"Should we try it?"
"It's not going to tell us anything we don't already know."
The teens grab the love meter's handle together, and wait for the results.
"I told you, nothing we don't already know," Iola whispers as she leans in to kiss Shadow. "What's next? Face painting?"
"Come home with me," Shadow says, "I want to show you something."
She follows him with an excited gleam on her face as he leads her to the room on the second floor of the Brannon house. Then, the glow in her eyes dims as her moth falls into a disappointed frown.
"It's so empty," she says, like she was expecting something else, "The walls are so white."
"It was my uncle Elliot's room," Shadow says, puzzled at her reaction to the surprise he hadn't begun to reveal, "It's mine now...it's going to be ours, when I finish decorating. I guess you knew that. You've seen this room, haven't you?" Of course she's seen it, Shadow thinks with chagrin, she's seen their future as lovers, spouses, so she would have seen the bedroom they would come to share.
"I've never seen it like this," she says, looking around at the empty walls, the bare floor decorated with only a simple rug left behind when Elliot moved out.
"Not the best surprise then," Shadow says with a laugh, laying on the rug beside her, cradling her head in his arms as she cradles his, "I've got everything ready, and I was planning on staying up all night decorating so I could do a big reveal for you tomorrow after our birthday. But you've already seen it. I can't surprise you."
"You did surprise me, Shadow," she says, "I've seen the results, but I've never seen what you started with when you created our nest. I can't wait to see it finished, with my own eyes. Visions can never be trusted to get the fine details right, anyway."
While Shadow spends his evening furnishing and decorating his new bedroom, Farrell and Delaney play a game of foosball together.
"I can't believe what an overbearing asshole he's become!" Delaney complains, the anger of her morning spent visiting Jack in jail still fresh.
"I'm a bit surprised myself," Farrel admits, "When your mother was caught shoplifting, he moved pretty fast to pay it off and cover it up. But I guess it's just his way of protecting his little girl."
Involved in the game, Delaney can't help but give herself and exulting fist pump as she scores against her uncle. "I'm not his little girl any more," she says, continuing the conversation after her mini celebration.
"No, you're not," Farrell agrees, "Elliot will come around to accepting that eventually." Farrell wishes he were as confident about that as he tried to sound.
The Hawksquills come over early the next day to celebrate Shadow, Aurora, and Iola's shared birthday together as a family.
Three birthday cakes are lined up for the teens, Iola, as a guest, blows out her candles first.
And the three teens become young adults. Since Ariel is right there, Aurora confirms her employment in his hospital.
"You'll be working directly with me," he tells her with a fond smile, "Take today off to get settled. You start work tomorrow."
Pleased with her future prospects, Aurora gather her things and moves out into her own home.
"What do you think?" Shadow asks, not expecting her to be surprised by the transformation he wrought on the room overnight, but also not expecting her dazed expression as she takes it in. Did he do it wrong, somehow, he wonders. "Is it too much pink?" He can't help that it's his favorite color, but maybe he went a bit overboard with it.
"Oh, Shadow," she sighs, falling into his arms, "It's home, at last. I'm finally home."
There shared joy in each other and their future together expresses itself in deep, passionate lovemaking. The rest of the town is celebrating Love Day at the festival grounds, but Shadow and Iola spend the day wrapped around each other, rapt in each other.
"We should get married soon," Shadow murmurs idly, caressing her shoulder.
"We could do it today, and forget about the whole wedding thing," she says.
"Is that what you've seen we'll do?"
Iola frowns, "We can't let my visions determine what we choose to do, Shadow. I see possible future, possible outcomes. But our future is in our hands."
"Does it get confusing for you, seeing the past and the future, while trying to live in the present?" Shadow asks.
"It could be overwhelming for someone not trained to handle it properly," Iola tells him, "My father taught me what his father taught him, and what I will teach our children if they inherit the Hawksquill curse. I learned to construct a library in my mind, shelves upon shelves of books. When I encounter a person or thing for the first time, instead of letting the images of their history overwhelm my consciousness, I shelve them in my mental library, where I may peruse them at my leisure. My mother's method for handling her clairvoyant visions is similar. She taught me to construct a mental gallery of paintings, each an image of a vision, like a frame of a movie. Each painting is like a portal; when I choose to focus attention on it, it opens itself around me, so I can see it in motion around me. When I want to see one of my visions in clearest detail, I visit my gallery." She snuggles close to him, resting her forehead on his chest, "I admit, when I'm alone at night, I often visited my visions of us together," she whispers, "It was almost like an addiction, I couldn't sleep without feeling your arms around me, hearing you whisper my name or feeling your kiss on my neck."
Shadow squeezes her, "Like this?" he whispers kissing her neck. She sighs in pleasure, and he laughs lightly, "The future is ours, now," he says. "I want a big wedding, if that's okay with you."
"That will be lovely," Iola whispers, "My mother would be disappointed if we didn't go all out, anyway."
Delaney isn't thinking about celebrating Love Day. Her boyfriend is behind bars, and, tonight, she's going to be doing a job with Ian. It won't be as easy as breaking into the school to steal the tests, she knows that, and she worries about her inexperience showing on the job. She wants to impress Ian, so she's crept up to the attic to her uncle's lab set up to see what he might have that could her out. Skimming through his lab notes, she finds a formula for a Ninja Vanish potion. All she has to do is follow the recipe exactly, she thinks.
"Delaney, chemistry can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. You could easily blow yourself and this attic up in a fiery explosion," Farrell warns, surprised to find Delaney up in the attic, using his gear.
"I'm following your formula exactly," Delaney says.
"Ninja Vanish?" Farrell says, looking at the page she's opened his notebook to, "I haven't really field tested that one." It's been some time since he's needed to infiltrate any or MorcuCorp's facilities, but he's never let himself assume his battle with them was over, and has continued to work on anything that might give him and advantage if he had to go up against them again. "You aren't thinking of breaking Jack out of jail are you?" he asks, guessing at what she might need it for, "He's innocent and he'll be released soon enough. But if he breaks out of custody, that's a crime they could get him for."
"I don't want to break him out, I just want to make myself invisible so I can visit him in his cell tonight. It's Love Day, after all," Delaney says, picking up Farrell's guess at her purpose as a convenient lie to cover her real plans for the night.
"Ninja Vanish isn't an invisibility potion," Farrell tells her, "What you want is my Ghost Potion. That, I've field tested, when I infiltrated MorcuCorp's labs to rescue Aouregan. Ninja Vanish would have come in handy then, too actually," he muses, remembering how Teal had locked them in Aouregan's cell before he could escape with her. "And it might help you, too. Use the Ghost Potion to get in, and the Ninja Vanish to get out. Just pour a drop of it where you want reappear later. Then, when your visit with Jack is finished, drop the Ninja Vanish on the ground, and you'll reappear where you spilled the first drop." Farrell stops for a second, "In theory, that is. Quantum entanglement can be a little tricky, and, as I said, I haven't field tested it."
"Thanks, uncle Farrell. You're the best," Delaney says, sincere in her affection as she hugs him. "I'll let you know how it works."
"Be careful," Farrell advises, "Don't take any unnecessary risks." He laughs then, at himself, "Not that I ever listened to that kind of advice when I was your age. I must be getting old."
Generation 3 is official. I'll post the roll on my sidebar in the next update, I need to take a picture of my heirs first. I'm guessing it' fairly obvious that I've rolled couple +1 again, and it's Shadow and Iola as the couple, with Delaney as the +1.
I also rolled for 5 kids again *headdesk*.
Which put me in a bit of bind in terms of keeping Farrell and Aouregan around. I do have my game set to allow more than 8 Sims, wich I mostly use for my other stories when I need a large cast on hand. But those aren't played households. I don't actually like playing even 8 Sims at once, and now I'm looking at 10. But I also want to keep Farrell and Aouregan around until they die. Well, that will be a challenge.
Here's a couple of shots of Shadow and Iola's room.
The dogwood blossom in the lower left was actually a gift Iola sent Shadow when they were teens, as part of the attraction system deal. Nice that she chose flowers in his favorite color. =D