The Four Legacies - Chapter 1.4

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Slide 1: 

Hey everyone. Welcome back to The Four Legacies. Sorry it’s taken so long to get this out. I won’t bore you with the details why, but let’s just say that the less I have to do the less likely I am to do anything at all. And, well, I haven’t exactly had a whole lot to do over the summer. But to make it up to you, this chapter is long. Like the longest yet, I think. Last chapter we had plenty of birthdays, and even a couple of births. If you’re not sure who was born last chapter, or who had a birthday, then I would advise you to go back and reread the earlier chapters. If you do remember then go right ahead and get reading.

Slide 2: 

Mel smiled to herself. It was only nine in the morning, and already today was shaping up to be a good day. It was her day off, there was nothing to be except play cards, and the kids had been quiet for a whole ten min– CRASH! Scratch that last one. Mel heaved a sigh. She should have known the silence was too good to last Oh well. Let David deal with them. She certainly wasn't going to get up.

Slide 3: 

The silence had certainly been too good to last. Ruby and Gemma had been stuck inside for days with nothing to do. And as anyone who has spent any time around children knows, this never ends well. Only a matter of minutes earlier – well, you'll see. "What's wrong with you?"Ruby asked as Gemma pushed her away for the fifth time. "You know what's wrong with me, Ruby! I must have told you about a million times already!" "No you didn't," Ruby said in confusion – or, as was more likely, Gemma had told her but Ruby hadn't paid any attention.

Slide 4: 

Gemma looked at Ruby incredulously. She felt her irritation rise in her once again, like it had done so many times over the past few days, much to their parents' annoyance. "You gave Mrs Merrythorpe to Henry," she said through clenched teeth. "She was my favourite doll, and you gave her to Henry. Now I can't play with her because her head's covered in teeth marks and Henry's germs." Ruby paused for a moment, taking in the expression on her twin's face. Should she provoke her further? Had she had more than one nice she might have thought about it for more than a second. If she's had more than one nice point she might not have actually done it. If... well there were a lot of 'if's. "Could be worse."

Slide 5: 

As she expected, Gemma exploded at her. "Could be worse?! Are you insane?! I haven't had my favourite doll for a whole day – all because of you! So tell me, Ruby, just how could this be worse?" "Well –" "Go on!" "I've been without my favourite teddy bear for almost as long because you gave him to Henry to tear in half, for no good reason too!" Ruby said, her mood switching to anger in a split second. "At least I had a good reason give Henry Mrs Merrythorpe. You did want him to stop crying, didn't you?" "I DIDN'T MEAN TO GIVE HIM MY DOLL!" "THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE STOLEN LORD FUZZYWUZZYKINS FOR NO REASON!"

Slide 6: 

Gemma sighed hopelessly and looked to the ceiling. How many times had she gone over this? "I've told you before," she said in exasperation. "Lord Fuzzywuzzykins was on trial as a spy for the Toy Box Liberation Front for attempting to bring down the paper crowd, murder the King and Queen of Toy Box, and start a revolution which would have eventually lead to democracy being brought to the citizens of Toy Box. He was found guilty and was put executed by Horrible Henry the Giant. And it all could have been avoided if his lawyer wasn't getting eaten alive at the time and could have defended him!" Ruby's eyes narrowed; "If you say one more word about that –" "King Dollop might-" "That's it!” And that was how the fight started.

Slide 7: 

"There we go, little man," David said as he changed Henry's diaper. "All nice and clean.“ Henry gave his father a toothy grin. He began to babble some nonsense, to which David nodded in all the right places. They hadn't taught their son to talk yet. He and Melissa had been so busy working that they just hadn't had the chance yet. But it was one today's agenda, and with any luck they could get it out of the way by lunch. That was, if the girls didn't – CRASH! Well it wasn’t like he had much planned for the afternoon.

Slide 8: 

Henry giggled at the noise. It was one he'd become accustomed to very quickly in his short life, and it was a noise he heard several times a day. He clapped his hands a little and began trying to imitate the sound. "Yes, crash, bang, boom," David said with a laugh, hefting Henry onto a hip. “Come on. Let's go see what your sisters are going to murder each other about this time." Henry looked up at David quizzically. "Mookie?" he asked. David nodded. "Mookie," David agreed solemnly.

Slide 9: 

David pushed the door to the girls' room open. Sure enough, they were stood their screaming at one another, though thankfully the physical part of their fight was already over, and with minimal damage too. "IT WENT IN HIS MOUTH, RUBY! HIS MOUTH!" Gemma yelled. "SO?! IT COULD HAVE GONE SOMEWHERE MUCH WORSE!“ "Girls?" David called out, but they didn't seem to hear him.

Slide 10: 

"OH REALLY? LIKE WHERE?!“ "HE COULD HAVE PUT IT UP HIS-" "Girls!" David spoke louder this time, and much more sharply.

Slide 11: 

The effect was instantaneous. In a split second the two girls had stopped fighting. Gemma looked to Ruby with a huge grin on her face, and Ruby looked to him, smiling sweetly and innocently, like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. "Hi Daddy!" Ruby said. "We were just playing a game, weren't we, Gem?“ Gemma nodded furiously, "Yes we were, Daddy! It's really fun. You should try it some time!“ "Of course you were," David said dryly. "But you two are going to have to stop the game right now and go play outside.“ "But Da-ad!" the sweet innocent act was gone and already replaced by a two whining children. Oh the joys of parenthood. "There's nothing to do outside!"

Slide 12: 

"No, there's nothing for you to do in here," he corrected them, walking a little further into the room. "The workmen finished the pool this morning. Why don't the two of you invite some friends over and go swimming?"

Slide 13: 

David began to tickle Henry while he waited for the girls to come up with what the girls started it come up with a plan for the day. It took all of a second. "Todd and Ivan?" Gemma asked. Ruby nodded furiously. "I'll go call them now!" Ruby replied, rushing past David and out into the hall. Gemma ran out after her. "Not if I call them first!"

Slide 14: 

"Hey, Alice? What's wrong with your sister?"

Slide 15: 

"Nothing," Alice said, shrugging a shoulder. "The doctors say she's completely normal."

Slide 16: 

"You know what I mean," Charlie sat forwards, rolling her eyes and scratching her back. "She's been in a funk since the two of you got here this morning."

Slide 17: 

It was true. From the moment that Alice and Cole had arrived on the lot that morning Alice had been her normal self. Cole, one the other hand, alternated between melancholy

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and screaming with fury.

Slide 19: 

Alice sighed. She glanced in Cole's direction. Her sister was only stood a few feet away, but she didn't look like she'd heard a thing. She was too wrapped up in her own world right now, and her rapid mood swings. "I don't know," Alice finally said. "She's been like it ever since Mum told us we were coming round here today – and Ian was going over to ours to play with Bayley." Alice stopped for a moment as an idea came into her head. She grinned. "Maybe she has a crush on your brother."

Slide 20: 

"Ugh, I don't think so," Charlie replied in disgust. "Why not? He's kinda cute, you know." "I just really doubt that's the problem. Besides, if anything I'd say Bayley and Ian have crushes on each other."

Slide 21: 

"Yeah right. Like that's true," Alice laughed, then glanced back towards Cole. Her sister had just switched back to angry again. "Hey, Cole! You gonna sit down and join us at some point before the day's over or what?

Slide 22: 

On the other side of the lot, just as Alice and Charlie got Cole to join them, Quinn and Gilbert were just starting their first date of the day. "Hey," Gilbert said, hugging her. He held her tightly for a second, then frowned.

Slide 23: 

"What's wrong?" he asked, pulled away a little. Quinn's eyes flittered over his face. She looked worried about something. After a minute or two, Quinn shook her head.

Slide 24: 

"It's nothing," Quinn pulled away further, the worry vanishing from her face. "James was just up most the night. I spent most of the night chasing him down after he worked out how to climb out of his crib." "Are you sure?" "I'm sure. I just didn't get a whole lot of sleep," Quinn paused, then grinned widely. "Now are we going to get this date going or not?"

Slide 25: 

Although that might not have been precisely what was bothering her, Quinn hadn't lied when she said that James had kept her up all night. He'd had his birthday just last night, and he as a little bundle of energy. In mere moments he'd gotten out of his crib and into just about everything else in the house. Despite having almost no sleep last night, James was still as wide awake as ever. At that particular moment he was dancing along happily to the radio inside. And as he danced along anyone who bothered to look would clearly see that James was far more of a blend of his parents than either of his older siblings. That is, they would if they didn't get distracted by his adorable toddler dancing.

Slide 26: 

At that exact moment, while James was dancing, Charlie was just hanging out and Quinn was doing what pleasure sims do best, one other Stanton was sitting down with Bayley, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their day. "Sorry my Mum took the swords away," Bayley said a little sheepishly as they sat out front. "It's okay, Bayley." "She really should have checked what was in the toy box before she gave it me and Cole though," he said with a sigh.

Slide 27: 

"I've told you, it's fine," Gideon said for the twentieth time that morning. Bayley glared at him. "You could have at least argued with me that they were safe.“ "I thought you were doing a good job on your own – and besides. I didn't want to.“ "You are far too kind for someone with just two nice points,“ Bayley grumbled. "What can I say?" Gideon replied with a grin. "I've spent too much time around Charlie. Those ten nice points can be kinda infectious."

Slide 28: 

Bayley shuddered at the thought. Living with someone with ten nice points? That did not sound like fun. "No offence to Charlie or anything – but it must be horrible," he said. "Mum's eight is bad enough."

Slide 29: 

Gideon laughed loudly, leaning back. "You're really not going to like this then. James has 10 nice points as well," he grinned. Bayley gaped at him. He could not imagine it. It set his lone nice point on edge just thinking about living with any one sim that nice – let alone two of them. Then he shook his head.

Slide 30: 

"You worked out where those nice points came from yet?" "Nah," Gideon replied. "Mum's only got one, like you and Alice do. Could be from Dad, I guess, or maybe Gran. I would ask, but we never get to spend any time with them." "That must suck," Bayley couldn't imagine not getting to spend time with his Dad every day. "It-" "BAYLEY!"

Slide 31: 

A pair of voices interrupted their conversation. The two boys looked up to see that Bayley's younger brothers, Edmund and Declan, had somehow opened the front door and were toddling towards them with smiles on their faces. "What do you two want?" Bayley said, trying to sound annoyed with them, but the grin on his face stopped the full impression.

Slide 32: 

"Want store-ree," Declan said, sitting down heavily next to Bayley. "'Bout you and Giddy – Gid – Giddy – Gidyun!" insisted Edmund, sitting between Declan and Gideon and frowning as he tried to pronounce Gideon's name. Bayley and Gideon looked one another straight in the eyes, both contemplating the same thing. "Shall we?" Bayley asked. "Well you were complaining about having nothing to do," Gideon agreed. "Okay then," Bayley looked between his little brothers for a moment, trying to come up with a story. After a second of nothing coming to mind, he looked to Gideon for help. "This is the story of the pirate Captain Gideon Goldenhair," Gideon filled in for him, glancing at Bayley for his contribution. "And how he tried to stop his first mate, Buccaneer Bayley Browntooth from leaving to captain another ship..."

Slide 33: 

Inside, Waylon turned to Kate. "Are you sure we're not going to be interrupted?" he asked, remember the past few time they had tried for some alone time. "I'm sure," Kate replied. "The girls are over at Quinn's for the day, and I sent Eddie and Dec outside. I heard them bullying Bayley and Gideon for a story before I shut the front door."

Slide 34: 

"So..." Waylon trailed off, looking hopeful, yet not quite daring to believe it. "We're the only ones in the house," Kate reassured him. "And if anyone walks in the front door we'd hear it first."

Slide 35: 

"Then I think there's something you and me need to take care of right about now," Waylon grinned, sitting up. "Huh?" Kate looked at him in confusion. "What are you on about, Waylon?"

Slide 36: 

"Why, woohoo of course!" Kate let out a laugh. Why, of course.

Slide 37: 

Back over at the Jacobs', Mel had changed into her swimsuit to stave off the hot summer heat. David had not long joined her, and she had started to deal them each a hand of cards. "The kids have been quiet for a while now," Mel commented absently as she shuffled the deck. "It's nice to have some peace and quiet around here for once." "It is," David agreed. He smiled at her then frowned. "Maybe it's a little too quiet." "No such thing," Mel said as she began to deal the cards. “So long as the kids don’t break anything or kill each other then they can be as quiet as they want." David's eyes widened, and he looked quickly out the windows. With them out in the pool, drowning was a possibility. For one long moment he thought they might have. Then reality caught up with him. If one of them had gotten hurt they’d hear the screaming a mile away. "I suppose you're right," David said after a moment, peaking at the hand he was dealt. "As long as we send Todd and Ivan home alive later on, it doesn't really matter."

Slide 38: 

David was very, very right to stop worrying about the kids. They weren't breaking anything, and they certainly weren't getting themselves killed. No, they had much more important things to do. Like trying not to laugh out loud at Todd's face as he dipped under the water to avoid Ruby's hands during a game of Marco Polo.

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Or laughing outright at the faces Todd pulled as he underestimated how fast he'd go down the slide

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went flying several feet up into the air

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and then sank to the very bottom of the pool

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"Oh man! That's amazing!" - only to decide it was the most fun he'd had in ages and do the same thing again and again.

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But eventually all four children grew bored of the pool. They climbed out, and flopped down on the ground, the sand sticking to their bodies. "I still don't get why none of you'd try the slide," Todd grumbled as they all sat on the sand. "It's more fun than the rest of the pool."

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"Yeah," Gemma drawled. "You think books are fun." "So?" "So you're not a very good judge of fun!"

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"But they are fun," Todd pouted as the other three laughed. Then, when they had finally stopped, he added, "what are we going to do now then?"

Slide 46: 

"I've got an idea," Ruby said, looking slyly to Gemma.

Slide 47: 

"And what a wonderful idea it is," Gemma grinned. "Let's do it!"

Slide 48: 

The two boys looked before the girls, then to one another. Not this idea again. "No! Definitely not!" Todd said. "There's no way we're playing spin the bottle."

Slide 49: 

Ruby and Gemma both leaned back on one hand. They looked at one another with identical expressions on their faces, expressions that neither of the boys could read. "And just why not?" they asked as one. "Two reasons really," Todd said, shivering a little from the way the girls seemed to read one another's mind. "One, we're ten years old," Ivan said, stressing their ages. "At least wait until we're teens to play." "And two," Todd continued, "we don't have a bottle and I doubt your mum or dad would give us one if they knew what we were using it for." "Romance sim mother," Ruby pointed out blandly. "And her ten year old daughters. Our point stands."

Slide 50: 

Ruby sighed. She looked between Todd, Ivan and then Gemma. "So what are we going to do then?"

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Well there was only one thing for them to do: get back in the pool.

Slide 52: 

By the time late afternoon had come, it had gotten much cooler. Mel and David's game of poker had ended long ago, and Mel had finally changed back into her every day clothes. She checked on the kids for a moment out of the window – they were all alive and well and having fun – before she climbed the stairs to go find her husband. She found him on the computer. "What are you doing?" she asked as she climbed up the stairs. David hardly spared her a glance as he answered. "Entering a competition online," he muttered, typing furiously on the keyboard.

Slide 53: 

Mel moved to stand behind David, an eyebrow raised sceptically. "That has got to be a scam, like those flashing ads telling you you're the one millionth visitor to the site." "Usually websites claim you're the nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety ninth visitor," David corrected her with a grin. "Whatever," Mel rolled her eyes. "What's the prize?" "First prize is a million simoleons," David said as he tapped in the answer to the second to last question. "Second prize is one hundred thousand simoleons and a holiday home up in Three Lakes. Third is a holiday home on Twikkii Island." "And miraculously they'll all be won by the same person." "I'm pretty sure this is for real," David looked over his shoulder as he finished the final question and hit send. "It's being run by that crazy old man in Pleasantview – what's his name? Emo or something, isn’t it? He's done some things like this before."

Slide 54: 

"If you say so." "I do," David replied, pushing his chair back. "And even if it's fake I only had to put a contact number, so it's cost us nothing even if I come last. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go tell Todd and Ivan that it's time for them to go home."

Slide 55: 

David headed downstairs and out into the back yard. The kids had grown bored of the pool again after a couple more hours in it, and had sat down in the sandy ground once again. "Todd, Ivan," David said as he got closer to them quartet. "It's getting late. Your parents will have my head if I don't send you home now." "Aww, that's sucks," Ivan whined as Todd leapt up and said goodbye. "That sucks like the Titanic." "The Titanic didn't suck, doofus," Todd said over his shoulder after shaking David's hand. Ivan got up off the ground, brushing the sand off of his backside. "Then why'd it sink?" asked Ivan as he got up. He grinned. "See you two later. You'll have to come over ours sometime."

Slide 56: 

"Buccaneer Bayley Browntooth lunged at Captain Gideon –" "But Captain Gideon dodged. 'You won't get me that easily!' Captain Gideon laughed. 'I taught you everything you know!'" "That's a lie, Ian! Captain Gideon learnt everything from Bayley Browntooth!" "He did not!" "He did s-"

Slide 57: 

"What are you two arguing about?" Cole asked as she and Alice walked onto the lot. The sun had not long set, and Quinn had sent the two girls home before their parents worried, with strict instructions to send Gideon home. Bayley and Gideon shared a look, and grinned. They had several arguments during the story they'd told Declan and Edmund, and this one, like all the others, was forgotten in an instant. "Nothing," they chimed in unison. "Course not," Alice snorted. "Gideon, your mum wants you home, stat."

Slide 58: 

“We all playing together tomorrow?” Gideon asked as he "We should be," Bayley said as Gideon hugged him goodbye. He grinned, then added teasingly, "It's not like we have anything better to do during the summer, is it?“ Gideon laughed, "I guess not. Bye guys!"

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And with that Gideon walked off towards home. The elder three of the five siblings out there looked at one another as he walked off. "So..." Bayley said. "You didn't come up with any plots against me today, did you?" Alice and Cole looked at one another. They grinned, and pounced on Bayley, tickling him until he begged for mercy.

Slide 60: 

"Peek-a-boo!" Kaylynn said, moving her hands away from her face. "I see you!" Amelia laughed and clapped her hands joyfully. "Again! Again!" she demanded. Kaylynn happily obliged. "Where's Amelia gone?" she asked, putting on a silly voice as she covered her eyes. Then she grinned and moved her hands away. "There she is! Where'd you go?" "I no go nowhere!" Amelia laughed. "Mummy silly!" "And don't you forget it!"

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"We won't!" Kaylynn looked up from the floor as both Todd and Ivan walked inside. She frowned. "I thought I told you two this morning to be back by dark," she said, feeling vaguely amused at their squirming now they'd realised they were late. "Um, we kinda lost track of time," Ivan said, looked into Todd. "Yeah – swimming pools are really fun," Todd carried on, getting a gleam in his dark eyes that Kaylynn knew only too well. "Can we get one?"

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"No," Kaylynn said, standing and scooping Amelia into her arms. "We can't get a pool. Now you two go get cleaned up. I'm going to start dinner just as soon as I put your little sister to bed." She heard the boys grumble as she turned towards Amelia's room. Once she was through the door, the boys looked to one another. "What are the chances it'll be spaghetti again?" Todd asked under his breath. "It will be – you know Mum can't cook much else," Todd sighed. "Just hope we didn't inherit her cooking skills." Todd looked at Ivan with a raised brow. "You might have," he said. "I haven't. Part alien, remember? No genetic relationship to Mum whatsoever." Ivan said nothing at that.

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True to the boys' predictions, Kaylynn made them spaghetti for dinner that night, and served it just as Ross walked in the door from work. As they began to eat, Kaylynn winced, and had to look away when she saw Todd eating. "Do you have to eat like that, Todd?" she asked."It's disgusting."

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Todd looked up from his plate as his father giggled. "Wha'?" Todd asked around the hand in his mouth. "Yew say sumfin'?" "Just keep eating, son," Ross said, taking a bite of the pasta. "You're mother's just being a neat freak again."

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And without any further comment, Ross bent down and began shovelling food into his mouth right alongside Todd. Ivan looked at them in disgust, and tried rather unsuccessfully to bat the food that his father and brother had sent flying through the air away from his plate with his fork. After a minute or two of this, he looked up at Kaylynn. "Mum, can I start sitting next to you at dinner?" he asked, his eyes hopeful. "Of course, honey," Kaylynn said. "Now why don't you tell me about your day."

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It would be more than fair to say that not much happened in Quaver Kanyon over the next few days. Life was very much business as usual. Mean children teased their younger siblings – and occasionally their older ones too.

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But the younger siblings managed to get their own back by stealing their big brothers' and sisters' toys.

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Dates were had – and became dream dates in no time at all.

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Certain married couples were unable to sit next to each other for any length of time

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without ending up making out, much to their children's embarrassment.

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And the kids? Well they enjoyed the summer while it lasted. All too soon autumn would come and they would be headed back to school.

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But perhaps the most important things to happen of all were the birthdays. The toddlers were growing up. First Amelia grew up, and grew into quite the intelligent young lady. "No, Ivan. I don't think we could launch a hedgehog into space using a slingshot in our back yard," she told her brother after all the guests for her birthday party had gone home. "Why not?“ "Dad would have a fit. And besides – where would we even find a hedgehog in the desert?"

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Amelia's birthday had started off what could only be described as birthday season for the youngest of generation two. The very next day, it was time for Edmund and Declan Brown to grow up. They did so, and proved that neither one of them looked like their siblings.

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And nor were they quite as willing to stick to their parents rules – like no jumping on the bed. "Told you this would be fun, Eddie!" Declan said as he bounced almost high enough to touch the ceiling. "You were right," Edmund replied, bouncing hard and almost losing his hat in the process. "Hey – wanna go eat cookies until we puke?” “You’re on!”

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Thankfully out of this batch of children they were the only troublemakers. Others were far too nice for their own good. "Hi, Ruby!" Henry grinned broadly and waved. "How are you this morning?" "Get out of my way, squirt!" Ruby grumbled. "You're blocking the way to the pool." "But," Henry lost his smile momentarily, but it was soon back in full force. "Don't we have a party to go to today? That's what Daddy said."

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And they did indeed have a party to go to. Everyone did, and what's more, it was a double birthday for both the youngest and the eldest members of generation two.

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Charlie grinned as she looked around at every single one of the party guests. She'd been waiting for this day for years, almost unable to bare the anticipation. It was time to become a teenagers, and she honestly could not wait. "Come on, Charlie! Blow those candles out already – we want cake!" Ivan called from behind her.

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Charlie laughed loudly and stepped up to the cake. She grinned at the boy in front of her. "Hi, I'm Charlie!" she said, ignoring Todd's yells for her to blow out the candles. "Who are you?" "Me?" the boy blinked in shock. "Oh, erm – Henry." "Nice to meetcha, Henry," Charlie grinned broadly. "I-" "Charlie! Stop teasing everyone and blow the candles out already!"

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"I'll talk to you later then," she said with a shake of her head. Charlie bent over the table and inhaled sharply. She took in the scent of birthday candles, a smell that always smelt so different from other candles. Maybe it was because they were in a cake. But whatever it was, she intended to enjoy it. She held her breath for a moment, listening hard to all the cheer and noise makers and horns. It was good to have a birthday. And then when everyone was getting even more impatient for cake, Charlie blew all of the candles out in one breath.

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Charlie stepped down and away from the cake. The world around her seemed to go quiet, and all she could focus on was the blood pulsing in her ears, the sound of her breathing, the thudding of her heart in her chest and the strange tugging sensation behind her naval. For a moment her vision blurred. She couldn't hear the cheers anymore, and she couldn't see the rainbow sparkles that appeared, staring at her knees. They spread quickly, completely enveloping her and then –

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"That," Charlie said breathlessly as she examined her now longer limbs and very different physique, "was intense."

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Charlie left everyone to claim their slice of cake and headed inside. She changed out of the cowboy shirt and jeans and into something she felt was a little more her. She pulled her hair out of the pigtails it had been in ever since her last birthday and tied it up loosely. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do. She stepped outside with a smile on her lips. As she'd been changing she'd thought over her aspiration, but there was only one possible choice. She was a knowledge sim, and she wanted nothing more than to prove her intellect by outsmarting the law and running the criminal underground of Quaver Kanyon. With that decided, Charlie looked around. Her cake had already been completely devoured, though that was hardly a surprise with the number of people at the party. They turned to look at her as she walked towards them. "So are we going to grow my little brother up or not?" she asked.

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And they certainly were going to grow up James. Quinn carried him over to the cake and help him blow out the candles. And then James was grown. "Shorts and a woolly jumper?" Alice asked when she saw what James' transitioned into. James just smiled sheepishly as he headed inside and changed.

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As James vanished inside, the party really got started. The adults began to dance – or, in Quinn and Gilbert's case, make out. Alice grilled Charlie for details on what it was like to be a teen – she was the next to grow up, after all, and she wanted to be fully prepared. Ruby, Gemma, Todd and Ivan began a water balloon fight not too far from where the adults were dancing – narrowly avoiding hitting them more than a few times. Declan and Edmund played football , throwing the ball as hard as they could to one another, while Gideon and Bayley had a pillow fight and Cole watched in a little jealously.

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And Amelia and Henry? They watched the chaos of the party nervously, not entirely sure what to make of it all. "Do you – know everyone here?" Henry asked after a minute or two. Amelia shook her head, "no, only my parents and brothers. My brothers are the ones having the water balloon fight. What about you?" "Nope," Henry sighed. "Only my parents and my sisters – they're the other ones having the water balloon fight. And – I guess Charlie as well." "At least I'm not the only one."

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While Amelia and Henry were talking, James had finish changing his clothes and sorting out his hair. He left the house, grinning broadly. He was already convinced that being a kid was so much better than being a toddler. James looked around at everyone at the party, before walking up to the two children in front of him. "Hi," he said, grinning a little. "What are you two doing?" Amelia and Henry shared a look, then shrugged. "Not a lot," Henry said after a minute or two. "Just talking.

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"Then I know what we can do," James said. "What's that?" James grinned broadly. He reached forwards, and tapped Henry on the shoulder. "Tag! You're it!" he said before running off laughing. Amelia and Henry looked at one another in shock for a second, then it gradually dawned on them what James had started. Grinning, Amelia took off quickly in the other direction, through the crowd of party guests, while Henry tried to work out who it would be better to chase.

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After Charlie and James' joint birthday, there wasn't a whole lot of summer left before the kids would be back at school. The day after the party Alice grew up, though she elected not to have a party to celebrate it. After all, with all the birthdays that had been going on recently, everybody was sick to death of cake. Alice grew up into a gorgeous family sim. The moment she grew up she thought back to the tales she'd heard – horror stories really – of the public schools in Quaver Kanyon, and knew instantly that she needed to fix them. So in a moment she decided that what she really wanted out of life was to become Education Minister.

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And speaking of education, the Browns also had another visit from one of the private school headmasters, this time to get Declan and Edmund into private school. Luckily it went off without a hitch.

Slide 90: 

While they might not have had much time left in summer, and while there might only be two of them for minute, generation two's teenagers worked quickly. Alice in particular managed to snag herself a boyfriend – a three bolter from a foreign land, no less – in less than a day. Although, she did have a little help from the matchmaker.

Slide 91: 

The three bolt chemistry showed through though, for in the middle of her first date with Connor Dawn ad old friend popped by and.... Well, the picture's rather self-explanatory, don't you think? Despite Alice suddenly getting a lot of body hair, Connor stuck around.

Slide 92: 

And while Charlie wasn't interested so much in romance, one trip downtown had lead Charlie to run into the most extraordinary characters. "So... you're a vampire?" Charlie said to the man in front of her. He nodded. "And you're an evil witch?" Christa, the witch, frowned, "That's atrociously evil, girl. And don't you forget." "That is so..." Charlie glanced between the witch and the vampire, and began to grin. "That is the coolest thing ever! Will you turn me into a vampire? Or make me into a witch? Or – better yet! Both! Pleease?" "Why do we have to befriend this one again?" Christa asked as Charlie asked dozens of questions about witchcraft and vampirism, not noticing that either of the other two were really listening. "Oh hush," said Count Dongsool, the vampire. "It's not every day we find someone so interested in vampires." "Hmph! Clearly you haven't been hanging around knowledge sims."

Slide 93: 

And then finally the last day of summer came. David watched as Quinn stared out over the roller rink at the kids, her expression unreadable. For a moment he glanced out too. He smiled as Gemma tried to skate around the rink as fast as possible. She might have gone pretty quick too if she hadn't kept running into the other kids there. Ruby was taking a very different approach. She was skating slowly around the rink, a far off look in her eye. Over the other side of the rink, he could see Charlie skating slowly – not because she was lost in thought, but because she'd kept falling over. And somewhere out of his line of sight Gideon was skating around carefully to avoid falling over as well.

Slide 94: 

"So what did you want to talk about?" he asked after a few moments. Quinn's attention snapped back to him when he spoke, but possibly too quickly David saw her gaze over his shoulder and looked more than a little sadly at James and Henry playing darts. He waited, letting her just stare for a minute or two before he spoke again. "Well? Quinn? Why did you want to meet up?"

Slide 95: 

"What, I need a reason to meet up with one of my oldest and dearest friends?" Quinn asked jovially. She grinned at him, and most people would have been fooled by that. David was not one of those people though. He knew her too well, and he'd known her too long to not pick up on her tells – the way her left hand shook ever so slightly, or the way her nostrils flared just a tiny bit. There was a very good reason the two of them never played poker against one another, after all. "Quinn," David said, slightly harsher than he intended.

Slide 96: 

Quinn let out a sigh. Her hand stopped twitching and her nostrils stopped flaring. Her shoulders drooped and she looked away. "Quinn?" For a moment David didn't think she was going to say anything at all. He waited a short while, then, just as he opened his mouth to prompt her again, Quinn spoke again in a small voice that David almost didn't hear. "You're lucky, you know?"

Slide 97: 

"Come again?"

Slide 98: 

"You're lucky! You, Kate and Ross are all lucky! Or... I don't know, maybe lucky's not the right word for it, but you're all better at this than I am!" "What are you-"

Slide 99: 

"Let me finish, would you?! Ever since we got here to Quaver Kanyon the three of you have proved you're nothing but better than me at this legacy lark when it was my idea to begin with! I dragged the three of you out here into the middle of nowhere because of something I read on the internet, and then the three of you go and do everything about a hundred times better than I ever could, or have!" "What are you talking about, Quinn? You've done everything just as well as the rest of us."

Slide 100: 

"I haven't though. The three of you have all falling in love, gotten married, had kids and become successful. And what have I done?" "Fallen in love – with someone you have three bolts for, don't forget – and had three kids. You've skipped a few of the steps the rest of us took, but that doesn't matter."

Slide 101: 

Quinn glowered at him as she took a sip of coffee. "I'm a single mother of three – three unplanned children whose father I can't marry, who's living off the money she gets from selling the gifts she gets from dates, who has never had a job and spends her days doing nothing at all."

Slide 102: 

"Well when you put it like that, it doesn't sound too amazing." "Thanks. Thanks a lot." "I'm sorry, okay, Quinn? But there's not exactly a lot I can do about it." "I know." David watched as Quinn slumped down into her seat. Clearly this wasn't all that was bugging Quinn though. He took a sip of his coffee and waited for her to carry on.

Slide 103: 

"It's just been on my mind a lot lately, you know? How I haven't done a lot as founder. It's just," David watched as Quinn took a deep breath. "Remember back when I was pregnant, think it was either with Charlie or Gideon, I asked you not to tell Kate or Ross? Well could you not tell them this? They'll either gloat, or they'll be all nice and supportive, and I don't know which is worse, you know?" David grimaced, he did indeed know. "All right," David promised. "I won't tell them. So what's bugging you?"

Slide 104: 

"With all the birthdays the past few weeks, we've all been in and out of each other's houses pretty much daily," Quinn said after taking a long drink of coffee. "It's really hit me the past few birthdays though. You're rich, and Ross and Kate are getting to be pretty well off too. And muggins here? I had to sell the bathtub to buy Charlie and James' birthday cakes the other day."

Slide 105: 

"So you've hit hard times, so what? We grew up with worse! Just look at me, I shared a bedroom with two older brothers, three older sisters, never got new clothes once back in Belladonna. All of our parents were dirt poor, but we had plenty of fun." "None of our parents had to sell off the bathtub to buy birthday cakes though," Quinn muttered quietly, but David just about heard it. "No, but they did have to sell the fridge more than once to pay the rent. I'd say that was a much more severe move," David admitted, shrugging. "Is this everything you want to talk about? Because really, you're doing fine."

Slide 106: 

"No, I – I need your advice." David sat up more when he heard that. Quinn almost never asked for advice. She'd only done it the once that he could remember, and that had been such a disaster that she hadn't bothered again since. "What is it?" "I've started to think that maybe I should grow up, you know? Actually get a job and everything. I've got an idea of what I should do already, but I want to know what you think. Just to be sure I'm just doing some spur-of-the-moment pleasure sim thing."

Slide 107: 

"You'd never do-" "David, we're thousands of miles from Bellabonna based on a spur-of-the-moment pleasure sim thing. I think I'm more than a little prone to them." "Fine, I-" Ring ring. Ring ring.

Slide 108: 

"Sorry, I've got to take this," David said, standing up and pulling his phone out of his pocket. "But just go with your gut. It hasn't led to wrong so far."

Slide 109: 

Quinn let out a quiet sigh. "I was afraid you'd say that," she muttered. This time David didn't hear. He was took engrossed in his phone call.

Slide 110: 

"Hello? Yes, this is he."

Slide 111: 

"Oh my plumbbob – excuse my language – are you sure? Yes, of course! You'll be sending out the details? I should get them in the post tomorrow? Okay! Thank you! That's wonderful! Thank you ever so much!"

Slide 112: 

"What was that all about?" Quinn asked as David hung up the phone. David grinned. "I've just won a holiday home in Twikkii Island!" he said happily, hardly able to contain his giddy joy. "And Mel said it wouldn't happen!"

Slide 113: 

"That's great," Quinn said without enthusiasm, but David was too excited to notice. "I know! Look, I'm sorry to cut this short, but I've got to get home to tell Melissa the good news. I'll talk to you again tomorrow?" "Yeah, sure, I'll talk to you then."

Slide 114: 

After David had left with his kids, Quinn looked over the roller rink at her own kids. James had decided to join Charlie and Gideon now that Henry had gone home. Charlie was falling over – had done many times, and Gideon was watching her carefully to make sure she wasn't hurt. She wasn't. Each time she landed laughing. Quinn sighed as she watched the three of them play. Although if she asked them if they were happy with what they had they would say yes, Quinn knew otherwise. Just the other day James had asked her why they didn't have a TV like the other kids. They wanted more out of life. And if they didn't want more out of life, she wanted more for them. She didn't really have much of a choice, now she thought about it. She would have to do it tonight.

Slide 115: 

David pushed open stepped in the front door with the kids. Immediately Ruby and Gemma rushed off upstairs to go play. Henry grinned up at David. "I'm going to go paint in my room, Dad," he said, walking off after the twins at a more sedate pace. David nodded. He waited a moment until he heard the bedroom doors close upstairs before setting off to find Melissa to tell her the good news. After all, who knew how a romance sim might want to celebrate it. Thinking she was probably in the living room, David headed there first.

Slide 116: 

He pushed open the living room door. “Mel?” he called out, but he got no reply. The room was empty.

Slide 117: 

David shook his head and headed into the kitchen, but Mel wasn’t there either.

Slide 118: 

Quickly David walked through the kitchen, through the door on the other side. She wasn’t there either.

Slide 119: 

He could feel dread rising in his chest, but he shoved it away as he walked through the other rooms on the ground floor, searching for Mel. She was probably just playing cards.

Slide 120: 

Or maybe not. Maybe in the... No, she wasn’t in the pool. He could see that much from there.

Slide 121: 

David hurried back to the hallway. “Mel? You here?” he called out. “I’ve got some great news! You remember that contest?” David paused a moment, listening for an answer. There was none.

Slide 122: 

He swallowed hard and climbed up the stairs. Up here he could hear the sounds of all three of the children as they played. For a split second David glanced over at the desk, but as he was starting to expect, Mel wasn’t there.

Slide 123: 

Well that was no problem. She was probably taking a nap. David pushed open the bedroom door and looked inside at the bed.

Slide 124: 

It was empty.

Slide 125: 

David heaved a sigh. It looked like Mel had gone out the shops or something. He’d just have to tell her when she got back.

Slide 126: 

David span on his heel to head towards the door then –

Slide 127: 

David froze mid turn, his eyes falling on the desk. There was a sheet of paper there, with writing on it.

Slide 128: 

David’s heart was pounding in his chest and he felt a bundle of nerves rising up from his stomach. Perhaps more cautiously than he needed, he approached the desk. He bent down and picked it up, his eyes scanning the page.

Slide 129: 

David went limp. The piece of paper fluttered down from his hand to the floor. For a moment David just stood there, swaying slightly, before falling backwards, all the time the first line running through his mind. ‘David, I’m so sorry to do this to you...’

Slide 130: 

That night, unaware of what was going on with David, Quinn and Gilbert sat down in the Crypt O' Night Club. "Hey, this is a nice place. I can't believe we've never come here before. You'd think it would've crossed our minds, the number of dates we go on," Gil said, looking around before looking at Quinn with a smile. "So what did you want to talk about, Quinn?"

Slide 131: 

Quinn stared down at the menu – it was exactly the same as any other menu downtown, but it was something to hide behind, at least. Gilbert grinned at her, ducking down a little and trying to catch her eye. "Well? Are you going to tell me or not? What's this all about?" "I – I can't do this anymore," she said at last.

Slide 132: 

"Oh... wait, what? What do you mean?" "I mean what I said!" she snapped, feeling irrationally angry – she was the one doing the breaking up, she shouldn't be feeling angry, she thought dimly. "I can't keep this relationship going any more, it'll drive me insane!"

Slide 133: 

"What?" Gil asked. He was still not grasping what Quinn was saying to him. "I – I love you, Gil. You know that, right? I want nothing more than to marry you – it's been locked in my want panel since one of our first dates, and I know you've had the same want locked for me since you met Charlie for the first time."

Slide 134: 

"Then what's the problem?" Gil reached out and touched her fingers. "We can get married – it's not like it's weird! People do it all the time!" "But I can't marry you!"

Slide 135: 

Quinn wrenched her fingers away from his. She pushed her chair back and stood. She turned and paused. "I can't marry you," she said sadly. "We've been over it, and right now I need more commitment out of this – so do the kids! They... It's over, Gil."

Slide 136: 

Quinn walked briskly outside. Gilbert sat at the table for a moment longer in shock before he snapped out of it. He got up and ran after Quinn. Just outside the club he caught up with her. "Quinn," he said softly. She stopped. "Go away, Gil," Quinn said her voice hitching."I broke up with you, now, please, leave me alone."

Slide 137: 

Gil didn't listen. He reached out and grabbed Quinn by the arm. Pulling her around to face him, he placed his hands gently on her waist. "Please don't do this," he pleaded. "We've good together, you and me. If you need more from me then I'll give it – gladly. But please – don't do this."

Slide 138: 

Acting impulsively, Gilbert pressed his lips to hers and kissed her deeply. For a moment Quinn froze. Then she melted into the kiss.

Slide 139: 

"Gil, I – that was –" Quinn said as they broke apart a while later.

Slide 140: 

"Oh my plumbbob!" she gasped, pushing Gilbert away. "No! Just no, Gil!" "Quinn, please-"

Slide 141: 

"No, Gil! I can't do this! We can't do this! Please, just stop."

Slide 142: 

Gilbert looked at her. This was serious. Normally Gil didn't like to fight for anything – if it really mattered then it would come back to him, right? He was perfectly content to just let things go, leave them be. But not this. Any other girl and Gil would have left it, but not Quinn. He stepped forwards, closing the gap that Quinn had left when she'd leapt back. He reached up, to caress her cheek.

Slide 143: 

"No, Gil, stop," Quinn's hand stopped Gil's before it could get anywhere close to her. "I'm serious. We can't do this anymore. I'm sorry."

Slide 144: 

Quinn turned on her heel and walked away. Gilbert watched her go, watched as she paused at the edge of the lot and looked over her shoulder. "I'm really sorry about this, Gil, but I do need to find someone legacy legal, you know. For the kids' sake.“ And with that she vanished off the edge of the lot.

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