Okay, so here's the sequel to The Old Familiar Places. Beware of slight plotlessness, as it's mostly a 'scenes from a relationship' kind of thing (although there *will* be a smidgen of conflict…), and sex stuff.
Synopsis: How are our boys faring, six months into living together in NYC? Let's find out together, shall we?
Disclaimer: I do not, never have, and never will own Family Guy.
From across the restaurant, Stewart Gilligan Griffin espies his parents entering the establishment and talking to the maître d', and stands. This is the first time they've been to Manhattan to visit him and they are meeting for lunch. He adjusts the cuffs of his shirt sleeves and attempts to get a grip on himself, taking a deep, cleansing breath. This is only your family, who you don't think much of, anyway. They draw nearer to his table, and he smiles graciously, and sticks out his hand.
Peter uses it to pull him into a crushing hug. "Heya, Stu, buddy, how the heck have you been?"
Lois shrugs out of her coat and shoots an inquiring look at the empty seat next to Stewie.
"Is Brian in the restroom?"
"Uh, no. Brian couldn't come today," says Stewie. "He's back at the apartment sleeping-"
"-off a hangover?" Lois finishes his sentence for him in a cynical voice.
"Quite possibly," returns Stewie easily. "Although, if he has drunk more than he ought, it's only because he's been quite stressed in recent weeks. Really, he's cut down substantially in his intake of spirits since he's lived with me." He smirks a little as he says this.
Lois waits in vain for Peter to pull out her chair for her. When it becomes clear that he isn't about to- merely heaving his bulk onto a seat of his own- she sighs and plops down in the chair beside Stewie's, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Oh, he has, huh?" she asks doubtfully.
Stewie clears his throat and shakes out his napkin, placing it delicately in his lap. "Yes, he has, Mother," he says in a clipped voice.
From across the table, Peter wants to know, "What's he so stressed out about?"
Stewie signals for a nearby waiter to approach with the wine list. "Oh, the play, what else?" he replies, giving the short answer.
All three hold out their hands to receive the wine list, but Stewie manages to snatch it before his parents, and sits back in his chair to examine it, requesting the waiter give them a moment.
"Stu," Lois says quietly but reprovingly, "I think that seniority would dictate that you father should choose…"
"But since I mean to treat you both…," Stewie points out, "Anyway, he would probably select something comparable to urine fortified with a hint of Welch's finest." He looks up at Peter, who is picking at his teeth with the tines of his fork and paying them no mind. "Wouldn't you indeed, Father?" he asks more loudly.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, you betcha, Stu," says Peter dismissively. He pauses. "So how's Brian's play coming along, then? He must be pretty hard at work on it. And of course there's so much to do here in the Big Apple. No shortage of distractions for either of you. He hasn't called me in a good long while," he adds sort of sadly.
Stewie feels a little guilty, knowing (mystifying as it is) how much of a bond Brian and Peter used to have, and thinks that his folks have gone back home, he'll remind Brian to ring him up more often.
Just to torment Lois, though, he runs his finger around the rim of his water glass and remarks with a sly smile, "Oh, yes, I would say keep ourselves very occupied. I for one never found myself so frequently tied down, and I end practically every day, lying in bed, exhausted, just totally spent, but so…satisfied. You know, before, I moved here, I felt like there was this hole in me that just wasn't getting filled, but now…"
"Who wants bread?" Lois grits out, shoving the bread basket at her son and interrupting him. If she was a cartoon, she'd be shooting steam out of her ears, or perhaps some kind of fish, because she also looks a little green around the gills.
Peter swipes the bread basket from Stewie. "So you must be helping Brian out a lot on the play if it takes that much out of ya. I'm glad you're having fun, though."
Of the family, Peter is the only one out of the loop concerning the real nature of Brian and Stewie's relationship. Despite her threats (not that Stewie exactly feared the wrath of the Fat Man), Lois had never actually gotten around to revealing the 'sick, twisted truth' to him. Stewie suspects that she just doesn't know how, and/or she's holding out hope that the whole business will have gone kaput before long, and won't be worth mentioning.
Brian will often joke that his and Stewie's apartment is so small that you can't take two steps inside the front door without hitting the far wall. Which is obviously an exaggeration, though not a tremendous one.
The living room- into which Stewie now led his mother and father- is only about 8x12 ft. The doorway off to the right leads to the miniscule kitchen, with its peeling tiles in one corner that have had to be pinned down by thumbtacks and a dishwasher that will work only when it wants to. The other days, it floods the floor with soapy yet foul-smelling water.
Through the living to the left is a short hallway steeped in ugly orange carpeting. This hallway goes to the bathroom (which contains one of the few perks of the place: a charming, old fashioned claw foot tub) and at the end, beyond a sliding door, the bedroom.
Their landlady is a severe-looking middle-aged woman who wears too much Chanel no.5. When Stewie and Brian moved in six months ago, she was getting ready to leave on her honeymoon and told them that the phone number on her business card was no longer accurate.
"I'll get you the new one when I get back," she'd assured them.
They've still to hear back from her. The rent payments get sent to her office, attached with notes about the repairs that need to be done, but she never responds, and of course they can't call her.
Stewie once tried, convinced that she'd lied about changing the number so she didn't have to listen to her tenants' complaints.
He'd reached a -for some reason very angry- Turkish man. The only words Stewie'd been able to make out of the conversation were 'I keel you!'
"Oh…" says Lois slowly, in a slightly higher-pitched-than-natural voice as she surveys the surroundings. "So this is…nice."
Stewie scowls and coughs uncomfortably. "Sit down and make yourselves at home. I'm just going to wake Brian up and tell him you're here. I'm sure he'll be glad he didn't have to miss seeing you after all."
He motions to the couch, a piece he found for a real bargain at a furniture surplus store and is rather proud of, as the deep green of it matches the trimming on the cream-colored (probably used to be white and the former tenant was a heavy smoker) living room walls exactly.
Brian is lying on the bed, but awake. He's got his back to the door, so he doesn't observe Stewie enter, nor hear him because he's wearing earbuds, the cords extending from them extending to his laptop. The screensaver plays as Brian skims through a magazine.
Stewie moves on tiptoe around the periphery of his frame of vision and reaches for the computer, cranking up the volume up as high as it'll go on Brian's music.
With a powerful start, Brian yelps and wheels to face him, pulling out the earbuds. "Stewie, what the hell?!"
"Come now, dearest," Stewie sing-songs. "It's not very polite to loaf about the bedroom and ignore the guests. Especially when they're family," he emphasizes.
Brian visibly winces. "You brought them back with you?"
"They wanted to come, so who was I to forbid them? Good God, won't you come out and visit with them, even for a minute? They're your family by choice after all, and mine by chance. I never thought I'd live to see the day when I'd be behaving more graciously toward them than you were." He smirks and perches on the edge of the bed, stroking Brian's hair imploringly.
"Stewie, I- it's fine when…but then you… I'm here with you and they're there and I forget and it's fine but here they are and, and…" Brian's tone has a panicky edge to it and he cuts himself off, evidently realizing he is making zero sense. He reaches up and pulls Stewie's hand down. He tries again. "The apartment is a mess," he says gravely, as if that settles it.
Stewie's eyes narrow into menacing little slits. "You did not just insult my housekeeping."
Brian merely sighs. A couple minutes pass by.
"You. Are. Getting. Up. Now," Stewie states, patience now run thin, and pushes at Brian's back, endeavoring to shove him bodily off the bed. "Lazy, discourteous mutt! Up, boy! Come on, up I say!"
"Stu, is Brian okay?" comes Lois's voice from down the hall in the living room, sounding concerned and yet also sort of leery, as though she suspects that her son can't even go to retrieve Brian without getting up to something unsavory with him.
Stewie folds his arms over his chest and glares at the other man. "Yes, Mother!" he calls back to her. "Right as rain! We'll be out in a moment!"
Brian groans but finally accepts defeat, lugging himself up off the bed. "She doesn't really want to see me. She hates me now. She thinks I corrupted you."
"Ha!" Stewie scoffs in dry amusement. "If I remember correctly, it was much the other way around. It took far too long to get in your pants, B-rye. The irony, of course is how now you can't get enough of it. But- I warn you!- those days are over if you don't march out there right now and make nice with the in-laws."
To be continued…
Well, whadja think? Of course, this was more of an introductory chapter, but good so far? Review and let me know!