AN: A really short one-shot that I actually wrote before I saw the ending of the show. I had known that G.M. and his dad had run, but I didn't know the details behind them fleeing. So, sorry if some things are inaccurate. I hope you all like this!
Disclaimer: I do not own Arrested Development. Not sure who does, but it's not me.
Maeby Funke was honestly surprised when, almost an entire year after George Michael disappeared with his father, leaving her behind with the rest of their messed up family, a present turned up for her on her doorstep on what could technically be considered their anniversary.
It was a simple box, unmarked and neatly wrapped with only her name scrawled across the upper-right hand corner, but somehow she automatically knew that it was from him. Considering that it was lacking any postage marks, Maeby was quickly able to figure out that that meant that he was hiding somewhere close enough that George Michael could drop off the package himself, yet during their entire first year as husband and wife, he had never once made the effort to contact her. For a moment, she had considered throwing the beautifully wrapped gift away, a statement to just how angry she was that he had allowed her to go an entire year without letting her know that he was alive and okay, thus forcing her to throw herself into her work and schooling in such a way that she was actually excelling in an attempt to forget him. Her grades had risen from D's to B's and A minuses, and in the last six months alone she had been given two raises, testaments to just how popular and well done her movies actually were, and yet he was still the last person she thought of when she fell asleep.
She would never forgive him for that, and she most definitely wanted an annulment once he showed his face again, but never-the-less George Michael was still her cousin, and so she opened the box.
It turned out to be a snow globe from Oregon, one of the nice crystal ones that were made by hand by some artist whose name she can't even begin to pronounce, not in some factory by some faceless drone. Sparkles floated over the mismatch of buildings and flowers instead of snow when she shook it, sending a glimmer of light across her face when the flecks captured the sunlight and reflected it back towards her. Beneath it was a simple note that had the same handwriting as the person who had wrote her name on the box, and it was with the gentlest of smiles that she pulled it from the shadows so that she can read it. It was only seven little words and a set of initials, but they were enough to have her vision blurring and to send her almost stumbling into the house, just ready to curl up on the bunk that was his and let herself be young and heartbroken for a few well deserved minutes.
Good-bye Maeby. Happy anniversary. I love you.-G.M.
A few weeks later, although it shouldn't have, Maeby found herself surprised to find another box waiting for her when she returned home from school, the parcel having arrived just minutes beforehand on the exact same day as her birthday. Although this one was clearly mailed, the return address having been so badly mutilated that she couldn't even begin to make sense of where he might have sent it from, she still knew that it was from him, for it would be just like George Michael to try to send presents on what he considered to be the most important days that took place in their lives. Once again it's a snow globe, though to her surprise this one hails from Canada, a simple clay base with a design outlined in silver and a stunning picture of the Northern Lights slid into the clear frame in the center. How and why they had left the country so quickly after spending an entire year just hanging out two states over, Maeby would never know, though at the time it had not mattered. With almost the exact same message as before waiting for her, the only difference being 'birthday' replacing 'anniversary,' it was once again with a watery smile that she placed her newest snow globe next to the other one he had just sent her and placed George Michael's note with its brother. That night, although her mind was still swarming with inquiries about her husband/non-blood-cousin, she was able to fall asleep with the prior presence of tears.
For another entire year, there was silence. Doing the best that she could, Maeby pushed aside everything that was neither school or work related and tried to forget about it. And for the most part, she was successful. She made friends at school that she hung out with when classes were done and she didn't have work, blockbuster movie after blockbuster movie was produced under her skilled and talented fingers until the biggest shots in the business were begging her to produce them, and she slowly but surely learned how to be the voice of reason within her screwed up family, the worse trial of them all.
She had never appreciated what Uncle Michael and George Michael had done for them when they had been here, and now that they weren't, she hated the two of them all the more.
But once again, just like the year before, there was a box, a snow globe, and a message that was exactly the same as the one she had been sent the year before waiting for her the moment she got home from school on the day of their anniversary.
Good-bye Maeby. Happy anniversary. I love you.-G.M.
There was no address, nothing about the box that she could have used to trace it back to its origins, absolutely nothing that she could have used to at least attempt to return her family back to its former screwed-up normal, when the two Bluth boys had been there to keep everyone in line and the family name safe from harm. The only thing that gave even the slightest of hints of where her beau had been spending the year was from the snow globe that had once again been sent to her, though the writing along the bottom was so foreign that she couldn't even begin to guess where it was from. However, although she was curious, as she had come to learn over the last two years, perhaps, she didn't have to have all of the answers.
Just knowing that George Michael was okay was actually good enough her.
By the time the number of snow globes on her bookshelf reached sixteen, Maeby had actually come to terms with the fact that she would never again see her cousin-husband and was finally ready to move on with her life. She had been seeing somebody, a nice guy in her office that actually wasn't too old for her, someone that, according to the friends that she had actually told the entire situation to, was good for her. Reliable. Honest. Not still on the run for crimes that their grandmother had committed almost a decade before hand. Someone that, according to them, she could actually settled down with.
And Maeby had to agree with them. So what if he was boring, timid, and a bit on the dull side? According to everything she had ever read, watched, and produced, she needed stability and he was the one who could give it to her. He was the safe option, and as every romantic movie had ever explained, the safe option tended to be the best.
She would be, if not happy, at the very least content.
Until, on the day of their anniversary, Maeby came home to a very different kind of surprise.
"Hello Maeby," George Michael said with a slight smile, his head tilted so that he could look into her eyes. He had grown, a shocked part of her brain couldn't help but notice, grown and filled out in such a way that he more closely resembled his actual blood cousin, Steve, than he did his father. There was a hardness about him that she could have sworn hadn't been there nine years ago, an edge that, if her job had taught her anything, should be sending her running any minute now. An almost decade of travel had done him good, leaving behind a man where there had once been an awkward teenage boy.
Maeby wasn't sure that she liked it, because it had been that boy that she had fallen in love with all those years ago. But when he held out his hands to show her a snow globe, Maeby decided that she couldn't care less.
"Happy anniversary. I love you."
And for the first time since he had disappeared with his father on that boat without another word to her, something that until that day she had never forgiven him for, Maeby actually allowed herself to believe him.
They were the words his presents had been telling her the whole time they had been apart, but sometimes you need to hear these kinds of things in person before you could accept them as they truth.
"I love you too."
Because she did.