Author Topic: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley  (Read 144847 times)

Offline mpart

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 15
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2015, 09:46:53 PM »
Poor guy,sorry to hear about his ex-fiancee.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 15
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2015, 08:00:02 AM »
OMG Poor Hank.  However, a Sim with a Heartbreaker LTW and a relationship, is going to find it all fall apart sometime.  :-\  Nonetheless, this is brilliant Cheezey.  I wonder if that plant has any effect on Boyd and Susan.  Time will tell.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Offline janehumen

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 15
« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2015, 05:58:32 AM »
This story is awesome so far. I feel really bad for Hank, though. Poor guy.


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Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 16
« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2015, 01:02:01 PM »
Poor guy,sorry to hear about his ex-fiancee.

Yeah, that had to be pretty rough on poor Hank!

OMG Poor Hank.  However, a Sim with a Heartbreaker LTW and a relationship, is going to find it all fall apart sometime.  :-\  Nonetheless, this is brilliant Cheezey.  I wonder if that plant has any effect on Boyd and Susan.  Time will tell.

Almost every time I play Sunset Valley with NRaas story progression, Hank and Pauline are broken up before the first day is over.  Sometimes they get back together and break up multiple times.  Such is the life of heartbreaker sims!

I'm glad you're enjoying the latest in the story. As for the plant, the answer to that is in the chapter I'm posting now... :D

This story is awesome so far. I feel really bad for Hank, though. Poor guy.

Thank you! I'm glad you like it!  If it helps, I felt bad for Hank as I was writing it out.



Chapter 16


 
To Blair’s surprise, Hank bounced back from his breakup with Pauline quickly.  After spending that first night crashing on their couch and sleeping off the juice, he took a personal day the day afterward.  Blair had been a little worried about him, but when she saw him at work the day after that, Hank was back to his usual confident and easygoing self. 

“You live, you learn, you move on,” he said when Blair asked how he was doing.  He then told her that because his and Pauline’s house was in both of their names, they had to try to sell it before he could move, but in the meantime, they were going to try to live together peacefully.  “I set up a bed in the second room upstairs, and now we’re both free to do as we please.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll even come out of this still friends.  In the meantime,” Hank said with a grin, “I’m going to enjoy my newly single status.”


 
It seemed that he did.  Over the next few weeks, Blair heard all about the dates he’d been on.  One had even been with Tamara, although that never progressed beyond casual flirtation.  Instead, to Blair’s dismay, Tamara was spending more time with Xander Clavell.  Even though Hank was a bit of a Casanova in his recently-single dating approach, Blair still thought he would be a better choice than Xander.  Of course, she liked both Tamara and Hank, so it appealed to her romantic side to imagine two friends finding happiness with each other.  It was not in the stars, though.  While they remained friendly, and shared the occasional flirt, that was all.  Xander, on the other hand, recently spent the night with Tamara at their place.  Both Blair and Cycl0n3 wished they could purge their brains of the unfortunate memory of the sounds that came from Tamara’s room that night.


 
Casual discussion about their personal lives ended when they were called to 14 Sierra Tango Street to respond to a call about a theft and breaking and entering.  When they got there, both Blair and Hank were surprised at who reported it.  It was Zelda Mae, a member of the band that both Stiles and Pauline were in.  “Oh, hey, Hank, and… Blair, right?  You’re one of Stiles’ roommates?  I remember you from the park.”

Blair nodded.  “Yes.  We got a call about a theft and a prowler?”

“Yeah.”  Zelda invited them into the living room.  “That’s cool they sent you guys.  I didn’t think it’d be cops I knew.  I still can’t believe it.  This has always been a nice neighborhood, you know?”

“What was stolen?” asked Hank.

“My nephew’s tablet.  Parker left it out there this morning.  He sent me a text from school asking if I could bring it in, because it’s supposed to rain.  When I went to go out there, there was someone on the deck.  It totally freaked me out because I’m the only one home.  So I guess they heard me, because they just grabbed the tablet, jumped off the deck, and ran away.”


 
“I see,” Blair said.  “Did you get a good look at the burglar?  Can you describe him or her at all?”

“Anything that comes to mind,” Hank added.  “Tall, short, thin, fat, old, young, hair color, skin color, what they were wearing…”

Zelda frowned as she thought about it.  “It happened so fast.  I—I didn’t get a good look at her.  I think it was a woman, because it looked like she had, you know.”  She gestured to her chest.  “She had a red shirt on and it had a kind of mesh on the arms.  Dark pants and one of those knit hats.  And she was big.  Like a bit taller than average, strong looking, but also kind of heavy.”

Blair took some notes.  “That’s all very helpful.  Thank you.  Is there anything else you remember about her?  How old she was?  Her hair or eyes?”

“I didn’t see her face.  She was kind of pale.  Not as pale as you, but not as tan as Hank.  Oh, and she had red hair sticking out from under the cap.  It was really red.  But I don’t know how old she was, except like not super old or anything.  I don’t think she was that young, not a like a teenager or just out of school.  Maybe older than us?  I’m not sure.  I didn’t see her for long.”

“Heh,” Hank remarked, glancing out the window.  “What way did she go when she left?”

“That way.”  Zelda pointed down the road.

“On the road or sidewalk, or through the yards?”

“I don’t know.”  Zelda shrugged.  “I can’t remember.  I was too freaked out.  After she ran I just called the police.”  She sighed.  “I hope we can get Parker’s tablet back.  Iliana’s going to freak out.  That thing was expensive and she just got it for him.”

“We’ll do our best,” Blair assured her.

Hank frowned as he thought about what Zelda told them.  “That’s in the general direction of the Outstanding warehouse,” he said to Blair.  “I wonder if this is connected to the other break-ins?”

“It is pretty suspicious,” she agreed.


 
While Hank continued to question Zelda, Blair went outside to look for evidence.  The ground was a little soft by the deck, and Blair discovered a footprint.  It was deep, like someone had jumped onto the ground, just like Zelda had described the burglar doing.  Odds were they now knew the rough size of the feet belonging to their perp.  Blair hoped they could get some more identifying information, and end her stealing days for good.


 
Blair and Hank stayed until they got all the information and evidence they could, and then they drove in the direction the burglar had fled to see if there were any more clues or reports of suspicious activity.  Unfortunately, the trail went cold just outside the Langerak residence, leading Blair and Hank to surmise that whoever it was had an accomplice driving a getaway vehicle.

“I’ll bet it turns out it’s the same gang we think operates out of Outstanding Citizens,” Blair said.  “Maybe if forensics can get us some solid information off that footprint, we’ll have a shot at making an ID.  Did you piece anything else together from what Zelda told you?”

“Nothing I can use for a warrant.  We didn’t get any prints.  I’ve got a suspicion of who it might be, but I can’t prove it.  I know two women with hair red like Zelda described.  Claire Ursine, and your mom.”  He smirked.  “And I’m pretty sure your mother’s not a cat burglar in her spare time.”

Blair laughed.  “What, you can’t picture my mom ninja jumping off the Langeraks’ back patio to steal some kid’s tablet?  I bet hers is better anyway.  She bought the newest model last week.  I know, because she spent ten minutes on the phone telling me about how great it is, and how she got the last red one that Amasim had in stock.”

“Yeah, I’m thinking we can rule her out,” joked Hank.  “Besides, Ursine fits the rest of the description much better, and she works at Outstanding.  For their ‘perfectly legit’ shipping operation, of course.”

“Legit because they have shady lawyers using loopholes to make it that way,” Blair remarked.  “One day, they’re going to slip up, and we’re going to catch them and shut them down for good, though.”


 
After her shift was over, Blair was surprised to find Cycl0n3 waiting for her outside of work.  “Cycl0n3?”

“Come on.  I’ve got a surprise for you!”

“Okay,” Blair said.  “Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”


 
Cycl0n3 took Blair downtown to a small, out of the way office on the top floor of one of Sunset Valley’s retail buildings.  He unlocked the door and showed her inside.  “Welcome to my office, Blair.  Cycl0n3 Sw0rd, Private Investigator.”  He pulled an envelope out of his pocket.  “My license came today.  I needed a place to work out of, and I found this.  It’s not much, but it’s cheap, and it’s mine.  More importantly, I’m officially done with that soul-destroying job at Doo Peas.  I gave notice today.”

“Wow!  You finally got it!  I’m so happy for you.”  She gave him a hug.  “You’re going to be a great PI, I know it!”

“Thanks.  Now I just need to get my name out there, and get some cases.”  He smiled.  “Think you could pass along my credentials to anyone you meet that can use my services, Officer Blondie?”

“Yes, even though you keep calling me that when you know I hate it.  It took me forever to get Hank and Justine to cut it out after they heard you say it.”


 
“Oh, but it’s so cute.  Like you, officer.”  Cycl0n3 gave her a flirty look. 

“Are you trying to bribe me to get off the hook?” she teased.

“Will it work?”

“I am not that kind of cop, mister.”

Cycl0n3 drew Blair into his arms.  “What if I sweeten the deal?”  He kissed her.

“Hmm… maybe I can drop the charges this once.”




 
Just down the road from where a suspect sharing her hair color had stolen a tablet, Susan Wainwright tried to enjoy her Wednesday off.  At their level, both Boyd and Susan were on a four day work week schedule.  Boyd was catching up on online projects, but Susan felt restless and off.  “Maybe I just need to get up and do something different for a while,” she mused.  She considered arranging a ranked chess match, but as her gaze drifted into the kitchen, she had another idea.  “Hey, Boyd?  If I tried making that cookie recipe Emma gave me, would you eat them?”

Surprised, Boyd looked up from his computer.  “You want to bake?”

“She said they were ‘easy as cake mix.’”

“Not to discourage you, but wasn’t it a cake mix gone wrong that made you swear off baking back when Blair turned five?”

“It wasn’t a mix.  It was more of a scratch recipe with a couple of shortcuts,” Susan clarified.  “It was also a long time ago.  I think I’m over it.  Besides, watching Emma cook makes it look like it could be fun if you had the hang of it.  I watched a cooking show last night while you were doing that TarzWar raid.  It inspired me a little.”

Boyd kept typing as he replied.  “Go for it, then.  I won’t complain about free cookies.  Besides, it’d be nice if one of us wasn’t hopeless in the kitchen.”  He had no room to throw stones when it came to cooking.  He considered it an accomplishment when he didn’t burn macaroni and cheese.

Susan got up and went into the kitchen.  “If you think about it, cooking is just another form of chemistry.  The ingredients react to specific conditions like other reagents, temperature, and humidity for a specific amount of time, yielding a predictable result.”

“In theory,” Boyd said.  “But there’s some subjective artistic element to it.  I’ve never failed as spectacularly at a chemistry experiment as I do every time I try to make waffles.  They come out like burnt roofing tiles.”

“Maybe it’s inspiration you need, then.”  Susan pulled their barely used baking pans out of the cabinet.  “I bet Emma makes amazing waffles.  She could probably give you pointers.  Or you could watch a cooking show with me sometime.”

“Sure.” 


 
Making the cookies was easy at first.  Susan mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl and put the wet ones in the food processor when all of a sudden she felt lightheaded.  She paused where she stood, waiting for it to pass.  She started to feel steadier, but a nauseous feeling in her stomach came on while she finished mixing the dough.

Ugh.  Really?  On my day off?  Susan was annoyed.  She’d had mild bouts of nausea on and off for almost a week.  It passed if she sat down or ate something to settle her stomach, so she chalked it up to stress and her tendency to skip meals when she was busy.  Their new titles at work came with fatter paychecks, but their projects were also more demanding.  Susan was one of those types who gave her all on the job, and she had trouble leaving it at the door when she came home for the day.  Boyd had noticed how worn out Susan was getting, and cautioned her against burning herself out, but she was confident she knew her limits. 

The oven finished preheating, and Susan went to get the baking pan.  All of a sudden, her wooziness intensified, and her stomach lurched in a way that warned her another step would mean she’d be tossing her cookies rather than baking them.   

“I… oh…” Susan gripped her stomach as her head spun.  Boyd was too absorbed in what he was doing to hear her soft murmuring or see how wobbly her posture had become.


 
It was the clang of the metal pan onto the countertop, followed by the loud thump of Susan hitting the floor, that caught Boyd’s attention.  When he saw Susan unconscious, he rushed to her side in full-on panic mode.

“Susan?”  Boyd’s thoughts raced as he tried to rouse her.  What had happened?  Should he call 9-1-1 right now, or see if he could wake her up first?  What if she didn’t wake up?  What if she’d had a heart attack?  A stroke?  A freak aneurysm that killed her instantly?

Boyd was relieved to find Susan still breathing, but then he started to worry that there was something catastrophically wrong, and that death might be imminent.  “Honey?  Please, wake up.” 

It had only been about twenty seconds that Susan was out before she began to stir, but to Boyd it felt like an eternity.  Susan blinked and tried to get her bearings as she came to.  “Wha—?”

“Oh, thank the Watcher!”

She tried to sit up.  “What happened?”

“Wait, don’t move too fast.  You fell.  If you broke something—”

“No, I’m fine.”  She grimaced.  “Though that floor is hard.  Ow.”


 
Boyd eased Susan into a sitting position.  “What happened?”

She still felt weak, but the nausea had abated.  “I just felt tired all of a sudden.  A little dizzy.  Then my stomach started bothering me.”  She frowned.  “I thought it would pass, but it just got worse.  Then… well, I don’t know.  The next thing I remember is you waking me up here on the floor.”

“You just passed out?”

“Apparently.”

“But you feel all right now?” Boyd asked, concerned.  “No pain?”

“Not from anything other than falling like a sack of dead weight on a hardwood floor.”  She rubbed her backside and pouted.  “I’ve never regretted not having more padding there before.”

“No numbness or tingling or anything like that?  And you can move everything?”

Susan shifted.  “Yes.  I’m all right.  My blood sugar was probably just low or something.” 

Boyd held Susan close before helping her up, and he tried not to think of all the terrible medical conditions her episode could indicate.  “But you’ve never had hypoglycemia issues before.  Have you?”


 
“No, but it’s pretty common for it to make you get lightheaded and pass out,” Susan said as she shakily got back on her feet.  “I had a lot of coffee and a light breakfast this morning.  It was probably just a crash.”

Boyd gave her a dubious look.  “You have caffeine all the time.  We’ve been drinking that hi-test organic red rocket stuff ever since we went to University, and it’s never bothered you before, empty stomach or not.”  He glanced at the stove before helping her over to the couch.  “If that wasn’t electric, I’d wonder if we had a gas leak and there were fumes.”

“I’m just a little run down.  Tried to do too much on an empty stomach when I was behind on sleep.  That’s all.”



Boyd knelt beside Susan on the couch.  “I was afraid something like this would happen if you kept pushing yourself.  You tell me I worry too much, but you really do overdo it sometimes, Susan.”

Susan leaned back into the cushions.  “I didn’t think I was that out of it.  I knew I could stand to catch up on a little sleep, but I had no idea baking cookies would wear me out.  I guess I’m getting sick after all.”

“Getting sick?”

“I’ve been feeling a little nauseous on and off,” Susan admitted.  “That’s why I didn’t eat this morning.  It’s nothing to worry about.  Just annoying.  It’ll pass once I rest up.”

“Passing out like you did isn’t ‘nothing to worry about.’”  Her admission that she’d felt unwell concerned Boyd even more.  “You should go to the doctor.  Come on.  I’ll take you.’”


 
“Boyd, the last place I want to spend my day off is in a doctor’s office.  I’m fine.  I’ll just take a nap and relax.  By tomorrow I’ll be good to go.”

“Honey, I was this close to calling an ambulance.”  He gave her hand a tender squeeze.  “I’m worried about you.  I know the doctor’s office isn’t fun, but don’t you think you should make sure there’s nothing serious going on?”

“He’s just going to say the same thing I already did.  That I’m tired and overdid it.” 

He gave her an urging look.  “Then if he does, tell me ‘I told you so’ as much you want afterward.  Please?” 

Since she still felt a bit shaky, and because she knew Boyd would keep pushing anyway, she relented.  “All right.  Let’s go.”


 
Twenty minutes later, they were on the couch in the doctor’s waiting room.  “I’m sorry it ruined your day off, but I’m glad you’re here.”

“It’s all right.  I suppose if I was the one who saw you pass out on the kitchen floor, I’d make you go to the doctor, too, even if you said you felt fine.”

Their conversation ended when the nurse called Susan’s name. 


 
After having her vitals checked by the nurse, Susan was shown to an exam room.  Her doctor, Geoffrey Landgraab, gave her a friendly greeting.  “Hello, Susan.  I’m sorry you’re not feeling well today.”  He glanced at her chart.  “I see you had some lightheadedness, and fell?”

“Yes.  I passed out, while trying to make cookies, of all things.” 

“Wow.  Well, I guess that saves me the trouble of warning you that junk food isn’t good for you, huh?”

She smiled despite herself.  “I suppose so.”

“So, tell me what happened.”

Susan explained how she had been baking and felt dizzy, then nauseous, and how she had reached for the baking pan and then the next thing she knew, she was on the floor, sore, with Boyd in a panic over her, telling her she had blacked out.  Geoffrey inquired about her nausea and her fatigue, and then posed a few more questions about what she had been doing lately, her diet, and how much sleep she’d been getting.  Then he asked her some other questions.  He made a few notes, and gave her the typical pokes and prods, stethoscope listens, and peeks into the eyes, ears, and nose.

“I’m going to send the nurse in to take some blood for a few tests, just to make sure all your numbers are where they should be.  Then I’ll be back in to let you know what we find out.”

“Okay.”  Susan waited while they took her blood, and then left her to wait.  It felt like ages before Geoffrey returned.


 
“What did the tests say?”

“Well, I admit I was a bit puzzled, since you seem to be in fine health, aside from taking on too much without enough rest to compensate.  A maximum credit load term at University squeezed into minimal time off of work, with no downtime in between?  Even the kids give themselves a couple weeks off, you know.  And while you certainly don’t look it, remember that I know how old you actually are.” 

“Boyd and I had a nice vacation in Isla Paradiso before we left for Sims University,” Susan pointed out.

“Which I’m sure was great, but that’s not really enough to prime you for weeks on end of a rigorous academic and work schedule.  That said, you shouldn’t be passing out or feeling this bad unless something else is going on, and you don’t have any of the other symptoms of a cold or stomach virus.  So I checked your blood work, and imagine my surprise.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I asked if you thought you could be pregnant, you said no.  Now, did you mean there’s absolutely no way at all that could be the case, or that you think it’s unlikely because you take a prescription to prevent it?”

His question caught Susan off guard.  She had a flash of déjà vu, where she was in her last weeks of high school again, and a different Dr. Landgraab stood in front of her telling her that yes, just one mishap with a defective contraceptive was all it took, so no, three different store bought tests were not wrong.  She frowned.  “Well, yes.  I mean, that is what it’s supposed to do.”

“Yes, but even though it’s highly effective, no medication is 100%.  Especially if there are any missed doses, or something interfering with absorption like gastrointestinal issues—”

“But nothing like that happened.  Trust me, I understand the importance of following directions and being diligent.” 

Geoffrey’s expression changed to one more sympathetic.  “In that case, maybe after you leave, you should go get a lottery ticket, with how you’re beating the odds.  I hoped this would be more welcome news, especially since it means you’re not sick, but—”


 
The déjà vu hit her even harder.  “What?  You can’t be serious.” 

“I can show you the blood work results, if you’d like.”

She folded her arms stubbornly.  “That can’t be right.  There’s got to be a mistake somewhere.  Could my sample have gotten confused with someone else’s?  Or maybe is there contamination somewhere giving false positives?  Because the idea of me having a baby now is just, well, it’s ridiculous.  You said it yourself, I’m how old?”

“You’re still well inside the realm of child-bearing age, even if it is on the upper end.”

“But my daughter is grown, Dr. Landgraab.  She moved out months ago,” Susan argued, even though logically, she knew that had no bearing on anything but her perspective.  “Even if I wasn’t taking anything, at my age, if you want a baby, don’t you pretty much have to try for it?  Meticulously time and track things for optimal conception conditions?”

Geoffrey let out a tension-easing chuckle.  “Yes, more often than not, couples where the mother is your age have to try harder to get pregnant than one with a mother in her twenties.  But that’s not a hard and fast rule.  Sometimes, things happen that you don’t expect, especially in something as complex as a living system influenced by all sorts of outside factors.  As a biologist, you know that.”

“As a scientist, logic tells me to question whether there’s something wrong with the testing protocol,” Susan insisted.  “Can you please run another test?  Maybe in a different lab with different equipment.”


 
“I can’t run a second test that insurance will pay for, but going by your hormone levels, you’re far enough along that a store bought test will verify it.  They’re manufacturer sealed and certainly not contaminated by anything here.”  He offered a comforting look.  “I’m sorry.  Obviously, this has come as quite a shock.”

“To say the least.”  Susan was overwhelmed.  She and Boyd had never planned on having more children after Blair.  The only baby she’d imagined having around was a grandchild, someday when Blair had a family of her own.  “Boyd and I just got used to having Blair gone, and now we’re going to be jumping back into parenthood all over again?”  Susan put her hand on her still-flat stomach, processing the news.  “We never expected to have another baby.  I guess it’s a good thing work made us finish our degrees when we did.  There’s no way we could do that now.  And so much for any more traveling or turning Blair’s old room into a theater.”  She looked at Geoffrey.  “How far along am I?”

“Not very.  Around five weeks.”

“So, eight more months of feeling like this, or worse.  Great.  That’s what it was like when I had Blair.  Months of exhaustion and puking that ended in sixteen hours of labor, with a baby that slept for what felt like no more than five minutes at a time.”

“That sounds pretty rough, but you won’t necessarily go through all that again.  The physical symptoms, anyway.  The crying baby at all hours, that’s just part of the newborn experience.”  Geoffrey gave Susan an encouraging look.  “But for the other issues, medicine has made advances since you were last pregnant.”

“Are you saying you can make it so I don’t feel like I belong on The Shambling Dead the entire time?”

Geoffrey nodded.  “Given your history, age, and how you’ve been feeling so far, I think your pregnancy carries an elevated level of risk, so I’m going to recommend medical leave.”


 
“Elevated risk?  Medical leave?  That’s not very comforting.”  Susan rose to her feet.  “What do you mean by that?”

“It means that I’m giving you a firm medical order to take it easy, Susan.  You’re already run down and worn out, so it’s imperative that you keep your stress and anxiety to a minimum.  You said you felt like a zombie when you were pregnant last time, right?  Tell me, were you working?  Doing a lot?”

“I was just out of high school.  Of course I was working.  Boyd and I had next to no money.  We were living with his parents, and let me tell you how much fun that is, living in a small house with your in-laws.  I worked until I physically couldn’t.”

Geoffrey gave her a wry smile.  “My father-in-law lived with me and my wife until he died.  Believe me, I can relate on that point.  So, I think we can both agree that you were under a lot of stress when you were pregnant with your daughter, and not getting enough rest.  That would make anyone feel like death warmed over.  This time, we’ll make sure you take proper care of yourself and don’t overdo it.  I’ll write up a letter to Landgraab Industries informing them that effective immediately, you’re on medical maternity leave until a minimum of eight weeks after your baby is born.”

“What?” Susan was stunned.  “Are you saying you don’t want me to work at all between now and then?  That’s months!”


 
“I have ongoing research,” she continued.  “I have projects I’ve invested months, even years in.  I can’t just walk away from that, and hand it to someone else for the better part of a year, especially so soon after my weeks out at Sims U.”  Susan gave Geoffrey a pleading look.  “Couldn’t I work at least part time?  For a little while?  What if I stay at my desk and off my feet?”

“So you want to stress yourself out working?”  Geoffrey eyed her incredulously.  “Doing things like crunching data, making analyses, and working with deadlines?  No.  That may not be physically taxing, but it’s mentally taxing.  I don’t think it would be good for you.”

“That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me,” Susan insisted.  “Honest.  I find it fun, in a way.  Ask my husband if you don’t believe me.  I log into work all the time on weekends and days off to check things, and I don’t mind at all.”

He gave her a pointed look.  “Your dedication is admirable, but work shouldn’t ever reach the point that it compromises your health, Susan.  If your doctor tells you not to work, you need to do that.  Not work.  Not think about it, not worry about it, and definitely not do it when I specifically say you shouldn’t.  I wouldn’t insist if I didn’t think it was important.  You asked me how you could feel better while you’re pregnant.  That’s my answer.  Relax and take care of yourself.”

“But I need to make arrangements so I can be sure my projects are in competent hands,” Susan pleaded.  “How about I go out next month?”

“A month?  You passed out on your kitchen floor today, Susan.  Even a week would be pushing it, but I’ll give you until the end of this one, provided you promise to take it easy while you’re there.  But first thing Monday morning, your HR department is getting a letter and a call from me.”

“Okay.”  Susan still felt put out about not being able to work, but she supposed that if she had to take the time off, it would be a good opportunity to hone her chess skills.  Maybe she could even gain a rank on the competitive circuit before the baby was born.


 
Geoffrey held up a capsule.  “I want you start taking these every day, starting today.  I’ll send you home with a sample and a script for more.  They’re what I call the ‘ultra’ pre-natal vitamins, for the moms-to-be who need the biggest boost to their systems.  They should help keep your energy up and alleviate some of the nausea.  Take one with a full glass of water and some food every morning.”

She nodded.  “Anything else?”

“That’s all.  Schedule a follow-up at the desk before you leave.  I want you back in two weeks to see how you’re doing.  Of course, if you have any questions, or anything at all feels wrong, don’t hesitate to call.”

“I won’t.  Thank you, Dr. Landgraab.” 

Geoffrey gave Susan a pat on the shoulder.  “Take care of yourself, Susan, and little baby Wainwright in there.”


 
When Susan came back to the waiting room, Boyd went over to meet her.  “How did it go?  What did he say?  Are you all right?”

“I’m not sick.  I’ll tell you about it on the ride home.  Let’s get out of here.  We’ve got some things to talk about.”

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 16
« Reply #64 on: October 13, 2015, 01:44:52 PM »
(I actually commented on your blog first, but my comment there appears to have disappeared into the aether/got eaten by the spam queue)

I almost, almost expected a twist where Susan was not pregnant at all and really did have a hypoglycemic episode (take it from someone who knows: not fun). Though I guess there's more to squeeze out of a pregnancy for story stuff.

Otherwise, I always enjoy investigation scenes, so yay for Blair actively being on the job! And maybe Cycl0n3 too now.
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Offline karlissa

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 16
« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2015, 02:38:58 PM »
I'm pretty sure that's one case Inspector Sw0rd and Officer Blondie won't see coming   ;D
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 16
« Reply #66 on: October 17, 2015, 04:15:04 PM »
Now THAT is a twist that I did not expect! How in the world is Boyd going to react? Oh this is too much fun...



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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 16
« Reply #67 on: October 20, 2015, 10:53:27 AM »
Wow, another Wainright coming. Like the twist in the story. And can't wait to find out the culprit of that tablet theft. Looking forward for next update.
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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #68 on: November 04, 2015, 06:10:41 PM »
I almost, almost expected a twist where Susan was not pregnant at all and really did have a hypoglycemic episode (take it from someone who knows: not fun). Though I guess there's more to squeeze out of a pregnancy for story stuff.

Otherwise, I always enjoy investigation scenes, so yay for Blair actively being on the job! And maybe Cycl0n3 too now.

I plan to work some of Cycl0n3's investigating into the story in future chapters. :)

I'm pretty sure that's one case Inspector Sw0rd and Officer Blondie won't see coming   ;D

Definitely not! Since Blair is childish, though, I'm sure she'd be a fun big sister, and the go-to babysitter.

Now THAT is a twist that I did not expect! How in the world is Boyd going to react? Oh this is too much fun...

Glad you're enjoying it!  As for Boyd, you will find out in this chapter! :)

Wow, another Wainright coming. Like the twist in the story. And can't wait to find out the culprit of that tablet theft. Looking forward for next update.

Thank you! There's no update on the burglar yet, that outstanding citizen is a shifty one... ;)



Chapter 17


 
As soon as Boyd and Susan were in the car and on their way home from the doctor’s office, he pressed her for details.  “You said you’re not sick, but obviously there’s something going on, or you’d have told me in the waiting room.  What’s wrong?”

“You’re not going to believe this.  I can barely believe it myself.”

“What is it?” he asked as they stopped at a light.

“I’m pregnant.”

Boyd was so stunned that he didn’t notice when the traffic light turned green, and they didn’t move until a car behind them honked.  “What?” 

“You heard me right.”

“You’re pregnant?  That should be… I can’t say impossible, but highly improbable,” Boyd said, still in shock.  “Aren’t your pills something like 99.9% effective?  They’ve worked for the last twenty years.  Are they sure there wasn’t a lab mistake or something?”

“Not according to Dr. Landgraab.  I thought the same thing at first, and he told me to go buy a home test if I needed a second opinion.”  She placed her hand on her stomach.  “I don’t think it’s necessary, though.  It makes sense.  How I’ve been feeling is a lot like how I remember feeling back then.” 


 
“And from what I remember, that was pretty miserable.”  He gave Susan’s leg a sympathetic squeeze as he recalled those days early on in her pregnancy with Blair, when she would come home from work and collapse in exhaustion, or throw up so violently and long that she had trouble making it to the bed to lie down afterward.  “But I’m glad you’re otherwise all right, and it wasn’t anything like heart failure, cancer, or lupus.”

“Oh, Boyd.  You should know it’s never lupus.”

“You’ve got me there.”  They pulled into their driveway, and Boyd took a deep breath.  “So, we’re having a baby, huh?  Wow.”

“Now there’s an understatement.”


 
“When are you due?” Boyd asked as they headed inside.

“Almost eight months.  I’m not very far along yet.” 

“Hmm.”  Boyd lapsed into a thoughtful pause.  “That’ll give us some time to get used to the idea.  I know we didn’t plan on it, but it’s… it’s not a bad thing.  Just unexpected.  We’ll have to change some plans, but we’ll manage.”


 
“I know.”  Susan gave her husband a curious look.  “I’m surprised you’re taking it so calmly, though.  A baby’s not exactly a minor change in our lives, and you’re usually the first one to freak out when something goes awry.  Are you still processing it, or something?  Is this some eerie calm before the storm?  I’ve seen you more upset by a leaky faucet than this.”

Boyd took her hand in reassurance.  “No.  Trust me, I’m fully aware of the impact this’ll have on our lives.  But it’s not a disaster, not like your leaky faucet example, or worse, when you collapsed this morning, and I was terrified that something was wrong with you.  A baby is a chaotic upheaval to our lives for sure, but I love you, and our family.  I couldn’t think part of that was some kind of catastrophe, no matter how inconvenient the timing is.  I didn’t with Blair, and her timing was a lot worse than this.  At least now we have our lives established, and the means to take care of a kid.”  He looked at her over his glasses.  “Besides, after one critical failure in birth control, I never took it for granted that it couldn’t happen again, no matter how careful we were.  That emergency protocol’s been in the back of my head for the better part of twenty years.”

“Fair enough.  It’s just, I remember how you reacted when we found out about Blair, and let’s just say you were nowhere near this calm and collected about it.”


 
“Circumstances were way different back then.  We were young, we were broke, and we never thought it’d happen to us.  The magnitude of the responsibility we had all of a sudden, it was overwhelming.  World-changing.  Yeah, it threw me pretty hard.  I never knew how you managed to keep it together as well as you did, especially after everything you’d already been through.”  He shrugged.  “This time, at least, we know what to expect.  We’ve raised a kid.  We can do it again.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll even get some things right that we screwed up the first time around,” Boyd said on an optimistic note.  “Plus, we’d talked about the possibility of ending up as grandparents in the not-too-distant future.  This will be kind of like that, only more hands-on and full time, and without us being Cycl0n3’s parents-in-law.”

“And we won’t be able to give the child noisy beeping toys to play with before sending them home to our daughter and husband.”

“You’re still bitter about that annoying musical bear my father gave Blair for her fifth birthday, aren’t you?”

“A little,” Susan admitted.  “By the way, I’m going to remind you that you said all this the first time the baby wakes us up at 2 AM when we’re running on only an hour of sleep.”

“I know.  You love saying you told me so,” Boyd replied with a knowing look. 



Thinking out loud, Boyd headed to Blair’s old room to brainstorm, and Susan followed.  “Speaking of which, baby monitors.  We’ll need those for just about every room in the house.  Lots of other stuff, too.  We should start making a list.  It’s been so long, I don’t know what all you’re supposed to have for a baby anymore.  I’m sure what’s safe and acceptable has changed since Blair was little, too.  They come up with something suddenly being bad or hazardous or deadly every few years …” 

“I’ll look online.  Baby communities, websites, blogs, stuff like that.  I know!  I could set us up a baby registry on Amasim to figure out what we need.”

“Okay.  Oh!  Don’t post about the baby on your blog.  I mean, not in any kind of identifying detail.  We don’t know what kind of weirdos might lurk on it that you don’t know about,” Boyd warned.  “What if there’s some creepy nutjob that wants to kidnap you and steal the baby?  That kind of thing happens, you know.”

“Uh, I don’t think my chess blog attracts that kind of audience.”

“You never know!  It doesn’t hurt to be careful, does it?”

“Speaking of careful, we need to take this chemistry table down.  Can you move it to the basement?  The contractors are almost done building down there, right?”

Boyd nodded.  “The paneling’s not done, but we can use it for storage until then.”


 
After a bit more discussion, the Wainwrights moved from Blair’s former bedroom turned catch-all turned nursery over to their computers.  Susan looked up baby communities online while Boyd ordered take-out and played TarzWar until it arrived.  Still in shock, he shared the news with his friend Smack Pod, who teased him about being an old man by the time his unborn kid would get into high school.  BlizzEgo stood up for him, but Warz Lordz quickly pointed out that was only because Blizz was dating a woman Boyd’s age, and then the tide of banter then turned on him.

“So, how and when do you think we should tell Blair that she’s going to be a big sister?” Susan asked as she browsed posts on a blog called Middle-Aged Mom.  It was a title she would never want applied to herself, but it did have some relevant and interesting material.

“The sooner the better.  You’re only working until the end of the week before Dr. Landgraab’s cease and desist order kicks in, and then everyone will know.  I figured you’d want to post on SimBook about it, too.”  Boyd paused.  “I don’t think Blair should find out over SimBook, though.  She should hear it from us.”

Susan agreed.  “It’s kind of late to invite her over to tell her in person.  Think we should just call?”

“Sure.  I assume you want to do the honors, being that you’re the one giving birth and all?”  Boyd smiled at Susan, who mirrored it back.  Although she was still a bit overwhelmed by the notion of having another child, now that she and Boyd had spent time talking and revisiting their no-longer-empty nest plans, she felt positive about it.  After all, if Jack and Judy could manage a baby and all their other kids at their age, she and Boyd could certainly do it.


 
Susan picked up her smartphone and dialed Blair. 

“Hi, Mom,” Blair greeted her on the other end of the line.  “How are you?”

“Oh, I’m all right,” Susan began.  “I’ve, well, I’ve got some news for you, sweetie.”

Blair picked up on the anxious undertone in her mother’s voice.  “Is everything okay?  This isn’t about that weird status update Dad posted this afternoon about doctor’s offices being their own special kind of slow moving hell, is it?  He never said what that was all about when I commented, just that he was fine and annoyed with waiting…”

“Everything’s fine,” Susan assured her.  “We were at the doctor because I got a little lightheaded, and it worried your father enough that he hounded me into going.  But I’m all right.  As it turns out, I’m not sick.  I’m pregnant.  You’re going to be a big sister.”


 
“What?!”  Blair was certain she had misheard her.  “Did you just say…?”

“I did.”

“Oh, my Watcher,” Blair gasped.  “For real?  When did this happen?  I had no idea you and Dad wanted… I mean, wow.”  She giggled.  “Did you miss me that much?”

Susan chortled.  “Cute.  Of course we miss you, but no, we didn’t decide to have a baby just because you moved out.”

“Well, that’s good.  So what did make you decide to?  I thought you and Dad were planning to live it up before retirement, and travel and remodel and stuff.” 

“We were, and we’ve done some of that.  We’re still working on the basement.  We finished our degrees, and you know, sometimes plans just change,” Susan said, casually enough that Blair caught on to exactly what her mother was trying hard not to say.  Blair found it both odd and amusing in the context of it being her parents. 

“Oh.  Because it wasn’t planned, was it?” 

Susan heard the cheeky note in her daughter’s voice and tried not to take offense.  “The news did come as a surprise, yes.”

“Really?  Don’t tell me you forgot all that valuable information about protection that you drilled into me as a teenager,” Blair teased.

“No.”  Susan’s tone grew sharp.  “There’s a reason you’ve been an only child until now.  Anyway, we wanted you to know first.”  She relaxed as she redirected the conversation.  “I remember as a child, you always wanted a little brother or sister.  I know it’s absurdly late, but I hope you still like the idea.”

Blair smiled.  “Yeah, I do, Mom.  It’s a little weird, but it’s cool.”  She paused.  “You’ll be all right, though, right?  I remember one time back when I was still a kid, when I asked you and Dad about a baby sister or brother, you said having me was hard on you, and that was why you didn’t have any more kids after me.  And I don’t mean this in a rude way, but especially at your age, isn’t it kind of risky?”


 
Susan bristled, although she knew Blair was speaking from love and concern, so she tried not to let it irk her.  “Dr. Landgraab’s keeping close tabs on my pregnancy.  He assured me that I’ll be fine.  There’s no need to worry.”

“That’s good.  Take it easy, though.  Don’t work too hard.”

Susan groaned.  “Now you sound like both your father and Dr. Landgraab.”

“Well, you tend to push it sometimes.  You can’t blame them for worrying about you.”

“I know, but like I told them, I’ll be all right.  I promise.”

“Okay.  Just take care, Mom.  Get plenty of rest.”

“Yes, Dr. Daughter.  Now you go on and enjoy the rest of your night, all right?”

“All right.  Love you.”

“Love you too, sweetie.”


 
As soon as she got off of the phone with her mother, Blair went to Cycl0n3, who was playing TarzWar.  “Oh, my Watcher!  You’ll never believe what my mom just told me!”

He looked up from his computer screen.  “What?”

“She’s pregnant.  My parents are having a baby.”  Blair laughed.  “Can you believe it?”

Cycl0n3 blinked in surprise.  “What?  Holy plumbbob, are you serious?”

“Completely.”


 
“Whoa,” Emma remarked from where she was painting nearby.  “That’s wild.  Most empty nesters get a dog or a cat when they miss their kids.  Not have another one.”

Blair raised an eyebrow.  “Well, that’s the thing.  They didn’t exactly plan it.” 

Emma snickered.  “I bet that burned some mental images you never wanted into your head, huh?”

“Yeah, kind of,” Blair said with a laugh.  “Still, it’ll be neat to have a baby brother or sister.”

“But with the age difference, you’ll be more like the cool aunt.  The one that gives them candy and toys, and tells them stories about their parents that they wish you wouldn’t when you visit or babysit.”

Blair smiled at the thought.  “I could get into that.  And I’m definitely calling my parents on it if they let this one get away with stuff I couldn’t.”

“Hah.  I’d love tickets to that one,” Cycl0n3 quipped.  “I can’t believe they’re having a kid at that age.  Makes me wonder if there’s something in the air or water.  Earlier, Smack Pod told me that our friend Space Invader just found out his wife was pregnant, and he’s old, too.  Like your parents’ age old.  I think he’s even got a daughter around our age.” 


 
It occurred to Cycl0n3 how much of a coincidence that was as he finished talking.  He suddenly remembered Boyd mentioning in passing that he played TarzWar, that day months ago when they’d run into Blair’s parents at the park. Space couldn’t be…? 
 


Cycl0n3 dismissed the thought.  Nah.  That was ridiculous.  He chalked it up to his new job, thinking like a PI even off the clock, and went back to his game.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #69 on: November 05, 2015, 01:02:20 AM »
So the secret is out.  I hope that Susan has a pleasant pregnancy.  Boyd and Blair are taking it well.  Although I don't think I'd employ Cycl0n3 for a PI if he can't put two and two together and figure out that Space Invader is indeed Boyd.

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Offline karlissa

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2015, 12:54:16 PM »
You just had to tease us with the possibility of Cycl0n3 figuring out Boyd's online identity, I got quite a few chuckles out of this chapter :D.
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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2015, 09:48:54 PM »
Have I ever commented here? Hmm, if I have it's been ages! I am loving where this is going, all the normal day-to-day stuff just makes me love your sims more! Cycl0n3 really needs to get with it and think like a PI lol I mean really, what are the odds that your girlfriend's dad plays Tarz warz and his wife is pregnant AND your squad/team mate on Tarz warz, who just happens to be an older man with a grown daughter, finds out his middle aged wife is knocked up?!?

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Offline Junan

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2015, 01:09:37 AM »
Funny story, though I question why Cycl0n3 went into PI if he's Absent-Minded and can't figure out such a thing. Emma's comments were interesting to note; makes me wonder where Stiles and Tamara were at that moment.

Cycl0n3 really needs to get with it and think like a PI lol I mean really, what are the odds that your girlfriend's dad plays Tarz warz and his wife is pregnant AND your squad/team mate on Tarz warz, who just happens to be an older man with a grown daughter, finds out his middle aged wife is knocked up?!?

Bolded part: Not intended to offend anyone, but I can't even begin to understand what you said with that. Also, what in heavens do you mean by "knocked up"?


Offline Junan

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #74 on: November 23, 2015, 01:27:25 AM »
Knocked up is slang for pregnant.

Oh thanks; I was picturing it as she was getting flown into the air. :D

Not something I'd want to use though...

 

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