Second Fiddles

Episode 18 – Black Sheep

July 07, 2022 Second Fiddles Season 2 Episode 5
Second Fiddles
Episode 18 – Black Sheep
Show Notes Transcript

Ren officially meets Linus. Max is salty.

18 - Black Sheep

MACGUFFIN
Previously, on Second Fiddles: I kicked my ridiculous son out of the house. And by house, I mean mansion. And by mansion, I mean, well, an estate consisting of multiple properties, but most notably the mansion. But I digress, that’s enough about Linus. What a brat. So, Max, the little Buck himself, is still adjusting to life as a slightly less gay deer version of Mr. Tumnus (not my words), and Ren was forced to return to her sidekicking job with Lucid Lucy, the demented dreamwalker.  Spoiler alert: They’re all a little miserable!  Let’s begin!

MAT
Episode 18, Black Sheep.

MAX
Hey Ren, guess what?

REN
I don’t like your tone. Sorry, I mean, what, Max?

MAX
I think we’re all a little miserable.

REN
Wow, is reading minds another new power of yours?

MAX
I’m offended! You didn’t even look up from your phone to glare at me or roll your eyes.

REN
There’s a lot going on right now.

MAX
Well, that’s why you’re here, I’m assuming. To talk about it…?

REN
Oh. Right. Yes. Support group.  It doesn’t really feel like a support group with only the two of us. I feel like we need some new recruits.

MAX
I know what you mean. Some fresh faces wouldn’t hurt. I don’t even know where Tammy is. Probably another audition. She’s had a few the last couple days.

REN
Anyone seem like a good fit yet?

MAX
I don’t think so. The last time I asked her what she thought of the sidekick she auditioned that day, she told me she got ghosted. Apparently this girl didn’t even show up. That’s so unprofessional.

REN
Do you think Tammy’s just being picky?

MAX
Well, yeah, obviously. I would be, too. She needs to be able to trust her sidekick with her life.

REN
Is that how it’s supposed to work?  Lucid Lucy doesn’t trust me to do anything more than put people to sleep, take notes, and make her sandwiches. And I suck at making sandwiches. My meat-to-condiment ratio is always way off.

MAX
That sucks. Do you think she, uhh–

SOUND: DOOR OPENING

LINUS
Hey, you should really keep your door locked. Any random loser could just come barging in.

MAX
Oh, yes, please, Linus. Come on in.  Tammy’s not here.

LINUS
Yeah, I know. She’s leaving B-league headquarters right now. Should be here after she stops to pick up our dinner.

REN
What’re you getting? Pizza?

LINUS
I don’t know, I told her to surprise me. I know I met you before, but I can’t remember your name. You’re the one who sings sleepy songs, right?

REN
You can call me Lullaby, if you want. Or Ren. I don’t care.

LINUS
I’m Linus.

REN
Yeah, I know.

LINUS
Sorry. I’m being weird.

MAX
What’s the bag for? Did you just come from the gym or something?

LINUS
Oh, right. I almost forgot.

SOUND: BAG HITTING THE GROUND

LINUS
This is just some of my stuff.

MAX
Ew, did you bring an overnight bag?

LINUS
Why? Would it be bad if I did?

REN
Aww, I think it’s cute.

LINUS
Thank you, Ren. See, Max? She gets it!

MAX
I hope you brought your own shampoo. You used mine the last few times you showered here, and I’m running low.

LINUS
How do you bathe now? Do your antlers even fit in the shower?

MAX
Ugh. I have to stand sideways and not turn my head too much. One of my prongs kind of got stuck and ripped up the shower curtain yesterday, so ignore the loose flapping part in the middle if you do go in there.  And yes, I know I just said “loose flapping part,” so feel free to make a disgusting labia joke.

LINUS
Whoa, dude, you’re confusing me with your sister. She’s the pervert. I mean, I usually like it, but I’m not in the mood. This week’s been really crappy.

REN
Well, then, we all have something in common.  Hey, take a seat. We were just saying we wouldn’t hate having a new member in our support group.

MAX
Him? Really?

LINUS
What do you call your little club? Fiddlesticks?

MAX
Second Fiddles.

LINUS
Close enough.

REN
So?

LINUS
So, what?

REN
You gonna join us?

LINUS
Ehhh. Why not? I have literally nothing else going on until Tammy gets here.

MAX
Thank you, Ren. Thank you so much.

REN
Hey, I need a distraction. So. Linus. What about your week has been crappy?

LINUS
Huh. Where to begin? Umm, well, I saw my family for the first time since they kidnapped Max. And I think they disowned me. Also, I’m homeless. And I got a cut on my finger, but I couldn’t find any of those fancy band-aids designed for your finger tip, so I kind of had to use two normal bandaids and wrap it up, but now I don’t want to wash my hands, because I hate wet bandaids. They get squishy.



REN
How did you get a cut through your forcefield?

MAX
He says he’s homeless and that’s your question?

LINUS
I don’t always have a field up. I have to, you know, will it into existence.

REN
Huh. Okay.

MAX
Where have you been staying? You haven’t been sleeping in your car, have you?

LINUS
(laughter) Oh, Max. Sweet, Max. Do I come across as someone who would ever sleep in a car?

MAX
You don’t come across as someone homeless, but look at you now.

LINUS
Touché.  If you must know, one of my buddies from Rose Academy was letting me crash in his poolhouse. 

MAX
Is it someone I know?

LINUS
Oh, right, we went to school together. I almost forgot.

REN
Wow. Is it hard to pretend to be a douchebag?

LINUS
Tammy said you were feisty. I like it. Wait, was that a backhanded compliment? Please elaborate.

REN
You obviously know Max from school. Now, you’re either just a bully, or trying to push him away by pretending to be mean. I think you’re faking it.

MAX
No, he’s definitely still a bully.

LINUS
I’m not a– Max. I’m sorry. My dad really pushed my buttons.

REN
Does he make you feel less-than?

LINUS
You could say that.

REN
Insignificant?

LINUS
You could also say that.

REN
And when you make others feel insignificant, does it make you feel better?

LINUS
I don’t do that.

MAX
Yes, you do.

LINUS
No, I don’t.  Do I do that?

MAX
I can think of several examples just from this week alone.

LINUS
I mean, it does make me feel… more confident? When I tease you. Like I’m in control of something in my life.

MAX
Not tease. Bully.

LINUS
Tomato, potato.

MAX
Uh, yeah, exactly. Two completely different things.

LINUS
Oh, BLEEP. You know what I mean.  My brain’s in a fog.

REN
Tammy wouldn’t be in love with you if you were really a jerk. She’s good at reading people.

LINUS
Did she say that?

REN
Not the point. You’re so full of privilege, you’re just ignorant to, like, the majority of how other people feel.

LINUS
Are you the woke police or something?

REN
I wasn’t born in the nineteen-hundreds, like you, so yeah, I see the world a little differently.

MAX
Saying “the nineteen-hundreds” makes me feel hella old.

REN
Saying “hella old” doesn’t make it any better.

MAX
Okay, so let’s say that Linus is actually a nice guy, but everything he says is a front he’s been putting on for so long it’s become part of his actual personality. Does that sound about right?

LINUS
Dude, I’m right here.

REN
Yeah. Sometimes if you fake it enough, it kinda becomes real. I pretend to be okay in front of my sister, and sometimes, it actually feels like I am.

MAX
That’s not the same. Having a bad father is not an excuse for treating people like BLEEP.

LINUS
It’s not an excuse, but maybe it’s a reason. A bad reason, but still. You try being raised by a supervillain. I don’t like being psychoanalyzed by a teenager.

REN
I’m almost 20, gimme a break. Also, you need to try to be better. For Max’s sake. He’s fragile right now.

MAX
I’m not arguing that. She’s right. Ren, why are you so, eh, forward today?

REN
Not my turn yet. Linus still has to answer your question, but not with an insult.

LINUS
What question?

REN
The school person thing. Poolhouse guy.

LINUS
Oh, right. I’ve been staying with Bram. Do you remember him? He can control thermal energy to heat stuff.

MAX
Blond? Tall? Looks like a viking?

LINUS
That’s the one.

MAX
What’s he doing now? Is he sidekicking at all?

LINUS
Nah, he’s working in an art studio. He took an art class at the academy where he learned he could make pottery without a kiln, just by using his heat powers, and he sorta found his calling. It doesn’t pay well, so he’s still living at home.

REN
I have two followup questions.  One, is your friend Bram single? A big artistic viking sounds… nice, I’m not gonna lie. And two, is that common? For powered people to work normal jobs?

LINUS
He’s single, yeah, but I thought we were too old.

MAX
Also, I kinda thought you were, you know, not interested in that sort of thing?

LINUS
Yeah, she hasn’t looked me up and down yet. It’s weird.

REN
Ew, you’re not my type. And you’re really immature for your age.

LINUS
What? I’m super mature! I’m everyone’s type!

REN
I once heard Tammy describe you as the love child of Tuxedo Mask and Clark Kent, but I didn’t get either of those references. Are either of them immature little kids?

MAX
No, Clark Kent’s a journalist who interviewed Tammy a couple years ago. I think he has the same kind of glasses as Linus. And Tuxedo Mask is a character from Sailor Moon.

REN
What’s Sailor Moon? Is it like a soap opera about people in the navy? Or in space? I know old people used to watch soap operas back when people had cable and stuff.

LINUS
How old do you think we are?

REN
Why are they called soap operas anyway? Were you supposed to like watch them while taking a bubble bath or something, while you’re all soapy? And since you didn’t have smartphones, how did you watch anything in your bathtub? You shouldn’t have a tv near a tub, that sounds dangerous.

MAX
Ren, you know I’m only 5 years older than you, right?

REN
Whatever.

MAX
And Sailor Moon’s an anime, not a soap opera.  You know, I always thought Linus looked more like a combination of Milo from Atlantis, David Muir, and Kovu from Lion King 2.

LINUS
What the hell, man? Wait, is that good?

REN
I’m not into people that look like anime characters.  And Max, you’re right. Since my dad died, I’ve been really closed off. Other than, like, middle school boyfriends, I haven’t dated anyone.

MAX
Has that changed?

REN
Thinking I was going on an adventure to another galaxy, only to be left behind and stuck working with Lucid Lucy again, I’m starting to realize that I haven’t been living my life. And now, with my sister’s powers starting to develop, it really puts things into perspective.

MAX
Excuse me? Your sister has what-now?

REN
Oops. Yeah, I was planning on telling you when Tammy got here. I’ll tell you in a minute, after you guys answer my other question.

LINUS
What question?

REN
How many powered people work non-super jobs?

LINUS
Oh. Well, Rose Academy’s mission is to help prepare us to make the world a better place by using our powers. That doesn’t always mean being a sidekick or a hero.

MAX
Yeah. We both had majors in public hero tracks, but there were other tracks, like for humanitarian aid, medicine, psychology, and other stuff. Just because we don’t all wear costumes, we can still be heroes in our own way. Wow, that sounded less cheesy in my head.

REN
Huh. Where I’m from, there weren’t that many powered people. There were a couple insta-famous ones, and a few crime-fighters, but they worked for the police department.

MAX
Okay. I’m dying here. What’s going on with your sister?

REN
Well, I gave Cassie her first driving lesson this week, and it went much better than I’d expected.

MAX
Does she have car powers? Technology powers? Did she talk to your car? Does it have a name?

REN
I’m not going to tell you if you keep interrupting me.

MAX
Sorry. Gossip feeds my soul.

LINUS
Let her finish. I’m curious too.  I’ll give you Bram’s number if you put Max to sleep.

REN
That’s tempting, but he would never forgive me.

MAX
You’re right, I wouldn’t.

REN
Long story short: Cassie can’t get lost. I think. I’m not exactly sure how it works, yet, but she’ll never need GPS when she’s driving.  By your blank stares, I guess I need to elaborate?

MAX
Yeah, please.

REN
To make a point, we both left our phones at home, so she wasn’t distracted in the car. I kept telling her what turns to make, and where to go, and after a while, I realized I had no clue where we were. Cassie knew exactly how to get home, without even thinking. She couldn’t explain why, but she said that when we first moved here, she thought it was weird that she never got lost when she would hang out with her new friends.

MAX
Did she, like, know the street names while you were driving? Maybe she’s a little clairvoyant?

REN
Nope, she didn’t know that. It was more like…

LINUS
A compass?

REN
Yeah, exactly. She knew what her destination was, and she knew how to get there instinctively.

MAX
Huh. Did you tell your mom yet?

REN
Ha! No way. Not until we know more about how it works. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be dangerous, like mine, so that’s a huge relief. I’ve been worried if or when she’d develop powers for a while now, to be honest.

LINUS
Can she find stuff?

REN
What?

LINUS
Like, if you lost your keys, do you think she could find them for you?

REN
I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be an active power right now.

MAX
As the only one here with a passive power, do you think it would be helpful for me to talk to her?

LINUS
Dude, you’re a little intimidating to talk to right now.

MAX
What? Me? I’m the least intimidating person, like, ever.

LINUS
I’m just saying. If I was told to confide in a stranger, and that stranger had antlers, I would be thrown a little.

REN
He’s right, unfortunately. I want Cassie to still feel normal, and this gives me an excuse to bond with her a little more, so I’m not ready to share that with anyone else just yet.

MAX
So, you’re saying I’m not normal?

REN
You know what I mean.

MAX
I know, I know. Being given alien powers from a time traveling sentient deer is a little odd.

LINUS
I don’t think someone with powers should feel normal. She’s different, and she needs to embrace that.

REN
Well, I’ll let you know what happens, but I don’t want her meeting with any of you yet. Especially you, Linus. She’d probably get giant heart eyes and want to start coming to meetings.

LINUS
I thought you said I wasn’t your type.

REN
Yeah, but you’re definitely her type.

MAX
That would imply that Linus’ll be joining us here on a regular basis.

LINUS
Hey, I’m the black sheep of my family, just like all of you. I belong here. I mean, yeah, my dad and my sister are the worst, but I’m not like them. Also, it’ll be hard not to miss meetings when I’m living here.

MAX
What the BLEEP are you talking about?

LINUS
Whoops. I was supposed to wait until Tammy got home.

MAX
Wait for what, moving in, or telling me you want to move in?

LINUS
Both? Neither? Man, I don’t know.

MAX
Have you ever been gored by an antler?

LINUS
Hey, stay away from me!

REN
I could use my phone to record this, if you want. This is great.  Should I be trying to de-escalate this? I could start singing, I guess. Hello? Are you having a staring contest? Am I just talking to myself?

MAX
If you pick up your phone, I’m melting it with my eyes. And I can’t guarantee I won’t also melt your hands. And your entire body. Honestly, I don’t know how my laser vision works yet.

REN
I was just kidding…

MAX
So. I take it the bag you brought isn’t really your gym bag?

LINUS
Oh, no, this is my gym bag. The rest of my stuff is out in my car. Well, the car I stole from my dad after he kicked me out.

MAX
What about living with Bram?

LINUS
That was more of a “can I stay the night?” thing that lasted longer than it should have. Bram’s great, but his family found out I was there and then they told me to leave. They were super nice about it, at least. They didn’t throw my stuff outside or call the police.

REN
Why would they call the police?

LINUS
Bram’s mom walked in on me doing some naked yoga in the pool house. I think she liked what she saw a little too much, if you ask me. I didn’t want to tempt his mom and break their family apart, so I thought I’d cut my losses, load up my car, and ask Tammy.

MAX
And did you?

LINUS
Did I what?

MAX
Ask Tammy?

LINUS
Oh, yeah, she told me to bring my stuff, and she said we’d figure it out when she got home. She said you’d go ballistic when you found out, so, well, she was right!

MAX
I’m going to kill her.

REN
Whoa, hey, Max, your eyes are glowing. So, like, calm down.

LINUS
Umm, would you prefer it if I went outside and came back later?

REN
Now might be a good time to put up one of your forcefields.

LINUS
I’m not doing that.  Max, I thought we were cool. I thought we were getting along, like in a teasing sibling kinda way.

MAX
Considering your sibling is a pyromaniac murderer arsonist, that isn’t a great comparison.

LINUS
Okay, okay, good point. I was just trying to treat you how Tammy treats you. I learn best by copying others.

MAX
Tam’s earned the ability to pick on me. I know she loves me. You, however… I don’t know that well. Nor do I want to.

LINUS
You’re a giant nerd, yeah, so you’re an easy target, but you didn’t deserve to get made fun of when we were in school. That’s on me. I will say I’m sorry as many times as you need, but repeating it doesn’t make it any more or less true. Believe me, I mean it, and not just because your sister is super important to me.

MAX
Trauma doesn’t just go away with an apology. I still have a visceral reaction every time I see you, like I want to throw up. Or kill you. It’s really more of a fight or flight thing.

REN
Hey, at least your eyes aren’t little furnaces anymore. I saw literal smoke coming up from them.

LINUS
Okay, how about this…

SFX: FORCEFIELD SWOOSH

LINUS
I just covered my body with a thin, pliable forcefield. You can hit me as hard as you want, and I’ll feel it, but like, not quite as hard, because I don’t want to break things.

MAX
I’m not hitting you.

SFX: FORCEFIELD SWOOSH AWAY

LINUS
Okay, no forcefield. Just you and me.  Please, hit me. I need to make this better.

REN
Not my thing, but someone else would think this is really hot. Your faces are so close to each other. If you’re gonna kiss, let me know so I can record it on my phone, okay?

MAX
Stop it, Ren.

REN
Oh god, why am I shipping you two right now?

MAX
Linus, why do you need to make this better? Is it for me, or for Tammy?

LINUS
Honestly? For me. I have no sidekick potential, because no one wants to hire me. And I’m a terrible son. I don’t really have any friends. I practically forced my way into Bram’s place, and he only let me stay because he felt sorry for me. Tammy is the only good thing in my life, and I actually like you and your little group here. Maybe not the robot one who turns into a monster, because I’m pretty sure she gave me a concussion when she smashed through my forcefield, but you two are great.

REN
Sophia’s not a robot. And thanks, I guess. You’re not horrible, considering who your family is.

LINUS
That doesn’t say a whole lot. The only people worse than my dad are those trolls on the internet that correct people’s grammar in comment sections.

MAX
Oh, yeah, BLEEP those people.

REN
Ooh, what about those people who learn new words and go out of their way to steer the conversations toward a topic where they can use those words, just to feel smart?

LINUS
Ugh, those blagueurs are so altiloquent.

REN
Yeah, just like that!

LINUS
Like what?

MAX
Linus, you can stay. That’s fine. You’ve already been spending a bunch of time here anyway, so it’s– it’s whatever. But not permanently, okay?

LINUS
Not permanently, I promise. I don’t know if Tammy would want it that way. There’s only so much sex one can have before their body just gives out entirely.

MAX
Wow, this is what instant regret feels like.

LINUS
I’m just kidding. Besides, my sound-proof forcefields save your ears from anything… inappropriate.

MAX
Yeah, but when everything gets super quiet, I know what that means. Also, why do you talk about sex so much? Tam, too. If I talked about sex that much, people would be like “ew, yuck, don’t force your lifestyle on me” or call me a sodomite or something.

LINUS
Hey, anal pleasure isn’t just a gay thing. Most guys are too uptight to talk about it.

REN
Oh my god, I wish Sophia was here right now. Please keep coming to these meetings.

MAX
Well, since he’s moving in, you won’t have to worry about that.

REN
Yeah, but if Sophia makes it back according to plan, it’ll be weeks from now.

MAX
Everyone knows that when someone says they’ll be crashing for a little while, it ends up being way longer. Have you not ever seen a movie or tv show? It’s such a trope.

REN
Good point.

LINUS
Well, my fellow fiddlestickers, this is gonna be fun.

MAX
It’s Second Fiddles, not Fiddlesticks.

LINUS
Yeah, I’m not gonna remember that.

REN
Fiddlestickers does have a nice ring to it.

MAX
Just let me have this one thing, okay? My maybe-boyfriend is trapped in a spaceship, I have freaking antlers, and my former archnemesis is moving in with me. And banging my sister.

LINUS
If anything, she’s the one banging me. She’s the dom in this relationship, let’s be real.

MAX
Wow. Just, wow.

LINUS
What would we be, then? Second Fiddlers on the roof? I’m not Jewish, so the optics are not great for that.

MAX
Do we need a term?

REN
Fiddlers works, I guess, but what if people think we’re a group of violinists or something?

LINUS
I had a string quartet perform at my 16th birthday party, I think. They were a little boring, but pretty cool.

REN
(cough) Privilege!

MAX
I suggest we table this conversation indefinitely. Sound good?

LINUS
Sounds good to me, roomie!

MAX
Oh my god, stop it.

REN
Can I pop popcorn? This is gonna be fun!

MAX
(groans)

SOUND: FADE IN MUSIC

MAT
In this episode of Second Fiddles, Max is voiced by Mat Johnson, Ren is voiced by Kristy Barkan, Linus is voiced by Alex Sinicropi, and MacGuffin is voiced by John Pupo. The music was composed by Pete Johnson, and all the other stuff– the production, writing, etcetera– was done by Mat Johnson. Thanks for listening!