The Vetinari Dualegacy: Chapter 24


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In which there are many weddings, and many babies and toddlers, some of whom are cute, and some of whom are not so cute.

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The Vetinari Dualegacy: Chapter 24

  1. 1. Yaaay!Welcome to the Vetinari Dualegacy, Chapter 24: White Wedding!I had to switch to PSP to do the cover, and Im soooo not used to it yet, but hopefully, Ill have figured out how toget the layers working properly so I can do the little shadow effect with the text on my covers for next time. Untilthen... LOOK ITS A CHAPTER! SHINY!
  2. 2. Yes, I am back!Basically, I was in the process of backing up my hard drive when it decided to go explodey instead. This mademe very sad. I did have a backup of Riverblossom Hills, but it was pre-college. I was in the process of making anew backup of my hood too.Survey says the data on my hard drive is OK, but it wont boot up, so to get the data off the hard drive requires aclean room and a thousand bucks.I do not have a thousand bucks.
  3. 3. Everybodys more or less back to normal, though. I cheated everyone through college, because I had enoughKnowledge and Fortune Sims in the mix that theyd whine about having to skip it if I just aged them up.Anyway, the appropriate Dormie spouses were successfully located and reintegrated into their intended habitats.
  4. 4. It also means I got to go through the horror of the transition outfits all over again. Some were better, some... lessso. As you may have noticed with Sawchuk the Pirate and Howie the Scotsman.Also fallen victim to the Great Hard Drive Crash of 10 was the spreadsheet I was keeping score on. Therefore, Iam no longer keeping score, because Ill be damned if I can recreate the whole thing from memory. I was prettyproud of the Uglacys 67 Family Friends, though. Marco was a busy little bee.
  5. 5. Thats where Im at now. I cheated a whole bunch to get things back the way they were/ought to have been.And someone needs to tell Six that he cannot have Uncle Archies tats, even if Uncle Archie is dead now.
  6. 6. As for the family Greek House, Brett and Joyce are still placeholding for me. I graduated Niobe and Scott, andthey are both Permaplat and happy.Also, it turns out that Niobes Uncle Jordan had a fling with Xanders wife Brittany the Cheerleader at somepoint, which I have absolutely no recollection of, and they got back together for some fun. Brittany is not lonely,and Jordan got to WooHoo a chick dressed like a llama, so all is well.
  7. 7. I had to move Delvecchio and Abel into a house together, because they would have been miserable if Id splitthem up. Kaylee and Emmy “Hairbuns Hippie” Wood are amenable to the agreement.Makeovers were given. Kaylee did not need an evening gown.
  8. 8. I threw the weddings first thing, a big double-weddingbash. Surprisingly, shy little Vex was the only onewho really Wanted a Wedding Party.Then I remembered why I seldom invite Bucky placeswhere he needs to behave. He is very mean, andeveryone else is very gullible.
  9. 9. The rest of the guests were well-behaved. Marco andKitty didnt Pollen Cloud Prank anyone, and Auriedidnt keep Vex at the swings for too long.Faraday kept to himself, as he usually does, whichprobably helped keep the drama to a minimum.
  10. 10. “Oh, you must be Vexs parents! Im his fiancee, Emmy Wood!”“My sons marrying a Wood? Aw man, welcome to the family! This is the best day ever!”“Dont mind him, Emmy, hes just happy for you both.”
  11. 11. Kaylee and Abel and Delvecchio and Emmy got married, although not at the same time, because I am bad atthings like that.Also, I had to throw the wedding twice, because the first time, Emmy glitched and wouldnt get married at all.And she didnt have normal interactions with anyone. So I had to exit without saving and do the whole thing allover again.
  12. 12. Things went better the second time through. As in, Vex and Emmy were actually able to get married.
  13. 13. There was actually a decent turnout. You can see Kaylee and Abel there, watching Vex and Emmy get married.Everyone agrees that Kaylee and Stevie are Pop Sims, and Aurie is a Romance Sim.If you trust me on this, Kaylees mom Stacielee is standing on the other side of Marco. Dad Connor wasbogarting the Dance Sphere, and refused to get off of it.Stacielee writes Whedonberry.
  14. 14. “Vex, wrong limo.”“There is only one limo.”“Then this is going to be a very awkward honeymoon.”“Agreed.”
  15. 15. Things did eventually get sorted out to everyones satisfaction.
  16. 16. These two decided to tidy up a bit before enjoying their post-honeymoon mood boost.Somewhere along the way, two little lullabies were heard.
  17. 17. Otherwise, it was business as usual. Kaylee bondedwith her sister-in-law and got her groove on with Abel.Trees started on fire, and Abels shirt provedprophetic, because when he arrived to moth theflames, the tree was, in fact, already on fire when hegot there.Abels shirt says “It was on fire when I got here.” Itcracked me up, because hes one of the least likelySims I have to cause trouble of any sort.
  18. 18. Abel got Permaplat, and Kaylee got Permaplat again. She made it in college with 20 Best Friends, and I cheatedhere there this time through. She did it anyway, without a lot of help from me, and then rolled a career LTW,which I decided to do. And then I sent her to work pregnant, because why not.
  19. 19. Before too long, Kaylee goes into labor in the kitchen, and we have Katarina. Shes got Kaylees brown hair andAbels green eyes. Or possibly Connors green eyes. Someones green eyes, anyway.The skintone comes from Abel and Kaylees recessives. Her father is not the mailman, as will soon be apparent.
  20. 20. Not to be outdone, Emmy goes into labor a few hours later, and we have Gretzky, with blonde hair and Emmysbrown eyes and skintone.
  21. 21. I mean, look at Katarinas face. There is no way she belongs to anyone BUT Abel. Gretzky seems to have faredbetter. He still doesnt have a chin, but at least he didnt get the wonky eyes.
  22. 22. Katis managed to get Abel and Kaylees 10 Outgoing, but didnt inherit any of Abels nice points. I have a feelinghell Want her to be Nicer at some point.Gretzkys pretty laid back. And it doesnt hurt my eyes to look at him.Ive seen both of these kids as adults in BodyShop, and Katis face doesnt even out any. The normal feature-softening that the girls get? Didnt so much happen here.
  23. 23. As soon as theyre able, Kati and Gretzky grow up.See those dark lines under Katis eyes, where they meet her cheekbones? Those dont go away. Ever. Poor kidlooks just like her daddy.
  24. 24. Aurie looks like her daddy too, but this is much less of a bad thing.
  25. 25. Right after she moved in, Jake stole her newspaper, because that is how he rolls.
  26. 26. Im fairly sure he wont be back, though. She doesnt look like someone you want to mess with.I cheated her Permaplat too, since she did it in college the first time around. Paranormal just seemed like agood career for her.
  27. 27. Alexandra OMackey showed up in the Welcome Wagon, and it seemed like fate. Aurie likes girls, Alexandra is agirl and shes not married anymore, Auries not looking for commitment, Alexandras not looking for commitmenteither...
  28. 28. Alls well that ends well, as they say.
  29. 29. Sawchuk and Howie agree with that as well.Doubly so now that theyre not dressed like Blackbeard and the Highlander.
  30. 30. Wedding time! Kitty showed up and made her presence known, and Abel was only too happy to make some newfriends.
  31. 31. They both got boatloads of Aspiration for the wedding.Theyre very sweet together, and theyre no less stalkynow than they were before.
  32. 32. See? Everyone agrees with me.And they also agree I should have put the second floor up on the house. Im still getting used to taking pictureswith the widescreen monitor.Yes, that is a Buy Me Expensive Crap fountain for Sawchuk.
  33. 33. Sawchuk didnt make it to the limo. He was too busy cleaning up. Howie being Howie, Im sure he had a goodtime anyway.
  34. 34. They both went Permaplat in fairly short order. Sawchuk was thrilled about it. Howie didnt really care, becausehe cant play with Permaplat or set it on fire.
  35. 35. Life continues for them mainly the way it always did, except that Sawchuk now takes more naps in hisunderpants. Howies always been a pretty dedicated Tub Pirate.
  36. 36. Things are pretty normal at the next house, too. This is two pairs of siblings: Wydah and Edmund Fitzgerald, andChannon and Mitch.Edmund Fitzgerald and Channon are engaged, and Wydah and Mitch are two Romance Sims who love eachother, but would rather not get married, thank you very much.Edmund Fitzgerald and Channon did want to get married, so I went and did that.
  37. 37. Much party-score-raising was had by all.
  38. 38. Blah blah blah Roof Raiser et cetera.
  39. 39. They do make a cute couple.I wasnt sure if I wanted them to have a kid, so I figured Id hit Try For Baby once, and see what happened, anda lullaby is what happened.Theyre not married, though, so they wont be Fearing it, at least.
  40. 40. Edmund Fitzgerald and Channons lullaby sounded not too long after Wydah and Mitchs.
  41. 41. In pretty rapid succession, everyone but Wydah wentPermaplat. She and Edmund Fitzgerald had the samecareer LTW, and so did Channon and Mitch. Wydahwas missing a couple of skill points, and couldnt seemto get the last one she needed before pregnancy startedkicking her ass.
  42. 42. Wydahs ass was not kicked for long, though. This is Tahiti, with Mitchs hair and Wydahs eyes.
  43. 43. Channon adds to the mix with Maui, who has identical coloring to Tahiti.
  44. 44. Tahiti looks more like Wydah—shes got a lot of her grandpa Bells features. Maui favors Channon a bit more,although those may be Edmund Fitzgeralds chubby cheeks.Dont worry if you cant tell the difference between them or remember which kid goes with which parents. Halfthe time, I cant remember either.
  45. 45. Theyre double-cousins, so I suppose a little confusion is to be expected. Mauis got the short hair, and thatshow I remember it. Sometimes I forget whose kid she is, but I always know which one she is!
  46. 46. Mitch and Channon took the initiative when it came to teaching their kids how to walk.Yeah, I know, they grew up into matching jammies, which does not help the confusion in any way.
  47. 47. Mitch was the real surprise here. He actually rolled theWants to teach Tahiti her toddler skills, plus Wants tointeract with both girls.
  48. 48. I mean, you gotta love the guy. He rolls a Want to teach his own daughter to Talk...
  49. 49. ...and then has no problems taking his niece to the potty.He did the lions share of the work, with nary a complaint in sight.
  50. 50. Which is not to say that no one else did anything ever,of course. There were plenty of snuggles to be had,whenever they were wanted.
  51. 51. Thats Tahiti on the left and Maui on the right. Maui is still the one with the shorter hair.I downloaded the evil bear, and now all bears are the evil bear. Sounds like someone didnt have their ownGUID. Tsk tsk.
  52. 52. Over in Bluewater Village, Ellie Landgraab and her fiance, Michael Turner, are moved in and almost have ahouse.
  53. 53. Once there is a house, there is a wedding. Gil showed up in the Welcome Wagon and stuck around. Six andInara mostly stuck to each other.
  54. 54. Since its not nearly as much fun without glitches, the arch wouldnt work, but Michael and Ellie could still getmarried. I figured that not using the arch would tank the party score, but that didnt happen.
  55. 55. But then, if Jeeves Landgraab wearing the flayed skin of Oz Warner like a mask didnt ruin the evening, I guessnothing would.Oz Warner courtesy of Ladylarkrunes Yakkos World OWBC.
  56. 56. See? Still a Roof-Raiser, despite the glitchy wedding arch and the robotic psychopath.
  57. 57. When they finally chased Gilbert away, they took a few minutes of alone time to get a lullaby.
  58. 58. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ellies dress has a pregnancy morph, eliminating the need to findsomething else for her to wear.
  59. 59. I did send her to work while she was pregnant, but she got Permaplat from it, which is good, because its nice tohave a Permaplat adult in the house when theres a toddler underfoot.Michaels LTW career refused to show up in the job listings, even though I was checking the paper and thecomputer. Ellies came up the very first day. And then THREE MORE TIMES before Michaels did.
  60. 60. Before too much longer, we got Tyler!
  61. 61. And then Tyler was passed off to Michael and we got Duncan!You know this was all natural, because no way would I have let her have twins otherwise.
  62. 62. Tylers on the left. Brown hair, skin 3, looks like a miniature Landgraab. Duncans the blonde, and looks waymore like Michael. Hes got Michaels nose, at least.
  63. 63. I freely admit that the weirder features have grown on me over the last few years, but nevertheless, I think Tyleris adorable. And Duncan is a sweet little cutie too.
  64. 64. I even managed to time the age transition perfectly. Yes, boys, you have fingers!And more pirate costumes. Arrrrr!
  65. 65. Behold the cuteness! Behold it!Ellie is almost forgiven for Unapproved Twins.
  66. 66. At the last of the spare houses, Six and Inara decide to amuse themselves until I build them a house.
  67. 67. Then Nummy Theo Harrison wanders by to remind me that theres still a few pieces of CC that I need to re-download. His suit, for instance. Chest-baring shirts are Not Particularly Victorian.Theodore Harrison courtesy of Dicreasys Victorian Legacy.
  68. 68. Big wedding party! I even took the chance on inviting Inaras grandfather, Naked Victor, hoping that he wouldmanage to keep his clothes on throughout the ceremony.He did. I was very proud of him. Normally, it doesnt take much for him to strip down to nothing.
  69. 69. “Eddie? What are you doing up here? The partys downstairs.”“Hi, Meadow. I needed some quiet.”“Mind if I sit?”“If you want to.”
  70. 70. “It just doesnt seem like you to be hiding up here while your nephews getting married downstairs.”“Youre up here.”“I came looking for you.”“Why?”“I wanted to see how you were. Not good, as it turns out. So whats up?”
  71. 71. “Why do you ask? After what I did, and the fight we had, I dont expect you to care about me.”“I still have feelings for you, Eddie. Theyre very complicated and occasionally theyre angry, but theyre stillfeelings.”“Would you believe me if I said I still have feelings for you too? And theyre also very complicated?”
  72. 72. “I didnt come up here to talk about the past. I came up here because somethings really wrong, if youre up herealone instead of down there where all the people are.”“Its not... I dont... Its another thing that is very complicated.”“This is very like you, you know. Trying to save the world all by yourself.”
  73. 73. “Im not trying to save the world. Im not even sure the world needs saving, and if it does, Im sure as hell not theguy to do it.”“This is about your mother, isnt it? You didnt do anything wrong, Eddie. You know that. You couldnt have savedher.”“That is so true.”“What is it?”“Will you meet me tomorrow at the park, by the lake? I dont want to talk about it here. I probably shouldnt talkabout it at all.”
  74. 74. “Of course I will.”“It makes me happy that you didnt think too hard about that. There was a time when you would have.”“Maybe so. There was a time when you wouldnt have just asked.”
  75. 75. “Thank you, Meadow. You really are a beautiful person.”
  76. 76. A crowd turned out for the actual wedding. So many Pop Sims to have thought bubbles about, so little time.
  77. 77. The wedding itself was happily glitch-free.
  78. 78. They both rolled the Want to have a baby. It seems like all of Malcolm IVs descendants share his love of family,because every last one of them has Wanted a kid, despite most of them being Fortune Sims.
  79. 79. Absolutely no one went Permaplat, but Inara went into labor. They were both pretty happy about the prospect ofa baby.
  80. 80. This is Kinsey. I thought about naming her Malcolm Landgraab VII, but Ive already done the Malcolm-is-a-girlthing, and she really didnt seem like a Malcolm.
  81. 81. Toddler skilling was a team effort, and they both rolledloads of Wants for little Kinsey.
  82. 82. I have so many pictures of the two of them being adorable with Kinsey that its not even funny.
  83. 83. But come on! Could you say no to that face?
  84. 84. Still cute! Adorable Kinsey is adorable.
  85. 85. Since I had to reacquire all my CC, I took the time to make sure it was all properly binned, and the Adult CC wasenabled for YA, and everything had correct footstep noises, and everything got Townified that I wantedTownified, and yet, tragedies like this still occur.Out of the literally thousands of combinations that would have been acceptable, Stevie grew up into that.
  86. 86. I do miss his old hair, though. Rissas red isnt quite so red, if you get me. Its still my favorite hair on him,regardless.
  87. 87. Now that we have Stevie back, it was time to reintroduce him to Francesca Worthington, his onetime collegegirlfriend. Cant have questionably attractive babies without a questionably featured gene donor, now, can we?
  88. 88. “Man, Ive only known you for, like, ten minutes, but it feels like Ive known you for weeks, at least!”“I feel the same way!”“Lets get married!”“Sounds good to me!”
  89. 89. For the penultimate wedding of the generation, I invited pretty much everyone. Uncles, cousins, shirttailrelatives, friends, random people wandering by...Bucky and Fair were on their best behavior. I imagine Tess had something to do with that.
  90. 90. Stevie is such a dork, I love him.
  91. 91. Vows were said, promises were made, kisses were had.You know, the usual bit.
  92. 92. Also like usual, almost no one showed up to watch the actual ceremony. Seriously, with a house full of people,only Tess, Howie, and Kitty managed to make it out to the lawn for the wedding.
  93. 93. Francies got the idea of the thing, at least. Give Tess grandbabies? Well, if you insist!
  94. 94. I was watching Fair be antisocial when I noticed that something was wrong. Missing, in fact. And not just onesomething, but about TWELVE somethings.My graves.I have no graves.Instead of a bunch of Platstones neatly lined up against the wall, I have only empty space.This did not make me happy.
  95. 95. There were other things I had to do first, though.Stevie and Francie dashed off to their honeymoon, and I silently prayed that the graves were just missing, notborked beyond repair.
  96. 96. Facially speaking, I do not see this ending well.And yes, there was a lullaby, so the Official beginning of Gen 9 is here!
  97. 97. Brad the Hippie never fails to crack me up. He played in the Water Wiggler for a good portion of the day, makingbutt geysers and leaping over the little octopus.
  98. 98. Francie wasnt so lucky when it came to her career. Her LTW is Education Minister, and she found the job, lost it,and got back into it all in the same day.Tess is already Permaplat, of course, from eating all those grilled cheese sandwiches, but I put her in Show Bizjust for the heck of it, and she finally came home an Icon.Ive decided to get Stevie two more level-10 businesses and then cheat him Permaplat. I got him three level-10businesses, you all saw me get him three level-10 businesses, they totally count. Ive cheated him all therelevant badges, as well, including his silver Cosmetology badge, which just leaves him the gold in that, and hisRobotics badge. Yeah, since Im not keeping score any more, I dont really need to shoot for Master Points oranything, but I might as well.
  99. 99. With Francie getting to know Billy Fordham, I decided it was time to see what was what when it came to thegraves.
  100. 100. “Yes! I live! I should have known Archie wouldnt have stayed dead forever! Xander, you loser, cheer up! Werealive! Now point me at those SimSelves! I need to get laid!”
  101. 101. “You... suck... so... hard....”
  102. 102. “Youre just going to kill me again right away, arent you?”Yeah, kinda.“I see. And yet Cypress is still alive?”Look, it was a glitch, OK? Nothing personal. I still miss your dead ass, but you dont get to come back to life justbecause your grave accidentally disappeared.“Fine, but I am not happy about this.”You are not the only one.
  103. 103. In other news, Tess and Brad are still adorable together. It occurred to me that since Id cheated them to Elder, Ihadnt changed their turnons, so once I did that, they went back to being stalky again.
  104. 104. The juicers getting a bit of a workout. Francies drinking skill points whenever shes hungry, and Im trying to getsome badges for Stevie out of it, too.
  105. 105. I have ghosts again, which makes me happy. Character files were not shredded! Things are back to normal!Archie is cheering his childhood bed, and not scaring the pregnant lady!“Hey, I may be the Little Bastard, but theres some things that even I wont do!”
  106. 106. Things really are back to normal. Tess is always happydo interact with her family, the pregnant lady is rockingout on the fancy-shmancy guitar, and Stevie is workingon his novel because I started that handicap, and Imgonna finish it.
  107. 107. Houston, we have baby!Francie goes into labor, and Stevies right there to offer moral support and a fair amount of panic.
  108. 108. Meet Giacomo, the first member of Gen 9 who actually counts for something! Hes got Francies black hair andwhatever recessive eyes I gave her.
  109. 109. Stevies great with Jack. Since hes the only one without a job, hes always home when Jack needs something,and hes only too happy to feed him bottles and change his diapers.
  110. 110. “Sleep tight, little dude. If you get scared that theres a monster under the crib, rest assured that I will give it avery stern talking-to, and convince it to relocate to a more appropriate venue.”
  111. 111. But the moment of truth is here! What will Jacks adorable baby face mutate into when Stevie does the toss-and-catch routine?
  112. 112. There were some people who were concerned that Francies face wasnt deformed enough to produce wonky-looking kids with Stevie.
  113. 113. I submit to you Exhibit A.Jack looks pretty wonky to me.I still think I can do worse, though.
  114. 114. “I think you can do worse, too.”Thanks for the vote of confidence.“I mean, you can get way more of his dad into him. More childrinions, I say!”Well, since you asked so nicely...
  115. 115. Pop Sim Brad really wanted Jack to learn how to potty.
  116. 116. Im not sure why Billy Fordham was so interested in Jacks potty habits, but he seemed happy to watch the kidpee.
  117. 117. Stevie was the go-to guy for walking and talking. As the only one whos always home, he gets called on to do alot of stuff.
  118. 118. He does finally finish his novel, and now he gets some shiny new Want Panel Spam to go with it.
  119. 119. Francie finds herself very pregnant again, which makes me happy, because I cant wait to see what the facialdamage is on the new kid. Its like an adventure!
  120. 120. Tess doesnt care about facial damage. Theres someone new in the house to love and cuddle, and she is allover that.
  121. 121. “Hi, Uncle Archie! Try not to scare anyone tonight! Especially the pregnant lady!”
  122. 122. Xander wasnt as considerate as Archie, but surprisingly, Francie didnt wake up, despite Xander standingthrough her and cheering for his old bed.
  123. 123. Francie does take time out of her schedule of skilling to play with Jack.
  124. 124. Brad demonstrates that robots are cold, unfeeling playmates, and that Grandpas are way better to have funwith.
  125. 125. Its safe to say that Jack is not hurting for attention one bit.
  126. 126. Then again, maybe theyre all just trying to reassure him that he wont be forgotten once hes not the only childany longer.
  127. 127. With a spin and a catch, Francie gives birth to the next little Vetinari.
  128. 128. His name is Paul Jones and he has the eyeeeees!Paul Jones is my favorite. He has the eyes!
  129. 129. Then, of course, Francie hands Paul Jones off to Stevie so that she can have another baby.I did not cheesecake her. I guess I just have a knack for natural twins this generation.
  130. 130. This is George Smith, who does not have the eyes, although he does have blonde hair.Paul Jones is still my favorite.Break time!
  131. 131. “Meadow! Im glad you came. I mean, I know youll do what you say youre going to do, but I still wasnt sure ifyou would, all things considered.”“Feelings. Complicated.”“I get that.”“So what couldnt you tell me at the wedding?”
  132. 132. “You have to promise not to breathe a word of this to anyone. Maybe it still matters, maybe it doesnt, maybe Ihave no reason to keep this a secret... No. I do have a reason. If this got back to my father... Well. Do youpromise not to tell this to anyone? Even my sister?”“Yeah, but if its this huge, are you sure you want to tell me?”“I sort of feel like I have to tell someone or Ill explode. And the list of people I can talk to about it is painfullyshort.”“Okay. So whats the big secret?”
  133. 133. “My mothers alive.”“I thought the Bone Phone didnt work.”“Mine didnt. Because someone else had already brought her back with their own. Ages and ages ago.Practically right after she died.”“Were they holding her prisoner or something?”“No. She wanted to die and be resurrected. She wanted to protect her sisters family. Me and Mal and Dad... wewere less important to her than the rest of her family. She killed herself for some crazy ideal, and kept it a secretfrom us. I was never meant to find out, but I did, and now...”
  134. 134. “Eddie, thats horrible. Thats a terrible thing. She put you all through so much pain.”“And I hurt people too. People who didnt deserve it either. I hurt you. Knowing what she did, I see how alike weare, and I dont want to be, but I am, and I wish I wasnt.”“You made a mistake. Youve suffered for it. And I know you wouldnt do it again.”
  135. 135. “You think so? You think theres still hope for me? Maybe even for us?”“I do.”
  136. 136. Last on the docket, we have the Prettacy, where Lindsay didnt come out too badly in the transition outfitroulette.
  137. 137. Shes still the same old Lindsay: a pretty, pretty Pop Sim.
  138. 138. Remember Nikolai? Hes still hanging around too. I couldnt remember his stats or his Aspiration, so I re-rolledand hes a Pop Sim too now.
  139. 139. And Lindsay gets to have her First Kiss all over again with Nikolai. This almost immediately segued into awedding, because Ive waited long enough to get this under way.
  140. 140. For a nice change of pace, there was a decent turnout for the vows. Even the maid showed up—shes in theback between Howie and Joyces heads.Thats Arties Aspiration up there. I think hes sad now, because Auries not getting married or engaged, and hestill really wants another big family wedding.
  141. 141. Lindsay and Nikolai didnt really care who showed up. Theyve got enough bolts so that theyre way moreinterested in each other.
  142. 142. While Nikolai was appreciating the fish on the wall, it occurred to him that hed had a Roof Raiser party, and thathe should probably get to the limo before it left without him.
  143. 143. The mood boost was put to good use, and after threeor four tries, they got a lullaby.I dont think they minded that it didnt take on the firstgo-round.
  144. 144. You know what they say: if you have to ask, the answer is “Yes.”
  145. 145. Whitney and Artie are still hanging around. Im having them use up their vacation days so they can retire inpeace. Whitney spends her free time tub pirating, and Arties just waiting until he has some grandbabies to doteon.
  146. 146. And, of course, there are always the relatives who just let themselves in and hog the Dance Sphere.
  147. 147. “Ohmygawd youre having a baby!”“I know Im having a baby!”“That looks like it hurts! Im so glad Im never going to do that!”“Help or go away!”
  148. 148. Lindsay and Nikolai did get some Aspiration for it, though. Nikolai got to Meet Someone New!
  149. 149. Lindsay gives birth to Joe Cotton, a little boy with her coloring.
  150. 150. She then passes Joe Cotton off to Nikolai, because of course there need to be more twins this generation.
  151. 151. This is Lawrin, who got Nikolais coloring.Unlike the Uglacy, at least I have a girl here now.
  152. 152. After that, it was just the usual chaos of having twobabies in the house at once. Endless feedings, diaperchanges, and snugglings.
  153. 153. Connor popped by next. Its not like he doesnt have a Dance Sphere of his own at his very own house.
  154. 154. He was peeved about something. I have no idea what. Its Connor. It could be almost anything.He also did not appreciate Whitneys attempts to cheer him up.
  155. 155. With his unerring sense of timing, Connor showed up on Lawrin and Joe Cottons birthday. Free cake!
  156. 156. Lawrin is adorable! She looks like a mini-Whitney.
  157. 157. Joe Cotton looks like hes gotten some of Nikolais features.
  158. 158. Even grouchy kitty Mr. Trick cannot escape the cuteness of Lawrins clutches. No matter how much he wouldlike to try.It occurred to me that I needed to find a new mate for Mr. Trick, so I sent Nikolai off to the pet store.
  159. 159. “Hey, uh, Theo? I know its nice that you got your skintone back and everything, but that shirt is sort of...”“I am aware. I refuse to show my face again, until I get my proper clothes back!”“Its just... I can see your dragon.”
  160. 160. Nikolai gets a new kitty for Mr. Trick to hate and fight with, and Theo continues to not show his face.I never realized the back of that shirt was see-through.
  161. 161. A quick check showed me that the graves at the Prettacy were gone too, so it was time for another round ofRez-and-Kill. At least here, no one freaked out like Xander did.
  162. 162. Amidst the endless death parade, Nikolai and Lindsay try for more babies, and succeed.
  163. 163. Nikolai taught Lawrin to walk and talk, and Lindsaydid the same for Joe Cotton.Potty training was done mainly by Artie, because hereally, really Wanted to.
  164. 164. And we still have more babies on the way!
  165. 165. And here, I will leave you with one more shot of Lawrin cuddling Mr. Trick. There can never be too much toddlercuteness.
  166. 166. “So how are things going with Gil?”“I dont know. Is that weird? Hes a nice guy, and I like him, and I think he likes me, and hes not pushing me todo anything.”“Theres a but in there somewhere.”“But this is the longest Ive dated someone without sleeping with them. Except for You-Know-Who.”“Youre afraid Gilbert is Voldemort?”“How am I supposed to know how the relationship is if I cant use sex as a measure?”“Theres more to relationships than that.”
  167. 167. “But there never has been for me. Its always been about sex. Even at the beginning of us, You-Know-Who notsleeping with me made it about sex. I wanted him because he wouldnt just sleep with me. It made it feel like itwasnt just some throwaway fling. And Gils not like that. Hes not stringing me along. At least, I dont think he is.But I just cant trust myself anymore. I havent even kissed Gil because Im afraid that if I do, Ill go back to myold habits and I dont want to be that person any more. I want to be better. Im also afraid that if I dont movethings along with him, hell get tired of waiting. I know that if he gets tired of waiting, hes not the right one, but Iwant him to be the right one. And that scares me too.”
  168. 168. “I wont tell you that you shouldnt be careful. Anyone who tells you not to be careful needs to be locked up in apadded room somewhere. Careful should be your middle name. Cassidy Careful Vetinari. But youre savvierthan youre giving yourself credit for. Even if you hate admitting it, you knew when things were wrong with You-Know-Who. You just couldnt leave. Your instincts are good when they tell you whether somethings right orwrong. You ignored them for a long time, and now you have to start paying attention again. And from what I cansee, your guts telling you that Gils a good guy.”
  169. 169. “What if its wrong? What if hes not? I dont know if I have it in me to deal with another relationship Titanic.”“Cass, I really think youre doing the right thing.”“Im so afraid that Im not. What if I never get over it?”“You will.”“But what if I dont? What if Im just... broken... forever?”
  170. 170. “All right, everyone budge over! Were having Girls Night In! Pajamas and cheesy movies and absolutely nomoping!”“Oh. Well, if its Girls Night In, Ill just be going.”
  171. 171. “Nuh-uh! You totally have to stay! You can comment on all the cute boys with the rest of us!”“She has a point, big bro.”“I so have a point. Giant sharp pointy point. I am Nuala, The One With The Point.”“Well, I certainly cant argue with The One With The Point.”
  172. 172. “Oh, can we watch Pride and Prejudice first? Colin Firth is so totally dreamy!”“Chantal, if you sit that close, youre going to ruin your eyes.”“I think thats just a myth. Hey, maybe we could find Dusk on the movie channel! The girl who plays Stella issooo pretty! What do you think Uncle Cass? ...Uncle Cass?”“Huh? Oh, sorry. I was just thinking.”“Bout what?”“I was thinking that, you know...”
  173. 173. “...Its kinda great to have a family.”