Chapter 25.2 – TeenagersA Piratical Legacy Chapter 25 - Part 2Make sure you read part 1 first or this will make less than no sense whatsoever.
Only a few days had passed since hed had his first kiss with "Are you new to the area?"Marylena and Toby was already ready to play the field a bit more. Heheaded back to the bowling alley since hed had so much luck there "Nope, but I just turned thirteen," Sally said shyly. "So Im new topreviously. this whole teenager thing."And, while he preferred blondes, he did meet a girl he found quite "Its pretty cool, isnt it," Toby grinned. "My favorite part is dating."attractive. "Yeah?""Sally Deity," the girl--who obviously had some alien blood--saidwith a smile when Toby introduced himself. "Actually, speaking of that..." Toby continued, scarcely believing his luck."Well, Sally, Ive never seen you around here before," Toby said.
Within a few minutes, Toby was leading Sally inside to get a drink. They were intercepted on their way to the bar by Candice."Toby, love, what have I told you about flaunting other girls in front of me?" she scolded, batting her eyelashes."Youre looking good, Candice," Toby began, but then he noticed that Sally was starting to look kind of angry. "Err... maybe we can catch uplater?""If youre catching up with her later then youre not catching up with me now," Sally said, glaring.
"Oh, it was just a misunderstanding," Toby said quickly. "Candice is my... study partner. Yep. Study partner. For school.""I dont think I entirely buy that," Sally said. "But I guess we can hang out anyway. Im here with my friend Snoopy and hell beat the stuffing outof you if you treat me badly.""Good to know," Toby said, gulping nervously.
By the end of the evening, though, Sally had evidently decided that Toby was a nice enough guy to be worthy of her first kiss--and that she reallyliked him.
Back on Pirate Island, some of the members of Generation 5 were gathered in the Buccaneer family home to discuss their own children and whatkind of behaviour theyd been up to lately."I think if they misbehave, you should use Mr. Mickles," Andrew the Bigfoot said quite seriously."Thats kind of overkill," Pierce argued. "Mind control and what-have-you.""I dont know," Rajah shrugged. "Sometimes Khan can be quite the little animal. Might do him some good."
"Thanks for inviting me over, Gertie," Rajah said when thegentlemen rose to leave. "We havent really caught up since I got "Religion?"back from university!" "Well, sort of. Its more like a philosophy, you know? I mean, theres"I know," Gertie said sadly. "I spend so much time with my cheese... nothing so formal as a religious organization or anything. ButIm afraid I dont have much of a personality anymore." everything I do is out of consideration of the cheese.""You could always give it up," Rajah suggested. "Thats terrific," Rajah said with a deer-caught-in-headlights look on his face. "Ill catch ya later, Gertie -- next time, dont be such a"Give up my cheese?" Gertie was horrified. "No, Id rather not. There stranger!"has to be a better way to balance my religion and my social life."
"Zing, I like you better when you dont make me play Used Car "Nope... I just cant see that happening."Salesman," Ching Shih said happily as she danced on her brotherstoes. "Why do you play that game so much anyway?" "To a nice man, then? Like Uncle Green?" Shih was nothing if not persistent."Its what I want to do with my life," Coxinga shrugged. "I want tosell cars to people. I think Id be good at selling cars to people. "Well, that might be a tad more likely but I cant really see myselfMaybe one day Ill even restore one--just for fun." settling down with anyone," Zing shrugged. "Itd have to be the right person, thats for sure, and I dont really know if there is anyone"When youre married to a nice lady and have lots of kids?" Shih fitting that description in the world."asked. "Its a big world," Shih said. "I hope I find someone nice to marry,"I... doubt Ill ever be married to a lady," Zing said with a wry grin. but thats going to be way after college n stuff."
All over the island, teenagers were doing their makeup, fixing their hair, and putting on their nicest clothes."This is going to be the best party ever!" Robin crowed as she got ready to twirl on the Dance Sphere."Only if you get your butt off that thing and help me finish getting ready!" Toast cried. "Come on, Robin!""Oh, fine," Robin muttered. "But I wanted to meet the aliens..."
Shortly thereafter, every Pirate Island teen who could was gathered on Robin and Toasts front lawn waiting for the party to start. Scores ofyounger siblings were whining about not being invited to their parents. And somehow Toby had wrangled an invite as well due to being over tovisit his cousins."Do you see that guy?" Diana Deity giggled to her aunt Athena. "Hes totally going to come over and try to hit on us. I just have this ... vibe abouthim."Toby, totally oblivious to their chatter, swaggered over to them. "Ladies," he said with a smile... which set off more giggles.
"Whoa, lookin good Justinian!" Coxinga said, whistling appreciatively."Youre not so bad yourself," Justinian said with a grin."Were all pretty stylin," Hugo observed, though he secretly wished Lainey could have visited for the party. "Err... J-man, youve got a seriouslystylin babe over there trying to get your attention, dude.""Really?" Justinian swung his attention from an appreciation of Coxingas...assets to see where Hugo was looking. Zing glared at his cousin andHugo shrugged in apology. "Dude, the sexiness factor in the two of you together would draw too much attention away from me. Sorry."
"Justinian... so nice of you to come," Toast said warmly once Coxingas glares had been deflected elsewhere."Yeah, whatever," Justinian said with a shrug."Ooh, too cool for my party are you?" Toast said mockingly."Hm? What?" Justinian asked."Are you even paying attention while I talk to you?" Toast asked. She reached for his hand. "Come on, Justinian... lets go get this party startedproperly before Michelle deafens us all with her DJing."
"I heard that!" Michelle called from the DJ booth under the canopy alongside the house. "Now, are you kids going to come and have some fun? Ordo I have to drag you onto the dance floor kicking and screaming?"
"You, me, dance, now," Toast said to Justinian. He glanced at the other guys as if for help, and they shoved him in Toasts direction."Go get em, Tiger! Moar dance!" Shere Khan added, causing several teens to give him a strange look.
"Mind if I sit with you guys?" Toast asked Angora and Hugo, who Angora said conversationally.had decided to hit the buffet table before they tried dancing. "Yeah, it was getting kind of old, but shes finally crushing on"Go ahead," Angora said, gesturing grandly to the empty seat. someone else now," Hugo said, relief evident in his tone. "And its a good thing, too, cause I met this girl..."Toast took it and then promptly turned so she could keep her eye onJustinian. "This is so embarrassing," she muttered to herself in an "Who?" Angora squealed. "Not someone from the Island...?"undertone. "Everyones going to think I have a huge crush on aLegacy character. Ugh." "Nope, matchmaker brought her and shes from Singapore," Hugo said. "Weve been keeping in touch by email and Angie, shes soHugo and Angora exchanged a glance and then decided to ignore freakin awesome. I hope we get a chance to visit or something soon."their table companion. "Toshis not stalking you for once, I see,"
Toshiko, meanwhile, was feeling a bit embarrassed about her recent "I think he met her on teh intarwebz," Shere Khan said. "But I reallystalkerish behavior towards Hugo so she decided to hang around with shouldnt gossip. Gossip = Epic Fail."her other best friend, Shere Khan, instead. "Did you just say =?""Ive been such an idiot," she told him. "Geez, Hugo and I have beenfriends since we were little kids! And now Ive made it all awkward "What? Did I pronounce it wrong?"and it sucks." "Anyway, whatever gossip may be, its also fun," Toshiko declared."Youll get over it," Khan said with a reassuring smile. "Besides, "And since when are we nice people, Khan?"Hugos got a girlfriend." Shere Khan shrugged, thought for a moment, and then filled Toshiko"Does he?" Toshiko asked. "Who?" in on as many of the details as he could remember.
Toshiko wasnt necessarily as over Hugo as shed claimed, though, since her reaction to getting the full scoop on Hugos dating activities was tohead over to the juice keg and take a swig right out of the nozzle - much to Tobys amusement and Pens* consternation."Good thing we watered that stuff down," she said to herself as she observed the teenagers antics.===* simself of penguingirl0384, writer of the Penguino Legacy
Darkness fell, and the party picked up even more. By this point, Toast and Robin were pretty sure they were at Roofraiser status, but Toast decidedto seal the deal."Hey Legs, who you lookin for?" Toby called from the table he was sharing with Zing and Khan.Toast shot him down with a withering look and continued in her search. Five minutes later, shed managed to slip Justinian her phone numberdespite the catcalls."Whatd I say?" Toby asked. Zing threw a potato at him. "Hey!"
"Your cousin is teh strange," Khan commented as Toby got up in search of easier prey."Tell me about it," Zing chuckled. "Come on, Khan. Its midnight... time to blow this joint before our parents blow their tops.""Departure FTW," Khan nodded. "But hey... we can has hang-outs sometime plzkthxbai?""Yeah, thatd be fun," Zing agreed. "Shoot some pool or something.""My mad p00l skillz, let me show you them," Shere Khan grinned."A challenge, then," Zing grinned. "Ive got a family thing coming up in a few days but after that... Ill call you, okay?""Ownage!"
And with that, the party dissipated, and the gorgeous young men (and women) of Pirate Island trickled home.
"I think that went pretty well," Robin said once most of the party debris had been cleaned up. "You guys didnt have to break up any canoodlingcouples, and Toast is pretending she doesnt have a crush on Justinian.""It was pretty obvious," Jenn* agreed. "So when are you going to make contact with Crassus?""Weve been friends for ages already," Robin shrugged. "So I feel no need to stalk him."===* simself of Ndainye, writer of the Familiar Faces legacy
"I am not getting involved with a legacy character," Toast said furiously as she joined them. "That might lead to babies." She shuddered."Sure..." Robin said knowingly. "Anyway, its not as if hes a... you know... legacy legacy character. They dont get more sparey than him."
"One more sleep and then vacation with Grandpa!" Ching Shih crowed to herself as she finished her homework. "And then I can see if crabs reallydo bite you when you poke them, and what happens if you pour soap into an ancient monkey shrine, and all kinds of stuff! Mo-om, why isnt Zingdoing his homework now too?" she added in a yell when she realized her older brother was nowhere to be found."Hes at work and then hes going out with Hugo," Grace called back from the kitchen.
"How come he gets to go out with Hugo after school but I hardly get to see him. But hes big now too and thats kinda stinky. Zing toldever get to play with Liv?" Shih asked rebelliously. me all Toby talks about now is girls.""Because hes old enough to go and do things like that on his own as "Thats poetic," Grace said with a smile. "Considering who hislong as he tells his parents about it," Grace pointed out. "You and Liv parents are, I mean."will be teenagers pretty soon and when that happens youll have a lotmore freedom as well. Besides, youre both going on vacation with "What does that mean?" Shih asked.Grandpa Roche so youll get to spend lots of time together." "Ill tell you when youre a teenager.""Yeah, and Tobys coming too!" Shih said excitedly. "We hardly ever
Zing was busy buying electronic devices at the youth centre while he waited for Hugo to show up. He figured--long flight, need some electronicentertainment to keep from being bored.
"So, are you going to shoot pool or not?" Hugo asked once the boys had gone upstairs. "Cmon, Zing... curfews ten for me like it is for you.""Yeah, I guess," Zing shrugged, walking over to the wall and grabbing a pool cue from the rack. "You excited about the trip thing tomorrow?""I guess," Hugo said. "I told Lainey we were going to Twikkii Island and she was going to see if she could go there with her parents at the sametime. Thatd be pretty cool.""Yeah, I guess itd be okay to finally meet the chick you keep going on about," Zing smirked. "Dont let Toby anywhere near her, though! From hislast email, hes pretty successful with the ladies.""What about you?" Hugo prodded.
"I dont have time for romance," Zing shrugged, lining up his shot. "I have school, my job... and Im thinking about starting a business pretty soon.""Still, you know half the girls at school have crushes on you," Hugo said. "Angie and Toshi are always talking about it.""Meh, no time for gossip either," Zing shrugged, taking the shot. "I dunno if Ill ever end up in a relationship, Hugo. It just doesnt have any appealfor me right now.""Youll come around later when you meet the right person," Hugo said, with all the knowledge of a teenager whos started dating earlier than hispeers can muster.
"Are we talking, or are we playing?" Zing asked. "Its your shot, Hugo.""Youre not getting any more turns, cous," Hugo smirked. "Watch and learn, my young apprentice, how a true master shoots pool.""Ill believe it when I see it," Zing laughed. "Loser has to do the dishes tomorrow night!""Deal!"
But there was more adventure yet to come before the Buccaneer cousins would get to go on vacation with their grandfather. Lee was stargazing tobuild up his logic skill so he could finally top out the business career track when a bright light suddenly started shining on him and a strange humfilled the air. Everyone came running.
"Help!" Lee shrieked as he started moving inexorably upwards to the waiting maw of the UFO that had come for him. "Get me down from here!""Dont go towards the light!" Gertie cried. "Hang on to the telescope, Lee!""AIEEEEEEEE!"
But to no avail. Within moments, the UFO had taken off through the night sky and all that was left of Lee was his sobbing in-laws gathered aroundthe telescope.
He was returned in the wee hours of the morning: bloody, bruised, and carrying a little... present, though it would not make itself known for sometime.
"This is not how I envisioned my vacation starting," Lee sighed as he walked into the house. "This is going to be a lot less fun than Id hoped."
"Okay dad, looks like the kids suitcases are packed. Heres the numbers of the new vacation homes in Takemizu Village and the Three Lakes area,okay?""I do know how to take care of children, Grace," Roche said scoldingly. "Remember, I had five of my own.""Gertie and I will hold down the fort here with the help of Mr. Mickles," Andrew said reassuringly.Just then there was a honk outside - the airport shuttles were there!
It was several hours later when Roche and his grandchildren were delivered to the front door of the family vacation home on Twikkii Island."If youre going to get changed, I suggest you do so!" Roche said. "As for me... Im heading down to the beach and soaking up some rays!"
"Okay, Liv, lets build the biggest and bestest sandcastle ever and then we can collect a bunch of crabs and fishes and make them live in it," Shihsaid commandingly."And then can we smash it?" Liv asked with a note of glee in her voice."Not if theres fishes and crabs living in it!" Shih said scoldingly. "But we can build another one for smashing if you really want to."
All thoughts of smashing sandcastles were soon gone as the temperature rose and the water looked more and more inviting. Before long, everyonewas in the water."Marco!""POLO!""Marco!""POLO!""Haha, I caught you Hugo! Youre it!"
It was a good couple of hours before everyone climbed out of the water, exhausted but happy, and lay out on their beach towels to soak up the sunand dry off."Make sure you put on plenty of sunscreen!" Roche reminded his young charges."But I want to get burned!" Shih insisted. "Ive never been sunburned before and I want to know what it feels like!"
"It hurts like pain," Roche said. "And its very uncomfortable. Trust me, girlie, its better not to experience it.""Aww... if you insist," Shih grumbled, but she obediently slathered herself with lotion and got Liv to do her back.
"This is the life," Zing said with a contented sigh once he was also suitably be-lotioned. "When Im grown up and rich Im going to own abeachfront home just like this and spend all of my time there.""I thought you were going to be a used car salesman?" Toby called from the other end of the beach."At that point, Ill be successful enough that Ill have other people selling the cars for me," Zing responded. "And Ill be able to live a life of frugal,prudent leisure."
Its pretty safe to say that most of the others were entertaining similar thoughts about their future lifestyles as they soaked up the rays.
"So what are we going to do tomorrow?" Hugo asked once theyd all gone inside to have some supper. "Working on our suntans is fine but Idreally like to see the sights a little."
"You just hope you run into your girlfriend," Liv said with a disgusted face. "I totally hacked your email, Hugo. I know shes coming here onvacation too."
"What?!?" Hugo cried. "Liv! That is so not cool! My email is personal and private!""Now, now, be nice to each other or we wont go to the pirate ship tomorrow," Roche admonished. "And Ive always wanted to go back to that.""Do we have a computer here so I can email Lainey?" Hugo asked eagerly. "I can let her know where were going to be!""Sorry, no computer here," Roche said. "Tomorrow is for family anyway. If you want you can phone her and let her know well be at the hotsprings in a couple of days.""Thanks, Grandpa!" Hugo grinned.
"Grandpa, this is the best vacation ever so far!" Shih said enthusiastically. "Next can we all go see the Witch Doctor and get our own Mr. Mickleslike Aunt Gertie has?""Err... no," Roche said. "Maybe when youre older.""But I wanna make Zing pee his pants!""I said no, Shih," Roche said sternly. He hastily excused himself and a few minutes later the kids could hear laughter emitting from the masterbedroom.
The next morning they stopped off for a quick look at the monkey ruins before continuing on to the Pirate Ship beach. Everyone was suitably awedby the huge shrine.
But, if the truth must be told (and it must), they were considerably more awed by the giant pirate ship that was moored at one of the many publicbeaches on Twikkii Island.Everyone ran up to check it out right away, except Shih. She was still hunting through the sand for a crab; the crustaceans had eluded her thus far.
"Whoa, this is awesome!" Zing crowed as he climbed his way up to the crow’s-nest. "You can see the whole island from up there!"
"Arr! Shiver me timbers! Yo ho yo ho a Pirates life for me!""You look like Grandpa Jack when you do that, Grandpa," Liv observed."Aye, tis intentional, matey," Roche crowed. "Ye come from a fine tradition o pirating the high seas, love!"
It was when they were exploring the ship lagoon that the kids finally got the chance to try some local cuisine. Liv didnt like it very much, but theboys were all impressed. Of course, being teenaged males, its unlikely they would find fault with anything that could make its way to theirstomachs.
Shih, probably the most outgoing of the youngsters, was the first one to make the acquaintance of a local."Im Ching Shih Buccaneer!" she announced proudly. "And Im here on vacation. Whats your name?""My name is Jim Reeves," the handsome local replied. "How are you enjoying my island?"
"Its not bad, but I dont think I have the hang this greeting thing yet," of them?"Shih said as she demonstrated awkwardly. "Thatd be awesome!" Shih said enthusiastically. "Where can I find"Not bad, little one," Jim smiled, flashing his dazzling white teeth at them?"her. "Just work on your balance a little and you will have it down." "We have a penpal exchange program here," Jim said. "If you send"I wish there were more kids to practice with," Shih grumbled. "But I an email to penpal-exchange at twikki dot com, youll be matched uphavent seen any kids on the island at all! Well, except for other with one or two islanders you can share emails with."people on vacation." "Thats so cool," Shih said. She got a napkin and a pen from the local"They are all at school," Jim replied. "Would you like to meet some chef and wrote down the address. "Thanks, Mr. Jim!"
"You are very welcome," Jim said. "I hope you enjoy your penpal! Now, if you will excuse me, I must get back to work.""It was nice meeting you, Mr. Jim!" Shih called as the local man strode away.
"You know, this ship is kinda creepy at night," Toby commented as he and Hugo prowled the decks of the wooden craft. "Do you think its truethat its haunted?""Geez, dont talk about stuff like that when its dark out!" Hugo said, shuddering. "Cmon, T... lets head over to the food stand and meet up with theothers."
The next day, the group headed to the White Sands Hot Springs, just down the road from the family vacation home."This is the life," Toby said appreciatively as he sank beneath the steaming waters. "I could definitely get used to it. And all the girls walkingaround in bikinis. I could get used to that too.""Do you see Lainey?" Hugo asked, looking around. "I told her wed be here today.""Calm down, Hugo," Roche laughed. "I remember what its like to be young and in love. Shell show up, Im sure of it."Hugo blushed furiously.
Sure enough, Lainey showed up a few short moments later."Uhh... hi," Hugo said awkwardly, waving at her."Hugo Pseudo, are you telling me that you dragged me out of bed so I couldnt even sleep in this morning and now you are making small talk atme?" Lainey complained with a yawn. "I thought we were past the small talk stage in our relationship, no?"
"Really?" Hugo grinned. "Erm, I mean... right. Im really glad your family could come and vacation the same time as mine, Lainey.""Hugo Pseudo, you know the way to a womans heart," Laineys laugh was elfin. "Just like so many men, you have trouble saying what you reallyfeel.""I feel that this vacation would be a lot duller if I didnt get the chance to see you.""Hugo Pseudo, you are making me blush," Lainey said, fluttering her eyelashes.
Well, that was it. Hugo didnt care that his cousins and his grandfather and his sister were all watching and cat-calling from the hotspring. Heleaned in and planted a big old kiss on Laineys lips."Hugo Pseudo, I think this is the best vacation I have ever had," Lainey said breathlessly."Yeah, me too," Hugo said with a shy smile. "Cmon, Ill introduce you to my family."
Hugo wasnt the only one finding a bit of vacation romance, either. It would have been more surprising if Toby hadnt found a girl to hit on beforethe vacation ended.Obviously, she didnt mind too much.
"Grandpa, this has been the best vacation ever," Liv declared at supper that night. "My moms pretty cool but she never lets us have cake forsupper!""Er, about that," Roche said, clearing his throat awkwardly, "Perhaps it would be best if you didnt mention that to your parents?""Will you get in trouble if we do, Grandpa?" Ching Shih asked earnestly."But youre not going to, right kiddo?" Zing prodded his sister with his elbow."I guess not," Shih said. "But I would have liked it better if we could have crabs or something for supper. Only I never caught any! How am Isupposed to learn about nature n stuff on vacation if the nature keeps getting away from me?"
"It stinks that we have to go home tomorrow," Liv said sadly as she and Shih got ready for bed. "And it stinks even more that the boys dont haveto go to bed yet.""Thats because theyre teenagers," Shih said, wrinkling her nose in disgust. "Im not sure if I want to be a teenager, Liv. Its all hormones andyuckiness.""Tell me about," Liv said with a dramatic sigh. "Did you see Hugo kissing that girl today? Gross!""I know!"
"All in all, I think this has been a pretty sweet vacation," Toby declared as he sat in the wash from the waves. "I got me a bit of lovin, we soakedup the sun... definitely a supreme time.""We have to come back when were in college," Zing agreed. "Maybe then Ill have as much luck in the love department as you and Hugo werehaving.""Aw, Zing... you werent even looking," Toby scoffed. "There were other teens there besides Hugos girl and that one I was kissing on. What doyou think, Hugo?"
"Hmm? What was that?" Hugo asked with a dopey grin on his face."Ah, theres no use talking to him tonight," Toby smirked. "Hes completely twitterpated.""Yeah, but shes so gorgeous," Hugo said with a dreamy smile. "I think Im in love, guys."
"I dunno, I think its kinda crazy for you to be settling for just one girl when there are so many out there in the world," Toby said dubiously. "Imean, theres this girl back home, Marylena, and shes super fine. But then theres this other girl, Candice. And theres Sally, and Ivy... theres noway I could stick to just one of them.""One of these days youre going to get caught in the mother of all slap-fests," Hugo said. "Im just sayin, dude."
"Yeah, but I think its worth it," Toby said with a contented sigh. "Dudes, if youd ever seen Candice... have I mentioned I like blondes?""Only about a million times!" Zing complained. "Toby, man, youve got a one-track mind... thats certain.""Ive never denied it, Coxinga my friend. Ive never denied it."
The next morning, the entire gang posed for pictures before heading home, Roche sporting a shiny new sunburn and Zing a smokin hot tan.And then they changed back into their regular clothes and headed home.
"Eurgh! This sucks," Robin complained. "I could handle the elementary school homework, but Im not liking this highschool stuff. Cant we juststop going to school entirely?"
"Not if we end up having to go to college to stop whatever dastardly thing is being planned by whoever the new legacy villains are," Toast saidpragmatically. "Besides, school is a great place to develop ones social life." She paused for a moment. "Did I just sound like a popularity sim?""You did.""Crap." Toast shook her head as if to clear it. "Anyway, I think Im a bit closer to finding out whos influencing Justinians family. He and I have a*cough*date*cough* tonight.""A date?" Robin was quick, no doubts there."It was the only way I could get him to hang out with me," Toast said. "Anyway, hows things going with you and Crassus?""Well, were not going on any dates or anything," Robin said. "But Im tutoring him tonight and Ill pump him for details, have no fear."
"Cool," Toast said. "Well, Im done now... guess Id go get ready.""Why? Its not like its a real date, is it?" Robin smirked."Oh, hush."
A few minutes later, the taxi pulled up and Toast headed down the hill to the youth centre, where she was supposed to meet up with Justinian.
"Okay, so this is only sort of a date," Toast said as soon as she saw Justinian. "I mean, Im technically a popularity sim right now so I know wehave a whole bunch of bolts together, but Im mostly in this to Meet Someone New. I mean, have fifty first dates. I mean...""Its just a date," Justinian said. "Its not like Im asking you to marry me. But if you feel that bad about it we can call the whole thing off.""No, I dont not want to date you or anything," Toast said. "Im just feeling really awkward and all because Im a simself and I try to avoid thewhole legacy character thing and oh gawd Im babbling again arent I?"
"Its okay," Justinian said with a smile. "I think its cute.""Cute? I do not do cute," Toast said, waving her hands and glaring until she realized that Justinian was complimenting her. "Oh.""So what do you want to do?" Justinian asked. "Now that were more relaxed and youre totally not awkward around me or anything. And stuff."
"Err... well, theres always the photobooth," Toast said, turning **BANNED4LYFE**," Toast replied. She paused for a moment.around and heading in that general direction as the sun set. She "Crap. Now its even more awkward, isnt it?"stopped when she realized that Justinian wasnt following her. He hada rather shocked look on his face, in fact. "Uh-huh.""Oh good grief, I didnt mean that," she said with a grimace. "I just "Why dont we start over?" Toast suggested.thought we could take a goofy picture or two." "Good idea.""I dont like having my picture taken," Justinian said. "Why? Did youthink I was implying anything?" "Im Ephemeral Toast," Toast said, sticking out her hand. "And Ill be your date for this evening.""Well, sometimes my mind gets all **BANNED4LYFE** and Ithink the most innocent things mean **BANNED4LYFE** and that Justinian smiled.makes **BANNED4LYFE** **BANNED4LYFE**
"Im Justinian Toyonag-AAAAAAAHH!" he shrieked as Toast unleashed the full fury of the joy buzzer on him. Toast started laughing, and after amoment Justinian joined in."Okay, that was pretty funny," he said, and all the awkwardness between them finally dissolved. "Do you want to go upstairs and shoot some poolor dance or something?""That sounds like fun."
By all accounts, the rest of the date was a success, even if Toast didnt pry any information out of Justinian. By the time she went home, all thoughtof her mission had flown from her mind.
"So yeah, thats pretty much algebra for grade five," Robin said, closing the textbook and standing up. "Any questions, Crassus?""Yeah, I have a question," the younger Toyonaga said grumpily. "I thought we were friends, Robin. Why didnt you invite me to that big party youhad last week?""What?""Im one of the only one of your friends who didnt get to go," Crassus complained. "And that totally sucks!""It was way pasts your curfew," Robin said helplessly. "I mean, it was all teenagers and kids from the high school who went and stuff. I didnt thinkyou would even want to come."
"Yeah, whatever," Crassus said, sticking his fingers in his ears. "Blah blah blah. I dont want to hear it. Obviously Im not really your friend."
"Wait, Crassus," Robin said, a bit of exasperation crawling into her thats why you didnt invite me," Crassus said.voice. "It really was a party just for teens, okay? And by the time thenext one rolls around you should be old enough to come. Right?" "Well, Im glad you brought it up with me," Robin said. "I wouldnt want us to be fighting or anything, kiddo. Just remember--if theres"I guess," Crassus said. "Thats really the only reason why?" anything you ever need to talk about or anything, you can talk to me. Even if you think its something I did thats wrong--especially if you"It is," Robin nodded. "I promise. I never thought it would bug you think Ive done something wrong. Do we have a deal?"or anything--I didnt think youd want to be invited to a teen dance." "Deal.""Not really, but I thought you were mad at me or something and
While two teenaged simselves were befriending two terrified Toyonagas, and a band of Buccaneers was battling the beaches, Grace and Leeslipped away for a vacation of their own. Grace had purchased two more vacation homes, one in the Three Lakes district and one on the outskirtsof Takemizu Village.She and Lee decided to check out the Three Lakes first.
"Grace, my darling, this place is absolutely gorgeous," Lee said, planting a series of kisses up his wifes arm. "Its one of the best investments weveever made.""Oh, Lee!"
Needless to say, they didnt start to explore the area until the next morning.
One of the first things they did when they finally left the cabin was go out and buy some appropriate attire. And the next thing they did was sitdown to sample some of the local cuisine, especially since Lee was feeling the effects of his alien abduction in a profound way."Grace my love, I admire you going through two pregnancies willingly," Lee said, his voice full of feeling. "Did you ever stop feeling like a giantyawning chasm of hunger?""Only when the morning sickness set in," Grace said. "Just be glad you havent experienced that yet, Lee. It wasnt pretty."Lee just shuddered.
Once they were done eating their fill, Grace went for a massage.
Lee, meanwhile, soaked in the sauna for a bit and then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to catch butterflies. Amazingly, he was successful! Buthe let them go free after a while, not wanting them to die in the jar.
"So what do you think?" Grace said when they stopped in at the cabin for a quick meal of pancakes to fill Lees eternally grumbling tummy."Should we check out the logging camp tomorrow?""That sounds like a good idea," Lee nodded, taking a bite of his pancakes. "Next time we make these pancakes we should try the local recipeinstead."
"Sure!" Grace was quick to agree."I really want to try log-rolling," Lee added as he shoveled another mouthful of pancakes into his mouth. "There was a bunch of info on it in thetravel magazine I was reading on the airplane. It sounds pretty cool!""Were not looking for another Bigfoot, though," Grace said emphatically. "I adore Andrew, but I cant imagine having more than one of thosethings running around the house!""You and me both," Lee nodded, stabbing another forkful of pancake. He started to raise it to his mouth, then abruptly lowered it and dartedtowards the bathroom.
It seemed morning sickness had hit with a vengeance!
To hopefully soothe her husbands stomach, Grace baked a batch of his favorite dessert while Lee took a bath to regain some comfort."Can I tempt you with some cheesecake?" she called once she heard the bathtub draining.
"Mmm... that does sound appetizing," Lee said, sitting down and swallowing a big forkful. "You know, I dont feel sick at all now. Does morningsickness work like that all the time?""Not always, but sometimes," Grace said with a shrug. "Hopefully thats the last of it youll suffer. Are you... okay with the whole alien thing?""Lets just say that Im not... not okay with it," Lee said with a shrug. "I mean, so far pregnancy kinda sucks, and I didnt like getting probed, and Idont like that Ill have to take maternity leave. But at the same time... its kinda cool knowing theres this life growing inside me. Its not like itsdangerous or anything, and Ive always known there was a risk of it happening if I wanted to use the telescope. Its rare, but not unheard of. Sowhile its shocking... Im not upset.""Youre remarkably well-adjusted," Grace observed."I used to be a biology professor," Lee shrugged. "Before we were married, I mean. That part of my mind is finding the whole thing fascinating."
Grace was relieved that Lee wasnt especially traumatized by the whole abduction thing and was happy to accede to his request that they try somelog-rolling. She won every time! A quick tour of the logging camp, though, and it was time to head home to pack for their next flight.
The villa Grace had purchased just outside Takemizu Village was considerably larger than the log cabin in the Three Lakes region, and Grace waspretty pleased with how beautiful and private the place was. Lee, as well, felt that it was a good investment.
Again, the two of them decided to try out the local cuisine before they did anything else, and again they were not disappointed."Lets go and get some more local clothing so we blend in a bit better," Grace suggested eagerly once the local chef had cleared their plates."That sounds like a great idea," Lee grinned.
Both of them were extremely pleased with the quality of the clothing they purchased and decided to go for full makeovers to match the newclothing.
That night, Lee retired early since his pregnancy was sapping his energy. Grace, meanwhile, followed a tattered old map that Roche had given toher before she left on her vacation, and in doing so found her way to the mysterious Pagoda in the Shadows.
Upon hearing that Grace was Gerties older sister, however, the elderly man was more than happy to recount his knowledge to her, and asked thathe be remembered to Gertie when Grace got home. Grace was happy to agree to his request.The rest of the vacation in Takemizu Village was quiet and uneventful, and very restful. Finally, though, it was time to head home.
"Daddy, did you hear?" Shih said excitedly when everyone had really nice. Hes going to tell me all about Twikkii Island and all ofreturned from their respective vacations. "I got a new penpal!" the local customs!""Thats wonderful, dear," Lee said as he eased himself into a comfy Lee stifled a yawn. "Thats terrific!"chair. Alien pregnancy was really taking a toll on his body and hefound himself tired and/or uncomfortable often. "Daddy, why are you so tired?" Shih asked, putting her hands on her hips. "Am I boring?""Yeah, I think its pretty cool," Shih continued. "His name is Mr. Jim,and hes a teacher. I actually met him while I was there and he told "Of course not," Lee said, yawning again. "Its just that daddy is veryme about the penpal program. I got to pick between three different tired. Its because of the alien baby."penpals and I chose Mr. Jim because I already met him and he was
"Bleh, its so unfair that you got abducted," Shih grimaced. "I want to get abducted! Is that too much to ask? But it hardly ever happens and it hadto go and happen to you instead of me! Im almost old enough!""Whoa," Lee said, raising his hand and laughing a bit. "Who knows, Shih. You may get abducted when youre older as well, if you really want to.""I do," Shih said, pounding one fist into the other hand. "I think it would be the coolest thing ever to meet an alien. Or a vampire. Now thatd bereally great. Do you think I could ever meet a vampire, daddy?"Thus continued a long and rather strange conversation about the supernatural in which Lees participation was mostly limited to nodding or shakinghis head, but Shih was somewhat mollified.
Grace, meanwhile, had no sooner arrived back on Pirate Island than she was dragging her older child off to a large, empty lot.
"Whats this about, mom?" Zing asked, looking around the bare field. "What are we doing here?""This is the site of my next business," Grace said with a smile. "And I want you to help me run it.""Really?" Zings voice cracked. "Geez, mom, thats so cool! What kind of business is it going to be?""Whatever you want it to be, since its going to be your share of the family fortune," Grace grinned. "So think long and hard about it, Zing... whatkind of business do you want to run?"
"Ms. Bendett, I can see you sitting in the front seat of this 04 pickup right now," Zing said with a dazzling smile as he pointed out the benefits ofowning such a high-quality used vehicle. "Arent you just itching to take it out for a spin?""Well... maybe just a quick drive around the block couldnt hurt," Marisa said after a moments consideration. "I have always wanted to own a bluepickup truck.""Of course you have," Zing flashed his pearly whites. "What sensible person wouldnt want to? In fact, youd better act quickly, maam. I happen toknow at least three other people are interested in this exact car, and you dont want them snapping it up before you even have a chance, do you?"
After Marisa picked up the Smord P328, Zing was able to convince her that for a second vehicle, she really needed a graffiti-bedecked 86 SmoogaMinima as well.One could say that hed finally found his true calling.
And Marisa was far from his first or last customer. One and all, Zing was able to convince them that what they most needed in their lives at thatpoint was a car of their own--and a quality used car, at that. It wasnt long before the business was sitting pretty at level five, and all because ofZings hard work."Im proud of you, son," Grace said fondly, ruffling her sons hair."Thanks, mom," Zing grinned back at her. "You have no idea how happy I am right now."
"Okay, so todays the day youre going to get your boyfriend to spill we can resolve this thing while were still teenagers so I never go toall the details about his zombie dad, right?" Robin went over the plan college or want to get married."one more time, ticking off points on her list. "Well, good luck with your info-gathering," Robin said with a shrug."Yeah, Im good to go there," Toast said. "Its too bad Im just using "Crassus is supposed to call tonight to set up his next tutoring sessionhim to get information, though. Justinians really cute." so Ill see if I can get some dirt from him as well. Maybe between the two of them, well be able to figure out the whole thing.""Youre allowed to date him because you like him, you know," Robinpointed out. "Theres no law against it." "An excellent plan," Toast said. "See you tonight, Robin." She put her notebook away and strode down the street towards the Toyonaga"But... legacy babies!" Toast shuddered. "No thanks. Ill be happy if home.
"Hey!" Justinian was surprised to see Toast standing outside his house when he got home from school, but happy. "Whats up, Toast?""I just thought Id like to stop by and see you," Toast said with a grin. "I had a great time the other night. I thought maybe we could do it again ...Saturday night? What do you think?""I think thats a great idea," Justinian said. "But why do we have to wait so long? Let me change and we can run out for a coffee right away--if youhave time, that is.""Coffee would be great," Toast said.
"Cool, Ill be a couple of minutes," Justinian said. "Hey... why dont you meet me there? Save a table?""I guess I can do that," Toast said. Impulsively, she leaned forward and planted a big, fat kiss right on Justinians lips--a kiss that turned from acasual peck into something a lot more serious.
"Whoa," Toast said shakily when they came up for air. "I was not expecting that.""Me neither," Justinian said giddily. "Ill see you in a few minutes, okay?""Ill be waiting," Toast said, and strode off down the street.
"What does the boy think hes doing?" Septimus asked his sister Octavia as he cringed. Theyd seen the whole exchange between Justinian andToast, and they were not impressed."I think its time I had a talk with him," Octavia said. "You head inside and make sure Sejanus and Ellen are still behaving, my brother. Ill dealwith the little Cupidian."
"Oh, hi Aunt Octavia," Justinian said gaily as he joined his great-aunt on her way to the front door. "What brings you here this beautiful day?""Who was that ... girl ... you were kissing?" Octavia asked coldly."Why does it matter to you?" Justinian asked defensively, crossing his arms. "Im allowed to date if I want to.""I dont think so," Octavia said. "You will date only who your uncle and I approve, my young nephew.""What?!?" Justinian couldnt believe his ears. "What right do you have to dictate that to me? Ill date whoever I damned well please!"
"Not if you want to avoid your mother falling into the same fate as your father," Octavia said with a sneer."What are you talking about?""Who do you think is responsible for your fathers ... condition?" Octavia asked. "He refused to cooperate and so he reaped the reward. And yourmother, your brother, your grandmother... and you... will suffer the same fate if you do not do exactly as you are told.""Youre a monster!" Justinian said, glaring. "Wh-what do you want me to do?""Give up your pursuit of the blond girl," Octavia ordered. "You are going to go instead to Ching Shih Buccaneers birthday party... and make herfall in love with you. The Toyonagas are going to rule Pirate Island, my nephew, and you will be the instrument of that rule... and my puppet.""I wont do it," Justinian breathed.
"Oh yes you will," Octavia murmured, not noticing that Crassus had crept outside and was observing the entire conversation. "Youll do it... or yourmother, grandmother, and brother will all die."To be continued...