Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Dasia gets a makeover.  She may be getting older, but there's no reason she has to look older. Although her sister's half-naked romps around the house do make her feel a bit more self conscious than she would like to admit.

As soon as she returns home, she's back to working on her latest novel about... giant talking bears or something.  Her publisher has been pushing her harder than usual for her next novel, so she feels obligated to write something - anything, to placate him for a few days.

Lachlan enjoys his new room...

What he enjoys even more is when he outsmarts a rival hacking group.  He needs to assert Simnonymous dominance somehow - and what better way than to compromise the system that another group has been planning to hack for several months.

His success makes him quite popular among the group.  So popular, in fact, that one particular member asks if they can contact him directly.  He feels weary when he says yes, and even more uncomfortable when he receives a call just a few hours later.

"I live near you -" the mystery girl starts, "- and I was wondering if you wanted to get together to help me with a particular issue I'm having with a site."

Lachlan narrows his eyes. "How do you know where I live?"

"I'm a hacker." She laughs. "It's not that difficult.  If you put some effort into it, I'm sure you could find all of my information as well - although my security measures are much more stringent than yours."

Lachlan frowns.  "I should change that."

"Yes - you should.  So, are you in?"

"Fine."  Lachlan sighs.  "Where would you like to meet?"

"Tomorrow at seven, your house.  Mine is... well, mine is not a good place and we probably shouldn't meet anywhere public. I'll see you then."

When she does show up the following day, Lachlan is surprised that she's so... hot.  

"Have you been listening at all?"  She chides.

"Not really. No." Lachlan admits. "I can't follow what you're getting at."

She quirks her brow, smiling mischievously. "Are you confused... or distracted?"

"I still don't know your name."  He blurts.  "Who are you, exactly?" Niiice cover.

"I'm an interested party looking to hire you for your services.  Except I don't have any money and this will be for fun.  And the name is Lily."  She smirks. "So - are you still in?"

"To hack the Doo Peas Corporate website?" He shakes his head.  "I still don't understand why you're doing it."

Lily shrugs. "Is there ever truly a reason behind what we do?"

"I like to think so."

"Ah."  She laughs.  "So you're one of those 'stick it to the man' types?  I'm not."  Lily shakes her head, tossing her red curls about her face and making Lachlan even more distracted than he would like. "I just do it... well, because I can."

She inches forward, brushing her hand along Lachlan's arm. "I'll ask again - are you with me?"

Lachlan blushes and nods.  "Yes."

"Good. Once I get everything set up on my end, I'll need your careful eye to look over everything and help me get into the system quietly.  I'll talk to you later then, Lachlan." She smiles and before he can grasp what exactly he just agreed to, Lily is gone.

Short chapter! I haven't had time to actually play due to... well, life - but I'll have some time this weekend to get a substantial buffer going.

I'll be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to hacking.  I'm seriously pulling stuff from a computer science course I took over four years ago. D: Hopefully this works in my favor.

UPDATES (because I actually remembered to write everything down):
--Ellis is at level 6 with the Law Enforcement (Wiretap Reader?) and pretty darn close to her next promotion.  She's maxed her Logic, level 4 with painting (starting early), and level 6 with Athletics.
--Dasia has maxed her writing skill and has written 10 novels so far; 4 of which have been hits. 2 have been biographies (1 of Alistair before he passed, and the other of Lizzie Wells' husband), 3 have been Humor, 3 were Romance, 1 was Sci-Fi, and 1 was Trashy (lol).  She's doing pretty well; I can't remember her royalty amount, but it's significant enough to sustain them while Ellis was on maternity leave (not that they needed it).
--Lachlan has 5 Logic and 3 Charisma (not sure where the latter came from).
--Harlan has 6 Logic and nothing else as of yet.

Whew.  I think that's it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

4.5--I Can't Hold All These Feels

Dasia goes through a renovation kick after finishing Ellis' exercise room.  She may have gone a bit overboard.

Here's the outside.

The upstairs nook area - that is never used.

Ellis' new bathroom.

The kitchen.

Aaaand the living room.

While Dasia spends her time making the house mildly headache inducing, Ellis works on her fitness.  Just look at those muscles!

It's been over a week since Logan left and he's only called this once to let Ellis know that he can't make it for his son's birthday.  Ellis feels like she should be surprised by this development, but she isn't.  She's not sure how she's going to explain it to Harlan though - all he does is ask for his father.

The next day, Harlan celebrates his birthday.  

And so does Lachlan.  

Lachlan decides to try using his new teenage manipulation techniques to ask his parents to buy him a car...

...Dasia and Duncan just look at each other and laugh.  His parents are smarter than he originally hoped.  On to Plan B - the guilt trip.

"But moooooom! Daaaaaaad!"  He says, pouting his lips.  "I want to be more self-sufficient and independent. Don't you both want me to be a successful adult?  And what better way than to give me something to be responsible for?"

Duncan sighs.  "All right.  All right.  You can stop with the pathetic frown.  I'm okay with it if your mother is."

"Great."  Dasia laughs.  "Put all the pressure on me! Tell you what, kiddo - you prove to me that you can be responsible and I promise that your father and I will discuss getting you a car.  In the meantime..." She adds, interrupting Lachlan's premature celebration, "... focus on getting your driver's license first."

Lachlan's not entirely sure his attempt was a success, but he'll take what he can get.

"He's going to be a tough one."  Duncan laments, smiling sarcastically.

"Nah. Our Lachlan is a good kid.  I mean, he's nowhere near as troublesome as my siblings and I were; so at least there's that."

Duncan laughs. "And I thank my lucky stars everyday, trust me."

"Me too." Dasia smirks.

"So, uh - how is everything with you, 'Sia?  We haven't spoken in..."

"...a few weeks." Dasia frowns. "I'm fine.  Everything is the same.  I'm getting commission after commission for biographies and my latest novel did well."

"Yeah I know.  I read it. It was really good."

Dasia smirks.  "Even the part about the oblivious woman who fucked up a good friendship by getting involved, but doesn't have the balls to say so?"

"That was my favorite part." He laughs.  "Although I think the male counterpart should have the balls, as you say, to acknowledge that he shouldn't have pushed for something more if he knew she wasn't ready or shared his feelings."

Dasia shakes her head.  "I'm in the wrong here, Duncan - and I'm willing to admit that.  You were just being honest and I was just being willfully oblivious.  I'm sorry. Can we just, I don't know, start over or something?"

Duncan extends his hand with a snide smile. "Hello, Dasia.  My name is Duncan and I'm the father of your child."

Dasia laughs as she shakes his hand.  "Very nice to meet you, Duncan."

Harper rocking out - because she's one badass grandma. 

Gideon joins Pacey outside, who has recently taken to the guitar as well - although he knows he'll never be as proficient in music as his mother or brother.

"Judging by the sad-sack tune you're playing and that frown on your face, I take it things with you and Anne aren't going well?"  Gideon quirks his brow.  His brother never really displayed his emotions, other than through his art.  It was always difficult to tell when he was depressed due to his overly dramatic tortured artist persona and formal manners.  

Pacey peers down at his guitar sadly.  "Anne and myself have decided that being in a relationship would ruin our art.  Happiness doesn't breed true creativity; misery does.  So we broke things off."

Gideon smirks.  "Wait - you both broke up... for your art?"  Pacey nods.  "Well, I always thought your role was to be the weird one in the family; now I think it may be the insane one."

Pacey scoffs. "Insanity and genius are often one and the same.  I don't take that as an insult, brother."

"Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night." Gideon shrugs.

Harlan's retirement to his room didn't escape Lachlan's notice.  He feels bad for his cousin, knowing that Harlan is most likely disappointed with his father's lack of presence.  

"Hey - I got you a present."  Lachlan says, barging into his cousin's room dramatically.  "It's not much.  I got it on a field trip to the Science Facility when I was your age and when Aunt Ellis told me she was getting you that chem lab for your birthday, I thought maybe you'd appreciate it."

Harlan opens the box excitedly.  "A model of a DNA strand?!  It's awesome.  Thanks, Lachlan."

Lachlan shrugs.  "It's no big deal."

"It is to me." Harlan smiles.

As soon as the guests leave, Dasia feels herself engulfed by the familiar sparkles.  Somehow, planning for her son's and nephew's birthdays made her forget that she was celebrating her own that very day as well.

Getting older doesn't feel so bad - not yet anyway.

Aaaand I'm cutting this one short since all of my pictures after this point don't really make sense in this chapter.  I should have planned this one out better. *shrug*

As discussed briefly last chapter, I had this grand story planned with Logan - maybe grand isn't the right word, but whatever.  Anyway, he glitched and is no longer on any of the Harris' relationship panel and resetting the town, him, and Ellis did absolutely nothing and no one can interact with him - for some reason.  Since I can't be arsed to do anything beyond what I've already tried - I just scrapped my old story and rewrote him as the standard absentee father and then changed a future generation to have his story.  Poor, poor future Harris'.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

4.4.2--Trouble in Paradise

Dasia takes it upon herself to redecorate the spare room into an exercise lair for Ellis.  After all, everyone else has their own space - so why shouldn't she?

Despite the retina burning color, Ellis loves her new exercise room.  Shedding a few baby weight pounds was her goal in the beginning, but exercising has since transformed into her "alone" time.

Her alone time isn't always relaxing.

Logan spends his time alone in a completely different manner.  Talking to yourself is totally normal - right?

Lachlan and the downstairs bathtub have a love/hate relationship, as of late.  This is his third time breaking it this week; he wishes he had a younger sibling, or someone else in general, to blame it on to save himself the embarrassment of telling his mother that it's broken... again.

Ellis can tell that Logan is growing restless the longer he is in Meadow Glen.  He often leaves the house just to get out for a while and returns clearly unsatisfied with his short trip.  

"You don't have to stay."  Ellis offers.  "We'll both be fine."

Logan frowns.  "Am I that obvious?"

"A little, yes.  If this is too much for you -"

Logan looks at his son in his crib and shakes his head.  "I'm just not sure I'm ready for this.  Any of this." He says, holding his hands up and looking desperately around the room. 

Ellis grimaces.  "If you're not ready, then maybe you should go.  I don't want Harlan to be exposed to a father that isn't going to be there."

"That's not what I meant."

"Yes, it is."

"I want to be apart of his life, Ell."  Logan says, angrily.  "I just can't stay here any longer.  I'm getting claustrophobic and, I don't know, too settled."

Ellis isn't sure what to say to that.  She doesn't particularly like that Logan is referring to their son as if he's a chore or a setback - but she also doesn't want to start a fight.  "You need to make up your mind."  Is all she manages to say before giving Harlan a kiss goodnight and leaving the room.

Lachlan gets a call from his father, as he does every couple of days when he can't visit.  Duncan has since been promoted to a Fighter Pilot position within the military and has to spend most of his weekdays at the base either practicing or training others.  He misses being able to see his son as often as he did when he was just starting out, but the phone calls are nice too.  Lucky for him, Lachlan is still at the age where he actually likes to speak with his parents, although that won't be the case for very long.  Once he's a teenager, well... Duncan and Dasia will cross that bridge when they get to it.

The night before Harlan's birthday, a burglar, an amateur no doubt, attempts to rob the Harris household.  Surprisingly, Ellis is the first to respond.  She isn't entirely sure if it is her recent exercising or the chance to work off the frustration she's been experiencing with Logan, but she comes out victorious. 

Logan, on the other hand, just can't handle all of this violence. 

Harlan's birthday!

There's no denying he's his father's son.  Traits: Genius, Light Sleeper.

True to his word, Logan is still here - although he's already packed his bags in anticipation of hitting the road again.  He's had business call after business call during his long stay and can't ignore them any longer, nor can he stay in this little town playing family.  He needs to go, and soon.

So he spends the next couple of days with his child, before calling the taxi and getting the hell out of there.

"Will you be okay without me?"  Logan asks.  He knows the answer, but he feels obligated to ask the question anyway.

"Yes.  Harlan and I will be okay."

"I'll call and visit when I can."  He promises, looking at his son.  Harlan has grown so much during his stay and will grow even more while he's gone.  A sense of guilt rushes through him when he realizes he feels relieved that he gets to leave; that he doesn't have to be there.  He has an out.

"Don't make empty promises."  Ellis chides.  "This isn't a fling like you had with me, this is your child."

Logan frowns. "I'll call and visit when I can."  He repeats.

Ellis releases a frustrated sigh and nods.  "Be safe, Logan."

He smiles briefly and waves at his son, giving him a quick peck on the cheek...

...and then leaves for his taxi.

Once he's gone, Ellis hugs her son close.  "Logan better not let us down." She whispers.

I'm not going to lie - it's really strange writing contrasting father experiences for Lachlan and Harlan.  I mean, Duncan is the model father and is always there when he can be... and then there's Logan; gallivanting around who knows where, doing who know's what, with Watcher knows who (and I do!) - and I think you can see where this is going. <--I think this is what heaven was responding to; man I'm slow.  Probably not the best wording on my part - what I meant was, I've written Duncan and Logan as two completely different people/father's and it's difficult for me to not only keep track of whose father I'm talking about and when, but to be able to expand two children's perspectives fully without feeling like I'm skipping something important.  Bleh - I'm tired. 'Tis nap time, I say!

Harlan is seriously so adorable.  I can't wait for everyone to see the little butt chin he develops later on (thanks to Logan).