Prompt: #2 – Eternal
Warnings: Twincest, some angst, mild language, plenty of schmoopiness.
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: I’ll be fine, and you’ll come back, and I’ll be talking your ears off in no time.
Comments: Deals with the whole issue of Bill’s throat problems and throat surgery back in 2008. Sequel/companion piece to All He Can Ask For and Communicating in Silence. Written for 100_prompts. Enjoy! <3
You should go, Bill wrote, and Tom sighed, seeing the words but not really wanting to listen, as it were.
“It won’t be the same,” Tom said, for what felt like the hundredth time. “It’s not an interview with Tokio Hotel if you aren’t there, is it? No—it’s only an interview with three-fourths of Tokio Hotel.”
Bill frowned, concentrating for a moment before scribbling another note: We’re practically the same person, anyway. You can answer for both of us. After showing this to Tom, he then shook his head and added another sentence. You can even pull off the diva thing too if you want.
He was trying to be the up-beat one now. He was trying to be the joker and trying to put both of them at ease, even though Tom knew that Bill felt just as torn as he did about this.
Tom felt his lips curve the slightest bit in spite of himself, but his tone was serious when he spoke: “It doesn’t work that way, Bill. Still won’t be the same. I’d much rather forget the interview and go with you today anyway.”
Bill sighed then, scribbling the same words he’d scribbled at least twenty times over the past couple of days: I have to do this on my own, Tomi.
Tom closed his eyes and nodded, but otherwise did not move—not even when Bill kissed his cheek. In a sense, he honestly could understand why Bill wanted to go to his first day of vocal retraining on his own, but what if it didn’t go well? Tom wanted to be there to support him, no matter what the outcome.
Stop it, Kaulitz, he reminded himself sharply. Didn’t you say you weren’t going to think negatively? Especially today, when Bill needed nothing but positive thoughts.
He opened his eyes again, finding Bill staring at him worriedly, and he brushed a few strands of hair away from his brother’s face. “I know you aren’t doing this because you want to be away from me. I understand that you want to go by yourself, but I don’t want you to have to go alone.”
I know, Bill mouthed—simple and easy to follow; no need for the pen and paper.
Tom tried to persuade him again, even though he knew it was useless, because once Bill’s mind was made up, Bill’s mind was made up, and there was no convincing him otherwise. “I could come with you, and Georg and Gustav could--”
But Bill was shaking his head already, resorting to the notepad again as he replied with: You know they’d be utterly hopeless. You have to go; I’ll be fine, and you’ll come back, and I’ll be talking your ears off in no time.
Tom gave in eventually, because he always did. This time, he wasn’t happy about it, though, and he made sure that Bill was aware of it. He sulked for the rest of the morning and the majority of the afternoon, until it was time for him to go to the stupid interview, and time for Bill to have his first session of what the doctors had called ‘vocal rehabilitation’. It was at that moment that all sulking stopped, and Tom hugged Bill close, murmuring soothing words into his ear, telling him that it was going to be okay—that he really would be talking Tom’s ear off again in no time, because he had ten days of complete silence to make up for. He didn’t mention the very real and very possible alternative, because he knew Bill was already scared to death, even though he was pretending that he wasn’t. It was okay to play pretend for a little while, wasn’t it?
Tom went to the interview with Georg and Gustav, but he wasn’t able to fully focus on the questions. His mind kept wandering back to Bill, and he was sorely tempted at least three times to ask the interviewer if they could take a break so that he could at least text his twin and see how he was doing.
But knowing Bill, he wouldn’t have replied, because when he was focused on something, he paid absolutely no attention to anything else. So, Tom gritted his teeth and smiled and laughed and joked as usual, even though his smile never reached his eyes and his laughter rang a little hollow. He did not feel like he had butterflies—he felt like glaciers were colliding in his stomach, filling him with icy dread, even though he didn’t want it there and he wanted to be nothing but optimistic, nothing but certain that Bill would be his usual chatterbox self when Tom returned.
Of course, they asked about Bill, and Tom told them the truth—that he’d been unable to talk for ten days straight and that he was going through vocal rehabilitation now. He told them that Bill had been writing everything down, and that he’d been getting very annoyed with all of the writing.
He didn’t tell them that he and Bill could sometimes use their own form of communication—one in which volumes could be spoken without pen and paper and without opening one’s mouth. He didn’t tell them that he could sometimes just look at Bill and know what his twin needed.
He didn’t tell them that everyone was terrified. He didn’t tell them that their thoughts lingered on the ‘what-if’ phrases that had started plaguing them right after Bill’s surgery. He didn’t tell them how difficult it was to just hold everything together most days.
He did tell them how brave Bill was being, and how he’d been following the doctor’s orders perfectly. He also told them how he was looking forward to touring again when Bill was one-hundred-percent himself again. Georg and Gustav agreed.
Tom didn’t tell them that there was a very real possibility that that might never happen. No sense in shining a bad light on it, right? No sense in letting them down—in making the fans worry more than they already were. No sense in making them feel almost as broken as he felt sometimes, when he was alone with his own thoughts.
Finally, after the span of several small eternities, the interview was over. They were climbing back into the car when Tom’s cell phone buzzed, alerting him that he had a message. He fished it out of one of the pockets of his too-large jeans, fumbling with it with slightly-trembling hands for a moment before managing to flip it open.
It was Bill, and the only words on the screen were: R u finished?
Slightly panicked, wondering if something was wrong, Tom replied, Yeah. Sumthin wrong?
Bill’s reply made his stomach make some strange lurching motion inside of him. It was very, very unpleasant. Mom & Gordon here. Want u here 2.
Well, of course Simone and Gordon would be there, since it was their house and all… but the way Bill worded it made it sound different somehow, and he felt a sudden, sharp pang of guilt for going to the interview in the first place, even though it was what Bill had wanted.
His response to Bill was short and simple: On my way.
Then he closed his phone and shoved it back into his pocket, trying his best to calm his frayed nerves. Of course Georg and Gustav noticed – it was impossible to not notice his shaking – and they asked what was wrong. Tom couldn’t explain because he honestly didn’t know. Bill hadn’t told him anything. He could only assume that the worst – what none of them wanted to face – had happened, and that shook him too the core.
At Georg’s and Gustav’s prompting, he could only answer, “Bill” through gritted teeth. It was enough to make them fall silent. It was enough to make them understand.
The rest of the ride was filled with that same silence, except only in Tom’s mind it was more like white noise, and it made his head hurt. It was taking too long to get back to their parents’ place, and all he could do to keep his sanity, it seemed, was count. They were going down the highway and thus there was no possible way for him to pace as he had before, so he just stuck with the best available alternative. It didn’t do much in the way of distraction—nothing could, when he was worried for his twin like this, but it kept him somewhat sane until the car was parked and Tom was heading for the front door in a daze, panic once again and icy thing running through his veins, making him shiver.
Georg and Gustav hadn’t asked to come in with him, and he was grateful for that. They had, however, asked him to update them whenever he could. He had quickly promised that he would, barely getting his words out before opening the door, scrambling out, and all but slamming it behind him.
He realized that his hands were a little sweaty as he reached for the doorknob, because he had to try twice before he could actually get a decent enough grip on it to turn the handle and step inside the house.
Tom found Simone and Gordon in the living room, and they told him, with perfectly straight faces, that Bill was upstairs. They gave no clue—not the slightest hint. Neither their words nor the look in their eyes betrayed them. It made Tom wonder if they were still in shock, or if they had gone into denial already. Judging by the way Tom’s legs felt like jelly as he made his way upstairs, he guessed that he was in the shock stage, and Bill hadn’t even told him anything yet.
But he was already expecting the worst. He wasn’t prepared for it, by any means, but he was expecting it.
The room they had shared since childhood was dark, the shades turned and the curtains drawn. It wasn’t necessarily a bad sign—sometimes Bill liked a room to be darker.
“Bill?” he asked, and his voice was barely above a whisper, fear evident in his tone. “Bill, what’s wrong?”
Bill, who was sitting on Tom’s bed, turned to face him, and when Tom saw the smile on his twin’s face, his heart stopped for a moment, and then lurched back into activity again, fluttering to make up for the beats he’d missed, apparently. This, he did not understand or expect. He’d expected to see Bill frowning, face tear-streaked. He didn’t expect to see a smiling Bill, but his heart instantly felt lighter because of it.
“Hello, Tomi,” Bill said, and it was his voice, clearly distinguishable, though not as strong as Tom remembered it. Raspy, but still Bill. Perhaps Tom shouldn’t have expected the worst, after all. Perhaps he should have known better.
“You’re talking,” Tom said, suddenly feeling like a fish, standing there and gaping at Bill like he was. He was talking again, and in his own panic and fear (over what could have been but clearly wasn’t), Tom had almost forgotten how good Bill’s voice sounded, whether he was hoarse or not. It was really damn wonderful to hear his voice again.
Bill’s laugh was a little weak, but it was genuine. “Of course I am, silly,” he replied, as though Tom had possibly gone momentarily insane for thinking that this could have turned out any differently—for thinking that Bill would no longer be Bill. For thinking that he wouldn’t pull through this with his voice still intact. Perhaps he had been a little crazy the past several days.
Perhaps ‘a little crazy’ was a massive understatement.
“You’re going to be okay,” Tom said, and this time his words rang with pure certainty—not a shadow of doubt in them. Of course, he knew that even if things had turned out differently, terribly, as he’d been expecting, they would have found a way through that together, too. And Bill still would have been Bill in that case, as well. Only different.
Bill was different now, too, but somehow still the same. Still his Bill, still his other half (always that, no matter what). Still the lead singer of Tokio Hotel (and he would have always been that, too, even without his voice, because they never would have tried to find another—they would have put all of it to an end).
Bill’s eyes were shining. It had been weeks since they’d shone like that. Tom had missed that, too.
“Of course I’m going to be okay,” Bill answered, as though that much had been obvious since the very beginning. “It went really well today, Tomi. I know I sound kinda funny right now--”
“You sound amazing right now,” Tom interrupted.
Bill smiled. “As I was saying… anyway, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to continue singing. My voice will become stronger, and it’ll be just like old times again.” His smile widened and he reached for Tom. “Come here.”
Tom went, legs still feeling like jelly, though it was relief instead of panic flooding through him now, making his heart skip a few beats.
He reached the bed in record time, he was sure, and threw his arms around his twin, holding him close. “You have no idea how happy I am.”
“I have a pretty good idea,” Bill corrected him, gently running his fingers over Tom’s dreads.
They fell silent for a little while, simply reveling in the knowledge that everything had pretty much centered itself in their world again. Wrongs had been righted, fears had been extinguished, and they were together.
“Hey,” Bill suddenly murmured, and Tom could hear the teasing tone in his voice, “we can have sex now, right? As long as we’re quiet?”
Tom chuckled, remembering the promise he’d made. “Well, I did promise,” he acquiesced. “We’ll just have to wait until Mom and Gordon are fast asleep.”
Bill sighed melodramatically, shoulders slumping. “I guess I can maybe wait that long.”
“You’ll have to,” Tom retorted, turning his head so he could lightly nip at Bill’s earlobe. “But when we get back to our place, I won’t restrict you.”
Bill wriggled a little before burying his face against Tom’s shoulder. “Looking forward to that.”
Another span of silence, and then Bill said: “Looks like you’re stuck with me and my nagging forever, Tomi~.”
Tom smiled, and his smile was bright and genuine and impossibly wide. “I suppose I can live with that.”
Another massive understatement, but it wasn’t like Bill needed his ego re-inflated again already.
That would probably be saved for the sex they were going to have later that night.
I would say that's it for this little series of fics about Bill's surgery, but I wrote a companion piece that tells more about Bill's side, so look forward to that. ^_^ Hope you guys enjoyed this one, too!