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Far From Over

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After Michael took a shower, he got dressed to go out and rent an apartment, but before he could find his newspaper, on which he'd previously circled apartments and made handwritten notes, his son called him.

"Oh, hi, George Michael. Are you back in L.A. now?"

"Yeah, Dad. We managed to get away in all the confusion at the party. Maeby's talking to her boss about the scandal now."

Michael sat down and asked, "Oh, is she in trouble?"

"No, Mort likes the scandal, and he says that any publicity's good publicity."

"Hmm." Michael tsked disapprovingly about Hollywood morals, and he wondered whether working at the movie studio might corrupt his son even more than the family had.

George Michael said, "I saw on the news how you got away with Uncle Gob." He laughed a little. "He sprayed lighter fluid in their eyes."

Michael nodded. "Yeah, we got away." He wondered if it was a good sign that George Michael was able to laugh about Gob now, and not be angry about the previous betrayal. Perhaps his honeymoon with Maeby really was helping him let things go. Michael also wondered if his son was suspicious at all about them running off together while holding hands, or if he hadn't noticed that part of the news footage.

George Michael said with a sigh, "I tried to give Maeby the ring this morning."

"Oh? How'd that go?" Given his son's disappointed voice, Michael wondered if the honeymoon was over now.

"Well, I tried to tell her that it proved that you accepted us now, but she didn't want to wear it yet. She doesn't want to move back to Newport Beach, either. I'm sorry."

"Oh, that's all right," Michael said, figuring that his son coming back would be an inconvenience to him and Gob. "I understand. You need space from me."

"Yeah, and it's better for our jobs." George Michael tried to sound more hopeful. "Maeby doesn't really forgive her parents, but she had to fake it for her movie. But I think she does forgive you, Dad, and she'll wear Mom's ring someday. Maeby says that I should save it for our first anniversary." He beamed a little to be talking about an anniversary.

"Really? Wow." Michael relaxed now; it did seem that Maeby loved George Michael after all.

"Yeah, and I figure that by then, your trial will be over, or the charges will get dropped, so you can come visit us in L.A. for our anniversary party. I can show you our apartment."

"Oh, I suppose so. Yeah, we'll come." He hoped that he could get George Michael and Gob to get along at the party, and even share a hug maybe. Then someday, Michael could tell his son the truth, and they could be a family.

George Michael assumed that his father meant the whole family, when he said "we'll come." He wondered if Gangee would be out of prison too, and if everyone including Steve Holt would come to the anniversary party. They might even have to invite Maeby's parents too, but perhaps her oblivious parents would just forget to come, like they always forgot Maeby's birthdays. George Michael said to his dad, "Good. And let me know if you need me to come back before then for your trial or anything."

"Yeah, I will, buddy. Thanks."

"Bye, Dad. I love you."

"I love you too, George Michael." He hung up and sighed, taking a moment to pleasantly imagine the anniversary party a year from now.

Michael and Gob would probably come back from Cabo before then. (He didn't think that he would need to break out of prison or be a fugitive.) As great as Cabo might be, he assumed that they would run out of money eventually and need to get new jobs. To escape the family, they could go to Phoenix and continue to live under their aliases. Maybe Michael could go back to law school, or they could start a Gobias coffeeshop to support them. They could just keep visiting George Michael and Maeby in L.A. every now and then, while trying not to reveal the truth prematurely.

Michael wondered when Gene Parmesan would find proof of his parentage, if ever. After all, Mom said that Gene never found proof of Dad's adultery. Well, if Gene didn't find anything for years, then Michael could probably hire someone else. Or maybe they could try to tell George Michael the truth even without proof, and hope for his acceptance.

Suddenly, Gene Parmesan called, and Michael answered, "Hey, I was just wondering when I'd hear from you."

Gene commented on the scandal all over the news. "Wow. This is why you want proof that you're not really part of this family, huh?"

Michael went along with that. He asked how the investigation was going.

"Terrible. It looks like your parents went to great lengths to hide any proof of Lindsay being adopted, and since your birthday was probably different than hers, they hid your real birth certificate too."

"I'm not surprised. But surely they had to get out my real certificate sometimes, for government records."

"Maybe they bribed people to look the other way. The folks at the adoption agency sure weren't talking about Nellie, or you."

"Did you find any clue about my real birthday?"

"Not really." Gene said that he first talked to the family of their old housekeeper Rosa. "You know, from when you were kids. They suggested looking in some storage units where your family keeps their secret stuff. But the one in Tarzana had no birth or adoption records, the one in Reseda had another copy of your fake Nichael certificate, but with more misspellings. Maybe it was a first draft. Finally, the storage unit in Newport Beach burned down three years ago--"

"Because of arson." Michael remembered the incident when Dad paid T-Bone to torch the place.

"Yeah. So you see how hard this is." Gene asked, "Are you sure I shouldn't just ask your parents point blank for your real records?"

"They're liars! Look what they did to Lindsay."

"I know, but Lucille likes me," Gene said, recalling all the times Lucille shrieked in delight at his disguises. "Maybe I could persuade her somehow and not tell her that you hired me. I could say that I'm looking for Dr. Miller about something else." Dr. Miller had been the family doctor for years, and must know some secrets. He had pumped Michael full of drugs, after all, to help Lucille frame her son for a car accident. Gene suspected that Lucille had paid Miller off and helped him to leave the country after he lost his medical license.

"No," Michael said. "That wouldn't work. Mom's been lying about Buster for years too, and he's the one that she loves the most."

"But maybe she lied to Buster because she loved him the most. She was protecting him from the truth about his real father."

Michael insisted, "She lied about Nana being alive for six months after she died. Who was Mom protecting, other than herself? No, there's no way she'd tell you the truth about anything. What about tracking down our estranged aunt? And our cousin Larry? Maybe they have the records." Michael was sure that Mom must have kept the incriminating originals somewhere; after all, Dad kept the H. Maddas cooler of evidence and the signed contract with Saddam Hussein because Lucille "had a good feeling" about the Iraqi dictator eventually paying them.

Gene sighed. "Okay, I'll try to track them down."

"Also, please find out if Gob's adopted or not. I think maybe they lied about him too." Once, Michael heard Lucille say "that ship sailed 35 years ago" when talking about getting rid of Gob. But Gob was 38 at the time she said it. Maybe he'd been adopted instead of Michael?

Gene was surprised that Michael questioned his older brother's origins as well. "If I have to do twice as much investigating, then I'll have to charge you twice as much too."

"Fine," Michael agreed. All the more motivation for him to get out of the hotel and into cheaper lodgings soon. "What kind of DNA sample do you need?"

"Oh, I'm not sure. I haven't found someone to do that testing yet. Right now I'm heading to the hospital where you were born, according to this certificate. I'll see if they still have records from back then, or can tell me who the attending doctor and nurses were."

Michael reminded him, "Remember that the birthdate is probably wrong on my certificate, so ask about any births that year."

Gene grumbled about having to check out all possible birthdates. That made his job harder, on top of researching Gob's past. "If only we could narrow down these dates somehow." That was why he wanted to talk to Lucille or the ex Dr. Miller. Even if he could just find a family photo album with pictures of Lucille being pregnant, he might be able to estimate likely birthdates, for each of her natural children.

"Call me if you find anything." Michael hung up and looked for the newspaper again. He finally found it under his laptop on the table, and he went out the door with it. He was going downstairs to have breakfast in the restaurant, then he'd get his bicycle and go rent an apartment.

For a while, Sitwell was busy on the phone too, trying to reassure several investors that the scandal wouldn't ruin the Bluth Company, but when he finished, he wondered if Lindsay had left with her presents yet, and he called his top security guard.

The guy said that Lindsay hadn't left the estate yet. The Mercedes was still in the parking lot, and in fact, Lindsay and Ice didn't even bring any presents out to the car yet. Sitwell looked at his watch and wondered what was taking Lindsay so long. Did she get distracted flirting with Ice and trying to talk him into a date?

So Sitwell went to the guest house and knocked on the front door, but no one answered. He opened the door and came inside a little, only to discover Lindsay's shoes strewn on the floor, along with her panties. He could hear sounds coming from another room too.

Sitwell was embarrassed, and quickly left, shutting the door again. He didn't realize that Lindsay was that horny, and he felt a little mad that Ice took advantage of her while he was supposed to be working. But after he told security to stay away from the house too, Sitwell finally looked on the bright side; Lindsay would no longer be as desperate and frustrated as she was when she tried to have sex with Michael.

Soon Sitwell returned to his own house and called Lucille Austero to tell her that their plan to fix up Lindsay and Ice had worked.

"Oh good for her." In turn, she told Stan about Oscar's hippie friends and all the pot they smoked at Balboa Towers. The hippies got thrown out this morning, and Lucille 2 suggested sending Oscar to rehab, but Buster wanted his uncle/father to stay. "So Oscar's trying to sober up now, while they clean up the mess." Since Lupe was busy, Lucille 2 agreed to go grocery shopping to replenish the kitchen and pantry. "I'll talk to you later."

After hanging up, Sitwell got on his computer which was hooked up to his Bluth Company account. He looked at the message about the former Lake Tahoe cabin, and then he researched possible sites for the camp. "I wonder if I could call it Camp Nellie?"

At last, Lindsay called him on her cellphone. She had showered and dressed now, and Ice was taking her birthday presents out to the Mercedes on the cart.

"Hi, Stan. Thanks so much for my presents."

He cleared his throat nervously. "You're welcome. I hope you like them." Sitwell knew that she was probably going to return the gifts for money, but at least she would keep his three big presents.

"Yeah, I'll open them at home. Listen, I talked things over with Ice, and I think you should hire him at the Bluth Company."

"Oh you do?" He guessed that this was an excuse for Lindsay to spend more time with Ice.

Lindsay continued, "Yes, I think the employees might feel left out since they couldn't come to my birthday party last night. Besides, we've been looking for more ways to improve morale for the workers." Since becoming Bluth Company president, Lindsay had replaced the office lighting again and started giving the employees longer break times so they wouldn't be stressed out. "So I think if Ice caters lunches and we have more office parties, that might help." She praised Ice's great smoothies and food.

"All right." Sitwell wanted to hint that he knew about her and Ice, and that he would help keep her affair a secret, but he felt too uncomfortable to admit how he knew her secret. Perhaps he could get Lucille Austero to get Lindsay to confide in her instead.

"Great! So can Ice start on Monday? You could meet with him now, since he's here."

"Okay, I'll talk to him about the job. Send him over to my house." Sitwell had to give Ice his bonus check anyway. He just had to act like he didn't know what happened. At least Lindsay sounded happy and excited about having an affair.

"Okay, thank you!" She hung up and told Ice the good news.

"Thanks." He closed the car trunk and started to leave with the empty cart, so he could meet with Sitwell at the main house.

"Wait!" Lindsay gave him a hug. "I'll see you Monday."

"Yeah." He kissed her cheek, and then waved goodbye as she got in the Mercedes.

Lindsay waved back and put on big sunglasses before she drove out of the estate. She hoped that no reporters would recognize her and pester her on the way back to Sudden Valley. As she was driving through town, her father called her.

George Sr. also wondered what took her so long to get the presents.

Lindsay said that she ran into Ice and had to talk him into working for her at the Bluth Company. "He's going to cater lunches and parties at the office."

"Oh you're still trying to sleep with him?"

Lindsay felt tempted to tell her father the truth, but she remembered her promise to Tobias, and only said, "Yeah, I need an excuse to spend time with Ice, and he said he wouldn't guard Sally Sitwell anymore."

"Okay. Then hire Ice and convince Sitwell to go along with it."

"Yeah, I already talked to him about it." She changed the subject. "Hey, did my company car arrive yet?"

"Yeah they dropped off the Lexus, and I was fighting with Tobias about whether to put his stupid license plate on it, but then Steve Holt arrived, you know. He had those doves with him and kept feeding the birds and trying to practice stupid magic tricks with them." George sighed in annoyance. "So did you tell Sitwell that Steve was coming over yet?"

"Oh, I forgot about that." Lindsay worried now, since she needed the guest house for her trysts with Ice. She suggested, "Maybe we can get him to stay with Michael at his hotel instead?"

George protested futilely, "Michael's out of the family."

"But you let Gob work with him."

"To keep him from escaping before his trial!" And to keep the sick bastard from hitting on Lindsay again, while she was desperate for sex.

"Well, Steve could keep him from escaping too. He could be there when Gob's on the yacht."

"Hmm, and then Michael could deal with the dumb doves." It didn't sound like a bad idea to have a backup plan in place, given how Gob regularly disappointed him. So George agreed. "Well, can you handle that, Lindsay? I'm already late for going golfing with some investors at the country club today."

"Oh I'm sorry, Daddy. Don't worry. You just go golfing now, but please don't talk to Tobias about Ice."

"Fine. I'll borrow your club membership and your Lexus, okay?"

"Sure, Daddy. I'll see you later when you get home. Maybe while you're gone, I'll open all the presents and go through them for receipts, so we can return them all for money."

"Good. I'll probably be home for dinner."

"Okay, bye." Lindsay hung up and felt guilty for not telling her father everything. But she still loved Tobias enough to keep his secret until he was ready to date someone too. She drove to the model home and decided not to call Michael about Steve until after lunch. Lindsay was now curious about her presents, and wanted to open them as soon as possible.

After lunch, Tony and Gob moved to the living room to discuss how to break Michael out of prison and create a diversion that would last long enough for Michael and Gob to escape the country on the yacht.

"You can't use any glitter, or they'll know you helped us."

"I know." He sat down on the couch with Gob and stroked his W-beard pensively. "Do you think maybe I can send Michael a loaf of bread with a key baked in it?"

"No, they search any outside food, and they would find it." Gob wondered if he could slip a key into an ice cream sandwich from the prison's vending machine, though. But Michael might accidentally swallow the key.

Tony got out some legos and tried to work out the plan on the coffee table. He moved aside an ashtray, along with a pile of magazines, including the recent British magazine with his coming out story inside.

When Tony handed him the magazines, Gob glanced at them distastefully, remembering when he first read the article in Tobias's copy of Attitude magazine. (Tobias pretended that he bought the magazine in Wee Britain so he could show Gob the article about Tony, but it was clear that Tobias had bought it mainly for himself, due to the shirtless guy on the cover.)

Dumping the magazines onto another table, Gob tried to show Tony the layout of Orange County Prison. He asked for a marker and piece of paper, and Tony leaned close as he watched Gob draw it out. Their legs brushed against each other.

When Gob finished the map of the prison, he talked about where the guards patrolled and when. He pointed out where the conjugal trailers were, and where the searchlights pointed at night. "Maybe we could park the staircar at the prison wall, and all the guards could be distracted by prisoners escaping over it. Then I can find Michael."

Tony said, "Maybe I can plant some kind of smoke bomb in the conjugal trailers, so they'll think there's a fire too."

"But how do we get them to think that Michael's still there, even after we leave?"

"Maybe we could use masks. I use masks in my magic show."

"You do?"

Tony explained how his closet/bean bag chair illusion worked. "Maybe we could get a mask that looked like Michael, and we can put it on one of the prisoners while they're sleeping in their cell. Probably whoever Michael's in a cell with."

"But then people would wonder where Michael's cellmate was."

"Maybe we could make a dummy to put in the other bed."

"Yeah. But how do we smuggle it in?"

"Damn! If only we had magic assistants to help!"

Gob shook his head. "We can't trust anybody else."

"I know," Tony said. "Assistants sabotage you all the time. That's why I started shaving, so I could be my own Legs in the Saw the Lady in Half Gag." He pulled up his sweatpants to show Gob his legs. "Wanna feel?"

Gob figured that Tony was flirting again, so he touched his shaved legs admiringly. "Wow, they are smooth. Just like a lady's."

"I even paint the toenails," Tony said, "for when I wear those open-toe shoes."

Gob was impressed by his dedication. He wondered if Tony's boyfriend liked his shaved legs too, when they were in bed.

Tony shifted and crossed his legs now, saying confidentially, "In fact, one of my assistants must have called Rollo to tattle on me."

"What? When?" Gob asked.

Tony explained, "It was earlier this morning before I called you. Rollo was all mad and said he heard that I dedicated my show to you at Lindsay's party. He said that the Alliance was still blackballing you, and how dare I call you my friend and dance with you onstage."

Gob frowned. "Some assistant of yours told him that?"

Tony nodded. "Yeah, it was probably Darryl; he's always felt more loyal to the Alliance than to me. Anyway, I told Rollo off and said to call an Alliance meeting to vote you back in, but he said no way. I told him it was huge mistake when he kicked you out in the first place, and that you never deserved it. If Rollo wouldn't call the meeting, then I would. I'm the most famous and successful member after all, and they would listen to me. Rollo said he would set up a meeting, but to kick me out for associating with you." Tony scoffed.

Gob asked, "Aren't you worried?"

"No, because I can just call all the other members myself, and tell them that we have to make things right. The rule is about magicians revealing secrets, not non-magicians like that TV reporter who showed your Aztec Tomb."

"I know!" Gob said. Tony totally got him, and Gob felt very warm to him.

"Besides, a lot of the Alliance members wanted to vote you back in three years ago when you did that show at the Gothic Castle, but Rollo overruled them, just because you used your girlfriend and nephew in the act. Even though the Saw-the-Lady gag is so old, all the how dey do dats know it already! I heard Rollo was the one threatening to take away your Alliance-approved assistants in the first place. It was so unfair!"

"Totally." Gob was very pleased to hear that the members did support him after all. It boosted his self-esteem. "I wish you had been there." Tony didn't join the Alliance until after his USO bread illusion got him into Poof magazine, two years ago. The USO didn't care about what memberships magicians had, which was good for Gob later.

Tony said, "I was still a little w back then. The members told me about it afterward."

Gob was surprised. "So they still talk about me?"

"Sure. When you did the Sword of Destiny, and revealed your identity, I knew you were too damn good to keep out. While you were in the hospital, I asked around the Alliance about letting you back in so you could be on my DVD, and you totally had the votes for it." Tony sighed sadly. "It's too bad you couldn't get your fingers working in time for the DVD, and then I had all that lawsuit trouble because I didn't have rights to the title." Tony had really wanted to do that Poe allusion for Use Your Illusion 2, but his business manager told him that they had to go in another direction due to the lawsuit.

Gob sighed with regret. "Yeah, I wish Buster didn't cut off my fingers." He never got to perform the real Sword of Destiny illusion, which he thought would impress even Rollo.

Tony nodded sympathetically. "That show totally didn't deserve to make the Woops column, by the way. It was your assistant's fault, after all, and I told those Poof guys, it's not funny when a magician loses his fingers. It's serious!" Tony hadn't liked it when lost his testicle to a hungry dove either. He hated all the jokes people made, and he was afraid that he wasn't "all man" anymore. "I'm glad that they saved your fingers." He reached out and brushed against Gob's hand.

Gob thought Tony was crushing on him again. "You wanna see?" Gob showed him the fingers and let Tony touch the scars. He was going to tell the story about the doctor reversing his fingers at first, but instead he noticed how close Tony sat to him, like he was aching for more contact. His hair smelled nice, and Gob found himself wanting to lift up his shirt and show Tony his scar from getting shivved in prison. But would that be too intimate? Would that be crossing a line? Gob often had trouble with boundaries, but he wanted to be faithful to Michael. Besides, Tony had a secret boyfriend too. They should feel guilty.

Letting go of Gob's fingers, Tony sat back and said, "Now we can finally vote you back in."

"Right. Um, are you sure they won't listen to Rollo again?"

"I'm sure. While I was busy cooking lunch, I heard lots of members call to leave messages on my answering machine. They supported you and said they wouldn't vote me out. So all I gotta do is call the members back tonight and make sure they're okay with approving your son at the meeting too. Trust me. It's in the bag. I bet Rollo's just holding out because he's jealous of all the magic groupies you got when you were running things."

"Yeah, maybe." Rollo also didn't respect Gob because he once worked for the Hot Cops stripping agency too. "Thanks, Tony."

"You're welcome. I mean, you're the fucking founder, Gob, and everybody liked your escape in Iraq too."

"Right." To avoid Tony asking about the escape again, Gob went back to his map of the prison, and he drew people on it to represent the guards and warden. The little stick figures reminded Gob of Michael reading the map on this tummy. He smiled a mysterious smile.

Tony was curious. "What?"

"Nothing. Just thinking of my boyfriend."

Tony wondered about Gob's boyfriend, and how they met. When did the maritime lawyer come to Orange County Prison? Maybe during the recent Bluth Foundation gala at the prison? Yeah, perhaps the lawyer came to visit his old friend Michael, but got swayed by Gob's considerable charms. Tony wondered what Michael thought about Gob being bisexual and dating his friend, but then it occurred to him that he already knew the answer. Backstage, Gob had told Tobias not to tell Michael.

Tony asked with concern, "Is Michael homophobic?"

"What? Huh?" Gob looked up from his map in surprise. "No. Where did you get that idea?" Tony was the one that didn't feel comfortable shaking hands backstage, because he thought Michael was crazy.

"Yeah, but when you told Tobias that you were bisexual, you told him not to tell anyone. Especially Michael."

Oops. Gob was caught by his earlier words. "Yeah, but that's--that's just because Michael can be so judgmental sometimes, and Tobias might mention you kissing me and give Michael the wrong idea, that I was cheating on my boyfriend."

Tony frowned in confusion. "Wait, so Michael already knows about your boyfriend?"

"Yeah, I told you. They went to law school together."

"No, I mean, he knows that you guys are dating? You came out to him?"

"Oh. Yeah." Gob hurried to improvise a cover story for this part. "Uh, he caught us together, on a romance package at the spa." (Like Gob caught Michael and Tobias in bathrobes.)

Tony was stunned. "And Michael wasn't judgmental?"

Gob shook his head. "No, he was fine with it. Well, maybe he was a little jealous that he couldn't spend as much time with his lawyer buddy." Yeah, Michael had been jealous of George Michael spending time with his girlfriend, and Michael was now apparently jealous of Gob having Franklin for a friend too. Typical Michael, getting possessive like a spoiled favorite son who normally got all the attention. "That's why Michael followed us to the hotel." Gob shrugged it off. "We had a Boyfight about it, but made up."

"Oh." Tony had heard about the Boyfights too, and Sally had shown him one of the videos because it had a glimpse of Lindsay's old nose. Tony asked, "But you didn't tell the rest of your family about your boyfriend?"

"No, no. They, uh, they wouldn't understand about me being bisexual. My parents think that gay guys are sissies, and my dad always hated Tobias." That was why Gob didn't come out to his parents. He figured that he shouldn't give his parents more reason to hate him, or try to shove him out of a moving car, like Tobias.

Tony was still a bit bewildered. "And Michael never tried to out you either, to get you in trouble?" Tony's younger brother probably would have done such a thing to gain their father's approval, had Tony not outed himself in his shows and the British magazine. Not that Tony was actually gay, but still--it was the sort of thing that his brother would do. Tony's older brother might have done the same, had he not died before he could.

Gob said, "No, he didn't, 'cause they're good friends. Besides, now we have to be secret because of the escape too."

"So you already told Michael about the escape plans?"

Gob nodded, "Sure. I told him how we're gonna break him out and go to South America to live together. Now he doesn't have to worry about his trial at all."

Tony shrugged, "Yeah, I guess your brother would be grateful for that."

"Yeah, so we can all spend time together, and Michael can study so he can become a lawyer like he always wanted. Everything will be great, and then you'll help us sneak back in to visit George Michael sometimes."

"Right. And we'll do the DVD."

"Yeah." Gob smiled.

Tony envied that Michael was a good brother and friend after all. He was even innocent and not crazy. No wonder Gob liked Michael enough to break him out of prison and run away to South America to protect him. Tony wished that he had brothers like that. "You're so lucky. Your boyfriend loves you, and your brother--" He trailed off and started to hear the music.

Gob felt concerned by Tony zoning out again. It reminded him so much of times when he would suddenly find himself looking blankly into a mirror and not knowing how long he'd been standing there. He touched Tony's face until he blinked and responded.

"Oh, I--" Tony looked embarrassed but also slightly relieved that he didn't have to explain himself to Gob, that they were the same. "I'm sorry."

Gob wondered if Tony was feeling guilty about flirting when he had a boyfriend. Gob also started to feel guilty for using Tony's crush to help him and Michael. "You're okay?"

"Yeah. Thanks." He offered to go and open another bottle of wine.

"No, uh, maybe I should go now. Let you clean up and call the Alliance members."

"Sure, Gob. I'll call you when the details of the meeting are all set."

"Good. I'll see you Monday, then."

"Yeah, Monday." Tony reached for the map and started to roll it up. "I'll hide this so my boyfriend won't see it."

"Yeah. Your boyfriend." Gob frowned and watched Tony put the map away in a secret drawer in another table.

When Tony came back to clean up the legos and return the ashtray and magazines to their proper places, Gob sat near indecisively.

Finally he asked Tony, "He's not jealous, is he?"


"Your boyfriend. Did you tell him about us kissing backstage, and did he get jealous?"

"Oh." Tony shook his head. "No, no. I explained that it was because of Tobias, and it was just pretend."

"Oh, good." Gob didn't want to cause real trouble for Tony.

Tony started to feel guilty too. "I mentioned that you had a secret boyfriend, but I told him you weren't out to your family. He won't tell anybody else."

"Thanks. Yeah we gotta keep it a secret. I won't tell anybody about your guy either." Not that Tony had told him much.

"Thanks." Now that he was done cleaning up the coffee table, Tony got up from the couch and led the way to the front door.

As Gob was saying goodbye and thanking him for lunch, Tony decided to hug him. After what they had confessed about their darkness, and their fathers, and their brothers today, a simple handshake didn't feel right.

Gob was surprised and hugged him back. He liked the smell of Tony's hair, the sound of him breathing, and the feeling of his beard against his skin. He was so tempted, and if not for Michael, Gob might have kissed Tony. He felt guilty for even remembering the kisses that they already shared backstage.

Soon Tony let go and smiled again. "See you on Monday."

"Right. Monday." Gob left and walked to where he parked his Segway outside.

But he didn't leave immediately, and he looked back to the front door, which was now closed. He told himself not to go back and knock. Kissing Tony would be wrong. Sleeping with him would be a huge mistake. Not that it ever stopped Gob before when he cheated on other lovers. But Michael wasn't just anybody. He was special, and it was a miracle that he even loved Gob now, after all these years. Besides, Tony had a boyfriend too. Gob shouldn't fuck this up.

Biting his lip, he decided that he needed to get back home to the yacht so that he could talk to Franklin about his problem. So Gob finally got on his Segway and rode away.