[Michael finds a new place to live, and tries to break up with Gob, only to fail. Then we have a flashback to college, when Michael dated Tracey. The more explicit version of this chapter is at AO3.

This used to be part of the old Chapter 13. Reminder: George Michael left his bike by the banana stand when he met Maeby for lunch in Chapter 7.]

After meeting with Gene Parmesan, Michael arrived at Balboa Towers, and he called Buster from the parking garage. "Hey, I'm here to drop off the staircar."

"Drop off?" Buster asked, not getting very good reception. His uncle/father Oscar joined him in the living room, so Buster turned on the speakerphone.

"Yeah, 'caused Dad seemed so pissed about me having the staircar." Michael didn't particularly enjoy driving the slow and smelly staircar anyway. "Anyway, I'm waiting on a cab now," he said as he got his bags out of the staircar. "So do you wanna come down and get the keys from me, or should I just leave them in your mailbox?"

Buster said, "No, wait. Don't leave, Michael."

Oscar added, "Yeah, come upstairs."

Michael shook his head, though they couldn't see him. "No, didn't you guys hear the news yet? Dad's kicking me out of the family."

"We know. Dad called and told us about you and Lindsay. But you don't have to go anywhere."

"Really?" Michael was a little stunned.

Buster nodded. "He can kick you out of the house, but he can't kick you out of the family."

"Right," Oscar said, "and Lindsay asked us to let you stay with us."

"Oh she did?" Michael could understand Lindsay feeling guilty. "And you guys don't mind?"

"No. Family first."

Buster added, "Besides, there's room here now. Lindsay said that she was getting the yacht back for Gob."

"Oh, she did, huh?" Michael pretended to act surprised. "Well good for him. But wait-if I stay with you guys, Dad will be furious with you both."

"He's always angry at us, anyway," Buster pointed out. George had never liked Buster.

Oscar nodded; George was angry with him for having the affair with Lucille, but also for having great hair.

Michael agreed with a shrug. "All right. Since I'm out of a job, I guess I should save money and not go to a hotel. Let me get rid of the cab, and then I'll come upstairs."

"I'll help you with your bags," Oscar said, as he left the penthouse.

After he hung up, Buster went to the kitchen and told Lupe that Michael had arrived and was moving in now. Lupe sighed and muttered in Spanish that it was still shocking that Lindsay felt so sorry for her brother, who had apparently harbored incestuous feelings for her for years.

Buster told her not to complain, since Lindsay had agreed to pay Lupe's wages now that Lucille was in prison.

Lupe said that she would not complain in English, and she congratulated Buster for getting better in Spanish.

Buster smiled proudly; he enjoyed spending time with Lupe, without his mother's disapproval. Since rehiring Lupe, Lucille had been strict that they could never be alone and have sex again.

Downstairs, Michael called to cancel the cab that he ordered, then he walked out of the parking garage toward the entrance to the apartment building, where he thought Oscar would meet him. Just then, his cellphone rang, and the caller ID showed Gob's number. Michael didn't answer it, and he nervously shut off the phone.

The C-word was now tied at the dock, and Gob climbed aboard to make sure that all his magic props were undamaged by the trip. Steve Holt unloaded the Segway from his car, then looked around curiously, since he had not been invited to his father's new yacht before.

Gob was annoyed that Michael hadn't answered his phone, but he figured that maybe he was stuck in an argument with Dad about Lindsay. Gob put down Franklin and started to make room for Michael to move in. But then he noticed the suitcase from his girlfriend, and realized that he must move her out first. "Hey Steve, I gotta take this to my girlfriend's house."

"You have a girlfriend?" Gob had kept this information from his son as well, thinking that Steve Holt might spill the news to Maeby or George Michael.

"Yeah, drive me over there, okay?" He needed to get there and back quickly, which he couldn't do on his Segway.

"Okay, Dad."

But as they approached the Veals' house, Steve recognized it. After all, he and his campaign manager had gone over their winning strategy for the class president election at her house. Steve already knew that his dad sometimes dated high school girls, but this was rather shocking. As he parked the Camaro, he asked, "Oh my God. Wasn't she George Michael's girlfriend too?"

Gob nodded and said matter-of-factly, "Yeah, she dumped him at the beauty pageant at the Church and State Fair. But listen, Christian girlfriends are way more trouble than they're worth." It had been much like his marriage to his army wife in fact. "All chain and no ball. And even if you do convince them to fuck you, it's no good either. If you get one of those pregnant, they stay pregnant."

Steve's mother Eve Holt was one of those Christian girlfriends, and he felt rather hurt by his father's insensitivity. But he said nothing, because he was still that needy for his father's attention.

Getting out of the car, Gob said cheerfully, "Okay, wait here. I gotta dump her now." He took the suitcase and strode up to the Veals' front door.

When Gob knocked, creepy Uncle Paul answered the door, but before Gob could speak, Uncle Paul snatched the suitcase from him. He gruffly explained that his niece was sick with a cold and that she was in fact dumping Gob, because during the fight on the yacht, Gob had just abandoned her while she was screaming.

Gob excused his cowardice. "Well, nobody was hitting her! Anyway, she could have at least gone to go get her suitcase."

"No she couldn't, because George Michael started the engine, and the jolt knocked her into the water. Nobody rescued her, or even threw her a life preserver. She never wants to see you Bluths again." Uncle Paul slammed the door shut.

Gob felt mildly insulted, but then he shrugged it off, and figured that, either way, he was rid of his annoying Christian girlfriend and all her evangelizing, chaperoning friends. So he rejoined his son in the Camaro, and they drove back to the docks.

Steve asked, "So she was living with you on the yacht?"

"Yeah," Gob said. "She'd just moved in, and I had to keep her a secret for months. But George Michael found out on the same day as the Queen Mary party and he punched me before stealing my yacht." Gob touched the bruise on his cheek as he complained, "Damn teenager. And all along he was married to Maeby."

"Yeah, that's weird." Steve hoped that George Michael would be a good husband to Maeby now, because if he cheated or mistreated her, then Steve would go punch him out, whether they were all cousins or not.

When they arrived at the docks, Gob sent Steve home, insisting that he didn't need Steve's help to move Michael to the yacht. "You go work on the magic stuff like we talked about before."


Once he was alone on the yacht, Gob called Michael again.

Michael had by this time turned his phone on again, and with a sigh, he went to the balcony for privacy. He had to get this over with, or Gob would never stop bugging him. "Um, hi, Gob."

"Hey, Mikey. Where've you been?"

Michael tried not to be affected by his sexy voice. "Uh, Gob, you're alone? Steve's not with you?"

"Nope. Just me and Franklin." He sounded eager and excited. "We got the yacht all ready now. How soon can you get here?"

Michael said, "Uh, listen, Gob, I-I can't move in with you."

"Why not?"

For some reason, Michael couldn't bring himself to hurt Gob's feelings, and he let him down easy. "Well, um, because it'll look suspicious. I mean, the police already thought I was trying to escape to Cabo before, so if I go on the yacht again, they'll think that I'm trying to jump bail. So I'm just going to stay with Buster and Oscar, okay?"

Gob was not okay with that. "No, Mikey! What about our deal? When are we gonna fuck?"

Michael coughed in embarrassment. "Well-well, the deal was only so that you'd help me find the kids, Gob. But Steve lost them, and anyway, George Michael called me back finally and we made up. So the deal's off. Thanks anyway."

"But Michael-"

"So uh, enjoy your yacht with Franklin, and stay away from high school girls." Michael quickly hung up. Gob tried to call him back, but Michael turned off his phone again. He just hoped that Gob would give up and stop calling him soon.

That evening, while Lupe was cooking dinner, Gob dropped by the penthouse and demanded at the door, "Where's Michael?"

Michael turned around and jumped up from the couch nervously, not having considered that Gob would come see him in person, in front of other family members.

Gob strode over with a determined look on his face, growling, "Michael!"

Michael took his arm and quickly excused them to the balcony.

Once Michael shut the door, Gob asked irritably, "How come you won't you answer my calls? Why won't you move in with me?"

Michael hushed him. "Gob, I told you why."

"Then why didn't you say that before, at the house? Why'd you get Lindsay to give me the yacht?" He stood closer and tried to nuzzle Michael, but his brother stepped back and hissed, "People can see us!"

There were balconies all around Balboa Towers, some of which faced theirs. Also, the curtains did not entirely block the view from inside the penthouse.

Gob pouted, then gestured to the part of the balcony that opened onto the master bedroom. "Then let's go inside, and-"

"No!" Michael did not want to be alone in a bedroom with Gob.

"What's wrong with you?" He coaxed, "Don't you want me anymore? Don't you want to have more fun, Mikey?"

Michael shook his head and stepped back again. "No, I told you. The deal's off."

"Fuck the deal!" Gob was becoming frustrated. "I know you liked it, Michael. You did, and you weren't scared anymore."

"Gob, I-I was upset, and not thinking..." Meeting his eyes at last, Michael told him bluntly, "It was a mistake, and we can't do that anymore."

"Why not?"

"It's wrong."

"So?" He whined, "Come on, Mikey, I didn't get to fuck you yet."

Michael hushed him again. "I don't wanna talk about this anymore, Gob. Please leave. Go back to your yacht."

"Come with me."

"No! Come on, Gob, you wanted that yacht even without me there. Go enjoy it."

"Please, Mikey." Thinking he might be jealous, Gob told him, "I even dumped my girlfriend like you wanted."

Michael got annoyed with him. "That wasn't for me! That was for George Michael. And the statutory rape laws."

Gob scoffed. "Oh, you're always so worried about George Michael. You've really gotta let him go." Even though he was a lousy father, he did know that much. "You don't even care if he's happy, just as long as you can control him."

"I do care! That's why I let him stay with Maeby." In his outrage, he lashed out. "You-you're the reason why he ran away!"

"No, Maeby was. And 'cause you're always running away too."

"I mean on the yacht, when he punched you. You're a selfish bastard, Gob, and you-you never think. You're arrogant, and disgusting, and you... you drive me crazy."

Not offended at all, Gob grinned and responded sexily, "You make me crazy, too."

Michael blinked, realizing how close they stood. Avoiding Gob's touch again, Michael left the balcony and retreated to the kitchen, where he tried to help Lupe with dinner.

Gob followed and stole some food, but Michael would no longer talk to him nor meet his eyes.

Buster and Oscar began asking what was wrong, and Michael quickly covered with, "He's mad at me about Lindsay."

Gob said, "No, I'm not," but did not elaborate further.

Michael made a break through the other kitchen door, slipping back into the living room and saying that he wasn't hungry now.

"Michael!" Gob started to follow him again, but Michael didn't stop, managing to get down the hall and lock himself in Buster's room.

Gob could probably pick the lock, but on the other hand, Buster and Oscar were still curiously watching and wondering what was going on, so Gob decided to give up for now. "Fine, I'll go. Goodnight, Oscar. Night, Busty."

"Bye." They remained as puzzled as ever.

So Gob left and rode back to the docks on his Segway. He would have to devise some other plan to get Michael alone. Michael could not hide out forever. Maybe he should change his magic show on Saturday so that he escaped from Lindsay's birthday party while everybody but Michael was there. Then while his family were impressed by his illusion, Gob could sneak into the penthouse and be with Michael. If Lupe was around, then Gob could just kidnap Michael using ether and Franklin. Then he'd take him to the yacht, and talk him out of being a coward. Gob would remind him how good it felt to kiss and touch, to share brotherly love.

Michael eventually came out to eat dinner, and he made feeble excuses about his fight with Gob. "Just him and Egg and George Michael..." He sighed, "I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't live here. I could go find someplace else tomorrow." He did have some savings left, as well as the royalty checks from the Mr. Bananagrabber TV show, to pay rent for a while. He could rent an apartment somewhere and not tell Gob his new address.

Buster and Oscar merely shrugged and glanced at each other, thinking that Michael was making empty threats to run away again. He was the boy who cried Phoenix, after all.

That night, everyone went to bed, and Michael got the couch. He couldn't sleep, though, and kept thinking of Gob, who had slept on the very same couch recently. Michael remembered Gob's embrace, in bed at the model home, and his throat went dry.

So he got up and poured himself a stiff drink. But that reminded Michael of the intervention/party a couple of years ago, when they had laughed and got drunk together. Gob had even climbed onto the dining table and put Franklin's wig on his head.

Michael wondered if Gob was complaining to Franklin right now on his yacht. Or maybe he had already picked up some new girl to fuck to get back at Michael, or maybe he had gone back to the old one? That made Michael frown, but then again, why should he care? If Gob got arrested for statutory rape and imprisoned, that would certainly keep Gob away from him, right? Unless, of course, Michael got imprisoned too, due to his trial for embezzlement, bribery, and conspiracy. Stuck behind bars with Gob again...

Putting down the drink, Michael shook his head and decided that he needed some fresh air. He went out to the balcony, but then he recalled their fight that day. He was actually getting a little hot just thinking about it.

Rushing back inside, Michael put on his shoes and a robe over his pajamas. Taking his keys, he left the penthouse altogether and went downstairs to the staircar. Then he drove around town and felt miserably trapped, since he couldn't go join George Michael in L.A. At least the local police didn't force him to wear a tracking device yet, but they surely would come after him if he violated the terms of his bail.

Michael finally parked near Balboa Island, and he went to the banana stand to brood. Then he found George Michael's bike locked up next to it, making him miss his son even more. Unlocking the bike, Michael rode out to the beach and wished for the good old days with his little son and his late wife. They should have spent more days here having fun, but Michael had spent too much time working, believing that this would earn him a full partnership in the Bluth Company. What a waste.

Michael realized gradually that he was biking out to the docks. But maybe he was just going to get a DNA sample from Gob for Gene Parmesan. Just one of those sandals he wore, or some hair from his brush... Just something to prove that they weren't brothers.

Soon Michael arrived at the yacht and listened. Silence, so apparently Gob was asleep, or not there. He set down the bike and climbed aboard, but he accidentally knocked over the Segway, which Gob had secured against the circular stairs that led to the upper deck. "Shit!"

Awakened by the noise, Gob got up irritably and opened the door. Then he looked pleased and stepped forward. "Mikey?"

Holding onto the stair railing, Michael began stammering an excuse for his presence, that he was looking for a tie or something that he left on the yacht when he was arrested. But seeing Gob there, standing in his robe, Michael couldn't think. He let go of the railing and kissed him passionately.

Gob enjoyed it, standing close to him in the shadow of the stairs. But after a moment, he pulled back and said with a smirk, "People could see us." Then he drew Michael inside his cabin and shut the door.

Kissing feverishly, they moved toward the bed in the darkness. It folded out from a couch, and the springs creaked with their combined weight. Gob still teased him, "I thought you couldn't come here."

Michael just begged, "Touch me."

Gob gladly did so, and they quickly discarded their robes on the floor. Gob was naked underneath, and Michael tackled him, hungry to feel and taste every part of his brother, like when they were naked in bed before. Gob was pleased that Michael was less shy about blowing him this time, though he still did need more practice. He couldn't suppress his gag reflex. "Uh-sorry."

"It's okay," Gob said, and pulled him up for a kiss. He finished stripping Michael naked, and they wrestled on the bed, like before at the model home. Gob asked, "You missed me, huh?"

"Yeah," Michael admitted breathlessly.

"And it's not a mistake?"

"No." Michael closed his eyes and smelled his brother's neck. Everything about Gob was intoxicating.

Gob thrust against Michael again, then he grasped both their erections and rubbed them exquisitely together. Michael moaned deeply and scratched his fingernails along Gob's back.

Gob kept kissing him and pumping them until they were soon panting and crying out. They made a wonderful mess.

Then Michael sighed and blinked at Gob in the faint moonlight. He still didn't know if they were flesh and blood brothers or not, but they were flesh and blood lovers now. He was so clearly and repeatedly gay for him.

Gob shifted and caressed his face. "You going to stay now, Mikey? Not run away again?"

Michael was not sure. "Buster and Uncle Oscar will wonder-"

Gob insisted, "It's too late to go now. You should stay here with me."

So Michael nodded and agreed. Maybe he'd just say that he'd gone to retrieve his son's bike, and then decided to make up with Gob about their earlier fight. He hoped that wouldn't sound suspicious at all, but he really couldn't think now.

"Michael." Gob kissed and nuzzled him, brushing his eyelashes against Michael's skin. It was so good to know that Michael would come to him willingly, with no need for ether or other drugs now. He just got scared before, apparently, but he did want Gob after all. It made Gob feel warm inside.

Michael entwined their fingers and tried not to listen to the part of his brain that said this was sick and wrong. He wasn't going to think about George Michael now or feel guilty. This was a crazy family, and it wasn't his fault if he was going crazy too. He wasn't responsible. Besides, this was better than fighting with Gob.

After a moment, Gob retrieved his fingers from Michael's grasp. He licked sensuously down his brother's neck and slid his hands along his thighs.

"Oh, Gob..." Apparently it was a family trait that they could get hard again quickly, because they did so. That should have disturbed Michael even more, but he was just too horny.

Gob growled, "I wanna fuck you, Mikey."

Michael was not surprised, given Gob's words earlier that day. He also regularly left obscene notes for Michael on his computer at work, which Michael would delete without comment. He kept trying to change his password so that Gob couldn't use the computer, but Gob always broke in easily whenever he dropped by the office. He knew Michael too well.

Michael thought about Gob fucking him, like he wrote so often in his obscene notes, and it didn't sound that bad anymore. Gob was clearly very experienced in gay sex, and Michael was willing to trust him. He already trusted Gob enough to be naked with him, like he had not been with any other lovers since Tracey.

"Okay," he said softly, "if you're careful."

"Yeah!" Gob grinned in delight. "I'll make you feel so good, Mikey. I promise." Michael was special to him, and this was brotherly love. His Christian girlfriend was always talking about how pure and good brotherly love was, so he didn't feel ashamed at all. Gob didn't care if she or her chaperoning friends meant something else by that term, like they didn't mean "threesome" when they talked about the Holy Trinity. If Mikey loved him, then nothing else mattered.

Michael hope that Gob meant his promise like he meant it when they planned to teach Dad the lesson against Boyfights. Maybe Gob was capable of tenderness after all, of making love instead of just fucking. Given his brother's sexual history, though, Michael did ask if Gob had condoms.

"Yeah, I got stuffs." Even if he hadn't known that Michael was coming by tonight, Gob had already bought condoms in anticipation of his Christian girlfriend moving in. Gob had learned his lesson about evangelical girls not having either birth control or abortions, and he didn't want to risk having another Steve Holt on his hands.

Gob quickly got condoms and lube out of a nearby cabinet, then returned to bed excitedly. He kissed Michael, who lay back on the bed and tried not to be nervous.

As Gob thoroughly prepared him, it felt weird to Michael, but also arousing to look in his eyes. He made soft breathless sounds in the darkness, and Gob stroked himself with anticipation, before putting on a condom like Michael wanted.

He knew that his brother was a virgin in this area still, so Gob pushed in gently and tried to move him into a comfortable position. It did still hurt, though, so Gob paused and gave him a reacharound. "You like sirsumventing?" he asked, reminding Michael of one time at the office when Michael tried to teach him the word "circumvent."

The memory amused Michael enough to laugh a little and relax, making it easier for Gob to sink deeper into him. "Mmm, Gob."

Gob nuzzled the back of his neck and sighed, "Mikey. You're mine." At long last. He loved how they fit together. "It's you and me."

"You and me." As he shifted on the bed, Michael looked up and noticed now that Gob kept a framed photo of him here on the yacht. It was the same photo that Gob had used on the card included with his iFranklin Comes Alive/i CD. Was that why his brother dreamed of him? Because he went to sleep always looking at his face? It was apparently Gob's idea of romance and love, and he found it oddly touching.

Gob had to take a moment to control himself, to make this last. "It's okay?" he asked.

"Yeah." Michael was on his knees and supporting himself on his arms. He turned and kissed Gob eagerly.

Then Gob started to move, slowly at first. Michael closed his eyes and moaned softly, feeling both pleasure and a dull ache. When Michael got used to it, Gob picked up his pace. Michael moved with him and made more noise, groaning with each thrust. Gob definitely knew what he was doing.

Soon they were rocking together and making the bed creak loudly. It was hot and sweaty and so so wrong. It was over too soon.

Finally Gob pulled out, exhausted and happy. He discarded the condom while Michael moved out of the wet spot. Gob turned Michael toward him for another kiss and asked if he was okay. Michael nodded and clung to him, regretting that he had been afraid for so long. He should have given in before, and thus avoided disasters like with Maggie Lizer or Sally Sitwell or Rita Leeds. Maybe Gob never would have dated Egg then. "It was so good."

"I told you." Gob grinned and kissed him again. He felt proud and pleased, but he was far too comfortable to leave bed and announce to Franklin that he'd really fucked Michael this time. (Besides, Franklin heard the whole thing from the captain's chair, where he was facing the steering controls for the yacht.) Gob knew Franklin wouldn't squeal, because he already took out the tape recorder that was inside him at the mock trial.

The brothers nuzzled each other and lay close, lost in the afterglow. Moonlight streamed between the blinds on the cabin windows, and they could hear water lapping at the yacht along with other dock sounds. Everything was peaceful now, and Gob was half tempted to whisper, "I love you," but he didn't want to risk Michael not saying it back to him.

When Gob had sex with Kitty in the storage room a couple of years ago, Kitty had made fun of him for being girly when he cried about Michael afterward. She wasn't a good listener like Nellie the whore, who never judged him or said anything about it being wrong. She'd apparently heard everything in her profession, and could not be shocked. Her listening to him was the only thing that helped Gob cope over the years.

In bed they were still resting, and Gob listened to Michael's heartbeat for a while. Fearing that he was getting girly, Gob finally sat up and offered Michael a drink from his stocked bar.

Michael accepted and sat up to watch him. Glancing at the bedside photo again, he asked pensively, "Gob, how long have you... felt like this? Wanted to have sex? It wasn't just these past few years, was it?"

Gob shrugged and was wary of confessing everything, of having Michael judge him and decide this was wrong again. He had seemed to like doing stuff at the model home, only to change his mind and try to back out later. Gob just poured the drink and returned to bed with it. He gave it to Michael to try to make him relax and let go of the question.

Michael drank, but was still thinking. Then he guessed, "You wanted to fuck me on that Spring Break, didn't you? In my freshman year at college?"

Gob looked surprised and pleased. "You remember that, Mikey?" Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to confess. Maybe Michael could understand. Gob put an arm around him and shared the drink out of the same glass.

Years ago, Lindsay had to repeat the 9th grade in high school, so she fell behind her supposed twin Michael. But in Michael's senior year, George Sr. bribed a school official to let Lindsay skip a grade and catch up to Michael so they would be in the same graduating class. George Sr. couldn't say no to his daughter, even after all the fights they had about her pregnancies and abortions. He knew those problems came from Lucille's constant criticisms of her weight. Plus the bribe would make things up to Lindsay for losing the class election to Sally Sitwell, her hated rival. George Sr. was not able to fix this election, what with Stan Sitwell keeping a close eye on the ballot box. The end result was that Lindsay at least beat out Sally for Best Hair in the yearbook photos, and Lindsay graduated with Michael that year. But George Sr. shouldn't have bothered to pay for her college tuition, because it was a waste.

Soon after the twins went away to college, Lindsay dropped out and took up with various left-wing radicals, still feeling a need to rebel. Meanwhile, Michael excelled at college, as expected, and he especially enjoyed his freedom and independence from his family. The lack of pressure and scrutiny from them gave him the confidence to start dating finally.

Then in 1988, during the Spring Break of Michael's freshman year, Gob came to pick him up, and he showed off his new Camaro.

Michael asked, somewhat bitterly, "Dad bought you another company car?"

Gob lied, "No, I won this one on Card Sharks. I'd show you the episode, but Buster taped over it with some Nova special."

"I don't care." Michael just dumped his bags into the car's trunk. He didn't need to see Gob acting smug on a TV game show, and possibly mentioning Michael by name as he gloated over winning the car.

So they got in and drove home to Newport Beach. After a while, Gob broke the tense silence by mockingly asking if Michael was still a virgin.

"No, I'm not! Didn't you hear? I told Lindsay already." He'd called her immediately, months ago, needing someone to be impressed by his milestone, however late.

Lindsay, unfortunately, had misunderstood Michael's confession as something private for her, due to his crush on her; possibly it was an attempt to make her jealous or something. She didn't say this directly to Michael, though. She just acted weird on the phone, awkwardly saying "Congratulations," and hanging up.

Gob answered, "Well, she didn't tell anybody else in the family. I haven't even heard from her anyway since she went off with that latest tree hugger." Privately, Gob was disappointed by Michael's news, but he was determined not to let it show. He said dismissively, "So you've fucked one girl. Big deal."

"Three," Michael corrected him proudly. "I've slept with three girls."

Gob was impressed, but would not admit it. He laughed and made fun of Michael instead. "Only three?"

Michael blinked in confusion. "What? That's a lot. You didn't sleep with that many girls your first year." If he counted correctly, it was only about six girls all through high school. Not that he kept track of how many girls Gob had seduced.

"Yeah, but that was high school, Michael. This is college. There's dorms full of chicks, away from their parents, and getting drunk at keggers. You can get three girls at every frat party."

Michael said, "You've never even been to college!"

"Yeah, but I've fucked tons of coeds on Spring Break. Besides, not even counting the guys in high school, Lindsay's already bagged more guys in college than you."

Michael felt annoyed at Gob for bursting his bubble. "Well yeah, because she wasn't a virgin anymore." He shrugged and tried to regain his confidence. "Anyway, Lindsay dropped out of college, so she has time to fuck every guy. Unlike her, I take my education seriously."

"Yeah, you take it too seriously, and that's why you've only slept with three women! I mean, it's Spring Break right now, but Dad told me that you're gonna spend it working at the Bluth Company."

"Right. What's wrong with that?"

"Why would you wanna spend Spring Break working for Dad? You spent all your summers at the banana stand, and now you wanna waste your Spring Break too?"

"This is important, Gob. I'm not working at the banana stand anymore; I'm working at the Bluth Company. I need to learn about the business, for when I take over someday."

Gob pouted at being passed over, and he tried to get Michael to blow it off. "No, you need to learn how to relax, guy. Let's go to the beach and have some fun instead."

"Fun?" He couldn't imagine having fun with Gob.

"Yeah, it's the opposite of what you usually do." Gob kept offering to take Michael out, and help him hook up with some wild girls on Spring Break. "You can try to catch up to me."

"It's not a competition, Gob, and we're not kids anymore."

"Of course it's not a competition, because if it were, you'd lose, guy. Just like you lost the election for class president to me." He laughed.

Michael pouted, but he was not going to give Gob the satisfaction of a response.

Gob continued, "But anyway, no, this is about me trying to help you, Michael. Just like when I used to help Buster when we were little."

"You mean when you bullied Buster, and called him a chicken?"

"Yeah. It got him to go on the slide and the monkey bars, right? So I can teach you not to be afraid of girls."

"I'm not afraid of girls."

"Yes, you are! You've only fucked three girls." As they arrived at a bus station in town, Gob even pulled over the car, so that he could get out and do his chicken dance.

"Gob, stop it!" Then Michael got the idea to move to the driver's seat and go, leaving Gob behind.

But Gob quickly reached into the window and fought with him for the keys. Then he said, "Come on, Michael. I can help you. I can show you how to pick up girls."

"I already know all about your 'car trouble' routine from high school."

"Yeah, but I got better moves now. I got some great illusions to attract the honeys. Here, I'll show you." He pointed to a hot babe getting off the bus, and Michael recognized her as Tracey, his dream girl from school.

Tracey was also home for Spring Break, and was lugging her bags with her.

Gob started to go hit on her, but Michael stopped him and got out of the car. "No!"

Michael went over himself, and said, "Hi, Tracey."

She didn't recognize him.

"I'm Michael Bluth. We went to Balboa High together."

"Bluth? You're Gob's baby brother?"

Michael blushed. "No, that was Buster. He wore glasses. I didn't."

Then she laughed, finally remembering him. "Oh, you! You were in that play, the Trial of Captain Hook."

"Yeah." He looked somewhat embarrassed, but shrugged it off shyly. "It was an English credit."

She said, kindly, "Well, you looked good in green." And he had definitely grown up nicely.

"Thanks. Can I help you with those?" He helped her with her bags, and she explained that she was waiting for her mom to pick her up from the station. They went over to a bench to sit down, and he said he would keep her company until her mom arrived.

Gob was stunned, watching them intently as they chatted about high school and college life. He leaned on the Camaro and realized that Michael had indeed grown up, finding a new confidence that he had not had when they were kids.

When Tracey's mother pulled up in her car, Michael finally worked up the nerve to ask out Tracey. She said yes and gave him her number, before putting her bags in the car. She waved goodbye as her mom drove away.

Then Michael returned to the Camaro, feeling elated and even joking, "I'm surprised you didn't drive off without me."

Gob said irritably, "You'll never fuck her. She's way out of your league."

Michael was offended. "Oh, like you would know! You just trick girls into sleeping with you."

Gob said, "You don't even have a car. She-she just saw you get out of my Camaro and assumed that it was yours."

"No, she didn't." Still, his confidence was shaken. Michael said, "Well, since you've got this Camaro, you don't need any of your old company cars now. Let me use one of those."

"Why? You can go embarrass yourself with your bike."

"Gob, come on! You're such a jerk. I knew you didn't mean it when you said you wanted to help me."

Hurt, Gob reluctantly said, "Fine. You can have my old car from last year."


Gob nodded and swallowed. "'Cause you're my brother."

"Thanks!" Michael smiled and impulsively hugged him.

Gob squeezed him tight and lingered for a while. It had been too long since he'd felt Michael this close to him.

After a moment, Michael pulled back and looked slightly puzzled by his brother's behavior. He repeated his thanks, then got back into the car. Gob got in and started the engine again. As they drove on, he started giving Michael advice for his date with Tracey. Michael intended to ignore all of it as sleazy and dishonest, but he humored Gob by pretending to listen. Gob wanted so much to teach Michael things, to have him be impressed.

They drove home to see the rest of their family and unload Michael's bags. (It was their childhood home, before Mom and Dad moved with Buster to the penthouse. Only Lindsay was missing because she was living with her boyfriend and didn't care about coming home except for money.)

Mom and Dad weren't sure that they liked Michael's new confidence when they talked to him; he talked back and was more sarcastic now. Lucille said that she didn't like whatever new friends he was making at college. Gob blurted out that Michael wasn't a virgin anymore, and Michael became uncomfortable as they all talked about how he was afraid of girls.

Dad was sure of this because Michael had run away from Sally Sitwell once, and he tried to undermine Michael's confidence too. Bringing up the Bluth Company, George Sr. reminded Michael that he would start at the bottom, to avoid accusations of nepotism. He would have to earn approval like anybody else. Michael sighed and went to hang out in his room. He called Tracey to confirm their plans for a date, and he got the car keys from Gob.

When Michael went on his date that night, Gob secretly followed him in the Camaro.

He watched them flirting and enjoying themselves, even though Michael was doing everything wrong, not using any of Gob's recommended moves. So he wouldn't even feel grateful or impressed or ask Gob for more advice tonight.

Finally Gob frowned sadly and left. He realized that he missed Michael intensely. He hadn't seen his brother much since high school, when he left to become a magician. Gob wanted to spend time with him again, to have one of their tumbling, wrestling fights. Gob waited up for his brother and drank for much of the time.

Michael didn't actually sleep with Tracey that night, but he didn't care when Gob teased him about it once he got home. He was just so happy that she had kissed him goodnight and agreed to a second date. Michael asked if he could keep using the car, and Gob was tempted to say no, but he couldn't resist the look in Michael's eyes. He said, "okay," then enjoyed another hug from Michael.

"You're a good brother."

Gob said nothing and smelled his brother's hair.

Michael blinked, but he could smell the alcohol on his breath, so he figured that Gob was just drunk. "Thanks. Goodnight."

Michael and Tracey slept together the next night, partly because she was feeling a little wild on Spring Break, and partly because Michael was so hot.

Gob was increasingly aware that Michael was hot too. It was crazy of him to notice it, and to feel attracted, but Gob could not help it somehow. He ached for Michael's touch, no matter how wrong it was. Gob realized that the only factors holding Michael back from success with more lovers were his occasional shyness, his goofy haircut, and his obsessive focus on work. Gob was jealous of his brother, but not because of their sibling rivalry anymore; it was because he wanted Michael for himself.

When Michael returned from his second date, he told Gob with a grin that he had now slept with four women. Gob tried to undermine his milestone again, but Michael still glowed about it. Even if the number was supposedly low, Tracey was more than a number to him. She was his dream girl.

Michael continued dating her over the two-week break, even ignoring George Sr.'s complaints that he wasn't concentrating on the business properly. When their holiday came to an end, Tracey gave Michael her phone number at her college, and Michael asked to keep the car, so he could visit her at her college.

Gob agreed only because he thought the fling surely would not last beyond the break. They'd get tired of each other and drift apart, surely. So after a while, Gob drove up to visit Michael at college, but Michael was still dating Tracey.

Gob was surprised that Michael wasn't even cheating on her. "You've only slept with four women, guy!"

Michael said with a smile, "I know, Gob," and insisted that he was perfectly happy with that number.

Gob kept dropping by for visits, and he always acted shocked that Michael wasn't playing the field. To humor Gob, Michael spent some time with his brother, and even attended some of his magic shows, but he stubbornly refused any offers to pick up other girls. Gob tried to accept this limited contact with Michael, but he often tried to provoke fights as well, hoping they would wrestle and tumble once more.

The fighting got even worse that summer, as Michael and Tracey spent almost all their free time together. And then when Michael got careless about using condoms, Tracey got pregnant. After the initial panic, they decided to get married.

When George Sr. found out about the engagement, he strongly urged Michael not to marry her just because he'd knocked her up, (because it seemed too much like how Lucille had tricked him into marriage). He said they could bribe her into having an abortion. Gob had agreed with Dad, implying that Michael only wanted to marry her because he had to. Michael got mad, assuming that Gob was just being sleazy, as well as sucking up to Dad for approval. But maybe it had nothing to do with Dad, and had everything to do with wanting Michael.

Thinking of his wedding day, Michael asked, "Gob, did you set Tracey's hair on fire on purpose? Were you jealous?"

Gob replied, "No, Mikey. I was trying to impress you with my illusion."

Michael took another drink, and recalled that Gob had let a fireball off at his wedding to Rita too, accidentally setting Tobias's hair plugs on fire. However, his illusion for Rita did not harm her at all. So he shrugged off the suspicion. "Okay. But you did-you did want me when you offered that hooker to me?"

"Nellie? Yeah."

Michael clarified, "No, I meant, when I asked you to witness my wedding with Rita."

"Yeah, Mikey." Gob smiled and kissed him. "I-I wanted to do more than watch." He leaned close and whispered all the dirty things he wanted to do.

It turned Michael on again, and he put down the glass on the bedside table. With a kiss, they embraced and made love again.