Not long after Loki's departure back to Twinbrook, Meghan gives birth to a second child, a boy that is named Jet. Jet means ruler, apparently, but Dustin's not sure if he's ever heard that before. He good-naturedly lets his wife have her way since he's no better at picking out names than she is and possibly he is worse. Kids will make fun of anything anyways, and Jet has kind of a cool ring to it.
Having seen all of the birthing process this time, Dustin is significantly less amused as they leave the hospital for home. Thankfully no sun is shining in the sky as they depart so Meghan isn't additionally irritable, just goal-oriented and ready to settle back in at home with the new little one.
They don't realize until later that they forgot to arrange a babysitter for their first little one, however...
Totally a safe place to sleep. A+ parenting award. Your useless plaque from the city counsel is in the mail.
I should probably use this unicorn for story purposes because it showed up the night Jet was born, and about a house away when normally I only see them at parks. It's Jet black too. But I got nothing, and all this story needs is five random chapters where everyone chases unicorns.
But again, more magical creatures... x/
We're just going to move on. Right...?
A stroke of
allows Dustin to create a proper nursery and forego the previous
attempts he and his wife had made at living within 45 degree angles.
Things do need to be up to some sort of code, after all.
The garage still isn't used for a vehicle, Dustin is nowhere near finished with his project so at least this way there is a rec room.
The snow cone machine again is Meghan's prize from the festival at Mayfield Springs and the awesome old-school arcade machine is from (the online gift system) a raffle that Dustin won at the grocery store.
The ping pong table remains as stolen property from they house they all rented at university.
It's been weeks and nobody haws managed to fix the dishwasher yet. Not that anyone so far has pointed any fingers, but who in the house has a level ten handiness skill? Hmm?
Meghan gets a call from Loki and is not in the mood to talk. “Yeah, the baby's fine. I thought you weren't going to call me? Sure, hey are you okay... your voice sounds different, you sick or something?”
“Right, well thanks for asking and all, I had a boy and he's alive and I'm alive, and weren't you supposed to be getting married? Hello... you there? Oh not yet? Okay, well uh... good luck to you too, I guess. Bye.”
Meanwhile Dustin learns that super-dad; he ain't, when he finds the toddler asleep near a pan of water full of sanitizing chemicals, and a within a few feet of a vertical drop because of nearby stairs and in a uniquely locked portion of the house.
He decides that Meghan can find out about this later, he's too busy making sure Jyoti is fine. Nothing like a good scare to make him want to over-parent for the next several months!
But she's her happy babbling self at the moment, just complaining about it being 'nai time' and saying she's 'seepy'. So that's good. He's totally gonna nap with her on the rocking chair later.
“I know you're sleepy baby but you have to eat something, okay? Then it's nai time.”
She doesn't soil her diaper in response so he takes that as agreement while Meghan eats a slice of 'thank the maker that bun left my oven' cake and waves that she's going straight to bed.
“Have fun with that.” She tells him.
“Oh, I'm gonna.” He says to his wife. Then to Jyoti, “Told you you'd be hungry. Say please?”
“Close enough.” Dustin sighs. Maybe she can learn a little more when she's not exhausted and hungry at the same time.
Here's the cramped but functional nursery in bird's eye close up.
Dustin was confused when the park said he'd done such a great job for his lastest show that he could keep the pretzel bench. Who was he to argue with a free pretzel bench? It hurts the butt though, so almost nobody ever uses it. Stupid park could have just paid him more or something.
Hard to tell here, but Jet's got his father's eyes. He was born clumsy though, the son will not be doing crazy on stage stunts like his father. Hard to tell a baby's future though, right now the parents merely hope for things and decide to focus on continuing to work hard. This pregnancy was rough on Meghan and she worked through part of it, so Dustin has to get back to doing shows soon.
Jet will also be their last child in order to protect Meghan's health. She kind of wanted to have one more, but after the year she's had it seems like two is a great place to stop.
The words she used at the hospital were 'never' and 'again'.
“Hey little guy.”
Once again the fragility of this little being strikes Dustin to his core. He suddenly misses his father, who is still among the living but has grown old, according to the way his cousin reports it. Father and son have spoken over the phone since Meghan and Dustin moved to this busy coastal town, but it's been so many years since they've gotten to meet face to face. Dustin isn't sorry that he left, he has this amazing life with Meghan, he has a family of his own, but there are times like this when he wishes his parents were here to see what he's made of himself. When the kids get a little older, maybe he can visit them back at home?
Then while Meghan rests in the early hours it's back to teaching Jyo how to speak again. No more of this one-word laziness.
“That's right, your dad should a kicked his butt again, but you have to give friends the benefit of the doubt, even if they annoy you okay?”
Jyoti looks her dad over thoughtfully for a moment before parroting, “'kay”.
“Okay, Jyoti, say, 'That's okay.”
Sigh. “Close enough.”
"Take Take! TriTeak!" She chants when he talks about kinds of food.
Tri-tip steak is somehow her favorite food already? “What has your momma been feeding you?”
Both parents were feeling pudgy, Dustin doesn't want to admit that he's taking time to center himself and renew his focus.
He didn't mind Loki's visit at the time, but it's a strong reminder to protect the people he loves. Also he wants to be better on stage, and there are tricks that will require some actual feats that he won't be able to pull off without knowing his body well.
Meghan's still recovering and just trying to get back into a rhythm before Dustin has to be out every night again. At least he makes something to eat for everyone before he leaves.
She puts on a brave face for him while they're together, but alone it's hard not to overthink every little thing she's doing or not doing as a mother. What is it that moms do? Lize pretty much just yelled things about curfew and made those awesome sandwiches. Meghan sucks at cooking anyway. But Jyoti is learning and every day gets a little bit better.
But she's happy they decided to have kids (and happy they decided not to ever have another one again). It would have been nice maybe to have three, but the pain and stress of this last one was enough to put that idea off as some kind of pipe dream, easily dissipated like smoke hanging in the air. Besides, they have one of each!
“Let's go check on your brother.” She murmurs.
Jyoti sneaks out to the back porch sometimes and just watches the rain. She really loves being outside in any kind of weather. Her parents don't love finding her there after looking all over the house. Walls are no joke! They should totally be removable for people with little kids.
Mostly her parents are there right away keeping an eye on her. Her Dada especially.
Dustin is so bored of this park already but through his little girl's eyes he sees things differently. They spend the day together...
Get a photo from the booth...
He auditions for a gig and gets it (of course he does)...
...and he beats the high score on a game of skeeball while she picks her nose twenty feet away.
He was going to teach her more of how to walk today but the ground is wet...
Eh why not, she was sitting on the ground anyways. Shouldn't he have made her wear some pants?
Muddy booty or not, the mission is much closer to being accomplished!
Meghan gets a call and is pleasantly surprised before she remembers the last conversation she's had with the man on the other side of the phone.
She's not acquainted with many people (unlike Dustin who knows half of the town already) so it should be fairly obvious to the reader who this man is. “Your voice sounds different still,” she tells him. “That cold lasted for over a month? Yeah, things have calmed down. And for you and Circe? You still don't want to talk about it, huh?”
She thinks about her husband, who took the toddler to the park today and Jet, who's napping in the other room for probably exactly ten more minutes. She just in a very different place from the Meghan of the past, and the man on the other end of the phone still seems to have issues saying her real name right.
“Loki, I don't think it's a good idea for us to be talking a this much. Nostalgia, huh? I get that. Yeah they're probably a bit too young for the toys you're making, it's nice of you to offer. Sure.”
“Right. The flowers. I never did explain that. Well you were right to be concerned about those experiments, and I don't do any studies that test on humans now at all. It was... not the best thing to deal with. What? I don't know. Yeah. It turns out there was a cure, it was expensive, I don't really ever buy skin creams anymore because of that experience.”
She finds herself texting afterwards. It's hard not to, she does wish him well, really, and did want to keep him as a friend before, but even that now seems like so much work.
'Great talking to you too. Get some rest, I hope your cold is better soon.'
It's so weird, she should be avoiding Loki but he's been so chill lately and it really was great seeing him again, or maybe more honestly, to have her feelings of guilt be lifted. There can't be much harm in staying in touch a little from time to time, as long as Dustin doesn't mind.
Meanwhile Dustin tries to reason with a toddler who really could have used a nap and more than her first snowcone to eat since the afternoon.
“I know, I know it's late, but look at the pretty view...”
This line of reasoning only works for the next thirty feet of the walk.
Meghan's still not nearly as attentive as her husband is, she's so easily distracted by new ideas.
Jyo follows her all over the house some days.
And things settle back down.
At last the parents are able to catch up on the occasional blissful moment of sleep!
There are times when the baby cries they both find themselves trying to take care of it at once. It's nice to have too much help.
Of course Dustin got here first. He's awesome. Meghan is happier in her life now than she ever thought was possible, and with each day that passes her fears about being a horrible mother are slowly laid to rest.
Things are working out.
She pulls him aside to thank him for being great with the kids, and to remind him that no matter how busy they are she loves him completely.
Dustin just holds her for a few moments when she tells him that.
He's grateful too.
“You could join me the next time I go out collecting insects if it wouldn't BUG you too much.”
This is about as flirty as Meghan gets.
But even these little moments can turn serious pretty quickly. Which is good, they don't have a lot of time to get lost in each other.
Oh look it's little miss case-in-point.
In almost the blink of an eye it's already the height of summer, which is the longest season by far in Starlight Shores. In all their years here Dustin and Meghan still have yet to experience snowfall, but they're told that when the seasons change they can hit pretty hard because there's normally such a pleasant mix of warm to hot temperatures. Today there's a light breeze that barely stirs the leaves off at their branches and only teases through the clearings in the park. A light rain has just let up, cooling the ground.
It's time for Jet's birthday, so the cousins are invited out and everyone makes an excuse to pick-nick out of it.
“Where's the spawn?” Eugene asks casually. He hasn't been over as there's an insane amount of things to report on in a city of this size and he's constantly swamped with work. Its kind of nice the office gets locked on Saturdays, otherwise he'd probably camp out there and write all weekend too.
Everet still has moments where he thinks Meghan is crazy, but he wonders if this is because he was always looking for the strangest things he could, when he was younger. His older brother Leon really wanted to be a reporter like their dad, or a policeman who fought crime and made his dad's workload less so they could spend more time together as a family. Everet is more practical and is forced to admit that justice doesn't win nearly half of the time and the people that get ahead sometimes are the criminals. But in the good/bad dynamic of simnation, where does someone crazy like Meghan factor in? Also he's pretty sure he only has that opinion of her because Leon put it there. She's kind of alright to be around.
He's not sure what he's going to be one day, but he wants this town to be a safe place for his family, cousins included.
Meghan still just finds it weird that he's so tall already. Where had the years gone?
(there's some glitch where I can see interaction fields between sims...??? Oh KAY then game...)
There was going to be cake but for some reason cake can't be placed at the PARK?! Why can't Dustin flipping conjure one now?!
WHERE'D YOU PUT ALL THE CAKE!?
No wait, Everet's freaking out because he's getting hailed on. Par for the course of family gatherings as last birthday Leon got electrocuted. Of course there's no cake at the park, nobody wants to eat cake with hail in it...
Ugh. So this is a thing in my game. Why game, why?! Everet is lost in his own little world half the time. Maybe he'll make it real, but the kid has no logic skill at all... anyways who cares who he thinks is crazy, he has a best friend is named Wiggles.
Instead of a big messy cake they settle for several different kinds of sweets. Because they had a choice and they chose this. Okay?!
(imagine the storyteller does not have a cake-at-every-party agenda please, she may or may be or definitely is still mad about it not working out here)
Jet grows up with his mother's chin, so we're winning everywhere. >.>
Why did I randomize her in the beginning? Why. Oh well for now he's all chubby cheeks and fluffiness, and both clumsy and artistic. And he seems happy enough, so who cares. Although the weight of his jaw is likely the reason he's going to be so off-balance when he's walking later in life... maybe nobody will notice every time.
Enjoy your sparkles, kid.
Dad celebrates with a coordinated cheer. Go... llamas or whatever team is popular right now! (Not that it matters, plenty of people will celebrate regardless of whether or not they've actually won something)
Leon would like everyone to be aware that the hail is not bothering him one bit. He's unensorcerably unaffected and generally too cool for everything. Also I think he just started dating Maria Best, that hot blond chick from a rich family, so things are getting to his head a bit. This is nothing like the peaceful mountain lifestyle he is accustomed to living.
Everet spends most of the party talking to himself, so even Meghan has cause to wonder if he's insane, but for some reason Leon's overall lack of enthusiasm is what worries her. He was such a bubbly kid! Can't he at least pretend to be happy for her kid?
It keeps on hailing and Dustin finally tells Everet he can stop celebrating. “Hey he already aged up...”
Jet looks like baby Marty McFly with his new puffy jacket.
“So... great party.”
“You don't have to lie to my face, Eugene.”
“I know, but I wanted to.” He replies with a twitch of a smile before his tone becomes sincere. “You can't control the weather for what that's worth. Also, I'm glad you invited us out. Sorry Lize couldn't make it.”
Oh, looks like Dannigan Shift and his wife Iris are here. She has green swirly wings but you can't see them. She's not nearly as trusting as her husband is, so her wings stay hidden around humans. Let him be all brazen about being a fairy now, seriously let him. She wants to see him talk his way out of explaining how they exist and all.
I try to make a nice family picture of everyone but it's all over the place.
At least Eugene is happy.
“You wanted to see it?”
The woman with the firebrand hair twirls her umbrella aimlessly, letting out her agitation. The man beside her merely nods. So many things between them don't need to be spoken, and are merely understood after everything that's happened in the last few years.
“I thought you were over this.”
“So did I.” He still does, to be clear, think he's over it and he's not sure what it is that makes him want to be near them, it's not like he can be a part of their lives now. And he's fairly certain he's okay with that. But they were his closest friends, and like a family in a way, he took it for granted that they'd always be together.
His fingers tighten just a little over the fabric of his jacket. He's fine with this.
Circe lets out a short breath. Not happy nor unhappy, only short. “The possibility exists that we'll run into them around town, don't you think? You won't be able to avoid it forever. And if I didn't know any better I'd think you were stupid enough to be trying to make me jealous by coming here.”
“As if you'd ever be jealous over a man.” He says dryly. “You'd just go back to your Simsatorium and your many soon-to-be-dead boyfriends.”
She shrugs. There are no lies between the two of them. Easy come, easy go. That principle applies equally to relationships. “Well not all of them are my undead husband.”
Loki smiles slightly, still viewing the not-so-perfect family birthday scene visible from this end of the park. “Tell Vidcund that next time I won't make the mistake of leaving him with enough to keep him alive.” There's no heat in his tone, his voice is merely conversational. Loki has inherited his power well, and as he is now is overall more thoughtful and less passionate. “He shouldn't have survived but I misunderstood that his heart was so small, it never used a lot of blood in the first place. That, and considering how incredibly tiny of a man he is-”
“Alright alright, I get it. And he's not my boyfriend.”
“Right. He's your dead boyfriend.” The edge of a threat was there now as last time either one of them saw Vidcund he was (more or less) alive.
“No, he's my ex. So that would make him my dead ex-boyfriend.”
“That would make him perfect.” Loki replies with satisfaction.
“So now that we've established that you aren't sorry for nearly killing my ex- who I may remind you I was only with because we were on break-” Loki opened up his mouth to speak. He did think it was worth mentioning that his leaving for a science fair for a week to work didn't legitimately mean she could just start sleeping with her old flame again- but she kept speaking and ignored him- “Could you stop standing around pining over the woman who fed you the line 'It's not you it's me'?! She can NOT be nearly as intelligent as you make her sound.”
“I'm not pining.” For the first time in the conversation he sounds miffed. “This is an example of what my life as a human could have been. I want to witness parts of it. Why can you not see that?”
“You were going to make paper flowers, butterflies and rabbits appear in the park for a living?”
“You were going to make paper flowers, butterflies and rabbits appear in the park for a living?”
He rolls his now-sky blue eyes and growls. “Maybe I was.”
“Your life as a human would have been nothing like this. Andrea or whatever you call her is too stuck up for you and you'd never be happy with her long term. You want to find out what happens to your exes, while we're here? Since you get to nearly consume mine in fits of 'temper'? It seriously is starting to look like you miss her now. I'm hurt.”
“Are you? I apologize.”He walks up behind her and slides his knuckles over the back of her arm, all the way down until he's holding her hand. “We don't have to make the move permanent.” He reminds her.
“There was an opportunity here.” She says, noting how his casual and suspiciously non-apologetic sounding tone of voice had returned. Trying to ignore the lightness of his touch, which he uses very thoroughly to distract her. “The pay is much better. The market for the things you've invented isn't good now, but you'll have opportunities as a photographer, what with the celebrity and self-oriented culture that inundates this place and all. We can live in the same town as these people you secretly like better than yourself.” She grips his hand and pulls him closer to her side with it. “Besides, now that I'm employed at Holy Cow I can make sure I'm first in line to be your ex-girlfriend's primary care physician. Wouldn't that be hilarious?”
Loki gives a twitch of a smile that she barely catches. “For what it's worth, I'm glad you're the one that I married, and she isn't.”
“Damn right you are.” She says under her breath.
He pulls her close and she drops her umbrella which spins a few times before falling over onto the damp grass. “Just admit you enjoyed coming out here with me.”
“I'll admit I enjoyed seeing your ex's family get pelted by hail. That part was awesome.”
“Well let's enjoy the rest of the show, I have a few things I'd like to try out before we go and after that, when we get home, I'll make sure you forget all about the parts you didn't like.”
She rests her forehead on his. “That would be divine.” And then, because he knows she likes that sort of stuff, he runs his nails down her back while they kiss.
Loki has to focus after that. Who better to test his new mental abilities on than his (ex)friends? Nothing too fancy needs to be done, as they weren't expecting him even to be in town again, but he wants to see if he can hide in plain sight.
Meghan's on the other side of the stage, watching the kids and sometimes the show. It's not difficult to make her mind not see him standing here.
It's almost too easy. Eugene had to have noticed him, but apparently the excitement generated by Dustin's stupid new prop is too great for his mind to be guarded.
Golf-Clap for this experiment requiring almost no effort. Loki's not a genius like Eugene, but guess who looks dumb now?
It's not long after dusk that Dustin performs a show at the park, it turns the horrible party around and let's everyone let loose a bit. He could swear he sees a familiar face, but at the same time it's hard to read the crowd with this much light in his eyes. He decides the show should just go on and not to worry about it. He wouldn't be able to consider himself a professional if he let weird vibes get to him.
This old lady is so excited she didn't die on stage. She is going to throw herself at the magician after the show ends, and will not take no for an answer!
Dustin makes these faces at home at his wife too, she just rolls her amber eyes at them. He doesn't mind, he knows he's hot and she can't resist him.
Loki has a moment despite himself where he forgets to breathe, or whatever it is his body does where air goes in, and goes back out, but her feels no more alive for the effort.
He loves his wife, the best he can. But he never feels drawn to her in quite this same way as he feels with Andrea (he has a hard time thinking of her as Meghan). As if she's seen through his mental projection and knows who he is, she stares for a several long seconds. He should look like someone else right now, she should be ignoring him, as Eugene is. But she's not.
From across the dusky park and from the other side of the bright lights on stage, she stares him right in the face. Glorious.
It makes him almost wish he's never come here when Circe got her precious job offer, a step up in her career, whatever she calls it. Almost. Circe is passionate and challenges him in ways that he finds incredibly appealing, but he knows now that there's a part of his heart that will never belong to her in this same way.
It's all so bittersweet.
On stage there are routing issues on display. “Seriously, exit. The. Stage.” Dustin grinds out between his teeth. Take your ruby slippers back to Oz with you.
It still is rated by everyone attending as a 'good show.'
Oh hey look, Loki still gets to stand around looking sad! :D
Unensorcerably is a real word. Now at least. Who really knows, with how the encyclopedia keeps kicking out old fun words in favor of flash in the pan words from the internet that are much closer to their tribal-stamping pictorial cousins then they are fun to think about or say? Ensorce is a word, therefore -ably should apply, right? >_> <_< Albeit only scrabble word creation sites seem to recognize that's it's a word still in actuality, WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?!?! deepbreaths Where's my paper bag....
Oh well, it was great seeing the cousins again. Everet's such a cutie pie, but I was sad Lize didn't show up. That explains why her kids had imaginary friends I guess.
looks like the key is a tossing motion...
Your party freaking sucked human, and I should know! Nothing proper about it!
I don't know if it'll come up later or not, but Jet can be translated as ruler, but it's really short for Henriette, which is derived from Henry, so it's probably still a masculine name? Meghan didn't seem to think so much about this name (okay full disclosure I just liked how it sounded, Jyoti & Jet)
Yes, Loki & Meghan totally stared at each other during the show. Oh yeah, and Dustin rolled this wish not long after the party. >_>