Both Boomer and Butch looked expectedly at Brick. The red Ruff gazed silently at Professor for a while then crossed his
arms and looked away. Professor's brow furrowed with concern. "Brick?" The scientist queried after a minute.
When Brick did not answer Boomer sighed and moved closer to Professor, speaking to him in a low voice. "Professor,
you see, Brick had it the hardest. I mean, Mojo took it out on him more than he did Butch and me. Once, long time ago, Brick
came down with flu or something. When Mojo saw that Brick was too sick to do what the old monkey wanted, he flew into rage."
Brick flinched and glared at his blond brother, but Boomer went on anyway. "And he was beating the stuff out of him and
kicking him across the room. It was awful."
"Oh no," Professor said softly and looked again at the red Ruff. No wonder Brick had appeared reserved and since his 're-birth',
always viewing Professor's and Sandy's kindness toward the Boys with total skepticism. Not to mention he was the most
stubborn and difficult Ruff to deal with, so the thought of Brick having Mojo who has very little patience as his father made
Professor wince. As he gazed at the reticent Ruff he was filled with deep compassion.
"Come here, Brick," He said gently and Brick, after eyeing him warily, moved close enough that Professor scooped him up
and set him on his lap. "I'll have you know that a true father - it doesn't matter whether he's the biological or adoptive
parent - would never abuse his own children in any way. And Mojo certainly was not acting like a father he was supposed to
be. Therefore he has no right to injure you and your brothers, especially when you were sick!" Professor paused and
glanced at Boomer and Butch. The brothers were watching Brick intently, apparently gauging Brick's reaction, or the lack of.
Professor continued. "As we have already told you, Brick, that you and your brothers are welcome to stay here with us as long
as you like."
Brick looked up. "You're not gonna send us back to Mojo, Professor?"
Professor was taken aback. "No, of course not! Not unless you want to," He said, and felt a stab of guilt. Once, not too
long ago, the Boys had been so unruly and caused so much trouble at home that Sandy was at wits' end, and Professor was so
exasperated that he threatened to send the Boys away to live with Mojo Jojo if they would not stop their rambunctious behavior.
He was somewhat surprised when the Boys immediately sat down on the floor and declared with their arms crossed that they are
NOT going anywhere - no way, not even back to their former creator! It was the only clue Professor had that hinted that the
Boys did not get along well with Mojo Jojo, but since the Boys did not seem to like to talk too much about their past life
with Mojo (and they also tried to be less rowdy from that time on) the scientist just let it slide past him. Now after confronting
the enraged Mojo Jojo in the living room Professor felt bad for ever suggesting that the Boys go back to an angry chimpanzee!
Brick shook his head. "We are DEFINITELY not going back to that monkey. We would rather stay with you and Mom. Boomer
is right, you and Mom take real good care of us," he paused and blushed a little. He added quietly and somewhat indifferently,
Especially when one of us got sick."
Professor looked at the red Ruff in surprise. He could well remembered
the day Brick had came down with the mysterious but non-contagious virus after he and his brothers beat the tar out of the
monster who ravaged Townsville last month. Professor and Sandy had cared tenderly for him for a few days and nights
until he got well, and Brick seemed a bit subdued afterwards but he had never said anything about it until now. Could it be
Professor's and Sandys compassion made a deep impression on him? The scientist hoped so. With a smile he put his arm
around Brick and hugged him. "Well, then. We are more than happy to have you and your brothers live with us, Brick!"
The red Ruff was not used to being hugged and he went stiff for a
moment. But then he relaxed slightly and looked at the scientist once again. "I've been thinking, Professor, and I want to
ask you something," he said.
Professor raised his eyebrow. "Go on. I'm listening."
"Can I call you Dad?"
Professor nearly fell off the couch. "HUH?!" He recovered and noticed
that the Boys were all watching him intently and expectedly, even anxiously. "Well, I'll be..." He blinked, then chuckled
and said, "Of course you can call me Dad! I'd be honored if you do."
"YAY!" Boomer and Butch shouted, both jumping into the startled
Professor's arms. From the looks of them it was obvious they had been wanting to call him Dad too for a long while, but they
had to refrain until Brick made his decision. Brick hesitated for a moment longer, but he too jumped into the embrace as well
and threw his arms around Professor's neck.
"You and Mom are gotta adopt us, huh, Dad?" The red Ruff asked.
Professor laughed. "Sandy and I haven't been married yet, but if we
ever do - I hope soon enough - then you can bet we will. Oh, that reminds me...you know who Sandy's babies are, don't
"Of course!" The Boys chorused. Indeed, they had already known
that the babies were Powerpuff Girls. Sandy had told them months ago. Professor nodded.
"All right. This means you are their big brothers. From now on you
will look after them from time to time, protect them, and help us take care of them. Will that be okay with you?"
The Boys looked at each other uncertainly. It seemed strange, being
asked to help care for the Girls whom they had considered their mortal enemies in the past life! But their indecisiveness
didn't last long. "We'll do that, Dad. No problem!" The Boys declared in unison.
"...I think!" Butch added under his breath.