"There's no way you know PJ better than me!" Brendan exclaimed upon hearing Bobby claim to know everything about her. Stephanie nodded in agreement.
"Out of all of you, Brando would take the cake." She agreed.
"I think a PJ-off is in order." Mike said.
"Yeah, loser has to go shopping with Stephanie this weekend." Kenny put in.
"Deal." Brendan and Bobby said at the same time, shaking hands.
"Stephanie can be the judge." Mike said.
"Judge for what?" PJ asked, walking over to the table.
"They're having a PJ-off between Brando and Bobby." Stephanie informed her.
"Why?" PJ laughed.
"Because Bobby claimed to know more about you than any of us." Kenny said.
"Yeah, Brendan didn't like that." Mike said.
"Stephanie, Mike, and Kenny ask the questions, PJ can tell us whose right." Bobby said.
"Okay, so the first question, what is her favorite color?" Mike asked.
"Green," Bobby answered at the same time as Brendan said, "Purple".
"Purple is correct, Brando."
"Favorite breakup food?" came from Stephanie.
"Ice cream" Bobby stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Potato chips and ketchup. If that's not available then a jar of peanut butter and a carton of Oreos. Both of which I had, and still have, stocked up in my room." Brendan answered.
"Correct again Brando."
"Okay, hard question, if she wasn't a sports' journalist, what would she be?" Kenny asked.
"I have no idea." Bobby said slowly, a confused look on his face.
"She would be a sports' announcer or a teacher." Brendan supplied.
"Three for three."
"Wow, Bobby, you suck at this game. Okay, my turn. What is PJ's guilty pleasure?" Mike asked, leaning forward.
"I think she said something about figure skating at one point." Bobby answered uncertainly.
"Chick Flicks!" Brendan exclaimed without hesitation.
"Once again, you would be correct."
"Favorite store?" Stephanie asked, excitedly, she didn't even know the answer to that.
"JC Penny?" Bobby raised an eyebrow.
"After Sports Authority, Old Navy." Brendan supplied.
"That's five in a row. I can't believe you remember that."
"What can I say? When your best friend has her girly moment, you remember them."
"What's the story behind that?" Mike asked, leaning forward.
"It was junior year, so we were living off campus, and she is running around the apartment about an hour and a half before her boyfriend at the time, who was a real jerk by the way, was supposed to pick her up. So she's running around panic and Stephanie wasn't answering her phone. So, she suddenly announces that she has to go shopping. She then proceeded to drag me out of the apartment to Old Navy, the only store she would consider buying clothes from. She looked good that night."
"What is PJ's favorite shirt?" Stephanie interjected, successfully cutting Kenny off.
"That one tank top that you wore to my first poker night." Bobby knew he go the answer wrong when he saw her grimace at the mention of the shirt.
"The shirt I bought you when I took you to the 80s Rock show. When it didn't fit anymore, you made it into a pillow." Brendan said, smiling at the memory.
"How do you remember these things?"
"It's sitting on your bed; you sleep with it every night."
"Correct you are. Alright, two more questions and then I have to go. I'm having dinner at Andy's house. You wanna come, Brando?"
"What do PJ's parents think of you?"
"I don't know, the only member of her family I've met is Andy, so…" Bobby trailed off.
"That's because you blew off the dinner where you were supposed to meet my mom." PJ interjected.
"Well, I've met her whole family. They love me."
"Yeah, he totally won over my dad with his extensive knowledge of 80s rock groups."
"Hey, Peej, does your grandma still think we're getting married?"
"Yeah. When she called last night, she asked to speak to 'that darling husband' of mine. I corrected her, but, she won't take it." PJ told him.
"Have you ever seen her cry?" Kenny asked.
"No," Bobby responded.
"More than I would have liked." Brendan said.
"Bingo." PJ said in favor of Brendan answer.
"Okay, last question. What's she like in bed?"
"Amazing!" both answered at the same time.
"I thought you said you didn't do anything more than kissing." Kenny said, shocked.
"That day," Stephanie said, "You don't know how many times I walked in on them."
"That question wasn't one I can judge, Mike." PJ said sternly.
"Who is the first person she goes to when she has a problem?" Mike corrected.
"Whoever she's dating at the time?" Bobby asked, pretty sure he was wrong.
"Either me or Steph." Brendan said with a small smile.
"Perfect score Brando." PJ said.
"See, I told you."
"If you want to come to dinner, Brando, we better leave now." PJ said, checking her watch and standing up. Brendan stood up as well and walked out of the bar with her.
"How come he always gets to go to those thing? I'm her boyfriend, I should be with her." Bobby complained, watching Brendan and PJ walk out of the bar.
"How about because every time she asks you to do something with her family, you back out? Maybe she's just tired of it, Bobby. Brendan knows and likes her family and her family adores Brendan. So, it's just easier to just have Brendan come. After all, Savannah calls him Uncle Brando. She's in the same boat as Grandma Franklin, she thinks Brendan and PJ are married. I don't blame them; they already have the routine down packed from all those years of living together. Well, I have to go. Meet me at Water Tower Place on Saturday at 8 am." Stephanie said getting up and directing her last sentence at Bobby directly. He nodded glumly and took a drink of his beer.
"Aunt PJ! Uncle Brando!" Savannah yelled, running up to them and flinging her arms around her favorite aunt and her "husband".
"Hey Savannah!" they said in unison.
"You two are on the same brain length, now?" Andy said, closing the door and laughing.
"What can I say? We've lived together for a long time." PJ said.
"Savannah, honey, you do know that PJ and Brendan aren't married, right?" Meredith said, coming into the living room. She hugged PJ and Brendan and told themselves to sit down. Once they were seated, Savannah sat down next to PJ.
"Why aren't they married? They live together, grandma says they are, and they act like it. They should be married. I want a little cousin to boss around." Savannah demanded to know.
"We're best friends, Anna." PJ answered.
"PJ, do you know how happy mom would be if you married him? She wants grandkids besides just Savannah. And she really wants you married. Why didn't you bring Bobby with you, by the way?" Meredith said, walking back into the room and handing a beer to Andy and sodas to Brendan and PJ.
"I didn't want him to come up with some lame excuse to get out of it. It's like he doesn't want us to become more serious. Every time he's supposed to meet the family, or come over here for a meal, he backs out and Brendan ends up coming." PJ answered with a frown.
"Aunt PJ? Will you come play outside with me?"
With that, PJ got up and followed Savannah outside. Brendan watched her go and Andy and Meredith watched Brendan.
"So, how is that relationship?" Meredith asked.
"It's more like a relationshit. I don't know what's changed in him, but he's not the same Bobby he used to be towards her. He actually claimed to know everything about her. I laughed and Mike declared at PJ-off, which I won, naturally."
"I think you just might know more about her than me." Andy mused.
"Okay, you do."
Brendan got up and walked to the back door. He stood watching PJ run after Savannah. She was beautiful.
"Bobby doesn't deserve her," Brendan said just loud enough that Meredith and Andy, who had just walked into the kitchen, could hear.
"Then go and whisk her off her feet. Brando, you know her better than anyone. She's had enough bad relationships and she deserves to be happy." Meredith said, walking over to him and putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah. Be the reason she stops crying over guys." Andy said, walking out the door to check on the BBQ.
"I don't know. We've been through everything together and I don't want to risk that."
"Maybe it'll be worth it."
With that last comment, Meredith joined her husband by the grill. Brendan stayed inside for a minute before he walked outside, deciding to talk to PJ when they got back to the apartment.
They sat down at the picnic table in the back yard and began passing the food around. PJ looked up and caught Brendan staring at her. She blushed and smiled shyly.
"Uncle Brando? Why haven't you asked Aunt PJ to marry you?" Savannah asked, looking curiously at Brendan.
"Because, we've never been more than best friends. And she has a boyfriend right now." Brendan answered, trying as hard as he could to push his first response of I don't know from his brain.
"How come I haven't met this boyfriend?" the little girl asked, turning to her favorite aunt.
"Because… he—we aren't ready for him to meet the family."
"But he knows daddy, right?"
"Of course he knows your daddy."
"Then why didn't you bring him today? It's just mommy, daddy, and me?"
"Because he was probably busy, like usual."
"Oh, well, then…"
"Savannah, if you're done eating, you can throw your plate away." Meredith interjected. She could tell her daughter's questions were upsetting her sister-in-law. She mouthed 'sorry' and PJ just waved her hand.
"Well, lunch was great, but we have to go. Same time next week?" PJ asked, standing up.
"Yep." Andy responded.
They said their good-byes.
"Next week, you better have proposed to her." Savannah whispered threateningly in Brendan ear as he hugged the little girl. She must have learned that from PJ because it actually scared him.
"I just got threatened by your niece to propose to you by next week. Why did you have to teach her the art of threatening?" Brendan whispered to PJ as they left the house. PJ giggled behind her hand before getting in the car.
PJ and Brendan walked into the apartment and into the kitchen. She got out two beers and leaned against the kitchen island.
"What's up?" Brendan asked leaning forward against the other side, concerned with the faraway look on PJ's face.
"Do you think I should break up with Bobby?"
"What do you think?" Brendan really didn't want to be the one to tell her that she should, especially since his answer was incredibly biased.
"I don't know. I was thinking about what Savannah said earlier about why she hasn't met him. I can't help but think that the reason behind him not wanting to meet my family is because he's waiting for someone better than me to come along for him to get serious about."
"Peej, there is no one better than you. Trust me, I've been with a lot of women and have yet to come across one that was remotely close to you."
"What about Wendy? After all, you were going to marry her."
"PJ, you are the main girl in my life. Always have been, always will be. You care more about me than anyone. Wendy didn't come close to being anything like you."
"That's so kind of you to say, but.."
"No buts, Peej. I shouldn't be telling you this, but you're the only girl for me. None of my relationships worked out because those girls just weren't you. You're the only girl I can picture myself in a very serious relationship with. I have never fully liked any of your boyfriends because I was always insanely jealous of them. I don't think Bobby deserves you. You are way too good for him. And he's proving that. You've met his whole family but he refuses to have lunch at Andy's on a Wednesday afternoon, and he knows Andy. So to answer your question, Peej, I do think you should break up with Bobby." Brendan answered, moving to stand in front of her. He kissed her softly and she kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"I guess I better break up with Bobby now." PJ said with a smile. Brendan laughed softly and kissed her lightly again. PJ got her phone out and sent Bobby a quick text.
"Breaking up with him over text message? Seems like you're spending too much time with me." Brendan joked.
"I'm just seeing where he is. Then I will call him." PJ informed him. After she got the reply that he was at Crowley's, she called him. Brendan left to give them some privacy. He walked into his room and opened his sock draw. He picked up the black velvet box and opened it. Inside was the ring he had gotten for Wendy which PJ had picked out. It was a silver band with a single diamond. He closed the box and the draw and left his room.
"I just got dumped." Bobby said, hanging up the phone.
"I know. Maybe you shouldn't have put off meeting her family." Stephanie said after reading her text from PJ.
"I'm pretty sure Brendan had something to do with it." Bobby replied.
"Well, duh! He was not about to let another guy hurt her again." Mike said.
"Yeah, Brendan's more protective of PJ than Andy ever was. It's meeting him that makes her boyfriends scared. And, by refusing to meet her family, you hurt her." Kenny explained further.
"That and he finally told her how he felt and she finally admitted that she felt the same."
Brendan walked back into the kitchen after PJ hung up the phone. He handed her the box and wrapped his arms around her waist. She opened it and gasped.
"The guys were saying earlier about how we're a married couple without the marriage. I figured we could add being married into the equation 'cause, let's face it, I'm never moving out. And your grandma will finally be able to say that we're married and not have to be corrected. I love you so much Peej, I don't know what I was thinking when I got the idea to marry Wendy. I could never live without you. Will you marry me?" Brendan said, his eyes never leaving hers.
"Yes!" PJ whispered. Brendan picked her up and swung her around. She squealed and kissed him. When he put her down, he put the ring on her finger. PJ took a picture of it and sent it to Stephanie. She kissed him again.
"My family's going to be so happy." PJ said, her smile never leaving her face.
"And Savannah won't kill me next week." Brendan said, causing the two of them to laugh.
"OH MY GOD!" Stephanie exclaimed, looking at her phone.
"What?" Mike and Kenny asked.
"They're engaged!" Stephanie squealed, showing the two the picture.
"Way to go, Brando!" Mike said.
"I wonder how long he's liked her." Kenny mused.
"Since freshman year," Stephanie deadpanned.
"Damn, that's a long time." Mike responded.