A/N: This is my very first contribution to the Animaniacs fan fiction collection! I've always loved the family dynamic between the Warner siblings, so I decided it was time to put my love down on paper and see what people think! Note that this is my first shot at the characters, especially Yakko, so be gentle with your comments. Thank you in advance!

Title: At the End of the Day

Summary: At the end of the day, he's still their big brother. And at the end of the day, he must still be doing something right.

Characters: Yakko Warner, Wakko Warner, and Dot Warner

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters related to "Animaniacs". I only own my words and my idea for the story.

"So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty." – Haniel Long

At the end of the day, they've kept up their reputation—a legacy of sorts that seems immortal in its own right. The song says it all—they run around the movie lot. They're captured by the not-too-terribly-bright security guard. They're locked back in the water tower. They escape. They run around the movie lot and bring laughter, craziness, and the overall joys of pure chaos to Burbank. It's seems like a simple life, fit for untamed children of unknown origin and species.

At the end of the day, they'll never be caught.

At the end of the day, they've had the usual sit-down with the good ol' P-sychiatrist. Scratchie still tells them not to call him a "p-sychiatrist". He also tells them not to call him "Scratchie". One of these days, maybe he'll stop. But for now, he just shrugs his shoulders and slumps in his chair and groans, all while running his hands up and down his face and making even more wrinkles and lines than there already are. It's what he always does after they're done with him, while they're skipping (or bouncing) out the door, telling "Scratchie" they'll see him next week. Once again, he says don't call him "Scratchie". He knows they don't listen.

At the end of the day, they know he likes it.

At the end of the day, they've managed to loosen (and often remove) a few more grey hairs from the already fading bunch on Plotz's oversized head. He rants, he screams, and of course he's made the attempt to drop-kick them out of his office. Somehow he always misses the mark—must be an unfortunate side-effect of not having a neck. And they always slip back in to finish the job—root through his files (Wakko usually makes a snack out of half of them), play with his pens (he'll always have some kind of new mustache or beard after they're done), and finally they make for the window before he can call security in to grab them. He really should know better, that he'll never catch them.

At the end of the day, they know he still doesn't get it.

At the end of the day, the boys have made their usual advances on the blonde, voluptuous figure in a white dress and heels. She should be used to it now, should even be prepared for it, really. But she isn't. And there is the usual drama—it's hard to say who makes the first move, Yakko or Wakko. Last time it might have been Wakko, dropping down into her un-expecting arms with that goofy little smile on his face. This time it might have been Yakko, pouncing on her and giving the nurse yet another kiss that will never be returned. And always there is Dot, arms folded over her chest, shaking her head impatiently as she mutters under her breath. When all is said and done, the nurse will be left frazzled and (more often than not) mussed.

At the end of the day, they know she'll keep putting up with it—for whatever reason.

At the end of the day, they've returned to the water tower. By all considerations, the tower should be deemed their prison, this place in which every person in the studio strives to contain them. But at the end of the day, it's still the place to which they always return. They've lived there for long enough, and after seventy or so years of living in the same place, it's become home. It's the place where they can be together, a place where they are safe.

At the end of the day, they'll always call it home.

At the end of the day, Yakko has made sure both Wakko and Dot have eaten their fill—Dot always gets to eat first, otherwise there won't be anything left for her. While Wakko is finishing off the scraps on his plate, he nudges his sister off to brush her teeth. "Mel Gibson isn't going to come anywhere near you if you don't brush up." He always tells Dot with a wink. She giggles and skips off to the sink, the gauzy pink cloud of her nightgown fluttering around her knees. She looks like a little princess when she's not angry. But even when she's angry, she's a cutie—at least, that's the story he's sticking by.

Wakko soon follows her into the bathroom. As Yakko moves to clean up the table, he counts the seconds before he'll hear the usual bickering and squabbling—twelve tonight…that's a new record.

"C'mon, guys, don't make me come in there!" he calls. He doesn't scold—he never scolds. He doesn't need to. His siblings don't like to imagine him angry—he doesn't even want to imagine what he'd be like angry. All in all, it doesn't really matter, because no matter how much they bicker and fuss at each other, they never stay mad at each other for long.

At the end of the day, they'll always stick together.

The bickering stops, and all that's heard is the occasional twist and turn of the water facet—they're probably silently arguing over how much water they each need. Each night, they spend a different amount of time in the bathroom. Tonight, it's only about half an hour…another record.

Both emerge, Wakko in his matching blue pajamas, his red cap lying skewed on his head. Both he and Dot make for the bunk beds. Wakko is the first up the ladder, but Dot stops and looks to her oldest brother. The "cute eyes" come out with a vengeance—eyelashes batting, smile wide, innocent and imploring, and of course, hands clasped behind her back while she shifts ever so slightly in place.

Yakko rolls his eyes but complies all the same, scooping her up in his arms and continuing on for the bed. Her arms wind around his shoulders, clinging to him as she used to in her infant years. As they draw closer to the bunk, he sees Wakko's eyes peering over the rail of his bed, looking decidedly put-out as he watches his brother put Dot to bed. Yakko lifts his head, finding his brother's eyes and throwing him a pointed wink and smile. It is a promise that tomorrow night, he'll be the one carried to bed. Wakko grins, understanding and (no doubt) relishing his anticipated little triumph over "the cute one".

At the end of the day, they still love each other.

The night has grown dark, moonlight the only source of illumination to peer through the windows in the tower. At the bottom of the bunks, Yakko drifts between sleep and semi-consciousness. Perhaps in a bit, he will allow himself the luxury of sleep (it's not easy leading the trio of chaos day after day). But for now, he fights exhaustion tooth and nail for the security and comfort that his siblings bring to him through the simple sounds of their sleep—Wakko's light snoring and occasional, nonsensical mumblings; the sound of Dot turning about in her sheets, trying to find a more comfortable position before she can properly drift away into her "cutie sleep".

At the end of the day, they still bring him comfort—even in their silence.

His eyes grow heavy, and exhaustion wins the battle for a little while, perhaps an hour or two. But soon, he finds his slumber disturbed by a strange phenomenon…this curious sensation of being intently watched as he sleeps (or tries to sleep, as the case stands). At first, he considers it a trick of a sleep-addled mind, nothing new or to be concerned with. But the sensation does not go away, and he finally gives in.

The darkness clouds any real distinction for the two figures standing at his bedside, but he does not need any details to identify them. Their silhouettes are as clear to him as if they were outlined in neon lights. They stand a bit away, perhaps cautious of unexpectedly awakening him. Yet still he can feel their eyes, watching and waiting for a sign to show he is awake. He knows they would eventually return to bed if he didn't respond. They will not want to disturb him.

At the end of the day, they are still there to care for him.

He shifts slightly, lifting the blankets up in a silent invitation. They are there with him in half a second, curled up with him on a bed that was never meant to hold all three of them, but tonight it will consent to serve as needed.

Wakko is the first to join his brother under the covers, tucking his head on Yakko's chest and assuming a curled position against the elder sibling. Dot too curls close to her brother, head coming to rest on his stomach. Her ears flop forward, tickling his fur slightly as she nudges closer, encouraged by the arm he slipped around her shoulders. The other arm moves identically around Wakko, bringing both of his siblings as close as he possibly can. A broad, content smile curves Yakko's mouth as he settles down against the pillow.

"So, sibs," he murmurs, "How about tomorrow we do something about these bunk beds?"

A loose, sleep-riddled mumble of agreement is heard from both siblings as they slowly nod against their brother. A few short seconds later, both are fast asleep. Their low breathing drifts throughout the tower, the peace and tranquility all but radiating from the both of them. Dot no longer tosses and turns as she lies in Yakko's embrace, and Wakko's usual nighttime mutterings and such have ceased. Content, Yakko smiles and closes his eyes once again, this time welcoming the bliss of exhaustion to take him for the rest of this night, knowing he will keep his siblings safe till dawn, and he will be safe between them.

At the end of the day, he must still be doing something right.