To Stab the Sky - 12

When Bro got home from the store that day, he was in for a surprise. Setting the bag of records on the table, he glanced over to the living room. There, poking out above the couch, was the telltale blonde head of his little brother.

"You waiting for me?" Bro called, a hint of teasing in his voice.

"Hell no," said Dave. Yet, as Bro rounded the partition, it was clear that there was nothing playing-not even, Bro noted, a shitty video game.

"You okay, kid?" Bro took his seat on the couch, wrapping a muscular arm around the kid's shoulders. "Need me to change your diaper? Does baby need his bottle?"

"Fuck you," said Dave, crossing his arms tight across his chest, a slight coolkid scowl playing across his lips.

"Seriously, man. You okay?"

"Fucking peachy."

Bro raised his hand to rifle his fingers through his brother's hair, the ruffling motion being the only permissable act of familial affection by order of Dave. The kid didn't seem to be one for arbitrary touching, so massive bear-like brohugs were right out. He was missing out, really, but maybe he'd come round eventually. For now, though, it made for good harassment fodder.

"Come on, kid. Out with it."

"Nothing's wrong, Jesus. Lay off."

"You been having bad dreams again?"

By the way Dave's shoulders stiffened, the answer was an obvious yes. Bro sighed and leaned back, pulling his brother tight against his side.

"Were they about me?"

Another shudder ran through the kid's body and Bro watched him silently through his shaded spectacles. Dave had on his traditional blank face, but it was just a mask. The tiny tremors in his torso gave him away.

"It's alright. I'm here. Come on, let's watch some of this shit, take your mind off of things."

Bro lifted the remote, though he distinctly heard Dave mutter, "Wouldn't help, the only good characters been killed off anyway." He pressed play and let his hand drop from Dave's head to his shoulder, where he kneaded the kid's arm absently with his thumb.

The intro played with little comment from Dave, though he did seem to be leaning pretty heavily against Bro's side.

"Holy shit it's a beach episode," Dave said suddenly. "It's a boobs episode. It's a holy shit how old is that kid how is this even legal."

"Every good show should have a boobs episode. I mean a beach episode."

"Why is Boobs so adamant about this. She's like the first person I would think would put on a-what the shit is wrong with the turtle guy."

"The turtle guy?"

"The one with the eyeshadow."

Bro snorted. "Sure, turtle guy."

"God, that is the ugliest fucking bathing suit I've ever seen. It's like. Made of curtains."

"Truly, she has an excellent stylist." Bro grinned lopsidedly. "How about TV Harley?"

"What about her."

"Isn't she cute?"

"That's the sort of thing a kid would wear."

"Ah, so you really are a connoisseur of the meatbags. I am starting to paint a picture in my mind, the picture of what you find attractive. Bulbous bottoms and buxom bosoms-"

"No. No. Shut up. No. I'm sorry I am not turned on by a cartoon girl in a frilly one piece. Guess I'm just not as fucking perverse as you."

Bro waved his hand dismissively. "Nah, she's not my type. Come on, let's partake in the watching of her completely dominate Boobs in every competition."

"Wow, Mary-Sue alert, way to be good at fucking everyth-"

Quickly, Bro reached up and hooked his fingers around a section of Dave's cheek, pinching it tight. "Hush. We do not speak of the honerable princess in that way." Dave swatted at him and, for once, Bro was nice and let go right away.

"I am so distracted by Boobs' suit, it is just the ugliest fucking thing ever. That shade of yellow should never see the light of day ever."

"What, are you going into fashion design or something?"

"No, I just have goddamn eyes."

"Yeah, alright, it's ugly as shit, agreed." Bro finally conceeded, giving a sharp nod that jostled Dave against him.

"DId the scorpian just flash the audience."

"You know, she reminds me of someone," said Bro. "Can't quite put my finger on it."

"Yeah, I'll bet you can't," Dave snorted. "Wow these guys are dumbasses. Way to drive your robots right into the fucking ocean. Good job. Why didn't they make them waterproof in the first place, anyway. Major fucking oversight right there."

"Yeah, well. What can you do."

"You'd make it better."

"Well of course I'd make it better, I would be a fucking god in that world," said Bro. "So, really, it'd be the same as normal life."

"Ha. Ha," said Dave in monotone.

"That scorpion is a sadist, isn't she. She's totally getting off on all of this."

"Yeah, well. Seems to fit. A scorpion is as a scorpion does, huh."

"What the fuck are you talking about," aked Dave.

"I'll tell you when you're older."

"Holy long strangled sound Batman, what was-why is her robot wearing high heels and why was the stiletto in the big robot's mouth." Dave leaned forward a little, clearly squinting at the screen. "Is this robot sex. Is this the robot sex you were talking about. It's disturbing as all fuck."

"Shh. Just take it in, lil bro. Just take it all in. Let it wash over your eyes and into your brain."

"Stop. Stop sounding like you're seducing me. Stop that."

"Sorry, man," said Bro. "I can't turn off all this swag."

"Wow, TV Harley's hair is weird as fuck. That can't be normal."

"Sometimes you've gotta sacrifice a cloudy coif for the greater good," said Bro.

"Cue obligatory haircut scene," said Dave.

"Don't get ahead of yourself, little dude. Soon you'll be writing episodes and, dare I say it, fanfiction."

"Hell no. I'm not stooping that low," said Dave. "Asshole."

"You're welcome."

"Wow, way to blow up your fucking ship."

"Nah, they're all good. Surf's up, time to ride the waves across the blue, blue ocean."

"So, what. No negative repercussions to that at all. Wow. Wow."

Bro reached up and clasped the arm of his shades between his fingers. "You might say...they went out with a bang." He pulled the sunglasses down just enough to peek out at Dave and grin.

"No. No. You didn't just go there."

"Oh, yes. I went there. I went there and back with change to spare."

"How are we even fucking related." Dave shuddered, but it was a mock shudder this time and the worry nestled deep in Bro's chest began to lighten a little. "So, what. Now Boobs' massive jealousy problem is just gone."

"Poof, magic."

"Way to have a filler episode."

"It wasn't filler. It was fanservice. There's a difference."

"There's no difference," said Dave.

"There's a difference," Bro repeated. "Trust me."

"Let me guess. It's based on boners."

"Ding-ding-ding. Correct."

"You sicken me." But Dave leaned back and Bro resumed rubbing his brother's arm with his thumb.

"Cute haircut, huh? Maybe you should ask Harley what she'd look like with short hair."

"How does that even relate. There's a difference between reality and TV, asshole."

"Sure, sure. Just wondering. A hairstyle can do a lot, you know. It can fucking transform a person."

"You're right. Let's test that. Let me shave your head."

"Nah, man. This coif's off limits. Let it keep its home, nestled all nice and comfy in my stellar hat." Bro tipped his cap slightly, the worn brim rough against his fingertips.

"Lame-ass."

"Jerkwad."

Slowly, Dave's weight began to rest more heavily on Bro, until he was collapsed against him. The kid said nothing, but he closed his eyes, clearly in need of a good sleep. In response, Bro reached behind the couch's back and groped around for a minute before catching a blanket between his fingers and drawing it up and over, tucking Dave in as best he could with the kid still plastered to him.

Bro put his feet up on the coffee table, leaned back, and joined his little bro in dreamland.