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Knock the Wind out of my Breath

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It was a regular, albeit bland, day on the Dream SMP. Tommy, Tubbo, and Ranboo were together as always, Tommy pestering the two husbands as they did chores about Snowchester, trying to keep the large mansion in working order. Michael toddles about between legs, babbling to himself as he distracted his dads from doing the work that very obviously needed to be done.

“So I called that Jack Manifold a bald fuck and left it at that. He cannot get any women without hair I reckon.” Tommy declares triumphantly, after dramatically recounting his tale of the screaming match he got into with Jack Manifold earlier that day because of the hotel.

Tubbo scoffed. “Yeah, and you can’t get any women with hair.”

Ranboo stifled a laugh, hiding his face in his hands. The only indicator that the enderman was laughing was the subtle shake of his shoulders. Tubbo looked proud at his retort.

“Well… but, I don’t need a woman… I…” Tommy struggled to find a comeback, talking to himself in circles before slumping back into his chair, huffing.

“Anyways, Ranboo and I have some errands we need to run today in town. Think you wanna come with us?” Tubbo offered, slinging a dishrag over his shoulder while turning away from the sink, all the dishes clean piled precariously on a drying rack.

Ranboo dips down to scoop Michael up into his arms. “You’re gettin’ bigger little man,” Ranboo says to Michael, as he cocked his hip out to rest Michael on it. Michael giggled happily and wrapped his arms around Ranboos neck.

“I’m gonna go put him down for a nap, then we can go?” Ranboo looks over at Tubbo, waiting for an answer.

“Sure! You comin’ Toms?” Tubbo asks Tommy again, interrupting his daydreaming.

“Well, since you obviously want me to come so bad, I guess I’ll grace you with my presence. I am a joy, truly.” Tommy resolves, standing up to grab his old, battered jacket off the cluttered coat rack by the front door.

The trio gears up to brave the chill of Snowchester, and for some reason it’s colder than usual. The group pays no mind to the bite to the air as they trudge to the Nether portal for a more expedited travel route to the Greater Dream SMP area. They navigate the mossy cobblestone paths with ease, talking about their past few days, as this was the first time the trio had been together in a while. Before they knew it, they made it to the community house on the server. The sudden chill in the air was still apparent when they step out of the portal, and Ranboo shivers and adjusts his sweater and well-loved denim jacket.

“You’re cold? It’s barely even breezy out.” Tommy asks Ranboo.

“I can’t help the fact that I’m temperate, Tommy. Anyways, it shouldn’t even be this cool. It’s barely even autumn.” Ranboo acknowledges, as he looks around the server. The area around the community house is usually bustling and full of all the different characters on the server, but today it seemed oddly desolate.

“Okay, so first we need to head towards Therapuffy’s office, I need to pick something up from there.” Tubbo says, walking ahead briskly, leaving Ranboo and Tommy in the dust. He pushes open the door of the community house before returning his hands to his pockets, while Tommy and Ranboo continue to bicker behind him about the weather still.

The walk is quite the long one, so the three boys amble along in comfortable silence, with an occasional joke or jab peppered in to shatter the quiet. It started to drizzle on their walk, so the trio listened to the faint patter of rain on the ground as they walked down the worn wood path towards Puffy’s therapy office. Unbeknownst to them, the pleasant stillness of the air was about to be shattered by an ear piercing alarm.

When the alarm started blaring, it brought all three boys to the ground.
When the alarm started blaring, their faces went ghost white.
When the alarm started blaring, they all shared the same world-shattering thought.

“Dream escaped.” Tommy said, voice a hoarse whisper.

Tubbo was the first to rise out of the three. Tommy had turned inconsolable, screaming out vocal-cord ripping sobs that could send a chill up anyone's spine. Coupled with the deafening screech of the Pandora’s Vault alarm, it was a miracle Tubbo could even think clearly. Ranboo remained on the ground, arms wrapped around Tommy, head hung low.

“You have to get up. We need to leave. Now.” Tubbo said with urgency in his voice, grabbing the two friends on the ground and hoisting them to their feet. “We have absolutely no time to lose. This is do or die.”

“Where will we even go? No matter what, he’s coming for you Tubbo.” Ranboo said to Tubbo, who turned around puzzled.

“You have his armour.”

Tubbo stiffened. He had forgotten he hid Dream’s armour in the depths of the mansion in Snowchester, and Dream’s promise rang true in his ears, ‘It’s the first thing I’ll come for when I break out, I will rip it off your dead body Tubbo.’

“Unimportant.” Tubbo whispered, cracking his knuckles against his cheek. “We need to leave. Now. Follow me.”

Tommy and Ranboo stumble over each other in their haste to follow Tubbo, Ranboos sleek figure still wrapped tightly around Tommys shaking body. The alarm wails in the distance, making the three boys extremely aware of how little time they had. Tubbo leads them to Tommy's half finished home, with holes in the roof and gaps with no windows.

The drizzle morphed into a pour while the three ran, the wind wailing as loud as Tommy. It was as if the whole earth was in panic in tandem with the group, like the foundation keeping the world together was crumbling under their feet with the weight of the knowledge that Dream escaped. The wind screamed, the rain came down in droves, and the trees shook with fear.

“Follow me into Tommy’s house.” Tubbo opened the door and ushered them inside, slamming the door as quickly as he opened it. He hastily started moving heavy objects to barricade the door with ease, and didn’t stop until a majority of Tommy’s furniture and belongings had blocked the entrance to the decrepit house.

“Why are we here?” Tommy shuddered. “There’s nothing to protect us here.” He shuffled deeper into Ranboo’s hold, seemingly the only thing keeping him on his feet at that very moment.

The alarm continued.
Deafening.
Booming.
Earsplitting.

“I’ve prepared for this moment. There should be a tunnel from here that’ll take us back to Snowchester. There’s something I need to show you both.” Tubbo pushes two of Tommys chest out of the way, and reveals a trapdoor that, when opened, leads to a very dark ladder leading down into the depths of the ground.

“You lot need to trust me, please.” Tubbo begged. “You two go down first, I’ll bring up the rear. I’m sorry I hid this all from you, but I’m trying to save our lives.”

Tommy and Ranboo shared a concerned glance before turning back to look at Tubbo.

“I trust you. Completely.” Ranboo resolved, nodding affirmatively.

The trio made it down into the depths of the ground. The tunnel was narrow and deep, with Ranboo having to hunch to fit into it. It was eerily quiet, but even with how deep the tunnel was, you could still hear the siren far off in the distance, a constant reminder of how much peril the group was in.

It felt like forever that the three practically ran in silence, quiet comprehension of the severity of the situation they were all sharing. Finally, there was a soft yellow light near the end of the tunnel, a beacon of hope that they were close to Snowchester.

“Ranboo. You need to go inside and get Micheal. Get nothing else, and move as quickly and quietly as possible. Toms, you and I will wait for him by your memorial. Ranboo, after you get Michael meet us there.” Tubbo said with hushed urgency, after hustling both Ranboo and Tommy up another dark ladder.

Ranboo climbs up the ladder nimbly and quickly, immediately moving towards the mansion to go retrieve his child. He opens the door and hurriedly runs towards Michael’s room, hoping and praying that his son is safe in his crib. He busts open the door, and Michael is there, happy and babbling when he sees his father. He squeals as Ranboo picks him up quickly, tucking him safely in his jacket before leaving as quickly as he came. He meets Tommy and Tubbo with a wiggling Michael in his arms.

“I didn’t see anything when I went to go get Michael, but I don’t want to jinx it.” Ranboo breathes heavily, catching his breath after moving so quickly.

Tubbo wordlessly moves behind Tommy’s memorial to yank down a lever, which triggers the foot of the gravesite to shift, revealing another frightening ladder for the trio to climb down.
The alarm still blared in the distance, and Tubbo swore he could hear footsteps while he ushered his best friend, his husband, and son down the hole before closing the door as quickly as he opened it.

Michael whined at the sudden darkness, and Ranboo shushed him lovingly. Tommy got sent down the hole first, so the tunnel down was filled with short breaths and Tommy cursing quietly as he navigated the dark ladder. He had calmed down just enough to turn back into his usual self.

“Fucking hell Tubbo, you couldn’t have added some goddamn lights in here? Gonna fall down this stupid ladder.”

“I’m trying to save your fucking life and that’s what you say to me? Okay, next time we’re being hunted down I’ll add some lights to our escape route.” Tubbo quipped.

“I’d like to make it to the bottom of this ladder without falling off, so could we move quicker please? Michael is quite antsy.” A disembodied Ranboo voice spoke, followed by the sound of Michael slapping Ranboo’s shoulder.

“Okay, okay hold on, I think I see the bottom.” Tommy spoke, descending the ladder faster.

The three made it to the bottom of the grimey ladder, and were introduced to an astronomically larger bunker. It practically took the breath away from Tommy and Ranboo, neither could believe how something so vast could be located under Snowchester like this. Even more jarring than the mere size of the bunker was its contents.

Nukes. Weapons galore. Everything to end a life, or a whole country, lining the walls. More armour than any one person could need.

It was almost like you could hear the quiet monotonous ticking of all the nukes in the room, it was so suffocatingly quiet. Tucked away in the corner, was a set of netherite armour sealed behind reinforced glass. The enchantments shown off it like a beacon, catching every minimal fragment of light the bunker had. Ranboo slowly set Michael down, and slowly turned around towards his husband, completely aghast.

“Tubbo- what is this all?” He whispered.

“I call it Project Dream Catcher. It was something I started when Dream first got put into the prison.” Tubbo begins, “It's known as Project Dream Catcher because it's a deterrent for Dream. If Dream even lays a finger here, it's all gone. Everything. If he ever got out, I promised myself I’d use these to make sure he couldn’t hurt anyone else ever again. Anything you’d need to fight a god is in this very bunker.”

“And is that… Dream’s armour?” Tommy questioned, pointing towards the armour in the corner.

“Yes. I placed fake copies of the armour deep in the Snowchester Mansion, but the real deal is down here. I figure if he ever found the fakes in the mansion, it’d be too late for him anyways.” Tubbo finished.

“I… I can’t believe all this. This doesn’t feel real.” Ranboo whispered.

“I’ve done everything I can to protect my friends and family, but I can’t do it alone. With all the weapons down here, we actually hold a candle to fighting Dream. He’s coming for us. I know he is.” Tubbo’s voice begins to shake.

Tubbo looks at Ranboo and Tommy, faces pale and hands shaking. His voice wavers, “Either we kill him, or we die trying. And I don’t plan on dying today.”