Previously in The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy... ...However, Fire finally broke the deadlock by flipping Fury out of the melee onto the floor. Fury hit the floor with a sickening thud. Fire stood triumphant over Fury. She had chosen. Fury whimpered in pain. Her nose was broken, she was badly concussed and in no shape to keep fighting....
...Justin was such a kind, considerate man. Sure, he spent probably a bit too much time outside with his telescope watching the stars, but she thought it was cute. He thought Renee was perfect...
...Suze and Alejandro continued in this manner, starting PDAs all over the Greek House. It was, according to Renee, "really sweet". According to Justin, it was "nauseating"...
...James also graduated, but he had something to take care of before he left. "Faith... marry me?" Faith squealed. "Yes! Yes, yes, yes!"...
...It was not over. Not yet... *** And now we return to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
James and Faith stood outside their new home, arms slung casually over each others' shoulders. James was a little gobsmacked by his fiancee's choice in real estate. "You bought us a purple house?" Faith rolled her eyes. "It's got plenty of room for a family, James. That IS what you wanted." "Yes, but purple?" "It has gold bits too!"
Faith pouted a little. "I think it looks nice." She continued to regard the house, oblivious to the rain that was soaking her new dress. James kissed her on the cheek. "Strange colour choice aside, it's perfect, Fae. Now can we get inside? Forecast said this was going to turn into a thunderstorm."
Faith mock-groaned. "All right then, Mister Impatient. You know, I thought you'd want to look at our pretty new house despite the rain." James chuckled. "I do, but I'd rather not get crispy-fried by any lightning." Faith laughed openly at this. "As if that ever really happens!" "True story! My mother got zapped by a lightning bolt once. Though it was the work of an insanely evil witch..."
Once they actually got in the door and did a quick tour of the admittedly spacious house, James and Faith had no trouble breaking in the new couch. The few months they'd spent apart while Faith was still in college had been hard on them both, but hadn't affected their feelings one bit. ***
It was late at night (or early in the morning, depending on how you looked at it) when Suze's taxi pulled up in front of her childhood home. Snow covered the ground, just as it had on that morning four years ago when Suze and her brothers had left. Home sweet home, she thought.
Only the hall light was on, indicating the occupants were still asleep. Suze slipped inside, remembering the spare key that was hidden in one of the pot plants. She might as well clean herself up a bit, and maybe catch a few hours of sleep while she waited for her mother and grandmother to get up.
Suze slipped upstairs to what had once been her bedroom. It was exactly the way she'd left it - obsessively neat, with her great-grandmother's battered grimoire in the corner. Suze felt a sudden pang of homesickness, and wondered why. She was home, wasn't she?
Moving quietly so as not to disturb her family, Suze changed out of her robes and into a shirt and jeans, even digging her combat boots out of her luggage. Her hair had gotten a little long in college - she neatened it up into an angular bob. She felt a bit more like herself. Suze heard footsteps from outside the bathroom. She quickly turned as the door creaked open.
Bella walked into the bathroom, her face lighting up as she saw her granddaughter. "Suzie! I wasn't expecting you until the morning!" Suze grinned. "I left earlier than I expected."
Bella scooped her only granddaughter into a tight hug. "It's good to see you again, honey. How was college?" "No worse than it was for you, I'm sure." "So you had a crazy half-alien trying to assassinate you?" "Nope, crazy Simselves trying to arrest my twin brother's girlfriend." "Close enough. Your mother should be up soon - go and say hello, will you?"
Suze walked to her mother's bedroom door and paused, listening to Rin swear fluently at the alarm clock and then stumble around trying to find the light switch. It was good to be home.
Rin barged out the door and nearly barreled straight into Suze. She stopped. Then she squeaked happily. "Suze! You're home!" "No, I'm in Strangetown. You're just halluc - mmmph!"
Rin silenced her daughter's sarcasm with a fierce hug. "I missed you three while you were away, Suze. I really did." "And you never pegged yourself as the maternal type." Rin smiled wryly. "I never did. Guess I was wrong." ***
Suze started the next day with a job search. Surprisingly, there were no jobs open in the field she was interested in just yet. She wasn't hugely worried. She had plenty of time, after all.
Suze slipped comfortably back into life outside of college. She kept in regular contact with her boyfriend Alejandro, who was pestering her playfully as far as her heirship duties were concerned. As much as she loved Alejandro, Suze wasn't quite ready to start her family yet.
She kept up her ballet lessons and continued to play piano and violin regularly. Everyone needed a hobby, and though Suze was fond of cooking and wanted to be a chef, she still had a passion for dancing and music.
Corinna took it upon herself to paint her daughter's portrait for the legacy wall. Her first draft had to be scrapped when Suze convinced her mother that realism was necessary for posterity's sake and while green hair may suit her image, it would be a tad inappropriate.
Eventually, a fairly refined portrait of Suze was hung on the Legacy Wall right next to Rin's.
One morning, Ryker dropped over to see Bella. Bella was pleased about this - mostly because she was still deeply in love with Ryker, but partly because she had something to talk to him about. "Ryker, dear. I'm dying. We both knew I was dying when we fell in love. So..."
Ryker held up a hand. "Bella, I know what you're going to say. 'Don't grieve for me, move on, find someone your own age blah blah blah.' Bells, I love you and I won't get over you."
Bella smiled wryly. "You say that now, but I know that one day you'll move on. I'm just saying it's okay. Don't feel guilty when it happens. I want you to be happy, Ry - not hung up over an old lady who's long gone."
She reached up and touched his cheek. "You're an immortal, Ry. Like my sister, like our son and daughter. Time's not the same for you. I know you'll remember me, and love me, but you can't stay with a dead woman."
Ryker moved in and kissed her. "I wish things were different for us. We could have had forever." Bella sighed. "I knew that I was signing up for this, Ry. It's just not meant to be." ***
That night, it was Rin's birthday. "You know, I really don't want to go through with this any more." Suze groaned. "Mum, we've been through this. The aging's all part of the package you got when you accepted heirship." "But I'll get all wrinkly!" "Blow out the candles already."
"Hang, on I can't. My wrist hurts. See? We'll have to wait until tomorrow night." Suze rolled her eyes. "Mum, quit stalling."
"Fine." With all the enthusiasm of someone ripping off a bandaid, Rin bent down and blew the candles out, then straightened to twirl into elderhood.
As the sparkles closed in on her, RIn felt a twinge in her lower back. "Is it too late to reverse this yet?" "YES, Mum!" "Okay, okay. Owie."
Despite her complaining, Rin grew into a fairly refined elder. Needless to say, she didn't stay refined for long. "What happened to my leathers? Aww! That's it - Suze, you and I are going shopping!"
Although she grumbled a bit about not being able to find any decent clothes, Rin was finally persuaded to pick something a little more refined than her black leathers. Nobody could persuade her to tone down her hairstyle, though. ***
About to retire for the night, Bella paused before her bedroom door. Then she spoke aloud to the empty hallway. "You're late."
A hooded figure materialised behind her. I AM SORRY, BELLA CHANDLER. I WAS DELAYED. PLAGUE IN BLUEWATER VILLAGE, YOU KNOW.
Death glided through the stairs to stand in front of Bella. A brightly coloured lei appeared around his neck. Bella's mouth quirked into a smile. Death looked rather embarrassed. PART OF THE PACKAGE, UNORTUNATELY. CHEESY, BUT MANAGEMENT THINKS IT GIVES OUR CUSTOMERS A GOOD IMPRESSION.
Bella smiled. "It does brighten up the doom and gloom a bit. I've heard the tiki drinks are quite nice, too." Death looked puzzled. HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU HAVE HEARD THAT? ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TRIED THEM ARE DEAD, ARE THEY NOT?
Bella grinned as she faded from sight. "It's amazing what one can learn from a Simself." Death nodded. OF COURSE, THOSE WHO CHEAT DEATH. VERY WELL, BELLA CHANDLER. STEP THIS WAY, IF YOU PLEASE.
May it be an evening star Shines down upon you May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true You walk a lonely road Oh! How far you are from home
Darkness has come Believe and you will find your way
Darkness has fallen A promise lives within you now
May it be the shadows call Will fly away May it be you journey on
To light the day When the night is overcome You may rise to find the sun
Darkness has come Believe and you will find your way Darkness has fallen A promise lives within you now A promise lives within you now Lyrics: May It Be - Enya
Bella Danielle Chandler Age: 80 Children: Matthew, Temperance and Corinna Chandler Grandchildren: Geoffrey, Justin, Susannah and James Chandler; Andrew Rayson LTW: Become Celebrity Chef (achieved) First female twin, first heir poll winner, first Sim victimised by the first proper antagonist. I'll miss you, Bella.
After her grandmother's burial, Suze walked through the snow that still lay on the ground and stood in front of her great anscestress' grave. "Holly, I don't know if I'm going to do this right or completely stuff things up. Probably the latter, but whatever. I kind of wish I'd known you, since you were probably scared when you started all this. I know I'm scared." She sighed. "I don't even know why I'm talking to you at all. You're long dead, right? It's just... I'll try not to screw up. Okay?" ***
Justin and Renee lay in each other's arms on the lawn of their new house, doing little but watch the fluffy clouds drift past.
They'd only been living in the house for a week or so. It wasn't huge like James', but it had enough room for renovations. If James and Renee needed a nursery, or another study, it could be easily tacked on. Renee sighed and got to her feet. Justin complained, "Do you really have to go?" Renee smiled. "I have to buy a wedding dress sometime, Justin."
Justin rose with her and pulled her into a kiss. "Can't I just come with you?" he muttered against her cheek.
Renee drew back, laughter in her eyes. "Ah-ah-ah. Bad luck for the groom to see the dress before the wedding." Justin pouted. "You're just saying that so you can go off and have girl time with Faith and Suze." "Don't be silly. I won't be long, Justin. I think you can survive for a few hours without me." He smiled, a goofy smile that never failed to tug at Renee's heart. "Love you, Nae." "I love you too, Justin. I'll be back soon."
Justin was sitting watching one of Renee's favourite soaps without much interest when the doorbell rang. He smiled as he got to his feet. Fire had said she'd drop in on them at some stage. It was a pity she'd miss Renee.
However, when he answered the door, it wasn't Fire. "Justin Chandler?" "That's me," Justin said easily. The blonde looked familiar. A Simself, maybe? One of them was a blonde, he was sure. "May I come in?" she asked. "Sure." Justin led her into the kitchen.
"Now, what can I do for you, Miss - " Justin turned to face his guest, stepped backwards involuntarily and gasped.
The blonde was holding a gun. And it was aimed straight at him.
"You're Fury." He said it without thinking. Fury smiled, still levelling the weapon at Justin's chest. "Well done. I do like my victims to know exactly who killed them. It's so... satisfying." Frozen with fear and slightly incoherent, Justin only managed to get out one word. "Why?"
An insane smile lit Fury's face. "Oh, I have many reasons, young spare. You're an easier target than your precious heir-sister. You also happen to be a favourite of both Fire and her insipid Simself, and it will do them good to remember why they fear me. And, of course, your whole family has become far too complacent in my absence. I think they need a little... shock ."
"But mostly? Mostly, it's simply because I can."
"But that's enough talking, I think."
Her face falling once more into a look of cold, cold concentration, Fury raised the gun, aimed at Justin's chest, then fired once.
The bullet slammed into Justin's chest. Instinctively, he clapped a hand to where the bullet had struck, gasping with lungs that could no longer hold air. Strange electricity crackled over his body, seeking the spot the bullet had pierced. It darted in and around the wound.
Justin sank to the floor, whispering one word: "Renee."
His head hit the floor, and he was silent. The electricity sputtered and died. Fury sneered. "How perfectly melodramatic."
She nudged Justin's body with the toe of her pink stiletto. "Well, that was a tad unexpected. Scorched the lino, too. Probably something to do with his being a so-called immortal. Pah." She spat on his lifeless form, then walked away, humming to herself.
An hour later, Renee returned home. She'd found the perfect dress for the wedding, and even had her eye on a tuxedo for Justin. She could hardly wait to see his face when he saw her in the dress.
She walked in the door, calling his name. When there was no reply, it confused her. She'd been expecting him to come bounding up to her like an eager puppy, hoping to sneak a peek at the dress she'd stashed at Faith's place. Puzzled, she walked into the kitchen.
And stopped dead. The cloaked figure standing over Justin turned its head to face her. IF IT HELPS TO KNOW, IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HIS TIME.
"Please. Please... just let him go." Death sighed, or came as close to sighing as he (she? it?) could. UNFORTUNATELY THIS ONE IS ON THE 'DO NOT RETURN' LIST. YOU CANNOT SAVE HIM. He paused. I AM SORRY.
Death walked out of the tiny kitchen, leaving Renee on the floor beside her fiance's lifeless body, whispering an endless string of denials. "No. No. No..." ***
Fire Eternal walked through the warm summer rain to Renee and Justin's new house. It still looked a little raw, with its fresh mortar, but it would look like a home soon enough. Then, a familiar figure walked out of the door, and she stopped dead.
The Grim Reaper glided out of the door, pausing at the foot of the stairs.
Fire's face contorted into a mask of outrage. Death was not supposed to be able to tread this earth. The spares were off-limits to Death, as had been the agreement so long ago.
Controlling her emotions, Fire stalked up to the spectral figure. You have no business here, Death. These people are mine, not yours. THAT MAY BE SO. HOWEVER, A DEATH IS A DEATH. I MUST COME WHEN I AM CALLED. You should not have been called. Justin and Renee are immortals.
IMMORTALS CAN BE KILLED BY MORTAL MEANS, FIRE ETERNAL. YOU, OF ALL BEINGS, SHOULD KNOW THIS. Fire scowled. Who, then? Who was killed, and by whom? YOU KNOW I CANNOT ANSWER. YOU WILL MAKE YOUR OWN DISCOVERIES AND DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS SOON ENOUGH. With that, the Grim Reaper vanished as though he'd never been there.
Fire raced into the house, muttering distractedly about anthropomorphic personifications that spoke in riddles. A distant part of her mind noted that the front door was gaping open.
She found Renee and Justin in the kitchen. Renee was crying her eyes out. Justin was lying on the floor in a small pool of blood, unmoving. Fire bit her lip to stop the tears from coming. To stop herself from falling apart, too.
She wrapped her arms around Renee and let her cry into her shoulder. "I d-d-d-don't understand! W-w-we were going to g-g-get married ! He can't be d-d-d-dead!" I'm sorry, Renee. I'm so sorry. Shh. Come with me. We can't do anything for him now. Fire steered the still-sobbing Renee outside to her car, then walked back inside. She had a call to make and she didn't want Renee to hear.
She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and hit the first button on speed dial. "Simself Headquarters." Gaara? "Fire? What's up?" We have a code black situation. Andrews/Chandler residence. There was a slight pause.
"Who was it, Fire? Who's dead?" Justin, Fire said shortly. The line went silent again. Gaara was a perceptive person, and there were very few ways for a young, healthy, immortal man to turn up dead. "Fire, you do know who must have done this?" Of course I know, Gaara. Look, grab whoever's available and get over here, now. I'm getting Renee out of here. "Where will you take her?"
I can't say that yet. The line may not be safe, and we can't rule out the possibility that Renee may be a target. "Isn't that a tad paranoid?" One of my Sims has been killed. I'll decide what's too paranoid. I want a full investigation into this, Gaara. This is big. Over and out. Fire hung up, then walked out of the house, feeling a pang at leaving Justin alone, even for a little while.
She clambered into the driver's seat of Renee's car. Renee, I'm taking you to James and Faith for a while. You'll be safer there. Renee did not answer. She just stared out of the window, tears coursing silently down her cheeks. *** That's the end of Chapter 6.2. Thanks for reading.