RATING: I'm fairly sure that this will be Teen, but to be on the safe side because there will be some adult language and references to sex, I'm marking it as adult.
DISCLAIMER: Nope, don't own any of this. Sadface.
PAIRING: Mainly dreamer, some candy. And a little Peanut M&M, for a change.
SUMMARY: Max has been invited to the wedding of his former boss, Brody Davis and he needs a date.
This fic is for Alien_Friend, who graciously and generously paid for my services in a Support Stacie Auction back in 2007 or something like that. I have been very, very, very slack in writing the fic I owe her due to a combination of laziness, writer's block and writing GD and Crush. But I've finally managed to get my arse in gear and start writing this fic.
Alien_Friend, I'm sorry for the delay. I hope you enjoy this fic.
“Hi Max,” she said, her eyes sparkling with amusement.
Max returned her greeting in a neutral tone, determined not to give her the satisfaction of a reaction.
“How was the meeting?”
“It was good. There's a couple of really good issues in the works,” he said. He logged onto his computer and clicked on his email.
“Uh huh. So... any interesting features in the works?”
Max shrugged one shoulder and moved onto the next email. “I'm going to do twenty-four hours with an ambulance crew. That's going to be pretty cool.”
Tess huffed and rolled her eyes. “Fine, be like that. By the way, this came for you while you were in the meeting, and I had to sign for it.”
She handed him an elaborately packaged box with a Japanese theme and hovered blatantly as Max spent five minutes figuring out how to open it. At last, the box gave way and he pulled a card out. He read it and smiled.
Max Evans and Guest
to celebrate the joyous occasion of their wedding.
“He used to be my boss, back in Roswell,” Max explained.
Tess's eyebrows shot up. Like pretty much everybody, she knew the story of the computer programmer who had created a multi-million dollar company before having a breakdown that made him believe that he'd been abducted by aliens. He'd moved to Roswell and bought the UFO museum where Max worked at weekends and after school. Brody had eventually been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia. Following treatment, he had returned to his home in Boston and started a new company, the globally popular social networking site 'Webstacles'.
Brody and Max emailed occasionally and exchanged Christmas cards every year, but they hadn't seen each other since Brody had left Roswell. Max hadn't been aware that Brody was even in a relationship, but he was delighted to see that his former boss was getting married and was pleasantly surprised to be invited.
“So,” Tess twirled a curl of hair around her finger and smiled. “I guess you'll need a date.”
Max's mind was racing. “Yeah, I guess I will. And I know just the person.”
Now all he had to do was ask.
They ordered food and chatted for a while before Max began to steer the conversation in the direction he needed it to go.
“How's work?” he asked.
Michael grinned. “Pretty good. In fact, my boss is leaving for another position and he told me that he's recommending me as his replacement. There's no guarantee of course, but hopefully it works out.”
“That's great, Michael. I’m delighted for you,” Max said genuinely. “You've earned it, after everything you went through last year.”
Michael nodded. “I guess.”
“It must be almost a year now, since you lost your job,” Max reminded his friend. He felt guilty for raining on Michael's parade by bringing up the past year.
Michael had lost his previous job when the company he worked for had gone bust. He'd struggled to find work for several months and when money had run out, he'd had to give up his apartment and kip on Max's couch for three months before he'd got a new job and got back on his feet. Normally Max didn't like to bring it up because he hated to make Michael feel indebted to him. But right now, he needed Michael to feel indebted. He needed Michael to remember how he had given him a place to stay, helped him out financially and even wrangled the interview that had finally yielded a job for Michael.
“Yeah,” Michael sighed at the memory. He shook his head. “So, how's your work? Anything exciting?”
“Yeah actually. I’m getting to do a twenty-four hour ride along with an ambulance crew soon. I’ve always wanted to do that so I’m pretty excited.” Max loved his job as a feature writer on a men's magazine but when he was younger, he'd wanted to be an EMT so he was really looking forward to the chance to ride in an ambulance for his monthly 'What it's like to be a... article.
“That's cool,” Michael enthused.
Max nodded. “I'm pretty excited. I’ve been trying to set it up for a while now.” He swallowed his drink and took a deep breath. “And, there's another one that should be interesting too.”
“What's that about?”
“Um... well the magazine is doing a special 'Gay' issue. We're going to tackle homophobia and try to promote tolerance amongst our readers. We've got a couple of gay people in various circumstances to write about their experiences. In fact, there's a teenager who's writing a feature about what it's like to gay in high-school and I’ve been asked to mentor him. I’ve read a draft of the article, it's going to be a pretty powerful piece.”
“Sounds good,” Michael said, around his sandwich.
Max nodded. “Yeah. And I’m going to write an article about what it would be like to be gay, from a straight man's point of view.”
Michael choked on his mouthful of food. He swallowed it down and thumped his chest. “How are you going to do that?”
“Well, I’m not going to go out and hire a rent boy. What I’m really interested in is seeing if people would treat me differently if I was gay, so .. I had an idea,” Max said. “I can't really do it effectively here in New York because my friends know that I’m straight.”
Michael shrugged. “I don't think it would take too much for you to convince them.”
Max flipped him off. “I was thinking of going back to Roswell and doing it there, but I don't think it would work there either. And then today, I got an invitation to Brody Davis' wedding. It's in Boston and I was thinking that I could 'come out' there. Nobody would really know me, so it would be a chance to see how people react without having to lie to friends or people that I’ll be interacting with in the future.”
“Good idea,” Michael agreed.
“Yeah... except, I don't think it's really going to have the effect that I’m looking for, because a single gay man... big deal. Right?”
“Sure,” Michael nodded.
Max continued. “I think that the best way to really get a reaction, would be as part of a gay couple. So my plan is to take a male friend with me to Brody's wedding, to act as my boyfriend and see how people deal with us.”
Michael's eyes narrowed and he chewed slowly. “I see.”
Max raised his eyebrows.
“No,” Michael shook his head.
“Michael...” Max began.
“No way. I fucking hate weddings. If I remember correctly, Brody Davis is a WASP which means it will be a society wedding. That's my idea of hell, Maxwell. Plus, I don't think I’d make a convincing gay dude.”
Max laughed. Sometimes Michael was rude and crude, and on occasion, he used non-PC terms that made Max cringe. But he dealt with people as he found them and just didn't give a shit if people were gay, straight or paraphiliac.
“Just because you're masculine and manly doesn't mean that you can't be gay,” Max protested. “Besides, the whole point of the issue is to challenge people's preconceived notions.”
“Nobody would believe that we're a couple,” Michael continued. “Most people can't even believe we're friends.”
“You're a very attractive man, Michael,” Max said. “I'm into you for your looks and your body, not for your mind.”
Michael laughed. “I do have a very large penis.”
Max grinned at him. “Look, I hate to do this, but Michael, you do kind of owe me.”
“Ugh,” Michael hung his head. “Is this a black tie wedding?”
“Yes, but think of the food.”
“Would we have to hold hands, and kiss and stuff.”
Max grimaced. “A little, yeah. But there's steak and lobster on the menu.”
“How long would we have to pretend to be a couple?”
“It's a three day wedding. But, did you know that Brody's family made their money from beer brewing.”
Michael sighed. He knew that he owed Max, and he was extremely grateful for everything Max had done for him and this was probably the only opportunity he'd ever be able to pay Max back in a big way.
“I promise, if you do this, then we're even. I’ll never ask for another favor again,” Max cajoled.
“Fine, fine. I’ll be your plus one,” Michael agreed morosely.
Max licked his lips and winked lasciviously at Michael. “Thanks, sweetie.”