Tongue poking out the side of his mouth in extreme concentration, Pinky was about to stack his last lincoln log on his house of cards. It was the biggest, bestest, most impressive house of cards ever. It didn't even have any cards in it! He had to be very careful, the slightest movement could make it go ashes, ashes, we all fall down! And all the king's horses and king's men were pretty useless when it came to putting things back together. Almost there... a little to the left... annnnnd-

"DADDY!"

The entire tower collapsed, and Pinky went with it. "Narf!" Poking his head out from under the pile, he looked around for the the source of the cry. Though he wasn't being called for, Brain was awfully busy being ruler of the world and probably wouldn't appreciate being interrupted. It somehow always happened anyway, but Pinky tried to divert the attention. Unless he was the one causing the interruption, which actually happened more than with their children.

Crawling out of the rubble, he scurried across the playroom floor to peer out into the hall. Sure enough, little floppy-eared Cyan was running towards Brain's study with Bella hot on his heels. Lowering to all fours, Pinky bounded out after them. He managed to slide in front of them and swept his son up first, then nabbed his sister.

"Poit. Cyan, you're all squirmy-wormy like a worm! What's wrong? Let mummy help." He nuzzled the top of the feisty boy's head.

He pouted up at their mom, pink eyes narrowed. "Bewwa's not pwaying by the wules! She wuined evewything!"

Bella's eyes were just big and confused. She didn't fully understand what her brother was so upset about. She'd tried following the rules, but Cyan made everything so complicated. So she'd started making her own rules! But maybe she shouldn't have attached him to that sponge and pushed him over the floor... He hadn't seemed to like that too much. "But it was fun-fun silly-willy! Poit."

Cyan rolled his eyes at the all-too familiar phrase. Sure they'd grown up with it, but it didn't make it any less ridiculous. "You got me aww wet! And it doesn't mattew if it was fun, it wasn't pawt of my specific instwuctions."

"Oh, Cyan, I'm sure Bella didn't mean to make you all grumpy-scowly." Pinky nuzzled them both one at a time. "Can't she help make up some of the rules too? Troz."

"I'm not gwumpy," he grumbled, ears flattening though his scowl lessened some. Which wasn't fair at all, his mummy knew how hard it was to stay stern when he was cuddled. "And hew wules don't make any sense. Mine awe bettew."

"Now, now, don't be such a bossy-mean-bossy-pants, mistah. That's not manners now, is it?" Pinky advised, trying to muster up as much parental authority as he could, which wasn't all that much unfortunately. He set them both down when he received a half-hearted shrug from his son. "What would your daddy say?"

"That I'm wight." Cyan crossed his arms and rolled his eyes.

"Or I would demand to know just what's going on," The Brain grumbled, striding up to his family. He'd been determined to stay out of whatever this was, had decided to stay in his study and finish putting the next morning's speech together. But it had gotten quiet in the hall after Cyan's first shout and he hadn't been able to resist coming out to make sure their twins weren't killing one another (that is, Cyan wasn't killing Bella). "And don't roll your eyes at your moth- oof!"

"Daddy!" Bella cheered, leaping at her daddy as if it had been days rather than a few hours since she'd seen him last. "Daddy, daddy, daddy! Narf!"

"Yes, hello, Bella." He had to work at keeping his expression neutral when she held on as tightly as a three month old could and nuzzled him.

Cyan's scowl deepened. "No faiw! How come she gets a hug fiwst?" About to storm over to demand his own hug from their father, Pinky scooped him up again to prevent any squabbles. Last time, their son had bopped their daughter, and while she hadn't minded, Brain had put him on a really long time out and Pinky felt absolutely miserable having to listen to both twins whine and cry (Cyan for being punished and Bella for losing her playmate).

"You get a mummy hug, baby, isn't that just as good?" Pinky rocked him back and forth until his squirming ceased again. "Zort. Don't worry, Brain, I have it all under control! Sort of..." He glanced at Cyan's fur, it was a little wet. What was this game, and could he play too?

"I'm sure you do, Pinky." Though the interested gleam in Pinky's eyes didn't bode well for their son's sanity or for Brain's work. He glanced down when he heard quiet purring and his heart just melted. He properly returned Bella's hug, swaying side to side. The scientists had managed to take them after two months of Brain's diligence in keeping them safe in their cage. They'd taken them out and Brain had been forced to suffer through their distraught mother crying himself hoarse. Cyan had been terrified and hiding away in a corner of the cage they'd put him in with unfamiliar mice and hadn't managed to sleep that entire night. Bella had made friends with a piece of straw, but she'd been telling it how much she missed her parents and grumpy-growly brother when they'd found her.

And the world had been Brain's the next night. Particularly since the scientists had seen them all back together and tried to separate them again. They'd thought better of it when Brain's teeth had broken their skin.

But now there were clearly other issues to attend to. Cyan had gotten wet. He hated getting wet. "I'm out here, however, so I may as well know what's happened." Brain pressed a kiss to his daughter's brow and set her down, letting her hug his tail while he reached out for her brother. "Come here, Cyan, and explain. Why are you wet?"

"I put him on a sponge!" the girl chirped. "Zort."

"Exactwy! Do you know how many gewms awe on sponges? It's disgusting!" Cyan scrunched up one eye as his mother pressed a kiss to the side of his head before handing him over to Brain. He kept his arms crossed and glanced over at his sister. "And stop saying 'zowt'. It's not a wowd."

"Oh, yes it is." Pinky nodded firmly, placing his hands on his hips. "Poit. It's in Roget's."

"Mommy says it! It's a word! It's a fun-fun silly-willy word! Narf!"

Brain only sighed. "I told you, Cyan. They're going to say it. It's genetic nonsense." And there were generally seven billion bacteria on a typical sponge, but he felt it best to refrain from informing his already distressed son. "Bella, why did you put him on a sponge?"

"'Cause rules are hard."

"Onwy for peopoh who don't have bwains," he grumbled. "They wewen't even that hawd. We wewe pwaying chutes and waddews."

Pinky blinked several times. "Egad, I still don't understand that game. Why would people want to spend the energy to climb up ladders when they can slide down all those lovely chutes?" That was actually something that bothered Cyan about the game, it didn't make any sense unless you took into account the fact that all the good pictures paired up with ladders and all the bad ones with chutes. Though he was faintly surprised to be on a similar wavelength as his mother, so said nothing until Pinky added, "So why can't there be a sponge?"

"Mummy, it's not chutes and waddews and sponges. Get with the pwogwam."

"Oh, sorry, Cyan. Narf."

"Narf," Bella echoed, tail wagging excitedly. She got bored with her daddy's since it didn't wiggle, so danced over to her mommy's. Maybe it'd pick her up! She hugged it, smiling brightly.

Brain sighed, ruffling the tuft of messy fur on top of Cyan's head. "One day, your mother will show you his version of checkers. You will wish Bella was playing her version of chutes and ladders." He rubbed his nose against his brow, amused when the boy's big ears fell back. He was so easy to soothe, though he never stayed that way long. "I warned you against board games. She doesn't have the attention span."

His scowl becoming a pout, he blinked up at his dad. "But it wasn't my fauwt. She wanted to leawn, so I twied to teach hew."

"Oh, well, isn't that sweet," Pinky cooed, watching Bella out of the corner of his eye. He giggled and wound his tail around her waist, lifting her a little ways off the ground then set her back down only to do it again. "Trying to be such a good brother!"

"It'd be easiew if she caywed."

"I care!" she defended, giggling. Her own tail came around, looping around her mother's. "I care whole bunches! Narf."

Brain settled the boy on his hip, smiling slightly at his husband and their giggly little girl. "Cyan, a short attention span doesn't equal not caring. Not in your sister, at any rate. She and your mother have a very unique ability to care about things."

"That's right!" Pinky nodded, beaming. "Troz. Like right now, I have no idea what we're talking about, but I still care about you and your sister so, so, so, so much!" He moved his tail in front of him so he could hug their daughter and spin her around in his arms. One of Cyan's ears twitched up, but it fell back down as he still appeared unconvinced. Not about his mother caring, he knew that well enough, and knew his sister cared about them as a family, but she just didn't care about understanding things or logic or sense! All very, very important things.

"Twirly-whirly-swirly!" the little girl cheered, giggling happily as she was spun. But when Pinky stopped spinning, she looked back at her brother and he was still all sad and pouty. It made her sad and pouty too. She only drooped for a moment though before perking back up. She could fix it! "Daddy, daddy! Troz! What's a short attention span look like? Is it really short? If I catch it, can I trade it in for a longer one so Cy will be happy?" She smiled at her brother, hands clapping.

Brain just looked down, giving his pouty son a pointed look.

He hadn't even needed to be on the receiving end of his father's look, his sister's hopeful smile made his stomach tie itself in knots. It wasn't her fault she had a short attention span, just like it wasn't their mother's fault he had one too. He wouldn't really want either of them to change, even if it drove him crazy that everything they did defied logic.

"No, Bewwa, it's fine. We can... we can twade between games, so we can both pway the way we want to." He glanced at his mother, then his dad, unsure if he was supposed to apologize as well since Bella's feelings didn't seem particularly hurt. She was still smiling after all. "As wong as you don't tie me to a diwty sponge again."

"'Kay!" She made to suck on her thumb, diverted to poking at her mother's nose instead when she caught the look her father was giving her. "What if it's a clean sponge? Poit."

"No sponges unless the game is between you and mommy, Bella. As it is now, Cyan's going to need a bath."

"No baths!" Frantically and rather skillfully, the little girl managed to clamber her way over Pinky's shoulder and latch onto his back, hiding from her daddy.

Pinky looked over his shoulder at her. "Oh, what's wrong with baths, Jingle Bells? They're fun-fun silly-willy and full of bubbles and happiness!" Cyan rolled his eyes, but had to agree with his mom on some part of what he said. Baths were quite nice, they meant getting clean.

"But they get in the way of playtime!" she protested and put a finger to her lips. "Now shh, mommy! I'm hiding!"

Brain rolled his eyes. He knew once Cerebellum was placed in the water with her little arm floaties that she'd proceed to have the time of her life and not want to get out. It was just getting her in that was the difficult part. "Come, Pinky, it's bathtime. It looks like I'll be rescheduling my speech."

"Egad, Brain. You shouldn't have to if you can help it. I can give the twins their bath," Pinky assured him, clasping his hands together. He did love giving the baths with Brain, especially when he managed to sneakily get him in the water too, but the people of the world needed their leader! And they could have more baths later.

"Mummy, wast time you did it by youwself, we ended up covewed in toothpaste and stuck to the ceiwing," Cyan deadpanned.

Pinky crossed his arms. "Only that one time! Poit. And it was because I saw a spider." It had really been his shadow, but he'd thought it was a spider at the time.

"Be that as it may, Pinky, my speech can be pushed back an hour. A break will probably help me focus better on it anyway." Besides that, Brain adored bathtime. He looked at their son. "Am I carrying you or are you going to walk?"

"Cawwy." His independence varied from day to day, sometimes he wouldn't even let Pinky hold his hand and others, he'd have to be forcibly pried off one of his parents. As long as he had a say in whatever option was presented to him, then he didn't mind.

"Cyan..." Pinky folded his arms and tapped his foot, giving him a look.

His ear twitched. "Pwease."

"Much better! Narf!" Pinky clapped, praising him with a giddy smile.

Please was as important as goodnight as far as Pinky was concerned, so it was one thing Cyan had absolutely no choice in. But neither did Brain, so that generally made it easier for the boy to accept. Brain shifted his hold on their son, nuzzling behind his ear as he started to walk in the direction of the nearest bathroom. "And don't let Bella run away," he warned. "She clearly had to touch the sponge. She needs cleaned as well."

Pinky saluted, at attention. "You can count on me, Brain! Troz. Come here, Sara Bella," he crooned, tugging her back to his front and wrapping his arms tightly around her. She'd leapt off his back before and run off, inspiring one of the longest games of 'Chase Me' he'd ever played. She was quite fast when she wanted to be. "Bathtime! Rubber ducky, you're the one," he sang as he followed his husband.

"Mommy, mommy, can I be the rubber ducky?" The song had effectively distracted her from the desire to flee and she squirmed until she could bump their noses together over and over again in the way she wasn't supposed to with daddy. "I want to be the one! Oink oink!"

Brain bit back the smile, could all but feel his son rolling his eyes. "We'll have to work on her animal sounds during lessons tomorrow," he murmured, only for his ears.

"She won't wemembew-wemem... wecaww... ugh. Why do aww the wowds about memowy have 'awe' or 'ewel' in them?" he grumbled, crossing his arms. "Anyway, if mummy stiww doesn't know what the animaw sounds awe, wiww Bewwa?" Cyan made stretching motions with his jaw, lapping at the roof of his mouth to help his tongue. There really were too many 'r's and 'l's in all the words.

Brain couldn't resist nuzzling him. Cyan's dislike of his speech impediment led to him attempting the cutest of cures, though none had seemed to help any. That combined with the mysterious cockney he'd somehow inherited was even too much for Brain's genius mind to resist sighing over. "The difference between Pinky and Bella is that I have control over how Bella is taught. Pinky knows the animal sounds if he takes the time to think about them. Bella will too."

"Cluck, cluck, cluck! That's what ducks say, Bella!" Pinky chirped, stepping up to be side by side with Brain, rubbing his nose against his daughter's. Cyan just gave his dad a look that read: '...seriously?'

"I said with thought," Brain reiterated, displeased that his three-month old was attempting to wordlessly sass him. "Your mother isn't known for his excessive thought. Pinky, chickens cluck. Ducks make a different sound." Bella blinked big blue eyes at her daddy and squeaked. "That's a mouse," he reminded her and squeaked back. Pinky had already revealed the embarrassing fact that he'd overheard Brain baby-talking lots of times when the twins couldn't talk.

"Ohhhh! Brain!" Pinky couldn't resist cooing and flailing away with Bella to the bathroom. His husband was so adorable with their kids!

"Wait, mummy! We didn't teww you what sound a duck makes!" But it was hopeless, he probably wouldn't pay attention anyway. He was clearly lovesick. It was kind of gross. He wrinkled his nose. "We squeak aww the time, what's so speciaw about youws?"

Brain just blushed lightly, tapping a finger against his son's nose. "Before you came along, I never squeaked. We are genetically modified mice, and I am a genius. I have no need to make such instinctive sounds when I can communicate like a sane being. Babies, however, require such basic communication. Your sister in particular."

"I've heawd you squeak at mummy too. And he weally wikes it."

"Because it's so cute when your daddy squeaks! Poit!" Pinky poked his head out from around the bathroom door, Bella on his shoulders. "And don't even get me started on his growlies."

"Growly-growlies!" she cheered, throwing her hands in the air. But then she almost slipped, so latched onto Pinky's ears and giggled. She liked when her daddy squeaked, too. She understood those much better than his blahblah words. Her brother used blahblah words sometimes too, but his "w"s made them much nicer... if just as indecipherable.

Brain shook his head, striding into the bathroom passed them. "Your definition of the word 'cute' is skewed."

"Oh, no it's not, Brain! I don't want to barbecue it." Pinky shook his head and followed, holding onto Bella's ankles to keep her from falling.

"Mommy, poit, how do you barbecue a word?" Bella whispered, giving her mother's ear a tug. "Daddy and Cyan are awfully confused."

"That's skewered," father and son corrected in unison, one with a lisp. They looked at one another, wearing matching scowls, and shook their heads in tune with one another.

"Poit. See? They understand, Jingle Bells. Your daddy is a real smarty and so is Cy-Cy," Pinky giggled at the face Cyan made.

"Mummy, I towd you not to caww me that," he grumbled.

Pinky leaned over to kiss his forehead. "Oh, right. Sorry, my little alien-baby-not-alien."

"If Cyan was a alien, could he fly a UPS?" Bella tilted forward so she could peer directly into her mommy's eyes. He gave her answers that made sense.

"It's UFO, Cerebellum." Shaking his head, Brain helped Cyan get to his back, and climbed up the counter. There were mouse-sized fixtures and furniture in every room, but Brain and Pinky had each grown so accustomed to the climbing and the innovating that much of it was second nature. After... certain activities, however, it was always nice being able to use a miniature elevator instead of having to leap from high places.

Pinky nodded, getting Bella to be lower on his back so he could climb too. "Oh no, Bella. Cyan's too little to fly a UFO. A giant eyeball ship, I might consider though. Zort."

"And I'm not an awien, Bewwa." Cyan rolled his eyes. The thought was preposterous, and just a little insulting.

"Of course not, baby. Not a real alien, but you're my little baby-mouse-not-alien-alien," he cooed reassuringly, beaming at his son. "And I love-love-love you and Bella to pieces." That seemed to placate him for the time being.

"Pretty heart-shaped pieces," the little girl agreed, but gasped when she saw where they were. "No bathtime! Mommy, please? I don't want bathtime. I want playtime." She looked at him, hanging over his head again, and her eyes welled. She usually knew just how to get around her parents. For daddy, all either sibling had to do was start sniffling a little and he'd fall apart. Mommy took a little more cajoling sometimes, especially around bathtime.

This time it didn't work in her favor. Pinky simply smiled at her. "Oh, but you can have playtime and bathtime at the same time! It's fun-fun silly-willy to play with the little boats and ducks and bubbles and washcloths!" It seemed like a good deal to him. "And guess what? You have even more playtime after your bath! Narf. It's two for the price of seven!"

"That wouldn't be a vewy good bawgain." Cyan put in his two cents.

"Don't confuse your mother," Brain grumbled and set the boy down. There was an automatic dispenser of bubble bath that mixed perfectly with the water if he pushed a third handle. It was installed in all of the bathrooms throughout their castle. Bubble baths were simply easiest for them and enjoyable.

Bella only grew more distressed as the water started to pour from the faucet. "But mooooommy, I don't want to!" She rubbed their noses together, not falling by some sort of dumb luck she'd also managed to inherit from her mother. "Pleeeeease?"

"But Bellaaaaaaaa," Pinky whined back, plucking her off his head upside down. "Mummy and daddy want their babies to be clean and happy." He cradled her in one arm and used the other to tickle her tummy. "Now, where's your smile?"

Cyan watched them warily, relieved that he didn't have any issues with baths. He absolutely hated being tickled. Inching closer to his father, he kept one eye on his mother and sister.

Brain didn't have to look to know what was happening. Bella's squeals were immediate and joyful and he was just as wary as his son. He reached out, pulling him closer as another switch was pushed to close the sink's drain. "Let's put your flotation devices on and perhaps he won't notice that he's neglecting to tickle you."

"'Kay," Cyan easily agreed, for once in his life. He lifted his arms up so Brain could slide the water wings over them, glancing over his shoulder at his mom periodically, just to make sure he hadn't gotten any closer.

But Pinky had stopped to spin Bella around again and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Happy Bella!" he cheered, then set her down beside her brother to get her water wings on too.

She smiled brightly, tapping her brother's shoulder. Undaunted when he scooted away, she tapped her curved lips. "Look! Mommy helped me find my smile! Narf! Daddy! Do you see?"

"Yes, Bella." Brain reached out and stroked the curve of her ear, making her giggle even more.

Cyan took her hand in his. If he was holding it, then he knew where it was and to his paranoid little self, that was important. But it was also to keep his sister happy enough to get in the bath with him. To make it easier for their parents, of course. Not because the bath was lonely when it was just him. Not at all. He preferred being by himself! Always! He scrunched up his face as Pinky gave his cheek a kiss. Well, maybe not all by himself... all the time...

"Come on, Bewwa. We can pwactice swimming and pway Mawco Powo." It was ridiculous to play with only two people, but his sister loved the game for some reason beyond him. Probably because Pinky liked it and tried to play even when they weren't in the water.

Brain turned the water off when it was high enough. "Alright, children, in." He looked at Pinky's hopeful eyes and sighed. "Yes, Pinky, you too."

"Hoorah!" Pinky threw up his arms in the air, waiting until the twins had jumped into the water hand in hand before wrapping his arms around Brain and pulling him in alongside him. They would all have a bath!

"I didn't say me!" Brain managed when he surfaced. He splashed his husband, not bothering to correct Bella when she mimicked him and splashed her brother. In her typical bathtime state, the moment she'd hit the bubbly water, her entire attitude changed. Bathtime was funtime and now that mommy and daddy were with them, it was even better!

Cyan sputtered when he was splashed, pouting and splashing her back while Pinky just giggled. He gave his husband a quick kiss and rubbed their noses together before joining in and splashing him too. "But it's more funner with you, love."

"Funnew isn't a wowd, mummy. It's just 'mowe fun'." Cyan corrected.

Brain let the correction slide, knowing that Cyan would figure out one day that choosing one's battles was very wise when it came to Pinky. And, it seemed, to Bella. He went with the more pressing correction, wiping sudsy water from his face. "Pinky, don't splash me and I'll stay."

"'Kay." That seemed fair enough. Pinky gave him another kiss, then ducked under the water, their son watching suspiciously. His tail popped out of the water and moved through the suds as he swam around, poking both twins and coiling around them.

Bella giggled, trying to catch his tail and failing. "Fishy fishy mommy!" she sing-songed and Brain only shook his head, watching Cyan grow more wary as Bella grew more delighted. His babies. They were devilish little things in their own unique ways, but they were adorable and his. Just like their mother.

Without coming up for a breath, he swam one more circle around them before returning to Brain, flicking his tail by his ear before finally popping up with a laugh. "I was a shark!" He grinned, baring his teeth at the kids. "Be careful or sharks can come and gobble you up."

Cyan's ears went flat and he shook his head. "No."

"Oh, yes they do. Sharks gobble all the time. Poit."

He shook his head again. "No."

"Fishy sharky mommy," Bella sing-songed, throwing her arms around her grumpy brother. "I want to be a fishy-sharky too, but I won't gobble you," she promised.

The Brain's eyes rolled and he sent Cyan a look that said quite a bit about his views on him arguing with his mother.

The little boy just frowned more, not quite glaring at his father. "No!"

"Of course you can be a fishy sharky, baby Bella. You can go get daddy." Pinky swam over to the twins, chomping his teeth, but paused when Cyan pushed away from his sister and moved back. "Cyan, don't be scared. I'm not a real shark, I'm only playing."

"I don't want to pway that game. And I'm not scawed." He sulked, moving away from him just in case he tried anything. But Pinky wouldn't, not if he honestly didn't want to. The taller mouse stood up straight and held his hands up, backing away to be next to Brain again before sitting amid the bubbles.

Would there always be some sort of squabble to mediate? Brain gave his husband a hug, rubbing their noses together. "Don't be sad, Pinky."

"I'm not... troz," he mumbled, offering up a half-smile. How could he be sad when he had such a lovely family? He just felt a little bad for pushing his son away, it was always careful ground he needed to tread on with Cyan, and he wasn't always so careful about it. Part of him wondered if it was because Cyan knew Pinky had thought he was an evil alien and hadn't wanted him, though Brain assured him several times that it wasn't the case.

Just like with his sister, his mother had an uncanny way of making him feel guilty. Sighing, Cyan paddled over to them, latching onto Pinky with a grumbly squeak to which he was rewarded with an enthusiastic hug and nuzzling.

Brain rubbed his son's back before making his way to the flailing Bella. She had yet to quite master swimming with the floaties, was far too content with the little waves she made when she flailed. But she giggled, reaching out for her daddy when he came close and swept her up. He disguised his cleaning of her as fond strokes, smiling slightly as she got more sudsy. But he kept half of his attention tuned to his husband and son. It was getting to the point where the two of them were going to have to have a your-mother-is-special talk.

"Naaaaaaarf," Pinky hummed as he cleaned their son, the boy more than happy to accept the washing. He hadn't meant to hurt his mother's feelings, though it was a relief to know that his feelings never stayed hurt for long. It was probably thanks to that short attention span, both a blessing and a curse.

Cyan craned his head back to look up at him. "I wove you, mummy."

"Oh, mummy loves you too." Pinky pressed a kiss to the top of his head and spun him around, beaming over the top of his head at his husband.

Brain gave a small smile in return. He wasn't looking forward to having to talk with Cyan, but he needed to. A squeak distracted him and he looked down, the only thing really discernible were those blue eyes. He'd be glad when she grew into them and they didn't seem quite so big. It was difficult to resist them with Pinky; it was impossible when it was Bella now. She squeaked again and it registered what she was saying and his heart filled. She understood just as well as Pinky that the words were difficult to say. He lowered his head and pressed their brows together, and squeaked an "I love you" right back.

Pinky twirled Cyan right over to Brain and Bella, so he could hug all of his beautiful family. He squeaked for all of them, then giggled as their son rolled his eyes and grumpily squeaked as well. They could all understand each other this way, and it was the cutest way to communicate, in Pinky's personal opinion, though he knew his husband mirrored the sentiment. He rubbed his cheek against the side of Brain's head and smiled at their twins, receiving two in return, even if one wasn't nearly as bright as the other.

Sighing quietly, Brain pressed against his husband. They were lucky. No more scientists, a big castle for them to share, and they were together and healthy. Their little runt was growing up properly even though he was a scowly little argumentative thing. They were truly lucky. He let out a soft squeak, letting his family know he loved them, and let a small, warm smile curve his lips when Bella twirled in the water and repeated his sentiment.

"Hoorah!" Pinky whooped, spinning them all together, kissing the warm smile on his husband's lips to see if it tasted as sweet as it looked. He heard a soft 'ew' from his son, so poked him with his tail to get him to behave.

Brain blushed, Cyan's little vocalization only making it worse. Bella began to clap and giggle, clearly approving of her parents' affections. "Not when they're this close, Pinky..."

"Daddy, don't be all reddy-red!" Bella clasped her hands together, pressing them against her cheek. "Mommy daddy love is so cute."

"Get a woom," Cyan muttered, rolling his eyes at his sister's fawning. Sissy stuff.

Pinky laughed softly. "Oh, Brain, it was just one kiss." Well, it had been until he couldn't resist kissing him again. And he had Bella's approval. That meant majority rules in his favor!

"That's more than one," he grumbled against Pinky's lips, drawing back. He certainly didn't mind kisses when they were alone, but Bella's approval was just as mortifying as Cyan's disapproval. Particularly since when he glanced at his son, the boy's gaze was averted and his cheeks were pink. Absolutely mortifying.

"Oh, alright. Poit. But you gotta promise me more later." Pinky nodded firmly, rubbing their noses together before pulling away. Hopefully in his office. He simply adored that room, every inch smelled like his husband and it was filled with all sorts of powerful, in charge things that reminded him of how happy his chubby hubby was.

"Later," Brain agreed. After the twins were put to bed. They were nearly old enough to move out of their cribs and into bigger beds, which continually gave Brain pause. His babies were getting older and that really wasn't fair.

"Aww. No more mommy daddy love?" Bella pouted, looking between them, and squealed with delight when Brain flicked water at her.

"Mummy and daddy always love each other, sweetie." Pinky swept her up and twirled her around. "Forever and ever and ever and ever!" Cyan carefully avoided getting caught up in the spinning, instead choosing to cuddle up against his dad and watch from a safe distance.

Brain tucked an arm around his son, leaning down to press a small kiss to the top of his head. "We need to talk in my study after the bath," he murmured. "We'll send Bella and Pinky off to the playroom."

"What did I do?" Cyan blinked up at Brain. "I said sowwy to mummy in squeaks."

"You're not in trouble, but I just need to explain something to you. It's only that you've already developed faster than I expected you to." Faster than his sister and further than his mother. "Don't fret."

"I'm not fwetting," he told him, even as he squashed the worry he'd been feeling. "I was miodwy concewned."

Mildly concerned, Brain silently repeated, giving his son's ear a fond tweak. His smart baby boy. He leaned down and rubbed his nose over his son's brow, pleased when his ears fell. His reactions to certain things were predictable even now. Pavlov would've had a field day with his son. "Well, there's no need for being mildly concerned, either. I merely wish to impart some information."

"What if the information doesn't want to go anywhere?" Pinky asked as he spun back over to them, Bella in his arms. "That's rather rude, making it part. Poit."

"It won't be going anywhere, Pinky. It's being shared," he placated, knowing how important that was to his husband. He reached out for his daughter and deposited her back into the water to rinse the soap from her that hadn't just flown off from Pinky's spinning.

"Sharing is caring!" she exclaimed, smacking the water and splashing her brother in the process. "Narf!"

Pinky nodded with approval. "Narf! That it is, Jingle Bells!" He reached out and ruffled his son's fur, the boy already scrubbing at his face from where he'd been splashed. "It's also what you do to sheep when it gets too hot and you want to make sweaters."

"Sheawing." Cyan corrected.

"That's what I said. Sharing!" Pinky giggled, scooping up Cyan to spin him around in place. The pink-eyed boy just sighed and let it go. "Oh, both my babies are so smart!"

Brain just shook his head, smiling at his daughter when she gave him a tight hug. It wasn't too tight considering her age, but he'd have to teach her to hug carefully when it came to her brother. For now, he hugged her back and kissed the back of her ear. "Nice and clean."

"Squeaky clean," she clarified, giving him an expectant look.

Her father sighed, knowing the routine well no matter how embarrassing. So he kept his little squeak quiet and right in her ear, which delighted her. If it was just for her, it was special! And it never crossed her mind that it was only because her daddy was embarrassed. Her answering squeaks, as a result, were far louder.

Cyan released his own grumbly squeak in response to his sister's, more instinctive than anything, and was on the receiving end of a few loving licks to the back of his ear. His grumbles became purrs as his mother groomed him, too content to even complain that he was in the bath so he was already clean. Pinky beamed at him, then set him down to let him float in the water, then swam very rapidly in a circle around him.

"Whirly wind, whirly wind," he sing-songed, making a mini-not-quite-whirlpool. Cyan just slowly spun around, rolling his eyes.

"Me too, me too!" Bella squealed, applauding her mother's trick. Brain settled her down beside her brother and moved away so Pinky could swim around both of them, folding his arms across his chest when their little girl latched onto Cyan's hand. "Whirly wind!" she echoed. "Zort."

"Narf!" Pinky started again, making circles around them as Cyan bobbed over to be in front of Bella, taking her other hand in his. It made spinning easier this way, it was logical. Not that he particularly enjoyed spinning, but he knew his sister liked it, so might as well make the most of it for her. That was it. "Whirly wind!" Pinky cheered.

Bella giggled and, since she couldn't wave at her daddy since both hands were trapped, she lifted her tail out of the water and wiggled it excitedly. She was a much better tail-wagger than her brother, but she loved his crookedy tail as much as she loved her daddy's anyway. They were all bendy and fun!

Brain smiled and waved back, his heart swelling at the barely-concealed delight in his son's eyes and the bright obvious delight in his daughter's. They were their mother's children when it came to spinning, no matter how much Cyan tried to deny it. "Don't make them too dizzy, Pinky."

"Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy!" the girl sing-songed.

"I don't get dizzy," the boy denied.

But Pinky slowed his pace, swimming in lazy circles around them until the twins were gently turning in the water. He'd never forget when Cyan was really little, he'd spun him so much he'd gotten sick. He hadn't meant to, Cy had seemed to be having a wonderful time actually squeaking out laughs. Until the sick part. It hadn't happened since, he'd been far too upset and worried to try anything like that again, but he heeded Brain's warnings of dizziness much better now. Bella had yet to get sick, so he supposed her tolerance for spinning matched his own.

He only didn't get dizzy because Brain made sure Pinky didn't bring him to that point, but his father didn't argue. He remembered the throwing up and Pinky's subsequent panic attack, claiming that he'd broken the baby all too well. Brain had suffered his own little panic attack, though he'd managed to hide it from his husband. "Your sister might get dizzy," he placated.

Bella wasn't paying attention, trying to keep her eyes on her mommy the entire time, head craning to see him until she couldn't anymore and then turning to try and find him again. "Whirly-twirly-whirly," she cooed.

"Swirly," Pinky added, coming up right beside her and bumping his nose to hers.

Cyan blinked, glancing around, he was sure Pinky had been on the other side just a moment ago... oh well. "Bewwa doesn't get dizzy eithew. She's just wike mummy." Though they'd pretty much stopped spinning by this point, so he decided to let it go. It was just hard to fight the urge to be as difficult as possible.

"Whirly twirly whirly swirly mommy!" Bella bumped their noses again, giggling. "I win! Do I win?" She looked at her brother, tail wagging and splashing. "I win. Poit."

"We'we not pwaying a game you can win at, Bewwa," Cyan informed her, giving her a look that reminded their mother very much of their father, one brow raised and everything.

Bella scrunched her nose. "Yes," she agreed. "I still win." She looked back at Pinky, rubbing her nose against his cheek. "Can I still win, mommy? It's my turn."

"Nuh-uh. It's not a winning game," Cyan protested, turning his look on his mother as if daring him to say otherwise. "It's not, mummy."

One of Pinky's ears fell flat and he glanced between the two. It was adorable when Cyan made that face, but awfully hard to go against it. And it was adorable when Bella nuzzled him, he couldn't go against that either. "Poit. Who says there can't be a winner?"

"It doesn't make sense." It was his turn to scrunch up his nose. "Bewwa's just being weiwed again."

Bella's ears fell and she turned her wide eyes on her daddy. "Daddy, how come I can't win?" He normally understood Cyan better than mommy did.

He sighed heavily, paddling over. He swept up Cyan, nuzzling him and whispering into his ear. "This is one of those moments where it's far better not to argue. If she so much as sniffles, you're staying in my study until bedtime."

Cyan glared at him, whispering back, "How come she awways wins?" Even when she was wrong she got to be right. She never had to stay in daddy's study until bedtime. Well, maybe not never... but still not nearly as often.

His ear twitched as he heard Pinky coo to his sister, "Of course you can win, sweetie! Narf! There's always winners!"

Brain's eyes rolled at his husband, but he didn't correct him. Keeping his voice low, he spoke to their son. "Because she makes things up and decides silly, nonsensical things. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that there is nothing to win but the avoidance of her tears. Which in actuality makes you the winner."

His ears dropped. He did hate when his sister cried... because it was annoying, not because it made him feel bad or anything. "Is that why you awways wet mummy win, too?"

"Yes. Tears are hardly worth a useless argument." This was really only driving home that he needed to explain the special nature of his mother and sister to the boy. It almost made him wish Cyan had ended up just a titch more like Pinky, but not quite. He loved his son entirely too much to want to alter him. He pressed a kiss to the base of one of his dropped ears.

"Mommy, twirly whirly!" Bella suddenly squealed, bouncing against Pinky and trying to climb up so he'd spin her. Him telling her she could win had been enough for her to move on. Next time, Cy could win.

Cyan sighed and nuzzled his daddy while listening to Pinky give into his daughter's wishes with a delighted squeak, the taller mouse gladly twirling her. The little boy bit back the retort of how that didn't always stop him, because he wasn't dumb and had seen his mother in tears on account of their father a few times, but he always fixed it in the end. His daddy could fix anything, it seemed. "Okay, she can win... but just this once."

"Winning, spinning, thinning, pinning," Pinky chanted, lifted Bella out of the water above his head. "Zort!" He adored his little girl's squeals and how he could bring her happiness in the ways he knew best. She was a joy to play with, her laughter like a song. "Jingle Bells!"

"How gracious of you," Brain grumbled, eyes on the other half of his little family.

Bella was reaching out towards Pinky, giggling happily as she stared into the eyes that matched her own. "Zort!" she repeated, unable to wag her tail while she was being spun. She curled it around her mommy's wrist instead.

"I know what sawcasm is, daddy." Cyan folded his arms across his chest, raising one brow.

Pinky laughed along with his daughter, bringing her in for a tight embrace and nuzzle. "Love, love, love you, Sara Bella." She certainly had a way with words, knowing just when 'zort' was applicable. Oh, she was darling. He kissed her forehead, smooth and round like Brain's, then bumped their noses together.

Bella bumped their noses repetitively, rubbing on every other meeting. "I love my mommy mommy mommy, narf. Happy happy lovey love!"

She was so completely her mother's daughter. Brain lifted their son out of the water, deeming bathtime to be over since his babies were clean, and set him on the counter. And their son was so often like him that it was baffling that he could be such a brat. Surely The Brain wasn't so bratty, so where on earth had that come from? He pulled himself out of the water, leaving mother and daughter be for the time being while he removed Cyan's little water wings. "Don't be difficult."

"Not twying to be," he told him, only slightly grumbly as he shook a bit of the water from his fur. It wasn't very fair that his dad got to be as difficult and grumpy-growly as he wanted and no one told him to stop it.

"Happy love! Everywhere!" Pinky sang, dancing Bella over to the edge of the sink to set her next to her brother. "Narf!"

"Aww! I don't want bathtime to be all done," she protested, getting on all fours and shaking the water from her fur. She gave a startled squeak when a mouse-sized towel was dropped on her head.

Brain just rolled his eyes. She was too much like Pinky in some aspects, he mused quietly, and settled another towel around their son to get him dried off. "Bathtime is over because you're clean, Cerebellum."

"Squeaky clean, remember?" Pinky giggled, climbing out of the sink to join them. He plopped down behind her, still sopping wet, and began to dry her with the towel.

She let out a squeaky little nonsense song, giggling through it while she was dried. She would've preferred rolling around on the towel, but letting her mother dry her was just as good. Brain finished with his son, trying to straighten out the messy tuft of fur atop his head. As usual, it was to no avail, but he didn't mind the excuse to pet.

Cyan's ears fell back, but he let his daddy attempt to fix his fur without complaint, only to scrub at the top of his head once he was done. He brushed off his fur, making sure he wasn't too poofy after being dried, like Bella was bound to be from Pinky's enthusiastic drying. But after giggling at his puffball of a daughter, he smoothed her fur down with licks and petting.

Their children successfully dried, Brain laid down a human hand towel and gestured to it before grabbing another one to dry himself off. "Go ahead, Pinky."

Bella's hand shot into the air. "Me too!"

"No. You're already dry, Bella." Brain plucked her up to distract her.

Pinky cheered and leapt onto the towel, squirming and wiggling to get dry. Cyan arched an eyebrow, baffled as to why his mother took such pleasure in behaving like a dog, but just chalked it up to another Pinky mystery. It got him dry, but it wasn't very time efficient.

Brain scooped up his son as well, shaking his head at his husband's familiar antics. Bella squeaked at her brother, her long tail wrapping around his bendy one. "Come, Pinky. You and Cerebellum can play games in the playroom while I speak with Cyan."

"Games! Oh, I love games!" Pinky leapt up to join them, reaching out to take Sara Bella, but not before Cyan wrapped his tail around hers in return to give it a squeeze. He wasn't in trouble, but it was still a little concerning that he was going to be talked to alone. Without his mummy or his sister. He blinked up at Pinky as he nuzzled Bella, then smiled back down at his son. "Poit. What are you gonna talk about, Brain?" He shifted his gaze to his hubby, his adorably chubby hubby.

"Secret father-son things." Brain pressed his nose against his husband's, rubbing fondly.

"Ooh. And then Cyan can play too?" Bella loved playing games with her mommy and her brother 'cause he'd sometimes get so annoyed that daddy would have to play too!

"Yes, Bella. If he wants to." Though Brain would rather not get dragged into one of their inane games himself when Cyan inevitably couldn't take the nonsensical rules. Not when he had a speech to finish.

Cyan sighed and nodded. "Yeah, Bewwa, I'ww pway aftew." His face scrunched up a little as Pinky placed a kiss to the tip of his nose. He wondered why his mother couldn't know what was going on, and could tell the taller mouse thought the same for a split second before breaking into a bright grin and placing Bella on his shoulders.

"'Kay! Have fun, you two!" Pinky chirped, carrying his daughter towards the edge of the sink. "Want to help me rebuild my house of cards, Jingle Bells? Or we can play hot lava monster or mermaids or dress up! Oh, so many fun-fun silly-willy things to do!"

"Dress up like mermaids and hot lava monsters that build houses for cards!" she decided.

"You're fretting again, Cyan." Brain carted his son towards the elevator rather than risk climbing down. He'd slipped once while holding a child and it had given him a mild heart attack. He hadn't fallen entirely, thankfully, but a slip was enough that he didn't want to risk following down his still slightly-damp husband.

He scowled, shaking his head vehemently. He was not fretting. Fretting was what his mummy did, running around and twisting his tail or tugging on his ears and crying. Cyan was most certainly not doing any of that. His tail flicked as if to confirm that. "Mummy wants to know what the secwet is too, that's aww." Pinky never seemed to mind when he was used as an excuse, sometimes even stepped up to be one if the situation called for it, so he let it sit at that.

Brain pressed a small kiss to his brow, amused by the excuse and well-aware that he'd use it himself. But he doubted his son understood why Pinky was such a available one. "Yes, I know he does. I'll explain it to him after bedtime, Cyan, and then he'll understand. He's the secret, he and your sister."

Confusion shone in the pink eyes that matched their father's and he frowned. "What?" How were his mother and sister a secret? What did that mean? "Ewabowate, pwease."

'Ewabowate' was now Brain's second favorite pronunciation of his son's. Nothing could top 'wove,' but that was close. He nuzzled him fondly. "I'm sure you've noticed by now that they're very different from you and I. I know it bothers you because you're difficult about it."

"Because they don't do things wight," he attempted to defend himself, his ears lowering. "They don't make sense and they mess things up on puwpose." It was the only explanation as to why it kept happening. They probably thought it was cute or something when he got all grumpy.

Brain adjusted his hold, keeping his son up so he could look directly into his eyes. "No. Pinky has never and will never do anything to upset someone on purpose. Bella's just like him, Cyan. Their minds simply don't work that way." He whapped the little down arrow with his tail and the elevator started lowering them.

"How do they wowk then?" Cyan asked, holding Brain's gaze easily. It was important to know, because they certainly didn't work like his daddy's or his. "And why awe they diffewent?"

"I have no idea why they're different. They simply are, Cyan. Though I suspect it has something to do with him being from a petshop." Brain bounced him a bit, used to holding Bella, and stepped out of the elevator when it stopped. "They're notorious for poor breeding practices."

He couldn't help but make a face at the word 'breeding'. It was what mushy parents did. And that made him think about how mushy his parents could be. Ick. "So why is this so impowtant to teww me? Am I supposed to tweat them speciaw now?"

"Not exactly. You just have to be more aware. I don't bop your mother for everything he does. You can't lash out at your sister for everything she does. All they really know, Cyan, is how to love someone and they put their absolute all into it." He frowned slightly, touching his nose to his son's. "Once you fully grasp that every single thing they do is to try and make you happy, it can be a bit terrifying."

Cyan's expression smoothed out, his frown fading as he processed this. When his brow wasn't furrowed and his eyes weren't narrowed, they were just as big as his sister's. The shape of their mother's. The pair of them seemed to have inherited quite a lot of their parents' traits, both physical and personality-wise, which would explain why Bella was like Pinky and why he favored Brain, but some things still crossed over, like their appearances, his perplexing accent, and his inexplicable enjoyment of the exercise wheel. He could accept those things because of genes, well not the last one, he was determined to figure that out and stop it, so it was just more genes that made Pinky and Bella the way they were.

"So, they got big heawts and we got big bwains so we aww have to compwomise?" he clarified, blinking at his father.

"Well, you and I have to compromise more than they do. They don't have the sense to even spell compromise, let alone act upon it." Brain traced a finger along the curve of his son's ear, just studying him for a minute. It still hit him sometimes that this little thing almost hadn't made it and it squeezed his heart painfully. He would've been heartbroken to lose a baby, even though he hadn't even been aware of his existence before retrieving him. His wonderful, grumpy little boy.

"I know it can be a tad overwhelming at times; there is a reason why Pinky has his playroom separate from my office. So when Bella overwhelms you with her extreme lack of logic, deposit her with her mother and come and find me. I'll always make time for you when you need it, Cyan." He touched their noses together again and geared himself up. His son needed the words in the way his sister and mother didn't since they just had that ability to understand. "I love you."

Cyan gave him a hug, his bent tail swishing thrice. "I wove you too, daddy." As he nuzzled him, the little mouse wondered who got the better deal. Even if it came without sense, part of him figured that having a big heart was just a little nicer. Though that wasn't very fair for his dad, he knew he loved a lot too, just quietly and... well, love probably wasn't supposed to make sense, because he couldn't see any sense in how his parents ended up together. Both had incredible amounts of tolerance, that was all he could chalk it up to.

Squirming a little, he pulled back to face his father. "Can I go pway with Bewwa and mummy now?"

"Yes, you may." Brain settled his son down in front of the playroom, pushing the door open.

"The jack o'lantern's gonna eat all my applesauce! Troz!"

Lifting a brow at his daughter's exclamation, he looked down at his son. "Good luck."

"Citizen! Look out!"

Before Cyan could say anything to his dad, he watched him get tackled by a blur of purple and white. Ah, so it was the Adventures of Super Mouse again. And Mini Mouseketeer. Maybe they'd let him him play the villain again, at least this game allowed for some sense as long as he could make up his own bad guy rules. Though Pinky never failed to bring in something absurd like a giant yogurt-eating caterpillar that could weave flutes out of weasel fur that magically defeated him with its chewing gum powers.

He smirked slightly as Pinky, donned in cape and mask, held tightly to Brain, releasing him only to crouch protectively over him and make growly sounds. He made for a very not threatening crime fighter. "Get back you mean ol' jack o'lantern, you! There's no applesauce here! Only justice!"

"So I see you've met my eviw pet pumpkin." Cyan rolled his eyes, it was not the dumbest thing he'd had to be evil with and glanced back at Bella as he folded his arms behind his back.

Super Mouse gasped, still staying close to Brain. "I should have known it was you, Evil Dr. W!" Cyan's ears twitched at the name. He had not been the one to come up with that and rather detested it.

"Evil Dr. W!" Mini Mouseketeer squealed, making flappy sounds with her bright yellow cape as she scampered over. "How could you? How will the crickets and cheese-whiz people survive without their applesauce?"

"That's not my pwobwem. I'm eviw," he deadpanned. "I wequiwe the wowd's appowsauce fow my pwan to..." He wracked his brain quickly for some kind of evil scheme involving fruit. "To gathew an awmy of fwuit bats to attack evewyone."

Brain managed to get to his feet despite Super Mouse's proximity and gave the masked vigilante a fond pat on the shoulder. Usually when he was roped into this particular game, he somehow ended up being the helpless damsel in distress. Too bad for Super Mouse, he always nudged him away and said he was married before the "big kiss" at the end. "If you happen to cross paths with my husband at any point, Super Mouse, tell him that he'll get something special later if he behaves himself and keeps our daughter safe from the evil doctor. I have a speech to finish."

"Right, citizen. I will relay your message." Pinky saluted him, a serious expression on his face that he rarely wore outside of this game. "Go and take cover now, citizen, there is danger about! As for you," he spun around and pointed a finger at his son. "You should be ashamed of yourself! Using those poor fruit bats for your nefarious purposes!"

"Oh, I would be if I had a mowal compass." Cyan assured him.

Mini Mouseketeer waved happily at Brain. "Bye, citizen!" Brain resisted the urge to smile and just waved back before leaving, and the girl bounced to Super Mouse's side. "What should we do with him, Super Mouse?"

"What every good superhero does with criminals, Mini Mouseketeer!" Super Mouse raised a finger to the air in a triumphant pose. "Lock them away in jail and throw away the key!"

"You won't be abow to." Cyan folded his arms across his chest.

"And why's that? Poit."

"You'ww nevew catch me." And this was one of the reasons Cyan was grateful that he had a strange love-hate relationship with the exercise wheel; it made him fast. "Jack o'wantewn, get them."

Bella squeaked in honest terror when the jack o'lantern, which was actually just a small orange bouncy ball, rolled in their direction. But then she remembered that she was a brave sidekick. "I'll take care of this, Super Mouse! Zort. You go and catch the bad guy! Protect the innocent little fruit bats from his, um... tyranny!"

"Good luck, Mini Mouseketeer. Keep the crickets and the cheese-whiz people safe." He saluted her, waited for her to salute back, then scampered off after the evil doctor to put a stop to his treacherous ways.

-8-8-

When Brain resurfaced from his work, his speech finished, he looked about and realized that it had been quite a while and no one had bothered him. Not even Cyan. Mildly worried, he climbed down from his desk and made his way to the door that connected his study to the playroom. There weren't any sounds within, so his mild worry heightened a bit as he made his way inside and began looking around for his family.

His worry melted into simple affection when he located them, piled together on the floor. Bella's position, draped over a popsicle-stick person, suggested that she'd been the first to go down. And then Cyan most likely, Pinky settling to guard his sidekick from the evil doctor and falling asleep himself. Idiot.

He walked over, carefully lifting his daughter from the popsicle stick and began untying her bright yellow cape. Mini Mouseketeer, indeed.

When the door had first opened, Pinky's nose had twitched, the change in scent luring him into wakefulness. His ears perked up as he heard the rustling of cloth, so lifted his head to blink sleepily at who he knew to be his husband. His mask slipped off his face, loose from excessive playing, and he smiled at him. Squeaking out a yawn, he shrugged off his cape and stretched along the floor like a cat and shook his head from sleep.

It was then that he noticed the yellow cape and his daughter that lay under it. "Egad!" he gasped softly, still wary of waking his children. "Mini Mouseketeer is Sara Bella! Poit. I never would've guessed." He looked over at Cyan, he knew his son was only pretending to be a villain since he never wore a costume, but he'd had no idea that his daughter had joined the crime fighting scene.

The sad thing was, Brain knew very well that he meant it. His husband would never have known. "Hush, Pinky, you don't want someone overhearing her secret identity." Or, worse, wake up Cyan. He still had issues with bedtime, as if he feared that he was going to miss out on something important unless he stayed up all hours. He folded his daughter's cape and mask carefully before setting them aside and rising, holding her close. She just made a sleepy little squeak and curled her fingers into his chest, still fast asleep.

"Oh, right." Secret identities were very important. It was why he hadn't yet kissed Brain in costume, just in case the wrong person found out and captured his husband to bait him. Now he had to be extra careful with his daughter in on it, right in the middle of all the action. Pinky got to his feet, then knelt by Cyan and gently wrapped him up in his arms. He kissed his forehead, the boy's ears reacting even in sleep. He giggled-hummed and went to stand beside Brain, pressing his lips to the base of his ear. "So, Super Mouse tells me you have a little special something for me."

He smiled slightly, giving him a half-lidded look that was generally reserved for when they were alone. "I might. However, we should put our children to bed first."

"I'm not stupid, Brain. I figured that was a given. Troz." Pinky took a page out of Cyan's book and rolled his eyes before laughing quietly and nuzzling his son as he carried him towards the door. Purposely wiggling his rear on his way, tail swishing provocatively in response to the half-lidded look.

Shaking his head, pressing a kiss to Cerebellum's twitchy ear, Brain followed his husband. When he was close enough, he managed to swing his tail around with a concentrated effort and brush it against Pinky's. It was a quiet signal he knew the taller mouse understood. Brain rather liked it when their tails entwined, though his own lacked the dexterity required to do it.

Pinky's tail wound around each bend and he beamed down at his husband. It was almost like holding hands, but better because they could hold their children too. Their perfect little family. "I love us," Pinky whispered, bumping their noses together with a secretive little smile.

Brain pressed a kiss to the tip of his nose, going into the children's room with him. These four rooms - study, playroom, and two bedrooms - were very close together as they were the most used. There were plenty of other rooms in their castle, but the children weren't allowed to go there on their own and with world domination still such a recent thing, Brain hadn't had much time to wander through them all himself. Pinky wasn't supposed to go without permission either.

But it was still vastly different from their cage, spacious and perfect for the little family. Even Roman and Bunny had an entire wing if they wanted it. "As do I, my dear." His tail gave a little happy twitch.

"Narf." Pinky laid Cyan down in his bed, tail caressing Brain's as he tucked in their grumpy-growly son who looked very sweet and adorable in sleep. Not that he didn't look adorable all grumpy-growly-scowly either. He was very much his father's son. Pinky rubbed his nose along Cyan's brow and whispered, "goodnight," then turned his attention to their Sara Bella.

Brain had already settled their daughter in her bed, giving her a small nuzzle and wishing her a goodnight. So precious, just like her mother. He reached up for his husband as they traded places, brushing his fingers over his cheek. So precious. He rubbed his nose gently against Cyan's brow, murmuring a goodnight to him as well. He was just as precious, despite his difficulties. The poor boy just wanted answers where there simply were none sometimes. He'd figure it out eventually, but Brain was enjoying watching him fail now. It was sweet.

Pinky kissed his baby Bella's cheek, his little sidekick, and wished her a goodnight just for her. He sighed happily and leaned against his husband, his tail trying to wag despite being caught up in Brain's. His fingers also sought out those of his partner, twining them together. "Mummy and daddy love you," he told both beds affectionately. "Narf."

Brain lifted Pinky's hand to his lips, pressing a warm kiss to the back of it. What he'd told his son earlier was very true: everything this mouse did was out of love. And The Brain felt the need to give some of that love back, and it was going to be special. "Come along, my dear. Our turn for bed."

"'Kay." Pinky didn't need any further convincing, more than willing to follow his husband and the father of his children to the ends of the earth and back, though the bed would do quite nicely. "What are we gonna do tonight, Brain?"

There was a small part of him that rather missed his "try to take over the world" response, but ruling the world was as much a challenge to his intellect as the attempts to conquer it had been. It was wonderful, as were the nights now that there was nothing to do but spend them curled up with his wonderfully big-hearted husband. "Oh, the same thing we do every night, Pinky." After closing the door behind them, he lifted to his toes and pressed their lips together. "But I think you're going to like just how I want to do it."


The End!

Egad, I just adore the twins. They're a sweet, little family. So, Bella and Cyan exist! They'll pop up again later on, but this universe is pretty much done. StarShineDC and I have placed them in our OC-verse which is now going to have more stories getting published and whatnot. So be on the lookout for more of our collabs! And thank you everyone who stuck with this fic and enjoyed it! We had so much fun writing it, we can only hope that you had just as much fun reading!