The Pseudo Legacy - Chapter 4, Part 15
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The Pseudo Legacy - Chapter 4, Part 15

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Chapter 4, Part 15 of the Pseudo Legacy, a Sims2 story by Orikes.

Chapter 4, Part 15 of the Pseudo Legacy, a Sims2 story by Orikes.

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The Pseudo Legacy - Chapter 4, Part 15 The Pseudo Legacy - Chapter 4, Part 15 Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to Chapter Four, Part Fifteen of the Pseudo Legacy. In our previous update, there was much discussion regarding the prophecy that Persephone had given regarding Louise’s future heirship. Unfortunately, the adults could decide on nothing concrete to help the situation, so decided to trust the next generation’s ability to handle what they may face. In less ominous news, Oz discovered his love of the guitar and gained a girlfriend in Chastity Thompson. Louise’s relationship with George remained strong, but Star was having issues dealing with the situation. Finally, Ian made his return to the family, shocking everyone by arriving as the last guest to Hugh’s birthday party. Though awkward at first, everyone seemed to accept his return. (If any of this sounds confusing, you may want to start at the beginning, or at least take a look at the last couple of chapters.)
  • “I’m serious. I am going to fix this dinner and that is that. Don’t try and talk me out of it.” Dean was adamant as he pulled the turkey out of the fridge. With a touch of wounded pride, he added, “It’s his fault anyway. He’s the one that said I couldn’t cook, so I’m going to prove him wrong.” “Jelly-Dean, please tell me you didn’t actually make a bet.” He shot a pouting look at his wife, “My honor was at stake, ‘Randa.”
  • Miranda, perched a little ways down the counter, tried to hide a giggle, but failed miserably, “Jelly-Dean, your honor was not at stake. Worthiness was just teasing you.” Dean wasn’t offended by the giggle as he shrugged and set the ingredients for dinner down on the counter, “Even if we hadn’t made a bet, I still would have insisted I cook this meal, ‘Randa. I may not be a gourmet chef, but the kids sure as heck like my mac and cheese. What did Ava call it? Stupendi-something.”
  • She easily corrected him, “Stupendificacious. And that’s out of a box, hon. This is going to be a teensyweensy bit different.” Indignant, he said, “I can do this!” Pulling the rest of the ingredients he needed out of the cupboards, he said, “We do this dinner at least once a year, sometimes twice, and you always get stuck in the kitchen trying to fix dinner but still socialize with everyone. This time I cook dinner and you get to socialize.” He shot her an impish grin over his shoulder, “Besides, the kids are more than old enough to clean up after we’re done.” Miranda just raised her eyebrows and gave him a look.
  • “Seriously! How hard can it be?” He looked at the paper he’d taped up on the wall above the counter, “I printed the recipe off of a website and it looks easy enough.” The look continued, but the corners of her mouth began to turn up. “Okay, fine.” Dean shot another grin back at her, “It was that Cooking-for-Dummies website. Everything is written in small words and both Ash and Ava read it over for me to make sure I wouldn’t screw it up.” Turning back to the turkey, he said, “I have their approval to not muckinate it up.”
  • Hopping down from the counter, Miranda went over and wrapped her arms around his shoulders and placed a kiss on his cheek, “Even if you burninate the turkey into ashification, Jelly-Dean, it’ll be okay. The boys would be just as delightified with pizza and wings.” With an exaggerated sigh, he said, “Now you tell me that.” Turning his head, he kissed her nose and finished, “You should probably go check on our spawn. They’ve been waiting at the front door for the guys to show up since they got off the school bus this afternoon.”
  • Just as Dean had said, all three of their children were waiting impatiently by the door, watching the street with anticipation. Miranda chuckled and asked, “You know that a watchificated pot gets all stubborned up and refuses to boilify, right?” “Mama, we’re not watching a pot.” Ava turned and blinked wide blue eyes up at her mother, “We’re watching the sidewalk ‘cause the Numbni’s gonna be on it soon.” Almost accusingly she added, “You did promise.” Miranda smiled and nodded, “I never break a promise, Aviator. They’ll be here.” Ash didn’t take his eyes off the sidewalk, but did ask, “Mama? Why are they called the Numbni Sociation?”
  • Gently Miranda corrected his pronunciation, “Alumni Association, Ashes.” She smiled with a fond glance back towards the kitchen, “That’s what Daddy has called them since the first reunion dinner I threw even before you were bornified. It’s to celebratiate the day I met all of them for the first time.” Little Sam began patting the window as she said excitedly, “Numbni! Numbni!” “Alumni, Samtastic.” Suddenly both Ash and Ava began dancing excitedly too, “No Mama! They’re here! The Numbni Sociation is here!!”
  • Indeed, coming up the sidewalk were four gentlemen that had all been given membership in the fabled ‘Numbni Sociation’. Miranda’s face lit up as she saw them, “You’re right my adorabilicious spawnlings, they are here. I’ll go tell your papa-san and find out how long to dinner. Go ahead and let them in, I’ll be right back.”
  • Bouncing excitedly, the three children waved and yelled through the closed glass door, “Hi Unca Lance! Hi Unca Dwight! Hi Unca Scott! Hi Unca Farny!” Sam watched the four come up the sidewalk with a self-satisfied smile on her little green face. Nodding sagely, she pointed again and said, “Numbni.”
  • Walking a bit behind Lancelot Locks and Scott Penguino, Dwight Familiar quirked a quiet smile at the kids. Sparing a quick sideways look at the friend beside him, the smile faded into an expression of concern. Raising an eyebrow, he questioned, “What’s wrong with you? You look pissed off.” Farnsworth Gibson shrugged and mumbled, “It’s nothing.” “Sure as hell doesn’t look like nothing. Seriously, Farnsworth.” Dwight frowned, “If you’re going to be miserable, you may as well go home now. Look at how excited those kids are to see us.”
  • “Eh, I wouldn’t ruin it for them.” Farnsworth looked up and his frown eased slightly as he saw the three kids still waving and bouncing excitedly, “I just..” He trailed off and then looked at Dwight, “You know how she is. I don’t want her getting sad about HIM again. It pisses me off that he treated her like he did but she still misses him. She has the door wide open for him and he probably doesn’t even know or care.” As they approached the steps, Dwight thought about that for a moment before he said, “It’s how she is, Farny. Would you really want her to be any other way?” Farnsworth gave a snort that turned into a rueful smile, “I guess not.”
  • Walking in the door, he put aside his foul mood and instead put on a huge smile for the young welcoming committee. Scooping up the littlest one, he gave a playful gasp of surprise, “Sam! Look at how big you’re getting. I’m going to have to put a brick on your head to keep you small forever.” The little girl giggled, “Silly Unca Green! I wanna get big!” “Oh, I’m silly, am I?” Farnsworth grinned. “I’ll show you silly!”
  • Soon, the infectious giggles of a toddler were accompanied by the exchange of hugs and greetings between everyone involved. Even if they had just seen each other a few weeks ago, they were all glad to get together. Miranda couldn’t help but smile contentedly. It was chaos, but everything was right in her world. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • A little while later, Dean was pulling his gourmet masterpiece from the oven. At the very least, it was filling the house with delicious smells. Closing the oven, he murmured under his breath a general prayer, “Please be edible.” Louder, he called out to everyone in a bellow, “Soup’s on! Last one to the table does the dishes.”
  • As with any large family gathering, there was chaos as everyone made their way into the dining room. There was some shuffling of seats as children requested to sit by as many favorite uncles as possible until Miranda solved the problem by putting the children in the middle. “This smells delicious, Dean.” Farnsworth’s comment should have sounded like a compliment, but the tone he used was highly suspicious as he eyed the turkey and accoutrements on his plate. “Dean cooked the whole thing himself, Worthiness.” Miranda sounded proud even as the other guys eyed their plates suspiciously. At the expression on their faces, Dean gave an exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes, “It’s not going to kill you.”
  • “Mama?” A questioning little voice came from Ava as she spoke up. “Yes Aviator?” “Why do we always have an extra place at the table for Numbni dinners?” Honest curiosity was in the question as she glanced towards the empty place between Scott and Dwight. Beside her, Farnsworth visibly tensed, pursing his lips and frowning as he looked away from Miranda. Ava caught the change in his mood and grew uncertain, “I’m s.sorry if I wasn’t s’posed to ask, Mama.”
  • Miranda reached out and put a gentle hand on Farnsworth’s arm as she gave him an affectionate look, “No Aviator, it’s always absopositively okay to ask a question. Never be afraid of asking something.” The little girl brightened a little and asked, “So who’s it for, Mama?”
  • Turning to look at Dean, Miranda reached out her other hand to hold his. The two shared a simple look that spoke volumes of the love between them and the length of their relationship. Looking back to her daughter, Miranda said, “That is for a friend who isn’t with us, sweetling.” Ash looked confused as he spoke up, curious as well, “Another member of the Numbni, Mama?” “He could be if he wished, Ashes.” Miranda smiled as she looked at each of her friends around the table with a hint of bittersweet affection on her face, “That place is for Cecil Goodytwoshoes, who was a good friend that I miss very much. He couldn’t stay, but there’s always a place for him at our table.” Looking at each of her children, even little Sam, Miranda gently explained, “You never give up on someone you care about. Always leave your heart and home open for them, even if they’re not ready for you.”
  • A moment of silence hung in the room before Dean squeezed her hand and spoke up, “Maybe you guys don’t want to eat my food, but I’m famished, so let’s dig in!” With that, the tension was broken and everyone happily dug into the surprisingly tasty meal. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Dean’s meal was a success, even if Farnsworth only reluctantly admitted how tasty it all was. Once plates had been cleared to the kitchen, everyone moved into the living room to relax and enjoy each other’s company. While Dean and Lancelot got into a competitively friendly game of pool, the other adults moved to settle comfortably on the couches. One was waylaid before he could sit, though. “Unca Dwight, dance with me?” Ava asked hopefully. Unable to ever resist a child’s smile, Dwight just gave a little bow and took her hands to begin dancing.
  • In the center of everyone else, Ash settled down on the carpet with his younger sister, “Come on, Sammy, let’s show Unca Farny how well you sing.” “No!” was the emphatic response, but it was quickly followed by a grin and a giggle. Her big brother was used to this game, so he just began singing anyway. Sam quickly joined in, looking up at all the adults to make sure they were watching.
  • Dwight smiled down at Ava, “You’re getting so big, Ava. Your birthday is soon, isn’t it?” She beamed a smile up at him and nodded, “Mama said that first there’ll be a party for Jojo, but then it’ll be our turn almost right away. Sammy will be having her birthday at the same time. It’s a triple birthday!” “Wow.” Dwight had long found the key to being a favorite uncle was to be honestly interested in what they had to say. “Are you getting excited about going to high school?”
  • “Well, it’s all in the same school actually, Unca Dwight.” Ava explained patiently as if talking to someone a little simple, “But we’d go up to the second floor and we’d get to come home earlier.” “Oh, well. My apologies for misunderstanding.” He hid a grin as he nodded sagely, “But are you looking forward to it?” Abruptly changing the subject without answering the question, Ava asked, “Will you play the Llama game with me?” Dwight blinked at the change of subject, but nodded, “Sure kiddo.”
  • “Ash and I play this all the time and we can get the tower really really high.” Ava settled into a seat beside Dwight and picked up a stick as she explained the rules, “You gotta keep adding sticks on your turn, and you don’t wanna be the one to knock it down.” Dwight reached up and rubbed his shoulder, “I’ll have to limber up then.” Ava looked at him and grinned, “Just don’t knock it down, Unca Dwight.”
  • Very shortly, there was a small pile of sticks on the llama and Ava’s expression had grown concerned. Biting her lip, she eyed the tower uncertainly. Dwight watched her clouded expression for a moment before he suggested gently, “We could play something else, Ava.” Her expression changed to one of determination, “Ash and I are really good at this game.” Carefully, she placed the stick on the tower.
  • A few turns later, the tower was even higher and Ava was eyeing it with even more trepidation. In a small voice, she confessed, “I usually do better, but I guess that’s when Ash is playing too.” Curious, Dwight watched her shaky confidence waver even further. Gently, he encouraged, “You can do it, Ava. It takes practice to get good at games like this, so I bet you’re getting better each time you play.” Nibbling on her finger worriedly, Ava nodded. She spared a quick glance towards her brother who was happily singing with Sam. With a look of determination, she reached out to put her stick on the tower.
  • “Oh no!” Her shocked expression turned heartbroken as the tower crumbled under her last stick. Snuffling a little, she said in a forlorn voice, “I can’t do anything right.”
  • Dwight watched her with concern as she tried to hide the snuffling as she gathered the pieces of the game back into place, “I think you still won, Ava. You put more pieces on the tower than I did, even if it fell for you.” Nodding with serious confidence, he said, “Even losing points for knocking it down, you’d win.” She blinked wide blue eyes up at him, “Really? I .. I didn’t know you’re supposed to keep score. Ash and I always just played till the tower was really really high.” With a gentle smile, Dwight picked up some sticks and said, “Let’s play again and I’ll show you how to keep score.” In a conspiratorial whisper he added, “My older brother would never play any game unless we kept score.”
  • Over amongst the couches, Scott was giving a spirited description of the latest scientific journal he’d read. Miranda listened intently even if she didn’t understand a thing about neutrons or whatever it was he was talking about. Farnsworth finally raised an eyebrow, “Scott, every time you open your mouth about that stuff you read, I swear I lose even more brain cells to shame.” Scott sputtered, “I.. I didn’t mean to..” Miranda smiled, “He’s just being sillitastic, Scott-free. Maybe we should talk about something all of us know.”
  • At their feet, Sam watched her brother play peek-a-boo while half-hearing what the adults were saying. Loudly she giggled, “Sillitastic! Bwain Cells!”
  • Ash, hearing the request for a subject change, looked up and said excitedly, “I could show you something!” Under his breath, Farnsworth murmured, “That’s what she said.” “What did you say Unca Farny?” He laughed, “Nothing, little guy. What can you show us?” Miranda tried in vain to hide her own giggle.
  • Ash stood up and quickly scooped up his little sister, “We learned tumbling in gym last week and I’m really good at it! I can do a somersault for you.” Raising a motherly eyebrow, Miranda said, “You won’t breakinate anything, will you, Ashes?” “Nuh uh, Mama. I’m really good at it.” Carefully setting Sam down on the couch beside his mother, he pleaded, “Can I please, Mama?”
  • Miranda slid Sam a little closer to her so she could keep a steadying hand on the little girl, “Alright, Ashes, but be superduper carefulified of the fishtank and everyone’s toes and faces. They’re the most breakable things in this room.” “I will, Mama!”
  • Farnsworth moved from where he sat to lean on the arm of the couch, “I was always all arms and legs when I was a kid, so I was never good at this stuff.” Scott nodded in agreement, “Me either. Jenny and Louisa were always the one who was good at things like this.” With supreme confidence, Ash moved to one end of the room and cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention, “Ladies and gentlemens, presenting Ash Whedonberry the Great! Acrobat Extraterrestrial!”
  • With just a few steps to start himself off, Ash turned a near perfect cartwheel. He still had the gangliness of a growing child, but there was an obvious, easy grace in the way he moved.
  • Sam watched intently as she sat nestled between her mother and Scott. Excitedly she pointed, “My Ash! My brudder!”
  • Coming up out of the somersault with a flourish, Ash grinned from ear to ear, “TADAH!” Laughing, he danced from foot to foot, “That was even better than when I was in school! Ava, did you see! Did you see?” His twin looked up and blinked and shook her head, “Sorry Ash, I didn’t.” Still too happy to be sad about that, he said, “I can show you again!” He began to race back to where he started to do it again.
  • As Miranda applauded, she interrupted him, “I think that was fantabulous for tonight, Ashes. You and Aviator can practice together outside tomorrow. For now, it’s time to get readified for bed.” In unison the two twins looked up with forlorn expressions, “Aw Mama!” They were quickly echoed by Sam not wanting to be left behind, “Aw Mama!” “If you go get in pajamas without complainifying too much, I bet I could talk your uncles into reading you a couple bedtime stories.” At that point, it was a race to see who could get upstairs first. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Some time later, after at least one bedtime story from each uncle for each kid, the children were asleep and the adults were exhausted. Lingering behind his roommates who had already started the walk home, Dwight hesitated beside Miranda, “Thanks for having us over again, Miranda. It’s always good to see you and Dean and the kids are just great.” Miranda smiled, “You know you’re always welcomated here, Light-Dwight.” Tilting her head, she regarded him thoughtfully, “You’ve got something more you want to say, don’t you?”
  • “Jeeze, Miranda. You may sound like a space cadet, but you’re always smarter than people give you credit for.” Dwight sighed and rubbed his neck, “I thought I was being subtle.” Giving a little laugh, she said, “You always get a little twitchified when you want to talk about something but aren’t sure how to start.” Realizing he was being a bit serious, she grew concerned, “What’s up?” “Well, I was watching the twins tonight and was thinking a couple of things were a little odd.”
  • Miranda’s expression changed to worry, “Is one of them sicklyfied and not telling us? Or is there a problem at school? There were some uglimeanies at school picking on Ava a little while back.” Dwight shook his head, “No, nothing like that. Just..” He trailed off as he tried to articulate his thoughts, “I was playing a game with Ava and she seemed to be struggling with it pretty bad. It was sad watching her struggle with it, I remember watching Ash and her play that together and she did much better then. There’s just something.. strange there. Mostly when they’re not doing something together.”
  • Her brow furrowed as she listened, “You think there’s something wrongificated with Aviator? Should I take her to a doctor? I know she worries more than Ashes does.” Giving a shake of his head, Dwight held up a finger, “Nah, don’t worry about it, Miranda. I’m probably just tired.” “No Light-Dwight, if you see something oddtastic about them, it’s worth watching out for. I’ll talk to Jelly- Dean about it later.” Miranda smiled, “I know you wouldn’t bring it up if you thought it was nothing.”
  • Dwight pulled her into a hug, “You’re a great mom, Miranda. No matter what my over-active imagination is telling me, you’ve got three wonderful kids.” Squeezing him tight, Miranda smiled, “Goodnight my Light-Dwight.”
  • As Dwight disappeared out of sight, Dean came out and flopped onto the porch swing. Reaching out, he tugged Miranda down to join him. “I think that went well. Dinner was a success, the kids cleaned up most of the dirty dishes and only broke one glass in the process, and I beat Lance at pool. Another successful Alumni Association Reunion, I’d say.” Leaning her head on his shoulder as she held his hand, Miranda smiled, “I love these, Jelly-Dean. Thank you for not being all greenified jealousicated about the guys.”
  • “Pfft. You know I like all the guys just fine. I got to be friends with most of them just like you that week.” He leaned his head against her hair and smiled. “Even Cecil?” “Well, I wouldn’t go that far.” His tone was teasing, earning an elbow to the ribs. Changing the subject, Miranda said, “Dwight was talking to me about the twins. He was saying something felt oddified about them when they’re not together. He couldn’t put his finger on anything, but he usually has good instincts about things.”
  • Dean blinked a few times and opened his mouth to say something, but all that came out was a simple, “Huh.” While what he said was simple, his thoughts were churning over many things that were far from simple. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Unbeknownst to Miranda and Dean, their evening had an extra, unobserved guest.
  • “Yeah, yeah, the kids are weird.” Evil Witch Starla Barakat reclined on the roof with her feet propped up on her conveniently hovering broom, “Took you long enough to notice.”
  • Rolling her eyes, she added, “Why do I always get the dumb ones?” She was not expecting an answer, but received one anyway, “They are not dumb, Starla. Just because you were able to trick them into a deal does not mean they are dumb.” Sighing, Starla changed the direction of her rolling eyes to look to her right, “I was wondering when you’d show up to spoil my fun. Tell me you at least brought some popcorn? I forgot snacks.”
  • Having silently arrived on her broom, Katelyn Pratt tsked and shook her head, “Oh Starla. Must you always be so mean? The Whedonberrys are very nice people. Didn’t we settle all this when you gave the children a curse and I gave a counter blessing?” “I told you back when we waggled our wands that it was going to make these two sprogs even more interesting to watch, Katelyn.” The white witch frowned, “How do you mean?”
  • Shaking her head, Starla said, “You really are clueless, aren’t you?” Katelyn responded by raising her eyebrows and gesturing for the black witch to continue. “Our combined curse and blessing have made it so that those two precious children of yours will never be happy. Think about it. Apart, she’ll always fail at anything she tries while he succeeds at everything. Together they’ll meet somewhere in the middle. She’ll be miserable unless she’s with him and he’ll be miserable because he’ll never be able to do anything without his clingy twin sister.”
  • “That’s an awful thing to do those poor children!” Starla rolled her eyes again and gave a snort of derision, “You did half of it, Katy my lady.” Katelyn looked off into the distance as she thought about what the other woman had said. Finally she said, “I will never understand you, Starla. Why are you so obsessed with this family?” “Because they owe me!” Starla snapped viciously. “What on earth could they possibly owe you? They don’t even know you!”
  • Starla gave a wicked smile as she leaned back against the tiles of the roof, “I gave them what they wanted: the ability to have children. Their first born should have been mine and then they could have had as many brats as they wanted to pump out. But nooo, they had to go and force twins, so I couldn’t take what was my due.” “How is that the fault of the children?” “They should have been one child and should have been MINE!” Starla growled before settling back down with another wicked smile, “So now I’ll just feast on their misery.” “You are an awful woman, Starla.”
  • “Pfft, comes with the job title, Katelyn. Get over it.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • On a beautiful late Spring Saturday morning, the three Legacina children waited impatiently outside of the Walton homestead. “Ow! Not so hard, Jo.” Oz winced as he barely caught a hard fast ball from his younger sister.
  • “I think she’s trying to see how long it takes before he gets really mad.” Louise watched her two younger siblings from up on the porch where she and Star were hanging out. “Is it even genetically possible for Oz to get angry?” Star asked as she hung from the rafter the porch swing was attached to, “I didn’t think he had it in him.” “Remember that fight at school? When that girl knocked down Jo, he was pretty angry.” “Eh, that wasn’t anger. That was him protecting his family. That’s different.” Star swung out, letting her feet catch on the back of the swing before she pulled herself back, “Moon’s kinda the same way. Not a mean bone in her body, but don’t mess with the people she cares about.”
  • “Speaking of Moon, what is taking so long?” Louise looked up at Star questioningly, “We’re supposed to meet everyone else at the park by noon. Hugh’s picking up the twins and Chastity. Caleb said he’d be there with all his brothers and cousins too.” Star snorted, “Great. That means Mercedes’ll be there too.” Louise sighed, “Just answer the question, Star. What’s taking so long?”
  • Star laughed, “You were here for the birthday. Moon’s a teenager now.” Louise frowned, “So? What’s that got to do with anything.” Batting her eyelashes, Star explained, “She couldn’t POSSIBLY go out of the house unless she looks pretty.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Inside, Moon was indeed in the bathroom checking her hair one more time. While she wasn’t really particularly vain, she was still fascinated with how she looked now that she was a teenager. It was a nice feeling to feel pretty after all.
  • “Moon, what the hell is taking so long?!” Zephyr burst into the room behind her, causing the bathroom door to bang before swinging back towards him, “We’re going to be late and I don’t want to be late! I hate being late! I don’t even know what it feels like and I already hate it.” He had also had a birthday at the same time as Moon but it was obvious that he didn’t share her vocal disability. Moon gave him a quick smile and held up a finger, indicating he should be patient. Her hair needed a little more attention.
  • “Get your ass moving, Moon! We’re going to be late and I already said I don’t want to be late.” Zephyr also quickly showed that his personality was more in line with his parents and eldest sister than his middle sister, “I sure as hell don’t want to miss out on any cookies and Star promised me that there would be cookies there! C’mon, don’t be such a bitch!” Aging from toddler to child had done little to improve his curse-laden vocabulary. In fact, it only made it much less cute and endearing.
  • Moon spun around with her eyes narrowed. Crossing her arms, she gave him a pointed look. “What? You’re holding us up. Move your ass, sis!” Raising her eyebrows, she turned and very pointedly looked at the bar of soap sitting by the sink. She then turned and gave him another challenging look.
  • Instantly Zephyr held a hand up to his mouth and looked contrite. Mumbling around his hand, he pleaded, “No soap!” Because of his typical Walton temper, he’d already had a run in with getting his mouth washed out, or at least threatened, by each of his parents and grandparents. Moon arched her eyebrows expectantly. She tapped her foot to emphasize the point. Still mumbling around his hand, he gave her his best puppy dog look, “M’sorry, Moonie. I didn’ mean to swear at you. I won’ do it again. EVER. I promise.” That, on the other hand was very cute and endearing.
  • Moon continued to tap her foot as she regarded her little brother. She knew that his ability to keep that promise was about as likely as his ability to fly. Looking completely contrite, Zephyr lowered his hand and tried again, “I really am sorry, Moonie.” In a little voice, he said, “I love you?”
  • Moon gave a silent little laugh and quickly leaned forward to catch him with a tickle. “Does that mean you forgive me?” Zephyr tried to dodge the tickle, but was caught anyway, giving a squealing giggle at the end of his sentence. Moon nodded with a smile. “Hot damn!” She rolled her eyes and ushered him out the door. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • It had become a tradition throughout the extended family that Saturdays were the day for all the kids to get together. By unspoken agreement, all of the adults took turns hosting the hoard of children. It hadn’t been so bad when they were little, but as they began to grow into teenagers, things would often get a bit rowdier. When it was announced that the local park was going to be having special, free events on Saturdays, and the kids expressed their interest, all of the parents unanimously leapt at the chance to have a reprieve from Saturday chaos.
  • “I can’t believe they actually have that lame ass clown here.” Star dribbled the ball as she eyed the basket. “He’s probably really cheap.” Louise shrugged as she waited for Star to take her turn in their game of horse. “That’s because he sucks! Remember when they brought him to perform at school and he got sick all over The Waddle?” Star smirked and glanced over at the other girl. Louise rolled her eyes and grinned, “That’s because you put that nasty stuff in his juice cup. You’re lucky Mrs. Waddelle didn’t figure out that was your fault. If she’d caught you again that year, you would have gotten a suspension.”
  • “Pfft. I knew she wouldn’t catch me. Besides, it was the funniest thing he did that day.” Grinning, she lifted the ball and tossed it into the basket, “Yes!” Louise moved forward to get the ball as it rebounded out of the basket and down towards them, “We’ve only got to suffer through high school for a little bit longer, Star, so try not to get yourself suspended before we graduate.” “Aw, you’re no fun.”
  • Grinning, Louise moved over to the other side of the basket to take her shot, “Hey, I will be very pissed at you if you don’t go to college with me. Heck, you could have gone already if you hadn’t pissed off the principal. You’re more than smart enough.” “Shh, don’t tell anyone. I prefer letting them think I’m the muscle, you’re the brains.” Star tilted her head and gave Lou a sideways glance, “I know that look on your face. You’ve been thinking about that interdimensional stuff again, haven’t you?”
  • “Well, of course I have.” Louise kept her eyes on the basket as she lined up her shot, “Obviously other dimensions exist. They try and play it down, but Uncle Dean and his friends are all from different places and I don’t mean cross-country. I’ve gotten enough out of them to know that it’s possible, so the physics are feasible.” Carefully judging the angle, she made the shot. As the ball was flying through the air, she said nonchalantly, “I just need access to the equipment they’ve got at university.”
  • Star wasn’t paying attention as the ball went through the hoop and rolled away from the court, “Really? That’s it? You need some equipment? The stuff at school isn’t good enough?” She was trying to act casually interested, but she was failing. Her curiosity was obvious. Louise turned and grinned, “Nope! They don’t have everything I need and what they do have are mostly simpler practice models. The university has the real stuff since they’ve gotten all sorts of research grants. I’ve got a list of the things we’ll need to make it work.” “Well, a list shouldn’t surprise me. You’re always good at planning ahead.” Star tapped her chin thoughtfully, “So you really think you can .. what’d you call it? Pierce the dimensions?”
  • “Well, I’m going to want to run a few ideas past the physics professors to make sure I’ve got the concepts straight, which is going to mean actually taking some physics classes, but I definitely think we can do it.” Her grin turned mischievous as she added nonchalantly, “Thing is, I don’t think they’re going to approve of the experiments I want to do with the equipment, so I’m probably going to need your help ‘borrowing’ some things.” Star smirked, “See, I told you. Let them think I’m the muscle and you’re the brains. It’s a beautiful relationship.” “Hey Lou!”
  • The two girls turned towards the owner of the voice and had two distinctly different reactions. Star’s eyes widened with unpleasant surprise, “I thought you said he had to work.” On the other hand, Lou’s face lit up, “George! I thought you had to work.”
  • Ambling up the sidewalk, George McCarthy smiled, “They were overstaffed, so I got the afternoon off. I figured I’d come by here rather than heading home.” Noting the glare from Star, he gave a rueful smile in her direction, “Hey Star.” “Hey George.” Star’s words were polite enough, but there was a clear distaste in her voice that was obvious to him even if Louise didn’t notice.
  • Louise practically skipped over to George, “I wasn’t expecting to see you until tonight!” Playfully, George shrugged and turned to walk away, “Well, if I’m bothering you, I can leave.” “Okay, seeya,” was Star’s response. Louise grabbed George’s sleeve and pulled him back as she laughed, “Not so fast, buddy. I’m not letting you get away that easily.”
  • “Well, I guess you’ve got me then.” George pulled her into his arms and grinned, “So what are you going to do with me now that you’ve got me?” Behind them, Star made very unsubtle gagging sounds. “Oh, I can think of a few things.” Louise grinned and leaned in for an easy kiss.
  • “Yeah, so I guess you two want your privacy now, huh?” Star sulked at the amorous pair. “Maybe I should head off and go drown myself in the pond or something. I heard they’ve been stocking it with piranha. I could always go play in traffic.” When none of that elicited a response, her expression grew angry and hurt, “Yeah, nice seeing you too.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Nearby, oblivious to George’s arrival or Star’s irritation, Oz and Moon sat on a bench beside the playground while Hugh and Chastity lounged on the grass beside them. The discussion between the four friends had briefly centered on Moon’s teening, but since she couldn’t contribute much to the conversation, they moved on to other topics. Like music.
  • “It was totally awesome. My dad said Oz could come over and play with any of his instruments any time.” Chastity finished with a fond glance at Oz. He blushed and ducked his gaze, “It was really nice of your dad to m.make that offer, Chas.” “Well duh!” Chastity flashed a grin at him, “He knows talent when he hears it. When I told him that you were starting to learn how to write your own songs, he totally said he should call up his old agent.”
  • Hugh blinked as he looked from Chastity to Oz, “I knew you were getting good at playing, but you’re also writing music, dude?” Oz shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck to cover his embarrassment, “It’s not that b.big of a deal.” Rolling her eyes, Chastity made a disgusted sound, “Oz, it totally is a big deal. You’re really good. Hell, you made me pick up the drumsticks again so maybe we could play together or something.” She gave him a flirtatious look the other two didn’t seem to notice, but caused his cheeks to flush pink once again.
  • Oz tried to play things down, “I still have a lot t.to learn. I really appreciate that your dad is supportive, Chas, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be good enough to make money at this.” He paused and then added with a shrug, “It’s just something I like doing.” Moon patted his arm reassuringly, offering an encouraging smile.
  • Suddenly Hugh hopped to his feet with an excited expression, “Oh. My. God! I just had the most amazing idea! It’ll be perfect!” All three looked up at him questioningly with Oz giving voice to the question they all had, “What’s perfect?” “Your music! Us! It’s going to be AMAZING!” “Huh?”
  • “We need to form a band!” Oz blinked and stared up at Hugh, “Wh.what?!?” “Seriously, dude!” Hugh was practically dancing from foot to foot in excitement as he articulated the idea as it came to him, “We all know Oz is going to be a genius with a guitar no matter what he says and Moon’s already good with a violin. You play the piano too, right?” She nodded when he looked at her for confirmation. “But all of us, Hugh?” Oz wasn’t convinced. “Yes, all of us!” Hugh grinned widely, “Chas can play drums and it can’t be that hard for me to pick up the bass and I can sing too!”
  • “It’ll be awesome!” Hugh’s antsy movement morphed into an air guitar performance atop the boulder he’d been leaning against, “We’re totally going to rock!” Moon’s surprised expression gave way to a bright smile as she clapped her hands, obviously indicating her approval of the outrageous idea. Oz looked flustered and worried as he began to fidget uncertainly. Chastity wasn’t having any of it, though. Getting onto her knees, she crawled over to him and pleaded, “C’mon Oz, think about it.”
  • “This is actually a really awesome idea, even if it came from Hugh.” “Hey!” Chastity shot an impish grin at the blond boy before turning back to Oz, “I know you love playing that guitar and we all love hanging out. This will be perfect and we might even get good enough that people will want to listen to us. Even Moon thinks it’s a great idea.” Moon nodded and added her own pleading motion to Chastity’s.
  • Oz chewed on his knuckle as he rubbed the back of his neck. For a moment, a strong fear sat in the bottom of his gut as he thought about having to get out on a stage in front of countless strangers, “I d.don’t know g.guys. I’m not good in front of p.people like that.” Chastity put a hand on his knee and said gently, “You wouldn’t be alone, Oz. We’d all be there. And Hugh would be the ham getting all the attention singing.” Hugh nodded his agreement, “You’d be there making awesome music, but they’d be paying attention to me and my hotness.” He ducked as Chastity shot a handful of grass at him. “I..” Oz thought about it again and the fear began to let go of his gut just a little, “I g.guess music should be shared.” Glancing between each of them, he finally nodded, “Okay, l.let’s do it.”
  • Hugh let loose with a mimed screaming guitar solo accompanied by his own attempt at screeching the right noise, “YESS! WE ARE SO GOING TO ROCK!”
  • The girls laughed and surrounded Oz with hugs and hair mussing. Oz protested in vain, “Not the hair!” Hugh bounced from the rock up onto the bench and continued his celebration, “Awesome, I tell you! AWESOME!” He suddenly stopped and blinked with intense concern, “Oh man, we’ve got to think of a name! What are we going to call ourselves?” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Supposedly under the supervision of the teens now debating band names, the younger children were amusing themselves on the playground. Jo was currently engulfed in an enthusiastic hug from Ava, “I love you, Jojo!” Rolling her eyes but still smiling, Jo hugged back, “Ugh, don’t be so mushy, Avacakes.” “But I want to hug you while you’re still the same size.” Ava’s wide eyes were earnest as she let go and explained, “You’re going to be a teenager really soon and then you won’t want to play with us ever.” With a snort, Jo gave the twins an exasperated look, “You know you’re going to be teens right after me, right? It’s not that big of a deal.” At that point, Zephyr walked over to join them, “How’s it hanging, dudes.” He had no idea what that actually meant, but it sounded cool.
  • “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Jo stepped back and held up her hand to ward off the new arrival, “Who said the baby could come over and play with us?” Zephyr stopped and looked between the three kids as his eyes narrowed, “What?” Blinking, Ava also looked between the two, “But he’s the same size as us, Jojo.” “As if. We’re all going to be teenagers soon, but he was JUST a baby the other day. No way I’m going to play with him. He’ll just cry when he realizes he doesn’t have his blanky with him.”
  • Zephyr growled low in his throat, just like he’d heard his grandfather do. For a little boy, it was a fairly convincing werewolf growl. Crossing his arms and narrowing his eyes, he glared at Jo, “What the hell did you call me?” “I think you heard me.” Jo smirked and crossed her arms as she gave him a challenging smile. “You take it back!” “Uh, guys, we should be nice to each other. I know everyone being nice to each other makes me happy.” Ava tried to intervene, but was ignored.
  • “Fine!” Zephyr held out his hand like a gun and pretended to shoot Jo, “BANG! Take that!” “Uh uh, you missed!” Jo grinned and pretended to fire back, “PEW! PEW! My laser gun is better’n yours!” “I’ll have to get my cannons then!” Zephyr grinned back and raced off towards the jungle gym, “Once I’m in my fortress of awesomeitude, you’ll never stop me!” And with that, the two of them laughed and began terrorizing one another across the entirety of the playground.
  • Ava watched them run away with a very confused look on her face, “Ash, I don’t understand.” “What’s to understand?” Ash rocked back on his feet as he closed his eyes, “Everybody’s crazy. Mama says so, just some people pretend to be normal better.” “But I thought they hated each other but now they’re playing like they’re best of friends. Isn’t that ..” She trailed off, trying to think of the right word, “What would Mama say? Insanadoodle?” “Prolly.” Ash shrugged, “They’re having fun, though. You wanna go fish with me?” “Okay.”
  • Away from the chaos of the playground, the twins settled at the edge of the large fishing pond tucked away at one end of the park. “How did Mama know to pack our fishing poles, Ash?” “Mama knows everything.” Ava thought about this for a moment before she nodded sagely, “Yeah, she does.”
  • Shortly, Ava pulled her first catch from the pond, “Aw, this isn’t a fish.” “It’s a boot fish, Ava. Mama said you can make boot juice out of it which is highly valueified in far away places.” Ava eyed the boot and then raised an eyebrow as she looked at her twin, “You’re teasing me, aren’t you?” He just grinned, “Try again. You’ll get a real fish this time.”
  • “You make fishing look easy, Ash.” “It’s not that hard. I mean, you just do this and this and the line goes in the water and then you get a fish or you don’t get a fish.” He half-mimicked the casting motions as he explained. Unconvinced, Ava nodded and attempted to cast her line like he’d said...
  • ... only to end up losing her balance and nearly falling into the pond, “Ow!” Instantly, Ash had dropped his pole and was at her side, “Are you okay?” Reaching out a hand to gently touch her, he reassured himself that she wasn’t really hurt. Ava’s lower lip trembled as she said, “I can’t do anything right!” “Aw, don’t say that, Ava.”
  • “It’s true, though?” He helped her to her feet, but she waved him away with a forlorn expression on her face, “You do everything so easy and I can’t do anything right.” “Nuh uh. You do lots better’n me, Ava.” “Like what?” “Uh..” Ash trailed off and then gave her a stubborn expression, “You’re better’n anyone else at being my twin.” Sniffling, she said, “But we’re gonna be teenagers soon and then you won’t want to play with me anymore because I’m your little sister that can’t do anything right.”
  • “But you’re not my little sister. Sam is our little sister. You’re my twin and we belong together, Ava.” Ash may not have been able to name something she did better than he did, but he was adamant about this. “Who told you I wouldn’t want to hang out with you when we got older?” “S.some of the kids at school.” “Mercedes?” At her nod, he frowned, “You gotta stop listening to her, Ava. She’s mean and she likes to make you cry. I told you, you’re my twin. We’re supposed to be together forever.” “GRRRRRRR”
  • Simultaneously, the twins turned to look at the source of the growling. Ava swallowed and squeaked, “Is that a bear?” Ash stared at the same thing she was looking at, “It’s awfully scrawny for a bear.” “Aaash, don’t insult the bear!”
  • Perched menacingly upon a boulder, looking directly at the two children, was a vicious looking creature growling at them. It looked vaguely dog-like, but was scrawny, gangly, and covered with a sparse, wiry coat of fur. Whatever it was, it looked distinctly unpleasant. Ava gave another terrified squeak and backed up a step closer to her brother. Brow furrowing with speculation more than fear, Ash said again, “I don’t think that’s a bear, Ava. A bear would be.. fatter. It looks more like a dog.. thing.” Suddenly his eyes widened excitedly, “It’s a chupacabra! Daddy talked about them ‘fore Mama told him to stop giving us nightmares for bedtime stories.” Without warning, the supposed chupacabra leapt down off the boulder towards them.
  • “Bad! Bad chupacabra!” Ash stepped forward authoritatively as Ava yelped and ducked behind him. Suddenly confused, the thing backed up a step with its tail curling between its legs. Looking at Ash uncertainly, it gave a very dog-like whine. “No eating children! Bad!” Ash continued stepping forward, scolding it, “You’re supposed to eat goats, but even that is bad! You can eat kibble, like a dog because you look like a dog. You don’t want people hating you, do you?”
  • With a another whine, the dog.. thing.. whatever.. rolled over and exposed his stomach to the clearly more dominant boy. “There, that’s better now, isn’t it?” Ash knelt down and began rubbing the creature’s belly, “I bet we could tell everyone that you’re our dog and no one would ever know what you really are.” The thing’s tongue hung out of its mouth as it panted happily. Very much like a dog. A really ugly dog. Ava, realizing she wasn’t about to be eaten looked up and gave her brother a confused look, “Ash?” “Daddy told us we could get a dog, right? So we take this one home and tell Daddy he followed us, right?” The more he thought about it, the more Ash was really happy with this idea. “We can call you Choopy!”
  • Ava crossed her arms and looked between twin and .. dog. Finally she just shrugged, “You get to tell Daddy.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • “Ooh, look what I found. Finder’s keepers.” Away from where everyone else was, Star sat by herself on a bench, hunched over with her head in her hands. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the purple shorts and dark skinned legs of Raleigh Thompson. Growling very much like her grandfather, she snapped, “Go away.” “Now why on earth would I do that when you’re so much fun when you’re like this?”
  • Surging to her feet, Star’s temper snapped, “What?!? What do you want, Thompson? Seriously, why do you keep giving me shit? What did I ever do to you? Just go to hell and leave me alone.” Raleigh clasped her hands together as she smirked teasingly, “Did anyone ever tell you that you’re totally hot when you’re pissed? I’m just here to pick up the pieces. Never say I was unwilling to pursue an opportunity dropped in my lap.” Casually, she glanced over towards where Louise and George were still talking by the basketball court, “I saw how you got ditched by your precious little girlfriend when McHottie showed up.”
  • Star grew flustered through the anger, “Lou and I are not girlfriends like that. Who says I’m even into girls. I think guys are hot too.” “Yep, they totally are. But that doesn’t mean that girls don’t also make you tingle in your happy place.” With Star off-balance now, Raleigh took advantage of the situation and moved in flirtatiously, “Go ahead and lie to yourself about how much you want Louise, but remember, it’s all just a lie. Why not take advantage of a ready and willing distraction?” Not backing up from the approaching girl, but obviously taken aback, Star asked, “What are you doing?”
  • “Something I’ve wanted to do for ages.” Raleigh closed the distance and quickly wrapped her arms around Star, provocatively sliding a hand down the other girl’s backside. “You can say no if you want to, but I know you don’t want to.”
  • As Raleigh’s lips locked with hers, Star’s eyes were wide with shock. Thoughts raced through her mind. Did she really want to say no? Not really. She was still pissed at Raleigh, but this was kind of nice. Well, more than kind of nice. It felt good. And for a moment or two, it made her forget about her hurt and frustrated feelings regarding the girl that actually was her best friend.
  • Closing her eyes, she wrapped her arms around the other girl and began kissing her back roughly and enthusiastically. Maybe it wasn’t what she really wanted, but it was good enough for now. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Back on the playground, the war between Jo and Zephyr had finally come to an end. Apparently wars such as this end in giggle fits where neither party is able to continue hostilities. “Haha, that was fun. You’re not so bad for a baby.” Jo giggled and got to her feet, dusting herself off. “And you’re still stupid for growing up so soon. Your loss.” Zephyr grinned and kicked a little more dirt on her as she got up.
  • Jo looked around and frowned, “Hey, where did everybody go? Weren’t they supposed to be watching us?” Zephyr looked around as well, “Star’s over on the other side of the skating rink sucking some girl’s face.” Turning, he said, “And I think Moon and those guys are getting some food from the hot dog guy.” Jo’s brow furrowed as she also looked around, “Since when did Ash and Ava get a dog?” Turning towards the other side of the park, her frown grew darker, “There’s Lou.” Rolling her eyes, she said, “George is here, so nothing else exists.”
  • “Hey, you know what this means?” Zephyr grinned brightly as he turned to face her. Jo turned to face him and began to grin as well, “I think so, but what do you think it means?” “No one’s watching us.” There was a devilish gleam in the little boy’s black eyes. “So that means there’s no one to stop us from doing whatever we want.” Mischief glinted in Jo’s eyes as she began to grin even more, “So. Clown?” “Definitely. Clown.”
  • Even though they were asked not to come back to the park for quite some time, and the clown required the services of a therapist afterwards, both Jo and Zephyr counted their day in the park a complete success. *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Dean stood there and looked down at the.. dog.. in front of him. Raising an eyebrow, he eyed the thing and asked incredulously, “Choopy? Really? They named you Choopy?” The two that had brought the creature home had been ushered upstairs for baths. This left Dean and the new addition to the household facing off with one another. Doing its best impersonation of a dog, it wagged its tail with its whole butt wiggling back and forth with excitement.
  • Suddenly it flopped onto its back with its tongue lolling out to the side as it gave him a mischievous, doggy grin.
  • Groaning, Dean muttered, “Derri would never let me live this one down.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Seated at the computer upstairs, Elijah grumbled softly to himself, “Legacy heir, sports star, lover extraordinaire, and father of three. You’d think a collection of job titles like that would mean I could skip out on the stuff I really don’t want to do.” He glared at the monitor and typed a bit more on the keyboard before giving a frustrated grunt and deleting everything he had typed.
  • “I’m NOT a writer. I never wanted to be a writer. Ever. So why is it suddenly a great idea that I do this stupid blog? Damn my agent for ever getting into the computer age.” Even though there was no one there to listen, Elijah continued to grumble as he tried to form coherent sentences in the open document on the computer in front of him, “How come I can talk about this stuff all day long, but trying to write it down is impossible.” With a shake of his head, he forced himself to focus and settled into silence to try and write.
  • It wasn’t too long before Elijah realized he was no longer alone. Jo stood halfway up the last flight of stairs, watching him expectantly through the banister. It was obvious she wanted something since she was being uncharacteristically patient, something nearly impossible for her unless she was on a mission. Trying to ignore her, Elijah attempted to at least finish the paragraph he was working on. Finally he sighed and gave up, “What do you want, Jo?”
  • Brightening, she smiled and gave a little wave, “Oh hi, Daddy! I didn’t know you were up here. I was just going through the house and making sure everything was set up for my birthday party tonight.” Elijah didn’t look away from the monitor, but he arched an eyebrow as he tried not to smile, “Oh? And is the house up to your standards.” “I think it’ll be passable, Daddy.” She nodded and then stood there, quietly, expectantly.
  • Elijah couldn’t help but smile. Turning his face so she wouldn’t see, he asked again, “What do you really need, Jo?” Feigning surprise, she asked, “Oh, are you busy, Daddy?” Stifling a laugh, he spun in the chair to face her, “Oh, I think I can take a break for you. What’s up?”
  • “Well, it’s my birthday today, right, Daddy?” She asked the question thoughtfully, trying not to seem as if she’d rehearsed these questions before coming upstairs. “All day, kiddo.” “So tonight, I’ll be a teenager.”
  • Getting up, Elijah moved over to the banister to look down at her. Giving a sigh, he smiled a little sadly and nodded, “Yep. You’ll be a teenager.” Innocent, she looked up and asked with wide eyes, “So I won’t be your little girl anymore, will I?” “Oh sweetie.” Elijah smiled, completely aware that he was putty in his daughter’s hands, “You’ll always be my little girl, even when I’m old and gray and you have kids of your own.”
  • “Right, but I won’t be little anymore, and if I’m not little anymore, there’s stuff we can’t do ever again.” Tilting his head Elijah asked, “Like what?” “Like you swinging me in a circle until we’re both dizzy and I have to fall down in the grass because I can’t walk and can’t stop giggling.”
  • Elijah grinned. The stupid blog could wait. He had more important things to do, “Jo, would you like to go outside and swing around? We’ve got a while before all your guests get here.”
  • Jo grinned and ran up the stairs with an energetic bounce to her step, “Oh Daddy! You have the best ideas.” “That’s why they pay me the big bucks.” Leaning down, he caught her in a fierce hug. Softer, he said, “I love you, Jo.” “I love you too, Daddy.”
  • He held onto her tightly, memorizing the moment as the last time he’d have a child of his in the house. Eventually there would be grandchildren, but that seemed far off in the future. After a moment, Jo spoke up, “Daddy, can you let go? You’re squishing me.” He laughed and stood up, grabbing her hand instead, “Come on, let’s go.”
  • *~*~*~*~*~*
  • A few hours later, the guests were all there and the time had finally arrived for Jo’s birthday. Since it was a beautiful, warm Spring night, the decision had been made to have the party outside.
  • Proudly, Jo surveyed the crowd of immediate family, extended family, and family friends. While Oz struggled with their family’s predominantly outgoing nature, she was completely comfortable as the center of attention. This was exactly how it should be. From the stories she’d heard of her great-great grandfather Taylor, he’d be proud of where the family was and be delighted in their continued tradition of great big parties for every occasion. She had no intentions of stopping that tradition.
  • But that wasn’t the only thought on her mind at that moment, “Hugh, what’s it like?” He looked down at her and tilted her head, “What’s what like? Being this awesome?” Hugh gestured at himself, but had a grin to show he was joking. “As if!” She laughed, “No, I mean being a teenager. I’m not going to be the littlest anymore and you guys won’t be able to kick me out anymore.” “Oh, that doesn’t matter. We’ll still kick you out.”
  • “Don’t listen to him, Jo.” Oz smiled as he walked by. While the large crowd made him uncomfortable, it wasn’t quite so bad when the attention wasn’t all on him. Besides, this was what made Jo happy, so he could deal with it. “Oh, I know. I’ll be big enough to beat him up soon.” Oz snorted and finished, “Being a teenager’s pretty cool. I think you’ll like it.”
  • Jo stepped onto the stepstool at the table so she could reach her cake. Thoughtfully she regarded the glowing candles as everyone began to cheer. Tapping her chin, she considered for another moment, “Okay, I’ve decided what my wish is going to be.” Someone called out, “What did you wish for?” Rolling her eyes, she said, “I’m not stupid. You never tell your wish to anyone, especially one as important as the one I just made!” With that, she took a deep breath and blew out the candles.
  • The moment the candles were out, she stepped back and felt the inexorable rush of her body to change. Everyone always said it was natural, but maybe it was magic. Soon, the little girl was gone and a teenager stood in her place.
  • “Hah! This is awesome!” Jo grinned as she surveyed herself and then looked around at everyone else, “Well, whatcha waiting for? Get some cake!” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • As everyone began grab cake or head off into little groups, Shelby made her way through the crowd to where Elijah stood with a thoughtful expression on his face, “Hey there tall, blonde and handsome. Why the long face?”
  • “I just.. I feel old, Shelb.” Elijah shrugged as he turned to face her. “I’m not ready to feel this old. But our baby just turned into a teenager and it’s only going to be a few weeks before Lou is heading off to college. It’s all happening too fast.” “Would you keep them little forever, hon?” “Maybe? I don’t know.” He glanced over his shoulder towards where Jo was circulating through the crowd, basking in congratulations. “I miss having a little one around.”
  • Mischief twinkled in her eyes as she suggested innocently, “Well, you’re not so old that you couldn’t still have a baby, ‘lijah.” Batting her eyelashes at him, she teased, “The telescope has been looking pretty lonely. You could spend a few nights with her and see if the aliens decide to give you a baby. Then you could have all the dirty diapers and spit up you please.” He blinked at her then smiled, “No thanks, no alien probes for me.” Elijah saw her grin and then laughed, “I guess I’m being a bit silly, aren’t I?”
  • Taking his hands, she smiled, “You are being a little silly, but you’re also being a good dad. You know, for a stuck-up legacy heir and player of the ladies, you turned out to be a pretty damn fine husband and father.” “I blame all of that on you, pretty lady.” The smile he gave her was the same one that melted her heart all those years ago when they first started seeing one another. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without you and we sure as hell wouldn’t have the three awesome kids that we’ve got.”
  • “You know, Mr. Legacina, I think this party is doing just fine without our help.” Even after all these years, Shelby’s cheeks colored with warmth as she flirted with him, “Why don’t you and I disappear for a little while. No babies to be made, but that’s never stopped us before, has it?” Elijah grinned and just took her hand and started heading towards their bedroom, “I like the way you think, Mrs. Legacina.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • As Elijah and Shelby quietly slipped away together, the party continued on. Over on the other side of the patio, Star cleared her throat to interrupt a conversation between George and Louise, “Hey Lou?” The young couple turned and both smiled at Star. Louise smiled, “Hey Star, what’s up?” George added an echoing, “Hey Star. Good to see you.” Ignoring George as if he didn’t exist, Star said, “I was thinking about some of the stuff we were talking about back in the park, Lou.” Instantly curious, Louise asked, “Which stuff?”
  • “You know, the whole interdimensional physics experimentation stuff.” Star rolled her eyes as she explained, “As if there was anything else worth discussing that day.” George blinked, “The interdimensional whatsis?” Louise gave an encouraging nod, “What were you thinking? Did you have any thoughts on what we need to do to make it happen?” “Well, Dad still gets alumni letters from the school and I happened to glance at one, and it sounded like they might not have all of the equipment you were thinking they’d have. I guess there’s some sort of lending program with La Fiesta Tech, so..” Star trailed off.
  • “Oh no, no no no!” Louise looked panicked, “I made sure I researched the science department. They’ve got everything we need. They can’t loan out any of the equipment. I NEED it!” Looking between the two girls, George tried to get involved once more, “What are you guys talking about?” Star waved her hand dismissively towards George, “Nothing to worry your pretty little head over, Georgie.” Louise was beginning to pace, “Oh man, if they don’t have that equipment, I’m going to have to start from scratch. Proving my theory rests on having access to the right equipment. Star, what the heck are we going to do?”
  • “Well, I have an idea.” Star ignored the dark look from George as she captured Louise’s attention completely, “We need someone on the inside who can tell us for sure what’s there and what isn’t.” “But who would that be?” Louise worried at her lower lip, “I mean, Chastity’s cousins are in college, but neither of them are in the science program. And Charlotte Thompson is there too, but I’m pretty sure she’s not in any of the sciences either.” “I’ve got two words for you, Lou. Well, one word. Repeated twice. Er. Whatever.” When Louise was giving her full attention, Star grinned triumphantly, “Parker. Parker.” Louise’s face lit up, “You’re brilliant!” “Yup!” Star jerked a thumb over her shoulder, “He’s inside.”
  • Instantly, Louise turned to head inside, “He’ll totally know.” George, realizing he’d been forgotten, spoke up, “Uh, Lou?” With a distracted glance in his direction, Louise said, “Oh, I’ll be right back, George. Hang on a few?” She didn’t wait for an answer. As Star followed, she spared the barest backward glance in George’s direction, a smirk playing across her lips.
  • “Y’know, just because I’m blond doesn’t mean I’m stupid.” George threw his hands up in the air as he watched the two girls walk into the house, leaving him behind, “Maybe I’m not as smart as you two, but you don’t have to treat me like I’m an idiot.” Knowing his little rant was falling on deaf, inattentive ears, he groaned, “Great. This is just great.”
  • “Of course it’s great. It’s my birthday after all.” Jo, having overheard the end of the conversation, made her way over. “I didn’t mean anything, Jo.” George looked embarrassed at having been overheard. “Eh, it’s alright. I saw them ditch you. I’d be pissed too.” “Nah, they didn’t ditch me, they just, uh, had questions they wanted to ask Mr. Parker.” He didn’t sound very convinced, “They’ll, uh, be right back.”
  • “No, they won’t.” Jo held up a finger, “I know my sister and when she’s thinking brainy thoughts, she’s not thinking of anything else for several hours. She, Star, and Parker are going to get into some heavy nerd speak and forget anyone else exists for the rest of the night.” George smiled ruefully, “Yeah, I guess Lou does get that way, doesn’t she? I’ve tried following what she says, but she usually loses me.” He snorted, “Maybe they’re right to treat me like an idiot.”
  • “You are NOT an idiot, George.” Jo was adamant about this fact, “Just because you don’t follow their geek talk doesn’t mean you’re dumb. Smart comes in lots of flavors.” “Flavors?” “Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best word.” She grinned, hoping her blush didn’t show in the darkness, “Since you’ve been ditched, how about a game of catch or something?” George tilted his head, “Wouldn’t you rather be mingling? It is your birthday, Jo. I wouldn’t want you to have to rescue me when you’ve got better things to do.” She waved a dismissive hand, “You’re my friend too, George. If I want to spend time with you, I want to spend time with you. C’mon.”
  • As the two headed towards the front lawn, George smiled, “Thanks, Jo. You’re a really good friend.” He missed the brief, crestfallen expression that crossed her face, as Jo mumbled, “Yup, that’s me. A good friend.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Inside, Louise and Star found Parker Parker at the dart board, “Parker, can we talk to you?” Turning, he had an easy smile for the two girls, “Hey guys. What’s up?” “Well, you know we’re both headed off to university soon, right?” He bobbed his head in a nod, “I was talking with your grandmother and she said that you’d be heading off after you got back from vacation with them.” Glancing between the two, he added, “And I assume you’re going off together.”
  • “Well, yeah, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about really.” “Oh?” Parker Parker’s curiosity was piqued, “Did you want to ask me questions about the campus?” Star was content to let Louise do all the talking. She’d initiated the conversation and achieved what she wanted. Now she was just curious to hear what Parker had to say.
  • “Well, I was wondering if you knew anything about the science labs.” Louise explained, “I was planning on going into the physics program, but part of that decision was based on the equipment I know I’d have access to.” Quickly she added, “Just for learning stuff, y’know?” Parker nodded, encouraging her to continue. “But then we heard that there’s an equipment exchange program with La Fiesta Tech and I was worried the stuff I was excited about might not be available.” Biting her lip, she asked, “Do you know if that’s true or what the deal is?”
  • “You guys are in luck.” Parker smiled broadly, “It just so happens that I am the exact right person to ask because I know all about equipment at college.” Star raised an eyebrow, “Really? I didn’t think you were a professor or anything. Mom said something about you just being a permanent fixture on campus and not really working there.”
  • “I don’t work there, but I am an integral part of the campus.” Parker Parker smiled, “I’m what you would call an eternal grad student and I know exactly what they have available in the science department.” The two girls grinned, “Awesome!” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • A few days later, Oz, Moon, Hugh, and Chastity stood in her family’s garage with a bunch of musical instruments before them. “Ta dah!” Chastity gestured dramatically towards the equipment arrayed about the garage, “The beginning of our very own garage band. Some day this will be a tourist destination because of our pure awesomeness!” “Uh..” The response was less than overwhelming. Chastity glanced at them all, “What’s wrong?”
  • “Well, it’s really awesome that your dad and uncles were okay with us using your house, Chas.” Oz scratched his head as he tried to figure out the diplomatic way to explain things. “Well, Moon’s house is too far away and has no garage. Hugh’s house is too small. You have a garage, but Steve lives above it and wouldn’t really appreciate us playing all hours. So this was the logical choice.” Chastity put her hands on her hips, “So what’s wrong?” Moon had a conflicted expression on her face as she answered first, pointing across the room.
  • “It kinda smells.” Oz voiced the concern that Moon had quite neatly pointed out. On the other side of the garage, Carlisle, Chastity’s family cat, was ignoring the teenagers as he made rather odiferous use of the litter box tucked into the corner of the garage.
  • “Really? Really guys?” Chastity gave them an exasperated expression, “I know you’re both total neat freaks, but are you really going to turn your nose up at free practice space because of a cat box?” Hugh laughed and plugged his nose, “Well, if your cat smells like that, Chas...” He trailed off and smirked, “He’s pretty foul.” “Hey, you be nice to Carlisle. He’s my buddy. And it’s not his fault the kibble makes him gassy.” Sighing, she looked around, “If I get an air freshener out here, will that make it okay? We can also open some windows.”
  • Once they’d agreed that she would put up an air freshener before they practiced next and opened all the windows, the four settled down at the various instruments. Moon slid onto the bench in front of the keyboard as she eyed the instrument. As Hugh had said, she had been taking violin lessons and she wasn’t half bad at playing the piano at home, but this was going to be a bit of a different sound.
  • Chastity settled down at the drums and picked up her sticks, “Okay, are we ready?” Looking around at everyone, she asked, “Do we have a song we want to try first?” “Uh.” Oz looked up from where he was slinging the guitar over his shoulder, “I didn’t think about that. We could just.. uh.. jam? I guess that’s what bands do, right?” She shrugged, “I guess so.” Turning, she looked to Moon and Hugh for confirmation, “So we jam?” They nodded in response.
  • For a moment, the four just stared at one another around the garage. Then Chastity grinned and began pounding out a beat on her drum set.
  • Oz quickly joined in on the guitar. Moon followed soon after with the keyboard.
  • Joining in last, Hugh grinned, “This is going to be awesome! We’re totally going to be famous. Rock stardom, here I come!”
  • “What the HELL is that noise!?” Adrian Parker stood just inside the house from the garage, covering his ears as he listened to the ‘music’ his niece and friends were playing, “It sounds like a herd of cows dying in a helicopter accident.”
  • Leaning against the counter, his brother and Chastity’s father, Kyle Thompson, chuckled, “That’s Chastity and her band.” “Band of what? Marauding banshees of death?” Adrian kept his hands over his ears as he groaned, “They sound awful. Are you really encouraging them, Kyle?” “Of course I am.” Incredulous, Adrian looked at him, “But why?!?”
  • “Because they may sound awful right now, but I’ve got a hunch that these kids could really pull it together.” He winced at a particularly bad moment in the ‘jam’, before he added, “Maybe.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Less than one week after Jo’s birthday, it was time for another in the extended Legacina line. Still dressed in his school uniform, Ash stood in his yard and scratched his head as he looked around, obviously searching for something, “Ava?”
  • Turning in a circle, he called out again, “Ava? I know you’re out here and I didn’t think we were playing hide-and-seek, and even if we were, Mama would yell at us for doing it in our uniforms and not changing into play clothes first.” There was no answer, but suddenly he stopped and began moving around the pond towards the large willow tree in the corner, “Ava, are you over here?”
  • Hidden on the bank of the pond behind the overgrown reeds thriving beneath the willow tree, Ava sat and sniffled, “You weren’ supposed to find me, Ash.” Looking confused, he came over to her, “You know we can’t hide from each other, Ava. It never works. We always find each other right away.” Seeing the expression on her face, he became concerned, “Why are you sad?” “I don’ wanna be a teenager.”
  • Plopping down in front of her and crossing his legs, Ash reached out, “Gimme your hands.” Almost instinctively, she reached up and clasped hands with him. In a small voice, she asked, “Are you mad at me?” “Nuh uh. I just don’t understand, Ava.” He sat there and held his twin’s hands as he searched her face, “I thought you were ‘xcited about being a teenager. We’ll get to do all kindsa stuff. And there’ll be girls. That’s a good thing right?”
  • “Well, yeah, but..” Ava trailed off and bit her lip briefly, “I’m afraid, Ash.” “You’re not afraid that I’m not gonna want you around, are you? ‘cause I already told you that you’re my twin and you better be sticking with me.” Sniffling, she shook her head and looked away, “Some of the kids were saying some things, and.. and I.. I don’t want to be any uglier.”
  • Ash blinked, “Who was saying you were ugly? Was it Mercedes again?” When she shook her head, he asked, “Danielle Sweeney?” Snuffling, Ava nodded, “She said that I already looked like a m.monkey and it’ll just get w.worse when I get older. She said I’ll never be pretty like you or Jojo or anyone else.” Her twin muttered a curse under his breath that he’d picked up from Zephyr, “Ava, you gotta stop listening to them. They just say mean things because they know it makes you sad.” “But what if it’s true too?”
  • Ash stood up and pulled his sister to her feet, “Ava, Mama knows everything, right?” She nodded her head, “She does.” “Well, Mama says that you have her eyes and Daddy’s nose. We know she’s beautiful and she says Daddy is very handsome.” Ash explained as he tilted his head to catch her eyes, “And Grandma and Grandpa said you’re beautiful. Are you saying they’re all liars?” Shaking her head, Ava said, “I’d never call them liars ‘cause they’re not. I just..”
  • Before she could say anything more, he engulfed her in a hug, “You’re the prettiest twin I’ve got, Ava. Don’t let anyone ever tell you anything different.” Though it was a little snuffly, she giggled, “I’m your only twin, Ash.” “Well, then you gotta teen up with me, ‘cause otherwise I’d be lonely.” Seeing that she was smiling, he took her hand and led her back towards the house, “Let’s get changed and play for a while before everyone gets here.” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • Because all three of the children were having birthdays that day, Miranda decided to start the party early. While it would go late enough so that her light-allergic vampire brother would be able to come later, she wanted to make sure it didn’t get too late, especially for Sam. So, the party was set up outside, with balloons and everything. Miranda certainly carried on the family tradition of going all out for parties.
  • Holding her youngest, Miranda surveyed the guests with a smile, “Alright Samtastic. Are you ready?” Behind her, Dean chuckled, “I think she’s been ready since she came out of the womb, ‘Manda.” Miranda rolled her eyes but shot a smile over her shoulder at her husband, “Silly.”
  • “Ready Mama.” Sam grinned and practically dove out of Miranda’s arms towards the cake. The little girl had been hearing about the joys of cake and frosting from her older brother and sister for what felt like ever. She was more than ready for it to be her turn. “Hold up there, Samtastic. Let Mama help.” Miranda grinned as everyone gathered around. “Okay everyone, start singing!”
  • By the time the birthday song and cheers were done, a little girl had happily taken the place of the cute toddler that had been there moments before, “Yes! Time for cake!”
  • Sam’s birthday cake alone wasn’t enough to go around to everyone, so it was shortly time for the twins to blow out their candles. Ava stepped up to her cake and looked down towards her brother, almost as if to reassure herself that he was there. Quirking a little smile, she said, “I’m ready now, Ash.” No one else quite understood what she meant, but he did. Grinning, he nodded, “Good.”
  • Almost in unison, the twins turned to look at their guests before they smiled and stepped up to their respective cakes. If they could have shared a cake, they would have.
  • Simultaneously, they considered a wish to make and leaned over to blow out the candles.
  • To the cheers of everyone there, the two of them gave in to the pull to grow up at the same time. By the time the sparkles and confetti had faded, they were teenagers.
  • Leaving everyone else to get the cake first, the first thing they did was go up to one another and put the palms of their hands together. Sam watched them for a moment and then sighed, “Mama, they’re being all twinsy again.” Miranda looked up from where she sat with a slice of cake and smiled, “They’re always going to be superabulously twinsy, Samtastic.”
  • Not saying a word, they stood there together, palm to palm. It was definitely a little odd, but those that noticed didn’t comment on it. The two had always been close and it was apparent that wasn’t about to change even though they were teenagers. Slowly, Ava’s little smile grew into a larger grin as she watched their hands.
  • Ash’s grin slowly matched hers until he laughed and broke contact, “Okay, time to enjoy this party. C’mon Ava!” *~*~*~*~*~*
  • By the time the sun had set, the adults had all gone inside for coffee and games while the children and teens claimed the patio in the name of fun. Music was turned on and various groups broke off to talk or play games.
  • Off to one side, Star and Louise had claimed a pair of chaise lounges to hang out on. Watching the rest of the party, Star snorted, “He’s got them eating out of his hand.” “Well, they’re curious, wouldn’t you be?” Louise shrugged as she watched the group that had caught Star’s attention.
  • Over on the other side of the patio, several of the teens were gathered around the two of their generation who had already gone off to college. The ones that had been curious listened with rapt attention. For the most part, Charlotte Thompson, elder sister of Raleigh and cousin to Chastity, watched with amusement as she let Jacob Thayer do all the talking. Jacob, the oldest son of Jeremiah and Meadow Thayer, had only just gone off to college, but from the stories he was telling, he was already big man on campus.
  • The two girls watched with amusement until Louise said, “You know, you could have gone with him if you’d wanted. Even if the principal said you had to stay back with my group, you are actually a little older than Jacob.” Star shrugged, “Eh. I’d just as soon wait for you. It’ll be more fun if we go together. Jacob was all hot and bothered to go early anyway.” She tilted her head sideways to regard Jacob, “Though, I gotta say, he grew up pretty damn hot. I mean, look at the way his ass fills those shorts.”
  • “Star!” “What?” Star grinned as she turned back to look at Louise, “You going to argue with me? You can’t deny that he grew up hot.” Louise laughed, “Okay, maybe he did. But he’s our cousin. That makes him off limits.” Rolling her eyes, Star waved her hand to dismiss that argument, “Second cousin and no court in the world would tell us we can’t get married. Not that I would want to marry him. Can’t a girl just look without getting in trouble?” “You’re so bad.” “That’s why you love me.”
  • Louise grinned but changed the subject, “I actually wish we could have gone with him. I’m getting really excited about going.” “Well, why didn’t you?” Star asked, “You’re smarter than Jacob, so you could have gotten early admittance easy.” “My grandparents have been planning this vacation for ages. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings and not go. And I do really want to see Twikkii Island too.” Looking off into the distance, her expression grew dreamy, “I just keep thinking about my ideas.”
  • “You really are stuck on that interdimensional thing, aren’t you?” “Oh yeah, big time.” Louise smiled, “I mean, think about it, Star. Infinite worlds of infinite variations. Maybe where Uncle Dean and his friends came from are similar to ours, but with an infinite number of possibilities, how many are completely alien to ours? They don’t know how they got here, but if it happened once, it has to be able to be replicated. Can you imagine what it would mean if we could control it and allow travel between worlds?” While Louise was looking the other direction, Star’s smile grew soft and fond, “And Uncle Dean could get to visit his brother and sisters again.” “Yeah.” Louise’s grin turned lopsided. She opened her mouth to say more, but was interrupted by her ringing cell phone, “Oops.” Popping it open, she said, “Hello?”
  • A goofy smile settled on Louise’s features as she heard who it was. Leaning back in the lounge, she said, “Hey George. Are you on your break?” Star’s expression shifted like a sudden thunder cloud, becoming dark as she realized who was on the other end of the line. “Aw, you’re really sweet, George. I’m glad you called me.”
  • Sitting forward, Star hunched her shoulders as she listened and waited for the call to be finished. George obviously asked a question as Louise shook her head, “Nah, we finished with cake ages ago. We’re just hanging out now.” She paused, “No, I’m not really doing anything important, we can talk for a little bit.
  • Hearing that, Star surged to her feet and headed towards the gate with an angry look at Louise before she turned away and kept walking. Even Louise, oblivious as she had been about the situation, would have to have been blind to miss that cue.
  • “Uh, George, I think I have to go.” She paused, “Yeah, I know I said I could talk, but I think I .. I think I was being stupid and now I think I have an emergency to deal with. I’ll talk to you later, ‘kay?” Not waiting for an answer, she hung up and got up to follow Star.
  • Running to catch up with her friend’s long-legged gait, she yelled, “Star, wait up! What’s wrong?” Star stopped but didn’t turn around, “What’s wrong is that you even have to ask that question, Lou.”
  • While most didn’t notice their departure, one person became acutely aware of what was going on. Sitting beside her friends, Moon looked up in time to see Louise disappear through the gate. Giving a silent sigh, she bit her lip as her expression grew worried. There was nothing she could do right now, but knowing what was happening didn’t make it any easier.
  • “What do you mean by that?” “You acted as if I wasn’t even there when HE called.” Star had never been known for a steady temper. Right now, she was hurt and angry, and keeping her mouth shut was not going to happen. In a falsetto, she mimicked Louise’s conversation from moments before, “Oh no, George. No one else is here that matters. Even though I was having a conversation with someone else, I’m just going to pretend they don’t exist and talk with you.”
  • Louise flinched but said, “I wasn’t thinking. Sorry.” Offering a weak smile, she said, “Let’s just go back to the party.” “Yeah, you’re right. You don’t think.” Star crossed her arms as she glared, “Because now you think a little apology like that is going to make it all better. You’re just going to do the same thing again when he’s around.” Shocked, Louise blinked, “No I won’t.”
  • “Yes, yes you will, Lou. It happens every time he’s around. Suddenly no one else in the world exists. Suddenly you become some simpering idiot who only pays attention to the pretty boy you want to suck face with.” Louise opened her mouth to protest again, but Star continued on, “When you’re with him, I could go jump off a bridge for all you care.”
  • “That is not fair, Star!” Now Louise was getting angry. While she was more even-tempered than Star, she had the same Legacina backbone that had been in the family for generations, “You’re completely out of line now.” “Yeah, says you.” Star snarled, “You’re not the one who gets ignored any time it’s convenient.” “You’re just jealous because you don’t have a boyfriend too! It’s not my fault you won’t give the time of day to any of the guys who’d be happy to date you.”
  • “I AM NOT JEALOUS!” Star screamed. If the music hadn’t been so loud at the party on the other side of the fence, someone would have surely heard that. Inhaling a shaky breath, she added, “And that shows just how much you know. Your head is so far up George’s ass that you didn’t even know I’ve been dating someone for the last couple of weeks!” Louise frowned, “Yeah, who?” “Raleigh Thompson.”
  • “Oh give me a break. Like I’m going to believe that bull. You’ve never gotten along with her, not since we were little.” Louise waved a hand dismissing that, “You don’t have to lie to me Star. Not about something that stupid.” Star’s eyes flared wide with anger, “I am not lying!” Louise rolled her eyes, “Right, because you never lie. It’s not like I haven’t been there the hundreds of times you’ve lied to our teachers about the stuff we’ve been doing.”
  • “You know what, I’m done.” Star growled. Louise snapped angrily, “Done with what?” Star pointed at Louise, “You. I am completely done with us. Go to college yourself. You’re not worth my time, you spoiled Legacy brat. Just because you’re the heir doesn’t give you the right to treat everyone around you like a tool. I was never your best friend and you know it!” Louise’s face grew stricken as the enormity of their argument sunk in, “Star, no, I’m sorry!” “I DON’T CARE!” She turned and stormed off.
  • Louise’s breath began to hitch as the sobs she was fighting began to win out, “I’m sorry..” Star paused for the barest of moments, but then kept walking.
  • *~*~*~*~*~*
  • “THAT’S where you’re going to end it?” Dean was a little put out with that ending, “You’re kidding me, right? You make everyone wait over four months for an update that should have been the second half of what you did in May, and you end it like that?” Chill out, Dean. I’m not planning on it taking another four months to update. There were some extenuating circumstances this summer that got in the way of me updating. Like, y’know, summer. On top of that, my video card decided to die, so right when I was going to get into finishing up the pictures I needed, I had to wait until I could get a replacement. I make no hard promises, but the plan is to get 4.16 out by the beginning of November. 4.16 should also be the end of Chapter Four since Generation Five will officially be in college after that. —>
  • Let’s talk a little about the kids that teened up in this update! Josephine Legacina Third and last child of the first circle this generation, Jo is a force to be reckoned with. Physically, she’s almost a clone of Louise, just with a different skintone. That said, she is definitely her own person. Aspiration: Popularity Zodiac: Gemini Personality: 5/10/9/7/3
  • Ash Whedonberry Ava Whedonberry Aspiration: Romance Aspiration: Pleasure Zodiac: Capricorn Zodiac: Libra Personality: 10/7/3/7/6 Personality: 5/7/4/7/9 The twins are a riot to play and both have very unique personalities, but are still somehow the most twinly twins I’ve ever had in the game. I’m really excited about what I’m attempting with their storyline, so I hope I can pull it off at least half-as-well as I’m imagining.
  • Moon Walton Ah, my little mutant, Moon. She has more nice points than the rest of her immediate family members combined, and that’s including Heather’s genetic 6 points. As Lea will attest, those shy points are a complete lie, though. The girl has never acted shy once in my game. Many of this generation’s first circle (plus Waltons) have important roles upcoming, but Moon is, in many ways, a lynch pin. Aspiration: Family Zodiac: Cancer Personality: 9/0/10/8/8 And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed and hope to see you when I update again next!