I felt the need to finally finish and post this
It's just a oneshot, a few blips on how Brain's younger sister, Brie, joined the family XD
There might be more on her as time goes, particularly since she appears often in the OC-verse skimmingsurfaces and I've created, lol
Mice didn't often drift into the lab. The big building tended to put them off, the strong scent of humans and multiple animal species not helping in the slightest. But where there was a Pinky, there was a way. Thanks to his fondue attempts, the scent of warm, melted cheese had wafted out of the open window and into the night. And by the time The Brain had noticed the train of white mice making their way into their lab, Pinky was very happily feeding the lot of them.
"Oh, Brain, look! I made all sorts of friends! Narf!" Several sets of ears perked at the inane exclamation, some noses lifted, and others still bolted from the room and back out into the wild.
"Good for you, Pinky." This was certainly putting a kink in tonight's plan. "Now send all your little friends home. We have work to do!"
"Aww, but, Brain, they're all awfully hungry!"
"I mean it, Pinky! Should the scientists return come morning and discover Acme Labs has been overrun by outside mice, who knows what they might do to those of us who know no other home?"
"Oh, Brain, I'm sure your parents will let us stay with them in Florida!"
Brain shuddered, horrified by the very thought. "Absolutely not, Pinky."
"Oh! Oh! How about my parents, Brain?"
"No! Now get these mice out of here this instant!" He marched up to Pinky and took his spoon as it was rather obvious that it wouldn't be an easy job. "Fill up a bowl, Pinky. We'll create a trail from somewhere over there to the window and get them out."
"Right, Brain!" Pinky scooped up a bowlful of fondue, happily trotting after his friend. Neither of them noticed a small mouse ignoring the trails they laid out in order to scoop bowlfuls of melted cheese straight from the pot. She was intrigued by the two mice on two legs, leading everyone out, but the pot seemed a lot more filling than the trail they were leaving.
As what he assumed to be the last mouse went out, Brain slammed the window shut. "Now we have to make an entirely new batch, Pinky! We're wasting time!"
"And leave the window closed this time," he added, pausing when he noticed the straggler. He lifted a hand to his expansive brow and rubbed.
"Aww, Brain, look how cute she is!" Pinky clapped his hands together, giggling at the small mouse. "She's as small as you are, Brain! Without your big old big head! Troz!"
"Yes. Thank you for that comparison. Now get her out of here, Pinky. She'll eat all of our hard work."
"Oh, but Brain! She's just hungry!"
"Exactly the problem!" Brain pointed out, but opening the window again to try and shoo her out would more than likely result in more mice sneaking back in. He didn't have time to shoo them in and out. His machine was already on the fritz. They had to get the proper amount of cheese within it before it imploded and now, thanks to Pinky's generosity, it was very likely not going to work. "We only have another ten minutes," he grumbled. "You could put an entire supermarket next to the sun and I wouldn't have enough cheese in ten minutes."
He marched over to the sparking machine and gave it a sharp kick, only to end up hopping about on one foot for several minutes while Pinky refilled the bowl for the wary mouse-intruder. "Oh, what's the use!" Brain lamented. "Another night wasted!"
"Oh, it wasn't wasted, Brain! We have all this lovely cheese and a new friend!"
"We're not keeping the new friend, Pinky." Muttering to himself, he grabbed a wrench and began to shut down the machine. "Cheese as a fuel source - what was I thinking?" He knew, of course. He hadn't been thinking very clearly at all. He was tired and irritated and going through one of his dissatisfied periods. He very much doubted, however, that this particular slump was going to be over easily. Conqueror's block - there was no greater foe.
There was a creak and a fizzle of steam and Brain realized he'd forgotten a rather important screw. "Oh, dear."
Pinky applauded when the small explosion sent him sailing across the lab like a firework. The wild mouse near him had fled in an absolute panic. When he noticed, he trotted after her happily with a bowl of the melted cheese. It had been one of his favorite schemes so far, even if it had been one of the shortest!
"Hello, little mousey!" He waved happily when he found her in a corner. "I know Brain said we couldn't keep you, but he's just bein' all grumbly. Here!" He set the bowl on the floor before sitting down beside it. He dipped in a spoon and started humming to himself, words coming out in snatches between mouthfuls. "Full of cheeses! Hmm hm hm hmmm! Like provolone and brie! Hmm mm mm..."
Her ears perked and, tail held high, she slinked out from the corner and crawled towards him on all fours. She really hadn't had anything that smelled as wonderfully as this fancy cheese before. "Here," Pinky offered when she was close enough. "I brought you a spoon too!" He dipped it into the cheese and offered it, giggling when she lapped the gooey cheese from it.
"Pinky! What on earth are you doing?"
"Sharing, Brain." He grinned widely as his friend drew nearer. "Ooh. You don't look so good."
His normally white fur was more like charcoal in both color and smell and there was a small flame on the tip of his tail that he put out with his thumb and forefinger. "Brilliant observation, old friend. You're encouraging the wild mouse to stay. You need to stop and send her away."
"Oh, but, Brain, why? She's just hungry and your thingamajig already went ka-blooey!"
"It wasn't a thingamajig, Pinky. It was a... oh, forget it. It was a failure, Pinky! Right from the beginning!"
Since the large-headed mouse seemed more focused on what sounded like whining than on yelling at her, the field mouse scooted closer to the bowl again and licked at the spoon Pinky sweetly kept filled for her, even though his focus seemed to be all on The Brain and his lamentations.
"I'm washed up, Pinky!"
"Oh, Brain, we'll just throw you in the dryer and you'll be as good as new! Narf!"
"Just brilliant, Pinky. Absolutely brilliant. Dryers don't..." He trailed off, something clicking in his mind. "Yes! Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain, but who would give a mouse a cookie when there's cheese around?"
"No, Pinky. Dryers! I could buy all the world's clothespins and then create a mechanism that could stop all the world's dryers from working!" Eyes gleaming with the thrill of a new plan, he sped off to complete calculations and Pinky turned towards the field mouse.
"Don't worry, mousey. Poit. He does that sometimes. He's really smart! He uses all these big wooords that sounds like blahblahblah. You'll get used to it," he assured her.
"We're not keeping her, Pinky!"
"But Braaaain," he whined and set the two spoons down. "Wait here, mousey. I'll be back!" He scrambled after Brain, climbing up to the counter and running over a machine covered by a sheet on the way. He pressed buttons by accident and, above the field mouse a conveyor belt started to move. She sniffed, head tilted up. It smelled... familiar. Like the round pieces of bread she and her parents had sometimes found. Something in her mind latched onto the reminder of her parents and had her scurrying up the the belt.
She stopped abruptly when she realized that the ground below her was moving. She ran in frantic circles before just dropping down and curling up tightly in the hopes that it would stop soon. It didn't, though, and something tore through her as she went through the machine and came out the other side.
"Pinky!" was the first thing she heard and her instincts had her curling up even tighter. "What did you do?"
"Um... I dunno, Brain. What did I do?"
The floor suddenly stopped moving, so she warily lifted her head. "Yippee!" the taller mouse squealed. "We can keep her now!"
"Pinky, we definitely can't keep her now. You cannot keep an intelligent being like a pet."
"Oh, not like a pet, Brain! Like you keep a friend!" The smaller mouse was snatched up into a big, tight hug and clung to. "She's all smartical now!"
"Smartical," Brain repeated and squirmed away. "Pinky, did you do this on purpose?" he demanded, brushing himself off as if he'd gotten dusty from a hug.
"Do what on purpose, Brain?"
Brain opened his mouth to explain, but closed it and bopped Pinky on the head. "Hey!" Both mice looked over at the unfamiliar voice to see the younger mouse leaping to her feet and pointing accusingly at The Brain. "Don't you hit him, you... you big-headed meanie! I bet he's the nicest mouse in the whole wide world!"
Brain turned towards her, frowning. "I'll thank you to stay out of a personal conversation."
"It's not really personal if it's about me!" she shot back, hands on her hips. "Maybe I want to stay!" She didn't, but that was no way to treat somebody who'd wrap you up in a big old hug.
But then the taller mouse started to bounce excitedly. "Oh, Brain, we can keep her! And look! You're like twins! Narf! She looks just like you except her head's not as chubby!" He giggled. "Chubby!"
Brain looked her over carefully, eyes growing wide. "Oh, dear. Not more of them..." While he'd known it was statistically likely for this to occur, he had assumed after meeting his parents that he had been an only child. He leapt from the podium to the conveyor belt and paced to her, hands clasped behind his back. "I require some DNA."
Her head ached, not used to processing things as rapidly as all this, so she shook it and lifted her hands to it. It was... fluffier than she remembered. "Too bad... meanie big-head. You can't have any of... whatever that is."
"You clearly have their brain capacities," he muttered and reached out, tugging out a strand of fur before she could protest.
"Ow! Hey! Pinky!" she called, recognizing an ally. "He hurt me!"
"Brain!" Pinky gasped, clearly horrified. He recovered quickly, though, wagging a finger at The Brain. "Now you just apologize right now, mistah, or no taking over the world for a week!"
The girl snorted, terribly amused. The glare Brain threw her way didn't help her resist the mirthful giggles. "C'mon, Brainy, apologize right now or no whatever-whatever."
Brain gritted his teeth and spoke through them. "I apologize," he grumbled and leapt from the conveyor belt to get away from her. He needed to run a DNA test.
Pinky, though, leapt from the button station to stand beside the new mouse. He waved at her happily and she smiled and waved back. "Do you want some cheese?" he offered.
"We're not keeping her, Pinky. We're sending her to Florida." Brain kept his voice quiet, wary of his extremely vocal sister hearing him and objecting in some fashion.
"Ooh. To be with your parents? Oh, won't she be happy!" Smiling, Pinky clasped his hands together. "A Florida vacation!"
"Yes, Pinky, a vacation. Preferably a permanent one." Brain began to pace, scowling. "First my frustrating parents and now my equally frustrating sister. It's mortifying to be related to creatures who can hardly add two and two. Neanderthals!"
Behind him, his as-of-yet unnamed sister began leaping from key to key on a computer, fascinated by her ability to read. What else was there to do? She spelled out "yahoo" to help convey her happiness and see if she could find any synonyms for it, but blinked when the first thing to pop up was something about email. What in the hay was email?
So she hopped on several more keys to find out. Sending messages to people instantly sounded awesome, even though the only two people she actually knew were, well, mice, so she signed up for an account.
"What on earth do you think you're doing?" Brain demanded.
"Making an email account. Do you have one? It's asking me to add to my contact list."
"That's... optional," Brain informed her, rather surprised. When Pinky had said that his sister was playing on his computer, he'd assumed she was... bashing her head against the screen for fun or trying to tear the keys out of the keyboard. He hadn't expected her to have actually successfully opened a web browser, let alone come up with an email address on her own. "Do you even know what email is for?" he demanded.
She leapt to a key, skipping the "add to contacts" page. "Yeah. Instant communication, the site said. So I just go to compose over here, type in a message, send it to whoever. And they'll get it almost immediately, right? And I'm guessing attachments mean you can pull up files that you've got saved and send them to other people, too? Pretty awesome, bro."
"Yes. I'm sure it seems... awesome." Brain clasped his hands behind his back, scowling. "Now I really must insist that you get off of my computer. I have work to do." Transportation of a certain female mouse to arrange. He highly doubted that there would be another truck taking animals to the Everglades for research purposes to take care of this familial tragedy.
"Sure." She leapt off the keyboard, landed on wobbly legs, and would've fallen had Pinky not reached out and swept her up. Brain couldn't identify the bubbling emotion that flooded him to see his sister wrapped in the arms of his friend, but he did know that he disliked it. She, however, threw her arms around his neck and laughed. "Thanks, Pinky. Still getting used to strolling on two feet, I guess."
"Oh. Well. You're welcome! Narf!"
"What is narf?" she wondered and Brain turned away to get to work, not listening to the useless explanation. Like troz and poit, indeed. Sound effects didn't have synonyms.
An outcry of "chase me!" had Brain stopping and looking back out of sheer habit to see what Pinky could possibly have taken that would make him need to track his cagemate down. Instead, he watched with some surprise while his sister ran after the taller mouse, laughing along with him. The unidentifiable emotion welled up once more and he banished it, turning back to his screen with a huff. A plane ticket would be more expensive than mailing her off, but at least he knew a plane wouldn't run the risk of returning to sender.
When the moon was beginning to fall below the horizon and the sun hadn't yet made its appearance, the still-unnamed mouse stretched and bounded for the window. "Okay, you guys, it's been fun and all but I'm out of here."
Brain's surprise at the sudden announcement was overwhelmed only by Pinky's sorrow. "But you can't go!" he cried. "It's been so much fun and you're Brain's sistah!"
At the window, she looked back and sighed heavily. "C'mon, Pinky, I'm sorry. I know you want me to stick around, but I have things out there I need to do." Like find her parents. She would've asked Brain about them, but he hadn't asked her. She assumed he just didn't care.
"Oh, but please?" Pinky ran up to her, stopping close enough to grab her, and pressed his hands together pleadingly. His eyes were wide and damp, tears threatening to spill over. "You can't go all alone by yourself!"
She didn't bother pointing out that "all alone" and "by yourself" were the same thing, reaching out to give him a tight hug instead. "Aww, Pinky, don't cry! Look, honey, I'd stay if I could. But the sun's comin' up and the humans are gonna be here soon... The cage life's cool for you, but I've gotta go."
"We can make it colder," he offered and the girl giggled.
"Tell you what. I'll come back tomorrow night and we can goof off some more then. 'Kay?" He looked unconvinced, so she made an X over her heart. "Promise."
"Okay!" He threw his arms around her, holding tightly, and she laughed and squirmed until she popped out of his grasp.
She pushed the window open with Pinky's help and sent a wave over her shoulder. "See you later, bro!"
Brain, the picture of irritation, had his arms folded across his chest and his foot was tapping. "Yes, yes. Goodbye."
"These family separations always make me so sad," Pinky interjected, whimpering softly.
"Me too," the girl lied and patted his hand. "Later, Pinky." And with that, she hopped out the window and was gone.
Brain nodded slightly and went to his computer to cancel the flight he'd booked. They clearly didn't need it with her departing on her own and they'd be sure and leave the lab before she could return the following night.
"So what d'you guys do all day?" They hadn't made it out of the lab in time - partially because Pinky had begged and pleaded that they stay long enough for his sister to return and partially because the machine he was currently working on had required more work than The Brain had assumed. Every dryer was different and wouldn't all react the same to one disruptor.
But at least she'd largely been quiet so he could work and she'd been keeping Pinky distracted even more effectively than television.
"Oh! Oh! We get experimented on!" Pinky said excitedly. "We run through mazes and get yummy moldy cheese at the end! And sometimes they make us swim to all these pretty pedestal thingies!"
The girl made a face. "That sounds horrible."
"It's not!" Pinky defended. "It's fun-fun silly-willy! And then at night Brain asks me what I'm pondering and we take over the world!"
She snorted. "And how's that workin' out for ya?"
"Um... Egad, I don't think we've ever done it. Brain!" he called unnecessarily as he was right next to them. "Have we ever taken over the world?"
The large-headed mouse ground his teeth together, adjusting a bolt in his machine. "We've come close."
"Um... Does that mean it's working out badly?"
Brain turned sharply towards them, setting down the wrench to place his hands on his hips. "No. It only means that we need to keep trying!"
His sister broke off a corner of the cheese Pinky had given her when she revealed that she hadn't yet eaten that day - "Sometimes I can find food and sometimes I can't." - and nibbled on it, amused. "You've got lofty goals, bro."
"I would appreciate it if you wouldn't address me as 'bro.'"
"How come, Brain? It's like how I call sis Sis! Narf!"
The mouse turned to him, cocking her head. "You have a sister?"
"Yes, I do! Her name's Sis! And she's with my mum and dad on a trip all the way around the world." He hugged himself, smiling widely as he thought of how much fun his family must've been having. "She's lovely just like you! But she doesn't talk as much as you do... Zort."
She frowned, looking defensive, but Brain interrupted the question she was going to ask. "Pinky, your 'sis' doesn't talk as much because 'she' is an empty spool of thread!"
The taller mouse smiled brightly. "Yes?" But then he gasped and grabbed her shoulders. "D'you want to see a picture?" he asked excitedly and she shrugged.
"Sure; why not?"
"Yippee! Brain took one before they left! And dad said he could take over the whole world by feeding all the lightbulbs to his camera so it would grow big and strong!"
She gave a snort of laughter, patting Pinky's cheek. "I bet you take after your dad a lot."
"Oh, no." Pinky giggled and looked away, embarrassed by what he considered to be a very flattering comparison. "I'm not all smart like dad and Brain."
"D'you want to see a picture?"
She stared at Pinky for a moment then slid her gaze towards Brain, who had smacked a hand to his brow and was rubbing it as though he had a headache. So she laughed and gave another shrug. "Yeah, go on. Show me."
"Right, Brain's sistah!" He rushed off, running to their cage to locate the photograph he cherished so much. He scrambled back and offered it, tail wagging excitedly. She took it and immediately started to giggle. Yup. His "sister" was really an empty wooden spool. "That's Sis," he explained, pointing at it. "Isn't she just lovely?"
"Gorgeous." And it was adorable that his mother was taller than his dad and he wore the biggest glasses she'd ever seen. They were so fashion-challenged and special, and they all wore the biggest smiles as they hugged one another. She had to swallow back a sudden rush of tears. Where had her parents gone? They'd been gone for so long... Were they in another lab like this one, being experimented on day after day? She hoped not.
"Pinky! The machine is complete!" Brain announced, leaping down from it and rubbing his hands together.
"The machine for what?" Pinky asked and the megalomaniac's ears fell.
"Pinky, don't make me hurt you in front of our guest."
"'Kay." There was a beat of silence. "The machine for what?" With an eye roll, Brain picked up his nearby wrench and bopped him with it, making him fall to the floor. The girl's fur bristled and she started to snap, but Pinky's outburst of laughter stopped her. "Oh, that was fun, Brain! Are we going to take over the world now?"
"Yes!" With a gleam in his eye, Brain spun towards them. "Pinky, with this machine, you and I will..." He looked his sister over, the gleam replaced with irritation. "Excuse us. I have to explain my plan to Pinky now."
Pinky nodded ecstatically. "And then he'll ask me if I'm pondering what he's pondering after I point out the huge giant flaw!"
Brain grabbed his snout, dragging him down to his level. "There is no huge giant flaw."
"'Kay," he agreed easily, pushing closer so that their noses bumped.
Releasing him immediately, Brain turned to his sister. "You can show yourself out."
"Aww, but Brain..."
"No, Pinky. She can't just stay in the lab. You and I aren't even going to be here in ten minutes."
His shoulders slumped. "But Brain, she's your sister."
"Oh, fine, Pinky, you show my dear sister out."
"Dear sister," he repeated with a giggle. "Sister dear! C'mon, sister dear!" He looped an arm around one of the girl's, who tossed a glare Brain's way that was uncomfortably familiar. Genetics were terrifying things, really. Even Romy had inherited that glare. When he helped her out the window, Pinky waved madly. "Goodbye, sister dear! See you again tomorrow night!"
The girl didn't bother correcting him and neither did The Brain. Both of them decided that it was better to let him believe she'd come back with any sort of regularity. She was a field mouse, not a lab one.
She didn't return for several weeks, taking an active role in locating her parents now that her genes had been spliced. She checked every lab in the area for the familiar scent of them, for their voices if they had any. But they were nowhere that she knew of and none of the mice she'd been able to find had been any help.
So maybe... maybe her brother would help. They were his parents too, after all. Surely he had some curiosity about them! Unless it was all world-world-world with him, but she knew just from watching him with Pinky that it wasn't.
She forgot, though, when she saw the baby. She was a fluffy little bundle with big pink eyes and a little nose and she was just learning to walk. "Pinky, you know teaching her that is just going to give her an ability to get in my way even more," Brain grumbled, but she watched him take a protective step towards the baby when she hobbled a little dangerously.
Pinky giggled, holding his arms out to her. "But all baby mice need to learn how to walk, Brain! I can walk!"
"Which is a continual surprise," her brother muttered.
When she finally made it the few inches to Pinky, falling into his arms more than anything, Pinky immediately swept her up and spun her in a dizzying circle. "Yay, Cici!"
"So I see you two've been busy," the girl said, effectively announcing her presence.
Pinky stopped spinning to grin at her, holding out the baby for her to see. "Look, Cici! It's your auntie!"
"Her auntie," she repeated and went closer, sending a sidelong smirk her brother's way. "How'd you manage that one, bro?"
His cheeks colored. "She's adopted, I'll have you know."
"Right, okay. That makes sense." They'd adopted a baby together? That was so sweet. "Can I hold her?"
"'Kay." Pinky was still holding her out, so it was easy enough to take the baby and cradle her carefully. "You have to support her little head. Brain says it's not hard and empty yet like mine, so no bops."
"I know how to hold a baby, Pinky." Whatever parenting instinct that had skipped her parents and her brother, she had in abundance. She swayed carefully, smiling down at the little girl. She twirled, giggling as the baby did. "She's adorable, you guys."
Pinky positively preened at the praise, while Brain looked distinctly uncomfortable. "She's a smarty, too! Just like Brain!"
Since Pinky's definition of "smarty" included his own father, Brain's sister didn't ask for clarification. She only nuzzled the baby and spun again, cooing softly.
It was certainly a change from her usual demeanor, Brain decided, eyes narrowing a fraction when she started to hum. But he started to see a possibility the more she held the baby, deftly avoiding an ear tug. They'd been taking her to Romy when the plan required them to leave the lab for an extended period of time, but if his sister was this good with children...
"So you adopted her? Got tired of it just being the two of you?"
"No, actually. Pinky found her in the snow."
"Aww!" The girl held the baby above her head, spinning yet again. "Who would leave you in the snow, baby girl? You're just gorgeous, aren't you?"
"Her parents, obviously."
She sent a glare his way. "Thanks, Mr. Literal."
Pinky giggled. "She forgot your name, Brain." With an annoyed twitch, Brain dragged Pinky's bottom lip and hooked it over his head and more of Pinky's giggles were muffled.
The girl just shook her head, touched her nose to Cici's. "Silly boys, aren't they?" But then she sighed and held her close, giving her little ear a nuzzle. "I know what it's like to get left behind too, bubeleh," she whispered, too low for the males to hear.
But Cici made a babbled little sound and Pinky gasped, his face snapping back to normal. "Brain! Your sister doesn't have a name! What's Cici supposed to call her?"
"'That annoying mouse,'" he muttered in response and got a glare over the top of the baby's head.
"Ooh, Brain, that's a little long, isn't it? I don't think Cici can say all that." Pinky tapped a finger to his pursed lips as he thought. "Um... We could call her-"
"No, Pinky. I'm not going through all of your nonsensical lists. I've had more than enough of your naming attempts for one lifetime." He looked to his sister, annoyed that she was still glaring. "He wants to name everything cheese," he defended, folding his arms.
"So? What's wrong with that? Cheese is the best." She swayed, rubbing the baby's back fondly. Not even one yet and she was an aunt. That was pretty great. It took the pressure off her to have kids.
"There's a world full of cheeses!" Pinky cheered and Brain grabbed his snout to pull him down.
"If you start singing that insipid song, I shall have to hurt you." Pinky managed a nod, shifting forward to bump their noses together.
Twirling with the little mouse, the girl began to quietly hum the song Pinky wasn't supposed to sing. Pinky had sung bits of it to her before she'd been spliced and one line of it had been running through her mind on a continuous loop - like provolone and brie, like provolone and brie, like provolone and brie. "Brie," she decided. "Can you say that?"
Cici blinked up at her. "Brr!"
"Awesome." She settled the baby on her hip, grinning, and decided not to ask her brother about their parents. "So now that that's out of the way, you were teaching her how to walk?"
She was the designated babysitter and that sucked. Cici was running before she could walk in a straight line, and that sucked too. But chasing her down was fun, especially when Pinky was around. He'd always catch her first and spin her around, just to let to her go and run again. Brain normally ignored them, working on his plans, and Brie was just fine with that. She liked Pinky better anyway. He was always smiling and he never judged and he just let her exist. Finding her parents became less and less important in the face of that, so she left them less often. Only when the guilt got to be overwhelming did she make her excuses and bolt for a few days.
Meeting her nephew, though, was a bit of a shock to the system. He was her age to look and listen to him, but he was barely six months in actual existence. And he called Pinky "ma," which was so very baffling until Brain explained. He was the product of another plan gone awry, a clone whose DNA was split between her brother's and Pinky's thanks to an errant toenail clipping. Roman Numeral I was his unfortunate name, though, but since Cici's actual name was Cerebral Cortex, she figured he'd gotten off easy.
"So I was an aunt months ago and didn't even know it. That's so cool!" He smiled pretty often, too, but he had that willfulness Brain did so wasn't quite as giving as Pinky. She adored him anyway, the long-suffering big brother. It made her laugh and the fact that he existed just cemented her opinion that her brother and Pinky were more than just friends. She couldn't have been the only one who'd noticed the fact that there were only two beds in the whole cage, and Cici slept alone.
And then there was the fact that, fed up sometimes, Brain would send them all off to Romy's apartment so he and Pinky could have the cage to themselves. Dead. Giveaway. Not to mention some of the ponderings she'd overhead from Pinky when she'd been around to babysit. Some of those were just hilarious in how kinky they were. If they weren't screwing around, her brother was in some serious denial.
But she was rather fond of her nephew's girlfriend, Bunny. Even though she was human and she didn't even want to think about what they got up to on their own. But she didn't go back to the lab with Cici later, feeling guilty for liking her extended family a lot more than she did her actual immediate family. She didn't even like her brother that much and that wasn't good.
Brie decided that they were dead. She'd spent another two weeks trying to find her parents and she just couldn't do it. No one had seen them in so many months, strangers kept trying to move into her can because she didn't smell like a threat anymore; she didn't smell like a... a normal mouse.
By ten months old she'd lost her parents and she'd lost her home and if she had to ask her brother to let her stay with them, she'd lose her pride too.
So she didn't ask and found that it was a simple matter to move into the basement of the lab. She didn't own anything, after all, and she was surrounded by Brain's old experiments which included several pieces of doll-sized furniture. Watching the little movies they'd put together on the projector was absolutely hilarious and she and Cici would stay up well past her bedtime giggling at them as she got a little older. She was a pretty cool kid to have around and didn't tattle when she found out that Brie wasn't just in the basement sometimes; she was living there. And she didn't ask why, either. Cici let her exist just like Pinky did and Brie loved her for it.
It was a shame that her brother was still so prickly, though. He reminded her way too much of their dad sometimes, though he tended to be as bossy as their mother. It was rare to hear him praise Pinky or Cici and she'd never heard anything particularly nice from him for herself, though she did tend to irritate him on purpose sometimes. It was easier to be mad at him then let him remind her of the parents she'd lost, the ones that he clearly didn't even care about since he never asked. For a guy who'd been taken away from them, one would think he'd have more interest. She guessed being experimented on and taking over the world was way more important than a family, so she continued to irritate him. If family didn't matter to him, it wouldn't matter to her either.
...Romy, Pinky, and Cici totally didn't count.
The family reunion changed things. Pinky and Cici had organized it, being the sweet things they were, but her parents had been as horrible as Brie would've expected.
But, hey, they weren't dead. They'd just abandoned her. No big. No big deal at all.
Brie spent that night at Romy's, settled with Cici on a cushion on his couch. But she hadn't been able to sleep, slipping away when her niece had drifted off. She went to the window, pushing it open so she could breathe fresh air and gaze out at the stars. She missed that the most when it came to living in a city, the stars that would shine in the field where she'd been born. But the ones she could see were beautiful and soothing and they helped her to think.
Okay. So Brain had stumbled across their parents entirely by accident. He'd been annoyed by them (and rightfully so), and had gotten them as far away as possible - Florida. Great. That made sense. She couldn't and wouldn't be mad at Brain for that. But she could be mad at her parents for never mentioning her. They'd never even thought to tell him that he had a sister awaiting their return in a can.
She'd been more than old enough, according to them, to live on her own. But they'd thought that about Brain and he'd been taken away by the scientists before he'd even been weaned. That certainly explained why he remembered so little about them.
Brie supposed, lifting a finger to draw out the constellations she'd largely made up, that she should've expected something like that. They'd been unsuccessfully trying to marry her off to their neighbors her entire life. It wasn't anything too odd out in the field. Arranged marriages were a dime a dozen. There were always more mice needed in the community, more little ones to help find food. But she hadn't wanted any part of it! She'd wanted to play and live and find somebody on her own like the city mice did.
Her parents had taken that to mean that she wanted to marry a city mouse, but anyone who would come back to the field just to brag clearly wasn't good enough for her. She didn't care if someone was strong enough to oust squirrels (who would do that anyway? It was so mean) and she didn't care if they would be good providers (maybe she wanted to provide for herself, alright?). She just really wanted someone who'd love her just because. Not because she'd done something for them or had managed to impress them or... Or whatever. She wanted a Pinky, honestly, but had no intention of even trying to take the one she knew. He belonged to her brother like she'd always suspected.
Though it was really about time that Brain had realized it. For someone so freaking smart, he could be a real idiot. Sighing, she leaned back, using her arms to prop herself up. And her bro had really stuck up for her. She could barely even believe it, lips quirking into a smile as she thought of his little rant. He'd admitted to loving them. Oh, not her specifically and she wasn't even sure if she'd been included. But he'd definitely admitted to loving Pinky and Cici and Romy. And that was great.
Her tail wiggled behind her, a little disjointed. Pinky had been teaching her how to wag it, but she didn't quite have the rhythm down yet. Her parents certainly hadn't taught her how and she somehow doubted that they'd even know. She wouldn't mind meeting Pinky's parents again. They'd been nonsensical and silly and had adored Cici and Romy from the get-go, just as they should. Really, who cared whether or not Romy was a clone? Who cared whether or not Cici was adopted? They were Brain and Pinky's babies, and that mattered.
She sat up, hugging herself. They were a family. It was so cool that her big, stupid brother had managed to find himself a family. Well, managed to find himself a Pinky. The family part had followed. Her tail gave another happy wiggle as she considered how much teasing this had opened up. Oh, yeah, her prudish brother was going to be so easy to tease about this. There was no way after all that that they weren't screwing around. It pleased her immensely, knowing just how thrilled it would make Pinky.
She looked back when she heard a sound, smile brightening when her niece popped up onto the window sill. "Hey, bubbee. Can't sleep?" It wasn't that much of a surprise when she shook her head. Cici didn't really sleep well anywhere but her own bed. The little girl was just as much a creature of habit as her megalomaniac of a father.
Smiling, Brie drew her niece into her lap and wrapped her arms around the little girl, rocking gently and murmuring a story in her ear until she fell asleep again. Brie smiled at the stars a final time before returning to bed herself.
She'd been alright thinking her parents were gone. And now that she knew otherwise? It didn't change anything. The only thing learning otherwise had changed was her opinion of her brother. He wasn't like them. He was like himself. A big-headed grump who loved his family in his own scowling way. And if it was good enough for someone as happy as Pinky, as laid back as Romy, and as sweet as Cici, then it'd be good enough for her.
It was nice going to bed knowing that she could like her brother.
They had to talk about it. It was a problem, though, because she couldn't really recall ever having had a legit conversation with her brother. She wiped damp palms on her sides, ears flat as she geared herself up for it. They hadn't gone off on a plan that night and Brain had been in a relatively good mood, as far as his moods went. He'd completed a plan for the following night and had, much to Brie's amusement, been cajoled into reading to his bubbly hubby and adorable daughter.
It had been chemistry, which had very clearly gone over Pinky's head, but Cici had listened carefully and asked questions. Brie had watched from her perch on the bookshelf nearby, not wanting to intrude on the sweet scene. He'd been scowly and grumpy, but he'd also given Cici more pats than normal and she'd caught him giving Pinky at least two nuzzles. Who knew how many had been given that she wasn't aware of?
Sex was clearly good for her brother. But he was at the window now, looking at her because it was clearly time for her to be on her way. Cici had been put to bed and they weren't going anywhere, plus he still kinda thought she lived in the field. She bit her lip and wandered forward, hands clasped behind her back in unconscious mimicry of her brother's stance. "Can we, um... talk?"
His ears dropped and so did hers, but when his perked up again, he placed his fists on his hips and gave a small nod. "What about yesterday?"
"You stuck up for me. Like... really stuck up for me. I didn't think you liked me."
He scowled, averting his gaze. "You're my sister."
"I'm their daughter. Didn't seem to mean that much to them."
His arms folded and his gaze irritably snapped back to hers. "Yes, well, I'm not them."
"No, you're definitely not." The two of them stared at each other for a long moment, Brie's hands clasping behind her back. But then she sighed. If he could nuzzle Pinky, he could hug her. So she took a chance and threw her arms around her brother and held on. "Thank you. Seriously. Nobody's ever done anything like that for me before."
"Well... You certainly didn't deserve their barbs. I may not know what sort of daughter you were, but I'm well-aware the sort of mouse you are. Both Cici and Pinky clearly adore you." It shocked her to feel arms around her, a comforting hand patting her back. "And I... Well..."
He wasn't good with words, her brother. Unless he was already running on some emotional high. When that dawned, she tightened her hold on him and could feel his blush when she pressed their cheeks together. "I adore you too, bro." She kissed his red cheek, giggling at him. "I'll see you tomorrow. Have fun with your hubby," she teased and bounced out the window.
And, unbeknownst to him, Brie darted back in through the mail slot out front and fled to the basement. She liked knowing that she could love her brother, liked more that he loved her in his own grumpy-growly way. If it was good enough for Cici and Romy and Pinky, it was plenty good enough for her.
I love how grumpy-growly Brain is :D
It's why he's my favorite, lol
I love brilliant curmudgeons
Anyway, that's Brie! XD She's a brat like her brother
Cici, btw, belongs to skimmingsurfaces
She's a brat like Brain, too. But far sweeter XD Like her mommy! lol
And keep an eye out for the family reunion fic! :D It should be up sooner or later