Chapter 6.4: Changes


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Chapter 6.4 of The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy

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Chapter 6.4: Changes

  1. 1. Warning: Contains some adult themes.
  2. 2. Previously in The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy: ...James also graduated, but he had something to take care of before he left. "Faith... marry me?" Faith squealed. "Yes! Yes, yes, yes!"...
  3. 3. ...Once Rin and Suze were seated in the lounge, Fire took a deep breath and spoke. Rin, Suze, Justin was killed a few hours ago. Single gunshot wound to the heart. It looks like Fury's work, but we can't be sure. Fire paused. Gaara and the others are investigating...
  4. 4. ..."I will not. I'd rather that you had Fury's blood on your hands than Fury having my son's blood on hers." Enough, Rin! thundered Fire. I know you're in pain, but you have to stop hitting at me. This is not my fault. The only person you can blame here is Fury. "What do you know about pain?" asked Rin quietly. She turned her back on Fire and walked out of the room...
  5. 5. ...After much yelling and cursing of Alejandro, Suze delivered a healthy baby girl with her own deep blue eyes. Suze stared in amazement at her daughter. The baby stared right back. "Hello, Lindsay," said Suze...
  6. 6. ..."Because I saw them."... *** And now we return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
  7. 7. "Hmm. Was there anything unusual about the pregnancy?" After a frantic phone call, Temperance and Fire had rushed over to the Legacy House. Temperance, being an expert on all things paranormal, was who Rin and Suze had turned to for an explanation to Lindsay's strange behaviour. Fire had happened to be at Tempe's house, and came along for the ride.
  8. 8. Suze shrugged. "Considering it was my first one, it seemed pretty normal. I was fairly cranky the whole time, though." "That's normal for you, dear," quipped Rin. Suze rolled her eyes. "Did you use any magic?" asked Tempe. "Well, yes, but Beka used magic when she was pregnant with Grandma Bella and there was nothing wrong with her..."
  9. 9. "Wait. There was one thing." Suze bit her lip. "On the night Lindsay was... conceived, I heard... a voice. Sounded a lot like Fire, but not quite. I just put it down to sleep deprivation."
  10. 10. Temperance smiled. "Well, that's it then. Simple enough cause right there for supernatural abilities." "I'm not following you," said Suze.
  11. 11. "Right. This fourth wall we're stuck behind? Not a true fourth wall. It's more like a dome made out of cling wrap has been stuck over Veronaville and surrounding districts. Cling wrap does the job, but it's flimsy. There's the occasional rip here and there. It'll heal itself in time, but while it's open, strange stuff happens. Like, ghosts will be more active because they can actually talk to RealFire, and sometimes we'll be able to hear her too - if we're experiencing strong emotion."
  12. 12. Suze looked down at her daughter, confused. "This is related to Lindsay's... vision?"
  13. 13. Fire grinned halfway through her game of peek-a-boo with the toddler. Rips in the wall can result in children being granted supernatural abilities. Rin's nephew Geoffrey, for example, was born during a rip and has limited telepathy. "Matt never told me that!" exclaimed Rin. He's never made it public. He prefers... normality.
  14. 14. Tempe interrupted. "Lindsay has, it seems, some precognition. It shouldn't affect her in any way, except she'll sometimes see the probable future." "Only probable?" "The future is tricky to predict since it changes all the time. What Lindsay sees will not necessarily come to pass. You may have another two children, you may not."
  15. 15. Fire rose and hugged Lindsay. She should be fine. She's happy and healthy enough - a little gift like hers won't hurt her. She tickled the toddler, who let out a giggle. "No tickle, Auntie Fire!" Fire raised an eyebrow. I suppose it's pointless to ask how you knew my name, kidlet? Lindsay giggled again. "We better get going, Fire. Leaving Fr4nk in charge was probably a bad idea."
  16. 16. As they walked outside, Fire paused as she saw the Chandlers' pet wolf Maia. One moment, guys? She crouched down in front of the wolf and said something, very quietly, to the huge animal. The dog listened intently as though it could understand, then yipped three times. Fire smiled and nodded, then continued down the stairs.
  17. 17. Fire and Temperance walked back to Tempe's tower, as Suze and Rin waved after them. Rin turned to Suze, who was cradling the sleepy-eyed Lindsay. "Now what was that about, do you think?" Suze shook her head. "I don't think I want to know, Mum. I've had my fill of the paranormal and unexplained for the time being." ***
  18. 18. Fire was right - Lindsay was a perfectly normal toddler, albeit one who always knew where her Christmas presents were hidden.
  19. 19. She developed a great attachment to the long-suffering Maia, who cheerfully bore the toddler's overbearing energy and affection.
  20. 20. Her toddler years flew by in a blur of learning and mess. Absolutely no superfluous cute toddler pictures here. None at all.
  21. 21. Rin delighted in her granddaughter, spending hours playing dollhouse and peek-a-boo. Suze teased her, saying that she enjoyed Lindsay so much because she had the same mentality. Rin didn't disagree. There was a part of her, a fairly large part, that was a perpetual child, and she didn't mind one bit. ***
  22. 22. Soon, it was time for Lindsay's birthday. Going all out as usual, Rin decked the lounge room out with banners, party lights and balloons. Almost all the immediate family was there, as well as Fire and Renee.
  23. 23. Suze leaned towards the cake, keeping a firm hold on Lindsay who was reaching for the candles with determination. "Uh-uh, pumpkin. We blow the candles out, see?" "Don' wanna blow candles out, wanna play wiv 'em!" Suze sighed. "Do you want to grow up or not?"
  24. 24. Candles blown out, Suze set Lindsay on the floor. Lindsay wobbled a bit, then giggled as glittering sparkles appeared and surrounded her.
  25. 25. She grew into an adorable child, who clearly had most of her mother's features save her nose and the shape of her eyes.
  26. 26. One quick trip to the mirror later, Lindsay cornered her father and interrogated him as only a child could. "So, you're my dad, huh?" "I... I guess I am." "Mum said my dad was a llama. You don't look much like a llama."
  27. 27. "I'm a mascot at the college. I dress up as a llama sometimes." "Huh. So do you..." Lindsay was cut off by Suze calling from the hallway. "Alejandro? Could you come here for a minute?" Alejandro grimaced. "Your mother calls."
  28. 28. Suze hauled Alejandro into an empty bedroom off the hallway. "Nice of you to finally come visit your daughter... on her tenth birthday." Alejandro scowled. "I thought you said she was my kid."
  29. 29. "I can't believe we're having this conversation again, Alejandro! Yes, she is yours!" "Well, that's funny, because last time I checked I had BLONDE hair, Susannah. Not red hair."
  30. 30. Suze nearly growled. "Do you really think so little of me, Alejandro? I'm not my mother, I'm not a Romance Sim. The red hair comes from my great-grandfather's side of the family." "Why do I not believe that? Why do I find it more likely that you've been cheating on me with some redheaded idiot?"
  31. 31. "She's got your framming nose, Alejandro! The exact same nose! I almost pity her, stuck with THAT for her whole life." "Susannah, what has happened to you? You are not the person I fell in love with, not any more." "Reality happened, Alejandro!"
  32. 32. She sighed, weary of fighting, and reached up to run her hand over his cheek. "Can we just forget this? Please? She's your daughter. Just trust me?"
  33. 33. Reluctantly, Alejandro skimmed a hand over Suze's forearm. "I... I just miss us, Susannah. What we used to have." "We knew it'd be tough, and things are a little tougher than we anticipated. We just need to keep going."
  34. 34. Things progressed pretty quickly from there. It was mostly thanks to these two that the party was a Roof Raiser.
  35. 35. "Hey, Auntie Fire?" What's up, kidlet? "Gramma Rin says you're a Simself. What's a Simself?" ...Basically someone who exists in lots of dimensions at once. And sometimes we have powers in some dimensions. "Do you have powers?" Some. Lindsay grinned. "Then you're like me." I guess you could say that. ***
  36. 36. It was the day of James' wedding. Suze had finally convinced her mother to go to the hairdresser and get something a little more refined than her usual eccentric cut. She still wasn't pleased with what Rin had come home with. "Please tell me it's temporary, Mum. Please."
  37. 37. "What? It matches the dress. It's short, and it's elegant." "Bright red, Mum? Really?" "And it matches my jewellery. What more could you possibly want?" "Mum, it's as sophisticated as a fire engine!"
  38. 38. "PLEASE tell me it's temporary." Rin sighed. "Oh, all right. The red's only temporary. It'll wash out and show the base colour tonight." "Right. Good." Suze was about to move off and coax Lindsay into her formal dress, then she whirled back around to face Rin. "What do you mean, the red's only temporary?"
  39. 39. Rin plastered an innocent smile onto her face. "We-ell... When I got the red done, the hairdresser showed me all these pretty colours in a little book... and I thought they all looked so nice..."
  40. 40. Suze closed her eyes. "Mum, please do not tell me you have another dye under the red." "All right, I won't tell you." "I'm going to regret asking this, but... Which colour did you get?" "...Purple."
  41. 41. "Okay, you're definitely kidding now. Because you do not have purple hair." Rin chuckled. "Someone's in deniiiiiaaaal!" she sang. "Rrrgh. I don't have time for this. Okay, we'll deal with the purple hair when we get back. I have to go get Lindsay ready." "Let me handle it, dear."
  42. 42. "LINDSAY!" Rin hollered. "If you don't get yourself dressed and ready in five minutes I'll cancel our trip to the ice-skating rink!" There was a small "Eeep!" from upstairs and the sound of frenzied dressing. "What trip to the ice-skating rink, Mum?" Suze whispered. Rin chuckled. "The one Lindsay told me we were going on. Sometime I'm not sure if she actually sees these things, or if she's yanking an old lady's chain to get her way." ***
  43. 43. Faith put down her lipstick and scrutinised herself in the vanity mirror. Miraculously, her hair had stayed in the elegant, glossy updo that she'd left the salon with. Everyone she'd talked to seemed to think she'd be nervous about the wedding. She really wasn't. You couldn't afford to be nervous when you were about to promise the rest of eternity to someone else.
  44. 44. Smoothing down her gown's black sash, Faith stood and left the room to make her promises to the man she would spend the whole of forever with. She couldn't wait.
  45. 45. Almost the entire Chandler family and the whole of Simself HQ had been invited to the wedding. The Chandlers embraced the chance to celebrate rather than to mourn.
  46. 46. Even Tempe had been persuaded to let her hair down - literally. "Temperance, you look lovely!" remarked Renee, who was actually feeling rather plain in her black dress. She was still wearing her engagement ring. Nobody had the heart to remark on it.
  47. 47. Tempe looked a little umcomfortable. "Fr4nk and Fire, um, gave me a 'fashion intervention'. I feel kind of silly." "Nonsense. You look gorgeous." "Yeah, well, the second I get home I'm getting out of this thing and bribing Fr4nk to take out the extensions."
  48. 48. Lindsay seemed a little put out that she was the only child in attendance. "Well, this is boring." She sat back in her chair and blew at a stray lock of hair that had fallen out of the curled ponytail her mother had painstakingly created. "I don't need to be able to see the future to tell this is going to be blah." Fire, who was seated next to her, chuckled. Not so. Look, it's starting. And so it was.
  49. 49. I want to love where soul meets body And let the sun wrap its arms around me And bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing And feel, feel what it's like to be new
  50. 50. 'Cause in my head there's a greyhound station Where I sent my thoughts to far off destinations So they may have a chance of finding a place Where they're far more suited than here
  51. 51. And I cannot guess what we'll discover When we turn the dirt with our palms cupped like shovels But I know our filthy hands can wash one another's And not one speck will remain
  52. 52. And I do believe it's true There are roads left in both of our shoes And if the silence takes you then I hope it takes me too
  53. 53. So brown eyes I hold you near 'Cause you're the only song I want to hear A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
  54. 54. Where soul meets body...
  55. 55. Where soul meets body...
  56. 56. Where soul meets body... Lyrics: Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
  57. 57. "How do you feel, Mr. Saunders?" "Wonderful, Mrs. Saunders. Just wonderful." ***
  58. 58. The wedding party was a huge success. After the ceremony, the usually quiet Faith decided to shove a huge wedge of cake into her new husband's mouth rather than delicately feed him a mouthful. After he cleaned the icing off his face, James thought it was pretty funny.
  59. 59. "Are you ready to get down, you funky party weasels?" Spike took over the DJ booth. To nobody's surprise, loud dance music began blaring out of the speakers.
  60. 60. The music was infectious, though, and everyone was soon up and dancing. Faith and James waltzed around the dance floor, oblivious to the fast tempo of the song.
  61. 61. Even Tempe was persuaded to get up and strut her stuff, though she did so under the guidance of a tonne of self-consciousness. "Tempe, you're meant to DANCE, not shuffle," complained Cee. "I'm quite happy where I am, thankyouverymuch."
  62. 62. As always, Rin decided to be the oddball of the group and completely ignore the dance floor. There was no denying that she was a superior smustler, though.
  63. 63. As the party began to wear down, James bent his bride back in a romantic kiss. There were whistles and smatters of applause from their audience.
  64. 64. They broke apart after a time, gazing avidly into each others' eyes. "Could someone get me a bucket of ice water?" asked Spike over his mic. James and Faith came back to reality, looking sheepish.
  65. 65. Eventually, the party wound down and everyone said their goodbyes. As the shuttle to the airport pulled up in front of the house, James took his new bride's hands. "Any regrets, Fae?" Faith laughed. "Absolutely none."
  66. 66. After the driver hit the horn three times, the couple came to their senses enough to get to the car. "You two just get married?" "Yes. Yes, we did." The driver sighed. It was going to be a long trip. ***
  67. 67. Rin's hair did prove to be purple under the temporary red. Suze eventually got used to it, but not without much eye-rolling. Lindsay, on the other hand, thought she had the coolest grandma ever and started attempting to persuade Suze to let her get purple hair too. Suze, for some reason, refused.
  68. 68. Shortly after the wedding, Suze discovered she was pregnant again. "Well, great. Another source of conflict between me and Alejandro." Despite the unplanned nature of the event, Suze was actually pleased to be expecting again.
  69. 69. She was slightly less pleased to require her maternity wardrobe again, and muttered constantly about Veronaville needing a decent maternity store.
  70. 70. Lindsay was ecstatic about her mother's pregnancy. "Yay! I get a baby brother!" "Lindsay, stop jumping on your bed! You'll break the springs!" "Will not!" "Don't argue with me, missy!"
  71. 71. "I can't wait to meet my brother, Mum!" Suze was glad that Lindsay wasn't showing any signs of jealousy. She hadn't actually expected any - Lindsay was so open and friendly.
  72. 72. "How do you know it's going to be a brother? It might be a sister." "You keep asking me that, Mum. I just know, 'kay?" Suze kissed her daughter on the nose. "All right, pumpkin."
  73. 73. "Ew." Lindsay gave her mother an are-you-kidding look and wiped her nose off. Suze laughed. ***
  74. 74. The next day, Lindsay headed off to her first day of private school. Suze had been reluctant to force her daughter into attending until she saw how excited Lindsay was by the school's art curriculum. Lindsay had already shown herself to be fond of painting and sculpture.
  75. 75. When Lindsay was safely at school, Rin determinedly cornered her daughter. "I can't believe I'm going to be a grandma again. When exactly did this happen?" Suze blushed slightly at her mother's bluntness. "Well, Alejandro and I got into kind of a fight at Lindsay's party... then we started kissing... it pretty much escalated from there."
  76. 76. Rin sighed. "I worry abut you and that boy, Suzie. Your relationship seems a little volatile." Suze snorted. "Thus speaketh the Romance Sim." "Sweetheart, just because I haven't had a lasting relationship in my life doesn't mean I can see bad ones when they smack me in the face. Just be careful, honey." "I always am. I never took after my mother."
  77. 77. When Lindsay came home, she consulted her report card with a frown. "A+ for Art, but a C for English? I can speak English, can't I? Isn't that enough?" She sighed. "MUUUUUM! I need homework help!" "Ask your grandmother!" hollered Suze from the kitchen. "And you want me to PASS?" asked Lindsay. "Fair point. I'll help you in a tick," said Suze over her mother's squawk of indignation.
  78. 78. "...And you have to remember that when you're writing an essay, it's best not to use crayon." "But Gramma said that crayons made everything better." "Not essays, honey."
  79. 79. Lindsay's marks climbed steadily. She continued to show her sweet nature in everything she did.
  80. 80. She never stopped learning. She had a thirst for knowledge, and topped skill after skill...
  81. 81. ...and made new friends. "Ganymede, you do know you're green, right? Do you need to lie down or something?" "Nuh. I'm half-alien. At least that's what Dad tells me."
  82. 82. "Huh. That's pretty cool. So do you play chess at all?" "Yeah, I... hang on. You're okay with me being an alien? You're not going to turn around and call me 'jolly green giant' or anything like that?"
  83. 83. "Nah, I think it's cool. Also, you're only half-alien, right? That makes you half-human. People gotta look past the obvious sometimes." Ganymede was stunned. He was used to prejudice, not acceptance. He hadn't felt this comfortable around someone since he'd met Justin. ***
  84. 84. Late one night, Rin woke suddenly. She was going into labour. "Why can't this stuff happen at a reasonable hour?"
  85. 85. "MUUUUUUUUUUM! Baby's coming!" Suze heard Rin stumble out of bed and race up the stairs without properly registering it. "I can't believe I forgot how much this huuuurts!"
  86. 86. As was the case with Lindsay's birth, Rin was hardly required. Suze quickly twirled out a tiny baby boy, with Alejandro's dark skin and fair hair, but her blue eyes. "Huh, Lindsay was right. And there's no way Alejandro can say you're not his son, huh?"
  87. 87. The baby gurgled happily. Suze cuddled him close. "I think I'll call you Adam. You like that?"
  88. 88. Adam was a fairly placid baby, happy to be plonked into the crib or onto his playmat and stare dreamily at the roof, occasionally batting, catlike, at the toys suspended above his head. Suze teased Lindsay that her baby brother was easier to live with than she'd been. Lindsay merely smiled and said "I know."
  89. 89. Lindsay continued with her paintings. The art seemed to be acting increasingly as a conduit for Lindsay's gift, as the people she painted were people she had never met, or people who had died long before her birth.
  90. 90. Though this new facet to her precognition unsettled Suze somewhat. "Justin... There's no way Lindsay knew what you looked like. She's a gorgeous kid, but yeesh, she scares me sometimes."
  91. 91. For the most part, Lindsay was perfectly normal. She adored her grandmother for all her wackiness and soon had Rin wrapped around her little finger. ***
  92. 92. Soon enough, it was time for Adam to reach toddlerhood. "Adam, I'm going to be so glad when you can be potty trained. Want some help with those candles?" Adam cooed as his mother blew out the candles on his cake, then as she tossed him gently in the air.
  93. 93. Adam's resemblance to his father was far more pronounced than it had been in Lindsay, though he shared the shape of his mouth with his sister and mother. "C'mon, Adam. You need a better outfit than the stripes, I think." Adam is 6/7/4/6/4. A bit more balanced than his sister.
  94. 94. Wehn Adam had had his blonde hair brushed out and the jumpsuit exchanged for a far nicer outfit, Suze was fairly sure that she had an absolutely adorable son on her hands.
  95. 95. Lindsay adored her brother. Whenever she wasn't at school, she'd play with him for hours, teaching him nursery rhymes and playing with the dollhouse. Adam clearly worshipped his sister, and almost managed to pronounce her name right. "Can you say Lind-say, Adam?" "Lin'day?" "Close enough."
  96. 96. Rin was also enchanted with her grandson, spending hours teaching him new words and generally enjoying watching him grow. She never forgot her granddaughter though, and every night read her a bedtime story.
  97. 97. "Gramma, can I have a different story tonight?" Rin closed Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie . "All right. What do you want to hear tonight?" "Can you tell me a Fire story?"
  98. 98. Rin raised an eyebrow. "Haven't I told you all the Fire stories there are by now, Linds?" "Nuh-uh. You said there were hunnerds and hunnerds of them." "And so there are. I'm sure I've told you hundreds and hundreds of them."
  99. 99. "Gramma, you haven't told me even..." Lindsay paused, counted on her fingers, then gave up. "Not even a lot of 'em." "All right, Lindsay. Have I told you the story about the vampire?" "Yup." "What about the story of how all this started? With Holly Chandler?" Lindsay scrunched up her face. "Don' think so."
  100. 100. "Okay then. Once upon a time, a pretty young woman with brown hair found herself on an empty plot of land, with nothing to her name but the clothes on her back and the strange voice in her head..." ***
  101. 101. As it got closer to Lindsay's birthday, she began to really excel in school. "YES! A in English, A+ in Art, A- in Maths and an A in Science! Whee!"
  102. 102. "Look, Mum! I got straight A's!" "Congratulations, honey! Aren't you glad you listened to my advice?" "Well, not really. Gramma Rin gave me this great idea for a creative story with grilled cheese and llamas and it got an A!" Suze sighed. "I really don't give my mother enough credit." ***
  103. 103. Suddenly it was Lindsay's birthday and Rin went crazy with decorating. She emptied the whole kitchen so she could set up tables and balloons. Lindsay watched interestedly as her various relatives filed through the door. "Huh. Lotta people I'm related to."
  104. 104. Eventually, everyone had arrived and Lindsay stood in front of her cake.
  105. 105. She leaned forward and contemplated her wish briefly before blowing out the candles.
  106. 106. A spin and some sparkling later, Lindsay was a teenager. "Wow. I'm... I'm pretty ." Lindsay rolled Porpularity/Knowledge.
  107. 107. After her transition, the party turned to other sources of entertainment. "Yo. Uncle James. Trying to eat cake, here."
  108. 108. Eventually, Fire made her way over to the young heir. Lindsay, have you... "Auntie Fire, I know what you're gonna ask. No, no big scary weird-eyed visions. I did freak Mum out with the painting I did of Uncle Justin, but nothing huge. Mostly, I just KNOW things, y'know?"
  109. 109. Fire sighed. I'm sorry, Lindsay. I must seem so nosy. "Hey, don't sweat it. I know I might see something important to you guys. If I do, I'll let you know." She smiled. "Just so you know, I think you're pretty cool, for a Simself." Fire grinned. That means a lot to me. Thanks.
  110. 110. After the party, Lindsay made a beeline for her little brother's room. "Hey, squirt. Soon you'll be too big for me to cuddle like this, so I better get all my hugs in when I can." Adam snuggled into his big sister's shoulder. "Love Lin'day." Lindsay's grin could have lit up the room. "Love you too, squirt."
  111. 111. After Adam had been put to bed, Lindsay dived into the bathroom to fix her hair. She was a teenager now; she didn't need cutesy hair clips or flowery shirts. She was ready to be her own person. *** That's the end of the chapter. Thanks for reading!