"All right then, Your Grace, if you will disrobe, we'll get started on your measurements," Mr. Babineaux said once the group was in the store.
"You want me to strip right here in front of everyone?" Keagan squeaked and blushed intensely.
"Gracious no, Your Grace," the man corrected quickly. "There is a dressing area to your left. My deepest apologies to you all, but my clerk had to leave early today as his wife went into labor. If you wouldn't mind, could you young men share the dressing area, just so an old man doesn't have to do quite so much bending and stretching and running back and forth?"
"Mr. Babineaux, my family has brought me here because you are the best at what I need for tonight. I'm here for your expertise, and I've never had a fitting for a suit of any kind before. Whatever you tell me to do that makes your job easier is fine with me," Keagan told him. "Also, could you please not call me Your Grace? It just seems a little too religious. If I absolutely have to have some title, just go with Prince, please?"
"Merci, My Prince, you are a true honor to your families," Mr. Babineaux smiled. "I had to ask if you were willing to share the dressing room because I wanted to make sure that you wouldn't have an issue being intimately dressed in front of another young man."
"Claude is my brother; I have no secrets from him," Keagan said with a slight blush. "Especially after the other night," he added in a quiet whisper.
Once they all three stepped into the dressing room, Keagan followed Claude's lead and removed everything except his socks and his underwear. He kept his hands over the more threadbare spots in the tight white undies that were one of the last things he had from his days in the children's home. He hoped neither of the other men would notice the holes, but he knew that would be impossible when the older man knelt right in front of him to measure his legs.
"Keag, if it's bothering you that I'm in here, I can get dressed again and wait," Claude said quietly. "I'm sure you might be uncomfortable with me like this given what happened."
"It's not that, Claude," Keagan protested quickly. "I just... well... umm...."
"My Prince, I mean no disrespect, but may I ask how long you have had these briefs?" Mr. Babineaux spoke up softly. "As I say, I don't intend to embarrass you, but I am concerned for your health. It's not good for a man, especially a young man, to wear undergarments that are too small for him."
"Well, I've probably had these since tenth grade or so, but they still feel ok to me," Keagan replied while blushing profusely at the topic. "I know they've got some holes in spots, but the home could only give me three pair when I left. One of those got... well I lost them the other night. I promise these were clean when I put them on this morning though. I snuck down the stairs and washed and dried them last night. Really though, they still feel fine to me."
"Do they feel fine, or do you just not know what a bigger size would feel like? I can see those cutting into your legs from here, little bro. Mr. Babineaux, if you'll measure his waist right quick, we can have PawPaw grab some undies...."
"I can't have PawPaw pick out my underwear," Keagan squeaked with a horrified face.
"Well, I guess we could let Aunt Dixie..... Ok, ok, I will put my pants back on and get them myself," Claude corrected with a laugh at the look Keagan shot him. "No old people touching the undies, I promise."
"My Prince, if you will allow me to bring two pair for you to try on we can know for sure which you should be wearing. If I'm not much mistaken, those you have on are a boy's size medium, are they not?"
"Yes, sir," Keagan answered with a blush.
"You should be in a boy's large or a man's small, depending on your... development. I promise you, My Prince, I make no judgements no matter what, and I keep your secrets to my grave," Mr. Babineaux assured him. "I will be back with one of each size for you to try in just a moment."
"Mr. Babineaux, you just need the boy's large, trust me," Claude said quietly. "No offense, little brother, but you're still a little brother."
"I can't be offended by the truth," Keagan shrugged, but he did blush a bit more. "I've always been small for my age. I mean all over, not just there."
"Well, I'm sure by the time you finish high school...." Mr. Babineaux started but stopped when Claude snorted and giggled.
"I finished high school last May," Keagan pouted with his arms folded across his chest.
"My humblest apologies, My Prince," the old man said with a blush of his own. "If I may be so bold, the day will come that you will wish you still looked so much younger than your true age. Although I am sure you don't appreciate this particular gift at the moment."
"I thought by starting college I could use my student id to prove I'm older, but all it's done so far is to convince people that I must be super smart to have gotten into college so young."
"There's nothing wrong with people thinking you are super smart, bro," Claude told him with a one armed-side hug. "Now, you stay here and be a good little boy for Mr. Babineaux while I go get you some new underwear. What superhero do you want for your underoos?"
"Claude!" Keagan fumed and pouted more, which did nothing to make him look older.
"I'm teasing, bro, I'm just teasing," Claude laughed. "I'll be right back with something as appropriate as I can get for you. I know your favorite color is purple, but I've never seen much underwear that color for guys. How about blue instead?"
"Blue is my second favorite color, so that'll be fine," Keagan agreed.
"Now if you could spread your feet apart a bit, My Prince, I will go ahead with the measurements for the pants. Just as I expected, 29-inch inseam, and yes, 27-inch waist. I see your brother was right, My Prince. You are a boy's size large, almost. I'll get the standard 28-inch waist and 30-inch inseam, and take them in and hem the legs a little bit. I won't cut any of the extra out or off though. You're sure to hit a growth spurt soon and you will need those extra inches in both directions."
"Claude, what are you doing out here?" PawPaw asked from just outside the dressing area.
"I'm helping Mr. Babineaux fetch things that Little Gooey Bear needs," the young man replied.
"I know you did not just call me Little Gooey Bear, after I told you how much I don't like that name," Keagan fumed as he stormed out of the dressing room to smack his big brother on the arm.
"Well, I see why you been got the name Chippendale," Aunt Dixie called out with a laugh. "Mercy sakes, do I need to start calling you Full Moon instead of Sunshine?" Keagan shrieked like a little girl and practically dove behind the curtain once again as his family laughed heartily once again. "Life won't never be dull with our Sunshine in it, Henri."
"You never spoke so true," the old man smiled. "It also tells me I got to have another talk with that boy's split apart. He's an honorable man, I know, but I swear he gonna do himself harm if he's seeing that around the house and he don't do something to ease his own suffering."
"Are you suggesting that he and...."
"Dixie Chanteusse LeVeau, I know you been knowing me long enough to know I wouldn't ever say anything of that kind, especially about my own grandbaby now that I got one," Henri fussed.
"I know you wouldn't, Henri," Aunt Dixie returned. "I'm just saying that Sunshine is only two months away from being of age, and he and Sugarman are both normal healthy males, young males to boot. You remember that age, I know you do. Did you and Calvin never do anything you shouldn't have before it was proper time?"
"We did not," Henri denied quickly. "Of course, that was mostly because my Papa knew of the two of us early on. We were never unchaperoned when we were together until we were of age. I would wish the same for my grandson and plan to ask his warrior to ensure it if need be."
"PawPaw, My Queen, if you would allow me to, I'll be glad to stay with Keagan and Chay and chaperone them when Prince LeVeau is unable to do so," Chay told them both. "It's just that I know Prince Cassius has a lot of things that take his time already. I'm not saying he would ever shirk his duties to Keagan, but I would hate for his business or his position in the clans to suffer because he ignored them in favor of doing something that I can do as well."
"This wouldn't happen to also be because you always did want a little brother that you could watch over, now would it, Claude?" Henri asked directly, but with a warm, loving smile.
"Well, maybe a little bit," the young man admitted with a blush. "But at least when I finally got my little brother, I got the best one in the whole world."
"CLAUDE! Get in here so I can hug you and bring the new un... the stuff with you, so I can get dressed before Aunt Dixie gets another eyeful," Keagan called out.
"My Prince, you must remain still if you don't want...."
"I tried to warn you of the pins, My Prince," the old man said quickly.
"It's my own fault for wiggling, Mr. Babineaux," the teen responded. "Claude, big brother, I got stuck by a pin. Are you going to kiss the booboo better like a good big brother?"
"Not unless you got stuck in the face, Gooey Bear," Claude laughed as he stepped into the fitting room with the required accessories.
"CLAUDE! I can't wear these. These are... are... these are panties," Keagan started off yelling but was definitely only whispering the last word.
"I can assure you, My Prince, those are for men and boys," Mr. Babineaux said softly. "They are sold by the Jockey company and are called bikinis."
"Yes, and bikinis are for girls," Keagan pouted.
"You are getting at least one pair of these, little bro, but you have to promise me that you will NOT let Chay see you in them until AFTER your birthday," Claude told him.
"I don't want him to ever.... well, umm... maybe just once to see if he likes them," the teen blushed intensely and squirmed, then yelped again when he got stuck with another pin. "Do you really think he will? They are kind of umm naughtybutsexycute," Keagan blurted, still blushing.
"You wear these for your birthday and I guarantee you it will be the best birthday you have ever had," Claude promised.
"Claude, I thought you were going to be your brother's chaperone, not his instigator," Henri called out.
"I told him to not let Chay see them until his birthday, PawPaw," Claude defended. "Little brother really needs to get used to nice clothes that show off how adorable he is."
"I'm not a... a... kitten or a puppy or something. I am NOT adorable," Keagan pouted adorably.
"No, you're not a kitten or a puppy," Claude agreed. "You're a Gooey Bear and in two months' time, you are going to melt Sugarman into a puddle of goo wearing these."
"Claude Etienne Guibert! You will hush that crude talk right now, you hear me?"
"Yes, PawPaw," the properly chastised young man agreed. "You're still getting at least one pair of these. You should get used to wearing them before the first time he sees you in them. You'll make a better impression that way," he whispered to Keagan, who blushed again, but nodded eagerly. "Now I got you some regular briefs as well, all in blue for you."
"Thanks, bro," Keagan said sincerely. "I mean it. I've always been pretty shy and quiet, staying in the background, but you're really helping me break out of that, just like a big brother would. I think I got the best big brother in the world."
"Don't make me cry in front of Mr. Babineaux," Claude mumbled.
"I said it before, I say it again, I keep your secrets to my grave, young princes," the tailor assured them. "I do think you are both right, though. I see many brothers in my shop, but very rarely indeed do I see two brothers more suited to one another and more loving. You are a great gift to each other and I pray you will always feel towards one another as you do right now."
"I'm sure we will, Mr. Babineaux," Keagan smiled. "The children's home always told us that we should treat the other boys in our dorms as our brothers, but I never felt as close to any of them as I do to Claude." This time both young men squawked as they got stuck with pins when Claude hugged his little brother tightly and both boys wept happily.