Ever since their fates intertwined - or, as Sally will laugh, shake her head with the fond thought of ‘you’re a dramatic idiot, and now you’re my dramatic idiot’ as she translates Wilbur’s poetic words: since they met - the two of them had hit it off immediately, much to a younger Tommy’s dismay as he begged his big brother ‘Wilby’ to not fall for the shapeshifter hybrid - though, it wasn’t hard to tell that she preferred shifting to aquatic species, hence where Sally the Salmon jokes began. She remembers whispered conversations between the brothers, mostly Wilbur’s words, about how he would never leave his younger brother behind for anything or anyone else. She doesn’t think she wants to know the meaning behind that conversation yet.
Though neither of them felt exactly… attracted to the other, it was more or less the feeling of wanting to stay together, hold hands and have picnics and have dates at the park where the most they ever did was occasional forehead kisses. They were soulmates, Wilbur came to that conclusion when he and Sally finally figured out their relationship. Platonic partners - it was something that made so much sense to them.
From their first meeting until the very end of their journey as a pair, one of Sally’s favourite things about the man that wrote songs varying from love to loss and wars to peace, was the way his eyes changed depending on how strongly he felt an emotion. When she first asked why his eyes changed, Wilbur huffed out soft laughter, another type of music that rang in her ears. They were on their way home with Tommy racing ahead with Tubbo by his side.
“Oh, I got it from my mum, I think,” he had said, shrugging his shoulders with a gentle smile on his lips and flecks of gold in his eyes, “Da- Phil says that it’s something from her, and she’s really powerful. She’d love you too, I know it. I’m more like her than I am Phil.” There was something both painful and proud in the meaning behind the ending sentence.
(She was yet to learn the story behind his lack of wings.)
“So what you’re saying is that you have eyes that give away your every emotion? Like those mood jewellery that we saw at the market? ” Sally teases, a smile growing on her own face as she watches Wilbur nod quickly, he becomes more and more excited with the topic, but the link from the jewellery and his eyes makes him frown at the realisation. “Your mum must be really powerful then, I guess. Though, I’ve never heard of something like that before. Pog.”
A pause, they stop walking.
“Sally. My love, my dearly beloved, my sweetheart, my other-half, my soulmate, the key to my heart, love of my life. If you ever say that again I am going to break up with you and sob- you will make me break, my love, you say things that wound my heart.” Wilbur states, eyebrows furrowing closer to his eyes that shimmer with a golden hue. The conversation has obviously excited him then, made him happier despite his theatrics.
Sally simply shrugs her shoulders, not a care in the world and looks Wilbur directly in the eyes, grinning evilly as five simple words leave her mouth. “Oh yeah? You gonna cry?”
And with the pained groan that left his lips as Wilbur buried his head into his hands, she thought he would. “I swear to prime, Tommy has- Tommy has broken you. He has stripped you of all your kindness and love and now I suffer forever alone. I’m afraid he has turned you against me for his own gain, my dear. I can’t believe the Sky Gods have done this to us, the Sky Gods are making me suffer yet again, I thought I got rid of them, and now they’ve used Tommy against me, against his own brother, and now that massive prick has turned you against me too. I’ve been betrayed, Sally, you have betrayed me. You took my already wounded heart and plunged your claws into it and pulled it out. ” Wilbur trips over his words, the son of death rambling on and on about how much he ‘hates’ (adores, loves) his brother whilst Sally struggles to find the right moment to ask about what exactly the so-called ‘Sky Gods’ are.
That worry would be dismissed quickly as a shocked scream rattled them from their conversation. “What did you just say, bitch?!” and just like that the conversation from earlier is derailed, “I will have you know, dickhead, that I am The Biggest Man.” Tommy starts up, marching his way towards them as Tubbo followed alongside him. “I am Tommy ‘Careful Danger Kraken’ Innit, The Wife Haver. I ruin nothing, I only make things better. You can ask my wife Hot Girl and she will agree that you are jealous of my success, you massive dickhead!”
“You are a literal child, you are such a child.” The older brother deadpanned as the four of them continued walking whilst Tommy made the sound of a revving engine from redstone machines before shouting back again.
“Oi! I am not a fucking child, you bastard!” The youngest started angrily, all bark and no bite as the playful argument between brothers built up with Sally and Tubbo watching in amusement. “All you do is whine. Oohhh, I’m Wilbur, mememememe-”
“See Tommy? Seriously, you are such a ridiculous child. You’re being such a baby right now y’know?. Little baby! Little baby man-”
“You dumbass when I find a knife I will plunge it into your neck and then you will bleed out and I will laugh! I will go ‘L’ as you die because I am the biggest man, I have more wives than Philza Minecraft himself.” Tommy argued back proudly, turning to his last resort. “Tubbso, my friend,” Wilbur will never know why his brother picked up voicing specific words the way he did, but he loved it - found it amusing, “back me up here, man! Use your Big Law knowledge to prove that I am not a child to this wrong’un.” With that, Tubbo was right at Tommy’s side as the group of four continued walking, seeming to prepare himself for whatever ‘Big Law’ was, and prepare he did.
Tubbo went from standing at the front of the group with Tommy to standing beside Wilbur, Sally moving ahead next to Tommy to keep the even space as the group reached closer to their destination. Home.
“Here’s my proposal, Wilbur,” Tubbo starts, attempting to flaunt his skills with his new title of being a lawyer. No, Wilbur does not know how many titles his brother has now, he doesn’t think he ever will, “my client is very upset with the way he’s been treated, king. Really, you should be careful with what you say to Big T, boss man. Literally, you’ve upset him greatly, you should give him some compensation, buy us some snacks I reckon. ” At least he’s proud as he says it, Tommy cheering him on loudly as he and Sally walk ahead of the two.
“Tubbo, king, I am not going to turn back around to buy you food when we are literally nearly home,” Wilbur spoke, though not angry, eyes fading back to brown with the feeling of being content with just these three people around him, “and no, before you ask, I will not make a quick stop to Niki’s house to see if she has anything for either of you - we are literally almost home.” He sighs in vague defeat, he always has been soft for his family, especially his brothers. “I can make something to eat when we get home, okay? I’m not sure how much we have to work with though, but we can check when we get in.” Getting grumbling agreements from both of his brothers, Wilbur took it as a win as they reached the house.
As the group reached the doorstep, it was obvious that something was… different.
If it wasn’t obvious from the way the front door was already unlocked.
It was also different because two guests decided to welcome themselves home after… however long it had been.
Sally will never forget the tension that washed over the house when they got home after that day, she won’t forget how Wilbur's eyes blinked from a dull golden brown to a startling bright deep shade of purple as he opened the door to the house and entered first, obviously wanting to be in front if there was danger. Though, Sally grabs his hand, squeezing it at a pace similar to a metronome to help ground him. Their house was never unlocked without them home, after all.
Or, maybe it would be.
On rare occasions.
She couldn’t help but focus on how Wilbur’s hand went tense in her hold for a moment as Phil and Techno finally introduced themselves in person, his gaze at the floor beneath him like he wanted it to swallow him whole - like he didn’t want to make eye-contact (didn’t want them to see his eyes - his emotions). Tommy almost looked the same, yet his emotions were obvious - a merge of anger and happiness. Tubbo stayed silent, though slightly shocked and standing closer beside Tommy - protectively, almost.
Sally isn’t sure what Wilbur’s thinking or feeling regarding this development; but with the way he was a lot more interested with the details of the wooden flooring beneath them, She decided not to bring attention to it. It’s obvious that he doesn’t want this emotion to be shown. Even Phil blissfully ignored it as the conversation spiralled into himself and Techno - Wilbur’s twin in all but blood - wanting to go on more adventures.
When Sally asked Wilbur later that night, he only smiled sadly. “It helps Tech feel better,” he pauses, clears his throat. “It helps Techno with.. The voices and everything, so I always look after Tommy, Tubbo too now. I don’t blame them for it, they’re my family. Sure, they’re all right bastards sometimes, but… I’m okay with this, and now I have you too. I’m not sure what else I’m meant to want. You three keep me happy. I can’t ask for more.” Yet they both knew he wanted to.
With the way Wilbur smiled and the fact that his eyes melted from chocolate brown to lapis blue, Sally knew that he wanted so much more than he currently had, and knew exactly what he wanted after he spoke.
One day he would get that wish.
It came in the shape of a bundle wrapped in a blanket yet to be named, bright orange hair with streaks of white surrounding the obvious fox hybrid traits of such small fox ears.
It came in the infant abandoned at their doorstep, similar to Tubbo, but not exactly the same.
It came with taking the baby in, cleaning them up and calling for Sally.
It came with the fear of turning into his father, abandoning family for adventure.
Yet, it came with the knowledge that he would do what his father could not.
He will love his son until his dying breath - and he did.
So did Sally.
Welcome home, son.
Neither Wilbur nor Sally wanted to give away the child that appeared at their front door, it was Wilbur’s immediate protective instincts kicking in more than anything - considering he had basically raised Tommy and Tubbo from his childhood years - this shouldn’t be surprising to watch. But Wilbur’s eyes sparkled with an immediate soft, shining, adoration; glowing gold with hues of pink. To those that had witnessed moments like that with Wilbur, they knew that from that day onward he would do everything he could to protect them.
It was never hard to realise what the look or colour meant.
It was love, after all.
It was at that moment he looked Sally in the eyes, holding the boy to his chest and resting the kits head in the crook of his neck as they silently agreed on a life-changing decision.
“Fundy,” Wilbur started softly, not wanting to wake up his son, “our little champion.”
From then on it was both easier and harder. Phil and Techno were still wherever they were on an adventure - or, as Wilbur had heard before they left last time - another army to fight for the Blood God and the Antarctic Empire, Wilbur didn’t bother with asking anymore. Tommy and Tubbo were causing chaos as always, though Wilbur enjoyed the noise in the house whenever their plans swept into action - he still joined in. He and Sally were working amazingly together still, both as platonic partners and new parents - Wilbur ignores the thought that he’s not new to this.
It was a day alone between himself and his son, with Sally being out somewhere with Niki and Tommy and Tubbo most likely causing chaos in the streets somewhere nearby - or maybe the two were trying to bother Niki and Sally to get free baked goods from the bakery Niki worked at. As this thought passes his mind, Wilbur smiles to himself as he strums soft tunes and chords on his guitar, creating a soft melody that he enjoys, watching as his son is completely focused the instrument in his hands.
“It makes nice sounds, doesn’t it?” He keeps his voice gentle, continuing to pluck strings and watching with love and adoration as his little champion’s wandering eyes light up like the lanterns he hasn't created in years. Prime, Fundy - his son is so small compared to him. “Maybe one day I could teach you to play - it doesn’t have to be guitar, you could pick whatever you wanted, it could be our own father-son bonding time, yeah?” He can’t help but keep talking, enamoured by the small fox hybrid he took in as his own.
Wilbur shifts, sitting closer to the infant, his son. That's his son. Right there. Staring up at him and his big guitar with wandering eyes and too tiny hands that can only wrap around one finger-
Gently placing his guitar on the opposite side of himself and Fundy, Wilbur placed a hand on his son’s chest and melted as the kit wrapped tiny fingers around his index finger - loving coos and warbles purring in his chest and escaping his lips. Prime, this boy was so small, his boy was so small. “I’m gonna be honest with you,” he starts, and he knows his eyes are changing colours again because Fundy’s ears perk up and prime it’s absolutely adorable, he’s melting into a puddle that will dry in the sun, he can’t do this, he’s completely weak.
“Your mother doesn’t need to know we discussed this either, you hear me little man?- no. I am never saying that again. Fuck you Tommy and your stupid nicknames- uh, shit- uh.” The words cursing his brother were affectionate, but Wilbur clears his throat in a panic at his cursing, his thumb rubbing soothingly along his little champion's chest as his son breathes and continues being latched onto his finger. He wonders if Phil ever felt this way when he watched or held any of his sons. Wonders if Phil would go out of the way to protect him or Tommy.
Wilbur knew he would do anything to protect his family.
“Yeah, I’m gonna be honest with you, Funds, I didn’t have much of.. anything really, but… you’re worth it, all of you are worth it. I haven’t had a dad to take me on adventures or buy me grand gifts or anything like that, but I think I understand being a father a lot more than he does. I want to protect you, I’ll sacrifice my life for all of you.” Wilbur pauses, chokes on his own almost self-deprecating laughter. “Sure, that’s concerning considering I haven’t had much luck in the mental health department - but you don’t even understand anything to do with brains or health yet- Prime, I’m talking to my own kid about my mental health-”
He lets out another laugh, happier this time, and continues once again, chirping happily, ”but you’re all here around me, and… it makes this all so much more worth it. I will do everything I can to protect you, because you’ve all changed my life, made me less lonely, you’re all worth living for. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that.” A relieved yet heavy sigh fills the room that once occupied his lungs, and Fundy keeps looking at him, keeps hold of him, and Wilbur smiles softly and shakes his head.
"You’ve just wrapped me up around your finger haven’t you?”
And his son did, both literally and figuratively.
One day, years later, he would get the same wish again.
Wilbur will play the same tune with the same guitar, except this time there are more people than his son to be an audience to his music, to witness the first time that their anthem will be played. They’re all dressed in uniforms representing L’manburg, surrounded by black and yellow walls that were constructed to keep them safe from more harm.
This time, though? There are words to accompany the guitar's soft sounds - all lyrics added with love and anger festering in between the lines of emotions that were felt when Wilbur worked their great nation's anthem. The anthem was finished, now, inspired out of spite of Eret’s betrayal with his actions and words that scarred far greater than visually perceived.
(A sentence that would one day become some of Wilbur’s final words.)
As the anthem finishes and the group cheers for their newly gained independence, Wilbur will start up another song, though it sounds better when his guitar isn’t the only instrument creating a calming tune. This time the words are softer, gentler, maybe a little bit sadder than the nation’s loud and proud anthem. This song seems more truthful to the pain they’ve suffered, the trauma they’ve gained. But with the pain comes a sense of wanting to grow stronger.
And Fundy, his little champion, his son, his light - that he loves with every part of his being - will ask why salmon is mentioned so much, and his content warm brown eyes will shine with unshed tears for a moment before becoming a marbled merge of blue and gold, the latter being duller than the first - though, it’s hard for them to tell by the fire reflecting off their eyes - and he knows Tommy’s looking at him with a sense of pity, but he doesn’t want that, so he takes a breath. In one breath and the next, a newly titled president with already too much weight on his shoulders becomes a tired single father who grins evilly and says, “your mother was a salmon, I like eating salmon.” It’s enough to dismiss the knowing look from Tommy, enough to completely change the tension that was slowly building at the question. Wilbur cackles as everyone has different levels of disgust, wiping the tears from his marbled eyes that is totally because of his laughter.
It’s this moment Wilbur wants to live in forever, it’s this moment in the nation they’ve given up lives for that he knows that he never wants this night to end, sitting outside the Camarvan. It’s peaceful, he’s missed this.
One day he’ll explain everything to his son, just not yet, he doesn’t think he’d ever be ready to.