Weeks had passed since the “mask incident”, as no one called it, and you had fallen into a routine, almost. Routine, in that you became used to spending time at the house with the Iplier egos and with this version of Mark that you were slowly getting to know for real. Not so much routine in that you had no idea what to expect whenever you left your room in either house each morning. Or even before that, considering Wilford had more than once burst into your room at some ungodly hour with some idea for his show or something fun to do or just because he was bored or, one time, with a live badger.
Oh God, the badger. Not knowing where that thing went still made it hard to sleep at night, not helped by the sounds coming from beneath your bed.
But that was part of the fun, wasn’t it? Spending time with these crazy egos, running lines with Bim Trimmer for his show, watching Bing show off his latest trick, carrying Bing to Dr. Iplier after his latest trick, helping the King of the Squirrels steal peanut butter from the kitchen when Chef Iplier wasn’t looking, and then there was the time you spent with Mark and his friends which, honestly, wasn’t that much more normal.
There were a few things that still bothered you though, even now that the house, that house from Who Killed Markiplier, was burned and gone.
Like your memories, and your lack of them. You had your memories from what you still thought of as your reality, the one where Mark was just Mark and all of these people you spent time with day in and day out were just characters. But your memories as the District Attorney were a different story.
Not that Mark and Darkiplier didn’t stop trying to get you to remember, even now. One day after you had recovered and moved into your room at the Iplier house, you were wandering the halls when you ran into Dark and one of the Googles, the one in the blue shirt. Too late you realized that you were near Dark’s office, a place you had only been in once before, and that was one time too many.
“Wait, Y/N,” Dark said, trying to make his voice sound soft and even. “Please, I have something that I think you may want to see.”
You doubted that, but when Dark opened the office door and gestured at his desk, you couldn’t help but look and see the mess of papers and photos that covered his desk. By then you were already halfway across the room. It barely took a glance to recognize them as the Detective’s notes and papers he had kept in his office at Markiplier’s old house, the ones you recovered before the place was burnt to the ground and left with Abe.
“How did you get these?” you asked suspiciously, and Dark raised his hands as if warding off the accusation.
“Now, look again. Most of those are copies, of course. The originals went with their owners where possible, as we all agreed.”
He was right, now that you looked closer. Aside from some of the photos, most of them were copies, albeit really good ones. This was everything from the study, the only traces that remained of everyone who had been there that weekend, aside from the people themselves.
Dark was at your side without you noticing, and you immediately took a long step to the side as he said, “I just thought you might like to look at them again, Y/N, see if they stir up any memories. That is all.”
“Why?” you asked.
“Can’t I just want to do something for an old friend?” Dark asked, and seeing your expression quickly followed up with, “And of course, that is why I have Google here as well. Okay, Google.”
Google’s expression became more attentive as a tone came from his chest, although he didn’t do much to hide the aggravation of being used on command.
Dark smiled in return, clearly enjoying Google’s discomfort as he said, “I want you to observe Y/N, and if at any time they feel uncomfortable in my presence then you are to escort them out of my office. Is that understood?”
“Understood,” Google said with an answering ping. He walked forward and placed a hand on your arm, gently but firmly leading you to the door. “I am to escort you out, Y/N.”
“Google, stop!” Dark stepped in front of the android and glared at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Google tilted his head with a smirk. “Upon observation, this unit believes any time in Darkiplier’s presence is enough to make them feel uncomfortable.”
“I swear, if I have to get Bing to do this, I will rip out your CPU and shove it—” Dark seemed to realize that you could hear every word of this and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Y/N…”
It was your turn to sigh. “Dark, I looked at all of these before, remember? It didn’t help then.”
Dark studied you for a moment and then walked over to his desk to sit in the chair behind it. You saw his head dip down for a moment and the distinct click of a locked drawer opening before he pulled out a single item and placed it on top of the papers.
You approached the desk, staring down at the black cane with the silver top. This close, you could see the hairline crack that ran the length of the cane, but there was no denying what it was.
“You kept this?” you asked, your voice shaking slightly.
Dark nodded, not looking away from your face. “Please, Y/N, just try one more time to remember.”
You reached out, hesitated, and picked up one of the photos instead. It was a copy. The original had gone to Mark, and he had it framed and put in the guest room where you stayed while at his house. He never said anything about it, but you knew he hoped just as much as Dark that the image of Mark, Damien, and the District Attorney (were they even the District Attorney then?) standing together smiling backstage at one of Mark’s shows might stir up some memory.
But your memories as the District Attorney started and stopped at the house. You remembered the poker night and the terrible days that followed, or as much as the alcohol and the videos your Mark made allowed you to, and as for the decades that followed, trapped in that mirror and within the walls of that house, well, you remembered too much of that. You hadn’t told anyone about the nightmares of being back in that place, the doors that wouldn’t open or the emptiness behind the mirror.
It was to the point that as you turned over papers and saw your name or your own face in places you didn’t recognize, you still thought of that version of you as just the District Attorney, as someone else. You picked up one photo and realized that it was an original by its weight, the Colonel in his uniform staring back up at you, and put it down next to one of Mark, Damien, and William all together, smiling.
When Dark seemed to realize that this wasn’t working, you expected him to be angry, for his shell to break or something, but he sounded curious more than anything as he asked a question that you didn’t expect:
“Tell me, the Markiplier that you remember, what is he like?”
“Mark? Well, I didn’t really know him outside of his videos,” you admitted. You didn’t want to go into how much your Mark (the one you still thought of as the real Mark) meant to you, not to Dark, but you still found yourself saying, “But he seemed like a good guy, always doing stuff for charity, smart but kind of stupid sometimes, really bad at try not to laugh challenges. Also, he does seem seriously weird stuff. He’s funny and can kind of be rude and stubborn to the point you want to yell at him, but also serious when he needs to be. I don’t know, he’s just Mark.”
“You said before that there, in those memories, all of this was just a story, not real, correct?” Dark said, gesturing at the papers covering his desk. “And the egos?”
“Characters he created,” you said, aware that Google could hear every word. You could only imagine what he thought when you added, “They weren’t real, at least in that version of reality.”
“Wilford and I…”
“Wilford Warfstache was actually the first character he played on his channel,” you said, unable to suppress a smile when you remembered that Mark had called Wilford his favorite. “And Mark always said that it was the fans who created Darkiplier, not him.”
You wondered if you should have said that, but Dark smirked to himself at the thought. “So even in that reality, you had a hand in my creation.”
“…Yeah, I’m leaving now.”
He made no move to stop you, but he did, once you were out the door, look at Google and say, “Okay, Google, erase all memory of my conversation with Y/N just now and then we’ll have a little talk about your attitude.”
It was the one and only time Dark tried to get you to remember something about the District Attorney. You avoided him as much as you could after that, but you began to suspect that he had lost interest. After all, you showed no sign of remembering anything, and you hadn’t had one of those “visions”, those memories of the past or future that happened whenever you came into contact with him, Mark, or Wilford since the house burned down, not that you missed those.
Still, you slowed down one morning when you saw the door to Dark’s office standing open. This was your day to head back over to Mark’s place, and you didn’t want him trying to stop you, or worse, following you downstairs so he could start up an argument with Mark. Last time that happened it went on for so long that you and several of the egos were two steps away from stealing Mark’s car and going for a joyride to escape the noise.
But when you walked by, you heard a sound that made you stop and look in.
Once again, the papers and photographs littered the top of the desk, and Damien’s cane lay in full sight. But the figure who stood with his back to the door with shaking shoulders was not Dark.
You walked into the office, feeling as though the floor was tilting out beneath your feet with each step, and it took an effort to speak.
Wilford spun around to face you, tears freely streaming down his cheeks and one hand already reaching for the gun that was always at his side.