"You need a cuddle!"
No, Brian thought, huffing at the thought, I certainly do not want, nor do I need, aforementioned cuddle. Gus had come in for the summer, and he had somehow been drawn in to the most unlikely of shows--of a little girl who could not only talk to, but also somehow fix, stuffed animals and toys. And the object of his ire was a little--*gag*--lamb, dressed all in pink, along with a dragon and a snowman always afraid of melting despite his stuffed status. And at the helm of this motley crew was a bespectacled hippopotamus topped with a nurse's cap!
When laughter rippled from the den, Brian had to admit curiosity was getting the best of him. As he crept in, his heart skipped a beat. There were his two boys, Justin and Gus, in each other's arms, laughing until they were sure their bellies would ache at the current antics of the group. But when all was said and done, a song caught Brian's ear:
"I feel better,
So much better,
Thank you, Doc, for taking my ouchies away.
Didn't feel so good till you fixed me like I knew that you would.
I feel better, so much better now."
That made Brian stop and think for a minute. He'd been engrossed in his belief of fucking, in his policy of a different man every night. But when Justin came on the scene, everything changed. And despite their ups and downs--the bashing, the Ethan era, the bombing--he had to admit he wouldn't trade him for the world. And he, too, felt "so much better" for it!
As the closing credits rolled, Justin and Gus broke from their hold, Justin reaching for the remote to turn the TV off. Brian chose this moment to enter the room. "Indulging yourselves in a girl's program, I see," he drawled--but he couldn't keep the sparkle from his eyes, the smallest of smiles from crossing his lips.
"It's Sissy's favorite show--" Gus began.
"--and we just wanted to see what made it so special," Justin finished.
Again, a smile crossed Brian's lips as he took Gus in his arms. "Well, Sonnyboy, I know one thing," he chuckled, "I wouldn't trade either of you for all the riches in Pittsburgh--no, in all of Pennsylvania!"
When Gus had been safely tucked in, Brian and Justin lay together in bed. As Brian glanced at Justin's sleeping form, he couldn't resist--he reached out and took him in his arms. The movement awakened Justin, and for a split second, Brian--he of "no apologies, no regrets"--wondered if he did indeed have at least some regrets. But when Justin opened his eyes, he broke into his Sunshine smile, which melted Brian's heart. As he brushed stray hair from Justin's face, he leaned in and sang in his ear:
"I feel better, so much better..."