Back from Washington and Updates!

I made it back from Washington alright, though was a bit afraid there for a bit on Monday due to the snow.  Flight home was delayed by two hours.  But I got home alright, so I’m happy!  Can’t wait for Thursday/Friday since that’s my “weekend”.  Washington was good, though I wasn’t there long enough to recover from jet lag, so I’m all discombobulated 😄 But I was able to use my two 5-6 hour flights to get some updates up for my Sims 4 Stories.

So Cornerstone is up to chapter 1.10 and To Paint the World is at chapter 1.03.  I hope to actually do something with Queen of the Dragons during my weekend, but we’ll see if things cooperate with me 😄

Am soooo excited to see that the Chronicles of Clarke is continuing again!  It’s really giving me that boost I need to attempt to get back to QotD.  Just hope my game cooperates with me 😄

In other news, trying to get the drive to write and actually do it for some of my RPs on RPG Collective.  Been trying to get on a schedule but need to catch up with everything first and things keep coming up so it makes it hard 😄 But I’m pushing through, slowly.

1.03: Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Chroma

The two crept quietly into the house.  While everyone else would be asleep, Azura wanted to make sure they didn’t disturb anyone either.  She led him into the family room and they sat down on the couch.  Rogelio pulled her close to his side, nuzzling his cheek against hers.

“I never thought to have this,” Azura murmured after a moment.  “It seemed like a fairy tale.”  She swallowed.  She so rarely talked of her early life, of her parents.  It was just too painful for her.  She could talk with Bella about it because Bella had been there for much of it.  But Rog…  She felt she could tell him anything.  So as they sat there, just holding one another, Azura told him about the day the colors faded for her.  She had already explained to him a bit about the research she and the Goths were doing, but this was the first time that she’d been able to tell him what had prompted it all.

He didn’t say anything for a long moment, the hand on her back just gentle rubbing in small circles.  When he did, his gaze was tender on hers.  “We’ll bring the colors back for you, my love.  I’ll do whatever I have to in order to make sure that will happen.”  Then he kissed her as if sealing that promise.

She closed her eyes and just savored the moment.  Azura hadn’t let herself hope in a long time.  Her obsession with the old manuscript, even approaching Bella and Mortimer hadn’t put this feeling in her chest.  A feeling of lightness, of blossoming hope that was fragile, but nevertheless, it was a start.  She let out a sigh, then lay her head on Rogelio’s shoulder and let sleep take her, for the first time in a long time, her dreams held a bit of color.


Azura had been a little afraid adding someone else to the household might disrupt things a bit, but in truth, Rogelio was proving invaluable, and not just to herself.  He was quite handy and after one of the toilets downstairs sprung a leak for the fourth time that month, he was in there fixing it himself instead of having to call a plumber.

Even Alex and Cassie quite liked him.  Azura often found him chatting with Alex in the morning before school.  He’d have Alex rolling quite a bit with some stories from his youth.

“Nu uh!” Alex exclaimed.  “Did you really?”

Rogelio chuckled lightly.  “I’m afraid so.  My uh… teachers weren’t overly pleased with me, of course.”

Alex giggled then he saw Azura.  “’Zura, Uncle Rog let a bunch of frogs out in the halls in school!”

Azura arched a brow at him.  “He did, did he?”  She grinned.  “And why, pray tell, did he do such a thing?”

Rogelio grinned at her, the look in his eyes making Azura’s cheeks flush.

“Why, to impress a young lady, of course,” he told Alex, turning back to him, winking at Azura.  “Watcher only knows that we poor menfolk are powerless to resist when a girl bats her eyelashes at us and talks about the plight of the poor little creatures in the science room.”

Azura almost choked on her coffee as Alex let out a gagging noise.  “Girls are icky!” he exclaimed.  “And weird!”

“Am I weird?” Azura asked him.

He blinked.  “Oh no, Aunt ‘Zura!  I didn’t mean that you were weird!”

“What about your mom and sister?  Are they weird?”

Alex seemed to think about that for a moment.  “Well, Cassie can be a bit weird at times, but no, I guess not.”  Still thinking, the young boy got up to go get ready for school.

Azura turned to her boyfriend.  “Can we not try to corrupt the poor thing?” she asked with a laugh.  “Alex’s a good boy.”

Rogelio inclined his head, grinning unrepentantly.  “That he is.  And he’ll learn all too well.  Not much longer before he’ll be a hormonal mess as well.  It happens to us all.”

Azura giggled.  “I suppose you have a point there.  Don’t mention that to his mother yet, though.  She’s not ready for him to grow up quite yet.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Rogelio promised.  He watched Azura walk out, needing to get ready to leave for work.

After giving Azura a hug and a steamy kiss before she went out the door, Rogelio wondered out to the dining room table.  Bella and Mortimer had emerged and were eating some breakfast.  Rogelio sat down with the book he’d selected and gave them a smile as he sat down.  “Morning, folks,” he greeted them.

“Morning, Rogelio,” Bella greeted with a smile.  She looked over at Mortimer, a little blush coloring her cheeks while Mortimer gave her a look much as Rogelio had given Azura that morning.

As Rogelio and Mortimer began an animated conversation, Bella got up and excused herself so she could go work in the garden.  She felt a little pang.  Mortimer and Rogelio were of an age, both several years older than her and Azura.  Mortimer had swept her off her feet, much as Rogelio had done to Azura.  But seeing the little hint of gray in their hair, hearing how the two talked of things that neither she nor Azura could understand was a constant reminder of the age difference.  Not that it had stopped any of them, obviously.  But Bella couldn’t help think on it every now and again.  She couldn’t help smiling though when she heard the subject of fishing come up.  Knowing they would be at that discussion for a while, she tuned it out and went out the back door to her garden.


Rogelio stretched and got out of bed.  After their discussion, he and Mortimer had gone fishing together.  Two old guys at the river bank.  It had felt good, though he was feeling his age a bit and they’d both headed to their rooms for a quick nap.  He looked over at the bedside clock and his eyes widened.  Azura was going to be home any moment now!  He ran to his dresser and reached into the back and pulled out the little jewelers’ box.  He had thought about taking her for another date and doing this properly.  But he thought doing it here, at the house would be more intimate.  The Goths were her family and doing it here would have more meaning, he thought.

He heard the door open and slid the box into his pocket then strode out of their room.  He found the love of his life in the kitchen.  It was true what they say: the kitchen is really the heart of the home.  It certainly was in their house.  She looked lost in thought, but when she heard the footsteps and saw him, her face lit up and then she was in his arms, greeting him with a kiss.

“Hi,” she said breathlessly after he held her at arm’s length.

“Hi yourself,” he murmured.  He seemed to be drinking her in with his eyes, his gaze sweeping over her from head to toe.  He was nervous.  He didn’t think he would be.  It felt so right.  He’d never been one to really do things on impulse.  He’d been planning this for a while now, since before she’d asked him to move in.  But now that it was time, he found himself nervous.  But looking at her, feeling that punch in the gut that always seemed to accompany that first glimpse of her each time, he could only smile.  He reached into his pocket even as he knelt down on one knee in front of her.

Azura could only stare at him, not quite computing what she was seeing or hearing.  “Azura Lynn Chroma,” Rogelio began, “I knew from the moment I set eyes on you that you were the one.  It was like a punch straight to my heart.  I never really believed in fairy tales, until I set eyes on you.  You have become my very own fairy tale, my Princess.  Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?  Of sharing the rest of our lives together, however long that may be?”

Nothing came out.  Azura just stood there, unable to speak past the lump that had lodged itself in her throat.  Tears pricked her eyes, making Rogelio’s upturned face blurry.  Her hand had gone to her chest to make sure she still had a heartbeat.  She was fairly certain that her heart had stopped for a moment there.

After what seemed like an eternity for her, but was in reality only a few moments, Azura choked out, “Yes.  Yes, I’ll marry you.”  He slid the ring on her finger, his own eyes shimmering with just a hint of tears as well.

He stood up and they kissed tenderly, Azura letting out a little sob of noise as she tried not to cry in sheer happiness.

With a sudden wild whoop of delight, Azura leapt into Rogelio’s arms!  He looked startled, but he managed to catch her at least.  Older he may have been, but he was still in very good shape.

Cassie, who had been creeping at the edge of the kitchen, not wanting to interrupt the beautiful moment, ran in, cheering for them.  Rogelio grinned, unable to tear his gaze away from Azura’s.  She was going to be his wife.  It still seemed a little unreal to him.  To both of them, he thought, judging by the look in her eyes as well.

He set her down and once again, they were wrapped up in one another’s arms.  Cassie let out a sappy sigh at the table.  “That’s so sweet,” she murmured.


“Maybe we should just elope,” Azura sighed one night a few weeks later.  Between work and the wedding planning, she was a bit overwrought.

“Nonsense,” Bella said briskly.  “You’re almost there.  I wish you would relax a bit more and let us handle things,” she said.  “I promise, it will be beautiful.”

“Oh, I know that,” Azura assured her.  “I do.  I just… I would feel awful leaving it all to you.”

“Azura,” Bella said, putting her hand over her friend’s.  “It’s ok, really.  You’ve been working non-stop lately.  You’re stressed out.  Your wedding is your day.  I want it to be special for you.  So, let me take care of things for a while, alright?”

“Mom’s right, Aunt ‘Zura,” Alex piped up.  He was doing his homework.  “Mom’s good at this kinda stuff, aren’t ya, Mom?”

Bella grinned at her son.  “Yes, yes I am.”

Azura stared between them bemusedly for a moment, then she threw up her hands, laughing.  “Alright, alright.  I’ll leave it in your capable hands, Bella.”

“Excellent!” Bella exclaimed.  “I promise, you won’t regret it.”


The next month or so passed in a whirlwind.  True to her word, Bella took over the wedding plans.  Azura hardly had to lift a finger unless it was just to make a choice between two colors, or two kinds of stem-ware.  It was suspiciously easy.  And before she knew it, the day of her wedding was upon them.

As Bella had promised, things were perfect.  She’d had a wedding arch set up in their backyard, even ordering a beautiful fountain and arrangement of flowers.  It was beautiful.  Azura stood under the arch with Rogelio, their guests looking on.  Azura really left like a Princess, decked out in her light blue gown.  Rogelio looked dashing in a white fedora.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered.  “You take my breath away, Azura.”

“Oh Rog,” she murmured.  Tears threatened to spill over.  “I-I’m so happy.  Y-you make me so happy.”

As everyone found their seats, Azura and her husband-to-be could only look at one another and both count their lucky stars.

When everyone was seated, the music started.  Swallowing, Azura took Rogelio’s hand in hers and then slid the ring onto his finger.  “With this ring, I thee wed,” she murmured, never taking her eyes off of him.  “I promise to love you, to cherish you, to be your friend and confidante for as long as we both shall live.  I will be there to lift you up and to support you all of our days together.”

Rogelio held her hand and slid the ring onto her finger.  His voice was a bit gruff as he recited his vows.  “With this ring, I thee wed.  I promise to love you, to cherish you, to be your rock and your support.  I swear to you that I will help you paint your world with color once more.  I will be there to lift you up and to support you all of our days together.”

And with a kiss to act as a final seal on their promises to one another, they became Mr. and Mrs. Chroma (Rogelio was only too happy to take Azura’s name as his own).

After the ceremony was the reception.  They started with the cake-cutting.  And then of course there was the feeding each other cake.  Azura’s eyes twinkled.  “Be nice,” she warned her new husband.

“You too,” he said, giving her a wink.  She laughed and the two gently fed each other, both being on their best behavior, if for no other reason than they knew the other would get even.

They made the rounds afterward, sitting and chatting with as many of their guests as possible.  Nancy, Geoff, and their son had come as well as a few people that Azura had met through work.

Shortly after that, Rog and ‘Zura made their escape with the help of Bella who took care of shooing any of the guests out of there.  She told Azura that she and the kids would take care of clean-up.  “It’s your wedding night.  Enjoy it!” Bella said with a wink.

Azura laughed.  “Oh we will!”  Taking her husband’s hand, she led him upstairs.  Once in their room, the two just stood there for a moment, looking at each other.  Then Azura leaned forward.  “Well Mr. Chroma?” she asked.

“Thought you’d never ask, Mrs. Chroma,” Rogelio answered, grinning devilishly.

They changed out of their wedding attire and hopped into bed, giggling like children.

Later on, as Azura lay in her new husband’s arms, she felt his mouth curl into a grin as he whispered in her ear.  “Good night, Mrs. Chroma.”

She grinned back.  “Good night, Mr. Chroma.  Sweet dreams.”

“I’ll be dreaming of you, so of course they will be.”  Flushing, her heart going pitter-pat in her chest, Azura closed her eyes, happier than she could remember being in a long time.  Her dreams held a beautiful sunrise, bringing with it a light wash of color.


1.10: The Rampart Boys

“That’s my boy,” Camron murmured as he placed a soft kiss to Leo’s forehead.  ‘That’s my good boy.  All changed.”  Leo giggled and gave a soft coo.

Just as he lay Leonidas in his basinet, his twin brother let out a little cry.  Camron grinned.  “Right on time, Ricki,” he murmured.  He changed Alaric’s diaper, and held him close to his chest for a little cuddle as well.

It was Mulan’s first day back to work after the twins were born, so it was just him and the boys until Yoshi got home from school.  The last couple weeks, Camron had become pretty good at juggling the boys’ needs.  It was a challenge that was for sure.  He and Mulan had thought they were prepared after Yoshi.  Having twins was a whole different ballgame, though.  Luckily, the boys made it a bit easier by trying to keep pretty regular schedules.  Once one needed something, the other was often right behind.

Camron always waited for Yoshi to get home from school, and get his homework done so he could spend a bit of time with his oldest.

Once he checked on the twins and made sure they were sleeping peacefully, he’d go for a short jog around the neighborhood before Mulan would get home.

Yoshi knew if there was anything wrong, all he had to do was either yell out the door since Camron never went far or give him a call on his cell.  He never had to.  Normally, Camron would get back home in time to shower real quick before his wife would arrive home.  They’d catch up and spend a few moments together.

Mulan would change and then it was her turn to look after the boys.  She did enjoy the time with them, especially breastfeeding.  There was just something about it, that bond with her babies.

Once Alaric and Leonidas were seen to, she and Yoshi would sit down to watch some cartoons.  He’d often be snacking on some leftovers.  Today, it was pancakes.  “How was school, baby?”

“Good,” he answered.  “A little boring at parts.  I’m not so into the math class, but our art class was great!  And next week, we’re learning how to do shading!”

“Oh really?” Mulan asked.  “That’s wonderful baby!”  Her son was a quick study, but art was his passion.  He’d begun to really be interested in music, too.  “I got a call from your music teacher, baby.  She had some wonderful things to say about you.”

“Oh she did?”  Yoshi blushed.

“Yes she did.  She wants you to take lessons.  And when you’re a bit older, she thinks you’d do wonderfully with the guitar.”

He seemed to think about that.  “I think that’d be really cool!”

Mulan laughed.  “Well then, it’s settled.”  She pulled him to her.  “I love you, Yoshi.”

“I love you, too, mama.”


“Hey Papa, how come I can’t hold them?” Yoshi asked, looking up at his dad.

“Because they’re delicate, son.  Not that we don’t trust you, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Don’t worry, when you come home from school, they’ll be big enough for you to play with.”

Yoshi leaned over his little brother Alaric’s bassinet.  “Hey there.  It’s just your big brother, Yoshi,” he told the infant.  “When you get bigger, we’re gonna be able to play all sorts of games!”  Camron chuckled.  Yoshi was good with the boys, though he chafed a bit at the fact that he couldn’t even hold them.

“Oop, I hear the bus, son.  Best get going,” Camron murmured.

Yoshi dashed out, calling over his shoulder, “Bye dad!  See you after school!  Bye Rickie, bye Leo!”

Camron smiled after his oldest son, then went to his youngest give him a bottle.  He had certainly lucked out in the child department.  He couldn’t imagine a better kid than Yoshi and even the twins, despite the constant fatigue of keeping up with two newborns, Camron realized it could be a lot worse.  Yoshi certainly made things much easier on Mulan and himself.

Wolf: Yeah, you got real lucky.  Yoshi’s a sweetheart.  I know some families where the term ‘sibling rivalry’ is a gross understatement.

Camron grimaced.  “I don’t see that happening.  Yoshi seems enamored of his brothers.  And I would assume twins would be pretty close, wouldn’t you think?”

Wolf:  Yeah, I’d think so.  Though you Sims… anyway, no point in worrying about it until you get there, right?

“Exactly.”  Camron gave a sharp nod.  He just didn’t see his boys having any kind of issues like that.

Wolf: Sounds like Mulan is up.  You guys ready?

“Ready as we’ll ever be to see our children grow up,” Camron answered softly.

Mulan came into the nursery and smiled at her husband, though she gave a distinct sniffle.  “C-can’t believe it’s that time already.  Time seems to be flying by.”

Linking hands, the two approached the bassinets.  “Go ahead, Wolf,” Mulan murmured.  She and Camron stepped to the side as the twins’ bassinets began to shake and then their two boys did quite the acrobatics, sparkles filling the air.

The two boys looked at their parents, then at each other and burst out laughing.  They both ran to the dresser to don their own style and fix their hair.  Leo went first since he was the older of the two (by a whole two minutes, as Alaric was quick to point out).  He liked a bit slicker look, being a bit more conscious of appearance than either Yoshi or Alaric, with an outgoing personality.

Alaric went in more for comfort than style.  He took after his mother, being quite the geek, though rather than being a history geek like she was, he was enamored of science fiction.  Already, he had the itch to play video games and watch all the sci-fi shows he could.

In fact, the first thing he asked his dad after getting his clothing and hair sorted out, was what was on.

Leo’s first order of business was to head straight outside to go take a swing on the monkey bars.

“Where’d the boys all get to?” Mulan asked.  She’d just been cleaning up the house a bit and hadn’t seen the boys in a few hours, since they’d sorted themselves out.

Camron was getting ready for work.  “Pretty sure they’re up with Yoshi in his room.  Once he got home from school, that’s where they disappeared to.  That and he brought home his little friend Olivia.”

“Ah, ok.  I’ll just go run up and check on everyone, see if they want any snacks or anything,” Mulan murmured.  Indeed, that’s where Mulan found all three of her boys and Yoshi’s friend Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis, in the twin’s room

Mulan walked in, grinning.  “Hey kids.  How’s everyone?”

“Heya Mom!” Alaric exclaimed.  “Guess what’s on tonight?!  SimFirefly!”

“Geek,” Leo snickered, though it wasn’t malicious as he read one of his new textbooks.  He wanted to be ready for school in the morning.

“Yup and proud of it,” Alaric retorted, grinning widely.

Mulan laughed.  “That’s nice sweetheart.  Well, when you kids get hungry, there’s some snacks and juice in the fridge, ok?”

“Ok mom!”  “Ok, Mrs. Rampart!”

Mulan went downstairs to see her husband off to work.  She gave him a hug and a kiss, then watched him leave, a soft smile on her lips.  She could hardly believe it.  Her kids were growing so fast.  Time just seemed to march on.  Such was the way of things, though.  Still, seeing her boys run around together and joke and josh each other tickled her to no end.  She sat on the couch, contemplating the turn of events of her life.  Maybe she was grateful to Wolf after all.

Wolf: I should hope so.  Her Watcher’s voice was teasing.  I really do have your best interests at heart, you know.

“Yes, I’m starting to see that maybe you actually do.  Thank you, Wolf.  For choosing me.”

Wolf: You’re welcome, Mulan.  Don’t worry, we’re not close to done yet.  You have plenty of time.

“Yes we do.”


Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat and Quick Announcement

So, I got Outdoor Retreat, the new game pack for Sims 4.  First off, I LOVE Granite Falls.  I’m a huge mountain/forest person so it’s right up my alley.  The scenery is absolutely beautiful.  That being said, because of all the trees, it can make it hard to find things like the plants, or insects that you need for the new Aspiration that comes with Outdoor Retreat.  You have to follow your Sim close to the ground and keep a lookout that way which can be a bit annoying, even a bit hard on your eyes.  I know some have gotten motion-sick from it.  Thankfully, I didn’t get motion sick, at least.  I do love the fact that camping out is a thing now.  I went camping a lot when I was a kid and my folks still have a permanent campsite (granted, it’s a bit different than going hiking and doing ACTUAL camping, but still) so at least once a summer, the hubby and I go up and utilize it to spend time outdoors without a lot of technology and just relax.  And bringing that to the Sims makes me very happy!

Hehe, I enjoy the new ‘Stargazing’ interaction that comes up.  Your Sim (and any Sim they’ve asked to stargaze with) just flop on the ground on their back and look up at the sky, conversing and pointing up at different points.  It’s really cute.  Again, going to gush about the scenery, but I’m in love with the waterfalls and the woods.  To test it out, I made Skylar Woodward and sent her out to explore.  She had the Outdoor Enthusiast aspiration and so set about finding wild plants and fishing.  The fishing spot at the waterfall was soooo pretty!

 See, isn’t that gorgeous?  I also like the new clothing choices just because it has an outdoorsy/hiking feel to it, which is cool.

This is Skylar harvesting a wild plant and then trying to identify it… yes, she’s eating something she has no idea what it is 😄 I found this quite humorous.  Basically, you won’t know what most of the wild plants are until you try to identify them.  This will level you up in Herbalism.  With herbalism, you can make some pretty cool potions/lotions to help with certain things.  There are poisonous and nonpoisonous varieties of each new plant.  Now I haven’t even touched most of the other things that Outdoor Retreat has like the new hidden area with a hermit, nor did I stay very long on vacation due to time constraints, but so far, I think it’s a lot of fun and well-worth the $20 I paid for it.  Considering what a stuff pack had in it and the new kind of game play that Outdoor Retreat has to offer, if you enjoy camping, pretty scenery, and new things, I highly recommend it ^^

ANNOUNCEMENT:  This is mostly for those who read my other story blogs.  Friday, I head out to Washington State so my online time and time in general will be limited until I get back on Monday, so not sure about any kind of updates, though I will try my best.

1.09: Welcome to the Family

So this one isn’t quite as long as I’d like it to be.  But I wanted to end on a certain point.  So sorry for slight lack of content, but hopefully next week, I’ll have a longer update ^^

“Hey Mama!  How you feeling today?” Yoshi asked as he passed his mother in the hallway.

“I’m ok, baby.  Little sore yet.  I was just coming up to check on you.  You want some breakfast?  Your Papa is making some French Toast now.”  Camron had just gotten home from work a couple hours ago.  He enjoyed making breakfast for the family before he went to bed for the day.

“Woo!” Yoshi exclaimed.  “I love French Toast.  Dad makes the best, hands down!”

Mulan laughed and ruffled her son’s hair.  “Yes, yes he does.  Your Mama can handle eggs and toast, but that’s about it.  That’s why your daddy is the cook in the family.”

Her son giggled and nodded.  “Yeah, I know Mama.”  His mama was amazing and could do a lot of different things, but cooking wasn’t her strong suite.  “How’s the baby, Mama?  Can I touch them?”

“Of course you can, baby.  You don’t need to ask me ya know.”

“I know, but I like to,” he said with a smile.  He put his hands to his mother’s stomach.  “Hey in there.  It’s almost time for you to come out.  I can’t wait to play with you.  I’ll be the bestest big brother ever!”

Tears pricked at the corners of Mulan’s eyes.  Oh, how had she gotten so lucky with such a sweet boy as Yoshi?  She couldn’t help the sniffle that escaped.  Yoshi looked up at her, concerned.  “Mama?  Are you crying?  Is something wrong?”

She let out a little laugh.  “Oh not at all, baby.  Everything is perfect.  Sorry, your Mama is being silly.  I’m just so happy, baby.  I love you.”

Yoshi smiled up sweetly at her.  “I love you too, Mama.”  Mulan leaned down to give him a hard hug.

She kissed the top of her son’s head.  Yoshi looked up at her, grinning.  “I’m gonna get dressed, get some of that French Toast, then go out and play!”

“Sounds like a plan, baby.”

He scampered off, Mulan watching after him with grin and those tears of happiness in her eyes.


“Hey son, how was your breakfast?”

Yoshi looked up from the computer game he’d been playing after he’d finished his breakfast.  He grinned at his dad.  “It was great!”

Camron grinned.  Done with his game, Yoshi leapt up and ran outside to the monkey bars that his parents had had installed not long ago to give him someplace to get out some of his energy.

Wolf: Having fun there, champ?

“You bet, Wolf!  Watch this!”  He proceeded to show off for his Watcher as he raced across the monkey bars.

Mulan changed her clothes, preparing to sit down to do some work on her computer.  But she just stared at it for a long moment.

Wolf: Wow.  I uh… hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means…

“What?  What are you talking about?” Mulan asked.  “Look, I know I’m huge.  I feel as big as two whales, already.  I don’t need your commentary on it, alright?”

Wolf: Right… yeah, forgot, hormonal pregnant woman.  Sorry, Mulan.  I didn’t mean anything by it.  Just that… since the last patch there have been a-  Wolf’s voice trailed off as she began to mumble to herself, something about patches and some kind of a chance sky-rocketing.  The truth was, Mulan wasn’t in any shape to decipher her Watcher’s ramblings.  She had so much work to do and no mental capacity with which to do it.

Camron was working on preparing some spaghetti for dinner that night.  He liked getting a lot of the prep work done first.  Mulan joined him at the island, letting out a sigh.

He looked at her.  “You look done in, love.  When I go to sleep, you should come and join me for some shut eye.”

Mulan nodded.  “That sounds like a good idea to me.  I’m beat.  I wasn’t this bad with Yoshi, I don’t think, was I?”

“At times, but you seem to be more tired this time around.”  He came around the island and stood next to her stool.  He pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.  “I’ll finish preparing the sauce, then we can head to bed, ok?”

Mulan nodded gratefully.  She was ready for this pregnancy to be over.  It was true that she didn’t mind being pregnant, but the constant energy drain this time around was difficult on her.  That, and she wanted to hold her baby.  “Would you check on Yoshi before you come to bed?”

“Of course.”  Camron threw on some clothes so he could go out to let Yoshi know that they were going to lay down for a bit.  “Your mom’s pretty today, but she said she’d be up in a few hours so if you wanna go to the park, she said she’d take you.”

Yoshi grinned at Camron.  “That’s great dad!”

Camron ruffled his son’s hair, then went to join his wife.

Mulan felt like she had only just managed to close her eyes when she felt something give way inside her.  She sucked in a breath and stood up.  That’s when the pain began.  She was in labor!  But she wasn’t due yet!  This was too early!  She let out a yell as a particularly bad contraction ripped through her.

That woke Camron up and he was in quite a panic.  “Mulan!  What is it?!”

“I’m in labor!” she snarled.

“What!?  But it’s too early!” he exclaimed, clapping his hands to his head.

“No kidding!” she snarled, then let out a wail.  “B-but it doesn’t seem to matter!  The baby is coming!”  Camron panicked.  He had no idea what to do.

After she let out another cry, Camron took a deep breath.  “Should we go to the hospital?”

“N-no.  Don’t think I’d make it.  I-I’m going to go to the nursery.”  Still letting out a short scream every few moments, Mulan toddled her way to the nursery.

Upstairs, Yoshi was looking at the giant stuffed dragon his parents had gotten for him.  He hugged the big dragon.  “Dad says Mom’s having the baby now,” he whispered to his friend.  “S-she’s doing a lot of screaming.”

She was, indeed, doing a lot of screaming.  She stood beside the bassinet that had been taken from storage, alternating between moans and full out screams.

After a few hours of labor, Mulan felt the pressure ease considerably and in a shower of sparkles, Leonidas Rampart was born!

Except… well, no sooner had she settled little Leo into his bassinet than she felt another contraction!  “CAMRON!” she screamed.  “There’s another one!  ANOTHER ONE!”

After another couple hours of labor, Mulan could lay little Alaric Rampart next to his twin brother.

Mulan could only stare for a long moment.  Twins… she’d been carrying twins!  No wonder she’d been so tired.  She had been carrying two the entire time!

Wolf: Yup, knew it because of the last patch.

“What are you talking about?”

Wolf: Eh, it’s not important.  Congratulations, dear.  They are beautiful boys, regardless.  And hey, at least you got it all done in one go, right?

Mulan said nothing to that, afraid what might come out of her mouth at that moment.  But looking at her two boys, a tender smile crossed her face.

Welcome to the world, Leonidas and Alaric Rampart!


1.08: Great News and a Good Life

Before she told her son about the fact that he was going to become a big brother, Mulan figured it would be better to let her husband know that he was going to be a father again.  But according to the clock, it would be a bit before he was home.  Feeling sleepy, she curled up on her bed to take a nap so she’d be plenty rested by the time her husband, then son came home.  But as tired as she was, she slept right through her alarm.

That’s how Camron found her when he got home, still curled up on their bed, cute little snores issuing from her mouth.  He smiled tenderly and sat on the edge of the bed, turning his head to watch her sleep.

After a moment, he couldn’t help himself.  He scooted up and leaned down to gently press a kiss to her cheek.  Her eyes fluttered open.  “Oh, Camron!  I-I didn’t mean to sleep this long!”  She sat up and went to stand.  But Camron grabbed her hand and pulled her back down.  He crawled over his side of the bed so that he was sitting next to her.  He greeted her properly with a kiss.

Then Mulan lay her head against his shoulder.  “Hi,” she greeted, grinning.

“Hello, my lovely wife.  Tired, love?”

She nodded, then she sat upright!  “Oh!  I have something wonderful to tell you!”

“Oh?  Do tell.”

“Camron, I’m pregnant again!”

His smile disappeared and he sat there in stunned shock.  “Wait, what?!”

Wolf: Pregnant, you know, what happens when a man and a woman-

“I know what pregnant means!” he snapped at Wolf before turning his attention back to Mulan.  “You’re pregnant again?  You’re sure?”

She nodded eagerly.  “I’m positive.  Took the test twice.”

He stood up for a moment, Mulan doing the same, frowning.  She had thought he’d be ecstatic about the news, but at the moment, he just seemed shocked.  She reached a hand out to put it on his shoulder, but he turned and pulled her into a gentle embrace.  “We’re gonna have another baby!” he murmured breathlessly.

“Yeah, yeah we are,” she replied, swallowing back tears of joy.

He put her at arms’ length and gently brushed a hand over her cheek, his eyes tender.  “I love you, so much.”

She hugged him tightly.  “I love you too.  So you’re happy?”

“Of course I am!  Sorry, just a bit of a shock, that’s all.”  He smiled widely.  “Can’t wait to meet our newest little one!”

As Mulan opened her mouth to reply, they both heard the door open then close and Yoshi’s voice rang out in the house.  Mulan swallowed and looked at Camron.  “D-do you think Yoshi will be as excited to hear about a little brother or sister?”

Camron smiled, unworried.  “Let’s find out.”  He called out for his son to join them in their room.

Yoshi came bouncing in, smiling at his mother and father.  “Mama, Papa!  I drew some great pictures in school!”  He ran to Mulan and gave her a big hug.

“That’s great baby!  C’mere, sit next to your Mama.”  Mulan sat down as Camron helped their son scramble up onto the bed next to her.

“What’s going on?” the boy asked.

Mulan looked up at Camron for a moment; he just smiled down at the both of them, looking so proud.  Mulan smiled back and then turned back to Yoshi.  “Well, baby.  Your father and I wanted to share some great news with you.”  She swallowed.  “You’re going to be a big brother, baby.  Your Mama’s gonna have a baby.”

Yoshi’s eyes went wide.  “A baby!?  Really, Mama?”

Mulan nodded.  “Yup, really.  You’re going to be a big brother.”

“That’s so cool, Mom!  Will I have a little brother or little sister?” he asked, looking really excited.  Mulan was such a proud Mama at the moment.  She couldn’t believe she’d been worried.  Yoshi was such a sweet boy.

He cuddled to her side.  “I’m gonna be the bestest big brother, mama!”

“Yes you will,” she murmured softly, holding him close.  Camron looked on, smiling proudly at his family.


Wolf smiled down at them.  It was time to make some more room for them.  Yoshi had been sleeping in what was the nursery, but now it was time to give him his own room and then make room for his new sibling.  So as the family settled in for the day, Wolf went about her work.  The Keep (as she called it) got a second story.

There was a hallway and two bedrooms that were connected by a jack and jill bathroom.

Wolf looked at her handiwork.  They were ready at least.  She turned her attention back to the family.  Camron was helping Yoshi with his homework by telling a story so that Yoshi could write it down and ask questions about it.

Wolf: Hey guys, c’mon upstairs, Yoshi.  Got a surprise for you.

“Ooo!” he exclaimed, jumping up.  “A surprise?  Really?”

Wolf: You bet. C’mon.

The boy pounded up the steps and ran into the room Wolf told him to do and found a room with his bed in it, as well as a giant stuffed dragon and an activity table, just for him.

He leapt at the little desk and began to create immediately.  Wolf smiled.  Good.


“That went well,” Camron murmured as he stared at his wife across the chess table.

“Yes, yes it did.  I don’t know why I was so worried,” Mulan replied.  “Our Yoshi’s such a good boy.  Such a sweet boy.”

“That he is.  That he is.  Are you hungry?”

“I am actually, want to make me a parfait?”

“Coming right up, gorgeous.”  Mulan ate her parfait happily, positively glowing even as she and Yoshi sat down and watched TV.


Time passed fairly quickly for the little family.  Mulan showed more and more each day.  “Ugh, my back is killing me,” she complained as she sat at her desk, trying to write.  Yoshi was upstairs, in bed already.  She wanted to take the time to get a bit ahead of some of her work.  Though she had some time off saved up, she didn’t want to waste it yet.

Wolf: Not surprising there, dear.  You uh- are carrying at least another person in there.  Bound to create some aches and pains.

“You’re the Watcher, can’t you do something about that?”

Wolf: How about no?  Don’t think you want me messing with any kind of coding… it would just end badly.

Mulan thought about that a moment.  “Yeah, you’re right.  That would end terribly.”  She turned back to her computer, situating herself so she was at least a little more comfortably and then she began to write.  It seemed to help because before she knew it, it was time for Camron to come home.  She changed out of her pajamas and had decided to watch a bit of TV when he came home.  He swaggered in wearing a white Chef’s coat.  He greeted his wife by grabbing her hand and pulling her close, then pressed his lips to the knuckles of the hand he held.

Then he claimed her lips for a steamy kiss.

After he released her, he immediately leaned down to begin talking to her belly.  “Hey little one.  Guess who got a promotion?  Guess who’s a Line Cook now?  Yup, that’s right, Daddy’s a Line Cook now!”

Mulan’s eyes widened.  “Wait, you got the promotion!?”

He smiled up at her and winked.  “You bet.  Like my shiny new coat?  I’m so close, baby.  So close to getting put where I want to be.  The boss says that in a few days, there might be an opening at the bar.  Where I really wanna be.”

“That’s wonderful, Camron!  I’m so happy for you!”  He kissed her again.  “I’m going to go and change.  What ya planning to watch?”

“Thought we could watch a movie together.  Sound good?”

He smiled as he disappeared into the bedroom for a moment.  “Sound great.”  Mulan sat down, grinning from ear to ear.

Camron came out in street clothes, sitting down.  Mulan curled up against him, but a sharp twinge in her back had her grimacing.  “Hurtin’ babe?”

“Yeah, it’s worse this time than it was with Yoshi,” she murmured, trying to shift around.

“Here, let’s see if this helps.”  He turned her around and then began to dig his fingers gently into her shoulders and neck, then down her back.

She let out a few moans and then curled up against him.  She fell asleep about a quarter way through the movie.  Camron just smiled tenderly down at her, kissed the top of her head and let the movie play.


1.02: The Frog Prince?

Bella sat down on the couch next to her friend, plate in hand.  Azura smiled up at the other woman.  “Hey!  Just the person I wanted to see!  I can’t thank you enough for all of this, Bella!”

Bella smiled.  Her worries that she’d shared with Mortimer had been put to rest and seeing the way her friend was almost glowing only cemented the fact that she had made the right decision.  That and watching her kids interact with ‘Aunt ‘Zura’ made her especially glad.

She shook her head.  “I will admit; the last few weeks, I’ve had my- reservations and some doubts.  But quite honestly, Azura, darling, things are wonderful.  I’ve never seen the kids happier nor have I seen my husband so relaxed in far too long.  Work was really dragging him down.  This is good, this is great even.”  She reached over and took Azura’s hands in hers.  “How are you doing?  How’s your research?”

Azura looked away from Bella, but not before she saw the blush that flamed over her cheeks.  “Azura?  Is everything ok?” she asked, concerned.

“Oh, you’re too sweet.”  Azura looked at her, though she was still blushing profusely.  “I’m fine, truly fine.  My research is going well, but uh- I have to be honest.  I-I’ve gotten a bit… distracted,” she said lamely.

One of Bella’s eyebrows winged up and she grinned.  “Oh ho!  Distracted hm?  You wouldn’t have gotten distracted by- oh, I don’t know- a member of the opposite sex, have you?”

Azura nodded quickly, throwing her hands up.  “I have!  I-I don’t even know how it happened!”  She leaned back, tipping her head all the way back until it rested on the back of the couch as her gaze seemed to go far away for a bit.  “It was a week or so ago.  I’d gotten a bit blocked with this new book.  I needed a change of scenery, something to kick-start my muse.  So I went to the park.  I just say on one of the benches for a bit, then went to go to the pond’s edge.  I saw a little frog jump and on impulse, I tried to catch it.”

Bella snorted out a laugh.  “Azura Chroma!  Don’t you dare tell me that you kissed that frog and he turned into your handsome Prince!”

Azura blinked, then threw her head back in laughter.  It took a moment for the guffaws to subside.  “No, I can safely say I didn’t kiss the frog.  In fact, I didn’t even catch the little bugger.  I was still feeling a bit restless, so I decided a bit of a walk was in order.  I-I was going down the path and-and that’s when I saw him.”

She paused and had to take a deep breath.  “I swear, it’s like what you and I would talk about when we were kids.  That instant our eyes met… I swear it was like a sucker punch straight to the solar plexus.”

Bella’s expression went a bit gooey.  She knew just how that felt.  She’d had the same experience with her Morty.  “What happened?” she asked gently, though her expression was eager to know what happened.

Azura sighed softly, the sound full of longing.  “We both just stopped right on the path, just like that.  He smiled at me, said ‘Hello, beautiful lady.’  I replied with ‘Hello, handsome man.’  Then we both laughed.  Oh Bella, we must have stood there talking for hours!  Just talking and laughing.  It was so- easy!  So easy to talk to him.  I-I’ve never had that, not with anyone.”  She grinned sheepishly.  “Well, except with you, of course.  But I just- I can’t even explain it!”

Bella leaned over and gave her a quick, hard squeeze.  “You don’t need to.  I understand perfectly.”  She looked at Azura, grinning.  “So?  What’s your Prince’s name?”

Azura grinned.  “Rogelio.  Isn’t that fantastic?  Sounds so exotic!  ‘Rogelio’.”

Bella laughed.  “Even just saying his name has you glowing!  Will he be coming over anytime soon?”

“Actually… he’s coming over tomorrow night.”

“Don’t you worry,” Bella said firmly, a twinkle in her eye.  “I’ll make sure you two aren’t disturbed.  I think it’s time Morty and I took the kids to the park or for a visit to Oasis Springs for the day.”

“Oh, no!  You don’t have to do that!” Azura protested, panicking a little.  It was one thing to stand there and chat with Rogelio for hours- the only reason either had had to go was because Azura had promised Alex she’d come home and read to him.  But it was entirely another to know she’d be here all alone with him!  What if she made a fool of herself?

“Nonsense!  You and Rogelio don’t need us underfoot!”  Bella was very firm.  She could see the nerves that were beginning to surface in her friend.  “What did he say to you when you parted?”

That stopped the protest that had been on the tip of Azura’s tongue.  Her cheeks heated again, though it was with the pleasure of the memory.  “Well, he pulled me into this warm, gentle hug and told me that he was lucky to have run into me.  It must have been fate.  And that he couldn’t wait to see me again.”

Bella nodded with some satisfaction.  “Good.  I think the kids would like to visit Nancy and Geoffrey for a bit anyway.”  She smiled at Azura who seemed off in her own little world, thinking about her Prince Charming.


When the doorbell rang the next day, Azura had to wipe her hands off on her thighs.  Why was she so nervous?  It didn’t make any sense!  She didn’t normally have such a problem talking with people.  In fact, she was quite outgoing.  Even as she berated herself in her head, she opened the door and froze.  A goofy grin split her face.  “Hello again, beautiful lady,” Rogelio greeted her.

“And hello again to you, handsome man,” she murmured.  Butterflies danced in her stomach.

“I have something for you,” he said quietly, drawing a single red rose from behind his back.

She looked at the flower, then up at him.  Something inside her seemed to bloom; this warm feeling just spread through her chest.  She had no idea what made her do it.  Before a single thought could register in her head, she’d taken the rose and thrusting her head forward with no hesitation, she pressed her lips to his.

It was only after Rogelio’s little gasp that her sense seemed to return to her.  She pulled back, appalled at herself.  What had she just done?!  What had she been thinking?!  Then again, she couldn’t bring herself to really regret her actions either.  Maybe she was a bit fearful of his reaction, but she had definitely enjoyed it.

There was no need to be fearful, it seemed.  Rogelio simply smiled at her, his dark eyes twinkling.  He leaned forward and kissed her cheek.  Without a word, Azura took his hand and led him into the kitchen.  “I’ll make us some coffee and some lunch,” she said.  “How does that sound?”

“That sounds lovely,” he murmured.  “But before you do…”  He took a step closer and slid his arms around her waist, just looking into her eyes for a long moment.

Azura let out a soft breath, looking into his beautiful brown eyes.  “We’re moving too fast, I know it,” she murmured.  “But I don’t care.  Do you?”

He shook his head.  “Not at all.”  He leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers, his grip around her tightening as she melted into the kiss.


“What’s wrong, sis?” Alex asked, his tongue sticking out as he concentrated on the math problem he was working on.

“Oh nothing.  Just thinking,” Cassie murmured.  “Haven’t seen much of ‘Zura lately.”

Alex nodded.  “That’s true.  Work’s been busy for her.”

“Yeah, that and when she’s not at work, she’s with Rogelio.”  She stood up, intending to take her plate to the sink.

‘Speak of the devil and she will come’.  Even as Alex got up, his homework finished, Azura padded out to the kitchen, looking sleepy.  Alex greeted her warmly, even gave her a hug before running off to get ready for school.  Cassie stayed though.  After taking care of her plate, she sat back down.  “You look tired, ‘Zura,” she observed.

Azura laughed.  “Yeah, been a long couple weeks.  Deadlines coming up for my new book.”

Cassie gave her a sly grin.  “Deadline hm?  Sure it doesn’t have anything to do with a certain tall, dark, and handsome man that’s been spending nights here?”

Azura hadn’t known she could blush so hard.  “Uh… well then.”  She rubbed at the back of her neck.  “You uh-“

Cassie began to laugh.  “It’s ok.  I’m a big girl.  I think it’s incredibly sweet.  You guys are good together.”

Azura blushed again.  “Thanks.  I-I’ve never felt like this.  I got so caught up i-in my research, it just didn’t enter into things.  A-and I guess I was afraid.  Losing mom and dad like I did, I guess I was afraid of getting close.”  She smiled at Cassie.  “But you guys made it hard not to get close to you.  And I like it, a lot.  I feel… alive for the first time in a long time.”

The young girl reached across the table and put her hand over Azura’s.  “We’re all family, right?”

“Yes, yes we are.”

Cassie’s head jerked up as her brother’s voice reached her.  She looked at the clock.  “Oh no!  Gotta go!  See ya later, ‘Zura!”  She ran upstairs to get changed and then ran out to catch up with her brother.

Azura smiled after her.  She looked down at her own watch and huffed out a sigh.  She was going to be late for work herself if she didn’t get herself up and around. Today was going to be a long day, especially since Rogelio had suggested they get out of the house, go on a date.  They hadn’t really had much time to do that.  She was certainly looking forward to it.


Azura dragged herself home from work.  It had been a miserable day.  Her editor had ripped her latest manuscript apart.  She had a lot of work to do to fix things.  She sat at the kitchen table, her drink forgotten by her hand.  She wondered if pushing their date off to tomorrow night would be a good idea.

She was still contemplating that when she felt a pair of strong hands on her shoulders.  She let out a small moan.  “I’ll give you ten years to stop that,” she murmured.

Rogelio’s laugh was deep and rumbling.  “You’re tense, love.  Long day?”

“Oh yes, yes it was.  I pretty much have to rewrite the second half of my latest manuscript.”

“Poor thing.  Well, why don’t you turn it off for a bit?  I think you’d like the park, hm?”

With his hands still kneading the muscles in her neck and shoulders, and just his presence, all thoughts of postponing their date fled.  “That sounds wonderful,” she murmured.  “Let me get another cup of coffee, then we can go.”

The sun was already setting by the time they walked to the park.  They sat themselves on one of the benches nearest the fountain.  Rogelio smiled at her.  “Feel good to be out of the house?”

“Oh Watcher yes,” she breathed out.  “If I have to stare at my computer anymore today or even this week, I’ll go crazy.”  She grinned.  “Then again, I might already be there.”

He laughed, then reached over to put his hand over hers.

Much like most of the time they were together, they lost themselves in one another, in talking about anything and everything under the sun.  By the time they realized they’d been there a while, it was full dark.  They stood up, intending to go back to Azura’s place.  On impulse, she took his hand in her own.

“Rog?  I know we haven’t talked about-about our future much.  We’ve carefully kept things in the present.  But I don’t want to do that anymore.  It may be crazy and- and maybe you aren’t ready for this, but… would you like to move in?”

The smile that she loved so much spread across his face just before he grabbed her and pulled her in for a kiss.

After they separated, both needing a bit of air, she leaned close and whispered, “Let’s go home.”