It was all Jeff's fault, Rudy believed. If he hadn't stolen the DVD meant for Mike, this would never have happened. It all started when he received that phone call from Mike.
"Rudy! I can't believe you didn't let me know that you're heading to New Zealand for your new movie. That's incredible! On top of that, your new co-star is one of the hottest new starlets around. I don't understand why you don't date any of them, they always throw themselves at you." Mike, oblivious as ever to why exactly I never dated any of my co-stars or anyone else for that matter, continued to talk. "Anyways, you'll have to email me some pictures, I'm curious to see what New Zealand looks outside of the movie sets." That minor comment he made gave me the idea that would come to cause me so much trouble thanks to Jeff: the nature documentary.
It started small. I borrowed a video camera from one of the cameraman on set and on days I wasn't filming I took it out with me to the countryside. It wasn't hard to find interesting animals to film less than a mile away from where we were filming on a large nature reserve. I was very particular about which animals I filmed though, as it would be my most unsubtle hint to Mike yet. First was the Kiwi. As I filmed them I started speaking in the deadly monotone that I perfected since Alcatraz. It would always bring Mike to tears of laughter.
"These two male Kiwi are mated and are in the process of building their first home. Once their home is completed they will decorate it with the best available fronds from the local trees." As I made up stories about the various animals and their lives, all I hoped was that Mike would finally understand what I was trying to tell him. Real feelings were one of the few things that I could never seem to get right.
Once I felt I had enough footage, I borrowed a laptop with video editing software from one of the tech guys. After a quick lesson on how to use the software, I started editing the video. I had just finished burning a final copy of the DVD when Jeff dropped in. He was in New Zealand for a surfing competition he was participating in for his thesis on comparative sport cultures and decided to take a break to come and visit me, out of "brotherly affection of course", aka a desire to cause trouble.
He had just finished stealing one of my favorite shirts since his "somehow got destroyed and no the pretty lady from costuming leaving as I arrived had nothing to do with it." It was probably out of curiosity about what I was burning that he took that DVD from the computer, I assumed it had finished burning while he was in there. (Yes, I had locked my room but locks could never keep Jeff out of anything since he was 14.) After I finally got him out of my room I noticed that he must have taken the DVD, but I didn't think anything of it. I just burned another copy and mailed it off to Mike. I did get a call from Mike in tears of laughter after he watched the video, but he didn't seem to have gotten the hint.
Jeff's spies must have noticed something, because it was right after that call that the trouble really started. I received a call from my agent, Diane, asking me why I hadn't informed her about my latest project, and why she had to hear about it from a crazy friend. Confused, I asked her what she was talking about.
"Your nature documentary," she told me. "You know, the gay one, the one that's all over the news?"
Afterwards, I found out from Jeff that he had uploaded and posted a clip from it to a couple of different places and it just took off from there. He, of course, claimed that how was he to know what would happen? He certainly wasn't to blame for people assuming I was gay. Or for all the reporters attempting to find out who I was dating and interviewing all my friends.
After finally getting rid of all the reporters I got a call from Mike. He wanted to know why he didn't know I was gay. "Mike, last time I told you I was gay, you assumed I was just a happy drunk."
At that he got quiet and went, "Oh."
"You're pretty much the only one who didn't realize that, Mike. Even Pierre knew I was gay."
"Pierre from Alcatraz! How could you? You better not have been dating a clone, Rudy; I will never forgive you if you were. Oh no, don't tell me that you were dating that stupid idiot Bruno friend of yours."
"No, Mike. Bruno is dating Boots. You know, the guy he couldn't stop talking about?" Mike could really be oblivious at times.
"Oh, right. I forgot about him," Mike muttered over the phone.
I could tell he was embarrassed by how quickly he changed the conversation.
"Never mind all this, Vicky wanted to know if you were coming down for the Christmas holiday this year or if she needs to make plans to meet Jeff elsewhere. They have some big, secret plan they're working on, probably to take over the world."
"They can stop making plans. It looks like my schedule is clear," I told him. "I can be there for Christmas. I've already got my flight booked. I should be getting in around 2pm."
"Great! I'll be looking forward to seeing you again. It's been way too long since you've been able to get away from your work. It does have some advantages, like letting you see the world, but we miss you back here," Mike told me as he hung up.
I sighed. There was progress at least and Mike now knew I was gay. All that was left was convincing him that I was in love with him. It wouldn't be easy, but anything that was worth having was worth fighting for.