Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 84872 times)

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 35, 3/28)
« Reply #150 on: March 28, 2014, 06:44:30 PM »

If Loki looks like Samhain, Lilly better well make up her mind to have him. Plus, you know I love alliterative couples: Lilly and Loki is too cute to pass up!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 35, 3/28)
« Reply #151 on: March 29, 2014, 04:26:42 AM »
Sorry I've been in hospital, and just spent a wee while catching up with your story. As usual, you don't disappoint! Lily is such a cutie, and glad to see everyone getting all romantic (although the "slaughtering the bedsprings" comment made me cringe with laughter hahahaha!)

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Offline audbooh

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 35, 3/28)
« Reply #152 on: March 29, 2014, 11:25:12 AM »
I can't wait for more! This has kept my burn for stories nice and cool, but you never know!

Thanks Trip!
People assume that time is a strict progression from cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 36, 3/29)
« Reply #153 on: March 29, 2014, 06:10:02 PM »
Ah, I had to go back and see once again the glory that was Samhain. My goodness, he was a handsome man! Woo! I'm telling you, being descended from Goodwin Goode basically guarantees good looks.

I like looking back at the dynasty just to see what I did right and what I didn't, but I think that Samhain's impeccable face and nice build are another solid reason to as well. ;) Samhain convinced me of Goodwin's goodness! I tried my hardest to get his line into the family at some point.

This chapter more or less proved what I suspected all along: Franco really is just a big ol' softy at heart. :)

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Having an adorable toddler will do that to any sim! I can't say that he was really well-behaved as a whole, even as time went on, but Franco definitely has a big soft side. He still spends almost all of his free time chatting with Lily.

LOL!  I didn't know the clown make up could be randomly used XD That's awesome.  Hm... I will have to go Graveyard spelunking to see this Samhain.  *dives in* 

Gotta agree with Raia on the fact that Franco is a big softie!

I think it's a Spooky Day costume? It took him a birthday to get out of it.

And if you haven't found the dynasty yet, have yourself some Ironstars (I was in a rush when I posted the last chapter and couldn't be bothered to go spelunking myself). Samhain was introduced on page six.

If Loki looks like Samhain, Lilly better well make up her mind to have him. Plus, you know I love alliterative couples: Lilly and Loki is too cute to pass up!

They were also both athletic. I thought that Lily and Loki were truly meant to be. And yeah, him being a cutie was a bonus too.

Sorry I've been in hospital, and just spent a wee while catching up with your story. As usual, you don't disappoint! Lily is such a cutie, and glad to see everyone getting all romantic (although the "slaughtering the bedsprings" comment made me cringe with laughter hahahaha!)

Sorry to hear that you were in the hospital! I needed some silly way to describe Hannah and Tay doing awful things upstairs.

I can't wait for more! This has kept my burn for stories nice and cool, but you never know!

Thanks Trip!

You're welcome! And thanks for your comment!

Because I'm not feeling well in the slightest, I'm stuck at home. Have another chapter.



Chapter 36: Names the Same



Just one line. Lily aligned herself with the forces of the gods. Well, I guess you could call Loki that. Then the train stops at a platform, one with signs and benches and not a fuel tank or abandoned train in sight.

“Roaring Heights?” I ask the conductor, who is fast asleep, unlike me, who can’t sleep in a train without compressing part of my neck. Heavily snoring, he doesn’t wake up. I instead look out the window, to the gleaming white skyscrapers lit up in blinding white and gold, in contrast to the inky and overcast early-morning sky.

“Yeah, Roaring Heights,” I whisper. I tuck Eight Ways under my jacket and walk into the light rain, which will surely pick up.

Of course, I arranged to rent a place while I’m here, sometime before I left. A crappy place, but I’m here to uncover mysteries and not watch Roaring Heights from the comfort of a penthouse. After dropping off my bags inside, still with my book tucked under my jacket, I call a cab. The driver might be half-asleep. I climb through the door without a word.

He drives me over a bridge until he briefly looks back. “Watcher above!” he cries out, screeching to a stop. “Get out of my cab,” he says sternly.

“Explain yourself.”

“No service to criminals, or miniskirts.”

I could just say “prove it!” (for the former; I mean, it was a short skirt) But this man could sever me in half with his arms as if I was limp broccoli. I instead give him five simoleons, open the door, and stumble into the rainy early morning.



Geez, what a welcome.

Annette and “Meg” briefly explained the alternate timeline before we jumped into it. It was like a copy-and-paste job; entirely separate from the timeline the dynasty was in, but the circumstances were almost exactly alike. When we arrived was the same year that grandma Annette started the dynasty, but as she said, back a few months just to give her time to clear some paradoxes. Perhaps, if a copy was still loose, she could just destroy the naive alternate-Annette. I like to think that’s what she did, anyways.

So five years later, what became of her Roaring Heights? What did she preserve? Who was still alive? If she even knew. For all I know, she wasn’t a native of the place. She might have come from Barnacle Bay and spent time in Roaring Heights afterward, dazzled by the pretty white lights and everything to steal.

The sun is probably rising now; not that I can tell under the cloud cover. I’m too scared to take another cab, but the rain is weighing down my jacket and it might soak through to Eight Ways and let the ink bleed.



Come on Jo, let’s run. My ankles hurt again.



Thankfully, I smell coffee after a mile. Roasted beans, pastries, I don’t care, I want a place to sit down and a nice brew to sit down with.



I mean, if they accept me. What if everyone is a little offended by my legs? Or if they all think that I’m a criminal?



It’s still early but the barista is there. Just for me, considering that I’m alone when I walk in at first.



She’s wonderful, if you ask me. Flawless skin and hair curled and pinned up, and her big chest is a nice bonus too. I spend about a minute just taking her all in. The women in Twinbrook were all mine out of necessity, but I guess I hit a goldmine here in Roaring Heights. What would Agnes think, though? She wouldn’t know, would she?

Then my phone vibrates. I didn’t even know that there was a tower near here.



Turns out to just be a phantom vibration, but I still check the time after forgetting it. And messing around with my calendar. I have a charger in my suitcase and it’s not like I’m in Dragon Valley; they have electrical outlets here, so I can mess around.

“Oh, you’re one of those tourists,” the barista says.

“Just got distracted,” I said, “It’s just a phone.”



“Doesn’t matter. I’m tired of everyone outside of the city thinking that they can just walk in with their fancy portable phones and revealing clothes. Soon you’ll be saying that you’re in the wrong decade while still clinging to those things.”

Considering that I was technically born 250 or so years ago, perhaps I fulfill her “born in the wrong decade” prophesy perfectly.



She has no complaints when I draw my book out, though. I barely get to my bookmark when another set of footsteps comes up the stairs, and in fast-paced, tenor voice, he orders light-roast coffee with cream.



“I think I got this by now, Mr. Franco,” she says as she works the machine.

Well. That’s a familiar name.



I get a closer look at him a second later. Solidly-built, droopy-eyed, and a vivid minty-teal in color, he stands out against the warm, red interior of the shop and the peachy skin of the barista. Though when he opens his mouth, his canines are as flat as the rest of his teeth. Clearly, we can’t be related.



Mr. Franco drinks his coffee in the rain. I love the outdoors, but rain is a mood-dependent thing. Regardless of how I feel today, I’m too curious about how someone can stand light roast. And the skin too.



“Kind of odd to be out in this weather,” I say to him, “I can’t escape the rain! I grew up in Twinbrook and it was like this all the time.”

“Moonlight Falls for me. Rained all the time. But Twinbrook, that’s an odd place for the boss to recruit from. How did that happen? And what job do you have?” His rapid-fire questions are all pretty random, but I guess I found the criminals.

“I’m just here on a vacation.”



“You can tell me these things, you know. I work for the same people you do.” He extends his hand out. “Arthur Franco: cleaner extraordinaire. I clean your clothes and I clean up your crimes. You’ll get to know me pretty well in this industry.”

“I’m an author and I have no idea what you’re talking about. But I’ll keep the clothes cleaning in mind.”



“I’ll go along with it,” he says, “I know the types that McGrail recruits, and you just fit the profile! Kind of unfortunate. The police probably already have a tracker on you. So watch yourself. I bet that skirt isn’t helping, but I’m not here to judge. You do what you do.”



I just have to smile and bear it. But I grab a business card anyways. Who knows what I’ll stain? Or if our shared, colorful skin is more than a coincidence, I guess I will drag my heels through crime and need Arthur to clean up after me.

How convenient.



But he’s gone home and I still have a book on the counter inside. Somehow, I don’t feel like coffee or even a danish this morning. I just bury my nose in my book, and sometimes glance at the busty barista. Maybe I can get her number if I’m persistent.

She introduces herself over the phone. “Jo’s Cup of Joe. You don’t mind it, I grind it. A dozen for a meeting? I’m on it.”

Same name as me? That’s a turn-off. I stop looking.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,243
Word Count so far: 48,041

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 36, 3/29)
« Reply #154 on: March 29, 2014, 06:28:32 PM »

Huh, interesting and fun! I like incorporating the fresh copy of the town into the story, giving it a believable rationale as a sort of time travel. I'm guessing Jo bumped into Annette's dad, there, and surely meeting another "Jo" isn't a coincidence (assuming Annette had any part in choosing Josephine's name).

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 36, 3/29)
« Reply #155 on: March 29, 2014, 07:48:54 PM »
Oooo, very cool!  Though time travel and remembering paradoxes often gives me a headache XD I often over think things hehe.  This should be very interesting!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 37, 3/30)
« Reply #156 on: March 30, 2014, 12:17:05 AM »
Huh, interesting and fun! I like incorporating the fresh copy of the town into the story, giving it a believable rationale as a sort of time travel. I'm guessing Jo bumped into Annette's dad, there, and surely meeting another "Jo" isn't a coincidence (assuming Annette had any part in choosing Josephine's name).

Jo the barista was actually a coincidence. I remodeled one of the hangouts in Roaring Heights to have a barista bar, and the homeless townie that happened to be assigned to the register was Josephine Blanchard. That's probably the last you'll see of her. Canonically, Josephine the immortal got her name because it sounded nice. :P

Oooo, very cool!  Though time travel and remembering paradoxes often gives me a headache XD I often over think things hehe.  This should be very interesting!

I can see where they'd be confusing. It will take me a bit in the story to explain, just because the true info-dump has to be saved for immortals that actually know how their wonky time-physics work. Jo isn't one of them. :P

Apparently being sick has put me into maximum overdrive with writing!



Chapter 37: Boys' Town/Better Phone Stone



Lily aligned herself with the forces of the gods. Well, I guess you could call Loki that.



She also shook hands with Loki’s big sister, Lilith, who isn’t a goddess of even from the same pantheon, but her name fit the theme in a way and her looks even more. With big blue eyes and a soft, almost-square face, Lilith captivated everyone she met. Many were convinced that she was truly divine. Even as children, Lily wanted to hang around Lilith all the time. Every girl in school wanted to be half as beautiful as Lilith.



Lily wanted Lilith to be “it” for a game of tag, but the beauty helped too. Soon, everyone in school thought that Lily was the coolest girl in the building because she could play tag with Lilith Jones-Brown. However, Lilith soon was a lanky teenager, and preferred to talk with her new, teenaged friends instead of playing on the jungle gym at recess with a bunch of young children.

While her new friend grew up, Lily then found friendship in her family once again. Grandma Annette was home after school on every day but Friday. She sometimes had a good hint or two about spelling homework, or arithmetic, and after homework, Lily’s old grandmother still could play a mean game of gnubb or jump on the trampoline as if she was 10 again.

“Dad spends all his time sketching,” said Lily, “I think it’s pretty useless.”

“Oh, did I forget to tell you why he does that?” asked Annette.

“Why?”

Annette sat her granddaughter down on the couch for the talk. She gave it to Franco sometime before he grew up, about immortality and its rules, and he moped for a day about what he couldn’t do before accepting it. However, Lily would either cheer or punch Annette in the face with her (relatively. for a kid) athletic strength, and apologize a minute later.

“We get to live forever. You, me, dad, your firstborn, and a few others too! It’s part of a very special deal I made with a fairy back when I was a young exchange student in Moonlight Falls,” said Annette.

“Wow, you never told me that!” Lily’s eyes sparkled with interest, “Moonlight Falls sounds so cool.”

“I’m getting old and don’t remember a thing about it, sweetie. But that deal means that only special people get to live forever. As I said, you, me, dad, your child, your grandchild, and so on until we have eight. Sucks for your mum and uncle Julian, though. They go somewhere else when they get old. But when it’s all over, you can bring them back! And I get my family fortune back from that fairy.”

“That’s really cool, gram,” said Lily, “Anything more?”

“You have to learn a skill. You see, I cook, your dad paints, and no one else gets those domains. What you do is up to you, but I’ll slap your wrist if you get in my kitchen.”

“Okay. Just keep cooking for me. What else?”

“Well, no one can move out of the house, whether they get on your nerves or not. Did you know that uncle Shark and I used to hate each other? But he’s stuck with us. So choose wisely. Are there any nice boys at school?”

“Yeah.”

“Well you have them! And you have uncle Julian too. We’ve done pretty well so far. If you have any questions, just ask me.”

“Alright gram. Can we play gnubb now?”



She deserved the reward for being a good immortal-to-be, after all. Annette didn’t try to knock down the king that game, letting Lily win instead. Seeing her granddaughter’s laughter and smiles gave her enough energy to cook 40 or so servings of perfect hamburgers that night.



Meanwhile, Lily decided on her skill for life.

“That’s so cool,” she said to Shark, staring the sculpture of her in the eye.

“Thanks sweetie,” he said, “It’s my pleasure to do it.”

“So how did you start?” asked Lily.

“Well! There was a kind old man who lived here long ago, and he could sculpt like no one else. When I was angry and hateful, he calmed me down and taught me his trade. I think you’re a little young for this, though. But that’s what I’m doing to Julian now. He learns under me, and someone might learn under him!”

“Could I do that?” asked Lily. She reached out to touch the cold ice, admiring how Shark even sculpted the pockets to her shorts and the little flower decals on her sandals. “I want to make stuff like you do.”

“I mean, when you’re a little older, I bet Julian will be a master of this himself. And he’ll teach you everything he knows.”



But until she grew up a little bit more, Lily was stuck learning math tips from Julian instead. Sometimes, he’d play catch with her when she did well. Lily always asked him about his job, and what being a journalist was like, eventually deciding that writing wasn’t her thing (phew!). She also asked about sculpting, all the time. Julian produced answers about that dutifully; about the different types of clay and wood, why ice doesn’t melt after you get good enough with it, and why sculpting sims in stone is a bad idea.

“I want to be just like you when I grow up,” said Lily.

“That’s great. Shark is nice, but we need some young blood in the studio.”

“Yeah. You’re cool, Julian.” The two of them hugged before Lily went to bed. Franco watched them the whole time. It finally happened: he had to be the protective, overbearing dad.



As it turned out, Lily made a lot of male friends. She wandered over to the Red Rendezvous after school, with a newly aged-up Tristan Jones-Brown brooding after Lilith beat him in a game of foosball. With another one of Hannah’s elixirs in her pocket, she made another friend.



A cute, huggable new friend.



Granted, Lilith was still around too, even if she was older. Without her schoolmates around to judge her, she freely gossiped with Lily and laughed at her jokes.

The amount of friends also grew within her extended family. Shark left Lily with a load of second-cousins, after all.



She spent one afternoon chatting with Sheena and Vincente Ball while watching cartoons.



And another yelling at Christopher Greenwood.

“Yeah, you did better than me on the test. Shut up. You’re not perfect,” Lily desperately wanted to set her cousin straight.

“I am perfect. I’m awesome!” Christopher blew a kiss to the sky, just as his favorite singer, Ms. C., did after her shows.

So many boys. Franco held his head in his hands, unable to even think of how to protect his daughter from Julian, or Loki, or Tristan, or all six of Shark’s sons, or whatever dark horse could gallop out.

He woke up Lily one Saturday morning, pulling the bright orange comforter away from her and holding a bundle of place tickets between his fingers.

“How about you come with me and the guys to France? We can spend some time together, and really darling, it’s such a wonderful place.”

“Yes please!” Lily jumped up and down, making a thud each time.



“And don’t tell mum, but you’re a lot more fun,” she whispered to Franco.



Of course, that was probably because her mum was very successful in the romance department. All she could talk about sometimes was Notzo and his wonderful family, and how Bunny could make fresh plasma edible for human consumption. Franco? The fun in life was sometimes all he had.



I had time to read one chapter before I went sightseeing, and endured nasty comments, divided evenly in half between “I’ll call the police on you if you pass here again!” and “Cover those legs, missy!” As my welcome became more and more sour, I sulked, walking to the plaza to feed the pigeons. For a bit, I just people watched. A bit turned into a while, and the sky turned pink as I continued to watch women in modest skirts and with permed, sculpted hair pass by. The men were usually of no concern to me. Now the sky is really pink and the sun is low in the horizon. The plaza has mostly emptied out. The lights are already on.



One man turns out to have decent conversation about the weather. So I talk. He smiles as I talk, but in an entirely friendly way.



Can’t say that they’re all friendly, though. I notice his disapproval pretty quickly.

I meet him near the bathroom. I speak my mind. “I don’t mean any harm,” I say.

“That’s just what I expect a criminal to say,” he says.



“Oh, I’m just tired of this!” I lash out, wildly flailing my arms in his direction. “I’m not a criminal, and I’ll buy a nice pencil skirt tomorrow so everyone can stop talking about that tramp with the bare legs. Just don’t hurt me.”



Oh, he hurts me.



I land on the ground quickly, sore and my bum smacking the tile. “I have the power to arrest you once you reveal your true colors. Understand, Ms. McGrail?”

At that point, I can’t even muster the will for a facetious “That’s Ms. Waverly, actually.”



I do what I always do after a fight: run like hell, heels or otherwise.



Sore from my shoulders to my ankles, it feels great to lie down in my slip, and free my feet too. Even the cheapest house in Roaring Heights has a radio. Mine sits on the dresser, turned to some slightly-vulgar station. Radio dramas play, making free references to juice and woohoo. I still hear them when I step in the shower for a long and steamy muscle relaxant. When I start to feel tired, I leave the radio on. It’s on a mindless advert block, which is perfect to fall asleep to.

It was a great party until I got busted for possessing juice. I better phone Stone!

Good, lawyer ads. Very easy to fall asleep to.

I do street art for a living, and now I got cuffed for it. I better phone Stone!

It’s a tough city and I’m here you, Roaring Heights.


The voice transitions to a chipper, feminine one. For a lawyer here? Odd. But I still start to drift off to it.

I have every loophole at your disposal to save your rear. You may have messed up, but it isn’t a real mess up unless you haven’t called me!

Loopholes, I could use those.



I start to lose consciousness as the ad ends. My eyelids feel heavy time starts to warp. The room goes dark, but the ad still goes. Inside, I want to hear the end.

Better Phone Stone!

(Eileen Stone, attorney at law. 555-555-1666)




Word Count for this chapter: 1,813
Word Count so far: 49,854

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Online Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 37, 3/30)
« Reply #157 on: March 30, 2014, 02:51:32 AM »
Ah hah!  *makes exaggerated triumphant pose*

lol, I don't blame her XD  I love your writing Trip.  You bring your Sims to life so very well ^^  And you know how to keep us on our toes!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 37, 3/30)
« Reply #158 on: March 30, 2014, 03:27:11 AM »
The conversation between Annette and Lily was great. They just seem to click. And I'm definitely hooked on the back story, all the realistic details you include just make it so absorbing  :)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 37, 3/30)
« Reply #159 on: March 30, 2014, 10:09:07 AM »
I don't think I have commented here before, but I love reading your dynasty. It's very well written. I do wonder if we will learn more of Ms. Stone...
And I hope you will feel better soon.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 38, 3/30)
« Reply #160 on: March 30, 2014, 05:05:50 PM »
Ah hah!  *makes exaggerated triumphant pose*

lol, I don't blame her XD  I love your writing Trip.  You bring your Sims to life so very well ^^  And you know how to keep us on our toes!

What was your discovery, though? ;)

Thanks for the compliments!

The conversation between Annette and Lily was great. They just seem to click. And I'm definitely hooked on the back story, all the realistic details you include just make it so absorbing  :)

I always imagined Lily as someone who was just tailor-made for a dynasty. Well, her requirements were pretty easy. :) Thank you!

I don't think I have commented here before, but I love reading your dynasty. It's very well written. I do wonder if we will learn more of Ms. Stone...
And I hope you will feel better soon.

Thank you too, new reader! And of course you'll learn more about Ms. Stone. Jo's no stranger to trouble.



Chapter 38: Buttered Butterfly





Franco spent most of his vacation doing his usual things. Canvases with just a few paintstrokes sat on nearly all of the easels, a bit weathered, but still worthy of finishing. Lily watched, but only for a minute. Shark and Julian worked with their chainsaws, and the whirr of the blades caught Lily’s attention much quicker and for much longer. The instruments of destruction crafted delicate figures and features in the ice. Lily kept her eye on them.



When she wasn’t calling her friends back home, anyways. Loki and Tristan, and her cousins, and Notzo had a few shimmering vampire nieces who were around Lily’s age. Franco remembered that only when looking through the phone bill later, though.

All of the kids were in Twinbrook! France appeared to be a very adult place to Lily, with hardly a kid in sight. She stuck around the house, because talking about current issues over croissants was hardly a vacation to her.



Thankfully, having fun at the house was a pretty easy thing, even if she couldn’t join the sculptors just yet.



Although sometimes a sculptor joined her.



Or in Shark’s case, tried to act like a doting uncle-figure. “My goodness, you’re just cute,” he said before bedtime, trying to pinch her cheek. She recoiled.

“No! Stop calling me cute. I’m here as one of the guys.” Lily did her darnedest to intimidate Shark, in all of his height and fitness. Almost taken aback by her words, he needed to set that little one straight.

“I’m sorry. I just wanted to be nice. Now go upstairs. Maybe I’ll read you a story.”



“Upstairs is where you wrestle with your boyfriend. No!”

“Franco? Julian? Anyone?” asked Shark. He was mostly spent, but a little fidgety. He indeed invited Jules over every night, with the possibility of this being his last trip to France looming over his head. He almost never slept, well, unless Jules was right next to him. There were so many things to do in the space of a couple of what should have been stress-free weeks.

Julian just finished a bowl of midnight cereal when Shark needed some help getting Lily to bed. “I’ll take care of this.”



“...And that is how you cook a frog,” Julian closed the cookbook.

“Yeah, I still don’t get it,” said Lily.

“You don’t have to. Sleepy yet?” he asked.

“I guess.”

“G’night, little flower.” He pulled the blanket up to Lily’s neck and gave her a chaste kiss on the top of the head, “I’ll get your king tomorrow.”

“You wish!” She slept soundly for the whole night.

Julian slept maybe twice that whole vacation. Foreign coffee and the Motive Mobile kept him strong enough to hold a heavy piece of cutting machinery after 48 or 72 straight hours awake, and still alert enough to entertain a child after 96 hours awake. Franco still painted, on the same lack of sleep as Julian, but he was mostly absorbed into the medium as heavy paper absorbs watercolors; you could get him out, but it took a lot of strength and careful technique. The rest of them didn’t bother to even try.



Shark slept, but the vacation was meant to be an actual vacation for him. Any rare moment when he and Jules were in the same national borders had to be an actual vacation for at least one of them, anyways. That vacation, he nabbed his final steady partner.

One day at sunset, when the temperature was a perfect 20 degrees and the crickets started their choir practice, Shark even found a gathering of butterflies. Not the glowing ones he heard of in legends, but they were a bright pastel yellow, the color of butter, actively fluttering or landing on flowers. He could see them from the banks of the river, on an island.

Shark rolled up his pant legs, wading in the river. The gentle current didn’t make him falter, instead just lapping his legs. The entire stream was shallow, barely reaching above his knees. And the grass on the island felt fertile and fresh under his bare feet.

He outstretched his arm towards a butterfly that aimlessly fluttered around.

“Don’t be shy,” he said softly. Soon, the butterfly flew closer to him, almost touching his fingertips. Shark leaned in just an inch closer. The butterfly landed on his fingertip, resting its wings.



For a few minutes, Shark stood there with his butterfly. It flapped its wings occasionally, just to keep its circulation going, but was otherwise calm on his hand and as trusting as an insect could be.

The butterfly eventually flew away, thirsty for some hydrangea’s nectar, but Shark never forgot it.



Later that night, the men plus Lily broke free of their comfortable French cottage and found themselves at a campsite in the hills, packing sausages and produce and, of course, charcoal and matches. They pooled together the food; sausages for all, a wedge of charred lettuce for all. They all told jokes while they ate, or whatever child-appropriate humor came to mind.

Lily crashed pretty early quickly getting out her sleeping bag and falling asleep right on the ground, looking at the stars for the few moments before she drifted off into a heavy sleep. Shark took the tent. Julian and Franco had two cups of French roast that morning, and maybe have taken the Motive Mobile for a joyride. They still stood steady on their feet, not sucumbing to exhaustion for another few hours.



They spoke in hushed tones about art, though Franco tuned out most of the stuff about sculpting. The third dimension hardly appealed to him, definitely not in the same way the canvas and oil paints and color theory did.

“...I think Lily will make a fabulous sculpting student,” said Julian, which piqued Franco’s attention, “I like spending time with her, she likes spending time with me, it will be great when she gets older!”



“You stop right there,” Franco snapped, “Don’t lay a hand on her.”

“Franco, I didn-”

“Behave yourself around her.”

Julian’s eyes, those sinister Rotter eyes, filled with rage, beyond what any of the Waverlys ever saw from Sinbad. His brow furrowed deeply, his irises almost retreated back into his skull in literally blind anger. Julian’s hands clenched into a tight fist, his knuckles and fingertips ghost-white under the pressure.

No, he couldn’t actually touch Franco. Compared to Julian, the man was impenetrable. Too soft to injure, but as indicated by his thick arms and hands as big as a dinner plate, too strong to intimidate and escape without a bruise the size of a grapefruit and something shattered inside.

His fist wouldn’t relax, though. His fingers hurt from the pressure, but Julian couldn’t let go of the accusations.

He punched Franco with all of his force, right in the jaw. Hitting something hard underneath his chubby cheeks, and hearing him scream from the blow.

“Oh my god! What was that for?” Franco was livid. He held the right side of his face where he was hit. He himself could do that right back at Julian, but he ran off down the hill like a greyhound, hands in the air and flailing, and Julian himself screaming in falsetto.

Franco found Julian asleep the next morning by the river. He was alive, if shaken by what he just did. He forgave Julian for the moment, escorting him back home. Ashamed, Julian didn’t speak to Franco for the rest of the vacation, just silently cutting through blocks of ice. He didn’t speak with Lily either, and left her to play one-person chess games. Franco spent the rest of the time in confusion over Julian’s defensiveness.

Back at home, Lily found Jeffrey playing video games, what he usually did when not with Gena. Angry at everyone for ignoring her France, she waited around for a break in the action.

“Hey! Are you doing anything fun tonight?” she asked Jeffrey.

“Nah, just going out with my lady,” he said.



“Well, can I go too?”

“I mean, if you behave yourself.”

“I promise!”



She left Gena and Jeffrey to have their time in peace. She even helped him pick out the flowers beforehand. Even Lily smiled wide after seeing Gena’s face light up, as she gave her boyfriend a hug afterwards in thanks. It was truly as sweet as the smell of those pink roses.

Of course, she also fought with her cousin Lynn.



“Oh god, it’s dad’s annoying little niece,” he said.

“Oh god, it’s uncle Shark’s annoying little bloodsucker,” she said, mockingly.

Lily getting angry didn’t bother Jeffrey much at all. As long as she didn’t try to separate him and Gena.

“Oh, looks like dad’s here,” said Jeffrey, “Hun, I’ll take of this.” He gave Gena a peck on the cheek before changing into something a little comfortable and heading downstairs.



No, Jeffrey did not need Lily’s fighting to distract him. His own sufficed, much to his half-brother’s embarrassment.

While Lily and Jeffrey created enemies and public disturbances at the gym, Franco drove by himself up to the Bayless house. Its humble exterior was enveloped in thick fog, and cattails brushed against his pant legs as he walked to the front door. The back porch was filled with random things; chairs, old tables, a stereo that still worked in the rain.

He rang the doorbell, to be greeted by Tay a few minutes later. The old man was slowed down immensely by his old age. He walked hunched over a cane. His voice was as creaky as the bad floor plank on their front stairs.

“Franco Waverly. I don’t think we’ve formally met,” Franco said, outstretching his hand.

“No, but I’ve destroyed at least two mattresses at your house. I’m cooking dinner right now. Enough for two and some leftovers.” The fragrance of prawns and tomatoes and cooking pasta wafted through the front door.

Tay finished up dinner, slowly, his hands shaking a bit as he drained the pasta. Franco hesitated to help; he didn’t even know what al dente felt like or how to test it. But as slow as he was, Tay got dinner on the table; a pot of linguine and the prawns and tomatoes, of course. Franco took a bite. It was basically as good as anything Annette did on a normal day.

“You didn’t have to do this for me at all,” said Franco.

“It’s fine. I always cook for two, but it’s just me now.” Tay looked over his shoulder, at a picture of Chase, his older sister, that hung near the stairs. Franco vaguely remembered Chase. She got a makeover later in her life, and liked to tell jokes the whole time.

“I’m very sorry,” Franco said, quietly, “Dinner is delicious, by the way. I almost see why she likes you.”

“Hannah? There are many reasons she likes me. But she never has anything bad to say about what I cook, you got that right.”

“I guess I’m always going to be confused about what she sees in you. And I mean, I am so very sorry about anything bad I’ve said. I think, I think I’m actually glad that she found someone.”

“I know you care about her. She talks about you a lot. She says really nice things about you. She’s a delicate little minnow, if you ask me. She thinks she’s big, but deep down, she knows that she’s fragile and that the world ain’t easy on her. I had to spend two days getting her to stop crying about her mum. All she did was spill her sorrows about mum for two days. I can’t imagine it. I loved my mum. But ol’ Ms. Carlton couldn’t stand Hannah. Yelling, fighting, slap-fights, not buying her new clothes.”

Franco quietly listened to the old man, and ate his pasta strand by strand. Tay’s plate was mostly untouched, and with only a small serving. Franco could count the ribs through his sweater.

“She never cried about it to me, I guess,” said Franco, “I’m glad that she was able to.”

“I like to think I help,” said Tay, “She calls me every night to say good night. Her nose flares when she laughs, and her lips are just so soft. And her hands are really warm. I just find her dreamy.”

Franco held back the urge to say that he wasn’t the only one. He felt like he had a monopoly on Hannah’s willow-thin, warm hands at one point, or the feeling of the tip of her nose against his. It felt like everything that mattered to him was someone else’s domain, and whether he admired or was disgusted with that frail old man for taking what was his was unclear to Franco.

“She’d make a good mother,” said Tay, “There’s a lot of good in her heart. And she always says good things about Lily...that’s your little girl, right?” Franco nodded.

"Lily sounds like the sweetest thing. I bet you're doing a good job with her."

The two of them departed on good terms, and for Franco, with a little less confusion, and a new problem. With Hannah’s boyfriend basically in the Reaper’s waiting room, her biggest source of comfort might be gone the next day. And somehow, Franco feared that he couldn’t fill that void afterwards.



As for Lily? She was too young to love, or at least Franco thought, but he still feared for her. That some other man would get her attention and dear old dad was just another old man in the house. No one told him that she accompanied Jeffrey and Gena out to dinner, and that she stayed while they watched the stars and told inside jokes.

If he was almost able to let Hannah go, then Lily was his next challenge. She searched for the Jeffrey to her Gena immediately, but it was a short journey. Her soulmate hovered closer than anyone suspected.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,325
Word Count so far: 52,179

The picture of Shark and the butterfly has been my laptop's lockscreen basically ever since I took the picture, and I don't think that will change for a while.

Unfortunately, some bugs undid the trip to France. And a lot of Lily's childhood. I sat on quite a few screenshots thanks to Lily basically being a child twice. I liked her as a teen, though. I guess I'll have to show that eventually. :P

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 38, 3/30)
« Reply #161 on: March 30, 2014, 05:22:00 PM »
...you had to go and make me cry, didn't you? That conversation between Tay and Franco was just so touching. Now I really, really hope that somehow, some way, Hannah will be able to have a child. One last bit of her love to hold onto after Grim takes him.

<sniff>

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 38, 3/30)
« Reply #162 on: March 30, 2014, 06:30:11 PM »

Well, I'm glad Hannah's happy; she deserves it, after everything. Anyone else feeling bad for Franco, though? He clearly let his soul mate (Hannah) slip right through his chubby fingers. I like Julian punching Franco, too.  ;D Julian loves Lily, and too sincerely for whatever Franco was implying.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 38, 3/30)
« Reply #163 on: March 30, 2014, 07:00:42 PM »
What Raia and Rhoxi both said!  That scene between Tay and Franco was definitely touching.  And I can't help but sigh.  I had shipped Hannah and Franco from the beginning and now that he's starting to realize, I'm just like... "TOO LATE!  Why you no realize this sooner, Franco?  Agh!"  Obviously, my grammar devolves when I'm exasperated lol.  Another wonderful chapter Trip.  And that picture with Shark and the butterfly is just wonderful.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 38, 3/30)
« Reply #164 on: March 30, 2014, 11:59:35 PM »
Just catching up, and wow - Tay was such a sweetie.

"Better phone Stone"... wouldn't be a "Better call Saul" (Breaking Bad) reference, would it?

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 39, 3/31)
« Reply #165 on: March 31, 2014, 12:06:40 PM »
General Note: The conversation between Franco and Tay was thought of about a day before I wrote the chapter. Pretty good reaction for something thought of so quickly!

...you had to go and make me cry, didn't you? That conversation between Tay and Franco was just so touching. Now I really, really hope that somehow, some way, Hannah will be able to have a child. One last bit of her love to hold onto after Grim takes him.

<sniff>
...you had to go and make me cry, didn't you? That conversation between Tay and Franco was just so touching. Now I really, really hope that somehow, some way, Hannah will be able to have a child. One last bit of her love to hold onto after Grim takes him.

<sniff>

I know! While playing the game, I wanted Hannah to have a child with Tay for entirely pragmatic reasons; it was unlikely that Julian would live to get Lily's last museum pieces, and I needed to guarantee a future spouse later down the line (whether having her kid marry generation four, or having them be the parent to a later spouse). It took me until writing the story to actually get emotional over it.

Well, I'm glad Hannah's happy; she deserves it, after everything. Anyone else feeling bad for Franco, though? He clearly let his soul mate (Hannah) slip right through his chubby fingers. I like Julian punching Franco, too.  ;D Julian loves Lily, and too sincerely for whatever Franco was implying.

I felt bad for him. Franco, even during the game, seemed complacent in letting his life fall to pieces.

What Raia and Rhoxi both said!  That scene between Tay and Franco was definitely touching.  And I can't help but sigh.  I had shipped Hannah and Franco from the beginning and now that he's starting to realize, I'm just like... "TOO LATE!  Why you no realize this sooner, Franco?  Agh!"  Obviously, my grammar devolves when I'm exasperated lol.  Another wonderful chapter Trip.  And that picture with Shark and the butterfly is just wonderful.

I mildly disagree; I think Franco always realized that he had strong feelings for Hannah. He just ignored the feelings, maybe thinking that they were just impulses based entirely on looks, passion, or whatever. Of course, it's causing him a world of hurt. He should just be glad that he'll outlive Hannah's partner. ;)

Just catching up, and wow - Tay was such a sweetie.

"Better phone Stone"... wouldn't be a "Better call Saul" (Breaking Bad) reference, would it?

We have a winner! Breaking Bad is my big obsession outside of TS3, and when my story called for a lawyer possibly working for criminals, I couldn't resist the urge to make a reference.

Glad you got caught up! At over 50,000 words now (really!), anyone catching up on the story deserves my respect. ;)



Chapter 39: Fashion Phenomenon



Franco spent the next morning staring into a pumpkin spice latte, swirling around the frothy cream on top. The smell of nutmeg did nothing to soothe him. Neither did the crisp air or view of autumn leaves from the window.

“Something got you down?” asked Annette, sitting down with a plate of French toast for herself.

“I had a rough night.”

“Bad clients?”

“No, this one was fine. Charming, even.”



“Well, I know what can cheer you up.” Annette whipped out her phone, already open on an image of her in her two-piece swimsuit.

“Oh yes, your stretch marks are what I need,” Franco grumbled, taking a sip of his latte.

“No, it’s the new tattoos! I finally got them. Now look at this view.”



She flipped to a picture from the back, of the massive eagle tattoo that took up her entire back.

“That nice,” said Franco.

“I think the tattoo lady did a swell job. It looks just like your father’s.” Annette sighed, trapped in a daydream. “I might have kept my name, but I’m always gonna be a Racket.”

“I sometimes miss dad,” Franco said, “I envy you guys.”

“Yeah, because you don’t have the guts to tell the woman you love that she deserves you! I know that Hannah seems happy, but really, just break that old man’s heart and steal his girl. I’m not letting my son grow old and miserable.”

“Except that there is something so genuine about those two. It’s real love, apparently.”

“Then what do you have to live for now?”

“Plenty of things! I have a job, five beautiful children, loads of friends. I just have to let this part of my life go.” One tear rolled down his cheek and into his latte. “I think everything’s too hard on me right now.”

She put a hand on his shoulder, her own eyes pink and on the verge of tears.

“That’s no way to live forever.”



Even if that wasn’t, living on in history as a fashion icon was a pretty nice way to live forever. Franco took a seat at his drafting board once again, wrapped in his most comfortable hoodie, wielding his pencil like a professional. He formed a face, slim and heart-shaped. Big eyes below tweezed eyebrows, and a tiny nose. His model on paper was slim but only a little bit slim. All he could bring himself to draw was a simple, empire-waist wedding gown. Once he lightly pressed his pencil down to shade her skin, in the greyscale equivalent of olive, he just looked at the sad portrayal. Franco’s long-lost dream appeared on paper.

“Dangit!” he said to himself, crumpling up the paper and throwing it over his shoulder.

Franco sighed. He always wanted to design Hannah’s wedding dress, but instead, she was stuck silly in love and freely unwed.



He went out that afternoon to see his last two professional clients. Rosy Whelohff decided that looking frumpy wasn’t an option when she was forever young as a fairy. Still possibly on the wedding gown-kick, Franco fitted her a lovely white dress with green accents.



Later that afternoon, Ms. Tripp felt a disturbance in her wardrobe. “Not enough black. I’m not going to be an only lady in pastels!” she said, “And I want my dark hair back.”

“Don’t worry, I see some pretty nice possibilities,” he told her, with his hand on her shoulder, “There’s a whole world of fashion out there!”

Right afterwards, Franco got a call from Watcher Wear. They kept rejecting his pleas for a feature, laughing at a small-town stylist thinking he had what it took to get in Simnation’s biggest fashion magazine. He instead spent his adulthood gritting his teeth and groaning at the thought of his work being in the second-rate Trendy Threads Trimonthly. However, the editor on the other end sounded different; thrilled, even.

“Franco Waverly! Gregor Kinsey, Watcher Wear. Everyone’s been talking about you lately.”

“Really?” asked Franco, finally excited.

“I can’t believe it either! They’re calling you a phenomenon now. And by they, I mean everyone in the office, and now I have to follow. You’re…you’re just a genius.”

Franco would celebrate right on the spot, but he already had a party planned for that night.



One, very unfortunate, bittersweet party. Franco felt as if he never signed up for having a teenager. Alas, he got one anyways. Lily, beautiful and excited as always, stroked her chin in thought of a birthday wish.

“Tell daddy what you wished for,” he taunted.

“I’m not jinxing it,” she giggled. Foiled. Franco thought that maybe he could trick Lily, and that she would admit to wishing for a certain boy to like her. Jinx that, and he wouldn’t have to worry a bit.



He got out his noisemaker anyways. If Lily was happy about growing up, he better share it with her for a moment.



Sigh. Welcome to teenagerhood, he thought. Lily just leapt into it. In an instant, his beautiful little girl was almost as tall as him, still with her hair short. He buried a few black extensions in the dresser drawer, thinking that she would maybe return to something a little longer. A chin-length bob, even. Heck, even a cute pixie cut. Franco had enough with dealing with rebellion and mohawks from her.



He could dream. Franco begged for her not to use the razor. Once Lily sheared one side of her hair in defiance, her dad surrendered, letting her shave the other side for the sake of symmetry. She got out the makeup kit and instantly slathered on one layer of charcoal-colored eyeliner and one layer of orange.

“Wash that off right now,” said Franco.

“It makes my eyes look pretty cool, dad.” Lily smiled at the mirror, “I like the way this turned out.”

“Fine. But no lipstick.” Lily put down the tube of copper-orange before it touched her lips.

“Just wait until I’m 18,” she said, with a smirk.



Regardless of the difficulties at the dresser, Lily still danced with old Shark, without a hint of embarrassment. It wasn’t like she shaved off her love for the family when he ran the blade close to her scalp.



“Okay, perhaps we actually did well,” Franco said to Pansy, “Can’t say I love the new hair, but she is lovely.”

“And just like me. Good luck looking into those eyes for eternity,” said Pansy

“I accepted it a long time ago. I don’t hate you. Can we just be friends?”

“After everything? Nope. Now if you excuse me, my boyfriend’s gone sleeveless, and that’s just hot.”



In spite of everything between him and Pansy, Franco smiled a bit when Pansy leapt into Notzo’s arms without caution, him still strong even at 86 or however old they were then.



The next morning, Franco went to City Hall for his own party. The mayor, in his best regalia, took Franco’s hand for a brisk shake. Franco gripped tightly too, which almost broke the mayor’s relatively delicate fingers.

“Gotta love a man with a good handshake. Twinbrook’s fashion phenomenon, everyone!” He turned towards Franco. “We got news about the Watcher Wear shoot as soon as we could. Good job.”



“That’s not for another few months,” Franco said, “Nice to celebrate it before I get old, though.”



Meanwhile, Lily ran into her uncle Mark at the diner. They were mutually offended over the other one’s athleticism or lack of it, family ties be darned. Then Lily’s phone vibrated in her pocket, with a reminder of the autumn party the family planned for the late afternoon.

“Looks like I’ll have to see you anyways,” she said to Mark. Surely, he was on the invite list. Lily went home to prepare, and watch Julian sculpt. It was a good way to learn before she tried sculpture herself, but her fingers itched to grab a chisel or chainsaw to try it herself now that she was more of a proto-adult.





And Julian’s sculpting methods were a bit questionable.

As the party-goers started to pour in, Franco needed to entertain guests and corral the housemates, and he prioritized the former. “Lily, would you text Hannah for me? I have no idea where she is.” So she did, getting a quick reply.

“She’s busy,” said Lily, “No details, but I think I have a guess.”



I don’t know what else she could have guessed.

“Nothing flatters a sim like a nice fall day,” said Hannah, outstretching her hand to stroke Tay’s cheek, “Orange leaves, crisp breeze, pumpkin pies. And you! Perfect day. Getting cold yet?”

“The sweater works wonder,” he said, “You?”

“Maybe a bit. I know how to stay warm,” she said, with a sly wink.

While Hannah and Tay did their nasty things in the lounge’s basement, someone tapped Franco’s shoulder while he was in the bathroom and widely smiled.

“Yeah?” he asked, turning around to the face-wide smile of Ben Kindle. He had a big mouth and a narrow jaw, much like his big sister, and shaggy red hair that covered his right eye, much like his father wore his. Franco never really liked Ben. He blew kisses to the air much like Carmen did, and believed himself to be at least as awesome as his siblings, but without a thing to prove it. Carmen painted and spray-painted, with immense talent in both things, while Franco couldn’t recall a single talent of Ben’s.

“Look, Franco, now that you’re the guy to go to in fashion, I figured that you could take on my awesomeness,” Ben said.

“I could do that a long time ago. But you have money, right?” Ben produced a stack of simoleons,a bunch of 20-simoleon notes secured with a rubber band.

“I saved my inheritance money well,” Ben said.

“Looks like I have a new customer.” Franco almost got the hairbrush out when he heard someone unzip their pants. Jeffrey stood by the toilet with a relieved look on his face.

“Gross,” Franco told Jeffrey, “Just go in the back yard if it’s that bad.”

“What am I, an animal? It's not like you have to look.” But after Jeffrey flushed, he felt lighter. Even lighter than an emptied bladder made him. Light as if he lost his torso or all of his limbs. Missing. As if every part of him floated away.



“Oh,” said Jeffrey.



“Ah! My best cook!” Annette cried out. Jeffrey smiled into the afterlife, though, almost sinisterly. He cheered when Grim materialized in front of him. “I’m your biggest fan!” said Jeffrey, “You’re just so evil.” He shook Grim’s hand, thanking him for the time to spend with Gena and the kids, and diving into the beyond with glee.

As for Franco and Ben, they decided to postpone a makeover. Franco had no strong feelings either way for Jeffrey, except for a small shred of thankfulness that he went before Shark did. In the rush of guests and his mum’s famous pumpkin pie, Franco didn’t process Jeffrey’s death completely. He absolutely forgot how it would affect him.



Heck, even Hannah forgot.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,849
Word Count so far: 54,028

I was cutting it close with Hannah! She had 3 days of adulthood left by the time I could finally press the Try for Baby button.

Also, Franco's last client was indeed named Tripp (as a surname; I forget her first name). I thought it was kind of funny.

Annette got her tattoos just after Lily was born, actually, but somehow I forgot to include them in the story.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 39, 3/31)
« Reply #166 on: March 31, 2014, 01:04:45 PM »
Good bye Jeffrey!  Yay, now we get Hannah nooboos!  I love Lily's look. 

Also, somehow, ignoring the feelings just make it worse XD

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 39, 3/31)
« Reply #167 on: March 31, 2014, 02:30:05 PM »
Goodbye Jeffrey. Thanks for helping to create some really adorable children. :)

I too am glad that he went first instead of Shark...and doubly glad that he went early enough to give Hannah the chance for her own sweet little nooboo. Talk about cutting it whisper close!

Now the next question is whether said nooboo will take after mom or dad. This will be interesting indeed. ;)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 39, 3/31)
« Reply #168 on: March 31, 2014, 03:03:10 PM »

Whew, good to see Hannah's genes will make it, just in time!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 39, 3/31)
« Reply #169 on: March 31, 2014, 03:08:07 PM »
Yay, a Hannah nooboo on the way! I love Annette's new tattoos.  :D

You really do have a comedic touch.


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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 40, 4/1)
« Reply #170 on: April 01, 2014, 10:40:37 AM »
Good bye Jeffrey!  Yay, now we get Hannah nooboos!  I love Lily's look. 

Also, somehow, ignoring the feelings just make it worse XD

I really did cheer when the camera panned to Jeffrey dying. ;D

Lily was made for that mohawk, but she's otherwise challenging to makeover because of all the orange.

Goodbye Jeffrey. Thanks for helping to create some really adorable children. :)

I too am glad that he went first instead of Shark...and doubly glad that he went early enough to give Hannah the chance for her own sweet little nooboo. Talk about cutting it whisper close!

Now the next question is whether said nooboo will take after mom or dad. This will be interesting indeed. ;)

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I'm glad that Shark was very long-lived. It's not like Jeffrey made valuable masterpiece sculptures. ;)

I know exactly what her kid looked like, but with a father like Tay, I'll keep everyone on their toes.

Whew, good to see Hannah's genes will make it, just in time!

To think that I was making backup plans in case someone didn't die! I liked this route better.

Yay, a Hannah nooboo on the way! I love Annette's new tattoos.  :D

You really do have a comedic touch.



Thanks! Making new tattoos for my immortals is great. I can't afford my own just yet, so it's the next best thing. :P



Chapter 40: A Just-In-Time Surprise



Hannah got the news about Jeffrey as soon as she got home and didn’t hear video game sound effects. Still, she forgot to make a connection between Jeffrey’s death and the effects of what two sessions of public woohoo with Tay could do to her with the house a little more empty. She spent weeks rather oblivious to any idea of what could have changed starting that night.



Of course, she eventually had to try and make the connection, as the leftover crepes she had for breakfast boiled up inside.



However, her digestive system revolting against her was a little more important to Hannah than connections. She needed to stop retching when fans wanted her to perform, so she bent over and let out her entire breakfast, plus the tea and orange juice, and the second cup of tea to clear her throat. Hannah performed with a raspy voice that day, not daring to upset her stomach with a third cup of tea to fix her voice again.



The show went on, anyways. The rain turned out to be a bigger worry.

Hannah still spent some time in flimsy denial. When Franco started to make arrangements for his elder birthday, she brushed off the nausea as Annette’s fridge keeping food indefinitely being too good to be true, as opposed to the idea of possibly being pregnant. If Franco was getting old, then she wasn’t that far behind. Probably too old to get pregnant the usual way. When her usual clothes got a little tight, she thought that age slowed her metabolism down, and got some comfortable clothes to wear before she got resized for something a little more stylish.

She didn’t suspect a thing, even on the morning of Franco’s elder birthday.

That morning, Hannah was dozing around, with the time to doze thanks to taking a small hiatus from singing, but Franco was awake since 5AM. The party arrangements needed him. However, Annette managed to get him to relax for a bit for breakfast. “I made waffles! You’re going to prefer party planning to waffles?” Annette nearly shoved the plate into Franco’s face.

He spent an hour trying to get three bites down.

“I sometimes wonder why you’re fat,” Annette said. She cleaned her plate in 10 minutes. Franco didn’t even react to his mother’s comments any more. He stared down his plate of nearly-untouched waffles, watching the syrup congeal on the plate.

“I can make something else,” she said, “Heck, even dessert. It’s your birthday, after all.”

“I hate myself and everything I’ve done.” Franco pushed his plate away, to the other side of the table.

“Realized that you have little to live for?”

“Don’t add to it.” He slowly walked upstairs, to get dressed for the party, or to cry into his pillow before he could stain his suit jacket with tears.



Annette still cooked, hoping that he would change his mind.

That afternoon, a few hours before the party, Julian came home from the office and hung up his trenchcoat. With the heating in the house, it was pretty unbearable to wear outside of work, and even in work. Interviewees would probably still take him seriously if he simply wore business casual. Lily came home from school too, without any homework.



The two of them always liked to talk, mostly about sculpting. However, Lily mentioned something about prom. It was still a ways off, but she was excited about the rave theme the prom committee already agreed on and the caterers they considered.



Julian only vaguely remembered his prom, or so he told Lily. He still wished her well, wishing that the prom committee did a good job, and of course, wishing that she would find a nice date.

“Nah, going stag,” she said, “Or whatever it is when a girl goes alone. Is it ‘going doe?’” The both laughed a bit.

“There has to be someone nice there for you. Don’t you like that Jones-Brown kid? He seems nice.”

“Loki? He’s my best friend, but I don’t love him that way.”

“Well, it’s a bigger town than you think,” said Julian, “There’s someone out there for you.”

“There is. I might have a bit of a crush,” Lily glanced towards the floor, shyly smiling.

“Kind of sucks that he’s too old to go to prom, though,” she continued.

Julian stood frozen and mortified, while Lily nearly skipped to the dresser to get her best dress on, as if her comment was as insignificant as saying that it rained that morning. He eventually got his own good jacket on, though. He realized that Franco’s birthday was the main event, but Julian made sure that they ordered a second cake and five extra candles, to usher in his own first wrinkles.



Soon after, Julian forgot about what Lily said. The party started, and the cakes were already set up. As the pianist charmed the guests, both of the birthday boys smiled and waited for the guests to react to them instead, while wax dripped down their candles and ruined good fondant.





They both had their wishes.





In a rush of sparkles, they said good-bye to either half of their youth or all of it.



Annette greeted their wrinkles in her usual way. But she was the only one laughing that night. Franco invited Tay, but perhaps he had an early bedtime. Hannah always laughed at them ever since she finished university, but she was quiet and standing still as if in contemplation.



Her face was stuck in her default look; weary and pouty.



Her own half-brother started laughing instead, pointing right at her. “Oh my god, this is what the queen of awesome calls fashion?” Ben taunted, “I win! I am the fabulous one.” Hannah still stood absolutely silent, but her mind tried to piece things together, about why she felt sick and bloated. She weakly called out Franco’s name, but to no effect.





She understood. He had two fashion disasters to fix, after all.



While the pianist flaunted their virtuosity, Hannah stared into oblivion. “Did it really happen?” she whispered to herself.



It took Carmen waddling by for the pieces to fit together for Hannah. Suddenly, she felt a little flutter inside her lower abdomen, no more powerful than her pulse. In fact, less powerful than her pulse. After a workout, Hannah’s pulse could rock her entire body, but this was just a flutter. Just a flutter that basically said “hey there.”



She gave her tummy a rub.

“Hey yourself.”



After finishing with Julian at the dresser, Franco cheered up a bit from the morning, and he didn’t even need juice for it. Celebrating his last birthday with light gambling was his remedy instead, competing against Annette for money they did not need. She pensively concentrated on the game, or so Franco thought until she actually opened her mouth.

“I can’t believe that Hannah’s boyfriend actually knocked her up,” she said, “He looks like he can’t get out of bed in the morning, let alone actually do fun things in a bed.”



Franco propped his head up on his fist, in dejection. “I guess it’s over,” he said, “They’re a happy family now. And me? I just have a bunch of babymommas who don’t care a bit.”

“Plural? Found another?” she asked.

“The Knack sisters. Again, they don’t care. And I know that this search is hopeless, but what else can I do to fill up forever?” He pushed a stack of chips closer to the robotic dealer. “See? I don’t even care if that’s a stupid move that will lose me another thousand.”



Annette stopped talking, and just said a prayer for her son in silence.

Franco woke up that morning feeling a whole new level of stiffness. He still needed to get used to his aging body. Lazy too, he grabbed a bowl of cereal instead of expending the energy to ask Annette for a proper breakfast and wait for her to cook it. The doorbell rang as he poured the milk. Hannah answered the door, probably because it was her guest. Franco hoped that his expectations would be subverted and that one of her brothers was visiting instead, but no, it was Tay.

“It worked,” she said to him. Tay was stunned for a good minute, his eyes locked on his girlfriend in disbelief, then excitement. They nearly fell into each others’ arms, stuck in a hug for the amount of time it took for Franco to eat his cereal and fish the last peanut butter puff from the milk.

How strange. He didn’t react that way when Pansy had the same news. He said “that’s great!” and then went to work. But Tay spent the whole day at the house, even if what he could manage was just sitting down to a movie or a marathon of them on the widescreen television, with Hannah. He put his arm around her for the whole time, often not actually paying attention to the movie. Tay instead turned towards her for a kiss, or to nuzzle the top of her head and all of that soft, black hair that Franco always dreamed of running his fingers through.

At night, after dinner, Hannah helped him up the stairs. Franco braced himself for the noise that usually ensued when that happened, but even if he stood in the hallway, right above Hannah’s bedroom, he couldn’t hear a thing.

At 22:00, he opened the door to Hannah’s room, just enough for him to peek in. She left the lights on, but the two of them were asleep, both lying on their side and snuggled close together. Perhaps they really were exhausted, as they didn’t even bother getting under the blanket or changing into their pajamas. At some points, they breathed in unison. Tay’s nose was right up against the back of Hannah’s neck; his left arm was draped over her, his left hand on her tummy, perhaps trying to be protective.

Franco couldn’t help but crack a smile. He reached his arm inside to flick the switch and turn off the lights.

As the months went on, Hannah prepared for her nooboo, or she wished that was where her attention turned to. For a bit, she could focus entirely on it. She learned that it was a boy, so she went on shopping trips for toy cars and blue blankets. Hannah, for a tiny, little bit, fed herself well, and took her supplements, and once treated herself to a professional massage at the spa. She smiled every time she looked down at the round little bump under her shirt. Franco almost happily let her go. If you asked her, for that bit of time, if life was perfect, Hannah would ask why it wasn't obvious to you already.

Things changed when Tay stopped coming over. Franco asked her what was up. Apparently he was having trouble getting out of the house. But needing to drive didn’t stop Hannah from spending time with the father of her son. She spent days at a time there. On the nights she came home, Hannah looked like she was dying herself; dark circles under her eyes and a very weak smile, if she smiled at all. She barely ate at home, sometimes grabbing a plate of spaghetti from the fridge, but eating only half of it.

Franco just felt helpless seeing her. He fought the urge to draw her in for a slow embrace when she came in the door, just to tell her that he cared. He cared, but it was as if Hannah disappeared out of sight, into the swamp fog entirely. Even if she stood right in front of him. Even if she was slowly dying herself.

Franco spent nights crying into his pillow instead of helping. He couldn't even ask her what was wrong, though he had a guess. She retreated upstairs herself before he could even say "good-night."



However, he still managed to confidently smile when Shark needed him to pose. He spent an afternoon doing just that, until Shark looked through the ice and felt like he had a masterpiece. Shark got his masterpiece just in time. Franco’s phone vibrated while he stood for Shark, and five minutes did so again. Both times, it was Hannah calling. He called her back.

“Hannah?” he asked.

“I need you to pick me up.”



Word Count for this chapter: 2,065
Word Count so far: 56,093

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 40, 4/1)
« Reply #171 on: April 01, 2014, 11:12:17 AM »
Oh the roller coaster of emotions at play here...the joy of Hannah and Tay's coming child, the Franco's jealousy at what the two of them have that he doesn't, the bit of a crush that Lily may have on her mentor...

And if I'm reading the signs correctly...the sadness of losing a loved one and the fact that a baby boy will never know his father.

Words can hardly describe how this chapter hit me. You have such an amazing knack for hitting every emotional nerve.

Sent from my C6916 using Tapatalk


Online Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 40, 4/1)
« Reply #172 on: April 01, 2014, 10:19:09 PM »
Oh wow... I am speechless right now... And very heartsore for both of them.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 40, 4/1)
« Reply #173 on: April 02, 2014, 05:32:03 PM »
Oh dear, Franco.   This is really not a good point to realise what a mess you made of your life - not with so much of it left :(.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 41, 4/2)
« Reply #174 on: April 02, 2014, 06:33:42 PM »
Oh the roller coaster of emotions at play here...the joy of Hannah and Tay's coming child, the Franco's jealousy at what the two of them have that he doesn't, the bit of a crush that Lily may have on her mentor...

And if I'm reading the signs correctly...the sadness of losing a loved one and the fact that a baby boy will never know his father.

Words can hardly describe how this chapter hit me. You have such an amazing knack for hitting every emotional nerve.

Sent from my C6916 using Tapatalk



I'm glad that I portrayed the wreck of that time in the dynasty well! I had a good time writing it, because it was also going by at a fast pace when I was playing, and now I finally have the time to reflect on how it actually may have affected my pixel dolls.

Oh wow... I am speechless right now... And very heartsore for both of them.

Thanks! I feel the same way. :(

Oh dear, Franco.   This is really not a good point to realise what a mess you made of your life - not with so much of it left :(.

Yep, if only something saved him right before his ambrosia day...



Chapter 41: What Happened?



Franco stepped out of the house. His breath fogged up when he exhaled, and the frozen grass crunched under his feet. The dirt was absolutely solid with ice. The summer cicadas and crickets and frogs hibernated deeply, leaving Twinbrook silent. Not even the roar of a car engine filled the night until Franco put the key in the exhaust of his dad’s old police cruiser, his little inheritance gift.

He pulled up the Bayless house and its clouds of cold fog. A few lights were on, but the front door was left open on such a cold night. As far as he was concerned, the house was empty. Hannah stood outside, on the side of the house, her colorful blue shirt standing out against the murky swamp. Her mouth wasn’t quite agape, but still open, as if her jaw went limp. She seemed entirely limp, aside from the ability to stand. Her arms hung motionless at her side, her neck craned down slightly, and her eyes absolutely empty as they stared at the frost forming on the grass.



At first, she told her story without words.

Once Franco stood in front of her, he didn’t have time to greet Hannah before she collapsed sobbing.

“Hannah,” he softly said, “What happened?” Her answer, if there was one, was delivered in another incomprehensible wail. He wanted some response from her, and asked questions in hopes of getting it. “Are you ready to go home?” “Can I take you to the hospital?” But the broken, shattered Hannah failed to form words.



“Do you need someone to cry with?” he asked. She gave a non-verbal response, anyways, falling on him, her arms wrapped around Franco and her face buried into his coat. She clung to him like a magnet. All he could do was embrace her the same. Finally, for the first time since high school, Franco hugged the body of Hannah close to him, even though she was half-delirious in her grief. She treated him more like a pillow to cry into, but Franco wanted to look into her eyes, or kiss the top of her head and all of that thick black hair, or gently intertwine his fingers with hers.

Oh, how could he? Taking advantage of a grieving, hormonal woman was surely improper.

He still saw his breath in the frigid night air. Hannah shivered while she cried.

“Should we get in the car?” he asked, “There’s heat in there.” Still, Hannah weeped and wailed and created a large wet spot on Franco’s coat. He tried hugging her even closer, hoping that he could warm her up.

“Have you eaten today?” he asked, but the answer was likely no. Her legs trembled as she tried to cry standing up. Even as she tightly squeezed Franco close to her, Hannah’s entire body still felt loose and tired. Franco ended up bearing most of her weight just to keep her upright.

Eventually, Franco knelt down on the frosty grass, as Hannah wasn’t able to stand anymore. She still rested her head on his shoulder while she reclined with her legs on the ground, dirtying up her stockings. She hugged him around the abdomen, and her eyes almost closed. Franco almost held a sleeping Hannah, but she ended up finally grabbing some words before drifting off.

“What happened?” she asked. Her voice cracked, tear-choked and weak.

“I wish I knew,” Franco said.

“I haven’t slept for two days. Barely ate anything either. Just...worrying...about...him.”

Her voice trailed off. Soon, Hannah’s eyes closed. Her breathing soon became slower and deeper, no longer staggered by sobbing. Her body relaxed in Franco’s arms, and after barely a minute passed, her snoring filled the nighttime air. Franco no longer had to look into her eyes and see her whites irritated and pink; the lids were entirely relaxed and her mouth almost seemed to smile the slightest bit as she received her sweet, well-deserved sleep.

He smiled. She was so cute when she slept. Franco held on to his sleeping friend for at least an hour, though he noticed how still everything inside of her was. The nooboo inside of her didn’t seem to move at all. Considering the circumstances, maybe she destroyed that too.

“You have to live through this,” he whispered, putting his hand on Hannah’s tummy, “I’m not letting her get heartbroken again.”

Franco got a forceful kick, right in the center of his hand. It was enough to jolt Hannah too, so that she noticed Franco still holding her close.

“Having fun?” she asked, her voice still hardly louder than a whisper.

“You’d freeze out here without me,” Franco said, “I’ll do whatever you need me to.”



Hannah let go and stood up, still unsteady on her feet and with plenty of tears to spare.

“I really need to eat something,” she said.

“The diner is always open.”

He just wanted to lead her to the car at first, but Franco again saw Hannah in the way he usually did. Not even her puffy and swollen face could distract from the dramatic red lipstick, and the slight pout of her mouth. It couldn’t distract him from the way her nose hooked down ever so slightly. And her eyes, pink and tear-filled, were still as big as always, and the blue irises remained intact. Grieving or not, she was always going to be Hannah Carlton, who made his heart race whenever she spoke or smiled.

Franco approached her, as she was easy to catch up as she walked slowly to the car.

“Listen, no matter what, you’re still the most amazing, perfect person I know. And I’ve been a very bad friend to such a person.”

“Same,” she said, to Franco’s lovestruck face, and his captivated, nearly-sparkling hazel eyes, and the sweet smile that defeated his default scowl.

“I’m just painfully in love with you, Hannah.”



Without even half a second to say “same,” Hannah found herself drawn in for a timid kiss. Very little of him touched her; just his hand on her arm to lead her, his nose against her soft, damp cheek, and his lips pressed against hers and smudging her lipstick.

Franco hoped for a response, but Hannah stood in front of him, scared or struck by desire, just frozen in whatever she felt.

“I really, really need something to eat” she said.

They drove to the diner. Hannah looked out the window for the whole drive, as the willows and mossy oak trees, grey and dormant, passed by.

When they sat down at the diner, they took a booth near a window and sat down across from each other. Only half of the lights were on, and the crew was spread thin; only a couple cooks in the kitchen, and a lone waiter playing a game on his smartphone. Franco took a few hundred simoleons out of his wallet and waved them in the sight of the one waiter. The waiter ran over, as fast as if he was on fire and Franco was a dive well.

“Yes, Mr. Waverly! What do you need?”

“I don’t need a thing,” Franco said, “But listen to whatever she tells you. And if you want a tip like this, you’ll make her meals as soon as you get the ticket.” Hannah already had her nose buried in the menu.

“Blueberry pancakes, sausages, vegetarian hash, a side of toast.” It was if she read off everything. “Orange juice, an actual orange, a cup of tomato soup. I think that will do.”

“You deserve it,” Franco said, “Sad that there’s a wait, but I thought it would be warm enough in here.”

“It is.” She toyed with the straw in the glass of water she got, looking down at the table.

“What happened?” she asked again, “I don’t know how I ended up here.”

“I wish I knew too. To think, I once thought that you were unbreakable. I thought that I’d never see you hopelessly in love.”

“I never thought I would either. I don’t think I started with Tay that way. I thought it would be so shocking that you’d just boil over with rage. But then I actually got to know him, and the way he put his arm around me. He had the some of the sweetest kisses in Twinbrook. Sometimes he’d shyly kiss my forehead, or the tip of my nose, but when it was on the lips, he slowly drew me close. And he’d listen really well to everything I said. And as much as I never wanted it to happen, I fell in love. I’d be asleep at home and not sad now if it didn’t happen that way.” She patted her tummy a bit, looking down at her shirt again, “But this little guy, man, I wouldn’t have him without Tay. And it makes it all a lot better, and a lot worse.”

“I apologize for the kiss,” Franco said, “I know you need your time, and even if you hate me now, I just want you to heal. Seeing you so broken, well, it felt like it killed me too. I’m hopelessly attached and obsessed with you. I hate that sometimes, but then I see you, just sitting there so beautiful.” He looked her in the eyes, at her delicate smile that formed at his words.

“I’m just filling up time at this point,” he continued, “You lost someone you loved, and I’m not giving you your space.”

Hannah’s food came out. Within a minute, she ate all of her pancakes. Five minutes, and a plate full of sausages and hash was gone too, all eaten without regard for the cleanliness of the white tablecloth. She would have gotten the toast down in that time as well, if they put the jam on for her. She ate her orange slices, peels and all. Fifteen minutes, and all that was in front of Hannah were a bunch of dirty plates.

“You really needed to eat,” Franco said.

“It’s a bit of a relief. I haven’t had a big meal in months. I can’t eat when I’m worried, or when I have to cook for someone who has lost all of that.” She sighed, looking down at all of the plates. “I remember your dad, and heck, I was sad when he passed on, but the fact that it was so sudden almost made it better. Your dad still had a lot of energy in him. He got out of the house to work, and climbed the stairs unassisted, and he climbed into bed with your mum to act like newlyweds again. He died washing the dishes, for watchers’ sake! It’s a lot more heartbreaking when you watch them slowly slip away.”

“Well, it all started a few months ago. I knew that Tay was getting older, but he started to lose his sight. Couldn’t drive anymore. Getting up the stairs was hard too. So I stopped sleeping regularly. I stayed up at his place, watching TV to keep me awake, just in case he needed me. Stuff got harder. Cooking did, so I did the cooking. But I was too worried to really eat. Getting out of bed, so he was eventually bedridden. I could have called a doctor, I mean, I actually asked Randall for advice, even though he just works with teeth. He said that at that point, Tay was better off living out his last days at home. And I didn’t want to hear about last days! I wanted him to live so badly. But I took Rand’s advice because I who else would I listen to? And the last month was awful. I sat crying at his bedside, maybe hoping that I sounded unpleasant enough to keep Grim away. I just wanted him to see his son.”

At that point, she was back to the same state she was at the house, her face buried in her palms. Though she found the strength to still speak, just to make sure the story was clear.

“And just a few hours ago, Grim tapped Tay on the shoulder and put him out of his misery. And now I’m sitting here as a pregnant widow, stuffing myself with everything in sight because I really don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to react to this or how to live the rest of my life.” She still cried over it, with her entire world dark and hazy, as if hidden within the nighttime swamp fog. Franco still kept his eyes on her, listening intently, not saying a word. Her eyes finally met his; she spent her entire monologue talking to the table and the salt shaker, with her eyes down.

“Or I do know, but it’s been awkward.”

“If I knew that you’d have to go through this, I would have bought a ring and gotten down on my knee the moment you graduated high school,” Franco said, “Anything, so that I would see you as the strong and healthy and downright beautiful woman I’ve known for decades now. And you’re still all of those, but I wish I could fix what’s broken.”

“Are you done with the plates?” the waiter asked.

“Yeah. I’m stuffed now,” Hannah said. “And Franco? This might sound odd, but can I hold your hand?”

He smiled, absolutely melting into a smile. “You mean it?”

“Yeah. I need it.”

He extended his arm across the table, to where Hannah’s right hand rested. He brushed his fingers against hers, eventually moving them between her fingers, clutching tightly. Her fingers were still comforting and warm, thin and spindly but strong. Her eyes filled with tears still, but the smile on her face told a much different story.

“What happened?” she asked, choked again by crying, “I mean, what happened to us?”

“I don’t even know at this point,” said Franco, “But what’s happening now is fine with me.”

They exited the diner, greeted by a sunrise over the expansive lake. The windows of the diner were tinted orange and pink in the early morning light, and even though the ground was still frosty, the temperature warmed up a tiny bit. They no longer saw their breath.

“Wanna enjoy the sunrise?” asked Franco.

“I’m up for it.”



They sat down, and he took her hand again, and they turned towards each other, looking into the weary faces of the other one. Hannah, exhausted and relieved, couldn’t take her eyes off Franco. She squeezed his hand hard enough to threaten his circulation.

“You’ve made this into a lovely morning,” she said, “And twelve hours ago, I never thought I’d say that.”

“You’ve made a lot of my mornings lovely, and if I could, I’d like to wake up every morning to you, and your beautiful face. Those lovely blue eyes. I’m...I dream of you a lot. And this is some dream coming true to me.”



As the sky gave way to grey as opposed to hazy pink, Hannah agreed. She would live some amazing dream if she was in Franco’s arms for the rest of her days.



When the sky was completely a light grey, Franco took her hand again, for the third or fourth time that morning, but with a serious proposition.

“Wanna make things right between us?” he asked, “And I’m not talking about mere reconciliation. You know what I want.”

“A new girlfriend? I like to think that I know you well, Mr. Franco,” Hannah laughed for the first time that morning, perhaps for the first time in months.

“Exactly.”



They both leaned in for a kiss, melting into it with their eyes closed and their noses buried into the other one’s cheek. They stayed pressed together for at least a minute, as if in a trance. And they would have stayed that way if Franco’s phone didn’t ring.



“You ready?” It was Annette on the other end.

Franco looked over at Hannah again, her lips still curled into a smile, and her eyes gushing tears.

“Yes.”



Word Count for this chapter: 2,675
Word Count so far: 58,768

~2670 2,675 words, and a lot of heartache on my part. This, so far, was the hardest chapter to write, and strangely enough, it was one that I had planned basically all along. No matter what happened, Hannah and Franco needed their "what happened?" moment. It turned out far more heartbreaking on my behalf to write. For once, I had to stop and take a break from writing it because it was really tough putting my characters through that.

As for the title of the chapter, have my inspiration, and the soundtrack to writing this monster too. It's also a good song to put on when doing maintenance on a computer lab at night, but that's a different set of emotions.

 

anything