96. Thrilled (536)

She'd been learning to walk, but every time he let go of her little baby hands, Cici would wobble and promptly collapse on her rump. With hands to guide her, she did just fine, though Pinky did admit that he made her hop around for the most part. But she was a smarty mousey mouse. He was quite certain she'd master it soon!

Brain told him not to rush her, saying that he didn't want her getting underfoot and causing mayhem, but Pinky knew his grumpy-growly bestest friend just didn't want to admit that the baby snow mouse they found wasn't going to be a for real baby for much longer.

"Have fun with Auntie sister dear, baby!" he chirped, pressing a kiss to her forehead and watched her wibble-wobble where she sat. He and Brain weren't leaving yet, they were just getting started on the plan thingies, but he waved to the girl nonetheless, if only to watch her attempt to wave back. It was very cute when her whole arm went flappy-wappy like a snow cone.

The baby blinked after him, then was distracted by her aunt and all the toys they had to play with. Still, there were lulls in the entertainment that had her continuously looking over at the two mice. Brie would snap her fingers in front of the child's face and laugh as Cici swatted at her hand and smiled. When she went to get crayons for the two of them to color, the baby's attention immediately sought out the taller mouse.

Rolling forward onto her tummy, she pushed herself up onto two legs and held her arms out to keep the wobbling to a minimum. Slowly, she toddled over to where the mice she'd come to know as her parents stood hunched over something, falling only a couple times with a few hiccups. Her ears twitched as she heard her aunt's delighted gasp, but her focus was on getting somewhere and that somewhere needed to be got to.

She wanted the one who called himself her mommy and she tugged on his tail to tell him that. "Pa!"

Brain and Pinky both turned to look at her; a pair of pink eyes shocked while a pair of blue lit up with unbridled joy. "Oh, Cici! Look, Brain she walked all by herself!"

His tail wagged so hard it slipped out of her grasp and disrupted her balance. She waved her arms enough to keep from falling, then raised them up in a demand to be carried. "Mama."

Pinky didn't pick her up, he swept her up in a spinning dance and couldn't stop bouncing around the lab with his baby snow mousey mouse all smart and walking and knowing who he was! Brain allowed him his moment for about fifteen minutes, then set about scolding his sister for letting the child distract his companion so, rubbing his fist over his heart, convincing himself that his feelings were not hurt that the child wanted Pinky and not him. Children did become attached to their... mothers first, after all.

This was going to become a problem in keeping the distance he and Pinky had first agreed upon; he could already tell.

97. Dealing (1319)

"Pinky! You give that back right now! I am not playing with you!" Brain glared daggers at his cagemate and it was the first time in days they'd made eye contact. Pinky merely held the pencil high above his head, far out of Brain's reach. "I am going to count to three, and if you don't give it back by then, I swear I will separate you!"

"You can count all the way to Timbuktu, but I still won't give it back to you!" Pinky held his ground. He'd been trying to get Brain's attention for all this time, but he'd been so stubborn! "Narf! Not until you tell me why you're mad at me!"

"I don't have to tell you anything! I don't have to explain myself to you!" he snapped, gesturing broadly with his arms as he tended to do when he was really super mad. "Give me the pencil!"

Pinky shook his head and hugged it tightly. "No!"

Growling and grinding his teeth together, Brain threw his hands in the air and spun around to stomp off. "Fine! There are plenty of other pencils! I'll simply replace it with another!"

Frantically, the taller mouse tossed the pencil off to the side and dove for his friend, wrapping his arms around his ankles. Wobbling dangerously, Brain managed not to fall on his face. He scowled down at Pinky, attempted to shake him loose, but he held tight. "I'm sorry! I don't know what I did, Brain, but I'm sorry!"

Of course he didn't know. Was there anything the fool knew? Smacking his palm to his face, he stiffened when he realized water was collecting behind his eyes. Curse the lacrimal gland! How dare it secrete moisture when he didn't want it to! "Don't you see, Pinky? That's exactly why I can't stand to look at you! You don't even care enough to realize it was wrong!"

"I do care!" he protested, belly sliding across the counter as Brain managed to stalk a few inches even while dragging the extra weight of his companion. "I care whole lots! Why do you think I'm trying so hard to make up with you?"

"Oh, I don't know, Pinky. I've given up trying to understand why you do anything," he grumbled, swallowing past the lump growing in his throat. He was over this. He didn't care. He didn't need Pinky and his promiscuity punching him in the gut countless times over. The image of him and her engaging in... vulgar acts of fecundity had already been burned into his eyelids. He saw them every time he closed his eyes. And every time he cared a little less. Or so he told himself.

"It's because I love you!"

Now he'd really had enough. Brain pried Pinky's hands from his ankle and gripped his shoulders hard, lifting him up to meet his gaze evenly. "Don't." He wouldn't be fed lies. Not from someone who didn't know the difference between volume and volume ("Brain, there isn't any sound coming out of this beaker, I think you're doing it wrong.").

Big blue eyes shimmered with... something Brain couldn't quite pinpoint, even this close together. "But..."

"Pinky, don't. Please, just... just this once, don't. I don't want to hear it."

"Oh... poit." His heart was beating really fast. Like hummingbirds. Only it hurt much more and didn't make him think of happy things. "Can I... can we still be friends, Brain?" he asked quietly. If Brain didn't love him, then that was alright. He couldn't make him love him if he really didn't want to, but he couldn't lose his bestest best friend. "Please be my friend still."

Ensnared by the sheer honesty, the desperation to stay connected to him, Brain could not fight the way those eyes made him fall. His grip growing lax, the tension and anger that writhed in his gut like vicious snakes easing, uncoiling and deserting him. He sighed, patting one of his companion's shoulders. "Clearly I'm still your friend, you imbecile. Despite your... promiscuity." There he'd said it. Maybe now they could go back to ignoring whatever spark had been there before and focus on the important things. Like the world, of course.

Except Pinky had to be an idiot. "What does ham have to do with anything, Brain?"

His brow creased and he shook him a little. "Promiscuity, Pinky! Not prosciutto!"

"Oh. Troz. Well, what's that then?" he asked, blinking at him, not minding at all that he was half on his knees, half dangling from Brain's hands fisted in his fur.

"It's..." Brain glanced skyward, as if for some kind of higher power to grant his assistance in this. It still hurt to think about, he didn't want to have to articulate it. "Having multiple partners in an intimate sense." When Pinky only continued to look blankly concerned, Brain continued, "It's like having more than one boyfriend or girlfriend. Kissing one person when you're pursuing another. That's promiscuity, Pinky."

The blank concern remained, though not because he didn't understand the meaning. "I've never done that, Brain."

The megalomaniac didn't know if he wanted to shake Pinky until his fur fell off or ram his own head into the nearest hard surface multiple times. "Yes you have! You were pursuing me! You were flirting with me! You fell in love with me! And then you went and kissed her!"

"Who?" Pinky was scandalized. He would never do such a thing! Not to Brain! "Brain, I didn't kiss anybody! Cross my troz and hope to narf!"

"Billie! You kissed Billie, you incandescent bulb!" Brain shouted, his vision blurring. Dratted tears.

"No I didn't!" Shaking his head rapidly, Pinky's eyes filled from the accusation as well. "She kissed me, I didn't want it! I told her she wasn't a very good kisser and that I'd like if she never did it again with me, please!"

"What...?" It was Brain's turn to blink at his cagemate, mind frantically attempting to process the information. "You told her... What?"

Sniffling, Pinky kept his tears at bay as he repeated it for his poor, con-fused friend. "I told her she wasn't a very good kisser. And suggested she practice on someone not me. She didn't like that very much, but I really didn't want her to kiss me. Not even the first time. Zort. She knocked me down like a domino and made me hurt my hip and slobbered all over my face, Brain. But even if it had been a nice kiss, I wouldn't have wanted it. I only want to kiss you."

It was so ridiculous a notion, and the things Pinky had latched onto concerning the kiss... he wasn't making it up. He didn't have the sense to make up an excuse for something like that anyway. His too big, too loving heart wouldn't have let him either. Brain had been gazing so intently at him, he hadn't realized he'd brought his hands up from his shoulders to cup his friend's cheeks. "You only want to kiss me?"

Pinky's lashes fluttered and for a moment they could both hear the other's pittery-pattery pulse. "Of course, Brain. I only love you, so you're the only one I want to kiss." Almost shyly, he nuzzled the palm of the smaller mouse's hand. "I'm fine with you kissing me too. Just throwing that out there. Poit."

Relief bubbled up inside him, fast and dizzying. He was relieved, frustrated, amused, so stupid for not going to Pinky earlier. Of course he thought kissing and being kissed were different. Before he could stop himself, Brain rubbed his nose against his idiot's and stroked his cheeks. "Perhaps we could kiss each other. Does that work for you?"

"Narf!" Pinky agreed, tail wagging furiously. "Does that mean you love me too after all, Brain?"

Their kiss was his answer. As was their second and third, and all that followed.

98. Reflect (969)

"Yes! Pinky! Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, Brain. But why do things die when they get old?"

Not one of his partner's typical inane nonsequitors, the question gave Brain pause and he turned to the not oft pensive blue-eyed mouse. Why would his sweet, happy husband be pondering something like that? "Well, Pinky... that... all things come to an end eventually. It's only natural for living things to start decaying once they've passed their prime- ah." His husband wasn't understanding a word. He didn't want to have to delve into a more... emotional concept for fear of his tears, but it was the best way to get through to Pinky and he was looking at him so expectantly, he couldn't brush the inquiry under the proverbial rug and have done with it.

He rubbed his hands together, gaze darting about for something to use as a learning implement. Salvation came in the form of, ironically, Pinky. "Is it like when cheese that tastes really good sits around a long time and then doesn't taste as good later? Poit."

"Yes, Pinky. Exactly." He jumped on it. He could handle talking about the "death" of cheese. It would work for his husband. "Cheese is born in the form of milk, and then at it's prime, it's cheese. But as you've noticed, Pinky, cheese doesn't stay like that forever. Eventually it molds and then goes away." He wasn't going to even broach the subject of decomposition with him. That was asking to be smacked in the face with a golf ball. "It dies. Because it physically can't be cheese any longer."

Pinky nodded and Brain sighed with relief. Good. Now that that was over they could begin his plan- "So things that are older die sooner? Like the cheese we got last Thursday will die before the cheese we got yesterday?"

The smaller mouse's brow furrowed. They'd gotten the cheese that day and the supposed "Thursday cheese" two days prior to that, but at least it registered that one came before the other. "Yes, Pinky. That's exactly what will happen."

When he received another nod, Brain waited a moment to see if there was a part three to this question. There was. "If a birthday comes before someone else's birthday, does that make them older?"

Brain smacked his palm to his face and rubbed. "Yes, Pinky. People and things that are born first are typically older. Good job." Because while it was obvious, it was Pinky.

"Oh, good!" Pinky clapped his hands together, smiling, and Brain looked at him with one ear and one eyebrow raised. The taller mouse took it upon himself to clarify. "My birthday's before your birthday, Brain! So I'm older so you won't die before me! Narf! Isn't that wonderful?" He hugged himself tightly and laughed, only stopping when he noticed that his chubby hubby was staring at him with his jaw dropped. "Brain, you're not smiling. Do you need instructions?" Sometimes he wondered about that, Brain's smiles were often silly and not quite right, but he loved them anyway.

Brain's mouth started making a bunch of funny noises as he tried the say something, then he finally shook his head and glared at him. "Wonderful? Pinky, how in the world is that supposed to be wonderful? You dying before is quite possibly the farthest thing from wonderful that I can imagine!" It took a moment to catch up with him, but once the thought was there, he had to grip his heart to keep it from beating right out of his chest and he sat down. Dying. Of course it happened, but such a thing didn't happen to Pinky.

"But Brain," Pinky sat down right across from him, "then I don't have to be all by myself like if you died first." He saw it on Purple's Anatomy, all sorts of marrieds coming in and having to be alone after their husband or wife died. It was a lot of older people in the episode he saw, and it was even sadder when the old person had to say goodbye to his old wife and then be all lonely and alone after.

"So what? I get to be alone instead? Oh, yes, wonderful." Brain folded his arms and forcibly looked away, trying to be angry, trying to be furious that Pinky would even bring this subject up, but he couldn't and in the end he only looked away so his ridiculous husband wouldn't see the tears gathering in his eyes.

"Oh... I didn't think of it like that." Pinky folded his hands in his lap and looked down at them. Oh, he wouldn't want Brain to be all sad and alone and lonely either.

"Do you think I wouldn't care as much? Is that it? That I don't love you as much as you love me? That's completely absurd! Don't you dare think that I don't care as much! You are not going before me, Pinky! I simply won't allow it!" Brain would've continued ranting, but he was enveloped in warm, loving arms and nuzzled until the tears subsided.

"'Kay," Pinky agreed easily.

The megalomaniac blinked, clinging to his chest, feeling the fur, the heartbeat, the life in his lover. "But you said you didn't want to be alone after..."

"I don't. Troz. But I don't want you to be alone after either," he pointed out, kissing the top of his chubby round head. "So we'll just have to go together!"

Simple, simple fool... Brain sighed and slumped in his embrace. "Going together sounds... wonderful, Pinky..."

"I thought so, Brain."

"Idiot." He cupped his cheeks and drew him in for a kiss, consoling himself with the fact that they wouldn't have to reflect on the inevitable again for a very, very long time.

99. Embarrassment (370)

It was during a game of Chase Me. Pinky had snatched up a crucial part of the blueprint he was working on and refused to give it back, even after Brain had tackled him and the pair rolled about like hooligans. Were it not his plans in danger of being slobbered all over, he would have been embarrassed enough to leave the other mouse be and cease their "playing". It was completely childish to be carrying on the way they were, but he needed those plans back.

Pinky oftentimes didn't have the sense to be embarrassed. Bashful, maybe. Gushy, always. But true embarrassment was rarely felt by the inane creature. Brain partially envied him as well as partially thanked the powers that be that he didn't live in such a state. Embarrassment, mortification, it kept one in check. It prevented unnecessary acts of pure emotion or ridiculous behavior. Such as rolling about on the counter like fools.

Then Brain finally had him pinned, having utilized his knowledge of his cagemate's most sensitive spots and mercilessly tickled him into submission. He caught both of Pinky's wrists in one hand as he straddled the lanky mouse's waist, the upper hand completely his. But as he smirked in triumph at besting his taller friend, he was surprised to see that Pinky's cheeks had filled with color and his blue eyes averted their gaze. He was panting heavily, both from the exertion of playing and laughing so hard, so Brain considered perhaps the flushed cheeks were from exhaustion or part of his natural glow, but the way his lips pursed and he refused to look him in the eye spoke volumes.

Pinky was embarrassed. From what exactly, he didn't know. He never got the chance to ask. His paper had been returned to him immediately, crumpled and slightly drooled on of course, so he released his companion and watched with a quirked brow as Pinky's blush refused to fade under his scrutiny and continued to return each time their eyes met for the rest of the night. Strange creature.

Even stranger was the bizarre urge to cup those burning cheeks and force his gaze to remain on him and only him. Hm.

100. Death (292)

Sometimes Brain lost his way and left. But Pinky always followed.

That was what had happened, he decided. They'd had such a happy life, the whole world, their children, their grandchildren, their whole family... Brain probably just didn't know what to do with himself when he had nothing to complain about. He was his grumpy-growly-scowly hubby for a reason.

At first, Pinky waited. Going after him right away didn't always work. His husband was stubborn, but delicate, and giving him time to think and collect all his biggly-wiggly thoughts would only help him in the long run. Even if Pinky missed him terribly while he was away. The food didn't taste as good, the castle was messier, the gummy bear hall wasn't as colorful...

The bed was cold.

"Mommy? Are you sure you're okay?" Cici would ask him with wet eyes everyday. Brain didn't leave as much once their baby snow mouse came around, she wasn't as used to it.

"Oh, Cici, I'm alright," he assured her with a smile, bouncing little Rosie on his lap. Her eyes always said more than she did, and she was asking where grandpa had gone. "Brain will be back soon."

"Mommy..." But she said nothing else and let him hold Rosie as much as he wanted. It made him happy to hold her and he was getting thinner.

It only took a few more days before Pinky set off to find his husband. Surely now the smaller mouse could remember that they were supposed to be together for always.

"Where Brain goes, I go!"

He'd said that the day they were married for real. Funny that he remember that now. Not that he'd ever really forgotten.

Sometimes Brain lost his way and left.

But Pinky always followed.


The last round!

Well, I must say, doing this 100 challenge and finishing it was all kinds of exciting and totally awesome.

Success.

Death takes place in an alternate universe where they die at different times and Tears is what provoked StarShineDC's "Dealing" in her 100 Feels
Read all her things, they are gah-lorious!

OH! And my Dealing xDDD My Dealing is the conclusion of Confused and Knife from my earlier segments. Go back and read those and then read Dealing again if you can, it might make more sense xD

And I believe that's all folks!