Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 196863 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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Offline Trip

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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
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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).

Offline Shewolf13

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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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Offline 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!

Offline Littlesister

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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
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

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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>

Offline Rhoxi

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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.

Offline Shewolf13

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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.

jsiberian

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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?