Saturday, March 19, 2011

Brook - Gen 6 ch 2

Mom was a push-over compared to dad. Brann had her charmed in no time flat.

He even found something he and dad could agree on - trying to annihilate each other in the latest Sim Fighter game.

In no time at all, it seemed, Heather was growing up. She looks a little bewildered and taken by surprise at the whole process.

Colt and Jia arrived home for the party bringing a little surprise of their own. Colt is finished with his book, and they are moving back to Riverview to raise their family.

Heather and Fiery share the same birthday, so she was up next. I'm pretty sure she is thinking up new ways she can annoy Bennie, now that she will be a teenager.

She has more confidence and ambition than anyone else I know. I'm sure she'll go far.

Mom and Dad, of course are thrilled about being grandparents.

Jia Li was the center of attention all evening. Everyone wanted a turn to play with her growing tummy, and she certainly was a proud mama-to-be.

But the party atmosphere took a turn for the worse when Dad decided to call me on my promise right in front of everyone.
"You see son? It's not that hard. I'm sure if you put your mind to it, you can do as well as your big brother. I don't think you're even trying, promise or no."

"Aw geez, dad. Please. Not now. It's the middle of a birthday party. Can we please talk about this later?"
If truth be told, I think about it almost every spare moment, and I'm truly not any closer to a solution for my dilemma that I was the day I made that promise. There seems to be no way out without hurting someone, and that I won't do.

Fortunately we were interrupted by the arrival of Heather's boyfriend Jonathan from across the street.  He is an up and coming musician, and according to Brann, is on the fast track to rock stardom, being a Lessen and all. I think Heather has enough talent to make it in the music industry as well, but she has no interest in any career whatsoever.

I don't think anyone else noticed, but I'm pretty sure Jon never left that night. And there were many, many nights after, that Heather spent across the street at the Rock Star Retreat.

"Hey Bro, you have a minute?"
"All the time in the world, sis. What's up?"
She didn't answer, just stared at me with a faraway look in her eyes. I should be used to it by now, but most of the time talking to Heather is like conversing with the TV: You can talk all you want, but what you hear back has almost no bearing on what you just said.
I tried again. "I haven't seen Jonathan in a while, where's he gotten himself to?"
"Oh, he's in France, visiting my friends."
Success! I had gotten a real answer. I vaguely recalled a news blurb trumpeting a 'Lessen Eurosim Tour.'
"You mean he's on tour in France?"
I had lost her again; she stared at me in sudden confusion, her eyes wide.

"There's going to be a baby, you know. I don't know how it happened, but the doctor showed me the picture on her screen, and there she was."
I had a pretty good idea how it had happened, but arguing with Heather never gets you anywhere.
"Did you tell Jonathan yet?"
"Why would I tell Jonathan?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure he's your baby's daddy, isn't he?"

Uh oh. Wrong thing to say. Heather began laughing hysterically.
"Hahaha. You think.. this is Jonathan's baby? You think this is my baby? You are so hilarious, Brook."
Her voiced dropped to a conspiratorial whisper as she gestured randomly behind her.
"It's them. They did it. Don't tell any one about this. I probably shouldn't have even told you, but you're the only one I can trust."

I sighed. What to say now?
"We at least need to tell Mom and Dad about the baby, sis. It's not like they're not going to notice pretty soon anyway."
"If you want to risk they're wrath, be my guest, bro. But I'll deny everything."
I have no idea who her mysterious "they" are, but I have no doubt "they" are an integral part of her many conspiracy theories. Best not to dig too deep, in my experience.

Of course I did impart her little secret to everyone, and Mom and Dad are totally on board with having a second grandchild. And a third one! Jia Li is expecting again. Mom and Jia can spend hours talking babies. The first time she visited, mom had to drag me along. But once I met little Louis, I was hooked. Now he can hardly wait to see his Uncle Brook. He is just about the most adorable toddler I've even seen.

One Saturday on my way back from visiting Louis, I stopped to get the mail, and noticed a fairly large fat envelope in the box. Pulling it out, I checked the return address. Hmm. M. Slayer. Bridgeport. I don't think anyone here knows anyone by that name. Must be a wrong address. I'll check with Dad first before I return to sender, though. Might be one of his clients.

Dad and Heather were watching Fiery pwn Brann in a game of Super Smash Sims.
"Whatcha got there, son?"
"Probably nothing. From someone by the name of M. Slayer. Shall I return to sender?"
I never saw dad move so fast. He was up off the couch, snatched the letter from my hand, and had disappeared into his office before I could even blink.

I was so curious I had to follow. Dad was at his desk tearing open the envelope.  
"Uh, dad? Who is M. Slayer?"
"Oh, nobody special."
I could tell by the expression on his face he was not being totally honest.
"Come on, Dad. It's not often you get this excited by anything any more."
He thought a long moment, then nodded.
"Alright, I guess you deserve to know. It's from my brother Mel."
I gaped. "You told me he died years ago, before I was born."
"Hmm.. yes, well, that was not entirely a lie. Here, see for yourself."
He handed me a card along with a stack of photos. The card was a birth announcement, with a handwritten comment at the bottom.

It's a Girl!
Meloire & Elvira Slayer proudly announce the birth of a daughter
Talia Olivia Slayer
7lb 12 oz
Sorry I haven't been in touch, bro. Lost your e-mail in a hard drive failure. Shoot me a line when you get a chance so I can update. I'm a little behind ya in the baby making game, but have no doubt I'll catch up eventually LOL. Enjoy the pics :)

Pre-baby El

El pissed off at me for taking pregnant pictures

Managed to sneak this one without her knowing

El in labor

El trying to hit me with my camera for taking labor pictures

Talia & El

Talia & me

Why didn't you ever tell me babies were this great?

"Why did you tell everyone your brother was dead if he's not? And the date on the announcement is last week? How can that possibly be your brother? He doesn't look a day older than me."
I was totally confused, wondering if my dad was going senile or something. But he was regarding me very seriously.
"What do you know of vampires, Brook?"
"Rumors mostly. I figure some people out there have some vivid imaginations. Wait... are you telling me.."
I grabbed the stack of photos and hurriedly flipped through them again.
"What... how? Is that what you meant when you said it wasn't really a lie that he was dead?"
"He met a girl .. Elvira... she turned him. I was offered the same deal. I turned it down. So much power, and I turned it down..."

"You sound so sad. Are you sorry you turned it down?" I whispered hesitantly.
I was relieved to see him break out in a smile.
"Nah, I just miss Mel sometimes. All that power... but I would have to give up too much.. your mom, Colt.. you, Heather, and Fiery. I can't even bear to think of it. You all are my life."

I regarded my dad with new respect as I helped him to his feet. The beginnings of a plan were starting to take shape in my head. I hope I can pull it off.

"One more thing son. Please, please do not mention any of this to your mom. It would only dredge up long forgotten animosities."
"Sure, Dad." I hope that promise doesn't come back to haunt me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brook - Gen 6 Ch 1

Yep, it's me, Brook. I still love blowing things up.  But I am not happy that my dad pretty much blew up my life. I told him I didn't want the inheritance, and he agreed, but as you can see, it didn't do either one of us a bit of good.
All of the past Greenbow heirs have always known exactly what they wanted to do with their lives, something that would enhance the legacy. But not me.

 I just like to fish, and mess around at the workbench. I try to invent things, but my grandma Olivia pretty much invented everything before I was even born. She even invented a time machine. It doesn't work any more, but Bennie says she used to actually time travel. Wouldn't that be cool?
But I digress. There's one more imperative that I'm required to accomplish - and that of course is producing an heir. Which is a huge problem for me.

The problem being I don't like girls. Not like this anyway. And I'm hopelessly in love with my BFF Brannon.
 My dad didn't mention that, did he? I'm not surprised. He's not real happy about it, to say the least. So I guess I better backtrack a little.

"Hey, wait up!"
I heard someone calling behind me, but I just kept walking. I really didn't have any friends at school, so they couldn't be calling me.
"Hey, Brook, stop, will ya?"
I was surprised to see one of the most popular guys in school running to catch up with me. I remembered him from the school play - I had a bit part, he had the lead role. I had a hard crush on him, but that was my secret. I would never tell anyone.
"Hey, you wanna come over after school? I'm about to flunk out of chemistry. Do you think you could help me with it?"
"Sure," I replied, in what I hoped was a nonchalant tone of voice.

It turned out Brann needed a lot of help with his chemistry. Like almost every day. Sometimes after we were finished with homework, we'd go to my favorite place, Lost Willow Park, and just hang out at the picnic tables or fire pit.
He told me how he wants to be an actor someday, and I told him the story of my dad's pendant, and how Firebloom would probably get it someday.

One day we got to the park a little late. The sun was going down, but I had found something I wanted to show Brann. I grabbed his hand and pulled him through the bushes.
"Look at this tree here! My great-grandparents carved this! 'Margie + James'."
He was duly impressed. Then he pointed out another carving I had missed, much older than the other.
"'Sunny +Max'. I wonder who they were?" he questioned. My mouth fell open in a perfect O.
"They were my great-great-great grandparents."

We stood there a few minutes, until suddenly I became acutely aware that I was still holding Brann's hand. I quickly glanced over at him, hoping against hope he wouldn't had a problem with it. He was staring at me with this goofy little smile on his face.

Still holding my hand, he gently took my other hand and pulled me close, and from that moment I was well and truly in love.

"Uh oh, Brook. We are so dead."
Of course. I should've known happiness like this couldn't last.

I tried to be strong for Brann's sake, although my heart was pounding. He gets scared so easily. He grabbed my arm as we were escorted to the cruiser.
"What's gonna happen to us?" he whispered frantically.
"Shh, it'll be okay. We're just out after curfew. I'll say it was all my fault."

Of course I told my dad the truth about Brann, and so I was not expecting to see Brann at my birthday party. Actually, I was not even expecting a birthday party, but Colt and Jia Li arrived for the occasion, so my dad kinda had to. It was really great to see my big brother again. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay; Colt still has some finishing touches to go on his book.

It was late when we finished our goodbyes with Colt and Jia Li. I finally had a small opportunity to be alone with Brann, the first time since the night at the park.
"Hey," he smiled softly. "Happy Birthday. Are we still set for tomorrow?"
I nodded. Tomorrow we would be off for Bridgeport together. Brann had a job lined up with the film studio there, and I was going to.. well, I hadn't figured that out yet.

"Brook! Brook, get your butt out here. I need to talk to you."
My dad's yells interrupted our conversation. I sighed.
"I'll be right back. Wait for me?"

"Here. This is yours."
My dad glowered at me as he pushed his pendant into my hand. I was so shocked I almost dropped it.
"Why are you giving this to me? I don't want it."
"If I had any choice in the matter, you wouldn't be getting it, believe me. But I don't."
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
"The pendant. It wants you, for whatever reason. I can't keep it. It's yours for better or worse."

I trudged up the stairs with a heavy heart. Brann was nowhere to be seen. He must have gotten tired of waiting. My dad was right about the pendant. It did want me for some reason. It glowed as I held it, and even though I wanted to give it back, I just couldn't.

"I thought you'd left," I was trying to hold back tears of frustration as I entered my room.
"Hey, I promised I'd wait. I thought it'd be better to wait up here."

"Hey, what's wrong love?"
"I..I can't go to Bridgeport with you."
"Why... why not? We had it all planned." I could see bright tears forming in his eyes, and I couldn't hold back my own any longer.

I felt my eyes overflow as I silently held out the pendant for Brann to see. His face fell as he stared at it. He knew what it meant.
"What if... what if I didn't go to Bridgeport. What if I stay in Riverview. What then?"
"I can't ask you to give up your career."
"But I wouldn't have to. There is a new studio opening here in Riverview. I only took the job in Bridgeport because you said you wanted to move away from here."
He chewed at his lower lip a second before continuing.
"The heir thing is the problem isn't it. I guess it'd be easier for you if I did move away."
I shook my head emphatically. "No. If you really want to stay, we'll figure it out somehow."

I saw a slight glimmer of hope in his eyes then as he turned back to me.
I nodded. "You and me, together.. always. If that what you want."

"Of course that's what I want. I love you."
"Love you too, Brann."
My heart was soaring.

And that brings us back to the present. Now where were we? Oh yeah...

I still don't know how we're going to make this work, but I sure am determined to try.

I woke up late the next morning. Brann had been gone for hours, down to the studio for an audition at the crack of dawn. First order of business on the 'making it work' agenda: talking to my dad.

I found him in his usual place at the computer. He is retired only in that he doesn't go on actual physical stake-outs anymore. He claims that Internet sleuthing is much easier and more profitable.
"Uh, Dad. Can I talk to you a minute. I need to ask you something."
"Spit it out, son," he grunted, not taking his eyes off the computer screen.
I took a deep breath and continued.
"Dad, would it be okay with you if Brann moves in? Now that we aren't moving to Bridgeport, he needs a place to stay."

That got him out of his chair in record time. He threw up his hands in..frustration?..disgust?.. surrender?.. maybe all three; I can never tell with my dad.
"Do whatever you want. Destroy my legacy. It's your house now. Why even ask?"

"Well, I'm asking because.. well.. you're still my dad, and I love you, and this is still your house too. I... I know you're disappointed in me, but.. it's not my intent to 'destroy your legacy.' I promise you I'll figure something out. I give you my word. "
I plucked nervously at my sleeve as I waited for his response. He eyed me closely for a long minute, still frowning. Finally he nodded curtly.
"You were never one to lie, not sure why. I'll play nice with Brann, but I'll hold you to that promise."