Boreal Springs

August 23, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 18: ‘You Turn the Screws, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Anderson,B.S.U. Campus,Davis,O`Hanlon,Saunders,Summary — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 8:11 am

Zhou Yu and River Saunders have an awkward relationship, but with the addition of four others, their lives are about to get more interesting. Patrick O`Hanlon is happy to finally be free and explore his… options. Michael Saunders just wants to survive college; Elena Davis has her goal in mind, but her boyfriend Fou-Lu Yu doesn’t seem to have any ambition at all.

Elena, Michael, and Fou-Lu all traveled to University together. Michael had got stuck driving, while Elena and Fou-Lu often forgot he was in the front seat. It was a little weird to have to be in the same with car with your sister who is making out with someone you’ve known since childhood.

He was happy to be free of the confines of the car, while Elena was happy to finally be in college. Fou-Lu was just impressed with how hot Elena turned out to be.

Patrick arrived later that evening, having hitched a ride with a hot chick. Why he was so late was never put to question, as it went without asking. Patrick was pleased with his roommates, though he had wished desperately to have his own place. Still, having people to talk to was pretty cool, and he was related to some of these people, too, so meeting relatives was interesting.

It turned out Zhou wasn’t upset about Falco “flying the coop”, so to speak, and just bought about bird. It was this that brought their relationship into more official territory.

“It’s just a bird, babe,” Zhou had said, laughing. “He’s probably teaching his bird friends to swear, too. That’s cool with me.”

River chose to ignore the fact that the bird was quite possibly teaching other birds to swear and instead focus on Zhou’s unfaltering ability to be sweet.

Elena had done a lot of thinking during her time stuck in the house before coming to University. She decided to pursue her dream of being a world-famous dancer. As usual, Michael lingered in the background doing something boring and nerdy while she practiced.

It wasn’t long before Fou-Lu located her and extracted her from her practicing.

Michael had left in favor of less ‘intimate’ places while Fou-Lu pulled Elena into a hug.

“This dancing stuff isn’t so bad,” he said jokingly. “You look good in spandex.”

“Lu, stop it,” Elena scolded, though she made no move to pull away. “I have to do my exercises.”

“There are other ways of exercising if you’re that worried about it…”

She sighed, and smacked him hard on the arm, causing him to pull away. He gave her a look and broke out into laughter. She hit him again, lighter this time. He was such a joker and that worried her. Would he ever take life seriously?

As the first year came to a close, everyone fell into a routine. Michael and River had an art class together, despite their complete lack of creative skills. They found solace in one another’s company and general inepitude, muttering under their breath about the unfairness of college gen-ed courses as they hastily smeared gobs of paint on empty canvases.

Patrick and Zhou often studied together, though Zhou was horrified when his books got confused with Patrick’s. His mouth dropped when he opened the book to find a questionable picture of a co’ed… and upon dropping it, several more falling out and littering the floor.

“Dude!” Zhou said, gesticulating feverishly with his hands, unable to say anything else.

Patrick looked stunned as well, picking up a picture and admiring it, “I forgot I had this one.”

“Is that ou… our literature professor?”

Patrick grinned, snapping Zhou’s book closed and handing it over, “nice, huh?”

“Dude!!”

August 21, 2008

Anderson 4 – Round 18: ‘Blood Money, Pt. 3′

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

Roman Anderson is becoming quite a powerful man, can Cara keep up?

With the success of his last business and the deeds to lots in both Aperture and Boreal Springs in his hands, Roman opened another business. It was a simple grocery store nestled in Boreal Springs. It was a success and Roman hired on a young woman who desperately wanted to be close to Boreal Springs. Why he didn’t know or care, but she proved to be a good worker, albiet unskilled.

One evening, during dinner, Cara decided to question her husband. She had seen him acting oddly and skulking about, she even had others tell her about it. She didn’t think he was the type to have an affair, but what else could he be doing?

“It’s business,” Roman said sternly, “that’s it. Who is filling your head with this garbage?”

Cara shrugged meekly, “I… I wasn’t trying to imply anything, Roman, I was just worried.”

“Well don’t,” he snapped, angry that others had been talking and not quite pleased as his wife’s distrust. “Why would I sully the name I’m trying to restore? Honestly, Cara, sometimes I wonder where your brain is.”

Cara frowned and stared down at her plate, ashamed. She should have known better. Perhaps she was projecting her own thoughts onto Roman…

Katarina stopped by one day to thank her younger brother for the awesome pad he had hooked her and Shang up with in the heart of downtown. Roman wasn’t fond of his sister’s ways, but she was his sister, and despite herself, she had a brain.

“You shouldn’t thank me, Katarina,” Roman replied, showing a rare bout of humility. “It was Tsung Yu’s design and Gordon Saunders that made it truly possible.”

“Well, whatever, you had a hand in it someway, so thanks. I know how you feel about Shang, and with Nevio marrying Lacie–”

Roman laughed, “it’s fine, don’t worry about it…”

Roman’s luck wasn’t all good, one night, while they were asleep in their lavish bedroom… a burglar broke in. Fortunately, Roman had the foresight to install an extensive security system. The police were called to the scene before the striped fiend could make off with anything. Unfortunately for that burglar, that particular cop was also in Gordon Saunders’ pocket… and well, you don’t mess with someone under his protection.

There were definitely perks to working with criminals…

Cara enjoyed throwing parties, epsecially those that involved the other ladies from Boreal Springs. Alyssa frequented these and Roman pulled her aside one afternoon to tell her of his plan.

“Lacie won’t be a problem for much longer,” he confided.

Alyssa gave him a look, “what are you saying, Roman? She’s pregnant!”

“The baby will be fine, mother. Just trust me–I’ve taken care of it.”

Alyssa shuddered, remembering the propaganda involving her mother all those years ago… something in the back of her mind shouted for her to take notice, but she ignored it.

Cara, meanwhile, was having lunch with one of her guests. River Saunders was an interesting type of girl, not particularly feminine, but incredibly keen. Cara grilled her on sciences and her studies at university.

While she enjoyed all the guests she invited, Cara had to admit, she didn’t get along very well with Lacie. She really didn’t like Lacie’s blatant flirting with her husband or her attitude.

—————–

Note from Mao: The blonde in the first picture is important for a reason you will find out later. ;) Katarina is like Shang, she constantly drops by uninvited. It’s insane.

August 9, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 17: ‘Crushcrushcrush, Pt. 2′

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus,Saunders,Yu — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 12:55 am

Zhou Yu and River Saunders haven’t spoken much since the impromptu kiss when they were teenagers. Will the next two years be incredibly awkward or eye-opening?

Zhou and River knew what to expect when they arrived at campus. Everyone in Boreal Springs got the same scholarship and that scholarship led them all to the same housing arrangement. After unpacking and getting settled, they prepared their own food and sat down.

“Don’t you think this is kind of… awkward?” Zhou said finally, surprising River. She had been trying to avoid looking at him since she arrived. It was eaiser now that she saw the silver jutting out of his eyebrow and lip.

“No,” River replied, giving him a look, “though I am surprised. With as much as you deny being like your mother, you sure look like her.”

Zhou took the comment in stride and let it slide off, “I could say the same for you, River.”

This was going to be an interesting two years.

River hadn’t realized how much she missed Zhou’s ridiculously aggressive ways until the cow mascot came by and tried to start trouble. Zhou put an end to that real quick, grabbing hold of its foam hoof and twisting it. The person inside cried out, cringing backwards in horror.

Zhou shouted a few obscenties after the fleeing mascot, causing River to cringe. She certainly hadn’t missed his horrible mouth.

Of course, the shouting he had done at the cow was nothing in comparison to the match he had with the sink. Zhou was so much like Lilith it wasn’t even funny and instead of actually trying to rationally think through fixing the sink, he smacked at it with a wrench and yelled obscenities.

River eventually had to shut off the water and fix it herself. It took her a moment or two to pry the wrench out of Zhou’s clenched fist.

River was incredibly surprised when she came home from class to find a large bird cage standing in her way. She watched as Zhou gently held a bird of considerable size on his arm, talking animatedly to it.

“Zhou, what are you doing?”

“Isn’t it cool? It’s a bird,” Zhou replied, not bothering to turn around. “His name is Falco.”

River resisted the urge to roll her eyes and instead said, “Falco’s cage is blocking the phone… are we even allowed to have pets?”

“Falco’s a bird, River! What’s he gonna do?”

River really, really wasn’t fond of Falco and Falco didn’t care much for River, either. What annoyed her the most was when Zhou would walk around with Falco on his shoulder. He’d tried to teach the bird to speak, but all it could say was a rather inappropriate word River would have preferred not to hear every ten seconds.

“Zhou, put the bird away, we have to go to class.”

“I’m taking him with me,” Zhou replied happily. “It’s part of my experiment for my animal psychology class.”

“But all he does is swears!”

At this, he got really excited, “I know! Isn’t it awesome? That means it worked!

River simply blinked and followed him out of the house. She couldn’t understand how some part of her was infinitely attracted to this seemingly barbaric individual.

But then he did things to remind her why that part of her refused to let go and continued to nag at her every moment. Lately students had been trying to start greek houses and a would-be frat boy stormed into the house, naked and very proud of that fact. River was clearly horrified, especially given the fact that she hadn’t even had anatomy class yet and the one she had in high school certainly didn’t cover the basics of what he was currently putting on display.

One black eye, a nearly broken leg, and probably a fractured rib later, the frat boy was running full tilt back to his home base with Zhou easily able to keep up with him. River remained horrified for several days, unable to look at males the same way again. Euuugh!

One afternoon, after they had both arrived home from their individual classes, Zhou stopped River. He had been good about giving her space (well, as much space as was possible given how prone he was to beating the crap out of anyone who came too close…), but was unable to gauge how she was feeling. So he decided to voice his worries.

“Did you turn gay or something after that? I mean, that’s okay, if you did–”

River was horrified, “I’m not gay, Zhou!” She practically shouted it and was suddenly very, very embarassed. “That guy just startled me, that’s all.”

“So come out with me then,” he suggested, taking her hand. “I promise, there will be no naked idiots or annoying cows. I’ll even leave Falco here.”

She laughed, “all right, but it’s just as friends, okay?”

River was lying to herself if she thought she could win the war inside her head. Regardless of Zhou’s questionable personality traits and penchant for violence, River was in love. River knew Zhou better than anyone else. It was unfortunate, then, when she walked in the door after coming home from class only to see Falco fly past her head and out the door.

Zhou had begged her to clean Falco’s cage because he had an overnight sleep lab class of some sort. River had done so, but apparently forgot to close Falco’s cage. Falco was now looong gone. River was in trouble.

———–

Note from Mao: These two were so boring in Uni. They had like NO wants for one another, but would autonomously flirt and make out. Zhou had a want to buy a bird and so I indulged him. They kept having the same wants, day in, day out. I’m wondering if it’s because I installed JM’s want/fear sanity hack. We’ll see. I may end up removing it if this continues! They did have a want to go on a date and so I did that, but no pictures. I hate how all dates must end in WooHoo, so when they rolled those wants, I ignored them. Sorry, but having no wants for one another outside the date and suddenly wanting to WooHoo? That’s careless and River isn’t that way. xb

August 1, 2008

Saunders – Round 17: ‘Hard to Handle, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 9:49 pm

Damien and Aiyana Saunders are finally both happy in their situation. Unfortunately, River isn’t quite so happy and buries herself in knowledge in an effort to make up for all the confusion she feels. Basil prefers to grab life by the horns and take breaks to enjoy a good grilled cheese.

Aiyana found herself extremely busy. There were a lot of stresses hanging around in the air of Boreal Springs. A frequent customer of hers was her best friend, Tracey Yu. She had survived a bizarre divorce and now was raising two twins and feeling the strain. Aiyana was always happy to help her work out the stress and give her someone to talk to.

Basil was an extremely active teen. He enjoyed video games, messing around, and avoiding his schoolwork. When asked about his college ambitions, he simply laughed. Both Damien and Aiyana were concerned… Basil was to be their heir and he certainly didn’t seem responsible enough. Perhaps he’d grow into it? Until then, they’d just have to wait and hope for the best.

River, meanwhile, buried herself in books and studies. She was determined to get as many scholarships as she could to pay her way through Boreal Summit University. She was certainly doing a good job at it, too. She kept her grades up, worked hard, and didn’t let anything distract her. It was a little worrying, her unending dedication to her books, but what could anyone do? Aiyana had only inquired once about what had caused the change and the look River gave her in response was enough for her to never ask again.

Basil was a lot better at helping Aiyana out than River was, anyway. He was charming and all his words seemed to be etched in gold. Aiyana worried about how easily he got along with her female customers, though. He seemed to be particularly interest in one reoccuring customer. She was a freshman in college and worked as a DJ part-time in Aperture. Aiyana tried to keep Basil away from her, but she didn’t have eyes in the back of her head.

She didn’t need to worry about River. Any boys that showed interest in her eccentric daughter were quickly rebuffed by a very horrified River. She wasn’t entirely sure why she was horrified, just that she was. It only made her dive further into her books.

Basil enjoyed hanging out at the newly opened pool until the late hours. It was the final days of warmth and soon the pool would be closed. He often found himself marveling at Shang Yu’s animal-magnetism. Anytime he went, Shang was in the hot tub, surrounded by women. It was a little ridiculous.

After River left for Boreal Summit University, Bosco was considerably saddened. Damien brought home a kitten that soon grew into a very lovely cat named Daenerys. Bosco and Daenerys got along famously and Aiyana hinted that maybe there would be some kittens on the way and that Damien was in charge of finding a home for them!

———

Note from Mao: Basil cracks me up! He’s Pleasure/Grilled Cheese. He looks so much like Chuck, it isn’t even funny. Poor River. I don’t know what to do with her, all she wants to do is studystudystudy. Yawwwn. Daenerys is the prettiest cat I have ever had in the game and I didn’t even make her!

July 24, 2008

Yu – Round 16: ‘Crushcrushcrush, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Yu — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:55 am

Tsung Yu and Lilith have somehow found a way to be in love despite their very different personalities. Zhou takes mostly after his mother, but denies it vehemently, while little Fou-Lu has yet to really show his true personality.

One night, at dinner, the family found themselves discussing the possibility of a new pet. Fou-Lu had been campaigning, in his own quiet way, for several days. After some serious consideration, Tsung and Lilith decided to grant his request.

“Just know that it’ll die,” Lilith said bluntly, looking up from her porkchops. “Everything does.”

“Lilith!” Tsung cried, mouth agape. “Don’t say things like that, for goodness sake, he’s just a boy.”

“He needs to know, regardless.”

Fou-Lu nodded fervently, desperate to get the kitten he so desired. Zhou just rolled his eyes, muttering beneath his breath how nuts his family was.

And so it was that ‘Chairman Mao’ joined the family. When questioned about the name, Fou-Lu simply said he found it appropriate. Where a child of his age had learned the word ‘appropriate’, it was hard to say. But he was perfectly content to play with Chairman Mao every chance he got and that was enough. He certainly was a dedicated little pet owner.

Zhou walked into the living room after a long day at school only to see his parents engaged in unnecessary PDA. With a groan, he tried to ignore them, smiling and remembering how he had managed to somehow ace that geometry test he never studied for. All thanks to River, mind, as she hadn’t spoken to him since that impromptu kiss. It wasn’t like he’d initiated it, what was she so upset at him for?

Of course, Zhou was too much a bullheaded teenager to realize that girls are strange. He was also too much so to see that he was deeply hurt by her slight and that beneath it all, he had a crush on her since they were children, in all her awkward, ungainly glory.

Lilith was having her own sort of trouble. The phone rang while she was home alone with Fou-Lu and the voice on the other end was one she had hardly expected.

“What do you want?” She spat, her fingers clutching the receiver tightly. “Just because my husband is your best friend doesn’t mean I have to talk to you.”

“Even if I have interest in your little tricks?”

“Tricks? Ha! I know all about you, Gordon… who, no what, you are and you’re damn lucky I haven’t told Tsung. Look, pal, your little charm won’t work here. So step off.”

“Now, Lilith, honestly,” Gordon continued, unrelenting. “You’d think you’d be more hospitable in someone who actually believes all that stuff you dabble in.”

She faltered, unable to think of a comeback. His voice sounded sincere enough… why would he be interested though? What would a criminal want with the paranormal?

“I don’t like where this is going, Saunders.”

“Oh, but you will, Lilith, you will.”

Meanwhile, Fou-Lu made friends with Elena Davis. She was headstrong and independent, but Fou-Lu was amiable and easy-going. They really enjoyed playing active games like tag or catch and on the odd occasion, they’d have a water balloon war.

Elena enjoyed the scenery of Boreal Springs. It was so much different than her place in the city.

Zhou finally managed to corner River, only for her to ignore him. He sighed and looked down at her.

“River, seriously, what’s your problem? You’re the one that kissed me.”

River focused intently on the logic ball in her hands, trying to avert her eyes away from Zhou’s, “just… forget about that, okay? I need… I need to focus on college and stuff. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“That’s fine, but why can’t be friends again? This is stupid.”

“Sorry, Zhou.” She said, moving down the street, never once gazing up from her logic ball.

Chairman Mao grew up into quite an adorable cat. Lilith, despite herself, was smitten. She’d never replace Fou-Lu has Chairman Mao’s number one person, but she came in a very close second.

Zhou let go of the whole River ordeal and just focused on his scholarships. He found a love for fitness he hadn’t known existed and poured all his excess energy into it. School was a lot less fun now, but he was quickly gaining a reputation without River hanging around him. He was a bit of a brute, bullyish even, and his excessive need to be fit only heightened the fear he enstilled.

He’d enjoy his few years of power left before High School ended.

——–

Note from Mao: Poor Zhou! Neither River nor Zhou have ANY wants regarding one another at all, so there you go. Maybe that’ll change in college. I wasn’t necessarily surprised to find that Zhou’s beloved hobby was fitness. Chairman Mao turned out seriously adorable. Also, Gordon autonomously called Lilith and by the time she hung up, they were friends. Seriously, Gordon, what’s the deal? He’s pooling his resources for sure.

July 23, 2008

Saunders – Round 15: ‘A Family Way, End’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:39 am

Damien and Aiyana have managed to work out their differences. River is ungrounded and enjoying her freedom while Basil is just hanging out in the background.

River wasn’t quite sure how to respond to her parents new-found fervor for one another. While she was certainly pleased they were getting along again, she rather wished they’d keep the PDA to a minimum. River was nearly a woman grown, but poor Basil would be scarred for life if his innocent little eyes somehow glimpsed at such wanton displays of affection.

Seriously, what were they, teenagers?

At least she wasn’t grounded anymore. That meant that she could get away from them and better yet, talk to Zhou through something less archaic than a letter and more personal than an IM. She was sure to explain just how burly the lumberjacks really were and especially how passionate they were about their flapjacks.

It took Zhou a moment or two to realize what exactly River meant by “fur shirts”. Being as he was, he wasn’t privy to the nature of extremely hairy men. For this, he was most surely thankful.

Aiyana was quite happy about the arrangement she had worked out with Damien. She began a home business with the intent of working out all the kinks of the residents of Boreal Springs. This way, she would always be home and yet have something to keep her from going stir-crazy. It worked out for the best and she found she greatly enjoyed bringing in some income of her own.

River tried to help her mother out as much as she could, unfortunately, River wasn’t much of a saleswoman. She even had trouble convincing Julie O`Hanlon to take the plunge. Of course, that may have been because Julie already had an appointment and was just amusing herself by messing with poor River. River would never understand why everyone felt the need to pick on her when she was down!

Adults were so cruel.

The new arrangement certainly made life around the house a lot better for all. Aiyana was happy, which made Damien happy, which in turn, made the children happy. It was a strange hierarchy, happiness, but somehow the Saunders brood managed to achieve it. River was still upset about being shoved into the stuffy Academy, though, especially since Damien had left the school system and moved over to the University.

River hoped he transferred out before she attended. She really didn’t want her dad cramping her style on campus.

Despite her claims at nearly being an adult, River found herself indulging her inner-child quite often, a fact Zhou Yu wasn’t about to let her forget.

“You’re such a kid, River,” Zhou laughed, watching his friend play in the leaves. “Only kids enjoy that.”

“Shut up, you,” River snarled, pelting the taller of the two with a faceful of crisp, musty leaves. “We’re the same age. You can’t call me a ‘kid’.”

“I can if you’re being childish,” Zhou replied, trying to remove the taste the stale leaves had left. “And you always are so I can always say it.”

Angered for real now, River stood straight and glowered, “I am not a kid and I’ll prove it!”

Before Zhou could so much as laugh, River was not only directly in front of him, but her lips were against his own and engaged in a very, very awkward sort of kiss. When he was able to think again, River gave him a very aghast look and rushed off into the house, unable to speak.

Zhou blinked. He had just been teasing her, where had that come from?

———–

Note from Mao: Yay, first business in BS. Oh, and if you’re wondering… the thing with Zhou and River? Completely autonomous. I was paying attention to Aiyana and her business and I saw Zhou and River playing with leaves. I never see sims do that unless I direct them too. Anyhoo, next thing I know, bam! Smoochfest! Geeze! Neither even had their first kiss yet. They have three bolts, but wow. Seriously.

June 10, 2008

Saunders – Round 15: ‘To Zhou, From River’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 2:35 pm

Damien’s idea of family differs from Aiyana’s, but so far, they’re making it work. River, now a teenager, finds herself facing more problems than just scientific road blocks. Basil is a curious child, but his likeness to Damien’s dead twin, Chuck, is uncanny.

River: Zhou,

It sucks being grounded, but I should have known better than to try and make a more impressive volcano with household cleaning products. Since I’m banned from everything, the only way we can communicate is through letters. Old school, I know. You wouldn’t recognize Basil now. He’s a big kid, or so he thinks, but I swear, he still acts like he’s three.

You’ve probably noticed by now, but dad is the new principal of the public school us kids in Boreal Springs are forced to endure. That’s why you haven’t seen me around school. I didn’t get a chance to tell you beforehand… sorry. It was a ‘conflict of interest’ that dad have his own kids under his tuteledge, so we were moved to that prep academy. It isn’t so bad, I like the classes… but the kids? It sucks, Zhou. You need to go with me, seriously. They’re so stuck up in the clouds, a jet liner is going to take them out one of these days.

I got the present you sent me–thanks! It sucks that my grounding went all the way through my fifteenth birthday, but what can you do? Dad claims it was lenient. I tried to “blow up the house”… I did not! Besides, who doesn’t childproof their kitchen? Seriously.

Anyway, with the new lense I can see even further! How awesome is that? I know you think it’s nerdy, but planets are cool.

Anyway, back to the academy junk. You know that Roman Anderson actually followed me home one day? I swear, it was just to put down my family. I tore into him. That’s right, I actually went off! You would have been so proud. I didn’t use any of those words you do, though, I’m still a lady, you know? But he didn’t even seem shocked. In fact, he just smiled.

I have to admit, it wasn’t my first altercation with him. We’ve met a few times at the Academy. He’s graduated by now, I’m sure, off to some prissy college. Good riddance. Stuffy rich guys think they’ve got the world in their hands…

Dad had the brilliant idea to use up the week break from school to haul us all out into the wilderness. Seriously, do I looke like a girl who enjoys the great out doors? I’m not into that organic stuff. We went and stayed in this cabin and there were lumberjacks and wood and axes EVERYWHERE! It was cold, too. Really cold.

May 23, 2008

Saunders – Round 14: ‘A Family Way, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 10:59 am

Damien Saunders is quickly on his way to becoming Education Minister. Unfortunately, he has no idea that his wife, Aiyana, is quickly on her way to going crazy. River ignores her weird parents and prefers to spend time with her ants.

Aiyana gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Basil Saunders and was happy to be home, until she realized she was surrounded by children again. It was impossible to have time for herself with Basil crying late into the night and River needing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Two was more than she can handle–she barely managed to raise one!

It was even worse when River brought home a friend from school.

River and Zhou Yu were about the same age, so they shared a class. While River was seen as a big nerd, Zhao was seen as a bit of smart-mouth. Together, they found unity into their forced obscurity. River helped Zhao with his studies and Zhao tried to help River be more outspoken. She rarely stood up for herself when kids teased her about her glasses.

River did well in school because she had a natural aptitude for logic and scientific thought. She also got a lot of help from Damien when it came to her studies. He was determined that she capitalize on the smarts gifted to her. She could definitely make something of herself, even if she wouldn’t be heir to the house. Of course, River had no desire for that. Everyone that lived here seemed to have babies, babies, and more babies. It wasn’t necessarily something River found herself desiring at the age of eight.

Family dinners were tense enough as it was. Every now and then Aiyana would make a plea that perhaps she could get a job once Basil started school. Damien was adamant. His grandfather had been very family-oriented and this was imprinted on him. He wanted his children to be happy and well-adjusted and they needed a proper mother for that. Aiyana would love to stay home and study, but it was impossible with the children! She needed a break.

Tracey was her only saving grace. She would often come over during the day and visit. She always showed such skill with the kids, especially when they were babies. Aiyana was wowed that she didn’t have any of her own. Whenever she inquired, Tracey simply shrugged and said:

“It just hasn’t happened. I’m happy just being around any child, though. They’re just fantastic.”

“Until they wake you up at 3am…” Aiyana groused.

Eventually, Basil became even more of a handful, growing into a toddler. He definitely had his grandmother Katy’s eyes and he looked quite a bit like Chuck, right down to his curly mop of hair. That was a Saunders trademark for males, though. Damien tried to help out, but with his career on the upswing, a lot of his time was spent at work or focusing on increasing his position.

He wasn’t able to get up at 3am with Basil and hold him and feed him. Damien had to be at work in the morning, after all. Aiyana sighed. She barely got any sleep anymore–she probably looked like the walking dead! She was tempted to chop off her hair, as Basil seemed obsessed with grabbing onto it and pulling as hard as he could. Even their cat, Bosco, could sense her exhaustion.

One night, Aiyana was just too tired and couldn’t bring herself to get out of bed. When she finally managed, she realized that Basil had stopped crying. River’s room was right next to the nursery and she had heard his cries. She got out of bed and let him out of the crib. She was even soothing him with smiles and silly faces when Katy came in.

Perhaps River would be even more help when she became a teenager…

———

Note from Mao: River interacts a lot with Basil on her own, which I rarely see sim kids do with toddlers! It’s very cute. Anytime I can’t find her, I know to check the nursery. Also, Tracey does visit a lot and the first thing she did was pick up a baby. Everytime. I get it, Tracey, okay? Seriously. Sheesh.

May 5, 2008

Saunders – Round 13: ‘A Family Way, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , — Mao @ 12:13 am

Damien Saunders married Aiyana and couldn’t be happier.  Unfortunately, neither of them are very keen when it comes to children.  Here’s hoping their baby River will make it to childhood…

Aiyana found that she missed Janine’s help quite a bit, especially when River became a precocious toddler.  She was curious and into everything.  It seemed Aiyana couldn’t move fast enough to keep an eye on her.  All the toddler-chasing kept her from her pursuit of knowledge and her creative endeavors.  She had to admit, she felt a little depressed without her hobbies to keep her balanced.  She’d never been very skilled with children, even reading the parenting magazines and books hadn’t helped.

Worse yet, with Janine and Henry gone, they were living off of Damien’s inheritance.  It was plentiful, but he felt it would be best if they both got jobs.  Aiyana was more than happy with that arrangement–she’d be able to get out of the house and have some time to her self.  They’d need a nanny for River, sure, but that wouldn’t be so bad.  Everyone had nannies these days!

Damien went out and immediately got a position with the school board.  Aiyana wasn’t so hasty, she looked around carefully, trying to find just the right job to suit her.

One afternoon, Lilith called after Damien.  She posed a rather peculiar question:

“Do you still have any of Chuck’s things?”

“What?  What kind of question is that?” Damien sighed.  “Lilith, you need to let it go.”

“Stop it, Damien.  Just answer the question.”

He refused, “why can’t you just be happy?  I’ve got Aiyana and I miss Chuck, but it’s over, okay?  You have Tsung and a son.  You’d think you would be over it, too.”

Lilith simply sighed, thanked him for nothing, and hung up.

Aiyana hadn’t found a job yet, she was feeling too tired and exhausted to go out looking.  Damien noticed, too, it was hard not to.  She even fell asleep at the dinner table!  When he questioned her, she simply brushed it off, citing that she was just exhausted from running after River all day.  Since Damien worked during the day, Aiyana was stuck all alone with River for hours upon hours.  It was tiring to someone who wasn’t exactly ‘geared’ towards childcare.

To make matters worse, Damien had brought home a kitten named Bosco*.  River adored the small kitten, but Aiyana saw it as just another hassle.  She had to clean the litter and fill its bowl.  Damien just went off to work–he didn’t have to deal with any of it.  It wasn’t fair.

She was just glad that River was finally potty-trained.  No more diaper changes for her!

Aiyana eventually found out that she was pregnant, again.  Damien advised that maybe she shouldn’t get a job after all, that it would be better if she was home with the kids.  They had plenty of money to support that kind of lifestyle and he didn’t want the children to feel alone or too responsible too young.

Halfheartedly, Aiyana agreed.  Inwardly, though, she felt suffocated.  Another baby?  She could barely care for the one they had now!  Goodness only knows what would have happened if Janine hadn’t been here to help them start!

Her second pregnancy was rough on Aiyana.  She had to care for River and wake up in the middle of the night to tend to her, as Damien had to sleep so he was ready for work in the morning.  Her stomach felt huge, bulbous, and in the way.  Even holding poor River was an awkward endeavor.  Aiyana wasn’t sure how much more she could take before she cracked under the weight.  Her mental stability was declining and rapidly.

Who knew that it wouldn’t be all the family secrets that did her in, but the sheer weight of having children?

It wasn’t long before River became self-sufficient.  Aiyana was relieved, but she knew it wouldn’t last.  She’d give birth soon and it’d start all over again.  At least River was extremely mature for her age.  She spent more time with her ants or her head in a book than she did making messes or harassing her mother.  She kept mostly to herself, too, which gave Aiyana a much-needed break.

———

Note from Mao: Poor Aiyana, she really is an inept parent!  As for River, not only does she have NO playful points, her destined hobby is Science.  Oh yes, a hippy nerd girl!  I love it.  She’s adorable.

*Bosco is a character from the Sam & Max series.

April 20, 2008

Saunders – Round 12: ‘Family Business, Pt. 3′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 10:11 pm

Henry Saunders is nearing the end of his life and his wife, Janine, isn’t too far behind. Damien has taken over the house, but he and his wife, Aiyana, have had trouble producing an heir. Will Henry live to see his name carried on or will Damien fail to pass on his namesake?

Aiyana Saunders awoke to a strange feeling that gurgled in the pit of her stomach. Before she knew it, she launched out of bed and ran for the nearest toilet. After paying homage to the porcelain gods with last night’s supper, Aiyana decided that perhaps it would be wise to invest in a pregnancy test.

While her granddaughter-in-law was puking, Janine was busy at the computer. Her life was nearing its end, this much was certain. Her last physical had revealed some unpleasant growths. Janine felt old and tired, so she didn’t bother furthering the diagnosis. She was ready to move on and tired of living a constant lie. Unfortunately, in order to do so, she had to pass the burden onto her son, Gordon.

She wouldn’t be able to teach him everything and she was certain Thomas had his own motives, so Janine devised a plan. She began typing up a ‘manual’ of sorts for Gordon. She spent every waking hour at the computer, typing until her finger tips felt numb.

Aiyana, meanwhile, had scheduled a doctor’s visit after her test came out positive. She returned home with happy news–she was indeed pregnant. Damien, of course, was relieved. He knew that Henry was getting old and he wanted desperately for him to see the child born. While Derek was Damien’s real father, Henry had been more of a father-figure to him than anyone else. He and Janine had been there with him every step after Chuck’s unfortunate passing.

Aiyana was happy, too, but very nervous. She’d never been very good with babies. Perhaps she should study up?

One night, while Aiyana was browsing various parenting websites, she came across a strange file on the computer. She wasn’t very computer literate, having grown up in a commune, so when she accidentally minimized her browser, she began frantically clicking in an effort to get it back. She ended up opening a folder on the desktop that Janine had forgotten to lock. Laid out before her in text was a manual of crime. Aiyana blinked and panicked, closing the window.

Damien, who was washing the windows, gave her a strange look, “are you all right?”

Aiyana froze, unsure of what to say. Was her pregnancy making her crazy? Maybe her hormones were acting up, that’s all. She hadn’t seen that! “Y-Yeah… just spooked. A pop-up ad. Annoying, huh?”

He shrugged and continued scrubbing. Aiyana shut down the computer. That was enough oddities for one night.

Janine eventually finished her manual, unaware that Aiyana had seen it. She invited Gordon over one day and pulled him into an empty room. As the book left her hands, she knew that it was indicative of passing on her weight to her son. He smiled.

“What’s this? Don’t trust Thomas?”

“He’s my ex-husband, sweetie,” Janine replied, shaking her head. “Never trust an ex.”

“Of course, I knew better… but thanks.”

Janine gave him a look, “don’t go into this thinking you know everything, Gordon. Even you can’t prepare or weasel your way out of everything. You have to be careful. No one can ever know about this… about you…”

“What about you?”

“It won’t matter,” Janine smiled sadly. “I’ll be gone soon. The trail will hopefully end with me. Just promise me you’ll be careful.”

“I will, I promise.”

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