Chapter 1: SUDDENLY
I woke up. That's how it happened. I just woke up one day and I was older. I was in my mid-twenties suddenly.
You know that old Hollywood trope of a kid that wakes up as an adult and doesn't know how to do adult things? That was suddenly me one day. I went to bed as a fifteen year old, and when I woke up I was a twenty-five year old. Of course, I didn't know it suddenly, but I figured it out pretty fast. And boy, does ten years change a lot of shit in your life.
The alarm went off and I reached over my head blindly to turn it off. I swung my hand at what should have been a shelf with my phone on it; I didn't reach anything, but the alarm turned off. That's when I opened my eyes and saw I wasn't in my bunkbed. I was in a completely different bedroom. But what confused me more was that there was a man in bed next to me. I couldn't see his face yet, but he was tall and his legs were wound up in the sheets with mine. And the next thing I realized was that my hands looked a bit different. There was at least one scar I didn't recognize. And then I noticed my hair too. What a shock. I didn't have the long blond dreadlocks which I was used to. It was pretty easy to spot without a mirror and without even moving. There were no cushioning ropes of hair under my head and falling over my shoulders. I reached up and pulled down a strand of bland brown hair that was about shoulder length.
What was going on here?
Before I got a chance to freak out, the figure in bed next to me turned around, cuddled into my arm and said, "We'll sleep another five minutes, ok?"
It was Bill. That was his face pressed into my bicep. But he was older. It was obvious instantly. And with such radically different hair. Bill had short blonde hair now?
So here's why I didn't jump out of my skin instantly -- it was because Bill was there. If he was there, that meant that I was safe. So it was ok. But what... what was going on?
Bill still hadn't opened his eyes. When the alarm on his super flat and thin cellphone -- that was a cellphone, right? -- blared again, he touched it to stop. He went right back to cuddling my arm. Then he kissed my shoulder.
I can't say it felt bad being so close to Bill. We'd shared beds a million times in our lives, but that kiss was a bit more foreign than I was used to. Plus, when he moved some sheets out of the way I realized we were both naked. He pressed hard morning wood against my hip and kissed my chest.
Right... this was definitely not something we'd done before. Not that I knew of. But then again, time travel was also not something I'd done before. So I tried to stay still and not freak out. If I was suddenly a decade older, there was a decade gap in my memories. My first thought then was that maybe I was in some kind of accident and had short-term memory loss now, like the movie "50 First Dates". Again, all the more reason to not freak out and just go with the flow until things got explained. Bill seemed to know more than me. I vowed to ask him as soon as possible.
Maybe after he stopped those little kisses to my shoulder and chest and maybe stopped humping my leg sleepily. Because I gotta say, it was not making me any more relaxed. Right now, I was tingling all over and hyper-aware of where our skin touched.
"Tomi," he breathed over my nipple. And then pulled it into his mouth.
This was too much.
He placed a hand right over my belly and rubbed. He was horny and trying to set a mood and even though it was completely weird, I was falling into it. The hand that massaged my skin, low on my abdomen was turning me on. And his mouth licking and sucking at my nipple. He was playing with my body, as if it was totally normal.
Was this normal? In this new world, was it normal for us to wake up like this?
Suddenly Bill straddled me, buck naked under the sheets we were tangled in, our penises collided and I felt the wind leave my lungs. His eyes were wide open now, right above me. He was awake and I was looking right into his eyes now. He had a smooth seductive look, while I must have had the most frightened look in my eyes, but maybe Bill misunderstood that as aroused, because he leaned in like it was no big deal and started kissing me on the mouth.
Ok, ok, this was definitely too much.
I kissed back, because hell, he'd got me horny too -- hate to admit it -- and also, you know, he wasn't some psycho, he was Bill. I knew Bill. We'd kissed as family a million times. So it wasn't immediate disgust, but this was super different and way too weird. I pushed him away when he tried to stick his tongue in my mouth.
He pulled away with a smile. "You not into it this morning?" I wasn't sure how to reply. Bill laughed before I could come up with something to say. "Mind me rubbing off against you then?"
Bill laughed again. "God Tom. You're still asleep. Just kiss me while I jack off. I'm horny this morning. Make it up to me later. 'Kay?" He dove for my mouth again and I kissed him back. It was even easier to fall under his spell the second time.
In the past twenty minutes I understood very little about my new life, except that I was now in some sort of weird incestuous relationship with Bill. Apparently.
I found that it was surprisingly easy kissing Bill. Well, like, this new sexual kind of kissing. Especially because it was lazy and slow and he was doing all the work. All I had to do was follow his lead. I never knew kissing could be this relaxing and natural-feeling. It felt like I'd been doing this my whole life.
I reached a hand up and wrapped my fingers in his hair. I missed the long black locks he'd gone to bed with yesterday. To make up for the new feeling, I played my fingers in his hair, trying to get used to it. This Bill that was curled up to me was so different than the one I'd said goodnight to yesterday.
I think his age was throwing me off the most. I felt a bit like I was a child in bed with an older man. Bill was out of my league. But at the same time, it felt naughty, like I was cool and special to be dating an older man.
The hand Bill had wrapped around his dick moved faster now. His kisses became breathy and sloppy, and I realized he was about to come.
Oh my god, I don't want to see that.
Sure enough, Bill came just then, mouth inches away from mine, wet with our saliva, and I felt a drop of semen land on my hip.
That was too much. That face, all this, this was too much.
He gathered his wits and breath again, pecked me on the chest for my good service (or lack thereof) and went to grab tissues or something. I don't know. But he'd gotten out of bed, and all I could do was lay there for a few more moments.
I heard a shower turn on somewhere in an adjacent room.
I had to get up now. I sat up to finally look around the room. It was medium sized and had hints of a modern aesthetic I didn't recognize. And there was a really big window. When my feet reached the floor, I was glad to find a pair of track-pants right there. I put them on as quick as I could to cover my nudity. I'd be fine being naked in my own room, but this didn't feel like it yet.
Nor did these pants feel like mine. Ridiculously tight on the ankles. I thought I was wearing Bill's pants. I found out soon after that they were mine. Apparently in this future, I no longer wore tents as trousers.
I stretched and took a closer look at my own body, or what I could see of myself by looking down. I was taller and more muscular. I had more hair everywhere. There were also a few tattoos. I noticed the number 0620 on my knuckles, and at least I recognized what that means. I wished there was a mirror somewhere in the room. I wanted to see my hair. I missed my dreads already, but this new "normal people" hair was light and when I touched it it felt like what Bill's hair feels like. Felt like. This new Bill didn't have long flowing tresses. So I settled for looking out the window.
Yeah, where on Earth were we? We were in a city, with plenty of tall buildings, but I didn't recognize the skyline. I realized we must be in a hotel room. Damn nice hotel room apparently. One of those ones that aren't some cookie-cutter shit they have in every city. It definitely tripped me up at first. I stepped out on the balcony. It was either Spring or Fall.
What year was I in? Were we on tour? But more importantly, why on Earth were Bill and I naked and sexing together?
I wasn't lost in my thoughts for too long. Bill came outside to join me, along with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
"It's warmer today. That's nice," he said as he lit up. I watched that first exhale of smoke billow from his lips and nostrils. It was very strange seeing him grown up. I guessed he was -- and from his appearance, I must be the same age -- in his late twenties. He wasn't as skinny as Bill from yesterday. His arms were almost completely covered in tattoos. He wore a loose tanktop and neon boxer-briefs. That hair though, that was something to get used to. Tousled and blonde, barely six inches long. It was attractive, but very different. I'd always known my twin as a brunette.
It made me want to see a mirror even more.
I spoke finally. Not wanting to ask about our sexual thing yet, I wanted to get the basics out of the way. "What city are we in?"
Bill looked at me for a second and held the cigarette out to me. I took it but didn't raise it to my lips. "Chicago. Detroit in two days. Did you not sleep alright?"
So we were on tour. Good to know. That cleared up a lot of things. We were still a band, we still made music. Apparently we were popular enough in the States to tour here. Enough to get a nice hotel room too. "I slept... uh, I feel like I just woke up in a different world."
Bill smiled and took back his cigarette. "Nah, I gotcha. New city all the time. But I'm happy to be doing this again. Feels like old times, you know?" When I didn't respond he continued reminiscing. "Remember when we were fifteen and so caught up in that vortex of fame and schedules? This feels so different from then. If touring was like this back then, who knows if we'd have ended up together. This feels like living now. Back then, it felt like touring." That put a few more missing pieces of our past together. "You though, you need to chill with the work. Like, I know you said you want to finish the drumbeat and loop on that one song today, but you've gotta take a break."
I was working on what? Drumbeats? Where was Gustav? "What about Gustav?"
"What about him?" I had no idea how to answer that without sounding incoherent. Luckily Bill changed the subject. "Let's go out for coffee this morning. I feel like walking."
"You? Walking?" I chuckled. This was interesting.
"We'll take Pumba too of course."
Who was Pumba? A bodyguard maybe?
In the hotel bathroom I finally got to look at myself. Yeah, we were definitely older. It was super weird. But at least I still recognized myself. At least it wasn't as big a change as with Bill. Also, I figured out which were my clothes without raising too many red flags, but man, our clothes these days were bizarre. We went out in jeans and hoodies and Pumba turned out to be Bill's dog. There were no bodyguards with us as we walked through downtown Chicago looking for a Starbucks.
I was so thankful that Bill felt comfortable. I let him lead. It felt like he was my parent or guardian suddenly. I felt too young to be out by myself, especially in America.
Bill ordered our coffees for us. This was probably the biggest shock so far. His English, from what I could tell, was perfect. He chatted with the barista while she added whipped cream.
Shit. Did I know English too now?
Maybe I was supposed to, but I barely understood half of what Bill said. I felt horrified suddenly. Like a brick, it hit me: I'm supposed to know English, and I don't! Everyone will expect me to know English! If Bill knows it, there's no way I didn't learn it too. But I had no idea what had happened in the last decade of my life, so while the Tom I was now should have known English, I didn't actually know freaking English!
"When's soundcheck?" I asked when we settled at the bar by the window. I looked out at people walking by on the sidewalk.
"Three, I think. But don't forget about that guy that's doing a YouTube piece on us. We should be in the lobby at one."
YouTube? I think I know what website that is.
"Tom. You sure you're ok? You're very quiet this morning. Not to mention that it was you who ok'd our schedule."
I looked into his eyes now, instead of the outdoors or my cup, and decided I shouldn't lie. I should tell him the truth. Would he believe me? It would become obvious pretty soon anyway, right? Especially if I didn't know our new songs and didn't speak English.
I sighed. "You're right. Listen, can we head back to the hotel? I need to tell you something."
Bill looked at me, recognized it would be a good idea to indeed go back, and got up. "Ok, let's go." At least we still read each other well enough to understand these unspoken things.
We finished our coffees on the way back to our room, Bill fed Pumba, and then he ordered us roomservice breakfast. His English on the phone was as good as before and I still didn't understand shit. Only the part about more coffee.
"What time is it?" I didn't see any clocks. I wanted time to explain the situation, but I also didn't want us to be late for that one o'clock meeting Bill mentioned.
"I don't know. Check your phone."
"Where is it?"
"Don't you know?" We looked at each other funny for a moment. "Did you lose your phone?"
"No, I just don't know where it is."
Bill laughed. "Let me call it for you." He took out that super thin phone of his and touched the screen. It was a touchscreen apparently. It had an apple symbol on the back.
A second cellphone rang out in our room. I found what was apparently my phone under a bed pillow. That was my first time using an iPhone. I realized it was locked however. "What's my passcode?"
"What's wrong with you today?" Bill took my phone from me, typed in my passcode for me and handed it back. "Thank god I know all your shit."
I checked the date. Same date, just exactly ten years in the future. What did this all mean?
As cool as the technology of the future was, I didn't play with it for long. I only had a couple hours to explain to Bill what had happened: that I'm not the Tom he thinks I am.
"Listen, something happened last night."
"You got dropped on your head apparently."
"No, I'm serious. But I for all I know, you could be right." We exchanged a look that said I wasn't kidding around. "I... how do I say this... I was fifteen last night. Fifteen years old. When I went to bed last night, we were in Berlin. My phone is a Sidekick. The last song we wrote was 1000 Meere. I had blonde dreadlocks last night, and you had black hair down to here." I gestured with a cut to my bicep.
"Tom, what are you talking about?"
"Please listen, because this is crazy and I'm really overwhelmed right now. Seeing you speak English is so weird. I don't understand most of what you're saying. I just, I need to say this, because if I need to play songs today that were written after the year 2004, I won't know them."
"What?" Bill was listening but he seemed lost.
"I'm saying that I've been paying attention to the things around me today to try to piece my life together, and I think I time traveled forward a decade. For me, yesterday was 2004."
"Tom, what? You're not joking, are you?"
"No, I'm not. And seeing you grown up is freaky as hell also."
Bill looked at me a little longer, trying to make sense of what I was saying.
"So you're telling me you think you're fifteen years old?"
"Yes. I'm not lying or playing a prank on you. I'm scared and I don't know what's going on."
"Well, a fifteen year old Tom would never admit that kind of stuff unless he was really in trouble." Bill laughed, but then suddenly rose a hand to his mouth. "Wait, Tom... this morning. When I... you know." Suddenly he seemed self-conscious about what we'd done in bed this morning. "Was that new? Had we done that before?" Just a look on my face and he knew. "Oh god!!" He stood up in a panic.
I stood up too. "Bill, listen. It's ok. I'm not freaked out. I understand that I'm missing ten years of history between us."
He looked into my eyes. "You're ok with it?" I know it must sound impossible. If you'd told me yesterday that I'd feel this way today, I'd think it was impossible too. I mean, it's still creepy and weird and if we'd done any more, I don't think I could have gone through with it, but as it was, it wasn't too bad. Bill was pretty sexy. Or, I guess I discovered a new limit with him that I didn't know I could push.
"Tom, if you were fifteen yesterday, I just jacked off with a minor!"
I laughed at that. "Like that shit ever mattered to us. That's seriously the least of our worries here. What was weirder was walking through all those normal people downtown without Saki."
"Wow." Bill was lost in thought for a second, and then reached out to me. We hugged.
"I love you, Tom. That's the first thing you need to know. I always have. You're the best person I've ever known and I couldn't live without you."
"I know. I love you too." I think it was weird to be so open. Bill was usually more vocal than I am, but this was a touch above that. It seemed to me that this was probably more normal behavior in this new world. I found that I meant my words more than ever.
"Tomi. I'm sorry. I'm trying to think back on all that's happened in the last ten years, and if you can't remember any of it -- you can't remember any of it, right?"
"Nothing. I'm sorry."
Bill rubbed at his forehead. "You don't remember how we started fooling around on tour back then. I was so lonely. I'd be dead if it wasn't for us. I love you. You're everything. You were everything when we were fifteen and you're everything to me now."
He sounded so grown up, talking like that. Talking about feelings still freaks me out. Now wasn't the time to be timid. I laid my cards out on the table.
"I love you too, Bill. I love you yesterday, and I love you today. I think. Even this morning. Even if that was crazy. I can't believe you did that. I can't believe we kissed like that."
Bill looked at me. "Tom, I don't know an easy way to say this, but we've done a lot more than kiss and rub off." The look in his eyes said it all, but if it wasn't clear enough, he said it with words. "We've had sex. A million times. A lot of it. We had sex last night."
I should have known, from how things were adding up, but still it was mind-boggling to hear it confirmed. "We did?"
"Yeah." Bill looked shy. "We have a relationship thing going on. We have sex with other people from time to time, but mostly it's just us."
"Really?" This seemed crazy but also intriguing to me. I didn't think it was the time to ask about all my ladies so I asked about us instead. "So what did we do last night? Like, you know, how?"
At this, Bill looked uncomfortable. As if he was talking to a kid about sex. Which he was. "Uh, I'm the bottom. Most of the time. Not always. You were in me yesterday. I washed you out -- off me this morning."
My mind was racing. "I came in you?" I got closer to him again, to where he was sitting on the bed.
He nodded. "It was good. It's always good with you. It's the best."
The praise was getting me riled up. My dick was responding to the ideas he was conjuring up. I got closer still. "So we kiss and fuck behind closed doors? Who knows?"
"No one knows. Not even Mom."
This dirty little secret wasn't something I ever thought would turn me on, but after a first taste this morning, it sounded like something I would be crazy enough to try. And even enjoy. But mostly, I wanted to try these things we were talking about.
"Bill, can we kiss again?"
"Now? After you just told me you're fifteen?"
"I don't look fifteen, do I?" I licked at my lip-ring seductively. Yes, I was settling into my new body quite well. I never would have hit on or been attracted to someone older, but being here with Bill, it was making me want to fulfill my role. I wanted to be that twin brother that fucked Bill. That Bill said was the best. I tried imagining what Bill during sex would be like, and I wasn't sure if I should use the Bill I knew or this new older Bill as fodder. Either way, it sounded sexy, and something I suddenly wanted to try. What's the harm if we'd done it a million times already? If I'd done it before, I could do it again. I got closer to him and pushed his shoulder down so he fell back onto the bed. I crawled over him.
It wasn't normal for me to be this forward with women, but the fact that it was Bill and apparently it was ok for me to act like this made me feel like I could. It gave me courage. I lay between his legs, looked down at him and got ready to kiss him. I could do this myself. I didn't need him to start it.
He searched my eyes while the seconds dragged on. "You don't have to do this, Tom."
"I want to know why. If you say that's how we are now, I want to know how it is."
"Don't push yourself. Maybe you'll wake up tomorrow and everything will go back to normal. We don't have to do it today."
"If I wake up tomorrow and I'm back in 2004, what if we never get to do this?" We looked at each other in understanding of how monumental that would be to our lives and whatever timelines in life we were leading. "I want this future with you. You look happy. We look free. If this is what our lives turn out to be like, then I like it and I want this."
Bill pushed some of my loose hair behind my ear and reached to press our mouths together. It felt more experimental than this morning. This felt more like a first kiss. It was slow, and controlled. Even though I talked the big talk and was feeling curious and brave enough to start this, I still wasn't sure where my limits were. Did I have limits? If we'd had sex a million times, does that mean the me I am now would be able to also?
Our kiss broke apart when I thought too hard about what it meant. "Tom, we don't have to do this."
"It's not that. It's... well, apparently you have a bunch more experience than I do these days. Will you, you know, lead?"
"You want me to top you?"
"No. Well, I don't know yet I guess. But you're the one that does know, so you decide. But I want to be with you. I want to experience that. That's all I know."
"It's not the way we normally do it, but it would be easier if I top this time. Do you want that?"
Do I want to be fucked in the ass? By the sound of it, no. But being here with Bill and hearing these stories, I wanted that connection with him. Feeling the most exposed and vulnerable with him like that, I couldn't think of a better way to unite us. So, no, I don't want a dick in me. But I'd also be really lost if I had to do that to Bill instead. I just know I want to be with Bill and I trust him. "If we've done it before and we liked it, I want to do that with you. I trust you. You're older now but you're still my Bill."
I think that melted Bill's heart because he kissed me so deeply next, I nearly saw stars. A kiss like that made me understand why we were a couple in this future world. Why we did this kind of stuff. It felt perfect. It felt like all the cracks in the world were sliding into place, making us one. He took the lead the way I asked and hiked me up so my head was among the pillows. We took off a bunch of clothing and Bill handled me like a master. I don't even know how to describe it, but he knew all my sensitive areas and how to use them. It was blowing my mind. His lips and tongue were so talented and driving me up a wall. I was so hard and he hadn't even got to my dick yet. But he did. Oh, he did. It was obvious this wasn't new territory for him. He knew exactly what he was doing and it was working. He gave me the sexiest look I've ever seen before he took my dick in his mouth. That look could melt a camera, I swear. Having all of it directed at me was making me forget that last night I was fifteen and that this was my twin brother. This new world and this evolved version of Bill was swallowing me whole. Literally and figuratively. He told me once, recently actually (meaning, when we were fifteen), that he'd gone down on a girl and we talked about how he learned to use his tongue-ring on her. That talk came back to me now and I felt like that girl. His tongue stud made this blowjob recognizably Bill. The new piercings he had on his mouth were also stimulating, but those didn't bring me home the way his tongue did. The new jewelry reminded me how little I knew about his new world. When we kissed, I wanted to be pulled into it though. He didn't finish me with his mouth, instead we kissed as his hands explored new territory, stuff that I'd normally be repulsed to even consider. But here and now everything felt right.
This was new and weird, but good. I wanted to push my boundaries with him. He went to get lube. I spread my legs. Again, he gave me this look I can never forget. If he meant to sear this day into my memory, he got his wish.
This was my first time. First time caring. First time going all the way. I fell deeper in love with Bill.
Afterwards, I couldn’t imagine having done it with anyone else.
I think I looked at Bill like a love-struck puppy the rest of the day. He kept blushing and turning his face away when we were with other people, just so I’d stop looking at him too.
We missed the YouTube interview thing. But we made it in time for soundcheck and declared that tonight was going to be Major Throwback Night and play old-school. So that I actually knew the songs. Georg and Gustav were confused but went along with it. I think they knew something was up but miraculously we got through the concert without any huge fuckups.
I was glad to see the G’s. I was happy we were all still a band. I was amazed at how they had aged, but it was still the same being in their company. By the end of that night, I felt so happy to have my life. It felt like everything had turned out more right than I could have ever wished for.
In bed, I cuddled up to Bill and told him, "I love you."
"Tom, you’d never say that so many times in one day. Especially not you from ten years ago."
"You changed my life."
"You changed mine."
I fell asleep in Bill’s arms and woke up in a cold bunkbed back in 2004.
Chapter 2: BACK HOME
I was back in my real life.
I just knew it. The second I saw the roof of my bunk I knew I was back to normal. Was it the same day or the next day?
It was easy going back to normal. Everything was familiar again. We were on tour. Our bus was driving away from Berlin, we would stop in Magdeburg, and then hit Hanover.
When Bill woke up, an hour after me, I felt my ribs silently crush into my heart. What I had done with him yesterday was burned into me. He sat down at the kitchette table with me and at first he just smiled. We looked at each other a little while, until it hurt too much to do so. I got up and made him a coffee. It was thirty seconds where I could compose myself a little better.
I never knew my heart could hold so much love for someone. I could still feel him in me. I missed him there. I can’t look at him the same when I know how much we belong together and we’re not there yet. I want to be united with him again. I want to be with him desperately. I’d never known how much was missing from my life.
I set down his coffee. "Thank you, Tomi," he said quietly. He wrapped his hands around the mug and began blowing at it. I watched him. I didn’t think he was going to say anything else, but then, after he took his first sip of hot coffee, he smiled shyly and said, "Thank you for last night."
Then I panicked. Last night!? What happened last night? "What happened last night?" I tried to keep my cool and pretend my insides weren’t coiling up in crippling fear.
"You know…" Bill nurtured his coffee a bit more. I seems he didn’t want to say anything with words. Why should he? I should have been there too. "Our Twin Time was nice last night."
Was he talking about our massive round of videogames? Or was I missing a day? "Super Mario?"
Bill laughed. "No, silly. Yesterday. When we cuddled on the couch."
So I was missing a day. Cuddling on the couch wasn’t wholly weird, but it wasn’t the most common thing we did. Was it me-me yesterday and I didn’t remember, or was it an older-me that had cuddled with Bill yesterday? I was still mortified. "Did… did I do anything to you?" I knew I would sound strange asking something like that. Did Bill know which Tom had been with him yesterday? Could he tell me, maybe?
He looked at me funny, and a little disappointed. "Do anything to me?"
I came right out to say it. "What did we do last night?"
Yes, based on Bill’s face, he was definitely disappointed. "You don’t remember?"
"Will you tell me what happened yesterday?"
Bill didn’t look happy. He pushed his coffee away and I thought he was going to walk away, but thankfully, he actually explained. "It was a pretty normal day. You were there."
I felt better hearing that. "So I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary?"
"Well, you fucked up a few songs and Georg took the piss out of you for it," Bill laughed.
Did I screw up songs because I didn’t remember the exact parts of ten year old songs? Was it really older-Tom who had lived my life yesterday? How would I get more clues without telling Bill everything? Apparently I’d acted normal enough for it to be called a normal day yesterday. So why freak Bill out?
Because if I wasn’t here with him yesterday I’d have to tell him what I really did yesterday.
I couldn’t do that.
But the feelings I felt, they weren’t going away. Even while sitting here across the table from him, it was… different. I knew more. I know what we can be. It’s changed me. I can’t deny it.
"Look, I just wanted to say it was nice being like we were little again yesterday. If you want to pretend it never happened because of your big ego, then never mind."
That’s when Bill stood up and walked away.
It took me a second, but I ran after him. Right outside our bunks, I grabbed his hand and he turned.
"I didn’t mean it like that."
"I like cuddling with you." That’s all we did, right?
"I just want to understand." Bill let his guard down. I hugged him. I didn’t know what else to do. I wanted to be near him again. I couldn’t get the feeling of being with him out of my head. I could feel his fingers in me. I could feel his mouth on me. I want that closeness. I want that intimacy. I miss it so much and before yesterday I had no idea it was missing.
"Tomi, are you ok?" I was shaking in his arms. I couldn’t even explain to him why.
"I miss you." I hugged him tighter. "I feel caught up in a vortex of fame and schedules. I only feel like I’m living when I’m with you." I used his own words because they’re the only thing I could think of to say.
Bill hugged me back, and laughed. "That’s what I said."
I only remember twenty-five year old Bill saying something like that. I didn’t know what to say back to not ruin the moment. I didn’t want to admit that I actually didn’t remember my time with him here yesterday. I didn’t remember us cuddling. I remember us having sex.
"Thank you for letting me cry with you." He had cried?
"I love you, Bill."
"You said that last night too. Why don’t we say it more often? We used to say it as kids all the time."
I pulled him into my bunk. We had time to chill on the road. I wanted to hold him in my arms for as long as possible.
He seemed… honestly, it looked like he wore my face from yesterday morning when I was confused about what was going on around me. But he didn’t pull away when I cuddled him. He’d liked it with the Tom last night, right?
"Tomi. I miss this. Can we do this more often?"
"Anytime. I miss you too."
He settled into my arms and I couldn’t be happier. Was this how "we" began?
Weeks later, and I couldn’t forget what I’d done with older-Bill.
I’d found a new rhythm with Bill. I could tell we were being pulled closer. I told him I loved him more. He told me the same thing back. We fell asleep watching movies on the couch together way more often than in the past. I loved holding him, but wasn’t sure what else I could do. The tour wasn’t even half-way through. We were going to do Russia next. I was afraid this was all we were going to be.
I wanted what I’d discovered in our future. I wanted it to come true.
How do I pull the stars down from the sky? That’s how big of a task this felt like. How do I tell Bill I want to be with him that way?
I don’t know how. I can’t say it with words. I’m not brave enough.
I can tell him with small touches. I can tell him when I hold him. I can say "I love you" because I don’t know how to say more. I can’t say my heart is hammering in my throat just being around him.
Our tour is almost done. Bill is getting homesick and emotional. I hold him.
He cries in my arms. "I feel so trapped, Tomi. I want to do stuff. I don’t know even know what, but I want to be free. Everyone thinks we’re so lucky. There’s times I look around and I want to run away and leave it behind. But I have you. I couldn’t leave you."
"You’re not staying in this life because of me. We built this. This is what we want. We. I know we’ll be ok. We built this, remember? We built this together. We’ll build it better."
"How can you be so sure? What if the next album tanks and we fall off the radar? We’ll be has-beens."
"That’s not important. We’ll be together. We can do something new. But Bill, I promise, we’ll be ok. Tokio Hotel will be ok. And so will we."
He raised his head, face streaked with tears. "How do you know?" I wiped the wetness away and pulled him closer.
"I know. Trust me."
"How?" He climbed closer to me. I pulled him onto my lap.
"You trust me, right?"
"I trust you." I kissed him on the cheek.
He seemed surprised. He looked into my eyes trying to understand.
"We have an amazing future together. I know because I’m there with you and we’re together."
He buried his face in my neck. I kissed his hair and ran my fingers through it. He put his hands on my back and I was on fire suddenly. Did Bill know what he was doing to me? It felt like those same hands. I felt his breath on my neck, and it reminded me of that day. I could picture it so clearly. Bill above me. Bill in me. Our breath mixing and his touch burning me. I was hard. I couldn’t help it. I could barely control my own breathing.
I pushed him back just a bit, so he wouldn’t notice my hardon. He moved back closer. I knew in that moment he felt me. Would be run away? No. He moved and straddled me so he was lined up right with me. He wasn’t hard but he was there with me. I felt him.
We didn’t do anything. Just stayed close. I told him, "I want to be inside your skin." I didn’t know how to explain my love for him. It had grown out of control. Past even what I felt the day we had sex. Every day I grew to love him more. I think he felt the same.
He told me, "Thank you."
When this tour ended, we pumped out a shitty new album, and then went back to touring. I tried to drown myself in girls a few times. I could never go all the way. There was always that image of Bill in my head. The blonde one coming with me. The one where sex meant something with. How do I bridge my life with that one? I went back to Bill at night. I crawled into his bunk even when I came home extra late. He let me in, wrapped his legs around mine, and went back to sleep.
In those moments I felt my present and future touch, just in a tiny way. I felt Bill’s legs wrapped in those sheets from that fancy hotel room. I wrapped my body closer around him.
I kissed his hair. I was tipsy from my drinks with the G’s. From the girl who’d put her tongue in my ear earlier. I was still drunk.
In the morning, Bill would tell me to go brush my teeth. I did, and he would sit on the toilet and we would talk. Normal. Everything on the outside was too normal. I was itching to make it less normal.
In the nights when we had Twin Time, I could feel us getting closer. Little touches. We hadn’t crossed any lines yet. I wondered what it would take for us to step over it. I wish I had asked older-Bill how we ended up like that. We were growing old at this pace. How long was Bill going to keep telling reporters that he was waiting for true love?
One day we had a huge fight. I’d come home drunk. We had a hotel room that night. I’d lost my phone and he’d been worried when I didn’t pick up. When I walked through the door he pushed me and started yelling. I thought it would never end. My head was pounding. I tried explaining I’d lost my phone.
"Why didn’t you call Saki?"
He stopped raging then. "Oh. I only called David."
"Didn’t you call the G’s? I was with them."
"I didn’t want to seem desperate." He said it in a really small voice.
"I didn’t want to seem desperate, I said," he said louder and stepped away from me.
That was worse than yelling at me. In my mind that step was amplified. He’d looked away from me like he was walking away from me. I grabbed him back towards me.
"Ugh, Tom. You smell like a hooker." He pulled out of my arms. I was drunk. I thought my world was coming down.
"Don’t leave. I’m desperate for you."
"Don’t say stupid things when you’re drunk, Tom. Go take a shower."
Instead of walking towards the bathroom, I went towards him. "Come with me." He didn’t step away this time but was definitely trying to understand what was going on in my stupid head. "I want to be everywhere with you," I said. I reached for the hem of his tshirt and put my hands under it. He let me. I went further and took it off him. Then I took off my own shirt and pants and pulled him towards the bathroom. I got out of my socks and underwear also. I didn’t care that I was finally naked with him. He was still wearing jeans. I turned on the water in the shower and I think he was watching me. I don’t know. Like I said, I was out of it that night. The pounding in my head from his yelling hadn’t stopped ringing in my ears. I got under the spray and pulled him in with me. He just watched. I let the water wash over me and started my usual wash routine. He didn’t say anything, just passed me the soap and stuff like that. The water hadn’t got to his hair yet because I was hogging the water, but the steam was making it frizz, and his jeans were soaked and sagging.
When I was done, I said, "Am I better now? Do I still smell like a hooker?"
He looked at me. "Are you still drunk?"
"I’m sober when I’m with you."
"Turn off the water. You’re done."
It was true. My head was clearing up. The water had done me well. But I’d definitely made a mess by being so forward with Bill. We didn’t get naked together very much, so what I had done was weird. Even for a drunk person.
On the way out of the shower, Bill ditched his jeans in a puddle and wrapped a towel around himself. He handed me one too, then walked back into the bedroom.
I thought maybe we could go to bed like normal after that. I was wrong.
"I don’t understand you sometimes. When did you become like this?"
"Like what?" The day I saw our future had been over a year ago. Closer to two.
"Do you want something from me, Tom?"
I was scared that he had understood me finally. Maybe. I stepped closer to him. "I only want you."
He’d been about to say something else but stopped. "Then am I doing something to fuck us up? I feel like we’re different. I like it. But you feel it too, right?" I nodded. He looked relieved not to have to pull my tongue for a real answer. "Aren’t you scared? I feel like you’ve changed lately. Maybe you’re not scared, but I am."
"I have changed. I can’t deny it."
"So? What are we doing?"
"We’re not doing anything you don’t want to do."
"Are you putting this on me?"
"No. I just meant, I don’t want to do anything you don’t want to do also." That didn’t sound much better but hopefully he understood anyway. I pulling him close to me so I could at least hold his hand.
"I like being close to you, don’t doubt that, but we’re holding hands right now. Don’t you think that’s weird?"
"For everyone else, maybe. Not for us."
"Do you think it’s normal for brothers our age to sleep in the same bed practically every night? Aren’t we too clingy?"
I squeezed his hands and looked in his eyes. "I don’t want normal with you." Would he understand what I really meant?
He didn’t say anything for a while. But he looked in my eyes like he was searching. Slowly he leaned in and for a second I thought he was going to kiss me, so I closed my eyes and waited what felt like hours. He kissed my cheek and I opened my eyes. There was a small smile on his face.
"You thought I was going to kiss you for real."
I didn’t know what to say. He was right. My heart was beating like crazy. I didn’t understand why he was smiling.
"You like me."
Should I nod? Was this the next step?
I nodded. I was so scared.
Bill smiled even wider and hugged me. "I love you, Tomi. And I like you too. I think I have a crush on you." He giggled, and his happiness resonated throughout my body. I couldn’t hold it together anymore. My feelings had been on too much of a rollercoaster. I wanted to relive kissing Bill. I hadn’t stopped thinking about it. His lips. His moans. They replayed in my head and I figured this was a good a time as any to get lost in the moment. I seized the moment. There was so much skin I could feel right now. I wanted to feel it. It had been so long since I felt Bill’s body like this. I was pushing boundaries right now.
I ran my hands along his back, and his settled into my wet hair. "You have to wring out your dreads, Tomi." He spoke low, right in my ear. I reached up to his face so I could look in his eyes again.
The mood was seductive and playful. "Sure. Let me just grab a towel." I took his towel right off him.
He shrieked and laughed, "TOMI! Nooooo!"and tried to grab it back.
I wrapped it around my hair and got most of the water out of it. He covered his privates with his hands while laughing. "You’re such a dick."
Was it normal to cover ourselves our not? I can’t remember.
I did a good job drying my hair to the point it wasn’t uncomfortable and then got back to my main goal of trying to kiss Bill. While I’d been busy, he’d picked out underwear and put on a pair, he handed me a pair too. I took them from him and threw them away. "I don’t need those. I have you."
"Cool down, yeah?"
"No." I pulled him forward again, pulled one of his hands to my towel and told him. "I don’t need this when I’m with you."
"Tomi!" He wasn’t upset, just shocked. "Don’t be so—"
He was looking at me like he enjoyed the game but wasn’t sure how far to push it. I pushed for him. I leaned forward and connected our lips. He wrapped his arms around me and settled into our kiss. It was unsure, a little unsteady, but perfect. I missed this so much. It felt like coming home. Not just because I’d kissed Bill before, but because this time it felt like I could really have that amazing life with him. I felt like my whole life was with him and now it was coming true. I think I’d feel this way even if I’d never traveled to the future, and that’s the best part.
I love kissing him. It was so good, I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to pull away from his mouth. I love his tongue. I love him.
He stopped us. His hands were still cradling my head. The just-kissed look on his face was so sexy.
I kissed him again. I made it a deep one. I wanted him to know I was serious, even if I was bad at putting it into words. Even when I couldn’t put it into words. I wanted him to know, to feel, how much I wanted him. I tried taking him to bed with me but he pulled away.
"Ok, Tomi. That’s enough. Ok?" He handed my underwear back to me. "We have to wake up early for that photoshoot."
I smirked and licked at my lip-ring. "You’re right." I changed right in front of him, and I know he watched. It was the kind of moment where you couldn’t not watch.
God, I love him.
Chapter 3: GIRLS
The next time Bill and I kissed wasn’t too many days later.
We were out drinking with the G’s and playing a "Hot or Not" game. If we thought the chick was hot, we had to drink. It was one of Georg’s asinine games. Thing was, there were a lot of really hot girls. The G’s were both likely to get lucky tonight. It felt like that kind of night.
We let three of them in our booth with us. Bill and I had settled on the same girl to entertain. Even though we were in France, she spoke decent English and that turned out to be handy. By that point I knew enough to say basic things. More like, I knew the words "Bill", "me", "you", "like", "drink", and recombined them into things like, "Me, Bill, like you," along with a bunch of gestures. "You like drink?" was a useful one. And lastly, Bill came up with the fabulous, "Me like pretty girl." Poor girl could barely hold her laughter back, and I just laughed. I kept telling myself that in ten years, he’ll end up speaking great English. He shrugged it off and gave the girl one of those famous raised eyebrows of his. It was smolderingly sexy.
He touched her hair. "Pretty."
"Bill, bad," I said. "Bill, pretty."
The girl laughed again. "You mean to say he should be good?"
We asked Georg to translate for us. I nodded, "Yes. Sorry." Actually, I’d meant something more like, "Bill has prettier hair." I told Bill in German. He laughed.
Throughout the night I added more English words to my vocabulary. All Bill came up with to hit on her was how she was pretty. It must have seemed creepy but she laughed and joked with her friend in French and with Georg in English. Damn Georg and the fact that he could string more than five English words together.
Bill had found a way to charm the girl though. I kept thinking back to how an older Bill told me, "We have a relationship thing going on. We have sex with other people from time to time, but mostly it's just us." As long as I was the one who got to wake up with Bill wrapped around me like that one day, then I knew we would be ok.
Bill had given up on English and just spoke German into her ear. I couldn’t tell what he was saying, but she probably didn’t understand either. I excused myself to go to the washroom and was surprised when he joined me not two minutes later.
"Hey, you ok?"
"Yes." And I meant it too. I wasn’t in a happy, joking mood, but I wasn’t upset either. Maybe he felt like he needed to explain himself because I wasn’t cheerful anymore.
"I was trying to make you jealous," Bill admitted.
"Bill, I don’t need to be jealous. I was out with some chick last week too. And I know I mean more to you than any of them. And you mean more to me too. So if you want to have fun, have fun and don’t worry about it."
"Oh." He looked at me for a while, and I had nothing more to say so I turned on a tap to splash some cool water on my face. I’d come to the washroom to cool down.
I think Bill had drunk more than me tonight. He came closer to me when I was done with the sink. "Can I kiss her?"
It struck me as an odd question. It was an odd question. I remembered that Bill has no idea how we end up in the future, and that no matter what, I knew we’d be ok. And so, I had no idea what to say. Should I tell him no? I took his hand and thought about it a while. Looking down at our clasped hands, I still wasn’t sure what the right thing to say was, because I wasn’t sure why Bill was even asking.
"Bill. You mean more to me than any girl. And I know I mean more to you also. I also know that it’s normal to be with girls."
I had no idea what to say without alluding to us being together. I don’t think Bill is ready to hear that kind of thing yet.
Bill was looking down also, and it took him a while, probably sorting out his addled thoughts, and finally he said, "I want to go home. Can we go home?"
I took him home. On the way, I wondered what it would be like to really kiss someone else again, now that I’d kissed Bill for real. I’d hooked up with a girl not too long ago, and that seemed normal, except now girls expected me to sleep with them and I won’t. Not yet. Last year maybe I was ready to, but after being with Bill, I can’t. I can fill whitespace with girls but I want to be with Bill first. I want all the rest of my firsts to be with him. I looked over at him in the car while he looked out the window at the rain that had begun to fall.
I wanted to know what he was feeling. Was I putting too much weight on our future and not thinking about the present? I was happy in the present. Was he? I think so. But maybe I should pay more attention.
We got back to the bus. The G’s would join us in less than two hours because we had to leave. I wanted to spend some Twin Time. That’s why we’d come back to the bus, right?
"Bill, you ok?"
"Yeah, I’m fine. Just drank too much." He waded towards his bunk and tossed his clothing at me on the way. It wasn’t sexy-undressing. It was I-don’t-care-undressing. He crawled into his bunk and turned off his light. Was I supposed to sleep by myself tonight?
Too bad. I didn’t want to. I got in with him.
"You smell terrible, Tom."
"You smell like smoke too." I laughed.
Bill didn’t seem happy. "Hey. What is it?"
"I don’t know, Tom. I don’t know how to behave suddenly. Can I still kiss girls?"
"Why on Earth wouldn’t you be able to?"
He opened his mouth and shut it and suddenly he was really angry. And I know he was angry at me, I just hadn’t figured out what jumble of feelings had caused it. "Get out of my bed, Tom."
"Get out. I don’t need you playing with me. I can go play with girls." I was stunned. He actually started pushing me out with his legs. I got out and he shut his curtain. "Good night, Tom."
I stood out in the hallway with no idea what had happened. I thought everything was going perfectly. Where had I messed up? I fell asleep wondering what I’d done.
In the early morning while everyone was still asleep, I got back in with him and woke him up. "I’m sorry about last night. I messed up. Please tell me how I messed up."
Bill laughed and rubbed his head. "Hand me a water bottle, you moron."
I went to get him one from the fridge and climbed back into the bunk with him. He opened it and drank half. "My head hurts a bit."
"Naw. I’ll be good in a couple minutes."
"So, you’re dumb. That’s all. I thought about you last night and that’s what I came up with." He didn’t say it with malice. It was more matter of fact.
"I’m dumb. How?"
"Tom. We kissed! And I know it meant something to you. But you can’t figure out why I think you should be mad at me for wanting to kiss other girls?"
"I should be mad at you?"
"Shouldn’t you be?"
"That would depend on what happened when we kissed. I mean, I didn’t think we were exclusive or anything suddenly."
"You’re not even jealous though."
"I don’t think I need to be. You’re straight, aren’t you? Mostly? Kind of? You like girls. I do too."
"But you like me too." Bill looked all cute and shy suddenly. "And I like you too. I said that already." Bill looked like he wanted to say something else. He hesitated. "Just tell me."
"So does that mean we can kiss?" I smiled and nodded and Bill straddled my lap. "This is ok?"
What I wanted to say was that I wanted to do even more with him, everything, sexual things, but I didn’t want to scare him with that kind of talk. I smiled and nodded, and trailed my fingers through his hair. "This is ok."
Bill kissed me then. It was so sweet I think I melted.
We kissed a lot after that time.
Chapter 4: OLDER NOW
I’d kiss Bill until I couldn’t kiss him anymore and then I’d go get some groupie to blow me to relieve the stress. It’s been almost three years since I saw our future and I still haven’t figured out how to do more with Bill than kiss.
We were almost eighteen for God’s sake and Bill was still a virgin. Technically I was too. And I needed to figure out how to fix that, because blowjobs and handjobs from strangers weren’t doing it for either of us. Bill had even started experimenting with guys.
I think it was obvious we were waiting for each other. I was waiting for Bill to be comfortable with the idea of us. I don’t know what Bill was waiting for, but he thought I was a virgin too.
I looked at the calendar one day and threw caution to the wind. I’d fuck him before we were eighteen and that’s just how it was going to be.
Next time we were alone together was backstage at an awards show. You’d think there would be plenty of people around, but since we were performing, we got this tiny little dressing room which was completely decked out. We chilled a bit after the red-carpet and then the G’s had gone out to mingle, but Bill was still changing into his show costume.
"Bill, I want to change my hair."
"What?!" He turned around suddenly, mascara wand in hand.
"I want something different."
Bill read the look on my face and I think he could tell I wasn't talking about my hair. He calmed down. "I want something different too."
"We should plan a future."
Bill painted his eyelashes a few more times and then put his makeup away. He sat on the makeup table and tooked at me from across the room. "Can I ask you something?"
Why had I started this topic? "Always."
"Tom. Something's missing. Don't you think?"
I looked at him pointedly because I knew what was missing and what we both wanted. It just wasn't something I could put into words yet. I might not have known his exact melancholy, maybe he didn't either, but I knew the cure. "Change your hair. And I'll work on changing our lives."
"What are you talking about?"
"We should learn English properly."
"We should." He looked at me like he knew I wasn't saying something. I didn't know what else to say and before either of us could come up with something, the G's came back.
Bill was awkward for the next couple days. We went on vacation but he didn't stay in our room that first day and suddenly he came back with black and white dreadlocks.
"You told me to change my hair."
I gawked. I had, but this was sudden. We hadn't even talked about it. Dreadlocks? That was my thing. "Are you ok?"
Bill wasn't happy. "That's what you have to say to me?"
"Yes. Are you ok?"
"No. Obviously! Work on changing our lives like you promised." He turned away from me, changed into a pair of my swim trunks and left the cabin.
What was going on? What had I done? What had I broken? I just knew that I wasn't going to figure out anything by myself. I threw on a pair of trunks too and ran after Bill.
He was sprawled on the sand at the edge of the water, and I sat next to him, my head in my hands.
"Tomi. Change our lives. I trust you."
I looked at him. His eyes were shut, but his jaw was clenched like he was on the verge of tears. I took his hand in mine. I didn't know what else to do.
"Does my stupid new hair look stupid?"
"No. But thanks, because now we both can't have freaking dreads. Dumbass." Suddenly I was a bit pissed because I hadn't really wanted to get rid of my dreads.
I got up and waded into the water. I watched Bill on the shore, he sat up and watched me too. I didn't think he was going to get in so I gestured for him to come. He came.
With the water up to our chests, I pulled him to me and kissed him. Out in the daylight. He cried.
All I want to do is make Bill happy.
He stayed close to me all the rest of the day, even if he was quiet. I was thankful for a few days of privacy. That night he held me so tightly in bed that I had to tell him, "I'm not letting go. I'm never going to leave."
"I never want to be away from you. I only want you," he replied.
I had to think about that for a minute before I tipped his chin up into a kiss. "I want you."
I think I was surprised at how willing Bill was. Was he depressed? Was I taking advantage of him?
I climbed over his body and deepened our kiss. I positioned myself between his legs and this time he wrapped his legs around me. "Tomi," he said. He was on the verge of tears again. "Make me whole. Please." And when a tear ran down his cheek and into his hair, I kissed his face.
It's like he felt the same desperation in my heart. I'm sure he did, because we share the same heart. When I reached my limit, so did he, and I couldn't stay away from him anymore. I trailed my kisses down his neck, past where I usually stopped. His breathing quickened and the hands that used to be in my hair spread to each of his sides. I kissed lower as he tried to clutch onto the sheets. I felt over his body, touching like I've wanted to for years. Every hair on my body was standing. The moment was surreal.
Everything was quiet and still, and peaceful, and it felt like it was only us alone in this whole wide world, and all I wanted was to be with Bill. I want to make him feel good, to take away his fears. I want to be to him what he was to me in the future.
Bill saved my life. Drowning in him saved me. I don't know from what, but that's how I feel.
The sounds he made when I licked his nipples were nothing to when I took him in my mouth. He's erotic. My memories went back to that one day, to how Bill looked when he came in me. I rubbed against the mattress and sucked him more powerfully. I was so lost in him. I looked up to where my hand lay on his stomach; I was petting him the same way Bill had done to me that first time, and I could feel those hands on me so vividly, the way Bill massaged me, pulling me into his sick twisted world. I was scared back then. Scared that I was falling and wouldn't get up. Now I know I fell into the real world.
I want Bill with me. I want Bill to come with me. "Come with me."
He moaned and took my hand. He was beyond words but he squeezed my hand so hard I ended up with bruises between my knuckles. He came in my mouth and when I looked up, I saw Bill. He was catching his breath. I put one hand on myself and saw stars.
Bill crawled down the bed to kiss me. I was home.
"I love you," I choked out. Real tears welled up in my eyes and Bill wrapped his body around me and kissed my temple.
He laughed, in a broken way, like when you can't fuck up your life any more than you already have. "I love you too, Tomi."
I chose to drown my tears in his mouth.
We stayed close for that week. We had time to stay entwined and carefree, and by the end of the week, it didn't feel like the world was ending anymore. It felt more like the sun was coming up on a new morning.
The night before we had to leave, I took him to dinner. I wanted to get us out of our room.
I watched him get dressed. He wore something glitzy and overdressed for the occasion but he did it for me and I couldn't take my eyes off him. He was radiant and happy in a way I hadn't seen in years.
And then I turned Bill into an angel on my bed that night.
Making love to Bill was the best time of my life. It didn't even compare to how I remember it. My love for him had grown to where the only thing I saw was him. His body encased me and I felt him all around me, on my dick, chest to chest, I could feel his heart beat with mine. Breathing the same breath, intoxicating, sweaty. He's my only wish and desire.
His sex is like coming home.
We'd broken some kind of barrier and the sun was shining now, all the time. We finished a lot of engagements in the next months and then with smiles on our faces, declared that we quit everything. We would move to California.
No one was happy about it but us.
But the wall had come down. We were together and free. And in love. So in love, I can't even describe.
It didn't matter when we overpaid for things. It didn't matter when we couldn't understand most of the shit around us. We were together in a new world, in love, and free.
In our first new home, I took him to bed.
The windows were wide open with the perpetual summer breeze washing over our skin, and as I fucked him, we were whole.
Learning English turned out to be easier than I thought.
We went out partying and made new friends. Bad friends who didn't give a shit about us. I didn't care. It felt like we were on top of the world.
We made our own studio at home so we could make our own music. We made music in the bedroom too. His body is my favorite instrument.
Afterwards we'd go walking with our dogs, and I could kiss him at sunset.
Or over coffee in the morning.
It felt like we had a life.
And all I had to worry about was a new album with no deadline, because everything else was perfect.
Ok, I'm not going to say everything. There were a few nights when our drug use got out of hand. When we pushed boundaries too far. And we ended up in random people's beds. But like a Bill in a few years time would tell me, it was mostly us. Bill was the important thing. The most important.
I was buried in our studio working on a drumbeat for a new song when Bill walked in with coffee.
"Tomi, do you want a girlfriend?"
I looked at him. "Do you want a boyfriend?"
"Maybe," he said, but came over and sat on my lap. I kissed him and told him he was beautiful. We got carried away again. From a kiss, we ended up naked. Bill was taking control and I let him. I'd been too long since I felt him inside me. When he fucked me over the soundboard, it felt like I was young again. Like he was so much older than me, and he was in control.
With time, the memory of our future was fading. It'd been too long for me to remember everything clearly, but I remember those feelings. I remember Bill. I remember falling in love. I remember feeling complete.
I remember feeling like a part of me was missing when the next day I didn't have that connection anymore. But now, now I have everything in that dream.
When I sleep with Bill, I know we are forever. And I know he loves me just the same as I love him. I know that no matter what happens we'll be ok.
After five years, we finally finished a new album and we struggle through the promotion of a comeback. It's good enough. We start a tour across America.
In Chicago, we arrive early. On this stop we have time to be together, so I booked us a really nice hotel room that reminds us of home in Los Angeles. I take him to dinner, and at night, I bury myself in his body.
"Tomi, ah!" His breath hikes when I push in to his body. I kiss him desperately. I can never have enough of him. "Fuck me, god. Fuck me."
I do as told. I love him. He makes me crazy. He pulls his knees back so I can sink deeper into him and we both moan. I grip his hips tighter. The sounds of skin against skin fill the room and the light is bright on his skin. The beads of sweat on his forehead are making his wavy blonde locks stick to his face. I remember him like this. He looks like our first time. I kiss his face and whisper in his ear, "You're the future I've always wanted." His sex is the best.
And I can't hold out anymore. I come deep in him and he tumbles right after me. We catch our breath together and I tell him I love him over and over.
I fall asleep tangled in his limbs and in sheets that smell of our sex, and I wake up in 2004.
Chapter 5: THAT DAY
Somewhere in the back of my mind I was scared it would happen but I wasn't sure. With time, the future I had seen, which had become my reality, had become a distant dream. A decade later, I wasn't sure if I should believe in fairytales anymore. I had the exact life inside that dream and I don't even know how it happened; it happened so gradually and naturally, the dream had melded with reality.
But then I saw the roof of my old tour bunkbed and I knew it was real. In that instant, I knew where I was and I broke down.
My ribs collapsed in on my lungs and I started crying because I knew where I was. I knew I would see a fifteen year old Bill in a few moments probably, and I knew this day was the start of my entire life and I bawled like a baby. It came out of nowhere. I had never cried like his in my life. My life started flashing before my eyes: My first time which happened today (or in ten years), the first time we kissed, Bill kissing my nipples, being naked with him under those expensive Chicago sheets. How I was so happy with him beside me, over me, in me. How I fell in love with him inside me. How my world shattered and a whole new one opened that day. I couldn't hold back the tears. I remember us kissing two years from now, I remember him asking if it was ok to kiss me back, how he was so unsure.
I remember him asking, "This is ok?" as he climbed into my lap, legs on either side. The look on his face was daring but unsure. Waiting for my approval. It happened in the bunk right across the hall from where I am now. I cry louder and pull a pillow over my face to drown the noise.
This is too much. Bill was somewhere close. I knew that, but I didn't know where.
How can I see him again? God, tell me how? Tell me how to hold in my emotions, and help me not break down when I look at him and see my whole life in his eyes. Give me strength to be a good brother.
Bill... help me. What do I do? I need you to tell me how to calm down. I'm so scared. I'm so scared I want to puke.
And as my tears soaked the pillow, and I shook uncontrollably, Bill tells me, the same thing he told me in my dream: "A fifteen year old Tom would never admit that kind of stuff unless he was really in trouble."
Bill... I... I am in trouble.
And then I heard Bill's voice outside my bunk. Only a curtain away. What's a curtain? Not even a few millimeters of fabric thick? I froze. "Tom. If you're going to jack off, you need to keep it down. I can hear you all the way in the kitchenette. You're lucky the other assholes are in the back."
I bit my lip and tried to calm my breathing. What would I reply to that when I was fifteen?
"Fuck off, asshole."
It killed me inside to say that, and I could tell that my voice didn't fit with my words, and that Bill probably noticed, but thankfully he laughed and walked off.
I need to get up. I need to get out of this bunk. I need to face Bill because this is the start of our lives together. But my insides are crawling with fear and clenching in on themselves painfully to the point that I can't breathe.
And the tears won't stop.
I was still too loud maybe because Bill came back. "Tomi, are you ok?"
My wits came back to me suddenly. The hairs all over my body were standing at attention. My little brother was right outside, only two millimeters between us, and I was a twenty-five year old man who needed to smarten up. A fifteen year old Tom would never act like this.
I wiped away my tears as quickly as they'd come, and threw open the curtain.
"Thanks for waking me up. Did you at least make coffee?"
"We both know you've been up for a while. You can make your own coffee," he replied. But his gaze lingered on me for longer than necessary and so did mine. I know he could tell that I had been crying. I think that's why he made me coffee after all.
When we talked in the kitchen, I tried to keep the subjects to things I could remember from that time of my life. And I tried not to stare at him. The G's came in and finished the pot of coffee Bill had made.
We spent noon-time playing videogames that I hadn't played in ten years, and when Georg won more than I remember he should have, I knew I'd lost my gaming skills to age. I didn't mind. I thought it was amazing to be back. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be when I awoke. I had panicked. Being with Bill was still being with Bill. And the guys. We were young again.
And so when we played the concert that night, I didn't care too much that I couldn't remember some of my cords perfectly. I was so happy to be back in this time of my life, playing songs I hadn't played in years. I felt I appreciated this life so much more this time than the first time. The crowd in Berlin was a hundred times larger than what I'd played to in Minneapolis two days ago. It was surreal, being on top of the world again. We were teen idols and this was our life. We had lived this. We had really lived this! We were urban kings.
Georg wasn't the only one who teased me after the show for forgetting a particularly simple cord progression, Gustav did too. I laughed. I know I'd been bad if even Gustav was riding me.
Bill looked at me from across the greenroom, and I couldn't tell what he was thinking with that look on his face.
The G's decided to go out that night and even offered to pay for my tab, saying, "You need it. You played like shit today." I looked back at Bill who was still by the makeup table. He was taking off his makeup and looking back at me in the mirror. Our eyes met. I looked back at the G's and declined.
I joined Bill after they left. I sit on his table, pushing a few eyeshadows out of my way with my ass. He was putting his long black hair up into a ponytail and I watched.
He looked so young. I had to remind myself he was fifteen and had no idea about our future.
He smiled at me and I melted. I was still so in love with him. I always will be. I tried to remember my younger self, before I had seen the future. Would I have melted the same just because Bill smiled at me? Would that simple little thing have lit up my world the same way?
Bill could read my thoughts on my face. "You ok, Tomi? Want to head back to the bus, yeah?"
"Yes. Let's go."
We got escorted through the maze of the concert venue back to our bus secretly. No one saw us, but we could hear the chatter of thousands of fans in other parts of the building. Their roaring stopped when I closed the bus door behind me. Secluded again, it was quiet now.
"Bill, I was thinking. This life, it's what we dreamt about as children. Remember when we were young and you'd dress up and hold that hairbrush like a microphone, and I'd play shitty cords on Gordon's guitar?"
Bill turned towards me with a suspicious look on his face. He just studied me for a bit. I wasn't sure if I'd said something wrong. I decided to change the subject when it took him too long to respond and the air felt heavy. "Never mind. Let's watch a movie, 'kay?"
"Sure," he replied and plonked himself down on the couch. I went to the VCR. "Don't pick something dumb."
I laughed while looking at all the old movie titles. Everything in this world felt old and made me feel old. Everything was a flashback. Everything held memories that came back to me in pleasant little pieces. These movies were terrible, but because I hadn't seen them in a decade, I suddenly loved them again. I picked one I knew Bill would like. When he realized what I picked, he smirked. "Little cheesy, no?"
"You're the one who likes it." I threw one of those Bill-like eyebrows back at him. He didn't take his eyes off me, and for a second I wondered if he could see through me. When I sat next to him, I put my feet up on the coffeetable and pulled him to me. He gave me an odd look for a second but came closer.
By the end of the movie it became obvious that neither of us were watching the movie. It was just moving pictures. Bill was looking at the screen but his eyes weren't moving to read the subtitles. I didn't need subtitles anymore, but he didn't need to know that. I pointed the remote at the screen and I was going to turn it off, but instead I let the credits play and waited for Bill to say something.
The screen turned black and he still didn't say anything. Just stared forward at the blank TV screen. I pulled him closer to me. "Come on. What's wrong?" He looked into my eyes then and it broke my heart. I pulled him even closer, put his legs over my lap, so I could wrap both my arms around him. I wanted to protect him. I always want that. I just want to make him happy.
"Tomi. If this is the life we wished for as children, why isn't it as happy?"
At first I had no idea how to answer. "Maybe we just need to do more of the things we did as kids. You haven't sung into a hairbrush in a while," I joked, trying to cheer him up.
The corners of his mouth twitched and he wrapped his arms around me too, resting his head on my shoulder. He felt like the kid he was. This Bill was tough, but still so young, and yet to face so much of the world with me. He'd grow tougher. I know he will.
"I feel like crying too sometimes, you know. You cry about the same thing, don't you?" He paused but I couldn't answer. Obviously he'd clued in to the fact that I'd turned on the waterworks this morning, but I couldn't tell him why. He continued. "I'm lonely," he said, and sniffed sadly. I still couldn't say anything. I waited for him to keep talking. "I feel like we're so lucky, and yet... I feel caught up in a vortex of fame and schedules. But how do we do more? I feel like we're missing something. The dream we had isn't complete and I don't know what's missing."
It was hard to hear that. I tried to think about what I felt at this point in my life. I know what made the difference, what was missing, but it wasn't something I could tell Bill. I know that being with him is what saved us. I settled for something close. "Listen, I might have felt like that yesterday, but I don't feel like that today. And don't think we'll feel like that when we're older. I have you, and we'll be together."
"I only feel like I’m living when I’m with you," Bill mews, and then tears spill from his eyes.
I hold him and say, "I'm not going anywhere. I know that whatever dreams we have, we'll make them come true."
Bill cries and his tears soak into my shoulder. "Please don't ever become like the rest of them. Don't lie to me. I need you to be my rock."
I felt my chest tighten again. This was the day in our lives he chose to ask me that. I felt sick. I wish I had lived this day ten years ago. I wish I knew that's what he'd said to me this night. This was the only day I'd ever not told him about. This was the day we had sex, but this was also the time I held Bill in my arms like this. And even if it wasn't a lie, not saying anything about something so big, that was called lying between us. I bit my lip. I fucked up. I fucked up so bad. But how could I have told Bill about what happened? How could I tell him now that the Tom he's holding on to is twenty-five years old? And that the fifteen year old one is off in 2014 having sex with you right now? How?! If you knew, could we even have ended up together ten years from now? Or could we have fucked up everything? I don't know how time travel works so I can't answer. But I know I did my best to love you. Right now is the moment I could tell you the truth. I could tell you right now. I think about it and I try to relive our whole life if you'd known what I'd done -- what I was doing right now, with you in that Chicago hotel room. What would you think of me?
Look at you. You're still a kid. You're not ready for any of that.
"I won't ever lie to you." I wanted to die as I said those words. "I promise. Even if it takes me time. I'll always be honest with you. Or, at least I'll try my best to do what's best. I promise."
He turned to me and looked into my eyes. "I know," he said. "I know that." I broke eye contact too quickly though. I couldn't look at him, I felt so ashamed. He would know. Bill would always know if he looked at me. I pulled him back so he settled into my shoulder again, and he said, "I miss you, Tom."
I was so close to breaking down again. "I love you, Bill.” I don't know how I held it together. I know he felt my breathing go jagged and uneven while I tried to calm down. I kept asking myself what I'd done? How could I have done this to Bill?
I held him. Because I couldn't say anything, I held him. Sometimes I felt I was holding him too tight but he didn't complain; the little diva he was usually would have, but he didn't.
I have no idea how the time passed, but thankfully he fell asleep before I did. I picked him up and carried him to his bunk. I pulled off his shoes and tucked him in, and for a moment he woke up and looked at me again. "You used to tuck me in when we were little too. Remember?"
"Yeah, I remember. I remember everything."
He smiled and closed his eyes again. "Good night, Tomi."
"Good night, Bill."
I settled into my own bunk and for a couple minutes all I did was stare at the roof. Suddenly, I wanted to do something to prove... I don't know what I wanted to prove. That I was here? That my jump in time had happened? That I'm in love with Bill? I don't know. I just know that whatever it was that I did, it'd have to last for ten years without me or Bill finding it.
The G's got on the bus then. I could hear them in the kitchen area and went to see them.
That's how I had my idea. It was a shitty idea, entrusting my idiot friends, but I couldn't think of anything else, and I knew I wasn't going to stay in 2004 for much longer, so it was better than nothing. I'll find out when I woke up tomorrow if it worked.
When I got back in my bunk, sleep claimed me almost immediately.
Please, please, please, hold on to it for ten years. Please. And please let me wake up back in 2014 like I'm counting on.
Chapter 6: PROOF
Like I was banking on, I woke up the next day in 2014. The day after I'd first had sex with Bill.
Bill was blonde again, and he was curled up in the sheets next to me, our legs entwined as usual. I watched him sleep. Just a few hours ago he'd had sex with my fifteen year old self. This was the Bill from my dreams. This was the Bill I dreamt of for a decade. He was right beside me.
I realized I'd never again see us as teenagers. The Bill I held last night lived only in our memories.
I wonder if Bill even remembered that random night when we cuddled on the couch? I had just lived a pivotal day, and for ten years I had never even known what happened that day. I realized it was more important than having sex.
Holding each other like we had done is what made us what we are. Being honest and open is what made us break down our walls. Being honest.
I wanted to cry again for being so selfish. But I didn't. I got up and went to see Gustav.
When Bill woke up, I was smoking on the balcony. I know he read the letter I had put on the pillow by his head, because when he came out on the balcony with the paper in his hand, it was open.
In ten years, that letter had taken a beating. Coffee stains and folds galore. You can imagine that it was crisp white when I gave it to Gustav yesterday, but hey, it survived and that's what mattered. Gustav had come through for me.
I turned to him. I didn't know what to say. He should be furious at me for lying to him for ten years. "I'm twenty-five years old, just in case you were wondering."
He handed the letter back to me, and I handed him my cigarette.
Today is November 21, 2004. I'm 25 years old and I'm in Berlin. I'm writing this in English to prove I couldn't possibly have been 15 when I wrote this. About an hour ago, you cried on my shoulder and I promised you I would never lie to you.
And while I told you I never would, I lied. This is the only secret I've ever kept from you.
I want to cry for forgiveness at your feet. I didn't tell you. I could have told you when you were 15, just moments ago, and you could have known. I could have told you our whole future. I could have told you every day after I woke up and I was 15 again about what I had done with you. But I didn't, and I'm going to spend the rest of my life making it up to you.
On November 21, 2014 in Chicago, I had sex with you. I was 15. It was my first time with you. I remember it like it was a dream, because to me it was 10 years ago. But I fell in love with you that day and I've always remembered how happy we were. Through the worst of times, that was the future that kept me going. I wanted that future with you. I made it happen.
I'm writing this in 2004, but I promise I'll show it to you the next day in 2014. I'm pretty sure I'll wake up next to you in 2014.
The only thing I have to say, no matter when and where you read this letter is how much I love you. I love you, Bill. That's the most important thing you need to know. I always have. You're the best person I've ever known and I couldn't live without you. You're everything. You were everything when we were fifteen and you're everything to me now. Always.
All I've ever wanted was to make you happy.
Please, forgive me.
Bill finished the cigarette and flicked the butt into the wind.
"You might not have told a fifteen year old the future, but you kept it in your pants and didn't fuck a fifteen year old like I did."
I looked at him and he didn't look angry the way I thought he would have.
"I fell in love with you ten years ago. Past all the limits of normal." Hopefully Bill felt no guilt over what he did. He didn't look convinced but he sighed.
"Tom, I don't even remember the day you're talking about in your letter. The one where I cried apparently."
"That's ok. I remember."
"So ten years and you never told me how we started? What I did last night?"
"Bill, how could I have told you? I was so scared I'd change our future or something. What if we never ended up together? I don't know how time travel works, but I know that every time I felt our life was falling apart or we'd hit a low we couldn't get out of, the memory of us together is what kept me going. Hoping and praying that we were working towards this future. I knew we would be ok because of what you told me. I hung on to your words. You told me the future was different, that we were alive finally, and showed me that we were together and in love. Even last night, when you cried and I told you we would be ok because we would be together. I said we could make our childhood dreams come true. I could only say something like that because I know it's true. It's not just wishful thinking or empty consolation. All these years, I felt comfortable and content with our lives because I knew what was in store. I trusted in what we did that day. I knew we would be together. That's what kept me going through the lowest times."
We stared out at the city for many quiet minutes.
"It's ok. I understand." He said with his gaze on the cityscape. "Yesterday, you told me, I love you yesterday, and I love you today."
"I said that at fifteen?" I chuckled. The specifics were blurry to me. "I don't remember that, but it's true."
I lit another cigarette, and when Bill took it from me, he pulled me close and we kissed. Softly. We stayed close.
"Was I good for you?" he asked in a small voice.
"You were the best. But you have to tell me about my first time. Because all I know is you were like a god above me. I remember this one look you gave me as you spread my legs." I smiled in fond remembrance of a distant memory. "I remember you were so sexy and grown up and I felt safe with you. And I remember you were gentle. But I don't remember the specifics anymore."
His eyes shone when he looked at me. "You're always the best. I only did to you what you did to me when we went all the way."
"No, I did to you what you did to me!"
"Tom, listen, you did ok. I'm just glad we're together. I think back now, and I imagine there could have been so many awful ways I could have flown off the handle at you for pushing too much too fast, but you didn't. You did ok. Ok?"
I couldn't agree, so I kissed him instead. I wanted to say I love him again. I wrapped him in my arms and got lost in his mouth. At least I know we'd survived. The young brunette Bill I tucked into bed last night turned out to be ok.
Later in the day, I went to YouTube to find a video of an old concert we'd done in Berlin which was uploaded more than necessary by our fans specially because I'd played so poorly.
We laughed along with the G's about it.
I told them why I played so poorly. I don't know if Georg believed me, but I think Gustav did.
I looked at Bill from across the room. In his eyes, I see my whole life.