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More Things In This World...

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"That looks like a bomb," Gwen said and Jack just gave her a look; he knew exactly what it looked like.

The problem was he didn't recognise anything about it and he had a nasty suspicion that the little blue lights down the side that were slowly dimming were some sort of countdown.

"Okay," he said, "clear the area; I'm going to try and disarm it."

"Are you sure that's a good idea, Sir?" Ianto asked, ever formal when they were on a mission.

Jack didn't bother replying because he was pretty sure it was a really bad idea, but he couldn't have an unknown device going off in the middle of Cardiff. He hadn't actually tried being blown to smithereens, but he was pretty sure if anyone could survive it, it was him.

"Just get out of here and make sure there is no one else close," he said firmly and went back to looking at the alien bomb.

Reaching out very carefully, he touched the outer casing of the device and felt something tingling through his skin. It wasn't unpleasant, but then low level radiation poisoning didn't feel bad until it killed you a few years down the line so he wasn't overly comforted.

There had been weird readings coming from all around the area since the previous afternoon and there were no explanations for any of it. He really didn't like situations without explanations; they tended to be very dangerous. Not for the first time he found himself wondering if the Doctor would have taken one look at the device and laughed at him for being so worried.

He fervently hoped that it just happened to look like a bomb and was simply more junk thrown out by the rift. Over his year away he had become pretty bored of dying and coming back to life and he felt like avoiding it these days.

"The immediate area is clear," Ianto informed him through his headset; "we are proceeding with a wider perimeter."

"Understood," he replied and couldn't help smiling; Ianto's calm voice always seemed to reassure him.

It had been something of a shock to find that one of the things he had missed most was Ianto's voice and even now, months later, he still loved to hear it.

"You're obsessed, Jack," he whispered to himself.

"What was that, Sir?" Ianto asked over the comm.

"Nothing," Jack replied in a light tone, "just talking to myself."

One of the slowly dimming lights went out completely and he realised that he was running out of time. The scanner he was using was telling him nothing useful other than the fact that the device was emitting low level meyon particles. Meyons were harmless to life on earth and most life for that matter, but they did cause biological reactions in a few races. Why anyone would plant such a device in Wales was a complete mystery. The nastier possibility was that the meyons were just a mask for something else.

The box was not attached to anything and he decided that he needed more information, so he very carefully picked it up. It did not appear to react in any significant way, but another of the lights went out. Since it didn't seem to react to being moved he considered the idea of just finding a big hole and dropping it down it, but he wasn't sure he had time.

Standing up, Jack took the device and slowly walked towards the door of the small café they had invaded to find it. He had made it two steps when another light went out and it occurred to him that the lights were going out faster.

"Oh shit," he said as something dawned on him, "I hate people who use exponential timers."

Throwing caution to the wind he began to run. He even made it to the van before the last light went out and the device made a low level whine. Then it lit up all over, several things opened and produced what looked like emitters and Jack felt tingly all over. He held his breath, waiting for the bang or the something, and then the box just closed up again and did nothing.

"Oh for heaven's sake," he said feeling let down and relieved at the same time.

Then he scanned himself and found nothing more than a large level of Meyons in the area.

"Stand down," he said through the comm, "it's just a particle generator. Everyone back to base, I want this thing dissected and analysed just in case."

It really was annoying to be given the run around by what was looking more and more like a piece of rift junk.

====

Bill picked himself up off the ground from where he had seemingly just fallen over his own feet. Not something he was used to or tended to do a lot, but one minute he had been walking and enjoying the early morning sunshine and the next he had been on the floor. It had been most odd, but then there was something about Cardiff that was distinctly weird anyway. They had arrived the previous night and were going to be doing a TV show later in the day, interviews the rest of the time and a signing at a record shop the following morning. He usually slept like a log after travelling, but he'd barely managed any sleep at all the previous night, hence his early morning walk.

Normally he was not a morning person, in fact he could sleep for his country when necessary and he knew the others would take the piss out of him for being up before they had to be. For some reason he didn't like Cardiff and he had no idea why. It was a beautiful city, full of friendly people as far as he had been able to tell, but something put his teeth on edge. It was very frustrating.

"Are you okay?"

He looked round and smiled at his escort; they weren't huge in the UK yet like they were in Europe, but he hadn't been stupid enough to sneak out without one of their minders.

"I'm fine," he promised, feeling more embarrassed than anything, "I just missed my footing. Maybe we should head back for breakfast now."

His companion looked rather pleased by that idea.

====

Breakfast had been huge. When he had sat down Bill had intended to eat a little and then maybe go and try and catch a nap before they had to leave, since he had been up most of the night, but he had still been eating when the others had arrived. As it turned out, he had been ravenous and, not that he had mentioned it to Tom or Georg or Gustav, but he had started all over again when they had arrived. He'd eaten so much he should have been stuffed all day, but the problem was, two hours later, in a car on the way to the TV studio, he was hungry again.

Tom gave him an odd look when he rummaged through his bag and dragged out the box of sweets he had shoved in there for some reason that at the time he hadn't been able to fathom.

"You cannot be hungry again," his twin commented.

"Didn't sleep well," Bill said with a shrug, "I need sugar to stay awake."

The gummy worm tasted absolutely delicious as he popped it into his mouth and chewed on it without much thought. He was on number five before anyone chose to comment.

"You're not pregnant are you?" Georg asked in a mock serious tone.

Tom and Gustav laughed at that, but Bill narrowed his eyes and then very accurately clipped Georg around the ear. He got enough girl jokes from other people; he wasn't amused that Georg seemed to be taking them up now.

"I'm just hungry," he said, feeling somewhat petulant, "and I'm really beginning to hate this city and the sooner we get out of it the better."

"Maybe just PMS," Gustav suggested.

If Gustav thought he was far enough away to avoid being hit, Bill made sure that belief was rectified.

"Don't eat too many of those," David said from the front seat; "you know what you're like on a sugar rush."

Bill really felt like pouting and sulking; everyone was ganging up on him. He wasn't on a sugar rush and he didn't feel like he was going to be any time soon. That was why he was eating.

"You ate a full English breakfast and a plate of scrambled eggs two hours ago," Tom said quietly, obviously picking up on his bad mood and being careful, "how can you be hungry already?"

It was worrying Bill a little.

"I don't know," he replied honestly, "I just am ... and ... um ... two English breakfasts and some cereal and the scrambled eggs. I'd been there for ages when you all came down."

Tom looked a little startled.

"And other than being hungry you’re feeling fine?" Tom asked, sounding a little concerned.

Bill nodded; he felt perfectly healthy. He was just eating a huge amount.

"Maybe I'm about to have another growth spurt or something," he suggested quietly; "it could be messing with my metabolism."

It was the only thing he could think of and it was thin, but it was remotely possible.

"Could be," Tom replied, but didn't sound convinced, "but if you feel anything else, tell me straight away."

Bill just agreed; when Tom used that tone there was little choice but to say yes or have a huge argument. Popping another sweet into his mouth he sat back in his seat and hoped the bizarreness would end soon.

====

Bill really felt terrible and he spent the journey back to the hotel with his head against the headrest and the side of the car with his eyes closed. His chest felt heavy as if he was congested and the rampant hunger had turned into a vaguely sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. All he wanted to do was fall into bed and sleep.

"You sure you're going to be alright?" Tom asked as they reached the hotel.

The change had occurred around lunch time and had been becoming progressively worse as the day went on. Tom had been worrying about him all afternoon, but he had managed to put on a front for the media. He was almost ready to call it quits.

There was a small group of girls waiting outside the hotel and all Bill could be thankful for was that they weren't in Germany and there were only a handful of people waiting for them.

"Yeah," he replied, but not even he was convinced by his tone, "I'll be fine in the morning."

Tom looked concerned and Gustav was also looking at him with a worried frown, but they just had to get through a couple of autographs and then he could sleep. He hoped it was just a one day bug; he didn't have time to be ill. If Georg started looking at him like he was about to collapse, then he'd start worrying, because Georg didn't overreact like Tom and Gustav sometimes did.

"Everyone have pens?" David asked, turning in the front seat as they came to a stop.

They were all still armed from their exit from their last onsite interview so they all nodded and Bill made a mental note not to move too fast as the world gave a small lurch.

"Bill," now David sounded concerned as well, "you're grey; I think we should get you to your room as fast as possible."

"No," he insisted, opening his eyes even as he realised he wasn't sure when he had closed them, "we can't leave them just standing there; they could have been there for hours. I'll be fine; it's just a touch of flu or something."

David was frowning and looking at him hard.

"You're sure?" at least David seemed to realise there was no arguing with him.

"Positive," he replied, trying to sound confident and well.

"Okay," David decided, "but Georg, stick to him like glue, Tom, you get to take the brunt of the girls today."

Bill wanted to protest, but the others were already nodding and he knew he was beaten. If he was honest with himself, he was glad Tom would be taking the lead. When Saki opened the door he didn't really have a chance to think about it anyway, because the only thing in his head was climbing out of the van without taking a header onto the pavement. Saki had to steady him as he stood up, but then he pulled the mantle of professional musician around himself and tried to forget that he was feeling like crap.

He managed it too, for a little while.

He was trying to smile he really was, but as he reached for his third CD to sign he breathed in and a whiff of strong perfume flooded over him. His system was already wonky and that was all it took to send his rebelling stomach over the edge. He didn't even have time to apologise; he just clapped his hand over his mouth and ran.

Luckily for him he already knew where the toilets were in the lobby and he charged into them and into a cubicle just before he lost all control and threw up noisily into a toilet bowl. His stomach felt like it was trying to turn inside out and he couldn't do anything about it. He didn't know how long he spent with his head down the bowl, but he did know when someone pulled his hair out of the way for him.

When he finally sat back, he would have laughed if he hadn't felt so woozy and ill: he was still clutching the black marker. Tom took it from him and handed him a wad of tissue to wipe his mouth.

"Come on," his twin said without commenting on the whole thing; "you're going to your room."

This time Bill didn't protest, especially since Tom had to help him to his feet. Tom left him leaning against the stall wall while Tom flushed the toilet and threw away the tissues and then his twin took him around the waist and helped him walk in a vaguely straight line back into the lobby.

It turned out Saki was guarding the door and David, Gustav and Georg were waiting just outside. From the expressions on their faces he decided he probably looked as bad as he felt. His stomach felt like it was churning and churning and he had a nasty suspicion that this wasn't over.

====

Falling onto the bed, Bill decided that dying there and then would be a preferable option to what he was going through. At least his body seemed to have nothing left to get rid of in either direction, but he was aching and exhausted and all he wanted to do was sleep. He had been in the bathroom for what seemed like hours as his whole system rebelled against something.

"You look really terrible," Tom commented, pulling his shoes off for him and then helping him under the covers.

"It’s nothing to how I feel," Bill replied in a croaky voce.

"Do you think you can sleep now?" Tom asked him, stroking stray hairs out of his face for him.

He gave a small nod; he was so tired he was pretty sure he could have passed out in the middle of an earthquake. Now that his body had stopped emptying itself he didn't think he would move for a very long time. David had wanted to call a doctor, but he had managed to put off that indignity and he hoped things would start looking up now.

"You sleep too," he said in little more than a mumble.

Their schedule for the next day was looking more and more unlikely to be happening, but he didn't want Tom to pay the price for his illness if he made a miraculous recovery. Tom just shook his head and smiled.

"Not yet," his twin said, settling down next to him, "I'll just keep an eye on you for a bit. I'll sleep when I'm sure you're okay."

Bill knew there was no arguing with Tom when he was in big brother mode, so he just closed his eyes, squeezing Tom's hand gently to say thank you as he let his body slip into much needed sleep.

====

It was almost completely dark when he awoke again, only a street lamp from outside showing through the curtains. He could see Tom on the other side of the bed, lying on his back and clearly fast asleep, which pleased part of Bill. What had most of his attention, however, was the fact that his chest felt very tight and he felt very cold. He was confused and in his head these two things seemed to go together, but he didn't have much time to think about it. Before he really knew what was happening his throat felt full and he couldn't breathe and all he could do was expel what was blocking his airway.

Whatever it was, was gelatinous and slightly sticky and it flooded over the bedclothes. Strangely though it didn't frighten him, even as his whole chest seemed to convulse and he expelled more of the viscous liquid; all that made it through in his head was that the liquid was warm. In fact it felt hot against his skin and he was so cold that he pulled the soaked bedclothes closer to his body. He didn't understand it, but he was in no state to think and he just followed his body's needs.

====

Tom rolled over and his arm hit something hard, which woke him up. Blinking away sleep he brought his arm back and realised that the back of his hand was somewhat sticky and felt hot and he looked over to where Bill was lying trying to make sense of what he was seeing. The sheets where Bill was curled up looked funny, but Tom had to sit up before he realised what it was. The sheets were shiny and he reached out to touch, fascinated.

The sheets were solid and he actually knocked on them before he believed what he was seeing. Then he was on his knees and trying to pull the sheet off of Bill, because he couldn't see anything of his twin, only the shape below the white cover.

"Bill," he called when the hard covering would not move, "Bill!"

There was no response and he climbed off the bed, running around the other side, trying to find some way through to Bill. There was the smallest of gaps in the hard white expanse, up by Bill's head and Tom tried to get his fingers through it, but something clear and hard was in the way. He could see the contrast of Bill's dark hair and part of one closed eye, but that was it.

"Bill!" he yelled at the top of his voice, desperate for any response from his brother at all.

The door opened behind him, but he didn't care who was coming in, all he knew was that he couldn't get to Bill. His hands were covered in some sort of sticky goo and they felt like they were on a heater, but he didn't care.

"Saki, help me," it was David's voice and Tom found someone shifting him out of the way and both Saki and David moved to where Bill was lying.

Tom had no idea what to do as the two men tried to wrench the bed clothes off of Bill with seemingly no luck at all. This was just too strange and Tom didn't know how to explain it; how could this have happened to Bill with him lying next to his twin? He was ready to panic; in fact he probably was already panicking when some very deep rooted behaviour finally kicked in.

There had been one thing that was a little strange about the Kaulitz upbringing, something that others might have thought odd. From a very young age both he and Bill had been taught one thing and one very specific thing so that it was ingrained: ‘if anything weird happened call Dad’. Tom had his phone in his hand before he made it much further with that thought.

"Tom?" his father's voice sounded on the other end of the call.

"Dad," Tom didn't know what to say first, "something's happened to Bill."

"Something how?" his father asked in what sounded like an incredibly calm tone.

Tom almost lost it again at that point.

"He was ill, Dad," he managed to pull himself together just a little bit, "last night, really ill and now he's," Tom wasn't sure how to describe it, "wrapped in a sheet that's gone hard and we can't get him out."

He heard a gasp on the other end of the call.

"Saki and David are trying," he began to say.

"Stop them," his father said quickly, "whatever you do, don’t let them break the cocoon."

Tom had no idea what was going on, but he reacted immediately.

"Stop," he shouted and did his best to pull Saki away from where Bill was, "Dad says stop."

Both David and Saki looked at him like he was mad.

"I'm coming, Tom," his father promised him over the phone, "don’t let anyone do anything. I'll be there soon."

It didn't really occur to Tom to ask how his father would find them, or get there, he was rather too focused on Bill, but he was not about to disobey his father at all. Their dad seemed to be the only one not working from pure desperation and so Tom put his complete faith in his father. The whole room was staring at him, which as it turned out included David, Saki, Georg and Gustav, but he didn’t know what to tell them.

Any need for explanations was, however, postponed as four other people suddenly barged into the room; four other people with guns.

"Nobody move," a tall man with dark hair and an American accent said while waving a revolver around.

That was almost one step too far for Tom and he was very close to losing it.

"Tosh?" the man spoke to one of the other three while keeping an eye on everyone as far as Tom could tell.

Tom knew he was being stared at and he all but glared back at the small Asian woman.

"Tosh?" the man repeated.

"Oh, sorry," the woman seemed to snap out of whatever was going through her head, "definitely the source."

"What the hell's going on here?" David finally broke through the shock that seemed to have the whole room in its thrall.

The tall man fished in his pocket and brought out a wallet.

"Torchwood," the man said and threw it at David.

All Tom cared about was that the afore-named Tosh was pointing something odd at his brother and he deliberately stepped between her and Bill. That caused her device to make a really strange noise.

"Oh," she said as if this surprised her as well.

"Talk to me, Tosh," the tall man said.

"We have two of them, Jack," Tosh said looking straight at Tom.

That was about as much as Tom could take and he was right on the verge of throwing a complete epi when something equally as bizarre happened. His father appeared in the only free space in the room out of thin air. Tom's brain was very close to shutting down for the sake of his sanity.

"Step away from my sons," his father said firmly in German, pointing some kind of handheld device at the four strangers, and then repeated the instruction in English.

The Torchwood people all looked at Jack who nodded and stepped back a little. Guns were not exactly lowered, but there appeared to be an almost truce.

"Jack Harkness, Torchwood," Jack introduced himself in equally as good German, "and who might you be?"

"Jorg Kaulitz," Tom heard his father say as his parent made his way towards the bed.

"That's rather a human name for an alien."

If his father looked surprised, it was nothing to how Tom felt. He really didn't know what to think.

"How did you?" his father asked.

"Neranians look remarkably like humans," Jack said with what was to Tom a very annoying grin, "but your genetic markers give you away."

Jack indicated the side of his neck and Tom couldn't help looking at what his father had always told him was a tattoo from the base of his father's ear disappearing into his dad's clothes.

"Dad, what's going on?" he had to ask or he was going to just go mad.

"Something that shouldn't be, Tom," his father said, giving him a quick glance, "but don't worry, everything will be okay."

It wasn't much of an explanation, but Tom knew that look on his father's face, it was all he was going to get for now. He was beginning to feel flustered and this was just too confusing. When his father waved a second device over Bill while still keeping the first trained on the Torchwood people, Tom had to just accept this was really happened.

"Meyon particles, who the hell has been exposing my children to meyon particles?" his father sounded angry.

"A device went off yesterday morning in the centre of the city," Jack seemed quite happy to explain even if the man did seem annoyingly cheerful, "we don't know who set it or why. We followed a trail of meyon particles here. I take it, it wasn't you then."

"Of course it wasn't me," Tom decided that his father was really beginning to sound angry now, "why would I expose my children to something that would undo all the work I put in making sure they would be nothing but human."

Hearing his father say something like that seemed to make it more real and Tom's mind rebelled. He really did feel like screaming and shouting until someone gave him some answers, which was usually Bill's job, but he was quite ready to fill in. He would have as well, if he hadn't been interrupted yet again, this time, however, it was by the room lurching rather nastily.

"Dad," he said in what came out as rather a weak voice and then his legs were caving in.

Someone caught him, but he wasn't sure who.

"Tom," he heard his father saying rather urgently, but he couldn't reply.

Everything was rather hazy.

"Stay back," his father said, but he had no idea why.

"Let's cut the crap," Jack replied, "that's not a gun, that's a geological scanner; Neranians are pacifists and it looks like you need our help."

Tom felt warm and tingly for a moment and then went back to being cold.

"He's going into metamorphosis without a shell," he heard his father saying, "it must be the residue from Bill's cocoon. We need to get him somewhere warm with a stable environment or it could kill him."

"Ianto," Jack said, but it was becoming difficult to concentrate and understand what was being said, ".. lab ... oxygen ... warm and humid. ... Gentlemen, we're going to Torchwood."

Tom felt himself being lifted, but his brain didn't seem to want to know about consciousness anymore and he couldn't hold on to it. Everything faded away and was replaced by darkness.

End of Part 1

Chapter Text

There was something all over his face and it was in his mouth and nose as well and all Bill knew was he needed to get rid of it. He wiped at his face, but his hands seemed equally as covered and all he could do was cough and splutter without getting very far.

"Hey there," a soft female voice said in English with what Bill thought was a Welsh accent, "it's okay, I'll help you."

He was glad the language was short and to the point, because he was in no state to translate anything complicated. He barely understood what she was saying as it was, but, the fact that a warm wet cloth was used to wipe his face, helped a lot with the explanation. Blinking as well as he could, he tried to open his eyes, but one eye seemed to be glued shut and the other showed him no more than blurred shapes. It was kind of frightening and if the gentle female hands hadn't been there he might have panicked.

"Your Da will be here in a moment," he kind of understood what she was saying, "just relax."

He wondered if he'd ended up in hospital and if so why. He didn't remember much about the evening after they had returned to the hotel and what he did remember wasn't pleasant. Whatever had taken him out hadn't been nice. The warm cloth was dabbed carefully over his fused eye, for which he was grateful, especially when it opened, even if he still couldn't see much. His companion said something else to him, but he really didn't understand it; his brain was in no shape for English with a heavy accent.

"Bill," he heard his father's voice and tried to look around, but all he could see were blobs.

"Dad?" he didn't know why his father would have been there. "Dad, I can't see."

As soon as he felt a hand touch him, he reached out and clung to it.

"It's okay, Bill," his father told him, "it's perfectly normal. Just give it a while; you need to adjust."

He was beginning to feel cold, but it was only when someone put a blanket over him that he realised he hadn't been covered before. When his dad dragged him into an embrace he couldn't have been more glad, he was so confused. Not being able to see was more frightening than he cared to admit, but it did seem to be a little better than when he had first woken up.

"What's wrong with me?" he asked, needing something to hold on to. "Why am I covered in goo?"

The blanket was warmer, but it wasn't exactly pleasant as it made him realise he seemed to be coated in the sticky substance just about all over.

"It's complicated," his father told him, helping him sit up properly, "and I think we should get you clean first before this starts to go hard again. I'll explain everything once you're more comfortable."

Bill really wanted to know what was going on there and then, but the goo really did feel quite disgusting so he didn't object as his father helped him to swing his legs off the side of whatever bed he was on. It felt much harder than he expected a hospital bed to be, but he didn't have much to compare it to, so he just accepted it. When he stood up, his legs almost gave way, which was rather worrying.

"Don't try to do anything too fast," his father told him, helping him to stand properly, "just take it slowly. Everything will come back if you give it time."

"Can I just get clean please?" Bill let himself focus on just that one thing, because there were too many things going on in his head.

"Of course, Bill," his father said, sounding very sympathetic, "I know this must be confusing. I'm going to have to help you, hope that's not too embarrassing for a grown up son."

His father was trying to lighten the mood, but all it did was remind him who he'd have felt much more comfortable being helped by.

"Where's Tom?" he asked, realising that he hadn't heard anything of his twin since he had woken up.

"He's in the bed next to yours," his father told him and Bill immediately tried to look, without much luck. "Its okay, Bill, he'll be fine, just like you. He's asleep and unlike you he's not covered in goo."

That kind of confused Bill a little, so much so that he went when his father urged him on.

"Why?" he asked, not really understanding anything.

At least the world around him seemed to be becoming a little clearer; smaller blobs that seemed to be more like people and objects than just big blobs of colour.

"That's part of the explanation I'll give you later," his father promised, and helped him walk across the room.

The nice woman who had helped him when he woke up said something to his dad, but it was in English with the peculiar accent and too fast for him to follow.

"Thanks, Gwen," he did understand, however and then his father swapped back to German. "Gwen is going to get us some towels and a robe for you once you're clean."

"Who's Gwen?" he asked the first thing that came into his head.

"A friend," his father told him, "I think."

That was a little worrying, but Bill didn't feel like dealing with it right about then. He just accepted what his dad said and shuffled when his father urged him to go. Climbing into the shower was not fun, because there was a step and he stubbed his toe once before he got it right, but the moment hot water hit him he was in heaven. He did, however, feel rather silly knowing his dad was hovering close, but at least he was alone in the cubicle.

"The shampoo is in front of you on the right," his father said seemingly understanding, "the shower gel is on the left. Yell if you need help, I'll be just out here."

"Thanks, Dad," he said, appreciating the gesture, but feeling less stupid when he heard the door close.

He hated his hair being a mess so he reached for the shampoo first. Not being able to see made it difficult, but he found that if he closed his eyes and didn't try to see, his sense of touch worked much better. Rinsing off as much of the goo as possible and then lathering in the shampoo made him feel much better, but he had to repeat it several times before his hair began to feel normal. It made him kind of glad that Tom was not in the same predicament, because getting the stuff out of Tom's dreadlocks would have been a nightmare.

Once he had finished his hair, he started on his body and the goo was quite difficult to get off in places. He had to scrub at his arms and cleaning the soles of his feet was quite a challenge. However, it was as he was cleaning more intimate areas that things became a little stranger. It was as he was trying to get the goo out of the hair around his balls (the goo really seemed to be attracted to hair) that he found a little lump. A little lump that when he touched it sent shots of arousal through his body with such strength that he moaned out loud before he could stop himself. He touched it again more out of instinct than anything else and he couldn't help moaning again and that was the point his legs gave out.

He found himself sitting in the corner of the shower cubicle, feeling dazed and rather stupid and he couldn't really work out why.

"Bill," he saw the blob that was his father open the cubicle door, "are you okay? What happened?"

"Not sure," he said honestly as his father helped him up.

His dad had to have been getting drenched, but didn't seem to care. It was beginning to occur to him that lumps in strange places were not a good thing no matter how good they felt.

"Dad," he decided that he was more in need of help than not being embarrassed, "I found a lump."

"Oh," his father said in a tone that he hadn't really been expecting; "that explains the moaning."

Bill felt his face heating up; he had the distinct impression that he was missing something.

"Don’t worry about it, Bill," his dad said, "it'll all make sense later, just avoid the lump for now; you're in no shape to enjoy it. Are you clean?"

"I think so," he admitted, not wanting to dwell on his embarrassment.

"Then let's get you out of here," his father suggested. "How are the eyes?"

"Fuzzy blobs," Bill replied, far happier now that he was beginning to see improvement, "but I can sort of tell what things are."

"Good," his dad said, sounding pleased, "you'll be right as rain in half an hour or so."

He let his father help dry him, but he was very careful when it came to certain places and was much happier when he finally slipped a robe on. It felt much better to be clothed and he was feeling much stronger as well by the time his father led him back towards where he had woken up. He could even see well enough to realise that there were more blobs waiting in the room than had been there when he left.

"Hey, Bill," he heard Georg's familiar tones, "how're you feeling?"

"Better," he replied, hoping he was facing in the correct direction and then his nose picked up a familiar scent, "and starving, is that food?"

"Pizza," it was Gustav who replied.

His stomach gave an almighty growl in response to that revelation and he almost tried to find his own way back to the bed, but then he caught sight of the long blob that had to be the other bed.

"What about Tom?" he asked, looking towards his father.

"He's a couple of hours behind you," his father reassured him, "he'll wake up when he's ready. For now, you need food."

Bill wasn't overly happy that Tom was still out for the count, but he couldn't really do anything about it, so he let his father lead him back to the bed. He squinted and he could almost make out Georg, at least he thought it was Georg from the hair colour and size.

"Ow," he said as he stubbed the same toe he had stubbed earlier on the side of the bed, "I hate not being able to see."

"I imagine that must be a pain," a new voice said and he swung his head round to look at a blob he did not recognise in any way.

He narrowed his eyes trying to make something out about this new person, but it was no use.

"Hello," he said tentatively, not sure who he was speaking to.

What was a little weird was he thought the stranger smelt nice, which was not something he was usually prone to thinking.

"Hi, Bill," the stranger said in an amazingly cheerful tone, "glad to see you back with us. You look much better without the cocoon."

"Cocoon?" Bill was confused again, and sure he was blushing, because he just knew that voice was flirting with him even though he couldn't see the owner.

"Down, Jack," said a voice that he recognised as Gwen, she then said something else in rapid English that he didn't catch.

"Let's get you sat down and eating," his father chose that moment to take over and he let himself be positioned so he could sit down and someone passed him pizza.

"Thanks," he said and gave up trying to be polite since he really was ravenous.

He probably would have inhaled the food if he'd been allowed, he was that hungry. As it was, he was through three slices before he even paused.

"Finished?" Gustav, who it turned out had been the one passing him food, asked as he finally let some of the pizza settle.

"Pausing," he replied since he knew the feeling in his stomach; he was going to be hungry again any minute.

It then occurred to him what had happened last time after he had been so ravenous.

"I'm not going to spend hours throwing up again am I?" he asked, suddenly worried and he looked at where he hoped his father was standing.

"No," his dad reassured him and patted him on the arm, "that was just your body getting rid of everything it didn't need in the quickest way possible. You won’t need to do that again."

"Good," he commented firmly, "because it was awful."

"Sounds it," Jack was obviously still around.

"Would someone mind explaining what's going on now?" he asked after a moment's thought.

He had considered waiting for Tom to wake up, but he had decided he would rather know there and then.

"Where are we, for a start?"

He could see something of the room he was in now, although not much detail and it didn't feel like any hospital he had ever visited.

"This is Torchwood," it was Jack who spoke, "we're underground in the centre of Cardiff."

That wasn't quite what he had been expecting.

"And Torchwood is?" he asked since no one seemed to be about to speak.

"A branch of British intelligence that deals with extraterrestrial phenomena," Jack said pleasantly.

"Pardon?" Bill really wasn't quite sure he had heard that correctly.

"Extraterrestrials," Jack said, seemingly amused, "aliens, well and alien devices. You were caught in the fallout from an alien device we were trying to disarm."

Bill chose some interesting expletives and then used them since his brain refused to process that.

"Colourful vocabulary," Jack responded, "even I hadn't though of using some of those words in that context.

"I know plenty more," Bill said, not feeling particularly charitable after having found out this was at least partially Jack's fault, "so is that why I felt so shit all of yesterday?"

"Day before yesterday actually," Jack corrected, "and I think it's time for your dad to take over the explanation."

Bill looked at his father hard even though he couldn't see any clear expression on what he assumed was his father's face. At least there were blob like features on people now.

"We'll see you later," Georg said and Bill was quite surprised to find that everyone seemed to be leaving.

"Dad, what's going on?" he asked, rather unsettled.

"We need to have a little talk," his father admitted as they were left alone, "there's something your mother and I have never told you."

Bill didn't really like the sound of that.

"I'm not from Earth."

For a while the words refused to make sense in Bill's head, because their meaning would have just been too silly.

"Is this a joke?" he asked, completely confused by everything.

"No, Bill," his father said, "it’s not. I came here on a survey mission which would last fifty earth years. My people are very long lived so it's not as long as it sounds. I met your mother and was very surprised to fall in love and even more surprised when we turned out to be genetically compatible. You and Tom were quite a shock to both of us and that's why, when you were born, I made sure only your human genes were active. I wanted you and Tom to have normal lives, but the device that went off activated your alien side."

"I'm an alien?" it sounded ridiculous to his ears.

"Partially," his father said in a gentle tone.

Bill laughed because it was just that silly; this couldn't possibly be real.

"What did Jack mean by cocoon?" he asked as things began to pile up in his head and he didn't like any of them.

"We, that is Neranians," his father said, taking his hand, "usually go through the equivalent of puberty at about the age of twenty. Human puberty takes years, Neranian puberty takes a few days. Normally we spend months preparing for it, but you were thrown in at the deep end. You made yourself a cocoon out of what was around you so that you could change in safety, then you melted it into the goo you were covered in when you were ready to emerge."

"Change?" Bill hadn't been able to see himself yet and he was suddenly very afraid.

His father immediately pulled him close.

"It's okay, Bill," his father told him, "it's mostly internal. I think you already found one of the external changes and you're going to have to pretend you've had another tattoo done along here," he felt a finger run up his neck, "but that's about all."

"What about Tom?" he asked, mind working fast. "He wasn't with me when I was walking and he didn't have any symptoms."

"He came into contact with some residue from your cocoon," his dad explained, "and because you're genetically identical it pushed him into the change without the build up. The people from Torchwood made him an artificial cocoon to keep him safe and he'll be fine. He's past the dangerous time now and he's just sleeping."

He let himself relax against his father's shoulder for a while and just soaked in the comfort the position gave him. This was a shock and he wasn't sure he could deal with it; he wished Tom had been awake. It was beginning to occur to him that waiting might have been a better idea.

"I never wanted you to have to go through this," his father said eventually, "I'm sorry it happened this way."

That bothered Bill.

"But would you have told us the truth?" he asked, pulling back and doing his best to see his father's expression.

"Your mother and I agreed that we'd tell you when you were twenty one," his dad said and Bill was almost positive he could hear complete sincerity. "We had the whole thing planned out, but it looks like we were beaten to it."

"What does it mean for us?" was his next question and glanced over at where he could now just about see Tom lying.

"I'm not quite sure," his father replied, "but the Torchwood people seem friendly enough. We have to find out who planted that device and what it was intended for and I'm helping them with that for now. You and Tom are going to need time to recover and adjust though, so I think we'll be staying here for now. Once Tom is awake and you're both feeling better then we can decide what to do."

It was all too much for Bill and he moved into his father's hug again. Everything was strange now and he hoped Tom would wake up soon, because Tom was the only thing that made him feel balanced and safe.

====

It took just about the time his dad had said it would for Bill's eyesight to come back so he could see almost normally. The first thing he had done was found a mirror and checked that what his dad had told him about looking the same was true, because he hadn't been able to shake that fear. When all had been normal, he had breathed a huge sigh of relief, and he had had to admit that he quite liked the scroll-like markings down the side of his neck. After he had reassured himself, he had returned to his bed, sat down and begun to wait for Tom to wake up.

Picking the pepperoni off the top of his eighth slice of pizza, he popped it into his mouth and chewed happily. It was cold now, but cold pizza was almost as good as hot and once he finished the meat he started on the cheese.

"That is totally disgusting," the sound of Georg's voice made him turn to where his friend had just walked through the door.

He and his father had spent some time talking and this was the first he had seen of any of the others since they had left.

"It's not," he said, putting another lump of tomatoey cheese into his mouth, "it's really good."

It felt a little awkward as he tried to work out what to say next; it wasn't every day you found out you were part alien and he had no idea how Georg or Gustav would be taking the news. Georg looked totally relaxed, but then Georg always looked like that.

"How are the eyes?" Georg asked, wandering in and perching on the edge of the bed.

"Almost normal," Bill replied, glad that at least one of them didn't seem to be ridiculously nervous, "everything's just a little fuzzy on the edges."

"Ah, so just like you've had one too many then," Georg said with a laugh, "or for you, one."

"Ha," he responded immediately, "I could drink you under the table any day."

"I think I better call your dad," was Georg's response; "now you're delusional."

Bill stuck his tongue out and then helped himself to some more cheese. He started with a smile, but it soon faded as his thoughts turned to more serious things. He looked at Georg who was sitting there as passive as ever and decided to take his courage in his hands.

"Are you okay with all this?" he asked, sounding a whole lot more nervous than he wanted to.

Georg gave him a smile, a small, friendly smile.

"Bill, I'm your friend," Georg said, looking him directly in the eye; "you could be a demon from hell and it wouldn't make any difference. You and Tom have always been a bit otherworldly anyway; should have spotted it years ago. The same goes for Gustav; we drew straws to see who got to come in here because we both wanted too, but your Dad didn't want you overwhelmed."

"Really?" he asked before he caught himself; he honestly couldn't imagine what it would be like to find out you were friends with an alien.

"Really," Georg promised with a nod, "but I think the more important question is are you all right will all this?"

Bill stuffed a bit of pizza base in his mouth so he didn't have to answer that one straight away.

"I think I'll feel better once Tom wakes up," he admitted eventually since he was still feeling more than a little shaky.

Together he and Tom has always been able to face anything and he was feeling somewhat isolated with his twin still dead to the world.

"Not stirred yet then?" Georg asked and Bill looked over at Tom's sleeping form.

The Torchwood team had set up an oxygen tent with some sort of humidifier and Tom was inside, lying on his side looking for all the world as if he was just taking a nap. Nothing had changed at all while Bill had been sitting there waiting and he was basically hoping Tom would wake up soon.

"Not even a blink," he said, dragging his eyes away and focussing back on the half eaten slice of pizza.

"Even Tom can't sleep for much longer," Georg told him with a supportive grin.

"Yeah," Bill said and tried to make himself believe it.

He really would be a whole lot happier once Tom opened his eyes.

"Mind if I?" Georg asked and pointed to one of the pizza slices left in the boxes.

"Fight you for it," Bill said, trying to lift his spirits, before pushing the box towards Georg.

Georg grinned before picking up a slice, folding it and managing to get about half of it in his mouth at the same time.

"Urg, and you call me disgusting," was Bill's only response to that.

Bill shook his head and went back to pulling apart his own piece.

They chatted about nothing for a while and Bill was very glad of the company, but after a few minutes he heard something and he lost all interest in Georg. He turned his head and zeroed in on Tom, who had just clumsily rubbed his nose and then fallen still again. His father had told him that Tom would wake up when Tom was ready and nothing short of a nuclear strike would work until then, and Bill hoped the movement was a sign Tom was coming out of it.

When Tom slowly rolled onto his back and made a little snuffling noise, Bill was off his bed and beside Tom's so fast his head almost span.

"Tom," he said quietly, placing his hands on the clear plastic tent, but not opening it yet.

"Um," Tom replied, clearly still mostly asleep.

"Tom," Bill tried again, well aware that Tom was only half conscious.

This time Tom frowned and Bill's heart leapt as his twin's eyes flicked open.

"Bill?" Tom sounded more than a little confused.

That was all Bill needed; he unzipped the tent and dragged Tom into his arms like he'd been wanting to do since the moment he'd woken up himself.

"Tom," was all he managed to say as he clung on and he lost most other thoughts in relief at having his brother back.

Tom's arms gripped him loosely back, but it was quite clear his twin wasn't quite with it.

"Bill," Tom's rather muddled voice said eventually, "I can't see."

He immediately drew back so he could see Tom's face.

"It's okay," he said, managing to get himself enough under control to reassure Tom, "it'll come back. Dad said it's perfectly normal."

As he spoke he saw his words spark something in Tom's head, because he saw several emotions flit across Tom's face.

"Dad appeared out of thin air," Tom said as if he didn't quite believe what he was remembering, "and ... and ... Dad ..."

"And Dad's an alien, which makes us half alien," Bill finished for him.

His Dad had told him what happened in the hotel room and he wasn't surprised that Tom looked kind of gobsmacked.

"I've been awake for an hour or so," Bill tried to explain, "and Dad gave me part of the explanation. Believe it or not, what happened to us is his version of puberty. How are you feeling?"

Several emotions travelled across Tom's face and he could tell that his twin was conflicted about the whole thing, but Tom was highly unlikely to admit that out loud.

"Like I really need a shower," was what Tom decided on in the end.

"At least you're not covered in goo," Bill said while looking over his shoulder and asking Georg to go find someone with a quickly flick of his eyes.

"Goo?" Tom asked.

"Yeah," Bill replied, trying to make his tone sound light, "thick, yucky goo. I was covered in it from head to toe. You got to miss that bit."

"Good," Tom said, "I feel sticky enough as it is."

Tom was only wearing a t-shirt and boxers, but both were plastered to him with sweat. It was easy to sympathise with Tom wanting to take a shower and he hoped his dad would arrive soon so he could just help Tom get on with it.

"They had you in a humid oxygen tent," Bill decided to give a little explanation himself, "to keep you warm. I did that all by myself with the cocoon."

"Yeah, I saw it," Tom said, holding his hands quite tightly, "scared the shit out of me."

"Sorry," Bill said, feeling suddenly guilty.

Tom gave him a momentary smile for that.

"Not exactly your fault," Tom told him, but the humour was overtaken by shock again pretty soon.

"It's okay, Tom," Bill said in little more than a whisper, "we're okay."

He prayed Tom wasn't going to crack up, because he just knew that if Tom went, he'd fall apart too. Squeezing Tom's hand, he tried to give reassurance, because if Tom couldn't cope then neither could he. For a moment he was afraid, but then he saw Tom's expression change and he saw strength there.

"Of course we are," Tom replied and squeezed his hand back, "when we're together we're always okay."

Bill almost sagged in relief and he turned when he heard someone coming through the door.

"Tom," his father said as soon as he was in the room, "how are you feeling?"

"He wants a shower and then we all need to have a talk," Bill said before Tom could reply.

For once he was going to look after Tom, and he knew Tom would get into a discussion if allowed, and things had looked far better after his shower. Being clean was definitely a confidence builder.

His father looked at him and obviously saw that this was not open for negotiation.

"That sounds like a very good idea," his dad wisely decided.

Tom had clearly heard the stubbornness in his tone as well, because there was no argument from his twin either.

End of Part 2

Chapter Text

No one at all chose to argue with Bill as he made sure everything was where it was supposed to be for Tom's shower and no one remotely suggested he shouldn't be the one helping Tom. This was a very good thing, because he was quite prepared to tear anyone to pieces who told him he wasn't allowed to be near Tom. Now Tom was awake, there was no way he was letting his twin out of his sight for a good few hours. He needed to reassure himself Tom really was okay.

He helped Tom into the shower and then, dumping his robe on the floor, followed. He simply couldn't bring himself to leave Tom's side and he turned on the shower, careful to make sure the temperature was comfortable. It wasn't as if they'd never seen each other naked before and Tom wasn't objecting, so Bill was pretty sure his twin wanted him close too.

"Can you see anything yet?" he asked, picking up the shower gel and passing it to Tom.

"Not a lot," Tom replied, glancing around as if try it out. "How long did it take you to get your sight back?"

"An hour or so," Bill replied, using his very working eyes to run over Tom as his twin began to use the shower gel, "it wasn't completely back to normal then, but as close as."

Tom's dreads were piled on the top of his head where Bill had very carefully tied them and he found himself watching the moisture run down his twin's neck. Tom had a very long, elegant neck and he caught himself admiring it with its new curving markings before he snapped himself out of it. It was really quite a weird feeling as he realised what he'd been doing and he put it down to raging hormones from alien puberty and tried to forget it.

"You wash your front, I'll do your back," he said, taking the shower gel after Tom finished pouring some out.

His twin just mumbled a reply and nodded, however, when his hands touched the back of Tom's shoulders his brother moaned and kind of melted into the tough.

"Oh god that feels good," Tom said as if he was giving his twin the most incredible massage, when all he was doing was rubbing the back of Tom's shoulders gently.

Bill didn't comment and just carried on what he was doing, since it felt strangely good to have his hands on Tom. He rubbed the shower gel into Tom's shoulders, then down his twin's back and Tom made appreciative noises all the way. By the time Bill reached his brother's arse, Tom seemed to have forgotten about washing himself and was just letting Bill do it.

Looking down at Tom's arse, he felt suddenly self conscious and skirted it, soaping Tom's hips instead. He felt kind of light headed as he tried to think straight and as he moved back up and slowly soaped Tom's arms it began to dawn on him that the sensations running through his body were not so innocent. The voice of reason at the back of his mind pointed out that he was getting hard, which was definitely not a usual reaction to his twin or another naked male for that matter.

He would have left there and then if it wasn't for the fact that Tom still couldn't see and the overwhelming need to help his twin was still very much in play. The noises Tom was making weren't helping and he almost asked Tom not to make them until he looked down and caught sight of the fact that Tom was hard as well.

That sent heat scorching through him and seemed to take away some of his reason at the same time. Before he realised what he was doing he stepped closer, not close enough for their bodies to touch, but close enough so he could reach round Tom. He was completely focused on Tom and, although he knew it wasn't a good idea, he began to soap Tom's front as he had done his twin's back. Tom didn't seem to mind in the slightest and made some more delicious noises.

Tom was thin, but there was wiry muscle over his slim frame and Bill found himself tracing over it with his fingers. When his hands ghosted over Tom's nipples Tom's moan went from appreciative to down right sexual and Tom leant back against him. It was far too late to do anything when Tom's arse bump his, by now, very healthy erection.

They both stilled in the suddenly awkward embrace and Bill felt Tom look down. The main thing was, even though part of him knew this was wrong, it felt so good and so right that he didn't want it to end. Before Tom could move away or say anything he ran one soapy hand down Tom's chest, over his twin's stomach and let his long fingers curl around Tom's hard cock. Tom relaxed back against him completely with a load groan, all resistance seemingly melting away.

The only person he had ever touched so intimately was himself, but his brain didn't seem to care and Tom wasn't complaining. He stroked Tom's cock slowly from tip to root, letting his fingers dance across his twin's balls as well and Tom just moaned some more. The way Tom was rubbing against him with small movements felt so incredibly good and, after a few moments of the wonderful sensations, he wanted more. As fast as he could, while still stroking Tom, he soaped his own cock, aligning himself with the crease of Tom's arse once he was done and rubbing against it. Now he had to moan as well and leant his face against Tom's neck.

He was in heaven; nothing mattered except the incredible feelings of arousal. It felt so right that at that moment he couldn't understand why they'd never tried this before. They fitted together so perfectly; it was like they were made for each other.

He played some more, his own arousal growing as they moved against each other and he almost needed to push Tom over the edge. Knowing what it had done to him he looped his spare arm around Tom's chest firmly and then he dipped the hand stroking Tom's cock further back. He knew the instant he found Tom's new addition by the way Tom lurched against him and gasped long and loud.

"Bill," Tom all but whined and he knew Tom wanted this as much as he did.

He braced Tom against him so that he could use one hand on Tom's cock and one hand on Tom's balls and the small, mysterious lump behind. Then he pushed himself flush to Tom's back so they were together, skin to skin all the way down and he stroked Tom's cock and glided a finger over the new organ at the same time. Tom's legs weren't really holding him up after that and Bill had all of his twin's weight. He could feel Tom trembling from head to foot and he knew it wouldn't be long.

It was little more than another two strokes and then Tom was bucking uncontrollably into his hand and moaning his name. The whole experience was so erotic that he didn't need anymore to push his own orgasm into being as Tom writhed against him. It was mind blowing, and wonderful and the most amazing moment of Bill's life ... until, that was, his higher brain began to switch back on and he realised what he had just done.

====

Gwen came out of the shower room as red as a cherry and Jack lifted an eyebrow at her.

"Get an eyeful?" he asked with a grin.

Gwen looked at him, opened her mouth, closed it again and then stared.

"Not exactly," she said, clearly embarrassed, "but I think those boys are closer than they're supposed to be."

Jack couldn't help grinning broadly again at the mental image that gave him.

"You pervert," Gwen said as if outraged, "they're brothers; they're not supposed to be doing anything like that no matter how pretty it might be."

"Oh contraire," Jack told her with a smirk, "they are Neranian twins, what they are doing is quite normal. I once met this pair on Solaris Ten, wow could they go."

"Jack!" Gwen looked scandalised.

Jack only laughed; he did so like to tease Gwen.

"Neranians are genetically sensitive," he decided to explain before Gwen died of righteous indignation overload; "they choose sexual partners by genetic compatibility. They don't have to be a breeding match to be attracted to another being, hence they are quite open about mixing and matching the sexes, but they do have to be a partial match. Family automatically have genetic incompatibility because having only a slight genetic difference registers as a no-no on a fundamental level, except when it comes to twins because they are genetically identical. Because two males or two females can't breed Neranian biology never closed the loop hole and being identical the biological compatibility is total. Under Neranian law twins are seen as the same entity when it comes to sex and breeding. They are literally irresistible to each other."

Gwen didn't seem to know how to react to that.

"So they're just following a genetic imperative?" she asked, still sounding a little outraged.

"Well that and teenage hormones," he said with a laugh, "they did just go through puberty after all."

He received an eye roll for that comment.

"You're still a pervert," Gwen said before walking off.

"I know," Jack replied with a laugh and then turned back to where he had just left Jorg.

The twins' father was sitting down having one of Ianto's special coffees when Jack walked in.

"Just me again," Jack said, walking in, "but I thought you might like the heads up; your boys are going to need the Neranian twin talk a little sooner than you might have expected."

Jorg looked shocked for a moment, but soon recovered.

"Oh," Jorg said clearly a little flustered, but not overly fussed, "I suppose I had better find them as soon as they're finished in the shower."

"Might be a plan," Jack said with a smile; "twenty first century humans have such narrow ideas."

He knew Neranians could be extremely sexually active after their puberty, but even he hadn’t expected Bill and Tom to move that fast. If they were that horny they might be interested in a little relief, which made him smile to himself even as he went back to what he had been doing.

====

Bill fell out of the shower breathing hard and trying to get his head round what he had just done. Tom was still recovering and he had literally just taken advantage of his brother and molested him. Yes it was obvious Tom had enjoyed it, but that didn't excuse what he had just done. If Tom hadn't been handicapped by the lack of sight he would have run from his twin in shame.

"Bill," Tom's voice called him back, "you didn't leave did you?"

"No," Bill said, but he could tell Tom wasn't comfortable with the situation either.

He turned and took Tom's arm, helping his brother out of the shower even though he wanted to be as far away as possible. He threw on a robe and then began to help Tom dry off. He couldn't abandon Tom, but he knew that what he had done was wrong, and so did Tom, and the fact that he was still incredibly attracted to his twin was beginning to freak him out. Picking up the other robe he helped Tom into it and tried to make himself think of anything else. A knock on the door actually made him jump.

"Boys, I'm coming in," he heard his father's voice and as the door opened he all but leaped away from Tom.

He couldn't let anyone know, especially not their dad.

"Ah, I see the guilt has set in," their father said and Bill could only look at his parent horrified.

They had been seen.

"It was my fault," he blurted out, since he couldn't bear the idea of Tom being blamed for this.

He was incredibly surprised when his father just smiled at him.

"No it wasn't," he dad said in a way that made Bill even more confused, "we need to have a little talk; you're just faster off the mark than I expected."

Bill realised he was edging back towards Tom without thinking about it and stopped himself; no matter what their dad was saying it couldn't be what he thought.

"Bill, go back to Tom, it must be killing you to stand over there," his father surprised him again, but he didn't move.

He was completely confused and since his instincts and his thoughts were in such conflict he had no idea what to do.

"Bill help Tom," his father said more firmly.

The world 'help' had him moving and he couldn't deny he felt a little better when Tom's hand was on his arm. His brain was in complete turmoil, but even with all the freakish things Tom was making him feel there was still comfort in that touch.

"What you’re both feeling is perfectly natural for you," their dad said with a sympathetic expression; "there's no need to be ashamed of it. I know you've both had 'the talk' a long time ago from the human angle, but now it's time for 'the talk' from a Neranian point of view. It's somewhat different."

Bill found himself moving closer to Tom despite himself, he had no idea what was coming next.

====

Looking at Bill, Tom couldn't blame his twin for being a little shell shocked; it seemed the Neranian idea of sex was a little different to human niceties. It did rather explain why their father had never been overly hung up about the subject, but the whole twin thing was a little much even for him. When the culture they had been brought up in was so adamant about certain things, the fact that their instincts and hormones were completely opposite was a little difficult to deal with.

His eyesight was almost back to normal as he watched Bill climb into some casual clothes and he felt a vague stirring in his loins just doing that. It was still a little odd; he had never even been attracted to a man before let alone his own brother, but he was hornier than he had ever been in his life.

"Are you just going to stare at my arse or are you going to get dressed?" Bill revealed he was paying more attention than Tom had thought.

"Hormonal stability," he countered, since that was one of the phrases their father had spent the last half an hour bandying around.

He was trying to lighten the mood, but everything was a little tense for that.

"Food," Bill countered, turning and giving a little smile that was so false Tom could see right through it even though his eyes weren't completely back to normal yet.

It was clear Bill was doing his best to adjust and Tom had to give his twin points for trying, but this was a little strange even for them. First they were part alien and then, to top that, they were hopelessly attracted to each other which, according to their father, was completely expected. It wasn't the easiest scenario to accept and it was clearly weighing on them both. Tom made a decision then and walked straight towards Bill, gathering his twin into a hug.

"We're okay," he said firmly, doing his best to sound supremely confident.

Bill was stiff in his arms for just a moment and then it was like Bill melted and he suddenly had all of Bill's weight on him. Bill's arms wound round him and clung to him and Bill face was buried in his shoulder and he realised with a start that his twin was shaking. He cursed the fact that his eyes weren't working properly because he had missed quite how close to breaking Bill was. Together they were far stronger than alone and they had come so very close to believing they had lost that.

He held on, determined to be the strength that Bill needed, because he knew Bill would be there for him when he needed it in return. Bill wasn't crying, but he knew his twin wasn't far off from it and he let himself play big brother, fighting down the attraction that was a little out of hand. This was all strange and so new and the only way they were getting through it was together.

====

His little episode, as he had labelled it in his head now, had made Bill feel much better, but he still wasn't really sure how to deal with everything. Hence he found himself sticking as close to Tom as possible even if he did feel a little silly doing it. He had learned to be the lead when it came to the band, but the whole situation had rather shaken him and he had fallen back into the role of when they had been small, that of following Tom around. The one thing that really kept him moving was pizza; he knew it was around somewhere, he could smell it and he was hungry again. According to their dad, Neranian adolescence took a lot of energy and being hungry was not unexpected.

When he saw all the people through the glass sides of the room they were heading to, he almost turned and ran. He wasn't sure he could deal with all the revelations and people at the same time. As if reading his mind, Tom simply grabbed his hand; not a gesture Tom was overly prone to and one that shocked him into moving forward. Everyone was in that room: David; Saki; Georg; Gustav; their dad and all the people from Torchwood and he had no idea what any of them knew or were thinking.

"Come in, guys," Jack opened, greeting them before they made it all the way; "there's yet more pizza."

Bill let Tom lead him into the room and he sat down when offered a chair, but he didn't do much else. Tom was still in first stage hunger, not yet having eaten anything since waking, and didn't seem to care about anything else now that there was food on offer, but Bill wasn't ravenous anymore, just slightly to the left of 'I could eat a horse' which meant he was thinking about other things as well. The moment Tom let go of his hand he felt isolated and he really didn't know what to do with himself.

"I'd get in while it's there," Georg said in a cheerful tone that belied the fact they were in a secret government base that dealt with aliens, "I've never seen anyone inhale pizza like Owen since you and Tom had that pizza eating contest in Frankfurt."

What he really wanted to do was tell everyone he wasn't hungry and disappear into a corner, but that would have been a bald face lie and everyone would have known it.

"Eat," his father said, handing him a paper plate with a large slice of pizza, "you're still about ten thousand calories away from what you need to have eaten today."

Bill took it, but wasn't sure it would fit past the lump in his throat. The shower incident had really shaken him, even more so than waking up, and he was feeling rather exposed. He was finally brave enough to glance around at everyone in the room, when he eventually met David's eye he wasn't sure what he was going to find. Discovering that two of your meal tickets were aliens had to have put a dent in the game plan. The concern he saw looking back at him rather made him sit up and take notice. He'd seen that look before, once in the early days when he'd been devastated about something a tabloid had decided to print about him and David had sat him down and made sure he was alright and again when he'd chosen to go on stage with a raging temperature so as not to disappoint the fans. It was then that it occurred to him that maybe he was underestimating his friends.

"We were just discussing where to go from here," Jack explained in what appeared to be the ever cheerful and cocky Jack way. "Dave, you okay with the old food poisoning story; we'll get you some falsified hospital records to help out?"

"Not a problem," David replied with a nod, "I'm meeting a couple of reporters at three. There was almost a riot yesterday when the band didn't show for the signing so some of the big papers are covering the story. With the way Bill reacted at the hotel no one is questioning it."

The fact that David seemed to be having no problem cooperating with a secret British intelligence unit was a bit of a shock to Bill and he absently took a bite of pizza as he tried to process it. It was almost as if they were discussing a normal day. He had had no idea what to expect from this point on, but this seemed too ordinary.

"The rest of you guys are going to be staying with us for a few days," Jack said with a smile, "just to make sure Bill and Tom here, are back to full speed. Wouldn't want you two jumping on each other in front of the cameras, even though that would make a very pretty front page."

Bill almost dropped his pizza as his face heated up and he stared as Jack all but leered at him. That wasn't quite how he'd expected the conversation to go.

"If you keep looking at my brother like that I might have to smack you," was Tom's comment between bites of pizza, which made Jack howl with laughter.

Tom raised his eyebrows and then went back to eating when Bill looked at him. Climbing under the table and refusing to come out was beginning to look like a great option as far as Bill was concerned. It seemed that everyone was privy to his irrational urges and it was hideously embarrassing; from almost blushing virgin to incest in one easy step.

"Even I know what he said," Gwen commented and Bill was pleased his brain seemed to be working well enough to process at least some English, "and I only speak two words of German."

"Sorry," Bill said, deciding that trying out his English was better than being embarrassed about his sudden sex life, "we're being rude."

Gwen gave him a stunning smile for that.

"No worries," she said, seemingly genuinely pleased, "more people in here speak German than English at the moment. I just happened to take French in school."

"I was always shit at languages at school," was the response from one of the two men he didn't recognise in the room.

"Me too," Bill admitted.

It was then that he noticed the Asian woman next to Gwen was watching him quite hard and when he turned to her she blushed and looked away. The man who had been speaking noticed as well and appeared to find it amusing. Bill couldn't help wondering why and it must have shown on his face.

"Tosh is a bit of a fan," Gwen said, also amused by the looks of things.

"A bit," the man responded, "did you see her wallpaper for the last month? She almost died when we entered that hotel room."

"Owen, stop being an arse," Gwen scolded.

Tosh was looking incredibly embarrassed, so Bill gave her a little smile when she finally looked at him again, which she seemed to appreciate.

"Okay," Jack took over again, this time in English and rattled off a whole load of things that Bill could only half understand.

It was something about finishing lunch and then doing something else that his father was involved in as well, but it was all a bit fast and complicated for Bill to figure out.

"How come you're just letting us go on as if nothing has happened?" he finally asked the question that was bothering him after everyone turned back to the food.

He had switched back to German because he really wanted to understand the answer.

"You're not trying to take over the planet or kill anyone, Nerania is a friendly power covered by interplanetary treaty, so other than a little paper work there's no reason to bother you," Jack said as if they were just talking about passports or something. "Technically your dad should have registered your birth, but given the lengths he went to, to try and make sure you were never bothered with any of this we can overlook that. As long as you don't decide to tell the world all about the whole thing we can leave the status quo."

That seemed far easier than some of the ideas the dark side of Bill's subconscious had been cooking up.

"If Bill told the world he was an alien, someone would just ask him what the fashions were like on Mars," Georg said with a laugh.

He would have thrown pizza at his friend for that comment, but he was too busy eating it so he glared instead.

"Screw you," he said in English, which seemed to amuse everyone.

End of Part 3

Chapter Text

Bill had been so incredibly happy when Gwen showed him and Tom to a room that had been designated as theirs and his suitcases were there. He had dived in to his cosmetics bag almost instantly and felt a hell of a lot better with properly cleansed skin and hair that didn't resemble straw. Tom had called him a girl at least twice while he had been sorting himself out, but as far as Bill was concerned the significant thing was that Tom had sat on the bed watching him the whole time.

"You weren't covered in goo," Bill said as Tom commented on his antics for the third time; "I think I'm going to be getting rid of the residue for days."

"You still care more about your skin than you do me," Tom whined, which made Bill turn from what he was doing.

His twin was looking at him with a familiar come-on smile that he had only ever seen directed at girls before. It was a little bit freaky and distinctly exciting to find it directed at him. He felt his breathing speed up and there was a familiar throb in his groin even as he realised that all Tom had done was look at him.

"I don't," was all he managed to say as his thoughts flew in all directions and he became totally flustered.

Tom had far more experience of sexual relationships than he did and he felt more than a little outgunned. It was weird, because in a way the fact that it was Tom looking at him like that made him feel safer, but it also sent bits of his brain with normal sensibilities into all sorts of tizzies. His human and alien heritage were directly in opposition to this: his alien genes were screaming this was wonderful, perfect and right; his human ideals were telling him it was bad, wrong and sick. The alien genes were winning, but it still left him feeling conflicted.

"Come and sit down," Tom said and patted the bed.

Bill just put everything down and did as he was told; right then he didn't want to have to think too hard. As soon as he sat down, Tom snaked an arm around his waist and pulled him close. Once it would have been simply a comforting gesture, but now it had overtones which sent excited messages all over his body. They were sitting side by side and Bill leant his head on Tom's shoulder and decided to just enjoy the closeness on all levels.

"I think," Tom said eventually, "that we need to get comfortable with this."

"How?" Bill asked, really not sure how to bring his head and his heart into line.

"I don't know about you, but I'm hornier..." Tom stopped for a moment, "I'm more attracted to you than I've ever been to anyone in my entire life. I want to touch you and never stop."

The change in Tom's tone and the choice of language told Bill everything he needed to know; Tom was being totally on the level.

"Me too," Bill admitted, feeling nervous, but excited at the same time. "Maybe we should ... um ..."

"Try some things," Tom finished the suggestion for him.

He turned then, so he could look into Tom's face and he gave a little nod. In the shower he had felt so bold, but it was the need that had driven him and now he was back to feeling nervous and unsure.

"Let's get comfy," Tom suggested with a small smile.

Bill just about managed to smile back and they moved onto the bed properly. Quite a large percentage of his brain wasn't sure he was ready for this, but the part that was, definitely had control. Balling up his courage, he looked into Tom's face and when he saw the love and need looking back, not even the scandalised part of his mind could argue anymore.

He leant into Tom, kissing slowly and carefully. All the feelings that kept jumping up to surprise him were rather overwhelming and he wanted to take this a little more gently than the shower. The complete need he had for Tom was not new, he had always needed his twin, but this angle of it was very different and it scared him. He was not overly obsessed with the physical, not like Tom, who always enjoyed the moment, and yet his hormones were completely out of control and urging him to do things. It was unbalancing to say the least and he did not want to give up control this time, not like he had in the shower.

He wanted to know and understand what he was doing and when Tom tried to push him onto the bed he resisted. Instead he pushed back and surprisingly Tom let him and when he had the guts to look into his twin's eyes again he saw understanding.

"Can I explore," he asked, even though he was almost certain Tom was ready to let him have whatever he needed.

Tom was the confident, sexual one, always had been, and Bill was suddenly glad of that.

"As long as you don't forget why you're exploring," Tom replied with a mischievous grin and a wiggle of eyebrows.

That made Bill smile and he couldn't help feeling a little better; Tom always knew how to put him at his ease.

"Did I forget in the shower?" he asked and raised an eyebrow of his own.

"Remind me," Tom said and there was definitely a glint in his twin's eye.

Bill was always up for a challenge, so he set about doing just that and it only took him a couple of minutes to realise that it didn't seem to matter where he touched Tom, it was how he touched his twin that was important. Around the nipples, once he'd dragged Tom's t-shirt off, Tom like firm touches that Bill thought might have even been slightly painful, and Tom had arched off the bed when he actually nibbled at one pink nub. Over the rest of his chest and stomach Bill found that Tom liked softer strokes; kisses and the lightest touch of nails, just this side of tickling. He spent quite a long time examining the ripple of muscles under Tom's smooth skin.

The more he touched, the more confident he became and it was a bit like in the shower; most other things didn't seem to matter anymore.

In many things Bill knew he could be very much focused on himself, but in this he was barely aware of his own body. Finding what Tom liked filled him with a delight he couldn't quite explain and he enjoyed every moment, not really taking any notice of how his cock was straining against his jeans.

"God, Bill," Tom all but panted when he set to work on the belt that kept Tom's ridiculously baggy jeans up.

Bill just looked up from where he was nuzzling at the skin where Tom's boxers peeked out from the top of the jeans. He smiled rather lazily and began to drag Tom's trousers and underwear downwards. When Tom's erection bobbed free, he smiled even more and swiftly removed Tom's clothes the rest of the way before kneeling between Tom's legs.

For a while he remained there, completely still, looking at Tom lying there. This beautiful sight was for him and him alone and he had never really understood what that could feel like before. Slowly he lay down so that his head was about level with Tom's groin. It made him blush a little, but he was beyond being coy about what he wanted. He wanted to touch and feel and understand and so he set about exploring some more.

Tom made lovely noises; he had heard them in the shower and, as he touched gently and carefully, Tom was making them again. He couldn't help it that his explorations all seemed to be in one area; he was fascinated. As curious pre-teens they had let each other look before and it wasn't all that different, there was just a small nub behind Tom's balls that hadn't been there before. It was a slightly bluish colour compared to the surrounding skin and was completely hairless and, before Bill really considered what he was doing, he reached out to touch.

"Oh ... nghhh ... fuck," was Tom's response and Bill looped his arm over Tom's leg so he didn't get kneed in the head.

Definitely the new most erogenous zone as far as Tom's reaction went. Out of curiosity Bill leant closer and just blew gently. When Tom shuddered, he smiled; definitely very sensitive. He went back to employing his finger.

"Ah ... Bill," Tom sounded rather desperate as Bill gently stroked the small nub, "I'm going to..."

He was going to show mercy and move on when Tom made a strangled noise and the little nub suddenly split. Their father had given them a brief rundown of what urges to expect and the basics of the whole genetic compatibility thing, but detailed anatomy had been saved until later. There had been something about the nub and reproduction that Bill had kind of missed, because he'd been rather stuck on the fact that he was forever going to be uncontrollably attracted to his twin, but now he remembered some of it.

Tendrils, their father had mentioned tendrils and now he knew what his father had meant, because he could see them. Small, translucent fronds had emerged from the nub which had split into three and the most incredible scent filled his nose. It was musky and perfumed and almost drug like in its intensity and Bill made a little moan of his own. He really had no idea what he was doing, but he wanted something and so he moved in, completely at the mercy of his hormones.

Taking Tom's cock into his mouth, he sucked, holding Tom down with his body weight and at the same time lightly ran a finger over the soft, downy tendrils. Tom managed to lift them both bodily off the bed and was panting so hard Bill was sure his twin was going to hyperventilate.

"Bill," Tom's voice was hoarse and squeaky and almost incoherent.

Bill just continued sucking, well aware that he really didn't know how to give a good blow job, but Tom didn't seem to be complaining. He ran his tongue stud lightly over the head of Tom's cock and then his twin was bucking into his mouth and warm liquid suddenly filled his mouth. He swallowed more from reflex than thought and the light tendrils clamped down on his finger as Tom simply writhed beneath him.

The taste was rather bizarre and Bill wasn't sure if he found it pleasant or not, but something about the whole thing felt absolutely right. So much so that he continued nursing gently on Tom's cock until the tendrils released his finger and Tom rather desperately hit him on the shoulder. He finally released his twin and slowly climbed up Tom's body until they were nose to nose.

"You don't play fair," Tom said with a satisfied smile, "who knew what you've been hiding all this time."

"You always bring out the best in me," Bill said and grinned.

This time when Tom tried to push him onto the bed, he let it happen and readily let his twin take the lead in the following kiss. Tom hummed into his mouth and Bill felt heat flush through him as he realised he was sharing the residue of what he had just been doing with his twin and Tom seemed to like it a lot.

"Did you like what you saw?" Tom asked, pulling back slowly.

Bill nodded even as he felt himself blushing now that he was the one under scrutiny.

"My turn," Tom said and then Bill found his t-shirt being lifted.

Tom had it half off him before his twin stopped lifting and he was stuck, so much so that he squeaked when Tom started on his jeans before finishing the shirt.

"Tom," he protested, since Tom had left him in just the right predicament so it would be incredibly difficult to free himself, especially without being able to sit up.

"Relax," Tom replied, "I just want you helpless for a while."

"At least get my head out," he all but whined, "I can barely breathe."

"Your wish is my command," Tom said a little too brightly as far as Bill was concerned.

Almost instantly Bill felt air round his nether regions and Tom had his trousers and his underwear off in one swift movement.

"One head out," Tom said in a rather triumphant tone.

"Tom," no matter how aroused he was, he was very close to losing it.

If he wrecked his shirt because of his brother he was going to be annoyed no matter how clever Tom turned out to be at sex.

"Okay, okay," Tom said with a laugh, "I know how much of a control freak you are."

Tom helped him out of the shirt and then threw it into the corner of the room.

"Next time," Bill said as Tom looked down at him, "ask."

A rather surprised expression appeared on Tom's face them and Bill just looked, letting his twin wonder exactly what he meant. The surprise didn't last long and then Tom's expression became mischievous, which made Bill worry just a little.

"Let's see how well you scream, Lover," Tom said and for a moment Bill's mind flipped out at the new term of endearment.

It made him feel warm and excited and worried and nervous all at the same time. He knew no one else would ever hear that term in connection with him from his brother's lips, because no matter what the truth was, modern society would never accept them like this. It made it even more special and made him feel almost as good as when Tom's fingers wrapped around his cock.

"Oh my god," was about the most sensible thing that came into his mind and out of his mouth as Tom dove in with enthusiasm.

Tom really didn't waste any time and Bill let one leg be lifted and pushed back as his twin went with a variation on a theme. Tom's fingers were on his cock and Tom's tongue was on the sensitive little nub behind his balls. The idea that they were going to have to work on stamina flitted through his mind, but his mental capacity had been reduced to the words "more" and "yes" so it wasn't a very coherent thought.

He wrapped his fingers in the pillow and did his best not to sound completely ridiculous as intense pleasure lanced through every nerve. It wasn't long before he felt an almost familiar build up, but slightly in the wrong place. It was amazing and intense and he couldn't have stopped what was about to happen if he had wanted to. He could feel pressure growing and growing, but not just in his loins and the second one was growing faster than the first. It wasn't hard to know what it was, he'd seen Tom have the same reaction, but it was quite incredible to go through it.

When the first release came he couldn't help himself, he reared off the bed, just as Tom had done and he only just stopped himself yelling Tom's name at the top of his voice. As he landed back on the bed Tom looked up at him, a very pleased grin in place and Bill couldn't make a coherent thought, let alone speak, so they just looked at each other.

Tom was playing with him with both hands now and Bill's head was beginning to spin. The feelings he was getting back from what had to be the tendrils were weird, but incredibly powerful and erotic and there was no way he was going to last much longer. He knew why Tom had come so fast; it was impossible not to. When Tom took him into his mouth the warm heat was too much and then he did yell Tom's name as he bucked up and let his orgasm rip through him.

Having only been on the receiving end of orgasms that involved his own hand it was a new and incredible experience. It took over his whole body and his mind couldn't focus on anything except the overwhelming sensations. All he could do was lay there gasping as he rode out the end of the most incredible orgasm of his life.

Tom crawled up the bed and lay down beside him looking far too pleased with himself, but Bill was too content to really care. He was beginning to see why Tom always raved about sex.

"You look like you just discovered enlightenment," Tom joked quietly.

"I think I did," Bill replied once he'd gathered enough brain power to do so.

He turned his head to look at his twin.

"I'm never going to stop wanting to do that," he said and quite frankly he meant it.

Tom grinned.

"I knew you'd be as bad as me once you finally got going," his twin quipped with a laugh.

Bill wiggled his eyebrows; he wasn't going to deny it. Relaxing onto the bed, he stared at the ceiling and enjoyed the afterglow. They were going to have to rejoin the world outside eventually, but he liked the feeling of Tom lying next to him and for a while he wanted to stay put.

Peace lasted for almost ten minutes, then there was a knock at the door.

"Guys, you in there?" it was Gustav's voice.

Bill looked at Tom, Tom looked back.

"Just a minute," Bill said at exactly the same time Tom did and then they were both scrabbling for their clothes.

"Where did you throw my boxers?" he hissed as he searched for the clothes he had been wearing.

"They should be with your jeans," Tom said while hopping on one foot trying to put his own trousers and boxers back on at the same time.

"They're not," Bill complained, pulling his t-shirt on and scanning the floor for other items.

He spotted a small black heap of material over by the wall and went to grab what he hoped was his underwear. Obviously the boxers and jeans had separated in flight. He struggled into both garments, but gave the belt up as a bad lot since Tom was almost done.

"Ready?" Tom asked as Bill did his best to look like he hadn't just been having sex.

"Yeah," Bill decided as he smoothed his hair down and hoped it wasn't too obvious.

As Tom went to the door he pulled his laptop out of his bag and tried to look nonchalant.

"Hi guys," Tom greeted, having opened the door, "come in, we were just sorting some stuff out."

Both Gustav and Georg walked in and Bill tried his very hardest not to blush and assume both his friends knew exactly what he and Tom had been doing. Unfortunately Georg took one look at him and burst out laughing.

"One guess what ‘stuff’ you two were sorting out," Georg said and Bill felt his face heating up even as he couldn't work out what the hell had given them away.

He must have looked thoroughly confused because Gustav took pity on him.

"Your t-shirt's on inside out," his friend said in an almost sympathetic tone.

Even Tom was smirking a little as Bill looked down and realised that Gustav was right. The faded pattern on the front was in fact the inside of the print on the shirt. He felt like curling into a small ball and disappearing in an embarrassed heap.

"So what if we were," Tom came to his rescue with a could-care-less tone, "you're just insanely jealous that both the good looking ones in the band are taken ... by each other."

"You keep believing that," Georg responded in kind and Bill breathed a sigh of relief.

Still feeling very embarrassed, he pulled his t-shirt over his head and pulled it back on the right way in.

"I think I'm just jealous of your room," Gustav changed the topic of conversation; "we're in what I can only describe as cells and you get this. I think we need to complain."

"Because the décor in here is so pleasant," Tom countered.

Bill didn't mind the room, but it wasn't exactly luxurious and they were definitely underground. He wasn't clear on how come Torchwood happened to have a spare room with a double bed, but he thought it might have had something to do with some quick arranging by their father.

"At least you get a door that isn't glass and won't lock you in if it closes," Georg pointed out.

"You'll have to be really careful Tosh doesn't sneak in when you're asleep and molest you," Bill said, deciding to join in the conversation.

Georg just grinned at that.

"Oh, I don't think I'd mind that," his friend said with a very dirty smile.

Bill laughed; if he hadn't been so embarrassed he would have seen that response coming.

====

Jack was somewhat frustrated with the progress on finding out where the alien device that had started everything had come from and what it's real purpose was. So far all they knew about it was what it had done. There were no markings on, no script of any kind and the only discernable points on the outside were the lights. There was no obvious way to open it and everything Tosh and Jorg had tried had resulted in nothing.

"Some sensor systems use meyons to paint an area for greater accuracy," Jorg said, standing up straight from where the Neranian had been examining the device again. "I've never seen this particular design, but it's probably generic anyway. From what you've said about the rift, it's quite possible that it was just spat out."

That was looking more and more likely, but Jack didn't like coincidences and there was one very big one staring him in the face.

"And it was just dumb luck that someone who could be affected by meyon particles was in the area when it popped up?" Jack asked, not happy at all.

"I admit that is a rather large coincidence," Jorg said, turning to look at him, "but no one could have known about the boys. I didn't even report home about them and I used a DNA resequencer to make sure everything except their human genes were buried. It is highly unlikely that anyone using meyon particle scanning techniques could have picked up any latent readings."

"Unless they weren't using them for scanning, but to undo the genetic sequencing," Jack pointed out.

That was the other effect meyons could have; they tended to mess with certain genetic engineering techniques. Jorg shrugged.

"Have you had any reports of activity?" Jorg asked.

That was the problem with the second theory.

"Nothing," Jack admitted; "the long range scans have picked up nothing unusual at all."

Either they were dealing was someone who was very good at not being seen or it really all was just a bizarre coincidence.

"Then I think it's time to bring in the big guns," Tosh said and produced a very nasty looking laser drill.

So far they had been attempting to figure out the device without doing anything too drastic; when Tosh brought out the laser drill all bets were off. It had only ever resulted in one explosion so Jack just stepped back and let her at it. Why people just couldn't write their names on their property he had no idea.

====

They might only have been awake for three quarters of the day, but by about nine o'clock, Bill's mind was on going back to sleep. It seemed all he'd done that day was eat, sleep and have sex with a bit of talking in between, but he felt like he'd done three concerts in a row. Clearly the whole alien puberty thing was hard on the body and sleep seemed like a really good idea. Besides which, he knew that if he didn't sleep his father would just try and feed him some more and he was beginning to hate pizza. The next day they were definitely going to have to try a different form of junk food.

"Left," Tom said and he looked up to realise he had been about to walk straight past their door.

Possibly he was already mostly asleep, his body just hadn't had the memo yet and so was still walking around.

He threw his tooth brush and towel onto the nearest chair, pulled off his t-shirt and threw it in a random direction, stopped in front of the bed and shoved his jeans downwards after undoing the button and zip. Stepping out of his jeans, shoes and socks, all at the same time he lifted the blanket on the bed, climbed under it and lay down.

His mind tried to shut off immediately, that was until another warm body snuggled up behind him and parts of his brain suddenly snapped back on.

"You're freezing," Tom said quietly, moulding against him like it was the most natural thing in the world.

"You're not," Bill mumbled back as Tom's body heat seeped into him like a wonderful tide.

Bits of Torchwood were not exactly warm and Bill didn't exactly own many huge jumpers, so he'd been wandering around in his normal t-shirt. When he was on the move he didn't usually feel the cold, but now that he was lying down it was clear he was somewhat chilled.

It felt wonderful being snuggled up to Tom and he revelled in it. The whole being so close to his twin thing still made part of his mind go wibble and refuse to think about it, but most of him was definitely on board with the idea. There was no arguing with Neranian instincts and thinking too hard would just drive him potty, so he had decided to simply enjoy it. Feeling warmer already and hence sleepier again, he snuggled back against Tom some more and prepared to doze off.

"Will you stop wriggling," Tom said in a sleepy mumble, "or I'm going to have a problem that neither one of us is awake enough to deal with."

"I'll sort it in the morning," he replied, or at least tried to, but it probably would have taken a code breaking team to decipher it and smiled into the pillow.

It had been a hell of a strange day, but there was definitely an upside to the whole alien angle. He fell asleep wondering how long it would be before they could get back to their normal routine and he dreamed about little green men as their backing singers.

====

Secret bases turned out to be quite boring after you had fed the pterodactyl and stared at the strange things on display more than once. Hence Bill found himself hanging out with Ianto. Jack was busy with his dad; Tosh just blushed at him all the time; Owen and Gwen were out; Georg and Gustav would not stop bitching about the fact that they were sleeping in cells, which just left Ianto to talk to. Tom was with them too, but that kind of went without saying at the moment.

Ianto didn't seem to mind being used to practice English either and the Welshman spoke decent German, which helped a lot and there was a serious sense of humour hidden under the smart suit and tie. He also found it adorable the way Ianto clearly worshiped Jack.

"So how long have you and Jack been together," he asked as he sipped the most wonderful coffee he had ever tasted.

Ianto kind of stiffened and blinked at him, which was odd and he wondered what he'd said.

"I ... um ... that is," Ianto seemed to be at a loss as to what to say. "We're that obvious then?"

Bill lifted an eyebrow; he might be a little slow with his own relationships, but he was damn good with other peoples'.

"Bill can spot a couple at two hundred paces," Tom said and grinned; "for the record I just thought Jack flirted with everything that moved."

"He does," Ianto admitted with a small smile. "If it has a pulse Jack will flirt with it; I think it's a hardwired response."

"But you're keeping him on the straight and narrow?" Bill asked, wondering how he would react now if Tom started flirting with someone else.

Ianto nodded. It wasn't as if they'd known each other all that long, but Bill could tell that Ianto was pleased to have someone to talk to. He had the sneaking suspicion that Ianto was usually the one everyone else told their life stories to.

"We used to have a casual thing," Ianto said with a somewhat fond smile, "but then something really bad happened and I thought I'd really lost him; then he vanished for a few days and when he came back he was different. Still the same Jack on the outside, but more focused underneath, more committed, to everything really: to me; to the team. He still hasn't told us what happened while he was gone."

Ianto's tone was contemplative and they all fell into silence for a while. Bill didn't quite know what to say.

"Bet he's good in bed," Tom said suddenly and Bill hit him for it, but Ianto actually laughed.

Tom seemed to have read the situation better than he had.

"Oh yes," the Welshman said, "you can be sure of that and I think he'd still shag anything with an available orifice, but now he'd take me along too."

Bill had to laugh as well. He was formulating another question when something dragged his attention away.

"What was that?" he asked as he heard a most peculiar noise.

"What was what?" Ianto asked, seemingly oblivious.

"That," Tom said as the noise occurred again.

Bill looked at Tom and his twin looked back as Ianto again looked blank.

"The sound like something tearing," Tom said and it wasn't quite how Bill would have described it, but it did make sense.

The conversation probably would have continued if at that moment their father had not come running from the direction of the lower levels.

"Tom, Bill," their dad called in a tone that sent chills down Bill's spine; there was real fear there, "we have to go."

Their father's tone was so urgent that Bill was on his feet in moments and ran out into the main area. There was a third repeat of the noise and it was really weird; to Bill it was almost as if he felt the sound rather than heard it.

Three figures appeared in different parts of the base at the same time. They were all tall and covered from head to foot in armour; Bill couldn't even see any eyes on the one he looked at. He went cold as some instinct told him that these people were the enemy; that they were very unfriendly.

Suddenly his dad was running into the centre of the room waving his arms and yelling in a language that Bill had never heard before. One of the invaders lifted their arm and Bill's eyes focused in on a device in the person's hand. It didn't really look like a gun, but Bill knew a weapon when he saw one and he couldn't believe what he was seeing. A blue beam erupted from the device and lanced straight at his dad and all he could do was watch.

Bill's mind point blank refused to believe what he was seeing as his father fell backwards against one of the desks. It was just impossible; an alien had just shot his dad and Tom screamed the denial that was lost somewhere in Bill's shock. The armoured alien lifted the gun again and Bill just stood there as Tom dived towards their father and the enemy took aim. A second bolt of blue light shot from the gun and Tom yelled something, throwing out a hand. Amazingly the energy beam seemed to bounce off something invisible and skittered into the wall.

Another of the invaders took aim at Tom this time and Bill's world slowed right the way down as two of the enemy pointed weapons at his twin. Tom wasn't even looking in the right direction to see one and, when a bolt clipped the back of Tom's leg, sending him sprawling to the floor, Bill just reacted. There was danger to his family and his friends and something inside of him simply exploded.

It was like an atom bomb going off in his chest as energy burst into his cells, travelling up his arms as if they we conduits and he threw up his arms. His hands were literally glowing, but he barely noticed as white light ripped from the tips of his fingers and lanced with uncanny accuracy straight at the enemy. Every thing in the room was suddenly remote as if he'd taken a step back from it and all that mattered was the safety of his family and friends.

Two of the enemy were crumpled heaps and that left only one standing and he lifted his hand, fingers radiating white light. There was no doubt in his mind as he looked at the armoured helmet; for that instant he felt perfectly calm as the energy played through him and he prepared to defend his own. It was like a frozen moment in time almost as if reality had come to a grinding halt.

What broke it was an ear splitting noise that filled his head and made him want to scream and the invaders vanished as quickly as they had come. A small part of Bill was furious that his opponents were gone, but the rest was just reeling in shock as with the danger went the strange energy running through him. It was like a switch had flipped on when the invaders had hurt Tom and off when they had gone and Bill really couldn't comprehend what had just happened.

He looked over to where his father and Tom were thankfully moving and then, almost as an afterthought, began to crumple to the floor as his body decided it was time to shut down.

End of Part 4

Chapter Text

"Bill," Tom called out and pulled both legs under him even though it hurt like hell.

He could feel blood running down his right leg and it was as if someone had rammed a knife into his thigh, but there was nothing that was going to stop him getting to Bill. His twin was lying face down on the floor and wasn't so much as moving. Part of him wanted to stay with his dad, but most of him was panicking about Bill and he half ran, half limped as fast as he could to where Bill was sprawled.

"Bill," he yelled, as if shouting it would make Bill react, but his twin didn't shift.

He fell to his knees beside Bill and pulled his brother into his lap. He was hoping for a sign, a moan or a blink, but Bill remained completely unresponsive in his arms. It was a very long couple of seconds before he managed to identify any signs of life from Bill at all and it was undoubtedly the worst moment of his life.

Cradling Bill in his arms, he cupped his twin's face and looked for anything that would tell him Bill was okay. He had just seen his father nearly killed and Bill do something that was straight out of a movie and now Bill wasn't responding at all and he wanted to panic and demand someone fix the universe and put it back to when things made sense.

"Bill," he said, just as urgently, but more quietly this time.

His whole focus was on Bill, looking for the tiniest indication that he had been heard. He needed a sign from Bill or he felt like he was going to go mad and he was so occupied that when a hand landed on his shoulder he almost jumped out of his skin. He glanced up to find Jack looking at him very seriously.

"Let me have him," Jack said, meeting his eyes completely with a calm confidence that helped hold back the edges of panic in him.

He had always looked after Bill, never letting anyone else take care of his twin before he did, but, when Jack moved to take Bill, he let him. There was something about the expression deep in Jack's eyes that made it okay and, although he kept hold of Bill's hand, somehow it was okay to let Jack take charge.

"Owen," Jack said as the older man arranged Bill on his lap.

Tom was kind of shell shocked as he watched Owen give Bill a very quick examination and he barely registered when his father knelt down beside him.

"His pulse is strong, but very slow," Owen said after a few moments; "I can't see any obvious injuries."

"His metabolism was only just recovering from the cocoon," Tom heard his father say; "expending that amount of energy will have pushed him into shock."

The panic began to rise again and, as if Jack could read his mind, the older man looked at him again. There were no hollow words of reassurance, just calm, clear support.

"I'll get my bag," Owen said and stood up; "we need to wake him up."

Bill's hand was cold in his and it was as if he could feel the slow ebb of life in his twin. He had never been the religious type, but he was praying then.

"Come on, Bill," Jack said, patting the side of Bill's face gently, "you don't want your dad and brother to worry, so how about you open your eyes."

For some reason Tom actually took comfort in the way Jack was speaking and it was only when Owen reappeared, syringe in hand, that he realised Jack had been doing a good job of distraction. Owen had lifted Bill's arm and injected his twin with something before he really recognised what was going on.

"He should start reacting in a couple of seconds," Owen said when Tom found himself glaring at the man for daring to do something to his twin.

It was irrational, but it seemed to help keep him from losing it completely.

When he felt Bill's fingers flex just slightly in his own, he forgot everything else and looked down.

"Atta boy," Jack said and Tom saw Bill's features move just a little, "time to wake up, Bill."

All Tom could do was hang on to Bill's hand and watch, but with every breath Bill took and every tiny move his twin made, his panic was receding. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry as Bill began to come back.

====

Bill heard someone moaning.

"Yeah, that's it," he heard another voice say, "come on, Bill, back you come."

There was some more moaning, which was annoying, and it was quite a shock when his brain turned on enough for him to realise he was the one making the noise. The shock was short lived, however, when the most blinding headache wiped it away; then his consciousness caught up with what his body already knew and was moaning about.

"Bill, can you hear me?"

It was badly accented German and it sounded like Owen.

"If you can, open your eyes."

He did his best, he really did, but the momentary flash of light carved a path of destruction straight to the centre of his brain and he really just wanted to give up and let go.

"No you don't."

Something that smelt truly disgusting was shoved under his nose and he tried to move away.

"Open your eyes."

This time it was a command and his brain was far too fuzzy to let him just ignore it. Letting in the light really, really hurt as his head pounded and his optic nerves screamed at him, but he managed it for a few seconds.

"Good boy," Owen said, this time in English, but Bill managed to grasp the patronising phrase.

If there was one thing he really hated, it was being talked down to and that managed to spur him on to opening his eyes again, for a little longer this time. He tried to point out that he was no one's 'Good boy', but all he managed was a mumble.

"Keep it up," that was Jack's voice, in perfect German this time, "you're almost there, kid."

Somehow, when Jack referred to him like that it didn't seem so bad.

"Is he okay?" Tom's voice brought him back a little more.

Owen said something rapidly in English that he couldn't understand.

"His system is still in shock," it seemed Jack was translating, "but he's coming back. Now will you let Owen look after that leg?"

It was at that point that Bill remembered something about why he had passed out and he managed to open his eyes enough to actually see something.

"Tom," he said, well at least tried to say as he forced his mixed up senses to come into line.

He was being held in a sitting position with someone behind him and several people gathered around in front of him. He needed to know Tom was okay and just a voice wasn't enough, but his body seemed to be slightly misconnected to his brain at that moment and his attempts to find Tom were very clumsy.

When arms wound round him and the familiar scent that his brain knew was Tom filled his nose, he was so relieved he was almost ready to cry. Tom seemed to be clinging to him as firmly as he was clinging to his twin and it made him feel better in so many ways. He really didn't care what else was happening or why exactly he was lying on the floor, all he was interested in was the fact that Tom was there and seemed to be okay.

It was quite a long time before he even considered loosening his hold on Tom, but finally reality did start to make itself known. He realised he was leaning into Tom's chest with his arms around his twin's waist and Tom was holding him. Someone else had a hand on his back and he remembered there had been many other people around him. Still reluctant to let Tom go, but knowing that he couldn't stay this way forever, he opened his eyes and tried to get his bearings.

The first thing he saw other than Tom's shoulder was his father, looking at him with relief and concern in his gaze. His thoughts began to tumble over themselves then and everything that had happened returned to his head at the same time. It was confusing to say the least and shocking and he didn't know what to do.

Tom helped him as he reached for his father's hand; it seemed he needed to confirm everything he saw with his eyes with touch at the moment.

"They shot you," he said, looking at his dad and not really understanding.

"I have a body shield," his father said, clearly understanding his confusion; "it can absorb one blast."

A thousand questions as to why his dad would have such a thing tried to form in his head, but he was feeling too woozy, so all he could do was accept it. He really hoped that things would start making sense again soon. Moving again he pressed against Tom, at which point he heard a small grunt of pain. He was about to try and figure that out when the option was taken out of his hands.

"Okay, that's it," Jack sounded very calm, controlled and not in the least bit cheerful, which made Bill take notice; "Tom, Owen is going to look at that leg. Gwen, you and Ianto take Bill somewhere more comfortable."

"He mustn't sleep," Owen said before that could go any further.

"Boardroom then," Jack decided quickly. "Jorg, you and me are going to have a little talk and when everyone is in one piece we’re all going to have a discussion to figure out what the hell is going."

No one even tried to argue with Jack.

====

There were four empty cans of Red Bull sitting in front of him and he still felt like he was half asleep. Not that anyone would let him drop off, which was incredibly annoying, because a nice nap was just what he felt like. He had been assured that everyone was okay, but he had yet to see his father and Tom was off being seen to by Owen while he was sitting in the board room being watched like a hawk by Gwen. What they thought would happen if he went to sleep he had no idea, but everyone assured him it would be a bad idea.

"There is no choice," he heard his father's voice and looked over to where everyone appeared to be arriving, "I have to take the boys and leave."

"Your ship is in Germany," Jack pointed out, clearly unhappy with the idea, which at least put Torchwood's leader in agreement with Bill, "and if you use your teleport device, which, by the way, is illegal, they'll find you straight away."

Bill knew his brain was working a little slowly, but he knew for a fact he had not been in on any conversation about leaving and he really didn't fancy it. He had a nasty suspicion that "leaving" in this case did not mean a quick hop across the Atlantic for a holiday until things died down.

"I'm not leaving," he said once he managed to kick his brain into gear.

"Neither am I," when Tom appeared, limping, but otherwise whole and agreed with him at the same time, Bill felt much better.

He felt much better in general when Tom came and sat down beside him. There was a large blood stain on Tom's jeans and a pretty large hole in the material as well through which Bill could see bandages, but Tom gave him a reassuring look before he could launch into a thousand questions.

"We have to leave," their father insisted; "the Sesscar will not stop until we are dead or gone."

"But Bill kicked their arses," Georg pointed out.

"Which I should never have let happen."

Bill didn't really understand, but his father looked very pained by that thought.

"Why?" he asked; the whole situation just wasn't making sense.

"Good question," Jack agreed; "everyone take a seat, we're going to get a full explanation before we decide on anything."

His father looked defeated at that, but Bill was pleased when his dad actually sat down.

"What's going on, Jorg?" Jack asked in a no nonsense tone.

Bill noticed that the conversation was in German, but Ianto had taken up a position at a terminal and was typing it in and the computer was translating it for the other members of Torchwood on the fly.

"The Sesscar and the Neranians have been at war for eight hundred years," Bill listened to his dad's explanation; "since before the Sesscar were truly space going. They had short range craft and our peoples were in dispute about one of the planets in their solar system that we colonised before they left their homeworld."

"But I thought Neranians were pacifists," Tom sounded confused.

"We are," their father said with a nod, "it was the war with the Sesscar that made us that way. They are a warrior people and so were we. Our home planet was once a very hostile environment and as such we developed certain defences. In battle we used to use bladed weapons and ourselves."

"So you can do what I did too?" Bill asked, since it was kind of bothering him.

He was disappointed when his father shook his head.

"We evolved," was the reply that made him feel very off balance, "or rather we realised we were beginning to. We were in the middle of a bloody war and we were about to commit genocide and as a race we came to our senses. We stopped the fighting, we withdrew and we concentrated on setting up impenetrable defences around our home planet. Some of our people were being born without the ability to use their own energy and at first they were viewed as handicapped, but it was finally realised that they were gentler as well. Our scientists researched the phenomenon and used genetic engineering to breed out the aggression within two generations. We declared unilateral peace and set our energies to building and exploring rather than fighting."

"You engineered out the warrior instinct in your whole race?" Jack sounded incredulous.

Bill didn't know what to think as his father nodded.

"We realised we were about to destroy something which could never be rebuilt," his dad said, "and we decided en masse that we could not let that happen. Unfortunately we did not take into consideration the Sesscar's reaction. They believed we ran away because we are cowards and when they developed long range craft they came after us. By then our home planet was impenetrable; no weapon can be taken there and our people just watched them as they tried to attack us. They went after our people on other planets and we just ran, which made them believe they were right about us. They hate us for that and every diplomatic solution we have tried has been thrown in our faces. So they have made it their business to hunt us across the universe. If they find us, we run."

"And you neglected to mention them before, because?" Jack did not sound happy at all.

"I had no reason to suspect this had anything to do with them," his father said, face white as a sheet and clearly regretting not having said something earlier. "The device you found is not Sesscar design; they have never been known to use meyon technology; and their approach this time does not fit any modus operandi I have ever heard of for them. I considered it, but it seemed so ridiculously remote that I dismissed it. Most Neranian technology is designed to hide us from the Sesscar; it seemed impossible to me that this could be anything to do with them."

"And yet they found you here anyway?" Jack said; clearly not overly impressed.

His dad shook his head and Bill finally put the pieces together.

"They found us," he said quietly.

"As I said, I have defences," his father said, seemingly very apologetic, "we have had a long time to learn to hide and I thought by suppressing their Neranian heritage the boys would be safe. I must have been wrong. I've never heard of the Sesscar using meyon particles before, but they must have detected something and set off the device to find out more. They probably think Bill and Tom are explorers like me, just hiding on this planet."

"But if the warrior part was bred out of the race," Tom voiced what was bothering Bill as well, "how come Bill could do those things and what the hell did I do?"

Looking at the faces around the table everyone else wanted to know the answer to that question too.

"Hybrids," Jack said as if that explained everything.

"And what is that supposed to mean?" Bill asked as his father just nodded.

"The human race is not pacifist," Jack took over, "at a fundamental level we're vicious bastards and we rely on our higher brains to stop us and trust me, I've seen it, we're going to be that way until the end of the universe."

Bill didn't even try to figure that one out.

"You two are a combination of Neranian and human," Jack continued, "and it seems the human part has bred back in what they bred out."

"And more," their dad said quietly.

Bill looked at his father rather sharply.

"What Bill did was far more spectacular than our last generation of warriors was capable of," his dad said, "and I've never seen what Tom did before. I believe it is a matter of the sum of two parts being greater than either whole."

Banging his head against the desk and hoping the last few days were a dream felt like a really good idea to Bill.

"Then why leave?" Tom asked, obviously thinking far more clearly than him. "If we fight they might give up."

"They won't give up until they’re dead or we're dead," their father said, "and then their last act will be to call for reinforcements. We have to run."

"Where to?" Tom asked.

"Home," their dad said simply, "that's where we always run. In a few years we could come back, once they've given up."

"We are home," Bill said as the whole idea made him go cold.

Simply up and leaving wasn't just frightening, it felt down right wrong.

"They will not stop," his father tried to insist.

"Then we'll fight them," Bill said with a vehemence that even surprised him. "A bunch of armoured lunatics is not making me run away from my friends, my family and everything I've been working for my whole life."

He looked at Tom and his twin just nodded; they were in agreement.

"We'll figure something out," Jack said firmly and then began speaking in rapid English to his team.

Bill really wasn't paying attention, since he had his eyes locked with his father; he knew they would never agree about this.

====

"Bill, no napping," Gustav said and waved a cup of coffee under his nose.

Bill glared at his friend, but took the coffee anyway.

"How could one little nap hurt anything?" he asked, more than a little petulantly.

Gustav stood there with his hands on his hips and sighed.

"Your system is depressed," his friend began in a bored, heard it all before tone; "and if you sleep there is a slight possibility you will go into shock again. You have to stay awake until your body has had a chance to recover."

It was the fourth time Gustav had repeated the same thing for him and he didn't like it any more this time than before. He felt fine apart from being dog tired, well, and the dull headache, and the stubborn, utterly irrational part of him was sure that forty winks wouldn't do him any harm at all. There was a point he could push himself to and be fine, but after that if he was over tired he became grumpy and unsociable, and he was very much past that point now.

"Want to play chess or cards?" Gustav offered.

Bill just about managed to not growl back. He wasn't sure how Gustav had drawn the short straw of baby sitting him while everyone else talked about what the hell they were going to do about the Sesscar, but it had to be a shit job. Even he could see that in his current state. His father had decided that he had had enough stress for one day and that he needed to rest and Tom had ganged up against him as well, so he hadn't had much choice. Hence everyone else was off planning things and he was stuck being tired and moody with Gustav while not being allowed to sleep.

"I could get your laptop for you," Gustav suggested in a patient tone.

Acting like a five year old wasn't exactly fair, but it was making Bill feel a little better and he shook his head sulkily. What he wanted to do was sleep or be in on what everyone else was doing and if he couldn't do either of those he was going to be a complete bitch about it. He sipped his coffee and glared at the room in general in a very annoyed manner.

"Did it hurt?" Gustav's question caught him off guard when it came a minute or so later.

His friend had sat down next to him and he turned so they were looking at each other.

"Did what hurt?" he asked, brain very slow and unhelpful in letting him figure out what Gustav was on about.

"The whole Emperor Palpatine routine," Gustav replied and did a weird hand action that Bill could only guess was meant to be a recreation of what he had done earlier.

Gustav was usually the one who observed rather than coming right out and asking things straight away, so Bill was a little surprised by the direct question.

"No," he said as he thought about it; "not really. Well I don't think it did. It was kind of irrelevant at the time."

It was really difficult to explain.

"So you don't remember?" Gustav asked.

Bill shook his head; he remembered it very clearly.

"It's not that," he tried to explain; "I remember doing it, but it was like I wasn't paying attention to how I was doing it or what it felt like, only that I was actually doing it."

It sounded really strange when he tried to explain it out loud.

"Sounds like a natural defence mechanism," Gustav said with a nod, much to Bill's surprise.

The fact that his friend didn't think he was completely losing it was a little comforting.

"How so?" he asked, not being awake enough to figure it out on his own.

"Well you threw what looked like pure energy," Gustav said in what Bill thought was an incredibly patient manner; "that has to hurt even if it didn't damage you. It sounds like your mind knows how to protect you from it."

He hadn't really thought of it that way, but it kind of made sense.

"Wonder if I can do what Tom did as well," he mused, more to himself than Gustav.

"Don't try," his friend said almost instantly in a rather worried tone.

Bill looked up from where he had been staring at his coffee mug and for a brief instant considered playing it up, but he'd seen a worried Gustav and it wasn't pretty.

"I'm not that stupid," he said, going back to being petulant instead, "even when I'm half asleep."

"What about the time you nearly walked out of your hotel room in only your boxers?" Gustav countered.

Bill narrowed his eyes; that incident was in the never to be spoken of again category. They had been through a few very hard days and he had been completely exhausted and when he'd woken up he'd totally forgotten he was in a hotel. Luckily for him, Tom had been sharing the room at the time and stopped him wandering out into the hallway looking for the bathroom that would have been there had he been at home.

"What did you say?" he asked in a very dangerous tone; his mood was moving from petulant to black.

Gustav looked panicked for all of a millisecond.

"Me?" his friend said with a shrug. "Nothing, I honestly said absolutely nothing and will never say it again either."

It was almost good enough, but Bill really was in a foul mood and he needed a target. Gustav had just made himself one and mercy wasn't really in Bill's vocabulary just at that moment. The reason there were certain topics no one brought up around him was because he had a very good memory and he could recall far more details and far more embarrassing things than anyone else could. The never mention again category was more one of self preservation for the others than anything else.

He searched his mind for a suitable revenge and was about to speak when a familiar sound filled his head. It drove everything else away as he stared at Gustav, horrified.

"Run," was the only thing he could think of as he saw a Sesscar soldier shimmer into existence.

Gustav turned and tried to get between the soldier and him and was backhanded out of the way for his trouble. As he saw this, Bill felt the fear and adrenaline kick in, but he soon discovered it was far too late to do anything. What he had not seen was that two soldiers had infiltrated the hub at the same time and one was behind him. An arm snaked around him, some sort of mask was forced over his face and then it was all over. The moment he breathed in the first time, the world went hazy and surreal and on the second breath things began to go black.

End of Part 5

Chapter Text

There was pressure in his head and although it wasn't painful it was definitely uncomfortable as Bill opened his eyes and blinked. His thoughts were muddled and unhelpful to begin with, but then the ceiling above him resolved into something white and metallic and very unfamiliar, which was the point things started to come back. It was also the point he tried to move and discovered he couldn't.

He tried to lift his arms and then move his legs and, when neither worked, he panicked. When he couldn't even move his head from side to side, he really panicked and he was terrified. He could feel restraints around his wrists, ankles, thighs, biceps and chest as well as some sort of vice holding his head. It was like something out of a movie, only he couldn't just bury his face in a cushion because it was too scary.

"He's awake," he heard someone say and he understood it perfectly, but something niggled at the back of his mind; it was as if part of him didn't think he should have been able to.

A face leant into his field of vision, a face that was definitely not human. Scales covered the cheeks on both sides of the man's features and the eyes were bright green like Bill had only seen in contact lenses. He would have shied away if he had been able to.

"What is your name?"

The question seemed to be placed right in his brain as if it was the most important thing in the world, but it confused him.

"Bill," he said, almost compelled to do so, "Bill Kaulitz."

"That is a human name, your real name."

Bill didn't understand; he didn't seem to be able to think about anything but the questions, even though his fear lurked in the pit of his stomach like a great weight.

"That is my real name," he said, finding it difficult to say.

"Your Neranian name," the voice demanded.

The pressure in his head intensified for a moment as he found no answer to the question.

"I don't have one," he said, but the words caught in his throat even as he forced them out.

It was so difficult to not answer the question that his mind seemed to be trying to come up with a response even when he didn't have one.

"He must have been conditioned," he heard someone else say, but it was kind of fuzzy, not like the questions.

"What is your designation?" was the next question.

He frowned.

"He's resisting," one of the voices said, "we should turn up the intensity."

"Wait," the other said sharply.

"I ... I don’t understand," Bill said with difficulty.

"Your purpose," the voice tried again and Bill still didn't know how to reply, "your duty," another try. "What do you do?"

That finally made sense.

"Singer," he said, incredibly relieved to be able to answer.

"His cover must be deeply engrained."

"What do you do for the Neranians?"

The pressure in Bill's head increased again when he had no answer.

"Father," was about all his brain could come up with to do with Neranian, "is Neranian. Explorer."

"We're not interested in your father," the voice said, "we want to know about you. You are stronger than any Neranian warrior on record, why?"

He was becoming more and more confused.

"Hybrid," he said, producing the only information he had from the conversation in the board room.

"Are there more of you?"

"Yes," Bill's mind flashed with a picture of Tom.

"How many?"

"One," he replied, totally unable to resist.

"The other one that showed defensive behaviour," one of the voices observed.

"Why were you created?"

That was a question Bill just couldn't answer; it was so bizarre that he just couldn't find anything to say. He struggled, but he didn't know.

"He's resisting again," one of his captors observed.

"Turn it up," the other replied.

The pressure in Bill's head increased and this time it hurt and it stayed there. It left him gasping and trying to pull away from his restraints to shy away from the pain.

"Why were you created?" the question was repeated.

Bill whimpered, totally unable to get away or to answer.

"Are you a weapon?"

"No," he replied in an almost explosive sound, relieved that he could answer.

"Were you designed for war?"

"No."

"Were you created to attack the Sesscar?"

"No."

It felt like his whole head was being squeezed and he moaned at the intensity of the sensation.

"How were you engineered?"

It was another question that made Bill's mind scrabble for an answer.

"Wasn't engineered," he said even as whatever was being done to him made him pay for the denial.

"Neranians do not breed outside their own race," he heard the conversation continue, "he has to be lying."

"At that intensity that is impossible," the second voice said.

"Surprise," he forced himself to say, desperate for some release and needing to explain, "didn't know ... mother human."

"What do you mean?" the voice lanced into his head. "Explain."

"Dad didn't know it was possible," he said, finding it easier to speak now that he had been asked directly. "We were a surprise."

"How did the Neranians make you so powerful?"

"Didn't," Bill said, doing his best to speak, "you did."

"Explain."

The voice was like ice and fire into his brain at the same time.

"Meyons," he repeated what he had heard; "was human; meyons woke up Neranian genes."

There was a hurried conversation then that his beleaguered mind couldn't follow.

"Stop this," a third voice joined the conversation and dragged Bill's attention with its insistency. "He's just a boy."

"This thing could be a threat to our entire race," one of the other voices all but snarled back. "If those vermin have decided to engineer soldiers to do their fighting for them they could decimate us before we even saw it coming."

"We have only your suspicions to suggest anything of the sort is going on," the third voice replied. "I understand my duty, but the tests confirm it; his hormone levels indicate he is less than six months out of the cocoon."

"That is impossible," one of the other voices said; "no child could have that kind of power. It must be a side effect of the hybridisation."

More words were exchanged, but Bill was beginning to lose focus again.

"How old are you?"

The question was from the first voice and it lanced straight into his head. The pressure was almost unbearable and Bill whimpered as it reverberated through him.

"Seventeen," he said desperately, needing to answer.

"Stop this now," the third voice demanded.

"He is a weapon."

"He's just a child," the third voice said firmly, "and we are not monsters."

Bill couldn't help whimpering again as his head threatened to explode.

"He's an innocent child," the third voice insisted; "everything he has told you is true."

"What is your purpose?"

Bill actually cried out at that. It was almost shouted and it hurt and he didn't really know the answer. It was like asking 'why are we here' and too many possibilities presented themselves.

"To make music," were the words that were dragged out of him.

Suddenly the pressure was gone and he felt his whole body sag. It was such a relief that nothing else mattered. A thousand thoughts seemed to be trying to cram into his head at the same time as he could think again, but he was so light headed and confused that nothing made any sense as all. There was pressure against his arm, a hissing noise and then everything began to fade, for which his tortured mind was very grateful.

====

They didn't need the hub's alarms which had been calibrated to the Sesscar teleport frequencies, because Jorg and Tom had reacted before the technology. Jack had no idea why Neranian's were sensitive to the particular method of transport, but it was quite obvious they were and everyone was on the move before the alarm even sounded. What they found was a room with only Gustav slowly climbing up off the floor.

"Where's Bill?" Tom demanded instantly and Jack was afraid he knew the answer.

"They took him," Gustav said, clearly angry even as the kid wiped blood off his face. "There were two of them. I'm sorry, Tom."

Jack didn't need to be able to see Tom's face to know that the twin was furious; the rage seemed to come off the kid in waves. What did surprise him was that none of it was aimed at Gustav though. He had been in a lot of crisis situations in his time and when bad things happened people tended to blame the closest target and he was very grateful he didn't have to deal with that as well. His respect for the German young men went up another notch as he watched them group together.

"I'll kill them," Tom said, turning back to the room, "I'll fucking annihilate them."

He had seen many people angry in his time; Jack had seen people insane with rage, but he had never seen what he saw when he looked into Tom's eyes. The only adjective he could think of was 'apocalyptic' and he saw his own people shrink away from that gaze. What was interesting was the way Tom's friends didn't.

"Tom," Jorg stepped in just before Jack was about to try and diffuse the situation a little, "you need to calm down."

"Calm down?" the fury was tangible in Tom's voice. "They've taken Bill, Dad; I will never calm down."

Jack watched, waiting to see what would happen. It was as if everyone in the room could sense the knife edge they were standing on and no one except Tom and Jorg moved a muscle.

"Tom," this time Jorg used a tone with the bite of command; "listen to me. If you want to help Bill you need to calm down now. You are reacting, you're not thinking."

"They have Bill," Tom repeated, as if it explained everything and there didn't seem to be a lot of rationality in Tom's voice.

"I know," Jorg said, taking a step towards his son, "and we will get him back, but you need to let the anger go. You will hurt yourself and you could hurt other people as well if you don't."

The tension in the room was so thick Jack imagined that he could see it. The hairs on the back of his neck were standing up and he could feel the danger in the room. It was clear that the old adage of never come between twins was true.

"I have to protect him," Tom said, clearly not quite with it; "that's what I do."

"And you will," Jorg said and even Jack believed him, "but first you have to let go of the rage. You can't help Bill as a berserker."

Jack held his breath, watching Tom intently, and then Tom blinked. It was like someone had just turned the lights back on and he realised how tight his grip on his gun had been. All in all a little startling and he actually breathed a sigh of relief when Jorg stepped up to his son and pulled Tom into a hug.

"Tosh," he said as Jorg dealt with Tom, "I don’t care how you do it, but find where the hell they're hiding."

Tosh nodded and went to leave.

"The sensors on my ship will be able to find them," Jorg said, turning and looking straight at Jack.

If it had been anyone else, Jack would have asked why Jorg hadn't mentioned this before, but he could see the man's reasons in his eyes. It had obviously cost Jorg a lot to admit that much even with his son missing, so he just nodded and excepted the man's offer.

"How long?" Jack asked.

"An hour," Jorg replied, "maybe two."

"Tosh," Jack said as he assessed the situation in his head, "you work on it as well. We meet back here when we know where they are."

There was no other option; they were going to get Bill back.

====

Tom was still angry and he was going stir crazy by the time his father returned to the Torchwood base. His reaction to Bill's kidnapping had frightened him a little, but that didn't dull how scared and furious he was; it was just that he had it under better control now.

His father appeared out of thin air in the boardroom, gaining everyone's attention, and stepped up to the table, placing on it the teleport device. It had been nearly two and a half hours and all Tom knew was that his father had been delayed returning.

"It will take three people," his dad said, looking to Jack; "I couldn't increase it's capabilities any more than that. With a week and the right tools, maybe, but this it the best I can do given the time constraints."

"Gwen, Ianto," Jack said, turning to his people, "we're going on a trip."

Tom went to object instantly, but his father beat him to it.

"It has to be in contact with my DNA to function," his dad said in a no nonsense tone. "The safety measure is built into all our potentially hazardous technology."

Jack didn't appear overly impressed.

"They can't disarm me," Tom put his own argument in and did his best to be rational about it.

He felt like telling them he would blow up their whole base before he let them go without him, but he didn't think that would go down too well. Jack was easy going on the surface, but he knew the man would have someone dose him up with something if he deemed it necessary.

"Neither of you are trained for something like this," Jack pointed out.

His dad opened his mouth to say something, but this time Tom was there first. Finding the rage inside, Tom took hold of a little of it and let it out. He really didn't understand how he had deflected the energy beam before, but he knew what it had felt like and he found it again. He held out his hand and the cups and papers on the table scattered, one bouncing off the window so hard it broke.

It was scary quite how exhilarating the action made him feel, but he glared at Jack anyway to make his point. There was no way in hell he was being left behind.

"A passifist and a guitar player," Jack said, pointing out the obvious.

"A father and a twin," his dad countered and Tom moved closer to his father in solidarity. "I choose not to fight, Jack, but that does not mean I cannot do it and I think Tom just proved his point."

Jack clearly didn't like it, but Tom let himself relax just a little when the head of Torchwood finally nodded. It was funny; the whole idea should have scared him witless, but all he could feel was the need to find and help Bill. It had always been the same; when it came to Bill he had always been ready to take on anything, and a ship of alien abductors was no different to him than four boys twice his size in the school play ground. Nothing would ever stop him protecting Bill.

====

Bill sat and stared at the opposite wall, refusing to let his mind turn off. He had woken up in a cell of some kind and he felt terrible. His hands were cramped and uncomfortable where they were covered in some sort of plastic like material, bound into fists and then secured together at the wrists. He guessed that the Sesscar thought he'd have to blow his own hands off to use whatever power he had used before in his current position. His head was aching just slightly more than the rest of his body and he was light headed and threatening to pass out.

Time wasn't something he really had any concept of and he had no idea how long it had been since he was kidnapped. All he could do was pray that someone would come for him. He was afraid of every sound; nothing in his life had prepared him for this and only his last scrap of dignity stopped him breaking down completely.

When the door to his cell opened, he went into panic mode as his fear spiked. He couldn't take anymore, he really couldn't, and he tried to move as far away from the opening as possible. Nothing mattered except getting away, only his abused system had other ideas. The moment he attempted to stand, even a little, his surroundings span and for a moment everything went black.

Someone caught him as he plunged towards the floor and he had no strength to break free. The enemy had him and he didn't want to be questioned anymore, but he couldn't do anything about it. It was more than he could take and his last vestige of control finally broke and the tears came. He was terrified and he didn't care who knew anymore.

For a while all he knew was the fear and the crying; he had to let it out, but it made him pay. When the tears finally died away there was no strength left in him at all; he could barely even lift his head. He realised slowly that he was half sitting on the floor, half being held by strong arms and the person holding him was making a slow clicking noise in their throat that was strangely soothing. The person was kneeling beside him, but he didn’t have the courage to look up.

"You poor child," were the words that finally made him move.

He recognised the voice; it was the third voice, the female voice from his last awakening. Very slowly he moved his head so that he could just about see her face. Bright orange eyes blinked at him. Everything was so surreal and for a while he just looked as he felt himself fading away again.

"Help me," he vaguely heard his companion say, "give me the beaker."

Motor control was beyond him and Bill felt himself being moved into more of a sitting position against the female Sesscar's chest. She seemed to be being very gentle with him, but he didn't really know what she was doing until something was pressed against his mouth.

"Drink, child," she told him in a kind tone, "you need to build your strength."

Liquid hit his lips and he opened his mouth on instinct to find his tongue hit by something that was incredibly sweet. It didn't really have much flavour, it was just very, very sugary and he swallowed it without difficulty. His throat was parched and he coughed as it seemed to almost soak up the liquid directly. The beaker was taken away for a moment while he recovered and then it was placed back again.

It seemed to take an age as the cycle was repeated, drink, pause, recover if necessary, drink, pause and so on until the beaker was completely empty. Bill didn't feel in anyway robust by the time he had finished, but he could feel a little strength seeping back into his body.

"Onto the bed, I think," his companion said, but she didn't seem to be talking to him and he found himself being almost bodily picked up by two sets of hands.

He almost panicked again.

"Relax, child," his benefactor said in a gentle tone, "we are just trying to make you more comfortable. My name is Diosa; I am the chief medical officer."

They put him on the bed which he had originally been sitting on, lying on his side so that his bound hands were not in the way.

"We do not make war on children," Diosa told him while looking him straight in the eye; "your capture was a mistake. You have nothing to fear, I will make sure of that."

Bill wasn't sure he believed her.

"You are not long out of the cocoon are you?" Diosa continued when he just looked at her.

"How long have I been here?" he asked, finding his voice thick and raspy.

"Only a few hours," Diosa said.

"Yesterday," he told her and was surprised to see her eyes open in shock.

Diosa turned immediately towards the door and rattled off a whole bunch of orders that Bill was too bemused to follow. When Diosa turned back she pulled something off her belt and pointed it at his hands. A red light came out of whatever it was and the constricting plastic went loose around his fingers and wrists and the medical officer began to pull it off. All he could do was lie there and watch, barely able to move his fingers even when they were free.

Two other Sesscar appeared pretty quickly and things started happening with a speed he couldn't follow properly. One of the newcomers covered him in a light blanket that seemed incredibly warm, at which point he realised quite how cold he had been; the other put a small patch on his neck and Diosa picked up a strange looking device one of the other two had brought and pointed it at him. He closed his eyes after that, because he didn't have the strength to worry what they were doing.

"Diosa, what the hell do you think you are doing?" another familiar voice dragged him back from the dozing state and had him trying to back away.

"Relax," Diosa said immediately, leaning over him and placing her hand on his shoulder, making the gentle clicking sound again; "you're safe."

He was wary, but Diosa had been nothing but kind to him and he did not really have the strength to struggle, so he lay still as Diosa slowly stood up.

"My job," she said in a level but firm tone and Bill could kind of focus on her and the male Sesscar who had just come in. "He came out of the cocoon yesterday; what we put him through could have killed him."

"Two of my finest warriors are in your infirmary," the male said, "and that creature put them there. Removing his restraints is folly."

"That creature is a boy," Diosa said with a tone that Bill had sometimes heard his mother use with his stepfather, "a scared, helpless boy who doesn't have enough strength to sit up by himself, let alone be a threat. Maraz, it's time to admit that we have made a mistake. He should be returned home as soon as he is fit enough."

"He's more powerful than any Neranian our people have ever seen," Maraz insisted.

"He's a child who defended himself and his family," Diosa replied; "that at least has to mean something to you. He has shown honour and he is only a boy; law dictates that we return him. We are the ones who have broken with tradition by taking him in the first place and I will not allow it to go any further."

"He was an unmitigated threat," Maraz replied, "steps had to be taken."

"Well he's not a threat anymore," Diosa said, holding her ground, "and I will see you in the arena if you try and take him from my care."

Before Maraz could respond to that a wailing noise started and the somewhere a blue light started pulsing on and off.

"Intruders," a voice announced, "we are being invaded, all hands to battle stations."

Bill could feel something in the air and it made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. It was power and rage and very familiar.

"Tom," he whispered more to himself than wanting to say it out loud.

"Make sure that cannot get loose," Maraz said shortly and charged out of the room.

Tom was here, Bill knew it without a doubt and he also knew that his twin was so angry that people were going to get hurt. Part of him wanted Tom to cause those who had taken him pain, but Diosa had shown him kindness and he wasn't a vindictive person at heart. He was sure there was only one thing that would stop Tom. Gathering as much strength as he could manage, he reached out and made a clumsy swipe at Diosa's leg. The medical officer turned immediately and crouched down as soon as she saw him looking at her.

"Tom," he tried to verbalise what he was feeling, "looking for me. Have to stop him before people get killed."

Diosa looked at him, her expression very conflicted.

End of Part 6

Chapter Text

Tom could feel Bill, instinctively knowing that his twin was in distress and it just made him angrier. He wanted to lash out and destroy anyone who had dared touch Bill and he could feel the power inside of him like it was a living thing. If it hadn't been for his father's restraining presence and the fact that Jack seemed to be doing very well putting Sesscar warriors down without him, he would have reacted. The fact that his leg ached like hell wasn't helping his mood either.

The alarm was sounding, so he knew it wouldn't be long before there were more than Jack could handle. The teleport device had set off all the ship's systems as soon as they had arrived, but they had appeared in a less populated part of the ship as far as Tom could tell. So far Jack had dealt with six of the Sesscar one at a time and had stolen one of their teleport devices for the trip back once they found Bill. The voice that announced their presence was helpfully understandable and Tom had no idea how that worked, but Jack had muttered something about universal translation adapters that he seemed impressed with. Tom couldn't be bothered with any of that.

This was not supposed to be a prolonged visit and Jack had warned him to stay out of it unless he was needed, so that was what Tom was doing. His dad had some sort of stunner as well, but it was only good for a couple of shots; enough to escape as his father had put it, so that was a backup as well.

"Right," his dad said, looking at the scanner in his hand as they approached another break in the corridor.

The problem with right made itself obvious as soon as Tom followed Jack in that direction: the corridor widened into a much larger area with another three corridors coming into it and each one had soldiers in it.

"Oh shit," Jack said and lifted his gun.

When the firing began Tom had had enough. His whole focus was Bill and these idiots with guns were between him and his twin and that was not right. Bill was in danger, he could feel it, and he had to protect Bill at all costs. Anyone who threatened Bill made him very, very angry and he let go of the fury he had been holding onto since his dad had talked him down.

Without pausing, he walked straight into the open area and every bolt of energy that came towards him skittered away or bounced back as he let his anger take form. He didn't understand what he was doing, but he didn't need to, because it just seemed to work.

"Tom," Jack yelled after him, "get your arse back here."

Tom was way beyond taking any notice of anyone else and he glanced back at Jack and his father once. The enemy seemed to think that was an opportunity to attack and three of them tried to rush him. With a snarl he threw out his hand and two of them flew backwards to crash into the wall; the third went down with one of Jack's bullets in his body.

"That way," Jack said, coming up beside him and pointing at the space the three Sesscar had left with their attack.

"No," Tom said, automatically turning to where his instincts knew he would find Bill.

He didn't care who he had to go through; all he knew was that he had to get to Bill. He could feel little shots of what felt like electricity in his chest and, when the two Sesscar he had thrown against the wall decided to stand up, he lashed out. Energy exploded in his chest and lanced down his arm and this time both went down and stayed down, but it cost him. The moment it was done he felt lightheaded and it took him a moment to recover and realign his bearings. In that moment Jack stepped in front of him and then he saw what happened next in slow motion.

There were soldiers coming at them from all directions and Jack was not fast enough. One of the Sesscar aimed and fired and Jack went flying backwards, a blackened hole the size of a large coin in the middle of his forehead.

Shock rocketed through Tom's system, but it did not shut him down, in fact it did the opposite. He knew he couldn't take every Sesscar with the energy power inside him; he would be face down on the floor before he was half done, but the invisible force he seemed to be able to use, that was different. It was just like Bill to have used the flashy alternative when another would have done and he wasn't going to make the same mistake.

With a roar, he thrust out both his arms and sent a wall of force at the attackers. His mind was working on levels he did not understand and instincts that were unfamiliar to him were screaming that one of the Sesscar that went tumbling backwards was the real danger. The logical part of his mind told him that the Sesscar's uniform was different from most of the others so he just went with it. As his dad took down two of the soldiers trying to get back up again, he went after his chosen target.

The soldier he was after didn't stand a chance under the force of his anger and went flying backwards twice before Tom reached the alien and loomed over him.

"I want him back," he all but screamed, feeling the energy in his chest stirring again.

His fury was almost complete and he had no control left. He was ready to destroy anyone who was in his way and he lifted his hand. The Sesscar seemed to keep getting back up when he threw them around, but they were definitely vulnerable to the other power.

"Tom, no!"

The sound of Bill's voice drew him up short and he froze, hand still positioned to strike. He turned immediately as soon as he heard coughing and, when his eyes stopped on Bill, he almost went back to what he had been doing. Bill was quite frankly a mess. His twin was wrapped in a blanket and only standing because a woman was holding him up, and Bill was pale, barely seemed to be awake and had obviously been crying, since there were dried tear streaks on his face. Tom was overcome by the need to hurt someone for doing that to his beloved twin.

"Tom," Bill called to him again as the fury almost took him, "no."

The voice was weak, but the tone was firm.

Tom looked down at the now unarmed Sesscar he had been about to destroy and suddenly the red rage parted and he saw a living, breathing being at his mercy. It was like one minute the soldier in front of him was a thing and the next a person and it shocked him into stepping back. He had been ready to kill and that scared him into sense and he looked back over at Bill.

It wasn't really a decision; it was just something he had to do as he quickly crossed the distance to his twin. Bill went to him as soon as he lifted Bill's arm and looped it around his neck and he took Bill's weight gladly as the woman let go. Bill was leaning against him so heavily that he wasn't sure Bill's legs were working at all. He just pulled Bill close and let his twin lay his head on his shoulder while scanning the room for possible danger.

More soldiers arrived with guns and he tensed to do whatever had to be done, but the fallen commander held up his hand.

"Hold," was the barked order.

Given the hole he had seen in Jack's head, it scared the life out of him when Jack drew in a shuddering breath and sat up beside where his father was kneeling. The way his dad looked flabbergasted seemed to indicate it was not something his dad had seen before either.

"Oh good," Jack said almost as soon as the strange man opened his eyes, "the shooting has stopped. Did we win?"

Suddenly all eyes were on Tom.

"Yes," the commander of the Sesscar said simply.

Tom wasn't sure what was going on; things were happening too fast and it was all so confusing. The Sesscar he had put down were climbing back to their feet, but they all remained exactly where they were. It was clear his instincts had been right about the Sesscar he had been about to kill.

The commander bent down and picked up the gun on the floor and then walked directly towards him and he waited nervously to see what would happen. He had Bill now, which had pushed aside some of his rage, but it didn’t help with whole not understanding anything that was going on thing. When the warrior went down on one knee and presented him with the weapon, handle first he didn't know what to do.

"I, Mazar, offer my life into your hands," the Sesscar said formally, "and beg that you allow my crew and ship to leave."

That was about the last straw and Tom found himself irrationally annoyed and took the gun.

"I don't want your life," he all but spat at the warrior, "I never did. You took my twin and did god knows what to him and for that I should kill you, but you're lucky, Bill doesn't want me to. You can take your crew and your ship and fly into the nearest black hole for all I care, but if you ever come near me, my family or my fucking planet ever again nothing will stop me from frying every last one of you."

Mazar looked rather shocked, but the female Sesscar that had had Bill seemed to be amused rather than anything else. That confused him even more.

"Nice speech, Tom," Jack said with a grin, "we should sign you up for the diplomatic arm."

At that moment he wasn't sure if he'd rather kiss Jack or hit him, but that was nothing new.

"Right, well interesting party folks," Jack said dragging their father over towards them, "but you heard our current champion, so we'll be leaving to let you get on your way. Please don't come back to bother our citizens or anyone who might happen to be visiting our planet or there will be rather nasty repercussions. If you want to talk peace, the door's always open; just call Torchwood."

"I will remember you," he heard the unnamed female say to Bill and Bill mumbled something in reply, but it didn’t make much sense even to him.

Then before anyone could change their minds, his father took hold of Bill's free hand, and his hand, and the ship vanished around them as he saw Jack activate the device the older man had stolen earlier. The whine of the Sesscar teleport was loud when he came out of the transport his father had used and Jack appeared, moving to help him with Bill the moment they were all back in one piece. He was very sure he didn't like teleportation devices at all.

"Owen, a little help, now," Jack called and Tom found Bill being taken from him.

He was going to object when he discovered that his legs felt something akin to jelly and his dad caught him by the arm to steady him.

"Wondered when it would hit you," his father said and offered him a shoulder to lean on to follow where Jack was currently carrying Bill.

Things moved quickly from there; Bill was given the once over and deemed exhausted but stable and Owen set Bill up with a glucose drip and put him to bed. There was a patch on Bill's neck that must have come from the Sesscar and his dad had said it was something akin to the drip, only more sophisticated so it had been left in place too. Only once Bill was safely tucked up did Tom let himself think about anything else and then his mind flicked back to what he had seen.

"Jack," he asked, since it was the most important thing in his head, "did you come back from the dead?"

Jack gave him a grin.

"You could put it that way," the older man replied.

"If I ask why, will I like the answer?" Tom asked next.

"Well it's rather complicated and involved Daleks, Doctors, Roses and the heart of the TARDIS," Jack said in his usual jovial tone.

It was kind of a relief to hear it back in place after the last few hours when Jack had been anything but playful.

"Okay," Tom decided as his brain failed to comprehend half of what had just been said, "forget I said anything."

Then he let himself be examined briefly and was also given the all clear, but his treatment was some high sugar drinks rather than a needle in his arm. He parked himself next to Bill in their room and decided to do his best to forget things for a while.

====

Bill moved closer to the warmth next to him, feeling safe near the familiar smell and shape as he drifted just below waking. He didn't consciously recognise it as Tom, not until he began to shift a little further from sleep and then he remembered his fear and he woke up instinctively reaching for his twin.

"I'm here," Tom said immediately, as if knowing exactly what was going through his head, and a hand slipped into his.

It took him a moment to gather his bearings and for his brain to really begin to comprehend why he was even afraid and that the danger was in fact gone. His heart was beating a little fast and he could still feel the lingering unease, but Tom's presence helped calm him considerably.

"How are you feeling?" Tom asked, sitting away from the headboard and giving him a once over.

"Tired," Bill replied honestly since he still felt completely wiped out, "and my head hurts."

When he tried to move his left arm he noticed the I.V. attached to it; he didn't really remember getting that.

"Owen has been muttering about sugars and electrolytes and insisted on forcing as much of that stuff into you as possible," Tom said as Bill wondered how long he was going to have a tube connected to his arm. "Now you're awake he'll probably start forcing you to drink glucose solution; you'd think he'd never heard of Lucozade. Do you want me to go and get you some pain killers?"

The idea of being left alone at that moment sent a shot of terror through Bill that he couldn't hide and Tom moved closer instantly.

"Forget I suggested it," Tom said quickly; "not going anywhere."

Part of him felt ridiculous hanging on to his brother's hand like his life depended on it, but he couldn't bring himself to let go. The idea of being alone caused him to be irrationally afraid and Tom moved a little closer.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Tom asked quietly after a little while.

Bill looked up at his twin and shook his head; he really didn't want to think about it, so the idea of talking just made him cold inside.

"You?" he asked, well aware that it had not just been his ordeal.

Tom shook his head, but Bill wasn't quite sure his brother really meant it. They had had too many shocks over the last couple of days and they were both being worn thin. They leant together in silence and Bill let the comfort of having Tom so close seep into him.

"I wasn't brave," he found himself speaking before he really decided to do it. "I told them everything they wanted to know and I didn't even try not to."

Somehow he felt guilty for that now and the urge to speak overcame his desire to just forget it.

"We're not soldiers, Bill," Tom said, stroking his hair out of his face for him, "we're just kids who make music. You were right to tell them."

"They didn't believe me," he replied, and his voice sounded small even to him. "They had this machine and ..."

He couldn't say it and Tom gathered him up in an embrace, pulling him close.

"It was like I had to answer, as if they were in my head," he said, feeling the need to speak now and yet being afraid as well. "It hurt. I don't ... I don't know what would have happened if Diosa hadn't come."

The idea of the machine was a nightmare he did not want to relive, but it wouldn't leave his mind.

"Who's Diosa?" Tom asked in a very gentle tone.

"The one who brought me to you," he replied, trying to relax against Tom and let the tension go. "She told them to take me home. They thought we were weapons, Tom, that dad had made us to fight, but Diosa didn't. I think I would be dead without her."

It was a hard thing to come to terms with, but Bill had felt his own mortality very keenly on the Sesscar ship and he would never be quite the same again.

"Then I should have thanked her," Tom said, leaning lightly on the top of his head so that Bill was tucked under his twin's chin.

They stayed that way for quite some time, just safe in each other's arms.

"I was ready to kill them all," Tom spoke again eventually and Bill knew this was what had been bothering his twin. "If you hadn't stopped me..."

"I know," Bill said as Tom trailed off, "I felt you. When they came to the hub I was the same. I think I know why Dad's people engineered it out; it's so overwhelming."

Tom's grip became tighter for a moment.

"Maybe we are weapons," Tom said after a while.

"It was life and death, Tom," Bill said, since that was one thing he was sure of, "we were defending our family. I don't think that makes us weapons. I just want to forget all this and go back to being a band."

He actually felt Tom relax a little then and was glad that he could at least be a little comfort to his twin considering how much he needed Tom right at that moment. If he had been going through this without Tom he was sure he would have simply come undone.

In the end it was a knock on the door that finally made them move and Bill looked up to find his father hovering in the doorway.

"Come in, Dad," Tom said, but didn't go to move at all, for which Bill was very glad.

"Hi boys," their father greeted, walking into the room, "how are you feeling?"

"Bill needs some headache tablets," Tom said almost immediately.

"Already thought of that," their dad said and produced a small packet from his pocket. "I went back to my ship for these. They'll help with any after effects and they won't bother your metabolisms."

He gave several of the little silver packets to Tom and Bill just stayed where he was.

"They dissolve on your tongue," their father explained, "and one should last twenty four hours. No more than three in forty eight."

Bill took one of the small round pills as soon as Tom unwrapped it for him and popped it onto his tongue. His head felt something like there was a ram behind his eyes continually increasing the pressure on his optic nerves, so he was very glad of the relief.

"Thanks," he said quietly and settled back against Tom again.

For a moment their father looked a little haunted and Bill guessed what was coming.

"I'm so sorry," their dad said, "you should never have been part of this. If I had been more careful this would never have happened."

Bill lifted his hand and reached out without saying anything, just looking at his father. Tom stayed perfectly still, seeming to understand and finally their dad moved to take Bill's hand.

"Not your fault, Dad," he said, around the pill in his mouth, "don't ever say that again."

He didn't feel up to any long drawn out conversation, but on that point he was very sure. They would be having some long talks and Bill was pretty sure it would take them all a long time to come to terms with everything, but he wanted his father to believe this one thing right now. Tom reached out and put a hand over both his and their dad's and he was sure Tom would be looking at their father the same way he was. This was not an issue up for debate. Finally their dad nodded and Bill felt just a tiny bit better.

====

Jack stood beside the partially open door and just looked in through the crack to where he could see Tom and Bill on the bed. He knew the pair had spoken to their father, because he'd had a conversation with Jorg a half hour or so previously and Owen had been to check on his patients at least once as well, so he thought it was about time he put in an appearance. It was technically the middle of the night, but he didn't need the sleep and he could see that Tom at least was awake.

Bill was lying down with his head in Tom's lap, one arm thrown out to the side where it was still connected to the I.V. and Tom was half sitting, half laying on the bed, carding his fingers through Bill's hair. It looked so peaceful and innocent, except for the expression on Tom's face, and Jack knew that feeling intimately, because he had almost lost people he loved more than life itself as well.

He gave a very quiet knock on the door and pushed it open. Tom's head came up to look at him instantly and for just a moment he saw the warrior he had seen on the Sesscar ship in Tom's eyes. It would have been scary if he hadn't known why and if it hadn't been gone a second later.

"Hi," he said quietly, "how's Bill?"

That question earned him Brownie points; he could see it in Tom's body language.

"Afraid," Tom replied in an equally low voice; "he hasn't told me much yet, but I know they tortured him. Some sort of machine."

Jack knew as much already from his talk with Jorg, but he didn’t say so.

"Technology may advance, but civilisations still seem to need to find better ways to cause pain," he commented; this was not a conversation he could take lightly.

He had been on the end of torture a few times himself and he felt as if Torchwood had failed to keep the barbarians at the gates this time. Bill and Tom were just kids and they should never have had to see what they had seen or experience what they had experienced. Few things could make Jack lose his sense of humour, but the Sesscar had managed it.

If the way Tom was looking down at Bill and avoiding looking at him was anything to go by, this was an uncomfortable subject and so he changed it.

"How about you?" he asked. "How's the leg?"

He knew from Owen it had only been a flesh wound, but he also knew those could hurt like a bitch sometimes.

"Dad's miracle pain killers mean I can’t feel a thing," Tom said, sounding a little lighter now the topic of conversation had moved on.

"Ah, so you're just left with a scar to impress the ladies then," he commented with a smile. "You know I have no idea why scars impress women; it never seems to work on guys; that just leads to a who has the biggest competition."

That actually earned him a small grin from Tom, which rather pleased him.

"Chicks dig macho stuff even when they say they don't," Tom said and then looked down at Bill, "of course they seem to like the sensitive type too or Bill would never have got a girl in his entire life."

"There is no explaining women," Jack agreed with a nod, watching the way Tom gently moved a stray hair off Bill's face.

After what he had seen of both Tom's and Bill's abilities he knew there was the potential that the twins could be incredibly dangerous to those around them, but it was moments like the one he was witnessing that put pay to most of his fears. Woe betide anyone who tried to hurt either of them, but protecting your family and loved ones was the right of any being. He had debated the danger of just letting them get on with their lives, but it hadn't taken him very long to realise nothing else would work.

"Well I just wanted to check on you," he said, realising that he had what he had come for and Tom probably need to sleep as well. "If either of you or both of you want to talk, you know where to find me. Just so you know; I've been where both of you are now, as good as at least."

Tom gaze was very serious then and he felt like he was being scrutinised. He stood there and took the weight of that gaze.

"Thanks," Tom said and nodded.

Jack took one last look and then turned to leave; it was only at the door he looked back.

"Oh, and Tom," he said, grinning as he thought of his exit line; "if you need any advice, I know exactly how that little nub of yours works."

The quiet laugh he heard as he exited the room warmed his heart and he was very glad; anyone who could laugh was on the mend.

====

Bill had decided to go for a walk on his own around the hub. Being away from Tom frightened him, but he was determined that it was not going to become a problem. It had been nearly two days since the Sesscar had taken him, and Tom, Jack and his dad had come to get him and they were moving back to the hotel in the morning and he wanted to feel at least a little normal before then. Tom hadn't seemed exactly comfortable letting him go, but they were in agreement on this one and so he had gone one way and Tom had wandered off in another.

The good thing about the hub, however, was that the well used bits weren't very big, which meant he wasn't too far from Tom. It had only been about ten minutes, but he was already beginning to feel agitated and ready to give up. If he hadn't been quite so stubborn, he would have gone to find Tom five minutes before.

He wasn't an idiot and he had noticed that Gustav wasn't very far away, which probably meant that Georg was keeping an eye on Tom, but he didn't want to fall back on his friends quite so soon. It was the evening and he had seen Tosh, Gwen and Owen leave and he wouldn't have minded having a chat with Ianto, but he had no idea where his new friend was. Wandering around looking for Ianto, he had spotted that Jack's door was open so had decided to head that way instead.

His nose twitched as he neared Jack's office, something he had become used to near Jack since first meeting the man. He had no idea what it was about Jack, but Tom had succinctly put it as 'sex walking' and Bill had had to agree. His dad had explained that it was probably his genetic sensitivity pointing out that Jack was a prime specimen and it was just coming out as noticeable in a sense he was used to.

The fact that he was noticing another man at all was what he found the most odd, especially since he was perfectly happy with Tom and had never been the most sexual person on the planet in the first place. It was all weird, but then, from the moment he had fallen over in a Cardiff square, his life had been nothing but weird, so he was getting used to it.

Jack had proved himself chatty and approachable, so he didn't think the older man would mind helping calm his nerves. Jack had said that his door was always open, so taking advantage of that seemed like a good idea. When he stepped into the doorway, however, he discovered why he hadn't been able to find Ianto.

He was almost used to his sex drive being about a hundred times higher than normal; he'd actually found himself admiring Georg's arse at one point, so he wasn't shocked by how he reacted, but that didn't stop all the blood rushing out of his brain to other parts of his anatomy. Ianto was straddling Jack's chair while Jack was still in it and the pair were more than lip locked. Jack's shirt was half off and Ianto's normally pristine appearance was definitely messed up around the edges. It was quite honestly hot and Bill's libido fired on all cylinders, causing him to just freeze where he was.

Turning around and walking away would have been the polite thing to do, but politeness really didn't come into it round about then. He had known Ianto and Jack were an item as soon as he'd seen them interacting, but to actually witness the pair together was rather breathtaking. Jack really was pure, fiery sex and Ianto was the oxygen fanning the flames and Bill just stood there basking in the heat.

It was Jack who finally noticed him and the gaze that caught him did nothing to make the blood flow back to his brain. A little voice at the back of his head told him to apologise and leave, but making his body listen was just about impossible. There was a challenge and a come on in Jack's eyes and Bill was completely caught. Ianto broke the moment by taking Jack's chin and making the man look back the other way; Bill hadn't even noticed that Ianto had seen him until that moment.

"Leave him alone, Jack," Ianto said firmly, "can't you see the poor lad's at the mercy of his hormones."

That snapped the spell Bill seemed to be under and he began to realise what he was doing. He felt his face heating up and he was sure he was beet red.

"Um ... sorry ... um," he mumbled and then went to turn.

"Did you need something, Bill?" Jack's tone was amused, but not derogatory or anything like that and Bill froze again.

Over the last two days he had spoken to Jack quite a bit and Ianto as well and so just running away seemed rude.

"No," he said, doing his best to look at them, even though he was incredibly embarrassed, "I was just wandering, sorry to have interrupted."

"No Tom?" Jack asked, still holding Ianto close to him as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

"We're trying to be apart for a bit," Bill found himself admitting even as he tried to figure out why Jack hadn't thrown him out yet; it was clear the pair weren't exactly stopping what they were doing. "I saw your door open ..."

"Ah yes," Jack replied with a grin, "sorry about that ... usually it's just me and Ianto so we don't bother with doors. My fault, sorry about that."

Bill couldn't help a little embarrassed laugh; he was the interloper and Jack was apologising to him. If his hormones hadn't been screaming quite so loudly he probably would have known what to do, but he was more than a little flustered. He and Tom hadn't had the energy for more a little enthusiastic groping since he had been rescued and he was discovering that a teenage libido had nothing on Neranian biology when just out of the cocoon. His brain was dragging him in one direction and his cock in the other and the rest of him was stuck in between.

"Oh fuck it," he said to himself a little more loudly than he had intended, "get a grip."

He stamped his foot and finally made himself turn.

"You two need to have sex."

He was not expecting a pearl of wisdom from Jack to stop him in his tracks again.

"Pardon?" he asked, turning back before he could stop himself.

Jack gave him a small smile and it was sympathetic rather than amused.

"You and Tom need to have full on sex," Jack re-emphasised his point. "There are certain hormonal changes that only occur for Neranians during intercourse. If you and Tom have sex you should find your hormones settle down."

Bill wasn't sure whether to die of embarrassment or just take the advice; he did remember his dad saying something along the same lines at one point. There was, however, one big problem with the plan.

"Not sure how," he admitted before his mortification cut off his voice.

For some reason sex and Jack seemed to live in the same place in his head so it wasn't quite as strange a conversation as it could have been. He had only been interested in guys for a couple of days and gay sex hadn’t been high on his list of things to learn about before, so he was only mostly wanting to fall through the floor and disappear. The mechanics of guys with guys was obvious, but the details were a little more difficult to come by.

He almost tried to leave again when Ianto leant down and whispered something in Jack's ear, but the way Jack's eyes moved over him as Ianto spoke kept him in place. When Ianto had finished speaking, Jack looked up into the other man's eyes as if assessing something and then Jack grinned, which made Bill kind of nervous.

"Billi," Jack said, turning to look at him, "I think we have a proposition for you."

Bill listened, and the more Jack spoke the less blood there seemed to be available for thinking in his brain, but he did manage to pull out his phone and demand that Tom come to Jack's office. Tom definitely had to be in on this conversation as well.

End of Part 7

Chapter Text

Bill sat on the bed and fended off another sneak attack by Georg to steal his half full tub of sour gummy bears. They were sitting around in his hotel room just hanging out and he had been munching happily on the tub for about an hour now. He was under strict instructions to eat small and often between meals and to keep up his sugar levels, which had been giving him the perfect excuse to indulge his sweet tooth. He was quite willing to share his stash as well, but last time Georg had got his hands on the pot of gummy bears his friend had found it incredibly funny to refuse to give them back.

Bill had had to play the Gustav card to get them back. Both he and Tom were supposed to be resting, not charging around a hotel room trying to grab a pot of gummy bears, so when the joke had worn thin and Bill had found out exactly why he wasn't supposed to be doing anything like that, he'd looked at Gustav who had promptly sat on Georg and made the guitarist give back the sweets. Georg had somehow found all of this hilarious and had been trying to steal the sweets again ever since.

Tom had a stash of his own, but half of it consisted of fruit, which only Tom seemed interested in, so Bill was Georg's only target. If his friend tried again, he had already decided Georg was getting a slap.

Even though everyone at Torchwood had been very friendly it was nice to be in a hotel now where they were "recuperating from their food poisoning" as far as the rest of the world was concerned. They were due to do the cancelled signing the next day and then be heading back to Germany the day after. Their schedule was all out of whack, but David was running around like a mad thing fixing it for them. David had offered to cancel everything and get them back to Germany as fast as possible for some rest and relaxation, but Bill was craving normality and for them that was signings and interviews and making music. None of them wanted to let their local fans down either and so they were doing the signing first, then going home to recuperate properly.

If the look on David's face and the snippets of conversation he had heard when he had seen their manager on the phone that morning was anything to go by, the record company were not overly pleased and David was furious with the powers that be for suggesting that the band were over playing it. David wasn't the kind of person who often lost his temper; he'd have not been a great manager if he did, but Bill was pretty sure David had been close: he'd been very impressed.

He did actually look like he'd just been through a nasty illness no matter how carefully he applied the makeup, so he was pretty sure no one in the media was going to question it. According to the press release he had been shown, he and Tom had been badly affected by the food poisoning and Georg and Gustav only slightly affected. It was all really plausible.

"Touch my gummy bears and I'll sneak into your room and paint your face with the henna while you're asleep," he warned as he saw Georg's hand appear out of the corner of his eye again.

Explaining how he and Tom had brown markings up the side of their necks when they were supposed to have been at death's door had been a conundrum; until Gustav had pointed out they looked like henna tattoos. Their dad's genetic markers were black and theirs would change colour to black over the next few weeks, but until then they were brown. It had been Georg who had suggested actually getting some henna and using it on him and Gustav to help with a cover story of going stir crazy in a hotel room and just playing around.

Both their friends had actually been brave enough to let him have a go at them and Georg had a lovely tribal design down one arm and Gustav had happy faces on the back of both hands.

"And I'll hit you now too," he decided to make sure his threat was understood.

"Georg bitch slapped to within and inch of his life," Tom commented with a grin, "now that would be difficult to explain to the media."

Bill gave his twin a glare for that, but, because he turned, it did mean his eyes fell on the clock.

"Oh," he said standing up and forgetting all about his gummy bears, "Jack and Ianto will be here soon."

He saw Gustav look at Georg and Georg look at Gustav and both his friends stood up.

"Then that is our cue to go find something else to do," Georg said with a grin.

There was no secret within the band what Bill and Tom got up to when they were on their own and there wasn't any secret about what they were going to be getting up to later either. Jack's proposition when Bill had walked in on him and Ianto had been just that; a proposition, and, after quite a lot of discussion, Bill and Tom had agreed. What it came down to was that all four of them were aware that there was mutual attraction and Bill and Tom needed some advice on the whole sex thing, which could have been done with words, but Jack had suggested practical experience as being better. Actually it had been Ianto who had suggested it, but Jack had been the one doing the persuading.

Bill was pretty sure Jack looked at sex as simply a recreational activity, which he didn't, but Tom seemed to be on the same page as Jack and Ianto was clearly somewhere in between. It left him a little confused, but he trusted Tom implicitly and he did agree that having someone experienced with them the first time would be a good idea.

"I'm going to go use the bathroom," he said, feeling suddenly self conscious.

Earlier in the day, he had been anticipating the whole thing, but now he was nervous and the anticipation was laced with dread. Tom caught his arm before he could walk away.

"Bill," Tom said, taking his face between strong guitarist's hands, "my Bill, we don't have to do this if you don't want to. They'll come here, we'll have a few drinks, they'll go if that's what you want."

He would have shaken his head if he could, but Tom was holding him so that he couldn't look away; his twin knew him too well. He was totally incapable of lying when looking someone directly in the eye.

"No," he said, finding his courage again, "I want this; I want you, I'm just nervous."

Tom leant in so their foreheads were touching and gave a little smile.

"Yeah," Tom said, "me too."

Bill didn't bother to hide his surprise; his cool, calm, very sexually active twin was nervous.

"But you've had sex loads of times," he said, feeling a little calmer at Tom's revelation.

"But never with another guy, and never with someone I loved like I love you," Tom said and Bill's heart just about melted.

Tom was not the sappy type; romance was not something that Bill was used to hearing from his brother, but he knew Tom meant every word. He couldn't help the goofy smile that he felt blossoming onto his face and he moved in to claim a little kiss.

"I love you too," he said pulling back and, as Tom released him, he shook himself. "Right, bathroom," he decided; there were some preparations to make and now he felt much better about making them.

====

Jack wasn't in his uniform; Bill about died as he opened the hotel room door and let their guests in. In fact Jack was in a pair of black dress trousers, a collarless white shirt with little black buttons and a casual jacket. He looked positively edible. However, it was Ianto who had made the most amazing change; gone was the smart suit and tie and in it's place were jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket. Bill felt kind of underdressed in his jeans and t-shirt with no shoes and only a little makeup.

"Hey, Bill," Jack greeted cheerfully; "you're looking better already; getting back into the rock star life style?"

Bill grinned at that.

"Yeah," he said, letting the two men pass him into the room before closing the door; "the drugs and the groupies are being delivered after you leave."

Tom burst out laughing at that and Bill had to admit that if there was anyone less likely to have drugs and groupies it was him.

"Ah, drugs and groupies," Jack said in a singsong voice, "I miss the sixties; now if you wanted drugs and groupies, that was the decade."

The fact that Jack was for all intents and purposes, immortal had been mentioned before thanks to the fact that Tom had seen Jack die, but the casual mention of a decade so far in the past still brought Bill up short. Jack looked so normal on the outside; it was only when you looked in his eyes you could see more.

"No drugs," Tom said cheerfully, glossing over the whole thing, "but we do have alcohol; what can I get you both?"

What followed was a quick debate on the contents of the mini-bar, the revelation that Ianto was driving and quite a lot of idle small talk as everyone did their best to relax. Well, Tom, Bill and Ianto did their best to relax, since Jack was the kind of person who seemed relaxed no matter the situation. It was nearly an hour later that Bill realised what the time was and he was sitting on the bed, leaning against Tom listening to Jack tell what sounded like a tall tale, but knowing Jack was perfectly true. Bill made a mental note that three foot tall aliens covered in purple tentacles were not to be tried with when sex was involved, even as he nearly snorted Bacardi and coke down his nose at the way Jack told the story.

"Talking of tentacles," Tom said and Bill could see the slight sheen of Dutch courage on his brother's eyes, "I have some that are in need of attention."

Bill almost snorted coke again, since that was one of the corniest lines he had ever heard, even if it was true.

"If we started there," Jack said with a lecherous grin, "things would be over far too soon."

That was a point Bill definitely agreed with; the little nub was rather like connecting himself to instant sex and he knew Tom was little better. The whole idea did make his pulse speed up though.

"As long as we get there eventually," Tom said and gave Jack an answering grin; Bill was impressed.

He had seen Tom on the prowl for girls and it was quite clear Tom was on the prowl now, just for other things.

"Oh we will," Jack replied, "we will. Did you two decide how you want to do this?"

Tom looked at Bill then and the heat in his brother's gaze lit him up inside.

"I'm bottom," he said, staring at Tom and then he dragged his eyes away and looked over at Jack.

They had talked for quite a long time about how they wanted this to go and it had turned out that both of them were very interested in experiencing sex from both positions, but they had decided that Bill would be bottom first for practical reasons. Sex was a strenuous activity and Bill wasn't as far down the path of recovery as Tom and the last thing either of them wanted was to flake out in the middle. Hence their decision.

Jack's grin made him blush madly and he began to wonder how, if he couldn't even talk about it without going all blushing virgin, he was ever going to actually be able to do it. Things were always so much clearer before the moment; everything had been logical before, but suddenly that didn't seem to count any more.

"Bill," Tom's voice dragged his attention back and he turned to look as his twin again, "stop thinking."

Then he found his lips covered by Tom's and he was being kissed and he did exactly what he was told because every thought flew out of his head. Tom had that effect on him; when Tom touched him in any way sexually, it was like he switched into a different mode. Not opening his mouth and giving Tom's probing tongue access to whatever Tom wanted just wasn't an option and he pulled Tom closer, needing as much body contact as possible. It was quite some time before a stray thought wandered back into his head and reminded him that he and Tom were not alone.

When Tom pulled back, he found himself looking over to where Jack and Ianto were, feeling a little guilty. Just diving in, in the middle of a conversation had to be at least a little rude. What he found were two pairs of eyes watching him and Tom intently.

"Don't stop on our account," Jack said, smile playful now, but underlying what Bill could only term as interest; "that was quite a show."

"An arousing display," Ianto agreed even as Jack stepped over to his lover and laced fingers through his hair.

"Perhaps we should reciprocate," Jack said with eyes only for Ianto now and Bill watched breathlessly as Jack drew Ianto to his feet with only the slightest urging.

When the stepped together so that their bodies were completely flush with each other, Bill felt like the two had just completed a circuit and lit up the room. Jack did not linger on Ianto's lips long, kissing lightly there and moving to Ianto's neck with obviously practiced precision. If the way Ianto purred was anything to go by, Bill knew exactly why Jack had done what he'd done. Bill really couldn't have dragged his eyes away if the door had burst in and a hundred paparazzi had fallen into the room.

His breath caught in his throat and his hand tightened on Tom's arm where he had left it sitting when Jack did something that caused Ianto to throw his head back and moan as if his life depended on it. It was so hot that he was sure the temperature in the room went up a couple of degrees. There was also no doubting who was in charge of that particular tryst and the way Jack had Ianto so completely at his mercy made Bill's cock throb with erotic tension.

When the pair moved slightly apart Bill was quite honestly speechless.

"Wow," Tom said and Bill managed a glance at his twin to see an
equally absorbed expression on Tom's face, "you'll have to show me how you do that as well."

Bill was pretty sure that Tom had already done that to him on several occasions, but he didn't have enough brain power to actually voice it.

"How about now?" Jack asked, breaking away from Ianto and sauntering towards the bed.

Tom stood up to meet Jack, almost as if the pair were challenging each other, and Bill would have just stared if he hadn't caught sight of Ianto moving out of the corner of his eye. When he looked, Ianto was admiring him with an expression that was half come on and half innocent and Bill took the invitation. This was about experimentation and kissing he was definitely up for.

Very quickly he brought his legs up under him and scooted down the bed on his hands and knees, kneeling up as Ianto approached him. His stomach was fluttery as he leant forward into unknown territory, but he was feeling bolder by the second. Kissing Ianto was exactly what he had expected; soft lips touched his and it was gentle and exploratory as they slowly deepened the kiss. He could feel the passion running under the surface, but neither of them was being forceful or dominant and it made Bill's heart beat faster for entirely different reasons to when Tom kissed him.

When they mutually moved away from each other, Bill was feeling quite light-headed, but in a very floaty rather than breathless way. Almost as if they were of one mind, they shared a moment and then both turned to look over at Jack and Tom. Bill almost stopped breathing at what he saw.

Things had definitely moved on since he had last been paying attention; Jack and Tom weren't even standing where he remembered them being and it was almost like they were fighting rather than kissing. Jack had Tom pushed up against the wall, holding Tom there with his whole body and the kiss they were sharing was bruising in it's intensity. There was a clear battle for dominance going on and Jack and Tom were sizzling with testosterone as they partially embraced and partially wrestled. Bill wasn't sure what would be hotter; Jack winning or Tom winning.

The break came when Jack pulled back slightly and with lightning speed forced his knee between Tom's legs. That meant Tom lost footing, the kiss broke and Jack's lips attached to Tom's neck. Bill almost stopped breathing as Tom surrendered, groaning in pleasure as Jack attacked. He had felt Tom surrender to him before, body going limp and pliable under him, but to actually see it was quite amazing. He couldn't help a little breathless whimper of his own as the incredible sight.

It was a good couple of minutes before Jack relented and released Tom and Bill couldn't help smiling at how dazed his twin looked.

"My turn," he said, definitely wanting to try what both the others had had from Jack.

"Your wish is my command," Jack said with the hottest grin Bill had seen on anyone including Georg, which was saying something indeed.

He didn't have a chance to climb off the bed as Ianto just stepped back and Jack filled the vacated spot. In fact he barely had a chance to breathe as he felt Jack take control, draw him close and then cover his mouth in a smouldering kiss. The way Jack pressed against him caused the throbbing in his cock to go up a level and his thoughts flew out of his head almost as fast as when Tom kissed him.

Tom was a very good kisser, but it was clear that Jack had had a lot more practice. All that was missing was the fact that Jack wasn't in fact Tom and Bill knew that at a fundamental level, so it was mind-blowingly good; it would just never be perfect. He found out pretty quickly what it was Jack had done to the others to make them vocalise their pleasure as lips clamped onto his neck with just the slightest amount of teeth and he was moaning even loader than Ianto had.

When a body pressed up behind him and another mouth settled on the other side of his neck, he lost all sense of up and down and he really didn't know whether to lean backwards or arch forwards. His eyes were closed, his body was humming and he really didn't know which way to go next and he sort of whined his arousal and uncertainty to the word before it made him burst.

"I think that's enough," Ianto's calm tones just about made it through into his brain and he opened his eyes as Jack moved away.

It turned out Ianto had embraced Jack from behind, just as Tom had done him, and was drawing the older man away. Ianto was clearly not as passive as Bill had thought, just quietly understated.

"You're amazing when you're at my mercy," Tom whispered in his ear, voice full of so much promise that Bill made a tiny noise of pleasure and anticipation without really realising he was doing it.

Tom's arms didn't leave him and as he watched Ianto slowly undoing Jack's buttons one at a time, he felt Tom's hands on his slide over his t-shirt, stopping at the point where it rode up slightly, leaving a little skin on show above his low slung jeans. He hadn't dressed up, but he hadn't dressed down completely, so he wasn't in the jogging bottoms he often liked to lounge around in.

He shivered, but not from any kind of cold, as Tom ran finger tips over the skin on show, just touching the top of his jeans, but going no further. It was enticing and arousing and before very long it was driving him crazy. With what he could see and what he was feeling, he was hard and his erection was pushing against the confining fabric of his trousers. He wanted more and he wanted it soon and he pushed back against Tom, grinding his arse against the hardness under Tom's clothes and making his twin groan in a very deep voice.

The message was, however, understood, since Tom's clever fingers moved on to releasing his belt and then the button and zip of his jeans. Tom didn't stop there either, as soon as there was room, one of Tom's hands dipped under his clothes, cupping him through the material of his boxers. It felt wonderful to have such direct contact and he almost forgot about Jack and Ianto completely as he closed his eyes, put his head back against one of Tom's shoulders and made some very definite sounds of approval. Putting his arms back over Tom's, he took handfuls of his twin's huge clothes and hung on as Tom took him to wonderful places with the gentle petting.

"At my mercy," Tom reiterated in little more than a breathy sound and Bill arched into his twin's touch as much in response to the words as to the movement of Tom's fingers.

Tom's other hand snaked up under his t-shirt, playing over his stomach, then chest and finally settling on teasing one nipple gently. It was completely wonderful and Bill didn't want Tom to ever stop, well unless Tom started to undress him properly, because it was so much easier without the confines of material.

"If you keep doing that he's going to come before you've even removed his shirt."

Jack's voice was so close it made him jump and he opened his eyes to see Jack leaning over him, shirtless, looking at Tom. Ianto was still wrapped around Jack and gave him a smile.

"I don't think so," Tom said as Bill tried to put at least a little of his brain back together; "when he wants to, Bill can go for hours."

They had discovered that one the previous day; Tom had been playing with him for ages and he had loved every second. He loved being touched by Tom, it was that simple and he just wanted more and more.

"My patience isn't that long," Jack said and leaned in to claim a short kiss before standing up and turning back to Ianto; "time to get naked."

Tom's laugh at that was all the warning Bill received before his t-shirt was lifted and pulled upwards. His raised his arms in an automatic gesture and was divested of the garment very rapidly. Tom was climbing off the bed by the time he got his bearings back and was pulling his own large t-shirts over his head and Bill reached out to grab the belt holding Tom's jeans in their precarious position before his twin was finished with the shirts. Once the belt was undone, the jeans had to bow to gravity and slid straight down; Tom kicked them off with a grace that had Bill scrambling to stand up so he could get rid of his.

The loose boxers that Tom favoured were not loose enough to hide the very definite hard-on under them and Bill couldn't help thinking of what it was going to be used for later. There was still the fluttering of nerves in his stomach, but the eagerness was back now and he hurriedly pushed his trousers off his hips. The way Tom was watching him made him feel hot all over and at that moment he couldn't have cared less who else was in the room. When Tom stepped up to him and then knelt down, he couldn't look anywhere else and he shivered from head to foot as Tom slowly pulled down his boxers for him.

He felt exposed in more than just being undressed, as Tom ran his gaze up and down his body, and, when Tom finally stood up again, they were staring into each other eyes and Bill could see Tom's soul. Tom had stepped back when standing up so Bill closed the distance once more, leaned in to cover his twin's lips with his own and slipped his fingers into the waistband of Tom's boxers. Since they were loose, when he pushed them down over the round of Tom's arse and let go, they fell to the floor. Tom stepped out of them without breaking the kiss and then they moved together, closing the small gap between them and moulding skin to skin. Bill felt his erection push against Tom's and all he wanted was more.

Losing himself in the touch, he let his mind sail free for a while as his instincts, his thoughts and his body told him be was right where he was supposed to be. There was nowhere so perfect as Tom's arms.

"So beautiful," were the words that brought him back to the real world.

Turning in Tom's arms, but keeping the embrace close, Bill looked at Jack and Ianto. Jack was holding Ianto now and both of the other men were naked. It was strange thinking of someone other than Tom seeing him like this, but under Ianto and Jack's gazes he did not feel embarrassed or degraded in any way. Somehow it really didn't make any difference that Jack was naked; he seemed so comfortable in his own skin that it was as if it was as normal for him as walking around in clothes. This confidence seemed to ooze into the rest of the room as well and sensibilities about being naked in front of other people didn't seem to count anymore.

They had discussed how this was going to work and had come up with a plan before the actual night; talking about such things at the time had been deemed likely to kill the mood. This was about learning and Bill knew that Tom was going to be the one making love to him, but Jack was going to be the one making sure he was ready. Tom was going to be preparing Ianto since Ianto would know when Tom had got it right. Bill felt his stomach fluttering as he remembered all these details.

Tom seemed to sense his sudden unease and squeezed him gently; they were in this together, they would always be in everything together and Bill knew that all he had to say was stop and no one would so much as touch him. This complete trust gave him confidence even if it did not negate his trepidation.

"How are we doing this?" he asked, taking the bull by the horns as it were.

"You and Ianto on the bed side by side would be best," Jack said, acknowledging his courage with a little nod and a small smile.

Jack had so many different smiles for different occasions that it was difficult to keep track of them all, but Bill was glad of that one. He was feeling incredibly nervous as he let go of Tom and lay down on the bed. There was quite a significant part of him that wanted to call it quits and go and hide, but it was out weighed by the part that was desperate for Tom's touch. The kissing and touching had made him so hard and he was doing his best to hold on to the intense arousal before his nerves took over.

He put his head on his arms and waited, feeling the bed dip as Ianto took up a similar position beside him.

"What ever did we do to deserve such a vision, Tom?" Jack asked in a playful tone and Bill looked over his should to see the other two standing at the end of the bed.

"I was a saint in my last life," Tom said and Bill felt himself blushing as he realised his twin's attention was totally on him again.

Why on earth it was different now he had no idea, but presenting his arse to the world was making him blush.

"Are you two just going to stand there gabbing all night?" Ianto asked and Bill gave his friend a small smile for the come back.

It seemed that the whole room was completely aware that he had suddenly discovered anxiety again and were trying to make him forget it.

"Yeah," Bill said, trying to help, "if someone doesn't touch me soon I'll have to take matters into my own hands."

"Ooh, pushy," Jack said with a laugh, "you're in trouble later, Tom."

"Don't I know it," Tom replied, but there was so much warmth behind the tone that Bill didn't care what his twin was saying.

He didn't bother to respond, just did his best to find a comfortable position to stay in.

"The key to good sex," Jack said and Bill didn’t need to look to know that the older man was moving closer, "it a relaxed bottom and a focused top and I know no better way to relax anyone than a massage."

Jack of course couldn't possibly give a massage like any Bill had ever had before and, when hands touched him, they did not connect with his shoulders, but instead with his lower back. He couldn't help himself; he moaned as Jack's fingers dug in with just the right amount of pressure and the tension in his back just seemed to dissolve.

"It never hurts to have dated a masseuse," Jack said and Bill could hear the cheeky grin even though he couldn't see it.

"Bill, you're so easy," Tom said with a laugh.

"'m not," Bill responded, but he couldn't help moaning again as Jack moved his fingers.

"There and there," he heard Jack saying and one hand left his back, "and then push and stroke upwards."

"Nghhh," was Ianto's response, so Bill had to assume Tom was doing it right.

He really didn't care as he let himself enjoy the sensations running through his back from Jack's attentions while he did his best to forget what was coming. It wasn't that he was dreading it, it was just he didn't want his nervousness to make him tense and wreck things. He even managed to stay completely relaxed when Jack moved on to massaging his arse and he found himself opening his legs slightly under Jack's skilful hands as Jack also turned the top of his thighs to jelly.

When fingers grazed across his balls, it started him out of the almost doze he was in and to his embarrassment he actually yelped.

"Glad to see you’re awake," Jack said with a laugh.

The way Bill could feel his erection pressing into the bed, he was definitely awake.

"I can't help it if you put me to sleep," he came back and he knew there would be reprisals for that comment even as Tom snickered about it.

Bill found himself actually biting his arm when Jack took revenge and brushed a finger over the nub. His brain was working at such odd levels that his most sensible thought was that he was really going to have to remember what the nub was called because "the nub" sounded silly in his head.

"Always start gently," Jack said and Bill did his best to put one thought in front of another, "unless you're very experienced. Testing the waters can be fun."

To his chagrin, Bill squeaked again when a finger flicked lightly over his entrance. When something cold joined it and the playing became slightly more insistent, he made a small sound in the back of his throat and refused to let himself tense up again. Ianto shifted on the bed beside him and Bill could only assume that Tom was putting into practice what Jack was teaching.

He and Tom had played before, never really doing anything, but knowing they wanted to and experimenting just a little, so it wasn't a completely alien sensation, but he had never felt it with lube. That was kind of weird, but nice at the same time.

Jack just teased him for a while, stroking lube over his hole and making him breath hard as the nerve bundles fired in delicious ways. When Jack finally pushed a finger into him, he was ready and his muscles parted easily as he was overcome by the sensation of being filled. There was no discomfort at all and it felt incredibly good even though he couldn't help his arse clenching around the intrusion.

"Such a pert little ass," Jack said in a light tone, "I think I am jealous of Tom."

"You and the rest of the world," Tom said, and Bill knew his twin was using a jokey tone, but he could also hear the underlying possessiveness that lit a furnace in his chest.

"Down boy," Jack replied with a laugh and then Bill didn't care anymore as he was left gasping by Jack moving his finger and finding a spot that made his dick throb mercilessly.

He really wasn't paying attention to anything that was being said for a while after that as Jack demonstrated the spot several times and turned his brain to mush. When he did have enough brain power to care again, he was very glad to find out he wasn't the only one in such a state; Ianto seemed to be well on his way to putty as well.

"Tom, you have natural talent," Jack said a little after Bill's brain switched back on.

Ianto just groaned in response and Bill found himself grunting in displeasure as the finger in his arse was removed. He had been enjoying that and no one could accuse him of not being just a little demanding. The reward for the objection was a quick slap on the arse as the bed moved and Jack stood up.

"Behave," Jack said and Bill really couldn't be bothered to object. "There are many ways to prepare an ass for a cock," Jack continued, as matter of fact as ever, "but one of my favourite is toys."

Bill looked over his shoulder again to see Jack fishing in his jacket pocket and producing something he couldn't make out. Jack threw one at Tom who caught it and Bill tried to see what it was.

"Things that move are good," Jack said, waving around the other toy that it appeared was long, thin and silver; "things that vibrate are better."

Bill had no idea what he was in for, but, dropping his head back into his arms, he hoped it was going to be as good as the finger. There was a few moments when he didn’t know what was going on and then something cold touched his needy entrance. The width of it stretched him more than Jack's finger, but his muscles parted easily to begin with. It seemed to be getting wider and wider though and it wasn't too long before his arse was complaining and the toy wouldn't go in any further.

"Now for the magic," Jack said and then the thing in his arse began to make a low buzzing noise as it started to vibrate.

"Oh," was about all Bill could manage as vibrations ran through his rear and all the way up his spine.

It definitely was magic and his body seemed to like it a lot. He couldn't help himself as he started to make a pleasure-filled noise in the back of his throat that could have been mistaken for a cat with the cream. He was in harmony with the toy and he bowed to it completely as his body slowly began to open up.

He began to feel the familiar build up behind his balls; the one that he knew meant he was very much into this and, as the toy slipped further and further into him, he came closer and closer to letting go.

"Come on, Billi," Jack said in a playful tone heavily laced with sex, "I know you want to."

Jack stroked a finger lightly over the nub just once and that was all it took; Bill felt his body reach the first level of sexual ecstasy. He shuddered and all his nerves came alive as the nub burst open and the toy slid into him fully. He really didn't care what else was going on as he just did his best not to travel that last little distance and come on the spot. He wanted Tom inside him for that and, biting his lip, he fought off his climax with a will of iron, but his higher brain functions seemed to float beyond his reach as well.

All he knew now was that he wanted Tom and he wanted Tom as soon as physically possible. He didn't care what he had to do, or if it would hurt, or how he could get what he wanted, all that mattered was that he needed Tom right at that very moment.

"Tom," he all but growled.

It was as if something had been switched on in his head now that his whole anatomy was awake and the answer to every question was Tom. The toy was still in his arse and still vibrating gently and he really didn't care if Tom joined it or it was taken out first.

"Just pull it slowly," he heard Jack speaking, but he wasn't paying attention to the words and he only understood it when the toy was gently being removed.

He knew it was Tom's hands on him and he lifted off the bed to try and find more contact, but an arm caught him around the waist before he could move too far. It wasn't Tom's arm and he tried to pull away, but it didn't work.

"Bill," Jack's tone wasn't remotely playful anymore, "I want you to listen carefully to me. Tom will be with you in a moment, but you have to stay still."

Tom was his match, his perfect mate and Bill was so close to having that now that he didn't want to wait.

"What's wrong with him?" he heard Tom's aroused, but worried tone.

"Endorphin overload," Jack replied, not that Bill really cared; "think of it as nature's most powerful sex drug. Bill has just discovered the real Neranian sex drive."

"Why hasn't this happened before?" Tom asked and Bill growled again since he wasn't interested in talking.

"Those hormonal changes that only happen with full intercourse," Jack said, holding him still even as he tried to move, "Bill's getting there a little early."

There was more conversation, but Bill was a bit beyond listening and he didn't stop trying to move until he felt Tom's hands on his hips. Jack still wouldn't let him move, but the urgency dulled a little as Tom's cock bumped into his arse; he was getting what he needed. When Tom began to push in slowly, he wanted to push back to complete the move more quickly, but Jack held him firm.

"Oh god, oh god, oh god," Tom said like a mantra and Bill felt like the meaning of his life was finally coming into being.

"Just let go, Tom," Bill recognised Jack's words mostly because he agreed with them; "let it happen."

"Oh fuck," Tom said, sliding home and then Bill felt his twin shudder in a very familiar way.

The sensations from the tendrils were difficult to describe, but he knew the moment they began to reach for something. He really didn't understand what was happening, but he knew it was good and, when tendrils met tendrils, he moaned long and hard. It was like electricity through his whole body for a split second and it had the most amazing effect on his brain.

It took a few moments, but he found himself gasping, painfully aroused, full of Tom and suddenly completely aware of the whole thing. It was as if his mind decided to work again in a split second and everything hit him at once.

"Oh god," he said, as he almost collapsed back onto the bed.

"Breathe," Jack's calm voice told him, "just breathe."

He felt so full and so exposed and it felt wonderful, but frightening to seemingly have missed how he came to this point.

"Relax and breathe," Jack instructed and so he did.

When Jack finally let him go, he was ready, but a little unsteady on his hands and knees. He moved just a little, testing his boundaries and Tom moaned long and loud.

"Move, please," he forced out from between his teeth.

It was all quite amazing and, when Tom did as he had asked, he just whimpered and allowed the sensation to run over him. There was some pain that in the haze he had seemingly been unaware of, but it was overshadowed by the deep sensations of pleasure that reverberated through his whole body.

He had Tom, Tom had him and that was all that mattered. It was a thought that blew his mind in ways that had nothing to do with sexual overload and he opened himself as much as he could as Tom thrust into him. Gasping out his pleasure, he sank into the feeling and knowledge that Tom was making love to him and everything that had happened, everything that would happen meant nothing. There was only the present and he could feel Tom completely in the moment with him.

Tom's long fingered hands held his hips firmly and each thrust took him closer to what they both needed. This was about physical pleasure, but it was also about something far deeper and nothing else existed for Bill except that. When Tom thrust into him fully, he knew what as coming, but he had no frame of reference for ecstasy that lanced through him as he felt Tom release inside him. It was like for a moment they were one and Tom's climax was his as his own body went into spasm as well and he collapsed forward onto the bed.

There was no strength in him and Tom sprawled over him just as boneless as they remained intimately joined. About all Bill could do was breathe and even that wasn't easy, as his body rode the high. It seemed like forever before his body began to come back under his control and Tom only recovered a little sooner. Tom was slowly trying to move off and out of him as his brain began to move with normal thoughts again and he pushed himself on his side once he was free so that he could see Tom.

It was almost like he was seeing his twin for the first time as something settled inside him, something that could never be broken. Not knowing how else to express what he was feeling, all he did was move forward as well as he could and buried his face in the crook of Tom's neck. His body was still ringing with the after shocks of orgasm and his mind was reeling, but he knew without a doubt that he had just found heaven.

Tom's arms wound around him and they remained like that for the longest time; it never even remotely occurred to Bill that there was anything else going on in the room. The thought didn't enter his head and, when he finally did move, he was almost shocked to find he and Tom were not alone on the bed.

Jack and Ianto were spooned together on the other side of the bed, just lying there watching and Bill had to blink several times before this actually made sense to him. When he finally focused on Jack, it could have been terribly awkward, but Jack being Jack just gave the most incredibly dirty grin.

"Was it good for you?" Jack asked and, despite his current mood, Bill just had to laugh.

He was too tired to think straight and so he accepted the humour for what it was and Tom was smiling in amusement when he finally looked up as well. He had just had his mind blown and put back together again and so he decided not to think too hard. It only occurred to him gradually as he let his eyes wander up and down Ianto and Jack that Ianto was still hard and it slowly occurred to him that he was forgetting something.

"Shouldn't you two attend to that?" he asked, letting his eyes flick to Ianto's obvious problem.

He was too happy to worry about anything at all and for once he really liked the idea of just watching. He was pretty sure Jack would take up the challenge and, as long as no one asked him to move in the near future, he was more than content.

"I think Bill has a point," Jack said, nuzzling Ianto's neck and Bill rolled onto his back, smiling.

Life was just about perfect.

====

Bill had all but fallen onto the bed face first when he'd walked into his hotel room. The signing had gone well, but thanks to all the publicity around the cancelled one there had been literally twice as many fans there as the record company had expected. It had taken hours and some of the afternoon was nothing but a blur in his head. He was pretty sure he would have ended up face down on some poor fan's CD if it had gone on any longer.

"Bill," someone was shaking his shoulder, "food."

He didn't remember falling asleep, but he had to have been dozing, because he really didn't remember much more than falling onto the bed. Very reluctantly he did his best to move and found that his body was even more unhappy about it than his brain.

"Shit," he said to the world in general and did his best to push himself into a sitting position.

"Nice nap?" Georg asked while fiddling about with things on a large trolley that was sitting in the room.

Bill made a non-committal noise, considering how difficult he was finding waking up, he wasn't sure a nap had been a great idea.

"I'm just going back to sleep," he decided when his arms made it clear that lying down was better than trying to sit up.

"Oh no you don't," Georg said and began to help him to sit up whether he liked it or not; "if I let you go to sleep before you eat dinner, your dad will string me up by the bollocks the moment he sees me again."

He glared as well as he could while half asleep and Georg helped him sit up against the headboard.

"The others will be here in a minute," Georg said, grinning even though Bill was using his death glare, "Tom wanted to change and Gustav went along to make sure he didn't fall asleep like you."

"What is it with everybody and keeping me awake this week?" he moaned, but there was no venom behind his tone; it was really quite nice to be fussed over.

"We've all ganged up just to annoy you," Georg replied in kind.

Bill watched as Georg went over to the tray where it seemed things were already in order and then he found himself presented with one of the most humungous plates of food he had ever seen.

"I can't eat all that," he protested, even though his stomach growled at the lovely aromas coming off the food.

"Just give it a go," Georg said, as laid back as ever. "We ordered it using that list your dad gave us before he went home this morning."

Mealtimes were a bit of a challenge lately, since it was clear people were trying to stuff him with as much food as possible, even though he was snacking all the time as well. It was a regime he and Tom would be on for at least another month according to their dad and Bill was sure he would be as big as a house by them.

This meal consisted of a double-decker burger with bacon and cheese, a huge pile of rice with other things dotted through it (undoubtedly an attempt to get him to eat vegetables), a few fries that were probably a peace offering for having a go at the veggies and a corn on the cob.

"There's strawberry mousse for desert," Georg said, sitting down with his own much smaller plate; "if you eat at least two thirds of that."

"I'm not five," Bill protested, glaring again for good measure.

"No, you're just acting like it," Georg replied with a very unrepentant grin; "now eat up before you fall asleep in the ketchup."

"I hate you," Bill snarled and picked up a fry, since he was pretty sure it was the worst thing for him on the plate.

Georg just laughed, which might have led to a round of verbal sparing, but about then the first bite of food hit Bill's stomach and he discovered he was ravenous. He had the burger in his hands and had just taken a ridiculously large bite when the door opened and Tom and Gustav walked in. He was shocked by Tom's appearance; his usually bouncy twin looked about ready to drop.

"Are you okay?" he asked, or at least tried to ask, but soon realised that a mouthful of food made it very difficult to speak.

"Fine," Tom said, sitting down next to him and clearly having understood him even though he was pretty sure no one else could have, "just tired like you. God, I'll be glad to get home."

"I think some R&R will be just what to doctor ordered," Gustav agreed, handing Tom a plate that looked suspiciously similar to Bill's.

Bill swallowed his food so that he could communicate.

"Have they fixed the flight yet?" he asked, eyeing his plateful of rice sceptically.

"Just eat it," Tom said as if reading his mind; "you'll like it."

"Tomorrow at noon," Gustav replied, sitting down on the sofa next to Georg.

"Then its two weeks of nothing but lounging around and relaxing," Georg said with a grin.

"The record company agreed to two weeks?" Bill asked, surprised; last he had heard the powers that be had been trying to work it down to a week.

"David threatened to quit very loudly and publicly if they didn't," Gustav said, clearly impressed; "and so did most of the rest of the team."

Bill had been so busy just staying awake that he had missed all of this and he was touched. He had had no idea that those around him would go out on such a limb for them.

"Besides which, we signed for two and a half thousand people today," Georg said; "we damn well deserve some time off."

Bill smiled at that and finally tried a fork full or rice; it was surprisingly good.

"So many pretty girls," Tom said with an over done sigh, "I didn't know where to look next."

For that Bill kicked his twin in the ankle.

"Possessive much?" Tom said with a roll of his eyes.

"Oh yeah," Bill replied with as menacing grin as he could manage.

"We bachelors will just have to keep up the rep of the band," Georg said with a laugh and grabbed Gustav around the neck in what Bill assumed was a show of solidarity.

That earned Georg rather a black look from Gustav, which made Bill laugh.

"We're not married," Tom protested, and Bill had to admit that the mental image that idea conjured up was rather ridiculous.

For some reason the word marriage conjured up Tom in a suit coming home from the office and him waiting at home wearing a frilly apron. It was rather disturbing and he could only blame it on how fuzzy his brain was.

"No, you're just joined at the hip," Georg said, obviously still finding the joke funny.

"It's not the hip," Bill said before his brain actually caught up with his mouth.

He felt himself going bright red as he realised what he had just said. He could still very much feel what he and Tom had been doing the previous night with Jack and Ianto's help and the innuendo had just kind of popped out of his mouth. From Tom this would have been nothing new, but from him it was rather unusual.

Gustav even looked vaguely shocked, where as Georg just about fell off the sofa laughing. Tom gave him an impressed grin and then went back to eating.

Things had changed so much so quickly and yet here they were laughing and joking and chatting as if everything was normal. It was quite amazing to think about really and moving closer to Tom he felt suddenly a little choked up. He had the most ridiculous impulse to cry and not because he'd had a nightmare or Tom wasn't there and he was afraid, but because he was happy.

They were going home and they would have to deal with family and friends and sort everything out, but he wasn't worried. It was quite difficult to imagine how many mental leaps it had to have taken for those around them to adjust and yet they had. That support meant more to him in the world and he shoved another fork full of rice into his mouth and dropped his head a little to fight off the tears that that thought inspired.

====

Tom looked out of the window of the plane and did his best to relax. They were on their way home and it was time to begin to let go of all the stress. He turned his face back into the plane and looked down to the head on his shoulder. Bill was sleeping, leaning against him and looking completely innocent. The signing the previous day had wiped them both out, but more so Bill. Tom was pretty sure he could have been back on form in a week, but he knew that Bill would need the full two; too many things had happened to Bill that even two weeks was a ridiculously short time.

Bill had slept in the van on the way to the airport; he had slept in the business lounge while they waited for the plane; he had fallen asleep the moment they had sat down on the plane itself; and Tom had no doubt his twin would sleep all the way home from the airport at the other end. Bill's batteries were about on empty and Tom was feeling more than a little protective.

He knew he had been through the wringer as well, but the worst part was hazy in his mind. When Bill had been kidnapped he had about lost his mind and all his memories of that time felt as if they belonged to a different person. No doubt some psychologist would tell him that he had disassociated himself from it in his mind; he had watched enough of the discovery channel in his time to know that, but it still meant it wasn't quite real. Bill on the other hand didn't seem to have done anything of the sort. Tom knew only too well that Bill hadn't by the number of times his twin had woken from nightmares since they had got him back.

It seemed unbelievable how much their lives had changed in little more than a week. Not only did they know all about things they had never heard of before, but they were officially aliens, or rather, half aliens. Bill was everything to him now, but he had also almost lost his twin and that was going to leave scars on his psyche for a long time. The way he was feeling, if someone looked at Bill wrong they were going to get a face full of him. At least with the cover story the press would hopefully give them some leeway; they had been told that Bill had been the worst and had been very ill indeed, so Tom being over cautious shouldn't raise too many eyebrows.

The fact that they had done the singing at all seemed to have won them points with the British fans and media if the coverage they had seen so far was anything to go by. It was weird, but cancelling the first time seemed to have actually increased their popularity rather than decreased it. That at least was one plus point to come out of the whole thing. From what David had said, the record company were finally beginning to see the upside even if all sorts of things were having to be rearranged.

Looking around the plane, Georg had gone to sleep as well and Gustav was reading a book. It had been quite a week for them all and getting home would be good for each of them. He really hadn't had much time to worry about the others during all of this; he'd been far too worried about Bill. It was really incredible to think that they were still going forward, they were still a band ready to do what they loved. Everything of the past days had been so crazy and yet in some ways nothing was different at all. There was the old adage that in times of crisis you really knew who your friends were and Tom was very sure now.

He knew there were going to be some deep conversations in their family over the next few months and with some of their other friends too; Andreas sprung to mind immediately, but thanks to how those around them had reacted so far, he wasn't as nervous about it as he could have been. Who knew what alien heritage was going to mean in the future, all he knew now was that he was surrounded by good people.

Reaching up, he tucked Bill's hair behind one ear so that it didn't fall in Bill's mouth or tickle his nose. His first priority was Bill and it always would be, but, glancing around again, he was very aware that they would never be alone.

The End