Zack The Ryman Legacy Chapter 10B Rick Well I bet that you look good (passed out) on the dance floor… Lyle By Mzyra
And so life was almost back to normal in the Ryman household. Merely the usual skilling in the morning and you’d barely know that there was anything wrong or different from when Mia had been a child herself. Besides not having any kind of carpet or wallpaper, that is.But most days wind up being boring regardless of where you are.
Little Lyle made the days more interesting and rewarding, though. Gina wasn’t generally known for her family tendencies, but she fawned over the baby as if it were her own – fascinated by a close family member younger than herself. And adorable as anything.
Allen tried too, but had considerably less luck – or at least bad timing, trying to play with Lyle after Gina had just finished feeding him.
Instead Allen still spent most of his days maxing out his cooking skill in preparation for the day when he could become a chef like his grandfather had been, though with considerably less emphasis on the grilling of cheese.
Rick, on the other hand, was too busy for other people’s babies – he was making arrangements for having some of his own since it was his birthday that night. Naturally he invited over his girlfriend Celeste for a pre-birthday make-out session, but she brought Rick’s Uncle Nery over,* which was a little awkward… *[Technically they went to school together. Don’t try and wrap your mind around sim time, it’s too weird…!]
But naturally didn’t stop the young couple in the slightest.
As for Mia, she had mostly moved past sadness and was therefore seething over Juan leaving her at the altar. Calvin and everyone had been right – she had been too good for that two-faced, backstabbing, indecisive, bullying jerk and they were better off without him. If only she could see him now, she’d show him…!
But that didn’t affect her feelings about Lyle. As far as she was concerned, her little boy was nothing like his daddy, besides in eye colour and skin tone (and technically even that could have come from her ancestors rather than him) – he was sweet and adorable and he would never break a girl’s heart like that. She’d make sure of it. She did wish she could have a proper father figure for Lyle though…
Which led to the unfortunate side-effect of finding any man, who looked like a decent father figure, rather more attractive than perhaps she should have done. Especially 70 year-old fathers-of-five who were already married to her aunt. Mia:*Mmm, look at the fatherliness on that one!* * *[Urgh, shuddershuddershudder!]
Back outside things weren’t going quite to plan as Celeste suddenly became an involuntary lightning conductor. R: “Um, Celeste, you okay?” C: “YAAAAARGH!” R: “No?”
Needless to say, she left pretty quickly after that to have a shower and get changed. R: “Urgh, I hate the smell of burnt flesh!” C: “Howd’ya think I feel?!”
But she returned again once it actually became time for Rick to grow up with a fair-sized party of friends and family members, enough of them as there are.
Gina: “A kimono, Rick? Really? We’ve never even been to the Far East!” R: “… I think I could pull this off. Right?” G: “No Rick, get changed before I disown you!”
Celeste also grew up less-than-fashionably, but neither of them minded what they were wearing, so long as they were together. Calvin was very relieved to have a younger sibling settled happily for once – he’d been beginning to feel bad about how good his life was with DJ in comparison to Mia’s – at least he wasn’t the only one any more.
But Mia seemed happier as well and had put her hopes in a different guy called Zack. He was a little sceptical as to how good or nice this Zack really was, but he guessed he could give him the benefit of the doubt so long as he made Mia happy. Hopefully he’d get to meet this guy first though…
Off downtown, Rick and Celeste had bought new and better clothes and gone to The Hub for a celebratory meal… R: “Uh… well?” C: “Eeee! ZOMG yes!”
They then proceeded to make the restaurant owners and workers very annoyed and all of their fellow patrons rather uncomfortable. Not that they noticed or cared.
And the very next day it was time for a wedding (that would have been better attended if not held during school hours when Allen and Gina were at home – though that didn’t stop four other teenagers coming…). Mia was in fact home, but made excuses about Lyle so that she wouldn’t have to come out and watch. She was very happy for Rick, but weddings were still pretty painful experiences.
But again, the audience wasn’t particularly important as Rick went from being a Ryman to being a Wong. Jane Huffman: “You know, I was almost the bride in this wedding. He totally should have picked me.” Bowlcut-townie: “You’re in love with Rick?!” JH: “Oh, no, but you know… I don’t want to be in high school forever! I guess Celeste is a good alternative if you have to, though…”
It wasn’t certain whether Celeste heard the aforementioned conversation, but it may have been a contributing factor for her shoving cake in his face. All in good humour though, he hoped…
C: “Uh, Mia, adorable as Lyle is, I get enough of changing stinky babies at home…” M: “Ha, I guess you do. He is great though, isn’t he? My special little guy…” C: “I’m glad you’ve got at least one reliable guy in your life then!” M: “Just a shame he grows up so fast, are you staying for the birthday?” C: “I’ll go home and get changed, but yes, I’ll be here.” M: “Great! You can meet Zack too!” C: “Yeah… Great…”
And just a few hours later it was time for Lyle to grow up. Most of the more objective observers hoped that Lyle would take after his mother more than his father in the looks department as well as in personality – besides not serving as a reminder of Juan, Mia was quite a lot better looking than her ex-fiancé. Zack wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about his girlfriend’s ex’s son, but she looked so happy and Lyle was so cute…
And Lyle was indeed so cute, seeming mostly to take after his mother in features, though there was a hint of Juan about them somehow. Possibly just due to the colouring. Cute nonetheless.
And sweet and adorable. Within mere minutes he’d crawled over to Zack, got his attention and melted his heart to the point where he couldn’t do anything but hug him, while Mia’s relatives scrutinised him out of the corner of their eyes. But one hug couldn’t be enough for a full judgement…
An additional conversation later… Calvin: *This man is fully Calvin-approved, even with his slightly suspect dress-sense. He really does seem to care about Mia and Lyle, though I thought Juan did too, so I guess that shows what I know…*
Elder-brotherly approval given, Mia asked Zack to move in with the family, which he happily accepted. It wasn’t the kind of family you pictured yourself joining, but when the mother and child were this good, Zack really couldn’t see any problems with any of it.
And there was even a little additional space as Rick and Celeste moved out with more playful banter. R: “Come on Cel, get a move on! We don’t want to be out all night!” C: “Yeah, yeah, easy for you to say – all the cake we’ve been eating is making me feel sick…” R: “Sugar lightweight!” C: “I happen to like my figure, Rick Wong, I’m not about to change it!” Naturally what was really making her sick wouldn’t give her much of a choice…
When Zack moved in he revealed a pleasant surprise – back in high school workshops he’d cultivated the talent of making children’s toys and set to work making some treats for Lyle. Much as he loved the kid and thought that Lyle liked him too, Zack was eager to try and make up for the fact that he wasn’t Lyle’s real father so was rather over-compensating…
Not that you’d catch Lyle complaining (especially since he couldn’t talk or understand what over-compensating means) – he adored the new toys that kept appearing out of nowhere. Particularly the Jack-in-the-box, who effectively became his best friend after a couple of plays.
He couldn’t always be playing though – he had several skills to learn first in order to become a ‘big boy’. He wasn’t sure what that meant either, but he could tell it was good, so he appeased his mother and learnt to walk, extra effort though it seemed.
And then there were always snuggles to be had with Aunty Gina, who Lyle liked because she smelt of vanilla and made him want ice cream which he’d been given once and couldn’t get enough of.
Elsewhere… Z: “Um, Mia, are you suggesting…?” M: “Yes. Why… Don’t you want to?” Z: “What? No- I mean yes, but I don’t want you to- I mean, it must be difficult for you after everything, so I don’t want you to feel like-” M: “Zack, if I were being forced I wouldn’t be asking. I love you, I trust you… I want you. Now. Please.” Z: “If you’re sure-” M: “Trust me, I am.”
And afterwards, as Mia slept in Zack’s arms, neither of them regretted their decision.
Mia was more tired than Zack, so eventually he left her in bed and went to bond some more with Lyle, starting off teaching him to talk and actually heard his very first word - and wondered whether it was a hint as to what toy Lyle wanted next, not that Zack had any idea how to make a teddy on a workbench. It looked like he was finally and fully integrated into the family. Which meant only one thing needed to be done…
Zack was struck by how pretty Mia looked in the moonlight, but he couldn’t just stand and stare all night, he needed to take action. Z: “Mia- Are you flying a kite at night?” M: “Sure! Why not? Besides, Lyle’s asleep, I get what time I can for stuff like this!” Z: “Oh. Right. Actually, I came to ask you something else…” M: “Oh. What’s that?” Z: “Er, would you mind putting the kite down for a minute?”
Z: “Mia Ryman, will you marry me?” M: “Oh my god!” Z: “I promise that I’ll treat you so much better than Juan ever did or could, I’ll treat Lyle as if he were my own, I’ll- I’ll- You know, do anything else you need or want. I can’t think straight right now, but you know what I mean, right!” M: “Oh, Zack…!”
And she jumped into his arms. “Of course I’ll marry you. I’m sure you’ll be a great father and I don’t need you to do anything. Well, not leaving me would be one thing, but I’m sure you’ll be great.” Z: “I’ll certainly do my best. And not leaving you isn’t exactly difficult!”
G: “Heya Wally, is your Dad there? … Oh good, can you put him on please? … I need to tell him some important news. … Well I- I guess: tell him Mia’s getting married to Zack, wedding’s tomorrow and he’s invited. … Well if you want to come you’re welcome to, but it won’t be very interesting … No, I can’t keep sending you sweets, I’m sure your Mum and Dad give you as many as you need … Don’t try to use that voice on me, young man, I can tell your father on you! … Don’t ‘fun aunt Gina’ me-!” Difficult as it sometimes was, Gina revelled in her increasing aunt-hood, though some nephews were more manipulative than others and could tell when somebody was wrapped around their finger…
Mia spent the morning of the wedding trying to explain what was happening to Lyle while helping him play with his blocks. M: “So after this afternoon Zack’s going to be your official new daddy? You’re happy about that, aren’t you?” L: “Dada…” M: “That’s right, sweetheart. We’ll be a proper family. We might even have a baby brother or sister for you, that’d be good too, wouldn’t it?” L: “… Bwock won’ fit, Mama!” M: “Try this hole sweetie, the circle.”
Other little boys were more understanding. Wally: “Daddy, do I have to have a wedding?” Calvin: “Well no, you don’t have to, but, if you find the right person for you, you might decide that you want a wedding.” W: “Oh. Can I have a wedding now?” C: “I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until you’re an adult, Walls.” W: “Meh. Girls are icky anyway.” C: “I wouldn’t tell your Aunty Gina that – she might stop buying you those sweets you think we don’t know about!”
As planned, Mia came out to chat with her family members prior to the ceremony (those who weren’t pillow fighting with teenagers, anyway), while Zack finished up on a new toy he was making on the workbench. At least they’d managed to get good weather once again, though Calvin’s marriage had probably been best so far and that had been with snow on the ground…
When all of a sudden… Z: “Why am I marrying you all of a sudden?! What, you thought you could trick me, draw me in to look after you and your illegitimate offspring like some kind of idiot? I see your game, Mia Ryman, and I’m not falling for it. It’s just as well I never loved you – barely even liked you really – and I am getting out of here right now. You disgust me.” Mia heard what he said, but it… It didn’t make any sense. Something was wrong.
M: “Zack- Zack, I don’t understand! I haven’t tricked you! You loved me! Y- you said you did! I believed you! You can’t- You can’t mean this.” Z: “Leave me alone, Mia, before I say something that you don’t want your little family to hear.” M: “But-! But-!” Z: “Goodbye.”
M: “If you- If you suddenly change your mind… I’ll still be here…” But he just slammed the door and the taxi drove away, leaving her alone again.
There were so many thoughts rushing around her head, trying to form at once, that Mia could barely think at all. It was wrong. It was so wrong somehow. It wasn’t true, it couldn’t be true. But she had precedent, it happened before, it happened again – it was her, something to do with her. She drove people away, regardless of who they were.
C: “Mia, what’s going on? What just happened?!” M: “I don’t know… He doesn’t love me. Didn’t love me. Won’t love me. So… he left…” C: “… Seriously?! I… I was so sure that…” M: “So was I…”
C: “Look Mia, I know this feels really bad, but you shouldn’t take it personally-” M: “Calvin! How can I not take it personally? Didn’t you hear what he said? What Juan said? Maybe you can’t see it because you’re related to me or something, but I’m repulsive – as soon as somebody really gets to know me they run in the opposite direction.” C: “Mia- Mia, you can’t think that-”
M: “Do me a favour Cal? Stay here and look after Lyle. I need some time to think…” C: “… Mia…” It was all so wrong.
Of course, when Mia said think, it wound up meaning drink. She had too many thoughts crowding her head, she needed something to slow them all down a bit. Preferably stop them altogether. So for some hours she sat, downing glass after glass, despite the bartender’s increasing reluctance and concern. Mrs Crumplebottom: “Ah, let her have her drink. We young, single ladies need a little something to brighten our day and loosen us up!” Bartender: “But she’s into double figures now…” MC: “So long as we end up having fun, who cares! You know, so long as the resulting hanky-panky remains private. I don’t care for that sort of thing.”
Another hour later, however, even Mrs Crumplebottom had left Mia, grumbling about how young people these days were no fun. When you were too lame for her even Mia knew she had problems. Maybe some dancing would make her feel better, liven her up. Though she could barely dance normally, never mind after the amount of alcohol she’d had so far that afternoon.
So she figured it was sensible to opt for tai chi on the dance floor instead. It was still a kind of dance wasn’t it? Probably. Though it was very hard to do when the room kept spinning like it was. She couldn’t tell what was the wall and what the floor and how near each was and- And one of them was coming at her fast-!
Zack was lying unconscious on a dark stone floor somewhere…
He gradually awoke and sat up, rubbing his head. He seemed to murmur something, but it was unintelligible to Mia’s ears. He looked puzzled…
Then he stood, still murmuring and someone else Mia couldn’t see said something. Zack looked surprised, then shocked, then he gradually looked around in horror at a big cow-plant...thing and an urn on the floor. The speech continued, but the scene faded from Mia’s unconscious mind once again…
Leaving her entirely unconscious on the dance floor. ~~~End of 10B~~~
Look at the diversity we’re achieving! Exciting times… But how long before this lot wind up fancying said distant relatives? Will Mia ever find a man who won’t leave her as soon as it gets serious? Why do men keep doing that to Mia anyway? Err, cowplant-dungeon – WTF?! Is Lyle just about the cutest, sweetest and most adorable little thing ever? Will I stop being cruel to my characters for plot purposes? (I kind of wish I could…) Leave comments on my boolprop thread and I shall glomp you happily and do my best not to spoil everything Thank you for reading!