It's four weeks into wedded bliss when Stefon wakes up to someone desperately yelling "STEFON! STEFON! STEFON!" somewhere in the distance. For a second, he thinks he's missed a rehearsal of Viola Gayvis's all-male production of A Streetcar Named Desire, where he's playing Stella-renamed-Stefon. The rename really clarified things for everyone, and since the cast is collectively on a lot of drugs, any clarity is wholeheartedly appreciated. But no, they're not going into tech for weeks because of Gayvis's scheduled stint at Betty Ford.
"Is someone screaming your name?" Seth mumbles sleepily, cracking one eye open.
"You, if you play your cards right," Stefon purrs back automatically. But no, Seth Meyers is right. Someone is definitely yelling for him.
Seth rolls out of bed – like, literally rolls, falling out of the bed with an adorable rumpled thump – and wanders over to the window. "Cooper," Seth hisses, sounding fully awake now, which is too bad. A sleepy Seth Meyers is also a pliant Seth Meyers, as Stefon has learned every morning for the past month. "I'm going to call the police if you don't knock it off!" Seth yells down.
"Do a 180 back into your cheap walk-up, Meyers!" Anderson Cooper calls back.
Stefon shakes his head. Boys. Seth's place would easily retail for a couple million dollars (and make one hell of multi-floor a nightclub), but Anderson is a Vanderbilt so Stefon knows his ideas about money are quaint. He wanders over to the window himself and gently nudges Seth aside. Which is good because it looks like Seth is about to hock a loogie onto CNN's most beloved anchorman.
"Hello, Anderson," Stefon says, leaning out of the window. "What can I do for you?"
Anderson is all wide-eyed earnest silver fox, dressed for work in a five-thousand dollar suit with his hands clasped together, pleading. It's a good look for him. "I miss you, Stefon. Just admit you made a colossal mistake and come back to me. We can forget this month-long nightmare."
"I'm going to kill him," Seth says. "I'm going to murder Anderson Cooper and be CNN's top headline for so many weeks!"
He turns for the door, but Stefon grabs his arm and stops him from leaving. It's not that Stefon is against hot guys fighting for his attention, but he doesn't know if conjugal visits apply to gay marriage yet, so he doesn't want Seth committing any murders. The state of New York is progressive, but not that progressive.
"Baby, let me handle it," Stefon says soothingly. He hops out the window and onto the fire escape, leaning back in to give Seth a kiss before shimmying down to the street. "I've got this."
Twenty minutes later Stefon comes back inside. "Okay, you're going to fight Anderson on live television, so it's, like, sanctioned violence and whatever. No jail time. The winner gets me forever."
Seth, for some reason Stefon doesn't understand, puts his head in his hands. "This is what you call handling it?"
Stefon tilts his head. "Yes?"
Lorne Michaels is all over the fight. This is good because CNN totally passed, which doesn't make any sense to Stefon. Seth keeps trying to tell him that CNN is a news network and that's why they don't televise fights, but Kathy Griffin totally invited him to New Year's Eve last year and he knows that was definitely on CNN because that's how Stefon and Anderson met. Kathy Griffin and her drag queen stunt double, Kiki Gryffindor, are definitely not news network material.
But whatever. It's not like Ted Turner produced Mean Girls, so Lorne it is.
Seth, for his part, is rolling with things pretty admirably after his initial dismay. Stefon thinks this is because Seth really got his rocks off punching Anderson that one time because underneath that buttoned-up news anchor exterior are depths of aggression that need to be explored. Probably he needs to go dancing with Stefon more or maybe help out with the glue huffing revival, like Stefon did two nights ago.
They're going to televise the fight live at 9 (8 Central) right after the results show of The Voice, which means Stefon has gotten to do two promos with Adam Levine, and Adam Levine seemed pretty chill considering how often Stefon grabbed his ass. And Stefon has totally gotten to help Seth train, which mostly means tackling Seth to the ground of a boxing ring while Seth wears improbably shiny shorts and not much else. It probably isn't helping Seth win the fight, but it does seem to be helping out with his aggression!
Stefon massages Seth's shoulders after their third – ahem – bout of sparring that night. "Can I tell you a secret, Mr. Meyers?"
"Sure, Mr. Meyers," Seth replies. Stefon beams. He likes being Mr. and Mr. Seth Meyers, even if it probably means some kind of loss of identity thing that deserves exploration at some point. And heck, they're still figuring things out. Maybe next year they can be Mr. and Mr. Stefon for a while instead.
Stefon leans down and whispers, "I want you to win," and licks Seth's ear.
"You'd better!" Seth exclaims. "Do you know how many phone calls I've had to field from my mother? She keeps quoting me statistics about heavyweight boxers, like I'm fighting Mike Tyson in 1987 and not Anderson Cooper."
"Also, you're like a professional and what not and it might reflect badly on your career," Stefon adds helpfully.
Seth laughs. "I think I stopped worrying about that when I decided to be a homewrecker, live on national television. By the way, have I mentioned that Cooper is seven years older than me and so it's really him who should be worrying?"
"Only, like, a hundred times," Stefon sighs before tackling Seth to the floor of the boxing ring again. Seth's so hot when he thinks he's intimidating.
The night before the fight Stefon drags Seth away from his training for some fun. Seth's been too tired to pretend that he's concerned with being a good boy from New England, so he's pretty pliant when Stefon drags him out to Trounce, the newest club in lower upper Midtown, two doors down from the Port Authority building. The bouncer is a homeless man with a dog who gets more in spare change from passersby than he does, and you get into the club by doing that thing that's like a fire walk, only walking over a thousand broken green Rolling Rock bottles instead. Seth wears a polo shirt and khakis, and keeps his shoes on while stepping over the jagged glass. He also turns down the free tetanus shot at the end. Spoil sport.
Stefon rubs his Hello Kitty band-aid at the injection spot and drags Seth over to the bar. "Drinks, yes?"
"I really shouldn't. The fight's tomorrow," Seth says, still wearing that glazed, shell-shocked expression that all newbies to dungeon culture tend to display when soaking in the club kids, and trapeze artists, and Human Mustache Rides. (It's that thing when ten Alex Trebek lookalikes glare in unison while a Sean Connery impersonator laughs and tells Your Mom jokes.)
"You should, actually," Stefon says. "You're all wound up." He holds up two fingers to the bartender, then knocks twice on the bar, does a little turn and then snaps like he's one of the gang members from the Beat It video. The bartender thumbs his nose in reply and gives him an entire tray of shots. It's entirely possible that Stefon just got his signals crossed and told him that it was Seth's twenty-first birthday, but it's also possible that the bartender really likes the Beat It video.
Seth eyes the drinks and shrugs, pounding back so many in such a short amount of time that even Stefon is a little impressed. It's cute when Seth's inner frat boy comes out to play. Stefon daintily does a few shots himself. Then he reaches up and places the still half-filled tray on top of the head of someone wearing a mortarboard, who walks away balancing them perfectly. MTV's Rock and Jock star Dan Cortese swoops in and takes the extras, which pleases Stefon. No use wasting perfectly good alcohol.
Fifteen minutes later, Seth is buzzed enough that Stefon can steer him to the dance floor, where they don't so much dance as grind in an almost illegal way. This is probably as close to a first dance at a wedding as they're ever going to get and Stefon relishes it. More people than Stefon would have guessed come up to them and wish Seth good luck at the fight. But maybe it isn't so surprising. Everyone watches The Voice.
At the end of the night, Stefon practically has to carry Seth fireman-style up the stairs to his bedroom. Or is it their bedroom now? Stefon's still not sure, and gives in to an uncharacteristic moment of uncertainty before tossing Seth on the bed. The action rouses Seth just long enough for him to give Stefon bedroom eyes, but Stefon just shakes his head and crawls into bed after him, curling around Seth's little spoon. "Good luck tomorrow," Stefon whispers into a sleeping Seth's ear, and for just a second wonders what he got them into.
The studio is set up like a real fight and the place is packed. Seth's parents drove down from New Hampshire and his brother Josh is there, too, all sitting in the front row. Anderson has one of those mouthguard thingies and his coaches are the Don team of Don King and Don Lemon. From his corner, he keeps tapping his boxing gloves together, and for a 47-year-old guy he's pretty cut and looks ready to fight. It's pretty intimidating.
Seth is still hungover.
"Why did you let me take you out last night?" Stefon wails quietly, wringing his hands before nervously hiding behind them.
Seth smiles and shrugs. "I like doing things for you," he says simply. He gives Stefon a long kiss as Lorne introduces the fighters to the crowd and Cecily Strong dressed as The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With At a Party parades around the ring, holding up a card announcing the first round.
Anderson and Seth circle each other until the starting bell rings, and ten seconds later, Anderson cold-cocks Seth and he goes down in a knockout.
Stefon dramatically falls to his knees and cries, "Noooooooooo!"
He's always wanted to do that.
When he stands up again, Anderson is already falling to one knee and holding open a ring box, while Seth lies on the ground, curled into the fetal position and groaning. Half the crowd cheers, the other half boos, and Stefon covers his mouth with both hands.
"Stefon Zolesky," Anderson begins, his words projected throughout the stands through his microphone, "I know we've had our problems, mostly connected to the poor man's answer to Jimmy Fallon, but let's put this terrible time behind us and get married. Your mother-in-law will be Gloria Vanderbilt," Anderson reminds him, which is a good point.
Stefon sighs and reaches for Anderson's hands, pulling him to his feet. "Anderson Cooper, if Stefon were still the Stefon of five years ago, all you would have to do win my heart is stage a sweeps event on network television. And when we started planning this fight, I thought I was still that same Stefon."
Behind Anderson, Seth struggles to a kneeling position and then slowly climbs to his feet.
"But," Stefon continues kindly, "NBC's ratings aren't enough for me anymore. Maybe CBS's, not that I know anyone who's ever watched CBS. I love Seth Meyers and not you. I hope you understand and I hope you find your own Stefon one day. I'm really, really sorry about this."
And with that, Stefon rushes forward and for the second time in two days, slings Seth over his shoulder, fireman-style, and carries him away.
"Let's go home," Stefon says.
"Hospital first," Seth mumbles. "Then home."
"Okay," Stefon agrees. The audience screams after them as they leave; Stefon can't tell if their yells are good or bad, but honestly, he doesn't care. Since when has Stefon cared about mainstream fun, after all?
They renew their vows once at Seth's Mount Sinai bedside as he recuperates from a broken nose and jaw, then again a month later in the backyard of Seth's parents' house in New Hampshire. The wedding has everything: Bark Ruffalo; the cast of at least two NBC shows; their wedding band, Flock of Seagulls; an entire flock of seagulls; Thomas the Drunk Tank Engine; Peter Dinklage in his Game of Thrones costume; and a rabbi who looks like Joaquin Phoenix performing the ceremony.
They get that real first dance, too, and there's only a little bit of grinding.