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Finding Warmth in White Fluff

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Techno is the most annoying person Tommy has ever met.

 

Tommy’s first meeting with the man had been dreadful. Tommy had a farm he was quite proud of. He tended to it every day, singing, and chirping at his plants (plants he needed to live, his digestive system only surviving on a plant-based diet), and making sure every plant lived a full happy life before he ended their lives for his survival. 

 

He was proud of his farm.

 

And Techno had destroyed it! 

 

Tommy had stumbled across a man with long pink hair and even longer pink ears sitting amongst his farm, wheat crushed, and all his carrots dug up. The man casually munched on one of Tommy’s lovingly grown vegetables. 

 

“Phil!” Tommy had screeched, outraged. 

 

The man’s ears had twitched, and he flinched for a moment, before calmly turning toward Tommy. 

 

He took a casual bite of the carrot in his hand (one of Tommy’s carrots).

 

The crunch echoed around them.

 

“What- What are you doing?! This is my farm! You can’t just sit there and-”

 

Something Tommy said must have registered in the man’s mind, because his eyes lit up, but instead of apologising profoundly, instead of begging for Tommy’s forgiveness, instead of offering to help him fix his farm, the man stood up. The man… was tall. Taller than Tommy. Taller than Tommy could have ever imagined when he was just chilling in the mud.

 

His pink hair falls in messy waves (and Tommy can recognise windswept hair, his and Phil’s always got like that after a long flight). Muscles bulged in both the man’s legs, which seemed sturdier than trees, and his arms, which tensed as the man casually swung a massive axe onto his shoulders. His clothes were simple, highlighting his ridiculous muscles, except from his boots which were intricate and clearly glowing with enchantments. This was clearly not a man to be messed with (Tommy felt distressed chirps build up in his throat and repressed them as much as he could).

 

The man crouched, leaning towards Tommy with a nose that twitched and large, long ears that flickered, leaving them eye level. Tommy does not retreat. He could take on this man!

 

“You have carrots?” The man asks.

 

“Yes? Why wouldn’t I have carrots?” And Tommy’s fate is sealed. 

 

Techno doesn’t leave him alone. Following him around, demanding produce and if the constant repeated question wasn’t annoying then the clear threat the man’s stature and ease at using an axe almost the same height as Tommy definitely was. Techno hadn’t threatened him, yet, but the axe was… intimidating. 

 

Tommy thought he’d been smart in his solution to the Techno shaped problem. 

 

He had stopped growing carrots. 

 

Sure, it sucked making his limited diet, even more limited, but he could live off of bread and potatoes and-

 

That just made Techno more annoying.

 

“Why haven’t you been growing carrots?”

 

“When are you going to make the entire field a carrot field?”

 

“What’s taking so long?”

 

Apparently, what’s more annoying than Techno asking one question, was Techno asking multiple questions. 

 

“Why can’t you ask anyone else for carrots?” Tommy asked when he finally snapped at Techno’s insistence.

 

Techno had stared at him. Large red eyes staring into his soul, as though Tommy should know. As though the answer was obvious.

 

It wasn’t. It was clear the rabbit hybrid wanted carrots, because he was… you know a rabbit, they had their dietary needs, the same as Tommy, but there were so many people he could bother instead!

 

“Yours taste the best,” Techno compliments, when it was clear Tommy didn’t know.

 

“Well obviously! My gardening skills are superior to everyone else’s, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to grow carrots just for you!” 

 

He makes a carrot field. He makes his daily gardening a couple hours longer and Techno follows him through the fields as he works, which… makes the gardening even longer (how is Tommy meant to sing and converse with his plants when Techno is asking questions and striking up conversation and needing to be supervised, because the man just… instinctively does stupid things so he can gain more of the orange vegetable? How is Tommy meant to make any progress when Techno instantly harvests the ripe carrots without any care for replanting them?). 

 

Techno is annoying. Always following Tommy and only talking about carrots, but what’s even worse is how he’s got Phil wrapped around his little finger. Tommy (and sometimes Wilbur… but only sometimes) was meant to be the one Phil came running for!

 

When Phil came flying to him after the first time he met Techno, after Tommy had screamed for him personally, Phil had just sighed and smiled. Running a hand through Tommy’s hair to try and calm him down. 

 

“Don’t worry, this is Techno,” he had said (as though that made everything better, as though that changed the fact Techno was benefitting from Tommy’s hard work without giving Tommy anything in return). “He’s been through a lot, so give him a warm welcome, alright?”

 

“But, Phil,” Tommy had whined, shooting wide eyes at Phil (eyes that always got him what he wanted). “He stole all my carrots.”

 

Phil sighed. “Really, mate? I gave you a stack of gold carrots earlier?”

 

What!?

 

“I needed more.”

 

Yeah… so, Phil was no help, no matter how Tommy whined or complained or begged for his help. Techno was apparently on Phil’s caring list (which sucks, Tommy doesn’t like sharing his dad, but he doesn’t want to disappoint his dad either!). 

 

Tommy had to put up with the annoying questions about carrots. Tommy had to put up with sharing Phil. Tommy had to put up with losing hundreds of carrots on a daily basis. And his grievances didn’t even end there. 

 

Tommy knows Techno has a burrow somewhere, the man had mentioned it, but Tommy still found the man curled up in his nest like it was designed for him (it wasn’t! It was designed for Tommy! And Tommy only allowed a select few to nestle between the warm sheets and blankets. People like Tubbo and Phil! Not Techno!). Tommy still found pink fur tucked away in his quilts like it belonged there (it didn’t!).

 

Another annoying habit Techno has is how when Tommy is just chilling in the Pub, relaxing after all the extra work he’s put in for Techno, the rabbit hybrid just… pops out of nowhere and starts running his hands through Tommy’s hair. Sorting out the knots that Tommy struggles to get rid of with all the flying practice he’s putting in. If Tommy doesn’t stop Techno, the man will literally keep playing with Tommy’s hair for hours and that’s unacceptable (only Phil has hair ruffling privileges).

 

The worst thing about Techno though is that he can jump. He can jump far. It’s annoying because you’ll be alone one second and then the next second Techno is right next to you (and no Techno has never managed to scare Tommy). Those powerful leaps of Techno’s trample over Tommy’s farm all the time (and only the threat that Tommy would stop growing carrots if Techno didn’t stop jumping on his crops, had stopped him). But… worst… worst…

 

Techno can’t fly. 

 

He is physically unable to, but…

 

When he jumps beside Phil, it looks like he’s flying. 

 

Tommy can’t fly, not yet… 

 

His wings aren’t strong enough yet, but Techno, a wingless being, flies better than Tommy. 

 

It’s annoying. 

 

Techno is annoying, annoying, annoying! And Tommy doesn’t like him whatsoever!

 

Tommy complains and grumbles and doesn’t care when Techno’s ears twitch at him being loud. Techno is annoying and Tommy doesn’t want him around! It’s only because of Phil that Tommy even tries to play nice! It’s only because of Phil that he doesn’t instantly kick Techno out of his nest when he wakes up to arms wrapped tight around him.

 

This… isn’t the first time he’s woken up to Techno in his nest. Phil says, it’s a way Techno shows he trusts and cares about someone (Tommy insists Techno must have an ugly burrow and thus wants to steal more from Tommy).

 

Still… It’s not the worst sleeping arrangement, especially right now. Winter is coming and although Tommy can survive the cold, it doesn’t mean it’s pleasant to sleep without a source of warmth. Techno is a very good source of warmth. He’s large and fluffy and actively snuggles into Tommy’s side. 

 

Tommy, just because it’s cold, snuggles back. He chirps as he burrows his face into warm, warm fluff and he’d have probably dosed off again if he hadn’t seen… white. Lots and lots of white. 

 

His blankets, quilts and bedding are all bright and colourful (it’s more exciting with colour!) and Techno is just a large blob of pink, he shouldn’t see even a glimmer of white. He blinks and sleepily rubs at his eyes. 

 

Had it started snowing? Snow had taken up most of the surrounding areas over the last few weeks, a cold November Phil had claimed, but Tommy’s nest had seemed fine last night when he went to bed. 

 

He looks around and-

 

He can see snow in the distance, but like he thought it hadn’t quite reached him.

 

No… 

 

The white is…

 

Techno?

 

The rabbit hybrids usually pink hair and fur is just… a lifeless white. Drained of all colour. It… it looks like someone had zapped Techno of all his life and left him to rot in Tommy’s nest and-

 

“Techno?” Tommy muttered, gently nudging the rabbit hybrid’s side. 

 

He doesn’t move.

 

“Techno? Techno!” His hands desperately grab for Techno’s shoulders. Shoving all his weight on the hybrid. 

 

Techno’s eyes open for a moment, before the man grumbles, trying to fall back asleep. He’s alive! He’s alive, but… is he well? He’s just sleeping and he’s white, lifeless looking… What if something happened to him?! What could he do-

 

Phil! 

 

Phil would know what to do!

 

He pulls out his communicator.

 

It’s hard to type the message out when he needs to keep one eye on Techno. It’s hard when his throat is full of sad chirps. He manages to get a message out and Phil promises to be there in a few moments.

 

Unacceptable! That’s not quick enough! Techno could be dying! Techno could be hurting! Phil needed to get here now!

 

Techno was annoying, but… 

 

But he was kinda nice… He kept Tommy company and he could be funny sometimes, especially when he was chasing Sneeg around and joking that he’d kill for his ‘carrot addiction’. He kept creepers at bay, jumping around with a quick swing of his axe to end any that got too close to Tommy (and apparently 100 metres was too close in Techno’s books, something about if he could see them, they were too close… and his eyesight was good). And he was encouraging when Tommy was practicing at his obstacle course, offering advice to help strengthen his wings. 

 

Techno was annoying, but he wasn’t allowed to die! 

 

Tommy wouldn’t allow it!

 

“Tommy!” Phil swooped down, still in his pyjamas, panicked eyes darting between them both. “What’s wrong?”

 

“Techno’s dying!” He wails. 

 

“What?” Phil quickly kneels beside Tommy, checking over the weirdly white rabbit hybrid (Tommy doesn’t move from Techno’s side though, clinging to the fabric of Techno’s shirt, like that would keep the man alive). “Where’s the injury?”

 

“Everywhere,” Tommy whines, because… Techno’s fur has changed all over his body; the hair that grew along his arms is white, the light stubble that he enjoys rubbing against Tommy’s face to watch Tommy scream is white, everything is white. “I don’t know what happened! I just woke up and he was like this!”

 

“Like what?” Phil asks, like it isn’t obvious!

 

“White!” He cries and the world turns silent (mourning Techno’s end, assuring his last seconds will be peaceful).

 

Phil laughs.

 

He laughs at Techno’s demise!

 

“Phil! He’s dying and you’re laughing?! You’re meant to be a good man-”

 

“Tommy. Tommy! He’s fine! It’s just cold. Rabbits’ fur changes colour in the winter,” Phil tries to be reassuring (it doesn’t reassure Tommy at all, because Techno is dying, and Phil isn’t helping and-). “Oi! Mate! Wake up!”

 

And Phil kicks Techno.

 

Ok… so it was a light tap, but like… You don’t go kicking the dying! It’s... it’s cruel or something!

 

Techno grumbles again. His eyes flickering. He’s struggling, like death has a firm grip on him and is trying to drag him to hell (he’d deserve it, with all the carrots he steals). Phil just kicks him again and… 

 

Really! Really?! Phil should know better! You don’t kick an already downed man! 

 

“Phil!” Tommy tries to reason with, but Phil keeps kicking the man. Techno’s eyes open. They’re annoyed and bleary. Confused (he probably didn’t think he’d ever wake again).

 

“Tommy, stop fussing,” Techno grumbles (like Tommy would be the kind of person to kick someone that was dying!). “It’s our den, get back to sleeping. Need warmth.”

 

Tommy feels like kicking a dying man. This is his nest, not their den (Techno really, really, really is the worst)! He resists though, because if this is Techno’s dying wish… Tommy could… maybe… accommodate him.

 

“Tommy thinks you're dying,” Phil says. The new, unexpected voice has Techno waking up quickly. He sits up, eyes; narrowed slits, as he takes in his surroundings. He doesn't completely relax at Phil’s presence, but his eyes fall from their glare when they lock onto Tommy.

 

“Why would he think that?” Techno asks after a moment of staring between the two.

 

Phil seems to repress a snicker as he turns to Tommy (Techno follows his gaze and suddenly Tommy doesn’t feel so confident in his assessment, but… something must be wrong. Techno must not have realised yet, he was just kicked awake). 

 

“Your fur’s wrong.”

 

Techno looks down at himself. Looks at the endless white and-

 

Joins Phil in his snickers?

 

“It’s just my winter coat,” Techno explains (it’s barely an explanation), before he’s pulling Tommy back into his nest. A head nuzzles against the side of his own, fur tickling his skin. “Now back to sleep, and get lost Phil.”

 

“That’s my hatchling, mate,” Phil says, but he sounds fond and he’s moving his wings like he’s about to leave Tommy to his fate of snuggling with Techno.

 

“I don’t see him growing you hundreds of carrots. We know who the favourite is,” Techno says confidently.

 

Tommy splutters, at a loss of words.

 

Phil laughs as he takes back off in the air.

 

“Phil!” He calls out desperately.

 

“Sleep,” Techno grumbles, tired.

 

Heavy arms weight Tommy down into a combination of warm white fur and colourful blankets. There’s snow in the distance, slowly encroaching on his nest and…

 

Techno is the most annoying person Tommy has ever met… but at least he makes a good hot water bottle...