Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 86824 times)

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 26, 3/8)
« Reply #100 on: March 08, 2014, 08:24:57 PM »
Ooooo... The story has me so intrigued!  I'm like jumpin' up and down XD

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 26, 3/8)
« Reply #101 on: March 08, 2014, 10:21:25 PM »
It's just a guess, but I'm currently assuming that Annette is Eileen.
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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 26, 3/8)
« Reply #102 on: March 08, 2014, 10:30:38 PM »

First of all, i love Franco's outfit in this chapter--and his house, and everything--it all looks like the perfect epilogue set up for him. Second, I love the way you're telling this story. Wondering what went wrong between all of the immortals, and who Eileen is, and where Annette comes from. It's all very interesting. Not that I'd expect anything less from you, Trip.  8)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 26, 3/8)
« Reply #103 on: March 08, 2014, 11:31:24 PM »
The mystery deepens and I find myself all the more curious as to Eileen's relationship to the rest of the family. You have an amazing way of gripping your readers, that much is for absolute certain. :)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 26, 3/8)
« Reply #104 on: March 09, 2014, 08:01:42 AM »
I've been away for a while, and I'm delighted that I had so much to catch up on with this! Love the comedy and the intrigue and all the romantic shenanigans  ;D Fabulous!


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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 27, 3/9)
« Reply #105 on: March 09, 2014, 07:03:41 PM »
Ooooo... The story has me so intrigued!  I'm like jumpin' up and down XD

Thank you!

It's just a guess, but I'm currently assuming that Annette is Eileen.

I guess we'll see. :)

First of all, i love Franco's outfit in this chapter--and his house, and everything--it all looks like the perfect epilogue set up for him. Second, I love the way you're telling this story. Wondering what went wrong between all of the immortals, and who Eileen is, and where Annette comes from. It's all very interesting. Not that I'd expect anything less from you, Trip.  8)

I know! Isn't it a great outfit? I recently got it through Make Me an Offer, and I don't regret it. The house is one of the pre-made ones in Monte Vista, though. I did a couple of renovations, but I showed about zero of them.

Thanks for the all the nice words!

The mystery deepens and I find myself all the more curious as to Eileen's relationship to the rest of the family. You have an amazing way of gripping your readers, that much is for absolute certain. :)

I've been away for a while, and I'm delighted that I had so much to catch up on with this! Love the comedy and the intrigue and all the romantic shenanigans  ;D Fabulous!



Thanks!



Chapter 27: Sticky Like Peanut Butter



Franco may or may not have had a thing for burial grounds. He got married at the family cemetery, later on. But while he was younger, he dragged his girlfriend over to the Celtic Burial Grounds under the cover of the two of them getting to go on sanctioned grave-robbing at sunrise.

He had a bigger surprise for Pansy, of course. He didn’t even try to hide it. The moment they parked and locked their Kenspas, Franco fished for the ring in his pocket before Pansy could even get the shovel out.



“I know it’s been a little rough, but will you marry me?” he asked, with her gasping with excitement, the ring glistening and rosy in the pink sunrise.



“Oh my god! Oh my god!” she squealed, jumping up and down. “I mean, this definitely livens up the vacation. Squee!”

“So are you gonna take the ring or what?” he asked.

“Oh yeah, I’ll do that.” She still breathed short breaths of excitement, her hand shaking as she secured the ring on her finger.



Pansy held her hand far from her, still letting the diamond reflect the warm colors of the sunrise. She stood frozen for a solid minute, gasping and grasping for air as she let her new engagement sink in. Once she got control of herself again, she drew in Franco for a tight squeeze.



“Any date in mind?” she whispered to him.

“Maybe in the winter. I want a nice winter wedding.”



After a morning and early afternoon of solid celebratory woohoo, Franco pranced downstairs and into the garden. Euphoric, he set to finish another painting or five. He painted into the sunset, when the sky became every shade of pink, from peach to amaranth. He painted as the shadows grew longer and the day just a little bit darker.

“I ca-ca-can’t keep painting,” Julian bit his nails and stuttered, dropping his paintbrush and a dollop of vermillion-red paint on the otherwise-pristine grass. “It’s just so dark out. And then I can’t see my painting and I’ll mess up, and-”

“Relax. I installed garden lights. And so what if you mess up? You’re not doing my portrait in the dark anyways,” said Franco, “But I have a date tonight, so you’re on your own.” At those words, Julian fainted, almost at Franco’s feet.



As it turned out, he wasn’t on his own, but suspected that something awful happened to Hannah. Didn’t she always tell Franco that his passion for painting was pointless in that world? Did she even care, considering how she couldn’t tell the difference between acrylic and gouache? She had the horrible idea to do watercolor on canvas, thinking that it was a brilliant idea.

“That’s not how you’ll impress Franco,” said Julian, “And this garden lighting sucks. Can we get some floodlights? Or something to scare away a monster? I’m not saying they exist, but I just want to be safe.”

“I’m not here to coddle Amy’s little munchkin,” said Hannah. She wondered why her canvas kept absorbing the watercolor’s moisture before she could carry a brushstroke. “And maybe I just want to see the world from his perspective.” After failing to make even a stick-figure on the canvas, she left and went inside to microwave up some waffles from the morning, muttering about how pointless Franco’s art was. She tried falling asleep, but she tossed around in bed, wracked with ideas of how to get Franco’s attention. With an open bedroom window, she heard Franco come home to the garden and ask himself “Dear Watcher, what was she thinking?” Hannah fell asleep anyways, but woke up early that morning to her failed painting hanging on the wall.

Of course, she snapped the canvas in half and threw it in the trash. Bad or not, it was art, and the last thing Hannah needed was another painting to stomach.

Hannah sometimes jogged, in order to keep her legs lean and her heart strong. Perhaps she and Franco could find some common ground by hitting the ground running that morning. Literally.



As it turned out, in a different literal sense, it was a transformative experience for Franco too.

"Dang, why do you stay fat if that's how easy it is?" Hannah asked him.

"I'm not a runner. I like having some more room in these clothes, though," he said.



Feeling like half of himself, Franco stared to the side after taking a selfie. He looked so cheeky. “Maybe Pansy will get a kick out of this.” Hannah just nodded in between cool-off stretches.

His phone vibrated less than a minute later. Pansy wasn’t particularly pleased that her beloved pink marshmallow turned into a lollipop stick. Hannah just ran away after that, noting how Franco’s face contorted with absolute dejection. But for all she knew, it might have been because he stepped on a pebble or he that the air was too dry.



Pansy tried to keep a happy face regardless, when they went to the art museum that night for the two most snobbish things: fine art and finer nectar. Or that’s what Franco hoped the latter would be.



“I tried with this one,” said Pansy after pouring a few glasses, “It’s probably older than your mum.”



“I mean, I think it’s good,” said Pansy, in between sips, as Franco swirled his glass. He took in the aroma and critiqued the color.

“It’s seems dry, which is a plus in my book,” he said, before bringing the glass to his lips and letting the nectar fall down and burn his throat



“It tastes like moonshine!” He stuck his tongue out in disgust and disapproval. “I don’t go to France for old moonshine, Pansy. I come here for the best!”

“Geez, can’t you just appreciate my effort for once?” she asked, “It’s the finest stuff they had, and don’t you dare say ‘oh, I bet they had better.’”

“You know what, I do bet they had better.” They slept in separate beds that night.



Pansy also left her dirty dishes on the table for a while after that, maybe out of spite, maybe out of habit. Franco scowled as he stacked them up and scrubbed up the residual maple syrup and scraps of eggs and green peppers. Or he missed being thin. His mum’s cooking was just that good, after all.



But when they fell into each other’s arms later in the vacation, absolutely in love, it was clear that their relationship was complicated. Annette stopped giving Franco advice before that, but she treated the subject with more tact. It needed it. It was a situation as sticky as peanut butter, and she didn’t have the energy to fight the morass. If destined for success, on a rocky road to it, and if destined for failure, halfway there. When they boarded the plane back to Twinbrook, their engagement rings were still on. They spent the entire flight seated next to each other without conflict. And they were gone for a while. Their flight back to Twinbrook was delayed to avoid landing in the middle of a snowstorm, the first of the year. It came with full force and blanketed the town with six inches of white powder.



Snow or no snow, the townsfolk always requested sing-a-grams. Well, the townsfolk just included Hannah’s expansive family. Just the members of her family that still liked her. Which was just dear Parker. Dressed for a costume party (it was that early of a snowstorm, after all), he requested a song to pick him up. She delivered the full package, complete with balloons and a freezer bunny plushie.



That one went well. Newton Baker’s sing-a-gram ended prematurely with a special effects failure and a second-degree burn on Hannah’s rear end.



What a shame. All Franco had to risk was friendships, and when Mark wanted a new look for his promotion, he took the job with zest. There was no way Mark could ever hate him for a bad makeover.



“Super-fly!” said Mark in reaction. He and Franco felt closer than ever after that, and Mark could finally see his brother in full clarity. Thank goodness for a handy collaboration between Franco and the town optometrist.



Franco took his job as an opportunity to reconnect with his extended family and forge amazing new friendships. He never knew that his cousin Lolly was so nice; Shark never had a good word to say about her.



But while Franco made friends, Annette lost her first and closest one.

It could have been worse. For all of the negative things Grim could say to humans, for every time he slapped them into the netherworld with his scythe, he led Sagebear gently. He led her with a biscuit between his bony fingers and feeding it to her before giving the dog a hug.

“She’s been a good girl. I’ve been watching,” said Grim, “I have a nice dog bed and a chest full of toys and steak on-demand for her over there, don’t worry.”

“Couldn’t you be this nice to us too?” asked Amy.

“Do you slobber my face? I don’t think so. Now, come on girl!” Grim threw a red kong toy, with peanut butter smeared in the center, towards the ceiling, “Go get the peanut butter!”

And in the end, Sagebear couldn’t resist chasing peanut butter into the great beyond. That left Annette a little more alone in the world. She was content to watch the others, though, and the people they loved.



And in the end, Sagebear couldn’t resist chasing peanut butter into the great beyond. That left Annette a little more alone in the world. She was content to watch the others, though, and the people they loved.



Franco loved Pansy, smiling at her when they danced at the renovated, but still red and velvety, Grey Chiffon Lounge.



Hannah didn’t love Dustin Knack, but she expected a better reaction to her romantic sing-a-gram.



Shark loved someone across the world, though he always went to Gala's house when in Twinbrook. That cold, unloving woohoo had its own addictive qualities.



But to Annette, there was only one couple who seemed truly, undeniably in love.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,655
Word Count so far: 34,242

Revised on 3-1-2015

Sagebear is really the unsung heroine of the dynasty. The Waverlys would be a lot poorer without her many tiberium gems! I forget what her age was when she died, but she was definitely very old.
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 27, 3/9)
« Reply #106 on: March 09, 2014, 07:11:53 PM »
Oh Sagebear...you will be sorely missed. I loved that crazy, slobbery pooch. :(



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Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 27, 3/9)
« Reply #107 on: March 09, 2014, 07:20:53 PM »
Awwww.......Grim taking Sagebear was surprisinlly sweet. :)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 27, 3/9)
« Reply #108 on: March 09, 2014, 09:10:37 PM »

I'm moved by the loss of Sagebear--I mean let's face it, that's an awesome dog name, and it was very well told. Poor Annette! Pansy and Franco certainly have a rocky relationship. I'm wonder how it will turn out.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 27, 3/9)
« Reply #109 on: March 10, 2014, 02:48:17 AM »
Oh poor wee Sagebear, and poor Annette. You really tugged at my heartstrings there.  :'( Oh, and am I glad that Franco is finally making an honest man of himself!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 27, 3/9)
« Reply #110 on: March 10, 2014, 11:29:41 AM »
*sniffle* I hate losing the pets.  It's so sad.  RIP Sagebear.  Hm, so Pansy and Franco hm?  I kept hoping for Hannah XD

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 28, 3/14)
« Reply #111 on: March 14, 2014, 05:03:49 PM »
Oh Sagebear...you will be sorely missed. I loved that crazy, slobbery pooch. :(

Awwww.......Grim taking Sagebear was surprisinlly sweet. :)

I hated losing Sagebear. :( Even if it was more than five generations ago. I'm glad that everyone else feels that way.

I'm moved by the loss of Sagebear--I mean let's face it, that's an awesome dog name, and it was very well told. Poor Annette! Pansy and Franco certainly have a rocky relationship. I'm wonder how it will turn out.

Sagebear was actually my nickname in middle school! It's a long story as to how I got it, but I toyed with the idea of "dog as watcher" and ultimately dropped it, but the name stuck.

All will be answered next chapter!

Oh poor wee Sagebear, and poor Annette. You really tugged at my heartstrings there.  :'( Oh, and am I glad that Franco is finally making an honest man of himself!

Probably not very honest, but I guess he tried. :P

*sniffle* I hate losing the pets.  It's so sad.  RIP Sagebear.  Hm, so Pansy and Franco hm?  I kept hoping for Hannah XD

For some reason I knew that there would be people rooting for Hannah. And it makes sense; he knew her since childhood and she fits into plenty of expectations for a dynasty spouse.

But as much as I wanted Franco to "naturally" find a spouse, I made the conscious decision for him not to initially choose Hannah. Some of it was logistics (it made more sense for Franco to marry the older of the two and bang out an heir), some of it was because Hannah made for a better "tragically friendzoned" character.

And a Public Announcement: So I'm on generation eight now, and have a beautiful generation eight toddler taking up my time. Instead of apologizing for spotty updating each time I post a chapter, I might just plainly state that my updates will be spaced apart until I finish playing the dynasty. So maybe you can tell when I'm done just by looking at the update schedule! Granted, this is no guarantee that I'll fully adopt a better regimen once I finish either, but I'll try.

But when I have a chapter, I have a chapter! Enjoy.



Chapter 28: Widow and a Divorcé



Franco and Pansy looked so incompatible, especially to Annette.



She played video games with Pansy on her days off, when she came back from the police office. Pansy beamed with excitement and didn't even bother to take off her uniform and shiny badges. Annette gave up after a few levels of the game, after losing to Pansy and the other eight game-controlled go-karts, and watched Pansy still go at it. Enjoy it. Enjoy that simple, simple thing.

Enjoyment was not a word that Franco was familiar with. He had some fondness for family, though, and couldn’t deny an invitation to Mark’s winter swimsuit party. It was meant to be a gathering for Mark to score hunky guys, which made Franco's invitation even more special. Franco didn't show his appreciation, though. He snacked on some bell peppers and hummus in a veggie platter that was left out. After that, he almost said an early good-bye to Mark before spotting a drafting table in the basement.



He didn’t know much about parties. Franco spent a lot of time on his work. If Annette needed to find him, he was always at the drafting table at home. Many half-done, failed drawings of jackets and cocktail dresses sat crumpled up in the wastebasket.

But one day, Pansy and Franco switched places.

In the middle of the long winter, the people of Twinbrook strung their houses with lights and Snowflake Day arrived. After rejecting plenty of gift-giving party invitations the last Snowflake Day, the Waverlys decided to hold their own. It would be a surefire success with their growing list of family and friends. The guests poured in and sat themselves around the pile of gifts, but Franco was gone. Annette called his name, but there wasn’t a response. He wasn’t even seated at the drafting table.



Regardless of their missing host, the guests already started to have a great time. However, Pansy kept looking for Franco until it proved futile. No way was he going absent without official leave mere months before their scheduled wedding day.



Missing her fiancé, Pansy sat herself down next to Mark, her partner at the police department, instead. “Ever think that you’re a curse?” she asked him.

“Not particularly. What’s getting you down?”

“It’s a long story, but I always felt like my happiness ushered in something awful for someone else. I never knew my mum, but she died when I was born, and it was a darn good thing to be born! I never blamed myself for it until recently. And now I’m getting married, but I don’t know who that will kill.” Pansy exhaled, without much relief. “I know I should save this for Franco, but I miss him. He needs to get himself home.”



It maybe sounded selfish to want him at the party, sitting around for gifts. Unbeknownst to Pansy, Franco was enjoying himself for once, pelted with snowflakes while at Hannah’s first concert.



In fact, there was no way he couldn’t enjoy that. Hannah’s performance was near-flawless. She stayed on-key and performed with confidence and charisma in front of the little crowd. The all seemed unfazed by the piling winter snow and the visible goosebumps forming on her bare legs.

When he came home that evening, Franco tried apologizing to Pansy, but she was not in a talking mood. She retired to bed early that night, leaving Franco to his beloved drafting table. Usual business.



At least one couple still spoke to each other.

Sinbad was always fashionably late to parties. By that, I mean that he arrived at midnight for a party that started seven hours prior. Annette stopped caring. Amy just wanted to cuddle regardless of the time.

“It sounds weird to be so excited over Franco’s wedding, but I am! It’s happening pretty soon. End of winter-ish. And it’s giving me an idea,” said Amy.

“Oh, you want me to tie the knot? Do I look like groom-material?” Amy gave Sinbad one, fleeting look.

“Duh, of course you do.”



“Come on, babe, I’m just messing with you. We can marry just as soon as I find a good tux. Never thought I'd need a tux.”

“Woo! I have a dress picked out and everything!” Amy squealed with delight.

Amy had twelve hours to feel normal, for once. Being an unmarried mother didn’t bother her either, but she never saw Sinbad as much as she wanted to. And of course, he and Julian weren’t close at all. She finally had the best plan to fix it, even if just for a short time.

She, Sinbad, and Julian had breakfast at the diner that morning. Amy just picked at her waffles and bacon while watching her two men talk like father and son. The spoke about girls, sports, Sinbad’s past and present exploits. He still worked at the warehouse, after all, and wouldn't shy away from it.



While a whole day together would have been perfect, Sinbad still worked a morning shift. He said his goodbyes to Julian and left Amy with a kiss and promises to go shopping for a tuxedo.



Twelve hours after promising herself to Sinbad, she got the call that he died on the job. In vague terms, leaving her wonder if it was an industrial accident, a heart attack, or an enemy attack. And Annette came home from work to find a long, orange gown in the trash.

When one Waverly lost, another Waverly made a gain.



Franco was a level-headed groom. He really was. No cold feet, no second-thoughts, no problems with the catering either. But one detail was off, and it threatened to throw off his entire wedding day.

“We had a promise, mum,” he said, turning towards her.



Annette did not follow. “I’m behaving, I am,” she said, sipping a shady-looking mystery cocktail.

“No, the dress code. You said that you’d make an effort.”

“Oh fine. Put me in a skirt. But no promises on behavior now.”

Franco pinched his nose bridge in frustration, trying to stem an oncoming headache. “Fine. Act stupid instead of looking stupid. I just ask too much from you.”



So Annette dropped the promise of behaving. How could she, when that Bach concerto had such a danceable beat? In spite of that, Franco admitted that she looked like an acceptable mother of the groom.



Besides, why fret about Annette? She might have been an insufferable drunkard, but he had a lovely bride to marry. She waited at the arch for him, perhaps tired of him attempting to get Annette in line. It wasn't going to happen.



He got to the arch and fished the diamond ring out of his trouser pocket. “Oh Pansy, I promise to put aside differences and love you for who you are. Which I have been trying at. But I’ve been so stupid to allow those things to get in the way. With every disagreement, I promise that you’ll still be my lovely flower.”



“Well, Franco, you’re my handsome pink snowball. You’re a little more difficult to come up with cute nicknames for, but whatever you are, I promise the same. To stick with you through excitement and grumpiness.”



And it seemed like a solid pair of promises. The two of them even believed it.



Certainly, Shark and even Hannah did.

That night was filled with many a congratulations to the happy couple, even from Annette, who refrained from bad commentary and a second speech. She just changed into her sweater and jeans before the vows were exchanged, out of spite.



Although after drinking became more embarrassing, Annette took hits from the Moodlet Manager while her son and daughter-in-law danced as husband and wife.



Perhaps the drink’s effects still lingered, because dancing with a pregnant Bunny Curious without any rude remarks towards her was certainly a bit unusual for Annette to do.

But heck, she had a good reason to dance in a blissfully, maybe-juiced state that night. Anything to take her mind off her weird, dysfunctional family.



Off Hannah’s own juiced antics.



Off a grieving Amy.



Off a cheating Shark.



And off the divorce of Franco and Pansy.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself with the last one.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,363
Word Count so far: 39,441

Revised on 3-2-2015.
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 28, 3/14)
« Reply #112 on: March 14, 2014, 05:31:08 PM »
Oh my!  Way to throw that last bit in there XD

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 28, 3/14)
« Reply #113 on: March 14, 2014, 05:47:30 PM »
For the record-I totally saw that divorce coming.  ::)

Pansy looked very pretty in her dress and it was funny how Annette refused to look decent and act decent.

Is that vampire in front of the gifts related to Jo? The nose looks familiar.....


Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 28, 3/14)
« Reply #114 on: March 14, 2014, 06:30:47 PM »

Oh Waverlys. You are indeed a messed up bunch. Franco and Pansy are an unfortunately realistic portrayal of some real-life relationships. Being a story, I wondered if they'd figure things out and get their act together, but I should probably not be expecting fairy tales from Trip.  ;)

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 28, 3/14)
« Reply #115 on: March 14, 2014, 09:49:52 PM »
Oh gee, Annette isn't at all cynical about Franco and Pansy's relationship, is she? :P Honestly, I'm not all that shocked about the divorce either.

That really stinks about Sinbad, though. He and Amy made such an adorable couple. On a side note, I hope that poor Julian gets some time in the limelight. He certainly deserves it, being a dynasty painter and all.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 28, 3/14)
« Reply #116 on: March 15, 2014, 05:13:48 AM »
Wow, shortest marriage ever! I'm not surprised though  :) Poor Amy, I really felt for her when Sinbad passed.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 29, 3/17)
« Reply #117 on: March 17, 2014, 09:26:56 AM »
Oh my!  Way to throw that last bit in there XD

Gotta segue into the next two chapters somehow!

For the record-I totally saw that divorce coming.  ::)

Pansy looked very pretty in her dress and it was funny how Annette refused to look decent and act decent.

Is that vampire in front of the gifts related to Jo? The nose looks familiar.....



It was pretty obvious. I kind of wanted Pansy and Franco to wait it out until her death, considering that she's older, but things just weren't meant to be.

Annette's inappropriateness is hard to curtail. I do agree on Pansy's dress, though! I love designing wedding outfits for the game.

No answer for the last one.

Oh Waverlys. You are indeed a messed up bunch. Franco and Pansy are an unfortunately realistic portrayal of some real-life relationships. Being a story, I wondered if they'd figure things out and get their act together, but I should probably not be expecting fairy tales from Trip.  ;)

They're dysfunctional, but I love them. No matter what happened, Franco would have to work for a happy ending. Either a happy relationship with Pansy or a later one with someone else. He just chose the latter, I guess.

Oh gee, Annette isn't at all cynical about Franco and Pansy's relationship, is she? :P Honestly, I'm not all that shocked about the divorce either.

That really stinks about Sinbad, though. He and Amy made such an adorable couple. On a side note, I hope that poor Julian gets some time in the limelight. He certainly deserves it, being a dynasty painter and all.

I know! I wish I could have written Sinbad and Amy with a little more depth, but they were indeed in love and I thought they were great. Julian gets his story eventually, but his life was pretty boring at first.

Wow, shortest marriage ever! I'm not surprised though  :) Poor Amy, I really felt for her when Sinbad passed.

Yep. Four days! It even caught me off guard.



Chapter 29: Broken Bottle



As I said, I need to back up. A few thing happened in between the wedding and the divorce, and it all started with death on the doorstep.

Well, that is where the bad things started.

For a tiny bit, Franco and Pansy’s relationship really was as calm as the waves on a lake; if there are waves, does anyone actually care? Franco looked into the eyes of his wife on their wedding night, his own brimming with eagerness and opportunity, and his phone open on a travel website.

“China or Egypt?” he asked, with a wink. Pansy spent weeks going on about how she wanted to honeymoon in Egypt, about how good of a tan she could get, and most importantly, how her paternal grandmother was indeed Egyptian (then pulling out immigration records and the legal proof that a high-ranking cop could get).

“And you can photograph the pyramids! They’re, like, super-cool. Have you even read National Geographic?”

“I would have gotten a job there, but mum would have my head.” His camera sat idle in its bag instead, with only a few pictures that Amy got of the Diner, even though she kept complaining that it “didn’t look diner-y enough.” And one of Franco making the bed, just to test a new lens.

“Traveling all over the world, she doesn’t understand it as much as I do,” Franco said, “But we’re going on this honeymoon no matter what. Two adults for Egypt.”

And so it was done. Everything, aside from the dusty tarmac landing strip that received their plane and the brilliant blue river and deep green date palms glistened in sandy gold. Pyramids rose high from the dunes, dwarfing anyone riding a Kenspa by them. Short houses of beige stone and darker roofing dotted the landscape.



Whether the scenery and photo opportunities excited Franco more than the inevitable honeymoon woohoo was up to interpretation.

After a day of the two of them taking their cameras and cameraphones to the most picturesque parts of Egypt, both Franco and Pansy had to settle down and get one important deed done. With the top half of her biological hourglass nearly empty, they operated on limited time to fulfill Annette’s wish of having a grandchild to dote on.

So they prepared, at a secluded campsite on the riverbank.



Roasted food for energy.



Looked at what the stars forecasted.



And judging by the look on Pansy’s face the next morning, they had an excellent night suspiciously devoid of pictures.



A couple months later, the snow melted, winter turned to spring, and Pansy smiled at her flat midsection and comfy new sweater while visiting Gala Ball and her brood. She was there all night on a nooboositting request, due to some party across town and Gala’s urge to party. The Ball kids all went to bed on time, or as on time as a collection of young vampires could, and Pansy wished for the same. Probably not for seven kids, but for a happy family on a smaller scale.



Instead, she came home to Hannah slapping her mother across the face.



“When I said that I wanted you gone, I didn’t want you living with them. All they do is enable stupid men to hurt other women,” Sofia snarled, pointing her finger in Hannah’s face, “I guess that just makes you a dirty traitor.”

“Better than being the daughter of Sofia Carlton,” said Hannah, deadpan. Her eyes sunk into a long stare, not really focusing on Sofia as she hoped that her old mother would just hobble back home and drop the grudge. That was, until she noticed a gold sparkle falling.

“You know what, I better say good-bye,” whispered Hannah. Soon, Sofia was nothing more than a silver spectre floating on the doorstep. “I honestly can’t believe you” were her last words.



“It’s my pleasure to be a Waverly, mum.”



The whole spectacle also managed to scare Julian to the point of him losing his posture, falling to the ground.



Poor kid.



Franco was pretty oblivious until Pansy recounted the story. Mrs. Ponder was a tricky customer. He seemed more affected by seeing his old art teacher in a swimsuit than Pansy’s story.

“Slapping your dying mother? That’s just messed up,” said Pansy.

“They had a difficult life together,” said Franco, “Hannah was entirely unwanted over there and here she’s anything but that. You’re actually going to think she’s the bad guy here? Not her mum who yelled at her for having the nerve to watch TV on a volume other than mute? Or who blamed her for everything from bad finances to needing to flip the circuit breakers? And who came back screaming at us for taking her in? You need to take a long look at things.”

“If you’re trying to justify that, then you better do the same. I have enough on my plate.”

She gave him two months to try and forfeit any sympathy towards Hannah, and all of her youthful, lean beauty. For two months, Franco barely spoke with Hannah, beyond thanking her for doing the laundry. She became silent with his neglect. The songs she sang shifted to minor keys and piano ballads about break-ups and every break-up narrative in her catalogue. And as much as Franco wanted to extend a hand to bail her out, the entirety of his life was precariously balanced. One wrong word and his marriage would end. All he needed to do was wait out the remainder of Pansy’s pregnancy and dream about the little girl they were expecting.

Two months also led to the day of Franco’s adult birthday, and to him seated at his drafting table with a vague sketch of a woman with a thin face and choppy bangs, dressed in a loose tunic and jeans. He labeled it as a work in progress project for his job. Crumpled up by his feet was a study of Hannah’s face in profile that he did in secret.

Hannah knocked on the door, with a present in hand, neatly wrapped in white.

“Hi,” said Franco quietly, eyes locked on the present, “Just make it quick before she wakes up. And I hope it cost you.”



“I made it, so not really. But I think it will help.” He shook the box slightly, with the sound of liquid sloshing inside.

“Good nectar, good perfume, I don’t know what else you think could please me,” said Franco.

“Something to help with your job. Happy birthday,” Hannah walked out of the room, high heels clanking against the wood in the walkway. He opened the box and found a bottle of Liquid Job Booster. Crafted by Hannah the previous Thursday.

No harm in trying it after all. He smashed the bottle on the floor after drinking the elixir, leaving the glass shards there so he could feel that his party that night was truly, glass-breaking wild.

Two hours before the party, and Franco came home with a promotion under his belt and his best suit still not ironed. While he waited for the iron to heat up, he noticed Pansy walk into the painting studio, not thinking much until she came out with the largest glass shard, of the neck of the bottle. With a white tag saying From Hannah, with love.

He nervously swallowed and hung out in the living room.



One hour before the party, and Annette already had a bone to pick with a party crasher. Franco was in the shower at the time; he couldn’t look fancy with greasy hair. He came out to the urn of Amy Bull sitting in the corner of the living room.

Pansy just gave him a stern stare as she walked by in her loose, turquoise sundress, as it was the only thing that fit her at that point.



Julian sculpted, as not to traumatize himself and fall on the floor with a concussion. Franco took his advice and stood around the stations, trying to make small talk with Julian until he ran out.



Thirty minutes before the party, and Julian had one of his own. Franco vaguely heard Pansy cheering, and hoped that she was distracted.



She even offered him fashion advice and a haircut, another distraction. By the time she and Julian were finished, the party started half an hour ago and Franco relaxed. Plenty of guests, plenty of distraction for Pansy and time for him to find a way to explain himself and the broken bottle. As a few guests wandered into the painting studio to get a look at his work, Franco greeted them there as an excuse to lay low. All he needed was a few hours of that.



But she proved to be far too smart.



“I saw that bottle,” she said abruptly, sending Franco back, “We had a promise. Stop sympathizing with that good-for-nothing diva. But you actually love her?!”

“She loves me. You read the bottle,” said Franco, “It’s my birthday and you’re getting hormonal. Let it rest.”

“I’m not going to bend over backwards for you any more. I’m marching down to City Hall for the papers tomorrow.”



“Stop it right now and give me one more chance.” Franco stomped his foot on the floor. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a birthday cake to cut, and you know better than to get in the way of me and one of my mum’s cakes.”

“I think you’ve had enough of them!” Pansy snapped at that point, taking a large bottle of white acrylic paint and throttling it in Franco’s direction, almost hitting the back of his head.

“Those pregnancy hormones, geez,” he muttered.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,608
Word Count so far: 37,807

Somehow I missed Amy's actual death. I panned back to the house and noticed her gone from the UI, Grim there, her urn on the floor, and everyone grieving. I think it was because someone was taking photos at the time.
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Online Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #118 on: March 17, 2014, 09:28:49 AM »
Chapter 30: Good Night, Sweet Divorcé





In the end, she didn’t get between him and the cake.



And his wish for the right thing to happen, which he kept to himself at the time, so no harm done.



He was used to the styling process by now. Assessing his hairstyle; he needed to ditch the shaggy locks. Assessing his clothing, he was always flawless, but a new, comfortable shirt didn’t hurt. And comfy was something that he needed plenty of in fatherhood.



Too bad he missed the birth of his child not too long afterwards, all thanks to work. As her pregnancy progressed, Pansy stopped caring as much about what Franco did. She was too busy nesting and cleaning the bedding in the crib. Buying new toys and blankets and clothing suited for a girl. Checking in at the office to make sure that Mark kept up with her workload. Labor was the ultimate distraction, the absolute apex of it. Julian in his boxers helped too.



As for Hannah, she just wanted grapes.



In the amount of time it took for Hannah to finish her bunch of grapes, Pansy’s labor was over and she spun around in sparkles, holding a perfect little nooboo swaddled in a blanket almost as pink as her skin.



“My little flower,” she whispered, “How about Lily?”



Lily entered into a strange household, but thankfully one with a lot of hands. Julian, awkward little Julian, proved to be an immense help. He stopped sculpting in
clay a while ago and didn’t have any dust left in clothes, so as not to injure little Lily’s lungs, something he ensured the family that he did.

“Please, she’ll probably be a sculptor when she grows up,” said Annette, before walking to the kitchen to zap some hotdogs and honey mustard.

Meanwhile, Franco had a decision to make. Hannah’s adult birthday was fast-approaching, and even considering how narrowly he escaped getting a gift from her with his wedding ring still squeezing his finger, she basically gave him a promotion, and that had to be thanked.

He shopped for the most inoffensive gift imaginable. He strolled through the aisles at the bookstore, avoiding romantic advice books and instead coming across a beginner’s guide to Chess.

That would do. He had it wrapped in white with a red ribbon, much like Hannah did, and plainly presented it to her, initially without explanation.

“Chess?” she asked, “I mean, I know that you’re supposed to capture the king. Are you trying to get at something here?”

“I thought that maybe you could use a new hobby,” said Franco.

Hannah shrugged. “I’ll give it a try.”

Pansy watched while passing by, with a split-second death glare before coming to her senses and shrugging. If Franco didn’t notice that, then maybe their story would have ended differently.

Later that afternoon, Franco posed for sculptures, but he didn’t forget about Pansy. His mind boiled over thinking about her that afternoon, all while having to try out another pose and another for Shark. And yet, he briefly thought that way about Hannah too. Someone in the triangle made his whole life go rotten.

“Anything wrong?” asked Shark, “I can’t sculpt you if you’re tense.”

“I need my life back,” said Franco, sighing.

So then he waited for Pansy. She came into the sculpting studio with innocuous intentions: making sure that they arranged proper childcare for when they were out at Hannah’s party at the Grey Chiffon Lounge. Her words sounded like white noise to Franco.

“I can’t go on with this,” he said quietly.

“Look, I was just overreacting about a divorce,” Pansy cautiously said.

“And I think that it was actually a darn good idea.”

“Don’t start this with me-”



“I need my life back!” He was livid, stiff with rage, and running off nothing but pent-up adrenaline, “And I will start this with you if that’s what it takes.”



“Behave yourself,” she snarled, “Or yes, I’ll act on that idea.”



“Why don’t you just get the papers, then?”

After five minutes of heavy, angered breathing, Franco muttered “I’ll just get in the car.”



He missed the best part, though.



It wasn’t like Hannah’s birthday party was otherwise lonely without the family, but he still got the story second-hand. However, it was a pretty mundane event. She just blew out her candles and cheered until she felt her first wrinkles settle in.



It wasn’t even much different from other Waverly parties. Tay Bayless took Annette’s place as the inappropriate laughter quite well.

By the time Franco and the family arrived, Hannah was already halfway to the dresser and the cake was half-devoured.



“I can’t believe that she made me late for this,” he grumbled, “The one thing I wanted to see tonight.”

“Calm yourself and get a drink. I could use three,” said Annette, “Come on Julian. Lemme show you how it’s done.” Annette quickly led Julian away to get truly juiced, leaving Franco to sulk in the corner before taking his mum’s advice. He really could use something strong, but in a secluded place.

Franco made his way towards the bar in the basement. Where the dresser was. Where Hannah was preening.



Even without Franco’s helping hand, she came out with peak awesomeness.



She even got a flirty little gift from an anonymous giver. The new cocktail dress stopped just below her rear, and in the front, it plunged deep. Tight stockings further shaped her lean legs. And not even that could get Franco’s attention as he made the calculations to get the winning combination of “strong” and “ridiculously expensive” from a drink that night.

No one gave Hannah the news, but the empty, downward stare in Franco’s eyes told the story pretty well anyways.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, taking a seat by him at the bar, “And I know you probably hate me for a lot of things now.”

“I can never hate you,” he said, “Don’t put the blame on yourself. It’s your special day, anyways.”

“Yeah, but not at your expense. Still trying to find a drink?” He nodded. He was charged with interior design when renovating the place. The drinks menu was entirely Hannah’s creation, mostly just confirming what was already there, but with a few new cocktails.

“Falling Forever,” she said to Tabitha, the mixologist on duty, “Most expensive, and the juice makes you feel out of this world. And it’s coming out of my allowance.”

“You know me well.”



Tabitha knew him well too. She made the spectacle flashy.



And capped it off nicely.

“Last call in 20 minutes, though,” said Tabitha while she wiped down the counter, “You might need a second drink for a divorce. I needed five for mine.”

Franco stared down his drink, an opaque rosy-red mixture, with a swizzle stick; plastic heart on top, and a cherry skewered right under it. “Because a romantic drink is what I need.” He got the last drop right before Tabitha rang the bell for last call.

“I’ll take another,” he said.

The juice started to take effect, relaxing Franco a bit as he climbed up the stairs and called a taxi (Annette and friends took the Motive Mobile home). Hannah followed, on the verge of concerned tears. The two waited by the main entrance, under the light, when Hannah drew him in for a hug.



“Really, don’t kill yourself over this,” she said, “I know that you two have a daughter and such, but you’re the strongest guy I know. You’ll pull through and I’m always here.”

“That you are.” He held on for a good two minutes, unable to cry, but still at his emotional nadir. “I’m going to need my time, though. I guess we’re still stuck at friends.”

“I’ll deal,” she said, as the taxi screeched up to the curb.



But poor Hannah had to think of a plan B.

The sky was still dark when Franco checked on an awake and fussy Lily. He changed her diaper and was halfway through a bottle when Julian offered to do the rest, and offered his apologies.

Annette waited for her son in the living room.



“We’re not talking about divorce tonight,” she said, “I’m almost ashamed with you, but I’m not. But really, that’s not my news.”

“I guess it’s all past me now. What else could you have to tell me?” asked Franco.

“Your daughter will grow up one day, and hopefully have a better marriage. And the horrifying reality is that she will marry the red-haired guy who rocks her to sleep.” Franco almost threw up in his mouth at the thought of it, or that his mum could insinuate such a thing.

“Why? Is Twinbrook really that dead?”

“No, and I’m not even saying definitely, but you gotta know your tropes. Lots of people before me have tried this same mission, and the kid born in the house marries one of the heirs. We just messed up with timing. And Julian is prime material. He’s single, quiet, pretty handsome, if I say so myself.”



“It’s an easy thing to see,” she continued, with Julian obliviously rocking with Lily, The chair creaked as he rocked, but Lily calmed down, likely asleep in his arms.

“I think she’ll forge her own path,” said Franco, “It sounds like something we do.”

“Wanna bet?” asked Annette, “I’m getting restless and need a bet.”

“You’re on!”

“Fine! If you win, I fund a second wedding for you. With the right one. If I win, you’re getting a course in foot massages and giving your old lady a nice treat.”

Franco looked down at his mother’s feet in disgust. She wore sandals, revealing the dirty, calloused soles, her discolored toenails, her complete disregard for regular use of foot lotion.

“Then I hope I win,” he said.

“Looks like we have a deal. Good night, sweet divorcé.”



Word Count for this chapter: 1,642
Word Count so far: 38,729

Lily entered life as Excitable and Athletic (didn't choose the last one). She likes French Music, Tofu Dogs (which can't be made at the perfect level; she eats a lot of Lobster Thermidor in my current game just to get a better moodlet), and Orange.
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #119 on: March 17, 2014, 12:39:37 PM »
I love Annette.  Their bet is great.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #120 on: March 17, 2014, 12:59:58 PM »

So much drama! But Hannah looks gorgeous in her new dress. Out of curiosity, did Franco and Pansy have such a rocky relationship on their own--and if so, why? Trait conflict, maybe?

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #121 on: March 17, 2014, 03:02:23 PM »
It looks like I haven't commented on this yet, but I've been reading for about a week and it's fantastic. Well done, Trip! Your stories are always brilliant but this one takes the well-described birthday cake.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #122 on: March 17, 2014, 03:10:45 PM »
That was AWESOME.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #123 on: March 17, 2014, 05:41:17 PM »
Alas, the divorce was all for the best. At the very least, as Annette said, Lily will have a better chance of a happy marriage. Whichever path she chooses, whether she finds another young man or winds up with Julian, anything has to be better than what happened with Franco and Pansy...

I really like Julian. There's something about that cowardly sculptor that is very endearing. :)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 30, 3/17)
« Reply #124 on: March 17, 2014, 10:21:57 PM »
Wow, is that the Red Velvet Lounge? Because I just adore what you've done with the interior - patterns, items, everything, especially the corner where Hannah blew out her candles. Got to have a few nice hangouts in town, after all.  :)

Ah, poor Franco and Pansy. At least they got it over with quickly. Hope little Lily has a nice childhood regardless.