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The Circus Of The Dead

Chapter Text

"Legend says there's a famous circus tent that travels across the world searching for humans to fall into its trap. It states all ages enter the Big Top one at a time like they're in a trance with no escape and the smirk of the ringmaster is the only visible feature in the centre of the tent. His powerful eyes hidden by his luscious green hair. There is something in the tent that means no one can resist the temptation of entering."

Within an ancient pub, giddy children look up to the old woman sprouting the tale with anticipation. Their little faces managing to hold their wide, wondrous eyes. Many people in the pub laughed at the scene in front of them, too focused on what the children where imaging, then wanting to stop the woman telling them tales. However, while the female was narrating to the children about the legend, a mysterious man with red hair walked in. He got a drink and listened, laughing at the tale more than the children.

"You can't actually believe that's true," he blurted out in a strong American accent before the woman could carry on. She slowly looked up at the man and gave him a curious look, smirking as if she knew him.

"Well my dear, whats to say it not." The kids looked over to where the man was sitting, pouting because he had disrupted their story. With nothing to respond back to the obviously insane female, he held his hands up in surrender, to which the woman gently smiled and whispered to the children.

"The legend says those who do not believe are likely to be their next victim" They gasped in fear and again turned to the red-haired man at the bar, this time holding a sympathetic look. The woman carried on, "It says that when enough humans enter the tent, the show will begin. The arena will go dark, and a single spotlight is cast upon the ringmaster as he bursts into a fit of laughter.

Then an Irish voice will cry out 'Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls.'

To which a response as if by magic 'GATHER 'ROUND! GATHER 'ROUND!' will echo in a hypnotic voice while one of its eyes glow green in the darkness outside the spotlight.

'Sit back, relax, and please stay in your seats.' The original voice said like the echo hadn't happened.

'KICK YOUR FEET UP AND GRAB SOME POPCORN!'

'Oh, and of course,'

'HAHAHAHAHA, LAST WE NOT FORGET,' the ghost object continues.

'EnJoY tHe ShOw!' they would cry in union while the man looks up, both his eyes glow green as the ghost emerges with him." The old woman smiled once she had finished, smiling as if the legend was a memory, looking down the kids were still in awe.

There was a sudden bang from the bar, looking over it turns out the red-haired American had smashed his glass down and was walking out of the pub...

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Mark knew he shouldn't have smashed the glass in anger, but he couldn't believe it! The children thought they were being told an old legend by that elderly woman, but that couldn't be true! He knew he had to walk away, get out of the pub before someone questioned his actions. Before that woman asked who he was... The American thought he had seen her before, but he doesn't know where or why and it frightened him.

After waking up with 'memory loss', he had not recognised anyone, not even the city he found himself in. So the recognition of the woman scared him, he knows he should go back into the pub and ask the woman if she had recognised him or if it was just his hopes of finally finding his past playing tricks on him. Better yet he should go and apologise for the broken glass. However, he didn't he just kept walking, just him and his broken mind.

Disappointed with his actions he started to think to deep into things. Why had he acted so aggressive when the woman finished telling the children that legend, no his dreams? It was as if she had crawled into his mind and was revealing his darkest secrets. Though, if they were seen as legends could that mean he's just dreaming of stories he had been told as a child because all Mark could remember after being 'reborn', as he liked to say, was his name. And after finding out no one could help him, he began to travel across the land and sea, yearning to recall something. So far it has only been that old woman, but he lost the chance to ask why... Frustrated he kicked the curb of a road and carried on walking in an attempt to clear his head.

It had started to turn dark, and after a while, he found himself in a street he had never ventured before. Slowly gazing around the empty lands that held an eerie feel, his eyes fell upon 'The Sapphire Inn' written in an elegant font on the front of an old-fashioned building. He knocks on the door, but no one answered. "Seems like his place is deserted after all," he spoke softly to himself as he walked past other empty houses. Exhausted he found himself a small hole in an abandoned building and entered. He sighed knowing this isn't the first time he has had to sleep rough. After crawling through the gap in the structure, Mark stood up and stretched his joints, happy to finally have a place to rest after wandering for the past two days.

The American had ended up in a small room which looked like it might have been a grand living room in the past, shown with some of the furniture still being there. Slowly he staggered his way over to the neglected couch and laid his bag down, which he had forgotten he was carrying, like a pillow. Sighing again as he felt his muscles relaxing, it hadn't taken him long to fall asleep.

 

Darkness filled his vision. Mark knew what was coming, the usual, now known as a ledged, was going to appear in his mind. However, this time the view of the big tent didn't fill his sleeping eyes, instead it was still the darkness but with a glimpse of light. 'This is new' he thought, he's never been able to control what he did in these elusive dreams, he's only been able to think his own thoughts and watch. So without hesitation, he dragged his body towards the light, and the darkness started to fade when suddenly...

"Oi, wake up ya shit!" An Irish accent shouted. "Not feeling good today sir~" His emphasis on sir had Mark laughing mentally as if he understood the joke. He wanted to look around the room he was in, but he could no longer move his body. The man in a green suit tilted his head and placed his hand on Marks' head "You don't have a fever?" He questioned concern now filling his face. Mentally Mark figured out that the man in green was the one he knew as the ringmaster, but to his surprise, he didn't seem as scary as he did when 'performing' and his 'real' eyes are actually a vast ocean blue, eyes you were able to get lost in.

"Get that looks of your face," he replied sitting up slowly, feeling dizzy and finally looked around the room; it had a circus feel to it, with all the golds and reds surrounding his eyes. There were pictures of elephants, lions and other animals across the walls, along with black and white pictures of happy mysterious people. "That was a long ass journey Frith." Dream Mark had said yawning, looking at the draws that were next to the bed he was lying in. Mentally Mark was happy to have a name to face finally. 'Frith' he thought 'it's an odd name for an odd man'. On top of the draws as a music box, to which dream Mark had lifted the lip and had started to sing along. The Irish man watched with a small smile gracing his lips. Inside the music box was a slow dancing angel with her wings spread as if ready to take flight.

Frith began to speak again while Mark carried on singing, "Well, we can't complain, we are now all well rested." he winked. Ignoring the Irish man the American stood up and walked past him, gently catching Frith's shoulder he turned.

"So, does that mean," the room falls dark, and dream Marks eyes turn red, smirks falling upon the faces of both men, "It's finally show time?"

Mark awoke in a sweat as the bright sun rolled through the open window, confused and nervous he slowly rose up. This was the first time in the past four years that he has dreamt of something other than his usual opening to the circus.

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Mark awoke in a sweat as the bright sun rolled through the open window, confused and nervous he slowly rose up. This was the first time in the past four years that he has dreamt of something other than his usual opening to the circus. Excitement filled him as it was something different in his ordinarily dull life, but he didn't understand why it was suddenly different. Could it of been that woman?

Frustrated he started to walk over to a broken window on the left side of the room, he couldn't really see what was outside due to the trees and bushes growing between the cracks. So he bent lower to see his reflection, he had dark circles under his tired eyes, and his red hair was losing its brilliant colour. He frowned and looked away from the man he was becoming. Itching his stubble on his chin, he began to walk back over to his make-shift bed grabbing his bag to pull it back over his broad shoulder. The American turned and squeezed out the hole that was under a set of bare shelves, rubbing his eyes as the harsh morning sun hit against them. Mark looked down at the quiet, abandoned street he had occupied for the night, he felt a rush of calmness as he walked back towards the inn. However, instead of interacting with the building he walked back the way he had entered the road the day before. A shadow caught his eye in the distance, but he paid no mind to it.

After a quick walk down a dark alleyway, Mark found himself around civilisation again, people all shapes and sizes wondering past him at rapid speeds. The man had to dodge out the way of a small lady who was carrying a heavy basket of bread and cheese before she could crash into him. Another woman was trying to pull her children out the way of a carriage coming down the road. Mark paused in horror, there was a black carriage being drawn by two magnificent stallions with glittering silver hair. However, due to standing in the middle of the walkway, someone had crashed into him and knocked him over. The person was in a rush and was now lost within the crowds, so Mark was held in fright on the floor until someone placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

Looking up, to Marks astonishment was a man no older than forty, he helped him up with a bright smile. "Everything ok?" the mysterious man asked in an American accent. He had extremely curly brown hair that fell until it hit his shoulders, looking at his bright eyes he had dark shadows in the corner of his eyes that covered the majority of his lower lid. The red-haired man thought he looked like a sexy villain you'd see in a teenage vampire movie. Star-struck Mark was still struggling to talk, so he nodded his head, drawing his eyes away from the man's face.

With Mark now on his feet the man held his hand out, "Hello, my name is Danny." Mark grabbed the others hand and shook, compared to the hold on his shoulder Danny's grip was firm.

"Mark," he whispered, throat feeling dry. He had a terrible feeling he shouldn't trust this man, especially considering he's gone back in time? Shaking his head, he smiles back at the man and lets his hand fall back to his side again. "Thank you, but I really must get going." Mark couldn't understand what he was saying, he had nowhere to go. Despite what Mark was thinking, Danny just smiled and turned to walk away. Even though Danny hadn't moved yet, Mark was happy to be out of his gaze and walked to where his feet were taking him.

It turned out he was being pulled back to the pub he was sat in yesterday, guilt rose in him as he pushed open the door. The scenery was different, however, as the short bar was extended taking up the room where the elderly lady was telling her story. Stools lined underneath, but the most noticeable this about the pub was it was no longer as busy as it 'was' in the 'future'. He sighed sitting down close to the door in case of another mishappening.

A young girl with blond locks came up to him behind the bar, "Hello sir, what will you be having?" she asked with a smile on her face. She looked up at his hair in amazement. 'Shit' Mark forgot about his reddish hair, but she didn't make a scene about it; instead, she just held her smile awaiting a reply. Mark was about to answer when he overheard a conversation three stools across from him.

"Did you see it being put up?" a man in his late twenties asked a woman.

"No, the tent just appears out of nowhere in the old farmers' field."

"It couldn't have just appeared Amy, it must have been put up overnight," he responded leaning back on his chair looking over to Mark. His face dropped, and he whispered in the girl's, Amy's, ear. She turned, and a smile graced her lips, both looked up at Marks' hair, and the man asked: "Are you one of them, sir?" Mark was astonished, he had no idea what these people were talking about.

"One of them?" he asked, they laughed, gripping their drink tighter.

"One of the circus people!" Mark looked back at the excited characters sat in front of him and shook his head. He left a strange hole in his heart like he has betrayed someone or something special. But the man was curious and asked them where the tent was, and once they had answered him, he flew off his seat and followed their directions.

They weren't lying, there in the middle of a golden field was a glorious red and white tent, and the last of the masses of people who looked like zombies in a trance were entering. Mark stood in wonderment; it was the tent from his dreams!

He started to walk over but the closer he got to the familiar sensations his head began to throb. The feeling of gravity seemed to push him against the ground as he fell over, the gold roots felt like they were wondering their away across his body pulling his flat against the floor. He tried to lift his head up slowly but the force was too dominant, and he started screaming in pain. He tried to pull at the roots across his body, but they just tightened their grip. Mark was being dragged further against the ground face-first, he was struggling to breathe, and so his screams were starting to silence, along with the fading of his vision...

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Mark was being dragged further against the ground face-first, he was struggling to breathe, and so his screams were starting to silence, along with the fading of his vision. The last thing he felt was a gentle hand against his back before everything went black.

...

Soft, gentle covers were felt below Marks body as he tried to move, taking in a deep breath, feeling the air around him fill his body. 'He's alive?' he thought, feeling more rested then he has the past couple of years. The man wasn't sure why he was happy to be alive. Nothing had happened. The last thing Mark remembers was talking to a couple in a pub... What had caused him to end up here? The American didn't dwell on it, and instead he slowly opened his eyes to see where he had awoken, looking around the candlelit room, he stood up slowly trying to find his balance again. Once Mark felt stable enough to move he gazed down towards a soft fluffy orange blanket, underneath it, he realised was a natural brown coloured couch. Lifting his stiff neck up slowly, he faintly saw that there was a small table in the corner of the dark room. Due to the only light source being the candles he carefully picked one up and cautiously made his way over to the table.

Upon the table was a damaged paper that read "Dead or Alive" however, the rest of the page wasn't in English and on closer inspection, the letters didn't look like any language he had ever seen. But before he was able to admire the lines on the page something caused him to jump. He dropped the paper to the floor as he whipped his head to see what had created it but the quick action caused him to lose balance and fall heavily on the floor.

The position he had fallen in made him panic, the feeling of a memory appearing. "Please not again! I won't go up! I'll leave! I don't even want to see!" Mark kept shouting, closing his eyes in a panic, feeling the roots crawl over his body again. He knew there was nothing there but he couldn't help but drag his nails against his skin to get rid of them. This had happened before in the middle of a busy square a couple of days after he was 'reborn', it was thanks to the locals for calming him down that he didn't end up in a lot of danger, but it didn't feel as effective as this. Then suddenly instead of the roots, Mark felt that gentle hand again, and the pain stopped. He tried to open his eyes, but the circus tent flashed across them before he was able to look up and see Danny...

The man above him was frowning saying something Mark couldn't catch, his heartbeat still pounding in his ears but to Marks surprise, the man wasn't talking to him but to someone behind him at the door.

...

"Frith, you ready buddy?" A man with short curly hair asked, ready in his striped purple and white suit causing him to have a soft circular shape. The green man looked back with a sneer.

"Never call me that! You know that Bob!" He hissed through his teeth. The man jumped back a frown filled his face.

"Fine Jack, Anti, whatever the fuck you're called now." Bob sighed leaning against the mirror near the entrance to the stage, his hair standing straight. "Look, I know you miss him, we all do," he signed again knowing where this conversation was going but what shocked him was as Bob lowers his head to calm himself he saw Anti's left eye flicked. 'Jack's still in control in there somewhere.' he thought.

"I know, but he was the first one who called me Frith till I met you guys." He whispered tearing up, this was a lot harder on his mental state then people thought. "He's the only person I knew growing up alone." Bob just looked back up again a smile now over his lips wanting this to be over soon.

"You know Jani..." Jack whipped his head at him angrily.

"Just Anti." Bob laughed, knowing how to wind up his friend.

"You know Anti if you don't want people to call you Frith we should go see Mr Brooks," he shrugged trying to lighten the mood before the show began, "He could change your name on the flag things outs..."

"Look, Bob, I know you're trying to help, so let's stop this conversation here. I don't want to change a thing outside not until he comes home. Even if that means I have to cope with being called Frith." Throughout Anti's little rant his body was twitching with anger, and to Bob's eyes, he's sure he saw the man glitch. However, instead of annoying the bastard to calm down Bob just walked away, over to a group who were discussing something or another and Anti turned to get ready.

 

Frith could already feel the hot spotlight against his skin, the many eyes staring in anticipation. He was so close to leaving the safety of the curtain that sent itself between him and his food. He looked over towards the mirror making sure everything was in check for the last time before he left.

The mirror showed his brilliant green hair falling naturally across his left eye, a red suit that clung to his body, showing curves, where they were needed to be seen. Nothing was a fraction out of place, even his cane was all polished and ready. He always looks his best just in case, just in case... However, the man could also see his tired eye. He laughed at himself in the mirror, then his body twitched slightly, he tensed. "That presence..." he said aloud looking over to Bob and the group. Apparently, they had sensed it before him because they were already in action, lighting up all the lamps and fire pits.

His twitching body and flashing eye were now out of control, he ran to the back of the tent lifting it up to create a hole he could get out of and there in the grass was his body with a shadow covering him. Jack was about to run over, but Anti flared up causing the tent to vanish along with himself. Jack knew he was there, but that shadow caused problems, and Anti wouldn't let himself get into danger.

Chapter Text

The man above him was frowning saying something Mark couldn't catch, his heartbeat still pounding in his ears but to Marks surprise, the man wasn't talking to him but to someone behind him at the door.

Then there was an extra pair of hands against his body, and he started to feel the ground underneath him again, he looked down to make sure. Suddenly a rush of hushing cries filled his ears. He looked up to still see Danny in front of him, hands against his shoulders. Even though his face looked healthy and bright, his brows were creased, and his mouth was parted wanting to speak but was too scared too. Mark jumped when he left a burning pain on his shoulder, but when he looked over, there were only Danny's hands resting on them...

"Danny!" A man with a deep voice hissed, causing the curly hair man to retract his touch. Mark turned to look at the hissing sound behind him, and there was a face, the most noticeable thing was the line of blond running through the right side of his hair. Furthermore much like Danny, he had the same shadow in the corner of his eyes, eyes that Mark could get lost in. The man tried to move his hand back over to Mark's shoulder, but the sudden movement caused Mark to relocate to the other side of the room near the couch.

Marked looked at himself shocked, how had he managed to do that? He looked back over to Danny and the other man, smiles across their faces.
"There we are, are you ok Mark?" Danny asked slowly approaching him, his foot sticking to the paper Mark had dropped in the commotion beforehand. With the frown, Danny stopped walking and tried to kick the article off his foot, but nothing happened. Mark could see behind the kicking mess the strange man was trying his hardest to not burst into tears, his hand covering the bright smile and watery tears. 'Idiots,' moaned a new voice in Marks' head, but as if he hadn't heard it, the redhead burst into laughter. Danny looked like a cat playing with string, Marks sudden laughter caused 'blond streak' to laugh as well.

Danny looked at both men, frown looking like it was going to fall past his chin. "Fine don't help!" He shouted.

"I- I'm coming Dan," the man tried to say between laughter. "Fucken Hell Dan, what did you put your feet in?" He said winking.

Still pulling at the paper object on his foot he glared at him, "You know what's wrong, don't make me slap you Arin." The warning went unnoticed as it just made Arin laugh harder.

As if by magic Arin had finally managed to peel the paper off, still chuckling to himself. Mark just watched in amusement, they looked like an old married couple. "Right," Danny said fixing himself, "Can I come over now?" Mark just nodded and smiled while watching Danny look around to make sure there was no more paper or whatever that material was across the ground. Once he was sure, there would be no more incidents he slowly made his way over the orange blanketed couch, sitting in the middle. He tapped the spaces next to him, and both Mark and Arin sat down.

"We wa-" Before Danny could finish Mark was already asking a question frowning.

"Why am I here?"

"Well..." Danny looked over his shoulder at Arin with puppy eyes, hoping the other would be able to describe and to his wishes he did.

"You see Mark after Danny saw you on the street cowering he just had to help you~." Arin exaggerated causing Danny to elbow him in the stomach, he carried on, "He realised you looked lost and in danger so came home with guilt, thinking about you wondering off into nowhere," for the last part of the sentence Arin's eyes shifted from Marks' face to the back of Danny's head in anger. As if Dan was able to feel them he smiled at Mark, a hint of guilt in his eyes. 'Wonder if that's for us or himself,' the voice said again but like before Mark just ignored it.

"I explained to Arin what had happened and he told me to try and find you again, so you wouldn't get lost in the bad part of town. Surprisingly, I ended up finding you past out on the ground in a field of go-" This time it was Arin who elbowed Dan, the man sat up straight and watched Marks face with full focus and when Mark never said anything in response he calmed down to carry on his story. "So I picked you up and brought you here."

Mark was trying to process what the men were saying, and the image of the circus appeared again to his dismay. He knew the men were lying, he could feel it, but he didn't have the proof to prove it. "I see," Mark started trying not to act suspicious, "I best be getting out your hair then. Thank you for the help" He finished with a smile. Both men looked at each other then back at Mark.

"Wouldn't it be safer if you stayed here the night, just in case you faint again?" Mark knew he was stuck now, 'tsk' was heard in his head and this time he listened and agreed with its frustration.

"I guess... I guess you right." He answered trying to put a smile on his face, something was telling him not to trust these two, but he had no other choice...

It would only be for one night.

...

"It was him, Fei; I saw it with my own two eyes." The blond man looked back at Jack with a frightening glare.

"It can't be yet, it's not time!" He hissed, closing his eyes while rubbing his temples, "It doesn't make sense."

"I'm not lying, and you know it. It must make sense somewhere in there. Maybe it a path you haven't seen yet? I know they're rare, but it must be!" "I'd of had them back if it wasn't for that fucken' shadow" Anti hissed.

"Calm you ass Frith, I know you want him back but it isn't time." The green haired back huff and sat his body back down against the leather chair. He knew the Swedish man was right, but he didn't want to believe it, Erebus was so close to the circus. 'Dark must be fighting it, you know that right Jack?' The voice states. 'I know Anti' he responded.

"Felix can't you, like, ask them where he is?" With this, Felix opened his eyes and glared.

"You know I won't do that Frith!" To be honest, Frith doesn't know why he won't; the man has a closer connection with the circus people anyway... "I know what you are thinking and don't." That was all the warning Jack needed to stop his questioning. Fel- no Pewdiepie was too powerful of a man for either side to have, and it was safer for him to remain neutral.

"Look, I know you of all people miss the living shit out of him. Pun intended, but it's just not time!" And with that, he saw Frith slowly slump out of the room, frown and green eye back in place. Felix was just glad he knew Jack was still in there. He was fighting just as hard as Dark is...

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Frustrated Frith pulled at his hair, 'Jack, what are we going to do?' The strong Irish voice asked, sighing in the back of Jacks head

"I don't know Anti..." Jack responded, being in full control of his body. "I was sure Feli was going to have answers for us!" Jack didn't understand Felix never ignores his cries of help even when they first saw each other and the Swedish man wasn't sure whether he trusted him, he still helped him.

'He does, I felt his energy of regret.' The man carried on walking through the old town back towards the circus tent that's hidden under the morning sun. People rushed by him not taking any notice of the man in red walking down the road. 'Do you think Erebus is ok?' Jack stopped in his tracks causing a man to bump his shoulder. His heart speeds up, and he started to panic. 'Ok, ok, ok, I'm sorry I won't bring it up!' The voice inside his head cried, scared for his 'friends' health and safety, Anti knows how Jack feels, knows that losing Mark caused him to be a bigger part in the man's life then he wanted to be. Jack just sighed and lowered his guard trying to calm his breath, he sometimes forgets how much his strange voice knew about 'themselves', caused the man to laugh. 'What? What's so funny?' then to the voices surprise an old memory of Jacks filtered into his view.

 

"Wh-Who 're you?" The little Irish child asked once he had awoken in vast, abandoned darkness, thrashing his head left to right, trying to find where the voice was coming from but no one was there. Paranoid, the poor boy ended up hitting his back against the wall in the darkness. He felt nervous to be in the dark, it brought up a feeling of misery. He kept turning his head, thinking there was something in the distance moving.

'Don't panic Jack.' The voice whispered softly into his head; however, this didn't help jack any more, and he fell to the ground crying. 'Look, if you listen to me for just a second I'll tell you where I am ok?' the voice asked. Jack nodded and did what was told carefully; he left the dark room and was met with a soft damaged, curtain. 'You need to push this to the side I can feel a light source behind it' and to his astonishment, the voice wasn't lying, there was a small fire in the middle of a rotten wood floor, inside an old rusted oil can. The voice told him to carefully grab a stick of wood from what looked like seats in the shape of a ring. The child nervously litthe piece of wood on fire and cautiously walked back behind the curtain.

The young boys head was forced to look up, and his hand automatically moved to place the burning wood in a slot and as if by magic the single piece of timber lit the whole room a light. Jack felt his entire body relax and he let out a breath he didn't realise he was holding. "Wh," he looked around the half circle room "What is this place?" he asked. His eyes glossed over the remains of what looked like an ancient striped big tent.

'I-I have no idea..." the voice answered, the sound vibrating across the room. 'Woah!' Jack turned to the sound of the voice and saw himself in a dusty mirror, somehow intact still. He looked at his blackened feet, he must have lost his shoes somewhere, his clothes were ripped and had a thick layer of ash across them. He jumped back when he looked at his face; there in front of him he saw that his left eye had a green tail coming from below his weak green hair. 'Wait! Please don't get scared, I can see it in your right eye.'

"My- My what? My right eye has normal vision." Jack responded by lifting his hair out the way, and then he saw the image in the mirror twitch and disappear. There he was left, looking at the real image of himself. Like the image before his clothes were ripped and damaged but the ghost inside his head wasn't lying, he could see how his right eye was green with a blue iris. "My eye..." He trailed off, the image re-appearing in the mirror.

'Jack? Are you ok?' The creature asked bending down trying to get closer to the Irish man

"How do you know my name, who are you?" The child asked stepping back from the mirror able to feel its presence

'I'm the voice Jack, I wish I had more answers to tell you, but I don't know what I am or why I'm here...' The ghost whispered turning to nothing, he looked sad, and it pulled at Jack's heart.

"What's your name?" Jack had asked when suddenly there was a rustle coming from the curtain and the presence of the ghost was felt in Jacks' head again. 'Anti' he said before a man in green and black appeared in front of them.

"Oh my goodness, he wasn' lying!" the man cried excitedly starting to run up to the frightened boy. What Jack thought was a man was actually a boy a little older than him. "The names MatPat!" he smiles, sticking his hand out but the other stepped back and watched, fully on guard. "Right, Felix said he would be scared," he whispered to himself, "Sorry, I get really excited when he's right." Jack smiled back at the bubbly man confused, but he grabbed his hand. Mat went still, the smile fading slightly from his face. "Tha-that thing... How long have you known each other?" he asked a stern look now on his face.

"Not long, I know it's been about two days since I awoke, but Jack doesn't seem to remember anything that's happened," Anti said taking control over Jacks body

"I theorise you've been locked in there for a while, would you guys and coming with me. I need to see what we should do next. Felix was right as per usual, but he said this path was a rare one..."

 

Their memory suddenly stopped, and in sync, Jack and Anti both thought "'MATPAT!'" 'How could I forget, Mathew can help us theorise something.'

Jack was turning around when he suddenly said "That's if Felix hasn't spoken to him first," but he had hope, they both had hope. Hope Mat could help, hope this will be over soon and hope that Erebus is ok...

Chapter Text

'Well, I never...' The voice in Marks' head whispered, causing Mark to jump once the door of Arin's and Danny's house shut. He slowly looked around him, but no soul was in sight. 'What are you doing dipshit move already...' and as if in a trance Marks legs started to move away from the broken down house.

"Wha-Whats happening?" Mark asked trying to stop himself from moving, it was only when he was out of view of the house did his legs stop moving, and he couldn't believe his eyes. Mark found himself in the middle of the golden field again, however, this time he didn't feel the pulling of the roots against his skin. His instinct was telling him to look for something, someone?

'I don't understand I can feel their energy...' The voice stated again, and again it caused Mark to jump a little.

"Wh-Who's there?" he stuttered turning around to see if anyone was standing behind him.

'It's me, ya shit, you don't remember who I am, do you?' The voiced asked, losing its dominating tone towards the end. Mark continued looking around for the mysterious voice seeing no one in sight he sighed and fell to the ground, crossing his arms in anger and played along.

"No, I don't remember who you are." He stated, rolling his eyes, Mark was so confused, the voice sounded like his own but with a hint of something else. Then when the voice didn't respond Mark became frustrated and tried to stand up but he couldn't.

'Don't move!' it hissed in his head, and Mark was forced to look over to the edge of the grass near the town, where he saw a young man with short brown hair walking past. A hood covered his face and the upper half while he had jeans to cover his lower, no skin was on show. 'You see him?' Too confused to speak he nodded. 'That's a relief, he's what we call a shadow, you'll understand soon enough, but for now, we're going to have to lay low.'

Bewildered, Mark held his head, "A shadow? Lay low? We're? Who exactly are you, why are you saying that absurd garbage?

'I know you've seen the circus, Mark. I know your dreams have suddenly changed. I also know I have been 're-awoken' to the point you can hear me again but what I don't know is why you can't remember everything?' Mark visible sat up straight, this voice knew about his dreams? 'Yes, Mark of cause I know about your fucking dreams! I'm in your fucken head.'

"In... My... He-Head..." Mark freaked out; he quickly stood up and started to wander into the busy town hoping to get away from the strange voice in the field. It couldn't possibly be in his head, someone must be playing a trick on him.

He was happy when he had walked far into the town, and the voice hadn't been heard again. That was until he heard an Irish voice shout "MATPAT!" as loud as they could. 'That voice,' Mark didn't know how to feel. He was scared because the sound was back, but he was also strangely relieved to hear the voice of the Irish man. 'It's him!'

"Who?" Mark had said aloud causing the voice in his head to huff in irritation, and he felt his legs move on their own again. Mark saw himself running through the occupied square as quickly as he could, dodging out the way of distressed hurried civilians from the small town.

He found himself on the road heading back towards the golden fields, now running faster. He turned his head to the side to face a tall empty shop window, his reflection was him, but with a suit and from what Mark could make out his left eye was leaking a red blur. Mark chocked on air as he realised his reflection wasn't facing him but facing towards what they were chasing. His reflection was mouthing something but before Mark could see what, it turned its head and wink before they both set their eyes firmly on the man, with green hair... Wait, is that?

'You remember him!' the voice shouted, causing both the reflection and Mark to stop in place. Catching his breath, Mark looked into an abandoned houses window. The reflection was standing up straight looking down at the panting Mark. 'Erm... Sorry, I forgot when we're not together you get out of breath.' Mark looked around hurriedly to see that no one was there anymore and the man they were following had disappeared too.

"What," he struggled, "Do you mean 'when we're together?'" He asked pulling his hand through his hair stretching his back. When the reflection didn't answer Mark stopped what he was doing and looked into its eyes.

'You really don't remember do you?' the reflection relaxed his body and the image started to turn into Marks true reflection, and now the red blur was in his right eye. 'You don't remember who I am? Agh, I have to do it all again why can't you be like Jack and just accept me like he did....' The name Jack made Marks' heart pull, and he felt relief inside him, 'At least you remember parts of him.'

"Who's 'him'?" Mark asked, his own reflection turning back into the voice.

'You know that man you keep seeing in dreams, the man we were chasing, that's Frith. He's a lot like you in a way, where you have me, he has Anti. We are still not sure why but we try not to question it.'

"But who are you?"

'Dark' he responded quietly only to pick up his tone again. 'But you,' he started pointing towards Mark, 'Had to be a shit and cause something big!' Marks face fell, he'd cause something big, he doesn't even remember what his life was 4 years ago. 'And I wonder why that is?' his reflection glared...

...

"Not to be rude, but why did you let him go? We have only just been able to see him again." A woman asked dressed in an orange bodycon dress, who rose from the dark corner of the left side of the door. Before Arin or Dan could speak a man dressed in black with his face hidden answered.

"Because Suzy, we need him to agree to be here for it to work." Both men looked at the two with pride, they hadn't even realised their protectors were around. "I'm going to keep an eye on him, do you mind watching Dan as well Suzy?" Arin looked at Brian confused, but Dan just shrugged it off trusting the man.

"Why are you going to keep an eye on him?" Suzy asked curiously. They all knew Dan's protector was hardly around, but no one knew what he did.

"Because when he gets lost and worried, I can knock into him or something, I can bring him back without him realising." And with that, he returned to the dark and vanished...

Chapter Text

Frith was running to their portal in the 'old village', it was located in his old house. He smiled after seeing the old 'Sapphire Inn' still standing proud, reminiscent was felt going through his veins and he fed on it as he ran further up the street. Jack was happily running up the street when his body was held back. "Anti, what are you doing? We don't have time to play games, we need to see Matpat now," Jack asked quietly knowing something must feel off. When Anti never responded to Jack, he panicked and decided to hide behind an overgrown bush close to his house.

Mouth hung in horror, he watched as a shadow came from the hole in his house, it slowly turned into its human form as it felt the sun burning against it. There in the flesh was the most known shadow, 'Nate'. Jack's heard of him before when his house was... Let's just say Nate likes to battle. The man had hair like the darkness his glides across, an earring covered his whole earlobe and the classic shadow detector; the black shadow on the outside of his eye. He stopped and peered over to where Jack was hiding.

Jack held in a yelp as the shadow's eyes pierced his hiding spot, he tried to turn himself invisible, but without Anti to calm him, he struggled. To his surprise, the shadow winked at him and carried on walking down the street like he hadn't noticed the bright red outfit within the bush. Jack heard a quiet sigh once the shadow had gone out of sight.

"What the fuck Anti!" Jack cried, "Why the fuck did ya leave me alone?" Jack felt Anti's regret within himself, but he didn't care. "I was scared, I've never seen a shadow this close up without someone by my side since... You know and after what Mat told us... They really frighten me!"

'I know Jack," Anti whispered, "he, I mean they scare me too. I had to hide, or he would have 'felt' you out.' Jack was confused when had Anti met a shadow? 'Don't worry about that now, he's seen you and god knows what's going to happen so let's go see Matpat and get back into safety...'

They entered the hole to the house, and Jack smiled, it was the familiar feeling of home. Frith walked up to a broken window, both eyes glowing green and he felt the wind and mist slowly spiral up his body. The only thing visible was the bright green eyes that stood out in the dust, then Anti felt it. He took control as they transported over to the other side, a shadow moved in the corner of the room near the entrance which was seen through a little gab in the spiral.

...

Matpat was already waiting on the other side, 'suspicious' Anti thought to himself. He had blocked Jack out entirely from vision and memories. The American was standing next to the portal his slick back hair was a little messy, and he was fixing his clothes, but he never looked surprised when he saw the Irish man. "Who do I have the pleasure of speaking to today?"

"Just me today I'm afraid. I need to speak to you without Jack being in harm's way." Anti answered moving away from the transporter

"Harm's way? What do you mean?" Mat asked tilting his head standing up straight.

"I can sense his presence..." Mats face fell for a second before his smile returned. Ignoring what the man had said to him, he walked over to his door, one of the many that occupied the wide hallway and opened it.

They entered a cold room of grey bricks and papers; it looked like it belonged to a castle high above the clouds. There were a lot of documents that covered the floor, walls and even the ceiling. "Getting a little busy in here isn't it?" Anti states, trying to step over a stack of neatly piled papers.

"Sorry, I wasn't expecting the company this quickly, unlike Pewdiepie who can know the right path I can only theorise. I thought I still had a couple of days left to tidy up." He turned to look at a frowning Anti his left eye glowing brightly. "Ok so..." before he could finish Anti had sat on the floor as was getting ready to question him.

"No, ok so's today I'm afraid Matpat I don't have very long to be in control with Jack fighting hard to know what's happening. I know it's none of my business but are you choosing a side after all these years?" Mat looked at him astonished how the man could think that.

"I don't know what you mean." He says combing his hair back into place trying to keep a level tone.

"I know you're a smart man Mat, you know exactly what I mean," Anti said smugly glaring towards Mats direction.

"No," was all he said as he lowered his head. A quick smile filled Anti's lips.

"So that means you won't give us a fake theory?" Mat looked over towards the man happily sat on his floor like he owned the place.

"Fake theory? You know I'm not like Felix I can't just magic you something up. You aren't expecting me to say something right here and now are you?" Anti stood up and slowly made his way over to Matpat to grab his hand.

A vision of Anti looking back in the mirror verse to see Dark trying to run towards him, "Wait... You saw him? He's awake?" Matpat began before carrying on to watch.

'"I'll be there soon Anti keep Jack busy I'll find a way. I always do." The man in the suit then looked over and winked. Whether it was to Anti or not, he doesn't know.'

"What do you want me to do with this?" Matpat sighed letting go of the green haired man's hand.

"We-I personally, don't want you to tell that shadow," he hissed, "Darks awake. Who knows what they'll do to keep him away. How it would destroy Mark this time." Mat knew what he was being asked to do but he wanted to explain what Nate was really doing but like Felix said that would just confuse things and it will end badly. "I also want you to theorise when Mark and Jack will come into contact and if it will help Mark?"

"I won't tell Nate what you saw Anti, but I can't do you that theory."

"Matpat?" the Irish man's voice changed to a higher louder pitch. "We're here? What happened." before Mat could explain Jack heard the voice in his head reveal Anti felt the shadow when they transported.

"Look, Jack," he looked up to the American, the frown still placed on his lips.

"Felix has been here." Mat looked surprised how had he felt that? "I can still smell his meatball ass. You were right Anti." And with that, he turned to leave the room to go back through the portal when Anti remembered. 'Wait!' he shouted in Jacks' head, 'I don't know if he's still there Jack...' the voice whispered. Jack puffed out his chest and stood tall causing the voice to laugh. 'Ok, we can both be, and I'll be here this time to help vanish' but when they reappeared back in Frith's old house, there was nothing in sight.

Slowly Frith wandered back to the safety of the tent when he saw him... There standing talking to a man who looked like an old history teacher, was Mark, laughing, looking happy. It broke Jacks' heart. Anti took control and noticed the man with Mark had a black ninja mask in his back pocket, However, feeling the same broken heart as Jack, he walked the rest of the way back wondering what the fuck Dark was up to...

Chapter Text

It had been an hour since they lost the green haired man and Mark was starting to feel tired from running and walking all morning, and the voice, Dark hadn't spoken in his head after their conversation before losing the Irish man. Mark felt a hint of regret for how the conversation ended, if it was his fault, it might explain why he lost his memory but what had he done? 'Stop worrying I can feel it, and I don't like it.' The voice stated causing Mark to jump and knock the shoulder of a woman who was walking towards the pub he had seen her in before, but instead of confrontation she just smiled and carried on with her day.

 

Mark was drawn back to the old village he had slept in the night before, and he heard a sigh at the back of his mind. He walked past the Sapphire Inn and into the house he had slept in. "Why am I here again?" Marked asked once he slipped through the hole. While walking over the couch he took in a deep breath, "It feels different," he states squinting his eyes observing the room.

'I thought that, it feels like a shadow, but it wasn't in a hostile atmosphere. Why would a shadow have business in our house?' Mark stood still in his tracks.

"Our house?" he turned to look at the broken window and saw Darks reflection, the man scoffed. "Look I'm sorry I caused this big hee-haw, but I don't remember who I am, who you are or what any of this. Shadows, Frith, Jack, Anti, Dark, Erebus... You're just spouting words and names, and I'm surprised I haven't been taken to a mental hospital with how much I talk to myself!" By the end of Marks rant, Dark had turned his back within the reflection and sat gracefully against the ground.

'I keep forgetting you don't remember shit, I can see your memories clearly but for some reason, YOU can't!' he sighed leaning his head against the bottom window. 'This is where you and... It's best for me not to tell you, you'll remember soon.' Mark exhaled in irritation and copied what Dark had done and sat down leaning his back to what felt like warm heat. 'I'm glad this isn't fake, and I can actually feel you leaning against me, it's been too long' Dark whispered leaning further against Mark, to his surprise Mark felt safe within Darks heat.

"I'm sorry for shouting, this all sounds so, so, so crazy!" He threw his arms up in exaggeration. "I've gone from having nothing but this bag," he went to grab it from his back, but it wasn't there. "Shit!" he cried realising he'd lost his bag somewhere within the last couple of weird days. "Well, now I've gone from having nothing, having nobody but those stupid dreams, to having a voice in my head my dreams being true." He finished his sentenced puzzled, where they real?

Dark laughed deep and full of heart which vibrated through Mark, 'I can definitely tell you they're very much real.' and with that Mark's vision was clouded with an image of inside the colourful, bright tent.

 

People were rushing behind the amazing, red velvet curtain getting ready for something. He was facing a wide mirror that held Darks reflection; it didn't look as stern and serious as it does now but happy and full of energy. 'You ready!' Dark implored.

"As ready as I'll ever be!" Once he had finished, the reflection changed, now both his eyes were glowing red, and a smirk filled his face, it faltered a little when he heard the well-known voice.

"Erebus!" A voice shouted coming out of one of the side rooms. It was the Irish man they were chasing yesterday, but here, he looked much like Dark, happy and relaxed.

"Frith!" he cried and ran to hug the man in a panic, "You're back already?"

"Yeah, even though I was feeling drained after the incident yesterday, she said it would be better if I came and performed. I'm just in need of food." Mark felt his body relax and he hugged Jack tighter.

"I'm sorry I never meant for you to get hu-" before he could finish Frith was already pulling out of the hug and walking over to the curtain but before he left, he turned and winked at Mark to only vanish.

'That man will be the death of us," Mark nodded in agreement. He poked his head out from the corner of the curtain and watched Frith do his opening act. Mentally Mark smiled, he'd seen this introduction multiple times, and a feeling of familiarity was felt, causing his body to grow stronger, "What's going on?" he thought. Then to his surprise, he slowly walked out the curtain once Jack had finished his little speech. "This is new" However, everything went dark, and Mark no longer saw the crowds of people cheering and laughing.

'Stop fighting the memory Mark, it was working for once.' Dark hissed in his head.

"I-I'm not fighting it, I want to know!" He shouted, but he found himself back in the abandoned empty room. Frustrated he lent forward and threw his head back

'Ouch!' Dark cried holding the back of his head in the reflection. Mark turned and looked at him sheepishly.

"Sorry, I forgot you were in there," and they both leant against each other.

'All these years, I thought it was you forcing yourself to forget, especially after what you said to Anti. I'm surprised he's still looking for you, well I suppose it's more on Jack behalf, but I'm sure Anti misses us too!' Dark started to speed up near the end, desperation felt in his voice. After a minute passed he carried on, 'Anyway,' he started to stand and face Mark, fixing his tie, ' I think we should be getting going.'

"Getting going?" Mark asked already walking towards the hole, "I felt safe here, can't we stay?"

'No." Was all Dark snapped and with that they were back on the street walking towards civilisation.

...

Mark grew tired with every step he took, 'You need happiness' Dark claimed.

"Happiness?" but Dark never answered, and Mark was left wondering the streets by himself. He tripped up after trying to lazily walk up the curb and bumped into a man who looked like he should have been a history teacher. 'Strange thought' Dark quietly answered, if Mark weren't already acquainted with the voice he would have jumped. 'Don't react, try to ignore me at all cost,' his voice warned 'You can feel it can't you, try to relax your body or he will become suspicious. They don't want me around, and I want to know why.' And with that, the voice went quiet, and Mark looked up at the man apologetically.

"Sorry about that, I'm a little tired I wasn't expecting someone to be out here too this late during the day." The man looked at him surprised, but his face slowly relaxed and showed a smiled.

"Hey, don't worry about it, the names Brian." He held out his hand, and Mark took it. "Not to sound rude but you do look exhausted, you should head home and rest."

Mark laughed and pulled his hand to the back of his neck, "I'd love to, but I've lost my bag and have no money for any Inns" The man he was looking at stepped back and tilted his head in remembrance.

"Do you by any chance know Danny and Arin?" Mark stood in horror how did this 'shadow' know that.

'Relax Mark for fuck sake.'

"Yes?" he answered wearily, trying to find a way out of this conversation.

"I'm sorry I was just there, and they were complaining how they had managed to let a man leave without taking his bag." This time Brian was the one to put his hand on the back of his neck laughing awkward. Mark smiled and laughed along. It was then he felt someone else's presence.

'Mark no!' The voice shouted in his head causing his smile to lose some realism, 'Don't turn, don't get him in more trouble'. What trouble could he cause by turning Mark thought, 'Don't question me, keep your concentration on the man in front and he won't bat an eye to Frith.' Mark did as he was requested and he ended up being 'dragged' back to the house he had already spent the night in.

"Thanks for this Brian" Mark beamed not knowing how else to keep the 'shadows' attention, "I don't know how I could have forgotten my bag." Brian just smiled and carried on looking forward and there in front of Mark was the dreaded house.

'This is going to be fun' Dark stated hiding himself from Mark and everyone around.

Chapter Text

'This is going to fun' Dark stated hiding himself from Mark and everyone around.

Upon entering the house, he was met with a woman sharpening knives a scrawl across her face. "What's wrong with you," Brian asked, and in a blink of an eye, he was over by her side whispering something in her ear. She turned her body still holding her detailed knife and smiled.

'Smile back idiot,' Dark told him, voice very faint but Mark didn't listen. Her smile faded, and she started to walk over. Almost inaudible, Mark heard the voice tell him to be careful, he's watching but won't be felt or heard unless needed.

Once the woman had reached him, she held out her hand that wasn't holding onto a knife. Mark tried to smile and took her hand. "Hello!" She gleamed, "The names Suzy."

"Mark," he said slowly retracting his hand back to his side, he looked over to Brian, "Any chance I could get my bag now, I really need to be going." For a second Mark thought he saw Brian's face frown but he turned to walk upstairs towards the room Mark was in yesterday.

The house was pitch black, all the windows have been covered over, "Don't mind the lack of light," Brian said picking up a lantern at the top of the stairs, "It can get very cold, so we thought it was best to make sure there was no draft for wind to come through."

"Right," Mark responded feeling his body tighten in fear, it felt like there were people all around him but when he turned his head all he could see was darkness. "This is so creepy," he thought to himself, and the feeling of Dark nodding was felt within. For some reason, knowing Dark was with him helped with his fear because Mark felt like there was someone next to him, there to support him. Even if he couldn't be felt at the moment, Mark knew he was there.

Brian turned into a door but before Mark could follow he knocked into someone. He turned his head and strained his eyes, all he could see was fluffy hair. "Sorry," Mark whispered.

"Mark?"

"Danny?" The hair suddenly made sense and Mark apologised again before walking into the room that Brian was waiting in. There in the corner near the orange couch was his weathered looking bag. He walked over to it and sat down opening up the hinges. Everything seemed to still be in there; his money, new clothes he had bought before wandering into the pub and a mouldy piece of bread. "Thanks for your help again." Mark laughed scratching his neck. He was about to stand up when suddenly there was a knock on the door.

"Brian, you ready it's time to find some fo-" Arin's face fell as he looked over to see Mark sat down. "Oh, hello Mark, I see you're back in the Grumps house," Arin's said while he kicked something behind him and Mark heard a yelp before it ran off. "Sorry to rush you off but we really must get going." He sounded drowsy Mark thought; there was no response from Dark.

"Please, don't worry I had only returned to grab my bag," he smiled at the man; however, Arin never smiled back; instead he turned and walked back out of the room. Mark saw a shadow come up from where Arin's foot had lifted before he was out of sight in the dark. "Thank you, Brian, it seems I must get going now." The man led him out of the house, it felt different from the last time he was in here.

He waved at Brian before he started to walk away from the house. Like before, once the house was out of sight, he could feel Darks presence again. 'That place has always creeped me out.' His body started to slow its pace, and he leisurely walked through the empty street.

"It felt different this time" was all Mark could respond with, it felt homely but dangerous.

'Don't dwell on it, I'd rather not see any more of them memory by myself thank you very much,' he felt his body shuddered in disgust. 'What I don't understand is why they never tried to keep you...'

"Keep me? They all looked so tired and pissed off."

'I know, they must be hungry,' and as if on cue they heard a loud female scream. Mark wanted to run over, but his body wouldn't move. 'Are you ok?' Dark asked

"Are you stopping me from moving?" Mark asked, but the voice responded with a no and Mark knew he couldn't feel Darks tug against his wishes.

'Maybe mentally you know not to go over there,' puzzlement ran through Marks body causing Dark to sigh, 'Like I said, please don't dwell on the matter. Hopefully, they weren't hungry enough to kill the poor woman.'

"K-Kill!" Mark stuttered.

'STOP!' Dark shouted causing the ground beneath Mark to shake, prompting him to fall over, but when he went to fix himself, he saw he had entered the room he and Dark were in this morning. 'Shit.'

"What the fuck happened then?" He questioned before he felt his body start to become weak. He limped over to the damaged chair near the window where he saw Dark's reflection. His breath began to speed up, and his body was becoming numb, he looked over to the window for help, but there was no one there other than his own reflection. Then darkness covered his eyes.

 

He woke up in the only room within Grumps house he's seen again, but he never felt Darks presence...

"You up yet sleep head?" he heard someone shout from the door. Mark grumped moodily in response. "Come on, we've found a full town!" Mark sat up quickly, eagerness filled his body.

"Really," he began standing up, Mark noticed he had shrunk incredibly in height. "I get to come!" He jumped up and down, the man in front of him laughed and walked over to mess with Marks dark hair. Mark looked up at the man grabbing his hand and smiled. Danny smiled back trying to pull his hand away from Marks deathly grip.

The next thing Mark remembers is appearing in a town that looked like it was engulfed in flames, the sounds and heat felt so real, "Arin's been practising this since he found out about the little town." Danny said looking over at Mark before he disappeared. He found himself drawn to a house near the end of the road. Mark mentally found himself shaking with fear, "This is..." he couldn't make himself think about the house.

He entered walking through the fire of the front door. In the corner of his eye, he saw a woman screaming in the living room along with a high pitch vocal, and then a flicker of a black shadow was seen darting at the woman. Its hands were slowly re-appearing grabbing the woman's neck tightly. Mark turned his head away from the rest and carried on walking upstairs towards the sound of a whimper in one of the rooms.

He then appeared in a room, his body was against the floor. His eyes wouldn't allow him sight, so he had to use his other senses to find his way around.

"Ta..." There, Mark rushed towards the sound, to only hear the sound of feet trying to move, it meant nothing, he had found the body's presence

"Too late~" he sang, however, before he knew it he felt burning run through the whole of his body. He hissed in pain and tried to scuttle backwards from the light, it felt like his insides where melting.

The vision was starting to clear when he suddenly felt his body being pushed down 'Oh no you don't, I'll force you to remember more!' Desperation was heard through Darks shouts, 'If they won't let you remember me then I'll make you remember me. Fuck Danny!' Was all the voice cried before he suddenly felt a strong pull back to the memory?

Through the screams coming from outside the room, Mark could hear feet quickly scatter away against the wooden floor. He felt himself rise from the ground and he turned to look around the room, next to him was a closed music box, and he was forced to touch it. 'Mark?' A voice in his head shouted, the confusion didn't help the pain, and he started coughing. 'Mark calm down.' He knew the body of past Mark didn't recognise the voice. 'Hey, can you hear me?' The voice asked. Mark wanted to answer the voice but he couldn't through the coughing. 'Mark relax, I'm going to try and do a takeover. Don't. Fight. Me.'
The last thing Mark remembers is being in a bright room of white. 'Don't worry, he said Dr Wiishu can help us.' A soft voice told him.

 

Mark re-awoke again in the chair, sweat pouring off him. He no longer felt panicky. "Dark?" He whispered aloud, but there was no response. He quickly stood up and looked in the broken window. When his reflection didn't show he slowly looked down and there was Dark's back slumped against the edge. Mark knelt down and placed his hand against the middle of Darks back. "Dark, are you ok?" Again there was no response, so Mark sat softly, slowly leaning his back against the window. He still felt the warmth of Dark and smiled relaxing into it. "Thank you for saving me," Mark hummed before he felt himself drift off again.

Mark would never know how Darks face filled with a gentle smile before weakness took over...

Chapter Text

"Where's Jack?" Bob had asked while walking over to the door where a man in black and white stood, his slightly curled hair was spray painted black with white spots, which went along with his white face. The man shrugged his shoulders while bringing his hands to look like they were holding a box. He moved one of his hands to hold the top of the box and opened it slowly while looking around as if he was listening to music. "I see," Bob said nodding his head along, he was about to enter the door when the man stood in front of him. "What Tyler?" The man pulled his face into a frown, using his hands to drag the mouth further in exaggerating. Bob knew what Tyler was saying, but they needed to get food soon otherwise Jack would suffer. "Can I at least shout into him, we need to get ready?" Tyler nodded and moved out of the way of the door walking over to his partner on the stage.

"Jack, Anti," Bob shouted quietly, "We need to be getting ready, everyone's becoming hungry." When he knew he wasn't going to get a response, Bob had started to walk away, but then he began to hear the commotion from the other side of the curtain and smiled, knowing a sick Jack was the last thing he wanted he got everyone in their place. Bob also didn't want to be told off by Dr Wiishu again...

On the other side of the door, Frith laid against the floor, music box open next to him. He had his eyes closed straining to hear Mark sing to him. Jack started to cry and asked Anti to take over for a little; he was more than happy to help his other half. Jack had always been grateful for Anti, he owed him his life. Anti closed the box up watching as the angel disappeared before turning it around to rewind it up. Even without the soft sounds of the music, Anti could still felt the tightness of the box, the loneliness it brought.

Once he reopened the lid, for a moment, he found himself gently singing along. 'I only wanted to hear your voice, skin that's warm, eyes that cry. I only wanted to see your smile, feel your touch, it's been a while...' A drip was wetness was felt rolling down Anti's face, he brought his hand up to his glowing eye. As the song chimes again Anti started to question what Dark was up too. 'He was letting the shadow talk to him for fuck sake!' Anti shouted in anger, but it slowly died away as the music in the box changed. It was now just the chimes of a lullaby ringing through his ears. The calming music was causing more tears to fall; Dark knew how to control the music the box would give out.

The slow beats from the box brought Darks deep hums back to his mind. Anti lay on his side letting the tears from both eyes fall to the floor in the darkness, they might be afraid of the dark but they were strong enough to fight the fear together. To be honest, they both hoped it would bring the man back, only Erebus knew about this dark room. The song changed and 'Our Canon in D' played once Anti had calmed, and he laughed, it was as if Dark was still here to work the box...

In a horsed whisper Anti started to sing along again, tears still spilling out his eyes as he held his body close. "I wrote a song for you, I don't know if you'll listen to. But if you do, I don't think you will und-" Anti couldn't carry on he felt himself be dragged more and more into the darkness of the room until he felt a gentle presence within him again.

'Anti,' Jack thought, his voice barely audible within his head, with force Jack tried to take his body back over but Anti's feelings were too strong for Jack to do anything. He's seen this happen once before when Anti had just saved him from- from his past...

 

Jack had found himself curled up in front of the mirror he had met the reflection in before Matpat walked in, only his body wouldn't let him move or speak. His eyes were open, looking at his young reflection; tears were streaming down his left eye, while his right was unaffected. Jack hadn't known what to do; he had to watch this new entity cry through one eye looking as if it was at the last leg of life. He tried to say something to the reflection but nothing worked, he couldn't hear his voice anymore, and his mind was becoming clouded with a negative thought of a person wearing a white mask with black holes for eyes pull an object out of his body to hold it within a box. Then his mind felt the pressure of walls enclosing it in, with no escape. Jack started to cry in fear and saw how Anti's right eye began to fill with tears, the sight tore him to shreds, it pulled at his heart. He had closed his eyes his memories linked with Anti's (Though they never knew this was the case), their hearts and minds wherein a connection of pain and fear. A tingling sensation filled his body, and he reopened his eyes to see how both eyes now glowed green, still with streams of tears falling out of them. He curled into himself wanting Anti to know he had him now, there was nothing left to fear, they were safe...

They laid like this for a long time, until they heard a piece of the wooden floor creek, the body snapped open its eyes open and looked into the mirror, it was a boy with both eyes glowing red bending over their body. They returned to hug themselves and watched as the boy gently laid down next to them and placed his arm under theirs. Pulling them tightly into a hug.

Once the crying had stopped, and all that could be heard was whimpers the boy removed his arm, and Jacks body felt cold. The boy placed his hand in his pocket to bring out Jacks old music box, and as if the boy owned it, he turned the knob. Then his voice filled their ears, as a song Jack had never heard start to play.

"Hey, can you hear me? I've been calling your name." He placed the box on the floor above their heads, "Where are you from? What is it that brought you here?" The arm found its way back under Jacks. "Why won't you answer me? I swear to play nice" Jack felt Anti hum along in the back of his head, and he stared into the mirror again to see how his face had a dazed look to it, both eyes still red. He moved his eyes to look at the strange boy to see his eyes slowly close, voice falling behind the song.

The next thing was him waking up fully in control of his body. He panicked, to begin with until he heard Anti grumble in his head that they'd fallen asleep. He looked at the mirror, and he became tense while Anti laughed at the back of his head. There was the boy, still clinging to his body. 'He's called Mark' Jack physically jumped but Mark wasn't disturbed, he wasn't expecting Anti to know who this was. 'I don't idiot, but I spoke to Dark while you were still sleeping.' Dark Jack thought that's a strange and ominous name. 'Oh and Anti isn't' he chuckled again.

He took the time to look at Marks' face; it had dried blood coming from under his bright red hair. 'Dark said he hopes he'll react as you did and not even notice a difference.' he then looked towards the arm that was holding him safely and saw how Marks' hand had a burn to it. "Oh no," Jack thought, trying to get out of the boy's grasp but he was too strong, so Jack moved his own hand to Marks. He gently gripped the non-burnt part of the boy's hand, lifting it lightly, but he had known he'd woken the other because the body behind him tensed.

"Morning," Jack said aloud his accent very strong. Mark looked up at the mirror, and they both watched as Dark appeared.

'Mark?' Dark asked, and Mark responded, 'Do you remember what happened yesterday? Do you remember our conversation?' Mark nodded in agreement and went to close his eyes again trying to snuggle into Jack until he froze again. His face doing red, he may be only six, but he knows it's wrong to snuggle into another person you don't know. A laugh was heard coming from the mirror, and they saw Dark smile, for some reason it caused Mark to start laughing.

Jack and Anti laid there confused watching the boys laugh to themselves before Jack spoke up. "Any chance I could go?" Marks face quickly held a hint of sadness before he pulled his damaged hand away. "Only because I need to find you something for that." For the first time, he heard the boy speak.

"Oh, don't worry about it, it doesn't hurt a bit! Dr Wiishu is magical." Mark said smiling as he waved his hand around. Jack frowned but Anti reassured him he wasn't lying, Dr Wiishu is magical.

"I need to find at least some water to wash your head."

"My head," Mark looked over to the mirror and saw how his head had dried blood across it. He wasn't sure if it was his own or someone else's, but he accepted Jacks help. The green haired boy was about to leave the tent until he saw water and food and been left with a note.

'Felix said you guys would be needing this' with a fancy MP signed at the bottom. Jack smiled, he liked Matpat.

He brought bottles of water over to Mark with the small loaf of bread. He tried to rip his top, but he was too weak to even cause a loose thread. Mark watched, but when he saw the boy struggling, he pulled at his own, bringing the scrap to Jack's face. Jack smiled and took it from him, soaking it with one of the water bottles. Before he brought it to Mark's head, he spoke. "I'm not sure if this is going to hurt, but before it does, please don't hit me I don't mean to hurt you."

"I know don't worry." Jack started to lift the cloth to only stop again.

"The names Jack."

"Mark," once names were out the way Jack slowly lifted his dry hand to hold Marks head in place and he started to dap at the blood. When he got towards the hairline Mark flinched and grabbed Jacks wrist. "Sorry," he pulled it away into his lap as he looked down trying to ignore the pain. Jack pulled Marks fluffy hair back and saw a little cut near the top between his head and hair. He attempted to put as little pressure on the wound as he could while he cleaned it.

Once everything was cleaned up, Anti asked 'What did you do before we fell asleep?' From the reflection, it caused both boys heads to turn towards him. 'We were being dragged into darkness, but you stopped it?' Jack looked towards a confused Mark to hear his reflection answer for him.

'We felt a tug here as if it was where we were meant to be.' he looked over to the music box, 'that was an automatic want, so we grabbed it. Why it worked to pull you out, I'm not sure, but me and Mark were pulled towards it.'

'So where me and Jack...' All four of them sat in silence looking towards the music box. Mark reached for it and closed the lid watching how the angel disappeared and then they felt the presence of their reflections stronger within their body. Jack looked towards the mirror and watched as his eyes flicked through a pattern of each eye being green until it settled on both glowing bright. Again, it felt like there was a third being with them. They turned to Mark, and he saw a smile on his face.

'It's fully complete, we are now the beings we were meant to be.' the boy's body turned, and he held out his hand, "The names Erebus, born out of the primeval void, Chaos."

"I don't have a name," the body said as his face fell.

"Well then, let's think. Erebus is the personification of deep darkness, what about the Irish word for Anti?"

"Frith," the body said smiling, he liked that name.

"Hello Firth," the boy said, and Frith grabbed his hand to shake it.

...

"Jack, Anti," Bob shouted quietly, "We need to be getting ready, everyone's becoming hungry." Anti woke from his nightmare and felt Jack hug him as they became Frith. They never answered, but they knew the man was right, so they unhid the tent.

Frith closed the music box over and brought it to the stand next to the bed that been untouched for years. He turned to look at the mirror in the darkroom and wiped his wet eyes. Once he was emotionally stable enough to leave, he grabbed his Jacket from the back of the door and swung it open.

"Are we ready guys!" he shouted a smile on his face, "It's showtime!" He walked out towards the curtain and gave Bob and Tyler an apologetic look before he turned to his and Erebus mirror.

'We do it for him.' Anti smiled in the reflection, pulling the jacket into place

"We do it for us." Jack smiled back fixing his bow tie, and they walked out to the stage floor...

Chapter Text

It was mid-afternoon, the sun was pouring through the gaps in the leaves onto the floor. Mark was slowly waking, feeling the stiffness in his neck from the position he had slept in the day before. Even though he mentally felt weak, he was very awake. The man lifted his arms up to stretch his back, twisting until he heard a satisfying crack. Mark turned to look at his reflection behind him, but to his surprise, he wasn't met with a sarcastic voice. "Dark?" Mark said aloud. There was no answer, "Dark, are you ok? Where are you?" Panicked, the American quickly stood up and placed his hand against the top broken window of the door, but nothing was felt in response. "Fuck!" Mark muttered to himself. He left the house with a frown, wondering the Dark had gone, causing him to think, "Maybe I've done something wrong?"

For once in his life, he dragged his feet to the pub and ignored their calling to stay in the house. As Mark entered the building, he was hit with the same sight he has seen the second time he walking into this mysterious place. There was a woman with dark brown hair that settled just below her shoulder, sitting with a man who had short brown hair and a muscular body. They turned their heads and smiled, while Mark sat down a couple of seats away from them. The woman turned her body towards Mark and extended a hand, "I've seen you enough times, I'm surprised I haven't introduced myself. The names Amy!" She beamed, turning her head towards the man, "This is my friend Jordon."

Over time, Mark had moved closer to the pair and talked for hours on end, his body becoming more energised the longer they laughed and smiled. The American found out the couple had met in the pub a day before they saw Mark and had been meeting every day since. Feeling more energised Mark explained he had wondered to this town without realising it, but he felt safe and happy and had decided to stay. 'That's good, gloss over the details.' The voice said to Mark, causing the man to jump and drop his drink. Amy looked at Mark confused and went to stand up to help before Mark shouted at her to sit down and not to worry. After Mark had cleaned up his accident, he turned to walk out the door, not looking back.

The American sighed once he wandered his way to the field that was slowly becoming his second home after the abandoned house. "Dark, you're back!" the man cried hugging himself happily.

'Of course, I'm back idiot,' the voice stated, giving off a warm feeling for Mark to show he's there. 'Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I got you to remember, but it was so dangerous! We could have lost each other for good...' The voice hissed angrily at himself. Mark relaxed his body as he sat confused.

"Lost each other?" The voice sighed.

'I knew we were extremely weak from not eating in a long time, but I needed you to remember me during that memory. Why you suddenly thought of it is beyond me, I think when you knocked into Danny he caused you to remember. That also explains why you remembered the root from this field after you shook his hand in the street. He must have synchronised up with Arin and caused you to lose consciousness.' the voice laughed awkwardly trying to catch its breath, 'I thought we lost each other then... You've got to promise me Mark stop causing us to get into situations we can die in!'

Mark sat confused looking out across the field, angry that his mind won't let him remember simple things like where he had come fro- 'I'm stopping you right there! I never want to see that memory again!' the voice shouted, Mark, tensed up in retaliation he felt the anger rise within him, along with a hint of fear. 'Sorry, I- I just can't- Not again...'

 

They sat in silence until they heard a snap of a stick, looking up Mark saw the green haired man walking towards him slowly. Frith looked at the man and smiled, Mark went to smile and stand up until he sensed it. In the corner of his eyes, he saw a shadow move within the darkness of the buildings. His face fell as he looked over to Jack, Mark wanted to run to the man and protect him, something in his body was telling him to, but to his loss, Dark took over. 'Ignore everything look to the ground and ignore everything around. OK Mark!' the voice directed desperately. 'This is going to hurt us both, but we are going to have to bear with it...' the voice trailed off until he thought, 'If it were something terrible, Felix would have told him to be careful and stay safe.' "Fe-" 'Don't talk asshole you'll get us in as much trouble as Jack is about to be in.

"Jack's in trouble?" Mark thought, trying to fight against Dark, wanting to protect the man. He managed to stand up just as flames engulfed the field around the green haired man. Mark went to lift his leg, but they felt like concrete as he dragged them along the floor to the fire. The world slowed down, and Mark watched as the flames engulfed the man's body, a picture of a child took Jacks face, and Mark broke down in tears. The memory of Jack stuck in the burning building that had actually caught alight. He tried to get Dark to help, but he couldn't feel anything.

Mark felt as if he was in the fire himself as his body was being pulled towards the ground, burning. Tears fell out both eyes, and his whole body started to reject oxygen. Mark fought through the pain, trying his hardest to crawl his body towards the flames slowly. To his surprise, as he reached the fire, he dragged his hand to push it aside. What he was expecting to see was a man in green slumped up on the floor, but there was no one there. The feeling of heaviness and heat disappeared together, and all he saw was grass. His heart sank, where had Frith gone, is he ok? Despair filled his body, and he screamed as he was pushed towards the ground again, Darkness covering his sight. 'Wh-What?' the voice returned, and Mark relaxed. 'H-How did you do that in sunlight?' The voice asked astonished. However, when Mark looked down, he saw he was still where he initially sat.

The man looked over at the building as saw a shadow slowly hide, and it hit him. The incident hasn't taken place yet. 'No... I've just watched it happened.' before the two could dwell on it, Mark quickly stood up and found himself inside the house he has claimed.

"Dark?" Mark looked into the broken window, "What the fuck just happened?" He said tears were filling his eyes; Dark stared at the man in horror. They had just witnessed a terrible event.

'I'd say you saw into the future, but only Felix can do that...' the voice trailed off again, 'Felix!' Mark looked deep into Darks' eyes trying to figure out what it was talking about. 'Fei, he's given you a warning... That was one of the pathways he saw that was most likely to happen.'

"Pathways?" Mark asked falling to the ground the image of Frith screaming filled his eyes. "He was in so much pain Dark."

'I know,' the voice whispered looking down, 'I saw, and I couldn't do anything to help. You and them stupid emotions Mark! We had just been speaking about not causing any more situations that lead to death.' Mark stood back in disgust.

"What do you mean I caused the situation!" he shouted back.

'I told you to ignore it. Ignore what was going to happen, Arin's a strong man when you do something to go against his wishes, but nooo, you had to ignore my requests and follow your fucken stupid emotions.'

"What did you want me to do, leave Frith to die?" Mark stood forward throwing his hands in the air.

'Frith wouldn't have died asshole! Arin was going to use the flames to traumatise him. He wouldn't have died, Anti would have made sure of that, Jack would have only been shaken up for a bit.'

"Oh, and how do you know that eh?" Mark snarled back.

'Because it's happened before. You caused it to happen before already! You only ever think about yourself and your selfish emotions. I knew what was going to happen, but you blocked me out. If it weren't for Felix, I'd be gone and so would fucken Frith. Arin's a dangerous man Mark!'

"I'm sorry I still don't know what's going on Dark! To me, you're still a stranger, to me, Jack is still a stranger, to me, everything going on makes no sense!" Dark tensed up, causing the window to break a little more. His hair covered his eyes.

'And there we go, listen to yourself Mark for fuck sake!' The reflection shouted throwing his head up, 'Me, me, me! We- sorry I could have lost Frith. I understand you don't know what's happening, but the least you could do is think of other people. I'm sick of trying to help you for you to ignore me!'

"Yeah, I'm sick of you being here 24/7.' Mark started, his face bright red, a vein throbbing on his forehead. "I preferred it when I was walking by myself, alone and lost!" Mark held his hand over his mouth; he hadn't meant that to sound so strong, he actually enjoyed Darks company. Dark was someone, something who knew what Mark was going through. He looked over to Dark but only saw his own reflection. "Dark?" Mark whispered, "Dark, I'm sorry I never meant it like that!" he shouted in desperation; however, there was no response just emptiness...

Chapter Text

The early sun fell through the open windows, casting down towards Marks body. He was slumped against the floor, his arms and head leaning against the cushion of the couch. His body covered in sweat, breathe none existing other than the small shallow sounds of panic escaping his lips. The man's body was tensed as he gripped the cushion in fear. A gasp fell from his mouth as he woke up in a startle. Mark whipped his head left to right trying to gather his bearings, once he realised he was back in the room he had cried himself to sleep in he relaxed his body. He lazily stood up popping his back, the recollection from yesterday flooded into his view again, and he was hit with guilt.

The man dragged his body over to the broken window and placed his hand against it, "Morning Dark." There was no answer, not even the feeling of Dark within his body responded. The American turned his body around and fell to the ground; the window at the bottom was cold without Darks reassuring warmth against it. Sighing he dragged his hand through his hair pulling it in frustration. He was a dick, and he knew it.

Once he felt a little less sorry for himself, he slowly stood and threw himself against the comfort of the couch. He tried to drift back to sleep until he was awoken by hunger or hopefully Dark, but his mind wouldn't let him rest his tired body. Growling in anger, he stood up and began to paste back and forth in the living room of the house. Mark still had no clue what was happening or how he could fix it. He tried to remember what he had found out during the past couple of days, and he suddenly started to think about this house.

The man knew he had no right to be in this house not after him being the cause of its demolishment. He sighed again making his way over to the only entrance in the room and tried to turn the handle of the door. To his surprise, it still worked. He gently pushed against it, and it opened onto a little hall that led to the kitchen and some stairs, even though the building was damaged, it still felt homely. He slowly pulled himself to the kitchen and the picture of the shadow in his memory filtered into the room along with a young woman crying. Mark quickly removed himself, and he cautiously brought his feet to the bottom of the stairs. The wood was no longer stable enough to rest his weight on so he stared up to the mess of the second floor. A more burdensome guilt slept in the back of his mind, this was home for the little boy, and he caused him to lose it. The image of the little gentle music box appeared, and Mark smiled, at least he'd managed to save something for the child... Even if it wasn't intentional.

He was about to climb out the house to wander around when he suddenly thought, Dark had said he wanted to know why the Grumps had locked him out, then wondered why they never kept Mark in their sight after he returned. He flinched when he thought they were watching him, and the realisation hit him. Every time he let this run down abandoned town, he bumped into a Grump... His mood quickly perked up he knew how to make it up to Dark, he'd go investigate what they wanted to do with him.

He was about to leave the town when he sensed a powerful presence behind him. A hand gripped his shoulder tightly, turning the man to face the stranger. He was met with a person a little older than himself with short blonde-brown hair. The strangers face held a bright smile, "Oh hey Mark!" Mark stared in horror, who was this man? "Wait, I forgot... Sorry," the man held his hand out, a deep sadness was held behind his bright eyes, but Mark felt it radiating off him when Mark couldn't recognise who he was. "The names Jazza Brooks. Ermm, we used to be acquainted before everything happened." Jazza tried to explain keeping his information undetailed.

"I see," Mark said shaking the man hand. "Sorry about that," Mark said lowering his head in shame, he still doesn't understand what he's done wrong, but he finally feels like he's the one who caused it all. His's guilt didn't disappear when the man told him he didn't understand why Mark was sorry. The blame just shifted perspectives, he really misses Dark more then he thought he would.

"Well, it's good to know you're in a safe place, Mark. I'll make sure to tell him you're still here, he's perturbed about you, we all are!" The man's voice turned from his loud, happy tone to a more serious and sad one, "Please try not to do anything daring again. I'm not sure Dark could handle it or Frith for that matter."

"Jazza," Mark repeated, a smile filling his face as the man started to walk out the town. Mark knew he would trust the Australian, especially since he knew about Frith and Dark... "Wait, you know about Dark?" Mark shouted at the man before he fully vanished from his view. However, Jazza only turned his head and smiled at Mark before he disappeared. Mark stood astonished, how did this man know so much about him. The red-haired man was about the follow the direction of Jazza when the man's words finally hit him, "Please try not to do anything daring again. I'm not sure Dark could handle it or Frith for that matter." He stood still for a minute contemplating, maybe he's right, I shouldn't willingly give myself to the Grumps alone...

'You're not alone dumbass, you never are, even if you want to be.' A voice called in his head. Mark lost his breath for a minute before he ran to a building near the exit, there in his reflection showed Dark frowning back at him. 'Don't think I'm back for you asshole, I had to make sure you didn't do anything too stupid alone.' The voice finished folding his arms, he was still furious at Mark, 'You bet the fuck I am! First, we fight over your emotions, and now you're about to follow them again to who knows what.' His voice cries.

"I was hoping to get answers for y- for us," Mark stated feeling shy all of a sudden. This time he knew his actions where due to his emotions but he couldn't bear his reflection being mad at him and wanted to make it up to Dark.

'So you think to make it up to me, you need to go into dangerous territory alone.' Mark wanted to argue back, but Dark was right... 'Of course, I'm right idiot. God, what would you do without me?" The voice smiled as its body loosened up. Again, Mark wanted to argue back but again Dark was right, he started to feel guilty over thinking back to last night. He had so much shit to say, but that was all it was...Shit. 'Enough of feeling guilty let's go get some answers.' Mark nodded his head, and he felt Dark presents within him again.

"I'm sorry Dark," was all that was said before they ran off towards the Grumps home.

...

"Calm your ass Anti," Bob had shouted through to Anti who was sat in the middle of the floor of the empty ring, giving off a vibe that threatened people not to go near him.

'The bastards late!' Anti screamed back, 'What could cause him to arrive late. You don't think they have threatened him do you?' Anti asked.

"Don't be silly Anti you know Mr Brooks hasn't a side. He spills info from Felix for us, and we have to tell him something in return. All the shadows would do is ask him if there was more information for them to know." Jack said back, the two fighting for control. Jack knew he was becoming weaker and weaker when in control of his body but he wasn't willing to give up yet!

'I don't think it's like that this time Jack,' the voice stated, 'I don't think it's an information swap. After what we were warned yesterday by Felix, I think Jazza's here to give us another warning or at least more information.' The body in the middle of the floor shrugged, and Anti's face relaxed. 'Look Jack stop fighting me, I can feel your exhaustion. I'm only taking control so you can rest while we wait.' Anti said exhaling in frustration, Jack could be quite stubborn when he wants to be.

The green-haired man knew he couldn't win against the voice, so he finally stopped fighting Anti and rested in the back of his mind. "You best get my attention when he comes... If he's even coming!"

 

Once Anti knew Jack had gone to rest, leaving him in full control he stood up and walked to the curtain pulling it aside. The left eye of Anti flickered green, and he called his protector.

"Is everything ok Jack?" The Swedish man asked, walking up to the Irish man. "Sorry, Anti."

'I think we're going to have to call Dr Wiishu again. Jack's becoming weaker and weaker as time goes on without Marks connection to him. I am able to take more and more control over what his body feels and how it acts. I'm sorry Robin, I know your job is to stay with us and protect us, but you're the only one who's strong enough to leave, especially after Felix's warning.'

"Is he going to be ok?" Anti nodded, and Robbin copied, "Ok anything you want Anti, I'll find her after Mr Brooks visit." The green-haired man was about to tell him to do it right away, but Robin looked him dead in the eyes, and he held his hands in defeat. "Once he arrives I'll be next to you, there's no way you're leaving me after the 'warning' as you call it." Anti sighed and went to sit in the middle of the circus ring again closing his eyes to let himself rest.

Chapter Text

A wind of stars made its way around the circus ring, causing the lights within the room to flicker off. Within the darkness, a man could be heard walking towards Anti's resting body. Colour splashed against his body as he slowly crept closer, lighting up the place where he walked, as a cartoon monkey appeared on his shoulder. The colours created a misty and smoky effect against his white suit. By the time the colourful man was close enough to see Anti's body in the dark, there was another man next to him. "Hello Jazza," the other man said while picking at the thread of one of his creations.

"Hello Robin, I see you're still creating the puppets for Crank," Jazza asked, raising his eyebrows in question before stepping closer to have a better look. "There still looking as cute as ever!" The man told him, voice a little higher then he would have liked causing Robin to laugh. The laughter caused Anti to stare in his sleep. "On a serious note, is he doing ok?" Jazza asked flicking his head over in Frith's direction, his eyebrows lowered while his eyes showed a hint of sorrow.

"Well in all honesty no... Can I speak to you artist y artist?" Jazza nodded and turned to face the Swedish man, in a panic, "Jacks starting to lose control, so be careful with what you're about to tell him." Jazza bit his lip, and he stood back, his eyes wide in horror. He wasn't scared due to the fact the man was losing control slowly but the fact that, what Jazza's about to ask could kill Jack. What was Matpat thinking?

"Mr Brooks?" They turned to the small sleepy voice sat against the floor; Robin placed his work down and set himself to help the man up. Looking at Jack, he had black bags under his eyes.

"Jack, why don't you let Anti handle this one?" Robin asked placing his hand under Jacks arm keeping him stable, he knew Jack was feeling extremely weak because he didn't fight against Robin and willingly settled down. It scared them all, even Anti who looked at Robin with desperate eyes. "Don't panic Anti, it will only make things worse, and I don't want to watch you turn on me ok!" Robin cried pulling Anti into a hug trying to calm the man down. Robin knew he wasn't Dark or Mark, but something to keep the Irishman grounded was all he needed.

Jazza watch in nervousness, he no longer had the will to carry Matpat's message to the poor man, who he could see was physically suffering. "I'm sorry anti-"

"Frith, Jacks still listening and watching." Anti started trying to pull a smile to his face, failing as his left eye began to water.

'I'm not willing to give up just yet!' Jack shouted in Antis' head causing the man to randomly nod attempting to hide the noise of him sniffing in a cry.

"I'm sorry Frith, Pewdiepie apologise for showing you the worse fate of what could have happened yesterday and after seeing Marks panicked face today..."

"You saw him!" Jack interrupted, leaning forward towards Jazza causing the man to smile slightly before returning to his serious face. Robin had gone back to building his new creation.

"Yes, I ran into him this morning and judging by his quick actions, he was about to cause something bigger then he means... Again."

"That American is going to get us all killed if he carries on!" Robin busted out gripping his creation a little too tightly causing a rip. "Oh no, I'm sorry." He returned his attention to his newest addition to the block family, his hands delicately pulling a needle through the opened rip.

"As I said, I'm not sure what he's up too; however, he did remember Frith and Dark." Jazza replied with a smile.

"Wait," Jacks left eye flickered green, "He remembers Dark?" Jazza looked towards Antis body confused to which he just shook his head slowly, eyes growing wide in warning.

Quickly Jazza caught on, Anti knew Dark was back but didn't want it leaking out. "Yes, I had said to him to try and not doing anything daring again, as I wasn't sure Dark or Frith could handle it. At first, he didn't think anything of it, and it broke my heart, so I started to walk until he asked how I knew about Dark."

"What did you say, is Dark with him?"

"I don't know Jack," Jazza sighed he hated lying to the Irishman especially after hearing about his past, the past not even he remembers... Jack sank back down to the ground again, and Anti returned. It was hard to keep up with who was actually in control, how those of the circus coped was beyond Jazza.

"So why are you here? I highly doubt Felix sent you to see Mark to then tell us about him."

"Anti!" Robin turned to face the man who was sulking.

"No, he's right Pixlpit, I am here on a message, but it's not in Felix's honour." This caused Anti to become interested, raising his head he glared at the man. "It's from Matpat and the other."

"The other?"

"That's all I'm saying, I'm going to take my own advice and not do anything daring because I'm unsure whether Frith or Erebus could survive the outcomes." Robin looked to the man in confusion; he had put his items down and was on full guard for Frith. Jazza looked over as his friend on his shoulder copied Robin's actions. Jazza brushed him down, "I'm not here to harm you, any of you. Mat wanted me to tell you to be careful, he- we don't understand Felix's intentions. One minute he's fine with both of you, then the next, he's on guard. He's hiding something from not only those of the circus but also those of the Shadows..."

"Wait, the shadows but what could he hide from them?" Anti asked standing back up again crossing his arms.

"I don't think it's about them but about something that will affect them, you all..."

"Wait you're saying Felix is against both of us?" Anti asked tilting his head.

"You can't be serious Jazza..." Robin stepped forward flinging his hand causing the creation he had picked up to rip a little more. "I'm going to damage this badly if I carry on." Jazza looked at the creation to see it was blank.

With a frown, he looked up at Robin, "Why is it blank?"

"I don't know..."

"That's not the problem now!" Anti shouted, "You said you're weary of Felix's actions yet you said he apologised for the sending on the warning..."

"There was a meeting this morning, there were five of us, for some reason I sensed six, but Pewdiepie assured there was only 5. I can't say what he said, only that he's planning something, something BIG!"

"I don't understand."

"Neither do I, I need to see what Matpat's trying to theorise. We're going to have to lay low for a while I think, I don't want Felix to know what we're up to."

"What are we going to do about Mark?" Anti asked muttering.

"Nothing, we can only hope Darks with him..." Jazza whispered in nervousness, "I never sensed him." Anti looked up at Jazza in fear.

'Anti what's wrong?' Jack asked the person in control.

"Nothing, don't worry Jack." He looked at Jazza in the eyes and asked, "Ok Mr Brooks, thank you for coming and telling us this useful information. Do you need something in return?"

'Anti, what are you doing? Why are you kicking him out he knows something.' Anti just ignored the man's pleases. When Jazza had nothing of want in return, he grabbed Robin by the arm and pulled him out the tent leaving Frith confused and alone in the darkness.

"We're in darkness?" Anti asked looking around, fear creeping in his veins.

'Anti don't panic we are in the safety of the tent and Robin's just outside, there's no way anything can enter or escape.' Anti laughed, Jack was becoming weaker and weaker, but he managed to keep him on track. They sat in the centre of the floor again trying to rest what strength they had left.

...

"What the fuck do you mean Felix is with the Doctor."

"No, not Dr Wiishu I mean... The other Doctor." Jazza explained more quietly.

"Other Doctor? This wasn't 'the other' you were talking about before was it?"

Jazza sighed in defeat he had to tell Frith's protector the truth, "No, the other before... Was a shadow," Robin stood back in fear. "He's not with the shadows though, he's neutral."

"There is no such thing as a neutral shadow Jazza."

"There is, especially if it's to help someone he loves. How else do you think Mat gets his theory work?" The realisation hit Robin.

"You don't mean him, do you?"

"I do, that's why I couldn't tell Anti." Robin pulled his hand through his short hair in frustration wanting to change the subject.

"So who's the other doctor?"

"You know when he became Frith's protector?" Robin nodded, "Well when Matpat had to 'link' your minds up it gave you memories of each other's pasts. So, unlike Anti and Jack who share every memory, you guys can only reach memories when you come to understand them." Robin shook his head in confusion.

"Where is this going, I don't remember seeing a Doctor anywhere in Jacks memories when we linked up." Jazza pulled Robin closer and drew a box around them stopping sound from entering and escaping.

"I remember when you guys linked up you saw a face wearing a mask." Robin looked at the man, all emotions drained from his face.

"How? How could you remember that?" The Australian laughed, pointing to his head.

"I am able to remember everything I have seen, hence why my illusions look real. I am only able to create items I have made up or seen in real life for it to work. Anyway, that face in Matpats theory is the doctor Anti was screaming about when you stopped linking memories."

"You can't possibly believe Felix is with him, that's ludicrous. Felix has been nothing but willing to help Jack..." His voice fell quiet, and he realised why Felix was so willing to help them all the time, he knew this day was coming. "Thank you Jazza, in all seriousness I'm grateful for your help. However, judging the feeling of Frith's weakness, I'm going to have to get Dr Wiishu over meaning, I need to cut this conversation short."

"No, I'll do it. You need to stay here and protect Frith, that warning, I believe was meant for you to leave his side, so I'll explain I had to gather information on when you were going to show yourself again and was asked to get Dr Wiishu." He winked as he started to walk away.

"Thank you for the information, Mr Brooks," Robin shouted over to the man.

"Anytime Pixlpit, thank you for your information." Once the man had felt the field, Robin re-entered the tent before it vanished from view again. What was he going to do to keep Frith's energy going for a little while longer?

Chapter Text

Robin walked back into the tent, the room still in darkness. The Swedish man's body tensed as he felt the feeling of another presence along with the weak presence of Frith.

Robin tried to get to Frith, but a wall blocked his way. "Don't hurt him!" Robin shouted over to whatever was on the other side. He stood back and placed his hands in his pockets before he flicked them at the wall. He heard laughter over the other side of the obstacle. The fear caused the man to recklessly run up to the knives that were lodged in the wall. His feet rested against them gently, allowing him to push himself up over the wall. There was no nothing in sight, not even Friths body.

Robin knew this creatures tricks and carried on walking towards the feeling of Frith's presence. "Wow, he chose well didn't he, clever one aren't you?" Upon hearing the creature's voice, Robin froze, this wasn't who he thought it was. "Aww have you already run out of stamina protector?" The voice questioned as a force caused Robin to be thrown back against the wall.

The man picked himself up as quick as he was thrown and was running towards Frith's body again. Laughter filled his ears once he arrived. Robin roughly picked up the body on the floor and shook it. Anti's whimper was heard echo throughout the room, and Robin relaxed a second before throwing the body over his shoulder. "What do you want?" Robin questioned his hand back in his pocket; he brought out four clean, sharp blades with Pixlpit wrote on them. He closed his eyes trying to locate an exact positioning of the enemy; suspiciously, Robin could no longer feel the extra presence in the room.

Tenderly, Robin laid the weak man back against the ground, now wide-awake. "What- What's going on Pixlpit?" Anti knew better than to call the Swedish man Robin when he was in this frame of mind. However, before Robin could answer, he flicked his wrist. The creature cried as one of the knives caught its body as it was sinking back into the darkness and Robin let out a satisfactory hum. He tried to sense the creature again, but there was nothing. In anticipation, the man went to grab another lot of weapons from his pockets before he realised he'd used them all.

Anti lent against Robin and grabbed his protector's hand as he struggled to stand up. Once up, Anti told Robin to go collect his knives, he could guard himself now he was feeling less weak as Jack had become aware of the situation.

Anti stopped all movements and closed his eyes to allow him to concentrate on sourcing what he needs. Once he had located the light source he required, he quickly sprinted toward the lantern near the entrance of the back rooms. He was about to place his hand against it to light the room back up, but before he was able to, fire consumed his sight.

Meanwhile, Robin had gathered nearly all his weapons, finding himself near the front of the entrance to the tent, he was about to stand straight after picking the last knife up until he saw the creature come from the ground. He froze in horror; it was who he thought it was... The moon was coming in from the outside, casting against its white mask with dead eyes; it laughed again until he saw where Robin was looking. There in its left arm was a deep cut; Robin smirked causing the masked man to become angry. He had sunk back towards the ground and began laughing. Robins head span as he fell to the ground. "Shit."

He quickly stood up again running towards Frith, the room no longer a pit of darkness, a fire lit the place where he sensed Frith. The pain in his head now making sense, he tried to fight past it and run into the fire, but it was too painful. Robin grabbed his head trying not to scream in pain. "Frith!" he shouted, some of the pain in his head leaving only for it to come back stronger, he fell to the floor. "Frith, what's wrong? Why is your head in this much pain, are you ok?" He tried shouting over his heartbeat, but he got no answer. Robin tried to crawl his body closer to the fire, it was sweltering. "It's only an illusion Frith, don't let it ge-" He gasped a foot was pressed against his back. The pain from his head and the foot on his back finally caused him to scream, drawing a laugh from the man above him.

"Is this all you have? I take it back; you're weak, just like the rest of them." He smirked as he pushed more pressure on his foot. Robin looked around trying to find a way to get someone's attention but there was nothing about, the fire wasn't giving him enough light to see the details in the room. His heart sped up when he heard Frith crying from inside the fire, and it broke Robins' heart. He pushed aside the growing pain in his head and brought his hands to his pockets, grabbing a set of trusted knives and before the masked man had a chance to react Robin threw two of the blades behind his head. A cry was heard from above him, as the foot's pressure was no longer against him. He rolled out of the way and saw he had caught the man in his knee.

The creature cringed and went to pull the knives out his legs but as he did Robin was back on his feet, pushing the man back. Its body collided with the floor and Robin bounced on him as he flicked his knives up above his head to catch them between his teeth. "I am not weak." he spat at the creatures mask through the blades, before he watched it sink towards the ground, fear radiating off its body.

 

Meanwhile, Anti was battling against Jacks cried and fears of the fire circling their body. His mind was clouding up with darkness; the dreaded memory filled his vision...

22 years ago.

A fire was all that could be smelt from the once lively seaside town. The salty seawater mixed with the fumes causing the young child to choke on air. He held his hand up to his mouth muffling his cries, crawling over to a lantern on his bedside table. His once happy family house was starting to fall; creeks and flickers of the fire were all he could hear. His bedroom was one of the only rooms without flames in yet. The poor child didn't know what to do, none of his family came looking for him, the last sound he heard from them as his mother's screams downstairs.

"Frith!" 'That's Robins' voice, Jack this isn't real,' Anti tried to explain to the other, but his mind was brought back to the dreaded vision.

He looked around for something to settle his nerves. To his right, he saw under his bed was a little white box with gold trimming. He grabbed it and pulled it close to him, lifting the lid slowly he watched as a small angel appeared while a soft lullaby played. A bang was heard from the bottom of the stairs, and Jack started to panic.

'Calm down' A voice in his head said, the young boy jumped slightly, 'Look you're about to panic more now aren't you'. He nodded his head, even though the boy was only six he knew his life has come to a short end.

The creek of the stairs was heard outside the door, the stories his parents had told him where becoming real. 'Darn shadows found us already!' The voice in the lad's head also knew what it was as well. 'Look," the young boy looked to where his head was being pulled, and there was a small shadow moving across the floor in the dark. 'If I need to take over, please don't fight it. I don't want to have to hurt you.' The voice cried in his head.

The child didn't know what to do, he didn't understand what was being asked of him. He felt a strange sensation within the room, "Ta-."

'No, don't speak it will hear you.' Jack jumped and threw the music box across the room.

It was too late the shadow across the floor had heard his voice within the light. "Too late~" A young voice with an American accent had said within the darkness of the room.

The fire was becoming louder in the boy's ears, he wanted to run, but something was telling him not to. 'Wait?' The voice in his head questioned 'I feel his rage. He's just a child about our age. Why is it here by himself?' The young child didn't understand what the voice was saying; he was too busy concentrating on the shadow slowly approaching him from the corner of his room. 'Don't fear what's coming, I'll be here with you,' the voice in his head suddenly sounded a lot like his own with a hint of something else. The voice in his head suddenly sounds like a scared child. 'You can't blame them either; we can't all fight off the urge inside."

However, they soon realised that the shadow couldn't enter the light that surrounded the child, it hissed in pain and scuttled backwards. Smoke started filling the room from under the door making it hard for the boy to see. He picked up the lantern and tried to crawl towards the window when he heard coughing coming from behind him. He turned his head around and saw a boy with bright red hair on his head hunched over.

Jack quickly ran over the boy and watched as he coughed. 'Jack what are you doing, he's too dangerous!" Anti shouted in the boys head, but Jack paid him no mind, too focused on the boy coughing. Jack never saw a shadow come under the door; he was too busy watching a red flame come from the red-heads right eye. Quick as a flash Anti took over Jacks body, blocking him from sight.

The shadow appeared tall and menacing, the hunger for blood visible in his eyes. Anti stepped back from the young boy in fear, his heart pounding. The shadow looked down towards the red-head before he dropped his gaze on Anti, stepping forwards he let an ominous grin fill his face. The Irishman turned to run and jump from the window, but the shadow had caught his foot. The child tried to kick his little legs but nothing worked, so he used his ankle to kick his shoe off the foot the man was holding.

The shoe flew off and caught the shadows face as it lent down to pick the boy up, in surprise, it grabbed its nose. The hunger in his eyes never fading, as he opened his mouth a soft mellow tone came out, and Anti brought his hands to his ears trying to ignore the song. The shadow grabbed the boys other foot, causing Anti to jump. Tears streamed down his left eye as he watched the shadow slowly approach, enjoying the sight of the struggling boy under his hand. However, the next thing Anti sees is glass slash against him and the body of the shadow.

The shadow lets go of the Irish child and fell into the ground in pain, the other boy who's eye was flashing red had thrown Jacks flower pot at the shadow. Without any words, Anti quickly scuttled up to the window and dropped gracefully to the ground. He ran in pain towards the bushes that were slowly taking over his house, or what's left of it.

He carried on running until he wandered into a field of long grass, Anti wiped his head around, the image of the burning house came back to his mind, and he cried. The adrenaline started to leave his body, and the almighty sting from the wounds in his body caused him to fall. The boy tried to get the image of the fire out his mind and looked out further into the golden grass. His eyes landed on a ruined tent that filled the middle of the field, he slowly dragged his body towards the tent. Once inside he saw it was just as destroyed as it was on the outside.

Something inside Anti wanted him to go behind the curtain, where he saw an untouched mirror on the wall of the tent. He looked at his body there were some glass shards in his arm, and he pressed his fingers against them. To his surprise, it didn't hurt. He gently grabbed one of the shards, and while his eyes were entranced, he pulled it out. He gasped in astonishment as he watched the cut shin magically heal itself. Eagerly, Anti looked down at his body to see there were no longer any cuts. 'What's going on?' Anti asked himself yawning, starting to feel weak. He tried to close his eyes but the image of fire filled his eyes, and he cried.

...

Anti cried watching as the fire started to consume his body, where was Robin, is he ok? The voice couldn't think straight, Jacks emotions were too strong for his own to take over. It wasn't until he heard a gentle melody hit his ears did he start to calm down. Anti felt Jack begin to relax and he himself began to drift as the melody started to have an effect on him.

The last thing Anti remembered was the gentle smile of a shadow underneath him, while the fire died down around him. He felt a hand on his back as he watched the shadow turn into his human self, the voice never got to see its face, before he fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

Jack looked up to find a bright light filling his eyes along with a smile filling his face as he was rubbing his eyes, looking around. Sun filled through the openings in the tent, causing it to fall across the empty floor creating a pattern. A metallic bang vibrated in the empty air causing the Irish man to turn his attention away from the early morning sun towards the cause of the noise. "Morning Erebus!" Frith shouted over his smile widening.

"Morning..." The American lazily replied.

Standing up Frith questioned, "What you up to?" as he turned the corner. He found Erebus fiddling with cotton and a needle. "Wait, are you trying to patch up the tent?" The man asked laughing as he watched the red-heard man struggle to put the cotton into the needle. Mark turned to look at Jack with a pleasing look causing the Irishman to roll his eyes taking the materials out of his hands earning him a smile and a slap on the shoulder. "Yeah, yeah whatever..." He watched as Erebus picked up a small metal tin with fancy initials of MP written on the side.

Once Jack had gotten the cotton into the needle he went over to a small cut in the tent, "You know this isn't going to be strong enough to last rig..." Frith was lost for words as he watches the hole magically close shut with a single poke of the needle. Both men stand still holding their breath.

"Frith?" Erebus whispered lifting his hand to feel where the hole had been, "What did you do?"

"I didn't do anything..." Frith answered pulling the needle out of the fabric and staring at it, "You try!" Erebus did try, but the next hole remained open, frowning the American looked over to the other. A small smirk graced Frith lips as he placed his hand on top of Erebus', and again the hole patched itself up. Erebus turned to look at Frith with excitement. Grabbing the man's hand, Erebus ran to the next hole, mesmerised by the action of watching the gap disappear he missed the soft smile Frith gave him as he was being dragged around their new home.

 

"Robin?" Anti whispered rubbing his eyes as he sat up. "When did I fall asleep?" The Irishman looked around adjusting his eyes to the light, a quick smile was felt as he remembered what he was thinking about before awakening. The room was a snow white colour and empty, par the bed Anti was lying on and the chair Robin was sat.

"Robin, where's Jack?" Anti cried not feeling the man within him. He turned his head over to his protector, sitting up. Robin looked at the weak man, his face soft.

"Don't panic, he's still there, but Dr Wiishu gave you something to help him rest up." Robin relaxed his shoulders and quickly glanced at the door before he brought his full attention to Anti, "Without Erebus around both your bodies are going to become weak... We think"

"What do you mean think?" Anti questioned tilting his head following Robin's glances.

"Well..." Before Robin could finish, the door of the room opened, and he was on full guard. Anti saw Robin at the foot of the bed in the blink of an eye, hands within his pockets ready. A woman with soft brown hair walked in and instantly the Swedish man's body relaxed, as he went back to the chair, leaning his arm on the bed, which Anti noticed had a tube in. The green-haired man followed the line to his own arm, he turned to look at Robin, but the woman started talking.

"I see you're awake now, are you both awake or..." her voice stops when she saw Antis' face fall while he shook his head. "Well all is ok!" she perked up smiling, "I wasn't expecting Jack to be awake yet you both were exhausted and very weak, if it wasn't for your protector..."

"Robin!" Anti sneered looking up at the woman, "You know to call him Robin Dr Wiishu."

"Anti you know I need to use professional wordings in this building."

"Well then Pixlpit," he responded crossing his arms, careful as to not pull on the tubes.

"Anyway, if it wasn't for him I highly doubt you'd of had the energy to be here right now."

"What do you mean?" Anti asked lowering his arms tilting his head looking over to Robin in the chair who was beginning to look just as weak as Anti felt.

"Don't worry your mind about that Anti and close your eyes you need to rest more," Robin responded slouching down in the chair closing his own eyes. Anti looked up at Dr Wiishu tears threatening to fall.

"What do you mean Wiish?"

The woman looked over to Robins weakening body and decided to sit at the end of the Irish man's bed. "Anti, I'm not going to go into extreme detail if your protector doesn't want me to but in reality, you're extremely weak I didn't think I was going to be able to wake you till I found Erebus..." She looked at Robin again and sighed, "That was until I heard from another member..." she coughed looking away from both men, "I could get you to wake up if I did a protector to the protected magical energy root."

"A magical energy root?" Wiishu looked back at Anti her face hung low.

"It means a protector can share their magical power with its partner."

"Ok, but why is he beginning to look as weak as me?" Anti questioned as he watched Robins body rise and fall. Wiishu was about to start talking but couldn't bring herself to and rose to walk out the room.

"He knows why..." She stated before turning, "Pixlpit's right, you should close your eyes and try to sleep again, you both will need your energy..."