This is my alternate take on one of my favorite Animaniacs segments, Brain Meets Brawn. You might have to watch the episode if you haven't already to get it. Whenever I watched this episode I always had another idea in mind; What if Brain's concern for Pinky was overpowering his urge to take over the world? And thus, this two-part fic was born! Enjoy!


"Egad, Dr. Jekyll has turned himself into that fearsome Mr. Hyde again, Brain!"

"Yes, if only I could find a way to use that savage strength…"

The setting was 1885 in the heart of England, where two mice were sitting in their cage as they viewed a spectacle unfold before their eyes. Dr. Jekyll, a mad scientist who had concocted a potion that could transform him into a hideous, malicious monster for short intervals of time, was again in his 'Mr. Hyde' form. Having lived with the mad doctor for years, the rodents had witnessed this transformation many times before, and it intrigued Brain. As the police barged in and dragged the raving scientist away to prison, the large headed mouse sat in his cage and pondered how such tremendous strength and size could benefit him in conquering the world.

Suddenly, an idea dawned on him. "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so Brain, but if they called them Sad Meals then kids wouldn't buy them!" his dimwitted cagemate answered. In response to his less-than-intelligent blabbering, Brain grabbed either side of Pinky's face and shook him, hoping to perhaps jog some sort of coherent thought from his empty noggin. "Hello in there, Pinky!" he said, then released the taller mouse from his grip in hopes to get his ideas back on track.

Brain proceeded to explain his brilliant new plan, which involved the British's obsession with tea time—a period in the day that started at 4:00 where everyone in England would sit for a few minutes, drop everything they were previously doing, and have a cup of tea. It was a happy, serine period of relief to the lives of the people who took part in it, but to Brain it was a weakness that would eventually lead to the downfall of England, and then the world! His plan was simple, if he could stop Big Ben at precisely 4:00, then everyone would be forced to have tea time forever, and he could take over the country in a heartbeat. It was foolproof, with the exception of one tiny detail, which Pinky pointed out instantly after Brain explained his plan.

"Egad Brain, brilliant!" the mouse cried in ecstasy, before reconsidering his enthusiasm. "Wait, no, no…you'd have to be a hulking muscular giant to stop that clock Brain!"

"Exactly, Pinky." he answered, already climbing up to the top of the flask that held the oozing green liquid that their mad scientist owner had brewed. Fortunately, the shorter mouse had already considered this, and this was where Dr. Jekyll's formula kicked in. Just a few drops of the potion would transform Brain into an enormous, bumbling monster! No longer would he be just a puny, insignificant lab mouse, he would have more than enough strength to stop the gears of Big Ben and carry out his plan! "As they say in rustic circles, bottoms up!" Brain said as he dunked a small thimble into the liquid and guzzled it down without hesitation.

As he climbed down from the flask, he tried hard to concentrate on his body, and if he were feeling any different, but nothing seemed to have changed. He examined himself all over, but he looked the same too. Had the formula not worked at all, or did it just take a while for the full effects to kick in? Befuddled by this, he glanced at Pinky, who's bright blue eyes were shining curiously at him, with the slightest hint of concern in his expression as he proceeded to study Brain as well.

"Is it working Brain? Any changes? You tingling, itching, feeling anything? Do you do you do you?" Pinky asked incessantly, prancing around Brain irritatingly as he probed for an answer.

Pinky's annoying questions, like usual, were angering Brain to the extent that he felt the need to hit him over the head to temporarily subdue his aggravating questioning. However, though the feeling of anger towards his annoying companion came frequently and unexpectedly, this time it was different. Not only did Brain feel the urge to give Pinky a sharp blow to the head—he actually had the sudden desire to cause him serious harm. The thought had never crossed his mind before, and he tried with all his might to suppress it, but a ball of pure hatred was forming in the pit of his stomach, and Brain couldn't hold back his temper anymore. His body started tingling all over, and his ears were ringing as the small mouse trembled uncontrollably from head to toe. His stomach was churning like a rollercoaster, and he felt like he was going to throw up, pass out and explode with sheer rage all at once! Pinky detected Brain's discomfort instantly, and backed away in fright as his friend jittered, sputtered, twitched and spun around spontaneously. Then Brain began to grow. He felt his muscles expand and contract inside of him, and like an outward explosion his bones stretched and cracked, causing him momentary agony as his insides rearranged and he started to grow. All at once, he grew almost six feet in height, resembling more of a deranged gorilla than a mouse, and his fur turned a sickening bright green. Not only was he experiencing changes in his appearance, Brain noticed that he didn't feel quite himself mentally either. The longer he stayed in this form, the more rational thought he seemed to lose, and the transformed mouse was no longer able to control himself. He wasn't running on wits anymore, but merely pure anger, and with all that muscle power, he was not only big, but dangerous as well!

Some instinct deep inside Pinky's mind told him that Brain wasn't safe to be around in this state, and as the horrifying transformation took place before his eyes, he found himself backing up against the wall, away from the terrifying beast that was no longer his best friend. Brain noticed this, and when his large, bloodshot red eyes locked onto the trembling mouse in the corner, the overwhelming feeling of fury coursed through his veins once more. Just looking at Pinky filled him with so much rage that he contemplated tearing the small, helpless rodent limb-from-limb, or slamming him through the concrete walls, or perhaps even stomping his weak little body into the floor! The thought of seeing the mouse flail around like a rag doll as he was torn to bits actually pleasured Brain, and though there was a tiny voice in the back of his mind trying to reason with the beast inside of him, he couldn't control the urge, and lifted a wooden table with ease, intent on smashing Pinky over the head with it and cracking every bone in his body!

"Ah! I'm sorry I angered you Brain!" Pinky cried as he braced himself for the immense pain that was about to befall him.

Like turning off a switch, Pinky's frantic apology triggered some chain reaction inside the green monster, and Brain froze. He gagged for a moment, feeling the horrible pain of more rapid changes inside his body, and suddenly everything inside him contracted and shrunk until he was back to his normal size once more. The table that he had been holding was no longer being supported, and fell to the floor, landing on top of the big-headed mouse and crushing him underneath. Pinky hurried over to the flattened mouse and pulled him out from under the table, checking to see if he was hurt in any way. Luckily, Brain hadn't sustained any damage, besides a few bruises, but as he stumbled dizzily over to his companion, he realized he had a splitting headache.

"Egad Brain, it worked!" Pinky exclaimed, but that fact was the last thing on Brain's mind, for as he unscrambled his thoughts a terrible realization dawned on him.

The formula's effects hadn't kicked in until Pinky made him angry. Brain could clearly recall the feeling of pure rage growing inside him that he had never felt before, followed by the unbearable internal pain as the rest of his body expanded. By then, his mind had been too primitive for him to realize the malevolent effects the potion had on his thoughts, but now that he was able to rationalize again, he remembered the terrible impulses that he had almost acted upon, and was disgusted with himself! For the first time in his short life, not only had he wanted to bop his companion over the head, he actually contemplated killing him!

Awestruck, Brain began to tremble and started feeling dizzy again—not as if he was undergoing the transformation from mouse to beast once more, he was just sickeningly terrified by what the formula had done to him. Although he rarely admitted his feelings for Pinky, there was no doubt that Brain cared about his well-being immensely, and if he somehow found himself at fault for his friend's demise all because of a stupid plot to take over the world, well, he'd certainly never forgive himself!

"Poit…are you alright Brain?" Pinky asked the dazed mouse.

Brain shook off his fears as he snapped back into reality, but was still anxious as he continued to ponder the horrible outcome that this transformation could have. "I'm fine." he lied, continuing to let his mind wander. This would be his chance to finally take over the world, yet if he turned into the green beast again, he wasn't sure how long he could hold himself back without causing his friend harm—or even murdering him. He gulped back the thought, and tried to come up with a way to control it. It was certainly Pinky getting him angry that triggered the potion, but what had turned him back to normal?

Brain snapped his fingers. "That's it! Pinky, when you got me angry, the formula took effect, and when you apologized, I turned back to my normal self!"

"Naaaaarf." Pinky said in awe.

Though he detested the idea of turning back into that foul beast, Brain decided that he needed to test his theory once more, just to make sure he was right. "Pinky, make me angry!" he ordered reluctantly.

"Zounds Brain, I don't want to make you angry…" Pinky said, his voice small and vulnerable-sounding. Brain quickly picked up on the fear embedded in his companion's bright blue eyes, and almost wanted to forget the whole thing. Not only did he almost seriously hurt his friend, he was also scaring the living daylights out of him, which is the last thing he wanted to do. But if it was going to aid him in taking over the world, wasn't a little bit of fear a small price to pay? Becoming perplexed by his contrasting emotions, he shook his head and was once again determined to test the formula's effects, even if it meant terrifying Pinky again.

"I don't care! Make me angry!" he ordered again, grabbing Pinky by the snout and pulling him down to eye level.

"But you're gonna bop me!" the taller mouse protested. Brain's ears drooped behind his head, for he feared he would do much more than bop Pinky if he could get his beefy green hands on him in that state. When a tingling sensation pulsed through every inch of his body though, he realized it was too late to back down, for Pinky had unintentionally triggered his terrible temper.

Once again, Brain's body was stretched, pulled, and contracted in all different directions until his size and strength was equivalent to that of a mad gorilla on steroids. As his size grew exponentially, his rational thoughts decreased, and soon Brain was back in a state of absolutely no self-control. He reached down and grabbed his petrified companion in his paws, beginning to squeeze him. As Brain's thoughts raced, he imagined squashing the small mouse until he popped like a pimple between his hands, and began to squeeze even harder. This time, the voice in the back of his mind telling him to stop his impulsive behavior was even weaker, and his fingers curled around his victim's body until Pinky had no air left in his lungs.

"Brain…I'm…" he managed to gasp out between the short breathes that he could take. Pinky quickly felt his ribcage collapsing, and his entire body was in extreme pain as Brain squished him tighter and tighter, with a sickeningly delighted grin on his monstrous green face. "I'm sorry!" Pinky finally managed to choke out, and in an instant Brain stopped what he was doing, froze for a mere instant, and shrunk back to his original size once more, landing on the floor with a thud. Pinky landed on the ground as well just a few feet away, gasping and wheezing as his lungs burned for fresh air.

When Brain finally picked himself up and was brought back to reality, he felt overwhelming grief for the damage he had done. He had gotten even closer to killing Pinky than the last time! He rushed over to his friend's side to see if he was alright, but to his dismay and confusion, Pinky scuttled away from him.

"D-don't come near me!" he pleaded, his chest rising and falling at an inconstant rate as he still struggled for air. Brain noticed that Pinky had an arm wrapped around his torso, and was fidgeting in obvious pain.

"Pinky, are you hurt?" he asked, trying a second time to get close to him, with the same results as the injured mouse backed away further.

"No! Stay away!" Pinky cried, pausing to cringe in pain for a moment before continuing. "Narf! You're just going to turn into the big scary monster and try to hurt me again!"

"I'm sorry, I…" Brain started, automatically feeling shameful for treating Pinky so horribly. Even if he was unable to control himself when the formula kicked in, he still couldn't believe that the thought of severely hurting him had even crossed his mind, and he felt extremely guilty for causing Pinky harm. "Let me see where you're hurt, I promise I won't turn into the big scary monster again!" he tried to convince him.

Pinky sniffled and wiped tears from his eyes, not seeming any less terrified or any more willing to let Brain near him, but due to the pain of his shattered rib cage he could no longer muster the strength to back away from him, so he doubled over in pain on the floor and waited to be smashed to bits by the beast again. Brain darted to Pinky's side as soon as he noticed how much agony he was in, and in an attempt to calm him down, ran his fingers down Pinky's spine, stroking his fur reassuringly to let the pained mouse know that he wasn't in any danger. The injured mouse looked up at him, still holding his midsection tightly, but seemed slightly more at ease in his presence.

"Can you tell me where it hurts?" Brain asked with concern.

"In…in my tummy…" Pinky told him, pointing to his chest and sniffling again.

"Pinky that's not your tummy, that's your chest." the smarter mouse corrected, but was barely able to sound irritated at Pinky's idiocy at the moment, since the seriousness of his injuries was the only thing concerning him. "You probably have a broken ribcage."

"Can…c-can you fix it?" the hurt mouse asked in a pleading tone as he suppressed the cry of pain that was itching to escape him.

"I can wrap it up for now to keep you from hurting yourself further, but I'm afraid the bones will take some time to heal on their own." Brain told him. "Do you think you can walk back to the cage?"

Slowly releasing his arms from his chest, Pinky gradually and carefully pulled himself up to his feet, with some assistance from Brain. He could stand on his legs, but he remained still rather than trying to walk, for he could tell by the wobbliness in his legs that he wouldn't stay standing for long if he tried to move his feet. Suddenly, Pinky's knees buckled and he fell back down to the ground, unable to hold back the yelp of pain this time as his broken bones shifted painfully. Brain felt his heart sink as he watched his friend struggle, tears leaking from his eyes from the agony that he had never experienced before. Obviously Pinky wouldn't be able to walk, and the only other way to get him back to the cage in one piece was to carry him there, as much as Brain disliked the idea. His bones and muscles were already sore from changing from mouse to beast so many times in one day, but he managed to muster up enough strength to tuck his arms under Pinky and lift him up bridal-style, wrapping his broken body securely in his grasp as he stumbled to the cage. The pained mouse in his arms involuntarily nuzzled into Brain's chest, seeking any sort of comfort to distract him from the agony that he was enduring.

Once they were back inside the metal bars of their small home, Brain placed his companion inside their tiny matchbox bed filled with wood chips, ordering him to keep still. The latter obeyed, whimpering to himself as Brain exited the cage and dug around the cupboards of Dr. Jekyll's house for something he could use to wrap up Pinky's chest. He returned with a roll of gauze, and tried to wrap Pinky's body, only to have his friend flinch away and cry out when Brain so much as nudged his chest.

"You need to hold still if you want me to help you!" Brain ordered.

"B-but it hurts!" Pinky stammered.

"Well if you want it to stop hurting, you need to stay still!"

He began to tremble and fidget again, not allowing Brain to access the damaged area in his chest. "Bu-but…"

Brain scowled at his companion's inability to cooperate, and in an instant felt the tingling feeling wash over him again as his anger escalated. As soon as he realized what was happening, he knew that if he were to turn back into that monster while in their cage, he wouldn't be able to fit! The metal cage would crack to pieces and Pinky would be crushed! Brain was already beginning to feel his body expand as he rushed out of their cage and immediately locked the door, trying to get as far away from Pinky as his puny legs would allow him to run. However, he wasn't able to get very far, for the final changes occurred within seconds, and once again he was an enormous, bumbling green monster with a bad temper.

Despite his relentless attempts to fight back the foul beast inside him, just like the last two times, his rational thinking was overcome with primitive, barbaric instinct. He turned back towards the cage immediately, eyes landing on the small white ball of fur that was backing up as far as he could until his body was pressed against the metal bars. Brain—no, it wasn't Brain anymore, it was the ferocious beast within that was having these sort of thoughts—longed to see the other mouse's pain, and hopped down from the countertop, approaching the cage with a devious smirk.

Pinky was quivering from head to toe, caught between clasping his ribcage in agony or running as far away from the oncoming threat as his crippled body would allow. However, he could do neither, and remained frozen in place, besides his trembling. His obvious fear was just another source of adrenaline for Brain to feed off of, and he suddenly lifted the cage in his hands with ease, staring at Pinky to further invoke the smaller mouse's discomfort. He gave the cage a little shake, which was enough to throw Pinky to the metal floor. Scrambling back to his feet, the mouse clutched the bars of the cage for dear life to brace himself for more shaking, an expression of sheer terror and pain plastered across his face. He knew the magic words that would transform his friend back, but he was so encompassed in pain and fear that he couldn't even make a sound.

Smiling widely, the green-furred beast rattled the cage again, not holding back this time. He had intentions to break everything in the small mouse's body as he thrashed the cage back and forth, sending Pinky flying against the walls like a rag doll. The trapped mouse struggled to keep his footing, or grab onto something to keep steady, but every time he tried he was just flung back down to the floor as his home was shaken violently by Brain. His ribs sent sharp flashes of pain through his entire body, causing tears to leak from his bright blue eyes, and he was no longer able to contain the pained yelps that had been desperately trying to escape him.

When he turned his head up to face Brain, he was met with a very pleased, blood-thirsty gleam in his friend's eyes, and something suddenly clicked inside his head that told him the beast wasn't going to show him a bit of mercy, and wouldn't stop hurting him until he perished. Pinky opened his mouth and tried to choke out the words that would make everything stop, but there was a lump in his throat preventing him from doing so. He forced it back and was eventually able to mutter, almost inaudibly, a quiet apology.

"I-I'm…s-sorry!"

In a flash, the green giant had disappeared, and the tiny white lab mouse that took its place was sent tumbling to the floor. Brain landed painfully on his back, but was able to pick himself up off the ground. However, when his ears were met with the crash of the metal cage landing back down on the counter, and the blood-curdling cry of his companion hitting the metal floor, he began to panic as he recalled the amount of damage he had done. In an instant, Brain scaled the counter, using the slightly opened drawers as a staircase on his way up, and darted back to the cage—where Pinky was lying, bruised and battered on the floor, unable to move due to the crushing agony that was overwhelming his small body.

"Pinky!" Brain shrieked, automatically scurrying to his side. This time, Pinky made no effort to move away, probably because he couldn't if he tried. "Oh no…what have I done?" the larger headed mouse asked himself as he circled his fallen friend, unsure if he should touch him at all, for fear he would just cause him more suffering.

"…Narf…"

Even though it was a short, meaningless syllable, it comforted Brain to some extent after hearing his friend utter the nonsensical word. At least he was still conscious—and still alive, for that matter. After being thrashed back and forth so harshly against the cage, he was surprised the impact hadn't killed him! "Can you hear me Pinky?" he asked.

Gradually, two blue eyes blinked open, and he moved his head ever so slightly, as if he were trying to nod but couldn't muster the energy necessary. His body was contorted in an unnatural way—he was lying on his stomach, limbs bent at odd angles. Brain highly doubted he would be able to sit himself up, yet he asked anyways.

To his amazement though, the injured mouse's arms twitched, and he slowly moved them underneath him, using them to push himself up off the ground into a sitting position. His legs didn't seem as twisted anymore as he sat upright, so overall Pinky didn't seem like such a broken mess anymore, but his pained grimace still concerned Brain. The smaller mouse took hold of his friend's paws, keeping him steady as he tried to get him to speak.

"Where does it hurt?" Brain asked, his tone like that of a concerned mother as he stared into Pinky's tearful eyes, waiting for an answer.

"In…in my…" The mouse paused, not because of pain this time, but because he actually stopped to ponder the correct term that Brain had used earlier. "In my ribcage."

Brain raised an eyebrow. "That's it?" Surely he must have sustained much more damage than just in his already-broken ribs after being tossed around like that.

Pinky nodded, stifling more tears. Brain tried his best to soothe his companion's discomfort by rubbing the backs of his paws in his. "It'll be alright, Pinky. I'll wrap you up right away so that your bones can heal. You'll be better in no time." he reassured, expecting his friend to calm down and allow him to continue wrapping his chest in gauze. However, Pinky's reaction wasn't anything like what he had expected. The slimmer mouse tore his hands away from Brain's, and like before, he looked petrified of his own best friend—only this time, not only did he seem frightened from the initial shock of almost being killed, he actually looked distrustful.

"Why would you do that to me?" he asked so plainly, so sternly, so un-Pinky like that it sent shivers up Brain's spine.

"I—I didn't mean to!" Brain sputtered. "I would never hurt you intentionally!"

"But you said you'd never turn into that b-big scary monster again! Y-you promised! And you lied to me!" Pinky was crying now as he spoke, and Brain was feeling miserable at the sight of it. He had unintentionally caused his best friend severe physical and emotional harm, and had even driven Pinky, his loyal companion, into losing all trust in him. Brain felt his stomach lurch in disgust with himself—he felt like a monster!

He quickly shook his head at his own thoughts. No, he wasn't the monster, it was that formula that was the culprit! Brain wouldn't even think about hurting Pinky, yet when that horrible green beast took over his body, he was powerless against his own violent compulsions.

"Pinky, I'm sorry." he apologized quickly. "It was the 'big scary monster' that was trying to hurt you, not me." he told him, using his dimwitted companion's terminology. "It was controlling me like a puppet!"

The other mouse sniffled. "A…puppet?"

"Yes." Brain told him calmly, daring to move closer to his frightened friend as he began to calm down. "I had absolutely no control over my actions, I assure you that if I could have controlled it, I would have."

Pinky's curious blue eyes lightened up slightly as he wiped the remaining tears from his furry cheeks. "I like puppets! But not like that. That puppet was big and green and nasty, and tried to hurt me a lot. I thought it was scary—like a clown, clowns are really scary, poit!"

His pointless rambling was quite annoying, but Brain almost felt comfort in listening to it, since it signaled that Pinky was already sounding like his old self again. Still, he had to subdue the involuntary urge to bop him over the head, for he feared getting himself even the slightest bit angry again would trigger the effects of the formula. Instead, he chose to take the advantage that Pinky was calmed down, and attempted to wrap up his injuries again.

Brain grabbed the gauze and told Pinky to hold still. The latter began to flinch away at first, but one look at the warning scowl on Brain's face and he instantly cooperated, considering he didn't want his friend to go berserk with anger again. After a few minutes of uncomfortable fidgeting and whimpering as the gauze was wrapped around his collapsed ribs, Pinky was feeling slightly better, and admired the white bandages as if they were a new fashion icon.

"Oooh! I look like a mummy Brain! Troz!" he exclaimed, giggling slightly at this realization. Brain's lips almost curled up into a smile to see that his friend was happy once more, and surely not feeling as much pain as earlier.

"Yes, the gauze should hold the broken bones in place so that they'll heal faster." he placed a finger to his chin thoughtfully as he observed Pinky. "Does it still hurt?"

"Hmm, well, sorta." Pinky answered. He experimentally tried to stand up, but his legs were too wobbly for him to remain standing for more than a few seconds, and he fell back down into a sitting position on the floor again.

"Well, you obviously won't be going anywhere for the time being." Brain pointed out.

"But what about our plan to take over the world?" Pinky asked, a hint of worry in his tone at the thought of not being able to assist his friend in their nightly routine.

The shorter mouse marveled at the fact that Pinky was more concerned about the world than his own health, while for Brain the opposite was true. Still, he considered if he should still go through with his plan or not, even with Pinky hurt. He couldn't leave him behind, since the other mouse played an important role in his plan, yet Pinky was already injured because of this particular scheme, and the last thing Brain wanted was for anything to happen to him while his ribs were still broken. The thing that was really holding Brain back was the fact that if he wanted his plan to be fulfilled, he required Pinky to make him angry again, which at this point was basically a death wish on his best friend. Would he be able to control himself, even if they made it to Big Ben? He shuddered at the thought of sacrificing Pinky's life just to take over the world. Even though his violent outbursts were out of his own control, Brain would still hold himself responsible for any damage done, since he was the one who decided to drink that formula in the first place.

"Brain?"

The distraught mouse shook himself from his trance-like state and turned to face Pinky. "What?"

"Well I asked you a question but you never answered. You just stood there making really scrunchy faces, and then your eyes got all wide and you were staring off into nothingness! Narf!" he explained as he tried to mimic Brain's expression.

Brain only rolled his eyes at Pinky's insightful description. "I was only pondering your question." he said. "Frankly, I'm not entirely certain that taking over the world tomorrow would be a good idea, especially considering your current state of health."

At that, Pinky looked disappointed. "But Braaaain!" he pleaded, to which Brain held up a paw to silence his beseeching.

"If you seem better by tomorrow morning, then I'll consider it." he told him. "For now, you really need some rest, a good night's sleep should heal those bones a little faster."

"Okay." Pinky agreed, and with assistance from Brain, he managed to stumble to his bed, whimpering slightly at the increased pressure on his ribs at even the slightest movement. Brain carefully laid his companion down in their little matchbox bed, extra cautious not to jostle his broken midsection. He placed a blanket over him, which Pinky snuggled into contently.

Figuring he would go right to sleep, Brain crept away from their bed to the other side of the cage so that he could work on the set of blueprints he would need for tomorrow's plan, but stopped midstride when Pinky called him back over.

"Brain, wait!"

"What?" the shorter mouse asked, turning back around.

"Won't you stay with me? Please?" Pinky asked so subtly that it made it hard for Brain to refuse. He knew he had to work hard if he wanted to finish the blueprints by tomorrow, but after all Pinky's been through because of him, he figured he at least owed him some attention.

"Well, alright." Brain agreed, climbing over to the other side of their bed and nestling beside Pinky. Ignoring how much his ribs ached, the slimmer mouse rolled over to face Brain and rested his head on his chest, curling his body around him until he was comfortable. The other mouse wasn't surprised by this behavior, since Pinky often cuddled up to him during the night, yet this time he decided against shoving his pesky companion away like he typically would. Instead, he absentmindedly stroked the top of Pinky's head and let his mind wander.

"Brain?"

"Yes Pinky?"

Pinky turned his head slightly to look up at Brain, and when the latter caught a glimpse of his expression, he was caught off guard by how mortified he suddenly looked. "Well, I was wondering…" Pinky continued, his eyebrows furrowed and his mouth turned into a perplexed frown. "What if you have a bad dream while you're sleeping and you turn into that scary monster again?"

Not expecting a question like that, Brain just stared at Pinky, unsure of what to say. He pulled his hand away from Pinky's head for a moment, bringing it to his chin in thought. If that did happen, then he would either crush Pinky's body against the side of the cage, or break the cage apart—and eventually crush him anyways. Neither mouse would be even slightly aware of what he was doing if they were both half-awake, and therefore Pinky wouldn't have time to apologize, and probably wouldn't last more than a few seconds against Brain's savage strength. He quickly shook his head, not liking the way his thoughts were headed. Of course that would never happen, it was just a foolish question.

Pinky was as serious as ever though, and Brain hated seeing him this upset about anything—as rare as that may occur. He was obviously still scared out of his mind to even be around Brain deep down, even though his eternal loyalty towards his best friend was overcoming his initial fear. Still, Brain rested his hand back atop Pinky's head, stroking all the way down to his back and pulling him closer in an attempt to soothe away his irrational fears.

"That wouldn't happen, Pinky, it's just preposterous. To be distorted into that horrid beast again, I would have to become angry during the REM stages of my slumber, and I'm rarely angry in my dreams." he told him.

"Why not?"

"Well…" Brain paused, and thought for a moment, before smiling at Pinky and nestling his chin on his head. "Because being in proximity to you makes me feel too…content for me to be prone to such unwelcome emotions such as anger."

"What?" the simpleton asked, confused. "Your big jumbly swirly whirly words befuddled me, Brain!"

Sighing, Brain proceeded to explain his thoughts in a way that Pinky could understand. "As long as you're around, my dreams will be happy." he said, aware of his cheeks flushing red after admitting such feelings. It was only to make Pinky happy though, of course—The Brain would never stoop so low as to feel such childish things for his cagemate. Pinky seemed pleased with his words, however, and nuzzled into him affectionately.

"I know I broke my promise to you earlier, but I assure you that I'll never let anything happen to you, Pinky. Not even by my own doing." This confession, even Brain would admit, was one hundred percent true—or at least, he hoped it would be.

Within moments, the cage was filled with the sound of light snoring, and the conscious mouse continued to absentmindedly run his fingers through Pinky's fur as he stared straight ahead, lost in his thoughts. Brain's gaze landed on the flask of green liquid looming just outside their cage, and he instantly regretted even taking a sip of that horrid formula. All because of a routine scheme to take over the world, he had unknowingly gotten himself into a huge mess, which proved unfortunate and almost deadly for the mouse curled up beside him. Because of this, Brain was literally caught between carrying out his plan to take over the world, or keeping his closest friend out of harm, and wasn't sure if he should spend the rest of the night drawing out blueprints or brewing an antidote to the formula so that he never had to become that savage beast ever again.

Brain groaned. Every bone in his body was aching, especially his throbbing cranium. At the moment, the only thing he wanted to do was sleep, which would hopefully take the stress off his shoulders so that he could make a decision in the morning. Evidently, if he was sleeping he wouldn't be able to lose his temper, which was difficult for the mouse not to do when he was conscious. Eager to get the sleep that his body and mind were craving, Brain laid down, almost forgetting about Pinky until he was once again aware of the warmth around him. He nuzzled into his friend's soft fur, falling asleep to the gentle sound of his heart beating behind a broken ribcage.