Monday, August 27, 2012

Chapter 4: In Love with a Memory


"If you get married, are you going to send me away?" Shasta asks him one morning before school.

"Well, there isn't much chance of my getting married," Heath laughs. Outside of the single one night stand with Pearl, who left town the next day as promised, Heath's romantic life was pretty much non-existent. "But even if I did,you don't have to worry. I'm your dad now, and nothing will change that."


Elliot grows into a toddler. He has his mother's hair and eye color.


Raising two kids on his isn't easy, but Heath has put his all into doing the job properly.


On Sundays he takes Shasta and Elliot to visit Ashlynn's grave.


Elliot will never remember his mother, but Heath makes sure he knows that she loved him.


Doug's Hangout, the club that first rejected him, has now offered him a steady gig on Friday nights. The Little Lennon coffeehouse also gave him a regular Wednesday night spot, and he does a showat the park every Sunday. With the money he's taking in, he should soon be able to afford to build  proper bedroom for Elliot.


One evening as he's coming home from playing for tips in the park, Heath finds a teenager sleeping on the lounge chair behind the house.

"Hey," he wakes the boy gently, "Don't you have a home to go to?"

The kid looks at him sullenly. "Sorry," he grumbles, "I'll get off your beach."


"If you're hungry, I'm about to make dinner. Well, salad, because I'm useless with a stove. But you're welcome to join us."

The kid gives him a suspicious glare, but his hunger finally wins out, introducing  he follows Heath into the house.


He says his name is Marvin, and doesn't offer a last name. He takes immediately to young Elliot, trying to teach the toddler new words while Heath chops up vegetables for their simple salad.


Over dinner, Heath draws Marvin's story out with a gentle questioning. The boy ran away from a group home after suffering and endless string of miserable foster homes. 

"I'm better off on my own," Marvin declares defiantly. Heath knew a few kids like Marvin when he was in high school, and he can't really dispute his claim. "You aren't going to call social services on me, are you?"

"You can stay here," Heath offers.


The new bedroom gets built, with a bunk bed for Marvin, and Elliot when he's old enough to leave his crib.

Heath did have to get Social Services involved, he couldn't enroll Marvin in the local school without explaining the situation. He'd had dealings with them before when he took legal guardianship of Shasta; back then he;d been worried that his sketchy living conditions would be cause for them to take his kds away from him, but the overworked social worker assigned to case laughed at his fears. "You should see some of the conditions kids are living in," she told him, "Your house would be heaven for most of them." Knowing that, he expected no trouble in adopting Marvin, and he got none. They were jst thrilled to have one more out of the system and into home.


Heath tries to make waffles for their Saturday breakfast, but ends up setting the stove on fire.  He's useless as a cook, but he does at least know how to handle a fire extinguisher.


The call from Social Services was unexpected, but Heath came right away, prepared to fight to keep his kids if necessary. When gets to the office, he finds Officer Bradley, the one who interrogated him repeatedly after Ashlynn disappeared, waiting for him with his social worker.

"What do you know about Pearl Yang?" the officer demands.

It takes him a moment to recognize the name; when he does, he blushes. "Almost nothing, really," he admits, "I spent a night with her, but we didn't talk much."

The officer gives him a disapproving frown, and the social worker covers a smile with her hand. "She's a criminal," Officer Bradley says harshly, "She's robbed several banks. Sunset Valley PD picked her up a few days ago. She was in the hospital. Giving birth. She put your name down as the kid's father."

Heath gapes for a second, and does a bit of mental calculation. "It could be mine," he admits. The timing was right on.

"He is yours," the social worker informs him, "Since the police here had your DNA on file, we were able to conduct a paternity test."

"Pearl is gong down," the officer breaks in, "She won't see the outside of a prison for a long time."

"So, we need to know if you intend to take custody of the child," the social worker finishes in a more gentle tone.

"Of course I will," Heath answers.


And so little Farrell joins the family.


Life in the Brannon household carries on. Heath helps with the homework.


And wins trophies at SimFests.


Farrell becomes a toddler.


Shasta has her badging ceremony.


And Marvin has his prom. He went alone, as the boy he was interested in, Jake Preston, decided last minute to go with Annabelle Humble instead. But it turns out okay, as he met Brad Soteto at the dance, and sparked up his first romance.


"How was it?" Heath asks him when he gets home.

Marvin draws a deep breath, and decides to come out to his adopted father, telling him about meting Brad.


"That's great," Heath says, hugging the boy, "You'll have to invite Brad over to meet the family. Unless we're too embarrassng."


Shasta and Elliot have their birthdays together.


Shasta develops a fruitless crush on Marvin.


But, knowing that that won't work, she decides to try romancing her childhood friend Sebastian Striker.


Only to discover that Sebastian acquired the asshole trait as a teenager.


"You can do way better than Sebastian Striker, Shasta," Marvin tries to cheer her up after the humiliating encounter.


Where words fail to comfort, a good pillow fight succeeds.


"I know it's wrong, we're like brother and sister. And Marvin is gay, but I just wish..."Shasta sighs, confiding her feelings in Heath, "The guys at school are such jerks."


Now more than ever, Heath wishes Ashlynn were here to handle this situation. He has no idea what to say to Shasta,what kind of advice she needs. All he can do is hug her and assure her the right guy will come along someday.


While he's out doing the laundry, Heath gets the worst crank call he's ever heard of. Someone thought it would be funny to pretend to be scientists and tell him he could bring the ashes of his loved one in to be revived. What kind of sicko comes up with a joke like that?


Still, the crank call inspires him to visit the graveyard after his gig that night. Ashlynn's ghost takes his hand when he arrives.

"Shasta's a teen, now," he tells her, not sure how much the dead know about what happens down here, "And Elliot has started school. They're both really beautiful children."


Her ghostly voice is unintelligible, so Heath just takes her in his arms and whispers to her about how much he misses her, needs her, and how sorry he is she couldn't be there to see her kids grow up.


"It was great seeing you again, Ash," he says, kissing her goodbye, "I'm sorry I never told you that I love you."


He's kept their photobooth pictures, taken the the day they first met, on his wall. There are still so many things he doesn't know about her, things he'll never know, he figures, just like he'll never know how their relationship would have worked out if she had lived.


He's still not even sure if what they had was love, at the time. His feelings for her have grown, he's fallen in love with his memories of her. There's been no one else who could compare, no one he'd give up his memories of Ashlynn for. He'll be alone forever, he thinks, until he joins Ashlynn in the grave, and that thought doesn't really bother him.

_________________________________

Raising all these kids has been utter chaos.
Heath is up to level 8 of the Singer career.
In game, Shasta isn't considered family, because she's not legally adopted. So, the game considers Marvin a fair target for her romantically, and she immediately rolled a wish to have her first kiss with Marvin when she aged up to teen. So that's where her story of her crush on him comes from.

38 comments:

  1. I knew that Pearl was no good!!

    Glad that Marvin moved in, I don't see anything wrong with Shasta and Marvin being together... except that he is gay. Eh details. Lol

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    1. You were right, Pearl is a bad apple. But at least she's behind bars and can't cause any trouble. For now, lol.
      Marvin has been a huge help with the younger kids. He's Family Oriented, so he actually autonomously takes care of the younger ones when left alone with them. Not like the NPC babysitters, lol.
      It is to bad about Shasta and Marvin, I wouldn't have a problem with it, except of course that he prefers boys. Shasta will just have to find someone else.

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  2. Haha, great update. I loved the social worker and police officer conversation.

    Heath has a big heart. He works really well as a founder for a legacy. =)

    Marvin is cute, now I feel even worse for Shasta. =P

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    1. I'm enjoying Heath as a founder as well. I do tend to like to play male founders when I roll for single parent.
      Poor Shasta can't catch a break. The nicest guy in school is gay, and all that's left are jerks.
      Though, Beau Broke recently broke up with his girlfriend, so maybe she can try him.

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  3. Oh my goodness. Poor, poor Heath. A sweet thing to bring in Marvin and then get another baby from a one night stand dumped in his lap. Shasta grew up really well. I just can't get over how horrible Heath's luck is. Though he did go from being single and alone to having a loving family; just the sequence of events leading to that were pretty bad.

    Also, I laughed at the "asshole trait". What a good name for it!

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    1. Heath has had some bad luck, but he does have his family to compensate for it.
      I felt really bad for Sghasta, Sebastian has been her friend since childhood, and so she goes to flirt with him and pulls that crap. Such an asshole, lol.

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  4. Shasta's first question just broke my heart. Poor girl. Been there myself with the crush on the gay man. Hope things work out for her!

    Elliot and Farrell are adorable. I can't wait to see how they turn out! Marvin is very sweet.

    I feel bad for Heath. He's in that awkward position where he's been without Ashlynn longer than he was with her, but she changed his world so radically. I'm glad he seems to be coming to some sort of peace with it.

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    1. Heath's life definitely has not gone the way he planned, but he is turning out to be a great father to his assorted bunch of kids. I'm looking forward to seeing how Elliot and Farrel turn out as well. Right now Elliot seems to favor his mother, and Farrel his father.

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  5. I'm pretty sure that the asshole trait has to be real. So many sims around town (and some of my playable ones) HAVE to have it.

    Heath's heartbreak over Ashlynn's death made me so sad, but I'm so impressed with his big heart, and how he adopted Marvin. His kids really seem to love him, and I hope there isn't any more heartbreak in his future. : (

    Also: Elliot and Farrell are two good looking kids!

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    1. I love playing this family, they are so close with each other. Heath really came through for all these kids, and I'm really happy with him as my founder.

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  6. WAIT A SEC. Can you really get trophies from SimFest? =O

    My Claire never had the option to compete. My sims could go watch SimFests, but there was never anyone performing. They'd just cheer at an empty stage. ='(

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    1. Yes, Heath has two trophies. I have the same issue where the audience is just clapping to an empty stage. (which might be from Twallan's SP, actually. In my other story hoods where I have SP turned off, I am plagued by SimFests that spawn unwanted puddings to perform and then clog up my town. But in my legacy hood where I have SP on, I get no new puddings for SimFests, and have empty stage syndrome.) But even though there's no on else competing, if you click on the proprietor while your Sim is actually at the location, there should be the option to enter the competition. The trophy arrives later in the mail.
      In this chapter you can see a bit of Heath's trophy sticking up over Sebastian's head in the picture where he's being an asshole, lol. I'll get a better pic of it for you later.

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    2. Ah, cool. =)

      I'm sure I'll roll another showtime career sooner or later, so I can snag one myself.

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  7. I love this story. I love how you've taken the random happenings in the game and made them part of their life. Marvin is a cutie and I don't blame Shasta :) Elliott is adorable and so is little Farrell. Good thing Heath is such a responsible and caring guy, poor Farrell would have been in foster care. I hope he made his peace with Ashlynn.

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    1. Thanks, Zhip!
      It was hard on Shasta to be living with such a cute boy who was also so totally off limits.
      And yeah, if it weren't for Heath being such a god guy, none of these kids would have a home. Heath has had a hard time dealing with losing Ashlynn, especially since his feeling for her weren't really resolved when she was alive, so he has a little extra guilt about it.

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  8. Wow Brannon has a house full of kids now. He's making it work and is turning out to be a great guy. It's sad he is holding on to the memories of his time with Ashlynn cutting himself off from the possibilities of finding love. :( Hopefully that will change.

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  9. Thanks, jaz! He really is working to keep his family together and happy. For the time being, he has cut himself off from relationships, but a cute guy like him won't be able to stay locked away forever. At least, not in my universe. =P

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  10. Holy CRAP! I didn't see this coming at all (didn't even read if you had posted the roll for this gen haha) ... so he goes from what I thought was challenging with two kids to FOUR in the blink of an eye! CRAAAZY!

    I had to laugh right out loud, seriously, when you said that kid Sebastian had rolled the 'asshole trait' during highschool, haha!!

    It's great you're able to make this arrangement actually work. I would have never guessed in a million years a single sim could raise 4 kids AND have the singer career work too. Wow. Impressive so far!

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    1. I totally lol'ed when I read your last comment bout 2 kids. Thankfully, we can adopt teens, so I was able to make one of the fourth kids be actually helpful right away. Marvin was really the savior,becuse playing Heath's career was making it next to impossible to raise all the other kids on his own.

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  11. So.many.kids.

    I love that Heath is willing to take in all these kiddos though and he's doing such a great job as a daddy/guardian. :)

    I'm glad he got to say goodbye to Ash.

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    1. I know, it was such a nightmare dealing with toddlers with a single parent in the singer career.
      It's still difficult, because I have to keep an eye on Heath's performance while also making sure homework gets done and kids eat and stuff before bed.

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  12. Aw yay! What a great founder. If only more (real) people were like him. Not only did he take in a homeless teenager, but he took a gay homeless teenage.

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    1. Yeah, I totally love Heath, myself. =D

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  13. Three cheers for gays! (And for Heath, he's a hell of a guy.) Love it!

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    1. LOL, now I want to name a Sim band 'Three Cheers for Gays'. If I weren't so completely over Sim bands, anyway...
      Heath is an incredible dad, I think. My friends all had a hell of a time dealing with coming out to their parents, and I wish more of them were like Heath.

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  14. Yay for gay characters! Especially hot ones!) =)

    Man, what a hodgepodge group you've got, but they're all so perfect for each other! And you don't think the Brady kids had crushes on each other, too? =)

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    1. Heath did get a diverse bunch of kids, didn't he?

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  15. First of all, the asshole trait lmao!

    The scene with Ash made me so sad. I wish he had someone, but I understand why. It's those crazy rules, right? Lol. :-)

    So wow, Pearl a bank robber? Lol. Cute kid. Looks like daddy.

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    1. Yeah, the rules prevented me from letting Heath settle down with any of his love interests. It made me sad.
      Farrell does take after his father most, but he does have a little of Pearl in him.

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  16. Poor Heath...no mommies for his children...and with kids and career who would have time for romance...I know from experience haha...He is a nice looking sim. I wonder about this little crush Shasta has...

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    1. Yeah, raising all those kids while pursuing his singing career was tough on Heath.
      Ah, poor Shasta and her high school crush.

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  17. That's adorable that she has a crush on her adopted brother. It kind-of makes sense since she's probably the boy she knows most and he's nice to her (and technically they're not blood relatives). I hope the right guy does come along for her :)

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    1. It was cute that she rolled that wis to have her first kiss with Marvin. But it was not meant to be.

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  18. Kids everywhere!! The scene with Ash made me sad. =\ I can't wait to see how everyone grows up and how their lives will turn out.

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    1. Heath and Ash's ghost made me sad too. But I just thought he needed to get some resolution on that.

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  19. Awww, Elliot has his mothers hair and eyes, not to mention seeing her ghost! You know how to write an emotional story!

    Did you have all of the story intended or just played and see where it went?

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    1. The only thing I had intended when I started Gen 1 was that Heath would get involved with a single mom, and that she would either die or dump her kid(s) on him. His 'adopting' the first girlfriend's child would take care of his 'mixed' requirement for at least one adopted child.
      I didn't even know for sure it would be Ash, I placed a few single mom families in the town.
      So mostly I just played and saw where things went.
      I moved Pearl to town just to have Heath's baby, but I hadn't planed on her becoming...what she becomes later. I did figure after that that I'd have Heath adopt another kid from somewhere, taking in some kid that needed a place to live, and Marvin, a babysitter, just happened to show up at a good time to get moved in.

      This legacy generally is a mixture of gameplay stuff that happens and stuff I've scripted ahead of time.

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  20. Up to chapter 4 and I'm totally addicted...can't stop reading and can't scroll fast enough to get to the next chapter. I'm going to be really tired tomorrow!!!!

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