Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 197152 times)

Offline Littlesister

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 77, 8/27)
« Reply #360 on: August 27, 2014, 05:50:36 AM »
That was a beautiful chapter, I can't wait to see Lilith's genes get into the family. I hope you're feeling somewhat better!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 77, 8/27)
« Reply #361 on: August 27, 2014, 08:16:40 AM »
Sigh...so sad to see Julian go. At least he is with Lita now, right? Rest in peace, my good man...



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Offline Lisa46

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 77, 8/27)
« Reply #362 on: August 30, 2014, 12:18:10 AM »
Awww, poor Julian. He was so handsome, wasn't he?

Also, are your sims on the swap shop? I want Anette and Jo!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 78, 8/31)
« Reply #363 on: August 31, 2014, 12:07:28 AM »
That was a beautiful chapter, I can't wait to see Lilith's genes get into the family. I hope you're feeling somewhat better!

I'm feeling better right now and I hope it lasts for long enough to get a solid start in school this semester. Thank you!

Sigh...so sad to see Julian go. At least he is with Lita now, right? Rest in peace, my good man...

He probably is, and probably happy with her, which is more than I can say for other mortals...

Awww, poor Julian. He was so handsome, wasn't he?

Also, are your sims on the swap shop? I want Anette and Jo!

Ah, he was such a good-looking guy. Like a less-angry version of his father.

Though what's even better than Julian is a female-Julian. I guess you'll see later. ;)

As for the Swap Shop, soon! I have most of the main crew exported, but I need to get some preview pics. I'm still on the fence on whether I want to upload the Roaring Heights crew or not, but I don't see why I couldn't. They're a genetically-interesting bunch.



Chapter 78: The New Blue and White



In the space of two days, the mood of Tegan’s life became a stark contrast.

Two days before her young adult birthday, her uncle Julian passed away, and while she had little of the connection that the others in the household did to the old man, it meant one less chainsaw filling the house with ambient noise. One less man making the world beautiful with his art. He even helped her study for her final exams just a week prior, and she came home with news of the five consecutive A’s she got on her finals, only to be greeted by the urn on the floor. One tear rolled down her spring-green cheek.



“Peapod, don’t let this get you down too much,” Annette said, not even bothering to change out of the stiff fabric of her formalwear and gloves before comforting her great-granddaughter. “It’s your birthday in just a couple of days! And I know that Julian will proud of you no matter where he’s watching from.”



“I’ll try my best,” Tegan said, “That’s awful sweet of you, gram.”

“I know it will be hard for me, not watching him bend over to cheer, in a speedo because we booked it at the pool.” Annette sighed, daydreaming of the perfect redhead who gave her the first kiss she had since Bill’s death, and the last she had for a while. “The world is so cruel.”

Tegan spent the next two days recovering as best she could, which turned out to be a fine recovery, even though it meant spending hours on dating sites seeing who could take grandma Annette off their hands. No biters. Perhaps she really did need an off-guard Julian in her life.

The rest of the time? She poured over job descriptions and applications. Tegan was stuck. Weighing 170 would do her no favors if she auditioned for the women’s football team, and that seemed more like something Lily would do anyways. Her inventions barely sold on the open market, and relying on her creations for income would just mean sponging off of the rest of the family’s hard-earned cash.

Tegan branched out to logical fields. Medicine meant helping others and doing good…with the latest technology and new models of MultiTabs before they went out to the market. Pass. She could follow in the footsteps of Bill and Pansy and carve out a career in law enforcement, enforcing all that is good in the world and using perception and puzzle pieces to stop the bad guys. Yes, Tegan entertained that thought for an hour, until she kicked back with the day’s newspaper.

Willow Creek Police Taze Five Party-Goers Without Warrant-

Pass on that career too, then.

She crossed off career after career, until two job listings remained.

Lab Technician needed for Botany. Will train.

Brave enough? Ghost hunters, paranormal problem solvers wanted. Spots always available!

Perhaps she would see once she grew up and handed in a résumé filled with nothing. See who wanted the résumé of nothing.



Regardless of who would want her, she had positive influences tugging her towards both careers, whether she saw it or not.

As Annette said, she or someone else planned a pool party for Tegan, to which the birthday girl agreed with because she wasn't one to fight or waste a good, barely-used swimsuit. Annette invited any boys from high school that wanted to go, as well as a few girls, though her confidence in her intuition about relationships made it a meaningless motion. Well, except to pad a guest list. The afternoon came and guests took to the pool.



Annette had fun with one of her grandsons, who beat her in a swimming contest. She made sure to remind poor Felix that he was still a single, bitter virgin who was uglier than his mother.



Poor old lady. She couldn't hold her breath for more than a minute, and what was meant to be a graceful swan-dive turned into a belly-flop.



Franco had a little more luck with diving.



And Lily, well, she wasn't alone. She assumed that Tegan ran off with some friends, leaving her and Bronson with some cuddle time. Jets from the tub caressed their backs and steam enveloped the entire area, and best of all, they really were alone. No one else touched the hot tub. Alone, until someone dropped in right beside them, right as Bronson whispered a little something about woohoo into Lily’s ear. Tegan reclined in the hot tub, putting her head back over the edge.

“Peapod, why don’t you just hang with your friends?” Lily asked.

“I was with Mickey and Anderson for a while.” Bronson recoiled at the idea of her hanging out with those boys,  no matter how well the ladies got along with the Whelohff family.

“I think you’re just fine right here,” Bronson said.

“Thanks dad. You and the family made this party happen anyways, so I should spend time with you.”

“You just like the hot tub, don’t you?” Lily asked.

“That too.”

For a while, the little family spoke on nonchalant terms, about the perfect summer sun that afternoon, or Lily and Bronson recalling untold tales about bonfires in college, when the smell of burning wood and herbs wafted over from the bonfire at the property. As the sun set more, and the sky of Twinbrook turned a hazy pink, the time for Tegan to blow out the candles and for everyone to have a slice of one of Annette’s prized cakes drew closer. Bronson had to get the candles because Annette kept nagging him about it, but not without leaving the conversation on a high note. Or trying to.

“So, what about the future?” Bronson asked his daughter, “About jobs, that is.”

“Two routes. I can get into Botany like grandpa Lincoln did. I even read one of his papers! I could be like that.” Tegan beamed at the idea of tending to good, morally-sound (or truly neutral, your pick) plants and studying their intricacies for the betterment of simkind.

“That’s great, peapod. And the other?”

“It might sound a little odd, but the Paranormal Profiteers are looking for a new lackey. Perhaps I could help the dead find some peace, if they’re there,” said Tegan.

“It’s odd that you’d find that.”

“It is, but I feel really fascinated by it. And I just want to see what Hephaestus sees.”

Bronson left the hot tub in a haste, right after giving Lily a mutual, sickened glare. “I better get those candles,” he mumbled.



Lily took a seat behind Tegan, and kicked back while the cake was being prepped and finger foods were cleaned up. Her stomach still churned at the thought of Hephaestus snatching away her porcelain princess, but perhaps it was just a friendly, charitable move on Tegan’s part.

“So, sweetie, once you blow out those candles and get the bow out of your hair, you have a big, wide dating world out there! Regardless of what daddy says,” said Lily. “Deep down, he wants you to be happy too. It’s that military-man protectiveness.”

“He shouldn’t have retired,” Tegan said. “He’s just killing himself with nothing to engineer or defend.”

“That pinched nerve got in the way. I have to hear about him complain about it for an hour before sleeping. But you’re really avoiding what I’m saying. It’s okay if you don’t want to date right now either.”

“Well, I have Bryant,” Tegan said.

“But he’s just a high school fling, isn’t he?” asked Lily.

“Maybe. But I keep making him happy and glow bright white inside. I could do that to someone else too, but I’ll keep at it.”

“No tarnishing your heart?”

“It’s not easy to.”

“Get your fat butt over here before the cake goes stale!” Annette yelled.

“Gram! Do not call her fat,” Lily said, cross.

“I was talking to Franco. Geez. But your fat one can get her butt over there too. It’s her cake.”



Unphased by her great-grandmother’s insulting nature, Tegan dried herself off with a towel and stood in front of the cake the same great-grandmother lovingly baked. Hey, it was worth it to get fat off those. The usual sounds started, cheering and laughter, and the still-teenaged Bryant was among them. How sad it would be to leave him behind for a few months! He was probably aching inside.



So what else could Tegan wish for other than happiness? She didn’t tell anyone until years later, when Bryant’s obituary was a piece of history, but all she wanted was happiness who whoever fell for her and her smiling plump lips, and her long, shapely legs. Happiness for all she touched.





Especially all of those boys and men who attended her party. Lily might ask her about all of them, but that wish even gave her the best answer for that! She wanted everyone her mum wondered about to be happy, from Jonas to Buck, from Mickey to Kisha (she was a lovely girl, after all), and from Bryant to Hephaestus.

It could also work as a way to appeal to Bronson when he wanted to throw a canister of military-grade tear gas at all of them.



Yep, that wish would work just fine.



Lily sobbed as everyone cheered and laughed Tegan on, to encourage birthday magic or just for the chance of getting an extra candy or two in their goody-bags. Her nooboo was growing up so fast.



But she cheered in the end, maybe because she wanted an extra piece of chocolate too.



And, of course, because after Tegan cleaned herself up of any black magic at the dresser, she came out as the loveliest princess in Twinbrook, festooned with bows and blue and white. Her beauty would make any mother proud.

After a rebellion-free childhood, Tegan freed herself of whatever suppressed badness might linger, by building a campfire to purify herself.





Or just to throw a concoction in it. True to Tegan’s morals, it wasn’t poison but rather copper chloride, which made the fire glow blue for a brief moment.



Hephaestus, meanwhile, marched himself upstairs with a plate of cake and a seat next to the mixologist, who realized that tending to a party of teenagers wouldn’t make for a night of bountiful tips. She eyed the lean man with some desire in her eye, as many women did.

“Well handsome, I’m new in town,” she said, “Why don’t we head to the hot tub?”

He looked over at her face, that pretty and unremarkable face. While he appreciated the skimpy dress on her, nothing sparked in his heart.

“I’m sorry, not tonight,” he said, looking nauseated at his half-eaten cake. He noticed Bryant throwing his used plate in the garbage one level below, and eyeing the grown-up Tegan in her bikini too. From those thick thighs to her more-developed bosom. While Tegan just saw a teenage boy still infatuated with her, Hephaestus saw the devil himself, with those horns leaking from his disguise as an unfashionable, chubby teenager.

He grabbed the rag doll from his belt loop. He was no Saint Michael, and this devil still wasn’t slain.

Bryant was washing his hands when Hephaestus approached him, pins in hand and ready to stab the doll in the crotch if needed.



“You thought I was done with you?” Hephaestus shoved the doll in Bryant’s face. But the unfit young man still had the reflexes to snatch the doll from Hephaestus’ grip.



“So you do like her, huh?” he retorted, keeping the doll out of reach. “Now that she’s all legal and curvy?”

“So what if I do? You’re a kid, I’m an adult, and there’s someone in this triangle who isn’t very legal, huh? You’re a devil in disguise, trying to tempt her away from the good parts of life.”

“Yep, tempting her away from someone with half a foot in the grave. How awful of me. I’’m a dang saint compared to you.”

“You are the evil one! I knew it. I’ll be exorcising your house tonight. Maybe you won’t be a problem anymore.” And then, Hephaestus grabbed the doll from Bryant’s hands, ripping a limb by mistake. Bryant collapsed on the spot, quickly taken away by some responsible adult or friend before Tegan knew what happened.

Hephaestus was ready to grab some salt to throw at the Moreno household, or to find a spell to do the same, but he barely spoke to Tegan that day.



And there she still was, ready for a little more fun in the party.

“Heph!” she squealed, “I thought you ran off somewhere.”

“Maybe I was about you. You need something?” he asked.

“Well, maybe we can just have some fun? No one’s using the water slide, finally!”



Yeah, and some woman wanted him to spend the night lazing in a hot tub. Hephaestus held his knees and slid down the wet plastic with a closed-mouth smile.



Tegan slipped and slid down with a nose full of water instead.

“Crap,” she muttered, “I thought I was better at that.”

“Hey, you tried. You know, you cleaned up so well tonight. I never thought I’d see you in a bikini,” he said.

“Eh, there’s only one time in my life where I get to look foxy. I thought I’d live it up.”

“And, hey, I’ve been doing this ‘adult’ thing for a lot longer than you have. If you need me, I’m always here for you. Always.”



She drew Hephaestus in for a soft hug. “Aww, thanks Heph. I’ll be sure to knock on your door at least once a day for it. Mind still working well?”

“Yeah. Sure.”

He spent the night doing exorcism rituals at the Moreno house instead, as he saw the property swirling with dark matter, more black than Tegan’s wavy, thick hair, outlined in pomegranate-red. Black noise and laughter rang throughout the yard. Hephaestus burnt incense to quiet it all down. Threw salt at any demonic hands that tried to grab him. Threw some more salt at the house next door, which had the high-pitched laughter of an old woman, the sound of which rubbed him the wrong way that night.

All throughout the night, he recited every incantation he could, and at sunrise, the bad energy waned enough for him to ignore. Hephaestus then fell asleep on the ground, caressed by soft, lakeside grass that was damp enough to make a big wet spot on his clothes. And then he was kicked awake.

Ready to throw a hit at a raging Moreno, Hephaestus instead woke up to one of Bronson’s shoes. Which was being worn by Bronson, who was there and a little smelly without a shower, and with big circles under his eyes that made him look half-dead.

“We need to talk...again,” Bronson said.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,465
Word Count so far: 139,650
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Offline notjustabook

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 78, 8/31)
« Reply #364 on: August 31, 2014, 02:37:00 AM »
It's going to be interesting to see what career Tegan settles on.
And then there's her and Heph... I know her parents might not be too happy about it but I ship it.



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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 78, 8/31)
« Reply #365 on: September 05, 2014, 08:25:11 AM »
Hello!

It's taken me a while to read the whole thing and I've loved every bit of it. Congratulations on finishing, I can't wait to meet Phil and Jo, been waiting since they first appeared  ;)

One thing I wanted to ask about, was Pansy dating a wifebeater? I'm sure someone would have put a stop to that relationship ASAP!
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 78, 8/31)
« Reply #366 on: September 05, 2014, 08:37:33 AM »
It's going to be interesting to see what career Tegan settles on.
And then there's her and Heph... I know her parents might not be too happy about it but I ship it.

And she has a whole life or four to do both!

Who doesn't ship it?

Hello!

It's taken me a while to read the whole thing and I've loved every bit of it. Congratulations on finishing, I can't wait to meet Phil and Jo, been waiting since they first appeared  ;)

One thing I wanted to ask about, was Pansy dating a wifebeater? I'm sure someone would have put a stop to that relationship ASAP!

I'm only responding now because I don't want to cause much confusion. "Wifebeater" is also a term used for a men's tank top, which Notzo was wearing. I don't know how colloquial it is, but it's a common enough word for them where I am. I might edit that line to be "Notzo's gone sleeveless" or something similar, because I'm not here to confuse/traumatize readers.

Thanks for the other compliments, though! You'll see Phil's true dynasty introduction sooner or later now that his mum is all grown up. That is, if I can get my lazy butt into writing mode.
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Offline Brooke.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 78, 8/31)
« Reply #367 on: September 05, 2014, 08:42:11 AM »

I'm only responding now because I don't want to cause much confusion. "Wifebeater" is also a term used for a men's tank top, which Notzo was wearing. I don't know how colloquial it is, but it's a common enough word for them where I am. I might edit that line to be "Notzo's gone sleeveless" or something similar, because I'm not here to confuse/traumatize readers.

Thanks for the other compliments, though! You'll see Phil's true dynasty introduction sooner or later now that his mum is all grown up. That is, if I can get my lazy butt into writing mode.

Oh, I've always called them tank tops, really had no idea of that term. Thanks for clearing it up.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 39, 3/31)
« Reply #368 on: September 05, 2014, 08:50:42 AM »
Don't worry about it. :) I made a quick revision too:

“After everything? Nope. Now if you excuse me, my boyfriend’s gone sleeveless, and that’s just hot.”
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 79, 9/6)
« Reply #369 on: September 06, 2014, 10:24:24 PM »
Chapter 79: Cancer Man



“You’re not going to hurt me, are you?” Hephaestus asked. “I mean, I’m sorry for turning you into a toad. I just wanted to see if that spell worked!”

“I don’t think I can hurt you anymore. What do you drink, anyways?”

Hephaestus eschewed alcohol in favor of water and the occasional herbal tea. When Bronson informed him that he had control over the drinks, Hephaestus chose the diner and a pot of loose-leaf hibiscus tea for them to split over the dire conversation that would likely be Heph’s death sentence.



One cup in, and Bronson tore down any semblance of stoicism, slouching over the table with his head in his hand. Hephaestus had no good move other than to lend an ear to the old man.

“Let’s just make this clear, I still don’t like you,” Bronson said, grumbling.

“Accepted,” Hephaestus said.

“But I guess we’re both adults here, so let’s talk like them. I saw you staring at Tegan’s boobs yesterday, like a dog focused on a plate of steaks.”

“You sure I didn’t see a nymph in her cleavage?”

“Look, I’m a straight man just like you. I love a good rack, you do too, let’s not kid ourselves. I know the things you do, trying to torment that Bryant kid in ways I only wish I could. I had to haul him out to the doctor’s last night. You have your own violent streak too. I’m not going to start this conversation forgiving you for anything. Because you’re a wreck.”

“So I am,” Hephaestus said, “The violent part, a wreck, I guess I’m all of that even at my old age. So are you taking me out for tea, just to drag me through the mud? That’s a pretty awful thing to do to me.”



“I’m just going through a difficult time right now,” Bronson said, “In many ways. Lily wanted me to rescue you and I need to vent at someone, but not my Lilypad.”

“I thought retirement would treat you well, Mr. Curious. Why vent?”



Bronson hung his head down and cried after that. “I didn’t want to retire,” he said, in between sobs. It was the first time he cried since his death scare way back when. “I’m dying, that’s what.”

“I know you’re old, but…it can’t be that, is it?” Hephaestus asked, his eyes growing pink themselves. Bronson nodded.

“Demonic possession of humans is pretty difficult to cure,” Hephaestus said, “At least for me. I’m not a trained exorcist, nor am I blessed.”

“You idiot! You superstitious idiot, I have an untreatable tumor on my neck that will kill me within a month!” Bronson smashed his fists on the table, almost sending their tea set to the ground, “I don’t like one bit of your insane ramblings, but this is serious. I don’t get to go out late and gracefully like your uncle Julian did. I’m barely past 90 and I might see my daughter graduate today, but that’s as far as I’ll go.”

“I’m sorry, I’m very sorry.” Hephaestus sank in his seat. “Does Lily know?”

“I don’t want her to ever know. Not even when I’m rotting in the ground.”

“That’s mean,” Hephaestus said.

“Not when she sees me as this big, strong hero. She always has, and I like being her knight. And I want to die that way to her and not be the Cancer Man instead,” Bronson said. “Funny enough, you’re the sort of guy who can keep a secret the best in the family. Because you’ll be six feet under just like me, and I’ll still kick your bony butt in the afterlife. And I think you agree with dealing with illnesses peacefully, just like me. I have a kindred spirit in you, for the only time ever.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I get checkups, I get things checked.” He raised his voice. “I did. I went to Dr. Bertone last week!”

“Then why is that pill container always empty?” Bronson asked.

“They don’t refill much at all.”

“For a skinny genius, you’re really a big, fat idiot,” Bronson said, grumbling. “You and I both have something to hide. You want to be responsible, even though you’re not. I want to be strong, but that’s because I am. Mostly. Except that I’m dying.”

“I want them to shut up, too. I just want to feel like myself,” said Hephaestus. “The whole house has been plunged into darkness since Julian died, and now no one leaves me alone. They just curl up on my bed and relax in the tub, and get into the jar of mayo in the fridge and eat Annette’s leftover cheesesteaks. I guess…I guess I hide that too.”

“You’re insane and not dying. I get it. Shut up and buy me some foundation at the store to cover these bags. Franco said that the closest tone is Mocha, but they don’t make that goop dark enough for me.”

“Yes sir.”

“And kid,” Bronson said, “I’m weak, and just say it to me.”

“I would propose to Tegan in a heartbeat, sir. I love her in every way, and her body makes my tongue fall out of my mouth.”

“I hate you. Get me back home after you get the makeup, help me get dressed because everything hurts now, and forget what I told you about needing to get your mind checked before laying a hand on my nooboo. She’ll just love having a crazy old manchild as her hubby ‘til you’re rotting in the ground next to me. And then, I’ll kick your bony butt in the afterlife. Because I’ve known you for your whole life, and really can’t believe that I once liked you a little bit.”

Hephaestus drove Bronson home right afterwards to prepare for Tegan’s graduation later that morning, after helping him find and dressed in his good, never-worn trenchcoat at home, and waiting until his tired eyes were disguised. Rain started pouring and Bronson sighed, until Lily gave him a hug, almost crying herself.

“I can’t believe that we’re at this day,” she said in his ear.

“Yeah, I can’t either, Lilypad. I’m glad I’m here for it.”

As it turned out, Bronson indeed did his wife a huge favor, for the moment, by pretending to be healthy, aside from complaining about how he could barely move thanks to the spreading nerve pain that plagued him. He promised to look into it further, gritting his teeth and chalking the lack of results up to the human body being mysterious, and not being choked from the inside. It wasn’t anything new, and Lily gave him a peck on the cheek and some aspirin tablets that she kept in the glove compartment. She walked up the stairs to City Hall without a momentary frown.



The reality of her little nooboo graduating high school hit her near the doors. Lily bit her nails because Julian wasn’t there to do so. Three days in and she still bitterly missed her partner in sculpting.



Heck, even if Bronson’s impending death ate him up from the inside, he still looked calm next to Lily. No need to keep up appearances!



Tegan arrived early to prepare with the rest of the graduating class, making sure that robes were zipped up and caps secured on heads. However, one sneaky babysitter from Willow Creek thought that it would be fun to screw around with that weird, green Twinbrook girl, and convinced Tegan to wear a fuzzy, cat-ear hat instead. In the sweltering, swampy summer no less. She took it in good jest, especially as it fit on her head a little better than the mortarboard anyways. No one but Franco really cared, and even he shut up before taking his seat at the ceremony.

Aside from that, the family was on their best behavior for thirty seconds, until Bryant walked by. He wasn’t graduating, and had to save it for the next session, but he attended for his grown-up high school girlfriend and for the hope of a graduation party invite from someone. Very few people in the family cared about Bryant at that point, except for Hephaestus.



“Yeah guys, I’m so great, I’m a kitty cat,” he said, mocking Bryant by licking his hands like Bryant did in his moments of insanity, “Girls just love me for it.”

“It’s a part of him I’m fine with,” Tegan said, smiling. “You don’t need to be like he is, though! I like your mind the way it is.”

The ceremony, like every graduation ceremony across the world, was a horrible and slow affair for both the attendants stuck in their seats and the graduates under hot stage lights in their robes. Tegan, the humble valedictorian, delivered a speech simply thanking everyone for their presence and support throughout school, with one line thanking her proud, tearful parents in the audience.



She exited and tossed her diploma, for pride filled her good heart for a rare moment upon running her fingers across the thick paper and the golden seal. Her family also behaved for a morning, also rare, with only one moment of Annette checking out a man in the audience, and with Bronson yelling “you suck!” to only one graduate as they walked across the stage. Hephaestus acted oddly medicated, even getting his best jacket on as the dress code prescribed Come to think of it, everyone did regardless of their usual tastes.

The best of all? Her grandmother, the young and beautiful Bunny, attended as shimmering and splendorous as ever. She even found Bryant outside the doors.

“Do good by her, okay?” she asked him.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said, dismissively. “It’s like you have a vendetta against me or something.”



“Kiddo, I watch out for my precious grandnooboo almost as much as her violent military dad does. Don’t pull any crap before you find your jugular drained.”

“Come on, gram,” Tegan said, “You can’t threaten him like that.”

“I literally don’t have a heart. Sometimes, I think I gave that all to you instead,” said Bunny.



Bunny had a good, neutral chat full of jokes and reminiscing with her old, old son, and almost forgot about Bryant. Even Tegan did, as she said hello to him before being whisked away by Hephaestus, who drew a white box out from his coat. “Because you didn’t plan a graduation party,” he said.

“What? It’s not like you’re a party animal either,” Tegan said, confused.

“I just need to get my mind off things, you know? Silence the voices so the family believes that I still am.”

“There’s nothing wrong with them.”

“I enjoy silence too. But the gift, that! Unfortunately, I took a cue from Annette for this one. It’s last-minute, and I’m sorry. They’re, well, they’re drink vouchers for Grey Chiffon. And a beautiful, frilly dress to make this a little less pathetic.”



“That’s not pathetic, Heph!” Tegan said, holding her heart with surprise and taking the gift, “I could use a drink too. Just one, perhaps.”

The dress was tailored perfectly for Tegan’s curves. The sleeveless design held onto her breasts without slipping. It covered enough of her legs to be a little less than scandalous. Paired with heels, Tegan’s new outfit fit the dress code for the lounge, and Hephaestus, after much fighting, disregarded a voice that told him to wear his athletic tank and kept his best coat and scarf on for the night.



She almost knew his order: a glass of seltzer water with a lime wedge. However, even the sober Hephaestus needed the crutch of sweet juice when trauma hit, and he ordered a martini to compliment Tegan’s fruit energy mix.

“Found out that you have another child?” she asked, legitimately concerned. “It’s okay. We make mistakes, and you have another cutie-pie too!”

“Nah, not that,” he said. “Just, um, I got a new job! I’m filling in as the pianist for the Simsouri Philharmonic while their regular one is on leave.” He swore that he saw a job listing for it on the bulletin board at the grocery store. He already had oodles of cash in his bank account from sculpting, so a new job with less pay could inject something interesting into his life.

“Oh, that is cool!” she squealed. “They got a new bartender downstairs, and mum says that it’s her cousin Lynn. She wants me to report back on how good he is at the job.”

“Is he one of those vampires?” Hephaestus asked.

“He’s working at this place. I bet he is.”



After a rough history with Lily, Lynn forgave the Waverlys entirely and shook Tegan’s second drink with a fanged smile on his face. The richest family in Twinbrook would surely tip him well, which they did, leaving two hundred simoleons in his jar. Tegan gave him a compliment too, for his skill.

“Well, they do sound good,” Hephaestus said, hesitating. “You make martinis too, right?”

Two drinks was enough to send two lightweights into a night of drunken decisions.



They gambled away all of the money that Tegan made from her graduation gifts.





They made fools of themselves on the counter.

And Tegan made an off-color comment about how firm Hephaestus’ butt looked. “Have you been hitting the squat rack with dad?” she asked, laughing a loose, buzzed laugh. “You’re just in such great shape, unlike me.”

“Nah, I like them soft,” he said. “With thick thighs and a nice round butt that jiggles when they dance.”

“If you were sober, I’d actually think you were flirting with me.”



Hephaestus, with two drinks taking a toll on what little of him there was to get drunk, almost leaned in to Tegan for a messy, public makeout session that would make Annette proud. He almost did that, while caressing her back and having one hand approach that fat butt he admitted to appreciating.

“You want a hug?” Tegan asked. “I just feel so fun right now. Hugs are fun!”

“Yes, yes they are,” Hephaestus muttered.



And for a man growing lovesick, hugs were fun, and comforting, and the best he got that night before vomiting chunks of alcohol and an olive platter in the fountain near the entrance of the venue.



Word Count for this chapter: 2375
Word Count so far: 142,025

While I don't have The Sims 4 right now, nor do I plan to for a bit, I do want to thank that game for having a world that looks like Twinbrook's sunny, oversaturated neighbor. Hence all of the references to Willow Creek now. That's where some weird folks come from. ;)

Oh, and I know that cancer is one of the most ridiculously overdone drama devices in Sims stories and often done badly. Can't say that I improved on it. I just needed a way for Bronson to get a death sentence. Fortunately or unfortunately, you don't get much of it, because Bronson's time is running out...
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Offline Deme

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 79, 9/6)
« Reply #370 on: September 06, 2014, 11:01:40 PM »
Eh, I can't say I mind it too much; he's not too maudlin about it, and that's always important. It was a good chapter, anyway!
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 79, 9/6)
« Reply #371 on: September 07, 2014, 12:09:29 AM »
Took me a bit to catch up!  Been busy lately, but let me just say, Trip.  Lovin' it!  The conversation between Bronson and Heph made me laugh at the same time it made me sad.  I love how Bronson handles it.

Offline notjustabook

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 79, 9/6)
« Reply #372 on: September 07, 2014, 09:21:43 AM »
You handle the cancer thing much better than a lot of stories - it's not overly melodramatic or weepy. It's done well. As is usual with your stuff - I so envy your writing skills :)



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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 79, 9/6)
« Reply #373 on: September 10, 2014, 04:50:15 PM »
Eh, I can't say I mind it too much; he's not too maudlin about it, and that's always important. It was a good chapter, anyway!

True. Thank you!

Took me a bit to catch up!  Been busy lately, but let me just say, Trip.  Lovin' it!  The conversation between Bronson and Heph made me laugh at the same time it made me sad.  I love how Bronson handles it.

Glad to have you back! (I'll bug you about the link to your legacy in a PM, so I can catch up too...)

You handle the cancer thing much better than a lot of stories - it's not overly melodramatic or weepy. It's done well. As is usual with your stuff - I so envy your writing skills :)

Though maybe with a different sim it would be. Thank you!



Chapter 80: Things That Crawl at Night



Little time passed after Tegan’s graduation, though little time was what the family expected her to take in settling on a career. She wasn’t as indecisive as her mother, was she? But she didn’t settle on one in that time, and not for at least a month.

Bryant blew out his birthday candles in that time, which meant that he resumed his romance with the grown-up Tegan and her mature, voluptuous goodness. Once. After an afternoon of one kiss and a chaste water balloon battle, Bryant rejected every date call from Tegan. “Sorry, but Innovative Second-Person Shooter XXI comes out tonight. The bros won’t let me miss that.” “Yeah, I’m still trying to beat this map.” “But there’s a new DLC pack!”

Tegan’s patience was tested. She complained once, lightly, to her father while they shared a plus-sized omelet in the morning. “I thought being in a relationship was all about dating, but he’s just focused on his games.”

“Gag me,” Bronson said.

“I know. I told you that technology is a little evil.”

“Not exactly that, but why don’t you spare your old man’s heart and not date anyone?”

“How about for as long as I can hold out for? I do care about your heart. Will you balk from the afterlife? God forbid you go there soon, of course.”

“I will no matter who you get. Just, um, make a good choice, peapod. Yes.”

“You okay, dad?” Tegan asked.

“Old and tired, that’s what. Ask your mum about it.”

“Are you okay with being left alone?”

“Always,” Bronson said. “More time for writing. It’s not as good as dead-lifting, but I’m glad to get back into it. So leave me alone while I write a compilation of ‘your mum’ jokes throughout the ages.”

“Alright daddy,” she said, giving him a hug before leaving for the fire station on a clear Twinbrook night. The wind shook the hanging branches of the willow trees, and the summer humidity made the smooth inner lining of Tegan’s pencil skirt stick to her chunky thighs. The heat that night, still nearly 90F, was enough to make a dedicated outdoors runner stick with a treadmill, but Tegan took a lazy saunter downtown. Cars whizzed by. Nature’s sounds joined her thoughts. Bronson pinched his nose bridge back at home. There had to be a boy involved, and it choked his heart even more than the tumor that was likely squeezing it or everything else.



Lily gave him a pat on the shoulder. “I know her well, honey. She likes doing her work alone too. That inventing stuff. I’m glad she’s stuck with it, because I love gushing about her new toys and widgets with her. Plus, those smashers would look great on a desk.”

“I can’t get used to her growing up,” he said, sighing. “I’m too old and set in my ways.”

“You’re our old man. I don’t think she hates you for it,” Lily said. “You’re doing darn fine for an old man, though. Can you wait to see her get her first promotion?” He would like it, you know, if he was in decent health. “Graduate from uni?” That would be nice too, if she could finish university in a couple of months and if the plane ride alone wouldn’t kill him.

Instead, Bronson shook his head to all of those questions. He couldn’t wait. He wanted to see those.

“As for dating, be her father, but if someone as nice as Mickey or Buck walked in through the door with Tegan draped over her arm, you wouldn’t hate it as much as…other things.”

“Maybe I hate them the least. Except for Buck, because he’s in bed with my mother half of the week. Those dang bloodsuckers.”

“Still not your father-in-law’s stepson, right?”

“Yeah, at least it wouldn’t be. I’ll kill myself before that happens.” Wouldn’t be long now.

“It’s tough to deal with.”



“But you know me deep down,” Bronson said. “I just don’t want her to get hurt.”

They slept for a few hours until a sudden call from the burn unit at Twinbrook Foundation Hospital roused the both of them. Tegan slipped, and her blowtorch went in a different direction. Instead of in front of her, the flame end of it landed on her butt instead. She was fine and with patches of second-degree burns at worst, thanks to her quick reflexes and being surrounded by fire extinguishers and other emergency measures in a fire station, but checked in to make double-sure that she wasn’t underestimating the damage.

“I’m sorry for worrying you guys,” she said on the ride home, lying face-down in the back seat of the Motive Mobile, as the scattered burns needed a break from bearing her weight.

“Don’t worry, Peapod,” Lily said.

“Well, it caught me off-guard,” said Bronson. “I’m too old to take this too.”

“I’m sorry, dad. I’ll buy a blowtorch with a better grip tomorrow, just for you.”

Bronson woke up tired, sore, and dying, which was the usual routine. He took a shower and was greeted by the best mushroom omelet and home fries that Annette ever made for him. He retired at the computer desk upstairs, intent on getting more work done on his current book. As usual, he didn’t bother getting dressed and relished the draft that strutting around in his boxer shorts gave him. Annette followed, even though she lost interest in Bronson once he got elderly.

“I have a little project for this old dog,” she told him.



“This old dog is far too old for this,” Bronson said, dismissively.

“Nonsense! You’re barely past 90 and spent your life doing bicep curls. My husband lived to 111 by lazing around and watching TV, so I think you have plenty of years left in you. Anyways, I’ve been around for even longer, and I was thinking that now might be the time to start writing my memoirs. But that’s too much work, so I think you should ghost-write them for me instead.”

“How much time will this take?”

“A few years, if you count proof-reading too.”

“We’ll see.” Bronson cracked his knuckles. Somehow, any motivation to compile more “your mum” jokes for a humor book escaped. He stared at the white space in his word processor and shut the laptop. He opened it again, and with the keystroke of control + n, he sought to write something different from his book and Annette’s memoirs.

Dear Whoever You Will Be,

You might hear stories about me. I’m Bronson. I’m your grandfather or something more distant, because this writing business isn’t for my daughter, is it? Or maybe I’m an in-law, which means that I desperately wish that I was around to talk crap behind your back.

Anyways.

You’re probably only reading my books because you like to write, and you need inspiration, and your family keeps my work on hand for the memories. That’s fine with me. So I have two things to say:

Keep writing. It’s a great hobby to have.

If you run out of ideas, you can catch Annette if juice poisoning hasn’t taken her first. She’ll suggest ghost-writing her memoirs, I know it. Write a biography about the whole family instead. They’re weird. The ones I know are weird and the most awful, and amazing people I know. I wish I could, but I’m writing this as a dying old man instead.

Regardless of who you are or what I think of you, I hope I can get your books in the afterlife. I’ll have plenty of time to kill.

Yours Truly,

Grandpa Bronson


Bronson printed out the letter and folded it, stuffing it into the family’s copy of Feyman Smash! #1, his first work. Hopefully someone would still be interested in illustrations and panel-work that needed refining.

It sparked his motivation for the jokes again. He went upstairs to write one more joke, before retiring to bed for the twelve or more hours of sleep that retirement and illness gave him. But he fell on the floor and everything stopped, from his perception of time to his heart. Definitely the latter, though.



Someone called Bronson on his cell phone right then, right as he floated up in his new form. His ringtone was a sound clip of an atom bomb warning siren, and if it ever looped, the family would approach Bronson and demand that he answer his phone or turn that darn thing off. And so the patter of a few of the house’s adults on the staircase sounded on the third loop of the blasted siren. Everyone just thought that Bronson abandoned his phone for the night.



Tegan was busy when she first heard it, right in the middle of ice sculptures with Hephaestus. Lily trusted him with them more than she trusted herself with carving facial features out of delicate ice. But then the ringtone from hell sounded. She jumped, but hoped that her dad would answer the phone like a decent person.



Second loop. Hephestus ignored it and got the perfect pose from her. She couldn’t stand it.

“I’ll be back. If I don’t survive, well, you’re still my best friend,” Tegan said to him.

“It’s just a smartphone…oh,” said Hephaestus. “I know you hate it, but you’re strong.”

She entered the little study upstairs, a place she was familiar with thanks to the inventor’s workbench being the next room over. She expected to find his phone and a hard surface to smash the offending technology against, as she did enough good to make up for it, such as her latest check to Plant a Money Tree’s efforts in the needy areas of Bridgeport. Instead, Tegan found a ghost, and not the fascinating kind that bicycled around France.



The waterworks started as Bronson’s phone stopped.



Lily came upstairs next, gasping at what she found.

“Thanks, ladies,” were his last words to the family. He saved a few more for Grim, who struggled to find a space in the cramped study.

“This is sooner than even I expected,” said Grim. Bronson held his tongue.

“Yeah, surprised me too,” he said. “Got time for some last words?”

“Always.”



“I chose well and regret nothing. And I can whoop the rears of whatever demons you unleash on me. I’ve done well, and I just want to meet some of the family again. See who these Bakers everyone tells me about are.”

“That is very nice, Bronson,” said Grim.



“You know what? Thanks for being a good old reaper,” Bronson said, cordially shaking Grim’s hand, while he usually greeted people with a megaphone or a threat from the military.



He leaped into the afterlife with the grace of a grasshopper, leaving his ladies alone and crying. Annette figured out what was up and tracked down Lily, who escaped.



She found her granddaughter on the see-saw outside, sitting on and weighing down one end of it. She climbed on the other end to even it out and have a talk, or to cheer up Lily with a child’s game.

“I think I’m better for telling you this than your dad is,” Annette said. “You never met your grandpa Bill, but Bronson always reminded me of him, sort of.”

“Did grandpa laugh at birthdays?”

“Without fail.”

Lily chuckled. The family attracted a type, it seemed.



“Hey, I’ve mentioned this before, I swear,” Annette said, “But as long as we finish this stupid dynasty, you can have him back. Young and buff and beautiful again.”

“You have, you have. But how much longer do we have left?”

“More than I’d like.”

“I’ll follow the rules better than anyone, then,” said Lily. “I’d live a perfect life with him again, because it was perfect.”

“I can understand that. It is like me and Bill. ‘The One’ is good at lifting you up.” Annette put all of her weight and force down on the see-saw, sending Lily’s side up. For emphasis.



“And of course you keep wanting that,” Annette continued, talking to a suspended Lily. “But I can see things picking up at points. You’ll be a grandmother one of these days. And if there’s one thing that made me feel the tiniest bit better after Bill passed on, it was meeting you for the first time. As pink as…well, I don’t think anyone in my family was very pink. But that just makes you special.”

“Thanks Gram.” She stepped off the see-saw and hugged her old granny around the neck.

“And you’re welcome! Also, take those dang leggings off. They were barely in style when you were a fit adult and don’t even match now.”



She’d consider it, even more so after Annette delivered her a fresh plate of Baked Angel Food Cake for her sorrows.

Lily went up to the cemetery early in the morning to set his obelisk in place, as the first rays of sunlight greeted Twinbrook’s horizon and shone through the willows’ branches. Even in the warm, humid morning, the cicadas fell silent in honor of the fallen mortal. Lily made sure it was secure in the ground, in anticipation of a bad summer thunderstorm.

She drove around the back hills of Twinbrook, past the old Curious house where Bronson’s mother and sisters still lived and basked in their endless youth, and past the military base. She put on some music to clear the air. Lily and Bronson shared playlists and collections, and with their combined collection on shuffle, one old song popped up first, sort of. She recognized the tune, even though it was done on a keyboard and with a slightly more electric guitar.

The night falls in the forest and the light fades away
The wind cries over the snowy plains as the blackness bleeds from the grey
The circles of thought don't turn
The candles cease to burn


“This old thing,” she said to herself. The band that did the song re-recorded it, according to Bronson.

I'm all alone in the darkness of my stilled heart

So she was, so she was.

The song was from the wrong perspective, at least at that moment. Bronson didn’t mean to die, as far as she knew, unlike some scorned love interest or friend who made the lyricist displeased. But it mattered to her, bringing back the good moments of cuddling with him during a red-eye flight while listening to that song (well, the original recording) through one earbud.

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


Alone, Lily sung along to the chorus. After so many years, she didn’t forget the words.

Can't remember why I've come to know them all
I have become one of the things that crawl at night




Word Count for this chapter: 2,492
Word Count so far: 144,517

Song credits, again, go to Tarot and their song "Things that Crawl at Night." It really was re-recorded by the band in 2011 (original recording was in 1986; that's older than my parents' marriage!). I prefer the re-recording by a small margin.
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Offline Malley

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 80, 9/10)
« Reply #374 on: September 10, 2014, 05:04:05 PM »
This chapter was so bittersweet.  RIP Bronson, you shall be missed  :'(

Quote
Also, take those dang leggings off. They were barely in style when you were a fit adult and don’t even match now.”

That was pretty funny though  :)