Work Header

Far From Over

Chapter Text

Sally was waiting at the guest house, but she saw no sign of Tony's assistant with the prop closet. She was getting impatient and worried, so she called Tony's cellphone.

Back in his dressing-room, Tony felt guilty for forgetting about the plan. He explained, "I didn't get a chance to drug him. There were too many people around, and Ice came back wanting to search for Michael in all my props. Then Tobias started acting weird about the therapy, and I ran into Gob."

"Gob? What was he doing there?"

"I don't know. I just... I ended up kissing him so that he would pretend to be my boyfriend."

"What for?"

"Tobias scared me, and I panicked. He was being creepy and talking about analrapy, which Gob said means--"

Sally interrupted because she saw Tobias wandering around the party, with his head down, doing a Charlie Brown walk. "Wait, I see him now. I'll try to get him and call you later." She hung up and left the house to go after Tobias. If only she had drugs on her, but maybe she could persuade him to come with her voluntarily. Yeah, she might spill something on him and tell him he could go change clothes in the guest house. Then she could knock him out from behind and still lock him up until after the magic show.

Meanwhile, Gob went looking for Tobias, but couldn't find him in the crowd, so he gave up and decided to call Michael.

Michael answered cheerfully and asked if Gob was still with Steve and Buster.

"Nah, I got rid of them. You done with George Michael yet?"

"Yeah, he went to find Maeby. I'm just looking for you now." Michael heard some commotion and saw a horde of reporters gathered around the fountain, so he walked away to avoid them and keep a low profile, like he had promised Lindsay. Michael was half afraid that the reporters would question him not only about his embezzlement charges, but also his supposed lust for his adopted sister, if they had heard the gossip.

Gob asked where Michael was and warned him to stay away from Tobias.

Michael lowered his voice and continued to sneak away from the crowd. "Of course I will. It's bad enough that Lindsay thinks I want her, but he does too."

Gob was relieved. "Good. I need to talk to you, so meet me by the guest house, okay?"

"Okay." Though Michael was worried by his tone. He wondered what was wrong, that they couldn't discuss it on the phone.

They soon met up at the house, and the door was locked, but Gob broke into a window, while Michael reluctantly served as lookout. He didn't understand why they were doing this. If they needed to talk privately, then why not go back to the car?

Gob accidentally knocked over some stuff inside the house, but fortunately, nobody else was around to hear the noise. "You okay?"

"I'm fine." He soon pulled Michael inside too, and they moved into another room . Gob insisted that Michael needed to sit down, and he paced a bit before deciding to sit as well.

Gob took his hand and told him anxiously, "I didn't mean to do it, Michael. It was an accident."

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

"Tony Wonder kissed me. I was just trying to sabotage his illusion, and he came out of nowhere and jumped me."

Michael was confused. "What? Why would he do that?"

Gob explained as best as he could what happened, but he was pretty confused too about what Tobias was doing there. "I was scared he was gonna tell you, and you'd get mad at me."

Michael shook his head and squeezed his hand. "It's not your fault, Gob. It sounds like Tobias's, for being his usual clueless self."

Gob finally relaxed and looked surprised. "You really believe me, then?" He had feared that they would Boyfight, which was why he wanted to talk inside the house where nobody could see them or overhear.

Michael answered, "Yeah. I trust you, Gob." This was love, and just the fact that Gob felt guilty for a mere kiss touched him. It confirmed to Michael that Gob's feelings were genuine.

Gob smiled and hugged him, squeezing onto the same chair with him.

Michael laughed and said softly, "I love you."

"I love you." He happily pulled Michael onto his lap and they kissed. After a moment, Michael got up, for fear of the chair giving way beneath him, though he still smiled and held Gob's hand.

Gob got up and asked him how things went with George Michael.

"Okay. Lindsay already told them about Dad kicking me out of the family, but George Michael seemed to take it pretty well. I told him that you dumped Egg and were sorry."

"Is he still mad at me?" Gob didn't want to get punched again.

"Well, I wouldn't bring her up any time soon, but I think he'll let it go, Gob. He's happy with Maeby now, and she didn't seem as mad as before, either."

"Good. They're probably so laid back 'cause they're enjoying their honeymoon."

"I guess so." Michael wondered when the honeymoon would end, and when they would start wishing that they could just be kids again, without responsibilities. He hoped that things would work out, though, and he decided not to interfere unless George Michael asked for help and advice.

Putting an arm around Michael, Gob told him about Tony Wonder inviting them backstage, to make up for the kiss.

"You actually want to see his show?"

"Well, I thought at first that you wouldn't believe me, and that I'd have to take you there for Tony to tell you what happened." All while keeping Tony ignorant of Michael being his secret lover. "But now we can go see the show and heckle him maybe."

"In front of all his fans and the press? People might think we're homophobic."

"He's the one using his coming out to sell tickets!" Gob scoffed resentfully. "I could have come out years ago and did the same act, but I didn't want Tobias coming onto me."

Michael could understand that aversion. "So instead you went with the Christian magic act?"

Gob was too jealous to see that doing a religious act as a gimmick was just as unscrupulous as using one's sexuality as a gimmick. "That should have been my magazine article, and my show. I don't know how, but Tony Wonder is always stealing my ideas." Gob didn't know that this was accidental; it was just that Gob and Tony simply thought so alike that they came up with similar ideas. "He's not even doing it right. I mean, what kind of slogan is 'I'm here, I'm queer, now I'm over here'?"

Michael agreed that it did sound lame, and he kissed him soothingly. "We'll come up with something better for you and Steve."

"In the meantime, let's go ruin Tony's show."

"No, Gob, it'll look bad, and Lindsay will get mad if I draw attention to myself."

"Oh. Well, then let's yell at him backstage about stealing my idea."

"But he didn't steal this idea from you, because you never went through with it. Gob, are you just still mad about him kissing you? Tony didn't mean anything by it, and he's trying to make it up to you now. Come on, didn't you used to like him?"

Gob said grudgingly, "He was cool when me and Buster did the Sword of Destiny illusion."

"Yeah, and you guys were gonna be on his DVD, right? So maybe if we're nice to him, then he'll let you be on his next DVD." Perhaps Gob and Steve could do the Sword of Destiny without injury, and camera tricks could cover up any flaws in the act.

"You think so?" Gob considered whether he could put aside his jealousy.

"It's worth a shot. I mean, Rollo hasn't been returning my calls at the Gothic Castle. Maybe Tony could help with that too."

Gob said, "Tony did say he wanted to talk about how I escaped from the prison in Iraq."

"Oh, we can't tell him about the CIA stuff." Michael feared that the CIA would try to "take them out" for real if they talked about Dad building houses in Iraq.

"I wasn't planning to." Gob started to leave the room with him. "I don't have to explain how I escaped, Michael. That's the whole point of the Magician's Alliance, that we don't tell how we do our illusions. So I can just be mysterious and tell Tony that I can't reveal how I did it."

"Huh. That's not a bad idea." Michael pulled Gob back from the window and suggested they go out the front door.

"Yeah. So let's go talk to him." Gob opened the door and peered out to make sure that he coast was clear, then they exited together.

Michael shut the door, and they left for Tony's magic show. They had unknowingly missed an incident at the fountain.

Sally tried to get Tobias to the guest house, but Ice caught up with them first and said he couldn't find Michael. "But I did see Lindsay was with her father, and she was fine. So I better stay with you now."

Sally was trying to think what to do, when they came upon Maeby making quite a scene.

Maeby had called her mother to meet her at the fountain, and while waiting, she gathered the reporters to hear her special announcement. They curiously wondered if Maeby was pregnant or something like that, and she denied it with a scoff.

When Lindsay showed up with both George Sr. and Stan Sitwell, Maeby then spoke into the microphones, "I'd like to officially announce tonight that Tantamount Studios is making a movie of my life story, so you can learn all the details of how I grew up, made hit movies, and got married."

Cheering up a little, Tobias interrupted by calling out, "I'm in it!"

Lindsay rolled her eyes and was thinking about leaving, because she didn't want to be bored to death, but Maeby spoke loudly to draw her back.

"I want to dedicate this movie to my mother."

Lindsay stopped when the cameras began to turn to her as well. "Really?" She smiled and wondered if that was Maeby's birthday present to her. "That's so sweet."

Maeby smiled back, but it was not sweet, and she said, "Yeah, because you're such a shitty mother."

There were gasps all around, and Lindsay was shocked. "Maeby!"

Maeby stepped closer to confront her. "This movie's gonna tell the whole truth about how horrible and selfish and fake you are. You're a fake Bluth, but you're also a fake mother. You never loved me, and I had to learn how to take care of myself."

Sitwell tried to intervene and hush Maeby, asking if she got drunk on champagne. "You shouldn't have--"

Maeby pulled out of his grasp and refused to be led to some place more discreet. "Stay out of it! I can do what I want because I'm emancipated." She turned back to Lindsay, "You didn't give a crap about me when I was growing up. You just wanted to use me to get attention and to make yourself look good. But whenever I was inconvenient, you forgot I existed. You forgot my birthday for 16 years, even though I found out that you always stole the birthday checks that Nana sent to me. Now you can't steal my money anymore. I have a great job and a great car and a great marriage." She showed off her ring to the cameras.

"I'm happy for you," Lindsay said. "I'm not trying to steal from you. You're so grown up, Maeby, and I'm proud of you."

"Proud of me? You had nothing to do with it. You were always fighting with dad, or whacked out on drugs when we were in the the family band together."

"I had to be," Lindsay protested, then lowered her voice, self-conscious of the reporters all listening, as well as Tobias nearby. "You know your father."

Maeby did know, but could not criticize her father as harshly. "Dad was horrible too, but at least he didn't take drugs or drink all the time, so that I had to pour him into bed." Or drive when Lindsay had a buzz. "In Boston you were always busy with your stupid wine and cheese fundraisers for your shallow causes that you didn't even believe in."

"But I did believe!" Lindsay said, getting upset. "It was why I married your father, because we both used to believe. We were going to change things." Indeed, that was what she told Johnny Bark once, about their activism. Lindsay looked at Tobias sadly and wished he would give up his stupid dream of being an actor.

Tobias thought Lindsay was gazing at him with love and he smiled back. He started toward Maeby and began in his psychiatrist voice, "Young lady, I think--"

Maeby said, "This is between me and her. Do you wanna keep your job?"

Tobias blinked, realizing that he could get fired from the movie.

Maeby really couldn't fire him, not yet, but was willing to use the threat. Besides, it showed how terrible Tobias was, to back down from defending his own wife, just for a job. She turned back to her mother. "No matter what I did, I was the invisible girl, and you never paid attention to me."

Lindsay said, "But I did, Maeby. I tried to. Remember when I punished you for your bad grades and made you work for Gangie?"

Maeby rolled her eyes. "One time!"

"But you saw her," Lindsay said. "You saw how awful my mother is, how she criticizes everything about you, even when she's pretending to be nice. You hated that, and we made up, remember? I wanted to be a better mother than she was, Maeby. We moved to Boston so that you wouldn't be around Gangie, and have her call you fat all the time."

George Sr. felt guilty and sad to realize that Tobias wasn't the reason that Lindsay moved away. Lucille was. He wished his wife had listened to reason and not been so harsh on their adopted daughter. George had really loved her, even if they did lie about her age and adoption.

Lindsay continued to Maeby, "Besides, I wasn't drunk all the time. I didn't drink while I was pregnant, and then I had a natural childbirth in the bathtub for you, without any painkillers. It was horrible." But she did it all for Maeby's sake. (And to show up her mother Lucille; at the time Lindsay had thought Lucille was her natural mother, and had been drunk while pregnant, which she clearly had been with Buster.)

"I know! Dad showed me the pictures." She shuddered.

Lindsay said, "I'm sorry. He shouldn't have done that. We even got into trouble when he mailed out our birth announcement, so I thought he got rid of the pictures."

"He didn't!" Maeby shrugged dismissively, "So you went all hippie for my birth, but after I was born, you weren't there for me. You weren't a better mother. Why couldn't you have been like Aunt Tracey?"

"Like her? But she and Michael put that BabyTock in George Michael's crib. And then they were in that infomercial! I didn't do that to you, Maeby, and I got you a nice nanny to take care of you while I was doing the fundraisers."

"Yeah my nanny raised me more than you did."

Lindsay said, "Gangie was so suffocating and controlling with Buster, so I gave you your space. I didn't want to stifle you with rules or scare you with lessons, so I never punished you for stuff, and I sent you to a progressive school like I used to go to."

"But you didn't notice when I wasn't in school, or that I made up a fake twin sister."

"You made up a fake twin?" Lindsay was shocked. "Why did you do that? Because you wanted a sibling? It's not that great. Anyway, I didn't want to make you stressed out about school, like Michael made George Michael stressed out. But I cared about you, Maeby. I took you to inner beauty pageants."

"I hated those!"

"I'm sorry. But I was trying to teach you that you were beautiful inside, Maeby. It was those stupid judges that kept picking the other girls to win."

Maeby said in frustration, "You have an excuse for everything, don't you?"

"Maeby--oh wait, remember that one time you did win a contest? Was that when you were pretending to be your fake twin? In a wheelchair and with the nose?"

Maeby was surprised that her mother remembered, given how obsessed she had been with coaching Bob Loblaw's daughter and trying to seduce Bob Loblaw.

"See you did win, once. I'm so glad." Lindsay asked, "Maeby, why are you so angry with me? I supported your marriage. I support you."

Maeby protested, "You lied all the time, and didn't notice when I tried to run away. You tried to steal Steve Holt."

"I didn't know you liked him, and I stopped seeing him when I found out."

The reporters started whispering among themselves as they recognized the name Steve Holt. Trisha Thoon called out, "You mean your nephew?"

Somebody else asked, "Your other cousin?"

Lindsay turned to explain, "We didn't know then," but already the reporters were excited by the scandal. Lindsay was married after all, and seemed to have dated her nephew at some point, even if he wasn't related by blood.

Maeby was upset about things not going her way, and she broke down in tears.

Lindsay went to hug her, and Maeby was too defeated to protest, slumping against her mother as she cried. Sitwell thought this was a good time to get rid of the reporters, so he gestured for Ice to help him disperse the crowd.

Sitwell told Tobias to find George Michael. (He had been detained by Buster at another part of the estate, while Steve had gone to his Camaro with the woman from the party. It was his first time being with a girl who wasn't in high school, so he wanted to impress her.)

Sitwell started to take Lindsay and Maeby to the guest house so they could talk in private and calm down, but George got jealous and took over, saying, "They're my family," as he put an arm around Lindsay, who was still holding Maeby. Sitwell acquiesced and just sent Sally to go with them, since she had a key to the house.

Sally could see that this would spoil her plans for Tobias, but she figured that the scene between Maeby and Lindsay had effectively ruined the party. Perhaps in private she could even get Maeby to tell her more damaging secrets about what a horrible person Lindsay was.

Tobias soon joined them with George Michael, so Sally went to unlock the door, but found that it was already unlocked. She didn't have time to wonder about that, and just let them inside. Later she would try to talk to Maeby, but right now she wanted to talk to Tony about Gob, and whether he suspected anything.

Meanwhile, after the initial flurry of gossip, many of the party guests looked uncomfortable and talked about leaving, but Sitwell asked them to please stay. There was going to be cake and presents later, as well as a magic show. He got the orchestra to play again, and he called Lucille 2's phone to ask for her help.

She soon showed up with Argyle, and they sang songs together, to make the crowd relax again. Meanwhile, Sitwell looked at his watch and hoped that Tobias would be free soon, so he could go to Tony Wonder's show.