So I was awakened after, oh, an hour of sleep with the news that my uncle was diagnosed with Alzheimer's
Sooo this was born.
The character of Cici is an OC of skimmingsurfaces, used with permission
Brie is my own OC as is The General
They're used briefly, just as mentions really. Cici has a small actual piece in here, but it mostly focuses on PatB
The first sign of anything being wrong came on the day The Brain forgot to answer a letter from The General. The General was his nephew, and Brain adored responding to messages from him because they made him feel like he was still in control. He was growing old and he knew it, fought it at every opportunity. The gene-splicing had granted him a little more time than the average mus musculus managed to squeeze by with, but even that time had dwindled and he and Pinky were living on serums.
He could no longer go out and command his peace-keeping forces as he once had, when the world was freshly his and had required so much time and attention. Uprisings to soothe or put down, special interest groups to placate or disband. There had always been something to do, something to occupy his time with. But the humans were surprisingly docile since he'd left so many of their things the same, really.
And, of course, he'd sent Pinky on as many goodwill tours as humanly possible. (Mouseanly had never caught on.) He'd let Cici tag along with him, as well, once she'd gotten a little older. Much like her... mother, the girl was a natural with crowds. And once Brain had accepted that the humans were just incapable of respecting his full brilliance, things had gotten easier for everyone.
But even Pinky's boundless energy was slowing and sending him out on tours was no longer as feasible as it had once been, even with Cici holding his hand the whole way. So he and Pinky stayed home, which Pinky truly didn't mind one single bit. He loved being home with Brain, just as he always had. They still had ponderings that never matched up and tomorrow nights, but even their tomorrow nights had experienced many many changes over the years.
Try to rule the world!
Try to crush the last of the uprisings!
Try to finish all of this paperwork!
Try to find more than an hour to spend together!
But lately Brain's tomorrow nights were blurring together, leaving Pinky even more confused than normal. He never knew what they were going to do tomorrow night and he was the only one who knew that Brain didn't know because that question was private, much like their ponderings.
So the signs that something was wrong had been happening for quite some time, but Brain was so far removed from the public eye and Pinky with him, the signs weren't as noticeable as they may have once been.
But when he didn't answer a letter from The General, his family had started to worry. Cici came home from her trip early... because she was the only one left. Brie had gone the year before, following Romy. Romy had been by choice (he'd refused the serums), Brie entirely by surprise (she'd fallen asleep and hadn't woken up). Oh, they had nephews and a niece, but Cici was their baby. Baby snow mouse, Pinky still called her. They'd found her beneath a bench and taken her home.
Her mommy-daddy was given a great big hug, though the embrace was so much gentler than the flying ones he'd once given. He had once swept her up and spun her in dizzying circles while she'd laughed and squealed, and he had done much the same. Daddy liked to roll his eyes at them and they rolled now, tired though they were and behind little spectacles. He looked very distinguished and she told him so, giggling.
He called her a brat and used his cane to swat her behind. That was her daddy. He got a hug anyway and he lifted his arms up to return it, waving off her worries. So he'd forgotten to write a letter. If he wasn't allowed to forget one thing now and again, how would he possibly balance out the one thing Pinky remembered now and again?
"Do not 'but daddy' me." He tapped her nose, sending her into more giggles. And forgot her name. He covered the lapse with ease, calling her "baby snow mouse" with a small teasing note in his grumbly tone. And in a few hours, they'd gone to bed anyway and it hadn't mattered. With only her and Pinky and a handful of servants in the entire castle, no one was the wiser.
The second obvious sign that something was wrong was the day he lost his way in the garden. When he was found one the servants hours later, he was dehydrated and muttering something about finding the lab. Where had the lab gone?
But then he'd been with Pinky again and everything had been alright once more. They'd snuggled together on their small couch, Pinky watching the television and Brain reading a book he'd read a hundred times before. Brain, however, didn't remember having read it. He made a mental note to send a note to The General and recommend some of these military strategies to put down some of the more irritating uprisings in Moscow.
There hadn't been an uprising in Moscow in months and he forgot to send the note anyway. He also didn't respond to the next several letters, thinking they were some sort of spam. He didn't know any generals.
Cici was called in again, this time cancelling her tour entirely so she spend the next few weeks with her two dads.
Brain frowned at her every morning until Pinky called her by name, then the furrow of his brow cleared and he would give her a small smile.
The third sign made Cici cry. Brain looked right at her, his frown dipping into a scowl. "Who are you?"
Pinky rested his hand on the small of Brain's back, giving him a gentle hug. "Brain, that's Cici. Remember?"
She'd run off, tears in her eyes, and Pinky had given a quiet sigh. "Brain, you made her all sad."
He gave Pinky a bewildered look, tears pricking his own eyes. "Who?" he asked again and Pinky bent down, even though it made his back creak, and gave Brain a loving hug. It was going to be one of the days he had to stay right on the couch. Pinky had grown used to those days and he really liked it when Brain nuzzled in close and took a nap.
When he told Cici that later, his smile highlighting the crinkles at the edges of his eyes, his hand gently petting Brain's big old big head, she'd started to cry again, reaching out and squeezing her mommy-daddy's free hand. "What's wrong, Cici?"
"I think daddy has Alzheimer's." Pinky gave her a blank look that was as familiar as breathing was to her, so she sighed and gave him an affectionate nuzzle. "It means he's going to start forgetting a lot of things. He's going to need someone to help him."
"That's why I'm here! Narf! To help him!" He smiled, turning old blue eyes on his love. "Husbands are supposed to help."
"Poit..." She cupped his cheek, smiling gently. "Mommy, he needs a special kind of help. He needs doctors and medicine."
"Wuh- Well... I can be a doctor and laughter's the best medicine." He pouted, looking away from his daughter because they both knew that Brain's laughter came rarely. When he looked up, it was his eyes that were teary. "I can help him. I can!"
"Maybe we let some other people help you, then," she offered and he nodded his head with as much easy agreeableness as ever, even if he was moving with a little less exuberance than he once had.
The fourth sign wasn't a sign at all, but a diagnosis. The doctor held the information out, sitting the three of them down. Pinky took the news best, giving Brain a hug and telling him that everything would be just fine once he got better! The only one who was surprised was the doctor when neither Cici nor Brain saw fit to correct the tallest mouse.
The rest of the day was spent searching for a live-in nurse that father and daughter could agree upon - too pretty, too ugly, too young, too old. It wasn't until Cici had burst into tears, "It's not like you'll remember who she is half the time anyway!" that Brain conceded and gave his daughter final say.
Pinky, however, didn't understand the serious of the situation until he and Brain were curled up close in bed that night. "I love you," Pinky whispered, giving Brain a gentle nuzzle. "Goodnight, Brain."
Where a pause usually was, Brain reached up to touch Pinky's cheek. "I love you too."
Brain rarely said that back, even after all these years. Only when he was in a very very good mood, something was wrong, or it was a holiday. Pinky scrunched up his nose, as unaccustomed to deep thought as he'd ever been. He didn't think it was a holiday and Brain looked too sad to be in a very very good mood. His eyes filled with tears. "Brain...?"
"It's alright, Pinky. Just... get used to it, my dear. I need to tell you every night now, so I don't forget."
Pinky touched their noses together, giving a small whimper, and Brain brushed their lips together. The little petname had once been as rare as "I love you," but at least that had grown to almost normal usage. It was still a little scarier than "old friend" was.
"Brain, I'm scared."
So was he. But he wouldn't dare say it, not to anyone. An old man could still have his pride. He only sighed and cuddled close. "Goodnight, Pinky."
The fifth sign left Pinky a bawling mess.
With the diagnosis, Brain had begun work on his memoirs in earnest. Cici listened in, with Pinky usually tagging along. Since Brain couldn't type as fast as he once could, he'd developed a machine that would listen to his voice and transcribe everything. The beauty was, it worked only for his voice, so none of Pinky's interruptions or Cici's giggles made it into the final product.
The final product is, surprisingly, largely without hyperbole if only because Brain knew his time was short and if the world had to know about a few more squishes than he wanted to tell about, at least he could say that his book would be motivational. Cici herself had told him he'd taught her to absolutely never give up, her brother Romy had agreed.
He had the most wonderful children and if he got a little choked up when he brought up Roman Numeral I, that was alright. He missed his sarcastic, blase son. He missed hearing "glarb" every time he was asked to do something for their public. He missed the silly ventriloquism and the buckteeth and the way he would throw up a piece sign, a smile, and a "narf."
He revealed all of that one day, sniffling and trying not to outright cry, because the day before he hadn't even remembered that he'd had a clone.
He spoke the same candid way about Cici because he hadn't noticed her enter the room. He'd been clinging to Pinky's hand, recounting the terror he'd felt when she'd run away at six months. She'd wanted to find her birth parents, her "real family." She'd just wanted to know, to see what her life could've been without a father who was obsessively trying to take over the world, and an inane father who preferred to be thought of as a mother. And she'd wanted paperwork to prove that she belonged with those two strange males.
But Brain had been terrified when he'd found her gone. Dashed out the window while playing a game of Hide-and-Seek with her "mommy." His heart had stopped because, for a moment, it had been just like with Romy. Had he put too much pressure on her? Had she grown to hate him? Would they get a letter in a few days addressed only to Pinky? Because it had hurt when Romy had done just that, but it would hurt a thousand times more if the same happened with Cici because he hadn't been trying to push her too hard. He'd been trying to keep their little baby snow mouse safe.
She'd been abandoned once and he'd never wanted her to have to be alone again, not even by choice. So they'd tried desperately to find her and he would be forever glad that they'd managed it. Their little girl had grown up to be beautiful and intelligent with a heart as big as her "mother's."
The writing had ended because she'd ended up in tears, throwing her arms so tightly around Brain that his eyes had threatened to pop out of his head. Pinky joining in the embrace hadn't helped matters.
But Pinky's tears had come an hour later when the mouse had strolled into the kitchen and Brain had looked at him with mild disgust. "Who on earth are you?"
Pinky had blinked several times before responding. "Wuh... I'm your husband, Brain. Poit."
The nonsense word had been familiar, but the rest of him wasn't. In his mind at that moment, Pinky wasn't that old. So his nose had scrunched and he'd shaken his head. "No, you aren't." He gestured to the door, wondering where the cage was. "Get out of here!"
"I said go!" he bellowed and Pinky had fled the room in tears. It wasn't until Cici had held a small mirror up to Brain to show him just how old he was that Brain had understood... sort of. "I don't remember this plan," he muttered and gazed at Cici in nonrecognition. "Now who might you be?"
She hadn't been able to explain, voice getting choked up, and both her and Pinky had to wait until that night for Brain to look at them with knowledge in his pink eyes.
And shame. He'd apologized and Pinky had fled to cry his eyes out for the second time that day.
Brain's mental state got worse, Pinky always holding on for the day that it would get better. On good days, he was as happy as can be, telling Brain how proud he was that his love was such a smarty and how good he was at keeping track of things.
Stickie notes became their hail Marys, the little flaps of multi-colored paper scattered all through their castle. Though after the fifth time Brain had gotten lost, he'd been given a special little bracelet that would keep track of his whereabouts. When Pinky had remarked that Brain was so lucky to have such a fashionable accessory, he'd been given one as well. They were invariably always together anyway, particularly as Brain regressed more and more. The narfs and poits and egads reminded him of Pinky.
When he revealed that, however, Pinky just laughed. It became a game in his mind, his cheery attitude helped along by Brain keeping his promise. There was a special stickie note right on their headboard. "Say 'I love you' every night. Goodnights are very important." So every night Pinky got those words, even when Brain wasn't entirely sure who it was he was curling up with. And on his good days, Pinky would get a kiss and a thank you too. He loved the good days as much as he loved The Brain himself, which was saying quite a lot since he loved Brain in the forever way.
There were less and less good days, though, as time went. Sometimes, Brain would be vastly upset because he and Pinky were aged and that didn't make sense because his plans! Pinky, how could we take over the world when we're like this? There must be a way to reverse whatever's happened! It must've been Snowball's fault, that dirty hamster.
Snowball had been dead for two years now, but Pinky never told. A lot of other people were busy telling Brain he was wrong all the time. "No, Mr. The Brain, you already rule the world. No, Mr. The Brain, you tore down the lab to build this castle. No, Mr. The Brain, you can't have access to those chemicals." So Pinky would hold out his hand because Brain would get so very frustrated and they would go to the couch and Pinky would tell a silly story and let Brain tell him all about why what he was saying made no sense.
Though, on the really bad days when even that didn't work, he'd give Brain a cup of tea with the sleepy medicine in it and he'd let his husband fall asleep in his lap and tell a story without the corrections.
Soon, Pinky found himself crying an awful lot. The stories worked less and less and the sleepy medicine didn't make either of them happy. But Brain asking to see Snowball didn't help anything either. Those pink eyes would look into his and he'd get a dopey little smile that didn't match his Brain at all and he'd ask where Snowball was because it was playtime. And then he'd get upset because Snowball wasn't around, and he didn't want to play with Pinky because he didn't know Pinky.
They still said "I love you" and "goodnight" because the stickie notes were the rule. But Brain's mind just got younger and younger, Pinky unable to remember the last good day, the last kiss, the last "thank you, Pinky." But Pinky refused to give up hope, even when it reached the point that Brain couldn't get out of bed.
That was when Cici came and gave him a pad of paper and a pencil. Pinky would sit with him all day and watch him draw. He drew scribbles somedays, but they received just as much praise as the sketches of himself. Not himself as he was at that time, but how he'd looked then.
"That's Pinky," Brain would sometimes whisper, his voice growing softer.
"I know, Brain. Poit." And when he was very very lucky, Brain would draw them all: Cici and Romy and him and sister dear and Brain. Even though Brain couldn't remember the names, he knew the faces. He didn't know all the stories, but he would sometimes gift Pinky with a warm smile.
And every single night, Brain would whisper, "I love you, too. Goodnight, Pinky."
And every morning Pinky would wake up and touch their noses together and say, "Good morning, sleepy-face." Sometimes Brain would push him away, sometimes Brain would smile, and once - just once - Brain rolled his eyes.
"Good morning, Pinky."
That was the best day. Brain still couldn't get out of bed, but the drawing contented him. He drew everything Pinky asked of him, even the silly impossible things. He drew things from their plans - "Remember Bubba Bee Bob Bubbly Boo Brain... Brain?"
"Bubba Bo Bob Brain, Pinky." And he sketched that too, not even scowling when Pinky picked it up and started to giggle.
"Egad, Brain! Look at how chubby your little chubby head is on those little legs! Zort."
"Hilarity," he grumbled and leaned against Pinky while he moved on to another sketch, this one of them. Just them as they'd once been locked in a rather passionate embrace.
"Ooh, Brain." A blush worked its way into Pinky's cheeks and he covered it with his hands, giggling. "That's so private."
"Yes," he murmured, "but it is important, Pinky. You're important." He lifted a hand, laying it over one of Pinky's. "You're so very important, my dear."
"Oh, Brain," Pinky cooed, reaching out to pull Brain against him. There was nothing quite like a hug from Pinky, even to that day. So Brain drew them as they were, using the mirror across the way as a reference.
"It's amazing what the years make us, Pinky..." Brain sighed, looking up. "You make me wonder whom learned the power of never giving up from from whom." At Pinky's questioning look, Brain shook his head. "Don't stress your mind over it, Pinky. Just know that I appreciate each and every moment I've had with you."
The old tail gave its familiar wag, the smile spreading. "I appreciate you too, Brain! I love you!"
Brain set aside the pencil and lifted his arms, wrapping them around Pinky's neck. He had to stretch his back, which caused him more than a little discomfort, but he made it. Their lips met, held, and their sighs were simultaneous. "I love you too, Pinky. I will love you for all of time. But tonight, old friend, is the end for me. I fear I'll never attain this level of coherency again."
Pinky's head tilted to the side, brow furrowing as it did when he was truly trying to think about something important. "But... You'll get better. You will, won't you?"
"No, old friend, even I can't beat this." Brain gave him a fond, familiar pat. "And I've decided that even your dedication should have a limit. You shouldn't have to deal with this constant heartache, Pinky." His friend had never complained, but Brain knew because he knew Pinky.
Pinky nibbled his lower lip. "You'll... You'll leave like Romy and sister dear?" At Brain's nod, Pinky's eyes welled.
"No, Pinky, don't do that. You know I hate when you cry."
"B-b-but, Brain... I want to go with you. Don't go." He pressed their noses together, the tears falling despite his best efforts at following orders. "I can take care of you. I've been doing a very good job. Haven't I, Brain?"
"You've done an excellent job, my dear." Brain peered at him with old, tired eyes. But there was a small spark in them yet. "Come, Pinky. Let's not dwell on this. What else shall I draw for you?"
"Happiness." Pinky wiped his eyes, sniffling. "Draw happiness, Brain."
He drew Cici as she'd been when they'd found her, small enough to sleep in a walnut shell, and Pinky holding her out mid-twirl. His smile was bright, eyes sparkling, and the baby was reaching out to him in adoration. He drew Romy as he'd been when his teeth had first come out. He drew his sister as she'd looked the first time she'd really smiled at him.
He drew him and Pinky dancing, eyes closed, lips nearly touching.
He spent the rest of the day drawing happiness, drawing his family. And that night, he turned towards Pinky and held him close.
"I love you, Brain." Pinky touched their noses together, rubbing gently. "Goodnight."
"I love you too." Brain laced their fingers, eyes slowly falling shut. "Goodnight, Pinky."
The ruler of the world and his second-in-command died together, fingers laced, fast asleep in the bed they shared. Brain because of a deteriorated mind, Pinky because his departed lover had held out his hand and said, "Come, Pinky."