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Far From Over

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Tony Wonder made some half-hearted attempts to tell Gob to cut blasphemous lines so that the magic show wouldn't offend his Christian audience, but Gob protested that it was too late to change the patter. "The show's tomorrow night."

Tony sighed and reluctantly agreed that last-minute changes would be hard to remember, especially since Steve Holt was a new assistant. Still, he warned, "Just be careful, Gob. If you get booed on Friday, you might want to at least edit the final video you use for the DVD."

Gob pouted but continued rehearsing their Amazing Jesus show with Steve Holt. They did their best to control the doves, since they knew that Tony once lost a nut to a hungry dove in his pants. The act was starting to work as well as his Free Chicken illusion, at least.

After rehearsal was over, Gob and Steve packed up the doves and started to leave for lunch. Tony followed them outside to the Camaro and asked if they would return after lunch, but Gob explained that Steve was going to work the banana stand with Buster today, so Gob was going to drop him off there. He and Steve had agreed to this plan before Tony arrived at the Gothic Castle. "Then I'm going to meet Michael at the cabin to help him out."

Tony knew that "help" probably meant they were going to have sex again. He had to try to stop them or at least delay as much as possible. "Right, right." He cleared his throat a couple of times and tried to sound casual. "Hey, Gob, listen, I think maybe Michael needs to concentrate on his trial for embezzlement, bribery, and conspiracy right now. Maybe his lawyer should be helping him out instead?"

Gob frowned as he got in Steve's car and put on his seat belt.

"Then you can have more time to rehearse with Steve."

Steve liked the sound of that. "Yeah, Dad, then maybe you could hang out with us at the banana stand."

Gob shook his head and said, "Nah, Michael needs me to take him to the laundromat. Jan Eagleman wouldn't help him with that." Or with making the sheets dirty in the first place.

Tony kept trying to talk to Gob obliquely in front of Steve. "Sure, but he needs to see his lawyer some time. When's the last time they met to discuss his defense? If he wins his case, then you won't have to worry about him going to prison, right?"

Gob considered that, but said, "She said she was working on a plea deal and that she'd call him when she's done. She just told him to lay low for now. I'm going to bring him a disguise so he won't get recognized at the laundromat."

Steve accepted that explanation for why his dad couldn't spend more time with him. "Is Uncle Mike going to wear a disguise at Friday's show too?"

Gob shrugged. "At least dark glasses and a hat, so I can sneak him past any reporters."

"Cool! Can I help?"

"No you gotta work on the speech you're going to give tomorrow night."

"Sure, Dad."

Tony felt defeated as Gob started the engine and waved goodbye to him. He had no choice but to step back from the car and watch them drive away. Tony decided that he had to talk to Gob alone somehow, even if it was uncomfortable to look him in the eye. Well maybe avoid his eyes then? Maybe try to call him on the phone later to interrupt Gob and make sure they didn't have sex again.

So Gob drove Steve back to the penthouse so he could put the doves away, and then they had lunch with Lucille, who was still under house arrest.

"Well, well, finally come to visit your mother," she said to Gob.

He still resented that she told him "no one's fighting over you in the divorce" the other day, so he needled her, "Just checking that you haven't slipped your ankle monitor, Mom."

"Ha ha," she said scornfully as she sipped her drink. "You're sounding more like Michael all the time," she said suspiciously. She was always wary of brothers colluding.

Lunch was served and the new housekeeper Maria kept making tons of martinis for Lucille.

Steve Holt once again felt uncomfortable and he leaned over to his dad. "I'm in Alcoholics Anonymous," he whispered while glancing at the drinks. "Maybe I should move somewhere else, like--"

Gob strongly discouraged him from moving into the cabin with Michael. Lucille definitely overheard him.

Giving up on secrecy, Steve said, "I know, but Jazreel showed me that apartment they were talking about in the Gothic Castle. Do you think they would let me move in there if I asked? It'd be more convenient to keep the magic doves there too."

Gob considered that. "Okay, maybe I can ask the Alliance if they'll let you move in."

"Thanks, Dad. Steve Holt!"

Lucille was annoyed that Steve wanted to leave the penthouse too. "First George, then Buster, then you. Why are you all abandoning me?"

"Gangee, it's just that I'm an alcoholic and I don't want to relapse."

She insisted, "Are you all conspiring against me? Taking George's side in the divorce?" Lucille suddenly turned to Gob and asked pointedly, "What are you doing with Michael?"

Gob's eyes widened, and he feared for a moment that she knew about them having sex.

Fortunately, Steve Holt answered for him. "He's just helping Uncle Mike out with the cabin in the woods. He's taking Michael to a laundromat today."

Lucille insisted, "But you keep helping Michael instead of boyfighting with him." It seemed quite out of character to her.

"We don't boyfight anymore," Gob told her. "We taught Dad a lesson with the one-armed man, and we're not going to do what Dad says anymore."

Lucille was surprised but somewhat comforted that Gob was committed to defying George now, instead of desperately craving his father's approval. "And you're not taking George's side in the divorce?"

"No, I'm not taking anybody's side." He even let slip, "We're getting revenge, 'cause that used to be Dad's cabin at Lake Tahoe. We took it away from him. I mean, Michael did."

Lucille felt a little better now, though she grumbled about the love nest where George used to bring all his whores. "Serves him right. Should have sold that musty old claptrap." She kind of regretted not selling the cabin instead of (pretending to sell) the Escondite beach house.

Steve was a little lost, so Gob explained to him about the cabin at Lake Tahoe, and how little Michael waited year after year to go camping there, but Dad always disappointed him. "So pathetic. He doesn't even like fishing." Of course, Gob thought his own situation of ignorance about the cabin was more pathetic. Dad didn't even care enough about Gob to disappoint him.

"Wow." Steve understood now why Michael might feel that living there was a kind of revenge on George for never taking him there. Maybe Lindsay did him a favor by making him move there.

Lucille raised her glass to Gob as she said, "Well, you just help him keep screwing over George." She decided she could live with them colluding against George. "Anyway, since you two are getting along, do you think you can both join Steve at my arraignment hearing next week? They want to read the list of my charges in court, and it looks better if family is there. I mean, if you really aren't boyfighting anymore." Michael and Gob had their boyfight over Marta at George's arraignment hearing.

Gob said, "Michael's trying not to attract publicity, Mom. His lawyer told him to lay low."

"Oh, right. I forgot about his scandal with Lindsay."

"It's not a scandal," Gob said. "He doesn't really want her." If only he could tell his mother that Michael loved him, that Gob alone was that special to him.

Steve chimed in to say that Michael had scared Lindsay off, according to Gob.

Lucille shrugged. "In any case, it's better that he doesn't come. Will you come, Gob?"

Gob said, "Maybe. If I'm not busy. Buster will probably come if you ask him. Lindsay might come if you bribed her."

Lucille nodded at that fair assessment.

After lunch, Gob drove with Steve to the model home to pick up Buster, then dropped them off at Balboa Island so they could work the banana stand for the afternoon. Then he said bye to them and drove to the docks so he could get a disguise from the yacht.

He also wanted to talk things over with Franklin. Gob got the disguise and told Franklin about Tony finally showing up to the Gothic Castle. "He just said he had some emergency yesterday, but he didn't explain. Then he said he couldn't give a speech for me on Friday, that Steve should do it instead. It's all because he's Jewish and something about sunset and shallots."

Franklin said, "Maybe it was a Jewish emergency yesterday. It doesn't matter, as long as he'll still help you break Michael out of prison."

"I know, and I won't be alone with him," he said firmly.

Just then, his phone rang, and it was Tony Wonder. Gob decided to answer in case Tony wanted to talk about the Friday show again or Michael's prison break, or something like that. "Hello?"

"Hi, Gob." He hesitated a moment and asked uncomfortably, "Are you with Michael?"

"Not yet. I'm hanging out with Franklin."

Tony was relieved Gob wasn't fucking his brother right now, but sad to be reminded that Gob thought his puppet was alive. He smoked his cigarette anxiously. "Well I, uh, I wanted to talk to you about something before you go see him."

"Yeah?" Gob was puzzled. "Is it about the show on Friday?"

"No." He cleared his throat and tried to be firm about his plan. "See, I think you should still get Michael into therapy--"

"Tony!" Gob interrupted. "I told you, he's not crazy." He worried again that Sally had turned Tony against him.

"I know, Gob, but hear me out. For appearances' sake, for his court case, he should get therapy. That way, his lawyer can say that he's getting help for his obsession with his adopted sister Lindsay."

Gob considered that argument.

Tony continued, hoping he was getting through. "You gotta admit, it looks bad when Trisha Thoon talks about Michael bidding on Lindsay at that bachelorette action. The public believes that gossip."

Gob pouted. "Stupid reporters!"

"So as I said, if you want Michael's trial to go better, you gotta convince more people that he's not crazy. He could probably look more sympathetic and maybe get acquitted, you know? So he wouldn't go to prison in the first place and we wouldn't have to break him out."

Gob did want to keep Michael out of prison, but they already had plans to leave for Cabo regardless of the trial's outcome. "Sure, but um..." he faltered and wasn't sure what cover story worked with all the lies he'd said already. "What if he doesn't want to go to therapy?"

"Talk him into it, Gob. He owes you for helping him get a job, and... helping him with the cabin." Tony tried not to focus on remembering what he saw at the cabin. "If he still won't agree for appearances' sake, then maybe you could go with him for support? You could even talk out all your problems about Boyfighting and stuff." Stuff like incest, he thought with a frown.

But Gob knew, especially from all his crying sessions with Nellie, that he'd confess way too many secrets in therapy. The therapist would then try to stop them, to make them freak out about the incest; convince Michael that it was regular wrong instead of hot wrong. Gob was afraid that a therapist would be able to turn Michael against him just as easily as their parents used to do with Boyfighting. "No, no. We're over all that now," he said. "We don't need that."

"But Gob," Tony began, not sure if he was refusing all therapy, or just joining Michael in therapy.

"I mean, I might get a fake therapist, for appearances' s--" Just then, Gob's phone beeped and he saw that Michael was on the line. "Oh, Michael's calling now. I gotta go, Tony."


"By the way, Steve Holt wants to move into the apartment at the Gothic Castle. Can you check with the Alliance to see if they'll agree?"


"Thanks, Tony." Gob just hung up, eager to talk to Michael. He didn't want his beloved brother to think that he was ignoring his call. Especially for Tony.

"Hey, Michael. Sorry. I was on the phone."

"Are you coming back home yet?" Gob was somewhat late in calling him.

"Yeah Michael, I'm getting your disguise from the yacht. I'll be right over."

"Okay, love you."

"Love you too."

At the cabin in the woods, Michael got the laundry ready to take to the laundromat. He couldn't wait to see Gob, after spending another lonely lunch without his lover. If only Gob could move in with him at the cabin. If only they could tell everyone they were in love and not brothers. Then he wouldn't have to lie to George Michael and they could openly be a family.

He'd even called his lawyer and Gene Parmesan for updates, but there was nothing new about either his court case or the search for his real birth certificate.

At last Gob arrived with the car, and Michael welcomed him home with a long, deep kiss at the door.

"Hey Mikey," he grinned, putting down the disguise bag he brought with him. He stroked the stubble on Michael's face.

"Hey. How do I look?"

"Great." They kissed again, holding tightly onto each other as if they'd been apart for days, not hours.

Michael was horny, and he impulsively suggested that they have sex before going to the laundromat, so they wouldn't have to do laundry again afterward.

Gob nodded and eagerly followed Michael back to the bedroom. He really was so much more fun lately. It was Michael's turn to be on top, and Gob had fun getting more revenge on Dad. They would just love each other from now on, and no fucking therapist would get in their way. He'd tell Michael about Tony's suggestion later, but not now in the throes of passion.

After they thoroughly dirtied the sheets for an hour, they finally got up to shower and dress. Getting the bag, Gob gave Michael sunglasses and an afro to put on his head as a disguise.

"Wait, is this Franklin's wig?"

"No it's a bigger one. Remember, you wore it when we got drunk at Mom's intervention party." Franklin had been there too.

"Oh." Michael remembered but worried that he'd look silly with an afro, since he wasn't Black.

"Nah, you'll just look like a white guy with an afro. Like Mike Brady or Bob Ross."

"So just hopelessly out of date." Still, Michael shrugged and put on the disguise. Sex always made him easy-going. They loaded up the car with laundry, then drove out to a laundromat.

Gob mentioned Tony Wonder's suggestion to Michael on the drive over. "For appearances' sake. You don't have to get a real therapist, Michael."

"No, it wouldn't work with a fake therapist," Michael argued. "The whole point is that Jan Eagleman is trying to convince people I'm really seeing someone, and those gossip reporters would look up the therapist's credentials."

"Oh, that's right."

"I'll think about it. Maybe I'll ask Jan Eagleman to find me someone."

"You're not nervous at all, about seeing a therapist?"

Michael didn't seem to mind. "No, I could talk about plenty, like Dad's lessons with the one-armed man, Lindsay's secret adoption, Buster accidentally killing Mimi..."

"I guess so. You wouldn't tell them about us would you?"

"You and me?" He looked at Gob, and said, "No." Michael had decided that he couldn't confess to anyone unless he had DNA proof or birth certificates to show he and Gob weren't related. If he didn't have proof, then nobody would believe that he loved Gob and they weren't crazy.

Gob was relieved, and he worried a little less about Michael seeing a therapist for appearances' sake.