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Naturally, he told Gob first.

1984.

Michael walked out the front door into the large yard on the small mansion the Bluth kids, their parents, and Lupe called home. He had two cans of Sprite in his hand, Gob’s favorite. He figured it would be best to butter him up before he was going to have to blackmail his brother into respecting him. Thus, the Sprite.

Gob was under the orange tree in the yard, fumbling with his rubber-banded deck of cards. As Michael approached, he hastily chucked the deck across the street and into a car window, which shattered. Then, he attempted to nonchalantly play it off as if he had not just ruined a car window.

“Nicole! Why are you out here? What are you doing?”

Michael winced at his old name, but didn’t react. It’s not Gob’s fault, he hasn’t even told him yet.
“I don’t know, what are you doing? Looks like you ruined that window, huh?”

“What window? I don’t see any windows.”

“Th-You know what? Nevermind. Hey, I brought this for you though.” Michael handed him one of the Sprites.

Gob took the offering, but not without squinting at Michael. Oh god. He knows something. Oh god. Michael suddenly wants to abort the mission.

“Nicole,” Wince. “What did you do to this can? Are you playing an illusion on me right now?”

“I’m not. Look, I came out to tell you something. And it’s hard...but I have to tell you.” Gob wasn’t paying attention at the moment. Michael glanced over at his brother. He had ripped a hole in the bottom of the can and was trying to chug it.

“I-Whew, ok. Well, this is hard. Uh-I want-”

“Oh, wait. I know what this is about. Your name change. Michael. Right.”

Michael suddenly felt as if he was on Mars. What the fuck? Was it that obvious? How did his brother know? He hadn’t told anyone! Not a single soul! “How in hell did you already know that?”

Gob’s face morphed into a smirk. “Your diary! Haha.” Quickly, his brain caught up to his mouth and he realized what he admitted to. “Oh no.”

“Excuse me? You read my fucking diary?” Michael shoved him to the ground. “Then why did you call me Nicole?”

“Because I didn’t want you to know I read your diary! Obviously!”

“You just-God. I hate you. Well? Will you call me Michael then?”

Gob got up and dusted himself off. “I guess. If you give me that Sprite can over there.” Gob pointed to the unopened Sprite can now on the ground.

“I don’t have to blackmail you at all? Just the can?”

“Just the can.”

“And you’ll call me your brother? Not sister?”

“Sure, just give me the can. Just the can.”

“And you’ll use ‘he’?”

“Christ! Yes! God, just give me the can, Michael! Nobody’s drinking it and it’s going to get lukewarm!” Michael wanted to be mad still, but he was too happy that Gob was using his name.

“Great.” Michael tossed him the can, which Gob happily caught. “And...thanks Gob.” He headed inside.

“Haha. Sucker got scammed out of a can.” Gob proceeded to open the can, but it was shaken up due to being tossed, so it quickly sprayed Sprite everywhere

...

Next, came Lindsay.

Same day. About, what, 10 minutes later? 1984.

“Hey, Lindsay,” Michael said as he stepped into their shared bedroom. She was doing her eyeliner on her bed, the mirror propped up on the pillows.

“Hi, Michael.” She glanced over her shoulder for a second at him before resuming her activity.

“I just wanted to come in here to-Wait, what?”

“Diary.”

“Oh my god. Jesus Christ. You too?”

“Hey. It’s not my fault. You don’t lock it! What do you want, for me to NOT violate your space?” She decided she was done with the eyeliner and reached into her makeup bag for something else. “And yeah, I’ll call you that. And ‘brother’ or whatever you want. But you have to drive me to the movies tomorrow.”

“Can’t you just respect me without me having to do something for you? Actually, don’t answer that. Fine.”

He decided he was done negotiating with his twin and exited their bedroom.

Michael was unsure he should tell 12-year-old Buster about his name change, first off, he was pretty young, and he wasn’t in the mood to explain the implications of his name change to Buster. Second, they weren’t that close anyway. Also, he would probably tell Mom right away. And he kind of wanted to keep it from her tomorrow. Buster tells mom, Mom tells all her friends and Dad, Dad tells everyone at work, and then he’s being bullied at school before he knows it. Well, more than he already is.

God, I need a cream soda or something. Michael thinks to himself as he heads into the kitchen for exactly that reason.

His mother is sitting in the kitchen with a cocktail in her hand.

“Hey, Mom.” Michael reaches into the fridge for the soda.

“I don’t know anything.”

Michael sighs. “Diary, huh?” I really need to lock that thing.

“Maybe. Hypothetically, if it was,” She makes no eye contact with her son as she speaks with him, staring at a speck on the wall. “I would respect your choices.”

Michael’s eyes light up. “Oh.” He smiles. Something different for a change. “Hypothetically, thank you.”

“But-”

“Here we go.”

“I want Buster to sleep in your room. I’m sick of it. He’s far too clingy.”

“You won’t respect my name and pronouns unless Buster sleeps in my room?”

“No, I will.” She takes a sip of her cocktail and squints her eyes at him. “But I won’t be happy about it.”

“I think I can take my chances.”

Buster shouts from the parent’s room. “Mother! You’re talking about me, I can hear it!”

Michael rubs the bridge of his nose. God, now he has to deal with Buster? He just wanted to tell Gob and Lindsay. “Buster!” He shouts at the roof, above which Buster has his ear to the floor. “How much of that did you hear?”

“...all of it.” Buster shouts back.

“Well, how much did you understand?”

“...most. Are you Michael now?”

Michael leaves the kitchen with no answer for his brother. “This is the worst day of my life.”

Tomorrow. 1984.

Michael leaves the house, attempting to ride his bike to his job at the Banana Stand when he runs into his father, who is inconspicuously leaning against the fence on the post outside.

“Hey, Dad. Just heading to the Banana St-”

“I don’t know anything.”

Michael sighs. Keyword was “attempting.” Guess he has to justify himself to the last Bluth he hasn’t discussed this with.

“Look, Dad. Here’s the long and short of it,” Michael takes a deep breath. “I’m your son know. As you already know, my name is Michael, not Nicole. Sorry, that’s what you get for reading my diary. You can take me or leave me, I don’t care. I’m tired of stepping around it.”

George Bluth walks up to his son and sighs as well. “I know, son.” He pats Michael on his shoulder before heading inside.

Michael stands in the yard motionless for a full minute. In all his 17 years of living, he never would have expected that reaction from his father.

“Well, that was a freebie.”

Michael hops on his bike and starts his trek towards the Banana Stand.

 

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