tommy calls tubbo on a wednesday morning and shatters his entire world. it goes something like this.
“hey tubso! i know i haven’t called you in a while but i need to tell you something really important..”
tommy pauses for dramatic effect and tubbo stifles a giggle. he’s missed talking to tommy, especially since the younger had started hanging out less with him a few weeks ago, the other boy’s discord icon offline whenever tubbo would usually give him a ring.
“i have a girlfriend now! i wanted you to be one of the first ones to know. she’s from my college and her name is-“
tubbo blocks out the rest of the sentence, tommy’s voice a murky din as questions race through his head. when did they meet? why was tommy telling him this just now? how had he not noticed?
(how could he have been such a fool to believe that tommy would be his forever?)
he cuts tommy off, utters a faint “i’m sorry something just came up, congrats and i’ll talk to you later man,” and disconnects from the call.
he grabs his wallet, his phone, a pair of earbuds, and hops on his bike to make the twenty minute ride to the train station.
if he lets out a few choked cries and a few tears spill on the way there, they’re all swallowed up by the unforgiving seaside wind.
tubbo almost doesn’t register the beep of the ticket machine after he confirms his destination. he’s in a daze, head clouded with emotion and extremely ready to make a few impulsive decisions that he knows he’s going to regret later.
the train ride to brighton is pretty uneventful. tubbo keeps his earbuds in, listening to a playlist he knows all too well and letting the ugly feeling inside his chest fester.
stepping off of the train, tubbo glances at his phone. shit, he doesn’t have much battery left and he still needed to- still needed too… what did he need to do? why did he come to brighton of all the places he could have run away to?
(but of course, tubbo knows. he knows the reason and the growing apprehension in the pit of his stomach gives it all away, along with the email he has pulled up on his phone from last year when wilbur sent him his address for merch.)
he lets his feet take him closer and closer to said address, trancelike in movement while his thoughts fly by faster than a twitch chat.
does wilbur know about...? he probably knows. tommy always tells wilbur everything, a fact that makes the jealously in tubbo rear it’s ugly head up and bubble over sometimes. tommy confides in wilbur, which makes sense because wilbur is older, wilbur knows best.
but what tommy doesn’t see is the way wilbur looks at him. tubbo knows that look. oh, he knows that fucking look all too well. hard to miss when it’s been mirrored on his own face for the past few years.
he scoffs and kicks at a rock on the side of the pavement. so much for either of them ever having a chance now. tubbo’s always known in the back of his head that tommy is painfully straight. he’s always ignored the younger’s oh so fragile masculinity and sometimes nasty comments, but the false hope he’s carried has been snatched away by two stupid syllables.
“ girlfriend ”. it’s a foreign word yet familiar at the same time. something that tubbo’s old school friends would throw around like it was going out of style, much like their conversations about sex and the female genitalia. tubbo wants to roll his eyes just thinking about it.
well, he’d ended up fooling around with a surprising number of them at one point or another. for all of the tak of girls and boobs and vaginas they really should be more averse to getting a blowjob from or jerking off a friend. a very male, very sexually ambiguous friend.
tubbo is interrupted from his reminiscing by a loud google maps notification telling him that his destination will be on his right in 500 meters. he blinks at the screen, then at the one percent battery left. shit, he has to remember the number of the apartment before his phone di-
his phone dies. of course it does. and of course at that moment wilbur soot walks out of the big fancy apartment building looking like he’s just woken up after a week long sleep. of course. of course wilbur turns around like he has a sixth sense for knowing how to make tubbo’s life a living hell and spots him.
the universe hates him and the feeling is mutual.
“tu- tubbo? is that you?” wilbur squints at him. “what are you doing here?”
is that... stubble? what the hell is wilbur wearing? holy shit the bags under his eyes are more noticeable in person.
tubbo should probably answer wilbur’s question, huh. too bad he doesn’t even know the answer himself.
“good question. i… i don’t know. my feet just kinda, um, led me here?”
he hopes that doesn’t sound too suspicious. wilbur gives him a capital L Look. fuck, it sounds way too suspicious.
“uh huh. jesus christ you kids won’t let me have one peaceful day eh? one day to myself…” wilbur sighs. “come on up and you can explain yourself properly over a cup of tea.”
tubbo gives a faint nod and follows wilbur back into the apartment building.
“he’s with me,” wilbur nods at the concierge, and presses the elevator button to go up with more force than he needs to.
they stand in silence as the numbers tick down, and the elevator doors hiss open. the ride up isn’t much better. neither of them really look at each other until they’re both in front of the door to what tubbo presumes is wilbur’s apartment.
wilbur studies him for a second, and then opens the door motioning for tubbo to come in.
“no shoes in the house. i don’t know what kind of tea you like so i’ll just steep some earl grey. does anyone know you’re here?”
tubbo flinches at the question. “...no. but i’d like to keep it that way for a little while. please.”
wilbur heats water in a worn kettle while tubbo stands awkwardly in the doorway of the kitchen. the seconds tick by, and he fidgets, unsure of what to do, of why he came here in the first place.
“aren’t you going to ask why i’m here?” he mutters, pointedly avoiding eye contact.
tubbo frowns and opens his mouth to respond but wilbur continues.
“i don’t have to ask when we both know why already. look, we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, but it’s good to talk things out sometimes instead of making rash decisions. like showing up at someone’s doorstep unannounced at,” he glances at his phone, “quarter past four in the afternoon. on a wednesday.”
“are you attracted to minors in general or is it just tommy?” tubbo blurts out without thinking.
“jesus christ.” wilbur exhales. “i’m too sober for this.”
tubbo’s stomach chooses that moment to growl very loudly and wilbur raises an eyebrow at him, unimpressed.
“let’s get something in our systems first and then we’ll talk. and by something in my system i mean vast amounts of alcohol.”
“what about the tea?”
“why the hell are you still on about the tea? just leave it. i hope you’re okay with thai food because i’m not changing my drunk food of choice for you.”
tubbo deliberately does not mention the fact that he’s never had thai food before, and nods following wilbur out of the apartment. the tea would have taken too long to steep anyways.
wilbur rattles off a list of foods that tubbo has maybe heard of but never tried, hands the tired restaurant worker behind the counter a few crumpled bills, then drags tubbo into a small liquor store two buildings down from the takeout place.
they browse the racks of bottles as one of the employees eyes tubbo suspiciously.
wilbur just rolls his eyes and tugs tubbo further back into the store. “i should pick something out for you to try as well… it’s your first year of legally being able to drink so i doubt you’ve had any good alcohol.”
“the first time i tried wine i spit it out cause it tasted real bad and it stained our tablecloth so much that we had to buy a new one.”
oh god. wilbur feels a headache coming on. “i’ll just get us a bottle of bourbon. and maybe some ice wine for your child taste buds.”
“hey! i just don’t enjoy the taste of nail polish remover and rotten grapes mixed together.”
“tubbo, that is just.. not even remotely close to what wine is supposed to taste like.”
they go to pick up the takeout after wilbur buys the drinks, both bottles pressed snug against tubbo’s chest in an unassuming brown paper bag. tubbo fumbles to take out his wallet and tries to pay for the food, but wilbur beats him to it.
“you could have let me pay for the food,” tubbo whines as they head towards the seaside.
wilbur waves him off. “it’s fine. we have to hurry if you want to see the sunset from the best view.”
“and where is that?”
tubbo does see. the stunning view of vibrant sunset sky is worth the five blocks wilbur made them walk. the wooden docks are inconspicuously located at the far end of a small private beach.
they sit down on the edge of the wooden planks, feet dangling over the water. wilbur places down the little white boxes of thai food, but before he opens them he takes out a bottle opener keychain and pops the cork on the wine. he takes a sip from the bottle itself and wordlessly offers it to tubbo.
tubbo braces himself for the bitter and sourness of the wine his parents used to let him taste as a kid, but is instead met with a sweet, fruity flavor. it’s not like the grape juice he has in his mini fridge back at home. the sweetness is less artificial and tinged with flavors like peach and strawberry, honey and spice.
he takes another sip. and then another. wilbur side-eyes him and pushes a box of unfamiliar food towards his spot on the docks.
the food is… interesting. tubbo isn’t one for trying new foods but the flavors are vastly different from the admittedly childish foods he normally has. it’s actually not too bad, and when paired with the sweetness of the wine, the spiciness of the cuisine creates a delicate balance on his tongue. or he’s just drunk. either way, the wine is disappearing worryingly quickly.
wilbur flushes almost imperceptibly when he sees tubbo close soft lips around the rim of the wine bottle and flutter his eyes shut, relishing in the taste of the alcohol. it means nothing, he chides himself. they’re just both drunk and sad and trying to forget about a boy that they’ve been in love with for- actually, wait. how long had tubbo’s infatuation with tommy been going on for?
he breaks the silence. “so how long has it been for you?”
wilbur doesn’t bother to specify any further. he knows that they both know what he’s talking about.
“...three years. about. give or take a few months.”
“fucking hell, tubbo.”
what does one even say to that? ‘sorry you’ve been in love with your best friend for three years and they never noticed and are now in love with someone you’ve never met?’ he’s about to say something but the look tubbo is giving him stops him in his tracks.
“how about you then wilbur? how long have you…”
“i guess a year. i don’t know. ever since he’s been the reason why i get out of bed every morning and the only person who cared enough to call me to check up on me when i was in the worst state i’ve been in for years.“
“oh wilbur, surely not. i’m so sorry i didn’t even notice anything was wrong. if i knew i would have-“
wilbur bursts into hysterical giggles. “it’s fine tubbo, i was good at hiding it. i honestly can’t imagine the you from a year ago having the greatest success at supporting me when i was at my lowest. in the nicest way possible of course.”
that gets a chuckle out of tubbo as well. “i guess i was pretty ignorant back then, huh? i know it was only a year and some ago but i was so much more naive...”
he takes another sip of the wine straight from the bottle and the popping noise of his lips separating from the rim is downright sinful. wilbur doesn’t have the energy to summon up the voice in his head berating him for thinking these things. no, the voice in his head is telling him to do… bad things. bad things that will definitely get him in trouble and result in tubbo being uncomfortable and himself getting put on a list and he’s not a nonce, he’s not, and-
wilbur slides his fingers over the side of the bottle, where tubbo is still holding it inches away from his mouth. he gently pries it away from tubbo, who’s face is more flush than someone only a bit tipsy should be. their fingers brush up against each other and the contact feels almost electrical.
not breaking eye contact, he raises the bottle to his lips and takes a swig. tubbo is still watching him intently, cheeks red and breath coming out in shallow pants. wilbur hands the bottle back to the shorter boy, hyper aware of their proximity.
the last straw is when tubbo looks up through his lashes, dips his tongue into the mouth of the bottle and swirls it around like he’s fucking. rimming it or something. wilbur doesn’t care. they both move at the same time.
tubbo tastes like pad thai and citrus. the fruity undertones of the ice wine are somehow more distinguishable to wilbur on the other boy’s tongue than they are in the sickly sweet beverage.
the sun is setting, their food is getting cold, and wilbur is kissing tubbo. it doesn’t feel right but it also doesn’t feel wrong and tubbo deepens the kiss. wilbur is surprised to say the least, tubbo didn’t seem like the type to have experience but the way he’s licking into wilbur’s mouth with practiced ease is kind of… hot? cute?
he’s never really thought about tubbo in that sort of way so everything is unfamiliar. and different. different to the kind of kiss wilbur would have shared with tommy, inexperienced and fumbling tommy. tommy would probably blush and stutter and accidentally use too much teeth and not know where to put his hands. tubbo is the exact opposite.
tubbo has two of his arms lazily draped around wilbur’s broad shoulders, one hand sliding down his back. tubbo kisses with a passion that is unexpected but not unwelcome, and wilbur returns it by kissing back with the same intensity.
with tommy, wilbur would have been gentle, slow, he would have treated him like a glass figurine. with tubbo, wilbur knows the younger is anything but fragile when he tangles delicate fingers into wilbur’s hair and yanks him closer.
the kiss doesn’t have (ugh, wilbur doesn’t want to be cheesy but there’s no other way to describe it), the kiss doesn’t have any love behind it. no adoration, no heart eyes or lovesick expressions. they’re just two sad people commiserating about the boy they’re both in love with.
the flickering of a nearby street lamp alerts both of them to their surrounds and wilbur pulls back, slightly unsteady. the bottle is empty and both of them are drunk, they’re sad and drunk and it’s definitely a bad idea but wilbur’s always had bad impulse control.
“you’re not going home today?”
“i know you’re not going to ask me to stay at your apartment so i’m inviting myself. just for tonight wilbur. let me have this.”
“you better not regret this in the morning, tubbo .”
“same goes to you, wilby .”
the nickname which sounded so innocent in tommy’s voice drips with sarcasm and something darker on tubbo’s lips.
it’s dusk and the seaside chill is setting in. tubbo’s only got a flimsy long sleeve shirt on and he shivers slightly when the wind ghosts across their spot on the docks. wilbur takes off his coat and drapes it around tubbo’s lithe form. it swamps him, the roughly 12 inch height difference glaringly apparent.
tubbo feels… safe. for the first time in a while. he tugs the coat closer to himself and doesn’t look at wilbur.
neither of them say a word on the walk home.
when they stumble into wilbur's apartment again, tubbo doesn't comment on the heaps of dirty dishes in the sink or the piles of laundry on the couch. he just lets wilbur lead him to the bedroom and slip the coat off.
wilbur’s hands slide down to rest on his waist, the size difference punching him in the gut like a left hook. the older’s hands span almost the entire circumference of his waist and he leans into tubbo’s personal space.
“last chance to back out,” he whispers against tubbo’s lips. his breath smells like the sickly sweet scent of honey mixed with sour undertones of liquor. “just say the word and we can forget that this ever happened.”
tubbo answers by surging forward and kissing wilbur, who obviously wasn’t expecting that reaction. the momentum from the aggressive kiss causes him to stumble back, and he pulls tubbo on top of him as he falls onto the bed.
tubbo’s just full of surprises because before wilbur can regain his senses, the younger has straddled him, knees planted firmly on either side of wilbur’s thighs.
“you’ve done this before.”
it’s not a question, it’s a statement.
“yes,” tubbo pants as he grinds his hips down.
wilbur doesn’t pry further, and wordlessly shifts his own hips up in tandem with tubbo’s shaky movements.
tubbo sucks in a breath and then gasps breathily when wilbur starts to mark up his collarbone.
“shit, w-will let me take off my shirt- fuck-” he breaks off into a high pitched moan when wilbur’s long fingers rub against his nipples through the flimsy t-shirt fabric.
he can almost feel wilbur’s smirk against his neck. bastard. wilbur’s jumper is impatiently tugged and the older stops his ministrations for a second to strip down to his underwear. tubbo does the same, flushing at their difference in size which is now more evident than ever.
ha, he thinks to himself, will probably isn’t into guys that are a lot smaller than him considering his… previous taste. he quickly shakes the thought off; thinking about a certain blonde is the last thing he wants to do right now. tubbo knows the real reason he’s come to brighton is to forget, to seek comfort with the one person who understands how he feels.
he eats his words when wilbur pins both of his arms above his head using only one hand and kisses him stupid. damn genetics.
it’s painfully obvious, the difference in their experience. wilbur knows exactly what tubbo needs, where to touch him to make him come undone. yeah sure tubbo’s fingered himself before but wilbur’s long fingers, calloused by countless hours of guitar, crook inside him and he can’t help the high pitched moans that escape between kiss bruised lips.
“someone’s sensitive.” wilbur twists his fingers against that spot again and watches the smaller boy's back arch in an impressive show of flexibility.
“ hah- god, please will, just hurry up and fuck me.”
wilbur isn’t gentle by any means, they both know what they’re here for. the sex is- it’s good sure, but it’s abundantly clear that this is just a substitute. there are no loving kisses or caring touches here. not that tubbo was expecting any in the first place.
there is no “afterglow”. wilbur’s breaths are steady as his chest moves up and down, long arms unconsciously reaching towards tubbo in his sleep.
tubbo curls further into wilbur’s side, thinks about how tommy is tall and skinny too, wonders how the other boy would hold him. tommy would probably be a clingy lump after sex, sappy and caring in his soft voice that’s reserved for late night calls and berating tubbo to fix his sleep schedule or eat proper meals.
tommy would joke around with him and call him a dickhead while resting his chin on tubbo’s head, fingers combing through his hair. tommy would flush bright red if tubbo asked him for another kiss and give one to him begrudgingly anyways.
but tommy’s not his, never was. tubbo thinks back to the first time he realized he was probably in love with tommy. it’s difficult to pinpoint and exact moment but the realization hit as tubbo was listening to tommy ramble about something dumb in discord. their 4 am quarantine calls months later didn’t help one bit with the voice in tubbo’s head screaming bloody murder about being in love.
tubbo’s had that realization more times than he should. the realization that he’s in love with tommy. their second meetup replays in his head like a broken record so much that he doesn’t know which parts he added in or which parts were real.
the look that tommy gave him on the balcony, the way their shoulders brushed up against each other in the water, the seawater dripping from tommy’s hair as he pushed his bangs up to look at tubbo while they were sitting alone out at sea on the paddleboard…
he squeezes his eyes shut. it hurts now, knowing that it was all false hope. three fucking painful years of pining, yearning for someone who would never be able to love him back.
wilbur drapes a sleepy arm around him, startling him out of his thoughts.
“go to sleep tubbo,” he mumbles into the pillow. “i can almost hear you thinking out loud, shut up and just sleep.”
“...okay wilbur. g’night.”
as tubbo closes his eyes, he wills himself not to think about tommy. instead, he thinks about how he doesn’t want to go back home tomorrow, thinks about not checking the hundreds of missed calls and texts on his phone, thinks about how he’s going to break his almost daily stream streak after months of consistency. he thinks about how worried his parents and family must be, thinks about how immature he’s being, thinks about how irresponsible this whole fucking thing is.
but then again… he reaches a tentative hand out to brush against wilbur’s, then slides their palms together, fingers interlocking under the duvet. it’s nice.
he lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding in.
maybe he’ll stay for a little while longer, linger in this apartment, 750 square feet of paradise and hours away from his problems.
tubbo feels himself drift off as the end of the world draws to a close, armageddon fading to its last embers where wilbur’s skin touches his own.
this is the way his world ends, not with a bang, but with a dreamless sleep only the broken-hearted can know.