If he was ever asked to describe the typical Hansen family gathering, Tom would sum it up as being filled with really, really over-inquisitive aunts, lots of alcohol, and all the insanity you can shake a stick at.
Tommy’s been to two of these extended family gatherings with him now; there’d been that weird moment at the first one, when everyone had taken a few seconds to process the fact Tom had brought a man with him—
—and then Aunt Betsy had said casually, “Well, we did always wonder,” and Uncle Sid had pushed a drink into Tommy’s hand, and, later, Tom’s cousin Eli had helped Tom chase down his mom and remind her again to please stop introducing Tommy to people as ‘Tom’s life partner’— no— seriously, Mom, stop—
Still, in typical Tommy fashion, Tommy seems to have adjusted to the family gatherings just fine. He weathers Tom’s aunts gawking at him with relatively good grace (although he weathers Aunt Judith’s determined attempts to slap his ass with slightly less composure), and he seems to view their collective descent into drunken neuroticism with the same amusement he views Tom’s.
This time — the third time — however, is different. This time, it’s Tommy who brings the weirdness.
Maybe it was Tom’s fault. Maybe the pair of them getting up late had thrown Tommy off. Maybe Tommy had already been in a weird mood, and Tom’s insistence that he wear a button up and slacks had put him on edge. Or maybe Tom’s enthusiastic gushing about how his favourite cousin was actually making an appearance at this gathering had made Tommy nervous.
Tom doesn’t know what it was that set Tommy off, but there must’ve been something.
Because when he drags Tommy into the middle of the crush, throws his arm around the shoulders of his aforementioned favourite cousin, saying, “Tuck! Tuck, I want you to meet someone,” and Tuck turns around, pleasant smile already on his face and his hand extended to shake Tommy’s—
—Tommy seems to lose his goddamn mind.
Tommy considers himself to be a fairly roll-with-the-punches type guy, sometimes (often times) literally. Even when something actually shocks him, he’s still pretty good at tamping down his reaction, hiding it under a mask of nonchalance until he can find a way to deal with it.
But there’s some shit you just can’t handle, at least not stoically.
And when Tom’s cousin, the Tuck that Tom’s been going on and on about all week, turns around wearing Tommy’s face, well, that’s one of those fucking situations he is not at all prepared for.
“-the fuck?” Tommy blurts out, his mouth staying half open even after speaking. No one else seems to notice, at first, but with Tommy openly gawking at the other man, it doesn’t take long for the atmosphere to take a turn. And maybe, if Tommy were a faster thinker or less freaked the hell out, he’d have been able to recover from that slip, bounce back and finish out the introductions with as little awkwardness as possible.
But he isn’t, and he is, and instead of trying to process the situation, Tommy jerks back from Tuck’s hand like it’s on fire, knocking into Tom’s shoulder as he backpedals.
“Nice to meet you?” Tuck tries, eyebrow lifting as Tommy continues to back away.
Tommy manages to find his voice just before he makes a run for it, stammering out a combined excuse-apology, which probably doesn’t make any fucking sense, but is at least slightly better than turning tail and silently heading for the hills. Tom must call out after him, but Tommy can’t hear much of anything past the thrumming in his ears.
It takes two shots of Jamesons, only spaced out by the ten or so seconds it takes to refill the glass, to knock his brain off the circular track of ‘what-the-fuck-who-how-what-the-fuck’ it’s stuck on. Another two has him grabbing his cell phone.
Paddy doesn’t pick up. The answering machine does.
You’ve pulled some fucking shit before, old man, you’ve- how the fuck- when were you going to tell me about this parent trap bullshit?
Did you sell him to England? Huh? How the hell did you get Ma to go for that?
You’re gonna call me the fuck back and explain this shit.
Call me back.
It takes ten minutes for Brendan to get him to calm the hell down and explain what happened. Then he ends up spending the next five or so minutes trying to get Tommy to tell him what drugs he took and who gave them to him. When Tommy finally convinces Brendan that, no, fuck you very much, he hadn’t been slipped some sort of LSD based roofie, Brendan settles down and there’s a long, uncertain moment of silence.
“… you don’t have a twin, Tommy.” Is how Brendan finally breaks it.
“You were, what, two when I was born? How the fuck would you know?” Tommy shoots back, and he can hear the annoyed uptick in Brendan’s breathing, the kind he always get when Tommy pulls attitude with him.
“I think Mom would have mentioned it. It’s just a coincidence, man. Calm down.”
“He’s wearing my face, Brendan. How the hell do you explain that shit?” Tommy can feel himself getting worked up again, his free hand clenching and unclenching and fuck he wishes he had something to chew on besides his own nails.
“Probably just a trick of the li-,” and no, Tommy is cutting that shit right off at the pass.
“My. Fucking. Face. Brendan.”
There’s a long sigh. And then another. Tommy waits, his scowl growing deeper with every second that ticks by.
“I don’t know what to tell you, but you never had a twin. I gotta give Rosie a bath, man, can we talk about this tomorrow?”
Tommy grumbles, but gets off the line without too much of a fight. He’s less panicked, Brendan’s intractable calm getting to him like it usually does, but he’s still off center and nowhere near ready for another run-in with his doppelganger. He checks the time, and fuck, it’ll be at least another hour before Tommy can drag Tom off without looking like more of an asshole.
Grunting, Tommy settles back on Rachel’s bed to wait.
The conversation with Tom goes less well than Tommy would have hoped, but not for any of the reasons Tommy would have guessed. Tom’s not angry - well, okay, he’s a little annoyed when Tommy finally emerges from Rachel’s room an hour and a half after running off, but he quickly gets over it when Tommy mutters something about not feeling well.
Fifteen minutes later, after letting Tom handle the goodbyes and slinking off to the car like a coward, they’re driving home. Tom is talking animatedly about Tuck, and all the antics they got up to together as kids. It’s when he starts talking about the summers at the lake, and Tuck and him wrestling and playing chicken in the water that Tommy has to interrupt.
"Alright. Alright, uncle, okay? Good fucking prank but I’m…let’s fucking just drop it, huh?" Tommy can hear a tight note of discomfort in his voice, and knows that Tom will pick up on that in a flash. Sure enough, Tom starts glancing at him in between long looks at the road, forehead lined with confusion.
"Prank? Uh. What prank?"
Tommy doesn’t get this. It’s completely out of Tom’s character and it’s starting to piss him the hell off.
"His face. He- you could have warned me." Out of the corner of his eye, Tommy can see the line of Tom’s shoulders go tense. And how the fuck does that work out? Tommy is the wronged god damn party, here. The next words out of Tom’s mouth send any thoughts of self righteous annoyance right out of Tommy’s head, though.
“So, what? You… think he’s hot?” Tom says it with his ‘I’m overthinking but if I speak calmly then maybe no one will notice’ voice and if Tommy didn’t already have more concussions in his medical record than he ought to, he would be banging his head against the dashboard over and over again. As it is, he just leans forward and puts his elbows on the gray plastic and puts his head in his hands.
“No. Fucking no. Just drop the act and tell me how you did it. Was it a mask? Makeup? Did Rach put you up to it?”
"I swear, Tommy, I have no clue what you’re talking about. Seriously, just tell me what’s wrong, because I’m starting to get worried,” Tom’s voice gentles, trying to soothe, and there’s a hand in Tommy’s hair and that’s just too fucking much.
“Tuck looks like me. Exactly fucking like me.”
Tommy lifts his head and looks at Tom, who is squinting at him in the dark of the car. His expression opens after a moment and Tom shakes his head, laughing. “No you don’t, Tommy.”
The conversation just goes downhill from there.
Tommy tries for a good half hour to get Tom to recognize that Tuck is his evil twin -
“Are you calling my cousin evil?”
“Well, fuck, Tom. If one of us is going to be evil it’s not going to fucking be me.”
- but Tom doesn’t give an inch more than admitting their mouths kind of look alike, and Tuck’s tattoos are similar (which, hell, Tommy didn’t even know about the tattoos. What the fuck. What the fuck).
He lets it go when they head to bed, Tom sliding one leg over Tommy’s thigh almost immediately after they hit the sheets. Tommy gets one eyeful of a wicked grin before they’re kissing, hot and wet and filthy. It’s good, like it always is, and soon they’re rutting up against each other like teenagers, only the thin cloth of their boxers keeping their skin from touching.
It’s good. Great, in fact. Except -
Except Tommy keeps thinking about Tuck. Stray thoughts about Tuck and Tom and if Tom really doesn’t see it, or if he does and he’s lying about it to keep his sick kicks going.
Around the time that Tom starts working his way down Tommy’s body, trailing his tongue in a way that demonstrates exactly what he’s planning, is when Tommy starts wondering if their dicks are identical, too.
He goes soft faster than a deflating balloon.
“Uh, everything okay, Tommy?” Tom asks, glancing up with a frown, his fingers hooked in the elastic of Tommy’s boxers.
Tommy lets his head fall back against the pillow and reaches down to pull Tom up the bed. “Yeah. Sorry, yeah, I think I’m tired. Raincheck, babyface.”
There’s no mistaking the pout Tommy feels pressed up against his cheek, but he nods just the same. A minute or two later he gets up and goes to the bathroom. Tommy pretends to be asleep when he slides back in bed fifteen minutes later.
Tommy’s been acting strangely.
He’s dodged sex twice now — once the night before, and again this morning — which is… irritating. But he’s also started giving Tom long, pensive stares, ones which weird Tom out to no end.
It’s kind of a role reversal for them; Tom’s used to being the odd one, the one that overthinks things without talking. But this relationship only has enough room for one odd person at a time, and since Tommy’s decided to take that slot, Tom’s going to have to be reasonable one.
Tommy clearly has a— thing about Tuck. Possibly a thing for Tuck, and Tom has to clamp down ruthlessly on the surge of jealousy. But no matter which it is, Tommy’s just going to have to get over it; Tom’s going make sure he gets over it.
He’s just hanging up the phone when Tommy comes home. “Hey,” he says, pulling Tommy in for a welcome home kiss. He wraps his arms around Tommy’s waist, and adds, “We’ve been invited out to lunch tomorrow.”
“Yeah? Paul and Mac again?” Tommy asks.
“Nah. Tuck. I told him you like Italian food, and he says he knows this—”
Tom may as well have said they were going to lunch with Mad Dog Grimes, the way Tommy abruptly goes stiff in the circle of his arms and pulls away. “Tuck? As in your cousin Tuck? Lunch with him?”
“… Well, yeah.” Tom gives Tommy a long look. “I only know one guy named Tuck.”
“I can’t,” Tommy says immediately. “I have— training.”
God, Tommy’s awful at lying sometimes. Tom gives him an even longer look. “You better not have training tomorrow. Because if Frank’s breaking the schedule you guys worked out, I’m going down to the gym to tell him off. I’ll do it in the middle of the gym, even.”
He probably shouldn’t have added that last part, because Tommy’s instantly distracted, saying, “Can I come and watch if you—”
“—You’re not coming to watch me yell at Frank, because there’s no need for me to yell at Frank. You don’t have training tomorrow, do you?” It’s not really a question. When Tommy doesn’t answer, stubbornness setting into his mouth and jaw, Tom says, “It’s something else. It’s because it’s Tuck. It’s that— that thing you have about him, isn’t it?”
“It’s not a thing. I just don’t want to go to lunch with that guy. It’s weird!” Tommy’s expression is starting to look slightly strained at the edges.
Tom takes a deep breath. “That guy,” he says, as patiently as he can manage, “is the relative I’m closest to outside of my immediate family. And I think you and Tuck would really get along, if you’d, you know, actually speak to him. You’re being—” You’re being insane, Tom wants to say. But he takes in Tommy’s bullheaded expression, and ends up sighing instead. “Look, just— just come with me tomorrow. Please? He’s family.”
And that last bit is the magic phrase; Tommy caves immediately upon hearing it. The look on his face says he’d rather spend an afternoon getting punched in the face, but he caves nevertheless.
Tom gives him a wide, grateful smile, and follows it up with a kiss.
Tommy doesn’t get along with Tuck, because he doesn’t speak to him.
Tom starts shooting him surreptitious glances; does it more frequently as lunch goes on. He tries to pull Tommy into the conversation because, seriously— Tommy probably has more in common with Tuck than Tom does. Tommy doesn’t take the hint. But Tom adores his cousin, and he loves his boyfriend, and he still thinks they’d get along amazingly if Tommy would just get with the program.
No such luck, though.
Thirty minutes in, the cafe table starts juddering, hard enough that the salt and pepper shakers start travelling along its surface. Tom looks down at them, then up at Tommy. He wonders if neuroticism is catching; if Tommy’s been around him for so long that he’s absorbed it through some form of human osmosis, or something.
Well, Tom thinks, even if he has, Tommy’s still being ridiculous.
He reaches down beneath the table to squeeze Tommy’s knee, in an attempt to both comfort him and quash his escalating twitchiness. It doesn’t work. And it doesn’t take a genius to realise that Tuck’s picking up on Tommy’s weird behaviour.
Because Tuck’s starting to give Tom that look — the one that says ‘I’m totally running a background check on this guy when I get back to CIA headquarters’. And it had been awkward enough when Tuck had run them on Tom’s ex-girlfriends— God knows what he’d do after reading Tommy’s background history.
Tom turns to Tuck and gives him a meaningful stare; tries to simultaneously convey the messages: ‘please don’t run a background check on him’ and ‘if you do it, don’t call me later and give me the details’ and ‘he’s not usually like this — honest’.
Tuck stares back, and his stare says: ‘I don’t believe you’ and ‘I will do it, and I will call you later, because your taste in men is apparently no better than your taste in women’.
The long, significant glances passing between Tuck and Tom, however, only seem to be fuelling Tommy’s insanity.
His lunchtime lunacy culminates when he glances down at his phone — which Tom can see isn’t even switched on — and says, “Hey, uh— Bren just texted me. Might be important. I should—” Tommy hesitates, as if deliberating whether he should throw in some social nicety to salvage the situation. Then he seems to rethink it, and simply blurts, “I should go.”
And Tom — still reeling over how bad that bald-faced lie was — has no time to call Tommy out on his shit before Tommy gives him an annoyingly loud, smacking kiss to the side of his face, and takes off.
Tuck turns in his seat to watch Tommy as he disappears down the street rapidly, then turns back to Tom. He raises his eyebrows and says slowly, “So…”
“Can you just— not run a background check on him? Please?” Tom asks wearily.
“After that performance? Not a chance, mate.”
Tom puts his head down on the table.
Sarah throws another Hansen shindig the next night, and Tom doesn’t put up with any of Tommy’s attempts to get out of it. Considering that they haven’t fucked in a couple of days, and adding in the huge fucking embarrassment Tommy’s made of himself, he doesn’t have much to bargain with.
He puts the button down on without complaint, because Tommy has a plan. Or, parts of a plan. A bit of a plan that is edging toward semi-plan status in his brain and it’s not fucking perfect, but it’s the best he’s got right now and he needs to do something.
See, the thing is, Tommy can’t get Tuck’s dick out of his mind. No, that’s not right. He can’t get the idea that Tom’s cousin is walking around with a carbon copy of his meat stick swinging around in his pants, and the uncertainty is killing both him and his libido.
There’s a good chance that Tom has seen Tuck’s dick at some time or another, but the idea of asking him about it…admitting it’s on his mind, well. That’s just going to do more harm than good. But there’s someone else at the party who will have first hand, up close and personal knowledge, and all it’ll take is a little finesse to get it out of her.
Tommy tells himself that it shouldn’t be a problem. After all, he’s had basic training in interrogation techniques. This wasn’t all that different, really, and honestly, how badly could he fuck it up?
Determined, Tommy corners Tuck’s wife after dessert.
The Hansen house isn’t huge, but it’s got a backyard, a second story, and a nice deck where most of the extended clan gather together to talk and drink and be neurotic balls of Hansen DNA together.
There’s a side yard, too, and that’s where Tommy goes to hide when being around Tom’s family gets overwhelming. It’s dark, and quiet, and there’s an air-conditioning unit where Tommy can sit until he’s ready to rejoin the masses. That’s where Tom finds him, nursing a beer and kicking at the small stones on the ground.
Tommy doesn’t look up when Tom speaks, doesn’t acknowledge him with anything more than another kick against the dirt.
“I never thought I’d have to say this, but… did you ask Tuck’s wife about his dick?” Tom sounds… perplexed. Annoyed. Confused. Some combination of the three with a little bit of jealousy thrown in for the hell of it.
Tommy takes a long drag off his beer, lips pursing around the mouth.
“Yes, I did,” he manages once he’s swallowed his mouthful, though that’s not quite the truth. ‘Asking’ implies some level of social fucking awareness. Tommy had grinned like an idiot and tried to play the ‘gay friend’ card, something he’d only seen on awful TV shows, on a woman he barely knew.
It went down about as well as you could expect.
“Why?” Tom demands, and there’s anger there now. Petulant, but there nonetheless. “Are you… I thought you said you weren’t interested in him. He’s married,” and Tommy tries to get a word in edgewise but Tom barrels right over him, “and straight. And married.”
Tommy scoots over on the air conditioner and pats the space next to him. Even though he’s pissed, Tom still comes, sitting down and staring pointedly. Tommy puts a hand on his knee and squeezes.
“I don’t know if you’re being a dick or you really don’t fucking see it, but it’s driving me up the damn wall. Your cousin looks just like me. He does. And I- fuck it, Tom, I needed to know if our dicks are twins, too.”
“That is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. And I listen to Mom talking regularly-,” Tom starts, but Tommy’s hand is over his mouth, lightning fast. He’s heard this before and Tommy is tired of the broken record.
This ends now.
“Invite Tuck over. Tonight, tomorrow night, whenever the fuck. Get him to my place and we’re going to have Mac and Paul and Frank take a look and tell you what’s up.” Tommy runs a thumb over Tom’s bottom lip as he speaks, trying to soften the whole thing, and it must work because he feels Tom’s lips quirk into a smirk beneath his hand.
It’s easy enough to get Mac and Paul over. One mention of ‘alcohol’ and they come running. Frank is a little harder. He and Tom aren’t the best of friends, but Tommy lays the pressure on, starts talking about how he might just forget to come into training the next day if Frank isn’t there to remind him. They both know it’s a bluff, but it still works. Frank shows up.
And quickly puts himself on the opposite end of the room from Mac. Tommy personally couldn’t give two shits about their little feud right now, though. He has a point to prove and he’s not paying attention to much of anything else until it’s done.
“Alright, Tuck said he’ll be here in a few minutes,” Tom says, looking up from his phone. He’s been trying to get Tommy to cancel this little party (‘Intervention,’ Tommy had corrected) all day, but Tommy wasn’t having none of that. This was happening.
The knock comes about ten minutes later, and Tommy gets to the door before Tom can beat him there.
“Tuck!” Tommy says, voice loud with false cheer as he grabs a handful of Tuck’s shirt at the shoulder and yanks him in. “I’ve got some people I want you to meet.”
Tommy doesn’t give a shit about the odd look Tuck is giving him, or the suspicious lilt to his ‘alright’ when they walk into the living room. He makes sure his arm is firmly around Tuck’s neck, their faces as close together as possible without actually touching as he turns toward the other four.
The reaction is instantaneous and immensely satisfying.
“Holy shitballs,” it’s Mac that speaks first, jaw dropping as his eyes dart back and forth between the two of them. “Jesus Tommy, I didn’t know they taught you how to clone yourself at LA City.”
“The fuck are you talking about, Mac?” Tom says with a suspicious squint in Mac’s direction. “Are you in on Tommy’s little— whatever, counter-prank or something?”
“No, I see it, too,” Frank chimes in. Wonderful, dependable Frank. Tommy is never saying shit behind his back again. “It’s fucking weird.”
Tom glances over at Paul, who shrugs. “Yeah. I see it. Didn’t really put it together until I saw them next to each other, but yeah. Weird.”
There’s this fantastic, shining moment of vindication, and Tommy rounds on Tom with a half-crazed, triumphant grin. It’s like the best sort of endorphin high, and Tommy is buzzing underneath his skin.
Tom looks poleaxed. Normally, Tommy wouldn’t want that look anywhere near his face, but right now it’s almost magical. Tommy lets go of Tuck and crouches in front of his boyfriend, pointing a finger at him, the part of him that used to goad and rib Brendan coming to the surface. “I was right. I was right and not fucking crazy.”
And then, without thinking, he’s spinning around and pointing that finger at Tuck.
“Now show me your dick and get the hell out.” The silence after Tommy speaks is thick, telling, and if he didn’t already know that he’d swung himself back over into crazy land, the look on everyone’s faces would have been enough to tell him.
It’s not long after that everyone gets up and leaves. Neither Tommy nor Tom try to stop them.
Two hours later:
"He’s not on drugs! What? … Okay, yeah— no, I know about the prescription pills, but… no, Tuck, shut up for a second— just—" Tom lets out a frustrated breath as Tuck keeps going, reading loudly from Tommy’s undoubtedly colourful background check.
In the end, Tom just has to hang up on him. He turns to Tommy and gives him a long, grim stare. “So…”
Tommy stares back, and he’s got that look on his face, the one that tells Tom he’s not going to say anything until Tom says something more (and where had that verbal filter been a few hours ago?)
Tom rubs his temple. “I don’t see it,” he says. He holds up a hand when Tommy looks like he’s about to explode. Tries not to feel like he’s bargaining with a crazy person when he adds, “but I’m willing to concede maybe Tuck and I have some… genetic Hansen-related blindness to it.”
Tommy just nods at him, non-verbally indicating that Tom should go on, maybe dive wholeheartedly into the crazy.
Tom starts laughing instead. He’s not entirely sure where it’s coming from, until he says, “So I guess this means you’re not interested in Tuck?”
And at that, Tommy’s grim expression cracks. He grabs up a pillow from the bed and smacks Tom with it, grinning. “No, you freak—”
“I’m the freak?” Tom gets out between bouts of laughter. “Tuck thinks you’re—”
“I don’t care what Tuck thinks,” Tommy says quickly, wrestling Tom down onto the bed, and finally, finally he seems to be edging towards being in the mood for sex.
Still, some perverse part of Tom makes him say: “Show me your dick or get the hell out.”
And unlike Tuck, Tommy obeys.
Happy April Fools’, folks! <3 — smug and sib