Alrighty, peoples, here we go! Final chapter! I've had a lot of fun writing this fic; if you've had fun reading it, please see my Author's Note at the end.
Also, if you were waiting for the chapter where the boys do the deed, this be it. Of course, the actual, *ahem* happens offscreen, but it's still the sexiest chapter of TOFP.
Disclaimer: I do not, never have, and never will own Family Guy.
"Hey. Hey, Brian. Do you want to play the license plate game?"
"Really, really not, Stewie. Please. I'm trying to concentrate on the road."
Stewie pouts and consults the clock on the dash. It's just past 7 p.m. They've been driving for two hours and are nearly halfway to Waterbury.
Because when they reach their destination after 9, there's no way the medical equipment and supply store is going to be open, they'll have to find a hotel and pick up the bed in the morning. Behind them in the backseat of the car are two overnight bags.
In all likelihood, by the end of this night, Stewie will have finally gotten Brian into bed. And both of them know it.
The mood in the car is one of mingled excited apprehension and nervous impatience. The radio is tuned to a classical musical station, which has been stealing the conversation for the majority of the journey. Stewie is sick of it; he switches off Liebestraum and asks,
"Have you ever been to Waterbury before? As a former denizen of the state of Connecticut?"
Brian shakes his head. "I, uh, I haven't, actually. Timbleton, is, um, as I'm sure you know, over by Manchester. We never…when I was living there, I really never had any reason to go that far west."
"Where were you when Lois called you and asked you to come back?"
"Iowa," Brian answers flatly.
Stewie scrunches up his face. "Ew. What for?"
His companion laughs. "Well, I met this guy at a writers retreat who lives there and I figured, hell, I'll pay him a visit. I had to leave, though, and rent a room at the Motel 6 as soon as I found out he had a meth lab in his house. Anyway, it fit right into my plan to see all fifty states.
"So you have now?" Stewie questions, achingly jealous, because he wishes he could have been traveling with Brian when he was doing this.
Brian nods, eyes focused on the seemingly endless track of asphalt as they breeze along the interstate. "But not every country. There's a new mission."
Stewie beams. "One that we should conquer together. Someday?"
Brian turns and gives him a charming, crooked smile. Stewie's heart does flip-flops in his chest and his gut warms.
"Sounds good to me."
Nighttime city lights spread out before them when they cruise into town. They book a room at the first hotel they spot which looks affordable but not sleazy. A lone, king size bed occupies most of the space, and Stewie goes and sits gingerly atop the duvet, wondering what steps to take next, if they'll just start going at it.
He's only ever had sex. But this will be making love. This experience will be a unique one for him. Less so than for Brian, naturally, but regardless. It will stand far apart from other conquests because of the deep, deep emotions he feels for this man.
Stewie smiles timidly up at him.
Brian moves to position himself in front of Stewie. He bends forward and grasps the front of his shirt and tugs on it none too gently, encouraging him to stand up. Stewie catches his gaze, holds it, and obeys.
No sooner is he on his feet than Brian pulls him into his arms, their bodies flush up against one another's, lips crushed together.
One of Brian hands is threading its fingers through Stewie's hair, the other slips beneath the fabric of his shirt and caresses the skin at the small of his back.
A muffled whimper from Stewie. "God, yes…" He rests his head in the crook between Brian's shoulder and neck, exhaling wetly against the side of his throat.
Brian speaks very close to his ear, a faint note of hysteria in his voice:
"Let me know if this isn't what you want."
Stewie pulls back to give him a you've-gotta-be-kidding-me kind of expression.
"I don't do this," Brian murmurs, "with guys. I've never…"
"But I presume you are familiar with the mechanics involved?" Stewie queries with a smirk. Brian laughs nervously and squeezes him tighter. Stewie feels how tense the other man's body is, but still can't quite take pity on him.
"Hmm. I wish it wasn't so dark. I bet you're blushing. I want to see you blush."
"Sadist," Brian growls. He keeps moving his fingers through Stewie's hair, massaging with the perfect pressure.
Stewie gives a tiny moan. "Not in bed, I'm not."
They kiss some more, Brian's reservations seeming to ease somewhat in the face of his passion. There is no doubt that he is very interested in the proceedings, Stewie thinks, with more than a hint of smugness, as he insinuates one of his legs between Brian's thighs and rubs. Brian gasps and curses.
Their lips connect and separate, over and again, hard and slapdash, tongues licking everywhere in the cavern of the other's mouth, teeth scraping, and it's not about technique and it's so good. They're laughing and wrestling each other out of their clothes. Stewie tumbles backward onto the mattress, pulling Brian down on top of him.
"Now, no performance anxiety," Stewie quips, "Go to it, big boy. Anything…"
"Damn straight, anything," Brian interrupts, panting. "You talk too much. Grab the headboard, Stewie."
Meg's car is pulled up to the curb as Stewie and Brian steal out of the garage, both trying to put on a casual attitude and Brian apparently endeavoring to wipe the color off of his face, his hands unwisely rubbing at his flushed cheeks.
Stewie snatches his arms and yanks them down. "Stop that! You're only making it worse." He sneaks a glance at the placket of Brian's pants. "And XYZ."
Brian looks quickly down and pulls up the zip on his fly. "Oh, God. Yeah, thanks." He runs a hand nervously through his short-cropped hair.
As they walk toward the house, Stewie is much better at keeping in-control of himself; honestly, he finds his share of humor in the situation. He's really of two minds about the whole thing: on the one hand, he enjoys feeling like he's pulling one over on his family (not like that's so challenging), the clandestineness of it. On the other, he's dying for Brian to drop the bomb- he's insisted on being the one- so they can come out as a legitimate couple.
It's been two weeks since they spent the night together in that hotel. Two weeks of sneaking around, because none of the family know that they are together. Brian hasn't even sprung it on the family yet that he's leaving in five days- and taking Stewie with him. It's not standard Stewie to care about such things, but he can't but think that it's bad-manners if Brian's planning on waiting until the very day of departure, saying something to his hosts like:
"Oh, yes, I'm leaving today. Going to New York. Oh, and by the way, I'm also abducting your son: see that's him waving to you from inside the car right now. Yeah, I've, uh, kind of been doing him, so…Right. 'Bye!"
As they stand outside the door, Stewie asks Brian, "I say, do you have a breath mint? My mouth tastes like your-"
Brian cuts him off with a look. Stewie is about to retort- after all, who can hear him?- but at that precise instant, Lois opens the door from the inside.
"There you are! I was just about to come looking for you." She sounds agitated.
"Lois…what's wrong?" asks Brian uneasily.
"Meg," is her one word response, and she hold the door for them and steps back, allowing them admittance into the house.
Meg has brought Dean over and introduced him to her family as her husband.
He, surprisingly or not, hits it off with Peter right away, after the Fat Man learns that Dean's band, S. Sik, is a Kiss tribute band, and Meg's new hubby is as worshipful a fan as he is.
"Oh, and, and…" Stewie mentions, overhearing them, "S. Sik is- kind of- 'Kiss' spelled backward. Oh, clever, clever!" He croons sarcastically.
Lois smiles grimly and hands him a plate of crackers smeared with sandwich spread. They are all in the backyard, having a cookout. Peter and Dean are on the patio, stationed at the grill, and Lois indicates that her youngest son should follow her away from them.
"I don't know what she was thinking!" Lois raves sotto voce to Stewie, stalking across the yard. Even with his long legs, Stewie has to make an effort to keep up with her. "I mean, sure, Wendy was a dweeb. But this man's just awful! And the smell of him!" Meg is standing over by the fence, and Lois heads straight for her, no doubt to criticize Dean to her daughter's face. Stewie doesn't follow.
He looks back at his father and new brother-in-law. Dean is thoughtfully scratching his soul patch and Stewie can still hear him and Peter discuss very seriously their mutual belief in- and fear of- Mole People.
Brian is in a lawn chair in the middle of the yard and Stewie goes over to join him.
Stewie says, lowering himself to the ground, "You know what? Meg has essentially married Peter."
Brian shudders. "That's disturbing."
Stewie leans back against Brian's legs, looking round and holding up a cracker. Brian bends down and opens his mouth and Stewie feeds him the hors d'oeuvre. Sensing someone watching them, Stewie lifts his head and peers across the yard at his mother, the shrewd gleam in her eye at contrast with the almost sad set of her facial features. Stewie straightens up, no longer resting the full weight of his upper body on Brian's legs, and quirks a daring eyebrow at her.
Her mouth falls open slightly, then tightens, her brow furrowing. She swiftly resumes talking to Meg
The next morning, as Stewie approaches the kitchen, in the mood to make chocolate chip pancakes for his house mates, he is stopped just short of the doorway to that room by the stifled sound of voices- Brian's and Lois's. Stewie hangs back to eavesdrop, flattening his body up against the wall, cupping a hand to his ear.
"So…that's pretty much, um, what the situation is…" Brian is saying.
Oh, my God, thinks Stewie. It's this conversation.
He boldly advances further toward the kitchen, craning his head around the doorjamb. Neither of the inhabitants of the room notice him; Lois, he sees, has her back to him, sitting at the table in a chair, staring out the window above the sink. Brian is standing beside the counter opposite her, but he does not look to the left where Stewie is peeping around the corner. He doesn't look up at all- he appears to be engrossed in contemplating the skin cells on his arm.
There is absolute silence. Then…
"What do you want from me, Brian?" Lois asks in a bland, tired voice.
"I don't know- some kind of reaction."
Lois studies him evenly. Her fingers tap against the side of her coffee mug. "Okay," she says finally, and places it down on the tabletop, clasps her hands together on her knees and takes a breath.
"WHAT THE HELL, BRIAN?!" she roars, "I MEAN, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL? You're a sicko, you know that? A total perv! Where…where is this coming from?! True, we've dealt with our share of dysfunction in this family, but boy, this takes the cake doesn't it? Maybe you mistake my passivity for stupidity but if you think- if you think for one instant- that I'm not aware of just how…depraved this is, that I'm going to be okay with it…."
"No, no, no!" Brian interrupts hurriedly, "Lois, I don't…"
"Hey, maybe I am an idiot, though, huh?" she shouts over him, "Maybe you've been attracted to my son for years and I just never noticed. You've known him since he was born, haven't you, Brian?"
At that moment, Stewie bursts into the room, boiling with anger.
"Don't you talk to him that! There's nothing wrong with us being together! I love him, Mother! He loves me, too. We're going to-"
Brian lays his head on the countertop and covers it with his hands, muttering incoherent things.
Lois cuts him off. "'Love'? Oh, Stu, please don't tell me it's gotten that far!" She groans. "You two weren't meant to love each other like this. I know how you used to idolize him…"
Brian straightens, up, shaking his head so frenetically that Stewie fears he'll give himself whiplash. "Bad, very bad. I was right, we should've waited until the day we left. Or not have said anything at all. They would've figured it out eventually. Or not. And that would've been okay, too."
Stewie snorts and grabs his hand, interlocking their fingers together.
"This is Brian," Lois goes on, still seeing red, "He's incapable of sustaining a relationship, Stu, he's just using you-"
"Hang on there, a minute Lois," Brian interrupts her, and his voice at the same time stony and full of dedication. "I would never ever even begin to possibly consider treating Stewie like that! How dare you accuse me of using him? It may be hard for you to believe right now- in fact I'm pretty damn sure you don't want to believe it- but this isn't merely a casual arrangement to me. Stewie's telling the truth. I do love him. And I'll take good care of him."
"Mother," Stewie tries to keep as soft a tone as possible, "Come on. At the hospital you said that Brian was irreversibly a part of the family. You're not going to turn your back on him now, are you? Especially when he makes me so happy?"
"Oh…Stu," Lois sighs, "You know I want only happiness for my children…but this," she motions to the two of them, her gaze concentrated like a laser beam on their linked hands. "It's too weird! I'm not…I'm not ready to see this yet!"
Stewie inclines his head. "Very well. We'll find someplace else to stay for the next few days if you can't deal with it," he says coolly.
There's a pause, and then Lois grudgingly protests, "Don't be silly. I'm not kicking you out…either of you." She fixes a belligerent look on a Brian, that implies the unsaid, even though I should.
"But you can't share a bedroom, obviously. Not in this house. I will not condone any hanky-panky going on."
"Oh, Mother," Stewie rolls his eyes. "You did not just use the term 'hanky-panky'."
"I mean…it's not as if you don't have self control," she adds doubtfully. "Every time I turn around, I'm not going to find you canoodling in some part of the house?"
"Well…" Stewie trails off suggestively.
"Yyou…you!" Lois sputters, shaking her finger at him, "You just wait until your father gets home, young man!" She throws up her hands in exasperation, makes a noise like 'arrgh!', and after glaring sharply at the couple one more time, storms out of the kitchen.
Brian is still looking pale and shell shocked. Stewie tugs on his hand and leads him outside and into the backyard. There is a hammock strung beneath two trees near Lois's rose garden, and Stewie clambers into it, folding his arms comfortably behind his head. Brian stands over him.
"Are you determined to cause your mother some sort of lasting mental trauma?"
"I really don't see what all the hullabaloo is about." Stewie shrugs.
Brian sighs and tentatively climbs into the hammock to join him. "Will this hold both of us?"
"It holds Peter," replies Stewie, knowing there's no more ringing endorsement for the hammock's sturdiness.
Brian squirms, making himself more comfortable.
"So judging by way you were talking to Lois back there, I guess you're pretty serious about me, huh?" Stewie hedges, smirking. With his foot, he strokes Brian's ankle.
Brian guffaws. "Oh. Yeah. If you'd be so kind as to help me later, I've been busy picking out our wedding china."
He turns as though feeling Stewie's scowl on him, and his jesting countenance becomes suddenly solemn.
"This has to work out, Stewie. If we were- if we were to, to break up…I don't know that we could ever go back to being just friends."
"Oh, I have no intention of ever letting you go," Stewie returns unflappably, attempting to assuage his worry. "I'd be more likely to kill you first." He continues, chuckling menacingly. He pauses, then amends his own assertion.
"Actually, if anybody ever hurts you again in this life, Brian, I'll take care of it. I promise you, they'll never find the body."
Brian shivers almost undetectably next to him. "Um…thanks, I guess."
They start talking about New York. Brian has already phoned Xan Reynolds and asked for Stewie to be tacked on as a consultant like himself. He proclaims that they are delighted to have him, with his degree in theatre, but the younger man wants something more.
"Can't you get me a role in the musical, B-rye?" he coos, "Preferably the lead?"
"No dice, Stewie," Brian laughs, looking more carefree and contented than Stewie's ever seen him. "You'll have to audition just like everybody else."
"Hmph. Even though I'm banging the guy who wrote the book the blasted thing is based on?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Well, after we settle into our place in New York, can we at least get a cat?"
"We certainly can't get a dog; you might fall in love with it," Brian sardonically notes.
Stewie glares at him and roughly jabs him in the ribs with his finger. Brian grunts and seizes Stewie's wrist.
The young man struggles (not very convincingly) to free himself as he assures Brian, "It's not like I make a habit of it. I would never have fallen in love with the first one, if I'd had a choice. I pined away for the bastard for almost my entire life…"
"Awww…" Brain interrupts, pulling his lower lip over his upper in a sad face.
"…before anything happened between us," Stewie finishes, shifting so he can lay his head on Brian's shoulder. Brian curls an arm around him and idly strokes his hair.
"We'll see about the cat."
Author's Note (s): The town of Quahog being fictional, it is not on any map and I have no idea where precisely it's supposed to be in Rhode Island (have they ever said on the show?), thus its relative distance to places like Waterbury. I made the best educated guess that I could in figuring how long Brian and Stewie's trip would take. I also don't know if there's a place in Waterbury, CT that sells hospital beds, but 20 + years in the future, who knows, there might be.
I'm quite undecided as to whether I should write a sequel for this. Hopefully you found the end of TOFP palatable, but…what do you think? Room for more? Or would that give you indigestion?
If you have an opinion about this, please visit my profile and vote in the poll I'll have set up: Should There Be A Sequel To The Old Familiar Places? Keep in mind, that if I do decide to make one, the first chapter won't be posted for a couple months. I honestly have no clue what the plot would be.
For every review I've received, for every fav/alert add, I'm very sincerely grateful. Thank you sooooo much!!! Love, peace, hugs, kisses to all of you!!!