Did You Get Enough Love (My Little Dove)? - Chapter 1 - SunOfIcarus (2022)

Chapter Text

Tommy takes a deep breath, the sharp wind ruffling his wings as he stares down the empty mountain side. There are several wooden beams sticking out from the jagged rock, and if Tommy were anyone else he would probably fear the distance between the beams and the dirt bottom.

Tommy’s wings would catch him, though, they always did (the boy had already fallen from this cliffside several times. Each time, he would float impatiently to the bottom of the cliff, then begin the long journey back to the top). They were strong enough to carry Tommy, keep him from dropping, just not strong enough to actually lift him. To fly, like a real elytrian, like Phil.

So Tommy huffs, reaching up to place his aviator’s goggles over his eyes. Then he repositions the earflaps of the hat over his ears.

It’s cold , okay? And even though Wilbur had bought him the hat as a joke ( An aviator’s hat for a little avian, Wilbur had said, all big smiles and joking eyes, the right prick), it was useful in the cold of the mountaintop. So ha. Take that, Wilbur. A gag gift un-gagged, if Tommy had to say so himself. Plus, it’s ass-hat-freezing on top of the mountain. Snow always layered around Tommy’s feet, even though the avian has never actually seen it snow from the sky. The bomber jacket that Tommy wore was old, thin, and even zipped up it did nothing against the bitter chill. Especially on days like today, when the wind was extra strong, violent and biting. The hat, at least, can keep Tommy’s ears warm.

(Some bird hybrids love wind. Phil always makes sure to go flying on windy days. He catches the nearest drift of air and lets it carry him, or flaps his own wings to move with it at impossible speeds).

(Tommy watches from the ground, ears warm and body cold).

With the goggles securely over his head, Tommy digs the heels of his shoes into the snow behind him. He’s already failed the course a few times in the past couple of hours. Most of that time is spent making his way back up the rocky terrain.

This time, though, Tommy wouldn’t miss the platforms. He would run, and his wings would rustle and catch the air, and he would finally soar! And then he’d fly his way all the way to the Pube, and everyone would cheer and celebrate and praise him. And Tommy would fly again, and they would all say Oh, Tommy, we’re so sorry for teasing you all this time! We are stupid and bitches, and we should have believed in you all along! You are just as important and cool as the rest of us, in fact, you’re cooler. We are so sorry, please come here so we can deeply apologize. And then they would ruffle his hair, and hug him, and—and—

“Right,” Tommy murmurs, shaking his head and squinting his eyes. “Let’s do this, bitch.”

Attempting to not slip on the snow and ice, Tommy begins to sprint. He reaches the end of the cliff and jumps, flinging himself towards the first wooden beam. Tommy’s never really had problems getting to this beam—it’s the closest to the cliff, the avian had designed it to be this easy. All good training courses were set up that way: Easy to start with, and harder at the end.

Not losing his momentum from the first beam, Tommy runs and jumps once more, letting his wings flutter as they carry him to the next one.

He lands it, then lands the third.

This is where it starts to get harder: The distance between beams is further, and each one rests a bit higher than the other. Tommy can’t rely on just speed to get to those ones—he needs to fly. To actually catch wind, to really push upwards.

He jumps to the fourth one, his feet barely catch the fifth one, and then there’s only one left:

It’s the highest one. The furthest, too, but it should be easy for someone who knows how to fly. For someone who can flex their wings and just—

Push. Push-push-push-push-push—

Tommy flaps his wings frantically, but he’s not going high enough, he’s already dipping past the point—

“No, no, no,” Tommy breathes, reaching a hand up, stretching his fingers as far as they can go, and yet—

He misses. His hand falls limp to his side. He starts to slowly float down the mountain.

The wind is bitter, biting, mocking, as it pushes around Tommy. What was once invigorating now feels taunting, ruffling his feathers as though laughing at them.

A little flightless bird, it whistles, and it sounds like Wilbur. Just a little chicken.

“‘M not,” Tommy mumbles, eyebrows furrowing.

You really are, it says again, and Tommy can hear Ranboo this time, can see his mocking eyes and raised eyebrow. It’s just—you can’t really fly, Tommy, the wind screeches, and it’s Tubbo.

“Fuckin’ stop,” Tommy mutters, hands coming up to tug at the feathers near his ears.

Sorry, mate, Phil is saying, but I don’t want you coming if you can’t fly. It’s dangerous, until you can actually…take flight, you’ll have to stay home.

Average Boy, Wilbur says, and his tone is light and laughing like it doesn’t tear his heart just to hear it. Tiny baby chicken—

“Stop!” Tommy yells, and his wings rile up—

And Wilbur pushes him.

No—the wind. The wind pushes him, the wind catches in his wings and suddenly he’s veering towards the side before he can stop himself.

He’s going too fast. The stone of the mountain is coming closer faster than Tommy can stop himself, all he can do is reach out his hands to stop from crashing—

It doesn’t work. Tommy’s hands hit the mountainside and the boy folds. Smashes into the harsh rocks, tumbles and flips as he rolls down the jagged gravel.

“Fuck— shit! ” Tommy yells as his body continually slams against the gravel, his eyes squeezed shut to avoid the overwhelming blur of motion around him.

It feels like an eternity of falling before Tommy finally stops. Slammed into the dirt at the bottom of the mountain, landing harshly on his side.

“Holy— shit! ” Tommy breathes, wincing at the pain that erupts from his ribs. “Goddamn—Fucking prime, that—shit,” Tommy grumbles, slowly lifting himself into a sitting position.

Tommy is fucking winded. If it was hard to breathe in the thin air of the mountaintop, it was hard as shit to breathe now that every breath sparked pain.

“Man—what the fuck, ” Tommy whines as he observes himself.

He’s hurt everywhere—unsurprisingly. His hands have taken the brunt of it, oozing blood and dug in with gravel. The rest of his body isn’t unscathed, either; scratches and scrapes coat almost every inch of open skin, lining his legs, razing his knees. It’s too early for bruises to form, but when Tommy pokes his red skin it’s tender and aching.

“Fucking fantastic. Fuck you, wind!” Tommy yells, glaring up at the sky.

Red hot embarrassment takes over Tommy’s chest. It’s overwhelming, unbearable—it makes Tommy feel small. As if the world is looming over him, watching and laughing. The pain, too, makes Tommy feel small. Like a small child, running to cry to his parents after falling off his bike. But Tommy has no one to run to. A child, lone and small and scared. Hurt.

The wind rustles by his ears as if mocking him.

Not that Tommy needs the wind to do that. The avian winces as he thinks about it. The heated embarrassment makes his face redder, accentuated in the nipping cold of the air.

Tommy was mocked enough at home, at the Pube. Teased for his small wings and lack of real ability, then ragged on as he defends himself.

Now, sitting busted and bruised at the bottom of the summit, he has to go exactly there.

Maybe Tommy could just…not go in. Maybe he could wander around until everyone leaves, and then Tommy could sneak up the ladder and slip into his nest.

He can’t, though. Tommy’s body aches from all of his previous attempts, and his throat is parched and dry. Plus, his injuries have been steadily bleeding, and Tommy is going to have to clean them up. To wipe the gravel out and bandage them up.

(Secretly, Tommy hopes that he’ll walk in and they won’t make fun. That they’ll wrap an arm around him and tell him that it’s okay. That someone will preen his feathers while someone else grabs him a glass of water. Maybe someone would lean down and gently brush his scrapes, leaving a soft kiss on whatever bandaid they place over it. Tommy hopes they don’t find it funny—Tommy hopes they care. That even without a successful flight, they’ll praise and hold him like he belongs).

Lifting himself up (wincing as his raw palms press against the earth), Tommy begins his trek back to the Pube. It’s an aching journey. Tommy’s right ankle protests against his weight. Blood slips down his fingers and trails onto the path below, leaving a grim breadcrumb trail behind him.

Eventually, though, Tommy reaches the looming ladder. It’s a bit dark, now, and a muffled warm light emanates from the building above him.

Tommy grits his teeth and begins to climb.

The Pube, much to Tommy’s dismay, is bustling with people once he finally reaches the top. Most of the seats are already taken, light, layered chatter wafting around the candlelit room. Tommy’s acutely aware of the way his hand-blood probably drips on the wooden floor as he walks in, but he does nothing to stop it aside from turn his hands so his palms face upwards.

No one turns towards the avian once he’s entered. All too focused on their own conversations.

Tommy’s heart squeezes in his chest, and the avian couldn’t even tell you why.

(Video) Adele - My Little Love (Official Lyric Video)

No one noticed him. Tommy is bleeding and bruised and he hurts , and no one spares a glance.

It hurts, almost hurts worse than the physical pain occupying Tommy’s body. Tommy feels like a bird fallen outside of a nest. Looking up at the wooden sanction above him, begging and yearning for scraps of food, love. Watching as everyone else in the nest cares for each other while the lone, forgotten bird chirps at the bottom.

Tommy blinks harshly, shaking his head slightly. It’s unimportant. In fact, this is good! Tommy can save himself the embarrassment of having to explain himself. He just has to slip past everyone else.

Quietly, experimentally, Tommy takes a few more steps forward. No one calls out, so Tommy takes more confident strides.

Ha! This is working so well, Tommy thinks to himself. I am a fucking genius. The biggest of men. I’ll have this shit wrapped up by tonight, and by tomorrow no one will even see—

“Tommy!” Jack calls.

Fucking shit, Tommy thinks.

“Back already?” Jack continues, and he’s leaning back in his chair when Tommy turns around.

Tommy huffs. “I’ve been out all day. It’s nighttime , Jack . Why the hell are you still here?”

Jack’s eyebrows raise. “Is it really?” He asks, like he genuinely didn’t see the darkness edging from the open walls. “Bloody Nether, I’ve been here for ages. Wil’s helping me with some potion shit, so—”

As if summoned, Wilbur floats up from underneath the floorboards. “Tommy!” He cheers, flitting towards Jack to steal a swing of his drink. “Where have you been?”

Tommy pushes a smile past his grimace. “Oh, you know. Just trainin’ , the works.”

Wilbur gets closer, mouth opening in a lighthearted smile before it twists suddenly. “Holy shit, Tommy, what the hell happened to you?”

Tommy scoffs. “None of your bus-i-ness, Wilbur Soot.”

“Oh prime, is it embarrassing?” Jack pipes up, glancing around Wilbur to look at the avian. “Is that why you don’t want to say?”

“No,” Tommy grouches, tugging at his bomber jacket with his least bloody fingers. “I’ll have you know these are well-earned battle scars. I worked hard to get these, thank you very much—”

“Tommy,” Wilbur says with a deep sigh, and Tommy ignores the way the sigh presses downwards on his chest. “What happened?”

The blond huffs, momentarily flexing his fingers. “I just fell.”

Wilbur’s eyebrows knot. “You fell?”

Gaze slipping away from Wilbur, Tommy says, “Yeah. During training ‘n shit.”

There’s a moment of silence. Just a few seconds.

Oh, Tommy, Tommy imagines, are you alright? Mercy, man, you look terrible. Here, let me help. You did alright. You did more than alright, you did so well. I’m proud of you, bro, alright?

Tommy subtly bites his lip. Please, he thinks, a silent yearning. Please, please—

Wilbur laughs.

Jack, too, but he’s further back, further away, and he’s always a prick. But Wilbur? Wilbur, his family, his flock, his pseudo brother, laughs. He laughs, and Tommy feels his heart sink in his chest, all the way down to his torn shoes and soaked socks.

The phantom takes a dramatic breath between laughs. “ Fell? Tommy, how the hell did you fall? That’s your one power! Your whole thing is that you don’t fall! You just sort of—glide!”

“I know, bitch!” Tommy yells, eager to cover the way his entire body is failing. “Prime, you’re such a prick! I’m Wilbur, I’m fucking rude because I have a superiority complex, blah blah blah—

“Tommy! You look like shit! How hard did you fucking fall? You’re supposed to stop yourself from falling!”

“It wasn’t my fault, bitch! It was the fucking wind! I couldn’t have done anything!”

Wilbur is still laughing, though, and Tommy can’t do anything but curse at him and Jack both.

“You know what—fuck you both! You are both bitches!” Tommy seethes, whipping around and storming off.

The energy fades quickly. Slips off like water, leaving Tommy mentally soaked. Heavy and blurry as he enters the dark upper level.

Tommy should have known. He was stupid to think that Wilbur would—to think that anyone would, really.

He was stupid to think people would receive him. Selfish to hope that they would.

There is no fight left by the time Tommy reaches his room. Just the sharp pain presiding in his skin, his bones, and the sudden, overwhelming weight of exhaustion.

Small. He closes his eyes, and the world folds in and drowns him.

Tommy goes to bed bleeding, wounds uncleaned and uncovered. Gravel digs into his flesh, skin catches on sheets. The boy does nothing but close his eyes, haunted by the muffled sound of laughter down the hall.

Tommy doesn’t spend time at the training course the next day. He feels…fine! Great, even! Tommy definitely would have trained today if he didn’t have much bigger, better things to do.

And anyway, Tommy still hurts from yesterday! Not—not because of the fall, or anything. It’s not because of his scabbed hands and legs, or the red tendril of heat that arises any time Tommy thinks of slamming into the mountain side, or, or… Those would all be childish, baby reasons to not train again. No, Tommy’s hurt in a natural, strong soreness, the satisfying kind that comes from training for a long time. The kind of soreness that tells Tommy, you are getting stronger. Sure, it sends fire through his legs at every step, and his arms waver and shake any time he raises them above elbow level, but that’s just what it takes! It does hurt, though, so Tommy had decided it would be fine to just…chill, today. Relax, chill-ax, as someone as smart as him would say.

Taking a break wasn’t being weak. Even Technoblade took breaks! He called them “rest days,” in which he wouldn’t train or even plant carrots. He would lie around in his hammock, eyes closed and chest steady as Tommy talked circles around him. Techno said it was so he didn’t overwork his legs while jumping, or tire his fingers while working.

If Technoblade, objectively one of the biggest men on the server, took rest days, then Tommy, an objectively bigger man than Technoblade, would take a rest day too!

Instead of flying or falling or eating shit on the side of the mountain, Tommy has decided to see his best friends.

They must miss him dearly, the poor saps. Tommy has been doing big, manly things recently, like planting carrots with Techno, and helping Niki make little crowns out of shells. Hard work, but Tommy was just the man to do it! Who else could take on such heavy burdens?

All that to say, Tommy has been neglecting his poor best friends. Whatever were Tubbo and Ranboo to do without him? Cry? Maybe. Feel a deep, gut-clenching loneliness every time they laid in the dark, yearning for someone to be with them, only to be left with sinking blankets and the chill from a cracked window? Definitely.

(Not that Tommy would know).

It was Tommy's job to kindly end his friends’ suffering. So he feels rather delighted when, upon aimlessly walking Origins, he finds both Ranboo and Tubbo in the same place! Both boys are standing in front of a high stone cliff, alternating between looking at the top and turning towards each other.

“Hello, gentlemen!” Tommy calls from behind. They don’t answer, though, don’t even turn around. Which is fine—they’ve started throwing up their arms, now. Probably arguing. They probably didn’t even hear Tommy.

“Hello!” Tommy calls out again, stepping closer. “What seems to be the problem?”

“Ranboo’s being a prick,” Tubbo scowls, finally turning towards Tommy and foregoing any sort of pleasantry.

“Am not,” Ranboo says with a huff, narrowing his eyes. “I have nothing to do with this, excuse me for not exerting myself to help you.”

“You agreed to help me watch him! This is your problem just as much as it is mine!”

“I never agreed to that. And even if I did, I did watch him. I watched as he climbed up the cliffside.”

(Video) Mariah Carey - Always Be My Baby (Official Music Video)

“Oh you—you are evil, you are—”

“Lads, lads,” Tommy interrupts, placing his hands up. “I have no fuckin’ idea what you’re talking about.”

Tubbo’s wings buzz angrily. “I found this mountain goat near the Pube, right? So I was trying to to guide him to the new farm— which , by the way, Ranboo said he would help with—”

“I did not—”

“And then I looked away for ten seconds, and look!” Tubbo yells, flinging his hand towards the top of the cliff. Sure enough, when Tommy looks up, he can vaguely see the distant white smudge of a mountain goat.

“Now we can’t get him to come down, even though Ranboo could just teleport up there—”

“And you could just fly up there!”

“It’s too high! I’m a bee origin, not a fucking elytrian—”

“I can get it,” Tommy intercepts, his wings puffing out from behind him, slightly proud.

“…Oh,” Tubbo says, a slight twist in his eyebrows. Ranboo looks towards the floor, the twist occupying his lips. “We were—we were actually thinking of Phil. Or—or Techno. We’ve already messaged them and such, we’re just…waiting for them to come.”

Tommy’s heart drops slightly from underneath his thin red jacket. He tries not to let his disappointment pull him down. “Well, message them to not come. I’ve got this, I will valiantly and bravely save your goat, Tubbo!”

“Oh, you really don’t have to—”

But Tommy is already marching forward, pushing past his friends and peering up at the mountaintop.

Alright. This should be easy! The cliff was unbelievably steep and looked miles high, but any avian with wings could fly up there just fine! What good was Tommy, an avian, if he couldn’t soar through the sky to help his friends?

Tommy takes an experimental hop, fluttering his wings. He hardly lifts.

Hm. This might be a bit harder than he thought.

Not too hard, though! Nothing is too hard for big-man-Tommy. He just…needs a boost. He needs to be higher, needs the wind to rustle in his feathers, needs his instincts to feel the elevation.

Tommy takes another step towards the cliffside. After carefully scanning the jagged stone, he reaches a hand out, gripping one of the footholds. A wince escapes as his scraped hands press against the stone. His legs, similarly, shake and scream in dissatisfaction as Tommy pulls himself up, starting to climb the ragged stone.

There aren’t many clear, drastic places for footing. Only near the top, where the goat presides. Tommy has to keep his eyes focused on the stone in front of him, watching carefully for any loose areas or proper places to grab.

The hardly-there scabs on his hands quickly pull away, leaving a harsh open wound and splotches of blood wherever the avian puts his hands. His palms grovel as gravel scratches at them. His legs cry whenever they brush a bit too harshly against the rocky surface. Tommy’s entire body screams in rebellion, but he keeps pushing upward. He has to, he already told Tubbo and Ranboo that he would get their goat back. Besides, anyone in Origins could do this. Tommy can be useful, just like everyone else on this server can.

An unknown amount of time passes as the avian climbs. It feels like forever, feels like Tommy’s arms and legs and wings are going to burn and dust. The world is white noise, static, and within the black fuzz hovering in his vision the avian can hardly see where he’s stepping. Eventually, though, he looks up and sees the cliff’s edge, can see where the goat has been presiding.

“Yes, yes, yes,” Tommy chants, moving slightly quicker despite the urge to collapse.

As Tommy rises, though, the closest he’s been, proper footing tapers out. He raises a hand, stretching his fingertips, trying to grasp onto the dirt edge, but he can’t quite reach. If he could just boost himself up…

Tommy takes a deep breath. Behind him, his wings flutter and open, the wind rustling his golden feathers.

Alright. Alright. He could do it. This is what he’s been training for.

With another breath, Tommy jumps, stretching out his fingertips and frantically beating his wings—

“Yes! Yes yes yes!” Tommy cheers as his fingers connect with the dirt. Wings still flapping, he pulls himself onto the flat edge, gripping handfuls of grass and hoping for the best.

“Holy shit! Yes! Yes! I did it!” Tommy screams, flopping onto his back once he’s on secure land. “Finally! I flew! I did it, I flew up here! Ha! Take that, everyone in the whole fucking world! Fuck you!” The air isn’t quite thick enough, up here, but Tommy breathes it in like it’s fucking victory. Because it is. “Fuck you, everyone else!” Tommy says one more time, just for good measure. “And now, due to my fucking excellent skills of flight and resilience, it’s time to take you—”

Tommy pauses. Looks around.

The goat…isn’t here.

“Wha? Huh?” Tommy says eloquently, rapidly pushing himself to his teeth. “Where?” Tommy cries loudly, circling around the grassy patch.

“Tubbo!” Tommy yells, even though there’s no chance the bee hybrid can hear him from up here. He drops to his knees and crawls towards the open edge. “Where the fuck is—”

Tommy stops. Pauses, kneeled on the cliff’s edge on his bloody hands and aching knees.

The figures on the ground are small. Tiny. Little smudges of color.

A smudge of brown and yellow, a smudge of black and purple. Tubbo and Ranboo.

A smudge of green and black, accentuated with a touch of blond. Phil.

And between them, a single smudge of white.

The goat. The fucking goat.

The goat that Tommy has just—just worked so hard to save.

Saved by Phil. Saved by a man that can fly. That can actually fly, not just jump from one rock to another. Saved by a man who did, in probably ten seconds, what Tommy couldn’t do in an hour. Saved by a man who can help others, help himself. Saved by a man with purpose, worth. Saved by a man that isn’t a fucking failure.

Tommy didn’t even see him fly up there.

The avian doesn’t know if Tubbo and Ranboo wait for him. Rising on trembling knees, he walks the grassy cliff until he’s on the opposite side. He jumps off and glides to the bottom.

He walks Origins, walks even as his legs yearn for release.

He climbs another mountain.

He does his training course over, and over, and over.

He falls, and he falls, and he falls.

Tommy is exhausted, and yet he can’t sleep.

The sun isn’t quite in the sky yet. When Tommy looks out the window, the stars are hidden behind thick, shifting clouds. He should still be sleeping, at least for another hour or two.

The discomfort prickling at him keeps sleep from overtaking him, though. His hands and legs still sting from his fall. His wings cramp from where he’s lying on them, and they scream a sore song whenever he shifts. There’s a persistent ache in his head, thrumming against his temple and between his eyes. It’s early, and it’s dark, and it hurts.

No matter how hard Tommy closes his eyes, the ache persists, and his exhaustion isn’t enough to pull him into sleep.

Tommy needs…well, Tommy wants…

He’s not quite sure. He wants to get up, wants to find his friends and force them awake too. He wants to hide so his friends can never find him again. He wants to finally wrap his days-old injuries, wants them to soothe and heal. He wants them to hurt forever, wants more of them.

(Video) Kid Icarus Manga Adventures

He wants to fly. He wants—he wants to—

Tommy shakes his head, blinks so hard his eyelids start to hurt. The juxtaposing thoughts don’t fade, necessarily. They slip into the recesses of his mind, a light incessant nagging.

Prime. Tommy should…

Tommy slips his socked feet onto the wooden floor. Gently, he pads towards the door. He pulls the door open carefully, quietly, trying not to wake Phil.

Except—Phil is already up, it seems, because as Tommy walks towards the stairs he can hear him downstairs. He only catches the tail-end of his sentence, because then a low, rumbling tone responds, “Meh. Just a building project.”

Technoblade! Tommy thinks, surprised, and all of the thoughts from earlier finally go flying away.

This is exactly the boost that Tommy needed! It’s been a few days since he’s seen the rabbit hybrid. He’s just so busy, mining and training and meh meh meh, whatever else the Technoblade gets up to in his freetime. He must be done with all that, though, if he’s visiting Phil! Tommy has been aching to see him. Maybe Techno could take him mob-hunting. Or maybe they would hang hammocks again and sleep in the sun, or—or—

“Thought I would ask for your help, though, if you’re open,” Techno continues, unaware of Tommy at the top of the stairs.

Even better! Techno needed help with something, Tommy loved to help Techno! Techno would always clap his shoulder after a job well done, grumble a nice job or something terribly simple like that. Flexing his fingers in eager anticipation, Tommy crouches slightly, placing a single hand on the ground and ignoring the sore feeling in his legs. This would be the perfect time to scare Techno! He can just barely see him from where he perches, just a sliver of his back, but it’s enough. Enough for Tommy to jump and land on, hopefully scaring the everloving fuck out of him.

Tommy’s talons curl around the edge of the wood, squatting further to prepare to launch himself forward.

“Ah. I can’t, mate. Tommy’s got his flight lessons today, I told him I would be there.”

And then Techno…scoffs.

Tommy stills at his place on the stairs. His talons dig deeper into the wood when they tense.

“You can’t skip? It looks like it’s going to rain today, anyway.”

A chuckle. “Tommy won’t let that stop him. He probably won’t be out for long, but he’ll still go out. Determined, that kid is.”

“Yeah. Sure. Why do you have to be there?”

“Wants me to watch him, I guess. In case he makes it.”

A groan, from Techno. “You can’t miss it this one time? I mean, it’s not like Tommy…”

A beat. A moment of silence.

“Yeah. I know, mate,” Phil finally says quietly, “but I can’t just…Tommy is expecting me there. I already told him I would be.”

Tommy’s wings drop. Slow, heavy.

“Fine. If I’m still out when you finish, you can always join.”

“Sounds like a plan. Would you like to stay for breakfast? Tommy won’t be up for a little while, I have time to cook…”

The words float up through a desolate upstairs. The stairwell is cold from where Tommy once resided. Tommy lies in bed, now, palms stinging and wings cramped and eyes open and unblinking, staring at the ceiling.

Tommy does not rest. He doesn’t fall asleep, even as the dark of outside persists, even as rain begins to patter against the windowpane.

Tommy wants to heal. Tommy wants to hurt. Tommy wants to fly. Tommy wants to—

It’s a few hours before morning truly hits.

Tommy pulls on his beaten trainers. He leaves his hat on the bed.

“Oh—hello, mate. You’re up early,” Phil says as Tommy walks downstairs. “Techno’s here, if you’d like to—”

“I’m going out,” Tommy interrupts, refusing to look at the elytrian. He keeps his eyes trained on the wooden floor, not bothering to hide the furrow of his brows.

“Oh,” Phil says again. “I’m not ready to leave yet. You’ll have to wait a minute.”

“You don’t have to come,” Tommy mutters, pushing the couch and yanking at his jacket.

There’s a beat of silence, just like the one earlier. “Are you alright?” Phil finally asks, and the bordering concern in his voice pisses Tommy off. Are you alright, Phil asks, I’m not ready to leave yet, Phil says, as if he even wants to be there. As if he even believes that Tommy can do what he says. As if he even believes in Tommy himself. “I can be out there in just a bit, Tommy.”

“I don’t want you to come,” Tommy bites, zipping up his jacket and ignoring the hot embarrassment that runs through him when his pitiful failure of wings pop through the slits in the back. “I’m training by myself today.”

“Tommy—” Phil calls, but Tommy is already marching out of the doorway, slamming the door behind him.

It’s raining. Thick drops land on Tommy’s cheeks and catch in his hair, but it’s not enough to stop him.

He walks all the way to the course.

He falls, and he falls, and he falls.

He doesn’t stop.

Phil does end up going out after Tommy.

Not until an hour or two later. It’s raining, and to be rather honest, Phil had assumed that Tommy would be back in by then. Especially when the rain had shifted from a patter to a strong beating. But even when the wind started roaring and hissing through the cracks of the house, and the clouds had long turned from an ashen gray to a darkened charcoal, Tommy didn’t return.

So Phil had patted Techno’s shoulder in a goodbye (the rain was far too heavy for Techno to build, today, like he had planned, so instead he stayed seated in the small wooden kitchen chair) before pulling on his own cloak.

It’s obvious that Tommy hadn’t…wanted, Phil there today. But this weather was awful, and if Tommy was going to stay out then Phil would watch to make sure he didn’t hurt himself.

It leads to now. Phil’s only been standing here for maybe twenty minutes, but Tommy has been out here for a good few hours. It’s a bit hard to see the avian—not only because of the thick sheets of rain, but Phil has himself semi-hidden on the mountaintop. If Tommy wanted to be alone, Phil would at least try to respect it.

It’s becoming harder and harder to stay hidden. Tommy just—isn’t stopping. He runs and he jumps and his wings hardly even flutter with how hard the rain beats on him.

He never makes it to the final beam. Doesn’t even get close. Just reaches up a desperate hand before falling again, the rain almost drowning him in the air.

Phil should probably stop him. Tommy would be upset, for a little bit, but he also wouldn’t be sick in about two days time, so—

“Damn.”

Phil jumps, only just managing to suppress a short shout of shock.

Wilbur is there, now, standing next to Phil but not looking at him. Rather, he keeps his gaze trained on Tommy, his brows furrowed and lashes squinted to protect his eyes from the rain.

“You scared the shit out of me, Wilbur. You know not to sneak up on me like that.”

Wilbur just shrugs, still not looking away from the struggling avian. “Has Tommy been out here this entire time?” The phantom asks, ignoring Phil’s statement.

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Phil sighs. “Yeah. A few hours, at least.”

Wilbur frowns. “It’s storming. You can’t even fly well in this sort of weather.”

“Yeah, well…” Phil trails off. There’s nothing to say, really, it’s the truth. A simple statement of fact, so Phil just blinks and turns back towards Tommy.

There’s a silent lull as Tommy walks back up the mountain. Neither man speaks as Tommy reaches the top, lines up at his designated starting point.

“Fucking hell,” Wilbur says as Tommy nears the end of the course again, closer to the final beam. “That last beam is way too far. He doesn’t actually expect to get to it, does he?”

Phil just shrugs wearily.

“It’s too big of a jump. He’ll never reach it, not—not at the skill level he’s at right now, anyway. No wonder he’s been so frustrated with this recently.”

Sure enough, Tommy once again misses the beam by a mile. He falls slowly to the ground.

Phil, hands wrapped and pulling around his robe, and Wilbur, arms crossed and eyebrows still furrowed, watch silently once more as Tommy walks the steep path.

“Alright. Prime. Yeah, alright,” Phil finally says, watching as Tommy begins the course again. He shrugs off his jacket, his wings immediately ruffling in an attempt to shake off the rain (which, of course, doesn’t work).

Tommy’s jumping across the first few beams.

“I’ll go stop him,” Phil mutters, squinting across the way as Tommy nears the end of the course once more.

Tommy reaches the final beam. Jumps. Misses.

Phil frowns in light pity, stretching his wings outward.

Tommy starts to gently fall.

Phil takes a step forward.

Tommy’s outstretched hand falls to his side, limp.

Tommy’s wings fold in.

Tommy plummets.

Distantly, Phil registers a scream from behind him. High-pitched and horrified, but Phil is already off like a shot. The rain pelts against him, forces him downward, which works in his favor once he’s above Tommy, tucking his own wings in strategically to dive towards the falling boy.

Except the avian is falling too fast. His eyes are scrunched closed, and his limbs are loose and his wings aren’t out, aren’t catching him, and Phil is reaching out with everything in him, stretching his fingers until it hurts, but the ground is coming closer and closer—

Phil’s fingers brush fabric.

Then the elytrian is rolling to the side, tucking Tommy into his chest in the second it takes for them to slam into the mud below.

They roll a little bit, Phil letting out a cry as his shoulder takes the brunt of the fall. But then they’re still, covered in mud and still being rained upon, and Phil is ripping Tommy out from where he’s hidden.

“Phil—” Tommy starts, eyebrows scrunched in some sort of shock, but Phil doesn’t let him get any further. He immediately leans forward on his knees, tugging Tommy forward and reaching towards his wings.

“Prime—stop it, man!”

“What’s wrong?” Phil asks quickly, batting Tommy’s intercepting hand away. “What happened, where are they hurt?”

Tommy takes another harsh breath, pushing Phil’s hand away again. “ Nothing is wrong, stop it—”

Where are they hurt, Tommy?” Phil is just as fervent as before, almost wrestling Tommy now to reach his feathered appendages. “Where are they injured, what—”

“They’re not fucking hurt, Phil! They’re—prime, they’re fine! Stop! Just—just fucking—”

Phil breathes heavily. The rain beats around them. Finally, Phil leans back. Stares, wide eyed and low browed, at the kid in front of him.

“They’re…nothing’s wrong with them,” Tommy breathes, caked in mud and heavily panting.

Oh.

Phil stares. The rain beats in his eyes. “But you fell.”

Tommy’s mouth opens, then closes again. The boy stares at Phil, unspeaking.

Oh . Oh god.

Shaking, Phil leans forward, but something crashes into Tommy before Phil gets the chance.

“—oly shit, Tommy, oh—oh my god, ” Wilbur wails, his arms wrapped as far as they can go around the boy. The force has knocked both of them to the ground, Tommy on his back and Wilbur clutching him from the front. “Holy shit, I—Tommy, Tommy— ” he blubbers, choked sobs erupting from his throat. “Prime— prime —”

Phil shakes from his place in the mud. So does Wilbur, and so does Tommy.

They can’t spend forever out here. Especially not Tommy, cold and muddy and—

“Okay,” Phil mumbles, wobbling to stand up. “Okay. Okay, okay.”

He nears Tommy and his mouth opens to say something, anything, but all that comes out is a shrill trill. Scared and nervous, and he has to repress another one when Tommy doesn’t chirp back. He just looks away, turning his face towards the mud.

“Okay,” Phil says again, and he forces down his crying instincts to shift Wilbur and pick Tommy up like a baby. “Okay,” he says again. With Wilbur still weeping behind him, Phil starts the journey back home.

It’s in a daze. The elytrian can’t really focus on anything aside from the trembling figure in his arms, the rain still beating down on all three of them. The white noise of loud, aching cries.

There are gasps, when Phil gets home. Techno is there, still, and with a numb sort of surprise he realizes that Tubbo and Ranboo are too.

“—il?” Techno is saying, barely breaking through Phil’s haze. “What happened?”

Phil blinks. “Hurt,” he manages to mutter, tightening his grip around Tommy. “His wings…” he trails off.

There’s nothing left to say. Even though Techno keeps speaking, Phil can’t really hear it. The man just brushes past the rabbit hybrid, ignores Tommy’s friends staring. He brings his boy upstairs, lies him in a nest of blankets.

Tommy stays limp as Phil tucks him in. Eyes shut and limbs heavy.

Phil stays and watches Tommy’s chest all night.

It rises, and falls.

It rises.

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It falls.

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