Ryman Legacy Chapter 11A


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Ryman Legacy Chapter 11A

  1. 1. The Ryman Legacy<br />Chapter 11A <br />Stability<br />By Mzyra<br />
  2. 2. As Mia, Juan, Lyle, Jose and Liv were away at, and then travelled back from, the Bachelorette Challenge island, there were numerous events going on in Simfield.<br />The most widely known was the marriage of the Mayor, Sara Jayapalan, to her old teen boyfriend Zack Landry.<br />
  3. 3. They actually kept the celebration relatively small, just close friends and family, in order to prevent too much scandal and rumour about Zack’s… undead status. Still, they had worse family secrets, so it didn’t bother any of them that much, despite their self-conscious natures.<br />
  4. 4. Sara herself was happier than she cared to admit. She told herself it was just a marriage of convenience and that voters preferred their politicians to have families, but deep down she had always wanted a family of her own and, though children were clearly far beyond them by that point, Zack was family enough for her.<br />
  5. 5. And Sara did have nieces and nephews to look out for…<br />Karen had been at university for a few semesters and had… ‘experimented’ somewhat. It was lucky that there was no real local paparazzi or they could have had a field day with one evening in particular.<br />Had she known, Sara would have been horrified…<br />
  6. 6. But happy to know that Karen got punished for it.<br />“How dare you?! In a public place?! They’ll have to get a whole new photobooth now that you’ve desecrated it!”<br />“Why would they have to-”<br />“Because I’ll make them, you cheap tart!”<br />Karen should have seen it coming…<br />
  7. 7. But this romantic trend continued down to the younger members of Simfield.<br />Some found love in retaliation…<br />
  8. 8. Some in desperation….*<br />*[Though we were impressed by the aptness of a goth being dropped for a genuine child of death!]<br />
  9. 9. And others just in curiosity… -iation.<br />Most of them were not so deluded as to believe that they would be together forever; some weren’t ready to settle down, others had never intended to be in the first place. Especially when most of these teenagers had still to go to college.<br />
  10. 10. Others had completely different problems on their minds.<br />“Oh my god, noooooooooo! Help me!”<br />
  11. 11. Poor Norman.<br />*Sniff* “I’ve been violated…”<br />Still, he was pleased to get an extra scholarship-<br />“This is the worst thing that’s happened to me since I got rejected from university!”<br />Albeit one he would never get to physically receive or use.<br />
  12. 12. Meanwhile, back at the proper Ryman residence:<br />“Still living in the shack, huh?”<br />“Yeah, sorry about that, but it’s been pretty difficult…”<br />“Ah, don’t worry about it. From the outside it reminds me of the log cabins we’d get back in Three Lakes.”<br />“So you’re happy to live here?”<br />“If that’s what it takes to be with you, of course I am, Mia. Speaking of which…”<br />
  13. 13. “Marry me?”<br />“Heh, you know this might have been surprising if we hadn’t just spent a week leading up to this.”<br />“At least this time we’re not in a back alley having just done it in a changing booth?”<br />“Hm, that is a very good point. As such…”<br />
  14. 14. “ZOMG yes!”<br />“Steady on, Mia, I’m not sure how strong my spine is any more…”<br />“Ah, I’m so happy… You’re not going to leave me at the altar again, are you?”<br />“If I’d been in control of myself last time, I never would have left you in the first place.”<br />“… When did you realise that proposing to me in a back alley was… not good?”<br />“After I was resurrected and looked back on my life. I think dying turned me into a proper man. Might have made it worth it; I probably wouldn’t have treated you as well as you deserved if we’d married the first time.”<br />
  15. 15. Mia was saved from having to think what to say in response to all that by Jose returning from school.<br />“Mum! Mum! I got an A+ in school! I’m one of the best in the class!”<br />“Wow, that’s great Jose, we knew all that work would pay off!” Mia cheered.<br />“Yeah, well done Jose.” <br />Jose smiled up shyly at his soon-to-be-stepfather, “Thanks.” He hadn’t quite figured out what to call Juan yet.<br />“We’re going to have the wedding soon Jos, so you’d better go get ready.”<br />
  16. 16. Mia herself went inside and put on her (new) wedding dress and veil, hair done the same way as the first time, but she loved that veil so she went with it.<br />She picked up Liv while waiting for all the guests to arrive.<br />“Hey Liv, Momma’s about to get married in a few minutes. You’re going to get a step-daddy now!”<br />“Momma pretty!” was the only response as Liv grasped for Mia’s veil.<br />“Thanks Liv, but don’t go pulling on Momma’s veil, she needs that.” Liv just giggled. “Right, well it’s time to go…”<br />
  17. 17. And so the wedding started and there was no sudden pulling-away of hands and bemused declarations of being drugged or whatever. Juan briefly considered stopping by the jail after the ceremony and rubbing it in Seth’s face, but decided he couldn’t be bothered. And besides, Mia looked so beautiful and happy that he just wanted to stay there anyway.<br />
  18. 18. The guests were mostly just Mia’s siblings (she thought it a little insensitive to invite any of her exes, who might also decide to cause drama, so it was a peaceful and happy ceremony (at least for those who bothered to come outside to watch, rather than staying in and eating cookies).<br />
  19. 19. It was a bit weird for Lyle though. His mum and dad were getting married – that was meant to be every child of non-married parents’ dream, wasn’t it? He guessed it was nice and he was glad his mum was happy, but he wasn’t that ecstatic. Maybe it was because Juan hadn’t been around (or alive) when he was a kid. And he felt a little bad that Jose and Liv might have wanted the same thing with their dads, but his had won out in the end… <br />Well, it was Mia’s choice and so long as she was happy, they would be happy.<br />
  20. 20. And Mia’s brothers and sister were very happy for her too. They’d seen her heartbroken too many times before and were just glad that that would hopefully never happen again (although Gina had formulated a back-up plan for if Juan ever broke her heart again – it involved the guys holding him down and then her doing something intricate with a thinking cap, a plastic flamingo, a garden gnome and a large mallet that he would never forget as long as he lived. But they hoped it wouldn’t come to that). <br />
  21. 21. Most of all, Mia was happy*. She did get the odd feeling that most of her adulthood had been wasted with over a decade between first trying to marry Juan and then actually getting to marry him, but it had hardly been bad – in those ten years she’d gained two more wonderful children, so who was she to complain? And Juan was probably right – they’d been too young and immature when first they tried, but now they were older… It might actually work as the dream marriage she’d always wanted.<br />*[Those aspiration points are actually Juan’s – he’s had this want since before he died]<br />
  22. 22. And so, despite the number of serious relationships she thought she’d had, Mia got to feed her husband wedding cake for the first time.<br />It was only at this point that Jose had come out since arriving home (he’d had to bath – they’d had PE at school and he couldn’t bear the sweat and uncleanliness any longer, so he missed the wedding). So now Juan was his Dad? He’d liked Juan most of all out of the options, but he knew that Juan wasn’t his dadDad, he hadn’t even met his real father yet. He couldn’t help but feel a little jealousy towards Lyle that he’d got his whole family together. And what if their Mum wished she’d been with Juan all along? He’d never have been born, replaced with some other kid.<br />The best he could do was take his mind off of things with cake.<br />
  23. 23. “Congrats on the successful wedding Mum, and you look beautiful by the way.”<br />“Thanks Lyle, I’m glad you were able to be here to see it, even if it wasn’t the ideal point at which your parents should be married.”<br />“But if it weren’t for that we wouldn’t have Jose or Liv, so it’s all good.” Mia smiled gratefully at her understanding eldest son. “Oh, I forgot to ask – it’s James’ birthday tonight and Uncle Calvin invited me and Jose for him, do you mind if we disappear off for that for a few hours?”<br />“No, you boys go ahead and have fun. We’ll be okay to look after Liv and be hosts with all the family around.”<br />
  24. 24. Lyle and Jose weren’t the only members of their generation to be invited to the party; Rick’s eldest sons were there too, all thinking about how long it’d be before they got to be teenagers too. Most of them could hardly wait, it looked so cool.<br />
  25. 25. And, they thought, so did James. His older brother Wally, however, told him he looked ‘a right prat’, but James had learnt to accept his older brother’s apparent disapproval about everything he did and looked to others for support.<br />“Don’t listen to Wally mate, I think the ponytailed look works for you.”<br />“I don’t think I could pull off dreadlocks or corn-rows, so I did the best I could…”<br />“Yeah, you look great – just wait until you meet all the high school girls, I’m sure they’ll be all over you.”<br />James just smiled and blushed a little; he hoped he’d manage to find a girlfriend, that’d shut Wally up.<br />
  26. 26. “Ready to go back now, Jos?” Lyle asked, though he noticed Jose’s worried look.<br />“It’s weird us having a Dad. I’m used to it just being us and Mum.”<br />Lyle smiled kindly. “I guess you never really knew any of our dads, but I can just about remember yours, you know.”<br />“Really?” he asked, face lighting up with curiosity.<br />“Sure; he was the one who made us all those cool toys like the fire-truck and stuff. I remember him being nice and then just disappearing one day, before we even knew you were coming. I’m sure if he’d known and not been magically manipulated he’d have loved being your Dad too.”<br />Lyle was glad to see that Jose looked a lot happier as the boys walked back.<br />
  27. 27. And, with the wedding over, life settled back to normal.<br />Lyle continued to train his cooking skill in order to make even better grilled cheese sandwiches…<br />
  28. 28. Juan had got a job in law enforcement (in order that he might combat Rodney’s shifty criminality, not that he admitted that to anyone) and started working out for it…<br />
  29. 29. And Mia continued to teach Liv all her toddler skills.<br />“Mama! Where Dada?”<br />“You know Liv, you have two Dadas.”<br />“Two Dada?”<br />“Yup, how’d you like to meet your other Dada?”<br />“Dada!” <br />It was an obvious answer really; there’d never been anyone Liv hadn’t wanted to meet.<br />
  30. 30. And so Saturday was declared improvised “father’s day” with all the biological fathers invited over to meet and bond with their respective offspring.<br />Rodney had turned up to hang out with Liv, though he didn’t expect it to have much of an effect; after all, she was tiny and in the long run probably wouldn’t remember whether he was there or not. However, he thought she should at least know who he was for when she was old enough to be interesting and he didn’t want her to get too attached to zombie boy instead.<br />“Dada?”<br />“Yeah sure, kid.”<br />
  31. 31. Elsewhere Zack and Juan bonded a little in their similar situations, having been murdered by the same man, resurrected as zombies by the same people and were now both newly married. It was good not to be alone.<br />“Yeah, our wedding was nice too, just friends and family like yours.”<br />“Did your new wife cram cake in your face?”<br />“No… why? Did Sara do that to you? I wouldn’t have thought she’d be like that…”<br />“Yeah… Anyway, where’s my kid? What’s he like?”<br />“Jose, he’s the brown-haired child. He’s nice, but shy, so you may find it a bit difficult, but it’ll be worth it.”<br />
  32. 32. Zack quickly discovered this for himself.<br />“Oh, hi you must be Jose!” Zack smiled with a small wave.<br />Jose stared for a second before he formally held out a hand to shake hands “Hi. You’re- you’re my… dad?”<br />“Yeah, I am, if you’re happy to call me that you can. I’m sorry I wasn’t here when you were younger, but… I didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter.”<br />“Oh. Well that’s okay. You’re around now.”<br />
  33. 33. After a bit of a stilted start Jose chilled out a bit more and the father and son chatted quite amicably, if only on a shallow level for the time being. <br />“I don’t like how cold it is back here – it was really nice and warm in that other place. Winter’s rubbish. And the heating in here doesn’t work very well.”<br />“Well Winter doesn’t last that long, it’ll be Spring soon enough. And I’m sure you’ll get a better house soon too. I’m sure your step-mother and I could help out if you guys need it. She’s the Mayor and we’re uh… rather rich. So yeah, if ever you need anything just call and I’ll try to help.”<br />“Oh… Neat, thanks.”<br />
  34. 34. Juan and Lyle did a bit of hanging out too, but Lyle, being a teenager, didn’t get up until midday and Juan had to leave for work for the first time that evening as a security guard, so they didn’t get as much time together, but they had every day together anyway. It also meant that Juan missed…<br />
  35. 35. Liv’s birthday party. Though at least her biological father had shown up to one for once. Also in attendance were various uncles and Aunt Gina. <br />Mia just couldn’t help but feel sad at how fast her babies were growing up… What was she going to do with her time when they were all out at school?<br />
  36. 36. Liv didn’t really know what was going on, but she’d been told she was going to become a big girl and that would be good. After all, big girls got to go out to school and places and meet more people, so that would be fun.<br />
  37. 37. “Yes! I’m big! Ooooh, pink!”<br />Liv’s sudden growth had also apparently affected her personality, giving her a minor addiction to pink. Nobody was particularly surprised by this, however.<br />
  38. 38. While Liv found another, better (but just as pink) outfit to wear, her big brothers caught up with their Aunt Gina.<br />“Hey Jose, how’s it going?”<br />“S’okay. I like the weekends. Hey Aunty Gina, are you and Aunty Jenna ever going to have a kid?”<br />“Um, well, Jenna and I can’t exactly have kids of our own-”<br />“But like, you could adopt or something, couldn’t you?”<br />“… Er, we’ll see how it goes Jos.”<br />
  39. 39. Gina then turned to her older nephew, but received little relief.<br />“Hey Aunt Gina, I couldn’t help overhearing – are you and Aunt Jenna going to adopt us a new cousin?”<br />She sighed, “It’s not exactly our choice Lyle, somebody has to give us a child, you can’t just take one.”<br />“I know, I know, but… It would be cool if you did.”<br />“Yeah, well… We’ll see.”<br />
  40. 40. Luckily after that Liv reappeared, made over. It’d taken some effort to curl her hair right in the way she wanted, but it had turned out exactly as she planned. She couldn’t wait to meet more people and show it all off, but for then she made do with showing it off to relatives. After all, on her birthday she was the princess and everyone should pay attention to her.<br />
  41. 41. And outside Birch’s ghost made a reappearance, almost to acknowledge the increasing maturity of his great-grandkids. They’d all come a long way from the start…<br />
  42. 42. And by this point there were so many branches of Birch’s descendants that it was difficult keeping track of them all.<br />But it wasn’t just Liv’s birthday that night; Rick and Celeste’s third and fourth children, twins Clark and Josh, became children, giving their parents four hyperactive boys to chase down…. <br />
  43. 43. And their fifth child Tommy became a far less hyperactive toddler. To say that their lives are hectic is a massive understatement.<br />
  44. 44. Far less hectic are the lives of Allen and Audrey as their only child Daisy became a child too. They looked forward to introducing her to Liv – they suspected that the two would get along well and it would hopefully stop Daisy hinting about them having another child.<br />
  45. 45. Over in Marina’s branch, it was time for Haley’s daughter Lola to join her cousin Karen in college, though she had to leave her other cousin (and makeshift twin) Norman behind.<br />
  46. 46. Needless to say, it started off either very entertaining or mortifying, depending on who you were; Lola greatly hoped nobody had seen her before she managed to run to a wardrobe.<br />
  47. 47. It was all sorted quickly enough, however, and she was soon settled down to some serious education, unlike most of her relatives.<br />
  48. 48. Meanwhile, over at Gina and Jenna’s bungalow…<br />(Entirely by coincidence) It was a dark and stormy night with the rain thumping the roof and running down the windows…<br />
  49. 49. Gina was still mentally celebrating her earlier promotion by scoffing down a packet of crisps while Jenna continued to prep for when the right job popped up in law enforcement.<br />“That’s very distracting you know Gi.”<br />“I’mf felebrafing!”<br />Jenna rolled her eyes. “Fine, but you’d better put that bag in the trash when you finish.”<br />“Yef fma’amf.”<br />
  50. 50. Ugh, stupid rain, Gina mused as she took the rest of the trash out. A really nice and good day, and then she’d get soaked just taking the trash out. Bleh, at least it was the weekend now, maybe she and Jenna would scope out the adoption services and consider getting a kid.<br />Suddenly her ears perked up to a sound, just over that of the rain drumming on the roof – it sounded like a small animal or something, maybe it was injured or just sheltering from the rain, but she ought to check in case…<br />
  51. 51. Following the sound, she was shocked to see a little baby lying on the porch – she must have missed it as she came out of the house since she was focused on the rain from above. The baby stared up at her, almost silently. How long must it have been out here if it had given up crying? It could have caught pneumonia! Where were the parents?!<br />Regardless, she’d have to get it inside before things got any worse.<br />
  52. 52. Back inside Gina cuddled the baby – which she subtly established was male – close to her chest, trying to rub some warmth into him. She was amazed at her own amazement as she could feel his tiny chest rising and falling and his little heart thumping away. Sure, this wasn’t the first time she’d held a baby, but she’d always been aware that Lyle, Jose and Liv were Mia’s. Whose baby was this? Who could just leave a little baby on a doorstep in the rain?<br />Then she remembered something else. “Hey Jenna! Come here!”<br />Jenna returned from the bathroom with a slightly annoyed look, but her mouth quickly dropped.<br />
  53. 53. “Uh… Hi there little- uh?”<br />“Boy.”<br />“Um, okay… Uh, is there going to be an explanation for there being a baby here?”<br />“You tell me: he was on the doorstep and there wasn’t so much as a note…”<br />“We should tell the police – maybe he was stolen.”<br />“Who would steal a baby and then abandon it?” <br />Jenna shrugged “Who would abandon him at all?”<br />“But we can look after him, at least for now, right?”<br />
  54. 54. And so little Briney became a (potentially temporary) member of the Lum family, though there were a few heated discussions over the name Gina had given him before Jenna gave up. Their spare room was quickly decorated and he settled in well, but where he’d come from was always at the back of their minds…<br />