Eugene is a bit out of it and argues with Meghan over the weather. He's knows what he's talking about. He was the weather man for a very long time. He doesn't stop talking until she agrees with him that the new morning crew have no idea what they're doing in the meteorology department and he could have done a better job. The way the News Center is hiring these days is just not up to the same standard that it used to be.
Because he's old now.
Okay well actually it all started when Eugene criticized the décor in here, why aren't they saving their money or investing it in more awesome things, like their children's future college and housing or at the very least, a sensible trench coat.
All Meghan can think is that old people may be a little bit more crazy than she expected.
And she took that as an invitation to criticize his work ethic, he really should retire and have some new life experiences so he can stop overthinking every thing the new generation of newscasters are doing wrong. But he wouldn't hear of it. Work is his life.
He tells her he feels reaaallly bad about all the times he was working instead of at home with his kids or whatever, and he says it with such a cheeky grin on his face she can't take his apology seriously. It's not about Meghan really, but she's miffed at him nonetheless.
Not that she could ever truly be mad at Eugene.
Eventually they agree to disagree, or rather he watches a video she shows him and forgets that they were annoying each other. It's the kind of thing that would be really boring if the scenery in it wasn't so beautiful; it's a video from China when she ascended a high mountain on a hike while scouring the earth for insects.
They reconnect over it. Lize as been concerned about staying in shape lately too, she'd love to see this.
For some reason in that moment his memory slips and he begins telling her that she doesn't have to try so hard: her grades are great already. She'll have a place with he and Lize even if she's only scoring average.
So so touched by this revelation that she plays along, not wanting to correct him, but it's worrisome all the same. Does this happen a lot?
But it's great to see the old man, becoming senile or not. Meghan can kind of admit that's he's more of a father figure to her than anyone else in her life ever was.
And he tries to teach Meghan a song that a very long time ago, she's pretty sure she taught him.
Jyoti hits her homework hard when she makes it back from school, barely noticing the elderly visitor in the other room trying to warble her mom's ears off.
When she's done with that she's sure to give the puppy as much exercise as possible.
Because it's prom night!
She picks out a pretty dress that still shows off her carefully-honed girl muscles and still makes her feel feminine. She really likes dressing up sometimes, it's just so impractical that she doesn't do it often. Who can play a pick up game of street ball in heels? Okay, full disclosure, there're no pick up street ball games in this rich-kid neighborhood, but it's something she always wants to be ready for just in case. It's like, a bucket list thing.
She greets Eugene briefly on the way as she heads for the door.
Weird... he doesn't answer back. She knows it was a quick greeting but she said it loudly enough...
But then it's time!
Her dad hires a limo although she doesn't care about that sort of thing really (seems like everyone in Starlight has something like this that goes to her school). And she was given something of a lecture about how important prom night is for a girl, and to be careful, which doesn't mean anything to her as the 'not great at planning ahead' type. She doesn't have a date or anything; she's just going to wing it.
Her dad's got a show later anyways, it's not like he'll be able to stalk her at prom even if she's sure he secretly wants to show up and intimidate all the boys in her class. Not like they wouldn't merely be excited to see him. He's pretty popular with the younger age groups that grew up watching his shows.
(I just like that he can float for no reason now whenever he wants. Something like this makes way more sense in a stage setting than outside under the sky where wires don't have a place to hang from.)
Hi Roland! They mayor is in the building, ladies and gentlemen. Heart-heart, that's adorable.
Where are you looking, though?
Not wanting to appear snooty (and kind of uncomfortable showing up in a 12 person limo all by herself) Jyoti ditches her ride a few blocks from the party and jogs the rest of the way.
Most of her friends are meeting there, nobody has any dates either, not just her, so it should be a fun time with nobody having to feel left out.
Meanwhile, Dustin's show has gone very well, yet again. The time spent in China furthering physical pursuits has served well on the stage, as expected. His control is better than ever, no element of his show is out of place.
Robbie Platt is here too, a normal townie from SS.
He's so weird looking. Seriously, who's he supposed to be? Peter Pan?
The shows as the smaller venues don't pay as well, but Element strives to always please his fans, and here at the Rodeo where his current career success was launched, he considers the time well spent. It's also more manageable for fans that are local and find out by word of mouth when he's performing here. This way he can have drinks with friends etc after the show.
I'm pretty sure this is the face I would be making if my income looked like this every night.
But he feels his heart kick for a second in panic as the lights come back up and he sees his wife seated at one of the tables in his peripheral vision.
Is she okay, has something happened, is she still herself?
These questions chase each other through his mind, but when he comes a little closer it's clear to him that it's really Meghan this time.
And Jet, who runs over to greet him.
“Dad, you were awesome!”
Who is this kid and why does he look like my son, Dustin thinks.
But he accepts the excited hug and doesn't question it. The trip to China must have been what the family really needed to strengthen their bonds after all.
Thank you Robbie, for wrecking the moment.
Haha, awwww yea... we got it back.
This looks like he's airing a personal grievance about the passing of a loved on to the mayor...
Who has to hear this sort of thing a lot? Am I reading into this too much, or did the city not pay the old lady's pension, or something? Fork it over, Roland! Cheapskate!
Then the family members who don't have the biggest dance of their lives happening right now have some indoor fun...
...In their own ways.
Kermit, a kid from Jet's class, takes this as an opportunity to tell an amazing ghost story. This pub must be the meet and greet for families with children who aren't at prom. What a great baby sitting idea.
And a riveting tale of daring-do and living-don't turns out to be a great way to pass the time.
A few hours later, Jyo leaves the party just a bit too early compared to the rest of her classmates. Who the hell denies the prom queen for a dance? She didn't even like that guy, but dancing is what people do at these things, isn't it? Beyond irritated at the whole teenage dating scene, she sneaks out a side door and slips away into the rainy night.
She's so over it.
Having grabbed her gym bag from her locker she changes into something better, flips her hair back up, and begins to jog home as a way to run out her frustration. She didn't want anything to happen really, but she thought she and her friends would all be hanging out and in reality they were so concerned with trying to get the attention of the people they liked that her mood had been ruined.
Why not just go and have fun, and not worry? But she had been the only one to think this way.
Not that Howard or Kevin had anybody, but seeing both of them just made prom 'the biggest night a young girl's life' seem like a boringly normal school day. The only difference is it was dark out, they had to pay to get into school, and there was some slightly-better than hi-C punch available to drink.
Meghan gets some serious air time too. Uh, unrelated to any value-add to this story.
Why she chose this moment to make faces and act like an animal behind her son's back in a public place is anybody's guess. Or yours, I'm done guessing about the reasons she has for doing anything.
Jyoti gets about a third of the way home and decides it may be better to get a ride after all. But, her energy is mostly spent and the night air was amazing for her mood. She thinks back to what her mom said about there not being any more princes on a white horse coming to sweep a young girl off her feet and it doesn't make her sad exactly, it just sticks with her as an idea. Why a horse, why a prince, why love at all?
She's happy where she is. After seeing some of the other girls her age who only felt complete when they were dating someone and how they quickly lost sight of themselves, she's not sure that love is for everyone after all. Who would want to give up a part of themselves just for the privilege of having someone else be close to them?
Oh yeah and these idiots got into a fight.
I'd love to know what it's all about.
That is the angriest face I've ever seen on Dustin. But I was bopping back and forth here and didn't witness the proceeding interactions. I'm just going to assume that Roland decided to tax Dustin as a small business. xD
Then there's the cringey make-up speech afterwards.
Roland: “Why can't people in this town just be friends and get along with each other nicely anymore? That's what I work so hard for!”
Dustin, the town funny man on stage who occasionally also risks his life for entertainment, has no way of answering that sentiment. “Can I get you an ice water or something? You don't seem tense exactly, but too uhm, expressive, to have anything else to drink.”
“Are you tryin' to tell me I can't drinkh in my own townuh?!”
Dustin pauses for a minute. “Yes, I am telling you that. I don't want anything to say mean things about you in the paper tomorrow.”
“Aww, You're a goot frient to me...”
Mayor Huanna recently found out his wife Zelda had been cheating on him, but he's cheated on her first. Not the sort of thing he wants to talk about in public. “I thinkh I need someone to take me home, aksully.” He ads with a frown.
(Ohkay they do get divorced around now, maybe it's that.)
“And then Roland's telling me in loud whispers about everything he did with his maid, but telling me to keep it a secret. I'm pretty sure about fifteen other people are now well aware of it.”
Meghan is surprised, but not all that surprised. The man may be charismatic, but he's something of a flirt. “Well it's a good thing nobody in this town cares about things like loyalty in their city representatives!” She chirps.
Meanwhile the kids eat whatever they want as usual.
(We didn't roll the season thing but love this little setup and I want the refreshing feeling of recoloring it every season)
Leila greets every sim who comes to the door, but primarily follows Dustin around when she can.
And, without many things changing,
Jyo has her own room upstairs that has recently been redecorated. She attains peak focus on her studies here.
Another milestone is reached.
Seriously, stop making faces behind your kid's back, I said!!! It's his birthday, everybody calm down and do the laundry or whatever!
*Rolls wish to hire a maid *
All these cheerful decorations are enough to make a kid fall straight asleep.
Let's see who all is visiting this time...
Everet. Check. Nice scarf, man.
This, uhh.. chick. Whomever she is.
(Apparently the zombie horde followed the family home from China, thankfully the Sparrows are carriers only and hopefully no longer contagious?
Because these things...
Everet watches in bemusement as the golden-haired and otherwise sickly creature streaks past him on her way to greet the birthday host..
Eugene wasn't paying any attention. His eldest son Leon and Marie Best finally got engaged, even though they have a child together.
Why would Leon want to even do something like that? Eugene thinks to himself.
Turns out the zombie is the teen version of Alyss Khan, from their class.
And this flush-faced girl with too-modern hair for any era happens to be one of the Huanna girls, Jet's acquaintance from class.
It's a constant oddity in their class that everyone gets new hair at the same time. Fads come and go, but always everyone changes together, for some, uh, reason.
Jet takes a while to make his wish, letting the candle burn right down into the cake in the process. He loves that everyone is looking at him right now.
Besides, wishes are serious business.
He decides right then and there to become a world-famous author.
Jet's best friend Christian's on the lower right. Kermit Sigh has the pigtails. I never change them.
Dustin made the food and booked it to a show, he's not at his son's party. Typical.
Still he wonders how his son is changing while he is away from home.
Oh dear God no. Although, in another time and place, I have to admit he could totally pull it off.
The ultimate choice winner.
Midway through the event, Kevin Shift starts to get what he's only recently realized is an extra-sensory perception that something he can't place is off right now.
Jyoti has an idea about it, but she's actually wrong. Her cousin Everet is not particularly aware that the fairy possesses any abilities other than those of his classmates, but it's not secret in their circle that the organization has been targeting him as a new recruit. She thinks the reason her friend is walking around as if he's looking for something that's off is because he's avoided being the target of any kind of hazing.
Mercutio hovering nearby helps convince her that the gang member's presence at her brothers party is what is wrong with Kevin.
She watches him pace through the house and straight back outside again.
Mercutio all the while sporting an annoying little smile, as if to say “We'll get him eventually.”
Just to add a third level of confusion to the mix, Eugene thinks something else entirely is going on right now.
“Does he always look for you from the other side of a room like this? Has he asked you out yet? Told you he wants you to have his many babies?”
“Does who what?” Jyo exclaims. Did her uncle mean Kevin?! “We are just friends!”
Kevin smiles awkwardly, obviously having heard the exchange but declines to comment.
“Uncle Gene!” She hisses under her breath. “I can't believe you just said that! There is nothing going on at all, stop smirking at me!”
“Invite me to the wedding.” He replies, but she's already on her way out the door.
“I want you to leave him alone too.” She tells Mercutio sharply. “He's not going to be a part of your group's stupid 'business'.”
“You can say that because your father makes money.” 'Cue' answers back. It's well known that Kevin and Darla's parents are separated, they have to share time with them, and nobody in the entire family seems to have two sinnies to rub together. The family is broke, any job in the organization would seem tempting to them.
Kevin hears this exchange too, but he's used to it. People talking about what he has and what he doesn't have. It's nothing to one of his kind to have nothing, the earth provides everything they could ever need. Normal people will just never understand this. He probably appreciates Jyoti's defense of him though.
Having enough of everything inside, he heads back out. There was no trace of the magic he felt anywhere in the house, so he breathes a quick sigh of relief. It means he won't have to approach she or her father about it if it never made its way inside. That's good then, possibly just a traveler.
Meanwhile outside, Alyss is still at the height of partying. She comes back from her zomboid state with a mottled skin complexion for some reason.
(I kind of wish this sort of thing was a skin though)
Jet comes to a few new realizations on his age up.
Not the least of which, is that a part of him wishes he were still going to be in the grade his friends were in come Monday. But no, in this town when someone ages up to teen they immediately switch to higher, more difficult classes. It may be hard to separate himself from the few people he genuinely gets along with, but at the same time if his grades are those of a frustrated perfectionist or someone who needs the challenge, he may be going into the right kind of courses finally.
“Catch up to me okay?” He tells Christian. “I'm going to miss you.”
Leon is here for the party (on the right) but he doesn't get a wave or a greeting. Because family gets to take each other for granted. That's how it works.
A moment later Kevin speeds by with the same somber expression on his face he's had most of the evening. “Something's not right. I can't be sure what it is, but there's something off here. Maybe it's the full moon, my instinct is stronger than ever right now.”
“Your... instinct?” This is the first time Jyo's ever heard about this.
“When something is off magically like this, the fae never stay and fight. We can, but it's not in our nature really. Something tells us... to run.”
“You mean, right now?”
He nods once, lightly. No trace of fear is in his eyes. “Something is off. I hope it's not what I think it is. But keep an eye out, maybe go to the gym to work out for a while instead of jogging by yourself. I know you won't want to, but-”
“Then don't tell me if you know I don't want to hear it.” She snaps.
He just rolls his eyes.
Jyoti knows how weird her best friend is, it's one of the reasons she hangs out with him so much. He's different, so entertaining. Part of it is his nature, like he mentioned, that makes him something more than a normal person. But part of it is how serious he is. This kind of reaction to the full moon actually seems pretty normal. He's always talking about the full moon, when his magic is at it's height. But she hasn't known him to dread anything about this time.
“I'll keep an eye on things here.” She promises him, having no idea what she means by it.
Jet sees him speed by too, but doesn't comment either. Weird to see Kevin so excited about anything.
Jyo quickly forgets the weirdness outside. “That cake will put hair on your chest!”
Leon chews thoughtfully. “That so?”
“Probably, I think my mom made it.”
Mercutio is still inside staring a hole into the adjoining wall.
He's probably stuck, but I'm going to assume, as I do, that he witnessed something horrible on the job and is regretting his bold life choices.
Or he just thinks Jyo is hot and refuses to tell her.
This is his not-interested face.
“Quit staring at me Cue, I'm not joining your silly little fanclub.”
Maria (Leon's fiance) is amused by this comment.
“It's not silly, and we don't want you to join anyways. You couldn't handle it.”
“You mean you couldn't pay me enough.” She replies.
Back outside the weirdness continues.
“Do you notice?” Darla asks her younger brother. He nods lightly. “Yeah, let's talk at home.”
“Alright, let's keep it to ourselves for a while.”
“Is that a good idea?”
“I don't care if it is. Mom and dad have a lot going on right now, let's not trouble them over something we can handle ourselves.”
He nods. “Alright. But if we notice anything else....”
“We'll tell them. Let's split up on the way home too, see if there's any other traces around town.”
Kevin could respond that being the resident fae in town who could sense many forms of magic typical locals couldn't didn't mean that sensing such magic was their jobs to do, but as the good kid that he is he merely agrees to Darla's idea. Maybe they can head off any sort of confrontation.
“I won't let anything happen to him, I promise.” Everet tells Jyoti, noticing how agitated she is.
“Don't promise me anything Everet. I don't think you mean anything you've said recently anyways.” Her voice is dismissive, but she walks over to her cousin anyway.
She gets up and crosses the few feet to where he's standing. “About how you're going to clean up the town? I know you've been talking big, isn't that just a cover to make money and not lose face with your family once they all find out? It's not going to play out like you think it is, you can't undo what the mafia has done in this town over the last forty years.”
“I will. I have to. It won't be safe for any of us here if I mess this up. They're leaving the rest of the family alone because I've joined up, so our parents won't have to fight with people they can't even understand.”
“My dad's dealt with them before, and he won.”
“Maybe, but it's not the kind of thing he, I, or anyone can bring down from the outside.”
Jyoti can't hold her amusement anymore and laughs right in his face. “You gonna be Everet, PI now or somethin'? What are you gonna do if you get found out? This is a crappy idea.”
“I won't get found out. But you be careful.”
She makes a face, feeling a sense of deja vu. “Yeah don't worry, I'll keep an eye on things around here, or whatever.” She knows her promise is as empty to Everet as it was to Kevin. Whatever I mean by that.
But it works for the moment. “Thanks.” He says, sounding a bit happy to hear her say it. Is she the responsible one in the family without realizing it? Why does everyone tell her their worries and secrets?
“Sure, now about this idiot...” She mumbles, looking across the yard as Everet walks away.
Kevin notices the across-the-yard eye contact and minutely shakes his head negatively. No, you don't need to come over here.
“Are you listening to me Kev? I think it's possible. In the future, I mean, to become one.” His sister is over the novelty of the feeling of recent magical changes and talking about her favorite subject of late.
“Sure it's possible, technology just hasn't caught up to your fetish yet, that's all.” He says matter-of-factly.
“It's not a fetish, I just... don't you envy normal people sometimes, who weren't born with magic? And even computers are minds far batter than theirs. On the other side of magic, is thought and consciousness.”
“I don't want to be normal, nobody is in the first place. We should just face whatever we have to face head on, that's what I think.”
“Well, most fae don't think that.”
“Most people don't either.” He counters.
Darla shrugs. She's not about to admit to her super traditional brother that if there was surgery to help her become a robot right now she'd go under the knife for it right away. So she changes topics. “So, you and Sparrow huh?”
“Huh? Me and Sparrow what?”
“You playing dumb? You've been staring at her all night.”
“Huh? Was I? I had a lot on my mind.” He admits easily.
Back inside, Mercutio gets caught by the resident old lady who likes to ask everybody how their grades are doing and what books they're reading now in school. Normally he'd say something privileged and harsh to get her off his back, but this is his Lieutenant's mother of all people. “Shit.” He says softly under his breath.
“What was that?”
“Uhm, nothin. We're reading uh the Cather in the Rye I guess... don't know who's going to win, my money is on the Rye.”
This drama would have all been resolved if there weren't so many people to be polite to at this party. But Kevin is being obsessive about this feeling and hasn't wanted to leave just yet.
“So you're not going to tell me what's going on are you?” Jyo's voice has taken on an uncharacteristic note of annoyance.
“Not until I know for sure it's important.”
“Ohkay.” She says sarcastically. “I'm sure it's nothing, I'll see you Monday then?”
She can't see him nod but knows he got the hint. “See you Monday.”
And he's gone, inky wings blending into the shadows. Not all fae can mask their appearance like this, blending into the background. It takes a certain kind of skill and level of magical proficiency in that skill. Kevin, being a super traditional fae at heart, has learned many of the older techniques.
He can take all the time he needs to find out what sort of magic was used here recently and why. It's weaker than that of a mage, but not the kind that other occult creatures possess. As if it's been blended with a human spirit in some way. Is it the undead? That's possible, not un-heard of in the magical community at least. Or possibly, a necromancer, testing out their skill. This would be the night to try new things, especially if the mage was weak in magical power.
He alights near his sister after checking the outside of the home more thoroughly. “Okay hope you don't mind missing some sleep.” He tells her. “You check in the valley, I'll stay up north and try these homes to see if there's any other trace of it.”
“Yeah of course.” She says. Beats doing homework.
At least Jyoti enjoyed herself this evening. Prom was a bust, but leave it to Jet to have an amusing birthday that he didn't even know he was having. She knows he's partly so controversial to mask his natural clumsiness, but this kind of awkward party laced with all kinds of things happening that have nothing to do with his party just seems like her brother's normal dumb luck.
And as most of the guests leave the evening draws to a close.
And Jyoti is no closer to understanding her place in the world.
On his way to the bathroom, Everet stops for a second. “Uncle Dustin, what-”
“I heard there were some thugs nearby, figured I'd warm up a little in case there are any extra asses that need kicking.”
“Terrifying.” Everet remarks.
Leila interrupts what could have been a tense moment with her ridiculous cuteness.
And his daughter is here, looking so grown up and ladylike that Dustin can't help but forget he was trying to get Everet to admit his gang involvement. The town magician knows all and sees all.
“Did you invite your boyfriend tonight?”
This is a ritual. He asks her whenever he comes home late, as if she was going to sneak someone in the house behind his back. “Of course not dad, I'm going to be alone forever!” She replies cheerfully.
“That's my girl!”
Jet before his age up
Look who wanted more attention!
Just to remind everyone that she's still old, Lize pees herself on the outside steps.