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Title: Janni
Author: [ 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 [ profile] ma_chelle for the beta. You are invaluable. Lovely banner by [ profile] lynnchan.

The courtroom was cold. It wasn’t quite as cold as outside; Tom couldn’t see his breath anymore, but he shivered hard in his coat anyway. It was quiet and the cavernous room echoed with the sounds of hushed voices and people fidgeting; tapping their feet on the floor and the rustle of clothing as they change position on the hard seats.

Janni slid off the bench behind Tom and inched to the end of it, lingering near the aisle. She ignored Simone’s murmurs to come back, watching Tom like she wanted to go to him. He could see it in her eyes, her need to be near him, as she’d clung to him almost day and night since he’d had to tell her about Anjelica’s plans. She’d even gone so far as to sneak into their room in the middle of the night and stealthily climb into their bed, snuggling between them as they slept fitfully. Tom had woken more than once with Janni sprawled out across the mattress, taking up half the bed while Bill and Tom balanced on the edges. He’d watched her then, memorizing her features, banking away the sound of her breath and the little sigh she made when she flopped over onto her back. They were things he had always taken for granted, and he just couldn’t afford to…not anymore.

And now Janni wanted to come to him, to sit with him, to hang on to him, her arms around his neck or his arm or his leg. She didn’t seem to care, so long as she was with him and confident that no one would be taking her away.

But Janni couldn’t sit with Tom. Tom understood but he didn’t like it. He wanted to hold her just as bad as she wanted to be held. She had to sit with Simone, Georg and Gustav, and Tom had to let her sit with them, because the court didn’t allow children at the defense table; that was for people on trial.

Tom knew, of course, that he wasn’t on trial, and he tried to repeat that to himself, feeling small in this place with high ceilings and old scrollwork on the walls, a place completely unfamiliar and intimidating. He wasn’t on trial, but if he allowed himself just the tiniest bit of truth, he was on trial. He was on trial, Bill was on trial, their love and their relationship. Homosexuality was on trial, and Bill and Tom were hometown representatives of the ‘crime’.

So he second guessed everything he did and everything he said, feeling like he could utter just one wrong word and it would all be over; Janni would be gone. And that locked Tom up so tight he couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and found himself barely breathing, until he’d actually felt a little dizzy from lack of oxygen.

Bill being beside him helped. Yes, Anjelica was trying to take Janni from Tom, but in reality, she was also trying to take her from Bill. Tom had insisted that Bill sit with him at the defense table and while Ms. Robertson looked him square in the eye over the glasses perched on the end of her nose and told him it wasn’t a good idea, it was the one thing Tom wouldn’t back down on. This whole thing had come about because they were together and they would be together through this, no matter what.

He tried not to look over to the other side of the room, where Anjelica sat with Francis and her lawyer, conferring quietly. They’d already been seated when Tom and his family had filed into the room and Tom had glanced at her then, noticing how she shot a look at him and Bill. It was quick, but thorough and penetrating and Tom didn’t like it at all. Now he could hear the hiss of their whispers and it did nothing to calm his nerves.

Bill’s hand had just touched his arm and was sliding down toward his hand when the bailiff came into the room, “All rise for the Honorable Judge Aames.”

Tom reached for Bill’s fingers and squeezed them quick, releasing them as he stood, shakily. He felt like his knees could give out at any moment and the butterflies that had hatched in his belly were fluttering so wildly, it was like their wings had formed a cyclone. His fingers gripped the table until the tips went numb and he watched the judge enter the room from the side door and climb up to his seat on the judge’s bench.

When the bailiff announced that court was in session and the judge said they may be seated, Tom all but fell into his seat, no matter how carefully he tried to sit down. The judge was silent, a file open in front of him and he rifled through the papers inside, stopping to look at one, then another while tapping the end of his pen on the folder.

Finally, he looked up and addressed the court and Tom's breath went shallow and quick.

“We’re here today in the matter of Regen vs. Kaulitz, with regard to the custody of minor child, Janine Anne Kaulitz, known in this record as JAK. I have petitions from both Ms. Regen’s lawyer and Mr. Kaulitz’s lawyer, and I’ve gone over those thoroughly. I also have depositions from Ms. Rachel Stevens, the Department of Social Services officer who visited the Kaulitz residence and observed the family in their normal setting. We have depositions from Miss Kaulitz’s teachers and the principal of the school she attends, and from several of the neighbors. All of these have been read and will be entered into evidence.”

Judge Aames gathered the sheets of paper in front of him and stood them upright, tapping them against the desk to make them align uniformly. He tucked them inside a vanilla colored folder and handed the folder off to the bailiff.

The judge folded his hands in front of him and looked at Tom until Tom thought he’d explode from fear and nerves. He gulped hard as the judge began to speak.

“First, I’d like to hear from Dr. Arnold Benson, psychologist and child development expert from Prince George University.”

The bailiff greeted Dr. Benson at the stand and swore him in while people fidgeted and tried to get comfortable on the hard seats.

Dr. Benson was there, Tom knew, to try to convince the judge that having homosexual parents would be bad for Janni. And Dr. Benson gave sound testimony, Tom had to admit. Most of his argument was based on the fact that Janni might be ostracized for having two fathers instead of a mother and father, and Tom believed that could be true. It wasn’t something he liked and obviously wasn’t something he wanted, but it could happen.

When Mr. Washington, Anjelica and Francis’ lawyer, was done, Ms. Robertson stood at the defense table and jumped right in to cross examination. “Dr. Benson, isn’t it true that children are ostracized for all sorts of reasons? Even a child without parents of the same sex could be made fun off if her nose is too big, correct?”

The psychologist nodded. “Yes, that’s true.”

“And if a child is overweight, he might get be jeered at and picked last for volleyball. Is this true?”

“Yes, that could very well happen.”

“Would it also be correct to say that if the child isn’t wearing the latest fashions, kids might make fun of her?”

“Well, yes, I suppose it would be,” Dr. Benson replied, flatly.

“You said, yourself, sir, that children can be very cruel. But from the sounds of it, children can be cruel about a lot of things, perhaps things that cannot be controlled or changed. It is simply a fact of life. Would you find those statements to be true, sir?” Ms. Robertson clasped her hands behind her back.

A look flashed over Dr. Benson’s face, something like a cringe that his own words were being used against him. Finally, his eyes fell to the side. “Yes.”

“Nothing further,” Ms. Robertson said, taking her seat again.

Next, the judge called a local minister, Reverend Lilly, to the stand. Reverend Lilly ministered to what was reputedly one of the most conservative congregations in town, in a church Tom had never even been to.

Reverend Lilly cited chapter and verse from the Bible, testifying that God said that a man shall not lie with another man as with a woman. It was such a serious crime that God decreed that the punishment for practicing homosexuality was death.

Tom watched the Reverend speak, his stomach dropping even further as the man looked at him with a cold fire in his eyes. His voice remained calm, almost lilting in its sweetness, but Tom could feel the disgust radiating from the good Reverend. He gripped his hands together under the table, rubbing at his fingers.

When it was Ms. Robertson’s turn to cross-examine Reverend Lilly, she started hard out of the gate.

“Reverend Lilly, do you believe in the Bible?”

“Yes ma’am, I certainly do,” the Reverend answered with a nod.

“Do you accept that there are people who do not believe in the Bible?” Ms. Robertson stood between the Reverend and Tom, and Tom was glad not to have to look at him for a few moments; the man’s hatred made him twitchy.

“Why yes, ma’am; there are some unfortunate souls out there who have yet to be saved by our Lord, Jesus Christ.” The Reverend’s voice dipped low and sorrowful and Tom could almost see him looking up at the ceiling with pained eyes.

“Do you accept, Reverend, that for those who are not Christian and don’t believe in the Bible, that what it says in this book has no impact on their lives?” Ms. Robertson turned and looked at Tom, her expression blank, and Tom realized that she wasn’t really seeing him. She was thinking and plotting and Tom blew out a breath.

“Well, I…” The Reverend stuttered. “Of course, it should have an impact! Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ brought the message from God—“

“But sir, that’s something written in a book. A book you believe is the word of the God of the religion you believe in. Not everyone believes that, am I correct?” She turned back to Reverend Lilly, addressing him from the front of the room.

“Well, now, yes ma’am, that is correct.” Reverend Lilly conceded.

“So given that not everyone believes what you believe, is it your contention that the people who do not believe in the Bible, maybe even people who have never heard of the Bible, should have to live by its laws?”

The man on the stand looked gobsmacked. “Of course, they should have to live by the laws of God, just as they are written in the Bible.”

“Let’s examine some of the other laws written in the Bible, if that’s what you think we should follow. Is that okay with you?” Ms. Robertson strode back to the defense table and picked a thick, black book and opened it to a pre-marked page as she made her way to the witness stand.

“Yes, ma’am,” the Reverend answered.

Ms. Robertson peered down at the book in her hands before looking up at the Reverend again and turned the book to show him the page held open.

“In Leviticus, it does state that a man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman. It says the punishment for that is death. But, Reverend Lilly, there are some other laws in here, are there not? How about, ‘You shall not wear clothes made of more than one fabric’?”

She approached the witness stand and looked pointedly at the Reverend’s cotton suit and silk tie. “I think you’ve broken God’s law, sir,” she said, casually, and turned toward the judge as she continued reading. “’You shall not shave nor cut your hair.’”

The Reverend brushed nervously at the back of his bare neck as Ms. Robertson pointed her attention in his direction again. “Freshly shaven this morning, Reverend?”

“But those aren’t—“ the Reverend blustered, his face turning red. “Those aren’t serious crimes. Not one that God willed that the sinner pay the highest price for!”

“The highest price, according to you, is being put to death.” Ms. Robertson surmised.

“Yes. Exactly. The highest price a human can give on this earth is being put to death. Of course.” The Reverend crossed his arms and nodded.

“So if we follow those rules, Reverend Lilly, what do you say about Deuteronomy 17:2-7?” Ms. Robertson flipped through pages quickly and stopped, her finger pointing out the spot she meant.

The Reverend paled. “But Jesus came to change those laws—“

“Deuteronomy 17:2-7 essentially states that if a man belongs to another religion, according to the Bible, sir, he should be killed. Am I reading this correctly?” She caught his eye and held it as he fumbled with his words.

“Yes, it does say that, but--“ The murmur that rose in the courtroom cut him off and Judge Aames banged his gavel once. When it quieted, the Reverend continued. “But Jesus changed the laws of the Old Testament.”

“He changed the laws of the Old Testament? Oh, that’s right.” She turned to another page. “Hebrews 10:9 states: Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” She pointed to the spot and tapped her finger against the paper for emphasis.

“Yes. At the time of Jesus’ sacrifice, God wiped away the old laws, since more laws invites more sin, which would then require sacrifices. God wanted no more sacrifices, so he replaced the laws with grace and salvation, given to us by the birth and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ,” Reverend Lilly explained, looking relieved.

“Huh.” Ms. Robertson turned to the judge and paused before aiming her words at the Reverend. “So all the old laws were wiped out by the grace of the Son of God?” She turned back to face the witness stand. “So it’s no longer an abomination to eat shellfish? Or to let cattle graze with other kinds of cattle? And people with flat noses are now allowed inside the house of God, correct?”

The Reverend nodded. “That is correct.”

“Following that line of reasoning, can we surmise then, Reverend Lilly, that it is no longer an abomination for two men to love each other?”

Reverend Lilly’s face turned red as he fumed and Ms. Robertson snapped the Bible shut. “I’m done with this witness, your Honor.”

As Tom's lawyer returned to her seat at their table, the Judge called a recess and Tom leaned over to hug her. She laughed as he squeezed her tight. “What’s all this for?”

Tom pulled back and grinned so hard his cheeks hurt. “Because you were amazing. Amazing!”

She patted his arm as he let her go. “We haven’t won yet, Tom.”

“I know,” he said, his voice full of confidence. “But I feel so much better about our chances after that performance.” He caught Bill’s eye as he stood next to the table. “We’re going outside to get some air. Care to join us?”

Ms. Robertson politely declined, stating she needed to call home, and Tom gathered Janni and Bill, and the whole crew filed out after them. David had snuck in sometime during the proceedings and was happily meeting the rest of the family while Tom and Bill walked away on their own to have a few moments alone to watch their daughter hop through the snow, being careful not to get the hem of her dress wet. Bill only had time to nervously smoke one cigarette before they were called back into the courtroom.

Once they were inside and the judge got everyone quieted down, Ms. Robertson called her first witness. Miss Faraday was sworn in and Ms. Robertson established, for the record, that she was, in fact, Janni’s kindergarten teacher before moving on to the subject at hand.

“Miss Faraday, does Janine wear clean clothing to school?” she asked.

“Yes, she does,” the teacher answered.

“Does she pack a lunch or bring lunch money?” Ms. Robertson clasped her hands behind her back and stood to the side of the witness stand.

“Her father sends lunch money in an envelope that Janni keeps in her backpack.”

“Does that help teach responsibility? Is she responsible for giving you the money?”

“She is supposed to give it to me every Monday morning. If she forgets, I know to ask her for it by lunch time, but she’s getting better at remembering, so I think it’s teaching her responsibility, yes.” Miss Faraday nodded briefly.

Ms. Robertson nodded in agreement and continued. “Is that an arrangement that Mr. Kaulitz set up?”

“It was his idea, yes,” she answered, glancing at Tom. He gave her a small smile but she looked away, and Tom had to tamp down his disappointment and the nerves that drew a little tighter after their exchange.

“Does Janine do her homework, Miss Faraday? Does she get good grades?”

“Yes, her grades are good. All ‘S’ and ‘S+’ scores so far. We don’t assign homework in kindergarten, though.”

“And what are those grades, ‘S’ and ‘S+’?” Ms. Robertson pulled her glasses off and made her way to the defense table.

“A score of ‘S’ means the child’s work is satisfactory, and an ‘S+’ means the child’s work is more than satisfactory,” she replied, sounding bored.

“Has Mr. Kaulitz ever said anything about teaching Janni at home?” Ms. Robertson looked down at the tablet in front of Tom, which Tom could see had nothing written on it.

“Not that he’s teaching her anything, but he has mentioned that he reads to her before bed each night, which we recommend.”

Ms. Robertson pushed the tablet away and faced Miss Faraday yet again. Clasping her hands behind her back once more, she stepped slowly to the witness stand.

“Miss Faraday, as someone who has had extensive contact with both Janine and Tom Kaulitz, have you ever seen anything--any sign or indication—that would make you think Tom Kaulitz is an unfit parent?”

Tom couldn’t see his lawyer’s face but he could see Miss Faraday’s. Her jaw set firm, she gripped the edge of the wooden barrier in front of her and leaned in to the microphone.

“No, I haven’t.”

Ms. Robertson looked pleased when she turned around and said, “I have nothing further.”

As his lawyer took her spot next to Tom, and Anjelica’s attorney rose for cross examination, Miss Faraday’s eyes met Tom's again. This time, he found a ghost of a smile there and he found himself breathing a quiet sigh of relief.

A rhythmic noise started behind him and Tom turned to the sound. Janni was fidgeting, kicking her feet against the wood support of the bench where she sat and, as Tom watched, Simone shushed her, touching her knee to remind her to sit still. Janni huffed and pouted, sitting back and crossing her arms.

“But I’m bored!” she whined, and Simone shushed her again before leaning down and murmuring something into her ear, probably working out a bribe, Tom thought with a smile. Janni caught him watching and met his smile with a bright smile of her own, so wide that it showed all her teeth. He could see she was tired and he realized the two of them could really use a nap.

He glanced at the judge and the witness, making sure they weren’t watching before he put two fingers to his lips and kissed them before blowing the kiss in Janni’s direction. She pretended to catch his gift and smacked herself in the cheek with it while she grinned. Simone shot him a glare and Tom chuckled as he turned back around.

“Won’t the other kids make fun of her in school?” Mr. Washington asked, and Mrs. Faraday was shaking her head before he even finished the next question. “Couldn’t this be bad for Janine’s peer relationships?”

“As far as I’ve seen, a child having same sex parents has not seemed to cause the children to be teased any more regularly than a child with parents of the opposite sex.”

Mr. Washington scoffed. “As far as you’ve seen? How many kids with same sex parents could there possibly be in that school, Miss Faraday?” he asked with a laugh as he looked toward the judge’s bench.

“There are two children in our school with same sex parents, Mr. Washington, not counting Janni.” Miss Faraday looked around while the courtroom murmured and whispered.

Mr. Washington faltered when he turned back to her. “Well then, how do these children fare, socially and emotionally, Miss Faraday?”

Miss Faraday crossed her arms over her chest and raised her chin. “They are lovely, well-adjusted children, Mr. Washington. Children with open minds.”

Mr. Washington shook his head. “I have nothing further, your Honor.”

The rest of the afternoon crawled by. Ms. Robertson called several more witnesses, including one of Tom's neighbors and Janni’s doctor. None of them had anything bad to say about Tom or Bill and both vehemently denied that Tom could be anything but a fit and loving parent. Who his heart belonged to and what they did in the bedroom had nothing to do with how he cared for his child.

Finally, the judge had heard enough. Ms. Robertson had told Tom that when they were done with testimonies, the judge would likely return to his chambers to consider his decision before rendering a verdict. However, the judge stayed at his bench, closed his files and addressed the court.

“I’ve listened to all the testimony today and appreciate the cooperation of the witnesses here. I’m not going to lie to you,” he said, looking at Tom and Bill steadily. “At first, I thought the case was about your sexual preference and how that might affect your daughter. But it wasn’t about that and it isn’t. Because your sexual preference doesn’t enter into it. What concerns me is whether you have been a proper parent to your daughter, Mr. Kaulitz. And, along with the positive report I received from Ms. Stevens from DSS, I’ve seen nothing here today to convince me that you have not done that, and nothing to convince me that you won’t continue to be a good, stable, loving influence in her life. “

He turned to Anjelica and Francis, giving them a frank look. “I know why you’re here and I realize your reasoning in filing for custody. But you cannot impose your will upon another person because they do not believe the same things you believe. You cannot. And the law is the law. And in this state, there is no law that says a biological parent can lose their child based on their sexual preference.”

Anjelica stared at him from the plaintiff’s table, her mouth set in a thin line as she crossed her arms.

“I realize that you thought you were doing what was best for Janine, but Mrs. Regen, it’s up to Mr. Kaulitz to decide what’s best for Janine. And so long as he is not breaking the laws of this state or this nation, and he is deemed a fit parent, he will continue to have that right.”

Judge Aames pushed his glasses up and picked up the gavel.

“The court rules in favor of the defendant, Tomas Kaulitz,” he announced, and banged his gavel on the bench.

Tom could hear his family and friends cheering and whooping behind him as he let out a sigh of relief and dropped his forehead to the wood of the table, his eyes closing as he breathed.

Janni was his. Janni was his and Bill’s. He would get to keep his daughter. Their daughter.

And then he was up and out of his chair. He turned and grabbed Janni out of the front row, lifting her over the wooden barrier to hug her tightly to his chest. She giggled as he closed moist eyes and buried his nose in her hair.

“Daddy, let’s go!” she said, patting at his shoulders. When he didn’t let go, she sighed and squeezed his neck in a hug. “Okay, now can we go?”

Tom laughed and strands of her hair caught between his lips as he kissed the side of her head. “Yeah, in a minute, but let’s get Bill in on this hug, huh?” he asked, pulling hair out of his mouth.

“Yeah!” Janni leaned back and away from Tom, searching Bill out. He stood next to the defense table, grinning from ear to ear and hugging Ms. Robertson. “Bill, c’mere!” Hanging on tightly with one arm around Tom's neck, she reached out the other, straining toward Bill until he joined them and wrapped long arms around them both.

“We’re, um...” Tom looked away from their little circle at his mother, standing behind the barrier while everyone else filed out, “we’ll be outside, okay?”

Tom nodded and turned back to his family. They held each other for a long moment, Tom relishing the lightness inside his chest and his family in his arms, until Janni sighed tiredly, “I’m hungry. Can we go get pizza now?”

“Pizza, huh?” Tom asked. “What makes you think you’re getting pizza tonight?”

Janni rolled her eyes as if he’d just asked the dumbest question ever. “’Cause Grandma told me if I sat still, I’d get pizza and ice cream tonight.”

“Oh, did she now?” Bill winked at Tom. He could see Bill was tired in the weariness around his eyes, but now they crinkled with the laughter he held in. Tom lowered Janni to the floor and wrapped an arm around Bill, holding him close in relief and joy, and pressed a celebratory kiss to his lips with a happy smack.

“Ugh, you guys, stop it! Let’s go get pizza, c’mon!” She tugged at their suit coats and Tom batted her hand away with a laugh.

“Fine, fine! Let’s go.”

“Yay!” Janni crowed, and as she babbled a mile a minute about what kind of toppings she wanted on her pizza, Tom and Bill each took one of her little hands and she skipped between them on their way out of the courtroom.


Just the epilogue left, and it's already written. :)

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