Boreal Springs

August 24, 2008

O’Hanlon – Round 19: ‘Anxiety, End’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 9:39 am

Julie and Asia have two children, Timothy and Maggie, but Maggie was unplanned.  Asia is a little sad she didn’t get to be the ‘mother’, whereas Julie is dealing with her mother, Mary’s, ailing health.

Winter was coming to an end, but that meant nothing to the cold virus.  Mary made some chicken soup and thankfully, the house was soon plucked from underneath the foot of running noses and unnecessary sneezes.  Another fact of winter coming to an end was Mary’s age.  She was a lot more fragile now and Julie took time to spend with her whenever she could.

Reluctantly, Mary had retired from her position and now spent the majority of her time at home, caring for the children or washing Agent Superball.  She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, but the fact that she could no longer work and was feeling her age was dawning on her.  She had outlived Gina, Shaniqua, Derek, Florence… she was the last founding member of Boreal Springs.

It was a bittersweet thing, to realize that Boreal Springs was now completely populated by her friend’s offspring and her own.

Despite Julie’s dislike for being pregnant, she did enjoy spending time with her children.  She tried desperately to teach little Maggie to talk and it was working… she hadn’t got much of a chance to teach Timothy many things as a toddler.  Asia, Mary, and Gina all seemed to have it covered.  It was definitely a good feeling, to be teaching her child something.

Unfortunately, Mary died not long after and Julie was quite distraught.  She had to call and tell Sara and Marla, neither one responding to the news very well.  It was this event that brought Asia out of her self-depreciating fog.  She realized that it didn’t matter who gave birth to the kids and tried to comfort Julie. It would be hard without Mary around, but they would make it work.

Maggie became a rambunctious child with a love for bouncing and talking.  Asia wasn’t sure where she got all of her energy, but she sure wished she could borrow some.  The medical field was insanely competitive and she was having a hard time getting the necessary promotions.

Still, Maggie’s birthday had lifted her spirits and it was hard not to smile when she was telling you a silly joke.

Timothy got on well with his sister and they both had a penchant for the truly goofy and odd.  It was hard to keep an eye on them sometimes, with the way they ran around.  A few times Julie had to yell at them for playing on the street or running around in other’s yards.  The community was somewhat close-knit, but that didn’t mean they needed to trample all over the place.

Agent Superball got a friend in the form of Sansa, one of the puppies from Gordon’s household.  She was a welcomed addition and kept the kids busy trying to train her.  Agent Superball was not nearly as impressed.

——————–

Note from Mao: Maaary!  :(   All my founding members are now dead.  Sniff!

August 11, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 18: ‘Anxiety, Pt. 2′

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:39 am

Mary O`Hanlon has lost her husband and love, Derek, but continues on for the sake of her children and grandchildren. Gina Saunders’ time is coming to a close, a painful fact being that she outlasted her twin, Shaniqua. Julie and Asia are feeling some tensions, but of a different sort.

Gina wasn’t quite sure how to feel about the fact that she had survived her twin, Shaniqua. They hadn’t been terribly close in their final years, this much was true, too busy with their separate lives… but the bond was always there. Gina looked at one of her old novels, examining the cover with careful scrutiny.

She had led a good life, even if she had no children nor love to speak of. She regretted nothing.

Meanwhile, Julie was feeling the urge to get out of the house. She could also tell Asia was feeling a little down. Both of them getting out and about would likely lighten the mood and so Julie suggested they go downtown and visit Marla’s new restaraunt. Asia was dubious.

“But what about Timothy?”

“I’ll take care of him,” Gina called from the sink, splashing a bit of water on Timothy and causing him to giggle. “Mary will be home soon, too. You two go have fun.”

After their dinner at Exotic Dining (where Marla was much too busy running around to have a chat with her twin), Asia felt relieved enough to go home. Julie, however, had other ideas. She drug Asia to a nearby club. It took a few drinks, but Julie finally got Asia to agree to go into the photobooth. Of course, Julie’s ideas differed significantly from what Asia had expected… not that either begrudged this.

Meanwhile, Mary and Gina were more than happy to care for James while his mothers went out and blew off some steam. Mary and Gina had been close since college, but the loss of Derek had brought them even closer together. They spent a lot of time discussing the old days and spoiling little Timothy.

Sometime after their little sojourn downtown, Julie began to feel ill. It was eeriely similar to when she found out she was pregnant before, but that wasn’t possible. The treatments had ended and therefore, she should be in the safe and clear.

“I don’t know what to tell you, Julie,” Mary said from the sink, focusing on bathing Timothy. Soon, he’d be a toddler. “Maybe you should call and ask.”

Julie frowned, “I really don’t want to be pregnant again…”

August 7, 2008

Knight – Round 17: ‘Paralyzer, End’

Filed under: Knight — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 12:52 am

Marla is determined to make her marriage work, despite her husband, Travis’, indiscretion with her former best friend, Katarina Anderson. Little Kit is just trying to grow up.

Travis was constantly apologetic and it was a little sad, but who could blame him? Marla hadn’t lied when she said it wouldn’t be easy. Any kindnesses or nice things she had done beforehand were revoked and as such, Travis was left fixing his own meals and cleaning up his own messes.

At first, Marla could scarcely stand to be in the same room as him, but she kept thinking about Kit and her resolve strengthened.

It was hard not to be completely furious with Travis for what he had done. Poor little Kit, what if she had witnessed something? At such a young age, it would likely warp her mind. Marla was comforted by the fact she hadn’t and was constantly doting on her little girl. Of course, Kit looked a considerable amount like Travis and so Marla found herself becoming slightly less enraged.

Mary stopped by a few times to check in and to see her new granddaughter. She spread the news of Sara’s third pregnancy and lamented on the fact that she still refused to get married. Marla humored her mother and said nothing of what had happened with Travis. She said she wouldn’t and so she kept her word. There was no reasoning for it. With her father’s recent death, poor Mary was still on edge and mourning.

Having plenty of money of her own, Marla decided to start a business venture that would be fueled by her good name. She was becoming a big name in the culinary world and it was only right that she open up a restaurant. It was hard work, first messing with the contractors, getting the deed, having it all built to specification. And then hiring people? That was the worst part. But she got rave reviews and loved doing it so much she worked off nearly all her anger at Travis.

It took a few years, but Marla realized that she did love him, even if he was an idiot. She also realized that if he did that again, he’d find himself with cement shoes in the river. But that went without saying. Kit had become a child and while she was happy her parents were getting along, she was more perplexed by the fact they hadn’t assembled her ‘big girl’ bed yet.

“I’m tired!” She cried in frustration. “Isn’t it done yet?”

Despite her penchant for being boisterous, Kit was a serious child who enjoyed structured activities and neat schedules. She enjoyed the wealth provided to her by her lawyer father and celebrity mother. There was a certain status attached that Kit would never begrudge. She took ballet lessons in an effort to increase her ‘femininity’, but wasn’t quite sure if it was working. She also wasn’t quite sure that pink was “her color”.

Things for Marla kept looking up. She won blue ribbons like no one’s business and there were few who could rival her skill in the kitchen. It was when her pie one its third award that she realized what she had to do. She still worked quite a bit at the restaurant, but she needed something else, too. A bakery? She’d have to wait until Kit was a little older. She wanted to teach her the wonderful feeling one got from doing what they love.

————

Note from Mao: Marla literally worked off her fury at Travis. She opened the restaurant and went to the lot completely furious and came back from it after it reached Rank 5 not furious at all. Yay. Oh, and a funny aside. Gordon came to the restaurant and had dinner with a vampire buddy before Marla closed. That night, the Knight family was robbed. Is Gordon trying to rustle up a protection money trade? LOL!  Oh, and for those curious… Kit Knight was named “Kit” because my fiance and I are huge dorks and could only think of Nightrider, lol.

July 31, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 17: ‘Anxiety, Pt. 1′

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 7:24 am

Mary and Derek O`Hanlon’s days are ending and they still don’t have a grandchild. Julie and Asia are starting to feel the strain, while Gina worries that everyone is too worried about things they can’t control.

Julie sat on her bed, contemplating the issue at hand. Asia still wasn’t pregnant and they’d been trying for a long while now. Something had to be wrong. Before her thoughts could wander, Gina joined her and offered some sage advice.

“Maybe it is better if you don’t think too hard on it, Julie. Why does Asia have to be the one to get pregnant?”

“She volunteered, she said she wanted to know what it was like,” Julie replied, a little sadly. “I really don’t want her to be upset if something is wrong.”

“You both want a baby, right? So what does it matter who carries it? Think about it, Julie. Asia would be more upset if she was the reason you two didn’t have a child.”

Julie took Gina’s advice and went to Asia. While Julie wasn’t exactly the type to enjoy maternal things like pregnancy, it was a small price to pay to have a baby. She only hoped Asia was as willing.

“I… I guess it makes sense,” Asia admitted, though reluctantly. “But I really wanted to experience the miracle of childbirth.”

“You still will, just from the safer, viewer perspective,” Julie smiled. “We’ve been trying forever, Asia. It’s worth a shot, isn’t it?”

“I guess so…”

It worked like a charm, Julie was soon pregnant and Mary was overjoyed. She ignored the oddity of two females biologically making a child and instead focused on the fact that she was going to have a grandchild to inherit the property.

“How do you feel?” Mary asked, looking up from Julie’s belly.

“Like crap,” Julie confessed wearily. “This sucks, I hope it’s a boy. I don’t want to have anymore.”

Mary laughed, “try having twins!”

“No thanks.”

Marla stopped by to offer her support. She didn’t get a chance to visit very often anymore, not with little Kit at home. When she did come over, she and Julie enjoyed reconnecting. Julie knew all about Travis’ little indiscretion with Katarina.

“You haven’t told mom, have you?” Marla asked, giving her twin a hug and minding her belly.

“No, of course not,” Julie replied, pulling back. “How is it going?”

“Slow, but better. Anything is better than a divorce though, right? We’ve had plenty of those lately.”

“Yeah, that’s true. But I think you should do whatever is best for you, Marla.”

“This is what’s best… for me and for Kit.”

Derek did not get a chance to see his next grandchild born. He died late one night in his sleep. The doctors said his heart simply stopped working. He was old and it was his time. Mary was inconsolable and Gina was equally distressed. When Sara found out, she cried so hard Nathaniel thought she was dying.

The saddest thing of all was perhaps that Derek died never knowing his final daughter, Elena.

Timothy O`Hanlon was born a month later, to everyone’s happiness. His presence in the house brightened the mood considerably, everyone busy trying to keep him happy and healthy. He had all the O`Hanlon features and was the first boy born that would inherit the house. Mary was over the moon with pride.

————

Note from Mao: Deeereeeek! I was so sad when I saw death come sweeping in to take him away. :( Julie getting pregnant was a freak occurence, no clue how it happened. At least it did, yay!

July 30, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 16: ‘Heir Trouble, End’

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 2:18 pm

Roman Anderson is trying to keep his family name from dropping below its faculties, but his twin, Nevio, isn’t helping any.  To make matters worse, Laci’s plan seems to have worked.

Laci did her best to hide her happiness.  Her plan had worked, not that she had ever doubted herself for a single second.  Nevio didn’t have the same intelligence or cautious nature his brother did and so it was only a matter of time before all their fooling around got them into trouble.  Laci had him right where she wanted him, that money would be hers.

“Are you sure?” Nevio replied, shocked.  His face was nearly as white as his shirt.

“Yes, of course.  I even took two tests and I’ve already scheduled the visit.”

Nevio swallowed, unable to think of a fitting response.  This was not good at all.

As any son would do in a situation like this, Nevio phoned his mother immediately.  Alyssa made the drive as soon as she was able and met with her very anxious son.  She knew what her father, Thomas, would do in this situation… but Alyssa wasn’t Thomas.  She sighed and with a heavy heart, said:

“She can’t stay here, Nevio.  College is no place for a pregnant girl.  She’ll come home with me and then you’ll marry as soon as you finish the accelerated program they offer.  You’re a senior, it won’t be that difficult.”

“B-But, mom–”

“No buts, Nevio.  You can’t just cast her out on the street.  You have to make this right…”

“This is preposterous, mother!” Roman raged, unable to contain himself.  “You’re giving Laci exactly what she wants, she wants the money!  That’s the only reason she allowed herself to get knocked up in the first place.  That lustful skank will bleed you dry!”

“Roman Anderson!” Alyssa scolded, arms folded over her chest.  “I did not raise you to speak like that.  Regardless as to what Laci is or is not, it no longer matters.  She’s now carrying my grandchild.  I will do what I must to ensure that poor thing’s future.  Surely you can understand…”

“No, I can’t,” Roman snapped, turning away from her.  “You’re making a mistake, mother, a very big mistake.  You’ll lose everything.”

Despite Roman’s protests, Alyssa and Nevio went through the motions.  Nevio proposed and Laci was suitably pleased.  She packed up all her belongings and put them in the car with Alyssa.  She had no qualms about quitting University.  It wasn’t like she’d actually need an education–Laci didn’t even plan to work.  There was absolutely no reason to!

Alyssa knew that Roman was right, but she couldn’t bring herself to cast the baby aside.  If anything, it could be saved.

Roman, fueled by his anger, bought a community lot within Boreal Springs and opened it to the public.  It was the end of his senior year and he had plenty of time to devote to it.  With his careful management and financial savvy, it climbed the ranks.  The once lowly general store was now a pivotal business within the small suburb.  Even Mary O`Hanlon came by to congratulate him on his endeavor

A reviewer from Aperture stopped by and was pleased enough to give Roman an award for service and reliability.  Of course, Shang Yu was passing by at the time and more than happy to give his two cents.

“Congrats, dude, and hey, she’s hot!”

Roman rolled his eyes and accepted the award.  He was sure to hang it over the door so that everyone who entered would see it.

With his business ventures begun, it was time for the next thing on his list.  He had kept in contact with Cara Nanale and they had built a relationship, though hardly to the extent of his brother’s.  He proposed to her with the intent of marrying her as soon as the house he had bought was built enough to be a suitable home to the two of them.  Cara was beyond overwhelmed, but certainly happy.  She’d be off the islands and Roman seemed to be very kind and respectful.  Not once had he tried to cross any lines and Cara could wear a white dress with pride.

Of course, she had no idea that Roman was simply protecting his own interests in doing so.  There would be no bastard children to take his wealth, that much was certain.

——–

Note from Mao: Laci’s pregnancy threw me for a loop!  Never have I had YAs get pregnant so easily.  Yikes.  I think I fixed my community lots, which is good.  I really missed having them!!  Roman’s business is almost rank 10 already, haha.  As for Cara, he had a want to get engaged, but never rolled any woohoo wants.  Fortune sims, haha, what are you gonna do?

July 21, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 16: ‘Mysteriously Quiet’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 5:36 pm

Mary and Derek O`Hanlon are finally able to enjoy their elder years and Gina can relax finally knowing the truth. Julie and Asia think they’re ready to be parents, but will they have the same luck that Florence and Shaniqua did with the treatment?

Sara stopped by for an impromptu visit one night after work. She said that she needed to speak with their mother, but Julie managed to pull her aside with some dinner. She hadn’t wanted to nag her older sister, but she was genuinely curious about her situation.

“So, you guys are just going to be engaged forever? What about little Sade?”

Sara rolled her eyes, “not you, too, Julie. Don’t turn into mom.”

“I’m not, I’m just curious. Why don’t you just bite the bullet and get hitched?”

“Because we’re perfectly happy as we are… and nothing anyone says or does needs to change that. Why should we change if we’re happy? Everyone else I know who is married is miserable, save for a few.”

“I guess you’ve got me there.”

Julie and Asia were doing fairly well in their respective careers. Julie wasn’t career-driven, she didn’t have the same goals as Asia, but she worked to keep her mind busy. Asia enjoyed her job a lot, but felt she was ready to make the necessary sacrifice. She wanted to have a baby.

“You’re sure? You’ll have to take time off work,” Julie warned, questioning her sincerity.

“I’m sure, Jules. The process might take awhile, anyway. So it’s best to start early, don’t you think?”

“I’m just making sure that you’re sure. I know you, Asia. You love working.”

“But I love you, too, and I’ll love having a child with you.”

Derek, meanwhile, felt as if a gigantic weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He had told Gina everything he remembered, which was a lot. The incident still haunted him. It was amazing how much weight words held. Janine had been great to him, he would never rat her out… but she was dead and so was Thomas. The truth was safe with Gina.

So, as he raked the leaves into a small pile, he felt a new sort of contentment wash over him. He truly did feel bad for what happened to Katy, but he couldn’t help thinking that it had worked itself out in the end. How that possible, he couldn’t say, it was something he just knew.

Marla stopped by to announce her pregnancy. Of course, Mary and Derek were thrilled. Julie was happy to congratulate her twin, but she couldn’t help notice that something didn’t seem completely right. Only Julie would catch it, though, it was a ‘twin thing’.

“Are you sure everything’s fine? I mean, with Katarina around…”

“I’m sure, Julie,” Marla said with a sigh. “Don’t bring down my happiness, okay?”

“All right, all right… I was just checking. I’m allowed to be concerned.”

“Well, don’t be. I’m doing great.”

One afternoon, while everyone else was off at work, Derek shuffled around the house in a daze. He was bored and there was nothing good on TV. He hated days like this. Then, suddenly, the phone rang. With hesitation, he answered it. No one ever called when everyone else was out.

“Hello, Derek. Are you enjoying your freedom?”

A sudden chill ran down Derek’s spine at the sound of the voice coming from the receiver. He swallowed hard, trying to mask his surprise. All he could manage was, “what do you want?”

“We’re family, Derek. Do I really need a reason to call?”

“Yes,” he replied tersely, eyes narrowing.

“I suppose you’ve caught me. I need a favor… and before you say ‘no’, realize that it was I who saved you from imprisonment…”

———-

Note from Mao: A pretty boring round, until the end. It was a completely autonomous action. I have no idea why he called, but it ended up fitting with later rounds (which I’ve played already)… Also, so far no baby for Asia and Julie. :(

July 19, 2008

Anderson-Knight – Round 15: ‘Paralyzer, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Anderson,Knight — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 3:40 pm

Marla Knight, formerly O`Hanlon, reveals her secret lover Travis Knight (aka Mr. Big). Katarina Anderson is along for the ride and finds herself in a very awkward situation.

Marla was happy to finally introduce her best friend to her boyfriend. She knew Katarina wouldn’t judge her for going after a slightly older man. Instead, Katarina seemed to approve quite readily. Older men had money and the girls definitely needed some cash to improve their bachelorette pad.

Katarina’s parents had given her some money, but kept the rest locked away for an emergency. They knew she couldn’t be trusted to use it wisely, especially when she was so far away in Aperture.

Shang was more than happy to help Katarina break in her new place. In fact, he was envious. She wasn’t married and she got to live and party in Aperture.

“This is a great place, Kat.”

“Sure,” Katarina said, moving closer, “but I know how we can make it better…”

Travis Knight had met Marla O`Hanlon one night in a bar. His divorce was quite the trying process and he desperately needed a night-cap. Marla was there to listen to him ramble and their friendship grew into more. Travis cared a great deal about Marla, but he couldn’t deny the fact that Katarina was ridiculously attractive. She wasn’t the brightest bulb in the pack, but what she lacked in intellect she more than made up for in beauty, sophistication, and allure.

He did his best to keep his attraction quiet, though something told him Katarina saw right through his attempts.

Eventually, Travis moved in. He did his best to avoid Katarina, instead focusing all his attention on Marla. It wasn’t that she wasn’t just as attractive–she was, just in a different sort of way. Marla was the kind of woman you settled down with. She would care for your children and love you even when you were old and wrinkly. Katarina was like a really fast and expensive sports car–every man’s secret fantasy. It wasn’t easy to deny that, especially since Travis had just gone through a divorce with a woman like Marla.

One night, instead of immediately jumping him, Katarina began to talk to Shang. He was surprised by this interlude, but decided to run with it. Katarina was his favorite person, with or without the sex.

“What do you think about love, Shang? Do you think what we do is right? I mean… I know you don’t mess around with married folks, but still. Don’t you think about the relationships your messing up? The love your abusing?”

“Babe, what’s with this philosophical crap all of the sudden?” He replied, trying his best to ignore the lump in his throat. He had messed with a married woman… Katarina’s own mother. “Do you feel bad for being with me knowing I’m married to Kate?”

“No, but you don’t love Kate, silly,” she retorted, giving him a look. “Everyone knows that.”

“That’s not true… I’m not in love with her, but I’ve got love for her. She’s my kid’s mother, Kat. There’s something to that… but it doesn’t mean I can deny my nature. And neither can you. We’re not monogamous creatures… we’re wild and untamed. And we like it that way.”

Katarina wasn’t completely convinced by Shang’s explanation. He didn’t know the situation, the guilt associated with wanting to do incredibly bad things to your best friend’s boyfriend. But in the end, he was right. Katarina couldn’t deny her nature. She knew Travis was attracted to her and that made it all the more harder to fight.

Meanwhile, Marla was finding herself in her own sort of situation. She and Travis had talked a little about getting married but it wasn’t until Marla woke up and immediately planted her head in the toilet bowl that those talks turned to serious consideration. Marla knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was pregnant and that it was definitely Travis’. She’d never been with anyone else.

Travis had no children to his ex-wife, so the news was quite a shock to him.

Everything seemed to happen in fast forward. All their careful plans went barreling forward. Travis met Derek and Mary and gained their approval. He proposed to Marla with them there, which definitely earned him brownie points. As long as they didn’t figure out that Marla was pregnant, that is.

They had a short and intimate wedding, where Marla’s family gathered to celebrate the event. Mary was definitely relieved that at least one of her children was normal enough to get married. Unfortunately, Nathaniel and Sara couldn’t make it due to baby Sade, but sent their best wishes.

After the ceremony, Travis found that his head was spinning. He could scarcely think. This was made worse by the dress Katarina was wearing and the fact that she was walking up to him. No one else was around. She whispered as she walked by, “I have a wedding present for you…”

Travis followed Katarina into the house and up the stairs. He hardly hesitated when she saw where he was leading him. It wasn’t until it was too late that he realized he was in her room and cornered. There was no way out. It was dangerous, it was risky–Marla was downstairs, along with her entire family… yet what could he do? He was in such a panic, everything had happened so quickly…

“Ready for your present?” Katarina purred, moving closer.

He was only married a few hours and already he was making big, big mistakes.

———–

Note from Mao: This was NOT planned. I realized all too late that Katarina and Travis have THREE full bolts while Travis and Marla only have two. Sheesh! Katarina is a man eater. This can’t end well…

June 6, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 15: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, End’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:59 am

Mary O`Hanlon is relieved that the trial involving her husband, Derek, is finally over and that it was revealed he wasn’t the murderer at all.  In fact, there was no murder, Katy had spooked herself to death.  Gina Saunders isn’t completely convinced, but she knows her brother didn’t do it.  Julie and Asia are joining the family and Julie has something to tell her parents.

“I’m sorry for doubting you,” Mary said, feeling incredibly guilty.  “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to believe, but my job and the evidence–”

“It’s all right,” Derek assured her, happy to have his name cleared and the tension gone from the house.  “I can’t blame anyone for not believing me… it all pointed at me.”

“Sara did,” Mary frowned.

Derek smiled, “that’s because she’s stubborn as a bull, like me.”

Julie was happy the house was back to normal with the trial over and done with, but she knew her news would turn everything upside down.  When she arrived home with her bags and Asia, she told Asia to wait a moment while she spoke to her mother alone.  It wasn’t easy, but Julie told her everything.  Mary was suitably flabbergasted.

“Asia… is–you’re… engaged?” She blinked, several times, unable to recooperate from the shock of it all.  “I think, I think I need to sit down.”

“I know you’re probably upset that I didn’t tell you, but I thought you’d disown me or something.  If you’re worried about the name, there’s this–”

“No, no,” Mary said, raising her hands up.  “Just… let me have some time.  Let it sink in…”

Julie wasn’t sure what to think about her mother’s reaction.  Derek had been a lot more understanding, but then again, Aunt Shaniqua was also a lesbian and in a relationship with a mutual child.  She just wished her mother didn’t have such a stigma.  She wanted to tell Mary that she couldn’t give it away–the name, the house–to Marla, because she was an alcoholic.  But Julie couldn’t throw her twin under the bus like that.

She’d just have to wait it out and hope her mother came to terms with it on her own time.

Meanwhile, Julie and Asia were joined in matrimony.  They wore contrasting suits instead of traditional dresses and even did away with the traditional arch.  Nothing about them was rigid and traditional, so why maintain the guise?  They were happy with one another and their differences from everyone else.  It was certainly easier because Shaniqua Saunders and Florence Anderson had paved the way.

The entire family showed up with their respective spouses.  Sara was especially pleased, as now that someone had gotten legally wed Mary would stop breathing down her neck about her unsuitable relationship with Nathaniel.  How Mary could be so rigid was anyone’s guess, it likely had to do with her own background and the whole mess with Derek.  She likely didn’t want her children to suffer the same way.

Mary did her best to go along with the idea that she was getting a daughter-in-law instead of a son, but it wasn’t easy.  She still couldn’t understand how they’d have children.

Marla was there to support her twin, but her beau was not accompanying her.  Julie asked and Marla simply said that he was busy finalizing his divorce.  She assured her that she’d meet him soon enough.  Julie was skeptical, but Marla seemed happy–and significantly less buzzed–than usual, so she wasn’t going to push it.  She was just happy to see her again.  Aperture seemed like it was too far away–they’d never been so far apart before.

After all the wedding hubbub died down, life resumed as usual.  Asia got a job as a G.P. at the newly built Aperture Hospital and Julie still hadn’t decided on a career.  Gina and Derek had a quiet breakfast one morning where Gina finally decided to confront him.

“I want to know what really happened, Derek,” she began, not unsympathetically, “I know you didn’t do it, but I know you were involved.  I don’t know what happened at the trial and I don’t want to.  I just want to know your involvement.  We’re getting old, brother, and the time for the truth is waning.  Don’t you want to get it off your mind and ease your soul?”

He sighed, thinking about it for a moment.  She was right–as always.  Gina had this uncanny ability to read people with such precision it was startling.

“All right, Gina.  I’ll tell you the truth of it.  It all began when Katy and I arrived back from University…”

————

Note from Mao: Uneventful round.  You have no idea how long I’ve waited to use the contrasting suits!  And now you know a bit about what happened at the trial.  Yay.

May 20, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 14: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, Pt. 3′

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 12:39 pm

Mary O`Hanlon is finding herself in a difficult place in her life.  Her daughter is an unwed mother and her husband, Derek O`Hanlon, is on trial for the murder of his first wife.  Gina Saunders, his sister, isn’t talking, but she definitely seems to know something.

Despite her better judgment, Sara agreed to come over and talk with her mother.  They chit-chatted idly about the recent house remodel until Mary finally brought up the topic forefront on her mind.

“When are you and Nathaniel planning to get married?”

Sara sighed, “mom, I told you.  We’re happy as we are–”

“But what about Patrick, Sara?  And how can you guarantee that Nathaniel will stick around and won’t leave you?  Could you be a single mother?”

“Yes, I could,” Sara replied angrily, offended.  “Easily.  And Nathaniel isn’t going anywhere.  We don’t need rings or legality to keep from running off.  We are happy the way we are and Patrick will be happy because we’re happy.”

Defeated, Mary turned her attention to her husband.  The trial had started and so far, the prosecution had a pretty solid case.  Even worse was the surprise witness they had planned to pull out of thin air.  No names had been called but everyone was definitely worried.

“I didn’t do it,” Derek said defiantly.  “If they want to stick me in jail, fine.  But I didn’t kill Katy.”

“It’s not us that has to believe it, Derek.  It’s the jury.  If this surprise witness is as big as Ryu is claiming, then your ship might just be sunk.” Mary confided sadly.  She was stuck between her duty and her husband.  “If you didn’t do it, then who did?”

Derek shrugged, “you saw that email Ryu got, didn’t you?  Do then you know who did it.  It wasn’t me.”

“There’s still conspiracy, Derek.” Gina interrupted.  “They could charge you with conspiring Katy’s death.”

Derek was thankful for a break from all the legal talk.  Between meetings with his lawyer and constant badgering from Mary, he needed the intermission.  He was always happy to see Sara, she visited him often and was the bright point of his otherwise dismal days.  He just wished she and Mary could get along better.

“I wish you could see Patrick, daddy,” Sara said sadly.  “I’ll have to bring him over once he’s capable of withstanding the cold.  The doctor said due to his skin he might be a little sensitive.  Nathaniel doesn’t remember it, but I don’t want to risk it.”

“It’s all right, I’m sure he’s fantastic.  I’m not going anywhere.  You just bring him around when he’s ready.”

Sara nodded, not mentioning the fact that by that time, Derek might be behind bars.  Instead, she smiled, “he has grandma’s red hair.  It’s really a sight.”

Gina, meanwhile, was unable to take her mind off her brother’s possible guilt.  She had heard the phone conversation, but Derek still denied it.  If he hadn’t killed Katy with his own hands, had he conspired with Janine?  Did he ask her to do it so he could be with Mary?  Was it just a matter of Janine hearing him wrong and doing what she did because she wanted him to be happy?

It was like one big murder mystery.  Gina was a writer by nature, but even she couldn’t figure this one out.  She’d just have to trust in Derek and hope that he was telling the truth.

Mary tried to keep her mind occupied with gardening.  Legally, she wasn’t really supposed to discuss details of the prosecution’s case to Derek.  No matter how much she wanted to warn him, she couldn’t.  She could talk to him as a wife, but not as the DA.  She was dubious as to whether or not Ryu could actually deliver.  Lilith Yu was a strange and bizarre woman, but hardly trustworthy.

To ease their mind, Julie visited with her ‘friend’ Asia.  Marla had remained behind, too busy with her studies.  Mary and Derek found Asia very charming, but couldn’t help but wonder why exactly she had accompanied Julie home instead of Marla.  At the very least, she could have brought home a prospective husband for them to meet!

Anytime they tried to ask Julie, though, she distracted them or turned the conversation elsewhere.  Eventually they gave up and just let it be.

When the dinner ended, Asia went to the bathroom only to be stopped by Gina.  She pulled her into her room and smiled.

“Is Julie going to tell her parents?”

Asia was startled, “w-what?”

“That she’s gay.  You’re her girlfriend, right?  My sister was gay, it’s all right.  But I can see it written all over your faces.”

“I-I don’t… know.  I mean, I want her to tell them, but she’s worried.  All the stuff that’s happening–”

“It doesn’t matter.  She needs to tell them… especially if she wants to keep her spot as heir.”

———

Note from Mao: Wow, an elder only round that didn’t put me to sleep!  As for Sara visiting, she did it EVERYDAY on her OWN.  It was weird.  As for Asia and Gina, Gina actually did follow her into her room and stop and talk to her.

May 6, 2008

Yu – Round 13: ‘Lilith’s Choice, Pt. 4′

Filed under: Yu — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:52 am

Tsung Yu has finally convinced Lilith to marry him. Somehow, they ended up with a child. Can Lilith step up to motherhood or will she falter and become obsessed with the unknown?

Being a father wasn’t terribly hard for Tsung, he had always been the responsible type and he had helped with Shang a little in his youth, too. However, he was concerned about Lilith. She was extremely busy working on whatever it was she did in her little ‘secret’ room she had made him build. He was worried that whatever it was, it was highly dangerous and needed to stop.

Lilith tried to assure him that it wasn’t. It was simply her own little device to make the unknown suddenly become known. This made no sense to Tsung, but Lilith wasn’t about to elaborate and blow her entire secret.

“Just trust me, okay? It isn’t anything crazy.”

“That’s like saying a bomb is a child’s toy!” Tsung replied, a little flustered. “Why is this so important to you and why are you refusing to tell me the whole story?”

Lilith rolled her eyes, attempting to feign disgust, “because you wouldn’t understand. Just let it go. It’s not some all-consuming obsession. I’ve already finished it. It’s done and over with. Just drop it.”

What she hadn’t told Tsung was that it was that Ryu Anderson had emailed her and would be dropping by while he was at work. It was purely a business-related visit. He had heard of her dabbling in the paranormal and decided that she could help them find out what happened to Katy Saunders.

“I can’t just summon her,” Lilith said, making a face. “What do I look like? A nutjob?”

“What do you need, then?”

“Items, personal affects, something… oh, and money.”

Ryu shrugged, “that isn’t an issue. We have some of her things and well, yes, money isn’t a problem at all.”

“Good. Get ‘em, let me know, and then we’ll arrange it, all right? But it won’t be instantaneous. This stuff takes time.”

Lilith may not win any ‘mother of the year’ awards, but she did her job fairly well. She cared for Zhou when he cried and cuddled him. He was the deciding factor when it came to whether or not she would help Ryu. She had every intention of bringing Chuck back, but now it seemed moot. She didn’t want to be like Shaniqua or Shang. The machine could only handle one resurrection and that would be the one of Katy Saunders.

If anything, she’d have oodles of fun watching the drama storm that would surely follow.

Zhou’s birthday followed not long after Ryu called to confirm he had the personal affects. Tsung was oblivious to his wife’s deeds and happily enjoyed his son. He was fine with Zhou being their only child. He had goals and personal wants, too, and while he loved children… he had no desire to have oodles of them.

Little Zhou seemed to agree. He enjoyed having the entirety of his parent’s attentions.

Lilith tried in vain to teach him nursery rhymes, but he seemed less-than-interested. It was something that Florence had done with her, so she was adamant. Tsung laughed and asked what she was trying to do to their son–boys didn’t need that kind of influence. She threw a toy at him, causing him to make a hasty exit.

Amusingly enough, Lilith could already see a lot of herself in Zhou. She wondered what exactly what would mean in the years to come.

One afternoon, Lilith came in from the backyard to find Tsung home from work and Mary O`Hanlon in their living room. They had been remodeling the house, but Lilith was sure they had a permit. Tsung was an architect, after all, they didn’t forget those kinds of things!

As soon as she entered, Mary turned and left, a grave look on her face. Tsung looked abashed.

“What was the DA doing in our living room, Tsung?” Lilith demanded, feeling worried.

“Nothing,” Tsung shrugged it off. “She just had some questions about recent developments.”

Lilith’s eyes narrowed, “the ones for Gordon, right? She was here about him, wasn’t she?”

“Just let it go, Lilith.” Tsung said, heading for Zhou’s room. “He’s awake, I’ll get him.”

To further exacerbate Lilith, Kate dropped by later that evening. Lilith wasn’t pleased to see her. She had heard about the whole University debacle and was quite angry.

“You look like you’re smuggling goods, Kate!” Lilith growled. “What were you thinking?”

“Why are you so mad? The lamp worked!”

Lilith’s eyes widened, “are you insane? You’re pregnant, Kate! To a perma-cheat! What did you do to the lamp? Don’t you know anything about consequences.”

Kate ignored her, instead she smiled happily, “we’re getting married, too.”

“Kate, please, listen to me,” Lilith’s anger calmed and her tone became serious, “you need to give me the lamp back. You can’t go around irresponsibly making wishes. Don’t you see?”

“Don’t worry, Lilith. I won’t use it again, I promise.”

Zhou’s move into childhood had been a swift one. Lilith could hardly believe it–she was the mother of a child. She felt old and crotchety. Tsung told her to stop being so melodramatic.

As it turned out, Zhou was a lot like Lilith in many ways. How he chose to channel that, however, would shape his eventual future. For now, he was content with fishing.

———–

Note from Mao: For there being no drama in the actual house, this house sure is tied to a lot of other dramas! Zhou is adorable, he looks like Tsung. I almost wish they’d have another kid, but that’s up to them.

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