A/N: Please note that I did not write Brian's letter. It appears in the excellent book "It Takes A Village Idiot, and I Married One", based on the episode of the same name. I felt that the letter could use a bit of expansion, and since very few people I've talked to have heard of the book I included it to make the story clearer. I apologize for the slight plagiarism.
Also, a general disclaimer: Family Guy does not belong to me; it belongs to Fox and Seth MacFarlane, geniuses that they are. Please don't sue. I beg of you. And now that that's out of the way, on to the story...
Brian closed his eyes before downing yet another martini, his tenth in two hours. He coughed, then tossed the glass to the side, where it shattered on the floor some distance away. Undisturbed, Brian squinted his eyes and steadied his hand, and began to write...
I'm sorry, but I just can't go on this way any longer. You have to know the truth ... I owe that much to both of us. Please read this all the way through, and please try to understand.
When you pet me, it sends shivers down my spine.
Sometimes I want to hump your leg so badly I start crying.
Sometimes when you come home from shopping, it's all I can do not to go sprinting up to the door as you walk in and then jump up and down next to you the entire time you're trying to put away the groceries.
Whenever you bring me a soup bone, all I think about is how much I want to bone you.
If you ever passed out on the floor and stayed unconscious for hours, I would absolutely not chew your face off like that Labrador did to that French chick who ended up getting the face transplant.
What I'm trying to say is that ... I love you. It has to be said, after all these years we've known each other and all the scotch I just drank.
I love you. I love you, Lois. Oh my God, I love you so much. I love you.
Your humble servant, always and forever,
Brian reread the letter with difficulty, as his eyes were still a bit hazy from all of the scotch. He sighed and put the paper down; without really realizing it, he soon began doodling a MASH note (designed to prove how he and Lois were meant to be together) while staring off into space distractedly, thinking in his drunken stupor.
He'd show this letter to Lois tomorrow, he decided. Yes, he was absolutely certain of it. Positively, one hundred percent, quite possibly maybe, he would do it. And she would know, and Peter would know, and Stewie and Quagmire and the entire world — they'd all know. They'd know everything... everything...
The pen line made a sharp scratch in the paper as Brian's head dropped onto the kitchen table and he began snoring. The alcohol had finally decided to shut down his system for repairs, meaning he would wake up with the mother of all hangovers in about eight hours, and most likely just throw the note away without even looking at it. But there was always that small chance that someone, anyone, would see it...
Lois clicked on the light in the kitchen with a yawn, seeking a midnight snack. Her recent bout with Peter had left her sweating, exhausted, pleased — and extremely hungry. Nothing like a fresh round of sex to make a woman feel many, many unusual cravings. And right now, she was craving something deep-fried and smothered in chocolate...
Lois cast her eyes around the kitchen and caught sight of Brian with a shock; she had seen him drunk before, but never quite as drunk as this. "Brian?" she whispered cautiously, coming forward, but the dog didn't stir. The pen that he had been holding fell to the floor with a clatter as his paw loosened, and he shifted a bit in his sleep, but still didn't wake up.
"Oh, poor Brian..." Lois muttered sympathetically, and she came over to pet the fur on his neck. Brian gave a slight smile as he slept, muttering incoherently to himself, but it was clear that he was pleased. Lois smiled — and then caught sight of the note he had been writing.
"What's this?" she said to herself, picking it up. She slowly began to read, and as she went through the letter, her look slowly changed to one of horror, her mouth dropping open. "Oh my God..." she muttered in disbelief. When she had finally finished the letter, she lowered the paper and looked back at Brian, stunned.
He was in love with her. He had been in love with her all these years, and she'd never been aware of it ... there had been hints, certainly, but she had dismissed them as a mere closeness of the family more than anything. Even when Peter had been presumed dead, and Lois had married Brian to support the kids, he had never let on how much he truly loved her. She thought he was doing it for the good of everyone else; that they had reached a mutual understanding and had everyone else's best intentions in mind...
Had it been that he'd never let it on, or had it been that she simply refused to see it?
Well, she tried to rationalize to herself, Brian was drunk. He was quite obviously drunk and this letter had clearly been written at the height of his intoxication. It would be easy to dismiss this yet again, to write it off as just something that happened when Brian was inebriated; he let himself succumb to stupid ideas, to unnatural desires...
And yet ... she couldn't do it. Lois couldn't bring herself to ignore this, because this letter was so obviously from deep within Brian's heart. It was the most personal thing he'd ever written to her, so much that it couldn't just be dismissed as a passing thing. Brian loved her, had always loved her — and she'd never acknowledged it.
But she had to now.
Lois looked down at the paper in her hands again, rereading it, then glanced furtively at Brian. He wouldn't remember this tomorrow ... would he? No, of course not; he was drunk. All she had to do was to tear this letter to shreds, to crumple it up, to burn it — to do something to it, and the whole issue would go away. Brian would never recall writing it, and things would be able to go back to the way they were.
Lois's hands trembled as she gripped the paper. Tear it up, she told herself. Rip it to shreds and forget all about it. Brian's never let something like this get in the way before, and he never would. It'd be better to pretend it never happened, for the both of you.
The smallest of rips appeared in the center of Brian's letter.
Lois blinked back tears and dropped the letter. Still intact, it fluttered idly in the air before coming to rest back on the kitchen table, right where Brian had left it. Lois's hands were shaking; she crossed her arms and hugged them close to her body, attempting to make the trembling stop, but her efforts proved futile. Her teeth were chattering as well; both had nothing to do with the temperature of the kitchen.
Lois took an unconscious step backward. What on Earth was she going to do? Should she wake Brian up right now, and force him to explain? Should she wait until morning, then quietly approach him, and tell him that she found his letter? Or should she listen that evil little voice in the back of her mind, the one telling her to forget all about this and leave Brian to lust after her always, his love forever unrequited?
"Brian..." Lois finally murmured, very softly.
Brian still didn't stir.
Slowly, hesitantly, Lois approached him again. She gripped the back of his chair, wrestling with the furious debate in her mind; then she cautiously stepped forward, coming to stand next to the sleeping Brian. Before she could think about what she was doing, she crouched down on her knees, so that she and Brian's faces were level. Lois hesitated — then leaned forward and kissed Brian on the lips.
It was a brief kiss — she wouldn't allow herself to go any longer. Yet she still couldn't help but notice how soft Brian's lips were, or the way that, unconsciously, he kissed back. Lois drew back sharply, and Brian again twitched in his sleep; there was a definite smile on his face now, and he was muttering something. Lois leaned in close, listening carefully.
"Mmm, Lois, that feels nice..." Brian was murmuring.
Lois drew back again and rubbed her eyes. Oh, if only he knew...
"I'm sorry, Brian," she whispered very softly, more to herself than to him. "But this is the most that I can give you."
She stood up again, careful not to brush against Brian's chair, and hesitated before giving him a brief pat on the back. Brian smiled again, his tail wagging as he slept. Lois knew that whatever he was dreaming about was clearly enjoyable for him — and that, inevitably, it involved her. Brian had made that obvious.
And the fact that she had kissed him was no doubt contributing to it.
Lois touched a finger to her lips unconsciously as the thought crossed her mind. She stood there, in silent reflection, for the briefest of moments; then she looked down at her other hand, where the letter still remained. She brought it up close, reading it one last time ... then, with a resigned sigh, she grasped it in both hands and tore it up.
By the time she was finished, the letter was in over a hundred pieces; not one word could be deciphered among the endless shreds of paper. Lois slowly walked to the garbage can under the sink and deposited the pieces inside, burying them under other bits of trash. Brian would never remember the note. His secret was safe.
Safe from everyone except the one person it truly involved.
Lois bit her lip as she turned back to the sleeping Brian. Nothing good would come of telling anyone, she told herself. Who knows how Peter would take the news? He'd be mortified to find out that his best friend has created a love triangle with his wife. And the kids? Brian's like a third parent to them, almost, and they'd lose all their respect for him if they knew.
The problem with that, though, was that Brian clearly wanted he and Lois to be the only parents, with Peter out of the picture completely. Brian wanted Lois for himself — and yet, he seemed to have come to terms with the fact that he could never truly have her. Peter was his best friend, after all, and it should only be natural that Brian wouldn't want to get between him and Lois. But there would always be that part of Brian, that one small piece of his heart that would always secretly belong to Lois...
And now Lois knew that secret. She knew Brian was infatuated with her, and always had been. And she knew that he had accepted that he would never have her. He would always want her, but would never act on it. Lois knew all of it.
But she couldn't bring herself to do anything with this knowledge.
And so Lois stepped away from Brian carefully, back to the kitchen doorway. She turned out the light and began to head back upstairs to her room. She wasn't hungry anymore; on the contrary, she was sick to her stomach. She held a hand to it as she slowly ascended the staircase, still troubled by her thoughts.
Brian remained asleep in the kitchen behind her, his head resting on one of his arms and a smile still on his lips. He would never know the fate of the letter; he'd never know that what he'd written had brought him as close as he would ever be to "having" Lois. He would never know of the fateful kiss, and the fact that his dream had, for one brief, shining moment, become reality...
Because, Lois reflected as she climbed into bed with Peter, I do love Brian, in a way.
She just could never love him the way he wanted her to.