Tom/Bill, alternate universe, just a bit of randomness.
Tom's working a tough stain out of the ceremic tile with his mop when Dean approaches him. "Hey, Tom," says Dean, friendly as always, just like any regular guy who doesn't create monsters for a living. "The project's almost done. You want to take a look?"
"Uh, sure," says Tom uncertainly. He's just a lab aide, albeit one particularly trusted by Professors Caten and Caten, and this latest project has been severely classified from the beginning. It's not a governmental request, as some are, or else Tom would have been required to sign yet another strict nondisclosure, but Dean and Dan's personal ventures are often cloaked in still more secrecy. Tom's not sure whether there's ever any purpose to them, aside from simple scientific curiosity, but he's seen enough of the end results to know that their experiments aren't cruel; mostly they seem designed for the sake of pure aesthetic value without causing harm, which Tom doesn't understand, but is willing to accept.
They've used his DNA, Tom knows, as the base material for the creation Dean's referring to now. He'd been given the option to sign the contract with or without a biological donation clause, but the position pays significantly more with than without, and Tom's a poor student who needs all the funds he can get. He's a little wary now that it's time to face what's come of his decision, and he leans the mop against a stainless steel lab table with more care than it probably deserves.
But he can only stall for so long before shuffling after Dean, to the doors of the Inner Sanctum, as the three of them jokingly refer to the lab space where Tom is absolutely not allowed without permission and one of the twins to accompany him. Dan emerges just as they reach the entrance, and exchanges a smile with Dean, the kind that means they're communicating without words. Tom watches almost wistfully, wondering as he always does what it must be like to understand another human being so well. There's a clear bond between the two of them, tighter even than Tom's relationship with his mother, or with his best friend Andreas.
Tom knows he'll never share a connection like that with anyone, but it's privilege enough to witness the one between the twins, to be close to that kind of rapport on a daily basis.
"Come on in." Dan opens the door, beckoning to Tom with a smile. "We think you'll like this one."
Tom hangs back, scuffing at the tile with the toe of his sneaker. "Professors?"
They raise their eyebrows at him, one on the left, one on the right, perfectly synchronized.
"Is it... alive?" Tom asks hesitantly.
They share another glance, then Dean laughs. "Yes, Tom. In the immortal words of Dr. Frankenstein, it's alive!"
"You're all right with that?" Dan asks.
"Yeah." Tom nods and takes a deep breath. As long as he's mentally prepared for whatever he'll see, he's confident in his ability to deal with it. He'd coped with the rats who'd possessed the ability to morph into high-heeled shoes when they felt threatened; he can cope with whatever's on the other side of those doors. Tom offers the professors a crooked grin. "Let's see it, then."
The two of them glance yet again at each other, and then they take a door each, as though Tom is a visiting dignitary who deserves such considerate treatment. They're clearly aware of the effect, too, because Dan grins and bows to him, and is copied by Dean a moment later. "I'm just the lab aide, remember?" Tom jokes, mustering his courage by scraping a piece of humor from the situation.
"Something like that," says one of them, either Dan or Dean, Tom doesn't know, because the Inner Sanctum's lights flick on as soon as Tom sets foot inside. He stares, and only manages to suppress the urge to scramble backwards because the twins have already entered and closed the doors behind them.
That first impulse swiftly recedes, and Tom steps forward cautiously, acutely aware all of a sudden of his tattered jeans, baggy shirt and faded sneakers. The vision that stands in the middle of the lab, illuminated by spotlights that would be better suited to a fashion review, is like him, but- not. "What," says Tom, and the word comes out soft and strangled.
A fallen angel, he thinks at first, though he can't tell whether the wings actually spring from the creature's or are one of Dan and Dean's usual artistic touches. He can't look long enough to discern the truth, because the eyes open, slowly, and look at him. Into him. Not through him; they're transfixed by each other, unable and unwilling to look away.
"He's yours," one of the twins murmurs, and Tom can only nod dumbly in response.
Their creation steps forward, haltingly, then with greater confidence, until they're nearly nose to nose. Tom feels as though he's never seen anything beautiful or awe-inspiring before today, and the fact that this miracle returns his stare with the same wonder, the same intensity, makes the experience all the more incredible. "Yours," it- he, murmurs, cradling Tom's chin, stroking it with a thumb.
"Yours," is all Tom can whisper, and that's just as true.