Boreal Springs

July 18, 2008

Davis – Round 15: ‘Dearly Departed, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Davis — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 4:22 pm

Lauren Davis (formerly Katy Saunders) hasn’t had it easy, but with the help of Gordon, life is certainly starting to look up for her and Elena…

“It’s amazing,” Lauren began, taking a look around the room. When Gordon had called her and told her to pack up her clothing and necessities, she was a little confused. She hadn’t expected him to take her to what would be her new home in the finer area of Aperture. “H-How…I mean–”

“Thank Tsung, it was mostly him. I just gave him the money,” Gordon replied easily, shrugging. “You should be all right here, although it’ll take some time to furnish the place fully. Can’t move too much money or people get suspicious. Still, it’s better than where you were.”

“It’s better than anything I’ve ever dreamed. Thank you,” Lauren was still unable to fathom that this is where she would be living, “I’m so happy… and I’m sure Elena will enjoy it, too, once she’s older.”

“Speaking of which, I have something for her, as well.”

Elena squealed with delight, hugging the fuzzy dog tightly. She insisted on naming her Princess and so it was that Princess joined them at their new home. Gordon had definitely gone above and beyond the call. Lauren had just assumed he’d move them to a small apartment somewhere. No where in the very reaches of her mind did she think she’d be living in a house grander than his own.

Of course, he couldn’t really flourish his own wealth… thus was the crux of being a criminal.

Time passes quickly and Elena matured into a young little girl. She had a wit that wasn’t common in the Saunders line and if Lauren had known Gina, she might think that’s what Elena was like. Still, Elena developed well for not having a father. In fact, much to Lauren’s surprise, Elena never asked and just made Gordon her defacto father. She didn’t know he had a wife and a child of his own. Lauren tried to discourage Gordon from spoiling her, but men tend to dote on little girls and so it was that Elena often got whatever she wished for.

Gordon was in Aperture quite frequently and while he claimed to be staying at a hotel, he was really just staying with Lauren. Tsung was also spending a lot of time in the city, but was completely oblivious to his best friend’s indiscretions. It was during one of these mornings when Gordon was preparing to head back home that Lauren caught him in an embrace and voiced her desire for Elena to have a better education.

“She’s very intelligent, I think she’d benefit from the environment,” Lauren urged, trying to soothe the immediate tension she felt in Gordon’s shoulders.

“Michael goes there, Lauren. It’s a bad idea. Elena is happy where she is. She wouldn’t enjoy the Academy’s atmosphere… it’s very cutting.”

Lauren sighed, clearly disappointed, “I just don’t want her to miss out…”

“She won’t, I’m taking care of her University fund, remember? But the Academy is out of the question. It is just too risky. You know that.”

Elena was oblivious to her mother’s desire for her to attend the prestigious academy. Instead, she was too preoccupied with the new ‘toy’ Gordon had bought her. It was a beautifully crafted violin and while Elena had never taken lessons, Lauren had mentioned her creative aptitude several times.

Gordon surprised the both of them with his ability to play. It was then that Elena was determined to be just as good as he was.

And so Elena tried and tried and tried. She practiced until the screeching of a misplaced bow strokes made her head ache. She was getting better, but better wasn’t good enough. Since she could remember, Elena had felt this inherent need to prove herself worthy. She wasn’t quite sure of what, but the drive to do so was impossible to resist. And so everything Elena did, she mastered… even if it took her days, weeks, months of hard work. Elena Davis was driven at the tender age of seven.

Meanwhile, Lauren was experiencing her own kind of troubles. She woke late at night to fix herself a meal. She had felt this way twice before and knew the feeling well. She was pregnant. The reality hadn’t fully sunk in until she noticed the weight gain and the slight protruding tummy. In the morning, she’d have her first visit to the doctor. Then, she’d have to do the most difficult thing of all… she’d have to tell Gordon.

She knew he wasn’t going to be happy. He complained frequently about his wife, Tracey, wanting another child.

Lauren was hesitant to call, but she knew if she didn’t he’d just drop by and see her stomach anyway. As the phone rang, she glanced down at her ring finger. She’d been content with being just a mistress for the first few years. She didn’t have the same worries a wife suffers, but she also didn’t have all the perks, either. Anytime Gordon stayed over, he was usually gone before she woke and anything they did together had to be a well-kept secret.

Now that she was pregnant with his child, Lauren felt a certain entitlement that she knew wasn’t right for her position in Gordon’s life. He had a wife and a son who came before her, but in her mind, that didn’t make sense. He didn’t love Tracey… and Michael, well, Michael could have easily been one of her own. Suddenly, a thought came to her… something she hadn’t thought of in many, many years. Is this how Derek had felt when he was separated from Mary? A sickness rose inside her that had nothing to do with her pregnancy.

Finally, Gordon answered and Lauren said hurriedly, “I’m pregnant.”

———–

Note from Mao: Lauren was NOT supposed to get pregnant. That means that Gordon is going to be the future-child’s Uncle-Daddy. WTF? Man, this hood is so twisted it isn’t even funny. Wow. Elena is definitely turning into an interesting young lady, though.

June 3, 2008

Davis – Round 14: ‘Dearly Departed, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Davis — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 9:10 am

Formerly known as ‘Katy Saunders’, Lauren is given a new name and records, thanks to Ryu Anderson and the government for her help in the trial. Unfortunately, they failed to realize their witness had been tampered with.

“So… what now?” Katy asked, visibly saddened. “I’m here in this ‘new’ house with a new name… but what am I supposed to do now?”

“It isn’t completely done yet, Ka–er, Lauren,” Ryu corrected himself. He had spent a lot of time with Katy over the past few months and so the name change was jarring to him, as well. “Your appearance–you look exactly the same. We need to modify that.”

“You don’t mean… plastic surgery?”

“Nothing that drastic… just different hair and clothing–you’ve been dead a long while. The only one to remember you would be your son and former husband, both of which you are never to see.”

“See? That isn’t so bad, is it? A fresh look for a fresh start.” Ryu attempted to be comforting, but it wasn’t easy. This was the last time he would see her. To say he had grown attached would have been an understatement. “How… do you feel?”

“The same,” Lauren frowned, looking at herself in the mirror. “I’m sorry, Ryu. I mean, about the trial. I know… how disappointed you must be.”

He shook his head, letting the unspoken words pass by, “no, it’s fine. You did your best… I’m just glad the mystery is over.”

Lauren found herself in a very difficult place. She could feel Ryu staring at her and while she wanted desperately to ask him to stay, she knew he couldn’t. He was married, he had a family, and he had to go home. “Goodbye, Ryu. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He said with considerable difficulty.

Lauren gave birth to a healthy baby girl with her hair and her grandfather Henry’s eyes. Little Elena was definitely a Saunders by all appearances, but Lauren would have to keep that fact a secret, even to the little baby nestled in her arms. She was Lauren Davis and this was Elena Davis, their former lives no longer mattered.

Besides, things were going to look up soon. Lauren felt awful for lying to Ryu, for lying to everyone in court… but she didn’t know what else to do. He had offered her something none of them could. What was one little lie? Janine was dead, there was no reason to get revenge on her innocent family.

He visited her after the birth of Elena, to make sure she was all right and adjusting well. He was sure to time his visits so not to run into Lilith, who still insisted on visiting. Lauren didn’t mind, but she didn’t want Gordon getting busted. That would have them both in jail–her for purgery and him for witness tampering.

Lauren hardly remembered Gordon, but he certainly looked like Janine. It didn’t make her angry. It was almost as if he was Janine’s offering for peace and forgiveness. He came offering her money and a better life for her daughter. Lauren had a job as a teacher, but she’d be stuck in this tiny house with that salary. Gordon had plenty of hidden funds to throw around.

Not to mention the fact that she had somehow managed to become romantically involved with him. It was bizarre and wrong, he was her children’s techncial uncle… but then again, so was Ryu and she had nearly fallen for him, too. Lauren definitely had a soft spot for taken Saunders men. Gordon was easier, though. His marriage was mostly a facade and he would definitely make sure she was well taken care of.

Being the mistress of a criminal hasn’t always ended well, but it definitely came with its perks. Besides, the police had to leave her alone now that everything was over. They’d never suspect she’d been on Gordon’s side all along.

As Elena’s third birthday came and went, Lauren was secure in her decision. She wanted the best for her child to make up for the fact that she could never do anything for Damien and Chuck. Chuck had died early because she wasn’t there to save him and Damien had grown up. She could never contact him, but she could take care of and provide for Elena.

“Don’t worry, baby girl,” Lauren cooed, cuddling Elena. “Mommy isn’t going anywhere. I’ll make sure you have the best life I possibly can.”

———-

Note from Mao: Bahaha, did you see this coming? Neither did I until Gordon walked by the damn house three times. I finally had Katy greet him and viola, two bolts instantly. She had the same with Ryu, but she flirted with Gordon. Hilarious. This is seriously a Soap opera now. There’s just no sense in denying it, I am defeated…

May 24, 2008

Yu – Round 14: ‘Lilith’s Choice, End’

Filed under: Yu — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 12:37 pm

Tsung Yu is quite the successful architect and thanks to Gordon Saunders, work is rolling in. Lilith is having her own kind of success while Zhou finds himself enjoying the freedoms allowed to him.

“Okay, one last time… are you sure you want to do this? Bringing the dead back can be pretty risky.”

“The court date is set and she’s our star witness, of course I’m sure.”

“Ha, okay, let’s do this then. No promises, remember. This is my first time…”

Much to Lilith’s surprise, her contraption actually worked. She spoke to death directly and after offering up some personal affects of Katy’s and the enveloped filled with 10k from Ryu, Katy appeared. It took her a moment or two to realize she was alive and after that, she was walking on cloud nine.

“Welcome back, Katy.” Lilith said, beaming with pride. It worked, it really worked!

Lilith excused herself. Tsung would be home soon and she’d need to distract him while Ryu and Katy tiptoed out the back.

“I’m really back, wow,” Katy said, baffled. “And you, you’re… my age.. how much time?”

“Derek is an elder and married to Mary O`Hanlon with three children, Chuck is dead, and Damien has a wife and two children.” Ryu explained quickly. “I’m sorry to do this to you, Katy, but we have to leave.”

“Leave?”

“We’re relocating you to Aperture until the trial. I’ll have to explain everything there. We can’t remain here for much longer, if Tsung finds us, he might tell Gordon.”

“Gordon?”

“Later,” Ryu said, leading Katy out of the room. “Lets go.”

Tsung was completely oblivious to his wife’s extracurricular activities. He had absolutely no idea that Katy Saunders had returned and with her, information on her death and the truth behind Janine Saunders. He also had no idea that it would likely affect his business dealings with his best friend Gordon. Instead, he was too busy scolding his son for cheating at chess.

“Did you just cheat?”

“No,” Zhou replied without a hint of guilt. “I didn’t.”

“You did!” Tsung replied, his eyes wide. “You cheated!”

“I did not! You can’t prove it!”

“Yes you did and I can; your piece was there and now it’s over here and that’s an illegal move, Zhou!” Tsung sighed, exasperated. “What has Lilith been teaching you?”

Not only was his son learning the early ways of being a conman, but his brother was readying himself for a political scandal. Shang stopped by to visit his older brother and to boast about his recent ‘conquest’. Tsung was hardly impressed.

“You did what?!” Tsung nearly yelled, quickly lowering his voice so Lilith wouldn’t hear. “Are you insane? Do you realize how twisted that is, Shang? Ryu is a Yu, he’s related to us, albeit distantly…but still! And she’s the mayor! What’s wrong with you?”

Shang shrugged, “don’t hate, Tsung! You’re killing my high.”

“I’m going to kill you if you keep insisting on sleeping with every woman in Boreal Springs!”

“Nah, don’t worry,” Shang replied easily, a smile on his face. “I’m not gonna do anything to Lilith.”

Tsung’s face dropped–he couldn’t believe the ignorance of his own brother. Were they even related?

Lilith found out she was pregnant again. As with the last time, she had to take off work and spend her days waddling around the house. Of course, when Tsung and Zhou were fast asleep, she would steal out into the night and travel to Aperture to talk to Katy. It was her discovery, after all! She had to monitor her progress and everything. She couldn’t just leave it to Ryu, goodness only knows how he’d mess it up…

“Are you eating cake… for breakfast?” Tsung asked skeptically, giving Lilith an odd look. “Is that even healthy?”

“Don’t be stupid, Tsung,” Lilith shot back. “I’m pregnant, healthy isn’t a concern. As long as it’s chocolate, we’re good.”

He sighed, “the baby is going to come out a diabetic.”

Lilith shrugged, “at least it got to live large in the womb!”

When Zhou wasn’t getting scolded for cheating at chess, he was playing video games with River. Of course, being beat by a girl was simply unacceptable and he made this fact clear. River, however, was adamant that girls could be just as good, if not better, than boys. Their rivalry at the game became heated and both their competitive natures finally had a chance to shine.

In the end, it came out a tie, much to both children’s chagrin.

Mr. Miyagi was an old cat, a really really old cat. So it wasn’t any surprise when his time came. He had been around for the birth of both Tsung and Shang, so Tsung was reasonably saddened by the loss. Mr. Miyagi just seemed happy to get out of this crazy voodoo house.

Lilith eventually gave birth to another healthy, baby boy named Fou-Lu. He looked almost identical to Zhou when he had been that age, but he had Eileen’s blue eyes. Lilith was thankful none of her children inherited her skin. She didn’t need any extra attention on the house with the whole Katy resurrection thing happening. Tsung was bound to find out eventually and boy he wouldn’t be happy…

————

Note from Mao: Whew, getting Katy back was a pain, but I couldn’t drop it from the storyline as the sims had spent too much time developing it.  If you don’t recognize the Fou-Lu name, then you’ve never played Breath of Fire 4. ;)   I’ll miss Mr. Miyagi, sniff.

April 8, 2008

Anderson – Round 11: ‘Dirty Dealings, Pt. 3′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:10 am

Thomas Anderson is currently the most powerful man in the area. This is made even more true by the fact that his daughter, Alyssa, is mayor. Of course, Thomas’ lover, Jun Yu, can’t seem to keep her nose out of other people’s business and his son-in-law Ryu is on the task force made specifically to bring his operation down. He’s hoping that Katarina will be strong enough to be heir.

 

A tense dinner

Dinners were tense affairs at the Anderson house. Ryu and Jun kept quiet while Thomas went on about politics, coaching Alyssa for her next speech or appearance. She would usually nod and chew quietly, though it was obviously she wasn’t listening. Her vision would drift off and at times she’d even kick Ryu under the table, shooting him a look that said, “help, please?”

At this point, Ryu would make a comment and Thomas would turn his attention away from Alyssa long enough for her to escape.

Ryu and Jun argue

It wasn’t easy for Ryu to be in the same house as his mother. She had left him as a child to come live here in luxury. His father, Henry, and Janine had raised Ryu and for that, he was grateful. He had no time for Jun now and wasn’t about to act like the past had never happened, which he let her know explicitly. Jun was startled, to say the least, when he attacked her after she made an off-hand comment about what a puppet Alyssa was.

There would be no nice resolution to this unfortunate situation, that much was sure.

Alyssa is pregnant

Alyssa had been feeling a little under the weather lately. She was suspicious as to her condition’s reasoning and phoned the doctor. Sure enough, she was pregnant again. It was very surprising, given how little time she had actually spent with her husband the past few months.

While she was happy, she knew that her father would have something to say about it.

Thomas talks to Alyssa

Sure enough, Thomas approached her not long after she arrived home. She was nearly three months along and not quite showing, but he still knew. It was Thomas’ way to know everything that happened, especially under his own roof.

“You’re pregnant again, aren’t you?”

She sighed, “yes, daddy, but I’m happy–”

“Excellent,” Thomas said with a sly grin. “This will be very good for your approval rating–mother of three and mayor! They won’t be able to deny your dedication–”

“Daddy!” Alyssa snapped, but quickly quieted her voice. “I’m sorry… but my children aren’t political stepping stones. Just stop, okay? I have to go lie down…”

 

Katarina is a child

Meanwhile, Katarina’s birthday had come and gone and she was now a beautiful little girl capable of individual thought. Her personality wasn’t quite definable–she enjoyed a vast array of things. She seemed particularly enthralled with Science, but the active side of her had a penchant for Sports activities. Her favorite thing to do was to watch movies with her father. He was a literary buff and while she wasn’t nearly on his level, she idolized him enough to want to emulate him.That’s right, Thomas had lost Katarina. She loved her family, but it was obvious who she seemed to trail after the most–Ryu. Anytime he was home, she was usually with him. The fact that Alyssa was pregnant made Thomas not feel the loss. There would be others…

Ryu talks to Alyssa about the baby

Ryu was also quite pleased by the news. He was Family-oriented, after all. All his work towards ridding the town of its criminal leanings was for the benefit of family welfare. Unfortunately, it took him away from his own, something he realized quite quickly after Katarina’s birthday and her insistence on following him everywhere.

He had nearly forgotten that Alyssa was still her father’s little puppet and felt badly. He would need to pay more attention and be a bit better at allocating himself in different areas of his life.

March 4, 2008

Saunders – Round 7: ‘Little Secrets, Pt. 3′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:12 am

 

Henry Saunders and Janine Saunders are finally married and though, late in life, they have a child together named Gordon. Unfortunately, Henry’s eldest son, Derek, isn’t nearly as happy with his wife, Katy. They have twin boys, Chuck and Damien, but with Derek’s newest discovery, he isn’t really thinking about their well-being. Ryu is thankful to be off to University ASAP.

 

Ryu wasted no time working on his early application to Boreal Summit University. He wasn’t a genius, but he was ridiculously determined. Determination had won the day and Ryu got his acceptance. While he would miss his father and the others he had grown up with and he hated that he’d never live within the house again, he couldn’t wait to be off. The tension was unnerving and he couldn’t wait to see Alyssa.

Henry saw him off. There wasn’t a single trait of Jun evident in Ryu and for that, Henry was certainly thankful.

Henry plays with Sara

Henry couldn’t say the same for his eldest son, Derek. He was quite surprised when Mary appeared with a little blonde haired girl in toe, especially when he got a closer look. Sara was unmistakably a Saunders, and a little older than the twins. He wasn’t sure when it had happened and he didn’t bother asking. He let them in–Katy was at work–and got to know his latest grandchild while Mary went to talk to Derek.

Sara may have looked like a Saunders, but she was her mother’s daughter–quick and sharp as a tack. Henry never made any claims to being a terribly smart man, and so he wasn’t ashamed when she obliterated him at chess.

Mary talks to Derek

Mary found Derek upstairs in the room they used for pretty much everything. An awkward silence hung between them before Mary finally said:

“She’s downstairs, Derek. We’ll wait for you to get cleaned up.”

Derek simply nodded. It was a strange feeling–for him to be angry at Mary. Perhaps it wasn’t so much anger as it was just pure hurt. She hadn’t told him–why?

Sara meets Derek

Derek was surprised when he saw Sara–she looked almost exactly like the twins, only with Mary’s green eyes. Of course, she was a bit more talkative and articulate. That probably came from both Mary and Gina’s influence–they were intelligent, high-earning women. It wasn’t as awkward as Derek had thought it would be, Sara seemed more interested in asking him all sorts of questions than discussing why he had ignored her for eight years.

While Mary had dreaded this moment since finding out she was pregnant, she couldn’t help but smile. She hated keeping the two apart and it was good to finally stop lying.

Sara meets her half-brothers

Sara mingled with her half-brothers perfectly, as if she had been raised with them from birth. She looked like them, so Chuck and Damien really didn’t think much of it. She was their sister, right? So what was the big problem? Damien liked her because she watched sports with him and actually knew what was going on. Chuck liked her because he could ask her what the difficult words in the book he was reading were.

Sara liked them simply because she had been an only child for eight years and the thought of having brothers was really cool. That, and she was older than them. That was cool, too.

Derek and Sara talk

Unfortunately, once they were alone, Derek and Sara weren’t mingling nearly as well. Mary had thought Derek would see Sara, be happy, and then explain to Katy what had happened. Hopefully Katy would be all right with Derek visiting Sara. She hadn’t expected him to want to leave Katy.

“You can’t do that, Derek,” she said angrily. “What about the twins? They need you, they’re your sons!”

“I didn’t say I’d leave them behind, Mary. They like Sara and they would like you, too. They’re very agreeable–”

“No, Derek. NO.” She said, crossing her arms over her chest. “What’s wrong with you? I won’t be a home wrecker. Why do you want this so badly, anyway? Katy is beautiful and perfect–she always has been. I’m, well, I’m just not, okay? Next to her, I’m that frumpy kid in glasses that people can’t seem to peg for a boy or a girl.”

Derek shook his head and moved closer to her, “to me, that’s not true. To me, you are perfect.”

Katy comes home

Katy sighed. It had been a long, long day at the hospital. Some cranky old bat had spent the past four hours insisting that Katy was too young and she demanded a different doctor. She was thankful to be home, but when she walked into the livingroom, she suddenly felt very ill at ease. Damien was seated on the couch, and next to him, a little girl who could have been his sister–they looked that much alike.

“Hi, sweetie,” Katy said, trying to hide her worry. “Who is your friend?”

“This is Sara, mommy! She’s my sister.”

Katy swallowed hard. “Where’s your father?”

“In your room, mommy.”

Katy catches Mary and Derek

Katy wasn’t surprised when she walked in and saw Derek and Mary. How could she have been? The only thing she could think of was how long had it been going? Sara looked a bit older than the boys–had they been at this since before Katy and Derek were married?

They saw her, of course, and quickly parted. Derek didn’t look terribly apologetic, but Mary seemed mortified. For this, Katy hated her. Were it not for their children being right outside, she would have tore into her.

Katy corners Mary

You!” Katy seethed, shutting the door behind her and moving in on Mary. “Get your child and get out of my house, right now. I swear, if I see you around again–”

“Katy–”

“Shut up, Derek. Just shut up,” she shot back, never taking her eyes off the frightened blonde. “Get out. Now!”

Mary silently left the room and gathered Sara. They were gone in mere minutes.

Derek and Katy

That night, Derek sat up waiting for Katy. He figured she’d scream at him and demand a divorce–in fact, he hoped for it. Instead, she acted as if nothing happened and quietly moved to go to bed. Derek gave her an incredulous look.

“You don’t want to talk about it?”

“No,” Katy said firmly. “I’m pregnant, Derek. I won’t have children from a broken home. You can stay with the boys until I’m ready to look at you again.”

Derek grumbled, moving off the bed. Before he left, he said, “I don’t love you, Katy.”

Katy sighed and looked at the door that closed behind him, “you did before she came along and ruined everything.”

February 27, 2008

Saunders – Round 6: ‘Unfortunate Ends, Pt. 3′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 2:00 pm

Henry Saunders‘ already large family has grown. His son, Derek, and his wife Katy had twins, Damien and Chuck. Janine Anderson has also moved in. Can this chaotic household find a method to their madness?

Janine and Henry talk to Ryu

“I really think he has a chance, Henry,” Janine said, looking back at the young teenager behind Henry. “What do you think, Ryu? Could you handle the Academy?”

“I don’t know–” Henry began, but was quickly interrupted by Ryu.

“Yes!” Ryu replied,a little more enthusiastically than he had intended. He calmed himself and said, “I mean, I guess so. That would be all right.”

“See? He wants to go,” Janine smiled. “I’ll take care of everything, I promise. He’ll get in.”

Henry shook his head and gave a nervous laugh, “I am really beginning to wonder if you’re not working for some super-secret agency or something, Janine. You have friends everywhere.”

She shook him off, hiding her own nervousness at his prying, “hah, right. But I meant he’ll get in on merit, Henry. I’ll just take care of the preparations.”

“If you say so…”

Damien Saunders

It wasn’t long before the twins had another birthday, growing up to look even more like their respective parents. Damien definitely had a lot of Saunders in him! Though Derek claimed that he didn’t chew on blocks when he was a toddler, that was surely from Katy’s side.

Chuck Saunders

Chuck too more after his mother when it came to his facial structure. They certainly weren’t identical! Ryu helped out as much as he could, because Katy and Derek were busy with work. Besides, twins are a handful, even with four adults and a teenager under one roof.

Janine is pregnant

Of course, the majority of the help came from Janine. She found she was pregnant not long after she’d begun campaigning for Ryu to get into the Academy. Unfortunately, she had to take time off work and that to care for herself. It was a great help to Katy and Derek, but Janine couldn’t help but feel incredibly stupid. She should have been more careful–she was too old for babies and better yet, this interfered with her revenge plot.

No, she hadn’t forgotten about Thomas Anderson and what he’d done. He would get his, surely. Janine wouldn’t let this baby hold her back, she couldn’t. She promised that no matter what, Thomas was going down. It was a shame she hadn’t met Henry before Thomas. Now he was more caught up in it than Janine had ever intended.

Ryu is accepted

Janine decided not to let the pregnancy hold her back from helping Ryu and managed to arrange a visit while everyone was gone. It went over swimmingly and Ryu was accepted into the prestigious Academy. While most would have complained that the uniforms were itchy and stuffy, Ryu was just happy that he’d be able to get closer to Alyssa without Janine watching over them like a hawk.

Ryu knew it was weird to chase his soon-to-be-step-sister… but it wasn’t like they were actually related or anything.

Ryu sneaks out

Of course, with everyone busy with twins and being pregnant, Ryu had no problem sneaking out on school nights. Ryu wasn’t a bad kid, not in the least, but you do not turn down chances like this. The Academy had definitely opened doors. Alyssa finally realized who he was (other than ‘that creepy kid where my mom lives’) and ‘trusted’ him. Well, that’s what she said, anyway. Trust basically meant he was the only male allowed within two feet of her… on a purely friendly basis, of course.

Ryu was in charge of making sure Alyssa enjoyed herself no matter what. When Jun and Henry left for vacation, Alyssa demanded that Ryu abandoned his AP class homework and help her have fun. Ryu knew he’d get in trouble if he got caught, but that was the price one paid. It was definitely worth it.

Janine is uncomfortable

Completely oblivious to the fact that Ryu was fast-becoming Alyssa’s little patsy, the adults of the Saunders house sat discussing crime and politics one morning over breakfast. Janine was especially uncomfortable when Derek started talking about something that hit a little too close to home.

“So, they say that the criminal activity has declined in the past months,” Derek said, a grin on his face. “I bet they caught the ringleader and threw ‘em in jail.”

“No, Derek,” Katy replied, rolling her eyes. “Don’t you remember? The ringleader was thrown in jail two years ago. He was set up by an insider… someone else is at the helm now.”

“Whatever, it’s been quiet for months… he’s either plotting on jailed up like a sucker.”

Janine looked down at her growing belly and hoped they wouldn’t put two-and-two together. In her pregnant state, Janine was hardly fit to participate in her syndicate… but she could still control their every move. She’d have to create a diversion before anyone got wise.

“Janine, are you all right?” Henry said, drawing all attention towards her. “You look sick.”

Janine rose up from her chair, “I feel a little tired, that’s all. I’m going to take a nap.”

February 21, 2008

Saunders – Round 5: ‘Unfortunate Ends, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 3:27 am

Saunders Family Round 5

Henry Saunders has a crowded house, what with his fiancee Jun Yu, their son Ryu Yu, and his newly graduated son from his first wife, Derek Saunders, moving in with his fiancee, Katy Fuchs. Can they make it work? And will the news of Thomas and Jun’s affair spread to Henry?

 

Derek and Katy hug

Graduation was bittersweet for Derek Saunders. On one hand, he could finally pursue his career and make money. On the other hand, he lost Mary and was now engaged to his teenage love, Katy Fuchs. Derek liked Katy, but what they had was nothing compared to how he felt about Mary. She was in his every waking thought, making it incredibly difficult to be amiable with Katy.

Katy was surprisingly understanding and patient. To her, she had Derek and he wasn’t going anywhere. Mary was a respectable girl, after all, she wouldn’t be a ‘on the side fling’. She and Derek would get married and he’d eventually forget all about Mary O`Hanlon.

Henry sees for himself

Meanwhile, Henry found out for himself how troublesome relationships could be. Especially when your significant other is cheating on you with the enemy. Henry had taken a vacation day and apparently Jun hadn’t noticed he was still home. He nearly walked in on them in the kitchen. Instead of confronting them and kicking Thomas out of his house, he sat on his hands, waiting for the right moment.

Ryu sees for himself

Of course, Henry wasn’t the only one who knew. Ryu had seen it, as well. He had come home from school a day or two earlier and there it was, right before his young little eyes, his mother was embracing a stranger! He was torn up, but Jun nor Thomas seemed to notice him. He scrambled inside and tried to rationalize what he saw in his head.

Should he tell dad? But that would make them fight. Derek and Katy argued enough, the house didn’t need more fighting. He reasoned that maybe he saw wrong and kept quiet.

Derek and Ryu talk

Being quiet isn’t easy for a kid on the cusp of their teen years, though, and Ryu ended up confiding in his half-brother Derek.

“You should tell dad,” Derek said sternly. “Why didn’t you?”

“I knew she was no good,” Katy said quietly, muttering from behind her book. Suddenly, she looked apologetic, “Sorry, Ryu, but it’s true. Your mother is… well, maybe it’s best if your father knows.”

“I can’t tell him!” Ryu replied angrily. “He’d never believe me… I’m just a kid. Why don’t you do it, Derek?”

“No way, little dude. I didn’t see a thing.”

Henry confides in Janine

Fortunately for Ryu, he never had to say a word. That evening, Janine Anderson came over at Henry’s request. He had called her cell phone, as always, and was surprised to hear she wasn’t at home. When she arrived, he pulled her into the quietest place and told her everything.

“I know, Henry,” she said with a frown. “Thomas and I are divorced. It’s been a week. I had him followed and he was off on vacation with Jun.”

Why didn’t you tell me?” Henry was understandably hurt. “All this time…”

“I didn’t know how to,” she replied quickly and sadly. “I… I didn’t know if you’d believe me…”

Henry confesses to Janine

“Of course I would have believed you,” Henry responded, gently touching her face. “You’ve always been honest with me.”

“Henry…” she began carefully, but seeing the look on his face, found the confidence to continue. “I haven’t really. I mean, there’s things that–”

“It doesn’t matter. Where are you staying, are you all right?”

“He took everything, even Alyssa.” Janine sniffled. “I’ve been staying at a hotel, but my money is running out. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t trouble you with this.”

Henry shook his head and took her hand, “you can stay here… for as long as you like. It’s a little crowded, but there’s plenty of room.”

February 16, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 4: ‘Drama-RAMA!’

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:42 am

B.S.U. Attendees Round 4

Florence Anderson, Derek Saunders, and Katy Fuchs have had an easy go at campus so far. Will the newest additions–Mary O`Hanlon, Gina Saunders, and Shaniqua Saunders–have the same luck?

 

Florence meets Shaniqua

Florence made no attempt to hide her distaste for her newest roomies. The house was now very crowded and she was being forced to share her room with none other than Shaniqua Saunders. The very thought of Shaniqua’s lifestyle intruding on her study plans made her vocalize her anger when Shaniqua greeted her.

“Great, nice, that’s fantastic,” Florence said with a glare, dismissing Shaniqua’s offering for a handshake. “Just remember that some of us here actually care about their grades and future.” With that, she stalked off.

Shaniqua was flabbergasted, to say the least.

Shaniqua is confused

Sharing a room with Florence was just plain weird. Not because Florence was so abrasive and standoffish, but because for the first time, Shaniqua was sharing a room with a girl who wasn’t her sister. Florence went to bed early, so she was always asleep when Shaniqua retired to her own bed.

She often caught herself glancing across the room at Florence, who was sleeping soundly and quietly. She was very pretty. Shaniqua shook her head violently and quickly shuffled off into her own bed. Where did that come from?

Derek is nervous, Katy is suspicious

“So, you’re Mary,” Katy said, sizing up the young blonde girl in front of her. “Derek’s told me a lot about you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Katy,” Derek replied quickly, looking like a deer caught in headlights. He rose up from the couch to greet his old friend. “I told you one thing.”

Mary just laughed, missing the tension in the air, “I hope it wasn’t anything bad.”

Katy gave a small, though secretive, smile, “no… nothing bad. Nothing bad at all. Hmm.”

Derek is tempted

Despite the various tensions that existed within the house, life at Boreal Summit University continued normally. Well, as normally as it could. A particularly dysfunctional time was when they were all home for dinner. Mary often cooked and would clean up the dishes, too. Katy took particular notice of Derek’s rigid posture and the way he forced himself to look forward when Mary innocently bent over near him to take his dish.

If Gina noticed, she didn’t say anything and Shaniqua was too lost in her own confusion to notice her brother and friend’s dilemma.

“Is something wrong, Derek?” Mary asked, completely oblivious. “You look like you swallowed something bad.”

“Yes, Derek,” Katy said from the couch, closing her book. “Why don’t you tell us what’s on your mind?”

“N-Nothing.” He said quickly, scooting out of the chair and fleeing. Mary just watched him in confusion while Katy’s eyes narrowed.

Derek approaches Mary

Mary found him an hour later, still hiding in his room. She knocked on the door tentatively before entering. She closed it behind her and approached him.

“Is everything okay? You’ve been acting weird since I got here. Did I upset you or something?”

He shook his head and moved from the bed. A very bad move, he knew, because it forced him closer to Mary. He’d known her since she was a little girl and while it was completely wrong to feel the way he currently did, his brain nor body would hear none of it.

“Nothing’s wrong, Mary,” he assured her, though he was unable to meet her eyes. “I’m sorry, things are… just weird. With Katy. I dunno.”

She laughed, “you know, when I found out Katy was going to University with you… I was a little upset. I had a crush on you when I was a little kid! Creepy, huh?” She laughed again, her face turning red. “Okay, well, I’m gonna go.”

Derek was tempted to grab her arm and keep her from leaving, but his rationality took over and he watched her leave.

Shaniqua and Florence talk

Shaniqua and Florence had been sharing the room for over a semester now. They formed a tenuous friendship, mostly for the sake of peace, though there was a tension there that neither of them could identify. Florence dealt with it by being unnecessarily snappy and Shaniqua just tried to avoid her.

They ran into one another in the kitchen. It was late and they were the only two still awake. Shaniqua spun around only to bump directly into Florence, who had approached her, but not yet spoke.

“Sorry,” Shaniqua managed, her hand accidentally brushing Florence’s. She looked sheepish. “Sorry, again.”

“It’s okay…”

Shaniqua and Florence kiss

A few awkward words later and suddenly, they kissed. It was a bizarre change of events that initially made zero sense to either of them. When the moment ended, they stared at one another, eyes wide as saucers.

“Uh… I need to go.” Florence said quickly, running off to her room.

Shaniqua just stood there, completely shocked. “I’m not gay.” She said in a low voice, shaking her head. “I’m not… so what was that?”

Unbeknown to both of them, someone else had been awake and saw the whole thing.

February 12, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 3: ‘Dorms Suck’

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , — Mao @ 1:03 pm

Round 3

Florence Anderson got into University thanks to her mother’s ‘influence’; Derek Saunders and his girlfriend, Katy Fuchs, got in on merit. Can the three coexist better than their families back at Boreal Springs?

 

The three settle in

Derek: Hey there, Derek Saunders here. That’s right, I finally get a chance to talk. Though, according to Katy, I could talk the head off a rattlesnake… what the hell does that even mean, anyway? She says some weird stuff.

Anyway, so we’re all settled in a small dorm here at Boreal Summit University (go B.S.U., woo!). We’re joined by Florence–the Anderson kid–I hadn’t met her until now, really. She’s all right, but she’s quiet and always studying. Kinda weird, but whatever.

Derek and Florence play chess

At least I have someone to play chess with. I used to do it all the time with either Shaniqua or Gina back home. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost. I always lose to Florence! Disappointing, you know? But she’s a smart cookie, it seems. And… crazy, too. All she thinks or talks about are grades.

Makes me wonder if those rumors are true–you know, about her getting in ’cause her mum is in with a ‘popular’ crowd. I dunno, it’s weird.

Katy and Florence gossip

Katy really seems to like her–they’re even friends now. I’m sure Katy will get her living life in no time. My Katy is quite awesome that way. It’s kinda weird to see her buddying up with a bookworm, but opposites attract in the weirdest of ways, you know?

Maybe Katy can convince Florence that she needs to do my term paper…

The three rent a house

After our freshman year, Katy and I had it with dorms. They were so… I don’t know. Just annoying. There was a small rental place for pretty cheap, but we didn’t quite have enough. So, Katy got Florence to come with us. With her hard cash, we got it no problem!

Still waiting for that term paper, Flo!

Florence: Don’t call me ‘Flo’–do I look like a motion to you? And do your own term paper.

Derek: Aw, that’s harsh, Flo!

Florence: …I’ll do it if you stop calling me ‘Flo’.

Derek: Deal!

Derek and Katy get closer

Of course, dorms also don’t allow the cohabitation of opposite genders. Heh, cohabitation–I heard Flo say that, it sounded nice. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that double beds are awesome. It took a little coaxing–Katy is a shy thing, you know, but yeah. Really digging the house.

We even extended so we’ll have enough room when my two sisters, Shaniqua and Gina, and their friend, Mary, can join us!

Florence writes a term paper

Florence: Did he call me ‘Flo’ again? Argh! It’s Flo-rence… not ‘Flo’, ‘Rency’, or ‘Flor’. Why is that so hard? I should make him eat this term paper.

And don’t think I can’t hear you guys over there at night. Sheesh. Have a little curteousy! Some of us are trying to graduate here.

Derek: Aww, lighten up, would ya? College isn’t all about books and stuff.

Florence: It sure isn’t all about that either!

Three's a crowd

Katy: Can’t you two get along for five minutes? Let’s just relax and have a nice night. Derek, stop picking on Florence.

Derek: Aw, but I wasn’t picking on Flo!

Florence: My name is F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E! You’ve got three out of eight… try for all eight now!

Derek: See, this is why I shorten it, ’cause F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E is too long!

Katy: Honestly, you two…

——

Note from Mao: Hehehe, putting Florence together with the rest of the hood’s kids is proving very interesting. Poor Florence! I can’t wait until next round–that’ll be interesting… Derek and Mary have chemistry, even if they don’t know it yet!

February 10, 2008

Saunders – Round 3: ‘A Crowded House’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 12:18 pm

Saunders Family Round 3

Henry Saunders has found himself in quite the situation; his girlfriend, Jun Yu, has just moved in after being kicked out of her home. Derek is on his way to University and the twins, Gina and Shaniqua, are enjoying their days as carefree teens. Will Jun’s little ‘secret’ disrupt their happiness?

 

The Saunders family has dinner

Henry: Okay, excuse me if this is a little awkward… I’m not really used to this sort of thing. In fact, I don’t really get the point, but I’ll give in. For now. Things around the house have changed drastically. Jun moved in–her family kicked her out–and I was worried that the kids would react badly.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It really surprised me how they all acted as if it was nothing. I suppose it helps that Jun acts more like a kid than an adult, but still. I suppose I’m just expecting it to blow up in my face. Most things tend to go that way…

 

Jun tells Henry she's pregnant

A month or two after moving in, Jun pulled me aside. She’d been acting oddly lately and I couldn’t help but notice she seemed a little… heavier. It wasn’t an insult! It’s just, she’s a small framed girl and you tend to notice those things really easily.

I hardly expected her to say that she was pregnant, though. We’d been really careful… or so I’d thought. Accidents happen, it seems. I felt horrible, bringing a child into the world under such… odd circumstances, but Jun ignored my attempts chivalry and said things were fine the way they were.

Jun meets with Thomas

Eventually, Jun had to take time off work. I wasn’t sure what she did all day or how she kept herself busy with everyone gone. She’s a very social person and I can’t see her being happily cooped up in the house all day. Not to mention she hardly enjoyed being pregnant. I could tell she wasn’t happy about it, even if she wouldn’t admit it.

Certain days were better than others. When I came home, she seemed oddly… happy. I didn’t question it–it was a thankful reprieve from crazy hormonal bouts of rage.

Shaniqua and Gina get A+ report cards

My girls are growing up so fast… but it isn’t so bad. So far, Shaniqua has managed to squelch out her need for boys in an attempt to join Gina and Mary O`Hanlon at University. For that, I’m thankful… until I realize how many hormonal boys there are at college campuses. At least Derek will be there to watch over them for a year or two.

Shaniqua and Gina were beaming when they brought me their report cards. They’d both earned straight A’s. It was all in thanks to their study plan that involved constantly doing all their schoolwork together. It worked, I’ll give them that.

Gina disapproves of Derek's lounging

Derek, however, wasn’t as concerned with his studies as he was his girlfriend Katy. Gina had tried to get him to join her and Shaniqua, but he always declined. I just hoped he could keep his GPA high enough to get accepted… time was not on his side.

Gina often commented that if there was a scholarship for hormones, Derek would have gotten it for sure. I wasn’t quite sure what to think about that…

Jun goes into labor

Jun went into labor late one evening when only the kids were around. Gina was sure to relate the tale to me while we waited in the hospital. I hoped she was joking and simply overemphasizing certain details.

“What are you doing?” Gina demanded, watching as Shaniqua hastily leafed through a tawdry romance novel.

“There has to be SOMETHING in here about this!” The twin squeaked in response, her eyes wide. Jun let out another wail.

“Put the stupid book down!” Gina scolded, watching as Shaniqua flung it on the floor in frustration. “All that’s in there is how to make babies… not what to do with them!”

“I’ll… go call dad.” Derek said finally, snapping out of his stupor. His face was white as a ghost.

 

Henry proposes to Jun

Jun gave birth to a little boy that she insisted be named ‘Ryu’. He had her family’s last name, but he looked more a Saunders than anything. I was disappointed that he didn’t have my name, but Jun had been so cranky I wasn’t about to approach her with a ring.

I waited until I was sure she was in a ‘decent’ mood. It wasn’t the most romantic thing and a little voice in my head kept asking me if I was sure… but it needed to be done. I’m a family guy and I won’t leave a woman hanging like that.

She said yes, of course, though I could see she was shocked. Her face turned as pale as Derek’s when I saw him at the hospital, after Jun had given birth. I didn’t pay much mind to it–maybe she was just nervous…

The twins build a snowman

Derek left for University not long after that. The house continued to run as normal, but his presence was missed. The twins kept themselves busy, off in their own little world. I watched them build a snowman together:

“There we go,” Gina said with a smile, hands proudly on her hips. “Do you have the carrot?”

“What?” Shaniqua replied, a guilty look crossing her face. “Um… no.”

“…what happened to it?”

“I got hungry! I ate it–I thought it was a snack…”

Gina sighed, “I guess we’ll just have a noseless snowman.”

“Doesn’t he need a head before a nose, anyway?”

Gina confronts her father

My girls were incredibly understanding about the situation with Jun. They were a great help in Ryu’s care, too. I really didn’t want to hire a nanny and it worked out so our schedules allowed for the girls to care for him while Jun and I were away at work. So, it was quite a surprise when Gina asked me: “are you sure this is the right thing to do?”

Despite being the adult in the situation, I couldn’t help but look at her dumbly. She completely blindsided me with that. When did my little girls become such grownups?

“Gina, I don’t quite understand what you’re saying.”

“Do you love her, dad? You shouldn’t marry her if you don’t. Ryu would understand. He’d want you to be happy, like we do. You deserve it.”

“I am happy,” I countered, though a bit more forcedly than I expected. “You don’t need to concern yourself. This is for the best. Don’t worry about me–I want this.”

Gina was completely unconvinced, I could see it on her face, but she didn’t say a word about it again. Shaniqua sat quietly, aghast at her sister’s brashness. Gina always was the more serious of the two–the ‘little’ adult. Still, if my girls were worrying about my happiness… did that mean I wasn’t happy? I couldn’t realy tell and I hadn’t really thought about it.

Ryu becomes a toddler

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of changing diapers, Ryu had a birthday. He was finally ready to use the potty. Which was certainly a good thing–I had thought my diaper changing days ended a long time ago.

He looks almost exactly like me, much like Derek did at his age. He even has that mop of curly hair. My hair straightened as I got older, but Derek’s seems adamant to stay curly. We’ll have to wait and see how Ryu’s turns out.

——

Note from Mao: I got a lot of lucky shots in this, for which I was thankful. Wants were also all over the place! Henry feared having a baby, but wanted to get engaged/married to Jun. Jun feared getting engaged/married… it was crazy. This house is kinda crazy. Phew.

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