Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 207860 times)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #420 on: October 19, 2014, 04:03:46 PM »
Aaaaw, Aunt Janelle, you favorite audience surrogate character you <3 But I'm dreading what Bryant will do when Tegan breaks it to him. And by 'dreading' I mean 'waiting with excited glee'

In other unrelated news, I was going through some of the previous chapters playing spot-the-foreshadowing and spotted this instead:

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

It's Hannah arguing with Lily, and I think she means that she'd enjoyed her own mother's death, so Lily should feel the same. But it took me a while to get the full meaning, and the first idea I got from it was Hannah saying she enjoyed the death of Lily's mother and thinks Lily should feel the same.

So she sounded like a sociopath to me instead of just self-absorbed  :D I thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to clarify that somehow...

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #421 on: October 19, 2014, 05:40:03 PM »
Well it's about time! It took Tegan long enough!
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Offline Rikki8528

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #422 on: October 20, 2014, 02:22:10 PM »
Aaaaw, Aunt Janelle, you favorite audience surrogate character you <3 But I'm dreading what Bryant will do when Tegan breaks it to him. And by 'dreading' I mean 'waiting with excited glee'

In other unrelated news, I was going through some of the previous chapters playing spot-the-foreshadowing and spotted this instead:

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

It's Hannah arguing with Lily, and I think she means that she'd enjoyed her own mother's death, so Lily should feel the same. But it took me a while to get the full meaning, and the first idea I got from it was Hannah saying she enjoyed the death of Lily's mother and thinks Lily should feel the same.

So she sounded like a sociopath to me instead of just self-absorbed  :D I thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to clarify that somehow...
OH, I get that now.  ::) I thought it was Lily's mother...

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/17)
« Reply #423 on: October 20, 2014, 08:18:52 PM »


Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks Lily's head looks kind of disproportionately large in this picture. Because I'm so fixated on it I'm not really absorbing the rest of the update.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 89, 10/18)
« Reply #424 on: October 21, 2014, 11:03:09 AM »
Yes! Love the ending of this update, hope you post the next part soon 'cause I'm dying to know hwat'll happen  ;D

Afraid not. I have a Philosophy essay that is killing me instead. :(

But thanks!

All hail the Aunt Janelle. For she is wise and wonderful, and may Bryant fall off of a bridge, never to be heard from again, with her blessing.

Janelle is not the aunt we deserve, but the aunt we need.

As for Bryant, nobody is shaken off easily in Waverly-land...

Aaaaw, Aunt Janelle, you favorite audience surrogate character you <3 But I'm dreading what Bryant will do when Tegan breaks it to him. And by 'dreading' I mean 'waiting with excited glee'

[insert my evil laugh here]

It will be dreadful and infuriating, for sure!

In other unrelated news, I was going through some of the previous chapters playing spot-the-foreshadowing and spotted this instead:

“I can’t believe you!” was the only response, “Why can’t you enjoy your mother’s death like I did?”

It's Hannah arguing with Lily, and I think she means that she'd enjoyed her own mother's death, so Lily should feel the same. But it took me a while to get the full meaning, and the first idea I got from it was Hannah saying she enjoyed the death of Lily's mother and thinks Lily should feel the same.

So she sounded like a sociopath to me instead of just self-absorbed  :D I thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to clarify that somehow...

OH, I get that now.  ::) I thought it was Lily's mother...

Alright, time for clarifying! And my own long-winded analysis.

The line was in reference to Chapter 30 (I think), when Hannah's mother died. I did a poor job with this (in my opinion), but I tried to include some subtext that Sofia was an awful and possibly abusive mum to Hannah. Whatever it was, they were never on good terms and Hannah was quite happy when Sofia passed away. She was happy at her mum's death.

Now, her line to Lily stems from how I don't think Hannah had a good reference of what a healthy mother/child relationship looked like. She saw her own bad one, and saw Franco and Annette, who had a lot of disagreements and very conflicting personalities. When I was writing that dialogue, it was to show that Hannah had no idea of how mothers usually acted towards their children, and concluded that Pansy and Lily weren't on good terms either, even though they actually were close right to the end.

Plus, Hannah saw Pansy as a frigid downer on everyone's life, so she was close-minded enough to think that everyone saw her that way. But, I doubt that Hannah reveled in glee when Pansy died either. She was distracted at the time (labor does that), and didn't react much either way.

Finally, its placement as a line spoken right after Hephaestus was born shows that Hannah came into motherhood with her own shortcomings, which she does recognize in the rest of Chapter 45, when she whines to Franco about her feelings about being subpar. As time goes on, she improves as a stepmother to Lily. Her line about how Lily should have enjoyed Pansy's death is meant to be Hannah's low point as a stepmother.

I wasn't meaning to make her a sociopath, though.

Also, any questions about the story/the ~deep, true meaning~ of something I wrote are always welcome. I'm not taking any literature classes this semester (finished my requirements for those :(), so this will be the next best thing.

Well it's about time! It took Tegan long enough!

Yep! And it's just the first step of many.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks Lily's head looks kind of disproportionately large in this picture. Because I'm so fixated on it I'm not really absorbing the rest of the update.

It does! Pansy had a rather long, chubby/rounded face, with a big chin, which she passed on to Lily. Lily ended up with a smaller frame than either of her parents, so her head just looks big.

I guarantee that it would look even more out of proportion if she inherited Franco's jaw instead. :P
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #425 on: October 23, 2014, 10:21:08 AM »
Today is a special day, because it a year has passed since I started playing the Waverlys! Proof (first screenshot I took from the file): http://i.imgur.com/f3i7KIo.png

So I'm obliged to get something out for you guys. :P

Anyways, I started this dynasty with no idea how the story would shape up, and especially with no idea about the response I'd get from readers. I love all of you guys.



Chapter 90: The Hideaway



Winter dragged on. The lake in the center of town froze over, ice hung from the branches of the willow trees, and not a single cicada stayed awake to fill the air with its buzzing song.

The roads were deemed dangerous due to the weather, but that wasn’t enough to stop an addict. Annette brushed the snow off the windshield of Bill’s old police cruiser and pursued not justice nor an excuse to act like a complete, prejudiced jerk hiding under a badge, but the sweet escape of juice.



The Swamp Goblin dance club pulsated with a bass drop from the dubstep track that was playing. Annette felt it in the counter and in her bottle of juice, a familiar feeling. After all, she spent her first night in Twinbrook in the same building, back when it was called The Grind and when she didn’t even own sheets of drywall, let alone having the funds to own all of the clubs in far-away Bridgeport if she pleased.



She knocked over what was left in her drink and didn’t lick the counter to get her money’s worth. Was Annette becoming guilty over a habit that tore her and her liver apart? Judging by her future actions, no, so I’m going to assume that she maybe have had a stolen item to return to its owner instead.



Or it was over Tegan. She ran the length of the town, from the club to the old fire station in the center of town, hoping to find her great-granddaughter there. She said something about spending some time in her sanctuary that still smelled like the sweat of firefighters. And Tegan would have to deal with Annette intruding that.



Annette, being herself, didn’t knock on the door or give Tegan a proper hello. She propped herself up on a nearby barstool.

“Rumor has it that you’re a free woman now,” Annette said. Tegan looked over her shoulder towards her great-grandmother.

“Depends how you define it,” said Tegan.

“No more Bryant and someone a lot better?”

“No and yes.” She started to walk away. Annette had gotten up from her barstool by then.



“Christ, Tegan! This isn’t like you.” Annette hit her face in disappointment. “Don’t cheat and just break up with him first. He can’t hurt a bunch of elderly gym nuts like us, and he certainly won’t get past your drunk granny, now will he?”

“I don’t know what to say to him,” she said. “I guess I never thought it would end up like this. I didn’t put much thought into it.”

“Bake him a cake, um, have me bake him a cake. You frost it and write your message on top, and I’ll put in the laxatives. Or you can write him a letter. Spray paint it on his house. Attach the message to some pictures of you and Heph in bed. You can rub salt in his wounds now. It’s okay.”

“I’m not doing that.” Tegan stamped her foot, hoisted up in a sturdy heel, on the hard ground. “I don’t want to be like you guys. I want to be good.”

“Goodness, even your grandpa had more of a spine than you,” Annette replied. “Okay, how about I talk to you about grandpa Franco? He made a mistake and went past the metaphorical altar with it, even if he fixed it later. I can pull out a ton of speeches of who not to be, because you’re turning into them faster than I’d like.”



Tegan, like she always did when faced with that stress, hung down her head and almost cried. “I really don’t have it in me. He’s a human too.”

“Barely,” Annette muttered. “Listen, Tegan, maybe you do need some time. Think it over, but don’t think that I won’t nag you until I see you be a little studier than a limp noodle. He ain’t worth it, but Hephaestus is. Good choice, by the way.”

“Before we leave, gram?” Tegan asked.

“Yeah?”

“You didn’t tell my mum about it, did you?”

“No, because I have a vested interest in staying alive. She’ll find out on her own.”

They shared a smile, for the first time in a long time.

“Hey, I’m willing to spend a night with you, gram,” Tegan said.

“Wonderful!” Annette’s phone then buzzed. She grumbled the text message out loud. “Emergency…new busboy ate an entire bag of onions. Good god, how?!”

“Take care of that,” said Tegan.

“Will do.”

With Annette gone to replenish her onion supply and pick up a dozen tins of Altoids too, Tegan didn’t have any family member to vent to, even if Annette did her best to instill some resilience inside of her. The other elders were asleep, and Hephaestus understood the struggle, but would he really try to build her up? That wasn’t his job. He loved his spineless Tegan as much as he loved a hypothetical strong one.

She headed off to the edge of town instead, to where they buried Bronson some years back. Goodness, it had been a while, and it was unfair to say that Tegan hadn’t healed when she functioned even though she would give up the dynasty in order to give her father a hug again.

Out of anyone in the family, Tegan expected and accepted the possibility of ghosts there the most. Not even Hephaestus could boast of that, considering that he never got paid for his delusions. Whether it was dad or that Amy she heard about maybe once, Tegan needed a friendly ghost who recognized her colorful skin, and that recognized her spinelessness even more.



She trudged her way through the deep snow, and to an empty cemetery where a non-spectral breeze rustled the branches of the willow trees. The tombstones lay still in the snow.

“I just want you to be out there,” Tegan whispered into the cold, still air, hoping to rouse a tombstone. She visited Bronson’s for the first time in a while. The tulips that she and Bryant planted there lay dormant underground, waiting to sprout again, and Bronson was too. She knew the feel of ghosts well, and the whole park was both lifeless and afterlifeless.

Still, she could mourn for Bronson, even if she had no flowers for him and even if his silvery spirit didn’t come out to confront his daughter in her time of need.

She knelt down at his grave. “I wish I was like you now,” she said to the obelisk. “You had a lot of guts, daddy.” Still, a lot of silence.

“Maybe you were right about things,” she continued. “I don’t agree with everything you stood for, but you know, maybe you did know about something that was the best for me. And you’d fight if you…if you were still around.”



She crouched on the ground sobbing. Tegan, in her 30’s and otherwise past the point of not needing to sob whenever her dead father was mentioned, cried into the layers of snow and half-buried herself in the thick covering of white powder.

“You could fight. All I can do now is hide.”

The rest of the night was a haze, but it ended with Tegan falling asleep in the snow and not dying because of the thick fur lining of her coat. Still, she was cold, and yearned for a hot drink and a day in front of the fireplace to thaw herself out. She bent each freezing, stiff joint, realizing that the trek back home was long and still cold, unless she could hail a taxi.



She made sense of what woke her up. A savior with a warm body played the piano, as her alarm clock.



That same warm body came to greet her, and it was just the warm body she needed: alive and wrapped in lilac.

“Strange place to find you,” Hephaestus said. “I got worried last night and guessed correctly.”

“Have you been here all night?” Tegan asked.

“All night. I fell asleep too, but for a creaky old man, I’m feeling pretty good.”

“Were you…watching me?”

“Only out of concern! You were crouched down crying at Bronson’s grave, of course I was concerned.”

“I don’t blame you. I’m glad you’re here now.” She rested against his torso and nuzzled his chest. Soon, Heph would be all hers, without even the possibility of Bryant peering over in her direction. Granted, she wished the best for him.

“I heard what you said, and it’s okay to hide,” Hephaestus said. “Your dad and I disagreed on a lot, but I wish he was there to help you.”

“Did you see anything?” Tegan asked.

“I wish that too. God, the world has been so quiet lately. But I like it, sort of.”

“I think I’ll just go home now,” Tegan said. “People like to watch over here.”

“That they do.” Hephaestus let her go, confident that she could get home. “I’ll call the taxi, though.”

On a dark Twinbrook morning, the next morning, Lily sat by the large window and waited, watching yet another snowstorm that dragged on into the morning hours. It helped keep her anger in check.

“How are you doing, flower?” Annette asked Lily, as she sat down to some coffee that morning.

“I’m doing. Why do you ask?”

“Because you’re dressed at 7AM. And I heard that you got into a scuffle with Chris a few days ago.”

“Yeah, but apparently I have to forgive him because he’s the country sheriff and I’m just a rich immortal. So I’m trying to let it slide, or I can put on a good face until he croaks. The guy’s getting older.”

“That’s the spirit, eh?”

“He’s coming over today. We can patch some things up in private. Put on some more coffee before he gets here.”

Chris came over on time, dressed in eye-searing hot pink, as usual. He took a deep whiff of the burning, percolated coffee and sighed. “You sure know how to treat an enemy,” he said to Lily.

“I’m just the daughter of a policewoman, not one of you,” she replied. “Punishments are your thing.”

“That they are. Should we say that we’re both sorry?”

“Sure. I’m sorry. Now I want an apology for the red mark I had on my cheek the next day. Not that anyone could notice, though.”

Before Chris was able to respond, Piper crawled next to him, enthralled by someone wearing as much (or more) bright pink as she was. She looked up to him with those big, black eyes.

“Oh my god, it’s a tiny Lilith!” He squealed with delight as he picked up the squirming nooboo. “You never told me about her.”

“She’s Heph’s creation. But I like her. A tiny Lilith indeed.”



“Still crawling, though? I think she can use a lesson. Come on, sweetie!” He set Piper down on the floor and tried to set her upright on her feet. “Let’s make you a biped.”



She learned quickly, toddling towards Chris as fast as her wobbly legs could carry her. Lily thought it was too cute.

“You’re forgiven, Chris.”

After Piper was more confident with walking, Chris spoke with Lily again, which is what he came over for, after all.

“Now, will you take up my suggestion about sending Tegan to uni?” Chris asked. “She can blow up anything that’s hers to her heart’s content without worrying about noise violations, and she’ll get a fine education out of it. I’m certain you guys can afford it.”

“We can. It’s up to her,” Lily said. “I won’t drop hints or anything. I loved uni, but I know very well that Tegan and I are different. And I love her for it.”

“Suit yourself. Can I say good-bye to Piper? She’s just the most darling thing.”



That night, Tegan sent a burn victim back to a more peaceful afterlife, after convincing her that the fire that killed her and her family was not her fault. She shook the spectre’s hand—the first time she ever did—and it felt semi-solid in her grasp. But even if it passed through her hand like air, she still would have gotten the hefty commission pay from her boss.

With a successful night behind her, Tegan set off to Elkhorn Fishing Hole. She still owned the place, even if she learned her lesson about noise. What was left was to clean up and make sure that no one was dumping cans into the pond.



Even with a few soda bottles hidden in the cattails, Tegan’s attention was quickly diverted to the cabin that wasn’t there before. She had no use for one, and while the pond was still good for public use in her eyes, there was no way that someone could build a cabin without her noticing.

It had a sliding door. She slid it open, to a bedroom decorated in her favorite colors. Blue carpets, white walls, and sparse furniture in both of those colors. Among them was a record player, and a few vinyl records stored under a lavish double-bed. Tegan dug one out, deciding that some tunes was what she needed in order to decompress after work.

The place was built for her. She had a right to it.



And it was the perfect place to smustle in peace.



The door slid open again, which wasn’t enough to distract Tegan from her moves until she caught sight of Hephaestus coming in through the blinded that shielded the glass door. The subtle lilac accents in the room made a lot of sense after that. He just got off work too, dressed in sweaty-smelling overalls for a job wiring stage lights.

“Glad you found it, peapod,” he said. Tegan turned off the music.

“It’s a nice place. Thanks, love.”



He smoothed out the sheets and climbed in bed, still in those overalls. “Well, you needed a place to hide. It might not be the best, but it works if you want to stay in Twinbrook. So why don’t we test this out?”

At this hour? I haven’t even washed all the ectoplasm off me.”

“Right at this hour,” he said.

They both undressed and Tegan climbed onto the other side of the bed. “It’s always the right hour with you. What was I thinking?”



“Alright! I’ve been waiting for too long,” Hephaestus said. “For anyone. And for you. Especially for you.”

All Tegan could do was nod. Her hands shook, though the rest of her felt like jelly in his arms, as it should be. Revenge was never on Tegan’s mind, but her respect for Bryant dwindled and she felt it, feeling it even more upon seeing her lilac prince in his underwear, which was a rare and enjoyable occasion.

And so was the morning of Tegan’s first woohoo, and how the good princess became a justified cheater.



They emerged from under the covers, eventually. No one in Twinbrook knew that they were under there, which made Hephaestus’ idea of a cabin a success. However, some people lived in the swamps. Stupid people, but people and people with functioning senses nonetheless.

“You sure we’re safe?” Tegan asked.

“For now. I mean, we can talk this over. Put another record on,” he said.

Hephaestus ended up getting a lot of used jazz records, though few enough to slide under the bed with ease. Tegan picked out the first one on top, admittedly not too versed in the world of jazz. Thankfully, she picked out something smooth. Hephaestus wasn’t in the mood for anything more than a slow dance, and the more Tegan thought about it, she wasn’t either.



So she was taken into his arms again, but for a dance. She trembled upon feeling his hand on her lower back. This could be her life, as long as she broke up with Bryant. And the words to make him leave had yet to land on her tongue.



Of course, it was worth the struggle of finding words to one day have a life pressed up against her Hephaestus, like she was morning. Neither of them were dancers, but moving in motion with him was all Tegan needed.

“Any ideas?” Hephaestus asked. “About getting rid of that toad.”

“It’s hard for me to think of them,” she said. “And it’s been on my mind for days. I want to take this delicately, you know?”



He spun her around so that they faced each other again, and leaned over to say something in her ear. “I had an idea, though. We can go to university. We’ll be miles and miles away from him, and you’ll have semesters to think about what to say.”

“The boss has been pushing it for all of us,” Tegan said. “Most of the other Profiteers are studying from home, and I’ve considered it, but really? The two of us together, far off in New Simland?”

“Us making out under the golden autumn leaves there? I’m all for it.”

“You got yourself a deal, mister,” Tegan said, tightening her embrace. “God, I can hardly wait.”

She wrote two letters: one to the university to get into their Science and Medicine department, and another to Bryant. Only the latter is worth replicating.

Dear Bryant, my fiancée. The man who plans to marry me.

Don’t think of this as a breakup. I’m just leaving for a bit to study. I know that you’ve been studying at home for something…was it web design? You’ve never elaborated. However, I need to get out of Twinbrook for once and see the world.



But I can assure you, that I’m going only to study. I don’t want to hook up with any college boys. There’s only one guy on my heart anyways.


That lie killed her inside, but she licked the envelope and sent it to 19 Poker Flats Drive before her flight left.



All alone, Annette had the time to soak in hot water and relax without a young immortal to control or worry about.



Unfortunately, Tegan wasn’t the only thing for Annette to mull over as her skin pruned up.



Word Count for this chapter: 3,014
Word Count so far: 173,947
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Offline Rikki8528

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #426 on: October 23, 2014, 03:07:37 PM »
Amazing as always! Can't wait to read about Tegan's adventures at uni!



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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #427 on: October 24, 2014, 02:38:04 AM »
I feel Tegan on how hard break-ups are... and I've only broken it off with a guy I'd seen for a little over a month. They're engaged and everything. *Gently cheering her on* You can do it, Tegan.



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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #428 on: October 24, 2014, 03:06:48 AM »
Aggh! Tegan, you had a perfect opportunity to drop him like it's hot and you completely wasted it! You're gonna be gone for months! You could of just wrote, "Goodbye forever, fedora breath," and hopped the plane and missed the fallout completely! You're killing me, girl! D:<
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #429 on: October 24, 2014, 06:54:39 AM »
I'm with Gwendy, but I'm betting university will be a lot of fun for Teagan and Heph  ;)
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #430 on: October 25, 2014, 12:40:55 AM »
Amazing as always! Can't wait to read about Tegan's adventures at uni!

Thank you!

I feel Tegan on how hard break-ups are... and I've only broken it off with a guy I'd seen for a little over a month. They're engaged and everything. *Gently cheering her on* You can do it, Tegan.

Breakups are tough. I remember that my first took ages for me to try and make happen (though it was because he was too nice-if-boring for me to have the heart to break it to him). So maybe I'm writing my own experiences. I dunno.

Aggh! Tegan, you had a perfect opportunity to drop him like it's hot and you completely wasted it! You're gonna be gone for months! You could of just wrote, "Goodbye forever, fedora breath," and hopped the plane and missed the fallout completely! You're killing me, girl! D:<

She could have! But this was a quirk of my game, where I kind of forgot to break up Tegan and Bryant before she went to university. I wrote it in because I didn't feel like getting breakup screenshots that didn't happen.

Plus, the way the breakup will really happen will leave more room for a worse fallout. Which is what I'm aiming for. ;D

I'm with Gwendy, but I'm betting university will be a lot of fun for Teagan and Heph  ;)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 90, 10/23)
« Reply #431 on: October 25, 2014, 06:25:15 AM »
Good for Tegan. I mean, it's a shame for her that she compromised her own morals, but she made the decision of her own free will so I'm all for it. Besides, who wouldn't rather be off at uni with Heph than home marrying Bryant the toad?
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 91, 10/26)
« Reply #432 on: October 26, 2014, 11:09:21 PM »
Good for Tegan. I mean, it's a shame for her that she compromised her own morals, but she made the decision of her own free will so I'm all for it. Besides, who wouldn't rather be off at uni with Heph than home marrying Bryant the toad?

Hephaestus is certainly an interesting guy to go to university with! Or at least I'd think.



Chapter 91: Gutterball



New Simland shared little with Twinbrook. Situated among low mountains and along the northeastern coast of Simnation, New Simland and its most famous university town boasted of timeless architecture, world-class education, conventionally attractive citizens, and a seasonal schedule that went against everywhere else in Simnation. So while Twinbrook sat blanketed in snow, New Simland kept its green, grassy skin. Those uni students needed the motivation.

The elders told Tegan and Hephaestus that, reminding them that the town was still lovely. They gave plenty of recommendations that the two followed: pack well. Enjoy life and drink a lot. Make an impact. Rent the Dedham House, which Annette, Franco, and their mortals rented years and years beforehand. It might pay to study too.



With the advice of her sage elders in mind, Tegan found herself dropped off at the Dedham house, which was still adorned with graffiti from a difficult time in Franco’s life. It added its own charm. She enjoyed the colors of it, still strong on the grass.

With a new world at her fingertips for a few terms, Tegan had a lot to look at. Ivy climbed up the walls. New friends waited to be met. Bad dining hall and worse cooking were only a few hunger pains away. She had a few terms away from Twinbrook to experience it all when other immortals couldn’t, giving her an edge with storytelling.



However, the best thing in her line of vision was a Twinbrook import, who had a wardrobe malfunction on the plane and arrived at university in his boxer shorts.

“So, what do you know about living alone, Heph?” Tegan asked. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know much about it.”

“At least you’re young. I’m too old to not know.” He surveyed the exterior of the house. Two floors. Graffiti visible from the outside. There had to be a double bed somewhere. “You know what, we’re adults. We can do what we want, and we’re halfway across the nation from everything we know.”

“Are you saying that I’m free?”

“You’d be a free woman back home too,” he said. “But yeah, babe, you’re mine here. Or anyone else’s, but I like to be a dreamer.”



Tegan faced him, shyly batting her eyes. “Alright, free woman now. I missed your kisses so much.”

“Though it’s not like Bryant got may, now did he?” Tegan chuckled at her new “boyfriend’s” joke. This really was going to be a dream, under the green leaves and the balmy New Simland summer.



And near the side of the road, they kissed, revealing to the neighbors exactly what sort of neighbors they’d be. Hopefully the walls were thick at the Dedham House.



Hephaestus gave Tegan a flirty wink, staring directly at her chest and her other voluptuous assets. “So, no need to hide, at least not for a while.”

“As long as you’re protecting me,” said Tegan.

“…in bed,” Hephaestus continued.

“Golly, so soon?”



He surveyed her a little more, in spite of being familiar with Tegan already. “Should have done it sooner if you ask me.”



However, the both of them had academic, GPA-dependent scholarships to keep, and their textbooks shipped on time and robbed them of an excuse not to use them. Pillow talk about the Dada movement and plant cell biology ensued.

Hephaestus and his phone kept a decent relationship, even if just for basic purposes. He admittedly didn’t like touchscreen games much (console controllers were a better beast), but he liked text messages, phone calls, and alarms. He set one for the mandatory meet-and-greet at the campus center, because he would forget otherwise. So would Tegan, especially having to choose between the daunting world of new people, and a few more hours in bed with the sexiest man alive.

“I know how much you won’t like me for this,” he said.

“I’ve been dreading it,” Tegan replied.

“You’ll do fine. Much better than you think you will.”

“Will you?”

“Of course! I’ve been feeling like a new man lately. I’ve told you about that a lot, haven’t I? I’m so far away from the psychotic event horizon, that you have no idea. And…and I never knew how nice it felt.”

“That’s all I wanted to hear.” She gave him an extra hug before attempting to find her clothing again. Somehow her skirt ended up in the kitchen. What a wild morning.

“Do I introduce you as my boyfriend?” Tegan asked.

“It’s not untrue,” Hephaestus said. “Technicalities aside, right?”

She could get used to that setup.



Still, arriving at the meet-up made Tegan bite her fingernails with nervousness, a habit that I usually held myself and only by myself. She used to make friends so well back in school! But the guy in the mascot suit made her uncomfortable. What if she said the wrong thing to someone so innocent? She just decided to leave him be.



Hephaestus had no such troubles. Marco the fairy approached him as soon as Hephaestus climbed the stairs to the second floor. “A hippie? We’re looking for someone to join the Personhood for Plants cause. If it could work for the commune to the west of us, it can work for Simnation.”

“Plants? Not exactly my forte,” said Hephaestus. Tegan wandered by, looking for freebies. She heard the two of them talking and hoped that Hephaestus found a new, winged friend, like those she hoped she still had back home. As for plants, they were going to be her forte once she finished her bachelor’s degree.

“…I do know someone who might know more, though,” he continued. “Tegan? Mind listening to this gentleman?”

“I don’t know, honey.”

“He’s fine. You’ve given me a good sense for finding the rotten ones.”

Tegan hesitated. Marco’s wings fluttered, shining in happy yellow. He didn’t smile much, but kept a pleasant, neutral expression regardless. “So, you like plants? Like, really like plants?” Marco asked.

“Yeah. Well, my granddaddy was a botanist.”

“What did he think about personhood for plants?”

“He just studied them.”



“Well, let me tell you about what we do anyways,” Marco said. “Someone as green as you might listen! You see, plants are just in a different kingdom from animals, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a developed response system. Many studies have shown that they do respond to stimuli, and the way we cruelly treat plants is unreal! I’ll step on the grass too, but uproot a tree? Break off leaves? That’s horrible.”

“It is, in a way. Are you in the botany program?” Tegan asked.

“Communications, actually. You interested?”

Tegan hesitated again.



“Well, I’ll see,” she said, with Hephaestus looking on with a longing stare. “At least we can be friends, right?”

“Why not?”

On the drive back home, Hephaestus praised Tegan for coming out of her shell, even if he was confused as to how she got in it in the first place. “You were pretty social in high school. I’ve known you for all your life, and this just isn’t you.”

“I know it isn’t me. And I wish I knew more,” she said.

“At least Marco is nice. I’ll hedge a bet that 99% of the guys and girls here are.” Then it hit Hephaestus, like a badly-thrown juice pong ball to the head (he wanted to try it out later). “How many people did you go to high school with?”

“Not many,” Tegan said.

“Would that make Bryant about 25% of your class? 25% of the students?”

“Now that you bring it up.”

“You just think that 25% of people are like him,” said Hephaestus. “That would do it.”

“I don’t know what to think in the regard,” Tegan said. “I know that everyone is right about him in some way, but I keep getting swayed in the opposite direction. I don’t know. I’m glad I’m here to think.”

“Things will get better. In the meantime, I’ll give you more reasons to stay with a skinny old blond guy instead.” It’s safe to say that they slept well that night.



On weekdays, the happy couple instead had to separate, because the paint from Hephaestus’ Advanced Portraiture II would corrupt the samples from Tegan’s Contemporary Issues in Biology I (Lab Portion). They would longingly stare each other down as they headed down the quad in their separate ways, hoping that the night would be full of closeness, laughter, and woohoo in between study sessions and homework.



Not taking on a Fine Arts major with Hephaestus did mean that Tegan had a way of meeting Corey Arkers, the teacher’s assistant for Intro to Botany, and her cousin too. It was obvious that he never met their grandpa Franco, because Tegan fought hard to hold her tongue against his gut-wrenching, sensibility-killing fashion sense. However, he answered her homework questions with patience, regardless of the misplaced hat on his head.



As the first semester went on, Tegan felt at peace with the campus. She called a few fellow students her friends, or at least kept their contacts in an address book, and got high marks in her classes.



Because no matter how hard she worked, she had a pair of arms to fall into and some thin lips to kiss.

The nights grew a little colder, but Tegan left her coat at home when it came time to study at the library and take a walk around the quad to stave off the freshmen 15. Her meaty hips couldn’t take that.

After the streetlights went on, the quad died down and Tegan usually walked in silence (though the police callboxes were nearby, just in case). One night, however, the soft chords of an acoustic guitar caught her attention. Unlike average college guys attempting to play “Wonderwall” in hopes of scoring, this player went through arpeggios with the virtuosity of a seasoned player, considering that it was a seasoned player.



It was just the virtuoso that Tegan wanted. God, he was good at that.



With an awkward smile, she enjoyed the rest of what Hephaestus had to play for her. “I can live with this for the rest of your life,” she said. “I need to go to one of your performances back home.” In spite of his lowly stagehand position, he tried to get in piano or classical guitar concerts when he could.

“I’ll remember,” he said. “I wish it was clearer tonight. I wanted to pick out some constellations with you tonight.”

“I think we can still see Sirius B and Vega up there,” Tegan said. “Or at least I hope.”

“Then let’s sit down and try.”



They planted themselves down on the cold asphalt of the quad, with Hephaestus’ gloved hand caressing Tegan’s with soft wool. He looked into her eyes with his longing, semi-strained gaze, brought on by both the love in his heart and the Carlton genes in the rest of him. “You know, I remember when I watched you and Bryant watch the stars on the beach for the first time, and I wanted to kill that guy,” he said.

“My mum would probably want to kill you if she saw us here,” Tegan said. “But I know her. She’s only a little violent.”

“Though, she let you go to university, and she knows I’m with you. Has she changed her mind?”

“She’s just been negative about it for so long, and it kept me reserved. Oh god, I really hope she is.”



A glimmer in the sky caught Hephaestus’ eyes. “Alright, one star tonight!”

“I think it’s Vega,” Tegan said. “Shame I don’t have any context for it, but I think Sirius usually burns a little brighter than that.”

“I knew we’d find something. I can’t wait to go back home with you.”

“I dunno. I’m liking it here,” said Tegan.

“But back at home, we can get married. Perhaps…perhaps even start a family before I get too old.”

“You’re getting a little too caught up about your age. You’re only 40 or 50, right?”

“I’ll be 60 soon. See? It gets hard to count at this point. I’m that old. And I know that time would be limited regardless. I’m older, you’re younger, and Annette won’t let me in on her secrets to eternal life. But we’ve hit enough snags, and I don’t want to wait. But we should graduate first.”

“It’s a deal.”

“And can we get married at the Celtic Burial Mounds in Champs Les Sims? I promised myself that I would, back when I was 19. Back when I heard some voices telling me that it was destiny. And I like the silence I hear now, but I still remember that voice. It was a husky contralto, an old woman who I always swore up and down was the ghost of the great mystic and alchemist, Vega Keane. I think I just finished reading about her then. I want to say that it’s untrue, but I still listened to that after all these years, and guess what we see now?” He pointed to the star again. “I’m hoping that it’s Vega we’re seeing, that is.”

“It is for the sake of destiny, how about that?”



“Sounds good. I just want the future now.”



To decompress after a pair of rough exams for each of them, Hephaestus and Tegan went bowling another, later night. She initially refused because of the glowing violet lights, but the allure of knocking down pins won her over. Plus, the alley was rumored to have the best chili fries on the eastern seaboard for refreshments.



It became apparent that they both came from a town without a bowling alley.



“Can you just forget about that gutterball?” Hephaestus asked. “I’m not having five in a row marked on my sheet if I can help it.”

“Sorry, gotta keep it fair,” Tegan replied. “I’ll make sure to beg for extra chili on your fries afterwards, okay?”

He gave Tegan a kiss on the forehead. “I’ll accept it, babe.”



It was her turn to roll. She tried to remember physics lessons about trajectories, hoping that her young age made them more recent in her memory than in Hephaestus’ aging brain. However, Heph’s phone kept ringing, which distracted her.

“Honey, just answer it,” she said. “I’m going to bowl plenty more times while we’re here.” He listened.

“Hey Nettie!” Hephaestus said. “Uh, thanks? I don’t think that was the plan. Yes, I know it’s not your fault, don’t get shouty over it. I need to find a way to tell her. Yes, I got a C in Culinary I. You get to keep your throne. Bye.”

“What was that?” she asked. Tegan was still eyeing a path for her ball.

“Apparently the elders broke up with Bryant for you.”

She dropped the heavy orb, narrowing missing her exposed toes.



“Well, that definitely wasn’t a part of the plan.”



Word Count for this chapter: 2,475
Word Count so far: 176,421

Notes:

- As a reminder, Corey is Franco's grandson because he is the son of Franco and Shannon's son. Or so I thought. The family tree got messed up and I never had confirmation of anything.

- Vega's actually the fourth-brightest star in the sky, so there would be a few they'd see before it.

- Vega Keane, the mystic, is a reference to an old dynasty founder of mine. Longtime readers of mine might have (definitely) picked up on it. Keane was actually her husband's original last name. But she did like her alchemy and working as a fortune teller much later in her life.
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Offline Lisa46

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 91, 10/26)
« Reply #433 on: October 26, 2014, 11:31:05 PM »
"The elders broke up with Bryant for you." Well, that's one way to find out.

Offline Brooke.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 91, 10/26)
« Reply #434 on: October 27, 2014, 09:59:39 AM »
I'd love to see Teagan break up with Bryant herself.
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