Prompt: #81 – Dramatic
Warnings: Just cuteness, and an overdramatic Bill.
Characters/Pairings: Tom/Bill… not twincesty, but focuses on the ‘twin thing’ as always.
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: Maybe asking Bill for help wasn’t the best idea ever….
Comments: This is nothing but cute twin fluff featuring a young Tom and Bill. ^_^ Written for 100_prompts.
Tom was never supposed to ask Bill for help, ever. It wasn’t something Bill had demanded of him, but rather some rule that had to have been written in stone eons ago by the first ever big brother. Big brothers weren’t supposed to ask their little brothers for help—they were always supposed to be there for their little brothers. It was always the little brothers that needed looking out for, not the big brothers.
(Tom believed that being only ten minutes older still counted—still made him the big brother).
And so it was a rule – that Tom was certain he hadn’t made up even though he had never found any evidence of the contrary – which Tom followed without question: Look out for Bill; he needs it, cos he’s younger than you are. You don’t need any looking after. You don’t need any help.
This had been what he’d told himself every single day for as far back as he could remember. Perhaps he’d even told himself this long before he’d become aware of his conscious thoughts. Perhaps having Bill beside him – always, always, even curled close to him before either of them had seen the light of the world – had always been enough for that ‘big brother’ instinct to kick in and stay. It grew stronger over the years, but never once did it wane, and never once did Tom feel the urge to break his silent (non-made-up) rule in all of his life, for he’d followed it perfectly since the beginning.
Until today. Today, he felt disgusted with himself because he believed that he had no choice but to ask his twin for help. He’d be breaking that solemn vow he’d made to himself (and to every other big brother before and after him) if he went to Bill for help, but he honestly didn’t see any other alternative aside from failing their History class and possibly getting into quite a lot of trouble with their mother and Gordon. The teacher had already warned him once that if his grades on his essays didn’t improve, his parents would have to be consulted.
So Tom always went back to his desk with slumped shoulders and downcast eyes, his horrid essays clutched tightly in his hands, rolled up so that no-one else could see the huge, angry Ds and Fs on the front page.
Meanwhile, Bill would always sit at his desk and smile brightly, proud of himself (as he should have been) because his far-from-horrid essays always displayed much kinder letters (As and Bs), and they were always written at the top of his papers in handwriting that seemed nowhere near angry—not like the letters on Tom’s.
Bill had been all but pleading for weeks, begging Tom to let him help, and Tom had refused him every single time. When Bill had gotten all teary-eyed and upset, demanding why, Tom hadn’t known how to explain to him that it wasn’t his job (because Tom was the big brother here, not Bill), and so he’d simply hugged Bill close just to keep him from crying. He hated it when Bill cried.
Tom had done very well so far, all things considered. Bill had even tried the puppy-look and that hadn’t fazed him (okay, it had fazed him but it hadn’t made him crumple and give in). However, with the due date of their next essay only four days away, Tom was running out of time and running out of options.
He’d asked Gordon already, and bless his heart, the man whom Tom now considered his father really had tried. He’d tried and nearly fallen asleep reading Tom’s rough draft (the thing was only three pages long, for crying out loud). He’d then sheepishly apologized and admitted that History had never been his strong point; he’d never been interested in wars and the years they had taken place and all of that.
Well, that made two of them. Tom didn’t like this stuff, either.
He’d bypassed asking Simone for help altogether, for that would have been an ordeal in and of itself. She would have looked at him with those large, sweet, concerned motherly eyes of hers and would have asked him if everything was okay, at which point he would have cracked and replied that no, it wasn’t really okay. She would have gotten even more concerned then and would have asked him to elaborate, and when he would have told her that he wasn’t doing so well on his History essays, she would have scolded him for not telling her sooner.
He’d figured it would be best to avoid taking that route.
Andreas, Georg, and Gustav had been about as much help as a turtle, and had waved off his concern, telling him to go ask Bill because Bill always did well with essays.
And he did, but that didn’t change the fact that Tom didn’t want to have to ask his little brother for help.
It was, however, his last chance. His only hope… or something like that, anyway.
Rough draft in hand, he forced himself to approach Bill’s bed and he cleared his throat, thinking it better to just go ahead and get this over with; maybe it would be like pulling a tooth. Maybe Bill – in spite of his perfectionist attitude involving just about everything he did – wouldn’t make this any more difficult than it had to be, either.
His twin glanced up at him from a notebook he was busy scribbling onto and he beamed. “Tomi, I’m working on this new song. When I’m finished, would you mind telling me what you think of the lyrics?”
Tom’s chest filled with what he assumed could only be pride—warmth and affection made him return Bill’s smile. This was how it was supposed to be. The older brother was always supposed to help and look out for the younger brother.
Then he reminded himself of the task at hand and he instantly deflated. “Uhm,” he began uncertainly, fidgeting a little. “Of course I will, Bill. But first… I… well, I need your help with something.”
Bill gaped at him like a fish for a moment (and Tom could see exactly what he was thinking: You never ask me for help), but he recovered quickly, smile falling perfectly back into place. “What can I do?” he asked eagerly, sitting up and leaning closer to Tom.
Tom sighed, looking down at his hands as he explained that he needed Bill to look over his essay for him.
“Of course,” Bill chirped, and his enthusiasm was a little reassuring, though Tom swore that he could still feel guilt gnawing at his insides. Perhaps he should have gone to Simone, after all.
Bill reached for the papers still clutched in Tom’s hands and Tom handed them over with no small amount of reluctance. At the first raised eyebrow, Tom knew that it was possible that he hadn’t thought this through well enough beforehand, because Bill looked up at him again and asked, “This isn’t your final copy, is it? It’s a mess.”
“No,” Tom retorted, having to bite down on his tongue shortly thereafter to avoid sticking it out at Bill. He was too old to be doing things like that, after all. “It’s just my rough draft, Bill.”
The disapproving look did not change. If anything, it became more severe. “You know this is due in four days, right?”
“I know that, yes,” Tom replied, quickly becoming exasperated. “And I suppose you already have yours all finished, huh?” He only thought better of it after he’d already gotten the words out—knowing Bill, yes, his essay was already finished, final copy perfect and shining (maybe with that odd glitter-stuff that Bill liked to keep hidden under his pillow. Tom knew that Bill thought no-one knew anything about it but Tom knew. He never said anything, though—he didn’t want to make Bill feel awkward or weird), holes at the side of the papers placed evenly apart. It was probably in a folder that looked brand-new, too, and still had that brand-new-folder smell.
“I do.” Bill nodded, the look in his eyes serious, before he glanced down at Tom’s rough draft again, distaste scrawled all across his face.
The reaction that Tom had imagined he would have gotten from their mother paled greatly in comparison to this. He entertained the thought of turning around and heading straight to the kitchen, where he knew he’d find Simone, but then Bill was asking for a red pen and Tom found himself wordlessly handing him one.
While Bill read over Tom’s essay, Tom decided to do something constructive: he strummed on the guitar, jumping guiltily when Bill asked him to please keep it down. He obeyed, toning it down, fingers moving even slower over the strings.
After what seemed like a very, very long time, Bill finally handed the messy, scribbled-all-over papers back to Tom. The rough draft hadn’t exactly been neat to begin with – rough drafts never were, right? – but now there were lots of red marks scattered everywhere where Bill had crossed things out and written corrections and what-not. There wasn’t an angry D or an angry F at the top of the first page, but there might as well have been.
“You can’t just get the facts straight, Tomi,” Bill said gently, though with gravity, before throwing his hands in the air and shaking his head. “You do know how to speak German, right? You wouldn’t think so, with that mess.”
Tom bit back the urge to reply, “Yeah, well, at least I don’t keep glittery crap under my pillow!” but that wouldn’t have been fair. Instead, he said, “You are seriously over-dramatic.” He closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the heel of his right hand.
“Overly-dramatic, Tomi,” Bill automatically corrected. “It’s mistakes like that one that will cause you to fail your essays and then you’ll fail the class and you’ll keep staying behind and you’ll never graduate! And you know mom says you have to graduate to get a real job! If not, you’ll be… selling hamburgers or something. Or you’ll be out on the street!”
Tom rolled his eyes. “Yes,” he replied dryly, the word dripping with sarcasm. “And then the spaceships will show up and the aliens will take over the world.”
Bill frowned, clearly considering this for a moment before he brightened and nodded. “You know, mom never said that, but yeah!”
Tom stopped just short of banging his head against the wall. Honestly, he loved his twin more than anyone or anything in the whole world (not that he would ever admit this to Bill—and he’d maim anyone within an inch of their life if they ever told), but he didn’t think he could deal with this on a regular basis.
And as Bill prattled on and on about essays and grammatically correct sentences and jobs at burger joints and aliens, it became even clearer to Tom why the sacred rule of ‘big brothers should always help little brothers and it shouldn’t be the other way around’ should have never been broken. It was because little brothers – especially little brothers named Bill – were complete drama queens and always blew everything totally out of proportion.
He vowed right then and there that he would never do this again. He’d go to Simone next time. Hell, he’d go to the aliens. Certainly, either option would be less torture than this.
Perhaps death wouldn’t even be quite so bad.
And now maybe Tom himself was being a little overly-dramatic, but who cared?
A week-and-a-half later, Tom waited anxiously for their history teacher to give their graded essays back to them. She waited until class was nearly over (which made Tom even more of a nervous wreck); however, when she reached Tom, she was smiling. Tom was almost willing to believe that he’d entered the Twilight Zone.
“Good work,” she mouthed, and handed his essay back to him. He opened the folder, and there, at the top right-hand corner of the page was a big, red B+. He was, needless to say, ecstatic. If he’d been younger, he would have gleefully ran home with it and demanded that it be placed on the refrigerator, like all those papers with gold stars and those silly stickmen and lopsided houses he and Bill had done years ago.
He wasn’t young enough for that, however. Instead, he would settle for proudly waving it around in front of Simone’s and Gordon’s faces. Then again, perhaps that wasn’t the best idea either, because he believed Simone would demand to know why he hadn’t been waving his other essays in front of her face.
Perhaps he should settle for bragging to Bill about it. However, that also gave Bill bragging rights, since he’d helped a great deal.
In the end, he decided that the pros outweighed the cons and showed Bill his essay during their lunch period (Bill had wanted to see it during class, but Tom had refused to let him look). Bill’s smile was almost as wide as Tom’s own, and he patted Tom on the back. “You did a good job.”
“We did,” Tom corrected. “If you hadn’t, you know, helped with the grammar and all….”
“The aliens would have come,” Bill finished for him, his grin downright silly. And infectious. Always infectious.
“Yeah,” Tom agreed, his own smile lopsided.
They sat there in victorious silence for a moment or two, each of them eyeing their trays, deciding if they wanted to try to stomach the cafeteria food or not. Then, Bill said: “You know, even if the aliens had’ve come, I would’ve protected you.”
Tom snorted. “Oh, please. You’d squeal and say they broke your nail or something, and you’d run away.”
Bill made an indignant sound before lightly elbowing Tom in the side. “I would not.” He paused. “And if I did, and they chased after me or something, you’d protect me.”
Tom leaned in, resting his head against Bill’s shoulder for a moment. “Of course I would.”
It was a rule, after all: big brothers always helped their little brothers. Always.
And sometimes – only sometimes, Tom had decided – it was okay for little brothers to help big brothers, too.
Do not ask, you guys. Seriously. For the sake of your sanity, do not ask. XD;;;;;
It’s cute, though, right? <3