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Be Like You (Das Geschenk (The Gift) Series II) 01/02

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Bill knew what was coming, he'd seen it brewing for days and he was dreading the conversation because he had no idea what to say. It was obvious his time was up the whole day they were out and about because he caught Tom looking at him and then turning away as soon as he turned around. Being a vampire it was much easier to notice these things now, but with Tom he would have sussed it anyway. He became absolutely sure when Tom walked into his room after their parents had gone out for the evening.

"I want to be like you," Tom said, without any preamble.

For a moment Bill just sat there looking at his brother and processed that, even though he had been waiting for it for three days. He had been a vampire for four weeks and two days and he wasn't sure of everything yet, but it seemed Tom was.

"Um," he said, still not really knowing how to answer, "I'm not sure that would be a good idea."

"You're fine," Tom pointed out bluntly, clearly not in the mood to be turned down.

"So far," Bill replied.

He had a strong suspicion he knew why Tom was asking, but he still didn't think they knew enough yet.

"You're faster, stronger and have developed perfect skin and hair without the need for any of that gunk you used to use," Tom said, putting his hands on his hips and all but glaring; "so far the only side effects seem to have been that you were as moody as hell for the first few days and when it's really bright out you need your shades. You haven't tried to kill anyone and you aren't any weirder than you were before, so why not?"

Bill took the weirder comment in his stride since he couldn't exactly argue that he was what anyone would call normal.

"Because I'm still new at this and for all we know there could be some huge problem just round the corner that we haven't thought of yet," Bill replied, worried that Tom was rushing into something he might later regret. "This isn't something we can undo, Tom, if I change you you're stuck like me forever."

"That's the point," Tom told him and Bill knew what he suspected had been right.

He just looked at his twin and tried to think of a valid reason to say no and keep saying no, but the look in Tom's eyes was very determined.

"I can feel that you're different to me and I don't like it," his brother told him quite plainly.

Bill felt his resistance just about vanish and his worry spike up very high. Any other argument and he would have been able to find an answer, but that one he understood far too well to say anything. He had been feeling the same thing ever since he had adjusted properly to being a vampire and, although he never would have mentioned it to Tom, it had been bothering him. He wasn't about to tell anyone, but he had come to realise that was why he had been so moody to begin with.

They might have looked very different when it came to the superficial things and listened to different music, but at a fundamental level they had always been the same. Now they weren't and it was clear it didn't sit right with either of them. It wasn't something he thought anyone who wasn't in exactly the same situation would understand, but it was more than real to him and Tom.

"Are you sure?" he asked after a minute of contemplative silence.

He already knew the answer; Tom wouldn't be in his room asking for this unless his twin was sure.

"If you were me, you'd be sure," was what Tom said and Bill really couldn't deny it was true.

The idea of passing on something so unknown to the person who meant the most to him in the entire world was scary, but part of Bill wanted very strongly for Tom to be like him again. There was no argument left and, hoping that he was not about to condemn Tom to something that would eventually destroy them both, he nodded.

"Okay," he said before he could change his mind, "but we wait until the weekend. When Mum and Dad go to visit Nana we'll stay here and we'll do it then."

He held Tom's gaze for a while and then his twin just nodded before turning and walking out. It was decided and Bill knew neither of them would change their minds.

====

Tom looked about as nervous as Bill felt on Saturday morning after their parents had left.

"So, how do we do this?" Tom asked, seemingly trying to sound more confident than he looked.

"I bite you, then I feed you my blood," Bill replied in as casual a tone as be could manage.

"That simple?" Tom asked.

Bill just nodded. He had rung Gackt to make sure of the details, but that was all it took. The bite set up what Gackt called a soul connection between them and then his blood would start the change in Tom fuelled by his vampire power. All very straightforward really, just completely terrifying at the same time.

"Let's get on with it," Tom said and headed for the stairs.

They had agreed that the best place to do this would be one of their bedrooms. Bill remembered the disorientation and the need to sleep and he really didn't want to have to explain Tom flaked out on the sofa downstairs if anyone came round. Forcing himself into motion, Bill followed his brother to the first floor.

"Where do you want me?" Tom asked as soon as Bill walked in.

"Sit on the bed," Bill said quickly, having already planned everything out in his head; "I'll kneel behind you."

To his credit Tom did as he was told without the slightest hesitation. The fact that his brother trusted him so implicitly just made Bill more nervous, but he had made up his mind to do this and he wasn't about to back out now. Climbing onto the bed he crawled over to where Tom was sitting and knelt up against his twin's back.

"It'll hurt for a second," he said, placing his hands on Tom's shoulders, "but then you can't feel it anymore."

Tom just nodded and turned, looking up at him with a slight smile.

"Just do it," Tom said, clearly afraid, but being brave, "I know you won't hurt me."

Bill gave a small smile back and then Tom turned to stare at the wall. Looking down at his brother, Bill felt and did nothing for a moment and then he ran one finger down Tom's neck. For the first week or so he had had to work very hard to keep the vampire inside, but now he had adjusted and he had to change mindset to bring it out. He concentrated on the blood vessel he could see pulsing in his brother's throat and he let himself sink into only that. The familiar ache from his gums let him know as his fangs descended and he stared only at his goal.

Bending down slowly, he opened his lips, mouth already watering at the knowledge of sweet blood to come. As he pushed his fangs lightly against Tom's skin, he felt his twin stiffen and he moved his arms down, hugging Tom to him to make sure nothing happened he couldn't control. Then he bit down and Tom gave a tiny cry as he held his twin still.

Gackt had warned him that a soul link could be intense, bringing vampire and blood donor so close together that they could sense each other for moments at a time. Gackt had told him that he was kind of a warm, bubbly presence in a soul link. What he did not expect when wonderful-tasting blood burst onto his tongue and he swallowed reflexively was for his mind to explode with images and feeling. He felt fear and pain and then pleasure and random flashes of the past and he couldn't have stopped if his life had depended on it.

He drank and drank as only one corner of his mind rationalised what was happening. Rather than the vague but intense feeling of presence that Gackt had warned him about, he was seeing into Tom's mind and he knew without a doubt Tom was seeing into his too. It was liberating and wonderful in a way and terrifying and mindblowing in another and it was only when he felt distress coming from Tom that he managed to drag his mouth away from his twin's neck.

His head was spinning and it was difficult to tell what was real and what was in his mind, but he tried desperately to concentrate. Tom was limp in his arms and he knew that he had to finish this. Focusing as hard as he could on Tom, he clawed on to reality. Bringing up his right arm he skewered his wrist with one fang, tearing a messy hole, and tipping his brother's head back he allowed the blood to drip into Tom's mouth.

This was not supposed to be the way it was, but Bill didn't know what had gone wrong. As Tom swallowed, he felt the connection intensify again and it was too much. Dragging Tom with him he fell back onto the bed and then everything went away in a mess of images and feelings.

====

Bill groaned and tried to roll over, only to find that he was pinned to the bed. It took his fuzzy brain another couple of moments to realise that he was pinned by Tom and that Tom seemed to be very much out of it. Glancing around, he realised it was dark and it occurred to him that they had been in the same position for hours. If it had not been for the fact that the wrong feeling he had been carrying around with him over the last few weeks was gone, he might have panicked.

As it was he moved slowly, trying not to aggravate the pounding in his head, pulling Tom off of him and onto the bed properly. The only sign of life Tom gave through the whole thing was a quiet moan before seemingly returning to deep sleep. Bill felt woozy and hungry and he was craving blood, all of which eventually forced him off of the bed in search of something to rectify the problem. He didn't know what had happened, but he was absolutely sure it wasn't quite what was supposed to have happened.

Stumbling to his wardrobe he opened the door and fell to his knees, moving the pile of t-shirts and porn mags off of the mini fridge he had hidden below them. He had figured that if his mother ever came poking around his stuff she would move the t-shirts, find the porn and think that was all he was hiding. So far it had worked a treat. He pulled out two small blood bags and then put everything back the way it had been.

Getting downstairs to the microwave was even more fun than forcing himself out of bed, but somehow he managed it without taking a header down the steps. He pulled two mugs out of the cupboard, poured the blood bags into them and then put them both in the microwave. It only took a few seconds to heat the blood up enough to be drinkable and, once the microwave dinged, he grabbed one of then and downed it as quickly as possible.

The familiar feeling of complete bliss passed through him, leaving him leaning on the counter trying to scrape back together his wits, but it didn't last for long. Almost as soon as the craving retreated he felt it creep back again and he stood there for a while trying to figure out what was going on. It slowly dawned on him that the craving was not his own.

He looked at the mug still in the microwave and then lifted his eyes to the ceiling. There was only one conclusion in his head; he was feeling Tom's need and it was making him feel vaguely nauseous. Picking up the mug he walked back the way he had come, at least feeling steadier on his feet now even as he obeyed the urge to help his twin.

Tom was still lying on the bed, but his brother had flipped over onto his back and it was clear that Tom was only partially asleep now.

He placed the mug on the bedside table and then climbed back onto the bed. Tom didn't give much resistance when he pulled his twin into his lap so that Tom was leaning against him leaning against the headboard. Tired, confused brown eyes opened momentarily and looked up at him, but closed again rather quickly.

Reaching over, Bill picked up the mug of blood and held it a little way from Tom's nose.

"You need to feed, Tom," he coaxed gently, feeling the tiredness warring with the need in his twin. "Drink this and then you can go back to sleep."

Bill had no idea what had happened to cause the weird things that were going on between them, but he was more worried about getting Tom fed and comfortable than figuring it out just then. Tom groaned quietly and opened his eyes again, but it was clear to Bill his twin was not really with it. Holding the mug to Tom's lips, he carefully tipped it up and Tom at least opened his mouth to accept the liquid. He finally knew why Tom teased him about the things he did when he fed, because the moan from his twin was positively obscene. Shaky hands came up to hold the cup as Tom drank, but Bill made sure to keep control of the mug and make sure it did not spill. Trying to get the little spots of blood out of his bedcovers without his mother seeing was going to be fun enough as it was. At least he could claim that he cut himself shaving or something like that at the moment, but a mug full might be a bit much.

"Enough," he said, finding it quite difficult to pull the mug away against Tom's strong grip once the blood was gone; "there's no more."

[Still hungry,] was the somewhat garbled response he got, but what made him just sit there as Tom made a clumsy grab for the mug was the fact that the only part that had come out of his brother's mouth was a disgruntled moan.

"No you're not," he said, shaking himself out of the daze he was in as Tom's hand almost made him drop the mug, "that's just the blood high. If you have any more you'll be sick. You'll feel better in a second."

If the growl from his brother was anything to go by, Tom did not agree, but he put the mug back on the side and held Tom until resistance left his twin. His mind was still reeling at what he had felt from Tom, but part of him didn't really believe it had happened so he decided to try for himself.

[Better?] he thought directly at Tom, feeling stupid.

"Hmm," Tom replied and left Bill thinking that he might be going mad.

It couldn't be real, it had to be his imagination; they sensed things from each other occasionally, usually in a crisis, but this was so completely different. Then again a few weeks previously vampires had been so much fantasy as well.

"What happened?" Tom asked, voice not very clear, but Bill had no trouble understanding since he heard his brother on two levels.

"I don’t know," Bill replied honestly, trying to rationalise everything out; "but I think us being twins might have heightened the soul connection."

"So I didn't imagine seeing into your head?" was Tom's next almost coherent question.

[No,] Bill replied silently, needing to assure himself that last time hadn't been a fluke.

"Weirder than I thought," was Tom's opinion on the whole thing, but it was clear to Bill that his twin was beginning to fade again.

He wasn't sure if the comment was about him or the general experience, but he knew he wasn't going to get a sensible answer yet.

"Go back to sleep," he encouraged while trying not to freak about this new development.

Tom looked as if he was trying to rebel against the suggestion for a bit, but his brother's eyes slowly fell shut again as Tom lost the battle. It took about five minutes before Tom was fully asleep again and Bill just held his brother while Tom drifted off. Once he was sure Tom was completely out of it, he moved and then set about putting his twin to bed as well as he could.

====

Once Tom was tucked up safely, Bill walked downstairs and slumped into the sofa. He thought he had come to terms with the whole vampire thing, but this was pushing him even further and with Tom all but unconscious he had no one to lean on. Picking up his mobile he opened up his phone book and found Gackt's name, he pressed the dial button and then put the phone to his ear. It was early morning in Japan; he'd done the calculation in his head, and he only hoped Gackt was available to speak to him.

"Moshi, moshi," Gackt's familiar voice answered almost immediately, "what can I do for you, Bill-chan?"

Number recognition was a wonderful thing, it removed all the need for awkwardly figuring out who was calling.

"I turned Tom this morning," Bill said, doing his best to keep all his thoughts in order in his head; "it wasn't like you said."

"Is everything all right?" Gackt asked immediately, sounding concerned. "You are both unhurt?"

"We were both asleep for over twelve hours," Bill replied quickly, not wanting his friend to be too worried, "but I think we're okay now. After we woke up I gave Tom some blood and he's gone back to sleep now."

"Twelve hours?" Gackt sounded astonished.

Bill bit his lip, trying to come up with some way to explain what had happened in words. It was all very clear in his mind, but feelings didn't translate too well to language.

"I didn't just feel him," he said, working things out as he went, "I saw into his head; everything all at once and he felt the same. It was like we merged minds and I only just managed to make him drink before it knocked us both out. It was the most intense thing I've ever felt and that includes having sex with you."

There was a contemplative silence from the other end of the phone for a few moments.

"And has this connection remained?" Gackt asked.

"Not exactly," Bill said, doing his best to remain completely calm. "I can sort of feel him sometimes in the back of my head. When I woke up I was hungry and so I fed, but then I could still feel the hunger only it was Tom's not mine."

He paused, still not quite believing the rest.

"And I can speak to him in my head," he eventually revealed, "and he can talk to me, only I don't think he realised he was doing it."

"You're telepathic?" Gackt requested clarification in his usual tone.

"Yeah," Bill replied quietly, the full impact settling on him as Gackt described it so starkly.

"Is it constant or do you have to think about it?" was the next question, which Bill hadn't even considered before.

"I think it's like talking," Bill said after examining his thoughts for a bit; "I only heard Tom when he was trying to say something to me and I think he only heard me when I thought at him."

"Good," Gackt replied, "hopefully that means you're in control. I've never heard of anything like this before between vampires outside a soul connection, Bill-chan, but if you need me there I can be on the next plane."

For a moment Bill's thoughts latched onto the idea eagerly, but then logic came into play and he realised quite how difficult that would be to explain. Then if the press got hold of it the whole situation would be a nightmare.

"Thank you," he said and he really was very grateful for the offer, "but that might be too complicated unless something else happens. You've really never heard of this at all?"

"Never," Gackt replied with his usual straightforwardness, "but then I have never met twin vampires. Vampires are more psychically inclined and I have known others who see more in the minds of those they bite, but all were very old even compared to me. I would suggest that making your brother a vampire has simply increased what was already there. There is always a slight lingering bond between maker and child and this may be a variation of that."

Bill thought about that for a while and it gave him at least a little comfort that this wasn't completely extraordinary.

"Do you think it will fade?" he asked, finding that he was not sure if he wanted it to or not.

"I don't know, Bill-chan," Gackt told him honestly, "I'm sorry, but psychic tendencies tend to come out with age for vampires, not disappear. I developed my ability to see spirits in my second century and it has become clearer as I have lived longer. We are all diverse and I believe this may be unique to you and your brother."

Bill always prided himself on not being one of the crowd, but on this one he would have liked some more company. He felt a little guilty that he was glad Tom was part of this as well, but he couldn't help it.

"What should I do?" he asked, needing someone to tell him he wasn't doing it all wrong; that this was his fault was something which was all too clear to him.

"Just what you have been doing," Gackt reassured him. "Let Tom-chan sleep until he is ready to wake and call me if it takes any longer than the morning. No one could have predicted this, Bill-chan, try not to worry."

"I'll try," Bill promised, looking up at the ceiling and wondering silently what Tom would say about the whole thing; "thank you Gaku-chan."

The nickname still sounded strange when he said it, but it was what Gackt had invited him to call him, so he did. The Japanese propensity for changing names with endings was a bit mystifying, so he had just accepted it.

"If you need anything please do not hesitate to call me," Gackt replied; "you are part of my family now, Bill-chan. I will always be here for you."

"Thank you," Bill said again, feeling a little less out of his depth.

He looked up again.

"I think I need to go check on Tom now."

He didn't like having Tom out of his sight and he hoped that that was one thing that would be temporary.

"Of course," Gackt said, seeming to understand, "please give him my best wishes when he wakes up. Good bye, Bill-chan."

"Bye," Bill replied and after a moment took the phone away from his ear and hit the disconnect button.

Everything seemed somewhat less epic now, but he stood up quickly, wanting to make sure Tom was alright with his own eyes.

====

Bill woke up to find that his right arm was completely asleep and it didn't take him long to find out why; Tom was lying on it. At some point in the night his twin had rolled over and snuggled up beside him on his arm.

"Tom," he said sleepily and tapped his brother on the shoulder.

A grunt was the only reply.

"Tom," he tried a little louder.

A more disgruntled grunt.

[Tom!] he projected firmly into his twin's mind.

"Fuck," Tom said as he moved instantly, rolling away and putting his hand to his head, "not so loud."

"You were on my arm," Bill complained back, trying to ascertain if his fingers would still move.

He could tell the moment Tom's brain actually switched on, because his twin sat up and turned to stare at him.

"It's morning," Tom said, clearly confused.

Bill sat up and nodded.

"We slept all day yesterday and you slept all night as well, I've been asleep for a couple of hours I think," he replied as he looked at the clock.

"But we had a conversation last night as well, didn't we?" Tom countered, frowning.

Bill nodded.

"You were pretty out of it so I gave you some blood and put you to bed. How're you feeling?"

Since it was a serious question Tom took a moment to think about that.

"Fine," Tom said eventually, "and hungry."

"Good," Bill said, wondering if some of last night had been real, [fancy an omelette for breakfast?]

"Yeah, that sounds good, but if you want it to be edible, you better be cooking," Tom replied having seemingly not noticed anything odd about Bill's chosen method of communication.

"I wouldn't let you near a frying pan if my life depended on it," Bill replied, trying to keep the mood light.

It was a conundrum that he had no idea how to solve; how did he tell Tom what had happened. He didn't think Tom would overreact, but this was rather unusual so it was difficult to tell.

"I need a shower," Tom said, pushing off the bed and standing up.

"I'll start breakfast then," Bill offered, taking the way out for what it was and putting off the whole talk until a little later.

He had had a shower before finally falling asleep so he was quite happy to let Tom hog the bathroom and at least making breakfast would give him time to think some more. As Tom wandered into the hallway he stood up and quickly headed downstairs. Their parents would be back by midday so they had to have the talk before then, but they still had a few hours.

As he pulled out the ingredients for a very mean omelette, even if he did say so himself, he began singing to himself quietly. The song was a random one that his brain just pulled up and he went to work as if on a mission. He was in no way a gourmet chef, but he could throw together food when required and he fried off some bacon pieces before breaking some eggs into a bowl. When Tom finally walked in, the first thing Bill noticed was that his twin was humming the same tune he had been singing and Bill was pretty sure it wasn't a song Tom would have listened to.

Bill divided the omelette in half and put it on two plates before turning to placing one plate in front of Tom and one on his side of the table.

"Thanks," Tom said with a broad grin and dived in.

It seemed that becoming a vampire agreed with Tom, since his twin was in a great mood. Thanks to the thoughts going round and round in his head Bill wasn't quite so forward in eating and he picked at his omelette still mulling over what to say to his twin. It was only when his stomach gave an almighty growl that he actually put anything substantial in his mouth.

"Something wrong?" Tom asked as he chewed on his first mouthful.

Bill frowned at that and slowly shook his head.

"Not wrong exactly," he said quietly.

Tom put his fork down even though Bill could clearly see just under half of his twin's share of the omelette still on the plate.

"Tell me," Tom said simply.

They had always told each other everything and Bill followed the instinct when encouraged.

"We're telepathic," he said, a little more bluntly than he would have liked, but he was at a loss as to how else to do it.

For a while Tom just sat there looking at him.

"Telepathic?" his twin asked eventually.

[Yes,] Bill replied, since he was pretty sure only a demonstration was going prove he wasn't losing it, [we can send and receive each other's thoughts. I don't know why it happened, but it did.]

He sat there letting the worry build as Tom stared at him. It was very disconcerting to be the centre of his brother's firm gaze and he was about ready to snap by the time Tom actually blinked. To his surprise his twin suddenly smiled.

[Cool,] Tom said cheerfully, shocking Bill into complete silence.

For a moment he didn't move and then he did his best to wrap his head around the situation. While he was doing so Tom went back to the omelette.

"Cool," he finally said aloud, "all you have to say is cool? This is so screwed up, I'm supposed to be the one that leaps in without looking and you're supposed to be the one that thinks things through and worries and all you can say is cool."

[Come on,] Tom replied seemingly taking to the mental communication like a duck to water, [we always wanted to be telepathic as kids; now we are. It is cool. It's weird, but it's cool.]

Bill couldn't really argue with that; it had been one of the things they had wished for when they were small. They had always been very close and they always had a handle on what the other was feeling, but this was that one step further although Bill couldn't say it frightened him. It began to dawn on him that he was worrying for the sake of worrying, which was really very unlike him and he finally stabbed a large piece of omelette.

[You're right,] he said, stuffing the forkful of breakfast into his mouth.

Thinking about it, he hadn't felt this right about something in quite a long while.

[Maybe I was in no state to worry so you felt the need to worry for me,] Tom suggested with a cheeky grin.

Bill just rolled his eyes and went on eating. Tom was right; it might have been weird, but it suited them really. If they'd been telepathic in school their teachers would have really known true terror.

====

Bill stared at his ceiling for what had to be the third hour in a row as he failed to be able to sleep. The day had been pretty normal once their parents had returned home, but it had gone downhill once Bill had decided to go to bed. They were supposed to be doing a live gig the next day; nothing big, just a small local gig that had been arranged quietly via the fan club to keep the home fans happy, but enough so that if he didn't get any sleep it wouldn't be good. He knew what the problem was as distinctly as he knew how to fix it and with a sigh he threw the covers off of his body.

Standing up, he picked up his pillow and headed for the door. Tom's room was literally next door and he walked in without bothering to knock. Tom was lying on one side of the bed and looked over at him as soon as he entered. There was no need to speak, they both knew that they seemed to have a problem and Bill walked over to the empty side of the bed. Throwing his pillow down, he lifted up the covers and climbed in, turning his back on his twin.

As if by one accord they both moved towards the middle until they were lying back to back. As soon as he came into contact with Tom, Bill felt the tension he had been feeling melt away and he was suddenly very tired. Closing his eyes he drifted off to sleep as if there had been no problem at all.

====

"Bill, you'd tell me if there was anything wrong wouldn't you, sweetheart?"

That was not really the question Bill expected when he made it down to breakfast the next morning. Having lost a few hours sleep, he wasn't really awake and it took him a few moments to banish the tune that had been wandering around his head and process his mother's question.

"Umm," was the closest he could come to a real answer and he just blinked at his mother rather stupidly.

"I saw you coming out of Tom's room this morning," his mother clarified.

"Oh," Bill said, glad that his mother was not referring to anything else, "nothing's wrong, I just couldn't sleep, nerves or something, so I went into Tom's room. Slept like a baby after that."

"And that's all?" his mother asked and looked him directly in the eye.

Lying to his own mother was not something Bill had ever been any good at and he didn't know what to say.

"Morning, Mum," Tom all but bounced into the kitchen and saved him from having to answer the question. "Need me to hold your hand over breakfast, little brother?"

He took a swipe at Tom's arm for that, even if the diversion was getting him out of a hole.

"I can't sleep one night and suddenly everyone's a critic," he said dramatically and threw up his hands. "Next time I'll just sleep with the dog; he snores less."

"Well then I might actually be left with some of the bed," Tom replied in kind. "I had this much," Tom made a very small distance with his hands, "bed left by the time you sprawled."

Bill did his best to look completely affronted and they bickered all the way through pulling the cereal out of the cupboard, filling their bowls and moving to the table. By the time they stopped, their mother had given up taking any notice of them and Bill gave Tom a smile.

[Thanks,] he said silently.

[It is a brother's duty to save his sibling from the maternal inquisition,] Tom replied and then went to concentrating on eating.

Bill was very glad he had a brother he could rely on so completely. He wasn't quite ready to tell his mother the whole truth yet and she was always very good at wheedling out all the details. That was something for another day, or maybe never if he could help it.

====

[Feel that?] Bill asked as they waited next to the stage for the beginning of the concert.

The energy in the atmosphere was electric, even though there were only a couple of thousand fans in the audience. The small venue was packed out to capacity and it felt incredible.

[Wow,] was Tom's response, [no wonder you bounce around like a madman. Please, make sure I don't do anything stupid.]

[You won't,] Bill replied with a grin and let himself absorb the energy.

He knew from experience that when they made it on stage it would be ten times as strong and it paid to acclimatise first. Closing his eyes he ran over what he was going to say and what they were going to be playing in his head. The morning rehearsal had been virtually flawless so he really wasn't that worried. However, as he mentally prepared himself and felt the energy rising, he felt something inside himself shift. The ache in his gums told him what had happened.

Keeping his back to the other's he put his hand to his mouth and, sure enough, his fangs were almost fully descended. Not only that but his surroundings were brighter, which meant his vampire side was out and his eyes were probably glowing a lovely greenish colour. The main problem was that he hadn't encouraged his vampire to the surface at all and even as he tried he couldn't put it away.

[Bill, what's wrong?] Tom's mental voice sounded in his head; clearly he must have been broadcasting his shock.

[I can't put my fangs away,] Bill said, on the verge of panicking.

He had no idea why this was happening; it had never happened before, not even when he was getting used to the whole vampire thing.

[What happened?] Tom asked, walking up to and round him so that they were face to face.

[I don't know,] Bill replied, desperately trying to tuck his vampire nature away again, [it just happened.]

[Are you hungry?] was Tom's next question. [If you need to feed I can delay here while you head back to the dressing room. No one will mind if we're a few minutes late on stage.]

Bill shook his head; he wasn't feeling any need for blood at all which was why it was so strange. At least Tom seemed to be fine, which was a blessing.

[What are we going to do?] he asked; he couldn't go on stage looking like he was now.

Tom stared at him for a bit, obviously thinking, but not sharing any details.

[You really can't get rid of them?] his twin asked in what Bill thought was an incredibly calm manner.

[Nothing's working,] he replied.

[Can you sing with the fangs?] Tom asked next.

Bill frowned, but nodded; he had tried speaking with his fangs descended before and had had no problem.

[Then you go on like that,] Tom decided and made Bill blink at him in shock. [You look like you're wearing really good special effects makeup; the fans will probably love it.]

There was only one slight hitch to that plan.

[What about the other two?] he asked, not even daring to glance round. [They know I haven't been anywhere near special effects.]

[We'll deal with them afterwards,] Tom told him, clearly thinking on his feet. [It's not as if we could have kept this secret for much longer anyway; they've both noticed things about you and I can't play interference any more.]

Bill just stared as his brain froze at what Tom was suggesting.

[You want to come clean?]

[Bill, I think we have to,] Tom replied. [Georg already asked me if you were doing drugs once. You're hideous at keeping secrets from people you care about and Georg and Gustav have both noticed you have a stash of something. I was going to suggest we talk to them about it anyway, just not before the concert.]

It was like a light dawning as Bill had a revelation.

[That's why you were so insistent,] he said as it all suddenly made sense, [you knew this was coming and you wanted to be like me when we told them.]

Tom just gave him a half smile for figuring that out.

[Couldn't risk anyone trying to stop us,] his twin admitted with a shrug.

At that moment Bill felt even closer to Tom.

"If you two have finished communing, everything's ready," Georg's voice cut through his thoughts.

Bill couldn't help a little smile; his friend had no idea how close he was to the truth. The smile didn't last for long as he prepared to turn round, but he knew there would be no big problems before the concert. They might all be young, but they were professionals and they would not disappoint the crowd.

"Let's go," Bill said brightly and finally turned around.

He had just enough time to see the surprise on his bandmates' faces before he bounced past them towards the stage. His shades were hooked in his back pocket and he had intended on leaving them at the edge of the stage, but he slipped them on instead. If his eyes were going to be almost luminous, he decided he'd use them with dramatic effect and reveal them a little later. He could only imagine what concert reports would make of his current look.

====

By the time they performed the last set, Bill was really worried that he was never getting rid of his fangs ever again. Throughout the whole performance they had stayed very much in evidence and, as they finally piled off stage, he still couldn't put them away. The fans had loved them if the screaming had been anything to go by and when he'd taken his shades off he was pretty sure a couple of girls had passed out. Vampires obviously did it for some of the fan base.

The moment he hit the dressing room he went for his phone rather than anything else. He didn't care that it was the middle of the night in Japan, he needed advice and he needed it before he tried to explain anything to his friends.

"Bill-chan, what's wrong?" Gackt seemed to realise he wouldn't be calling in what was the early hours of the morning for Japan unless it was important.

"I've just had to do an entire concert with fangs, that's what's wrong," Bill said, possibly a little over excited by the whole thing.

He really didn't care that Georg and Gustav were standing across the room staring at him.

"Oh," Gackt said sounding more curious than shocked, "did it cause you problems?"

"Nothing that can't be explained away," Bill said, not happy at all, "but that's not the point. Why the hell can’t I make myself look normal?"

"When did it start?" Gackt asked in a reasonable tone.

"Just before the concert," Bill replied, hoping that there was an easy explanation, "when I was trying to sync with the crowd."

Gackt made a noise as if he was thinking.

"I'm assuming it's not blood related," his mentor said carefully.

"Nope, unless I need more since this morning and I don't feel like I do," Bill explained and wondered what could be going on with him now.

"Then I suspect it's sexual," Gackt said as if it was a perfectly logical conclusion. "When was the last time you had sex?"

"What's having sex got to do with anything?" Bill asked, really not following at all.

"Please, just answer the question," Gackt requested politely.

"I would have hoped you'd remember longer than this," Bill replied, finding himself in a very sarcastic mood; "I didn't think I was that forgettable."

There was silence from the other end of the phone.

"Bill-chan, are you saying that I am still the only person you have ever had sex with?" Gackt asked as if he had to be sure of the point.

"Yes," Bill said, feeling more than a little exasperated, "I thought you'd worked that out about me; I don't sleep around."

"And you have felt no urges?"

That almost made Bill laugh.

"I'm a teenager," he said a little more bluntly then he had meant to, "or course I've felt urges. I ignored them."

"Ah," Gackt said almost immediately, "then I believe we have an explanation. My apologies, Bill-chan, you have a stronger will than I realised. Vampires require blood to live, but we also crave sex, heightening the sex drive. I had assumed your instincts would take care of the matter and did not wish to burden you with the idea that you would seek out sex in a way you had not before, but it appears I was wrong. The sexual tension of the concert has excited your vampire half and because you have not indulged recently it has been driven to the surface. It will fade once you are out of such a sexually charged environment."

"Are you saying this will happen every time we do a concert unless I have sex regularly?" Bill didn't quite believe it.

"Yes," was Gackt's plain answer, "I'm sorry, I had not anticipated it would be a problem."

Bill lashed out and hit the side of one of the metal trunks in the room, letting out some of the tension that had been building up since Tom had asked him to change him. Everything was a little too much all at once and the metal crumpled under the punch.

"Holy shit," he heard Georg say, but he didn't look over.

At least he felt a little better after attacking the inanimate object. He wasn't usually a violent person, but just occasionally an outlet was a good thing.

"Thank you, Gakuchan," he said after taking a deep breath, "I'll figure it out."

"Follow your instincts, Bill-chan," Gackt said in a kind tone, "they will not lead you astray."

Bill made a non-committal sound, he hoped Gackt was right.

"Sorry for ringing in the middle of the night," he apologised as he calmed down.

"I was not sleeping," Gackt replied and did not sound the least bit upset, "and I would not mind if I had been. Your wellbeing is more important than the time of day, Bill-chan."

Now he felt guilty, but he didn't say anything about it.

"Thank you," he said, "bye."

"Good bye, Bill-chan," Gackt replied, "stay well."

Bill let his eyes rest on the huge dent in the metal case as he pressed the disconnect button. It was a good thing the case was empty because there was no way anything inside of it wouldn't have been buckled beyond belief. There was no way to explain that away as anything normal. Very slowly he turned to look at the shocked faces of his friends and perversely it was then he felt his vampire begin to fade inside again.

"Oh fuck," Gustav said and seemed to succinctly sum up Georg's reaction as well.

"Unless you're offering that might not be such a good thing to say to Bill at the moment," Tom said, breaking the tension by walking past the other two and picking up a bottle of water.

"Tom!" Bill said as he started to blush.

"You just had a whole phone call about sex and now you blush," Tom replied unrepentantly.

Bill knew what Tom was trying to do, but it didn't seem to be easing the tension much.

"You're a vampire," Georg eventually said what no one seemed to want to say.

"Yes," Bill said simply.

"The Japanese guy?" Gustav added, catching up fast.

Bill nodded.

"Not 'guy', 'pompous, arrogant vampire'," Tom corrected and earned another glare from Bill.

Tom and Gackt had a truce, but they still weren't friends, something Bill intended to rectify, especially now.

"He's over four hundred and fifty years old," Bill defended the man he had come to be rather fond of, "he's eccentric."

Tom just shrugged and Bill looked back at the other two members of the band. Both looked rather nervous.

"I don't bite," he promised, holding his hands out in a peaceful gesture.

"You're a vampire," Georg said again as if that fact negated what Bill has said.

Tom reached over to Bill's bag and reached in, finding the small cool bag and the emergency stash Bill carried everywhere with him just in case these days. Bill just watched as his brother threw the single blood bag at Georg who caught it.

"That's what Bill's been hiding," Tom said simply; "not drugs; not alcohol, but blood. The stuff from the movies is all so much shit. Modern vampires use blood bags and a microwave; very twenty first century."

Georg examined the blood bag and then threw it back.

"Bill's also not the only vampire in the family," Tom continued and Bill saw his twin's eyes flash. "And before you jump to the wrong conclusion, I asked to be turned and I had to turn the emotional screws to get Bill to do it. I've been a vampire for two days."

"That's what's been different today," Gustav said as if he'd just had a revelation; "you're the same again."

Bill gave a little nod; there was no point in denying it.

"And we're kind of telepathic with each other now too," Tom said with a half smile. "Bill was all worried about it, but I think it's the way we've always supposed to have been."

"You can really hear each other's thoughts?" Georg sounded like that was astounding to him.

"Only when we think at each other," Bill clarified quickly; he didn't want any misimpressions; "like talking only just in our heads."

"Cool," Gustav said almost instantly.

"That's what I said," Tom revealed with a laugh.

Bill crossed his arms.

"Okay, so I'm the only one who was worried about it, can we drop it now?" he asked, since he could see this turning into a tease Bill session.

"Wait," Georg said looking from him to Tom and back again, "you were worried and Tom wasn't; isn't that the wrong way around? Please don't say you're swapping personality traits too."

"No," Bill said hurriedly, "god no, I can only just cope with my own character, I don't want any of Tom's."

He realised he was being, possibly, a bit overdramatic when the other three laughed at him, but it then occurred to him that at least Georg and Gustav were laughing rather than staring worriedly now.

[Nice once, little brother,] Tom said in his head.

[I was being serious,] Bill replied which made Tom laugh out loud.

"I'm going to shower and change," he said, turning and heading to the one place in the venue with a shower; there was no way he was getting any sense out of the other three now.

Chapter Text

The shower had helped, but Bill still felt kind of odd as he climbed into clean clothes. He was worried that Georg and Gustav wouldn't be able to accept him and Tom now, and he was worried about the whole sex thing. It wasn't that he disliked the idea of sex, it was just he couldn't imagine going out and picking up a girl or a boy just for sex. It wasn't really in his nature.

He sat down after he had dressed, drying his hair with a towel, but slowly drew to a halt as his thoughts took over. He couldn't say that he didn't like being a vampire most of the time, but it made his life so much more complicated. Sometimes he found himself wishing he had just gone back to the party when he had first met Gackt. Living your life in the public eye and being a vampire really didn't go together and he wondered what had ever possessed Gackt to try it.

He looked up when he heard a noise to the side and he was surprised to see Gustav standing there, hands in his pockets and a serious expression on his face.

"Hi," he said, not sure what else to say.

Gustav took that as an invitation and walked in, sitting down on the bench next to him.

"You doing okay with all this stuff going on?" was not really what he expected his friend to say, since he was pretty sure he was the one who had just shocked his friends to the bone.

"Yeah," he said after a moment, "you?"

"Getting there," was the honest reply.

Bill looked sideways at his friend, trying to gauge what Gustav was thinking, but Gustav had a very stoic face when he wanted to and his friend was staring at the wall with little to no expression. The fact that Gustav was even there and sitting so close was at least a good thing, or Bill hoped it was.

"Were you going to tell us?" Gustav asked eventually.

"Tom was," Bill said honestly, "I think he'd thought it all through, but I hadn't got that far. You know me, I barely plan anything. I was still trying to figure everything out."

"But you made him like you anyway?"

Bill wasn't quite sure what to say about that one; he wasn't sure Gustav would understand. His friend knew him and Tom well, but this might be that one step further than was comprehensible by someone not in the same situation.

"He pulled the twin card," was what he eventually said.

Gustav looked at him then with that calm, even stare that Bill had become used to over the years, then to his surprise his friend just nodded. Short and to the point and that was the end of that; it seemed Gustav did know where he was coming from.

"It may sound strange," Gustav said after another few moments silence, "but I'm glad it turned out to be something like this. It's weird and I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, but you've been so secretive at times lately and we were getting worried about you."

"Tom already pointed out how crap I am at hiding things," Bill replied with a small rueful smile.

"The worst," Gustav agreed with a nod. "The fans seem to like the new you though."

Bill just shrugged; he wasn't about to disagree. He had no doubt David would want to speak to him about the new look and if he planned to use it again, since it had had such an impact. He just hoped that it wouldn't start a whole new round of why to hate Tokio Hotel; no doubt someone in the press would accuse him of Devil worship or something as stupid.

"So have you decided what to do about the problem you're having?" Gustav asked after a while.

Bill shook his head and glanced at his hands.

"The only thing I'm sure of is that Tom is not going to have the same issue," he said, going over all of his options in his head. "I don't like being out of control, but picking up someone just to have sex with them doesn't feel right."

"You thinking male or female?" Gustav asked in what sounded to Bill like a slightly embarrassed tone.

"Um," he replied as the question caught him off guard, "either. I've kind of come to realise I just wasn't looking at boys, but when I do some of them have the same effect as a pretty girl."

Surprisingly that made Gustav smile slightly.

"Yeah, I kind of noticed the same thing," his friend said with a shrug.

Bill turned fully to look at Gustav as surprise made him react rather than think. Then his thoughts caught up and doubt arrived that he had heard what he thought he had or that Gustav meant what he thought his friend had meant.

"Come again?" he asked, hoping for clarification.

Gustav looked at him for a while and he wasn't sure he was going to get an answer.

"About a year and a half ago we were at some record company party and I found myself talking to what I thought was a hot chick," his friend told him, "only it turned out when we got back to a hotel room she was a he. I was just drunk enough to follow through anyway and it opened my eyes to a few things. I've never acted on the impulse again, but I know what you mean."

Bill's brain did a flip and realigned his universe to fit the facts he had just been given, but it took a few seconds and he was sure he sat there looking like an idiot for a while.

"You never said a thing," he protested as he reran memories to see if there was ever any hint.

"That's because I know I'm going to end up with a girl," Gustav said quite plainly, "and so I never thought to bring it up."

"Not even after me and Gackt?" Bill asked, not sure what was really going on.

Gustav shook his head.

"You seemed to be doing fine on your own and it seemed like an added complication," his friend told him in a very calm and logical way. "I didn't want things getting weird."

Bill could understand that, but that didn't really explain the current conversation.

"Then why now?" he asked, honestly perplexed.

Gustav looked at him then with a level stare that seemed to analyse him.

"Because you have a problem," was the reply.

Bill frowned; he wasn't following.

"I don't understand," he admitted.

"I know you," Gustav said in a straight forward tone; "unless another vampire comes along and bewitches you, or you fall head over heels in love, you're going to have major problems just picking someone up and I can just imagine the fallout. You've had sex once and you have his number on speed dial."

Bill felt himself blushing; he couldn't deny that it was true.

"So I wanted you to know that if you can't solve the problem I'm here."

What Gustav was saying finally became clear and Bill was even more shocked.

"Nothing romantic," Gustav added quickly, "just friends, no biting and I'd have to be top, but if nothing else turns up..."

Bill just sat there; his brain refused to process that one and Gustav stood up before he could formulate a reply.

"Let me know," was what his friend said as Gustav headed towards the door.

"Okay," Bill just about managed to squeak out before Gustav disappeared the way he had come.

Watching where his friend had left the room, Bill replayed the recent conversation over in his brain again just to make sure it was real. When he had to conclude that it was, he had no idea what to do. In the end he put his still damp hair up in a ponytail and went to find out if the others were ready to head home.

====

Bill walked into Tom's room with his pillow as soon as he was sure his parents were asleep and climbed into the unoccupied side of the bed. This time he lay on his back and his foot found his brother's shin, but not all the tension melted away this time. The fact that his brain was still churning over the conversation with Gustav would not go away.

[What is it?] Tom asked silently after a few minutes of just lying there.

His twin rolled over and looked at him and Bill couldn't avoid talking anymore.

[Gustav offered to have sex with me this evening,] he said and felt a lot better for doing so.

Tom looked surprised, but not scandalised.

[Our totally straight drummer offered to have sex with you?] Tom sounded a little incredulous.

Bill turned on his side so he could see Tom's face properly.

[Yes,] he replied, still reeling from the idea himself. [Turns out not so straight.]

[What did you say?] Tom asked after a moment.

[He said to let him know so I said okay,] he replied, replaying the conversation in his head for what had to be the hundredth time.

There was silence from Tom for a while and Bill could just imagine his twin's thought turning over.

[You do need to fix this problem you’re having,] Tom eventually pointed out.

[Are you saying I should accept?] Bill asked, surprised that Tom was thinking like that.

Relationships within the band could be trouble and it was probably a bad idea, but then again it wasn't really a relationship Gustav was offering, it was friends with benefits.

[Well you have to do something,] Tom replied with a mental shrug, [and I know you, you're never going to just pick someone up. I was going to offer to find us a couple of girls, but this would probably work better, because you'd probably spend all night trying to get to know anyone I brought back and never get round to anything else. You already know and trust Gustav and he must fancy you at least a bit or he never would have offered.]

Bill hadn't thought of it that way.

[Do you fancy him at all?] Tom asked as he considered it.

[Hmm, I could,] Bill said eventually, [I've just never considered him in that way. You've got to admit he's cute.]

Tom just looked at him for that comment.

[Straight, remember?] his twin said and rolled his eyes

[Yeah,] Bill replied with a grin, [well so was I.]

[Stop right there,] Tom said adamantly, [you are not gayifying me.]

Bill just laughed.

[Don't worry, big brother,] he said, feeling much better now he had spoken to Tom, [your manliness is safe. If you want to limit your options unnecessarily that's up to you.]

Tom's only reply was a derisive snort that made Bill smile even more.

[I'll talk to Gustav tomorrow,] he decided and felt the last of the tension leave now that he had made a decision, [make sure we both know what we're getting into.]

Tom made a noise of agreement, but, when Bill glanced over, his twin was already falling asleep. Rolling over, he pulled the duvet up over his shoulder and closed his eyes.

[Night,] he sent and received a jumble of sound in reply that he took to be a similar sentiment.

====

"Mum!"

Bill woke suddenly when he heard Tom's voice and he sat up rapidly not really aware of what he was doing. What he found was his mother standing in Tom's doorway looking at them both and he glanced over at the clock and realised that he had forgotten to set it to wake him up so he could go back to his room before their parents woke up.

"Okay," their mother said as Bill did his best to gather his scattered wits, "what is going on? You haven't slept in the same bed unless you had to since you were small."

Bill looked at Tom.

[What do we say?] he asked, relying on the fact that Tom had probably thought about this before now.

[I think it's time to come clean at home too,] Tom said and there was a resolution in his twin's tone that made Bill think there was no way around this.

It was a scary prospect simply because Bill was inclined to take a paranoid view about the whole vampire thing, but most of him was sure their parents would not freak; at least not too much. He gave a small nod; he couldn't really see another way to explain their behaviour that wouldn't come back to bite them sooner or later.

"Mum," Tom said, taking the lead that Bill was glad to give him, "we need to have a long talk. Dad needs to hear it too and we'd rather not explain twice. It's not terrible, but it is complicated."

Their mother looked worried, but eventually she nodded.

It took them half an hour to get downstairs where they found their parents waiting for them. Bill really didn't feel like eating, but he took the cereal bar Tom thrust into his hands and then they all moved to the living room.

"First of all the sleeping in the same bed thing," Bill let Tom start from where his twin remained standing while he sat down, "it's because neither of us can sleep without the other there. It's temporary, but we can't do anything about it at the moment."

"Is something wrong?" their step-father asked in a concerned tone.

"No," Bill said straight away, possibly a little too quickly for it to be totally convincing, "not wrong, just different."

He realised he probably wasn't helping saying things like that.

[I'll start,] he decided silently; there was no point in holding back now.

"While we were in England something happened," he said, trying to think how to explain it. "I met someone and it kind of changed lots of things."

"Does this someone have a name?" their mother asked.

"Um, I'd rather not say," Bill said with a small shrug, "it's complicated."

"Did this person hurt you?" his step-father asked, jumping to the wrong conclusion.

"No," Bill said firmly, "it's not like that. He ..."

He saw his parents react to the 'he' and stopped talking as it occurred to him what he was admitting. For a while he just sat there looking with his parents looking back.

"Sweetheart," his mother finally said in a very gentle voice, "are you trying to tell us you're gay?"

"Um, not exclusively," he replied, awkwardly.

"Bill swings both ways," Tom said, helping him out.

"You didn't think we'd have a problem with that did you, darling?" his mother asked.

Bill shook his head, he had expected it might shock his parents a little since it had shocked him, but he had known they would support him on that point.

"That was just something I found out," he said, not really sure how to explain, "but it has a lot to do with why things happened."

He looked at Tom as he ran out of ideas as to how to go on.

"Bill's new friend was what you'd call unusual," Tom said, taking over for him.

It was clear their parents didn't know where this was going.

"He's over four hundred and fifty years old," he said, deciding that just coming out and saying the world vampire would be too much all at once.

That obviously wasn't what either of their parents had been expecting to hear and first he saw their faces register shock and then disbelief and worry.

"You don't really believe that do you, Bill?" his step-father asked.

Now his parents seemed to think he was having delusions and he gave a short little laugh. This was not going how he would have liked it to.

"I'm not delusional," he said, glancing at Tom, "honestly, he is that old even though he looks about thirty."

Both his mother and step-father looked to Tom as if Tom was going to be the voice of reason.

"If Bill's delusional then so am I," Tom said and sat down. "This is why meeting him changed everything; it's not every day you find out the universe doesn't quite work the way people have told you it does."

"No one can live for that long," their mother said as if she was trying to convince them.

"Vampires can," Bill said quietly.

He watched their parents swap worried glances.

"Vampires aren't real," their step-father said and seemed to be attempting to be very gentle but firm about it.

"Been there, thought that," Tom said in a no nonsense tone.

"Tom, whatever you think you've seen," when his mother started to say that Bill knew the time for words was over.

There was only one way their parents would ever believe them and he felt for his vampire nature.

"People can be very clever," their mother was still talking.

"Mum," he said and his step-father looked at him, eyes going wide, but his mother was still concentrating on Tom. "Mum," he said again, a little louder this time and she finally turned to him. "Vampires exist, mum."

Under his glowing gaze his mother's face lost all colour and she stared at him in disbelief. When she wobbled and began to pitch out of the chair she was perched on the front of, Bill moved before he thought about it. He caught his mother before she could hit the ground and placed her back in the chair, much more worried about her than anything else. He had never seen his mother faint before and it scared the crap out of him.

"Mum, are you okay?" he asked anxiously. "I'm sorry."

He held his mother gently in the chair and looked into her face as she blinked, recovering slowly. When he thought she was stable enough, he let go of her shoulders and just crouched there. Eventually his mother reached out slowly and gently cupped the side of his face as if reaffirming that he was really there. He had let the vampire fade in his panic and he didn't know what to do now.

"My little boy," his mother said quietly.

"It's not bad, mum," he promised faithfully, "all the legends and stuff aren't true. I didn't mean to scare you, I'm sorry."

For a while it was like time had stopped as he waited for his mother to react.

"Show me again, sweetheart," she said eventually, "please."

It was not what Bill was expecting, but after a moment of surprise he did as he was asked. His mother's face was very beautiful to vampire eyes, all bright and almost shining in the morning sunlight and he let her look at him. He even opened his mouth slightly to reveal just a hint of his fangs.

"Yesterday at the concert I wasn't trying out a new look," he said quietly since the news of the whole vampire fangs and eyes had been everywhere and his parents knew about it, "I kind of got stuck so I had to sing like this."

"I can see why the girls went crazy," his mother said quietly with a tiny smile. "Bill, Bill, Bill, what have you been up to?"

He let the vampire fade again then and couldn't help blushing; there was no way he was telling his mother exactly how this had come about.

"Oh," she said as if reading his mind, "this mystery man must have been very special indeed."

Bill couldn't look his mother in the eyes after that.

"I just need to know one thing," she said, which made him look up again even though he didn't want to; "are you happy with this?"

Bill nodded. His mother sat forward and placed a kiss on his forehead.

"That's okay then," she said quite simply. "But now I want to know what happened this weekend. Every time I've seen you both since you came back from England there's been something off, but now you seem to be back on track. You haven't been arguing behind everyone's backs because of this have you."

Once again Bill was amazed as how perceptive his mother was. They had hardly been at home recently and yet she had noticed everything. Georg and Gustav he could understand; they were with them most of the time, but they had spent very little time with their parents since he had been bitten, what with promoting the new album and everything.

"What's been off is that we were different," Tom said before Bill could formulate a reply; "we're not anymore."

Bill stood up slowly to stand next to Tom, a united front.

"So you're both...?" their step-father asked.

Bill gave a small nod.

"I made Bill agree to make me like him," Tom said, clearly trying to take all the blame.

"Different doesn't work for us," Bill added, not wanting this to be all on Tom's head, "I didn't take much convincing; not for something so..."

He wasn't quite sure what word to use.

"Fundamental," Tom finished for him.

"At least that I understand," their mother said evenly.

Their parents shared a look and took each other's hands before both turning back to look at them. Bill saw acceptance in the gazes looking at him.

"We'd like it if you would both explain this to us," their mother said and held out her free hand to Bill who was closest.

"We would like to understand everything," their dad agreed and held out his hand to Tom.

[All of it then,] Bill said silently.

[All of it,] Tom agreed.

====

The explanation had been long and difficult in places, but Bill had been amazed at how understanding their parents had been. The day had been hectic since the band had been headed on the road again before lunch, but their parents had sent them off with hugs and smiles as usual. The trip was only for a few days to film their next video on location, do some interviews across the country and some signings for their last single, but it still meant piling into the van and checking into a hotel and making sure everything was ready. It wasn't until dinner that any of them had a chance to stop again and Bill dove into the pizza in front of him ravenously.

"Bill, where exactly did the vampire come from?" David asked when he finally paused his assault on the Italian food.

For a moment his mind flicked to thinking that David might have found out the truth before he realised that David was talking about the concert. He coughed and took a drink while trying to figure out a reply.

"He lost a bet," Georg said smoothly with a broad grin. "I bet Bill that his name would be the first we heard shouted when we reached the venue and he reckoned it would be Tom or me. I have a friend who does special effects and we agreed the one of us who lost would be vamped out to rile up the home fans."

Bill tried not to stare as Georg lied directly to David's face for him.

"Well it definitely did that," David replied in a manner that seemed pleased rather than anything else, "the fanbase seems to have gone nuts for the new look. How would you feel about using it occasionally?"

"Um," Bill said while rapidly going over the ramifications in his head.

Gackt had not seemed worried that he had done a concert with fangs so he didn't see that as a problem and as long as he was careful no one would find out that it wasn't a gimmick. He mulled it over.

"Okay," he said eventually, "but not too often, I don't want to over do it."

"Of course," David said with a grin; "keeping the fans begging for it will work much better anyway."

Bill rolled his eyes and went back to his pizza; he just hoped the whole vampire thing wouldn't attract too many crazies, or real vampires for that matter.

====

Bill had been meaning to talk to Gustav all day, he really had, but there had never been the opportunity so when Tom dragged Georg off to the bar and gave him a mental shove he took the hint.

"Wanna watch some TV?" he asked as the two of them headed for their rooms.

"Sure," Gustav replied without reacting as if Bill might have an ulterior motive at all; "your room or mine?"

"Mine's closer," Bill said as they came to his door.

Gustav gave him a small smile and indicated that he should lead on, so he pushed the keycard into the door and let them in. Once inside, he threw his jacket over the desk chair, kicked off his shoes, opened the cabinet with the TV, picked up the remote and threw himself onto the bed.

"Pay per view or bog standard channels?" he asked, hoping that he would work up the courage to broach the subject of sex if they really did watch a bit of TV.

"You could try the adult channel if you're that nervous," Gustav said perfectly calmly and sat down on the other side of the bed.

Bill just put the remote down on his lap and looked at his friend.

"That obvious, huh?" he asked.

He was rewarded with a big smile for that comment.

"You don't do subtle," Gustav said as the smile morphed into a grin, "and you've been trying to get me alone all day."

Gustav had a very cute grin, Bill suddenly wished more people got to see it, but their drummer tended to reserve it for when the camera was not on.

"Well Tom's been pointing out all day that if I don't take you up on your offer I'm probably going to be celibate until my vampire breaks out and pins the first person I meet to an available surface, so I have an excuse," he replied, mentally trying to work out how they were going to do this. "Do you have any idea what those mental images can do to a sex starved vampire."

"No," Gustav said, "but I think I'm probably about to find out."

That wiped away any remaining humour in Bill; this wasn't just about joking around, this was serious.

"Do we really want to do this?" he asked, needing to know that neither of them was going to back out.

"As long as you promise me that you're not going to go and turn this into something it isn't," Gustav said, also sobering, "I don't see any reason why not. I find you attractive and you're so strung out I could probably look like Quasimodo and you wouldn't care. We can have some fun and solve your problem in the process."

"For the record, I find you attractive too," Bill said honestly, "now that I'm looking at you in that light. Don't ever let me hear you putting yourself down."

Gustav just shrugged at that and Bill made a mental note to do something about his friend's self-esteem, which seemed a little lacking at the moment. No one in the band was allowed to feel like they were worth less than the others no matter what the press seemed to think. He wondered if he could get Gustav a magazine spread of his own in the near future or something like that, something where Gustav could shine without having to worry about the others.

"You look intense," Gustav said, breaking him out of his train of thought, "anything going on in your head I should know about?"

"No," Bill said, banishing the thoughts for another time, "just planning."

"You, planning?" Gustav said with mock shock; "we're all in trouble."

Bill gave Gustav a look for that comment. Yes he often went with instinct, but he was capable of putting a plan together when he wanted to. They sat there for a while as the silence became more awkward.

"Maybe it would be better if I put on some porn," Bill suggested in the end, "get us in the mood."

"Could do," Gustav replied with a shrug, "or we could just try making out for a while and see where that takes us."

Bill looked at the remote that was now back in his hand and then tossed it onto the sofa in the corner of the room.

"Kissing I can do," he said and crawled over the distance between himself and Gustav.

For a moment he paused, not sure how to start, but then he decided to just dive in. Still on hands and knees, he leant forward and placed his lips on Gustav's. Gustav kissed back almost straight away and Bill felt a tongue ghost over his lips pretty soon after that. One thing he had had practice at was kissing and so he let himself sink into the experience, opening his mouth and letting Gustav taste him properly. When a hand snaked up under his shirt, ghosting over his skin and then reaching behind him to pull him down, he went with a purr. Gustav was a good kisser and his friend definitely knew what to do with his hands as well.

Everything was going fine as they kissed and carefully groped each other on the bed, that was until Gustav moved from Bill's lips to his neck. Bill moaned as Gustav gently nipped at his neck. feeling the blood rushing from his head to other parts of his anatomy. It seemed his neck was very sensitive to such ministrations these days and he rubbed himself against Gustav like a cat in ecstasy. He was definitely aroused now and he could feel the sexual energy coming from Gustav, who seemed to be enjoying himself as well.

That was when his vampire came out to play and he felt his senses heighten and his fangs descend. He nuzzled Gustav's neck, kissing the pale skin and sensing the blood rushing through the vein just under the skin. He didn't feel hunger, but he did feel need and he found that he wanted to bite; he wanted it very badly. For long seconds he was fixated and then he realised what he was doing and pushed himself away before he could lose control completely.

He found himself sitting on his arse at the back corner of the bed, breathing hard and trying his best not to follow the urge to close the gap back over the bed and pounce on Gustav. He wasn't quite sure if he wanted to shag or be shagged, but he definitely wanted to bite along the way and he knew that was one of the things Gustav had forbidden.

"Sorry," he apologised, trying very hard to put his vampire back where it belonged.

It was almost as difficult as at the concert, but there was no underlying sexual tension from several thousand teenagers, just him and Gustav so he eventually managed it.

[Bill, is something wrong?] Tom's voice sounded in his head.

[Vampire came out to play,] Bill replied quickly, [think I have it under control now.]

[You sure?] Tom asked carefully.

[Yeah,] he replied, feeling in control again, [thanks.]

"You wanted to bite me?" Gustav sounded curious rather than anything else, which was at least one thing.

Bill looked down, blushing as he did so; he couldn't exactly deny it.

"Sorry," he apologised again, "I ... um ... I think it was the whole neck thing."

When he looked back up Gustav just gave a small shrug.

"No necking," Gustav said calmly, "got it."

Bill didn't bother hiding the fact that he was surprised by that; sometimes Gustav's whole attitude to the world mystified him. In his friend's place he wasn't sure he'd be so calm. When Gustav gave him a come here look, he slowly moved and soon found himself into another embrace.

This time they kissed for longer and then Gustav pushed him down on the bed and began undoing his shirt and kissing across his chest. It was very nice indeed and he was purring again very quickly and this time he had Gustav pinned on the bed with him leaning over his companion before he caught himself. He pushed himself away and off the bed completely this time; it had been so close and he realised that thanks to his abstinence his control was completely crap.

Wrapping his arms around himself he walked away from the bed, desperately dragging what was left of his will to his control. It was even harder to force his vampire nature away this time and it was beginning to dawn on him that he might not be able to do this.

[Bill?] Tom's enquiry was not far behind his loss of control.

[Happened again,] Bill said without needing to be prompted; [I don't know if I can do this without biting someone.]

It was what he was honestly thinking and he had no idea what he could do about it.

[Maybe you should ring Gackt again,] Tom suggested; [I can feel your need from down here.]

Bill would have replied, but a hand on his shoulder made him turn. Gustav was standing just behind him regarding him very seriously.

"You really need to bite, don't you?" Gustav said thoughtfully.

Bill nodded.

"I think I do, yes," he replied with a nod; "I'm sorry."

"If you bite someone won't they become a vampire too?" Gustav asked with a frown.

It was only then that it occurred to Bill that he and Tom hadn't really explained a great deal the previous day. Gustav had no idea what to think in this situation.

"No," Bill said simply, "to make another vampire we have to drink and then feed them our blood. A bite is just a bite."

"What about disease?" Gustav sounded genuinely interested.

"Can't get any, can't carry any," he replied with complete honesty.

The vampire metabolism worked in such a different way that natural organisms couldn't survive the contact.

"Oh," Gustav said and turned back to the bed.

Bill watched his friend walk away.

[Bill?] Tom mentally prodded him.

[Hmm, I'll get back to you, Tom,] he told his twin, [I'm not sure what's going on.]

Gustav sat down on the bed and looked up at him.

"Does it hurt?" Gustav asked.

There was a glimmering of light at the end of the tunnel and Bill began walking towards it.

"For a moment," he said, not wanting to be anything by honest, "but then it's almost like sex, well in my limited experience that's the nearest I can think of."

Now it was Gustav who looked surprised.

"Really?" was the next question.

Bill nodded.

"It's called a soul link and it happens when a vampire bites someone else," he decided he needed to explain. "It allows a connection and the pleasure is shared. Drinking blood is ... umm ... euphoric."

Gustav appeared slightly dubious for a moment and then seemed to accept that.

"And you really need to bite me?" his friend asked in a very straightforward tone.

"My vampire side is a little out of control," Bill admitted, somewhat embarrassed about it; "I should be able to separate the two, but I don't think I can at the moment."

Gustav appeared to think about this for a while as well.

"Then bite me," Gustav finally decided in what seemed to be a logical manner.

For a moment Bill just stood there and processed that for a while.

"You mean it?" he asked eventually.

Gustav looked at him levelly for that question; Gustav rarely said anything he didn't mean. Bill smiled sheepishly for having asked the question and when Gustav patted the bed he walked over and sat down.

"Shall we start again?" he asked, fiddling with his fingers as he felt suddenly nervous again.

"That sound like a good plan," Gustav said, taking one of his hands so he couldn't play anymore, "and this time, don't stop yourself."

Bill took a deep breath and tried to recapture what he had been feeling before his vampire side had decided to intervene and then he turned to Gustav and leant in.

"But it better be as good as you said," Gustav decided to say just before they kissed and Bill found himself giggling rather than kissing.

At least he did know that it was as good as he'd said. When Gustav grabbed him and shoved him backwards, he went, still giggling; he only stopped when Gustav started kissing him passionately. It didn't take either of them long to find the mood again and when Gustav moved on to his neck again, Bill knew it wouldn't be long before his vampire came out to play. His passion rose and then his gums were aching and his senses were spiking and he had their positions reversed and Gustav pinned beneath him in a moment.

It was completely instinctive to bite and his fangs slid into Gustav's flesh like knives into hot butter. Gustav grunted in pain once, but that noise changed the moment blood hit Bill's tongue and he felt the incredible rush that always came with feeding, felt the connection bloom and he pushed it at Gustav. Being a drummer, Gustav was strong and Bill found himself almost pushed off when Gustav arched underneath him. He drank for what seemed like forever, but couldn't have been more thank thirty seconds or so and then his brain all but exploded as he felt the soul link flare and Gustav shuddered from head to foot before collapsing back on to the bed, limp.

It took Bill a moment longer to withdraw his fangs from Gustav's neck, licking the wounds to begin the rapid healing process. When he pulled back, Gustav was breathing hard and staring at him with his mouth open. Bill knew the feeling from both sides and he spent a good few seconds putting his head back together before he dared move any further.

[Was that what I think it was?] Tom's mental voice sounded a bit dazed. [Did you just bite, Gustav?]

[Yeah,] Bill replied when he could form coherent thought, [he said I could. Did I project too much?]

[That's one way of putting it,] Tom told him, sounding a little disgruntled. [I don't know what Georg thinks is going on, but I had rather an interesting reaction so you and Gustav might want to come clean in the morning and tell him you're sleeping together. Either that or help him have me committed.]

[Sorry,] Bill apologised; he seemed to be doing rather a lot of that this evening.

Tom didn't reply verbally, but Bill hoped the vague feeling he was given in return was forgiveness.

"Okay?" he asked Gustav when his friend didn't move.

Gustav looked at him with a very level stare.

"I just came in my underwear," Gustav sounded shocked and somewhere between satisfied and horrified.

Gustav looked so perplexed that it amused Bill almost to the point of laughing, but with a Herculean effort he managed to keep a straight face. He wasn't sure whether to apologise or feel inordinately pleased with himself.

"Um," he said, not really sure how to reply to his friend's last statement; "the bathroom's through there and there's a spare robe on the back of the door."

Still looking rather dazed, Gustav sat up and then pushed himself off the bed and walked rather gingerly towards the bathroom. Bill just watched him go and wondered if a study of two, as in himself and Gustav, was proof enough that vampire bites were always orgasmic between sexual partners or if it was just coincidence.

He was still thinking about it when Gustav reappeared from the bathroom in a white fluffy robe with his clothes nearly rolled under one arm. Thankfully Gustav had lost the dazed look and seemed more pleased than anything else.

"Okay," Gustav said, putting the clothes down on the sofa and walking back to the bed, "you were right about the biting, but we're going to have to wait a bit now to do anything else."

Bill grinned at that; at least Gustav didn't seem embarrassed about the whole thing.

"We have all night," he pointed out cheerfully; "no hurry. Since we're waiting though, I'll just take the opportunity to use the bathroom."

On impulse he kissed Gustav on the nose as he bounced past and then flicked the bathroom door shut with his foot. Then he set about making sure he was ready for what he hoped was to come. When he was finished he threw on the second robe, shoved the condoms and the lube Tom had bought him a while back into the robe pocket and walked back into the bedroom.

"What was the whole kiss on the nose thing?" Gustav asked as Bill walked over towards the bed.

"You're cute," he replied with a smile and plopped down onto the mattress beside his friend, "so I gave in to an impulse. Don't worry, I'm not about to fall madly in love with you, but I'd like you to know I do love you. You're one of my three best friends."

Gustav gave him one of the 'I'm processing that' looks.

"You are such a girl," was the final verdict.

For once, that made Bill laugh.

"I hope not, or this is going to go very differently than I was hoping," he said and flopped back onto the bed.

"Well if you're naked under there I can always check, just to make sure," Gustav said, flopping back beside him and grinning evilly.

"Your seduction technique needs work," Bill responded and stuck out his tongue.

"You're easy," Gustav told him, leaning up on one arm and over him, "who needs technique."

Bill would have replied, but Gustav shut him up with a kiss and he didn't resist when Gustav went for the belt of his bathrobe. He'd become hard just thinking about what they were going to be doing when he had been in the bathroom so when Gustav pushed aside the robe there was a healthy erection waiting. It seemed that their drummer was anything but shy in the bedroom as Bill found himself pushed into the bed and Gustav's fingers wrapping around his cock.

He could have arched up into the touch; he was quite strong enough to move Gustav's weight these days, but he liked the feeling of being pinned down, so he just moaned into the kiss. When Gustav kissed down his neck, he felt his vampire nature rising to the surface again, but his other side already had part of what it needed and was being given the rest, so he could control it. His eyes fell closed as his companion played and he only opened them again when he felt Gustav sitting up slightly, letting the vampire glow flash to the surface briefly as his arousal spiked.

"You know just how beautiful you are, don't you, Bill," Gustav said, leaning close and whispering. "I've thought about fucking you before, lying in my bunk in the tour bus with the curtains closed, wanking silently. Now I have you in my reach and I'm going to enjoy every moment."

About all Bill could reply was a throaty moan as Gustav squeezed him almost hard enough to hurt. When Gustav said things, Bill automatically believed his friend and he liked this sexual side to Gustav. When Gustav employed his voice his friend definitely knew how to use it.

"If you keep doing that," Bill said breathlessly as Gustav stroked him firmly, "I'm not going to last long."

"You can come whenever you like," Gustav said in a low tone, "but I'm still going to fuck you through the mattress."

Bill bit his own lip to stop himself losing it there and then.

"Who knew you were so demanding in the bedroom," he managed a comeback; it wasn't a great one, but he gave himself points for trying.

"You're taller, faster and stronger than me," Gustav said with another wicked smile, "so I thought we'd set the ground rules before we begin properly."

There was a strange logic to that which was so very Gustav and Bill let his eyes flash again, but nodded as well.

"Okay," he agreed.

"I assume you have supplies," Gustav said, still working him agonisingly slowly.

"Right pocket," Bill just about managed to say.

Then suddenly Gustav wasn't touching him anymore.

"Hands and knees," his companion said, "please."

It was only then that Bill realised Gustav had retrieved the condoms and lube and was now holding them; it was a little worrying that he didn't seem to remember his friend doing that. Shaking off the disorientation he decided to get into the spirit of things and slowly stood up. Giving his shoulders a seductive shrug he let the robe fall to the floor and then he climbed onto the bed and languidly stretched before moving into the requested position.

"This okay?" he asked and looked at Gustav under his arm and down the length of his body.

"Oh yeah," was Gustav's response and Bill scored himself another point in whatever game they were playing.

He watched as Gustav slowly shed his own bathrobe and then climbed onto the bed behind him. He closed his eyes again as Gustav boldly ran a hand over his arse and down between his legs to take hold of his cock again. That was the clincher; his friend was definitely trying to kill him. Gustav didn't appear to be in the mood to mess around either because Bill soon felt a slick finger moving against his entrance. He bit his lip again as the finger was pushed inside and moaned quietly.

"Moan louder for me, Bill," Gustav requested quietly, "no one can hear us in here."

Gustav was nowhere near as practiced as Bill remembered Gackt being, but there was something to be said for enthusiasm and Bill found himself doing as he was asked when Gustav found his prostate. It might have been an accident the first time, but Gustav was a fast learner and the second and third time Bill knew that the intimate touches were definitely deliberate. He managed to put up with it for another couple of passes, but it was too much too fast.

"Please," he said as he panted, "no more."

Gustav didn't say anything, just changed the angle being used and then Bill felt another finger being added and he urged his muscles to relax. It wasn't long before another finger was added and Bill knew he was ready and he pushed back against Gustav's hand to make his point. This wasn't about games anymore it was about sensation and Bill thought he and Gustav were on the same page about that.

There was a moment when Bill lost all contact with Gustav and all he could do was wait impatiently. His vampire was very close to the surface, close enough so that his senses were higher than normal and the noise of a condom wrapper being opened was very loud as far as he was concerned. He could almost see Gustav in his mind's eye rolling on the protective sheath as he heard ever millimetre of movement. Technically they didn't need the condom and Bill almost said something, but he knew Gustav was a child of the nineties like him and was too well trained in safe sex to be comfortable without it and he held himself back.

The sound of lube being applied to latex almost killed him, but then Gustav was moving in behind him and he groaned in gratitude as Gustav slowly pushed into him. His body was tight; he wasn't exactly used to this, but his muscles gave with only minor pain as his vampire nature demanded sex and forced his body to adjust accordingly. Finally he heard Gustav reacting as well and his lover was breathing hard by the time they were skin to skin.

Bill felt very full and he knew he had every inch of Gustav, but now he wanted his lover to move. He flexed his hips slightly, causing Gustav to groan deeply, and Gustav seemed to get the message. Bill felt Gustav pull out about half way and then push slowly back in and every moment was divine. This was what he needed and Bill felt his human nature and vampire nature coming into line and he sank into the experience completely.

Gustav gradually began to move faster, pushing into him harder, and Bill braced his body and took everything on offer. He had perfect trust that his lover would not hurt him and he reached for the pleasure and release that was soon within his grasp. When Gustav changed angle, proving that his reaction to his prostate being stimulated had not been forgotten, Bill curled his fingers into the sheets. Gackt had told him he was responsive and Gustav was doing a very good job of pushing all the right buttons. All Gustav had to do was touch his cock, reaching round to take hold of him and he was coming.

He shuddered out his completion, not caring how noisy he was being and he felt Gustav speed up even more. As his body clenched and unclenched Gustav pounded into him and then his friend was moaning and shaking, buried in him to the hilt. It was wonderful; it was what he needed and he barely managed to keep his arms straight as the trail end of his orgasm threatened to take away sensible motor control.

As soon as Gustav pulled out, he fell onto his side and just lay there, doing his best to remember how to breathe. Bill already knew he liked sex and it was at times like this he wished he wasn't so picky about partners. He only hoped Gustav was as satisfied as he was, because he really fancied doing the whole sex thing again, possibly soon. Gustav collapsed onto his back on the bed a little way from Bill and they looked at each other. Bill couldn't help the grin that made its way onto his face.

"That was fun," he said with no trace of guilt whatsoever.

"Yeah," Gustav agreed with an answering grin, "it was."

"We should do it again sometime," Bill decided he might as well broach the subject now so they both knew where they stood.

"We should," Gustav agreed with a nod. "How often do you think you might need my services?"

Bill thought about that, since, even though the question was asked in a light tone, it could be rather important. He remembered when the urges had really started to kick in after his encounter with Gackt.

"Once a week?" he didn't want to push his friend if that was too often, but Gustav grinned in response.

"I think we can manage that," his friend told him and Bill smiled back.

There was nothing quite like a consensus of opinion and Bill rolled onto his back feeling very content. This was working out far better than he could ever have expected. The depths of Gustav would never cease to amaze him. He felt much better than he had done in weeks and the danger he had felt lurking under the surface, but which he had been ignoring, was almost completely gone.

"I think Tom might have a rival for the 'sex god' title," he said, enjoying the afterglow and grinning at Gustav.

"Nah," Gustav replied, "he can keep it. Being the mysterious one is much more my style."

"I think drummers are supposed to be mysterious," Bill agreed with a nod; "that way you get a cult following. I think I'll be a founding member."

Gustav seemed to find that really funny and Bill found himself laughing along. They were quite a pair really and Bill found that he wasn't worried about sex at all anymore.

====

Bill heard the door open and looked up to see Tom quietly entering his room. He'd almost been asleep, since Gustav had left an hour or so previously, but that final drift into complete dreams had been elusive and he was glad Tom was there. At least their problem seemed to be easing, even if it hadn't completely gone away yet. He felt the final tension leave him as Tom slipped into the bed and their shins bumped each other and he relaxed, ready to finally sleep properly.

[Just for future reference,] Tom's voice suddenly sounded in his mind.

[Hmm,] he replied, more than a little asleep.

[Going out in public while the other one is having sex,] Tom told him; [really not a good idea. At least not until we have this whole telepathy thing figured out a bit more.]

Bill opened his eyes at that and looked across to Tom in the dark; his brother's face was very serious.

[Oh,] he replied, [okay.]

He would have asked exactly what had happened to Tom, but his twin rolled over and pulled up the duvet, which was a clear sign the conversation was over. Making a mental note to ask in the morning, he turned on his side as well and shuffled towards Tom so that they were touching. He fell asleep with some worryingly lurid mental images.

The End