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honorary brother

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Tommy wasn’t an idiot. Well, maybe he was an idiot sometimes, but right now he wasn’t.

He knew for a fact that he couldn’t stay in his little dirt hole for long, the adrenaline from looting Techno running out by the minute. Joy wore off to be replaced with sorrow, loneliness, and bitter sadness. When the cold set in, Tommy knew he’d have to leave the little home he’d created under his older brother’s base.

He scoffed at the phrase. Older brother. The older brother who’d killed him. The older brother who’d destroyed his country and everyone he loved. The older brother who’d left him behind when he needed him the most. Tommy didn’t want anything to do with Techno, not after what he had done.

So he ran. He ran aimlessly, with branches scraping his arms, and lungs burning from the lack of oxygen. He ran until he couldn’t run any longer. It felt like hours and hours had passed and Tommy’s legs were ready to collapse underneath him.

“...Tommy? Tommy is that you?” A familiar voice startled him enough to stop sprinting through the woods and trip over a root sticking out of the ground. “Oh my god, Tommy, are you okay?” A figure came out of the shadows, revealing himself to be a man in a creeper mask.

Tommy smiled from his place on the ground. Sam. He could trust Sam, more than anyone else on the server. Sam was always there for him.

Voice shaking a bit, he slowly rose while brushing the dirt off his tattered clothing.

“H-hey big man! Long time no see, eh?” Tommy said, grinning. The other man smiled, making his way towards him.

“Hey, Tommy! Whatcha doing all the way out here? You’re a long way from home, right?”

Both their smiles dropped quickly, Sam’s at the state of the other boy, and Tommy’s at the mention of home. Home. The word meant nothing to him anymore. He didn’t have a home. Not in Logenshire, not in L’manberg, and certainly not with the Blood God.

Sam’s concerned voice shook him from his melancholy thoughts.

“What the hell happened to you? Dream said you were doing well, not looking like a… I don’t even know how to describe what you look like right now!”

Tommy flinched slightly at the mention of Dream’s name, turning away from the other man.

“Heh, haven’t you heard? I got exiled. Again. And by Tubbo this time! Surprise, surprise, the country came before… it came before I did.” Tommy shrugged, before turning back to Sam brightly.

“Anyways, enough about me! How are you doing, Sam? Still working on your redstone projects-?” He started before being abruptly interrupted.

“What do you mean enough about you, Tommy? Look at you! You’ll freeze to death in no time out here! Come back over to my base, we need to get you some new clothes. You’re only wearing one shoe, for goodness sake!” Sam fretted, grabbing the other boy’s hand while no less than dragging him in the opposite direction that Tommy had been running.

- - - -

Having someone take care of him felt nice, Tommy thought. He didn’t really ever have that while growing up, with two older brothers who were off having their own adventures, and a distant father who had clearly favored the eldest.

So, sitting in a warm room with a steaming drink in his hands and soft clothes adorning his body was a rather new experience for him. He watched quietly as Sam came in and out of rooms, moving and adjusting supplies, and checking in on him every once in a while.

He sipped from the mug he was holding, some kind of tea that Sam had brewed. Speaking of the man, he finally approached the couch that Tommy was on, dusting red powder off of his hands.

“You doin’ okay?” Sam asked, flopping onto the couch. The younger boy rolled his eyes, snickering.

“I’m doing exactly as okay as I was five minutes ago when you asked,” He said, grinning. “Anyways, big man, I’m bored from sitting here. Is there anything to do around here?” His eyes gleamed. He hadn’t been able to do anything without Dream knowing in a while, and he was eager to get back on his feet.

...Dream. Tommy wondered how he was doing. Technically, Tommy had betrayed him and disobeyed his direct orders so maybe this really was all his fault-

“Tommy. Tommy, don’t go spiraling on me, stay with me.” Sam interrupted his thoughts, nudging his shoulder.

“And to answer your question, no, there’s not much to do in my base, but if you want, we could go look at the stars? The view is really pretty from the top of the mountain,” He offered.

Tommy shrugged and got up, flinging off the blanket and setting the cup down on the table next to him.

“It’s not like I have anything else to do! Let’s go big man!” He exclaimed, heading towards the door.

Sam laughed softly before following him and pulling the lever to open the side of the mountain. They slowly made their way up the peak, with Tommy cracking jokes the whole and shivering from the cold night air.

Finally, as they reached the top, they both lay down on the dewy grass and flicked their vision up to the sky.

Tommy gasped slightly at the sight. There weren’t any lights or lanterns outside Sam’s base, so each star looked like a sequin sparkling just out of reach. He’d never seen anything like it.

He surprised himself by feeling his eyes burning, thinking about the family he thought he had. Tommy would never experience things like this with them. Not with his dead brother. Not with the traitor. And not with the only father he’d ever known.

Sam looked up at the starry night sky, before glancing back to see Tommy trying to keep tears from falling from his eyes. Surprise became understanding and he was determined to not let Tommy suppress his emotions for any longer than he has already done.

“Hey. Hey, Tommy look at me.” Sam tried gently. The other boy stubbornly looked to the side, refusing to make eye contact. “Tommy, look, it’s okay to cry. You don’t always have to be strong all the time. You’re a kid, and it’s not fair that any of this was dumped on you to begin with. Not a single person, and especially not you, deserves to go through this, okay?”
He finally looked back at Sam through watery eyes. The masked man slowly held his hands out to Tommy, encouragingly. He hesitated before throwing himself into the others’ arms, tears streaming down his face.

“T-they all left me, Sam… I’m their brother, their son, their friend, and they all left me.” He hiccuped, burying his face into the crook of Sam’s neck.

“Shh, it’s alright Tommy. I’m here now, it’s okay. I won’t let them hurt you again.” He soothed, holding onto the younger boy.

He cried and cried until there were no tears left to flow, and he was left sniffling against Sam’s shoulder. After taking a few shuddering breaths, he pulled away from the other man who was still holding onto him kindly.

“Feeling any better?” Sam asked softly, rubbing circles around the small of Tommy’s back.

The younger nodded idly, enjoying the warmth from the others arms wrapped around him.

“Yeah… Yeah, I think I am. Who needs them anyway, y’know? I can make my own family, with people who care for me!” Tommy announced, grinning through tears.

Sam sighed, pulling away to look the other boy in his eyes.

“You know they do care for you, right? Philza, Techno, Ghostbur, Tubbo? They all care so much, even if they don’t show it. I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t make your own family, by all means go ahead! Just.. don’t think that they don’t care, because I know that they really do.” He smiled sadly, not knowing what else to say.

“...Even Tubbo?” Tommy asked, looking away. Did they really? It always felt like he was an outsider, someone who didn’t belong. Tubbo had exiled him for goodness sake! But maybe he was wrong? Maybe they did actually care?

“Even Tubbo,” Sam confirmed, beaming at the other boy before getting up. Tommy sat and pondered for a bit, before raising up from the ground. “But anyways, it’s getting real cold outside, so it’s probably time that we head in, yeah? You can stay here for as long as you need to, no need to ask.” He finished, starting the descent to his base. Just before he was out of view, he called back from over his shoulder, “You can stay up there for a few minutes if you’d like, but come down soon, okay?”

Tommy nodded in confirmation, and glanced at the trees that lined the outskirts of the clearing. He felt… cared about. Not just by Sam, but by his brothers, by his friends, by people in general. Maybe life wasn’t quite as terrible as he thought it was.

He smiled, looking back one last time before making his way down to his temporary home. Perhaps it was that warm feeling that spread through his body that distracted him from the blue clad man, staring silently through a pig mask, hidden by the trees.

Chapter Text

Technoblade wasn’t an idiot. He was violent sometimes, brash, and aggressive, yes, but he was not an idiot. He noticed the stacks of golden apples and potions missing from his chests as soon as he checked, and he was angry, to say the least. Doing a quick check around the house confirmed that there were scattered items gone and an ugly-looking hole shaped into some kind of basement.

There was no trace of a person there anymore, so he relaxed his shoulders, dropping into a chair and looking silently out the window. It was pretty where he lived, with scattered trees, gently sloping hills, and a blanket of snow covering everything in a white haze.

Snow… snow that would capture footprints! Techno rose up again, throwing his fluffy cape around his shoulders, and bolting outside. Training his eyes to the ground, he looked for any track that was human-like and he finally landed on a trail of deep imprints on the ground, becoming shallower by the minute by the steady snowfall.

Cursing softly under his breath, he began to follow wherever the footprints led him.

Fifteen minutes of following the trail led him into an area that he’d never been to before. Thick trees made it almost impossible to see five feet in front of him, and vines hung from the branches like snakes.

The snow was beginning to thaw out the farther he went from his home, so he was just wandering around, exploring his surroundings. Suddenly, he heard a branch crack on the ground from a few feet away, and he immediately ducked behind the closest tree. The shrubbery around him made it impossible to see who made the noise.

He heard a different voice call out from the right of him and he stayed as still as he could, silently panicking. Why were there so many people here? He wasn’t prepared for a fight, but he could hear the “Blood for the Blood God” chanting grow louder in his head.

As he quietly mulled over his options, he realized he could distantly hear the conversation that the two people were having.

“...working on your redstone projects-?”

“What do you mean enough about you, Tommy? Look at you! You’ll freeze to death in no time out here! Come back over to my base, we need to get you some new clothes-”

Techno tuned out the second voice and raised his eyebrows at the first one, one that was very familiar to him. Tommy. Well, at least he knew now who had probably taken his things. He shrugged, though no one could see it, and turned back towards home. If it was Tommy who had taken it, Techno was sure he could live with a few less golden apples.

The voices in his head cooed and aww’d at Techno, who just waved them off. He didn’t have a soft spot for the boy, what were they talking about? He just… thought that Tommy had it hard, that was all! He didn’t want to do anything that would make it harder.

Curious, he snuck a glimpse behind him and started at the state that the younger boy was in. His clothes were torn and ragged, one of his feet bare. His face was smeared with dirt and parts of his hair were singed as if he had stood too close to an explosion. Knowing Tommy, that was probably exactly what had happened.

If Techno had started to follow them back to wherever they were headed, that was his own business. It was to... make sure his belongings were alright. It wasn’t that he cared about Tommy or anything.

He scoffed under his breath at the sweet nothings that the chat murmured to Tommy, contrasting their usual screaming.

Brother, Technocare, Protect him, What happened?, E, Technobrother, E-

Techno tuned them out with a sigh, and darted from tree to tree, hoping that the walk would be short.

- - - -

It turned out that the walk was rather short, and the destination seemed to be a quaint little house that stood close to a mountain with a beacon shimmering on top.

The taller man that Tommy was leaning against seemed to be some sort of creeper hybrid, and he towered over what would be seen as an average height. He racked his brain for a name to the face. ...Sam, that was it.

He thought about what he knew about him, which was close to nothing, except that he was known for his redstone builds, and he was unusually nice to everyone he met.

Techno shrugged, though no one was watching, and glanced back at the pair. His eyes widened slightly as they, instead of heading towards the house, pressed a button on the mountain and waited for parts of it to recede into the group, revealing a large base that seemed to be stacked with items.

He saw Tommy sway slightly, before collapsing into the other man's arms. The blanket that had been draped around his shoulders fluttered to the ground, causing him to shudder from the cold.

Sam quickly picked up the blanket and bundled the younger one up before lifting him and walking into the base. Another button was pressed and the mountain shifted again, covering the opening.

“Well, what am I supposed to do now?” Techno muttered to himself, shifting on his feet. He didn’t want to leave until he was sure that Tommy was okay, but he had no idea how long it would take for them to come out again. Not to mention that he didn’t have anywhere to stay during the wait.

He glanced upwards towards the trees and resigned himself to a humble treehouse, hidden but with a clear view towards the opening of the base. Techno sighed and leaned against the wood of the trunk, closing his eyes to pass some time.

- - - -

Techno jolted awake at the sound of voices, hitting his head abruptly on the top of his makeshift room. He winced as his hands flew up automatically to cover himself.

The voices were back to normal, with their E, E, E’s repeating over and over, with the occasional Blood for the Blood God tuning in.

He sighed, looking out the window to see Tommy and Sam climbing up the mountain. He quickly identified their voices and crept down the tree to get a closer look.

It wasn’t as if he didn’t trust Sam, but he knew next to nothing about the other man and he wanted to make sure his younger brother- Tommy was alright.

He watched as they laid down on the damp grass and propped themselves up to look at the stars. Techno glanced up too, smiling at the twinkling lights that shone brightly against the night sky. Him and Philza used to do this when he was younger, when Phil lifted them both up with his strong wings and set him down on the roof. They would lay there sometimes until the sun rose and the warm rays greeted them in the morning.

Techno frowned at the thought suddenly, realizing that ever since Wilbur and Tommy had joined them, they had never done anything like that. More importantly, the other two had never actually spent much time with them at all, what with Techno and Philza trying to take over the world.

As he mulled over what this could mean, a quiet sob echoed across from the mountain. His head snapped up quickly, eyes straining to see where it came from.

He hissed under his breath to see Tommy holding onto Sam like his life depended on it, tears streaming down his face. He hadn’t seen Tommy cry since he was a baby, saying that he was “too much of a big man” to cry in front of anyone. But there he was, showing the most vulnerability that Techno had ever seen him show, and with someone that he barely knew anything about.

Tommy cried for a while, only soft whimpers occasionally being heard from the top of the mountain.

Meanwhile, Techno was having a silent breakdown at the base of the tree he had hidden in. Most of it came from the realization that he had been completely neglecting Tommy, and Wilbur now that he thought about it.

...He was kind of a shit older brother, to be honest. The oldest sibling was meant to be there for support, to be a rock for the younger ones, but he was more nonexistent than anything. He was pretty sure that Tommy hadn’t referred to Techno as his brother since he was five.

He snapped out of his thoughts as snippets of conversations were heard.

“Who needs them anyway, y’know? I can make my own family, with people who care for me!” Tommy’s voice was distinct, though softened by tears. And by family? Techno was sure that he was referring to him.

But… Techno did care about him. He didn’t show it because he didn’t know how, but oh, how he cared about the other boy. Days had been spent making sure that Tommy would be okay and fondly watching him progress in his studies and fighting skills.

He was half ready to reveal himself in defense when-

“You know they do care for you, right? Philza, Techno, Ghostbur, Tubbo? They all care so much, even if they don’t show it. I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t make your own family, by all means go ahead! Just.. don’t think that they don’t care, because I know that they really do.”

What the hell? How did this random creeper hybrid know more about this than he did?

Techno thanked Sam silently for not just going along with Tommy, because he really, really wanted to fix things between the two of them.

He watched Tommy reluctantly nod along with Sam, and let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

After a bit, Sam walked down the mountain, before Tommy followed down a couple minutes later. This is where he should leave, right? He made sure everyone was okay, Tommy wasn’t in any danger, and he had no business around here anymore.

After all of that thought, Techno had no idea what compelled him to start walking towards the base.

He made it to the entrance, and stared at it, not exactly knowing what he expected to accomplish from it. He sighed quietly, before turning to leave.

Well, he would have if the base hadn’t suddenly opened from behind him. He’s got to admit, the shriek that escaped him wasn’t exactly what Tommy would describe as “manly”.

But there, standing in the entrance, was the man himself, Awesamdude.

He looked bewildered to say the least, since it wasn’t everyday that the Blood God stood at your doorstep at some ungodly hour of the night.

“Oh… Technoblade. Do you need anything?” He looked wary, too wary, until Techno realized that Sam probably thought that he was coming after Tommy.

“I uh… I was just comin’ by, y’know? Meetin’ everyone on the server-” He nervously began.

“Drop the act, what are you really doing here?” Sam cut in sharply. He looked very intimidating, with his towering stature combined with the frustrated expression on his face.

Techno half-thought that Sam would just deck him right there and then, so he hurriedly rushed out to tell the truth.

“Iwasjustcheckin’onTommyIswear-” He rambled, some force telling him that he had to be honest with Sam.

“Uh… Sorry I didn’t catch that, what?” The creeper hybrid shifted from foot to foot, obviously uncomfortable in the presence of Techno. He frowned a bit at that.

“I said that I was just checkin’ on Tommy. I’m not here to take him away or cause any trouble,” He promised, lips quirking up when Sam relaxed his shoulders almost imperceptibly.

The other man hesitated for a moment before moving to the side and gesturing for Techno to come in.

He stepped in wordlessly and followed Sam into what seemed to be the seating area. Techno would’ve expected the voices to be screaming and wailing about the danger of walking into a completely new person’s base, but they were oddly quiet, murmuring occasionally about how Sam was trustworthy and they were glad that Tommy was safe.

Techno looked up to see that Sam was lingering near the kitchen area, unsure of what to do.

“Would you like anything to drink or eat?” He asked casually, gesturing to his automatic dispensers.

They both danced around each other for a while, exchanging basic pleasantries and talking about mundane things. Finally, Sam had the courage to breach a more serious topic.

“From what I’ve seen, you do really care about Tommy, but being honest here, you’ve been a pretty bad figure in his life.” Techno winced at the blunt statement, but nodded along nonetheless, about to say something but realizing that the other man wasn’t done.

“I don’t think that this is your fault necessarily, maybe more of Phil’s, but you really have to own up to your mistakes.” He said gently.

Bristling at the way he spoke about Philza, he cut in.

“Look, Phil has really been tryin’ his best, okay? I know he’s not the best father to Tommy and Wilbur, but that doesn’t mean that’s his fault-”

“I honestly think that you, and Philza here, need to realize that sometimes, trying isn’t enough. Trying to be a better parent, or a better figure in someone's life doesn’t erase clear neglect, alright? I get that you want to stand up for your father, but he really messed up here.”

The last thing that Sam expected Techno to do was start crying at his dinner table.

Chapter Text

Techno didn’t mean to cry. He hadn’t cried in years, burying his emotions under his facade as a cold, unfeeling person. So, why the hell had he broken down at some random person’s table? 

Sam himself looks a little surprised, hands jumping up to comfort him, but not knowing whether he was allowed to touch him or not. 

Techno put his head in his hands and wiped his eyes angrily. He was a strong, independent pig hybrid, there was no reason for him to cry here. 

“I’m a terrible brother, right?” Techno spat, muffled from his hands. “Tommy came here traumatized and lonely because I wasn’t there for him when he needed it.” 

The other man rose from his seat at that, padding over to where Techno was sitting. 

“No, no, c’mon now, you’re not that bad! Look, Tommy cares about you a lot, you’re not terrible I promise. You messed up, okay, but you’re trying to fix it, right? That’s what matters right now.” Sam said, voice softening. He put his hand on Techno’s shoulder, smiling when he leaned slightly into it.

“...Are you sure he doesn’t hate me? He sure acts like it.” He asked, not knowing what else to say.

“And you act like you don’t care about him, is that true?” Sam said a smile heard through his voice. 

Techno laughed brokenly, nodding his head in agreement. Touché Mr. Creeper Man, touché.

“So, uh anyways, how long have you been stalking me exactly-?”
They both snickered and Techno glanced away sheepishly.

“I am not stalkin’ you, I just followed Tommy’s footprints after he looted my house and messed up my floor,'' He mumbled, running his fingers through his hair. He wondered why he was so comfortable around Sam, since he’d only known him for… around an hour if he was being generous. Techno was usually the opposite of welcoming, and he was certainly not a people person. Something about the other man-made him want to trust Sam, which was unusual in itself. 

“Mhm, likely story there. But Tommy looting your house does seem pretty believable, I'll give you that.” He smirked. “What’d he take? Must’ve been quite a bit if you followed him all the way over here.”

Techno hummed under his breath, looking back at Sam.

“Not too much actually! Just some gapples, potions, stuff like that. But I don’t take too kindly to being stolen from, so I wanted to find out who it was.”

Sam chuckled, resting his head on his hand. “Yep, I know exactly how protective you are of your stuff. I’d be confused if anyone on the server didn’t, to be honest,”

Techno flushed, looking away. He had forgotten for a second that he’d built up a reputation around the lands. He yawned suddenly, bringing attention to how tired he felt. It was the middle of the night, somewhere hovering between 2 and 4 AM, and Techno wanted nothing more than to collapse into a warm bed. He noticed Sam staring and he stood up abruptly. 

“I should probably be gettin’ home now, Phil’s probably waiting for me.” He spoke nervously. 

Sam’s eyes darkened behind his mask at the mention of his name, but Techno unknowingly kept rambling as Sam got up as well. 

“Sure! Thanks for listening to what I had to say, considering I was kinda just telling you everything you did wrong.” He smiled, brushing his hands on his redstone-stained pants, and gestured towards the door. 

“Thank you for uh… talkin’ to me, y’know? And not just beatin’ me up when I showed up at your door,'' Sam chuckled at that, nudging his shoulder.

“Next time you show up uninvited, you might not be so lucky.” Techno grinned, about to leave when suddenly, Tommy walked out of a door and screamed. 

“Hey, Sa- TECHNO?! SAM, WHAT IS HE DOING HERE, TELL HIM TO GET OUT- I DON’T WANT HIM TO-,” Tommy was frantically gesturing to the man who stood frozen in the hallway, backing up into a wall. He trembled with fear, eyes wide with panic. 

“Hey Toms calm down, I won’t let him hurt you. He isn’t here for that, it’s okay,” Sam said slowly, stepping towards the terrified boy. He held him in his arms as Tommy shook, grasping onto whatever parts of him that he could reach. He kept his face buried into Sam’s chest, refusing to look at his brother. 

Techno stood silently, his face twisted into something he couldn’t place, somewhere between grief and regret. That was his younger brother standing there. He was scared, terrified to see Techno, and it was all his fault. 

He walked backward slowly, not wanting to hurt Tommy more than he already had. It was idiotic of him to had even come into the base. Suddenly, Sam called out for him in a soft voice, making him stop.

“Sit down at the table, Techno.” He’d spoken with finality, there was no room for discussion there. 

Following the instructions, he sat mutely at the table, staring down at his hands. Sam was still murmuring softly to Tommy as the other boy’s breathing steadied and his tight grip loosened. 

He slowly guided him to the other side of the table, far enough away from Techno that he would feel safer, but close enough to have a decent conversation. Sam was looking pointedly at Techno which made one thing clear. 

I might have been nice to you now, but if you hurt Tommy again, I’ll rip your teeth out.

He nodded minutely, not wanting to say anything out loud that would startle either of them. Tommy wasn’t shaking anymore, though his body was still tense and looked ready to sprint away at any moment. 

“Well then!” Sam said, grasping his hands together, “Let’s have a talk, shall we?”
                                       

  - - - - 

The talk, unsurprisingly, did not go well. There was yelling, a lot of yelling, and Sam could feel a headache coming on. 

“You BETRAYED me-” “Well, you KILLED MY FRIENDS AND BLEW UP MY GODDAMN COUNTRY TECHNO-” “IT WAS CORRUPT ANYWAY,” “THAT DIDN’T GIVE YOU ANY RIGHT TO-”

“You two. Stop it.” Sam cut in sharply. He held two fingers at the bridge of his nose, trying to ward off the pounding in his head. The other two were staring at him, having the decency to look ashamed. “Now Tommy, you tell Techno why you feel like he was at fault. And Techno? Not a word from you while he’s speaking.” Techno nodded sullenly and glanced at Tommy.

“Well okay, first of all, you literally told me that you didn’t goddamn care for me when I first came to you, and you only started to ‘respect’ me when you thought I would go along with whatever you wanted! You blew up my country, which isn’t what anarchists even do, and y-you were never there for me when I ever needed you-,” His voice began to crack near the end of his rant, tears threatening to run down his face. 

Techno looked forlorn but didn’t attempt to say anything to defend himself. Sam nodded silently, unmoving from his place behind Tommy, but slowly gestured for Techno to speak. 

“I- I never said I didn’t care Tommy, but I was suspicious of you since you’d made it extremely obvious before how much you hate me. I was happy when I thought that you understood where I was coming from and wanted to join me so that… so that I could be like a brother to you again. And no matter how much you deny it, L’manburg was corrupt and it made everyone around it, including you, corrupt as well.” He grimaced slightly at his words, so much for making up with Tommy. 

“Y’know, actually-,” Sam said. Techno looked up. “You know the saying is power corrupts, not the government, hm? You might need to rethink who the bad person in this situation is. Not you, not Tommy, not even Philza. It’s Dream. He’s the most powerful person on the server, but you teamed up with him to destroy L’manburg which was of no threat to you. Not to mention, that he abused Tommy during his exile and-,”

Tommy let out a whimper. Sam looked down to see him shaking again with tears spilling over his eyes and his softly crouched down beside him. 

“Oh, I’m so sorry Toms, I shouldn’t’ve mentioned it,” Tommy kept looking straight down at his hands and started speaking. 

Tommy was full-on crying at this point, wiping his eyes on the shirt that he’d borrowed from Sam. Techno had gone pale, all color draining out of his face. He was going to punt that homeless man into the sun. 

“H-he never let me keep any of my armor on me, a-and he made me put all of t-the stuff I got into a hole and blew it up in front of me. Y-y’know after a while, I started doing it myself. Whenever I saw him, I just started digging. And h-he said that he was my friend and he was doing i-it for my own good-,”

Sam was going to be sick. He had already heard all of this before, from Dream himself. He wouldn’t shut up in the prison, bragging about how “he had finally broken the Great Tommyinnit”. Hearing it from Tommy made it so much worse because it made it real. It confirmed that Dream had traumatized a kid, a child , into breaking down at his table. 

Tommy was still talking, rambling about every horrid thing that happened to him in exile. The tears had stopped falling and his voice had turned into a dull monotone. 

How hadn't Sam noticed it before? How Tommy was getting more and more sad, losing interest in things that he would usually be over the moon about and rambling to almost anyone who would visit him? He should've... visited more in exile, he should've realized what Dream was doing, and he hadn't. He'd just lived his life normally while Tommy was been struggling, all alone with no one but that green bastard as company. 

Meanwhile, Techno was having a similar breakdown. His thoughts from earlier were flooding back in, things about how he should've been a better brother, should've spent more time with him, shouldn't have left him alone for so long. He was a terrible, terrible influence on Tommy and he didn't deserve his forgiveness or even the slightest bit of respect from him. 

Tommy himself was staring at the table listlessly as he finished talking. Crying again had sapped the energy from his body and he sat with his hands hanging loosely at his side. Looking up would mean seeing Technoblade again, and he really couldn't do that right now. So slowly, he got up and walked back to his room while staring squarely at his feet. He heard Sam call out softly, but he didn't want to bother him more than he already had. 

Why was he even staying with Sam? Sam didn't need the hassle of caring for a child, certainly not one as bothersome as Tommy. He had been nothing but kind and generous and the younger boy had nothing to give back to him. Maybe he really was as bad as Dream had mentioned casually. That was the only way to excuse everything that had been done to him, so that was probably it. Tommy pressed the button that whisked him into this room and sat on his bed. He nodded to himself, saying "I probably deserve this. I'm... I'm just as bad as Dream is. Yeah, that seems right." Soon enough, he was overcome by exhaustion and was succumb to sleep. 

Lately, he hadn't been sleeping as much he probably needed, living in fear of the nightmares that came every night. They swallowed him up with their words and dark promises, leading to him waking up screaming with panic on more nights than one. 

The dining room was silent as neither Sam nor Techno had anything to say after Tommy's outburst. Techno got up and put his hand over his eyes, shielding them from the bright lantern that stood over next to the seating area.

“I should… be gettin’ home. It’s clear that I’m not wanted here.” Techno mumbled, mirroring his words from earlier. Sam sighed, checking the clock and grimacing as he checked the time. 

“Alright, just make sure to-,” His words were cut off by a faint jingling from outside the base and an enthused voice saying, “What does this do?”, followed by the steady sound of the door sinking into the ground.

Sam was half-ready to strangle whoever was walking in now.

Chapter Text

It turns out that strangling a ghost isn’t something that's even remotely plausible, no matter how much Sam wanted to try. 

Sam looked at Ghostbur, and Ghostbur blinked back. He’d come in with his trademark yellow sweatshirt and a bright smile spread across his face, contrasting the muted colors and dark frowns in Sam’s base.

“Hello! I’m Ghostbur! Who are you?” He tilted his head slightly to the right and watched as Sam shifted in place. 

“...I’m Awesamdude, but you can call me Sam. What’re you doing in my base?” Sam said evenly, not wanting to get frustrated. He had heard of Alivebur and Ghostbur, of course, but he’d never met Wilbur’s dead form. He seemed… happy, which was surprising, considering how the angry and resentful Wilbur had ended his life. He zoned back in when he noticed that Ghostbur was talking to him.

“-and then Friend led me to this place, which is really pretty! I was just walking around and I saw the beacon on the mountain, and I pressed a button and got in here!” He finished, beaming at Sam.

The creeper hybrid smiled tiredly, amused by the ghost’s energy. He wondered for a second who “Friend” was before noticing a bright blue sheep wandering around his floor. He laid down next to the fireplace and promptly fell asleep.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you Ghostbur,” He said, grinning back at him before turning around and noticing Techno, who was still standing awkwardly at the table. He was looking straight at Ghostbur and looked away, before noticing Sam’s gaze on him.

“I-I should really be going-” he began before he was cut off by an excited shriek. They both winced and watched as Ghostbur floated over lazily towards him, hands outstretched.

“Techno! I haven’t seen you in so long!” he said excitedly, twisting around Techno’s form. “Last time I came, Dream told me to go out in the snow for a while, but I started melting, and-” 

Sam cut in shortly. “He told you to do what ?” he asked incredulously. “Basically everyone on the server knows that you melt because of water, why-,” Techno winced at the statement before whispering, “We’re talking about Dream here, what did you expect?”

Sam grimaced again. No matter how much he despised Dream for what he had done, he couldn't help but remember what he’d been like before everything had gone to shit. He was kind and caring, and there were days when it was just the two of them and the world seemed right. He remembers the community house being built, excited shouts from all around him, and soft smiles as the server had been built up in the early days.

Now they were gone, replaced with harsh glares and swords driven through hearts. There was a pang in Sam’s chest as he thought about how Dream looked at him now, with maniacal grins and a deep-seated resentment rooted in his eyes. 

He looked back to Ghostbur, who was happily inspecting Sam’s kitchen, picking up spices to read the labels. Techno was still standing as if he was in a daze, eyes focused on the fireplace. 

Sam cleared his throat slightly, causing both figures in the room to look at him with expectant eyes.

“Either or both of you are welcome to stay the night, but we really should be getting to sleep.” He said softly, eyes darting between the two of them.

Ghostbur looked delighted and nodded quickly, floating into one of the rooms, while Techno looked unsure. 

“You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to, alright? It was just an offer. If you want to get back to Phil, you should probably be getting home.” Sam tried. The other man sighed while muttering something under his breath, along the lines of, ‘ If I stay, will you guys stop screaming at me?’  

Sam was slightly concerned but didn’t press, smiling gently at Techno when he agreed to stay. He led him to one of the rooms, ‘ Sapnap’s!’ his mind helpfully supplied. After quickly checking around the house to ensure everyone was settled, Sam collapsed onto the couch, a hand pressed against his forehead. 

He heard something moving behind him, and glanced back, surprised to see Ghostbur floating there, looking at him with a curious expression. 

“Hey Ghostbur, did you… need anything? I can get you something if you’d like-,” The translucent figure interrupted him with a sigh and drifted over to sit on the couch.

“This… This isn’t Ghostbur, it’s me.” He whispered. Sam raised an eyebrow at him. What?

“I uh- I mean, it’s me. Alivebur, or whatever you call me now. Not the ghost.” He said, glancing at Sam, before looking away, suddenly looking very interested in the rug that decorated the floor.

“I’m not a hundred percent sure what I’m supposed to say to this but… hello? It’s nice to meet the infamous Wilbur Soot in person.” Sam smiled, resting his head on one hand. Wilbur let out a surprised laugh at that, his lips curving into a grin. 

“Yeah, yeah, it’s nice to meet you too,” He replied, rolling his eyes. “You’re the one that’s been taking care of Tommy, right? He talks to Ghostbur a lot about you.” 

Sam chuckled, his smile widening. “Taking care of Tommy is about all I do these days. I cannot believe anyone gets into as much trouble as this one does. The title ‘gremlin child’ is certainly one that he lives up to. He’s a good kid though, I’m not complaining.” 

Wilbur had a fond look on his face at the words. “He’s a handful, but I’m glad he finally has someone that cares about him as much as you do. That’s uh, why I took the body in the first place, actually, to thank you. I’m so grateful for everything that you’re doing, it means a lot to me. To be honest with myself, I was never… a great figure in Tommy’s life since I had to raise him all by myself and then immediately dragged him into the government scheme that I wanted to do. It was a shitty thing to do and I wish that I could do it all over again to change how I acted, but alas, that isn’t a thing I can do,” Wilbur said sadly. “But now he has you and I can never thank you enough-,”

“Wilbur, look at me,” Sam said seriously. Wilbur straightened himself and stared into his eyes. “You don’t have to thank me for common human decency, okay? All I did was recognize that Tommy is a child , no matter how many times he denies it, and I treated him as such. And yes, you shouldn’t have put him in your government, but you were young and reckless, and you didn’t know what you were doing. Oh, and it is definitely not your fault that you had to raise Tommy on your own, alright? That is not on you, and you did wonderfully with what you had to work with.” He stopped when he noticed tears rolling down Wilbur’s face, leaving wet tracks that sizzled slightly. 

Sam was in distress. Why was everyone crying within 30 minutes of meeting him recently? 

Wilbur sniffled, wiping his face on the edges of his sweater. There was a long silence between the two before Wilbur spoke again after composing himself.

“No one’s ever said that to me before,” he mumbled, staring at the wall. “It’s always been ‘ Why didn’t you take care of him better, Wilbur?’ and ‘ This is all your fault!’ , y’know? And I-I know that it’s not all my fault but it… it still hurts. I really did do my best to give him a normal childhood and it all went down the drain when the whole government thing started.” The curly-haired man’s face was dry now, thin tear tracks visible from when it had burned his skin. 

“And that’s okay! I’m serious, don’t beat yourself up too much over his childhood, it wasn’t just you. I’m uh… not going to say anything about the whole “blowing up L’manburg” thing because I am not 100% sure what happened there.” Sam said, laughing sheepishly. “The big problem with wanting to stay neutral is that you don’t know anything unless you find out for yourself.” He glanced back at Wilbur -- Ghostbur? He wasn’t quite sure how to refer to the man. 

“Ah yes, L’manburg.” He said, smiling fondly. “It’s not really something that you can explain in one sitting, hm?” Sam hummed in agreement, leaning back in his seat. He was so, so tired. There was so much information being thrown his way and he had no time to process it. Wilbur seemed to notice and he drifted up slowly.

“You should probably be getting some sleep, yeah? I need to return to the void, I can hear Ghostbur wailing about how much he hates it there.” He chuckled, drifting up off the couch. 

Sam smiled tiredly, nodding along with Wilbur’s statement. He watched as the ghost seemed to fall out of his own body, slouching forward before suddenly raising to full height again. He turned around with an excited smile and faced the other man.

“Did you talk to him? Did it work, did you talk to Alivebur?” Sam grinned and nodded, the other’s energy affecting him.

“Yeah, it worked! That was… an experience!” He exclaimed, chuckling. Ghostbur spun around in a little circle, swinging his arms around. 

“I’m glad! It’s great that you got to talk to him, but the void was dark and scary so I hope we never do that again!” He giggled, clapping his hands together. “There was this other guy with ram horns! He was really nice, but he looked pretty confused to see me. Oh, and this guy that looked a lot like D- I mean uh, the… guy, yeah! He was a lot cooler though, I think he said he was Mexican or something? He was really loud, I think Tommy would like him!” Ghostbur continued to ramble about his time in the void while Sam began to feel the beginnings of sleep overtake him. His eyes slowly fell shut and his head leaned back on his couch.

“Sam? Sam, are you- Oh, he’s asleep! Ah well, I’ll just go to my room, then.” He heard Ghostbur mumble distantly, voice fading as he dissipated. 

Slowly, Sam let sleep overtake him and fell into a deep slumber.

                                

- - - - 

 

...And was promptly woken up by a loud banging at his door.