A Piratical Legacy Chapter 18 - Two-Timing


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A Piratical Legacy Chapter 18 - Two-Timing

  1. 1. Chapter 18 – Two-TimingWelcome back to A Piratical Legacy!No time for introductions; lets just dive in to the latest installment!(I suggest reading chapters one through seventeen if youre confused or new.)
  2. 2. "Hmm..." muttered the sinister-looking man in the hoodie as he flipped through the Pirate Island Times. "Whats this? A new pet store... hiringsoon... and being run by someone named Marie Buccaneer? Oh, youve got to be joking..."With a diabolical chuckle, the man pulled a pen out of his pocket and circled the job advertisement in bright red ink.
  3. 3. Pao sighed as he stared down at his newly aged granddaughter."Sleep well, Grace," he murmured as he tucked the blanket in tightly around her. "Hopefully you cant hear your parents arguing downstairs..."
  4. 4. Pao neednt have worried. Grace didnt hear anything.Instead, she dreamed.
  5. 5. A colourless, featureless place. A sky burning with thousands of stars. And..."Who are you?" Grace asked the strangely familiar figure standing in front of her."Anna," the apparition said shyly, running one hand through her hair. Her very... odd... hair. It was all white, except for one streak of brownexactly the same colour as Graces own. "What are you doing here?""What do you mean, what am I doing here?" Grace said. "Youre the one interrupting my dream!""Am not," Anna replied. "I was just out playing and then I you spoke! I didnt even see where you came from!"
  6. 6. Grace considered this for a moment. "Okay," she said. "Maybe I "Well, its my home," Anna shrugged. "But its very small, and therecame to your place. But howd that happen? Its never happened arent any other children. Just me, Grandfather, the cat, the rat, andbefore. I thought I was just dreaming like normal!" the bird.""I dunno," Anna said. "But... Im glad you did. Ive never seen anyone "It sounds boring," Grace said, full of tact as usual.else here before except Grandfathers pets. Ive never had anothergirl to play with." "I guess it kind of is," Anna said slowly. "But... youre here now! Do you want to be my friend?""Never?" Grace could scarcely imagine not having other girls toplay with. "What kind of place is this, anyway?" Grace pondered this for a moment. "Okay."
  7. 7. The two girls plunked themselves down on the strange grass. Morgan, and shes my best friend.""This games called Mary Mack," Grace explained. "I play it with my "Will you be my best friend?" Anna asked brightly. "Ive never metcousin Morgan sometimes." another human before."Anna was a quick learner. Before long shed mastered Mary Mack, "Sure!" Grace said. She thought for a moment. "Most of the time aand Grace taught her to play tag... and cops n robbers... and person only gets one best friend, but you can be my best asleep friendcatch... and every other game that she knew. and Morgan can be my best awake friend. Is that okay?""Ive never had this much fun before!" Anna crowed. Anna shrugged. Then she blinked. "Hey... youre going all kinda fadey," she said."Me neither," Grace said. "Youre even more fun than my cousin
  8. 8. "I must be waking up," Grace said, looking down at herself. Impulsively, she threw her arms around Anna. "Goodbye Anna! I hope I dream aboutyou again soon..."
  9. 9. August 4, PYI 130Dear Diary,Its been a day since my dear husband Roche told me that he sold our baby, Susanna, to Death in exchange for freedom from his family curse. Ihavent spoken to him since he told me. But I did invite De* over and ask for her take on the situation.She didnt know that was the price Roche had paid to lift the curse, and was as shocked as I was. But then she asked me... what should Roche havedone?---*De = fireflower314, Morgan and Pierce legacies
  10. 10. I got angry at her, dear Diary. I couldnt come up with an answer. If Roche hadnt done what he did, we wouldnt even have Grace, or the twobabies I can feel kicking inside me. But because of his bargain with the Grim Reaper, Susanna is gone.Im very confused.I wish hed told me beforehand.-- Marie
  11. 11. A few weeks later, Marie surprised everyone by going into labour in the dining room."Quick, call the ambulance!" Pao cried.
  12. 12. But it happened much too fast for the ambulance, yet again. Before anyone could do more than yell about emergency services, Marie had givenbirth to twins.This is Nicholas. Named for pirate Nicholas Brown, Nick has his fathers (genetic) brown hair and the blue eyes shared by both his parents.In the 1700s, the real Nicholas Brown was a pirate attacking ships around Jamaica. He was caught and sentenced to hang. But the king spared hislife on the condition that he give up piracy. Brown, of course, did not give up piracy and was eventually captured by an old schoolmate... who cutoff his head, pickled it, and brought it back to Britain in a jar so he could claim the reward.
  13. 13. And this little guy is William, and he also has brown hair and blue eyes.Willie is named for boxer-turned-pirate William Fly. Fly was such a bad pirate that he managed to capture just one ship before his crew mutinied.They didnt even throw him overboard... they handed him over for hanging. Fly was a bit morbid, though, and seemed to enjoy his execution. Hestood on the gallows, holding bunches of flowers, smiling and waving. The noose wasnt very well made so Fly tied the knot properly beforeslipping it over his head. Weirdo.
  14. 14. September 24, PYI 130Dear Diary,Im starting to forgive my husband, I think. His touch no longer fills me with revulsion.The only thing is... it seems that all we have is physical chemistry now. Theres no sense of trust, or commitment.
  15. 15. I wonder how long it will be before the man I sleep with and I are friends again?-- Marie
  16. 16. Fall turned into winter, and after one particularly heavy snowfall a notice was sent out that school was cancelled! The very first thing Grace didwas call her cousin Morgan and invite her over to play.
  17. 17. And oh, did the two of them play hard!"Snowball fight!" Grace cried gleefully. "Im gonna whip your butt, Morgan!"
  18. 18. "No way," Morgan giggled. She balled up a huge snowball (it was a dirty one, and filled with rocks) and threw it as hard as she could at Grace.
  19. 19. "Missed!" Grace grinned as the snowball flew over the fence. She scooped up a handful of snow and ice and returned fire."I dont think so!" Morgan giggled, dodging neatly to one side.A good thirty minutes later the girls tramped into the house to warm up, both sporting minor bruises but in good spirits nonetheless.
  20. 20. "I know," Grace said as they hung up their coats by the front door,"lets play darts!" "My parents do that too, but our house is smaller than yours," Morgan said. "Hey, do you know why my dad didnt get to be legacy"Are you sure were allowed?" Morgan asked apprehensively. heir? Ive always wondered.""It wouldnt be in the library if I wasnt allowed," Grace said. "Nobodys told me why my dad got chosen," Grace said dismissively."Okay then," Morgan said. "Do your parents always put the things "I should ask the goddess," Morgan said. "Shed know."youre allowed to use in the library?" "I guess," Grace didnt sound very interested. "Its not important"If Im allowed to play with it, they put it where I can reach it," Grace anyway. I wanna know who the next legacy heir is, not worry aboutshrugged. the old one."
  21. 21. Before long, the two girls tired of throwing darts at the dartboard. Plus, they kept missing and the wall was starting to look pretty bad."Lets play chess instead," Morgan suggested. The two girls settled in and made their opening moves. "Hey, did your cowplant just eat someone?"Grace whirled around to look. Morgan snickered, and moved a piece.
  22. 22. "Morgan, look!" Grace shrieked, studying the board. "Its an encyclopedia salesman!""Where?" Morgan whirled around. Grace giggled and surreptitiously moved a piece.
  23. 23. After a while, though, both girls had caught each other cheating several times."This is boring," Grace declared. "Lets play Cops n Robbers. Ill be the cop!""Why do I have to be the robber?" Morgan pouted."Its just til I catch you," Grace shrugged. She pointed her index finger at Morgan. "Bang! I hit you!"
  24. 24. "Oh no!" Morgan shrieked, giggling. "Im done for! Hey Grace, what do you "Only once," Grace said, "and youre supposed to be dying, Morgan! Playthink death is like?" properly!""Why do you ask so many questions?" Grace asked. "Fine, fine," Morgan muttered, and obligingly collapsed. Grace walked up to her and kicked her. "Ow!""Im insatiably curious," Morgan shrugged. "I dont know anyone whosdied." "Anyway," Grace went on, ignoring Morgans cry, "it wasnt very interesting... except..." and she slowly recounted the dream shed had and"I had a dream about visiting ... well, not heaven," Grace shrugged. "This the girl shed met in her dreams so many months earlier.kind of black-and-white place. Death lived there." "Thats creepy," Morgan said, eyes wide."Weird," Morgan said, forgetting that she was supposed to be dying. "Haveyou had that dream a lot?" "Youre telling me."
  25. 25. A few weeks later, as the holidays approached, Roche went out and bought a store on a whim. He was frequently doing things on whims (PleasureSim!), and figured that since he and Marie were still on the outs he might as well channel his energy constructively.A few days after Christmas, Bubbles & Bubbly (for all your Pleasure Sim Needs) had its grand opening.
  26. 26. "Nadine*," Roche said to his newest employee, "Id love for you to be out on the sales floor.""Got it, boss," Nadine said, coughing slightly in the crisp winter air.Roche then turned to his other employees. "Amin, youve got restocking. PB**, if you could take the cash register?"----*Nadine Fitzhugh, Fitzhugh Legacy by smoothiequeen87**PB = Professor Butters, writer of the Squeaky Clean Legacy
  27. 27. Roches family came by on opening day to check out the new family business."I do not know that I entirely approve of this establishment," Jack said, pursing his lips. "Still, it is a creative outlet for your energy and time. If youare looking for high quality goods to sell, you have only to ask. I have some Egyptian Cotton I have been trying to clear for some time, my dearnephew.""Thanks Uncle Jack," Roche grinned, "but were sticking to pleasure sim needs here. If I ever open a bed store or a hot sheet hotel, though, youllbe the first person I call.""I am not sure as to whether I should be reassured by that statement or not, my dear nephew."
  28. 28. As the time wore on, Roche found himself increasingly attracted to the beautiful saleswoman hed hired. At first, he went with the flow, and for atime began to feel the sense of companionship that he no longer possessed at home... but then he began to feel guilty."Nadine," he said hesitantly."Yes?""I cant do this anymore. Im married... this is wrong.""Y-youre married?" Nadine was aghast. "You jerk!""I definitely deserved that," Roche said sometime later, his ears ringing and his face smarting from the slap Nadine had delivered as notice of herintention to quit.
  29. 29. "Bro... I have a problem.""Oh?" Bart was all ears."My, ah, chief salesperson just walked out on me," Roche explained."Hmm..." Bart said."Do you want the job?" Roche asked."Ive got a great job that I love, little brother," Bart said. He thought for a moment. "But I think theres someone in the family looking for work atthe moment, now that you mention it..."
  30. 30. "Id be delighted, dear nephew,To work in your shop.I can sell all your bubblies.Just dont tell me to hop!""Err... right," Roche nodded. "I think I got the gist of that."
  31. 31. And slowly, things improved at the store. Roche wasnt attracted to Itll make you see creaturesany of his employees and was able to sell bubbles, bubbly, hot tubs, Like the pink poogle toy.juice kegs, and firecrackers to his hearts content. It wasnt long until The bubbles created by this here machinehis store was raking in the dough. Will produce visions that will enhance any scene. Guaranteed to send you out of your mind.""This blower here is a remarkable find,Truly it is only one of a kind. "Fine, Ill take it! Geez!" Marina* said in exasperation.Its got hundreds of features ----To enhance party joy. *Marina = smoothiequeen87, Fitzhugh Legacy
  32. 32. "Miss Toast*, could I interest you in a bubble blower?" "Right... Ill be over by the champagne display if you need anything.""Mmm... cross between Johnny and Pao..." "No, no, Im here... yeah, Ill take three. And the champagne display.""Miss Toast?" ----"Sexy mailman..." *Ephemeral Toast, writer of Apocalypso-A-Go-Go & Ugothlacy
  33. 33. "I understand that you might "I also am somewhat unclearBe in need of some replacement smite. Why your Goddesship doth appearWe have goods on this shelf To no longer be dressedThat your deity-self In your piratical best,Could use to make cheats see the light." But instead in this rather dull gear."Excellent! Youve sold me on that one, Celeste. I mumbled something that may or may not have contained the words new stuff pack.
  34. 34. "Hey Roche, I hear youve been leading on legacy characters!" ZoeyLegacina* said with something between a smirk and a scowl on her "Aieeeee!"face. "Exactly," Zoey said. "And dont do it again!""What?" Roche said, looking up from his inventory list in confusion. "Errr...""Id like to congratulate you on breaking Nadine Fitzhughs heart." ----Zoey stuck her hand out. Roche grasped it, though he hadnt the *Pseudo Legacy, by Orikesfaintest idea what Zoey was going on about.
  35. 35. Its okay, Roche. Youre doing a great job... dont be too worried about what Zoey said. Youre definitely my favorite.But you may want to lay off of the flirting. I cant see anything good coming of it unless its your wife youre flirting with.
  36. 36. Now that Maries pregnancy was past, it was time for the long-awaited opening of her brand new pet store, Maries Pet Emporium.The business was a huge hit right from the start, and Marie found herself in need of some help. Although at first she was uncertain whether her newemployee should be a stocker or stock himself.
  37. 37. "Gage*, hon, could you stay late and help me with the inventory?" Marie asked her hirsute employee late one evening. "I want to get home to theboys and Ill get home a lot faster if youre willing to put in a bit of overtime.""Sure," Gage said, shrugging. He scratched behind one ear awkwardly. Marie looked at him. "Fleas," he added, by way of explanation.----*Gage Uglacy, The Uglacy by Candi020765
  38. 38. February 23, PYI 131Dear Diary,I am covered in flea bites. This sucks.-- Marie
  39. 39. Gage wasnt the only one Marie was spending time with after hours at the pet store, though. One evening Roches college friend Jerry Turner justhappened to stroll by while Marie was working on a few things.She stopped to chat with Jerry... it got late... you can do the math as to what happened next.Marie was very confused. She had strong chemistry with Roche, for sure. But other than pure physical magnetism, what else did their relationshiphave? Any trust or friendship was damaged by Roches belated revelation that hed agreed to give up their daughter.Consequently, while Marie felt some guilt over her illicit liasons... she also didnt stop indulging in them.
  40. 40. As the weather gradually warmed up, the youngest entrepreneur in the Buccaneer household also opened up shop."Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze the poor,Money in the bank.Clinkety clinkety clinkety clinkety,Enough to fill a tank."*Grace has obviously been spending way too much time with her Aunt Celeste. And is labouring under the misapprehension that she is ScroogeMcDuck.---*Sung to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat.
  41. 41. Her very first customer was her grandfather, but before long Grace had nearly filled her piggybank."What are you going to use the money for?" Roche asked his oldest child as he tucked her into bed one crisp April evening. "A new toy?""Nah," Grace said. "Im savin up for an MP3 player."
  42. 42. Time passed, as it always does, and soon the twins birthday rolled around.It was a family party, as usual, with April, Nala, Benjamin, and Bart in attendance.
  43. 43. October 14, PYI 131Dear Diary,Can you believe that my baby boys are toddlers? I sure cant! Ive enclosed a couple of pictures of the two of them in their best clothes.William has quite the mop of hair, doesnt he? Its always so wild and shaggy, no matter how short I cut it or how much I comb it.Willie is a little sweetheart. Hes usually very tidy with his toys, which he plays with constantly. He loves being cuddled, but he doesnt really like toplay more active games with his brother or his grandparents.
  44. 44. And this is Nicholas. Nickys hair is growing in much slower than his twins. But thats okay. Nick and his brother are very similar, though Nick is alot shyer with new people, yet a lot more into rough-and-tumble games with his big sister and his grandparents.My babies... theyre growing up way too fast!-- Marie
  45. 45. Marie often gushed about her babies and how fast they were growing in her blog, but it was really Grandma Ivy and Grandpa Pao who spent themost time with the two toddler tykes. Between them, they taught Nick and Willie how to use the potty...
  46. 46. ... how to talk ..."Say Commodore Bear, Nicky!"Stinky fuzzbutt!""Oy, I heard that, ye little scoundrel!"
  47. 47. .. and how to walk."Wanna play, Gramma!""But this is playing, dearie.""S not!""We know better than to argue with a toddler. How about you walk over to us and then well read you a story?""Yay!"
  48. 48. They also spent plenty of time snuggling with both little boys."You know," Pao said one morning as he and Ivy sipped their coffee, "it seems were raising these boys ourselves with Marie and Roche both attheir stores so often.""We cant particularly disagree," Ivy said slowly. "We think we might have to have a chat with our son and daughter-in-law."
  49. 49. For Ivy and Pao were both growing old, and finding it harder to take care of little ones who ran a lot faster than they did of late. Both foundthemselves spending more and more time at home. Ivy even gave up her harem...
  50. 50. ... while Pao retired from his minioning duties.Pao and Jack remained as close as ever, though, and Jack stopped by frequently to give updates on how the newest minions were getting on.
  51. 51. As the year turned towards spring and summer once again, Roche listened to his parents and began cutting back on his hours at the store. Celesteand Professor Butters were more than competent to handle almost anything that might happen.Pearl, for one, was glad to see more of her Master.
  52. 52. Not that shed been lacking in attention. William was always toddling about the house in search of Pearl, and she dutifully took care of him if noadults were in sight."Tickles!"
  53. 53. She even went as far as feeding William on occasion."Yummy!"Pearl did offer a few bites to Nick, but he wasnt interested in chowing down on dog food.
  54. 54. Ivy and Pao both took advantage of Roches greater contribution to child-rearing in their household and spent more time with their othergrandchild, Morgan."Grandma, have you always been a good dancer? Whats this dance called? Can you teach me how to smustle? Why is smustling cool anyway? Itlooks pretty silly to me. Why couldnt Grace come with you? When can I come over to play? Can Grace come over tomorrow? Where do babiescome from? Why did you only have two kids? Why does Uncle Roche have a white streak in his hair?""One at a time," Ivy laughed. "We arent an encyclopedia!""Why not?"
  55. 55. Morgan was very excited about her impending big-sister-ness and often talked to the swelling bulge of her mothers tummy."Hi baby! Are you a boy or a girl? When are you coming out? Is it dark in there? Will you be my friend? You have to have your own room. I dontwant to share. Whats your favorite color? When will you learn how to talk? Grace says babies are stinky. Are you stinky?""We think youre going to have your hands full," Ivy laughed as she walked out the door on her way home.
  56. 56. A short time later, De and Bart were happy to welcome a baby boy, Pierce. He, of course, was named for the type of damage that rapiers, a favoredpirate weapon, do to the people they poke.Morgan was excited about Pierces arrival, but somewhat disgusted that he was a boy.
  57. 57. Bart found it to be a bit of an adjustment, getting used to having a baby in the house again. That was for sure!"P-U!" Morgan exclaimed. "Grace was right, babies are stinky! Daddy, how long until Pierce is toilet trained? Do you think he could hurry it up?Can we get an air freshener? How do air fresheners work? Why do they always come in pine? Are there pine vampires that suck the smell out oftrees and put it in air fresheners?"
  58. 58. "Want the bottle, Nicky?""You can have it, Willie.""Im full!""Me too!""Lets go find Pearl.""Otay."
  59. 59. You know, you shouldnt jump on the bed, Grace. butted out for a while, since stuff has been happening that I cant interfere with."Wh-whos talking?" Grace said, sounding a bit startled. "So why are you talking to me now?"Its just me. Hmm... good point."Who?" "Wait! Come back!"Me! Sarah, wearer of purple pirate suits... and your beloved deity. But it was no use. My talkative phase had ended for a while as I"I thought we were agnostic?" wandered off to sulk about being unloved... and to watch a train wreck happen.Sorry, kid. Your deity lives on your island, in the flesh. Ive just...
  60. 60. "Why yes, we do have a position open. Just come on through..."
  61. 61. "I really appreciate you hiring me, Mrs. Buccaneer.""*whew* Call me Marie."
  62. 62. "Arr!""Nala, put the bear down please," Bart said in exasperation. "De and the kids are sleeping and I wont be happy if you wake them up.""Its not me," Nala said, holding Commodore Bear gingerly. "Grandpa Jack obviously has something to say.""Aye, love. Listen up, Bart. Your brother is being cuckolded by his lovely wife on a regular basis, mate, and we ghosts think something bad maycome of it... savvy?"
  63. 63. "Fine," Bart grimaced. "Ill look into it. But frammit, Grandpa Jack, I "He would still be sleeping if you and our dear greatest ofthought the familys problems were over and done with!" grandfathers hadnt woken him up," Bart muttered. "Anyway, its late. Ill talk to you later, Nala. Im going to get Pierce back to sleep"Arr, if only life were that simple, mate." and then go to bed myself."At that moment, baby Pierce started wailing at the top of his lungs. "Dont forget about checking into what Maries up to," Nala reminded him."Aah!" Bart yelled. "Cant a man have any peace and quiet?" "Yeah... Ill swing by the pet store tomorrow," Bart called over his"Not when he has an infant in the house," Nala pointed out. shoulder as he headed upstairs and Nala let herself out the front door.
  64. 64. The next evening, Bart stopped by the pet store on his way home from work.He was very upset to see Marie draping herself all over one of her employees... especially once he recognized who that employee was.
  65. 65. In his shock, he forgot that he was planning to talk to Marie, and was gone before Marie and her newest employee, Anthony Greaves, closed upshop for the night. Thankfully.
  66. 66. November 19, PYI 132Dear Diary,Roche and I are finally starting to become friends again, sort of. I still dont trust him, but the attraction has never waned even when I hated him,and weve been getting pretty intensely physical again lately.
  67. 67. Actually, Im a bit worried about that. What if I end up pregnant again?-- Marie
  68. 68. A few days after his surreptitious visit to Maries shop, Bart stopped by legacy manor. Hed been rehearsing what he would say to his brother sincehed seen Marie with Anthony, and he still had no idea how it was going to come out.He just hoped Roche wouldnt shoot the messenger.
  69. 69. Fortunately, it was easy for Bart to get Roche off into the library for a private chat, as Pao had his old buddies over for drinks. Ivy, Pao, Ben*, andJack were hanging out in the dining room. Marie was upstairs tucking in the kids. Bart and Roche could talk in peace.---*Ben is guilty of the Ten Caesars legacy.
  70. 70. "I dont know how to say this," Bart began, settling down next to Roche in the library, "but--""Marie is cheating on me, right?" Roche sighed."Y-you knew?""Ive suspected for a while," Roche said sadly. "I dont think shes forgiven me for-- for Susannas death."
  71. 71. "It goes back that far?" Bart was shocked."Well, its my fault," Roche shrugged sadly. "I had to promise the Grim Reaper that he could have my firstborn in exchange for resurrectingAnthony and breaking the curse.""Thats... brutal," Bart breathed. "I couldnt have done it.""I... almost couldnt go through with it," Roche said. "But I did... and at least now the family is free, right?""Not exactly," Bart said. "You see, the man I saw Marie with... was Anthony."
  72. 72. "...crap."
  73. 73. Roche wandered into the kitchen in shock after Bart left. Grabbing a bag of chips, he munched them absently while he thought about the situation.Jack also wandered into the kitchen, and was immediately set upon by Pearl. Roche tried offering her a few chips to distract her, but to no avail."I detest mammals of the canine persuasion!" Jack complained as he legged it off the property.Pearl gave a satisfied bark and curled up in her dog house.Roche shrugged, and went to bed, Barts revelation about Maries choice in lovers momentarily forgotten.
  74. 74. Sleep eluded Roche, however, and as he could hear both boys stirring he grabbed one in each arm and headed downstairs with them.
  75. 75. "I dont know why people insist this stuff is radioactive," he murmured as he prepared bottles of smart milk for Willie and Nick.He watched his sons down the bright green milk and lifted them out of their high chairs when they were done. Sure, they glowed bright green. Butthat was a normal side effect of smart milk and just showed that it was working. It had nothing to do with radioactivity, or so Uncle Eddie hadadvised him.Roche pondered this for a while, having successfully put all thoughts of Maries affair with Anthony out of his head.
  76. 76. February 14, PYI 133Dear Diary,Well, Im pregnant again.I cant really pretend that Im happy. Not when Im not sure whether the baby is Roches... or Anthonys.-- Marie
  77. 77. Bart was worried about his younger brother, but he had other things to think about and slowly, Grandpa Jacks warning slipped from his thoughts.Whenever he thought of Marie and Roche, he was sad... but he had so many happy things in his life that he found it easy to ignore the unpleasantside of life."Daddy, daddy, I got an A plus!" Morgan shrieked, waving her report card triumphantly."Way to go, kiddo!" Bart grinned."Now can we get a complete set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica like you promised?""If itll stop you asking questions every ten seconds..."
  78. 78. As he planted his garden, Bart listened to the sounds of his daughter on the swing set behind him and thought about how lucky he was.
  79. 79. For one thing, he and De still had a very romantic relationship.
  80. 80. Though that was, of course, not without its... drawbacks?
  81. 81. Sorry, De. Your husband is a jerk. You pass out from pregnancy-induced fatigue... and he laughs his head off.Thats what you get for having two bolts with a mean sim.
  82. 82. "Whee! More, grandma!""We are stuck. Pao! Help! Our back has gone out!""Higher, grandma!""Pao!"
  83. 83. Maries pregnancy progressed, and time passed, and before long it was time for Nick and Willies birthday. The usual suspects were again invited,and Ivys back was once again in the proper alignment so she made sure to be present.
  84. 84. Nick decided to continue with a short-haired look."Cmon Willie," he said impatiently as he waited for his brother to transition. "Lets go play with our presents!"
  85. 85. Willie, on the other hand, just kept getting shaggier and shaggier. Despite that, he was the handsomer of the two by a very small margin. Both boyswere adorable."I wanna talk to Auntie April and Auntie Nala first," Willie said.
  86. 86. Theirs wasnt the only birthday, either. It seemed like Pierce had only been born yesterday, and now he was a toddler too!
  87. 87. "Pierce, why do you play with that stupid bunny head? Dont you like fun toys? Are you ticklish? Im going to tickle you!""Morgie!" Pierce giggled.
  88. 88. "Pearl, love, Id be thrilled if youd stop harrassing Uncle Jack," Roche said. "Hes my main supplier of cheap French champagne, and Ive missedout on the last three shipments because you keep driving him off!""Wuf.""Its not funny, Pearl.""Wuf-wuf-wuf."
  89. 89. Willie giggled as he rubbed his socked feet on the rug in the living room.Then, very tenatively, he reached out a finger towards his father."Aieeeeeeeee!""Heheheheh.""Willie, thats not nice," his mother admonished absently.
  90. 90. "We are very lucky to be married to you, Pao."Pao and Ivy were as happy as ever despite their advancing age. Roche and Marie both looked at them often and sighed enviously. If only theirrelationship could be as strong... for despite Ivys former harem, shed only ever had eyes for Pao once they got married. He was the only one shedever really loved, and he knew it.Marie, on the other hand, wasnt sure if she loved Roche anymore. She resolved to sit down and chat with Ivy or De before much longer.
  91. 91. Spring had sprung, and love was in the air after all.Pao didnt care about love, though. He had as much as he needed in Ivy - he wasnt about to go looking for more. No, to him spring just meant thatit was time to plant tomatoes.
  92. 92. Barts tomato plot was also thriving, despite the fact that he spent more time chasing butterflies than tending his plants.
  93. 93. "Bart, why is there a jar of dead bugs on the counter?"
  94. 94. Time passed, and more time, and soon it was Morgans birthday."Whats being a teenager like? Will I be pretty? How long til I get my first kiss? Can I borrow the car tonight?""As to the first two, blow out the candles and find out, dear," De said encouragingly. "As to the last, definitely not."
  95. 95. Doesnt Morgan make a lovely teen? Shes absolutely beautiful.She couldnt wait to call Grace and tell her all about growing up."My birthday soon!" Grace crowed. "Youre coming to my party, right?""Wouldnt miss it for the world," Morgan grinned.
  96. 96. Much to Maries disgust, Roche took to spending hours on the computer. While Marie wasnt really jealous of the time her husband spent there, shedid worry that he would find her blog... and find out that baby she carried might not be his.
  97. 97. As it turned out, she was panicking due to hormones - Roche had no idea that Marie kept a blog online... so when baby Gertie was born, he had noclue that she might not be his. She had blue eyes like him, and blond hair like her mother.Gertrude Stubbs was a pirate who operated off of Yorkshire, England. One of her crew was captured and offered to betray her in return for apardon. Gertie was arrested and died of a fever while in jail. Her treasure was never discovered. Or so the story goes... but the story was made up.Still, a lot of people think Gertie really existed.
  98. 98. "My wife is so hot when she forgets she was potty-trained as a toddler.""Honestly, Roche, we are not amused."
  99. 99. "What do you want for your birthday, Grace?" Nick asked his big sister over breakfast. Her party was scheduled for that night."A cellphone," Grace said. "And some savings bonds, and a stock portfolio.""Youre a dork," Willie smirked. "What do your friends think of your extreme dorkitude?""They dont care," Grace shrugged. "Everybodys weird, Willie.""Is Morgan coming for your birthday?" Nick interrupted. "Do you know?""She said shed be here," Grace said.
  100. 100. Roche chuckled all the way to work that day.As it turned out, work was... strange.For one thing, people* kept wandering behind the counter, much to his cashiers annoyance.----*Brody Legacina, Pseudo Legacy by Orikes
  101. 101. For another, deities kept getting confused and wondering why they couldnt find any merchandise in the bathrooms.
  102. 102. Other demi-gods kept putting jars full of insects on the counter.
  103. 103. And Roches elderly Aunt Anne dropped a lump of mouldy parmesan in the firecracker display.
  104. 104. Finally, Roche was outside chatting with his friends Hercules and Elphaba* when he made a slightly off-color remark to Elphaba.She giggled, and batted her eyelashes at him.----*Lovechild of smoothiequeen87 and Gage Uglacy
  105. 105. That would be when Hercules flipped out, not that this deity can blame him. But still... for a flirt? Bit of an overreaction there, Herc.
  106. 106. "I thought we were friends!""What? All I said was that the colour green suits her!""Youre such a jerk, Roche. Im telling my mom to Zotz! you."Heyyy... leave me out of this.
  107. 107. Elphaba, meanwhile, couldnt stop crying. She was terrified that her marriage was over.
  108. 108. Of course, in her despair she decided that she should try to hit on Roche as the store approached closing time."Im a married man, Faba," he reminded her sternly.Elphaba sighed sadly and wandered home to try to salvage her marriage. Roche also went home... to celebrate his oldest daughters birthday.
  109. 109. Morgan made good on her promise and was there for her best friends party. But it was a small party, family only. De couldnt make it, beingpregnant again and having to stay home with Pierce, so it was just Morgan and Bart there to celebrate with Grace and her family."Cmon, blow out those candles! Can I have a big slice of cake, Grace?""Therell be a fifty percent markup on extra portions, Willie. Pay up."
  110. 110. Still, Grace grew up beautifully despite the small party... and thats where I shall leave you!Tune in next time... when we might find out if Roche finds out if Gertie is his or not. Morgan and Grace may or may not get their first kisses.Grace might or might not find out more about her mysterious dream friend, Anna. One or more businesses might or might not make it to level ten.Ivy and Pao might or might not go on to that great harem in the sky. De might or might not have another kid! And Nick and WIllie might or mightnot develop personalities!All that and less... coming soon.