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CoH Sims: Normal

(Note: Assume this takes place about or slightly before the same time as the last installment - the one where Teff goes vigilante - for timeline purposes.)

With Sorcha gone, the house seemed quieter. When she was in one of her moods, she'd been pretty noisy, all right, Sebastian thought, but now the place seemed really quiet. And Dad was still upset over everything that had happened.

Sebastian himself didn't think about the alien ship. Nobody in the family talked about it, and nobody else knew about it, so that helped - it became easier to not-think about the subject as time went on. Even though he was helping Komei raise a half-alien baby.

Sebastian knew Maddox was supposed to be family, but he couldn't think of her like that. He knew he was adopted, and of course he wondered about his parents: Who were they? Why had they given him up? But he wouldn't know any answers until he was an adult. But Mantis - oops, Maddox - wasn't a blood relation, and she wasn't adopted either, and Sebastian just didn't have much emotional attachment to her. Somehow Sorcha - who was in the same boat, when you got down to it - had been more like a real sister. But she was gone now.

And when Maddox grew up into a child, Sebastian said the usual nice things at her birthday and didn't mention how she creeped him out. She looked like a praying mantis.

"Seb?" she asked one morning at breakfast. "D'you think Epsilon will - come back as a ghost?"

She never called Epsilon "dad," possibly because she'd still been a baby when he'd died. "I don't think so," Sebastian reassured her. "He would've done so by now."

"'Cause having him out there in the yard is scary," Maddox added.

Yeah, that part was a bit weird, but apparently it was legal in this county to have a family member buried on the site. Sebastian wished they'd put Epsilon in the public cemetery, though. It was spooky, even though he never said anything about it.

For his own part, ever since Sorcha left, Sebastian felt lonely. Yes, Dad was still here, and Maddox was now tolerable to talk to as long as he didn't look at her much. She was a nice kid, but those eyes! But Dad had to work a lot later now, because the money was tighter, and so Sebastian saw less of him than before.

School - well, Sebastian was friendly, and knew plenty of kids, but he still felt like an oddball. He didn't have oddly-colored skin or hair or strange eyes. His parents - well, his bio-parents, who knew, but Dad wasn't an ex-superhero or anything. Sometimes Sebastian just wanted to be, well, like the other kids.

He tried to keep it from Dad, though. Dad had a lot on his mind already, what with Epsilon dying and Sorcha leaving and his job and all. So Sebastian tried to keep things happy-to-neutral, banal stuff about weather or school or whatever.

At least for a little while, anyway. "Dad? Um... how come you're working so hard at your job? 'Cause I thought we had enough money and everything." And because it's just me and Mantis and sometimes the nanny during the day.

"It's for you, Sebastian. Technically, Epsilon's money goes to his children, and the law recognizes them as Sorcha and Maddox. I'm working on it through legal means as well. That's part of why I'm away so much. I want to make sure you have something too."

"What about the - the reparations money?" Sebastian had heard about one of the kids at school - one of the ones with odd hair - getting abducted, and he'd said how he'd gotten a scholarship for it. Sebastian wasn't keen on admitting it had happened to him, because where everyone else seemed to take abductions in stride, he still had nightmares about teeth and eyes. But he was willing to do that if it meant Dad would be around more.

As if reading Sebastian's thoughts, Dad said, "Sebastian, that money is yours to do with what you will. If you want to use it for college, you may; if you'd rather put it to another use, or even ignore it, that's your choice. I want to make sure you're well provided for, just in case."

Just in case. He means in case something happens to him. If that happened, Sebastian and Mantis would be on their own, and Mantis would probably be taken by the social workers since she'd be an orphan, legally. At least, if Sebastian understood that right. He himself... well, he'd probably be on his own again.

He really, desperately hoped nothing happened to Komei too.

~ ~ ~

Komei worried about Sebastian, more than he let on. He knew Sebastian was, deep down, an outgoing, friendly teenager. Before everything had happened, he'd been a well-adjusted one, too. But after an adoptive father's violent death, being abducted by aliens, and his sister leaving for college in the middle of the night... it was more than enough stress for one boy to handle.

Unfortunately, Komei didn't know what to do. He was against medicating Sebastian, but his colleagues at the hospital dismissed Sebastian's symptoms as ordinary teenage moodiness.

He hardly gave voice to it even in his own mind, but Komei feared Sorcha and Sebastian's unhappiness were directly his own fault. He had to figure something out - Sorcha was on her own now, in college and (from the phone calls) thriving at Fiesta Tech. But he could still do something for the other two.

An opportunity arose the next day, as Sebastian brought up a problem. "Dad... if you, um, knew that some kids at school were kind of trouble... what would you do?"

"What do you mean, 'kind of trouble'?"

"Well... that they, well..." Sebastian dug around in his cereal for a few moments. "That they're doing some bad things."

"Sebastian, if they're committing crimes of some kind, they need to be reported. If they're harassing other kids or causing problems at school, you should tell your teachers, or me. And stay away from them otherwise."

Sebastian looked unconvinced. Komei racked his brain, trying to think of something. What could he do?

~ ~ ~

A couple of days passed, and Sebastian tried to stay connected to people - his sister at college, some of the other kids at school - but he still wished there were, well, some other freaks like himself. Kids who didn't stand out. He'd tried talking to some of the other normal-looking kids, like Buck Grunt, but the conversations got kinda weird when Buck started talking about makeup and stuff.

"Yeah, yeah, I, uh... think those shoes would go great, yeah, um, have you maybe thought about asking your mom's opinion instead? Just a joke, haha!"

That was something else he didn't like. People thought that because he was raised by two dads, that he was gay. And he wasn't. Part of him thought maybe he could just run off somewhere with his college money and start a brand new life in another state, away from superheroes and aliens.

He really thought that after the nanny started glaring at him when he was on the phone.

"Um, yeah, look, I have to go, Sorcha, I think someone else needs to use the phone. Good luck with the self-tanning stuff."

~ ~ ~

"Dad? Can I bike over to the movies? Some of my friends are getting together to see The Broken Column and I wanted to join them."

"Sure, Sebastian. Just be back by eleven, okay?"

"Seems like a good kid," Zel said, after Sebastian left. The unusually warm weather had led Komei to set up the chess table outside for a change.

"Yeah, he is." Komei wasn't much of a networker, and he was discovering a bit late that it wasn't just what you knew, it was who you knew, with the result that he now talked with more people just to see if they could drop a favor later. One of those, surprisingly, was Zel Dixon. Komei was familiar with Teff Marlin, of course, through the hospital, and thus with Teff's husband Guy, and it turned out that Guy and Zel had narrowly avoided becoming stepbrothers. It was a small world indeed at times.

More importantly, though, Zel knew people who knew people elsewhere within the civil bureaucracy. The whole thing made Komei's head spin; he hated networking. Still, Zel wasn't bad, as far as people went. Easier to get along with than some of them, like most of the Green Diamonds superhero team, at least. Komei couldn't stand any of them. Even knowing some of Ep's old friends were among their number didn't help.

"Sebastian's a good kid," he found himself repeating as the game progressed. "Just a little stressed right now after everything that's happened."

Zel nodded sympathetically.

They talked some more, about kids (Komei's) and loneliness (turned out Zel was single and living alone) and the difficulty of finding a good restaurant in this burg, and then Zel said something Komei wasn't expecting. "Do you ever think of remarrying?"

"Uh..." Komei wasn't sure how to answer. Okay, so Ep had been "gone" for a while now, but... was Zel making a pass at him? Or just asking in general?

Fortunately for Komei, at that point Maddox needed some help with her homework, so Komei made his goodbyes and went inside to help. But he did wonder what Zel had meant, and if he were serious...

~ ~ ~

To be continued~



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 1st, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
Well, Komei's getting interest, anyway. ;)

I suspect I've set Sebastian up here to go become a Legacy founder, which is kinda weird, but do-able... ^_~
Dec. 1st, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
Good luck with the self-tanning stuff.


plus.... Zel...

o/~ Love is in the air.... o/~
Dec. 1st, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Something's in the air, anyway. ;) Depending on how serious Komei thinks Zel is. And how long Ep's been in the ground and all. ;D
Dec. 1st, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ep? Ep who?

Ancient history!
Dec. 1st, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
Maddox' eyes are creepy!
I love the story, there's a bit of suspense going off in every direction. Komei's face is awesome in the last picture too!
Dec. 1st, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
Maddox inherited her skin tone and eye size from her alien dad (who is apparently different from Sorcha's alien dad), but got Ep's black/purple eye color. Yeah. ^_^;;

Thank you so much for the compliments. :) It's great when you can capture just the right expression. :)
Dec. 2nd, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
This was a good update, I love Sebastian... he's such a sweet looking kid and really has had a difficult time of it. I like how you explored that, and his desire to be more like the normal kids, and I especially think it's ironic that the normal kids in this situation are the ones who would be the strange ones in any other situation.

However... and maybe it's just me and I'm imagining things... I could not help the sense of... forboding? that this installment gave me.
Dec. 2nd, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you. ^_^ I like Sebastian a lot too. I'm ready to make him a new Legacy founder - he's already got his backstory built in! ;) I just don't know how to package single sims, instead of a whole house. Ideally I'd like to copy him off and put him in a new neighborhood, and see what happens there, while allowing the original (here) to keep going. I think it'd be neat. ^_^ I just don't know how to do that!

Yeah, there's some foreboding going on here, you're not mistaken. ^_~
Dec. 2nd, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Well, making a copy of a Sim can be done through some acrobatics with SimPE and Body Shop, though the copy that you end up with won't be exactly the same. He'd just be a copy and you'd have to tweak him to get all his skills, interests, stats and such to be the same as the original. It can be done, though. That's how I get essentially the same Taichi in almost every neighborhood I play. Once you use SimPE to export the Sim from the game into Body Shop, then use Body Shop to import the Sim to the game, he'll be available for infinite uses. If you're interested in this, let me know and I'll tell you how I do it.

Alternatively, you could just move Sebastian into his own little house, drop it and him together into the lot bin and move them to a new neighborhood that way. I'm sure you know, however, all the nasty bugs doing that can create.
Dec. 2nd, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I'd like to run Sebastian as a legacy founder, and yeah, I want to avoid doing the drag'n'drop of lots. (I moved the Grunts before I knew about it, but so far they seem to be OK.) I was looking at copying/adjusting because I know I can't recreate his face the same way via CAS. I know I could just copy off his stats and things, and as a Legacy founder/copy he'd effectively have no background at all; I'd just keep his backstory for the sake of continuity.

If you want to send it via email, it's laridian at aol dot com (so we don't spam up the works here ;).
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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