A Buffyverse Bachelor Challenge: Part SixBy RoseFyreFINALLY done! Bachelor Challenges are hard, guys.But now it is done! And we can all celebrate this damned thing being over.---Still don’t own Joss, the Buffyverse, or anything that comes from that…or even most of the sims in this!
“So who do you think he’s going to choose?” Rose asked the other watchers.Elle, Stuart, and Xander looked at each other. Xander shrugged. “It’s up to him. You do remember that, right?”Rose blushed. “Of course I do. I’m just…curious.”“Well, who do you think he’ll choose?” Xander shot back.Rose shrugged. “I’m not sure I know him well enough to make an accurate prediction. All three of you are closer tohim than I am.”
“The important part is that Kathy doesn’t seem to have a problem with either of them,” Elle said, gesturing to thelittle girl, who had toddled up to the television and was now waving at her daddy and the two women, who all stoodmotionless in the frozen frame.“True,” Rose said, as she pressed play once more. “That is important.” ***
It was warmer outside than it had been the day before, so Liam, Rissa, and Cassie chose to forego jackets this time,having tea in their normal clothes instead.Rissa was just as reluctant to actually drink the tea as she’d been the day before, but she conceded – if a bitreluctantly – that sitting and talking around the tea table wasn’t so bad after all. Cassie and Liam, meanwhile,happily enjoyed both the tea and the experience.
“So what else is on the schedule for today?” Rissa asked. “More kissing?”
“More than just kissing,” Liam answered. “Slow dancing and some kissing.”Cassie smiled. “That sounds like fun.”Rissa raised an eyebrow. “How long do we get?”“An hour each. You two can decide the order, of course.”They both nodded.
“So tell me something about yourselves,” Liam said, changing the subject. “I feel like I’ve gotten to know both ofyou pretty well over the last few days, but I want to know more. What were your childhoods like? How did yougrow up?”
Cassie shrugged. “Familiarity was pretty quiet when I was a kid. The only notable thing was the number of alienabductions. There were a lot of them going on in those days, and they impregnated women too.”“Which is how you were born.”“Yes. I don’t mind, though. I always knew my stepdad loved me and Corvus just as much as he loved his ‘real’kids.”“Corvus is your twin, right?”“Right. I’m the only girl of four.”Liam nodded.
“What about you, Rissa?” Cassie turned to Rissa and asked politely.“I’m the youngest of three, but my sister died when I was a toddler, and my brother’s a lot older. Life was quietwhen I was a kid. Though I think a lot of that had to do with Mom being overprotective as a mother hen.”“Overprotective?”“I wasn’t allowed to leave the house ‘cept for school.”“Not fun,” Liam said.“Nope.” Rissa tilted her head. “What about you?”
“I can’t say life was quiet. We were at the beginning of an Apocalypse, and my father died before I was born. Mychildhood wasn’t too bad, but things got a lot worse when I was a teen, when my dad’s ghost killed my sister andmy mother.” He sighed. “I don’t usually talk about this.”“So why’re you talking about it now?” Rissa asked.He shrugged. “I trust you. Both of you.”Cassie smiled. “I’m glad.”“Yeah,” Rissa agreed.
After tea, they moved as a group into the dining room and grabbed some salad from the buffet.Rissa eyed it. “I cannot wait til this is over and we can eat real food again.”“You could always go home now if you want,” Cassie said.Rissa raised an eyebrow. “Hell no.”Liam just shook his head.
Then he stared at the salad. “I wonder how many of these veggies come from a can.”Cassie giggled a little. “They are tasting slightly stale, aren’t they?”
Rissa shrugged. “Tastes normal to me. As normal as this shit can taste. Why’ve we got a buffet instead of realfood?”“I think the thought is that real food takes too long to cook,” Liam said. “The buffet is ready in an instant.”
“Which is good,” Cassie pointed out, “because it means you have more time to spend with us.”Liam nodded. “Definitely. I still wish we could have cereal for breakfast, though. Salad is not proper breakfastfood, and turkey is even worse.”“There’s always jello,” Rissa said.“It’s not very filling though, is it?”
They talked for a bit longer. As all three were neat eaters, Liam managed to finish first. He pushed in his chair ashe stood up. “I’m going to go get dressed for dancing. You two can figure out the order, but I’ll see whoever’s firstin the living room at 7. Whoever’s second, let’s do 8:15 so I have a couple of minutes break.”Both girls nodded.“And whoever’s not going, feel free to use the computer or hang out outside or something.”
“So,” Rissa said, “you want first or second?”“You’re letting me choose?” Cassie asked, raising her eyebrows.“I want to know what you want. If we both want the same time, we’ll haveta figure it out.”
Cassie shrugged. “I’m okay with either. How much time do you need to get dressed? Whoever goes second willhave more.”“I can dress fast if I need to.”“So can I.”“Eh, fuck it. You go first. I’ll go second.”“Any particular reason why?”“Feels right?”“Good enough for me.”
Having agreed on an order, Cassie got up to go get dressed. No matter how good she was at getting dressedquickly, it couldn’t hurt to take at least a little time for preparation.Rissa, meanwhile, cleaned up the dinner plates. There was no reason to leave them lying around, and she didn’tneed to be fighting with Cassie over the closets and mirrors right away.
And so, when Liam walked out into the living room at 7 o’clock, he found Cassie waiting for him.
“You look gorgeous, Cassie,” he said. “Orange is a good color for you.”She smiled. “It’s my favorite. You look good too.”“Thanks.”
Liam turned the radio on, picking a different station than any they’d listened to so far. This was slower and quieter –good music for slow dancing. He pulled Cassie into his arms. She went willingly.
As their hour ended, both Liam and Cassie were reluctant to separate.“Thank you for the dance,” she said, quietly.“You’re welcome.”They stood and stared at each other for a moment, hands still linked. “I should go,” Cassie finally said.Liam nodded. “I’ll see you later.”“Later.”
Cassie returned to the bedroom, leaving Liam by himself in the living room.He thought about Cassie – how she’d felt dancing next to him, how beautiful she looked, how great she was.Then, as the time approached 8:15, he put her out of his mind. The next hour belonged to Rissa.
Rissa came out of the bedroom dressed all in black. Somehow it didn’t surprise Liam at all that she still wore boots,even with her formal wear.
“That dress looks great on you.”“Not gonna say anything about the boots?”Liam shook his head. “They’re you.”Rissa grinned. “Good. You’re not lookin’ too bad yourself.”“Shall we dance?”“Not to this music.” Rissa grabbed the remote and changed the radio station to something faster. “Much better.”
Liam pulled Rissa into his arms. The dancing didn’t quite go with the music, but that was okay. It was slightlymismatched, but in the good way.Just like them.
At 9:15, Liam had to force himself away from Rissa. She didn’t seem any happier than he was.“We have to,” he said quietly. “I can’t favor one of you over the other.”Rissa grimaced, but nodded.“I had a great time dancing with you, though,” Liam said.“You weren’t too bad yourself.”He smiled. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Rissa headed back to the bedroom, undoubtedly to tell Cassie that her hour was over and Liam was now fair game –for both of them.Liam smiled as he watched her go, remembering the dance and everything about Rissa.
He was brought out of his thoughts by the two women playing punch-you-punch-me.While they weren’t full-on hurting each other, they also weren’t pulling their punches.
He shook his head at them, then headed over to the don’t wake the llama table. Both Cassie and Rissa quicklyjoined him, neither really willing to let him out of their sight – especially to be alone with the other girl.
They chatted late into the night, keeping the topics of conversation light, until Cassie yawned, which started ayawning chain.Liam stood up. “I’m for bed. I’ll see you both in the morning?”They nodded as he left, headed back to his bedroom.
He didn’t change out of his tuxedo immediately, choosing instead to relax on the bed still fully dressed.
As he relaxed, he thought about the two girls who were left.
Cassie was gorgeous, all alien coloring – though no alien features. She was quiet, but fun, and always able to makehim happy. They connected well, and he always felt comfortable with her. He loved her steadiness and her smile.He could easily see himself spending a lifetime with her, but could it be true love?
Rissa was equally gorgeous, though in a completely different way – with her ever-changing hair and pale blue eyes.She could always cheer him up, she knew just what to say, and she wasn’t afraid of anything, including others’reactions. He loved her sense of humor and her smirk. She could always surprise him, which was intriguing, butwould she continue to intrigue him for the rest of his life?
He realized, suddenly, that Rose was right. This had been good for him.He wasn’t ready to propose to either girl, but he knew that this Bachelor Challenge wouldn’t be just for show. He’dbe staying with whoever he chose – not because it was expected of him, but because he wanted to.Which meant he had to choose.He could easily see himself loving either Cassie or Rissa. But who to choose? Who was right for him?
Liam changed into his pajamas after an hour of thinking.He’d come to a tentative decision, but he wanted to sleep on it. He’d see how he felt in the morning.
In the morning, nothing had changed.He took a shower, then checked his email. A flirt, a hug, and a makeout, and he had to make the decision at noon.None of that surprised him.
Second was Rissa.Both girls had clearly showered before the flirts, which was justas well. They weren’t likely to want to take the time that day.
After the flirts, Liam and Rissa headed into the dining room, as both of them were hungry.Liam glared at his salad. “This is the last time I have to eat this.” He sighed. “And I used to like salad, too.”“Oh?” Rissa asked as she reluctantly took a bite of her turkey.“We weren’t allowed to have it when I grew up. There were no fresh vegetables.” He shook his head. “And to thinkI’m already sick of it.”“Who doesn’t get sick of the same food after they’ve had it for a week straight?”
“I didn’t used to.”“Whyever not?”He shrugged. “Didn’t know any better. That’s what growing up in an Apocalypse will do to you. Until Buffy liftedCulinary, all we had were burgers and hot dogs, sometimes cereal, but that’s it. I don’t remember other foodsbefore that.”Rissa grimaced. “Ugh. No fucking way could I do that.”
As they continued talking, neither of them noticed that Cassie hadn’t joined them. She’d already eaten, duringRissa’s flirting time, and now listened quietly to their conversation.
When they were done with breakfast, Liam looked at Rissa, then at Cassie at the pool table.He checked the clock; between the long shower, a check of his email, the flirting, and breakfast, it was almost noon.“Wait here?” he said to Rissa. “I need to talk to Cassie.”She looked at him with a discerning stare, then nodded and began to clear their plates.
“Come with me to the back porch?”Cassie nodded and followed him.
They sat in awkward silence for a moment. “I, Cassie, I love you, that is to say–”“You’re choosing Rissa,” she said, interrupting him.“What?”“It’s obvious. You spend more time with her, you laugh with her…you love her.”“I love you too.”
Cassie smiled sadly. “I know. And I love you. I…where did I go wrong?”“You didn’t go wrong. You’re wonderful just as you are.”She shook her head. “But I didn’t go right either.”
Liam leaned back on the bench. “I’m comfortable with you. We’re close, and I think we’re good friends.” Cassienodded. “Could it turn into love? Yes.”“But Rissa?”“Rissa…Rissa intrigues me. She never stops surprising me. She’s not comfortable in the same way as you are, butshe makes me want to know more.”“You love her.”“I do.”
Cassie nodded. “Goodbye, Liam.” She kissed him on the cheek, then stood up. “And good luck.”
Cassie went inside the house and found Rissa at the chess table.“Congratulations,” she said.Rissa opened her mouth, then closed it. “Thanks,” she finally said. This once, she could be tactful.
Rissa headed out to the back porch, where she found Liam sitting on the bench. “So I won, then?”Liam grinned at her as he stood up, then picked her up and twirled her around. “You won. Now you’re stuck withme and all of my baggage.”She poked him in the shoulder. “Put me down, you idiot. ‘Sides, you’re stuck with me and all of my baggage too.”“I don’t mind that at all.”
They kissed for a while, until both of them needed to breathe.“What happens now?” Rissa asked.“We go back home, I guess.” He looked up. “Bring us back, Rose.”“What?”“The Creator. She’ll bring us back home.”“Oh,” she said. “Simselves.”
An instant later, they were standing in the living room of Rose’s house, right in front of her. She put her hands onher hips and cocked an eyebrow. “I was right, wasn’t I?”Liam rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes, I admit it.”She smiled. “You’ve changed. I’m glad.”He nodded. “Me too.”
Rose turned to Rissa. “Hello,” she said, smiling.“Rose, hey.”Liam looked from one woman to the other. “You two know each other?”Rose nodded. “There’s a version of me in Veronaville, where Rissa grew up. It’s…a simself thing.”“Right,” he said, shaking his head.
He was interrupted by a bundle crashing into his legs. “DADDY!”“Hey, Kathy.” He picked her up and held her so she could see Rissa. “Kathy, this is Rissa. Rissa, this is Kathy. Mydaughter.”They stared at each other for a moment.
Finally Kathy reached her arms out for Rissa. “Hold!” she said.Rissa gingerly took her. “You’re cute enough, I guess,” she said as Kathy happily giggled. “Please tell me she’spotty trained?”“No diapers here,” Liam said. “Can you deal?”“I can deal.”
Kathy gestured to be put down, so Rissa put her on the floor, where she promptly ran off to play with Caleb.Liam grabbed Rissa’s hand and smiled at her. She smiled back.
Liam looked around the room, then gestured to the people on the couch, pointing each one out. “Rissa, this is mynephew Xander and my closest friends, Elle and Stuart, and their son, Caleb. Xander, Elle, Stuart, this is Rissa.”Everyone waved.Rose looked at Liam. “I think this deserves a party.”“How many people?”“Small. Just us, your parents and siblings, their spouses.” She turned to Rissa. “And Fire, if you’re okay with that.”Liam and Rissa exchanged glances. “Alright,” she said.
“Good!” Rose said, clapping her hands together. “A party it is!” ***
And so, a couple of hours later, everyone gathered at Stuart, Elle, and Liam’s house to celebrate.“Everyone” ended up being Joss and Eloise and their twins, Buffy and her girlfriend, the Contessa, and her pets,Cordelia and Martin and their new baby daughter, Xander and Marisa, Stuart and Elle and Caleb, Liam and Rissa andKathy, and the two simselves.It wasn’t exactly small, but Liam didn’t see a way to make the guest list smaller and still include everyone whoneeded to be there.
“A toast,” Buffy said, “to my brother, for finally getting his head out of his ass and hooking up with a wonderfulwoman.”Xander winced. “You couldn’t have said that a bit more nicely?” he asked plaintively.Liam shook his head. “It’s alright, Xander. Buffy and I understand each other.” He turned to his sister. “Thanks forthe sentiment, if not the words.”Buffy grinned. “You’re welcome.”
After the toast, everyone split up.Joss, Eloise, Buffy, the Contessa, Cordelia, Martin, Liam, and Rissa ended up in the dining room, eating bakedAlaska.
They sat and talked, as everyone slowly got more comfortable with each other.Both of Liam’s sisters made sure to make Rissa feel welcome, which she appreciated. They even avoided telling toomany embarrassing stories about Liam as a child, which he appreciated.
“You good?” Liam asked.Rissa put her hand on his. “I’m good.”
In the living room, the four toddlers had fun with a toy table that had been brought down, while Martin andCordelia’s daughter Chao-Ahn napped in Kathy’s old crib.
Stuart, Elle, Xander, and Marisa kept an eye on the kids while enjoying some tea, giving Liam and Rissa time withhis parents and sisters.
And the simselves headed out to the porch.“I still can’t believe Rissa won,” Fire said. “I did not expect her to win.”“I know. You gave her to me as a lark.” Rose shrugged. “I guess she decided she wanted Liam. And when shewants something…”“She goes for it.”
“Why do you think he likes her, anyway?” Rose asked.Fire shrugged. “Attraction. And she doesn’t put up with his bullshit.”“Fair enough.” She smiled. “I’m glad it worked out. I’m just happy that Liam’s happy – and whoever makes himhappy is good in my book.”Fire nodded. “Right.”
Rose grinned. “Besides, they can be happy here. No Apocalypse, no Fury. It’s peaceful.”“Just be aware of what Rissa might do if she gets bored. She’ll find a way to keep things interesting.”“I know. Whatever it is, it’ll be exciting.”
After that, Fire went inside and turned on the stereo, then pulled Rissa aside.“I’m glad you won,” she said.Rissa nodded. “Course.”“I’m only here for the night. If you need anything in the future, let Rose know.”“I always liked her better than you anyhow.”Fire shook her head. “Why am I not surprised?”
Liam, meanwhile, was taken aside by his father.“We’re good?”“We’re good.”“I’m glad you’re happy, Liam.”“Me too, Dad. Me too.”
All in all, the party went well, with music, food, and fun.(And, of course, cute children.)
Then it was time for everyone to leave and return to their own homes.
“I think it’s bedtime for Kathy,” Liam said as he picked up his daughter at the end of the night.“Night night?”“Night night.”Kathy turned to Rissa. “Night night Rissa.”“Night, kiddo.”
The toddlers weren’t the only ones going to bed. After Kathy and Caleb were asleep, Stuart and Elle headed intotheir own room.“You think they’ll be fine?” Elle asked.“They chose each other,” Stuart said. “I think they’ll be good.”Elle smiled. “Yeah, they did, didn’t they? Just like we chose each other.” She turned to her husband. “I’m glad Ichose you.”“I’m glad you chose me too.”
Final scores:Rissa: 100/100 = 200, best friends, mutual love (100/100 = 200)Cassiopeia: 100/100 = 200, best friends, mutual love (100/100 = 200)So, as with many bachelor challenges, I ended with a tie. I had thought about it before I started, and ultimately decidedthat, in case of a tie, the winner was going to be the one who reached 100/100 first. In this case, that was Rissa.Rissa actually reached 100/100 during the required flirting on Day 5, right before elimination. I was worried, at that point,that Cassie would as well – because if they both reached it during the same required activity, I wasn’t sure how to solve thetiebreaker. After all, it’s not THEIR choice who goes first in the flirting; it’s mine, or even simply who’s available (I generallywent either alphabetically or reverse alphabetically so I could keep track). Luckily for my sanity, Cassie did not reach100/100 during that flirting session, and so I was not forced to choose. I did play Day 6 anyway, in case someone had abad conversation or lost points for something else – but I honestly didn’t expect that to happen, and it didn’t.
My thanks again to everyone whose sims I used! I honestly would have been very happy with any of the girlswinning, as I love them all. Stay tuned for a BTS/meta, coming soon!Clarissa Chandler – The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy by thefireeternalCassiopeia Pleasant – Familiar Faces by NdainyeLydia Legacy – The Regacy by RegacyLadyCroissant Leive – The Munster Legacy by HurriKatyKeira Doran – The Morgan Legacy by fireflower314Koriand’r Doran – The Bass-ackwards Apocalypse by ladylarkruneLirael Stark – An Apocalypse of Ice by cobaltazureElle Fitzhugh – A Villainous Apocalypse by smoothiequeen87Stuart Legacy – A Victorian Legacy by Dicreasy