Tommy bounced around on his heels as he listened to his mom and step dad's conversation. He was watching the water spray out of the water faucet. His mom and older brother were in the dining room, next to where he was in the kitchen, then they both left not long after he started the dishes.
“Yeah, she’s hitting herself and bouncing around and shit like that. Because she has a bunch of autistic friends, she’s acting like she’s autistic,” his mom whines, her voice barely being muffled despite being across the house from Tommy.
“I could tell. She’ll learn to stop copying people soon, hopefully,” Tommy's step dad says simply.
Tommy whines, muffled by the two fingers jammed in his mouth. His light rocking became an over aggressive bouncing.
“I might need to take it into my own hands. Teach her how to act like an actual person. Not a mentally ill idiot. And if she even is autistic, she’ll need to open up about it,”
Tommy couldn’t handle listening any more, jamming his earbuds back into his ears. He looked over to the stacks of pots and pans he had to wash and internally grimaced. A soapy feeling climbing up his arms, causing him to flinch.
Tommy hits his head once more, as if that would get rid of his thoughts. The thoughts that told him what was overstimulating or comforting. What he could touch and what he couldn't.
He was faking it. He wasn’t mentally ill. He was meant to be a good kid. Not a mentally ill one. He needed to act like it.
“Hey, Tommy!” Tubbo calls out as Tommy approaches the group.
Before it got noticeable, he stopped his hands from flapping via gripping onto his pant legs. Tommy instead gave them a small smile, nodding at his friends.
Wilbur decided to invite ‘SBI ‘n Co.’ as he decided to call the group, to hang out at the park. Techno, Wilbur and Tommy were three of the four members of the ‘SBI,’ or the ‘Sleepy Bois Inc.’ The fourth member was their honorary dad, Phil. The ‘’n Co.’ part were their other friends Tubbo and Ranboo, every now and then Niki, Shroud and Michael too.
“Hey, guys. Sorry I’m late,” Tommy awkwardly laughed, not feeling like using the normally loud and boisterous part of his personality, but the shy and clingy bit.
“Ranboo and Wil are currently chasing each other, if you were wondering,” Techno grumbles, obviously already tired of his friends’ antics. “Tubbo, why don’t you go join them? You said you wanted to earlier,”
Tubbo let out a chitter, mocking Techno. “See you later then, Toms! Come join us soon, if you want of course!”
“Of course, Tubso,”
Techno and Tommy watched as Tubbo ran off to find their two taller friends. Once he was out of sight, Tommy could feel Techno’s hand on his shoulder.
“What happened?” Techno asks simply.
Tommy refused to look in the direction of Techno. He could feel the olders gaze basically pierce through his skull though.
“Nothing. Just had to do some chores,” Tommy huffs, rolling his eyes.
“Tommy.” Techno sighs. “You have a bruise on your head, I’m not stupid. What the hell happened?”
Tommy stood there in silence for a few seconds. He raised his hand to where he had previously hit his head, feeling an ache once he touched it. His gaze lowered to his feet as he shook his head.
“Nothing. I just had to do the dishes, man,” Tommy claims, pulling himself away from Technos hand.
“Don’t the dishes overstimulate you?” Techno remarks. “Because, and I quote, ‘The greasy, soapy water upset you. And the chunks are all gross and slimy.’”
“Shut the fuck up, man,” Tommy exclaims, a bit louder than he meant to.
“No. I’m sorry but please. I’m not, whatever you’re fucking implying,”
Techno didn’t push it any more, just standing next to Tommy. The younger was obviously upset, anyone could have been able to tell from the way he held himself. This head was facing the ground, face pulled into a grim expression. His arms crossed over his chest, pulled together tighter than they would be normally.
At some point, Ranboo, Wil, and Tubbo came back to the group, Niki now with them. None of the four questioned anything about Tommy's attitude, just hanging out like a group of friends.
They would frequently tell Tommy a joke or give him a riddle. Involving him in their activities did help his mood, Tommy willingly putting himself in their conversation and telling jokes of his own.
What Tommy couldn’t tell was the joyful expressions on each of their faces, and Technos relieved one. He didn’t know how they knew how to cheer him up but he was thankful for it. Granted, just hanging out with his friends helped him feel better.
“No, no no. Guys listen. Tommy seriously isn’t a night person! He’s terrifying when he gets tired or is told to go to sleep,” Ranboo jokes, feigning fear when Tommy reaches out for them.
“He isn’t a morning person either! He’s only fun to be around like, 20 minutes a day! Every other time, he’s either being creepy or annoying!” Tubbo adds onto Ranboos' joke.
“And guess what, fuckers!” Tommy cheers, “You’ll never know when that 20 minutes is gonna be!”
“What the fuck, dude?” Wilbur laughs, almost falling backwards.
Niki was already kneeling on the ground, basically hysterical. Techno was leaning over Ranboos shoulder, desperately trying to hold in his laughter. Wilbur was the only one not about to sob, aside from the bench trio, who were causing Techno and Niki to go insane.
“Oh this is fantastic, what the fuck,” Wilbur says, still laughing. “Bad part is that it’s, for the most part, true. He’s terrifying,”
“Suck it, Wilby,” Tommy grins.
Wilbur gasps, “Did you just call me ‘Wilby’?! You did!”
“I did not call you ‘Wilby’ you fucker!”
“You did! You called me ‘Wilby’!”
“I did not! Shut up!”
“Awh, it’s alright, Tommy! You can call me Wilby if you want,”
“I will in fact not be calling you Wilby, asshole,”
If Niki and Techno weren’t already dying, they surely were now. Even Tubbo and Ranboo were struggling to hold back their laughter.
Tommy couldn’t help but laugh along with his friends, just relishing in being around them.