Stylist: "Long day at the salon, man. Don't even know why I do it anymore, really - I hate people. Every day I look forward to my little 'me time,' just me and Jack Daniels. Know what I mean?"
Gator side-glances at her, wondering if she's talking to him. She shoots a smirk at him as she mixes her drink and quips, "Well, now, you're a handsome fella. Don't see your kind at the bar everyday. You here to get away from something...or to find something?"
The truth is, he's not here for either reason. He's just here to knock back a drink out of frustration and anger. He's only had a drink a couple of times for festive occasions - it's never been a habit of his - but today he just feels he needs one.
He'd spoken to his mother again this morning. This time he decided to be open. He and Amaranth love each other and they have for a long time. He knows her. He knows she doesn't deserve to be judged only by her last name. She's been mistreated and hurt so many times and yet she gets no sympathy because of her last name. She's been an amazing girlfriend and treated him so well. "You told me once when I was little that my future spouse should be loyal, and honest, and strong, and caring. Amaranth is all of those things, mom," Gator had said.
Taking another gulp of his whiskey concoction, Gator remembers the look on his mother's face, how horror-stricken she appeared after he'd revealed their relationship status. In fact, he'd been afraid at that moment that the next words to come out of her mouth would be "Pack your bags and get out now." Instead she'd started to cry, calling him a fool and a traitor. Whimpers turned to sobs as she expressed how she couldn't believe he'd let himself be deceived, how she feared what Amaranth might use him for, how her elderhood birthday was tomorrow and she would be alone. "She's an Overlord, Gator! Her whole family was started on evil and it will end in evil! Gator, if you marry her, she's got you for good. She's not going to let you go. She won't let you see me ever again." Gator had tried to console her, but she was clearly beside herself. He hadn't pushed it any further.
Stylist: "Hey, boy. Thought I lost you there for a second. You okay? I know of ways to make you feel better..."
Gator: "....I'm fine."
Stylist: "You sure? You look like you could use some loving..."
Gator: "I'm plenty loved. It's trying to get those that love me to love each other that's the problem..."
Having two toddlers in the house is a crazy adventure, much crazier than having just one. Crazier still are their very different personalities. Tobie is far and away a very easy child. He is content to play with any simple toy he finds, is fine being by himself, and doesn't need to be looked after every minute. Severin, on the other hand, has so much hyperactive energy that he practically needs to be tazered to get him to sleep at night. He doesn't cry very much, but he makes up for it by stealing Tobie's toys and making him cry.
Severin is also a very bright child, learning to talk with a much larger vocabulary than Amaranth has ever seen a toddler possess. With the vocabulary comes snark and sarcasm that Amaranth has never, ever seen in a toddler. It almost frightens her.
Soren tries to help out as much as he can....though actually, since he shares a bedroom with the toddlers, he doesn't have much of a choice.
Severin: "Welcome. Now feed me."
Yet as grumpy as his day starts, Soren can't help but like the little suckers. They're adorable and fun to take care of, even little juvenile prankster Severin.
Tobie: "Baba! Baba!"
Soren: "Here you go, little guy. Don't choke on it!"
Soren: "Severin, I know what you're doing."
Soren: "You're trying to poop your pants before you even get to the chair just to make it hard on me. I KNOW what you're doing."
Severin: "I love you." FART.
Soren: "I can't stand you either, Sev. Now let's go sit on the chair."
Soren: "...You seem way too contented about this."
Severin: "I peed my onesie."
Soren: "...I don't know why I even..."
Severin: "I love you."
Soren: "Shut up, Severin."
Soren: "Thank you for being easy on me, Tobie. Think you can knock some sense into your brother?"
SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH.
Soren: "Ughhh. MOM! SEVERIN'S SCRATCHING THE FURNITURE AGAIN!"
SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH.
Amaranth: "Severin! Stop that! For heaven's sake..."
Severin: "I love you."
Amaranth: "That's not an answer."
Severin: "I cute."
Amaranth: "Yes you are, but you need to stop scratching the furniture."
Amaranth: "Sigh...what am I going to do with you?"
As the morning rolls on, Amaranth and Soren put some time into teaching the babies to walk. Tobie seems to be picking it up faster than Severin. In a way, Amaranth's kind of relieved. Severin's mobile enough just by crawling - she knows she wants to teach him to walk, but she also sort of dreads what he'll be able to get into once he gets it.
Amaranth: "It's alright, Sev, just take your time. You'll get it too."
Severin: "I trip him."
Amaranth: "No, Severin."
Tobie finally learns to walk, while Amaranth takes a break as Severin still tries to get the hang of it. Amaranth and Soren head downstairs for a quick snack, then as Soren gets back up, he gets whopped from behind. Grinning, he runs to the bedroom and grabs a weapon for himself as well.
Soren: "All the time! And you'd always send me to bed right afterward and expect me to sleep. Ha!"
As Soren and Amaranth relieve stress downstairs, the toddler boys find some toys to play with upstairs.
Severin: "Gator? My dad."
Tobie: "Rawr, rawr!"
Severin: "TANK ATTACK!"
Severin viciously runs over Tobie's lizard with his tank, hurting Tobie's hand and causing him to cry. Severin blinks at him. What a fussmaker! He didn't even fight back with his alligator. Why does he play so boringly?
Tobie, realizing his mom can't hear him, gives one glare at Severin before turning away and playing with his alligator by himself. Severin's feelings are slightly hurt, but he decides he can play by himself too.
Severin is happily contented with his tank until he's destroyed all the cities he can think of. Now what can he do with it? World domination by tank is way too simple. There must be something else to play with. Severin leans in the toy box, throwing out toys left and right, not finding one he wants. He turns around, frustrated.
Then he sees Tobie playing with the doll house. Of course! If Tobie's playing with it, it must be interesting, and of course if it is interesting, he must have it. Severin slowly gets up to his feet and attempts to waddle over. After three steps he falls flat on his face. He whimpers in pain, but is more angry at his lack of coordination. Why won't these stupid legs listen to him?! Deciding it's not worth humiliating himself again, he crawls the rest of the way to the doll house. Tobie's playing with a little man, hopping around the dollhouse and cleaning things.
But then GODZILLA sweeps in! Rawr! Godzilla yanks the poor little man out of Tobie's hands and gnaws on his head. These small pitiful people are no match for his gigantic dinosaur jaws!
Amaranth gets a call from her father. She'd completely forgotten it was his birthday yesterday. Her mother's death still fresh in her mind, Amaranth decides to take a spontaneous trip with the kids to see her dad. He's old now, and she wants to spend plenty of time with him before his time finally comes. Plus, Jakkson hasn't seen the younger boys, nor has he seen Soren since he was a toddler.
Soren gathers the boys and attempts to get them ready for a car ride, while Amaranth heads upstairs and nearly dies of shock at the scene.
Amaranth: "This is Tobie."
Jakkson: "That's quite a curly head of hair."
Amaranth: "Yeah. He's adorable."
As they go inside, Jakkson meets Severin as well, playing with each of the toddlers for a time. Then he gives a big hug to his daughter. Then, as Amaranth gives bottles to the boys after they start crying for food, Jakkson meets with Soren in private.
Soren: "Haha. Yeah, I....I think I remember you. I seem to have some memory..."
Jakkson: "I'm not offended if you don't quite remember me. You were a toddler and, well...I was much younger too when we last met. But you've grown into a fine, good-looking young man. Won't be long before you're all grown up too."
Soren: "I know. But I'm excited for it. I'm actually pretty excited to start a family of my own."
Jakkson: "You'll be a good father. Your mother tells me you take care of the toddlers really well."
Soren: "Well, I mean, I love my little brothers and it's fun taking care of them. And mom really needs the help."
Jakkson: "Yes, she does, Soren, and you've blessed your mother's life just by recognizing that. I'm proud of you. You are a real man and a good man, Soren. Keep taking care of your mom and your brothers."
As Soren goes to watch over the little boys, Jakkson gives a big hug to his daughter.
Amaranth: "Oh, he's wonderful, dad. He does so many things to help and I don't even have to ask him. And...even though it's hard taking care of two toddlers at once, it really is a blessing. I love both of them so much."
Amaranth: "Well...that's what I was intending. I can be mostly kind and helpful, and still further our world domination plans."
Jakkson: "That's...very certain. Your words sway the minds of the public. I noticed a little while ago you put a warning about Zack in the paper. Basically the whole town hates him now. Public response and attitudes are very easily under your control."
Amaranth: "Then I have done my job well. My mom would be proud of me."
Jakkson: "I think she would be."
Before they leave, Soren spends some time playing with Jakkson's dog...only to discover too late that the dog has fleas.
Jakkson: "Oh, I don't know. My memory fails me."
Soren takes that to mean "probably never."
As soon as he gets home, Soren takes a shower, and he scrubs really well.
Amaranth installs the pirate ship spring rider, one that she remembers riding as a child. She's certain her own children will have as much enjoyment in it. Carrying both children out, she decides to let Tobie go first.
Amaranth: "You're the finest captain of the seas, Tobie. We ought to find you a pirate hat somewhere!"
Someone, however, is not happy about the whole ordeal.
Amaranth: "It's just his turn first, Severin. Your turn will be next."
Tobie: "Sevwin! Weee!"
Severin: "I want ride. Now."
Amaranth: "You have to wait your turn."
Severin: "No. Now."
Amaranth: "No. Wait your turn."
Upset that his mother isn't listening to a word he's saying, Severin lets out a guttural growl from the back of his throat, crouching in an attack pose.
Amaranth: "Severin, stop that."
Severin gets to his feet and attempts to lunge at the ride. However, the ride is still moving, so he only thumps his head against the front of it and falls back down. Amaranth watches closely to make sure he's okay, then when she discovers it's just a little humiliation and no pain, she focuses again on Tobie. Severin needs to learn to take turns and not to sabotage everything his brother wants to do.
Severin's definitely not happy about it, but he decides to sit and wait anyway. Eventually the ride stops and he knows his turn is next.
Amaranth: "Alright, now it's Severin's turn."
Tobie doesn't mind. He'd been clutching one of his toys when Amaranth brought him outside, so he's happy to continue playing with it while Severin gets the ship for a while.
Amaranth: "The waves are pretty high today, Captain Severin! You're gonna have to steer that ship carefully!"
Severin: "I captain! Seas mine!"
As Amaranth and the toddlers have fun outside, Soren finds something interesting as he searches the bookshelf for something good to read. He finds a portfolio of some of his mom's school stuff back when she was his age. He decides to open it up and check it out. He laughs at the grades - he at least gets straight As and Bs while his mom seemed to struggle with keeping a C. And yet she's so good at her detective work.
Then Soren notices a note with handwritten scribbles on it. It's an exchange between his mom and Zack Durwood. Zack? What would mom be writing to Zack about? He's a jerk and, according to his mom, mentally unstable.
Finding even more notes, Soren gathers them together and decides to look through them.
Then the bomb drops. The last note is a small diary-like entry. Zack is his father. That awful, horrible man is his father.
Soren almost can't breathe for a moment. The man called him worthless, said he'd never amount to anything. Did Zack even know he was his son?
Soren wants to know the truth. What does his father really think about him? Can he man up for his actions and take responsibility? Is he really a terrible person or was he just grouchy that day? And would he make a better father than that Gator guy? Soren doesn't like Gator. At all. He just hangs around, gets all the physical affection from his mom, and gives nothing in return. He doesn't try to take care of Tobie or Severin (even though Severin's his own son), he doesn't hardly talk to Soren, and he's always off either at work or preparing for a game. He thinks he's something special just because he's a sports star.
Why won't his mom open her eyes and see she's being duped? Why won't she see Gator's just using her for her body, avoiding all responsibility (and then claiming he's "trying really hard" to talk to his own mom, but just comes up with more excuses why he hasn't)? Is she going to wait until he's left her and her heart's broken?
Soren wishes he had a father figure in his life. But not Gator. And he's not sure about Zack either.
Amaranth: "Come on. I know you're tired. I'm tired too. But we have to learn this."
Tobie: "NO NO NO NO!"
Amaranth: "Ughhh. Fine."
Author's notes: I loves me my toddlers. Severin has the Genius trait, so I got him talking quite well early on. It fits his personality.
Jakkson's now old, which is painful to watch. Oliver and Phantom haven't even reached Adulthood yet. At least all three kids got to see him.
By the way. Super awkward moment in StoryProgression. Amaranth is dating Gator, of course. Then I got the notice that Jakkson and Erika Wolff started dating. I was going to have none of that. If they ended up getting married quickly (which Sims sometimes do), Amaranth and Gator would be step-siblings, and THAT would be bad and nasty and...yeah. So the Sim Deity had to do some intervention there.
Another awkward moment? Waylon Wolff called and asked Amaranth out on a date. Very nice, Waylon. Try and steal your little brother's girlfriend, why don't you.
Of note, you'll notice at the end I wrote in Soren's dislike for Gator. I did not make this up. Every time Soren sees Gator passes by, he gives him a thumbs down and boos at him. I keep looking around and assuming Soren's booing at someone else, but in a later chapter, there's a definite clear picture that he's booing at Gator. (By the way, I play with headline effects off, so I can't tell who he's booing at with the plumbomb gone.) I have no idea why Soren doesn't like him. Gator's not a celebrity, so there's no public disgrace system, nor do I think they have any contrasting traits. I haven't gotten any notices from SP about Gator being unfaithful to Amaranth, so I don't think it's unfaithfulness either. I have absolutely no idea why Soren doesn't approve of Gator, but I might as well run with it.
I should have updates for the next four days! All I have to do is write them. :) Hope you're enjoying the legacy so far!