Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 203635 times)

Online Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 44, 6/1)
« Reply #211 on: June 01, 2014, 09:32:27 PM »
I really can explain.

So, the day after I finished my dynasty, I woke up to horrible, spreading neck pain. I've had problems with my neck for a while, but it took a nosedive for the worse. It also impacted my ability to sleep, so I was sleep-deprived, kind of depressed, in pain, and working my summer job on top of that.

Obviously, writing a dynasty was in the back of my mind. But I'm getting the pain fixed one step at a time (it sometimes flares up, but I have many more good days), so that makes me feel good. I'm spliting up my responses and the new chapter because there is a lot of stuff to respond to! It's been a pleasure reading the comments.

Also, thanks for the 10,000+ views. :D

Congratulations Trip! I'm glad you finally did it :) I can't wait to read the rest of it now.

Thanks! And now you'll finally get a bit of the rest to read. Heh.

Our very own Dynasty pro, Trip, finally completed her own!

*stands up and cheers*


Great job, girl!

Thanks Metro! It makes my dynasty advice just that more valid and from experience now. ;)

Through bugs, and lags, and loading screens.....You did it!

Funny enough, this file was pretty much free of bugs. Aside from a broken family tree a broken mailbox, there was nothing that really broke the game enough for me to stop playing, and the file still ran well enough in its last days. But the loading screens were something else entirely. I think it reached over an hour and a half at one point. But yes, I did it!

Excellent! Congratulations on making the Hall of Fame, and I can't wait to read the rest of the Waverly's journey to get there!  8)

Thanks Rhoxi!

Congratulations, Trip!

Thanks Nandarelle!

*throws confetti*  Congrats Trip!

Thanks Shewolf!

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! :D

Thanks Livvie! It's a happy relief to not feel obligated to load up a dynasty, but I'll probably ruin that feeling with another dynasty one of these days. :P

Congrats again, Trip :) ! Nice job on your Hall of Fame entry; I love everyone's elder formalwear and especially Phillip's devious facial expression. I had to go back again to check though because holy cow, is that a new Museum value record?! Whoa, now I'm even more impressed by all the micromanagement you did for this dynasty. Seriously, wow.  :o

Thanks Ausette! Seeing my elders in their formalwear was always a treat, and Phil is just pulling his usual expression. ;) It is indeed a new museum value record. I never thought I'd say that about my museum score, but it's a nice reward for spending way too much time watching sims pose for things.

Congratulations Trip! So impressed with the way you do this and all the help and encouragement you give to everyone else around here.

Thanks Dek! Helping everyone is what keeps me active here. I don't know what I'd do without that role to fill.

A bout with insomnia finally gave me the time to finish reading your story. An excellent read! Your writing style kept me entertained throughout. Thanks for giving me the midnight giggles ! ;)

Thanks Jude! I'm glad to make your nights a little better with my writing.

Yaaaaay!  Congratulations Trip!  It must feel awesome to have completed one after 2 years trying. :D

Thanks linmayu! It sure is. I'm not even sure how I stuck with the idea of completing a dynasty.

Congratulations on finishing! I'm still working on catching up with the current story, but I just really wanted to tell you that!  ;D  It's impressive!

Thanks Akon, and good luck with catching up and your own dynasty!

A huge congratulations!  :) Your immortals are truly stunning and unique. Really looking forward to seeing the rest of the story unfold.

Thanks Littlesister! I was happy with how my immortals turned out. I can still look at them and say "dang!"

Wow! Huge congrats, looking forward to reading the rest now that all the stress is over.  :D

Thanks McHazy! It is indeed nice to write without uncertainty as to whether it will lead to anything or not.

Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I've always shied away from dynasties because I wouldn't make it a single day without crying and giving up.
I do, however enjoy the ensuing stories and I pretty much read all of yours in a day. Great story - nicely written and with that neat framing device. Looking forward to seeing more of it and to getting some of the mysteries revealed.

Thanks notjustabook! Dynasties do take a special type of person, but you have your legacies and those are fantastic. :D

I hope I please writing-wise.

Congratulations on completing the dynasty at last! :)

Thanks hazelnut!
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Online Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 44, 6/1)
« Reply #212 on: June 01, 2014, 09:40:55 PM »
Chapter 44: Code Teal

Something about the past and the present makes me hold my head in despair, right on the rough covers of the cell’s bed. Even though I can feel it through the silk of my dress, I don’t care. I can’t care. My head hurts, and the present hurts, so I can’t jump into it just to escape the past.

I have harped on my ambivalence before, haven’t I? The yearning for the shade of weeping willows again coinciding with the urge to burn Eight Ways in a bonfire and laugh to the point of tears as the glue that binds the pages melts. I can easily blame yearning for the past for leading me here, and depending on what they do to me, yeah, bring in hindsight and wishes that I had a book of matches a week ago.

Don’t worry, no one is in a hurry right now. I can brood all I want.

Officer Nest is definitely not in a hurry, with his nose in a book instead. Him. We fought in the park a few days ago over my skin and my skirt. He arrested me. Naturally, I hate his guts. Maybe we could get along if I rolled back time enough and prepared myself better for this trip; he likes a good book too.

Maybe I can read the title if I try hard enough. No, no that didn’t work. I can tell who did the cover art, though. Mercy Young. She painted the covers to my books too, well, those I wrote in Sunset Valley, anyways. Her prolific output would make Franco livid.

I’m happy that I was able to talk to Franco in peace. Heck, when, if I get out of here, I can give him a call from the handset in my flat and tell him that I found Eileen, or at least her radio ads. I can tell him that Annette definitely reached out to Roaring Heights and scrambled around the metaphorical chess pieces while we weren’t looking. We’re in a different time. Eileen is alive, and Arthur is too. I would still back away from Annette if I ever saw her again, covering my eyes in fear, but finally, her history is possibly at my fingertips. If she was here five years ago, perhaps, maybe her footprints are still in the sand. And I would kiss the ground she walked on if she left anything behind.

See, this could have been great.

But no, I had to have a drink or three, and Officer Nest had prohibition laws to enforce. I tried fighting back, as my dad did back in Twinbrook, but what was his flagship escape plan only worked for someone like him; lean, muscular, well-exercised, and without a conscience. I can run a half-marathon barefoot, but put me in heels and I’m obviously impaired. And I don’t lift. Compared to Nest, who pinned me down with ease, I am an immobile statue, but a light one. Like a topiary.

Door opens, footsteps down the hall. Officer Nest isn’t alone anymore.

“Enjoying the book?” the other officer asks.

“Alright, you had a point, señor Garcia” Officer Nest almost chuckles from underneath his very stern face.

“Success!” Garcia cheers, “See, I was right about that D. Clay. It’s really the best stuff you can buy in the next town over.”

“Yes, I mean, her organization is pretty bad, but the lady has some ideas. It’s a solid read.”

I don’t know who I want to hurt first for that. Perhaps myself, for not recognizing the cover art. It’s that to Limestone, Sandstone, or perhaps to Sunset Comes so Early These Days. One painting by Mercy blends into another. However, that is pretty insignificant when I consider that they just arrested their new favorite author.

I could scream at them; there are bars to this cell, after all. I could bring it up when they question me, and hold an impromptu autograph and book-signing session. I could just stay quiet because there is nothing that proves that I wrote anything; I left Eight Ways at home, and any little author biographies on the back flap of a dust jacket remain very vague about D. Clay. They even lie; apparently D. has a cat and a coterie of beautiful women at her disposal.

So let’s just simmer in disappointment, Jo. Maybe hear what else about your alter-ego they have to praise.

“So anything on this one?” Garcia asks.

“She’s a Waverly. I know. You can try to explain it.”

Garcia shoots me a quick look. “That’s no Waverly. I’m a little doubtful of your doubt, Mr. Nest. If the McGrails can outsmart us time and time again, they might know a little better than to name a new hire after the wrong guy.”

“Alright, do your good cop thing,” Nest says…

“...But whatever you do, we gotta get this questioning on the road.” His face contorts in annoyance.

As Officer Garcia approaches the cell, my first thought is to ward him off. To seem like an absolute waste of time instead of a possible one. Act mad.

When stressed, my scream is known to be a hazard to the eardrums of nearby innocents. The family knew to cover their ears. Something is weak tonight, though. I can scream, but not very loud. Things crack. I’m too tired for this. Hopefully, I still appear a little off the rails, though.

“What my silly gringo didn’t tell you is that we nabbed you for questioning. While we will still fine you for the juice, we just want to ask you a few questions and put some rumors to rest.” He says it all with, well, a bit of a smile. Some odd warmth that his colleague hides. It is sad for me to admit it, but I believe him about my relative innocence. I’ll cling to any hope of returning back to my tiny, rented flat and the double-bed with the bad spring.

The whole process is a wave of emotions, though. I sit in the interrogation room with my head down, buried in my arms. Because as nice as Officer Garcia sounds, I still have to face Officer Nest. Who pinned me down just to get questions about one or two families I really don’t know. Who didn’t offer me an attorney; I mean, that is a thing here, right?

The door opens. Its hinges are well-oiled, but the rush of air makes a slight sound. The footsteps are neat, stiff, loud against the hard floor. Officer Nest.

“Don’t be fooled by the other one,” he says, “I’m very serious about my suspicions. A rainbow girl comes in, looking like one criminal family, named after another. No matter who you’re associated with, you should behave as if I’m your watcher and you’re at the pearly gates.”

Help me.

The door opens, still quiet with its well-kept hinges. The footsteps are a lot looser, a little quieter, like someone who isn’t the product of military training and sheer zeal. Officer Garcia.

“Code Teal,” his voice lowers in dejection, “Now I know you’re going to be the bad cop.”

“Oh god,” Elliot grumbles, “I guess you can’t make her go away.”

“Let’s just grab some coffee and hope for the best.”

They’re hardly out the door before hard heels click rapidly, as a fast-paced somebody approaches them right outside the door and talks them down quickly.

“I’ve heard some things about how you arrested this one, for juice and questions! Now get your coffee. You know that lawsuit-happy feeling of mine? I’m feeling it hard tonight.”

Okay. Looks like I have that attorney.

She leans over the table, chin propped up by her folded hands, eyes focused. I could nearly cry, whether for the weird deus ex machina nature of her arrival, or for her flawless winged eyeliner.

“Eileen Stone. I got an anonymous tip, they don’t need to know that. I did a bit of research and you check out just fine, despite the skin and name and stuff. This’ll be a piece of cake.”

“What are you trying to do?” I ask, meekly, shrinking back into my seat, “Why are you here?”

“Well, I hear that you can pay well, and the mortgage doesn’t pay off itself, ya know. Lemme take a seat and prep you for the cops.”

Across from me, she lays down the law. “They used unnecessary brutality, and that’s my brutal little weapon too. It’s illegal for the police no matter where you are in Simnation. One threat of that lawsuit, and they let you off with half the fine and immunity from suspicion.”

“You serious?”

“It works every time, and in my five years in the practice, they haven’t fought back.” She smiles, flashing brilliant white teeth and pointed canines. If we were just out for sandwiches, I would ask, but I would rather curl up at her feet, crying in thankfulness right now, “How much did you drink anyways?”

“Three drinks, at most? But everyone was doing it.”

“Hmm, considering that you just described everybody’s weekend, I think we got this down. Heck, I basically have a script for these cases. Can I get a yay, Waverly?”

“Sounds pretty solid, Ms. Stone,” I say.

She leans over the table again when the two officers return, which I assume is her other little weapon, provided that straight men and girls like me are the target. Officer Nest just holds his head, grumbling about his hatred for Code Teal.

“Police brutality. I thought you’d learn by now, Elliot,” she says to Officer Nest, “Did you pin her down?”

“It’s standard procedure, Stone,” he says.

“Yeah, for grand theft. The law, that lovely thing, says it can be used only for suspicion of felony-level activity. She drank. Misdemeanor. Don’t kid yourself, darling.”

“I bet you didn’t even spend the five minutes of searching it takes to realize that she’s not family,” Eileen smirks in the middle of it.

“Please don’t tell me that you wouldn’t think the same thing if you ran into a Waverly,” Officer Nest says, rolling his eyes. She immediately passes him a picture; a mug shot, actually. Titled “Shaun Waverly.”

“Yep, big resemblance there,” Eileen says, “As if a blond, strapping old peach-guy from Lucky Palms could even be related to some rainbow swamp demon. And before you bring up the McGrails, you try finding someone in the family with that nose.”

And I'm usually defensive about my nose, and its wide proportions, but I'm thankful for that insult now.

“I took a look into the records, and it’s pretty solid,” says Officer Garcia, “It’s just a different line of Waverlys we can trace back a few generations to Twinbrook for your client. Her criminal record is clean, and she’s a trust-fund nooboo, but the amounts were very reasonable. We’ll issue a fine and call it a night. Sounds good, Nest?”

The whole case put Officer Nest in a bad mood. He leans over the table with a frown.

“Two-fifty. Now get out.”

Eileen treats me to a coffee afterwards. I lost track of time at the station, but a lot of it passed, and the sun rises and greets Roaring Heights in its pink and golden glory. Before the heat of the afternoon hits, the gentle warmth of the early-morning sun is pleasant. Vacation-esque. I need something that resembles an actual vacation here.

“I don’t know how to thank you,” I tell Eileen.

“With the check, but I’ll bother you later for it. I bet you need some sleep.”

“Probably. But why were you there?”

“I say it in my ads,” she says, “Someone phoned Stone. It came from a home phone here in the city, sounded like a woman on the other end, but that’s really all I can say. She stayed anonymous.”

When I get home to the flat, it looks like Ms. Anonymous is revealed.

Word Count for this chapter: 1,992
Word Count so far: 64,766

I recently re-discovered Pose Player and went nuts with it. Hope you can tell. :P
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 44, 6/1)
« Reply #213 on: June 01, 2014, 09:53:48 PM »
Awww!  Sorry to hear about your difficulties Trip :(  I'm glad that you are feeling better and hope you continue to improve quickly.  Great to see the Waverlys again!  Poor Jo XD  Being manhandled by the cops!  Great poseplayer shots ^^  And I can't wait to find out about this Ms. Anonymous!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 44, 6/1)
« Reply #214 on: June 01, 2014, 09:56:05 PM »
Pose player is a very happy thing--and you use it exceedingly well. :) I'm glad that you're feeling better. Pain and work can do horrible things to one's stamina to write...

That was a lot of fun. I certainly wouldn't want to get on Ms. Stone's bad side! But how did Agnes hear about Jo's plight, anyway...?

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 45, 6/2)
« Reply #215 on: June 02, 2014, 12:39:48 PM »
Awww!  Sorry to hear about your difficulties Trip :(  I'm glad that you are feeling better and hope you continue to improve quickly.  Great to see the Waverlys again!  Poor Jo XD  Being manhandled by the cops!  Great poseplayer shots ^^  And I can't wait to find out about this Ms. Anonymous!

When I saw the "manhandled by cops" pose, I knew I needed to work it in. Getting sims arrested in the game otherwise is too difficult. :(

Pose player is a very happy thing--and you use it exceedingly well. :) I'm glad that you're feeling better. Pain and work can do horrible things to one's stamina to write...

That was a lot of fun. I certainly wouldn't want to get on Ms. Stone's bad side! But how did Agnes hear about Jo's plight, anyway...?

Well, this chapter will explain that. I was meaning to explain it all at the end of the previous one, but like many writers, I got up to my screencap quota. :P

Chapter 45: Two Or More Ways to Regret

“Agnes?” I ask, in a meek tone, utterly surprised.

“I expected you home a little later,” she said with a chuckle.

“I just...I just don’t know how you got here.”

“Well,” she puts her book down, “I started to miss you right after the kiss at my sister’s house. So I met your dad at home, and while I usually don’t trust juiced men who greet me in their underwear, he said that you left for Roaring Heights. Got the cheapest train tickets, and here I am.”

“I’m confused about a lot,” I say, “The flat? The lawyer?”

“Okay, okay, you’re going to really hate me for this. There’s this guy, some sort of shady tracker named Jamie. He found the flat, he heard about you over the police scanner, he gave me a referral for Eileen. I guess I was just-”

I interrupt her with a hug. “Agnes, I’m just happy to be here right now.” Her arms wrap around me too, squeezing tight enough to threaten my ribcage.

“That’s what matters, because I’m just, well, lovesick.” I nearly seize up at the word. Lovesick. Things to do with love. Love Day cards sicken me. Steady partners make me hide under the bed or give fake numbers at the prospect of them.

They make me think of those I obsessively stuck with, who maybe, maybe I loved.

“Yeah, it’s been a long night, morning, thing,” I say, faking a yawn, “Mind if we head to bed?”

“I’m up for that.”

Unfortunately for Agnes, my work isn’t done. Hopefully, it’s still awake-hours in Monte Vista.

I really hope so.

“Yes?” He answers the phone.

“Franco, hey, got some good news.”

“Oh, you have to brag to me?” he asks.

“Exactly. I found Eileen. I found Arthur. I mean, I had some missteps, but I made some progress.”

“I guess mum did a little more than I thought over there. That’s pretty unbelievable. It’s just that you’re not worrying, and now I’m worrying.”

“I thought you’d be happy for me. I like being at ease, believe it or not,” I say.

“You know that she probably put something there to guard against us looking into the story,” he says, “Anything. A plant, a tracker, something. And you have nothing to hide, but I don’t know what followed me over here. It eats away at me a lot.”

“Good night, then,” I say. That possibility flew right over me, mostly because I thought I won that battle. I thought I was permanently safe, tucked away in Sunset Valley, with the police declaring my home unbugged and, unless I forgot to draw the curtains, as private as I needed it. Roaring Heights might be the proverbial Pandora’s Box.

I spend the whole day in the shade of a tree in the backyard, until the sunset comes and bathes the city in its pink and golden glory from the opposite direction. I need to get grounded in reality again. Roaring Heights is a little too lo-tech for GPS trackers or internet-based spying, after all. My phone is little more than an inert slab of glass and computer parts, so still no tracking. Reality is tough to grasp, but many deep breaths later, I think I have a grasp of it, little bits between my fingers.

Now, the past? The past is indeed reality. Unfortunately, if the good parts of reality are what my hands grasp, the past is more akin to a gag in my mouth or leather restraints around my limbs.

Because I was obsessed with poison, married to a different poison, but for the sake of politeness, “Katherine” and “Simon” are alternate names for them.

Poison makes the past suck, and if I keep reading, I’ll have to relive that all again. Katherine. Simon. Lovesickness. That thing Agnes talks about.

Franco’s love for Hannah was called into question many times.

Every time he got a call about a new girlfriend or child of his, the entire household called his devotion into question. To Annette and Lily, it was blasphemy to suggest that someone could fall in love or even enjoy a kiss again after their spouse passed away. To Tegan, it was that you could love again, but that Franco was being a complete jerk about it and carried it too far. To dad, well, he was a bit of a player himself. He had no criticisms. I kind of rolled my eyes at everyone. Love. That stupid thing.

But that alien feeling to me, love, was something Franco always claimed he felt for Hannah, through all of the dates and babymommas and children. Loneliness was his biggest fear and his coping mechanism just happened to spark some strong opinions.

Loneliness, however, was hardly a thought in his mind when he opened his own Pandora’s Box. Someone left the time machine out and the doors unlocked, undoubtedly after doing some preparations in the timeline we all waited to jump into after the dynasty was over. Meg would never leave the machine without locking it up, but Annette was older than all of us and, while usually sharp in spite of her age, prone to mistakes. Leaving the doors open for curious immortals was one mistake.

The other mistake was also Annette’s. Close to the end, she vaguely spoke about a debt she had to pay. Centuries piled on, interest did too, and each immortal was left with about 150,000 simoleons to spend in their new lives, when we were worth more than 100 times that. When we asked her why she had such an enormous debt, she couldn’t even make up a story. She bit her lip and nearly cried before heading to the home’s bar for another one or four drinks that my daughter left out.

But we got that sad news, and our pitiful little trust funds. Franco thought that planning ahead was the best. He jumped through the time machine to that different timeline, and later that night, bragged to Lily about his lovely new house in Monte Vista, from the exquisite stone work to the spacious garden. It cost him pretty much his entire trust fund, but there was no way he would live in a trailer without breaking out into hives and babbling more nonsense than every insane sim in the family said in a lifetime.

If he waited one day, his second life would have taken a happier turn.

The next day, bright and early in the morning, we got the news about our resurrection plan, so we could bring back our lost mortals. 50,000 simoleons a head. Something about risk, something about magical energy being expensive, but probably more about how our resurrector, Meg, dreamed of simoleons in her account as numerous as the mosquitos in Twinbrook. For some of us, it was enough to leave us broke. Absolutely broke, as in “out in the fields of Dragon Valley without a home” broke. As in “living in a Bridgeport flat about as big as a closet” broke.

I told Meg that she was full of crap, and I won that battle. I went into my second life alone and with enough to get me by until my chosen profession picked up speed again.

Franco had a much more difficult time with her. He headed to the computer right afterwards, to Meg sitting turned towards him, hands folded under her chin, between thought and meditation.

“I know what you did, Franco,” she said, “And I think that you should accept the consequences.”

“Please, I just need to find a way to get some money for this. I want Hannah back, you know I do.” He begged, almost on his knees.

“I am not an unintelligent person.” She got up from her seat.

“Your heart jumps to a lot of different places,” she pointed right at his chest with force, sending him back just to dodge her, “And you are a selfish old man who cared about having ‘the best’ before resurrecting his wife.”

“If you had even a modicum of love for her, you would actually use that brain of yours and think ‘hey, maybe I need to save some money so I can take care of someone other than me.’ Any little bit of love, Franco. I will not do this for free, and you should feel insulted if you thought that I would let you off free.”

He went to the cemetery that night, holding his head, wallowing in regret. Maybe he could have thought it through better, but the whole thing stemmed from his conversation with Hannah long ago. When she was alive. Right after Hephaestus was born. The same night he was born, actually.

That night, he slept on the right side of the bed, well, his left. Above that was a heating vent, and winter was approaching fast. The Twinbrook nights grew colder and colder, and the right/his left of the bed basked in the warmth of the heater. He was just about ready to crawl under the covers until the soft footprints of Hannah approached. She climbed to his right, curling up in his arms, resting her head on his shoulder.

He held her close, hoping that she would finally get some sleep. Hannah did her best to pretend instead, closing her eyes, but she still tensely twitched a bit.

“I don’t think this sleeping arrangement is working,” Franco said.

“I guess not. I can’t sleep when I’m worried, and I can’t sleep when I’m confused.”

“The latter?”

“That’s it.”

They both sat at the edge of the bed, Hannah deep in thought, Franco uncomfortably looking down at his feet.

“I’m not doing this unless we actually talk,” he said.

“I did an awful job tonight.” She sighed.

“Oh come on, I’m supposed to be the one self-loathing. You didn’t have a job tonight. You existed. You do that pretty well.”

“Oh please. We basically started this relationship off with my elder birthday,” she said. It was sort of untrue, considering that she was younger, if pregnant, for most of the day. When Franco came home from the cemetery to Hannah holding her newborn, he had to rush downstairs to get the surprise cake and set the candles in before getting more than a glimpse of Hephaestus.

“You’re a hot old lady, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” he said, “Besides, I liked having a styling job tonight. There were things you did perfectly.”

“Like what?”

“Well!” Franco exclaimed, “You’re a great mother. I couldn’t separate you from Hephaestus for the whole night. You could have gone to sleep, but you couldn’t stop snuggling him and talking nooboo-talk to him. I know that you love your child more than enough.”

“We had Julian announce to Pansy that her mum died,” Hannah said, “I mean, I could have done that, and I didn’t.”

“I think he did a good job, for a cowardly young thing,” said Franco.

Julian tried, anyways. He drove away, leaving Lily in the schoolyard after her prom night. Her request. She got back into the school building before the locked the doors after prom, with a large stone in her hand. She threw it, she swung her arm with the stone in her hand, all in the second-floor chemistry lab. The broken glass from Erlenmeyer flasks left out littered the floor. Beads of sweat forms on her face as it tightened in anger. Lily escaped out the window. Her work wasn’t done. Julian wasn’t speaking about her whereabouts.

Pelting eggs at the Balls’ house turned out to be the last straw. The eggs made sickening sounds against the glass, leaving it gooey with whites and yolks. More things shattered, even if it was just shells that time.

Lynn had enough of Lily before she even came on their lawn with a carton of eggs, but he called the police. He could get the military on his side if he needed it. Lily entered the police cruiser with a smug smile anyways.

“And now she hates me,” Hannah said.

“It was a rough start. It’s not hate,” said Franco.

Hannah ended up claiming Lily, considering that she was right near the door anyways. Claiming a teenager after staying out after curfew was one thing; seeing the fees for property damage, as much as the family could afford it, made Hannah’s head spin with confusion. Disappointment. Rage. More confusion. Discipline was never her job.

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

“You’re not normal, okay?!” retorted Lily, “And yeah, maybe I’m a little angry that you and my dad are all gaga for each other now. Right after my mum died. Yeah.”

Hannah sent her up to her bedroom. Step-mothering. What a disappointment. By the time she got Hephaestus clean and fed for the night, it was 3AM, Franco was ready to go to sleep, and she needed to sit at the bedside to debrief with him.

“You did a perfect job,” Franco repeated, “It’s not supposed to be peachy all the time. So we did everything wrong. We started this relationship late. There are second chances.”

“What? Your mum thinks she can raise the dead when your weird mission is over?”

“If not her, somebody. She says it can be done. And we can do this all perfectly when it’s all over. No baggage, no stepkids, and best of all, we’ll be young again.” He scooted close to her, putting his hand on her knee. “Look into my eyes when I promise this. I want to make our next life the best you can have. You’ve suffered enough.”

“I have. I’m too good for this,” she said, with a slight laugh. “Do you miss Pansy?”

“Of course I do. She mattered to me, in some strange way, and seeing her die was a shock. That’s a bit of an inappropriate question, though.”

“It makes me feel better, that you miss her. You didn’t even love her. I still think of Tay a lot. It hasn’t even been two days, but I’m here. With you. I kept hitting myself for still mourning him.”

“He did a lot for you, darling,” he said. Franco planted a kiss on her forehead. “We have baggage. It’s fine to have it right now, but as I said, next time around we’re having a perfect life, and we’re leaving the baggage at the door. We have plenty of time to prepare before it.”

He kept those words in his heart. He kept them in notes. He kept them inside for centuries, right into the day he got the deed to his house in Monte Vista. And especially when he wandered into the cemetery facing a life alone, or whatever amount of time it took for him to pay Meg and get his soulmate back.

He had to be brave.

But that night, that first night with Hannah, the two of them looked at the future with the widest, idealistic eyes they could manage. They almost fell asleep, again, until Hephaestus cried.

“I’ll get it,” Franco said, “I’ll be back sooner or later.”

He climbed down the stairs, stiff and exhausted, and scooped the swaddled bundle up, getting a close look at Hephaestus for the first time. His eyes were tightly closed as he screamed and cried, his skin was all new and slightly pink, his body squirmed around with the novelty of finally having room to squirm around.

“All right, all right nooboo,” Franco whispered as he eased the bottle close to Hephaestus, “Daddy’s here.” Hephaestus soon eased and quieted down, sucking milk from the bottle. He even opened his eyes for a brief second, revealing the deepest indigo eyes Franco had ever seen.

“Let’s just hope that’s the only thing you got from him.” He put the nooboo down in the crib, where Hephaestus remained silent and sleeping for a few hours.

Franco had high hopes for Hephaestus. He settled down, snuggled next to Hannah and easily falling asleep to all of his dreams for the future. Even though Lily had a bad night and a paradigm shift in her home life, she had a future. A bright future. A magical future. Even a future with a surprise or two for her dear old dad.

Well, things have gotten better for him. Somehow. Maybe he made a lot of money painting, or he made a deal elsewhere.

See, he got over his regret. I haven’t. I dread what lies deeper and deeper in this book, in spite of me writing it. I dread the pints of bad blood we have stockpiled.

However, I might have the chains needed to pull this family back together. As long as Annette left something else for me to go on, I have unknown family history on my side, perhaps mere blocks away from my fingers. I bet we would all flock towards it.

And this book, this dreadful volume, will be so much more easier to digest with the promise of a truce and a happy ending. Even the chance of a happy ending helps.

Believe it or not, I love happy endings. After last night, it's all uphill from here.

And I won't get to that happy ending unless I read through to the end.

Word Count for this chapter: 2,891
Word Count so far: 67,657
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 45, 6/2)
« Reply #216 on: June 02, 2014, 01:14:50 PM »
Wow!  Just keeps getting better and better!  Oh Franco... what are we going to do with you?

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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 45, 6/2)
« Reply #217 on: June 02, 2014, 06:35:51 PM »

Well, holy crap, Trip! That was beautiful. Totally got all teary there at the end of that last one. Franco and Hannah's late night conversation and dreams for the future is just great, and thinking of Franco being alone without her because he couldn't afford to resurrect her is seriously heartbreaking. It makes sense that Lilly and Hannah would have some tension. I'm curios to see how that works out. The update in Roaring Heights was great, too. Wonderful use of poseplayer, and it's fun to finally meet the elusive lady.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 46, 6/4)
« Reply #218 on: June 04, 2014, 12:54:05 AM »
Wow!  Just keeps getting better and better!  Oh Franco... what are we going to do with you?

I had no idea what to do with Franco myself. He was mopey and prone to bad decisions.

Well, holy crap, Trip! That was beautiful. Totally got all teary there at the end of that last one. Franco and Hannah's late night conversation and dreams for the future is just great, and thinking of Franco being alone without her because he couldn't afford to resurrect her is seriously heartbreaking. It makes sense that Lilly and Hannah would have some tension. I'm curios to see how that works out. The update in Roaring Heights was great, too. Wonderful use of poseplayer, and it's fun to finally meet the elusive lady.

That's great to hear, because I had no idea how well that chapter would turn out.

I had a lot of fun finally getting to introduce Eileen, but she's just the beginning of Jo's troubles. ;)

Chapter 46: Slip, Shark, Surprise

Shark revved up his chainsaw again. A few hours later, another perfect statue of Lily was finished in ice, from her hooked nose down to the flare of her jeans. Once he was done hauling it away to be casted for a glass replica, he wanted to start another sculpture, but standing right by a sculpting station was Lily, still there after posing.

She spent a few days up in her bedroom before that, even though Hannah sent her up there only for one night. If she went downstairs, she would have to eat breakfast alone. Go to school with only one parent to give her a hug good-bye. Ask her dad for help with math homework, which wasn’t his forté. Play video games in single-player mode. Her room didn’t look towards where the cars were parked, and where Pansy’s inert police cruiser sat, so she didn’t have any unwanted reminders of her mother. Hide from it all.

But the worst passed, and a few days later, Lily could finally give into Shark’s pestering for more sculptures. She still cried a bit about Pansy’s passing, though, while Shark cut into the ice. Lily stood around with a bit of a pout, a downwards stare, a general forlornness.

“It’s getting you down?” Shark asked.

“How can it not?”

“Yeah. I almost can’t connect. I mean, I loved my mum, but I wasn’t close with her either. Is there something I can do to help?”

Lily glanced over at his chainsaw on the floor, grinning widely. Bits of water dripped from birgn ice blocks that sat at the sculpting stations.

“Okay, you know what I like now, right? Can I pick up the chainsaw?”

Shark could have shoved the saw in her hand. He had a few spares, after all, and ice was in plentiful supply. However, could he risk having her chop an arm off? Or worse, doing do badly with the ice that she got sour about sculpting so early?

“Darling,” he said, “I know ice seems cool, but you gotta start small. That’s what I did, that’s what Julian did, and heck, my mentor didn’t sculpt anything but clay and wood until he was almost as old and far-gone as I am. You have to learn with something softer. I always have some clay on hand for these things.”

“But,” Lily looked at the chainsaw again.

“I knew, being able to sculpt with a deadly weapon is cool, but you can inflict a lot of damage with a chisel too.”

Eventually, Lily gave in. She chiseled away at the wet clay, sometimes digging too deeply for something meant to be made into teapots with one’s bare hands. Deep, deep chisel gouges marked the upper half of the block. Piles of hardening clay scraps piled at Lily’s feet. The piece was absolutely unsalvageable anywhere beyond three feet up, and shapeless everywhere else.

“Well, crap,” Lily said.

“Chop off the bad part and make a table,” said Shark, “Everyone starts with a table.”

With a level cut, Lily excised the bad part of the clay and put the rest to be broken up for Shark’s slip bucket of doom. He kept it in the basement; filled with water and festering, tepid old clay that marinated in the sludge in hopes of being reconstituted. Slip. Lily groaned at the feel of wet clay underneath her fingernails, the dust that caked her hands, and the white smudges on her clothes. But in the end, she had a table standing in front of her on the wheel, about two feet tall and unadorned.

“Is there a reason you don’t make coffee mugs, you know, like normal potters?” Lily asked.

“Blame my teacher. He said that he never was good with small pieces. And huge clay and wood sculptures got him fame, so why change that?”

“Hey, speaking of mentors,” Lily said, “Are you supposed to fall in love with them?”

“Oh please, Lil,” Shark said, “Just because I like men doesn’t mean that I like all men. I mean, why would I like Mr. Clay like that? He went to high school with my grandparents.”

“Everyone acts really weirdly when I’m around Julian. It’s disturbing. He acts like I’m halfway to smooching him every time I ask him what’s on TV. And dad just gets really angry whenever I’m in the same room as Julian. Then there’s Gram, who just can’t stop emphasizing how handsome Julian is every time he walks by me. Are they trying to imply something?”

“It’s a dynasty thing. I think.” Shark then remembered that he knew little about the dynasty, except for the things that applied to him. No tattoos, no moving out, and definitely no touching Annette’s special meals. And the whole dying thing, but Shark accepted all of it. However, immortal affairs were another realm, one shrouded by a lot of sculptures and portraits, and half of the things that made aunt Annette so strange.

“Okay, I don’t know if it’s a dynasty thing. Ask me tomorrow,” he said, “Want another block?”

He wasn’t going to leave either of them confused. Later that night, he smirked as he figured out where Annette would keep a rulebook. In a place only she could access.

The kitchen. Duh.

He picked the lock to the kitchen door (lock-picking was common Racket knowledge, after all), and came across a whole ring of counters to check the drawers of, if Annette put the rulebook in the drawers. Maybe she had a secret hole in the wall instead, but drawers were a little easier to check. The first few were just filled with extra plates, bottles of dish soap, spices and boxed pasta, and the usual things a cook would keep.

Each time, Shark got down on his knees to check the bottom drawers, with a wrench in hand, just in case Annette had some extra security for her book beyond “throw it in a drawer.”

Finally, he opened a top drawer and found the book. The Immortal Dynasty. Gold text, plain blue cover, no dust jacket.

“What the crap are you up to?” Annette asked, watching from the breakfast nook.

“Look, Nettie, I just wanted to answer a question of Lily’s-”

“We’re going to the beach. Come on. Just the two of us.”

They drove through the still night, windows down in the unusually balmy weather; for late autumn, that was. Annette then led her nephew to the gazebo at the beach, where the two of them were absolutely alone.

“I’m sorry for stealing your book,” Shark said, with the guilt of a subordinate, “Blame Lily for it.”

“Shark, dear, just ask for it next time. I keep it in the drawer so the pages stay in good shape. You think I actually wanted to hide it from you?” She chuckled a bit at his assumption.

“It seemed like something you’d do.”

“Read what you need to, and give it back to me. And no more searching around my kitchen, ‘kay?”

While Annette took the car to the gym for a hot date with a treadmill, Shark skimmed through the pages of the rulebook, past stipulations on museum pieces and skills and career, and into a section titled “Known Conventions.” He went past more paragraphs about gold-digging, personal relationships with watchers, and why not to do such a mission in Twinbrook. After that, mortal children. Mortal, non-blood children, such as Julian.

Usually, when an unrelated mortal child is born or otherwise added to the household, they are divinely bound to love and marry the next eligible immortal heir. Often, these children are the same age as their intended immortal mate, but this type of bind can transcend any age gap...

“Aha!” Shark exclaimed, “I know where they’re getting this.”

But as he walked away from the beach, he muttered to himself, “well, that’s just kind of creepy.”

And he went to bed that night to Lily and Julian briefly fighting outside his bedroom door. Shark almost pulled the blanket over his ears, almost threw his head under the pillow, when the yelling started to pique his interest.

“The thing is that I’m not interested in you. Never have been,” Julian said, “So you stop drooling over me, get this into your head, and leave me alone.”

“Geez, did I ever actually say anything about being interested in you? I’m taken. I have the most handsome guy in Twinbrook, but I can’t talk to you because you buy into some crap about me ‘just having to love my mentor!’”

That was when the whole thing quieted down, quieted down to a meek Julian responding with “I’m taken too.”

“Huh,” Lily said, “Glad to hear it.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I’ve blown this out of proportion.”

“Maybe I have too.”

A minute of silence passed. Shark intently listened, even opening the door a crack.

“G’night,” Lily said, “Breakfast tomorrow?”

“Beg your mum for some eggs in the morning. Good night.”

Shark truly went to bed, aglow with the best misunderstanding ever.

The next morning, Shark, Lily, and Julian feasted on eggs. Annette made three eggs each for them, in their preferred ways: over-easy and runny for Shark, scrambled with cheese for Julian, and scrambled plain for Lily. Franco and Hannah were asleep or having the best morning woohoo, with either action leaving them too distracted to care about breakfast conversations. Annette returned to bed for a morning nap herself, leaving the three to talk about, well, probably sculpting. And any other morning, it would be sculpting.

“Sorry about last night,” Lily told Shark, “Fighting is healthy, though.”

“Forgiven already, flower,” he said.

“Can I ask you to do something?” Lily asked.

“Sure thing.”

“Make sure everyone stays in the house today. I have a surprise.”

“Well, it’s Annette’s day off, your dad is retired, and Hannah’s still on her maternity break.”

“Congrats! You got your job done. You’ll love this. I’m almost too excited to keep it in. Anything to say, Julian?”

“Seems like you have it all set,” Julian said, with a wink.

Shark then went upstairs to work out. He couldn’t keep himself in good shape for sculpting without regular chin-ups; those chainsaws were heavy, after all. He changed into his comfiest sweatpants and jumped right into his routine, lifting himself up over the bar, lifting himself with one hand to show off. The stereo in the little room played some blue-eyed soul, which, for an hour, was the only thing Shark heard other than his own grunts of effort. Then, the soundtrack changed to a bone-aching hum. Shark then fell off the bar, for the first time since he was a teenager.

If nothing else, he got off the ground quickly.

In a cloud of thick, black smoke, a familiar figure appeared before Shark. “I’m glad I found you. I’ve been lost since you turned 104,” said the man in black.

“You better get better with this, Grimmy,” Shark said, “My aunt will kick your bony rear if you do that again.”

“Any last words?” Grim asked.

“Not really. I’m 115. I mean, I’ve done pretty well for myself.”

“You cheated on Jules,” Grim said bluntly.

“So? It was a long-distance relationship.”

“You. Cheated. On him.”

“Just don’t use this against me?”

“I judge for very little, Mr. Racket, but cheating is almost always inexcusable.”

“Please!” Shark begged on his knees, “I’ll be a good ghost. I just need some peace in the afterlife.”

“Your inability to face the consequences amuses me. Follow me to the other side.”

Shark jumped into the afterlife, if being held by the wrist by the Reaper while he dragged Shark into the beyond counted as jumping. Lily came too late, as the most lavish, gilded urn she ever saw stood in Shark’s place on the floor. She could almost cry, but before the first tear could escape, the doorbell rang. And then it rang again. Her face contorted in the strangest way; one eye, pink with forming tears, scrunched its eyelids. The other perked up in anticipation. Her mouth corners rapidly alternated between a frown and a smile.

Even as her father did the honors of greeting her guest.

As she made her way down the stairs, Lily's face settled into a forced smile. Even as she heard her father arguing on the porch.

“I’m not interested in whatever you’re selling,” Franco said, almost swatting the young man away, “I doubt you even know my daughter.”

Four pungent words crossed Franco instead. “Please,” the young man said, “I’m dating her.”

Franco froze in place.

Thankfully, Lily came out just in time to lead her guest into the house. Her smile came naturally, as soon as she gripped his hand and looked into those beloved eyes.

“Sorry about my dad. He gets a bit suspicious of things,” she said.

Meanwhile, Annette shook hands with someone else. She almost recognized the face, but no name or relation came to mind. She asked a question out of instinct. “Did Franco do that to you?” Annette pointed at the swollen belly of the guest.

“Who?” the guest asked. Julian perked up the moment he passed by. “Hey, how did you get in here?” he asked, with a laugh, “Come on, don’t I get a hug?”

“Alright, mister.”

Annette smiled at how much she was off the mark about Julian.

Word Count for this chapter: 2,230
Word Count so far: 69,887

Now you get to meet Lily and Julian's real partners. I'll reveal their ancestry next chapter, but it's not particularly difficult to decode yourself if you know your Twinbrook townies.
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 46, 6/4)
« Reply #219 on: June 04, 2014, 07:13:43 AM »
Julian's gonna be a daddy! Aw! :)

The torch has been passed...but even though he was old it's sad to see Shark go.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 46, 6/4)
« Reply #220 on: June 04, 2014, 02:38:03 PM »
Goodbye Shark!  Awww, that was cute!  lol, I loved the deception, or at least the assumption that Julian and Lilith would get together.  It's nice to see they have other partners ^^

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 47, 6/5)
« Reply #221 on: June 05, 2014, 12:24:04 AM »
Julian's gonna be a daddy! Aw! :)

The torch has been passed...but even though he was old it's sad to see Shark go.

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The real highlight of the dynasty was getting Julianboos! His genes needed to live on, or else I'd be a sad watcher.

Shark was 115 when he died, but I didn't need any sims to immediately die at that point, so I was kind of hoping that he'd stick around until, well, I needed someone to die. He grew on me a lot. D:

In his honor, have my real favorite screenshot of him:

Goodbye Shark!  Awww, that was cute!  lol, I loved the deception, or at least the assumption that Julian and Lilith would get together.  It's nice to see they have other partners ^^

I was planning that twist from the beginning. Julian was partnered up with his ladyfriend for a long time, but keeping it a mystery was fun. ;)

Chapter 47: Who's Your Daddy?

Seven sims all tried their best to find a seat in the living room. Or, it was more like six. Franco stood up to address the guests. He still looked at Bronson with his mouth agape, agape at all of the youthful smoothness of Bronson’s face and his goofy, boyish smile, and the fact that his driver’s license said that he was just 19.

“Well, um, do they have names?” Franco asked.

“Looks like I’ll start,” Lily said, “This is Bronson Curious. He is 19 and we have been dating since I started high school.” She elbowed him slightly. “Say hi,” she whispered.

“Man, I never knew what your dad looked like,” Bronson said, “Looks like you lucked out, not looking like him.” Franco gave him a stern glare.

“He means well,” Lily said.

“So you met him less than a year ago?” Franco asked.

“Nah. I’ve known Bronson, like, forever now. In fact, it all started...” Lily choked up for a moment. “...It all started with mum.”

When Pansy started dating Notzo, she was welcomed into the family immediately, at first by a beaming Bunny, his older sister. She immediately hugged Pansy when she introduced herself as Notzo’s girlfriend. She said something about being so proud of her little brother for finally finding his other half, especially when she went through parts of her otherwise slow, vampiric life at breaking speed. While Notzo wallowed in his angst of being single, Bunny started raising a family. Two daughters with dark, ashen skin and fangs to rival the Waverlys, and a son who could spend the whole day in the sun without burning, and with a mouth full of flawless, flat teeth.

Pansy adopted that family as her own. She bought the kids gifts for Snowflake Day and birthdays. And, of course, she talked about them, but never to her ex-husband or her ex-mother-in-law, or to her ex-husband’s crush. However, Lily always liked listening to her mother’s enthusiasm over the times she spent with her boyfriend’s extended family. One day after school, Pansy even came to Lily for advice.

“It’s been a long time since I was your age,” she said to Lily, “How do you get someone out of their shell?”

“What do you mean?” she asked her mother.

“Well, you know uncle Notzo, right?” Lily nodded.

“Now, Notzo’s nephew is a bit shy. So what do you do to shy kids nowadays?”

“Tell them that they need a friend. I think he needs one.”

Pansy was unable to reach him and make him heed advice from a child, but Lily sometimes saw him during break. He sat alone under a big willow tree in the schoolyard, with his earbuds in and the sound of blast beats and death metal audible from five feet away. She never said hello while he tuned out to The Chasm. And the guy was in high school at the time, so they never had a reason to cross paths inside school either. He took Algebra II by the time Lily learned the basics of variables. His locker was on the second floor, while Lily’s was on the first. Again, no path-crossing.

It changed one night when she saw him outside of school. It was the night that Jeffrey babysat Lily while going on a gym-and-dinner date with Gena. After Lily sometimes pestered Jeffrey for conversation, and interrupted one kiss, she suddenly went missing. Missing to...the other side of the Bistro.

While Jeffrey admired the smile of his lover, Lily noticed the frown on someone standing by the entrance. She recognized the orange sweater and dark skin immediately. It was the schoolyard loner. Notzo’s nephew.

“Hey, do you need a friend?” Lily asked him. He looked down at the little pink girl waving at him, “I see you alone a lot and I think you need a friend.”

Normally, he would just ignore the kid and try to slip away to somewhere more deserted, but Lily smiled at him the whole time.

“Do you have a name?” she asked, “I’m Lily. I love friends and family and, oh my gosh, do you see the stars tonight? My uncle Jeffrey and his friend really like them.” She pointed at the two of them alternating between watching the stars and passionately making out. Lily dropped any shred of anger and her heated temper, just to accept someone would the friendliness and excitement they deserved. He still looked down at that bubbly, happy little girl who was bent on finding a new friend.

He smiled too. “I’m Bronson.”

They spent a few minutes talking, about the ivy that grew on the Bistro’s walls and, eventually, music. Bronson revealed that he listened to some heavy stuff, a shoegaze/black metal hybrid here, a crossover thrash band there, old heavy metal and traditional punk, and plenty of death metal that worried his mother. Lily listened eagerly, considering that she never cared much about music until then.

“Come on, Lil,” Jeffrey said, “Time to go home and get to bed.”

She almost ran away, overwhelmed by how she felt about Bronson. Everything, from his blue eyes to the way his nostrils flared and how he pronounced his r’s, was burned into her memory. It burned into her memory even more than the way Loki spoke about his favorite sports teams, or even how Julian recalled how his day at work was.

After Jeffrey gave his woman a kiss goodnight, he irresponsibly let Lily sit in the front as he drove into Twinbrook’s dark midnight. He almost turned the radio on until Lily asked him a question.

“What do you like about her?” she asked.

“About Gena? Everything.”

“How do you know you like everything?”

“When I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I don’t know if you’ll understand, but she’s a total babe.”

If Jeffrey had a total babe, then Lily had a total hunk. After she met Bronson, she couldn’t stop thinking about him during her classes, but she still thought of him as a completely unromantic older friend, considering that she was still in elementary school. They took their break together, though, and Lily was accepted under his willow tree. He gave her one of his earbuds and formally introduced her to the world of heavy metal, but with a little more Iron Maiden instead of Napalm Death.

Because she saw Bronson only during school hours, most of the family didn’t know about him, though she told Pansy that he made for a good friend. Pansy never mentioned anything either, considering that, again, she was barely on speaking terms with her ex-family.

Lily waited and waited until her teen birthday. She knew that Bronson wouldn’t take any classes with her, but if she planted a kiss on him, the police officers in her family couldn’t find anything to punish Bronson for. After waiting and waiting, Lily finally blew out her birthday candles, intent on finding Bronson the next morning.

As it turned out, he was at City Hall, initially to cheer at the Award Ceremony for Franco, though he almost left immediately because of the growing crowd. Once he saw Lily, tall and grown-up and still in orange from her neck to her short-shorts, he stayed for a little while longer.

He learned that they had compatible signs.

And suddenly, Bronson found himself in the strong, mature embrace of the new, teenage Lily, sparking feelings he previously could not legally feel.

“Oh man, you’re prettier than Lilith,” he said. Lily just laughed at his lie.

“It’s not an insult if I’m not as pretty as her. She’s out of this world. But, you know, you are too.”

“Stop flattering me.”

“What? Never.”

“I’ll live with it,” Bronson said, “Now shut up and kiss me.”

“Sure thing, hun.”

Lily ended up missing, and gave Bronson a peck on the cheek instead.

When prom was announced some months later, Bronson already ordered his cap and gown for graduation, which left Lily dateless unless she fought it. Although she told Julian that her date was too old for prom, a little more fighting the school’s administration resulted in the newly-grown-up Bronson getting a guest pass, provided he didn’t mind an adult chaperone supervising him from no more than two feet away.

While he did have his old English teacher sourly glaring at him the entire night, he managed to whisper a question to Lily while the DJ changed tracks.

“Will you stay with me once you’re out of school?”


She also won prom queen that night, though Vincente Ball managed to snag the king award, due to guests not getting prom royalty votes. However, none of that news reached the family that night. When Lily saw Julian, sitting at the end of the schoolyard, she had the entire night summarized in her head, with all the good news ready for her chauffeur, but Julian delivered the bad news quickly and crushed any of Lily’s hopes for a good session of enthusing that night. And even though she eventually told Julian that she was taken, that day that Bronson first visited was the first day that he saw that divine dark skin. Those beautiful blue eyes. Everything that made Lily’s eyes sparkle and her mouth expand into the biggest smile.

“Did I miss anything?” Lily asked to Bronson.

“No, looks like you got everything. I think I better go now. I mean, you know that I need my alone time.” Bronson got up from his seat before Annette forcibly pulled him down.

“Not so fast, future-Mr. Waverly. I have one last question for you.”

“Oh fine,” Bronson said, “What else do you need to know?”

“Who’s your daddy?”

“Mum, you don’t just ask guests that,” Franco said in an annoyed whisper.

“Uh, if this one will join the family one day, I better know. Maybe I knew his dad. So Bronson, who knocked your mother up 20 years ago?”

“I really need to step out now, but his name was Lincoln.” Bronson got up from his seat, “Nice meeting you guys. I’ll visit when you’re all asleep.” He gave Lily a hug before walking out the door.

“Lincoln,” Hannah muttered to herself, “Aha! Lincoln Baker! I knew him.”

A long time ago, before Franco and Pansy married, Lincoln Baker retired from his long, acclaimed career in botany and ordered a sing-a-gram for his retirement party. He also found himself picking glass shards out of his loafers and still felt like he knew his singer for years in spite of just meeting her.

“Hey, congrats Mr. Baker,” Hannah said, “I read your papers just so I knew what you’re retiring from.”

“Thanks lady,” he said, “It’s been a good run.”

“Seeing anyone?” she asked.

“Are you?” he said, with a flirty wink. She almost froze. Back then, she still felt for Franco, and Tay was little more than an old man who she sometimes saw at the lounge, never dressed-up formally.

“The focus is you,” she said, “Like, anyone on mind? Other than me?”

“There’s that Curious girl up the hill. She’s just so pretty,” Lincoln said, almost daydreaming upon saying her surname.

“Keep at it with her. She’s a pretty cool young lady.”

From that day on, Lincoln followed Hannah’s advice. In spite of his commitment issues, he happily raised a family with Bunny, stopping short of marrying her or living with her and her slightly-insane brother, but producing three kids nonetheless. The oldest? None other than Bronson.

“Ah, Lincoln,” Annette said, “Mary’s son. You know, that Bronson certainly looks like his dad. How could I forget? Those Baker boys were hunkalicious.”

“Mother!” Franco reprimanded, “I mean, didn’t you promise dad that he’s the only one that has your heart?”

“Yeah, but the hot guys of Twinbrook get my gaze. What wasn’t to love about her sons? They were well-behaved, rich, and built really well. That Bronson certainly caught my eye.”

Julian and his girl half-listened. They sat in the back, due to her anxiety with crowds. To reassure her, he kept his left arm around her, with his right hand on her knee and a million thoughts for some woohoo in his head.

“Alright lovebirds,” Annette said, “You’re up.”

“Okay,” Julian said, “This is Angelita Coddle, but everyone calls her Lita. We’ve been dating since high school.”

“Hey guys,” Lita said, “I’ve heard a lot about you, and you raised Julian, so you definitely did something right.” She whispered to him. “You’re the journalist. Can you tell the story instead?”

“Alright babe, alright.”

A long time ago, Julian was in first grade, and every teacher considered him to be a weird kid. He bit his nails a lot and had a huge artistic streak. Every time Amy came in for a parent-teacher meeting, the teachers expressed their worry for Julian, though Amy never saw what they did.

Meanwhile, a little girl was also in the first grade, and she was very shy. She stayed to herself during recess and sat at the tables for troublemaking kids at lunch because they were far more empty. Every time her mother came in for a parent-teacher meeting, the teachers expressed their concern for her daughter, but the mother saw no reason to worry either. After all, she did all of those things when she was a child too.

So with two strange children in the same school, the best solution was to make them friends.

Julian had no idea what to make of this girl at first. Lita Coddle. She had black hair and chubby cheeks. He definitely thought she was cute, but girls seemed so...filthy. Frightful. They were an assortment of things that bothered Julian. The administration took a further step and put them in a mandated after-school social skills class.

The class did nothing for Julian and Lita, but they eventually stopped seeing the other one as an icky person of a different gender. They even liked to meet up outside of school, such as at the Summer Festival.

And one day, they shared a hug.

Julian was almost struck down by the feeling. It was so warm, and electrifying. And good! But he still had to wait for teenhoodto come and rationalize his feelings a little more. Being around Lita felt good, but he had no way to explain it.

When they started dating in high school, Julian was finally able to pinpoint why he liked Lita: she was pretty. She also had a good sense of humor, a kind heart, and a great sense of family.

Clearly, he had to go to prom and bring her as a date. While the two of them were classic wallflowers at the dance, they, like many other couples, went steady. They even made out in the bathroom, how daring!

Their romance continued and continued, even as they got their diplomas, even as Julian got a job at the newspaper and Lita in...well, her mum was a doctor. A job was optional with that income supporting her. As stressful as the newspaper was, Julian could just scream and destress right outside the door of the office when his shift was over. But an even more effective destresser was for him to go over to Lita’s and stroke her round cheeks. Gaze into those purple eyes and melt into a puddle.

Their story didn’t really have an ending. The relationship obviously continued.

“And I may have forgot to mention it, but I’m not exactly new to this ‘dad’ thing either,” Julian said,  “We have two sons, a third on the way. Her mum is a great help.”

“That’s nice. And you know the question,” Annette said to Lita, “Who’s your daddy?”

“I guess I better say it. It’s not like you’ll get it from my mum,” Lita said, “Marc. Marc Brandt? I think there’s a T on the end. Mum wasn’t too happy with him when she found out that he had a steady girlfriend and that she was just part of an affair.” She sighed. “I’m so sorry to burden you guys with a sad story. But yeah, Marc. That was his name.”

“Marc, Marc,” Annette said to herself, “Yeah, it rings a bell.” She turned towards Hannah and Julian, pointing at them. “Yeah, I remember him now. Your dad’s old neighbor, your mum’s ex.”

“Well, I know a little more about your family than you think,” Lita said with a chuckle, “He’s the father of your great-niece too, Ms. Waverly.”

“Wait, Lolly had a kid?” Annette asked.

Apparently she did. Lolly had one daughter, Nicole, fathered by Marc Brandt.

In the last days of Marc’s life, he got his slightly-overgrown bangs snipped and returned to his blue hair dye, and tested out being in a steady relationship by wooing the lovely Lolly. He liked her, and her grey eyes and the way she scowled like a Racket. He even liked her hopeless romanticism, and how she loved movie dates and shy kisses. But he veered off the path once, and right under Molly Coddle’s bedsheets for one night. So while he did his best for Lolly and the kid they were expecting, his infidelity loomed over his head.

It wasn’t exactly what Amy had in mind when she first visited him, with a check to pay off his house and get some new clothes, and advice to finally settle down and maybe raise a family. However, she didn’t have much advice for Marc when he found himself in that quandary.

So when he suddenly passed away at Annette’s elder birthday party, Marc was unhappy, confused, and maybe unhappily committed. Not to say that Lolly recovered well either. She raised Nicole as well as any mother would, but she remained single for the rest of her life. As for Molly? She raised Lita much the same way and extremely well, but she again remained single and ever so resentful of Marc. As far as Lita was concerned, her mother discovered asexual reproduction and Lita was the result; people would always remark on how much the two of them looked alike, after all. It was only until Lita and Nicole did a genealogy project at school did they learn that they were more than history classmates.

“Sweet,” Annette said, “I knew your dad, and you’re making our Julian very happy. Just remember that you don’t always have to try for a nooboo when you’re in the mood. There’s protection against that.”

“Nah,” Lita and Julian said in unison. “I love kids. I mean, I hate crowds, but kids are different,” Lita said, “Speaking of crowds, I think I’ll get going. I’ve had enough of them for today.” She got up from the sofa, straining a bit with back pain.

“I’ll make sure to call the spa for a massage first thing tomorrow, hun,” Julian said, then giving Lita a small peck on the lips, “Tell your mum I said hi too.”

Obviously, Annette wanted Lita to stay in her own household, even if it meant standing by the door with a green dragon and hoping that it could breathe fire, just to keep Lita away. But Bronson, that Bronson had the potential to help the dynasty. And he lived with three vampires.

And most of all, Annette thought he was the best piece of eye candy she’d seen since Shark Racket was a young man.

Bronson came over a lot after that. Franco ordered a six-inch rule between Bronson and Lily, but watching TV was the second-best way to bond anyways.

And they snuck in a hug every now and then regardless. As time went on, Annette saw the bond between Lily and Bronson grow stronger and stronger. They laughed at each other’s jokes and spent hours sharing gossip while seated on the couch. They put on metal music and discussed each riff with enthusiasm, and argued about the best Black Sabbath singer with passion (Lily pretty firmly stuck with the Ozzy years, while Bronson argued that Tony Martin was a vastly underrated frontman). They played video games and shared tips about math homework. And each day that Bronson was over, Lily had plenty of moments just staring at Bronson, lost for words. And for him? The same.

One night, Franco came up to her with the biggest, beaming grin he ever produced. Ever. Annette sighed, somewhat contently. She knew what was up.

“I won,” Franco said, “It’s going to be a private wedding, but I priced out the other costs.”

After looked at the price of the rings that Franco picked out, Annette almost groaned. “You’re going to bankrupt me, kiddo.”

“I might. But we had a bet anyways. I can’t wait for that night.”

“Congrats,” she said. Annette gave her son a hug.

She was going to be a mother-in-law. Again. For more than a few months.

Word Count for this chapter: 3,472
Word Count so far: 73,359

Bonus image of the aforementioned Nicole Racket. She is related to the Waverlys too, after all. Anyways, she's the one in  the middle:

So, notes about Bronson:

- As you might be able to tell, some future immortals look a lot like him. And by that, I mean that Jo and her dad are just rainbow palette-swaps of Bronson. His genes were tyrannical and ruthless in their strength, but I got good-looking immortals regardless, so no harm done. ;)
- Some of you might say "but wait, Trip! Wasn't there Loki? Who looked just like Samhain Ironstar?" Of course there was Loki. I really, really wanted Lily and Loki to be a thing, for obvious reasons. But, a) Lily and Bronson instantly clicked, and b) Bronson gave me a chance of having a different color of rainboo, while Loki would guarantee me another pink one.
- Bronson was posted in the Children Born to Original Townies thread some months back. So much for a mystery. :P

And notes on Lita:

- I wanted Marc and Molly to have fairy children who could marry into the dynasty much later, but that didn't happen.
- I was a little disappointed that she looked nothing like Marc, but she was indeed pretty.
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. 47, 6/5)
« Reply #222 on: June 05, 2014, 12:37:06 AM »
Now that you mention it, Bronson's looks really are quite pervasive. He is not bad looking at all, either.

I have to agree with Lily on Black Sabbath. :P

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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 47, 6/5)
« Reply #223 on: June 05, 2014, 01:17:12 AM »
Yeah, Bronson's bloodline is definitely pretty dominant!  I really liked their relationship, especially how it started.  Julian, too.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 47, 6/5)
« Reply #224 on: June 05, 2014, 05:49:50 PM »

And so the mystery genes are revealed. Way to pull one over on us and deny traditional dynasty conventions, Trip! Plus, Julian gets to have more nooboos this way. Thinking of Loki, did we ever get to see a picture of him all grown up? I'd love to see one. The Bronson genes are crazy strong. The first thing I thought when I saw him was, "Hey, that's Jo's nose! And her dad's!" The ears, too.