Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 203692 times)

Offline Shewolf13

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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.

“Yeah?”



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!
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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, Heph...be 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...

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #275 on: June 24, 2014, 10:02:42 AM »
Veggie burrito!

Bronson, shhh. Heph's crazy is part of the complete Waverly breakfast.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #276 on: June 25, 2014, 04:07:36 PM »
Responding now because shooting things in Roaring Heights takes forever. Not because of any performance issues (the town performs very well, for anyone curious), but because set design and story polishing for the "framework story" is a slow-going task. ::)

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...

I've gotten used to typing his name out, between playing him and properly describing my memories on the official site. Don't worry about how complicated names will get; there is only one more that is possibly more complicated than Hephaestus, and it's because it's a two-part name.

Simnation strikes me as the most neutral country around, so Bronson has to fight his battles outside of work. No smelly men will touch his little peapod.

Bronson is in overprotective daddy mode. Heaven help anyone who so much as looks at his little peapod the wrong way. Be afraid, Heph...be very afraid.

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

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Bronson might be in overprotective daddy mode, but with that bit of foreshadowing, he has to go through Annette too. It will be a beautiful battle. :P

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...

Thank you! As with many relationships in the story, their possible relationship was a lot more complicated than it needed to be.

Veggie burrito!

Bronson, shhh. Heph's crazy is part of the complete Waverly breakfast.

Lettuce wrap! That might work well because it has a green exterior.

And Bronson's meanness is too. They need to have a truce.
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #277 on: June 26, 2014, 04:03:35 PM »
Just caught up again.  Random comments:
  • I love the 'Gage Briody' explanation for the clone faces.
  • Also, Julian's skull-patterned jumper was awesome  :).
  • I initially thought Hephaestus was going to be a ghost hunter but I'd guess not in view of his artistic tendencies.

Offline AkonIsAwesome

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #278 on: June 28, 2014, 10:06:22 AM »
Took me long enough, but I've finally caught up. I love the Waverlys, they are all so unique in both appearance and personality! It must have taken a lot of work to make sure all those original townie genes stuck around for so long!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 60, 6/22)
« Reply #279 on: June 28, 2014, 10:29:14 AM »
I'm still in the process of playing catch-up and really enjoying doing so but I thought I need to post a comment because I'm not getting my notifications... I don't want to miss a single bit!
because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

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Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 61, 6/29)
« Reply #280 on: June 29, 2014, 10:31:53 PM »
A little late. There was a recent tragedy in my family. My mum's cousin lost her battle with cancer, so while I haven't been grieving much because I didn't know her well, it's really affected my mum, so I had to lend her a supporting hand, and go halfway across the state for the funeral.

I know you guys understand. Keep the cousin's family in your thoughts and prayers. It's a very rough time for them.



Just caught up again.  Random comments:
  • I love the 'Gage Briody' explanation for the clone faces.
  • Also, Julian's skull-patterned jumper was awesome  :).
  • I initially thought Hephaestus was going to be a ghost hunter but I'd guess not in view of his artistic tendencies.

I loved Julian's sweater. I think the skulls are a side-effect of that Rotter blood.

His obsession with ghosts actually foreshadows in a different way. But yeah, he had no time to do much other than sculpt. I wanted to squeeze that mortal talent for all it was worth.

Took me long enough, but I've finally caught up. I love the Waverlys, they are all so unique in both appearance and personality! It must have taken a lot of work to make sure all those original townie genes stuck around for so long!

It took a lot of planning indeed! Like, my notes for my classes were peppered with plans to keep one line afloat and when to merge another with the family. But it was more than worth it for the end result; I really can't wait to show off all of my immortals!

I'm still in the process of playing catch-up and really enjoying doing so but I thought I need to post a comment because I'm not getting my notifications... I don't want to miss a single bit!

Good luck with catching up!



Chapter 61: Binding Bridge



After the initial shock of the arrest passed, I had the time to find my place again. I am here, at 38 Palm Tree Avenue, Roaring Heights, with a roommate that fills me with my favorite word: ambivalence. My suitcase sits under the bed, half-unpacked, and my progress in finding any answers about Annette has barely begun. Eileen? She’s still waiting to be picked at for clues, or she is a sharp-toothed red herring caught on my fishing line.

Things are slow as molasses, but I have Agnes, right? I have her hopeless romanticism and I can’t leave that on the roadside, tied up in a cardboard box.



As I said, she is an endless spring of ambivalence. In my embrace, Agnes is my perfect feminine prize, from her nipped-in waist to her scarlet lipstick, not to mention that she saved me from both continued police troubles (I hope!).



I thank her for those things.



But give me a few hours, and I’m slipping out the door, holding my shoes in my hand and tip-toeing outside barefoot, as not to create a sound. The bad side of ambivalence guides me around Roaring Heights, to the best views of the sunrises and sunsets. The hues of sand dunes and cherry blossoms are quite lovely, but if that is all I’m here for, then why am I here? True to its name, Sunset Valley has its own beauty when the sun lowers in the sky.

I’m as directionless as my strolls around the city with this project of mine. So little progress.

At home, I still have my suitcase under the bed, with pairs of lacy underwear and backup jackets neatly folded and packed in the edges. Shampoo and soaps in the pockets of the suitcase, and one small, hard, rectangular object pressed up against a bottle of peppermint foot lotion.

Why? It’s my flash drive, with its 32GB of storage taken up by folders of short stories, poetry, and romantic vignettes full of lesbians and crude, dark humor. Text takes up little space, but the official PDFs of Eight Ways do, with each chapter and its pictures organized onto a page for easy printing and pressing. Now, I don’t travel without my flash drive, but it made sense for the leisure trip I took to Isla Paradiso last year, where there were plenty of computers to plug that little stick into. I’m out of luck here.

“Odd thing to bring,” Agnes says, as she passes by with a bag of dirty laundry, “I gotta commend you on that Arthur guy. I’m cringing at the cost, but my stuff hasn’t smelled cleaner.”

“Yeah, force of habit.” I put the drive back in the suitcase and zip up that pocket. Hopefully none of my shampoo leaks out and damages it.

After my undergarments are in the right drawers, I cross one thing off my mental checklist. Suitcase is emptier. I also forgot to pay Eileen for her services. While she hasn’t given me a reminder call or sent some criminal henchperson to kick me to the ground until I sign the check, it has been a few days, maybe a week by now. She’s a nice person, with mortgages to pay and grocery bills, and bobby pins to buy for all of that dark hair.

She handed me her business card when we last met: Eileen Stone, Attorney at Law. 53 Sunburst Street. 555-555-1666. Explains itself well enough.

“This is her secretary speaking.” The voice on the other end is more than youthful, so high-pitched and non-resonant, it most certainly does not belong to her secretary. Eileen has her own little munchkin, likely a daughter.

“You think this is funny?” I ask, “Where’s your mother?”

“She’s out.”

“Can you take a message? I want to know a good time to drop off a check. She did some very good things for me.”

Some wrangling on the other end. “You’ve had your fun, Bridge,” Eileen says in the distance, in her distinctly chipper voice, “Eileen Stone. Please disregard my niece.”

Niece. Okay. Things are a little different.

“Hey, it’s Josephine,” I say, “From the other night. I can give you that check. What’s your rate?”

“You dragged me out of bed at some ungodly hour, so I’m amping this up. It’s 500 ‘moleons.”

“Fine, fine,” I mutter, “Should I drop that off at your office?”

“Sounds like a plan. I’m there right now. Oh, and you checked the back of the card, right?” I didn’t.

“It has the info you need to write a check to me. See ya then,” she hangs up the phone with a click.

Pay all checks to the order of Eileen Stoneham.

Well, that’s fitting for what I last read. I don’t care if this new “Stoneham” created another question or several; if she can sit still for some late-night herbal tea or a nightcap and listen to a few questions, maybe I won’t stagnate after this, and I can justify my long, lonely walks on a beach away from my beachside home.



And what lies inside that house? Is she leading me somewhere personal for a reason, or did I just end up with a lawyer who loves the comfort of her abode?



What I can instantly infer without question is that Eileen will not answer the door. I knock, feigning oblivion to the girl behind the glass. I then swallow a wad of saliva in nervousness, right after catching a glimpse of her dark eyes, the steel-blue skin, the blonde hair. I’m used to sims of all colors, but someone I used to know looked like that.



Superficially, anyways.



She opens the door with a smile and a wave. “Here to see my aunt?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say, flatly. That coloring can probably sense my fear if I say something else, whether trapped in an eight-year-old or a forty-eight-year-old.

“She’s down the hall.”

The whole foyer is dark, but there is an office door slightly-ajar at the end of the corridor, with the glow of a table lamp exiting it. I walk, making sure to stamp my heels firmly on the ground, in case Eileen hasn’t noticed me yet.



When I set my rear down in the plush seat in front of her desk, I’m greeted by her legs and the dusty bottoms of her pumps. I have a feeling that Eileen can’t sit in the normal way.



“Look, Ms. Stone, I’m not a police officer,” I say.

“Yeah, but Arthur says that you’re into the ladies,” she says, “No, you described yourself more pretentiously. You’re a sapphist! You transcend the normal adjectives and propel yourself straight into a whole new tank of pompousness. But you like women, and I thought that I’d play along and provide a nice view, and maybe get another 10 added to my check.”

“You have nice legs, but I don't need the bribery.”

“Good. I’m not one of your kind, in that sense. I see that we can pierce the necks of our enemies with one swift bite, though.” She grins cheekily, bearing those sharp canines.

“How unusual,” I mutter, “Anyways, I have the check.”

“Ah, lovely, and I’m expecting a lot more business from you, Waverly.”

“What, you think that I can’t learn your weird laws?”



“No, you’re an unusual case, Jo,” she says, “I might have been able to save your butt the last time, but I have one man with his finger on the pulse of all of Simnation, and he found a few things about your family.”



Okay, stay calm, Jo. You’re clean. You’ve been clean since your odd mid-life crisis graffiti phase. It’s just your dad that might be toast, and that’s just fine with you, Jo.

“I’m, I’m quite baffled,” I stutter, “I’m clean as they come!”

“Yes you are! But you’re an odd woman, Waverly. That surname packs a lot of punch in these parts, but I looked through all of your connections, and you’re not the kind of Waverly I’m familiar with. Not that some of your kin haven’t been wrongdoers. It’s in the arrest records.”

She pushes the papers across the desk. Police reports. Court orders.

Philip Athol Waverly.
14/9/59
Conspiracy to sell weapons.
90 days jail + one year probation.


Philip Athol Waverly
1/2/60
Breaking Probation Rules (removal of ankle tracker)
1,000 Simoleon fine


Franco Revere Waverly
25/3/61
Larceny
Charges dropped


“Know them?” Eileen asks.



“I…I have no obligation to answer you.” I divert my eyes away from her and clench my mouth shut, pursing my lips together lest they let out that dreaded one syllable word: yes.

“You don’t, but I’m not the police either. I’m sworn to confidentiality, and I’m far less immoral than you think. If that eases your nerves, open up.”

“Sure,” I say, defeated. “They’re both close relatives of mine. I mean, I don’t share the best relationship with them, but they’re my kin.”

“And that’s fine. I have family that does awful things too, and I’m not going to ask questions or try to get cuffs around their wrists. But if you’re lugging that reputation around on your shoulders, be careful. Someone’s gonna use it against you, and my protection is pretty limited.”

“So what good are you?” I ask, almost sarcastically.

“I’m good in the court, but if some thug tries to beat you up because your dear Philip wronged them, I’m useless. That’s not to say that I know a guy or two.” She slides a business card across the table. Magpie Security. Call 555-555-1420. No office!.

“Are you trying to sell me something?” I ask.

“In a way. I mean, Magpie is run by someone close to me, but you’d probably need them even if they were my worst enemy. Someone’s out there for you, and you seem on your toes all the time, but you’re a defenseless insect in the grand scheme of things.”

“I’ll have nightmares about it tonight.” I almost say good night to her, until I blurt out a bigger question. “So…Stoneham?”

“It’s my last name. ‘Better Phone Stoneham’ doesn’t roll off the tongue, now does it? Chop off the last syllable, and I have a winning slogan,” she says.

“I know. I watched Breaking Bad too.”

“Well, you’re one of the few in the city who gets the joke. Is that all?”



“It’s just kind of odd,” I say, but I lean forward. I can get a clue from her if I’m lucky. “I just happened to know a Stoneham back in my day.”

“It’s a town up north,” Eileen said, “It was my dad’s last name too.”

“Well, it was my grandmother’s middle name. I always thought it was a strange choice. Tegan Stoneham Waverly.”

“Um, what?” Eileen asks, abruptly, “Are you trying to fool with me?”

“What, you knew a Tegan?”

“Tegan Stoneham. My mum,” she said, shaking, “How do you know this?”

“I didn’t name her.”

“You’re a strange woman, Waverly.”



“You know, I am,” I say, gesturing, “I’m from a different time altogether. And my grandmother was Tegan Stoneham Waverly.”



Her face goes cold. “Get out,” she says, whispering, “Get out of my office.”

“Eileen-” I say.

“Look, the more I learn about you, the less I want to learn. I don’t know why you’re here, and I don’t know what this strange thing that connects us is, but I know that I can’t talk with you on these terms.”

“Okay,” I say, “Okay.” I slowly step out of the office and into the dark hallway.

“Still confidential?” I ask from across the hall.

“Sworn to it. Also, this is an extra hundred. Mail that check, will ya?”

And so I’m flung into the darkness again, but on the hunt for a Tegan Stoneham. And whatever thick tie binds me to that lawyer, from her teeth to those fabulous legs.



It explains little Bridge just a little bit better.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,980
Word Count so far: 99,567

"The Magpie" was named long before you commented on the thread, Magpie2012. Sorry. :P
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 61, 6/29)
« Reply #281 on: June 29, 2014, 10:54:21 PM »
My sincere condolences for you and your family Trip.  You guys are in my thoughts.

The plot thickens!  Very nice!  I'm really anxious to see how this plays out!


Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 61, 6/29)
« Reply #282 on: June 29, 2014, 11:23:27 PM »
Hugs to you and your family, Trip. That's seriously rough stuff. :(

That was an interesting plot twist. There is more to this backstory than meets the eye!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 62, 7/1)
« Reply #283 on: July 01, 2014, 07:41:46 PM »
In general: thanks for the condolences about the death. We're learning to accept it. :)

My sincere condolences for you and your family Trip.  You guys are in my thoughts.

The plot thickens!  Very nice!  I'm really anxious to see how this plays out!



The plans for the plot love to change, but I have a feeling of how the end product will be and I can't wait to reveal things either!

Hugs to you and your family, Trip. That's seriously rough stuff. :(

That was an interesting plot twist. There is more to this backstory than meets the eye!

The backstory has had a lot of time to marinate, so things get complicated. Just the way I love it. ;)

Such an intriguing update, I can never guess where this story is going and that's one of the most enjoyable parts about it.

P.S. Condolences to your mom and her cousin's loved ones.  :(

Thank you! I love a good twist.



Chapter 62: You’re Old



Lily woke up at seven in the morning one autumn day, while Bronson was across town and deep into his workflow. However, the sheets to her right, where Bronson usually slept, felt warm instead. She bumped into another body as she rolled over.

Annette relaxed on the side of the bed, dressed in her short nightshirt. She didn’t flinch when Lily rolled into her, nor when she recoiled back in disgust at the thought of her grandmother in bed with her.

“Gram, can we save this for breakfast?” Lily asked, rubbing one eye.

“I thought that I’d let you wake up to something nice,” she said, handing Lily a card that she kept down the front of her shirt, “It comes from the heart. Happy birthday, flower.”

Once Annette exited the room and the smell of maple bacon sizzling reached the second floor, Lily opened her card. The message of “You’re Old!” and a handful of silver glitter fell out, with the latter sticking to the bedsheets. Wonderful, a reminder that Lily would finally be able to compare wrinkles with Bronson. Even being an elder would be better; the birthdays and aging stopped then.

She crept downstairs to Franco obsessively cooing over Tegan, giving baby talk to her and getting gurgles and giggles in return. Once Lily got to the counter and got her plate of bacon, she asked Annette, “Who died this time?”

“Your uncle Mark. I mean, I was never close with him, but Franco was bawling his eyes out at two in the morning when he got the call.”

“Oh god, that’s rough,” Lily said, facing her breakfast, “We’ll leave him alone until tonight.”

The newspaper reported a string of deaths leading up to that. The two Parkers in town died on the same night, so Franco cried and then forced Lily and Bronson out the door for a movie and dinner date on him, while he spent hours leaned over the crib reading to Tegan. Ben Kindle, his annoying brother-in-law, bit the dust, and he still didn’t let Lily feed Tegan one morning, defensively holding the nooboo up against his chest. Emerald passed away just a week before, and Franco took Tegan in his arms to the art museum, because he claimed that he needed the company and no women in town were biting.

“You know, it’s her birthday tomorrow,” Lily said, “I hope that toddlers will still keep him happy. I don’t like him moping around.”

“I mean, you can back out of this dynasty,” Annette said, “I don’t think you’ll change that about him.”

“True,” Lily said, dragging out her vowels, “I don’t think he sees the end result of this dynasty. I’m sticking with it for the end.”

“It will be euphoric,” Annette said, “Euphoric. Of course I’d like to see Bill again. But first, you gotta get old, girl! I have the cake ready. You’ll still be able to rock skimpy things if you believe in yourself anyways.”



Lily would enjoy her bikini for her last moments of young adulthood anyways, that night. The sitter seemed halfway-reputable, and the entire family minus Bronson was there, but on the ground level in the hot tub. Work called for Bronson again. Lily blew out her candles with only the mixologist watching her from behind, and the Jones-Brown brothers ascending the stairs.

“Good, someone’s here,” she muttered, before remembering that Annette baked her German chocolate cake underneath the frosting. She had to cheer for that.



“What’s under there?” Loki asked as he finally got close enough to celebrate. He pointed at the cake.

“German chocolate! Ain’t that great?!” Lily cheered, “Come on, cheer with me!”

“Ha! You think that poor excuse for chocolate cake is worth eating,” Loki said, laughing.



“Oh my god, Loki,” Tristan said, “You can’t just laugh at her cake!” After giving his older brother the side-eye, Tris then got out a noisemaker for one last horn-blow before every sparkle fell and Lily’s skin sagged and aged into full adulthood.



As it turned out, getting old was a big overstatement and little changed. Lily changed her look, sure, but every single strand her hair retained its ink-black color, and the new bangs hid her forehead wrinkles. As for the clothes, perhaps she had to admit that she was a mature, confident mother who covered her legs with slim-fitted jeans.

She still walked down to the ground floor in the same bikini, though, and climbed into the empty seat in the hot tub next to Julian, the only non-family member soaking up the chlorine.

“You know, a pool party in autumn was a pretty stupid idea,” Annette said, as she lowered her shoulders into a jet stream of hot water, “Can we have Tegan and Heph’s party at the house, or better yet, at the bar?”

“Both of those are tomorrow, and I’m partied out,” Lily said, “Heck, we could get some cakes out of the freezer when we get home. It’s pretty close to midnight right now. Sounds good, Heph?” He nodded.



And so the plan was made.



As Lily lowered Tegan towards her birthday cake, Bronson walked in the door, prompting his wife to smile. “Nice that you could make it,” she said.

But he instead burst into laughter after Lily put Tegan on the floor.



“Oh man, I think we’re matched!” he said, “With those wrinkles and stuff.”

“Remind me to kill you later,” she muttered, in the haze of a slight mid-life crisis.



She forgot about that comment quickly. They replaced the candles on Tegan’s cake with enough for the new, grown-up Hephestus and cheered for him as if Bronson actually had an appropriate response in him.



Which, for Hephaestus, he still didn’t.



“Wait, that squirmer?” he asked, his face half-frozen in birthday magic, “Is that Tegan? She’s adorable!”



After grandpa Franco did his job and picked out a multitude of blue and white rompers for his little grandnooboo, Tegan was indeed adorable, with wispy black hair and precious brown eyes like her mother, a big mouth and a snub-nose like her father, and skin the color of split-pea soup from the genetic slurry she sprung from.

“You got a well-behaved peapod there,” Franco told Lily, “I can always take her off your hands.”

“Did Robert Castor just die?” Lily asked.

“Got the call as soon as we got home. It’s a darn shame—Heph, I think it’s time for a change.” The blond young man stood at the entrance of the walk-in closet downstairs, with his hair still past his shoulder blades, a full beard thanks to birthday magic and hormones, and his kutte vest and t-shirt far too short for his lanky, six-foot frame.

“Change what?” he asked, “I don’t have that pathetic little moustache, and I can still get some wear out of this kilt. I’m free and fine.”

“Just get a haircut,” Franco said, pleading.

“Stop cutting yours and we might see eye-to-eye! They’re like whiskers on a cat when they get long enough, except ghosts like tugging at them.”

“That little peapod tugs at my hair enough when it’s short, thank you,” Franco said, “Let’s just get a new vest, okay? Kutte-style?”

“I think I’ve outgrown it. I’m not metalhead material, now that I think of it.”

“So we can cut the hair?”

“Nope.”



While every inch of straight blond hair still grew from Hephaestus’ head, and his kilt was still made a size too big and tied to his waist by a belt, Hephaestus and Franco quickly agreed on a new vest, with dyed hemp necklaces, fingerless gloves, and enough studs to make every metal detector in Twinbrook go frantic.



All the while, Tegan adjusted to her free legs and the feeling of clothing within ten minutes, and stood up wobbling while building small towers with blocks. She opened her mouth in a big smile, revealing a set of sharp canines to rival her grandma Bunny’s. As Hephaestus approached her block table, her smile turned into laughter. Tegan cooperated with the tall man, letting him scoop her up without a fuss. She didn’t even pull at the hair falling down his shoulders.

“Hey there, snugglebug. Peapod. Tegan,” he said, unsure, “How about that thing in the corner, huh?” He pointed towards an empty spot in the living room. “Someone wants Bronson to turn that Demilich-noise off. I like it, but, but, but it’s bothering someone out there and they won’t leave me alone over it.”

She looked up at him with her big, chocolate brown eyes.

“Oh, we’ll have to teach you how to talk, I guess. How about a tickle instead?”



Hephaestus put up his hand, fingers arched for a tickle, while little Tegan giggled in his arms.



She leaned back with hard laughter after Hephaestus tickled her tummy.

“You’re a darling little thing,” he said.



Tegan had a very long career of being everyone’s darling, from her pleasant clothes the color of cobalt dye and unglazed porcelain and spring-green skin, to her big smile and frequent donations to charity (well, later in life for that one). She kept her heart and morals through the worst.



She had a lot of practice with that, for sure.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,534
Word Count so far: 101,101
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 62, 7/1)
« Reply #284 on: July 01, 2014, 07:58:10 PM »
Ack, no! Bronson! <whimper> No...Tegan can't lose her daddy that early! That's just not right. :(

Ahem...regaining composure...

Normally I'm not a fan of full beards, but Heph seems to make it work. I love that line about the metal detectors going haywire. :P And Tegan is a doll! I love how the porcelain color pattern of her clothing works with her skin.