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Janni



Title: Janni
Author: [livejournal.com profile] steinsgrrl
Fandom: Tokio Hotel
Pairing: Tom/Bill
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. I in no way intend to insinuate that any of the below actually happened. It is simply a piece of written entertainment based on the public personas of real people.
Rating: NC17
Warnings: Twincest-not related, Adult Concepts, Light Kink
Summary: When two men meet and fall in love, they expect there will be bumps in the road. When one of those men has a daughter, some bumps can seem more like mountains.
Author's Note: Thank you so much to [livejournal.com profile] ma_chelle for the beta. You are invaluable. Lovely banner by [livejournal.com profile] lynnchan.


Tom was surveying what needed to be done in the kitchen when Bill buzzed by him and tossed a cleaning rag in the sink before storing the spray cleaner in the cabinet under it. He looked frazzled, his eyes touched with a tinge of mania as he glanced back at Tom. He rinsed the rag and twisted it hard to wring the water out and Tom touched his shoulder.

“Bill.”

“Are we ready? When will she be here?” Bill twisted the rag again, shaking it free of every drop he could. “Why aren’t you cleaning?”

“Bill, just,” he grasped Bill’s shoulders from behind, squeezing them as he nosed through Bill’s hair and kissed the back of his neck gently. “Breathe, okay? Just for a moment, we’re gonna breathe.”

He felt Bill take a deep breath and let it out slowly on a shudder.

“Again.” Bill took another deep breath and Tom smiled into his skin. “Better?”

“Yeah,” Bill answered, ruefully. “I just want everything to be perfect.”

“I know, and it will be.” Tom turned Bill in his arms and settled them around Bill’s waist. “It’ll be fine. Besides, it’s supposed to be a surprise visit. We just heard yesterday that there might be one, so it might not even be today. She could show up any—“

A knock on the front door interrupted him. Bill looked at the door and back at Tom, his eyes wide. “Oh, god.”

Tom grunted and dropped his forehead to Bill’s shoulder. “Or maybe she’ll show up today.” He took a deep breath, cupped his hands on either side of Bill’s face and kissed him firmly. “Okay! We’re doing this and it’ll be fine. Okay?”

“Okay,” Bill breathed, and let Tom go to get the door.

“Tom Kaulitz?” asked the woman standing on their doorstep. She looked rather young and was short enough to have to look up at him but Tom saw a jadedness in her eyes that made him stutter.

“I, um. Yeah, I am. Are you from Social Services?” he asked, finally deciding that maybe he should be nervous about this.

The woman nodded and held her hand out. “Rachel Stevens,” she said, shaking Tom's hand with a firm grip. “May I come in?”

“Oh! Yes, I’m sorry.” Tom moved back and swung the door open, allowing her to brush past him and into the entry. He helped her with her coat and he hung it up while she waited and then followed him into the dining room. There, she set her suitcase and purse by a chair.

“Is this okay?”

“Sure.” Tom nodded. Bill had followed them into the dining room and Tom introduced them as Bill blew out a breath and shook her hand. Tom rested a comforting palm on Bill’s back and would have sworn he could feel Bill’s heart about to pound right out of his chest. “Would you like to talk to Janni?”

Ms. Stevens pulled a clipboard and pen from her bag. “No, not yet. Right now, I just want to observe.”

Tom looked at Bill, who looked right back at him. So she was just going to watch them? No asking questions? No interviewing them or Janni? Tom gave a short shrug and Bill nodded.

“Okay. Do you mind if we work?” Bill asked, crossing the room to Tom's desk, where Bill had a cabinet for his art supplies, and Tom followed right behind him, settling into his desk chair and awakening his computer.

“Just do what you’d normally do,” Ms. Stevens responded, with a smile and a scribble on her clipboard.

“Well, normally I’d be at the pub about now,” Bill said with half a laugh, and Tom winced inside as Bill tried to sound casual as he pulled a sketchpad and soft pencils out of the cabinet, gathering everything into his arms.

Ms. Stevens frowned and cocked her head. “The pub? In the middle of the day?”

Bill stopped, eyes wide, his hands full of supplies hovering over the table. “Oh,” he said, with a squeak. “The pub is where I work. I own it.” He laughed nervously as she wrote on her clipboard again. “I don’t drink during the day.”

“So you drink at night,” she replied, eyebrow raised, pen stilled. Tom's head whipped around and he gaped at her, a noise of protest escaping his throat.

“No!” Bill protested, laying the pad and pencils on the table and turning to her with his arms crossed over his chest. “Not at night, either, generally. Once in a while, but usually when Janni’s visiting her grandmother.” His brows furrowed as he frowned. “Is this how it’s going to be, Ms. Stevens; you trying to trip us up over our words? Because I think that’s foul play.”

Ms. Stevens blinked at him, made another infernal mark on her clipboard and wandered out of the dining room and into the kitchen.

“Oh, this is not good,” Bill whispered as loudly as he thought he could get away with without the social worker hearing him. “She’s looking for a reason, Tom. She’s not even going to give us a chance.”

Tom rose from his chair and wrapped a comforting arm around Bill’s shoulders. “It’s okay.” He kissed Bill’s temple and Bill shook his head.

“I don’t know. What if—“

“No, we’re not doing that anymore. No more ‘what if’. Okay?” Tom squeezed Bill’s shoulder. “If you’re uncomfortable, let me answer questions for a while. Just don’t offer anything, okay?”

Bill nodded just as Janni pounded down the stairs much too quickly and bounded over to them. “Who’s here? I heard the door.” She looked around and, not seeing anyone, looked back up at her father.

“You must be Janni,” Ms. Steven’s said with a smile, just coming back from the kitchen. “I’m Ms. Stevens.”

Janni slowly shrunk back as Ms. Stevens approached, until she was hiding behind her father’s leg. She tugged on Tom's pants and looked up at him with questioning eyes. “Daddy?”

Tom smiled down at her with the best smile he could muster. Janni didn’t even know why Ms. Stevens was here and she was still nervous of the social worker. His daughter was generally pretty outgoing but kids have a way of picking up on energy and moods around them, and Tom figured she must be feeling his nerves. The woman’s impression of them depended on Janni being her normal, chatty self, though, and Tom needed to make sure she was comfortable enough to just be herself.

“Janni, this is Ms. Stevens. She’s come to visit us and see how we’re doing.” He glanced up at Ms. Stevens and she caught his eye, her brows dipping at his introduction.

“She doesn’t know?” Ms. Stevens asked quietly.

“No, she doesn’t.” Tom held Janni’s head to his leg as she clutched her arms around it. “She’s seen her grandmother since she filed for custody and I didn’t want to make Janni feel bad about Anjelica. I thought it better not to say anything yet.”

Ms. Steven’s eyes flicked to Janni, then back to Tom. “Don’t you think she needs to know, now? If her grandmother wins the case, you don’t want to turn her over unprepared, Mr. Kaulitz.”

Tom blew all the air from his lungs and let them burn empty as a sick feeling settled in his stomach. He hadn’t thought of that. He hadn’t considered how he would turn Janni over to Anjelica if she won custody. He hadn’t thought of preparing her because he just never allowed himself to consider the possibility that Anjelica might win.

He swallowed hard, his fingers petting Janni’s hair unconsciously, twirling the ends on his finger.

“We’ll do it. We need to talk to her, Tom.” Bill came up behind him from where he’d been standing, listening by the table.

Tom still startled when Bill touched him, but then he nodded.

“No, you’re right. Should we, um…now?” Tom asked, the question open to the floor.

“Yeah,” Bill answered, before Ms. Stevens could open her mouth. “Let’s do it now. In the living room.” Bill touched his shoulder, nudging him gently toward the couches of the living room.

As the three of them settled on the sofa, Bill and Tom on either side of Janni, Ms. Stevens faded back, hovering by the kitchen to give them the illusion of privacy. Tom knew why; she wanted to see how he handled this, handled his stress and her possible tears, and while he’d have really liked to do this in private, Tom understood that she had to observe. And maybe it was better that she did.

“Daddy,” Janni said hesitantly, her voice smaller than she, “Daddy, what’s wrong?” She’d climbed between them but now she shifted up to her knees, trying to weave her arms around Tom's neck. “You have that frowny line on your forehead again.”

“Sit here, Janni girl, and listen to me, okay?” He took her by the wrists and gently sat her down next to him, his eyes moving to Bill, who sat turned toward them, his long fingers biting into the fabric of his jeans. This wasn’t going to get any easier. “Hey,” he said, as Janni tried to crawl into his lap, “just…sit down and listen.”

Janni huffed and sat between them, curling her legs under her and crossing her arms in a pout.

“Okay. Remember I told you about how two princes can fall in love?” Tom asked, his hands taking hers and letting her small fingers wrap around his thumbs. She nodded, and he stroked the pads of his fingers over the backs of her hands as he continued. “Well, we think it’s okay for two princes to fall in love, right?”

Janni nodded again, and Tom could tell she was getting restless. He needed to make this easy for her to understand, though truth be known, he didn’t know how something so ridiculous could make sense to anyone.

“But some people think that two princes shouldn’t be in love. They think that’s wrong and that princes should only love princesses.”

Before Tom's lips could form the next word, Janni snorted. “Well, they’re dumb!”

Tom gaped as Bill snickered behind her. “Janni!” He admonished and shot a look at Bill. “And don’t you encourage her!”

Bill gave a tiny shrug and looked chagrined, twitching lips mouthing a ‘sorry’.

“Janni, those people who think that don’t think they’re dumb, and they have a right to believe what they want to. They don’t like what we believe but that doesn’t mean we’re dumb, does it?” Tom explained, his voice low and patient.

“Nooo,” Janni answered.

“Okay. People can believe what they want so long as they don’t try to hurt someone else. Does that make sense?”

Janni nodded, and Tom looked again at Bill, who reached out to Janni and Tom's linked hands, wrapping delicate fingers around theirs and squeezing lightly. He smiled in encouragement and Tom took a deep breath.

“But sometimes those people think that when two princes fall in love and they have a beautiful little princess of their own, that maybe it hurts that little girl to live with those princes.”

“They do?” Janni looked up at him with wide, confused eyes.

“Yes, honey, they do. Now, Bill and I are like those two princes, aren’t we?” Tom flicked a glance at Bill, who squeezed their hands a little tighter. “Daddy and Bill fell in love and we want to live happily ever after with our little princess, right?”

Janni’s eyes lit up and she squirmed up to bounce on her knees. “Your little princess is me, right, Daddy?” She grinned at Bill. “Right, Bill?”

Bill’s chin trembled for a second before he blinked hard and found a smile for her. He nodded, his eyes still shining. “Right. Exactly.”

“But, Janni.” Tom touched her chin softly and turned her face back to him. “Some people think it might be bad for you to live with me and Bill. Your grandma Anjelica thinks it might be bad.”

The smile dropped off Janni’s face and she frowned. “What? That’s silly. It’s not bad to live with you and Bill,” she protested.

“I know. I do. But she thinks so, and sometimes the courts think so, too. You know, the judge who helps make sure that we all follow the law?”

Janni nodded but still cut her eyes at him. Tom didn’t think she really understood but he had to go on.

“So Anjelica thinks it might be better for you to go live with her.”

“But I don’t want to live with Grandma; I want to live with you.” Janni’s mouth dropped open and her eyes went stormy and wet.

Tom sighed and stroked her fingers gently while Bill scooted closer and leaned his side against the back of the couch, rubbing Janni’s shoulder.

“I know, Janni girl. And I don’t know that you’d have to. We have to wait and see what the court says, okay? But if the court says you have to, then…” Janni’s shoulders began to shake and she squeezed Tom's thumbs, slow tears beginning to trail down her flushed cheeks. “…then, I guess you’d have to.”

Tom felt Janni tense at his words and, in an instant, she flew off her knees and wrapped her arms so tight around his neck that he choked.

“No!” Janni wailed, squeezing even tighter, and Tom held her close, hugging her and rocking her back and forth, murmuring low into her hair. “No, Daddy, no! I don’t want to live with Grandma! I want to live with you!”

Tom's neck was hot where Janni panted and cried, her breath and tears and snot soaking his skin. He didn’t care. He hated this. He fucking hated this. The last thing he’d ever wanted to do was hurt his daughter. He was so careful in the beginning, careful about getting involved with Bill and falling in love with Bill, terrified that something would go wrong and Janni would get hurt in the process. And now he was with Bill and they were in love and Janni was sobbing her heart out against his neck. What the hell had he done wrong?

“Janni.” Tom petted her hair, bunching it in his fist and letting it go to pet it again while he stroked her back with the other hand. His eyes were hot and stung and he blinked hard, only to have his tears spill over and drip down his cheeks anyway. “Janni,” he said, brokenly.

She sobbed against him, clinging hard and Tom's chest tightened until it ached. He buried his nose in her neck, breathing Janni, soaking in his little girl, his heart breaking at the thought that he might actually lose her.

~~~


“Are we ready?” Bill whispered, even though they were outside and their family and friends were congregated in front of the courthouse, several yards away. Bill’s hair was pulled back and tied at the nape of his neck, and he adjusted the hair tie nervously before shoving his hands in the pockets of his suit pants.

Tom glanced down to where Janni was squatting on the sidewalk, the edges of her new, purple dress brushing the snow as she pressed gloved hands into it and scooped some up. Her pink tongue peeked from between her lips and she was just bringing the handful of snow to her mouth when she shot a quick look up at her father. Tom raised a brow and Janni sighed, dropping the snow where she got it.

“I’ll never be ready,” Tom replied. “It’s time, though.” Bill nodded and shuffled his feet, looking down at them and shivering in the chill. Tom took a deep breath and held a hand out to his daughter, who wrapped her fingers around his and held on tightly. “Let’s go, then.”

Simone met them on the steps of the courthouse, hope battling the fear in her eyes, and she reached out to hug them, one at a time.

“It’s gonna be okay,” she whispered in Tom's ear when it was his turn. “We have to think that it will be okay, right?” They held each other for a long moment before Simone squeezed him tightly and let him go. She rubbed his shoulders, adjusted Tom's tie and gathered Janni up in her arms, cooing comfortingly when Janni leaned sharply away from her, reaching for her father.

“It’s okay,” he said, grasping her outstretched hand and kissing her knuckles. “I’m right here, okay? Not going anywhere.”

Janni turned back to Simone then, and clung to her neck as they followed Georg and Gustav through the doors of the courthouse.

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