Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 177655 times)

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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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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.


“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.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 55, 6/16)
« Reply #255 on: June 16, 2014, 11:47:25 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!

At least he meant well! And Bronson's genes could overcome the Gage Strain anyways, given their track record. :P

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!

Lily was such an awesome magician. I didn't want to completely redo the last dynasty attempt I had before the Waverlys, where my third generation was a magician, but the potential for screenshots and outfits was too awesome to ignore!

That was a fun read; I think 54 is my new favorite chapter.

I actually wrote it in a very short amount of time while high on some adrenaline kick. I thought it would be crap, but I'm glad you liked it.

Chapter 55: A Curious Betrothal

“Bronson, you sly dog!”

“I just couldn’t help myself,” he said, holding up the box and its glittering diamond ring tucked inside, “Who knows who would swipe you up otherwise?”

“Come on, I’d put up a heck of a fight,” Lily said.

“So, will you?” he asked, almost teary-eyed.

“Yes! Yes, yes, yes!”

It was settled, Lily would be the future Mrs. Bronson Curious. Yes, his surname. Lily smiled right through it, even at the thought of being  Curious, until she remembered that her grandpa Bill was a Racket, and her grandma Annette was still a Waverly. And Hannah was a Carlton and not a Clay, Julian was a Bull and not a Rotter, and heck, Bronson was not Mr. Bronson Baker.

“I thought taking the wife’s name was a thing,” she whispered while in a congratulatory embrace.

“Really?” Bronson asked, “I guess I wanted to spice up things for my avant-garde babe.”

“I like to way you think,” she said, raising one eyebrow, “Glad to have you.”

However, earlier that day and before their engagement, Lily walked into the crossfire of a serious family conversation.

Before that, she walked in the door to an eager Hephaestus, who wanted to see the fancy paper she got for completing her degree, and he asked her if she saw any ghosts on campus. Nothing about wild parties or cute girls or the things that Lily learned, but ghosts.

“No, everyone had to go through safety training when we arrived,” she said, “It worked well.”

As a knowledgeable university graduate, Lily sat down on the floor cross-legged, with her stepbrother holding a notebook of algebra problems in her direction. She dismissed his comments about ghosts and guided him through solving for x instead. Chiding him for not getting a haircut was for later, or for Franco to issue under the guise of fashion advice.

Of course, Lily had to greet Julian again too, with a friendly hug when he got back from work, and with a pile of clippings from the student newspaper. Her protests got coverage, after all. Julian held Lily in for a rib-crushing bear hug upon seeing her follow in his rebellious, regrettable footsteps.

“Good job, flower,” he whispered.

“So, what do you know about ghosts?” Lily asked.

“Oh gawd, you got a dose of that too?”

“That’s a recurring thing?”

Julian went to the park after work, mostly because Lita found that her kids could run around at the park and not break any valuables at home, and there was nothing wrong with more Julian in her life either. While he tickled his youngest son, Hephaestus came back from his inventing table to play tag with Horace and Kelley, the older Coddlelings. Hephaestus, like any kid who had access to his step-grandmother’s homemade desserts and intense sugar rushes, could run at full speed for an hour without getting tired. However, he eventually petered out and spoke to Julian one evening.

“I hear things,” Hephaestus whispered.

“Things?” Julian asked, with an open ear to the child’s imagination. Just imagination.

“I heard your mum and dad last night, chattering,” Hephaestus and Julian both leaned in towards each other, though the way that Hephaestus’ ramblings dipped into the supernatural world made Julian’s knees nearly buckle. Only the will to keep his toddler from pummeling towards the ground with him kept Julian on his feet.

“They’re pretty mad that you’re not caring for your children.” Julian, if not for the fact he was told that by an elementary school student, could have socked Hephaestus right there for that. How could he do better with caring for Lita and the kids? Actually living with them, or putting a ring on Lita’s finger?

Then he remembered that Hephaestus was a tiny ball of magic, and that Franco spent his mornings at the gym, chained the weight machine at his age. He sternly put Tomas down on the picnic blanket that an exhausted Lita reclined on, forgot to kiss his woman good-bye, and drove Hephaestus home while clenching his teeth and making indents on the steering wheel by grasping so hard.

They came home to Hannah washing her makeup off after a public appearance, and ready to slip into her silk nightgown and finish that Breaking Bad show that Lily couldn’t stop talking about. Julian tapped her on the shoulder, signaling that he needed to talk.

“Ghosts,” he said bluntly.

“Yeah, he talks about those a lot,” Hannah said, looking towards the ground in dejection. Hephaestus already was halfway to bed, changing into jeans and a t-shirt, and walking around with his eyes darting around the entire house, as if spectres flew in and out of the walls like migrating birds.

“Okay, he really talks about them a lot.”

Hannah and Heph found some solidarity over watching television, albeit Boy Meets World instead of Workaholics, and he blurted out very strange observations on some occasions. Audio skipped once? Ghosts. Hannah sneezed? Ghosts. He told elaborate stories about the ancestors he was told about, such as how he heard old Shark getting a cup of yoghurt from the fridge and running the chainsaw one night. And to Julian, about Amy, because Franco had to explain who made some of the paintings in the house to Hephaestus, and the boy's imagination ran with it.

As strange as it was, she and Franco brushed his behavior off as harmless, and goaded the school counselor into diagnosing Hephaestus with an overactive imagination, especially seeing that he was otherwise harmless and a bright student.

“I think he’s perfect no matter what,” she said, almost dismissively, “And you’re gonna be stuck with him for longer, so get used to it.”

As time went on, Lily and Bronson made wedding preparations for a wonderful night, including Lily inviting some university friends over, even though only one reciprocated the invitation. But having Shannon Arkers was good enough in the end; she could party hard for a jaded veteran of ROTC. Then Shannon said that she wanted to catch up with some of her university classmates and that she needed Franco to do one bad thing in the back of the movie theatre with her.

Hannah quickly gave the two clearance. Nothing wrong with a little stepkid to brag about as if they were blood family.

Franco let out a groan and closed his eyes tightly for the job.

His only relief was that Shannon was as sickened by the experience as he was.

While Lily’s female friends set up for a bachelorette party at The Dance Club Formerly Known as The Grind, Lily got ahead with her life in some way: making wilted flowers appear. Now, that wasn’t just half as amazing as not producing flowers out of thin air, but pathetic enough to make the festival workers chuckle a bit before the first festival goers arrived.

“Swamp moss!” she cursed, throwing her magic wand to the ground. However, it was the only performance art she had a chance in, because protesters didn’t believe in employment or capital.

“Keep at it, girl!” Annette said, pointing and cheering, “I’m not going to party with a sad bachelorette tonight.”

“It’s your work day, Gram,” Lily said, picking up her supplies.

“Save me some juice, then.”

The party started as many a bachelorette party did; a party dancer and the bride-to-be waited for their drinks.

Unlike a layperson who went to the party for the sake of fun, Mr. Stan Dingstill did not necessarily need juice to wiggle his behind, but he kept it on the counter just in case he needed to recharge. Lily watched him languidly. Not that men in speedos were a bad thing, but he wasn’t her Bronson-Bear. Too pale, too plain in the face, and too thin.

Good, considering that Bronson stole some bubbles behind Lily’s back while she celebrated her last night of unmarried bliss. Not bliss, though. Impatience? Being Mrs. Bronson Curious sounded like a better next step than throwing simoleons at Stan.

“Hey shake yourself elsewhere,” Lily said, “Bridal orders, you know.”

“Those Ball girls are paying hourly for me. Come on, why don’t you get a piece of this?” He gyrated in her direction, to the beat of some Ladytron.

“No, I’m firing you!” she said, ready to kick Stan’s butt instead of inquisitively ogle it, “Grab your drink and lemme have the party I want.”

“Good,” Annette said to her a few minutes later, shortly after arriving at the party, “They need to get some dancers with meat on their bones next time if they want my hard-earned tips. Bronson-esque sounds good.”

Lily had a better climax for the night. After all, she didn’t pay for Shannon’s airfare just so she could get impregnated.

“Alright, alright,” Shannon said, “I’m the only one who got to know the real Lily Waverly. I went to college with the real one.”

“I can’t believe that she’s selling out so quickly. Marrying this guy before she’s 30.”

“Oh, you’d do it too,” Lily said, daydreaming about her knight in violet armor.

“Point taken, but what a sad ending to our rebel darling, right?”

“Oh well,” Shannon said, as she shook a bottle of champagne, “If I have to send you off, I’m doing it right.”

“To the bride!”

Lily licked the nectar around her mouth. “Dad’s gonna hate me for wasting good champagne,” she said to herself. Alas, he spent the night painting and wasn’t there to mourn his good drinks.

As for Hephaestus, he sculpted to the sound of whatever projected into his vision, and out again, whoever spoke to him on a special wavelength, and whoever could speak up over a banging hammer and the slight purr of the blowtorch.

Word Count for this chapter: 1,621
Word Count so far: 88,538

Franco and Shannon...that was a long time ago and I forget why I made it happen, but he fathered a son with her, and the only reason I mentioned it was because Shannon's son and generation four went to university together.

He did it through a rabbithole tour, so the game didn't consider it cheating. *shrugs*
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 55, 6/16)
« Reply #256 on: June 16, 2014, 11:59:03 PM »
So wait...other than Lily, how many nooboos did Franco father?! There must be a ton of pink kids running around Twinbrook.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 55, 6/16)
« Reply #257 on: June 17, 2014, 12:59:55 AM »
Oh my XD Wait, so you must have invited Shannon to the homeworld right?  Got her pregnant, then sent her back? 

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 55, 6/16)
« Reply #258 on: June 17, 2014, 02:39:14 AM »
Good thing the Sims automatically prevents you from going for incestuous relationships :P If it were real life I think there would be a real danger that some of Franco's babies hooked up - what with the relative small size of the population.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 55, 6/16)
« Reply #259 on: June 17, 2014, 11:27:59 AM »
Woah, how did I forget two images? Anyways, re-read the chap chapter because there are two images of Hephaestus and Lily that I initially forgot.

New chapter should come soon, though. :)

So wait...other than Lily, how many nooboos did Franco father?! There must be a ton of pink kids running around Twinbrook.

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Some of his kids were purple and teal too.

But I lost count of his extra kids. I think it was around 30? I got very bored at times, and Jo's dad couldn't keep up in numbers.

Oh my XD Wait, so you must have invited Shannon to the homeworld right?  Got her pregnant, then sent her back? 


Good thing the Sims automatically prevents you from going for incestuous relationships :P If it were real life I think there would be a real danger that some of Franco's babies hooked up - what with the relative small size of the population.

Considering how badly my family tree broke, I'm very lucky that there were no kissing  among Franco's kids. Kissing cousins was a different matter. ;)
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 56, 6/18)
« Reply #260 on: June 18, 2014, 12:52:33 AM »
Chapter 56: The Not-So-Curious New Curious

A crisp spring breeze rolled through Twinbrook on the night of Lily’s wedding, breaking up the 80% humidity that the swamp released that day. The grass of the lawn stood alone without a blanket of snow, and the roads were dry and safe. Lily zipped up her dress and adjusted it around her chest, just to make sure that the sleeveless garment stayed in place for the ceremony.

Everyone left for the fishing hole half an hour before, but Franco was still asleep, as a short nap in his formal coat turned into a long sleep while still in his formal coat. The back of it was surely wrinkled. Lily came close to physically pushing the fat old man off his bed and whipping out her megaphone to drive the point home. She had less than two hours until she had to recite her vows, and Franco still loudly snored.

However, before he took his nap, he made it clear that his alarm would sound at the right time, and urged Lily and company to not wake him up themselves.

Livid, she shut the door quietly. He better have had alarm ringing within the next ten minutes.

Emulating her grandmother, her stepmother-in-law, and her future husband took the edge off Lily’s mood, as she laughed at either Shannon’s pre-wedding snack or Hephaestus fighting another spirit that crossed his path. She should have been past any stage jitters, considering her profession, but the arch at the end of the deck glared at her tougher than any stage in Simnation could, harsher than any spotlight.

In the distance, Bronson fought with Julian over his hat, and his fashion sense in general. Bronson shared his preference for formalwear with Annette: avoid it whenever possible. Annette was a lost cause, to the point where Lily would welcome her in her nightshirt to the ceremony, but Bronson sometimes closed his eyes and wrestled himself into a blazer. He always said that the shoulders weren’t big enough and that big and tall sizes still awkwardly clothed him, but he could tolerate a blazer. When he did just that, coming to the fishing hole in his good blazer, Julian accused him of not doing good enough.

“It’s your wedding! Only a few sims get to experience this,” Julian said, nearly hissing.

“I look great,” Bronson said, checking his jacket in the mirror. At that point, Lily peered in through the door to the wash/dressing room, where the two of them fought in front of the mirror.

“It’s wrinkled,” said Julian.

“Don’t care.” Julian then snatched the beanie from Bronson’s head.

“Well, you’re not gonna wear this dirty thing if I can help it.”

“Hey, give it back,” Bronson said, reaching and grappling for his hat, “It’s violet and purple and fits the color scheme just fine.”

“At basically anywhere but your own wedding!”

Bronson then lunged at Julian, pinning the slender guy to the floor at the arms and lower back, and snatching his beanie back with ease. That would teach Julian to mess with a military man. As for Lily, that was the man she would marry, and she wouldn’t trade his strength and casual fashion for anything.

She walked up the aisle, to a Bronson staring obliviously under the arch, perhaps at the spring blossoms on the willow trees. That time of the year again. The wind picked up pollen and tickled Lily’s nose, and she squashed flower petals beneath her kitten-heels.

“Looking good,” she whispered to him.

“Same to you.”

Shannon still had to let Lily’s quick jump into the married life sink in.

“Well, I can easily start. Lily Amherst Waverly, when I first met you, you were one of the only people to stick around long enough to deal with me. And it seems like you have a good track record of doing that. And I get to see you in your underwear all the time now!” In contrast to his ending sentence, Bronson’s fingers shook as he pinched the tiny ring between his thick fingers, and his toothy smile inspired Lily to smile too.

If, like many brides, smile with goofy lovesickness. However, Lily almost jumped right there as the metal band slipped on her finger, though she stayed down. Her head would hit the arch if she jumped as far as her excitement could launch her.

“Bronson Robert Curious, if I could keep up with nearly floating with pure joy whenever I saw you for all the years we’ve known each other, I think I can keep this up too. I want to still squeal with happiness when we’re 90.” She nearly dropped the ring, and cried as she wriggled it on Bronson’s finger. At least Hephaestus acted the same in the background.

The whole exchange made Hannah weep in ecstasy.

And so Lily, the avant-garde rebel, became the youngest bride of the dynasty, and the only immortal to legally take a much different name. Her adherence to romantic tradition was nothing short of curious.

Because Lily loved quickly, once, and only for one man. Like your average dynasty’s bride.

Tradition certainly made the eyes of the viewing audience well up, and it absolutely was not the pollen count that night. Those friends and family.

From proud in-laws…

...To overjoyed friends and adoptees.

“Alright, alright, ceremony’s over, get me a martini,” Annette said, after a yawn.

While Annette got her drinks, Hannah couldn’t have enough for her son’s antics, but she stayed awake and strong for him. Maybe where really was a stray spectre he had to catch.

The new couple danced into the morning hours. But one person was curiously missing from the celebration.

Franco then learned the value of differentiating his AMs from his PMs when setting alarms. He woke up early in the morning, to an empty house and still in the confines of his trenchcoat. His phone read 5:02 AM.

And for the whole car ride, he frantically composed an apology. How could he miss something like that?

When Lily spotted her father’s houndstooth coat in the distance, she let go of Bronson and hit the remote to turn the stereo off. “It’s a pretty serious matter,” she said, with her new husband nodding in agreement.

“Dad?” she asked, as he walked up the stairs.

“Look, flower, it was a very bad mistake-”

“How can someone as old and wise as you mix up time that stupidly?!” Her abruptness sent Franco aback. “Unlike you, I’m only doing this once. You, missed, that.”

“You don’t hate me, Lily, do you?” he asked.

“I haaaaaaaaaattte you right now,” she hissed.

In a mood whiplash, Lily found herself quickly on the rebound. Her true love waited at home.

Franco, however, moped around the house after that as he always did, though he picked up a few DVDs for himself and just himself. Breaking Bad. He overheard Hannah and Lily’s reaction to the season four finale, and later to Hannah tightly keep any spoilers about season five when Lily had no time for the last season, between her sculpting and magic.

So Franco holed himself up in his bedroom with a laptop and the first four seasons, with the New Mexican deserts and chemistry gone mad as his only stimulation. Hannah couldn’t morally tear a new Breaking Bad away from the show, so she merely dropped off meals and coffee to Franco as he binge-watched hours and hours of Walter White’s saga.

Franco was hardly lucid by the time he was done with it, but the two DVDs to season five were hidden in his box of painting supplies. If he had the time, and if Lily had time intersecting, he had the perfect way to apologize to her.

Hannah’s career was winding down in her old age, and for Franco, it presented a bright and sunny forecast full of woohoo and long walks on the beach, but only after about a month of Hannah saying good-bye to her fans. A last EP, last concerts, last sing-a-grams. If he made no mistakes, he’d follow her the entire way, but Breaking Bad called a little louder than his wife’s literal siren-song.

He plugged in the DVD player to the wide-screen television, and waited for Lily to wake up. When she came down the stairs, the extended theme of the show played over the DVD’s main menu.

“You want me to catch up with you?” she asked, only for her vision to clear. The list of season five’s episodes glowed on the screen.

“Way ahead of you,” he said with a smirk.

For the days they watched it, the two didn’t get dressed. The ending of each episode left both of their heartbeats too rapid to fall asleep with. Franco and Lily laughed and cried together, from “Live Free or Die” to “Felina.”

Well, hey, I believe that a good story can bridge some pretty bad rifts.

Word Count for this chapter: 1,485
Word Count so far: 90,023

Breaking Bad might bring families together, but be like Franco and save it for your adult children. It is not suitable for young viewers.

I never bother with the groom's formalwear, but I probably should have put Bronson in something a little more fancy than a blazer and trousers.
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 56, 6/18)
« Reply #261 on: June 18, 2014, 01:55:30 AM »
No!  That was a perfect wedding! lol I liked his wedding attire.  It was very him ^^  Oh Franco... how could you miss your daughter's wedding!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 57, 6/19)
« Reply #263 on: June 19, 2014, 06:06:32 PM »
No!  That was a perfect wedding! lol I liked his wedding attire.  It was very him ^^  Oh Franco... how could you miss your daughter's wedding!

It was pretty much perfect. I generally liked Bronson's formalwear, but I don't think a lot of wedding planners would. :P

I power watched Breaking Bad on Netflix. I can relate.

I basically copied-and-pasted my Breaking Bad experience into that chapter. My dad and I watched the entire series earlier this year, but we don't have a Netflix subscription, so we relied on library DVDs.

Chapter 57: Orange Stage Lights & Lilac Lunacy

"Wanna see a trick?" Lily asked her stepbrother. Her hands were empty, except for a small bulge under her wristband.


“A little whisper here,” she placed her hand right close to his ear and flicked her wrist in just the right motion.”

“Ta-da!” Lily pulled a half-simoleon coin from behind Hephaestus’ ear, “Too bad it’s a stage-show tonight. No volunteers.”

“You have a show tonight?” he asked. Lily nodded. “I’ve only been talking about it for weeks. It’s my first big show!”

“It’s my birthday, Lily. And I can always call upon someone to hex you if you miss it,” Hephaestus said slyly, “They’re pretty adamant about their ability to hex you. Ghost-witches.” He said it with conviction, with his arms akimbo and his eyes closed confidently.

“Yeah, sure,” Lily shook a bit in her tone.

“Mum says that my dad was a ghost-witch.” he continued.

She immediately found Hannah preening upstairs or just admiring at her scrawny old body in a tankini for the upcoming pool party, and Lily lightly slapped her across the face. “Don’t enable him!” she snapped.

“Geez, tigerlily, I know you know that I care about you and your feelings. But I’m not going to spend my last days hating my son for being a little different.” Hannah’s eyelids lowered as she gave Lily a stern look from behind her big sunglasses. “It’s an overactive imagination and that’s what you’ll hold until Grim takes my son away.”

“Whatever you say, Ms. C.,” Lily said, dismissively.

Regardless of Lily's worries, she regretted not being able to celebrate Heph’s teen birthday, especially because it coincided with the grand opening of the newly renovated Twinbrook Community Pool. All done under her guidance! She could list other reasons too, such as Hephaestus being family and everything, and how her friends and half-siblings would be there.

The biggest reason, unfortunately, ran in the opposite direction to get the towels he forgot at the house. Married to someone else or not, missing a few hours of Julian in a speedo made Lily borderline-mournful.

So she sent Hephaestus and the family to the pool, with the request that they tell her how the rooftop bar design worked out.

At that point, everyone’s least concern was that Hephaestus insisted on wearing full pants to the party, especially after he got sent home for showing to school in his swimming shorts a few weeks prior. Plus, Hannah bought him some teenage swim trunks in case he changed his mind. So, fully-clad, Heph leaned over with a wish and enough breath to extinguish three candles.

He was still pretty pumped for the party, especially because his request for the full Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 to be played over the stereo system was respected and carried out. Plus, his cousins were there for him, as well as aunt Carmen, and that Shannon chick that Lily was friends with who came over for a surprise visit. They just took a while to find the roof.

Meanwhile, Lily got pumped about something else. Orange stage lights focused on her and illuminated the stage, making her stand out against the Twinbrook twilight. She pushed the audience, motioning at them to cheer along.

At first, she had two people to convince, and they were both distant family. Shark’s son with Sofia, Homer, and his niece, Charla.

They cheered at her card trick, and one old lady passing by decided to stand near the stage for the rest of the show, clapping at the end of each trick. The elderly proprietor looked on and nodded while Lily conjured up objects from nothing (in reality, her gloves had quite a bit of room), stacking her up against all of the magicians they saw in their years. Her form was close to seamless, especially for a rookie.

Except for the appearing birds trick. Someone messed with the rig and filled it with rubber ducks, to the horror of Lily. The proprietor took pity on her and turned down the stage lights, and everything blended into the darkness of Twinbrook for a few brief seconds. The audience was none the wiser.

Meanwhile, Lily remembered that she also was missing her husband in his swim trunks, and that she had to make a reminder to have him possibly wear them around the house the next day to make it up to her. She missed his laugh too.

However, avoiding Hannah in her tankini was worth it.

Hopefully her little stepbrother escaped intact after seeing all of the saggy old people in their swimwear. Well, he probably did. He considered the night “a great finish.” So there were two great finishes.

Lily ended her show to a round of applause and a critical-if-mostly-positive review from the proprietor.

And Hephaestus finished of his childhood by becoming--well, even by the admission of me and my lack of understanding over what makes for an attractive man--completely stunning. He had a long battle with Franco over the long hair and his fine little puberty-induced moustache, though. While Franco almost ripped a razor from Lily’s hand a generation beforehand, he held a straight-edge razor up to Hephaestus’ face, in order to attempt to save him from the embarrassment of bad teenage facial hair.

“Look, son, I regretted having a soul-patch in high school. You’ll hate your yearbook photos too if you keep that caterpillar on your upper lip,” Franco said.

“Facial hair is how I keep in touch with the spiritual world.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works-”

“I’ve been given a decree to never cut my hair and that’s final, Franco,” Hephaestus said, “Now if you excuse me, there’s a water nymph in the pool and I need to wrangle it. She’s telling me that cousin Felix hates me and that can’t be true!” He was halfway to the pool before Franco noticed that he forgot a crucial part of the makeover.

“Wait, your pants!” Franco yelled, throwing a pair of weathered jeans three waist-sizes too big in Heph’s direction.

“Pants are a way to keep my body hindered to this physical world,” said Hephaestus, sneering.

“I’m not bailing you out on public indecency charges, and your mum will do that only once or twice.”

“What about that kilt?” As he said, a kilt in dark purple tartan hung out of the dresser drawer.

“Are you kidding me?”

“We both win in this case.”

And from that day on, Hephaestus had a beautiful kilt, in his favorite lilac and dark purple, keeping him in good standing with the public and law, as long as he didn’t open his legs when sitting down. ‘Tis the struggle of wearing skirts above the knee.

However, Franco’s insistence on covering up meant that Heph’s water nymph escaped him, though. He anxiously looked around the pool, in both the lit-up paths of the pool lights and the dark water that Lily didn’t install pool lights for. All the while, he failed to change his clothes before jumping into the pool.

Hannah ate some cake through the whole ordeal, though she looked down once towards the pool and vaguely made out the figure of Hephaestus treading water in a vest and kilt. She smiled slightly and muttered “that’s my boy” to herself. Full of cake and aching joints, she took herself to the hot tub and rested her back against a jet of water, craning her neck backwards and letting the jacuzzi take care of the worst parts of old age.

“Honey, come on!” she cried out to Hephaestus, “Aunt Annette and I need some company.”

“Hold on, let me change,” he said.

While his usual outfits were ill-fitted for swimming, Hephaestus prefered his bare feet and the wet mud, the rough gravel and the occasional glass shards fighting against them, so he had no shoes to fill with water. When it came to winterwear, he had a limit and made sure there were tall boots on hand for him. Except that his winterwear was very rarely winterwear, and that night, it was a good fit for the hot tub.

“Feels pretty good,” he said, oblivious to how much his coat absorbed the water and chlorine.

“Hannah-” Annette said.

“He’s fine, Nettie. Did that nymph get away?” she asked her son.

“Yeah. I’ll give her a piece of my mind one day though.”

Lily was too busy giving an encore, winning the approval of her audience and uncle Ricky, Carmen’s twin, who lived across the street and needed to see what all the noise was about. Aglow after a great show, Lily came home to hear the party re-capped secondhand, through Julian and his disparaging “the kid is nuts, Lily” attitude, with a pinch of a “Hannah’s losing her mind too, poor old lady” attitude.

“He is a little eccentric,” she said, “I don’t think it’s dangerous, but it does sound like Hannah has some horse-blinders on. How old is she now, anyways?”

“I dunno,” Julian said, “Old. I think she’s feeling her age, or else she’d realize that she actually had to give a darn about her son’s mental health. I ain’t taking that burden.”

“She’s busy too,” Lily said, “Speaking of mental health, does Lita have a tendency to get extreme pregnancy brain?”

“Yeah. Why?”

Lily’s other problem that night was a little stage intruder. Lita was in the area, for a nice stroll around Twinbrook while her mother had the kids, and maybe in hopes of finding Julian at the pool to appreciate him in his speedo. Distracted by flashing orange lights and the rush of pregnancy hormones, Lita wandered onto the stage to check out the stage props. Julian wasn’t even in her mind at that point, not when Lily had giant cards painted onto balsa wood.

“So what did you do?” Julian asked.

“I told her off, duh.”

“I would have been more delicate.”

“Relax. I made sure that she got home safely too, but you might want to wear that speedo around her next time. She thinks it’s a good idea.”

Julian heard plenty about Hephaestus after that night, especially after Kelley, his son, ran into Heph at the Elixir Store for a study-session and instead got an earful about the restless painter who walked Twinbrook in hopes of finding her son again. He went deep into the details, from the color of her coat (black, and it was a wraparound winter coat with a blue scarf tucked in) to the sound of her voice (beneath the ghostly echo, a mezzo-soprano with a thick southern accent). After that, Kelley lodged a complaint to his father, who long since gave up trying to wrangle Hephaestus.

However, Hephaestus sometimes wrangled himself. True to his namesake, he kept his interest in blowtorches and metalworking high, even as the whirr of his stepsister’s chainsaw sometimes lured him to the glass door of the studio to watch.

That would be him, one day.

Word Count for this chapter: 1,823
Word Count so far: 91,846

The kilt is technically CC because it's an age-conversion of the one from Dragon Valley. I used very little CC in this file, but the ability for Hephaestus to wear kilts from teenhood onward was very important to me.
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 57, 6/19)
« Reply #264 on: June 19, 2014, 08:04:10 PM »
Heph is awesome. Period. I've always loved the unique personalities you've given your characters, but he really takes the cake.

What gets me the most, how in the world did someone that adorable come out of Tay Bayless?!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 57, 6/19)
« Reply #265 on: June 19, 2014, 08:24:33 PM »
Heph is awesome. Period. I've always loved the unique personalities you've given your characters, but he really takes the cake.

What gets me the most, how in the world did someone that adorable come out of Tay Bayless?!

What Raia said! lol

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 58, 6/22)
« Reply #267 on: June 22, 2014, 01:26:14 PM »
Heph is awesome. Period. I've always loved the unique personalities you've given your characters, but he really takes the cake.

What gets me the most, how in the world did someone that adorable come out of Tay Bayless?!

What Raia said! lol

And Thirded!

Glad to see that we're all in agreement! ;)

Heph was great, period, though he is a hard character to write. Soon I need to find a way to work in the fact that, in spite of being out of his mind, he was intelligent, talented, and downright sweet at times. It's hard because his insanity liked to overshadow that in the game. :P He was fun to play no matter what.

As for his adorableness, it was entirely unexpected. I'm thanking Sofia! She's a difficult sim to woo and Try for Baby with, but Hannah and Hephaestus got a lot from her and it worked very well. I'm willing to say that Hephaestus was one of the best-looking men in the dynasty.

Chapter 58: Old Bones

Time, as it does, went on. And as unusual as it was for the family, there was a point where it went on very well.

A small flame traveled up Lily’s fingers, thanks to a Bic lighter she hid in her glove. Life went on especially well for her, as her performances drew crowds, and her sculptures done back at home sold for more and more. Her life glowed as orange as her professional jacket.

Well, half-brother Felix still booed her. Lily felt bad for the kid; he was uglier than his mum and harder to please than his dad. She still performed her card trick for the crowd, but Felix wasn’t biting.

“You didn’t make it to my mum’s funeral,” he said, after the show. Carmen peacefully passed away a month prior.

“She was my dad’s ex. I didn’t need to care, did I? Turn your frown upside-down, kiddo.”

She also settled into married life with Bronson very well, disregarding an erratic work schedule on his behalf.

He was under the impression that being a military engineer meant that he didn’t have to work for days on end, never had to move towns, and that his weight-lifting was purely a hobby for him, but that was not the case. He worked from 5AM to whenever the work was done, or whenever General Landgraab got off the phone. His superior, more than once, suggested that Bronson stop mooching off his wife’s rich family and instead replant her and himself in Moonlight Falls, which was greeted with a punch to the face. Annette’s bribe money saved his job after that, but time that Bronson could have spent outside of work was instead spent corresponding with some inane fusion of magic and technology that only Moonlight Falls could devise. And Bronson often was the one to lift the heavy machinery, due to his immense biceps.

It gave Lily a little more time to devote to her job, without the distraction of the hunk in violet 10 feet away. Still, she sometimes slept alone, clutching his pillow in a pathetic attempt to feel like her Bronson-Bear was there for cuddles.

Granted, Bronson got out one night just in time for a nighttime pool session, and his adult birthday too. Even Jane Kindle cheered, which meant that she was officially a good in-law.

Not much changed about Bronson, except that he outgrew his beanie, letting his curls run free and fight with the world. When Franco saw Bronson pick up a violet button-up shirt, he nearly cried at his son-in-law’s new maturity.

Julian, however, threw a legitimate pool party not too long later. Lily ran up the stairs with her sprinter’s gait before Julian even lit the candles, just to get one last long look at him bending over in that speedo. The little things she would miss.

The whole family joined in time to see Julian’s youth one last time; Hephaestus was out and at home, studying for a calculus exam. He did very well in the subject, but he handled every bit of schoolwork with care.

When not distracted, that was.

Julian went to the dresser to ditch his skull prints, in trade for a simple tucked-in shirt. He still kept his hair close-shaved and short, and never opted for contacts.

Well, it wasn’t like Lita minded it.

There were other things Lita had to not mind too.

Lita’s half-sister, Nicole, was very happily single after a long, unpleasant relationship with Miguel Whelohff, but the two of them never had children. She and Lita agreed to share Julian for a little bit, and Francisco Racket came out of the agreement, with his mother’s grey eyes and his grandma Amy’s black and blue hair.

As long as everyone was happy with the arrangement, all it meant was more lovely half-siblings/cousins for the Coddle children.

Life went on. People aged. And for the mortals, they felt things like mortality.

One morning, Franco and Hannah slept in. He retired long before then, she did the same more recently, and the two of them woke up later and later in the morning. Even Twinbrook’s summer heat could not rouse the two lovebirds from the comfort of the grey, printed comforter in the morning.

In spite of his perpetual old age, Franco still got out of bed without help, and Hannah usually could do the same, even though her age started to show against her husband’s. The folds of her forehead wrinkles were deeper, and she walked slower behind him when they went out on the town. Her blue eyes stayed, though, sparkling in the light and always giving Franco a sultry, flirty gaze whenever they were within 30 feet of each other. But there was no denying that Hannah was old. She lay in bed that morning as Franco got up, even though she lay there awake.

“Gonna sleep for a little bit?” Franco asked.

“No,” she said, “I’m embarrassed to say what it is.”

“I’m not here to judge you, darling.”

“I need you to help me up,” she said.

Franco grabbed Hannah’s wrists and gave her a pull until she was upright. “That’s good?” he asked.

“Yep. Got the problem areas up.”

Franco watched her as she slowly got up from bed, as the rest of Hannah was still wracked with stiffness. Even with her skin growing saggy and less supple, and her streaky hair messed up from a night of sleep, she was still the beauty of Franco’s life, from the lines in her forehead to her thin calves.

“Any plans for today?” he asked, “Inside, outside, whatever you want. Or I can leave you alone and get woozy off the paint fumes.”

“Anything but the last one,” she said, “We’re both out of work, now, and I have to be the mortal one. I’m not going to hang around art just to be around my marshmallow.”

“Fair enough. Mum might have some breakfast for us.”

True to Franco’s word, a plate of pancakes for two or three sat on the counter, next to soft butter that was close to melting in the summer heat, and a glass bottle of maple syrup. After so many years, Annette’s cooking never tasted stale, and the two of them would have been content to remain silent and devote all of their energy to enjoying the fluffy pancakes. But Hannah’s hand shook a bit as she held her fork, and her slow motions caught up with her mind.

“Dangit, Franco,” she said, “I’m old.”

“Is this the part where I say that you’re just a sexy silver fox? You still get to be a vixen in that case.”

“I know I still got it, but I’m the mortal one and these old bones are bugging me. I just wanted to lay down a couple of things before I leave.” While she said that, Franco looked down at his plate, shifting around a piece of pancake he cut off with his fork. He did it all in silence.

“I know you’d rather not hear it, but I’m very old now. Stop lying to yourself. And if I’m gone before Hephaestus turns 18, you’re his legal guardian. I love him so dearly, and, well, I love your family too, but there is a disconnect. Please don’t try and treat him. I don’t want my nooboo wasting away in the psych ward.” Hannah cried at that sentence. “I want him to have a loving family and a spot in this house.”

“He’s my kid too, more or less,” Franco said, “I’ll act in his best interests. I mean, I’ll probably have to put up with a lot of weirdness throughout my life, so Hephaestus is a practice run. One with love and kindness because he’s really a great kid. So, anything else?”

“Not even a question. I know that you hate to be alone. I’ll look in the other direction or haunt Starlight Shores when I’m gone and you’re with someone else. Honest.”


“Absolutely honest.”

“But let’s keep these thoughts of death out of our mind right now. I’ll skip the gym today because there’s some other physical activity on the table,” he said, winking.

For the sake of his sanity, Franco kept the possibility of losing his precious Hannah out of his mind, especially when he put his hand on her waist and ran his fingers across the smooth silk of her nighty. Her smile and her laugh were as immortal as he was, as long as he thought very hard to keep them that way.

So when, one afternoon, Hannah watched some television and felt light in the head, Franco’s thoughts about how immortal Hannah had to be crashed down as quickly as Hannah floated up.

It surprised her too, considering that she got out of bed and down the stairs herself that day. She lazily spent it watching television, but that was because Franco was painting instead. The spark of life still flickered inside her when she changed the channel to AMC, but it fell and burnt out, leaving Hannah light as a feather and spiritually disemboweled, in a sense.

Soon the whole family heard her death, and the spectral vacuum-esque noise that alerted everyone of it.

Hephaestus could not quite bridge reality with his own delusions at that point. How could this spectre exist, with a face he easily recognized, and that other people noticed and mourned for? Worse yet, how could it be his mother? Who was calling her back, dad?

“Why?” he asked. He didn’t even have that long until he turned 18. Hannah told him that she wanted to see him graduate, like any mother would.

Lily, ready to go out for more street performance, caught sight of Hannah instead, in glowing grey instead of olive and aqua. Wasn’t she the same woman she fought as a teenager? The same woman who cried at her wedding? Throughout it all, Hannah was almost “mother,” and probably the last thing keeping Franco from spending all day curled up in a fetal position with the blinds down and lights off in his bedroom.

“Good-bye” Lily said, quiet and choked.

Hannah greeted Grim with a smile and slowly turned towards her urn on the ground. The Reaper almost goaded Hannah into begging or saying last words to him, but all she needed was a quiet “Oh yeah, I get to tell Carmen that I told her so.”

But with an empty bed and one half of it permanently cold, she was just gone. Gone to Franco.

And worse, Annette had to deal with her mopey son through the tangled web of widowhood.

Word Count for this chapter: 1,776
Word Count so far: 93,622
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 59, 6/22)
« Reply #268 on: June 22, 2014, 04:21:42 PM »
Chapter 59: Egg Salad

Franco headed outside following Hannah’s death, not even bothering to give her tombstone a proper burial. Because of how heavy the tombstones were, Bronson took care of that. He wandered through Twinbrook, over the bridge into the orange sunset, and past the first cicada of summer, buzzing loudly in a willow tree after its hibernation.

He spent the whole night walking, weeping as he passed the Bistro and the Theatre. He walked and walked, taking three laps around the Consignment Store and despondently. He stopped inside the art gallery and stood motionless in front of a nondescript still life for an hour, until the curator told him that he couldn’t have been appreciating it for that long and kicked him out.

Franco, if he returned home, would fall asleep in a bed that still had a sunken spot where Hannah slept, and had pillowcases that smelled strongly of the grapefruit-scented shampoo that she used. While he could bury his nose into the fabric and inhale all of the soap and hair oils that he was familiar with and sob into it, he made a good decision that night and fell asleep on a park bench at the town center.

Annette obviously had to find Franco before he did something incredibly stupid. She called a few friends and asked them if they saw him wandering about, which someone did. A fat, pink old man dressed in his best vest was rather hard to miss.

So Annette drove to the park to find a bleary-eyed Franco, still congested from crying.

“Do you need a ride?” she asked, “I understand mourning, but you nearly gave me a heart attack over this.”

Franco got up instantly, tensed up. He snarled at his mother for the comment. “Please don’t tell me that you didn’t do strange things when you lost dad. I’m doing what I need to do.”

“You could have just left a sticky note somewhere,” she said, meekly.

“In my time of crisis. What nonsense are you thinking, mum?”

“Relax. It’s affecting all of us. You can still cry at home,” Annette said, “And plus, your stepson could use the support. I always fear what that kid will do.”

“Treat me like a peer and I’ll cope myself,” Franco said, clenching a fist.

“Fine,” Annette said, leaving for the diner in order to take inventory of the walk-in fridge. She couldn’t trust those rookies to do it right. Meanwhile, she understood loss, having done that before. As much as Hannah was primarily Franco’s lover, she still knew Hannah on some level, talked about paying the utilities with her, and once attended her live show.

“Hey, Chef,” one of the cooks said, “Sorry about your family’s loss.” He slipped her a coupon. Drinks @ The Swamp Goblin: 1/2 Off.

“Oh, how could I forget?” she said. Once all of the onions and eggs were accounted for and neatly stacked on the shelves of the walk-in, Annette had a special order for the mixologist on duty at the dance club.

She came home with four drinks, and to Franco coming to his senses enough to mope at home where everyone could find him.

“Let’s cope my way,” she said.

“Why?” he asked, “I don’t even like that cocktail. It tastes like valerian and menthol.”

“You do realize that it basically is valerian and menthol, right?” she said, “Nothing clears your sorrows like it!” Annette grabbed a glass for herself. “I just need one for tonight. The rest is yours.”

“And I’m the one with a problem,” he sneered.

“We all have coping mechanisms, sweetie. Mine is juice. I’ve always liked it, but after dad was gone, well, I still miss him. But two glasses of juice and I’m a whole new, happier person. It’s an awful thing, but we’re living a long life of grief and boredom. Drink up.”

Franco still looked at the tray of three glasses with disgust, and the one drink in his mum’s hand, in their sickening green glory. “It’s an awful color.”

“I thought that you’d be the one who knew about color symbolism, you painter,” Annette said, “It’s a pretty all-purpose color. Some associate it with sickness, some associate it with life. I’m going to go with the ‘life’ part here. There’s something good around the corner, right?”

“Dubiously,” he said.

“You’ll be saying differently when you’re a grandfather, or seeing Lily’s face in newspapers all across Simnation after her best show. This life isn’t worth moping through.”

“Any why, mother? Why shouldn’t I mope for a couple centuries when there’s plenty to mope about?”

“Do you listen to Bronson’s music?” she asked.

“It’s pretty unlistenable.”

“You have a stick up your unmentionables, so I guess you’ll never see its appeal. But there’s this one song he had on shuffle. I don’t know who did it, or the name, but it had a little line that I think applies: ‘I pity the living, living for the dead.’ And I thought ‘wow, that would be pitiful!’ You might argue that I’m just letting this sweet, sweet juice guide my life instead, but I do it so I have something else to live for. I’m lonely, but I’m not miserable all the time.”

“Are you suggesting that I mask my feelings and move on?”

“If you want to be so cynical,” Annette said, “Yes.”

“I’ll see how it works,” Franco said. When Annette headed inside to wash her glass, Franco stared at the tray of drinks again. Three of them: identical, neon green, nearly fluorescent, and bubbling with seltzer water.

He picked up the tray and headed downstairs.

It was going to be a long, lonely journey, with Franco and his drinks. He sulked over the counter with the beverages sitting still right beside him.

One by one, he held his nose and drank each drink without stopping for air. Valerian and menthol was right, but soon Franco napped on the couch, face-down and in a juiced haze. No wonder his mum had a problem.

The next day, Hephaestus got dragged home by a very angry Selene Kindle. Franco was hardly functional, both mourning and hungover, but Lily had enough sanity in her to take care of the situation. She told Selene to scram and set Hephaestus down in the living room for a conversation.

“What crazy thing have you done now?” she asked.

“It wasn’t crazy. I kept hearing some voice during Physics and I couldn’t keep it out! It was the last class of the day, and I could trace it, trace it back to the swamp.”

“So I got a dozen eggs. I didn’t want to throw stones at them, because I tried that before and spirits get very angry when you do that.”

“Yeah, don’t do that. Spirits might not mind, but people still don’t like eggs on their doors. It got me arrested when you were just a nooboo. Wait, you were doing this at the Kindle’s house?” Lily asked.

“Well, that’s where I heard this the loudest. Mum said that dad lived there a long time ago, so maybe it was him? Or someone in the family? Anyways, they’re, like, really loud over there.”

“Also, eggs break. But then I remembered that I came from Physics to do this, so I stopped squeezing so hard and I threw it right in the spirit’s direction! Which was their door,” Hephaestus breathed a sigh of relief, “Maybe that’s mum trying to talk to me.”

“Whatever it was, I guess they didn’t like that,” Lily said.

“Yep. I got an earful from Felix.”

Hephaestus’ classmate and cousin had enough of his antics during homeroom, let alone outside of the school building. When a runny yolk ran down the window, Felix ran outside, only to get his jacket stained by another projectile egg.

“Heph! I know you’re angry that I didn’t do any of the work on the Physics project. Lighten up,” said Felix.

“Nope! You didn’t deserve the A,” Hephaestus said.

“Oh yeah, blame me for using the smartest kid in class for my advantage.”

Lily knew how to handle that. “Revenge is perfectly okay,” she said, putting a hand on Hephaestus’ shoulder, “You’re confused and angry. I was about your age when I lost my mum, and I did the same thing. I guess you’re just like your big sis.”

“That’s what I want to be,” he said, “Will you let me sculpt, one day?” He gave Lily an innocent, upwards look, with those big indigo eyes.

“I’ll pencil you in,” she said, “It’s hard with three vying for sculpting time, you know?”

Lily recovered quickly, which was good news for her career, because a sad magician made for a sad audience and bad reviews. She did plenty of “just put money in my tip jar” sessions at Performance Park, with extra effort put in to her show when the law enforcement was watching.

It might have been a bad time for Bronson to get out from work and have an idea to get Lily’s attention.

He took his army beret off and fished the megaphone out from the roomy pockets of his military coveralls, and screamed one obscenity into it. Lily cocked her head, and then turned in his direction. Her soldier found a good fight.

“Protest, how about right now? The military works us to death. I don’t even have enough time for my wife!”

“Bronson,” Lily quietly said, “You’re doing this for me?”


“Keep at it. That’s kind of hot.”

Lily took the lighter out from her glove to light the firepits around his podium. Bronson kept with it. “Better hours for military workers!” Lily responded to each chant with a cheer, because she could use a little more home-time with her husband. She even took a sign from his podium, even though it was just a maimed stick figure drawn on construction paper, with “We don’t get paid enough for this!” scrawled on in permanent marker.

By the time the sun set over Twinbrook and bathed the town in clear summertime darkness, Bronson attracted a small crowd of both Lily’s half-sisters and some random military wife who cheered at the prospect of her own spouse having more regular hours.

A bit of applause later, and Bronson had a good proposal for his boss when he went to work the next morning, and the backing needed to get his attention.

The police officer on site gave him a 2,000 simoleon fine, but that didn’t bring Bronson down from his high, especially not when Lily attacked him with a hug.

“Okay there, big boy, you got my attention,” she said, “Let’s go home to celebrate.”

“Oh good, you’re thinking like I am,” he said.

As sweaty as he was after spending three hours outside in 80 degree weather, in a coverall, Bronson still kept the attention of his lonely wife.

“I’m really sorry about the work things,” he said.

“Hey, at least it’s easy to make these things up to me!” she said.

Lily may have regretted not just going out to dinner and sharing a kiss, though.

Word Count for this chapter: 1,854
Word Count so far: 95,476

Edited @6:24 PM EST because I realized that maybe my sims shouldn't put gasoline in their cocktails. Valerian is a-okay, though. Makes you sleep and stuff.

The song that Annette quoted was "Anesthesia" by Type O Negative. They were a great band, but be careful watching their music videos, because many of them aren't family-friendly.
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 59, 6/22)
« Reply #269 on: June 22, 2014, 06:17:34 PM »
Two awesome chapters in one day. :)

I pity Franco. Him and Annette...and eventually Lily and her progeny as well. Being a perpetual elder while you watch your loved ones die off is nothing short of...torture, really. And Franco's more melancholy personality amplifies that.

Hopefully the coming of his grandchild will help lighten things up, if for a few fleeting moments. I can't wait to see the nooboo! :D

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 59, 6/22)
« Reply #270 on: June 22, 2014, 08:18:01 PM »
Awww!  Poor Franco.  That's one thing about the Immortal Dynasty... losing all the helpers and the spouses each time breaks my heart, whether I'm playing it or whether reading it XD  Such a sap for these little pixelated beings!  Even when they aren't mine.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #271 on: June 22, 2014, 11:08:12 PM »
Two awesome chapters in one day. :)

I pity Franco. Him and Annette...and eventually Lily and her progeny as well. Being a perpetual elder while you watch your loved ones die off is nothing short of...torture, really. And Franco's more melancholy personality amplifies that.

Hopefully the coming of his grandchild will help lighten things up, if for a few fleeting moments. I can't wait to see the nooboo! :D

Franco was definitely the worst off of them. He also had the shortest legitimate marriage of the immortals, which made it even worse.

Nooboo coming up! I wanted to show them, so I banged out Chapter 60 in record-time for that.

Awww!  Poor Franco.  That's one thing about the Immortal Dynasty... losing all the helpers and the spouses each time breaks my heart, whether I'm playing it or whether reading it XD  Such a sap for these little pixelated beings!  Even when they aren't mine.

Being around mourning people in real life is bad, and characters aren't much better. D:

Chapter 60: Stoneham

It started one summer morning, when the sun beamed bright and hot, and Twinbrook stayed indoors as the humidity approached 100%. The cicadas were as loud as jackhammers, but Lily and Julian didn’t hear or feel a thing in the soundproof, air-conditioned sculpting studio.

To cope with elderhood a little better, Julian acted like a novice sculptor instead.

“Lily, Lily, watch me!” he called, leaning towards the ice block and pressing his tongue to the cold surface, creating an instant bond.

“Ah, I remember you doing that,” Lily said, with a chuckle, “Can’t believe that we’re both getting old now.”

“You’re not old,” Julian said, “You can’t say that until your my age, flower.”

“Well, I’m moving up in life regardless. It makes me feel old!”

“Got some news?”

Lily gave her mostly-flat abdomen a rub. “You better believe I have news.”

After making progress with the sculpture, Lily grabbed some yoghurt from the fridge for a snack, and almost walked into her dad standing in a trance right next to it. Hannah’s death still took a toll on him; his easels sat empty ever since she left, and he wore his everyday clothes instead of his houndstooth trenchcoat. However, he watched television instead of going to the bar, which was an improvement.

“Still getting you down?” Lily asked.

“It’s difficult.”

“And I understand. But, but, but, what if I had some good news to share?”

Franco’s frown turned into…an expression of neutrality. “Alright. What do you have?”

“Take a guess as to why I’m dressing down now.”

His eyes immediately lit up, like the first flash stage lights during the intro song of a concert. His mouth exerted all of its force to curl into a pure, open-mouth smile, and his fists clenched and his body tensed, but in alien excitement.

“I mean, I hope I’m reading this right,” he said, relaxing, “You’re pregnant?”

“You better believe it, dad.”

The two of them gently hugged, with Franco closing his eyes in bliss. All of those green cocktails had a good message after all, about life and a beautiful grandkid to light up said life.

“Your mum would be so proud right now,” Franco said.

“And you know, I think Hannah would be too,” said Lily, “Also, it’s Leisure Day tomorrow. Let’s celebrate. I’ll tell Bronson then.”

Later that night, Hephaestus came home, sapped of energy after his finals, but with enough magic to keep him upright and restless. He got out the pale, maplewood wand that he kept in place with his kilt’s belt and waved it around, until a few green sparks flew out and fluttered towards the floor.

“Are you trying to be me or you?” Lily asked, as she passed by.

“I dunno,” Hephaestus said, “But there is a big disturbance here. Are you possessed, Lily? There’s something else I’m sensing, but it’s very, very quiet.” He pointed the wand towards her tummy, unaware of the news.

“I mean, you could call it that,” Lily said, “Do they still give the ‘woohoo talk’ in schools or not?”

“Yeah, Are you, um, baking a bun?”

“Believe it, Heph.”

“Sweet! I’m getting better at this sensing stuff. Who knows what else I’ll find?” He felt a pull on his arm towards the floorboards, as if his wand was a dowsing rod and a spring of water flowed below the foundation. “Maybe we have something beneath the floors.”

“Or you noticed me vomiting for the past few months and needed to piece the clues together.”

“True, true.”

The next day was Leisure Day, and the cicadas still sung and the heat blazed on at 90 degrees, but the humidity stayed below 90%, which was enough to drive the Waverlys outdoors to the Summer Festival. The whole park was shaded by willows, and felt less like hell and more like its outskirts. And they could scoop themselves a free snow cone if the willows weren’t enough.

Four sims grabbed a few buckets of water balloons and headed to the two plastic barriers for a friendly battle. Franco was among them, even though he was often not in good enough of a mood for chess, let alone a childish water balloon fight. But he delivered the first attack, throwing a balloon directly at Hephaestus. He needed extra help to cool off, considering that he looked outside and said “outerwear!” before getting dressed.

Franco smiled and taunted his opponents with glee. Did he get his hands on a bad elixir?

While the boys and Annette pelted each other with latex sacks of water, Lily practiced her gnubb throwing across the park. A water balloon fight would have likely been harmless, but gnubb was even more harmless because she wasn’t hitting herself with the baton.

“Lily! I need backup. You’re dad’s too happy and into this,” Bronson yelled from the other side of the park, with a balloon aimed at Lily. He threw it, missing most of her but landing on her boots.

“Aw, llamas in a pool! “ Lily cursed, “The boots ain’t waterproof, honey.”

“Nothing wrong with getting wet today. Why don’t you come over here?”

“Why don’t you come over here? I have something to tell you.”

Bronson approached her and shrugged. “So, what’s up?” he asked.

“I want to take it easy,” Lily said, “Because something’s…changing.”

“Got injured on the job? It sucks if that happened.”

“Much better than that. You’re gonna be a dad.”

Bronson finally took notice of her new shirt and long jeans, both loosely-fitted. “Holy crap, really?”

“As sure as I can be.”

“Oh, Lilypad,” he said, dreamily, almost falling onto her for a hug, “I can’t believe we’re gonna be parents.” Bronson then gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“We’ll have a happy household again. You’ve seen that my dad is feeling a lot better now, right? Well, he got the news too. I like seeing him smile.”

“Speaking of Franco, where is he?” They both turned towards the water balloon fight, which turned into a one-on-one between Annette and Hephaestus. Franco was nowhere in the park, not getting a hot dog or a snow cone, not roller skating, and not catching one of the monarch butterflies that swarmed around the fountain.

“Well, Emma, it’s been so long!” Franco said to his friend and distant relative, “I hope that Bronson is treating you well in the military.”

“Man, the jokes in Scrubs will never get old! And yeah, he hasn’t done anything bad yet,” said Emma, “I’ll be out of work for a bit, though.”

“Suspended a new project?”

“Better.” Emma headed downstairs to the restroom, and came up in a black and pink wraparound sweater and comfortable jeans.

“As I said, much better than that,” said Emma, giving her tummy a rub. “Care to guess who the father is?”

“Not me!” Franco chuckled.

“Congrats! You’re right.”

Franco stayed at The Red Rendezvous with Emma for the rest of the day, to enjoy her company and the musical stylings of Mogwai over the stereo system.

Later, some months later, the two of them enjoyed another outing at the hangout, and Franco met Emma’s date. Dustin Knack was an old friend, and Hannah once had a crush on his dark, puppy-dog eyes and chubby cheeks. But Hephaestus came from a different path, and a different path turned out to be a god choice for Dustin too. Could anyone lure him in like Emma?

Someone did, but that’s for a different time and a different gossip segment.

At least Franco could stay out. The little fetus sapped all of Lily’s energy before the sun set, and for a few hours, she dozed off on the deck, to the choir of crickets and cicadas. The soundtrack of a Twinbrook summer.

Time went on, and Lily grew bigger and bigger. She saw her doctor and implored them to keep the nooboo’s gender a secret, because there was nothing wrong with a surprise.

She also worked out to some Strapping Young Lad, Bronson’s driving, industrial-influenced workout music of choice, squatting lightly but doing nothing that could impact the nooboo too much. It was better than Annette’s likely advice of “drinking is okay right now!”

And, of course, Lily had to make sure that the little one inside bonded with their father before coming out into the world. Bronson’s petition for better hours worked, at least temporarily, as he got a promotion and half a paternity leave. He came home at three in the afternoon, and made sure to greet his developing nooboo unlike he greeted any already-born household member: he actually greeted the nooboo.

“You’re going to be a cute little clone of your daddy!” he said, in baby-talk, “Yes you are!”

“Come on, I’m the one who saw the latest sonogram,” said Lily.

“And?” Bronson asked.

“It’s hard to tell at this stage, but…basically, yeah.”

Bronson settled into being a father before his nooboo was born, in more ways than one.

Hephaestus woke up one morning, after sleeping in his kutte vest and t-shirt, to Bronson in uniform, right down to the beret, and leering over his bed.

“Mr. Curious?” he asked, with a yawn.

“We need to talk seriousness, son,” he said.


YOU are not to bring your crazy-talk around my nooboo, understand me? You won’t lay a hand on them in some psychotic rage, and best yet, you’ll behave as well as a trained animal because this military strongman will be watching you and isn’t afraid to snap your noodle-arms in half.”

“Okay, okay, your soul seems really out-of-whack right now. Can I try to soothe it?”

“Stay quiet.” The horn to a military van honked, deep and menacing. Bronson ran out, because those rocket designs wouldn’t refine themselves.

Unfortunately, he missed something far more dire than even the military.

“Bronson!” Lily yelled, but he was out the door by then. She heaved and pushed as her body revolted against itself, tensing up and squeezing. Clutching her tummy, Lily went through the list of names.

“Hephaestus!” Another minute. “Dad!” Another two minutes. “Julian?!” Another two minutes. “Gram?” Still no one there.

Lily labored by herself, but no one told her that standing up made it go quicker, because the nooboo arrived before Annette’s 10AM alarm sounded.

The euphoria of loosening the pressure manifested itself in sparkles, dazzling Lily, but not as much as the end result.

It was a girl.

As the sparkling subsided, it was a girl as green as the flesh of a lime, with soft rolls of nooboo fat and a precious smile straight from her dad.

“You darling little peapod,” Lily whispered to her. “Darling little…crap.”

Annette walked into the room at about the time, wondering what the commotion she slept through was. When she first caught sight of the little green caterpillar cradled in Lily’s arms, she had a suggestion.

“Have you named her yet?” Annette asked.

“Well, that’s my problem. We didn’t decide on one.”

“I can see it now,” Annette said, “Tegan!”

“Gram, we’re not from Dragon Valley. I don’t think we are, anyways.”

“Those names belong to everyone. She’s a Tegan. Tegan Stoneham Curious. Doesn’t that flow nicely?”

“I don’t know where you got the Stoneham part from, but I’m not questioning it. We have a name. Our darling little Tegan.”

She could have left the name blank for all Bronson cared. He came home from a workout to not an empty crib by the front door, but one with a fussy little peapod inside of it. He almost cried when he first picked Tegan up, gently cradling her head and holding her close to his chest.

“I’m so sorry I forgot to say hi,” he muttered to her, “I hope you remember. I’m your dad!”

And a good dad he was.

As for Franco, he had the ultimate mood-booster in his arms, and often in his arms, because the Grandpa Card carried a lot of power.

Annette paid attention to little Tegan too, but at first, she jokingly wished that she was a boy. The faintest hints of Bronson’s features came through in her chubby, low cheeks and her widening nose, and those features worked so well on masculine Bronson. Why wouldn’t Annette want a green Bronson around for eternity? She could brag about how good-looking her great-grandson was.

But when Hephaestus came home in his swim trunks and immediately warmed up a bottle for a hungry Tegan, Annette amended her thoughts. He tenderly handled Tegan as if he was a veteran father of seven, and spoke soft words to her.

“I wish they had a boy” quickly turned into “thank goodness they had a girl.”

Word Count for this chapter: 2,111
Word Count so far: 97,587

As a reminder, Dustin Knack is the son of Julienne and DeAndre Wolfe, and Emma Ball is the vampire-daughter of Gala and Shark Racket.

Tegan is the sim behind the image for my "Chapters" header in the beginning of the thread. I was so, so happy to see that little green slug come out when she was born. Because, well, green sims! They're less boring than pink ones!
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

Forum Rules / DecaDynasty

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #272 on: June 22, 2014, 11:32:24 PM »
lol!  Welcome little Tegan!  Poor Hephaestus (you have no idea how hard a time I have in remember how to spell his name XD), dealing with an overprotective daddy who's in the military lol.  Little does Bronson know...

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #273 on: June 22, 2014, 11:49:55 PM »
Bronson is in overprotective daddy mode. Heaven help anyone who so much as looks at his little peapod the wrong way. Be afraid, very afraid.

That last little bit from Annette's perspective...a bit of foreshadowing if ever I've seen it. ;)

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Offline Littlesister

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #274 on: June 24, 2014, 04:20:10 AM »
I've really been enjoying these chapters. Lily is a gorgeous young adult, and Heph is such a vibrant character. It's good to see the arrival of Tegan and a lightening of the atmosphere - I can't wait to see the foreshadowed relationship between her and said vibrant character...