The Vetinari Dualegacy Chapter 19

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In which there are kittens, and birthdays, and much teenage fun.

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The Vetinari Dualegacy Chapter 19

  1. 1. Hello again! There was a bit of a hiatus there, but I’m back now. If you want a Who’s Who, go back one post on my LiveJournal for a brief recap and a guide to the teenagers. For a much quicker recap, Xander had four alien babies, Rizzo and Zoe had three babies, Cypress killed Archie, Spider Jerusalem reconciled with Dora, and Cypress killed Xander with Spider’s help. And now Coco’s a vampire. Moving on, here’s Chapter 19 of the Vetinari Dualegacy: Family.
  2. 2. "Carver, dance with me!" "Okay, squirt! Any penguins around today?" "No. And there so was one that other time!"
  3. 3. "How was school?" "Fine, I guess. Recess was fun. We built a snow fort and then we made a snowman so tall we couldn't put the head on." "That certainly sounds interesting. Do you have homework?" "Daddy already helped me with it."
  4. 4. "Thanks for helping Bell with his homework." "I may be Romance Boy, but I'm not an idiot." "How are you doing with everything that's happened?" "It's all kind of crazy. I can't imagine losing my mom and dad when I was just a kid." "Do you think they're holding up all right?" "They're tough kids, and Coco's there. They're as well as could be expected, considering the circumstances." "I love it when you talk smart." "I know. But I really think Xander's crowd is going to be okay."
  5. 5. "Um... Oops..."
  6. 6. All is not horrible flamey chaos, however. Tess brings home Brooke, one of Simon and Pen's daughters, and Didi's son Matthew comes home with Fair. “Pen” is Penguingirl0384, who writes the Penguino Legacy, and came out on top in Simon’s Bachelor Challenge.
  7. 7. And Niobe follows Bucky and Marco home for a rousing water balloon fight. Niobe is, of course, their great-uncle Rocky's stepdaughter, the half-alien child of Rocky's husband Cam. And their half-sister. My family trees got reeeeaaaallllly weird this generation.
  8. 8. "Does Robin want a treat? Does she? Does Robin want a nummy?" Yeeeeeesssssssss. "What's that? I don't speak Doggie. I think I’ll eat the nummy." Do you want me to poop in your shoes?
  9. 9. "Okay, fine, you can have the nummy." Dog: 1. Green kid: 0.
  10. 10. "Did you really set the stove on fire?" "Sort of. It was an accident." "No more setting the stove on fire! You could have died!" "We have a fire alarm. The fireman put out the fire, and would have put me out too." "I don't care! Nobody else is allowed to die!"
  11. 11. "Marco? Why did you try to cook lobster?" "I was tired of grilled cheese. Why are you eating it, Gramma?" "...I have no idea."
  12. 12. "Aw, come on--it's not that bad, is it?" "It tastes like charred horribleness." "You're still eating it." "I'm hungry. But tomorrow, back to the grilled cheese, yeah?" "I guess."
  13. 13. "Uh, Fair? What's going on?"
  14. 14. "We're growing up, dummy!"
  15. 15. "Oh, wow! I got so tall!"
  16. 16. "I want a boyfriend. Possibly made of Monterey Jack.“ Tesla Vetinari, Pisces 10/3/10/1/10, is now a teen! Tess rolled Romance, but I need a Grilled Cheese platstone here, so she'll be Cheesed as soon as the high Aspiration wears off. I might have Cheesed her anyway, just because I don't see shy, serious Tess as the type to play the field. As a Cheese Sim, her LTW is Eat 200 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, which she's already got a start on.
  17. 17. "Go. Away.“ Faraday Vetinari, Taurus 9/7/5/10/0. Fair rolled Knowledge with the LTW to be a Media Magnate. If that sounds familiar, it is. It's the exact same LTW that Cypress had. And that no one else has had since. The assorted cousin-types are grown up off-camera, but there’s still a pair of twins with a birthday on the horizon…
  18. 18. "Kids are growing up." "That they are, Romance Boy." "One step closer to Empty Nest." "When has that ever mattered to you?" “You never know; I might enjoy the quiet.”
  19. 19. "Are you still going to hug me when I'm big?" " 'Course I am, honey."
  20. 20. "You ready?" "Uh-huh! You?" "Yeah!"
  21. 21. In a double-shower of confetti, Bell and Whitney grow up.
  22. 22. "Must... pillow... fight...“ Bell Vetinari, Sagittarius 2/3/9/10/5, rolled Pleasure, because we all know I haven't had enough of those in the last seven generations. His LTW is 50 Dream Dates, which sounds much less annoying than 50 First Dates, because at least he can do them all with one person.
  23. 23. Bell and Carver are pretty much the poster children for Pleasure Sims. Carver's a finger-gunner, though, unlike shy Bell. I'll probably re-roll Carver's LTW when he gets to college, because I don't think I have the mental energy to do 50 Dream Dates for Bell, 50 First Dates for Marco, 200 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for Tess, AND 50 First Dates for Carver. I haven't done Bell's LTW yet, and I can't change Marco's since he's at the main Uglacy lot, and I need Tess's, but I can and will re-roll Carver's!
  24. 24. "All right! I'm still hot!“ Whitney Vetinari, Sagittarius 2/9/9/10/5. Whitney rolled Popularity, which is kind of the perfect Aspiration for her, given her outgoing points and relative niceness. Her LTW is to be The Law. I sort of wish she'd rolled Fortune, but I might chance a sophomore-year re-roll, especially if there do not seem to be any good Fortune spouse candidates.
  25. 25. In other news, I did finally get nice shots of Isaac and Orson so that I could arrange for their portraits to be repainted. You can see Isaac’s down there at the end, and trust me, Orson’s is in the same place at the Uglacy.
  26. 26. “C’mon, Anya! Shake! Shake! C’mon!” No.
  27. 27. “No, like this, see? I say ‘Shake’ and then you pick your paw up and put in my hand!”
  28. 28. Are you aware that you look delicious, and that your insistence on attempting to teach me foolish tricks only makes you all the more appetizing?
  29. 29. “Lalala, the cat’s going to kill my brother, but I’m too busy juggling to put a stop to the bloody carnage, lalala…”
  30. 30. Something tells me Carver’s not going to get much help from this quarter, either.
  31. 31. Anyanka might be grumpy, but she’s much friendlier with Warren than she was with his father Colin, and they make kitty-friends in fairly short order. Er, that’s Warren on the left with the Scottish Fold stumpy-ears.
  32. 32. Kittens! YAY KITTENS! And, you know, I made sure that Creepy Gardener had come the day before, so there’s no audience.
  33. 33. Of course, now that Anya’s pregnant, I don’t need Warren hanging around and trying to make friends with the local wildlife, so Arrangements are made. And, uh, I guess that Zoe snuck on the telescope when I wasn’t paying attention to her, and now she’s got a mad hate on for Lisa Ramirez, which I don’t mind, because frankly, Lisa Ramirez is a bit of a bitch, and I throw her out of my businesses as soon as I see her, because all she does is not buy things, complain, and irritate all of the other customers.
  34. 34. “Hooray for kitties! I shall call him Stickybuns!” Or, you know, ‘Warren.’ Since that’s his name. Professorbutters here writes the Squeaky Clean Legacy, where all the cats are named after sweets.
  35. 35. “And I shall call you Jellybelly!” Please to not be taking the kitty until AFTER she has had her kittens. SimSelves who try to steal my pets may be locked in with the cowplant, and may be extracted only after they put down the pet.
  36. 36. Overall, things at the Prettacy are looking pretty bright and sunny. Happy kitty, happy kids, happy parents, lots of opportunities to pillow fight and tickle and dance and spy on Lisa Ramirez… Sadly, the good vibes aren’t universal…
  37. 37. "It's late. I've called you a cab to take you home." "Don't have a home." "Fine, I've called a cab to take you to the place where you live, and where you sleep, and where all of your stuff is."
  38. 38. "Honestly, Cassidy, why do you come here every day? There are other places you could go." "You're nice to me." "And you don't think that maybe I might have a bit of a grudge against your branch of the family tree, considering that your father murdered two of my sons? And maybe even did something to my wife? Your father destroyed my family."
  39. 39. “My father destroys everything. ...I'll see you tomorrow."
  40. 40. “Heh. Marco totally burns everything he cooks.” “Not everything. He’s pretty good at grilled cheese!” “Yeah, but who cares about that?” “…Me?”
  41. 41. Tara grows up. I still see traces of that Airedale head!
  42. 42. Fee and Reed’s daughter Kate followed the crowd home from school one day, and immediately worked on making friends with Tara.
  43. 43. “Whaddaya say? You, me, date, now, kitchen?” “I’m a Family Sim, you know.” “And I’m a Pleasure Sim, so it’ll work out great when we both grow up and forget this ever happened.”
  44. 44. “WAAAAAGH! I thought you didn’t come to the house anymore!” “Booga booga, Buford!” “If I see my dad, I’m totally going to tell him to yell at you!”
  45. 45. “Hey, uh, thanks for not giving me the brush-off this time. I know this is the only date we’re ever going to have, and it’s nice to get platinum off of it instead of getting annoyed.” “Whatever. I imagine you’ll get through most of the Townies before you’re through.” “Yes. Yes I will.”
  46. 46. “Why’d you have to go and do something stupid? I should have died before you, and Archie never should have died at all! Everyone misses you, and I’m regretting saying that we couldn’t bring you back.”
  47. 47. "I don't have to leave, you know. I could stay.“ "Dad wanted you to be safe. The safest thing for you is to be somewhere else." "But what's the safest thing for you? I'm not going to go anywhere if I think that it'll do damage to you and your brothers and sister. I know you're the ringleader, Bucky. They'll do what you tell them to, and if you tell them it's okay for me to stay, they'll go along with it." "I know. Tess will really miss you, but she'd totally freak out if anything bad happened to you. If you move out, you won't be on Cypress's radar anymore, and nobody will have to worry about you."
  48. 48. "I still don't know. I feel bad about leaving you all here by yourselves." "Gramma's here. And Marco and I are getting the hang of being in charge. And Tess and Fair are self-sufficient now. Honestly, I wish you could stay. But Dad loved you, and he wanted you to be safe if anything happened to him. None of us would mind if you wanted to visit, though." "Are you sure? Really, really sure? Just say the word and I'll stay." "We'll be all right, Brittany. If you move out, you'll be all right too."
  49. 49. "All right. If you’re sure. I'll stop by later this week and see how you're all getting on." "Okay. Take the older dogs for some company." "I'll make sure to give them lots of treats.“ “Robin doesn’t like to be teased.” “I’ll keep that in mind.”
  50. 50. "You're really going?" "I'll be back for a visit soon. Your grandmother and brother seem to think that I should leave, like your father wanted." "Well, you were a pretty cool mom for a human. And I’m sorry I threw the baseball at you so hard all those times." "Thanks, Marco."
  51. 51. “I know Dad said you’d be safer if you left, but I’ll really miss you.” “I promised Bucky and Marco that I’d come and visit.” “Will you bring the dogs? I bet they’d like to play with their daughter.” “I bet they would too. Do you know where Fair is? I’d like to say goodbye to him, too.” “He’s probably off somewhere sulking. He’s been doing that a lot. I can try to find him if you want.” “That’s all right. The next time he turns up, will you tell him that I said goodbye?” “Of course I will! Can I call you if I need to talk girl stuff while the sun’s up?” “Absolutely. Take care of your brothers, Tess. I’ll come by later this week.”
  52. 52. “Still with the trauma, eh?” You know your brother. There was no way Archie was going to turn him down and walk out of there alive. “And what’s the deal with the girl? She’s got, you know… Nice points.” You say that like it’s a bad thing. “We’re Vetinaris! We don’t do nice!” She might surprise you yet.
  53. 53. “People often do surprise you.” Ain’t that the truth? “I’m surprised that Spider Jerusalem hasn’t yet made sense of what I told him. I thought he was smarter than that.” The boy’s got a lot on his mind. It’s not all goofy fun like it is around here. “There is a substantial amount of levity in the house.”
  54. 54. “Ooooh, Carver? You know what we need? We need to throw a party!” “That does sound like fun.” “We should invite, like, everyone.” “And just, like, water balloon fight and dance all day.” “How are we gonna convince Mom and Dad to let us?” “I have a cunning plan…”
  55. 55. “Listen up! Carver and I wanna throw a party, but we need you to ask Mom and Dad!” “Aaaaagh, no! Get your knuckles out of my skull!” “If you get Mom and Dad to let us have the party, no more noogies ever!” “Ever?” “Ever!” “I’ll ask Mom after school.”
  56. 56. “So I was talking to Marco at school today and he says he’s sort of bummed out since his grandmother doesn’t let him go out a lot. I thought maybe we could invite them over on Saturday, because they’d be allowed to come over here, right?” “That sounds like a good idea. I’m sure they’d like the chance to hang out and goof off for a while.” “Cool! I’ll tell them tomorrow!”
  57. 57. “I sort of feel bad conning Mom like that.” “Don’t worry! It’s not like you lied or anything. Carver’s not technically lying either, so we should all have clear consciences!” “Well, technically, the stereo just broke and I’m not gonna fix it.”
  58. 58. “If Grandma were still alive, she’d just be mad at this stupid thing until it fixed itself!”
  59. 59. “Bell said he invited Bucky an’ Marco an’ Tess an’ Fair over on Saturday! I wanna have some friends over too!” “All right.” “And Whitney should get to have friends over too, because otherwise she’ll just complain about all the guys around.” “You could have just asked to throw a party.” “This way was more fun.”
  60. 60. “Yeah, yeah, Saturday, party, pass it around. I’m pretty sure my parents won’t notice a few more teenagers causing trouble in the backyard.”
  61. 61. “How’s it going there, Buckmeister?” “Gah! It’s Fuller! Buckminster Fuller! Let go of my head!” “Not so much fun to be on the receiving end, is it?” “If you do not let go of me, I will spend all of college making your life miserable.” “You don’t have to be so cranky about it.”
  62. 62. “Welcome to the Prettacy, Brooke!” “If you mess up my hair, I am going to be so mad at you!”
  63. 63. “They all look like they’re having a good time.” That they do. “Xander’s kids are holding up all right?” About as well as you’d expect, all things considered. “I should probably go put on a shirt.” Don’t hurry on my account.
  64. 64. “I have to pee!” “Me too!” “Why is there a line for the bathroom?”
  65. 65. “Kitty!” “Carverrrrrr! We have to peeeeee!”
  66. 66. “Sure! I’d love to play Red Hands! As long as you don’t smack as hard as my brothers do, because sometimes it really hurts when I play with them!” “M’dear, I am a lover, not a fighter.” “Okay!” The hunka hunka burnin’ future-naked-hot-tubber up there is Connor, the son of Bee and Naked Victor. Connor, despite appearances, is a Popularity Sim, although he has the Vetinari trait of not making a whole lot of distinction between friends and “friends.”
  67. 67. “Ha! We both threw Paper! That happens all the time when I play with my twin brother Bucky!” “It happens all the time when I play with my twin sister River! Maybe it’s a “twin” thing!” “That would be so cool! …Can I ask you out some time?” “I guess so.” “Sweet!”
  68. 68. “Awesome party, Whit! Let’s hug!” “Parties are so fun! I’m gonna go hang out with Kate and Scotty and River on the bubble blower next!” “I’m gonna hug some more people.”
  69. 69. “Oh! Please don’t hug me! I don’t know you very well and I don’t like hugs from people I don’t know well! I’m really sorry I don’t know you well enough to hug you but if we become friends I will totally let you hug me then!” “Step. Away. From my sister. NOW.”
  70. 70. “Tess, there you are! I was hoping to get a chance to talk to you.” “What do you need, Uncle Rizzo?” “How are you doing? Really, I mean. You can tell me.” “Well, Marco’s taken over the cooking, which is fine as long as he sticks with grilled cheese. Bucky makes sure all the homework’s done, and fixes stuff when it breaks. I make sure everything’s all clean.” “That’s not what I meant. How are the four of you holding up?”
  71. 71. “We all miss Dad sometimes. When I really miss him, I go out back and talk to him for a while. I know he can’t give me advice anymore, but it makes me feel better to tell him things. Marco misses Dad more than Bucky, I think, or maybe he’s just nervous about being the Black Sheep.” “How’s life with a vampire?” “I wish Gramma wasn’t a vampire, but she’d die if she wasn’t, which would just make things harder on all of us, so we’ve all just sort of accepted it. If I need girly advice during the day, I call Brittany and we talk for a while.”
  72. 72. “What about Fair? I saw him trailing after you when you walked over, but I haven’t seen him since.” “He’s pretty mad about everything that’s happened. He’s been going off by himself and moping a lot, and then snaps at us when we try to cheer him up. Fair’s being kind of a jerk right now, but I’m sure he just needs some time.”
  73. 73. “If you ever need anything, we’re right next door. You know that, right?” “I know, Uncle Rizzo. Thanks for letting us invade your house all day.” “Any time.”
  74. 74. “Those are really cute shoes.” “They’re just shoes.” “But cute shoes! I would die for cute shoes like that, but my parents are all, like, practical and stuff.” “Hurry up and eat your grilled cheese so we can go back to the bubbles!” “Shoe Girl” is River, Brooke’s twin sister.
  75. 75. “These are the best bubbles, I swear.” “Yeah, I really need to talk my parents into buying one of these.”
  76. 76. “Fair, hi. I was wondering if you’d turn up.” “Got hungry.” “Listen, I know things are rough right now. Losing someone like you did is really hard, and it’s totally normal to be upset by that. Just know that there are people who want to help you. Your grandmother, your brothers and sister, your stepmother—if you don’t want to talk to any of them, you can even come to me or Zoe. You don’t have to do this alone.”
  77. 77. “You? Are not my uncle. He’s dead. Also? You’re not my father. He’s dead too. I don’t need your advice, and I don’t need your pity, and I don’t need your help. I’m fine. I just want people to stop treating me like an invalid.” “That’s hardly what people are doing.” “That’s exactly what people are doing. Right now, the only problem I have is that you are standing between me and dinner. You wanna fix something? Fix that.”
  78. 78. “Er, Tess? That is really kinda freakin’ me out.” “Sorry! We have to go soon anyway, so at least it won’t be for long!”
  79. 79. “Just chased the last one home.” “Thanks for letting the kids have their party, Romance Boy.” “It was good for everyone. That Connor kid is seriously a clone of his mother. And it was nice to see Xander’s kids cut loose for a while.” “Except for Faraday.” “I’m worried about him. He’s not dealing well. I’m afraid of what’ll happen when he finally blows.” “That’s a worry for another day. Now let’s get some sleep!”
  80. 80. "Uncle Gil? Come on in. What are you doing here?" "So these are the new digs, huh? Looks cozy." "How'd you find me?" "Your cousin Delight is a cop. She was happy to do me a favor when I explained that it was you I was trying to find." "Oh, Didi, right. Why'd you send a search party out for me?"
  81. 81. "Because I've been friends with your dad since we were both in diapers. Because I know when he's trying to hide how much he's hurting. Because he's lost three of his kids, and if I have the ability to bring at least one of them back and don't do it, then I'm not much of a friend, so I have to try to talk you into getting in touch with him again. Because if what I've heard is true, there's a chance you can bring Archie and Xander back too." "Uncle Gil..."
  82. 82. "I don't care about whatever happened between you and your dad. I just care about trying to put as much of his family back together as I can. I know you weren't close to Coco or your half-brothers, but your father was. I'm asking you to help. If you went to college and got one of those Death Phones, you can do something. I have money if you need it. Bring your brothers back, Eddie. Please." "I can't."
  83. 83. "No! Don't give me that! You can help, and you're choosing not to! I always thought you were a decent kid, but I guess I was wrong." "Listen to me! If I could bring them back, I would!" "Then why can't you?"
  84. 84. "Because I don't have the Bone Phone anymore, dammit! I got it and brought it back here and made the call and asked for my mother, and they said they couldn't bring her back! I tried and then I tried again and they wouldn't give her back to me!" "Where's the phone?" "I was pissed and frustrated and I set it on fire." "Why the hell would you do something like that?" "I didn't know what else to do! When I heard about Archie and Xander I could have kicked myself for burning it to ashes!" "You went to college! Why didn't you get the job you needed and get another one?" "Because I dropped out when I got the Bone Phone! That was all I wanted from the Academie! I had it in my hands and I left and without a degree I can't get another one! I screwed up, Uncle Gil! Is that what you want to hear?"
  85. 85. "Of course it's not, Eddie. You're blaming this all on yourself, aren't you?" "I couldn't save my mom. I couldn't bring her back. I can't do anything for my half-brothers, and I've done some pretty bad things to people who didn't deserve it, and now I can't even tell myself that the end justifies the means." "Why did they say she couldn't be brought back?" "...I don't know.“ "How could you not know?" "All that was supposed to happen was that I picked up the phone, asked for my mom back, paid them nine grand, and she's alive again. When they told me they couldn't do it, I wasn't really concerned with why. I just wanted to make them give her back. And then they didn't and I set the Bone Phone on fire." "So you never asked why they refused?" "No."
  86. 86. "Well, let's try to work it through." "What's the point? The Bone Phone's gone, so even if we know the why, we still don't have a way to use that knowledge.“ "Because it's knowledge we didn't have before. When you asked the first time, were you polite?" "Yes!" "Real-person polite, not just Vetinari-polite?" "Yes!“ "Are you sure you had enough money?" "Yes. I was told I needed nine grand; I had almost ninety-five hundred free and clear.“ "Are you sure there's nothing else you needed to do?" "Positive. You give them the money, tell them the name of the dead person you want brought back, and poof, they're alive again."
  87. 87. "That's it? A simple transaction? Money for a dead person back to life?" "That's it. You pay the nice man in the cloak a bunch of money, and he resurrects someone who's currently dead." "There must be something we're missing." "I've been over this a million times! There's nothing I missed! I did everything right!" "Okay. Maybe it wasn't you." "What else could it be? The Reaper?" "I doubt he holds any grudges." "Then what else is there? Huh? Tell me, Uncle Gil! What else?" "I don't--"
  88. 88. "Oh. Oh, no. It... It's really that simple, isn't it? I've been so stupid." "Eddie?"
  89. 89. "I have to go, Uncle Gil."
  90. 90. Marco is still breaking hearts all over Riverblossom Hills. I may as well try to get him as many First Dates as a Teen as I can, so that they’ll forget about him when he grows up.
  91. 91. “You need to spend some more time with the other childrinions, grouchy descendant!” “Gaah!”
  92. 92. “Ehehehehe, that was awesome!”
  93. 93. “Hey!” “What, you mean this isn’t togetherness?”
  94. 94. Drop something. Drrrrrrroooooooooop soooomethiiiiiiiiiiing. Drrrrrrroooooooooop. “Nothing is hitting the floor.”
  95. 95. Marco scores a date with River, although he should be a bit more wary than he is.
  96. 96. River got the Vetinari Mean, and although she might be shy, she’s not hesitant about busting out the ol’ joy buzzer.
  97. 97. In the end, they did get their Crush on. Here’s hoping that River doesn’t take it too badly when Marco hits up her sister Brooke for a date.
  98. 98. “My sandwich tastes funny.” “There’s a ghost in it.” “That would explain it.” “…I think I’m dumber for being in the same room as you two idiots.”
  99. 99. Rosemarie still likes to keep an eye on things. I haven’t seen Finn haunt in the longest time, but Rosemarie comes out pretty frequently. And she’s still a Popularity Sim.
  100. 100. “Booga booga!” “I am so glad I just went pee five minutes ago!”
  101. 101. “Didn’t want that to happen in the first place. Don’t want it to happen again. Need some couch- jumping time to recover.”
  102. 102. “That party at the Prettacy was a good time, huh?” “I’d rather have teeth pulled without anaesthesia.” “But, all the cool people there!” “Whatever.” “…Hey, uh, can I cheat off you?” “No. Piss off.”
  103. 103. “Eeeeeexcellent… No one will ever suspect that it was me…”
  104. 104. Marco was mostly just killing time until River dropped off the Dream Date bouquet so that she wouldn’t get mad when she caught him on a date with her sister.
  105. 105. They threw me a twirl, which sort of makes me sad that Brooke is just Aspiration Fodder for Marco. Not too sad, though, since she was pretty emphatic about heart-barfing him. Shortly after this, I heard the unmistakable sound of “Boioioioioing!”
  106. 106. “I had a ridiculously fun time on our outing, but less fun now that I catch you on a date with someone else! Have this telescope! And then choke on it!” Dude! You already dropped off your freaking flowers! Why did you come back?
  107. 107. This is never the smartest thing to do to a Vetinari, Nameless Townie Guy.
  108. 108. What did you think would happen, Nameless Townie Guy? Dammit, I’m gonna need to build a fence around the trash can, aren’t I?
  109. 109. Still, the cheating and slapping didn’t hurt Marco’s date with Brooke any. It ended up a Dream Date, Marco didn’t need to sleep that night, and he continues to flamey-thought-balloon Nameless Townie Guy.
  110. 110. “Fair! Guess what?” “You’ve all decided to leave me alone?” “No, silly!” “Then I don’t care.”
  111. 111. “You don’t have to be so grumpy, you know.” “Oh, I know I don’t have to. I just want to.” “That’s not very nice.” “Try to imagine how much I don’t care.”
  112. 112. “Oh, you don’t really mean that.” “Oh, I really do.” “Anyway, Bucky asked Gramma if we could go roller skating this afternoon, and she said yes, as long as we were back before she got out of her coffin. Bucky and Marco and I are all going to go. You should come too. It’ll be fun!”
  113. 113. “No.” “But, Fair, the rest of us are going! I’ll be more fun if you come too!” “I said no!” “Please?” “Gah, are you deaf? I said I don’t want to go to any stupid skating rink!”
  114. 114. “I know you’re still upset about Dad, but you shouldn’t snap at me. I just want to help.” “Well I don’t need help. Why does everyone think I need to be coddled? I’m fine. I just want to be left alone, and I have zero desire to go skating.” “We’re leaving in about a half an hour, if you change your mind.” “I won’t.”
  115. 115. “Take it easy, Tess. Don’t try to go anywhere until you’re steady.” “I’ll be all right. I don’t think I’ll hurt anything except my dignity! You can let go.” “Okay, but if you fall, it’s not my fault.”
  116. 116. “Whoa!” “Tess! Hang on, I think I can catch you!”
  117. 117. “Oooh! That was a bit of a tumble! Are you all right, Bucky?” “…My spleen…”
  118. 118. “This is fun! Thanks for talking Gramma into letting us come out!” “Fun? All we’ve done so far is fall.” “So what if we’re not very good? We’re still out somewhere new, and learning something new, and that’s fun!” “Yeah, I guess it is.”
  119. 119. “Whoops!” “Ooooh, I got you!”
  120. 120. “Sorry, Marco! I guess I forgot you’re bigger than me! I didn’t mean to drop you!” “It’s okay. I’m all right! I’m good. Just as soon as I pull this splinter out of my ass.”
  121. 121. “Woooo! Just like jumping on the couch, only way less squishy if I miss!” “Your facility with this activity verges on the freakish, brother mine.” “I’ll never do anything if I’m afraid of falling!”
  122. 122. “Um, Bucky? You’re leaving for college soon, right?” “End of the week.” “Do you really have to go?” “I’m gonna flip out if I don’t. Anyway, I thought you weren’t afraid of falling.”
  123. 123. “I’m not afraid of falling. I’m afraid that all of the other people I care about are gonna die because I screwed up. That’s a whole lot worse than a couple of bruises.” “You know I got your back, Marco. Always have, always will.” “Yeah, but… I’m really gonna miss you.” “I’m gonna miss you too.”
  124. 124. “Look! I figured out how to twirl without falling! This is the best!” “That’s great, Tess, but we should get going. Gramma will be up soon.” “Okay!”
  125. 125. “…and then I fell and Bucky tried to catch me and we both ended up on the floor! It was so much fun! I wish Fair had come; he would have had such a great time!” “Well, it’s his own fault if he missed out. He should have been less of a grouchypuss.” “I know! Do Bell and Carver ever do stuff like that?” “Nah. But they’re always complaining about getting dates.” “Oh! Marco does that too!”
  126. 126. “Boys are so silly!” “I know!” “We are just going to drive them nuts at college!” “Gosh, I hope not!”
  127. 127. And here is proof of Rizzo’s having written and sold a novel. He even managed it before he got gray!
  128. 128. “See? I told you if you convinced Mom and Dad to let us throw a party, I wouldn’t noogie you anymore!” “I’m just shocked that you followed through!” “Remember this—I keep my promises!”
  129. 129. There’s nothing like a little post-shower piracy to get the blood pumping…
  130. 130. …and going “Arrrrrr” is certainly more pleasurable than the alternative. Poor Whitney has a late-night run-in with Grandma Dora.
  131. 131. Dora wasn’t the only haunt around that night. Her own grandmother, Jeannie, was out and about, and Founding Spouse Calista spent several hours bobbing around the orchard.
  132. 132. The next day brought several events: Anyanka has her kittens (Renee, Satsu, and Kakistos), and Rizzo’s going gray.
  133. 133. I sold Anya to Prof, since I don’t really need four cats and five Sims around the place.
  134. 134. “And you shall be called Bear Claw!” *sigh* Maybe later, Prof.
  135. 135. Topher’s ghost seems to be suffering from senility. It’s NOON. See the maid? Yeah. NOON. And it wasn’t even raining, so it’s not like the tombstone got struck by lightning or anything. Topher’s ghost was just in the mood to wander, I guess.
  136. 136. “Tess followed us home from school again, and boy is she hot!” Little Miss Sunshine keeps getting herself Aspiration Points, so I haven’t managed to Cheese her yet, although that hasn’t stopped me from cramming grilled cheese sandwiches down her gullet at every available opportunity. For now, I just sort of ignore the “Tess is a Romance Sim!” things.
  137. 137. “Ehehehe, I’m not even old yet, and I’m already becoming a lecher! Hey, baby, wanna kiss an older man?”
  138. 138. “You’ll be older than me for a change, Romance Boy.” “You’ll still love the Older Man?” “You’ll always be Romance Boy to me.”
  139. 139. With absolutely no ceremony, and no one at all standing around to watch, my Gen 6 Prettacy heir pops into Elderhood, and manages not to blind me with his sartorial choices.
  140. 140. “You look so good, Uncle Rizzo!” “Thanks. I still feel like myself, and I’m happy about that.” “I wish I could have seen Dad’s birthday.” “So do I.” They’re not the only ones with family on the mind…
  141. 141. "Eddie, hey! It's so awesome to see you!" "Where is she, Aunt Banyan?"
  142. 142. "Where's my mother?"

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