Here, have a title slide completely unrelated to the chapter. Why? Because I can. Welcome back to The Four Legacies. This is College Chapter 1.6. You know the drill – sorry it’s taken so long, if you haven’t read the earlier chapters then do so, yadda, yadda, yadda. We done now? Good!
Galahad crouched down in front of the snowman for a moment before launching himself into the air. “Die! Die you snow demon!” Watching on, Maura Wade shook her head before continuing on her way.
Mission complete, Galahad stood away from the remains of his snowman. No longer would it terrori- “Well done – he nearly had you a few times there but you showed him.”
Startled, Galahad span on his heel. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Tessa standing there, arms crossed over he chest and a grin playing on her lip. He blushed. “How much did you see?” “Snow demons.” “Oh, err, I-” “Ah, stop blushing,” Tessa chuckled. “We’re here for something important.”
“What’s that?” Galahad asked as he extricated himself from the remains of his snowman. Tessa grinned. “There’s only one reason a knowledge sim would bother coming downtown to Gothier in the dear of night in the middle of winter,” Tessa said. She grinned broadly even as Galahad felt his face fall. “I’m going to see a ghost!”
“You mean I snuck out for this?” “Y- wait, snuck out? I thought your Dad was a knowledge sim. He would’ve let you come.” “He would’ve come with,” Galahad resisted the urge to roll his eyes. As many knowledge sims as their might be in his life, he never quite got used to their weirdness. “He’s always wanted to see a ghost.” “Well that’s coz they’re cool. Now come on! Let’s go in! We need to get a good spot!”
“All right, I don’t see any ghosts, can we go now?” Galahad asked. He shuddered. Spending the night in a graveyard was not his idea of fun. “Oh don’t be silly! We only just got here, and besides, we haven’t even looked at any grave stones yet,” Tessa said. She glanced over her shoulder, towards an enclosed area with a statue of some old guy Galahad recognised from his history book. “Come on I bet there’s some in there.”
Tessa didn’t give Galahad time to respond. She just turned and walked towards the fenced in area. Galahad hesitated for just a second. He had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach that just got worse with the thought of going over there and perhaps finding a grave. But the thought of being alone while Tessa checked it out was worse. “Hey, wait up!”
When Galahad caught up with Tess she was already beyond the gate and crouched in front of the grace to the right of the statue. She was silent. “All right, you’ve seen your grave,” Galahad said, feeling his nerves rising. His eyes darted around. “Now can we please-” “You need to read this.” “Tess, I’m not going to read some poor sap’s grave! Now can we just-” “No!” Tessa said harshly before looking over her shoulder almost tenderly. “I’m serious, Galahad, you need to read this. It’s... Well, just read it.”
Figuring it was the quickest way to get out of there was to do what Tessa wanted, Galahad made his way over to the tombstone and read the inscription. His expression changed, morphing quickly as the words sank in from a look of frustration to one of absolute heartbreak as memories and feelings so raw all came rushing back to him. “No,” Galahad whispered. It was all he could manage before he broke down into tears.
Tessa comforted Galahad as best as she was able, but there was little she could do. All the time they stood there her mind strayed back to the inscription on the grave. ‘Here lies Guinevere Juliet Merton. Beloved Daughter And Cherished Sister. May You Always Be Forgot.’
“Mum’s going to kill you,” Galahad called from his bed. Nev ignored him as she looked over her new haircut. “She’s going to yell really loud and then you’re going to be grounded for life! You know she hates short hair of girls.” “Daddy said it was okay. And Mum won’t care. She said I can do anything I want to my hair, s’long as I don’t shave it off or dye it or summin.” “She will – you made it look like boy’s hair.” “So does yours and Mum doesn’t care about that.”
When Nev was done looking Galahad slid off the bed and sat face to face with his sister on the floor. “When did ‘Melia say she was taking us to the park, anyway?” “Dunno,” Galahad shrugged a shoulder. “Think it’s gonna be forever though.” The pair sat there for a few moments, neither saying anything. Then – “Race ya to the pond!”
Forever later, or so the two children would say, Galahad and Nev stood side by side at the park, fishing rods out. Neither had caught anything, but neither really cared. “Hey, you two. You don’t wanna play, do you?” a voice from behind them asked. “My mum said I need to – intertrack more with kids my own ages, and she thought there’d me more kids here and she told me to come over and play with you two ‘cus she thinks you’ll be good influenzas or something. I’m Tessa, by the way!” The two Merton children shared a look. As one they put their fishing rods away and turned to face the newcomer. Although they didn’t know it, this would be the start of a wonderful friendship.
“I’m really really sorry! I swear I didn’t know this would happen! All I wanted was to see a ghost! If I’d’ve known Galahad’d react like that I would’ve gone on my own! I don’t know what happened, and I don’t know why, and-”
“Calm down, Tessa, tells us what happened slowly,” Kaylynn said as calmly as she could. Ten minutes ago she and Ross had been surprised to hear a knock at the door and Tessa standing there, struggling to hold up Galahad’s weight – surprised because, as far as they knew Galahad had been studying in his room. Ross had leapt into action immediately, helping Tessa support Galahad as they took him over to the sofa. Once he was on it Galahad had curled up on his side and not moved or responded to anything since while Tessa babbled apologies.
Tessa’s lip quivered. “I’ve wanted to see a ghost for, well since my birthday. Me and Galahad arranged to meet at Gothier tonight so I could. But there weren’t any out and we were gonna leave but then I spotted the tombstones and I decided since I wasn’t going to get to see a ghost I wanted to see one of them up close and Galahad begged me to leave it, but I didn’t listen and-” “Breathe, Tessa.” “Sorry,” Tessa ducked her head. “I went over to the graves and Galahad followed. Don’t think he wanted to be alone in a cemetary. Then I read the inscription on one of the tombstones – and it was kinda freaky, ‘cus I didn’t know there was another Merton family in the area, or one with a kid the same age as Galahad. Then I remembered Galahad’s dreams-”
“Wait, Galahad’s dreams?” Ross cut in. Something about the way she mentioned them made him think they were important. Tessa bit her lip. “I guess he hasn’t told you about them,” Tessa said, looking guilty. She swallowed hard. “I kept telling him to tell you guys, but he said you were too busy to have something else to worry about. He’s been dreaming about this girl since just before his last birthday, says they’re the same age and everything. Never dreams about her past just after he became a little kid though. Always creeps me out when he tells me though.” Kaylynn and Ross exchanged a look. They would have to talk to Galahad about those dreams when he woke up and everything settled down a bit. “Carry on,” Ross urged her. “What happened next.”
“Erm, well, ‘cus of Galahad’s dreams I got him to read it, thought it might explain something. But when he read it – oh plumbbob, I’m sorry. I swear I didn’t know – Galahad just started sobbing after a second. Then when he stopped he just sorta went... Blank. Didn’t respond or anything, almost collapsed when I tried to get him to move, so I just tried to carry him back and-”
“-did Galahad have a twin sister called Guinevere?” “Well we were going to call him that if he was a girl but...” the abrupt change of topic took Kaylynn by surprise. “Galahad doesn’t have a twin.” “Do too.” All three jumped at the quiet voice from the sofa.
Galahad stared down at the floor. He felt numb, but he wasn’t lost in his own memories any more. That had to be an improvement, right? “I did have a twin, Mum,” he said as he pushing himself up. “We just forgot about her.”
“That’s just... It shouldn’t be possible,” Ross amended what he was going to say. “But-”
“Galahad,” Ross said warningly, cutting his youngest off. “I know. I know it doesn’t mean anything that it shouldn’t be possible – the aliens shouldn’t have been able to abduct Todd when he wasn’t looking through the telescope but it still happened. We’ll talk about this – as a family – in a minute.”
“She’s real,” Galahad muttered stubbornly as Ross saw Tessa off and Kaylynn sat down next to him. “Nev’s real and just because you guys don’t remember her doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist.”
“Don’t you think I’d remember if I had another child?” Kaylynn raised an eyebrow. “And you don’t think I’d know if she wasn’t my twin?” Galahad said bitterly. His expression softened at the look on his mother’s face. He swallowed back the emotions that were threatening to overcome him once again. “I’m sorry, Mum, but I’ve been dreaming about her for so long now, just remembering more and more. Tonight when I saw Nev’s grave... It just all sort of hit me. She was part of me and we didn’t even realise she was missing. I want her back.”
“I understand.” “What? Dad?” Galahad turned as his father spoke – he hadn’t even noticed the older man sit down. “Ross!” his mother sounded equally as shocked, but Galahad ignored her for now. “I mean it. I don’t know why you can remember Guinevere and no one else can, but I’m going to assume what Tessa told us happened is the truth. After work tomorrow I’ll pay a visit to Gothier and look into the grave myself.” “That won’t bring Nev back,” this was one of the rare occasions where he would actually show his stubborn streak. As grateful as he was that his Dad was listening to him and looking into the matter, it didn’t fix it.
“Bringing back the dead isn’t that easy, son. I’ve researched it – just for curiosity’s sake,” Ross added at his wife’s look. “There’s only one known way to return someone from the dead, and requires a lot of money and a direct line of communication with Death himself, but those phones are pretty hard to come by.”
“Wait, you phone Death? “Yes, but those phones are exceedingly rare. You have you work for Mysteries Incorporated for at least thirty years, and they only take on sims who have the best degrees possible.”
Galahad’s heart sank at the words. He hardly paid attention as his father continued to talk about the risks of bringing someone back from the dead, something about zombies and the dead coming back different. It didn’t matter, and he didn’t care. Despair threatened to overtake him. Then, just like that, an idea occurred to him. Now, you may know that the ideas that occur to knowledge sims usually end up being pretty terrifying for non-knowledge sims. And the plans of romance sims, well they tend not to be too well thought through. And as Galahad is a romance sim raised around far too many knowledge sims, I think you can guess where this is going.
“Mum, Dad,” Galahad spoke up suddenly, cutting his father off from talking about the ethical concerns of raising the dead. “I want to apply for early admission to college!”
The long winter finally drew to an end in the canyon not too long after the cemetery incident. At long last the snow melted and the sun shone down from a cloudless sky. Quinn had decided to take advantage of the good weather one morning not long after the ground had thawed and headed out for a walk. Eventually, after wandering the canyon for a while she finally came across Gideon’s new home. She paused for the briefest of moments. She’d planned to come and visit for a little while but hadn’t quite gotten around to it. Well, now was as good a time as any, she supposed.
“Mum! What are you doing here?” Gideon asked in shock as he answered the door only to find his mother there. She tutted. “So I need an excuse to come see you now?” Quinn shook her head and laughed. “I was just in the area and decided to pop in and see you.”
Inside began the process of catching up on everything, from Gideon and Taz’s honeymoon – they’d only returned two days earlier and had just now recovered from the jetlag – to how James was doing in college – he was a junior now, doncha know, and had top grades still. The conversation had just turned from how Nadine was growing like a weed and how Charlie was going to give her a little brother or sister any day now when Gideon noticed a glint in his mothers eye. “What?” he asked rather cluelessly.
“So when are you and Taz going to make me a grandmother again?” his mother asked, her voice airy. Gideon gave a weary sigh. “Mum!” “What? It’s just an innocent question, that’s all. I’m just curious. You always did talk about having a couple of kids.”
“I guess,” Gideon shrugged uncomfortably. He had a feeling she was going to overreact to the news. “Well, I suppose you could say... Me and Taz are in the process.” “Oh, so you’ve applied for adoption? That’s wonderful! I’m sure you’ll get approved soon and-” “What? No! We’re both-”
“-pregnant!” Gideon got the last word out a split second before he popped into his second trimester. He gasped as his stomach suddenly went from flat and toned to round and clearly pregnant. “Whoa, that was weird.”
“Should I ask?” Quinn asked, getting up and rubbing her elder son’s stomach after only a moment’s pause. “Erm, me, Taz, Charlie and Ross have been looking into the possibility of pregnancy between same-sex couples through synthesizing-” “Nope, definitely shouldn’t ask.”
Mother and son said nothing to one another for a while, Gideon standing there and just letting his mother coo over the child that was now clearly growing inside of him – and geez, that was a weird thought. After a few minutes Quinn looked up with a grin. “You said you’re both pregnant. Does that mean I’m getting two grandkids out of this deal or what?”
Speaking of grandchildren, at that very moment over in Bluewater Charlie was cursing her husband with every fibre of her being as she bent over clutching her stomach, another wave of contractions hitting her. “WHY DID HE HAVE TO WANT THREE KIDS?!” she screamed. “THIS IS THE LAST ONE! IF HE WANTS ANY MORE HE CAN HAVE THEM HIMSELF!”
“Are you done screaming now?” Gilbert asked as he wandered into the room only a few moments later just as Charlie held her new child in her arms. “Amar wants to know if it’s safe to come out, and if he has a son or daughter.” “It’s safe,” Charlie said, a smile on her far. “You’ve got another granddaughter, Dad. Dad, meet Louise. Lou, meet your granddad.” The little girl just cooed at him. Like her sister she had her father’s colouring, although some would hesitate to say that they could already see some differences to how Nadine looked at that age. Small differences, but differences all the same.
That day was a busy day in Bluewater. Not only was Louise born, but Nadine found herself carried down to the kitchen that evening when it was normally her bedtime! She was brought before a cake with pretty lighted candles, but then her mum wouldn’t let her touch the light! Then she was put on the floor before she could even play with the cake! Nadine wasn’t sure she liked this.
Next thing she knew she was big! She looked down at her new, bigger body and scrunched up her nose. A skirt? Seriously?
Nadine dashed off upstairs, and five minutes later she emerged dressed in the new clothes her father had bought just after he finished work that afternoon. Now she was older everyone that looked upon her couldn’t deny exactly how much she looked like her father. In fact the only feature she seemed to have from her mother was her chin. But there was no doubting that she was also Charlie’s daughter as the moment all of the guests left she dashed into the living room, grabbed a book and sat down to read it.
It wasn’t just the Jacquets where there were major happenings going on. Over at the Huertas Benji, Topher and Daisy all had their birthdays, much to the relief of their parents. The toddler years had been hard for Dom and Alice, especially with Alice’s pregnancy wearing her out that much quicker these days.
The triplets quickly made themselves over, changing their clothes and Benji restyling his hair. Like they had as toddlers, the three children allowed their mother to snap off one quick photo before they all rushed off. It wouldn’t be long before Alice and Dom began to yearn for the days when their spawn were less mobile.
Speaking of spawn, others were about to enjoy their first child. “AIIIIY!” Cole screeched as she went into labour. “THIS HURTS!” “Oh my plumbbob! That’s not going to happen to me, is it?” Kate ignored Gemma and focussed on her younger daughter. “You can do it, Cole,” she said, more calmly than she felt. “Just one more push!”
One more push was all it took, in fact, for Cole to push out a beautiful, bouncy baby boy. He had his father’s eyes, and both parents’ hair, and his skin tone was somewhere in between the two. He was promptly named Dahl after one of Cole’s favourite children’s authors.
And others, well they were about to have their fourth child.
“I don’t want to see this,” Diasy whimpered after she and everyone else in the house had run upstairs to see what all the fuss was about. Behind her, Benji let out a squeak.
Soon enough Alice held her newest child, another boy in her arms. He had his father’s skin tone, his mother’s eyes and his grandmother’s hair. He was promptly named Ellis, and he was the grandchild that finally pushed Kate into perma-plat.
“Dom, I don’t mean to alarm you, but you need to take your son,” Alice said, handing Ellis over to Dom. Dom the child automatically, holding him close and looking down at him in awe. Then what Alice said registered in his brain. He met her eyes. She nodded. “Uh-oh.”
Uh-oh indeed. A few long, painful and loud minutes later and Ellis’ twin joined the world. It was another boy – darker in skin tone, but with the same eyes and hair as Ellis. After a few moments of dithering over names he was finally declared to the world as Franklin Huerta. Now they just had to find space for both babies. Foolishly they’d only thought they’d be having the one.
Speaking more broadly of the next generation, there must have been something in the water around Quaver Kanyon, because of the next few days it seemed like everyone was getting pregnant, left, right and centre. First up was SharleneByall who popped into her second semester as Todd watched on in pride.
Of course that pride would be replaced by shock that very same evening as it became apparent there was more than one pregnant sim in the Byall household. Silly boy, you’d think a knowledge sim like Todd would make the connection between the regular alien abductions and the constant vomiting. Apparently not.
Ivan and Gemma, it turned out, had a little trouble working with contraception now they were out of college. Though, judging from their reactions once they realised Gemma was pregnant you would almost think they were trying for a child.
Ruby had gotten pregnant as well, by her own partner, Professor Kevin. Unlike her twin, her reaction of screaming and shouting and throwing things at Kevin give the distinct impression she was less than pleased about her impending motherhood. One quick wedding after they found out the news (at Professor Kevin’s insistence – he was convinced David would kill him for knocking up his daughter without marrying her) and the pair officially became Mr and Mrs Chalmers.
Even Charlie had fallen pregnant again despite her protests that Lou would be their final child. Well, one more couldn’t hurt.
As the days progressed and a new semester started for those at university, Henry headed Downtown to meet his girlfriend, Erin. His heart was all a-flutter as he greeted Erin, his skin tingling from where they’d hugged. “Hey, so where we headed?” said Erin. “Oh, erm, here,” Henry bit his lip and blushed. It might have been two years since they first met and started going out, but it felt like just yesterday. “Unless you want to go somewhere else-”
“Nah, Londoste’s good,” Erin grinned and pulled Henry into another hug. She smirked. “This must e costing you a bomb. If I’d’ve known I woulda put some effort in – worn my good choker, maybe dyed my hair blue.” Henry let out a laugh, then frowned. “Why blue?” “Dunno,” she shrugged. “Do you think green would suit me more?”
Half an hour later and there was no denying it: there date was going extremely well. When they got inside they’d been seated almost immediately, they’d been able to order as soon as they were ready and not a moment sooner or later. The food had arrived promptly and the best they’d ever eaten on their dinner dates. The atmosphere was amazing, and the conversation flowed as easily as it ever had between the two of them. Nothing had gone wrong, and Henry was hopeful that nothing would. Eventually the pair finished their meal. Henry took a deep breath. This was it. “Erin, we’ve been together some time and I’ve been thinking that maybe – I mean we should – ah–”
Knowing he was only going to stumble over his words more, Henry pulled a black box from his jeans pocket. He placed it on the table and pushed it towards Erin. “Marry me?” he asked, looking at Erin with wide eyes and a hopeful expression.
Erin gasped and her hands flew to her mouth in shock. She kept glancing from the ring in the box, up at Henry then down to the box once again. Henry watched anxiously, biting his lip as he waited for a response.
Henry watched as Erin slowly reached forwards and took hold of the box and suddenly a whole new set of fears gripped him – what if she didn’t like the ring? Would that be enough for anyone to day no? Oh plumbbob, what if it was? What if- “Yes.” Henry almost didn’t hear the uncharacteristically quiet response. It took a few second to register, and another few to register as genuine. “Really?” “Yes.” Again Erin was quiet, just saying one word. She was staring down at the ring still, a look of awe on her face. Henry heaved a sigh of relief. Thank goodness that was over with. Nothing could spoil the day now. Nothing at all.
Not even Mrs Crumplebottom. “Hmph!”
Early one Sunday morning Galahad crawled out of bed. He threw on some clothes and headed out of his room. He'd never really been one to lie about in bed while the day away, but lately he had just been getting up earlier and earlier. Although waking up before the sun every day was trying at times, it did give him a chance to catch up on his video games. Galahad hadn't had too much time to play them lately. Once he'd convinced his parents to let him go off to college early his days had been filled first with studying – first for the equivalency exam so he could graduate high school early, then the early admission exam so he could actually get into college so much soon, and finally for his scholarships. He'd hardly had any spare time to breathe, let alone anything else.
As the game started up Galahad leaned forward in his seat and selected his character. Beside him Shannon the dog gave a snort. Galahad had found her a few days ago and after much pleading with his parents he'd managed to convince them to adopt her. It hadn't taken long for Shannon to settle into life in the Merton home, nor had it taken long for the household to adjust to having a dog around.
He selected one of his saved games and pressed start. Quickly, Galahad found himself so engrossed in ensuring that his alien wasn't killed off by the other aliens that he hardly noticed as his parents' bedroom door opened. He gave his mother the briefest of glances as he stepped out, still in her pyjamas before staring back at the screen. "Morning," he greeted quickly, hammering 'A' as fast as he could.
Another glance in his mother’s direction showed her scratching her head. He suppressed a smile. His mother always looked so perplexed whenever Galahad was awake before her. He knew neither of his brothers had been early risers, nor was his sister, but you would have thought Kaylynn would be used to it by now.
Kaylynn moved past Galahad and sat down on the sofa, on the other side of the dog. Mother and son sat together, neither saying a word for some time, the only noise really to be heard coming from the video game. Galahad focussed all his attention onto the game. "I want to talk to you, honey," Kaylynn said after several minutes, Galahad jumping slightly at the reminder that she was there. "Okay, I'm listening," Galahad replied. "Well, it's about-"
"WOOOOOO! VICTORY! I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!" Galahad cut his mother off with a cheer, pumping his fists in the air as he landed a hit on the final alien in the game and the end music played. “Galahad,” Kaylynn sighed, shaking her head. “Will you put that thing down for five minutes so I can talk to you?”
“Oops, sorry,” Galahad grimaced. He got up, turned the TV off and put the controller on the coffee table before sitting down again, waking the dog in the process. “So what was it you wanted to talk about?” “College.”
Galahad grimaced at his mother’s serious tone. Nothing good ever came of it, especially when she was talking about something that concerned any of her kids. Judging from the expression of Kaylynn’s face there was no getting out of his conversation. He sighed. “What about it?” he asked her. “I got the acceptance letter the other day and my scholarships are mostly sorted – I need to ring up about my cooking scholarship, but that’s about it. Once I’ve done that I’ve jus gotta wait until the next year starts.” “It’s not that,” Kaylynn said, shaking her head. Galahad watched her carefully. There was a glint of something in her eye though he didn’t know what it was just yet. She looked almost... Sad, but that couldn’t be it. “I’m just – I’m worried about you.”
“Mum, I’ll be fine,” Galahad replied with a degree of impatience rarely seen outside of teenagers. “I’m not leaving for a few months, and Tessa got early admission too. It’s not like I’ll be heading off on my own.” “That’s not quite what I meant,” Kaylynn replied, sighing and shaking her head. “Then what?”
“Don’t you think...” Kaylynn began, trailing off. After taking a moment to collect her thoughts, she began again. “Don’t you think you’re rushing into this?”
“Huh?” Galahad looked at his mother in confusion. “What are you talking about? Rushing into what?” The look on her face told Galahad that it was probably an incredibly stupid question to ask, one that she couldn’t believe he was asking. Galahad flushed and ducked his head. Kaylynn didn’t reply though. After a moment or two Galahad looked up again. Kaylynn had one eyebrow raised, as if she were silently asking if he’d caught on yet. “You’re going to have to give me a clue here, Mum,” he said as it became increasingly clear that his mother wasn’t going to say anything more on the topic just yet. “I really don’t know what you’re on about.”
That, apparently, wasn’t the right thing to say. Kaylynn looked at him in disbelief once more. Whatever it was that she thought Galahad was rushing into, clearly she thought it was obvious. He didn’t agree, and he was just about convinced that he wouldn’t get an answer out of his mother when she finally spoke. “I’m talking about college, what else?” Kaylynn said, sounding almost defeated, like she wasn’t expecting anything to come out of talking to him. She sighed. “I know your father has looked into that grave, and as far as the paperwork goes it is genuine, and I know that is the main reason you want to go off to college so soon,” one quelling look from Kaylynn stopped him from interrupting. “I’m worried about you. None of the family has ever been that outgoing, but ever since that night you’ve been even more withdrawn than ever. I don’t think college is going to draw you out of your shell, that you’re just going to...” Kaylynn trailed off and shook her head.
She didn’t need to finish – Galahad knew where she was going with this. They’d started having this conversation a few times since that night. Those conversations hadn’t been ending well so far though. Whenever his mother started trying to talk about this he’d end up walking off. Half the time he needed to get somewhere, sure, but the rest of the time... “It’s not that soon,” Galahad finally said, shaking his head. He didn’t know how to begin talking about any of the other stuff. “I’m 17, Mum. I’m only going off a year early – I’ll be fine. It’s not like I’ll have much choice but to be social when I get to the college. Tess’ll drag me out most nights if I let her.”
Galahad paused and shook his head slightly, looking his mother in the eye. The number of time his mother had brought this up, it was getting ridiculous. She should know by now that he wasn’t going to change his mind about going off to college now, especially not with everything that was riding on it. Still, the look on his mother’s face, he couldn’t stand it. He sighed again. “It’s not like I’m going right away, anyway,” he said when the silence got too much for him. “The Académie doesn’t start it’s new year until about a month after Amelia graduates – that’s not, what? Until a week or so after her wedding?” “Fine,” Kaylynn replied. She looked at him for a moment longer before turning to the TV. “So, what game were you playing?” Although the change of topic was more than a little forced, Galahad couldn’t help but smile. Maybe she’d get off his case about this.
Amelia’s graduation, Ed and Dec’s too, came around much faster than anyone anticipated. Now there were so many young couples and so many young children in the neighbourhood that everything seemed to be happening at once. Both Charlie and Alice focussed on getting their older children into private school – the triplets and Nadine all got in pretty quickly, much to the relief of both women who found Headmaster Jeff to be a little on the... Sleazy side..
And when they weren’t getting the best education for their older children they were chasing after the younger ones. They were all becoming toddlers now, and proving to be very different from their old siblings. Lou, for instance, had taken after her mother as much in looks as Nadine had their father. That certainly didn’t stop the sisters from playing together though, nor stop Quinn and Gil from adoring their second grandchild. And the two of them did end up playing together rather a lot as it became obvious that Charlie was pregnant for the third time and needed to rest that much more.
Alice and Dom’s twins were growing like weeds too. Before anyone knew it, it was time for Ellis and Franklin to grow up. Like Lou, the twins proved to be very different in looks from their older siblings, but also very different in personality. Ellis, in orange, turned out to be very self-assured for a toddler and took the lead out of the pair. Franklin, in blue, on the other hand, they quickly noticed was looking to others for reassurance.
If Ellis and Franklin’s birthday wasn’t enough to keep Kate and Waylon busy visiting their grandchildren, only a day later it was time for their other grandson, Dahl, to grow up. Cole was out at work that evening, being so close to topping her career and getting her LTW she told Craig to just go ahead when her parents arrived and grow him up. Dahl grew up to be a happy little boy, smiling and happy all the time he was awake. That was all of the birthdays in the canyon and surrounding areas for now. And all was quiet. For about a week.
“AAAIIIIII!” Sharlene’s scream pierced the quiet in the Byall household during the middle of the day a week later. “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU, TODD!”
Todd didn’t reply. He went pale as he watched Sharlene in labour as everyone else in the house gathered around and either panicked or encouraged her on as his parents were doing. His mind was blank and all he could do was watch as Sharlene first screamed, pushed -
- And then she was holding their new baby, with Sharlene’s hair and skin, and Todd’s eyes. Welcome to the family, John Byall.
Quiet settled over the house once again, broken only briefly less than a hour after John’s birth when Todd and Sharlene decided to have some celebratory woohoo. “Did you hear something?” Sharlene asked as they climbed out of bed. “I don’t think so – maybe we left the TV on?” Then, hours later the quiet was shattered once again in the pre-dawn gloom as Todd, secreted away in the house’s secret room, let out a yelp of pain as he went into labour.
His labour lasted for an agonising hour, dragging on for eternity until at least he held a green baby boy in his arms, with the same black eyes as Todd – the same eyes Todd had passed onto John less than twenty four hours earlier. Curiously, though, the little boy had red hair, his eyebrows contrasting sharply against his skin. It didn’t take Todd long to come up with a name, and within minutes this little boy was named Rygel.
John and Rygel’s births started off what could only be described as a baby boom as every other pregnant sim in the hood seemed to give birth over the course of the week. First there was Gemma, who found herself staring at her daughter, Jade, shortly after the birth, taking in the sight of the defenceless little baby in shock before hugging her daughter close.
And only a few hours later, across the road, found Gideon wondering why they’d agreed to be part of this experiment in the first place as, first Taz, then he went into labour.
The two babies were quickly checked over for any anomalies that could have come from having too fathers, but they were soon declared perfectly normal in every sense of the word. Both children got their fathers’ blond hair, and got Taz’schocolatey brown eyes. Gideon felt a tug on his heart as he held each of the babies in turn, first the baby that Taz had bourn, a little girl they named Mara, then the boy he’d carried, who they had eventually named Owen. This was why they’d agreed.
There was about a month of quiet in the hood before the next birth. After one long and boring pregnancy Ruby was relieved to give birth to a bouncing baby girl who was eventually named Susan. Immediately after birth Ruby held her daughter in her arms. Truth be told this wasn’t a position she’d ever thought she’d be in – married and holding a baby. But so far this whole motherhood thing didn’t seem so bad. In fact, Ruby might even go so far as to say that she was a natural. Susan started to scream. Okay, maybe not. Now how do you shut these things up?
Over in Bluewater life in the village wad continuing as normal, everywhere except one house where a panicked father, a panicked grandfather and a man maid stood watching on. “What do I do? What do I do?” Amar asked no one in particular. He was close to hyperventilating. Gilbert actually was hyperventilating. “What did you do last time?” the man maid asked. He was the only calm man in the room. “Hid until the screaming stopped.”
There wasn’t enough time to figure out whether or not Amar should go hide again. Before the conversation could get any further Charlie gave birth to a child with her blue eyes and Amar’s black hair. Charlie passed the baby over to Amar without a word. “We said Daria for a girl, right?” Amar asked. Charlie just nodded her head -
- took a deep breath as baby Daria watched on with wide eyes and -
gave birth to Daria’s twin sister, a girl with her father’s exact same colouring.
“Huh, we weren’t expecting you, little one,” Charlie muttered, glancing between the twin girls, then up at her husband. Amar looked at bit in shock at the prospect of twins and having four daughters to be of any use right now. “Well we did say that if it came down to it we’d name a child after my parents. I guess you’re...” Charlie paused briefly, trying to adapt her father’s name into a reasonable female name before giving up. “It’ll have to be Quinn, then.” On a unrelated note, Charlie resolved to have that banging noise looked into. It was quite distracting, and sounded almost like a head hitting a keyboard.
And that was all just in the main hood. Back over at the college life was just as hectic as between studying, skilling and ensuring that their Greek House had the best parties on campus, time flew by. If possible it went even faster for Amelia, Ed and Dec as it was their very final semester, and each wanted to do all they could to ensure they got the best degree they could.
But despite all of the stress they made it through. The end of the semester rolled around, and Amelia Ed and Dec were all graduating. Amelia with a 4.0 in Mathematics, Ed with a 3.7 in Literature and Dec with a 3.5. One long, wild party later, a party which they would all hardly be able to recall what occurred when asked about it, the three of them were off, back to Quaver Kanyon.
And after graduation, well time wasn’t slowing down much for the main households. Dec moved back in with his parents – Ed had, at some point, decided that he didn’t want to be the heir and to instead move in with Stacy. Dec had only just got the time change out of his admittedly not too bad transition clothes and invite Knut over before the rest of the family arrived for the wedding.
Between the cake, the dancing and making sure none of the children got into too much trouble – “Daddy, why did you marry Mummy when Uncle Bayley and Uncle Dec both married boys?” Benji asked as he and Topher watched Dec and their newest uncle flirt over cake. Dom just muttered something under his breath about explaining when they were older. - And stopping the kids from asking too many prying questions, there was no time at all to relax.
At least, not until several hours later, when the festivities were all over and the guests had all left. Knut and Dec stood face to face for the first time as husband and husband in the kitchen. Beside them on the table were twin vials, each filled with a yellow serum that Gideon had dropped off midway through the party. Knut glanced at them before looking back to Dec. “We just drink them, right? And that’s it? It’s safe any everything?” Dec shrugged; “That’s what Gideon said. We drink ‘em and we can bring in the next generation. Apparently haven’t figured out all of the kinks so only both of us will get pregnant, but apart from that everything’s safe.”
Knut hesitated for a moment longer, then he nodded his head. “All right. We might as well get this over with,” he said. There wasn’t too much of a choice, but he did know Gideon was a knowledge sim and if a knowledge sim said something was safe then... Best not to think about that. As one, the pair turned to the table and grabbed the vial closest to them. Knut pressed the glass bottle to his lips and began to drink deeply just as Dec did the same.
“YOWSER!” Knut yelped as he felt the serum coursing through his veins. He leapt about a foot in the air as energy flooded through him. It wasn’t an unpleasant feeling.
As the immediate effects of the serum faded and both Knut and Dec came back down to earth, there was only one more thing to be done. Without so much as a glance to the other they knew they both had the same thought.
No prizes for guessing what they thought was.
As for Amelia, well her and Ichelle’s wedding happened just as quickly. No sooner had the pair moved into the house and Ichelle was made over that the archway was set up, the guests arrived, the vows were said, the party was had and the woos were hooed.
Oh, and at some point the serum was drunk. Turns out it’s just as effective on women as it is on men.
Meanwhile, on Galahad’s first night over at the dorms... “My mother’s going to kill me when she finds out, isn’t she?” he asked no one in particular as arresting Officer YoosungTse slapped the handcuffs on his wrists. “Quiet, scum!”
And that’s where I leave you. Once again, sorry for the wait. I did almost get this out within like a week or two of the last chapter, but then I got stuck on one scene for about a month and a half – seriously. Fortunately the next chapter’s already underway so with any luck it won’t take so long this time.