Chapter 1

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"Happy birthday Bill and Tom, happy birthday to you!" everyone cheered as the song came to an end.

Bill smiled and clapped happily after he and Tom blew out their candles. Finally they were 18; finally he was free. Although at that moment he felt more trapped than ever. He watched absently as all his friends and family were moving about, his brother ripping open presents. He tried his best to look hyper and chipper as always, but lately he had been having problems in that department. He'd been looking forward to his 18th birthday for so long and now that it was finally here, he could hardly believe how little grown up he felt. His friends and family had made a great effort to give him and Tom an unforgettable birthday; everything was how he had dreamt it would be. Except for one tiny thing.

"Come on Bill!" Andreas yelled. He and Tom were ready for a night of crazy partying, finally being able to drink legally (not that that had ever stopped them from drinking before...), but Bill wasn't in the mood.

"I'm tired, we've been working so hard lately, you guys go ahead." Bill smiled weakly.

Tom looked as if he was about to slap him; "You're kidding right? You're tired? What's been with you lately, just put some make up on or whatever and let's go!"

Bill sighed, he really didn't want Tom to know what the matter was, so after a quick glance in the mirror he was ready to go.

~*~

Tom sighed inwardly, he had so hoped Bill would be a little happier today, it was their birthday after all and Bill had been looking so forward to it. Of course so had he, but not as much as Bill; ever since Tom could remember, Bill dropped phrases like 'when we're finally 18 we will...!', and a while ago he even got that Freiheit 89 tattoo. But today, just like every day in the past few weeks Bill seemed reserved and absent.
Tom was worried, it wasn't like Bill to fake happiness in Tom's presence; other people sure, but whenever something was bothering Bill, Tom was the first to know what it was. They shared everything and kept no secrets from each other, so it worried him that Bill was keeping something from him. It wasn't like his adorable extroverted brother who usually screamed his feelings for the entire world to hear. Tom was usually the introverted one who preferred to keep things to himself, of course not from Bill, Bill knew everything about him.
Well, everything except for that one thing. He even knew that Tom sometimes, rarely but still, enjoyed the company of men in the bedroom. Not even Georg and Gustav knew that, but Bill accepted it. He never judged him and never questioned him. Of course they sometimes fought like cats and dogs, but at the end of the day they always accepted each other; that was their greatest strength.
That's why Tom was a little offended and hurt at the fact that Bill didn't trust him enough to share whatever was bothering him so much.

Over the past few weeks Tom began getting the impression that the whole fame thing was becoming too much for his little brother, and he was beginning to break under the pressure that was on them.

~*~

Bill felt like a ghost in the bar, everyone around him was loud, drinking and yelling, and the music blasting at unholy volumes. He watched Tom in a corner making out with some random girl he had found. And there it was again, that weird, dreadful feeling he couldn't quite place. Bill sat in his corner booth nursing the same drink he ordered nearly an hour ago, staring at Tom and the girl. If he wasn't so melancholic he would be worried someone might see him staring. He decided to order another drink, something a little stronger this time, hoping it would make that heavy feeling in his chest go away.

~*~

Tom halfheartedly kissed the girl who beamed up at him. She was quite beautiful, wavy brown hair, long lashes. On any other night she would have been the perfect birthday present for him, but tonight he couldn't really focus because he couldn't stop thinking about Bill's behavior, and it worried him to no end. Bill was still sitting at the table with the same drink from an hour ago, looking lost and lonely. Sometimes Tom wished his twin would be more like him: careless and absent. Not that he was truly like that, Tom cared a lot, especially about his family and friends, and even more so about Bill, but sometimes it was just easier to pretend he didn't care.  

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