Chapter 22 - Bits and Pieces


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Chapter 22 - Bits and Pieces

  1. 1. Discworld Legacy Chapter 22 Bits and Pieces
  2. 2. Previously: • Edward discovered that Esme had still been interested in supernatural occurrences, and decided to try and find her by following her research. • Errol met Maria, one of Evadne’s friends. He quickly fell for her and kissed her at a party, not knowing Evadne was watching. • After imparting some final words of wisdom and having an eventful last day Casanunda died. • Dorfl offered Edward the heirship, telling him about his research. Edward decided he had to think about it.
  3. 3. The Greek house was a bustle of activity. A seemingly endless supply of boxes and bags moved from car to hall to bedrooms. After Casanunda’s death Eric and Eskarina had felt it was time for them to leave home; they seemed to have brought the entire content of their rooms with them.
  4. 4. Once the car was empty, even though there was still stuff to sort, work stopped so that Dorfl could say goodbye to the latest of his children to become university students. “Take care of yourself, sweetie. Have fun and work hard.”
  5. 5. “And, Eric, be careful; I doubt even your mother is ready for grandchildren from you just yet.”
  6. 6. Then Dorfl left leaving the others to finish moving and unpacking the luggage the twins had brought with them.
  7. 7. After the initial activity things soon settled into the normal university routine.
  8. 8. Coursework was done and lectures were attended.
  9. 9. Books were read and many video game tournaments were held.
  10. 10. On a whim Eskarina decided to take Art as her major, she’d enjoyed painting and drawing as a teenager and figured that she could always change major if she hated it.
  11. 11. Dorian continued to be a regular guest. However, Edward had yet to mention his conversation with his dad. He couldn’t work out how to broach the subject and was nervous about how exactly Dorian would react.
  12. 12. Another frequent visitor to the house was Penny.
  13. 13. Her friendship with Eskarina remained as strong as it had been when they were teens and they quickly made a long list of plans for what to do now they no longer lived under the watchful eyes of their parents.
  14. 14. The Greek house continued to be a hotspot of social activity. Someone threw a toga party at least once a semester; there was often a competition as to who could get to the phone to spread the word first.
  15. 15. The guest list ranged from cousins to classmates and was never the same party to party.
  16. 16. For Eric the parties were an ideal place to start meeting women who had a similar view of life to his own.
  17. 17. For Eskarina they were a great opportunity to get to know her older cousins; she wasn’t even fazed by Viola’s initial grumpiness.
  18. 18. Eric quickly started making a name for himself. It helped that he was a member of the Discworld Greek house, which was fairly prominent on campus.
  19. 19. Also, as his grandfather had discovered when he was a young man, word of a sim like Eric spreads quickly on a university campus. So he was rarely at a loss for female company.
  20. 20. He got to know many young women, both at the Greek house
  21. 21. and at the various hang-outs around campus.
  22. 22. He did remember his grandfather's last words of advice and developed a knack for spotting those who wanted more than he was willing to give. He kept his relationship with those women strictly platonic. ***
  23. 23. On the other end of the romance scale, Errol went on his first date with Maria. However, before he could really enjoy the date there was something he had to get out of the way. “Maria, can we not tell my sister about us? Not yet.” “Why? If she has a problem with us it’s not going to be made any better by lying to her. And why would she have a problem anyway?” “Not lying, just, not mentioning it to her. I don’t really think she’d have a problem, it’s just... I don’t know. Please, just for now?
  24. 24. Maria reluctantly agreed to Errol’s request. She didn’t really understand why he’d want to keep their relationship from Evadne, but she was his twin, he obviously knew something she didn’t. After the slightly awkward opening conversation the date improved markedly.
  25. 25. Conversation flowed easily between them. By the end of dinner they were holding hands across the table.
  26. 26. After dinner they decided to get a souvenir of the date. “You know, if you don’t want Evadne to know you can’t display that,” Maria teased. Errol just smiled.
  27. 27. They then headed to the dance floor.
  28. 28. As the date went on they found themselves dancing closer and closer. Soon, despite the utter unsuitability of the music, they were dancing slowly in each other’s arms.
  29. 29. Spontaneously Errol leant forward and gently kissed Maria’s lips. Much like the first time he kissed her, his sudden move caught her by surprise.
  30. 30. This time, however, he got to see the smile that broke out on her face. They shared many more kisses that night. ***
  31. 31. Edward had spent most of a semester worrying over what Dorian would think of Dorfl’s offer. He knew he needed to give his dad an answer soon, but to do that he needed to know how Dorian felt about it. To know that, of course, he had to speak to Dorian. Having invited Dorian over to the Greek house, Edward waited on the steps outside.
  32. 32. "Dorian, have you ever thought about what you'd do after uni?" "You mean aside from hunting for your sister?" Edward laughed, "Yeah, aside from that." "Not really, marry you, become a doctor, adopt maybe, I don't know. Why?“ "You know the legacy thing my family does? Dad's asked me to be his heir."
  33. 33. "But doesn't that require biological children?" "Yeah, but apparently he's working on something that makes it possible." "What did you say?" "That I'd think about it.” “And?”
  34. 34. "I'm still thinking about it.“ "What's the problem?" "You.“
  35. 35. “What do you mean?“ Dorian asked perching on the step beside Edward. "Would you want that life? I mean you can't have anticipated it being an option, I just don't know if it's fair on you."
  36. 36. "Ed, I love you, but you're being an idiot. What I want is you, and a you that's happy. If you want to be heir - fine If you want to have kids through whatever method your dad's working on, that's fine too. If it's what you want then I'm happy." Dorian smiled and after a moment added "One condition though.“ "Hmm?"
  37. 37. "You're the one getting pregnant." "Deal.“ ***
  38. 38. After finishing his classes for the day Errol was relaxing in front of the TV, he was aware Evadne had walked into the room but what she said took him by surprise.
  39. 39. "Are you going out with Maria again tonight?" Evadne asked pleasantly.
  40. 40. "Huh...wha...huh?" Errol spluttered
  41. 41. "Errol, I'm not stupid. I know you were out last night, you were really, really vague about where you were and, now this is the most telling thing, you came and told me your, really vague, story without me ever actually asking about it. Oh, and I saw you kiss her at the party." "Ah, right." Errol was at a loss for how to respond "Then yes, I am seeing her again tonight.
  42. 42. Evadne nodded "Good." and smiling she walked out of the room.
  43. 43. Later that day Errol met up with Maria again. "Remember the whole 'don't tell Evadne' thing?" "Yeah."
  44. 44. "Forget it: she knows. Turns out I'm terrible at keeping secrets.“
  45. 45. Now that Errol knew Evadne was aware of his relationship with Maria, and that she didn’t hate it, he felt a great weight fall from his shoulders.
  46. 46. He was falling in love with Maria. She was everything he’d ever wanted in a partner – intelligent and kind, but ready and able to stand up for themselves and what they believed in. The only black mark had been Evadne’s potential reaction, as that was no longer an issue there was nothing to stop him.
  47. 47. ***
  48. 48. Having talked to Dorian, Edward could make an important phone call. "Hi, Dad. I've decided about the heir thing; I do want to be your heir. Only if your research works though, I don't want to be with anyone but Dorian." "Of course."
  49. 49. "There is one other thing though. It's the house."
  50. 50. "What about the house?"
  51. 51. "It's way too big, dad. You and mum raised ten children in it and there was more than enough space for us. I don't want that many kids, dad. Do you think mum'll mind?"
  52. 52. "I'll talk to her. I doubt it'll be a problem, she'll be just be happy at the thought of grandkids."
  53. 53. "Thanks, dad.“ ***
  54. 54. While her brothers were busy with their love lives Eskarina was busy having fun.
  55. 55. She and Penny spent many evening together exploring the night life of the university and the nearby city.
  56. 56. They still loved karaoke and would often seek out a bar or club to regale with their singing talents.
  57. 57. Occasionally Penny would ask Eskarina if she had her eye on anyone special, Penny herself having spotted quite a few women she wouldn’t mind getting to know better. Eskarina would only shrug, she had quite enough of romance just watching her twin with his many conquests; she was waiting for something a bit more special. ***
  58. 58. While the older kids were busy with study, and other things, the ones still at home were growing older. Ella, Erzulie and Eulalie were all fast approaching birthdays and Errol was working hard in order to gain as many scholarships as he could, although it would be a while yet before he left.
  59. 59. Of course there were birthday parties thrown for the three girls and Edward (with his hair carefully spiked), Enrico, Evadne, Eric and Eskarina, plus the extended family, were there to cheer them on.
  60. 60. Eulalie’s was the first birthday. Roxy brought her to the cake smiling brightly but feeling a little sad that she would have no more toddlers to run around after (not until the first of her grandchildren arrived anyway).
  61. 61. However, Eulalie didn’t let her dwell on that thought for long. She wriggled in Roxy’s arms making a determined effort to reach the pretty candles focusing Roxy’s mind on containing the energetic toddler before she burnt herself.
  62. 62. Fortunately Roxy had had plenty of opportunity to perfect the art of toddler containing and Eulalie was able to grow up without catching the flames.
  63. 63. She grew into a friendly little girl, happy to talk to anybody and everybody. Roxy’s plans to dress her youngest daughter in the pink dresses she’d been eyeing were dashed when Eulalie stubbornly refused to even try them on, in the end Roxy had to be satisfied with a pink jumper and jeans. [Eulalie is a Leo – 6,10,5,4,6]
  64. 64. Not long after Eulalie’s birthday was the twin’s.
  65. 65. This time Roxy was too busy worrying about life with two teenage girls in the house to think about them being closer to leaving home.
  66. 66. And worry she should. Both girls were social butterflies, they loved being surrounded by people and bouncing from conversation to conversation. Erzulie wanted nothing more than to have fun and for the people she cared about to be happy. Ella was more interested in getting to know as many guys as possible and proving her physical supremacy. [Ella rolled Romance, her life time want is to become a Hall of Famer. Erzulie rolled Pleasure, she wants to become a Celebrity Chef.]
  67. 67. The birthday parties gave a chance for the youngest of Dorfl and Roxy’s children to get to know their older siblings.
  68. 68. Some were more enthusiastic about this
  69. 69. than others. ***
  70. 70. Back at university the end of exams was celebrated, as was becoming traditional, with another toga party.
  71. 71. After that life went on as normal for the university students. Eric continued to meet and charm women.
  72. 72. Lots of women!
  73. 73. Eskarina discovered she loved studying art, any plans to change major were long forgotten. Inspired by the portrait of Dorfl in the hall she decided to paint a portrait of Edward to hang alongside it, they all knew that he was going to be heir.
  74. 74. Eskarina and Penny still spent a lot of time clubbing. However, Penny was beginning to grow tired of Eskarina’s refusal to even consider dating.
  75. 75. Therefore, during one outing when she spotted someone she’d been flirting with in class on the dance floor she decided to join her, whether Eskarina liked it or not.
  76. 76. She didn’t want to just abandon her friend though. “So, Esk, there’s a woman over there I’d rather like to get to know a little better. Why don’t we do something different, let’s both find a partner to dance with.”
  77. 77. “It’s not really my thing though, Penny, dancing with some guy just for the hell of it. You know I’m waiting to find the right man.”
  78. 78. “Oh come on, Esk! A dance, that’s it. Dancing with a guy or two that you don’t intend to marry won’t turn you into your brother you know.” “I’m really not interested. Look, you go, dance with that woman. I’ll be fine on my own, go have fun.” “Right, I will then,” Penny said exasperated, if Eskarina didn’t want to dance that was her problem, Penny wasn’t going to let that stop her.
  79. 79. Soon Penny was dancing with the woman, whose name was Crystal. However, she was aware that Eskarina hadn’t joining in the dancing at all and was sitting alone in a corner. After a few minutes she sighed and asked Crystal to give her a moment.
  80. 80. “Look, Esk, I can’t have fun with you sulking back here.” “I’m not sulking.” “Whatever. There’s a decent looking guy over there all by himself. Just one dance. Please.” “Fine,” Eskarina sighed.
  81. 81. Reluctantly Eskarina let herself be led to the dance floor.
  82. 82. “Random guy, this is Esk. Esk, random guy. Now dance, have fun.” “Uh, hi,” said the blonde rather thrown by Penny’s directness.
  83. 83. “Sorry about that,” Eskarina smiled “my cousin can be a bit pushy.”
  84. 84. “That’s ok. Look, if you don’t want to dance, I don’t mind. I won’t be horribly insulted if you want to leave the dance floor.” “Nah, I’ll stay. Penny’ll just chase me down if I leave anyway.”
  85. 85. Despite her initial reluctance, Eskarina actually enjoyed dancing with the blonde.
  86. 86. "Admit it, it wasn't that bad now was it?" "Fine, I had fun tonight, even with you making me dance with a stranger." "So, you going to see him again?" "I doubt it. Never even asked his name.“ ***
  87. 87. “There’s the Witch Doctor on Twikkii Island, he might have some idea, or know how to find out.” “Reports of Bigfoot sightings near Three Lakes. Not too sure about that one, worth a look anyway.” “The wise man of Takemizu Village, maybe he’ll have some words of wisdom, or be a complete crock, well I’ve got to start somewhere. “Ghost Pirate? It’s something she’d be interested in anyway, I’ll add it to the list.”
  88. 88. Dorian watched Edward as he pored over the research he’d been carefully collecting for the last three years. While he watched he thought about their years together and the trip Edward was so carefully planning. Finally he came to a decision. “Ed?” “Hmmm” Edward mumbled not looking up from the page he was studying.
  89. 89. “I’m coming with you.” That got Edward’s attention; he looked at Dorian black eyes wide. “I didn't think you want to. I mean after what happened last time.”
  90. 90. “I’ll admit I’m not terribly keen on the idea of seeing your sister again. But I’m not doing this for her; I’m doing it for you.” Dorian took a deep breath "And I was thinking, you remember when we talked about the future, our future?"
  91. 91. He paused again, reaching for something in his pocket
  92. 92. "Edward, will you marry me?"
  93. 93. Edward was left briefly speechless, in his daydreams of the future he and Dorian were always married but he was still caught off guard.
  94. 94. Gathering his thoughts he replied "Of course I’ll marry you,” Edward grinned at Dorian then reached out to take the ring and slip it on his finger.
  95. 95. He reached out and caressed Dorian's hand for a moment and then stood, pulling Dorian up with him.
  96. 96. They shared a passionate kiss before heading off to the bedroom, all thoughts of travel and magic forgotten for the evening. ***
  97. 97. Eskarina checked her email, her professor must surely have sent the group assignments for the final projects by now. He had. She opened the email, it looked like they'd be working in pairs for this one, and scanned down the list of names looking for her own. There it was 'Eskarina Discworld and Simon Smith'.
  98. 98. 'Simon Smith', the name wasn't familiar to her. It didn't matter, Eskarina prided herself on being able to get along with anyone. She looked up his email address in the campus directory and fired off a quick email suggesting meeting in the library the next day to get started on the project.
  99. 99. Eskarina had arrived at the library early but had stopped to find some books she thought might be useful to the assignment. Thus this she ended up slightly late to her meeting with Simon.
  100. 100. Therefore, she wasn’t surprised to find that he (at least she assumed it was Simon) was already at the table they’d agreed on. She felt a vague feeling that she recognised him, but couldn’t place where from.
  101. 101. She was being silly, she thought, she’d probably seen him in one of their lectures or classes, that must be it.
  102. 102. He hadn’t noticed her approach the table, the plush library carpets were good at muffling footsteps. “Hi, you must be Simon,” she said cheerfully. “Sorry I’m late, I found some books that might be useful.”
  103. 103. “No problem,” he replied turning to face her. Now she recognised him. It was the random blonde guy from the club, she could feel the blush rising in her cheeks.
  104. 104. Once they’d gotten past the initial awkwardness of their second meeting, they got on pretty well. Conversation was easy, after the stumbling reintroductions, and Eskarina found he was a lot of fun to spend time with. By the time the project was handed in the two were good friends. ***
  105. 105. As well as studying during his final year, Edward, along with Dorian, joined his parents in looking for a new house. True to his word Dorfl convinced Roxy of the need for a smaller home for the family; after looking at a number of unsuitable places they had finally found one that seemed perfect.
  106. 106. Downstairs there was the usual living room, kitchen, dinning room and two bathrooms. In addition, there was a spacious study and a garage that Dorfl was thinking of converting into a workshop.
  107. 107. Upstairs were four good-sized bedrooms, a further three bathrooms and a sizeable balcony. There was also a large attic that could be partitioned into smaller rooms if it was needed.
  108. 108. The garden was huge, larger than the one at the old house. In addition to the play area and greenhouse there was an open pavilion that Roxy was already visualising decorated for Edward and Dorian’s wedding. The house was everything they’d been looking for, and they quickly made arrangements to buy it and move. ***
  109. 109. There was one last important event that occurred in the old house: it was time for Dorfl and Roxy to enter their elder years. Of course, almost the entire Discworld family gathered to celebrate the final birthday of the heir and his wife.
  110. 110. Dorfl managed to catch a few moments with Edward to update him on the progress of the project. Things were going well, they were entering the last stages of testing and Dorfl no longer had any doubts over Edward able to be his heir.
  111. 111. It also served as a chance for Maria to finally meet Errol’s parents. They knew about her of course, but Errol had never found a chance to introduce them before. “I’m just grateful you introduced us before you two were engaged,” Roxy joked. Errol smiled but shifted nervously.
  112. 112. Dorfl used in last moments of adulthood to say a few words to the assembled family. "It feels like only yesterday that I took over from dad as head of this family, whatever possessed his to pick his youngest son as heir I shall never know. And only yesterday that I married my wonderful wife and we started our family together. I had no idea at the time just how large that family would become. “The proof that, of course, it wasn't yesterday stands before me. Our children are growing up.
  113. 113. “Our oldest is an adult and she is somewhere out there, I hope it won't be too much longer before I know where that is," here a look of sadness crossed Dorfl's face, but he continued cheerfully "Edward my heir will soon graduate and then it will be time for me to take a step back and let him take the lead. But not quite yet, right now there are still have four more children to gently chivvy towards the great wide world.
  114. 114. " I want to thank you all for coming tonight to join us in this celebration. "Now for cake!"
  115. 115. “Ready, love?” “Ready as I’ll ever be.”
  116. 116. And so, watched by brothers, sisters and many children, Dorfl and Roxy made the spin into elders.
  117. 117. And into somewhat dodgy clothes (Dorfl far more than Roxy).
  118. 118. After a quick change they rejoined the party which carried on late into the night and was a great success.
  119. 119. Edward was one of the last to leave that night. He’d wanted a chance to tell his parent’s about his plans, that he wasn’t coming straight back to the house after graduation, instead he’d leave immediately for the first destination on his list. Dorfl and Roxy weren’t completely happy about his decision but understood their son’s need to find his sister. “Just be safe, Edward, that’s all I ask.” “I’ll be ok, mum, and I won’t be on my own.”
  120. 120. “I know that, I just...” rather than finish the sentence Roxy pulled him into a tight hug before bidding him goodnight. ***
  121. 121. There was something Errol had been planning for weeks. He’d asked Maria to meet him at Le Foie Heureux, a very upmarket restaurant in the neighbouring city. Given the dress code of the place he’d dug out his best, his only, suit. Why he saw Maria approach his heart felt like it had skipped a beat and he felt his hands start to sweat. He tried his best to hide how nervous he was.
  122. 122. As they walked into the restaurant he couldn’t help looking over at Maria and marvelling at how lucky he was that she was with him.
  123. 123. They were quickly seated (Errol had had the foresight to make a reservation as soon as he’d decided what he wanted to do). “You look amazing, Maria, I’m a lucky guy.”
  124. 124. Their food came quickly and was as good as the reputation of the restaurant suggested (just as well, given the price). “I can’t believe you ordered a burger, this is the poshest restaurant in the whole of the city, and you get a burger.” “You know it’s my favourite. And when I saw it on the menu I had to order it – see what posh burger is like.” Maria only laughed.
  125. 125. While they were eating Errol was able to forget his nerves and chat normally, but once the food was gone they returned. He took a long drink to steady himself.
  126. 126. “Maria, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you.
  127. 127. “From the first moment I met you I knew there was something special about you and I wanted to get to know you better. Even my worries about my sister couldn’t stop me from asking you out. When you said yes it was the happiest moment I’ve ever had. I love you, Maria, and if you say yes now it’ll be an even happier moment.”
  128. 128. He placed a black box on the table and looked hopefully at Maria “Maria, will you marry me?”
  129. 129. Maria gave a gasp of excitement and reached out to take the box. When she opened it she gasped again. The ring was stunning, Errol had been saving the money he’d earned from being on the Dean’s list each semester and had used it all to buy the ring.
  130. 130. “So this is why you’ve been twitchy all evening,” she grinned at Errol and took the ring. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
  131. 131. “It’s perfect,” she slipped on the ring and admired it.
  132. 132. “No, you’re perfect.”
  133. 133. Back at the Greek house they made their way to Errol’s bedroom, it took quite a long time to get there. ***
  134. 134. After that there was little else to do except hand in coursework, sit exams and wait for results. Before that Enrico became the sixth member of the generation to move into the Greek house. He’d achieved an impressive number of scholarships (more than any of the others) and was very pleased to be at university at last.
  135. 135. Shortly after his arrival the results were released; they all ended up making the Dean’s list, again, and Edward had graduated with top honours. To celebrate his graduate and to mark the end of what had, mostly, been a very good four years Edward threw a graduation party. He invited family and friends
  136. 136. and, of course, Dorian. Dorian too had just graduated top of his class and was preparing to move away from university.
  137. 137. Dorfl was extremely proud of his eldest son. Despite Edward’s promise, he had been half expecting him to drop out to chase after Esme. The fact he hadn’t was what told Dorfl he’d made the right choice of heir.
  138. 138. Roxy was equally as proud. She still didn’t like what Edward was planning to do next, but knew there was no point trying to talk him out of it.
  139. 139. “This is it, Ed, big wide world coming up. Excited?” “Very!”
  140. 140. Eskarina had invited Simon to the party; the two had become very close (Penny was still her best friend, but Simon was a close second). Roxy, with her dreams of grandchild, couldn’t help watching them approvingly no matter how much Eskarina protested that they were just friends.
  141. 141. The mood of the party was joyful, the house was filled with conversation and laughter.
  142. 142. Everyone there had a fantastic time and knew this would be just the first of the many graduation parties that were to come over the next few years.
  143. 143. Then it was time for Edward to leave. He and Dorian first went to Dorian’s dorm and then to the airport. He’d already arranged with Errol and Dorfl to have most of his and Dorian’s belongings sent back to the family house, they were only taking the bare essentials with them.
  144. 144. After a long flight they arrived at the first of the destinations Edward had marked as possible sites Esme would have visited. He had no idea what was going to happen while they were there, he was determined, however, that he wasn’t going to go home until he had found her.