Disclaimer: As much as I wish I did, I do not own anything.
A/N: Er ... I'm not sure when this is supposed to take place exactly. Most likely sometime during the third season. I just wrote it out of boredom, and because writing for this show is A LOT of fun. [=
As she walks past the banana stand, Maeby cast a knowing glance at her cousin - one meant to mean, "our uncle is coming and he wants his free banana." George-Michael seems to take this to heart and immediately begins rifling through the bin of unused fruit under the counter.
For a moment, Maeby wants to stick around and see the scene, but then remembers that she, too, should be working anyway and really doesn't want to. At least not on a day where she should be getting ideas for another failed movie project: Keeping it Honest; it sounds like an ironic title for the Bluth family biography.
"No, GOB, I'm not letting you take advantage of my son again."
"Mikey, how is getting a free banana 'taking advantage'?"
Maeby momentarily panics, but then realizes that the last thing Michael'd really complain about right now is his niece skipping work. Not with GOB hanging around, anyway. So instead of wasting needed energy, she coolly leans on the counter where her cousin hasn't ceased his fantastic search.
"Oh, God," he mumbles, "is that him?" Apparently, George-Michael has only heard GOB's voice. Not that this is surprising: The man does have that creepy horror movie narrator thing going on.
She wishes GOB would've been around when her father presented one of his many script readings in front of the Funkes, where he repeated stated, "My character's not hard enough. He needs to be harder. No one'll ever respect him if he can't get up."
She knows what he meant, but still has trouble releasing the mental images which make sleeping very difficult. And unfortunately, Lindsay hogs all the P.M. medicine.
"Yeah," Maeby says offhandedly, trying not to think of the images, "but don't worry: Uncle Mike's with him."
"Oh?" A loud thud is heard. She turns to see George-Michael tenderly massaging the top of his head. Even if he was profusely bleeding, however, GOB provides too much of a distraction.
"Ah, George-Michael - " GOB says upon reaching the pair, awkwardly revving his segway and grinning like the (sometimes) entertaining twit he is, but Michael, who runs up a moment later, intervenes: "No. Whatever he asks for, no." He looks at George-Michael as he says this, which George-Michael seems to think is too much pressure as he turns to Maeby.
She shrugs in response. Either way, her uncles' argument is as inevitable as gamgee's drinking habits, and if it takes attention away from missing work, who's she to judge?
"C'mon, Michael," GOB rolls his eyes. "What's wrong with it? It's all in the family, right?"
Maeby actually thinks this over for a moment; not a bad excuse. God knows it's one she's used multiple times, especially when her parents turn her down for new clothes. Ironic, since her mother spends more on herself than GOB does on dead doves and lighter fluid.
Michael seems to be having trouble catching his breath. Either his bike magically vanished into thin air - which, even if it means a bit of success, GOB'll deny anything - or he just ran alongside all the livelong way from the office.
Riding on the segway with GOB is a no-no, as she very well knows: She and George-Michael attempted it once as a prank, and all she got out of it was a scraped knee and a light scolding from her mother on the missed opportunity to drive GOB crazy.
"You alright, Michael?" she asks, a little concerned.
"Yeah," he pants, leaning down, his hands on his knees. "Yeah, I'll be okay. I just need to ... to ... "
GOB jumps on what he may consider the chance of a lifetime and turns to George-Michael, "I'll have one free - "
Michael sharply protests once more, weakly standing. He places his hands on his hips and gives what he must assume is a threatening expression. The redness and sweat does add a little to the effect, but he appears more in need of a toilet than anything.
GOB scoffs and rides off, muttering under his breath some little words about returning from whence he came, whatever that means. With a last glance at father and son, Maeby rushes after him. His eyebrows raise in evident suspicion when she calls his name. The segway freezes, awkwardly positioned between young children and old people. She ignores the staring.
"GOB, can I ask you something?"
She frowns when he does and then nearly laughs when he asks, "Did Michael put you up to this? Michael!" He weakly waves a bandaged fist and then must misjudge her glance because he immediately stows the fist away: "Punched a guy; $5,000 suit." He casually shrugs. "Long story."
She takes "punched" to mean "got punched" and "$5,000 suit" to mean "$20 slacks," but doesn't go beyond that. Moving on, she tries telling him that Michael has nothing to do with anything. This is apparently a great move on her part: he brightens.
"Oh. Well, what then?" He flashes a pair of jazz hands and, upon noticing the bandage again, hastily puts it back. "You want tips?"
"On magic?" She shakes her head. "No."
"Oh." His free hand lands on the segway handle and then tentatively, his other hand escapes from its pocket prison and joins the fun.
"Actually, Uncle GOB," she tries going formal. Not that GOB is much of a formal name, anyway, but it's what she has to work with. "I was wondering if you could help me."
GOB's eyebrows attempt to reach the hairline. "With what? Are you sure Michael - "
"No," she quickly relays; her eyes struggle to maintain contact. The sky doesn't need to be seen, she knows it's blue. "This has nothing to with Uncle Michael. I was just wondering if - " she pauses. There's really no simple way to put this.
"If you, uh, could ... " she sighs. "Look, I just want some closure." Michael is better to turn to with problems, but when it comes to this sort of thing, GOB is practically the master. ... well, maybe master is too strong a word, but when it comes to the family, he's good.
" ... with?" He continues blankly staring, his head askew.
Maeby sighs and jumps into a sad tale about a forgotten daughter left to fend for herself in the midst of the rainiest shopping day of the year. It's a true enough story with a few heightened details and a lessened storyline. Whatever ideas he may have will work wonders, she's sure.
"Wow," he mutters when she's finished. The underlying message is technically directed at the two people she unfortunately calls her parents, which GOB seems to understand well enough: "Tobias and Lindsay are really that bad?"
"Well, Maeby ... " he freezes for a split second; she follows his line of vision as it makes an awkward journey between a two-year-old crying for a lost balloon and an old woman frantically gesturing and bawling for the same balloon. Then he looks back at Maeby and grins. "Alright. I'll do it."
She smiles back, "Really?"
He shrugs, "May as well. It'll give me a chance to try a new illusion I've been working on." Before she even has time to comprehend the situation she's created not only for herself, but also for her mom and dad, he rides off, huge grin still in place.
But then it hits her like a ton of bricks: "This'll be awesome."
Michael sits in his office, still upset about this morning's mishap at the banana stand. An almost permanent look of discomfort is etched on his face as he checks Bob Loblaw's report on Lindsay and Tobias' marriage: Nothing good, that's for sure. But his brother is still on his mind, and as if a signal is sent through time and space itself, GOB appears in the doorway.
Michael really does try not to roll his eyes, he really does. But it's a difficult feat - one he inevitably fails at.
Letting out a heavy breath, Michael says, "What?" GOB rarely visits for social hour; usually money is involved, but the Bluths are all like that, anyway, so it's nothing new.
"Well," GOB plops down on the couch by Michael's desk and then lies down, hands folded in his lap. One hand is heavily bandaged. When Michael makes mention of this, GOB examines the injured hand and then casually shrugs: "Karated a guy; $7,500 suit. Long story."
Michael both feels the need to derive deeper and doesn't, and also wants to point out that "karate" isn't a verb and never will be - no matter what useless letter is tacked on at the end - but he keeps his mouth shut on all accounts. Instead, he shakes his head, saying, "What GOB? I'm kinda busy here. Bob Loblaw sent me a report on Lindsay and Tobias and it's not looking good."
GOB loudly swallows and changes positions, his face practically pressed into the sofa.
Michael stares, concerned. Not so much for his brother, but for what his brother might've done. Arson's a normal occurrence when it comes to GOB Bluth, since he always has to ask, "Where did the lighter fluid come from?" (even though it's always just up his sleeve ... literally).
GOB scrunches up into a ball, letting out a loud moan.
"GOB? What's wrong?" Michael asks, still concerned, though this time more for his brother. A small tinge of annoyance arrives in the form of an eye twitch, but he looks past it.
"Oh, Mikey," GOB's voice muffles a little; his face is probably in the couch, "I've made a huge mistake."
Michael, whose stance is half-raised, relaxes back in his seat. This could mean anything, and he wants to be sitting for whatever new confession he has coming his way. As he glances back down at Bob Loblaw's report, he has to think that nothing GOB can say will be nearly as bad, but there's always hope.
Perhaps he should've just let him have the damn banana.
"What'd you do?" The moment the words escape him, Michael feels the sentence group together and sees it in his mind's eye, laughing at him. No turning back now.
"Um, well ... " GOB unravels and sits up, though stares intently at the ceiling. " ... Fox News may have a few words to say about us tonight."
Michael sighs and begins rubbing his eyes. Of course. He should've known. Although every fiber of his being screams out in blatant protest, he again asks, "What'd you do?"
GOB looks over, face tinted red. "It was all Maeby's idea!"
Michael scowls. Sure, blame the niece. When he paraphrases his own thought, adding in a few very colorful phrases, he remembers something and stops in his own rant: "Wait ... your hand was like that this morning, but the bandage was thinner."
GOB shifts in his seat, clearly uncomfortable. The only sense of grandeur Michael gets from this is knowing that his older brother somehow, someway, may feel a little - dare he say it? ... guilty? He asks this and GOB nods, however looking reluctant in doing so. The nod is hardly noticeable, but it's there.
Michael asks for a third time, "What'd you do?" and once more, regrets doing so. The lady on Fox News and the balding man on CNN will have a few choice words for the Bluths, anyway, he's sure, but he figures it'd be best to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. And by "horse," he of course means his "magician" brother.
"I may have performed an illusion on Lindsay and Tobias," GOB mutters. He rubs his neck, his eyes looking nowhere but at his own feet which are covered by a pair of sandals; a few specks of sand liter the ground around him.
"An illusion?" Michael echos. He deeply sighs, literally feeling like the weight of the world, point-blank, has dropped on his shoulders and his shoulders only. He wants to share the wealth, but knows that the world isn't always inclined to let go.
GOB nods; his expression has turned awkward: extreme guilt is evident as he stares at his lap. Before, Michael never thought it possible, but now - now he has proof that his brother is capable of guilt. Though if it's because of the harm he may very well have done to their sister and brother-in-law or because of the bad light that will inevitably shine on the Bluth family (as if they weren't stapled in the spotlight as is), he doesn't know.
He asks this and GOB thinks for a moment: "Mainly the Bluth thing. Lindsay and Tobias'll be fine," he cringes, "though I doubt if Fox'll see it that way."
Truthfully, Michael can't see how Fox could possibly take a bigger piss out of their family until a few hours later when they - as in Michael, GOB, Tobias, Lindsay, George-Michael and Maeby - are all gathered around the television set in the model home, Tobias and Lindsay reeking of either lighter fluid or club sauce.
"In other news, the Bluths are apparently back in town as disaster struck the banana stand ... again."
Everyone turns to look at GOB who sits on the couch between his niece and nephew. Instead of the television, he focuses on his lap.
"Gawb Bluth, of the highly publicized Bluth family, was on the beach today, caught spraying his sister, Lindsay, and her husband Tobias Funky - "
"Funke!" Tobias shouts, though no one listens.
" - with club sauce and then making them get into a giant - "
Lindsay quickly snatches the remote up and flips the TV off; when asked why, she simply shoots her older brother a glare, saying, "I'd rather not have nightmares." She sighs upon sniffing her hair and grumbles, "Though [bleep] if I don't."
Tobias and her leave the room, as he mumbles to himself; something about bathing in a white substance (which, after walking a couple feet, he finally uncovers is milk).
GOB leaves without a parting word, or a parting glance. His shoulders slump, reminding of some old cartoon, though hell if Michael remembers what at the moment. Though on the bright side, the news provided Michael a good distraction from his sister and brother-in-law's failing marriage.
Michael sighs as he stands, saying something about wanting the nightmare to end and escaping to the dreamworld for a temporary release being better than nothing. He asks George-Michael to join him upstairs so they can have a long talk about why it was a bad idea to stay in the family.
Maeby, left very much alone, pencil in hand, scribbles down her latest idea for Keeping it Honest: Club sauce. Why didn't she think of that?