A Piratical Legacy Chapter 26 - Teenaged Romantic Angst


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A Piratical Legacy Chapter 26 - Teenaged Romantic Angst

  1. 1. Chapter 26 – Teenaged Romantic AngstA Piratical Legacy: Chapter Twenty-Six - Teenaged Romantic AngstWelcome back to A Piratical Legacy - Chapter Twenty-Six. In this chapter we get to experience the fun of teenaged romance and angst.If you havent read the previous chapters, this one will make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever, so I suggest backtracking a bit if youre a newreader unless youre the sort who likes to start in the middle. In that case... start reading!
  2. 2. "Can you believe that our youngest child is about to make the great leap into teenaged angst?" Grace said with a nostalgic smile as she and Leeshared lunch on the Saturday after they returned from their whirlwind tours of Three Lakes and Takemizu Village."Well... our youngest so far," Lee said, rubbing his stomach with a cross between a grimace and a smile. "Cant forget our celestial surprise.""Of course not," Grace said reassuringly. "Its just that the new baby will be practically a generation apart from Zing and Shih. You know?""Yeah, I know," Lee said. "Well, at least we will have someone to look after us in our old age, eh?"
  3. 3. That evening it was time for Ching Shihs birthday party, and the entire family (plus a few extras) were in attendance."I cant believe my brother-in-law got probed," Susanna snickered to herself as she found a spot with a good vantage point of the cake. "Bet theyrenot looking forward to seeing diapers again!""Mr. Mickles gets to be on diaper duty," Andrew Bigfoot paused for a moment to tell Anna seriously. "It is his turn.""You and Gertie and your Mr. Mickles thing are creepy," Anna said, shuddering."Indeed," Andrew said. "And being Deaths granddaughter is not, Mistress Susanna? But now is not the time to discuss this. Now is the time tocheer for Ching Shihs birthday." And he returned to waving his noisemaker.
  4. 4. And by that point everybody else was joining in waving their noisemakers as well."Is everybody here for me?" Ching Shih asked incredulously as she leaned over the cake."We sure are!" Nick and Will cried in unison."Forty years old and they still speak like that," Grace shook her head as she cheered on her youngest child. "Wonder if theyll ever outgrow it?""Not very--""--likely!"
  5. 5. "Youre so lucky, Shih," Liv Pseudo said with a sigh. "I cant wait til its my turn to have a big party and birthday and be a teenager and everything.Youll even be allowed to go out on dates! I think dates sound like fun.""I suppose," Shih said doubtfully as she pondered her candles and thought about her wish. "Ill have to give it a try at least once, I guess. To seewhat all the fuss is about. And then I can write to Mr. Jim and see what he thinks about the whole thing.""Shih, you talk too much sometimes," Liv observed with a bit of a laugh. "Just blow out the candles and then we can eat cake! Caaaaaaaaaake.""Fine, fine," Shih said. She leaned forward, closed her eyes, and made a wish.
  6. 6. By all accounts, she turned out pretty cute!"Though I do worry about your hair," Grace said, fussing over her daughter. "I wonder if those streaks might be too old for you...""Itll be fine, mother," Shih said with a wave. "Besides, I bet Ill want to see how a different color works in a week or two. You know me - Imnever content to accept something as it is. I always gotta try something new.""Thats my girl," Grace said fondly. "Well, I suppose I like it. Now, why dont you go see what Justinian is waving at you about over there? Hesbeen skulking around ever since you went to change.""Weird," Shih said with a glance in Justinians direction. "Maybe Ill sic Toshi on him to find out what he wants."
  7. 7. "So Shih thinks its kinda creepy that youve been staring at her all night and shed like it if you would just tell me what you want before I have toturn up the volume on the stereo and set up my explosives kit," Toshiko said to Justinian, several minutes later.Justinian turned a bit pale. "Explosives?""I keep them in my shoes," Toshi explained. She glared at him. "Stop changing the subject! Whyre you stalking Shih?""I just... th-think shes kinda c-cute," Justinian stammered. "Th-thats all. And I w-was going to see if sh-she wanted to g-get some coffee orsomething.""Oh," Toshiko said, and blushed. "Do you want me to ask her for you or do you want to ask her?""I think I can handle it," Justinian said. "Just keep your shoes away from me!"
  8. 8. On the porch, a few of the other cousins were chatting as they "Do you... always talk like that?" Zing asked.nommed birthday cake. "Only sometimes," Shere Khan shrugged. "I consider it an homage to"The cake was not a lie," Shere Khan said, rubbing his full stomach Ceiling Cat and the others before him."in satisfaction. "FTW!" "Youre weird, Shere Khan," Hugo, who was watching the whole"We should run out and get some coffee sometime," Zing said, a conversation, observed.trifle awkwardly. "They have some pretty good stuff at the youthcentre." "I know," Shere Khan grinned. "And I like it!""I can has caffeine?" Shere Khans eyes lit up. "Want!" "Me too," Coxinga muttered under his breath, but Shere Khan heard it (though he didnt let on) and blushed under his fur.
  9. 9. "Err... thanks for coming out with me," Justinian said awkwardly to Ching Shih when they reached the coffee shop after the party was over. Theydecided to head upstairs and shoot some pool before getting their caffeine fix."No problem," Shih laughed. "Ive wanted to try out this dating thing for a while, Justinian, and well... Ive always thought you were pretty cute."She reached for his hand, and Justinian smiled at her awkwardly, though he didnt pull away.Neither of them saw that they were no longer alone.
  10. 10. After a few minutes, though, Shih realized that they were being "Right there," Shih said, pointing.watched. Glared at, in fact. "Oh... sh--""Justinian... why is Toast* staring at us like that?" she asked,shivering. "JUSTINIAN TOYONAGA!""Err... Toasts here?" Justinian went pale. "Where?" He whirled ===around. * simself of EphemeralToast, now in teen flavor
  11. 11. Once she realized shed been spotted, Toast whirled on the young couple and pointed accusingly at them."Justinian!" she said again as she stomped angrily over. "Are you on a date?""Kinda," Shih replied. "I mean, I guess its a date. Why? Is something wrong?""Ill tell you whats wrong," Toast complained. "Youre on a date with my boyfriend!""What?" Shih was startled. One look at Justinians face confirmed it, though... he was cringing and his face had gone bright red. "Oh... dear."
  12. 12. "Im really sorry," Shih continued as she thought very quickly. "I didnt know Justinian was seeing anyone, Toast, or Id have never gone out withhim! Im not into that whole poaching thing.""I didnt think you were," Toast said. "But Justinian... youve got a lot of explaining to do. First you stand me up, and then you show up three hourslater with another girl? This is so not cool.""Im sorry," Justinian said, deflating. He cast a quick look at Ching Shih. "Sorry, Shih... I shouldnt have asked you out. Toast, please dont bemad!"
  13. 13. "I think Ill just be going now," Shih nodded at the two of them. "Im sorry if I caused any trouble. Justinian, youre a jerk, and you totally deserve itif Toast dumps your butt right now. As for me, I think Ill swear off dating til college."As Ching Shih strode down the stairs and outside towards home, she could still hear Justinian frantically apologizing.
  14. 14. "Well?" Toast said once she and Justinian were alone. "Any explanations, J? Or are you a jerk like Ching Shih said? Should I dump you rightnow?""Its... complicated," Justinian sighed. "Sorry, Toast. I... I cant explain right now. I understand if you want to dump me... but Im sorry anyway.""Well, I guess thats that," Toast said, making a face. "Im still pretty mad at you, J. If I call you tomorrow, then we can work things out. If not...dont wait by the phone, okay?""Fine," Justinian said, his shoulders sagging in defeat. "Im sorry, Toast...""Me too."
  15. 15. In the furry Buccaneer household, life was moving on... unfortunately, in the case of Nala, as shed reached the end of hers."So Im the first of the old crew to go, am I?" Nala said sadly to the Grim Reaper. "Pretty soon Benjamin and Roche will be along, wont they.""YES.""Do you regret what you made Roche do in exchange for continuing his family line?" Nala pressed. "Do you, Mr. Reaper?""ERR... NOT EXACTLY," the Grim Reaper said. "YOU SEE, MY GRANDFATHER WAS THE ONE IN CHARGE THEN AND HES SINCERETIRED. IM ROCHES OLDEST DAUGHTER, SUSANNA... THE PRICE, YOU KNOW?""That must be awkward," Nala said. "Well, I suppose Id better get going, hadnt I? Im glad I wont be alone for too long."
  16. 16. The family grieved the loss of their beloved white tigress, but it wasnt long before some of the younger generation were looking for ways todistract themselves from their pain."Oh yeah," Shere Khan said to his reflection as he checked it out in the mirror. "I has a flavr and that flavr is teh hot. Meow!"But he couldnt help but feel a few butterflies in his stomach despite his confident demeanor, and he sent a quick prayer up to Ceiling Cat as he leftthe house. "I can has teh awesome?"
  17. 17. The Youth Center was practically deserted when Shere Khan arrived, much to his relief. He was shy enough when it came to his personal life andhonestly didnt feel like broadcasting his intentions in front of the entire high school class on Pirate Island - or in front of his nosy cousin, Angora."Hey... its Shere Khan. Im hanging out at the youth centre tonight... is it can be caffeine tiemz nao plz? FTW! Ill see you in a few minutes!"
  18. 18. A few minutes later, Coxinga arrived and all the butterflies Shere Khan had been feeling rushed up into his throat and threatened to erupt--whichwould be embarrasing."Hey," Zing said with a grin."Hey," Shere Khan said with a shy smile. "Glad you could make it, Zing. Err... want to get some coffee?""Maybe in a bit," Zing said. He gestured to the photo booth. "Why dont we try out that thing? I havent had a chance yet."
  19. 19. A few minutes later, they were examining the results of their photo session."Win!" Shere Khan exclained. He suddenly felt a lot more relaxed. "Dancing tiems nao plzkthx?"Zing was silent for a moment as he mentally translated the request. "Sure!"
  20. 20. "Eurgh, country!" Shere Khan said with a shudder when the two of them got upstairs. "Do not want!""Switch it to rock," Zing suggested."Wish they had Jingle Cats," Shere Khan muttered, but the rockin music that soon filled the room quickly cheered him up... and increased hisconfidence even further.
  21. 21. Leaning in a bit closer to Zing, Shere Khan smiled awkwardly. "Im really glad you came out tonight, Zing... Ive wanted to get together with youever since Robin and Toasts party.""Me too," Coxinga replied. He paused for a moment, then continued in a voice that started off as husky but soon broke and soared well into thesoprano register. "Have you ever heard of a game I call Used Car Salesman?"Shere Khan was silent for a moment and just gazed deep into Coxingas eyes. Then...
  22. 22. "I can has kiss?"And, both of them holding their breath, hearts practically in their mouths, Coxinga and Shere Khan shared a gentle kiss.
  23. 23. "Do you know where your cousin is tonight?" Benjamin Buccaneer "Me too," Angora said. "I really miss her, grandpa... but Im glad thatasked his only niece, Angora. we have such good memories of grandma. Did you guys live in Arravast House?""I think Shere Khans out on a date," Angora giggled. Since turningto teenager, shed been pretty obsessed with dating and tended to "We did," Benjamin nodded. "Actually, we lived there when yourgiggle whenever she discussed the subject. several-times-removed cousin Roche was on his quest to save the family. He and I used to be quite close, back then.""A date, eh?" Benjamin, a Pleasure sim himself, grinned at that. "Iremember the dates your grandmother and I used to have when we "Like Shere Khan and I are close?"were in university," he added fondly. "I hope you can have as muchfun when youre there, Angie." "Pretty much, yeah," Benjamin nodded.
  24. 24. "And thats where you and grandma hooked up?" Angora asked as right person," Benjamin advised. "So you might want to get a fewshe perused the chess board. dozen dates from the matchmaker before you even head off, my dear. You dont want to accidentally hurt the right person when you meet"We tried to stay apart for a long time," Benjamin chuckled. "You him or her."know, since were distant relatives and all. But in the end we decidedwe were happier together than apart." "Definitely him," Angora said. "I really like boys, Grandpa.""Thats so romantic," Angora said with a sigh. "And its a bit "Just make sure you behave with those boys until youre at least atreassuring that even a serial dater like me could find the right person university," Benjamin said. "And never tell your father about all yourin university." dates. Youll just end up giving him a lot of grey hairs! Cause your dad remembers what he was like at that age!""The important thing is that you stop dating serially once you find the
  25. 25. Angora took her grandfathers words to heart and made sure her father, Pierce, was busy at the piano when she called the matchmaker the nextmorning. After all, she didnt want him to worry about her or anything like that.
  26. 26. "A date you want? A date youll get!" the wise woman said enthusiastically. "This ones directly from London!""Ooh, a foreigner!" Angora giggled. "Whats his name, Val? I can call you Val, cant I? I mean, I think were going to be seeing a lot of each otherover the next few years...""Hmph, if you must," Valerie Tse sniffed. "You keep paying me top dollar, Miss, and you can call me anything you like.""Well... Ill have the odd cheap date," Angora shrugged. "But if Im going to try to date fifty people before I settle down, I want at least some ofthose dates to be fun. So Ill call you Val, and you can call me Angie. Now, whats this ones name?""Abhijeet Turner," Valerie said. "Abhijeet, this is Angora. Shell be your blind date this morning."
  27. 27. "Wait a minute," Abhijeet complained once hed cleared the stars that were orbiting his head. "I didnt sign up for this when I joined that blind dateprogram! I distinctly specified London only! Now you take that crystal ball and send me right back home, lady!""Hey, dont talk to my friend Valerie that way!" Angora protested."Sorry, but Im a paying customer and I intend to get what I pay for," Abhijeet said sullenly. "Im sure youre nice and all, Angora, and youredefinitely cute, but I am not interested in a long-distance relationship at all. So it was nice meeting you, but this is definitely goodbye.""Well, that was disappointing," Angora huffed once Abhijeet had vanished back into Valeries crystal ball. "I hope the next one turns out better."
  28. 28. "Its so cool having my grandfather for a teacher," Toshiko Buccaneer said to herself as she walked into the house after school. "I think I can totallyget behind this experiment... Explosive Acoustics are da bomb!"
  29. 29. "I have to ask that you not play with your explodey toys around thehouse," Toshis grandmother De* said warningly as she and Toshiko "Help me get a job where I can do all this stuff legally," Toshikoenjoyed a game of Red Hands. grinned. "Like... assassin. Something cool like that.""Awww... why not?" Toshiko asked, grumbling. "I wanna see if I can "I dont think assassins are legal, honey."get my microexplosives to blow up on demand when I play the flute.Useful for forced entry and stuff." "Were on an island run by pirates, Grandma," Toshiko pointed out. ====De stopped for a moment and stared at Toshiko, then shook her head. * simself of fireflower314, writer of the Morgan and Pierce Legacies"What am I going to do with you?" she laughed fondly.
  30. 30. After doing her homework (in the relative safety of the backyard), Toshiko headed upstairs to do a bit more research on micro-electronic sonicdetonators, but didnt have much luck finding anything."This is lame," she declared to herself after an hour of fruitless searching. "I need to have some fun! This calls for... a phone call."
  31. 31. So she wandered downstairs, pausing momentarily to jam to one of her favorite tunes on her iPod."Toshiko, dear, dont grimace like that when youre listening to your music," her grandfather, Bart, said with a wince. "It makes me think youreexpecting something to explode.""Sorry, gramps," Toshiko said contritely. "I was just rockin out. No C-4 involved at all. Nope. And the nitros all in the bunker in that uninhabitedpart of the island where you asked me to keep it.""Good," Bart said, relief evident in his tone. "Is there a reason youre gracing us with your presence? Or do you just want to hang out with yourgrandparents?"
  32. 32. "Actually, I was wondering if it was okay if I went to the youth centre to hang out with some of the gang," Toshiko said. "I already finished myhomework, gramps, so you cant get me there.""Why dont you ask your moms?" De asked. "Were just your grandparents."
  33. 33. "Err... theyre busy," Toshiko said, shuddering. "So, what do you say? Can I go?""Just be back by ten," Bart said with a chuckle.
  34. 34. "Sweet!" Toshiko pulled out her cellphone and started dialing frantically. "Okay, guys, its on! Meet me there in ten minutes? Great!"
  35. 35. "The kids are busy in the hot tub and Toshis out for the evening," De said with a wink at Bart once their granddaughter had gotten into the waitingtaxi."I can see youve got something on your mind," Bart grinned. He slid onto the couch next to his wife.Lets leave them in peace, shall we?
  36. 36. "Okay, so you tested all the viable hypotheses for our project?" Wouldnt surprise me if thats where I came from... Im adopted afterChing Shih asked once the gang had met up at the youth centre. all.""Well, all the ones with an actual chance of exploding," Toshiko "Oh yeah," Ching Shih said. "Well, I think were going to have to putclarified. "And I managed to get red, pink, and green." the hypothesis on hold until were old enough to woohoo ourselves, Toshi. Maybe the fireworks appear spontaneously?""Do you really think people actually keep fireworks in their pantsthat can go off when they woohoo, though?" Ching Shih said "I guess well just have to wait and find out," Toshiko said with adubiously. "I mean, it sounds kinda... risky." disappointed sigh. "Im so glad youre not a kid anymore, Shih. Its fun having someone to experiment with. All Angie wants to do these"Well, duh," Toshiko said. "Havent you heard of risky woohoo? days is talk about boys."
  37. 37. "I bet thats where she is now," Ching Shih said disgustedly in a rather louder than usual voice. "Ive had my attempt at dating, thank you verymuch. And Im waiting until university before I try it again.""How many times do I have to say that Im sorry?" Justinian asked in an aggrieved tone."At least one more!" Ching Shih, Toshiko, and Toast said in obviously rehearsed unison.Justinian winced. "Gah! Will you girls stop doing that? Its creepy!"
  38. 38. "Do you think weve punished him enough?" Ching Shih asked Toast "Good," Toast said. "I cant really say anything else, but either I orlater that evening while Justinian was in the washroom. Robin will fill you both in later, okay?""I think so," Toast said. "Listen, Shih... I dont think he was just "Youd better," Toshiko said.being clueless when he asked you out. I kind of think theressomething going on... Im going to try to talk to J on the way home "Actually, Toshiko," Toast said thoughtfully after Shih had left, "Asktonight. Just watch your back, okay?" your grandmother if you can come to the meeting later this week.""Dont worry," Toshiko called to the two. "Ching Shihs perfectly "Meeting?"safe... Ive got her back." "Shell know what I mean."
  39. 39. "Whos gonna get you little fishie?" Liv Pseudo sang as she made chomping motions at the fish tank. "Im gonna get you, little fishie! Fishiefishie!"Even as a child, Liv was still obsessed with the aquarium that her family kept in the master bathroom on the second floor.
  40. 40. "Fishie fishie! Im a great big alien kitty coming to get you!" Green Boolprop sang.Obviously, Liv wasnt alone in her obsession. Her uncle was equally likely to be found stalking the fish during his morning ablutions.
  41. 41. As was her mother."Hello fishie!" Orikes* said, waving at the creatures through the aquarium glass. "Youre a cute little fishie! Yes you are! Yes you are!"====*simself of Orikes (Pseudo Legacy)
  42. 42. "Do you think your girlfriend will like the fish?" Liv asked Hugo before breakfast that morning."Im sure Lainey will love the fish," Hugo said. "Youll have to make sure you show them to her.""Its not like shell be able to miss them," Liv said. "Theyre right there in the bathroom. There isnt much else to look at while you pee.""Errr..." Just then, the doorbell rang, saving Hugo from having to comment. "Ill get it!" he cried as he raced down the stairs, taking them two at atime."I thought Lainey wasnt coming til tomorrow!" Liv yelled after her retreating brother. "Did you lie, Hugo Pseudo?""Its not Lainey!" Hugo called back as he opened the front door.
  43. 43. And a few minutes later, Hugo Pseudo was cuddling his brand new baby pup, a female that he named Lila.Life was good for Hugo Pseudo.
  44. 44. Once Lila had gotten settled in the pets room with Rags and Kilo, it was time for breakfast (leftovers)."Now remember, Laineys flight gets in around nine tomorrow," Hugo said eagerly to his father and his sister. "Youll all be there to meet her,right?""Of course," Will nodded solemnly. "Dont worry about that, Hugo. I can see how excited you are to have your girlfriend visiting. I dont knowabout this internet dating thing, though."
  45. 45. "I read on the internet that one out of every two people is an axe murderer, so that means Lainey is probly going to kill us all in our sleep," Livopined. "So Im keepin one of Toshikos grenades under my pillow til Lainey leaves. I dont want to get killed with an axe."
  46. 46. "Liv, youre joking right?" Will asked, a combination of amusement and worry playing across his features. "Right?""Umm... yes?" Livs expression was innocent."Im sure shes not an axe murderer," Will added. "The matchmaking service screens all their clients, right Hugo?""Well, maybe Hugos the axe murderer, then," Liv said cheerfully. "Daddy, can we get one of those axe-throwing games? I wanna practicedefending myself.""Err... is that the school bus?"
  47. 47. The next morning, Hugo was up at the crack of dawn and pacing around the house eagerly. At precisely nine oclock, his cellphone rang."Hugo Pseudo?""Lainey! Where are you?""I am at the airport," Laineys precise tones were a little muffled by static, but understandable enough. "I am hailing a taxi and I should be at yourplace in a few minutes, Hugo.""Great!" Hugo grinned. "Ill be waiting outside!"
  48. 48. And, true to her word, Lainey was there in record time.Hugos enthusiastic greeting rather grossed out his little sister.
  49. 49. Several long moments later, the teenaged lovebirds came up for air."Im so glad youre here, Lainey," Hugo said with a goofy smile, taking his girlfriends hand in his. "Ive missed you.""I have missed you too, Hugo Pseudo," Lainey smiled, squeezing Hugos hand in return. "Now that I am here... would it be possible to get a haircut? I am tired of having braids, and I think they will make me look like a tourist. Can you help me turn into a local, Hugo Pseudo?""Well, I can try," Hugo shrugged. "I think my Uncle Nick has an old hairstyling kit from when he was thinking about being a hairdresser. Ill see ifI can borrow it."
  50. 50. "Are you sure you know what youre doing, Hugo Pseudo?""Its okay, Lainey," Nick said, coming out of the house to supervise. "Ill make sure he doesnt do anything I cant undo.""This does not fill me with confidence," Lainey said, wavering a bit.
  51. 51. And indeed, a few minutes later Hugo was cringing awkwardly while Lainey chewed him out. "Hugo Pseudo! This is not what I wanted! I looklike a clown!""Oh, its not so bad," Green, Hugos other uncle, pointed out. He, too, had decided to observe the transformation. "Its just makeup, Lainey. Itllcome off. Why dont you let Hugo try again?""Well... I suppose," Lainey said grudgingly. "But if this does not work I want to go to a real salon, Hugo Pseudo.""Ill even pay for it," Hugo said fervently.
  52. 52. But this time the attempt was successful, and Lainey was thrilled to see the style Hugo, Nick, and Green had chosen between them."This is fantastic, Hugo Pseudo!" Lainey breathed as she leaped from the chair and embraced Hugo. "Thank you!""If you really want to do the pirate thing, I could get you an eyepatch," Hugo offered."No, this is fine," Lainey said, glancing in the mirror again. "Very fine indeed, Hugo Pseudo."
  53. 53. Once Lainey felt like she could suitably blend in, she and Hugo went into the house where the sat down to breakfast with the rest of the family."So, Lainey, how do you like Pirate Island so far?" Will asked, smiling welcomingly at the girl."IIt is very lovely," Lainey said. "Thank you for allowing me to stay here, Mr. Pseudo. It is very kind of you.""Oh, its no problem," Will said with a shrug. "Err... you arent an axe murderer, are you?""Dad!" Hugo groaned. "Stop embarrassing me!""Oh, it is fine!" Lainey laughed. "I see your father frequents the same web sites I do."
  54. 54. "Actually, its my little sister who surfs the weird sites," Hugo said."You do realize you just insulted your girlfriend, right?" Liv pointed out with a smirk."Aww... Im sorry, Lainey," Hugo said, blushing and making kissy faces at Lainey. The two of them were lost in the moment for a moment andHugo mechanically fed Lainey some of his cereal."Ewww! Thats disgusting!" Liv complained. "Plus Im pretty sure Uncle Greens cereal is getting into Laineys mouth too. Gross! Stop sprayingthe table, Uncle Green!""Sorry!" Green mumbled around a mouthful of cheerios.
  55. 55. "Why are you and my brother so gross all the time?" Liv finally had missed each other. We can talk all the time on the computer, but wea chance to corner Lainey later that day when Hugo was in the dont have the chance to kiss very often."washroom. "I guess," Liv said doubtfully. "I think itd be more fun playing video"What do you mean, gross?" Lainey asked, puzzled. games than kissing, but Im just a kid so what do I know about stuff like that?""I mean all you do is suck each others faces off," Liv said, making aface. "It must get kinda boring, doing nothing but kissing all the "You will understand when you have your first kiss," Lainey said. "Itime." did not understand until the first time I kissed Hugo.""Oh, it is not so bad," Lainey chuckled. "But we do talk too, Liv "Please, spare me the details," Liv said, rolling her eyes. "Hey,Pseudo. It is just... we have not seen each other in a long time, so we wanna play SSX3 while Hugos stinkin up the bathroom?"
  56. 56. Lainey agreed that a video game marathon would be a great idea, since Hugo hadnt emerged yet. Possibly hed overheard Livs comment and wastoo embarrassed to leave the bathroom.
  57. 57. "Lainey, I want you to make yourself right at home," Orikes said when she finally had a chance to talk to her sons girlfriend one-on-one. "If yourehungry, just grab something out of the fridge. If you like blowing bubbles, thats out in the yard. Just dont start smustling or everyone will startdoing it and you know how hard it is to stop a group of smustlers.""But what if there is a party?" Lainey asked, sounding a bit concerned. "Hugo said something about having a dance party tomorrow before I haveto leave.""Well, parties are different," Orikes said. "Oh, and if you like coffee theres an espresso maker in the kitchen, and youll be sleeping upstairs inHugos room. Dont get any funny ideas, though, because hes sleeping outside in the tent. And Im going to be sleeping in front of the stairs.""Dont worry, Mrs. Pseudo," Lainey said hastily, blushing. "All Hugo and I do is kiss.""And thats all youll do until youre old enough for college," Orikes said sternly... and winked.
  58. 58. "Hugo, your mother just said the most peculiar things to me," Lainey said in a confused voice once she and Hugo managed to get the living roomto themselves."Did she spout off that whole speech shes been memorizing about being too young to be a grandmother?" Hugo asked, blushing yet again."No, and I dont believe youve stopped blushing since I arrived here," Lainey said, turning in Hugos arms and laughing at him. "I did tell yourmother she had nothing to worry about, though. But she still insists that she will be sleeping at the top of the stairs.""I dont see why I have to sleep in the tent," Hugo complained. "I could sleep on the couch down here, or you could stay in Livs room and I couldstay in my room and Liv could sleep on mom and dads floor."
  59. 59. "Less talking, Hugo Pseudo," Lainey grinned, and pulled Hugos face down to hers. "More kissing."
  60. 60. "Stupid tent..."
  61. 61. "Dating time," Toby Biggs said to himself happily as he pulled out his cellphone. "Mmm... I like girls..."Looking down at the list of ten or so names he had on speed dial, he chose one at random.
  62. 62. "Candice, its so great you could come over," Toby said. "Have I mentioned how gorgeous you look today?""Silly, Im wearing the same old things I wear every day," Candice said, but she swooned anyway.
  63. 63. Toby pretty much didnt even have to try.
  64. 64. Candice had to leave early to go to work, so once she was safely away, Toby pulled out his trusty cell phone again and called yet another randomgirl. Before long, Sierra Bradshaw was over."Im glad you could make it," Toby said. "Ive been having trouble with my chemistry homework and youre the smartest girl in class. Im sureyoull be able to explain everything.""Just as long as its understood that Im only here to help you study," Sierra said pointedly. "Im not falling for any lines, buddy."
  65. 65. However, before long they were finished going over Tobys homework and Sierra didnt protest too much when Toby suggested they go upstairs towatch TV."Mom, dad, this is Sierra Bradshaw, a girl from my school," Toby said, settling himself down next to his classmate and discreetly slipping an armaround her. Sierra gave him a look, but didnt move away."Its nice to meet you," Susanna said with a smile. "Im Susanna.""Gavin," Tobys father added with a casual wave.
  66. 66. "Sierra, babe, I know you said you wouldnt fall for any lines but is there any chance youd consider falling for me?" Toby asked with a dopey grin."Cause I think youre the prettiest girl I ever laid eyes on.""Eww... are your parents making out on the couch over there?" Sierra asked, evading Tobys question and looking around."I know, theyre a bit much arent they," Toby said with a shudder. "Cmon, Sierra... I dont bite. Well, unless you want me to." He pulled her ontohis lap so she wouldnt have to look at the amorous adults."Weeell... I guess one kiss couldnt hurt," Sierra said slowly. "After all, you owe me for helping with your homework, Toby Biggs."
  67. 67. The evening fairly flew by, though its pretty safe to say that neither couple watched much TV."Toby!" Sierra said, glaring at the youth and moving his hands to a more respectable location. "Well, I had a better time than I was expecting. Illsee you at school on Monday! Oh, and tell your parents they might want to invest in a room!"
  68. 68. "Well, your friend seemed like a nice enough girl," Susanna said once Toby had seen his date out the door."Yeah, shes pretty cool," Toby said. "But mom, whyd you and dad have to go and make another of my dates all awkward? At least you didnt barkthis time, but still... youre Romance. You know how certain things can totally kill the mood.""Didnt seem to cause a problem this time," Anna shrugged."Thats cause I was busy keeping her distracted from you guys being gross!" Toby shuddered. "I think its great that dads your favorite boyfriend,mom. I really do. But still... keep some sense of propriety in front of my girlfriends, okay?""Well, if you insist," Susanna chuckled, ruffling Tobys hair. "Next time well go out to the hot tub.""I dont know if thats better or worse," Toby shuddered.
  69. 69. Another day, another date. Tobys high school years were flying by, and he was certainly keeping himself busy.
  70. 70. Toby headed outside to wait for his date, Ivy Rusewicz, and while he was waiting another girl walked by. Well, Toby could hardly resist... while hesaw Ivy approaching from down the street, he decided to introduce himself to the stranger."Toby Biggs," he said smoothly.
  71. 71. "Nice to meet you, Toby," the girl giggled. "Im Veronica Seavey.""Nice to meet you, Veronica," Ivy interrupted, striding into the conversation. "And now, if youll excuse us... Toby and I are on a date.""Oh, Im sorry for interrupting!" Veronica exclaimed. "Ill be on my way, then. See you around, Toby.""It was nice meeting you, Veronica," Toby said, shaking her hand and unobtrusively slipping her his phone number.
  72. 72. "Toby, youre just going to turn around and call her the moment I leave, arent you," Ivy pouted."Ivy, would I do that?" Toby shook his head and pulled her into his arms."Yes!" Ivy glowered, but she didnt pull away.
  73. 73. It really was nothing short of amazing just how many girls Tobys cheesy lines and meaningless assurances got to.Or it might just be that there was a disproportionately high number of romance and pleasure sims living in Paris with him.
  74. 74. And, of course, despite his protestations to the contrary Toby invited Veronica over a couple of hours after Ivy had gone home."Youre one of those guys who leaves a trail of broken hearts behind him, arent you," Veronica sighed after finally letting Toby kiss her."I love the female species," Toby shrugged. "I dont see why thats a bad thing. I dont promise commitment, after all.""I suppose," Veronica shrugged, evading Tobys lips as he tried to kiss her again. "But dont you get tired of going out with a different girl everyday? Dont you ever want to see the same one again?""Sometimes I do see the same one again," Toby shrugged. "Girls arent just tallies on my blackboard, Veronica. I think females as a species arecool. Maybe its being raised by six guys, but youre so alien to me... and so soft." He sighed happily as Veronica finally let him kiss her again.
  75. 75. "So how many girls are you up to now?" Tobys "Uncle" Don Thayer "I just smile a lot," Toby shrugged. "The ladies all seem to like itasked later that evening as they played a cutthroat game of pool. pretty well.""Oh, Im not keeping track," Toby shrugged. "A few." "And what do your parents think of your speed-dating?" Don asked."Got any tips youd like to share?" Don was only half joking. "Err... they usually congratulate me," Toby said.Elderhood was fast approaching him (along with the rest of Tobys"uncles") and he kind of wanted to settle down himself. "Figures."
  76. 76. It was a rainy day on Pirate Island when Robin Zomg*, one of two simselves who had volunteered to be aged down to child and grow up with thelegacy children of the sixth generation, called a meeting of her fellow simselves."Okay guys, can we settle down back there?" she asked, glaring at the group that was still largely chattering. "Hey! Shaddup!" Gradually, the noisedied down. "Thats better. Now, as you all know this isnt one of our regularly scheduled meetings. Ive asked you all here today because of somedisturbing news Ive received recently."=====*simself of Robinoli (omgrobinnn on the Exchange)
  77. 77. The assembled simselves nodded respectfully and waited for Robin to continue."Ahem," Robin cleared her throat nervously. "Anyway, so I think that A Piratical Legacy is in danger and its up to us to stop it."Well, that comment certainly provoked a reaction.
  78. 78. "Wait, what do you mean the legacy is in danger?" Denise Avidreader* asked. "Shouldnt we have invited Sarah to this meeting? I mean, it is herlegacy... we shouldnt really interfere.""We may not have a choice," Robin said. "I received a phone call a couple of days ago from a sixth generation spare of the legacy family...someone from his line of the family wants to take over both the legacy and the island.""Thats not exactly possible," Denise said. "Just by moving off of the lot any usurper is disqualified."=====* simself of avidreader2466
  79. 79. "I dont really think the usurpers care," Robin said. "Theyre feeling wronged because theyre descended from Jack Buccaneer Sr.s eldest child andtheyre Roman and think the oldest should inherit.""Wait..." Denises voice trailed off as a horrifying thought occurred to her. "Does this have anything to do with what happened to my son-in-law?""Im afraid so," Robin said. "Crassus was the one who overheard the plotting. Apparently his older brother, Justinian, is being blackmailed. Hessupposed to get the legacy heiress to fall in love with him and take over the legacy family that way."
  80. 80. "So thats what was up with Justinian," Toshikos eyes lit up with sudden understanding. A descendant of a simself, she was Des guest at themeeting. "He was being really weird around my cousin and then he asked her out ... and they ran into his actual girlfriend there.""Exactly," Robin said. "Now, I finally had a chance to explain to Toast what was going on and shes forgiven Justinian. And Ching Shih thinks hesa jerk so that avenue is closed to the Roman conspirators. But Im afraid the entire family is still in danger. Theyre capable of zombification again,and we cant allow that to happen. But, thanks to Professor Butters getting wind of their scheme early on, they also dont know that were on tothem. I think if we can get the family out, well be able to break their power."
  81. 81. "Exactly," the Professor* said. "I believe its imperative that we rescue Ellen, Sejanus, Crassus, and Justinian Toyonaga from Justinians evil great-aunt Octavia and great-uncle Septimus. Octavia and Septimus are essentially cowards and are hesitant to act when confronted with superiorfirepower. If we can get past their defenses and get the hostages out, the police should be able to move in and deal with them."=====*simself of ProfessorButters (loolooloo16play on the Exchange)
  82. 82. "But shouldnt we let Sarah know about our plan?" Michelle Fobbs* said, shaking her head. "I mean, were stepping on her toes for sure if we goahead with this. This is her world.""By all accounts, Sarah is completely unaware of everything that has transpired," Robin explained. "I think telling her would only worry her.Besides, weve all dealt with legacy and apocalypse villains in our own stories. I think we can get this mess cleaned up without involving Sarah atall.""I dont know," Michelle said. "I think this could be a bad idea. But if Im overruled then Im overruled. What are we doing and when do we start?"=====* simself of MichelleFobbs (MichaelFobbs on the Exchange)
  83. 83. "I say we go now," Denise cried. "Lets get my daughter, grandkids, and son-in-law out of there! No Romans are going to hurt them if I haveanything to say about it. I had no idea things were so bad..." and abruptly her anger turned to remorse. "I should have known something waswrong...""Dont worry about it, Denise," Professor Butters said soothingly. "They were very, very sly and manipulative. They definitely got a larger-than-average dose of the Roman plotting gene. Well save your family.""Good," Denise said. She turned to Robin. "So whats the plan?"
  84. 84. "Well," Robin began, "you might have noticed that Toast isnt here. Thats because shes out with Justinian again. Shes going to go home with himtonight and confirm whats going on with Ellen and Sejanus. Shell keep an eye on things and let us know when to make our move and bust thefamily out -- Sejanus and Octavia have been spending an awful lot of time at the Toyonaga household lately, so it could be pretty dangerous if wemove too soon. The whole family will go into hiding in Paris until weve had a chance to deal with Septimus and Octavia. Once theyre in jail, thefamily will come back.""I like it," Jenn Ndainye* nodded. "A good solid plan with a good, solid course of action. I approve. Soo... whats the timeline, Robin?""We all meet back when Toast gives the signal," Robin said. "By then, everything should be in place..."=====* simself of Ndainye
  85. 85. When Professor Butters got home from the meeting she was surprised to find that her daughter, Lucretia Marius, was still awake and doing herhomework."Better head to bed," she advised. "You have a test tomorrow.""I know," Lucretia said. "But mom, its no fair. Youre my teacher. Youre also my mom. Youre not supposed to give me tests. Anyway, I cant goto bed yet. Circe and I are studying.""Twenty more minutes," the Professor said sternly. "No more, you hear me? Circe, make sure she listens."
  86. 86. The red-headed cat with markings that oddly resembled a lab coat sneezed, and stalked off in the direction of Lucretias bed."Circe, do you know the answer to this question?" Lucretia asked, shoving her notebook under the cats nose.Circe eyed the girl and tapped one paw idly on the page."Thanks!" Lucretia said, and circled the correct answer. "Youre the best, Circe!"
  87. 87. Thanks to her cats assistance, Lucretia finished her homework before the allotted twenty minutes was up and spent the rest of her time playingwith her little brother, Erroneous."Do you want the toy, Erroneous?" she asked, waving the rocket just out of her brothers reach."Toy!" Erroneous squealed, reaching for it.
  88. 88. "Well, you cant have it!" Lucretia giggled and yanked it out of her brothers reach. "Ha ha!""Give!" Erroneous yelled, and reached madly for the toy again, but Lucretia held it at arms length while she laughed.You can take the Marians out of Rome, but you cant take the Mean out of the Marians.
  89. 89. The next evening, Toast hadnt given the word that the time was right so the Professor and Flavius decided to hold a birthday party for their eldestchild."She reminds me so much of Cassius in some ways," the Professor sighed as Lucretia leaned over the cake. "I hope she doesnt take after him inother ways..."
  90. 90. Unfortunately for the Professor, her daughter did indeed follow in her oldest brothers footsteps. Lucretia Marius was a Romance sim, and oneeager to find as many ladies as she could.Cassius would be proud, if he were to visit Pirate Island.
  91. 91. "Come here, Erroneous," Flavius cajoled the next morning. He didnt have to work so childcare fell on his shoulders instead of the nanny. "Youmight as well learn to walk sometime.""Otay," Erroneous said, and took a few tottering steps in his fathers direction. "I do it! Yay!"
  92. 92. Erroneous used his newfound mobility to stalk Circe the cat through the rooms of the house, much to her disgust.
  93. 93. In fact, little Erroneous was the only one present in the master bathroom when Circe finally had her kitten, a long-awaited arrival.
  94. 94. The Marius family was happy to welcome a little male kitten named Raiden into their family. He had his father Lokis base coloring - only timewould tell which parent he most resembled in other ways.
  95. 95. That afternoon, Robin stopped by to check in with the Professor. Toast hadnt given the word yet, and everything still hung in the balance."Robin!" Lucretia said eagerly, meeting her classmate in front of the house. "What are you doing here?""Simself stuff," Robin said. "Gotta fill your mom in on the latest.""Well, moms still at work," Lucretia said. "Want to come in? Im watching Rent.""Sure!"
  96. 96. "Wow, cool room," Robin said appreciatively once the girls were inside the house. "But... wheres the TV?""Oh, its in the living room," Lucretia said. She snagged a DVD off of her desk. "Just grabbing this. Cmon, lets go!"
  97. 97. Lets just say that the movie wasnt the only thing on Lucretias mind--or Robins.The Professor just shook her head when she got home. "Be careful," she warned the younger simself. "Lucretias just Cassius in a skirt.""Cassius wears a skirt anyway," Robin said."Mo-om!"
  98. 98. At the opposite end of Pirate Island, the legacy family members were still happily oblivious about the danger facing their family, and Ching Shihhad even pushed her disastrous date with Justinian completely out of her mind."Come in, come in!" Marie said enthusiastically when her granddaughter arrived. "What brings you here today, dear?""Just wanted to see you," Shih said. "You and grandpa are both getting old and you dont stop by the house very often anymore.""I know," Marie said. "Its a bit far for me to walk, these days, and I dont have a car.""You should let Zing sell you one," Shih laughed as she followed her grandmother into the house.
  99. 99. They settled onto the couch."Grandma, I kind of worry about you living here all by yourself," Shih said after theyd made small talk for a few minutes."Oh, dont worry about me," Marie said dismissively. "Im old, but Im not decrepit. Still, I dont do things as quickly or as well as I used to, so Iveasked Nick and Green to move in with me and theyll inherit the house when I die."
  100. 100. "Im glad to hear that," Shih said. "Not that you think youre going to die soon--""Who said anything about soon?" Marie interrupted with a raucous chuckle. "I just want someone else to cook for me and do the dishes!"Shih joined in her grandmothers laughter, feeling relieved. "Okay, thats good. Im glad theyll be staying with you.""Me too," Marie said. "It gets a bit lonely out here sometimes.""Why dont you move back into town?" Shih asked. "You and grandpa get along just fine--Ive heard the barking in the past, and it scarred me forlife--so I dont think it would be very awkward."
  101. 101. "But its beautiful here, in my little corner of the island," Marie said contentedly. "With Nick, Green, and their dog and cat moving in soon, I wontbe lacking for company. Just promise you and your brother will visit often, okay?""Well, I cant speak for Zing," Shih shrugged, "but Ill stop by as often as I can.""Thats my girl," Marie said, smiling fondly. She stood up from the couch. "Now, enough of this maudlin talk. Lets have some fun!"
  102. 102. The grandmother-granddaughter bonding continued through most of the afternoon. Marie had cared for Shih as a baby occasionally and stillremembered how ticklish her grandchild was, for one thing.
  103. 103. And both elder and younger Buccaneer were accomplished jugglers and took advantage of the others expertise to work on a complicated triple-pass-loop maneuver.Finally, though, Shih headed home with a promise to come visit again very soon.
  104. 104. The next day, though, it was Zing and Shere Khan who stopped by to hang out with Marie."I hope you dont mind, Ms. Buccaneer," Shere Khan said awkwardly. "Zing said it would be okay.""Of course its okay," Marie said jovially. "The more, the merrier! Anyway, if the rumors about you and my grandson are true, youll always bewelcome here, young man."Shere Khan blushed."Win!"
  105. 105. Shere Khan had to leave a bit earlier than Zing, so Maries oldest grandchild did get to spend a bit of one-on-one time with his grandmother."You still smustle like youre a teenager," Zing said approvingly. "I bet you could win a dance competition if you entered one.""Oh, dont be silly," Marie said, blushing. "Besides, they dont have dance competitions on Pirate Island.""I heard theres a new studio opening in a few weeks, but you have to earn an exclusive membership," Zing shrugged. "I also heard theres going tobe a car club. Im pretty excited about that."
  106. 106. "Arr!" Marie did the wolfman as the smustle dictated. "You still obsessed with cars, Zing?""Cars and money," Zing said cheerfully. "But Im starting to realize theres a bit more to life than just those things, grandma." He blushed, butcontinued on determinedly. "Still, I wish the family wouldnt squander their money so much. Im going to do my best to make sure that Shih doesnthave to climb too far out of debt when she assumes the heirship."Marie stopped dancing and looked at her grandson for a moment. Then she just shook her head, laughed, and made him eat a cookie.
  107. 107. The next morning, bright and early, Nick, Green, and their two pets moved in."Its going to be weird, living apart from Will," Nick said nervously. "Are you sure you have room for us, mom?""Well, somebodys going to have to sleep on the hammock for a few days until we can expand the house a bit," Marie shrugged. "But the weathersbeen nice most of the time. Or I could die first.""Geez, dont even joke about that, mom," Nick shook his head disapprovingly."A woman my age is allowed to have a macabre sense of humor," Marie said firmly.
  108. 108. "ITS OKAY, CHRIS... I AM A CAT PERSON," Susanna the infant, and now Herc was a grandfather... so Bonkers had been withReaper said consolingly to my husband. us a long time."That doesnt bring Bonkers back," Chris sniffled. "He was a good "Take care of him, Anna," I murmured as I wiped my face and setlittle kitty." about cooking up something especially rich and chocolately to cheer us all up."ALL HE DID WAS FIGHT WITH YOUR OTHER CATS." "I WILL.""They were playing!" "If you come back later, well be having brownies," I added."Err... actually, they were trying to kill each other, dear," I pointedout to my distraught husband. But I couldnt help but sniffle a little "OOH! YOU DO KNOW THE WAY TO A REAPERS HEART.myself. Bonkers had been with our sim-family since Hercules was an BESIDES THROUGH THE RIBCAGE, THAT IS."
  109. 109. It wasnt just brownies we ended up having later, though. As Im a family sim, and I was getting tired of waiting for my many deific descendants togive me more grandbabies, I decided to clone a podbaby. This is Dionysus.
  110. 110. And Dionysus best friend in the whole world is Nemesis, the boy kitty that our other cat Zanzibar had with Bonkers a few days earlier.
  111. 111. Chris and my daughter, Athena, was only slightly surprised to find out that she was a big sister when she got home from school that day. Anyresentment she might have had about no longer being the youngest was quickly gone once she realized just how cute Dionysus was, especiallywhen he was dancing.
  112. 112. I was a bit shocked to discover that little cuddly toddlers werent the only thing Athena was finding cute these days. Toby Biggs was on PirateIsland visiting family and he was a frequent visitor to our house.
  113. 113. Im pretty sure Athena even got her first kiss from him, though she neither confirms nor denies when I ask her directly.I just made her promise not to fall in love with the rascal.
  114. 114. Still, he did treat her pretty well for the duration of his vacation... flowers arrived on our doorstep frequently, and it was obvious that Toby did likeAthena from the way he sighed when he delivered them. I decided that he didnt need to be ZOTZ!ed just yet. But if he ever breaks my babysheart... well, it wont be pretty.
  115. 115. Oh, and our family was expecting another surprise as well. What can I say? Im a Family sim! And real-Sarah lives a bit vicariously through sim-Sarah in this particular regard.Yes, as far as I was concerned, all was right with Pirate Island...
  116. 116. "I dunno, Toast. Im a little nervous... make that a lot nervous," Justinian gulped. "I dont want my family to get hurt."
  117. 117. "Theyve already been hurt," Toast said. "And theyll be hurt again unless we do something to stop your aunt and uncle from doing somethingworse, J. Listen, weve got backup coming. Once were in the house, Ill give them the signal. What could possibly go wrong?"
  118. 118. "Ah, if it isnt the meddling young simself... how kind of you to join us."To be continued...