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Once more, I will love you

Chapter Text

Tommy laughed as he scribbled above the door to George’s house, writing BITCHES HOUSE in messy letters. He hopped off the little box he had been standing on, backing up to look at it.

“Yeah,” he chuckled, turning to the new guy with a wide smile.

“There we go,” Ranboo grinned back, before turning away to continue torching on George’s lawn. The two stood in front of the small house built into the side of the hill. It was a nice, calm morning, only a few days after Ranboo first showed up.

“Let's ice this bitch’s house,” Tommy continued, grabbing a few bags of ice laying on the ground. The two had packed them earlier, or more accurately, Tommy had packed them while Ranboo watched. He was an enderman hybrid after all, that wouldn’t have ended well.

“It’ll contrast well with the fire, it’s perfect,” Ranboo encouraged, stopping his work to watch Tommy. They worked well together, a sure sign of a blossoming friendship. Or at least, Ranboo thought so.

“Yeah!” Tommy echoed, excitedly pouring some of the ice in front of a window. It tumbled onto the ground, rolling and spreading about to form a thin layer on the ground. It wouldn’t do much, but it would be an annoyance. He stuck his hand into his pocket, grabbing some crumbles of netherrack. It was a small rock, one pretty similar to sandstone. When together it formed layers of rock people combed through searching for the elusive netherite, but when pulled apart it crumbled into small pebbles and shards. The bits fell from his hand, sprinkling to form a thin layer of red over the grass. “Holy shit he’s going to be so fucking freaked out,” he rambled, flicking the flint and steel as he kneeled down, sparks jumping to the crumbs. They lit ablaze, the fire burning a brilliant red and orange as he backed away from the flames. It would burn until the rain put it out, something in its chemical makeup causing it. It was only a couple seconds later that his eyes widened, fear flooding them as the sparks leapt through the air. The wooden roof of the home burst into flames, quickly spreading among the planks.

“No, no, no,” Ranboo mumbled, clambering up the side of the home and swatting at the fire with a small cloth he pulled from his pocket. It didn’t do the best, but it did something at least, the fires slowly dying down.

“Shit, shit,” Tommy repeated as he sloshed water onto the wood trim desperately, careful to not hit Ranboo. Finally, after what felt like an eternity of sheer panic, the orange light dimmed, fading away to nothing.

“We’re fine, we’re fine, we’re fine, Ranboo sighed, hopping off the low roof and landing next to Tommy. “Wow, we’re good firefighters.”

“We’re doing nothing wrong,” Tommy replied, pulling another clump of netherrack crumbles out of his pocket, sprinkling them across the green grass.

“Exactly,” Ranboo agreed, stepping towards the window the ice was in front of again. He raised his hand towards the glass before it suddenly dropped, falling away as his eyes drifted up. “Oh whelp nevermind, it’s not gone,” Ranboo called, catching his attention. Tommy swiveled, eyes wide. He stooped to the ground, quickly scooping up a handful of dirt and tossing it at the roof, smothering the fire.

“What the fuck, how is it-” he muttered as he did so, the flames dying down once more.

“Ok there we go, there we go,” Ranboo rambled, eyes bouncing around the scenery rapidly. “We’re fine,” he finished. Tommy backed away from the house and the enderian, heading towards the little wooden bridge stretched over the pond. A grin split his face as he looked at the house with mushrooms growing from the top, Ranboo just in front of it. Flames covered the front lawn, the door swinging loosely from one hinge, graffiti scribbled all over the walls. This was working out well.

— — —

Tommy hunched over slightly, raising his shoulders up as he felt the weight of everyone's eyes on him. Tubbo slid down a bit in his chair, staring at the ground with a wince on his face. Ranboo placed his head in his hands, shaking it lightly.

“You committed arson?” Hero Phil started after a moment, disappointment obvious in his voice.

“The house wasn’t supposed to catch fire, it was only supposed to be a bit of griefing and robbery,” Tommy defended, refusing to look at the man.

“Worse things had happened before, and have happened after,” Ranboo continued quietly.

“It doesn’t change the fact that you committed arson mate,” Hero Phil replied. “That’s property damage, you destroyed private property.” Tommy blinked for a moment, staring at the man.

“What the fuck?” he asked after a moment. “Is that not normal for you guys?”

“What?” Hero Ranboo interrupted. “Normal?”

“You don’t steal and grief people’s things?” Tommy asked again.

“No?” Hero Ranboo replied, trailing off into a question as he frowned.

“You’re all fucking pussies,” Tommy muttered, sliding down slightly in his chair. “Pussies too scared to commit crime.”

“Maybe they’re right though,” Tubbo murmured. “It didn’t turn out very well.”

— — —

“Well I told you before, I want Tommy exiled,” Dream explained, reclining in his chair at the end of the dark oak table. The blackstone walls combined with the blue light from the hanging soul-fire lanterns cast the room in a soft blue haze, compared to the usual bright white and warm glow found in the rest of the holy lands.

“Yes. That is true,” Tubbo nodded, dressed in his best suit as he sat across from Dream. Tommy sat at his left, Quackity at his right with Fundy next to the man. Ranboo stood between him and Quackity, carefully writing everything down for the records.

“I told you that you had three days, and you could think about it. Then you could come back to me and we could have this meeting,” Dream said, staring at the teenage president.

“Okay, well-” Tubbo began, before getting cut off by a muttered “yeah” from Tommy. He blinked, freezing for a moment before continuing on.

“I don’t… it’s that- I’m just trying to think of any other alternative,” Tubbo sighed, wringing his hands under the table. “I want to- I want to bargain if you will. Is there any other alternative which doesn’t involve that perhaps? Or is that really the only option?”

“Well, I mean, what’s your suggestion?” Dream asked, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms. Tubbo narrowed his eyes, recognizing the lackluster dismissal cleverly hidden behind casual movements.

“Okay. Here’s my-”

“I mean, I’ve put a lot of work into putting those walls up and maintaining them. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’ve actually doubled in size since the last time we talked,” Dream interrupted him.

“I did,” he replied, ignoring the rudeness of the interruption. “I did notice that. Okay right-”

“I also have right now in my inventory eight stacks of obsidian more that I can add onto it,” the man cut him off again.

“Holy crap do you sleep?” Tubbo muttered slightly. “Right, okay,”

“Where do you fucking get them from?” he was interrupted again, by Tommy this time. Tubbo’s eyes twitched slightly, but he ignored it. He wrung his hands again, sighing.

“Eh, somebody gave me the ones I have right now,” Dream responded casually, tossing his hand in a dismissive gesture.

“Oh so you stole them,” Tommy argued with him. The air around Tubbo felt colder, and he swallowed carefully.

“No I’m not. No, somebody gave it to me,” Dream replied. Tommy narrowed his eyes, but Tubbo interrupted before the argument could escalate at all.

“Okay so,” Tubbo started, determined to finally get his words out. “I really want this to come to a peaceful resolution where we don’t have to exile anyone. We want the best for the country, where we would all be happy.”

“Well you are considering it,” Dream pointed out, leaning forward slightly. “You are considering it right? Exiling Tommy?”

“It’s an option on the table, but it’s the last resort,” Tubbo admitted. Tommy’s eyes widened as he turned to him, betrayal clearly shining in them.

“I think what the president here is trying to say is that we are willing to compromise,” Quackity cut in, eyes darting quickly between the two. He leaned forward slightly, wings rustling in the tension.

“We are,” Tubbo confirmed, looking directly across the table, at the smiling white mask. He ignored the image of his best friend staring at him in shock, ignored the fear curling in his gut.

He ignored it all. The only thing that was important was saving the country. After all, he was the president. It was his duty.

The country and people had to come above everything.

Even friendships.

— — —

“Dream demanded for you to be exiled?” King Wilbur asked, staring at Tommy.

“Yes,” he replied shortly.

“What about Ranboo?” Hero Techno continued, his eyes narrowing slightly.

“When Ranboo was accused, he said because of his memory loss he didn’t know what happened,” Tommy explained quietly. “I didn’t say anything, I took the blame. So Dream only demanded I be exiled.”

“But that didn’t happen right?” Hero Ranboo questioned, eyes wide. “You guys worked everything out, no one got exiled?” Tubbo cringed, Tommy swallowing thickly and staring at the ground. As the silence stretched, no one answering, eyes slowly widened as the realization hit.

— — —

The breeze battered at Tubbo’s hair as he stood atop the tall obsidian walls, L’Manburg far below. He wore his best suit again, a habit ever since he had become president. He rarely wore something else, the fine black cloth giving him a sense of responsibility, of importance.

Dream stood across from him on the wall, maybe 10 or 15 feet away. The man wore his usual green hoodie and black pants, overlaid with netherite armor, the magical enchantments on the metal shimmering. Tubbo however, had no armor. He only had his suit. And of the people behind him, Quackity only wore a few pieces of plain diamond armor. Fundy wore a suit like Tubbo, Tommy dressed in his typical t-shirt and brown pants. Tubbo sighed, swallowing, before squaring his shoulders and opening his mouth.

“Dream, do you have any final thoughts?” he asked.

“Um no,” he replied. “I guess I just want to hear what your decision was, what you guys came to. What you, you know,” he trailed off, shrugging one shoulder dismissively. “I’ve calmed down a bit over the last few days that I had to sit and think about what Tommy did, what Tommy threatened. I’ve calmed down a little bit, so I guess I just wanna hear what your decision is.”

“Okay,” Tubbo hummed. “Well I’m about to say something that you might-”

“You don’t seem very calm,” Tommy interrupted him.

“Oh I’m very calm,” Dream replied, tilting his head.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Okay,” Tommy finished, drawing the word out slightly.

“Look around,” Tubbo started, spreading one hand towards the city below them. The streets curled through the packed area, the houses and buildings far below looking smaller than Tubbo had ever seen them before. From this view, they looked tiny. He could just barely make out a few animals wandering around, perhaps that smudge over there could be a cow. He really couldn’t tell.

From this high up, it was painfully obvious just how small, just how vulnerable his country was, his people were. He may be on top of the walls, above them, but they only squeezed tighter around him.

“Oh. There’s giant obsidian walls,” Dream responded, pointing out the obvious.

“There is Dream. And that’s- that- that is a,” he paused, taking a breath. “That is a problem okay? For too long, Dream we actually-” he cut himself off.

“Tubbo,” Dream called.

“Yeah?” he responded, squaring his shoulders once more and turning to look into those black painted circles.

“I trust you. You know you’re the best leader L’Manburg has ever had.” he began. “I trust that you, you know. You’ve always made the best decision for L’Manburg as a gracious leader. And I trust that whatever decision you came to was the best one for L’Manburg.”

Tubbo chuckled, his voice breaking slightly, before he shook it off and continued to laugh. “You know- you know this is funny actually!” He turned to look at Tommy for a moment, eyes wet, before he turned back to face Dream once more. “I’m sorry Tommy, I’m sorry.”

“It’s funny Dream, you-” Tommy chuckled, following his lead.

“Tommy!” Tubbo interrupted him, not turning back to look at him this time. He couldn’t. “I am so, so sorry.”

“Tubbo?” a faint whisper sounded from behind him, confusion clouding it. The wind rustled his hair again, and he bowed his head.

“Dream. I’ve come to the decision, that the best thing for the nation, the most logical thing to do,” he paused for a second, taking a breath before plunging forward, into a sentence he knew would change everything. “Is for Tommy to be exiled from L’Manburg.” Shouts of protest erupted from behind him, but he raised his voice and continued on. “Teaming with Technoblade is an awful idea! It’s an awful idea!”

“We’ve just had this conversation!” Fundy argued.

“No, no! Okay?” Tubbo yelled back, whipping around to yell at the cabinet members. “It’s awful!”

“What are you doing Tubbo?” Quackity asked him loudly.

“War is not the best for this nation!” he told them. “Nothing involving any kind of conflict is the best for this nation! Okay? You guys are thinking emotionally, irrationally! You need to think logically! There’s more than just the four of us that live here okay?” he stopped, waving at the city far below. The people looked oh so small. “War is going to bring destruction, terror! Okay? A new regime that we don’t want to enforce upon our citizens!”

“What-”.

“Tubbo,”

“Tubbo we agreed on this!” Quackity called over the other two, drowning them out. “What are you doing? What? You didn’t even tell us beforehand?”

“Tubbo what the fu-” Tommy cut himself off, shaking his head in disbelief.

“Hey everyone! That’s enough! That’s enough!” Tubbo screamed, pressing the heels of his hands to the sides of his head. “Just, be quiet! You’ve undermined my authority from the get-go! All of you! No one here has respected me. You all jump on these merry little bandwagons of, of destruction! It’s not- it’s not okay! And it’s- you-” he trailed off and sighed. “You definitely do not have the best interest of this nation at heart, you have made that more apparent than ever before today.”

“You agreed with us!” Tommy protested. “You agreed that this- why would you go back to the- it’s over- why would you go back on the plan now?”

“When I was swearing I made a promise. To do what was best for the nation. And right now Tommy? You, your presence here is not best for the nation,” Tubbo told him quietly. He looked at his best friend, his partner in crime, and tried to ignore the shattering of his heart.

“No, no! Tubbo you’re not- this is- you’re not- no man! That’s not right! You agreed with us! Back me up here, he agreed!” Tommy begged, turning to Quackity and Fundy.

“No, he did! He did!”

“Tubbo, Tubbo what are you doing man, what are you doing?”

“Look around!” Tommy yelled at him, waving his arm towards the city below them. Tubbo did, he looked down at the land, the people he was responsible for. The breeze picked up slightly, and he shivered a tiny bit.

“All of this is based around the music discs. We can’t sacrifice everything for the music discs,” he told his best friend.

“Tubbo, Tubbo but what-” Tommy stuttered. “From the beginning, before L’Manburg, you know? This is our L’Manburg, this is everything, but before everything. The discs Tubbo, what about the discs?”

“They are just music discs!” Tubbo shot back. “They shouldn’t be able to dictate the future of an entire nation!”

Tommy began his next sentence, and the argument continued.

“You’re acting like Schlatt!” shouted by a fox hybrid wearing a black cap, setting off a chain of arguments and accusations.

“The discs don’t matter Tommy!” screamed across the distance between two best friends, high above the country they had founded together.

“Dream, please detain and escort Tommy out of my country,” exchanged between a far too young president, and a man clothed in green who only tilted his head and nodded, walking across the obsidian beneath their feet.

“You are a liability,” drifted through the air from a president, with the weight of a country on his shoulder, to the former vice president, now on the ground below the wall. “You need to leave.”

The man clothed in green dragged the former vice president away, leading him down a path, the teenager in a suit remaining on the wall behind him.

The shouts and arguments of his two cabinet members rang in Tubbo’s ears, and he turned to respond to them, continuing their argument.

But a part of his mind ignored it, focused only on the fact that his best friend was now gone.

That Tommy was walking away, because of him.

Tubbo faced Quackity and Fundy, and squared his shoulders, ignoring the weight that pressed down on him.

It was all he could do, just keep pushing forward. He had a country to run after all.

He was president.

— — —

“You exiled Tommy?” Hero Tubbo cried, looking at Tubbo with wide eyes.

“Lay off. He did the right thing,” Tommy cut in, defending his best friend. “L’Manburg was at stake, our entire country. I had to be exiled to protect it, fine. Yeah it was awful, it was fucking hell. But you can’t blame Tubbo.”

“I only did what I thought was best for the country, for the people,” Tubbo took over. “I was president of a country. That had to come before everything else, even friends.”

“You shouldn’t have been president at such a young age,” King Wilbur told him, eyes filled with sympathy. “No one should have that weight on their shoulders so young.”

“Tubbo did the right thing, now shut up and move on,” Tommy finished, slamming his mouth shut.

“Which part next?” Karl murmured as he looked up from the two books in his lap for the first time in a while. The room turned to face the time traveler, many shaking their heads as they remembered who he was. “Technoblade, L’Manburg, or Exile?”