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Back to Part 1

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“Thank goodness,” Azula laughed, hugging her. “I was afraid we’d gotten the wrong house!”

“I’m so glad to see you,” Elle said. Her voice wobbled, but she smiled to cover it up. She would not cry and ruin the moment. “You too, Dominic. It’s such a relief to know you’re both all right. Where have you been all this time?”

“With some very kind friends,” said Dominic. “That’s all we can tell you.”

Elle nodded, understanding. She wouldn’t want the people who’d helped her sister to get in trouble for it. “Where’s Grey?”

“School,” said Azula.

“Already, really?”

“We’ve been back since yesterday.” She hesitated. “Not in Sierra Plains, though. We bought a house in Sim City.”

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Elle frowned. “Why?”

“We thought that moving back here would be like thumbing our noses at the General, and as much as we’d like that, it’ll only cause trouble for you.” Azula smiled faintly. “But our family is here, and we want Grey to be able to know you all, so we decided on Sim City. It’s close enough that we’ll see you plenty.”

Elle bit back her disappointment. Sim City was close by some definitions of the word, but it was an hour’s drive to get there. She wouldn’t be able to just walk down the street, like she could if she wanted to see Billy. Azula was right, though. Even with the new laws in place, Raikov would make as much trouble as he could for all of them.

“Is Tristan home?” Azula asked.

“No, but Mom and Dad and Gabriel are. They’ll be glad to see you. Tristan would be, too, but he won’t be home until six. Can you stay that long?”

The two of them exchanged a look Elle could not decipher. “No, sorry,” Dominic said carefully. “Grey gets out at three and we should be home when she gets there.”

“Right, of course. Can you have lunch with us, at least?”

“We definitely can.”

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For a couple of hours, everything was wonderful. Harry and Mya were overjoyed to see them, although Harry showed it a little better. It was the first time either of them had spoken to Dominic at length. Elle was pleased to see them trying their best to make up for lost time, and Dom seemed to get along decently well with Harry especially. Gabriel, who was normally content in the background, turned talkative when he saw that Azula had returned. Elle had the chance to show off her small daughter, who took to the new admirers readily.

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During lunch, Azula and Dominic related everything they could about their time away. They had been staying out of the area, so they wouldn’t be under Raikov’s jurisdiction. “Saffron found us the place,” Dom explained. “As far as exile goes, it was pretty okay. We didn’t have to hide in a cellar the whole time—Azula and I both had jobs, and Grey got to go to school with the local kids. We missed you all, but we were doing all right.”

“We’re so relieved,” Harry said warmly. “And so glad to see you. I wish you could say more.”

“Maybe once everything’s died down a bit. Sorry to worry you all, though.”

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Then after lunch, Dominic pulled Harry aside and said something to him in a low voice. Harry glanced at Elle, nodded, and quickly made excuses for himself and Mya. The two disappeared into another part of the house.

“I will feed Miss Cassie and put her down for a nap,” Gabriel told Elle. She nodded her agreement and let him take the toddler to the nursery.

“Elle,” Azula said, when the three of them were alone, “is there someplace the three of us can talk?”

She blinked. “Well, the living room’s probably best.” Shrugging apologetically, she added, “The new house isn’t a lot more private than the old one as far as public areas go.”

“That’s fine.”

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Elle didn’t like the serious expressions on either of their faces, and had the sudden gut feeling that she wouldn’t like whatever they were about to tell her. “Hey, have you told Billy you’re back yet?” she asked, as they sat down. It was more to stall than anything, although she knew he would want to know.

“We would have gone to see him today, but he had to work,” Azula said. “He told us he and Snow would visit once she had the babies.”

“Okay. Good. I’m glad he knows. He was upset, too.”

“Yeah, I know.” Her sister hesitated. “But I’m not the only sister he was worried about, Ellie. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she said reflexively. “Everything’s great. The election’s over, you’re back, we’ve got this great new house, and the kids are doing really well.”

“And Tristan?”

“He’s fine, too.”

Azula bit her lip. “That’s not what I meant.”

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Elle’s heart began pounding uncomfortably. “What did Billy say to you?”

“He said that he didn’t think Tristan was treating you well, and that he wanted to talk to you about it, but he thought you wouldn’t listen to him.”

“I…” She swallowed. “I mean, things aren’t going perfectly, but we’ve had the elections. And it took me forever to top a career, and both my pregnancies wiped me out. We haven’t had any time to…to really work it all out. But we will. Billy’s just paranoid. He’s never liked Tristan, you know, but they’ve never really talked, either, so…”

Azula looked at her husband, then back at Elle. “I think maybe he was right not to,” she said gently.

“What are you talking about? You’ve always liked Tristan. I asked you if it was all right for me to marry him and you said yes.”

“That’s because I didn’t know him very well then. I didn’t know what we know now.”

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“Ellie,” Dom broke in, “we’re pretty certain that Tristan was the one who reported us to Raikov back in the spring.”

Elle stared at him. “He couldn’t have,” she said. “He wouldn’t do something like that.”

“Just hear us out, all right? This is important. We’ve suspected it for some time now, but we didn’t want to tell you until we had some proof. Saffron’s job led her to some email correspondence between Raikov and Tristan that was dated back before you and Azula were in college. Right about when your mother started the businesses, actually.”

“That’s how I met Tristan in the first place,” Azula said, looking uncomfortable. “He was a customer at the spa and then again at the flower shop. I met a lot of people that way.”

“Tristan didn’t tell me he knew the General,” Elle said slowly.

“He couldn’t have,” Dom agreed. “That would have given up the game.”

“What game?”

They exchanged a look, and Dominic nodded slightly. Azula turned back to Elle. “Raikov needed someone to marry into the family so that he could have access to us. He was acquainted with Tristan and knew he was aiming for a career in Politics, and offered to back him if he would help. Originally, Tristan went after me because I was closer to his age, but I stopped answering his calls after you moved into the college house with me. So then Raikov kept tabs on us both, learned about our lift plan, found out you were the heir and that you’d broken up with Stuart. And then he sent Tristan after you.”

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She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “That’s—that’s not possible. He loves me. He wouldn’t be so cruel.”

“Saffron is going to send you physical copies of the emails,” said Dominic. “If she hasn’t already.”

“They’re fake,” said Elle. It was getting hard to breathe. “They’ve got to be. Saffron’s wrong.” It was the only explanation.

“Ellie, please listen,” Azula urged. “Think about it. Tristan’s not from here. He was in Sim City working a dead-end job until he moved here to be with you. Maybe he claimed he was visiting me when you met him, but we hadn’t even spoken in three years. And wasn’t the timing awfully convenient? You were still recovering from your fight with Stuart.”

That was true. It was also true that Tristan had entered the house and stayed to talk to her despite the fact that she was clearly upset and not dressed for company. He hadn’t waited very long to ask her out, either. “That doesn’t mean that he was the one who reported you.”

“No, but we still think it’s likely,” said Dominic. “The only people who knew we were going were my siblings, your parents, you, Billy, and Saffron. None of you would even think of it.”

“But Tristan found out,” Azula added. “Didn’t he?”

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“He asked,” Elle said faintly. “He’s my husband, he’s—he’s family. You don’t keep secrets from family.” Then a thought occurred to her. “But—but Raikov could have looked up the records and found you that way! He didn’t have to ask anyone.”

Dominic shook his head. “We did everything we could to stop him finding out. We couldn’t fly out of Sierra Plains and we didn’t use Sim City, either. We took a private flight instead of a commercial one. Maybe he could have found out that way, with a little digging, but we don’t think that’s likely.”

“Not as likely as someone telling him,” said Azula. “And Tristan is the only one who knew that could possibly have done it.”

“Has he been asking about us lately? Trying to get you to tell him where we were?”

Elle remembered how casual Tristan’s initial question on the subject had been, and how he had gradually gotten more pushy as time passed. “Yes,” she whispered, “but he said he was concerned. He said it was so we could find you when it was safe.”

“He was lying to you, Ellie,” Dominic said.

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It was as gently put as such an accusation could be, but when she heard it, something inside her snapped. Tristan could not have lied to her like that. Azula and Dominic had to be mistaken, because if what they had told her was true…if it were true…it meant that her husband had been lying to her since they had met. It meant he had been working against her the whole time. It meant he had never loved her.

She stood up. “I love you both, but you’re wrong,” she said firmly. Her voice cracked, and tears threatened to come to her eyes, but she stood strong and didn’t let that stop her. “It’s not possible. I appreciate your concern, but I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” With that, she turned on her heel and marched into her office, intending to lock the door and hide until they were gone.

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But Azula followed her and got through the door before she could barricade it. “Ellie,” she began.

“No!” Elle turned on her. “I don’t want to hear it!” She had never yelled at her sister in her life, but she couldn’t stop the words. “Tristan was there for me when no one else was! Where have you been, anyway? You can’t tell me, you haven’t even called since Spring! And all this time, ever since you left, I’ve been trying to keep going and I haven’t complained because that’s what heirs do. And nobody—" She stopped, swallowed. She was losing control and she couldn’t, couldn’t break now.

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“Ellie,” Azula pleaded, looking so scared and penitent that Elle almost forgave her right there, “I know I made a mistake. Dom and I ran away instead of trying to deal with our problems, and we’ve paid for it. I wanted to tell you, I really did.”

“But you couldn’t,” Elle said bitterly. “You already said that.”

“If I could go back and do things differently, I would do it in a second. I know I hurt you—we all did, Billy and Mom and Dad too, because we were counting on you to keep us afloat and we never thought about what that was doing to you.”

She looked away. You should have, she wanted to say, but it seemed too selfish. Azula had her own share of issues and coping had always been hard for her. Still, Elle resented the way she tried to medicate her stress with mindless activities, or avoid dealing with it entirely. She and Dom had at least had a decent life away from Sierra Plains, by the sounds of it. They hadn’t had to deal with the consequences in the same way the rest of the family had.

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“I’m sorry,” Azula continued. “I know that’s not going to magically make everything okay, but I really am. I love you. I never wanted this to happen to you, never.”

“It didn’t—it didn’t happen to me,” Elle said, shaking her head. “I chose to be heir, I chose Tristan. None of you made me do anything.”

“That doesn’t excuse the fact that Tristan has been using you from the start! Elle, please.”

“Please what? What do you want me to do, Azula? I can’t just walk away from my own marriage, and you can’t just waltz in here after all this time and expect me to do what you say!”

“I am not—" her sister began, then stopped. Taking a breath, she started over. “I would have warned you about him right away if I’d known. You know that, don’t you? I’d never hurt you like that on purpose.”

“I know you wouldn’t,” said Elle. “None of you would be that mean.”

“I don’t have the right to tell you what to do, either. You’re our family’s heir, and you’re a grown woman and a mother. You’re the only one who can control your own life. I’m just trying to do the right thing by you. You’d tell me, wouldn’t you? If I was in your place, and you knew something I didn’t?”

“Of course I would. You’re my sister. I would never want anyone to hurt you that way.”

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Azula took a step toward her. “I’m not telling you what to do,” she said quietly, “but I want you to be happy and I don’t think you are. You deserve better.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not going to get it now,” Elle said bitterly, refusing to meet her sister’s eyes. “I’m already the heir. It’s way too late.”

“You can be the heir and still be happy,” Azula insisted. “You should have a husband who loves and supports you. I’m sure Tristan says he does, but does he act like it?” When Elle didn’t respond, she went on. “You were an emotional wreck and he took advantage of you. That’s not okay, and you don’t have to put up with it. You deserve so much more. I want you to want that for yourself.”

“What I want doesn’t matter,” said Elle. She couldn’t keep her tears back any longer.

“It does matter. Not just for you but for the whole family and the relief. You’ll be a better heir if he’s not dragging you down.”

She shook her head quickly. “I can’t leave him. If…if I don’t have him, I don’t have anyone.”

“That’s not true,” Azula said, sounding completely horrified.

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“Yes, it is—" By now she was sobbing too hard to speak. She covered her face and turned away, ashamed that she’d broken down like this in front of her sister.

But Azula closed the distance between them and held her tightly. “You are not alone,” she said. “Billy would be there for you if you let him be. You don’t know how badly he wishes he could help you. Mikey and Edie are always around if you need them. And you’ve got your kids, and our parents.” She hesitated. “And I’ll be here, too, from now on. We all love you so much and we want you to be okay. You’re not alone and you never have been. We’re here for you.”

Elle leaned into her sister’s embrace and tried to calm down, but it was impossible. She could only manage a little nod in reply.


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“If you want, I can stay,” Azula offered, when it came time for them to leave. “Dom will go get Grey and come back for me later, or I can take a taxi home. We don’t both need to go.”

Elle felt seriously tempted to take her up on it, but in the end, she refused. “Not that I don’t want your help,” she was quick to add. “It’s just…you can’t, with this. My marriage is my business and Tristan’s. I have to deal with it on my own. But I will deal with it, tonight.” She wasn’t sure how, but she knew that she had to do something right away, or she would never have the nerve again.

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As soon as Azula and Dominic were gone, she went into her office, locked the door, and opened the correspondence Saffron had sent her. Even though it hurt, she carefully read through the whole exchange twice. The first email had been sent two springs before, right after Sierra Spa’s grand opening. The last had been written during the second semester of Elle’s senior year, around the time Tristan had moved in. Tristan had stayed in contact with Raikov through an email address Elle didn’t recognize. It seemed to have been hosted on a server connected with his old Sim City job, and he probably hadn’t used it since.

This has been almost too easy,” he had written, shortly after their first date. “She already trusts me completely. She’s that kind of person, I think—emotionally needy in a way her sister isn’t. She is quite smart in some ways, but naïve about people. I’m sure I’ll have her madly in love with me before too long.

His assessment of her was so callous that Elle didn’t want to believe he’d really written it. The idea that he had been playing her the entire time was unbearable.

Yet rejecting it as false was the same as calling her sister a liar, and Dominic and Saffron as well. That was impossible. Azula had never lied to her before, and Elle felt that the other two would not try to make her believe such a serious accusation if it wasn’t true. On top of that, the emails did not look fake. Elle had long since learned to tell the difference between a screencap and photoediting. The files Saffron had sent were definitely the former.

Besides, the three of them had nothing material to gain from exposing him. Tristan had plenty to lose, however. Much of his credibility came from the simple fact that he was her husband. If she divorced him, he risked losing Sierra Plains’ good will. She knew he was a shrewd politician, but it hadn’t been enough to get him promoted in Sim City, and she wasn’t sure it would be enough for him to keep his position now.

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His carpool was due to drop him off a little after 6pm. Elle used the rest of the afternoon to make sure her family would stay clear while she confronted him. She asked Idina Holm over to help Saxon with his homework, a rare treat on a weekday, and enlisted her parents’ help to make sure neither of them came downstairs until after it was over. Gabriel’s assignment was to look after Cassie for about an hour once she woke up from her nap. Harry or Mya could relieve him if it took longer than that—he was Cassie’s favorite, and could keep her entertained for ages, but the unhygienic nature of the task made him antsy, after a while.

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At 5:55pm, Elle took up a perch at the bottom of the stairs. She had a full view of the front entrance from there, and Tristan would see her immediately. Neither of them would be able to avoid the other.

She still had no idea what she was going to do. She hadn’t planned anything beyond getting his attention; not how she would broach the subject, or how she could get him to confirm anything, or what she would do once he had or hadn’t. She couldn’t help thinking that the two of them might still be able to work it out. He might have started off trying to use her, but it was possible he really did love her now. If that was the case…

Suddenly, she was out of time. The car pulled up at the curb, Tristan got out, and walked up the porch stairs to the front door.

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As he entered the house, Elle watched his face. His eyes scanned the front hallway and came to rest on her. She automatically got up, not looking away, and saw something in his expression that filled her with icy dread. It was not fondness or loving appreciation, she felt certain. His lips curled in a self-satisfied smirk as he stepped toward her. “Baby,” he crooned, reaching for her.

She took a step back, unwilling to let him touch her after what she’d just seen. He’s never looked at me like that before, she thought, her head spinning. Never. Or…is it possible I just never noticed? The idea horrified her. If that was so, why hadn’t she seen it?

Tristan seemed insulted, not concerned, over being rebuffed. “What’s the matter, baby?” he asked, in a tone that clearly aimed for sympathy, but didn’t entirely manage it.

Elle swallowed. “We need to talk.”

“All right,” he agreed, “but I just got back and I’m hungry, can it wait?”

He was trying to brush her off again. She edged slightly to the left so that she was between him and the kitchen. “No, it can’t,” she said firmly. “We need to talk now.”

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Now he just seemed annoyed, though perhaps that was because she was keeping him from his dinner. She didn’t care, though. “Elle,” he said sternly, as if she were a bratty child instead of his wife, “you don’t work tonight, so we have time. I’ve had a long day and I can’t focus on anything serious without something to eat.”

That tone, she remembered very clearly. It was the same one she had used the day Saxon was born, and he’d taken the truck to work without telling her, leaving her with no way to get to work. She had had to quit her job and he had not cared an ounce. Suddenly, that infuriated her. “It’s important,” she said. “It can’t wait. Azula and Dominic are back in the area and they came to see us while you were at work.”

That caught his attention, although he didn’t look pleased. “What? When did they get back?”

“Yesterday, apparently.”

“And you had no idea.”

“Not until they showed up on the doorstep. They said they didn’t want the General knowing they were coming until they were already here.”

His expression twisted briefly. “I see.” After another pause, he carefully asked, “What else did they have to say for themselves?”

She took a deep breath. “They said that they thought you reported them.”

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He laughed, but it was forced. “That’s ridiculous.”

“I thought so too, but they pointed out that barely anybody knew, and out of those people you’re the only one who could possibly have wanted to. Besides, you went out of your way to ask me where they’d gone.”

“I told you, I was curious. Why would I want to go behind your back like that?”

“I don’t know, maybe because you were trying to get promoted and you thought doing it would keep you in good standing with the General?”

His eyes narrowed, and she realized that she had used the wrong word. “What exactly are you accusing me of?”

“I know that the General was trying to use you so he could have a—a contact in our family,” she said quietly. “Please don’t lie and say that he wasn’t. I’ve seen the emails. I read them all very carefully.”

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“Ellie,” he began, taking a step toward her again.

She backed another step. “Don’t touch me, Tristan,” she said. “Just tell me the truth. That’s all I want.”

He scowled. “I don’t think you want the truth. I think that you’re already convinced I’ve done something wrong and that I can’t say anything that will change your mind.”

“That’s not true! I don’t want this! I just want you to admit it so we can—" She stopped. If he admitted it, what then? She would never forget the way he had looked at and spoken to her just now. Could she really accept that, and live with it, for the rest of her life? If Azula had been right about one thing, it was that this was not okay. Elle knew that if she stayed with him, she’d be miserable, and she didn’t want to feel that way ever again.

But she tried anyway. “Just tell me that you made a mistake. Tell me you’re sorry that you lied to me and hurt my sister. Tell me that we can fix this.”

He looked her in the eye, and said nothing. He didn’t even try to look penitent. In that moment, Elle realized that he despised her. He had never loved her, and he had stopped pretending.

“Okay, then,” she said, and took a deep, shuddering breath to try to steady herself. “In that case, I want a divorce.”

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“I knew it,” he said coldly. “You don’t want to ‘fix’ anything. You just want an excuse to kick me out.”

“No, I think you’re the one who doesn’t want to fix it,” said Elle. “You could have apologized or at least tried to explain, and you didn’t. You would have, if you loved me. But you don’t, do you?” She was going to start crying again any second, and she knew he would think that was pathetic. She blinked rapidly to try to stop it. “You played me to get what you wanted, and you’re not even acting sorry.”

“And you’re a fool,” he replied.

The truth of it wounded her. She made herself stand straighter. “How dare you say that to me.”

“Oh, that’s rich, coming from you. You started this. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m feeling a little angry about it, Elle. You’re not even giving me a chance—"

“I gave you every chance! Not just today! The only thing I’ve ever wanted from you was for us to have a real marriage and you won’t even try! I’ve done my best to support you and trusted in you even when things were bad. Both my siblings accused you of treating me badly and I defended you because I wanted this to work! And now…now I have no idea why, because you deliberately hurt me and sabotaged my opportunities more than once, and you’re acting like nothing’s wrong. People who really care about each other don’t do that!” He opened his mouth, but she cut him off. “No, I don’t want to hear it now. It’s too late. Just leave.”

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Tristan stood where he was for several seconds, his fists clenching and unclenching. He looked so angry that for a moment she thought he would hit her. Then he turned as if to go. After a moment, he looked back. “I want to say goodbye to my children.”

Elle bit her lip, but nodded. “Saxon’s upstairs and Cassie’s in the nursery. Make it quick.”

He brushed past her without another word.

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Billy entered the kitchen and found Elle sitting at the island counter, head bent. She didn’t seem to be crying, but there was a definite hunch to her shoulders that made his heart ache. “Ellie?”

She looked up, startled. “Billy.”

“I…Dad called me,” he said lamely. “He told me what happened. Are you all right?”

“No,” she whispered.

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He quickly crossed over to her and put his arms around her. She clung to him, shaking. “You did the right thing,” he said.

“I know I did. That doesn’t make it any better.” He heard her swallow. “I don’t know what to do now, Billy.”

“You’ll figure it out,” he said soothingly, “and we’ll all help you. Got it?”

She nodded into his shoulder, making no move to let go. He didn’t try to dislodge her, but tightened his hold. “It’s going to be okay, Ellie,” he said. “I promise. It’s going to be okay.”


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Author’s Note

You know, I really don’t know how to start this. The fact that I’ve even made it this far is kind of unbelievable. I began this story arc in late 2009, three and a half years ago, and if I’m honest there have been several points since then where I thought I would never finish. Computer problems, having to rebuild, and real life coming up to smack me in the face were all factors in that.

BUT I DID, SO SUCK IT, WORLD. :P You cannot bring me down!

There are a lot of things I can and will say about how the arc that began in Episode 16 came to be, the process of writing it, and how things changed as events happened. It’s not going to go here, however—there’s not enough room. As it happens, I’ve already written a giant meta about that. You’re going to get it in a couple of days once I’ve reread it and polished it, because the last time it was touched up was years ago and the execution of the plot has changed a fair bit since then, as well as my understanding of the characters. For now, I’ll just say that I regret that it took so long to wrap this up, but I do think I did it better in the end than I would have in 2010.

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That said, lots of things happened in this episode! (Besides the important bit at the end there!) For starters, we had the last two lifts of this generation: Politics and Slacker, which finished out the quartet of Law-related careers. Now, thanks to Elle and Tristan, here’s what we can do:

- Sims can actually use their freakin’ vacation time (no more sending pregnant Sims to work!) without having to quit their jobs
- Sims can visit vacation destinations without having to quit their jobs first
- Sims can retire instead of having to quit (can you see a theme here?)
- Sims can go back to old jobs after quitting or getting fired
- I can now use the whole lot instead of being restricted to an 8x8 plot. (Honestly, this one wasn’t hurting me too badly. I’m a minimalistic player in general and I don’t really use much other than what will fit inside a three-story 8x8 tower.)
- Sims can use Influence (I think)
- Takemizu is now a place that can be visited without the General starting a manhunt.

There’s some other things to do with career rewards that I couldn’t care less about because I’m not using them except for the mood boosters, and I’m probably forgetting something else, but whatever.

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Also, Lex died. :( He was the first of the generation to go and I think he might also end up being the youngest at time of death. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure he was only 75. Not all the extended family deaths will be shown in story, but Lex’s was important because he’d been around trying to help during the past couple of episodes, and it was a difficult thing during an already tough time. He was awesome, I was happy to play him, and I’m sad he won’t be there when I get back to my game.

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But you know who WILL be? All the awesome generation 6 kids, that’s who. I know that the past couple of episodes have been light on the kids, which stinks, but it was necessary. However, my next update will focus on Saxon and Cassie more. I am planning to split Episode 25 into two parts. Both will cover the same amount of time (the latter half of Winter, about three Sim days), but the first half will be entirely about the kids, and the second will be about Elle. I’d really like to get both parts out within a week of each other, sometime in May. Think good thoughts for me! It would suck if writer’s block reared its ugly head again now. *breaks into a rendition of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”*

But before that, you’re getting a couple of other things besides the meta. One is a picture-only interlude I played ages ago that covers the last couple days of Fall and some character development I feel is better shown than told. The other is a secret :P but it, too, is also already filmed, so I hope it won’t be long before I can share it.

That’s it for now! Thank you all so much for your patience. I hope you’re not going to send me to the cave for this. :P Until next time, Happy Simming!

Guest Sims:

Saffron, Snow, and River Bohemian (The Bohemian Legacy)

Dominic Doran (The Boolpropian Round Robin Legacy)

Cherryh Nebula (A Planetary Apocalypse)

Liam Whedon (A Buffyverse Apocalypse)


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2013 08:51 am (UTC)
That was deftly done.

I still think that Tristan should suffer, but at least he's no longer in the house being abusive. I'm also glad that Billy and Azula have realized how selfish they were and how much pressure they put on Elle.

So, YAY for getting to the conclusion of this arc and doing 2 more lifts! Yay for the gen 6 kids! Yay for Elle!

Apr. 2nd, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
[Spoiler (click to open)]Hooray for lifts!

Double-hooray for Elle kicking Tristan to the curb FINALLY. Zuzu and Dom get to come back, and Tristan is GONE. Well, not GONE gone, I'm sure he will find ways to make Elle miserable still, but at least she doesn't have to live with him anymore. Which is a definite step up from where she was.

I don't think you have to worry about the cave--you gave us what we wanted, which is No More Tristan!
Apr. 2nd, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
Huzzah for finishing story arcs!

(And Huzzah for no more Tristan!)
Apr. 3rd, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
Hooray all `round! You've finished that story arc, Zuzu & Dom are back, and Tristan was FINALLY kicked to the curb. That last point especially makes me very happy. :D :D

Hooray for 2 more lifts, too!

I think it's safe to say there'll be no need to cave-hide.

I'm so pumped for what you've got in store for us!:D
Apr. 3rd, 2013 03:10 am (UTC)
Why would we put you in the cave? Tristan is gone! YAY! Only 2 more lifts to go! Raikov will be getting desperate, that's for sure. Good update!
Apr. 4th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
[Commenty!]It's nice to see this with the pictures as opposed to just the text!

...Though I did like reading the text. :P

Billy = totally deserving of being happy, yes.

Hi Liam! :D Glad he was able to be useful for you. Also, yay alien baby!

Elle = so totally not suited to being a Professional Party Guest, but...well, it's a lift! And a useful one too.

Also, Tristan is still a dick. It's interesting that Billy is all "I want Liam and Elle to be together! He's better than Tristan!" and Tristan is all "THAT'S MY WIFE BACK OFF YOU ASS!" when Elle and Liam are both like "...dude, friends. Just friends. Doesn't anyone get that boys and girls can be, you know, friends?" And the fact that Tristan keeps her away from her own brother at his wedding is a total dick move, too.

Ugh, being a dick to your wife in front of your son is beyond crossing the line. Just no.

At least Elle is finally able to admit that she's not alright. It's not good that she isn't, but the first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have one, and she's been deep in denial until now, poor girl.

And good on Harry for realizing what he did to his kids. It needed to happen.

Good that they've figured out that Tristan is a mole (as well as an ass), bad that they have to figure out what to do about it...and terrible that he was one in the first place.

Yay for Billy and the Watchers! (Totally should be a band, btw.)

Ah, apocalypse sims. "A room of my own? ...Why?"

Lex. :( Sad to see him go, even if he was the oldest of the generation.

Good definition of a Knowledge Sim there. :P

You know, if I didn't know some of your plot, I'd think you were going to do some sort of Saxon-treks-through-the-afterlife bit, but...that doesn't really fit the rest of your story, or the way that once sims in this hood die, they stay dead.

Yay new house! And I'm glad Elle gets to have space for herself. :)

Ugh, Tristan, still an ass.

Zuzu! Dom! Yay!

Poor Elle, having to face the truth about her husband, but...it's time. Past time, really.

And while Elle did choose to be heir, and chose to marry Tristan...they were outside motivated choices as much as anything, so the rest of the family really does share the blame for how fucked up she is. Yes, she ultimately made the choices, but because she had to.

Yay for Elle taking charge of her own life and breaking up with the asshole! *\o/* Go Elle! *throws a party*

I'm almost surprised he didn't actually hit her. There's very little left to lose at this point, for him. But I guess there are still a few things, including his job.

I find it interesting that Billy has definitely stepped into the void that Azula left when she flaked. He's been as helpful as he could be for the last few updates, and he's the one Harry calls, not Azula. Her being gone really changed the family dynamics there. At the very least, even if Harry did call Azula (okay, he probably called them both), Billy is the one who drops everything and comes running to help Elle. Good for him.

Two more lifts down! Only two to go! Yay!

Can't wait for the meta!
Apr. 4th, 2013 06:26 am (UTC)
A gif for you:

A gif for Saxon:

A gif for Elle:

A 2 3 gifs for Tristan:

Edited at 2013-04-04 06:27 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
Hurray for an update, looking forward to more.
Apr. 5th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
[Spoiler (click to open)]This was a hard chapter to read. Poor Ellie! I liked the contrast you made between Elle at the wedding and Elle at home or when Tristan was around. It made what was happening to her stand out quite clearly.

I'm SO GLAD that her family was able to get through to her with this. Yay for Billie joining the watchers and for Azula and Dom to actually be able to come home!

Seeing Elle stand up to Tristan and kick him out was extremely satisfying! Can't wait to see her finally feeling happy again!

Yay for 2 more lifts! You are so close to done now!

Also, *huggles Saxon* He's a very astute little kid isn't he? He seemed to know exactly what was going on the whole time. Can't wait to learn more about him and Cassie in the next chapter!

Congrats on winning CreMo!
Apr. 5th, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
Yay for an update!

[Spoiler (click to open)]Love the fact that Billy and Snow are now married together. And I'm also glad he joined the Watchers as well. After all, he did his best to help his sister realize the truth about Tristan.

Yay for Azula and Dom coming back! And big YAY for Elle divorcing Tristan! That was something I've been waiting for in the story. And I have a feeling that he has outlived his usefulness to the Fitzhughs now that he lifted Politics, so that made me chuckle.

RIP, Lex. :( I can't believe he's gone already.

Great update! Congrats on lifting Slacker and Politics, and I can't wait to see Saxon and Cass' story!
Apr. 28th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
[Spoiler (click to open)]Awww, Billy and Snow :)

Elle and Liam are great for each other, in that they've each given the other a sense that life didn't have to be as bad as they thought it did. You got him abducted in your hood, too! *\o/* Liam needs babies in all of his afterlives.

No, Tristan, Elle does not need you to tell her what she needs. And of course he's further gaslighting her by telling her she's just being hysterical. Ugh. DIAF.

I don't think anyone's ever told Ellie that the relief is less important than her. Certainly if they have, she's never heard it or believed it. She doesn't even think she's important enough to stay home and grieve for Lex.

Evidence against Tristan! Yay! Billy's line that the Bohemians are a more supportive family than the Fitzhughs makes me sad :( Billy's made his own family from a young age, but the lack of a supportive family of his own still hurts him. He is going to be a great Watcher.

"Worked nearly as hard as I have." Of course Tristan's belittling Elle even in his public speeches.

Saxon's already getting warped by living in the house with Tristan. He knows.

I love the new house! It's also a nice mark in Elle's character development, because she gets her office and her trees all to herself.

I found Elle's reactions when Azula and Dominic told her the truth very believable. I think that Elle wants to to make her life look better than it is so that she can show Azula she's taking care of herself and being a good heir. So having everything revealed to her makes her feel even more hopeless, which makes her cling to the life she has harder so that she doesn't have to admit failure as heir and as a person. *hugs Elle*

It's refreshing to see Tristan expressing what he really thinks in the emails to Raikov. IT MIGHT SOUND CRAZY BUT IT AIN'T NO LIE, BYE BYE BYE. Congratulations on finishing your Gen 5 lifts and getting rid of Tristan!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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