Saturday, February 10, 2018

1.23 Project Genefish

“Dad? Who's that at the door?”

“Just go get your work done.” He says more sternly than he intends.

“But...” She hesitates, why does he sound kind of worried?

“No buts- go.”

Something in her father's voice makes her stop arguing. Not that she has a desk or surface of any kind in that room he's calling hers, but she can figure the specifics out later. For now, she obeys him.

Meghan goes to get the door first, and promptly faints on the front porch before Dustin gets outside. For some reason Dustin can't call it a coincidence, but he has no idea how to react.

“What the hell? Meg?!”

“She'll be fine.” Moira's quiet voice assures him from the shadows of the yard.

“Be fine my ass. Did you do this?”

“I didn't think you'd want her to know about my visits.” The woman says.

Dustin is speechless for a few seconds. He sees his wife's chest rising and falling slowly, and still stoops to make sure she didn't hit her head on the way down. He didn't see it.

Before he can worry too much, Meghan's up on her elbows, talking about how she got too hot or some other unconvincing thing.

She says she's fine, and just needs to get back to what she was doing. She stands without aid and after a few minutes it becomes clear that she's herself, and she doesn't want him to fuss.

He wastes no time heading down the steps to confront Moira.

“Get out of here.” He growls at the vampire woman in lieu of a greeting.

Meghan spares him a glance as she heads back inside, but doesn't acknowledge anything else is going on although she was able to count all his fingers and name the time of day when he checked on her.

Can she even tell they have a visitor? He grits his teeth when Moira makes no immediate reply.

He glances over to watch Meghan walk by and just like that Dustin has lost his temper. “If you think she wouldn't want you to visit then probably you shouldn't be visiting! I will not tolerate you taking advantage of my wife or my tolerance during your last visit!”

“For the next half hour, she won't remember anything. There won't be any adverse effects.”

“I can't believe you! I thought when we first met that you had some integrity, but now I doubt everything you told me! Your behavior is selfish, if you cared what happened here you would have been more careful!”


“I nothing, you can't treat people like that, and now you need to leave. For good. I'd better not see you here again.”

“I'm trying to help you!”

“That's debatable! And all you're doing is trying to make me dislike my friend, more like. Trying to meddle with things you don't really understand. I don't need your kind of 'help'. Neither does Meghan, and neither does Loki or anyone else.”

“Why are you humans so stubborn about things?” She sounds actually confused.

“Because we're smarter than you think we are, and we don't need direction from you. So thanks for the offers and the fear tactics and the whatever the heck that plant was, but no thanks. Take a hike.”

“You don't even care that he's stronger than you are now? And outside of human rule, human law? It wouldn't take him more than a few moments to end you, and merely more than a lapse in judgment to turn on your family. His new life is long, he'll have a lot of time to plan it all out, to think about it. You don't understand what you're saying.”

Dustin shakes his head. “Maybe I don't, but I know that you shouldn't have done something like that to my wife. I'm not going to tell you again. I don't want to see you. Here, or anywhere.”

“You'd leave your children without a father, just for a few moments of pride now?”

She knows her words have gotten through when he hangs his head for the briefest moment.

He sighs. “Look, Moira, you seem like you think you're a good person, but you don't understand. You seem to be limited by what you did, but that's not going to fix anything now. If Loki goes crazy or homicidal or whatever, then it's on him. People have violent and even terrible thoughts all the time. But that doesn't mean they're going to act on those thoughts. To treat him as if he's some criminal who just hasn't committed a crime yet is unfair and I'm not going to think about him that way. It's not about my kids, it's about being a good friend at this point. And moreover, about protecting my wife from you.”

She spends a few moments looking like one of Meghan's lab fish, opening and then closing her mouth as if she has no idea what to say to that. Eventually, she hisses out an irritable 'Have it your way.” and is gone before Dustin can see her move away. “Thank you.” He mutters, irate but honestly relieved. He had no idea how he was going to make her, he doesn't want to fight with a woman, human or not, nor does he think the cops would be able to make her move out of their way. Which begs the question he's not yet ready to ask himself, 'what if I do have to face someone like Loki one day?'

He runs his hands through his hair roughly and vaults half the steps to get back into the house, locking the door solidly behind him. As if a lock would keep her out in the future. As if anything could.

He keeps a close eye on Meghan after that but she seems fine. She seems not to remember their visitor, but she recalls Jyoti's homework questions from earlier in the day and that she fed Jet and put him down for a nap. It's not ideal, but Dustin will take it. He handles some of the mundane chores and gets her a glass of water so she can relax a bit.


In all the chaos of the day their actual adult birthdays had been forgotten. It seems like time will move forward no matter what anybody feels the need to be dramatic about.

She ages the same way she does everything else. Looking confused yet happy.

He marches on over and turns on the charm, determined that this will be a good day at the end. “You are absolutely beautiful...” he says, running his hand through her hair.

She just wonders if she's working hard enough at her dream. Maybe they should work out together more often like he's been saying?

She sighs, and he falls back on a joke. “I've always wanted to be the boy-toy of an older, more experienced woman.”

“You're so easy to read.” She tells him, it comes out more critically than she intends.

“I didn't think you had to try and figure me out at all actually. Pretty sure I'm clear with most things.”

A small laugh escapes her. “That's true. You don't have to worry about me, as long as we get a little better every day, that's all I care about.”

Wordlessly he takes her hand and leads her out of the room.

The idea was to go outside and watch the stars, but Dustin has his birthday instead. He was so worried she was happy about hers, he'd forgotten they shared the day.

“I totally forget I get one of these. Nice.” He smirks. “Guess we have to be equally mature now.”

“Good luck with that.”

“Is that sarcasm Mrs Sparrow?”

“It probably should be.”

((I have serious problem with old-looking Dustin and experience a mild unnecessary panic attack. Theses lights make him look like he's made of playdough, and possibly I am unable to let go?))


Meghan gets a wardrobe with her favorite color in it, finally. She'll probably shave the side again though. It's too easy to work with when she's sciencing...

Jyoti, oblivious to her parent's drama and transformations, finally gets to bake something. When she asked her dad who the lady at the door was, he told her she was selling something and nagged her about homework again. Now she's just happy to get to do something fun. The biggest descision she has to make right now is 'blueberry, or vanilla'?

Not one to be bested by concerns with the early onset of mortality, Dustin jogs all the way to his evening auditions.

And fails to impress the resident fairy with his 'magic'.

“You make actual money at this?” Dannigan remarks, surprised to see the performer just hanging out on the street outside of a rodeo bar.

“And how do you make your money?” Dustin points a bouquet of silk flowers at him, more annoyed that he broke character to answer than the silliness of the question.

The fae shrugs, unconcerned with Dustin's tone. “Photographs sell well in this town.”

“Yeah? Well get a photo of me before I'm truly a maelstrom of fame. And see for yourself when it appreciates, whether or not what I do is worth something.”

Dannigan shrugs. “Show me some magic first.”

“These flowers weren't in my hand a minute ago...”

The fae has no comment. Dustin must be trolling him right now. Eventually he smiles a little. “I told you I liked your show...”

“Well, thanks I guess!”

“Did I do something to offend you?”

Dustin finds himself laughing. Were all fae so horrible at interpersonal relationships? “No. No man, we're great. Maybe you'll like the next one better.”

Despite the argument of magic being real or not real, some moments feel real enough. Jet is so close to learning how to walk, but the feeling of time slowly spent with her son on a chilly summer night under a bright moon can't be put into words.

“Jyoti!” Meghan scolds her daughter. “I better not have seen what I think I did!”

“What! He's annoying!” Jyo outbursts, not able to explain how her little brother has been stealing all of her attention away from her parents lately. She kind of misses being little sometimes. Kid life is hard.

“He just wanted to give you a hug!” Jet had been so enthusiastic in the hug he'd half knocked his sister over and ended up stepping all over her as she tried to get up. Awkward and clumsy maybe, but not worth shoving him over.

“Little brothers are dumb.” Jyo protests eloquently.

Meghan doesn't know what to say at first. When she was little, she dreamed of having someone to play with, to share toys with, and to love and be loved by. Two children are better than one. The emotional memories of her childhood put her on the defensive now. “He loves you, how can you be mean to him like that?”

“I'm not being mean...” Her daughter sounds unsure now.

“You go over there and tell him that you love him and give him a hug.” Meghan demands.

“But he doesn't even care, he's not upset.”

“Well I am. So go be a good big sister right now.”

Jyoti resists rolling her eyes, but barely, until finally saying 'yes mom' in the most possible displeased way she can and stomping off after Jet.

And Meghan, once that is begun takes a second outside to breath in the cool night air. That woke up some unpleasant memories, for a moment she was back in that little box, hoping against hope that someone would care enough to come find her. If she had been shoved away in that fragile state... she shakes her head. But she wasn't. People accepted her now. How can she teach her daughter to be better than the people who were mean to her her whole life?

She takes a deep breath, yelling wouldn't help. What would Dustin have done about the outburst?

Jyoti has an existential crisis. She does feel bad now, her brother still doesn't seem to care, and her mom's not watching. Should she apologize? Does it matter anymore?

Ehh why not?

“Sorry, Jet.”

Jet merely giggles.

Jet allows himself to be put to bed for once, but still has a hard time letting go.

Meghan finds herself humming to him until his eyes grow sleepy. She decides to renew her efforts to be the kind of mom she wishes she had had.

But as for the memories that were resurfacing lately, should she talk to someone about them?

Meanwhile Dustin learns that there's new management at the coffee shop. Old man Cupp finally passed away and his empire, instead of crumbling, has fallen under 'new management'. As such, each proprietor has been given better freedom about which acts fit their individual businesses. This woman has never heard of Element the Suspicious, and she doesn't believe him that his act is family friendly. He could point out the fact that her cafe is an elderly and office drone hang out and will never attract any children because those consume no caffeine, but she would probably figure that part out eventually.

It's not an easy business, but who else can knock off for the rest of the afternoon and eat onion rings at the fair? This guy can.

Also, it comes to his attention that summer is over and they are facing fall. How many years has it taken to get to this point?

After his not-healthy meal and before heading home to rest (he was out all night again), Dustin takes some time to meet someone he's familiar with, the proprietor of MN8. They quickly work out a deal for Dustin to perform a regular show in exchange for the promise that he will change up his act from time to time, and bring all his newest sets here first.

The money adds up, so he readily agrees.

Unrelated to the auditions, Dannigan waltzes into the club, right past the sign that says 'no shoes, no shirt, no service'. They serve food here man, pay attention!

(as a side note I make very few fairies but this blood red wing thing I am loving)

Being magic, he probably has some sort of spell on himself that makes him look dressed to everyone except Dustin. They have that kind of awkward friendship after all, and it could be more trolling.

Dustin heads home, and has no idea that this was an available sight next door. Loki has managed to avoid his (former) friends in town, much as his wife suggested he would. The way he holds himself up at home making inventions and only comes downtown to sell them or take a few photographs may also have something to do with it.

This great disguise would have completely fooled them though, to be sure.

(Sounds of narrator chuckling in amusement)

You never change either, Loki.

Looks like Jyo has a great day at school. Dannigan and Iris' eldest, Darla, is in her class. She has a bad attitude, but the girls get along okay despite Darla being a few years older.

I'm just going to assume that Jyoti beat someone up today and is happy about it, or witnessed a fight, or something.

Darla also hates the outdoors, which of course Jyoti teases her about.

Her wing color is gorgeous, and matches the purples streaks she inherited from her father in her hair.

At times Jyoti hangs out more with animals she finds outside than her classmates. She gets along with other people fine, but animals have a special place in her heart. Dogs are her favorite, but she settles for hanging out with this stray kitty after school.

Kids at this school are encouraged to keep lazer pointers on hand for such an emergency as this.

Until a call from her parents reminds her that she was supposed to call them when her after school activities concluded. Whoops! She didn't notice the time, and promises to remember to call right away in the future.

Dustin's got the house all cleaned up and ready for guests, but heads out to pick his daughter up from school first.

Meghan's been bringing home critters for awhile now. She claims they are specimens too, but mostly they're there to teach the kids about responsibility. Only time will tell if they learn anything from the feeding regimen. Tammy the gecko is joined by a turtle and a chipmonk.

They get home again just in time for one of their guests to arrive. For some reason being an old man suits Eugene way too well.

“I would have brought you food but I'd rather have free food, so make me something delicious.” He 'suggests'.

Meghan is super happy to see him. It feels like it's been forever! Truth be told, they haven't seen him since Jet became a toddler over a year ago. This town is huge, so they never run into anybody they know.

She takes the time to express her gratitude. All weirdness aside (and conversations between these three frequently get a little weird) she wants him to know that the support she received from him and Lize really did change her life. “You gave me an example of what a family is truly supposed to be, and it makes me a better mother. I can't ever really explain how much of a difference you made in my life.”

Her seriousness isn't lost on Eugene, whose answer is kind of quiet for him. “It was great having you both over, and it wouldn't change anything. I'm glad we were able to help.”

This answer makes her tear up a little, so Dustin steps in and takes over the conversation long enough that she can compose herself. She never thought that people could be like this when she was little, and now after witnessing how their family is she knows it made all the difference in the world to her.

They reminisce for a while. Dustin retells the story of the dog park, expanding it to explain the town, the travel and what he learned from it. “It's crazy to think it's been so long, how are you liking retirement?”

Eugene laughs. “Who would retire? This town always has a story to dig into.” He's actually just been made a news anchor. His show is a combination of direct delivery of the happenings and snarky remarks about people's behavior in them. Dustin & Meghan don't own a tv so they don't see it even though it's becoming pretty popular.

It's not hard to get a DNA sample from him either.

“What the heck are you planning to do with something like that?” Dustin asks. Not that he minds her experiments, but DNA samples now?

“I'm going to cross breed him with a fish.” She replies, her seriousness evaporating for the rest of the evening now that she got her emotions out.

Eugene chuckles, his voice deeper now with age. “You two really talk alike now, huh?”

“It's perfect!” She declares of the sample a moment later.

Eugene cheers. “That's great! I can't wait to be a fish! Name it after my favorite running back from the Gnomes, okay?”

Dustin frowns. For some reason he thinks she's going to do exactly as she just said she would. “I wonder how much money you'd get from project 'Genefish'".

This idea only excites her more. “That's the perfect name!”

“Genefish. I hope you didn't want journalism to be your legacy.” She says with a smirk.

The evening marches on and everyone enjoys themselves, despite the fact that once again Eugene and Lize can't seem to make it to visit at the same time. Their whole family had been invited, and the kids are older now, Leon is a young adult and Eugene a sophomore in high school, but Lize still gets emergency calls from the hospital, which happened last minute tonight as she was heading out the door to visit with her husband.

At least they were having a pretty good time until someone else shows up at their door.

But thankfully it's not a plot device, it's Leon! He was able to come after all, and there were no spare gloves in the hallways closet, so he grabbed the next best thing that he could find. A glock.

He doesn't have to knock, but apparently nobody came out here to give him express permission to enter, so he hasn't. He just stands outside and enjoys the view of the interior of the house from the... outside.

“Shyaaaa....” Dustin returns the kid's way too enthusiastic greeting.

Why is he getting something of a flashback right now?

He lets Leon in after greeting him. “You didn't have to wait out here to be polite, I hope you know.”

Then he excuses himself, he has someone's wish to fulfill.

Even if that someone is incredibly tired.

“And you'll stay in my line of sight at all times, right? You won't go off chasing something because it's pretty, or looks funny in the moonlight? And you won't fall asleep so I have to carry you home, right?”

Jyoti suppressed another yawn and then vigorously shakes her head. “I've been waiting all month for this. I won't fall asleep, I promise.”

He nods.

They finally get to where they're going, a place clear on the other side of town. “Jyo! I think there really are ghosts in here! Come see them they seem nice!”

“There aren't any ghosts, dad. I just want to show Kevin and the other boys that I'm braver than they are. They all said they go here sometimes and hang out, at night. Well, I'm here on a full moon!”

Kevin was a boy with wings from her class. Most people didn't know about his fairy parentage, she was one of the few who did. That didn't mean he wasn't full of dumb boy bravado though.

Dustin laughs at his daughter in his deepest, most haunting way. “So you want to prove you're even braver than they are? Let's find something ghosty together.”

She laughs, unconvincingly. “I ain't afraid a no ghosts.”

He strides over to her, his face all impending doom and promises of terror.

She looks at him tiredly.

So he wakes her up a little by pretending to be a ghost. “BLAAA!”

This results in the desired effect or a gigglefest and some tickling. “Daddy, stop!” She eventually relents, awake again.

“Besides maybe I'm the ghost!”

“Ay'hma Zhombieee!” He slurrs.

“Well I hope you know your dad can easily protect you from any old ghosts or zombies running around!”

Well she looks convinced.

Still, she knows a good role-play opportunity when she sees one.

((enter presentation of contractual offer))
“Maybe I can be a princess, and YOU can be my knight?”

“That would be most gracious of you, my lady.”

And I hereby appoint thee as... Knight Regent of the Kingdom of Astondoriaaaaaa!

((protection clause))
“And I pledge to help you uphold all laws of homework and curfew after this night and-”

“Ew! No, dad, play along!” She commands, her voice more authoritative than ever.

((contract signed by all parties))
“Very well my lady.” He settles back into character, but not before a cool chill makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand straight up.

“D- I mean, sir Dad...” His little girl's eyes go about as wide as saucer plates.

“...” On second thought, she's athletic, she could totally just outrun whatever that is. It's more than a feeling, it's a shimmering in the air, but there is nothing cool about this trip anymore.

To her side her dad cracks his knuckles. “You want I should kick it's ass, m'lady?” He offers, bending into a stretch.

Her royal highness who hasn't named herself yet, debates. Are these few minutes of being in the graveyard during a full moon enough of a story for her classmates? The chill in the room increases the longer she stays put however, and eventually she finds herself turning towards the door. Princessses were too polite to go screaming out of a room if they were scared... right?

Not that she's scared. Completely not.

“O-on second thought, I think we should go home. Because I'm tired, and I don't want to make the queen worried.”

Dustin shrugs, completely unaffected by the creepiness of the moment in the chapel. “It's your call m'lady. I live to serve.”

Back outside he tosses her over his shoulder, in case the floor is lava.

It makes her laugh and forget the scary moment inside.

She gets back into giggle mode in no time. “Dad let me down!”

“But what if the floor is lava?”

“It's not lava! At least, it wasn't lava when we went into the chapel...”

Once Jyoti's calmed down a bit, he feels the need to ask, “You know I could have taken that ghost, right?”

“S-sure Dad.” She says in a weak voice.

“Just don't look around too much and keep walking straight, okay?”

He picks her up and carries her back to the cab station. They've really got to get a car one of these days.


Let's just ignore Dustin's thousand and one outfits, he's been changing every five seconds for some reason lately. Maybe I need to reset the town again.

Most of these adult/ kid poses are from modthesims if I recall. I don't like to use poses if I don't have to, but sometimes it's worth it.