Poor Tom may suffer a mental breakdown in the near future. Luckily, he's got Bill to help
"Come on. We'll go out for ice cream or something," Tom murmured in Bill's ear, wrapping a protective arm around Bill's slender waist as they proceeded out of the kitchen. Simone followed after them like an honor guard, which worried Tom. Had Jorg really taken what she'd told him so badly?
Bill tried to tug away from him, arms folded across his chest. His body language had never been so closed off, even when Tom had been trying to kiss him for the first time. Tom glanced down and saw that Bill's knuckles were whitening where Bill was squeezing his own upper arm in a death grip. "Tom, maybe..." Bill started to whisper urgently.
"I don't care," Tom proclaimed, glaring defiantly at his father as soon as they came into sight range. Jorg was sitting on the couch with his jaw set and his eyes unseeing, even though they were fixed on the television screen. Tom pulled Bill in close, lifting his other hand to rub Bill's arm soothingly. "He can either deal with it or be an asshole. Doesn't change anything."
Jorg's gaze hardened further, but two could play that game. Tom had inherited his stubborn streak from both parents, so clearly had the advantage when it came to being obstinate. "I mean, it's the twenty-first century, you know?" Tom said, flicking his tongue piercing as he spoke more loudly than necessary. "Anyone who can't cope with gay stuff is just... an asshole," was his rather weak conclusion.
"Sometimes people just need time to understand and accept it," Bill suggested, glancing quickly over at Jorg, who refused to look at either of them. "Tom, let's just go, all right? But, oh," he lowered his voice. "My supplies..."
"I'll get them. Gotta grab my keys, too." Tom leaned in and kissed Bill's cheek, and Bill made a little strangled sound of protest. "Go on outside," Tom said softly. "You shouldn't have to hang around if he's being a jerk." And he didn't want Jorg giving Bill a derisive look, the kind he'd shot at Green Day's lead singer. Bill was a sweet, beautiful, perfect sports fan who happened to like makeup too, not a pansy-ass anything.
"I shouldn't leave you, either," Bill replied, pressing in against Tom's side without relaxing in the least.
By that, Tom knew waiting outside would definitely be the best option for Bill, no matter what. "Go ahead. I'll be out in a sec with your stuff, I promise," said Tom, and pushed Bill gently in the direction of the door. Bill kept peeking back over his shoulder, then tiptoed out the front door like a long-legged gazelle sneaking by a pride of lions.
This time Tom refused to be distracted by Bill's attractive rear. He had more important things on his mind. As he turned to head for his room, Simone stopped him with a hand on his elbow. "Take the Audi," she told him in an undertone, handing over her own keyring. "Bill's right, your father needs time to think this through. Okay?"
"Okay," Tom said reluctantly. He almost wanted to ask if she'd snag Bill's Avon box for him so he wouldn't have to approach the sofa, but he steeled himself, shaking his head minutely. He'd stood up to Jorg on the issue of his dreadlocks, on the issue of his lip piercing, on the issue of the baggy clothes he preferred, and on the issue of whether Terminator or The Matrix was the superior film. Bill was more important than all those disagreements combined, so Tom could easily stand up to Jorg again.
At first Tom thought he'd make a clean getaway, closing the box carefully and picking it up. Jorg was on the far side of the sofa, ironically right in the spot where Tom and Bill had been making out. Tom breathed a sigh of relief as he lifted the box, but then Jorg turned to him. Jorg's eyes widened, and then narrowed, and Tom gritted his teeth, knowing his father was scrutinizing the makeup Bill had applied.
"Jesus, Tom," said Jorg, shaking his head.
Before that point, Tom might have hesitated to venture into the public realm with eyeliner and various other fine Avon products adorning his face. Those two words from his father, however, were just the incentive he needed to straighten his shoulders, bearing even the lip gloss proudly. "I like it," said Tom quietly. "And I like Bill. Later, Dad."
He lifted his hand to Simone in a brief wave, and then he headed outside to join his gorgeous boyfriend at the car.