Waiting for Lutz to get off the phone, Brüno finds himself looking. Not just resting his eyes while deep in thought, but looking at Lutz. More specifically looking at Lutz’s arse. And he’s not repelled by the sight. At all. Bemused by his own reaction, he quickly looks away and focuses on the assistant’s face instead when he straightens up and turns around to face him.
Later he tries to convince himself that he didn’t really like the sight of his assistant’s behind in those awful brown trousers. That it was really a reaction to him actually missing Diesel. Lutz, he reminds himself, is an unattractive assistant with no sense of style whatsoever. He glances over at him now, fiddling with some papers. Suddenly, a light breeze causes him to almost lose half of them. Brüno huff and rolls his eyes. He isn’t even sure what the papers are, but he bets they’re important.
“Lutz you klutz! Be careful with those, we don’t have time to wait for you to go after it if you lose one!”
Lutz gives him a nervous smile and nods, his glasses slipping down his nose and clutches the papers even closer to his chest. Brüno realises that he can’t even be angry with him, anymore. He’s just too adorable, he thinks and then bulks at the thought. This is getting out of hand. I need to find an African-american six-footer and fuck his brains out.
Feeling exhilarated as always while he's in the middle of dancing, Brüno doesn't notice the look on Lutz’s face until he stops but when he does, he staggers. There's definitely a heat in Lutz’s eyes, no surprise there, Brüno is amazingly attractive after all. Nineteen years old and with a perfect body, he's used to people looking at him like that. But what he's not used to seeing is the other, in fact more dominant, look on Lutz's face, which is pure infatuation. Something stirs inside Brüno's chest, a warm, fluttery feeling that trickles down and pools in his belly.
The control group screening of the pilot offers sufficient distraction, but then it all goes to Hell and before he knows it he’s sitting all alone in the corridor, leafing through the forms that all say horrible, vile lies about him and his pilot. He hasn’t felt this miserable since Diesel left him in the airport.
Then Lutz shows up and gives him a loving, sympathetic look, completely devoid of judgement and it warms a little, but Diesel’s words are still ringing in the back of his head, “I’m not coming with you... You’re out! You humiliate me!”
He sighs miserably.
“I don’t understand why you’d want to stay with me”, he says pitifully. “I’m a mess, I might as well go back to Austria!”
“Nein, du bist unglaublich”, Lutz reminds him earnestly.
The words echo in Brüno’s mind, bringing him back to that day in the airport, but drowning out the parting words from Diesel. Lutz had told him the exact same thing then. When everyone else had forsaken Brüno he was still there, still gazing at him with that look of adoration and amazement on his face, “Du bist unglaublich!” You are fantastic!
And Wow, Brüno thinks, looking into those adoring blue eyes, und he really means it too. But it’s ridiculous, he tells himself sternly. And they don’t have time for this madness anyway. He came to America to become über famous, and that’s what he’s going to be.
Brüno feels Lutz’s eyes on him and turns around. Lutz is pushing his glasses up against the root of his nose. It’s like a nervous tic of his. Somehow Brüno just knows why he’s nervous, because he’s been acting this way ever since Brüno had this brilliant idea. And Lutz is uncomfortable with it. He’s uncomfortable with the idea of Brüno making a sex tape. Which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. For the better part of Lutz’s employment with him, Brüno has been in a relationship with Diesel and Lutz never seemed jealous then.
“Dieser okay?” he asks him and strikes a subtle pose, indicating his outfit.
Lutz seems surprised to be consulted. As well he should be, Brüno thinks, considering he’s got the worst sense of style of anyone on the planet. How that is possibly when he’s also gay is a mystery, Brüno thinks.
“D-Du siehst fantastisch aus”, Lutz stutters, You look fantastic, “as always. You are fantastic”
“Oh super”, Brüno says, still trying to decipher the look on the other man’s face.
“Herr Brüno, are you sure you feel comfortable doing this?” Lutz asks him.
Brüno releases a half-chuckle. That’s it, he thinks. He’s uncomfortable with the idea of me doing something I’m not comfortable with. He’s not jealous at all, he just cares about me.
“Yes, Lutz”, he reassures him. “I’ll be fine...”
These people are all mad. Brüno knows it's jealousy and envy that has them booing and yelling at him. He doesn’t care, he knows he’s the best looking person in this room and that he could have any man he wants. Which he doesn’t, because he’s way out of all of their leagues. But if he wanted to, he could.
“Can we see your son?”
“Sure”, he says and saunters off the stage.
Once he’s off stage, he scans the small crowd of security people and production assistants until he spots Lutz and OJ. He walks over to them, oddly feeling like he’s approaching his own family. Images of the three of them flashes by in his mind. Putting OJ to sleep and singing to him. Taking turns holding him while walking down the street. Shopping clothes for him. Lutz carefully puts him into his pram now and gives Brüno an encouraging smile.
This will show them, he thinks as he steers the pram out onto the stage. Even my baby is gorgeous. These people have probably never seen a better dressed or adorable baby. Expecting a choir of awws, he’s thrown a little off guard when the booing starts again. And it gets even worse when they show the cutting edge pictures from the übergeil photoshoot. Obviously too cutting edge for these people.
He’s starting to think this whole thing was a mistake. Even though he is on television, it’s hardly worth all this fuss. He can’t wait to get out of here, maybe go back to the hotel and relax, have a nice long bubble bath, have a cocktail or two with Lutz, no wait, not with Lutz, with some gorgeous stranger in the hotel bar, that’s what I meant to think.
Then a woman with terrible skin and a bird’s nest of a hairstyle walks out onto the stage and starts talking about OJ being in the country illegally. She completely ignores the fact that Brüno has made a completely legit deal with OJ’s mother. And then she says she’s going to take him into custody. It takes a second for Brüno to process the words. Then his heart starts beating really fast. Stay calm, he tells himself. Stay calm, no-one is going to take him away.
He stands up calmly and walks over to the pram to gather OJ into his arms and then explain everything to the woman. But before he’s even reached the pram, a couple of security guards with amazing muscles are stepping in his way and holding him back.
Before he knows what’s happening, the horrid woman has kidnapped his son and he is being pushed across the stage by the brawny men. He’s vaguely aware of his own screams, “Give me back my son! OJ! OJ!”, and the few scattered handclaps from the audience, but his body is on auto-pilot. There are at least four muscle men holding him back now. He fights against them with everything he’s got, arms flailing and hitting the men holding him as he tries to push past them. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about any of them or their amazing muscles. It’s probably his maternal instinct kicking in, because the only thing that exist for him at this moment is getting OJ back.
Finally the guards have had enough and carry him off the stage. He’s propelled into the backstage area and knocks into someone. The world is spinning around him, The only thing he can hear is the thick pulse of his his own blood rushing by his ears.
He’s vaguely aware of Lutz moving towards him, pushing past the other people crowding Brüno. But not even the sight of Lutz is enough to comfort him now. He stumbles back and starts walking away, quickly. He just walks, with no idea of where he’s going. And he doesn’t slow down until he reaches a diner. Normally he wouldn’t be caught dead in one of these places. But he’s depressed, his life is over, and he’s feeling really self-destructive.
His head is pounding from crying and the sugar shock to his system. He can feel the carbs corrupting his beautiful body already. One glance at the picture of OJ and himself, and he shuffles another spoonful of pie into his mouth, even though his stomach is screaming at him to stop.
Lutz is suddenly there, by his side. Looking at him with those soft eyes, all worried and caring. Something flares up in Brüno’s chest. Maybe he hasn’t lost everything in his life.
“Herr Brüno, what is going on?”
“OJ is gone”, he tells him and feels the self-pity rear his head again. “I’m committing carb-suicide!”
“But you have so much to live for…”
Brüno’s mind is reeling as he walks away from the courthouse. Bits of pieces from the previous night are coming back to him, fragments of memory, most of it pure muscle memory, sensory recollections still present in his nerve endings.
It had been just another night of meaningless sex, just some vanilla bondage, no big deal whatever! But for some reason that he doesn’t quite understand, it feels like a big deal. The sex wasn’t even that great. But just thinking about it makes his belly go all fluttery. It must be some lingering sort of shock to his system, he tells himself. It must be. He’s never felt this odd before. It’s really unpleasant, he decides. It’s unfamiliar and it’s scary. Diesel didn’t make him feel this way. And Milli definitely didn’t.
Brüno stops walking and turns around. Lutz is jogging up to him, face beaming in that ridiculously happy way of his. Brüno feels his heart skip a beat. But when Lutz starts telling him how the night before was the best of his life and how fantastic it was, how he’d hoped for something like that to happen ever since they met, Brüno’s heart starts beating really fast instead. Too fast.
Panicking, he tells Lutz that he’s gone insane. And he has, he thinks. He must have. How else would he think that the two of them could ever be a couple, or even just engage in meaningless casual sex together. Again.
Lutz just gazes up into his face and it’s like he can see right through him. Brüno swallows thickly. Don’t give anything away, he thinks frantically. Don’t let him see you falter, he’ll read too much into it, you’re just feeling vulnerable right now, it doesn’t mean anything, it could never work anyway even if these feelings were actually real.
“Herr Brüno…” Lutz murmurs.
“Yes”, Brüno says and tries to keep the panic out of his voice. “Ich bin Brüno! Why would I want to be with an insipid assistant?”
“Because no-one loves you as much as I do”, Lutz tells him softly. “And I know you love me too.”
There goes his heart, skipping again.
“Bitte”, Lutz pleads with him. “Take me, or spend the rest of your life alone…”
The idea of being alone, of growing old alone, is one that Brüno rather not think about because it does worry him. Especially now that Diesel has left him. But standing here, with Lutz gazing up at him with those piercing, soft eyes, it’s not the thought of spending the rest of his life alone that has his heart hammering away in his chest. It’s the thought of spending it with Lutz. It’s the implied suggestion that the two of them could spend the rest of their lives together. And what terrifies him the most, is to realise that he actually likes that thought. A lot.
For a moment, he wants to give in. He wants to give in to this feeling that is washing over him, just go with it and see where it leads him, as scary as that is. And he almost does. But he can’t. He can’t, he tells himself. It just wouldn’t work. I could never work.
Finally, without breaking their eye lock, he tells Lutz “Nein…”
The hurt caused by that single small word is clearly visible underneath the disbelief on Lutz’s face. It soon morphs into disappointment, thinly veiled with acceptance. And then it happens. The worst thing to have happened to Brüno since leaving Austria. Lutz finally leaves him.
Brüno is finally all alone in all the world, except for nine measly friends on MySpace. He has hit rock bottom. Hard.
“I don’t need you! I can survive on my own!” he’d shouted at the billowing blanket half-covering Lutz’s retreating back. But it turns out, maybe he can’t.
“Lutz!” he wails from the ground, clutching his D&G’s and Versace’s, like the lifelines they should be. But he could have been calling out for God himself for all the good it does. Lutz is gone. He’s finally done it; the one person who adored him unconditionally and who stood by him through one disaster after another, when every other person abandoned him, Brüno had finally managed to drive off.
“You’re a faggot!”
He loses his momentum. Whatever he was about to cry out, gets lodged into his throat. He scans the crowd as a confused murmur runs through it. Who could possibly know? He doesn’t get it, he was doing so well. Then he spots him. Something flutters to life in his chest, but he tamps it down. And he swallows down the impulse to smile. It’s too late for that. He’s straight now. Lutz, he thinks. What are you doing, what are you doing here, go away, don’t do this, not to me, please.
Out loud, he says “Let him in…”
The crowd cheers.
There’s nothing on Lutz’s face that would suggest he’s disappointed or hurt or even surprised. On the contrary, he seems determined. And angry. Brüno feels his pulse picking up, like his own internal warning signals. But it’s too late to stop this now. He’s caught in a snowball effect, the crowd is baying for blood, he can’t put a stop to this, however much he wants to. And Lutz is obviously not going to be any help in that respect.
“Who wants to see me beat this faggot?” he yells to the crowd, stalling, stalling, you’re stalling.
“Who wants to see me-?”
Then suddenly his breath is knocked out of him. The megaphone goes flying. There’s a roar of excitement in the audience. Lutz has him pushed up against the side of the cage and he knees him in the stomach. Brüno thrashes around and punches blindly, feeling the back of his hand connecting with something, with Lutz, some part of Lutz. His belly churns, but he doesn’t have time to think about it. There’s no time for thinking at all, only reaction. Primal instincts.
The next thing he knows, he’s on his back on the floor with Lutz straddling him and punching, over and over, hard. He struggles to breathe and covers his head. Then finally, he manages to push Lutz off and he staggers to his feet.
With a surge of adrenaline and rage, he pushes Lutz into the side of the cage and holds him there. Lutz tries to hit him, to shove him back, but Brüno grabs his arms and pins him to the cage wall. He’s seeing red. He really is. He’s just about to headbutt Lutz and then kick his arse, but something is holding him back. Maybe the look in Lutz eyes. That hard, challenging look in those normally soft, soft eyes. Brüno doesn’t remember a single time when he’s looked into those eyes and they haven’t been filled with love. I drove it away, that’s all he can think, and he wants to scream. Finally, he’s become famous, at least somewhat. But all he wants is to get that love back.
Lutz turns his head away and spits blood on the ground. Then he’s staring right back at Brüno again. Come on, his glare seems to be saying. Come on, finish this.
Ja, let’s finish this.
Brüno finally gives into the pull. The cheer from the crowd comes to an abrupt halt, as though someone turned the volume of the room right down. When Lutz’s lips connects with his, everything just falls into place. Some part of him is vaguely aware of the booing and screaming and the beer cups raining down on them, but he doesn’t care. He’s got Lutz back, he’s in his arms, they’re kissing, they’re ripping each other’s clothes off, they’re embracing, skin on skin, and they’re caressing each other. There are no sex toys, no latex, no whips, no chains, just Lutz’s arms around him and his mouth on his.
And Brüno has never felt this amazing in his entire life. Sex has never been this good. All this time, there was always something missing and he didnät even know it. All this time, he’d thought he’d experienced true love, mit Milli from Milli und Vanilli, and with Diesel, but he knows now, that was nothing. Diesel wasn’t the love of his life at all. It all fades in comparison to this. To Lutz.
“Lutz”, he murmurs as a fold-out chair crashes next to them. “Ich liebe dich”