"That's it! I'm calling the principal, headmaster, whatever title you tops call the head honcho at Top School!" Atlas cried.
"And why are you calling him?" his top asked, watching Atlas stomped through the kitchen. Of course this brought back fond memories of Top School and one of his favorite classes: Discipline Definitions, Advanced class. The top remembered the instructor of the class stating that brats stomped and tops firmly put their feet down. Well, it was time to put his foot down.
"Atlas." He stated.
"What?" Atlas snapped.
"Quit stomping and talk to me. Why are you calling the Top School?"
"Well, obviously you failed a class or something?"
Atlas's top was baffled; he'd received high marks in all of his classes. "What makes you say that?"
"You aren't fixing it."
"Fixing what?" The top thought but couldn't figure out what he needed to fix. They'd been talking for over a week about all the pressures that Atlas was under. Family illnesses and an unbelievable amount of increased pressure at work had Atlas feeling more sensitive than usual.
"Everything! You are the top! You should have it all fixed by now!"
Seeing the misery on his brat's face, the top pulled him into a firm embrace. "Let me fill you in on a secret. Now this secret isn't very well kept, it's just misunderstood. It's one of the first things we tops learn at School. Are you listening?"
The top smiled as he heard Atlas sniff and felt the nod against his chest. "Tops can't fix everything," he said firmly.
"What? But at the Brat-ca…um, all the other brats think that tops can fix anything!"
The top let his brat go as he pulled away to look into his eyes. Staring into Atlas's wide brown eyes, the top couldn't help but lean in and give him a kiss.
"No, we can't. All we can do is be here for you. We can give you a shoulder to cry on, we can give you the discipline you want, and we can listen as you talk out your troubles. But we can't fix everything."
"But you send me to bed early! And have me eat nutritious food! That kind of thing!"
"Yes, I do that kind of thing," the top chuckled at Atlas as he wrinkled his nose at the word nutritious. "That's my way of making sure you are well rested, healthy, and hopefully feel better able to weather all that life throws at you."
The top watched as Atlas seemed to process all that had been told to him.
"Should I tell the other brats?" Atlas asked.
"Sure. But be prepared, it might shake up the brat-ca…um, the other brats a bit. All the tops know, so it shouldn't be any problem if you tell the other brats."
"Can we just have a night in?" Atlas asked. "Just you and me, and maybe go to bed early?"
The top smiled and pulled his brat in for another hug. "I think that's a great idea," he assured Atlas.
As they worked together to prepare their evening meal, the top noticed that Atlas seemed a little more at ease; like finally the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. At least for tonight.