Prompt: #75 – All I Ask
Warnings: Hints of twincest, some angst, some schmoopiness, mild language.
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: Come back to me. It’s all he can ask for.
Comments: Deals with the whole issue of Bill’s throat problems and throat surgery back in 2008. Will be a couple of ‘sequels’ (of sorts) to follow. Written for 100_prompts.
Tom had always firmly believed that if something was wrong, it should be fixed, and it should be fixed as soon as possible. He’d first suspected that something was wrong early on during the 1000 Hotels European Tour, because Bill had started clearing his throat a lot and he’d get incredibly hoarse after stage performances, which was not at all like him. He’d tried to convince Bill that perhaps they should take a break—perhaps they were trying to do too much (even though he himself had felt full of energy), but Bill had waved off his concern with a gentle smile and a soft kiss on the forehead.
“You worry too much,” he’d told him, to which Tom had replied, “And you don’t worry enough.”
Still smiling, Bill had said, “But you worry enough for the both of us, so it works. I’m fine, Tomi. No need to worry.”
Tom had continued to worry, though, while Bill had continued to act like nothing was wrong.
Tom hadn’t worried for nothing, either. As the tour went on, Bill had gotten worse and worse. He’d blamed it on a cold, even though he’d had none of the other symptoms of a cold. Then he’d said that maybe he’d managed to get laryngitis, which had made more sense, and Tom (along with Georg and Gustav and David) had tried to convince his twin to go to a doctor. Bill had refused, and had said in an overly-dramatic voice, “The show must go on.”
Bill had obviously considered it all a joke, until the incident in Marseilles. He’d completely lost his voice midway through the concert, and they’d had to cancel, leaving behind countless disappointed fans. He’d been determined to get back to work the next day; he’d insisted that he would not upset their fans any more than he already had (and he’d ignored Tom again when Tom had pleaded with him and had tried to tell him that it hadn’t been his fault).
In the end, they’d had to cancel the concert in Libson as well, without even stepping onto the stage even once. It had been then, and only then, that Bill had decided to go to a doctor.
Bill had been diagnosed as having a cyst on his vocal cords. A result of a throat infection that had not been treated. Tom had wanted to look at his twin then and say, “I told you so,” but the look of near-devastation in Bill’s eyes had instantly killed his desire to do so.
The doctor had gone on to tell them that Bill was lucky that he’d decided to get checked out when he had, because if he’d tried to continue with the tour (as would have been typical of him, because Bill was always stubborn and had been from the moment he’d made it into the world, Tom was certain), his vocal cords would have, without a doubt, been damaged beyond repair.
Which, of course, would have meant the end of Tokio Hotel. The end of their dream.
As it were, Bill had been diagnosed in time to save his voice (with great certainty, they’d said). Surgery and antibiotics and a little rest and vocal retraining, and there was an excellent chance that he would fully recover, the doctors had reassured.
And now, here they sat in Bill’s hospital room, waiting for someone to come get Bill and take him down to the Operating Room. The atmosphere was tense, thick with worry, and Bill seemed to be the only perfectly calm one in the room.
This was a façade, however. Tom could look in his twin’s eyes and tell that he was afraid.
Tom was afraid, too.
They’d made the surgery sound so very simple. Easy as pie—go in and remove the cyst, and the world would be right again. This type of surgery had a very high success rate. The doctors were almost one-hundred-percent certain that Bill would make it through, and everything would be just fine.
Only almost, though. ‘Almost’ meant that there were possible cracks in the plan. ‘Almost’ meant that something - anything - could go wrong.
They’d gone into the downside of the surgery, saying that Bill could have allergies they didn’t know about (and wouldn’t know about until it was possibly too late), and they’d said he could bleed more than anticipated. They’d said he could have a bad reaction to the anesthesia. They’d said he could have airway problems. They’d said he could develop something called ‘Malignant hyperthermia’. They’d explained that to them, but Tom couldn’t remember what it meant to save his life. He did remember, however, that it was very, very bad. They’d even said that it was possible that Bill could go into shock, and all of them knew that that was bad.
And then, with a smile they’d reassured them again that they were almost positive that everything was going to be okay.
They’d expected Tom to be just fine with ‘almost’. He hadn’t been, and he still wasn’t. He didn’t need a goddamn PhD to know that anything could go wrong at any time. Everyone made mistakes, after all, including those people with fancy-shmancy titles.
That was perhaps what scared him most—the fact that he knew something could go wrong when he wanted nothing to go wrong.
It seemed to take forever for someone to come take Bill back to surgery, and yet, when the nurse was in the room, it was suddenly too soon. Suddenly, there wasn’t enough time, and Tom found himself clinging to Bill’s hand like Bill was his lifeline. Bill was going somewhere where Tom could not follow, and Tom didn’t like that one bit.
“You’ll be waiting for me when I get back?” Bill asked (as if he needed to), voice a weak croak and not at all what Tom had gotten accustomed to.
“Of course I will,” Tom promised. If he had any say in it, he would be the first one Bill saw when they wheeled him into the recovery room, aside from the nurses and other hospital staff.
Bill smiled, squeezing Tom’s fingers. “Don’t worry,” he whispered so his voice wouldn’t sound quite as terrible, “I’ll be back to annoy you again in no time.”
He was trying to sound brave and confident and certain, but Tom could tell that Bill was just as much of a nervous wreck as he himself was. He was just slightly better at hiding it.
Tom could not be certain, because even the doctors and surgeons and nurses with their fancy degrees could not be certain.
But he desperately hoped.
His return smile was as weak as Bill’s voice, and his words were thick with emotion: “That’s all I want. It’s your only job for me today, Bill. Don’t screw it up.”
“I won’t,” Bill breathed. “I promise.”
And then the nurse was taking him away, and Tom was left standing in the same spot, feeling more empty than he’d ever felt. Not only was Bill going somewhere where Tom could not follow, but he was going somewhere where Tom could not protect him—where Tom would have absolutely no control of anything whatsoever.
Just come back to me, he silently prayed as Simone came to stand beside him, tears shining in her eyes. She was worried too, of course.
Come back to me.
It was all he wanted, really. It was all he could ask for.