Tubbo couldn’t breathe very well.
Fire burned through his chest and on his face. Blood coated him from head to toe, welling up in his throat and dribbling down his chin. His vision was still dazzling from the bright sparks of the firework that had hit him in his chest.
Blood was everywhere. God, it was everywhere. And it was his.
Blood painted the yellow concrete walls of his makeshift prison, it pooled beneath him, it was splattered on the face of the one who had shot him.
Tubbo blinked, not finding the strength to move as he sat against Schlatt’s throne.
He was going to die.
There was someone in his makeshift prison with him. A familiar transparent figure with bright blue eyes and blonde hair.
Tommy smiled, gentle and reassuring, as he crouched in front of him. Tubbo could see him clearly, despite everything else being a haze of red and yellow.
Tommy looked as he always did. He didn’t wear the revolutionary uniform in which he had died, but in his signature red and white shirt, with khaki pants. Blood trickled down Tommy’s chin, coming from the corner of his mouth. There was a red stain on Tommy’s side, on his ribs, where the arrow had struck him and taken his life.
“Is it... terrifying?” He asked, somehow managing to form audible words despite the blood that came from his mouth. He wasn’t sure how he managed to hear himself, with the ringing that was in his ears after the fireworks.
“No, I don’t think so,” Tommy said softly, reaching forward and cupping Tubbo’s cheek. His hand was cold. Tubbo had never felt him before, despite all the times he’d seen Tommy since he’d died. Tommy normally went right through him. “It’s the way it is, y’know? Everything must come to an end. The drip... finally stops.”
Tubbo managed to reach up and put a hand Tommy’s cheek. Tears were welling into his eyes, and he could see some in Tommy’s as well. He didn’t hesitate in letting them fall, and Tommy didn’t either.
“See you on the other side,” Tubbo choked out, coming to terms with what was about to happen to him. He was going to die.
Tommy’s face was cold beneath his hand. Or maybe that was him. Tubbo was cold too. All of the blood that kept him warm was draining out quickly. Much too quickly.
“Oh Tubbo, no,” Tommy gave him a reassuring smile. “There is no other side. This is it.”
Tubbo’s hand trembled as it fell back into his lap. He didn’t want to close his eyes. He wanted to see Tommy.
His head leaned back onto Schlatt’s throne, and Tubbo felt regret flood through him.
What a pair they were, him and Tommy. Two brothers in everything but blood. Two boys. Two children. Caught up in wars that never should have involved them. Who was to blame for that? Wilbur, surely. But also Dream. And Schlatt, and Techno, and Eret, Fundy, George, Sapnap, Punz. But themselves as well. Tommy and Tubbo were not without blame for their own actions, their own decisions.
I wish I could’ve lived longer, Tubbo thought to himself sluggishly as black spots danced across his vision. His mouth formed the words that he’d never have the strength to say. I wish we could’ve lived longer, together. Its always been you and me against the world.
Tubbo was tired.
He felt a cool forehead press against his, a cool thumb gently trace his cheek.
When had he closed his eyes?
It didn’t matter.
Tubbo felt the exact moment that his struggling heart slowed to a stop. The exact moment his brain stopped sending signals to the rest of his body.
Laughter filled his ears. A familiar, childlike laugh that he hadn’t truly heard in months.
He blinked open his eyes and found himself standing on the stage on which he had died. Tommy stood just a few feet from him, smiling brightly with tears in his eyes. But he was the clearest Tubbo had seen him since he died.
Tubbo threw himself into Tommy’s arms, laughing and crying. Tommy’s touch wasn’t cold anymore. It was warm. Tubbo wasn’t cold anymore either.
That hug managed to convey all the words Tubbo could never say. “I missed you. I’m happy to see you. I love you.”
For the first time since Tommy had died, nothing felt bittersweet. Nothing was numb. Because Tommy was there, and Tubbo could touch him, and they were safe.
Techno’s hands shook as he lowered his crossbow.
What had he done? He’d killed a kid. His brother’s best friend. And for what?
He could only watch, as Tubbo spoke to someone who wasn’t there. As Tubbo’s eyes fluttered shut and his chest stilled. He could only listen, as people screamed in the crowd, calling for the spilling of Schlatt’s blood.
Techno complied, drawing his axe and burying it in between the president’s eyes. The crowd was startled into silence as he brutally yanked out his axe and kicked Schlatt’s body off the stage and onto the ground.
Then he saw them.
A transparent blonde boy, smiling at an equally transparent shorter boy. They hugged, and it looked like they were laughing, but Techno didn’t hear them.
The two ghosts pulled apart for a second, before the blonde’s eyes focused on Techno, tilting his head.
Oh god. Tommy.
Tommy looked the same as he had the last time Techno had seen him, months ago. The red and white shirt, the khaki pants. He was just a smidge taller, and of course, bleeding.
Tommy just stared at him, but his smile didn’t waver. The brunette- Tubbo. Oh god. Tubbo also turned towards him, but there was no anger in the boys eyes. Tubbo was wearing a green shirt and jeans, not the suit he’d been wearing when he died.
Tubbo smiled at him, even despite the blood that covered half his face and stained the front of his shirt.
And then, the boys were gone. As suddenly as they appeared, they vanished without a trace of having been there at all.
But despite that. In the brief moment that everyone at that festival had seen the two boys, they seemed happy. They seemed to have found peace in death.
They had each other again.
Maybe that’s all that mattered to them, in the end, at least.