandages wrapping his forearms from his wrists to his elbows he squeezed his eyes shut, the sudden urge to vomit rising in his throat. His voice was thick. "Fuck..."

He heard one of the Jims (or was it both?) gasp. Silver couldn't open his eyes, curling into a slight ball as he trembled. He felt fingers ghosting down his left arm, and he flinched, shaking his head wildly, hos voice choked up. "Don't, please don't..."

"Sorry! I didn't...didn't think, um -" Silver cracked an eye open. The first Jim - who he could only assume was CJ going by his much more timid demeanor - looked about ready to burst into tears. Silver offered him a small smile in an effort to calm him down. CJ split in a relieved grin, and he and RJ swapped glances again.

"We um, we-we brought some things for you. Thought it might help..." RJ twisted around in his chair, coming back around with a laptop and a stuffed animal, a goofy-looking sea lion.

Silver gasped, reaching for the plushie and hugging it close to his chest. He smiled, properly. "Normally I'd be pissed about you two sneaking around my room to get this, but...thank you. Seriously."

The Jims returned his smile, and RJ cracked open the laptop. "Um, this has all of our archives on it. We...set up a little mini movie of stupid shit we've caught the other's doing recently. Like our own AFV episode." He smiled again. "We...thought it might cheer you up."

Silver chuckled softly, hugging his sea lion close. "You know what? Let's give it a shot." His smile became a little cheeky. "Got any good ones of Dark?"

The Jims snorted, replying in unison. "Of course."

Chapter Text

The Host sat quietly in a corner table of Starbucks, listening to the chatter around him and more or less hiding in his coat. He'd agreed to come out with Dr. Iplier, but without him around to draw his focus off the other noise, he was getting a bit overwhelmed. Almost subconsciously, he tuned out the other chatter and listened in on Dr. Iplier ordering their drinks. He smiled softly as his voice reached him, lowering his shoulders a bit. Dr. Iplier was clearly a regular here, the baristas knew him by name, and he knew theirs, joking around with them as he waited for their drinks. The Host's smile faded into a frown when he actually listened to Dr. Iplier's conversation with one of the women working.

"So, I noticed you're in here a lot with that German guy. You two aren't...?"

"What?! Henrik?! No, he's my best friend, he's a surgeon at the hospital I work at."

"Oh good. Because, you know, I would like to get to know you better, if you would like. Here's my number. And you know where to find me."

Dr. Iplier burst into giggles, and the Host pouted, an emotion he wasn't familiar with coursing through him. He fiddled with the lapel of his coat, pushing up the sunglasses he wore in public to hide his sockets. He jumped when Dr. Iplier called out to him, tuning back into the conversation. "Hey Host! Did you want anything else with your tea?"

The Host turned his head, smiling at Dr. Iplier. "A brownie, please!" His Sight flashed in time to catch Dr. Iplier's returning smile, though the Host's pout quickly returned when he noticed the barista's hand covering Dr. Iplier's on the counter. He turned back around, crossing his arms and placing both them and chin on the table, listening intently.

"Who's that? Another friend? A patient maybe?"

Dr. Iplier laughed. "No, he's my partner." The Host forced his Sight again, finding a smug sense of satisfaction in the barista's embarrassed blush. Dr. Iplier chuckled, clearly finding the whole situation amusing. "Thank you for the drinks, Nicole. I'll probably be back tomorrow."

"Bye..."

Dr. Iplier sat down at the table, immediately bursting into more giggles when he saw the Host's face. "I don't think I've ever seen you pout this much. Were you listening?"

The Host blushed, sitting back upright and pushing up his sunglasses again. "...Maybe."

Dr. Iplier laughed. "Is someone jealous?"

The Host's pout deepened, sitting back and crossing his arms again. "No."

"You know, you are a terrible liar."

The Host reached over to smack Dr. Iplier's shoulder with his sleeve, turning his head away and crossing his arms, still pouting. "The Host is not jealous."

"Whatever you say, my dear." He felt Dr. Iplier's hand cup his chin, and then was being guided into a sweet, lingering kiss. He was still pouting when they broke apart, though now he was significantly redder. Dr. Iplier chuckled, tapping his nose. "You know you're the only one for me."

The Host just blushed harder, nibbling on his brownie, and all traces of jealousy faded away.

Chapter Text

Silver was a very tactile person. He liked soft things, he liked to pet things, and he had a whole hoard of stuffed animals to satiate his needs. Sometimes, some of the other egos would even let him pet their hair, just giggling to themselves when Silver absent-mindedly reaches over (he's found that Eric especially enjoys it). He just...liked petting things.

But he also spaces out a lot.

Silver was currently sitting in the living area, staring blankly at the wall. He was tired. It'd been kind of a rough day out in the city with Jackie. A bank robbery, tons of hostages. No one was hurt, but it was still a stressful situation, for everyone. He needed to space. To bring himself back together. 

Google was at his feet, tinkering with something or other and watching Drunk History reruns on the TV. Silver wasn't paying attention, only vaguely aware of Google's presence, even though he'd asked him to be there. It...helped, if someone was there to ground him and pull him out of it if he spaced too deep. Google was chuckling to himself, the hum of his core a lulling background noise. And without thinking about it, Silver reached forward and nested a hand in Google's hair, massaging his head a bit.

And suddenly there was a tight grip around his wrist, bordering on painful, and Silver jumped a mile, yelping and jolting back into his body. Google slowly removed Silver's hand from his hair, staring up at him with his eyes just the tiniest bit brighter than usual. Silver swallowed, eyes wide, as Google stared up at him. "Don't."

Silver nodded shakily, tugging lightly at his hand. Google stared at him a moment longer before letting go, going back to whatever he was tinkering with. Silver swallowed, thoroughly shaken, and levitated himself off the couch, hovering towards his room. Maybe he should take a nap instead...

Chapter Text

Anti was sick.

Dark knew this, because he was being a bastard about it.

Google had burst into his office, opening his mouth with a furious expression, but all that came out was a horrible static noise before he collapsed, body glitching spastically. Dark had swore loudly, scrambling out of his chair and grabbing Google, dragging him through the Void and back into Google's own office. Dark swore again. The extensions were no better, glitching madly. Oliver was staring at his hands, making loud, gasping, glitchy noises that hurt Dark's ears as tears poured down his face. Red's head was resting face-down on his desk, not moving beyond his glitching. Green was trying to face but the glitches kept forcing him back, forcing him to repeat the same step over and over again.

Dark scowled, still kneeling by Google on the floor. "ANTI!"

There was a moment of no response, other than the frankly painful sounds of the glitching androids. Then, a patch of green glitches of code appeared in the floor, and Anti was stepping through. THe glitch looked absolutely miserable, his posture slouched and a pout on his face. His eyes looked brighter than usual with a fever. Dark rolled his eyes. "Go the fuck home, Anti. Stop terrorizing my family."

Anti's pout deepened. "Ẇ̧͔h̪̄̒͜ȧ̳̱t̻̿'͐͜s̎ͅ ͓̝̒͐ẗ̞̼͂h̼̿ë̡́ ͗͜p̛͍̫̎o̬̥͂͝i̢͋n̻͛ẗ̰́ ̞͡o̬͒f̬̔ ͙b̙̑͂͜e͉̱͐̂i̫̞̅̋n̻͌͊ͅg̒ͅ ̛͈s̫͋i̲͋c̲̄k̳̫̏̐ ̿͜ì̙f̖̀ ͔́͢͠I̫͔̋ ̰̲̿̂ć̼a̫͙̿̾n̏͟'̧̡̆́t̰̐ ͙͝s͎̔h̪̯͛̍ǎ̬̝͊r̫̍e̝̅ ̜̱̽̚t͌͜h͔͑ȇ̺ ̨̟̔͡s̨͙̄̒u̚͜f̮̉f̬̱̐̚e͈̍ŗ̽î̩ǹ͈̘͡g̟̎ ͔͖̑̽w̺͐i̧̠̍̇t̞̝͆͑ȟ̢ ͓o̫͑̚͟t̬̳̊̍h̙̯̓̚e͖͂́ͅr͚̯̉̅s̖̮̀͂?̼̃"

Dark made an exasperated sound, rolling his eyes. "Go home, Anti. You have you're own doctor."

"S̠̋c̼͂h̹̄n̬͘e̳͒ę̅p͉̅ ̠̔i̧̎š̢ ͉̩̾̃a̝͋ ͍͆š̼ǔ̥̋͟ṙ̘͈̈g̰̈ḛ̖͆͌o͔͂n̡̛͍͒,̤͙̒͠ ̬̏h̜̱̓͠e̟͕͌̅ ͓̳́̆d̼̙̃͆o̫̍ë̼́s̜n͘ͅ'͜ţ̦͐͘ ̣̦̃͞c̼͍̉͗ö͈̼́̓ú̝n̜͝t̲̆!̺̩̽̉"

"Uh huh. You should be in bed, dammit, you clearly have a fever. Get the fuck out of my house before you do permanent damage."

Anti whined, sticking his tongue out at Dark. "Y̠͗ő͈̗̈́ú̼̖̎'̭̒ŗ̛͇̔e̦ ̛͚n̮̹̓͑o̱͐ ̢̅f̳́́͢u͎͠n̙͖̕.̦̹̾͗"

And he was gone.

A few seconds later, the glitching subsided from the Googles. Green tumbled forward onto the floor, Oliver's noise turned into horrific sobs, and Google coughed harshly, turning over onto his side. Red remained out cold, and Green stumbled over to turn him back on. Google's core whirred high, and he shot Dark a gratefully glance. "Tha̳̿a̺̚ą͊nks."

Dark smiled at him, brushing Google's hair from his forehead. He helped him to his desk. "It was no problem." He smirked. "I will take any chance to tell Anti off."

Chapter Text

Dark glanced up, splitting in a beaming smile as he watched Wil slip into his office. Wil shot him a broad grin, closing the door without turning around and keeping one arm behind his back. Dark's smile turned into a smirk, setting his pen down and propping his chin up on his fist. He chuckled, closing his eyes as Wil leaned forward for a slow, lingering kiss. When they parted, Dark raised an eyebrow, trying to peak around Wil. "What do you have?"

Wil promptly flushed to match his hair, and he brought his hand around, revealing a large, beautiful bouquet of blue and black dahlias, the stems held together with a simple black ribbon tied in a bow. Dark gasped, taking the bouquet from his furiously blushing husband, ghosting his fingers across the soft petals. He smiled, standing, and cupped a hand under Wil's chin, running his thumb over his lisp before pulling him into a another kiss. "Thank you, Wil," He whispered, foreheads pressed together. He claimed another kiss. "I love them."

He pulled back, flicking his wrist, and suddenly a large, red and blue ornately patterned vase rested on his desk. Dark carefully placed the bouquet in the vase, and sat back in his chair. He was expecting it when Wil suddenly appeared in his lap, burying his face in the crook of Dark's neck. "CJ's gonna be pissed I took them from his garden."

Dark snorted, guiding Wil into another kiss between sentences. "CJ can deal. He can't be mad at us, he's know us for too long."

Wil laughed, humming into the next kiss. "If you ask me, that's just more fuel to add to the resulting argument. Plus, you do realize the Jims are terrifying with the amount of blackmail they hoard, right?"

Dark burst into laughter, cupping Wil's face in both hands and pressing their foreheads together. "That is true." He kissed his husband again, one hand sliding from Wil's face in order to take his hand instead. Dark broke the kiss, smirking up at Wil as he pressed his lips to Wil's wedding band and chuckling at the fiery blush that spread across Wil's face.

"Daaark! Someone picked my flowers! They didn't even do it properly, they just -"

The Door to his office burst open, and both Dark and Wil glanced up. CJ was standing in the entrance, steadily growing redder. His gaze flicked to the flowers in the vase, then back at the couple. He swallowed, spinning on his heel. "You know what, never mind. Forget I said anything. Next time though, fucking ask."

He closed the door again, and Dark burst into more laughter, shoulders shaking, and soon enough Wil's slurred laughter joined him. "I told you he'd be mad!"

Dark just shook his head, pulling Wil in for another kiss. "I love you, Wil." He chuckled, closing his eyes. "Never change."

Wil winked with a cheeky smile.

Chapter Text

CJ was on the roof, his tongue poking out as he zoomed his camera in on his brother. He snickered when RJ waved at him, getting into position. They had a brilliant way to prank Wilford - as a test, you know, since he was seeing Dark - and CJ needed to be in the perfect position to get all the action. RJ waved him the signal, and CJ pressed record.

Not seconds later, the head of a man who's hair was mostly pink entered his line of sight, wearing a pastel dress shirt and whistling to himself as he wandered over to CJ's flower garden that lined the manor and the grounds. CJ stuck his tongue out when he picked a black rose, and waved RJ back. 

The backyard promptly burst into a show of fireworks.

Wilford shrieked, spinning around, and the Jims cackled. RJ came out of hiding, giggling to himself as he shoved his mic in Wilford's face, 'interviewing' the wide-eyed man in the aftermath. CJ got to his feet, preparing to scale carefully back onto the ground. A particularly loud firework startled him, and he jumped, foot slipping.

And then he was falling.

It wasn't a very high distance, the piece of the roof he was on was only about the height of the first floor, but when he fell, the weight of his camera dragged the side of his body down, and he hit the ground shoulder-first. There was a sickening pop!, and then CJ was screaming, his camera tumbling away as tears sprang to his eyes. 

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck -" There was a hand in his hair, brushing it away from his face. "Jim! CJ! A-are you alright, what's wrong?!"

"Looks like he dislocated his shoulder." That was Wilford, the strange slurr his voice held recognizable even in CJ's pain-hazed mind. "I don't know how to fix it, maybe Dark does?"

"Okay, it's okay, CJ, it's okay - can you go get him? I-I-I don't want to move him..."

"Yeah, I'll be right back."

CJ didn't even try to stifle his loud sob as his body was shifting, being pulled into his brother's lap. RJ was quick to soothe, running his hand through CJ's hair over and over, massaging his scalp. "You'll be okay CJ, Wilford's getting Dark, and you'll be good as new. Shhh..."

He felt RJ kiss his forehead, and CJ relaxed marginally. His shoulder hurt like Hell, every slight movement agony, but...he found comfort in RJ's soft words and his hand in his hair. And though he didn't feel like it, if RJ said he'd be alright, he believed him.

Chapter Text

Ed lay splayed-out on one of the loveseats in the living area, watching YouTube on the TV. Of course, he was hardly paying attention to it anymore, more focused on Eric lying on top of him. Eric had come home from working looking...strained, and had disappeared into his room for a nap. Not ten minutes later, he'd reemerged, mumbling something about not being able to sleep before flopping on top of Ed. Ed was more than surprised, but he didn't say a word as Eric shifted into a comfortable position, sighing heavily.

A gunshot soundly loudly from the TV, and Eric flinched, making a small noise. Ed was quick to turn off the TV, the silence ringing a bit. Eric frowned, glancing up. "...You didn't have to do that."

Ed snorted, running a hand through Eric's hair, and Eric's eyes drifted shut, resting his cheek against Ed's chest. "Sure, I didn't have to, but...you're tired, kid. Get some sleep."

Eric shifted again. "...Can't sleep. Too tired."

Ed raised an eyebrow. "You're too tired to sleep?"

"...Mmhm..."

Ed carded his fingers through Eric's hair again, and he could feel Eric relaxing, the tension bleeding from his body. Ed chuckled, continuing to gently run his hand through Eric's hair. "Somethin' tells me you'll have better luck now."

"Mm..." Eric shimmied down a bit, his ear pressed to Ed's chest. There was a moment of silence, and Ed thought he'd fallen asleep, when Eric mumbled. "...You're a good pillow. Better than Ray or Bim." He crinkled his nose. "They're all muscle-y. Not a good pillow."

Ed struggled to keep from laughing, his chest spasming anyway. "Yeah?" He craned his head forward, kissing Eric's head, and carefully slipped Eric's glasses off his face. "Go to sleep, Eric. I'm not goin' anywhere."

The only response he got was a light snore.

Chapter Text

Oliver sat alone in the Google office, tapping away at his holographic screen, his brow furrowed with deep concentration. He wasn't really alone - the other Googles were in the office with him. But they were powered off, rebooting, upgrading, standing motionless in the three charging pods in the back corner of the office. There was always one of them who didn't upgrade at the same time as the others, left powered on to monitor the others just in case anything went wrong. That, and the fact that there were only three pods. Though Oliver supposed, if all four of them were to upgrade at the same time, they could always borrow one of Bing's many charging cables and have Bing monitor them. But, Bing had a habit of avoiding the office like the plague whenever upgrades were happening. Oliver didn't understand why Bing hated upgrading so much (none of the Googles did), but he couldn't focus on that right now. He tapped away at his screen, biting his lip. Red's fans were working far harder than was strictly necessary...

He reflexively glanced up when he heard the door slide open, not overly paying attention, and had to do a double-take as Bing scanned the room. He watched as Bing's eyes found him, and his shoulder slumped with relief, splitting in a lopsided smile before coming over. Oliver smiled softly, unable to stop his light blush when Bing looked at him like that. "I thought I wouldn't get to see you today. With the upgrades going on." Though his voice was soft and quiet, barely above a whisper, it seemed loud and out of place in the silent, dark office (Oliver had turned off the lights in order to shove as much power as he could into the charging pods for the duration of the strenuous upgrades without the electric bill shooting farther through the roof that it already was going to), the soft whir of humming cores and buzzing electricity the only sound.

Bing shrugged, grabbing the stool from his own desk and sliding it next to Oliver. "Yeah, well...figured you'd be the least likely to shove me into upgrades with them. God knows Google would. And -" He shrugged again. "I got a little lonely. I figured I got a couple hours still before they wake up. I'll be out of here before they do." He pressed a kiss to Oliver's cheek, grinning again. "Besides, I figured you'd be getting lonely too. And I brought snacks!"

He held up a big plastic container of cotton candy, and Oliver burst into giggles, blush deepening. "Wilford's gonna kill you. He threatened to remove your hands the last time you stole from his stash."

Bing's grin widened, waving a hand dismissively as he pried off the lid. "Wilford Shmilford, c'mon! You know you want some."

Oliver just laughed more, pulling off a small piece of cotton candy. Bing pulled down his shades to wink at him, and then pulled off his shades completely, hooking them on the front of his shirt. He pulled off his own piece of cotton candy, then jolted in place, eyes going wide. "Mm!" He swallowed his cotton candy. "Hold on, I have a thing!"

He scrambled off the stool, tripping over his own feet as he jogged toward the back room. Oliver raised an eyebrow, spinning around to watch him. "...What are you doing?"

"Just - aha! The Host gave me these a little bit ago, and I completely forgot about them until now..." He backed out of the room, dragging two beanbag chairs along. Oliver's mouth fell open, and Bing pushed the chairs against the wall, nearer to the three charging pods. He planted his hands on his hips, then grinned over his shoulder at Oliver, gesturing for him to come closer. "Come on! And bring the cotton candy!"

Oliver grabbed the container as Bing flopped into a yellow beanbag chair, and Oliver blushed bright when he noticed the other one was orange. He sat down hesitantly, surprised by just how comfortable they were. His blush deepened when Bing snuggled against him, reaching for the cotton candy. Hesitantly, Oliver reached fro Bing's hand, interlacing their fingers. Bing glanced at their hands, then beamed at him, and Oliver turned his head away, glowing a yellow bright enough to rival the sun. Bing squeezed his hand, and pressed a kiss to the side of Oliver's throat, grinning against his skin. "You know, Ollie...you're absolutely ****ing adorable."

Oliver squeaked, shoving a tuft of cotton candy in his mouth. "Bing..."

Bing chuckled, pressing another kiss to his skin. "What! It's true!" Another kiss, this one to Oliver's jaw. Oliver blushed furiously, squeezing Bing's hand, and Bing tapped him on the nose. "Cutest android I've ever seen."

Oliver's blush darkened, and before he knew what he was doing, he said, "That's funny, I could've sworn you had a mirror in your room."

Bing blinked, and then he burst into laughter, burying his face in Oliver's chest. Oliver couldn't help but notice the back of Bing's neck tinted golden-orange. Bing wrapped his arms around him, still giggling to himself. "God I love you. You're so cute, Ollie!"

Oliver opened and closed his mouth, his fans going nuts with his core whirring high. Tentatively, he placed a hand on the back of Bing's head, nestling his fingers in his hair. "...Thanks. And...I love you, too, Bing." He pressed a kiss to Bing's hair, mumbling against his scalp. "We all do."

Bing sighed happily, snuggling closer, and sudden Oliver didn't mind being left out of the upgrades.

Chapter Text

Dark sat in the doctor's office, a sniffling Host in his lap. He kept one eye on the Author playing with toy trains in the corner, mumbling 'choo choo train' to himself as he rolled them on the ground and crashed them together. The Host made a small, distressed noise, squirming in Dark's lap, and Dark frowned. He'd woken up that morning to find a crying Host with a small fever. He'd made an appointment with the doctor the second the office had opened and rushed out the house with the twins, leaving Wil with the other twins and King. 

Dark shifted the Host on his lap, resting the back of his hand on the Host's forehead. He frowned, pressing a kiss to the top of the Host's head. Still had a fever...he turned the Host in his lap so they were facing each other. The Host looked miserable, his bottom lip sticking out and making more noises like he was about to cry again. Dark ran a hand over the Host's head, smoothing back sweaty strands from his forehead, and pressed another kiss to his head. "Are you doing alright, Host?"

The Host just closed his eyes, wrapping his arms as much as he could around Dark and shifting closer to him. "Daddy..."

Dark leaned back, cupping the back of the Host's head. "Shh, it's okay. We'll get you feeling better soon..." He glanced at the corner. The Author was still playing happily with his trains, smiling and racing them into the wall. "Author, come here, sweetie."

The Author glanced up, smile fading when his eyes landed on his brother. He stood, taking halting steps forward until he could cling to Dark's leg. Dark hefted him into his lap too, and the Author scooted closer. "Hosty?" Dark couldn't help but smile as the Author scooted closer. Dark turned the Host around again - much to his protest if the noises and a few stray sobs were to go by - but he quickly soothed when the Author pulled him into a hug. The Host half-heartedly returned the hug, resting his chin on the Author's shoulder - he still had a fever after all. 

Dark closed his eyes, resting on hand on the back of the Author head with the other on his back, and swore softly under his breath. "Oh God, you two are gonna kill me with how cute you are." He cracked an eye open, just in time to catch the Author's - there was no other word except cheeky - smile. Dark laughed, holding them close, and leaned down to whisper. "I love you two. So much." He placed a kiss to each of their heads, and resigned himself to wait for the doctor.

Chapter Text

Dark was drunk.

Accidentally of course.

He'd wondered why Wil was so giggly as Dark downed his fifth cup of coffee that morning. He'd been too tired and distracted to notice the odd taste. At least, until he was slumped over his desk, his forehead resting on one forearm with his eyes closed. He'd finally realized something was up when his pain skidded across his papers and he didn't notice until he blinked and realized he was writing on the wood, not paper. He pouted, playing his with bottom lip with his free hand. Wil was so dead.

He heard his office doors open, and he bolted upright, chair rolling back. Wil snorted, closing the door and skipping forward with a cheeky grin. "How're you feeling, love?"

Dark narrowed his eyes, pointing accusingly at his husband with his head lolled on one shoulder. "You bubblegum bastard. You spiked my fucking coffee!" Wil burst into further laughter at Dark's slurred words, and Dark's pout deepened. "Wiiiil! How m'I supposed to get work done like this?"

Wil stifled his giggling, just a bit. "You're not." He leaned forward onto Dark's desk, propping his chin up on his fist. "You're exhausted, Dark. And if I have to get you so drunk you pass out in order for you to sleep, so be it." He poofed around to the other side of the desk, sending Dark's drunken brain reeling as Wil looped an arm under his shoulders, hoisting him to his feet. "Come on, Dark, let's get you to bed."

Dark failed his hands, slapping Wil a couple of times. "Let fuckin' go of me, I can walk myself." He pushed himself away from Wil, stumbled a couple of steps, and promptly tripped over the carpet.

Wil caught him, securing him in a firmer grip. "No, no you can't. With how much coffee you drank, you also downed pretty much an entire bottle of vodka. Let me help you."

Dark blinked owlishly at Wil, mouth open slightly, before his eyes narrowed. "Oh you bitch!"

Wil almost dropped him, stumbling himself as he cackled madly. Laughter was clear in his voice. "You are hilarious to listen to when you're wasted."

Dark grumbled under his breath before slurring loud enough, "If I have a fuckin' hangover for two days again I'm gonna shoot you with your own Goddamn gun."

Wil snorted, carefully guiding Dark down the stairs. "No you won't."

"Wanna bet you pink motherfucker?"

Wil almost tripped on the stairs as he burst into giggles again. "I'll bet the whole manor."

Dark snorted, head lolling back. "Deal. Then you can do all that paperwork."

"...How about I'll do it for three days?"

"A week."

"Deal."

Chapter Text

Google was asleep.

He was curled into Bing's chest in his - their - den, fast asleep. The sun was still slowly rising, and Bing was getting sleepy too, but...he couldn't help but watch Google's snakes. They seemed to be their own separate entities, disconnected from Google himself. Some of them were still awake, hissing softly, sluggishly coiling around themselves, Google's ears, and Bing. He chuckled softly when a few of the more alert ones reached up to butt against Bing's chin, tongues flicking against his skin and making him smile and giggle. Google himself snored quietly, making a small noise as he shifted closer to Bing, arms wrapped around Bing's torso. Bing flushed furiously, snakes still butting and rubbing against the underside of his chin, when Google wrapped his legs around the arm of one of Bing's pincers, shifting even closer.

One of the yellow snakes lifted his head lazily, waving hypnotically through the air before settling on Bing's arm. Bing's smile softened, and he lifted one hand from Google's back, holding out his palm. Oliver lifted his head again, immediately weaving between Bing's fingers before wrapping around his wrist once, practically pinning Bing's hand to Google's head as he flicked his tongue happily, tickling the inside of Bing's wrist. Bing chuckled again, leaning forward - careful to not disturb Google - and placed a soft kiss to the top of Oliver's head. Oliver lifted his head, raised as much as he could while he was still wound around Bing's hand. He flicked his tongue out, and began unwinding himself, headbutting away over snakes that tried to take his place. Oliver lifted himself up as far as he could reach, and Bing raised an eyebrow, the beginnings of a smirk playing at his lips.

Oliver butted his nose against Bing's lips.

Bing blinked in surprise, then split in a full grin, reaching up to cup Oliver's head in his palm and rubbed the top of his head with his thumb. Oliver hissed happily, tongue flicking against the inside of Bing's palm with the rest of him waving in the air. The few snakes that were still awake began to rise as well, fighting to butt against Bing's lips too and all the while hissing at each other with slightly open mouths. Bing giggled, finding all the sleepy, snakey kisses absolutely adorable as Oliver slowly began to ensnare Bing's hand once more, pulling it back down to rest on the side of Google's head.

Google murmured something unintelligible in his sleep, burying his face in Bing's chest, and Bing's own face lit up once more. Gradually, one by one, the little red, green, and yellow snakes dropped back to Google, coiling together in a tangled mass of scales and soft hisses. Bing smile softly, pulled Google just that tiny bit closer, and closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Text

The day started out normal enough. Dark was finishing up tying his tie, Wil had planted a big kiss on his cheek before getting dressed himself as per usual, and the pair had headed off for breakfast. King was making it, Bim, Google, Bing, and the Host already seated at the table. Bim took one look at him and burst into laughter, forehead thunking against the table as his shoulders shook. The Host nearly choked on his tea, and Google simply smirked, eyes flashing. Dark raised an eyebrow, glancing at King when he snorted and his gaze flicking between his husband and the others already gathered in the kitchen. "What? What's wrong?"

"Nothing, love." Wil pressed another kiss to his cheek - the other one - and Bim nearly lost it, no longer breathing as he laughed. Dark raised an unconvinced eyebrow, but slid into his seat, eyeing his husband from across the table.

He got similar reactions as the others filtered in. Dr. Iplier had promptly tripped over his own feet and nearly face-planted onto the floor, surprised laughter bursting forth. Ed and Bing had similar reactions, Bing 'subtly' lifting his shades to snap a few pictures of - something. Both Eric and Silver had flushed bright red when they saw Dark, though Silver was giggling to himself as he slid into his seat. Reynolds had stopped dead, mouth opening and closing for a moment before he clamped it shut and continued on. The Jims, of course (wild as they were), immediately shoved their camera and mic in his face, cackling and asking gibberish questions until Dark wrapped his aura around them both and deposited them promptly in their seats.

Bim kept stopping by his office more than usual that day, seemingly only to glance at him and stifle laughter. Wil was showing up more often too. He loved spending time with his husband, basking in the attention and several kisses Wil pressed all over his face, but it was a little...odd. And he was getting very suspicious something was going on. But he had no idea what. And with suspicion and curiosity all twisting inside him and his twin souls beginning to get agitated, Dark sighed, and stood, intent on head to the kitchen to get some coffee.

He was just passed the front door when he caught he reflection in the hall mirror.

Dark stopped dead and did a double-take, rushing toward the mirror. His jaw dropped, face rapidly blushing dark grey. Bright pink lipstick kisses were all over his face, the clearest being smack in the middle of his cheek. His face darkened again with pure embarrassment, his aura curling up like a dead spider's legs. He spun around, shoulders hunched with one hand covering his eyes.

"WIIIIIIL!"

Chapter Text

The Host hovered outside the kitchen, hands jammed in his pockets and the tiniest smile playing at his lips. Muttering under his breath to check to see if anyone was in the kitchen, he grinned at the confirmation there was not. Swiveling his head to the right and left, appearing to glance around for anyone else despite the fact that he was blind and the movement was useless (sue him, he was having fun), he slunk into the kitchen. He made a beeline for the fridge, standing on his tip-toes to reach the cupboard above it. His grin broadened when his sight flashed and he Saw the innocent, massive purple container of cookies, grabbing it eagerly and setting it on the kitchen island. Muttering under his breath again, he tried to summon several cookies into the many pockets of his coat.

Nothing happened.

The Host frowned, raising an eyebrow, and futilely glanced at the kitchen entranceway again. He couldn't hear anything. He was still alone. Trying the same command yielded the same results. Now pouting heavily, the Host just reached for the container, moving to just pry off the lid. And instead, he yelped, jumping back like a startled cat when an electric shock raced up his arm, making his fingers tingle. And to his surprise, Bim's voice rang out in the kitchen, originating from the container.

'If you're hearing this, Goddammit, Host, you greedy bastard. Stop trying to steal my fucking cookies. I make over a hundred for the entire family, you can't just fucking eat them all. Just wait until after dinner like a normal adult with self-control and not a Goddamn toddler. Jesus.'

The Host snorted, a smirk spreading across his lips. Bim was so new to magic, and so much weaker compared to the Host, his attempt to dissuade him was almost cute. With another snort, his voice brimming with excitement, he easily disarmed Bim's spell and tore the lid off the container, picking up a cookie and taking a large bite. An idea popped into his head, and he almost choked on his cookie with laughter. He swallowed hurriedly, and began murmuring softly once more. In no time, he was holding a piece of royal purple stationary (the same color as the container, to add extra insult to injury). On it, written in silver ink in his own beautiful, calligraphic, unmistakable handwriting, were the words 'Nice Try'.

The Host stuck the note on the fridge with a blue magnet shaped like an 'X' from the magnetic tic-tac-toe board they had on the fridge, grabbed the container and the lid, and stalked off to his library, happily munching on the cookies all the while.

Chapter Text

Bim stormed into the Host library, practically slamming the door in his wake. A piece of purple stationary was clutched in his hand. "HOST! Get your fucking stupid dumb thieving ass over here!"

He heard a choking sound echo from deeper in the library, followed by the screeching of a chair on stone and footsteps racing away. Steam was practically visible rising from Bim's head as he stormed deeper into the library, using his phone's flashlight as a guide. He found the Host's desk easily enough, fuming at the sight of the cookie crumbs scattered across it. "Where the fuck are you you fucking thieving bastard?!"

"Bim can try to find the Host, but he won't succeed!"

The Host's voice sounded muffled, and if Bim knew him even half as well as he thought he did, he knew the Host was ramming as many cookies into his mouth as he could as he hid. "I SWEAR TO CHRIST, HOST, I WILL DISSECT YOUR STOMACH!" A squeak echoed off the endless maze of bookshelves, followed by more footsteps.

Bim continued to stomp around the library, his fury growing with every second the Host evaded him. Logically, he knew he'd never find the Host in the library unless he wanted to be found, but his emotions were doing most of the navigating at the moment.

Which is why he was so surprised when he turned a corner and nearly ran smack into him.

Bim blinked in surprised. The container of cookies was floating along behind the Host, his cheeks puffed up with cookies. Bim narrowed his eyes, and the Host flashed a smile.

And then he was sleeve-smacking him.

Bim reared black, and the Host sprinted away, coat flapping behind him and laughing as he disappeared back into the maze. "Did -" Bim's vision turned red. "DID YOU JUST FUCKING SLAP ME WITH YOUR DUMB FUCKING COAT?!"

"Maybe!"

"HOST I'M GONNA BURN YOU ALIVE!"

"Good luck with that!"

"HOST!!! GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING COOKIES!"

"Never!"

(Bim never got his cookies back. He was also ambushed several more times, becoming rapidly familiar with the feeling of the Host's sleeve smacking against his cheek. The Host found it all hilarious.)

Chapter Text

The Jims stared each other down from across the kitchen island, their hands braced on top of it and both looking more than prepared to vault across it. The air was rippling around them both, shimmering, like something was trying to break through. RJ's finger twitched, and CJ narrowed his eyes. "Fucking move one inch and I will stab your bitch ass."

RJ's jaw dropped in offence and outrage. "What the fuck?! Why are you so pissy, you're the one that stole it!"

"I did not! That's bullshit and you know it! You're the one that stole it, just fucking admit it already!"

RJ's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Keep spewing that shit out of your mouth and I'll force you to deep throat my mic so hard you'll be able to hear your stomach."

CJ cringed back. "What the fuck is wrong with you, just admit that you did it!"

"That's it -"

RJ promptly leapt over the island, tackling his brother to the floor and pinning him down. The shimmering air grew a bit more warped, and suddenly his microphone was in his hand. CJ's eyes widened, wrapping both hands around RJ's wrist to keep his microphone back, RJ's other hand tight in CJ's hair. "Get off of me, hey - RJ! Fuck off!"

"Not until you admit to what you did!"

"Never! Because I didn't fucking do it!"

The twins continued to struggle on the floor, RJ's mic steadily getting closer to CJ's face. Unbeknownst to them both, Dark sat at the kitchen table, one leg thrown over the other and sipping from a mug of coffee. He'd step in if RJ actually tried to shove his microphone down his brother's throat, but...it hadn't gotten that far yet. So he watched. 

Bim wandered into the kitchen as well, starting back and eyes shooting wide at the sight of the furious, struggling twins. He sidled closer to Dark, slipping into a nearby chair. "Uhh...what's going on?"

Dark raised an eyebrow, speaking into his mug as he took another sip. "They think the other ate the last pop tart."

Bim snorted. "Do they not know it was Eric?"

"Nope."

"Are you gonna tell them?"

A smirk played at Dark's lips. "Not yet."

Bim snorted again, and stood. "Right. You have fun with this. I'm gonna leave before I somehow get dragged into it."

He disappeared, CJ let out a muffled scream from the floor, and Dark chuckled.

Chapter Text

The Host lay in bed, bandages soaked with sweat and blood. One leg stuck out from beneath the covers, and he shivered under the assault of the spinning ceiling fan, despite the rest of him boiling alive beneath the blankets. He was panting, one hand pressed to his forehead. The build-up of liquid in his sockets was beginning to give him a headache on top of the cotton candy and knives he already felt stuffed in it, and he shifted, making a small, uncomfortable noise. He was dying. This is what dying felt like, he was sure of it. Roasting Hellfire and all.

He heard the door open, and he turned his head limply, hand falling away and uncaring of the the mess of built up blood and sweat dripping down onto the sheets. The bed dipped, and a then something cold and soft was wiping at his face, and he melted into the sheets. relaxing marginally. "...How are you feeling?"

The Host whimpered, leaning into Dr. Iplier's cold touch - he'd never been more grateful for Dr. Iplier's permanently cold hands. His voice was raspy from his sore throat. "...Like the Host is burning alive in Hellfire."

Dr. Iplier snorted, helping to guide the Host upright so he could drain his sockets properly and change his bandages. "Sorry, you're not in Hell yet, not on my watch."

The Host made another uncomfortable, strained noise at the sensation of liquid rushing and dripping out of sockets. "A pity."

Dr. Iplier snorted again, giggling to himself as he tied fresh bandages around the Host's head. "There we are. Is that a little better?"

The Host made to nod, thought better of it when nausea crashed over him in a dizzying wave, and simply gave a thumb's up. Dr. Iplier ran a hand through the Host's hair, pushing the sweat-soaked strands away from his face. "I brought toast, in case you felt like eating."

The Host's stomach turned at even the mention of food. "No."

"Alright, that's okay." Dr. Iplier continued to card his fingers through the Host's hair, massaging his head gently.

The Host sighed, leaning into his touch. "...Dr. Iplier is helping greatly..."

Dr. Iplier chuckled, pressing a kiss to the Host's forehead. "I'm glad." He hummed softly, pressing his other delightfully cold hand to the Host's cheek. "I'm sorry you're sick, Host. Hopefully your fever will break tonight."

The Host groaned, reaching out one hand blindly to rest it on Dr. Iplier's thigh. "The Host blames the Jims. They spread disease. They're practically feral. And they always get the Host sick."

Dr. Iplier laughed. "Well, you're not wrong." He pressed another kiss to his forehead. "Get some sleep, my dear. You sorely need it." He caressed the Host's cheekbone gently with his thumb. "I'll be right here for you when you wake up."

The Host sighed again through his nose, turning his head to trap Dr. Iplier's hand between his cheek and the pillow. "Okay." He rubbed a little circle into Dr. Iplier's thigh, his consciousness beginning to crumble. "The Host loves Dr. Iplier."

The last thing he heard was Dr. Iplier's soft reply of, "I love you, too."

Chapter Text

CJ sat on a stool at the kitchen island, staring down at his homework with increasing frustration. It was English homework. The worst. He had to read a bunch of sentences and underline grammatical bits. He'd been barely able to follow along in class that day, and now...the words kept shifting and jumping around, forming incoherent gibberish, and no matter how hard CJ tried, he couldn't get them to lie still. His pencil shook in his hand, and he slammed it down onto the table, covering his face with both hands. He could hear Bing and RJ playing video games in the other room. He wanted to join them, but Dark had a rule about no video games before homework. It was a fair rule...

To everyone but CJ.

His forehead thumped against the island, frustrated and angry tears pricking at his eyes. He was so fucking stupid. He couldn't even read, what kind of sixteen-year-old can't even fucking read?!

"CJ?"

He glanced up, wiping at his eyes. Google stood in the entranceway of the kitchen, one eyebrow raised and an empty glass in his hand. CJ quickly adverted his gaze, forcing himself to stare back down at the paper despite the swirling letters beginning to give him a headache. "H-hey, Googs. What do you want?"

Google didn't respond, just walked over and peered over CJ's shoulder. "...Are you having trouble?"

"No." CJ picked up his pencil again, concentrating hard. The letters began to come together, slowly, and he could almost make out the first sentence -

Chica and Peggy came tearing into the kitchen, the massive dog chasing the tiny cat in circles around the island. CJ's concentration broke, and he threw his pencil down with a loud shout of, "GODDAMMIT!"

Google's head snapped back to the entranceway, eyes narrowed. "Host! Bing! Get your Goddamn animals under control!"

"Shut the fuck up, Google! Chica, come here!"

Google rolled his eyes at the Host's response, sighing when the two furry distractions raced away again. He sat down on the stool next to CJ, pulling the pencil back to them. His voice low and soft, meant to be soothing. "CJ, remember what you've been told. You just have to go slow."

CJ let out a frustrated sound between a sigh and a groan. "I know, Google, I know what to do, it's just...hard." His forehead ended up on the counter again, his hands tugging at his hair.

He felt Google take one of his hands, squeezing it lightly, and when CJ peeked at him, he was smililng encouragingly. "I know, that's why I'm here. To help you. Come on, one word at a time; what does this say?"

Google pointed at the first words of the first sentence, and CJ narrowed his eyes, squinted at it. "Www...'where'? No, 'when'! It's 'when', right?"

Google's smile brightened, and he nodded, finger shifting to the next word. "Come on, you can do this, CJ. One word at a time."

Chapter Text

"No no no, Host, you can't be serious!"

"The Host is very serious."

"You can't just tell me to stay away from spatulas of all things and leave it at that! What happens?!"

The Host chuckled, leaning over to press a kiss to the underside of Dr. Iplier's jaw, mumbling against his skin with a cheeky grin. "Dr. Iplier's cute when he's nervous."

Dr. Iplier shoved his head away, but not before the Host could feel the heat of his blush. "Shut the fuck up..."

"Yeah, for the love of God, shut up. You two are cute, but keep that shit to your own rooms. We're trying to watch a movie. Jesus."

The Host made a face at Bim. "Like Bim and King are any better. And maaYYbe -"

The Host clamped his jaw shut, abruptly turning bright red. The room went silent, and the Host hid his face in his hands, bending forward to rest his forehead against his knees.

Ed burst into cackling laughter, quickly followed by Wilford and Dr. Iplier. "Did you voice just crack?! Oh my God!"

The Host whined, blushing furiously. "Shut up! Leave the Host alone!"

Dr. Iplier pressed his forehead to the Host's back, shaking with laughter. "The almighty, powerful, eloquent Host's voice breaks like a fuckin' pubescent teenager, holy fuck -"

"Doctoooor! Shut up!"

"Google! Please tell me you recorded that!"

"Of course I did, do you think I'd ever let him forget that?"

"The Host hates every single one of the egos and firmly desires they all burn in Hell."

Reynolds cleared his throat. "Excluding Eric, right?"

"Excluding Eric."

Chapter Text

"Flex your feathers for me, Bing. And sit still, else this won't turn out good."

"I can't, Googs! I'm too excited!"

Google chuckles, wings shifting as he pressed a kiss to Bing's feathers. "I know, Bing, but please."

He felt Oliver shift with the blindfold covering Bing's eyes. "And you still can't see anything? You're not cheating are you?"

Bing flashed a lopsided grin. "Nope! Blind as the Host over here! And unlike him, I won't cheat." He laughed when Green snorted, and he began bouncing in place a little. "I can't wait to see what you guys are painting my wings!"

One of them - Red, he thinks - pressed a kiss to his cheek. "We know, but for the love of God sit still. It won't be much longer."

Bing's wing's shuddered, and Google swore. "Okay, I'm done back here. Are you three done?"

Green hummed. "I am."

"Yeah, same here."

"Hold on one second!" Oliver painted the last few feathers at the top of Bing's right wing, and then Bing heard his core shift pitch to a happy, low humming. "Done!"

Bing was practically vibrating by now, and Google laughed again. "Hold still, Bing, just a moment longer. You three, go get the mirrors."

"On it!"

The three raced off, and Google came around to Bing's front, cupping his face in both hands and pressing a kiss to his forehead. "Are you ready to see your wings?"

"Google, you know I am!"

Google chuckled, pressed another kiss to his nose, then pulled off the blindfold.

Bing squinted his eyes, taking a minute to get used to the lights, then gasped. There were two mirrors positioned in front of his wings, and God his wings...they were painted like a brilliant sunset, with golds and oranges and pinks, while keeping the bottom original strip of color untouched and blended in seamlessly with the rest of it.. They weren't cold and boring and lifeless anymore, and Bing couldn't help the tears springing to his eyes.

The Googles exchanged looks, cores hitching with panic. Green stepped forward, wings shuffling and grating against each other. "Do...do you like it?"

Bing nodded hurriedly, wiping at his eyes. "I love it, they're perfect, oh my God -" He choked, flashing the Googles the brightest, happiest smile he'd ever given. "I love you guys so much, thank you, I can't thank you enough, thank you -"

All four of them visibly relaxed, splitting in matching, beaming smiles. Google cupped his cheek with a hand. "Now remember, they're not dry yet so you have to be still for a while yet and close them or move your feathers or anything, but..." His smile softened, caressing Bing's cheek with a thumb. "I - we - are glad you like them."

Bing shook his head. "No, I love them, get it right." Red snorted, and Bing grinned, wiping away the last of his tears. "So, what are we gonna do while I wait for these bad boys to dry?"

Chapter Text

Dark stared up at the forest behind the manor with narrowed eyes, hands on his hips. "What did you two morons do?!"

"You know -" The Jims swallowed, staring up as well on either side of Dark. "That's a very good question."

Above them, rising out of the forest like a great behemoth, was...something. It was all black, its outline fuzzy, making it hard to look at. Its wings took up the entire horizon, and the thing was tall enough that it blocked out the sun as it just began its decent into sunset. The strangest thing about it was its face. It looked like it had an octopus glued to its face, the long, tentacle-feeler things waving around as it made a low sound louder than a ship's horn that shook the trees and the earth.

RJ drew his lips in a tight line, staring up at the thing as it shuffled around, clearly confused. "That's Cthulu. That's literally Cthulu."

CJ nodded dumbly, jaw slack. "We summoned a Lovecraftian god."

Dark snorted, aura whipping around him as he stared down Cthulu. "Well get rid of it. It's disrupting the wildlife, and King will kill you. If I or that don't do it first."

The Jims straightened, swapping glances. RJ offered a devilish smile. "Plan 56-Y?"

CJ returned his grin. "Sounds good!"

Dark raised an eyebrow, glancing between the two of them. "And what the Hell does that mean?"

The Jims turned back to Cthulu just as it made another low noise that made them feel like their eardrums were about to burst. Both were grinning, and Dark shivered. 

"Annoy it back to wherever the Hell it came from."