Writer Notes: Soon. Is now.
Warnings: language, switch in several scenes, mostly dialogue, flashback! a lot of captionless photos. Cats.
Erin came over to the house to “help” Kristen back up the rest of her belongings. She had found an apartment in Downtown and would be moving in soon. Erin so far hadn’t really done much, but update her on the “situation” with the Singles and Beaker households.
“Lola’s taking it pretty hard. I didn’t want to hurt her, but Chloe.” she shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t take being her punching bag anymore.”
“And you shouldn’t have to put up with it in the first place.” Kristen added. “This was your home. Your safe place, not where you get attacked. I’ve been so happy on my own. I can’t even remember why I moved here in the first place.”
Kristen inhaled sharply. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. How stupid was I to ever think she would notice me?”
“You can’t blame yourself.” Erin said. “Chloe’s an idiot. She rather be with someone who uses her temporarily because it’s exciting.”
Kristen nodded. “I’ll never understand why she thinks heartbreaks are thrilling.”
“I’m just so happy.” Chloe glowed. “Me and Donna are moving in together. It’s awesome!”
“So let me get this straight,” Lola began. “You are moving in with the person that tossed you aside like you were nothing. Broke all your promises. Had you in the fetal position for MONTHS, crying like a baby. This person who didn’t call you, write you, think about you until she decided she ‘missed’ you. Then she decides: hey, move in with me?”
“I am an adult. I can make my own decisions.” Chloe growled. “You’re just mad because you won’t be able to afford the rent here so you’ll have to downsize.”
“You can’t be serious?” Lola shook her head. “That’s what you think this is about. Sister, believe me, I’ve been planning moving out for awhile now.”
“I just can’t stand the thought of you getting all your hopes up again and being dumped off like garbage. Maybe after Johnny’s party, you’ll think this through and make the right decision.”
“Hey, John…Johnny? Where did he go?”
Gvaudoin shrugged. “Wherever Ophelia went, I guess.”
“I don’t want things to end with us mad at each, Johnny.” Phi began. “We’ve been real horrible to each other since…”
“I know…” he sighed. “I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“So Ripp got into Académie Le Tour.” Johnny chuckled. “The slacker between the three of us is going to the fanciest, most decorated college in Sim Valley. Isn’t that some irony?”
“Not really.” Phi shrugged. “His girlfriend has a tight leash on him. She didn’t want to leave him behind.”
“I guess you should have had me on a tighter leash.” he chuckled.
“It was always going to be this way, John.” Ophelia said. “We’ve always been going different paths. You’ll be a star athlete and I’ll be a drama teacher or something. I’m happy here. You always wanted to see the world.”
“But I’m going to miss you.”
“You’ll always have me, Phi.” he said. They were quiet for a moment. “Everyone’s outside.”
“Summer is coming.” PT said.
“I’d really like for Buck to come with us on our family vacation.”
“Buzz would never go for that.” Jenny replied. “If he spent too much time with us, we’d corrupt him.”
“We should ask though.” her husband answered. “Ripp and Tank will be gone to college. Buck won’t have anyone to watch him while Buzz is at work.”
“He’s early.” Jenny said.
“I’ll go get the children.”
“We really surprised to see you this early…” Jenny said. “You missed my brothers and Erin and Nervous. They say hello.”
“Oh,” he nodded. “Actually I wanted to talk to you and…your husband.”
“What did you want to talk to us about?” Jenny asked.
“Could we…” Buzz eyed Olive. “Speak privately.”
“This was never an issue for us.” Johnny whispered in her ear.
“Yeah, this was always good.”
“I don’t want this to be the last time.” Johnny said quietly.
“So what, you want to make a pack or something? We meet every other semester and hook up?” Phi didn’t mean to sound angry. “I can’t do that John.”
“I know…I didn’t mean it like that.”
“We just have to face the truth.” she said. “After today, we might not ever be together again.”
“I don’t know if I can do that, Phi.”
She quickly changed the subject. Partly because she didn’t want to say something she’d regret. And also because she was scared.
“We should probably get back out there before someone starts missing us.”
“Or our parents.”
“I know that we haven’t ever been on good terms.” Buzz began. “And I know that’s because of me and my issues with you…”
“I’m an alien.” PT shrugged. “I understand why it’s hard for you and other sims out there.”
Lola insisted on being apart of the conversation. She said she would just observe. If things got out of hand then she would intervene. She hoped it didn’t come to that.
Buzz seemed very calm, but so was a storm before it hit landfall.
“I’ve decided to let Buck go on your family vacation this summer.” he said.
“That’s…wonderful.” Jenny beamed.
“We promise he’ll be safe and he’ll have a wonderful time.” PT added.
“I know.” Buzz said. “You’ve always been good to my boys.”
Lola couldn’t believe her ears, but it made her all the more suspicious. Had he really changed? Or had he just made a practical decision?
“Hey,” Ophelia tried not to sound alarm when she saw her aunt in the living room. “What are you up to?”
Olive mischievously smiled. “We’re watching fairies.”
“The adults are having a talk.” Olive said. “The children are to stay in here or the kitchen.”
“What’s going on?” Johnny asked.
“General Buzz Grunt is human after all.” Ripp snorted. “He’s having a nice chat with your parents about Buck spending the summer with them.”
“It won’t last.” Chloe grumbled. “Buzz will never change. He’s hatred for aliens will never go away. This is just some ploy for something later.”
“Oh, come on.” Ophelia sighed. “Give the man a break. He’s been through a lot. Aunt Olive’s been talking with him about his issues for awhile now. This is a step in the right direction. Let’s not screw that up.”
“Phi’s right.” Johnny added. “Maybe the Grunts and Smiths will finally be true neighbors.”
“Not on your life, Johnny-boy.”
“I don’t care, Lothario!” Nina snapped. “Whatever your issues, get over it! Cassandra came to my house. She asked me about you! This better never happen again.”
“Geez, Nina, if I didn’t know you better, I’d think you’d sound panicked. No paranoid. No…what’s the word I’m looking for?”
“It better not happen again, Don!” she growled. “Or I’m going to let loose everything.”
“No,” he sighed. “You’re not.”
“You don’t think I will?” she laughed. “I have nothing to lose.”
“I don’t know: your sister, your reputation, respect. I think you have a lot to lose.” Don looked beyond her. “Cassandra.”
“I’m so sorry.” he said. “Nina came over here to tell me that you’ve been looking for me.”
“Where were you? Why didn’t you return any of my calls?”
“I’ve been…it’s been tough.” he said. “It’s around that time, you know. When Michael died and…Bella…”
“Don’t run away from me, Don.” Cassandra replied. “Talk to me. I can help. Michael was my uncle and my mom…” she sighed. “Just don’t disappear on me too.”
“I think I hear make up woohoo in this distance.” Nina interrupted. “If you don’t mind, I think I’ll leave.”
“Thank you, Nina, for corralling him for me. You’re a good friend.”
“Yeah, sure…anytime.” Guilty. That’s how she sounded.
“So, on the phone, you sounded pretty excited.” Crystal Vu asked. “Why did you want to meet tonight?”
“Well,” Erin fought to stay still in her seat. “We just wanted to get our two best friends together to announce.”
“That’s terrific!” Crystal shrieked. “Congratulations!”
Lazlo had much different feelings. He felt like someone dropped an anvil on top of his head.
“Excuse me.” He said getting up from the table.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a double wedding!” Crystal laughed.
When Lazlo didn’t return, Erin knew something was up so she decided to investigate.
“I’ll be right back, Nervous.” she said.
“You know, I don’t think we’ve ever had a moment alone.” Crystal said. “So, I’ve been wondering, is Nervous Subject really your real name?”
“Lazlo, what’s going on?” Erin asked.
“Why are you doing this?” he countered.
“I don’t know what you mean. You’re not happy that two of your best friends are getting married? I’m happy for you and Crystal.”
“Yeah, me and Crystal.” Lazlo sighed. “It was never supposed to be us.”
“It was supposed to be you and me.”
“You can’t be serious!” Erin snapped. “Seriously, Lazlo, tell me you’ve had too much to drink or something.”
“No, I’m thinking clearly, babe.”
“I’ve loved you since I first laid eyes on you, Erin.”
“What is wrong with you?” Erin asked. “We’re both engaged!” she said then added. “To different people.”
“Why did you propose to Crystal if you didn’t want to marry her? Don’t you love her?”
“No, Crystal is beautiful. She’s fun.” Lazlo sighed. “She’s just not you. I’ve come to realize this the closer we get to the wedding.”
They didn’t even see Nervous approach. He pulled Erin away. He didn’t lay a finger on Lazlo, but the dangerous look in the taller man’s face was enough to make Lazlo shrink back.
“No.” Is all Nervous said.
“I think we better go.”
“There’s nothing more to discuss, Malcolm.” Donna huffed. “I’m leaving.”
“What happened?” he asked. “What did I do wrong? I do everything you ask. I’ve bought you everything you ever wanted. Tell me why you are not happy.”
“I don’t know. Let’s start with the controlling.” Donna began. “I’m not allowed to go anywhere, do anything without you’re OK. And when I am on my own, you have me followed. Or how about you call me your Bella like a pet name. I’m not really fucking Bella Goth! She’s just a character in a movie.”
“You’re just the same as them all.” he growled. “Spoiled. Ungrateful.”
“I am grateful that you’ve given me such opportunity.” Donna replied. “But it is time for me to break away.”
“You used me! No one uses a Landgraab!”
“Sorry, not sorry.” Donna rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to stand here and argue with you. Have fun being alone in your mansion with buckets of money, but no one to share it with.”
“Dina, you’re back!” Brandi exclaimed. “How was your trip?”
Dina shrugged. “I travel well.”
She looked down at Brandi’s swollen belly. “You’re finally showing. How did the boys take the news?”
“It shocked them.” Brandi replied. “I hadn’t had the woohoo talk with Beau before…so it was difficult to explain since…Skip is gone.”
“Yeah, I bet that was hard. How’s Dustin?”
“He took it well.” Brandi said then added. “Surprisingly. I really thought he’d be overwhelmed, but he seems to look forward to another brother or sister.”
“It’ll be hard with Dustin gone to college.” Dina said. “But you’ll have Nina and me. And Beau, I suppose.”
“All right, stop stalling, Dina Caliente.” Brandi said. “Tell me. Did you get to meet the new Bella?”
Dina sighed. “Yes and I can’t decide if she is Bella or not.”
“The resemblance is uncanny. And she didn’t look like she had any plastic surgery. But she was wearing white, like Malcolm, like they were an item.”
“I thought she might recognize us.”
“But when she didn’t…” Dina shook her head. “I had a little hope that she wasn’t Bella then…”
“She became fixated on Mortimer, like how Bella would when either of them stepped into the room. They were each other’s whole world.”
“Then I thought, maybe she is Bella. Maybe the aliens erased her memory. It wouldn’t be the first case ever recorded.”
“So?” Brandi wiggled in her spot. “What else happened?”
“Well, things seemed to take a turn for…I’m not sure…not really the worst, but not really the best. Donna Cove announced that she’s moving close to here in Sim Valley.”
“That’s not good for you if Mortimer is already falling for her.” Brandi said. “Or have you changed your mind about him?”
“No, I…I don’t know.”
“They set up a date.”
“I bet Mortimer’s looking forward to some one-on-one time with this Bella lookalike.” Brandi cringed.
“Well, I wouldn’t say one-on-one…”
Oh, and you too, Miss Caliente. Donna smiled. I really want to get to know you. It’ll be so much fun. I can already tell we will be great friends.
“Yeah, I know.” Dina smirked. “The real Bella never wanted to be friends with me.”
“When’s the date?”
“You sounded panicked on the phone.” Tara Kat said. “Is everything all right, Darren?”
“No,” he shook his head. “Everything’s not fine.”
“I know that Dirk going to college is big for you and maybe a little overwhelming since you’re going to be alone in that house, but…”
“That’s not it.” he said. “I have…I know something I shouldn’t and I don’t know what to do about it.”
“OK, what is it?” she asked. “Can it hurt someone?”
“Yes, not physically, but yes, it will hurt them.” he groaned. “I don’t know if it’s my place to say anything. He should be honest with her, but I know he won’t.”
“Oh…one of those situations.”
“I think the best thing you can do…” Meow. “…is try to…” Meow!
“Oh, it’s dinner time.”
“Perhaps you should stay out of it.” Tara said. “You said it’s not your place so it isn’t. Maybe you should give him another chance. People make mistakes.”
“You’ll just have to learn to live with it.” Tara added.
“I don’t know if I can do that.” Darren honestly replied. “It’s already eating away at me.”
“Hello, mama’s baby.” Tara cooed.
“It’s just so terrible.” Darren continued. “And she has no clue.”
“Darren, don’t get in-between your friend’s relationships. It’ll only backfire.”
Darren sighed. “Maybe, you’re right.”
“Yes, you are, mama’s precious little baby.”
“I should have told her what I felt at the beginning and maybe she would have chosen me instead.” Darren muttered, mostly to himself.
“Thank you, Tara.” Darren tried to smile. “You’ve been a big help.”
“Always.” she hugged him. “I’m always here for you, Darren. Remember that. I lo…ve…”
“Sorry, litter box time.”
Additional: In each chapter, I will try to feature a career that Pat Newbie is working on to keep with the Bustin’ Out theme. In this chapter her featured career was Slacker. You can find information about Bustin’ Out and the main story’s careers HERE.