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Far From Over

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On Sunday morning, Stan Sitwell had breakfast with his overnight guests and asked for their opinions of Tobias.

Argyle only met Tobias last night, but some of his friends met him years before, at a local book signing.

"Yeah!" They gushed about getting autographs and raved about Tobias's "The Man Inside Me" book.

The Freedom guy said that he had been shocked when Dale told him afterward that Tobias was married to Lindsay Bluth. "I didn't know she was the one in his book's dedication. I thought that Lindsay was a guy." (Tobias had changed all the pronouns to masculine.)

Dale pointed out, "But Lindsay did come to the book signing that day." They hadn't known who she was at the time, but in hindsight, it became clear, especially when Lindsay left due to George Sr.'s heart attack and Tobias asked Dale for a ride to the hospital. Dale was a nurse there, so they could park out front.

Argyle said with a shrug, "I told you that Bluths are strange."

"But he's not a Bluth. He's a Fünke."

Dale said, "I don't know why Tobias is still married to her even now. I didn't think people still stayed together for the sake of the kids. Plus Maeby's emancipated now, so she doesn't need them anymore."

Stan Sitwell said, "Actually, from what Lindsay tells me, Tobias is in the closet and claims that he's not gay." (He hadn't heard about Tobias coming out.)

They were quite disappointed and incredulous. "But his book was so great!" Dale assumed that no one could write that book and not be out.

"And he was going to give therapy to Tony Wonder!"

Sitwell said, "Tobias has been in denial as long as I've known him, and as long as Lucille has known him too." He meant his girlfriend Lucille Austero, who had been a friend of the Bluth family for many years.

Argyle nodded, and said, "It's so sad when people can't face themselves." He mentioned gay people in his own generation who only came out late in life, after they had already been married and/or had kids. It was painful and traumatic to leave the closet and risk losing your family.

"But at least they finally got free," the Freedom guy said, feeling sorry for Tobias and trying to remember passages from the book in a whole new light.

Sitwell asked them all if they had any ideas about how to help Tobias come out, but they were divided in their opinions.

Argyle said it was not a good idea to try pushing Tobias if he wasn't ready.

Sitwell felt discouraged. "I thought him seeing Tony Wonder's show last night would--" He got cut off by a phone call. One of his security guards was doing a check of the estate, and he found a broken window in the guest house. So Sitwell excused himself from breakfast.

When Sitwell came to the guest house, he saw the broken window as well as some crushed flowerbeds underneath it, showing signs of a break in last night.

The security guard said it probably happened during the chaos at the party, but nobody noticed it until morning light. Unfortunately, they didn't have any security cameras pointed at this part of the house, so they didn't know who did it. "Do you want to beef up the security, or file a police report?"

"Well, let me see if anything's missing first." Sitwell didn't want Lindsay's birthday presents to be stolen. Or worse, maybe one of the reporters broke in hoping to catch Lindsay alone to grill her about the alleged incest with her nephew.

Fortunately, Lindsay's birthday presents were all where he hid them inside, so Sitwell relaxed and just had his guard inspect the whole house for any further damage. While he waited, Lindsay called to ask if the coast was clear, and if she could come get her presents.

"Yeah, they're still right here in the guest house, and George's Mercedes is still parked in the lot. Will he be coming with you?"

"No, he's going to wait here for my new company car to arrive today." She was going to take a cab to Sitwell's estate.

"Oh yes, they're delivering the Lexus today. It will certainly be less conspicuous than the Bluth Company staircar."

"Yes, or the cabin car." Lindsay remembered Michael forcing her to drive that monstrosity last year, and she wondered what ever happened to it. Michael must have got rid of it because it reminded him of spending time with Rita; after she got over being beaten and drugged, they had a few dates there, and Rita had played the banjo.

Sitwell said, "Oh that thing. Actually, I think I got a message about the cabin recently. Somebody had found it, and wanted to know if the Bluth Company still wanted it."

"Oh definitely not!"

"Well, not to drive, but I was thinking that if we had both halves of the cabin, we could install it somewhere in the woods, and set up a camp for underprivileged children. Wouldn't that be nice for the kids in your charity foundation?"

Lindsay said hesitantly, "Well I don't know anything about camping. My parents never took me--" George Sr. had only tried to get the boys interested in outdoor activities and sports. He never told Lindsay about his cabin at Lake Tahoe either.

"Oh that's all right," Sitwell assured her. "We'll hire professional camp counselors to take care of the kids. I just wanted to be sure that you didn't want the cabin, since it used to belong to your father."

Lindsay was relieved. "No, that's fine with me. Give it to those poor kids."

"All right. I'll take care of that on Monday. See you soon."

"Yes, I'll be there in about an hour. Bye."

Sitwell felt very hopeful that he would get to bond with Lindsay alone, without George Bluth hovering. Maybe he should wait for her and talk her into opening the presents here, so he could see the happy look on her face and perhaps get more hugs.

But then the security guard returned, saying that he found no other damage to the house, and that he swept for electronic devices and hidden cameras too, in case the burglar tried to plant bugs in the house to spy on Lindsay.

"Oh I didn't think of that. Thanks."

"That's what you pay me for." Then he recommended that they should fix the window and install alarms on the guest house. "And did you want new security cameras?"

Sitwell thought about it, but said, "I don't want a bunch of workers all over this house when Lindsay gets here today." He certainly didn't want her to get discouraged from moving in, if she thought the house wasn't safe. "Let's wait until she comes for her presents, and I'll gently explain to her about the broken window. Then when she leaves, we'll get his place fixed up and install an alarm system." He could always give her new keys later and tell her the alarm code for the keypad.

"Yes, sir."

Then Ice arrived to return Sitwell's car and get his payment for guarding Sallly Sitwell at the party last night. He came into the guest house, and Sitwell started to write him a check, but he got an idea.

"How would you like to earn a bonus?" Sitwell explained to Ice about the broken window, and he asked if Ice would wait here and guard Lindsay's birthday presents. "It's just for a little while, because we won't get the window fixed and alarms installed until later. I think Lindsay would feel safer if you were here to assure her that the guest house is all right." He also wanted Lindsay to spend time with Ice so that she wouldn't be so desperate and lonely. That was more important than Sitwell being alone with her; he could always see her at work or at the Balboa Country Club now.

Ice asked, "But shouldn't you find out who broke in? Just to make sure it's really safe here?"

Sitwell said, "I think the break-in only happened because we had so many party guests last night, and things got out of control. But normally we wouldn't let strange people onto the estate in the first place. Plus, you can help Lindsay take all the presents out to the car."

Ice remembered that he wanted to talk to Lindsay about her job offer, and whether he could cater parties at the Bluth Company, so he agreed to stay at the guest house.

Sitwell wrote him a check for last night, and they discussed how big the bonus check would be. "I'll give that to you after Lindsay leaves, since we don't know how long that will take. Feel free to watch TV or help yourself to anything in the fridge while you wait." He had stocked the place with food and drinks to make the guest house more attractive to Lindsay.

"Okay." As Sitwell left, Ice just sat down and watched more TV news about the scandal. He felt worried about Lindsay.

Sitwell went to make more arrangements with security, and he also said goodbye when Argyle and his friends left the estate.

Early that morning, Gob got up from bed and went to take a shower. Michael woke up from the sound and the light in the bathroom. He glanced at the clock sadly and wished that Gob didn't have to go so soon. Once he moved into an apartment, then Gob could stay the night without having to sneak away before dawn. Maybe Michael could even convince Gob to move in with him, instead of staying on the yacht. After all, they were going to live together in the house in Cabo, so sharing an apartment would be like getting an early taste of that freedom.

After his shower, Gob toweled off and wrapped Michael's blue bathrobe around him. This was Michael's normal robe that he brought from the model home. Gob still preferred his own short satin robe, but at least Michael's robe was better than the hotel robes that he didn't like.

Then Gob picked up Franklin and the cage with the doves, and he carried them out of the bathroom. He smiled to see Michael awake, and he sat on the bed to kiss him.

Michael held onto him affectionately even while Gob changed into his tuxedo. "I can't wait until we're living together."

Gob nodded. "In Cabo, we could spend all day in bed, if we want to."

Michael sighed and ached for that. Even just to hold hands in public and kiss, and nobody would say anything about it being wrong. They could just be together, and maybe he'd grow a beard so that nobody would recognize him from the news. "That sounds perfect."

Gob grinned and gave Michael back his blue robe while he resumed dressing. "Anyway, I'll call you later when I get back to the yacht." He had to drop off Steve Holt's car first.

"Okay." Michael put on the robe and got up to help Gob carry the cage and puppet to the door. "Are you sure you can sneak out all right? How close did you park the car?" He worried that the doves would wake up and start making noise.

"It's fine. I know how to sneak out of hotels, Michael." Gob often sneaked out when having one-night stands with women or men. He also sneaked out of various houses and apartments when he lived with some lovers and cheated on them. Once he even climbed out of a conjugal trailer in prison to get away from Kitty, though that had not gone well. "This time I don't have to carry the video camera, either."

"All right." Michael trusted in Gob's experience, and tried not to worry.

After another kiss, Gob told him to go back to sleep. He turned off the bathroom light and went out the suite door carrying Franklin and the doves. His Jesus religious cloak was still on the cage to keep the doves quiet and sleeping.

Soon he went down a hall and out a back way that he knew in this hotel. A stairwell led to an attached restaurant on the ground floor, and then there was a door that went directly to the street instead of the hotel lobby. It was early enough in the morning that no one was there, so Gob could slip out the side entrance unobserved. Then he headed to where he hid the Camaro a few streets away. Once Franklin and the doves got settled inside, Gob started the car and drove to Steve Holt's house. (Actually Steve was still living with his mom Eve.)

Along the way, Gob talked to Franklin about the party, and his talk with Michael in bed. He asked Franklin his opinion on what Michael's fake name should be. Franklin suggested "Charlie Brown" but Gob said, "Nah. That name's too famous." And it reminded him of Buster calling his balls "Charlie Browns."

Soon Gob arrived at the house, and he saw Steve Holt sitting on the front steps looking sad. Gob parked the car at the curb and opened the window to ask, "How long have you been waiting for me?"

Steve shook his head and came closer to the car. He explained that he got up for church with his mom earlier, but she saw all the TV news stories about the Bluths and told Steve that he shouldn't have gone to the birthday parties. "She got mad that I let you have the Camaro for the night, and that I was learning sinful secular ways by riding in limos all the time."

Gob remembered how annoyingly religious Eve Holt had been, and how similar she was to Egg. He hoped that Eve Holt wouldn't come out of the house to yell at him, and he started to hand the keys over to Steve so that he could leave as quickly as possible. He was going to leave the doves with his son, so that he could practice the magic routine some more. Then Gob could just walk away with Franklin and get a cab back to the yacht.

However, Steve continued talking after he took the keys back, "My mom says I shouldn't see you anymore or be your magic assistant. She says I should give back the tuxedo too."

"What?" Gob was initially annoyed that this meant he'd have to take the doves back too, but then he realized that Eve Holt was solving his problem of how to get rid of his clingy son.

Steve said, "I told her that we were gonna get in the Magician's Alliance and--"

"That's okay," Gob interrupted. "If your Mom forbids you to see me, that's fine."

Steve was disappointed and confused. "But what about our father-son act, Dad? And the meeting tomorrow?"

Gob shrugged and undid Franklin's seat belt. "It's okay. I'll just talk Michael into being my assistant instead and then we'll work on a new act. Anyway, I gotta call a cab so I can take the doves with me." He reached for his cellphone.

Steve Holt was hurt that his father was agreeing to abandon him again, and he became clingy. "No, wait, Dad. I want to be your assistant."

"But what about your mom?"

"Well, um, she can't tell me what to do. I'm 21 already. Maybe I should move out." He'd gotten used to still living with his mom while he kept trying to pass high school, but now they were kicking him out because he was too old.

Gob didn't look pleased. "You sure? But I can't let you live with me on my yacht. There's no room for you and the birds and all my magic stuffs." He had Franklin say, "Yeah, get your own place!"

Steve looked hurt again, since he knew his father had let Uncle Mike move in; now there was suddenly "no room" on the yacht. But Steve was tired of fighting with his mom, so he said, "Well maybe I'll get an apartment then." He had some money saved up from his job delivering packages to people. "Or I'll ask Aunt Lindsay if I can stay at the model home now that George Michael and Maeby moved out."

Gob said, "Well, I guess you can. But are you sure you wanna make your mom angry?"

Steve hesitated and felt conflicted, but then he said, "Maybe I should. She doesn't understand how much this means to me, getting into the Magician's Alliance and going to the Gothic Castle." Steve had loved magic even before he knew that Gob was his father. "She always disapproved of me liking magic, I guess 'cause she was still mad at you for leaving." Eve Holt didn't approve of her son having premarital sex, either, but it was harder to discourage him once he turned 18. Besides, she was glad that Steve was straight, for she had grown worried the year that he styled his hair in a strange way and felt perfectly okay with being cast as a girl in a Shakespeare play where all the gender roles were switched around.

Gob shrugged off his memories of abandoning Eve Holt. "Yeah, she's a real drag."

Steve was still very insecure and needy. He opened the car door and moved aside Franklin so he could sit in the passenger seat. "Please, let me stay as your assistant, Dad. I'll get better with the magic. I promise. I'll really practice." He would have more time to do it now that he wasn't in school, on the football team.

Gob sighed, wishing that Steve didn't have to act so clingy. But he remembered that he had introduced Steve to Tony Wonder backstage, so he might as well keep Steve as an assistant. Tony already didn't want Gob working with Michael, and he might complain about the switch. So Gob gave in, but he took Franklin from Steve. "All right, fine, if you get your own place." To minimize the amount of time he would have to spend with his son, Gob asked, "What about that girl you met last night? You still going on a date with her?"

Steve Holt had forgotten about Sue Hsu, due to his argument with his mother. "Oh, I hope so. I haven't called her yet. Do you think she's seen the news about the party, and that she believes all that gossip? I hope she won't be upset too."

Gob said, "Don't let her blow you off. Tell her the truth, that you never dated Lindsay and that the reporters got everything wrong. Don't let them mess it up."

Steve Holt started to feel better now that his father seemed to be giving him romantic advice and to actually care about his life. "So I should call Sue and still try to have a date tonight, even with all the scandal?"

"Sure, yeah, if she still likes you. Go for it. Love each other." Gob was trying to wrap up this conversation quickly. Franklin said, "Yeah, give her some sugar."

Steve Holt smiled and hugged him. "Thanks, Dad."

Gob didn't remember the last time that Steve hugged him, for he had taken a roofie to forget. He felt conflicted about the hug, just like when he wasn't sure how to take it when Stan Sitwell hired him and acted like a father to him. He mumbled uncomfortably, "You're welcome," and said he and Franklin had to go now. "You better go talk to your mom about moving out, and remember, I'm leaving the doves with you so you can practice." He gestured to the cage in the back seat.

"Yeah, Dad. See you later."

Gob got out of the Camaro with Franklin and hurried away, calling a cab to pick him up.

Eve Holt came out of the house, for she had been watching them from a window. She couldn't hear them talking in the car, but she assumed that Steve was saying goodbye to his wayward father once and for all. Eve had only tolerated her son spending time with Gob because Steve was so lonely and determined when he signed up for the S.A.D. program. "Is that bastard gone for good?"

Steve Holt shook his head and got out of the car to explain his decision to move out of the house.

Eve was shocked and upset, trying to talk her son out of it. "I know you're 21 now, but you should save money and stay here. Besides, how are you gonna hold down a steady job if you're off doing magic tricks all the time with him?"

"But if we're both in the Magician's Alliance, then we could get lots of work." Many people didn't hire magicians who weren't Alliance-approved.

"That won't be enough. He's a terrible magician."

"No he isn't! My dad is great!"

Eve Holt scoffed.

Steve told her, "Plus, he made friends with Tony Wonder, so maybe he'll teach us cool stuff to do, and we can work with him a lot." Tony Wonder certainly seemed financially successful, and he thought that would reassure his mother.

"He's that gay magician, isn't he? I don't want him to turn you gay."

"He can't turn me gay. And there's nothing wrong with being gay." Or transgender. Steve had been rather intrigued when Maeby lied to him that Lindsay was her father. Only when they dated later did Maeby explain the lie as a practical joke that got out of hand.

"It's a sin!" Eve insisted. "Plus with this scandal, the whole Bluth family will be pariahs. You should stay away from them."

"That stuff isn't true!" Steve protested. "It's a misunderstanding, and they didn't get the joke." When he heard the press release about the karaoke being a joke, that actually sounded plausible to him. Bluths and Fünkes apparently had an odd sense of humor.

They kept fighting, but Steve went inside the house and started packing his stuff, while his mother cried about losing her son to stupid magicians.

Steve insisted that he loved magic, and that it was a great honor to go to the Gothic Castle to meet the members of the Magician's Alliance. "Plus I signed up to go to the army, so I should spend as much time as I can having fun first." He was worried about what would happen to him in the war.

Eve Holt was worried too, and couldn't bear not seeing her son for the last year he had of civilian life. She begged him, "Don't go."

Steve said, "Look, I'll visit you sometimes, Mom, as long as we don't fight about the magic. Or my dad."

She said, "You can't rely on Gob for anything. He'll abandon you the first chance he gets."

"No, he likes me now. He really cares."

"Steve!" She hugged him and said she loved him.

Steve said, "I love you too, Mom. But it's time." He gently pulled away, then left with his bags.

She cried as she watched him get in the Camaro and drive away.

Gob got back to his yacht with Franklin, and they went downstairs to the bedroom. After changing his clothes, he called Michael to say sweet nothings again. He wanted to try to convince Michael to have phone sex with him, when they couldn't be together, but Michael didn't want to say anything explicit over the phone. He changed the subject to Steve Holt, and whether he had been suspicious at all.

"No, he was all upset about his mom." Gob told Michael what happened.

"Oh he's moving out? Well I guess that's good for him. I should move out too. Get myself an apartment today."

"Yeah, that'll be great. But don't let Steve Holt move in."

"Of course I wouldn't." That would definitely interfere in their sex life. "But maybe I'll talk to Lindsay to make sure that she lets Steve take the spare room." He could probably guilt her into it because she still thought he was in love with her. "You can work on your magic there with him too."

"I guess so. Let me know when you get the apartment. We'll borrow the staircar or something and move you out."

"Sure." And Michael would be sure to give Gob a spare key. They said their I love yous and hung up.

Michael called Lindsay, who said she wasn't at home. "I'm on my way to Stan Sitwell's house to get my presents. Are you sure Steve Holt should move into the model home? With the scandal, it would look like I'm really dating him or something."

"Well then let him stay at Sitwell's guest house or something. Try to be supportive, Lindsay. Gob needs to be a good father to him."

"For his magic act? They why not let him stay on the yacht?"

"With all the girls Gob might bring there?" Michael had to keep up the fiction that Gob would still be having sluts over for sex. "Please, Lindsay."

"Fine. I have to talk it over with Sitwell first, so I'll tell Dad to let Steve into the model home for now. He'll be a nice buffer between Tobias and Dad, I guess." She had promised to not tell her father about Tobias's coming out, so they probably shouldn't be alone too much. Steve could distract them by telling about his fight with his mother.

Meanwhile, Gob had breakfast on his yacht and talked to Franklin while he made the fake Derek Taylor passport. "Do you remember that show, Franklin? Derek was awesome."

Franklin said, "Derek should have got more girls."

"He didn't have a car yet. And he got that one girl." Gob didn't remember her name, but she was a genius redhead who manipulated Ricky and his father, who wanted to hire her for his toy business. She was thoroughly conniving, dishonest, and greedy--perfect for Derek. The redhead only appeared on one episode, so Gob never saw how far Derek managed to get with her before she left for her job at a Japanese place. But Gob imagined that they must have had some fun for a while. He wondered if it would be nice to date someone who was the same as you.

Gob said, "We should watch that show again. I wonder if it's on DVD now." Or maybe they could check Youtube for videos.

He was still chatting with Franklin when Tony Wonder called. "Oh, hey Tony." Gob had forgotten that he was supposed to call him.

"Hey Gob. Is this a good time?" He would have called earlier in the morning, but wasn't sure if Gob was awake yet or would still be with his secret boyfriend.

"Yeah, it's fine."

"So how'd it go with you and your boyfriend last night?"

"Great." Gob smiled at the memory and looked fondly at his picture of Michael.

"Did you guys talk about Michael?"

"What? Oh yeah." He put down the photo and tried to remember the cover story for Tony. "Everything's fine. I told you, he doesn't mind coming with us to South America."

"Even with this scandal and--?"

Gob said, "Yeah 'cause he already works there as a maritime lawyer."

"A maritime lawyer? What's that?'

Gob shrugged and remembered Michael playing a lawyer in that high school play. "Uh, he's a lawyer against pirates and stuff like that." His wife the seal dealer had also wanted a maritime lawyer once. "He handles seal deals too."

Tony was quite confused. "Oh, is he your mom's lawyer for hijacking the Queen Mary?"

Gob didn't think of that. Still, he didn't want Tony to think he was dating the old guy John Haverstock. "No, uh, 'cause he's a secret from my mom and everybody else."

"Oh, right."

"Look, I can't tell you more, Tony. He only let me say this much so that you'd stop arguing with me." Gob said firmly, "My boyfriend loves me, and we're going to his other place in South America, so it all works out."

Tony was disappointed, and he tried to argue, "But if your boyfriend works in South America, isn't that the first place the police will look when you escape with Michael?"

"No, 'cause nobody knows about my boyfriend in the first place. Don't you tell them either, if they question you."

"Of course not. I wouldn't betray you, Gob."

"Good," Gob smiled and said, "So you'll still help with the prison escape and everything?"

"Yeah, but what about Michael being crazy? Why don't you get him into therapy?"

Gob got annoyed that Tony wouldn't let that go. Maybe flirting on the phone wasn't enough. He should be there in person to charm Tony. "Let's not discuss this on the phone. Can I come over to your place?"

Tony was surprised but pleased. He did want to see Gob again before the Alliance meeting on Monday. "Yeah, you want to have lunch with me?"

"Yeah. And your boyfriend's not there, right?" Gob knew he shouldn't flirt in front of Tony's boyfriend. "So we can talk in private?"

"No, uh, he's not here. We can be alone." Tony realized that he needed to clean up his house for any signs of Sally staying over. She would sometimes forget her purse or leave cigarettes with her lipstick on them in ashtrays.

"Good." He went to get something to write on. "So where's your place?"

Tony told him the address, and Gob said he would be there soon.

"Okay, I'll see you. Bye." Tony hung up and started cleaning up his house. He got excited too and decided that he would cook a nice lunch for Gob.