Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 196861 times)

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 50, 6/10)
« Reply #240 on: June 11, 2014, 06:32:41 PM »

Oh, Waverlys. Good to see that Hannah and Lilly found that twine instead of the barbed wire. Nice bunch of townie kids, too. Tristan, in particular, looks like some good genes.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 50, 6/10)
« Reply #241 on: June 11, 2014, 11:55:10 PM »
Just got caught up again, Trip.  This is such a great story!



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Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 51, 6/12)
« Reply #242 on: June 12, 2014, 12:21:00 AM »
So Lily and Hannah have made their peace...in that special, disjointed Waverly way. :P

And hey, eventually those toddler-handling skills ought to come in quite handy to Lily.

There is no other way! Except I may subvert that too. ;)

Why of course! There weren't enough immortals to hand the toddler care to at that point, after all.

That was so sweet!  I love that last shot of Lily and Heph.  So cute!

It was! They got along pretty well and that was the start of it.

Oh, Waverlys. Good to see that Hannah and Lilly found that twine instead of the barbed wire. Nice bunch of townie kids, too. Tristan, in particular, looks like some good genes.

Tristan indeed had some good genes (like a super-nice nose and his parents' black eyes), and he was one of the only kids at that party who wasn't related to Shark or Franco. :P

Haven't all the Waverly heirs been witches? Their fangs made me think they were, but Lily's initial reaction toward Heph being a witch confused me.

Oh god, have you ever played an inappropriate witch? I did, and he was a menace who casted Love Charms and Toadification Curses whenever I turned my back. I wouldn't let Annette within 100 feet of magical powers after that. The fangs are there simply as an extra visual reminder that they're a little different.

While I had witches later in the dynasty, they were made with artificial means.

Just got caught up again, Trip.  This is such a great story!

Thank you! And thanks for taking the time to catch up. I get wordy very quickly. :P



Chapter 51: Gentle Prod in the Right Direction



On the morning of Lily’s young adult birthday, Lily did nothing beyond not change out of her underwear before going to the breakfast nook for birthday pancakes. Basically, it was like any weekend. Running into Julian, still in his boxers? Still an average weekend.

However, Julian held a white box in his right arm. Now that made it more of a birthday weekend.



“Surprise!” he said, “Thought you might need this as soon as I could get it to you.”

Lily shook the box, but whatever was inside did not move. Its mass was decidedly average, like a beginner’s weight. As unremarkable as she found the package, Lily still tore through the wrapping, wrapped up herself in anticipation over what Julian had for her; a new engine for the chainsaw? A really big chocolate?

Instead, she opened the box to a white megaphone, small enough for a backpack.



“I don’t get this,” Lily said, disgruntled.

“Well, you’re going off to uni soon, right?” Julian asked, “You will need that over there--wait, Lita, leave their child alone.”



Julian had a guest over that night. Lita wallowed in the misery of living away from her partner, but a night in Julian’s bed lifted her spirits a little bit. She forlornly picked up Hephaestus after getting dressed for the morning, and then smiled upon seeing his nose crinkle as he smiled too. What a cutie-pie.



“I know this pretty well by now,” she muttered to herself, grabbing a bottle from the kitchen, “Julian, can we have another?” she asked, almost facetiously, “Your boxers are making me feel things.”

“If Lily doesn’t mind me ducking out early for her birthday party,” he said, with a wink, “But really, he has parents to do that.”

“Nah,” Lily said, “If she makes my little brother happy, I don’t think dad and Hannah will mind.”

“Little brother? Looks like you’re getting used to this.”

“What can I say? He’s too adorable to disown.”

Lily then climbed upstairs and hid the megaphone under her bed. Maybe Bronson would have an idea, when he checked under his bed and found the megaphone, now that he would share that bed with Lily once the night was over.

Franco softened a lot after getting treated to a dinner out, so he patiently listened to Lily’s birthday requests. Casual dress code, not his choice, but okay. Buy The Grind, but Annette already did that when Franco was a teenager. Renovate The Grind, well, that was a bit of a hefty order, until Lily just expressed that she wanted more tables, new stools, and more fog machines.



It all fell into place well. Franco cheered more than his excitable daughter did, but Lily nearly exploded inside. Adulthood, full of university and drinking and, to her chagrin, an actual career, but most of all, full of Bronson.



So while Lily knew better than to blurt out her wish right there and jinx it, she told me what she wished for that day, centuries later when it didn’t matter: after what Franco went through, she just wanted a happy marriage. She wouldn’t be able to live with herself if Bronson ended up as a young widower, after all.

While the candles burned and the wax dripped down them, Bronson momentarily forgot to laugh, while Loki already had a head start. Perhaps his new future hit him in the head like a cannonball too.



Of course, Bronson then came to his senses. Birthdays were hilarious!



His future stepmother-in-law agreed too.



Bronson’s laughs resonated the loudest to Lily, among the crowd of her half-siblings and the Jones-Brown kids cheering or laughing. That deep voice and that booming laugh were finally hers. But then, she heard Hannah’s laugh and fixated on how it vibrated, how it came out so shrill, and how it was so uniquely Hannah.

Yep. Lily forgot something with Hannah. Verbal apologies? Was that something family members were supposed to do? Probably.



Before she talked to Hannah, however, Lily had a few special things waiting in the loft upstairs for her. She was done with the mohawk that appalled Franco, done with ripped jeans and bare lips too. She saved a tube of copper-colored lipstick ever since her teen birthday and applied it, finally letting her lips stand out from her pink skin.

Alright. She eradicated any birthday black magic that messed up her wardrobe. Lily almost got down the first step to sit down next to Hannah at the bar, get her a cocktail, and apologize. Then someone squeezed her around the middle, with the force of a bodybuilder.



“Lilypad!” Bronson said, whispering in her ear, “Happy ‘I can woohoo with you all the time now’ day.” Lily squeezed him even harder upon hearing that. Oh yes, he probably had a good birthday present in mind.

“Alright, but I requested some Turmion Kätilöt just for us to dance to, and it’s coming on right after this song,” she said. “Come on. We’re at the club. I have to dance.”

“Aww,” Bronson said, “You know how to make parties bearable.”



So as the cake disappeared and the teenaged guests left for the sake of obeying curfew, Lily and Bronson grooved to “Tirehtööri” and “MTV/DNA” and all of the electronic/metal goodness of the songs. While that happened, Hannah and Franco made a toast and downed a shot each. Lily watched Hannah tip her head back and let the strong juice straight down her throat.

When the last song ended and Bronson didn’t care about the party anymore, Lily pushed her dad off his barstool and took his place, passing the mixologist’s offer of a congratulatory drink, and tried to butter up Hannah before it turned out that Hannah had a plan of her own.

“Lily! You’re all grown up now, and your dad and I had a long talk,” Hannah said.

Taken aback, Lily had no response.

“You’re not in trouble. It’s just a talk I have to have with you,” she continued. “We’re in the area, so I thought I would take you somewhere special.”

“Um, okay?” Hannah grabbed Lily by the wrist, dragging her and her new leather boots on the warehouse floors, nearly throwing Lily into the Motive Mobile and driving on some dirt road, through frozen mud patches and stretched where half the road was overtaken by cattails that grew far past their confines in the swamp. Up to a two-story house with a winding walkway, weathered siding, and the porch lights turned on.

“It’s aunt Carmen’s house,” Lily said flatly. She visited there at least once a week for group study sessions, sitcom marathons, and Super Smash Bros. with her half-siblings.

“It is now, and I have a bone to pick with her for that, but you obviously remember Tay. I mean, it’s hard to think that it was only a few years ago.” Lily nodded.

“Well, this was his house! And I think four or five years ago, or something like that, I broke down crying right to the left of the house after Tay died.”

“Your point?” Lily asked, “You’re almost worse than Gram with this rambling nonsense.”

“I don’t want you to be like me, and I can tell that you won’t. So this is my way of saying congrats for not being so thick in the head and going for some crusty old man instead. I love you dad, and he did so well with you.”

“You really think that?”

“Yes.”

“So you really just described your ex as a crusty old man?”

“Heavens! Lily, I cared about Tay,” Hannah said, “But I have to be honest. Dating older people sucks and I don’t wish that path on anyone.”

“Hey, I’ll take your word for that,” Lily said, “So you really think I turned out well?”

“Honestly, you’re the best kid I’ll ever know, well, tied with my son. You’re talented and good with friends, stubborn and passionate, downright gorgeous, I don’t know how Franco could have asked for a better daughter. I think I always saw those things in you.”

“Disregarding rough starts?”

“I hope we can disregard them.”

Lily nodded and stretched her arms out. “Come on Hannah, you deserve it.”

“A hug? For old me?” She fell right into Lily’s arms.

“Happy birthday, again,” Hannah said. Then Carmen’s car pulled into the little spot marked at the edge of the lot, with the headlines on and shining directly at Hannah.

“Hey! It’s midnight. Get your non-awesome rear off my lawn,” Carmen yelled.

“Ex-cuuuse me?” Hannah asked, hand on her hip, “I’m not the one who bought your ex’s house.”

Lily fled the scene. Truce or no truce, Hannah had to deal with half-sisters herself.



She got her diploma at the next ceremony, graduating with honors. The Jones-Brown siblings offered to throw her a graduation party later that day, mostly just to fill up the guest list for Loki’s own party. And they had a spare bedroom that they gave Bronson the key to.

After filling themselves with carrot sticks and dip, shrimp and cocktail sauce, and other assorted hors d'oeuvres, Lily and Bronson were in the mood to put the spare bedroom to use, but as soon as they fluffed the pillows and settled into the orange sheets that one of the siblings spread out just for them, Loki barged in.

“Shoo,” Lily said, “You gave us the bedroom for tonight. You leave us alone in it.”

“And what is so inappropriate about watching?” Loki said, grinning.

“He has a point, Lil,” Bronson said.

“Don’t agree with him!” Lily snarled.

“So, are you two trying to make a nooboo or something?” Loki asked.

“I’m barely out of high school,” Lily said, “What gave you that idea?”

“Well, your family is really big on making nooboos while Lilith and I took celibacy vows, so I kind of thought that was first on your mind. And getting a job, and doing all sorts of uber-ambitious things.”

Lily death-glared him. “Get out before I put my mum’s special ‘bad customer’ laxatives in your soda.” Loki backed away and shut the door, activating the lock.

“So, you ready?” Bronson asked, trying to put his arm around Lily. She swatted it away and fell onto the pristine, white, never-used pillow.

“I’m too existentially drained for that, Bronson-bear,” she said, weakly. “I have no idea what I want to do. I mean, I like sculpting, but careers? Children?”

“I mean, that’s pretty whacked, but no plans? You’re going to uni! We are. Aren’t you supposed to grow up and find yourself there?” Bronson asked, turning towards Lily.

“Look. Mum, dad, Gram, and Hannah all went for the hell of it. They had no growing to do. They spent two semesters doing keg stands for ‘sociological study.’ We see things a little differently than your family did.”

“Time to switch things up then. We’ll talk in the morning.” Bronson turned out the light to the side of him and fell fast asleep, still digesting some crackers and cheese, or whatever else they had out. Lily lay on her back with her eyes wide open, though, with dreams or nightmares about university. Then it was dreams, when she remembered about Julian’s little gift.

She changed her mind on a lot by the morning. Clear and fresh, the two returned home and finally paid attention to the university welcome kits sitting on the porch.





They just needed a gentle prod in the right direction.

However, while Bronson packed his suitcase, Lily procrastinated. “We’re waiting,” she said bluntly.

“What? Can you just make up your mind for once?” he criticized.

“Silly, it’s just another week. I’m not missing Heph’s birthday.”



Time went by quickly for Hannah and her little boy, and she almost couldn’t lift him to the cake, but after sheer willpower lifted him up, they both blew out the candles with their mightiest or most pathetic blows. At Hannah’s age, every birthday she was at was a gift. As she bitterly put her son down on the floor to watch him grow another foot and a half, she sweetly anticipated what future he had.



He was excited for it too.



And one wardrobe change later, Lily and Bronson weren’t the only ones with an educational future ahead of them.



Hephaestus had arithmetic and his first chapter-books ahead of him.



Lily ran off to something a little more, with her megaphone nestled next to a street art kit and radical new underwear in the corner of her suitcase.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,086
Word Count so far: 81,773
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 51, 6/12)
« Reply #243 on: June 12, 2014, 12:35:32 AM »
Oh I can't wait to see what Lily and Bronson's University days are like! 

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 51, 6/12)
« Reply #244 on: June 12, 2014, 08:22:57 AM »
Heh. So Julian's gift to Lily was crazy underwear? I think Annette is rubbing off on him. :P

Heph is even more adorable now than he was as a toddler! He's going to make a rather handsome guy, I do believe. Its a shame that Hannah probably won't be around to see it, though. I'd be surprised if she made it to his teen years...

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Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 51, 6/12)
« Reply #245 on: June 12, 2014, 09:00:28 AM »
I adore Lily's new outfit/hair. It's perfect.

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 51, 6/12)
« Reply #246 on: June 13, 2014, 12:14:12 PM »
Replying now because it might be a bit until I can update. I'm really stuck on how to approach Lily's young adulthood because it was too straightforward. ::)

Oh I can't wait to see what Lily and Bronson's University days are like! 

Full of fun and graffiti (gotta put Lily's avant-garde trait to use somehow). They weren't full of drama, but they were fun to play.

Heh. So Julian's gift to Lily was crazy underwear? I think Annette is rubbing off on him. :P

Heph is even more adorable now than he was as a toddler! He's going to make a rather handsome guy, I do believe. Its a shame that Hannah probably won't be around to see it, though. I'd be surprised if she made it to his teen years...

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No, he gave her the megaphone! The underwear was a random thing I thought of listing off.

I actually thought that Heph's least-cute stage was his childhood, which I hope says something good about him when he grows up. ;) While you do have to wait to see it, I can give the spoiler that Hephaestus grew up to be "oh wow I better marry you into the family ASAP" material.

I adore Lily's new outfit/hair. It's perfect.

It's one of my favorite hairstyles, and Lily was the only female immortal in the dynasty who could pull off short hair. She was just a joy to makeover, even though I can trouble settling on outfits because she just looked great in all of them!
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 51, 6/12)
« Reply #247 on: June 13, 2014, 06:06:14 PM »
I actually thought that Heph's least-cute stage was his childhood, which I hope says something good about him when he grows up. ;) While you do have to wait to see it, I can give the spoiler that Hephaestus grew up to be "oh wow I better marry you into the family ASAP" material.

Hmmm, I thought that was where Jo's blonde hair might have come from. ;)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 52, 6/15)
« Reply #248 on: June 15, 2014, 01:00:42 AM »
Hmmm, I thought that was where Jo's blonde hair might have come from. ;)

Or it's just a way of me expressing how good-looking he turned out. :P



Chapter 52: Pseudo-Heroine



The plane ride to university was always a boring one, and Lily and Bronson’s flight was no exception. They dozed off sharing earbuds, with an armrest up and Lily leaning on his shoulder. Bronson fell asleep fast to the old-school death metal stylings of Morbid Angel, but he forgot that he put his MP3 player on shuffle. Transitioning to more death metal or thrash instead would be welcomed without a reaction, but the music transitioned to a new song that started with a clean guitar line.

“Did my mum troll you?” Lily asked, sleepily, roused from her nap by the softest song in Bronson’s collection.

“I never thought I’d have to admit this to you,” he said.

She almost wanted to stoop to the level of him and Annette with a taunt. Bronson likes a baaallaaaaad. Bronson likes cleeeeaaaan guiiiiitaaa-aaars. But a sip of the weak, airline-issued coffee that the flight attendant gave to Lily cleared her head.

“I mean, it is a nice song,” she said.

“Well, hey, that’s why I keep it!” Bronson said, “‘Things that Crawl at Night.’ Tarot, Spell of Iron, 1986.”

“Can you do that for everything you own?” Lily asked.

“Oh, basically.”

The frost grows on your window at the touch of my icy fingertips
I come to give you a kiss to suck the warmth from your lips
And I just slip away
As the night turns into a new day
Leaving you to lie cold and still in your bed


“Is this basically a break-up song?” Lily asked.

“Fine,” Bronson said, disgruntled, “It is. I mean, it is about being left alone in a relationship. Or something.”

“I hope I never have to use the ‘Bronson likes a ballad that’s a break-up song’ tidbit against you ever,” Lily said, giving him a peck on the cheek. “Play something loud after this; I need to stay awake with seats as awful as these.”



Jet-lagged and tired of cheap airline snacks, the two of them arrived at their tiny, rented house with frowns and smiles, excitement of being on land or hatred of the interior decor.

Before leaving for home, Lily hastily packed her suitcase, grabbing whatever she thought would suit her for university. A denim jacket, another denim jacket, a Halloween-themed t-shirt for bed, and what she thought was new underwear. When she unpacked the corner of her suitcase reserved for underwear, all she had were plain, even somewhat modest, orange briefs. Plenty of orange briefs, and enough to get her through university, but Bronson considered them as titillating as blue jeans.

“Drat,” she said, “That’s not radical.” After stuffing her briefs into the top drawer, Lily loosely pulled her new sheets over the bed, not quite catching the corners and producing wrinkled sheets. She threw the comforter over herself, as she tried to sleep off the jet lag before orientation.

Bronson paced around the little house, keeping Lily awake with his loud footsteps. He sat on the bed, causing the bedsprings to creak with their age.

“What’s gotten into you?” she asked.

“Hey, you know how hard it is to get a Motive Mobile through Customs, right?” he asked.

“No?”

“Well, it’s hard, and we don’t have it.”

“Watchers doing a jig, how could you, Bronson?!” she yelled, immediately springing out of bed, "You expect to study when we actually have to think about sleeping and eating? And do you even know how to cook?”

“Yeah, do you? This is what I get for hooking up with some dynasty girl.”

Both of their phone alarms rang. Orientation was starting. They walked to the commons, stone-faced and separate, until Bronson fell behind and got a good view of the back of her legs, and her shapely calves hugged by knee socks and boots.

“Alright,” he said, cornering Lily when they arrived, “We’ll do okay. Forgive me now?”

“As long as you deliver the goods back at home, love,” she said, her brows lowering as her head schemed.



But while the “away from home” woohoo had to wait, the two of them shared a kiss before the other students poured in.



Bronson may have snuck the street art kit from Lily’s luggage before leaving. Art was her thing, weights and technology were his, but the intoxicating scent of aerosol and paint guided him to create some avant-garde squiggle on the ground. One art student gave him five simoleons for his fine artistic vision. Bronson got a soda with the money and headed downstairs, only to be greeted a stern police officer crossing his arms.

“Are you the street art punk I got a call about?” the officer asked.

“Lily! This officer wants to speak to you,” Bronson said. Surely, the avant-garde mistress of the arts had her own little project going, right? Until he very loudly heard “The name’s Lily and I’m just pleased to meet ya,” distorted over a megaphone.





No, she found other rebellious things to do.



So Bronson admitted defeat for a moment. The handcuffs clanked as they locked around his wrists.

Even with 1,000 simoleons taken away due to fines, Lily came home pleased and with pockets full of college freebies. A plate of burnt waffles sat on the counter.

“I thought I’d make it up to you,” Bronson said.

“So you got arrested and all you had to do was pay a fine from your girlfriend’s massive allowance,” she said, “I just want one thing in return.” Lily quirked her right eyebrow up, while staring in the direction of Bronson’s ripped biceps.



If getting arrested was the wrong way to start university, Bronson very quickly found the right way under the bedsheets.

However, after their first day of classes, Bronson went to the coffee shop for peace and quiet, instead having his peace and quiet intruded by hip college students who ordered obscure brews and loudly chatted about the coolness of their obscure brews. He also took the megaphone off the dresser that morning, how dare he. Lily had a whole studio session in Ceramics III that day, so she wouldn’t miss it, Bronson approached a hapless student, with glasses and dreadlocks, and cleared his throat for a powerful message.

“Shut up!”



Lily arrived to enjoy a cup of tea after an afternoon of sculpting, right as Bronson blasted his words into the poor woman’s face. The woman pushed him away and threatened to throw her hot drink at his face. Which she did, except that she missed and threw it on his pants. Bronson still yelped in pain, as the hot liquid stung his thighs, knees, and unmentionables.

“Okay, that’s just too far,” Lily said to herself. She pushed a crate out from under a couch and grabbed the megaphone that Bronson dropped.



“We need a dang place to study!” she said into the megaphone, “So shut up and be quiet!”

“Hypocrites,” some patrons muttered, then going back to talk about new indie releases that their friends never heard of.

When they got back home, Lily went straight to the bathroom to scrub the hardened pieces of clay from underneath her fingernails, remembering why she was a budding ice sculptor instead. Alas, getting chainsaws through Customs was a nightmare she didn’t want to face. Bronson walked in, unzipped his jeans, and took a leak.

“Okay, we did that wrong,” Lily said, after turning the faucet off.

“I think they overreacted,” said Bronson.

“Yeah, you and Gram would agree on that, but I just want to be heard, and I need to find a better way. Also, did anyone ever tell you about a Waverly Chen here on campus? She’s in Art History with me.”

Bronson zipped his pants back up. “No. Coincidence?”

“I mean, yeah, but that’s quite a name. It would be funny if she actually knew dad or something.”



After the lecture was done the next morning, Lily grabbed Ms. Chen for a conversation. The two of them noticed the shared names, but it struck Ms. Chen for a different reason.

“Ah, I knew the Waverlys. Franco and I had a good laugh about the name, and, you’re his daughter?” she asked. Lily nodded.

“Well, do you know Julian?” Ms. Chen asked.

“Bull? He’s like my best friend,” said Lily.

“I think he could have taught you a lot about protests. I see that megaphone poking out of your bag. You need to yell loudly, but about some vague cause. We still haven’t brought down tuition here.”

“Yeah, but I’m a rich southern girl,” Lily said.

“They don’t need to know that.” Ms. Chen winked. “That secret’s safe with me.”

Protests. Julian never spoke about them, as if it was his equivalent of a shameful phase as a frat boy. But that explained the megaphone, and the paint worn off the button. Julian never used it at home, so his short protesting life must have been a regular thing for his time at university. And she couldn't imagine Julian as actually passionate about the things he protested about. Perhaps Lily had a bit of a performance bug that needed awakening. The mask of a poor uni student affected by tuition rates, and magic to work a crowd into believing it.

Lily wandered on to the quad that night, tightly clutching the megaphone and half-heartedly watching the snow fall and gather around her boots. A singer from the Performing Arts Club drew a small crowd, and two student pelted snowballs at each other beneath the white glow of the tall park lights. An abandoned podium sat near a picnic bench, drawing Lily to it with its rough, DIY-project build and various protest signs stapled to it.

“Good enough,” she muttered. She tapped the mic, amplifying the sound of her tapping through a small speaker setup.

“I paid way too much,” she said into the microphone, “Did you know how much my Gram had to save up?”



“Death to our tuition rates!” Most people were still occupied by the other happenings in the quad.

“I’m not going to stand for that!”



Soon, one man grabbed a sign and started waving it. “My mum took a second job for me to go here,” he said.



“Will you listen to his plight?” Lily asked the crowd, as more signs shot up among the people. Behind her, someone griped about losing an academic scholarship due to one class gone bad. Related enough. Complaints about second jobs, selling their body by posing nude for meager pay at the art studio, or pedaling illicit herbs behind the dorms drove the protest further and further.





The whole cause grew and grew.



Lily was a heroine that morning, and best of all for her, a heroine with a voice and a flair for acting passionate about a cause that she cared nothing about.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,798
Word Count so far: 83,571
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 52, 6/15)
« Reply #249 on: June 15, 2014, 01:21:08 AM »
Eeeee! That was too funny! She and Bronson just crack me up.  I loved the part about the motive mobile.

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 53, 6/15)
« Reply #250 on: June 15, 2014, 07:40:07 PM »
Eeeee! That was too funny! She and Bronson just crack me up.  I loved the part about the motive mobile.

I indeed forgot to put the Motive Mobile in their inventory, so they actually had to tend to their needs. How awful!



Chapter 53: Your Face



Lily, after finding her own little side-project outside of her studies, sat in on a sociology class. She said that it was just out of curiosity, that she expected no credits, and Lily took out her notebook to take notes in a different context.

The professor printed out a syllabus for Lily in a pinch, neatly typed in Times New Roman, with a bolded title: “The Different: Case Studies.” She thumbed through the stapled packet, past class guidelines and housekeeping (no phones, no laptops, no putting gum under the tables, and so on), and to the curriculum’s outline. Diasporic Populations, such as the Dragon Valley immigration and the “Sims of Really Unusual Color (SoRUC).” A population that pink Lily and blue Annette never quite connected with. Annette accounted for coloring by vaguely pointing towards some distant ancestors we’d never find anyways. Homosexuality and Bisexuality. A population that Lily imagined that her family already let go of any prejudice towards, considering that they adored Shark even when he brought his boyfriend back to the vacation house.

Supernaturals: Vampires, Fairies, and Other Assorted Occult Specimens. Lily noticed that her family had fairy friends, such as Rosy from up the street, and Robert, uncle Jeffrey’s dad. Plus, Bronson came from a family of vampires. However, Annette guarded her neck whenever she inspected the Bistro for cleanliness, due to “Bloodsucking Bunny.” “It’s for my own protection,” she explained.

Okay, that would count as knowledge. Lily blurted out, “Thank you, Professor Huerta!” before bolting out of the lecture hall.

That night, she ventured out to the main part of campus again, leaving Bronson at home to work on his new graphic novel, Feynman Smash! A class on the engineering feats in wars far away from Simnation gave Bronson a lot of inspiration. He sat by the radiator and kept himself warm.

Meanwhile, Lily set up a new podium in the snow, as the flakes covered her prompts. She yelled through the night, to a pitiful crowd again. Her throat tensed up and she left the park on occasion to refill her Thermos with more green tea, downing it and scalding her tongue just to loosen up her vocal chords a little bit.



“Equal treatment for Supernaturals!” was her rallying cry. Her podium was decorated with signs about the lack of plasma-options in the dining halls and local restaurants, rampant and false accusations of fairy trickery, harassment over werewolf’s fur, and one sign with just a picture of a witch, because Lily didn’t bother to ask little Hephaestus about what systematic discrimination he received.



When the winter sun rose and illuminated the entire campus and the powdery, thick, New Simland snow, Lily finally found a crowd. A campaign for better plasma options caught Ludo Vicco’s shining, enhanced eyes, and he got Che Justice to tag along for the fight. Ludo having to resort to the black market for plasma in tough times made the both of them as sad and blue as the face on Che’s sign.



However, the local police were not thrilled. “Alright kids, break it up. That’s enough anti-establishment for one day.”



Lily dismantled her podium for easy transport later on, for the next cause that she could fake passion for, but after getting another panel loose, Walter Fullman approached her with a thank you. “I mean, I’ve never pranked anyone out of spite, just self-defense,” he said, “You’re wicked cool. I’m telling the sorority about you.”



So he did. Lily and Bronson found themselves invited for a small party of studying, and more importantly, screening the first few episodes of Breaking Bad.

“Nah, I bet the show is overhyped,” Lily said, “Everyone is talking about it, so how cool could it be?”

But when they finished the pilot, and when Walter White stood outside of his RV, not even bothering to crouch behind the tumbleweeds, and the police sped right by him, Lily and Bronson both wanted more of his story.



With a few more nights holed up inside due to a bad snowstorm, and with a few more seasons of the show streaming online, the couple binged on the first three seasons, and Lily had a new character to immortalize in graffiti that made the landlord livid. Bronson still had the wiki for Feynman Smash! to edit.



But soon, they had class to return to, and for Bronson, it was whatever the heck they were trying to do to his mind (apparently it was an engineering class).



“Hmm,” Lily said one morning, thinking as the image of Heisenberg watched her in her underwear, “Maybe I should write back to dad and company now.” The snow melted as New Simland took a sharp turn towards warm spring rains, but it was the weekend and none of the professors bothered to schedule make-up courses.

Dear family, Lily wrote, I’m still alive. Write back to me when you can. -Lily

She checked the mailbox every day after that.

Dear Lily,

It’s your dear old dad writing. Hannah is very busy recording a new album, but we find time for each other.




Enclosed is a picture of why I’m enjoying dinner with her more nowadays. As a fashion guru, I can convince anyone to do anything! She probably knows why I chose the shortest dress in the warehouse and fishnet stockings for her, but I don’t think she minds.



Also, Jane and the other Kindlelings are doing just fine.

Lily chucked the letter into the recycling. Hannah in a minidress and fishnets as her formalwear? Hopefully Franco had more sense than to later divulge what Hannah did to spice up their bedroom life.

Dear Lily,

I heard about your life protesting and I couldn’t be more proud of you. It’s a shame that you can’t get sculpting tools on an airplane without getting detained on the spot, so I hope you’re doing well.

I’m close to getting those final promotions at the office. They recently started me on TV work, doing the weather forecast and stuff. I haven’t gotten death threats for getting it wrong yet, but, I mean, what if I do? I hope Nettie can set me up with some protection. And I want to just do the news now! Who threatens newscasters?



As for my family, they’re doing great. Isn’t my little Tomas just the cutest?

- Julian


Lily kept that letter and the picture in her backpack. Tomas was cute, after all.





While Lily got back in touch with the family at home, Bronson acted like Bronson. “Rude southerner” was thrown around when he walked across the quad. “Should be revoked of his megaphone privileges.”



However, if Bronson stood in front of a podium, he suddenly became a revolutionary. A voice for social justice, when he advocated on behalf of his rainbow girlfriend behind her back, about issues involving Dragon Valley cultural retention. Lily didn’t even know if they grew potatoes or pomelos back there.



It was a fun cause, however, and Lily learned a few local profanities to spice up her rant.



All of the protesting won Bronson some brownie points back at home. Unfortunately for Lily, his belligerent nature rubbed off easily.



It started with Eddy, a local vampire. While Lily always could turn to the “but some of my family are vampires!” excuse if he thought that she was prejudiced, and that she actually wasn’t prejudiced against vampires but against Eddy’s slacker attitude on a group project in some lab science general ed. class they had to take, he still pulled out the card pretty quickly.

“I’m sorry!” she said, “I just really felt pent-up.” But whoever pent her up was across the street instead.

Brenda Markey, some other vampire, who Lily still didn’t hate for that. Brenda blended into crowds very well, in spite of her shining, desaturated skin, as she dressed dressed plainly and wore her hair in a prim headband.



However, Brenda bore an eerie resemblance to some people in Twinbrook, such as to nearly all of Franco’s fashion clients, as to those who watched Hannah’s shows, as to those who watched Julian tell them that it will rain in Twinbrook, and as to that one bus driver who drove Hephaestus to school. Unexplained coincidences, which usually did not get under Lily's skin, bugged her mind to the point of sheer fury on her part.

“Wow, your face annoys me,” Lily said bluntly, to Brenda’s confusion.

“What? I was born this way,” said Brenda.



“Well, I’m feeling a little wound up after scrapping five teapots in a row, so why don’t I try kicking your butt?!” Lily threatened.

“Is that a dare?”



Lily punched and dug her fingers into Brenda, as she tried kicking Lily back. The tried tearing at each others’ clothes (undoing leather is very difficult), or at each others’ hair (curse their short hair),  but after they both were tired , they ran in opposite directions, and Brenda failed to press charges, claiming to be juiced during the brawl and not remembering a thing the next day.

Lily needed to find out why Brenda’s face annoyed her so much, but that burden one day fell on Bronson, all by chance.

As their voices resonated loud and far across campus, the two also received mountains of invitations to parties, from the dorms to the bungalows, which Bronson usually intercepted and ignored completely. Parties would take time away from his comics and art, after all, but Lily soon ran out of walls in the house to deface, and got one invitation before Bronson did. Sorority party, help by Shannon Arkers, a very good friend and a protesting regular.



Without Bronson, Lily got a little crazy.



Very crazy.



And heck, the rush of juice was just so exciting!



Lily had plenty to talk about with Shannon, mostly about the hot new gadgets no one else in the whole college town heard about. She spent the night, well, among people.



Bronson, a classic loner, considered Peggy the librarian enough company for the night. And the library had an unusual set of archives downstairs.

“Yes, about your girlfriend’s type of family. You wouldn’t believe how many people do the same thing and write about it,” Peggy said.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,700
Word Count so far: 85,271
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Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 54, 6/15)
« Reply #251 on: June 15, 2014, 09:31:49 PM »
I'm really in the writing mood. :P



Chapter 54: Facing Faces





“Ah yes, we have what you need,” Peggy said. She grabbed one.



“And there are more where that came from,” she continued, “Just get them yourself. They can get wicked heavy.”

Bronson heard about the fight with Brenda, through a somewhat-apologetic Lily, and about the mystery of Brenda’s face too. She would likely have researched it herself, given enough time, but Bronson valued every moment alone with the ambient hum of a room, and the mildewy smell of old paper.



He stuck his nose in a thick volume: Immortal Dynasties, Completed: Volume I. The book must have weighed three or four pounds, even though pictures took up a majority of the pages. It read like an encyclopedia that way, but he started. The Dreamweaver Immortal Dynasty, about a matriarch who raised a pleasant family, which was about as far from Annette’s methods as Bronson could imagine. There were plenty of stories about pleasant families, when he got down to it, from The Moons of Jupiter to The Elysi Immortal Dynasty.

Well, Annette certainly wasn’t following any tropes. As for the faces, the background extras faded into the fabric of each story, like good background extras should. They were a homogenous mass just in their passing nature, as “one picture wonders” at their best. Sometimes, spouses or heirs had an unremarkable look, usually with big, almond-shaped eyes and slightly-upturned noses with concave bridges in profile, which described Brenda pretty well, when he thought about it.

“Peggy!” He yelled, as she cleaned the shelved in another room, “Do you have anything on this face?” He passed her a picture of Brenda on his phone, from a party she went to or something like that.

“Ah, you don’t know? It’s the Gage strain. I thought you were a med student?”

“Tech, and explain this face.”



It was a short story. Some women could not get a child from their husband or partner, and some men made a small sum of cash on the side by giving their DNA to said couples. Gage Briody was one such man, interested only in making people happy and having more lovely children in the world to fill playgrounds. Behind his back, the demand for his DNA grew and grew, and soon, a majority of nooboos born were of Gage’s stock. Many of them had his soft features, from the slightly-thin lips to his smooth jawline. The demand for nooboos with those features grew still, and a few more men with similar features cashed in on the market. The end result was a genetically-identical pool of sims who saw nothing weird about it.

“They’re a majority in Simnation now,” Peggy concluded, “So don’t listen to anyone who accuses you of being some inbred southerner, because they’re far more inbred than you swamp demons ever will be.”

“Huh,” Bronson said, flatly, “Do you have the rulebook for the Immortal Dynasty? Lily’s gram keeps it away from us.”

“Sure thing.”



Lily walked in at an opportune moment, while Bronson got the part about portraits and sculptures, which made him wonder how art-hating Hannah got into the family.

“Having fun?” she asked.

“Ever read through your own rules?” Bronson asked.



She sat down and sulked. “Not really. Gram did a small summary when I was young, but she never went further, and I have the worst juice crash ever right now.”

“Well, I’ll just check this out for you,” he said, “Drink some water and see what  you’re working towards.”

“So about the face?” Lily asked.

“DNA donation gone wrong. Apparently they’re a majority of Simnation, peeps like Brenda.”

“Dang,” she said, “Does that make us special?”



Bronson looked up, with a glimmer in his eyes. “I guess so.”

"Well, I'll have something to brag about centuries from now!" Lily then embraced her hooked nose from that day on.



One one rainy, quiet morning, when classes were in the afternoon and breakfast was just cold cereal and a bunch of coffee beans for energy, Lily grabbed the rulebook from its place on the shelf. It wasn’t worth going through the challenge with the whole setup semi-shrouded.



The cushion sank beneath Lily, and she read intently, taking mental notes as well as she could without defacing the book with yellow and hot pink highlighter marks and notes scribbled in the margins.

Jobs: Each immortal must reach the top of a career that no other immortal has reached the top of. This can include everything from being a Power Broker to being the world’s best painter-

For a university student, Lily paid very little attention to that requirement. As much as she bonded with the roar of her chainsaw and the ice shards pelting her face, she never defined herself by her artwork either. Even at university, her street art was restricted to home decoration, so what made her identity?

Her protests? The mask she put on, to look socially-conscious to socially-conscious university students? Performance stimulated her adrenal glands. Crowds were not a force to be feared, but an encouraging mass as she performed. Also, trickery felt so evilly refreshing.

She discussed it with Che one night, avoiding her true feelings about her protests’ causes, considering that he supported them genuinely, but about performance as a viable career choice.



“Bridgeport?” he asked. She pulled up the laconic version of the dynasty rules on her phone, scrolling to the exact line: No one can move out of the house. “I’m stuck in the swamp.”

He still had plenty of ideas brainstormed. “You’re in shape and stuff, so be an acrobat!”

“I can’t stretch, don’t be ridiculous,” she retorted.

“Singer?”

“Like my stepmum? Not happening, hun.”

“Rockstar? Violinist?”

“Not a musical bone in my body. I don’t even know what I like,” Lily said, “Except for tricking people. I mean, like, I really think that optical illusions are neat, and oh my god, I did a whole report on that! Wanna see it?”



She pulled the document up on her phone, right from her CirrusDrive.

“I don’t think we needed this conversation,” Che said, skimming through the paper. “Do magic, get rich, and join the Establishment. Like I care.” He was on the verge of tears, with pink eyes, at the thought of the university’s new Rebel Leader joining the capitalist elite, as she kept her rich family a secret.

As New Simland threw warm spring weather towards the town, the large lake that the university was built on became swimmable, and one clear night, Bronson and Lily finally saw a small island peek out from behind the fog of a rainstorm.

“Never noticed that,” Lily said, “I wanna see it, Bronson-Bear. Like, you know, boat there.”

“Are there even boats here?” Bronson asked.

“Fine, we can swim. I get to see you in your trunks, you get to see me in a bikini, and I think it will be great.”



Dripping wet after a long swim, the two of them sat on the dewy grass without noticing, and took each others’ hands, silently prompting the other to lean in for a look at the hazy sunrise over the university and the tall hills and pine forests that protected the area.



A buoy bobbed as they laughed at Bronson’s inappropriate jokes about his classmate’s blunders with wires, and more jokes about the exotic coffee roast that made Lily see noises. They discussed which professors they dreaded the finals of, pondered why the fraternity brothers always got the nastiest juice in the package store, and pondered more over why they called it a package store over there.

But as their university term winded down, they had dreams and ambitions to face and chase.

“Plans?” she asked Bronson.

“Professor Cronk got me set up with a job as a military engineer. I thought I’d be a police officer like aunt Pansy, but that works too. Plans?” he asked.

“Well, it’s gonna sound a little outlandish, but magician! I read through the rules, I need a job, and you’re right about us being special. I have a face that people think is different, and I’ll be the best performer ever to them just for that.”

“Hey, you have a lot of things to be confident about,” Bronson said, pinching Lily around the waist.

“You’d make a good model too.” She gave him a poke. He felt a lot more firm, perhaps after forgetting to eat while contacting his publishers. “I think we’re gonna do pretty well.”

"I guess that explains why Gram likes you so much," Lily continued, "You're as distinct as they come. And hell, perfection is boring. We'll be one cool immortal family."

It explained a lot about the family, in fact.



They returned to the mainland for a refill on coffee beans, bad breath, and a game of billiards, but while Lily got her vest and shorts back, Bronson was content to flaunt his upper body. Not that Lily was complaining. She deliberately made a bad move or two in gratitude for getting to look at her personal hunk while he aimed for the solid balls.



“Alright, you’re bulking up after this,” she said critically, as she missed the bit of padding her Bronson-Bear had.



So finals week kicked off with gym sessions instead.



And lots of encouragement from Lily, too.



When they both passed, with Lily making the Dean’s List, she leaped into Bronson’s arms, hugging him around the neck. “I’d fail if I were here alone, honey,” she said.



“Yeah, I’d be valedictorian if I wasn’t so distracted,” he said to himself, enjoying the feel of the back of Lily’s knees as he supported her.





That evening, they exited the annex with their futures rolled up and tied with a ribbon and seal for easy carrying. Those crazy kids survived University, with the cleanest, brightest Waverly future ahead of them.



Bronson ensured that bright future when they got home.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,646
Word Count so far: 86,917

The bit about poor Gage Briody stems from when I once wanted to fool around with some sliders, opened him up in CAS, and noticed that he had the dreaded EA clone-face. What a waste! Then I thought it would be a nice way to explain how the game produces those clones, I guess. I forgot to give an in-story reason to the family's strict policies on spouses before this. Oops.
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 54, 6/15)
« Reply #252 on: June 15, 2014, 09:54:44 PM »
So that's why we have so many clone faces! Darn you, Gage! :P At least Lily and Bronson can rest assured that their future nooboo will be anything but generic. Congrats to the two of them on a job well done at Uni and on their engagement!

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 54, 6/15)
« Reply #253 on: June 15, 2014, 10:48:45 PM »
Woo!  That was fun, Trip!  And I loved that explanation!  It totally makes sense lol.  To echo Raia, congrats to Bronson and Lily, both on their University accomplishments and to their engagements.  I can't wait to see Lily as a magician!

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 54, 6/15)
« Reply #254 on: June 15, 2014, 11:01:06 PM »
That was a fun read; I think 54 is my new favorite chapter.