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Atlas Shrugged

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ATLAS SHRUGGED

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Tom Kaulitz was deathly bored and nothing on his iPod sounded interesting enough to hold his attention. He tapped the shuffle button and proceeded to flip through songs. One by one he rejected them and moved on to the next, furrowing his brows more with each pass. He grew displeased and irritable knowing there were thirty gigabytes of music in his hand, but nothing he wanted to hear.

The pillow under his head suddenly felt lumpy, so he sat up in his bunk and considered calling out to Bill, who he could see was sat on the bench in the dining area of their tour bus. He banished the idea as soon as it came, when he remembered the fight they had had earlier. Bill had insisted that Tom use a plate to microwave old pizza. The other day it was about how it doesn't matter if they share towels. The day before that they had argued over celery being a proper snack. It seemed the twins were fighting over the dumbest shit these days and Tom couldn't figure out why. Either way, he didn't feel like talking anymore. 

His brother had his laptop with him and appeared to be reading something contently. Tom watched his painted eyes move along with the text and zoned out, not realizing what he was listening to. 

He had drifted half way to sleep when his brother's sweet voice reached his ears. In fact, he was shouting out to him for help. It took a second for Tom to realize Bill was perfectly fine, and that he was only listening to one of their own Tokio Hotel songs.

The Bill that sung his sorrows from inside Tom's iPod and through his earbuds cried to be saved by finding some great love. Tom's normal reaction to their songs was to skip over them quickly, as he had heard them all too much already, or to take up a guitar and play along, be absorbed into the instrument, and just glaze over whatever the song lyrics said, only acknowledging them in a superficial way. 

He never questioned what Bill wrote, and had never directly asked if what he wrote meant something to him either. When interviewers asked, they both just gave some semi-literate explanation for why the song related to their new stage design or new music video, and how it was "totally" about that. It was a "total" media sham is what it was. Tom laughed to himself. The only song that could possibly have anything to do with the futuristic crap on their stage was Phantomrider because there was... a motorcycle! If he were talking to someone about this, he might have made mocking jazz-hands at the notion.

Now however, something in him snapped to life. Something told him he was on the right path, should he choose to keep listening; and so he did. He played another of their songs, and another. He felt he was getting closer to understanding the message in Bill's lyrics. The more songs he listened to however, the more confused he became. There was a common pattern in Tokio Hotel's songs that he hadn't registered in the past; not only was Bill a hopeless romantic who sang about a mysterious partner often, but what confused Tom was that it sometimes sounded very much like the way they talked about each other. So which one was it? Their usual twinly confessions about how they couldn't live without the other and would always be together, or was this Bill talking to the love of his life? --whoever it was that Bill was searching for in real life. A million possible reasons for the incongruity battled in his head. Did Bill pull all these words out of his ass? Or did he feel this strongly? Was he this adamant about finding this "true love"? And what about himself? A spot of jealously flourished at the thought that Bill may be talking about his future wife, the person who Bill would someday call his soulmate instead. Half of Tom wanted the songs to be all about himself, for he was the rightful owner of the soulmate title.

Bill was always fighting for love in their songs, either through a monsoon, or through pain, or death, he sang his heart out in every one for this stranger. Why did Bill's romantic inclinations sound so much like the relationship they had though? He tired to pin-point which songs must be about him and which songs were dreams about the nameless love interest.

It had never occurred to Tom before that so many of Bill's songs could actually be about him. He had counted a good twenty and he wasn't finished. He decided he couldn't tell apart who exactly they were directed to, but they all had at least a lyric or two that pointed to him. On the other hand, they all had at least a few lyrics in them that must have been for Ms. True Love also, so Tom was still confused. Were they one and the same perhaps? This scared him to think about. 

This had vast repercussions if it were true. No, there must be some other reason they sounded like they were about him. Maybe Bill really was just putting random shit in his lyrics. Not all writers believe what they write. Maybe?

He blocked out the little voice in his head that told him he knew better, that Bill always put his heart and soul into his lyrics.

He zoned out again and watched his twin up the bus corridor instead. Tom wondered if he was doing something wrong, something to provoke all their recent squabbles between them. Maybe he was being an insensitive ass again, although he couldn't imagine how. He tried to be sweeter to Bill than to anyone else, especially when they were alone with no one around to judge the fact that he wasn't being macho and womanizing. That was left for the interviews.

Bill had ragged on him a few days ago about how he's such a jerk to women, and how he was getting older and that image was no longer acceptable, how he was supposed to be more of a gentleman. Tom had laughed and not taken it seriously. He insisted they both knew it was just talk; he hadn't banged a girl like that in years as nothing could be "just for kicks" anymore. Bill had suggested he make that public, but Tom had walked away. Just because fame restricted his one-night-stand opportunities from being the no-strings-attached deal it had been when they were younger, didn't mean Tom had to go announce to the world that he was a pussy. You can't be whipped already when you didn't even have a girlfriend, he reasoned.

The guitarist scoffed and readjusted his pillows again. Bill could be so pompous sometimes. Who was he to be pressuring Tom and telling him what his image should be, when he should worry about his own? Bill was the one who the media all thought was a gay sappy fool. There wasn't any other male celebrity out there who was as adamant and forthright about "saving himself for the right person". What a load of bull, thought Tom.

And then something else clicked in his brain.

No. No. No. NO. NO!! I'm NOT that person!

It was a load of bull. It was. His little brother had gotten laid plenty of times and his songs had nothing to do with him. They were all about... someone; whoever he kept telling the media he was waiting for. 

Tom knew Bill really was waiting for the right person to fall in love with, but he also knew Bill didn't have any problems with casual sex, infrequent as it was. So it was all about image.

Good. That conclusion calmed Tom down and every other thought was persuaded out of his brain.

The thought had occurred though, and he was having trouble erasing its existence from his brain.

Out. OUT. OUT! Ewwwww, nasty ew ewness.

Tom felt squicked and dirty, his brain contaminated for just having thought his brother would be like that. He was not waiting for Tom. Gross!

He shuddered. A shower sounded really good about now, anything to get his mind out of the gutter.

Tom pushed himself out of bed and towards the tiny tourbus bathroom. Shutting the door behind himself, he unzipped his pants and then with one hand resting on the wall ahead for stability, he had a great pee. Afterwards he splashed a few palmfuls of cold water on his face and stared at himself in the mirror for a few seconds before turning off the taps.

That was refreshing.

On his way out of the bathroom, Bill called to him. "Tomi, please don't be mad about earlier."

It took Tom by surprise to hear Bill speak again after so many hours of the silent treatment. "I'm not," he grumbled.

"Are you sure? I was just being dumb," he proclaimed quietly, and Tom turned to face him.

He leaned one arm against the doorframe and studied his brother's face for a moment. "I'm not mad. I was thinking about something else."

He didn't plan on elaborating. In fact, it had been a mistake to mention other frustrations, because now Bill would want to know what. Shit.

"What else?" he asked innocently, voice full of concern.

Tom should have known better. He rolled his eyes and wanted to crawl back into the bathroom and barricade himself in there. This was not a good time to be questioned about what was on his mind. His natural instinct told him it would be dangerous territory to say anything further.

"Nothing." Please don't ask.

"I'm sorry, ok? I didn't mean to snap at you. Just don't be mad."

Tom didn't know what to say. He wasn't mad at Bill, only kind of. He was mad at the image Bill portrayed. And now Bill was making that cute pouty face because he thought Tom was upset at him.

"Bill, I'm not mad, ok?" Tom insisted, trying and failing to produce a smile.

"Then why do you look like that? Tell me already," Bill whined.

"I said nothing. Don't worry about it." The elder twin was about to make his getaway back to his bunk but Bill had got up and grabbed his elbow, making him turn around.

"Hey," he said softly. "It's nothing, or nothing you want to talk about?"

"I don't wanna talk about it. It's dumb," Tom admitted as he looked at his worn out socks.

Bill smirked lightly. "Then tell me, if it's dumb."

Tom had no intention of betraying his perverse thoughts. It would be an insult to Bill and his song lyrics if he was to mention it. He shifted out of his twin's grip, but didn't move away yet. "It's nothing," he answered morosely.

He looked up to his brother's face again, and finally just when he was off the hook, the truth came tumbling out of his mouth. "I was thinking about your lyrics," Tom blurted without thinking. As if Atlas had shrugged, he knew he had made a monumental mistake.

Bill's face dropped immediately. "Wh- what about them?" he asked calmly, but Tom had seen the panic in his eyes. 

He shouldn't have said anything. He should have followed his gut and not brought it up. However, there was a small part of him that was now ignited. As if he was a detective about to uncover the world's greatest conspiracy theory; he knew he had hit on something that wasn't quite right. 

You're playing with fire Tom, he told himself, hyper aware of Bill, his own breathing, their proximity, and that look he'd seen in his eyes. There was something here, something buried. The need to uncover the truth was greater than his modesty or fear at the moment.

"Are they about me?" He took the plunge into the fire, all the while knowing he was going to get burned. The same look flashed behind his twin's eyes at the words. Now he had to know.

Bill was quiet for longer than necessary, debating the long worn arguments inside his own head. He could say it. Right now, he had the perfect opening. If there was any good time to admit it, right now had been handed to him on a platter. Take it or leave it?

"Um," he started with a gulp and tore his eyes away from Tom's. "Yeah. Maybe. It's not a big deal."

"Bill, look at me. You know what I'm talking about, I know you do." The twin connection made sure they both knew exactly what they were talking about, no matter how vague their words sounded.

The slim brunette brushed his bangs away from his eyes and felt a shiver run through him from the way Tom was looking at him.

Tom continued to speak before Bill responded, even though he had had ample time to. "I'm sorry I was so daft. I knew, and then again I didn't know. They're all about me, aren’t they? All of them?"

All Bill could do was gather in upon himself and rub off the goosebumps forming up his arms. He felt trapped, and the one way out which was lying would not only hurt himself but Tom as well. He looked down again. Tom was reading right through him, he didn't even need to speak to confirm any of it.

Tom stepped forward and wrapped his baby brother in his arms. "Oh Bill," he murmured as he stroked his silky hair. Bill rested his face in Tom's neck, breathing in the scent he'd grown up with, the only thing that felt like home to him. Tears began to well up at the corners of his eyes and he squeezed onto the elder twin harder, a tormented shudder rippling through his body. Bill cried and Tom held him, mindlessly petting his younger brother's hair and lower back, as his tshirt grew damp with tears.

He never thought he would be doing so much talking tonight, but it seemed Tom had lost the padlock to not only his mouth, but his common sense also, for the incriminating words just kept on falling from his lips. "It's ok if they are. We always said we were soulmates."

"Tomi...” Bill whimpered in his grasp, and Tom pushed him away enough to look into his eyes once more. He wiped his thumbs beneath the singer's eyes, removing any makeup that had run. Bill's fragile face looked apprehensive, as if he was still feeling out his footing to see if he was on stable ground. "You're ok with it? With me?"

"Yeah, you're my Bill. Always."

"No Tom, no, you don't understand. I'm sick. I'm so sorry that you know, and at the same time, if only you knew!" he burst into a fresh batch of tears.

The feeling of something crawling up his back returned. This wasn't happening. His sweet innocent little brother couldn't feel this way. And as much as Tom wanted to run away and be repulsed, seeing Bill this distraught only made him want to be there forever, just like he'd promised. "So you love me... um, I love you too. You know that," he sympathized.

"No, don't do that. Don't be so good," Bill sniffed, and rubbed his hands into his heated face. "The stuff that goes on in my head at night, it's not right." He hid behind his fingers, afraid to look up now that he'd said the words. And there was still so much more. The lies he'd told for years were knocking at his door, demanding to be set free.

Tom stayed quiet. He didn't know what to say. This was actually happening. He wondered how he hadn't heard the secret pleas in their songs before. They were shouting to him now from every corner of his brain. This was how Bill felt and he'd been crying it out of his little heart on stage every night for Tom to hear.

"Tomi, I think about touching you and kissing you and having you hold me close..."

"Like this?" Tom whispered, as he dragged Bill's shaking body back into his embrace, holding on even tighter.

"More, Tom. More. Everything. I want it so bad," Bill confessed, his husky breath hot on Tom's neck and the words vibrated throughout his body. It felt like being burned.

Tom closed his eyes and held on to his twin. He didn't know what else to do.

Bill sniffled, wiping his nose with the back of his hand, and raised his head at bit, to catch a glimpse of Tom's eyes. "I have to tell you something, Tom. And please don't be mad. I don't know if it's better or worse." He paused, searching for words that would make his next sentence sound less pathetic. "I never slept with any of those girls."

Tom exhaled sharply. Shit. Shit. Shit. 

The wind had just been punched out of his lungs, and it felt as if his chest was collapsing on itself. This was the final blow he hoped. "Y-you're...?" he stuttered unsurely, still praying he hadn't understood correctly.

"I'm still a virgin. I lied," Bill said miserably, his face turning even redder than before. "I didn't sleep with any of them, I only wanted you."

This affected Tom as well, for heat flooded up his neck and into his cheeks, and the blood drained out of his head, going straight to his groin. He almost moaned. Fuck.

He had to take a moment to refocus and concentrate past the unexpected affect of those words. Bill was feeling vulnerable, it was obvious, and Tom needed to be there for him.

The situation was getting more debauched by the second though. Bill's whole "persona" was more real than what he had been saying to Tom for years. And Tom, his twin, was the one Bill had been waiting for after all. Suddenly, Tom wasn't angry with Bill's persona at all, as it had come to light that it was indeed all about him. The disgusting idea of incest had warped into something else in a matter of seconds, and Tom couldn't put his finger on it. Or didn't want to, not yet.

The elder twin couldn't even be angry at his brother for betraying him with such feelings and covering it up, because he was the one that felt foolish at the moment. The truth was in front of his face the whole time. How had he not noticed?

Tom wondered when it all started, but now wasn't the right time to ask. So he just held his brother to his breast and tried to calm his heart down; for it was racing in his chest so fast Tom feared it may jump right out.

Bill's tears slowly subsided, and his hands began to wander down his twin's back pressing in all the right ways. Tom's body was reacting to everything little movement Bill made, and when his brother placed a light kiss below his earlobe, his eyes nearly rolled back in their sockets. He knew what this was instantly. Arousal. Lust. Intrigue.

Fuck. Tom's brain warred. What the fuck was he doing getting a hardon?! He wished he could slap the common sense back into himself. Slap really hard if he could, enough to bleed. They both deserved it. His brother was a perverted fuck and Tom wanted him.

Wanted him so bad right now.

Bill may have been innocent physically, but the thoughts he had pronounced made Tom think of him as anything but.

His baby brother felt like a brothel of sins singing into his ear. Claim me. Take me. I'm all yours. The kisses traveled from Tom's jaw, down his neck, ever so carefully. The little minx was toying with his emotions.

Temptation made the guitarist back their bodies up to the nearest counter. Bill gasped when the ledge hit his back, Tom bending him slightly over it, keeping them unbearably close. Their arousals met deliciously, and Tom couldn't help but roll his hips, putting pressure on both their loins. Bill moaned, heat escaping between his lips and making Tom's insides coil.

The familiar smell of everything Bill was wafted its way up Tom's nose, drugging him into a drunken stupor. His shampoo, and the washing detergent they both used, his aftershave, the scented foundation Tom remembered wiped off on his pillows, all screamed of everything he ever wanted. He breathed in as Bill left a scorching kiss on his jugular. 

All Tom's dazed head was registering was Bill. He pressed their bodies closer together, gripping his brother's hipbone tightly, the other hand running into Bill's short coiffe.

With a firm grasp on the back of the younger twin's head, he pulled Bill away from the sensitive skin on his neck and looked him in the eyes. "You want this?" he asked, and made an obscene thrust of his pelvis into the other man's.

"Yes. So badly," Bill answered breathlessly, his eyes wide. Bill was melting into his arms with need, his mouth pliant and waiting.

With no more power of restraint, Tom leaned forward to capture his brother's lips in a bruising kiss.

He wanted to get burned, and right now he didn't give a shit if the world crashed down because of it.


Let it burn.


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[ The sequel to "ATLAS SHRUGGED" is called "WAR & PEACE" ]