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Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

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It had only been two days and Tommy was tired of walking so much. He groaned in frustration as Tubbo just kept going through the woods, humming mindlessly as he held his backpack over his shoulders, glancing around the trees. The older boy with the green button up held a map and gazed around, seeming to study the surroundings. Before Tommy muttered;

"Tubs, we're lost aren't we?" Tommy rubbed his eyes in frustration as Tubbo sighed, "We're not lost we're just... On a long route?" he said like a question, not even believing himself with that. The younger teen with the red and white shirt grumbled and crossed his arms, "Is the place even still standing? We could've passed it hours ago and may not have even noticed."

The woods around them weren't that far from the town they both ran from and if someone actually searched for them, which wasn't likely, they would be caught instantly. But with these woods keeping them safe... They would never be found. After a fire started ages ago... Years ago in a mansion in the center of the woods, no one dared to get close to it.

But, when you're two teenage boys on the run, in need of shelter and some form of stability, you'll take a wild idea over common sense.

Tommy frowned as he shut the door to his bedroom, ever so gently to not make too much noise. It was surprising when Tubbo first saw Tommy like this. The younger one never liked to be quiet. But even from up in Tommys bedroom the two could hear Tommys parents scream at one another with nothing but pure hate in their voice... Perhaps Tommy just didn't want to add onto the hate... Maybe he just wanted things to quiet down. He flopped down in front of his bedroom door, feeling drained from trying to de-escalate his parents fighting. They didn't even know Tubbo was here... Not like it wouldn't be worse when he left.

Tubbo stared down at his friend with a mixed look of sympathy and pity. His home life... Well, that's just it, he didn't have one. He was mostly just... Alone. Which is why Tommy always called him clingy when he stayed with him rather than be home in his too quiet house. With notes on the fridge, saying that his mother would be gone for a week and his father was out for two.

He never really knew where they were at one time or where they even said they would go and he couldn't even care enough to think about it now. All he thought about... Was his best friend. His handful of friends at school... Anything that made it all not seem so quiet.

Tubbo sighed and sat down next to Tommy as the younger pulled his knees to his chest. He let out a shaky breath, "Why can't they stop.." he asked more to himself than to Tubbo or the air. The older sighed and flopped his head on Tommys shoulder, "Well. Most parents suck. I guess. Or they just really wanna annoy you." he hummed as that caused Tommy to roll his eyes with a snort. They landed back on the ground in thought. But then... They landed on the newspaper clipping and he knew just what to do.

“Tubbo..?”

“Yeah?”

“How well do you know the stories..? About the woods..?” he whispered gently.

Tubbo furrowed his brows before shrugging, “I mean, a lot more than most of the people who lived in town at the time.”

Tommy thought deeply, much longer than he usually does before looking up, “What if we went there?”

----

The thing is, people have gone missing in these trees. Some people say bears… Other people say they get lost… Others say they go to the remains of the fire. A year after the incident, a reporter went out through the woods. All they found was a camera.

Tubbo turned the map around. Tommy sighed as stared up at the sun rising. After resting and chowing down a granola bar or two, they went off again. Tommy honestly didn’t know how they were going to survive with only a weeks worth of food. But surprisingly there so many berry bushes and wild plants, they could make it on foraging and replanting for a while.

Tubbo furrowed his brows and looked around before grinning. He looked back at Tommy and quickly grabbed his hand as he shuffled the map together in his sparehand, “Big man, what's going-” And before Tommy knew it, Tubbo was running along with him, their hands tight together. The taller boy had to duck below taller branches as they ran, hunching down as his friend dragged him along, the two of them getting some scratches on their arms, but Tubbo didn’t seem to mind as they dashed together and his eyes shone bright with excitement.

Tommy felt exhausted but when Tubbo pulled him a thicket, that had a clearing in the center… With a house that could almost be considered a mansion.

Tommys eyes went wide as he stared up at it. Tubbo came to a halt in front of him, almost falling to the dirt as the two were in a bit of shock.

The house looked almost abandoned, obviously but for a house that was burned down… It didn’t even look damaged on the outside.

---

Tommy sighed in frustration. Tubbo was supposed to meet him right here on the corner of the crossroads in the center of town. He grumbled and crossed his arms, staring down at his feet. Tonight was the night they were leaving, either to go to the wreckage in the woods or to just… run. As far and as fast as they can away. His parents had finally let up tonight and he was just so… Tired of them. Tired of living like he did. Like he was just some object in their war path. But he was done. Just fucking done with everything… Except Tubbo. Mainly because Tubbo was always there and actually a good person.

But of course! The night they plan to leave is the night that Tubbo decides to forget they had a plan. Tommy sighed and glanced down at the newspaper clipping he brought with him. No one really knew what caused the fire… People saw the smoke once the Sun rose. The three of them that lived there was dead. What was strange is that they each were… Well, famous in their own right. Two of them weren’t even five years older than Tommy.

He only knew about one of the three that died … That one… They called Technoblade.

---

Tommy had heard about the duel in the news, about a world famous fencer from his hometown. Tommy, being only six at the time, was a boy who admired warriors, fighters! But the way he could hear the news reporter describe Techno from the radio that poured through the house. Tommy, being even more of a child, was fascinated by what he heard. Along with the duel.

The duel, from what he heard, was incredible.

He couldn’t just forget about that.

---

Tommy stared up at the building, before looking over to Tubbo. “You wanna go first big man?” He felt… Nervous for once in his life. Scared, even. Yet, he felt brave at once. Tubbo gently reached over to grab his friends hand, “Let’s… Let’s go in together, yea’?”

Tommy gulped nervously but nodded slowly, gripping his hand. Tommy put his spare hand on the door handle and glanced at Tubbo who gave him a reassuring smile. “Let’s do this big man!” Tommy grinned and pushed open the creaky door, almost stumbling into the mansion.

Tommy could feel chills go down his spine as he stepped foot into the abandoned mansion. It was in shambles, with floorboards scattered into pieces, broken glass chandeliers, and windows cracked with mold on the seal... It looked awful...

Yet it felt like home.

Tommy smiled and let go of Tubbos hand as he looked around the dusty and dirty room. Sure there were cobwebs and dirt everywhere. And somehow the house wasn’t burnt to the ground but… This could be something… Amazing.

Chapter Text

Techno wasn’t scared. He wasn’t afraid of anything. He wasn’t a coward. But this… This was almost terrifying. It had been the first time in weeks since he had gotten some proper sleep and… Of course it all goes to hell the night he actually rests. He heard a loud shout from across the hall and grumbled, slowly opening his eyes.

His vision was foggy as he woke up, and he rubbed his eyes to adjust until he realised; his room was filled with smoke. Instantly the pink-haired man was alert and sat up, scooting back on his bed and looking around. Down below, on the first floor a loud crash had rung through the mansion. Techno furrowed his brows and coughed into his arm, holding his sleeve to his mouth to try and breath.

He couldn’t tell how much smoke he’s already inhaled, but he felt dizzy as he tried to stand up, looking around his room, he saw a crack already brimming through his door, meaning that the fire had already spread through the bottom floor… Oh god, Phil.

“DAD!” Techno coughed again into his arm, making his way to his door when part of the attic started to come down. Rubble slid down in front of the door and seemed to collapse around his room. Techno stumbled back and furrowed his brows before realising he may have been too late. He frowned before looking back by his bed to his window and stood up, nearly tripping over himself as his vision grew even worse.

Techno grunted and did his best as he could feel the room get hotter and hotter and… He was now dizzier. More sluggish. Once he got to the window, he weakly tried to pry the window open, but he was holding his body back from collapsing, from giving into the weight stuck in his lungs. Techno coughed into his hand and grumbled, before turning around.

He needed something to break his window, but he couldn’t remember where anything was. Techno fumbled as he tripped over the corner of his bed. He started to pull himself up when he felt the ceiling start to collapse even more. Hot wooden boards clashed against his back and he grunted. He tried to sit up but he felt splinters and a shard of one of the boards stabbed his back, through his chest. He shouted in pain but… No one responded.

Techno had tears that filled his eyes and slipped down his face. He knew no one would get there in time. He knew he was alone. Techno thought about his brother… His Dad… But he felt like he was too late. Techno covered his mouth as his long pink hair was covered by ash. He glanced around his room, his eyes heavy as blood dripped from his chest. He fought on a bit longer, eventually he was able to sit up flat against his bed, holding the sheath to his sabre… He tilted his head back and closed his eyes, as his white shirt was stained in blood, and the only thing he could picture was his brother… his dad. Was his family, as he clutched the sabre to his chest.

And then it all came down.

---

Tommy carefully walked around the first floor of the house. Tommy was confused, well he was most of the time but now especially. How the fuck was this all still standing? He kept thinking over and over again. It was just a pile of rubble he remembered, no bodies found, just ash. It took about two days for the fire to be put out entirely. Which is why it was even somewhat surprising that it was built here. Which means it either magically came back or it was rebuilt. With furniture and boxes and everything. At first Tubbo even thought someone was living here but there wasn’t a sign of anything besides a rat skittering beneath the floorboards.

Tubbo glanced around at the kitchen, noticing cans and bags of beans, dried food- they could live here for a year without having to go into town! Tubbo smiled as he got up on the counter and dug around a bit more, humming to himself.

Out of the corner of his eye, through the reflection of the window, he saw pink.

Tubbo furrowed his brows and looked over, now seeing nothing out of the ordinary. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. In all fairness, he hadn’t slept properly for days. He jumped down from the counter and slid off his bag before going off to find Tommy. Even though he had what would be considered the better living situation of the two, he wasn’t any more hesitant than Tommy when he said he wanted to leave.

Tubbo was just a kid after all, and the only person he felt happy with was… Well, Tommy! His best friend since he was five, his only real friend for years. He knew his parents wouldn’t really miss them, either of them. But Tubbo couldn’t care less. Even though Tubbo was the older one, they both had just a year or so till they would be considered adults and they wouldn’t have anything to worry about. They could go off on their own, get jobs, get an actual place rather than stash out in an abandoned mansion for a year.

Well… Tubbo had to admit that as soon as he walked in here… He felt at home. Maybe it was just because of Tommy, the younger one he considered his best friend or maybe it was because they actually had a place to call home, he didn’t care. It felt safe. That’s what he cared about.

Before he knew it, he could hear a yelp from upstairs- Tommy went upstairs? Tubbo frowned and ran up the stairs, careful not to trip on any loose boarding. “Tommy are you alright-!?” He began as he glanced at the second floor before realising that the latch to the attic was open and the ladder was down. And boxes filled with clothes, trinkets and other miscellaneous items had fallen down the latch. And a grumbled response from the younger teen came, “'M FINE-”

Tubbo frowned and pushed some of the items that fell aside, “Tommy, what did you do!? We haven’t even been here for a day and you already trashed stuff-” And, of course,Tubbo was cut off. “I TRASHED IT!? I COULD'VE DIED AND YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT-” And thus the incoherent yelling began as Tubbo climbed up the ladder to find that most of what was stored up here had fallen down to the floor in shambles.

The older one had learned to block out his yelling and screeching and instead of replying to whatever he said, he just helped to push off some of the boxes of clothes that fell onto him and pull him up. Tubbo just stood there and waited for him to be done with his ramble before sighing, “Can you actually explain what happened?”

Tommy grumbled and crossed his arms, “The boxes just fell! I didn’t even touch them or move anything yet, I just walked past it and it fell on top of me, Tubs! Big man, I swear, that’s what happened.”

Tubbo assumed he was lying to cover up his mistakes, “Sure. Let’s get this cleaned up anyway. We’ll be staying here so we should at least keep it clean.” he hummed and Tommy reluctantly started to help him, still, Tommy persisted with the fact that he didn’t do anything.

It took an hour for them to put everything back mainly because Tommy kept talking, since he could tell Tubbo didn’t believe him. “Tommy, I believe you, alright? I get that you totally didn’t knock anything over and one hundred percent believe you.” he mumbled but noticed Tommy wasn’t focused on him anymore, he was focused on an item that caught his eye. Tubbo looked over and noticed the shiny sword, a fencing sabre, leaning against the far wall.

Tommy hummed, “Do you think it’s his sword?” he asked gently before Tubbo shook his head, “I doubt it. Someone would have to put it there because the police report from the incident said it clung by his bed, with blood and ash. They thought it was a murder weapon before it went missing… Then they just seemed to drop the case after all the original reports vanished… Then everyone just forgot..” he spoke gently and furrowed his brows, “I still don’t know why everyone abandoned the case… The three of them didn’t even get a funeral..” The older one muttered before looking away.

“I’m gonna… Go make us something to eat. See if you can find us some candles before it gets dark without knocking everything over again.” he flicked the back of his head and headed back downstairs as Tommy rolled his eyes.

He still couldn’t ignore the sabre. Instead, he walked closer to it and hesitantly reached out to grab the handle, before reeling back to catch a box that fell off the top of a stack, with it almost hitting him right in the head. It was sealed thank God, but- “WHAT THE FUCK-” This house was haunted and nothing would change his mind.

-

Tubbo heard the screech once he brought some soup out. The older one rolled his eyes and sighed, not even caring enough to look up at him or to do anything about it,

He figured he could just try and make a makeshift fire. He didn't know how to do that but he would figure it out. But then he realised they had gas ovens. And it worked! From what he could tell, they had everything besides running water and electricity. Tubbo knew they would have to go into town for work and once the summer was up they would need to figure out school. Or hell, they could just get emancipated but he knew Tommys parents would never agree to it.

So Tubbo wiped down a dusty pot and poured the soup can in it. He hummed softly and ran a hand through his hair as he waited for the soup to boil.”EY DICKHEAD DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME SHOUT-” he could hear Tommy below and sighed before walking back upstairs,”What is it now Tommy? Because if more boxes fell I’m not cleaning up your shit again.” He got up to the ladder as Tommy was holding a box over the latch.

“For your information, dickwad, I found a full box of candles, now grab it so I don’t drop it on your fucking head.” Tubbo grabbed it as soon as Tommy let go, setting it down beside the ladder as he flipped open the box, going through it while Tommy jumped down.

“I think this place is haunted.” Tommy said before Tubbo nodded, “Why’s that?” He didn’t really sound curious right now, he was more focused on making it through the night in a house the size of a small
mansion. “Just-”

Tubbo cut the other off, “Actually, why don’t you go test that? We still have the whole second floor to look through so.” He shrugged as Tommy sighed, “You’re no fun.” And practically stomped off.

--

The room was cold, even with the summer light shining in… It was always cold… Always empty. But today it was warm. Too warm. And when it was warm it reminded him of when it was hot and hot wasn’t good. He didn’t know when his thoughts became like this. Maybe it was the last time he saw him. But he always respected his space, right? He would know not to make it so noisy.

But then the room grew hot again. It was so hot and warm, he could feel heat and then-

--

Tommy sighed as he pushed open the door, glancing around at the space he was greeted by. The room had white and grey walls with a black carpet. To put it simply, he got a chill. An eerie chill. He frowned and took a slow step forward. It seemed bland at first, but then he glanced at the singular bookshelf in the room, the only thing eye catching, walking over and studying it. It looked rustic, but had the feeling that it was new. This room seemed to carry so many emotions with it and Tommy was confused as he saw a scrapped photo on the top of the shelf. The photo was of a pink hair man standing along someone covered in fencing guard and felt like he wanted to cry. The other man's face seemed to be scratched out as the edges of the photo were either bent or torn off.

 

Tommy reached out to touch the photo but then reeled his hand back and away from it. He stepped back from the shelf and looked at the books, noticing most of the books being about wars, strategy, or philosophy…

After a moment he began to feel like… Like he shouldn’t be there…

As he glanced around once more, Tommy gulped and turned to leave, shutting the door gently behind him. Tommy wasn’t always the most empathetic person… But that room gave him so many emotions, it was scary.
--

He sighed and stared at the door. They should be alone here. But these kids should learn to not touch his stuff.

He heard them talking, he knew they needed a home, but this is where they were forced to roam.

He shouldn’t have to put up with a loud child. He’d go insane from this if he didn’t do anything.

--

Tommy sighed and decided he might as well check out the room across from that one since the door was open anyway- The door was opened!? He gulped at that and stayed quiet. They were alone here, they were alone here yeah. Tommy slowly pushed the door open the rest of the way and furrowed his brows.

Entering this room was like whiplash. It was so much more different than the other one. Tommy tilted his head. This room felt bubbly. In his mind, it was weird to describe these rooms with feelings, but this whole house made him feel so much and so much of it was a good feeling, but the bad feelings seemed to outweigh the good.

The other room felt bad all together, but this one seemed bubbly at first but then Tommy could feel this wave of sadness. He had to wipe his eyes as he looked around this one. This room had yellow walls and a black carpet with the most notable thing… being a guitar. It stood up against the edge of the bed and looked clean of any dust or scratches other than under the strings.

Tommy took a careful step forward, feeling that chill once again-

No one lived here, so why did it feel like this?

Tommy whipped his head around when Tubbo called him down and left the room quickly, closing the door behind him.

As he slipped down the stairs, the door pushed open.

Tubbo hummed as he filled up two cups with soup. He carefully walked out to the living room as Tommy came out and handed him his cup. “Find anything spooky, Big Man?”

Tommy rolled his eyes, “The bedrooms give me the creeps.” he muttered and grabbed his cup. He took a sip from it and flinched back. “It’s hot dipshit.” Tubbo giggled. The Sun started to set outside, meaning it was going get dark, really fast. He sat down on the couch after lighting a few candles and relaxing. Tommy set down his cup and reached into his bag to grab a blanket before going to sit down next to Tubbo.

After a moment of two of sitting silence, warming up as the sun fell even more. Tubbo was the one to break the silence as he crossed his legs, “Do… Do you think we should stay?” his voice was hesitant and quiet. Tommy looked over to him and raised a brow, “Well… This place is.. Scary. I think someone else may have been here not to long ago but, it doesn’t seem like they were planning to come back anytime soon.” he mumbled. “And if they do come back… We can just hide. Or leave for a while.” he looked down at the cup in his hands as Tubbo threw the blanket over their laps.

Tubbo nodded slowly, “We have enough food to last us a long time…. We can just… Live here if we really wanted…”

“If I’m being honest… I feel safe here. Even if we’re not alone and it’s a little scary if someone does show up… We’ll be safe here…”

He whispered and set down his cup after sipping it again.

“So… We’re staying..?”

“Yeah.. Yeah we are.”

--

He frowned as two children smiled, seeming to lean onto each other as they grew tired.

“They’re just kids.”

“This is our home.”

“It was our home.”

“I’m not just going to let them be.”

“You heard them talk.”

“I don’t care.”

The other sighed and glanced at the two, the louder one, Tommy was it? Was snoring softly. They both seemed to relax so much over the course of the day and it made him feel...Content with them staying.

“They’re kids. Let them rest for the night at least.”

“...Fine. But I don’t have to.” he grumbled.