Tom didn't bother calling a greeting to Bill when he pushed the front door open. The dogs' frantic, delighted convergence at the entryway would tip Bill off, for sure; if that didn't work, then the smell of the Mickey D's Tom had picked up would definitely lure Bill over to investigate. And if all else failed, the bond between them would have Bill meandering in Tom's direction before long.
"Yeah, yeah, hi." Tom ruffled Blue's fur, and the German Shorthair spun in a gleeful circle in front of him before returning to nose at the McDonald's bag. "No, not for you," Tom scolded all the dogs collectively, then pulled out a fry to split it between them. He and Bill had agreed not to slip their babies any people food so as not to spoil them, so, naturally, they both sneaked all kind of treats to the dogs behind each other's backs, and pretended not to notice if they caught the other in the act.
Tom shuffled into the kitchen, with their pack of puppies scampering ahead of him. He plopped the fast food bag on the counter, feeling his usual, momentary remorse for breaking their none-too-strict vegetarian diet, a remorse that generally lasted only until his first bite of Big Mac.
"Picked up food," said Tom, when he heard Bill's padding footsteps at the kitchen doorway. But there was something off about the sound. Bill could be as sneaky as a ninja when he wanted to be, especially in bare feet, and when Tom had left for an evening of male bonding over at Georg's, Bill hadn't even been wearing socks, never mind shoes. And Bill's feet were still bare, Tom saw, as he started to turn around, but Bill was wobbling oddly, his steps loose and uncoordinated.
Suddenly Tom had an armful of Bill that clung around his neck, grinning and planting a sloppy kiss on his cheek. "Hiiiii Tomi," Bill drawled. Bill was wearing Tom's old white t-shirt from a Zimmer promo shoot, pretty standard sleepwear for him, and, inexplicably, a pair of old jeans that had fit Bill when he was fifteen, but only came to about mid-calf by this point.
"You smell like piña colada," Tom observed, trying and failing to sound dismayed. It wasn't easy to be unhappy with a warm brother pressed against him, a warm brother who was currently nuzzling and licking at Tom's lip piercing. But Tom was pretty sure the only piña colada ingredients in the house had been hidden away where only Tom knew about them, to be used in case they wanted to host a party or just a night with the Gs and Andreas sometime. Bill wasn't supposed to know where Tom had stashed the liquor because, well.
"I like you," Bill slurred happily. "No, this. Your lip. I like your lips, Tomi." He licked the piercing again. "Yummy." Bill giggled endearingly, his eyes hazy.
Because Bill got weird when he had a few drinks too many.
"How many did you have?" Tom asked, and Bill giggled a second time, almost falling over, except Tom grabbed him by the hips before he could.
"Some," said Bill, and gave Tom a coy, sideways look. He was perfectly capable of dodging a subject even when he was tipsy.
That was drunken Bill code for 'more than three,' and Tom groaned inwardly. "Who did you call?"
Bill tipped his head thoughtfully to the side. "Not Mom," he pronounced, after a moment's consideration. "And not you, you would've said to drink stopping. Stopping drinking. Whatever." Bill waved a hand nonchalantly, almost swatting Tom in the nose.
"Uh, yeah," Tom mumbled, though he couldn't help smiling when Bill gave him another wide grin. "Okay, who did you call?" Tom prayed that Bill hadn't looked up Bild or Bravo's phone number this time. The last time Bill had gotten so hammered on his own, he'd put a call in to both news outlets, and spent at least an hour merrily trying to convince them that he was the Bill Kaulitz, and informing them that he wasn't anorexic, but he and Tom were living in a state domestic and sexual bliss, thank you very much, so they could at least report on the right scandal if they wanted one.
Fortunately neither Bild nor Bravo had believed a word of it, but Tom had panicked when he'd walked in on the tail end of that conversation. The decision to hide the liquor from Bill had been made shortly thereafter, with Bill acquiescing mostly to ensure that Tom's head wouldn't come so close to exploding again.
"Ha. Not David," Bill sang, canting precariously to one side. Tom figured out what Bill wanted in a way no one else would've been able to, and holding firmly onto his twin to keep him upright, Tom spun Bill around in some approximation of a waltz twirl.
Bill was giggling like a toddler by the end of it, and gave Tom an open-mouthed, piña colada kiss on the lips. "Let's dance outside, Tomiiiiiiii," Bill told him, dragging out the second syllable of the nickname. "Let's just go out. I like stars. Dancing under them. It's seriously romantic, you know?"
"It's cloudy and cold, though," said Tom, breathing in his brother's alcohol-laden exhales. "Let's wait 'til summer, okay?"
"Yeah, sure, okay," Bill replied absently. "You can make it summer now. You're warm, I like you." He burrowed his face into Tom's neck, evidently forgetting all about the dancing outside idea, which was a good thing, because the stalkers at the end of the driveway would've loved nothing more than a few snapshots of Bill and Tom Kaulitz ballroom dancing, sort of, around their front garden.
Tom smoothed a hand over Bill's hair. He loved the mullet, really, even though he'd been dubious when Bill had been planning the haircut. But the ponytail Bill kept it in when they were home or at the studio was the most simultaneously adorable and gorgeous style Tom had ever seen. Then again, he felt that way about all hairstyles, as long as they were on Bill.
"I called Andi," Bill confided, the way Tom had known he would eventually. "Andreas. I mean."
"Yeah?" said Tom, knowing Bill was likely to continue explaining. Bill liked to talk even when he was dead sober, and he enjoyed it even more when he had a few cocktails in him.
"He said," Bill announced solemnly, "that I should call you, so you'd tell me to quip dunking. Quit drinking. Uh-huh." Bill laughed.
"Andi's pretty smart sometimes," Tom commented, catching Bill again when Bill swayed backwards, eyes drifting up to the ceiling before coming back down to focus on Tom's face.
"Yeah," Bill mused. "I wanted to call you, but, you know, you and Georg could've been playing Mario Kart, and I could've made you lose. That'd be bad, if you'd lose." Bill pulled back to regard Tom anxiously. "You beat him, right?"
"Of course I did," Tom assured him, although he and Georg had just chugged a few beers and then caught the end of Die Hard on television.
"Yeah, we always beat him," said Bill, sounding satisfied. He slumped against Tom, all the energy gone out of him all of a sudden, and Tom laughed quietly against Bill's hair. "These pants make me look fat," Bill remarked sleepily, rubbing his cheek against Tom's shoulder. "Do you want me to look fat? Everyone wants me to look fat, again."
"I don't think that's even possible," Tom told him. "But I brought you some McDonald's just in case you wanted to try."
"I'll try in bed," Bill decided, which was Tom's cue to start shuffling them in the direction of the bedroom. Bill was already dozing in his arms, pliant and more than willing to be maneuvered out of the kitchen, while the dogs crowded helpfully in their way. "Let's," Bill murmured, and added something that may or may not have been vaguely obscene, and then something that sounded like a love confession.
"Okay, Bill," said Tom with another laugh. By the time he got Bill tucked under the covers, Bill was sound asleep. The dogs bustled into bed along with him, as they always did, and Tom hesitated for just a second before giving a mental shrug, toeing off his shoes, and crawling in along with the rest of his family, furry and otherwise. Even in a drunken sleep, Bill reached for him, shifting restlessly until Tom was curled up against him, then smiling contentedly as he hooked his fingers into the ends of Tom's cornrows as though they were some bizarre kind of security blanket.
Oh well, Tom figured. They could always reheat the fries later.