Sunday, 3 December 2017

Chapter 3.13 - Don't Need A Ring

*Warning: …Actually, there’s no warning this chapter. Lyra and Blaise actually behaved. XD But I'll plop down the bad language warning just for in case.*

Lyra hated being pregnant.
She was constantly hot and tired, and her back hurt from the extra strain. Bending over was an exercise in itself, and it didn’t help much that Reagan was at an age where he still occasionally wanted to be picked up. To make things worse, she often found herself waking up at unearthly hours, still tired, but unable to sleep further from the discomfort. She missed being able to sleep on her stomach.
She spent a lot of time simply painting, trying to push the constant discomfort to the back of her mind. The easel was one of the first indulgences she’d bought herself once they could afford to spend a little on luxuries. It was one of the only hobbies she’d kept from childhood, and one she had missed dearly those years she’d lived on the Island.
Reagan was playing contently beside her, speaking clumsily and making growling noises as he played with the dinosaur toy, and Lyra allowed herself to smile at the sound, once again realizing how much she loved the little boy.
There was the strangest sound, followed by Reagan’s delighted laughter, and Lyra immediately jerked her eyes to him, afraid he might be doing something dangerous, but he was still exactly the same, playing happily with his toy. She turned back to her painting, but she heard the sound again and this time she was quick enough to notice his toy disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
What was going on? It was clearly Reagan’s doing, as the toy suddenly appeared again in a flash of light, and once again he laughed delightedly.
 “Reagan? What are doing, sweetie?” Lyra gently asked him, completely baffled. He immediately smiled up to her, delighted that she was giving him attention.
“P’ayin!” he exclaimed happily and made the toy disappear and reappear again. “Toy go poof! The’ come ba’!” He toddled over to her and raised his arms, wordlessly demanding to be picked up. He was getting too heavy to really carry around, and they really needed to break him of that habit, but Lyra still gave in and picked him up, mindful of her oversized belly getting in the way.
 “So I see,” Lyra agreed indulgently. “But how are you doing it?”
He looked at her in confusion, looking like he didn’t understand the question.
“Jus’ do,” he replied innocently and blinked worriedly at her, like he was afraid she’d disapprove. “Want toy go poof, toy go poof.”
“Oh, really?” Lyra teased him and dropped the subject, giving him a bob on his nose. Immediately and predictably, he pouted at her, and he was so damn adorable, Lyra couldn’t help but laugh. She didn’t even need haywire hormones to feel like he was the most adorable thing she’d ever seen.
 “Did you know Reagan can make his toys disappear?” Lyra asked Blaise as breakfast, still worried about phenomena. It couldn’t be normal. Sure, it wasn’t like she really knew much about magical children, as Reagan so clearly was (how could he not be, with Sionann and Adrian as his parents?), but still. It was just a little too weird.
“Hmm,” Blaise grunted in agreement, completely unconcerned. “I’m not surprised.”
“You’re not?” Lyra asked baffled. It was normal then? As if he read her mind, Blaise looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
 “It’s completely normal, Lyra,” he assured her. “It’s something like a rite of passage. All mage children do that. It’s a safe way of playing with their magic and discovering what they can do with it. Nothing special about it.”
Lyra opened her mouth to reply, but her baby kicked for the very first time and her mind completely blanked out. Keeper, what a weird feeling.
There was a baby inside her. There was a baby inside her. To her, it had never been anything more than an inconvenience, something that had to be endured and get it over and done with, but with those first fluttering movements, it suddenly hit her like a brick. There was a tiny person inside her, and one day that tiny person would have a personality of its own and call her Mom. It was terrifying. For the first time, that idea was scarier than the thought of going through labour. For the first time, her pregnancy was real and not just something weird that was happening to her body.
She was going to become a mother. Her son or daughter was growing inside her. She just couldn’t wrap her mind around that.
 “You okay?” Blaise asked, his brows lowered concernedly. Lyra snapped out of her bemusement and turned back to the conversation.
“Ah, yes,” she reassured him. “The baby just kicked, that’s all. It’s just…a really weird feeling.”
His frown deepened at that piece of info, and he lowered his fork, staring at her with worry in his eyes.
“That reminds me,” he informed her, clearly changing the subject. “You mind getting a check-up? At the hospital. I just want to make sure nothing is wrong between your and the baby’s magic.”
The request immediately made Lyra pause. The baby’s magic?
Of course. She and Blaise were both magical. There was no way the baby wouldn’t be magical as well. How could she not have realised that earlier?
“Okay,” she agreed easily. The last thing she wanted was complications with the pregnancy. Seeing a doctor wouldn’t take that much time, and even though it was expensive, it was better to be safe than sorry.
Later on, when she walked out of the hospital after seeing the doctor, she felt like it had been a waste of money – money that could’ve been spent better, like getting a new toilet, one that didn’t constantly break and leak and leave puddles all over the floor. There was absolutely nothing wrong with either her or the baby, who she had found out was going to be a girl.
“Well?” Blaise asked her when she stepped into the house. He hadn’t been able to go to the appointment with her, as Reagan was a bit feverish and moody, and they had both decided it would be better if Blaise stayed home with the toddler.
 “Congratulations,” Lyra stated dryly, still a little put-off by the amount of money she’d had to pay for basically a gender check. “You’re going to be the father of a healthy, happy, disgustingly heavy, baby girl. We’re fine. I’m fine, the baby’s fine, we’re both fine. You can stop worrying.”
His expression softened, and he smiled at her, clearly relieved. It was one of his incredibly rare, genuine full-mouthed smiles, and Lyra felt her own mouth respond. Her baby kicked, rather insistently, and Lyra took Blaise’s hand and laid it on her belly. It would be the first time he’d be able to feel his daughter move.
Sure enough, she kicked again, and Blaise’s eyes widened with wonder. His smile widened, and Lyra felt her heart swell a little at the sight, and butterflies fluttered in her stomach that had nothing to do with the overly heavy foetus inside her. Keeper, she loved him. She really, really loved him.
“You’re lucky,” he murmured, hands still caressing her belly. “You’ve only recently come into your magic, so I thought…” He shook his head and pulled his hands away. ‘Never mind. You’re healthy. That’s all that matters.” He pulled her into his arms, holding tightly onto her, and Lyra closed her eyes, enjoying his arms around her. They were strong and warm and protective, and Lyra knew the warm feeling in her chest was happiness.
Lyra listened to the rain drum on the roof, feeling warm and content while she snuggled deeper into the covers, Blaise’s warmth a familiar comfort against her. The house was quiet and peaceful, and Lyra felt like she could stay in bed forever. She wasn’t entirely sure what woke her, but –
Oh. That was what woke her. Her water had broken, and the contractions were starting.
 “Blaise,” she poked him on the shoulder, trying to wake him up. He stirred and groaned, but there was no other response. “Blaise,” she tried again, and this time he opened his eyes, staring crossly at her.
“What is it?” he murmured, his voice gruff and husky with sleep.
“The baby’s coming.”
He jerked upright, all thoughts of sleep completely out of his mind.
“What?” he asked dumbly. “Now?
 “Yes, now,” she snapped irritably. “Go and get Reagan and let’s go.” There was a play-centre at the hospital where people could leave their children under supervision while they completed their business at the hospital, and Lyra and Blaise had previously decided they’d leave Reagan there when Lyra’s due date arrived. It was easier than getting a babysitter or leaving him with family.
The toddler was not happy at being woken so early, and by the time they were ready to leave, everybody was irritable. Lyra’s contractions were getting closer and more painful, and she was more than ready for the baby to get the hell out of her. The fact that she had to wait in the wind and rain for the taxi to arrive didn’t help either.
It was a relatively short labour, and three hours later, Mireille Marquel was brought into the world. Simultaneously, Lyra made a very important decision.
She would never, ever, ever go through that again. She didn’t care how much it would cost, but she was going to use a more permanent method of birth control from now on; one that wouldn’t be able to fail. If being pregnant had been hell, it was nothing compared to the actual labour itself.
Never. Again.
To top it all off, Mireille wasn’t an easy baby to care for. She cried a lot, for seemingly no reason, and while Reagan had started sleeping through the night pretty early on, waking them only once or twice, Mireille woke her parents at least four times. It was very trying, and for the first couple of weeks, the energy in the house was very frazzled as the household attempted to adjust.
Reagan, especially, was badly affected by the change in routine. He became moody and demanding, and all the effort they’d put in to break him of the picking-up habit seemed to go right out the door.
With Mireille’s birth came a string of congratulatory calls and well-wishes from friends and family. To be completely honest, it annoyed Lyra just a little bit. It wasn’t that big an achievement – all it had taken was for their birth control to fail, once. But she understood that others placed a ridiculously high value on things like that, so she endured the calls as much as she could.
But when her mom called for the fourth time, she admitted it might be better to invite the entire family over so they could get their fill of ‘newborn baby’ and stop pestering her.
 “It’s so good to see you,” her mom said happily as Lyra gave her a welcoming hug. “You haven’t been around to visit me lately.” Her tone was slightly accusing, and Lyra felt a little guilty. It had been a while since she last visited her mom. “Now, where’s your baby? I want to meet my newest grandchild.”
“Hello to you too, Mom,” Lyra replied dryly. “Would you like something to drink? Mireille isn’t going anywhere. You’ll have more than enough time to meet her later.”
Her mom placed her hands on her hips, clearly not impressed by the statement.
 “Lyra,” she began rebukingly, “there had been a time I believed I lost you, and now you have given me a grandchild. Surely, I deserve to meet the baby of my baby?”
Lyra sighed and rolled her eyes. Keeper, her mom could be stubborn.
“Later Mom,” she promised stubbornly and gestured at Blaise to come over so she could introduce him to her mom. They hadn’t been able to meet before. That customary scowl was on his face, but to her relief, he was civil and polite to her mom.
“Oh, don’t be so tense,” her mom rebuked him and greeted him with a firm handshake and a warm smile. “Welcome to the family.”
Soon afterwards, Renard and Arienne arrived as well. Like their mom, Arienne was very eager to meet Mireille, but Renard was more interested in meeting the man Lyra had chosen to live with.
“Don’t give him too much grief, okay?” Lyra warned her brother as she welcomed him in. “I don’t want drama today.”
“No promises,” Renard laughed warmly, but Lyra knew she didn’t have to worry too much. Renard was a joker and a prankster, but he knew where to draw the line.
 (Party spam!)

 “So, when are you due?” Lyra asked Arienne when she finally got chance to catch up with her sister without interruptions. Arienne had married the father of her unborn baby in a quiet, private ceremony, and last Lyra heard, they very happy with each other.
“Any day now,” Arienne assured her enthusiastically. “And to be honest, I can’t wait. I’m ready for the baby to be born now. We still know don’t the gender, but I’m hoping it’s a girl.”
(More party spam!)

 “Thank goodness that’s over,” Lyra sighed tiredly when it was just her and Blaise again. She loved her family, but they were tiring.

“You can say that again,” Blaise growled irritably. He was in a foul mood, but Lyra couldn’t figure out if it was because he had to spend so much time with her family, or because he was tired. He’d been the one to take care of Mireille whenever her crying woke them at night, so he’d been running on less sleep than she had. He was always more snappy and irritable when he was tired.
He leaned back and closed his eyes, and Lyra had her answer. He was tired. It relieved Lyra, a little, that he didn’t seem to mind meeting her family. She hadn’t even realised how much she wanted him to like her family until they met. Just when had his approval become so important to her?
“I like your brother,” he murmured tiredly, oblivious to her thoughts but still unintentionally answering them. It still amazed her that they could be so attuned to each other. “Seems like a decent guy. Not sure about your sister. And your mom wants me to make an honest woman out of you.” He shifted to a more comfortable position and looked at her to watch her reaction, and even though he was trying to hide it, she could clearly read the amusement on his face.
Lyra groaned and buried her face in her hands.
“Why does she always have to meddle?” she muttered impatiently. “I don’t care if I’m an honest woman of not. I’m happy living in sin with you for the rest of my life.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, and Lyra looked at him, surprised by the response. His eyes were held that same disinterested look as always, but there was something else in them that threw her for a loop. It was almost the same look she occasionally caught him giving the kids. “What if I want you to be an honest woman?”
Oh Keeper. Was he proposing to her? Was that what this was about? It couldn’t be. She knew he didn’t care if they were married or not.
The corners of his mouth twitched.
…the ass. He was teasing her!
She climbed onto his lap, pinning him to the couch. Two could play that game. His mouth pulled into that half-smirk, half-smile of his as he realised his play was discovered, and his hand went to rest on her waist.
 “In that case,” she declared challengingly, “make me one.” He growled at her in response, like she knew he was going to do, and she bent down to capture his lips with a smile.
There were no further talk of ‘honesty’ or anything it might imply that night.
But as the days went by and they fell back into a routine of domestic bliss, Lyra was surprised to find she really didn’t mind the idea of marrying him. She certainly didn’t need to, and it wasn’t expected of her, but…but it would be nice. She already knew she was going to spend the rest of her life with him. A ring would just…formalise it. Allow her to introduce him to the world as hers. She kind of liked that idea.
When, exactly, had she started associating marriage with happiness instead of misery? When had the idea of getting married become more a promise than a prison?
She didn’t know. But yes, she definitely wouldn’t mind marrying Blaise.
And yet, despite coming to that revelation, nothing happened further. She had no idea how to tell him she’d meant her answer that night, and he didn’t bring it up either. They simply continued living as they had been.
Before Lyra noticed, summer had arrived, and Reagan grew into a child, ready to start school.
  He was a very inquisitive and curious child, taking delight in even the smallest things. He was enthusiastic about helping out in the house, and he became a constant companion whenever Lyra worked in the garden. He loved talking, and he chattered away about everything and nothing, in a way that reminded Lyra far too much of his mother.
Lyra and Blaise had raised him with the knowledge that they were his godparents, not his biological parents, and he had finally reached the age where he wanted to know more about them. It didn’t bother him that he was an orphan, but he was definitely curious about them, constantly asking for stories and information about them.
Lyra told him everything she could, but even she knew her knowledge about Adrian and Sionann was limited. She’d only known them for a short time, while Blaise had known them well enough for them to trust the welfare of their child to him. It became a nightly ritual for the boy to request a story from Blaise, only to fall asleep half-way through the story.
Lyra loved watching the two of them. Blaise was an amazing dad. Reagan might not be theirs, and he didn’t call them Mom and Dad either, but they loved him like he was theirs. There was no question about it.
Blaise gave the sleeping boy a gentle pat on the back at the same time Lyra placed the sleeping Mireille back in her crib, and both retreated to the backyard together. It was a warm summer night, and the crickets and toads were noisy, forming a familiar ambience in the night. The tree branches around them creaked, and without a word, they both started to spar, the light from the almost-Full Moon surrounding them. With Mireille also needing their attention during the day, they had moved their daily practices to the evening, when both kids were in bed.
No matter how much time passed, or how many times they did it, Lyra still found sparring as exhilarating as ever. It was a familiar dance of offense and defence, of being pushed to her limits. Blaise was no longer that relentless taskmaster he’d been in the beginning; they were partners now, rather than student and teacher. When they sparred now, it was no longer so he could test her. Instead, it was because they both enjoyed the dance.
They’d sparred many times, but she had yet to win victory over him. She’d gotten better at reading him, and she’d landed quite a lot of hits on him, but never victory. He was simply too much of a master.
Midway through the spar, a spar she’d been leading in, he got in her space, pushing her off-balance, and the only thing she could think of was ‘Keeper, if it’s that damn wall again I’m gonna smack him.’ It was an old favourite move of his, and it irritated the hell out of her that she still couldn’t manage to get a read on the movement. Time after time, he’d pull it on her and she’d end up against the wall. Sure, she didn’t mind what followed, but it was the principle that mattered. Ending up against the wall meant she’d lost again, and that still heckled at her.
But he didn’t push her against the wall. Instead, he swept her feet out from underneath her, and before the fear of falling truly set in, he caught her in his arms, his hands warm and comforting against her back.
And then he kissed her.
It wasn’t a demanding one, or even a passionate one. It was a tender one; one that spoke more of love than passion. It caught her completely by surprise, and before she could really respond, it was over, and he helped her back onto her feet.
 “What was that about?” she laughed at him, nestling her fingers in his hair. He was smiling at her, that happy full-mouthed one that was so rare.
“Just thinking about how far we’ve come,” he confessed, and his eyes were soft. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
She rolled her eyes at the question.
“Oh, Keeper yes,” she agreed with a huff. “You were such an ass, and all I can remember thinking was how you didn’t even have the decency to tell me your name. I had to refer to you in my head as that ass the whole time.”
 “For a long time, you were only that idiot to me,” he came clean as well with a laugh. “And now, here we are.”
“Here we are,” Lyra echoed softly, caught up in the sentimentality.  
He leaned his forehead against hers, and for some time, there was only silence between them as they simply enjoyed the intimacy.
“Marry me.” He said those words in a soft murmur, and for a moment Lyra thought she’d heard wrong, but he was looking at her, waiting, and she knew she couldn’t have heard wrong.
 “I’m serious,” he insisted. “You make me happier than I’ve ever believed I could be. I know you don’t need a ring to stay with me, but I want to give you one anyway. I want you to look at that ring everyday and know that even if I don’t say it often, I really do love you.”
She couldn’t remember the last time she heard those precious words. He almost never said them, but it didn’t bother her. She didn’t need to hear those words – she knew him well enough to read it in all those tiny everyday moments; like the sprinkler he’d installed in her garden without being asked, and the way he insisted on taking care of Mireille so she could have a lie in in the morning.
She hadn’t anticipated the request. She hadn’t seen it coming at all, but she knew exactly what her answer would be.
 “I don’t need a ring for that,” she admitted with a happy smile. “I already know you love me. But if you want to give me a ring, there’s no bloody way I’m going to say no.”
His smile widened, and he pulled her into his arms, holding onto her like she was the most precious thing in the world.
“Thank you,” was all he said, and it was all that was needed to make the night absolutely perfect.
A/N: Just a little slice of life chapter. I played ahead in my game quite a bit, so I’m trying to catch up to where I am in game. Oh yeah, Mireille is pronounced Mee-ray, according to the internet. XD She’s the final child for this generation, and obviously, the heir. :)
Blaise and Lyra…yeah. They weren’t supposed to get married, as it doesn't really fit the way I've written their characters. But they both rolled wishes to specifically get married to each other, before Mireille got born, and in my experience, that’s incredibly rare when the sims don’t have Hopeless Romantic or Family-Orientated as traits. So, they’re getting married. I couldn’t deny them those wishes.
I’m actually quite surprised by them. They’re both hot-headed, but ever since they became romantic interests, they've never fought. Their interactions go from flirty to friendly back to flirty and then they do something else. They’re never mean to each other. But the moment they talk to anybody else (except Reagan - he’s immune as well), their mean sides come out again. It’s so much fun to follow. <3


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    1. xD Oh my gosh Reagan's little FACE when Lyra booped him on the nose!
      Blaise is concerned about her! he a tsundere? don't answer that, I'll just pretend he is! And of course the hospital will be able to analyze magic, this is a perfectly normal town. >.>
      It's so like Lyra to invite people over to long-term shut them up.
      And, I'm kind of disappointed Blaise didn't go into the panicky dad dance. I am forced to use my imagination, because I am sure you bore witness to it as an event.

      Mom's "Oh, don't be so tense" XD XD XD
      I'm really glad Renard & Blaise got along! There's a dynamic there that would be awesome if they had to work together on anything. They'd make for a fun cop movie, or something.
      And Reagan's PRETTY! Holy cow what a cute kid! in all of simnation did you manage to title this post seriously and the heretical tempting option "Of Asses and Idiots"?
      (they're getting married!) That is a rare roll... what a nice surprise. I think that type of thing can happen though, it's easy to disparage what you do not understand, until you know firsthand the value of it. Good for them.

    2. IKR?! When I first saw that shot I thought I was gonna die from the cuteness overload. That pout! <3
      LOL, never really thought about it, but I guess in a way he is. XD And since magic plays such a big role in MF, of course the hospital would be able to analyze magic! It's just another part of life, after all. ;)
      Since you asked so nicely, I'll provide you will this:

      Yeah, I like the idea of Blaise and Renard being friends. It's a shame Blaise isn't a cop, as they would've made good partners. :)

      Reagan <3. Unfortunately, he's pretty much a gender-bent version of his mom aside from his hair and skin, but since Sionann was pretty, that means he is too. XD I would've preferred a touch more of Adrian, but oh well, that's genetics for you. I still love him to bits. :)

      XD I might make that the name of an outtake chapter, once I'm done with this generation. ;)

      Thanks for reading!

    3. AHAHAHHAHAHAAAAHAHA!! He looks like he's actually ON FIRE. I have tears in my eyes... ahahahahahahahhaaa.... that's too ridiculous! xD New favorite picture LOL

      My amusement needs for the day are complete. Possibly for the week. I'll let you know. xD

  2. This was just a lovely chapter; I loved reading it. Lyra's response to giving birth is perfect: NEVER AGAIN. Welcome little Mireille (thanks for the pronunciation explanation!)

    Lol, Chantia this chapter. Love her.

    Reagan is so cute! I'm glad he's a happy kid, too.

    Aw, they're gonna get married! <3 That's so sweet that they both wished to in-game. For story purposes I think it makes sense that Blaise was the first one who wanted to get married since he was pretty neutral on the subject before, not opposed to it.

    (I really want to see a chapter titled "Of Asses and Idiots" now xD)

    1. It was fun writing a chapter that was just about normal everyday life. :) Lyra's face when she walked out the hospital after giving birth just perfectly summed up her feelings about labour. XD

      Chantia. <3 I'm really going to miss her when her time's up. :(

      I'm bummed Reagan looks so much like Sionann, but so far he's one of my favourite sims. <3

      I honestly saw Blaise as the kind of person who would be completely indifferent towards marriage, which is why I didn't want them to get married. *sigh* But those wishes. And fun fact, Lyra was actually the first one to roll that wish. XD

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Reading all of Lyra's comments/complaints about the costs of a doctor... I see, Moonlight Falls is in the U.S. :P
    I love how she came out of the hospital with that grumpy face; she's not tired, she just hates everything XD

    Oh yes, Reagan looks very much like Sionann! And I see you continue with the french naming tradition! Mireille Marquel has a very nice sound to it (and reminds me of Mireille Mathieu!)

    1. Lol. I actually based it off that 'Get medical advice' option in the game, which costs 200 simoleons but does pretty much nothing. And her face when she came out the hospital made me crack up. She was definitely not impressed with giving birth. XD

      I think the only difference between Reagan and Sionann is the colouring and the ear size. :( And yep! I'm going to try and take the french naming thing through the entire legacy - it's just to tie the whole thing together, since the very first child of the legacy got born with the hidden french trait. Lyra didn't inherit the trait, so it's already died out, but I'm still going to continue with the trend. :)

      Thanks for reading!