-- details --

first posted: 2021-09-22 on archive of our own
fandom: Dream SMP
characters: Technoblade & TommyInnit
age rating: General
content warnings: None
wordcount: 1,413 words
tags: Brotherly Bonding, Fluff, Mild Hurt/Comfort, Hair Braiding, Stimming, Teaching, Hugs


"Teach me how to braid my hair," Tommy suddenly spoke up, just as Techno was about to ask what he wanted. That was the last thing he was expecting Tommy to say. Sure, he had caught Tommy watching him braid his hair frequently, but he had never shown an interest in braiding his own.
"Your hair isn't long enough to braid," Techno responded. He didn't need to look up.

teach me how to braid my hair

Braiding his hair had become a routine for Techno. Every morning, he would wake up early to sit on his bed and brush out his long hair before meticulously braiding it. Each night he would undo the braid, brush his hair out again, and the cycle would continue when he next woke up. He had had this routine ever since he turned seven and had decided to grow his hair out.

He landed on this decision for a variety of reasons. The main one being his seven year old self liked to run his hands through his mum's hair and had by association wanted to be able to do the same on his. The pink hair dye came much later (in his early twenties) when he was walking through a shopping centre and his eyes landed on a bottle of pink hair dye sitting on the shelf by its lonesome. Why not he thought to himself as he picked it up and put it in his basket. Not knowing how to dye hair, the bathroom that night looked like a murder scene. Techno viewed the memory fondly.

It was therapeutic, braiding hair. The repetitive actions quieted his mind and allowed him several minutes each day to relax and forget the worries of the world.

It was a Saturday morning when his bedroom door suddenly swung open. Techno's head snapped up mid- braid, hands still in motion, to see Tommy standing by the door. The two brothers made eye contact for a moment before Tommy stepped over the threshold and closed the door behind him.

Tommy stood before Techno, hands wrung together in front of him. He opened his mouth several times before quickly shutting it each time. Realising it was going to take a while before Tommy got out what he wanted to say, Technoblade went back to his braiding. He could feel Tommy's eyes on him as his fingers got to work.

"Teach me how to braid my hair," Tommy suddenly spoke up, just as Techno was about to ask what he wanted. That was the last thing he was expecting Tommy to say. Sure, he had caught Tommy watching him braid his hair frequently, but he had never shown an interest in braiding his own.

"Your hair isn't long enough to braid," Techno responded. He didn't need to look up. Tommy's hair rarely changed length and only just reached his ear lobes.

"What about just a small bit, then? Surely some of it's long enough." Tommy fired back, almost sounding desperate as he dragged a hand through the back of his golden hair.

Techno let out an overdramatic sigh as he gestured for Tommy to come and sit next to him. Tommy's face lit up as he walked the few steps between the two. Techno could feel the bed dip a little from the additional weight as his younger brother sat down. "I'll demonstrate first, and then you can try on my hair, since it will be difficult to practice on your own. Okay?" Techno asks.

"Of course!" Tommy answers.

Gentle, practised fingers carefully undid the long pink braid as Tommy watches in awe. Once finished, Techno looks to Tommy to ensure he's paying attention.

"First, you need to separate your hair into three equal sections like this," Techno demonstrates. As he continued explaining, Techno looked up to see Tommy practically entranced and nodding to himself. It was rare to see Tommy so quiet and focused like this. Usually, Techno could hear Tommy across the house, even if he was wearing headphones and listening to music. It was nice, he decided. "Did you get all of that?" He asked as he finished and tied off the braid.

"Of course I did!" Tommy looked offended.

"Great! It's your turn now." Tommy's face paled a little as Techno undid his hair with a smirk.

Tommy sat motionless beside Techno, gazing at his long, pink hair before gently grasping the ends.

"Three sections, remember?" Techno prompted after another moment of silence.

"I know, I know," Tommy muttered under his breath. "I just don't want to mess it up." He said with enough honesty that surprised Techno.

"Tommy," Techno turned around, letting his hair fall back down over his shoulders. "This is your first time braiding hair. It won't be perfect. It doesn't need to be. This is a learning experience." His words echoed from when he was younger. When Phil was helping teach him for the first time. He recognised the need to be perfect on the first try. The grip that mentality had and still does have on him.

"I know, it's just-" Tommy cut himself off and looks down at the bed, head low.

"I get it." Techno grasped his brother's hands in his. "I understand it's difficult to not get it perfect on the first try. But trust me when I say I'm not expecting perfection from you, and it's okay to mess up."

Tommy lets out a deep breath and looks up at Techno. The younger nods and Techno turns around again. Cautious, hesistant fingers gently grasp his pink hair and begin trying to braid. Techno utters words of encouragement and help whenever Tommy so much as pauses for a breath or to check his work.

Once Tommy reached the ends of Techno's hair, he tied it off, let it go, and leaned back. "All done," he exclaimed.

Techno turned to see they both wore matching smiles. He ran a hand over the braid to see how his brother had done. A few lumps were present but none of that mattered to Techno.

"How did I do?" Tommy asked, practically shaking where he sat.

"You did perfectly." The grin on Tommy's face was worth the world. His grin so wide it split his face in half. Techno ruffled his golden hair, chuckling.

"It's your turn to braid my hair now," Tommy said.

"I'll do my best, but I can't guarantee it will be as good as yours."

"Shut up and turn around." As Techno turned around, he could see Tommy's cheeks grow red.

"Shut up, you're way better than me." Tommy protested but Techno could see Tommy's cheeks grow red as he turned around.

The two bickered while Techno got to work on braiding his younger brother's hair. It was a little difficult as to be expected with the short length, but he was determined to get it done no matter what. The look of disappointment that was sure to be on Tommy's face if he told him he couldn't do it would keep him up at night.

After a few minutes, he had managed to braid a small chunk of Tommy's hair. It was barely six centimetres long and more to the side of his face than behind it. But it was done. And that was all that mattered.

"Get up, you're all done," Tommy clambered off the bed and towards the bathroom. Techno followed after him to see his reaction. He looked into the bathroom to see Tommy straining his head to see the braid. With one hand, he held the braid gently as if it would fall off and he shook his other with rapid excitement. The look of pure ecstasy on his face was enough to warm Techno's heart. He would trade the world just to see that smile every day, to never see that boy go through pain ever again.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!" Tommy said. He ran over to the eldest and hugged him as if he would never let go. Not that Techno would mind.

"I'm glad I could help, Tommy." Techno smiled as he rested his head on Tommy's and sunk further into the hug. The two swayed in their hug for several moments before Techno broke the silence. "Do you think you're going to grow your hair out so you can braid it properly?"

"Yeah, I think so. Not as long as yours obviously, but maybe shoulder length." Tommy answered.

"Well I, for one, would be happy to braid it fully once it's long enough."

"Really?" Tommy broke from the hug as his hands shook with excitement again.

"Of course. And you can braid mine again. Maybe I could learn some things from you." The two smiled at each other. Techno never would have imagined that Tommy would become a part of one of his routines, but he didn't mind. It was nice to have some company.

humanoid cat with a witches hat