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Looking Back, Looking Forward
Previously: • Dorfl and Sim!Widget started working on male/male pregnancy • Ella and Erzulie became children • Baby number ten, Eulalie, was born • And Errol and Evadne joined Edward in the Greek house.
Ever since Amber died Casanunda had being feeling out of sorts and couldn’t help dwelling on his own death. He tried to distract himself by keeping busy, he was working on a couple of paintings that he hoped would be displayed in the hall after they were complete, and there was always plenty to do with his grandkids.
He often helped Ella and Erzulie with their homework, remembering when it had been their father struggling with his studies.
And he often spent time in the nursery with Roxy and baby Eulalie.
Little Eulalie was flourishing under all the care and attention lavished upon her by her family.
In fact, she received rather more attention than any of her siblings had at that age; Roxy was determined to enjoy Eulalie’s infant days as much as possible while she could.
The other children were doing well too. Ella and Erzulie had discovered a shared love of music, although Erzulie preferred to dance while Ella played. Even Eric enjoyed watching the twins perform.
When it wasn’t Roxy looking after Eulalie it was often Eskarina. She enjoyed taking care of her little sister, and saw it as good practise for when she had children of her own.
Not that babies were everything Eskarina was interested in. She often (as often as her parents would allow anyway) went downtown with her cousin, and best friend, Penny. They loved karaoke and, fortunately for everyone else present, were actually pretty good at it, they would both be receiving scholarships for their creativity.
Their trips also served as a time to chat without being interrupted by siblings wanting attention or parents bugging them about their studies.
Eric, on the other hand, mostly ignored his family to concentrate on the girls he brought home from school everyday.
He was quite charming when he wanted to be, and it was a rare girl who could resist him when he turned on that charm.
Eskarina didn’t approve, as far as she was concerned Eric was tricking girls into thinking he was going to be their boyfriend. Eric just laughed at this: he said that the girls who wanted a boyfriend weren’t the ones who came home with him.
Seeing Eric had brought yet another girl home from school Cas decided it was time he had a word with the boy.
“I’ve been watching you, kid. You’ve got a different girl hanging off you every day of the week.” Eric opened his mouth to protest.
“I’m not disapproving, you’re like I was. Your dad doesn’t like me talking about my university years, can’t say I blame him neither.” Cas chuckled, “That was some time, between me and Cassie half the uni population passed through that house.” Cas was silent for a moment, lost in his memories, then he shook his head.
“Anyway, I’ve got some advice for you if that’s the way you want to go.” “Yes, granddad?”
“Be honest with your girls, Eric. Don’t ever let a girl think she means more to you than she does. That way lies pain, both for her and for you.” Cas rubbed his chin reflectively, “and don’t close your mind to the idea of settling down either.”
“But I don’t– ” “Yeah, yeah, I didn’t either until I did. I’m not saying you will, just don’t ever rule it completely out.” Cas lapsed into silence.
“Are you ok, granddad?” “I’m old, kid, and tired, and I miss your grandma. Now run along, you’ve left your girl-of-the-day unattended for long enough.”
While his children were growing up and beginning to find their way in the world Dorfl was working on ensuring the birth of the next generation. After a few months of failing to make any head-way with his previous research he and Eleanor decided to start from scratch. Well, almost from scratch: the growing population of alien abduction victims served as a useful jumping off point.
Of course there are limits when your test subjects are other sims and when you’re dealing with a completely alien technology, but the blood tests and scans provided useful clues.
Even so the vast majority of attempts lend to failure, but every so often there was a positive result, and slowly, ever so slowly, things became clearer.
By the end of Edward’s second year Dorfl was working harder than ever, but the focus had changed. They knew now how the process would work, it was now just a matter of getting the details right. Of course there were many details, and many, many ways of getting them wrong.
Dorfl was staying later and later at the lab, so he wasn’t surprised one night to find Roxy already asleep when he returned.
He tried not to wake her as he made his way to the bed, but she stirred and turned on a light.
“Sorry, love, I didn’t mean to wake you.” “Is it still not working?”
Dorfl shook his head and sank down onto the bed, “We’re so close, I’m sure of it.” “You’ll get there, I know you will. Have you spoken to Edward yet?”
“No” Dorfl sighed, “I just don’t want to offer him the heirship only to take it away again if I fail.” “If it comes to that he’ll understand, but it won’t. But, love, what if he doesn’t want it? Wouldn’t you rather know now?” I never really considered him saying no.”
“Talk to him. Explain what you’re doing, that way if the worst should happen he’ll be prepared.” Then Roxy smiled, “and if he does say no you can relax, and stop staying in that lab so late.” Dorfl smiled back at her, “You’re quite right, love. I’ll talk to him at the next birthday party.”
Cas stepped back and looked at the portraits, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d finished them just in time. He remembered one of the last conversations he’d had with Amber, how sure she’d been that she didn’t have much time left. He hadn’t understood at the time, now he did.
Ever since Amber died he’d been resisting his romance nature. It hadn’t felt right to go back to his old ways so soon after her death. But now he could feel the last hours of his life slipping away he wanted, no, needed somebody to be close to. He still had the numbers he’d gathered as a young man; running his eyes down the list he smiled when he got to her name and rang the number.
She was happy to visit, they’d had fun together all those years ago and the age in his voice didn’t faze her one bit.
She was like he’d been: when she was with someone they were her whole world, but there was never any promise of a tomorrow.
She moved easily from man to man with little thought for any once she’d left them.
It was what he needed. Anything more than that would have felt wrong, like he was trying to replace Amber.
They said goodbye before Eskarina and Eric got home from school.
“See you again some time.” She said lightly as she went. “No, I don’t think so.” muttered Cas, too softly for her to hear.
Once she’d left Cas was alone with his thoughts again; he checked on Eulalie and then went and stood by Amber’s grave. “What would you think of me, Amber? Here I am moping around, sleeping with university students and generally being a miserable old git, you were always so much better than me.”
He came to a decision: yes he was almost certainly going to die this evening, but he wasn’t going to go with a whimper and he didn’t want to go without one last party.
“What did you do to your hair?” “Ran out of gel.”
“I preferred the spikes.”
“I’ll bear that in mind.”
Cas was glad he’d come to his senses in time to see his children and grandchildren again one last time.
He made sure to have a word
Or share a hug with each and every one of them.
He gave a special hug to Amber, Dibbler’s second daughter (not that she understood why, or appreciated it). She looked so much like his late wife but already reminded him of himself, he made a note to find Dibbler and warn him about that.
It happened when the family were in the middle of their meal, listening to Enrico talk about his day at school.
Eskarina was the first one to notice that something was wrong.
But soon everyone felt the room grow cold. when they saw Cas standing completely still, his eyes gazing into another world, they knew why.
“CASANUNDA DISCWORLD, IT IS YOUR TIME.” Casanunda was unsure “What about Amber? Will I see her again? Is she mad at me?”
“SHE IS WAITING FOR YOU. SHE SEEMED MORE AMUSED THAN MAD.” Death, well, he didn’t grin, but he did sound like he’d grinned. He offered Cas a drink and gestured towards a destination only he could see.
Cas smiled, while he was sorry to leave his family behind he knew it was his time to go, and the thought of seeing Amber again filled his mind as he faded into the afterlife.
Rest in Peace Casanunda Discworld. My favourite heir so far, I loved you from the moment you rolled romance as your aspiration and I loved you even more when I saw your life time want. You were a true romance sim through university, but you were also an awesome father and devoted husband. You may have seen other women while you were married to Amber but it was to her your heart belonged. You gave me six fantastic children and twenty-seven grandchildren. You were also the first of my sims I started to think beyond personality points with, while I didn’t have any proper plot it was you that started my move away from purely observational legacy writing. I’m going to miss you.
While everyone was mourning Cas, it was still Errol and Eulalie’s birthday. They knew Cas wouldn’t have wanted them to make it a sad occasion, he had thrown the party after all. So cakes were brought out and party horns blown.
And everyone turned their attention to the birthday boy and girl.
Errol went first. He became a teen with a thirst for knowledge; he didn’t particularly care to specialise, he just wanted to study everything.
While Enrico rushed off to change it was Eulalie’s turn.
Eulalie grew into a bouncy toddler. She immediately treated her audience to a huge grin and reached out for a hug from Dorfl. He could already tell she was going to be a handful.
Near the end of the party, after he’d had a chance to talk to Enrico again and hug his littlest sister, Dorfl pulled Edward aside to offer him the heirship. “I’ve been thinking about the family legacy, Edward. It’s about time I chose an heir and I’d like you to do it.”
“Dad, you haven’t forgotten I’m gay, have you?” “Of course not. I’ve been working on something that, I hope, will allow you and Dorian to have children together.”
“Oh!” “It’s not finished yet, and I don’t know all the details. I know it probably won’t be the easiest or pleasantest experience. I know you’ll have to have the foetus implanted in your abdomen, that you’ll have to take drugs throughout the pregnancy, that you’ll have to be closely monitored and that the baby will have to come out by caesarean section.”
“That’s pretty major stuff, dad.”
“I know, that’s why I’m talking to you now. I need to know if you want to be my heir, given all that, or whether you’d rather not go through all that. What do you think?”
“This is pretty big, dad. I’ll have to think about it, and I’ll have to talk to Dorian.” “Of course, just let me know when you’ve decided.”
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