Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 220073 times)

Offline notjustabook

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 80, 9/10)
« Reply #375 on: September 12, 2014, 07:47:57 AM »
Aw... poor Lily. Rest in peace, Bronson. I think Lily handled it pretty well - she's heartbroken of course, but she's a fighter.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 80, 9/10)
« Reply #376 on: September 13, 2014, 02:32:50 PM »
*sniff sniff* RIP Bronson!  You will be missed.  I did like Lily's moment with Annette though.  It was very appropriate for them.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 80, 9/10)
« Reply #377 on: September 16, 2014, 10:52:41 AM »
This chapter was so bittersweet.  RIP Bronson, you shall be missed  :'(

That was pretty funny though  :)

Yeah, those leggings were wild. She looked more dignified with bare, elderly legs.

Aw... poor Lily. Rest in peace, Bronson. I think Lily handled it pretty well - she's heartbroken of course, but she's a fighter.

That she is. :)

*sniff sniff* RIP Bronson!  You will be missed.  I did like Lily's moment with Annette though.  It was very appropriate for them.

Annette did something appropriate? Wow! But thanks. :)

Chapter 81: Trash

A few days passed, enough for Lily to go from a functionless, sobbing mess of a new widow to one with the will to pick up the pieces. She oversaw Bronson's obituary, got plenty of condolences from his old coworkers, and even got back into the sculpting grind alongside Hephaestus.

Things weren't easy with him. Not since her ambrosia day.

Still, he sculpted. Hephaestus barely said a word to her, standing aloof and sculpting more until he felt like a great matter of the medium again. Lily didn't ask. Hephaestus didn't ask why she wasn't asking anything. They worked cold and silent, fitting for two ice sculptors, and aimed that the other one knew that they knew.

It ate at Heph enough, though, and soon he couldn't stand not being friendly with his stepsister and teacher any more. She knew that he did something wrong.

"I admit it," he sighed.

"Admit what?" What she assumed sickened her.

"I'm really sorry Lil. It only felt like the right thing."

"How could it?" She couldn't even bring herself to give Hephaestus a face that would make every reconstructive surgeon grin. Lily cried instead. "How the hell could you?"

"It's just, I know I'm crazy now, but I felt like a zombie on those meds. I know you wanted me to get help, but until medicine marches on, I'm better off being me. I guess it's why I've been quiet. I just didn't want you to find out if I ended up rambling about ghosts instead."

"Oh," she said, flatly. "Maybe I assumed something else was wrong. Glad to see I’m wrong now. I think your mind is a little better than I thought anyways. Even if you are mad, it's not the worst a man can be." A man could be dating his step-niece, after all.

"Great! I'm so glad to see a few beautiful forest nymphs again, though could you really call the bayou a forest? Maybe they’re lost.”

At that point, it was like music to Lily’s ears.

Maybe she overestimated the sinister ways of her stepbrother, by assuming he had any at all. It’s not like he and Annette spoke that much, and his relationship with Franco waned as they both grew old. They probably didn’t give him the memo. And as sad as it was that aging Hephaestus still hadn’t been kissed since he was 19 or so, he wasn’t the top priority. Tegan was. She still considered her and Bryant an item, and he did just as much, even though she was the one to always visit him, and to get kicked out when it turned out that gaming with some local neckbeards was first on his agenda.

Well, Hephaestus was no threat now. Suddenly, Lily engaged in small talk with him while they sculpted, or as much small talk as they could hear over two chainsaws. What they could manage was neutral, about current events and the local Purple Herons sports franchise. Hephaestus had no words about his romantic life, no news or even crushes to speak of. The confidence in his voice placated Lily. She even trusted him with a sad task.

She kept Bronson’s phone after he died, instantly powering the device off and vowing never to look through his voicemails. They trusted each other, and even if Bronson had something to hide, it had no bearing on the present. However, Lily couldn’t keep the phone forever, and it could find a good second life once it went through recycling. The bookstore kept a bin to drop old cellphones in.

Hephaestus got the phone one evening. “Take it where it needs to go,” Lily said. “I know that he didn’t password-protect the thing, so you can look through it. It’s just really distasteful to.”

“I know,” Heph said. “I’m insane. Not evil.”

“And that’s what I still like about you. You can get it there before they close if you leave now.”

He went to the closest bridge instead, gingerly walking across the rough wooden surface as not to get splinters in his bare feet. He clutched the phone tight enough to make the dark, ruddy skin on his knuckles still go white. He couldn’t betray Lily, could he? They finally got along again.

Screw it. He looked at the last voicemail. He recognized the first part of the number; all of the hospital’s numbers dialed out from it, such as Dr. Bertone’s. The extension was a few numbers off, though, and Bronson seemed to be of clear mind anyways (at least by society’s oppressive standards).

Hi Mr. Curious. It’s Dr. Jin again. Just calling to see if there’s a time when we can talk about treatment plans. We found one that might buy you some time, even at this stage. Call me back when you get a chance.

How cruel, even in spite of all of the venom that Bronson directed at him. Hephaestus opened the back of the phone and exposed the SIM card, while it was still on, and threw it into the water. It had to have been shorted-out by then.

Something was in the swampy air that night. Voices still haunted Hephaestus, though they were all muffled. That stressed him out more, trying to decipher their distorted words. No luck. Not even his own mind made sense to him now. His face contorted and he was ready to burst, but then the clack-clack of heels across the bridge started to grab his attention.

“Heph?” Tegan asked. She was all dressed-up.

“Oh, hey,” he said. “Just taking a brisk walk. It’s still humid, but the world has a beautiful teal glow right now. And you just seem sad.”

“It’s been rough,” she said.

“I can imagine.” He grabbed her shoulders to beg for her to cheer up. “My mum passed away before you were born, and I think I felt the same way. That was so long ago, her dying, and you not being around! Everyone’s aura looked so hot and orange and angry until you came around to brighten up everything.”

“I did?”

“You sure as hell did. Are you going to the lounge tonight?” he asked.

“They need a bassist to volunteer. I don’t want to get too rusty. Why don’t you tag along? They’re not as strict on the dress code anymore. I just like this dress you gave me.”

“I’m good.”

She arrived home later that night and immediately wrote a check to the last charity that mailed her a letter. Books for Bridgeport would get a check for one thousand simoleons and smile, but Tegan was wracked with guilt instead, and no amount of volunteer bass-playing and donations quite wiped it from her.

Bryant watched her, just for a bit. He was in his athletic/lounging around with video games clothes, and the mixologist on duty gave him a death glare. They didn’t loosen their dress code enough for sweatpants. Tegan didn’t care, but when she stopped at the bar for a glass of water, she found herself seated across from Bryant. That was fine. She still liked him enough.

“You haven’t seen me in a while,” Bryant said, looking crossly at her.

“I’m sorry,” said Tegan.

“You better be. Everyone is making fun of me for not making any moves on you, or for you not doing any on me. Come on! We’re an item, and I gave you the best birthday gift.” She could thank him for those pairs of lovely heels trimmed with bows, after all.

“Good point. I’ll be there tomorrow night. They still need me for bass-duty, though. I wish I could be in two places at once as much as you wish too.”

True to her word, Tegan came over to his house the next night. He led her up to the second floor, which bore an impressive amount of deck space and a view of both the lake surrounding the house and the swamps over the bridge. That was reason enough to stay. Bryant didn’t do much with her, barely holding her hand, and not talking. She took him in, with a message to whisper.

“Well, I don’t want to see you and your friends at odds,” she said in his ear. “If this is what you want…”

“What? Not now,” he said, alarmed.

“But, last night you said-“

“You need to know how we work, split-pea soup.” That wasn’t even the agreed-upon nickname. “My friends will think that you’re easy. So you just gotta act all cute and demure around me, which you do. You’re doing well right now.”

“Well, I’m lonely,” Tegan said. “I have needs, and I’m just like the average girl that way.”

“So you’re easy?”

She was livid and stormed out of the house, and then cried in Lily’s arms as soon as she got home. It was like school all over again.

“Bryant?” Lily asked. Tegan nodded weakly. She told her mum the story.

“That makes no sense! That's insane. He's insane. So you’re still with him, why?”

“If we’re breaking up, then I want him to do it. I’m not going to have that on my heart.”

“I understand.” Which wasn’t to say that she approved.

Lily was worried. She needed a backup plan for her daughter! Lest she settle for the biggest jerk in Twinbrook when plenty of wonderful men were in town. Well, a few, once she struck Hephaestus from the list.

Being rich and powerful meant knowing a lot of people, including the also rich and powerful. Lily looked up the road for her first call. There was a young man who could keep a secret.

Tegan got a call from dear Mickey Whelohff that night. First, she missed his birthday party, shame on her! Tegan rarely checked her phone, and Lily had plenty of things more important in her life than relaying calls for her technophobic daughter or setting up an inoffensive landline.

Second, he forgave her. Things happened. He read Bronson’s obituary, and he knew what it was like losing a father too, even if his was a playboy and a deadbeat. Still, Mickey wanted to hang out with his high school buddy even if they were both adults with lives past the confines of school. Or so he said. Lily smirked from afar as she listened in to the conversation.

“Wanna dismantle the establishment tomorrow?” Mickey asked.

“That’s violent. Is this new?” asked Tegan.

“Yeah. I went on a tour to Sims University a few weeks ago, and this really hot girl told me about anarchy. I’m all for it, and it’s not violent. It’s justice.”

“It’s not my cup of tea.”

“Fine. You like fishing? Swimming? We live in a town with a huge lake.”

They planned to meet up early the next afternoon for fishing and swimming, at the end of Poker Flats Drive. Not the end Bryant lived on, but the other end, where and abandoned lake house would look over them. The lights were off and the smell of wood shavings lingered. Even Annette forgot that it was owned at one point, and to two young ones, it was perpetually abandoned. But for them, they could fish off the edge of the property without angering a homeowner, or being leered at from the window.

“Nice to meet a friend again,” said Mickey.

“Nice to have you as a friend,” Tegan said. Lily hoped that would change.

It started with fishing and a talk about political theory. Tegan got schooled on anarchy, and found her common ground with Mickey: Simnation needed an overhaul. Corruption in politics didn’t end when Senator Jeffrey Cook was ousted from the legislative branch, or when any Rackets ceased to run for office. There was plenty of evil left in the world, and its grip on the government choked Simnation. As it turned out, the only thing they disagreed on was whether Simnation should vote for better people or whether they should uproot the voting process entirely.

“And it’s a darn shame that 99% of the wealth is held by a few,” Mickey said, as he reeled in a carp.

“It is,” Tegan sighed. Giving to charity left microscopic holes in the vast Waverly accounts. The family bought and invested in real estate and made keen choices, and grandma Annette still had a way with hotwiring and polishing-up expensive cars for the market. Seedy or smart, the Waverlys held a lot of cash and wealth.

“And I’m not ragging on you,” he said. “I’m rich, we’re well-off, it’s in our name.”

That little radical might be a great guy after all. He paired a cute smile with luscious brown skin and…unique eyes. His fairy wings and magic gave him an edge in gardening and botany. Tegan could really get to like that.

He couldn’t get to like being splashed by her when swimming, though.

They swam for half an hour, until a breeze rolled over Twinbrook and sent a shiver down their soaking wet spines.

“We can warm up at my place, or yours,” Tegan said. “We both have fireplaces, right?”

“Or we can just go to the house in back of us.”

“That’s not ours!”

“It’s nobody’s. It’s communal, public property, and my grandma said that the last owner died a while ago. Who’s hurting from this? Nobody.”

The door slid open without Mickey needing to crack the lock, or call Annette to get her to crack the lock. Aside from a few cobwebs, the house looked clean and beautiful for something long-since-abandoned. The wooden supports of the furniture had no rot. The metal appliances kept their silver sheen instead of a layer of rust. Two logs sat in the fireplace.

Well, as long as she didn’t burn the place down.

Tegan lit the fire to warm her wet self off, but the hiss of an aerosol spray sounded different than the hiss of an active fire.

“Mickey, what are you doing?” She looked back to him defiling a wall.

“Art,” he said, bluntly.

“I know it’s abandoned, but what if someone wants to live here again?”

“Then I’m saving them some interior-designing woes.”

She abruptly said good-bye to Mickey, and dropped off a friendly greeting card in his mailbox that night. They disagreed, but Tegan could always use his friendship. There were no hard feelings from him either. He could use her friendship, and only that. He had a girlfriend, the same hot anarchist he met at the university. Tegan wished them well, happy for her friend finding a wonderful comrade. She was so happy, that she had to tell Lily the news.

Lily couldn’t contain her opinion. “Drat.”

“Better than being single, right? I thought you and the Whelohffs were friends?”

“We are. I…maybe I don’t trust those uni girls.”

“Oh, okay,” Tegan said. “I’ll be there for him if it goes wrong.”

The next few nights were to herself. Tegan still didn’t decide on a career. She had time to, or so she kept telling herself. Meanwhile, she still invented and collected scrap metal for it, to keep the junkyards of the town a little cleaner. Hephaestus followed her for one of those, across the bridge and at the foot of a hill to the almost-forgotten Juan’s Pick n’ Pull. Whoever that Juan was, he didn’t take care of the place. The facilities inside were rotting. The trash was unsorted. No one ever came there anyways.

But it was still ripe for digging, as long as there was scrap metal in those piles.

Tegan was deep in her digging, getting trash under her fingernails. The whole place was silent, save for the swamp’s wildlife, until a wash of white noise filled the junkyard.

For the first time in a while, Juan’s Pick n’ Pull was occupied. Tegan turned her head towards the noise, and then noticed the spectre in her fiery glow.

“Heph,” she called. The ghost wasn’t too disturbed by it. She had her own job to do. Heph was elbow-deep in garbage, and oblivious to the noise.

“Heph!” Still no dice. Tegan gave up, and instead watched the ghost without saying a word. She was a quiet spirit and didn’t say anything back.

Instead, she got deep into trash like the two of them did.

It wasn’t the world’s most interesting ghost sighting, but that night changed Tegan.

She put in an application to the Paranormal Profiteers first thing the next morning.

Word Count for this chapter: 2,739
Word Count so far: 147,306
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

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Offline Gwendy

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 81, 9/16)
« Reply #379 on: September 16, 2014, 05:24:05 PM »
Wow, way to be a jerk, Bryant.  Tegan can SO do better  :)

Yeah, Teegan doesn't deserve that jerk at all. Not even Bryant's ugly eyebrows deserve him! Free the eyebrows!
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 81, 9/16)
« Reply #380 on: September 16, 2014, 06:28:59 PM »
*has the distinct urge to beat Bryant to a pulp* I really want Bronson's ghost to kick his sorry butt!

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 82, 9/17)
« Reply #381 on: September 17, 2014, 12:25:50 PM »
Wow, way to be a jerk, Bryant.  Tegan can SO do better  :)

She has at least four different ways to do better!

Yeah, Teegan doesn't deserve that jerk at all. Not even Bryant's ugly eyebrows deserve him! Free the eyebrows!

I almost forgot about his eyebrows! It's like the game did its best to make a loathesome-looking guy.

*has the distinct urge to beat Bryant to a pulp* I really want Bronson's ghost to kick his sorry butt!

I do too. Especially after some events you'll see eventually.

Chapter 82: Piper

Hephaestus finally took inventory of his life. In spite of his youthful face and flexible, supple body that didn’t gain a pound of middle-age fat, Hephaestus still had a year tacked to his birthdate. It had been a while for everyone, hadn’t it? The beautiful young man was actually closing in on his first half-century alive.

“And here’s to another half-century for you!” Annette cheered on the morning of his 50th birthday. “Though I made a little more progress than you did when I was your age.”

“You have ambition. That’s nice,” he said, in between sips of piping hot coffee.

“So, any lucky women in your life?” She stopped keeping tabs on Hephaestus and Tegan, convinced that it would happen naturally. He shook his head no, again. That question tired him out.

“How about work?” she asked.

“Sculpting makes money.”

“That excuse worked for your grandfather, but you’re not that old yet. You have enough youth to establish yourself.”

“Oh come on. Do you think that the fine places around Twinbrook would hire someone you all think is out of their mind?”

“Lemme tell you a story about grandma Marigold,” Annette said. “She’s not your grandmother, but she’s Franco’s. I met that old bat once, at the grocery store. She was like you but eviler. Still ran the biggest weapons-smuggling ring in the South. Music also welcomes plenty of crazies, and I think you’d be better at that than being evil.”

“I’m liking the sound of that,” Hephaestus said. “Music makes the world calm and easy, and not glowing in orange like dad and Lily were a few minutes ago.”

“Whatever works. I just think that everyone should have something, or someone, to be responsible for. You have a lot of potential and genius, and a lot of capacity to love. I know that someone’s out there to fill in the void.”

He went upstairs after the conversation to wake up Tegan and get a final “happy 50th!” message too. She woke up well beforehand, even making the bed. Not a single wrinkle marred her blue, floral-print comforter. When he asked Lily where she could be, he learned that Tegan had an early interview with the Paranormal Profiteers. After that and training for the job, she’d be home later that afternoon.

Franco and Lily were nose-deep in their artwork for the rest of the day, which left Hephaestus and Annette to talk even more. She wanted to nap in the rocking chair in the nursery. He had something else to say.

“How dare she?” she asked, nearly going cross-eyed.


“Tegan, that’s what! She thinks she can just silence the spiritual world? I love her, but dang, how foolish! And you think I should get a real job!”

“Oh god, you’re off your meds, aren’t you?” Annette groaned. Hephaestus passed out on the floor, until Annette hit him in the head with a guitar.

“What the hell?” he asked, rubbing the sore spot on his scalp.

“You’re gonna be constructive. This guitar once belonged to the great DeAndre Wolfe, and you know darn well how I got it. I talked with Franco and you’ve talked about joining the Simsouri Philharmonic for a while, so how about we get started on that? Before you mouth off your best friend for putting the dead to rest.”

“But I’m a pianist.”

“Chords are chords are chords. Go to the theatre for lessons if you need pointers.”

He spent the rest of the afternoon filling the house with acoustic guitar music, simple but still less infuriating than the amateur guitar players who played in coffee shops and on university quads. He still didn’t get an explanation as to why he needed to learn a new instrument when he played piano at a professional skill level. Not even from the theatre when he called. However, his playing was good enough for him to gains some confidence and book an audition for the next morning.

“And if you can sing better than you grandfather,” Annette said. “Well, anyone could. I hated it when he showered. You’ll get the part, sport.” She gave him a friendly fist-bump for coming to his senses about responsibility.

Tegan came in later that afternoon, true to her word, and while Hephaestus’ head cleared, his position on her new job didn’t. He expected her to pull out a spiritual crossbow and shed all of her good tendencies, revealing a job of literally hunting ghosts and destroying their spirits.

“Are you harming them?” he asked. “As much as ghosts like to haunt me, I don’t think they’re evil, and they don’t deserve.”

“Oh Heph, I wouldn’t have even considered the job if it entailed that!” she cried. “I’m so sorry I worried you that way. It’s a lot more well-meaning. All I do is coax them into a peaceful existence in the afterlife. It’s why they’re making me learn logic and reasoning, so I can better convince them to settle.”

“That actually make a lot of sense.”

“And, I guess I wanted to try and make your world more peaceful. I can’t chase down any demons, but I can let the ghosts have their peace.”

Perhaps that could silence the spiritual world, or at least a sector of it. Hephaestus needed some time to rest and rethink his own perspective. Even though he said that the ghosts in his line of vision weren’t evil, they sure as heck made his life difficult, sitting in the bathtub and waiting, or haunting his bedsheets. He opened his mind or tried his best too, and slept for twelve hours before his audition. He needed a clear mind for presenting those chords, after all.

Meanwhile, Tegan read about chess moves and tried to apply them to persuasion and arguments, so she could metaphorically capture the offending spirits in an argumentative checkmate. So that there was a point to resting in peace. The Profiteers did give her a device that could best be described as a vacuum-gun, which captured the spirits in a small glass tank where they could rest before the head of the team sent them back to the great beyond. But Tegan’s pure heart wanted them to go into her vacuum agreeably, if they had to get in there at all.

Her job started at sunset, and the residents of the old Baker mansion across the street from the Waverlys had a ghost problem. The spirits were colorful, faceless, and uncommunicative. The homeowners were frantic because they tried themselves to reason with the spectres, but to no avail.

“How can I do that?” she asked her boss. “I can’t just suck them up!”

“Listen, missy, you can’t expect sugar and rainbows to work on every ghost we encounter. These guys aren’t exactly the souls of the dead anyways. They’re more like incomplete personalities and we really do have to be tough on them. Suck them up, bring the containers to me, and I’ll deal with them. That’s all you need to care about.”

“Were they human at any point?” she asked.

“Perhaps,” he said. “They’re more like the extra inner voices inside the insane. Hardly much else other than a vague and toxic personality. No one in the afterlife likes them! Much less humans.”

“Huh.” She thought it over while changing into her team-issued coveralls. Perhaps her job was like being an anti-psychotic in human form, quelling the demons on a much more literal plane. It even made her smile to think about fighting the bad guys of the spiritual world. Tegan zipped up her coveralls and skipped to her first job as Tegan Curious: Demon Cleaner.

The aqua spirit laughed at her immediately. It didn’t form words, but it still laughed. She drew out her vacuum and began sucking it in, with her almost falling on her back from the force. After a fight, she had an angry spirit swirling around inside a glass container, and a guaranteed extra twenty simoleons from the boss.

A few of those spirits swirled around the garden, taunting and laughing and destroying the growing lettuce heads and ripening tomatoes. In the peachy glow of Twinbrook’s sunset, Tegan wrangled each of these monsters and contained them, until the whole garden was quiet save for the ecstatic homeowners.

Tegan’s boss showed her how he dealt with them that night. He covered part of the floor with exorcised salt, and threw the containers down on the hard concrete and grains of salt. The glass was smashed, and the spirits were momentarily free, until the salt made them dissolve into the aether. The two of them stood back until it was all clear.

“That’s just for these guys, right?” Tegan asked.

“Yep. I’ll show you how we deal with real ghosts once I can get you on those jobs.”

“Job’s done tonight?”

“Go home and play some chess.”

Tegan met up with Hephaestus at the park instead, taking note of the first golden leaves of fall on the trees there, as well as Heph’s tattered clothes and how he winced and struggled while wearing baggy pants.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Things are a lot quieter now,” he said. “Like someone took my worst demons away. It feels pretty good.”

“That’s nice, but I was asking about the jeans.” Tegan took another pawn of his.

“It’s roadie-gear. I can’t join the Philharmonic yet, but they need someone to help with stage setup for them and budding rock stars.”

“Does it pay?”

“Not that it matters. I like the stability now.”

“I’m really happy for you,” said Tegan. “I loved you as an unemployed sculptor too, but I’m so glad that you’re getting a stable career now. And just some responsibilities! I think a lot of people in Twinbrook will like you better for it too. It’s a shame, because I think they just saw you as hopeless and crazy.” She made her next move. “And checkmate.”

“Well done, Peapod,” he said. “Responsibility is nice. Maybe it’s the treatment I need.”

“Also, are you working tomorrow?” He shook his head no. “The elders and I are going to see the Purple Herons tomorrow with a friend. Mum insisted that it just be us family, but I think you’re family too.”

“Bleh, sports,” he said, sticking his tongue out.

“I know, but I still think it will be fun.”

“I have to study up on arpeggios.”

So while Hephaestus was involved in artistic pursuits, Tegan and the family tailgated at sunset the next day. Franco and Tegan chatted, Annette made hot dogs for everyone, and Lily was inside the stadium to take a leak and say hi to any team members she knew. It was the last balmy evening before the start of autumn, and Tegan hoped that Hephaestus didn’t regret missing it. She really did believe that he was playing arpeggios from 6 to midnight.

He did, for half an hour, but went into the freezer to get some ice cream and noticed a slender glass vial with pink fluid frozen inside. He was meaning to do something with it.

If responsibility was what got the ladies of Twinbrook hot, then putting his vial to use would make him a god to the lady of his dreams.

He took that out, as well as another, smaller one. The vial full of pink was the unique genetic sequence of Lilith Jones-Brown, who was still alive but nearly 90. The companion vial had a few samples from her immediate family. Clones were nice, but variety was even better, and it made for a clone that was more like a genetic child. As much as Hephaestus would be okay with creating a true copy of the gorgeous Lilith, he could get such a beautiful, unique child with the rest of the family making a contribution.

As to whether she would get Loki’s light eyes, his goofy smile, or his orientation, that was up to chance, as Hephaestus had no clue what he sampled from Lilith’s brothers. He just got something.

He put them both into the machine and crossed his fingers. With any luck, he’d have a full-term newborn in a few hours. Without luck, he’d have a wasted night.

Meanwhile, the family friend arrived. Buck Green was on one of the Purple Herons teams, but he played Men’s Football. It was Women’s that night, and with a night off from the game, he was more than happy to go, especially when he could get a seat next to the lovely granddaughter of Bunny Curious.

“Good luck, sweetie,” Franco said to his granddaughter, hugging her.

“I’m just making a friend. I’ll do my best, gramps!”

She barely introduced herself before Buck made a proposition.

“You have a fine neck, Tegan,” he said. “Bunny always tells me that you’re the best granddaughter she could ask for. It would be a shame if you lost your youth. I can promise that you won’t.”

“That does sound interesting,” she said, puckering her lips in confusion. She mulled over the decision, but no one in the family would let her say yes. Annette and Franco motioned for her to say no. Lily caught the conversation and had a more violent solution.

She punched Buck right in the jaw. “Don’t you even dare,” she snarled. “There are plenty of other women for your perverted little vampire harem.”

“It’s a coven!” Buck was in tears and sobbing on the ground. He switched his seats with another spectator during the game, and Tegan didn’t make any connection with them either.

But Hephaestus had a surprise waiting for her at home. He took a look inside each hour, checking on the progress of his new specimen. After the third hour, he saw more than a lump of forming tissues.

Blanket and everything, a real nooboo formed in there, sleeping with her arms folded. Her uncles/brothers/whatever failed to give any Y-chromosomes in their samples, but a little girl would still give him a little jellybean to coo over and care for, so that he could pretend that he made progress with his life. He revolutionized the scientific field, if anything.

He opened up the chamber and the nooboo reached out to him with her soft, new hands. He couldn’t resist baby-talking to her already.

“Oh, you little squishy cutie-pie!” he squealed, scooping her up from the tray.

“You’ve changed the world already,” he said to himself, turning off the machine.

Tegan got dressed in something that didn’t threaten to expose her buttcheeks, and ran into Hephaestus scowling with his “newborn.”

“Is that yours?” she asked.

“Yep. She still smells like a real nooboo. Well, she is a real nooboo. Just ready-made.”

“Does she have a name?”

“Piper sounded good. Piper Jones-Brown. Lily, you're gonna love me for this.”

Word Count for this chapter: 2,464
Word Count so far: 149,770

Of course, the throwaway shot of Loki's newfound sexuality is foreshadowing for Piper's future. ;) As a reminder, his young boytoy is Francisco Racket, Julian's son.

Cloning sims through the science skill actually does carry a chance of them having coloring from their donor's parents. Not siblings, but it will make sense for a few other sims you'll meet down the road...
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 83, 9/18)
« Reply #383 on: September 18, 2014, 10:30:34 PM »
Welcome, Piper!  She's is going to be a cutie for sure  ;)

The cutest! Without hyperbole, Piper was the cutest sim ever at every age and even better than her donor. Though you'll have to wait a few chapters to see her in full form.

Chapter 83: The Three Suitors

She stumbled into the club before she had a single drink. Those tall heels had less support than her normal ones. Tegan performed a delicate balancing act that night; watching each step she took in those shoes, and making sure that the hem of her short dress stayed low enough so that she didn’t flash the club instead.

On any other night, Tegan would dress modestly, but she listened to the wrong friends too often, especially when they heard that she landed a not-date with her former math teacher, Keon Whelohff. His solid, muscular frame was a source of appreciation for the female students of Stary Community School, and she just had to flaunt her assets similarly. Which accounted for the soft floral prints being traded in for little white skulls.

She couldn’t put up a fight. It was a rough time.

Keon dressed in his most club-worthy shirt and trousers that barely matched. He still kept that awful emo-cut after all those years. His tiny, pink wings did nothing to light up the club, and his fairy-blood mattered little to Tegan anyways, when she just needed an ear that would listen.

The two of them started with catching up, lest Tegan dump a midnight confession on him instantly, sober, and before midnight. So she mentioned the ghost-hunting job. He quit teaching in order to cook for Annette. Tegan had a boyfriend. Keon had no luck.

One bottle of wheat juice bogged down Tegan’s heavy frame. The clock struck midnight. Keon waited for a response.

“Tegan, you’re not still with Bryant, are you?” he asked.

“Oh Keon!” she sobbed “I’ve done a horrible thing.”


It started with Mr. Greenwood.

“Ain’t it funny?” Lily said over dinner. “I haven’t seen a man change quite like that. But I’m happy for Chris!”

“Who again?” Tegan asked. Her mother had too many friends to bother with.

“Chris Greenwood. You remember him from the cookout, right? The old man in hot pink?”

“Oh yeah.”

“And I thought it was just a new wardrobe! It is, but he called me with the real best news.”

Lily, some months prior, greeted the Chris she knew, while he still wore his pajamas and made no effort to gain his dirty-blond hair back. He still bagged groceries to pay the bills. Lily didn’t expect him to change, though she still loved the Chris she always knew.

“So he’s engaged to the lovely Louise now. I’m beyond happy for him. They’re so beautiful together.”

“Do they have a wedding date yet?” Tegan asked.

“Not yet, but I better get my dress ironed.” Lily daydreamed of their wedding vows.

Annette barged in. “Oh please, he’ll just be another Dustin.”

“Dustin was different, Gram,” said Lily.

“Hun, I’ve been around for a while. You give an old man his first taste of romance, and soon he’s throwing himself at every woman in town who crosses his path. If I was a psychologist, I could analyze it, but I know it’s a real thing that happens.”

“Still not nice of you to crap on the news like that,” Lily grumbled.

Tegan found Annette while she was washing the dishes. As the old woman scrubbed down plates, a job she usually reserved for young grunts at the kitchen, Tegan made the grueling task better with conversation.

“What did you mean by that?” she asked. “About Dustin. I think I was too young to remember much about him, other than that he came over for coffee a lot.”

“It’s not a long story. He was single until he was somewhere in his 80’s, and then he got a girlfriend, and another, and another. I dunno. It’s a lot of pent-up rage and testosterone, perhaps. As I said, I’m no psychologist.”

“Then what did you go to school for?”

“Tegan, please,” Annette said, dismissing the comment. “Anyways, it’s a bad trend here in the ‘Brook, and I wish I could stop it. I mean, what if Hephaestus ends up being the same sort of person? It’s been decades since he’s been with anyone.”

“That would stink.” And for a small bit, Tegan hoped that he would lift himself out of his romantic rut—if he wished—and find himself a dream girl. Lou was out of the picture thanks to Chris, but the world was a vast place. And he hadn’t even gone to University yet! Franco had a granddaughter there; a thick-framed power-lifter and comely ginger girl named Jerri Arkers. And Lily got messages from her other old college friends about their marriages and children. The world was indeed a vast place.

Sure, Tegan probably harbored a silly crush on Hephaestus, daydreaming about how fun it would be to braid all of that blond hair of his or cuddle up against him and the rock-hard feel of lean muscle and <10% body fat. She harbored that as a single teenager who had only a vague clue on his real age.

Tegan had to admit that it was so sweet and hot when he doted on Piper, though.

She had good reason to deny her crush, being taken since prom night and all, but Tegan had a good sob one night over how she really couldn’t let her crush on him go. He couldn’t let it go, maybe. He wasn’t old, but aging, and if he was pining for Tegan deep down, what would happen if he never got that release? After talking to Annette, Tegan feared that, but she still went down to Bryant’s to grit her fangs and watch him play video games. Maybe get a conversation out of him.

It was a quiet night, save for the sound effects of his game, and the ambient noise.

She couldn’t forget her father, who would spend all day with Lily whenever he could, and have his eyes fixated on her. Attention on her, conversation towards her, a few hugs and kisses and playful pinches on her. Tegan twiddled her thumbs while Bryant treated his game controller more like a girlfriend than he did to his actual girlfriend.

“Oh hell, I’m tired of this,” she said, raising her voice.

“I can play Halo instead. This is a pretty boring game. Got it in the bargain bin.”

“I mean having a relationship like this. When was the last time we went out to dinner or took a stroll downtown? You know, what real couples do. Didn’t your parents do that?”

“Single dad, remember?” Bryant rolled his eyes. “I mean yeah, he had dates, but he never did any of that either!”

Tegan didn’t have bad words for anyone until generation eight came around. And then. And maybe two other times. But that night, she had to tell Bryant off.

“I can see why he was single,” she sneered.

“And I’m okay with that being me too.”

After the breakup, Tegan had one of the best spirit-hunts in the team’s history, with the boss breaking up over a dozen containers bagged at the Racket mansion that night. She got a celebratory raise as a result.

“Keep doing that grunt work,” the boss said. “You take it better than the other grunts. But get some rest now.”

She got that rest, but along with the soundtrack of Hephaestus practicing his arpeggios. He didn’t bother to change out of his torn jeans, no matter how much they bothered him.

Tegan’s job ran into the morning one day, because no one else would clean ectoplasm off the equipment. Her coverall reeked of bleach. However, changing into her regular clothes cured that, and for a good reason, because a suitor waited for the newly-single princess after her gross, undignified job.

Hephaestus didn’t bother with mere friendliness that morning.

“Only you could look so cute after a night shift,” he said, pointing straight at her. Half-delirious from the long work “day,” Tegan answered with a flirty giggle.

“You’ve been up all night with stage work too, haven’t you?” He nodded.

“And you’re still the most handsome guy in Twinbrook. Wow.”

“How long did it take for you to think that?” he asked.

“Well, it’s been on my mind for a while,” she said. “Look. You walk around all day in a kilt, baring those lovely calves, and some more when you sit like a man and forget to close your legs.”

“When did you get such a dirty mind? That Bryant really was keeping you down, like an anvil on your chest. So if I lean in, can I kiss you now?”

“For sure.”

“So how did that feel?” Hephaestus asked.

“Like sunshine and cherry ice cream. The best things in life, basically.”

“You wanna be my princess?”

That worked too, bringing them together for a month’s worth of early mornings de-stressing after work in the way that couples did. They kept the volume down to not wake up anyone else, but other than that, the two were alone in their palace and living out years’ worth of daydreams. Tegan finally got to run her fingers through his silky hair, while he finally could caress those strong, shapely thighs he dreamed of (he wasn’t looking at curvy pin-ups before that just because).

Tegan had her dreamy, happy ending at a young age, for that month’s worth of nights being carried upstairs in her stained uniform by her prince in pauper’s clothes. While Lily slept and didn’t suspect a thing anymore. However, no Waverly got off that easily. Not even the package of purity named Tegan. She was less of a Mary Sue and more of a Pollyanna that way.

She would spend all day before work snuggling and kissing the neck of her lilac prince, but alas, work still called for her to brush up on logic. Instead of spending long hours reading about formal logic to the ambient soundtrack of Bryant virtually shooting faceless mooks while her rear was planted in an old, sagging couch, she headed to the library instead. The velvety, upholstered chairs supported her better.

And she wasn’t even alone for some of it. But Hephaestus had sculptures and a nagging Lily to answer to, so he left Tegan alone after a smooch good-bye.

The library’s solitude charmed her, though. She lit a fire and listened to its roar while she re-read a chapter on Boolean properties just to make sure that she got them right. Another few trees went golden in the autumn cold. Her phone broke the silence, but she ignored it. And ignored it again. A rapid-fire caller broke her zen, and she needed to sweetly shut them up.

“Tegan Curious,” she said, chipper and dripping with metaphorical honey.

“You forgot one of your books at my place.” It was Bryant. “I thought I’d take it for myself, but I guess you can have it back.”

“I dunno, Bry. I’m better without you. My book isn’t worth that, and I’m really sorry-“

“It’s the library’s. It was due last freakin’ month. You remember Formal Chess: Volume Three?”

“Oh, I left that there? I can’t believe I forgot about that. Later today. Just for the book.”

In a rainstorm, Tegan met Bryant right at his mailbox. Nothing was tucked under his shirt.

“Is it inside?” she asked.

Instead of answering, like a decent human being, Bryant kissed her instead. He kissed her hard, sending her back and almost bringing Tegan to her feet. He planted a strong, wet kiss on her lips, smudging her lipstick. And she couldn’t back away, as he wrapped his arms around her waist in a squeeze.

“Why?” she asked, rain and tears streaming down her face.

“I want you back, that’s what.”

“I’m happy right now, though.”

“You’re with that little noodly old man, and everyone but your family knows that. Come on, you want a real man that won’t die of a heart attack after a wild night.”

“But his heart’s pretty fine.”

“I think you’ll reconsider,” he said. He threw her book at her from the window once he got inside.

Tegan hated her phone, but she was on guard that night, in case she needed to call for help, or if Bryant texted her some evidence of his awfulness.

Midnight. In the middle of ridding the old Bayless house of a sad, yearning spirit who cried all the time, Tegan’s phone went off. She put down her vacuum once the spirit was contained and ignored the others. Bryant’s number was attached to it.

It’s either be with me or your mum gets this picture

How the heck did you get that?

Lighten up, you have a window


She erased that message. A canopy wouldn’t stop him. The house lacked a burglar alarm, and Annette was out drunk that night and too deep into it to attack the intruder. If that’s how he got it, anyways.

She could end it there and bring the text to the police as evidence that Bryant broke in and entered, and that he was a blackmailing little turd of a man on top of it.

She could let Hephaestus deal with it.

She could let anyone deal with it.

I’m back honey was her last text of the night. And Lily showed no evidence of getting a picture, though the whole situation haunted Tegan.

She didn’t have another person to turn to but Keon, who maybe could keep a secret. She had no confirmation of it. Keon gave the sobbing princess the strongest hug she ever received, Tegan nearly choking in the hold of his monstrous biceps.

“I’m just confused. Why can’t you go to your mum for this?” Keon asked.

“It was a talk we had.”

It was after the talk about Christopher and other old men, and over why Bronson was so protective of Tegan around men. Tegan got it, and she didn’t.

“This was something he didn’t tell me for a while either,” Lily said. “I think we’ve told you about grandpa Lincoln, haven’t we? Beyond his work, that is. Did we mention that he was much older than grandma Bunny?”

“I think?” Tegan said.

“So this man, Lincoln, was a very kind person, gregarious, funny, or so I’ve been told. I’m trusting Annette on that. I wouldn’t expect Bunny to regret having a man like that, but she did. She felt used and gross, sleeping with someone old enough to be her father, and apparently a close family friend too! And he died on her pretty early. It’s so odd. I certainly don’t mind that we got dad from it, but Bunny was a wreck after that, trying to find someone to cleanse her of that feeling. He just didn’t want you feel that way.”

“I never knew that. And grandma never talked to me about it.”

“I heard it second-hand myself. And that’s what Annette was trying to go along with when she brought up those old men. Older men hurt, and dad just didn’t want that for you. I don’t either.” Lily gave her daughter a shoulder-rub.

“I also didn’t know that Buck was so old. Apparently more than Annette. Sorry for trying to set you up with him.” Lily left the room after that, leaving Tegan to regret her crush on Hephaestus or be a rebel for once.

“I can’t do that to her, or dad, or anyone in the family! I don’t want to be hurt, but Heph, he just feels so right.” Tegan was sobbing into Keon shoulder.

He kept her in a protective, friendly cuddle in the back, near the bubble bar and as they sat in the mismatched sectional seating of the club. No one noticed them over the pulsating club music.

Tegan calmed down by 2AM, with the club still open for another two hours.

“I’m ready to go,” she said to Keon.

“Can we just do one thing?” he asked. She feared a kiss. She feared it all since Bryant.

“I’ve been practicing my club dancing so I can feel a little younger,” Keon continued. “And I just want a dancing partner, if you’re up for it.”

She still stumbled like a newborn fawn in her heels by walking, let alone dancing.

“Hey, why not?”

In the midst of romantic turmoil, Tegan found some solace in a new dancing partner, even as he stepped out of line with the beat. Even as they fell on their faces and laughed in a juiced haze.

Word Count for this chapter: 2,750
Word Count so far: 152,520

And some notes about our new cameos:

- Keon = son of Rosy and Shamus Drudge. Mentioned it before, but he was around for a long time and it's crucial for you guys to remember. :P

- Louise = Julian and Lita's daughter.

- Chris = Shark and Emerald's son.
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 83, 9/18)
« Reply #384 on: September 19, 2014, 01:23:14 PM »
...I want to strangle Bryant now more than ever!  Argh!  Stop making the Peapod sad!  Let her be happy with Heph!  Grrr!  Yes, I am very upset about this right now XD  Though I did like the club shots.  They were great ^^


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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 83, 9/18)
« Reply #385 on: September 19, 2014, 03:30:09 PM »
Man this was an epic  :o You've done so much with the challenge. I guess if you do think about the stuff that sims do it's all very heartbreaking, especially with some people staying immortal and some dying... And the love triangles. Squares. Pentagons  ;D By law of drama the villain does have to get what-for and secrets have to be revealed, so I shall be waiting for that.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 83, 9/18)
« Reply #386 on: September 20, 2014, 01:08:17 AM »
Aaaw, finally Hepheagan is reality... Or is it Teaphaestus? :b

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 83, 9/18)
« Reply #387 on: September 21, 2014, 11:01:08 AM »
Finally FINALLY finished catching up! Story is awesome! I want to murder Bryant, the nasty little snot! Teaphaestus sounds awesome but is a bit much to type out each time lol how about Hephgan? Teagan needs to stop being a wishy-washy foot stool and tell her mom "I'm in love and he's the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me!" I admit I think she's gorgeous but she's probably the one who bugs me the most... Can't she just grow a spine?

That being said, your writing is awesome, Trip and I love this story (even the pet peeve I have with Teagan)
because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

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. 84, 9/23)
« Reply #388 on: September 23, 2014, 01:35:47 PM »
...I want to strangle Bryant now more than ever!  Argh!  Stop making the Peapod sad!  Let her be happy with Heph!  Grrr!  Yes, I am very upset about this right now XD  Though I did like the club shots.  They were great ^^

I did love shooting that club scene. And Tegan in a short dress even more. ;)

Keep your strength for when Bryant really does something bad. Because this is Eight Ways to Live Forever! Things can always get worse.

Man this was an epic  :o You've done so much with the challenge. I guess if you do think about the stuff that sims do it's all very heartbreaking, especially with some people staying immortal and some dying... And the love triangles. Squares. Pentagons  ;D By law of drama the villain does have to get what-for and secrets have to be revealed, so I shall be waiting for that.

Thank you so much!

Aaaw, finally Hepheagan is reality... Or is it Teaphaestus? :b

I've been going with Tegaestus myself.

Finally FINALLY finished catching up! Story is awesome! I want to murder Bryant, the nasty little snot! Teaphaestus sounds awesome but is a bit much to type out each time lol how about Hephgan? Teagan needs to stop being a wishy-washy foot stool and tell her mom "I'm in love and he's the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me!" I admit I think she's gorgeous but she's probably the one who bugs me the most... Can't she just grow a spine?

That being said, your writing is awesome, Trip and I love this story (even the pet peeve I have with Teagan)

Congrats on making it through the journey. More awaits. ;)

I'm actually glad that she bugs you, because she bugged me too and I don't want to be alone with that. Tegan has a spine, but it's not strong enough to support her big, bleeding heart.

But if Tegan's your pet-peeve, Josephine will be a real peeve when we get to her part in the dynasty...

Chapter 84: The Gentleman

Even after dancing to one song turned into two hours of club dancing with Keon and stepping on his feet a few times, Tegan still came home as an emotional mess. Lily slept and missed the worst of it, but she noticed how Tegan refused her late breakfast and slept until right up to her work time.

“I don’t know what you’re not telling me,” Lily said.

“You would hate it more than I do,” she said. “You’ve worked so hard for a nice, eternal life. Don’t stress yourself with my problems.”

“I’m your mother. Mothers do that about their kids’ problems, and even grandma Annette does that to your grandfather. He was a wreck too, and when he was 50 and older at the worst of it, and you’re not even half that yet.”

“Doesn’t Ms. Hoff want that topiary collection done by tonight?” Tegan asked.

“You’re more important than my topiaries, Peapod,” said Lily.

“I just had a rough patch. Got some emotions out last night with Keon. I’ll be fine tonight.”

Training for wrangling the tougher ghosts was postponed, as the houses in Twinbrook teemed with malicious spirits to be wrangled and boxed. More and more popped up with no apparent origin, like mushrooms did on lawns. But each job and each glass case meant paychecks and bonuses for Tegan, which she didn’t need but appreciated for the sake of adding to her charitable donations.

They infested desks and chairs. Couches and flower pots and slippers with holes in the toes levitated, possessed by a ghost stripped-down to a maniacal laugh. And Tegan sucked them up. Not even a hint of remorse crossed her sweet mind as she did it. She left a peaceful house in her wake, after all. And that night, she did it for a friend.

“Well, your mum’s not here,” Buck said, at the end of her job. “Wanna join us now?”

She turned off her vacuum. “No thanks. I hope you find some wonderful new vampires, though!”

Hephaestus praised her for her work, and spoke about having a clearer mind as if they were unrelated. For once, the world gave him closer and closer to the perfect amount of background voices, with enough silence for him to think. Tegan would give him a kiss on the cheek and a congratulations back, but Bryant put a burden on her shoulders as heavy as his 210 pound frame. She sighed, heaving, and gave him just the congratulations before retiring to a nocturnal sleep or for a trip in the Motive Mobile to stay awake and think.

The beacon of sunshine and fragrant lilacs never left Tegan’s mind, from his sinewy arms to his beaming smile. Hephaestus was perfection, but only for a world without Bryant. Tegan watched his antics from afar and hoped for a turn-around for Bryant. Men still needed part of their 20’s to mature, after all.

Work was sporadic, but Tegan called Bryant to visit the family cemetery anyways, so he could see what he was getting into with the family. And Tegan needed to plant some bulbs at Bronson’s grave.

His car pulled up the park and its crumbling columns and overgrown willows. Bryant walked down with caution, eyeing the whole place and every blade of grass. He almost turned back at the collection of obelisks, but Tegan stood there, in open-toed heels on such a cold, damp night. Just as she promised.

“Odd place,” he said. “This is where you bury the family?”

“Not my choice. Do you want to help me with these bulbs? They’re for my father.”

“I didn’t like him much.”

“Well that’s not nice to say,” said Tegan.

“You said that my dad deserved to be single. I think we’re even now.”

“Sorry, Bry.” She sulked and dug small holes for the tulip bulbs. Bryant helped, which put a smile on her face. They both ended up with dirt under their nails.

“Maybe he’ll like you for it,” Tegan said. “Dad was in the military. He was a stickler for respect.”

“It’s pretty commendable, really,” Bryant said. “I think we should respect our elders, and the ladies in our lives.”

Tegan blushed, or blushed as much as she could under skin the color of fresh cardamom pods. “Really?”

“I’ve been interested in the idea of chivalry lately. The world is full of weird hippies, post-modern ideas, playboys, and I can prove them wrong. By holding doors open and paying the dinner bills for m’lady.”

“Don’t worry about the latter. It’s only fair that I do it.”

“That’s only because you’re working. You’d make a better housewife instead.”

Tegan cringed.

“Maybe a while from now,” she said.

“They’re all details for later anyways. I know you’ve made your mistakes. We can start over again.”

“I just hope we’re both happy with this,” she begged.

“I am.”

“I am too, then.”

She told herself that for the ride home, and when curling up into bed alone as well. The other side was cold. She put some pillows there but they didn’t grab and hug her around the waist. Tegan fell asleep. She mentally compared her current relationship to being dragged on the ground from Twinbrook to Bridgeport, but with that scenario still being quicker and less painful than wooing Bryant. Too much hope clogged her heart. Clogged hearts kills.

But on chilly autumn afternoons, she and Bryant connected, and he left the worst of his mind at home to fester in front of the television while he talked current events with Tegan. Politicians weren’t getting any better. The recent elections changed nothing. He even listened to her about her job. He spoke of none for himself, but the economy was a cruel mistress.

And one afternoon, they met at the salon again, and Bryant took her into his arms for a deep kiss in front of everybody. Older patrons sighed at the beauty of young love. Tegan’s body warmed up and glowed when their tongues touched. Suddenly, Bryant’s big green eyes gained a soft charm. His pudgy frame was good for cuddling. And he took care of his hair without stuffing it under a trilby.

They lied down on the Waverly’s lawn to watch the stars on a rare, clear night. Tegan laughed at a few gaming jokes, knowing more about the dreadful medium more than she wanted to.

“I feel like such a euphoric gentleman right now,” Bryant said in a tired voice.

“Sure,” Tegan mumbled. Euphoric was good. Being a gentleman was too.

“Can I sleep over?” Bryant asked. He might have been half-asleep already.

“Nah,” Tegan said. “Mum’s up all night tonight carving ice sculptures. You understand how hard it is.”

“I could sleep in your basement, and let the world make a bunch of basement-dweller jokes about me.”

“Can’t. I’m locked out of there too.”

“On the porch?”

“Bet it will rain tonight.”

“The forecast is clear.”

“Just go home, Bryant. You’ll sleep in your own comfy bed and thank me later. I’ll drive you home.”

After tucking him in and giving him a peck on the cheek, Tegan drove away alone and glowing with the same euphoria that Bryant said he did, though her femininity probably prevented her from ever being a gentleman. Loneliness, while pleasant, wasn’t doing it to her tonight. Things became less of a drag with Bryant, and not even a new video game release could knock him back to his former nastiness. He just ducked out for a couple nights to find all the features he hated to rant about them on the internet.

However, Tegan returned home to what she didn’t want Bryant to see without context. He knew Hephaestus already. He knew that Tegan had a family too. But even though she was almost a year old, Piper fussed and Tegan would have some explaining to do if Bryant was more insistent about sleeping over.

She was too light-colored to be Tegan’s own child, but Piper was still the first of her kind and just as annoying, demanding, and heart-meltingly adorable as a natural infant. Tegan heard the stories about single parents dating. She wasn’t a single parent. Piper was, however, as much of her nooboo as she was to the rest of the household.

“Darling, darling, don’t you cry,” Tegan whispered as she comforted the crying bundle. “Auntie Tegan just needs some time to introduce you. I need to be honest, I do.” Her voice trailed off. Piper fell asleep cradled in Tegan’s arms.

“Nooboo, nooboo, you’re my nooboo too.”

But not for long. Hephaestus woke up Tegan one morning, maybe a week later, with a fresh cup of coffee made to her preferences (sugar and cream everywhere), and told her to get her swimsuit on. “It’s above 60 this morning! I think you should enjoy it while it lasts.”

“Does that mean you will too?” Tegan asked.

“I can’t. I need sleeves to shield myself from the birthday magic, and I heard that you’re in a happy relationship. You don’t need the temptation.”

“Suit yourself.” She’d get the opportunity to see him shirtless again soon, knowing Heph’s habits.

Clad in sleeves and an autumn-worthy scarf, Hephaestus lowered Piper to the cake, blowing out the candles for her. Tegan shivered in her lace-trimmed bikini instead, but dreamt of cake and a squirming, precious toddler to care for. Those dreams warmed her up.

Watching the transformation happen did even more, as a blonde, dark-eyed angel sat on the cold tiles in the ground, cross-eyed from watching each sparkle fall.

Tegan got her squirming, precious toddler. Piper couldn’t keep still as two adults attempted to dress her, but she calmed down when an array of hot pink clothes were put before her. They then dressed Piper without a fuss from her, with enough time to get her hair tucked into a hat before crawled off towards the spring rider.

“Nooboo, let me help you with that.” Tegan scooped Piper up. “Do you mind?” she asked Hephaestus.

“I know I’d like to, but she’s so cute. I don’t blame anyone who wants to take her away from me.”

“Alright, Piper. Hold on tight!” The toddler obliged, and the rider rocked her back and forth on a spring while she pretended to be at the helm of a pirate ship.

Tegan watched Piper for the entire time, unable to take her eyes off the platinum-blonde snugglebug that she had some responsibility for. Every one of Piper’s smiles, her coos and cries and laughs lit up Tegan from within. She had that little girl as family, in some sense.

With big, black eyes like that, Bryant couldn’t hate Piper at all. And if he did, then Tegan was free—single! She meant single. Unhappily single and missing Bryant and still waiting for another prince and a family of her own, or for a change of heart from her mother.

But Piper was impossible to hate. She knew it.

Tegan carried Piper close to her one cold night, close enough to hopefully keep her beautiful toddler warm. Hephaestus forgot to buy her something warm to wear, and using hand-me-downs didn’t feel right for the richest family in Twinbrook to do. Hopefully they would rectify the situation soon, but Tegan and Piper’s breath fogged up in the chilly autumn air. They went to Bryant’s house. Like many a civilized sim, he had central heating.

“Tegan, what the hell is that?” he asked, pointing to Piper in her arms.

“Not my child. Well, she is family, but you’d know if I was pregnant. I wasn’t. She’s not mine.”

“I’m not concerned about that. She’s family to you?”

“Why not? She lives with us, she was…adopted by us-“

“I want a normal rich family, not yours,” Bryant whined.

“What’s so bad about mine?”

“Your mother’s fine, but your grandfather and whatever Annette is? Unrelated housemates? That blonde witch? A kid now?”

“They all matter to me, Bryant.”

“I just feel weird with it.”

“What matters is that they’re my family, and it’s okay to me.” She shut the door in his face.

Bryant sent an apology letter and a pink hoodie for Piper the next day. If she’s family, then you better keep her warm. And she's a cutie, don't get me wrong, the note said. And Tegan kept her relationship going again, staying with Bryant and claiming euphoria. He really did hold doors open for her. He gave her a vase of flowers once, for putting up with watching his video games. He had a long streak of keeping snide comments to himself. And they engaged in public displays of affection like a normal couple, which counted as progress.

Tegan put Piper to bed one night, with the toddler pouting at her, looking up with begging eyes.

“Good night, lovebug,” she said to Piper. But Piper kept that look, perpetually telling Tegan Just do better, geez even before her first words.

Word Count for this chapter: 2,162
Word Count so far: 154,682

Let's forget about Bryant and focus on Piper, who is objectively the most adorable toddler the game has ever made. Not even arguable.

The moral of this story isn't "don't settle for less in a relationship," or "don't keep secrets from your family," it's "mix those Castor and Goode genes in whatever way you can, because you might get your very own Piper from it."
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

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Offline Malley

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 84, 9/23)
« Reply #389 on: September 23, 2014, 02:35:48 PM »
Let's forget about Bryant and focus on Piper, who is objectively the most adorable toddler the game has ever made. Not even arguable.

Much agreed  ;D  Piper is too cute for words!