23 June 2008 @ 07:45 pm
Title: One of those nights
Author: [personal profile] paraboobizarre 
Pairing(s): BillxTom
Rating: G
Disclaimer: The characters used herein are fictional representations of real people and the actions and situations contained in the fics are no reflection on the real people on which they are based. All characters engaging in sexual acts of any kind are over 18 years of age.
I do not believe anything of this ever happened, nor that it should and I do not make any money of this. It's fiction.

Warnings: none
Summary: It's one of those nights again and Bill is feeling strangely restless
Author's notes: This is the story where I just kept writing...

It was one of those nights again. That night that came before a free day. One of those rare days that where not littered with scrawled notes and tiny post-its in his calendar, when he could deselect the daily alarm clock on his cell phone.

As usual, on those special nights, he felt restless. Tired but still too stubborn to go to bed when he actually felt sleepy. He had taken precautions alright. A triple espresso after dinner before they were sent off to enjoy their free day tomorrow. A minuscule can of Red Bull from the mini bar in his hotel room.

Sitting in his once perfectly made hotel bed, the hospital corners already coming loose from all his aimless fidgeting, the bedding crumpled, Bill sighed in despondency and stared at the dark TV screen in front.

He had flicked it on a couple of moments before and the first thing he had seen had been a preview for a big interview they had given last week, announcing it was to air in less than two hours. He had seen himself walk down a red carpet before the whole thing switched to a shot of him and Georg scribbling autographs as they walked past lines of fans.

He had shut off the TV right at that moment. Work, it seemed, was following him everywhere and there was no escaping it. He couldn't get it out of his head and even when he managed to, he was sure to see his face plastered somewhere. A billboard, a faded poster taped to a Morris column, his manically grinning alter ego flaunting over a huge plasma screen in his hotel bed room.

He bit down a yawn, feeling his eyes start to water and burn from the crumbling mixture of mascara and eye shadow and decided it would be time for a trip to the bathroom, get ready for the night, accept the inevitable and prepare to be fast asleep before it was even ten o'clock.

When he got back out of the bathroom, feeling scrubbed clean but a bit too flowery smelling, he found that his bed had acquired a new occupant while he had been away. Tom was slouching against a stack of pillows, his thin form losing itself somewhere in the billows of his track pants, his shirt and his sweat jacket before that mingled with the fluffed up duvet Tom had pulled up to around his knees.

“Feel free to make yourself comfortable in my room...” Bill snarked, feeling strangely malicious all of a sudden and short of temper, like Tom had invaded his privacy in unspeakable ways. He trotted over to one of the bigger suitcases that lay propped up against a recamiere and kicked open the lid, rooting carelessly through the neatly folded contents till he found something he could wear to bed.

He had given up on pajamas long ago. Everything he wore when he was not expected to work for a few hours, had become a variation of the same. Track pants in all colors and varying stages of decay; from the really old ones that were already too short for his legs, down to some pairs that had been so ridiculously expensive he felt embarrassed even remembering the price tag on it. After all, it was still just a pair of trackies.

When he turned around again, Tom was still propped up in his bed, just the way he was before, only this time he had a giant mug clasped in his hands. Steam rose from the top, vanishing every once in while when his brother blew over the hot contents of the mug, before it twirled up in tiny ribbons again.

Bill stepped out of his pants as he walked towards the bed, leaving the crumpled denim behind himself in a heap on the floor; mum had always hated that, when he had left his pants laying around like that, 'like someone shot out of them and ascended straight to heaven', she would scold and fish them off the floor, stuff them into the laundry basket.

Wriggling into the pair of old track pants and pulling on the faded shirt he had made himself when he was about 15 years old, he sat down on the side of the bed, looking at Tom. His twin was still studying the contents of his cup. Tom's hair was down, all the caps off, the hair bands as well, the tangle of dreads just held out of his face by a sloppy knot he had made with a couple of locks pulled away from his temples.

It was strangely surprising how long Tom's hair had become over the years; like time had zipped past them so fast he had somehow lost track of all that had changed about them. The way they both had become so tall, the way he had slipped into that strange sort of weight where he eternally yo-yo-ed between the good kind of thin and the 'no that's too thin, people will think you have an eating disorder' kind of thin.

The numbers on the scale weren't much help in deciding where he was at the moment and it was usually David or someone of the higher-up-aboves, who told him that he had to eat more or less in future. Tom never got these kinds of orders. As far as clothing style went, he had certainly got hold of the shorter end of the stick.

“Cocoa?” Tom asked, holding out the big cup for him to sniff. It was not like Tom to drink cocoa. That was his territory, Bill's comfort drink. Curled up in bed, his legs tucked under himself, pouting and drinking cocoa and wallowing in misanthropy. Misanthropy, of course, including everyone but Tom.

Sometimes he couldn't help but wonder how other people viewed themselves and the world around them. People without twins.
When he thought about himself it was never just him alone. It was always Tom and him, never alone, always two of them. Others were the world minus the two of them. Spending time alone could mean two things really: time with just Tom and time when he was really alone. Being really alone, Bill couldn't help but feel a little lonely too.

It wasn't the same for Tom. When Tom was alone, really alone, he didn't feel lonely. He just had time to himself. He wasn't as dependent on him as Bill was on his big brother. As much as he resented those ten minutes being rubbed in time and time again, he liked being the baby brother.

The advantages of being the baby brother were clear: cocoa delivered to your room to placate whatever foul mood was brewing and the way Tom picked up on those inexplicable swings way before Bill even noticed them himself.

“Ordered two cups from room service,” Tom explained, reaching over to the bedside table on his side of the bed, holding out a mug for him moments later.
“Extra sugar and whipped cream on top, with just a splash of rum,” he added, smirking.

The whipped cream had already melted into a greasy puddle of white on top of the hot cocoa but Bill didn't mind much. When he sipped the hot cocoa he could feel the slightly fatty film that settled over his tongue and palate, the rich taste of the cream and the way the rum started to warm his belly even after the first hesitant sips.

Tom watched him, waiting for a reaction, like he always did; he could just about discern that vaguely hopeful look out of the corner of his eyes.

“Good?” He asked, a carefulness lacing the edges of his voice that not many people ever got to hear and Bill thought he could hear a tiny sigh of relief when he nodded, smacking his lips appreciatively.

Carefully crawling into his side of the bed, watching the way the cocoa always seemed to stop short from swapping just over the rim of the cup, he settled down next to Tom, worming his bare feet under the folds of the bedspread.
For a few moments they sat next to each other in silence, both of them staring ahead at the dark TV screen over their mugs.

For some strange reason it made Bill feel bad, the way they just sat there, not talking, and the blank, polished screen almost looming over them; the inevitable, like he knew they would have to turn it on sooner or later to fill the silence between them.
A bit like their parents before they divorced and the way they would always sit next to each other and stare ahead, waiting for something that obviously never came.

He took another sip from his drink, swapping it lazily around in his mouth while he thought of something they could do. It shouldn't be this hard, so loaded with tension.

In his peripheral vision he saw Tom placing the cup in his lap, reaching for the remote that lay between them on the bed.

“Wait!” He all but snapped, covering the remote with his own hand.

Tom drew away his hand almost reflexively, as if he expected Bill to lash out like he used to when they were kids and quarreled over who would be in charge of the TV program that afternoon.
He looked at him, Tom's face a mixture of confusion and just a hint of annoyance.

“You brought your book with you from the bus?” Bill asked, practically voicing the first thought that came to his mind.
Tom read. Not much, not even all that high-brow stuff but his brother usually had a battered and bruised paperback stuffed into the ridge of his mattress. Even with all the stress they had, Tom would eventually work his way through yet another book, stubbornly reading a few pages every night before he went to sleep.

“Umm...sure.” Tom scratched at the back of his neck, itching something that was not really bugging him, just needing to occupy his hands with something.

“Read to me then?” Bill asked before Tom could start hedging, claim maybe that the book wasn't all that interesting, that it was surely, right at the bottom of the biggest and heaviest suitcase.

“You want me...to read to you?” Tom repeated slowly, enunciating every word like Bill had just spoken in a completely foreign language and he was just trying to reproduce the sounds as they came along.

Bill nodded earnestly, watching his brother's mouth work around words that never came out loud. Tom's eyes narrowed and he cocked his head, sizing Bill up with that inquisitive, what-are-you-up-to look Tom had copied perfectly from their mum.

“Seriously, let's just do that...for a change. The only thing we ever do anymore is watch TV and play video games.”

He knew his best pleading look could melt a stone but it didn't work on his twin unless Tom was ready to give in anyways. All he had to do was wait and watch the emotions play down on his brother's face, on display like it rarely ever was anymore these days; starting from disbelief, to some kind of mistrust, like he expected Georg to jump out of some closet the second he started to read out loud till it finally settled into plain confusion.

“Really.” Maybe to make his point a bit clearer, Bill dug the remote out of the bedding and put it on his bedside table, far out of reach before he gestured towards their connecting door.

Reluctantly Tom peeled himself out of bed, putting his mug on the tiny table before he rudely kicked open the connecting door and vanished in the dark room behind it.
Propping up all the throw pillows against the head of the bed, Bill let himself melt into his fluffy fortress and listened to the sounds coming out of the other room as his twin rooted through his suitcases. He thought he could hear Tom muttering to himself under his breath but then again he might have just imagined that.

A few minutes later, Tom returned with a paperback in his hand, the front page already a bit faded as if someone had let it lie in the sun for too long. The dark blue of the cover had changed to a greenishly tinted grey of sorts.
He had left his hoodie in the other room and only wore his shirt now.

“What are we reading?” Bill asked, tugging up the side of the bedspread with his toes, patting the empty space next to him, a bit sunk in from the way Tom had slouched in it before.

Tom just groaned in response and carelessly tossed the book on the bed as he went to get his mug again.
“We're not reading anything. I read, you listen, remember?” He quipped as he plopped down on the bed, pulling out one of the bigger pillows out from behind Bill's back. Ramming his fists into it, he more or less fluffed it up and stuffed it behind himself, back against the headboard.

“Who's Thomas Hardy?” Bill turned the book over in his hand, chewing on his bottom lip. Should that name ring any bells?

Tom snatched the book out of his hand.

“Is he still alive?”

“What does it matter?” Tom moaned in despair, letting his head fall back against the headboard. The dull thunk such an action would normally have produced was swallowed up by the massive hair.

Bill rolled his eyes at the exaggerated show of misery his brother put on. They were spending quality time together now; the least Tom could do was to pretend to enjoy it!

“If you want me to read to you, just shut up, okay?!” Tom announced in that commander-like, big brother tone Bill still knew from back when they had been kids playing in the backyard and Tom would keep on arbitrarily changing and making new rules, claiming it was his right as the older brother to do so.

It used to be the most annoying thing ever, the way Tom sometimes took charge of everything and just rolled right over Bill and his feeble protests. Like so many things between them, that had changed as well.
Maybe they had both grown more comfortable with their little roles but nowadays when Tom unleashed this commanding tone of voice, Bill rarely ever contradicted his brother. After all, it was nice to have someone take over from time to time.

Tom slouched down against the stack of pillows Bill had arranged and opened his book, quietly clearing his throat and taking a deep breath as if to begin reading.
Just before he did, however, he put the book back down again, looking at Bill quizzically, his head cocked lightly to one side.

“You really want me to read that to you?”
“I know that book will bore you to death, Bill...”
“Don't care!”
“Come on, just read, alright?”

Bill nudged the book with pointy fingers, already scooting closer to where Tom lay sunk between the folds of the sheets.
With a deep sigh that was half despondency, half that certain kind of annoyance that could only be caused by baby brothers, Tom took up the book again.
His eyes skimmed over the page and he licked his lips, casting one last glance at Bill before he started to read.

One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot. They were-

“So the story's set in England?” Bill interrupted, bouncing awkwardly on the mattress he sat on Indian style, his knees bobbing up and down.
He felt restless, strangely energetic all of a sudden. He couldn't have cared less about the book and the actual content. Tom was in his bed, spending time just with him, humoring him by actually reading to him. He had somehow forgotten how thrilling that could be, to be the sole focus of his bis brother's attention.

Tom groaned deeply and eyed him over the edge of his book, his brows puckered up into a tortured frown.
“Yes, Upper Wessex, that's England...” He put down the book, letting out a long sigh.

“Look...you don't really want me to read to you, do you – so why don't we just,” he began again but stopped when Bill nodded vigorously, his hair becoming a black blur around his head, he was moving so fast.

Carefully clutching his cooling mug, Bill scooted even closer, inching over the ridge between the two mattresses of the king size bed, till he was in Tom's side of it.
Tom looked at him wearily. It was that well-worn, almost weathered expression Bill had grown up with. The way Tom's eyes narrowed just a bit, not really in a show of malice or annoyance but more like a strange kind of weariness; the god-what-is-he-up-to-now look; the big brother look that was for Bill only.

The cocoa had cooled down considerably already and Bill drained the remains in one go, wincing a little as the last gulp was mixture of still grainy sugar and cocoa powder that hadn't dissolved properly. Sugar crystals scraped against the front of his teeth as he licked his lips and huddled down between the folds of the bedding, draping one leg over Tom's outstretched limbs.

“What the hell? Bill?” Tom raised both his arms in the air, the pages of the book flapping, as if he feared he would get an electric jolt when he touched Bill, or something similarly unpleasant.

Tom's clothes smelled of washing powder and just the lightest whiff of that special smell that Bill had come to label 'tour bus' for lack of a better term; a bit chemical and sterile, mingled with a potpourri of at least four different after shaves, hair wax, smokes and pot noodles; the smells of Tom's bunk bed.

He rubbed his cheek against the material of the shirt, feeling Tom huff in protest before the arms slowly came down again, one ending up draped awkwardly round his back.

“This is comfy,” Bill declared, pressing up even closer to his twin's side, “just like with Mum when she read us bedtime stories, remember?”

Another huff answered his question but Tom slid down lower against the stack of pillows, the arm round Bill's back tightening its hold as Tom used both hands to thumb back to where he had left off before in the story.

“This won't be nearly as exciting as The Very Hungry Caterpillar though...” Tom muttered in a teasing tone, softly squeezing the sloping shoulder pressed awkwardly into his side.

“Doesn't really matter, just read...” Bill mumbled, already feeling a bit sleepy again. His toes were warm and tingling where he rubbed them in the folds of Tom's pants.

They were plainly but no ill clad, though the thick hoar of dust which had accumulated on their shoes and garments from an obviously long journey...

“Bill, are you even listening to me?”
“Sure, long journey...go on..”

...from an obviously long journey lent a disadvantageous shabbiness to their appearance just now...
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