Title: Losers Go to Cabo
Pairing: Reds (Blues and Greens too, but mostly in the background)
Rating: PG-13, for language and implied sexy things.
Disclaimer: If you think I own the Powerpuff Girls or the Rowdyruff Boys then you are on some good shit there, buddy.
Summary: Brick is never having kids.
Notes: Written for TheNotebookUndertheBed's birthday. Holiday fic from 2009. Unbeta'd.
Losers Go to Cabo
I am never having kids.
Brick made this mental statement to himself for the nth time that day as he sat propped up in the bed, an elevated sanctuary above the sea of children that littered the floor. Well, maybe not quite a sea. There were five in all—three who were the offspring of friends and two who were actually related. But, as Brick had woefully discovered very early on, they could certainly make enough noise to fill up an ocean.
The head of one of the related ones sloooooooowly peeked over the mattress at the foot of the bed, his green eyes fixed on Brick. Brick pretended to be engrossed in the stupid Christmas special on TV and ignored him.
The voice was barely a whisper. "Uncle Brick."
Brick stared vacantly at the part of the TV not blocked by a child's head, and eventually the head sloooooooowly lowered, back out of sight where it belonged. Just beyond the door, the social chatter of a pointedly older, more adult crowd murmured. Brick would have pined for their company if he'd been born with any inclination to actually enjoy the company of other people in the first place.
The head had moved closer, to the side of the bed now. He was right around Brick's knee. Protruding out of his mouth was the hook bit of a diminishing candy cane, its red and white stripes having bled and melded into a what was now a sickly pink color.
Brick was not a fan of children for this very reason. They were noisy and smelly, and somehow all the ones under the age of eight managed to be sticky, even if they didn't actually manage to get into anything remotely resembling honey, or gum, or tar. They were just naturally sticky. Brick wasn't a hugely tactile person in the first place, and, save for a very particular situation, sticky was definitely low on his list of allowable sensations.
And here Brick was on Christmas, stuck with noisy, smelly, sticky children, when he should've been off in a resort in Cabo somewhere, settled comfortably under the covers and engaging in very cozy, very warm, very naked activities with Blossom.
"Uncle Briiiiiiiick." Bruce was now hovering distressingly close to Brick's face, his bug-like green eyes widening to try and keep his uncle in focus.
Brick groaned. He had long since given up on trying to get Bruce not to preface his name with that hideous word.
"Bruce, what do you want."
Bruce, unfortunately, took this as an invitation to drop into Brick's lap and flop forward; Brick's hand snapped up to brace against Bruce's forehead so that sticky candy cane of his wouldn't affix itself to Brick's tie.
"Where's Auntie Sexy?" Bruce slurred around the candy cane in his mouth.
"She's sick. And quit enabling your dad. Call her by her right name or tell him I'll kick his ass."
"You said a bad word." One of the older kids, a girl Brick didn't know, was staring at him, her eyes wide.
"Good and bad are subjective, kid. Eyes on the screen or you'll miss what happens to Rudolph."
The girl gasped and turned her attention back to television's warm, glowing, warming glow.
"Can we go see her?" Bruce patted his sticky five-year-old hands on Brick's sleeve. Great. At least it wasn't one of his favorites. "Why aren't we at your house? I like your house. This house is stupid."
"Why can't we go to your house?"
"Go ask Auntie Bubblehead." After an unfortunate attack last week that had left the girls' childhood home with a significant monster foot-sized hole in the living room, Bubbles had desperately sought Brick and Blossom's help in relocating her Christmas party.
"Please, Brick, you guys are the only couple with a house big enough—"
"We're going to Cabo," Brick had insisted flatly, and had begun to lower the phone.
"Don't lie," his sister-in-law had scolded. "Blossom's sick. She told me you guys cancelled your plans."
"Damn it, Blossom!"
"Honey, please, not so loud," Blossom had groaned from the couch.
Bubbles had then utilized the entirety of her pleading, begging, and cajoling arsenal to such effect that even Brick had to cave, though it spoke more of his need to maintain his sanity than it did of Bubbles' ability to convince him.
"Oh, and Brick, you need to get little pad thingies for all your tables."
"Excuse me? What the hell for?"
"Your house is not childproof. You've got sharp corners everywhere, a one-year-old could get into any cabinet, and that glass sculpture you guys have in the foyer could totally tip over and—"
"Bubbles, you don't even have a kid!"
"Brick, I've got five invitees with little ones, and I can't exclude them from a Christmas celebration simply because your house isn't child-friendly! Now here, I've got some time tomorrow, I'll come over and help childproof your place—"
"No, you won't!"
"Honey, please..." Blossom had groaned.
In the end, they'd compromised. Brick had broken into Mojo's lab, knocked the chimp out and carted him off to Monster Island, and, after locking away all the high tech weaponry, had invited Bubbles over to give it her seal of approval.
"Good idea, Brick," she'd said, sliding a hand over the curved walls. "The whole place is rounded! There's no sharp corners anywhere! And this giant room is a fantastic place to socialize..."
That had only left the question of who was going to watch the little ankle-biters. Bubbles wanted to give the parents a break for the day, and she herself would've volunteered, except it was her party and she had to host. Blossom had offered up her services, much to Brick's chagrin.
"I'm sure I'll be better by then," Blossom had said.
"If that's the case, then why the hell did you have us cancel on Cabo?!" Brick had cried, incensed.
Well, a week later Blossom was still feeling like shit. The satisfaction Brick had felt at Blossom getting something wrong hadn't lasted, since he'd been recruited in Blossom's stead, and now here he was, watching Rudolph and Frosty with a flock of little buggers that made noise and stunk and got Brick's sleeves sticky and continued to call him Uncle even after he specifically asked them not to.
Now Bruce, his five-year-old nephew, pointed at the nightstand. "Uncle Brick, what's that?"
Brick glanced over. "It's an alarm clock."
"Can I play with it?"
Brick picked it up and inspected it for sharp corners before handing it over. "Knock yourself out."
Bruce flew back in front of the television with his new toy. His baby sister—barely two and also named Bruce, though Brick chose not to question why—crawled over and tried to take it from her brother.
"Bruce!" Bruce whined, trying to shove her off. "Quit it!"
Bruce made baby noises and latched her mouth onto it.
"Uncle Brick! Make her stop!"
"Bruce, leave Bruce alone," Brick said, his tone bored and disinterested.
"You guys are too loud," the girl from earlier complained, and reached for the remote.
A sudden blast of green shot out and shattered the TV screen. The three kids Brick didn't know began screaming at the loss of their beloved babysitter. The two kids he was obligated to know stared guiltily at him.
At Brick's hard glare, Bruce pointed. "It was her."
Bruce pointed and gurgled, "Ga da."
"Okay, you know what, kids? We're playing a game." Brick floated up and snatched the alarm clock away.
The kids stopped screaming and/or looking guilty and perked up.
"Yes, a game called Shut Up and Don't Say Anything and Don't Move Until Brick Comes Back with Eggnog—"
"Yay, eggnog!" the room cheered.
Brick tossed the clock into a drawer and said, "I'm serious about that not talking and not moving thing. Loser gets banished to Cabo."
"What's Cabo?" Bruce said, eyes wide with fear.
"A terrible place full of sunburns and gritty sand and naked girlfriends."
"Ew! Sunburns!" the girl from earlier cried.
"Ew! Sand!" one of the other kids, a boy, squealed.
"Ew! Girls!" Bruce gagged.
"Ga da!" Bruce gurgled, who didn't want to be left out.
"Remember what the game's called?" Brick said sternly, and all the kids immediately clamped up and stopped moving. Bruce's eyes began to water as he tried not to blink. "I'd hate to have to send one of you guys to Cabo," Brick said, and left them with that to chew on as he went into the main room.
Here the place was buzzing with people, many of whom didn't need any help on the buzz front. Brick nodded at a token few he recognized and made a mental note to secure a glass of wine for himself (or a bottle) once he'd gotten the kids their eggnog. He detoured to the bathroom, dug through the cabinet for a bottle of sleeping pills, and pocketed it on his way to the kitchen. Bubbles was emerging from another door, and he stopped and glared at her.
She did likewise. "Who's watching the kids?"
"We're playing The Quiet Game while I get them some eggnog. Shouldn't you be letting her rest?"
Bubbles suddenly looked very innocent. "I was just checking in on her. Nice of you to get some drinks for the kids, Brick." She smiled. "You'll make a great dad someday!"
"Not if I can help it," he muttered, and dashed to the kitchen. Buttercup was backing out with a plate of cookies.
"Thank you," Brick said, grabbing one as he edged by and stuffed it into his mouth.
"Watch it, they're hot. How's it going in the Hole?" Buttercup said, pausing to chat.
Brick directed a pointed look at her stomach. "Let me put it this way: Are you seriously having another one?"
"This one's an accident." Butch appeared at Buttercup's side and reached over her shoulder for a cookie. "Gimme some sugar."
Buttercup rolled her eyes as Butch kissed her cheek. "They were all accidents," she explained to Brick.
"Just like their mom and aunts," Brick murmured, digging the eggnog out of the fridge.
"How's Auntie Sexy, anyway?" Butch asked, and Buttercup kicked him in the shin.
"Search me," Brick said as he poured, unable to keep the bitterness out of his voice. "Fucking Christmas day and I haven't even seen her since we got here."
"Give me five minutes to serve the cookies and I can take over with the kids for a while," Buttercup said. "Butch, too."
"Yeah, maybe we'll go outside and have a snowball fight," Butch said, his eyes lighting up.
"Oh yeah, five little kids and one big kid, three with superpowers, having a snowball fight." Brick surreptitiously smashed a handful of sleeping pills in his fist and portioned them out into each glass, hiding his actions from Butch and Buttercup. "That sounds like a good idea." He suddenly looked up, eyes narrowed. "And tell Bruce to quit calling Blossom 'Auntie Sexy.'"
Buttercup snorted. "Yeah, good luck with that one, Uncle Hottie."
"I'm sorry, what?" Brick asked, turning.
"I'm sorry, what?" Butch asked, gaping, but Buttercup was already out offering cookies to the rest of the guests.
Butch shook his head and turned back to his brother. "She makes for a hot pregnant wife, doesn't she?"
"Is that why you've got another one on the way?" Brick asked dryly. "Because you only find her hot when she's pregnant?"
"Naw, man, seriously, they're accidents." Butch smirked. "I just got Olympic swimmers, is what I got."
Brick rolled his eyes as he picked up the tray of glasses and soared out of the kitchen. "Right." He maneuvered his way back through the party crowd to the bedroom, extremely displeased when he opened the door to find it covered in feathers, with every child, baby Bruce included, clutching the corpses of pillows.
All the kids pointed and began, "He/She started—"
"Do you remember that game we were playing?" Brick snapped, and all the kids shut up. "Cabo. Sunburns. Girls." He set down the tray. "You get one more chance to get it right."
"Can we drink our eggnog first, Uncle Brick?" Bruce asked, and Brick sighed.
"Yes. Fine." Brick watched as the five of them ran (or, in one case, crawled) up to the end table where he'd set the tray. Each claimed a glass and began to nurse their drink.
I could use a drink myself, he thought, and chanted "Cabo," at the kids a few more times before retreating back into the party.
Boomer was manning the alcohol. "Hey, Brick. How's it going in the Hole?"
"Why do you guys keep calling it that? Give me a glass of a nice red wine."
"A red for Red," Boomer quipped, uncorking a fresh bottle. "Here. I have no idea what it is, but pretend it's the good stuff."
Brick spotted Bubbles, way on the other side of the room, engrossed in conversation with the Professor and one of the many guests. He glanced back at the room where Blossom was resting.
"On second thought, make that two."
"Double fisting it, huh?" Boomer laughed, and Brick gave him a look.
"Seriously, Boomer?" he scoffed as he took a glass in each hand. "Keep your wife busy, by the way, or else I'm going to strangle that woman in her sleep."
"Impossible. She's too cute to strangle!"
"Don't challenge me," Brick said darkly, and turned, making his way to Blossom's door. He knocked once, then let himself in without waiting for a response.
The armchair Blossom was napping in creaked when she shifted, and she groaned as Brick approached.
"It's me," he said quietly, dragging the ottoman over with his foot so he could sit next to her.
"Hey, sweetie," she said, her voice hoarse.
"How you feeling?" he asked, just to be polite.
"I've been better," she moaned.
"That makes two of us," Brick muttered, and offered her a glass. "Here. Share a drink with me."
Blossom straightened a little abruptly and pulled back. "Oh, no, Brick, I don't want one..."
"One won't hurt," Brick prodded, trying to get her to take the glass.
"No, Brick, I really don't want it."
"Blossom, please," he said through gritted teeth. "For me. It's Christmas, and we're here with a bunch of people and a bunch of kids instead of by ourselves in Cabo, so the least you can do is have a drink with your boyfriend."
Blossom bit her lip and stared guiltily at the glass, then at Brick. She finally sighed and shook her head.
After some time Brick drew the glass back, trying not to feel so miserably angry. Then he tipped his head back and chugged until he'd downed both glasses of wine. Blossom watched as he finished and studied the glasses before setting them down on the floor. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and burying his head in his hands. A minute passed before she reached for his hair and smoothed it back.
"I'm sorry," she said, smiling ruefully. "I know this isn't exactly how you wanted to spend the holiday."
Brick scoffed as her hand drifted across his cheek. "Not by a long shot."
"I take it things with the kids... aren't going so well?" she asked, her voice a little concerned.
"They're going about as well as they usually do," he muttered, sitting up and taking hold of her hand. "Still noisy. Still smelly. Still sticky."
"Oh, they're not that bad, Brick—"
"And they don't listen, which, you know, is always a big plus with me. Hey, are you feeling any better? Any better at all?"
"I guess comparatively, yeah. Brick, they're just kids."
"Okay, look, can we not talk about kids right now? I've hit my kid quota for the next, like, five years. I wanted to... maybe try and go somewhere, as soon as you're feeling up to it."
"Oh, Brick, you don't mean that."
"Wha—yes I do, actually, and it doesn't have to be Cabo, it could be somewhere like—"
"No, I meant about you hitting your kid quota. Don't exaggerate."
"No, seriously, stop with the kids thing. I'm not in the mood. I want to talk about going somewhere."
"Can't we do that later?" Blossom groaned, trying to draw her hand back. "I'm feeling terrible."
"I just want a yes or no," Brick pressed.
Brick jerked up and kicked the ottoman so hard it embedded itself in the wall. Jesus Christ, why couldn't anything just go fucking right for a change?
"Brick!" Blossom said sternly. "Calm down!"
He stared at the ottoman and the cracked plaster surrounding it, fuming with his hands in his pockets. One closed around the bottle of sleeping pills, and the other closed around the stupid little thing he was supposed to be giving her in Cabo, by themselves, with the sun and the sand and her gorgeous naked body curled against him beneath the sheets.
"You can't have it your way all the time, Brick," she reprimanded, and God, she wasn't kidding. He started to draw his hand out of his pocket.
"I know, I know this isn't the way you wanted to do things, but the fact of the matter is I'm sick and this isn't Cabo and ohmyGodBrickwhatareyoudoing—"
Brick stared at the floor, unable to even look her in the eye as he knelt on one knee and presented her with the Christmas present of Christmas presents. He'd never wanted to do it this way. He thought it was stupid and cheesy and contrived, this whole kneeling thing. He'd wanted it to be bright and gorgeous outside as the sun rose, a half-finished bottle of wine from last night on the table, Blossom smiling and drunk on a lover's high as he kissed her, and then, only then would he have taken out the ring...
"Brick," she whispered, stunned.
"Look, Blossom," he bit out, with a greater deal of difficulty than he'd anticipated, "this isn't really how I wanted it to go at all, but the thing is—"
"Cut it out, Bruce!" Bruce's voice shouted, right before a giant blast of green completely decimated the wall separating Brick and Blossom from the rest of the party.
"Brick!" Bubbles screeched as she dashed to the front of the crowd. "I thought you were watching the... kids..."
The entire party fell silent, then erupted into raucous applause and shouts of congratulations. Bruce and Bruce were covered with feathers and eggnog stains, and lit up when they saw their aunt.
"Auntie Sexy!" Bruce cried happily. In the background, Buttercup kicked Butch.
Bubbles looked near tears as she took in a dumbfounded, kneeling Brick, with the lights glittering off the ring nestled snugly in its velvet box. "Oh, Brick! That's so roman—"
She suddenly gave a horrified gasp as her eyes fell upon the two empty wine glasses next to Blossom's chair. "Blossom! How could you?! That's so irresponsible, you're not supposed to be drinking—"
"Bubbles!" Blossom hissed desperately, reddening like mad.
The gears in Brick's shocked brain slowly clicked into place. He directed his gaze to his girlfriend's stomach.
"You're... you're not..." he said slowly, unable to fully comprehend it.
"Oh, God," Blossom moaned, covering her face in shame.
Bubbles paused. "Oh... oops."
Somewhere in the back, the Professor, with the blankest of blank expressions, snatched a full bottle of whiskey away from Boomer and began to empty it into his mouth.
"Hey," Butch's voice rang out. "Why are all the other kids asleep?"
Something dawned on Buttercup, and she said, "Oh, Brick, I should've told you, Bruce and Bruce have developed an immunity to sleeping pills."
"You pill your children?!" Bubbles cried.
"Says the woman who doesn't have any," Buttercup muttered.
"Does this mean we're going to Cabo?" Bruce mumbled sullenly.
Another blast, this time from the opposite wall, and a jetpack-clad Mojo Jojo swooped in, brandishing a giant gun and enraged beyond all reason.
"You! All of you puny little humans! Get out of my laboratory, for you do not belong here except by invitation, and while you may have been invited it was not an invitation extended to you by Moooojo Jojo, thus rendering your presence here illegal and in...tru...sive..." He faded off as he took in the scene below him.
"Uh," he muttered, his eyes falling upon the velvet box in Brick's hand and the mortified Blossom he was offering it to. "Is this a bad time?"
"I'm sorry I lied to you."
Brick glanced over at the passenger seat, where Blossom pouted and continued to look what she felt was appropriately remorseful. He took a deep inhale.
"You didn't lie to me."
"I didn't tell you when I found out—"
"Still different from lying to me."
"But we promised not to lie to each other when we, you know... got together—"
"Yeah, well, if it makes you feel any better, I lie to you all the time." He shrugged.
"Oh, Brick, don't exaggerate—"
"I'm not kidding. I've lied to you, like, thirteen times this day alone."
"Okay, I'm sorry I lied."
"No, Brick, it's..."
She trailed off, and Brick heaved a giant sigh as he flipped his turn signal and made a left into their subdivision. He chewed on this one for awhile before saying it.
"The kids... really weren't that bad."
When they were unconscious, he mentally added.
Blossom looked up, her eyes shimmering. "Really?"
"No, actually, that was Lie Number Fourteen," he said, unable to fake it this time.
She huffed. "Well, I can't say I'm surprised."
Brick pulled into their driveway and punched the button for the garage door opener.
Blossom touched his arm. "Does this whole pregnancy thing make you re-think things?"
He gave the car a little gas to get it into the garage, then shifted into park and turned it off.
She went on, "Because I just... wasn't sure if your offer still stood—"
"Hey, don't talk about it like it's a business transaction," he snapped, a little offended. "It's kind of a big deal. You could treat it with some sensitivity."
"Well, this is you we're talking about here."
"Yeah," he grumbled, palming his keys. "You know me so well."
"Well, that one isn't a lie. And contrary to popular belief, I know, deep down in my heart of hearts, that you'd be a fine dad."
He snorted. "Who's lying now?"
"Nobody, but one of us is in denial."
Brick stared out the window at the walls of their garage. They were noisy and smelly and sticky. Their house wasn't remotely childproofed. Hell, this car didn't even have a back to put a carseat in. Brick liked to swear and to be in control and to at least have the option of getting frisky with his girlfriend (fiancé, he dimly corrected) whenever he wanted, wherever he wanted.
He wasn't ready for this. It had taken him this long to work up to a proposal. And now they were going to have a kid to deal with within a year...
He sighed and planted his face on his steering wheel, where it hit the horn and blared until Blossom pushed him back.
"The neighbors are going to call the cops."
"Wouldn't be the first," he said, then, on impulse, reached for her stomach. She tensed a little when his hand brushed against it, then relaxed.
"You can't feel anything yet—"
"I can feel it," he interrupted, sensing the cells shifting, growing. This thing was going to grow up and suck the love out of her and break her heart.
"This thing's going to break your heart," he whispered.
"That's what they said about you," she retorted, then shifted closer, until her lips were resting on his. "But it worked out."
Brick closed his eyes and kissed her. Her lips were soft and sweet and did not remind him of a pregnant woman's mouth, not even a little bit. He wondered if things would still be that way nine months from now. Or was it only eight that they had left?
She smiled into it. "Merry Christmas, Brick."
Suddenly Brick pulled away and jammed his keys into the ignition, and within a matter of seconds they were speeding back through the residential streets, gunning for the freeway.
"Brick?! What do you think you're doing? Where are we going?"
"Cabo," he said simply, and floored it.